The Project Gutenberg EBook of Library Of The World's Best Literature,
Ancient And Modern, Vol 4, by Charles Dudley Warner

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Title: Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 4

Author: Charles Dudley Warner

Release Date: August 19, 2004 [EBook #13220]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Charlie Kirschner and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team.








Connoisseur Edition





Professor of Hebrew,



Professor of English in the Sheffield Scientific School of



Professor of History and Political Science,



Professor of Literature,



President of the



Late Professor of the Germanic and Scandinavian Languages and Literatures,



Director of the Lick Observatory, and Astronomer



Professor of the Romance Languages,



Dean of the Department of Arts and Sciences, and Professor of English and History,



Professor of Greek and Latin Literature,



United States Commissioner of Education,



Professor of Literature in the




GEORGE BANCROFT--Continued: -- 1800-1891

Wolfe on the Plains of Abraham ('History of the United States')

Lexington (same)

Washington (same)


The Publican's Dream ('The Bit of Writin'')


Soggarth Aroon

Irish Maiden's Song


Le Café ('The Soul of Paris')

The Mysterious Hosts of the Forests ('The Caryatids': Lang's Translation)

Aux Enfants Perdus: Lang's Translation

Ballade des Pendus: Lang's Translation


Against Inconsistency in Our Expectations

A Dialogue of the Dead


Praise to God


The Courtier's Life (Second Eclogue)


As I Laye A-Thynkynge

The Lay of St. Cuthbert

A Lay of St. Nicholas


St. Patrick's Purgatory ('Curious Myths of the Middle Ages')

The Cornish Wreckers ('The Vicar of Morwenstow')


Widow Joyce's Cloak ('Strangers at Lisconnel')

Walled Out ('Bogland Studies')

JOEL BARLOW -- 1754-1812

A Feast ('Hasty Pudding')

WILLIAM BARNES -- 1800-1886

Blackmwore Maidens


Milken Time

Jessie Lee

The Turnstile

To the Water-Crowfoot

Zummer an' Winter


The Courtin' of T'nowhead's Bell ('Auld Licht Idylls')

Jess Left Alone ('A Window in Thrums')

After the Sermon ('The Little Minister')

The Mutual Discovery (same)

Lost Illusions ('Sentimental Tommy')

Sins of Circumstance (same)


Petition of Manufacturers of Artificial Light

Stulta and Puera

Inapplicable Terms ('Economic Sophisms')

CHARLES BAUDELAIRE (by Grace King) -- 1821-1867


Death of the Poor


The Broken Bell

The Enemy



The Painter of Modern Life ('L'Art Romantique')


From 'Little Poems in Prose': Every One His Own Chimera; Humanity; Windows; Drink

From a Journal

LORD BEACONSFIELD (by Isa Carrington Cabell) -- 1804-1881

A Day at Ems ('Vivian Grey')

The Festa in the Alhambra ('The Young Duke')

Squibs from 'The Young Duke': Charles Annesley; The Fussy Hostess; Public Speaking; Female Beauty

Lothair in Palestine ('Lothair')

BEAUMARCHAIS -- 1732-1799

Outwitting a Guardian ('The Barber of Seville')

Outwitting a Husband ('The Marriage of Figaro')


The Faithful Shepherdess



Aspatia's Song

Leandro's Song

True Beauty

Ode to Melancholy

To Ben Jonson, on His 'Fox'

On the Tombs in Westminster

Arethusa's Declaration ('Philaster')

The Story of Bellario (same)

Evadne's Confession ('The Maid's Tragedy')

Death of the Boy Hengo ('Bonduca')

From 'The Two Noble Kinsmen'


The Incantation and the Sacrifice ('Vathek')

Vathek and Nouronihar in the Halls of Eblis (same)


Book-Stores and Books ('Star Papers')

Selected Paragraphs

Sermon: Poverty and the Gospel

A New England Sunday ('Norwood')

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (by Irenæus Stevenson) -- 1770-1827

Letters: To Dr. Wegeler; To the Same; To Bettina Brentano;

To Countess Giulietta Guicciardi; To the Same; To His Brothers;

To the Royal and Imperial High Court of Appeal; To Baroness von Drossdick;

To Zmeskall; To the Same; To His Brother Johann; To Stephan v. Breuning

CARL MICHAEL BELLMAN (by Olga Flinch) -- 1740-1795

To Ulla

Cradle-Song for My Son Carl


Art and Politics

Drink Out Thy Glass

JEREMY BENTHAM -- 1748-1832

Of the Principle of Utility ('An Introduction to the Principles of Morals snd Legislation')

Reminiscences of Childhood

Letter to George Wilson (1781)

Fragment of a Letter to Lord Lansdowne (1790)

JEAN-PIERRE DE BÉRANGER (by Alcée Fortier) -- 1780-1857

From 'The Gipsies'

The Gad-Fly

Draw It Mild

The King of Yvetot


The People's Reminiscences

The Old Tramp

Fifty Years

The Garret

My Tomb

From His Preface to His Collected Poems

GEORGE BERKELEY -- 1685-1753

On the Prospect of Planting Arts and Learning in America

Essay on Tar-Water ('Siris')

HECTOR BERLIOZ -- 1803-1869

The Italian Race as Musicians and Auditors ('Autobiography')

The Famous "K Snuff-Box Treachery" (same)

On Gluck (same)

On Bach (same)

Music as an Aristocratic Art (same)

Beginning of a "Grand Passion" (same)

On Theatrical Managers in Relation to Art


Saint Bernard's Hymn

Monastic Luxury (Apology to the Abbot William of St. Thierry)

From His Sermon on the Death of Gerard

BERNARD OF CLUNY (by William C. Prime) -- Twelfth Century

Brief Life Is Here Our Portion

JULIANA BERNERS -- Fifteenth Century

The Treatyse of Fyssbynge with an Angle


Old-Time London ('London')

The Synagogue ('The Rebel Queen')


The Lion

The Pelican

The Eagle

The Phoenix

The Ant

The Siren

The Whale

The Crocodile

The Turtle-Dove

The Mandragora



MARIE-HENRI BEYLE (Stendhal) (by Frederic Taber Cooper) -- 1783-1842

Princess Sanseverina's Interview ('Chartreuse de Parme')

Clélia Aids Fabrice to Escape (same)

WlLLEM BlLDERDIJK -- 1756-1831

Ode to Beauty

From the 'Ode to Napoleon'

Slighted Love

The Village Schoolmaster ('Country Life')

BION -- Second Century B.C.




Dr. Johnson ('Obiter Dicta')

The Office of Literature (same)

Truth-Hunting (same)

Benvenuto Cellini (same)

On the Alleged Obscurity of Mr. Browning's Poetry (same)



Egyptian Hieroglyphics (Colored Plate) Frontispiece
"The Irish Maiden's Song" (Photogravure) 1473
"Milking Time" (Photogravure) 1567
"Music" (Photogravure) 1625
Henry Ward Beecher (Portrait) 1714
"Beethoven" (Photogravure) 1750
Jean-Pierre de Béranger (Portrait) 1784
"Monastic Luxury" (Photogravure) 1824


John Banim
Théodore de Banville
Anna Lætitia Barbauld
Richard Harris Barham
Jane Barlow
Joel Barlow
James Matthew Barrie
Frédéric Bastiat
Charles Baudelaire
Lord Beaconsfield
Francis Beaumont
William Beckford
Ludwig van Beethoven
Jeremy Bentham
George Berkeley
Hector Berlioz
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux
Juliana Berners
Walter Besant
Henri Beyle (Stendhal)
Augustine Birrell

GEORGE BANCROFT (Continued from Volume III)


From 'History of the United States'

But, in the meantime, Wolfe applied himself intently to reconnoitering the north shore above Quebec. Nature had given him good eyes, as well as a warmth of temper to follow first impressions. He himself discovered the cove which now bears his name, where the bending promontories almost form a basin, with a very narrow margin, over which the hill rises precipitously. He saw the path that wound up the steep, though so narrow that two men could hardly march in it abreast; and he knew, by the number of tents which he counted on the summit, that the Canadian post which guarded it could not exceed a hundred. Here he resolved to land his army by surprise. To mislead the enemy, his troops were kept far above the town; while Saunders, as if an attack was intended at Beauport, set Cook, the great mariner, with others, to sound the water and plant buoys along that shore.

The day and night of the twelfth were employed in preparations. The autumn evening was bright; and the general, under the clear starlight, visited his stations, to make his final inspection and utter his last words of encouragement. As he passed from ship to ship, he spoke to those in the boat with him of the poet Gray, and the 'Elegy in a Country Churchyard.' "I," said he, "would prefer being the author of that poem to the glory of beating the French to-morrow;" and, while the oars struck the river as it rippled in the silence of the night air under the flowing tide, he repeated:--

"The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,

And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,

Await alike the inevitable hour--

The paths of glory lead but to the grave."

Every officer knew his appointed duty, when, at one o'clock in the morning of the thirteenth of September, Wolfe, Monckton, and Murray, and about half the forces, set off in boats, and, using neither sail nor oars, glided down with the tide. In three quarters of an hour the ships followed; and, though the night had become dark, aided by the rapid current, they reached the cove just in time to cover the landing. Wolfe and the troops with him leaped on shore; the light infantry, who found themselves borne by the current a little below the intrenched path, clambered up the steep hill, staying themselves by the roots and boughs of the maple and spruce and ash trees that covered the precipitous declivity, and, after a little firing, dispersed the picket which guarded the height; the rest ascended safely by the pathway. A battery of four guns on the left was abandoned to Colonel Howe. When Townshend's division disembarked, the English had already gained one of the roads to Quebec; and, advancing in front of the forest, Wolfe stood at daybreak with his invincible battalions on the Plains of Abraham, the battle-field of the Celtic and Saxon races.

"It can be but a small party, come to burn a few houses and retire," said Montcalm, in amazement as the news reached him in his intrenchments the other side of the St. Charles; but, obtaining better information, "Then," he cried, "they have at last got to the weak side of this miserable garrison; we must give battle and crush them before mid-day." And, before ten, the two armies, equal in numbers, each being composed of less than five thousand men, were ranged in presence of one another for battle. The English, not easily accessible from intervening shallow ravines and rail fences, were all regulars, perfect in discipline, terrible in their fearless enthusiasm, thrilling with pride at their morning's success, commanded by a man whom they obeyed with confidence and love. The doomed and devoted Montcalm had what Wolfe had called but "five weak French battalions," of less than two thousand men, "mingled with disorderly peasantry," formed on commanding ground. The French had three little pieces of artillery; the English, one or two. The two armies cannonaded each other for nearly an hour; when Montcalm, having summoned De Bougainville to his aid, and dispatched messenger after messenger for De Vaudreuil, who had fifteen hundred men at the camp, to come up before he should be driven from the ground, endeavored to flank the British and crowd them down the high bank of the river. Wolfe counteracted the movement by detaching Townshend with Amherst's regiment, and afterward a part of the Royal Americans, who formed on the left with a double front.

Waiting no longer for more troops, Montcalm led the French army impetuously to the attack. The ill-disciplined companies broke by their precipitation and the unevenness of the ground; and fired by platoons, without unity. Their adversaries, especially the Forty-third and the Forty-seventh, where Monckton stood, of which three men out of four were Americans, received the shock with calmness; and after having, at Wolfe's command, reserved their fire till their enemy was within forty yards, their line began a regular, rapid, and exact discharge of musketry. Montcalm was present everywhere, braving danger, wounded, but cheering by his example. The second in command, De Sennezergues, an associate in glory at Ticonderoga, was killed. The brave but untried Canadians, flinching from a hot fire in the open field, began to waver; and, so soon as Wolfe, placing himself at the head of the Twenty-eighth and the Louisburg grenadiers, charged with bayonets, they everywhere gave way. Of the English officers, Carleton was wounded; Barré, who fought near Wolfe, received in the head a ball which made him blind of one eye, and ultimately of both. Wolfe, also, as he led the charge, was wounded in the wrist; but still pressing forward, he received a second ball; and having decided the day, was struck a third time, and mortally, in the breast. "Support me," he cried to an officer near him; "let not my brave fellows see me drop." He was carried to the rear, and they brought him water to quench his thirst. "They run! they run!" spoke the officer on whom he leaned. "Who run?" asked Wolfe, as his life was fast ebbing. "The French," replied the officer, "give way everywhere." "What," cried the expiring hero, "do they run already? Go, one of you, to Colonel Burton; bid him march Webb's regiment with all speed to Charles River to cut off the fugitives." Four days before, he had looked forward to early death with dismay. "Now, God be praised, I die happy." These were his words as his spirit escaped in the blaze of his glory. Night, silence, the rushing tide, veteran discipline, the sure inspiration of genius, had been his allies; his battle-field, high over the ocean river, was the grandest theatre for illustrious deeds; his victory, one of the most momentous in the annals of mankind, gave to the English tongue and the institutions of the Germanic race the unexplored and seemingly infinite West and South. He crowded into a few hours actions that would have given lustre to length of life; and, filling his day with greatness, completed it before its noon.

D. Appleton and Company, New York.


From 'History of the United States'

Day came in all the beauty of an early spring. The trees were budding; the grass growing rankly a full month before its time; the bluebird and the robin gladdening the genial season, and calling forth the beams of the sun which on that morning shone with the warmth of summer; but distress and horror gathered over the inhabitants of the peaceful town. There on the green lay in death the gray-haired and the young; the grassy field was red "with the innocent blood of their brethren slain," crying unto God for vengeance from the ground.

Seven of the men of Lexington were killed, nine wounded; a quarter part of all who stood in arms on the green. These are the village heroes, who were more than of noble blood, proving by their spirit that they were of a race divine. They gave their lives in testimony to the rights of mankind, bequeathing to their country an assurance of success in the mighty struggle which they began. Their names are held in grateful remembrance, and the expanding millions of their countrymen renew and multiply their praise from generation to generation. They fulfilled their duty not from the accidental impulse of the moment; their action was the slowly ripened fruit of Providence and of time. The light that led them on was combined of rays from the whole history of the race; from the traditions of the Hebrews in the gray of the world's morning; from the heroes and sages of republican Greece and Rome; from the example of Him who died on the cross for the life of humanity; from the religious creed which proclaimed the divine presence in man, and on this truth, as in a life-boat, floated the liberties of nations over the dark flood of the Middle Ages; from the customs of the Germans transmitted out of their forests to the councils of Saxon England; from the burning faith and courage of Martin Luther; from trust in the inevitable universality of God's sovereignty as taught by Paul of Tarsus and Augustine, through Calvin and the divines of New England; from the avenging fierceness of the Puritans, who dashed the mitre on the ruins of the throne; from the bold dissent and creative self-assertion of the earliest emigrants to Massachusetts; from the statesmen who made, and the philosophers who expounded, the revolution of England; from the liberal spirit and analyzing inquisitiveness of the eighteenth century; from the cloud of witnesses of all the ages to the reality and the rightfulness of human freedom. All the centuries bowed themselves from the recesses of the past to cheer in their sacrifice the lowly men who proved themselves worthy of their forerunners, and whose children rise up and call them blessed.

Heedless of his own danger, Samuel Adams, with the voice of a prophet, exclaimed: "Oh, what a glorious morning is this!" for he saw his country's independence hastening on, and, like Columbus in the tempest, knew that the storm did but bear him the more swiftly toward the undiscovered world.

D. Appleton and Company, New York.


From 'History of the United States'

Then, on the fifteenth of June, it was voted to appoint a general. Thomas Johnson, of Maryland, nominated George Washington; and as he had been brought forward "at the particular request of the people of New England," he was elected by ballot unanimously.

Washington was then forty-three years of age. In stature he a little exceeded six feet; his limbs were sinewy and well-proportioned; his chest broad; his figure stately, blending dignity of presence with ease. His robust constitution had been tried and invigorated by his early life in the wilderness, the habit of occupation out of doors, and rigid temperance; so that few equaled him in strength of arm, or power of endurance, or noble horsemanship. His complexion was florid; his hair dark brown; his head in its shape perfectly round. His broad nostrils seemed formed to give expression and escape to scornful anger. His eyebrows were rayed and finely arched. His dark-blue eyes, which were deeply set, had an expression of resignation, and an earnestness that was almost pensiveness. His forehead was sometimes marked with thought, but never with inquietude; his countenance was mild and pleasing and full of benignity.

At eleven years old left an orphan to the care of an excellent but unlettered mother, he grew up without learning. Of arithmetic and geometry he acquired just knowledge enough to be able to practice measuring land; but all his instruction at school taught him not so much as the orthography or rules of grammar of his own tongue. His culture was altogether his own work, and he was in the strictest sense a self-made man; yet from his early life he never seemed uneducated. At sixteen, he went into the wilderness as a surveyor, and for three years continued the pursuit, where the forests trained him, in meditative solitude, to freedom and largeness of mind; and nature revealed to him her obedience to serene and silent laws. In his intervals from toil, he seemed always to be attracted to the best men, and to be cherished by them. Fairfax, his employer, an Oxford scholar, already aged, became his fast friend. He read little, but with close attention. Whatever he took in hand he applied himself to with care; and his papers, which have been preserved, show how he almost imperceptibly gained the power of writing correctly; always expressing himself with clearness and directness, often with felicity of language and grace.

When the frontiers on the west became disturbed, he at nineteen was commissioned an adjutant-general with the rank of major. At twenty-one, he went as the envoy of Virginia to the council of Indian chiefs on the Ohio, and to the French officers near Lake Erie. Fame waited upon him from his youth; and no one of his colony was so much spoken of. He conducted the first military expedition from Virginia that crossed the Alleghanies. Braddock selected him as an aid, and he was the only man who came out of the disastrous defeat near the Monongahela, with increased reputation, which extended to England. The next year, when he was but four-and-twenty, "the great esteem" in which he was held in Virginia, and his "real merit," led the lieutenant-governor of Maryland to request that he might be "commissioned and appointed second in command" of the army designed to march to the Ohio; and Shirley, the commander-in-chief, heard the proposal "with great satisfaction and pleasure," for "he knew no provincial officer upon the continent to whom he would so readily give that rank as to Washington." In 1758 he acted under Forbes as a brigadier, and but for him that general would never have crossed the mountains.

Courage was so natural to him that it was hardly spoken of to his praise; no one ever at any moment of his life discovered in him the least shrinking in danger; and he had a hardihood of daring which escaped notice, because it was so enveloped by superior calmness and wisdom.

His address was most easy and agreeable; his step firm and graceful; his air neither grave nor familiar. He was as cheerful as he was spirited, frank and communicative in the society of friends, fond of the fox-chase and the dance, often sportive in his letters, and liked a hearty laugh. "His smile," writes Chastellux, "was always the smile of benevolence." This joyousness of disposition remained to the last, though the vastness of his responsibilities was soon to take from him the right of displaying the impulsive qualities of his nature, and the weight which he was to bear up was to overlay and repress his gayety and openness.

His hand was liberal; giving quietly and without observation, as though he was ashamed of nothing but being discovered in doing good. He was kindly and compassionate, and of lively sensibility to the sorrows of others; so that, if his country had only needed a victim for its relief, he would have willingly offered himself as a sacrifice. But while he was prodigal of himself, he was considerate for others; ever parsimonious of the blood of his countrymen.

He was prudent in the management of his private affairs, purchased rich lands from the Mohawk valley to the flats of the Kanawha, and improved his fortune by the correctness of his judgment; but, as a public man, he knew no other aim than the good of his country, and in the hour of his country's poverty he refused personal emolument for his service.

His faculties were so well balanced and combined that his constitution, free from excess, was tempered evenly with all the elements of activity, and his mind resembled a well-ordered commonwealth; his passions, which had the intensest vigor, owned allegiance to reason; and with all the fiery quickness of his spirit, his impetuous and massive will was held in check by consummate judgment. He had in his composition a calm, which gave him in moments of highest excitement the power of self-control, and enabled him to excel in patience, even when he had most cause for disgust. Washington was offered a command when there was little to bring out the unorganized resources of the continent but his own influence, and authority was connected with the people by the most frail, most attenuated, scarcely discernible threads; yet, vehement as was his nature, impassioned as was his courage, he so retained his ardor that he never failed continuously to exert the attractive power of that influence, and never exerted it so sharply as to break its force.

In secrecy he was unsurpassed; but his secrecy had the character of prudent reserve, not of cunning or concealment. His great natural power of vigilance had been developed by his life in the wilderness.

His understanding was lucid, and his judgment accurate; so that his conduct never betrayed hurry or confusion. No detail was too minute for his personal inquiry and continued supervision; and at the same time he comprehended events in their widest aspects and relations. He never seemed above the object that engaged his attention, and he was always equal, without an effort, to the solution of the highest questions, even when there existed no precedents to guide his decision. In the perfection of the reflective powers, which he used habitually, he had no peer.

In this way he never drew to himself admiration for the possession of any one quality in excess, never made in council any one suggestion that was sublime but impracticable, never in action took to himself the praise or the blame of undertakings astonishing in conception, but beyond his means of execution. It was the most wonderful accomplishment of this man that, placed upon the largest theatre of events, at the head of the greatest revolution in human affairs, he never failed to observe all that was possible, and at the same time to bound his aspirations by that which was possible.

A slight tinge in his character, perceptible only to the close observer, revealed the region from which he sprung, and he might be described as the best specimen of manhood as developed in the South; but his qualities were so faultlessly proportioned that his whole country rather claimed him as its choicest representative, the most complete expression of all its attainments and aspirations. He studied his country and conformed to it. His countrymen felt that he was the best type of America, and rejoiced in it, and were proud of it. They lived in his life, and made his success and his praise their own.

Profoundly impressed with confidence in God's providence, and exemplary in his respect for the forms of public worship, no philosopher of the eighteenth century was more firm in the support of freedom of religious opinion, none more remote from bigotry; but belief in God, and trust in his overruling power, formed the essence of his character. Divine wisdom not only illumines the spirit, it inspires the will. Washington was a man of action, and not of theory or words; his creed appears in his life, not in his professions, which burst from him very rarely, and only at those great moments of crisis in the fortunes of his country, when earth and heaven seemed actually to meet, and his emotions became too intense for suppression; but his whole being was one continued act of faith in the eternal, intelligent, moral order of the universe. Integrity was so completely the law of his nature, that a planet would sooner have shot from its sphere than he have departed from his uprightness, which was so constant that it often seemed to be almost impersonal. "His integrity was the most pure, his justice the most inflexible I have ever known," writes Jefferson; "no motives of interest or consanguinity, of friendship or hatred, being able to bias his decision."

They say of Giotto that he introduced goodness into the art of painting; Washington carried it with him to the camp and the Cabinet, and established a new criterion of human greatness. The purity of his will confirmed his fortitude: and as he never faltered in his faith in virtue, he stood fast by that which he knew to be just; free from illusions; never dejected by the apprehension of the difficulties and perils that went before him, and drawing the promise of success from the justice of his cause. Hence he was persevering, leaving nothing unfinished; devoid of all taint of obstinacy in his firmness; seeking and gladly receiving advice, but immovable in his devotedness to right.

Of a "retiring modesty and habitual reserve," his ambition was no more than the consciousness of his power, and was subordinate to his sense of duty; he took the foremost place, for he knew from inborn magnanimity that it belonged to him, and he dared not withhold the service required of him; so that, with all his humility, he was by necessity the first, though never for himself or for private ends. He loved fame, the approval of coming generations, the good opinion of his fellow-men of his own time, and he desired to make his conduct coincide with his wishes; but not fear of censure, not the prospect of applause could tempt him to swerve from rectitude, and the praise which he coveted was the sympathy of that moral sentiment which exists in every human breast, and goes forth only to the welcome of virtue.

There have been soldiers who have achieved mightier victories in the field, and made conquests more nearly corresponding to the boundlessness of selfish ambition; statesmen who have been connected with more startling upheavals of society: but it is the greatness of Washington that in public trusts he used power solely for the public good; that he was the life and moderator and stay of the most momentous revolution in human affairs; its moving impulse and its restraining power....

This also is the praise of Washington: that never in the tide of time has any man lived who had in so great a degree the almost divine faculty to command the confidence of his fellow-men and rule the willing. Wherever he became known, in his family, his neighborhood, his county, his native State, the continent, the camp, civil life, among the common people, in foreign courts, throughout the civilized world, and even among the savages, he, beyond all other men, had the confidence of his kind.

D. Appleton and Company, New York.


(1798-1846)    (1796-1874)

f the writers who have won esteem by telling the pathetic stories of their country's people, the names of John and Michael Banim are ranked among the Irish Gael not lower than that of Sir Walter Scott among the British Gael. The works of the Banim brothers continued the same sad and fascinating story of the "mere Irish" which Maria Edgeworth and Lady Morgan had laid to the hearts of English readers in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century days. The Banim family was one of those which belonged to the class of "middlemen," people so designated in Ireland who were neither rich nor poor, but in the fortunate mean. The family home was in the historic town of Kilkenny, famous alike for its fighting confederation and its fighting cats. Here Michael was born August 5th, 1796, and John April 3d, 1798. Michael lived to a green old age, and survived his younger brother John twenty-eight years, less seventeen days; he died at Booterstown, August 30th, 1874.

John Banim.

The first stories of this brotherly collaboration in letters appeared in 1825 without mark of authorship, as recitals contributed for instruction and amusement about the hearth-stone of an Irish household, called 'The O'Hara Family.' The minor chords of the soft music of the Gaelic English as it fell from the tongues of Irish lads and lasses, whether in note of sorrow or of sport, had already begun to touch with winsome tenderness the stolid Saxon hearts, when that idyl of their country's penal days, 'The Bit o' Writin',' was sent out from the O'Hara fireside. The almost instantaneous success and popularity of their first stories speedily broke down the anonymity of the Banims, and publishers became eager and gain-giving. About two dozen stories were published before the death of John, in 1842. The best-known of them, in addition to the one already mentioned, are 'The Boyne Water,' 'The Croppy,' and 'Father Connell.'

The fact that during the long survival of Michael no more of the Banim stories appeared, is sometimes called in as evidence that the latter had little to do with the writing of the series. Michael and John, it was well known, had worked lovingly together, and Michael claimed a part in thirteen of the tales, without excluding his brother from joint authorship. Exactly what each wrote of the joint productions has never been known. A single dramatic work of the Banim brothers has attained to a position in the standard drama, the play of 'Damon and Pythias,' a free adaptation from an Italian original, written by John Banim at the instance of Richard Lalor Shiel. The songs are also attributed to John. It is but just to say that the great emigration to the United States which absorbed the Irish during the '40's and '50's depreciated the sale of such works as those of the Banims to the lowest point, and Michael had good reason, aside from the loss of his brother's aid, to lay down his pen. The audience of the Irish story-teller had gone away across the great western sea. There was nothing to do but sit by the lonesome hearth and await one's own to-morrow for the voyage of the greater sea.


From 'The Bit o' Writin' and Other Tales'

The fair-day had passed over in a little straggling town in the southeast of Ireland, and was succeeded by a languor proportioned to the wild excitement it never failed to create. But of all in the village, its publicans suffered most under the reaction of great bustle. Few of their houses appeared open at broad noon; and some--the envy of their competitors--continued closed even after that late hour. Of these latter, many were of the very humblest kind; little cabins, in fact, skirting the outlets of the village, or standing alone on the roadside a good distance beyond it.

About two o'clock upon the day in question, a house of "Entertainment for Man and Horse," the very last of the description noticed to be found between the village and the wild tract of mountain country adjacent to it, was opened by the proprietress, who had that moment arisen from bed.

The cabin consisted of only two apartments, and scarce more than nominally even of two; for the half-plastered wicker and straw partition, which professed to cut off a sleeping-nook from the whole area inclosed by the clay walls, was little higher than a tall man, and moreover chinky and porous in many places. Let the assumed distinction be here allowed to stand, however, while the reader casts his eyes around what was sometimes called the kitchen, sometimes the tap-room, sometimes the "dancing-flure." Forms which had run by the walls, and planks by way of tables which had been propped before them, were turned topsy-turvy, and in some instances broken. Pewter pots and pints, battered and bruised, or squeezed together and flattened, and fragments of twisted glass tumblers, lay beside them. The clay floor was scraped with brogue-nails and indented with the heel of that primitive foot-gear, in token of the energetic dancing which had lately been performed upon it. In a corner still appeared (capsized, however) an empty eight-gallon beer barrel, recently the piper's throne, whence his bag had blown forth the inspiring storms of jigs and reels, which prompted to more antics than ever did a bag of the laughing-gas. Among the yellow turf-ashes of the hearth lay on its side an old blackened tin kettle, without a spout,--a principal utensil in brewing scalding water for the manufacture of whisky-punch; and its soft and yet warm bed was shared by a red cat, who had stolen in from his own orgies, through some cranny, since day-break. The single four-paned window of the apartment remained veiled by its rough shutter, that turned on leather hinges; but down the wide yawning chimney came sufficient light to reveal the objects here described.

The proprietress opened her back door. She was a woman of about forty; of a robust, large-boned figure; with broad, rosy visage, dark, handsome eyes, and well-cut nose: but inheriting a mouth so wide as to proclaim her pure aboriginal Irish pedigree. After a look abroad, to inhale the fresh air, and then a remonstrance (ending in a kick) with the hungry pig, who ran, squeaking and grunting, to demand his long-deferred breakfast, she settled her cap, rubbed down her prauskeen [coarse apron], tucked and pinned up her skirts behind, and saying in a loud, commanding voice, as she spoke into the sleeping-chamber, "Get up now at once, Jer, I bid you," vigorously if not tidily set about putting her tavern to rights.

During her bustle the dame would stop an instant, and bend her ear to listen for a stir inside the partition; but at last losing patience she resumed:--

"Why, then, my heavy hatred on you, Jer Mulcahy, is it gone into a sauvaun [pleasant drowsiness] you are, over again? or maybe you stole out of bed, an' put your hand on one o' them ould good-for-nothing books, that makes you the laziest man that a poor woman ever had tinder one roof wid her? ay, an' that sent you out of our dacent shop an' house, in the heart of the town below, an' banished us here, Jer Mulcahy, to sell drams o' whisky an' pots o' beer to all the riff-raff o' the counthry-side, instead o' the nate boots an' shoes you served your honest time to?"

She entered his, or her chamber, rather, hoping that she might detect him luxuriantly perusing in bed one of the mutilated books, a love of which (or more truly a love of indolence, thus manifesting itself) had indeed chiefly caused his downfall in the world. Her husband, however, really tired after his unusual bodily efforts of the previous day, only slumbered, as Mrs. Mulcahy had at first anticipated; and when she had shaken and aroused him, for the twentieth time that morning, and scolded him until the spirit-broken blockhead whimpered,--nay, wept, or pretended to weep,--the dame returned to her household duties.

She did not neglect, however, to keep calling to him every half-minute, until at last Mr. Jeremiah Mulcahy strode into the kitchen: a tall, ill-contrived figure, that had once been well fitted out, but that now wore its old skin, like its old clothes, very loosely; and those old clothes were a discolored, threadbare, half-polished kerseymere pair of trousers, and aged superfine black coat, the last relics of his former Sunday finery,--to which had recently and incongruously been added a calfskin vest, a pair of coarse sky-blue peasant's stockings, and a pair of brogues. His hanging cheeks and lips told, together, his present bad living and domestic subjection; and an eye that had been blinded by the smallpox wore neither patch nor band, although in better days it used to be genteelly hidden from remark,--an assumption of consequence now deemed incompatible with his altered condition in society.

"O Cauth! oh, I had such a dhrame," he said, as he made his appearance.

"An' I'll go bail you had," answered Cauth, "an' when do you ever go asleep without having one dhrame or another, that pesters me off o' my legs the livelong day, till the night falls again to let you have another? Musha, Jer, don't be ever an' always such a fool; an' never mind the dhrame now, but lend a hand to help me in the work o' the house. See the pewther there: haive it up, man alive, an' take it out into the garden, and sit on the big stone in the sun, an' make it look as well as you can, afther the ill usage it got last night; come, hurry, Jer--go an' do what I bid you."

He retired in silence to "the garden," a little patch of ground luxuriant in potatoes and a few cabbages. Mrs. Mulcahy pursued her work till her own sensations warned her that it was time to prepare her husband's morning or rather day meal; for by the height of the sun it should now be many hours past noon. So she put down her pot of potatoes; and when they were boiled, took out a wooden trencher full of them, and a mug of sour milk, to Jer, determined not to summon him from his useful occupation of restoring the pints and quarts to something of their former shape.

Stepping through the back door, and getting him in view, she stopped short in silent anger. His back was turned to her, because of the sun; and while the vessels, huddled about in confusion, seemed little the better of his latent skill and industry, there he sat on his favorite round stone, studiously perusing, half aloud to himself, some idle volume which doubtless he had smuggled into the garden in his pocket. Laying down her trencher and her mug, Mrs. Mulcahy stole forward on tiptoe, gained his shoulder without being heard, snatched the imperfect bundle of soiled pages out of his hand, and hurled it into a neighbor's cabbage-bed.

Jeremiah complained, in his usual half-crying tone, declaring that "she never could let him alone, so she couldn't, and he would rather list for a soger than lade such a life, from year's end to year's end, so he would."

"Well, an' do then--an' whistle that idle cur off wid you," pointing to a nondescript puppy, which had lain happily coiled up at his master's feet until Mrs. Mulcahy's appearance, but that now watched her closely, his ears half cocked and his eyes wide open, though his position remained unaltered. "Go along to the divil, you lazy whelp you!"--she took up a pint in which a few drops of beer remained since the previous night, and drained it on the puppy's head, who instantly ran off, jumping sideways, and yelping as loud as if some bodily injury had really visited him--"Yes, an' now you begin to yowl, like your masther, for nothing at all, only because a body axes you to stir your idle legs--hould your tongue, you foolish baste!" she stooped for a stone--"one would think I scalded you."

"You know you did, once, Cauth, to the backbone; an' small blame for Shuffle to be afeard o' you ever since," said Jer.

This vindication of his own occasional remonstrances, as well as of Shuffle's, was founded in truth. When very young, just to keep him from running against her legs while she was busy over the fire, Mrs. Mulcahy certainly had emptied a ladleful of boiling potato-water upon the poor puppy's back; and from that moment it was only necessary to spill a drop of the coldest possible water, or of any cold liquid, on any part of his body, and he believed he was again dreadfully scalded, and ran out of the house screaming in all the fancied theories of torture.

"Will you ate your good dinner, now, Jer Mulcahy, an' promise to do something to help me, afther it?--Mother o' Saints!"--thus she interrupted herself, turning towards the place where she had deposited the eulogized food--"see that yon unlucky bird! May I never do an ill turn but there's the pig afther spilling the sweet milk, an' now shoveling the beautiful white-eyes down her throat at a mouthful!"

Jer, really afflicted at this scene, promised to work hard the moment he got his dinner; and his spouse, first procuring a pitchfork to beat the pig into her sty, prepared a fresh meal for him, and retired to eat her own in the house, and then to continue her labor.

In about an hour she thought of paying him another visit of inspection, when Jeremiah's voice reached her ear, calling out in disturbed accents, "Cauth! Cauth! a-vourneen! For the love o' heaven, Cauth! where are you?"

Running to him, she found her husband sitting upright, though not upon his round stone, amongst the still untouched heap of pots and pints, his pock-marked face very pale, his single eye staring, his hands clasped and shaking, and moisture on his forehead.

"What!" she cried, "the pewther just as I left it, over again!"

"O Cauth! Cauth! don't mind that now--but spake to me kind, Cauth, an' comfort me."

"Why, what ails you, Jer a-vous neen?" affectionately taking his hand, when she saw how really agitated he was.

"O Cauth, oh, I had such a dhrame, now, in earnest, at any rate!"

"A dhrame!" she repeated, letting go his hand, "a dhrame, Jer Mulcahy! so, afther your good dinner, you go for to fall asleep, Jer Mulcahy, just to be ready wid a new dhrame for me, instead of the work you came out here to do, five blessed hours ago!"

"Don't scould me, now, Cauth; don't, a-pet: only listen to me, an' then say what you like. You know the lonesome little glen between the hills, on the short cut for man or horse, to Kilbroggan? Well, Cauth, there I found myself in the dhrame; and I saw two sailors, tired afther a day's hard walking, sitting before one of the big rocks that stand upright in the wild place; an' they were ating or dhrinking, I couldn't make out which; and one was a tall, sthrong, broad-shouldhered man, an' the other was sthrong, too, but short an' burly; an' while they were talking very civilly to each other, lo an' behould you, Cauth, I seen the tall man whip his knife into the little man; an' then they both sthruggled, an' wrastled, an' schreeched together, till the rocks rung again; but at last the little man was a corpse; an' may I never see a sight o' glory, Cauth, but all this was afore me as plain as you are, in this garden! an' since the hour I was born, Cauth, I never got such a fright; an'--oh, Cauth! what's that now?"

"What is it, you poor fool, you, but a customer, come at last into the kitchen--an' time for us to see the face o' one this blessed day. Get up out o' that, wid your dhrames--don't you hear 'em knocking? I'll stay here to put one vessel at laste to rights--for I see I must."

Jeremiah arose, groaning, and entered the cabin through the back door. In a few seconds he hastened to his wife, more terror-stricken than he had left her, and settling his loins against the low garden wall, stared at her.

"Why, then, duoul's in you, Jer Mulcahy (saints forgive me for cursing!)--and what's the matter wid you, at-all at-all?"

"They're in the kitchen," he whispered.

"Well, an' what will they take?"

"I spoke never a word to them, Cauth, nor they to me;--I couldn't--an' I won't, for a duke's ransom: I only saw them stannin' together, in the dark that's coming on, behind the dour, an' I knew them at the first look--the tall one an' the little one."

With a flout at his dreams, and his cowardice, and his good-for-nothingness, the dame hurried to serve her customers. Jeremiah heard her loud voice addressing them, and their hoarse tones answering. She came out again for two pints to draw some beer, and commanded him to follow her and "discoorse the customers." He remained motionless. She returned in a short time, and fairly drove him before her into the house.

He took a seat remote from his guests, with difficulty pronouncing the ordinary words of "God save ye, genteels," which they bluffly and heartily answered. His glances towards them were also few; yet enough to inform him that they conversed together like friends, pledging healths and shaking hands. The tall sailor abruptly asked him how far it was, by the short cut, to a village where they proposed to pass the night--Kilbroggan?--Jeremiah started on his seat, and his wife, after a glance and a grumble at him, was obliged to speak for her husband. They finished their beer; paid for it; put up half a loaf and a cut of bad watery cheese, saying that they might feel more hungry a few miles on than they now did; and then they arose to leave the cabin. Jeremiah glanced in great trouble around. His wife had fortunately disappeared; he snatched up his old hat, and with more energy than he could himself remember, ran forward to be a short way on the road before them. They soon approached him; and then, obeying a conscientious impulse, Jeremiah saluted the smaller of the two, and requested to speak with him apart. The sailor, in evident surprise, assented. Jer vaguely cautioned him against going any farther that night, as it would be quite dark by the time he should get to the mountain pass, on the by-road to Kilbroggan. His warning was made light of. He grew more earnest, asserting, what was not the fact, that it was "a bad road," meaning one infested by robbers. Still the bluff tar paid no attention, and was turning away. "Oh, sir; oh, stop, sir," resumed Jeremiah, taking great courage, "I have a thing to tell you;" and he rehearsed his dream, averring that in it he had distinctly seen the present object of his solicitude set upon and slain by his colossal companion. The listener paused a moment; first looking at Jer, and then at the ground, very gravely: but the next moment he burst into a loud, and Jeremiah thought, frightful laugh, and walked rapidly to overtake his shipmate. Jeremiah, much oppressed, returned home.

Towards dawn, next morning, the publican awoke in an ominous panic, and aroused his wife to listen to a loud knocking, and a clamor of voices at their door. She insisted that there was no such thing, and scolded him for disturbing her sleep. A renewal of the noise, however, convinced even her incredulity, and showed that Jeremiah was right for the first time in his life, at least. Both arose, and hastened to answer the summons.

When they unbarred the front door, a gentleman, surrounded by a crowd of people of the village, stood before it. He had discovered on the by-road through the hills from Kilbroggan, a dead body, weltering in its gore, and wearing sailor's clothes; had ridden on in alarm; had raised the village; and some of its population, recollecting to have seen Mrs. Mulcahy's visitors of the previous evening, now brought him to her house to hear what she could say on the subject.

Before she could say anything, her husband fell senseless at her side, groaning dolefully. While the bystanders raised him, she clapped her hands, and exalted her voice in ejaculations, as Irishwomen, when grieved or astonished or vexed, usually do; and now, as proud of Jeremiah's dreaming capabilities as she had before been impatient of them, rehearsed his vision of the murder, and authenticated the visit of the two sailors to her house, almost while he was in the act of making her the confidant of his prophetic ravings. The auditors stept back in consternation, crossing themselves, smiting their breasts, and crying out, "The Lord save us! The Lord have mercy upon us!"

Jeremiah slowly awoke from his swoon. The gentleman who had discovered the body commanded his attendants back to the lonesome glen, where it lay. Poor Jeremiah fell on his knees, and with tears streaming down his cheeks, prayed to be saved from such a trial. His neighbors almost forced him along.

All soon gained the spot, a narrow pass between slanting piles of displaced rocks; the hills from which they had tumbled rising brown and barren and to a great height above and beyond them. And there, indeed, upon the strip of verdure which formed the winding road through the defile, lay the corpse of one of the sailors who had visited the publican's house the evening before.

Again Jeremiah dropt on his knees, at some distance from the body, exclaiming, "Lord save us!--yes! oh, yes, neighbors, this is the very place!--only--the saints be good to us again!--'twas the tall sailor I seen killing the little sailor, and here's the tall sailor murthered by the little sailor."

"Dhrames go by conthraries, some way or another," observed one of his neighbors; and Jeremiah's puzzle was resolved.

Two steps were now indispensable to be taken; the county coroner should be summoned, and the murderer sought after. The crowd parted to engage in both matters simultaneously. Evening drew on when they again met in the pass: and the first, who had gone for the coroner, returned with him, a distance of near twenty miles; but the second party did not prove so successful. In fact they had discovered no clue to the present retreat of the supposed assassin.

The coroner impaneled his jury, and held his inquest under a large upright rock, bedded in the middle of the pass, such as Jeremiah said he had seen in his dream. A verdict of willful murder against the absent sailor was quickly agreed upon; but ere it could be recorded, all hesitated, not knowing how to individualize a man of whose name they were ignorant.

The summer night had fallen upon their deliberations, and the moon arose in splendor, shining over the top of one of the high hills that inclosed the pass, so as fully to illumine the bosom of the other. During their pause, a man appeared standing upon the line of the hill thus favored by the moonlight, and every eye turned in that direction. He ran down the abrupt declivity beneath him; he gained the continued sweep of jumbled rocks which immediately walled in the little valley, springing from one to another of them with such agility and certainty that it seemed almost magical; and a general whisper of fear now attested the fact of his being dressed in a straw hat, a short jacket, and loose white trousers. As he jumped from the last rock upon the sward of the pass, the spectators drew back; but he, not seeming to notice them, walked up to the corpse, which had not yet been touched; took its hand; turned up its face into the moonlight, and attentively regarded the features; let the hand go; pushed his hat upon his forehead; glanced around him; recognized the person in authority; approached, and stood still before him, and said "Here I am, Tom Mills, that killed long Harry Holmes, and there he lies."

The coroner cried out to secure him, now fearing that the man's sturdiness meant farther harm. "No need," resumed the self-accused; "here's my bread-and-cheese knife, the only weapon about me;" he threw it on the ground: "I come back just to ax you, commodore, to order me a cruise after poor Harry, bless his precious eyes, wherever he is bound."

"You have been pursued hither?"

"No, bless your heart; but I wouldn't pass such another watch as the last twenty-four hours for all the prize-money won at Trafalgar. 'Tisn't in regard of not tasting food or wetting my lips ever since I fell foul of Harry, or of hiding my head like a cursed animal o' the yearth, and starting if a bird only hopped nigh me: but I cannot go on living on this tack no longer; that's it; and the least I can say to you, Harry, my hearty."

"What caused your quarrel with your comrade?"

"There was no jar or jabber betwixt us, d'you see me."

"Not at the time, I understand you to mean; but surely you must have long owed him a grudge?"

"No, but long loved him; and he me."

"Then, in heaven's name, what put the dreadful thought in your head?"

"The devil, commodore, (the horned lubber!) and another lubber to help him"--pointing at Jeremiah, who shrank to the skirts of the crowd. "I'll tell you every word of it, commodore, as true as a log-book. For twenty long and merry years, Harry and I sailed together, and worked together, thro' a hard gale sometimes, and thro' hot sun another time; and never a squally word came between us till last night, and then it all came of that lubberly swipes-seller, I say again. I thought as how it was a real awful thing that a strange landsman, before ever he laid eyes on either of us, should come to have this here dream about us. After falling in with Harry, when the lubber and I parted company, my old mate saw I was cast down, and he told me as much in his own gruff, well-meaning way; upon which I gave him the story, laughing at it. He didn't laugh in return, but grew glum--glummer than I ever seed him; and I wondered, and fell to boxing about my thoughts, more and more (deep sea sink that cursed thinking and thinking, say I!--it sends many an honest fellow out of his course); and 'It's hard to know the best man's mind,' I thought to myself. Well, we came on the tack into these rocky parts, and Harry says to me all on a sudden, 'Tom, try the soundings here, ahead, by yourself--or let me, by myself.' I axed him why? 'No matter,' says Harry again, 'but after what you chawed about, I don't like your company any farther, till we fall in again at the next village.' 'What, Harry,' I cries, laughing heartier than ever, 'are you afeard of your own mind with Tom Mills?' 'Pho,' he made answer, walking on before me, and I followed him.

"'Yes,' I kept saying to myself, 'he is afeard of his own mind with his old shipmate.' 'Twas a darker night than this, and when I looked ahead, the devil (for I know 'twas he that boarded me!) made me take notice what a good spot it was for Harry to fall foul of me. And then I watched him making way before me, in the dark, and couldn't help thinking he was the better man of the two--a head and shoulders over me, and a match for any two of my inches. And then again, I brought to mind that Harry would be a heavy purse the better of sending me to Davy's locker, seeing we had both been just paid off, and got a lot of prize-money to boot;--and at last (the real red devil having fairly got me helm a-larboard) I argufied with myself that Tom Mills would be as well alive, with Harry Holmes's luck in his pocket, as he could be dead, and his in Harry Holmes's; not to say nothing of taking one's own part, just to keep one's self afloat, if so be Harry let his mind run as mine was running.

"All this time Harry never gave me no hail, but kept tacking through these cursed rocks; and that, and his last words, made me doubt him more and more. At last he stopped nigh where he now lies, and sitting with his back to that high stone, he calls for my blade to cut the bread and cheese he had got at the village; and while he spoke I believed he looked glummer and glummer, and that he wanted the blade, the only one between us, for some'at else than to cut bread and cheese; though now I don't believe no such thing howsumdever; but then I did: and so, d'you see me, commodore, I lost ballast all of a sudden, and when he stretched out his hand for the blade (hell's fire blazing up in my lubberly heart!)--'Here it is, Harry,' says I, and I gives it to him in the side!--once, twice, in the right place!" (the sailor's voice, hitherto calm, though broken and rugged, now rose into a high, wild cadence)--"and then how we did grapple! and sing out one to another! ahoy! yeho! aye; till I thought the whole crew of devils answered our hail from the hill-tops!--But I hit you again and again, Harry! before you could master me," continued the sailor, returning to the corpse, and once more taking its hand--"until at last you struck,--my old messmate!--And now--nothing remains for Tom Mills--but to man the yard-arm!"

The narrator stood his trial at the ensuing assizes, and was executed for this avowed murder of his shipmate; Jeremiah appearing as a principal witness. Our story may seem drawn either from imagination, or from mere village gossip: its chief acts rest, however, upon the authority of members of the Irish bar, since risen to high professional eminence; and they can even vouch that at least Jeremiah asserted the truth of "The Publican's Dream."


'Tis not for love of gold I go,

'Tis not for love of fame;

Tho' Fortune should her smile bestow,

And I may win a name,


And I may win a name.

And yet it is for gold I go,

And yet it is for fame,--

That they may deck another brow

And bless another name,


And bless another name.

For this, but this, I go--for this

I lose thy love awhile;

And all the soft and quiet bliss

Of thy young, faithful smile,


Of thy young, faithful smile.

And I go to brave a world I hate

And woo it o'er and o'er,

And tempt a wave and try a fate

Upon a stranger shore,


Upon a stranger shore.

Oh! when the gold is wooed and won,

I know a heart will care!

Oh! when the bays are all my own,

I know a brow shall wear,


I know a brow shall wear.

And when, with both returned again,

My native land to see,

I know a smile will meet me there

And a hand will welcome me,


And a hand will welcome me!


("O Priest, O Love!")


Am I the slave they say,

Soggarth Aroon?

Since you did show the way,

Soggarth Aroon,

Their slave no more to be,

While they would work with me

Ould Ireland's slavery,

Soggarth Aroon?

Why not her poorest man,

Soggarth Aroon,

Try and do all he can,

Soggarth Aroon,

Her commands to fulfill

Of his own heart and will,

Side by side with you still,

Soggarth Aroon?

Loyal and brave to you,

Soggarth Aroon,

Yet be no slave to you,

Soggarth Aroon,

Nor out of fear to you

Stand up so near to you--

Och! out of fear to you!

Soggarth Aroon!

Who, in the winter's night,

Soggarth Aroon,

When the cowld blast did bite,

Soggarth Aroon,

Came to my cabin door,

And on my earthen floor

Knelt by me, sick and poor,

Soggarth Aroon?

Who, on the marriage day,

Soggarth Aroon,

Made the poor cabin gay,

Soggarth Aroon;

And did both laugh and sing,

Making our hearts to ring,

At the poor christening,

Soggarth Aroon?

Who, as friend only met,

Soggarth Aroon,

Never did flout me yet,

Soggarth Aroon?

And when my hearth was dim

Gave, while his eye did brim,

What I should give to him,

Soggarth Aroon?

Och! you, and only you,

Soggarth Aroon!

And for this I was true to you,

Soggarth Aroon;

In love they'll never shake

When for ould Ireland's sake

We a true part did take,

Soggarth Aroon!

The Irish Maiden's Song.
Photogravure from a Painting by E. Hebert.


You know it now--it is betrayed

This moment in mine eye,

And in my young cheeks' crimson shade,

And in my whispered sigh.

You know it now--yet listen now--

Though ne'er was love more true,

My plight and troth and virgin vow

Still, still I keep from you,


Ever, until a proof you give

How oft you've heard me say,

I would not even his empress live

Who idles life away,

Without one effort for the land

In which my fathers' graves

Were hollowed by a despot hand

To darkly close on slaves--


See! round yourself the shackles hang,

Yet come you to love's bowers,

That only he may soothe their pang

Or hide their links in flowers--

But try all things to snap them first,

And should all fail when tried,

The fated chain you cannot burst

My twining arms shall hide--




héodore Faullain De Banville is best known as a very skillful maker of polished artificial verse. His poetry stands high; but it is the poetry not of nature, but of elegant society. His muse, as Mr. Henley says, is always in evening dress. References to the classic poets are woven into all of his descriptions of nature. He is distinguished, scholarly, full of taste, and brilliant in execution; never failing in propriety, and never reaching inspiration. As an artist in words and cadences he has few superiors.

De Banville.

These qualities are partly acquired, and partly the result of birth. Born in 1823, the son of a naval officer, from his earliest years he devoted himself to literature. His birthplace, Moulins, an old provincial town on the banks of the Allier, where he spent a happy childhood, made little impression on him. Still almost a child he went to Paris, where he led a life without events,--without even a marriage or an election to the Academy; he died March 13th, 1891. His place was among the society people and the artists; the painter Courbet and the writers Mürger, Baudelaire, and Gautier were among his closest friends. He first attracted attention in 1848 by the publication of a volume of verse, 'The Caryatids.' In 1857 came another, 'Odes Funambulesque,' and later another series under the same title, the two together containing his best work in verse. Here he stands highest; though he wrote also many plays, one of which, 'Gringoire,' has been acted in various translations. 'The Wife of Socrates' also holds the stage. Like his other work, his drama is artificial, refined, and skillful. He presents a marked instance of the artist working for art's sake. During the latter years of his life he wrote mostly prose, and he has left many well-drawn portraits of his contemporaries, in addition to several books of criticism, with much color and charm, but little definiteness. He was always vague, for facts did not interest him; but he had the power of making his remote, unreal world attractive, and among the writers of the school of Gautier he stands among the first.


From 'The Soul of Paris'

Imagine a place where you do not endure the horror of being alone, and yet have the freedom of solitude. There, free from the dust, the boredom, the vulgarities of a household, you reflect at ease, comfortably seated before a table, unincumbered by all the things that oppress you in houses; for if useless objects and papers had accumulated here they would have been promptly removed. You smoke slowly, quietly, like a Turk, following your thoughts among the blue curves.

If you have a voluptuous desire to taste some warm or refreshing beverage, well-trained waiters bring it to you immediately. If you feel like talking with clever men who will not bully you, you have within reach light sheets on which are printed winged thoughts, rapid, written for you, which you are not forced to bind and preserve in a library when they have ceased to please you. This place, the paradise of civilization, the last and inviolable refuge of the free man, is the café.

It is the café; but in the ideal, as we dream it, as it ought to be. The lack of room and the fabulous cost of land on the boulevards of Paris make it hideous in actuality. In these little boxes--of which the rent is that of a palace--one would be foolish to look for the space of a vestiary. Besides, the walls are decorated with stovepipe hats and overcoats hung on clothes-pegs--an abominable sight, for which atonement is offered by multitudes of white panels and ignoble gilding, imitations made by economical process.

And (let us not deceive ourselves) the overcoat, with which one never knows what to do, and which makes us worry everywhere,--in society, at the theatre, at balls,--is the great enemy and the abominable enslavement of modern life. Happy the gentlemen of the age of Louis XIV., who in the morning dressed themselves for all day, in satin and velvet, their brows protected by wigs, and who remained superb even when beaten by the storm, and who, moreover, brave as lions, ran the risk of pneumonia even if they had to put on, one outside the other, the innumerable waistcoats of Jodelet in 'Les Précieuses Ridicules'!

"How shall I find my overcoat and my wife's party cape?" is the great and only cry, the Hamlet-monologue of the modern man, that poisons every minute of his life and makes him look with resignation toward his dying hour. On the morning after a ball given by Marshal MacMahon nothing is found: the overcoats have disappeared; the satin cloaks, the boas, the lace scarfs have gone up in smoke; and the women must rush in despair through the driving snow while their husbands try to button their evening coats, which will not button!

One evening, at a party given by the wife of the President of the Chamber of Deputies, at which the gardens were lighted by electricity, Gambetta suddenly wished to show some of his guests a curiosity, and invited them to go down with him into the bushes. A valet hastened to hand him his overcoat, but the guests did not dare to ask for theirs, and followed Gambetta as they were! However, I believe one or two of them survived.

At the café no one carries off your overcoat, no one hides it; but they are all hung up, spread out on the wall like masterpieces of art, treated as if they were portraits of Mona Lisa or Violante, and you have them before your eyes, you see them continually. Is there not reason to curse the moment your eyes first saw the light? One may, as I have said, read the papers; or rather one might read them if they were not hung on those abominable racks, which remove them a mile from you and force you to see them on your horizon.

As to the drinks, give up all hope; for the owner of the café has no proper place for their preparation, and his rent is so enormous that he has to make the best even of the quality he sells. But aside from this reason, the drinks could not be good, because there are too many of them. The last thing one finds at these coffee-houses is coffee. It is delicious, divine, in those little Oriental shops where it is made to order for each drinker in a special little pot. As to syrups, how many are there in Paris? In what inconceivable place can they keep the jars containing the fruit juices needed to make them? A few real ladies, rich, well-born, good housekeepers, not reduced to slavery by the great shops, who do not rouge or paint their cheeks, still know how to make in their own homes good syrups from the fruit of their gardens and their vineyards. But they naturally do not give them away or sell them to the keepers of cafés, but keep them to gladden their flaxen-haired children.

Such as it is,--with its failings and its vices, even a full century after the fame of Procope,--the café, which we cannot drive out of our memories, has been the asylum and the refuge of many charming spirits. The old Tabourey, who, after having been illustrious, now has a sort of half popularity and a pewter bar, formerly heard the captivating conversations of Barbey and of Aurevilly, who were rivals in the noblest salons, and who sometimes preferred to converse seated before a marble table in a hall from which one could see the foliage and the flowers of the Luxembourg. Baudelaire also talked there, with his clear caressing voice dropping diamonds and precious stones, like the princess of the fairy tale, from beautiful red, somewhat thick lips.

A problem with no possible solution holds in check the writers and the artists of Paris. When one has worked hard all day it is pleasant to take a seat, during the short stroll that precedes the dinner, to meet one's comrades and talk with them of everything but politics. The only favorable place for these necessary accidental meetings is the café; but is the game worth the candle, or, to speak more exactly, the blinding gas-jets? Is it worth while, for the pleasure of exchanging words, to accept criminal absinthe, unnatural bitters, tragic vermouth, concocted in the sombre laboratories of the cafés by frightful parasites?

Aurélien Scholl, who, being a fine poet and excellent writer, is naturally a practical man, had a pleasing idea. He wished that the reunions in the cafés might continue at the absinthe hour, but without the absinthe! A very honest man, chosen for that purpose, would pour out for the passers-by, in place of everything else, excellent claret with quinquina, which would have the double advantage of not poisoning them and of giving them a wholesome and comforting drink. But this seductive dream could never be realized. Of course, honest men exist in great numbers, among keepers of cafés as well as in other walks of life; but the individual honest man could not be found who would be willing to pour out quinquina wine in which there was both quinquina and wine.

In the Palais Royal there used to be a café which had retained Empire fittings and oil lamps. One found there real wine, real coffee, real milk, and good beefsteaks. Roqueplan, Arsène Houssaye, Michel Lévy, and the handsome Fiorentino used to breakfast there, and they knew how to get the best mushrooms. The proprietor of the café had said that as soon as he could no longer make a living by selling genuine articles, he would not give up his stock in trade to another, but would sell his furniture and shut up shop. He kept his word. He was a hero.


From 'The Caryatids'

Still sing the mocking fairies, as of old,

Beneath the shade of thorn and holly-tree;

The west wind breathes upon them pure and cold,

And still wolves dread Diana roving free,

In secret woodland with her company.

'Tis thought the peasants' hovels know her rite

When now the wolds are bathed in silver light,

And first the moonrise breaks the dusky gray;

Then down the dells, with blown soft hair and bright,

And through the dim wood, Dian thrids her way.

With water-weeds twined in their locks of gold

The strange cold forest-fairies dance in glee;

Sylphs over-timorous and over-bold

Haunt the dark hollows where the dwarf may be,

The wild red dwarf, the nixies' enemy:

Then, 'mid their mirth and laughter and affright,

The sudden goddess enters, tall and white,

With one long sigh for summers passed away;

The swift feet tear the ivy nets outright,

And through the dim wood Dian thrids her way.

She gleans her sylvan trophies; down the wold

She hears the sobbing of the stags that flee,

Mixed with the music of the hunting rolled,

But her delight is all in archery,

And naught of ruth and pity wotteth she

More than the hounds that follow on the flight;

The tall nymph draws a golden bow of might,

And thick she rains the gentle shafts that slay;

She tosses loose her locks upon the night,

And through the dim wood Dian thrids her way.


Prince, let us leave the din, the dust, the spite,

The gloom and glare of towns, the plague, the blight;

Amid the forest leaves and fountain spray

There is the mystic home of our delight,

And through the dim wood Dian thrids her way.

Translation of Andrew Lang.


I know Cythera long is desolate;

I know the winds have stripped the garden green.

Alas, my friends! beneath the fierce sun's weight

A barren reef lies where Love's flowers have been,

Nor ever lover on that coast is seen!

So be it, for we seek a fabled shore,

To lull our vague desires with mystic lore,

To wander where Love's labyrinths beguile;

There let us land, there dream for evermore,

"It may be we shall touch the happy isle."

The sea may be our sepulchre. If Fate,

If tempests wreak their wrath on us, serene

We watch the bolt of Heaven, and scorn the hate

Of angry gods that smite us in their spleen.

Perchance the jealous mists are but the screen

That veils the fairy coast we would explore.

Come, though the sea be vexed, and breakers roar,

Come, for the breath of this old world is vile,

Haste we, and toil, and faint not at the oar;

"It may be we shall touch the happy isle."

Gray serpents trail in temples desecrate

Where Cypris smiled, the golden maid, the queen,

And ruined is the palace of our state;

But happy loves flit round the mast, and keen

The shrill winds sings the silken cords between.

Heroes are we, with wearied hearts and sore,

Whose flower is faded and whose locks are hoar.

Haste, ye light skiffs, where myrtle thickets smile

Love's panthers sleep 'mid roses, as of yore:

"It may be we shall touch the happy isle."


Sad eyes! the blue sea laughs as heretofore.

Ah, singing birds, your happy music pour;

Ah, poets, leave the sordid earth awhile;

Flit to these ancient gods we still adore:

"It may be we shall touch the happy isle."

Translation of Andrew Lang.


Where wide the forest bows are spread,

Where Flora wakes with sylph and fay,

Are crowns and garlands of men dead,

All golden in the morning gay;

Within this ancient garden gray

Are clusters such as no man knows,

Where Moor and Soldan bear the sway:

This is King Louis's orchard close!

These wretched folk wave overhead,

With such strange thoughts as none may say;

A moment still, then sudden sped,

They swing in a ring and waste away.

The morning smites them with her ray;

They toss with every breeze that blows,

They dance where fires of dawning play:

This is King Louis's orchard close!

All hanged and dead, they've summonèd

(With Hell to aid, that hears them pray)

New legions of an army dread.

Now down the blue sky flames the day;

The dew dies off; the foul array

Of obscene ravens gathers and goes,

With wings that flap and beaks that flay:

This is King Louis's orchard close!


Prince, where leaves murmur of the May,

A tree of bitter clusters grows;

The bodies of men dead are they!

This is King Louis's orchard close!

Translation of Andrew Lang.



hen Lætitia Aikin Barbauld was about thirty years old, her friend, Mrs. Elizabeth Montague, wishing to establish a college for women, asked her to be its principal. In her letter of refusal Mrs. Barbauld said:--"A kind of Academy for ladies, where they are to be taught in a regular manner the various branches of science, appears to me better calculated to form such characters as the Précieuses or Femmes Savantes than good wives or agreeable companions. The very best way for a woman to acquire knowledge is from conversation with a father or brother.... The thefts of knowledge in our sex are only connived at while carefully concealed, and if displayed are punished with disgrace." It is odd to find Mrs. Barbauld thus reflecting the old-fashioned view of the capacity and requirements of her own sex, for she herself belonged to that brilliant group--Hannah More, Fanny Burney, Maria Edgeworth, Jane Austen, Joanna Baillie, Mary Russell Mitford--who were the living refutation of her inherited theories. Their influence shows a pedagogic impulse to present morally helpful ideas to the public.

Anna L. Barbauld.

From preceding generations whose lives had been concentrated upon household affairs, these women pioneers had acquired the strictly practical bent of mind which comes out in all their verse, as in all their prose.

The child born at Kibworth Harcourt, Leicestershire, a century and a half ago, became one of the first of these pleasant writers for young and old. She was one of the thousand refutations of the stupid popular idea that precocious children never amount to anything. When only two, she "could read roundly without spelling, and in half a year more could read as well as most women." Her father was master of a boys' school, where her childhood was passed under the rule of a loving but austere mother, who disliked all intercourse with the pupils for her daughter. It was not the fashion for women to be highly educated; but, stimulated perhaps by the scholastic atmosphere, Lætitia implored her father for a classical training, until, against his judgment, he allowed her to study Greek and Latin as well as French and Italian. Though not fond of the housewifely accomplishments insisted upon by Mrs. Aikin, the eager student also cooked and sewed with due obedience.

Her dull childhood ended when she was fifteen, for then her father accepted a position as classical tutor in a boys' school at Warrington, Lancashire, to which place the family moved. The new home afforded greater freedom and an interesting circle of friends, among them Currie, William Roscoe, John Taylor, and the famous Dr. Priestley. A very pretty girl, with brilliant blonde coloring and animated dark-blue eyes, she was witty and vivacious, too, under the modest diffidence to which she had been trained. Naturally she attracted much admiration from the schoolboys and even from their elders, but on the whole she seems to have found study and writing more interesting than love affairs. The first suitor, who presented himself when she was about sixteen, was a farmer from her early home at Kibworth. He stated his wishes to her father. "She is in the garden," said Mr. Aikin. "You may ask her yourself." Lætitia was not propitious, but the young man was persistent, and the position grew irksome. So the nimble girl scrambled into a convenient tree, and escaped her rustic wooer by swinging herself down upon the other side of the garden wall.

During these years at Warrington she wrote for her own pleasure, and when her brother John returned home after several years' absence, he helped her to arrange and publish a selection of her poems. The little book which appeared in 1773 was highly praised, and ran through four editions within a year. In spite of grace and fluency, most of these verses seem flat and antiquated to the modern reader. Of the spirited first poem 'Corsica,' Dr. Priestley wrote to her:--"I consider that you are as much a general as Tyrtæus was, and your poems (which I am confident are much better than his ever were) may have as great effect as his. They may be the coup de grace to the French troops in that island, and Paoli, who reads English, will cause it to be printed in every history in that renowned island."

Miss Aikin's next venture was a small volume in collaboration with her brother, 'Miscellaneous Pieces in Prose by J. and A.L. Aikin.' This too was widely read and admired. Samuel Rogers has related an amusing conversation about the book in its first vogue:--"I am greatly pleased with your 'Miscellaneous Pieces,'" said Charles James Fox to Mrs. Barbauld's brother. Dr. Aikin bowed. "I particularly admire," continued Fox, "your essay 'Against Inconsistency in our Expectations.'" "That," replied Aikin, "is my sister's." "I like much," continued Fox, "your essay on 'Monastic Institutions.'" "That," answered Aikin, "is also my sister's." Fox thought it wise to say no more about the book. The essay 'Against Inconsistency in our Expectations' was most highly praised by the critics, and pronounced by Mackintosh "the best short essay in the language."

When thirty years old, Lætitia Aikin married Rochemont Barbauld, and went to live at Palgrave in Suffolk, where her husband opened a boys' school, soon made popular by her personal charm and influence. Sir William Gell, a classic topographer still remembered; William Taylor, author of a 'Historic Survey of German Poetry'; and Lord Chief Justice Denman, were a few among the many who looked back with gratitude to a childhood under her care.

Perhaps her best known work is the 'Early Lessons for Children,' which was written during this period. Coming as it did when, as Hannah More said, there was nothing for children to read between 'Cinderella' and the Spectator, it was largely welcomed, and has been used by generations of English children. The lessons were written for a real little Charles, her adopted son, the child of her brother, Dr. Aikin. For him, too, she wrote her 'Hymns in Prose for Children,' a book equally successful, which has been translated into French, German, Spanish, Italian, and even Latin.

After eleven busy years at Palgrave, during which, in spite of her cheerful energy, Mrs. Barbauld had been much harassed by the nervous irritability of her invalid husband, the Barbaulds gave up their school and treated themselves to a year of Continental travel. On their return they settled at Hampstead, where Mr. Barbauld became pastor of a small Unitarian congregation. The nearness to London was a great advantage to Mrs. Barbauld's refreshed activity, and she soon made the new home a pleasant rendezvous for literary men and women. At one of her London dinner parties she met Sir Walter Scott, who declared that her reading of Taylor's translation of Bürger's 'Lenore' had inspired him to write poetry. She met Dr. Johnson too, who, though he railed at her after his fashion, calling her Deborah and Virago Barbauld, did sometimes betray a sincere admiration for her character and accomplishments. Miss Edgeworth and Hannah More were dear friends and regular correspondents.

From time to time she published a poem or an essay; not many, for in spite of her brother's continual admonition to write, hers was a somewhat indolent talent. In 1790 she wrote a capable essay upon the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts; a year later, a poetical epistle to Mr. Wilberforce on the Slave Trade; in 1792, a defense of Public Worship; and in 1793, a discourse as to a Fast Day upon the Sins of Government.

In 1808 her husband's violent death, the result of a long insanity, prostrated her for a time. Then as a diversion from morbid thought she undertook an edition of the best English novels in fifty volumes, for which she wrote an admirable introductory essay. She also made a compilation from the Spectator, Tatler, Guardian, and Free-holder, with a preliminary discourse, which she published in 1811. It was called 'The Female Speaker,' and intended for young women. The same year her 'Eighteen Hundred and Eleven,' a patriotic didactic poem, wounded national self-love and drew upon her much unfriendly criticism, which so pained her that she would publish no more. But the stirring lines were widely read, and in them Macaulay found the original of his famous traveler from New Zealand, who meditates on the ruined arches of London Bridge. Her prose style, in its light philosophy, its humorously sympathetic dealing with every-day affairs, has been often compared with Addison's.

Her old age was serene and happy, rich in intellectual companionships and in the love and respect of many friends. Somewhere she speaks of "that state of middling life to which I have been accustomed and which I love." She disliked extremes, in emotion as in all things, and took what came with cheerful courage. The poem 'Life,' which the self-satisfied Wordsworth wished that he had written, expresses her serene and philosophic spirit.


As most of the unhappiness in the world arises rather from disappointed desires than from positive evil, it is of the utmost consequence to attain just notions of the laws and order of the universe, that we may not vex ourselves with fruitless wishes, or give way to groundless and unreasonable discontent. The laws of natural philosophy, indeed, are tolerably understood and attended to; and though we may suffer inconveniences, we are seldom disappointed in consequence of them. No man expects to preserve orange-trees in the open air through an English winter; or when he has planted an acorn, to see it become a large oak in a few months. The mind of man naturally yields to necessity; and our wishes soon subside when we see the impossibility of their being gratified.

Now, upon an accurate inspection, we shall find in the moral government of the world, and the order of the intellectual system, laws as determinate, fixed, and invariable as any in Newton's 'Principia.' The progress of vegetation is not more certain than the growth of habit; nor is the power of attraction more clearly proved than the force of affection or the influence of example. The man, therefore, who has well studied the operations of nature in mind as well as matter, will acquire a certain moderation and equity in his claims upon Providence. He never will be disappointed either in himself or others. He will act with precision; and expect that effect and that alone, from his efforts, which they are naturally adapted to produce.

For want of this, men of merit and integrity often censure the dispositions of Providence for suffering characters they despise to run away with advantages which, they yet know, are purchased by such means as a high and noble spirit could never submit to. If you refuse to pay the price, why expect the purchase? We should consider this world as a great mart of commerce, where fortune exposes to our view various commodities,--riches, ease, tranquillity, fame, integrity, knowledge. Everything is marked at a settled price. Our time, our labor, our ingenuity, is so much ready money which we are to lay out to the best advantage. Examine, compare, choose, reject; but stand to your own judgment: and do not, like children, when you have purchased one thing, repine that you do not possess another which you did not purchase. Such is the force of well-regulated industry, that a steady and vigorous exertion of our faculties, directed to one end, will generally insure success.

Would you, for instance, be rich: Do you think that single point worth the sacrificing everything else to? You may then be rich. Thousands have become so from the lowest beginnings, by toil, and patient diligence, and attention to the minutest article of expense and profit. But you must give up the pleasures of leisure, of a vacant mind, of a free, unsuspicious temper. If you preserve your integrity, it must be a coarse-spun and vulgar honesty. Those high and lofty notions of morals which you brought with you from the schools must be considerably lowered, and mixed with the baser alloy of a jealous and worldly-minded prudence. You must learn to do hard if not unjust things; and for the nice embarrassments of a delicate and ingenuous spirit, it is necessary for you to get rid of them as fast as possible. You must shut your heart against the Muses, and be content to feed your understanding with plain, household truths. In short, you must not attempt to enlarge your ideas, or polish your taste, or refine your sentiments; but must keep on in one beaten track, without turning aside either to the right hand or to the left. "But I cannot submit to drudgery like this: I feel a spirit above it." 'Tis well: be above it then; only do not repine that you are not rich.

Is knowledge the pearl of price? That too may be purchased--by steady application, and long solitary hours of study and reflection. Bestow these, and you shall be wise. "But" (says the man of letters) "what a hardship is it that many an illiterate fellow who cannot construe the motto of the arms on his coach, shall raise a fortune and make a figure, while I have little more than the common conveniences of life." Et tibi magni satis!--Was it in order to raise a fortune that you consumed the sprightly hours of youth in study and retirement? Was it to be rich that you grew pale over the midnight lamp, and distilled the sweetness from the Greek and Roman spring? You have then mistaken your path, and ill employed your industry. "What reward have I then for all my labors?" What reward! A large, comprehensive soul, well purged from vulgar fears and perturbations and prejudices; able to comprehend and interpret the works of man--of God. A rich, flourishing, cultivated mind, pregnant with inexhaustible stores of entertainment and reflection. A perpetual spring of fresh ideas; and the conscious dignity of superior intelligence. Good heaven! and what reward can you ask besides?

"But is it not some reproach upon the economy of Providence that such a one, who is a mean, dirty fellow, should have amassed wealth enough to buy half a nation?" Not in the least. He made himself a mean, dirty fellow for that very end. He has paid his health, his conscience, his liberty, for it; and will you envy him his bargain? Will you hang your head and blush in his presence because he outshines you in equipage and show? Lift up your brow with a noble confidence, and say to yourself, I have not these things, it is true; but it is because I have not sought, because I have not desired them; it is because I possess something better. I have chosen my lot. I am content and satisfied.

You are a modest man--you love quiet and independence, and have a delicacy and reserve in your temper which renders it impossible for you to elbow your way in the world, and be the herald of your own merits. Be content then with a modest retirement, with the esteem of your intimate friends, with the praises of a blameless heart, and a delicate, ingenuous spirit; but resign the splendid distinctions of the world to those who can better scramble for them.

The man whose tender sensibility of conscience and strict regard to the rules of morality makes him scrupulous and fearful of offending, is often heard to complain of the disadvantages he lies under in every path of honor and profit. "Could I but get over some nice points, and conform to the practice and opinion of those about me, I might stand as fair a chance as others for dignities and preferment." And why can you not? What hinders you from discarding this troublesome scrupulosity of yours which stands so grievously in your way? If it be a small thing to enjoy a healthful mind, sound at the very core, that does not shrink from the keenest inspection; inward freedom from remorse and perturbation; unsullied whiteness and simplicity of manners; a genuine integrity,

"Pure in the last recesses of the mind;"

if you think these advantages an inadequate recompense for what you resign, dismiss your scruples this instant, and be a slave-merchant, a parasite, or--what you please.

"If these be motives weak, break off betimes;"

and as you have not spirit to assert the dignity of virtue, be wise enough not to forego the emoluments of vice.

I much admire the spirit of the ancient philosophers, in that they never attempted, as our moralists often do, to lower the tone of philosophy, and make it consistent with all the indulgences of indolence and sensuality. They never thought of having the bulk of mankind for their disciples; but kept themselves as distinct as possible from a worldly life. They plainly told men what sacrifices were required, and what advantages they were which might be expected.

"Si virtus hoc una potest dare, fortis omissis
Hoc age deliciis ..."

If you would be a philosopher, these are the terms. You must do thus and thus; there is no other way. If not, go and be one of the vulgar.

There is no one quality gives so much dignity to a character as consistency of conduct. Even if a man's pursuits be wrong and unjustifiable, yet if they are prosecuted with steadiness and vigor, we cannot withhold our admiration. The most characteristic mark of a great mind is to choose some one important object, and pursue it through life. It was this made Cæsar a great man. His object was ambition: he pursued it steadily; and was always ready to sacrifice to it every interfering passion or inclination.

There is a pretty passage in one of Lucian's dialogues, where Jupiter complains to Cupid that though he has had so many intrigues, he was never sincerely beloved. In order to be loved, says Cupid, you must lay aside your aegis and your thunderbolts, and you must curl and perfume your hair, and place a garland on your head, and walk with a soft step, and assume a winning, obsequious deportment. But, replied Jupiter, I am not willing to resign so much of my dignity. Then, returns Cupid, leave off desiring to be loved. He wanted to be Jupiter and Adonis at the same time.

It must be confessed that men of genius are of all others most inclined to make these unreasonable claims. As their relish for enjoyment is strong, their views large and comprehensive, and they feel themselves lifted above the common bulk of mankind, they are apt to slight that natural reward of praise and admiration which is ever largely paid to distinguished abilities; and to expect to be called forth to public notice and favor: without considering that their talents are commonly very unfit for active life; that their eccentricity and turn for speculation disqualifies them for the business of the world, which is best carried on by men of moderate genius; and that society is not obliged to reward any one who is not useful to it. The poets have been a very unreasonable race, and have often complained loudly of the neglect of genius and the ingratitude of the age. The tender and pensive Cowley, and the elegant Shenstone, had their minds tinctured by this discontent; and even the sublime melancholy of Young was too much owing to the stings of disappointed ambition.

The moderation we have been endeavoring to inculcate will likewise prevent much mortification and disgust in our commerce with mankind. As we ought not to wish in ourselves, so neither should we expect in our friends, contrary qualifications. Young and sanguine, when we enter the world, and feel our affections drawn forth by any particular excellence in a character, we immediately give it credit for all others; and are beyond measure disgusted when we come to discover, as we soon must discover, the defects in the other side of the balance. But nature is much more frugal than to heap together all manner of shining qualities in one glaring mass. Like a judicious painter, she endeavors to preserve a certain unity of style and coloring in her pieces. Models of absolute perfection are only to be met with in romance; where exquisite beauty, and brilliant wit, and profound judgment, and immaculate virtue, are all blended together to adorn some favorite character. As an anatomist knows that the racer cannot have the strength and muscles of the draught-horse; and that winged men, griffins, and mermaids must be mere creatures of the imagination: so the philosopher is sensible that there are combinations of moral qualities which never can take place but in idea. There is a different air and complexion in characters as well as in faces, though perhaps each equally beautiful; and the excellences of one cannot be transferred to the other. Thus if one man possesses a stoical apathy of soul, acts independent of the opinion of the world, and fulfills every duty with mathematical exactness, you must not expect that man to be greatly influenced by the weakness of pity, or the partialities of friendship; you must not be offended that he does not fly to meet you after a short absence, or require from him the convivial spirit and honest effusions of a warm, open, susceptible heart. If another is remarkable for a lively, active zeal, inflexible integrity, a strong indignation against vice, and freedom in reproving it, he will probably have some little bluntness in his address not altogether suitable to polished life; he will want the winning arts of conversation; he will disgust by a kind of haughtiness and negligence in his manner, and often hurt the delicacy of his acquaintance with harsh and disagreeable truths.

We usually say--That man is a genius, but he has some whims and oddities--Such a one has a very general knowledge, but he is superficial, etc. Now in all such cases we should speak more rationally, did we substitute "therefore" for "but": "He is a genius, therefore he is whimsical" and the like.

It is the fault of the present age, owing to the freer commerce that different ranks and professions now enjoy with each other, that characters are not marked with sufficient strength; the several classes run too much into one another. We have fewer pedants, it is true, but we have fewer striking originals. Every one is expected to have such a tincture of general knowledge as is incompatible with going deep into any science; and such a conformity to fashionable manners as checks the free workings of the ruling passion, and gives an insipid sameness to the face of society, under the idea of polish and regularity.

There is a cast of manners peculiar and becoming to each age, sex, and profession; one, therefore, should not throw out illiberal and commonplace censures against another. Each is perfect in its kind: a woman as a woman; a tradesman as a tradesman. We are often hurt by the brutality and sluggish conceptions of the vulgar; not considering that some there must be to be hewers of wood and drawers of water, and that cultivated genius, or even any great refinement and delicacy in their moral feelings, would be a real misfortune to them.

Let us then study the philosophy of the human mind. The man who is master of this science will know what to expect from every one. From this man, wise advice; from that, cordial sympathy; from another, casual entertainment. The passions and inclinations of others are his tools, which he can use with as much precision as he would the mechanical powers; and he can as readily make allowance for the workings of vanity, or the bias of self-interest in his friends, as for the power of friction, or the irregularities of the needle.



Helen--Whence comes it, my dear Madame Maintenon, that beauty, which in the age I lived in produced such extraordinary effects, has now lost almost all its power?

Maintenon--I should wish first to be convinced of the fact, before I offer to give you a reason for it.

Helen--That will be very easy; for there is no occasion to go any further than our own histories and experience to prove what I advance. You were beautiful, accomplished, and fortunate; endowed with every talent and every grace to bend the heart of man and mold it to your wish; and your schemes were successful; for you raised yourself from obscurity and dependence to be the wife of a great monarch.--But what is this to the influence my beauty had over sovereigns and nations! I occasioned a long ten-years' war between the most celebrated heroes of antiquity; contending kingdoms disputed the honor of placing me on their respective thrones; my story is recorded by the father of verse; and my charms make a figure even in the annals of mankind. You were, it is true, the wife of Louis XIV., and respected in his court, but you occasioned no wars; you are not spoken of in the history of France, though you furnished materials for the memoirs of a court. Are the love and admiration that were paid you merely as an amiable woman to be compared with the enthusiasm I inspired, and the boundless empire I obtained over all that was celebrated, great, or powerful in the age I lived in?

Maintenon--All this, my dear Helen, has a splendid appearance, and sounds well in a heroic poem; but you greatly deceive yourself if you impute it all to your personal merit. Do you imagine that half the chiefs concerned in the war of Troy were at all influenced by your beauty, or troubled their heads what became of you, provided they came off with honor? Believe me, love had very little to do in the affair: Menelaus sought to revenge the affront he had received; Agamemnon was flattered with the supreme command; some came to share the glory, others the plunder; some because they had bad wives at home, some in hopes of getting Trojan mistresses abroad; and Homer thought the story extremely proper for the subject of the best poem in the world. Thus you became famous; your elopement was made a national quarrel; the animosities of both nations were kindled by frequent battles; and the object was not the restoring of Helen to Menelaus, but the destruction of Troy by the Greeks.--My triumphs, on the other hand, were all owing to myself, and to the influence of personal merit and charms over the heart of man. My birth was obscure; my fortunes low; I had past the bloom of youth, and was advancing to that period at which the generality of our sex lose all importance with the other; I had to do with a man of gallantry and intrigue, a monarch who had been long familiarized with beauty, and accustomed to every refinement of pleasure which the most splendid court in Europe could afford: Love and Beauty seemed to have exhausted all their powers of pleasing for him in vain. Yet this man I captivated, I fixed; and far from being content, as other beauties had been, with the honor of possessing his heart, I brought him to make me his wife, and gained an honorable title to his tenderest affection.--The infatuation of Paris reflected little honor upon you. A thoughtless youth, gay, tender, and impressible, struck with your beauty, in violation of all the most sacred laws of hospitality carries you off, and obstinately refuses to restore you to your husband. You seduced Paris from his duty, I recovered Louis from vice; you were the mistress of the Trojan prince, I was the companion of the French monarch.

Helen--I grant you were the wife of Louis, but not the Queen of France. Your great object was ambition, and in that you met with a partial success;--my ruling star was love, and I gave up everything for it. But tell me, did not I show my influence over Menelaus in his taking me again after the destruction of Troy?

Maintenon--That circumstance alone is sufficient to show that he did not love you with any delicacy. He took you as a possession that was restored to him, as a booty that he had recovered; and he had not sentiment enough to care whether he had your heart or not. The heroes of your age were capable of admiring beauty, and often fought for the possession of it; but they had not refinement enough to be capable of any pure, sentimental attachment or delicate passion. Was that period the triumph of love and gallantry, when a fine woman and a tripod were placed together for prizes at a wrestling-bout, and the tripod esteemed the most valuable reward of the two? No; it is our Clélia, our Cassandra and Princess of Cleves, that have polished mankind and taught them how to love.

Helen--Rather say you have lost sight of nature and passion, between bombast on one hand and conceit on the other. Shall one of the cold temperament of France teach a Grecian how to love? Greece, the parent of fair forms and soft desires, the nurse of poetry, whose soft climate and tempered skies disposed to every gentler feeling, and tuned the heart to harmony and love!--was Greece a land of barbarians? But recollect, if you can, an incident which showed the power of beauty in stronger colors--that when the grave old counselors of Priam on my appearance were struck with fond admiration, and could not bring themselves to blame the cause of a war that had almost ruined their country;--you see I charmed the old as well as seduced the young.

Maintenon--But I, after I was grown old, charmed the young; I was idolized in a capital where taste, luxury, and magnificence were at the height; I was celebrated by the greatest wits of my time, and my letters have been carefully handed down to posterity.

Helen--Tell me now sincerely, were you happy in your elevated fortune?

Maintenon--- Alas! Heaven knows I was far otherwise: a thousand times did I wish for my dear Scarron again. He was a very ugly fellow, it is true, and had but little money: but the most easy, entertaining companion in the world: we danced, laughed, and sung; I spoke without fear or anxiety, and was sure to please. With Louis all was gloom, constraint, and a painful solicitude to please--which seldom produces its effect; the king's temper had been soured in the latter part of life by frequent disappointments; and I was forced continually to endeavor to procure him that cheerfulness which I had not myself. Louis was accustomed to the most delicate flatteries; and though I had a good share of wit, my faculties were continually on the stretch to entertain him,--a state of mind little consistent with happiness or ease; I was afraid to advance my friends or punish my enemies. My pupils at St. Cyr were not more secluded from the world in a cloister than I was in the bosom of the court; a secret disgust and weariness consumed me. I had no relief but in my work and books of devotion; with these alone I had a gleam of happiness.

Helen--Alas! one need not have married a great monarch for that.

Maintenon--But deign to inform me, Helen, if you were really as beautiful as fame reports? for to say truth, I cannot in your shade see the beauty which for nine long years had set the world in arms.

Helen--Honestly, no: I was rather low, and something sunburnt; but I had the good fortune to please; that was all. I was greatly obliged to Homer.

Maintenon--And did you live tolerably with Menelaus after all your adventures?

Helen--As well as possible. Menelaus was a good-natured domestic man, and was glad to sit down and end his days in quiet. I persuaded him that Venus and the Fates were the cause of all my irregularities, which he complaisantly believed. Besides, I was not sorry to return home: for to tell you a secret, Paris had been unfaithful to me long before his death, and was fond of a little Trojan brunette whose office it was to hold up my train; but it was thought dishonorable to give me up. I began to think love a very foolish thing: I became a great housekeeper, worked the battles of Troy in tapestry, and spun with my maids by the side of Menelaus, who was so satisfied with my conduct, and behaved, good man, with so much fondness, that I verily think this was the happiest period of my life.

Maintenon--Nothing more likely; but the most obscure wife in Greece could rival you there.--Adieu! you have convinced me how little fame and greatness conduce to happiness.


Life! I know not what thou art,

But know that thou and I must part;

And when or how or where we met,

I own to me's a secret yet.

But this I know, when thou art fled,

Where'er they lay these limbs, this head,

No clod so valueless shall be,

As all that then remains of me.

O whither, whither dost thou fly,

Where bend unseen thy trackless course,

And in this strange divorce,

Ah, tell where I must seek this compound I?

To the vast ocean of empyreal flame,

From whence thy essence came,

Dost thou thy flight pursue, when freed

From matter's base encumbering weed?

Or dost thou, hid from sight,

Wait, like some spell-bound knight,

Through blank oblivion's years th' appointed hour,

To break thy trance and reassume thy power?

Yet canst thou without thought or feeling be?

O say what art thou, when no more thou'rt thee?

Life! we've been long together,

Through pleasant and through cloudy weather;

'Tis hard to part when friends are dear;

Perhaps 'twill cost a sigh, a tear;

Then steal away, give little warning,

Choose thine own time;

Say not good-night, but in some brighter clime

Bid me good-morning.


Praise to God, immortal praise,

For the love that crowns our days--

Bounteous source of every joy,

Let Thy praise our tongues employ!

For the blessings of the field,

For the stores the gardens yield,

For the vine's exalted juice,

For the generous olive's use;

Flocks that whiten all the plain,

Yellow sheaves of ripened grain,

Clouds that drop their fattening dews,

Suns that temperate warmth diffuse--

All that Spring, with bounteous hand,

Scatters o'er the smiling land;

All that liberal Autumn pours

From her rich o'erflowing stores:

These to Thee, my God, we owe--

Source whence all our blessings flow!

And for these my soul shall raise

Grateful vows and solemn praise.

Yet should rising whirlwinds tear

From its stem the ripening ear--

Should the fig-tree's blasted shoot

Drop her green untimely fruit--

Should the vine put forth no more,

Nor the olive yield her store--

Though the sickening flocks should fall,

And the herds desert the stall--

Should Thine altered hand restrain

The early and the latter rain,

Blast each opening bud of joy,

And the rising year destroy:

Yet to Thee my soul should raise

Grateful vows and solemn praise,

And, when every blessing's flown,

Love Thee--for Thyself alone.



arclay's reputation rests upon his translation of the famous 'Ship of Fools' and his original 'Eclogues.' A controversy as to the land of his birth--an event which happened about the year 1475--has lasted from his century to our own. The decision in favor of Scotland rests upon the testimony of two witnesses: first, Dr. William Bullim, a younger contemporary of Barclay, who mentions him in 'A Dialogue Both Pleasaunt and Pietifull Wherein is a Godlie Regement Against the Fever Pestilence with a Consolation and Comforte Against Death,' which was published in 1564; and secondly, Barclay himself.

Bullim groups the Muses at the foot of Parnassus, and gathers about them Greek and Latin poets, and such Englishmen as Chaucer, Gower, Skelton, and Barclay, the latter "with an hoopyng russet long coate, with a pretie hood in his necke, and five knottes upon his girdle, after Francis's tricks. He was borne beyond the cold river of Twede. He lodged upon a sweetebed of chamomill under the sinamone-tree: about him many shepherdes and shepe, with pleasaunte pipes; greatly abhorring the life of Courtiers, Citizens, Usurers, and Banckruptes, etc., whose daies are miserable. And the estate of shepherdes and countrie people he accompted moste happie and sure." Deprived of its poetic fancy, this passage means that Barclay was a monk of the order of St. Francis, that he was born north of the Tweed, that his verse was infused with such bitterness and tonic qualities as camomile possesses, and that he advocated the cause of the country people in his independent and admirable 'Eclogues,' another title for the first three of which is 'Miseryes of Courtiers and Courtes of all Princes in General.'

Barclay was educated at Oxford and Cambridge, and upon his return to England after several years of residence abroad, he was made one of the priests of Saint Mary Ottery, an institution of devout practice and learning in Devonshire. Here in 1508 was finished 'The Shyp of Folys of the Worlde translated out of Laten, Frenche, and Doche into Englysshe tonge by Alexander Barclay, Preste, and at that time chaplen in the sayd College.'

After his work was completed Barclay went to London, where his poem was "imprentyd ... in Fleet Street at the signe of Saynt George by Rycharde Pyreson to hys Coste and charge: ended the yere of our Saviour MDIX. the XIII. day of December." That he became a Benedictine and lived at the monastery of the order at Ely is evident from his 'Eclogues.' Here he translated at the instance of Sir Giles Arlington, Knight, 'The Myrrour of Good Maners,' from a Latin elegiac poem which Dominic Mancini published in the year 1516.

"It was about this period of his life," says Mr. Jamieson in his admirable edition of the 'Ship of Fools,' "probably the period of the full bloom of his popularity, that the quiet life of the poet and priest was interrupted by the recognition of his eminence in the highest quarters, and by a request for his aid in maintaining the honor of the country on an occasion to which the eyes of all Europe were then directed. In a letter to Wolsey dated 10th April, 1520, Sir Nicholas Vaux--busied with the preparation for that meeting of Henry VIII and Francis I called the Field of the Cloth of Gold--begs the Cardinal to send them ... Maistre Barkleye, the Black Monke and Poete, to devise histoires and convenient raisons to florisshe the buildings and banquet house withal."

He became a Franciscan, the habit of which order Bullim refers to; and "sure 'tis," says Wood, "that living to see his monastery dissolv'd, in 1539, at the general dissolution by act of Henry VIII, he became vicar of Much Badew in Essex, and in 1546, the same year, of the Church of St. Matthew the Apostle at Wokey, in Somersetshire, and finally in 1552, the year in which he died, of that of All Saints, Lombard Street, London. In his younger days he was esteemed a good poet and orator, but when years came on, he spent his time mostly in pious matters, and in reading the histories of Saints."

'The Ship of Fools' is the most important work associated with Barclay's name. It was a translation of Sebastian Brandt's 'Stultifera Navis,' a book which had attracted universal attention on the Continent when it appeared in 1494. In his preface, Barclay admits that "it is not translated word by word according to the verses of my actor. For I have but only drawn into our mother tongue in rude language the sentences of the verses as near as the paucity of my wit will suffer me, sometime adding, sometime detracting and taking away such things as seemeth me necessary." The classes and conditions of society that Barclay knew were as deserving of satire as those of Germany. He tells us that his work was undertaken "to cleanse the vanity and madness of foolish people, of whom over great number is in the Realm of England."

The diction of Barclay's version is exceptionally fine. Jamieson calls it "a rich and unique exhibition of early art," and says:--"Page after page, even in the antique spelling of Pynson's edition, may be read by the ordinary reader of to-day without reference to a dictionary; and when reference is required, it will be found in nine cases out of ten that the archaism is Saxon, not Latin. This is all the more remarkable that it occurs in the case of a priest translating mainly from the Latin and French, and can only be explained with reference to his standpoint as a social reformer of the broadest type, and to his evident intention that his book should be an appeal to all classes, but especially to the mass of people for amendment of their follies."

As the original work belonged to the German satirist, the extract from the 'Ship of Fools' is placed under the essay entitled 'Sebastian Brandt.' His 'Eclogues' show Barclay at his best. They portray the manners and customs of the period, and are full of local proverbs and wise sayings. According to Warton, Barclay's are the first 'Eclogues' that appeared in the English language. "They are like Petrarch's," he says, "and Mantuans of the moral and satirical kind; and contain but few touches of moral description and bucolic imagery." Two shepherds meet to talk about the pleasures and crosses of rustic life and life at court. The hoary locks of the one show that he is old. His suit of Kendal green is threadbare, his rough boots are patched, and the torn side of his coat reveals a bottle never full and never empty. His wallet contains bread and cheese; he has a crook, and an oaten pipe. His name is Cornix, and he boasts that he has had worldly experience. The other shepherd, Coridon, having seen nothing, complains of country life. He grumbles at the summer's heat and the winter's cold; at beds on the flinty ground, and the dangers of sleeping where the wolves may creep in to devour the sheep; of his stiff rough hands, and his parched, wrinkled, and weather-beaten skin. He asks whether all men are so unhappy. Cornix, refreshing himself at intervals with his bottle and crusts, shows him the small amount of liberty at court, discourses upon the folly of ambition, lays bare the rapine, avarice, and covetousness of the worldly-minded, and demonstrates that the court is "painted fair without, but within it is ugly and vile." He then gives the picture of a courtier's life, which is cited below. He tells how the minstrels and singers, philosophers, poets, and orators are but the slaves of patronizing princes; how beautiful women deceive; describes to him, who has known nothing but a diet of bread and cheese, the delights of the table; dilates on the cups of silver and gold, and the crystal glass shining with red and yellow wine; the sewers bearing in roasted crane, gorgeous peacocks, and savory joints of beef and mutton; the carver wielding his dexterous knife; the puddings, the pasties, the fish fried in sweet oils and garnished with herbs; the costumes of the men and women in cloth of gold and silver and gay damask; the din of music, voices, laughter, and jests; and then paints a picture of the lords and ladies who plunge their knives into the meats and their hands into platters, spilling wine and gravy upon their equally gluttonous neighbors. He finishes by saying:--

"Shepherds have not so wretched lives as they: Though they live poorely on cruddes, chese, and whey, On apples, plummes, and drinke cleree water deepe, As it were lordes reigning among their sheepe. The wretched lazar with clinking of his bell, Hath life which doth the courtiers excell; The caytif begger hath meate and libertie, When courtiers hunger in harde captivitie. The poore man beggeth nothing hurting his name, As touching courters they dare not beg for shame. And an olde proverb is sayde by men moste sage, That oft yonge courters be beggars in their age."

The third 'Eclogue' begins with Coridon relating a dream that he went to court and saw the scullions standing

"about me thicke

With knives ready for to flay me quicke."

This is a text for Cornix, who continues his tirade, and convinces Coridon of the misery of the court and his happier life, ending as follows:--

"Than let all shepheardes, from hence to Salisbury With easie riches, live well, laugh and be mery, Pipe under shadowes, small riches hath most rest, In greatest seas moste sorest is tempest, The court is nought els but a tempesteous sea; Avoyde the rockes. He ruled after me."

The fourth 'Eclogue' is a dialogue on the rich man's treatment of poets, by two shepherds, Codrus and Menalcas, musing in "shadowe on the green," while their snowy flocks graze on the sweet meadow. This contains a fine allegorical description of 'Labour.'

The fifth 'Eclogue' is the 'Cytezen and the Uplondyshman.' Here the scene changes, and two shepherds, Faustus and Amyntas, discourse in a cottage while the snows of January whirl without. Amyntas has learned in London "to go so manerly." Not a wrinkle may be found in his clothes, not a hair on his cloak, and he wears a brooch of tin high on his bonnet. He has been hostler, costermonger, and taverner, and sings the delights of the city. Faustus, the rustic, is contented with his lot. The 'Cytezen and the Uplondyshman' was printed from the original edition of Wynkyn de Worde, with a preface by F. W. Fairholt, Percy Society (Vol. xxii.).

Other works ascribed to Barclay are:--'The Figure of Our Holy Mother Church, Oppressed by the French King'; 'The Lyfe of the Glorious Martyr Saynt George,' translated (from Mantuan) by Alexander Barclay; 'The Lyfe of the Blessed Martyr, Saynte Thomas'; 'Contra Skeltonum,' in which the quarrel he had with his contemporary poet, John Skelton, was doubtless continued.

Estimates of Barclay may be found in 'The Ship of Fools,' edited by T.H. Jamieson (1874); 'Sibbald's Chronicle of Scottish Poetry,' from the thirteenth century to the union of the crowns (1802); 'The History of English Poetry,' by Thomas Warton (1824); 'The History of Scottish Poetry,' by David Irving (1861); and 'Chips from a German Workshop,' by F. Max Müller (1870).


Second Eclogue


Some men deliteth beholding men to fight,
Or goodly knights in pleasaunt apparayle,
Or sturdie soldiers in bright harnes and male,
Or an army arrayde ready to the warre,
Or to see them fight, so that he stand afarre.
Some glad is to see those ladies beauteous
Goodly appoynted in clothing sumpteous:
A number of people appoynted in like wise
In costly clothing after the newest gise,
Sportes, disgising, fayre coursers mount and praunce,
Or goodly ladies and knightes sing and daunce,
To see fayre houses and curious picture,
Or pleasaunt hanging or sumpteous vesture
Of silke, of purpure or golde moste oriente,
And other clothing divers and excellent,
Hye curious buildinges or palaces royall,
Or chapels, temples fayre and substantial,
Images graven or vaultes curious,
Gardeyns and medowes, or place delicious,
Forestes and parkes well furnished with dere,
Cold pleasaunt streams or welles fayre and clere,
Curious cundites or shadowie mountaynes,
Swete pleasaunt valleys, laundes or playnes,
Houndes, and such other things manyfolde
Some men take pleasour and solace to beholde.
But all these pleasoures be much more jocounde,
To private persons which not to court be bounde,
Than to such other whiche of necessitie
Are bounde to the court as in captivitie;
For they which be bounde to princes without fayle
When they must nedes be present in battayle,
When shall they not be at large to see the sight,
But as souldiours in the middest of the fight,
To runne here and there sometime his foe to smite,
And oftetimes wounded, herein is small delite,
And more muste he think his body to defende,
Than for any pleasour about him to intende,
And oft is he faynt and beaten to the grounde,
I trowe in suche sight small pleasour may be founde.
As for fayre ladies, clothed in silke and golde,
In court at thy pleasour thou canst not beholde.
At thy princes pleasour thou shalt them only see,
Then suche shalt thou see which little set by thee,
Whose shape and beautie may so inflame thine heart,
That thought and languor may cause thee for to smart.
For a small sparcle may kindle love certayne,
But skantly Severne may quench it clene againe;
And beautie blindeth and causeth man to set
His hearte on the thing which he shall never get.
To see men clothed in silkes pleasauntly
It is small pleasour, and ofte causeth envy.
While thy lean jade halteth by thy side,
To see another upon a, courser ride,
Though he be neyther gentleman nor knight,
Nothing is thy fortune, thy hart cannot be light.
As touching sportes and games of pleasaunce.
To sing, to revell, and other daliaunce:
Who that will truely upon his lord attende,
Unto suche sportes he seldome may entende.
Palaces, pictures, and temples sumptuous,
And other buildings both gay and curious,
These may marchauntes more at their pleasour see,
Men suche as in court be bounde alway to bee.
Sith kinges for moste part passe not their regions,
Thou seest nowe cities of foreyn nations.
Suche outwarde pleasoures may the people see,
So may not courtiers for lacke of libertie.
As for these pleasours of thinges vanable
Whiche in the fieldes appeareth delectable,
But seldome season mayest thou obtayne respite.
The same to beholde with pleasour and delite,
Sometime the courtier remayneth halfe the yere
Close within walls muche like a prisonere,
To make escapes some seldome times are wont,
Save when the powers have pleasour for to hunt,
Or its otherwise themselfe to recreate,
And then this pleasour shall they not love but hate;
For then shall they foorth most chiefely to their payne,
When they in mindes would at home remayne.
Other in the frost, hayle, or els snowe,
Or when some tempest or mightie wind doth blowe,
Or else in great heat and fervour excessife,
But close in houses the moste parte waste their life,
Of colour faded, and choked were with duste:
This is of courtiers the joy and all the lust.


What! yet may they sing and with fayre ladies daunce,
Both commen and laugh; herein is some pleasaunce.


Nay, nay, Coridon, that pleasour is but small,
Some to contente what man will pleasour call,
For some in the daunce his pincheth by the hande,
Which gladly would see him stretched in a bande.
Some galand seketh his favour to purchase
Which playne abhorreth for to beholde his face.
And still in dauncing moste parte inclineth she
To one muche viler and more abject then he.
No day over passeth but that in court men finde
A thousande thinges to vexe and greve their minde;
Alway thy foes are present in thy sight,
And often so great is their degree and might
That nedes must thou kisse the hand which did thee harm,
Though thou would see it cut gladly from the arme.
And briefly to speake, if thou to courte resorte,
If thou see one thing of pleasour or comfort,
Thou shalt see many, before or thou depart,
To thy displeasour and pensiveness of heart:
So findeth thy sight there more of bitternes
And of displeasour, than pleasour and gladnes.



he author of the 'Ingoldsby Legends' belonged to a well-defined and delightful class of men, chiefly found in modern England, and indeed mostly bred and made possible by the conditions of English society and the Anglican Church. It is that of clergymen who in the public eye are chiefly wits and diners-out, jokers and literary humorists, yet are conscientious and devoted ministers of their religion and curators of their religious charges, honoring their profession and humanity by true and useful lives and lovable characters. They are men of the sort loathed by Lewis Carroll's heroine in the 'Two Voices,'

Richard H. Barham.

"a kind of folk

Who have no horror of a joke,"

and indeed love it dearly, but are as firm in principle and unostentatiously dutiful in conduct as if they were leaden Puritans or narrow devotees.

By far the best remembered of this class, for themselves or their work, are Sydney Smith and Richard Harris Barham; but their relative repute is one of the oddest paradoxes in literary history. Roughly speaking, the one is remembered and unread, the other read and unremembered. Sydney Smith's name is almost as familiar to the masses as Scott's, and few could tell a line that he wrote; Barham's writing is almost as familiar as Scott's, and few would recognize his name. Yet he is in the foremost rank of humorists; his place is wholly unique, and is likely to remain so. It will be an age before a similar combination of tastes and abilities is found once more. Macaulay said truly of Sir Walter Scott that he "combined the minute learning of an antiquary with the fire of a great poet." Barham combined a like learning in different fields, and joined to a different outlook and temper of mind, with the quick perceptions of a great wit, the brimming zest and high spirits of a great joker, the genial nature and lightness of a born man of the world, and the gifts of a wonderful improvisatore in verse. Withal, he had just enough of serious purpose to give much of his work a certain measure of cohesive unity, and thus impress it on the mind as no collection of random skits could do. That purpose is the feathering which steadies the arrows and sends them home.

It is pleasant to know that one who has given so good a time to others had a very good time himself; that we are not, as so often happens, relishing a farce that stood for tragedy with the maker, and substituting our laughter for his tears. Barham had the cruel sorrows of personal bereavement so few escape; but in material things his career was wholly among pleasant ways. He was well born and with means, well educated, well nurtured. He was free from the sordid squabbles or anxious watching and privation which fall to the lot of so many of the best. He was happy in his marriage and its attendant home and family, and most fortunate in his friendships and the superb society he enjoyed. His birth and position as a gentleman of good landed family, combined with his profession, opened all doors to him.

But it was the qualities personal to himself, after all, which made these things available for enjoyment. His desires were moderate; he counted success what more eager and covetous natures might have esteemed comparative failure. His really strong intellect and wide knowledge and cultivation enabled him to meet the foremost men of letters on equal terms. His kind heart, generous nature, exuberant fun, and entertaining conversation endeared him to every one and made his company sought by every one; they saved much trouble from coming upon him and lightened what did come. And no blight could have withered that perennial fountain of jollity, drollery, and light-heartedness. But these were only the ornaments of a stanchly loyal and honorable nature, and a lovable and unselfish soul. One of his friends writes of him thus:--

"The profits of agitating pettifoggers would have materially lessened in a district where he acted as a magistrate; and duels would have been nipped in the bud at his regimental mess. It is not always an easy task to do as you would be done by; but to think as you would be thought of and thought for, and to feel as you would be felt for, is perhaps still more difficult, as superior powers of tact and intellect are here required in order to second good intentions. These faculties, backed by an uncompromising love of truth and fair dealing, indefatigable good nature, and a nice sense of what was due to every one in the several relations of life, both gentle and simple, rendered our late friend invaluable, either as an adviser or a peacemaker, in matters of delicate and difficult handling."

Barham was born in Canterbury, England, December 6th, 1788, and died in London, June 17th, 1845. His ancestry was superior, the family having derived its name from possessions in Kent in Norman days. He lost his father--a genial bon vivant of literary tastes who seems like a reduced copy of his son--when but five years old; and became heir to a fair estate, including Tappington Hall, the picturesque old gabled mansion so often imaginatively misdescribed in the 'Ingoldsby Legends,' but really having the famous blood-stained stairway. He had an expensive private education, which was nearly ended with his life at the age of fourteen by a carriage accident which shattered and mangled his right arm, crippling it permanently. As so often happens, the disaster was really a piece of good fortune: it turned him to or confirmed him in quiet antiquarian scholarship, and established connections which ultimately led to the 'Legends'; he may owe immortality to it.

After passing through St. Paul's (London) and Brasenose (Oxford), he studied law, but finally entered the church. After a couple of small curacies in Kent, he was made rector of Snargate and curate of Warehorn, near Romney Marsh; all four in a district where smuggling was a chief industry, and the Marsh in especial a noted haunt of desperadoes (for smugglers then took their lives in their hands), of which the 'Legends' are rich in reminiscences. In 1819, during this incumbency, he wrote a novel, 'Baldwin,' which was a failure; and part of another, 'My Cousin Nicholas,' which, finished fifteen years later, had fair success as a serial in Blackwood's Magazine.

An opportunity offering in 1821, he stood for a minor canonry in St. Paul's Cathedral, London, and obtained it; his income was less than before, but he had entered the metropolitan field, which brought him rich enjoyment and permanent fame. He paid a terrible price for them: his unhealthy London house cost him the lives of three of his children. To make up for his shortened means he became editor of the London Chronicle and a contributor to various other periodicals, including the notorious weekly John Bull, sometime edited by Theodore Hook. In 1824 he became a priest in the Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace, and soon after gained a couple of excellent livings in Essex, which put him at ease financially.

He was inflexible in principle, a firm Tory, though without rancor. He was very High Church, but had no sympathy with the Oxford movement or Catholicism. He preached careful and sober sermons, without oratorical display and with rigid avoidance of levity. He would not make the church a field either for fireworks or jokes, or even for displays of scholarship or intellectual gymnastics. In his opinion, religious establishments were kept up to advance religion and morals. And both he and his wife wrought zealously in the humble but exacting field of parochial good works.

He was, however, fast becoming one of the chief ornaments of that brilliant group of London wits whose repute still vibrates from the early part of the century. Many of them--actors, authors, artists, musicians, and others met at the Garrick Club, and Barham joined it. The names of Sydney Smith and Theodore Hook are enough to show what it was; but there were others equally delightful,--not the least so, or least useful, a few who could not see a joke at all, and whose simplicity and good nature made them butts for the hoaxes and solemn chaff of the rest. Barbara's diary, quoted in his son's (Life,) gives an exquisite instance.

In 1834 his old schoolmaster Bentley established Bentley's Miscellany; and Barham was asked for contributions. The first he sent was the amusing but quite "conceivable" (Spectre of Tappington); but there soon began the immortal series of versified local stories, legendary church miracles, antiquarian curios, witty summaries of popular plays, skits on London life, and so on, under the pseudonym of 'Thomas Ingoldsby,' which sprang instantly into wide popularity, and have never fallen from public favor since--nor can they till appreciation of humor is dead in the world. They were collected and illustrated by Leech, Cruikshank, and others, who were inspired by them to some of their best designs: perhaps the most perfect realization in art of the Devil in his moments of jocose triumph is Leech's figure in 'The House-Warming.' A later series appeared in Colburn's New Monthly Magazine in 1843.

He wrote some excellent pieces (of their kind) in prose, besides the one already mentioned: the weird and well-constructed 'Leech of Folkestone' and the 'Passage in the Life of Henry Harris,' both half-serious tales of mediaeval magic; the thoroughly Ingoldsbian 'Legend of Sheppey,' with its irreverent farce, high animal spirits, and antiquarianism; the equally characteristic 'Lady Rohesia,' which would be vulgar but for his sly wit and drollery. But none of these are as familiar as the versified 'Legends,' nor have they the astonishing variety of entertainment found in the latter.

The 'Ingoldsby Legends' have been called an English naturalization of the French metrical contes; but Barham owes nothing to his French models save the suggestion of method and form. Not only is his matter all his own, but he has Anglified the whole being of the metrical form itself. His facility of versification, the way in which the whole language seems to be liquid in his hands and ready to pour into any channel of verse, was one of the marvelous things of literature. It did not need the free random movement of the majority of the tales, where the lines may be anything from one foot to six, from spondaic to dactylic: in some of them he tied himself down to the most rigid and inflexible metrical forms, and moved as lightly and freely in those fetters as if they were non-existent. As to the astonishing rhymes which meet us at every step, they form in themselves a poignant kind of wit; often double and even treble, one word rhyming with an entire phrase or one phrase with another,--not only of the oddest kind, but as nicely adapted to the necessities of expression and meaning as if intended or invented for that purpose alone,--they produce on us the effect of the richest humor.

One of his most diverting "properties" is the set of "morals" he draws to everything, of nonsensical literalness and infantile gravity, the perfection of solemn fooling. Thus in the 'Lay of St. Cuthbert,' where the Devil has captured the heir of the house,

"Whom the nurse had forgot and left there in his chair, Alternately sucking his thumb and his pear,"

the moral is drawn, among others,--

"Perhaps it's as well to keep children from plums,
And pears in their season--and sucking their thumbs."

And part of the moral to the 'Lay of St. Medard' is--

"Don't give people nicknames! don't, even in fun,
Call any one 'snuff-colored son of a gun'!"

And they generally wind up with some slyly shrewd piece of worldly wisdom and wit. Thus, the closing moral to 'The Blasphemer's Warning' is:--

"To married men this--For the rest of your lives,
Think how your misconduct may act on your wives!
Don't swear then before them, lest haply they faint,
Or--what sometimes occurs--run away with a Saint!"

Often they are broader yet, and intended for the club rather than the family. Indeed, the tales as a whole are club tales, with an audience of club-men always in mind; not, be it remembered, bestialities like their French counterparts, or the later English and American improvements on the French, not even objectionable for general reading, but full of exclusively masculine joking, allusions, and winks, unintelligible to the other sex, and not welcome if they were intelligible.

He has plenty of melody, but it is hardly recognized because of the doggerel meaning, which swamps the music in the farce. And this applies to more important things than the melody. The average reader floats on the surface of this rapid and foamy stream, covered with sticks and straws and flowers and bonbons, and never realizes its depth and volume. This light frothy verse is only the vehicle of a solid and laborious antiquarian scholarship, of an immense knowledge of the world and society, books and men. He modestly disclaimed having any imagination, and said he must always have facts to work upon. This was true; but the same may be said of some great poets, who have lacked invention except around a skeleton ready furnished. What was true of Keats and Fitzgerald cannot nullify the merit of Barham. His fancy erected a huge and consistent superstructure on a very slender foundation. The same materials lay ready to the hands of thousands of others, who, however, saw only stupid monkish fables or dull country superstition.

His own explanation of his handling of the church legends tickles a critic's sense of humor almost as much as the verses themselves. It is true that while differing utterly in his tone of mind, and his attitude toward the mediaeval stories, from that of the mediaeval artists and sculptors,--whose gargoyles and other grotesques were carved without a thought of travesty on anything religious,--he is at one with them in combining extreme irreverence of form with a total lack of irreverence of spirit toward the real spiritual mysteries of religion. He burlesques saints and devils alike, mocks the swarm of miracles of the mediaeval Church, makes salient all the ludicrous aspects of mediaeval religious faith in its devout credulity and barbarous gropings; yet he never sneers at holiness or real aspiration, and through all the riot of fun in his masques, one feels the sincere Christian and the warm-hearted man. But he was evidently troubled by the feeling that a clergyman ought not to ridicule any form in which religious feeling had ever clothed itself; and he justified himself by professing that he wished to expose the absurdity of old superstitions and mummeries to help countervail the effect of the Oxford movement. Ingoldsby as a soldier of Protestantism, turning monkish stories into rollicking farces in order to show up what he conceived to be the errors of his opponents, is as truly Ingoldsbian a figure as any in his own 'Legends.' Yet one need not accuse him of hypocrisy or falsehood, hardly even of self-deception. He felt that dead superstitions, and stories not reverenced even by the Church that developed them, were legitimate material for any use he could make of them; he felt that in dressing them up with his wit and fancy he was harming nothing that existed, nor making any one look lightly on the religion of Christ or the Church of Christ: and that they were the property of an opposing church body was a happy thought to set his conscience at rest. He wrote them thenceforth with greater peace of mind and added satisfaction, and no doubt really believed that he was doing good in the way he alleged. And if the excuse gave to the world even one more of the inimitable 'Legends,' it was worth feeling and making.

Barham's nature was not one which felt the problems and tragedies of the world deeply. He grieved for his friends, he helped the distresses he saw, but his imagination rested closely in the concrete. He was incapable of weltschmerz; even for things just beyond his personal ken he had little vision or fancy. His treatment of the perpetual problem of sex-temptations and lapses is a good example: he never seems to be conscious of the tragedy they envelop. To him they are always good jokes, to wink over or smile at or be indulgent to. No one would ever guess from 'Ingoldsby' the truth he finds even in 'Don Juan,' that

"A heavy price must all pay who thus err,
In some shape."

But we cannot have everything: if Barham had been sensitive to the tragic side of life, he could not have been the incomparable fun-maker he was. We do not go to the 'Ingoldsby Legends' to solace our souls when hurt or remorseful, to brace ourselves for duty, or to feel ourselves nobler by contact with the expression of nobility. But there must be play and rest for the senses, as well as work and aspiration; and there are worse services than relieving the strain of serious endeavor by enabling us to become jolly pagans once again for a little space, and care naught for the morrow.



As I laye a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge,

Merrie sang the Birde as she sat upon the spraye;

There came a noble Knighte,

With his hauberke shynynge brighte,

And his gallant heart was lyghte,

Free and gaye;

As I laye a-thynkynge, he rode upon his waye.

As I laye a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge,

Sadly sang the Birde as she sat upon the tree!

There seemed a crimson plain,

Where a gallant Knyghte lay slayne,

And a steed with broken rein

Ran free,

As I laye a-thynkynge, most pitiful to see!

As I laye a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge,

Merrie sang the Birde as she sat upon the boughe;

A lovely mayde came bye,

And a gentil youth was nyghe,

And he breathed many a syghe,

And a vowe;

As I laye a-thynkynge, her hearte was gladsome now.

As I laye a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge,

Sadly sang the Birde as she sat upon the thorne;

No more a youth was there,

But a Maiden rent her haire,

And cried in sad despaire,

"That I was borne!"

As I laye a-thynkynge, she perished forlorne.

As I laye a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge,

Sweetly sang the Birde as she sat upon the briar;

There came a lovely childe,

And his face was meek and milde,

Yet joyously he smiled

On his sire;

As I laye a-thynkynge, a Cherub mote admire.

But I laye a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge,

And sadly sang the Birde as it perched upon a bier;

That joyous smile was gone,

And the face was white and wan,

As the downe upon the Swan

Doth appear,

As I laye a-thynkynge,--oh! bitter flowed the tear!

As I laye a-thynkynge, the golden sun was sinking,

Oh, merrie sang that Birde, as it glittered on her breast

With a thousand gorgeous dyes;

While soaring to the skies,

'Mid the stars she seemed to rise,

As to her nest;

As I laye a-thynkynge, her meaning was exprest:--

"Follow me away,

It boots not to delay,"--

'Twas so she seemed to saye,






Nobilis quidam, cui nomen Monsr. Lescrop, Chivaler, cum invitasset convivas, et, hora convivii jam instante et apparatu facto, spe frustratus esset, excusantibus se convivis cur non compararent, prorupit iratus in haec verba: "Veniant igitur omnes dæmones, si nullus hominum mecum esse potest!"

Quod cum fieret, et Dominus, et famuli, et ancillæ, a domo properantes, forte obliti, infantem in cunis jacentem secum non auferent, Dæmones incipiunt commessari et vociferari, prospicereque per fenestras formis ursorum, luporum, felium, et monstrare pocula vino repleta. Ah, inquit pater, ubi infans meus? Vix cum haec dixisset, unus ex Dæmonibus ulnis suis infantem ad fenestram gestat, etc.--Chronicon de Bolton.

It's in Bolton Hall, and the clock strikes One,

And the roast meat's brown and the boiled meat's done,

And the barbecued sucking-pig's crisped to a turn,

And the pancakes are fried and beginning to burn;

The fat stubble-goose

Swims in gravy and juice,

With the mustard and apple-sauce ready for use;

Fish, flesh, and fowl, and all of the best,

Want nothing but eating--they're all ready drest,

But where is the Host, and where is the Guest?

Pantler and serving-man, henchman and page

Stand sniffing the duck-stuffing (onion and sage),

And the scullions and cooks,

With fidgety looks,

Are grumbling and mutt'ring, and scowling as black

As cooks always do when the dinner's put back;

For though the board's deckt, and the napery, fair

As the unsunned snow-flake, is spread out with care,

And the Dais is furnished with stool and with chair,

And plate of orféverie costly and rare,

Apostle-spoons, salt-cellar, all are there,

And Mess John in his place,

With his rubicund face,

And his hands ready folded, prepared to say Grace,

Yet where is the Host?--and his convives--where?

The Scroope sits lonely in Bolton Hall,

And he watches the dial that hangs by the wall,

He watches the large hand, he watches the small,

And he fidgets and looks

As cross as the cooks,

And he utters--a word which we'll soften to "Zooks!"

And he cries, "What on earth has become of them all?--

What can delay

De Vaux and De Saye?

What makes Sir Gilbert de Umfraville stay?

What's gone with Poyntz, and Sir Reginald Braye?

Why are Ralph Ufford and Marny away?

And De Nokes and De Styles, and Lord Marmaduke Grey?

And De Roe?

And De Doe?

Poynings and Vavasour--where be they?

Fitz-Walter, Fitz-Osbert, Fitz-Hugh, and Fitz-John,

And the Mandevilles, père et filz (father and son);

Their cards said 'Dinner precisely at One!'

There's nothing I hate, in

The world, like waiting!

It's a monstrous great bore, when a Gentleman feels

A good appetite, thus to be kept from his meals!"

It's in Bolton Hall, and the clock strikes Two!

And the scullions and cooks are themselves "in a stew,"

And the kitchen-maids stand, and don't know what to do,

For the rich plum-puddings are bursting their bags,

And the mutton and turnips are boiling to rags,

And the fish is all spoiled,

And the butter's all oiled,

And the soup's got cold in the silver tureen,

And there's nothing, in short, that is fit to be seen!

While Sir Guy Le Scroope continues to fume,

And to fret by himself in the tapestried room,

And still fidgets and looks

More cross than the cooks,

And repeats that bad word, which we've softened to "Zooks!"

Two o'clock's come, and Two o'clock's gone,

And the large and the small hands move steadily on,

Still nobody's there,

No De Roos, or De Clare,

To taste of the Scroope's most delicate fare,

Or to quaff off a health unto Bolton's Heir,

That nice little boy who sits in his chair,

Some four years old, and a few months to spare,

With his laughing blue eyes and his long curly hair,

Now sucking his thumb, and now munching his pear.

Again Sir Guy the silence broke,

"It's hard upon Three!--it's just on the stroke!

Come, serve up the dinner!--A joke is a joke"--

Little he deems that Stephen de Hoaques,

Who "his fun," as the Yankees say, everywhere "pokes,"

And is always a great deal too fond of his jokes,

Has written a circular note to De Nokes,

And De Styles and De Roe, and the rest of the folks,

One and all,

Great and small,

Who were asked to the Hall

To dine there and sup, and wind up with a ball,

And had told all the party a great bouncing lie, he

Cooked up, that the "fête was postponed sine die,

The dear little curly-wigged heir of Le Scroope

Being taken alarmingly ill with the croop!"

When the clock struck Three,

And the Page on his knee

Said, "An't please you, Sir Guy Le Scroope, On a servi!"

And the Knight found the banquet-hall empty and clear,

With nobody near

To partake of his cheer,

He stamped, and he stormed--then his language!--Oh dear!

'Twas awful to see, and 'twas awful to hear!

And he cried to the button-decked Page at his knee,

Who had told him so civilly "On a servi,"

"Ten thousand fiends seize them, wherever they be!

--The Devil take them! and the Devil take thee!


In a terrible fume

He bounced out of the room,

He bounced out of the house--and page, footman, and groom

Bounced after their master; for scarce had they heard

Of this left-handed grace the last finishing word,

Ere the horn at the gate of the Barbican tower

Was blown with a loud twenty-trumpeter power,

And in rush'd a troop

Of strange guests!--such a group

As had ne'er before darkened the door of the Scroope!

This looks like De Saye--yet--it is not De Saye--

And this is--no, 'tis not--Sir Reginald Braye,

This has somewhat the favor of Marmaduke Grey--

But stay!--Where on earth did he get those long nails?

Why, they're claws!--then Good Gracious!--they've all of them tails!

That can't be De Vaux--why, his nose is a bill,

Or, I would say a beak!--and he can't keep it still!--

Is that Poynings?--Oh, Gemini! look at his feet!!

Why, they're absolute hoofs!--is it gout or his corns,

That have crumpled them up so?--by Jingo, he's horns!

Run! run!--There's Fitz-Walter, Fitz-Hugh, and Fitz-John,

And the Mandevilles, père et filz (father and son),

And Fitz-Osbert, and Ufford--they've all got them on!

Then their great saucer eyes--

It's the Father of lies

And his Imps--run! run! run!--they're all fiends in disguise,

Who've partly assumed, with more sombre complexions,

The forms of Sir Guy Le Scroope's friends and connections,

And He--at the top there--that grim-looking elf--

Run! run!--that's the "muckle-horned Clootie" himself!

And now what a din

Without and within!

For the courtyard is full of them.--How they begin

To mop, and to mowe, and to make faces, and grin!

Cock their tails up together,

Like cows in hot weather,

And butt at each other, all eating and drinking,

The viands and wine disappearing like winking,

And then such a lot

As together had got!

Master Cabbage, the steward, who'd made a machine

To calculate with, and count noses,--I ween

The cleverest thing of the kind ever seen,--

Declared, when he'd made

By the said machine's aid,

Up, what's now called the "tottle" of those he surveyed,

There were just--how he proved it I cannot divine--

Nine thousand, nine hundred, and ninety and nine.

Exclusive of Him

Who, giant in limb,

And black as the crow they denominate Jim,

With a tail like a bull, and a head like a bear,

Stands forth at the window--and what holds he there,

Which he hugs with such care,

And pokes out in the air,

And grasps as its limbs from each other he'd tear?

Oh! grief and despair!

I vow and declare

It's Le Scroope's poor, dear, sweet, little, curly-wigged Heir!

Whom the nurse had forgot and left there in his chair,

Alternately sucking his thumb and his pear.

What words can express

The dismay and distress

Of Sir Guy, when he found what a terrible mess

His cursing and banning had now got him into?

That words, which to use are a shame and a sin too,

Had thus on their speaker recoiled, and his malison

Placed in the hands of the Devil's own "pal" his son!--

He sobbed and he sighed,

And he screamed, and he cried,

And behaved like a man that is mad or in liquor--he

Tore his peaked beard, and he dashed off his "Vicary,"

Stamped on the jasey

As though he were crazy,

And staggering about just as if he were "hazy,"

Exclaimed, "Fifty pounds!" (a large sum in those times)

"To the person, whoever he may be, that climbs

To that window above there, en ogive, and painted,

And brings down my curly-wi'--" Here Sir Guy fainted!

With many a moan,

And many a groan,

What with tweaks of the nose, and some eau de Cologne,

He revived,--Reason once more remounted her throne,

Or rather the instinct of Nature--'twere treason

To her, in the Scroope's case, perhaps, to say Reason--

But what saw he then--Oh! my goodness! a sight

Enough to have banished his reason outright!--

In that broad banquet-hall

The fiends one and all

Regardless of shriek, and of squeak, and of squall,

From one to another were tossing that small

Pretty, curly-wigged boy, as if playing at ball;

Yet none of his friends or his vassals might dare

To fly to the rescue or rush up the stair,

And bring down in safety his curly-wigged Heir!

Well a day! Well a day!

All he can say

Is but just so much trouble and time thrown away;

Not a man can be tempted to join the mêlée:

E'en those words cabalistic, "I promise to pay

Fifty pounds on demand," have for once lost their sway,

And there the Knight stands

Wringing his hands

In his agony--when on a sudden, one ray

Of hope darts through his midriff!--His Saint!--

Oh, it's funny

And almost absurd,

That it never occurred!--

"Ay! the Scroope's Patron Saint!--he's the man for my money!

Saint--who is it?--really I'm sadly to blame,--

On my word I'm afraid,--I confess it with shame,--

That I've almost forgot the good Gentleman's name,--

Cut--let me see--Cutbeard?--no--CUTHBERT!--egad!

St. Cuthbert of Bolton!--I'm right--he's the lad!

O holy St. Cuthbert, if forbears of mine--

Of myself I say little--have knelt at your shrine,

And have lashed their bare backs, and--no matter--with twine,

Oh! list to the vow

Which I make to you now,

Only snatch my poor little boy out of the row

Which that Imp's kicking up with his fiendish bow-wow,

And his head like a bear, and his tail like a cow!

Bring him back here in safety!--perform but this task,

And I'll give--Oh!--I'll give you whatever you ask!--

There is not a shrine

In the county shall shine

With a brilliancy half so resplendent as thine,

Or have so many candles, or look half so fine!--

Haste, holy St. Cuthbert, then,--hasten in pity!--"

Conceive his surprise

When a strange voice replies,

"It's a bargain!--but, mind, sir, THE BEST SPERMACETI!"--

Say, whose that voice?--whose that form by his side,

That old, old, gray man, with his beard long and wide,

In his coarse Palmer's weeds,

And his cockle and beads?--

And how did he come?--did he walk?--did he ride?

Oh! none could determine,--oh! none could decide,--

The fact is, I don't believe any one tried;

For while every one stared, with a dignified stride

And without a word more,

He marched on before,

Up a flight of stone steps, and so through the front door,

To the banqueting-hall that was on the first floor,

While the fiendish assembly were making a rare

Little shuttlecock there of the curly-wigged Heir.

--I wish, gentle Reader, that you could have seen

The pause that ensued when he stepped in between,

With his resolute air, and his dignified mien,

And said, in a tone most decided though mild,

"Come! I'll trouble you just to hand over that child!"

The Demoniac crowd

In an instant seemed cowed;

Not one of the crew volunteered a reply,

All shrunk from the glance of that keen-flashing eye,

Save one horrid Humgruffin, who seemed by his talk,

And the airs he assumed, to be cock of the walk.

He quailed not before it, but saucily met it,

And as saucily said, "Don't you wish you may get it?"

My goodness!--the look that the old Palmer gave!

And his frown!--'twas quite dreadful to witness--"Why, slave!

You rascal!" quoth he,

"This language to ME!

At once, Mr. Nicholas! down on your knee,

And hand me that curly-wigged boy!--I command it--

Come!--none of your nonsense!--you know I won't stand it."

Old Nicholas trembled,--he shook in his shoes,

And seemed half inclined, but afraid, to refuse.

"Well, Cuthbert," said he,

"If so it must be,

For you've had your own way from the first time I knew ye;--

Take your curly-wigged brat, and much good may he do ye!

But I'll have in exchange"--here his eye flashed with rage--

"That chap with the buttons--he gave me the Page!"

"Come, come," the saint answered, "you very well know

The young man's no more his than your own to bestow.

Touch one button of his if you dare, Nick---no! no!

Cut your stick, sir--come, mizzle! be off with you! go!"--

The Devil grew hot--

"If I do I'll be shot!

An you come to that, Cuthbert, I'll tell you what's what;

He has asked us to dine here, and go we will not!

Why, you Skinflint,--at least

You may leave us the feast!

Here we've come all that way from our brimstone abode,

Ten million good leagues, sir, as ever you strode,

And the deuce of a luncheon we've had on the road--

'Go!'--'Mizzle!' indeed--Mr. Saint, who are you,

I should like to know?--'Go!' I'll be hanged if I do!

He invited us all--we've a right here--it's known

That a Baron may do what he likes with his own--

Here, Asmodeus--a slice of that beef;--now the mustard!--

What have you got?--oh, apple-pie--try it with custard."

The Saint made a pause

As uncertain, because

He knew Nick is pretty well "up" in the laws,

And they might be on his side--and then, he'd such claws!

On the whole, it was better, he thought, to retire

With the curly-wigged boy he'd picked out of the fire,

And give up the victuals--to retrace his path,

And to compromise--(spite of the Member for Bath).

So to Old Nick's appeal,

As he turned on his heel,

He replied, "Well, I'll leave you the mutton and veal,

And the soup à la Reine, and the sauce Bechamel;

As the Scroope did invite you to dinner, I feel

I can't well turn you out--'twould be hardly genteel---

But be moderate, pray,--and remember thus much,

Since you're treated as Gentlemen--show yourselves such,

And don't make it late,

But mind and go straight

Home to bed when you've finished--and don't steal the plate,

Nor wrench off the knocker, or bell from the gate.

Walk away, like respectable Devils, in peace,

And don't 'lark' with the watch, or annoy the police!"

Having thus said his say,

That Palmer gray

Took up little La Scroope, and walked coolly away,

While the Demons all set up a "Hip! hip! hurrah!"

Then fell, tooth and nail, on the victuals, as they

Had been guests at Guildhall upon Lord Mayor's day,

All scrambling and scuffling for what was before 'em,

No care for precedence or common decorum.

Few ate more hearty

Than Madame Astarte,

And Hecate,--considered the Belles of the party.

Between them was seated Leviathan, eager

To "do the polite," and take wine with Belphegor;

Here was Morbleu (a French devil), supping soup-meagre,

And there, munching leeks, Davy Jones of Tredegar

(A Welsh one), who'd left the domains of Ap Morgan

To "follow the sea,"--and next him Demogorgon,--

Then Pan with his pipes, and Fauns grinding the organ

To Mammon and Belial, and half a score dancers,

Who'd joined with Medusa to get up 'the Lancers';

Here's Lucifer lying blind drunk with Scotch ale,

While Beelzebub's tying huge knots in his tail.

There's Setebos, storming because Mephistopheles

Gave him the lie,

Said he'd "blacken his eye,"

And dashed in his face a whole cup of hot coffee-lees;--

Ramping and roaring,

Hiccoughing, snoring,

Never was seen such a riot before in

A gentleman's house, or such profligate reveling

At any soirée--where they don't let the Devil in.

Hark! as sure as fate

The clock's striking Eight!

(An hour which our ancestors called "getting late,")

When Nick, who by this time was rather elate,

Rose up and addressed them:--

"'Tis full time," he said,

"For all elderly Devils to be in their bed;

For my own part I mean to be jogging, because

I don't find myself now quite so young as I was;

But, Gentlemen, ere I depart from my post

I must call on you all for one bumper--the toast

Which I have to propose is,--OUR EXCELLENT HOST!

Many thanks for his kind hospitality--may

We also be able

To see at our table

Himself, and enjoy, in a family way,

His good company down-stairs at no distant day!

You'd, I'm sure, think me rude

If I did not include,

In the toast my young friend there, the curly-wigged Heir!

He's in very good hands, for you're all well aware

That St. Cuthbert has taken him under his care;

Though I must not say 'bless,'--

Why, you'll easily guess,--

May our curly-wigged Friend's shadow never be less!"

Nick took off his heel-taps--bowed--smiled---with an air

Most graciously grim,--and vacated the chair.

Of course the élite

Rose at once on their feet,

And followed their leader, and beat a retreat:

When a sky-larking Imp took the President's seat,

And requesting that each would replenish his cup,

Said, "Where we have dined, my boys, there let us sup!"--

It was three in the morning before they broke up!!!

I scarcely need say

Sir Guy didn't delay

To fulfill his vow made to St. Cuthbert, or pay

For the candles he'd promised, or make light as day

The shrine he assured him he'd render so gay.

In fact, when the votaries came there to pray,

All said there was naught to compare with it--nay,

For fear that the Abbey

Might think he was shabby,

Four Brethren, thenceforward, two cleric, two lay,

He ordained should take charge of a new-founded chantry,

With six marcs apiece, and some claims on the pantry;

In short, the whole county

Declared, through his bounty,

The Abbey of Bolton exhibited fresh scenes

From any displayed since Sir William de Meschines

And Cecily Roumeli came to this nation

With William the Norman, and laid its foundation.

For the rest, it is said,

And I know I have read

In some Chronicle--whose, has gone out of my head--

That what with these candles, and other expenses,

Which no man would go to if quite in his senses,

He reduced and brought low

His property so,

That at last he'd not much of it left to bestow;

And that many years after that terrible feast,

Sir Guy, in the Abbey, was living a priest;

And there, in one thousand and---something--deceased.

(It's supposed by this trick

He bamboozled Old Nick,

And slipped through his fingers remarkably "slick.")

While as to young Curly-wig,--dear little Soul,

Would you know more of him, you must look at "The Roll,"

Which records the dispute,

And the subsequent suit,

Commenced in "Thirteen sev'nty-five,"--which took root

In Le Grosvenor's assuming the arms Le Scroope swore

That none but his ancestors, ever before,

In foray, joust, battle, or tournament wore,

To wit, "On a Prussian-blue Field, a Bend Or;"

While the Grosvenor averred that his ancestors bore

The same, and Scroope lied like a--somebody tore

Off the simile,--so I can tell you no more,

Till some A double S shall the fragment restore.


This Legend sound maxims exemplifies--e.g.

1mo. Should anything tease you,

Annoy, or displease you,

Remember what Lilly says, "Animum rege!"

And as for that shocking bad habit of swearing,--

In all good society voted past bearing,--

Eschew it! and leave it to dustmen and mobs,

Nor commit yourself much beyond "Zooks!" or "Odsbobs!"

2do. When asked out to dine by a Person of Quality,

Mind, and observe the most strict punctuality!

For should you come late,

And make dinner wait,

And the victuals get cold, you'll incur, sure as fate,

The Master's displeasure, the Mistress's hate.

And though both may perhaps be too well-bred to swear,

They'll heartily wish you--I will not say Where.

3tio. Look well to your Maid-servants!--say you expect them

To see to the children, and not to neglect them!

And if you're a widower, just throw a cursory

Glance in, at times, when you go near the Nursery.

Perhaps it's as well to keep children from plums,

And from pears in the season,--and sucking their thumbs!

4to. To sum up the whole with a "saw" of much use,

Be just and be generous,--don't be profuse!--

Pay the debts that you owe, keep your word to your friends,


For of this be assured, if you "go it" too fast,

You'll be "dished" like Sir Guy,

And like him, perhaps, die

A poor, old, half-starved Country Parson at last!


"Statim sacerdoti apparuit diabolus in specie puellæ pulchritudinis miræ, et ecce Divus, fide catholicâ, et cruce, et aquâ benedicta armatus venit, et aspersit aquam in nomine Sanctæ et Individuæ Trinitatis, quam, quasi ardentem, diabolus, nequaquam sustinere valens, mugitibus fugit."--ROGER HOVEDEN.

"Lord Abbot! Lord Abbot! I'd fain confess;

I am a-weary, and worn with woe;

Many a grief doth my heart oppress,

And haunt me whithersoever I go!"

On bended knee spake the beautiful Maid;

"Now lithe and listen, Lord Abbot, to me!"--

"Now naye, fair daughter," the Lord Abbot said,

"Now naye, in sooth it may hardly be.

"There is Mess Michael, and holy Mess John,

Sage penitauncers I ween be they!

And hard by doth dwell, in St. Catherine's cell,

Ambrose, the anchorite old and gray!"

--"Oh, I will have none of Ambrose or John,

Though sage penitauncers I trow they be;

Shrive me may none save the Abbot alone--

Now listen, Lord Abbot, I speak to thee.

"Nor think foul scorn, though mitre adorn

Thy brow, to listen to shrift of mine!

I am a maiden royally born,

And I come of old Plantagenet's line.

"Though hither I stray in lowly array,

I am a damsel of high degree;

And the Compte of Eu, and the Lord of Ponthieu,

They serve my father on bended knee!

"Counts a many, and Dukes a few,

A suitoring came to my father's Hall;

But the Duke of Lorraine, with his large domain,

He pleased my father beyond them all.

"Dukes a many, and Counts a few,

I would have wedded right cheerfullie;

But the Duke of Lorraine was uncommonly plain,

And I vowed that he ne'er should my bridegroom be!

"So hither I fly, in lowly guise,

From their gilded domes and their princely halls;

Fain would I dwell in some holy cell,

Or within some Convent's peaceful walls!"

--Then out and spake that proud Lord Abbot,

"Now rest thee, fair daughter, withouten fear.

Nor Count nor Duke but shall meet the rebuke

Of Holy Church an he seek thee here:

"Holy Church denieth all search

'Midst her sanctified ewes and her saintly rams,

And the wolves doth mock who would scathe her flock,

Or, especially, worry her little pet lambs.

"Then lay, fair daughter, thy fears aside,

For here this day shalt thou dine with me!"--

"Now naye, now naye," the fair maiden cried;

"In sooth, Lord Abbot, that scarce may be!

"Friends would whisper, and foes would frown,

Sith thou art a Churchman of high degree,

And ill mote it match with thy fair renown

That a wandering damsel dine with thee!

"There is Simon the Deacon hath pulse in store,

With beans and lettuces fair to see:

His lenten fare now let me share,

I pray thee, Lord Abbot, in charitie!"

--"Though Simon the Deacon hath pulse in store,

To our patron Saint foul shame it were

Should wayworn guest, with toil oppressed,

Meet in his Abbey such churlish fare.

"There is Peter the Prior, and Francis the Friar,

And Roger the Monk shall our convives be;

Small scandal I ween shall then be seen:

They are a goodly companie!"

The Abbot hath donned his mitre and ring,

His rich dalmatic, and maniple fine;

And the choristers sing, as the lay-brothers bring

To the board a magnificent turkey and chine.

The turkey and chine, they are done to a nicety;

Liver, and gizzard, and all are there;

Ne'er mote Lord Abbot pronounce Benedicite

Over more luscious or delicate fare.

But no pious stave he, no Pater or Ave

Pronounced, as he gazed on that maiden's face;

She asked him for stuffing, she asked him for gravy,

She asked him for gizzard;--but not for grace!

Yet gayly the Lord Abbot smiled, and pressed,

And the blood-red wine in the wine-cup filled;

And he helped his guest to a bit of the breast,

And he sent the drumsticks down to be grilled.

There was no lack of the old Sherris sack,

Of Hippocras fine, or of Malmsey bright;

And aye, as he drained off his cup with a smack,

He grew less pious and more polite.

She pledged him once, and she pledged him twice,

And she drank as Lady ought not to drink;

And he pressed her hand 'neath the table thrice,

And he winked as Abbot ought not to wink.

And Peter the Prior, and Francis the Friar,

Sat each with a napkin under his chin;

But Roger the Monk got excessively drunk,

So they put him to bed, and they tucked him in!

The lay-brothers gazed on each other, amazed;

And Simon the Deacon, with grief and surprise.

As he peeped through the key-hole, could scarce fancy real

The scene he beheld, or believe his own eyes.

In his ear was ringing the Lord Abbot singing--

He could not distinguish the words very plain,

But 'twas all about "Cole," and "jolly old Soul,"

And "Fiddlers," and "Punch," and things quite as profane.

Even Porter Paul, at the sound of such reveling,

With fervor himself began to bless;

For he thought he must somehow have let the Devil in--

And perhaps was not very much out in his guess.

The Accusing Byers[1] "flew up to Heaven's Chancery,"

Blushing like scarlet with shame and concern;

The Archangel took down his tale, and in answer he

Wept (see the works of the late Mr. Sterne).

Indeed, it is said, a less taking both were in

When, after a lapse of a great many years,

They booked Uncle Toby five shillings for swearing,

And blotted the fine out again with their tears!

But St. Nicholas's agony who may paint?

His senses at first were well-nigh gone;

The beatified saint was ready to faint

When he saw in his Abbey such sad goings on!

For never, I ween, had such doings been seen

There before, from the time that most excellent Prince,

Earl Baldwin of Flanders, and other Commanders,

Had built and endowed it some centuries since.

--But hark--'tis a sound from the outermost gate:

A startling sound from a powerful blow.--

Who knocks so late?--it is half after eight

By the clock,--and the clock's five minutes too slow.

Never, perhaps, had such loud double raps

Been heard in St. Nicholas's Abbey before;

All agreed "it was shocking to keep people knocking,"

But none seemed inclined to "answer the door."

Now a louder bang through the cloisters rang,

And the gate on its hinges wide open flew;

And all were aware of a Palmer there,

With his cockle, hat, staff, and his sandal shoe.

Many a furrow, and many a frown,

By toil and time on his brow were traced;

And his long loose gown was of ginger brown,

And his rosary dangled below his waist.

Now seldom, I ween, is such costume seen,

Except at a stage-play or masquerade;

But who doth not know it was rather the go

With Pilgrims and Saints in the second Crusade?

With noiseless stride did that Palmer glide

Across that oaken floor;

And he made them all jump, he gave such a thump

Against the Refectory door!

Wide open it flew, and plain to the view

The Lord Abbot they all mote see;

In his hand was a cup and he lifted it up,

"Here's the Pope's good health with three!"

Rang in their ears three deafening cheers,

"Huzza! huzza! huzza!"

And one of the party said, "Go it, my hearty!"--

When outspake that Pilgrim gray--

"A boon, Lord Abbot! a boon! a boon!

Worn is my foot, and empty my scrip;

And nothing to speak of since yesterday noon

Of food, Lord Abbot, hath passed my lip.

"And I am come from a far countree,

And have visited many a holy shrine;

And long have I trod the sacred sod

Where the Saints do rest in Palestine!"--

"An thou art come from a far countree,

And if thou in Paynim lands hast been,

Now rede me aright the most wonderful sight,

Thou Palmer gray, that thine eyes have seen.

"Arede me aright the most wonderful sight,

Gray Palmer, that ever thine eyes did see,

And a manchette of bread, and a good warm bed,

And a cup o' the best shall thy guerdon be!"

"Oh! I have been east, and I have been west,

And I have seen many a wonderful sight;

But never to me did it happen to see

A wonder like that which I see this night!

"To see a Lord Abbot, in rochet and stole,

With Prior and Friar,--a strange mar-velle!--

O'er a jolly full bowl, sitting cheek by jowl,

And hob-nobbing away with a Devil from Hell!"

He felt in his gown of ginger brown,

And he pulled out a flask from beneath;

It was rather tough work to get out the cork,

But he drew it at last with his teeth.

O'er a pint and a quarter of holy water,

He made a sacred sign;

And he dashed the whole on the soi-disant daughter

Of old Plantagenet's line!

Oh! then did she reek, and squeak, and shriek,

With a wild unearthly scream;

And fizzled, and hissed, and produced such a mist,

They were all half-choked by the steam.

Her dove-like eyes turned to coals of fire,

Her beautiful nose to a horrible snout,

Her hands to paws, with nasty great claws,

And her bosom went in and her tail came out.

On her chin there appeared a long Nanny-goat's beard,

And her tusks and her teeth no man mote tell;

And her horns and her hoofs gave infallible proofs

'Twas a frightful Fiend from the nethermost hell!

The Palmer threw down his ginger gown,

His hat and his cockle; and, plain to sight,

Stood St. Nicholas' self, and his shaven crown

Had a glow-worm halo of heavenly light.

The fiend made a grasp the Abbot to clasp;

But St. Nicholas lifted his holy toe,

And, just in the nick, let fly such a kick

On his elderly namesake, he made him let go.

And out of the window he flew like a shot,

For the foot flew up with a terrible thwack,

And caught the foul demon about the spot

Where his tail joins on to the small of his back.

And he bounded away like a foot-ball at play,

Till into the bottomless pit he fell slap,

Knocking Mammon the meagre o'er pursy Belphegor,

And Lucifer into Beëlzebub's lap.

Oh! happy the slip from his Succubine grip,

That saved the Lord Abbot,--though breathless with fright,

In escaping he tumbled, and fractured his hip,

And his left leg was shorter thenceforth than his right!

On the banks of the Rhine, as he's stopping to dine,

From a certain inn-window the traveler is shown

Most picturesque ruins, the scene of these doings,

Some miles up the river south-east of Cologne.

And while "sauer-kraut" she sells you, the landlady tells you

That there, in those walls all roofless and bare,

One Simon, a Deacon, from a lean grew a sleek one

On filling a ci-devant Abbot's state chair.

How a ci-devant Abbot, all clothed in drab, but

Of texture the coarsest, hair shirt and no shoes

(His mitre and ring, and all that sort of thing

Laid aside), in yon cave lived a pious recluse;

How he rose with the sun, limping "dot and go one,"

To yon rill of the mountain, in all sorts of weather,

Where a Prior and a Friar, who lived somewhat higher

Up the rock, used to come and eat cresses together;

How a thirsty old codger the neighbors called Roger,

With them drank cold water in lieu of old wine!

What its quality wanted he made up in quantity,

Swigging as though he would empty the Rhine!

And how, as their bodily strength failed, the mental man

Gained tenfold vigor and force in all four;

And how, to the day of their death, the "Old Gentleman"

Never attempted to kidnap them more.

And how, when at length, in the odor of sanctity,

All of them died without grief or complaint,

The monks of St. Nicholas said 'twas ridiculous

Not to suppose every one was a Saint.

And how, in the Abbey, no one was so shabby

As not to say yearly four masses ahead,

On the eve of that supper, and kick on the crupper

Which Satan received, for the souls of the dead!

How folks long held in reverence their reliques and memories,

How the ci-devant Abbot's obtained greater still,

When some cripples, on touching his fractured os femoris,

Threw down their crutches and danced a quadrille!

And how Abbot Simon (who turned out a prime one)

These words, which grew into a proverb full soon,

O'er the late Abbot's grotto, stuck up as a motto,

"Who Suppes with the Deville sholde have a long spoone!"

[1] The Prince of Peripatetic Informers, and terror of
Stage Coachmen, when such things were.



he Rev. Sabine Baring-Gould was born in Exeter, England, in 1834. The addition of Gould to the name of Baring came in the time of his great-grandfather, a brother of Sir Francis Baring, who married an only daughter and heiress of W.D. Gould of Devonshire. Much of the early life of Baring-Gould was passed in Germany and France, and at Clare College, Cambridge, where he graduated in 1854, taking orders ten years later, and in 1881 becoming rector of Lew Trenchard, Devonshire, where he holds estates and privileges belonging to his family.

He has worked in many fields, and in all with so much acceptance that a list of his books would be the best exposition of the range of his untiring pen. To a gift of ready words and ready illustration, whether he concerns himself with diversities of early Christian belief, the course of country-dances in England, or the growth of mediaeval legends, he adds the grace of telling a tale and drawing a character. He has published nearly a hundred volumes, not one of them unreadable. But no one man may write with equal pen of German history, of comparative mythology and philology, of theological dissertations, and of the pleasures of English rural life, while he adds to these a long list of novels.

His secret of popularity lies not in his treatment, which is neither critical nor scientific, but rather in a clever, easy, diffuse, jovial, amusing way of saying clearly what at the moment comes to him to say. His books have a certain raciness and spirit that recall the English squire of tradition. They rarely smell of the lamp. Now and then appears a strain of sturdy scholarship, leading the reader to wonder what his author might have accomplished had he not enjoyed the comfortable ease of a country justice of the peace, and a rector with large landed estates, to whom his poorer neighbors appear a sort of dancing puppets.

Between 1857 and 1870, Baring-Gould had published nine volumes, the best known of these being 'Curious Myths of the Middle Ages.' From 1870 to 1890 his name appeared as author on the title-page of forty-three books: sermons, lectures, essays, archaeological treatises, memoirs, curiosities of literature, histories, and fiction; sixteen novels, tales, and romances being included. From 1890 to 1896 he published seventeen more novels, and many of his books have passed through several editions. His most successful novels are 'Mehalah; a Tale of the Salt Marshes,' 'In the Roar of the Sea,' 'Red Spider,' 'Richard Cable,' and 'Noémi; a Story of Rock-Dwellers.'

In an essay upon his fiction, Mr. J.M. Barrie writes in The Contemporary Review (February, 1890):--

"Of our eight or ten living novelists who are popular by merit, few have greater ability than Mr. Baring-Gould. His characters are bold and forcible figures, his wit is as ready as his figures of speech are apt. He has a powerful imagination, and is quaintly fanciful. When he describes a storm, we can see his trees breaking in the gale. So enormous and accurate is his general information that there is no trade or profession with which he does not seem familiar. So far as scientific knowledge is concerned, he is obviously better equipped than any contemporary writer of fiction. Yet one rises from his books with a feeling of repulsion, or at least with the glad conviction that his ignoble views of life are as untrue as the characters who illustrate them. Here is a melancholy case of a novelist, not only clever but sincere, undone by want of sympathy. . . . The author's want of sympathy prevents 'Mehalah's' rising to the highest art; for though we shudder at the end, there the effect of the story stops. It illustrates the futility of battling with fate, but the theme is not allowable to writers with the modern notion of a Supreme Power. . . . But 'Mehalah' is still one of the most powerful romances of recent years."


From 'Curious Myths of the Middle Ages'

In that charming mediaeval romance 'Fortunatus and his Sons,' which by the way is a treasury of popular mythology, is an account of a visit paid by the favored youth to that cave of mystery in Lough Derg, the Purgatory of St. Patrick.

Fortunatus, we are told, had heard in his travels of how two days' journey from the town Valdric, in Ireland, was a town, Vernic, where was the entrance to the Purgatory; so thither he went with many servants. He found a great abbey, and behind the altar of the church a door, which led into the dark cave which is called the Purgatory of St. Patrick. In order to enter it, leave had to be obtained from the abbot; consequently Leopold, servant to Fortunatus, betook himself to that worthy and made known to him that a nobleman from Cyprus desired to enter the mysterious cavern. The abbot at once requested Leopold to bring his master to supper with him. Fortunatus bought a large jar of wine and sent it as a present to the monastery, and followed at the meal-time.

"Venerable sir!" said Fortunatus, "I understand the Purgatory of St. Patrick is here: is it so?"

The abbot replied, "It is so indeed. Many hundred years ago, this place, where stand the abbey and the town, was a howling wilderness. Not far off, however, lived a venerable hermit, Patrick by name, who often sought the desert for the purpose of therein exercising his austerities. One day he lighted on this cave, which is of vast extent. He entered it, and wandering on in the dark, lost his way, so that he could no more find how to return to the light of day. After long ramblings through the gloomy passages, he fell on his knees and besought Almighty God, if it were His will, to deliver him from the great peril wherein he lay. Whilst Patrick thus prayed, he was ware of piteous cries issuing from the depths of the cave, just such as would be the wailings of souls in purgatory. The hermit rose from his orison, and by God's mercy found his way back to the surface, and from that day exercised greater austerities, and after his death he was numbered with the saints. Pious people, who had heard the story of Patrick's adventure in the cave, built this cloister on the site."

Then Fortunatus asked whether all who ventured into the place heard likewise the howls of the tormented souls.

The abbot replied, "Some have affirmed that they have heard a bitter crying and piping therein; whilst others have heard and seen nothing. No one, however, has penetrated as yet to the furthest limits of the cavern."

Fortunatus then asked permission to enter, and the abbot cheerfully consented, only stipulating that his guest should keep near the entrance and not ramble too far, as some who had ventured in had never returned.

Next day early, Fortunatus received the Blessed Sacrament with his trusty Leopold; the door of the Purgatory was unlocked, each was provided with a taper, and then with the blessing of the abbot they were left in total darkness, and the door bolted behind them. Both wandered on in the cave, hearing faintly the chanting of the monks in the church, till the sound died away. They traversed several passages, lost their way, their candles burned out, and they sat down in despair on the ground, a prey to hunger, thirst, and fear.

The monks waited in the church hour after hour; and the visitors of the Purgatory had not returned. Day declined, vespers were sung, and still there was no sign of the two who in the morning had passed from the church into the cave. Then the servants of Fortunatus began to exhibit anger, and to insist on their master being restored to them. The abbot was frightened, and sent for an old man who had once penetrated far into the cave with a ball of twine, the end attached to the door-handle. This man volunteered to seek Fortunatus, and providentially his search was successful. After this the abbot refused permission to any one to visit the cave.

In the reign of Henry II. lived Henry of Saltrey, who wrote a history of the visit of a Knight Owen to the Purgatory of St. Patrick, which gained immense popularity, ... was soon translated into other languages, and spread the fable through mediaeval Europe.... In English there are two versions. In one of these, 'Owayne Miles,' the origin of the purgatory is thus described:--

"Holy byschoppes some tyme ther were,
That tawgte me of Goddes lore.
In Irlonde preched Seyn Patryke;
In that londe was non hym lyke:
He prechede Goddes worde full wyde,
And tolde men what shullde betyde.
Fyrste he preched of Heven blysse,
Who ever go thyder may ryght nowgt mysse:
Sethen he preched of Hell pyne,
Howe we them ys that cometh therinne:
And then he preched of purgatory,
As he fonde in hisstory;
But yet the folke of the contré
Beleved not that hit mygth be;
And seyed, but gyf hit were so,
That eny non myth hymself go,
And se alle that, and come ageyn,
Then wolde they beleve fayn."

Vexed at the obstinacy of his hearers, St. Patrick besought the Almighty to make the truth manifest to the unbelievers; whereupon

"God spakke to Saynt Patryke tho
By nam, and badde hym with Hym go:
He ladde hym ynte a wyldernesse,
Wher was no reste more no lesse,
And shewed that he might se
Inte the erthe a pryvé entré:
Hit was yn a depe dyches ende.
'What mon,' He sayde, 'that wylle hereyn wende,
And dwelle theryn a day and a nyght,
And hold his byleve and ryght,
And come ageyn that he ne dwelle,
Mony a mervayle he may of telle.
And alle tho that doth thys pylgrymage,
I shalle hem graunt for her wage,
Whether he be sqwyer or knave,
Other purgatorye shalle he non have.'"

Thereupon St. Patrick, "he ne stynte ner day ne night," till he had built there a "fayr abbey," and stocked it with pious canons. Then he made a door to the cave, and locked the door, and gave the key to the keeping of the prior. The Knight Owain, who had served under King Stephen, had lived a life of violence and dissolution; but filled with repentance, he sought by way of penance St. Patrick's Purgatory. Fifteen days he spent in preliminary devotions and alms-deeds, and then he heard mass, was washed with holy water, received the Holy Sacrament, and followed the sacred relics in procession, whilst the priests sang for him the Litany, "as lowde as they mygth crye." Then Sir Owain was locked in the cave, and he groped his way onward in darkness, till he reached a glimmering light; this brightened, and he came out into an underground land, where was a great hall and cloister, in which were men with shaven heads and white garments. These men informed the knight how he was to protect himself against the assaults of evil spirits. After having received this instruction, he heard "grete dynn," and

 "Then come ther develes on every syde,
Wykked gostes, I wote, fro Helle,
So mony that no tonge mygte telle:
They fylled the hows yn two rowes;
Some grenned on hym and some mad mowes."

He then visits the different places of torment. In one, the souls are nailed to the ground with glowing hot brazen nails; in another they are fastened to the soil by their hair, and are bitten by fiery reptiles. In another, again, they are hung over fires by those members which had sinned, whilst others are roasted on spits. In one place were pits in which were molten metals. In these pits were men and women, some up to their chins, others to their breasts, others to their hams. The knight was pushed by the devils into one of these pits and was dreadfully scalded, but he cried to the Savior and escaped. Then he visited a lake where souls were tormented with great cold; and a river of pitch, which he crossed on a frail and narrow bridge. Beyond this bridge was a wall of glass, in which opened a beautiful gate, which conducted into Paradise. This place so delighted him that he would fain have remained in it had he been suffered, but he was bidden return to earth and finish there his penitence. He was put into a shorter and pleasanter way back to the cave than that by which he had come; and the prior found the knight next morning at the door, waiting to be let out, and full of his adventures. He afterwards went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and ended his life in piety....

Froissart tells us of a conversation he had with one Sir William Lisle, who had been in the Purgatory. "I asked him of what sort was the cave that is in Ireland, called St. Patrick's Purgatory, and if that were true which was related of it. He replied that there certainly was such a cave, for he and another English knight had been there whilst the king was at Dublin, and said that they entered the cave, and were shut in as the sun set, and that they remained there all night and left it next morning at sunrise. And then I asked if he had seen the strange sights and visions spoken of. Then he said that when he and his companion had passed the gate of the Purgatory of St. Patrick, that they had descended as though into a cellar, and that a hot vapor rose towards them and so affected their heads that they were obliged to sit down on the stone steps. And after sitting there awhile they felt heavy with sleep, and so fell asleep, and slept all night. Then I asked if they knew where they were in their sleep, and what sort of dreams they had had; he answered that they had been oppressed with many fancies and wonderful dreams, different from those they were accustomed to in their chambers; and in the morning when they went out, in a short while they had clean forgotten their dreams and visions; wherefore he concluded that the whole matter was fancy."

The next to give us an account of his descent into St. Patrick's Purgatory is William Staunton of Durham, who went down into the cave on the Friday next after the feast of Holyrood, in the year 1409.

"I was put in by the Prior of St. Matthew, of the same Purgatory, with procession and devout prayers of the prior, and the convent gave me an orison to bless me with, and to write the first word in my forehead, the which prayer is this, 'Jhesu Christe, Fili Dei vivi, miserere mihi peccatori.' And the prior taught me to say this prayer when any spirit, good or evil, appeared unto me, or when I heard any noise that I should be afraid of." When left in the cave, William fell asleep, and dreamed that he saw coming to him St. John of Bridlington and St. Ive, who undertook to conduct him through the scenes of mystery. After they had proceeded a while, William was found to be guilty of a trespass against Holy Church, of which he had to be purged before he could proceed much further. Of this trespass he was accused by his sister, who appeared in the way. "I make my complaint unto you against my brother that here standeth; for this man that standeth hereby loved me, and I loved him, and either of us would have had the other according to God's law, as Holy Church teaches, and I should have gotten of me three-souls to God, but my brother hindered us from marrying." St. John of Bridlington then turned to William, and asked him why he did not allow the two who loved one another to be married. "I tell thee there is no man that hindereth man or woman from being united in the bond of God, though the man be a shepherd and all his ancestors and the woman be come of kings or of emperors, or if the man be come of never so high kin and the woman of never so low kin, if they love one another, but he sinneth in Holy Church against God and his deed, and therefore he shall have much pain and tribulations." Being assoiled of this crying sin, St. John takes William to a fire "grete and styngkyng," in which he sees people burning in their gay clothes. "I saw some with collars of gold about their necks, and some of silver, and some men I saw with gay girdles of silver and gold, and harnessed with horns about their necks, some with mo jagges on their clothes than whole cloth, others full of jingles and bells of silver all over set, and some with long pokes on their sleeves, and women with gowns trailing behind them a long space, and some with chaplets on their heads of gold and pearls and other precious stones. And I looked on him that I saw first in pain, and saw the collars and gay girdles and baldrics burning, and the fiends dragging him by two fingermits. And I saw the jagges that men were clothed in turn all to adders, to dragons, and to toads, and 'many other orrible bestes,' sucking them, and biting them, and stinging them with all their might, and through every jingle I saw fiends smite burning nails of fire into their flesh. I also saw fiends drawing down the skin of their shoulders like to pokes, and cutting them off, and drawing them to the heads of those they cut them from, all burning as fire. And then I saw the women that had side trails behind them, and the side trails cut off by the fiends and burned on their head; and some took of the cutting all burning and stopped therewith their mouths, their noses, and their ears. I saw also their gay chaplets of gold and pearls and precious stones turned into nails of iron, burning, and fiends with burning hammers smiting them into their heads." These were proud and vain people. Then he saw another fire, where the fiends were putting out people's eyes and pouring molten brass and lead into the sockets, and tearing off their arms and the nails of their feet and hands, and soldering them on again. This was the doom of swearers. William saw other fires wherein the devils were executing tortures varied and horrible on their unfortunate victims. We need follow him no further.

At the end of the fifteenth century the Purgatory in Lough Derg was destroyed by orders of the Pope, on hearing the report of a monk of Eymstadt in Holland, who had visited it, and had satisfied himself that there was nothing in it more remarkable than in any ordinary cavern. The Purgatory was closed on St. Patrick's Day, 1497; but the belief in it was not so speedily banished from popular superstition. Calderon made it the subject of one of his dramas; and it became the subject of numerous popular chap-books in France and Spain, where during last century it occupied in the religious belief of the people precisely the same position which is assumed by the marvelous visions of heaven and hell sold by hawkers in England at the present day.


From 'The Vicar of Morwenstow'

When the Rev. R.S. Hawker came to Morwenstow in 1834, he found that he had much to contend with, not only in the external condition of church and vicarage, but also in that which is of greater importance....

"The farmers of the parish were simple-hearted and respectable; but the denizens of the hamlet, after receiving the wages of the harvest time, eked out a precarious existence in the winter, and watched eagerly and expectantly for the shipwrecks that were certain to happen, and upon the plunder of which they surely calculated for the scant provision of their families. The wrecked goods supplied them with the necessaries of life, and the rended planks of the dismembered vessel contributed to the warmth of the hovel hearthstone.

"When Mr. Hawker came to Morwenstow, 'the cruel and covetous natives of the strand, the wreckers of the seas and rocks for flotsam and jetsam,' held as an axiom and an injunction to be strictly obeyed:--

"'Save a stranger from the sea,
And he'll turn your enemy!'

"The Morwenstow wreckers allowed a fainting brother to perish in the sea before their eyes without extending a hand of safety,--nay, more, for the egotistical canons of a shipwreck, superstitiously obeyed, permitted and absolved the crime of murder by 'shoving the drowning man into the sea,' to be swallowed by the waves. Cain! Cain! where is thy brother? And the wrecker of Morwenstow answered and pleaded in excuse, as in the case of undiluted brandy after meals, 'It is Cornish custom.' The illicit spirit of Cornish custom was supplied by the smuggler, and the gold of the wreck paid him for the cursed abomination of drink."

One of Mr. Hawker's parishioners, Peter Barrow, had been for full forty years a wrecker, but of a much more harmless description: he had been a watcher of the coast for such objects as the waves might turn up to reward his patience. Another was Tristam Pentire, a hero of contraband adventure, and agent for sale of smuggled cargoes in bygone times. With a merry twinkle of the eye, and in a sharp and ringing tone, he loved to tell such tales of wild adventure and of "derring do," as would make the foot of the exciseman falter and his cheek turn pale.

During the latter years of last century there lived in Wellcombe, one of Mr. Hawker's parishes, a man whose name is still remembered with terror--Cruel Coppinger. There are people still alive who remember his wife.

Local recollections of the man have molded themselves into the rhyme--

Will you hear of Cruel Coppinger?
   He came from a foreign land:
He was brought to us by the salt water,
   He was carried away by the wind!"

His arrival on the north coast of Cornwall was signalized by a terrific hurricane. The storm came up Channel from the south-west. A strange vessel of foreign rig went on the reefs of Harty Race, and was broken to pieces by the waves. The only man who came ashore was the skipper. A crowd was gathered on the sand, on horseback and on foot, women as well as men, drawn together by the tidings of a probable wreck. Into their midst rushed the dripping stranger, and bounded suddenly upon the crupper of a young damsel who had ridden to the beach to see the sight. He grasped her bridle, and shouting in some foreign tongue, urged the double-laden animal into full speed, and the horse naturally took his homeward way. The damsel was Miss Dinah Hamlyn. The stranger descended at her father's door, and lifted her off her saddle. He then announced himself as a Dane, named Coppinger. He took his place at the family board, and there remained until he had secured the affections and hand of Dinah. The father died, and Coppinger at once succeeded to the management and control of the house, which thenceforth became a den and refuge of every lawless character along the coast. All kinds of wild uproar and reckless revelry appalled the neighborhood day and night. It was discovered that an organized band of smugglers, wreckers, and poachers made this house their rendezvous, and that "Cruel Coppinger" was their captain. In those days, and in that far-away region, the peaceable inhabitants were unprotected. There was not a single resident gentleman of property and weight in the entire district. No revenue officer durst exercise vigilance west of the Tamar; and to put an end to all such surveillance at once, the head of a gauger was chopped off by one of Coppinger's gang on the gunwale of a boat.

Strange vessels began to appear at regular intervals on the coast, and signals were flashed from the headlands to lead them into the safest creek or cove. Amongst these vessels, one, a full-rigged schooner, soon became ominously conspicuous. She was for long the chief terror of the Cornish Channel. Her name was The Black Prince. Once, with Coppinger on board, she led a revenue-cutter into an intricate channel near the Bull Rock, where, from knowledge of the bearings, The Black Prince escaped scathless, while the king's vessel perished with all on board. In those times, if any landsman became obnoxious to Coppinger's men, he was seized and carried on board The Black Prince, and obliged to save his life by enrolling himself in the crew. In 1835, an old man of the age of ninety-seven related to Mr. Hawker that he had been so abducted, and after two years' service had been ransomed by his friends with a large sum. "And all," said the old man very simply, "because I happened to see one man kill another, and they thought I would mention it."

Amid such practices, ill-gotten gold began to flow and ebb in the hands of Coppinger. At one time he had enough money to purchase a freehold farm bordering on the sea. When the day of transfer came, he and one of his followers appeared before the lawyer and paid the money in dollars, ducats, doubloons, and pistoles. The man of law demurred, but Coppinger with an oath bade him take this or none. The document bearing Coppinger's name is still extant. His signature is traced in stern bold characters, and under his autograph is the word "Thuro" (thorough) also in his own handwriting.

Long impunity increased Coppinger's daring. There were certain bridle roads along the fields over which he exercised exclusive control. He issued orders that no man was to pass over them by night, and accordingly from that hour none ever did. They were called "Coppinger's Tracks." They all converged at a headland which had the name of Steeple Brink. Here the cliff sheered off, and stood three hundred feet of perpendicular height, a precipice of smooth rock towards the beach, with an overhanging face one hundred feet down from the brow. Under this was a cave, only reached by a cable ladder lowered from above, and made fast below on a projecting crag. It received the name of "Coppinger's Cave." Here sheep were tethered to the rock, and fed on stolen hay and corn till slaughtered; kegs of brandy and hollands were piled around; chests of tea; and iron-bound sea-chests contained the chattels and revenues of the Coppinger royalty of the sea....

But the end arrived. Money became scarce, and more than one armed king's cutter was seen day and night hovering off the land. So he "who came with the water went with the wind." His disappearance, like his arrival, was commemorated by a storm.

A wrecker who had gone to watch the shore, saw, as the sun went down, a full-rigged vessel standing off and on. Coppinger came to the beach, put off in a boat to the vessel, and jumped on board. She spread canvas, stood off shore, and with Coppinger in her was seen no more. That night was one of storm. Whether the vessel rode it out, or was lost, none knew.

In 1864 a large ship was seen in distress off the coast. The Rev. A. Thynne, rector of Kilkhampton, at once drove to Morwenstow. The vessel was riding at anchor a mile off shore, west of Hartland Race. He found Mr. Hawker in the greatest excitement, pacing his room and shouting for some things he wanted to put in his greatcoat-pockets, and intensely impatient because his carriage was not round. With him was the Rev. W. Valentine, rector of Whixley in Yorkshire, then resident at Chapel in the parish of Morwenstow.

"What are you going to do?" asked the rector of Kilkhampton: "I shall drive at once to Bude for the lifeboat."

"No good!" thundered the vicar, "no good comes out of the west. You must go east. I shall go to Clovelly, and then, if that fails, to Appledore. I shall not stop till I have got a lifeboat to take those poor fellows off the wreck."

"Then," said the rector of Kilkhampton, "I shall go to Bude, and see to the lifeboat there being brought out."

"Do as you like; but mark my words, no good comes of turning to the west. Why," said he, "in the primitive church they turned to the west to renounce the Devil."

His carriage came to the door, and he drove off with Mr. Valentine as fast as his horses could spin him along the hilly, wretched roads.

Before he reached Clovelly, a boat had put off with the mate from the ship, which was the Margaret Quail, laden with salt. The captain would not leave the vessel; for, till deserted by him, no salvage could be claimed. The mate was picked up on the way, and the three reached Clovelly.

Down the street proceeded the following procession--the street of Clovelly being a flight of stairs:--

First, the vicar of Morwenstow in a claret-colored coat, with long tails flying in the gale, blue knitted jersey, and pilot-boots, his long silver locks fluttering about his head. He was appealing to the fishermen and sailors of Clovelly to put out in their lifeboat to rescue the crew of the Margaret Quail. The men stood sulky, lounging about with folded arms, or hands in their pockets, and sou'-westers slouched over their brows. The women were screaming at the tops of their voices that they would not have their husbands and sons and sweethearts enticed away to risk their lives to save wrecked men. Above the clamor of their shrill tongues and the sough of the wind rose the roar of the vicar's voice: he was convulsed with indignation, and poured forth the most sacred appeals to their compassion for drowning sailors.

Second in the procession moved the Rev. W. Valentine, with purse full of gold in his hand, offering any amount of money to the Clovelly men, if they would only go forth in the lifeboat to the wreck.

Third came the mate of the Margaret Quail, restrained by no consideration of cloth, swearing and damning right and left, in a towering rage at the cowardice of the Clovelly men.

Fourth came John, the servant of Mr. Hawker, with bottles of whisky under his arm, another inducement to the men to relent and be merciful to their imperiled brethren.

The first appeal was to their love of heaven and to their humanity; the second was to their pockets, their love of gold; the third to their terrors, their fear of Satan, to whom they were consigned; and the fourth to their stomachs, their love of grog.

But all appeals were in vain. Then Mr. Hawker returned to his carriage, and drove away farther east to Appledore, where he secured the lifeboat. It was mounted on a wagon; ten horses were harnessed to it; and as fast as possible it was conveyed to the scene of distress.

But in the mean while the captain of the Margaret Quail, despairing of help and thinking that his vessel would break up under him, came off in his boat with the rest of the crew, trusting rather to a rotten boat, patched with canvas which they had tarred over, than to the tender mercies of the covetous Clovellites, in whose veins ran the too recent blood of wreckers. The only living being left on board was a poor dog.

No sooner was the captain seen to leave the ship than the Clovelly men lost their repugnance to go to sea. They manned boats at once, gained the Margaret Quail, and claimed three thousand pounds for salvage.

There was an action in court, as the owners refused to pay such a sum; and it was lost by the Clovelly men, who however got an award of twelve hundred pounds. The case turned somewhat on the presence of the dog on the wreck; and it was argued that the vessel was not deserted, because a dog had been left on board to keep guard for its masters. The owner of the cargo failed; and the amount actually paid to the salvors was six hundred pounds to two steam-tugs (three hundred pounds each), and three hundred pounds to the Clovelly skiff and sixteen men.

Mr. Hawker went round the country indignantly denouncing the sailors of Clovelly, and with justice. It roused all the righteous wrath in his breast. And as may well be believed, no love was borne him by the inhabitants of that little fishing village. They would probably have made a wreck of him had he ventured among them.

Jane Barlow


he general reader has yet to learn the most private and sacred events of Miss Jane Barlow's life, now known only to herself and friends. She is the daughter of Dr. Barlow of Trinity College, and lives in the seclusion of a collage at Raheny, a hamlet near Dublin. Her family has been in Ireland for generations, and she comes of German and Norman stock. As some one has said, the knowledge and skill displayed in depicting Irish peasant life, which her books show, are hers not through Celtic blood and affinities, but by a sympathetic genius and inspiration.

Jane Barlow.

The publication of her writings in book form was preceded by the appearance of some poems and stories in the magazines, the Dublin University Review of 1885 containing 'Walled Out; or, Eschatology in a Bog.' 'Irish Idyls' (1892), and 'Bogland Studies' (of the same year), show the same pitiful, sombre pictures of Irish peasant life about the sodden-roofed mud hut and "pitaties" boiling, which only a genial, impulsive, generous, light-hearted, half-Greek and half-philosophic people could make endurable to the reader or attractive to the writer. The innate sweetness of the Irish character, which the author brings out with fine touches, makes it worth portrayal. "It is safe to say," writes a critic, "that the philanthropist or the political student interested in the eternal Irish problem will learn more from Miss Barlow's twin volumes than from a dozen Royal Commissions and a hundred Blue Books." Her sympathy constantly crops out, as, for instance, in the mirthful tale of 'Jerry Dunne's Basket,' where--

"Andy Joyce had an ill-advised predilection for seeing things which he called 'dacint and proper' about him, and he built some highly superior sheds on the lawn, to the bettering, no doubt, of his cattle's condition. The abrupt raising of his rent by fifty per cent, was a broad hint which most men would have taken; and it did keep Andy ruefully quiet for a season or two. Then, however, having again saved up a trifle, he could not resist the temptation to drain the swampy corner of the farthest river-field, which was as kind a bit of land as you could wish, only for the water lying on it, and in which he afterward raised himself a remarkably fine crop of white oats. The sight of them 'done his heart good,' he said, exultantly, nothing recking that it was the last touch of farmer's pride he would ever feel. Yet on the next quarter-day the Joyces received notice to quit, and their landlord determined to keep the vacated holding in his own hands; those new sheds were just the thing for his young stock. Andy, in fact, had done his best to improve himself off the face of the earth."

The long story which Miss Barlow has published, 'Kerrigan's Quality' (1894), is told with her distinguishing charm, but the book has not the close-knit force of the 'Idyls.' Miss Barlow herself prefers the 'Bogland Studies,' because, she says, they are "a sort of poetry." "I had set my heart too long upon being a poet ever to give up the idea quite contentedly; 'the old hope is hardest to be lost.' A real poet I can never be, as I have, I fear, nothing of the lyrical faculty; and a poet without that is worse than a bird without wings, so, like Mrs. Browning's Nazianzen, I am doomed to look 'at the lyre hung out of reach.'"

Besides the three books named, Miss Barlow has published 'Mockus of the Shallow Waters' (1893); 'The End of Elfintown' (1894); 'The Battle of the Frogs and Mice in English' (1894); 'Maureen's Fairing and other Stories' (1895); and 'Strangers at Lisconnel,' a second series of 'Irish Idyls' (1895). In the last book we again have the sorrows and joys of the small hamlet in the west of Ireland, where "the broad level spreads away and away to the horizon before and behind and on either side of you, very sombre-hued, yet less black-a-vised than more frequent bergs," where in the distance the mountains "loom up on its borders much less substantial, apparently, in fabric than so many spirals of blue turf smoke," and where the curlew's cry "can set a whole landscape to melancholy in one chromatic phrase."


From 'Strangers at Lisconnel'

Still, although the Tinkers' name has become a byword among us through a long series of petty offenses rather than any one flagrant crime, there is a notable misdeed on record against them, which has never been forgotten in the lapse of many years. It was perpetrated soon after the death of Mrs. Kilfoyle's mother, the Widow Joyce, an event which is but dimly recollected now at Lisconnel, as nearly half a century has gone by. She did not very long survive her husband, and he had left his roots behind in his little place at Clonmena, where, as we know, he had farmed not wisely but too well, and had been put out of it for his pains to expend his energy upon our oozy black sods and stark-white bowlders. But instead he moped about, fretting for his fair green fields, and few proudly cherished beasts,--especially the little old Kerry cow. And at his funeral the neighbors said, "Ah, bedad, poor man, God help him, he niver held up his head agin from that good day to this."

When Mrs. Joyce felt that it behooved her to settle her affairs, she found that the most important possession she had to dispose of was her large cloak. She had acquired it at the prosperous time of her marriage, and it was a very superior specimen of its kind, in dark-blue cloth being superfine, and its ample capes and capacious hood being double-lined and quilted and stitched in a way which I cannot pretend to describe, but which made it a most substantial and handsome garment. If Mrs. Joyce had been left entirely to her own choice in the matter, I think she would have bequeathed it to her younger daughter Theresa, notwithstanding that custom clearly designated Bessy Kilfoyle, the eldest of the family, as the heiress. For she said to herself that poor Bessy had her husband and childer to consowl her, any way, but little Theresa, the crathur, had ne'er such a thing at all, and wouldn't have, not she, God love her. "And the back of me hand to some I could name." It seemed to her that to leave the child the cloak would be almost like keeping a warm wing spread over her in the cold wide world; and there was no fear that Bessy would take it amiss.

But Theresa herself protested strongly against such a disposition, urging for one thing that sure she'd be lost in it entirely if ever she put it on; a not unfounded objection, as Theresa was several sizes smaller than Bessy, and even she fell far short of her mother in stature and portliness. Theresa also said confidently with a sinking heart, "But sure, anyhow, mother jewel, what matter about it? 'Twill be all gone to houles and flitters and thraneens, and so it will, plase goodness, afore there's any talk of anybody else wearin' it except your own ould self." And she expressed much the same conviction one day to her next-door neighbor, old Biddy Ryan, to whom she had run in for the loan of a sup of sour milk, which Mrs. Joyce fancied. To Biddy's sincere regret she could offer Theresa barely a skimpy noggin of milk, and only a meagre shred of encouragement; and by way of eking out the latter with its sorry substitute, consolation, she said as she tilted the jug perpendicularly to extract its last drop:--

"Well, sure, me dear, I do be sayin' me prayers for her every sun goes over our heads that she might be left wid you this great while yet; 'deed, I do so. But ah, acushla, if we could be keepin' people that-a-way, would there be e'er a funeral iver goin' black on the road at all at all? I'm thinkin' there's scarce a one livin', and he as ould and foolish and little-good-for as you plase, but some crathur'ill be grudgin' him to his grave, that's himself may be all the while wishin' he was in it. Or, morebetoken, how can we tell what quare ugly misfortin' thim that's took is took out of the road of, that we should be as good as biddin' thim stay till it comes to ruinate them? So it's prayin' away I am, honey," said old Biddy, whom Theresa could not help hating heart-sickly. "But like enough the Lord might know better than to be mindin' a word I say."

And it seemed that He did; anyway, the day soon came when the heavy blue cloak passed into Mrs. Kilfoyle's possession.

At that time it was clear, still autumn weather, with just a sprinkle of frost white on the wayside grass, like the wraith of belated moonlight, when the sun rose, and shimmering into rainbow stars by noon. But about a month later the winter swooped suddenly on Lisconnel: with wild winds and cold rain that made crystal-silver streaks down the purple of the great mountainheads peering in over our bogland.

So one perishing Saturday Mrs. Kilfoyle made up her mind that she would wear her warm legacy on the bleak walk to Mass next morning, and reaching it down from where it was stored away among the rafters wrapped in an old sack, she shook it respectfully out of its straight-creased folds. As she did so she noticed that the binding of the hood had ripped in one place, and that the lining was fraying out, a mishap which should be promptly remedied before it spread any further. She was not a very expert needlewoman, and she thought she had better run over the way to consult Mrs. O'Driscoll, then a young matron, esteemed the handiest and most helpful person in Lisconnel.

"It's the nathur of her to be settin' things straight wherever she goes," Mrs. Kilfoyle said to herself as she stood in her doorway waiting for the rain to clear off, and looking across the road to the sodden roof which sheltered her neighbor's head. It had long been lying low, vanquished by a trouble which even she could not set to rights, and some of the older people say that things have gone a little crookeder in Lisconnel ever since.

The shower was a vicious one, with the sting of sleet and hail in its drops, pelted about by gusts that ruffled up the puddles into ripples, all set on end, like the feathers of a frightened hen. The hens themselves stood disconsolately sheltering under the bank, mostly on one leg, as if they preferred to keep up the slightest possible connection with such a very damp and disagreeable earth. You could not see far in any direction for the fluttering sheets of mist, and a stranger who had been coming along the road from Duffelane stepped out of them abruptly quite close to Mrs. Kilfoyle's door, before she knew that there was anybody near. He was a tall, elderly man, gaunt and grizzled, very ragged, and so miserable-looking that Mrs. Kilfoyle could have felt nothing but compassion for him had he not carried over his shoulder a bunch of shiny cans, which was to her mind as satisfactory a passport as a ticket of leave. For although these were yet rather early days at Lisconnel, the Tinkers had already begun to establish their reputation. So when he stopped in front of her and said, "Good-day, ma'am," she only replied distantly, "It's a hardy mornin'," and hoped he would move on. But he said, "It's cruel could, ma'am," and continued to stand looking at her with wide and woful eyes, in which she conjectured--erroneously, as it happened--hunger for warmth or food. Under these circumstances, what could be done by a woman who was conscious of owning a redly glowing hearth with a big black pot, fairly well filled, clucking and bobbing upon it? To possess such wealth as this, and think seriously of withholding a share from anybody who urges the incontestable claim of wanting it, is a mood altogether foreign to Lisconnel, where the responsibilities of poverty are no doubt very imperfectly understood. Accordingly Mrs. Kilfoyle said to the tattered tramp, "Ah, thin, step inside and have a couple of hot pitaties." And when he accepted the invitation without much alacrity, as if he had something else on his mind, she picked for him out of the steam two of the biggest potatoes, whose earth-colored skins, cracking, showed a fair flouriness within; and she shook a little heap of salt, the only relish she had, onto the chipped white plate as she handed it to him, saying, "Sit you down be the fire, there, and git a taste of the heat."

Then she lifted her old shawl over her head, and ran out to see where at all Brian and Thady were gettin' their deaths on her under the pours of rain; and as she passed the Keoghs' adjacent door--which was afterward the Sheridans', whence their Larry departed so reluctantly--young Mrs. Keogh called her to come in and look at "the child," who, being a new and unique possession, was liable to develop alarmingly strange symptoms, and had now "woke up wid his head that hot, you might as well put your hand on the hob of the grate." Mrs. Kilfoyle stayed only long enough to suggest, as a possible remedy, a drop of two-milk whey. "But ah, sure, woman dear, where at all 'ud we come by that, wid the crathur of a goat scarce wettin' the bottom of the pan?" and to draw reassuring omens from the avidity with which the invalid grabbed at a sugared crust. In fact, she was less than five minutes out of her house; but when she returned to it, she found it empty. First, she noted with a moderate thrill of surprise that her visitor had gone away leaving his potatoes untouched; and next, with a rough shock of dismay, that her cloak no longer lay on the window seat where she had left it. From that moment she never felt any real doubts about what had befallen her, though for some time she kept on trying to conjure them up, and searched wildly round and round and round her little room, like a distracted bee strayed into the hollow furze-bush, before she sped over to Mrs. O'Driscoll with the news of her loss.

It spread rapidly through Lisconnel, and brought the neighbors together exclaiming and condoling, though not in great force, as there was a fair going on down beyant, which nearly all the men and some of the women had attended. This was accounted cruel unlucky, as it left the place without any one able-bodied and active enough to go in pursuit of the thief. A prompt start might have overtaken him, especially as he was said to be a "thrifle lame-futted"; though Mrs. M'Gurk, who had seen him come down the hill, opined that "'twasn't the sort of lameness 'ud hinder the miscreant of steppin' out, on'y a quare manner of flourish he had in a one of his knees, as if he was gatherin' himself up to make an offer at a grasshopper's lep, and then thinkin' better of it."

Little Thady Kilfoyle reported that he had met the strange man a bit down the road, "leggin' it along at a great rate, wid a black rowl of somethin' under his arm that he looked to be crumplin' up as small as he could,"--the word "crumpling" went acutely to Mrs. Kilfoyle's heart,--and some long-sighted people declared that they could still catch glimpses of a receding figure through the hovering fog on the way toward Sallinbeg.

"I'd think he'd be beyant seein' afore now," said Mrs. Kilfoyle, who stood in the rain, the disconsolate centre of the group about her door; all women and children except old Johnny Keogh, who was so bothered and deaf that he grasped new situations slowly and feebly, and had now an impression of somebody's house being on fire. "He must ha' took off wid himself the instiant me back was turned, for ne'er a crumb had he touched of the pitaties."

"Maybe he'd that much shame in him," said Mrs. O'Driscoll.

"They'd a right to ha' choked him, troth and they had," said Ody Rafferty's aunt.

"Is it chokin'?" said young Mrs. M'Gurk, bitterly. "Sure the bigger thief a body is, the more he'll thrive on whatever he gits; you might think villiny was as good as butter to people's pitaties, you might so. Sharne how are you? Liker he'd ate all he could swally in the last place he got the chance of layin' his hands on anythin'."

"Och, woman alive, but it's the fool you were to let him out of your sight," said Ody Rafferty's aunt. "If it had been me, I'd niver ha' took me eyes off him, for the look of him on'y goin' by made me flesh creep upon me bones."

"'Deed was I," said Mrs. Kilfoyle, sorrowfully, "a fine fool. And vexed she'd be, rael vexed, if she guessed the way it was gone on us, for the dear knows what dirty ould rapscallions 'ill get the wearin' of it now. Rael vexed she'd be."

This speculation was more saddening than the actual loss of the cloak, though that bereft her wardrobe of far and away its most valuable property, which should have descended as an heirloom to her little Katty, who, however, being at present but three months old, lay sleeping happily unaware of the cloud that had come over her prospects.

"I wish to goodness a couple of the lads 'ud step home wid themselves this minit of time," said Mrs. M'Gurk. "They'd come tip wid him yet, and take it off of him ready enough. And smash his ugly head for him, if he would be givin' them any impidence."

"Aye, and 'twould be a real charity--the mane baste;--or sling him in one of the bog-houles," said the elder Mrs. Keogh, a mild-looking little old woman. "I'd liefer than nine nine-pennies see thim comin' along. But I'm afeard it's early for thim yet."

Everybody's eyes turned, as she spoke, toward the ridge of the Knockawn, though with no particular expectation of seeing what they wished upon it. But behold, just at that moment three figures, blurred among the gray rain-mists, looming into view.

"Be the powers," said Mrs. M'Gurk, jubilantly, "it's Ody Rafferty himself. To your sowls! Now you've a great good chance, ma'am, to be gettin' it back. He's the boy 'ill leg it over all before him"--for in those days Ody was lithe and limber--"and it's hard-set the thievin' Turk 'ill be to get the better of him at a racin' match--Hi--Och." She had begun to hail him with a call eager and shrill, which broke off in a strangled croak, like a young cock's unsuccessful effort. "Och, murdher, murdher, murdher," she said to the bystanders, in a disgusted undertone. "I'll give you me misfort'nit word thim other two is the pólis."

Now it might seem on the face of things that the arrival of those two active and stalwart civil servants would have been welcomed as happening just in the nick of time; yet it argues an alien ignorance to suppose such a view of the matter by any means possible. The men in invisible green tunics belonged completely to the category of pitaty-blights, rint-warnin's, fevers, and the like devastators of life, that dog a man more or less all through it, but close in on him, a pitiful quarry, when the bad seasons come and the childer and the old crathurs are starvin' wid the hunger, and his own heart is broke; therefore, to accept assistance from them in their official capacity would have been a proceeding most reprehensibly unnatural. To put a private quarrel or injury into the hands of the peelers were a disloyal making of terms with the public foe; a condoning of great permanent wrongs for the sake of a trivial temporary convenience. Lisconnel has never been skilled in the profitable and ignoble art of utilizing its enemies. Not that anybody was more than vaguely conscious of these sentiments, much less attempted to express them in set terms. When a policeman appeared there in an inquiring mood, what people said among themselves was, "Musha cock him up. I hope he'll get his health till I would be tellin' him," or words to that effect; while in reply to his questions, they made statements superficially so clear and simple, and essentially so bewilderingly involved, that the longest experience could do little more for a constable than teach him the futility of wasting his time in attempts to disentangle them.

Thus it was that when Mrs. Kilfoyle saw who Ody's companions were, she bade a regretful adieu to her hopes of recovering her stolen property. For how could she set him on the Tinker's felonious track without apprising them likewise? You might as well try to huroosh one chicken off a rafter and not scare the couple that were huddled beside it. The impossibility became more obvious presently as the constables, striding quickly down to where the group of women stood in the rain and wind with fluttering shawls and flapping cap-borders, said briskly, "Good-day to you all. Did any of yous happen to see e'er a one of them tinkerin' people goin' by here this mornin'?"

It was a moment of strong temptation to everybody, but especially to Mrs. Kilfoyle, who had in her mind that vivid picture of her precious cloak receding from her along the wet road, recklessly wisped up in the grasp of as thankless a thievin' black-hearted slieveen as ever stepped, and not yet, perhaps, utterly out of reach, though every fleeting instant carried it nearer to that hopeless point. However, she and her neighbors stood the test unshaken. Mrs. Ryan rolled her eyes deliberatively, and said to Mrs. M'Gurk, "The saints bless us, was it yisterday or the day before, me dear, you said you seen a couple of them below, near ould O'Beirne's?"

And Mrs. M'Gurk replied, "Ah, sure, not at all, ma'am, glory be to goodness. I couldn't ha' tould you such a thing, for I wasn't next or nigh the place. Would it ha' been Ody Rafferty's aunt? She was below there fetchin' up a bag of male, and bedad she came home that dhreeped, the crathur, you might ha' thought she'd been after fishin' it up out of the botthom of one of thim bog-houles."

And Mrs. Kilfoyle heroically hustled her Thady into the house, as she saw him on the brink of beginning loudly to relate his encounter with a strange man, and desired him to whisht and stay where he was in a manner so sternly repressive that he actually remained there as if he had been a pebble dropped into a pool, and not, as usual, a cork to bob up again immediately.

Then Mrs. M'Gurk made a bold stroke, designed to shake off the hampering presence of the professionals, and enable Ody's amateur services to be utilized while there was yet time.

"I declare," she said, "now that I think of it, I seen a feller crossin' the ridge along there a while ago, like as if he was comin' from Sallinbeg ways; and according to the apparence of him, I wouldn't won'er if he was a one of thim tinker crathures--carryin' a big clump of cans he was, at any rate--I noticed the shine of thim. And he couldn't ha' got any great way yet to spake of, supposin' there was anybody lookin' to folly after him."

But Constable Black crushed her hopes as he replied, "Ah, it's nobody comin' from Sallinbeg that we've anything to say to. There's after bein' a robbery last night, down below at Jerry Dunne's--a shawl as good as new took, that his wife's ragin' over frantic, along wid a sight of fowl and other things. And the Tinkers that was settled this long while in the boreen at the back of his haggard is quit out of it afore daylight this mornin', every rogue of them. So we'd have more than a notion where the property's went to if we could tell the road they've took. We thought like enough some of them might ha' come this way."

Now, Mr. Jerry Dunne was not a popular person in Lisconnel, where he has even become, as we have seen, proverbial for what we call "ould naygurliness." So there was a general tendency to say, "The divil's cure to him," and listen complacently to any details their visitors could impart. For in his private capacity a policeman, provided that he be otherwise "a dacint lad," which to do him justice is commonly the case, may join, with a few unobtrusive restrictions, in our neighborly gossips; the rule in fact being--Free admission except on business.

Only Mrs. Kilfoyle was so much cast down by her misfortune that she could not raise herself to the level of an interest in the affairs of her thrifty suitor, and the babble of voices relating and commenting sounded as meaningless as the patter of the drops which jumped like little fishes in the large puddle at their feet. It had spread considerably before Constable Black said to his comrade:--

"Well, Daly, we'd better be steppin' home wid ourselves as wise as we come, as the man said when he'd axed his road of the ould black horse in the dark lane. There's no good goin' further, for the whole gang of them's scattered over the counthry agin now like a seedin' thistle in a high win'."

"Aye, bedad," said Constable Daly, "and be the same token, this win' ud skin a tanned elephant. It's on'y bogged and drenched we'd git. Look at what's comin' up over there. That rain's snow on the hills, every could drop of it; I seen Ben Bawn this mornin' as white as the top of a musharoon, and it's thickenin' wid sleet here this minute, and so it is."

The landscape did, indeed, frown upon further explorations. In quarters where the rain had abated it seemed as if the mists had curdled on the breath of the bitter air, and they lay floating in long white bars and reefs low on the track of their own shadow, which threw down upon the sombre bogland deeper stains of gloom. Here and there one caught on the crest of some gray-bowldered knoll, and was teazed into fleecy threads that trailed melting instead of tangling. But toward the north the horizon was all blank, with one vast, smooth slant of slate-color, like a pent-house roof, which had a sliding motion onwards.

Ody Rafferty pointed to it and said, "Troth, it's teemin' powerful this instiant up there in the mountains. 'Twill be much if you land home afore it's atop of you; for 'twould be the most I could do myself."

And as the constables departed hastily, most people forgot the stolen cloak for a while to wonder whether their friends would escape being entirely drowned on the way back from the fair.

Mrs. Kilfoyle, however, still stood in deep dejection at her door, and said, "Och, but she was the great fool to go let the likes of him set fut widin' her house."

To console her Mrs. O'Driscoll said, "Ah, sure, sorra a fool were you, woman dear; how would you know the villiny of him? And if you'd turned the man away widout givin' him e'er a bit, it's bad you'd be thinkin' of it all the day after."

And to improve the occasion for her juniors, old Mrs. Keogh added, "Aye, and morebetoken you'd ha' been committin' a sin."

But Mrs. Kilfoyle replied with much candor, "'Deed, then, I'd a dale liefer be after committin' a sin, or a dozen sins, than to have me poor mother's good cloak thieved away on me, and walkin' wild about the world."

As it happened, the fate of Mrs. Kilfoyle's cloak was very different from her forecast. But I do not think that a knowledge of it would have teen consolatory to her by any means. If she had heard of it, she would probably have said, "The cross of Christ upon us. God be good to the misfort'nit crathur." For she was not at all of an implacable temper, and would, under the circumstances, have condoned even the injury that obliged her to appear at Mass with a flannel petticoat over her head until the end of her days. Yet she did hold the Tinkers in a perhaps somewhat too unqualified reprobation. For there are tinkers and tinkers. Some of them, indeed, are stout and sturdy thieves,--veritable birds of prey,--whose rapacity is continually questing for plunder. But some of them have merely the magpies' and jackdaws' thievish propensity for picking up what lies temptingly in their way. And some few are so honest that they pass by as harmlessly as a wedge of high-flying wild duck. And I have heard it said that to places like Lisconnel their pickings and stealings have at worst never been so serious a matter as those of another flock, finer of feather, but not less predacious in their habits, who roosted, for the most part, a long way off, and made their collections by deputy.

Copyrighted 1895, by Dodd, Mead and Company.


From 'Bogland Studies'

An' wanst we were restin' a bit in the sun on the smooth hillside,
Where the grass felt warm to your hand as the fleece of a sheep, for wide,
As ye'd look overhead an' around, 'twas all a-blaze and a-glow,
An' the blue was blinkin' up from the blackest bog-holes below;

An' the scent o' the bogmint was sthrong on the air, an' never a sound
But the plover's pipe that ye'll seldom miss by a lone bit o' ground.
An' he laned--Misther Pierce--on his elbow, an' stared at the sky as he smoked,
Till just in an idle way he sthretched out his hand an' sthroked
The feathers o' wan of the snipe that was kilt an' lay close by on the grass;
An' there was the death in the crathur's eyes like a breath upon glass.

An' sez he, "It's quare to think that a hole ye might bore wid a pin
'Ill be wide enough to let such a power o' darkness in
On such a power o' light; an' it's quarer to think," sez he,
"That wan o' these days the like is bound to happen to you an' me."
Thin Misther Barry, he sez: "Musha, how's wan to know but there's light
On t'other side o' the dark, as the day comes afther the night?"
An' "Och," says Misther Pierce, "what more's our knowin'--save the mark--
Than guessin' which way the chances run, an' thinks I they run to the dark;
Or else agin now some glint of a bame'd ha' come slithered an' slid;
Sure light's not aisy to hide, an' what for should it be hid?"
Up he stood with a sort o' laugh: "If on light," sez he, "ye're set,
Let's make the most o' this same, as it's all that we're like to get."

Thim were his words, as I minded well, for often afore an' sin,
The 'dintical thought 'ud bother me head that seemed to bother him thin;
An' many's the time I'd be wond'rin' whatever it all might mane,
The sky, an' the lan', an' the bastes, an' the rest o' thim plain as plain,
And all behind an' beyant thim a big black shadow let fall;
Ye'll sthrain the sight out of your eyes, but there it stands like a wall.

"An' there," sez I to meself, "we're goin' wherever we go,
But where we'll be whin we git there it's never a know I know."
Thin whiles I thought I was maybe a sthookawn to throuble me mind

Wid sthrivin' to comprehind onnathural things o' the kind;
An' Quality, now, that have larnin', might know the rights o' the case,
But ignorant wans like me had betther lave it in pace.

Priest, tubbe sure, an' Parson, accordin' to what they say,
The whole matther's plain as a pikestaff an' clear as the day,
An' to hear thim talk of a world beyant, ye'd think at the laste
They'd been dead an' buried half their lives, an' had thramped it from west to aist;
An' who's for above an' who's for below they've as pat as if they could tell
The name of every saint in heaven an' every divil in hell.
But cock up the lives of thimselves to be settlin' it all to their taste--
I sez, and the wife she sez I'm no more nor a haythin baste--

For mighty few o' thim's rael Quality, musha, they're mostly a pack
O' playbians, each wid a tag to his name an' a long black coat to his back;
An' it's on'y romancin' they are belike; a man must stick be his trade,
An' they git their livin' by lettin' on they know how wan's sowl is made.

And in chapel or church they're bound to know somethin' for sure, good or bad,
Or where'd be the sinse o' their preachin' an' prayers an' hymns an' howlin' like mad?
So who'd go mindin' o' thim? barrin' women, in coorse, an' wanes,
That believe 'most aught ye tell thim, if they don't understand what it manes--
Bedad, if it worn't the nathur o' women to want the wit,
Parson and Priest I'm a-thinkin' might shut up their shop an' quit.

But, och, it's lost an' disthracted the crathurs 'ud be without
Their bit of divarsion on Sundays whin all o' thim gits about,
Cluth'rin' an' pluth'rin' together like hins, an' a-roostin' in rows,
An' meetin' their frins an' their neighbors, and wearin' their dacint clothes.
An' sure it's quare that the clergy can't ever agree to keep
Be tellin' the same thrue story, sin' they know such a won'erful heap;

For many a thing Priest tells ye that Parson sez is a lie,
An' which has a right to be wrong, the divil a much know I,
For all the differ I see 'twixt the pair o' thim 'd fit in a nut:
Wan for the Union, an' wan for the League, an' both o' thim bitther as sut.
But Misther Pierce, that's a gintleman born, an' has college larnin' and all,
There he was starin' no wiser than me where the shadow stands like a wall.

Authorized American Edition, Dodd, Mead and Company.



ne morning late in the July of 1778, a select company gathered in the little chapel of Yale College to listen to orations and other exercises by a picked number of students of the Senior class, one of whom, named Barlow, had been given the coveted honor of delivering what was termed the 'Commencement Poem.' Those of the audience who came from a distance carried back to their homes in elm-shaded Norwich, or Stratford, or Litchfield, high on its hills, lively recollections of a handsome young man and of his 'Prospect of Peace,' whose cheerful prophecies in heroic verse so greatly "improved the occasion." They had heard that he was a farmer's son from Redding, Connecticut, who had been to school at Hanover, New Hampshire, and had entered Dartmouth College, but soon removed to Yale on account of its superior advantages; that he had twice seen active service in the Continental army, and that he was engaged to marry a beautiful New Haven girl.

Joel Barlow.

The brilliant career predicted for Barlow did not begin immediately. Distaste for war, hope of securing a tutorship in college, and--we may well believe--Miss Ruth's entreaties, kept him in New Haven two years longer, engaged in teaching and in various courses of study. 'The Prospect of Peace' had been issued in pamphlet form, and the compliments paid the author incited him to plan a poem of a philosophic character on the subject of America at large, bearing the title 'The Vision of Columbus.' The appointment as tutor never came, and instead of cultivating the Muse in peaceful New Haven, he was forced to evoke her aid in a tent on the banks of the Hudson, whither after a hurried course in theology, he proceeded as an army chaplain in 1780. During his connection with the army, which lasted until its disbandment in 1783, he won repute by lyrics written to encourage the soldiers, and by "a flaming political sermon," as he termed it, on the treason of Arnold.

Army life ended, Barlow removed to Hartford, where he studied law, edited the American Mercury,--a weekly paper he had helped to found,--- and with John Trumbull, Lemuel Hopkins, and David Humphreys formed a literary club which became widely known as the "Hartford Wits." Its chief publication, a series of political lampoons styled 'The Anarchiad,' satirized those factions whose disputes imperiled the young republic, and did much to influence public opinion in Connecticut and elsewhere in favor of the Federal Constitution. A revision and enlargement of Dr. Watts's 'Book of Psalmody,' and the publication (1787) of his own 'Vision of Columbus,' occupied part of Barlow's time while in Hartford. The latter poem was extravagantly praised, ran through several editions, and was republished in London and Paris; but the poet, who now had a wife to support, could not live by his pen nor by the law, and when in 1788 he was urged by the Scioto Land Company to become its agent in Paris, he gladly accepted. The company was a private association, formed to buy large tracts of government land situated in Ohio and sell them in Europe to capitalists or actual settlers. This failed disastrously, and Barlow was left stranded in Paris, where he remained, supporting himself partly by writing, partly by business ventures. Becoming intimate with the leaders of the Girondist party, the man who had dedicated his 'Vision of Columbus' to Louis XVI., and had also dined with the nobility, now began to figure as a zealous Republican and as a Liberal in religion. From 1790 to 1793 he passed most of his time in London, where he wrote a number of political pamphlets for the Society for Constitutional Information, an organization openly favoring French Republicanism and a revision of the British Constitution. Here also, in 1791, he finished a work entitled 'Advice to the Privileged Orders,' which probably would have run through many editions had it not been suppressed by the British government. The book was an arraignment of tyranny in church and state, and was quickly followed by 'The Conspiracy of Kings,' an attack in verse on those European countries which had combined to kill Republicanism in France. In 1792 Barlow was made a citizen of France as a mark of appreciation of a 'Letter' addressed to the National Convention, giving that body advice, and when the convention sent commissioners to organize the province of Savoy into a department, Barlow was one of the number. As a candidate for deputy from Savoy, he was defeated; but his visit was not fruitless, for at Chambéry the sight of a dish of maize-meal porridge reminded him of his early home in Connecticut, and inspired him to write in that ancient French town a typical Yankee poem, 'Hasty Pudding.' Its preface, in prose, addressed to Mrs. Washington, assured her that simplicity of diet was one of the virtues; and if cherished by her, as it doubtless was, it would be more highly regarded by her countrywomen.

Between the years of 1795-97, Barlow held the important but unenviable position of United States Consul at Algiers, and succeeded both in liberating many of his countrymen who were held as prisoners, and in perfecting treaties with the rulers of the Barbary States, which gave United States vessels entrance to their ports and secured them from piratical attacks. On his return to Paris he translated Volney's 'Ruins' into English, made preparations for writing histories of the American and French revolutions, and expanded his 'Vision of Columbus' into a volume which as 'The Columbiad'--a beautiful specimen of typography--was published in Philadelphia in 1807 and republished in London. The poem was held to have increased Barlow's fame; but it is stilted and monotonous, and 'Hasty Pudding' has done more to perpetuate his name.

In 1805 Barlow returned to the United States and bought an estate near Washington, D.C., where he entertained distinguished visitors. In 1811 he returned to France authorized to negotiate a treaty of commerce. After waiting nine months, he was invited by Napoleon, who was then in Poland, to a conference at Wilna. On his arrival Barlow found the French army on the retreat from Moscow, and endured such privations on the march that on December 24th he died of exhaustion at the village of Zarnowiec, near Cracow, and there was buried.

Barlow's part in developing American literature was important, and therefore he has a rightful place in a work which traces that development. He certainly was a man of varied ability and power, who advanced more than one good cause and stimulated the movement toward higher thought. The only complete 'Life and Letters of Joel Barlow,' by Charles Burr Todd, published in 1888, gives him unstinted praise as excelling in statesmanship, letters, and philosophy. With more assured justice, which all can echo, it praises his nobility of spirit as a man. No one can read the letter to his wife, written from Algiers when he thought himself in danger of death, without a warm feeling for so unselfish and affectionate a nature.


From 'Hasty Pudding'

There are various ways of preparing and eating Hasty Pudding, with molasses, butter, sugar, cream, and fried. Why so excellent a thing cannot be eaten alone? Nothing is perfect alone; even man, who boasts of so much perfection, is nothing without his fellow-substance. In eating, beware of the lurking heat that lies deep in the mass; dip your spoon gently, take shallow dips and cool it by degrees. It is sometimes necessary to blow. This is indicated by certain signs which every experienced feeder knows. They should be taught to young beginners. I have known a child's tongue blistered for want of this attention, and then the school-dame would insist that the poor thing had told a lie. A mistake: the falsehood was in the faithless pudding. A prudent mother will cool it for her child with her own sweet breath. The husband, seeing this, pretends his own wants blowing, too, from the same lips. A sly deceit of love. She knows the cheat, but, feigning ignorance, lends her pouting lips and gives a gentle blast, which warms the husband's heart more than it cools his pudding.

The days grow short; but though the falling sun
To the glad swain proclaims his day's work done,
Night's pleasing shades his various tasks prolong,
And yield new subjects to my various song.
For now, the corn-house filled, the harvest home,
The invited neighbors to the husking come;
A frolic scene, where work and mirth and play
Unite their charms to chase the hours away.
  Where the huge heap lies centred in the hall,
The lamp suspended from the cheerful wall,
Brown corn-fed nymphs, and strong hard-handed beaux,
Alternate ranged, extend in circling rows,
Assume their seats, the solid mass attack;
The dry husks rustle, and the corn-cobs crack;
The song, the laugh, alternate notes resound,
And the sweet cider trips in silence round.
  The laws of husking every wight can tell;
And sure, no laws he ever keeps so well:
For each red ear a general kiss he gains,
With each smut ear he smuts the luckless swains;
But when to some sweet maid a prize is cast,
Red as her lips, and taper as her waist,
She walks the round, and culls one favored beau,
Who leaps, the luscious tribute to bestow.
Various the sport, as are the wits and brains
Of well-pleased lasses and contending swains;
Till the vast mound of corn is swept away,
And he that gets the last ear wins the day.
  Meanwhile the housewife urges all her care,
The well-earned feast to hasten and prepare.
The sifted meal already waits her hand,
The milk is strained, the bowls in order stand,
The fire flames high; and as a pool (that takes
The headlong stream that o'er the mill-dam breaks)
Foams, roars, and rages with incessant toils,
So the vexed caldron rages, roars and boils.
  First with clean salt she seasons well the food,
Then strews the flour, and thickens well the flood.
Long o'er the simmering fire she lets it stand;
To stir it well demands a stronger hand:
The husband takes his turn, and round and round
The ladle flies; at last the toil is crowned;
When to the board the thronging huskers pour,
And take their seats as at the corn before.
  I leave them to their feast. There still belong
More useful matters to my faithful song.
For rules there are, though ne'er unfolded yet,
Nice rules and wise, how pudding should be ate.
  Some with molasses grace the luscious treat,
And mix, like bards, the useful and the sweet;
A wholesome dish, and well deserving praise,
A great resource in those bleak wintry days,
When the chilled earth lies buried deep in snow,
And raging Boreas dries the shivering cow.
  Blest cow! thy praise shall still my notes employ,
Great source of health, the only source of joy;
Mother of Egypt's god, but sure, for me,
Were I to leave my God, I'd worship thee.
How oft thy teats these pious hands have pressed!
How oft thy bounties prove my only feast!
How oft I've fed thee with my favorite grain!
And roared, like thee, to see thy children slain.
  Ye swains who know her various worth to prize,
Ah! house her well from winter's angry skies.
Potatoes, pumpkins, should her sadness cheer,
Corn from your crib, and mashes from your beer;
When spring returns, she'll well acquit the loan,
And nurse at once your infants and her own.
  Milk, then, with pudding I should always choose;
To this in future I confine my muse,
Till she in haste some further hints unfold,
Good for the young, nor useless to the old.
First in your bowl the milk abundant take,
Then drop with care along the silver lake
Your flakes of pudding: these at first will hide
Their little bulk beneath the swelling tide;
But when their growing mass no more can sink,
When the soft island looms above the brink,
Then check your hand; you've got the portion due,
So taught my sire, and what he taught is true.
  There is a choice in spoons. Though small appear
The nice distinction, yet to me 'tis clear.
The deep-bowled Gallic spoon, contrived to scoop
In ample draughts the thin diluted soup,
Performs not well in those substantial things,
Whose mass adhesive to the metal clings;
Where the strong labial muscles must embrace
The gentle curve, and sweep the hollow space.
With ease to enter and discharge the freight,
A bowl less concave, but still more dilate,
Becomes the pudding best. The shape, the size,
A secret rests, unknown to vulgar eyes.
Experienced feeders can alone impart
A rule so much above the lore of art.
These tuneful lips that thousand spoons have tried,
With just precision could the point decide,
Though not in song--the muse but poorly shines
In cones, and cubes, and geometric lines;
Yet the true form, as near as she can tell,
Is that small section of a goose-egg shell,
Which in two equal portions shall divide
The distance from the centre to the side.
  Fear not to slaver; 'tis no deadly sin;--
Like the free Frenchman, from your joyous chin
Suspend the ready napkin; or like me,
Poise with one hand your bowl upon your knee;
Just in the zenith your wise head project,
Your full spoon rising in a line direct,
Bold as a bucket, heed no drops that fall.
The wide-mouthed bowl will surely catch them all!



ad he chosen to write solely in familiar English, rather than in the dialect of his native Dorsetshire, every modern anthology would be graced by the verses of William Barnes, and to multitudes who now know him not, his name would have become associated with many a country sight and sound. Other poets have taken homely subjects for their themes,--the hayfield, the chimney-nook, milking-time, the blossoming of "high-boughed hedges"; but it is not every one who has sung out of the fullness of his heart and with a naïve delight in that of which he sung: and so by reason of their faithfulness to every-day life and to nature, and by their spontaneity and tenderness, his lyrics, fables, and eclogues appeal to cultivated readers as well as to the rustics whose quaint speech he made his own.

Short and simple are the annals of his life; for, a brief period excepted, it was passed in his native county--though Dorset, for all his purposes, was as wide as the world itself. His birthplace was Bagbere in the vale of Blackmore, far up the valley of the Stour, where his ancestors had been freeholders. The death of his parents while he was a boy threw him on his own resources; and while he was at school at Sturminster and Dorchester he supported himself by clerical work in attorneys' offices. After he left school his education was mainly self-gained; but it was so thorough that in 1827 he became master of a school at Mere, Wilts, and in 1835 opened a boarding-school in Dorchester, which he conducted for a number of years. A little later he spent a few terms at Cambridge, and in 1847 received ordination. From that time until his death in 1886, most of his days were spent in the little parishes of Whitcombe and Winterbourne Came, near Dorchester, where his duties as rector left him plenty of time to spend on his favorite studies. To the last, Barnes wore the picturesque dress of the eighteenth century, and to the tourist he became almost as much a curiosity as the relics of Roman occupation described in a guide-book he compiled.

When one is at the same time a linguist, a musician, an antiquary, a profound student of philology, and skilled withal in the graphic arts, it would seem inevitable that he should have more than a local reputation; but when, in 1844, a thin volume entitled 'Poems of Rural Life in the Dorset Dialect' appeared in London, few bookshop frequenters had ever heard of the author. But he was already well known throughout Dorset, and there he was content to be known; a welcome guest in castle and hall, but never happier than when, gathering about him the Jobs and Lettys with whom Thomas Hardy has made us familiar, he delighted their ears by reciting his verses. The dialect of Dorset, he boasted, was the least corrupted form of English; therefore to commend it as a vehicle of expression and to help preserve his mother tongue from corruption, and to purge it of words not of Anglo-Saxon or Teutonic origin,--this was one of the dreams of his life,--he put his impressions of rural scenery and his knowledge of human character into metrical form. He is remembered by scholars here and there for a number of works on philology, and one ('Outline of English Speech-Craft') in which, with zeal, but with the battle against him, he aimed to teach the English language by using words of Teutonic derivation only; but it is through his four volumes of poems that he is better remembered. These include 'Hwomely Rhymes' (1859), 'Poems of Rural Life' (1862), and 'Poems of Rural Life in Common English' (1863). The three collections of dialect poems were brought out in one volume, with a glossary, in 1879.

"A poet fresh as the dew," "The first of English purely pastoral poets," "The best writer of eclogues since Theocritus,"--these are some of the tardy tributes paid him. With a sympathy for his fellow-man and a humor akin to that of Burns, with a feeling for nature as keen as Wordsworth's, though less subjective, and with a power of depicting a scene with a few well-chosen epithets which recalls Tennyson, Barnes has fairly earned his title to remembrance.

'The Life of William Barnes, Poet and Philologist,' written by his daughter, Mrs. Baxter, was published in 1887. There are numerous articles relating to him in periodical literature, one of which, a sketch by Thomas Hardy, in Vol. 86 of the 'Athenaeum,' is of peculiar interest.


The primrwose in the sheäde do blow,
   The cowslip in the zun,
The thyme upon the down do grow,
   The clote where streams do run;
An' where do pretty maidens grow
   An' blow, but where the tow'r
Do rise among the bricken tuns,
   In Blackmwore by the Stour?

If you could zee their comely gait,
   An' pretty feäces' smiles,
A-trippèn on so light o' waïght,
   An' steppèn off the stiles;
A-gwaïn to church, as bells do swing
   An' ring 'ithin the tow'r,
You'd own the pretty maïdens' pleäce
   Is Blackmwore by the Stour?

If you vrom Wimborne took your road,
   To Stower or Paladore,
An' all the farmers' housen show'd
   Their daughters at the door;
You'd cry to bachelors at hwome--
   "Here, come: 'ithin an hour
You'll vind ten maidens to your mind,
   In Blackmwore by the Stour."

An' if you look'd 'ithin their door,
   To zee em in their pleäce,
A-doèn housework up avore
   Their smilèn mother's feäce;
You'd cry,--"Why, if a man would wive
   An' thrive, 'ithout a dow'r,
Then let en look en out a wife
   In Blackmwore by the Stour."

As I upon my road did pass
   A school-house back in May,
There out upon the beäten grass
   Wer maïdens at their play;
An' as the pretty souls did tweil
   An' smile, I cried, "The flow'r
O' beauty, then, is still in bud
   In Blackmwore by the Stour."


Come out o' door, 'tis Spring! 'tis May!
The trees be green, the yields be gay;
The weather's warm, the winter blast,
Wi' all his traïn o' clouds, is past;
The zun do rise while vo'k do sleep,
To teäke a higher daily zweep,
Wi' cloudless feäce a-flingèn down
His sparklèn light upon the groun'.
The aïr's a-streamèn soft,--come drow
The winder open; let it blow
In drough the house, where vire, an' door
A-shut, kept out the cwold avore.
Come, let the vew dull embers die,
An' come below the open sky;
An' wear your best, vor fear the groun'
In colors gäy mid sheäme your gown:
An' goo an' rig wi' me a mile
Or two up over geäte an' stile,
Drough zunny parrocks that do lead,
Wi' crooked hedges, to the meäd,
Where elems high, in steätely ranks,
Do rise vrom yollow cowslip-banks,
An' birds do twitter vrom the spräy
O' bushes deck'd wi' snow-white mäy;
An' gil' cups, wi' the deäisy bed,
Be under ev'ry step you tread.
We'll wind up roun' the hill, an' look
All down the thickly timber'd nook,
Out where the squier's house do show
His gray-walled peaks up drough the row
O' sheädy elems, where the rock
Do build her nest; an' where the brook
Do creep along the meäds, an' lie
To catch the brightness o' the sky;
An' cows, in water to theïr knees,
Do stan' a-whiskèn off the vlees.
Mother o' blossoms, and ov all
That's feäir a-vield vrom Spring till Fall,
The gookoo over white-weäv'd seas
Do come to zing in thy green trees,
An' buttervlees, in giddy flight,
Do gleäm the mwost by thy gäy light.

Milking Time.
Photogravure from a Painting by A. Roll.

Oh! when, at last, my fleshly eyes Shall shut upon the vields an' skies, Mid zummer's zunny days be gone, An' winter's clouds be comèn on: Nor mid I draw upon the e'th, O' thy sweet aïr my leätest breath; Alassen I mid want to stäy Behine' for thee, O flow'ry May!


'Poems of Rural Life'

'Twer when the busy birds did vlee,
Wi' sheenèn wings, vrom tree to tree,
To build upon the mossy lim'
Their hollow nestes' rounded rim;
The while the zun, a-zinkèn low,
Did roll along his evenèn bow,
I come along where wide-horn'd cows,
'Ithin a nook, a-screen'd by boughs,
Did stan' an' flip the white-hooped pails
Wi' heäiry tufts o' swingèn taïls;
An' there were Jenny Coom a-gone
Along the path a vew steps on,
A-beärèn on her head, upstraïght,
Her païl, wi' slowly-ridèn waight,
An hoops a-sheenèn, lily-white,
Ageän the evenèn's slantèn light;
An' zo I took her païl, an' left
Her neck a-freed vrom all his heft;
An' she a-lookèn up an' down,
Wi' sheäply head an' glossy crown,
Then took my zide, an' kept my peäce,
A-talkèn on wi' smilèn feäce,
An' zettèn things in sich a light,
I'd faïn ha' heär'd her talk all night;
An' when I brought her milk avore
The geäte, she took it in to door,
An' if her païl had but allow'd
Her head to vall, she would ha' bow'd;
An' still, as 'twer, I had the zight
Ov' her sweet smile, droughout the night.


  Above the timber's bendèn sh'ouds,
     The western wind did softly blow;
  An' up avore the knap, the clouds
    Did ride as white as driven snow.
  Vrom west to east the clouds did zwim
  Wi' wind that plied the elem's lim';
Vrom west to east the stream did glide,
  A sheenèn wide, wi' windèn brim.

  How feäir, I thought, avore the sky
    The slowly-zwimmèn clouds do look;
  How soft the win's a-streamèn by;
    How bright do roll the weävy brook:
  When there, a-passèn on my right,
  A-walkèn slow, an' treadèn light,
Young Jessie Lee come by, an' there
  Took all my ceäre, an' all my zight.

  Vor lovely wer the looks her feäce
    Held up avore the western sky:
  An' comely wer the steps her peäce
    Did meäke a-walkèn slowly by:
  But I went east, wi' beatèn breast,
  Wi' wind, an' cloud, an' brook, vor rest,
Wi' rest a-lost, vor Jessie gone
  So lovely on, toward the west.

  Blow on, O winds, athirt the hill;
    Zwim on, O clouds; O waters vall,
  Down maeshy rocks, vrom mill to mill:
    I now can overlook ye all.
  But roll, O zun, an' bring to me
  My day, if such a day there be,
When zome dear path to my abode
  Shall be the road o' Jessie Lee.


Ah! sad wer we as we did peäce
The wold church road, wi' downcast feäce,
The while the bells, that mwoan'd so deep
Above our child a-left asleep,
Wer now a-zingèn all alive
Wi' tother bells to meäke the vive.
But up at woone pleäce we come by,
'Twere hard to keep woone's two eyes dry;
On Steän-cliff road, 'ithin the drong,
Up where, as vo'k do pass along,
The turnèn stile, a-painted white,
Do sheen by day an' show by night.
Vor always there, as we did goo
To church, thik stile did let us drough,
Wi' spreadèn eärms that wheel'd to guide
Us each in turn to tother zide.
An' vu'st ov all the traïn he took
My wife, wi' winsome gaït an' look;
An' then zent on my little maïd,
A-skippèn onward, overjäy'd
To reach ageän the pleäce o' pride,
Her comely mother's left han' zide.
An' then, a-wheelèn roun' he took
On me, 'ithin his third white nook.
An' in the fourth, a-sheäken wild,
He zent us on our giddy child.
But eesterday he guided slow
My downcast Jenny, vull o' woe,
An' then my little maïd in black,
A-walken softly on her track;
An' after he'd a-turn'd ageän,
To let me goo along the leäne,
He had noo little bwoy to vill
His last white eärms, an' they stood still.


O small-feäc'd flow'r that now dost bloom,
To stud wi' white the shallow Frome,
An' leäve the [2]clote to spread his flow'r
On darksome pools o' stwoneless Stour,
When sof'ly-rizèn airs do cool
The water in the sheenèn pool,
Thy beds o' snow white buds do gleam
So feäir upon the sky-blue stream,
As whitest clouds, a-hangèn high
Avore the blueness of the sky.
[2] The yellow water-lily.


When I led by zummer streams
    The pride o' Lea, as naïghbours thought her,
  While the zun, wi' evenèn beams,
Did cast our sheädes athirt the water:
      Winds a-blowèn,
      Streams a-flowèn,
      Skies a-glowèn,
Tokens ov my jay zoo fleetèn,
Heightened it, that happy meetèn.

Then, when maïd and man took pleäces,
  Gay in winter's Chris'mas dances,
Showèn in their merry feäces
  Kindly smiles an' glisnèn glances:
      Stars a-winkèn,
      Days a-shrinkèn,
      Sheädes a-zinkèn,
Brought anew the happy meetèn,
That did meäke the night too fleetèn.



ames Matthew Barrie was born May 9th, 1860, at Kirriemuir, Scotland ('Thrums'); son of a physician whom he has lovingly embodied as 'Dr. McQueen,' and with a mother and sister who will live as 'Jess' and 'Leeby.' After an academy course at Dumfries he entered the University of Edinburgh at eighteen, where he graduated M.A., and took honors in the English Literature class. A few months later he took a place on a newspaper in Nottingham, England, and in the spring of 1885 went to London, where the papers had begun to accept his work.

James M. Barrie.

Above all, the St. James's Gazette had published the first of the 'Auld Licht Idylls' November 17th, 1884; and the editor, Frederick Greenwood, instantly perceiving a new and rich genius, advised him to work the vein further, enforcing the advice by refusing to accept his contributions on other subjects.

He had the usual painful struggle to become a successful journalist, detailed in 'When a Man's Single'; but his real work was other and greater. In 1887 'When a Man's Single' came out serially in the British Weekly; it has little merit except in the Scottish prelude, which is of high quality in style and pathos. It is curious how utterly his powers desert him the moment he leaves his native heath: like Antæus, he is a giant on his mother earth and a pigmy off it. His first published book was 'Better Dead' (1887); it works out a cynical idea which would be amusing in five pages, but is diluted into tediousness by being spread over fifty. But in 1889 came a second masterpiece, 'A Window in Thrums,' a continuation of the Auld Licht series from an inside instead of an outside standpoint,--not superior to the first, but their full equals in a deliciousness of which one cannot say how much is matter and how much style. 'My Lady Nicotine' appeared in 1890; it was very popular, and has some amusing sketches, but no enduring quality. 'An Edinburgh Eleven' (1890) is a set of sketches of his classmates and professors.

In 1891 the third of his Scotch works appeared,--'The Little Minister,'--which raised him from the rank of an admirable sketch writer to that of an admirable novelist, despite its fantastic plot and detail. Since then he has written three plays,--'Walker, London,' 'Jane Annie,' and 'The Professor's Love Story,' the latter very successful and adding to his reputation; but no literature except his novel 'Sentimental Tommy,' just closed in Scribner's Magazine. This novel is not only a great advance on 'The Little Minister' in symmetry of construction, reality of matter, tragic power, and insight, but its tone is very different. Though as rich in humor, the humor is largely of a grim, bitter, and sardonic sort. The light, gay, buoyant fun of 'The Little Minister,' which makes it a perpetual enjoyment, has mostly vanished; in its stead we feel that the writer's sensitive nature is wrung by the swarming catastrophes he cannot avert, the endless wrecks on the ocean of life he cannot succor, and hardly less by those spiritual tragedies and ironies so much worse, on a true scale of valuation, than any material misfortune.

The full secret of Mr. Barrie's genius, as of all genius, eludes analysis; but some of its characteristics are not hard to define. His wonderful keenness of observation and tenacity of remembrance of the pettinesses of daily existence, which in its amazing minuteness reminds us of Dickens and Mark Twain, and his sensitiveness to the humorous aspects of their little misfits and hypocrisies and lack of proportion, might if untempered have made him a literary cynic like some others, remembered chiefly for the salience he gave to the ugly meannesses of life and the ironies of fate. But his good angel added to these a gift of quick, sure, and spontaneous sympathy and wide spiritual understanding. This fills all his higher work with a generous appreciativeness, a justness of judgment, a tenderness of feeling, which elevate as well as charm the reader. He makes us love the most grotesque characters, whom in life we should dislike and avoid, by the sympathetic fineness of his interpretation of their springs of life and their warping by circumstance. The impression left on one by the studies of the Thrums community is not primarily of intellectual and spiritual narrowness, or niggardly thrift, or dour natures: all are there, but with them are souls reaching after God and often flowering into beauty, and we reverence the quenchless aspiration of maligned human nature for an ideal far above its reach. He achieves the rare feat of portraying every pettiness and prejudice, even the meannesses and dishonors of a poor and hidebound country village, yet leaving us with both sincere respect and warm liking for it; a thing possible only to one himself of a fine nature as well as of a large mind. Nor is there any mawkishness or cheap surface sentimentality in it all. His pathos never makes you wince: you can always read his works aloud, the deadly and unfailing test of anything flat or pinchbeck in literature. His gift of humor saves him from this: true humor and true pathos are always found together because they are not two but one, twin aspects of the very same events. He who sees the ludicrous in misfits must see their sadness too; he who can laugh at a tumble must grieve over it: both are inevitable and both are coincident.

As a literary artist, he belongs in the foremost rank. He has that sense of the typical in incident, of the universal in feeling, and of the suggestive in language, which mark the chiefs of letters. No one can express an idea with fewer strokes; he never expands a sufficient hint into an essay. His management of the Scotch dialect is masterly: he uses it sparingly, in the nearest form to English compatible with retaining the flavor; he never makes it so hard as to interfere with enjoyment; in few dialect writers do we feel so little alienness.

'Auld Licht Idylls' is a set of regular descriptions of the life of "Thrums," with special reference to the ways and character of the "Old Lights," the stubborn conservative Scotch Puritans; it contains also a most amusing and characteristic love story of the sect (given below), and a satiric political skit. 'A Window in Thrums' is mainly a series of selected incidents in detail, partly from the point of view of a crippled woman ("Jess"), sitting at her window and piecing out what she sees with great shrewdness from her knowledge of the general current of affairs, aided by her daughter "Leeby." 'The Little Minister' is developed from the real story of a Scotch clergyman who brought home a wife from afar, of so alien a sort to the general run that the parish spent the rest of her short life in speculating on her previous history and weaving legends about her. Barrie's imagined explanation is of Arabian-Nights preposterousness of incident, and indeed is only a careless fairy-tale in substance; but it is so rich in delicious filling, so full of his best humor, sentiment, character-drawing, and fine feeling, that one hardly cares whether it has any plot at all. 'Sentimental Tommy' is a study of a sensitive mobile boy, a born poseur, who passes his life in cloud-castles where he always dramatizes himself as the hero, who has no continuity of purpose, and no capacity of self-sacrifice except in spasms of impulse, and in emotional feeling which is real to itself; a spiritual Proteus who deceives even himself, and only now and then recognizes his own moral illusiveness, like Hawthorne's scarecrow-gentleman before the mirror: but with the irresistible instincts also of the born literary creator and constructor. The other characters are drawn with great power and truth.

The judgment of contemporaries is rarely conclusive; and we will not attempt to anticipate that of posterity. It may be said, however, that the best applicable touchstone of permanency is that of seeming continuously fresh to cultivated tastes after many readings; and that Mr. Barrie's four best books bear the test without failure.


From 'Auld Licht Idylls'

For two years it had been notorious in the square that Sam'l Dickie was thinking of courting T'nowhead's Bell, and that if little Sanders Elshioner (which is the Thrums pronunciation of Alexander Alexander) went in for her, he might prove a formidable rival. Sam'l was a weaver in the Tenements, and Sanders a coal-carter whose trade-mark was a bell on his horse's neck that told when coals were coming. Being something of a public man, Sanders had not, perhaps, so high a social position as Sam'l; but he had succeeded his father on the coal-cart, while the weaver had already tried several trades. It had always been against Sam'l, too, that once when the kirk was vacant he had advised the selection of the third minister who preached for it, on the ground that it came expensive to pay a large number of candidates. The scandal of the thing was hushed up, out of respect for his father, who was a God-fearing man, but Sam'l was known by it in Lang Tammas's circle. The coal-carter was called Little Sanders, to distinguish him from his father, who was not much more than half his size. He had grown up with the name, and its inapplicability now came home to nobody. Sam'l's mother had been more far-seeing than Sanders's. Her man had been called Sammy all his life, because it was the name he got as a boy, so when their eldest son was born she spoke of him as Sam'l while still in his cradle. The neighbors imitated her, and thus the young man had a better start in life than had been granted to Sammy, his father.

It was Saturday evening--the night in the week when Auld Licht young men fell in love. Sam'l Dickie, wearing a blue Glengarry bonnet with a red ball on the top, came to the door of a one-story house in the Tenements, and stood there wriggling, for he was in a suit of tweeds for the first time that week, and did not feel at one with them. When his feeling of being a stranger to himself wore off, he looked up and down the road, which straggles between houses and gardens, and then, picking his way over the puddles, crossed to his father's hen-house and sat down on it. He was now on his way to the square.

Eppie Fargus was sitting on an adjoining dike, knitting stockings, and Sam'l looked at her for a time.

"Is't yersel, Eppie?" he said at last.

"It's a' that," said Eppie.

"Hoo's a' wi' ye?" asked Sam'l.

"We're juist aff an' on," replied Eppie, cautiously.

There was not much more to say, but as Sam'l sidled off the hen-house, he murmured politely, "Ay, ay." In another minute he would have been fairly started, but Eppie resumed the conversation.

"Sam'l," she said, with a twinkle in her eye, "ye can tell Lisbeth Fargus I'll likely be drappin' in on her aboot Munday or Teisday."

Lisbeth was sister to Eppie, and wife of Thomas McQuhatty, better known as T'nowhead, which was the name of his farm. She was thus Bell's mistress.

Sam'l leaned against the hen-house, as if all his desire to depart had gone.

"Hoo d'ye kin I'll be at the T'nowhead the nicht?" he asked, grinning in anticipation.

"Ou, I'se warrant ye'll be after Bell," said Eppie.

"Am no sae sure o' that," said Sam'l, trying to leer. He was enjoying himself now.

"Am no sure o' that," he repeated, for Eppie seemed lost in stitches.



"Ye'll be speirin' her sune noo, I dinna doot?"

This took Sam'l, who had only been courting Bell for a year or two, a little aback.

"Hoo d'ye mean, Eppie?" he asked.

"Maybe ye'll do't the nicht."

"Na, there's nae hurry," said Sam'l.

"Weel, we're a' coontin' on't, Sam'l."

"Gae wa wi' ye."

"What for no?"

"Gae wa wi' ye," said Sam'l again.

"Bell's gei an' fond o' ye, Sam'l."

"Ay," said Sam'l.

"But am dootin' ye're a fell billy wi' the lasses."

"Ay, oh, I d'na kin, moderate, moderate," said Sam'l, in high delight.

"I saw ye," said Eppie, speaking with a wire in her mouth, "gaen on terr'ble wi' Mysy Haggart at the pump last Saturday."

"We was juist amoosin' oorsels," said Sam'l.

"It'll be nae amoosement to Mysy," said Eppie, "gin ye brak her heart."

"Losh, Eppie," said Sam'l, "I didna think o' that."

"Ye maun kin weel, Sam'l, at there's mony a lass wid jump at ye."

"Ou, weel," said Sam'l, implying that a man must take these things as they come.

"For ye're a dainty chield to look at, Sam'l."

"Do ye think so, Eppie? Ay, ay; oh, I d'na kin am onything by the ordinar."

"Ye mayna be," said Eppie, "but lasses doesna do to be ower partikler."

Sam'l resented this, and prepared to depart again.

"Ye'll no tell Bell that?" he asked, anxiously.

"Tell her what?"

"Aboot me an' Mysy."

"We'll see hoo ye behave yersel, Sam'l."

"No 'at I care, Eppie; ye can tell her gin ye like. I widna think twice o' tellin' her mysel."

"The Lord forgie ye for leein', Sam'l," said Eppie, as he disappeared down Tammy Tosh's close. Here he came upon Henders Webster.

"Ye're late, Sam'l," said Henders.

"What for?"

"Ou, I was thinkin' ye wid be gaen the length o' T'nowhead the nicht, an' I saw Sanders Elshioner makkin's wy there an oor syne."

"Did ye?" cried Sam'l, adding craftily; "but its naething to me."

"Tod, lad," said Henders; "gin ye dinna buckle to, Sanders'll be carryin' her off!"

Sam'l flung back his head and passed on.

"Sam'l!" cried Henders after him.

"Ay," said Sam'l, wheeling round.

"Gie Bell a kiss frae me."

The full force of this joke struck neither all at once. Sam'l began to smile at it as he turned down the school-wynd, and it came upon Henders while he was in his garden feeding his ferret. Then he slapped his legs gleefully, and explained the conceit to Will'um Byars, who went into the house and thought it over.

There were twelve or twenty little groups of men in the square, which was lighted by a flare of oil suspended over a cadger's cart. Now and again a staid young woman passed through the square with a basket on her arm, and if she had lingered long enough to give them time, some of the idlers would have addressed her, As it was, they gazed after her, and then grinned to each other.

"Ay, Sam'l," said two or three young men, as Sam'l joined them beneath the town clock.

"Ay, Davit," replied Sam'l.

This group was composed of some of the sharpest wits in Thrums, and it was not to be expected that they would let this opportunity pass. Perhaps when Sam'l joined them he knew what was in store for him.

"Was ye lookin' for T'nowhead's Bell, Sam'l?" asked one.

"Or mebbe ye was wantin' the minister?" suggested another, the same who had walked out twice with Chirsty Duff and not married her after all.

Sam'l could not think of a good reply at the moment, so he laughed good-naturedly.

"Ondoobtedly she's a snod bit crittur," said Davit, archly.

"An' michty clever wi' her fingers," added Jamie Deuchars.

"Man, I've thocht o' makkin' up to Bell myself," said Pete Ogle. "Wid there be ony chance, think ye, Sam'l?"

"I'm thinkin' she widna hae ye for her first, Pete," replied Sam'l, in one of those happy flashes that come to some men, "but there's nae sayin' but what she micht tak ye to finish up wi'."

The unexpectedness of this sally startled every one. Though Sam'l did not set up for a wit, however, like Davit, it was notorious that he could say a cutting thing once in a way.

"Did ye ever see Bell reddin' up?" asked Pete, recovering from his overthrow. He was a man who bore no malice.

"It's a sicht," said Sam'l, solemnly.

"Hoo will that be?" asked Jamie Deuchars.

"It's weel worth yer while," said Pete, "to ging atower to the T'nowhead an' see. Ye'll mind the closed-in beds i' the kitchen? Ay, weel, they're a fell spoilt crew, T'nowhead's litlins, an' no that aisy to manage. Th' ither lasses Lisbeth's ha'en had a michty trouble wi' them. When they war i' the middle o' their reddin up the bairns wid come tumlin' about the floor, but, sal, I assure ye, Bell didna fash lang wi' them. Did she, Sam'l?"

"She did not," said Sam'l, dropping into a fine mode of speech to add emphasis to his remark.

"I'll tell ye what she did," said Pete to the others. "She juist lifted up the litlins, twa at a time, an' flung them into the coffin-beds. Syne she snibbit the doors on them, an' keepit them there till the floor was dry."

"Ay, man, did she so?" said Davit, admiringly.

"I've seen her do't myself," said Sam'l.

"There's no a lassie maks better bannocks this side o' Fetter Lums," continued Pete.

"Her mither tocht her that," said Sam'l; "she was a gran' han' at the bakin', Kitty Ogilvy."

"I've heard say," remarked Jamie, putting it this way so as not to tie himself down to anything, "'at Bell's scones is equal to Mag Lunan's."

"So they are," said Sam'l, almost fiercely.

"I kin she's a neat han' at singein' a hen," said Pete.

"An' wi't a'," said Davit, "she's a snod, canty bit stocky in her Sabbath claes."

"If onything, thick in the waist," suggested Jamie.

"I dinna see that," said Sam'l.

"I d'na care for her hair either," continued Jamie, who was very nice in his tastes; "something mair yallowchy wid be an improvement."

"A'body kins," growled Sam'l, "'at black hair's the bonniest."

The others chuckled.

"Puir Sam'l!" Pete said.

Sam'l, not being certain whether this should be received with a smile or a frown, opened his mouth wide as a kind of compromise. This was position one with him for thinking things over.

Few Auld Lichts, as I have said, went the length of choosing a helpmate for themselves. One day a young man's friends would see him mending the washing-tub of a maiden's mother. They kept the joke until Saturday night, and then he learned from them what he had been after. It dazed him for a time, but in a year or so he grew accustomed to the idea, and they were then married. With a little help, he fell in love just like other people.

Sam'l was going the way of the others, but he found it difficult to come to the point. He only went courting once a week, and he could never take up the running at the place where he left off the Saturday before. Thus he had not, so far, made great headway. His method of making up to Bell had been to drop in at T'nowhead on Saturday nights and talk with the farmer about the rinderpest.

The farm-kitchen was Bell's testimonial. Its chairs, tables, and stools were scoured by her to the whiteness of Rob Angus's saw-mill boards, and the muslin blind on the window was starched like a child's pinafore. Bell was brave, too, as well as energetic. Once Thrums had been overrun with thieves. It is now thought that there may have been only one; but he had the wicked cleverness of a gang. Such was his repute, that there were weavers who spoke of locking their doors when they went from home. He was not very skillful, however, being generally caught, and when they said they knew he was a robber he gave them their things back and went away. If they had given him time there is no doubt that he would have gone off with his plunder. One night he went to T'nowhead, and Bell, who slept in the kitchen, was awakened by the noise. She knew who it would be, so she rose and dressed herself, and went to look for him with a candle. The thief had not known what to do when he got in, and as it was very lonely he was glad to see Bell. She told him he ought to be ashamed of himself, and would not let him out by the door until he had taken off his boots, so as not to soil the carpet.

On this Saturday evening Sam'l stood his ground in the square, until by and by he found himself alone. There were other groups there still, but his circle had melted away. They went separately, and no one said good-night. Each took himself off slowly, backing out of the group until he was fairly started.

Sam'l looked about him, and then, seeing that the others had gone, walked round the town-house into the darkness of the brae that leads down and then up to the farm of T'nowhead.

To get into the good graces of Lisbeth Fargus you had to know her ways and humor them. Sam'l, who was a student of women, knew this, and so, instead of pushing the door open and walking in, he went through the rather ridiculous ceremony of knocking. Sanders Elshioner was also aware of this weakness of Lisbeth, but though he often made up his mind to knock, the absurdity of the thing prevented his doing so when he reached the door. T'nowhead himself had never got used to his wife's refined notions, and when any one knocked he always started to his feet, thinking there must be something wrong.

Lisbeth came to the door, her expansive figure blocking the way in.

"Sam'l," she said.

"Lisbeth," said Sam'l.

He shook hands with the farmer's wife, knowing that she liked it, but only said, "Ay, Bell," to his sweetheart, "Ay, T'nowhead," to McQuhatty, and "It's yersel, Sanders," to his rival.

They were all sitting round the fire; T'nowhead with his feet on the ribs, wondering why he felt so warm, and Bell darned a stocking, while Lisbeth kept an eye on a goblet full of potatoes.

"Sit in to the fire, Sam'l," said the farmer, not, however, making way for him.

"Na, na," said Sam'l, "I'm to bide nae time." Then he sat in to the fire. His face was turned away from Bell, and when she spoke he answered her without looking round. Sam'l felt a little anxious. Sanders Elshioner, who had one leg shorter than the other, but looked well when sitting, seemed suspiciously at home. He asked Bell questions out of his own head, which was beyond Sam'l, and once he said something to her in such a low voice that the others could not catch it. T'nowhead asked curiously what it was, and Sanders explained that he had only said, "Ay, Bell, the morn's the Sabbath." There was nothing startling in this, but Sam'l did not like it. He began to wonder if he was too late, and had he seen his opportunity would have told Bell of a nasty rumor, that Sanders intended to go over to the Free Church if they would make him kirk-officer.

Sam'l had the good-will of T'nowhead's wife, who liked a polite man. Sanders did his best, but from want of practice he constantly made mistakes. To-night, for instance, he wore his hat in the house, because he did not like to put up his hand and take it off. T'nowhead had not taken his off either, but that was because he meant to go out by and by and lock the byre door. It was impossible to say which of her lovers Bell preferred. The proper course with an Auld Licht lassie was to prefer the man who proposed to her.

"Yell bide a wee, an' hae something to eat?" Lisbeth asked Sam'l, with her eyes on the goblet.

"No, I thank ye," said Sam'l, with true gentility.

"Ye'll better?"

"I dinna think it."

"Hoots ay; what's to hender ye?"

"Weel, since ye're sae pressin', I'll bide."

No one asked Sanders to stay. Bell could not, for she was but the servant, and T'nowhead knew that the kick his wife had given him meant that he was not to do so either. Sanders whistled to show that he was not uncomfortable.

"Ay, then, I'll be stappin' ower the brae," he said at last.

He did not go, however. There was sufficient pride in him to get him off his chair, but only slowly, for he had to get accustomed to the notion of going. At intervals of two or three minutes he remarked that he must now be going. In the same circumstances Sam'l would have acted similarly. For a Thrums man it is one of the hardest things in life to get away from anywhere.

At last Lisbeth saw that something must be done. The potatoes were burning, and T'nowhead had an invitation on his tongue.

"Yes, I'll hae to be movin'," said Sanders, hopelessly, for the fifth time.

"Guid-nicht to ye, then, Sanders," said Lisbeth. "Gie the door a fling-to ahent ye."

Sanders, with a mighty effort, pulled himself together. He looked boldly at Bell, and then took off his hat carefully. Sam'l saw with misgivings that there was something in it which was not a handkerchief. It was a paper bag glittering with gold braid, and contained such an assortment of sweets as lads bought for their lasses on the Muckle Friday.

"Hae, Bell," said Sanders, handing the bag to Bell in an off-hand way, as if it were but a trifle. Nevertheless, he was a little excited, for he went off without saying good-night.

No one spoke. Bell's face was crimson. T'nowhead fidgeted on his chair, and Lisbeth looked at Sam'l. The weaver was strangely calm and collected, though he would have liked to know whether this was a proposal.

"Sit in by to the table, Sam'l," said Lisbeth, trying to look as if things were as they had been before.

She put a saucerful of butter, salt, and pepper near the fire to melt, for melted butter is the shoeing-horn that helps over a meal of potatoes. Sam'l, however, saw what the hour required, and jumping up, he seized his bonnet.

"Hing the tatties higher up the joist, Lisbeth," he said with dignity; "I'se be back in ten meenits."

He hurried out of the house, leaving the others looking at each other.

"What do ye think?" asked Lisbeth.

"I d'na kin," faltered Bell.

"Thae tatties is lang o' comin' to the boil," said T'nowhead.

In some circles a lover who behaved like Sam'l would have been suspected of intent upon his rival's life, but neither Bell nor Lisbeth did the weaver that injustice. In a case of this kind it does not much matter what T'nowhead thought.

The ten minutes had barely passed when Sam'l was back in the farm-kitchen. He was too flurried to knock this time, and indeed Lisbeth did not expect it of him.

"Bell, hae!" he cried, handing his sweetheart a tinsel bag twice the size of Sanders' gift.

"Losh preserve's!" exclaimed Lisbeth; "I'se warrant there's a shillin's worth."

"There's a' that, Lisbeth--an' mair," said Sam'l, firmly.

"I thank ye, Sam'l," said Bell, feeling an unwonted elation as she gazed at the two paper bags in her lap.

"Ye're ower extravegint, Sam'l," Lisbeth said.

"Not at all," said Sam'l; "not at all. But I wouldna advise ye to eat thae ither anes, Bell--they're second quality."

Bell drew back a step from Sam'l.

"How do ye kin?" asked the farmer, shortly; for he liked Sanders.

"I speired i' the shop," said Sam'l.

The goblet was placed on a broken plate on the table, with the saucer beside it, and Sam'l, like the others, helped himself. What he did was to take potatoes from the pot with his fingers, peel off their coats, and then dip them into the butter. Lisbeth would have liked to provide knives and forks, but she knew that beyond a certain point T'nowhead was master in his own house. As for Sam'l, he felt victory in his hands, and began to think that he had gone too far.

In the meantime, Sanders, little witting that Sam'l had trumped his trick, was sauntering along the kirk-wynd with his hat on the side of his head. Fortunately he did not meet the minister.

The courting of T'nowhead's Bell reached its crisis one Sabbath about a month after the events above recorded. The minister was in great force that day, but it is no part of mine to tell how he bore himself. I was there, and am not likely to forget the scene. It was a fateful Sabbath for T'nowhead's Bell and her swains, and destined to be remembered for the painful scandal which they perpetrated in their passion.

Bell was not in the kirk. There being an infant of six months in the house, it was a question of either Lisbeth or the lassie's staying at home with him, and though Lisbeth was unselfish in a general way, she could not resist the delight of going to church. She had nine children besides the baby, and being but a woman, it was the pride of her life to march them into the T'nowhead pew, so well watched that they dared not disbehave, and so tightly packed that they could not fall. The congregation looked at that pew, the mothers enviously, when they sung the lines:--

"Jerusalem like a city is
Compactly built together."

The first half of the service had been gone through on this particular Sunday without anything remarkable happening. It was at the end of the psalm which preceded the sermon that Sanders Elshioner, who sat near the door, lowered his head until it was no higher than the pews, and in that attitude, looking almost like a four-footed animal, slipped out of the church. In their eagerness to be at the sermon, many of the congregation did not notice him, and those who did, put the matter by in their minds for future investigation. Sam'l, however, could not take it so coolly. From his seat in the gallery he saw Sanders disappear and his mind misgave him. With the true lover's instinct, he understood it all. Sanders had been struck by the fine turn-out in the T'nowhead pew. Bell was alone at the farm. What an opportunity to work one's way up to a proposal. T'nowhead was so overrun with children that such a chance seldom occurred, except on a Sabbath. Sanders, doubtless, was off to propose, and he, Sam'l, was left behind.

The suspense was terrible. Sam'l and Sanders had both known all along that Bell would take the first of the two who asked her. Even those who thought her proud admitted that she was modest. Bitterly the weaver repented having waited so long. Now it was too late. In ten minutes Sanders would be at T'nowhead; in an hour all would be over. Sam'l rose to his feet in a daze. His mother pulled him down by the coat-tail, and his father shook him, thinking he was walking in his sleep. He tottered past them, however, hurried up the aisle, which was so narrow that Dan'l Ross could only reach his seat by walking sideways, and was gone before the minister could do more than stop in the middle of a whirl and gape in horror after him.

A number of the congregation felt that day the advantage of sitting in the laft. What was a mystery to those down-stairs was revealed to them. From the gallery windows they had a fine open view to the south; and as Sam'l took the common, which was a short cut, though a steep ascent, to T'nowhead, he was never out of their line of vision. Sanders was not to be seen, but they guessed rightly the reason why. Thinking he had ample time, he had gone round by the main road to save his boots--perhaps a little scared by what was coming. Sam'l's design was to forestall him by taking the shorter path over the burn and up the commonty.

It was a race for a wife, and several onlookers in the gallery braved the minister's displeasure to see who won. Those who favored Sam'l's suit exultingly saw him leap the stream, while the friends of Sanders fixed their eyes on the top of the common where it ran into the road. Sanders must come into sight there, and the one who reached this point first would get Bell.

As Auld Lichts do not walk abroad on the Sabbath, Sanders would probably not be delayed. The chances were in his favor. Had it been any other day in the week, Sam'l might have run. So some of the congregation in the gallery were thinking, when suddenly they saw him bend low and then take to his heels. He had caught sight of Sanders's head bobbing over the hedge that separated the road from the common, and feared that Sanders might see him. The congregation who could crane their necks sufficiently saw a black object, which they guessed to be the carter's hat, crawling along the hedge-top. For a moment it was motionless, and then it shot ahead. The rivals had seen each other. It was now a hot race. Sam'l, dissembling no longer, clattered up the common, becoming smaller and smaller to the onlookers as he neared the top. More than one person in the gallery almost rose to their feet in their excitement. Sam'l had it. No, Sanders was in front. Then the two figures disappeared from view. They seemed to run into each other at the top of the brae, and no one could say who was first. The congregation looked at one another. Some of them perspired. But the minister held on his course.

Sam'l had just been in time to cut Sanders out. It was the weaver's saving that Sanders saw this when his rival turned the corner; for Sam'l was sadly blown. Sanders took in the situation and gave in at once. The last hundred yards of the distance he covered at his leisure, and when he arrived at his destination he did not go in. It was a fine afternoon for the time of year, and he went round to have a look at the pig, about which T'nowhead was a little sinfully puffed up.

"Ay," said Sanders, digging his fingers critically into the grunting animal; "quite so."

"Grumph!" said the pig, getting reluctantly to his feet.

"Ou ay; yes," said Sanders, thoughtfully.

Then he sat down on the edge of the sty, and looked long and silently at an empty bucket. But whether his thoughts were of T'nowhead's Bell, whom he had lost forever, or of the food the farmer fed his pig on, is not known.

"Lord preserve's! Are ye no at the kirk?" cried Bell, nearly dropping the baby as Sam'l broke into the room.

"Bell!" cried Sam'l.

Then T'nowhead's Bell knew that her hour had come.

"Sam'l," she faltered.

"Will ye hae's, Bell?" demanded Sam'l, glaring at her sheepishly.

"Ay," answered Bell.

Sam'l fell into a chair.

"Bring's a drink o' water, Bell," he said.

But Bell thought the occasion required milk, and there was none in the kitchen. She went out to the byre, still with the baby in her arms, and saw Sanders Elshioner sitting gloomily on the pig-sty.

"Weel, Bell," said Sanders.

"I thocht ye'd been at the kirk, Sanders," said Bell.

Then there was a silence between them.

"Has Sam'l speired ye, Bell?" asked Sanders, stolidly.

"Ay," said Bell again, and this time there was a tear in her eye. Sanders was little better than an "orra man," and Sam'l was a weaver, and yet--

But it was too late now. Sanders gave the pig a vicious poke with a stick, and when it had ceased to grunt, Bell was back in the kitchen. She had forgotten about the milk, however, and Sam'l only got water after all.

In after days, when the story of Bell's wooing was told, there were some who held that the circumstances would have almost justified the lassie in giving Sam'l the go-by. But these perhaps forgot that her other lover was in the same predicament as the accepted one--that, of the two, indeed, he was the more to blame, for he set off to T'nowhead on the Sabbath of his own accord, while Sam'l only ran after him. And then there is no one to say for certain whether Bell heard of her suitors' delinquencies until Lisbeth's return from the kirk. Sam'l could never remember whether he told her, and Bell was not sure whether, if he did, she took it in. Sanders was greatly in demand for weeks after to tell what he knew of the affair, but though he was twice asked to tea to the manse among the trees, and subjected thereafter to ministerial cross-examinations, this is all he told. He remained at the pigsty until Sam'l left the farm, when he joined him at the top of the brae, and they went home together.

"It's yersel, Sanders," said Sam'l.

"It is so, Sam'l," said Sanders.

"Very cauld," said Sam'l.

"Blawy," assented Sanders.

After a pause--

"Sam'l," said Sanders.


"I'm hearin' yer to be mairit."


"Weel, Sam'l, she's a snod bit lassie."

"Thank ye," said Sam'l.

"I had ance a kin' o' notion o' Bell mysel," continued Sanders.

"Ye had?"

"Yes, Sam'l; but I thocht better o't."

"Hoo d'ye mean?" asked Sam'l, a little anxiously.

"Weel, Sam'l, mairitch is a terrible responsibeelity."

"It is so," said Sam'l, wincing.

"An' no the thing to take up withoot conseederation."

"But it's a blessed and honorable state, Sanders; ye've heard the minister on't."

"They say," continued the relentless Sanders, "'at the minister doesna get on sair wi' the wife himsel."

"So they do," cried Sam'l, with a sinking at the heart.

"I've been telt," Sanders went on, "'at gin you can get the upper han' o' the wife for awhile at first, there's the mair chance o' a harmonious exeestence."

"Bell's no the lassie," said Sam'l, appealingly, "to thwart her man."

Sanders smiled.

"D'ye think she is, Sanders?"

"Weel, Sam'l, I d'na want to fluster ye, but she's been ower lang wi' Lisbeth Fargus no to hae learnt her ways. An' a'body kins what a life T'nowhead has wi' her."

"Guid sake, Sanders, hoo did ye no speak o' this afoore?"

"I thocht ye kent o't, Sam'l."

They had now reached the square, and the U.P. kirk was coming out. The Auld Licht kirk would be half an hour yet.

"But, Sanders," said Sam'l, brightening up, "ye was on yer wy to spier her yersel."

"I was, Sam'l," said Sanders, "and I canna but be thankfu' ye was ower quick for's."

"Gin't hadna been for you," said Sam'l, "I wid never hae thocht o't."

"I'm sayin' naething agin Bell," pursued the other, "but, man Sam'l, a body should be mair deleeberate in a thing o' the kind."

"It was michty hurried," said Sam'l, wofully.

"It's a serious thing to spier a lassie," said Sanders.

"It's an awfu' thing," said Sam'l.

"But we'll hope for the best," added Sanders, in a hopeless, voice.

They were close to the Tenements now, and Sam'l looked as if he were on his way to be hanged.


"Ay, Sanders."

"Did ye--did ye kiss her, Sam'l?"



"There's was varra little time, Sanders."

"Half an 'oor," said Sanders.

"Was there? Man Sanders, to tell ye the truth, I never thocht o't."

Then the soul of Sanders Elshioner was filled with contempt for Sam'l Dickie.

The scandal blew over. At first it was expected that the minister would interfere to prevent the union, but beyond intimating from the pulpit that the souls of Sabbath-breakers were beyond praying for, and then praying for Sam'l and Sanders at great length, with a word thrown in for Bell, he let things take their course. Some said it was because he was always frightened lest his young men should intermarry with other denominations, but Sanders explained it differently to Sam'l.

"I hav'na a word to say agin the minister," he said; "they're gran' prayers, but Sam'l, he's a mairit man himsel."

"He's a' the better for that, Sanders, isna he?"

"Do ye no see," asked Sanders, compassionately, "'at he's tryin' to mak the best o't?"

"Oh, Sanders, man!" said Sam'l.

"Cheer up, Sam'l," said Sanders; "it'll sune be ower."

Their having been rival suitors had not interfered with their friendship. On the contrary, while they had hitherto been mere acquaintances, they became inseparables as the wedding-day drew near. It was noticed that they had much to say to each other, and that when they could not get a room to themselves they wandered about together in the churchyard. When Sam'l had anything to tell Bell, he sent Sanders to tell it, and Sanders did as he was bid. There was nothing that he would not have done for Sam'l.

The more obliging Sanders was, however, the sadder Sam'l grew. He never laughed now on Saturdays, and sometimes his loom was silent half the day. Sam'l felt that Sanders's was the kindness of a friend for a dying man.

It was to be a penny wedding, and Lisbeth Fargus said it was delicacy that made Sam'l superintend the fitting-up of the barn by deputy. Once he came to see it in person, but he looked so ill that Sanders had to see him home. This was on the Thursday afternoon, and the wedding was fixed for Friday.

"Sanders, Sanders," said Sam'l, in a voice strangely unlike his own, "it'll a' be ower by this time the morn."

"It will," said Sanders.

"If I had only kent her langer," continued Sam'l.

"It wid hae been safer," said Sanders.

"Did ye see the yallow floor in Bell's bonnet?" asked the accepted swain.

"Ay," said Sanders, reluctantly.

"I'm dootin'--I'm sair dootin' she's but a flichty, licht-hearted crittur, after a'."

"I had ay my suspeecions o't," said Sanders.

"Ye hae kent her langer than me," said Sam'l.

"Yes," said Sanders, "but there's nae gettin' at the heart o' women. Man Sam'l, they're desperate cunnin'."

"I'm dootin't; I'm sair dootin't."

"It'll be a warnin' to ye, Sam'l, no to be in sic a hurry i' the futur," said Sanders.

Sam'l groaned.

"Ye'll be gaein up to the manse to arrange wi' the minister the morn's mornin'," continued Sanders, in a subdued voice.

Sam'l looked wistfully at his friend.

"I canna do't, Sanders," he said, "I canna do't."

"Ye maun," said Sanders.

"It's aisy to speak," retorted Sam'l, bitterly.

"We have a' oor troubles, Sam'l," said Sanders, soothingly, "an' every man maun bear his ain burdens. Johnny Davie's wife's dead, an' he's no repinin'."

"Ay," said Sam'l, "but a death's no a mairitch. We hae haen deaths in our family, too."

"It may a' be for the best," added Sanders, "an' there wid be a michty talk i' the hale country-side gin ye didna ging to the minister like a man."

"I maun hae langer to think o't," said Sam'l.

"Bell's mairitch is the morn," said Sanders, decisively.

Sam'l glanced up with a wild look in his eyes.

"Sanders!" he cried.


"Ye hae been a guid friend to me, Sanders, in this sair affliction."

"Nothing ava," said Sanders; "dount mention't."

"But, Sanders, ye canna deny but what your rinnin oot o' the kirk that awfu' day was at the bottom o't a'."

"It was so," said Sanders, bravely.

"An' ye used to be fond o' Bell, Sanders."

"I dinna deny't."

"Sanders, laddie," said Sam'l, bending forward and speaking in a wheedling voice, "I aye thocht it was you she likit."

"I had some sic idea mysel," said Sanders.

"Sanders, I canna think to pairt twa fowk sae weel suited to ane anither as you an' Bell."

"Canna ye, Sam'l?"

"She wid make ye a guid wife, Sanders. I hae studied her weel, and she's a thrifty, douce, clever lassie. Sanders, there's no the like o' her. Mony a time, Sanders, I hae said to mysel, There's a lass ony man micht be prood to tak. A'body says the same, Sanders. There's nae risk ava, man; nane to speak o'. Tak her, laddie, tak her, Sanders, it's a grand chance, Sanders. She's yours for the speirin. I'll gie her up, Sanders."

"Will ye, though?" said Sanders.

"What d'ye think?" asked Sam'l.

"If ye wid rayther," said Sanders, politely.

"There's my han' on't," said Sam'l. "Bless ye, Sanders; ye've been a true frien' to me."

Then they shook hands for the first time in their lives; and soon afterward Sanders struck up the brae to T'nowhead.

Next morning Sanders Elshioner, who had been very busy the night before, put on his Sabbath clothes and strolled up to the manse.

"But--but where is Sam'l?" asked the minister. "I must see himself."

"It's a new arrangement," said Sanders.

"What do you mean, Sanders?"

"Bell's to marry me," explained Sanders.

"But--- but what does Sam'l say?"

"He's willin'," said Sanders.

"And Bell?"

"She's willin', too. She prefers it."

"It is unusual," said the minister.

"It's a' richt," said Sanders.

"Well, you know best," said the minister.

"You see, the hoose was taen, at ony rate," continued Sanders. "An' I'll juist ging in til't instead o' Sam'l."

"Quite so."

"An" I cudna think to disappoint the lassie."

"Your sentiments do you credit, Sanders," said the minister; "but I hope you do not enter upon the blessed state of matrimony without full consideration of its responsibilities. It is a serious business, marriage."

"It's a' that," said Sanders; "but I'm willin' to stan' the risk."

So, as soon as it could be done, Sanders Elshioner took to wife T'nowhead's Bell, and I remember seeing Sam'l Dickie trying to dance at the penny wedding.

Years afterward it was said in Thrums that Sam'l had treated Bell badly, but he was never sure about it himself.

"It was a near thing--a michty near thing," he admitted in the square.

"They say," some other weaver would remark, "'at it was you Bell liked best."

"I d'na kin," Sam'l would reply, "but there's nae doot the lassie was fell fond o' me. Ou, a mere passin' fancy's ye micht say."


From 'A Window in Thrums'

There may be a few who care to know how the lives of Jess and Hendry ended. Leeby died in the back end of the year I have been speaking of, and as I was snowed up in the school-house at the time, I heard the news from Gavin Birse too late to attend her funeral. She got her death on the commonty one day of sudden rain, when she had run out to bring in her washing, for the terrible cold she woke with next morning carried her off very quickly. Leeby did not blame Jamie for not coming to her, nor did I, for I knew that even in the presence of death the poor must drag their chains. He never got Hendry's letter with the news, and we know now that he was already in the hands of her who played the devil with his life. Before the spring came he had been lost to Jess.

"Them 'at has got sae mony blessin's mair than the generality," Hendry said to me one day, when Craigiebuckle had given me a lift into Thrums, "has nae shame if they would pray aye for mair. The Lord has gi'en this hoose sae muckle, 'at to pray for mair looks like no bein' thankfu' for what we've got. Ay, but I canna help prayin' to Him 'at in His great mercy he'll tak Jess afore me. Noo 'at Leeby's gone, an' Jamie never lets us hear frae him, I canna gulp doon the thocht o' Jess bein' left alane."

This was a prayer that Hendry may be pardoned for having so often in his heart, though God did not think fit to grant it. In Thrums, when a weaver died, his women-folk had to take his seat at the loom, and those who, by reason of infirmities, could not do so, went to a place, the name of which, I thank God, I am not compelled to write in this chapter. I could not, even at this day, have told any episode in the life of Jess had it ended in the poor house.

Hendry would probably have recovered from the fever had not this terrible dread darkened his intellect when he was still prostrate. He was lying in the kitchen when I saw him last in life, and his parting words must be sadder to the reader than they were to me.

"Ay, richt ye are," he said, in a voice that had become a child's; "I hae muckle, muckle to be thankfu' for, an' no the least is 'at baith me an' Jess has aye belonged to a bural society. We hae nae cause to be anxious aboot a' thing bein' dune respectable aince we're gone. It was Jess 'at insisted on oor joinin': a' the wisest things I ever did I was put up to by her."

I parted from Hendry, cheered by the doctor's report, but the old weaver died a few days afterward. His end was mournful, yet I can recall it now as the not unworthy close of a good man's life. One night poor worn Jess had been helped ben into the room, Tibbie Birse having undertaken to sit up with Hendry.

Jess slept for the first time for many days, and as the night was dying Tibbie fell asleep too. Hendry had been better than usual, lying quietly, Tibbie said, and the fever was gone. About three o'clock Tibbie woke and rose to mend the fire. Then she saw that Hendry was not in his bed.

Tibbie went ben the house in her stocking soles, but Jess heard her.

"What is't, Tibbie?" she asked, anxiously.

"Ou, it's no naething," Tibbie said; "he's lyin' rale quiet."

Then she went up to the attic. Hendry was not in the house.

She opened the door gently and stole out. It was not snowing, but there had been a heavy fall two days before, and the night was windy. A tearing gale had blown the upper part of the brae clear, and from T'nowhead's fields the snow was rising like smoke. Tibbie ran to the farm and woke up T'nowhead.

For an hour they looked in vain for Hendry. At last some one asked who was working in Elshioner's shop all night. This was the long earthen-floored room in which Hendry's loom stood with three others.

"It'll be Sanders Whamond likely," T'nowhead said, and the other men nodded.

But it happened that T'nowhead's Bell, who had flung on a wrapper, and hastened across to sit with Jess, heard of the light in Elshioner's shop.

"It's Hendry," she cried; and then every one moved toward the workshop.

The light at the diminutive, darn-covered window was pale and dim, but Bell, who was at the house first, could make the most of a cruizey's glimmer.

"It's him," she said; and then, with swelling throat, she ran back to Jess.

The door of the workshop was wide open, held against the wall by the wind. T'nowhead and the others went in. The cruizey stood on the little window. Hendry's back was to the door, and he was leaning forward on the silent loom. He had been dead for some time, but his fellow-workers saw that he must have weaved for nearly an hour.

So it came about that for the last few months of her pilgrimage Jess was left alone. Yet I may not say that she was alone. Jamie, who should have been with her, was undergoing his own ordeal far away; where, we did not now even know. But though the poorhouse stands in Thrums, where all may see it, the neighbors did not think only of themselves.

Than Tammas Haggart there can scarcely have been a poorer man, but Tammas was the first to come forward with offer of help. To the day of Jess's death he did not once fail to carry her water to her in the morning, and the luxuriously living men of Thrums in these present days of pumps at every corner, can hardly realize what that meant. Often there were lines of people at the well by three o'clock in the morning, and each had to wait his turn. Tammas filled his own pitcher and pan, and then had to take his place at the end of the line with Jess's pitcher and pan, to wait his turn again. His own house was in the Tenements, far from the brae in winter time, but he always said to Jess it was "naething ava."

Every Saturday old Robbie Angus sent a bag of sticks and shavings from the sawmill by his little son Rob, who was afterward to become a man for speaking about at nights. Of all the friends that Jess and Hendry had, T'nowhead was the ablest to help, and the sweetest memory I have of the farmer and his wife is the delicate way they offered it. You who read will see Jess wince at the offer of charity. But the poor have fine feelings beneath the grime, as you will discover if you care to look for them; and when Jess said she would bake if anyone would buy, you would wonder to hear how many kindly folk came to her door for scones.

She had the house to herself at nights, but Tibbie Birse was with her early in the morning, and other neighbors dropped in. Not for long did she have to wait the summons to the better home.

"Na," she said to the minister, who has told me that he was a better man from knowing her, "my thocht is no nane set on the vanities o' the world noo. I kenna hoo I could ever hae haen sic an ambeetion to hae thae stuff-bottomed chairs."

I have tried to keep away from Jamie, whom the neighbors sometimes upbraided in her presence. It is of him you who read would like to hear, and I cannot pretend that Jess did not sit at her window looking for him.

"Even when she was bakin'," Tibbie told me, "she aye had an eye on the brae. If Jamie had come at ony time when it was licht she would hae seen 'im as sune as he turned the corner."

"If he ever comes back, the sacket" (rascal), T'nowhead said to Jess, "we'll show 'im the door gey quick."

Jess just looked, and all the women knew how she would take Jamie to her arms.

We did not know of the London woman then, and Jess never knew of her. Jamie's mother never for an hour allowed that he had become anything but the loving laddie of his youth.

"I ken 'im ower weel," she always said, "my ain Jamie."

Toward the end she was sure he was dead. I do not know when she first made up her mind to this, nor whether it was not merely a phrase for those who wanted to discuss him with her. I know that she still sat at the window looking at the elbow of the brae.

The minister was with her when she died. She was in her chair, and he asked her, as was his custom, if there was any particular chapter which she would like him to read. Since her husband's death she had always asked for the fourteenth of John, "Hendry's chapter," as it is still called among a very few old people in Thrums. This time she asked him to read the sixteenth chapter of Genesis.

"When I came to the thirteenth verse," the minister told me, "'And she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seest me,' she covered her face with her two hands, and said, 'Joey's text, Joey's text. Oh, but I grudged ye sair, Joey.'"

"I shut the book," the minister said, "when I came to the end of the chapter, and then I saw that she was dead. It is my belief that her heart broke one-and-twenty years ago."


From 'The Little Minister': by permission of the American Publishers' Corporation.

One may gossip in a glen on Sabbaths, though not in a town, without losing his character, and I used to await the return of my neighbor, the farmer of Waster Lunny, and of Birse, the Glen Quharity post, at the end of the school-house path. Waster Lunny was a man whose care in his leisure hours was to keep from his wife his great pride in her. His horse, Catlaw, on the other hand, he told outright what he thought of it, praising it to its face and blackguarding it as it deserved, and I have seen him, when completely baffled by the brute, sit down before it on a stone and thus harangue:--"You think you're clever, Catlaw, my lass, but you're mista'en. You're a thrawn limmer, that's what you are. You think you have blood in you. You ha'e blood! Gae awa, and dinna blether. I tell you what, Catlaw, I met a man yestreen that kent your mither, and he says she was a feikie,[3] fushionless besom. What do you say to that?"

[3] Feikie, over-particular.

As for the post, I will say no more of him than that his bitter topic was the unreasonableness of humanity, which treated him graciously when he had a letter for it, but scowled at him when he had none, "aye implying that I ha'e a letter, but keep it back."

On the Sabbath evening after the riot, I stood at the usual place awaiting my friends, and saw before they reached me that they had something untoward to tell. The farmer, his wife, and three children, holding each other's hands, stretched across the road. Birse was a little behind, but a conversation was being kept up by shouting. All were walking the Sabbath pace, and the family having started half a minute in advance, the post had not yet made up on them.

"It's sitting to snaw," Waster Lunny said, drawing near, and just as I was to reply, "It is so," Silva slipped in the words before me.

"You wasna at the kirk," was Elspeth's salutation. I had been at the glen church, but did not contradict her, for it is Established, and so neither here nor there. I was anxious, too, to know what their long faces meant, and therefore asked at once,--"Was Mr. Dishart on the riot?"

"Forenoon, ay; afternoon, no," replied Waster Lunny, walking round his wife to get nearer me. "Dominie, a queery thing happened in the kirk this day, sic as--"

"Waster Lunny," interrupted Elspeth sharply, "have you on your Sabbath shoon or have you no on your Sabbath shoon?"

"Guid care you took I should ha'e the dagont oncanny things on," retorted the farmer.

"Keep out o' the gutter, then," said Elspeth, "on the Lord's day."

"Him," said her man, "that is forced by a foolish woman to wear genteel 'lastic-sided boots canna forget them until he takes them aff. Whaur's the extra reverence in wearing shoon twa sizes ower sma'?"

"It mayna be mair reverent," suggested Birse, to whom Elspeth's kitchen was a pleasant place, "but it's grand, and you canna expect to be baith grand and comfortable."

I reminded them that they were speaking of Mr. Dishart.

"We was saying," began the post briskly, "that--"

"It was me that was saying it," said Waster Lunny. "So, Dominie--"

"Haud your gabs, baith o' you," interrupted Elspeth. "You've been roaring the story to one another till you're hoarse."

"In the forenoon," Waster Lunny went on determinedly, "Mr. Dishart preached on the riot, and fine he was. Oh, dominie, you should hae heard him ladling it on to Lang Tammas, no by name, but in sic a way that there was no mistaking wha he was preaching at. Sal! oh, losh! Tammas got it strong."

"But he's dull in the uptake," broke in the post, "by what I expected. I spoke to him after the sermon, and I says, just to see if he was properly humbled:--'Ay, Tammas,' I says, 'them that discourse was preached against winna think themselves seven-feet men for a while again.' 'Ay, Birse,' he answers, 'and glad I am to hear you admit it, for he had you in his eye.' I was fair scunnered at Tammas the day."

"Mr. Dishart was preaching at the whole clan-jamfray o' you," said Elspeth.

"Maybe he was," said her husband, leering; "but you needna cast it at us, for my certie, if the men got it frae him in the forenoon, the women got it in the afternoon."

"He redd them up most michty," said the post. "Thae was his very words or something like them:--'Adam,' says he, 'was an erring man, but aside Eve he was respectable.'"

"Ay, but it wasna a' women he meant," Elspeth explained, "for when he said that, he pointed his finger direct at T'nowhead's lassie, and I hope it'll do her good."

"But, I wonder," I said, "that Mr. Dishart chose such a subject to-day. I thought he would be on the riot at both services."

"You'll wonder mair," said Elspeth, "when you hear what happened afore he began the afternoon sermon. But I canna get in a word wi' that man o' mine."

"We've been speaking about it," said Birse, "ever since we left the kirk door. Tod, we've been sawing it like seed a' alang the glen."

"And we meant to tell you about it at once," said Waster Lunny; "but there's aye so muckle to say about a minister. Dagont, to hae ane keeps a body out o' languor. Aye, but this breaks the drum. Dominie, either Mr. Dishart wasna weel or he was in the devil's grip."

This startled me, for the farmer was looking serious.

"He was weel eneuch," said Birse, "for a heap o' fowk spiered at Jean if he had ta'en his porridge as usual, and she admitted he had. But the lassie was skeered hersel', and said it was a mercy Mrs. Dishart wasna in the kirk."

"Why was she not there?" I asked anxiously.

"Ou, he winna let her out in sic weather."

"I wish you would tell me what happened," I said to Elspeth.

"So I will," she answered, "if Waster Lunny would haud his wheest for a minute. You see the afternoon diet began in the ordinary way, and a' was richt until we came to the sermon. 'You will find my text,' he says, in his piercing voice, 'in the eighth chapter of Ezra.'"

"And at thae words," said Waster Lunny, "my heart gae a loup, for Ezra is an unca ill book to find; ay, and so is Ruth."

"I kent the books o' the Bible by heart," said Elspeth, scornfully, "when I was a sax-year-auld."

"So did I," said Waster Lunny, "and I ken them yet, except when I'm hurried. When Mr. Dishart gave out Ezra he a sort o' keeked round the kirk to find out if he had puzzled onybody, and so there was a kind o' a competition among the congregation wha would lay hand on it first. That was what doited me. Ay, there was Ruth when she wasna wanted, but Ezra, dagont, it looked as if Ezra had jumped clean out o' the Bible."

"You wasna the only distressed crittur," said his wife. "I was ashamed to see Eppie McLaren looking up the order o' the books at the beginning o' the Bible."

"Tibbie Birse was even mair brazen," said the post, "for the sly cuttie opened at Kings and pretended it was Ezra."

"None o' thae things would I do," said Waster Lunny, "and sal, I dauredna, for Davit Lunan was glowering ower my shuther. Ay, you may scowl at me, Elspeth Proctor, but as far back as I can mind Ezra has done me. Mony a time afore I start for the kirk I take my Bible to a quiet place and look Ezra up. In the very pew I says canny to mysel', 'Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job,' the which should be a help, but the moment the minister gi'es out that awfu' book, away goes Ezra like the Egyptian."

"And you after her," said Elspeth, "like the weavers that wouldna fecht. You make a windmill of your Bible."

"Oh, I winna admit I'm beat. Never mind, there's queer things in the world forby Ezra. How is cripples aye so puffed up mair than other folk? How does flour-bread aye fall on the buttered side?"

"I will mind," Elspeth said, "for I was terrified the minister would admonish you frae the pulpit."

"He couldna hae done that, for was he no baffled to find Ezra himsel'?"

"Him no find Ezra!" cried Elspeth. "I hae telled you a dozen times he found it as easy as you could yoke a horse."

"The thing can be explained in no other way," said her husband doggedly; "if he was weel and in sound mind."

"Maybe the dominie can clear it up," suggested the post, "him being a scholar."

"Then tell me what happened," I asked.

"Man, hae we no telled you?" Birse said. "I thocht we had."

"It was a terrible scene," said Elspeth, giving her husband a shove. "As I said, Mr. Dishart gave out Ezra eighth. Weel, I turned it up in a jiffy, and syne looked cautiously to see how Eppie McLaren was getting on. Just at that minute I heard a groan frae the pulpit. It didna stop short o' a groan. Ay, you may be sure I looked quick at the minister, and there I saw a sicht that would hae made the grandest gape. His face was as white as a baker's, and he had a sort of fallen against the back o' the pulpit, staring demented-like at his open Bible."

"And I saw him," said Birse, "put up his hand atween him and the Book, as if he thocht it was to jump at him."

"Twice," said Elspeth, "he tried to speak, and twice he let the words fall."

"That," said Waster Lunny, "the whole congregation admits, but I didna see it mysel', for a' this time you may picture me hunting savage-like for Ezra. I thocht the minister was waiting till I found it."

"Hendry Munn," said Birse, "stood upon one leg, wondering whether he should run to the session-house for a glass of water."

"But by that time," said Elspeth, "the fit had left Mr. Dishart, or rather it had ta'en a new turn. He grew red, and it's gospel that he stamped his foot."

"He had the face of one using bad words," said the post. "He didna swear, of course, but that was the face he had on."

"I missed it," said Waster Lunny, "for I was in full cry after Ezra, with the sweat running down my face."

"But the most astounding thing has yet to be telled," went on Elspeth. "The minister shook himsel' like one wakening frae a nasty dream, and he cries in a voice of thunder, just as if he was shaking his fist at somebody--"

"He cries," Birse interposed, cleverly, "he cries, 'You will find the text in Genesis, chapter three, verse six.'"

"Yes," said Elspeth, "first he gave out one text, and then he gave out another, being the most amazing thing to my mind that ever happened in the town of Thrums. What will our children's children think o't? I wouldna ha'e missed it for a pound note."

"Nor me," said Waster Lunny, "though I only got the tail o't. Dominie, no sooner had he said Genesis third and sixth, than I laid my finger on Ezra. Was it no provoking? Onybody can turn up Genesis, but it needs an able-bodied man to find Ezra."

"He preached on the Fall," Elspeth said, "for an hour and twenty-five minutes, but powerful though he was I would rather he had telled us what made him gie the go-by to Ezra."

"All I can say," said Waster Lunny, "is that I never heard him mair awe-inspiring. Whaur has he got sic a knowledge of women? He riddled them, he fair riddled them, till I was ashamed o' being married."

"It's easy kent whaur he got his knowledge of women," Birse explained, "it's a' in the original Hebrew. You can howk ony mortal thing out o' the original Hebrew, the which all ministers hae at their finger ends. What else makes them ken to jump a verse now and then when giving out a psalm?"

"It wasna women like me he denounced," Elspeth insisted, "but young lassies that leads men astray wi' their abominable wheedling ways."

"Tod," said her husband, "if they try their hands on Mr. Dishart they'll meet their match."

"They will," chuckled the post. "The Hebrew's a grand thing, though teuch, I'm telled, michty teuch."

"His sublimest burst," Waster Lunny came back to tell me, "was about the beauty o' the soul being everything and the beauty o' the face no worth a snuff. What a scorn he has for bonny faces and toom souls! I dinna deny but what a bonny face fell takes me, but Mr. Dishart wouldna gi'e a blade o' grass for't. Ay, and I used to think that in their foolishness about women there was dagont little differ atween the unlearned and the highly edicated."


From 'The Little Minister': by permission of the American Publishers' Corporation

A young man thinks that he alone of mortals is impervious to love, and so the discovery that he is in it suddenly alters his views of his own mechanism. It is thus not unlike a rap on the funny-bone. Did Gavin make this discovery when the Egyptian left him? Apparently he only came to the brink of it and stood blind. He had driven her from him for ever, and his sense of loss was so acute that his soul cried out for the cure rather than for the name of the malady.

In time he would have realized what had happened, but time was denied him, for just as he was starting for the mudhouse Babbie saved his dignity by returning to him.... She looked up surprised, or seemingly surprised, to find him still there.

"I thought you had gone away long ago," she said stiffly.

"Otherwise," asked Gavin the dejected, "you would not have came back to the well?"

"Certainly not."

"I am very sorry. Had you waited another moment I should have been gone."

This was said in apology, but the willful Egyptian chose to change its meaning.

"You have no right to blame me for disturbing you," she declared with warmth.

"I did not. I only--"

"You could have been a mile away by this time. Nanny wanted more water."

Babbie scrutinized the minister sharply as she made this statement. Surely her conscience troubled her, for on his not answering immediately she said, "Do you presume to disbelieve me? What could have made me return except to fill the pans again?"

"Nothing," Gavin admitted eagerly, "and I assure you---"

Babbie should have been grateful to his denseness, but it merely set her mind at rest.

"Say anything against me you choose," she told him. "Say it as brutally as you like, for I won't listen."

She stopped to hear his response to that, and she looked so cold that it almost froze on Gavin's lips.

"I had no right," he said dolefully, "to speak to you as I did."

"You had not," answered the proud Egyptian. She was looking away from him to show that his repentance was not even interesting to her. However, she had forgotten already not to listen....

She was very near him, and the tears had not yet dried on her eyes. They were laughing eyes, eyes in distress, imploring eyes. Her pale face, smiling, sad, dimpled yet entreating forgiveness, was the one prominent thing in the world to him just then. He wanted to kiss her. He would do it as soon as her eyes rested on his, but she continued without regarding him.

"How mean that sounds! Oh, if I were a man I would wish to be everything that I am not, and nothing that I am. I would scorn to be a liar, I would choose to be open in all things, I would try to fight the world honestly. But I am only a woman, and so--well, that is the kind of man I would like to marry."

"A minister may be all these things," said Gavin breathlessly.

"The man I could love," Babbie went on, not heeding him, almost forgetting that he was there, "must not spend his days in idleness as the men I know do."

"I do not."

"He must be brave, no mere worker among others, but a leader of men."

"All ministers are."

"Who makes his influence felt."


"And takes the side of the weak against the strong, even though the strong be in the right."

"Always my tendency."

"A man who has a mind of his own, and having once made it up stands to it in defiance even of--"

"Of his session."

"Of the world. He must understand me."

"I do."

"And be my master."

"It is his lawful position in the house."

"He must not yield to my coaxing or tempers."

"It would be weakness."

"But compel me to do his bidding; yes, even thrash me if-"

"If you won't listen to reason. Babbie," cried Gavin, "I am that man!"

Here the inventory abruptly ended, and these two people found themselves staring at each other, as if of a sudden they had heard something dreadful. I do not know how long they stood thus motionless and horrified. I cannot tell even which stirred first. All I know is that almost simultaneously they turned from each other and hurried out of the wood in opposite directions.


From 'Sentimental Tommy'

To-morrow came, and with it two eager little figures rose and gulped their porridge, and set off to see Thrums. They were dressed in the black clothes Aaron Latta had bought for them in London, and they had agreed just to walk, but when they reached the door and saw the tree-tops of the Den they--they ran. Would you not like to hold them back? It is a child's tragedy.

They went first into the Den, and the rocks were dripping wet, all the trees save the firs were bare, and the mud round a tiny spring pulled off one of Elspeth's boots.

"Tommy," she cried, quaking, "that narsty puddle can't not be the Cuttle Well, can it?"

"No, it ain't," said Tommy, quickly, but he feared it was.

"It's c-c-colder here than London," Elspeth said, shivering, and Tommy was shivering too, but he answered, "I'm--I'm--I'm warm."

The Den was strangely small, and soon they were on a shabby brae, where women in short gowns came to their doors and men in night-caps sat down on the shafts of their barrows to look at Jean Myles's bairns.

"What does yer think?" Elspeth whispered, very doubtfully.

"They're beauties," Tommy answered, determinedly.

Presently Elspeth cried, "Oh, Tommy, what a ugly stair! Where is the beauty stairs as it wore outside for show?"

This was one of them, and Tommy knew it. "Wait till you see the west town end," he said, bravely: "it's grand." But when they were in the west town end, and he had to admit it, "Wait till you see the square," he said, and when they were in the square, "Wait," he said, huskily, "till you see the town-house." Alas, this was the town-house facing them, and when they knew it, he said, hurriedly, "Wait till you see the Auld Licht kirk."

They stood long in front of the Auld Licht kirk, which he had sworn was bigger and lovelier than St. Paul's, but--well, it is a different style of architecture, and had Elspeth not been there with tears in waiting, Tommy would have blubbered. "It's--it's littler than I thought," he said, desperately, "but--the minister, oh, what a wonderful big man he is!"

"Are you sure?" Elspeth squeaked.

"I swear he is."

The church door opened and a gentleman came out, a little man, boyish in the back, with the eager face of those who live too quickly. But it was not at him that Tommy pointed reassuringly; it was at the monster church key, half of which protruded from his tail pocket and waggled as he moved, like the hilt of a sword.

Speaking like an old residenter, Tommy explained that he had brought his sister to see the church. "She's ta'en aback," he said, picking out Scotch words carefully, "because it's littler than the London kirks, but I telled her--I telled her that the preaching is better."

This seemed to please the stranger, for he patted Tommy on the head while inquiring, "How do you know that the preaching is better?"

"Tell him, Elspeth," replied Tommy, modestly.

"There ain't nuthin' as Tommy don't know," Elspeth explained. "He knows what the minister is like, too."

"He's a noble sight," said Tommy.

"He can get anything from God he likes," said Elspeth.

"He's a terrible big man," said Tommy.

This seemed to please the little gentleman less. "Big!" he exclaimed, irritably; "why should he be big?"

"He is big," Elspeth almost screamed, for the minister was her last hope.

"Nonsense!" said the little gentleman. "He is--well, I am the minister."

"You!" roared Tommy, wrathfully.

"Oh, oh, oh!" sobbed Elspeth.

For a moment the Rev. Mr. Dishart looked as if he would like to knock two little heads together, but he walked away without doing it.

"Never mind," whispered Tommy hoarsely to Elspeth. "Never mind, Elspeth, you have me yet."

This consolation seldom failed to gladden her, but her disappointment was so sharp to-day that she would not even look up.

"Come away to the cemetery, it's grand," he said; but still she would not be comforted.

"And I'll let you hold my hand--as soon as we're past the houses," he added.

"I'll let you hold it now," he said, eventually; but even then Elspeth cried dismally, and her sobs were hurting him more than her.

He knew all the ways of getting round Elspeth, and when next he spoke it was with a sorrowful dignity. "I didna think," he said, "as yer wanted me never to be able to speak again; no, I didna think it, Elspeth."

She took her hands from her face and looked at him inquiringly.

"One of the stories mamma telled me and Reddy," he said, "were a man what saw such a beauty thing that he was struck dumb with admiration. Struck dumb is never to be able to speak again, and I wish I had been struck dumb when you wanted it."

"But I didn't want it!" Elspeth cried.

"If Thrums had been one little bit beautier than it is," he went on, solemnly, "it would have struck me dumb. It would have hurt me sore, but what about that, if it pleased you!"

Then did Elspeth see what a wicked girl she had been, and when next the two were seen by the curious (it was on the cemetery road), they were once more looking cheerful. At the smallest provocation they exchanged notes of admiration, such as, "O Tommy, what a bonny barrel!" or "O Elspeth, I tell yer that's a dike, and there's just walls in London;" but sometimes Elspeth would stoop hastily, pretending that she wanted to tie her boot-lace, but really to brush away a tear, and there were moments when Tommy hung very limp. Each was trying to deceive the other for the other's sake, and one of them was never good at deception. They saw through each other, yet kept up the chilly game, because they could think of nothing better; and perhaps the game was worth playing, for love invented it.

Scribner's Magazine. Copyrighted by Charles Scribner's Sons, New York.


From 'Sentimental Tommy'

With the darkness, too, crept into the Muckley certain devils in the color of the night who spoke thickly and rolled braw lads in the mire, and egged on friends to fight, and cast lewd thoughts into the minds of the women. At first the men had been bashful swains. To the women's "Gie me my faring, Jock," they had replied, "Wait, Jean, till I'm fee'd," but by night most had got their arles, with a dram above it, and he who could only guffaw at Jean a few hours ago had her round the waist now, and still an arm free for rough play with other kimmers. The Jeans were as boisterous as the Jocks, giving them leer for leer, running from them with a giggle, waiting to be caught and rudely kissed. Grand, patient, long-suffering fellows these men were, up at five, summer and winter, foddering their horses, maybe, hours before there would be food for themselves, miserably paid, housed like cattle, and when the rheumatism seized them, liable to be flung aside like a broken graip. As hard was the life of the women: coarse food, chaff beds, damp clothes their portion; their sweethearts in the service of masters who were loth to fee a married man. Is it to be wondered that these lads who could be faithful unto death drank soddenly on their one free day; that these girls, starved of opportunities for womanliness, of which they could make as much as the finest lady, sometimes woke after a Muckley to wish that they might wake no more?

Scribner's Magazine. Copyrighted by Charles Scribner's Sons, New York.



olitical economy has been called the "dismal science"; and probably the majority think of it as either merely a matter of words and phrases, or as something too abstruse for the common mind to comprehend. It was the distinction of Bastiat that he was able to write economic tracts in such a language that he that ran might read, and to clothe the apparently dry bones with such integuments as manifested vitality. Under his pen, questions of finance, of tax, of exchange, became questions which concern the lives of individual men and women, with sentiments, hopes, and aspirations.

Frédéric Bastiat.

He was born at Bayonne in France, June 19th, 1801. At nine years of age he was left an orphan, but he was cared for by his grandfather and aunt. He received his schooling at the college of St. Sever and at Sorèze, where he was noted as a diligent student. When about twenty years of age he was taken into the commercial house of his uncle at Bayonne. His leisure was employed in cultivating art and literature, and he became accomplished in languages and in instrumental and vocal music. He was early interested in political and social economy through the writings of Adam Smith, J.B. Say, Comte, and others; and having inherited considerable landed property at Mugron on the death of his grandfather in 1827, he undertook the personal charge of it, at the same time continuing his economic studies. His experiment in farming did not prove successful; but he rapidly developed clear ideas upon economical problems, being much assisted in their consideration by frequent conferences with his neighbor, M. Felix Coudroy. These two worked much together, and cherished a close sympathy in thought and heart.

The bourgeois revolution of 1830 was welcomed enthusiastically by Bastiat. It was a revolution of prosperous and well-instructed men, willing to make sacrifices to attain an orderly and systematic method of government. To him the form of the administration did not greatly matter: the right to vote taxes was the right which governed the governors. "There is always a tendency on the part of governments to extend their powers," he said; "the administration therefore must be under constant surveillance." His motto was "Foi systematiqtie à la libre activité de I'individu; defiance systematique vis-à-vis de l'État conçu abstraitement,--c'est-à-dire, defiance parfaitement pure de toute hostilité de parti." [Systematic faith in the free activity of the individual; systematic distrust of the State conceived abstractly,--that is, a distrust entirely free from prejudice.]

His work with his pen seems to have been begun about 1830, and from the first was concerned with matters of economy and government. A year later he was chosen to local office, and every opportunity which offered was seized upon to bring before the common people the true milk of the economic word, as he conceived it. The germ of his theory of values appeared in a pamphlet of 1834, and the line of his development was a steady one; his leading principles being the importance of restricting the functions of government to the maintenance of order, and of removing all shackles from the freedom of production and exchange. Through subscription to an English periodical he became familiar with Cobden and the Anti-Corn-Law League, and his subsequent intimacy with Cobden contributed much to broaden his horizon. In 1844-5 appeared his brilliant 'Sophismes économiques', which in their kind have never been equaled; and his reputation rapidly expanded. He enthusiastically espoused the cause of Free Trade, and issued a work entitled 'Cobden et la Ligue, ou l'Agitation anglaise pour la liberté des échanges' (Cobden and the League, or the English Agitation for Liberty of Exchange), which attracted great attention, and won for its author the title of corresponding member of the Institute. A movement for organization in favor of tariff reform was begun, of which he naturally became a leader; and feeling that Paris was the centre from which influence should flow, to Paris he removed. M. de Molinari gives an account of his debut:--"We still seem to see him making his first round among the journals which had shown themselves favorable to cause of the freedom of commerce. He had not yet had time to call upon a Parisian tailor or hatter, and in truth it had not occurred to him to do so. With his long hair and his small hat, his large surtout and his family umbrella, he would naturally be taken for a reputable countryman looking at the sights of the metropolis. But his countryman's-face was at the same time roguish and spirituelle, his large black eyes were bright and luminous, and his forehead, of medium breadth but squarely formed, bore the imprint of thought. At a glance one could see that he was a peasant of the country of Montaigne, and in listening to him one realized that here was a disciple of Franklin."

He plunged at once into work, and his activity was prodigious. He contributed to numerous journals, maintained an active correspondence with Cobden, kept up communications with organizations throughout the country, and was always ready to meet his opponents in debate.

The Republic of 1848 was accepted in good faith; but he was strongly impressed by the extravagant schemes which accompanied the Republican movement, as well as by the thirst for peace which animated multitudes. The Provisional government had made solemn promises: it must pile on taxes to enable it to keep its promises. "Poor people! How they have deceived themselves! It would have been so easy and so just to have eased matters by reducing the taxes; instead, this is to be done by profusion of expenditure, and people do not see that all this machinery amounts to taking away ten in order to return eight, without counting the fact that liberty will succumb under the operation." He tried to stem the tide of extravagance; he published a journal, the République Française, for the express purpose of promulgating his views; he entered the Constituent and then the Legislative Assembly, as a member for the department of Landes, and spoke eloquently from the tribune. He was a constitutional "Mugwump": he cared for neither parties nor men, but for ideas. He was equally opposed to the domination of arbitrary power and to the tyranny of Socialism. He voted with the right against the left on extravagant Utopian schemes, and with the left against the right when he felt that the legitimate complaints of the poor and suffering were unheeded.

In the midst of his activity he was overcome by a trouble in the throat, which induced his physicians to send him to Italy. The effort for relief was a vain one, however, and he died in Rome December 24th, 1850. His complete works, mostly composed of occasional essays, were printed in 1855. Besides those mentioned, the most important are 'Propriété et Loi' (Property and Law), 'Justice et Fraternité,' 'Protectionisme et Communisme,' and 'Harmonies économiques.' The 'Harmonies économiques' and 'Sophismes économiques' have been translated and published in English.



To Messieurs the Members of the Chamber of Deputies:

Gentlemen:--You are on the right road. You reject abstract theories, and have little consideration for cheapness and plenty. Your chief care is the interest of the producer. You desire to emancipate him from external competition, and reserve the national market for national industry.

We are about to offer you an admirable opportunity of applying your--what shall we call it? your theory? no: nothing is more deceptive than theory. Your doctrine? your system? your principle? but you dislike doctrines, you abhor systems, and as for principles, you deny that there are any in social economy. We shall say, then, your practice, your practice without theory and without principle.

We are suffering from the intolerable competition of a foreign rival, placed, it would seem, in a condition so far superior to ours for the production of light, that he absolutely inundates our national market with it at a price fabulously reduced. The moment he shows himself, our trade leaves us--all consumers apply to him; and a branch of native industry, having countless ramifications, is all at once rendered completely stagnant. This rival, who is no other than the Sun, wages war to the knife against us, and we suspect that he has been raised up by perfidious Albion (good policy as times go); inasmuch as he displays towards that haughty island a circumspection with which he dispenses in our case.

What we pray for is, that it may please you to pass a law ordering the shutting up of all windows, skylights, dormer windows, outside and inside shutters, curtains, blinds, bull's-eyes; in a word, of all openings, holes, chinks, clefts, and fissures, by or through which the light of the sun has been in use to enter houses, to the prejudice of the meritorious manufactures with which we flatter ourselves we have accommodated our country,--a country which, in gratitude, ought not to abandon us now to a strife so unequal.

We trust, gentlemen, that you will not regard this our request as a satire, or refuse it without at least previously hearing the reasons which we have to urge in its support.

And first, if you shut up as much as possible all access to natural light, and create a demand for artificial light, which of our French manufactures will not be encouraged by it?

If more tallow is consumed, then there must be more oxen and sheep; and consequently, we shall behold the multiplication of artificial meadows, meat, wool, hides, and above all manure, which is the basis and foundation of all agricultural wealth.

If more oil is consumed, then we shall have an extended cultivation of the poppy, of the olive, and of rape. These rich and exhausting plants will come at the right time to enable us to avail ourselves of the increased fertility which the rearing of additional cattle will impart to our lands.

Our heaths will be covered with resinous trees. Numerous swarms of bees will, on the mountains, gather perfumed treasures, now wasting their fragrance on the desert air, like the flowers from which they emanate. No branch of agriculture but will then exhibit a cheering development.

The same remark applies to navigation. Thousands of vessels will proceed to the whale fishery; and in a short time we shall possess a navy capable of maintaining the honor of France, and gratifying the patriotic aspirations of your petitioners, the under-signed candle-makers and others.

But what shall we say of the manufacture of articles de Paris? Henceforth you will behold gildings, bronzes, crystals, in candlesticks, in lamps, in lustres, in candelabra, shining forth in spacious warerooms, compared with which those of the present day can be regarded but as mere shops.

No poor résinier from his heights on the sea-coast, no coal-miner from the depth of his sable gallery, but will rejoice in higher wages and increased prosperity.

Only have the goodness to reflect, gentlemen, and you will be convinced that there is perhaps no Frenchman, from the wealthy coal-master to the humblest vender of lucifer matches, whose lot will not be ameliorated by the success of this our petition.

We foresee your objections, gentlemen, but we know that you can oppose to us none but such as you have picked up from the effete works of the partisans of Free Trade. We defy you to utter a single word against us which will not instantly rebound against yourselves and your entire policy.

You will tell us that if we gain by the protection which we seek, the country will lose by it, because the consumer must bear the loss.

We answer:--

You have ceased to have any right to invoke the interest of the consumer; for whenever his interest is found opposed to that of the producer, you sacrifice the former. You have done so for the purpose of encouraging labor and increasing employment. For the same reason you should do so again.

You have yourself refuted this objection. When you are told that the consumer is interested in the free importation of iron, coal, corn, textile fabrics--yes, you reply, but the producer is interested in their exclusion. Well, be it so;--if consumers are interested in the free admission of natural light, the producers of artificial light are equally interested in its prohibition.

But again, you may say that the producer and consumer are identical. If the manufacturer gain by protection, he will make the agriculturist also a gainer; and if agriculture prosper, it will open a vent to manufactures. Very well: if you confer upon us the monopoly of furnishing light during the day,--first of all, we shall purchase quantities of tallow, coals, oils, resinous substances, wax, alcohol--besides silver, iron, bronze, crystal--to carry on our manufactures; and then we, and those who furnish us with such commodities, having become rich, will consume a great deal, and impart prosperity to all the other branches of our national industry.

If you urge that the light of the sun is a gratuitous gift of nature, and that to reject such gifts is to reject wealth itself under pretense of encouraging the means of acquiring it, we would caution you against giving a death-blow to your own policy. Remember that hitherto you have always repelled foreign products, because they approximate more nearly than home products to the character of gratuitous gifts. To comply with the exactions of other monopolists, you have only half a motive; and to repulse us simply because we stand on a stronger vantage-ground than others would be to adopt the equation, +X+=--; in other words, it would be to heap absurdity upon absurdity.

Nature and human labor co-operate in various proportions (depending on countries and climates) in the production of commodities. The part which nature executes is always gratuitous; it is the part executed by human labor which constitutes value, and is paid for.

If a Lisbon orange sells for half the price of a Paris orange, it is because natural and consequently gratuitous heat does for the one what artificial and therefore expensive heat must do for the other.

When an orange comes to us from Portugal, we may conclude that it is furnished in part gratuitously, in part for an onerous consideration; in other words, it comes to us at half-price as compared with those of Paris.

Now, it is precisely the gratuitous half (pardon the word) which we contend should be excluded. You say, How can natural labor sustain competition with foreign labor, when the former has all the work to do, and the latter only does one-half, the sun supplying the remainder? But if this half, being gratuitous, determines you to exclude competition, how should the whole, being gratuitous, induce you to admit competition? If you were consistent, you would, while excluding as hurtful to native industry what is half gratuitous, exclude a fortiori and with double zeal that which is altogether gratuitous.

Once more, when products such as coal, iron, corn, or textile fabrics are sent us from abroad, and we can acquire them with less labor than if we made them ourselves, the difference is a free gift conferred upon us. The gift is more or less considerable in proportion as the difference is more or less great. It amounts to a quarter, a half, or three-quarters of the value of the product, when the foreigner only asks us for three-fourths, a half, or a quarter of the price we should otherwise pay. It is as perfect and complete as it can be, when the donor (like the sun in furnishing us with light) asks us for nothing. The question, and we ask it formally, is this, Do you desire for our country the benefit of gratuitous consumption, or the pretended advantages of onerous production? Make your choice, but be logical; for as long as you exclude, as you do, coal, iron, corn, foreign fabrics, in proportion as their price approximates to zero, what inconsistency would it be to admit the light of the sun, the price of which is already at zero during the entire day!


There were, no matter where, two towns called Fooltown and Babytown. They completed at great cost a highway from the one town to the other. When this was done, Fooltown said to herself, "See how Babytown inundates us with her products; we must see to it." In consequence, they created and paid a body of obstructives, so called because their business was to place obstacles in the way of traffic coming from Babytown. Soon afterwards Babytown did the same.

At the end of some centuries, knowledge having in the interim made great progress, the common sense of Babytown enabled her to see that such reciprocal obstacles could only be reciprocally hurtful. She therefore sent a diplomatist to Fooltown, who, laying aside official phraseology, spoke to this effect:

"We have made a highway, and now we throw obstacles in the way of using it. This is absurd. It would have been better to have left things as they were. We should not, in that case, have had to pay for making the road in the first place, nor afterwards have incurred the expense of maintaining obstructives. In the name of Babytown, I come to propose to you, not to give up opposing each other all at once,--that would be to act upon a principle, and we despise principles as much as you do,--but to lessen somewhat the present obstacles, taking care to estimate equitably the respective sacrifices we make for this purpose."

So spoke the diplomatist. Fooltown asked for time to consider the proposal, and proceeded to consult in succession her manufacturers and agriculturists. At length, after the lapse of some years, she declared that the negotiations were broken off. On receiving this intimation, the inhabitants of Babytown held a meeting. An old gentleman (they always suspected he had been secretly bought by Fooltown) rose and said:--"The obstacles created by Fooltown injure our sales, which is a misfortune. Those which we have ourselves created injure our purchases, which is another misfortune. With reference to the first, we are powerless; but the second rests with ourselves. Let us at least get quit of one, since we cannot rid ourselves of both evils. Let us suppress our obstructives without requiring Fooltown to do the same. Some day, no doubt, she will come to know her own interests better."

A second counselor, a practical, matter-of-fact man, guiltless of any acquaintance with principles, and brought up in the ways of his forefathers, replied--

"Don't listen to that Utopian dreamer, that theorist, that innovator, that economist; that Stultomaniac. We shall all be undone if the stoppages of the road are not equalized, weighed, and balanced between Fooltown and Babytown. There would be greater difficulty in going than in coming, in exporting than in importing. We should find ourselves in the same condition of inferiority relatively to Fooltown, as Havre, Nantes, Bordeaux, Lisbon, London, Hamburg, and New Orleans, are with relation to the towns situated at the sources of the Seine, the Loire, the Garonne, the Tagus, the Thames, the Elbe, and the Mississippi; for it is more difficult for a ship to ascend than to descend a river. [A Voice--'Towns at the embouchures of rivers prosper more than towns at their source.'] This is impossible. [Same Voice--'But it is so.'] Well, if it be so, they have prospered contrary to rules."

Reasoning so conclusive convinced the assembly, and the orator followed up his victory by talking largely of national independence, national honor, national dignity, national labor, inundation of products, tributes, murderous competition. In short, he carried the vote in favor of the maintenance of obstacles; and if you are at all curious on the subject, I can point out to you countries, where you will see with your own eyes Roadmakers and Obstructives working together on the most friendly terms possible, under the orders of the same legislative assembly, and at the expense of the same taxpayers, the one set endeavoring to clear the road, and the other set doing their utmost to render it impassable.


From 'Economic Sophisms'

Let us give up ... the puerility of applying to industrial competition phrases applicable to war,--a way of speaking which is only specious when applied to competition between two rival trades. The moment we come to take into account the effect produced on the general prosperity, the analogy disappears.

In a battle, every one who is killed diminishes by so much the strength of the army. In industry, a workshop is shut up only when what it produced is obtained by the public from another source and in greater abundance. Figure a state of things where for one man killed on the spot two should rise up full of life and vigor. Were such a state of things possible, war would no longer merit its name.

This, however, is the distinctive character of what is so absurdly called industrial war.

Let the Belgians and the English lower the price of their iron ever so much; let them, if they will, send it to us for nothing: this might extinguish some of our blast-furnaces; but immediately, and as a necessary consequence of this very cheapness, there would rise up a thousand other branches of industry more profitable than the one which had been superseded.

We arrive, then, at the conclusion that domination by labor is impossible, and a contradiction in terms, seeing that all superiority which manifests itself among a people means cheapness, and tends only to impart force to all other nations. Let us banish, then, from political economy all terms borrowed from the military vocabulary: to fight with equal weapons, to conquer, to crush, to stifle, to be beaten, invasion, tribute, etc. What do such phrases mean? Squeeze them, and you obtain nothing. Yes, you do obtain something; for from such words proceed absurd errors, and fatal and pestilent prejudices. Such phrases tend to arrest the fusion of nations, are inimical to their peaceful, universal, and indissoluble alliance, and retard the progress of the human race.




harles Baudelaire was born in Paris in 1821; he died there in 1867. Between these dates lies the evolution of one of the most striking personalities in French literature, and the development of an influence which affected not only the literature of the poet's own country, but that of all Europe and America. The genuineness of both personality and influence was one of the first critical issues raised after Baudelaire's advent into literature; it is still one of the main issues in all critical consideration of him. A question which involves by implication the whole relation of poetry, and of art as such, to life, is obviously one that furnishes more than literary issues, and engages other than literary interests. And thus, by easy and natural corollaries, Baudelaire has been made a subject of appeal not only to judgment, but even to conscience. At first sight, therefore, he appears surrounded either by an intricate moral maze, or by a no less troublesome confusion of contradictory theories from opposing camps rather than schools of criticism. But no author--no dead author--is more accessible, or more communicable in his way; his poems, his theories, and a goodly portion of his life, lie at the disposition of any reader who cares to know him.

Charles Baudelaire.

The Baudelaire legend, as it is called by French critics, is one of the blooms of that romantic period of French literature which is presided over by the genius of Théophile Gautier. Indeed; it is against the golden background of Gautier's imagination that the picture of the youthful poet is best preserved for us, appearing in all the delicate and illusive radiance of the youth and beauty of legendary saints on the gilded canvases of mediaeval art. The radiant youth and beauty may be no more truthful to nature than the gilded background, but the fact of the impression sought to be conveyed is not on that account to be disbelieved.

Baudelaire, Gautier writes, was born in the Rue Hautefeuille, in one of those old houses with a pepper-pot turret at the corner which have disappeared from the city under the advancing improvement of straight lines and clear openings. His father, a gentleman of learning, retained all the eighteenth-century courtesy and distinction of manner, which, like the pepper-pot turret, has also disappeared under the advance of Republican enlightenment. An absent-minded, reserved child, Baudelaire attracted no especial attention during his school days. When they were over, his predilection for a literary vocation became known. From this his parents sought to divert him by sending him to travel. He voyaged through the Indian Ocean, visiting the great islands: Madagascar, Ceylon, Mauritius, Bourbon. Had there been a chance for irresolution in the mind of the youth, this voyage destroyed it forever. His imagination, essentially exotic, succumbed to the passionate charm of a new, strange, and splendidly glowing form of nature; the stars, the skies, the gigantic vegetation, the color, the perfumes, the dark-skinned figures in white draperies, formed for him at that time a heaven, for which his senses unceasingly yearned afterwards amid the charms and enchantments of civilization, in the world's capital of pleasure and luxury. Returning to Paris, of age and master of his fortune, he established himself in his independence, openly adopting his chosen career.

He and Théophile Gautier met for the first time in 1849, in the Hotel Pimodau, where were held the meetings of the Hashish Club. Here in the great Louis XIV. saloon, with its wood-work relieved with dull gold; its corbeled ceiling, painted after the manner of Lesueur and Poussin, with satyrs pursuing nymphs through reeds and foliage; its great red and white spotted marble mantel, with gilded elephant harnessed like the elephant of Porus in Lebrun's picture, bearing an enameled clock with blue ciphers; its antique chairs and sofas, covered with faded tapestry representing hunting scenes, holding the reclining figures of the members of the club; women celebrated in the world of beauty, men in the world of letters, meeting not only for the enjoyment of the artificial ecstasies of the drug, but to talk of art, literature, and love, as in the days of the Decameron--here Baudelaire made what might be called his historic impression upon literature. He was at that time twenty-eight years of age; and even in that assemblage, in those surroundings, his personality was striking. His black hair, worn close to the head, grew in regular scallops over a forehead of dazzling whiteness; his eyes, the color of Spanish tobacco, were spiritual, deep, penetrating, perhaps too insistently so, in expression; the mobile sinuous mouth had the ironical voluptuous lips that Leonardo da Vinci loved to paint; the nose was delicate and sensitive, with quivering nostrils; a deep dimple accentuated the chin; the bluish-black tint of the shaven skin, softened with rice-powder, contrasted with the clear rose and white of the upper part of his cheeks. Always dressed with meticulous neatness and simplicity, following English rather than French taste; in manner punctiliously observant of the strictest conventionality, scrupulously, even excessively polite; in talk measuring his phrases, using only the most select terms, and pronouncing certain words as if the sound itself possessed a certain subtle, mystical value,--throwing his voice into capitals and italics;--in contrast with the dress and manners about him, he, according to Gautier, looked like a dandy who had strayed into Bohemia.

The contrast was no less violent between Baudelaire's form and the substance of his conversation. With a simple, natural, and perfectly impartial manner, as if he were conveying commonplace information about every-day life, he would advance some axiom monstrously Satanic, or sustain, with the utmost grace and coolness, some mathematical extravagance in the way of a theory. And no one could so inflexibly push a paradox to the uttermost limits, regardless of consequences to received notions of morality or religion; always employing the most rigorous methods of logic and reason. His wit was found to lie neither in words nor thoughts, but in the peculiar standpoint from which he regarded things, a standpoint which altered their outlines,--like those of objects looked down upon from a bird's flight, or looked up to on a ceiling. In this way, to continue the exposition of Gautier, Baudelaire saw relations inappreciable to others, whose logical bizarrerie was startling.

His first productions were critical articles for the Parisian journals; articles that at the time passed unperceived, but which to-day furnish perhaps the best evidences of that keen artistic insight and foresight of the poet, which was at once his greatest good and evil genius. In 1856 appeared his translation of the works of Edgar Allan Poe; a translation which may be said to have naturalized Poe in French literature, where he has played a role curiously like that of Baudelaire in Poe's native literature. The natural predisposition of Baudelaire, which fitted him to be the French interpreter of Poe, rendered him also peculiarly sensitive to Poe's mysteriously subtle yet rankly vigorous charms; and he showed himself as sensitively responsive to these as he had been to the exotic charms of the East. The influence upon his intellectual development was decisive and final. His indebtedness to Poe, or it might better be said, his identification with Poe, is visible not only in his paradoxical manias, but in his poetry, and in his theories of art and poetry set forth in his various essays and fugitive prose expressions, and notably in his introduction to his translations of the American author's works.

In 1857 appeared the "Fleurs du Mal" (Flowers of Evil), the volume of poems upon which Baudelaire's fame as a poet is founded. It was the result of his thirty years' devotion to the study of his art and meditation upon it. Six of the poems were suppressed by the censor of the Second Empire. This action called out, in form of protest, that fine appreciation and defense of Baudelaire's genius and best defense of his methods, by four of the foremost critics and keenest artists in poetry of Paris, which form, with the letters from Sainte-Beuve, de Custine, and Deschamps, a precious appendix to the third edition of the poems.

The name 'Flowers of Evil' is a sufficient indication of the intentions and aim of the author. Their companions in the volume are: 'Spleen and Ideal,' 'Parisian Pictures,' 'Wine,' 'Revolt,' 'Death.' The simplest description of them is that they are indescribable. They must not only be read, they must be studied repeatedly to be understood as they deserve. The paradox of their most exquisite art, and their at times most revolting revelations of the degradations and perversities of humanity, can be accepted with full appreciation of the author's meaning only by granting the same paradox to his genuine nature; by crediting him with being not only an ardent idealist of art for art's sake, but an idealist of humanity for humanity's sake; one to whom humanity, even in its lowest degradations and vilest perversions, is sublimely sacred;--one to whom life offered but one tragedy, that of human souls flying like Cain from a guilt-stricken paradise, but pursued by the remorse of innocence, and scourged by the consciousness of their own infinitude.

But the poet's own words are the best explanation of his aim and intention:--

"Poetry, though one delve ever so little into his own self, interrogate his own soul, recall his memories of enthusiasms, has no other end than itself; it cannot have any other aim, and no poem will be so great, so noble, so truly worthy of the name of poem, as that which shall have been written solely for the pleasure of writing a poem. I do not wish to say that poetry should not ennoble manners--that its final result should not be to raise man above vulgar interests. That would be an evident absurdity. I say that if the poet has pursued a moral end, he has diminished his poetic force, and it would not be imprudent to wager that his work would be bad. Poetry cannot, under penalty of death or forfeiture, assimilate itself to science or morality. It has not Truth for object, it has only itself. Truth's modes of demonstration are different and elsewhere. Truth has nothing to do with ballads; all that constitutes the charm, the irresistible grace of a ballad, would strip Truth of its authority and power. Cold, calm, impassive, the demonstrative temperament rejects the diamonds and flowers of the muse; it is, therefore, the absolute inverse of the poetic temperament. Pure Intellect aims at Truth, Taste shows us Beauty, and the Moral Sense teaches us Duty. It is true that the middle term has intimate connection with the two extremes, and only separates itself from Moral Sense by a difference so slight that Aristotle did not hesitate to class some of its delicate operations amongst the virtues. And accordingly what, above all, exasperates the man of taste is the spectacle of vice, is its deformity, its disproportions. Vice threatens the just and true, and revolts intellect and conscience; but as an outrage upon harmony, as dissonance, it would particularly wound certain poetic minds, and I do not think it would be scandal to consider all infractions of moral beauty as a species of sin against rhythm and universal prosody.

"It is this admirable, this immortal instinct of the Beautiful which makes us consider the earth and its spectacle as a sketch, as a correspondent of Heaven. The insatiable thirst for all that is beyond that which life veils is the most living proof of our immortality. It is at once by poetry and across it, across and through music, that the soul gets a glimpse of the splendors that lie beyond the tomb. And when an exquisite poem causes tears to rise in the eye, these tears are not the proof of excessive enjoyment, but rather the testimony of a moved melancholy, of a postulation of the nerves, of a nature exiled in the imperfect, which wishes to take immediate possession, even on earth, of a revealed paradise.

"Thus the principle of poetry is strictly and simply human aspiration toward superior beauty; and the manifestation of this principle is enthusiasm and uplifting of the soul,--enthusiasm entirely independent of passion,--which is the intoxication of heart, and of truth which is the food of reason. For passion is a natural thing, even too natural not to introduce a wounding, discordant tone into the domain of pure beauty; too familiar, too violent, not to shock the pure Desires, the gracious Melancholies, and the noble Despairs which inhabit the supernatural regions of poetry."

Baudelaire saw himself as the poet of a decadent epoch, an epoch in which art had arrived at the over-ripened maturity of an aging civilization; a glowing, savorous, fragrant over-ripeness, that is already softening into decomposition. And to be the fitting poet of such an epoch, he modeled his style on that of the poets of the Latin decadence; for, as he expressed it for himself and for the modern school of "decadents" in French poetry founded upon his name:--

"Does it not seem to the reader, as to me, that the language of the last Latin decadence--that supreme sigh of a robust person already transformed and prepared for spiritual life--is singularly fitted to express passion as it is understood and felt by the modern world? Mysticism is the other end of the magnet of which Catullus and his band, brutal and purely epidermic poets, knew only the sensual pole. In this wonderful language, solecisms and barbarisms seem to express the forced carelessness of a passion which forgets itself, and mocks at rules. The words, used in a novel sense, reveal the charming awkwardness of a barbarian from the North, kneeling before Roman Beauty."

Nature, the nature of Wordsworth and Tennyson, did not exist for Baudelaire; inspiration he denied; simplicity he scouted as an anachronism in a decadent period of perfected art, whose last word in poetry should be the apotheosis of the Artificial. "A little charlatanism is permitted even to genius," he wrote: "it is like fard on the cheeks of a naturally beautiful woman; an appetizer for the mind." Again he expresses himself:

"It seems to me, two women are presented to me, one a rustic matron, repulsive in health and virtue, without manners, without expression; in short, owing nothing except to simple nature;--the other, one of those beauties that dominate and oppress memory, uniting to her original and unfathomable charms all the eloquence of dress; who is mistress of her part, conscious of and queen of herself, speaking like an instrument well tuned; with looks freighted with thought, yet letting flow only what she would. My choice would not be doubtful; and yet there are pedagogic sphinxes who would reproach me as recreant to classical honor."

In music it was the same choice. He saw the consummate art and artificiality of Wagner, and preferred it to all other music, at a time when the German master was ignored and despised by a classicized musical world. In perfumes it was not the simple fragrance of the rose or violet that he loved, but musk and amber; and he said, "my soul hovers over perfumes as the souls of other men hover over music."

Besides his essays and sketches, Baudelaire published in prose a novelette; 'Fanfarlo,' 'Artificial Paradises,' opium and hashish, imitations of De Quincey's 'Confessions of an Opium Eater'; and 'Little Prose Poems,' also inspired by a book, the 'Gaspard de la Nuit' of Aloysius Bertrand, and which Baudelaire thus describes:--

"The idea came to me to attempt something analogous, and to apply to the description of modern life, or rather a modern and more abstract life, the methods he had applied to the painting of ancient life, so strangely picturesque. Which one of us in his ambitious days has not dreamed of a miracle of poetic prose, musical, without rhythm and without rhyme, supple enough and rugged enough to adapt itself to the lyrical movements of the soul, to the undulations of reverie, and to the assaults of conscience?"

Failing health induced Baudelaire to quit Paris and establish himself in Brussels; but he received no benefit from the change of climate, and the first symptoms of his terrible malady manifested themselves--a slowness of speech, and hesitation over words. As a slow and sententious enunciation was characteristic of him, the symptoms attracted no attention, until he fell under a sudden and violent attack. He was brought back to Paris and conveyed to a "maison de santé," where he died, after lingering several months in a paralyzed condition, motionless, speechless; nothing alive in him but thought, seeking to express itself through his eyes.

The nature of Baudelaire's malady and death was, by the public at large, accepted as confirmation of the suspicion that he was in the habit of seeking his inspiration in the excitation of hashish and opium. His friends, however, recall the fact of his incessant work, and intense striving after his ideal in art; his fatigue of body and mind, and his increasing weariness of spirit under the accumulating worries and griefs of a life for which his very genius unfitted him. He was also known to be sober in his tastes, as all great workers are. That he had lent himself more than once to the physiological and psychological experiment of hashish was admitted; but he was a rare visitor at the séances in the saloon of the Hotel Pimodau, and came as a simple observer of others. His masterly description of the hallucinations produced by hashish is accompanied by analytical and moral commentaries which unmistakably express repugnance to and condemnation of the drug:--

"Admitting for the moment," he writes, "the hypothesis of a constitution tempered enough and strong enough to resist the evil effects of the perfidious drug, another, a fatal and terrible danger, must be thought of,--that of habit. He who has recourse to a poison to enable him to think, will soon not be able to think without the poison. Imagine the horrible fate of a man whose paralyzed imagination is unable to work without the aid of hashish or opium.... But man is not so deprived of honest means of gaining heaven, that he is obliged to invoke the aid of pharmacy or witchcraft; he need not sell his soul in order to pay for the intoxicating caresses and the love of houris. What is a paradise that one purchases at the expense of one's own soul?... Unfortunate wretches who have neither fasted nor prayed, and who have refused the redemption of labor, ask from black magic the means to elevate themselves at a single stroke to a supernatural existence. Magic dupes them, and lights for them a false happiness and a false light; while we, poets and philosophers, who have regenerated our souls by incessant work and contemplation, by the assiduous exercise of the will and permanent nobility of intention, we have created for our use a garden of true beauty. Confiding in the words that 'faith will remove mountains,' we have accomplished the one miracle for which God has given us license."

The perfect art-form of Baudelaire's poems makes translation of them indeed a literal impossibility. The 'Little Old Women,' 'The Voyage,' 'The Voyage to Cytherea,' 'A Red-haired Beggar-girl,' 'The Seven Old Men,' and sonnet after sonnet in 'Spleen and Ideal,' seem to rise only more and more ineffable from every attempt to filter them through another language, or through another mind than that of their original, and, it would seem, one possible creator.


Be pitiful, my sorrow--be thou still:
For night thy thirst was--lo, it falleth down,
  Slowly darkening it veils the town,
Bringing its peace to some, to some its ill.

  While the dull herd in its mad career
Under the pitiless scourge, the lash of unclean desire,
Goes culling remorse with fingers that never tire:--
  My sorrow,--thy hand! Come, sit thou by me here.

Here, far from them all. From heaven's high balconies
See! in their threadbare robes the dead years cast their eyes:
  And from the depths below regret's wan smiles appear.

The sun, about to set, under the arch sinks low,
Trailing its weltering pall far through the East aglow.
  Hark, dear one, hark! Sweet night's approach is near.

Translated for the 'Library of the World's Best Literature.'


This is death the consoler--death that bids live again;
    Here life its aim: here is our hope to be found,
  Making, like magic elixir, our poor weak heads to swim round,
And giving us heart for the struggle till night makes end of the pain.

    Athwart the hurricane--athwart the snow and the sleet,
      Afar there twinkles over the black earth's waste,
The light of the Scriptural inn where the weary and the faint may taste
  The sweets of welcome, the plenteous feast and the secure retreat.

      It is an angel, in whose soothing palms
      Are held the boon of sleep and dreamy balms,
        Who makes a bed for poor unclothèd men;
    It is the pride of the gods--the all-mysterious room,
    The pauper's purse--this fatherland of gloom,
      The open gate to heaven, and heavens beyond our ken.

Translated for the 'Library of the World's Best Literature.'

Photogravure from a Painting by J.M. Strudwick.


Sweet music sweeps me like the sea
  Toward my pale star,
Whether the clouds be there or all the air be free
  I sail afar.
With front outspread and swelling breasts,
  On swifter sail
I bound through the steep waves' foamy crests
  Under night's veil.
Vibrate within me I feel all the passions that lash
  A bark in distress:
By the blast I am lulled--by the tempest's wild crash
  On the salt wilderness.
Then comes the dead calm--mirrored there
  I behold my despair.

Translated for the 'Library of the World's Best Literature.'


Bitter and sweet, when wintry evenings fall
  Across the quivering, smoking hearth, to hear
  Old memory's notes sway softly far and near,
While ring the chimes across the gray fog's pall.

Thrice blessed bell, that, to time insolent,
  Still calls afar its old and pious song,
  Responding faithfully in accents strong,
Like some old sentinel before his tent.

I too--my soul is shattered;--when at times
It would beguile the wintry nights with rhymes
  Of old, its weak old voice at moments seems
Like gasps some poor, forgotten soldier heaves
Beside the blood-pools--'neath the human sheaves
  Gasping in anguish toward their fixèd dreams.

Translated for the 'Library of the World's Best Literature.'

The two poems following are used by permission of the J.B. Lippincott Company.


My youth swept by in storm and cloudy gloom,
  Lit here and there by glimpses of the sun;
  But in my garden, now the storm is done,
Few fruits are left to gather purple bloom.

Here have I touched the autumn of the mind;
  And now the careful spade to labor comes,
Smoothing the earth torn by the waves and wind,
  Full of great holes, like open mouths of tombs.

And who knows if the flowers whereof I dream
Shall find, beneath this soil washed like the stream,
The force that bids them into beauty start?
  O grief! O grief! Time eats our life away,
And the dark Enemy that gnaws our heart
  Grows with the ebbing life-blood of his prey!

Translation of Miss Katharine Hillard.


Beautiful am I as a dream in stone;
  And for my breast, where each falls bruised in turn,
  The poet with an endless love must yearn--
Endless as Matter, silent and alone.

A sphinx unguessed, enthroned in azure skies,
  White as the swan, my heart is cold as snow;
  No hated motion breaks my lines' pure flow,
Nor tears nor laughter ever dim mine eyes.

Poets, before the attitudes sublime
  I seem to steal from proudest monuments,
In austere studies waste the ling'ring time;
  For I possess, to charm my lover's sight,
  Mirrors wherein all things are fair and bright--
  My eyes, my large eyes of eternal light!

Translation of Miss Katharine Hillard.


Ho, Death, Boatman Death, it is time we set sail;
  Up anchor, away from this region of blight:
Though ocean and sky are like ink for the gale,
  Thou knowest our hearts are consoled with the light.

Thy poison pour out--it will comfort us well;
  Yea--for the fire that burns in our brain
We would plunge through the depth, be it heaven or hell,
  Through the fathomless gulf--the new vision to gain.

Translated for the 'Library of the World's Best Literature.'


From 'L'Art Romantique'

The crowd is his domain, as the air is that of the bird and the water that of the fish. His passion and his profession is "to wed the crowd." For the perfect flâneur, for the passionate observer, it is an immense pleasure to choose his home in number, change, motion, in the fleeting and the infinite. To be away from one's home and yet to be always at home; to be in the midst of the world, to see it, and yet to be hidden from it; such are some of the least pleasures of these independent, passionate, impartial minds which language can but awkwardly define. The observer is a prince who everywhere enjoys his incognito. The amateur of life makes the world his family, as the lover of the fair sex makes his family of all beauties, discovered, discoverable, and indiscoverable, as the lover of painting lives in an enchanted dreamland painted on canvas. Thus the man who is in love with all life goes into a crowd as into an immense electric battery. One might also compare him to a mirror as immense as the crowd; to a conscious kaleidoscope which in each movement represents the multiform life and the moving grace of all life's elements. He is an ego insatiably hungry for the non-ego, every moment rendering it and expressing it in images more vital than life itself, which is always unstable and fugitive. "Any man," said Mr. G---- one day, in one of those conversations which he lights up with intense look and vivid gesture, "any man, not overcome by a sorrow so heavy that it absorbs all the faculties, who is bored in the midst of a crowd is a fool, a fool, and I despise him."

When Mr. G---- awakens and sees the blustering sun attacking the window-panes, he says with remorse, with regret:--"What imperial order! What a trumpet flourish of light! For hours already there has been light everywhere, light lost by my sleep! How many lighted objects I might have seen and have not seen!" And then he starts off, he watches in its flow the river of vitality, so majestic and so brilliant. He admires the eternal beauty and the astonishing harmony of life in great cities, a harmony maintained in so providential a way in the tumult of human liberty. He contemplates the landscapes of the great city, landscapes of stone caressed by the mist or struck by the blows of the sun. He enjoys the fine carriages, the fiery horses, the shining neatness of the grooms, the dexterity of the valets, the walk of the gliding women, of the beautiful children, happy that they are alive and dressed; in a word, he enjoys the universal life. If a fashion, the cut of a piece of clothing has been slightly changed, if bunches of ribbon or buckles have been displaced by cockades, if the bonnet is larger and the back hair a notch lower on the neck, if the waist is higher and the skirt fuller, be sure that his eagle eye will see it at an enormous distance. A regiment passes, going perhaps to the end of the earth, throwing into the air of the boulevards the flourish of trumpets compelling and light as hope; the eye of Mr. G---- has already seen, studied, analyzed the arms, the gait, the physiognomy of the troop. Trappings, scintillations, music, firm looks, heavy and serious mustaches, all enters pell-mell into him, and in a few moments the resulting poem will be virtually composed. His soul is alive with the soul of this regiment which is marching like a single animal, the proud image of joy in obedience!

But evening has come. It is the strange, uncertain hour at which the curtains of the sky are drawn and the cities are lighted. The gas throws spots on the purple of the sunset. Honest or dishonest, sane or mad, men say to themselves, "At last the day is at an end!" The wise and the good-for-nothing think of pleasure, and each hurries to the place of his choice to drink the cup of pleasure. Mr. G---- will be the last to leave any place where the light may blaze, where poetry may throb, where life may tingle, where music may vibrate, where a passion may strike an attitude for his eye, where the man of nature and the man of convention show themselves in a strange light, where the sun lights up the rapid joys of fallen creatures! "A day well spent," says a kind of reader whom we all know, "any one of us has genius enough to spend a day that way." No! Few men are gifted with the power to see; still fewer have the power of expression. Now, at the hour when others are asleep, this man is bent over his table, darting on his paper the same look which a short time ago he was casting on the world, battling with his pencil, his pen, his brush, throwing the water out of his glass against the ceiling, wiping his pen on his shirt,--driven, violent, active, as if he fears that his images will escape him, a quarreler although alone,--a cudgeler of himself. And the things he has seen are born again upon the paper, natural and more than natural, beautiful and more than beautiful, singular and endowed with an enthusiastic life like the soul of the author. The phantasmagoria have been distilled from nature. All the materials with which his memory is crowded become classified, orderly, harmonious, and undergo that compulsory idealization which is the result of a childlike perception, that is to say, of a perception that is keen, magical by force of ingenuousness.


Thus he goes, he runs, he seeks. What does he seek? Certainly this man, such as I have portrayed him, this solitary, gifted with an active imagination, always traveling through the great desert of mankind, has a higher end than that of a mere observer, an end more general than the fugitive pleasure of the passing event. He seeks this thing which we may call modernness, for no better word to express the idea presents itself. His object is to detach from fashion whatever it may contain of the poetry in history, to draw the eternal from the transitory. If we glance at the exhibitions of modern pictures, we are struck with the general tendency of the artists to dress all their subjects in ancient costumes. That is obviously the sign of great laziness, for it is much easier to declare that everything in the costume of a certain period is ugly than to undertake the work of extracting from it the mysterious beauty which may be contained in it, however slight or light it may be. The modern is the transitory, the fleeting, the contingent, the half of art, whose other half is the unchanging and the eternal. There was a modernness for every ancient painter; most of the beautiful portraits which remain to us from earlier times are dressed in the costumes of their times. They are perfectly harmonious, because the costumes, the hair, even the gesture, the look and the smile (every epoch has its look and its smile), form a whole that is entirely lifelike. You have no right to despise or neglect this transitory, fleeting element, of which the changes are so frequent. In suppressing it you fall by necessity into the void of an abstract and undefinable beauty, like that of the only woman before the fall. If instead of the costume of the epoch, which is a necessary element, you substitute another, you create an anomaly which can have no excuse unless it is a burlesque called for by the vogue of the moment. Thus, the goddesses, the nymphs, the sultans of the eighteenth century are portraits morally accurate.



Under a great gray sky, in a great powdery plain without roads, without grass, without a thistle, without a nettle, I met several men who were walking with heads bowed down.

Each one bore upon his back an enormous Chimera, as heavy as a bag of flour or coal, or the accoutrements of a Roman soldier.

But the monstrous beast was not an inert weight; on the contrary, it enveloped and oppressed the man with its elastic and mighty muscles; it fastened with its two vast claws to the breast of the bearer, and its fabulous head surmounted the brow of the man, like one of those horrible helmets by which the ancient warriors hoped to increase the terror of the enemy.

I questioned one of these men, and I asked him whither they were bound thus. He answered that he knew not, neither he nor the others; but that evidently they were bound somewhere, since they were impelled by an irresistible desire to go forward.

It is curious to note that not one of these travelers looked irritated at the ferocious beast suspended from his neck and glued against his back; it seemed as though he considered it as making part of himself. None of these weary and serious faces bore witness to any despair; under the sullen cupola of the sky, their feet plunging into the dust of a soil as desolate as that sky, they went their way with the resigned countenances of those who have condemned themselves to hope forever.

The procession passed by me and sank into the horizon's atmosphere, where the rounded surface of the planet slips from the curiosity of human sight, and for a few moments I obstinately persisted in wishing to fathom the mystery; but soon an irresistible indifference fell upon me, and I felt more heavily oppressed by it than even they were by their crushing Chimeras.


At the feet of a colossal Venus, one of those artificial fools, those voluntary buffoons whose duty was to make kings laugh when Remorse or Ennui possessed their souls, muffled in a glaring ridiculous costume, crowned with horns and bells, and crouched against the pedestal, raised his eyes full of tears toward the immortal goddess. And his eyes said:--"I am the least and the most solitary of human beings, deprived of love and of friendship, and therefore far below the most imperfect of the animals. Nevertheless, I am made, even I, to feel and comprehend the immortal Beauty! Ah, goddess! have pity on my sorrow and my despair!" But the implacable Venus gazed into the distance, at I know not what, with her marble eyes.


He who looks from without through an open window never sees as many things as he who looks at a closed window. There is no object more profound, more mysterious, more rich, more shadowy, more dazzling than a window lighted by a candle. What one can see in the sunlight is always less interesting than what takes place behind a blind. In that dark or luminous hole life lives, dreams, suffers.

Over the sea of roofs I see a woman, mature, already wrinkled, always bent over something, never going out. From her clothes, her movement, from almost nothing, I have reconstructed the history of this woman, or rather her legend, and sometimes I tell it over to myself in tears.

If it had been a poor old man I could have reconstructed his story as easily.

And I go to bed, proud of having lived and suffered in lives not my own.

Perhaps you may say, "Are you sure that this story is the true one?" What difference does it make what is the reality outside of me, if it has helped me to live, to know who I am and what I am?


One should be always drunk. That is all, the whole question. In order not to feel the horrible burden of Time, which is breaking your shoulders and bearing you to earth, you must be drunk without cease.

But drunk on what? On wine, poetry, or virtue, as you choose. But get drunk.

And if sometimes, on the steps of a palace, on the green grass of a moat, in the dull solitude of your chamber, you awake with your intoxication already lessened or gone, ask of the wind, the wave, the star, the clock, of everything that flies, sobs, rolls, sings, talks, what is the hour? and the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock will answer, "It is the hour to get drunk!" Not to be the martyred slave of Time, get drunk; get drunk unceasingly. Wine, poetry, or virtue, as you choose.


I swear to myself henceforth to adopt the following rules as the everlasting rules of my life.... To pray every morning to God, the Fountain of all strength and of all justice; to my father, to Mariette, and to Poe. To pray to them to give me necessary strength to accomplish all my tasks, and to grant my mother a life long enough to enjoy my reformation. To work all day, or at least as long as my strength lasts. To trust to God--that is to say, to Justice itself--for the success of my projects. To pray again every evening to God to ask Him for life and strength, for my mother and myself. To divide all my earnings into four parts--one for my daily expenses, one for my creditors, one for my friends, and one for my mother. To keep to principles of strict sobriety, and to banish all and every stimulant.




enjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield, born in London, December, 1804; died there April 19th, 1881. His paternal ancestors were of the house of Lara, and held high rank among Hebrew-Spanish nobles till the tribunal of Torquemada drove them from Spain to Venice. There, proud of their race and origin, they styled themselves, "Sons of Israel," and became merchant princes. But the city's commerce failing, the grandfather of Benjamin Disraeli removed to London with a diminished but comfortable fortune. His son, Isaac Disraeli, was a well-known literary man, and the author of 'The Curiosities of Literature.' On account of the political and social ostracism of the Jews in England, he had all his family baptized into the Church of England; but with Benjamin Disraeli especially, Christianity was never more than Judaism developed. His belief and his affections were in his own race.

Lord Beaconsfield.

Benjamin, like most Jewish youths, was educated in private schools, and at seventeen entered a solicitor's office. At twenty-two he published 'Vivian Grey' (London, 1826), which readable and amusing take-off of London society gave him great and instantaneous notoriety. Its minute descriptions of the great world, its caricatures of well-known social and political personages, its magnificent diction,--too magnificent to be taken quite seriously,--excited inquiry; and the great world was amazed to discover that the impertinent observer was not one of themselves, but a boy in a lawyer's office. To add to the audacity, he had conceived himself the hero of these diverting situations, and by his cleverness had outwitted age, beauty, rank, diplomacy itself.

Statesmen, poets, fine ladies, were all genuinely amused; and the author bade fair to become a lion, when he fell ill, and was compelled to leave England for a year or more, which he spent in travel on the Continent and in Egypt, Nubia, and Palestine. His visit to the birthplace of his race made an impression on him that lasted through his life and literature. It is embodied in his 'Letters to His Sister' (London, 1843), and the autobiographical novel 'Contarini Fleming' (1833), in which he turned his adventures into fervid English, at a guinea a volume. But although the spirit of poesy, in the form of a Childe Harold, stalks rampant through the romance, there is both feeling and fidelity to nature whenever he describes the Orient and its people. Then the bizarre, brilliant poseur forgets his rôle, and reveals his highest aspirations.

When Disraeli returned to London he became the fashion. Everybody, from the prime minister to Count D'Orsay, had read his clever novels. The poets praised them, Lady Blessington invited him to dine, Sir Robert Peel was "most gracious."

But literary success could never satisfy Disraeli's ambition: a seat in Parliament was at the end of his rainbow. He professed himself a radical, but he was a radical in his own sense of the term; and like his own Sidonia, half foreigner, half looker-on, he felt himself endowed with an insight only possible to, an outsider, an observer without inherited prepossessions.

Several contemporary sketches of Disraeli at this time have been preserved. His dress was purposed affectation; it led the beholder to look for folly only: and when the brilliant flash came, it was the more startling as unexpected from such a figure. Lady Dufferin told Mr. Motley that when she met Disraeli at dinner, he wore a black-velvet coat lined with satin, purple trousers with a gold band running down the outside seam, a scarlet waistcoat, long lace ruffles falling down to the tips of his fingers, white gloves with several rings outside, and long black ringlets rippling down his shoulders. She told him he had made a fool of himself by appearing in such a dress, but she did not guess why it had been adopted. Another contemporary says of him, "When duly excited, his command of language was wonderful, his power of sarcasm unsurpassed."

He was busy making speeches and writing political squibs for the next two years; for Parliament was before his eyes. "He knew," says Froude, "he had a devil of a tongue, and was unincumbered by the foolish form of vanity called modesty." 'Ixion in Heaven,' 'The Infernal Marriage,' and 'Popanilla' were attempts to rival both Lucian and Swift on their own ground. It is doubtful, however, whether he would have risked writing 'Henrietta Temple' (1837) and 'Venetia' (1837), two ardent love stories, had he not been in debt; for notoriety as a novelist is not always a recommendation to a constituency.

In 'Henrietta' he found an opportunity to write the biography of a lover oppressed by duns. It is a most entertaining novel even to a reader who does not read for a new light on the great statesman, and is remarkable as the beginning of what is now known as the "natural" manner; a revolt, his admirers tell us, from the stilted fashion of making love that then prevailed in novels.

'Venetia' is founded on the characters of Byron and Shelley, and is amusing reading. The high-flown language incrusted with the gems of rhetoric excites our risibilities, but it is not safe to laugh at Disraeli; in his most diverting aspects he has a deep sense of humor, and he who would mock at him is apt to get a whip across the face at an unguarded moment. Mr. Disraeli laughs in his sleeve at many things, but first of all at the reader.

He failed in his canvass for his seat at High Wycombe, but he turned his failure to good account, and established a reputation for pluck and influence. "A mighty independent personage," observed Charles Greville, and his famous quarrel with O'Connell did him so little harm that in 1837 he was returned for Maidstone. His first speech was a failure. The word had gone out that he was to be put down. At last, finding it useless to persist, he said he was not surprised at the reception he had experienced. He had begun several things many times and had succeeded at last. Then pausing, and looking indignantly across the house, he exclaimed in a loud and remarkable tone, "I will sit down now, but the time will come when you will hear me."

He married the widow of his patron, Wyndham Lewis, in 1838. This put him in possession of a fortune, and gave him the power to continue his political career. His radicalism was a thing of the past. He had drifted from Conservatism, with Peel for a leader, to aristocratic socialism; and in 1844, 1845, and 1847 appeared the Trilogy, as he styled the novels 'Coningsby,' 'Tancred,' and 'Sibyl.' Of the three, 'Coningsby' will prove the most entertaining to the modern reader. The hero is a gentleman, and in this respect is an improvement on Vivian Grey, for his audacity is tempered by good breeding. The plot is slight, but the scenes are entertaining. The famous Sidonia, the Jew financier, is a favorite with the author, and betrays his affection and respect for race. Lord Monmouth, the wild peer, is a rival of the "Marquis of Steyne" and worthy of a place in 'Vanity Fair'; the political intriguers are photographed from life, the pictures of fashionable London tickle both the vanity and the fancy of the reader.

'Sibyl' is too clearly a novel with a motive to give so much pleasure. It is a study of the contrasts between the lives of the very rich and the hopelessly poor, and an attempt to show the superior condition of the latter when the Catholic Church was all-powerful in England and the king an absolute monarch.

'Tancred' was composed when Disraeli was under "the illusion of a possibly regenerated aristocracy." He sends Tancred, the hero, the heir of a ducal house, to Palestine to find the inspiration to a true religious belief, and details his adventures with a power of sarcasm that is seldom equaled. In certain scenes in this novel the author rises from a mere mocker to a genuine satirist. Tancred's interview with the bishop, in which he takes that dignitary's religious tenets seriously; that with Lady Constance, when she explains the "Mystery of Chaos" and shows how "the stars are formed out of the cream of the Milky Way, a sort of celestial cheese churned into light" the vision of the angels on Mt. Sinai, and the celestial Sidonia who talks about the "Sublime and Solacing Doctrine of Theocratic Equality,"--all these are passages where we wonder whether the author sneered or blushed when he wrote. Certainly what has since been known as the Disraelian irony stings as we turn each page.

Meanwhile Disraeli had become a power in Parliament, and the bitter opponent of Peel, under whom Catholic emancipation, parliamentary reform, and the abrogation of the commercial system, had been carried without conditions and almost without mitigations.

Disraeli's assaults on his leader delighted the Liberals; the country members felt indignant satisfaction at the deserved chastisement of their betrayer. With malicious skill, Disraeli touched one after another the weak points in a character that was superficially vulnerable. Finally the point before the House became Peel's general conduct. He was beaten by an overwhelming majority, and to the hand that dethroned him descended the task of building up the ruins of the Conservative party. Disraeli's best friends felt this a welcome necessity. There is no example of a rise so sudden under such conditions. His politics were as much distrusted as his serious literary passages. But Disraeli was the single person equal to the task. For the next twenty-five years he led the Conservative opposition in the House of Commons, varied by short intervals of power. He was three times Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1853, 1858, and 1859; and on Lord Derby's retirement in 1868 he became Prime Minister.

In 1870, having laid aside novel-writing for twenty years, he published 'Lothair.' It is a politico-religious romance aimed at the Jesuits, the Fenians, and the Communists. It had an instantaneous success, for its author was the most conspicuous figure in Europe, but its popularity is also due to its own merits. We are all of us snobs after a fashion and love high society. The glory of entering the splendid portals of the real English dukes and duchesses seems to be ours when Disraeli throws open the magic door and ushers the reader in. The decorations do not seem tawdry, nor the tinsel other than real. We move with pleasurable excitement with Lothair from palace to castle, and thence to battle-field and scenes of dark intrigue. The hint of the love affair with the Olympian Theodora appeals to our romance; the circumventing of the wily Cardinal and his accomplices is agreeable to the Anglo-Saxon Protestant mind; their discomfiture, and the crowning of virtue in the shape of a rescued Lothair married to the English Duke's daughter with the fixed Church of England views, is what the reader expects and prays for, and is the last privilege of the real story-teller. That the author has thrown aside his proclivities for Romanism as he showed them in 'Sibyl,' no more disturbs us than the eccentricities of his politics. We do not quite give him our faith when he is most in earnest, talking Semitic Arianism on Mt. Sinai.

A peerage was offered to him in 1868. He refused it for himself, but asked Queen Victoria to grant the honor to his wife, who became the Countess of Beaconsfield. But in 1876 he accepted the rank and title of Earl of Beaconsfield. The author of 'Vivian Grey' received the title that Burke had refused.

His last novel, 'Endymion,' was written for the £10,000 its publishers paid for it. It adds nothing to his fame, but is an agreeable picture of fashionable London life and the struggles of a youth to gain power and place.

Lord Beaconsfield put more dukes, earls, lords and ladies, more gold and jewels, more splendor and wealth into his books than any one else ever tried to do. But beside his Oriental delight in the display of luxury, it is interesting to see the effect of that Orientalism when he describes the people from whom he sprang. His rare tenderness and genuine respect are for those of the race "that is the aristocracy of nature, the purest race, the chosen people." He sends all his heroes to Palestine for inspiration; wisdom dwells in her gates. Another aristocracy, that of talent, he recognizes and applauds. No dullard ever succeeds, no genius goes unrewarded.

It is the part of the story-teller to make his story a probable one to the listener, no matter how impossible both character and situation. Mr. Disraeli was accredited with the faculty of persuading himself to believe or disbelieve whatever he liked; and did he possess the same power over his readers, these entertaining volumes would lift him to the highest rank the novelist attains. As it is, he does not quite succeed in creating an illusion, and we are conscious of two lobes in the author's brain; in one sits a sentimentalist, in the other a mocking devil.


From 'Vivian Grey'

"I think we'd better take a little coffee now; and then, if you like, we'll just stroll into the REDOUTE" [continued Baron de Konigstein].

In a brilliantly illuminated saloon, adorned with Corinthian columns, and casts from some of the most famous antique statues, assembled between nine and ten o'clock in the evening many of the visitors at Ems. On each side of the room was placed a long, narrow table, one of which was covered with green baize, and unattended, while the variously colored leather surface of the other was very closely surrounded by an interested crowd. Behind this table stood two individuals of very different appearance. The first was a short, thick man, whose only business was dealing certain portions of playing cards with quick succession, one after the other; and as the fate of the table was decided by this process, did his companion, an extremely tall, thin man, throw various pieces of money upon certain stakes, which were deposited by the bystanders on different parts of the table; or, which was more often the case, with a silver rake with a long ebony handle, sweep into a large inclosure near him the scattered sums. This inclosure was called the bank, and the mysterious ceremony in which these persons were assisting was the celebrated game of rouge-et-noir. A deep silence was strictly observed by those who immediately surrounded the table; no voice was heard save that of the little, short, stout dealer, when, without an expression of the least interest, he seemed mechanically to announce the fate of the different colors. No other sound was heard save the jingle of the dollars and napoleons, and the ominous rake of the tall, thin banker. The countenances of those who were hazarding their money were grave and gloomy their eyes were fixed, their brows contracted, and their lips projected; and yet there was an evident effort visible to show that they were both easy and unconcerned. Each player held in his hand a small piece of pasteboard, on which, with a steel pricker, he marked the run of the cards, in order, from his observations, to regulate his own play: the rouge-et-noir player imagines that chance is not capricious. Those who were not interested in the game promenaded in two lines within the tables; or, seated in recesses between the pillars, formed small parties for conversation.

As Vivian and the baron entered, Lady Madeleine Trevor, leaning on the arm of an elderly man, left the room; but as she was in earnest conversation, she did not observe them.

"I suppose we must throw away a dollar or two, Grey!" said the baron, as he walked up to the table.

"My dear De Konigstein--one pinch--one pinch!"

"Ah! marquis, what fortune to-night?"

"Bad--bad! I have lost my napoleon: I never risk further. There's that cursed crusty old De Trumpetson, persisting, as usual, in his run of bad luck, because he will never give in. Trust me, my dear De Konigstein, it'll end in his ruin; and then, if there's a sale of his effects, I shall perhaps get the snuff-box--a-a-h!"

"Come, Grey; shall I throw down a couple of napoleons on joint account? I don't care much for play myself; but I suppose at Ems we must make up our minds to lose a few louis. Here! now for the red--joint account, mind!"


"There's the archduke! Let us go and make our bow; we needn't stick at the table as if our whole soul were staked with our crown pieces--we'll make our bow, and then return in time to know our fate." So saying, the gentlemen walked up to the top of the room.

"Why, Grey!--surely no--it cannot be--and yet it is. De Boeffleurs, how d'ye do?" said the baron, with a face beaming with joy, and a hearty shake of the hand. "My dear, dear fellow, how the devil did you manage to get off so soon? I thought you were not to be here for a fortnight: we only arrived ourselves to-day."

"Yes--but I've made an arrangement which I did not anticipate; and so I posted after you immediately. Whom do you think I have brought with me?"



"Ah! And the count?"

"Follows immediately. I expect him to-morrow or next day. Salvinski is talking to the archduke; and see, he beckons to me. I suppose I am going to be presented."

The chevalier moved forward, followed by the baron and Vivian.

"Any friend of Prince Salvinski I shall always have great pleasure in having presented to me. Chevalier, I feel great pleasure in having you presented to me! Chevalier, you ought to be proud of the name of Frenchman. Chevalier, the French are a grand nation. Chevalier, I have the highest respect for the French nation."

"The most subtle diplomatist," thought Vivian, as he recalled to mind his own introduction, "would be puzzled to decide to which interest his imperial highness leans."

The archduke now entered into conversation with the prince, and most of the circle who surrounded him. As his highness was addressing Vivian, the baron let slip our hero's arm, and seizing hold of the Chevalier de Boeffleurs, began walking up and down the room with him, and was soon engaged in very animated conversation. In a few minutes the archduke, bowing to his circle, made a move and regained the side of a Saxon lady, from whose interesting company he had been disturbed by the arrival of Prince Salvinski--an individual of whose long stories and dull romances the archduke had, from experience, a particular dread; but his highness was always very courteous to the Poles.

"Grey, I've dispatched De Boeffleurs to the house to instruct the servant and Ernstorff to do the impossible, in order that our rooms may be all together. You'll be delighted with De Boeffleurs when you know him, and I expect you to be great friends. Oh! by the by, his unexpected arrival has quite made us forget our venture at rouge-et-noir. Of course we're too late now for anything; even if we had been fortunate, our doubled stake, remaining on the table, is of course lost; we may as well, however, walk up." So saying, the baron reached the table.

"That is your excellency's stake!--that is your excellency's stake!" exclaimed many voices as he came up.

"What's the matter, my friends? what's the matter?" asked the baron, very calmly.

"There's been a run on the red! there's been a run on the red! and your excellency's stake has doubled each time. It has been 4--8--16--32--64--128--256; and now it's 512!" quickly rattled a little thin man in spectacles, pointing at the same time to his unparalleled line of punctures. This was one of those officious, noisy little men, who are always ready to give you unasked information on every possible subject, and who are never so happy as when they are watching over the interest of some stranger, who never thanks them for their unnecessary solicitude.

Vivian, in spite of his philosophy, felt the excitement and wonder of the moment. He looked very earnestly at the baron, whose countenance, however, remained perfectly unmoved.

"Grey," said he, very coolly, "it seems we're in luck."

"The stake's then not all your own?" very eagerly asked the little man in spectacles.

"No, part of it is yours, sir," answered the baron, very dryly.

"I'm going to deal," said the short, thick man behind. "Is the board cleared?"

"Your excellency then allows the stake to remain?" inquired the tall, thin banker, with affected nonchalance.

"Oh! certainly," said the baron, with real nonchalance.

"Three--eight--fourteen--twenty-four--thirty-four, Rouge 34--"

All crowded nearer; the table was surrounded five or six deep, for the wonderful run of luck had got wind, and nearly the whole room were round the table. Indeed, the archduke and Saxon lady, and of course the silent suite, were left alone at the upper part of the room. The tall banker did not conceal his agitation. Even the short, stout dealer ceased to be a machine. All looked anxious except the baron. Vivian looked at the table; his excellency watched, with a keen eye, the little dealer. No one even breathed as the cards descended. "Ten--twenty--" here the countenance of the banker brightened--"twenty-two-- twenty-five--twenty-eight--thirty-one'--Noir 31. The bank's broke; no more play to-night. The roulette table opens immediately."

In spite of the great interest which had been excited, nearly the whole crowd, without waiting to congratulate the baron, rushed to the opposite side of the room in order to secure places at the roulette table.

"Put these five hundred and twelve Napoleons into a bag," said the baron; "Grey, this is your share, and I congratulate you. With regard to the other half, Mr. Hermann, what bills have you got?"

"Two on Gogel's house of Frankfort--accepted of course--for two hundred and fifty each, and these twelve napoleons will make it right," said the tall banker, as he opened a large black pocket-book, from which he took out two small bits of paper. The baron examined them, and after having seen them indorsed, put them calmly into his pocket, not forgetting the twelve napoleons; and then taking Vivian's arm, and regretting extremely that he should have the trouble of carrying such a weight, he wished Mr. Hermann a very good-night and success at his roulette, and walked with his companion quietly home. Thus passed a day at Ems!


From 'The Young Duke'

You entered the Alhambra by a Saracenic cloister, from the ceiling of which an occasional lamp threw a gleam upon some Eastern arms hung up against the wall. This passage led to the armory, a room of moderate dimensions, but hung with rich contents. Many an inlaid breastplate--many a Mameluke scimitar and Damascus blade--many a gemmed pistol and pearl embroided saddle might there be seen, though viewed in a subdued and quiet light. All seemed hushed and still, and shrouded in what had the reputation of being a palace of pleasure.

In this chamber assembled the expected guests. His Grace and the Bird of Paradise arrived first, with their foreign friends. Lord Squib and Lord Darrell, Sir Lucius Grafton, Mr. Annesley, and Mr. Peacock Piggott followed, but not alone. There were two ladies who, by courtesy if no other right, bore the titles of Lady Squib and Mrs. Annesley. There was also a pseudo Lady Aphrodite Grafton. There was Mrs. Montfort, the famous blonde, of a beauty which was quite ravishing, and dignified as beautiful. Some said (but really people say such things) that there was a talk (I never believe anything I hear) that had not the Bird of Paradise flown in (these foreigners pick up everything), Mrs. Montfort would have been the Duchess of St. James. How this may be I know not; certain, however, this superb and stately donna did not openly evince any spleen at her more fortunate rival. Although she found herself a guest at the Alhambra instead of being the mistress of the palace, probably, like many other ladies, she looked upon this affair of the singing-bird as a freak that must end--and then perhaps his Grace, who was a charming young man, would return to his senses. There also was her sister, a long, fair girl, who looked sentimental, but was only silly. There was a little French actress, like a highly finished miniature; and a Spanish danseuse, tall, dusky, and lithe, glancing like a lynx, and graceful as a jennet.

Having all arrived, they proceeded down a small gallery to the banqueting-room. The doors were thrown open. Pardon me if for a moment I do not describe the chamber; but really, the blaze affects my sight. The room was large and lofty. It was fitted up as an Eastern tent. The walls were hung with scarlet cloth tied up with ropes of gold. Round the room crouched recumbent lions richly gilt, who grasped in their paw a lance, the top of which was a colored lamp. The ceiling was emblazoned with the Hauteville arms, and was radiant with burnished gold. A cresset lamp was suspended from the centre of the shield, and not only emitted an equable flow of soft though brilliant light, but also, as the aromatic oil wasted away, distilled an exquisite perfume.

The table blazed with golden plate, for the Bird of Paradise loved splendor. At the end of the room, under a canopy and upon a throne, the shield and vases lately executed for his Grace now appeared. Everything was gorgeous, costly, and imposing; but there was no pretense, save in the original outline, at maintaining the Oriental character. The furniture was French; and opposite the throne Canova's Hebe, by Bertolini, bounded with a golden cup from a pedestal of ormolu.

The guests are seated; but after a few minutes the servants withdraw. Small tables of ebony and silver, and dumb-waiters of ivory and gold, conveniently stored, are at hand, and Spiridion never leaves the room. The repast was most refined, most exquisite, and most various. It was one of those meetings where all eat. When a few persons, easy and unconstrained, unincumbered with cares, and of dispositions addicted to enjoyment, get together at past midnight, it is extraordinary what an appetite they evince. Singers also are proverbially prone to gormandize; and though the Bird of Paradise unfortunately possessed the smallest mouth in all Singingland, it is astonishing how she pecked! But they talked as well as feasted, and were really gay. It was amusing to observe--that is to say, if you had been a dumb-waiter, and had time for observation--how characteristic was the affectation of the women. Lady Squib was witty, Mrs. Annesley refined, and the pseudo Lady Afy fashionable. As for Mrs. Montfort, she was, as her wont, somewhat silent but excessively sublime. The Spaniard said nothing, but no doubt indicated the possession of Cervantic humor by the sly calmness with which she exhausted her own waiter and pillaged her neighbors. The little Frenchwoman scarcely ate anything, but drank champagne and chatted, with equal rapidity and equal composure.

"Prince," said the duke, "I hope Madame de Harestein approves of your trip to England?"

The prince only smiled, for he was of a silent disposition, and therefore wonderfully well suited his traveling companion.

"Poor Madame de Harestein!" exclaimed Count Frill. "What despair she was in when you left Vienna, my dear duke. Ah! mon Dieu! I did what I could to amuse her. I used to take my guitar, and sing to her morning and night, but without the least effect. She certainly would have died of a broken heart, if it had not been for the dancing-dogs."

"The dancing-dogs!" minced the pseudo Lady Aphrodite. "How shocking!"

"Did they bite her?" asked Lady Squib, "and so inoculate her with gayety?"

"Oh! the dancing-dogs, my dear ladies! everybody was mad about the dancing-dogs. They came from Peru, and danced the mazurka in green jackets with a jabot! Oh! what a jabot!"

"I dislike animals excessively," remarked Mrs. Annesley.

"Dislike the dancing-dogs!" said Count Frill. "Ah, my good lady, you would have been enchanted. Even the kaiser fed them with pistachio nuts. Oh, so pretty! delicate leetle things, soft shining little legs, and pretty little faces! so sensible, and with such jabots!"

"I assure you, they were excessively amusing," said the prince, in a soft, confidential undertone to his neighbor, Mrs. Montfort, who, admiring his silence, which she took for state, smiled and bowed with fascinating condescension.

"And what else has happened very remarkable, count, since I left you?" asked Lord Darrell.

"Nothing, nothing, my dear Darrell. This bêtise of a war has made us all serious. If old Clamstandt had not married that gipsy little Dugiria, I really think I should have taken a turn to Belgrade."

"You should not eat so much, poppet," drawled Charles Annesley to the Spaniard.

"Why not?" said the little French lady, with great animation, always ready to fight anybody's battle, provided she could get an opportunity to talk. "Why not, Mr. Annesley? You never will let anybody eat--I never eat myself, because every night, having to talk so much, I am dry, dry, dry--so I drink, drink, drink. It is an extraordinary thing that there is no language which makes you so thirsty as French. I always have heard that all the southern languages, Spanish and Italian, make you hungry."

"What can be the reason?" seriously asked the pseudo Lady Afy.

"Because there is so much salt in it," said Lord Squib.

"Delia," drawled Mr. Annesley, "you look very pretty to-night!"

"I am charmed to charm you, Mr. Annesley. Shall I tell you what Lord Bon Mot said of you?"

"No, ma mignonne! I never wish to hear my own good things."

"Spoiled, you should add," said Lady Squib, "if Bon Mot be in the case."

"Lord Bon Mot is a most gentlemanly man," said Delia, indignant at an admirer being attacked. "He always wants to be amusing. Whenever he dines out, he comes and sits with me half an hour to catch the air of Parisian badinage."

"And you tell him a variety of little things?" asked Lord Squib, insidiously drawing out the secret tactics of Bon Mot.

"Beaucoup, beaucoup," said Delia, extending two little white hands sparkling with gems. "If he come in ever so--how do you call it? heavy--not that--in the domps--ah! it is that--if ever he come in the domps, he goes out always like a soufflée."

"As empty, I have no doubt," said Lady Squib.

"And as sweet, I have no doubt," said Lord Squib; "for Delcroix complains sadly of your excesses, Delia."

"Mr. Delcroix complain of me! That, indeed, is too bad. Just because I recommended Montmorency de Versailles to him for an excellent customer, ever since he abuses me, merely because Montmorency has forgot, in the hurry of going off, to pay his little account."

"But he says you have got all the things," said Lord Squib, whose great amusement was to put Delia in a passion.

"What of that?" screamed the little lady. "Montmorency gave them to me."

"Don't make such a noise," said the Bird of Paradise. "I never can eat when there is a noise. St. James," continued she, in a fretful tone, "they make such a noise!"

"Annesley, keep Squib quiet."

"Delia, leave that young man alone. If Isidora would talk a little more, and you eat a little more, I think you would be the most agreeable little ladies I know. Poppet! put those bonbons in your pocket. You should never eat sugar-plums in company."

Thus talking agreeable nonsense, tasting agreeable dishes, and sipping agreeable wines, an hour ran on. Sweetest music from an unseen source ever and anon sounded, and Spiridion swung a censer full of perfumes around the chamber. At length the duke requested Count Frill to give them a song. The Bird of Paradise would never sing for pleasure, only for fame and a slight check. The count begged to decline, and at the same time asked for a guitar. The signora sent for hers; and his Excellency, preluding with a beautiful simper, gave them some slight thing to this effect:--

Charming Bignetta! charming Bignetta!
What a gay little girl is charming Bignetta!
       She dances, she prattles,
       She rides and she rattles;
But she always is charming--that charming Bignetta!

Charming Bignetta! charming Bignetta!
What a wild little witch is charming Bignetta!
       When she smiles I'm all madness;
       When she frowns I'm all sadness;
But she always is smiling--that charming Bignetta!

Charming Bignetta! charming Bignetta!
What a wicked young rogue is charming Bignetta!
       She laughs at my shyness,
       And flirts with his highness;
Yet still she is charming--that charming Bignetta!

Charming Bignetta! charming Bignetta!
What a dear little girl is charming Bignetta!
       "Think me only a sister,"
       Said she trembling; I kissed her.
What a charming young sister is--charming Bignetta!

He ceased; and although

          "--the Ferrarese
To choicer music chimed his gay guitar
          In Este's halls,"

as Casti himself, or rather Mr. Rose, choicely sings, yet still his song served its purpose, for it raised a smile.

"I wrote that for Madame Sapiepha, at the Congress of Verona," said Count Frill. "It has been thought amusing."

"Madame Sapiepha!" exclaimed the Bird of Paradise. "What! that pretty little woman who has such pretty caps?"

"The same! Ah! what caps! Mon Dieu! what taste! what taste!"

"You like caps, then?" asked the Bird of Paradise, with a sparkling eye.

"Oh! if there be anything more than other that I know most, it is the cap. Here, voici!" said he, rather oddly unbuttoning his waistcoat, "you see what lace I have got. Voici! voici!"

"Ah! me! what lace! what lace!" exclaimed the Bird in rapture. "St. James, look at his lace. Come here, come here, sit next me. Let me look at that lace." She examined it with great attention, then turned up her beautiful eyes with a fascinating smile. "Ah! c'est jolie, n'est-ce pas? But you like caps. I tell you what, you shall see my caps. Spiridion, go, mon cher, and tell ma'amselle to bring my caps--all my caps, one of each set."

In due time entered the Swiss, with the caps--all the caps--one of each set. As she handed them in turn to her mistress, the Bird chirped a panegyric upon each.

"That is pretty, is it not--and this also? but this is my favorite. What do you think of this border? c'est belle, cette garniture?  et ce jabot, c'est tres séduisant, n'est-ce pas? Mais voici,
the cap of Princess Lichtenstein. C'est superb, c'est mon favori. But I also love very much this of the Duchesse de Berri. She gave me the pattern herself. And after all, this cornette à petite santé of Lady Blaze is a dear little thing; then, again, this coiffe à dentelle of Lady Macaroni is quite a pet."

"Pass them down," said Lord Squib, "we want to look at them." Accordingly they were passed down. Lord Squib put one on.

"Do I look superb, sentimental, or only pretty?" asked his lordship. The example was contagious, and most of the caps were appropriated. No one laughed more than their mistress, who, not having the slightest idea of the value of money, would have given them all away on the spot; not from any good-natured feeling, but from the remembrance that to-morrow she might amuse half an hour buying others.

While some were stealing, and she remonstrating, the duke clapped his hands like a caliph. The curtain at the end of the apartment was immediately withdrawn and the ball-room stood revealed.

It was of the same size as the banqueting-hall. Its walls exhibited a long perspective of gilt pilasters, the frequent piers of which were entirely of plate looking-glass, save where occasionally a picture had been, as it were, inlaid in its rich frame. Here was the Titian Venus of the Tribune, deliciously copied by a French artist; there, the Roman Fornarina, with her delicate grace, beamed like the personification of Raphael's genius. Here Zuleikha, living in the light and shade of that magician Guercino, in vain summoned the passions of the blooming Hebrew; and there Cleopatra, preparing for her last immortal hour, proved by what we saw that Guido had been a lover.

The ceiling of this apartment was richly painted and richly gilt; from it were suspended three lustres by golden cords, which threw a softened light upon the floor of polished and curiously inlaid woods. At the end of the apartment was an orchestra, and here the pages, under the direction of Carlstein, offered a very efficient domestic band.

Round the room waltzed the elegant revelers. Softly and slowly, led by their host, they glided along like spirits of air; but each time that the duke passed the musicians, the music became livelier, and the motion more brisk, till at length you might have mistaken them for a college of spinning dervishes. One by one, an exhausted couple slunk away. Some threw themselves on a sofa, some monopolized an easy-chair; but in twenty minutes all the dancers had disappeared. At length Peacock Piggott gave a groan, which denoted returning energy, and raised a stretching leg in air, bringing up, though most unwittingly, on his foot one of the Bird's sublime and beautiful caps.

"Halloo! Piggott, armed cap au pied, I see," said Lord Squib. This joke was a signal for general resuscitation....

Here they lounged in different parties, 'talking on such subjects as idlers ever fall upon; now and then plucking a flower--now and then listening to the fountain--now and then lingering over the distant music--and now and then strolling through a small apartment which opened to their walks, and which bore the title of the Temple of Gnidus. Here Canova's Venus breathed an atmosphere of perfume and of light--that wonderful statue whose full-charged eye is not very classical, to be sure--but then, how true!

Lord Squib proposed a visit to the theatre, which he had ordered to be lit up. To the theatre they repaired. They rambled over every part of the house, amused themselves, to the horror of Mr. Annesley, with a visit to the gallery, and then collected behind the scenes. They were excessively amused with the properties; and Lord Squib proposed they should dress themselves. Enough champagne had been quaffed to render any proposition palatable, and in a few minutes they were all in costume. A crowd of queens and chambermaids, Jews and chimney-sweeps, lawyers and charleys, Spanish dons and Irish officers, rushed upon the stage. The little Spaniard was Almaviva, and fell into magnificent attitudes, with her sword and plume. Lord Squib was the old woman of Brentford, and very funny. Sir Lucius Grafton, Harlequin; and Darrell, Grimaldi. The prince and the count, without knowing it, figured as watchmen. Squib whispered Annesley that Sir Lucius O'Trigger might appear in character, but was prudent enough to suppress the joke.

The band was summoned, and they danced quadrilles with infinite spirit, and finished the night, at the suggestion of Lord Squib, by breakfasting on the stage. By the time this meal was dispatched, the purple light of morn had broken into the building, and the ladies proposed an immediate departure. Mrs. Montfort and her sister were sent home in one of the duke's carriages; and the foreign guests were requested by him to be their escort. The respective parties drove off. Two cabriolets lingered to the last, and finally carried away the French actress and the Spanish dancer, Lord Darrell, and Peacock Piggott; but whether the two gentlemen went in one and two ladies in the other I cannot aver. I hope not.

There was at length a dead silence, and the young duke was left to solitude and the signora!



Dandy has been voted vulgar, and beau is now the word. I doubt whether the revival will stand; and as for the exploded title, though it had its faults at first, the muse or Byron has made it not only English, but classical. However, I dare say I can do without either of these words at present. Charles Annesley could hardly be called a dandy or a beau. There was nothing in his dress, though some mysterious arrangement in his costume--some rare simplicity--some curious happiness--always made it distinguished; there was nothing, however, in his dress which could account for the influence which he exercised over the manners of his contemporaries. Charles Annesley was about thirty. He had inherited from his father, a younger brother, a small estate; and though heir to a wealthy earldom, he had never abused what the world called "his prospects." Yet his establishments--his little house in Mayfair--his horses--his moderate stud at Melton--were all unique, and everything connected with him was unparalleled for its elegance, its invention, and its refinement. But his manner was his magic. His natural and subdued nonchalance, so different from the assumed non-emotion of a mere dandy; his coldness of heart, which was hereditary, not acquired; his cautious courage, and his unadulterated self-love, had permitted him to mingle much with mankind without being too deeply involved in the play of their passions; while his exquisite sense of the ridiculous quickly revealed those weaknesses to him which his delicate satire did not spare, even while it refrained from wounding. All feared, many admired, and none hated him. He was too powerful not to dread, too dexterous not to admire, too superior to hate. Perhaps the great secret of his manner was his exquisite superciliousness; a quality which, of all, is the most difficult to manage. Even with his intimates he was never confidential, and perpetually assumed his public character with the private coterie which he loved to rule. On the whole, he was unlike any of the leading men of modern days, and rather reminded one of the fine gentlemen of our old brilliant comedy--the Dorimants, the Bellairs, and the Mirabels.


Men shrink from a fussy woman. And few can aspire to regulate the destinies of their species, even in so slight a point as an hour's amusement, without rare powers. There is no greater sin than to be trop prononcée. A want of tact is worse than a want of virtue. Some women, it is said, work on pretty well against the tide without the last. I never knew one who did not sink who ever dared to sail without the first.

Loud when they should be low, quoting the wrong person, talking on the wrong subject, teasing with notice, excruciating with attentions, disturbing a tête-à-tête in order to make up a dance; wasting eloquence in persuading a man to participate in amusement whose reputation depends on his social sullenness; exacting homage with a restless eye, and not permitting the least worthy knot to be untwined without their divinityships' interference; patronizing the meek, anticipating the slow, intoxicating with compliment, plastering with praise that you in return may gild with flattery; in short, energetic without elegance, active without grace, and loquacious without wit; mistaking bustle for style, raillery for badinage, and noise for gayety--these are the characters who mar the very career they think they are creating, and who exercise a fatal influence on the destinies of all those who have the misfortune to be connected with them.


Eloquence is the child of Knowledge. When a mind is full, like a wholesome river, it is also clear. Confusion and obscurity are much oftener the results of ignorance than of inefficiency. Few are the men who cannot express their meaning when the occasion demands the energy; as the lowest will defend their lives with acuteness, and sometimes even with eloquence. They are masters of their subject. Knowledge must be gained by ourselves. Mankind may supply us with facts; but the results, even if they agree with previous ones, must be the work of our own mind. To make others feel, we must feel ourselves; and to feel ourselves, we must be natural. This we can never be when we are vomiting forth the dogmas of the schools. Knowledge is not a mere collection of words; and it is a delusion to suppose that thought can be obtained by the aid of any other intellect than our own. What is repetition, by a curious mystery, ceases to be truth, even if it were truth when it was first heard; as the shadow in a mirror, though it move and mimic all the actions of vitality, is not life. When a man is not speaking or writing from his own mind, he is as insipid company as a looking-glass. Before a man can address a popular assembly with command, he must know something of mankind, and he can know nothing of mankind without he knows something of himself. Self-knowledge is the property of that man whose passions have their play, but who ponders over their results. Such a man sympathizes by inspiration with his kind. He has a key to every heart. He can divine, in the flash of a single thought, all that they require, all that they wish. Such a man speaks to their very core. All feel that a master hand tears off the veil of cant, with which, from necessity, they have enveloped their souls; for cant is nothing more than the sophistry which results from attempting to account for what is unintelligible, or to defend what is improper.


There are some sorts of beauty which defy description, and almost scrutiny. Some faces rise upon us in the tumult of life, like stars from out the sea, or as if they had moved out of a picture. Our first impression is anything but fleshly. We are struck dumb--we gasp for breath--our limbs quiver--a faintness glides over our frame--we are awed; instead of gazing upon the apparition, we avert the eyes, which yet will feed upon its beauty. A strange sort of unearthly pain mixes with the intense pleasure. And not till, with a struggle, we call back to our memory the commonplaces of existence, can we recover our commonplace demeanor. These, indeed, are rare visions--these, indeed, are early feelings, when our young existence leaps with its mountain torrents; but as the river of our life rolls on, our eyes grow dimmer, or our blood more cold.


From 'Lothair'

A person approached Lothair by the pathway from Bethany. It was the Syrian gentleman whom he had met at the consulate. As he was passing Lothair, he saluted him with the grace which had been before remarked; and Lothair, who was by nature courteous, and even inclined a little to ceremony in his manners, especially with those with whom he was not intimate, immediately rose, as he would not receive such a salutation in a reclining posture.

"Let me not disturb you," said the stranger; "or, if we must be on equal terms, let me also be seated, for this is a view that never palls."

"It is perhaps familiar to you," said Lothair; "but with me, only a pilgrim, its effect is fascinating, almost overwhelming."

"The view of Jerusalem never becomes familiar," said the Syrian; "for its associations are so transcendent, so various, so inexhaustible, that the mind can never anticipate its course of thought and feeling, when one sits, as we do now, on this immortal mount." ...

"I have often wished to visit the Sea of Galilee," said Lothair.

"Well, you have now an opportunity," said the Syrian: "the north of Palestine, though it has no tropical splendor, has much variety and a peculiar natural charm. The burst and brightness of spring have not yet quite vanished; you would find our plains radiant with wild-flowers, and our hills green with young crops, and though we cannot rival Lebanon, we have forest glades among our famous hills that when once seen are remembered."

"But there is something to me more interesting than the splendor of tropical scenery," said Lothair, "even if Galilee could offer it. I wish to visit the cradle of my faith."

"And you would do wisely," said the Syrian, "for there is no doubt the spiritual nature of man is developed in this land."

"And yet there are persons at the present day who doubt--even deny--the spiritual nature of man," said Lothair. "I do not, I could not--there are reasons why I could not."

"There are some things I know, and some things I believe," said the Syrian. "I know that I have a soul, and I believe that it is immortal."

"It is science that, by demonstrating the insignificance of this globe in the vast scale of creation, has led to this infidelity," said Lothair.

"Science may prove the insignificance of this globe in the scale of creation," said the stranger, "but it cannot prove the insignificance of man. What is the earth compared with the sun? a molehill by a mountain; yet the inhabitants of this earth can discover the elements of which the great orb consists, and will probably ere long ascertain all the conditions of its being. Nay, the human mind can penetrate far beyond the sun. There is no relation, therefore, between the faculties of man and the scale in creation of the planet which he inhabits."

"I was glad to hear you assert the other night the spiritual nature of man in opposition to Mr. Phoebus."

"Ah, Mr. Phoebus!" said the stranger, with a smile. "He is an old acquaintance of mine. And I must say he is very consistent--except in paying a visit to Jerusalem. That does surprise me. He said to me the other night the same things as he said to me at Rome many years ago. He would revive the worship of Nature. The deities whom he so eloquently describes and so exquisitely delineates are the ideal personifications of the most eminent human qualities, and chiefly the physical. Physical beauty is his standard of excellence, and he has a fanciful theory that moral order would be the consequence of the worship of physical beauty; for without moral order he holds physical beauty cannot be maintained. But the answer to Mr. Phoebus is, that his system has been tried and has failed, and under conditions more favorable than are likely to exist again; the worship of Nature ended in the degradation of the human race."

"But Mr. Phoebus cannot really believe in Apollo and Venus," said Lothair. "These are phrases. He is, I suppose, what is called a Pantheist."

"No doubt the Olympus of Mr. Phoebus is the creation of his easel," replied the Syrian. "I should not, however, describe him as a Pantheist, whose creed requires more abstraction than Mr. Phoebus, the worshiper of Nature, would tolerate. His school never care to pursue any investigation which cannot be followed by the eye--and the worship of the beautiful always ends in an orgy. As for Pantheism, it is Atheism in domino. The belief in a Creator who is unconscious of creating is more monstrous than any dogma of any of the churches in this city, and we have them all here."

"But there are people now who tell you that there never was any creation, and therefore there never could have been a Creator," said Lothair.

"And which is now advanced with the confidence of novelty," said the Syrian, "though all of it has been urged, and vainly urged, thousands of years ago. There must be design, or all we see would be without sense, and I do not believe in the unmeaning. As for the natural forces to which all creation is now attributed, we know they are unconscious, while consciousness is as inevitable a portion of our existence as the eye or the hand. The conscious cannot be derived from the unconscious. Man is divine."

"I wish I could assure myself of the personality of the Creator," said Lothair. "I cling to that, but they say it is unphilosophical."

"In what sense?" asked the Syrian. "Is it more unphilosophical to believe in a personal God, omnipotent and omniscient, than in natural forces unconscious and irresistible? Is it unphilosophical to combine power with intelligence? Goethe, a Spinozist who did not believe in Spinoza, said that he could bring his mind to the conception that in the centre of space we might meet with a monad of pure intelligence. What may be the centre of space I leave to the dædal imagination of the author of 'Faust'; but a monad of pure intelligence--is that more philosophical than the truth first revealed to man amid these everlasting hills," said the Syrian, "that God made man in his own image?"

"I have often found in that assurance a source of sublime consolation," said Lothair.

"It is the charter of the nobility of man," said the Syrian, "one of the divine dogmas revealed in this land; not the invention of councils, not one of which was held on this sacred soil, confused assemblies first got together by the Greeks, and then by barbarous nations in barbarous times."

"Yet the divine land no longer tells us divine things," said Lothair.

"It may or may not have fulfilled its destiny," said the Syrian. "'In my Father's house are many mansions,' and by the various families of nations the designs of the Creator are accomplished. God works by races, and one was appointed in due season and after many developments to reveal and expound in this land the spiritual nature of man. The Aryan and the Semite are of the same blood and origin, but when they quitted their central land they were ordained to follow opposite courses. Each division of the great race has developed one portion of the double nature of humanity, till, after all their wanderings, they met again, and, represented by their two choicest families, the Hellenes and the Hebrews, brought together the treasures of their accumulated wisdom, and secured the civilization of man."

"Those among whom I have lived of late," said Lothair, "have taught me to trust much in councils, and to believe that without them there could be no foundation for the Church. I observe you do not speak in that vein, though, like myself, you find solace in those dogmas which recognize the relations between the created and the Creator."

"There can be no religion without that recognition," said the Syrian, "and no creed can possibly be devised without such a recognition that would satisfy man. Why we are here, whence we come, whither we go--these are questions which man is organically framed and forced to ask himself, and that would not be the case if they could not be answered. As for churches depending on councils, the first council was held more than three centuries after the Sermon on the Mount. We Syrians had churches in the interval; no one can deny that. I bow before the divine decree that swept them away from Antioch to Jerusalem, but I am not yet prepared to transfer my spiritual allegiance to Italian popes and Greek patriarchs. We believe that our family were among the first followers of Jesus, and that we then held lands in Bashan which we hold now. We had a gospel once in our district where there was some allusion to this, and being written by neighbors, and probably at the time, I dare say it was accurate; but the Western Churches declared our gospel was not authentic, though why I cannot tell, and they succeeded in extirpating it. It was not an additional reason why we should enter into their fold. So I am content to dwell in Galilee and trace the footsteps of my Divine Master, musing over his life and pregnant sayings amid the mounts he sanctified and the waters he loved so well."




ierre Augustin Caron was born in Paris, January 24th, 1732. He was the son of a watchmaker, and learned his father's trade. He invented a new escapement, and was allowed to call himself "Clockmaker to the King"--Louis XV. At twenty-four he married a widow, and took the name of Beaumarchais from a small fief belonging to her. Within a year his wife died. Being a fine musician, he was appointed instructor of the King's daughters; and he was quick to turn to good account the influence thus acquired. In 1764 he made a sudden trip to Spain to vindicate a sister of his, who had been betrothed to a man called Clavijo and whom this Spaniard had refused to marry. He succeeded in his mission, and his own brilliant account of this characteristic episode in his career suggested to Goethe the play of 'Clavigo.' Beaumarchais himself brought back from Madrid a liking for things Spanish and a knowledge of Iberian customs and character.


He had been a watchmaker, a musician, a court official, a speculator, and it was only when he was thirty-five that he turned dramatist. Various French authors, Diderot especially, weary of confinement to tragedy and comedy, the only two forms then admitted on the French stage, were seeking a new dramatic formula in which they might treat pathetic situations of modern life; and it is due largely to their efforts that the modern "play" or "drama," the story of every-day existence, has been evolved. The first dramatic attempt of Beaumarchais was a drama called 'Eugénie,' acted at the Théâtre Français in 1767, and succeeding just enough to encourage him to try again. The second, 'The Two Friends,' acted in 1770, was a frank failure. For the pathetic, Beaumarchais had little aptitude; and these two serious efforts were of use to him only so far as their performance may have helped him to master the many technical difficulties of the theatre.

Beaumarchais had married a second time in 1768, and he had been engaged in various speculations with the financier Pâris-Duverney. In 1770 his wife died, and so did his associate; and he found himself soon involved in lawsuits, into the details of which it is needless to go, but in the course of which he published a series of memoirs, or statements of his case for the public at large. These memoirs are among the most vigorous of all polemical writings; they were very clever and very witty; they were vivacious and audacious; they were unfailingly interesting; and they were read as eagerly as the 'Letters of Junius.' Personal at first, the suits soon became political; and part of the public approval given to the attack of Beaumarchais on judicial injustice was due no doubt to the general discontent with the existing order in France. His daring conduct of his own cause made him a personality. He was intrusted with one secret mission by Louis XV; and when Louis XVI came to the throne, he managed to get him again employed confidentially.

Not long after his two attempts at the serious drama, he had tried to turn to account his musical faculty by writing both the book and the score of a comic opera, which had, however, been rejected by the Comédie-Italienne (the predecessor of the present Opéra Comique). After a while Beaumarchais cut out his music and worked over his plot into a five-act comedy in prose, 'The Barber of Seville.' It was produced by the Théâtre Français in 1775, and like the contemporary 'Rivals' of Sheridan,--the one English author with whom Beaumarchais must always be compared,--it was a failure on the first night and a lasting success after the author had reduced it and rearranged it. 'The Barber of Seville' was like the 'Gil Blas' of Lesage in that, while it was seemingly Spanish in its scenes, it was in reality essentially French. It contained one of the strongest characters in literature,--Figaro, a reincarnation of the intriguing servant of Menander and Plautus and Molière. Simple in plot, ingenious in incident, brisk in dialogue, broadly effective in character-drawing, 'The Barber of Seville' is the most famous French comedy of the eighteenth century, with the single exception of its successor from the same pen, which appeared nine years later.

During those years Beaumarchais was not idle. Like Defoe, he was always devising projects for money-making. A few months after 'The Barber of Seville' had been acted, the American Revolution began, and Beaumarchais was a chief agent in supplying the Americans with arms, ammunition, and supplies. He had a cruiser of his own, Le Fier Roderigue, which was in D'Estaing's fleet. When the independence of the United States was recognized at last, Beaumarchais had a pecuniary claim against the young nation which long remained unsettled.

Not content with making war on his own account almost, Beaumarchais also undertook the immense task of publishing a complete edition of Voltaire. He also prepared a sequel to the 'Barber,' in which Figaro should be even more important, and should serve as a mouthpiece for declamatory criticism of the social order. But his 'Marriage of Figaro' was so full of the revolutionary ferment that its performance was forbidden. Following the example of Molière under the similar interdiction of 'Tartuffe,' Beaumarchais was untiring in arousing interest in his unacted play, reading it himself in the houses of the great. Finally it was authorized, and when the first performance took place at the Théâtre Français in 1784, the crush to see it was so great that three persons were stifled to death. The new comedy was as amusing and as adroit as its predecessor, and the hits at the times were sharper and swifter and more frequent. How demoralized society was then may be gauged by the fact that this disintegrating satire was soon acted by the amateurs of the court, a chief character being impersonated by Marie Antoinette herself.

The career of Beaumarchais reached its climax with the production of the second of the Figaro plays. Afterward he wrote the libretto for an opera, 'Tarare,' produced with Salieri's music in 1787; the year before he had married for the third time. In a heavy play called 'The Guilty Mother,' acted with slight success in 1790, he brought in Figaro yet once more. During the Terror he emigrated to Holland, returning to Paris in 1796 to find his sumptuous mansion despoiled. May 18th, 1799, he died, leaving a fortune of $200,000, besides numerous claims against the French nation and the United States.

An interesting parallel could be drawn between 'The Rivals' and the 'School for Scandal' on the one side, and on the other 'The Barber of Seville' and 'The Marriage of Figaro'; and there are also piquant points of likeness between Sheridan and Beaumarchais. But Sheridan, with all his failings, was of sterner stuff than Beaumarchais. He had a loftier political morality, and he served the State more loyally. Yet the two comedies of Beaumarchais are like the two comedies of Sheridan in their incessant wit, in their dramaturgic effectiveness, and in the histrionic opportunities they afford. Indeed, the French comedies have had a wider audience than the English, thanks to an Italian and a German,--to Rossini who set 'The Barber of Seville' to music, and to Mozart who did a like service for 'The Marriage of Figaro.'



[Rosina's lover, Count Almaviva, attempts to meet and converse with her by hoodwinking Dr. Bartolo, her zealous guardian. He comes in disguise to Bartolo's dwelling, in a room of which the scene is laid.]

[Enter Count Almaviva, dressed as a student.]

Count [solemnly]--May peace and joy abide here evermore!

Bartolo [brusquely]--Never, young sir, was wish more àpropos! What do you want?

Count--Sir, I am one Alonzo, a bachelor of arts--

Bartolo--Sir, I need no instructor.

Count---- ---- a pupil of Don Basilio, the organist of the convent, who teaches music to Madame your--

Bartolo [suspiciously]--Basilio! Organist! Yes, I know him. Well?

Count [aside]--What a man! [Aloud.] He's confined to his bed with a sudden illness.

Bartolo--Confined to his bed! Basilio! He's very good to send word, for I've just seen him.

Count [aside]--Oh, the devil! [Aloud.] When I say to his bed, sir, it's--I mean to his room.

Bartolo--Whatever's the matter with him, go, if you please.

Count [embarrassed]--Sir, I was asked--Can no one hear us?

Bartolo [aside]--It's some rogue! [Aloud.] What's that? No, Monsieur Mysterious, no one can hear! Speak frankly--if you can.

Count [aside]--Plague take the old rascal! [Aloud.] Don Basilio asked me to tell you--

Bartolo--Speak louder. I'm deaf in one ear.

Count [raising his voice]--Ah! quite right: he asks me to say to you that one Count Almaviva, who was lodging on the great square--

Bartolo [frightened]--Speak low, speak low.

Count [louder]----moved away from there this morning. As it was I who told him that this Count Almaviva--

Bartolo--Low, speak lower, I beg of you.

Count [in the same tone]--Was in this city, and as I have discovered that Señorita Rosina has been writing to him--

Bartolo--Has been writing to him? My dear friend, I implore you, do speak low! Come, let's sit down, let's have a friendly chat. You have discovered, you say, that Rosina--

Count [angrily]--Certainly. Basilio, anxious about this correspondence on your account, asked me to show you her letter; but the way you take things--

Bartolo--Good Lord! I take them well enough. But can't you possibly speak a little lower?

Count--You told me you were deaf in one ear.

Bartolo--I beg your pardon, I beg your pardon, if I've been surly and suspicious, Signor Alonzo: I'm surrounded with spies--and then your figure, your age, your whole air--I beg your pardon. Well? Have you the letter?

Count--I'm glad you're barely civil at last, sir. But are you quite sure no one can overhear us?

Bartolo--Not a soul. My servants are all tired out. Señorita Rosina has shut herself up in a rage! The very devil's to pay in this house. Still I'll go and make sure. [He goes to peep into Rosina's room.]

Count [aside]--Well, I've caught myself now in my own trap. Now what shall I do about the letter? If I were to run off?--but then I might just as well not have come. Shall I show it to him? If I could only warn Rosina beforehand! To show it would be a master-stroke.

Bartolo [returning on tiptoe]--She's sitting by the window with her back to the door, and re-reading a cousin's letter which I opened. Now, now--let me see hers.

Count [handing him Rosina's letter]--Here it is. [Aside.] She's re-reading my letter.

Bartolo [reads quickly]--"Since you have told me your name and estate--" Ah, the little traitress! Yes, it's her writing.

Count [frightened]--Speak low yourself, won't you?

Bartolo--What for, if you please?

Count--When we've finished, you can do as you choose. But after all, Don Basilio's negotiation with a lawyer--

Bartolo--With a lawyer? About my marriage?

Count--Would I have stopped you for anything else? He told me to say that all can be ready to-morrow. Then, if she resists--

Bartolo--She will.

Count [wants to take back the letter; Bartolo clutches it]--I'll tell you what we'll do. We will show her her letter; and then, if necessary, [more mysteriously] I'll even tell her that it was given to me by a woman--to whom the Count is sacrificing her. Shame and rage may bring her to terms on the spot.

Bartolo [laughing]--Calumny, eh? My dear fellow, I see very well now that you come from Basilio. But lest we should seem to have planned this together, don't you think it would be better if she'd met you before?

Count [repressing a start of joy]--Don Basilio thought so, I know. But how can we manage it? It is late already. There's not much time left.

Bartolo--I will tell her you've come in his place. Couldn't you give her a lesson?

Count--I'll do anything you like. But take care she doesn't suspect. All these dodges of pretended masters are rather old and theatrical.

Bartolo--She won't suspect if I introduce you. But how you do look! You've much more the air of a disguised lover than of a zealous student-friend.

Count--Really? Don't you think I can hoodwink her all the better for that?

Bartolo--She'll never guess. She's in a horrible temper this evening. But if she'll only see you--Her harpsichord is in this room. Amuse yourself while you're waiting. I'll do all I can to bring her here.

Count--Don't say a word about the letter.

Bartolo--Before the right moment? It would lose all effect if I did. It's not necessary to tell me things twice; it's not necessary to tell me things twice. [He goes.]

Count [alone, soliloquizes]--At last I've won! Ouf! What a difficult little old imp he is! Figaro understands him. I found myself lying, and that made me awkward; and he has eyes for everything! On my honor, if the letter hadn't inspired me he'd have thought me a fool!--Ah, how they are disputing in there!--What if she refuses to come? Listen--If she won't, my coming is all thrown away. There she is: I won't show myself at first.

[Rosina enters.]

Rosina [angrily]--There's no use talking about it, sir. I've made up my mind. I don't want to hear anything more about music.

Bartolo--But, my child, do listen! It is Señor Alonzo, the friend and pupil of Don Basilio, whom he has chosen as one of our marriage witnesses. I'm sure that music will calm you.

Rosina--Oh! you needn't concern yourself about that; and as for singing this evening--Where is this master you're so afraid of dismissing? I'll settle him in a minute--and Señor Basilio too. [She sees her lover and exclaims:] Ah!

Bartolo--Eh, eh, what is the matter?

Rosina [pressing her hands to her heart]--Ah, sir! Ah, sir!

Bartolo--She is ill again! Señor Alonzo!

Rosina--No, I am not ill--but as I was turning--ah!

Count--Did you sprain your foot, Madame?

Rosina--Yes, yes, I sprained my foot! I--hurt myself dreadfully.

Count--So I perceived.

Rosina [looking at the Count]--The pain really makes me feel faint.

Bartolo--A chair--a chair there! And not a single chair here! [He goes to get one.]

Count--Ah, Rosina!

Rosina--What imprudence!

Count--There are a hundred things I must say to you.

Rosina--He won't leave us alone.

Count--Figaro will help us.

Bartolo [bringing an arm-chair]--Wait a minute, my child. Sit down here. She can't take a lesson this evening, Señor: you must postpone it. Good-by.

Rosina [to the Count]--No, wait; my pain is better. [To Bartolo.] I feel that I've acted foolishly! I'll imitate you, and atone at once by taking my lesson.

Bartolo--Oh! Such a kind little woman at heart! But after so much excitement, my child, I can't let you make any exertion. So good-bye, Señor, good-bye.

Rosina [to the Count]--Do wait a minute! [To Bartolo.] I shall think that you don't care to please me if you won't let me show my regret by taking my lesson.

Count [aside to Bartolo]--I wouldn't oppose her, if I were you.

Bartolo--That settles it, my love: I am so anxious to please you that I shall stay here all the time you are practicing.

Rosina--No, don't. I know you don't care for music.

Bartolo--It will charm me this evening, I'm sure.

Rosina [aside to the Count]--I'm tormented to death!

Count [taking a sheet of music from the stand]--Will you sing this, Madame?

Rosina--Yes, indeed--it's a very pretty thing out of the opera 'The Useless Precaution.'

Bartolo--Why do you always sing from 'The Useless Precaution'?

Count--There is nothing newer! It's a picture of spring in a very bright style. So if Madame wants to try it--

Rosina [looking at the Count]--With pleasure. A picture of spring is delightful! It is the youth of nature. It seems as if the heart always feels more when winter's just over. It's like a slave who finds liberty all the more charming after a long confinement.

Bartolo [to the Count]--Always romantic ideas in her head!

Count [in a low tone]--Did you notice the application?


[He sits down in the chair which Rosina has been occupying. Rosina sings, during which Bartolo goes to sleep. Under cover of the refrain the Count seizes Rosina's hand and covers it with kisses. In her emotion she sings brokenly, and finally breaks off altogether. The sudden silence awakens Bartolo. The Count starts up, and Rosina quickly resumes her song.]

[Don Basilio enters. Figaro in background.]

Rosina [startled, to herself]--Don Basilio!

Count [aside]--Good Heaven!

Figaro--The devil!

Bartolo [going to meet him]--Ah! welcome, Basilio. So your accident was not very serious? Alonzo quite alarmed me about you. He will tell you that I was just going to see you, and if he had not detained me--

Basilio [in astonishment]--Señor Alonzo?

Figaro [stamping his foot]--Well, well! How long must I wait? Two hours wasted already over your beard--Miserable business!

Basilio [looking at every one in amazement]--But, gentlemen, will you please tell me--

Figaro--You can talk to him after I've gone.

Basilio--But still, would--

Count--You'd better be quiet, Basilio. Do you think you can inform him of anything new? I've told him that you sent me for the music lesson instead of coming himself.

Basilio [still more astonished]--The music lesson! Alonzo!

Rosina [aside to Basilio]--Do hold your tongue, can't you?

Basilio--She, too!

Count [to Bartolo]--Let him know what you and I have agreed upon.

Bartolo [aside to Basilio]--Don't contradict, and say that he is not your pupil, or you will spoil everything.

Basilio--Ah! Ah!

Bartolo [aloud]--Indeed, Basilio, your pupil has a great deal of talent.

Basilio [stupefied]--My pupil! [In a low tone.] I came to tell you that the Count has moved.

Bartolo [low]--I know it. Hush.

Basilio [low]--Who told you?

Bartolo [low]--He did, of course.

Count [low]--It was I, naturally. Just listen, won't you?

Rosina [low to Basilio]--Is it so hard to keep still?

Figaro [low to Basilio]--Hum! The sharper! He is deaf!

Basilio [aside]--Who the devil are they trying to deceive here? Everybody seems to be in it!

Bartolo [aloud]--Well, Basilio--about your lawyer--?

Figaro--You have the whole evening to talk about the lawyer.

Bartolo [to Basilio]--One word; only tell me if you are satisfied with the lawyer.

Basilio [startled]--With the lawyer?

Count [smiling]--Haven't you seen the lawyer?

Basilio [impatient]--Eh? No, I haven't seen the lawyer.

Count [aside to Bartolo]--Do you want him to explain matters before her? Send him away.

Bartolo [low to the Count]--You are right. [To Basilio.] But what made you ill, all of a sudden?

Basilio [angrily]--I don't understand you.

Count [secretly slipping a purse into his hands]--Yes: he wants to know what you are doing here, when you are so far from well?

Figaro--He's as pale as a ghost!

Basilio--Ah! I understand.

Count--Go to bed, dear Basilio. You are not at all well, and you make us all anxious. Go to bed.

Figaro--He looks quite upset. Go to bed.

Bartolo--I'm sure he seems feverish. Go to bed.

Rosina--Why did you come out? They say that it's catching. Go to bed.

Basilio [in the greatest amazement]--I'm to go to bed!

All the others together--Yes, you must.

Basilio [looking at them all]--Indeed, I think I will have to withdraw. I don't feel quite as well as usual.

Bartolo--We'll look for you to-morrow, if you are better.

Count--I'll see you soon, Basilio.

Basilio [aside]--Devil take it if I understand all this! And if it weren't for this purse--

All--Good-night, Basilio, good-night.

Basilio [going]--Very well, then; good-night, good-night.

[The others, all laughing, push him civilly out of the room.]



[The scene is the boudoir of young Countess Almaviva, the Rosina of the previous selection. She is seated alone, when her clever maid Susanna ushers in the young page Cherubino, just banished from the house because obnoxious to the jealous Count.]

Susanna--Here's our young Captain, Madame.

Cherubino [timidly]--The title is a sad reminder that--that I must leave this delightful home and the godmother who has been so kind--

Susanna--And so beautiful!

Cherubino [sighing]--Ah, yes!

Susanna [mocking his sigh]--Ah, yes! Just look at his hypocritical eyelids! Madame, make him sing his new song. [She gives it to him.] Come now, my beautiful bluebird, sing away.

Countess--Does the manuscript say who wrote this--song?

Susanna--The blushes of guilt betray him.

Cherubino--Madame, I--I--tremble so.

Susanna--Ta, ta, ta, ta--! Come, modest author--since you are so commanded. Madame, I'll accompany him.

Countess [to Susanna]--Take my guitar.

[Cherubino sings his ballad to the air of 'Malbrouck.' The Countess reads the words of it from his manuscript, with an occasional glance at him; he sometimes looks at her and sometimes lowers his eyes as he sings. Susanna, accompanying him, watches them both, laughing.]

Countess [folding the song]--Enough, my boy. Thank you. It is very good--full of feeling--

Susanna--Ah! as for feeling--this is a young man who--well!

[Cherubino tries to stop her by catching hold of her dress. Susanna whispers to him]--Ah, you good-for-nothing! I'm going to tell her. [Aloud.] Well--Captain! We'll amuse ourselves by seeing how you look in one of my dresses!

Countess--Susanna, how can you go on so?

Susanna [going up to Cherubino and measuring herself with him]--He's just the right height. Off with your coat. [She draws it off.]

Countess--But what if some one should come?

Susanna--What if they do? We're doing no wrong. But I'll lock the door, just the same. [Locks it.] I want to see him in a woman's head-dress!

Countess--Well, you'll find my little cap in my dressing-room on the toilet table.

[Susanna gets the cap, and then, sitting down on a stool, she makes Cherubino kneel before her and arranges it on his hair.]

Susanna--Goodness, isn't he a pretty girl? I'm jealous. Cherubino, you're altogether too pretty.

Countess--Undo his collar a little; that will give a more feminine air. [Susanna loosens his collar so as to show his neck.] Now push up his sleeves, so that the under ones show more. [While Susanna rolls up Cherubino's sleeves, the Countess notices her lost ribbon around his wrist.] What is that? My ribbon?

Susanna--Ah! I'm very glad you've seen it, for I told him I should tell. I should certainly have taken it away from him if the Count hadn't come just then; for I am almost as strong as he is.

Countess [with surprise, unrolling the ribbon]--There's blood on it!

Cherubino--Yes, I was tightening the curb of my horse this morning, he curvetted and gave me a push with his head, and the bridle stud grazed my arm.

Countess--I never saw a ribbon used as a bandage before.

Susanna--Especially a stolen ribbon. What may all those things be--the curb, the curvetting, the bridle stud? [Glances at his arms.] What white arms he has! just like a woman's. Madame, they are whiter than mine.

Countess--Never mind that, but run and find me some oiled silk.

[Susanna goes out, after humorously pushing Cherubino over so that he falls forward on his hands. He and the Countess look at each other for some time; then she breaks the silence.]

Countess--I hope you are plucky enough. Don't show yourself before the Count again to-day. We'll tell him to hurry up your commission in his regiment.

Cherubino--I already have it, Madame. Basilio brought it to me. [He draws the commission from his pocket and hands it to her.]

Countess--Already! They haven't lost any time. [She opens it.] Oh, in their hurry they've forgotten to add the seal to it.

Susanna [returning with the oiled silk]--Seal what?

Countess--His commission in the regiment.


Countess--That's what I said.

Susanna--And the bandage?

Countess--Oh, when you are getting my things, take a ribbon from one of your caps. [Susanna goes out again]

Countess--This ribbon is of my favorite color. I must tell you I was greatly displeased at your taking it.

Cherubino--That one would heal me quickest.

Countess--And--why so?

Cherubino--When a ribbon--has pressed the head, and--touched the skin of one--

Countess [hastily]--Very strange--then it can cure wounds? I never heard that before. I shall certainly try it on the first wound of any of--my maids--

Cherubino [sadly]--I must go away from here!

Countess--But not for always? [Cherubino begins to weep.] And now you are crying! At that prediction of Figaro?

Cherubino--I'm just where he said I'd be. [Some one knocks on the door].

Countess--Who can be knocking like that?

The Count [outside]--Open the door!

Countess--Heavens! It's my husband. Where can you hide?

The Count [outside]--Open the door, I say.

Countess--There's no one here, you see.

The Count--But who are you talking to then?

Countess--To you, I suppose. [To Cherubino.] Hide yourself, quick--in the dressing-room!

Cherubino--Ah, after this morning, he'd kill me if he found me here.

[He runs into the dressing-room on the right, which is also Susanna's room; the Countess, after locking him in and taking the key, admits the Count.]

Count--You don't usually lock yourself in, Madame.

Countess--I--I--was gossiping with Susanna. She's gone. [Pointing to her maid's room.]

Count--And you seem very much agitated, Madame.

Countess--Not at all, I assure you! We were talking about you. She's just gone--as I told you.

Count--I must say, Madame, you and I seem to be surrounded by spiteful people. Just as I'm starting for a ride, I'm handed a note which informs me that a certain person whom I suppose far enough away is to visit you this evening.

Countess--The bold fellow, whoever he is, will have to come here, then; for I don't intend to leave my room to-day.

[Something falls heavily in the dressing-room where Cherubino is.]

Count--Ah, Madame, something dropped just then!

Countess--I didn't hear anything.

Count--You must be very absent-minded, then. Somebody is in that room!

Countess--Who do you think could be there?

Count--Madame, that is what I'm asking you. I have just come in.

Countess--Probably it's Susanna wandering about.

Count [pointing]--But you just told me that she went that way.

Countess--This way or that--I don't know which.

Count--Very well, Madame, I must see her.--Come here, Susanna.

Countess--She cannot. Pray wait! She's but half dressed. She's trying on things that I've given her for her wedding.

Count--Dressed or not, I wish to see her at once.

Countess--I can't prevent your doing so anywhere else, but here--

Count--You may say what you choose--I will see her.

Countess--I thoroughly believe you'd like to see her in that state! but--

Count--Very well, Madame. If Susanna can't come out, at least she can talk. [Turning toward the dressing-room.] Susanna, are you there? Answer, I command you.

Countess [peremptorily]--Don't answer, Susanna! I forbid you! Sir, how can you be such a petty tyrant? Fine suspicions, indeed!

[Susanna slips by and hides behind the Countess's bed without being noticed either by her or by the Count.]

Count--They are all the easier to dispel. I can see that it would be useless to ask you for the key, but it's easy enough to break in the door. Here, somebody!

Countess--Will you really make yourself the laughing-stock of the chateau for such a silly suspicion?

Count--- You are quite right. I shall simply force the door myself. I am going for tools.

Countess--Sir, if your conduct were prompted by love, I'd forgive your jealousy for the sake of the motive. But its cause is only your vanity.

Count--Love or vanity, Madame, I mean to know who is in that room! And to guard against any tricks, I am going to lock the door to your maid's room. You, Madame, will kindly come with me, and without any noise, if you please. [He leads her away.] As for the Susanna in the dressing-room, she will please wait a few minutes.

Countess [going out with him]--Sir, I assure you--

Susanna [coming out from behind the bed and running to the dressing-room]--Cherubino! Open quick! It's Susanna. [Cherubino hurries out of the dressing-room.] Escape--you haven't a minute to lose!

Cherubino--Where can I go?

Susanna--I don't know, I don't know at all! but do go somewhere!

Cherubino [running to the window, then coming back]--The window isn't so very high.

Susanna [frightened and holding him back]--He'll kill himself!

Cherubino--Ah, Susie, I'd rather jump into a gulf than put the Countess in danger. [He snatches a kiss, then runs to the window, hesitates, and finally jumps down into the garden.]

Susanna--Ah! [She falls fainting into an arm-chair. Recovering slowly, she rises, and seeing Cherubino running through the garden she comes forward panting.] He's far away already! ... Little scamp! as nimble as he is handsome! [She next runs to the dressing-room.] Now, Count Almaviva, knock as hard as you like, break down the door. Plague take me if I answer you. [Goes into the dressing-room and shuts the door.]

[Count and Countess return.]

Count--Now, Madame, consider well before you drive me to extremes.

Countess--I--I beg of you--!

Count [preparing to burst open the door]--You can't cajole me now.

Countess [throwing herself on her knees]--Then I will open it! Here is the key.

Count--So it is not Susanna?

Countess--No, but it's no one who should offend you.

Count--If it's a man I kill him! Unworthy wife! You wish to stay shut up in your room--you shall stay in it long enough, I promise you. Now I understand the note--my suspicions are justified!

Countess--Will you listen to me one minute?

Count--Who is in that room?

Countess--Your page.

Count--Cherubino! The little scoundrel!--just let me catch him! I don't wonder you were so agitated.

Countess--I--I assure you we were only planning an innocent joke.

[The Count snatches the key, and goes to the dressing-room door; the Countess throws herself at his feet.]

Countess--Have mercy, Count! Spare this poor child; and although the disorder in which you will find him--

Count--What, Madame? What do you mean? What disorder?

Countess--He was just changing his coat--his neck and arms are bare--

[The Countess throws herself into a chair and turns away her head.]

Count [running to the dressing-room]--Come out here, you young villain!

Count [seeing Susanna come out of the dressing-room]--Eh! Why, it is Susanna! [Aside.] What, a lesson!

Susanna [mocking him]--"I will kill him! I will kill him!" Well, then, why don't you kill this mischievous page?

Count [to the Countess, who at the sight of Susanna shows the greatest surprise]--So you also play astonishment, Madame?

Countess--Why shouldn't I?

Count--But perhaps she wasn't alone in there. I'll find out. [He goes into the dressing-room.]

Countess--- Susanna, I'm nearly dead.

Count [aside, as he returns]--No one there! So this time I really am wrong. [To the Countess, coldly.] You excel at comedy, Madame.

Susanna--And what about me, sir?

Count--And so do you.

Countess--Aren't you glad you found her instead of Cherubino? [Meaningly.] You are generally pleased to come across her.

Susanna--Madame ought to have let you break in the doors, call the servants--

Count--Yes, it's quite true--I'm at fault--I'm humiliated enough! But why didn't you answer, you cruel girl, when I called you?

Susanna--I was dressing as well as I could--with the aid of pins, and Madame knew why she forbade me to answer. She had her lessons.

Count--Why don't you help me get pardon, instead of making me out as bad as you can?

Countess--Did I marry you to be eternally subjected to jealousy and neglect? I mean to join the Ursulines, and--

Count--But, Rosina!

Countess--I am no longer the Rosina whom you loved so well. I am only poor Countess Almaviva, deserted wife of a madly jealous husband.

Count--I assure you, Rosina, this man, this letter, had excited me so--

Countess--I never gave my consent.

Count--What, you knew about it?

Countess--This rattlepate Figaro, without my sanction--

Count--He did it, eh! and Basilio pretended that a peasant brought it. Crafty wag, ready to impose on everybody!

Countess--You beg pardon, but you never grant pardon. If I grant it, it shall only be on condition of a general amnesty.

Count--Well, then, so be it. I agree. But I don't understand how your sex can adapt itself to circumstances so quickly and so nicely. You were certainly much agitated; and for that matter, you are yet.

Countess--Men aren't sharp enough to distinguish between honest indignation at unjust suspicion, and the confusion of guilt.

Count--We men think we know something of politics, but we are only children. Madame, the King ought to name you his ambassador to London.--And now pray forget this unfortunate business, so humiliating for me.

Countess--For us both.

Count--Won't you tell me again that you forgive me?

Countess--Have I said that, Susanna?

Count--Ah, say it now.

Countess--Do you deserve it, culprit?

Count--Yes, honestly, for my repentance.

Countess [giving him her hand]--How weak I am! What an example I set you, Susanna! He'll never believe in a woman's anger.

Susanna--You are prisoner on parole; and you shall see we are honorable.


(1584-1616)            (1579-1625)

he names of Beaumont and Fletcher," says Lowell, in his lectures on 'Old English Dramatists,' "are as inseparably linked together as those of Castor and Pollux. They are the double star of our poetical firmament, and their beams are so indissolubly mingled that it is vain to attempt any division of them that shall assign to each his rightful share." Theirs was not that dramatic collaboration all too common among the lesser Elizabethan dramatists, at a time when managers, eager to satisfy a restless public incessantly clamoring for novelty, parceled out single acts or even scenes of a play among two or three playwrights, to put together a more or less congruous piece of work. Beaumont and Fletcher joined partnership, not from any outward necessity, but inspired by a common love of their art and true congeniality of mind. Unlike many of their brother dramatists, whom the necessities of a lowly origin drove to seek a livelihood in writing for the theatres, Beaumont and Fletcher were of gentle birth, and sprung from families eminent at the bar and in the Church.

Francis Beaumont.

Beaumont was born at Grace-Dieu in Leicestershire, 1584, the son of a chief justice. His name is first mentioned as a gentleman commoner at Broadgate Hall, now Pembroke College, Oxford. At sixteen he was entered a member of the Inner Temple, but the dry facts of the law did not appeal to his romantic imagination. Nowhere in his work does he draw upon his barrister's experience to the extent that makes the plays of Middleton, who also knew the Inner Temple at first hand, a storehouse of information in things legal. His feet soon strayed, therefore, into the more congenial fields of dramatic invention.

Fletcher was born in Rye, Sussex, the son of a minister who later became Bishop of London. Giles Fletcher the Younger, and Phineas Fletcher, both well-known poets in their day, were his cousins. His early life is as little known as that of Beaumont, and indeed as the lives of most of the other Elizabethan dramatists. He was a pensioner at Benet College, now Corpus Christi, Cambridge, in 1591, and in 1593 he was "Bible-clerk" there. Then we hear nothing of him until 'The Woman Hater' was brought out in 1607. The play has been ascribed to Beaumont alone, to Fletcher alone, and to the two jointly. Whoever may be the author, it is the firstling of his dramatic muse, and worth merely a passing mention. How or when their literary friendship began is not known; but since both were friends of Jonson, both prefixing commendatory verses to the great realist's play of 'The Fox,' it is fair to assume that through him they were brought together, and that both belonged to that brilliant circle of wits, poets, and dramatists who made famous the gatherings at the Mermaid Inn.

They lived in the closest intimacy on the Bankside, near the Globe Theatre in Southwark, sharing everything in common, even the bed, and some say their clothing,--which is likely enough, as it can be paralleled without going back three centuries. It is certain that the more affluent circumstances of Beaumont tided his less fortunate friend over many a difficulty; and the astonishing dramatic productivity of Fletcher's later period was probably due to Beaumont's untimely death, making it necessary for Fletcher to rely on his pen for support.

In 1613 Beaumont's marriage to a Kentish heiress put an end to the communistic bachelor establishment. He died March 6th, 1616, not quite six weeks before Shakespeare, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. Fletcher survived him nine years, dying of the plague in 1625. He was buried, not by the side of the poet with whose name his own is forever linked, but at St. Saviour's, Southwark.

"A student of physiognomy," says Swinburne, "will not fail to mark the points of likeness and of difference between the faces of the two friends; both models of noble manhood.... Beaumont the statelier and serener of the two, with clear, thoughtful eyes, full arched brows, and strong aquiline nose, with a little cleft at the tip; a grave and beautiful mouth, with full and finely curved lips; the form of face a very pure oval, and the imperial head, with its 'fair large front' and clustering hair, set firm and carried high with an aspect of quiet command and knightly observation. Fletcher with more keen and fervid face, sharper in outline every way, with an air of bright ardor and glad, fiery impatience; sanguine and nervous, suiting the complexion and color of hair; the expression of the eager eyes and lips almost rivaling that of a noble hound in act to break the leash it strains at;--two heads as lordly of feature and as expressive of aspect as any gallery of great men can show."

It may not be altogether fanciful to transfer this description of their physical bearing to their mental equipment, and draw some conclusions as to their several endowments and their respective share in the work that goes under their common name. Of course it is impossible to draw hard and fast lines of demarkation, and assign to each poet his own words. They, above all others, would probably have resented so dogmatic a procedure, and affirmed the dramas to be their joint offspring,--even as a child partakes of the nature of both its parents.

Their plays are organic structures, with well worked-out plots and for the most part well-sustained characters. They present a complete fusion of the different elements contributed by each author; never showing that agglomeration of incongruous matter so often found among the work of the lesser playwrights, where each hand can be singled out and held responsible for its share. Elaborate attempts, based on verse tests, have been made to disentangle the two threads of their poetic fabric. These attempts show much patient analysis, and are interesting as evidences of ingenuity; but they appeal more to the scholar than to the lover of poetry. Yet a sympathetic reading and a comparison of the plays professedly written by Fletcher alone, after Beaumont's death, with those jointly produced by them in the early part of Fletcher's career, shows the different qualities of mind that went to the making of the work, and the individual characteristics of the men that wrote it. Here Swinburne's eloquence gives concreteness to the picture.

In the joint plays there is a surer touch, a deeper, more pathetic note, a greater intensity of emotion; there is more tragic pathos and passion, more strong genuine humor, nobler sentiments. The predominance of these graver, sweeter qualities may well be attributed to Beaumont's influence. Although a disciple of Jonson in comedy, he was a close follower of Shakespeare in tragedy, and a student of the rhythms and metres of Shakespeare's second manner,--of the period that saw 'Hamlet,' 'Macbeth,' and the plays clustering around them. Too great a poet himself merely to imitate, Beaumont yet felt the influence of that still greater poet who swayed every one of the later dramatists, with the single exception perhaps of Jonson. But in pure comedy, mixed with farce and mock-heroic parody, he belongs to the school of "rare Ben."

Fletcher, on the other hand, is more brilliant, more rapid and supple, readier in his resources, of more startling invention. He has an extraordinary swiftness and fluency of speech; and no other dramatist, not even Shakespeare, equals him in the remarkable facility with which he reproduces in light, airy verse the bantering conversations of the young beaux and court-gentlemen of the time of James I. His peculiar trick of the redundant syllable at the end of many of his lines is largely responsible in producing this effect of ordinary speech, that yet is verse without being prosy. There is a flavor about Fletcher's work peculiarly its own. He created a new form of mixed comedy and dramatic romance, dealing with the humors and mischances of men, yet possessing a romantic coloring. He had great skill in combining his effects, and threw a fresh charm and vividness over his fanciful world. The quality of his genius is essentially bright and sunny, and therefore he is best in his comic and romantic work. His tragedy, although it has great pathos and passion, does not compel tears, nor does it subdue by its terror. It lacks the note of inevitableness which is the final touchstone of tragic greatness.

Their first joint play, 'Philaster, or Love Lies a-Bleeding,' acted in 1608, is in its detached passages the most famous. Among the others, 'The Maid's Tragedy,' produced about the same time, is their finest play on its purely tragic side, although the plot is disagreeable. 'King and No King' attracts because of the tender character-drawing of Panthea. 'The Scornful Lady' is noteworthy as the best exponent, outside his own work, of the school of Jonson on its grosser side. 'The Knight of the Burning Pestle' is at once a burlesque on knight-errantry and a comedy of manners.

Among the tragedies presumably produced by Fletcher alone, 'Bonduca' is one of the best, followed closely by 'The False One,' 'Valentinian,' and 'Thierry and Theodoret.' 'The Chances' and 'The Wild Goose Chase' may be taken as examples of the whole work on its comic side. 'The Humorous Lieutenant' is the best expression of the faults and merits of Fletcher, whose comedies Swinburne has divided into three groups: pure comedies, heroic or romantic dramas, and mixed comedy and romance. To the first group belong 'Rule a Wife and Have a Wife,' Fletcher's comic masterpiece, 'Wit without Money,' 'The Wild Goose Chase,' 'The Chances,' 'The Noble Gentleman.' The second group includes 'The Knight of Malta,' full of heroic passion and Catholic devotion, 'The Pilgrim,' 'The Loyal Subject,' 'A Wife for a Month,' 'Love's Pilgrimage,' 'The Lover's Progress.' The third group comprises 'The Spanish Curate,' 'Monsieur Thomas,' 'The Custom of the Country,' 'The Elder Brother,' 'The Little French Lawyer,' 'The Humorous Lieutenant,' 'Women Pleased,' 'Beggar's Bush,' 'The Fair Maid of the Inn.'

Fletcher had a part with Shakespeare in the 'Two Noble Kinsmen,' and he wrote also in conjunction with Massinger, Rowley, and others; Shirley, too, is believed to have finished some of his plays.

Leaving aside Shakespeare, Beaumont and Fletcher's plays are the best dramatic expression of the romantic spirit of Elizabethan England. Their luxurious, playful fancy delighted in the highly colored, spicy tales of the Southern imagination which the Renaissance was then bringing into England. They drew especially upon Spanish material, and their plays are rightly interpreted only when studied in reference to this Spanish foundation. But they are at the same time true Englishmen, and above all true Elizabethans; which is as much as to say that, borne along by the eager, strenuous spirit of their time, reaching out toward new sensations and impressions, new countries and customs, and dazzled by the romanesque and fantastic, they took up this exotic material and made it acceptable to the English mind. They satisfied the curiosity of their time, and expressed its surface ideas and longings. This accounts for their great popularity, which in their day eclipsed even Shakespeare's, as it accounts also for their shortcomings. They skimmed over the surface of passion, they saw the pathos and the pity of it but not the terror; they lacked Shakespeare's profound insight into the well-springs of human action, and sacrificed truth of life to stage effect. They shared with him one grave fault which is indeed the besetting sin of dramatists, resulting in part from the necessarily curt and outline action of the drama, in part from the love of audiences for strong emotional effects; namely, the abrupt and unexplained moral revolutions of their characters. Effects are too often produced without apparent causes; a novelist has space to fill in the blanks. The sudden contrition of the usurper in 'As You Like It' is a familiar instance; Beaumont and Fletcher have plenty as bad. Probably there was more of this in real life during the Middle Ages, when most people still had much barbaric instability of feeling and were liable to sudden revulsions of purpose, than in our more equable society. On the other hand, virtue often suffers needlessly and acquiescingly.

In their speech they indulged in much license, Fletcher especially; he was prone to confuse right and wrong. The strenuousness of the earlier Elizabethan age was passing away, and the relaxing morality of Jacobean society was making its way into literature, culminating in the entire disintegration of the time of Charles II., which it is very shallow to lay entirely to the Puritans. There would have been a time of great laxity had Cromwell or the Puritan ascendancy never existed. Beaumont and Fletcher, in their eagerness to please, took no thought of the after-effects of their plays; morality did not enter into their scheme of life. Yet they were not immoral, but merely unmoral. They lacked the high seriousness that gives its permanent value to Shakespeare's tragic work. They wrote not to embody the everlasting truths of life, as he did; not because they were oppressed with the weight of a new message striving for utterance; not because they were aflame with the passion for the unattainable, as Marlowe; not to lash with the stings of bitter mockery the follies and vices of their fellow-men, as Ben Jonson; not primarily to make us shudder at the terrible tragedies enacted by corrupted hearts, and the needless unending sufferings of persecuted virtue, as Webster; nor yet to give us a faithful picture of the different phases of life in Jacobean London, as Dekker, Heywood, Middleton, and others. They wrote for the very joy of writing, to give vent to their over-bubbling fancy and their tender feeling.

They are lyrical and descriptive poets of the first order, with a wonderful ease and grace of expression. The songs scattered throughout their plays are second only to Shakespeare's. The volume and variety of their work is astonishing. They left more than fifty-two printed plays, and all of these show an extraordinary power of invention; the most diverse passions, characters, and situations enter into the work, their stories stimulate our curiosity, and their characters appeal to our sympathies. Especially in half-farcical, half-pathetic comedy they have no superior; their wit and spirit here find freest play. Despite much coarseness, their work is full of delicate sensibility, and suffused with a romantic grace of form and a tenderness of expression that endears them to our hearts, and makes them more lovable than any of their brother dramatists, with the possible exception of genial Dekker. The spirit of chivalry breathes through their work, and the gentleman and scholar is always present. For in contradiction to most of their fellow-workers, they were not on the stage; they never took part in its more practical affairs either as actors or managers; they derived the technical knowledge necessary to a successful playwright from their intimacy with stage folk.

As poets, aside from their dramatic work, they occupy a secondary place. Beaumont especially has left, beyond one or two exquisite lyrics, little that is noteworthy, except some commendatory verses addressed to Jonson. On the other hand, Fletcher's 'Faithful Shepherdess,' with Jonson's 'Sad Shepherd' and Milton's 'Comus,' form that delightful trilogy of the first pastoral poems in the English language.

The popularity of Beaumont and Fletcher in the seventeenth century, as compared to that of Shakespeare, has been over-emphasized; for between 1623 and 1685 they have only two folio editions, those of 1647 and 1679, as against four of Shakespeare. Their position among the Elizabethans is unique. They did not found a school either in comedy or tragedy. Massinger, who had more in common with them than any other of the leading dramatists, cannot be called their disciple; for though he worked in the same field, he is more sober and severe, more careful in the construction of his plots, more of a satirist and stern judge of society. With the succeeding playwrights the decadence of the Elizabethan drama began.



[Clorin, a shepherdess, watching by the grave of her lover, is found by a Satyr.]

CLORIN--Hail, holy earth, whose cold arms do embrace

The truest man that ever fed his flocks

By the fat plains of fruitful Thessaly.

Thus I salute thy grave, thus do I pay

My early vows, and tribute of mine eyes,

To thy still loved ashes: thus I free

Myself from all ensuing heats and fires

Of love: all sports, delights, and jolly games,

That shepherds hold full dear, thus put I off.

Now no more shall these smooth brows be begirt

With youthful coronals, and lead the dance.

No more the company of fresh fair maids

And wanton shepherds be to me delightful:

Nor the shrill pleasing sound of merry pipes

Under some shady dell, when the cool wind

Plays on the leaves: all be far away,

Since thou art far away, by whose dear side

How often have I sat, crowned with fresh flowers

For summer's queen, whilst every shepherd's boy

Puts on his lusty green, with gaudy hook,

And hanging script of finest cordevan!

But thou art gone, and these are gone with thee,

And all are dead but thy dear memory;

That shall outlive thee, and shall ever spring,

Whilst there are pipes, or jolly shepherds sing.

And here will I, in honor of thy love,

Dwell by thy grave, forgetting all those joys

That former times made precious to mine eyes,

Only remembering what my youth did gain

In the dark hidden virtuous use of herbs.

That will I practice, and as freely give

All my endeavors, as I gained them free.

Of all green wounds I know the remedies

In men or cattle, be they stung with snakes,

Or charmed with powerful words of wicked art;

Or be they love-sick, or through too much heat

Grown wild, or lunatic; their eyes, or ears,

Thickened with misty film of dulling rheum:

These I can cure, such secret virtue lies

In herbs applied by a virgin's hand.

My meat shall be what these wild woods afford,

Berries and chestnuts, plantains, on whose cheeks

The sun sits smiling, and the lofty fruit

Pulled from the fair head of the straight-grown pine.

On these I'll feed with free content and rest,

When night shall blind the world, by thy side blessed

[A Satyr enters.]

Satyr--Through yon same bending plain

That flings his arms down to the main,

And through these thick woods have I run,

Whose bottom never kissed the sun.

Since the lusty spring began,

All to please my master Pan,

Have I trotted without rest

To get him fruit; for at a feast

He entertains this coming night

His paramour the Syrinx bright:

But behold a fairer sight!

By that heavenly form of thine,

Brightest fair, thou art divine,

Sprung from great immortal race

Of the gods, for in thy face

Shines more awful majesty

Than dull weak mortality

Dare with misty eyes behold,

And live: therefore on this mold

Lowly do I bend my knee

In worship of thy deity.

Deign it, goddess, from my hand

To receive whate'er this land

From her fertile womb doth send

Of her choice fruits; and--but lend

Belief to that the Satyr tells--

Fairer by the famous wells

To this present day ne'er grew,

Never better, nor more true.

Here be grapes, whose lusty blood

Is the learned poet's good;

Sweeter yet did never crown

The head of Bacchus: nuts more brown

Than the squirrels' teeth that crack them;

Deign, O fairest fair, to take them.

For these, black-eyed Driope

Hath oftentimes commanded me

With my clasped knee to climb.

See how well the lusty time

Hath decked their rising cheeks in red,

Such as on your lips is spread.

Here be berries for a queen;

Some be red, some be green;

These are of that luscious meat

The great god Pan himself doth eat:

All these, and what the woods can yield,

The hanging mountain, or the field,

I freely offer, and ere long

Will bring you more, more sweet and strong;

Till when humbly leave I take,

Lest the great Pan do awake,

That sleeping lies in a deep glade,

Under a broad beech's shade.

I must go, I must run,

Swifter than the fiery sun.

Clorin--And all my fears go with thee.

What greatness, or what private hidden power,

Is there in me to draw submission

From this rude man and beast? sure. I am mortal,

The daughter of a shepherd; he was mortal,

And she that bore me mortal; prick my hand

And it will bleed; a fever shakes me, and

The self-same wind that makes the young lambs shrink,

Makes me a-cold: my fear says I am mortal:

Yet I have heard (my mother told it me)

And now I do believe it, if I keep

My virgin flower uncropped, pure, chaste, and fair,

No goblin, wood-god, fairy, elf, or fiend,

Satyr, or other power that haunts the groves,

Shall hurt my body, or by vain illusion

Draw me to wander after idle fires,

Or voices calling me in dead of night

To make me follow, and so tole me on

Through mire, and standing pools, to find my ruin.

Else why should this rough thing, who never knew

Manners nor smooth humanity, whose heats

Are rougher than himself, and more misshapen,

Thus mildly kneel to me? Sure there's a power

In that great name of Virgin, that binds fast

All rude uncivil bloods, all appetites

That break their confines. Then, strong Chastity,

Be thou my strongest guard; for here I'll dwell

In opposition against fate and hell.


Care-charming Sleep, thou easer of all woes,
Brother to Death, sweetly thyself dispose
On this afflicted prince; fall, like a cloud,
In gentle showers; give nothing that is loud
Or painful to his slumbers; easy, light,
And as a purling stream, thou son of Night,
Pass by his troubled senses; sing his pain,
Like hollow murmuring wind or silver rain;
Into this prince gently, oh, gently slide,
And kiss him into slumbers like a bride!


God Lyæus, ever young,
Ever honored, ever sung,
Stained with blood of lusty grapes,
In a thousand lusty shapes,
Dance upon the mazer's brim,
In the crimson liquor swim;
From thy plenteous hand divine,
Let a river run with wine.
  God of youth, let this day here
  Enter neither care nor fear!


Lay a garland on my hearse
  Of the dismal yew;
Maidens, willow-branches bear;
  Say I died true.

My love was false, but I was firm
  From my hour of birth:
Upon my buried body lie
  Lightly, gentle earth!



Dearest, do not you delay me,
  Since thou know'st I must be gone;
Wind and tide, 'tis thought, doth stay me,
  But 'tis wind that must be blown
      From that breath, whose native smell
      Indian odors far excel.

Oh then speak, thou fairest fair!
  Kill not him that vows to serve thee;
But perfume this neighboring air,
  Else dull silence, sure, will starve me:
      'Tis a word that's quickly spoken,
      Which being restrained, a heart is broken.


May I find a woman fair,
And her mind as clear as air:
If her beauty go alone,
'Tis to me as if 'twere none.

May I find a woman rich,
And not of too high a pitch:
If that pride should cause disdain,
Tell me, lover, where's thy gain?

May I find a woman wise,
And her falsehood not disguise:
Hath she wit as she hath will,
Double armed she is to ill.

May I find a woman kind,
And not wavering like the wind:
How should I call that love mine,
When 'tis his, and his, and thine?

May I find a woman true,
There is beauty's fairest hue,
There is beauty, love, and wit:
Happy he can compass it!


        By Fletcher

          Hence, all you vain delights,
             As short as are the nights
                Wherein you spend your folly!
          There's naught in this life sweet,
          If man were wise to see 't,
             But only melancholy;
             Oh, sweetest melancholy!
     Welcome, folded arms, and fixèd eyes,
        A sigh that piercing mortifies,
     A look that's fastened to the ground,
     A tongue chained up without a sound!

     Fountain heads, and pathless groves,
     Places which pale passion loves!
     Moonlight walks when all the fowls
     Are warmly housed, save bats and owls!
     A midnight bell, a parting groan!
     These are the sounds we feed upon;
Then stretch our bones in a still gloomy valley;
Nothing's so dainty sweet as lovely melancholy.



By Beaumont

If it might stand with justice to allow
The swift conversion of all follies, now
Such is my mercy, that I could admit
All sorts should equally approve the wit
Of this thy even work, whose growing fame
Shall raise thee high, and thou it, with thy name;
And did not manners and my love command
Me to forbear to make those understand
Whom thou, perhaps, hast in thy wiser doom
Long since firmly resolved, shall never come
To know more than they do,--I would have shown
To all the world the art which thou alone
Hast taught our tongue, the rules of time, of place,
And other rites, delivered with the grace

Of comic style, which only is fat more
Than any English stage hath known before.
But since our subtle gallants think it good
To like of naught that may be understood,
Lest they should be disproved, or have, at best,
Stomachs so raw, that nothing can digest
But what's obscene, or barks,--let us desire
They may continue, simply to admire
Fine clothes and strange words, and may live, in age
To see themselves ill brought upon the stage,
And like it; whilst thy bold and knowing Muse
Contemns all praise, but such as thou wouldst choose.



  Mortality, behold, and fear!
  What a change of flesh is here!
  Think how many royal bones
  Sleep within this heap of stones:
  Here they lie had realms and lands,
Who now want strength to stir their hands;
Where from their pulpits, soiled with dust,
They preach, "In greatness is no trust."
  Here's an acre sown indeed
  With the richest, royal'st seed,
  That, the earth did e'er suck in
  Since the first man died for sin:
  Here the bones of birth have cried,
"Though gods they were, as men they died:"
  Here are sands, ignoble things,
  Dropt from the ruined sides of kings:
  Here's a world of pomp and state
  Buried in dust, once dead by fate.



Lady--Here is my Lord Philaster.

Arethusa--Oh, 'tis well.
Withdraw yourself. Exit Lady.

Philaster--Madam, your messenger
Made me believe you wished to speak with me.

Arethusa--'Tis true, Philaster, but the words are such
I have to say, and do so ill beseem
The mouth of woman, that I wish them said,
And yet am loath to speak them. Have you known
That I have aught detracted from your worth?
Have I in person wronged you? or have set
My baser instruments to throw disgrace
Upon your virtues?

Philaster--Never, madam, you.

Arethusa--Why then should you, in such a public place,
Injure a princess, and a scandal lay
Upon my fortunes, famed to be so great,
Calling a great part of my dowry in question?

Philaster--Madam, this truth which I shall speak will be
Foolish: but, for your fair and virtuous self,
I could afford myself to have no right
To any thing you wished.

Arethusa--Philaster, know,
I must enjoy these kingdoms.

Philaster--Madam, both?

Arethusa--Both, or I die; by fate, I die, Philaster,
If I not calmly may enjoy them both.

Philaster--I would do much to save that noble life,
Yet would be loath to have posterity
Find in our stories, that Philaster gave
His right unto a sceptre and a crown
To save a lady's longing.

Arethusa--Nay, then, hear:
I must and will have them, and more--

Philaster--What more?

Arethusa--Or lose that little life the gods prepared
To trouble this poor piece of earth withal.

Philaster--Madam, what more?

Arethusa--Turn, then, away thy face.



Philaster--I can endure it. Turn away my face!
I never yet saw enemy that looked
So dreadfully, but that I thought myself
As great a basilisk as he; or spake
So horribly, but that I thought my tongue
Bore thunder underneath, as much as his;
Nor beast that I could turn from: shall I then
Begin to fear sweet sounds? a lady's voice,
Whom I do love? Say, you would have my life:
Why, I will give it you; for 'tis to me
A thing so loathed, and unto you that ask
Of so poor use, that I shall make no price:
If you entreat, I will unmovedly hear.

Arethusa--Yet, for my sake, a little bend thy looks.

Philaster--I do.

Arethusa--Then know, I must have them and thee.

Philaster--And me?

Arethusa--Thy love; without which, all the land
Discovered yet will serve me for no use
But to be buried in.

Philaster--Is't possible?

Arethusa--With it, it were too little to bestow
On thee. Now, though thy breath do strike me dead,
(Which, know, it may,) I have unript my breast.

Philaster--Madam, you are too full of noble thoughts
To lay a train for this contemnèd life,
Which you may have for asking: to suspect
Were base, where I deserve no ill. Love you!
By all my hopes I do, above my life!
But how this passion should proceed from you
So violently, would amaze a man
That would be jealous.

Arethusa--Another soul into my body shot
Could not have filled me with more strength and spirit
Than this thy breath. But spend not hasty time
In seeking how I came thus: 'tis the gods,
The gods, that make me so; and sure, our love
Will be the nobler and the better blest,
In that the secret justice of the gods
Is mingled with it. Let us leave, and kiss:
Lest some unwelcome guest should fall betwixt us,
And we should part without it.

Philaster--'Twill be ill
I should abide here long.

Arethusa--'Tis true: and worse
You should come often. How shall we devise
To hold intelligence, that our true loves,
On any new occasion, may agree
What path is best to tread?

Philaster--I have a boy,
Sent by the gods, I hope, to this intent,
Yet not seen in the court. Hunting the buck,
I found him sitting by a fountain's side,
Of which he borrowed some to quench his thirst,
And paid the nymph again as much in tears.
A garland lay him by, made by himself
Of many several flowers bred in the vale,
Stuck in that mystic order that the rareness
Delighted me; but ever when he turned
His tender eyes upon 'em, he would weep,
As if he meant to make 'em grow again.
Seeing such pretty helpless innocence
Dwell in his face, I asked him all his story.
He told me that his parents gentle died,
Leaving him to the mercy of the fields,
Which gave him roots; and of the crystal springs,
Which did not stop their courses; and the sun,
Which still, he thanked him, yielded him his light.
Then took he up his garland, and did show
What every flower, as country-people hold,
Did signify, and how all, ordered thus,
Expressed his grief; and, to my thoughts, did read
The prettiest lecture of his country-art
That could be wished: so that methought I could
Have studied it. I gladly entertained
Him, who was glad to follow: and have got
The trustiest, loving'st, and the gentlest boy
That ever master kept. Him will I send
To wait on you, and bear our hidden love.


PHILASTER--But, Bellario
(For I must call thee still so), tell me why
Thou didst conceal thy sex. It was a fault,
A fault, Bellario, though thy other deeds
Of truth outweighed it: all these jealousies
Had flown to nothing, if thou hadst discovered
What now we know.

Bellario--My father oft would speak
Your worth and virtue; and as I did grow
More and more apprehensive, I did thirst
To see the man so praised. But yet all this
Was but a maiden-longing, to be lost
As soon as found; till, sitting in my window,
Printing my thoughts in lawn, I saw a god,
I thought (but it was you), enter our gates:
My blood flew out and back again, as fast
As I had puffed it forth and sucked it in
Like breath; then was I called away in haste
To entertain you. Never was a man
Heaved from a sheep-cote to a sceptre, raised
So high in thoughts as I. You left a kiss
Upon these lips then, which I mean to keep
From you for ever; I did hear you talk,
Far above singing. After you were gone,
I grew acquainted with my heart, and searched
What stirred it so: alas, I found it love!
Yet far from lust; for, could I but have lived
In presence of you, I had had my end.
For this I did delude my noble father
With a feigned pilgrimage, and dressed myself
In habit of a boy; and, for I knew
My birth no match for you, I was past hope
Of having you; and, understanding well
That when I made discovery of my sex
I could not stay with you, I made a vow,
By all the most religious things a maid
Could call together, never to be known,
Whilst there was hope to hide me from men's eyes.
For other than I seemed, that I might ever
Abide with you. Then sat I by the fount,
Where first you took me up.

King--Search out a match
Within our kingdom, where and when thou wilt,
And I will pay thy dowry; and thyself
Wilt well deserve him.

Bellario--Never, sir, will I
Marry; it is a thing within my vow:
But if I may have leave to serve the princess,
To see the virtues of her lord and her,
I shall have hope to live.

Arethusa--I, Philaster,
Cannot be jealous, though you had a lady
Drest like a page to serve you; nor will I
Suspect her living here.--Come, live with me;
Live free as I do. She that loves my lord,
Cursed be the wife that hates her!



Evadne--Would I could say so [farewell] to my black disgrace!
Oh, where have I been all this time? how friended,
That I should lose myself thus desperately,
And none for pity show me how I wandered?
There is not in the compass of the light
A more unhappy creature: sure, I am monstrous;
For I have done those follies, those mad mischiefs,
Would dare a woman. Oh, my loaden soul,
Be not so cruel to me; choke not up
The way to my repentance!

[Enter Amintor.]

                O my lord!

Amintor--How now?

Evadne--My much-abused lord!     [Kneels.]

Amintor--This cannot be!

Evadne--I do not kneel to live; I dare not hope it;
The wrongs I did are greater. Look upon me,
Though I appear with all my faults.

Amintor--Stand up.
This is a new way to beget more sorrows:
Heaven knows I have too many. Do not mock me:

Though I am tame, and bred up with my wrongs,
Which are my foster-brothers, I may leap,
Like a hand-wolf, into my natural wildness,
And do an outrage: prithee, do not mock me,

Evadne--My whole life is so leprous, it infects
All my repentance. I would buy your pardon,
Though at the highest set, even with my life:
That slight contrition, that's no sacrifice
For what I have committed.

Amintor--Sure, I dazzle:
There cannot be a faith in that foul woman,
That knows no God more mighty than her mischiefs.
Thou dost still worse, still number on thy faults,
To press my poor heart thus. Can I believe
There's any seed of virtue in that woman
Left to shoot up that dares go on in sin
Known, and so known as thine is? O Evadne!
Would there were any safety in thy sex,
That I might put a thousand sorrows off,
And credit thy repentance! but I must not:
Thou hast brought me to that dull calamity,
To that strange misbelief of all the world
And all things that are in it, that I fear
I shall fall like a tree, and find my grave,
Only remembering that I grieve.

Evadne--My lord,
Give me your griefs: you are an innocent,
A soul as white as Heaven; let not my sins
Perish your noble youth. I do not fall here
To shadow by dissembling with my tears,
(As all say women can,) or to make less
What my hot will hath done, which Heaven and you
Know to be tougher than the hand of time
Can cut from man's remembrances; no, I do not;
I do appear the same, the same Evadne,
Drest in the shames I lived in, the same monster.
But these are names of honor to what I am:
I do present myself the foulest creature,
Most poisonous, dangerous, and despised of men,
Lerna e'er bred, or Nilus. I am hell,
Till you, my dear lord, shoot your light into me,
The beams of your forgiveness; I am soul-sick,
And wither with the fear of one condemned,
Till I have got your pardon.

Amintor--Rise, Evadne.
Those heavenly powers that put this good into thee
Grant a continuance of it! I forgive thee:
Make thyself worthy of it; and take heed,
Take heed, Evadne, this be serious.
Mock not the powers above, that can and dare
Give thee a great example of their justice
To all ensuing ages, if thou playest
With thy repentance, the best sacrifice.

Evadne--I have done nothing good to win belief,
My life hath been so faithless. All the creatures
Made for Heaven's honors have their ends, and good ones,
All but the cozening crocodiles, false women:
They reign here like those plagues, those killing sores,
Men pray against; and when they die, like tales
Ill told and unbelieved, they pass away,
And go to dust forgotten. But, my lord,
Those short days I shall number to my rest
(As many must not see me) shall, though too late,
Though in my evening, yet perceive a will,
Since I can do no good, because a woman,
Reach constantly at something that is near it;
I will redeem one minute of my age,
Or, like another Niobe, I'll weep,
Till I am water.

Amintor--I am now dissolved:
My frozen soul melts. May each sin thou hast,
Find a new mercy! Rise; I am at peace.

[Evadne rises.]

Hadst thou been thus, thus excellently good,
Before that devil-king tempted thy frailty,
Sure thou hadst made a star. Give me thy hand:
From this time I will know thee; and as far
As honor gives me leave, be thy Amintor.
When we meet next, I will salute thee fairly,
And pray the gods to give thee happy days:
My charity shall go along with thee,
Though my embraces must be far from thee.
I should have killed thee, but this sweet repentance
Locks up my vengeance: for which thus I kiss thee--

[Kisses her.]

The last kiss we must take; and would to Heaven
The holy priest that gave our hands together
Had given us equal virtues! Go, Evadne;
The gods thus part our bodies. Have a care
My honor falls no farther: I am well, then.

Evadne--All the dear joys here, and above hereafter,
Crown thy fair soul! Thus I take leave, my lord;
And never shall you see the foul Evadne,
Till she have tried all honored means, that may
Set her in rest and wash her stains away.



[Scene: A field between the British and the Roman camps.]

Caratach--How does my boy?

Hengo--I would do well; my heart's well;
I do not fear.

Caratach--My good boy!

Hengo--I know, uncle,
We must all die: my little brother died;
I saw him die, and he died smiling; sure,
There's no great pain in't, uncle. But pray tell me,
Whither must we go when we are dead?

Caratach [aside]--Strange questions!
Why, the blessed'st place, boy! ever sweetness
And happiness dwell there.

Hengo--Will you come to me?

Caratach--Yes, my sweet boy.

Hengo--Mine aunt too, and my cousins?

Caratach--All, my good child.

Hengo--No Romans, uncle?

Caratach--No, boy.

Hengo--I should be loath to meet them there.

Caratach--No ill men,
That live by violence and strong oppression,
Come thither: 'tis for those the gods love, good men.

Hengo--Why, then, I care not when I go, for surely
I am persuaded they love me: I never
Blasphemed 'em, uncle, nor transgressed my parents;
I always said my prayers.

Caratach--Thou shalt go, then;
Indeed thou shalt.

Hengo--When they please.

Caratach--That's my good boy!
Art thou not weary, Hengo?

Hengo--Weary, uncle!
I have heard you say you have marched all day in armor.

Caratach--I have, boy.

Hengo--Am not I your kinsman?


Hengo--And am not I as fully allied unto you
In those brave things as blood?

Caratach--Thou art too tender.

Hengo--To go upon my legs? they were made to bear me.
I can play twenty miles a day; I see no reason
But, to preserve my country and myself,
I should march forty.

Caratach--What wouldst thou be, living
To wear a man's strength!

Hengo--Why, a Caratach,
A Roman-hater, a scourge sent from Heaven
To whip these proud thieves from our kingdom. Hark!

[Drum within.]

[They are on a rock in the rear of a wood.]

Caratach--Courage, my boy! I have found meat: look, Hengo,
Look where some blessèd Briton, to preserve thee,
Has hung a little food and drink: cheer up, boy;
Do not forsake me now.

Hengo--O uncle, uncle,
I feel I cannot stay long! yet I'll fetch it,
To keep your noble life. Uncle, I am heart-whole,
And would live.

Caratach--Thou shalt, long, I hope.

Hengo--But my head, uncle!
Methinks the rock goes round.

[Enter Macer and Judas, and remain at the side of the stage.]

Macer--Mark 'em well, Judas.

Judas--Peace, as you love your life.

Hengo--Do not you hear
The noise of bells?

Caratach--Of bells, boy! 'tis thy fancy;
Alas, thy body's full of wind!

Hengo--Methinks, sir,
They ring a strange sad knell, a preparation
To some near funeral of state: nay, weep not,
Mine own sweet uncle; you will kill me sooner.

Caratach--O my poor chicken!

Hengo--Fie, faint-hearted uncle!
Come, tie me in your belt and let me down.

Caratach--I'll go myself, boy.

Hengo--No, as you love me, uncle:
I will not eat it, if I do not fetch it;
The danger only I desire: pray, tie me.

Caratach--I will, and all my care hang o'er thee! Come, child,
My valiant child!

Hengo--Let me down apace, uncle,
And you shall see how like a daw I'll whip it
From all their policies; for 'tis most certain
A Roman train: and you must hold me sure, too;
You'll spoil all else. When I have brought it, uncle,
We'll be as merry--

Caratach--Go, i' the name of Heaven, boy!

[Lets Hengo down by his belt.]

Hengo--Quick, quick, uncle! I have it.
  [Judas shoots Hengo with an arrow.] Oh!

Caratach--What ail'st thou?

Hengo--Oh, my best uncle, I am slain!

Caratach [to Judas]--I see you,
And Heaven direct my hand! destruction
Go with thy coward soul!

[Kills Judas with a stone, and then draws up Hengo. Exit Macer.]

                  How dost thou, boy?--
O villain, pocky villain!

Hengo--Oh, uncle, uncle,
Oh, how it pricks me!--am I preserved for this?--
Extremely pricks me!

Caratach--Coward, rascal coward!
Dogs eat thy flesh!

Hengo--Oh, I bleed hard! I faint too; out upon't,
How sick I am!--The lean rogue, uncle!

Caratach--Look, boy;
I have laid him sure enough.

Hengo--Have you knocked his brains out?

Caratach--I warrant thee, for stirring more: cheer up, child.

Hengo--Hold my sides hard; stop, stop; oh, wretched fortune,
Must we part thus? Still I grow sicker, uncle.

Caratach--Heaven look upon this noble child!

Hengo--I once hoped
I should have lived to have met these bloody Romans
At my sword's point, to have revenged my father,
To have beaten 'em,--oh, hold me hard!--but, uncle--

Caratach--Thou shalt live still, I hope, boy. Shall I draw it?

Hengo--You draw away my soul, then. I would live
A little longer--spare me, Heavens!--but only
To thank you for your tender love: good uncle,
Good noble uncle, weep not.

Caratach--O my chicken,
My dear boy, what shall I lose?

Hengo--Why, a child,
That must have died however; had this 'scaped me,
Fever or famine--I was born to die, sir.

Caratach--But thus unblown, my boy?

Hengo--I go the straighter
My journey to the gods. Sure, I shall know you
When you come, uncle.

Caratach--Yes, boy.

Hengo--And I hope
We shall enjoy together that great blessedness
You told me of.

Caratach--Most certain, child.

Hengo--I grow cold;
Mine eyes are going.

Caratach--Lift 'em up.

Hengo--Pray for me;
And, noble uncle, when my bones are ashes,
Think of your little nephew!--Mercy!

You blessèd angels, take him!

Hengo--Kiss me: so.
Farewell, farewell! [Dies.]

Caratach--Farewell, the hopes of Britain!
Thou royal graft, farewell for ever!--Time and Death,
Ye have done your worst. Fortune, now see, now proudly
Pluck off thy veil and view thy triumph; look,
Look what thou hast brought this land to!--O fair flower,
How lovely yet thy ruins show, how sweetly
Even death embraces thee! the peace of Heaven,
The fellowship of all great souls, be with thee!



Roses, their sharp spines being gone,
Not royal in their smells alone,
  But in their hue;
Maiden-pinks, of odor faint,
Daisies smell-less yet most quaint,
  And sweet thyme true;

Primrose, first-born child of Ver,
Merry spring-time's harbinger,
  With her bells dim;
Oxlips in their cradles growing,
Marigolds on death-beds blowing,
  Larks'-heels trim.

All, dear Nature's children sweet,
Lie 'fore bride and bridegroom's feet,
  Blessing their sense!
Not an angel of the air,
Bird melodious or bird fair,
  Be absent hence!

The crow, the slanderous cuckoo, nor
The boding raven, nor chough hoar,
  Nor chattering pie,
May on our bride-house perch or sing,
Or with them any discord bring,
  But from it fly!



he translation from a defective Arabic manuscript of the 'Book of the Thousand Nights and A Night,' first into the French by Galland, about 1705, and presently into various English versions, exerted an immediate influence on French, German, and English romance. The pseudo-Oriental or semi-Oriental tale of home-manufacture sprang into existence right and left with the publishers of London and Paris, and in German centres of letters. Hope's 'Anastasius, or Memoirs of a Modern Greek,' Lewis's 'The Monk,' the German Hauff's admirable 'Stories of the Caravan, the Inn, and the Palace,' Rückert's 'Tales of the Genii,' and William Beckford's 'History of the Caliph Vathek,' are among the finest performances of the sort: productions more or less Eastern in sentiment and in their details of local color, but independent of direct originals in the Persian or Arabic, so far as is conclusively known.

William Beckford.

William Beckford, born at London in 1759 (of a strong line which included a governor of Jamaica), dying in 1844, is a figure of distinction merely as an Englishman of his time, aside from his one claim to literary remembrance. His father's death left him the richest untitled citizen of England. He was not sent to a university, but immense care was given to his education, in which Lord Chatham personally interested himself; and he traveled widely. The result of this, on a very receptive mind with varied natural gifts, was to make Beckford an ideal dilettante. His tastes in literature, painting, music (in which Mozart was his tutor), sculpture, architecture, and what not, were refined to the highest nicety. He was able to gratify each of them as such a man can rarely have the means to do. He built palaces and towers of splendor instead of merely a beautiful country seat. He tried to reproduce Vathek's halls in stone and stucco, employing relays of workmen by day and night, on two several occasions and estates, for many months. Where other men got together moderate collections of bibelots, Beckford amassed whole museums. If a builder's neglect or a fire destroyed his rarities and damaged his estates to the extent of forty or fifty thousand pounds, Beckford merely rebuilt and re-collected. These tastes and lavish expenditures gradually set themselves in a current toward things Eastern. His magnificent retreat at Cintra in Portugal, his vast Fonthill Abbey and Lansdowne Hill estates in England, were only appanages of his sumptuous state. England and Europe talked of him and of his properties. He was a typical egotist: but an agreeable and gracious man, esteemed by a circle of friends not called upon to be his sycophants; and he kept in close touch with the intellectual life of all Europe.

He wrote much, for an amateur, and in view of the tale which does him most honor, he wrote with success. At twenty he invited publicity with a satiric jeu d'esprit, 'Biographical Memoirs of Extraordinary Painters'; and his 'Italy, with Sketches of Spain and Portugal,' and 'Recollections of an Excursion to the Monasteries of Alcobaba and Baltalha,' were well received. But these books could not be expected to survive even three generations; whereas 'Vathek,' the brilliant, the unique, the inimitable 'Vathek,' took at once a place in literature which we may now almost dare to call permanent. This story, not a long one,--indeed, no more than a novelette in size,--was originally written in French, and still lives in that language; in which an edition, hardly the best, has lately been issued under the editorship of M. Mallarmé. But its history is complicated by one of the most notable acts of literary treachery and theft on record. During the author's slow and finicky composition of it at Lausanne, he was sending it piecemeal to his friend Robert Henley in England for Henley to make an English version, of course to be revised by himself. As soon as Henley had all the parts, he published a hasty and slipshod translation, before Beckford had seen it or was even ready to publish the French original; and not only did so, but published it as a tale translated by himself from a genuine Arabic original. This double violation of good faith of course enraged Beckford, and practically separated the two men for the rest of their lives; indeed, the wonder is that Beckford would ever recognize Henley's existence again. The piracy was exposed and set aside, and Beckford in self-defense issued the story himself in French as soon as he could; indeed, he issued it in two versions with curious and interesting differences, one published at Lausanne and the other at Paris. The Lausanne edition is preferable.

'Vathek' abides to-day accredited to Beckford in both French and English; a thing to keep his memory green as nothing else of his work or personality will. The familiar legend that in its present form it was composed at a single sitting, with such ardor as to entail a severe illness, and "without the author's taking off his clothes," cannot be reconciled with the known facts. But the intensely vivid movement of it certainly suggests swift production; and it could easily be thought that any author had sketched such a story in the heat of some undisturbed sitting, and filled, finished, and polished it at leisure. It is an extraordinary performance; even in Henley's unsatisfactory version it is irresistible. We know that Beckford expected to add liberally to it by inserting sundry subordinate tales, put into the mouths of some of the personages appearing in the last scene. It is quite as well that he did not. Its distinctive Orientalism, perhaps less remarkable than the unfettered imagination of its episodes, the vividness of its characters, the easy brilliancy of its literary manner--these things, with French diction and French wit, alternate with startling descriptive impressiveness. It is a French combination of Cervantes and Dante, in an Oriental and bizarre narrative. It is not always delicate, but it is never vulgar, and the sprightly pages are as admirable as the weird ones. Its pictures, taken out of their connection, seem irrelevant, and are certainly unlike enough; but they are a succession of surprises and fascinations. Such are the famous description of the chase of Vathek's court after the Giaour; the moonlit departure of the Caliph for the Terrace of Istakhar; the episodes of his stay under the roof of the Emir Fakreddin; the pursuit by Carathis on "her great camel Alboufaki," attended by "the hideous Nerkes and the unrelenting Cafour"; Nouronihar drawn to the magic flame in the dell at night; the warning of the good Jinn; and the tremendous final tableau of the Hall of Eblis.

The man curious in letters regards with affection the evidences of vitality in a brief production little more than a century old; unique in English and French literature, and occupying to-day a high rank among the small group of quasi-Oriental narratives that represent the direct workings of Galland on the Occidental literary temperament. Today 'Vathek' surprises and delights persons whose mental constitution puts them in touch with it, just as potently as ever it did. And simply as a wild story, one fancies that it will appeal quite as effectually, no matter how many editions may be its future, to a public perhaps unsympathetic toward its elliptical satire, its caustic wit, its fantastic course of narrative, and its incongruous wavering between the flippant, the grotesque, and the terrific.


From 'The History of the Caliph Vathek'

By secret stairs, known only to herself and her son, she [Carathis] first repaired to the mysterious recesses in which were deposited the mummies that had been brought from the catacombs of the ancient Pharaohs. Of these she ordered several to be taken. From thence she resorted to a gallery, where, under the guard of fifty female negroes, mute, and blind of the right eye, were preserved the oil of the most venomous serpents, rhinoceros horns, and woods of a subtle and penetrating odor, procured from the interior of the Indies, together with a thousand other horrible rarities. This collection had been formed for a purpose like the present by Carathis herself, from a presentiment that she might one day enjoy some intercourse with the infernal powers, to whom she had ever been passionately attached, and to whose taste she was no stranger.

To familiarize herself the better with the horrors in view the Princess remained in the company of her negresses, who squinted in the most amiable manner from the only eye they had, and leered with exquisite delight at the skulls and skeletons which Carathis had drawn forth from her cabinets....

Whilst she was thus occupied, the Caliph, who, instead of the visions he expected, had acquired in these insubstantial regions a voracious appetite, was greatly provoked at the negresses: for, having totally forgotten their deafness, he had impatiently asked them for food; and seeing them regardless of his demand, he began to cuff, pinch, and push them, till Carathis arrived to terminate a scene so indecent....

"Son! what means all this?" said she, panting for breath. "I thought I heard as I came up, the shriek of a thousand bats, tearing from their crannies in the recesses of a cavern.... You but ill deserve the admirable provision I have brought you."

"Give it me instantly!" exclaimed the Caliph: "I am perishing for hunger!"

"As to that," answered she, "you must have an excellent stomach if it can digest what I have been preparing."

"Be quick," replied the Caliph. "But oh, heavens! what horrors! What do you intend?"

"Come, come," returned Carathis, "be not so squeamish, but help me to arrange everything properly, and you shall see that what you reject with such symptoms of disgust will soon complete your felicity. Let us get ready the pile for the sacrifice of to-night, and think not of eating till that is performed. Know you not that all solemn rites are preceded by a rigorous abstinence?"

The Caliph, not daring to object, abandoned himself to grief, and the wind that ravaged his entrails, whilst his mother went forward with the requisite operations. Phials of serpents' oil, mummies, and bones were soon set in order on the balustrade of the tower. The pile began to rise; and in three hours was as many cubits high. At length darkness approached, and Carathis, having stripped herself to her inmost garment, clapped her hands in an impulse of ecstasy, and struck light with all her force. The mutes followed her example: but Vathek, extenuated with hunger and impatience, was unable to support himself, and fell down in a swoon. The sparks had already kindled the dry wood; the venomous oil burst into a thousand blue flames; the mummies, dissolving, emitted a thick dun vapor; and the rhinoceros' horns beginning to consume, all together diffused such a stench, that the Caliph, recovering, started from his trance and gazed wildly on the scene in full blaze around him. The oil gushed forth in a plenitude of streams; and the negresses, who supplied it without intermission, united their cries to those of the Princess. At last the fire became so violent, and the flames reflected from the polished marble so dazzling, that the Caliph, unable to withstand the heat and the blaze, effected his escape, and clambered up the imperial standard.

In the mean time, the inhabitants of Samarah, scared at the light which shone over the city, arose in haste, ascended their roofs, beheld the tower on fire, and hurried half-naked to the square. Their love to their sovereign immediately awoke; and apprehending him in danger of perishing in his tower, their whole thoughts were occupied with the means of his safety. Morakanabad flew from his retirement, wiped away his tears, and cried out for water like the rest. Bababalouk, whose olfactory nerves were more familiarized to magical odors, readily conjecturing that Carathis was engaged in her favorite amusements, strenuously exhorted them not to be alarmed. Him, however, they treated as an old poltroon; and forbore not to style him a rascally traitor. The camels and dromedaries were advancing with water, but no one knew by which way to enter the tower. Whilst the populace was obstinate in forcing the doors, a violent east wind drove such a volume of flame against them, as at first forced them off, but afterwards rekindled their zeal. At the same time, the stench of the horns and mummies increasing, most of the crowd fell backward in a state of suffocation. Those that kept their feet mutually wondered at the cause of the smell, and admonished each other to retire. Morakanabad, more sick than the rest, remained in a piteous condition. Holding his nose with one hand, he persisted in his efforts with the other to burst open the doors, and obtain admission. A hundred and forty of the strongest and most resolute at length accomplished their purpose....

Carathis, alarmed at the signs of her mutes, advanced to the staircase, went down a few steps, and heard several voices calling out from below:--

"You shall in a moment have water!"

Being rather alert, considering her age, she presently regained the top of the tower, and bade her son suspend the sacrifice for some minutes, adding:--

"We shall soon be enabled to render it more grateful. Certain dolts of your subjects, imagining, no doubt, that we were on fire, have been rash enough to break through those doors, which had hitherto remained inviolate, for the sake of bringing up water. They are very kind, you must allow, so soon to forget the wrongs you have done them: but that is of little moment. Let us offer them to the Giaour. Let them come up: our mutes, who neither want strength nor experience, will soon dispatch them, exhausted as they are with fatigue."

"Be it so," answered the Caliph, "provided we finish, and I dine."

In fact, these good people, out of breath from ascending eleven thousand stairs in such haste, and chagrined at having spilt, by the way, the water they had taken, were no sooner arrived at the top than the blaze of the flames and the fumes of the mummies at once overpowered their senses. It was a pity! for they beheld not the agreeable smile with which the mutes and the negresses adjusted the cord to their necks: these amiable personages rejoiced, however, no less at the scene. Never before had the ceremony of strangling been performed with so much facility. They all fell without the least resistance or struggle; so that Vathek, in the space of a few moments, found himself surrounded by the dead bodies of his most faithful subjects, all of which were thrown on the top of the pile.


From 'The History of the Caliph Vathek'

The Caliph and Nouronihar beheld each other with amazement, at finding themselves in a place which, though roofed with a vaulted ceiling, was so spacious and lofty that at first they took it for an immeasurable plain. But their eyes at length growing familiar with the grandeur of the objects at hand, they extended their view to those at a distance, and discovered rows of columns and arcades, which gradually diminished till they terminated in a point, radiant as the sun when he darts his last beams athwart the ocean; the pavement, strewed over with gold dust and saffron, exhaled so subtle an odor as almost overpowered them; they however went on, and observed an infinity of censers, in which ambergris and the wood of aloes were continually burning; between the several columns were placed tables, each spread with a profusion of viands, and wines of every species sparkling in vases of crystal. A throng of genii and other fantastic spirits of each sex danced lasciviously in troops, at the sound of music which issued from beneath.

In the midst of this immense hall a vast multitude was incessantly passing, who severally kept their right hands on their hearts, without once regarding anything around them; they had all the livid paleness of death; their eyes, deep sunk in their sockets, resembled those phosphoric meteors that glimmer by night in places of interment. Some stalked slowly on, absorbed in profound reverie; some, shrieking with agony, ran furiously about, like tigers wounded with poisoned arrows; whilst others, grinding their teeth in rage, foamed along, more frantic than the wildest maniac. They all avoided each other, and though surrounded by a multitude that no one could number, each wandered at random, unheedful of the rest, as if alone on a desert which no foot had trodden.

Vathek and Nouronihar, frozen with terror at a sight so baleful, demanded of the Giaour what these appearances might seem, and why these ambulating spectres never withdrew their hands from their hearts.

"Perplex not yourselves," replied he bluntly, "with so much at once; you will soon be acquainted with all: let us haste and present you to Eblis."

They continued their way through the multitude; but notwithstanding their confidence at first, they were not sufficiently composed to examine with attention the various perspectives of halls and of galleries that opened on the right hand and left, which were all illuminated by torches and braziers, whose flames rose in pyramids to the centre of the vault. At length they came to a place where long curtains, brocaded with crimson and gold, fell from all parts in striking confusion; here the choirs and dances were heard no longer, the light which glimmered came from afar.

After some time Vathck and Nouronihar perceived a gleam brightening through the drapery, and entered a vast tabernacle carpeted with the skins of leopards; an infinity of elders with streaming beards, and Afrits in complete armor, had prostrated themselves before the ascent of a lofty eminence, on the top of which, upon a globe of fire, sat the formidable Eblis. His person was that of a young man, whose noble and regular features seemed to have been tarnished by malignant vapors; in his large eyes appeared both pride and despair; his flowing hair retained some resemblance to that of an angel of light; in his hand, which thunder had blasted, he swayed the iron sceptre that causes the monster Ouranabad, the Afrits, and all the powers of the abyss to tremble; at his presence the heart of the Caliph sunk within him, and for the first time he fell prostrate on his face. Nouronihar, however, though greatly dismayed, could not help admiring the person of Eblis; for she expected to have seen some stupendous giant. Eblis, with a voice more mild than might be imagined, but such as transfused through the soul the deepest melancholy, said:--

"Creatures of clay, I receive you into mine empire; ye are numbered amongst my adorers. Enjoy whatever this palace affords: the treasures of the pre-Adamite Sultans, their bickering sabres, and those talismans that compel the Dives to open the subterranean expanses of the mountain of Kaf, which communicate with these. There, insatiable as your curiosity may be, shall you find sufficient to gratify it; you shall possess the exclusive privilege of entering the fortress of Aherman, and the halls of Argenk, where are portrayed all creatures endowed with intelligence, and the various animals that inhabited the earth prior to the creation of that contemptible being whom ye denominate the Father of Mankind."

Vathek and Nouronihar, feeling themselves revived and encouraged by this harangue, eagerly said to the Giaour:--

"Bring us instantly to the place which contains these precious talismans."

"Come!" answered this wicked Dive, with his malignant grin, "come! and possess all that my Sovereign hath promised, and more."

He then conducted them into a long aisle adjoining the tabernacle, preceding them with hasty steps, and followed by his disciples with the utmost alacrity. They reached at length a hall of great extent, and covered with a lofty dome, around which appeared fifty portals of bronze, secured with as many fastenings of iron. A funereal gloom prevailed over the whole scene. Here, upon two beds of incorruptible cedar, lay recumbent the fleshless forms of the pre-Adamite kings, who had been monarchs of the whole earth. They still possessed enough of life to be conscious of their deplorable condition; their eyes retained a melancholy motion; they regarded each other with looks of the deepest dejection, each holding his right hand motionless on his heart. At their feet were inscribed the events of their several reigns, their power, their pride, and their crimes. Soliman Raad, Soliman Daki, and Soliman Di Gian Ben Gian, who, after having chained up the Dives in the dark caverns of Kaf, became so presumptuous as to doubt of the Supreme Power,--all these maintained great state, though not to be compared with the eminence of Soliman Ben Daoud [Solomon the son of David].

This king, so renowned for his wisdom, was on the loftiest elevation, and placed immediately under the dome; he appeared to possess more animation than the rest, though from time to time he labored with profound sighs, and like his companions, kept his right hand on his heart; yet his countenance was more composed, and he seemed to be listening to the sullen roar of a vast cataract, visible in part through the grated portals; this was the only sound that intruded on the silence of these doleful mansions. A range of brazen vases surrounded the elevation.

"Remove the covers from these cabalistic depositaries," said the Giaour to Vathek, "and avail thyself of the talismans, which will break asunder all these gates of bronze, and not only render thee master of the treasures contained within them, but also of the spirits by which they are guarded."

The Caliph, whom this ominous preliminary had entirely disconcerted, approached the vases with faltering footsteps, and was ready to sink with terror when he heard the groans of Soliman. As he proceeded, a voice from the livid lips of the Prophet articulated these words:--

"In my lifetime I filled a magnificent throne, having on my right hand twelve thousand seats of gold, where the patriarchs and the prophets heard my doctrines; on my left the sages and doctors, upon as many thrones of silver, were present at all my decisions. Whilst I thus administered justice to innumerable multitudes, the birds of the air librating over me served as a canopy from the rays of the sun; my people flourished, and my palace rose to the clouds; I erected a temple to the Most High which was the wonder of the universe. But I basely suffered myself to be seduced by the love of women, and a curiosity that could not be restrained by sublunary things; I listened to the counsels of Aherman and the daughter of Pharaoh, and adored fire and the hosts of heaven; I forsook the holy city, and commanded the Genii to rear the stupendous palace of Istakhar, and the terrace of the watch-towers, each of which was consecrated to a star. There for a while I enjoyed myself in the zenith of glory and pleasure; not only men, but supernatural existences were subject also to my will. I began to think, as these unhappy monarchs around had already thought, that the vengeance of Heaven was asleep, when at once the thunder burst my structures asunder and precipitated me hither; where however I do not remain, like the other inhabitants, totally destitute of hope, for an angel of light hath revealed that, in consideration of the piety of my early youth, my woes shall come to an end when this cataract shall for ever cease to flow. Till then I am in torments, ineffable torments! an unrelenting fire preys on my heart."

Having uttered this exclamation, Soliman raised his hands towards Heaven in token of supplication, and the Caliph discerned through his bosom, which was transparent as crystal, his heart enveloped in flames. At a sight so full of horror, Nouronihar fell back like one petrified into the arms of Vathek, who cried out with a convulsive sob:--

"O Giaour! whither hast thou brought us? Allow us to depart, and I will relinquish all thou hast promised. O Mahomet! remains there no more mercy?"

"None! none!" replied the malicious Dive, "Know, miserable prince! thou art now in the abode of vengeance and despair; thy heart also will be kindled, like those of the other votaries of Eblis. A few days are allotted thee previous to this fatal period. Employ them as thou wilt: recline on these heaps of gold; command the Infernal Potentates; range at thy pleasure through these immense subterranean domains; no barrier shall be shut against thee. As for me, I have fulfilled my mission; I now leave thee to thyself." At these words he vanished.

The Caliph and Nouronihar remained in the most abject affliction; their tears unable to flow, scarcely could they support themselves. At length, taking each other despondingly by the hand, they went faltering from this fatal hall, indifferent which way they turned their steps. Every portal opened at their approach; the Dives fell prostrate before them; every reservoir of riches was disclosed to their view: but they no longer felt the incentives of curiosity, pride, or avarice. With like apathy they heard the chorus of Genii, and saw the stately banquets prepared to regale them. They went wandering on from chamber to chamber, hall to hall, and gallery to gallery, all without bounds or limit, all distinguishable by the same lowering gloom, all adorned with the same awful grandeur, all traversed by persons in search of repose and consolation, but who sought them in vain; for every one carried within him a heart tormented in flames. Shunned by these various sufferers, who seemed by their looks to be upbraiding the partners of their guilt, they withdrew from them, to wait in direful suspense the moment which should render them to each other the like objects of terror.

"What!" exclaimed Nouronihar; "will the time come when I shall snatch my hand from thine?"

"Ah," said Vathek; "and shall my eyes ever cease to drink from thine long draughts of enjoyment! Shall the moments of our reciprocal ecstasies be reflected on with horror! It was not thou that broughtest me hither: the principles by which Carathis perverted my youth have been the sole cause of my perdition!" Having given vent to these painful expressions, he called to an Afrit, who was stirring up one of the braziers, and bade him fetch the Princess Carathis from the palace of Samarah.

After issuing these orders, the Caliph and Nouronihar continued walking amidst the silent crowd, till they heard voices at the end of the gallery. Presuming them to proceed from some unhappy beings who, like themselves, were awaiting their final doom, they followed the sound, and found it to come from a small square chamber, where they discovered sitting on sofas five young men of goodly figure, and a lovely female, who were all holding a melancholy conversation by the glimmering of a lonely lamp; each had a gloomy and forlorn air, and two of them were embracing each other with great tenderness. On seeing the Caliph and the daughter of Fakreddin enter, they arose, saluted and gave them place; then he who appeared the most considerable of the group addressed himself thus to Vathek:

"Strangers!--who doubtless are in the same state of suspense with ourselves, as you do not yet bear your hand on your heart,--if you are come hither to pass the interval allotted previous to the infliction of our common punishment, condescend to relate the adventures that have brought you to this fatal place, and we in return will acquaint you with ours, which deserve but too well to be heard. We will trace back our crimes to their source, though we are not permitted to repent; this is the only employment suited to wretches like us!"

The Caliph and Nouronihar assented to the proposal, and Vathek began, not without tears and lamentations, a sincere recital of every circumstance that had passed. When the afflicting narrative was closed, the young man entered on his own. Each person proceeded in order, and when the fourth prince had reached the midst of his adventures, a sudden noise interrupted him, which caused the vault to tremble and to open.

Immediately a cloud descended, which, gradually dissipating, discovered Carathis on the back of an Afrit, who grievously complained of his burden. She, instantly springing to the ground, advanced towards her son and said:--

"What dost thou here in this little square chamber? As the Dives are become subject to thy beck, I expected to have found thee on the throne of the pre-Adamite Kings."

"Execrable woman!" answered the Caliph; "cursed be the day thou gavest me birth! Go, follow this Afrit, let him conduct thee to the hall of the Prophet Soliman; there thou wilt learn to what these palaces are destined, and how much I ought to abhor the impious knowledge thou hast taught me."

"The height of power to which thou art arrived has certainly turned thy brain," answered Carathis; "but I ask no more than permission to show my respect for the Prophet. It is however proper thou shouldest know that (as the Afrit has informed me neither of us shall return to Samarah) I requested his permission to arrange my affairs, and he politely consented: availing myself therefore of the few moments allowed me, I set fire to the tower, and consumed in it the mutes, negresses, and serpents which have rendered me so much good service; nor should I have been less kind to Morakanabad, had he not prevented me by deserting at last to my brother. As for Bababalouk, who had the folly to return to Samarah, and all the good brotherhood to provide husbands for thy wives, I undoubtedly would have put them to the torture, could I but have allowed them the time; being however in a hurry, I only hung him after having caught him in a snare with thy wives, whilst them I buried alive by the help of my negresses, who thus spent their last moments greatly to their satisfaction. With respect to Dilara, who ever stood high in my favor, she hath evinced the greatness of her mind by fixing herself near in the service of one of the Magi, and I think will soon be our own."

Vathek, too much cast down to express the indignation excited by such a discourse, ordered the Afrit to remove Carathis from his presence, and continued immersed in thought, which his companion durst not disturb.

Carathis, however, eagerly entered the dome of Soliman, and without regarding in the least the groans of the Prophet, undauntedly removed the covers of the vases, and violently seized on the talismans. Then, with a voice more loud than had hitherto been heard within these mansions, she compelled the Dives to disclose to her the most secret treasures, the most profound stores, which the Afrit himself had not seen; she passed by rapid descents known only to Eblis and his most favored potentates, and thus penetrated the very entrails of the earth, where breathes the Sansar, or icy wind of death. Nothing appalled her dauntless soul; she perceived however in all the inmates, who bore their hands on their hearts, a little singularity, not much to her taste. As she was emerging from one of the abysses, Eblis stood forth to her view; but notwithstanding he displayed the full effulgence of his infernal majesty, she preserved her countenance unaltered, and even paid her compliments with considerable firmness.

This superb Monarch thus answered:--"Princess, whose knowledge and whose crimes have merited a conspicuous rank in my empire, thou dost well to employ the leisure that remains; for the flames and torments which are ready to seize on thy heart will not fail to provide thee with full employment." He said this, and was lost in the curtains of his tabernacle.

Carathis paused for a moment with surprise; but, resolved to follow the advice of Eblis, she assembled all the choirs of Genii, and all the Dives, to pay her homage; thus marched she in triumph through a vapor of perfumes, amidst the acclamations of all the malignant spirits, with most of whom she had formed a previous acquaintance. She even attempted to dethrone one of the Solimans for the purpose of usurping his place, when a voice proceeding from the abyss of Death proclaimed, "All is accomplished!" Instantaneously the haughty forehead of the intrepid princess was corrugated with agony; she uttered a tremendous yell, and fixed, no more to be withdrawn, her right hand upon her heart, which was become a receptacle of eternal fire.

In this delirium, forgetting all ambitious projects and her thirst for that knowledge which should ever be hidden from mortals, she overturned the offerings of the Genii, and having execrated the hour she was begotten and the womb that had borne her, glanced off in a whirl that rendered her invisible, and continued to revolve without intermission.

At almost the same instant the same voice announced to the Caliph, Nouronihar, the five princes, and the princess, the awful and irrevocable decree. Their hearts immediately took fire, and they at once lost the most precious of the gifts of Heaven--Hope. These unhappy beings recoiled with looks of the most furious distraction; Vathek beheld in the eyes of Nouronihar nothing but rage and vengeance, nor could she discern aught in his but aversion and despair. The two princes who were friends, and till that moment had preserved their attachment, shrunk back, gnashing their teeth with mutual and unchangeable hatred. Kalilah and his sister made reciprocal gestures of imprecation, whilst the two other princes testified their horror for each other by the most ghastly convulsions, and screams that could not be smothered. All severally plunged themselves into the accursed multitude, there to wander in an eternity of unabating anguish.




he life of Henry Ward Beecher may be either compressed into a sentence or expanded into a volume. He was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, on the 24th day of June, 1813, the child of the well-known Lyman Beecher; graduated at Amherst College in 1834, and subsequently studied at Lane Theological Seminary (Cincinnati), of which his father was the president; began his ministerial life as pastor of a Home Missionary (Presbyterian) church at the little village of Lawrenceburg, twenty miles south of Cincinnati on the Ohio River; was both sexton and pastor, swept the church, built the fires, lighted the lamps, rang the bell, and preached the sermons; was called to the pastorate of the First Presbyterian Church of Indianapolis, the capital of Indiana, where he remained for eight years, 1839 to 1847, and where his preaching soon won for him a reputation throughout the State, and his occasional writing a reputation beyond its boundaries; thence was called in 1847 to be the first pastor of the newly organized Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, where he remained with an ever increasing reputation as preacher, lecturer, orator, and writer, until the day of his death, March 8th, 1887.

Such is the outline of a life, the complete story of which would be the history of the United States during the most critical half-century of the nation's existence. Living in an epoch when the one overshadowing political issue was pre-eminently a moral issue, and when no man could be a faithful preacher of righteousness and not a political preacher; concerned in whatever concerned humanity; believing that love is the essence of all true religion, and that love to God is impossible without love to man; moral reformer not less than gospel preacher, and statesman even more than theologian: throwing himself into the anti-slavery conflict with all the courage of a heroic nature and all the ardor of an intensely impulsive one,--he stands among the first half-score of writers, orators, reformers, statesmen, and soldiers, who combined to make the half-century from 1835 to 1885 as brilliant and as heroic as any in human history.

The greatness of Henry Ward Beecher consisted not so much in a predominance of any one quality as in a remarkable combination of many. His physique justified the well-known characterization of Mr. Fowler, the phrenologist, "Splendid animal." He was always an eager student, though his methods were desultory. He was familiar with the latest thought in philosophy, had studied Herbert Spencer before his works were republished in the United States, yet was a child among children, and in his old age retained the characteristic faults and virtues of childhood, and its innocent impulsiveness.

His imagination might have made him a poet, his human sympathies a dramatic poet, had not his strong common-sense kept him always in touch with the actualities of life, and a masterful conscience compelled him to use his æsthetic faculties in sterner service than in the entertainment of mankind. The intensity of his moral nature enhanced rather than subdued his exuberant humor, which love prevented from becoming satire, and seriousness preserved from degenerating into wit. His native faculty of mimicry led men to call him an actor, yet he wholly lacked the essential quality of a good actor,--power to take on another's character,--and used the mimic art only to interpret the truth which at the moment possessed him.

Such power of passion as was his is not often seen mated to such self-control; for while he spoke with utter abandon, he rarely if ever did so until he had carefully deliberated the cause he was espousing. He thought himself deficient in memory, and in fact rarely borrowed illustrations from his reading either of history or of literature; but his keenness of observation photographed living scenes upon an unfading memory which years after he could and did produce at will. All these contrary elements of his strangely composite though not incongruous character entered into his style,--or, to speak more accurately, his styles,--and make any analysis of them within reasonable limits difficult, if not impossible.

For the writer is known by his style as the wearer by his clothes. Even if it be no native product of the author's mind, but a conscious imitation of carefully studied models,--what I may call a tailor-made style, fashioned in a vain endeavor to impart sublimity to commonplace thinking,--the poverty of the author is thereby revealed, much as the boor is most clearly disclosed when wearing ill-at-ease, unaccustomed broadcloth. Mr. Beecher's style was not artificial; its faults as well as its excellences were those of extreme naturalness. He always wrote with fury; rarely did he correct with phlegm. His sermons were published as they fell from his lips,--correct and revise he would not. The too few editorials which he wrote, on the eve of the Civil War, were written while the press was impatiently waiting for them, were often taken page by page from his hand, and were habitually left unread by him to be corrected in proof by others.

His lighter contributions to the New York Ledger were thrown off in the same way, generally while the messenger waited to take them to the editorial sanctum. It was his habit, whether unconscious or deliberate I do not know, to speak to a great congregation with the freedom of personal conversation, and to write for the press with as little reserve as to an intimate friend. This habit of taking the public into his confidence was one secret of his power, but it was also the cause of those violations of conventionality in public address which were a great charm to some and a grave defect to others. There are few writers or orators who have addressed such audiences with such effect, whose style has been so true and unmodified a reflection of their inner life. The title of one of his most popular volumes might be appropriately made the title of them all--'Life Thoughts.'

But while his style was wholly unartificial, it was no product of mere careless genius; carelessness never gives a product worth possessing. The excellences of Mr. Beecher's style were due to a careful study of the great English writers; its defects to a temperament too eager to endure the dull work of correction. In his early manhood he studied the old English divines, not for their thoughts, which never took hold of him, but for their style, of which he was enamored. The best characterization of South and Barrow I ever heard he gave me once in a casual conversation. The great English novelists he knew; Walter Scott's novels, of which he had several editions in his library, were great favorites with him, but he read them rather for the beauty of their descriptive passages than for their romantic and dramatic interest. Ruskin's 'Modern Painters' he both used himself and recommended to others as a text-book in the observation of nature, and certain passages in them he read and re-read.

But in his reading he followed the bent of his own mind rather than any prescribed system. Neither in his public utterances nor in his private conversation did he indicate much indebtedness to Shakespeare among the earlier writers, nor to Emerson or Carlyle among the moderns. Though not unfamiliar with the greatest English poets, and the great Greek poets in translations, he was less a reader of poetry than of poetical prose. He had, it is true, not only read but carefully compared Dante's 'Inferno' with Milton's 'Paradise Lost'; still it was not the 'Paradise Lost,' it was the 'Areopagitica' which he frequently read on Saturday nights, for the sublimity of its style and the inspiration it afforded to the imagination. He was singularly deficient in verbal memory, a deficiency which is usually accompanied by a relatively slight appreciation of the mere rhythmic beauty of literary form. It is my impression that for amorous poems, such as Moore's songs, or even Shakespeare's sonnets, and for purely descriptive poetry, such as the best of 'Childe Harold' and certain poems of Wordsworth, he cared comparatively little.

But he delighted in religious poetry, whether the religion was that of the pagan Greek Tragedies, the mediaeval Dante, or the Puritan Milton. He was a great lover of the best hymns, and with a catholicity of affection which included the Calvinist Toplady, the Arminian Wesley, the Roman Catholic Faber, and the Unitarian Holmes. Generally, however, he cared more for poetry of strength than for that of fancy or sentiment. It was the terrific strength in Watts's famous hymn beginning

"My thoughts on awful subjects dwell,
Damnation and the dead,"

which caused him to include it in the 'Plymouth Collection,' abhorrent as was the theology of that hymn alike to his heart and to his conscience.

In any estimate of Mr. Beecher's style, it must be remembered that he was both by temperament and training a preacher. He was brought up not in a literary, but in a didactic atmosphere. If it were as true as it is false that art exists only for art's sake, Mr. Beecher would not have been an artist. His art always had a purpose; generally a distinct moral purpose. An overwhelming proportion of his contributions to literature consists of sermons or extracts from sermons, or addresses not less distinctively didactic. His one novel was written avowedly to rectify some common misapprehensions as to New England life and character. Even his lighter papers, products of the mere exuberance of a nature too full of every phase of life to be quiescent, indicated the intensity of a purposeful soul, much as the sparks in a blacksmith's shop come from the very vigor with which the artisan is shaping on the anvil the nail or the shoe.

But Mr. Beecher was what Mr. Spurgeon has called him, "the most myriad-minded man since Shakespeare"; and such a mind must both deal with many topics, and if it be true to itself, exhibit many styles. If one were to apply to Mr. Beecher's writings the methods which have sometimes been applied by certain Higher Critics to the Bible, he would conclude that the man who wrote the Sermons on Evolution and Theology could not possibly have also written the humorous description of a house with all the modern improvements. Sometimes grave, sometimes gay, sometimes serious, sometimes sportive, concentrating his whole power on whatever he was doing, working with all his might but also playing with all his might, when he is on a literary frolic the reader would hardly suspect that he was ever dominated by a strenuous moral purpose. Yet there were certain common elements in Mr. Beecher's character which appeared in his various styles, though mixed in very different proportions and producing very different combinations. Within the limits of such a study as this, it must suffice to indicate in very general terms some of these elements of character which appear in and really produce his literary method.

Predominant among them was a capacity to discriminate between the essentials and the accidentals of any subject, a philosophical perspective which enabled him to see the controlling connection and to discard quickly such minor details as tended to obscure and to perplex. Thus a habit was formed which led him not infrequently to ignore necessary limitations and qualifications, and to make him scientifically inaccurate, though vitally and ethically true. It was this quality which led critics to say of him that he was no theologian, though it is doubtful whether any preacher in America since Jonathan Edwards has exerted a greater influence on its theology. But this quality imparted clearness to his style. He always knew what he wanted to say and said it clearly. He sometimes produced false impressions by the very strenuousness of his aim and the vehemence of his passion; but he was never foggy, obscure, or ambiguous.

This clearness of style was facilitated by the singleness of his purpose. He never considered what was safe, prudent, or expedient to say, never reflected upon the effect which his speech might have on his reputation or his influence, considered only how he could make his hearers apprehend the truth as he saw it. He therefore never played with words, never used them with a double meaning, or employed them to conceal his thoughts. He was indeed utterly incapable of making a speech unless he had a purpose to accomplish; when he tried he invariably failed; no orator ever had less ability to roll off airy nothings for the entertainment of an audience.

Coupled with this clearness of vision and singleness of purpose was a sympathy with men singularly broad and alert. He knew the way to men's minds, and adapted his method to the minds he wished to reach. This quality put him at once en rapport with his auditors, and with men of widely different mental constitution. Probably no preacher has ever habitually addressed so heterogeneous a congregation as that which he attracted to Plymouth Church. In his famous speech at the Herbert Spencer dinner he was listened to with equally rapt attention by the great philosopher and by the French waiters, who stopped in their service, arrested and held by his mingled humor, philosophy, and restrained emotion. This human sympathy gave a peculiar dramatic quality to his imagination. He not only recalled and reproduced material images from the past with great vividness, he re-created in his own mind the experiences of men whose mold was entirely different from his own. As an illustration of this, a comparison of two sermons on Jacob before Pharaoh, one by Dr. Talmage, the other by Mr. Beecher, is interesting and instructive. Dr. Talmage devotes his imagination wholly to reproducing the outward circumstances,--the court in its splendor and the patriarch with his wagons, his household, and his stuff; this scene Mr. Beecher etches vividly but carelessly in a few outlines, then proceeds to delineate with care the imagined feelings of the king, awed despite his imperial splendor by the spiritual majesty of the peasant herdsman. Yet Mr. Beecher could paint the outer circumstances with care when he chose to do so. Some of his flower pictures in 'Fruits, Flowers, and Farming' will always remain classic models of descriptive literature, the more amazing that some of them are portraits of flowers he had never seen when he wrote the description.

While his imagination illuminated nearly all he said or wrote, it was habitually the instrument of some moral purpose; he rarely ornamented for ornament's sake. His pictures gave beauty, but they were employed not to give beauty but clearness. He was thus saved from mixed metaphors, the common fault of imaginative writings which are directed to no end, and thus are liable to become first lawless, then false, finally self-contradictory and absurd. The massive Norman pillars of Durham Cathedral are marred by the attempt which some architect has made to give them grace and beauty by adding ornamentation. Rarely if ever did Mr. Beecher fall into the error of thus mixing in an incongruous structure two architectural styles. He knew when to use the Norman strength and solidity, and when the Gothic lightness and grace.

Probably his keen sense of humor would have preserved him from this not uncommon error. It is said that the secret of humor is the quick perception of incongruous relations. This would seem to have been the secret of Mr. Beecher's humor, for he had in an eminent degree what the phrenologists call the faculty of comparison. This was seen in his arguments, which were more often analogical than logical; seen not less in that his humor was not employed with deliberate intent to relieve a too serious discourse, but was itself the very product of his seriousness. He was humorous, but rarely witty, as, for the same reason, he was imaginative but not fanciful. For both his imagination and his humor were the servants of his moral purpose; and as he did not employ the one merely as a pleasing ornament, so he never went out of his way to introduce a joke or a funny story to make a laugh.

Speaking broadly, Mr. Beecher's style as an orator passed through three epochs. In the first, best illustrated by his 'Sermons to Young Men,' preached in Indianapolis, his imagination is the predominant faculty. Those sermons will remain in the history of homiletical literature as remarkable of their kind, but not as a pulpit classic for all times; for the critic will truly say that the imagination is too exuberant, the dramatic element sometimes becoming melodramatic, and the style lacking in simplicity. In the second epoch, best illustrated by the Harper and Brothers edition of his selected sermons, preached in the earlier and middle portion of his Brooklyn ministry, the imagination is still pervasive, but no longer predominant. The dramatic fire still burns, but with a steadier heat. Imagination, dramatic instinct, personal sympathy, evangelical passion, and a growing philosophic thought-structure, combine to make the sermons of this epoch the best illustration of his power as a popular preacher. In each sermon he holds up a truth like his favorite opal, turning it from side to side and flashing its opalescent light upon his congregation, but so as always to show the secret fire at the heart of it. In the third epoch, best illustrated by his sermons on Evolution and Theology, the philosophic quality of his mind predominates; his imagination is subservient to and the instrument of clear statement, his dramatic quality shows itself chiefly in his realization of mental conditions foreign to his own, and his style, though still rich in color and warm with feeling, is mastered, trained, and directed by his intellectual purpose. In the first epoch he is the painter, in the second the preacher, in the third the teacher.

Judgments will differ: in mine the last epoch is the best, and its utterances will long live a classic in pulpit literature. The pictures of the first epoch are already fading; the fervid oratory of the second epoch depends so much on the personality of the preacher, that as the one grows dim in the distance the other must grow dim also; but the third, more enduring though less fascinating, will remain so long as the heart of man hungers for the truth and the life of God,--that is, for a rational religion, a philosophy of life which shall combine reverence and love, and a reverence and love which shall not call for the abdication of the reason.


From 'Star Papers'

Nothing marks the increasing wealth of our times, and the growth of the public mind toward refinement, more than the demand for books. Within ten years the sale of common books has increased probably two hundred per cent., and it is daily increasing. But the sale of expensive works, and of library editions of standard authors in costly bindings, is yet more noticeable. Ten years ago such a display of magnificent works as is to be found at the Appletons' would have been a precursor of bankruptcy. There was no demand for them. A few dozen, in one little show-case, was the prudent whole. Now, one whole side of an immense store is not only filled with admirably bound library books, but from some inexhaustible source the void continually made in the shelves is at once refilled. A reserve of heroic books supply the places of those that fall. Alas! where is human nature so weak as in a book-store! Speak of the appetite for drink; or of a bon vivant's relish for a dinner! What are these mere animal throes and ragings compared with those fantasies of taste, those yearnings of the imagination, those insatiable appetites of intellect, which bewilder a student in a great bookseller's temptation-hall?

How easily one may distinguish a genuine lover of books from a worldly man! With what subdued and yet glowing enthusiasm does he gaze upon the costly front of a thousand embattled volumes! How gently he draws them down, as if they were little children; how tenderly he handles them! He peers at the title-page, at the text, or the notes, with the nicety of a bird examining a flower. He studies the binding: the leather,--russia, English calf, morocco; the lettering, the gilding, the edging, the hinge of the cover! He opens it and shuts it, he holds it off and brings it nigh. It suffuses his whole body with book magnetism. He walks up and down in a maze at the mysterious allotments of Providence, that gives so much money to men who spend it upon their appetites, and so little to men who would spend it in benevolence or upon their refined tastes! It is astonishing, too, how one's necessities multiply in the presence of the supply. One never knows how many things it is impossible to do without till he goes to Windle's or Smith's house-furnishing stores. One is surprised to perceive, at some bazaar or fancy and variety store, how many conveniences he needs. He is satisfied that his life must have been utterly inconvenient aforetime. And thus too one is inwardly convicted, at Appletons', of having lived for years without books which he is now satisfied that one cannot live without!

Then, too, the subtle process by which the man convinces himself that he can afford to buy. No subtle manager or broker ever saw through a maze of financial embarrassments half so quick as a poor book-buyer sees his way clear to pay for what he must have. He promises himself marvels of retrenchment; he will eat less, or less costly viands, that he may buy more food for the mind. He will take an extra patch, and go on with his raiment another year, and buy books instead of coats. Yea, he will write books, that he may buy books! The appetite is insatiable. Feeding does not satisfy it. It rages by the fuel which is put upon it. As a hungry man eats first and pays afterward, so the book-buyer purchases and then works at the debt afterward. This paying is rather medicinal. It cures for a time. But a relapse takes place. The same longing, the same promises of self-denial. He promises himself to put spurs on both heels of his industry; and then, besides all this, he will somehow get along when the time for payment comes! Ah! this SOMEHOW! That word is as big as a whole world, and is stuffed with all the vagaries and fantasies that Fancy ever bred upon Hope. And yet, is there not some comfort in buying books, to be paid for? We have heard of a sot who wished his neck as long as the worm of a still, that he might so much the longer enjoy the flavor of the draught! Thus, it is a prolonged excitement of purchase, if you feel for six months in a slight doubt whether the book is honestly your own or not. Had you paid down, that would have been the end of it. There would have been no affectionate and beseeching look of your books at you, every time you saw them, saying, as plain as a book's eyes can say, "Do not let me be taken from you."

Moreover, buying books before you can pay for them promotes caution. You do not feel quite at liberty to take them home. You are married. Your wife keeps an account-book. She knows to a penny what you can and what you cannot afford. She has no "speculation" in her eyes. Plain figures make desperate work with airy "somehows." It is a matter of no small skill and experience to get your books home, and into their proper places, undiscovered. Perhaps the blundering express brings them to the door just at evening. "What is it, my dear?" she says to you. "Oh! nothing--a few books that I cannot do without." That smile! A true housewife that loves her husband can smile a whole arithmetic at him at one look! Of course she insists, in the kindest way, in sympathizing with you in your literary acquisition. She cuts the strings of the bundle (and of your heart), and out comes the whole story. You have bought a complete set of costly English books, full bound in calf, extra gilt! You are caught, and feel very much as if bound in calf yourself, and admirably lettered.

Now, this must not happen frequently. The books must be smuggled home. Let them be sent to some near place. Then, when your wife has a headache, or is out making a call, or has lain down, run the books across the frontier and threshold, hastily undo them, stop only for one loving glance as you put them away in the closet, or behind other books on the shelf, or on the topmost shelf. Clear away the twine and wrapping-paper, and every suspicious circumstance. Be very careful not to be too kind. That often brings on detection. Only the other day we heard it said, somewhere, "Why, how good you have been lately. I am really afraid that you have been carrying on mischief secretly." Our heart smote us. It was a fact. That very day we had bought a few books which "we could not do without." After a while you can bring out one volume, accidentally, and leave it on the table. "Why, my dear, what a beautiful book! Where did you borrow it?" You glance over the newspaper, with the quietest tone you can command: "That! oh! that is mine. Have you not seen it before? It has been in the house these two months." and you rush on with anecdote and incident, and point out the binding, and that peculiar trick of gilding, and everything else you can think of; but it all will not do; you cannot rub out that roguish, arithmetical smile. People may talk about the equality of the sexes! They are not equal. The silent smile of a sensible, loving woman will vanquish ten men. Of course you repent, and in time form a habit of repenting.

Another method which will be found peculiarly effective is to make a present of some fine work to your wife. Of course, whether she or you have the name of buying it, it will go into your collection, and be yours to all intents and purposes. But it stops remark in the presentation. A wife could not reprove you for so kindly thinking of her. No matter what she suspects, she will say nothing. And then if there are three or four more works which have come home with the gift-book--they will pass through the favor of the other.

These are pleasures denied to wealth and old bachelors. Indeed, one cannot imagine the peculiar pleasure of buying books if one is rich and stupid. There must be some pleasure, or so many would not do it. But the full flavor, the whole relish of delight only comes to those who are so poor that they must engineer for every book. They sit down before them, and besiege them. They are captured. Each book has a secret history of ways and means. It reminds you of subtle devices by which you insured and made it yours, in spite of poverty!

Copyrighted by Fords, Howard and Hulbert, New York.


From 'Selections from the Published Works of Henry Ward Beecher', compiled by Eleanor Kirk.

An intelligent conscience is one of the greatest of luxuries. It can hardly be called a necessity, or how would the world have got along as well as it has to this day?--SERMON: 'Conscience.'

A man undertakes to jump across a chasm that is ten feet wide, and jumps eight feet; and a kind sympathizer says, "What is going to be done with the eight feet that he did jump?" Well, what is going to be done with it? It is one of those things which must be accomplished in whole, or it is not accomplished at all.--SERMON: 'The True Value of Morality.'

It is hard for a strong-willed man to bow down to a weak-willed man. It is hard for an elephant to say his prayers to an ant.--SERMON: 'The Reward of Loving.'

When Peter heard the cock crow, it was not the tail-feathers that crew. The crowing came from the inside of the cock. Religion is something more than the outward observances of the church.--SERMON: 'The Battle of Benevolence.'

I have heard men, in family prayer, confess their wickedness, and pray that God would forgive them the sins that they got from Adam; but I do not know that I ever heard a father in family prayer confess that he had a bad temper. I never heard a mother confess in family prayer that she was irritable and snappish. I never heard persons bewail those sins which are the engineers and artificers of the moral condition of the family. The angels would not know what to do with a prayer that began, "Lord, thou knowest that I am a scold."--SERMON: 'Peaceableness.'

Getting up early is venerable. Since there has been a literature or a history, the habit of early rising has been recommended for health, for pleasure, and for business. The ancients are held up to us for examples. But they lived so far to the east, and so near the sun, that it was much easier for them than for us. People in Europe always get up several hours before we do; people in Asia several hours before Europeans do; and we suppose, as men go toward the sun, it gets easier and easier, until, somewhere in the Orient, probably they step out of bed involuntarily, or, like a flower blossoming, they find their bed-clothes gently opening and turning back, by the mere attraction of light.--'EYES AND EARS.'

There are some men who never wake up enough to swear a good oath. The man who sees the point of a joke the day after it is uttered,--because he never is known to act hastily, is he to take credit for that?--SERMON: 'Conscience.'

If you will only make your ideal mean enough, you can every one of you feel that you are heroic.--SERMON: 'The Use of Ideals.'

There is nothing more common than for men to hang one motive outside where it can be seen, and keep the others in the background to turn the machinery.--SERMON: 'Paul and Demetrius.'

Suppose I should go to God and say, "Lord, be pleased to give me salad," he would point to the garden and say, "There is the place to get salad; and if you are too lazy to work for it, you may go without."--LECTURE-ROOM TALKS: 'Answers to Prayer.'

God did not call you to be canary-birds in a little cage, and to hop up and down on three sticks, within a space no larger than the size of the cage. God calls you to be eagles, and to fly from sun to sun, over continents.--SERMON: 'The Perfect Manhood.'

Do not be a spy on yourself. A man who goes down the street thinking of himself all the time, with critical analysis, whether he is doing this, that, or any other thing,--turning himself over as if he were a goose on a spit before a fire, and basting himself with good resolutions,--is simply belittling himself.--'LECTURES ON PREACHING.'

Many persons boil themselves down to a kind of molasses goodness. How many there are that, like flies caught in some sweet liquid, have got out at last upon the side of the cup, and crawl along slowly, buzzing a little to clear their wings! Just such Christians I have seen, creeping up the side of churches, soul-poor, imperfect, and drabbled.--'ALL-SIDEDNESS IN CHRISTIAN LIFE.'

No man, then, need hunt among hair-shirts; no man need seek for blankets too short at the bottom and too short at the top; no man need resort to iron seats or cushionless chairs; no man need shut himself up in grim cells; no man need stand on the tops of towers or columns,--in order to deny himself.--SERMON-'Problem of Joy and Suffering in Life.'

Copyrighted by Fords, Howard and Hulbert, New York, 1887.



TEXTS: Luke iv. 17-21, Matt. xi. 2-6

Here was Christ's profession of his faith; here is the history also of his examination, to see whether he were fit to preach or not. It is remarkable that in both these instances the most significant indication that he had, both of his descent from God and of his being worthy of the Messiahship, consisted in this simple exposition of the line of his preaching,--that he took sides with the poor, neglected, and lost. He emphasized this, that his gospel was a gospel of mercy to the poor; and that word "poor," in its most comprehensive sense, looked at historically, includes in it everything that belongs to human misery, whether it be by reason of sin or depravity, or by oppression, or by any other cause. This, then, is the disclosure by Christ himself of the genius of Christianity. It is his declaration of what the gospel meant.

It is still further interpreted when you follow the life of Christ, and see how exactly in his conduct he interpreted, or rather fortified, the words of the declaration. His earliest life was that of labor and poverty, and it was labor and poverty in the poorest districts of Palestine. The dignified, educated, and aristocratic part of the nation dwelt in Judea, and the Athens of Palestine was Jerusalem. There Christ spent the least part of his life, and that in perpetual discussions. But in Galilee the most of his miracles, certainly the earlier, were performed, and the most of his discourses that are contained bodily in the gospels were uttered. He himself carried out the declaration that the gospel was for the poor. The very miracles that Christ performed were not philosophical enigmas, as we look at them. They were all of them miracles of mercy. They were miracles to those who were suffering helplessly where natural law and artificial means could not reach them. In every case the miracles of Christ were mercies, though we look at them in a spirit totally different from that in which he performed them.

In doing thus, Christ represented the best spirit of the Old Testament. The Jewish Scriptures teach mercy, the very genius of Jewish institutions was that of mercy, and especially to the poor, the weak, the helpless. The crimes against which the prophets thundered their severest denunciations were crimes upon the helpless. It was the avarice of the rich, it was the unbounded lust and cruelty of the strong, that were denounced by them. They did not preach against human nature in general. They did not preach against total depravity and the original condition of mankind. They singled out violations of the law in the magistrate, in the king, in rich men, everywhere, and especially all those wrongs committed by power either unconsciously or with purpose, cruelty upon the helpless, the defenseless, the poor and the needy. When Christ declared that this was his ministry, he took his text from the Old Testament; he spoke in its spirit. It was to preach the gospel to the poor that he was sent. He had come into the world to change the condition of mankind. Beginning at the top? No; beginning at the bottom and working up to the top from the bottom.

When this view of the gospel enters into our understanding and is fully comprehended by us, how exactly it fits in with the order of nature, and with the order of the unfolding of human life and human society! It takes sides with the poor; and so the universal tendency of Providence and of history, slowly unfolded, is on the whole going from low to high, from worse to better, and from good toward the perfect. When we consider, we see that man begins as a helpless thing, a baby zero without a figure before it; and every step in life adds a figure to it and gives it more and more worth. On the whole, the law of unfolding throughout the world is from lower to higher; and though when applied to the population of the globe it is almost inconceivable, still, with many back-sets and reactions, the tendency of the universe is thus from lower to higher. Why? Let any man consider whether there is not of necessity a benevolent intelligence somewhere that is drawing up from the crude toward the ripe, from the rough toward the smooth, from bad to good, and from good through better toward best. The tendency upward runs like a golden thread through the history of the whole world, both in the unfolding of human life and in the unfolding of the race itself. Thus the tendency of nature is in accordance with the tendency of the gospel as declared by Jesus Christ, namely, that it is a ministry of mercy to the needy.

The vast majority of mankind have been and yet are poor. There are ten thousand men poor where there is one man even comfortably provided for, body and soul, and hundreds of thousands where there is one rich, taking the whole world together. The causes of poverty are worthy a moment's consideration. Climate and soil have much to do with it. Men whose winter lasts nine or ten months in the year, and who have a summer of but one or two months, as in the extreme north,--how could they amass property, how could they enlarge their conditions of peace and of comfort? There are many parts of the earth where men live on the borders of deserts, or in mountain fastnesses, or in arctic rigors, where anything but poverty is impossible, and where it requires the whole thought, genius, industry, and foresight of men, the year round, just to feed themselves and to live. Bad government, where men are insecure in their property, has always been a very fertile source of poverty. The great valley of Esdraelon in Northern Palestine is one of the most fertile in the world, and yet famine perpetually stalks on the heels of the population; for if you sow and the harvest waves, forth come hordes of Bedouins to reap your harvest for you, and leave you, after all your labor, to poverty and starvation. When a man has lost his harvest in that way two or three times, and is deprived of the reward of his labors, he never emerges from poverty, but sinks into indolence; and that, by and by, breeds apathetic misery. So where the government over-taxes its subjects, as is the case in the Orient with perhaps nearly all of the populations there to-day, it cuts the sinews and destroys all the motives of industry; and without industry there can be neither virtue, morality, nor religion in any long period. Wars breaking out, from whatever cause, tend to absorb property, or to destroy property, or to prevent the development of property. Yet, strange as it may seem, the men who suffer from war are those whose passions generally lead it on. The king may apply the spark, but the combustion is with the common people. They furnish the army, they themselves become destroyers; and the ravages of war, in the history of the human family, have destroyed more property than it is possible to enter into the thoughts of men to conceive.

But besides these external reasons of poverty, there are certain great primary and fundamental reasons. Ignorance breeds poverty. What is property? It is the product of intelligence, of skill, of thought applied to material substances. All property is raw material that has been shaped to uses by intelligent skill. Where intelligence is low, the power of producing property is low. It is the husbandman who thinks, foresees, plans, and calls on all natural laws to serve him, whose farm brings forth forty, fifty, and a hundred fold. The ignorant peasant grubs and groans, and reaps but one handful where he has sown two. It is knowledge that is the gold mine; for although every knowing man may not be able to be a rich man, yet out of ignorance riches do not spring anywhere. Ignorant men may be made the factors of wealth when they are guided and governed by superior intelligence. Slave labor produced gigantic plantations and estates. The slave was always poor, but his master was rich, because the master had the intelligence and the knowledge, and the slave gave the work. All through human society, men who represent simple ignorance will be tools, and the men who represent intelligence will be the master mechanics, the capitalists. All society to-day is agitated with this question of justice as between the laborer and the thinker. Now, it is no use to kick against the pricks. A man who can only work and not think is not the equal in any regard of the man who can think, who can plan, who can combine, and who can live not for to-day alone, but for to-morrow, for next month, for the next year, for ten years. This is the man whose volume will just as surely weigh down that of the unthinking man as a ton will weigh down a pound in the scale. Avoirdupois is moral, industrial, as well as material, in this respect; and the primary, most usual cause of unprosperity in industrial callings therefore lies in the want of intelligence,--either in the slender endowment of the man, or more likely the want of education in his ordinary and average endowment. Any class of men who live for to-day, and do not care whether they know anything more than they did yesterday or last year--those men may have a temporary and transient prosperity, but they are the children of poverty just as surely as the decrees of God stand. Ignorance enslaves men among men; knowledge is the creator of liberty and wealth.

As with undeveloped intelligence, so the appetites of men and their passions are causes of poverty. Men who live from the basilar faculties will invariably live in inferior stations. The men who represent animalism are as a general fact at the bottom. They may say it is government, climate, soil, want of capital, they may say what they please, but it is the devil of laziness that is in them, or of passion, that comes out in eating, in gluttony, in drinking and drunkenness, in wastefulness on every side. I do not say that the laboring classes in modern society are poor because they are self-indulgent, but I say that it unquestionably would be wise for all men who feel irritated that they are so unprosperous, if they would take heed to the moral condition in which they are living, to self-denial in their passions and appetites, and to increasing the amount of their knowledge and fidelity. Although moral conditions are not the sole causes, they are principal causes, of the poverty of the working classes throughout the world. It is their misfortune as well as their fault; but it is the reason why they do not rise. Weakness does not rise; strength does.

All these causes indicate that the poor need moral and intellectual culture. "I was sent to preach the gospel to the poor:" not to distribute provisions, not to relieve their wants; that will be included, but that was not Christ's primary idea. It was not to bring in a golden period of fruitfulness when men would not be required to work. It was not that men should lie down on their backs under the trees, and that the boughs should bend over and drop the ripe fruit into their mouths. No such conception of equality and abundance entered into the mind of the Creator or of Him who represented the Creator. To preach the gospel to the poor was to awaken the mind of the poor. It was to teach the poor--"Take up your cross, deny yourselves, and follow me. Restrain all those sinful appetites and passions, and hold them back by the power of knowledge and by the power of conscience; grow, because you are the sons of God, into the likeness of your Father." So he preached to the poor. That was preaching prosperity to them. That was teaching them how to develop their outward condition by developing their inward forces. To develop that in men which should make them wiser, purer, and stronger, is the aim of the gospel. Men have supposed that the whole end of the gospel was reconciliation between God and men who had fallen--though they were born sinners in their fathers and grandfathers and ancestors; to reconcile them with God--as if an abstract disagreement had been the cause of all this world's trouble! But the plain facts of history are simply that men, if they have not come from animals, have yet dwelt in animalism, and that that which should raise them out of it was some such moral influence as should give them the power of ascension into intelligence, into virtue, and into true godliness. That is what the gospel was sent for; good news, a new power that is kindled under men, that will lift them from their low ignorances and degradations and passions, and lift them into a higher realm; a power that will take away all the poverty that needs to be taken away. Men may be doctrinally depraved; they are much more depraved practically. Men may need to be brought into the knowledge of God speculatively; but what they do need is to be brought into the knowledge of themselves practically. I do not say that the gospel has nothing in it of this kind of spiritual knowledge; it is full of it, but its aim and the reason why it should be preached is to wake up in men the capacity for good things, industries, frugalities, purities, moralities, kindnesses one toward another: and when men are brought into that state they are reconciled. When men are reconciled with the law of creation and the law of their being, they are reconciled with God. Whenever a man is reconciled with the law of knowledge, he is reconciled with the God of knowledge, so far. Whenever a man is reconciled with the law of purity he is so far reconciled with a God of purity. When men have lifted themselves to that point that they recognize that they are the children of God, the kingdom of God has begun within them.

Although the spirit and practice of the gospel will develop charities, will develop physical comfort, will feed men, will heal men, will provide for their physical needs, yet the primary and fundamental result of the gospel is to develop man himself, not merely to relieve his want on an occasion. It does that as a matter of course, but that is scarcely the first letter of the alphabet. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things [food and raiment] shall be added unto you." The way to relieve a man is to develop him so that he will need no relief, or to raise higher and higher the character of the help that he demands.

In testing Christianity, then, I remark first that it is to be tested not by creeds, but by conduct. The evidence of the gospel, the reality of the gospel that is preached in schools or churches, is to be found in the spirit that is developed by it, not in the technical creeds that men have constructed out of it. The biography of men who have died might be hung up in their sepulchres; but you could not tell what kind of a man this one had been, just by reading his life there--while he lay dead in dust before you. There are thousands of churches that have a creed of Christianity hung up in them, but the church itself is a sepulchre full of dead men's bones; and indeed, many churches in modern times are gnawing the bones of their ancestors, and doing almost nothing else.

The gospel, changed from a spirit of humanity into a philosophical system of doctrine, is perverted. It is not the gospel. The great heresy in the world of religion is a cold heart, not a luminous head. It is not that intelligence is of no use in religion. By no means. Neither would we wage a crusade against philosophical systems of moral truth. But where the active sympathy and humanity of loving hearts for living men, and for men in the ratio in which they are low, is laid aside or diminished to a minimum, and in its place is a well-elaborated philosophical system of moral truths, hewn and jointed,--the gospel is gone. If you go along the sea-shores, you will often find the shells of fish--the fish dead and gone, the shells left. And if you go along the shores of ecclesiastical organization, you will find multitudes of shells of the gospel, out of which the living substance has gone long ago. Organized Christianity--that is, the institutions of Christianity have been in the first instance its power, and in the second instance its damnation. The moment you substitute the machinery of education for education itself, the moment you build schools and do not educate, build colleges that do not increase knowledge in the pupils, you have sacrificed the aim for the instrument by which you were to gain that aim. In churches, the moment it is more important to maintain buildings, rituals, ministers, chanters, and all the paraphernalia of moral education than the spirit of personal sympathy, the moment these are more sacred to men than is the welfare of the population round about which they were set to take care of, that very moment Christ is dead in that place; that very moment religion in the midst of all its institutions has perished. I am bound to say that in the history of the world, while religious institutions have been valuable and have done a great deal of good, they have perhaps done as much harm as good. There is scarcely one single perversion of civil government, there is scarcely one single persecution of men, there is scarcely a single one of the great wars that have depopulated the globe, there is scarcely one great heresy developed out of the tyranny of the church, that has not been the fruit of institutional religion; while that spirit of humanity which was to give the institution its motive power has to a certain extent died out of it.

Secondly, churches organized upon elective affinities of men are contrary to the spirit of the gospel. We may associate with men who are of like taste with ours. We have that privilege. If men are knowledgeable and intellectual, there is no sin in their choosing for intimate companions and associates men of like pursuits and like intellectual qualities. That is right. If men are rich, there is no reason why men who hold like property should not confer with each other, and form interests and friendships together. If men are refined, if they have become æsthetic, there is no reason why they should not associate in the realm of beauty, artists with artists, nor why the great enjoyers of beauty should not be in sympathy. Exit all these are not to be allowed to do it at the price of abandoning common humanity; you have no right to make your nest in the boughs of knowledge, and let all the rest of the world go as it will. You have no right to make your home among those who are polished and exquisite and fastidious in their tastes, whose garments are beauty, whose house is a temple of art, and all whose associations are of like kind, and neglect common humanity. You have no right to shut yourself up in a limited company of those who are like you in these directions, and let all the rest of men go without sympathy and without care. It is a right thing for a man to salute his neighbor who salutes him; but if you salute those who salute you, says Christ, what thank have ye--do not even the publicans so? It is no sin that a man, being intellectual in his nature, should like intellectual people, and gratify that which is divine and God-like in him; but if, because he likes intellectual people, he loses all interest in ignorant people, it convicts him of depravity and of moral perversion. When this is carried out to such an extent that churches are organized upon sharp classification, upon elective affinities, they not only cease to be Christian churches, but they are heretical; not perhaps in doctrine, but worse than that, heretical in heart.

The fact is that a church needs poor men and wicked men as much as it does pure men and virtuous men and pious men. What man needs is familiarity with universal human nature. He needs never to separate himself from men in daily life. It is not necessary that in our houses we should bring pestilential diseases or pestilential examples, but somehow we must hold on to men if they are wicked; somehow the circulation between the top and the bottom must be carried on; somehow there must be an atoning power in the heart of every true believer of the Lord Jesus Christ who shall say, looking out and seeing that the world is lost, and is living in sin and misery, "I belong to it, and it belongs to me." When you take the loaf of society and cut off the upper crust, slicing it horizontally, you get an elect church. Yes, it is the peculiarly elect church of selfishness. But you should cut the loaf of society from the top down to the bottom, and take in something of everything. True, every church would be very much edified and advantaged if it had in it scholarly men, knowledgeable men; but the church is strong in proportion as it has in it something of everything, from the very top to the very bottom.

Now, I do not disown creeds--provided they are my own! Well, you smile; but that is the way it has been since the world began. No denomination believes in any creed except its own. I do not say that men's knowledge on moral subjects may not be formulated. I criticize the formulation of beliefs from time to time, in this: that they are very partial; that they are formed upon the knowledge of a past age, and that that knowledge perishes while higher and nobler knowledge comes in; that there ought to be higher and better forms; and that while their power is relatively small, the power of the spirit of humanity is relatively great. When I examine a church, I do not so much care whether its worship is to the one God or to the triune God. I do not chiefly care for the catechism, nor for the confession of faith, although they are both interesting. I do not even look to see whether it is a synagogue or a Christian church--I do not care whether it has a cross over the top of it or is Quaker plain. I do not care whether it is Protestant, Catholic, or anything else. Let me read the living--- the living book! What is the spirit of the people? How do they feel among each other? How do they feel toward the community? What is their life and conduct in regard to the great prime moral duty of man, "Love the Lord thy God and thy neighbor as thyself," whether he be obscure or whether he be smiling in the very plenitude of wealth and refinement? Have you a heart for humanity? Have you a soul that goes out for men? Are you Christ-like? Will you spend yourself for the sake of elevating men who need to be lifted up? That is orthodox. I do not care what the creed is. If a church has a good creed, that is all the more felicitous; and if it has a bad creed, a good life cures the bad creed.

One of the dangers of our civilization may be seen in the light of these considerations. We are developing so much strength founded on popular intelligence, and this intelligence and the incitements to it are developing such large property interests, that if the principle of elective affinity shall sort men out and classify them, we are steering to the not very remote danger of the disintegration of human society. I can tell you that the classes of men who by their knowledge, refinement, and wealth think they are justified in separating themselves, and in making a great void between them and the myriads of men below them, are courting their own destruction. I look with very great interest on the process of change going on in Great Britain, where the top of society had all the "blood," but the circulation is growing larger and larger, and a change is gradually taking place in their institutions. The old nobility of Great Britain is the lordliest of aristocracies existing in the world. Happily, on the whole, a very noble class of men occupy the high positions: but the spirit of suffrage, this angel of God that so many hate, is coming in on them; and when every man in Great Britain can vote, no matter whether he is poor or rich, whether he has knowledge or no knowledge, there must be a very great change. Before the great day of the Lord shall come, the valleys are to go up and the mountains are to come down; and the mountains have started already in Great Britain and must come down. There may be an aristocracy in any nation,--that is to say, there may be "best men"; there ought to be an aristocracy in every community,--that is, an aristocracy of men who speak the truth, who are just, who are intelligent: but that aristocracy will be like a wave of the sea; it has to be reconstituted in every generation, and the men who are the best in the State become the aristocracy of that State. But where rank is hereditary, if political suffrage becomes free and universal, aristocracy cannot live. The spirit of the gospel is democratic. The tendency of the gospel is leveling; leveling up, not down. It is carrying the poor and the multitude onward and upward.

It is said that democracies have no great men, no heroic men. Why is it so? When you raise the average of intelligence and power in the community it is very hard to be a great man. That is to say, when the great mass of citizens are only ankle-high, when among the Lilliputians a Brobdingnagian walks, he is a great man. But when the Lilliputians grow until they get up to his shoulder, he is not so great a man as he was by the whole length of his body. So, make the common people grow, and there is nobody tall enough to be much higher.

The remarkable people of this world are useful in their way; but the common people, after all, represent the nation, the age, and the civilization. Go into any town or city: do not ask who lives in that splendid house; do not say, This is a fine town, here are streets of houses with gardens and yards, and everything that is beautiful the whole way through. Go into the lanes, go into the back streets, go where the mechanic lives; go where the day-laborer lives. See what is the condition of the streets there. See what they do with the poor, with the helpless, and the mean. If the top of society bends perpetually over the bottom with tenderness, if the rich and strong are the best friends of the poor and needy, that is a civilized and a Christian community; but if the rich and the wise are the cream and the great bulk of the population skim-milk, that is not a prosperous community.

There is a great deal of irreligion in men, there is a great deal of wickedness and depravity in men, but there are times when it is true that the church is more dissipated than the dissipated classes of the community. If there is one thing that stood out more strongly than any other in the ministry of our Lord, it is the severity with which he treated the exclusiveness of men with knowledge, position, and a certain sort of religion, a religion of particularity and carefulness; if there is one class of the community against which he hurled his thunderbolts without mercy and predicted woes, it was the scribes, Pharisees, scholars, and priests of the temples. He told them in so many words, "The publican and the harlot will enter the kingdom of God before you." The worst dissipation in this world is the dry-rot of morality, and of the so-called piety that separates men of prosperity and of power from the poor and ignoble. They are our wards....

I am not a socialist. I do not preach riot. I do not preach the destruction of property. I regard property as one of the sacred things. The real property established by a man's own intelligence and labor is the crystallized man himself. It is the fruit of what his life-work has done; and not in vain, society makes crime against it amongst the most punishable. But nevertheless, I warn these men in a country like ours, where every man votes, whether he came from Hungary, or from Russia, or from Germany, or from France or Italy, or Spain or Portugal, or from the Orient,--from Japan and China, because they too are going to vote! On the Niagara River, logs come floating down and strike an island, and there they lodge and accumulate for a little while, and won't go over. But the rains come, the snows melt, the river rises, and the logs are lifted up and down, and they go swinging over the falls. The stream of suffrage of free men, having all the privileges of the State, is this great stream. The figure is defective in this, that the log goes over the Niagara Falls, but that is not the way the country is going or will go.... There is a certain river of political life, and everything has to go into it first or last; and if, in days to come, a man separates himself from his fellows without sympathy, if his wealth and power make poverty feel itself more poor and men's misery more miserable, and set against him the whole stream of popular feeling, that man is in danger. He may not know who dynamites him, but there is danger; and let him take heed who is in peril. There is nothing easier in the world than for rich men to ingratiate themselves with the whole community in which they live, and so secure themselves. It is not selfishness that will do it; it is not by increasing the load of misfortune, it is not by wasting substance in riotous living upon appetites and passions. It is by recognizing that every man is a brother. It is by recognizing the essential spirit of the gospel, "Love thy neighbor as thyself." It is by using some of their vast power and riches so as to diffuse joy in every section of the community.

Here then I close this discourse. How much it enrolls! How very simple it is! It is the whole gospel. When you make an application of it to all the phases of organization and classification of human interests and developments, it seems as though it were as big as the universe. Yet when you condense it, it all comes back to the one simple creed: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and thy neighbor as thyself." Who is my neighbor? A certain man went down to Jericho, and so on. That tells you who your neighbor is. Whosoever has been attacked by robbers, has been beaten, has been thrown down--by liquor, by gambling, or by any form of wickedness; whosoever has been cast into distress, and you are called on to raise him up--that is your neighbor. Love your neighbor as yourself. That is the gospel.


From 'Norwood'

It is worth all the inconveniences arising from the occasional over-action of New England Sabbath observance, to obtain the full flavor of a New England Sunday. But for this, one should have been born there; should have found Sunday already waiting for him, and accepted it with implicit and absolute conviction, as if it were a law of nature, in the same way that night and day, summer and winter, are parts of nature. He should have been brought up by parents who had done the same thing, as they were by parents even more strict, if that were possible; until not religious persons peculiarly, but everybody--not churches alone, but society itself, and all its population, those who broke it as much as those who kept it--were stained through with the color of Sunday. Nay, until Nature had adopted it, and laid its commands on all birds and beasts, on the sun and winds, and upon the whole atmosphere; so that without much imagination one might imagine, in a genuine New England Sunday of the Connecticut River Valley stamp, that God was still on that day resting from all the work which he had created and made, and that all his work rested with him!

Over all the town rested the Lord's peace! The saw was ripping away yesterday in the carpenter's shop, and the hammer was noisy enough. Today there is not a sign of life there. The anvil makes no music to-day. Tommy Taft's buckets and barrels give forth no hollow, thumping sound. The mill is silent--only the brook continues noisy. Listen! In yonder pine woods what a cawing of crows! Like an echo, in a wood still more remote other crows are answering. But even a crow's throat to-day is musical. Do they think, because they have black coats on, that they are parsons, and have a right to play pulpit with all the pine-trees? Nay. The birds will not have any such monopoly,--they are all singing, and singing all together, and no one cares whether his song rushes across another's or not. Larks and robins, blackbirds and orioles, sparrows and bluebirds, mocking cat-birds and wrens, were furrowing the air with such mixtures as no other day but Sunday, when all artificial and human sounds cease, could ever hear. Every now and then a bobolink seemed impressed with the duty of bringing these jangling birds into more regularity; and like a country singing-master, he flew down the ranks, singing all the parts himself in snatches, as if to stimulate and help the laggards. In vain! Sunday is the birds' day, and they will have their own democratic worship.

There was no sound in the village street. Look either way--not a vehicle, not a human being. The smoke rose up soberly and quietly, as if it said--It is Sunday! The leaves on the great elms hung motionless, glittering in dew, as if they too, like the people who dwelt under their shadow, were waiting for the bell to ring for meeting. Bees sung and flew as usual; but honey-bees have a Sunday way with them all the week, and could scarcely change for the better on the seventh day.

But oh, the Sun! It had sent before and cleared every stain out of the sky. The blue heaven was not dim and low, as on secular days, but curved and deep, as if on Sunday it shook off all incumbrance which during the week had lowered and flattened it, and sprang back to the arch and symmetry of a dome. All ordinary sounds caught the spirit of the day. The shutting of a door sounded twice as far as usual. The rattle of a bucket in a neighbor's yard, no longer mixed with heterogeneous noises, seemed a new sound. The hens went silently about, and roosters crowed in psalm-tunes. And when the first bell rung, Nature seemed overjoyed to find something that it might do without breaking Sunday, and rolled the sound over and over, and pushed it through the air, and raced with it over field and hill, twice as far as on week-days. There were no less than seven steeples in sight from the belfry, and the sexton said:--"On still Sundays I've heard the bell, at one time and another, when the day was fair, and the air moving in the right way, from every one of them steeples, and I guess likely they've all heard our'n."

"Come, Rose!" said Agate Bissell, at an even earlier hour than when Rose usually awakened--"Come, Rose, it is the Sabbath. We must not be late Sunday morning, of all days in the week. It is the Lord's day."

There was little preparation required for the day. Saturday night, in some parts of New England, was considered almost as sacred as Sunday itself. After sundown on Saturday night no play, and no work except such as is immediately preparatory to the Sabbath, were deemed becoming in good Christians. The clothes had been laid out the night before. Nothing was forgotten. The best frock was ready; the hose and shoes were waiting. Every article of linen, every ruffle and ribbon, were selected on Saturday night. Every one in the house walked mildly. Every one spoke in a low tone. Yet all were cheerful. The mother had on her kindest face, and nobody laughed, but everybody made it up in smiling. The nurse smiled, and the children held on to keep down a giggle within the lawful bounds of a smile; and the doctor looked rounder and calmer than ever; and the dog flapped his tail on the floor with a softened sound, as if he had fresh wrapped it in hair for that very day. Aunt Toodie, the cook (so the children had changed Mrs. Sarah Good's name), was blacker than ever and shinier than ever, and the coffee better, and the cream richer, and the broiled chickens juicier and more tender, and the biscuit whiter, and the corn-bread more brittle and sweet.

When the good doctor read the Scriptures at family prayer, the infection of silence had subdued everything except the clock. Out of the wide hall could be heard in the stillness the old clock, that now lifted up its voice with unwonted emphasis, as if, unnoticed through the bustling week, Sunday was its vantage ground, to proclaim to mortals the swift flight of time. And if the old pedant performed the task with something of an ostentatious precision, it was because in that house nothing else put on official airs, and the clock felt the responsibility of doing it for the whole mansion.

And now came mother and catechism; for Mrs. Wentworth followed the old custom, and declared that no child of hers should grow up without catechism. Secretly, the doctor was quite willing, though openly he played off upon the practice a world of good-natured discouragement, and declared that there should be an opposition set up--a catechism of Nature, with natural laws for decrees, and seasons for Providence, and flowers for graces! The younger children were taught in simple catechism. But Rose, having reached the mature age of twelve, was now manifesting her power over the Westminster Shorter Catechism; and as it was simply an achievement of memory and not of the understanding, she had the book at great advantage, and soon subdued every question and answer in it. As much as possible, the doctor was kept aloof on such occasions. His grave questions were not to edification, and often they caused Rose to stumble, and brought down sorely the exultation with which she rolled forth, "They that are effectually called do in this life partake of justification, adoption, sanctification, and the several benefits which in this life do either accompany or flow from them."

"What do those words mean, Rose?"

"Which words, pa?"

"Adoption, sanctification, and justification?"

Rose hesitated, and looked at her mother for rescue.

"Doctor, why do you trouble the child? Of course she don't know yet all the meaning. But that will come to her when she grows older."

"You make a nest of her memory, then, and put words there, like eggs, for future hatching?"

"Yes, that is it exactly: birds do not hatch their eggs the minute they lay them. They wait."

"Laying eggs at twelve to be hatched at twenty is subjecting them to some risk, is it not?"

"It might be so with eggs, but not with the catechism. That will keep without spoiling a hundred years!"

"Because it is so dry?"

"Because it is so good. But do, dear husband, go away, and not put notions in the children's heads. It's hard enough already to get them through their tasks. Here's poor Arthur, who has been two Sundays on one question, and has not got it yet."

Arthur, aforesaid, was sharp and bright in anything addressed to his reason, but he had no verbal memory, and he was therefore wading painfully through the catechism like a man in a deep-muddy road; with this difference, that the man carries too much clay with him, while nothing stuck to poor Arthur.

The beauty of the day, the genial season of the year, brought forth every one; old men and their feebler old wives, young and hearty men and their plump and ruddy companions,--young men and girls and children, thick as punctuation points in Hebrew text, filled the street. In a low voice, they spoke to each other in single sentences.

"A fine day! There'll be a good congregation out to-day."

"Yes; we may expect a house full. How is Widow Cheney--have you heard?"

"Well, not much better; can't hold out many days. It will be a great loss to the children."

"Yes; but we must all die--nobody can skip his turn. Does she still talk about them that's gone?"

"They say not. I believe she's sunk into a quiet way; and it looks as if she'd go off easy."

"Sunday is a good day for dying--it's about the only journey that speeds well on this day!"

There was something striking in the outflow of people into the street, that till now had seemed utterly deserted. There was no fevered hurry; no negligent or poorly dressed people. Every family came in groups--old folks and young children; and every member blossomed forth in his best apparel, like a rose-bush in June. Do you know that man in a silk hat and new black coat? Probably it is some stranger. No; it is the carpenter, Mr. Baggs, who was racing about yesterday with his sleeves rolled up, and a dust-and-business look in his face! I knew you would not know him. Adams Gardner, the blacksmith,--does he not look every inch a judge, now that he is clean-washed, shaved, and dressed? His eyes are as bright as the sparks that fly from his anvil!

Are not the folks proud of their children? See what groups of them! How ruddy and plump are most! Some are roguish, and cut clandestine capers at every chance. Others seem like wax figures, so perfectly proper are they. Little hands go slyly through the pickets to pluck a tempting flower. Other hands carry hymn-books or Bibles. But, carry what they may, dressed as each parent can afford, is there anything the sun shines upon more beautiful than these troops of Sunday children?

The old bell had it all its own way up in the steeple. It was the licensed noise of the day. In a long shed behind the church stood a score and half-score of wagons and chaises and carryalls,--the horses already beginning the forenoon's work of stamping and whisking the flies. More were coming. Hiram Beers had "hitched up," and brought two loads with his new hack; and now, having secured the team, he stood with a few admiring young fellows about him, remarking on the people as they came up.

"There's Trowbridge--he'll git asleep afore the first prayer's over. I don't b'lieve he's heerd a sermon in ten years. I've seen him sleep standin' up in singin'.

"Here comes Deacon Marble,--smart old feller, ain't he?--wouldn't think it, jest to look at him! Face looks like an ear of last summer's sweet corn, all dried up; but I tell ye he's got the juice in him yit! Aunt Polly's gittin' old, ain't she? They say she can't walk half the time--lost the use of her limbs; but it's all gone to her tongue. That's as good as a razor, and a sight better 'n mine, for it never needs sharpenin'.

"Stand away, boys, there's 'Biah Cathcart. Good horses--not fast, but mighty strong, just like the owner."

And with that Hiram touched his new Sunday hat to Mrs. Cathcart and Alice; and as he took the horses by the bits, he dropped his head and gave the Cathcart boys a look of such awful solemnity, all except one eye, that they lost their sobriety. Barton alone remained sober as a judge.

"Here comes 'Dot-and-Go-One' and his wife. They're my kind o' Christians. She is a saint, at any rate."

"How is it with you, Tommy Taft?"

"Fair to middlin', thank'e. Such weather would make a hand-spike blossom, Hiram."

"Don't you think that's a leetle strong, Tommy, for Sunday? P'raps you mean afore it's cut?"

"Sartin; that's what I mean. But you mustn't stop me, Hiram. Parson Buell 'll be lookin' for me. He never begins till I git there."

"You mean you always git there 'fore he begins."

Next, Hiram's prying eyes saw Mr. Turfmould, the sexton and undertaker, who seemed to be in a pensive meditation upon all the dead that he had ever buried. He looked upon men in a mild and pitying manner, as if he forgave them for being in good health. You could not help feeling that he gazed upon you with a professional eye, and saw just how you would look in the condition which was to him the most interesting period of a man's earthly state. He walked with a soft tread, as if he was always at a funeral; and when he shook your hand, his left hand half followed his right, as if he were about beginning to lay you out. He was one of the few men absorbed by his business, and who unconsciously measured all things from its standpoint.

"Good-morning, Mr. Turfmould! How's your health? How is business with you?"

"Good--the Lord be praised! I've no reason to complain."

And he glided silently and smoothly into the church.

"There comes Judge Bacon, white and ugly," said the critical Hiram. "I wonder what he comes to meetin' for. Lord knows he needs it, sly, slippery old sinner! Face's as white as a lily; his heart's as black as a chimney flue afore it's cleaned. He'll get his flue burned out if he don't repent, that's certain. He don't believe the Bible. They say he don't believe in God. Wal, I guess it's pretty even between 'em. Shouldn't wonder if God didn't believe in him neither."

As soon as the afternoon service was over, every horse on the green knew that it was time for him to go home. Some grew restless and whinnied for their masters. Nimble hands soon put them into the shafts or repaired any irregularity of harness. Then came such a scramble of vehicles to the church door for the older persons; while young women and children, venturing further out upon the green, were taken up hastily, that the impatient horses might as soon as possible turn their heads homeward. Clouds of dust began to arise along every outward-going road. In less than ten minutes not a wagon or chaise was seen upon the village green. They were whirling homeward at the very best pace that the horses could raise. Stiff old steeds vainly essayed a nimbler gait, but gave it up in a few rods, and fell back to the steady jog. Young horses, tired of long standing, and with a strong yearning for evening oats, shot along the level ground, rushed up the little hills, or down upon the other side, in the most un-Sunday-like haste. The scene was not altogether unlike the return from a military funeral, to which men march with sad music and slow, but from which they return nimbly marching to the most brilliant quick-step.

In half an hour Norwood was quiet again. The dinner, on Sunday, when for the sake of the outlying population the two services are brought near together in the middle of the day, was usually deferred till the ordinary supper hour. It was evident that the tone of the day was changed. Children were not so strictly held in. There was no loud talking, nor was laughing allowed, but a general feeling sprung up around the table that the severer tasks of the day were ended.

Devout and age-sobered people sat in a kind of golden twilight of meditation. The minister, in his well-ordered house, tired with a double service, mingled thoughts both glad and sad. His tasks were ended. He was conscious that he had manfully done his best. But that best doing, as he reflected upon it, seemed so poor, so unworthy of the nobleness of the theme, and so relatively powerless upon the stubborn stuff of which his people's dispositions were made, that there remained a vague, unquiet sense of blame upon his conscience.

It was Dr. Wentworth's habit to walk with his family in the garden, early in the morning and late in the afternoon. If early, Rose was usually his company; in the afternoon the whole family, Agate Bissell always excepted. She had in full measure that peculiar New England feeling that Sunday is to be kept by staying in the house, except such time as is spent at church. And though she never, impliedly even, rebuked the doctor's resort to his garden, it was plain that deep down in her heart she thought it an improper way of spending Sunday; and in that view she had the secret sympathy of almost all the noteworthy villagers. Had any one, upon that day, made Agate a visit, unless for some plain end of necessity or mercy, she would have deemed it a personal affront.

Sunday was the Lord's day. Agate acted as if any use of it for her own pleasure would be literal and downright stealing.

"We have six days for our own work. We ought not to begrudge the Lord one whole day."

Two circumstances distressed honest Agate's conscience. The one was that the incursion of summer visitors from the city was tending manifestly to relax the Sabbath, especially after the church services. The other was that Dr. Wentworth would occasionally allow Judge Bacon to call in and discuss with him topics suggested by the sermons. She once expressed herself in this wise:--

"Either Sunday is worth keeping, or it is not. If you do keep it, it ought to be strictly done. But lately Sunday is raveling out at the end. We take it on like a summer dress, which in the morning is clean and sweet, but at night it is soiled at the bottom and much rumpled all over."

Dr. Wentworth sat with Rose on one side and her mother on the other, in the honeysuckle corner, where the west could be seen, great trees lying athwart the horizon and checkering the golden light with their dark masses. Judge Bacon had turned the conversation upon this very topic.

"I think our Sundays in New England are Puritan and Jewish more than Christian. They are days of restriction rather than of joyousness. They are fast days, not feast days."

"Do you say that as a mere matter of historical criticism, or do you think that they could be improved practically?"

"Both. It is susceptible of proof that the early Christian Sunday was a day of triumph and of much social joy. It would be well if we could follow primitive example."

"Judge, I am hardly of your opinion. I should be unwilling to see our New England Sunday changed, except perhaps by a larger social liberty in each family. Much might be done to make it attractive to children, and relieve older persons from ennui. But after all, we must judge things by their fruits. If you bring me good apples, it is in vain to abuse the tree as craggy, rude, or homely. The fruit redeems the tree."

"A very comely figure, Doctor, but not very good reasoning. New England has had something at work upon her beside her Sundays. What you call the 'fruit' grew, a good deal of it at any rate, on other trees than Sunday trees."

"You are only partly right. New England character and history are the result of a wide-spread system of influences of which the Sabbath day was the type--and not only so, but the grand motive power. Almost every cause which has worked benignly among us has received its inspiration and impulse largely from this One Solitary Day of the week.

"It is true that all the vegetable growths that we see about us here depend upon a great variety of causes; but there is one cause that is the condition of power in every other, and that is the Sun! And so, many as have been the influences working at New England character, Sunday has been a generic and multiplex force, inspiring and directing all others. It is indeed the Sun's day.

"It is a little singular that, borrowing the name from the heathen calendar, it should have tallied so well with the Scripture name, the Lord's day--that Lord who was the Morning Star in early day, and at length the Sun of Righteousness!

"The Jews called it the Sabbath--a day of rest. Modern Christians call it the Sun's day, or the day of light, warmth, and growth. If this seems fanciful so far as the names of the day are concerned, it is strikingly characteristic of the real spirit of the two days, in the ancient and modern dispensation. I doubt if the old Jews ever kept a Sabbath religiously, as we understand that term. Indeed, I suspect there was not yet a religious strength in that national character that could hold up religious feeling without the help of social and even physical adjuvants. Their religious days were either fasts or like our Thanksgiving days. But the higher and richer moral nature which has been developed by Christianity enables communities to sustain one day in seven upon a high spiritual plane, with the need of but very little social help, and without the feasting element at all."

"That may be very well for a few saints like you and me, Doctor, but it is too high for the majority of men. Common people find the strict Sundays a great annoyance, and clandestinely set them aside."

"I doubt it. There are a few in every society that live by their sensuous nature. Sunday must be a dead day to them--a dark room. No wonder they break through. But it is not so with the sturdy, unsophisticated laboring class in New England. If it came to a vote, you would find that the farmers of New England would be the defenders of the day, even if screwed up to the old strictness. Their instinct is right. It is an observance that has always worked its best effects upon the common people, and if I were to change the name, I should call Sunday THE POOR MAN'S DAY.

"Men do not yet perceive that the base of the brain is full of despotism, and the coronal brain is radiant with liberty. I mean that the laws and relations which grow out of men's relations in physical things are the sternest and hardest, and at every step in the assent toward reason and spirituality, the relations grow more kindly and free.

"Now, it is natural for men to prefer an animal life. By-and-by they will learn that such a life necessitates force, absolutism. It is natural for unreflecting men to complain when custom or institutions hold them up to some higher degree. But that higher degree has in it an element of emancipation from the necessary despotisms of physical life. If it were possible to bring the whole community up to a plane of spirituality, it would be found that there and there only could be the highest measure of liberty. And this is my answer to those who grumble at the restriction of Sunday liberty. It is only the liberty of the senses that suffers. A higher and nobler civil liberty, moral liberty, social liberty, will work out of it. Sunday is the common people's Magna Charta."

"Well done, Doctor! I give up. Hereafter you shall see me radiant on Sunday. I must not get my hay in if storms do threaten to spoil it; but I shall give my conscience a hitch up, and take it out in that. I must not ride out; but then I shall regard every virtuous self-denial as a moral investment with good dividends coming in by-and-by. I can't let the children frolic in the front dooryard; but then, while they sit waiting for the sun to go down, and your Sun-day to be over, I shall console myself that they are one notch nearer an angelic condition every week. But good-night, good-night, Mrs. Wentworth. I hope you may not become so spiritual as quite to disdain the body. I really think, for this world, the body has some respectable uses yet. Good-night, Rose. The angels take care of you, if there is one of them good enough."

And so the judge left.

They sat silently looking at the sun, now but just above the horizon. A few scarfs of cloud, brilliant with flame-color, and every moment changing forms, seemed like winged spirits, half revealed, that hovered round the retiring orb.

Mrs. Wentworth at length broke the silence.

"I always thought, Doctor, that you believed Sunday over-strictly kept, and that you were in favor of relaxation."

"I am. Just as fast as you can make it a day of real religious enjoyment, it will relax itself. True and deep spiritual feeling is the freest of all experiences. And it reconciles in itself the most perfect consciousness of liberty with the most thorough observance of outward rules and proprieties. Liberty is not an outward condition. It is an inward attribute, or rather a name for the quality of life produced by the highest moral attributes. When communities come to that condition, we shall see fewer laws and higher morality.

"The one great poem of New England is her Sunday! Through that she has escaped materialism. That has been a crystal dome overhead, through which Imagination has been kept alive. New England's imagination is to be found, not in art and literature, but in her inventions, her social organism, and above all in her religious life. The Sabbath has been the nurse of that. When she ceases to have a Sunday, she will be as this landscape is:--now growing dark, all its lines blurred, its distances and gradations fast merging into sheeted darkness and night. Come, let us go in!"

Copyrighted by Fords, Howard and Hulbert.




e are warned on high authority that no man can serve two masters. The caution should obtain in æsthetics as well as in ethics. As a general rule, the painter must stick to his easel, the sculptor must carve, the musician must score or play or sing, the actor must act,--each with no more than the merest coquettings with sister arts. Otherwise his genius is apt to suffer from what are side-issues for temperament. To many minds a taste, and even a singular capacity, for an avocation has injured the work done in the real vocation.


Of course there are exceptions. The versatility has not always been fatal. We recall Leonardo, Angelo, Rossetti, and Blake among painters; in the ranks of musicians we note Hoffmann, Berlioz, Schumann, Wagner, Boito. In other art-paths, such personal pages as those of Cellini, and the critical writings of Story, of to-day, may add their evidence. The essentially autobiographic in such a connection must be accepted with reserve. So must be taken much admirable writing as to the art in which the critic or teacher has labored. Didactics are not necessarily literature. Perhaps the best basis of determining the right to literary recognition of men and women who have written and printed more or less without actually professing letters, will be the interest of the matter they have left to the kind of reader who does not care a pin about their real life-work, or about their self-expression as it really comes down to us.

In painting, the dual capacity--for the brush and for letters--has more shining examples than in music. But with Beethoven, Schumann, Boito, and Wagner, comes a striking succession of men who, as to autobiography or criticism or verse, present a high quality of interest to the general reader. In the instance of Beethoven the critical or essayistic side is limited. It is by his letters and diary that we study (only less vividly than in his music) a character of profound depth and imposing nobility; a nature of exquisite sensitiveness. In them we follow, if fragmentarily, the battle of personality against environment, the secrets of strong but high passion, the artist temperament,--endowed with a dignity and a moral majesty seldom equaled in an art indeed called divine, but with children who frequently remind us that Pan absorbed in playing his syrinx has a goat's hoof.

Beethoven in all his correspondence wrote himself down as what he was,--a superior man, a mighty soul in many traits, as well as a supreme creative musician. His letters are absorbing, whether they breathe love or anger, discouragement or joy, rebellion against untoward conditions of daily life or solemn resignation. The religious quality, too, is strong in them; that element more in touch with Deism than with one or another orthodoxy. Withal, he is as sincere in every line of such matter as he was in the spoken word. His correspondence holds up the mirror to his own nature, with its extremes of impulse and reserve, of affection and austerity, of confidence and suspicion. It abounds, too, in that brusque yet seldom coarse humor which leaps up in the Finale of the Seventh Symphony, in the Eighth Symphony's waggery, the last movement of the Concerto in E flat. They offer likewise verbal admissions of such depression of heart as we recognize in the sternest episodes of the later Sonatas and of the Galitzin Quartets, and in the awful Allegretto of the Symphony in A. They hint at the amorous passion of the slow movements of the Fourth and Ninth Symphonies, at the moral heroism of the Fifth, at the more human courage of the 'Heroic,' at the mysticism of the Ninth's tremendous opening. In interesting relation to the group, and merely of superficial interest, are his hasty notes, his occasional efforts to write in English or in French, his touches of musical allusiveness.

Photogravure from the Original Painting by C. Jäger.

It is not in the purpose of these prefatory paragraphs to a too-brief group of Beethoven's letters to enter upon his biography. That is essentially a musician's life; albeit the life of a musician who, as Mr. Edward Dannreuther suggests, leaves behind him the domain of mere art and enters upon that of the seer and the prophet. He was born in Bonn in 1770, on a day the date of which is not certain (though we know that his baptism was December 17th). His youth was not a sunshiny period. Poverty, neglect, a drunken father, violin lessons under compulsion, were the circumstances ushering him into his career. He was for a brief time a pupil of Mozart; just enough so to preserve that succession of royal geniuses expressed in linking Mozart to Haydn, and in remembering that Liszt played for Beethoven and that Schubert stood beside Beethoven's last sick-bed. High patronage and interest gradually took the composer under its care. Austria and Germany recognized him, England accepted him early, universal intelligence became enthusiastic over utterances in art that seemed as much innovations as Wagneristic writing seemed to the next generation. In Vienna, Beethoven may be said to have passed his life. There were the friends to whom he wrote--who understood and loved him. Afflicted early with a deafness that became total,--the irony of fate,--the majority of his master-works were evolved from a mind shut away from the pleasures and disturbances of earthly sounds, and beset by invalidism and suffering. Naturally genial, he grew morbidly sensitive. Infirmities of temper as well as of body marked him for their own. But underneath all superficial shortcomings of his intensely human nature was a Shakespearean dignity of moral and intellectual individuality.

It is not necessary here even to touch on the works that follow him. They stand now as firmly as ever--perhaps more firmly--in the honor and the affection of all the world of auditors in touch with the highest expressions in the tone-world. The mere mention of such monuments as the sonatas, the nine symphonies, the Mass in D minor, the magnificent chain of overtures, the dramatic concert-arias, does not exhaust the list. They are the vivid self-expressions of one who learned in suffering what he taught in song: a man whose personality impressed itself into almost everything that he wrote, upon almost every one whom he met, and who towers up as impressively as the author of 'Hamlet,' the sculptor of 'Moses,' the painter of 'The Last Supper.'

It is perhaps interesting to mention that the very chirography of Beethoven's letters is eloquent of the man. Handwriting is apt to be. Mendelssohn, the well-balanced, the precise, wrote like copper-plate. Wagner wrote a fine strong hand, seldom with erasures. Spontini, the soldier-like, wrote with the decision of a soldier. Beethoven's letters and notes are in a large, open, dashing hand, often scrawls, always with the blackest of ink, full of changes, and not a flourish to spare--the handwriting of impulse and carelessness as to form, compared with a writer's desire of making his meaning clear.


In what an odious light have you exhibited me to myself! Oh! I acknowledge it, I do not deserve your friendship. It was no intentional or deliberate malice that induced me to act towards you as I did--but inexcusable thoughtlessness alone.

I say no more. I am coming to throw myself into your arms, and to entreat you to restore me my lost friend; and you will give him back to me, to your penitent, loving, and ever grateful



VIENNA, June 29th, 1800.

My dear and valued Wegeler:

How much I thank you for your remembrance of me, little as I deserve it or have sought to deserve it; and yet you are so kind that you allow nothing, not even my unpardonable neglect, to discourage you, always remaining the same true, good, and faithful friend. That I can ever forget you or yours, once so dear and precious to me, do not for a moment believe. There are times when I find myself longing to see you again, and wishing that I could go to stay with you. My fatherland, that lovely region where I first saw the light, is still as distinct and beauteous in my eyes as when I quitted you; in short, I shall esteem the time when I once more see you, and again greet Father Rhine, as one of the happiest periods of my life. When this may be I cannot yet tell, but at all events I may say that you shall not see me again till I have become not only eminent as an artist, but better and more perfect as a man; and if the condition of our fatherland be then more prosperous, my art shall be entirely devoted to the benefit of the poor. Oh, blissful moment!--how happy do I esteem myself that I can expedite it and bring it to pass!

You desire to know something of my position: well! it is by no means bad. However incredible it may appear, I must tell you that Lichnowsky has been, and still is, my warmest friend (slight dissensions occurred occasionally between us, and yet they only served to strengthen our friendship). He settled on me last year the sum of six hundred florins, for which I am to draw on him till I can procure some suitable situation. My compositions are very profitable, and I may really say that I have almost more commissions than it is possible for me to execute. I can have six or seven publishers or more for every piece if I choose: they no longer bargain with me--I demand, and they pay--so you see this is a very good thing. For instance, I have a friend in distress, and my purse does not admit of my assisting him at once, but I have only to sit down and write, and in a short time he is relieved. I am also become more economical than formerly....

To give you some idea of my extraordinary deafness, I must tell you that in the theatre I am obliged to lean close up against the orchestra in order to understand the actors, and when a little way off I hear none of the high notes of instruments or singers. It is most astonishing that in conversation some people never seem to observe this; as I am subject to fits of absence, they attribute it to that cause. Often I can scarcely hear a person if he speaks low; I can distinguish the tones but not the words, and yet I feel it intolerable if any one shouts to me. Heaven alone knows how it is to end! Vering declares that I shall certainly improve, even if I be not entirely restored. How often have I cursed my existence! Plutarch led me to resignation. I shall strive if possible to set Fate at defiance, although there must be moments in my life when I cannot fail to be the most unhappy of God's creatures. I entreat you to say nothing of my affliction to any one, not even to Lorchen. I confide the secret to you alone, and entreat you some day to correspond with Vering on the subject. If I continue in the same state, I shall come to you in the ensuing spring, when you must engage a house for me somewhere in the country, amid beautiful scenery, and I shall then become a rustic for a year, which may perhaps effect a change. Resignation!--what a miserable refuge! and yet it is my sole remaining one. You will forgive my thus appealing to your kindly sympathies at a time when your own position is sad enough.

Farewell, my kind, faithful Wegeler! Rest assured of the love and friendship of your



Never was there a lovelier spring than this year; I say so, and feel it too, because it was then I first knew you. You have yourself seen that in society I am like a fish on the sand, which writhes and writhes, but cannot get away till some benevolent Galatea casts it back into the mighty ocean. I was indeed fairly stranded, dearest friend, when surprised by you at a moment in which moroseness had entirely mastered me; but how quickly it vanished at your aspect! I was at once conscious that you came from another sphere than this absurd world, where, with the best inclinations, I cannot open my ears. I am a wretched creature, and yet I complain of others!! You will forgive this from the goodness of heart that beams in your eyes, and the good sense manifested by your ears; at least they understand how to flatter, by the mode in which they listen. My ears are, alas! a partition-wall, through which I can with difficulty hold any intercourse with my fellow-creatures. Otherwise perhaps I might have felt more assured with you; but I was only conscious of the full, intelligent glance from your eyes, which affected me so deeply that never can I forget it. My dear friend! dearest girl!--Art! who comprehends it? with whom can I discuss this mighty goddess? How precious to me were the few days when we talked together, or, I should rather say, corresponded! I have carefully preserved the little notes with your clever, charming, most charming answers; so I have to thank my defective hearing for the greater part of our fugitive intercourse being written down. Since you left this I have had some unhappy hours,--hours of the deepest gloom, when I could do nothing. I wandered for three hours in the Schönbrunn Allée after you left us, but no angel met me there to take possession of me as you did. Pray forgive, my dear friend, this deviation from the original key, but I must have such intervals as a relief to my heart. You have no doubt written to Goethe about me? I would gladly bury my head in a sack, so that I might neither see nor hear what goes on in the world, because I shall meet you there no more; but I shall get a letter from you? Hope sustains me, as it does half the world; through life she has been my close companion, or what would have become of me? I send you 'Kennst Du das Land,' written with my own hand, as a remembrance of the hour when I first knew you....

If you mention me when you write to Goethe, strive to find words expressive of my deep reverence and admiration. I am about to write to him myself with regard to 'Egmont,' for which I have written some music solely from my love for his poetry, which always delights me. Who can be sufficiently grateful to a great poet,--the most precious jewel of a nation!

Kings and princes can indeed create professors and privy-councillors, and confer titles and decorations, but they cannot make great men,--spirits that soar above the base turmoil of this world. There their powers fail, and this it is that forces them to respect us. When two persons like Goethe and myself meet, these grandees cannot fail to perceive what such as we consider great. Yesterday on our way home we met the whole Imperial family; we saw them coming some way off, when Goethe withdrew his arm from mine, in order to stand aside; and say what I would, I could not prevail on him to make another step in advance. I pressed down my hat more firmly on my head, buttoned up my great-coat, and crossing my arms behind me, I made my way through the thickest portion of the crowd. Princes and courtiers formed a lane for me; Archduke Rudolph took off his hat, and the Empress bowed to me first. These great ones of the earth know me. To my infinite amusement, I saw the procession defile past Goethe, who stood aside with his hat off, bowing profoundly. I afterwards took him sharply to task for this; I gave him no quarter and upbraided him with all his sins.



You grieve! dearest of all beings! I have just heard that the letters must be sent off very early. Mondays and Thursdays are the only days when the post goes to K---- from here. You grieve! Ah! where I am, there you are ever with me: how earnestly shall I strive to pass my life with you, and what a life will it be!!! Whereas now!! without you!! and persecuted by the kindness of others, which I neither deserve nor try to deserve! The servility of man towards his fellow-man pains me, and when I regard myself as a component part of the universe, what am I, what is he who is called the greatest?--and yet herein are displayed the godlike feelings of humanity!--I weep in thinking that you will receive no intelligence from me till probably Saturday. However dearly you may love me, I love you more fondly still. Never conceal your feelings from me. Good-night! As a patient at these baths, I must now go to rest. [A few words are here effaced by Beethoven himself.] Oh, heavens! so near, and yet so far! Is not our love a truly celestial mansion, but firm as the vault of heaven itself?

JULY 7th.

Good morning!

Even before I rise, my thoughts throng to you, my immortal beloved!--sometimes full of joy, and yet again sad, waiting to see whether Fate will hear us. I must live either wholly with you, or not at all. Indeed, I have resolved to wander far from you till the moment arrives when I can fly into your arms, and feel that they are my home, and send forth my soul in unison with yours into the realm of spirits. Alas! it must be so! You will take courage, for you know my fidelity. Never can another possess my heart--never, never! Oh, heavens! Why must I fly from her I so fondly love? and yet my existence in W--was as miserable as here. Your love made me the most happy and yet the most unhappy of men. At my age, life requires a uniform equality; can this be found in our mutual relations? My angel! I have this moment heard that the post goes every day, so I must conclude that you may get this letter the sooner. Be calm! for we can only attain our object of living together by the calm contemplation of our existence. Continue to love me. Yesterday, to-day, what longings for you, what tears for you! for you! for you! my life! my all! Farewell! Oh, love me for ever, and never doubt the faithful heart of your lover, L.

Ever thine.

Ever mine.

Ever each other's.


HEILIGENSTADT, Oct. 6th, 1802.

Oh! Ye who think or declare me to be hostile, morose, and misanthropical, how unjust you are, and how little you know the secret cause of what appears thus to you! My heart and mind were ever from childhood prone to the most tender feelings of affection, and I was always disposed to accomplish something great. But you must remember that six years ago I was attacked by an incurable malady, aggravated by unskillful physicians, deluded from year to year, too, by the hope of relief, and at length forced to the conviction of a lasting affliction (the cure of which may go on for years, and perhaps after all prove impracticable).

Born with a passionate and excitable temperament, keenly susceptible to the pleasures of society, I was yet obliged early in life to isolate myself, and to pass my existence in solitude. If I at any time resolved to surmount all this, oh! how cruelly was I again repelled by the experience, sadder than ever, of my defective hearing!--and yet I found it impossible to say to others: Speak louder, shout! for I am deaf! Alas! how could I proclaim the deficiency of a sense which ought to have been more perfect with me than with other men--a sense which I once possessed in the highest perfection, to an extent indeed that few of my profession ever enjoyed! Alas! I cannot do this! Forgive me therefore when you see me withdraw from you with whom I would so gladly mingle. My misfortune is doubly severe from causing me to be misunderstood. No longer can I enjoy recreation in social intercourse, refined conversation, or mutual outpourings of thought. Completely isolated, I only enter society when compelled to do so. I must live like an exile. In company I am assailed by the most painful apprehensions, from the dread of being exposed to the risk of my condition being observed. It was the same during the last six months I spent in the country. My intelligent physician recommended me to spare my hearing as much as possible, which was quite in accordance with my present disposition, though sometimes, tempted by my natural inclination for society, I allowed myself to be beguiled into it. But what humiliation when any one beside me heard a flute in the far distance, while I heard nothing, or when others heard a shepherd singing, and I still heard nothing! Such things brought me to the verge of desperation, and well-nigh caused me to put an end to my life. Art! art alone, deterred me. Ah! how could I possibly quit the world before bringing forth all that I felt it was my vocation to produce? And thus I spared this miserable life--so utterly miserable that any sudden change may reduce me at any moment from my best condition into the worst. It is decreed that I must now choose Patience for my guide! This I have done. I hope the resolve will not fail me, steadfastly to persevere till it may please the inexorable Fates to cut the thread of my life. Perhaps I may get better, perhaps not. I am prepared for either. Constrained to become a philosopher in my twenty-eighth year! This is no slight trial, and more severe on an artist than on any one else. God looks into my heart, he searches it, and knows that love for man and feelings of benevolence have their abode there! Oh! ye who may one day read this, think that you have done me injustice; and let any one similarly afflicted be consoled by finding one like himself, who, in defiance of all the obstacles of nature, has done all in his power to be included in the ranks of estimable artists and men. My brothers Carl and Johann, as soon as I am no more, if Professor Schmidt be still alive, beg him in my name to describe my malady, and to add these pages to the analysis of my disease, that at least, so far as possible, the world may be reconciled to me after my death. I also hereby declare you both heirs of my small fortune (if so it may be called). Share it fairly, agree together and assist each other. You know that anything you did to give me pain has been long forgiven. I thank you, my brother Carl in particular, for the attachment you have shown me of late. My wish is that you may enjoy a happier life, and one more free from care than mine has been. Recommend Virtue to your children; that alone, and not wealth, can insure happiness. I speak from experience. It was Virtue alone which sustained me in my misery; I have to thank her and Art for not having ended my life by suicide. Farewell! Love each other. I gratefully thank all my friends, especially Prince Lichnowsky and Professor Schmidt. I wish one of you to keep Prince L--'s instruments; but I trust this will give rise to no dissension between you. If you think it more beneficial, however, you have only to dispose of them. How much I shall rejoice if I can serve you even in the grave! So be it then! I joyfully hasten to meet Death. If he comes before I have had the opportunity of developing all my artistic powers, then, notwithstanding my cruel fate, he will come too early for me, and I should wish for him at a more distant period; but even then I shall be content, for his advent will release me from a state of endless suffering. Come when he may, I shall meet him with courage. Farewell! Do not quite forget me, even in death: I deserve this from you, because during my life I so often thought of you, and wished to make you happy. Amen!


[Written on the outside.]

Thus, then, I take leave of you, and with sadness too. The fond hope I brought with me here, of being to a certain degree cured, now utterly forsakes me. As autumn leaves fall and wither, so are my hopes blighted. Almost as I came, I depart. Even the lofty courage that so often animated me in the lovely days of summer is gone forever. O Providence! vouchsafe me one day of pure felicity! How long have I been estranged from the glad echo of true joy! When! O my God! when shall I again feel it in the temple of nature and of man?--never? Ah! that would be too hard!

To be read and fulfilled after my death by my brothers Carl and Johann.


JANUARY 7th, 1820.

The welfare of my nephew is dearer to my heart than it can be to any one else. I am myself childless, and have no relations except this boy, who is full of talent, and I have good grounds to hope the best for him, if properly trained.

My efforts and wishes have no other aim than to give the boy the best possible education--his abilities justifying the brightest hopes--and to fulfill the trust placed in my brotherly love by his father. The shoot is still flexible; but if longer neglected it will become crooked and outgrow the gardener's training hand, and upright bearing, intellect, and character be destroyed for ever....

I know no duty more sacred than the education and training of a child. The chief duties of a guardian consist in knowing how to appreciate what is good, and in adopting a right course; then alone has proper attention been devoted to the welfare of his ward, whereas in opposing what is good he neglects his duty.

Indeed, keeping in view what is most for the benefit of the boy, I do not object to the mother in so far sharing in the duties of a guardian, that she may visit her son, and see him, and be apprised of all the measures adopted for his education; but to intrust her with his sole guardianship without a strict guardian by her side would cause the irretrievable ruin of her son.

On these cogent grounds I reiterate my well-founded solicitation, and feel the more confident of a favorable answer, as the welfare of my nephew alone guides my steps in this affair.


I live in entire quiet and solitude; and even though occasional flashes of light arouse me, still since you all left, I feel a hopeless void which even my art, usually so faithful to me, has not yet triumphed over. Your pianoforte is ordered, and you shall soon have it. What a difference you must have discovered between the treatment of the Theme I extemporized on the other evening, and the mode in which I have recently written it out for you! You must explain this yourself, only do not find the solution in the punch! How happy you are to get away so soon to the country! I cannot enjoy this luxury till the 8th. I look forward to it with the delight of a child. What happiness I shall feel in wandering among groves and woods, and among trees and plants and rocks! No man on earth can love the country as I do! Thickets, trees, and rocks supply the echo man longs for!



Most high-born of men!

We beg you to confer some goose-quills on us; we will in return send you a whole bunch of the same sort, that you may not be obliged to pluck out your own. It is just possible that you may yet receive the Grand Cross of the Order of the Violoncello. We remain your gracious and most friendly of all friends, BEETHOVEN.


FEBRUARY 2d, 1812.

Most wonderful of men!

We beg that your servant will engage a person to fit up my apartment; as he is acquainted with the lodgings, he can fix the proper price at once. Do this soon, you Carnival scamp!!!!!!!

The inclosed note is at least a week old.


BADEN, May 6th, 1825.

The bell and bell-pulls, etc., etc., are on no account whatever to be left in my former lodging. No proposal was ever made to these people to take any of my things. Indisposition prevented my sending for it, and the locksmith had not come during my stay to take down the bell; otherwise it might have been at once removed and sent to me in town, as they have no right whatever to retain it. Be this as it may, I am quite determined not to leave the bell there, for I require one here, and therefore intend to use the one in question for my purpose, as a similar one would cost me twice as much as in Vienna, bell-pulls being the most expensive things locksmiths have. If necessary, apply at once to the police. The window in my room is precisely in the same state as when I took possession, but I am willing to pay for it, and also for the one in the kitchen, 2 florins 12 kreuzers, for the two. The key I will not pay for, as I found none; on the contrary, the door was fastened or nailed up when I came, and remained in the same condition till I left; there never was a key, so of course neither I myself, nor those who preceded me, could make use of one. Perhaps it is intended to make a collection, in which case I am willing to put my hand in my pocket.



My dear and much loved Stephan:

May our temporary estrangement be for ever effaced by the portrait I now send. I know that I have rent your heart. The emotion which you cannot fail now to see in mine has sufficiently punished me for it. There was no malice towards you in my heart, for then I should be no longer worthy of your friendship. It was passion both on your part and on mine; but mistrust was rife within me, for people had come between us, unworthy both of you and of me.

My portrait was long ago intended for you; you knew that it was destined for some one--and to whom could I give it with such warmth of heart, as to you, my faithful, good, and noble Stephan?

Forgive me for having grieved you, but I did not myself suffer less when I no longer saw you near me. I then first keenly felt how dear you were, and ever will be to my heart. Surely you will once more fly to my arms as you formerly did.




arl Michael Bellman was born in Stockholm on the 4th of February, 1740. His father, son of a professor at Upsala University, held a government office; of his mother he wrote that she was "fair as day, unspeakably good, dressed prettily, was kind to everybody, of a refined nature, and had an excellent voice." From her he undoubtedly inherited the warm, genial heart which beats in every one of his songs. His father's house was the rendezvous of many of the noted men of the day, among them the poet Dalin, who was then at the zenith of his popularity. The boy's unusual gifts were early recognized, and everything was done to give him the best instruction, especially after an attack of fever, during which he not only spoke in rhyme, but sang his first improvised songs in a clear, true voice. The tutor who was then chosen taught him, "besides the art of making verse," English, French, German, and Italian; and he progressed far enough in these studies to translate several German hymns and religious and philosophic essays, no doubt influenced in this choice of subjects by the religious atmosphere of his home. Moreover, he taught himself to play the zither, and very soon began to pick out his own melodies as an accompaniment to his songs. The instrument he used had been brought home from Italy by his grandfather, became his closest companion throughout life, and is now kept at the Royal Academy of Arts at Stockholm.

At eighteen he entered the University of Upsala, and while there wrote a satirical poem, "The Moon," which he submitted to the criticism of Dalin, who however made but a single correction. It was written in the manner of Dalin, and he continued to be influenced by the latter until his twenty-fifth year. At this time, and within the same year, his father and mother died, and seeking among his friends the social stimulus which his nature craved, he became a frequent guest at the inns in the company of Hallman and Krexel, who were making their mark by their poetic and dramatic writings. It was then that his peculiar talent came to its own; he threw away all foreign influence and began to sing his songs, born of the impression of the moment and full of the charm of spontaneity. Some of them he jotted down quickly, most of them he sang to the sound of his zither, often fashioning them to suit well-known melodies, and again creating the melody with the words, for the greater part set in a form of verse not previously used. And so inseparably linked are words and melody, that it has not occurred to any one to set any other music to Bellman's songs than what he originally chose. He took all his characters out of the life he saw around him; and with the appreciation of the man to whom the present is everything, he seized the charm of the fleeting moment and expressed it with such simplicity and truth, and deep feeling withal, that it stands forth immortally fresh and young. A number of these songs have probably been lost; he had no thirst for fame, and took no pains to circulate them, but they found their way to the public in written copies and cheap prints, and his name was soon known throughout the country.

This way of living and singing like the birds of the air was, however, not very conducive to the satisfaction of material wants. He had made two attempts to go into business, but the more he was seen at the inns, the less he was seen at his business.

Fortunately for him, Gustavus III., who was himself a poet, became at this time king of Sweden. He was an adherent of the French school of poetry, and Bellman's muse could hardly be said to belong to this: but with considerable talent as a dramatic writer, Gustavus appreciated the dramatic quality in Bellman's songs; and when Bellman sent him a rhymed petition, still kept, in which he wrote that "if his Majesty would not most graciously give him an office, he would most obediently be obliged to starve to death before Christmas," the king made him secretary of the lottery, with the title of court secretary, and a yearly income of three thousand dollars. Bellman promptly gave half of this to an assistant, who did the work, and continued his troubadour life on the other half with a superb disdain of future needs. His affairs so well in order, he could afford to get married; and chose for his wife Lovisa Grönlund, a girl of a bright intellect and strong character, of which she ultimately had great need, the responsibilities of their married life being left altogether to her.

Bellman was now at his best; about this time he wrote most of 'Fredman's Songs' and 'Actions concerning the Chapter of Bacchus order.' both rich in lyric gems; he was the favorite companion of the King, to whom his devotion was boundless, and he was happy in his chosen friends whose company inspired him. Nevertheless he was now, as ever, in need of money. Atterbom tells that "One day the King met him on the street, so poorly dressed that he instinctively exclaimed, 'My dear Bellman, how poorly you are clad!' The poet answered with a bow, 'I can nevertheless most obediently assure your Majesty that I am wearing my entire wardrobe.'" His ready wit never left him. "How goes the world with you?" asked the King once when they met; "you don't look to me as if you could turn a single rhyme to-day." The poet bowed and replied on the spur of the moment:--

"No scrip my purse doth hold;
My lyre's unstrung, alas!
But yet upon my glass
Stands Gustaf's name in gold."

Another time the King sent his men for him, with the order to bring him in whatever condition they found him. "He was found not entirely free from drink, and not very presentable, but was nevertheless carried off, zither and all, to Haga Castle, where he drank some champagne, sang some songs, drank a little more, and finally fell asleep. The King left him so to go to his supper; and when he returned and found his guest still sleeping, he remarked, 'I wonder what Bellman would say if I awoke him now and asked him to give me a song.' The poet sat up, blinked with his eyes, and said, 'Then Bellman would say,--listen;' whereupon he sang to the tune of 'Malbrouck s'en va-t-en guerre':--

   "'Oh, so heavily, heavily trailing,
    The clouds over Haga are sailing,
And the stars their bright glances are veiling,
   While woods in the gloom disappear.
           Go, King, thy rest is dear,
           Go, King, thy respite taking,
Rest softly, rest softly, then waking,
When dawn through the darkness is breaking,
     Thy people with mild rule thou cheer!'

Then he fell into his former position again, and was carried home asleep with a little gift in his hand."

The task of collecting, preserving, and publishing his works fell entirely upon his friends; if it had depended on him, they would probably never have been collected, much less published.

During the last fifteen years of his life, from 1780 to 1795, his health grew very poor. In 1791 he was invited to be present at the distribution of degrees at Upsala, and at the dinner he returned a toast with a song born of the moment; but his voice had grown so weak from lung trouble that only those nearest to him could hear him. To add to his sufferings, he had to meet the great sorrow of his King's death at the hand of a murderer, and his poem on the 'Death and Memory of the King' was not of a nature to make friends for him at the new court. Thus it happened that, poor and broken in health, he was put into the debtor's prison in the very castle where he had been so happy a guest. Hallman and Krexel and others of his best friends, as devoted to him as ever, were unable to obtain his release; but he was at last bailed out by some one, who as recompense asked him to sing one of his jolly songs, and in his poor broken voice he sang. 'Drink out thy glass, see, Death awaits thee.' Atterbom remarks about the man in question, "And maybe he did not find that song so jolly after all."

While in prison he sent in a petition to the King,--somewhat different from his first petition to Gustavus III.,--in which he asked permission to live in the castle until his death. The following is one of the verses:--

"Spring commands; the birds are singing,
   Bees are swarming, fishes play;
   Now and then the zephyrs stray,
Breath of life the poet bringing.
Lift my load of sorrow clinging,
   Spare me one small nook, I pray."

Of his death Atterbom writes as follows:--

"He had been the favorite of the nation and the King, content with the mere necessities of life, free from every care, not even desiring the immortality of fame; moderate in everything except in enthusiasm, he had enjoyed to the full what he wanted,--friendship, wine, and music. Now he lived to see the shadows fall over his life and genius. Feeling that his last hour was not far off, he sent word to his nearest friends that a meeting with them as in old times would be dear to him. He came to meet them almost a shadow, but with his old friendly smile; even in the toasts he took part, however moderately, and then he announced that he would let them 'hear Bellman once more.' The spirit of song took possession of him, more powerfully than ever, and all the rays of his dying imagination were centred in an improvised good-by song. Throughout an entire night, under continual inspiration, he sang his happy life, his mild King's glory, his gratitude to Providence, who let him be born among a noble people in this beautiful Northern country,--finally he gave his grateful good-by to every one present, in a separate strophe and melody expressing the peculiar individuality of the one addressed and his relation to the poet. His friends begged him with tears to stop, and spare his already much weakened lungs; but he replied, 'Let us die, as we have lived, in music!'--emptied his last glass of champagne, and began at dawn the last verse of his song."

After this he sang no more. A few days later he went to bed, lingered for ten weeks, and died on the 11th of February, 1795, aged fifty-four years. He was buried in Clara cemetery.

Bellman's critics have given themselves much trouble about his personal character. Some have thought him little better than a coarse drunkard; others again have made him out a cynic who sneered at the life he depicted; again others have laid the weight on the note found in 'Drink out thy glass,' and have seen only the underlying sad pathos of his songs. His contemporaries agree that he was a man of great consideration for form, and assert that if there are coarse passages in his songs it is because they only could express what he depicted. All coarseness was foreign to his nature; he was reserved and somewhat shy, and only in the company of his chosen few did he open his heart.

His critics have, moreover, assiduously sought the moral of his works. If any was intended, it may have been that of fighting sentimentality and all false feeling; but it seems more in accordance with his entire life that he sang out of the fullness of his heart, as a bird sings, simply because it must sing.


Ulla, mine Ulla, tell me, may I hand thee

Reddest of strawberries in milk or wine?

Or from the pond a lively fish? Command me!

Or, from the well, a bowl of water fine?

Doors are blown open, the wind gets the blaming.

Perfumes exhale from flower and tree.

Clouds fleck the sky and the sun rises flaming,

As you see!

Isn't it heavenly--the fish market? So?

"Heavenly, oh heavenly!"

"See the stately trees there, standing row on row,--

Fresh, green leaves show!

And that pretty bay

Sparkling there?" "Ah yes!"

"And, seen where sunbeams play,

The meadows' loveliness?

Are they not heavenly--those bright fields?--Confess!"--



Skål and good-noon, fair one in window leaning,

Hark how the city bells their peals prolong!

See how the dust the verdant turf is screening,

Where the calashes and the wagons throng!

Hand from the window--he's drowsy, the speaker,

In my saddle I nod, cousin mine--

Primo a crust, and secundo a beaker,

Hochländer wine!

Isn't it heavenly--the fish-market? So?

"Heavenly, oh heavenly!"

"See the stately trees there, standing row on row,--

Fresh, green leaves show!

And that pretty bay

Sparkling there?" "Ah yes!"

"And, seen where sunbeams play,

The meadows' loveliness?

Are they not heavenly--those bright fields?--Confess!"--



Look, Ulla dear! To the stable they're taking

Whinnying, prancing, my good steed, I see.

Still in his stall-door he lifts his head, making

Efforts to look up to thee: just to thee!

Nature itself into flames will be bursting;

Keep those bright eyes in control!

Klang! at your casement my heart, too, is thirsting.

Klang! Your Skål!

Isn't it heavenly--the fish-market? So?

"Heavenly, oh heavenly!"

"See the stately trees there, standing row on row,--

Fresh, green leaves show!

And that pretty bay

Sparkling there?" "Ah yes!"

"And, seen where sunbeams play,

The meadows' loveliness?

Are they not heavenly--those bright fields?--Confess!"--




Little Carl, sleep soft and sweet:
   Thou'lt soon enough be waking;
Soon enough ill days thou'lt meet,
   Their bitterness partaking.
Earth's an isle with grief o'ercast;
Breathe our best, death comes at last,
     We but dust forsaking.

Once, where flowed a peaceful brook
   Through a rye-field's stubble,
Stood a little boy to look
   At himself; his double.
Sweet the picture was to see;
All at once it ceased to be;
     Vanished like a bubble!

And thus it is with life, my pet,
   And thus the years go flying;
Live we wisely, gaily, yet
   There's no escape from dying.
Little Carl on this must muse
When the blossoms bright he views
     On spring's bosom lying.

Slumber, little friend so wee;
   Joy thy joy is bringing.
Clipped from paper thou shalt see
   A sleigh, and horses springing;
Then a house of cards so tall
We will build and see it fall,
     And little songs be singing.


Up, Amarylis! Darling, awaken!
Through the still bracken
Soft airs swell;
Iris, all dightly,
Vestured so brightly,
Coloreth lightly
Wood and dell.
Amaryllis, thy sweet name pronouncing,
Thee in Neptune's cool embrace announcing.
Slumber's god the while his sway renouncing,
O'er your eyes sighs, and speech yields his spell.

Now comes the fishing! The net we fasten;
This minute hasten!
Follow me!
Don your skirt and jacket
And veil, or you'll lack it;
Pike and trout wait a racket;
Sails flap free.
Waken, Amaryllis, darling, waken!
Let me not by thy smile be forsaken:
Then by dolphins and fair sirens overtaken,
In our gay boat we'll sport in company.

Come now, your rods, lines, and nets with you taking!
The day is breaking;
Hasten thee nigh!
Sweet little treasure,
Think ill in no measure;
For thee 'twere no pleasure
Me to deny.
Let us to the little shallows wander,
Or beside the inlet over yonder,
Where the pledge-knot made our fond love fonder,
O'er which Thyrsis erst was moved to sigh.

Step in the boat, then--both of us singing,
Love his wand swinging
Over our fate.
Æol is moving,
But though wild proving,
In your arms loving
Comfort doth wait.
Blest, on angry waves of ocean riding,
By thee clasped, vain 'twere this dear thought hiding:
Death shall find me in thy pathway biding.
Sirens, sing ye, and my voice imitate!

"Good servant Mollberg, what's happened to thee,
Whom without coat and hatless I see?
Bloody thy mouth--and thou'rt lacking a tooth!
Where have you been, brother?--tell me the truth."
"At Rostock, good sir,
Did the trouble occur.
Over me and my harp
An argument sharp
Arose, touching my playing--pling plingeli plang;
And a bow-legged cobbler coming along
Struck me in the mouth--pling plingeli plang.

"I sat there and played--no carouse could one see--
The Polish Queen's Polka--G-major the key:
The best kind of people were gathered around,
And each drank his schoppen 'down to the ground.'
I don't know just how
Began freshly the row,
But some one from my head
Knocked my hat, and thus said:
'What is Poland to thee?'--Pling plingeli plang--
'Play us no polka!' Another one sang:
'Now silent be!'--Pling plingeli plang.

"Hear, my Maecenas, what still came to pass.
As I sat there in quiet, enjoying my glass,
On Poland's condition the silence I broke:
'Know ye, good people,' aloud thus I spoke,
'That all monarchs I
On this earth do defy
My harp to prevent
From giving song vent
Throughout all this land--pling plingeli plang!
Did only a single string to it hang,
I'd play a polka--pling plingeli plang!'

"There sat in the corner a sergeant old,
Two notaries and a dragoon bold,
Who cried 'Down with him! The cobbler is right!
Poland earns the meeds of her evil might!'
From behind the stove came
An old squint-eyed dame,
And flung at the harp
Glass broken and sharp;
But the cobbler--pling plingeli plang--
Made a terrible hole in my neck--that long!
There hast thou the story--pling plingeli plang.

"O righteous world! Now I ask of thee
If I suffered not wrongly?" "Why, certainly!"
"Was I not innocent?" "Bless you, most sure!"
"The harp rent asunder, my nose torn and sore,
Twas hard treatment, I trow!
Now no better I know
Than to go through the land
With my harp in my hand,
Play for Bacchus and Venus--kling klang--
With masters best that e'er played or sang;
Attend me, Apollo!--pling plingeli plang."


Drink out thy glass! See, on thy threshold, nightly,
Staying his sword, stands Death, awaiting thee.
Be not alarmed; the grave-door, opened slightly,
Closes again; a full year it may be
Ere thou art dragged, poor sufferer, to the grave.
Pick the octave!
Tune up the strings! Sing of life with glee!

Golden's the hue thy dull, wan cheeks are showing;
Shrunken's thy chest, and flat each shoulder-blade.
Give me thy hand! Each dark vein, larger growing,
Is, to my touch, as if in water laid.
Damp are these hands; stiff are these veins becoming.
Pick now, and strumming,
Empty thy bottle! Sing! drink unafraid.

Skål, then, my boy! Old Bacchus sends last greeting;
Freya's farewell receive thou, o'er thy bowl.
Fast in her praise thy thin blood flows, repeating
Its old-time force, as it was wont to roll.
Sing, read, forget; nay, think and weep while thinking.
Art thou for drinking
Another bottle? Thou art dead? No Skål!



entham, whose name rightly stands sponsor for the utilitarian theory of morals in legislation, though not its originator, was a mighty and unique figure in many ways. His childhood reminds us of that of his disciple John Stuart Mill in its precocity; but fortunately for him, life had more juice in it for young Bentham than it had for Mill. In his maturity and old age he was widely recognized as a commanding authority, notwithstanding some startling absurdities.

Jeremy Bentham.

He was born in London, February 15th, 1747-8; the child of an attorney of ample means, who was proud of the youth, and did not hesitate to show him off. In his fourth year he began the study of Latin, and a year later was known in his father's circle as "the philosopher." At six or seven he began the study of French. He was then sent to Westminster school, where he must have had a rather uncomfortable time; for he was small in body, sensitive and delicate, and not fond of boyish sports. He had a much happier life at the houses of his grandmothers at Barking and at Browning Hill, where much of his childhood was spent. His reminiscences of these days, as related to his biographer, are full of charm. He was a great reader and a great student; and going to Oxford early, was only sixteen when he took his degree.

It must be confessed that he did not bear away with him a high appreciation of the benefits which he owed to his alma mater. "Mendacity and insincerity--- in these I found the effects, the sure and only sure effects, of an English university education." He wrote a Latin ode on the death of George II., which was much praised. In later years he himself said of it, "It was a mediocre performance on a trumpery subject, written by a miserable child."

On taking his degree he entered at Lincoln's Inn, but he never made a success in the practice of the law. He hated litigation, and his mind became immediately absorbed in the study and development of the principles of legislation and jurisprudence, and this became the business of his life. He had an intense antipathy to Blackstone, under whom he had sat at Oxford; and in 1776 he published anonymously a severe criticism of his work, under the title 'Fragments on Government, or a Commentary on the Commentaries,' which was at first attributed to Lord Mansfield, Lord Camden, and others. His identification as the author of the 'Fragments' brought him into relations with Lord Shelburne, who invited him to Bowood, where he made a long and happy visit, of which bright and gossipy letters tell the story. Here he worked on his 'Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation,' in which he developed his utilitarian theory, and here he fell in love with a young lady who failed to respond to his wishes. Writing in 1827, he says:--

"I am alive, more than two months advanced in my eightieth year, more lively than when you presented me in ceremony with a flower in Green Lane. Since that day not a single one has passed, not to speak of nights, in which you have not engrossed more of my thoughts than I could have wished.... Embrace----; though it is for me, as it is by you, she will not be severe, nor refuse her lips to me as she did her hand, at a time perhaps not yet forgotten by her, any more than by me."

Bentham wrote voluminously on morals, on rewards and punishments, on the poor laws, on education, on law reform, on the codification of laws, on special legislative measures, on a vast variety of subjects. His style, at first simple and direct, became turgid, involved, and obscure. He was in the habit of beginning the same work independently many times, and usually drove several horses abreast. He was very severe in his strictures upon persons in authority, and upon current notions; and was constantly being warned that if he should publish such or such a work he would surely be prosecuted. Numerous books were therefore not published until many years after they were written. His literary style became so prolix and unintelligible that his disciples--Dumont, Mill, and others--came to his rescue, and disentangled and prepared for the press his innumerable pamphlets, full of suggestiveness and teeming with projects of reform more or less completely realized since. His publications include more than seventy titles, and he left a vast accumulation of manuscript, much of which has never been read.

He had a wide circle of acquaintances, by whom he was held in high honor, and his correspondence with the leading men of his time was constant and important. In his later years he was a pugnacious writer, but he was on intimate and jovial terms with his friends. In 1814 he removed to Ford Abbey, near Chard, and there wrote 'Chrestomathea,' a collection of papers on the principles of education, in which he laid stress upon the value of instruction in science, as against the excessive predominance of Greek and Latin. In 1823, in conjunction with James Mill and others, he established the Westminster Review, but he did not himself contribute largely to it. He continued, however, to the end of his life to write on his favorite topics.

Robert Dale Owen, in his autobiography, gives the following description of a visit to Bentham during the philosopher's later years:--

"I preserve a most agreeable recollection of that grand old face, beaming with benignity and intelligence, and occasionally with a touch of humor which I did not expect.... I do not remember to have met any one of his age [seventy-eight] who seemed to have more complete possession of his faculties, bodily and mental; and this surprised me the more because I knew that in his childhood he had been a feeble-limbed, frail boy.... I found him, having overpassed by nearly a decade the allotted threescore years and ten, with step as active and eye as bright and conversation as vivacious as one expects in a hale man of fifty....

"I shall never forget my surprise when we were ushered by the venerable philosopher into his dining-room. An apartment of good size, it was occupied by a platform about two feet high, and which filled the whole room, except a passageway some three or four feet wide, which had been left so that one could pass all round it. Upon this platform stood the dinner-table and chairs, with room enough for the servants to wait upon us. Around the head of the table was a huge screen, to protect the old man, I suppose, against the draught from the doors....

"When another half-hour had passed, he touched the bell again. This time his order to the servant startled me:--

"'John, my night-cap!'

"I rose to go, and one or two others did the same; Neal sat still. 'Ah!' said Bentham, as he drew a black silk night-cap over his spare gray hair, 'you think that's a hint to go. Not a bit of it. Sit down! I'll tell you when I am tired. I'm going to vibrate a little; that assists digestion, too.'

"And with that he descended into the trench-like passage, of which I have spoken, and commenced walking briskly back and forth, his head nearly on a level with ours, as we sat. Of course we all turned toward him. For full half an hour, as he walked, did he continue to pour forth such a witty and eloquent invective against kings, priests, and their retainers, as I have seldom listened to. Then he returned to the head of the table and kept up the conversation, without flagging, till midnight ere he dismissed us.

"His parting words to me were characteristic:--'God bless you,--if there be such a being; and at all events, my young friend, take care of yourself.'"

His weak childhood had been followed by a healthy and robust old age. But he wore out at last, and died June 6, 1832, characteristically leaving his body to be dissected for the benefit of science. The greater part of his published writings were collected by Sir John Browning, his executor, and issued in nine large volumes in 1843.


From 'An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation'

Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. On the one hand the standard of right and wrong, on the other the chain of causes and effects, are fastened to their throne. They govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think; every effort we can make to throw off our subjection will serve but to demonstrate and confirm it. In words a man may pretend to abjure their empire; but in reality he will remain subject to it all the while. The principle of utility recognizes this subjection, and assumes it for the foundation of that system, the object of which is to rear the fabric of felicity by the hands of reason and of law. Systems which attempt to question it deal in sounds instead of sense, in caprice instead of reason, in darkness instead of light.

But enough of metaphor and declamation: it is not by such means that moral science is to be improved.

The principle of utility is the foundation of the present work; it will be proper, therefore, at the outset to give an explicit and determinate account of what is meant by it. By the principle of utility is meant that principle which approves or disapproves of every action whatsoever, according to the tendency which it appears to have to augment or diminish the happiness of the party whose interest is in question; or, what is the same thing in other words, to promote or to oppose that happiness. I say of every action whatsoever; and therefore not only of every action of a private individual, but of every measure of government.

By utility is meant that property in any object whereby it tends to produce benefit, advantage, pleasure, good, or happiness (all this in the present case comes to the same thing), or (what comes again to the same thing) to prevent the happening of mischief, pain, evil, or unhappiness to the party whose interest is considered: if that party be the community in general, then the happiness of the community; if a particular individual, then the happiness of that individual.

The interest of the community is one of the most general expressions that can occur in the phraseology of morals: no wonder that the meaning of it is often lost. When it has a meaning, it is this: The community is a fictitious body, composed of the individual persons who are considered as constituting, as it were, its members. The interest of the community, then, is what? The sum of the interests of the several members who compose it.

It is vain to talk of the interest of the community, without understanding what is the interest of the individual. A thing is said to promote the interest, or to be for the interest, of an individual, when it tends to add to the sum total of his pleasures: or, what comes to the same thing, to diminish the sum total of his pains.

An action, then, may be said to be conformable to the principle of utility, or for shortness' sake to utility (meaning with respect to the community at large), when the tendency it has to augment the happiness of the community is greater than any it has to diminish it.

A measure of government (which is but a particular kind of action, performed by a particular person or persons) may be said to be conformable to or dictated by the principle of utility, when in like manner the tendency which it has to augment the happiness of the community is greater than any which it has to diminish it.

When an action, or in particular a measure of government, is supposed by a man to be conformable to the principle of utility, it may be convenient for the purposes of discourse to imagine a kind of law or dictate called a law or dictate of utility, and to speak of the action in question as being conformable to such law or dictate.

A man may be said to be a partisan of the principle of utility, when the approbation or disapprobation he annexes to any action, or to any measure, is determined by and proportioned to the tendency which he conceives it to have to augment or to diminish the happiness of the community; or in other words, to its conformity or unconformity to the laws or dictates of utility.

Of an action that is conformable to the principle of utility, one may always say either that it is one that ought to be done, or at least that it is not one that ought not to be done. One may say also that it is right it should be done, at least that it is not wrong it should be done; that it is a right action, at least that it is not a wrong action. When thus interpreted, the words ought, and right and wrong, and others of that stamp, have a meaning; when otherwise, they have none.


During my visits to Barking, I used to be my grandmother's bedfellow. The dinner hour being as early as two o'clock, she had a regular supper, which was served up in her own sleeping-room; and immediately after finishing it, she went to bed. Of her supper I was not permitted to partake, nor was the privation a matter of much regret. I had what I preferred--a portion of gooseberry pie; hers was a scrag of mutton, boiled with parsley and butter. I do not remember any variety.

My amusements consisted in building houses with old cards, and sometimes playing at 'Beat the knave out of doors' with my grandmother. My time of going to bed was perhaps an hour before hers; but by way of preparation, I never failed to receive her blessing. Previous to the ceremony, I underwent a catechetical examination, of which one of the questions was, "Who were the children that were saved in the fiery furnace?" Answer, "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego." But as the examination frequently got no farther, the word Abednego got associated in my mind with very agreeable ideas, and it ran through my ears like "Shadrach, Meshach, and To-bed-we-go," in a sort of pleasant confusion, which is not yet removed. As I grew in years, I became a fit receptacle for some of my grandmother's communications, among which the state of her family and the days of her youth were most prominent.

There hung on the wall, perpetually in view, a sampler, the produce of the industry and ingenuity of her mother or her grandmother, of which the subject-matter was the most important of all theologico-human incidents, the fall of man in Paradise. There was Adam--there was Eve--and there was the serpent. In these there was much to interest and amuse me. One thing alone puzzled me; it was the forbidden fruit. The size was enormous. It was larger than that species of the genus Orangeum which goes by the name of "the forbidden fruit" in some of our West India settlements. Its size was not less than that of the outer shell of a cocoanut. All the rest of the objects were as usual in plano; this was in alto, indeed in altissimo rilievo. What to make of it, at a time when my mind was unable to distinguish fictions from realities, I knew not. The recollection is strong in me of the mystery it seemed to be. My grandmother promised me the sampler after her death as a legacy, and the promise was no small gratification; but the promise, with many other promises of jewels and gold coins, was productive of nothing but disappointment. Her death took place when I was at Oxford. My father went down; and without consulting me, or giving the slightest intimation of his intention, let the house, and sold to the tenant almost everything that was in it. It was doing as he was wont to do, notwithstanding his undoubted affection for me. In the same way he sold the estate he had given to me as a provision on the occasion of his second marriage. In the mass went some music-books which I had borrowed of Mrs. Browne. Not long after, she desired them to be returned. I stood before her like a defenseless culprit, conscious of my inability to make restitution; and at the same time, such was my state of mental weakness that I knew not what to say for apology or defense.

My grandmother's mother was a matron, I was told, of high respectability and corresponding piety; well-informed and strong-minded. She was distinguished, however; for while other matrons of her age and quality had seen many a ghost, she had seen but one. She was in this particular on a level with the learned lecturer, afterwards judge, the commentator Blackstone. But she was heretical, and her belief bordered on Unitarianism. And by the way, this subject of ghosts has been among the torments of my life. Even now, when sixty or seventy years have passed over my head since my boyhood received the impression which my grandmother gave it, though my judgment is wholly free, my imagination is not wholly so. My infirmity was not unknown to the servants. It was a permanent source of amusement to ply me with horrible phantoms in all imaginable shapes. Under the pagan dispensation, every object a man could set his eyes on had been the seat of some pleasant adventure. At Barking, in the almost solitude of which so large a portion of my life was passed, every spot that could be made by any means to answer the purpose was the abode of some spectre or group of spectres. So dexterous was the invention of those who worked upon my apprehensions, that they managed to transform a real into a fictitious being. His name was Palethorp; and Palethorp, in my vocabulary, was synonymous with hobgoblin. The origin of these horrors was this:--

My father's house was a short half-mile distant from the principal part of the town, from that part where was situated the mansion of the lord of the manor, Sir Crisp Gascoigne. One morning the coachman and the footman took a conjunct walk to a public-house kept by a man of the name Palethorp; they took me with them: it was before I was breeched. They called for a pot of beer; took each of them a sip, and handed the pot to me. On their requisition, I took another; and when about to depart, the amount was called for. The two servants paid their quota, and I was called on for mine. Nemo dat quod non habet--this maxim, to my no small vexation, I was compelled to exemplify. Mr. Palethorp, the landlord, had a visage harsh and ill-favored, and he insisted on my discharging my debt. At this very early age, without having put in for my share of the gifts of fortune, I found myself in the state of an insolvent debtor. The demand harassed me so mercilessly that I could hold out no longer: the door being open, I took to my heels; and as the way was too plain to be missed, I ran home as fast as they could carry me. The scene of the terrors of Mr. Palethorp's name and visitation, in pursuit of me, was the country-house at Barking; but neither was the town-house free from them; for in those terrors, the servants possessed an instrument by which it was in their power at any time to get rid of my presence. Level with the kitchen--level with the landing-place in which the staircase took its commencement--were the usual offices. When my company became troublesome, a sure and continually repeated means of exonerating themselves from it was for the footman to repair to the adjoining subterraneous apartments, invest his shoulders with some strong covering, and concealing his countenance, stalk in with a hollow, menacing, and inarticulate tone. Lest that should not be sufficient, the servants had, stuck by the fireplace, the portraiture of a hobgoblin, to which they had given the name of Palethorp. For some years I was in the condition of poor Dr. Priestley, on whose bodily frame another name, too awful to be mentioned, used to produce a sensation more than mental.


SUNDAY, 12 o'clock.

Where shall I begin?--Let me see--The first place, by common right, to the ladies. The ideas I brought with me respecting the female part of this family are turned quite topsy-turvy, and unfortunately they are not yet cleared up. I had expected to find in Lady Shelburne a Lady Louisa Fitzpatrick, sister of an Earl of Ossory, whom I remember at school; instead of her, I find a lady who has for her sister a Miss Caroline V-----: is not this the maid of honor, the sister to Lady G-----? the lady who was fond of Lord C------, and of whom he was fond? and whom he quitted for an heiress and a pair of horns? Be they who they may, the one is loveliest of matrons, the other of virgins: they have both of them more than I could wish of reserve, but it is a reserve of modesty rather than of pride.

The quadrupeds, whom you know I love next, consist of a child of a year old, a tiger, a spaniel formerly attached to Lady Shelburne--at present to my Lord--besides four plebeian cats who are taken no notice of, horses, etc., and a wild boar who is sent off on a matrimonial expedition to the farm. The four first I have commenced a friendship with, especially the first of all, to whom I am body-coachman extraordinary en titre d'office: Henry, (for that is his name) [the present Lord Lansdowne] for such an animal, has the most thinking countenance I ever saw; being very clean, I can keep him without disgust and even with pleasure, especially after having been rewarded, as I have just now, for my attention to him, by a pair of the sweetest smiles imaginable from his mamma and aunt. As Providence hath ordered it, they both play on the harpsichord and at chess. I am flattered with the hopes of engaging with them, before long, either in war or harmony: not to-day--because, whether you know it or not, it is Sunday; I know it, having been paying my devotions--our church, the hall--our minister, a sleek young parson, the curate of the parish--our saints, a naked Mercury, an Apollo in the same dress, and a Venus de' Medicis--our congregation, the two ladies, Captain Blankett, and your humble servant, upon the carpet by the minister--below, the domestics, superioris et inferioris ordinis. Among the former I was concerned to see poor Mathews, the librarian, who, I could not help thinking, had as good a title to be upon the carpet as myself.

Of Lord Fitzmaurice I know nothing, but from his bust and letters: the first bespeaks him a handsome youth, the latter an ingenious one. He is not sixteen, and already he writes better than his father. He is under the care of a Mr. Jervis, a dissenting minister, who has had charge of him since he was six years old. He has never been at any public school of education. He has now for a considerable time been traveling about the kingdom, that he may know something of his own country before he goes to others, and be out of the way of adulation.

I am interrupted--adieu! le reste à l'ordinaire prochain.


It was using me very ill, that it was, to get upon stilts as you did, and resolve not to be angry with me, after all the pains I had taken to make you so. You have been angry, let me tell you, with people as little worth it before now; and your being so niggardly of it in my instance, may be added to the account of your injustice. I see you go upon the old Christian principle of heaping coals of fire upon people's heads, which is the highest refinement upon vengeance. I see, moreover, that according to your system of cosmogony, the difference is but accidental between the race of kings and that of the first Baron of Lixmore: that ex-lawyers come like other men from Adam, and ex-ministers from somebody who started up out of the ground before him, in some more elevated part of the country.

To lower these pretensions, it would be serving you right, if I were to tell you that I was not half so angry as I appeared to be; that, therefore, according to the countryman's rule, you have not so much the advantage over me as you may think you have: that the real object of what anger I really felt was rather the situation in which I found myself than you or anybody; but that, as none but a madman would go to quarrel with a nonentity called a situation, it was necessary for me to look out for somebody who, somehow or other, was connected with it.




éranger, like Hugo, has commemorated the date of his birth, but their verses are very different. Hugo's poem is lofty in style, beginning--

"Ce siècle avait deux ans! Rome remplaçait Sparte,
Déjà Napoléon perçait sous Bonaparte,
Et du premier consul déjà, par maint endroit,
Le front de l'empereur brisait le masque étroit."

(This century was two years old; Rome displaced Sparta,
Napoleon already was visible in Bonaparte,
And the narrow mask of the First Consul, in many places,
Was already pierced by the forehead of the Emperor.)

Béranger's verses have less force, but are charming in their simplicity:--

    "Dans ce Paris plein d'or et de misère,
    En l'an du Christ mil sept cent quatre-vingt,
    Chez un tailleur, mon pauvre et vieux grand-père,
    Moi, nouveau-né, sachais ce qui m'advint."

(In this Paris full of gold and misery,
In the year of Christ one thousand seven hundred and eighty,
At the house of a tailor, my grandfather poor and old,
I, a new-born child, knew what happened to me.)

Authors of the eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries are more subjective in their writings than those of the seventeenth, whose characters can rarely be known from their works. A glance at the life and surroundings of Béranger will show their influence on his genius.

Béranger's mother was abandoned by her husband shortly after her marriage, and her child was born at the house of her father, the old tailor referred to in the song 'The Tailor and the Fairy.' She troubled herself little about the boy, and he was forsaken in his childhood. Béranger tells us that he does not know how he learned to read. In the beginning of the year 1789 he was sent to a school in the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, and there, mounted on the roof of a house, he saw the capture of the Bastille on the 14th of July. This event made a great impression on him, and may have laid the foundations of his republican principles. When he was nine and a half his father sent him to one of his sisters, an innkeeper at Péronne, that town in the north of France famous for the interview in 1468 between Louis XI. and Charles the Bold, when the fox put himself in the power of the lion, as related so vividly in 'Quentin Durward.'

Béranger's aunt was very kind to him. At Péronne he went to a free primary school founded by Ballue de Bellenglise, where the students governed themselves, electing their mayor, their judges, and their justices of the peace. Béranger was president of a republican club of boys, and was called upon several times to address members of the Convention who passed through Péronne. His aunt was an ardent republican, and he was deeply moved by the invasion of France in 1792. He heard with delight of the capture of Toulon in 1793 and of Bonaparte's exploits, conceiving a great admiration for the extraordinary man who was just beginning his military career. At the age of fifteen Béranger returned to Paris, where his father had established a kind of banking house. The boy had previously followed different trades, and had been for two years with a publishing house as a printer's apprentice. There he learned spelling and the rules of French prosody. He began to write verse when he was twelve or thirteen, but he had a strange idea of prosody. In order to get lines of the same length he wrote his words between two parallel lines traced from the top to the bottom of the page. His system of versification seemed to be correct when applied to the Alexandrine verse of Racine; but when he saw the fables of La Fontaine, in which the lines are very irregular, he began to distrust his prosody.

Béranger became a skillful financier, and was very useful to his father in his business. When the banker failed the young man was thrown into great distress. He now had ample opportunity to become familiar with the garret, of which he has sung so well. In 1804 he applied for help to Lucien Bonaparte, and received from Napoleon's brother his own fee as member of the Institute. He obtained shortly afterwards a position in a bureau of the University. Having a weak constitution and defective sight, he avoided the conscription. He was however all his life a true patriot, with republican instincts; and he says that he never liked Voltaire, because that celebrated writer unjustly preferred foreigners and vilified Joan of Arc, "the true patriotic divinity, who from my childhood was the object of my worship." He had approved of the eighteenth of Brumaire: for "my soul," says he, "has always vibrated with that of the people as when I was nineteen years old;" and the great majority of the French people in 1799 wished to see Bonaparte assume power and govern with a firm hand. In 1813 Béranger wrote 'The King of Yvetot,' a pleasing and amusing satire on Napoleon's reign. What a contrast between the despotic emperor and ruthless warrior, and the simple king whose crown is a nightcap and whose chief delight is his bottle of wine! The song circulated widely in manuscript form, and the author soon became popular. He made the acquaintance of Désaugiers and became a member of the Caveau. Concerning this joyous literary society M. Anatole France says, in his 'Vie Littéraire,' that the first Caveau was founded in 1729 by Gallet, Piron, Crébillon fils, Collé, and Panard. They used to meet at Laudelle the tavern-keeper's. The second Caveau was inaugurated in 1759 by Marmontel, Suard, Lanoue, and Brissy, and lasted until the Revolution. In 1806 Armand Gouffé and Capelle established the modern Caveau, of which Désaugiers was president. The members met at Balaine's restaurant. In 1834 the society was reorganized at Champlanc's restaurant. The members wrote and published songs and sang them after dinner. "The Caveau," says M. France, "is the French Academy of song," and as such has some dignity. The same is true of the Lice, while the Chat Noir is most fin de siècle.

To understand Béranger's songs and to excuse them somewhat, we must remember that the French always delighted in witty songs and tales, and pardoned the immorality of the works on account of the wit and humor. This is what is called l'esprit gaulois, and is seen principally in old French poetry, in the fabliaux, the farces, and 'Le Roman de Renart.' Molière had much of this, as also had La Fontaine and Voltaire, and Béranger's wildest songs appear mild and innocent when compared with those of the Chat Noir. In his joyous songs he continues the traditions of the farces and fabliaux of the Middle Ages, and in his political songs he uses wit and satire just as in the sottises of the time of Louis XII.

Béranger's first volume of songs appeared at the beginning of the second Restoration; and although it was hostile to the Bourbons, the author was not prosecuted. In 1821, when his second volume was published, he resigned his position as clerk at the University, and was brought to trial for having written immoral and seditious songs. He was condemned, after exciting scenes in court, to three months' imprisonment and a fine of five hundred francs, and in 1828 to nine months' imprisonment and a fine of ten thousand francs, which was paid by public subscription.

No doubt he contributed to the Revolution of July, 1830; but although he was a republican, he favored the monarchy of Louis Philippe, saying that "it was a plank to cross over the gutter, a preparation for the republic." The king wished to see him and thank him, but Béranger replied that "he was too old to make new acquaintances." He was invited to apply for a seat in the French Academy, and refused that honor as he had refused political honors and positions. He said that he "wished to be nothing"; and when in 1848 he was elected to the Constitutional Assembly, he resigned his seat almost immediately. He has been accused of affectation, and of exaggeration in his disinterestedness; but he was naturally timid in public, and preferred to exert an influence over his countrymen by his songs rather than by his voice in public assemblies.

Béranger was kind and generous, and ever ready to help all who applied to him. He had a pension given to Rouget de l'Isle, the famous author of the 'Marseillaise,' who was reduced to poverty, and in 1835 he took into his house his good aunt from Péronne, and gave hospitality also to his friend Mlle. Judith Frère. In 1834 he sold all his works to his publisher, Perrotin, for an annuity of eight hundred francs, which was increased to four thousand by the publisher. On this small income Béranger lived content till his death on July 16th, 1857. The government of Napoleon III. took charge of his funeral, which was solemnized with great pomp. Although Béranger was essentially the poet of the middle classes, and was extremely popular, care was taken to exclude the people from the funeral procession. While he never denied that he was the grandson of a tailor, he signed de Béranger, to be distinguished from other writers of the same name. The de, however, had always been claimed by his father, who had left him nothing but that pretense of nobility.

For forty years, from 1815 to his death, Béranger was perhaps the most popular French writer of his time, and he was ranked amongst the greatest French poets. There has been a reaction against that enthusiasm, and he is now severely judged by the critics. They say that he lacked inspiration, and was vulgar, bombastic, and grandiloquent. Little attention is paid to him, therefore, in general histories of French literature. But if he is not entitled to stand on the high pedestal given to him by his contemporaries, we yet cannot deny genius to the man who for more than a generation swayed the hearts of the people at his will, and exerted on his countrymen and on his epoch an immense influence.

Many of his songs are coarse and even immoral; but his muse was often inspired by patriotic subjects, and in his poems on Napoleon he sings of the exploits of the great general defending French soil from foreign invasion, or he delights in the victories of the Emperor as reflecting glory upon France. Victor Hugo shared this feeling when he wrote his inspiring verses in praise of the conqueror. Both poets, Béranger and Hugo, contributed to create the Napoleonic legend which facilitated the election of Louis Napoleon to the presidency in 1848, and brought about the Second Empire. What is more touching than 'The Reminiscences of the People'? Are we not inclined to cry out, like the little children listening to the old grandmother who speaks of Napoleon: "He spoke to you, grandmother! He sat down there, grandmother! You have yet his glass, grandmother!" The whole song is poetic, natural, and simple. François Coppée, the great poet, said of it: "Ah! if I had only written 'The Reminiscences of the People,' I should not feel concerned about the judgment of posterity."

Other works of Béranger's are on serious subjects, as 'Mary Stuart's Farewell to France,' 'The Holy Alliance,' 'The Swallows,' and 'The Old Banner,' All his songs have a charm. His wit is not of the highest order, and he lacks the finesse of La Fontaine, but he is often quaint and always amusing in his songs devoted to love and Lisette, to youth and to wine. He is not one of the greatest French lyric poets, and cannot be compared with Lamartine, Hugo, Musset, and Vigny; nevertheless he has much originality, and is without doubt the greatest song-writer that France has produced. He elevated the song and made it both a poem and a drama, full of action and interest.

Béranger wrote slowly and with great care, and many of his songs cost him much labor. He was filled with compassion for the weak, for the poor and unfortunate; he loved humanity, and above all he dearly loved France. Posterity will do him justice and will preserve at least a great part of his work. M. Ernest Legouvé in his interesting work, 'La Lecture en Action,' relates that one day, while walking with Béranger in the Bois de Boulogne, the latter stopped in the middle of an alley, and taking hold of M. Legouvé's hand, said with emotion, "My dear friend, my ambition would be that one hundred of my lines should remain." M. Legouvé adds, "There will remain more than that," and his words have been confirmed. If we read aloud, if we sing them, we too shall share the enthusiasm of our fathers, who were carried away by the pathos, the grandeur, the wit, the inexpressible charm of the unrivaled chansonnier.



To see is to have. Come, hurry anew!
Life on the wing
Is a rapturous thing.
To see is to have. Come, hurry anew!
For to see the world is to conquer it too.

So naught do we own, from pride left free,
From statutes vain,
From heavy chain;
So naught do we own, from pride left free,--
Cradle nor house nor coffin have we.

But credit our jollity none the less,
Noble or priest, or
Servant or master;
But credit our jollity none the less.--
Liberty always means happiness.



In the midst of our laughter and singing,
  'Mid the clink of our glasses so gay,
What gad-fly is over us winging,
  That returns when we drive him away?
'Tis some god. Yes, I have a suspicion
  Of our happiness jealous, he's come:
Let us drive him away to perdition,
  That he bore us no more with his hum.

Transformed to a gad-fly unseemly,
  I am certain that we must have here
Old Reason, the grumbler, extremely
  Annoyed by our joy and our cheer.
He tells us in tones of monition
  Of the clouds and the tempests to come:
Let us drive him away to perdition,
  That he bore us no more with his hum.

It is Reason who comes to me, quaffing,
  And says, "It is time to retire:
At your age one stops drinking and laughing,
  Stops loving, nor sings with such fire;"--
An alarm that sounds ever its mission
  When the sweetest of flames overcome:
Let us drive him away to perdition,
  That he bore us no more with his hum.

It is Reason! Look out there for Lizzie!
  His dart is a menace alway.
He has touched her, she swoons--she is dizzy:
  Come, Cupid, and drive him away.
Pursue him; compel his submission,
  Until under your strokes he succumb.
Let us drive him away to perdition,
  That he bore us no more with his hum.

Hurrah, Victory! See, he is drowning
  In the wine that Lizzetta has poured.
Come, the head of Joy let us be crowning,
  That again he may reign at our board.
He was threatened just now with dismission,
  And a fly made us all rather glum:
But we've sent him away to perdition;
  He will bore us no more with his hum.

Translation of Walter Learned.



Let's learn to temper our desires,
  Not harshly to constrain;
And since excess makes pleasure less,
  Why, so much more refrain.
Small table--cozy corner--here
  We well may be beguiled;
Our worthy host old wine can boast:
  Drink, drink--but draw it mild!

He who would many an evil shun
  Will find my plan the best--
To trim the sail as shifts the gale,
  And half-seas over rest.
Enjoyment is an art--disgust
  Is bred of joy run wild;
Too deep a drain upsets the brain:
  Drink, drink--but draw it mild!

Our indigence--let's cheer it up;
  'Tis nonsense to repine;
To give to Hope the fullest scope
  Needs but one draught of wine.
And oh! be temperate, to enjoy,
  Ye on whom Fate hath smiled;
If deep the bowl, your thirst control:
  Drink, drink--but draw it mild!

What, Phyllis, dost thou fear? at this
  My lesson dost thou scoff?
Or would'st thou say, light draughts betray
  The toper falling off?
Keen taste, eyes keen--whate'er be seen
  Of joy in thine, fair child,
Love's philtre use, but don't abuse:
  Drink, drink--but draw it mild!

Yes, without hurrying, let us roam
  From feast to feast of gladness;
And reach old age, if not quite sage,
  With method in our madness!
Our health is sound, good wines abound;
  Friends, these are riches piled.
To use with thrift the twofold gift:
  Drink, drink--but draw it mild!

Translation of William Young.


There was a king of Yvetot,
      Of whom renown hath little said,
    Who let all thoughts of glory go,
  And dawdled half his days a-bed;
And every night, as night came round,
By Jenny with a nightcap crowned,
        Slept very sound:
      Sing ho, ho, ho! and he, he, he!
      That's the kind of king for me.

And every day it came to pass,
  That four lusty meals made he;
And step by step, upon an ass,
  Rode abroad, his realms to see;
And wherever he did stir,
What think you was his escort, sir?
        Why, an old cur.
      Sing ho, ho, ho! and he, he, he!
      That's the kind of king for me.

If e'er he went into excess,
  'Twas from a somewhat lively thirst;
But he who would his subjects bless,
  Odd's fish!--must wet his whistle first;
And so from every cask they got,
Our king did to himself allot
        At least a pot.
      Sing ho, ho, ho! and he, he, he!
      That's the kind of king for me.

To all the ladies of the land
  A courteous king, and kind, was he--
The reason why, you'll understand,
  They named him Pater Patriae.
Each year he called his fighting men,
And marched a league from home, and then
        Marched back again.
      Sing ho, ho, ho! and he, he, he!
      That's the kind of king for me.

Neither by force nor false pretense,
  He sought to make his kingdom great,
And made (O princes, learn from hence)
  "Live and let live" his rule of state.
'Twas only when he came to die,
That his people who stood by
        Were known to cry.
      Sing ho, ho, ho! and he, he, he!
      That's the kind of king for me.

The portrait of this best of kings
  Is extant still, upon a sign
That on a village tavern swings,
  Famed in the country for good wine.
The people in their Sunday trim,
Filling their glasses to the brim,
        Look up to him,
      Singing "ha, ha, ha!" and "he, he, he!
      That's the sort of king for me."

Version of W.M. Thackeray.


Rap! rap!--Is that my lass--
    Rap! rap!--is rapping there?
  It is Fortune. Let her pass!
    I'll not open the door to her.
      Rap! rap!--

All of my friends are making gay
  My little room, with lips wine-wet:
  We only wait for you, Lisette!
Fortune! you may go your way.
      Rap! rap!--

If we might credit half her boast,
  What wonders gold has in its gift!
  Well, we have twenty bottles left
And still some credit with our host.
      Rap! rap!--

Her pearls, and rubies too, she quotes,
  And mantles more than sumptuous:
  Lord! but the purple's naught to us,--
We're just now taking off our coats.
      Rap! rap!--

She treats us as the rawest youths,
  With talk of genius and of fame:
  Thank calumny, alas, for shame!
Our faith is spoiled in laurel growths.
      Rap! rap!--

Far from our pleasures, we care not
  Her highest heavens to attain;
  She fills her big balloons in vain
Till we have swamped our little boat.
      Rap! rap!--

Yet all our neighbors crowd to be
  Within her ring of promises,
  Ah! surely, friends! our mistresses
Will cheat us more agreeably.
      Rap! rap!--



Ay, many a day the straw-thatched cot
  Shall echo with his glory!
The humblest shed, these fifty years,
  Shall know no other story.
There shall the idle villagers
  To some old dame resort,
And beg her with those good old tales
  To make their evenings short.
"What though they say he did us harm?
  Our love this cannot dim;
Come, granny, talk of him to us;
  Come, granny, talk of him."

"Well, children--with a train of kings,
  Once he passed by this spot;
'Twas long ago; I had but just
  Begun to boil the pot.
On foot he climbed the hill, whereon
  I watched him on his way:
He wore a small three-cornered hat;
  His overcoat was gray.
I was half frightened till he said
  'Good day, my dear!' to me."
"O granny, granny, did he speak?
  What, granny! you and he?"

"Next year, as I, poor soul, by chance
  Through Paris strolled one day,
I saw him taking, with his court,
  To Notre Dame his way.
The crowd were charmed with such a show;
  Their hearts were filled with pride:
'What splendid weather for the fête!
  Heaven favors him!' they cried.
Softly he smiled, for God had given
  To his fond arms a boy."
"Oh, how much joy you must have felt!
  O granny, how much joy!"

"But when at length our poor Champagne
  By foes was overrun,
He seemed alone to hold his ground;
  Nor dangers would he shun.
One night--as might be now--I heard
  A knock--the door unbarred--
And saw--good God! 'twas he, himself,
  With but a scanty guard.
'Oh, what a war is this!' he cried,
  Taking this very chair."
"What! granny, granny, there he sat?
  What! granny, he sat there?"

"'I'm hungry,' said he: quick I served
  Thin wine and hard brown bread;
He dried his clothes, and by the fire
  In sleep dropped down his head.
Waking, he saw my tears--'Cheer up,
  Good dame!' says he, 'I go
'Neath Paris' walls to strike for France
  One last avenging blow.'
He went; but on the cup he used
  Such value did I set--
It has been treasured."--"What! till now?
  You have it, granny, yet?"

"Here 'tis: but 'twas the hero's fate
  To ruin to be led;
He whom a Pope had crowned, alas!
  In a lone isle lies dead.
'Twas long denied: 'No, no,' said they,
  'Soon shall he reappear!
O'er ocean comes he, and the foe
  Shall find his master here.'
Ah, what a bitter pang I felt,
  When forced to own 'twas true!"
"Poor granny! Heaven for this will look--
  Will kindly look on you."

Translation of William Young.



  Here in this gutter let me die:
    Weary and sick and old, I've done.
  "He's drunk," will say the passers-by:
    All right, I want no pity--none.
  I see the heads that turn away,
    While others glance and toss me sous:
  "Off to your junket! go!" I say:
Old tramp,--to die I need no help from you.

  Yes, of old age I'm dying now:
    Of hunger people never die.
  I hoped some almshouse might allow
    A shelter when my end was nigh;
  But all retreats are overflowed,
    Such crowds are suffering and forlorn.
  My nurse, alas! has been the road:
Old tramp,--here let me die where I was born.

  When young, it used to be my prayer
    To craftsmen, "Let me learn your trade."
  "Clear out--we've got no work to spare;
    Go beg," was all reply they made.
  You rich, who bade me work, I've fed
    With relish on the bones you threw;
  Made of your straw an easy bed:
Old tramp,--I have no curse to vent on you.

  Poor wretch, I had the choice to steal;
    But no, I'd rather beg my bread.
  At most I thieved a wayside meal
    Of apples ripening overhead.
  Yet twenty times have I been thrown
    In prison--'twas the King's decree;
  Robbed of the only thing I own:
Old tramp,--at least the sun belongs to me.

  The poor man--is a country his?
    What are to me your corn and wine,
  Your glory and your industries,
    Your orators? They are not mine.
  And when a foreign foe waxed fat
    Within your undefended walls,
  I shed my tears, poor fool, at that:
Old tramp,--his hand was open to my calls.

  Why, like the hateful bug you kill,
    Did you not crush me when you could?

  Or better, teach me ways and skill
    To labor for the common good?

  The ugly grub an ant may end,
    If sheltered from the cold and fed.

  You might have had me for a friend:
Old tramp,--I die your enemy instead.

Translated for the 'World's Best Literature.'



Wherefore these flowers? floral applause?
  Ah, no, these blossoms came to say
That I am growing old, because
  I number fifty years to-day.
O rapid, ever-fleeting day!
  O moments lost, I know not how!
O wrinkled cheek and hair grown gray!
     Alas, for I am fifty now!

Sad age, when we pursue no more--
  Fruit dies upon the withering tree:
Hark! some one rapped upon my door.
  Nay, open not. 'Tis not for me--
Or else the doctor calls. Not yet
  Must I expect his studious bow.
Once I'd have called, "Come in, Lizzette"--
     Alas, for I am fifty now!

In age what aches and pains abound.
  The torturing gout racks us awhile;
Blindness, a prison dark, profound;
  Or deafness that provokes a smile.
Then Reason's lamp grows faint and dim
  With flickering ray. Children, allow
Old Age the honor due to him--
     Alas, for I am fifty now!

Ah, heaven! the voice of Death I know,
  Who rubs his hands in joyous mood;
The sexton knocks and I must go--
  Farewell, my friends the human brood!
Below are famine, plague, and strife;
  Above, new heavens my soul endow:
Since God remains, begin, new life!
  Alas, for I am fifty now!

But no, 'tis you, sweetheart, whose youth,
  Tempting my soul with dainty ways,
Shall hide from it the sombre truth,
  This incubus of evil days.
Springtime is yours, and flowers; come then,
  Scatter your roses on my brow,
And let me dream of youth again--
  Alas, for I am fifty now!

Translation of Walter Learned.


With pensive eyes the little room I view,
  Where in my youth I weathered it so long,
With a wild mistress, a stanch friend or two,
  And a light heart still breaking into song;
Making a mock of life, and all its cares,
  Rich in the glory of my rising sun:
Lightly I vaulted up four pair of stairs,
  In the brave days when I was twenty-one.

Yes; 'tis a garret--let him know't who will---
  There was my bed--full hard it was and small;
My table there--and I decipher still
  Half a lame couplet charcoaled on the wall.
Ye joys, that Time hath swept with him away,
  Come to mine eyes, ye dreams of love and fun:
For you I pawned my watch how many a day,
  In the brave days when I was twenty-one!

And see my little Jessy, first of all;
  She comes with pouting lips and sparkling eyes:
Behold, how roguishly she pins her shawl
  Across the narrow casement, curtain-wise:
Now by the bed her petticoat glides down,
  And when did women look the worse in none?
I have heard since who paid for many a gown,
  In the brave days when I was twenty-one.

One jolly evening, when my friends and I
  Made happy music with our songs and cheers,
A shout of triumph mounted up thus high,
  And distant cannon opened on our ears;
We rise,--we join in the triumphant strain,--
  Napoleon conquers--Austerlitz is won--
Tyrants shall never tread us down again,
  In the brave days when I was twenty-one.

Let us begone--the place is sad and strange--
  How far, far off, these happy times appear!
All that I have to live I'd gladly change
  For one such month as I have wasted here--
To draw long dreams of beauty, love, and power,
  From founts of hope that never will outrun,
And drink all life's quintessence in an hour:
  Give me the days when I was twenty-one.

Version of W.M. Thackeray.



What! whilst I'm well, beforehand you design,
At vast expense, for me to build a shrine?
Friends, 'tis absurd! to no such outlay go;
Leave to the great the pomp and pride of woe.
Take what for marble or for brass would pay--
For a dead beggar garb by far too gay--
And buy life-stirring wine on my behalf:
The money for my tomb right gayly let us quaff!

A mausoleum worthy of my thanks
At least would cost you twenty thousand francs:
Come, for six months, rich vale and balmy sky,
As gay recluses, be it ours to try.
Concerts and balls, where Beauty's self invites,
Shall furnish us our castle of delights;
I'll run the risk of finding life too sweet:
The money for my tomb right gayly let us eat!

But old I grow, and Lizzy's youthful yet:
Costly attire, then, she expects to get;
For to long fast a show of wealth resigns--
Bear witness Longchamps, where all Paris shines!
You to my fair one something surely owe;
A Cashmere shawl she's looking for, I know:
'Twere well for life on such a faithful breast
The money for my tomb right gayly to invest!

No box of state, good friends, would I engage,
For mine own use, where spectres tread the stage:
What poor wan man with haggard eyes is this?
Soon must he die--ah, let him taste of bliss!
The veteran first should the raised curtain see--
There in the pit to keep a place for me,
(Tired of his wallet, long he cannot live)--
The money for my tomb to him let's gayly give!

What doth it boot me, that some learned eye
May spell my name on gravestone, by and by?
As to the flowers they promise for my bier,
I'd rather, living, scent their perfume here.
And thou, posterity!--that ne'er mayst be--
Waste not thy torch in seeking signs of me!
Like a wise man, I deemed that I was bound
The money for my tomb to scatter gayly round!

Translation of William Young.


I have treated it [the revolution of 1830] as a power which might have whims one should be in a position to resist. All or nearly all my friends have taken office. I have still one or two who are hanging from the greased pole. I am pleased to believe that they are caught by the coat-tails, in spite of their efforts to come down. I might therefore have had a share in the distribution of offices. Unluckily I have no love for sinecures, and all compulsory labor has grown intolerable to me, except perhaps that of a copying clerk. Slanderers have pretended that I acted from virtue. Pshaw! I acted from laziness. That defect has served me in place of merits; wherefore I recommend it to many of our honest men. It exposes one, however, to curious reproaches. It is to that placid indolence that severe critics have laid the distance I have kept myself from those of my honorable friends who have attained power. Giving too much honor to what they choose to call my fine intellect, and forgetting too much how far it is from simple good sense to the science of great affairs, these critics maintain that my counsels might have enlightened more than one minister. If one believes them, I, crouching behind our statesmen's velvet chairs, would have conjured down the winds, dispelled the storms, and enabled France to swim in an ocean of delights. We should all have had liberty to sell, or rather to give away, but we are still rather ignorant of the price. Ah! my two or three friends who take a song-writer for a magician, have you never heard, then, that power is a bell which prevents those who set it ringing from hearing anything else? Doubtless ministers sometimes consult those at hand: consultation is a means of talking about one's self which is rarely neglected. But it will not be enough even to consult in good faith those who will advise in the same way. One must still act: that is the duty of the position. The purest intentions, the most enlightened patriotism, do not always confer it. Who has not seen high officials leave a counselor with brave intentions, and an instant after return to him, from I know not what fascination, with a perplexity that gave the lie to the wisest resolutions? "Oh!" they say, "we will not be caught there again! what drudgery!" The more shamefaced add, "I'd like to see you in my place!" When a minister says that, be sure he has no longer a head. There is indeed one of them, but only one, who, without having lost his head, has often used this phrase with the utmost sincerity; he has therefore never used it to a friend.



ew readers in the United States are unfamiliar with the lines, "Westward the course of empire takes its way." It is vaguely remembered that a certain Bishop Berkeley was the author of a treatise on tar-water. There is moreover a general impression that this Bishop Berkeley contended for the unreality of all things outside of his own mind, and now and then some recall Byron's lines--

"When Bishop Berkeley said 'there was no matter,'
And proved it,--'twas no matter what he said."

George Berkeley.

This is the substance of the popular knowledge of one of the profoundest thinkers of the early part of the eighteenth century,--the time of Shaftesbury and Locke, of Addison and Steele, of Butler, Pope, and Swift,--one of the most fascinating men of his day, and one of the best of any age. Beside, or rather above, Byron's line should be placed Pope's tribute:--

"To Berkeley, every virtue under Heaven."

Berkeley was born in Ireland, probably at Dysart Castle in the Valley of the Nore, near Kilkenny, March 12, 1685. The family having but lately come into Ireland, Berkeley always accounted himself an Englishman. At Kilkenny School he met the poet Prior, who became his intimate friend, his business representative, and his most regular correspondent for life. Swift preceded him at this school and at Trinity College, Dublin, whither Berkeley went March 21, 1700, being then fifteen years of age. Here as at Kilkenny he took rank much beyond his years, and was soon deep in philosophical speculations.

In Professor Fraser's edition of the 'Life and Works of Berkeley' appears a 'Common-Place Book,' kept during the Trinity College terms, and full of most remarkable memoranda for a youth of his years. In 1709, while still at Trinity, he published an 'Essay toward a New Theory of Vision,' which foreshadowed imperfectly his leading ideas. In the following year he published a 'Treatise concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge.' Two or three years later he went to London, where he was received with unusual favor and quickly became intimate in the literary circles of the day. He made friends everywhere, being attractive in all ways, young, handsome, graceful, fascinating in discourse, enthusiastic, and full of thought. Swift was especially impressed by him, and did much to further his fortunes.

His philosophical conceptions he at this time popularized in 'Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous,' a work rated by some critics as at the head of its class.

Before going to London, Berkeley had been made a Fellow of Trinity, had been appointed to various college offices, and had taken orders. He remained away from Dublin for about eight years, on leave frequently extended, writing in London, and traveling, teaching, and writing on the Continent. On his return from his foreign travels in 1720 or 1721, he found society completely demoralized by the collapse of the South Sea bubble. He was much depressed by the conditions around him, and sought to awaken the moral sense of the people by 'An Essay toward Preventing the Ruin of Great Britain.' Returning to Dublin and resuming college duties, he was shortly made Dean of Dromore, and then Dean of Derry. Hardly had he received these dignified appointments when he began planning to rid himself of them, being completely absorbed in a scheme for a University in the Bermudas, which should educate scholars, teachers, and ministers for the New World, to which his hope turned. To this scheme he devoted himself for many years. A singular occurrence, which released him from pecuniary cares, enabled him to give his time as well as his heart to the work. Miss Vanhomrigh, the 'Vanessa' of Swift, upon her mother's death, left London, and went to live in Ireland, to be near her beloved Dean; and there she was informed of Swift's marriage to 'Stella.' The news killed her, but she revoked the will by which her fortune was bequeathed to Swift, and left one-half of it, or about £4,000, to Berkeley, whom she had met but once. He must have "kept an atmosphere," as Bagehot says of Francis Horner.

Going to London on fire with his great scheme, prepared to resign his deanery and cast in his lot with that of the proposed University, Berkeley wasted years in the effort to secure a charter and grant from the administration. His enthusiasm and his fascinating manners effected much, and over and over again only the simplest formalities seemed necessary to success. Only the will of Sir Robert Walpole stood in the way, but Walpole's will sufficed. At last, in September, 1728, tired of waiting at court, Berkeley, who had just married, sailed with three or four friends, including the artist Smibert, for Rhode Island, intending to await there the completion of his grant, and then proceed to Bermuda. He bought a farm near Newport, and built a house which he called Whitehall, in which he lived for about three years, leaving a tradition of a benignant but retired and scholastic life. Among the friends who were here drawn to him was the Rev. Samuel Johnson of Stratford, afterward the first President of King's (now Columbia) College, with whom he corresponded during the remainder of his life, and through whom he was able to aid greatly the cause of education in America.

The Newport life was idyllic. Berkeley wrote home that the winters were cooler than those of the South of Ireland, but not worse than he had known in Italy. He brought over a good library, and read and wrote. The principal work of this period, written in a romantic cleft in the rocks, was 'Alciphron, or the Minute Philosopher,' in seven dialogues, directed especially against atheism.

At length, through Lord Percival, Berkeley learned that Walpole would not allow the parliamentary grant of, £20,000 for the Bermuda College, and returned to England at the close of 1732. His Whitehall estate he conveyed to Yale College for the maintenance of certain scholarships. From England he sent over nearly a thousand volumes for the Yale library, the best collection of books ever brought at one time to America, being helped in the undertaking by some of the Bermuda subscribers. A little later he sent a collection of books to Harvard College also, and presented a valuable organ to Trinity Church in Newport.

Shortly after his return, Berkeley was appointed Bishop of Cloyne, near Cork in Ireland, and here he remained for about eighteen years. Although a recluse, he wrote much, and he kept up his loving relations with old friends who still survived. He had several children to educate, and he cultivated music and painting. He attempted to establish manufactures, and to cultivate habits of industry and refinement among the people. The winter of 1739 was bitterly cold. This was followed by general want, famine, and disease. Berkeley and his family lived simply and gave away what they could save. Large numbers of the people died from an epidemic. In America Berkeley's attention had been drawn to the medicinal virtues of tar, and he experimented successfully with tar-water as a remedy. Becoming more and more convinced of its value, he exploited his supposed discovery with his usual ardor, writing letters and essays, and at length 'A Chain of Philosophical Reflections and Enquiries concerning the Virtues of Tar-water and divers other subjects connected together and arising one from another.' This was called 'Siris' in a second edition which was soon demanded. Beginning with the use of tar-water as a remedy, the treatise gradually developed into the treatment of the largest themes, and offered the ripest fruits of the Bishop's philosophy.

Berkeley's system was neither consistent nor complete, but much of it remains sound. In brief, he contended that matter has no independent existence, but is an idea in the supreme mind, which is realized in various forms by the human mind. Without mind nothing exists. Cause cannot exist except as it rests in mind and will. All so-called physical causes are merely cases of constant sequence of phenomena. Far from denying the reality of phenomena, Berkeley insists upon it; but contends that reality depends upon the supremacy of mind. Abstract matter does not and cannot exist. The mind can only perceive qualities of objects, and infers the existence of the objects from them; or as a modern writer tersely puts it, "The only thing certain is mind. Matter is a doubtful and uncertain inference of the human intellect."

The essay upon Tar-water attracted great attention. The good bishop wrote much also for periodicals, mainly upon practical themes; and in The Querist, an intermittent journal, considered many matters of ethical and political importance to the country. Though a bishop of the Established Church, he lived upon the most friendly terms with his Roman Catholic neighbors, and his labors were highly appreciated by them.

But his life was waning. His friends had passed away, he had lost several children, his health was broken. He desired to retire to Oxford and spend the remainder of his life in scholarly seclusion. He asked to exchange his bishopric for a canonry, but this could not be permitted. He then begged to be allowed to resign his charge, but the king replied that he might live where he pleased, but that he should die a bishop in spite of himself. In August, 1752, Bishop Berkeley removed himself, his wife, his daughter, and his goods to Oxford, where his son George was a student; and here on the fourteenth of the following January, as he was resting on his couch by the fireside at tea-time, his busy brain stopped thinking, and his kind heart ceased to beat.


The Muse, disgusted at an age and clime
  Barren of every glorious theme,
In distant lands now waits a better time,
  Producing subjects worthy fame:

In happy climes, where from the genial sun
  And virgin earth such scenes ensue,
The force of art by nature seems outdone,
  And fancied beauties by the true;

In happy climes, the seat of innocence,
  Where nature guides and virtue rules,
Where men shall not impose for truth and sense
  The pedantry of courts and schools:

There shall be sung another golden age,
  The rise of empire and of arts,
The good and great inspiring epic rage,
  The wisest heads and noblest hearts.

Not such as Europe breeds in her decay;
  Such as she bred when fresh and young,
When heavenly flame did animate her clay,
  By future poets shall be sung.

Westward the course of empire takes its way;
  The four first Acts already past,
A fifth shall close the Drama with the day;
  Time's noblest offspring is the last.


From 'Siris'

The seeds of things seem to lie latent in the air, ready to appear and produce their kind, whenever they light on a proper matrix. The extremely small seeds of fern, mosses, mushrooms, and some other plants, are concealed and wafted about in the air, every part whereof seems replete with seeds of one kind or other. The whole atmosphere seems alive. There is everywhere acid to corrode, and seed to engender. Iron will rust, and mold will grow, in all places. Virgin earth becomes fertile, crops of new plants ever and anon show themselves, all which demonstrate the air to be a common seminary and receptacle of all vivifying principles....

The eye by long use comes to see, even in the darkest cavern; and there is no subject so obscure, but we may discern some glimpse of truth by long poring on it. Truth is the cry of all, but the game of a few. Certainly where it is the chief passion, it doth not give way to vulgar cares and views; nor is it contented with a little ardor in the early time of life; active, perhaps, to pursue, but not so fit to weigh and revise. He that would make a real progress in knowledge, must dedicate his age as well as youth, the later growth as well as first fruits, at the altar of truth....

As the nerves are instruments of sensation, it follows that spasms in the nerves may produce all symptoms, and therefore a disorder in the nervous system shall imitate all distempers, and occasion, in appearance, an asthma for instance, a pleurisy, or a fit of the stone. Now, whatever is good for the nerves in general is good against all such symptoms. But tar-water, as it includes in an eminent degree the virtues of warm gums and resins, is of great use for comforting and strengthening the nerves, curing twitches in the nervous fibres, cramps also, and numbness in the limbs, removing anxieties and promoting sleep, in all which cases I have known it very successful.

This safe and cheap medicine suits all circumstances and all constitutions, operating easily, curing without disturbing, raising the spirits without depressing them, a circumstance that deserves repeated attention, especially in these climates, where strong liquors so fatally and so frequently produce those very distresses they are designed to remedy; and if I am not misinformed, even among the ladies themselves, who are truly much to be pitied. Their condition of life makes them a prey to imaginary woes, which never fail to grow up in minds unexercised and unemployed. To get rid of these, it is said, there are who betake themselves to distilled spirits. And it is not improbable they are led gradually to the use of those poisons by a certain complaisant pharmacy, too much used in the modern practice, palsy drops, poppy cordial, plague water, and such-like, which being in truth nothing but drams disguised, yet coming from the apothecaries, are considered only as medicines.

The soul of man was supposed by many ancient sages to be thrust into the human body as into a prison, for punishment of past offenses. But the worst prison is the body of an indolent epicure, whose blood is inflamed by fermented liquors and high sauces, or rendered putrid, sharp, and corrosive by a stagnation of the animal juices through sloth and indolence; whose membranes are irritated by pungent salts; whose mind is agitated by painful oscillations of the nervous system, and whose nerves are mutually affected by the irregular passions of his mind. This ferment in the animal economy darkens and confounds the intellect. It produceth vain terrors and vain conceits, and stimulates the soul with mad desires, which, not being natural, nothing in nature can satisfy. No wonder, therefore, there are so many fine persons of both sexes, shining themselves, and shone on by fortune, who are inwardly miserable and sick of life.

The hardness of stubbed vulgar constitutions renders them insensible of a thousand things that fret and gall those delicate people, who, as if their skin was peeled off, feel to the quick everything that touches them. The remedy for this exquisite and painful sensibility is commonly sought from fermented, perhaps from distilled liquors, which render many lives wretched that would otherwise have been only ridiculous. The tender nerves and low spirits of such poor creatures would be much relieved by the use of tar-water, which might prolong and cheer their lives. I do therefore recommend to them the use of a cordial, not only safe and innocent, but giving health and spirit as sure as other cordials destroy them.

I do verily think there is not any other medicine whatsoever so effectual to restore a crazy constitution and cheer a dreary mind, or so likely to subvert that gloomy empire of the spleen which tyrannizeth over the better sort (as they are called) of these free nations, and maketh them, in spite of their liberty and property, more wretched slaves than even the subjects of absolute power who breathe clear air in a sunny climate, while men of low degree often enjoy a tranquillity and content that no advantage of birth or fortune can equal. Such indeed was the case while the rich alone could afford to be debauched; but when even beggars became debauchees, the case was altered.

The public virtue and spirit of the British legislature never showed itself more conspicuous in any act, than in that for suppressing the immoderate use of distilled spirits among the people, whose strength and numbers constitute the true wealth of a nation: though evasive arts will, it is feared, prevail so long as distilled spirits of any kind are allowed, the character of Englishmen in general being that of Brutus, Quicquid vult valde vult [whatever he desires he desires intensely]. But why should such a canker be tolerated in the vitals of a State, under any pretense, or in any shape whatsoever? Better by far the whole present set of distillers were pensioners of the public, and their trade abolished by law; since all the benefit thereof put together would not balance the hundredth part of its mischief.

This tar-water will also give charitable relief to the ladies, who often want it more than the parish poor; being many of them never able to make a good meal, and sitting pale and puny, and forbidden like ghosts, at their own table, victims of vapors and indigestion.

Studious persons also, pent up in narrow holes, breathing bad air, and stooping over their books, are much to be pitied. As they are debarred the free use of air and exercise, this I will venture to recommend as the best succedaneum to both; though it were to be wished that modern scholars would, like the ancients, meditate and converse more in walks and gardens and open air, which upon the whole would perhaps be no hindrance to their learning, and a great advantage to their health. My own sedentary course of life had long since thrown me into an ill habit, attended with many ailments, particularly a nervous colic, which rendered my life a burden, and the more so because my pains were exasperated by exercise. But since the use of tar-water, I find, though not a perfect recovery from my old and rooted illness, yet such a gradual return of health and ease, that I esteem my having taken this medicine the greatest of all temporal blessings, and am convinced that under Providence I owe my life to it.



o the concert-goer the name Hector Berlioz calls up a series of vast and magnificent whirlwinds of vocal and orchestral sonority, the thoughts of scores that sound and look imposingly complex to the eyes and ears of both the educated and uneducated in the composer's art. We have a vision of close pages embodying the most unequivocal and drastic of musical "realism." The full audacity and mastery of a certain sort of genius are represented in his vast works. They bespeak, too, the combative musician and reformer. Berlioz took the kingdom of music by violence.

Hector Berlioz.

His chef d'oeuvres do not all say to us as much as he meant them to say, not as much as they all uttered twenty years ago. There is much clay as well as gold in them. But such tremendous products of his energy and intellect as the 'Requiem,' the 'Te Deum,' 'The Damnation of Faust,' his best descriptive symphonies such as the 'Romeo and Juliet,' are yet eloquent to the public and to the critical-minded. His best was so very good that his worst--weighed as a matter of principle or execution, regarded as music or "programme music"--can be excused.

Berlioz's actual biography is a long tale of storm and stress. Not only was he slow in gaining appreciation while he lived; full comprehension of his power was not granted him till after his energetic life was over. Recognition in his own country is incomplete to day. He was born in 1803, near picturesque Grenoble, in the little town of Côte St. André, the son of an excellent country doctor. Sent to Paris to study medicine, he became a musician against his father's wish, and in lieu of the allowance that his father promptly withdrew, the young man lived by engaging in the chorus of the Gymnase, and by catching at every straw for subsistence. He became a regular music-student of the Conservatory, under the admirable Lesueur and Reicha; quitted the Conservatory in disgust at its pedantry, in 1825; and lived and advanced in musical study as best he could for a considerable time. His convictions in art were founded largely on the rock of Gluck, Mozart, Beethoven, and Weber; and however modern, and however widely his work departs from such academic models, Berlioz never forswore a certain allegiance to these great and serene masters. He returned to the Conservatory, studied hard, gained the Prix de Rome, gradually took a prominent place among Parisian composers, and was as enthusiastically the subject of a cult as was Wagner. His concerts and the production of his operas encountered shameful cabals. His strongest works were neglected or ill-served. To their honor, German musicians understood him, Schumann and Liszt in especial. Only in Germany to-day are his colossal operas heard. The Italian Paganini showed a generous interest in his struggles. Russia and Austria too admired him, while his compatriots hissed. His career was one of endless work, disappointments, brief successes, battles, hopes, and despairs. Personally, too, it was full of the happiness and unhappiness of the artistic temperament.

It was between the two periods of his Conservatory life that he endured his chief sentimental misfortune,--his falling in love with and finally marrying Henrietta Smithson. Miss Smithson was a young English actress playing Shakespearean roles in France with a passing success. She was exquisitely lovely--Delaroche has painted her spirituelle beauty in his 'Ophelia.' The marriage was the typically unfortunate artist-match; and she became a paralytic invalid for years. After her death, tours in Germany and elsewhere, new works, new troubles, enthusiasms, and disappointments filled up the remainder of the composer's days. He returned to his beloved Dauphiné, war-worn and almost as one who has outlived life. In his provincial retreat he composed the huge operatic duology 'The Trojans at Carthage,' and 'The Taking of Troy,' turning once more to Virgil, his early literary love. Neither of them is often heard now, any more than his amazing 'Benvenuto Cellini.' Their author died in Dauphiné in 1869, weary, disenchanted, but conscious that he would be greater in the eyes of a coming generation than ever he had been during his harassed life.

Berlioz's literary remains are valuable as criticisms, and their personal matter is of brisk and varied charm. His intense feeling for Shakespeare influenced his whole æsthetic life. He was extremely well read. His most unchecked tendency to romanticism was balanced by a fine feeling for the classics. He loved the greater Greek and Latin writers. His Autobiography is a perfect picture of himself emotionally, and exhibits his wide æsthetic nature. His Letters are equally faithful as portraiture. He possessed a distinctively literary style. He tells us how he fell in love--twice, thrice; records the disgraceful cabals and intrigues against his professional success, and explains how a landscape affected his nerves. He is excellent reading, apparently without taking much pains to be so. Vivacity, wit, sincerity, are salient traits. In his volume of musical essays entitled 'A Travers Chants' (an untranslatable title which may be paraphrased 'Memoirs of Music and Musicians') are superior appreciations of musicians and interpreters and performances in opera-house and concert-hall, expressed with grace and taste in the feuilletonist's best manner. In the Journal des Débats, year by year, he wrote himself down indisputably among the great French critics; and he never misused his critical post to make it a lever for his own advantage. His great treatise on Orchestration is a standard work not displaced by Gevaert or more recent authorities. He was not only a musical intelligence of enormous capacity: he offers perhaps as typical an embodiment of the French artistic temperament as can be pointed out.


From Berlioz's Autobiography

It appears, however,--so at least I am assured,--that the Italians do occasionally listen. But at any rate, music to the Milanese, no less than to the Neapolitans, Romans, Florentines, and Genoese, means nothing but an air, a duet, or a trio, well sung. For anything beyond this they feel simply aversion or indifference. Perhaps these antipathies are mainly due to the wretched performance of their choruses and orchestras, which effectually prevents their knowing anything good outside the beaten track they have so long followed. Possibly, too, they may to a certain extent understand the flights of men of genius, if these latter are careful not to give too rude a shock to their rooted predilections. The great success of 'Guillaume Tell' at Florence supports this opinion, and even Spontini's sublime 'Vestale' obtained a series of brilliant representations at Naples some twenty-five years ago. Moreover, in those towns which are under the Austrian rule, you will see the people rush after a military band, and listen with avidity to the beautiful German melodies, so unlike their usual insipid cavatinas. Nevertheless, in general it is impossible to disguise the fact that the Italians as a nation really appreciate only the material effects of music, and distinguish nothing but its exterior forms.

Indeed, I am much inclined to regard them as more inaccessible to the poetical side of art, and to any conceptions at all above the common, than any other European nation. To the Italians music is a sensual pleasure, and nothing more. For this most beautiful form of expression they have scarcely more respect than for the culinary art. In fact, they like music which they can take in at first hearing, without reflection or attention, just as they would do with a plate of macaroni.

Now, we French, mean and contemptible musicians as we are, although we are no better than the Italians when we furiously applaud a trill or a chromatic scale by the last new singer, and miss altogether the beauty of some grand recitative or animated chorus, yet at least we can listen, and if we do not take in a composer's ideas it is not our fault. Beyond the Alps, on the contrary, people behave in a manner so humiliating both to art and to artists, whenever any representation is going on, that I confess I would as soon sell pepper and spice at a grocer's in the Rue St. Denis as write an opera for the Italians--nay, I would sooner do it.

Added to this, they are slaves to routine and to fanaticism to a degree one hardly sees nowadays, even at the Academy. The slightest unforeseen innovation, whether in melody, harmony, rhythm, or instrumentation, puts them into a perfect fury; so much so, that the dilettanti of Rome, on the appearance of Rossini's 'Barbiere di Seviglia' (which is Italian enough in all conscience), were ready to kill the young maestro for having the insolence to do anything unlike Paisiello.

But what renders all hope of improvement quite chimerical, and tempts one to believe that the musical feeling of the Italians is a mere necessary result of their organization,--the opinion both of Gall and Spurzheim,--is their love for all that is dancing, brilliant, glittering, and gay, to the utter neglect of the various passions by which the characters are animated, and the confusion of time and place--in a word, of good sense itself. Their music is always laughing: and if by chance the composer in the course of the drama permits himself for one moment not to be absurd, he at once hastens back to his prescribed style, his melodious roulades and grupetti, his trills and contemptible frivolities, either for voice or orchestra; and these, succeeding so abruptly to something true to life, have an unreal effect, and give the opera seria all the appearance of a parody or caricature.

I could quote plenty of examples from famous works; but speaking generally of these artistic questions, is it not from Italy that we get those stereotyped conventional forms adopted by so many French composers, resisted by Cherubim and Spontini alone among the Italians, though rejected entirely by the Germans? What well-organized person with any sense of musical expression could listen to a quartet in which four characters, animated by totally conflicting passions, should successively employ the same melodious phrase to express such different words as these: "O, toi que j'adore!" "Quelle terreur me glace!" "Mon coeur bat de plaisir!" "La fureur me transporte!" To suppose that music is a language so vague that the natural inflections of fury will serve equally well for fear, joy, and love, only proves the absence of that sense which to others makes the varieties of expression in music as incontestable a reality as the existence of the sun.... I regard the course taken by Italian composers as the inevitable result of the instincts of the public, which react more or less on the composers themselves.


From the Autobiography

Now for another intrigue, still more cleverly contrived, the black depths of which I hardly dare fathom. I incriminate no one; I simply give the naked facts, without the smallest commentary, but with scrupulous exactness. General Bernard having himself informed me that my Requiem was to be performed on certain conditions, ... I was about to begin my rehearsals when I was sent for by the Director of the Beaux-Arts.

"You know," said he, "that Habeneck has been commissioned to conduct all the great official musical festivals?" ("Come, good!" thought I: "here is another tile for my devoted head.") "It is true that you are now in the habit of conducting the performance of your works yourself; but Habeneck is an old man" (another tile), "and I happen to know that he will be deeply hurt if he does not preside at your Requiem. What terms are you on with him?"

"What terms? We have quarreled. I hardly know why. For three years he has not spoken to me. I am not aware of his motives, and indeed have not cared to ask. He began by rudely refusing to conduct one of my concerts. His behavior towards me has been as inexplicable as it is uncivil. However, as I see plainly that he wishes on the present occasion to figure at Marshal Damrémont's ceremony, and as it would evidently be agreeable to you, I consent to give up the baton to him, on condition that I have at least one full rehearsal."

"Agreed," replied the Director; "I will let him know about it."

The rehearsals were accordingly conducted with great care. Habeneck spoke to me as if our relations with each other had never been interrupted, and all seemed likely to go well.

The day of the performance arrived, in the Church of the Invalides, before all the princes, peers, and deputies, the French press, the correspondents of foreign papers, and an immense crowd. It was absolutely essential for me to have a great success; a moderate one would have been fatal, and a failure would have annihilated me altogether.

Now listen attentively.

The various groups of instruments in the orchestra were tolerably widely separated, especially the four brass bands introduced in the 'Tuba mirum,' each of which occupied a corner of the entire orchestra. There is no pause between the 'Dies Iræ' and the 'Tuba mirum,' but the pace of the latter movement is reduced to half what it was before. At this point the whole of the brass enters, first all together, and then in passages, answering and interrupting, each a third higher than the last. It is obvious that it is of the greatest importance that the four beats of the new tempo should be distinctly marked, or else the terrible explosion, which I had so carefully prepared with combinations and proportions never attempted before or since, and which, rightly performed, gives such a picture of the Last Judgment as I believe is destined to live, would be a mere enormous and hideous confusion.

With my habitual mistrust, I had stationed myself behind Habeneck, and turning my back on him, overlooked the group of kettle-drums, which he could not see, when the moment approached for them to take part in the general melee. There are perhaps one thousand bars in my Requiem. Precisely in that of which I have just been speaking, when the movement is retarded, and the wind instruments burst in with their terrible flourish of trumpets; in fact, just in the one bar where the conductor's motion is absolutely indispensable, Habeneck puts down his baton, quietly takes out his snuff box, and proceeds to take a pinch of snuff. I always had my eye in his direction, and instantly turned rapidly on one heel, and springing forward before him, I stretched out my arm and marked the four great beats of the new movement. The orchestras followed me, each in order. I conducted the piece to the end, and the effect which I had longed for was produced. When, at the last words of the chorus, Habeneck saw that the 'Tuba mirum' was saved, he said, "What a cold perspiration I have been in! Without you we should have been lost." "Yes, I know," I answered, looking fixedly at him. I did not add another word.... Had he done it on purpose? ... Could it be possible that this man had dared to join my enemy, the Director, and Cherubini's friends, in plotting and attempting such rascality? I don't wish to believe it ... but I cannot doubt it. God forgive me if I am doing the man injustice!


From the Autobiography

Of all the ancient composers, Gluck has, I believe, the least to fear from the incessant revolutions of art. He sacrificed nothing either to the caprices of singers, the exigencies of fashion, or the inveterate routine with which he had to contend on his arrival in France, after his protracted struggles with the Italian theatres. Doubtless his conflicts at Milan, Naples, and Parma, instead of weakening him, had increased his strength by revealing its full extent to himself; for in spite of the fanaticism then prevalent in our artistic customs, he broke these miserable trammels and trod them underfoot with the greatest ease. True, the clamor of the critics once succeeded in forcing him into a reply; but it was the only indiscretion with which he had to reproach himself, and thenceforth, as before, he went straight to his aim in silence. We all know what that aim was; we also know that it was never given to any man to succeed more fully. With less conviction or less firmness, it is probable that, notwithstanding his natural genius, his degenerate works would not have long survived those of his mediocre rivals now completely forgotten. But truth of expression, purity of style, and grandeur of form belong to all time. Gluck's fine passages will always be fine. Victor Hugo is right: the heart never grows old.


From the Autobiography

You will not, my dear Demarest, expect an analysis from me of Bach's great work: such a task would quite exceed my prescribed limits. Indeed, the movement performed at the Conservatoire three years ago may be considered the type of the author's style throughout the work. The Germans profess an unlimited admiration for Bach's recitatives; but their peculiar characteristic necessarily escaped me, as I did not understand the language and was unable to appreciate their expression. Whoever is familiar with our musical customs in Paris must witness, in order to believe, the attention, respect, and even reverence with which a German public listens to such a composition. Every one follows the words on the book with his eyes; not a movement among the audience, not a murmur of praise or blame, not a sound of applause; they are listening to a solemn discourse, they are hearing the gospel sung, they are attending divine service rather than a concert. And really such music ought to be thus listened to. They adore Bach, and believe in him, without supposing for a moment that his divinity could ever be called into question. A heretic would horrify them, he is forbidden even to speak of him. God is God and Bach is Bach. Some days after the performance of Bach's chef d'oeuvre, the Singing Academy announced Graun's 'Tod Jesu.' This is another sacred work, a holy book; the worshipers of which are, however, mainly to be found in Berlin, whereas the religion of Bach is professed throughout the north of Germany.


From the Autobiography

Dramatic art in the time of Shakespeare was more appreciated by the masses than it is in our day by those nations which lay most claim to possess a feeling for it. Music is essentially aristocratic; it is a daughter of noble race, such as princes only can dower nowadays; it must be able to live poor and unmated rather than form a mésalliance.


From the Autobiography

I have now come to the grand drama of my life; but I shall not relate all its painful details. It is enough to say that an English company came over to perform Shakespeare's plays, then entirely unknown in France, at the Odéon. I was present at the first performance of 'Hamlet,' and there, in the part of Ophelia, I saw Miss Smithson, whom I married five years afterward. I can only compare the effect produced by her wonderful talent, or rather her dramatic genius, on my imagination and heart, with the convulsion produced on my mind by the work of the great poet whom she interpreted. It is impossible to say more.

This sudden and unexpected revelation of Shakespeare overwhelmed me. The lightning-flash of his genius revealed the whole heaven of art to me, illuminating its remotest depths in a single flash. I recognized the meaning of real grandeur, real beauty, and real dramatic truth; and I also realized the utter absurdity of the ideas circulated by Voltaire in France about Shakespeare, and the pitiful pettiness of our old poetic school, the offspring of pedagogues and frères ignorantins.

But the shock was too great, and it was a long while before I recovered from it. I became possessed by an intense, overpowering sense of sadness, that in my then sickly, nervous state produced a mental condition adequately to describe which would take a great physiologist. I could not sleep, I lost my spirits, my favorite studies became distasteful to me, and I spent my time wandering aimlessly about Paris and its environs. During that long period of suffering, I can only recall four occasions on which I slept, and then it was the heavy, death-like sleep produced by complete physical exhaustion. These were one night when I had thrown myself down on some sheaves in a field near Ville-Juif; one day in a meadow in the neighborhood of Sceaux; once on the snow on the banks of the frozen Seine, near Neuilly; and lastly, on a table in the Café du Cardinal at the corner of the Boulevard des Italiens and the Rue Richelieu, where I slept for five hours, to the terror of the garçons, who thought I was dead and were afraid to come near me.

It was on my return from one of these wanderings, in which I must have seemed like one seeking his soul, that my eyes fell on Moore's 'Irish Melodies,' lying open on my table at the song beginning "When he who adores thee." I seized my pen, and then and there wrote the music to that heart-rending farewell, which is published at the end of my collection of songs, 'Irlande,' under the title of 'Elégie.' This is the only occasion on which I have been able to vent any strong feeling in music while still under its influence. And I think that I have rarely reached such intense truth of musical expression, combined with so much realistic power of harmony.


From the 'Autobiography'

I have often wondered why theatrical managers everywhere have such a marked predilection for what genuine artists, cultivated minds, and even a certain section of the public itself persist in regarding as very poor manufacture, short-lived productions, the handiwork of which is as valueless as the raw material itself. Not as though platitudes always succeeded better than good works; indeed, the contrary is often the case. Neither is it that careful compositions entail more expense than "shoddy." It is often just the other way. Perhaps it arises simply from the fact that the good works demand the care, study, attention, and, in certain cases, even the mind, talent, and inspiration of every one in the theatre, from the manager down to the prompter. The others, on the contrary, being made especially for lazy, mediocre, superficial, ignorant, and silly people, naturally find a great many supporters. Well! a manager likes, above everything, whatever brings him in amiable speeches and satisfied looks from his underlings, he likes things that require no learning and disturb no accepted ideas or habits, which gently go with the stream of prejudice, and wound no self-love, because they reveal no incapacity; in a word, things which do not take too long to get up.



orn in 1091, at Fontaines, a castle of his father Tescelin, near Dijon, France, and devotedly instructed by his pious and gentle mother Aleth, Bernard of Clairvaux was from early childhood imbued with an active religious enthusiasm. When the time came to choose his way of life, instead of going into battle with his knighted brothers, he made them, as well as his uncle the count of Touillon, join a band of thirty companions, with whom he knelt in the rude chapel at Citeaux to beg the tonsure from Abbot Stephen Harding. To rise at two o'clock in the morning and chant the prayer-offices of the church until nine, to do hard manual labor until two, when the sole meal of the day--composed of vegetable food only--was taken, to labor again until nightfall and sing the vespers until an early bedtime hour: such was the Cistercian's daily observance of his vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience,--vows which Bernard and his followers were to lay down only upon the cross of ashes spread upon the hard cell floor to receive their outstretched, dying bodies.

Saint Bernard.

Citeaux became famous from the coming of these new recruits. There was, in those tough old days, a soldierly admiration for faithfulness to discipline; and when Bernard was professed in 1114, Abbot Stephen was obliged to enlarge the field of work. Bernard was sent in 1115 to build a house and clear and cultivate a farm in a thickly wooded and thief-infested glen to the north of Dijon, known as the Valley of Wormwood. Here at the age of twenty-four, in a rude house built by their own hands with timber cut from the land, the young abbot and his companions lived like the sturdy pioneers of our Northwest, the earth their floor and narrow wooden bunks in a low dark loft their beds. Of course the stubborn forest gave way slowly, and grudgingly opened sunny hillsides to the vine and wheat-sheaf. The name of the settlement was changed to Clairvaux, but for many years the poor monks' only food was barley bread, with broth made from boiled beech leaves. Here Tescelin came in his old age to live under the rule of his sons; and Humbeline, the wealthy and rank-proud daughter, one day left her gay retinue at the door of their little abbey and went to join the nuns at Jouilly.

While Bernard was studying and planting at Clairvaux, the word of his piety and worth went everywhere through the land, and he came to be consulted not only by his Superior at Citeaux, but by villein and noble, even to the august persons of Louis the Fat of France and Henry the Norman of England. His gentleness and integrity became the chief reliance of the royal house of France, and his sermons and letters began to be quoted at council board and synod even as far as Rome. The austerity and poverty of the Cistercians had caused some friends of the monks of Cluny to fall under Bernard's zealous indignation. He wrote to William of St. Thierry a famous letter, mildly termed an Apology; in which, by the most insinuating and biting satire, the laxity and indulgence which had weakened or effaced the power of monastic example (from which arraignment the proud house of Cluny was deemed not to escape scot-free) were lashed with uncompromising courage.

France and Burgundy, with the more or less helpful aid of the Norman dukes in England, had been very loyal to the interests of the Papacy. When the schism of Anacletus II. arose in 1130, Innocent II., driven from Rome by the armed followers of Peter de Leon, found his way at once to the side of Louis VI. There he found Bernard, and upon him he leaned from that time until the latter had hewed a road for him back to Rome through kings, prelates, statesmen, and intriguers, with the same unflinching steadfastness with which he had cut a way to the sunlight for his vines and vegetables in the Valley of Wormwood. Bernard it was who persuaded Henry of England to side with Innocent, and it was he who stayed the revival of the question of investitures and won the Emperor to the Pope at Liege. At the Council of Rheims in October 1131, Bernard was the central figure; and when the path was open for a return to Italy, the restored Pope took the abbot with him, leaving in return a rescript releasing Citeaux from tithes. Bernard stayed in Italy until 1135, and left Innocent secure in Rome.

After a short period of peace at Clairvaux, he had to hurry off again to Italy on account of the defection of the influential monastery of Monte Casino to Anacletus.

Not long after his last return from Italy, Bernard met Pierre Abélard. This brilliant and unfortunate man had incurred the charge of heresy, and at some time in the year 1139 Bernard was induced to meet and confer with him. Nothing seems to have resulted from the conference, for Abélard went in 1140 to the Bishop of Sens and demanded an opportunity of being confronted with Bernard at an approaching synod. The abbot of Clairvaux, although unwilling, was at last persuaded to accept the challenge. Louis VII., King of France, Count Theobald of Champagne, and the nobles of the realm assembled to witness the notable contest. Abélard came with a brilliant following; but on the second day of the synod, to the surprise of everybody, he abruptly closed the proceeding by appealing to Rome. The works of Abélard were condemned, but his appeal and person were respected, and Bernard prepared a strong condemnatory letter to be sent to the Pope. As the great scholar was on his way to Rome to follow his appeal, he stayed to rest at Cluny with Peter the Venerable, who persuaded him to go to Bernard. When the two great hearts met in the quiet of Clairvaux, all animosities were resolved in peace; and Abélard, returning to Cluny, abandoned his appeal and observed the rule of the house until his death, which he endured, as Peter the Venerable wrote to Héloise, fully prepared and comforted, at Châlons in 1142.

The infidels of the East having taken Edessa in 1146, the power of the Christians in the Holy Land was broken; and Eugenius III., who had been a monk of Clairvaux, appointed Bernard to preach a new crusade. He set on foot a vast host under the personal leadership of Louis VII. and Conrad the Emperor, accompanied by Queen Eleanor and many noble ladies of both realms. The ill fortunes which attended this war brought to Bernard the greatest bitterness of his life. So signal was the failure of the Second Crusade, that but a pitiful remnant of the brilliant army which had crossed the Bosphorus returned to Europe, and Bernard was assailed with execration from hut and castle throughout the length of Europe. His only answer was as gentle as his life: "Better that I be blamed than God." He did not neglect, however, to point out that the evil lives and excesses of those who attempted the Crusade were the real causes of the failure of the Christian arms.

In Languedoc in 1147 he quelled a dangerous heresy, and silenced Gilbert, bishop of Poitiers, at the Council of Rheims.

In 1148 Malachy, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of Ireland, who nine years before had visited Clairvaux and formed a lasting friendship for Bernard, came there again to die in the arms of his friend. It is related that the two saints had exchanged habits upon the first visit, and that Malachy wore that of Bernard on his death-bed. The funeral sermon preached by Bernard upon the life and virtue of his Irish comrade is reputed to be one of the finest extant. It seemed as if the Gael had come to show the Goth the way of death. Bernard's health, early broken by self-imposed austerity and penances, had never been robust, and it had often seemed that nothing but the vigor of his will had kept him from the grave. In the year 1153 he was stricken with a fatal illness. Yet when the archbishop of Trèves came to his bedside, imploring his aid to put an end to an armed quarrel between the nobles and the people of Metz, he went cheerfully but feebly to the field between the contending parties, and by words which came with pain and in the merest whispers, he persuaded the men who were already at each other's throats to forget their enmities.

He died at Clairvaux on January 12th, 1153, and was buried, as he wished, in the habit of Saint Malachy. In 1174 he was sainted, and his life is honored in the liturgy of the church on the 20th of August.

The marks of Saint Bernard's character were sweetness and gentle tolerance in the presence of honest opposition, and implacable vigor against shams and evil-doing. His was the perfect type of well-regulated individual judgment. His humility and love of poverty were true and unalterable. In Italy he refused the mitres of Genoa and Milan in turn, and in France successively declined the sees of Châlons, Langres, and Rheims. He wrote and spoke with simplicity and directness, and with an energy and force of conviction which came from absolute command of his subject. He did not disdain to use a good-tempered jest as occasion required, and his words afford some pleasant examples of naïve puns. He was a tireless letter-writer, and some of his best writings are in that form. He devoted much labor to his sermons on the Canticle of Canticles, the work remaining unfinished at his death. He wrote a long poem on the Passion, one beautiful hymn of which is included in the Roman Breviary.


Jesu! the very thought of thee
  With sweetness fills my breast,
But sweeter far thy face to see
  And in thy presence rest.

Nor voice can sing nor heart can frame,
  Nor can the memory find,
A sweeter sound than thy blest name,
  O Savior of mankind!

O hope of every contrite heart!
  O joy of all the meek!
To those who fall, how kind thou art,
  How good to those who seek!

But what to those who find? Ah, this
  Nor tongue nor pen can show.
The love of Jesus, what it is
  None but his loved ones know.

Jesu! our only joy be thou,
  As thou our prize wilt be!
Jesu! be thou our glory now
  And through eternity!


From the Apology to the Abbot William of St. Thierry

There is no conversation concerning the Scriptures, none concerning the salvation of souls; but small-talk, laughter, and idle words fill the air. At dinner the palate and ears are equally tickled--the one with dainties, the other with gossip and news, which together quite prevent all moderation in feeding. In the mean time dish after dish is set on the table; and to make up for the small privation of meat, a double supply is provided of well-grown fish. When you have eaten enough of the first, if you taste the second course, you will seem to yourself hardly to have touched the former: such is the art of the cooks, that after four or five dishes have been devoured, the first does not seem to be in the way of the last, nor does satiety invade the appetite.... Who could say, to speak of nothing else, in how many forms eggs are cooked and worked up? with what care they are turned in and out, made hard or soft, or chopped fine; now fried, now roasted, now stuffed; now they are served mixed with other things, now by themselves. Even the external appearance of the dishes is such that the eye, as well as the taste, is charmed....

Not only have we lost the spirit of the old monasteries, but even its outward appearance. For this habit of ours, which of old was the sign of humility, by the monks of our day is turned into a source of pride. We can hardly find in a whole province wherewithal we condescend to be clothed. The monk and the knight cut their garments, the one his cowl, the other his cloak, from the same piece. No secular person, however great, whether king or emperor, would be disgusted at our vestments if they were only cut and fitted to his requirements. But, say you, religion is in the heart, not in the garments? True; but you, when you are about to buy a cowl, rush over the towns, visit the markets, examine the fairs, dive into the houses of the merchants, turn over all their goods, undo their bundles of cloth, feel it with your fingers, hold it to your eyes or to the rays of the sun, and if anything coarse or faded appears, you reject it. But if you are pleased with any object of unusual beauty or brightness, you at once buy it, whatever the price. I ask you, Does this come from the heart, or your simplicity?

I wonder that our abbots allow these things, unless it arises from the fact that no one is apt to blame any error with confidence if he cannot trust in his own freedom from the same; and it is a right human quality to forgive without much anger those self-indulgences in others for which we ourselves have the strongest inclination. How is the light of the world overshadowed! Those whose lives should have been the way of life to us, by the example they give of pride, become blind leaders of the blind. What a specimen of humility is that, to march with such pomp and retinue, to be surrounded with such an escort of hairy men, so that one abbot has about him people enough for two bishops. I lie not when I say, I have seen an abbot with sixty horses after him, and even more. Would you not think, as you see them pass, that they were not fathers of monasteries, but lords of castles--not shepherds of souls, but princes of provinces? Then there is the baggage, containing table-cloths, and cups and basins, and candlesticks, and well-filled wallets--not with the coverlets, but the ornaments of the beds. My lord abbot can never go more than four leagues from his home without taking all his furniture with him, as if he were going to the wars, or about to cross a desert where necessaries cannot be had. Is it quite impossible to wash one's hands in, and drink from, the same vessel? Will not your candle burn anywhere but in that gold or silver candlestick of yours, which you carry with you? Is sleep impossible except upon a variegated mattress, or under a foreign coverlet? Could not one servant harness the mule, wait at dinner, and make the bed? If such a multitude of men and horses is indispensable, why not at least carry with us our necessaries, and thus avoid the severe burden we are to our hosts?...

Monastic Luxury.
Photogravure from a Painting by Edward Grützner.

By the sight of wonderful and costly vanities men are prompted to give, rather than to pray. Some beautiful picture of a saint is exhibited--and the brighter the colors the greater the holiness attributed to it: men run, eager to kiss; they are invited to give, and the beautiful is more admired than the sacred is revered. In the churches are suspended, not coronae, but wheels studded with gems and surrounded by lights, which are scarcely brighter than the precious stones which are near them. Instead of candlesticks, we behold great trees of brass fashioned with wonderful skill, and glittering as much through their jewels as their lights. What do you suppose is the object of all this? The repentance of the contrite, or the admiration of the gazers? O vanity of vanities! but not more vain than foolish. The church's walls are resplendent, but the poor are not there.... The curious find wherewith to amuse themselves; the wretched find no stay for them in their misery. Why at least do we not reverence the images of the saints, with which the very pavement we walk on is covered? Often an angel's mouth is spit into, and the face of some saint trodden on by passers-by.... But if we cannot do without the images, why can we not spare the brilliant colors? What has all this to do with monks, with professors of poverty, with men of spiritual minds?

Again, in the cloisters, what is the meaning of those ridiculous monsters, of that deformed beauty, that beautiful deformity, before the very eyes of the brethren when reading? What are disgusting monkeys there for, or satyrs, or ferocious lions, or monstrous centaurs, or spotted tigers, or fighting soldiers, or huntsmen sounding the bugle? You may see there one head with many bodies, or one body with numerous heads. Here is a quadruped with a serpent's tail; there is a fish with a beast's head; there a creature, in front a horse, behind a goat; another has horns at one end, and a horse's tail at the other. In fact, such an endless variety of forms appears everywhere, that it is more pleasant to read in the stonework than in books, and to spend the day in admiring these oddities than in meditating on the law of God. Good God! if we are not ashamed of these absurdities, why do we not grieve at the cost of them?


"As the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon."--Sol. Song i. 5

Perhaps both members of the comparison--viz., "As the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon"--refer only to the first words, "I am black." It may be, however, that the simile is extended to both clauses, and each is compared with each. The former sense is the more simple, the latter the more obscure. Let us try both, beginning with the latter, which seems the more difficult. There is no difficulty, however, in the first comparison, "I am black as the tents of Kedar," but only in the last. For Kedar, which is interpreted to mean "darkness" or "gloom," may be compared with blackness justly enough; but the curtains of Solomon are not so easily likened to beauty. Moreover, who does not see that "tents" fit harmoniously with the comparison? For what is the meaning of "tents" except our bodies, in which we sojourn for a time? Nor have we an abiding city, but we seek one to come. In our bodies, as under tents, we carry on warfare. Truly, we are violent to take the kingdom. Indeed, the life of man here on earth is a warfare; and as long as we do battle in this body, we are absent from the Lord,--i.e., from the light. For the Lord is light; and so far as any one is not in Him, so far he is in darkness, i.e., in Kedar. Let each one then acknowledge the sorrowful exclamation as his own:--"Woe is me that my sojourn is prolonged! I have dwelt with those who dwell in Kedar. My soul hath long sojourned in a strange land." Therefore this habitation of the body is not the mansion of the citizen, nor the house of the native, but either the soldier's tent or the traveler's inn. This body, I say, is a tent, and a tent of Kedar, because, by its interference, it prevents the soul from beholding the infinite light, nor does it allow her to see the light at all, except through a glass darkly, and not face to face.

Do you not see whence blackness comes to the Church--whence a certain rust cleaves to even the fairest souls? Doubtless it comes from the tents of Kedar, from the practice of laborious warfare, from the long continuance of a painful sojourn, from the straits of our grievous exile, from our feeble, cumbersome bodies; for the corruptible body presseth down the soul, and the earthly tabernacle weigheth down the mind that museth upon many things. Therefore the souls' desire to be loosed, that being freed from the body they may fly into the embraces of Christ. Wherefore one of the miserable ones said, groaning, "O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death!" For a soul of this kind knoweth that, while in the tents of Kedar, she cannot be entirely free from spot or wrinkle, nor from stains of blackness, and wishes to go forth and to put them off. And here we have the reason why the spouse calls herself black as the tents of Kedar. But now, how is she beautiful as the curtains of Solomon? Behind these curtains I feel that an indescribable holiness and sublimity are veiled, which I dare not presume to touch, save at the command of Him who shrouded and sealed the mystery. For I have read, He that is a searcher of Majesty shall be overwhelmed with the glory. I pass on therefore. It will devolve on you, meanwhile, to obtain grace by your prayers, that we may the more readily, because more confidently, recur to a subject which needs attentive minds; and it may be that the pious knocker at the door will discover what the bold explorer seeks in vain.


Twelfth Century


ittle is known concerning the monk Bernard, sometimes called Bernard of Morlay and sometimes Bernard of Cluny. The former name is probably derived from the place of his origin, the latter from the fact that in the introduction to his poem 'De Contemptu Mundi' he describes himself as a brother of the monks of Cluny. He lived in the twelfth century, a period of much learning in the church; and that he was himself a man of broad scholarship and brilliant abilities, the Latin poem, his only surviving work, abundantly testifies.

This poem, divided into three books, consists in all of about three thousand lines. It is introduced by a short address in prose to Father Peter, the abbot of the monastery, in which the author describes the peculiar operations of his mind in undertaking and accomplishing his marvelous poem. He believes and asserts, "not arrogantly, but in all humility and therefore boldly," that he had divine aid. "Unless the spirit of wisdom and understanding had been with me and filled me, I had never been able to construct so long a work in such a difficult metre."

This metre is peculiar. In technical terms each line consists of three parts: the first part including two dactyls, the second part two dactyls, the third part one dactyl and one trochee. The final trochee, a long and a short syllable, rhymes with the following or preceding line. There is also a rhyme, in each line, of the second dactyl with the fourth. This will be made plain to the ordinary reader by quoting the first two lines of the poem, divided into feet:--

Hora no | vissima | tempora | pessima | sunt, vigi | lemus;
Ecce mi | naciter | imminet | arbiter | ille su | premus.

The adoption of such a metre would seem to be a clog on flexibility and force of expression. But in this poem it is not so. The author rejoices in absolute freedom of diction. The rhythm and rhyme alike lend themselves to the uses, now of bitter satire and revilings, now of overpowering hope and exultant joy.

The title scarcely gives an idea of the subject-matter of the poem. The old Benedictine, living for the time in his cell, had nevertheless known the world of his day, had lived in it and been of it. To him it seemed an evil world, full of crimes, of moils, of deceits, of abominations; the Church seemed corrupt, venal, shameless, and Rome the centre and the soul of this accursed world. Pondering on these conditions, the monk turned his weary gaze toward the celestial country, the country of purity and peace, and to the King on his throne, the centre and source of eternal beatitude. The contrast, on which he dwelt for a long time, filled him on the one hand with burning indignation, on the other with entrancing visions and longings.

At last he broke out into magnificent poetry. It is not possible to translate him into any other language than the Latin in which he wrote, and preserve any of the grandeur and beauty which result from the union of ardent thought with almost miraculous music of language. Dr. Neale aptly speaks of the majestic sweetness which invests Bernard's poem. The expression applies specially to those passages, abounding in all parts of the poem, in which he describes the glory and the peace of the better country. Many of these have been translated or closely imitated by Dr. Neale, with such excellent effect that several hymns which are very popular in churches of various denominations have been constructed from Dr. Neale's translations. Other portions of the poem, especially those in which the vices and crimes of the Rome of that time are denounced and lashed with unsparing severity, have never been translated, and are not likely ever to be, because of the impossibility of preserving in English the peculiar force of the metre; and translation without this would be of small value. The fire of the descriptions of heaven is increased by the contrast in which they stand with descriptions of Rome in the twelfth century. Here, for example, is a passage addressed to Rome:--

"Fas mihi dicere, fas mihi scribere 'Roma fuisti,'
Obruta moenibus, obruta moribus, occubuisti.
Urbs ruis inclita, tam modo subdita, quam prius alta:
Quo prius altior, tam modo pressior, et labefacta.
Fas mihi scribere, fas mihi dicere 'Roma, peristi.'
Sunt tua moenia vociferantia 'Roma ruisti.'"

And here is one addressed to the City of God:--

"O sine luxibus, O sine luctibus, O sine lite,
Splendida curia, florida patria, patria vitæ.
Urbs Syon inclita, patria condita littore tuto,
Te peto, te colo, te flagro, te volo, canto, saluto."

While no translation exists of this remarkable work, nor indeed can be made to reproduce the power and melody of the original, yet a very good idea of its spirit may be had from the work of Dr. J. Mason Neale, who made from selected portions this English poem, which is very much more than what he modestly called it, "a close imitation." Dr. Neale has made no attempt to reproduce the metre of the original.


Brief life is here our portion,
  Brief sorrow, short-lived care:
The Life that knows no ending,
  The tearless Life, is there:
O happy retribution,
   Short toil, eternal rest!
For mortals and for sinners
   A mansion with the Blest!
That we should look, poor wanderers,
   To have our home on high!
That worms should seek for dwellings
   Beyond the starry sky!
And now we fight the battle,
   And then we wear the Crown
Of full and everlasting
   And passionless renown:
Then glory, yet unheard of,
   Shall shed abroad its ray;
Resolving all enigmas,
   An endless Sabbath-day.
Then, then, from his oppressors
   The Hebrew shall go free,
And celebrate in triumph
   The year of Jubilee:
And the sun-lit land that recks not
   Of tempest or of fight
Shall fold within its bosom
   Each happy Israelite.
'Midst power that knows no limit,
   And wisdom free from bound,
The Beatific Vision
   Shall glad the Saints around;
And peace, for war is needless,
   And rest, for storm is past,
And goal from finished labor,
   And anchorage at last.
There God, my King and Portion,
   In fullness of His Grace,
Shall we behold forever,
   And worship face to face;
There Jacob into Israel,
   From earthlier self estranged,
And Leah into Rachel
   Forever shall be changed;
There all the halls of Syon
   For aye shall be complete:
And in the land of Beauty
   All things of beauty meet.
To thee, O dear, dear country!
   Mine eyes their vigils keep;
For very love, beholding
   Thy happy name, they weep:
The mention of Thy glory
   Is unction to the breast,
And medicine in sickness,
   And love, and life, and rest.
O one, O onely mansion!
   O Paradise of joy!
Where tears are ever banished,
   And smiles have no alloy:
Beside thy living waters
   All plants are, great and small;
The cedar of the forest,
   The hyssop of the wall;
With jaspers glow thy bulwarks,
   Thy streets with emeralds blaze;
The sardius and the topaz
   Unite in thee their rays;
Thine ageless walls are bonded
   With amethyst unpriced;
Thy saints build up its fabric,
   And the Corner-stone is CHRIST.
Thou hast no shore, fair Ocean!
   Thou hast no time, bright Day!
Dear fountain of refreshment
   To pilgrims far away!
Upon the Rock of Ages
   They raise thy holy Tower.
Thine is the Victor's laurel,
   And thine the golden dower.
Thou feel'st in mystic rapture,
   O Bride that know'st no guile,
The Prince's sweetest kisses,
   The Prince's loveliest smile.
Unfading lilies, bracelets
   Of living pearl, thine own;
The Lamb is ever near thee,
   The Bridegroom thine alone;
And all thine endless leisure
   In sweetest accents sings
The ills that were thy merit,
   The joys that are thy King's.
Jerusalem the golden!
   With milk and honey blest,
Beneath thy contemplation
   Sink heart and voice opprest;
I know not, oh, I know not
   What social joys are there,
What radiancy of glory,
   What light beyond compare;
And when I fain would sing them,
   My spirit fails and faints,
And vainly would it image
   The assembly of the Saints.
They stand, those halls of Syon,
   All jubilant with song,
And bright with many an Angel,
   And many a Martyr throng;
The Prince is ever in them,
   The light is aye serene;
The Pastures of the Blessed
   Are decked in glorious sheen;
There is the Throne of David,
   And there, from toil released,
The shout of them that triumph,
   The song of them that feast;
And they, beneath their Leader,
   Who conquered in the fight,
For ever and for ever
   Are clad in robes of white.
Jerusalem the glorious!
   The glory of the elect,
O dear and future vision
   That eager hearts expect:
Ev'n now by faith I see thee,
   Ev'n here thy walls discern;
To thee my thoughts are kindled
   And strive and pant and yearn:
Jerusalem the onely,
   That look'st from Heav'n below,
In thee is all my glory,
   In me is all my woe:
And though my body may not,
   My spirit seeks thee fain;
Till flesh and earth return me
   To earth and flesh again.
O Land that seest no sorrow!
   O State that fear'st no strife!
O princely bowers! O Land of flowers!
   O realm and Home of Life!


(Fifteenth Century)

bout the year 1475 one William Caxton, a prosperous English wool merchant of good standing and repute, began printing books. The art which he introduced into his native country was quickly taken up by others; first, it seems, by certain monks at St. Albans, and shortly afterward by Wynkyn de Worde, who had been an apprentice to Caxton. In 1486 the press at St. Albans issued two books printed in English, of which one was entitled 'The Boke of St. Albans.' Of this volume only three perfect copies are known to exist. It is a compilation of treatises on hawking, on hunting, and on heraldry, and contained but little evidence as to their authorship. Ten years later Wynkyn de Worde reprinted the work with additions, under the following elaborate title, in the fashion of the time:--'Treatyse perteynynge to Hawkynge, Huntynge, and Fysshynge with an Angle; also a right noble Treatyse on the Lynage of Coote Armeris; ending with a Treatyse which specyfyeth of Blasyng of Armys.'

Juliana Berners.

The authorship of this volume, one of the earliest books printed in the English language, has generally been ascribed to a certain (or uncertain) Juliana Berners, Bernes, or Barnes, who lived in the early part of the fifteenth century, and who is reputed to have been prioress of the Nunnery of Sopwell,--long since in ruins,--near St. Albans, and close to the little river Ver, which still conceals in its quiet pools the speckled trout. If this attribution be correct, Dame Berners was the first woman to write a book in English. Although the question of the authorship is by no means settled, yet it is clear that the printer believed the treatise on hunting to have been written by this lady, and the critics now generally assign a portion at least of the volume to her. In the sixteenth century the book became very popular, and was reprinted many times.

Of the several treatises it contains, that on fishing has the greatest interest, an interest increased by the fact that it probably suggested 'The Compleat Angler' of Izaak Walton, which appeared one hundred and sixty years later.



Salomon in his parablys sayth that a glad spyryte makyth a flourynge aege, that is a fayre aege and a longe. And syth it is soo: I aske this questyon, whiche ben the meanes and the causes that enduce a man in to a mery spyryte: Truly to my beste dyscrecon it seemeth good dysportes and honest gamys in whom a man Joyeth without any repentaunce after.

Thenne folowyth it yt gode dysportes and honest games ben cause of mannys fayr aege and longe life. And therefore now woll I chose of foure good disportes and honest gamys, that is to wyte: of huntynge: hawkynge: fysshynge: and foulynge. The best to my symple dyscrecon whyche is fysshynge: called Anglynge wyth a rodde: and a lyne and an hoke. And thereof to treate as my symple wytte may suffyce: both for the said reason of Salomon and also for the reason that phisyk makyth in this wyse. Si tibi deficiant medici tibi fiant: hec tria mens leta labor et moderata dieta. Ye shall vnderstonde that this is for to saye, Yf a man lacke leche or medicyne he shall make thre thynges his leche and medicyne: and he shall nede neuer no moo. The fyrste of theym is a mery thought. The seconde is labour not outrageo. The thyrd is dyete mesurable....

Here folowyth the order made to all those whiche shall haue the vnderstondynge of this forsayd treatyse & vse it for theyr pleasures.

Ye that can angle & take fysshe to your pleasures as this forsayd treatyse techyth & shewyth you: I charge & requyre you in the name of alle noble men that ye fysshe not in noo poore mannes seuerall water: as his ponde: stewe: or other necessary thynges to kepe fysshe in wythout his lycence & good wyll. Nor that ye vse not to breke noo mannys gynnys lyenge in theyr weares & in other places dve vuto theym. Ne to take the fysshe awaye that is taken in theym. For after a fysshe is taken in a mannys gynne yf the gynne be layed in the comyn waters: or elles in suche waters as he hireth, it is his owne propre goodes. And yf ye take it awaye ye robbe hym: whyche is a ryght shamfull dede to ony noble man to do yt that theuys & brybours done: whyche are punysshed for theyr evyll dedes by the necke & other wyse whan they maye be aspyed & taken. And also yf ye do in lyke manere as this treatise shewyth you: ye shal haue no nede to take of other menys: whiles ye shal haue ynough of your owne takyng yf ye lyste to labour therfore. Whyche shall be to you a very pleasure to se the fayr bryght shynynge scalyd fysshes dysceyved by your crafty meanes & drawen vpon londe. Also that ye breke noo mannys heggys in goynge abowte your dysportes: ne opyn noo mannes gates but that ye shytte theym agayn. Also ye shall not vse this forsayd crafty dysporte for no covety senes to thencreasynge & sparynge of your money oonly, but pryncypally for your solace & to cause the helthe of your body, and specyally of your soule. For whanne ye purpoos to goo on your disportes in fysshyng ye woll not desyre gretly many persones wyth you, whiche myghte lette you of your game. And thenne ye maye serue God deuowtly in sayenge affectuously youre custumable prayer. And thus doynge ye shall eschewe & voyde many vices, as ydylnes whyche is pryncypall cause to enduce man to many other vyces, as it is ryght well knowen.

Also ye shall not be to rauenous in takyng of your sayd game as to moche at one tyme: whyche ye maye lyghtly doo, yf ye doo in euery poynt as this present treatyse shewyth you in euery poynt, whyche lyghtly be occasyon to dystroye your owne dysportes & other mennys also. As whan ye haue a suffycyent mese ye sholde coveyte nomore as at that tyme. Also ye shall besye yourselfe to nouryssh the game in all that ye maye: & to dystroye all such thynges as ben devourers of it. And all those that done after this rule shall haue the blessynge of god & saynt Petyr, whyche be theym graunte that wyth his precyous blood vs boughte.

And for by cause that this present treatyse sholde not come to the hondys of eche ydle persone whyche wolde desire it yf it were enpryntyd allone by itself & put in a lytyll plaunflet therfore I have compylyd it in a greter volume of dyverse bokys concernynge to gentyll & noble men to the entent that the forsayd ydle persones whyche sholde have but lytyll mesure in the sayd dysporte of fyshyng sholde not by this meane utterly dystroye it.


Reprinted by Thomas White, Crane Court




alter Besant, born in Portsmouth, England, in 1838, did not begin his career as a novelist till he was thirty years old. His preparation for the works that possess so certain a maturity of execution, with as certain an ideal of performance, was made at King's College, London, and afterwards at Christ's College, Cambridge, where he took mathematical honors. Abandoning his idea of entering the Church, he taught for seven years in the Royal College of Mauritius. Ill health compelled his return to England, and he then took up literature as a profession. His first novel he had the courage to burn when the first publisher to whom he showed it refused it.

Walter Besant.

But the succeeding years brought forth 'Studies in Early French Poetry,' a delicate and scholarly series of essays; an edition of Rabelais, of whom he is the biographer and disciple, and, with Professor Palmer, a 'History of Jerusalem,' a work for which he had equipped himself when secretary of the Palestine Exploration Fund.

Mr. Besant was also a student in another special field. He knew his Dickens as no other undergraduate in the University knew that branch of polite literature, and passed an examination on the 'Pickwick Papers' which the author declared that he himself would have failed in. By these processes Mr. Besant fitted himself mentally and socially for the task of story-telling. The relations of a man of letters to the rest of the world are comprehensively revealed in the long list of his novels.

From the beginning he was one who comes with a tale "which holdeth children from play and old men from the chimney corner"; nor is the charm lessened by the sense of a living and kindly voice addressing the hearer. His novels are easy reading, and do not contain an obscure sentence. As art is an expression of the artist's mind, and not a rigid ecclesiastical canon, it may be expressed in as many formulas as there are artists. Therefore, while to few readers life casts the rosy reflection that we have learned to call Besantine, one would not wish it to disappear nor to be discredited.

It was in the year 1869 that Walter Besant, by a happy chance, made the acquaintance of James Rice, the editor of Once a Week, and became a contributor to that magazine. In 1871 that literary partnership between them began, which is interesting in the history of collaboration. Mr. Rice had been a barrister, and added legal lore to Mr. Besant's varied and accurate literary equipment. The brilliant series of novels that followed includes 'Ready-Money Morti-boy,' 'My Little Girl,' 'With Harp and Crown,' 'The Golden Butterfly,' 'The Seamy Side,' and 'The Chaplain of the Fleet.' The latter story, that of an innocent young country girl left to the guardianship of her uncle, chaplain of the Fleet prison, by the death of her father, is delicately and surprisingly original. The influence of Dickens is felt in the structure of the story, and the faithful, almost photographic fidelity to locality betrays in whose footsteps the authors have followed; but the chaplain, though he belongs to a family whose features are familiar to the readers of 'Little Dorrit' and 'Great Expectations,' has not existed until he appears in these pages,--pompous, clever, and without principle, but not lacking in natural affection. The young girl whose guileless belief in everybody forces the worst people to assume the characters her purity and innocence endows them with, is to the foul prison what Picciola was to Charney. Nor will the moralist find fault with the author whose kind heart teaches him to include misfortune in his catalogue of virtues.

Mr. Rice died in 1882, and 'All Sorts and Conditions of Men,' Mr. Besant's first independent novel, appeared the same year. It is a novel with a purpose, and accomplished its purpose because an artist's hand was necessary to paint the picture of East London that met with such a response as the People's Palace. The appeal to philanthropy was a new one. It was a plea for a little more of the pleasures and graces of life for the two million of people who inhabit the east end of the great city. It is not a picture of life in the lowest phases, where the scenes are as dramatic as in the highest social world, but a story of human life; the nobility, the meanness, the pathos of it in hopelessly commonplace surroundings, where the fight is not a hand-to-hand struggle with bitter poverty or crime, but with dullness and monotony. The characters in 'All Sorts and Conditions of Men' are possibly more typical than real, but one hesitates to question either characters or situation. The "impossible story" has become true, and the vision that the enthusiastic young hero and heroine dream has materialized into a lovely reality.

'The Children of Gibeon' (1884) and 'The World Went Very Well Then' (1885) are written with the same philanthropic purpose; but if Sir Walter Besant were not first of all a story-teller, the possessor of a living voice that holds one spellbound till he has finished his tale, the reader would be more sensible of the wide knowledge of the novelist, and his familiarity with life in its varied forms.

Here are about thirty novels, displaying an intimate knowledge of many crafts, trades, and professions, the ways of landsman and voyager, of country and town, of the new world and the old, of modern charlatanism as shown in 'Herr Paulus,' of the "woman question" among London Jews as in the 'Rebel Queen,' and the suggestion of the repose and sufficiency of life's simple needs as told in 'Call Her Mine' and 'Celia's Arbor.'

In the 'Ivory Gate' the hero is the victim of a remarkable hallucination; in the story of 'The Inner House' the plummet of suggestion plunges into depths not sounded before, and the soul's regeneration is unfolded in the loveliest of parables.

The range of Sir Walter Besant reaches from the somewhat conventionalized 'Dorothy Forster' to 'St. Katharine's Tower,' where deep tragedy approaches the melodramatic, or from the fascination of 'The Master Craftsman' to the 'Wapping Idyll' of the heaps of miser's treasure. There is largeness of stroke in this list, and a wide prospect. His humor is of the cheerful outdoor kind, and the laugh is at foibles rather than weakness. He pays little attention to fashion in literature, except to give a good-natured nod to a passing fad.

It would be difficult to classify him under any school. His stories are not analytical, nor is one conscious of that painstaking fidelity to art which is no longer classed among the minor virtues. When he fights, it is with wrong and oppression and the cheerless monotony of the lives of the poor; but he fights classes rather than individuals, although certain characters like Fielding the plagiarist, in 'Armorel of Lyonesse,' are studied from life. The village of bankrupts in 'All in a Garden Fair' is a whimsical conceit, like the disguise of Angela in 'All Sorts and Conditions of Men,' and the double identity of Edmund Gray in 'The Ivory Gate.' In reading Besant we are constantly reminded that humanity is wider than the world; and though its simplest facts are its greatest, there is both interest and edification in eccentricities.

In 1895 he was made a baronet, and is president of the Society of Authors, of whom he has been a gallant champion against the publishers.


From Sir Walter Besant's 'London': Harper and Brothers

The London house, either in Saxon or Norman time, presented no kind of resemblance to the Roman villa. It had no cloisters, no hypocaust, no suite or sequence of rooms. This unlikeness is another proof, if any were wanting, that the continuity of tenure had been wholly broken. If the Saxons went into London, as has been suggested, peaceably, and left the people to carry on their old life and their trade in their own way, the Roman and British architecture--no new thing, but a style grown up in course of years and found fitted to the climate--would certainly have remained. That, however, was not the case. The Englishman developed his house from the patriarchal idea.

First, there was the common hall; in this the household lived, fed, transacted business, and made their cheer in the evenings. It was built of timber, and to keep out the cold draughts it was afterwards lined with tapestry. At first they used simple cloths, which in great houses were embroidered and painted; perches of various kinds were affixed to the walls, whereon the weapons, the musical instruments, the cloaks, etc., were hung up. The lord and lady sat on a high seat; not, I am inclined to think, on a dais at the end of the hall, which would have been cold for them, but on a great chair near the fire, which was burning in the middle of the hall. This fashion long continued. I have myself seen a college hall warmed by a fire in a brazier burning under the lantern of the hall. The furniture consisted of benches; the table was laid on trestles, spread with a white cloth, and removed after dinner; the hall was open to all who came, on condition that the guest should leave his weapons at the door.

The floor was covered with reeds, which made a clean, soft, and warm carpet, on which the company could, if they pleased, lie round the fire. They had carpets or rugs also, but reeds were commonly used. The traveler who chances to find himself at the ancient and most interesting town of Kingston-on-Hull, which very few English people, and still fewer Americans, have the curiosity to explore, should visit the Trinity House. There, among many interesting things, he will find a hall where reeds are still spread, but no longer so thickly as to form a complete carpet. I believe this to be the last survival of the reed carpet.

The times of meals were: the breakfast at about nine; the "noon-meat," or dinner, at twelve; and the "even-meat," or supper, probably at a movable time, depending on the length of the day. When lighting was costly and candles were scarce, the hours of sleep would be naturally longer in winter than in the summer.

In their manner of living the Saxons were fond of vegetables, especially of the leek, onion, and garlic. Beans they also had (these were introduced probably at the time when they commenced intercourse with the outer world), pease, radishes, turnips, parsley, mint, sage, cress, rue, and other herbs. They had nearly all our modern fruits, though many show by their names, which are Latin or Norman, a later introduction. They made use of butter, honey, and cheese. They drank ale and mead. The latter is still made, but in small quantities, in Somerset and Hereford shires. The Normans brought over the custom of drinking wine.

In the earliest times the whole family slept in the common hall. The first improvement was the erection of the solar, or upper chamber. This was above the hall, or a portion of it, or over the kitchen and buttery attached to the hall. The arrangement may be still observed in many of the old colleges of Oxford or Cambridge. The solar was first the sleeping-room of the lord and lady; though afterward it served not only this purpose, but also for an ante-chamber to the dormitory of the daughters and the maid-servants. The men of the household still slept in the hall below. Later on, bed recesses were contrived in the wall, as one may find in Northumberland at the present day. The bed was commonly, but not for the ladies of the house, merely a big bag stuffed with straw. A sheet wrapped round the body formed the only night-dress. But there were also pillows, blankets, and coverlets. The early English bed was quite as luxurious as any that followed after, until the invention of the spring mattress gave a new and hitherto unhoped-for joy to the hours of night.

The second step in advance was the ladies' bower, a room or suite of rooms set apart for the ladies of the house and their women. For the first time, as soon as this room was added, the women could follow their own vocations of embroidery, spinning, and needlework of all kinds, apart from the rough and noisy talk of the men.

The main features, therefore, of every great house, whether in town or country, from the seventh to the twelfth century, were the hall, the solar built over the kitchen and buttery, and the ladies' bower.

There was also the garden. In all times the English have been fond of gardens. Bacon thought it not beneath his dignity to order the arrangement of a garden. Long before Bacon, a writer of the twelfth century describes a garden as it should be. "It should be adorned on this side with roses, lilies, and the marigold; on that side with parsley, cost, fennel, southernwood, coriander, sage, savery, hyssop, mint, vine, dettany, pellitory, lettuce, cresses, and the peony. Let there be beds enriched with onions, leeks, garlic, melons, and scallions. The garden is also enriched by the cucumber, the soporiferous poppy, and the daffodil, and the acanthus. Nor let pot herbs be wanting, as beet-root, sorrel, and mallow. It is useful also to the gardener to have anise, mustard, and wormwood.... A noble garden will give you medlars, quinces, the pear main, peaches, pears of St. Regle, pomegranates, citrons, oranges, almonds, dates, and figs." The latter fruits were perhaps attempted, but one doubts their arriving at ripeness. Perhaps the writer sets down what he hoped would be some day achieved.

The indoor amusements of the time were very much like our own. We have a little music in the evening; so did our forefathers. We sometimes have a little dancing; so did they, but the dancing was done for them. We go to the theatres to see the mime; in their days the mime made his theatre in the great man's hall. He played the fiddle and the harp; he sang songs, he brought his daughter, who walked on her hands and executed astonishing capers; the gleeman, minstrel, or jongleur was already as disreputable as when we find him later on with his ribauderie. Again, we play chess; so did our ancestors. We gamble with dice; so did they. We feast and drink together; so did they. We pass the time in talk; so did they. In a word, as Alphonse Karr put it, the more we change, the more we remain the same.

Out-of-doors, as Fitz-Stephen shows, the young men skated, wrestled, played ball, practiced archery, held water tournaments, baited bull and bear, fought cocks, and rode races. They were also mustered sometimes for service in the field, and went forth cheerfully, being specially upheld by the reassuring consciousness that London was always on the winning side.

The growth of the city government belongs to the history of London. Suffice it here to say that the people in all times enjoyed a freedom far above that possessed by any other city of Europe. The history of municipal London is a history of continual struggle to maintain this freedom against all attacks, and to extend it and to make it impregnable. Already the people are proud, turbulent, and confident in their own strength. They refuse to own any other lord but the king himself; there is no Earl of London. They freely hold their free and open meetings, their folk-motes,--in the open space outside the northwest corner of St. Paul's Churchyard. That they lived roughly, enduring cold, sleeping in small houses in narrow courts; that they suffered much from the long darkness of winter; that they were always in danger of fevers, agues, "putrid" throats, plagues, fires by night, and civil wars; that they were ignorant of letters,--three schools only for the whole of London,--all this may very well be understood. But these things do not make men and women wretched. They were not always suffering from preventable disease; they were not always hauling their goods out of the flames; they were not always fighting. The first and most simple elements of human happiness are three; to wit, that a man should be in bodily health, that he should be free, that he should enjoy the produce of his own labor. All these things the Londoner possessed under the Norman kings nearly as much as in these days they can be possessed. His city has always been one of the healthiest in the world; whatever freedom could be attained he enjoyed; and in that rich trading town all men who worked lived in plenty.

The households, the way of living, the occupations of the women, can be clearly made out in every detail from the Anglo-Saxon literature. The women in the country made the garments, carded the wool, sheared the sheep, washed the things, beat the flax, ground the corn, sat at the spinning-wheel, and prepared the food. In the towns they had no shearing to do, but all the rest of their duty fell to their province. The English women excelled in embroidery. "English" work meant the best kind of work. They worked church vestments with gold and pearls and precious stones. "Orfrey," or embroidery in gold, was a special art. Of course they are accused by the ecclesiastics of an overweening desire to wear finery; they certainly curled their hair, and, one is sorry to read, they painted, and thereby spoiled their pretty cheeks. If the man was the hlaf-ord [lord],--the owner or winner of the loaf,--the wife was the hlaf-dig [lady], its distributor; the servants and the retainers were hlaf-oetas, or eaters of it. When nunneries began to be founded, the Saxon ladies in great numbers forsook the world for the cloister. And here they began to learn Latin, and became able at least to carry on correspondence--specimens of which still exist--in that language. Every nunnery possessed a school for girls. They were taught to read and to write their own language and Latin, perhaps also rhetoric and embroidery. As the pious Sisters were fond of putting on violet chemises, tunics, and vests of delicate tissue, embroidered with silver and gold, and scarlet shoes, there was probably not much mortification of the flesh in the nunneries of the later Saxon times.

This for the better class. We cannot suppose that the daughters of the craftsmen became scholars of the nunnery. Theirs were the lower walks--to spin the linen and to make the bread and carry on the housework.


From 'The Rebel Queen': Harper and Brothers

"D'un jour intérieur je me sens éclairé,
Et j'entends une voix qui me dit d'espérer."--LAMARTINE.

"Are you ready, Francesca?"

Nelly ran lightly down the narrow stairs, dressed for Sabbath and Synagogue. She was dainty and pretty at all times in the matter of dress, but especially on a summer day, which affords opportunity for bright color and bright drapery and an ethereal appearance. This morning she was full of color and light. When, however, she found herself confronted with Francesca's simple gray dress, so closely fitting, so faultless, and her black-lace hat with its single rose for color, Nelly's artistic sense caused her heart to sink like lead. It is not for nothing that one learns and teaches the banjo; one Art leads to another; she who knows music can feel for dress. "Oh!" she cried, clasping her hands. "That's what we can never do!"


"That fit! Look at me! Yet they call me clever. Clara gives me the new fashions and I copy them, and the girls in our street copy me--poor things!--and the dressmaker comes to talk things over and to learn from me. I make everything for myself. And they call me clever! But I can't get near it; and if I can't nobody can."...

A large detached structure of red brick stood east and west, with a flat façade and round windows that bore out the truth of the date--1700--carved upon the front. A word or two in that square character--that tongue which presents so few attractions to most of us compared with other tongues--probably corroborated the internal evidence of the façade and the windows.

"This is the synagogue," said Nelly. She entered, and turning to the right, led the way up-stairs to a gallery running along the whole side of the building. On the other side was another gallery. In front of both was a tolerably wide grill, through which the congregation below could be seen perfectly.

"This is the women's gallery," whispered Nell--there were not many women present. "We'll sit in the front. Presently they will sing. They sing beautifully. Now they're reading prayers and the Law. They've got to read the whole Law through once a week, you know." Francesca looked curiously through the grill. When one is in a perfectly strange place, the first observations made are of small and unimportant things. She observed that there was a circular inclosure at the east end, as if for an altar; but there was no altar: two doors indicated a cupboard in the wall. There were six tall wax-lights burning round the inclosure, although the morning was fine and bright. At the west end a high screen kept the congregation from the disturbance of those who entered or went out. Within the screen was a company of men and boys, all with their hats and caps on their heads; they looked like the choir. In front of the choir was a platform railed round. Three chairs were placed at the back of the platform. There was a table covered with red velvet, on which lay the book of the Law, a ponderous roll of parchment provided with silver staves or handles. Before this desk or table stood the Reader. He was a tall and handsome man, with black hair and full black beard, about forty years of age. He wore a gown and large Geneva bands, like a Presbyterian minister; on his head he had a kind of biretta. Four tall wax candles were placed round the front of the platform. The chairs were occupied by two or three elders. A younger man stood at the desk beside the Reader. The service was already begun--it was, in fact, half over.

Francesca observed next that all the men wore a kind of broad scarf, made of some white stuff about eight feet long and four feet broad. Bands of black or blue were worked in the ends, which were also provided with fringes. "It is the Talleth," Nelly whispered. Even the boys wore this white robe, the effect of which would have been very good but for the modern hat, tall or pot, which spoiled all. Such a robe wants a turban above it, not an English hat. The seats were ranged along the synagogue east and west. The place was not full, but there were a good many worshipers. The service was chanted by the Reader. It was a kind of chant quite new and strange to Francesca. Like many young persons brought up with no other religion than they can pick up for themselves, she was curious and somewhat learned in the matter of ecclesiastical music and ritual, which she approached, owing to her education, with unbiased mind. She knew masses and anthems and hymns and chants of all kinds; never had she heard anything of this kind before. It was not congregational, or Gregorian; nor was it repeated by the choir from side to side; nor was it a monotone with a drop at the end; nor was it a florid, tuneful chant such as one may hear in some Anglican services. This Reader, with a rich, strong voice, a baritone of great power, took nearly the whole of the service--it must have been extremely fatiguing--upon himself, chanting it from beginning to end. No doubt, as he rendered the reading and the prayers, so they had been given by his ancestors in Spain and Portugal generation after generation, back into the times when they came over in Phoenician ships to the Carthaginian colonies, even before the dispersion of the Ten Tribes. It was a traditional chant of antiquity beyond record--not a monotonous chant. Francesca knew nothing of the words; she grew tired of trying to make out whereabouts on the page the Reader might be in the book lent her, which had Hebrew on one side and English on the other. Besides, the man attracted her--by his voice, by his energy, by his appearance. She closed her book and surrendered herself to the influence of the voice and the emotions which it expressed.

There was no music to help him. From time to time the men in the congregation lifted up their voices--not seemingly in response, but as if moved to sudden passion and crying out with one accord. This helped him a little, otherwise he was without any assistance.

A great Voice. The man sometimes leaned over the Roll of the Law, sometimes he stood upright, always his great Voice went up and down and rolled along the roof and echoed along the benches of the women's gallery. Now the Voice sounded a note of rejoicing; now, but less often, a note of sadness; now it was a sharp and sudden cry of triumph. Then the people shouted with him--it was as if they clashed sword on shield and yelled for victory; now it was a note of defiance, as when men go forth to fight an enemy; now it sank to a murmur, as of one who consoles and soothes and promises things to come; now it was a note of rapture, as if the Promised Land was already recovered.

Was all that in the Voice? Did the congregation, all sitting wrapped in their white robes, feel these emotions as the Voice thundered and rolled? I know not. Such was the effect produced upon one who heard this Voice for the first time. At first it seemed loud, even barbaric; there was lacking something which the listener and stranger had learned to associate with worship. What was it? Reverence? But she presently found reverence In plenty, only of a kind that differed from that of Christian worship. Then the listener made another discovery. In this ancient service she missed the note of humiliation. There was no Litany at a Faldstool. There was no kneeling in abasement; there was no appearance of penitence, sorrow, or the confession of sins. The Voice was as the Voice of a Captain exhorting his soldiers to fight. The service was warlike, the service of a people whose trust in their God is so great that they do not need to call perpetually upon Him for the help and forgiveness of which they are assured. Yes, yes--she thought--this is the service of a race of warriors; they are fighting men: the Lord is their God; He is leading them to battle: as for little sins, and backslidings, and penitences, they belong to the Day of Atonement--which comes once a year. For all the other days in the year, battle and victory occupy all the mind. The service of a great fighting people; a service full of joy, full of faith, full of assurance, full of hope and confidence--such assurance as few Christians can understand, and of faith to which few Christians can attain. Perhaps Francesca was wrong; but these were her first impressions, and these are mostly true.

In the body of the synagogue men came late. Under one gallery was a school of boys, in the charge of a graybeard, who, book in hand, followed the service with one eye, while he admonished perpetually the boys to keep still and to listen. The boys grew restless; it was tedious to them--the Voice which expressed so much to the stranger who knew no Hebrew at all was tedious to the children; they were allowed to get up and run into the court outside and then to come back again; nobody heeded their going in and out. One little boy of three, wrapped, like the rest, in a white Talleth, ran up and down the side aisle without being heeded--even by the splendid Beadle with the gold-laced hat, which looked so truly wonderful above the Oriental Talleth. The boys in the choir got up and went in and out just as they pleased. Nobody minded. The congregation, mostly well-to-do men with silk hats, sat in their places, book in hand, and paid no attention.

Under the opposite gallery sat two or three rows of worshipers, who reminded Francesca of Browning's poem of St. John's Day at Rome. For they nudged and jostled each other; they whispered things; they even laughed over the things they whispered. But they were clad like those in the open part in the Talleth, and they sat book in hand, and from time to time they raised their voices with the congregation. They showed no reverence except that they did not talk or laugh loudly. They were like the children, their neighbors,--just as restless, just as uninterested, just as perfunctory. Well, they were clearly the poorer and the more ignorant part of the community. They came here and sat through the service because they were ordered so to do; because, like Passover, and the Feast of Tabernacles, and the Fast of Atonement, it was the Law of their People.

The women in the gallery sat or stood. They neither knelt nor sang aloud; they only sat when it was proper to sit, or stood when it was proper to stand. They were like the women, the village women, in a Spanish or Italian church, for whom everything is done. Francesca, for the moment, felt humiliated that she should be compelled to sit apart from the congregation, railed off in the women's gallery, to have her religion done for her, without a voice of her own in it at all. So, I have heard, indignation sometimes fills the bosom of certain ladies when they reflect upon the fact that they are excluded from the choir, and forbidden even to play the organ in their own parish church.

The chanting ceased; the Reader sat down. Then the Choir began. They sang a hymn--a Hebrew hymn--the rhythm and metre were not English; the music was like nothing that can be heard in a Christian Church. "It is the music," said Nelly, "to which the Israelites crossed the Red Sea:" a bold statement, but--why not? If the music is not of Western origin and character, who can disprove such an assertion? After the hymn the prayers and reading went on again.

There came at last--it is a long service, such as we poor weak-kneed Anglicans could not endure--the end. There was a great bustle and ceremony on the platform; they rolled up the Roll of the Law; they wrapped it in a purple velvet cloth; they hung over it a silver breastplate set with twelve jewels for the Twelve Tribes--in memory of the Urim and Thummim. Francesca saw that the upper ends of the staves were adorned with silver pomegranates and with silver bells, and they placed it in the arms of one of those who had been reading the law; then a procession was formed, and they walked, while the Choir sang one of the Psalms of David--but not in the least like the same Psalm sung in an English Cathedral--bearing the Roll of the Law to the Ark, that is to say, to the cupboard, behind the railing and inclosure at the east end.

The Reader came back. Then with another chanted Prayer--it sounded like a prolonged shout of continued Triumph--he ended his part of the service.

And then the choir sang the last hymn--a lovely hymn, not in the least like a Christian, or at least an English hymn--a psalm that breathed a tranquil hope and a perfect faith. One needed no words to understand the full meaning and beauty and depth of that hymn.

The service was finished. The men took off their white scarfs and folded them up. They stood and talked in groups for a few minutes, gradually melting away. As for the men under the gallery, who had been whispering and laughing, they trooped out of the synagogue all together. Evidently, to them the service was only a form. What is it, in any religion, but a form, to the baser sort?

The Beadle put out the lights. Nelly led the way down the stairs. Thinking of what the service had suggested to herself--- all those wonderful things above enumerated--Francesca wondered what it meant to a girl who heard it every Sabbath morning. But she refrained from asking. Custom too often takes the symbolism out of the symbols and the poetry out of the verse. Then the people begin to worship the symbols and make a fetich of the words. We have seen this elsewhere--in other forms of faith. Outside they found Emanuel. They had not seen him in the congregation, probably because it is difficult to recognize a man merely by the top of his hat.

"Come," he said, "let us look around the place. Afterwards, perhaps, we will talk of our Service. This synagogue is built on the site of the one erected by Manasseh and his friends when Oliver Cromwell permitted them to return to London after four hundred years of exile. They were forced to wear yellow hats at first, but that ordinance soon fell into disuse, like many other abominable laws. When you read about mediaeval laws, Francesca, remember that when they were cruel or stupid they were seldom carried into effect, because the arm of the executive was weak. Who was there to oblige the Jews to wear the yellow hat? The police? There were no police. The people? What did the people care about the yellow hat? When the Fire burned down London, sparing not even the great Cathedral, to say nothing of the Synagogue, this second Temple arose, equal in splendor to the first. At that time all the Jews in London were Sephardim of Spain and Portugal and Italy. Even now there are many of the people here who speak nothing among themselves but Spanish, just as there are Askenazim who speak nothing among themselves but Yiddish. Come with me; I will show you something that will please you."

He led the way into another flagged court, larger than the first. There were stone staircases, mysterious doorways, paved passages, a suggestion of a cloister, an open space or square, and buildings on all sides with windows opening upon the court.

"It doesn't look English at all," said Francesca. "I have seen something like it in a Spanish convent. With balconies and a few bright hangings and a black-haired woman at the open windows, and perhaps a coat of arms carved upon the wall, it would do for part of a Spanish street. It is a strange place to find in the heart of London."

"You see the memory of the Peninsula. What were we saying yesterday? Spain places her own seal upon everything that belongs to her--people, buildings, all. What you see here is the central Institute of our People, the Sephardim--the Spanish part of our People. Here is our synagogue, here are schools, alms-houses, residence of the Rabbi, and all sorts of things. You can come here sometimes and think of Spain, where your ancestors lived. Many generations in Spain have made you--as they have made me--a Spaniard."

They went back to the first court. On their way out, as they passed the synagogue, there came running across the court a girl of fifteen or so. She was bareheaded; a mass of thick black hair was curled round her shapely head; her figure was that of an English girl of twenty; her eyes showed black and large and bright as she glanced at the group standing in the court; her skin was dark; she was oddly and picturesquely dressed in a grayish-blue skirt, with a bright crimson open jacket. The color seemed literally to strike the eye. The girl disappeared under a doorway, leaving a picture of herself in Francesca's mind--a picture to be remembered.

"A Spanish Jewess," said Emanuel. "An Oriental. She chooses by instinct the colors that her great-grandmother might have worn to grace the triumph of David the King."



ne of the marked features of literary investigation during the present century is the interest which it has manifested in the Middle Ages. Not only have specialists devoted themselves to the detailed study of the Sagas of the North and the great cycles of Romance in France and England, but the stories of the Edda, of the Nibelungen, and of Charlemagne and King Arthur have become popularized, so that to-day they are familiar to the general reader. There is one class of literature, however, which was widespread and popular during the Middle Ages, but which is to-day known only to the student,--that is, the so-called Bestiaries and Lapidaries, or collections of stories and superstitions concerning the marvelous attributes of animals and of precious stones.

The basis of all Bestiaries is the Greek Physiologus, the origin of which can be traced back to the second century before Christ. It was undoubtedly largely influenced by the zoölogy of the Bible; and in the references to the Ibex, the Phoenix, and the tree Paradixion, traces of Oriental and old Greek superstitions can be seen. It was from the Latin versions of the Greek original that translations were made into nearly all European languages. There are extant to-day, whole or in fragments, Bestiaries in German, Old English, Old French, Provençal, Icelandic, Italian, Bohemian, and even Armenian, Ethiopic, and Syriac. These various versions differ more or less in the arrangement and number of the animals described, but all point back to the same ultimate source.

The main object of the Bestiaries was not so much to impart scientific knowledge, as by means of symbols and allegories to teach the doctrines and mysteries of the Church: At first this symbolical application was short and concise, but later became more and more expanded, until it often occupied more space than the description of the animal which served as a text.

Some of these animals are entirely fabulous, such as the siren, the phoenix, the unicorn; others are well known, but possess certain fabulous attributes. The descriptions of them are not the result of personal observation, but are derived from stories told by travelers or read in books, or are merely due to the imagination of the author; these stories, passing down from hand to hand, gradually became accepted facts.

These books were enormously popular during the Middle Ages, a fact which is proved by the large number of manuscripts still extant. Their influence on literature was likewise very great. To say nothing of the encyclopaedic works,--such as 'Li Tresors' of Brunetto Latini, the 'Image du Monde,' the 'Roman de la Rose,'--which contain extracts from the Bestiaries,--there are many references to them in the great writers, even down to the present day. There are certain passages in Dante, Chaucer, and Shakespeare, that would be unintelligible without some knowledge of these mediaeval books of zoölogy.

Hence, besides the interest inherent in these quaint and childish stories, besides their value in revealing the scientific spirit and attainments of the times, some knowledge of the Bestiaries is of undoubted value and interest to the student of literature.

Closely allied to the Bestiaries (and indeed often contained in the same manuscript) are the Lapidaries, in which are discussed the various kinds of precious stones, with their physical characteristics,--shape, size, color, their use in medicine, and their marvelous talismanic properties. In spite of the fact that they contain the most absurd fables and superstitions, they were actually used as text-books in the schools, and published in medical treatises. The most famous of them was written in Latin by Marbode, Bishop of Rennes (died in 1123), and translated many times into Old French and other languages.

The following extracts from the Bestiaries are translated from 'Le Bestiaire' of Guillaume Le Clerc, composed in the year 1210 (edited by Dr. Robert Reinsch, Leipzig, 1890). While endeavoring to retain somewhat of the quaintness and naïveté of the original, I have omitted those repetitions and tautological expressions which are so characteristic of mediaeval literature. The religious application of the various animals is usually very long, and often is the mere repetition of the same idea. The symbolical meaning of the lion here given may be taken as a type of all the rest.


It is proper that we should first speak of the nature of the lion, which is a fierce and proud beast and very bold. It has three especially peculiar characteristics. In the first place it always dwells upon a high mountain. From afar off it can scent the hunter who is pursuing it. And in order that the latter may not follow it to its lair it covers over its tracks by means of its tail. Another wonderful peculiarity of the lion is that when it sleeps its eyes are wide open, and clear and bright. The third characteristic is likewise very strange. For when the lioness brings forth her young, it falls to the ground, and gives no sign of life until the third day, when the lion breathes upon it and in this way brings it back to life again.

The meaning of all this is very clear. When God, our Sovereign father, who is the Spiritual lion, came for our salvation here upon earth, so skillfully did he cover his tracks that never did the hunter know that this was our Savior, and nature marveled how he came among us. By the hunter you must understand him who made man to go astray and seeks after him to devour him. This is the Devil, who desires only evil.

When this lion was laid upon the Cross by the Jews, his enemies, who judged him wrongfully, his human nature suffered death. When he gave up the spirit from his body, he fell asleep upon the holy cross. Then his divine nature awoke. This must you believe if you wish to live again.

When God was placed in the tomb, he was there only three days, and on the third day the Father breathed upon him and brought him to life again, just as the lion did to its young.


The pelican is a wonderful bird which dwells in the region about the river Nile. The written history[4] tells us that there are two kinds,--those which dwell in the river and eat nothing but fish, and those which dwell in the desert and eat only insects and worms. There is a wonderful thing about the pelican, for never did mother-sheep love her lamb as the pelican loves its young. When the young are born, the parent bird devotes all his care and thought to nourishing them. But the young birds are ungrateful, and when they have grown strong and self-reliant they peck at their father's face, and he, enraged at their wickedness, kills them all.

[4] The reference here is probably to the 'Liber de Bestiis et Aliis Rebus' of Hugo de St. Victor.

On the third day the father comes to them, deeply moved with pity and sorrow. With his beak he pierces his own side, until the blood flows forth. With the blood he brings back life into the body of his young[5].

[5] There are many allusions in literature to this story. Cf. Shakespeare,--
"Like the kind life-rendering pelican,
Repast them with my blood."--'Hamlet,' iv. 5.
"Those pelican daughters."--Lear, iii. 4. Cf. also the beautiful metaphor of Alfred de Musset, in his 'Nuit de Mai.'


The eagle is the king of birds. When it is old it becomes young again in a very strange manner. When its eyes are darkened and its wings are heavy with age, it seeks out a fountain clear and pure, where the water bubbles up and shines in the clear sunlight. Above this fountain it rises high up into the air, and fixes its eyes upon the light of the sun and gazes upon it until the heat thereof sets on fire its eyes and wings. Then it descends down into the fountain where the water is clearest and brightest, and plunges and bathes three times, until it is fresh and renewed and healed of its old age[6].

[6] "Bated like eagles having lately bathed."--'I Henry IV.,' iv. I.

The eagle has such keen vision, that if it is high up among the clouds, soaring through the air, it sees the fish swimming beneath it, in river or sea; then down it shoots upon the fish and seizes and drags it to the shore. Again, if unknown to the eagle its eggs should be changed and others put into its nest,--when the young are grown, before they fly away, it carries them up into the air when the sun is shining its brightest. Those which can look at the rays of the sun, without blinking, it loves and holds dear; those which cannot stand to look at the light, it abandons, as base-born, nor troubles itself henceforth concerning them[7].

"Nay, if thou be that princely eagle's bird,
Show thy descent by gazing 'gainst the sun."--'3 Henry VI.,' ii. I.


There is a bird named the phoenix, which dwells in India and is never found elsewhere. This bird is always alone and without companion, for its like cannot be found, and there is no other bird which resembles it in habits or appearance[8]. At the end of five hundred years it feels that it has grown old, and loads itself with many rare and precious spices, and flies from the desert away to the city of Leopolis. There, by some sign or other, the coming of the bird is announced to a priest of that city, who causes fagots to be gathered and placed upon a beautiful altar, erected for the bird. And so, as I have said, the bird, laden with spices, comes to the altar, and smiting upon the hard stone with its beak, it causes the flame to leap forth and set fire to the wood and the spices. When the fire is burning brightly, the phoenix lays itself upon the altar and is burned to dust and ashes.

[8] "Were man as rare as phoenix."--'As You Like It,' iv. 3.

Then comes the priest and finds the ashes piled up, and separating them softly he finds within a little worm, which gives forth an odor sweeter than that of roses or of any other flower. The next day and the next the priest comes again, and on the third day he finds that the worm has become a full-grown and full-fledged bird, which bows low before him and flies away, glad and joyous, nor returns again before five hundred years[9].

           "But as when
The Bird of Wonder dies, the maiden phoenix,
;Her ashes new create another heir."--'Henry VIII.,' v. 5.


There is another kind of ant up in Ethiopia, which is of the shape and size of dogs. They have strange habits, for they scratch into the ground and extract therefrom great quantities of fine gold. If any one wishes to take this gold from them, he soon repents of his undertaking; for the ants run upon him, and if they catch him they devour him instantly. The people who live near them know that they are fierce and savage, and that they possess a great quantity of gold, and so they have invented a cunning trick. They take mares which have unweaned foals, and give them no food for three days. On the fourth the mares are saddled, and to the saddles are fastened boxes that shine like gold. Between these people and the ants flows a very swift river. The famished mares are driven across this river, while the foals are kept on the hither side. On the other side of the river the grass is rich and thick. Here the mares graze, and the ants seeing the shining boxes think they have found a good place to hide their gold, and so all day long they fill and load the boxes with their precious gold, till night comes on and the mares have eaten their fill. When they hear the neighing of their foals they hasten to return to the other side of the river. There their masters take the gold from the boxes and become rich and powerful, but the ants grieve over their loss.


The siren is a monster of strange fashion, for from the waist up it is the most beautiful thing in the world, formed in the shape of a woman. The rest of the body is like a fish or a bird. So sweetly and beautifully does she sing that they who go sailing over the sea, as soon as they hear the song, cannot keep from going towards her. Entranced by the music, they fall asleep in their boat, and are killed by the siren before they can utter a cry[10].

[10] References to the siren are innumerable; the most famous perhaps is Heine's 'Lorelei.' Cf. also Dante, 'Purgatorio,' xix. 19-20.


In the sea, which is mighty and vast, are many kinds of fish, such as the turbot, the sturgeon, and the porpoise. But there is one monster, very treacherous and dangerous. In Latin its name is Cetus. It is a bad neighbor for sailors. The upper part of its back looks like sand, and when it rises from the sea, the mariners think it is an island. Deceived by its size they sail toward it for refuge, when the storm comes upon them. They cast anchor, disembark upon the back of the whale, cook their food, build a fire, and in order to fasten their boat they drive great stakes into what seems to them to be sand. When the monster feels the heat of the fire which burns upon its back, it plunges down into the depths of the sea, and drags the ship and all the people after it.

When the fish is hungry it opens its mouth very wide, and breathes forth an exceedingly sweet odor. Then all the little fish stream thither, and, allured by the sweet smell, crowd into its throat. Then the whale closes its jaws and swallows them into its stomach, which is as wide as a valley[11].

[11] "Who is a whale to virginity and devours up all the fry it finds."--'All's Well that Ends Well,' iv. 3.


The crocodile is a fierce beast that lives always beside the river Nile. In shape it is somewhat like an ox; it is full twenty ells long, and as big around as the trunk of a tree. It has four feet, large claws, and very sharp teeth; by means of these it is well armed. So hard and tough is its skin, that it minds not in the least hard blows made by sharp stones. Never was seen another such a beast, for it lives on land and in water. At night it is submerged in water, and during the day it reposes upon the land. If it meets and overcomes a man, it swallows him entire, so that nothing remains. But ever after it laments him as long as it lives[12]. The upper jaw of this beast is immovable when it eats, and the lower one alone moves. No other living creature has this peculiarity. The other beast of which I have told you (the water-serpent), which always lives in the water, hates the crocodile with a mortal hatred. When it sees the crocodile sleeping on the ground with its mouth wide open, it rolls itself in the slime and mud in order to become more slippery. Then it leaps into the throat of the crocodile and is swallowed down into its stomach. Here it bites and tears its way out again, but the crocodile dies on account of its wounds.

[12] "Crocodile tears" are proverbial. Cf:
          "As the mournful crocodile
With sorrow snares relenting passengers."--'2 Henry VI.,' iii. 1.
"Each drop she falls would prove a crocodile."--'Othello' iv. 1.


Now I must tell you of another bird which is courteous and beautiful, and which loves much and is much loved. This is the turtle-dove. The male and the female are always together in mountain or in desert, and if perchance the female loses her companion never more will she cease to mourn for him, never more will she sit upon green branch or leaf. Nothing in the world can induce her to take another mate, but she ever remains loyal to her husband. When I consider the faithfulness of this bird, I wonder at the fickleness of man and woman. Many husbands and wives there are who do not love as the turtle-dove; but if the man bury his wife, before he has eaten two meals he desires to have another woman in his arms. The turtle-dove does not so, but remains patient and faithful to her companion, waiting if haply he might return[13].

"Like to a pair of loving turtle-doves,
That could not live asunder day or night."--'I Henry VI.,' ii. 2.


The mandragora is a wild plant, the like of which does not exist. Many kinds of medicine can be made of its root; this root, if you look at it closely, will be seen to have the form of a man. The bark is very useful; when well boiled in water it helps many diseases. The skillful physicians gather this plant when it is old, and they say that when it is plucked it weeps and cries, and if any one hears the cry he will die[14]. But those who gather it do this so carefully that they receive no evil from it. If a man has a pain in his head or in his body, or in his hand or foot, it can be cured by this herb. If you take this plant and beat it and let the man drink of it, he will fall asleep very softly, and no more will he feel pain[15]. There are two kinds of this plant,--male and female. The leaves of both are beautiful. The leaf of the female is thick like that of the wild lettuce.

[14] "Would curses kill as doth the mandrake's groan."--'2 Henry VI.,' iii. 2.
     "Not poppy, nor mandragora,
Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world."--'Othello,' iii. 3.


The following two extracts are translated from 'Les Lapidaires Français du Moyen Âge,' by Leopold Pannier, Paris, 1882.

The sapphire is beautiful, and worthy to shine on the fingers of a king. In color it resembles the sky when it is pure and free from clouds[16]. No precious stone has greater virtue or beauty. One kind of sapphire is found among the pebbles in the country of Libya; but that which comes from the land of the Turk is more precious. It is called the gem of gems, and is of great value to men and women. It gives comfort to the heart and renders the limbs strong and sound. It takes away envy and perfidy and can set the prisoner at liberty. He who carries it about him will never have fear. It pacifies those who are angry, and by means of it one can see into the unknown.

[16] Cf. the exquisite line of Dante, 'Purgatorio,' i. 13:--      'Dolce color d'oriental zaffiro.'

It is very valuable in medicine. It cools those who are feverish and who on account of pain are covered with perspiration. When powdered and dissolved in milk it is good for ulcers. It cures headache and diseases of the eyes and tongue. He who wears it must live chastely and honorably; so shall he never feel the distress of poverty.


Coral grows like a tree in the sea, and at first its color is green. When it reaches the air it becomes hard and red. It is half a foot in length. He who carries it will never be afraid of lightning or tempest. The field in which it is placed will be very fertile, and rendered safe from hail or any other kind of storm. It drives away evil spirits, and gives a good beginning to all undertakings and brings them to a good end.




arie-Henri Beyle, French novelist and man of letters, who is better known under his bizarre pseudonym of Stendhal, is a somewhat unusual figure among French writers. He was curiously misappreciated by his own generation, whose literary movements he in turn confessedly ignored. He is recognized to-day as an important link in the development of modern fiction, and is even discussed concurrently with Balzac, in the same way that we speak of Dickens and Thackeray, Emerson and Lowell.

Henri Beyle.

There is nothing dramatic in Stendhal's life, which, viewed impartially, is a simple and somewhat pathetic record of failure and disillusion. He was six years older than Balzac, having been born January 23d, 1783, in the small town of Grenoble, in Dauphiné, which, with its narrow prejudices and petty formalism, seemed to him in after years "the souvenir of an abominable indigestion." He early developed an abnormal sensibility, which would have met with ready response had his mother lived, but which a keen dread of ridicule taught him to hide from an unsympathetic father and a still more unkind aunt,--later his step-mother, Séraphie Gagnon. He seemed predestined to be misunderstood--even his school companions finding him odd, and often amusing themselves at his expense. Thus he grew up with a sense of isolation in his own home, and when, in 1800, he had the opportunity of going to some distant relatives in Paris, the Daru family, he seized it eagerly. The following year he accompanied the younger Darus to Italy, and was present at the battle of Marengo. This was the turning-point of Stendhal's career. He was dazzled by Napoleon's successes, and fascinated with the beauty and gayety of Milan, where he found himself for the first time in a congenial atmosphere, and among companions animated by a common cause. His consequent sense of freedom and exaltation knew no bounds. Henceforth Napoleon was to be his hero, and Italy the land of his election; two lifelong passions which furnish the clew to much that is enigmatic in his character.

During the ensuing years, while he followed the fortunes of Napoleon throughout the Prussian campaign and until after the retreat from Moscow, Italy was always present in his thoughts, and when Waterloo ended his political and military aspirations he hastened back to Milan, declaring that he "had ceased to be a Frenchman," and settled down to a life of tranquil Bohemianism, too absorbed in the paintings of Correggio and in the operas of Rossini to be provident of the future. The following years, the happiest of his life, were also the period of Stendhal's chief intellectual growth,--due quite as much to the influence exerted on him by Italian art and music as by his contact with men like Manzoni, Monti, and Silvio Pellico. Unfortunately, his relations with certain Italian patriots aroused the suspicions of the Austrian police, and he was abruptly banished. He returned to Paris, where to his surprise life proved more than tolerable, and where he made many valuable acquaintances, such as Benjamin Constant, Destutt de Tracy, and Prosper Mérimée. The revolution of July brought him a change of fortune; for he was in sympathy with Louis Philippe, and did not scruple to accept the consulship offered him at Cività Vecchia. He soon found, however, that a small Mediterranean seaport was a poor substitute for his beloved Milan, while its trying climate undoubtedly shortened his life. In 1841 failing health forced him to abandon his duties and return to Paris, where he died of apoplexy on March 23d, 1842.

So much at least of Stendhal's life must be known in order to understand his writings; all of which, not excepting the novels, belong to what Ferdinand Brunetière stigmatizes as "personal literature." Indeed, the chief interest of many of his books lies in the side-lights they throw upon his curious personality. He was a man of violent contrasts, a puzzle to his best friends; one day making the retreat from Moscow with undaunted zeal, the next settling down contentedly in Milan, to the very vie de café he affected to despise. He was a strange combination of restless energy and philosophic contemplation; hampered by a morbid sensibility which tended to increase, but which he flattered himself that he "had learned to hide under an irony imperceptible to the vulgar," yet continually giving offense to others by his caustic tongue. He seemed to need the tonic of strong emotions, and was happiest when devoting himself heart and soul to some person or cause, whether a Napoleon, a mistress, or a question of philosophy. His great preoccupation was the analysis of the human mind, an employment which in later years became a positive detriment. He was often led to attribute ulterior motives to his friends, a course which only served to render him morbid and unjust; while his equally pitiless dissection of his own sensations often robbed them of half their charm. Even love and war, his favorite emotions, left him disillusioned, asking "Is that all it amounts to?" He always had a profound respect for force of character, regarding even lawlessness as preferable to apathy; but he was implacable towards baseness or vulgarity. Herein lies, perhaps, the chief reason for Stendhal's ill success in life; he would never stoop to obsequiousness or flattery, and in avoiding even the semblance of self-interest, allowed his fairest chances to pass him by. "I have little regret for my lost opportunities," he wrote in 1835. "In place of ten thousand, I might be getting twenty; in place of Chevalier, I might be Officer of the Legion of Honor: but I should have had to think three or four hours a day of those platitudes of ambition which are dignified by the name of politics; I should have had to commit many base acts:" a brief but admirable epitome of Stendhal's whole life and character.

Aside from his works of fiction, Stendhal's works may be conveniently grouped under biographies,--'Vie de Haydn, de Mozart, et de Metastase,' 'Vie de Napoléon,' 'Vie de Rossini'; literary and artistic criticism,--'Histoire de la Peinture en Italie,' 'Racine et Shakespeare,' 'Mélanges d'Art et de Littérature'; travels,--'Rome, Naples, et Florence,' 'Promenades dans Rome,' 'Mémoires d'un Touriste'; and one volume of sentimental psychology, his 'Essai sur l'Amour,' to which Bourget owes the suggestion of his 'Physiologie de l'Amour Moderne.' Many of these works merit greater popularity, being written in an easy, fluent style, and relieved by his inexhaustible fund of anecdote and personal reminiscence. His books of travel, especially, are charming causeries, full of a sympathetic spontaneity which more than atones for their lack of method; his 'Walks in Rome' is more readable than two-thirds of the books since written on that subject.

Stendhal's present vogue, however, is due primarily to his novels, to which he owes the almost literal fulfillment of his prophecy that he would not be appreciated until 1880. Before that date they had been comparatively neglected, in spite of Balzac's spontaneous and enthusiastic tribute to the 'Chartreuse de Parme,' and the appreciative criticisms of Taine and Prosper Mérimée. The truth is that Stendhal was in some ways a generation behind his time, and often has an odd, old-fashioned flavor suggestive of Marivaux and Crébillon fils. On the other hand, his psychologic tendency is distinctly modern, and not at all to the taste of an age which found Chateaubriand or Madame de Staël eminently satisfactory. But he appeals strongly to the speculating, self-questioning spirit of the present day, and Zola and Bourget in turn have been glad to claim kinship with him.

Stendhal, however, cannot be summarily labeled and dismissed as a realist or psychologue in the modern acceptation of the term, although he was a pioneer in both fields. He had a sovereign contempt for literary style or method, and little dreamed that he would one day be regarded as the founder of a school. It must be remembered that he was a soldier before he was a man of letters, and his love of adventure occasionally got the better of his love of logic, making his novels a curious mixture of convincing truth and wild romanticism. His heroes are singularly like himself, a mixture of morbid introspection and restless energy: he seems to have taken special pleasure in making them succeed where he had failed in life, and when the spirit of the story-teller gets the better of the psychologist, he sends them on a career of adventure which puts to shame Dumas père or Walter Scott. And yet Stendhal was a born analyst, a self-styled "observer of the human heart"; and the real merit of his novels lies in the marvelous fidelity with which he interprets the emotions, showing the inner workings of his hero's mind from day to day, and multiplying petty details with convincing logic. But in his preoccupation for mental conditions he is apt to lose sight of the material side of life, and the symmetry of his novels is marred by a meagreness of physical detail and a lack of atmosphere. Zola has laid his finger upon Stendhal's real weakness when he points out that "the landscape, the climate, the time of day, the weather,.--Nature herself, in other words,--never seems to intervene and exert an influence on his characters"; and he cites a passage which in point of fact admirably illustrates his meaning, the scene from the 'Rouge et Noir', where Julien endeavors to take the hand of Mme. de Rênal, which he characterizes as "a little mute drama of great power," adding in conclusion:--"Give that episode to an author for whom the milieu exists, and he will make the night, with its odors, its voices, its soft voluptuousness, play a part in the defeat of the woman. And that author will be in the right; his picture will be more complete." It is this tendency to leave nature out of consideration which gives Stendhal's characters a flavor of abstraction, and caused Sainte-Beuve to declare in disgust that they were "not human beings, but ingeniously constructed automatons." Yet it is unfair to conclude with Zola, that Stendhal was a man for whom the outside world did not exist; he was not insensible to the beauties of nature, only he looked upon them as a secondary consideration. After a sympathetic description of the Rhone valley, he had to add, "But the interest of a landscape is insufficient; in the long run, some moral or historical interest is indispensable." Yet he recognized explicitly the influence of climate and environment upon character, and seems to have been sensible of his own shortcomings as an author. "I abhor material descriptions," he confesses in 'Souvenirs d'Égotisme': "the ennui of making them deters me from writing novels."

Nevertheless, aside from his short 'Chroniques' and 'Nouvelles,' and the posthumous 'Lamiel' which he probably intended to destroy, Stendhal has left four stories which deserve detailed consideration: 'Armance,' 'Le Rouge et Le Noir,' 'La Chartreuse de Parme,' and the fragmentary novel 'Lucien Leuwen.'

As has been justly pointed out by Stendhal's sympathetic biographer, Edouard Rod, the heroes of the four books are essentially of one type, and all more or less faithful copies of himself; having in common a need of activity, a thirst for love, a keen sensibility, and an unbounded admiration for Napoleon--and differing only by reason of the several milieus in which he has placed them. The first of these, 'Armance,' appeared in 1827. The hero, Octave, is an aristocrat, son of the Marquis de Malivert, who "was very rich before the Revolution, and when he returned to Paris in 1814, thought himself beggared on an income of twenty or thirty thousand." Octave is the most exaggerated of all Stendhal's heroes; a mysterious, sombre being, "a misanthrope before his time"; coupling with his pride of birth a consciousness of its vanity:--"Had heaven made me the son of a manufacturer of cloth, I should have worked at my desk from the age of sixteen, while now my sole occupation has been luxury. I should have had less pride and more happiness. Ah, how I despise myself!" Yet it is part of Octave's pretensions to regard himself as superior to love. When he discovers his passion for his cousin Armance, he is overwhelmed with despair: "I am in love," he said in a choked voice. "I, in love! Great God!" The object of this reluctant passion, Armance de Zohiloff, is a poor orphan, dependent upon a rich relative. Like Octave, she struggles against her affection, but for better reasons: "The world will look upon me as a lady's-maid who has entrapped the son of the family." The history of their long and secret struggle against this growing passion, complicated by outside incidents and intrigues, forms the bulk of the volume. At last Octave is wounded in a duel, and moved by the belief that he is dying, they mutually confess their affection. Octave unexpectedly recovers, and as Armance about this time receives an inheritance from a distant relative, the story promises to end happily; but at the last moment he is induced to credit a calumny against her, and commits suicide, when Armance retires to a convent. The book is distinctly inferior to his later efforts, and M. Rod is the first to find hidden beauties in it.

Very different was his next book, 'Le Rouge et Le Noir,' the Army and the Priesthood, which appeared in 1830, and is now recognized as Stendhal's masterpiece. As its singular name is intended to imply, it deals with the changed social conditions which confronted the young men of France after the downfall of Napoleon,--the reaction against war and military glory in favor of the Church; a topic which greatly occupied Stendhal, and which is well summed up in the words of his hero Julien:--"When Bonaparte made himself talked about, France was afraid of invasion; military merit was necessary and fashionable. Today one sees priests of forty with appointments of a hundred thousand francs, three times that of Napoleon's famous generals;" and he concludes, "The thing to do is to be a priest."

This Julien Sorel is the son of a shrewd but ignorant peasant, owner of a prosperous saw-mill in the small town of Verrières, in Franche-Comté. "He was a small young man, of feeble appearance, with irregular but delicate features, and an aquiline nose; ... who could have divined that that girlish face, so pale, and gentle, hid an indomitable resolution to expose himself to a thousand deaths sooner than not make his fortune?" His only schooling is gained from a cousin, an old army surgeon, who taught him Latin and inflamed his fancy with stories of Napoleon, and from the aged Abbé Chélan who grounds him in theology,--for Julien had proclaimed his intention of studying for the priesthood. By unexpected good luck, his Latin earned him an appointment as tutor to the children of M. de Rênal, the pompous and purse-proud Mayor of Verrières. Julien is haunted by his peculiar notions of duties which he owes it to himself to perform as steps towards his worldly advancement; for circumstances have made him a consummate hypocrite. One of these duties is to make love to Mme. de Rênal: "Why should he not be loved as Bonaparte, while still poor, had been loved by the brilliant Mme. de Beauharnais?" His pursuit of the Mayor's gentle and inexperienced wife proves only too successful, but at last reaches the ears of the Abbé Chélan, whose influence compels Julien to leave Verrières and go to the Seminary at Besançon, to finish his theological studies. His stay at the Seminary was full of disappointment, for "it was in vain that he made himself small and insignificant, he could not please: he was too different." At last he has a chance to go to Paris, as secretary to the influential Marquis de La Mole, who interests himself in Julien and endeavors to advance him socially. The Marquis has a daughter, Mathilde, a female counterpart of Stendhal's heroes; with exalted ideas of duty, and a profound reverence for Marguerite of Navarre, who dared to ask the executioner for the head of her lover, Boniface de La Mole, executed April 30th, 1574. Mathilde always assumed mourning on April 30th. "I know of nothing," she declared, "except condemnation to death, which distinguishes a man: it is the only thing which cannot be bought." Julien soon conceives it his duty to win Mathilde's affections, and the love passages which ensue between these two "ésprits supérieurs" are singular in the extreme: they arrive at love only through a complicated intellectual process, in which the question of duty, either to themselves or to each other, is always paramount. At last it becomes necessary to confess their affection to the Marquis, who is naturally furious. "For the first time in his life this nobleman forgot his manners: he overwhelmed him with atrocious insults, worthy of a cab-driver. Perhaps the novelty of these oaths was a distraction." What hurts him most is that Mathilde will be plain Mme. Sorel and not a duchess. But at this juncture the father receives a letter from Mme. de Rênal, telling of her relations with Julien, and accusing him of having deliberately won Mathilde in order to possess her wealth. Such baseness the Marquis cannot pardon, and at any cost he forbids the marriage. Julien returns immediately to Verrières, and finding Mme. de Rênal in church, deliberately shoots her. She ultimately recovers from her wound, but Julien is nevertheless condemned and guillotined. Mme. de Rênal dies of remorse, while Mathilde, emulating Marguerite de Navarre, buries Julien's head with her own hands.

The 'Chartreuse de Parme,' although written the same year as the 'Rouge et Noir', was not published until 1839, two years before his death, and was judged his best effort. "He has written 'The Modern Prince,'" declared Balzac, "the book which Macchiavelli would have written if he had been living exiled from Italy in the nineteenth century." The action takes place at Parma; and as a picture of court life in a small Italian principality, with all its jealousies and intrigues, the book is certainly a masterpiece. But it is marred by the extravagance of its plot. The hero, Fabrice, is the younger son of a proud and bigoted Milanese nobleman, the Marquis del Dongo, who "joined a sordid avarice to a host of other fine qualities," and in his devotion to the House of Austria was implacable towards Napoleon. Fabrice, however, was "a young man susceptible of enthusiasm," and on learning of Napoleon's return from Elba, hastened secretly to join him, and participated in the battle of Waterloo. This escapade is denounced by his father to the Austrian police, and on his return Fabrice is forced to take refuge in Swiss territory. About this time his aunt Gina, the beautiful Countess Pietranera, goes to live at Parma; and to conceal a love affair with the prime minister Mosca marries the old Duke of Sanseverina-Taxis, who obligingly leaves on his wedding-day for a distant embassy. Gina has always felt a strong interest for Fabrice, which later ripens into a passion. It is agreed that Fabrice shall study for the priesthood, and that Count Mosca will use his influence to have him made Archbishop of Parma, an office frequently held in the past by Del Dongos. Unfortunately Fabrice is drawn into a quarrel with a certain Giletti, a low comedy actor, whom he kills in self-defense. Ordinarily the killing of a fellow of Giletti's stamp by a Del Dongo would have been considered a trifling matter; but this offense assumes importance through the efforts of a certain political faction to discredit the minister through his protégé. The situation is further complicated by the Prince, Ernest IV., who has come under the spell of Gina's beauty, and furious at finding her obdurate, is glad of an opportunity to humiliate her. Fabrice is condemned to ten years' imprisonment in the Farnese tower, the Prince treacherously disregarding his promise of pardon. From this point the plot becomes fantastic. From his window in the tower, Fabrice overlooks that of Clélia, daughter of General Fabio Conti, governor of the prison. It is a case of mutual love at first sight, and for months the two hold communication by signs above the heads of the passing sentries. After his fabulous escape, effected by the help of his aunt, Fabrice is inconsolable, and at length returns voluntarily to the tower in order to be near Clélia. It is not until after the death of the Prince that the Duchess obtains Fabrice's pardon from his son and successor. At last Clélia dies, and Fabrice enters the neighboring monastery, the Chartreuse of Parma.

Fabrice's experiences on the battle-field of Waterloo, where as a raw youth he first "smelled powder," are recounted with a good deal of realistic detail. They suggest a comparison with a book of more recent date devoted to a similar subject, Stephen Crane's 'Red Badge of Courage,' though of course the latter does not approach Stendhal in artistic self-restraint and mastery over form.

The remaining novel, 'Lucien Leuwen,' was left in an unfinished state, and thus published after the author's death, under the title of 'Le Chasseur Vert.' Recently they have been republished, under the name of 'Lucien Leuwen,' with additional material which the editor, M. Jean de Mitty, claims to have deciphered from almost illegible manuscripts found in the library at Grenoble. But even without these additions there is enough to show that 'Lucien Leuwen' would have been one of his best efforts, second only, perhaps, to the 'Rouge et Noir.' The hero, Lucien, is the son of a rich financier, who "was never out of temper and never took a serious tone with his son," but cheerfully paid his debts, saying "A son is a creditor provided by nature." Out of mere ennui from lack of serious employment, Lucien enters as sub-lieutenant a regiment of Lancers in garrison at Nancy. He has no illusions about military life in times of peace:--"I shall wage war only upon cigars; I shall become the pillager of a military café in the gloomy garrison of an ill-paved little town.... What glory! My soul will be well caught when I present myself to Napoleon in the next world. 'No doubt,' he will say, 'you were dying of hunger when you took up this life?' 'No, General,' I shall reply, 'I thought I was imitating you.'" His early experiences at Nancy, his subsequent meeting with and love for Mme. de Chasteller, are admirable equally for their moderation and their fidelity.

Since Stendhalism has become a cult, so much has been written on the subject that a complete bibliography of Stendhaliana would occupy several pages. Aside from the well-known criticisms of Balzac, Taine, and Sainte-Beuve, the most important contributions to the subject are the article by Zola in 'Romanciers Naturalistes,' that by Bourget in 'Essais de Psychologie Contemporaine,' and the biography by Edouard Rod in the 'Grands Écrivains Français' (Great French Writers) Series. Thanks to the zeal of M. Casimir Stryienski, a considerable amount of autobiographical material has lately been brought to light: 'Journal de Stendhal' 'Vie de Henri Broulard,' and 'Souvenirs d'Égotisme,' which, together with his 'Correspondence,' are indispensable for a true knowledge of the man.


From 'La Chartreuse de Parme'

While Fabrice was gone a-hunting after love adventures in a small village close by Parma, the Fiscal General, Rassi, unaware that he was so near, continued to treat his case as though he had been a Liberal. The witnesses for the defense he pretended that he could not find, or rather that he had frightened them off; and finally, after nearly a year of such sharp practice, and about two months after Fabrice's last return to Bologna, on a certain Friday, the Marquise Raversi, intoxicated with joy, stated publicly in her salon that on the following day "the sentence which had just been passed upon that little Del Dongo would be presented to the Prince for signature, and would be approved by him." Shortly afterwards the Duchess learned these remarks of her enemy.

"The Count must be very poorly served by his agents," she said to herself: "only this morning he was sure that sentence could not be passed inside of a week: perhaps he would not be sorry to have my young Grand Vicar removed from Parma some day. But," she added, "we shall see him come back, and he shall be our Archbishop." The Duchess rang.

"Summon all the servants to the waiting-room," she said to her valet-de-chambre, "even the cooks; go and obtain from the officer in command the requisite permit for four post-horses; and see that in less than half an hour these horses are attached to my landau." All her women were soon busied in packing the trunks: the Duchess hastily donned a traveling dress, without once sending word to the Count; the idea of amusing herself at his expense filled her with joy.

"My friend," she said to the assembled servants, "is about to suffer condemnation by default for having had the audacity to defend his life against a madman; it was Giletti who meant to kill him. You have all been able to see how gentle and inoffensive Fabrice's character is. Justly incensed at this atrocious injury, I am starting for Florence. I shall leave ten years' wages for each of you; if you are unhappy, write to me; and so long as I have a sequin, there shall be something for you."

The Duchess felt exactly as she spoke, and at her last words the servants burst into tears; she herself had moist eyes. She added in a voice of emotion:--"Pray to God for me and for Monsigneur Fabrice del Dongo, first Grand Vicar of this Diocese, who will be condemned to-morrow morning to the galleys, or what would be less stupid, to the penalty of death."

The tears of the servants redoubled, and little by little changed into cries which were very nearly seditious. The Duchess entered her carriage and drove directly to the palace of the Prince. In spite of the untimely hour, she solicited an audience, through General Fontana, acting aide-de-camp. She was nowise in full court toilette, a fact which threw that aide-de-camp into a profound stupor.

The Prince, for his part, was by no means surprised, still less annoyed, at this request for an audience. "We are going to see tears shed by lovely eyes," said he, rubbing his hands; "she is coming to ask for grace; at last that proud beauty has to humble herself! Really she has been too insupportable with her little independent airs! Those eloquent eyes always seemed to be saying to me, at the least thing which annoyed her, 'Naples or Milan would be an abode offering very different attractions from those of your small town of Parma.' True enough, I do not reign over Naples or Milan; but all the same, this fine lady has come to ask me something which depends exclusively upon me, and which she is burning to obtain. I always thought the coming of that nephew would give me some hold upon her."

While the Prince was smiling over his thoughts, and giving himself up to all these agreeable anticipations, he was striding up and down his cabinet, at the door of which General Fontana still remained standing, erect and stiff as a soldier at carry-arms. Seeing the Prince's flashing eye and recalling the Duchess's traveling dress, he prepared for a dissolution of the monarchy. His confusion knew no bounds when he heard the Prince's order: "Beg Madame the Duchess to wait a small quarter of an hour." The general-aide-de-camp executed a right-about-face, like a soldier on parade; the Prince still smiled. "Fontana is not accustomed," he said to himself, "to see our proud Duchess kept waiting. The astonished face with which he has gone to tell her 'to wait that small quarter of an hour' will pave the way for those touching tears which this cabinet is about to witness." This small quarter of an hour was delicious to the Prince; he paced the floor with a firm and measured step, he reigned. "The important thing now is to say nothing which is not perfectly in keeping. It will not do to forget that she is one of the highest ladies of my court. How would Louis XIV. have spoken to the princesses his daughters when he had occasion to be displeased with them?" and his eyes sought the portrait of the great king.

The amusing part of the matter was that the Prince did not even think of asking himself whether he would show clemency to Fabrice, and how far such clemency would go. Finally, at the end of twenty minutes, the faithful Fontana presented himself anew at the door, but without uttering a word. "The Duchess Sanseverina may enter," cried the Prince with a theatrical air. "The tears are about to commence," he told himself, and as if to be prepared for such a spectacle, he drew out his handkerchief.

Never had the Duchess appeared so gay and charming; she did not look twenty-five. The poor aide-de-camp, seeing that her light and rapid footstep barely seemed to skim the carpet, was on the point of losing his reason once for all.

"I must crave many pardons of your Most Serene Highness," said the Duchess in her soft tones of careless gayety: "I have taken the liberty of presenting myself in a toilette which is not altogether appropriate; but your Highness has so accustomed me to his favors that I have ventured to hope that he would accord me this additional grace."

The Duchess spoke quite slowly, so as to give herself time to enjoy the expression of the Prince. It was delicious, on account of his profound astonishment, and that remnant of grand airs which the pose of his head and arms still betrayed. The Prince had remained as if struck by a thunderbolt; from time to time, he exclaimed, in his high-pitched voice, shrill and perturbed, as though articulating with difficulty: "How is this? how is this?" After concluding her compliment, the Duchess, as though from respect, afforded him ample time to reply; then she added:--

"I venture to hope that your Most Serene Highness will deign to pardon the incongruity of my costume:" but as she spoke, her mocking eyes flashed with so bright a gleam that the Prince could not meet them. He looked at the ceiling, a sign with him of the most extreme embarrassment.

"How is this? how is this?" he said to himself again; then by good luck, he found a phrase: "Madame la Duchesse, pray be seated," and he himself pushed forward a chair, with fairly good grace. The Duchess was by no means insensible to this attention, and she moderated the petulance of her glance.

"How is this? how is this?" still repeated the Prince inwardly, shifting so uneasily in his chair that one would have said that he could not find a secure position.

"I am going to take advantage of the freshness of the night to travel post," resumed the Duchess, "and as my absence may be of some duration, I was unwilling to leave the territory of your Most Serene Highness without expressing my thanks for all the favors which for five years your Highness has deigned to show me." At these words the Prince at last understood; he turned pale. It was as man of the world that he felt it most keenly, on finding himself mistaken in his predictions. Then he assumed a grand air, in every way worthy of the portrait of Louis XIV., which was before his eyes. "Admirable," said the Duchess to herself, "there is a man."

"And what is the motive of this sudden departure?" asked the Prince, in a fairly firm tone.

"I have contemplated leaving, for some time," replied the Duchess, "and a slight insult which has been shown to Monsignor del Dongo, who is to be condemned to-morrow to death or to the galleys makes me hasten my departure."

"And to what city are you going?"

"To Naples, I think." As she arose, she added, "It only remains for me to take leave of your Most Serene Highness, and to thank him very humbly for all his earlier kindnesses." She, on her part, spoke with so firm an air that the Prince saw clearly that in a few seconds all would be finished. He knew that if a triumphant departure was once effected, all compromise would be impossible. She was not the woman to retrace her steps. He hastened after her.

"But you know very well, Madame la Duchesse," he said, taking her hand, "that I have always regarded you with a friendship to which it needed only a word from you to give another name. But a murder has been committed; there is no way of denying that. I have intrusted the conduct of the case to my best judges ..."

At these words the Duchess drew herself up to her full height: All semblance of respect, or even of urbanity, disappeared in a flash. The outraged woman was clearly revealed, the outraged woman addressing herself to the one whom she knows to be of bad faith. It was with an expression of keenest anger and even of contempt that she said to the Prince, dwelling upon every word:--

"I am leaving forever the States of your Most Serene Highness, in order that I shall never again hear mentioned the Fiscal Rassi, or the other infamous assassins who have condemned my nephew and so many others to death. If your Most Serene Highness does not wish to mingle a tinge of bitterness with the last moments which I am to pass with a prince who is both polite and entertaining when he is not misled, I beg him very humbly not to recall the thought of those infamous judges who sell themselves for a thousand crowns or a decoration."

The admirable accent, and above all the tone of sincerity, with which these words were uttered, made the Prince tremble; for an instant he feared to see his dignity compromised by a still more direct accusation. On the whole, however, his sensations quickly culminated in one of pleasure. He admired the Duchess, and at this moment her entire person attained a sublime beauty.

"Heavens! how beautiful she is," the Prince said to himself: "one may well overlook something in so unique a woman, one whose like perhaps is not to be found in all Italy.--Well, with a little diplomacy it might not be altogether impossible to make her mine.--There is a wide difference between such a being and that doll of a Marquise Balbi; besides, the latter steals at least three hundred thousand francs a year from my poor subjects.--But did I understand her aright?" he thought all of a sudden: "she said, 'condemned my nephew and so many others.'" His anger came to the surface, and it was with a haughtiness worthy of supreme rank that the Prince said, "And what must be done to keep Madame from leaving?"

"Something of which you are not capable," replied the Duchess, with an accent of the bitterest irony and the most thinly disguised contempt.

The Prince was beside himself, but thanks to his long practice of the profession of absolute sovereign, he found the strength to resist his first impulse. "That woman must be mine," he said to himself. "I owe myself at least that; then I must let her perish under my contempt. If she leaves this room, I shall never see her again." But, intoxicated as he was at this moment with wrath and hatred, how was he to find words which would at once satisfy what was due to himself and induce the Duchess not to desert his court on the instant? "A gesture," he thought, "is something which can neither be repeated nor turned into ridicule," and he went and placed himself between the Duchess and the door of his cabinet. Just then he heard a slight tapping at this door.

"Who is this jackanapes?" he cried, at the top of his lungs, "who is this jackanapes who comes here, thrusting his idiotic presence upon me?" Poor General Fontana showed his face, pale and in evident discomfiture, and with the air of a man at his last gasp, indistinctly pronounced these words:--"His Excellency Count Mosca solicits the honor of being admitted."

"Let him enter," said the Prince in a loud voice; and as Mosca made his salutation, greeted him with:--

"Well, sir, here is Madame the Duchess Sanseverina, who declares that she is on the point of leaving Parma to go and settle at Naples, and has made me saucy speeches into the bargain."

"How is this?" said Mosca, turning pale.

"What, then you knew nothing of this project of departure?"

"Not the first word. At six o'clock I left Madame joyous and contented."

This speech produced an incredible effect upon the Prince. First he glanced at Mosca, whose growing pallor proved that he spoke the truth and was in no way the accomplice of the Duchess's sudden freak. "In that case," he said to himself, "I am losing her forever. Pleasure and vengeance, everything is escaping me at once. At Naples she will make epigrams with her nephew Fabrice, about the great wrath of the little Prince of Parma." He looked at the Duchess; anger and the most violent contempt were struggling in her heart; her eyes were fixed at that moment upon Count Mosca, and the fine lines of that lovely mouth expressed the most bitter disdain. The entire expression of her face seemed to say, "Vile courtier!" "So," thought the Prince, after having examined her, "I have lost even this means of calling her back to our country. If she leaves the room at this moment, she is lost to me. And the Lord only knows what she will say in Naples of my judges, and with that wit and divine power of persuasion with which heaven has endowed her, she will make the whole world believe her. I shall owe her the reputation of being a ridiculous tyrant, who gets up in the middle of the night to look under his bed!"

Then, by an adroit movement, and as if striving to work off his agitation by striding up and down, the Prince placed himself anew before the door of his cabinet. The count was on his right, pale, unnerved, and trembling so that he had to lean for support upon the back of the chair which the Duchess had occupied at the beginning of the audience, and which the Prince, in a moment of wrath, had hurled to a distance. The Count was really in love. "If the Duchess goes away, I shall follow her," he told himself; "but will she tolerate my company? that is the question."

On the left of the Prince stood the Duchess, her arms crossed and pressed against her breast, looking at him with superb intolerance; a complete and profound pallor had succeeded the glowing colors which just before had animated those exquisite features.

The Prince, in contrast with both the others, had a high color and an uneasy air; his left hand played in a nervous fashion with the cross attached to the grand cordon of his order, which he wore beneath his coat; with his right hand he caressed his chin.

"What is to be done?" he said to the Count, not altogether realizing what he was doing himself, but yielding to his habit of consulting the latter about everything.

"Indeed, Most Serene Highness, I know nothing about it," answered the Count, with the air of a man who is rendering up his final sigh; he could hardly utter the words of his response. His tone of voice gave the Prince the first consolation which his wounded pride had found during the interview, and this slight satisfaction helped him to a phrase which was comforting to his self-esteem:--

"Well," said he, "I am the most reasonable of all three; I am quite ready to leave my position in the world entirely out of consideration. I am going to speak as a friend