The Project Gutenberg EBook of Brave Men and Women, by O.E. Fuller

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Title: Brave Men and Women
       Their Struggles, Failures, And Triumphs

Author: O.E. Fuller

Release Date: November 3, 2004 [EBook #13942]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


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Brave sons and daughters of Time Pause not on their journey sublime.
Brave sons and daughters of Time Pause not on their journey sublime.

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Their Struggles, Failures, and Triumphs.



"Find out what you are fitted for; work hard at that one thing, and keep a brave, honest heart."

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All rights reserved.
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Struggle, failure, triumph: while triumph is the thing sought, struggle has its joy, and failure is not without its uses.

"It is not the goal," says Jean Paul, "but the course which makes us happy." The law of life is what a great orator affirmed of oratory--"Action, action, action!" As soon as one point is gained, another, and another presents itself.

"It is a mistake," says Samuel Smiles, "to suppose that men succeed through success; they much oftener succeed through failure." He cites, among others, the example of Cowper, who, through his diffidence and shyness, broke down when pleading his first cause, and lived to revive the poetic art in England; and that of Goldsmith, who failed in passing as a surgeon, and yet wrote the "Deserted Village" and the "Vicar of Wakefield." Even when one turns to no new course, how many failures, as a rule, mark the way to triumph, and brand into life, as with a hot iron, the lessons of defeat!

The brave man or the brave woman is one who looks life in the eye, and says: "God helping me, I am going to [pg 4]realize the best possibilities of my nature, by calling into action the beneficent laws which govern and determine the development of each individual member of the race." And the failures of such a person are the jewels of triumph; that triumph which is certain in the sight of heaven, if not in the eyes of men.

"Brave Men and Women," the title of this volume, is used in a double sense, as referring not only to those whose words and deeds are here recorded, or cited as examples, but also to all who read the book, and are striving after the riches of character.

Some of the sketches and short papers are anonymous, and have been adapted for use in these pages. Where the authorship is known, and the productions have been given verbatim, the source, if not the pen of the editor, has been indicated. Thanks are due to the press, and to those who have permitted the use of copyrighted matter.

In conclusion, the editor lays little claim to originality--save in the metrical pieces, and in the use he has made of material. His aim has simply been to form a sort of mosaic or variegated picture of the Brave Life--the life which recognizes the Divine Goodness in all things, striving through good report and evil report, and in manifold ways, which one is often unqualified to judge, to attain to the life of Him who is "the light of the world."


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Caroline Lucretia Herschel.--A NOBLE, SELF-SACRIFICING WOMAN
















Florence Nightingale.--THE HEROINE OF THE CRIMEA














A Vision of Time.--NEW YEAR'S EVE














Phillips Brooks.--At Home


St. John and the Robber.--A LEGEND OF THE FIRST CENTURY





























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(BORN 1706--DIED 1790.)


The late Judge Black was remarkable not only for his wit and humor, which often enlivened the dry logic of law and fact, but also for flashes of unique eloquence. In presenting a certain brief before the United States Supreme Court he had occasion to animadvert upon some of our great men. Among other things he said, as related to the writer by one who heard him: "The colossal name of Washington is growing year by year, and the fame of Franklin is still climbing to heaven," accompanying the latter words by such a movement of his right hand that not one of his hearers failed to see the immortal kite quietly bearing the philosopher's question to the clouds. It was a point which delivered the answer. In the life of every great man there is likewise a point which delivers the special message which he was born to publish to the world. Biography is greatly simplified when it confines itself chiefly to that one point. What does the reader, who [pg 12]has his own work to do, care for a great multitude of details which are not needed for the setting of the picture? To the point is the cry of our busy life.

Benjamin Franklin is here introduced to the reader


What had he done at that age to command more than ordinary respect and admiration?

I. Born in poverty and obscurity, in which he passed his early years; with no advantages of education in the schools of his day, after he entered his teens; under the condition of daily toil for his bread; he had carried on, in spite of all obstacles, the process of self-education through books and observation, and become in literature and science, as well as in the practical affairs of every-day life, the best informed man in America.

II. Apprenticed to a printer in his native Boston, at thirteen; a journeyman in Philadelphia at seventeen; working at the case in London at nineteen; back to the Quaker City, and set up for himself at twenty-six; he had long since mastered all the details of a great business, prepared to put his hand to any thing, from the trundling of paper through the streets on a wheel-barrow to the writing of editorials and pamphlets, and had earned for himself a position as the most prosperous printer and publisher in the colonies.

III. Retired from active business at forty-six, considering that he had already earned and saved enough to supply his reasonable wants for the rest of his life; fired with ambition to do something for the advancement of science; he had now for six years given himself to philosophical investigation and experiment, among other things demonstrated the identity of electricity as produced by artificial means and atmospheric [pg 13]lightning, and made himself a name throughout the civilized world.

IV. Besides, it must not be forgotten that he had all along been foremost in many a work for the public good. The Franklin Library, of Philadelphia, owes to him its origin. The University of Pennsylvania grew out of an educational project in which he was a prime mover. And his ideas as to the relative importance of ancient and modern classics were more than a hundred years in advance of his times.

Such is a glimpse of Franklin at fifty-two, as preliminary to a single episode which will occupy the rest of this chapter. But the episode itself requires a special word.

V. For a quarter of a century Franklin had published an almanac under the pseudonym of Richard Saunders, into the pages of which he crowded year by year choice scraps of wit and wisdom, which made the little hand-book a welcome visitor in almost every home of the New World. Now in the midst of those philosophical studies which so much delighted him, when about to cross the Atlantic as a commissioner to the Home Government, he found time to gather up the maxims and quaint sayings of twenty-five years and set them in a wonderful mosaic, as the preface of Poor Richard's world-famous almanac--as unique a piece of writing as any language affords. Here it is:


Courteous Reader: I have heard that nothing gives an author so great pleasure as to find his works respectfully quoted by others. Judge, then, how much I must have been gratified by an incident I am going to relate to you. I stopped my horse lately where a great company of people were collected at an auction of merchants' goods. The hour of the sale not being come, they were conversing on the badness of [pg 14]the times; and one of the company called to a plain, clean old man, with white locks, "Pray, Father Abraham, what think you of the times? Will not those heavy taxes quite ruin the country? How shall we ever be able to pay them? What would you advise us to do?" Father Abraham stood up and replied, "If you would have my advice, I will give it you in short; 'for a word to the wise is enough,' as Poor Richard says." They joined in desiring him to speak his mind, and gathering around him, he proceeded as follows:--

"Friends," says he, "the taxes are indeed very heavy; and if those laid on by the government were the only ones we had to pay, we might more easily discharge them; but we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us. We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly; and from these taxes the commissioners can not ease or deliver us by allowing an abatement. However, let us hearken to good advice, and something may be done for us; 'God helps them that help themselves,' as Poor Richard says.

"I. It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one-tenth of their time to be employed in its service, but idleness taxes many of us much more: sloth, by bringing on disease, absolutely shortens life. 'Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labor wears, while the used key is always bright,' as Poor Richard says. 'But dost thou love life, then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of,' as Poor Richard says. How much more than is necessary do we spend in sleep! forgetting that the sleeping fox catches no poultry, and that there will be sleeping enough in the grave,' as Poor Richard says. 'If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must be,' as Poor Richard says, 'the greatest prodigality;' since as he elsewhere tell us, 'Lost time is never found again; and what we call time enough [pg 15]always proves little enough.' Let us then up and be doing, and doing to the purpose, so by diligence shall we do more with less perplexity. 'Sloth makes all things difficult, but industry all easy, and he that riseth late must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night; while laziness travels so slowly, that poverty soon overtakes him. Drive thy business, let not that drive thee; and early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise,' as Poor Richard says.

"So what signifies wishing and hoping for better times? We may make these times better if we bestir ourselves. 'Industry need not wish, and he that lives upon hope will die fasting. There are no gains without pains; then help hands, for I have no lands,' or if I have they are smartly taxed. 'He that hath a trade, hath an estate; and he that hath a calling, hath an office of profit and honor,' as Poor Richard says; but then the trade must be worked at, and the calling well followed, or neither the estate nor the office will enable us to pay our taxes. If we are industrious we shall never starve; for 'at the workingman's house hunger looks in, but dares not enter.' Nor will the bailiff or the constable enter, for 'industry pays debts, while despair increaseth them.' What though you have found no treasure, nor has any rich relation left a legacy; 'Diligence is the mother of good luck, and God gives all things to industry. Then plow deep, while sluggards sleep, and you shall have corn to sell and to keep.' Work while it is called to-day, for you know not how much you may be hindered to-morrow. 'One to-day is worth two to-morrows,' as Poor Richard says; and farther, 'Never leave that till to-morrow which you can do to-day.' If you were a servant, would you not be ashamed that a good master should catch you idle? Are you then your own master? Be ashamed to catch yourself idle, when there is so much to be [pg 16]done for yourself, your family, your country, and your king. Handle your tools without mittens; remember, that 'the cat in gloves catches no mice,' as Poor Richard says. It is true there is much to be done, and, perhaps, you are weak-handed; but stick to it steadily, and you will see great effects; for, 'Constant dropping wears away stones; and by diligence, and patience the mouse ate in two the cable; and little strokes fell great oaks.'

"Methinks I hear some of you say, 'Must a man afford himself no leisure?' I will tell thee, my friend, what Poor Richard says: 'Employ thy time well, if thou meanest to gain leisure; and, since thou art not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour.' Leisure is time for doing something useful; this leisure the diligent man will obtain, but the lazy man never; for 'A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things. Many, without labor, would live by their wits only, but they break for want of stock;' whereas industry gives comfort, and plenty, and respect. 'Fly pleasures, and they will follow you. The diligent spinner has a large shift; and now I have a sheep and a cow, every body bids me good morrow.'

"II. But with our industry we must likewise be steady, settled, and careful, and oversee our own affairs with our own eyes, and not trust too much to others, for, as Poor Richard says,

"'I never saw an oft removed tree,
Nor yet an oft removed family,
That throve so well as those that settled be.'

"And again, 'three removes is as bad as a fire;' and again, 'Keep thy shop, and thy shop will keep thee;' and again, 'If you would have your business done, go; if not, send;' and again,

"'He that by the plow would thrive,
Himself must either hold or drive.'

[pg 17]And again, 'the eye of the master will do more work than both his hands;' and again, 'Want of care does us more damage than want of knowledge;' and again, 'Not to oversee workmen is to leave them your purse open.' Trusting too much to others' care is the ruin of many; for, 'In the affairs of this world, men are saved, not by faith, but by the want of it; but a man's own care is profitable, for, 'If you would have a faithful servant, and one that you like, serve yourself. A little neglect may breed great mischief; for want of a nail the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a horse the rider was lost,' being overtaken and slain by the enemy; all for want of a little care about a horseshoe nail.

"III. So much for industry, my friends, and attention to one's own business; but to these we must add frugality, if we would make our industry more certainly successful. A man may, if he knows not how to save as he gets, 'keep his nose all his life to the grindstone, and die not worth a groat at last. A fat kitchen makes a lean will;' and

"'Many estates are spent in the getting,
Since women for tea forsook spinning and knitting,
And men for punch forsook hewing and splitting.'

'If you would be wealthy, think of saving, as well as of getting. The Indies have not made Spain rich, because her outgoes are greater than her incomes.'

"Away then with your expensive follies, and you will not then have so much cause to complain of hard times, heavy taxes, and chargeable families; for

"'Women and wine, game and deceit,
Make the wealth small, and the want great.'

And farther, 'What maintains one vice would bring up two children.' You may think, perhaps, that a little tea, or a little punch now and then, diet a little more costly, clothes [pg 18]a little finer, and a little entertainment now and then, can be no great matter; but remember, 'Many a little makes a mickle.' Beware of little expenses. 'A small leak will sink a great ship,' as Poor Richard says; and again, 'Who dainties love, shall beggars prove;' and moreover, 'Fools make feasts, and wise men eat them.' Here you are all got together to this sale of fineries and knick-knacks. You call them goods, but, if you do not take care, they will prove evils to some of you. You expect they will be sold cheap, and perhaps they may, for less than they cost; but if you have no occasion for them, they must be dear to you. Remember what Poor Richard says, 'Buy what thou hast no need of, and erelong thou shalt sell thy necessaries.' And again, 'At a great pennyworth pause awhile;' he means, that perhaps the cheapness is apparent only, and not real; or the bargain, by straitening thee in thy business, may do thee more harm than good. For in another place he says, 'Many have been ruined by buying good pennyworths.' Again, 'It is foolish to lay out money in a purchase of repentance;' and yet this folly is practiced every day at auctions, for want of minding the almanac. Many a one, for the sake of finery on the back, have gone with a hungry belly, and half starved their families; 'Silks and satins, scarlet and velvets, put out the kitchen fire,' as Poor Richard says. These are not the necessaries of life; they can scarcely be called the conveniences; and yet, only because they look pretty, how many want to have them? By these and other extravagances, the greatest are reduced to poverty, and forced to borrow of those whom they formerly despised, but who, through industry and frugality, have maintained their standing; in which case it appears plainly, that 'A plowman on his legs is higher than a gentleman on his knees,' as Poor Richard says. Perhaps they have had a small estate left them, which they knew not the getting of; they [pg 19]think 'It is day, and will never be night;' that a little to be spent out of so much is not worth minding; but 'Always taking out of the meal-tub, and never putting in, soon comes to the bottom,' as Poor Richard says; and then, 'When the well is dry, they know the worth of water.' But this they might have known before, if they had taken his advice. 'If you would know the value of money, go and try to borrow some; for he that goes a borrowing, goes a sorrowing,' as Poor Richard says; and, indeed, so does he that lends to such people, when he goes to get it in again. Poor Dick farther advises, and says,

"'Fond pride of dress is sure a very curse;
Ere fancy you consult, consult your purse.'

And again, 'Pride is as loud a beggar as Want, and a great deal more saucy.' When you have bought one fine thing, you must buy ten more, that your appearance may be all of a piece; but Poor Dick says, 'It is easier to suppress the first desire, than to satisfy all that follow it.' And it is as truly folly for the poor to ape the rich, as for the frog to swell in order to equal the ox.

"'Vessels large may venture more,
But little boats should keep near shore.'

It is, however, a folly soon punished; for, as Poor Richard says, 'Pride that dines on vanity, sups on contempt; Pride breakfasted with Plenty, dined with Poverty, and supped with Infamy.' And after all, of what use is this pride of appearance, for which so much is risked, so much is suffered? It can not promote health, nor ease pain; it makes no increase of merit in the person; it creates envy, it hastens misfortune.

"But what madness it must be to run in debt for these superfluities! We are offered by the terms of this sale six [pg 20]months' credit; and that, perhaps, has induced some of us to attend it, because we can not spare the ready money, and hope, now to be fine without it. But, ah! think what you do when you run in debt; you give to another power over your liberty. If you can not pay at the time, you will be ashamed to see your creditor; you will be in fear when you speak to him; you will make poor, pitiful, sneaking excuses, and, by degrees, come to lose your veracity, and sink into base downright lying; for 'The second vice is lying, the first is running in debt,' as Poor Richard says; and again, to the same purpose, 'Lying rides upon debt's back;' whereas a freeborn Englishman ought not to be ashamed nor afraid to see or speak to any man living. But poverty often deprives a man of all spirit and virtue. 'It is hard for an empty bag to stand upright.' What would you think of that prince, or of that government, who should issue an edict forbidding you to dress like a gentleman or gentlewoman, on pain of imprisonment or servitude? Would you not say that you were free, have a right to dress as you please, and that such an edict would be a breach of your privileges, and such a government tyrannical? and yet you are about to put yourself under that tyranny when you run in debt for such dress! Your creditor has authority, at his pleasure, to deprive you of your liberty, by confining you in jail for life, or by selling you for a servant, if you should not be able to pay him. When you have got your bargain, you may, perhaps, think little of payment; but, as Poor Richard says, 'Creditors have better memories than debtors; creditors are a superstitious sect, great observers of days and times.' The day comes round before you are aware, and the demand is made before you are prepared to satisfy it; or, if you bear your debt in mind, the term, which at first seemed so long, will, as it lessens, appear extremely short: Time will seem to have added [pg 21]wings to his heels as well as his shoulders. 'Those have a short Lent, who owe money to be paid at Easter.' At present, perhaps, you may think yourselves in thriving circumstances, and that you can bear a little extravagance without injury; but

"'For age and want save while you may,
No morning sun lasts a whole day.'

"Gain may be temporary and uncertain; but ever, while you live, expense is constant and certain; and 'It is easier to build two chimneys than to keep one in fuel,' as Poor Richard says: so, 'Rather go to bed supperless than rise in debt.'

"'Get what you can, and what you get hold,
'Tis the stone that will turn all your lead into gold.'

And, when you have got the philosopher's stone, sure you will no longer complain of bad times, or the difficulty of paying taxes.

"IV. This doctrine, my friends, is reason and wisdom; but, after all, do riot depend too much upon your own industry and frugality and prudence, though excellent things; for they may all be blasted without the blessing of Heaven; and, therefore, ask that blessing humbly, and be not uncharitable to those that at present seem to want it, but comfort and help them. Remember Job suffered, and was afterwards prosperous.

"And now to conclude, 'Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other,' as Poor Richard says, and scarce in that; for it is true, 'We may give advice, but we can not give conduct.' However, remember this, 'They that will not be counseled, can not be helped;' and farther, that, 'If you will not hear reason, she will surely rap your knuckles,' as Poor Richard says."

Thus the old gentleman ended his harangue. The people [pg 22]heard it, and approved the doctrine, and immediately practiced the contrary, just as if it had been a common sermon; for the auction opened, and they began to buy extravagantly. I found the good man had thoroughly studied my Almanac, and digested all I had dropped on these topics during the course of twenty-five years. The frequent mention he made of me must have tired any one else; but my vanity was wonderfully delighted with it, though I was conscious that not a tenth part of the wisdom was my own which he ascribed to me; but rather the gleanings that I had made of the sense of all ages and nations. However, I resolved to be the better for the echo of it; and, though I had at first determined to buy stuff for a new coat, I went away, resolved to wear my old one a little longer. Reader, if thou wilt do the same, thy profit will be as great as mine. I am, as ever, thine to serve thee,


This quaint address made a brilliant hit. It was at once printed on large sheets, framed, and hung up in cottages in England, as well as in this country. It was also translated into French, Spanish, and modern Greek. At the present day, however, it is not often met with, except in the author's collected works, or in fragments; and the young reader, especially, will be thankful to find it here in full.

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A man of no enviable notoriety is reported to have spoken of Dr. Franklin as "hard, calculating, angular, unable to comprehend any higher object than the accumulation of money." Not a few people who profess much admiration for Franklin in other respects seem to think that in money matters there was something about him akin to meanness. To correct this false impression and show "how Franklin got his money, how much he got, and what he did with it," one of his recent biographers is called up in his defense, and to the question, "Was Dr. Franklin mean?" here is


I will begin with the first pecuniary transaction in which he is known to have been concerned, and this shall be given in his own words:

"When I was a child of seven years old my friends, on a holiday, filled my pockets with coppers. I went directly to a shop where they sold toys for children, and, being charmed with the sound of a whistle, that I met by the way in the hands of another boy, I voluntarily offered and gave all my money for one."

That was certainly not the act of a stingy, calculating boy.

His next purchase, of which we have any knowledge was made when he was about eleven years old; and this time, I confess, he made a much better bargain. The first book he [pg 24]could ever call his own was a copy of Pilgrim's Progress, which he read and re-read until he got from it all so young a person could understand. But being exceedingly fond of reading, he exchanged his Pilgrim's Progress for a set of little books, then much sold by peddlers, called "Burton's Historical Collections," in forty paper-covered volumes, containing history, travels, tales, wonders, and curiosities, just the thing for a boy. As we do not know the market value of his Pilgrim's Progress, we can not tell whether the poor peddler did well by him or the contrary. But it strikes me that that is not the kind of barter in which a mean, grasping boy usually engages.

His father being a poor soap-and-candle maker, with a dozen children or more to support or assist, and Benjamin being a printer's apprentice, he was more and more puzzled to gratify his love of knowledge. But one day he hit upon an expedient that brought in a little cash. By reading a vegetarian book this hard, calculating Yankee lad had been led to think that people could live better without meat than with it, and that killing innocent animals for food was cruel and wicked. So he abstained from meat altogether for about two years. As this led to some inconvenience at his boarding-house, he made this cunning proposition to his master:

"Give me one-half the money you pay for my board and I will board myself."

The master consenting, the apprentice lived entirely on such things as hominy, bread, rice, and potatoes, and found that he could actually live upon half of the half. What did the calculating wretch do with the money? Put it into his money-box? No; he laid it out in the improvement of his mind.

When at the age of seventeen, he landed in Philadelphia, a runaway apprentice, he had one silver dollar and one [pg 25]shilling in copper coin. It was a fine Sunday morning, as probably the reader remembers, and he knew not a soul in the place. He asked the boatmen upon whose boat he had come down the Delaware how much he had to pay. They answered, Nothing, because he had helped them row. Franklin, however, insisted upon their taking his shilling's worth of coppers, and forced the money upon them. An hour after, having bought three rolls for his breakfast, he ate one and gave the other two to a poor woman and her child who had been his fellow-passengers. These were small things, you may say; but remember he was a poor, ragged, dirty runaway in a strange town, four hundred miles from a friend, with three pence gone out of the only dollar he had in the world.

Next year when he went home to see his parents, with his pocket full of money, a new suit of clothes and a watch, one of his oldest Boston friends was so much pleased with Franklin's account of Philadelphia that he determined to go back with him. On the journey Franklin discovered that his friend had become a slave to drink. He was sorely plagued and disgraced by him, and at last the young drunkard had spent all his money and had no way of getting on except by Franklin's aid. This hard, calculating, mercenary youth, did he seize the chance of shaking off a most troublesome and injurious traveling companion? Strange to relate, he stuck to his old friend, shared his purse with him till it was empty, and then began on some money which he had been intrusted with for another, and so got him to Philadelphia, where he still assisted him. It was seven years before Franklin was able to pay all the debt incurred by him to aid this old friend, for abandoning whom few would have blamed him.

A year after he was in still worse difficulty from a similar cause. He went to London to buy types and a press [pg 26]with which to establish himself in business at Philadelphia, the governor of Pennsylvania having promised to furnish the money. One of the passengers on the ship was a young friend of Franklin's named James Ralph, with whom he had often studied, and of whom he was exceedingly fond. Ralph gave out that he, too, was going to London to make arrangements for going into business for himself at Philadelphia. The young friends arrived. Franklin nineteen and Ralph a married man with two children. On reaching London Franklin learned, to his amazement and dismay, that the governor had deceived him, that no money was to be expected from him, and that he must go to work and earn his living at his trade. No sooner had he learned this than James Ralph gave him another piece of stunning intelligence; namely, that he had run away from his family and meant to settle in London as a poet and author.

Franklin had ten pounds in his pocket, and knew a trade. Ralph had no money, and knew no trade. They were both strangers in a strange city. Now, in such circumstances, what would a mean, calculating young man have done? Reader, you know very well, without my telling you. What Franklin did was this: he shared his purse with his friend till his ten pounds were all gone; and having at once got to work at his trade, he kept on dividing his wages with Ralph until he had advanced him thirty-six pounds--half a year's income--not a penny of which was ever repaid. And this he did--the cold-blooded wretch!--because he could not help loving his brilliant, unprincipled comrade, though disapproving his conduct and sadly needing his money.

Having returned to Philadelphia, he set up in business as a printer and editor, and, after a very severe effort, he got his business well established, and at last had the most [pg 27]profitable establishment of the kind in all America. During the most active part of his business life he always found some time for the promotion of public objects. He founded a most useful and public-spirited club; a public library, which still exists, and assisted in every worthy scheme. He was most generous to his poor relations, hospitable to his fellow-citizens, and particularly interested in his journeymen, many of whom he set up in business.

The most decisive proof, however, which he ever gave that he did not overvalue money, was the retirement from a most profitable business for the purpose of having leisure to pursue his philosophical studies. He had been in business twenty years, and he was still in the prime of life--forty-six years of age. He was making money faster than any other printer on this continent. But being exceedingly desirous of spending the rest of his days in study and experiment, and having saved a moderate competency, he sold his establishment to his foreman on very easy terms, and withdrew. His estate, when he retired, was worth about a hundred thousand dollars. If he had been a lover of money, I am confident that he could and would have accumulated one of the largest fortunes in America. He had nothing to do but continue in business, and take care of his investments, to roll up a prodigious estate. But not having the slightest taste for needless accumulation, he joyfully laid aside the cares of business, and spent the whole remainder of his life in the services of his country; for he gave up his heart's desire of devoting his leisure to philosophy when his country needed him.

Being in London when Captain Cook returned from his first voyage to the Pacific, he entered warmly into a beautiful scheme for sending a ship for the purpose of stocking the islands there with pigs, vegetables, and other useful animals [pg 28]and products. A hard, selfish man would have laughed such a project to scorn.

In 1776, when he was appointed embassador of the revolted colonies to the French king, the ocean swarmed with British cruisers, General Washington had lost New York, and the prospects of the Revolution were gloomy in the extreme. Dr. Franklin was an old man of seventy, and might justly have asked to be excused from a service so perilous and fatiguing. But he did not. He went. And just before he sailed he got together all the money he could raise--about three thousand pounds--and invested it in the loan recently announced by Congress. This he did at a moment when few men had a hearty faith in the success of the Revolution. This he did when he was going to a foreign country that might not receive him, from which he might be expelled, and he have no country to return to. There never was a more gallant and generous act done by an old man.

In France he was as much the main stay of the cause of his country as General Washington was at home.

Returning home after the war, he was elected president of Pennsylvania for three successive years, at a salary of two thousand pounds a year. But by this time he had become convinced that offices of honor, such as the governorship of a State, ought not to have any salary attached to them. He thought they should be filled by persons of independent income, willing to serve their fellow-citizens from benevolence, or for the honor of it. So thinking, he at first determined not to receive any salary; but this being objected to, he devoted the whole of the salary for three years--six thousand pounds--to the furtherance of public objects. Part of it he gave to a college, and part was set aside for the improvement of the Schuylkill River.

[pg 29]Never was an eminent man more thoughtful of people who were the companions of his poverty. Dr. Franklin, from amidst the splendors of the French court, and when he was the most famous and admired person in Europe, forgot not his poor old sister, Jane, who was in fact dependent on his bounty. He gave her a house in Boston, and sent her every September the money to lay in her Winter's fuel and provisions. He wrote her the kindest, wittiest, pleasantest letters. "Believe me, dear brother," she writes, "your writing to me gives me so much pleasure that the great, the very great, presents you have sent me give me but a secondary joy."

How exceedingly absurd to call such a man "hard" and miserly, because he recommended people not to waste their money! Let me tell you, reader, that if a man means to be liberal and generous, he must be economical. No people are so mean as the extravagant, because, spending all they have upon themselves, they have nothing left for others. Benjamin Franklin was the most consistently generous man of whom I have any knowledge.

[pg 30]




It was in the Spring of 1758 that the daughter of a distinguished professor of medicine in the University of Edinburgh changed her maiden name of Rutherford for her married name of Scott, having the happiness to unite her lot with one who was not only a scrupulously honorable man, but who, from his youth up, had led a singularly blameless life. Well does Coventry Patmore sing:

"Who is the happy husband? He,
    Who, scanning his unwedded life,
Thanks Heaven, with a conscience free,
    'Twas faithful to his future wife."

Such a husband as this was the father of Sir Walter Scott, a writer to the signet (or lawyer) in large practice in Edinburgh. He had never been led from the right way; and when the less virtuously inclined among the companions of his early life in Edinburgh found that they could not corrupt him, they ceased after a little while to laugh at him, and learned to honor him and to confide in him, "which is certainly," says he who makes the record on the authority of Mrs. Scott herself, "a great inducement to young men in the outset of life to act a similar part." It does not appear that old Walter Scott sought for beauty of person in his bride, though no doubt the face he loved was more beautiful to him than that of the bonniest belle in Scotland; but beauty of [pg 31]mind and disposition she certainly had. Of her father it is told that, when in practice as "a physician, he never gave a prescription without silently invoking on it the blessing of Heaven, and the piety which dictated the custom had been inherited by his daughter.


Mrs. Scott's education, also, had been an excellent one--giving, besides a good general grounding, an acquaintance with literature, and not neglecting "the more homely duties of the needle and the account-book." Her manners, moreover (an important and too often neglected factor in a mother's influence over her children), were finished and elegant, though intolerably stiff in some respects, when compared with the manners and habits of to-day. The maidens of today can scarcely realize, for instance, the asperity of the training of their embryo great-grandmothers, who were always made to sit in so Spartanly upright a posture that Mrs. Scott, in her seventy-ninth year, boasted that she had never allowed her shoulders to touch the back of her chair!


As young Walter was one of many children he could not, of course, monopolize his mother's attention; but probably she recognized the promise of his future greatness (unlike the mother of the duke of Wellington, who thought Arthur the family dunce), and gave him a special care; for, speaking of his early boyhood, he tells us: "I found much consolation in the partiality of my mother." And he goes on to say that she joined to a light and happy temper of mind a strong turn to study poetry and works of imagination. Like the mothers of the Ettrick Shepherd and of Burns, she repeated to her son the traditionary ballads she knew by heart; and, so soon as he was sufficiently advanced, his leisure hours were [pg 32]usually spent in reading Pope's translation of Homer aloud to her, which, with the exception of a few ballads and some of Allan Ramsay's songs, was the first poetry he made acquaintance with. It must often have been with anxiety, and sometimes not without a struggle, that his mother--solicitous about every trifle which affected the training of her child--decided on the books which she was to place in his hands. She wished him to develop his intellectual faculties, but not at the expense of his spiritual; and romantic frivolity and mental dissipation on the one hand, and a too severe repression--dangerous in its after reaction--on the other, were the Scylla and Charybdis between which she had to steer. The ascetic Puritanism of her training and surroundings would naturally have led her to the narrower and more restrictive view, in which her husband, austerer yet, would have heartily concurred; but her broad sense, quickened by the marvelous insight that comes from maternal love, led her to adopt the broader, and, we may safely add, with Sir Walter's career and character before us, the better course. Her courage was, however, tempered with a wise discretion; and when he read to her she was wont, he says, to make him "pause upon those passages which expressed generous and worthy sentiments"--a most happy method of education, and a most effective one in the case of an impressionable boy. A little later, when he passed from the educational care of his mother to that of a tutor, his relations to literature changed, as the following passage from his autobiography will show: "My tutor thought it almost a sin to open a profane play or poem; and my mother had no longer the opportunity to hear me read poetry as formerly. I found, however, in her dressing-room, where I slept at one time, some odd volumes of Shakespeare; nor can I easily forget the rapture with which I sat up in my shirt reading them by the light of a fire in [pg 33]her apartment, until the bustle of the family rising from supper warned me that it was time to creep back to my bed, where I was supposed to have been safely deposited since 9 o'clock." This is a suggestive, as well as frank, story. Supposing for a moment that instead of Shakespeare the room had contained some of the volumes of verse and romance which, though denying alike the natural and the supernatural virtues, are to be found in many a Christian home, how easily might he have suffered a contamination of mind.


It has been proudly said of Sir Walter as an author that he never forgot the sanctities of domestic love and social duty in all that he wrote; and considering how much he did write, and how vast has been the influence of his work on mankind, we can scarcely overestimate the importance of the fact. Yet it might have been all wrecked by one little parental imprudence in this matter of books. And what excuse is there, after all, for running the terrible risk? Authors who are not fit to be read by the sons and daughters are rarely read without injury by the fathers and mothers; and it would be better by far, Savonarola-like, to make a bonfire of all the literature of folly, wickedness, and infidelity, than run the risk of injuring a child simply for the sake of having a few volumes more on one's shelves. In the balance of heaven there is no parity between a complete library and a lost soul. But this story has another lesson. It indicates once more the injury which may be done to character by undue limitations. Under the ill-considered restrictions of his tutor, which ran counter to the good sense of his mother, whose wisdom was justified by the event, Walter Scott might easily have fallen into tricks of concealment and forfeited his candor--that candor which [pg 34]developed into the noble probity which marked his conduct to the last. Without candor there can not be truth, and, as he himself has said, there can be no other virtue without truth. Fortunately for him, by the wise sanction his mother had given to his perusal of imaginative writings, she had robbed them of a mystery unhealthy in itself; and he came through these stolen readings substantially unharmed, because he knew that his fault was only the lighter one of sitting up when he was supposed to be lying down.

Luckily this tutor's stern rule did not last long; and when a severe illness attacked the youth (then advanced to be a student at Edinburgh College) and brought him under his mother's charge once more, the bed on which he lay was piled with a constant succession of works of imagination, and he was allowed to find consolation in poetry and romance, those fountains which flow forever for the ardent and the young. It was in relation to Mrs. Scott's control of her son's reading that he wrote with gratitude, late in life, "My mother had good natural taste and great feeling." And after her death, in a letter to a friend, he paid her this tribute: "She had a mind peculiarly well stored. If I have been able to do any thing in the way of painting the past times, it is very much from the studies with which she presented me. She was a strict economist, which, she said, enabled her to be liberal. Out of her little income of about fifteen hundred dollars a year, she bestowed at least a third in charities; yet I could never prevail on her to accept of any assistance." Her charity, as well as her love for genealogy, and her aptitude for story-telling, was transmitted to her son. It found expression in him, not only in material gifts to the poor, but in a conscientious care and consideration for the feelings of others. This trait is beautifully exhibited by many of the facts recorded by Lockhart in his [pg 35]famous memoir, and also by a little incident, not included there, which I have heard Sir Henry Taylor tell, and which, besides illustrating the subject, deserves for its own sake a place in print. The great and now venerable author of "Philip Van Artevelde" dined at Abbotsford only a year or two before the close of its owner's life. Sir Walter had then lost his old vivacity, though not his simple dignity; but for one moment during the course of the evening he rose into animation, and it happened thus: There was a talk among the party of an excursion which was to be made on the following day, and during the discussion of the plans Miss Scott mentioned that two elderly maiden ladies, living in the neighborhood, were to be of the number, and hinted that their company would be a bore. The chivalrous kindliness of her father's heart was instantly aroused. "I can not call that good-breeding," he said, in an earnest and dignified tone--a rebuke which echoed the old-fashioned teaching on the duties of true politeness he had heard from his mother half a century before.

We would gladly know more than we do of Mrs. Scott's attitude toward her son when first his penchant for authorship was shown. That she smiled on his early evidences of talent, and fostered them, we may well imagine; and the tenderness with which she regarded his early compositions is indicated by the fact that a copy of verses, written in a boyish scrawl, was carefully preserved by her, and found, after her death, folded in a paper on which was inscribed, "My Walter's first lines, 1782." That she gloried in his successes when they came, we gather; for when speaking late in life to Dr. Davy about his brother Sir Humphrey's distinction, Sir Walter, doubtless drawing on his own home memories, remarked, "I hope, Dr. Davy, that your mother lived to see it; there must have been great pleasure in that to her." But with whatever [pg 36]zeal Mrs. Scott may have unfolded Sir Walter's mind by her training, by her praise, by her motherly enthusiasm, it is certain that, from first to last, she loved his soul, and sought its interest, in and above all. Her final present to him before she died was not a Shakespeare or a Milton, but an old Bible--the book she loved best; and for her sake Sir Walter loved it too.

Happy was Mrs. Scott in having a son who in all things reciprocated the affection of his mother. With the first five-guinea fee he earned at the bar he bought a present for her--a silver taper-stand, which stood on her mantle-piece many a year; when he became enamored of Miss Carpenter he filially wrote to consult his mother about the attachment, and to beg her blessing upon it; when, in 1819, she died at an advanced age, he was in attendance at her side, and, full of occupations though he was, we find him busying himself to obtain for her body a beautifully situated grave. Thirteen years later he also rested from his labors. During the last hours of his lingering life he desired to be read to from the New Testament; and when his memory for secular poetry had entirely failed him, the words and the import of the sacred volume were still in his recollection, as were also some of the hymns of his childhood, which his grandson, aged six years, repeated to him. "Lockhart," he said to his son-in-law, "I have but a minute to speak to you. My dear, be a good man; be virtuous, be religious, be a good man. Nothing else will give you any comfort when you come to lie here."

So passed the great author of "Waverley" away. And when, in due course, his executors came to search for his testament, and lifted up his desk, "we found," says one of them, "arranged in careful order a series of little objects, which had obviously been so placed there that his eye might rest on them every morning before he began his tasks." [pg 37]There were the old-fashioned boxes that had garnished his mother's toilet-table when he, a sickly child, slept in her dressing-room; the silver taper-stand which the young advocate bought for her with his first fee; a row of small packets inscribed by her hand, and containing the hair of such of her children as had died before her; and more odds and ends of a like sort--pathetic tokens of a love which bound together for a little while here on earth, and binds together for evermore in heaven, Christian mother and son.

    Sir Walter of the land
    Of song and old romance,
Tradition in his cunning hand
    Obedient as the lance

    His valiant Black Knight bore,
    Wove into literature
The legend, myth, and homely lore
    Which now for us endure,

    To charm our weary hours,
    To rouse our stagnant hearts,
And leave the sense of new-born powers,
    Which never more departs.

    We thank him in the name
    Of One who sits on high,
And aye abides in every fame
    Which makes a brighter sky.
[pg 38]



(BORN 1744--DIED 1818.)


Abigail Smith, the daughter of a Congregational minister, of Weymouth, Massachusetts, was one of the most noted women of our early history. She left a record of her heart and character, and to some extent a picture of the stirring times in which she lived, in the shape of letters which are of perennial value, especially to the young. "It was fashionable to ridicule female learning" in her day; and she says of herself in one of her letters, "I was never sent to any school." She adds in explanation, "I was always sick." When girls, however, were sent to school, their education seldom went beyond writing and arithmetic. But in spite of disadvantages, she read and studied in private, and by means of correspondence with relatives and others, cultivated her mind, and formed an easy and graceful style of writing.

On the 25th of October, 1764, Miss Smith became the wife of John Adams, a lawyer of Braintree, the part of the town in which he lived being afterwards called Quincy, in honor of Mrs. Adams's maternal grandfather. Charles Francis Adams, her grandson, from whose memoir of her the material for this brief sketch is drawn, says that the ten years immediately following her marriage present little that is worth recording.


But when the days of the Revolution came on, those times that tried men's souls, women were by no means exempt [pg 39]from tribulation, and they, too, began to make history. The strength of Mrs. Adams's affection for her husband may be learned from an extract from one of her letters: "I very well remember when Eastern circuits of the courts, which lasted a month, were thought an age, and an absence of three months intolerable; but we are carried from step to step, and from one degree to another, to endure that which we at first think impossible."

In 1778 her husband went as one of the commissioners to France. During his absence Mrs. Adams managed, as she had often done before, both the household and the farm--a true wife and mother of the Revolution. "She was a farmer cultivating the land, and discussing the weather and the crops; a merchant reporting prices current and the rates of exchange, and directing the making up of invoices; a politician speculating upon the probabilities of peace and war; and a mother writing the most exalted sentiments to her son."

John Quincy Adams, the son, in his twelfth year, was with his father in Europe. The following extracts are from letters to him, dated 1778-80:

"'Tis almost four months since you left your native land, and embarked upon the mighty waters, in quest of a foreign country. Although I have not particularly written to you since, yet you may be assured you have constantly been upon my heart and mind.

"It is a very difficult task, my dear son, for a tender parent to bring her mind to part with a child of your years going to a distant land; nor could I have acquiesced in such a separation under any other care than that of the most excellent parent and guardian who accompanied you. You have arrived at years capable of improving under the advantages you will be likely to have, if you do but properly attend to them. They are talents put into your hands, of which an [pg 40]account will be required of you hereafter; and being possessed of one, two, or four, see to it that you double your numbers.

"The most amiable and most useful disposition in a young mind is diffidence of itself; and this should lead you to seek advice and instruction from him who is your natural guardian, and will always counsel and direct you in the best manner, both for your present and future happiness. You are in possession of a natural good understanding, and of spirits unbroken by adversity and untamed with care. Improve your understanding by acquiring useful knowledge and virtue, such as will render you an ornament to society, an honor to your country, and a blessing to your parents. Great learning and superior abilities, should you ever possess them, will be of little value and small estimation unless virtue, honor, truth, and integrity are added to them. Adhere to those religious sentiments and principles which were early instilled into your mind, and remember that you are accountable to your Maker for all your words and actions.

"Let me enjoin it upon you to attend constantly and steadfastly to the precepts and instructions of your father, as you value the happiness of your mother and your own welfare. His care and attention to you render many things unnecessary for me to write, which I might otherwise do; but the inadvertency and heedlessness of youth require line upon line and precept upon precept, and, when enforced by the joint efforts of both parents, will, I hope, have a due influence upon your conduct; for, dear as you are to me, I would much rather you should have found your grave in the ocean you have crossed, or that any untimely death crop you in your infant years, than see you an immoral, profligate, or graceless child.

"You have entered early in life upon the great theater of the world, which is full of temptations and vice of every kind. [pg 41]You are not wholly unacquainted with history, in which you have read of crimes which your inexperienced mind could scarcely believe credible. You have been taught to think of them with horror, and to view vice as

                'A monster of so frightful mien,
That, to be hated, needs but to be seen.'

"Yet you must keep a strict guard upon yourself, or the odious monster will soon lose its terror by becoming familiar to you. The modern history of our own times furnishes as black a list of crimes as can be paralleled in ancient times, even if we go back to Nero, Caligula, or Cæsar Borgia. Young as you are, the cruel war into which we have been compelled by the haughty tyrant of Britain and the bloody emissaries of his vengeance, may stamp upon your mind this certain truth, that the welfare and prosperity of all countries, communities, and, I may add, individuals, depend upon their morals. That nation to which we were once united, as it has departed from justice" eluded and subverted the wise laws which formerly governed it, and suffered the worst of crimes to go unpunished, has lost its valor, wisdom, and humanity, and, from being the dread and terror of Europe, has sunk into derision and infamy....

"Some author, that I have met with, compares a judicious traveler to a river, that increases its stream the further it flows from its source; or to certain springs, which, running through rich veins of minerals, improve their qualities as they pass along. It will be expected of you, my son, that, as you are favored with superior advantages under the instructive eye of a tender parent, your improvement should bear some proportion to your advantages. Nothing is wanting with you but attention, diligence, and steady application. Nature has not been deficient.

"These are times in which a genius would wish to live. [pg 42]It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. Would Cicero have shone so distinguished an orator if he had not been roused, kindled, and inflamed by the tyranny of Catiline, Verres, and Mark Antony? The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. All history will convince you of this, and that wisdom and penetration are the fruit of experience, not the lessons of retirement and leisure. Great necessities call out great virtues. When a mind is raised and animated by scenes that engage the heart, then those qualities, which would otherwise lie dormant, wake into life and form the character of the hero and statesman. War, tyranny, and desolation are the scourges of the Almighty, and ought no doubt to be deprecated. Yet it is your lot, my son, to be an eye-witness of these calamities in your own native land, and, at the same time, to owe your existence among a people who have made a glorious defense of their invaded liberties, and who, aided by a generous and powerful ally, with the blessing of Heaven, will transmit this inheritance to ages yet unborn.

"Nor ought it to be one of the least of your incitements towards exerting every power and faculty of your mind, that you have a parent who has taken so large and active a share in this contest, and discharged the trust reposed in him with so much satisfaction as to be honored with the important embassy which at present calls him abroad.

"The strict and inviolable regard you have ever paid to truth gives me pleasing hopes that you will not swerve from her dictates, but add justice, fortitude, and every manly virtue which can adorn a good citizen, do honor to your country, and render your parents supremely happy, particularly your ever affectionate mother.

... "The only sure and permanent foundation of [pg 43]virtue is religion. Let this important truth be engraven upon your heart. And also, that the foundation of religion is the belief of the one only God, and a just sense of his attributes, as a being infinitely wise, just, and good, to whom you owe the highest reverence, gratitude, and adoration; who superintends and governs all nature, even to clothing the lilies of the field, and hearing the young ravens when they cry; but more particularly regards man, whom he created after his own image, and breathed into him an immortal spirit, capable of a happiness beyond the grave; for the attainment of which he is bound to the performance of certain duties, which all tend to the happiness and welfare of society, and are comprised in one short sentence, expressive of universal benevolence, 'Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.'

"Justice, humanity, and benevolence, are the duties you owe to society in general. To your country the same duties are incumbent upon you, with the additional obligation of sacrificing ease, pleasure, wealth, and life itself for its defense and security. To your parents you owe love, reverence, and obedience to all just and equitable commands. To yourself,--here, indeed, is a wide field to expatiate upon. To become what you ought to be, and what a fond mother wishes to see you, attend to some precepts and instructions from the pen of one who can have no motive but your welfare and happiness, and who wishes in this way to supply to you the personal watchfulness and care which a separation from you deprived you of at a period of life when habits are easiest acquired and fixed; and though the advice may not be new, yet suffer it to obtain a place in your memory, for occasions may offer, and perhaps some concurring circumstances unite, to give it weight and force.

"Suffer me to recommend to you one of the most useful lessons of life--the knowledge and study of yourself. [pg 44]There you run the greatest hazard of being deceived. Self-love and partiality cast a mist before the eyes, and there is no knowledge so hard to be acquired, nor of more benefit when once thoroughly understood. Ungoverned passions have aptly been compared to the boisterous ocean, which is known to produce the most terrible effects. 'Passions are the elements of life,' but elements which are subject to the control of reason. Whoever will candidly examine themselves, will find some degree of passion, peevishness, or obstinacy in their natural tempers. You will seldom find these disagreeable ingredients all united in one; but the uncontrolled indulgence of either is sufficient to render the possessor unhappy in himself, and disagreeable to all who are so unhappy as to be witnesses of it, or suffer from its effects.

"You, my dear son, are formed with a constitution feelingly alive; your passions are strong and impetuous; and, though I have sometimes seen them hurry you into excesses, yet with pleasure I have observed a frankness and generosity accompany your efforts to govern and subdue them. Few persons are so subject to passion but that they can command themselves when they have a motive sufficiently strong; and those who are most apt to transgress will restrain themselves through respect and reverence to superiors, and even, where they wish to recommend themselves, to their equals. The due government of the passions has been considered in all ages as a most valuable acquisition. Hence an inspired writer observes, 'He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit, than he than taketh a city.' This passion, co-operating with power, and unrestrained by reason, has produced the subversion of cities, the desolation of countries, the massacre of nations, and filled the world with injustice and oppression. Behold your [pg 45]own country, your native land, suffering from the effects of lawless power and malignant passions, and learn betimes, from your own observation and experience, to govern and control yourself. Having once obtained this self-government, you will find a foundation laid for happiness to yourself and usefulness to mankind. 'Virtue alone is happiness below;' and consists in cultivating and improving every good inclination, and in checking and subduing every propensity to evil. I have been particular upon the passion of anger, as it is generally the most predominant passion at your age, the soonest excited, and the least pains are taken to subdue it;

'What composes man, can man destroy.'"

With such a mother to counsel him, one is led to ask, how could John Quincy Adams help becoming a noble-minded and great man? Who wonders that, with good natural endowments and his excellent privileges, coupled with maternal training, he fitted himself to fill the highest office in the gift of a free people?

In June, 1784, Mrs. Adams sailed for London, to join her husband, who was then our Minister at the Court of St. James. While absent, she visited France and Netherlands; resided for a time in the former country; and returned with her knowledge of human nature, of men, manners, etc., enlarged; disgusted with the splendor and sophistications of royalty, and well prepared to appreciate the republican simplicity and frankness of which, she was herself a model. While Mr. Adams was Vice-president and President, she never laid aside her singleness of heart and that sincerity and unaffected dignity which had won for her many friends before her elevation, and which, in spite of national animosity, conquered the prejudices and gained the heart of the aristocracy of Great Britain. But her crowning virtue [pg 46]was her Christian humility, which is beautifully exemplified in a letter which she wrote to Mr. Adams, on the 8th of February, 1797, "the day on which the votes for President were counted, and Mr. Adams, as Vice-president, was required by law to announce himself the President elect for the ensuing term:"

"'The sun is dressed in brightest beams,
To give thy honors to the day.'

"And may it prove an auspicious prelude to each ensuing season. You have this day to declare yourself head of a nation. 'And now, O Lord, my God, thou hast made thy servant ruler over the people. Give unto him an understanding heart, that he may know how to go out and come in before this great people; that he may discern between good and bad. For who is able to judge this thy so great a people?' were the words of a royal sovereign; and not less applicable to him who is invested with the chief magistracy of a nation, though he wear not a crown nor the robes of royalty.

"My thoughts and my meditations are with you, though personally absent; and my petitions to Heaven are, that 'the things which make for peace may not be hidden from your eyes.' My feelings are not those of pride or ostentation, upon the occasion. They are solemnized by a sense of the obligations, the important trusts, and numerous duties connected with it. That you may be enabled to discharge them with honor to yourself, with justice and impartiality to your country, and with satisfaction to this great people, shall be the daily prayer of your A.A."

From her husband's retirement from the Presidency in 1801, to the close of her life in 1818, Mrs. Adams remained constantly at Quincy. Cheerful, contented, and happy, she devoted her last years, in that rural seclusion, to the reciprocities [pg 47]of friendship and love, to offices of kindness and charity, and, in short, to all those duties which tend to ripen the Christian for an exchange of worlds.

But it would be doing injustice to her character and leaving one of her noblest deeds unrecorded, to close without mentioning the influence for good which she exerted over Mr. Adams, and her part in the work of making him what he was. That he was sensible of the benignant influence of wives, may be gathered from the following letter, which was addressed to Mrs. Adams from Philadelphia, on the 11th of August, 1777:

"I think I have sometimes observed to you in conversation, that upon examining the biography of illustrious men you will generally find some female about them, in the relation of mother or wife or sister, to whose instigation a great part of their merit is to be ascribed. You will find a curious example of this in the case of Aspasia, the wife of Pericles. She was a woman of the greatest beauty and the first genius. She taught him, it is said, his refined maxims of policy, his lofty imperial eloquence, nay, even composed the speeches on which so great a share of his reputation was founded.

"I wish some of our great men had such wives. By the account in your last letter, it seems the women in Boston begin to think themselves able to serve their country. What a pity it is that our generals in the northern districts had not Aspasias to their wives!

"I believe the two Howes have not very great women to their wives. If they had, we should suffer more from their exertions than we do. This is our good fortune. A smart wife would have put Howe in possession of Philadelphia a long time ago."

While Mr. Adams was wishing that some of our great [pg 48]men had such wives as Aspasia, he had such a wife, was himself such a man, and owed half his greatness to his Aspasia. The exalted patriotism and cheerful piety infused into the letters she addressed to him during the long night of political uncertainty that hung over the country, strengthened his courage, fired his nobler feelings, nerved his higher purposes, and, doubtless, greatly contributed to make him one of the chief pillars of the young republic. All honor to a brave wife, and not less heroic mother. If her husband and son kept the ship of state from the rocks, the light which guided them was largely from her.

    Heroic wife and mother,
    Whose days were toil and grace,
Thy glory gleams for many another,
    And shines in many a face.

    The heart, as of a nation,
    Throbs with thy tender love;
And all our drama of salvation
    Thou watchest from above.

    Our days, which yet are evil,
    And only free in part,
Have need of things with Heaven co-eval,
    Of Faith's unbounded heart.

    God grant the times approaching
    Be full of glad events,
No unheroic aims reproaching
    Our line of Presidents.
[pg 49]




It was just two o'clock of one of the warmest of the July afternoons. Mrs. Hill had her dinner all over, had put on her clean cap and apron, and was sitting on the north porch, making an unbleached cotton shirt for Mr. Peter Hill, who always wore unbleached shirts at harvest-time. Mrs. Hill was a thrifty housewife. She had pursued this economical avocation for some little time, interrupting herself only at times to "shu!" away the flocks of half-grown chickens that came noisily about the door for the crumbs from the table-cloth, when the sudden shutting down of a great blue cotton umbrella caused her to drop her work, and exclaim:

"Well, now, Mrs. Troost! who would have thought you ever would come to see me!"

"Why, I have thought a great many times I would come," said the visitor, stamping her little feet--for she was a little woman--briskly on the blue flag-stones, and then dusting them nicely with her white cambric handkerchief, before venturing on the snowy floor of Mrs. Hill. And, shaking hands, she added, "It has been a good while, for I remember when I was here last I had my Jane with me--quite a baby then, if you mind--and she is three years old now."

"Is it possible?" said Mrs. Hill, untying the bonnet-strings of her neighbor, who sighed as she continued, "Yes, she was three along in February;" and she sighed again, more heavily than before, though there was no earthly reason [pg 50]that I know of why she should sigh, unless, perhaps, the flight of time, thus brought to mind, suggested the transitory nature of human things.

Mrs. Hill laid the bonnet of Mrs. Troost on her "spare bed," and covered it with a little pale-blue crape shawl, kept especially for such occasions; and, taking from the drawer of the bureau a large fan of turkey feathers, she presented it to her guest, saying, "A very warm day, isn't it?"

"O, dreadful, dreadful! It seems as hot as a bake oven; and I suffer with the heat all Summer, more or less. But it's a world of suffering;" and Mrs. Troost half closed her eyes, as if to shut out the terrible reality.

"Hay-making requires sunshiny weather, you know; so we must put up with it," said Mrs. Hill; "besides, I can mostly find some cool place about the house; I keep my sewing here on the porch, and, as I bake my bread or cook my dinner, manage to catch it up sometimes, and so keep from getting overheated; and then, too, I get a good many stitches taken in the course of the day."

"This is a nice cool place--completely curtained with vines," said Mrs. Troost; and she sighed again. "They must have cost you a great deal of pains."

"O, no! no trouble at all; morning-glories grow themselves; they only require to be planted. I will save seed for you this Fall, and next Summer you can have your porch as shady as mine."

"And if I do, it would not signify," said Mrs. Troost; "I never get time to sit down from one week's end to another; besides, I never had any luck with vines. Some folks don't, you know."

Mrs. Hill was a woman of a short, plethoric habit; one that might be supposed to move about with little agility, and to find excessive warmth rather inconvenient; but she [pg 51]was of a happy, cheerful temperament; and when it rained she tucked up her skirts, put on thick shoes, and waddled about the same as ever, saying to herself, "This will make the grass grow," or, "It will bring on the radishes," or something else equally consolatory.

Mrs. Troost, on the contrary, was a little thin woman, who looked as though she could move about nimbly at any .season; but, as she herself often said, she was a poor, unfortunate creature, and pitied herself a great deal, as she was in justice bound to do, for nobody else cared, she said, how much she had to bear.

They were near neighbors, these good women, but their social interchanges of tea-drinking were not of very frequent occurrence, for sometimes Mrs. Troost had nothing to wear like other folks; sometimes it was too hot and sometimes it was too cold; and then, again, nobody wanted to see her, and she was sure she didn't want to go where she wasn't wanted. Moreover, she had such a great barn of a house as no other woman ever had to take care of. But in all the neighborhood it was called the big house, so Mrs. Troost was in some measure compensated for the pains it cost her. It was, however, as she said, a barn of a place, with half the rooms unfurnished, partly because they had no use for them, and partly because they were unable to get furniture. So it stood right in the sun, with no shutters, and no trees about it, and Mrs. Troost said she didn't suppose it ever would have. She was always opposed to building it; but she never had her way about any thing. Nevertheless, some people said Mr. Troost had taken the dimensions of his house with his wife's apron-strings--but that may have been slander.

While Mrs. Troost sat sighing over things in general, Mrs. Hill sewed on the last button, and, shaking the loose [pg 52]threads from the completed garment, held it up a moment to take a satisfactory view, as it were, and folded it away.

"Well, did you ever!" said Mrs. Troost. "You have made half a shirt, and I have got nothing at all done. My hands sweat so I can not use the needle, and it's no use to try."

"Lay down your work for a little while, and we will walk in the garden."

So Mrs. Hill threw a towel over her head, and, taking a little tin basin in her hand, the two went to the garden--Mrs. Troost under the shelter of the blue umbrella, which she said was so heavy that it was worse than nothing. Beans, radishes, raspberries, and currants, besides many other things, were there in profusion, and Mrs. Troost said every thing flourished for Mrs. Hill, while her garden was all choked up with weeds. "And you have bees, too--don't they sting the children, and give you a great deal of trouble? Along in May, I guess it was, Troost [Mrs. Troost always called her husband so] bought a hive, or, rather, he traded a calf for one--a nice, likely calf, too, it was--and they never did us a bit of good;" and the unhappy woman sighed.

"They do say," said Mrs. Hill, sympathizingly, "that bees won't work for some folks; in case their king dies they are very likely to quarrel and not do well; but we have never had any ill luck with ours; and we last year sold forty dollars' worth of honey, besides having all we wanted for our own use. Did yours die off, or what, Mrs. Troost?"

"Why," said the ill-natured visitor, "my oldest boy got stung one day, and being angry, upset the hive, and I never found it out for two or three days; and, sending Troost to put it up in its place, there was not a bee to be found high or low."

[pg 53]"You don't tell! the obstinate little creatures! But they must be treated kindly, and I have heard of their going off for less things."

The basin was by this time filled with currants, and they returned to the house. Mrs. Hill, seating herself on the sill of the kitchen door, began to prepare her fruit for tea, while Mrs. Troost drew her chair near, saying, "Did you ever hear about William McMicken's bees?"

Mrs. Hill had never heard, and, expressing an anxiety to do so, was told the following story:

"His wife, you know, was she that was Sally May, and it's an old saying--

'To change the name and not the letter,
You marry for worse and not for better.'

"Sally was a dressy, extravagant girl; she had her bonnet 'done up' twice a year always, and there was no end to her frocks and ribbons and fine things. Her mother indulged her in every thing; she used to say Sally deserved all she got; that she was worth her weight in gold. She used to go everywhere, Sally did. There was no big meeting that she was not at, and no quilting that she didn't help to get up. All the girls went to her for the fashions, for she was a good deal in town at her Aunt Hanner's, and always brought out the new patterns. She used to have her sleeves a little bigger than anybody else, you remember, and then she wore great stiffeners in them--la, me! there was no end to her extravagance.

"She had a changeable silk, yellow and blue, made with a surplus front; and when she wore that, the ground wasn't good enough for her to walk on, so some folks used to say; but I never thought Sally was a bit proud or lifted up; and if any body was sick there was no better-hearted creature [pg 54]than she; and then, she was always good-natured as the day was long, and would sing all the time at her work. I remember, along before she was married, she used to sing one song a great deal, beginning

'I've got a sweetheart with bright black eyes;'

and they said she meant William McMicken by that, and that she might not get him after all--for a good many thought they would never make a match, their dispositions were so contrary. William was of a dreadful quiet turn, and a great home body; and as for being rich, he had nothing to brag of, though he was high larnt and followed the river as dark sometimes."

Mrs. Hill had by this time prepared her currants, and Mrs. Troost paused from her story while she filled the kettle and attached the towel to the end of the well-sweep, where it waved as a signal for Peter to come to supper.

"Now, just move your chair a leetle nearer the kitchen door, if you please," said Mrs. Hill, "and I can make up my biscuit and hear you, too."

Meantime, coming to the door with some bread-crumbs in her hands, she began scattering them on the ground and calling, "Biddy, biddy, biddy--chicky, chicky, chicky"--hearing which, a whole flock of poultry was around her in a minute; and, stooping down, she secured one of the fattest, which, an hour afterward, was broiled for supper.

"Dear me, how easily you get along!" said Mrs. Troost.

And it was some time before she could compose herself sufficiently to take up the thread of her story. At length, however, she began with--

"Well, as I was saying, nobody thought William McMicken would marry Sally May. Poor man! they say he is not like himself any more. He may get a dozen wives, but [pg 55]he'll never get another Sally. A good wife she made him, for all she was such a wild girl.

"The old man May was opposed to the marriage, and threatened to turn Sally, his own daughter, out of house and home; but she was headstrong, and would marry whom she pleased; and so she did, though she never got a stitch of new clothes, nor one thing to keep house with. No; not one single thing did her father give her when she went away but a hive of bees. He was right down ugly, and called her Mrs. McMicken whenever he spoke to her after she was married; but Sally didn't seem to mind it, and took just as good care of the bees as though they were worth a thousand dollars. Every day in Winter she used to feed them--maple-sugar, if she had it; and if she had not, a little Muscovade in a saucer or some old broken dish.

"But it happened one day that a bee stung her on the hand--the right one, I think it was--and Sally said right away that it was a bad sign; and that very night she dreamed that she went out to feed her bees, and a piece of black crape was tied on the hive. She felt that it was a token of death, and told her husband so, and she told me and Mrs. Hanks. No, I won't be sure she told Mrs. Hanks, but Mrs. Hanks got to hear it some way."

"Well," said Mrs. Hill, wiping the tears away with her apron, "I really didn't know, till now, that poor Mrs. McMicken was dead."

"O, she is not dead," answered Mrs. Troost, "but as well as she ever was, only she feels that she is not long for this world." The painful interest of her story, however, had kept her from work, so the afternoon passed without her having accomplished much--she never could work when she went visiting.

Meantime Mrs. Hill had prepared a delightful supper, [pg 56]without seeming to give herself the least trouble. Peter came precisely at the right moment, and, as he drew a pail of water, removed the towel from the well-sweep, easily and naturally, thus saving his wife the trouble.

"Troost would never have thought of it," said his wife; and she finished with an "Ah, well!" as though all her tribulations would be over before long.

As she partook of the delicious honey she was reminded of her own upset hive; and the crispred radishes brought thoughts of the weedy garden at home; so that, on the whole, her visit, she said, made her perfectly wretched, and she should have no heart for a week; nor did the little basket of extra nice fruit which Mrs. Hill presented her as she was about to take leave heighten her spirits in the least. Her great heavy umbrella, she said, was burden enough for her.

"But Peter will take you in the carriage," insisted Mrs. Hill.

"No," said Mrs. Troost, as though charity was offered her; "it will be more trouble to get in and out than to walk"--and so she trudged home, saying, "Some folks are born to be lucky."

[pg 57]



(BORN 1811--DIED 1872.)


Mr. Greeley lived through the most eventful era in our public history since the adoption of the Federal Constitution. For the eighteen years between the, formation of the Republican party, in 1854, and his sudden death in 1872, the stupendous civil convulsions through which we have passed have merely translated into acts, and recorded in our annals, the fruits of his thinking and the strenuous vehemence of his moral convictions. Whether he was right or wrong, is a question on which opinions will differ; but no person conversant with our history will dispute the influence which this remarkable and singularly endowed man has exerted in shaping the great events of our time. Whatever may be the ultimate judgment of other classes of his countrymen respecting the real value of his services, the colored race, when it becomes sufficiently educated to appreciate his career, must always recognize him as the chief author of their emancipation from slavery and their equal citizenship. Mr. Lincoln, to whom their ignorance as yet gives the chief credit, was a chip tossed on the surface of a resistless wave.


It was Mr. Greeley, more than any other man, who let loose the winds that lifted the waters and drove forward their foaming, tumbling billows. Mr. Greeley had lent his [pg 58]hand to stir public feeling to its profoundest depths before Mr. Lincoln's election became possible. He contributed more than any other man to defeat the compromise and settlement for which Mr. Lincoln and his chief adviser, Mr. Seward, were anxious in the exciting, expectant Winter of 1860-61, and to precipitate an avoidable bloody war. It was he, carrying a majority of the Republican party with him, who kept insisting, in the early stages of the conflict, that the emancipation of the slaves was an indispensable element of success. Mr. Lincoln stood out and resisted, ridiculing an emancipation proclamation as 'a bull against the comet.' Mr. Greeley roused the Republican party by that remarkable leader signed by his name and addressed to Mr. Lincoln, headed 'The Prayer of Twenty Millions,' the effect of which the President tried to parry by a public letter to the editor of the Tribune, written with all the dexterous ingenuity and telling aptness of phrase of which Mr. Lincoln was so great a master. But Mr. Greeley victoriously carried the Republican party, which he had done more than all other men to form, with him; and within two months after Mr. Lincoln's reply to 'The Prayer of Twenty Millions,' his reluctance was overborne, and he was constrained to issue his celebrated Proclamation, which committed the Government to emancipation, and staked the success of the war on that issue. This culminating achievement, the greatest of Mr. Greeley's life, is the most signal demonstration of his talents. It was no sudden, random stroke. It was the effect of an accumulated, ever-rising, widening, deepening stream of influence, which had been gathering volume and momentum for years, and whose piling waters at last burst through and bore down every barrier. Mr. Greeley had long been doing all in his power to swell the tide of popular feeling against slavery, and it [pg 59]was chiefly in consequence of the tremendous force he had given to the movement that that barbarous institution was at last swept away. It is the most extraordinary revolution ever accomplished by a single mind with no other instrument than a public journal.

It may be said, indeed, that Mr. Greeley had many zealous coadjutors. But so had Luther able coadjutors in the Protestant Reformation; so had Cromwell in the Commonwealth; so had Washington in our Revolution; so had Cobden in the repeal of the corn laws. They are nevertheless regarded as the leading minds in the respective innovations which they championed; and by as just a title Mr. Greeley will hold the first place with posterity on the roll of emancipation. This is the light in which he will be remembered so long as the history of our times shall be read.

It may be said, again, that Mr. Greeley's efforts in this direction were aided by the tendencies of his time. But so were Luther's, and Cromwell's, and Washington's, and everybody's who has left a great mark on his age, and accomplished things full of consequences to future generations. The first qualification for exerting this kind of fruitful influence is for the leader to be in complete sympathy with the developing tendencies of his own epoch. This is necessary to make him the embodiment of its spirit, the representative of its ideas, the quickener of its passions, the reviver of its courage in adverse turns of fortune, the central mind whom other advocates of the cause consult, whose action they watch in every new emergency, and whose guidance they follow because he has resolute, unflagging confidence to lead. In the controversies in which Mr. Greeley has been behind his age, or stood against the march of progress, even he has accomplished little. Since Henry Clay's death, he has been the most noted and active champion [pg 60]of Protection; but that cause steadily declined until the war forced the government to strain every source of revenue, and since the close of the war free-trade ideas have made surprising advances in Mr. Greeley's own political party. On this subject he was the disciple of dead masters, and hung to the skirts of a receding cause; but in this school he acquired that dexterity in handling the weapons of controversy which proved so effective when he advanced from the position of a disciple to that of a master, and led a movement in the direction towards which the rising popular feeling was tending. Mr. Greeley's name will always be identified with the extirpation of negro slavery as its most distinguished, powerful, and effective advocate.


This is his valid title to distinction and lasting fame. Instrumental to this, and the chief means of its attainment, he founded a public journal which grew, under his direction, to be a great moving force in the politics and public thought of our time. This alone would have attested his energy and abilities; but this is secondary praise. It is the use he made of his journal when he had created it, the moral ends to which (besides making it a vehicle of news and the discussion of ephemeral topics) he devoted it, that will give him his peculiar place in history. If he had had no higher aim than to supply the market for current intelligence, as a great merchant supplies the market for dry-goods, he would have deserved to rank with the builders-up of other prosperous establishments by which passing contemporary wants were supplied, but would have had no claim on the remembrance of coming generations. But he regarded his journal not primarily as a property, but as the instrument of high moral and political ends; an instrument whose great potency for [pg 61]good or ill he fully comprehended, and for whose salutary direction he felt a corresponding responsibility. His simple tastes, inexpensive habits, his contempt for the social show and parade which are the chief use made of wealth, and the absorption of his mind in other aims, made it impossible for him to think of the Tribune merely as a source of income, and he always managed it mainly with a view to make it an efficient organ for diffusing opinions which he thought conducive to the public welfare. It was this which distinguished Mr. Greeley from the founders of other important journals, who have, in recent years, been taken from us. With him the moral aim was always paramount, the pecuniary aim subordinate. Journalism, as he looked upon it, was not an end, but a means to higher ends. He may have had many mistaken and some erratic opinions on particular subjects; but the moral earnestness with which he pursued his vocation, and his constant subordination of private interest to public objects, nobly atone for his occasional errors.

Among the means by which Mr. Greeley gained, and so long held, the first place among American journalists, was his manner of writing. His negative merits as a writer were great; and it would be surprising to find these negative merits so rare as to be a title to distinction, if observation did not force the faults he avoided so perpetually upon our notice. He had no verbiage. We do not merely mean by this that he never used a superfluous word (which, in fact, he rarely did), but that he kept quite clear of the hazy, half-relevant ideas which encumber meaning and are the chief source of prolixity. He threw away every idea that did not decidedly help on his argument, and expressed the others in the fewest words that would make them clear. He began at once where the pith of his argument began; and had the secret, possessed by few writers, of stopping the moment he was done; leaving [pg 62]his readers no chaff to sift out from the simple wheat. This perfect absence of cloudy irrelevance and encumbering superfluity was one source of his popularity as a writer. His readers had to devour no husks to get at the kernel of what he meant.

Besides these negative recommendations, Mr. Greeley's style had positive merits of a very high order. The source of these was in the native structure of his mind; no training could have conferred them; and it was his original mental qualities, and not any special culture, that pruned his writing of verbiage and redundancies. Whatever he saw, he saw with wonderful distinctness. Whether it happened to be a sound idea or a crotchet, it stood before his mind with the clearness of an object in sunlight. He never groped at and around it, like one feeling in the dark. He saw on which side he could lay hands on it at once with the firmest grasp. It was his vividness of conception which made Mr. Greeley so clear and succinct a writer. He knew precisely what he would be at, and he hastened to say it in the fewest words. His choice of language, though often homely, and sometimes quaint or coarse, was always adapted to his purpose. He had a great command of racy phrases in common use, and frequently gave them an unexpected turn which enlivened his style as by a sudden stroke of wit or grotesque humor. But these touches were rapid, never detained him; he kept grappling with his argument, and hurried on.

This peculiar style was aided by the ardor of his feelings and his vehement moral earnestness. Bent on convincing, he tried to flash his meaning on the minds of his readers in the readiest and manliest way; and he was so impatient to make them see the full force of his main points that he stripped them as naked as he could. This combined clearness of perception, strength of conviction, and hurrying ardor [pg 63]of feeling, were the sources of a style which enabled him to write more than any other journalist of his time, and yet always command attention. But he is a model which none can successfully imitate without his strongly marked individuality and peculiarities of mental structure. We have mentioned his occasional coarseness; but it was merely his preference of strong direct expression to dainty feebleness; he was never vulgar.

Mr. Greeley has contributed to the surprising growth and development of journalism in our time, chiefly by his successful efforts to make it a guide of public opinion, as well as a chronicle of important news. In his hands, it was not merely a mirror which indifferently reflects back the images of all objects on which it is turned, but a creative force; a means of calling into existence a public opinion powerful enough to introduce great reforms and sweep down abuses. He had no faith in purposeless journalism, in journalism which has so little insight into the tendencies of the time that it shifts its view from day to day in accommodation to transient popular caprices. No great object is accomplished without constancy of purpose, and a guide of public opinion can not be constant unless he has a deep and abiding conviction of the importance of what he advocates. Mr. Greeley's remarkable power, when traced back to its main source, will be found to have consisted chiefly in that vigorous earnestness of belief which held him to the strenuous advocacy of measures which he thought conducive to the public welfare, whether they were temporarily popular or not. Journalism may perhaps gain more success as a mercantile speculation by other methods; but it can be respected as a great moral and political force only in the hands of men who have the talents, foresight, and moral earnestness which fit them to guide public opinion. It is in this sense that Mr. Greeley [pg 64]was our first journalist, and nobody can successfully dispute his rank, any more than Mr. Bennett's could be contested in the kind that seeks to float on the current instead of directing its course. The one did most to render our American journals great vehicles of news, the other to make them controlling organs of opinion. Their survivors in the profession have much to learn from both.--New York World.

    Knight of the ready pen,
    Soldier without a sword,
Such eyes hadst thou for other men,
    So true and grand a word!

    As Cæsar led his legions
    Triumphant over Gaul,
And through still wilder, darker regions,
    So thou didst lead us all!

    Until we saw the chains
    Which bound our brothers' lives,
And heard the groans and felt the pains,
    Which come from wearing gyves.

    To brave heroic men
    The false no more was true;
And what the Nation needed then
    Could any soldier do.
[pg 65]




(BORN 1811--DIED 1884.)


Long chapters of history are illumined as by as electric light in the following characteristic address from his pulpit by Henry Ward Beecher, at the time the name of the great philanthropist was added to the roll of American heroes.


The condition of the public mind throughout the North at the time I came to the consciousness of public affairs and was studying my profession may be described, in one word, as the condition of imprisoned moral sense. All men, almost, agreed with all men that slavery was wrong; but what can we do? The compromises of our fathers include us and bind us to fidelity to the agreements that had been made in the formation of our Constitution. Our confederation first, and our Constitution after. These were regarded everywhere as moral obligations by men that hated slavery. "The compromises of the Constitution must be respected," said the priest in the pulpit, said the politician in the field, said the statesmen in public halls; and men abroad, in England especially, could not understand what was the reason of the hesitancy of President Lincoln and of the people, when they had risen to arms, in declaring at once the end for which arms were taken and armies gathered to be the emancipation of the [pg 66]slaves. There never has been an instance in which, I think, the feelings and the moral sense of so large a number of people have been held in check for reasons of fidelity to obligations assumed in their behalf. There never has been in history another instance more notable, and I am bound to say, with all its faults and weaknesses, more noble. The commercial question--that being the underlying moral element--the commercial question of the North very soon became, on the subject of slavery, what the industrial and political question of the South had made it. It corrupted the manufacturer and the merchant. Throughout the whole North every man that could make any thing regarded the South as his legal, lawful market; for the South did not manufacture; it had the cheap and vulgar husbandry of slavery. They could make more money with cotton than with corn, or beef, or pork, or leather, or hats, or wooden-ware; and Northern ships went South to take their forest timbers, and brought them to Connecticut to be made into wooden-ware and ax-helves and rake-handles, and carried them right back to sell to the men whose axes had cut down the trees. The South manufactured nothing except slaves. It was a great manufacture, that; and the whole market of the North was bribed. The harness-makers, the wagon-makers, the clock-makers, makers of all manner of implements, of all manner of goods, every manufactory, every loom as it clanked in the North said, "Maintain," not slavery, but the "compromises of the Constitution." The Constitution--that was the veil under which all these cries were continually uttered.

The distinction between the Anti-slavery men and Abolitionists was simply this: The Abolitionists disclaimed the obligation to maintain this government and the compromises of the Constitution, and the Anti-slavery men recognized the binding obligation and sought the emancipation of slaves by the [pg 67]more circuitous and gradual influence; but Abolitionism covered both terms. It was regarded, however, throughout the North as a greater sin than slavery itself, and none of you that are under thirty years of age can form any adequate conception of the public sentiment and feeling during the days of my young manhood. A man that was known to be an Abolitionist had better be known to have the plague. Every door was shut to him. If he was born under circumstances that admitted him to the best society, he was the black sheep of the family. If he aspired by fidelity, industry, and genius, to good society, he was debarred. "An Abolitionist" was enough to put the mark of Cain upon any young man that arose in my early day, and until I was forty years of age. It was punishable to preach on the subject of liberty. It was enough to expel a man from Church communion, if he insisted on praying in the prayer-meeting for the liberation of the slaves. The Church was dumb in the North, not in the West. The great publishing societies that were sustained by the contributions of the Churches were absolutely dumb.


It was at the beginning of this Egyptian era in America that the young aristocrat of Boston appeared. His blood came through the best colonial families. He was an aristocrat by descent and by nature; a noble one, but a thorough aristocrat. All his life and power assumed that guise. He was noble; he was full of kindness to inferiors; he was willing to be, and do, and suffer for them; but he was never of them, nor equaled himself to them. He was always above them, and his gifts of love were always the gifts of a prince to his subjects. All his life long he resented every attack on his person and on his honor, as a noble aristocrat would. When they poured the filth of their imaginations upon him, [pg 68]he cared no more for it than the eagle cares what the fly is thinking about him away down under the cloud. All the miserable traffickers, and all the scribblers, and all the aristocratic boobies of Boston were no more to him than mosquitoes are to the behemoth or to the lion. He was aristocratic in his pride, and lived higher than most men lived. He was called of God as much as ever Moses and the prophets were; not exactly for the same great end, but in consonance with those great ends. You remember, my brother, when Lovejoy was infamously slaughtered by a mob in Alton?--blood that has been the seed of liberty all over this land! I remember it. At this time it was that Channing lifted up his voice and declared that the moral sentiment of Boston ought to be uttered in rebuke of that infamy and cruelty, and asking for Faneuil Hall in which to call a public meeting. This was indignantly refused by the Common Council of Boston. Being a man of wide influence, he gathered around about himself enough venerable and influential old citizens of Boston to make a denial of their united request a perilous thing; and Faneuil Hall was granted to call a public meeting to express itself on this subject of the murder of Lovejoy. The meeting was made up largely of rowdies. They meant to overawe and put down all other expressions of opinion except those that then rioted with the riotous. United States District-attorney Austin (when Wendell Phillips's name is written in letters of light on one side of the monument, down low on the other side, and spattered with dirt, let the name of Austin also be written) made a truculent speech, and justified the mob, and ran the whole career of the sewer of those days and justified non-interference with slavery. Wendell Phillips, just come to town as a young lawyer, without at present any practice, practically unknown, except to his own family, fired with the infamy, and, feeling called of God [pg 69]in his soul, went upon the platform. His first utterances brought down the hisses of the mob. He was not a man very easily subdued by any mob. They listened as he kindled and poured on that man Austin the fire and lava of a volcano, and he finally turned the course of the feeling of the meeting. Practically unknown when the sun went down one day, when it rose next morning all Boston was saying, "Who is this fellow? Who is this Phillips?" A question that has never been asked since.


Thenceforth he has been a flaming advocate of liberty, with singular advantages over all other pleaders. Mr. Garrison was not noted as a speaker, yet his tongue was his pen. Mr. Phillips, not much given to the pen, his pen was his tongue; and no other like speaker has ever graced our history. I do not undertake to say that he surpassed all others. He had an intense individuality, and that intense individuality ranked him among the noblest orators that have ever been born to this continent, or I may say to our mother-land. He adopted in full the tenets of Garrison, which were excessively disagreeable to the whole public mind. The ground which he took was that which Garrison took. Seeing that the conscience of the North was smothered and mute by reason of the supposed obligations to the compromises of the Constitution, Garrison declared that the compromises of the Constitution were covenants with hell, and that no man was bound to observe them. This extreme ground Mr. Phillips also took,--immediate, unconditional, universal emancipation, at any cost whatsoever. That is Garrisonism; that is Wendell Phillipsism; and it would seem as though the Lord rather leaned that way, too.

I shall not discuss the merits of Mr. Garrison or Mr. [pg 70]Phillips in every direction. I shall say that while the duty of immediate emancipation without conditions was unquestionably the right ground, yet in the providence of God even that could not be brought to pass except through the mediation of very many events. It is a remarkable thing that Mr. Phillips and Mr. Garrison both renounced the Union and denounced the Union in the hope of destroying slavery; whereas the providence of God brought about the love of the Union when it was assailed by the South, and made the love of the Union the enthusiasm that carried the great war of emancipation through. It was the very antithesis of the ground which they took. Like John Brown, Mr. Garrison; like John Brown, Mr. Phillips; of a heroic spirit, seeking the great and noble, but by measures not well adapted to secure the end.

Little by little the controversy spread. I shall not trace it. I am giving you simply the atmosphere in which he sprang into being and into power. His career was a career of thirty or forty years of undiminished eagerness. He never quailed nor flinched, nor did he ever at any time go back one step or turn in the slightest degree to the right or left. He gloried in his cause, and in that particular aspect of it which had selected him; for he was one that was called rather than one that chose. He stood on this platform. It is a part of the sweet and pleasant memories of my comparative youth here, that when the mob refused to let him speak in the Broadway Tabernacle before it moved up-town--the old Tabernacle--William A. Hall, now dead, a fervent friend and Abolitionist, had secured the Graham Institute wherein to hold a meeting where Mr. Phillips should be heard. I had agreed to pray at the opening of the meeting. On the morning of the day on which it was to have taken place, I was visited by the committee of that Institute--excellent [pg 71]gentlemen, whose feelings will not be hurt now, because they are all now ashamed of it; they are in heaven. They visited me to say that in consequence of the great peril that attended a meeting at the Institute, they had withdrawn the liberty to use it, and paid back the money, and that they called simply to say that it was out of no disrespect to me, but from fidelity to their supposed trust. Well, it was a bitter thing.


If there is any thing on earth that I am sensitive to, it is the withdrawing of the liberty of speech and thought. Henry C. Bowen, who certainly has done some good things in his life-time, said to me: "You can have Plymouth Church if you want it." "How?" "It is the rule of the church trustees that the church may be let by a majority vote when we are convened; but if we are not convened, then every trustee must give his assent in writing. If you choose to make it a personal matter, and go to every trustee, you can have it." He meanwhile undertook, with Mr. Hall, to put new placards over the old ones, notifying men quietly that the meeting was to be held here, and distributed thousands and tens of thousands of hand-bills at the ferries. No task was ever more welcome. I went to the trustees man by man. The majority of the trustees very cheerfully accorded the permission. One or two of them were disposed to decline and withhold it. I made it a matter of personal friendship. "You and I will break, if you don't give me this permission." And they signed. So the meeting glided from the Graham Institute to this house. A great audience assembled. We had detectives in disguise, and every arrangement made to handle the subject in a practical form if the crowd should undertake to molest us. The Rev. Dr. R.S. Storrs consented to come and pray, for Mr. Wendell Phillips was by marriage a near [pg 72]and intimate friend and relation of his. The reporters were here; when were they ever not?

Mr. Phillips began his lecture, and, you may depend upon it, by this time the lion was in him, and he went careering on. Hie views were extreme; he made them extravagant. I remember at one point--for he was a man without bluster, serene, self-poised, never disturbed in the least--he made an affirmation that was very bitter, and the cry arose over the whole congregation. He stood still, with a cold, bitter smile in his eye, and waited till they subsided, when he repeated it with more emphasis. Again the roar went through. He waited and repeated it, if possible, more intensely, and he beat them down with that one sentence until they were still, and let him go on.


The power to discern right amid all the wrappings of interest and all the seductions of ambition was singularly his. To choose the lowly for their sake, to abandon all favor, all power, all comfort, all ambition, all greatness--that was his genius and glory. He confronted the spirit of the nation and of the age. I had almost said he set himself against nature, as if he had been a decree of God over-riding all these other insuperable obstacles. That was his function. Mr. Phillips was not called to be a universal orator any more than he was a universal thinker. In literature and in history widely read, in person magnificent, in manners most accomplished, gentle as a babe, sweet as a new-blown rose, in voice clear and silvery, yet he was not a man of tempests, he was not an orchestra of a hundred instruments, he was not an organ, mighty and complex. The nation slept, and God wanted a trumpet, sharp, wide-sounding, narrow and intense; and that was Mr. Phillips. The long-roll is not [pg 73]particularly agreeable in music, or in times of war, but it is better than flutes or harps when men are in a great battle, or are on the point of it. His eloquence was penetrating and alarming. He did not flow as a mighty Gulf Stream; he did not dash upon this continent as the ocean does; he was not a mighty rushing river. His eloquence was a flight of arrows, sentence after sentence polished, and most of them burning. He slung them one after the other, and where they struck they slew. Always elegant, always awful. I think his scorn is and was as fine as I ever knew it in any human being. He had that sublime sanctuary in his pride that made him almost insensitive to what would by other men be considered obloquy. It was as if he said every day in himself: "I am not what they are firing at. I am not there, and I am not that. It is not against me. I am infinitely superior to what they think me to be. They do not know me." It was quiet and unpretentious, but it was there. Conscience and pride were the two concurrent elements of his nature.


He lived to see the slave emancipated, but not by moral means. He lived to see the sword cut the fetter. After this had taken place, he was too young to retire, though too old to gather laurels of literature or to seek professional honors. The impulse of humanity was not at all abated. His soul still flowed on for the great under-masses of mankind, though, like the Nile, it split up into scores of mouths, and not all of them were navigable. After a long and stormy life his sun went down in glory. All the English-speaking people on the globe have written among the names that shall never die the name of that scoffed, detested, mob-beaten, persecuted wretch--Wendell Phillips. Boston, that persecuted and would have slain him, is now exceedingly busy in building [pg 74]his tomb and rearing his statue. The men that would not defile their lips with his name are thanking God to-day that he lived.

He has taught some lessons--lessons that the young will do well to take heed to--that the most splendid gifts and opportunities and ambitions may be best used for the dumb and lowly. His whole life is a rebuke to the idea that we are to climb to greatness by climbing up on the backs of great men, that we are to gain strength by running with the currents of life, that we can from without add any thing to the great within that constitutes man. He poured out the precious ointment of his soul upon the feet of that diffusive Jesus who suffers here in his poor and despised ones. He has taught young ambitions, too, that the way to glory is the way often-times of adhesion simply to principle, and that popularity and unpopularity are not things to be known or considered. Do right and rejoice. If to do right will bring you under trouble, rejoice in it that you are counted worthy to suffer with God and the providences of God in this world.

He belongs to the race of giants, not simply because he was, in and of himself a great soul, but because he had bathed in the providence of God and came forth scarcely less than a god; because he gave himself to the work of God upon earth, and inherited thereby, or had reflected upon him, some of the majesty of his Master. When pigmies are all dead, the noble countenance of Wendell Phillips will still look forth, radiant as a rising sun, a sun that will never set. He has become to us a lesson, his death an example, his whole history an encouragement to manhood--and to heroic manhood.

[pg 75]



(BORN 1770--DIED 1859.)


"A creature not too bright or good
For human nature's daily food."

The last thing that would have occurred to Mrs. Wordsworth would have been that her departure, or any thing about her, would be publicly noticed amidst the events of a stirring time. Those who knew her well regarded her with as true a homage as they ever rendered to any member of the household, or to any personage of the remarkable group which will be forever traditionally associated with the Lake District; but this reverence, genuine and hearty as it was, would not, in all eyes, be a sufficient reason for recording more than the fact of her death. It is her survivorship of such a group which constitutes an undisputed public interest in her decease. With her closes a remarkable scene in the history of the literature of our century. The well-known cottage, mount, and garden at Rydal will be regarded with other eyes when shut up or transferred to new occupants. With Mrs. Wordsworth, an old world has passed away before the eyes of the inhabitants of the district, and a new one succeeds, which may have its own delights, solemnities, honors, and graces, but which can never replace the familiar one that is gone. There was something mournful in the lingering of this aged lady--blind, deaf, and bereaved in her latter years; but she was not mournful, any more than she was insensible. Age did not blunt [pg 76]her feelings, nor deaden her interest in the events of the day. It seems not so very long ago that she said that the worst of living in such a place (as the Lake District), was its making one unwilling to go. It is too beautiful to let one be ready to leave it. Within a few years the beloved daughter was gone, and then the aged husband, and then the son-in-law, and then the devoted friend, Mr. Wordsworth's publisher, Mr. Moxon, who paid his duty occasionally by the side of her chair; then she became blind and deaf. Still her cheerfulness was indomitable. No doubt, she would in reality have been "willing to go," whenever called upon, throughout her long life; but she liked life to the end. By her disinterestedness of nature, by her fortitude of spirit, and her constitutional elasticity and activity, she was qualified for the honor of surviving her household--nursing and burying them, and bearing the bereavement which they were vicariously spared. She did it wisely, tenderly, bravely, and cheerfully; and then she will be remembered accordingly by all who witnessed the spectacle.

It was by the accident, so to speak, of her early friendship with Wordsworth's sister, that her life became involved with the poetic element which her mind would hardly have sought for itself in another position. She was the incarnation of good sense, as applied to the concerns of the every-day world. In as far as her marriage and course of life tended to infuse a new elevation into her views of things, it was a blessing; and, on the other hand, in as far as it infected her with the spirit of exclusiveness, which was the grand defect of the group in its own place, it was hurtful; but that very exclusiveness was less an evil than an amusement, after all. It was rather a serious matter to hear the poet's denunciation of the railway, and to read his well-known sonnets on the desecration of the Lake region by the unhallowed [pg 77]presence of commonplace strangers; and it was truly painful to observe how the scornful and grudging mood spread among the young, who thought they were agreeing with Wordsworth in claiming the vales and lakes as a natural property for their enlightened selves. But it was so unlike Mrs. Wordsworth, with her kindly, cheery, generous turn, to say that a green field, with buttercups, would answer all the purposes of Lancashire operatives, and that they did not know what to do with themselves when they came among the mountains, that the innocent insolence could do no harm. It became a fixed sentiment when she alone survived to uphold it, and one demonstration of it amused the whole neighborhood in a good-natured way. "People from Birthwaite" were the bugbear--Birthwaite being the end of the railway. In the Summer of 1857, Mrs. Wordsworth's companion told her (she being then blind) that there were some strangers in the garden--two or three boys on the mount, looking at the view. "Boys from Birthwaite," said the old lady, in the well-known tone, which conveyed that nothing good could come from Birthwaite. When the strangers were gone, it appeared that they were the Prince of Wales and his companions. Making allowance for prejudices, neither few nor small, but easily dissolved when reason and kindliness had opportunity to work, she was a truly wise woman, equal to all occasions of action, and supplying other persons' needs and deficiencies.

In the "Memoirs of Wordsworth" it is stated that she was the original of

"She was a phantom of delight;"

and some things in the next few pages look like it; but for the greater part of the poet's life it was certainly believed by some, who ought to know, that that wonderful description related to another who flitted before his imagination in [pg 78]earlier days than those in which he discovered the aptitude of Mary Hutchinson to his own needs. The last stanza is very like her; and her husband's sonnet to the painter of her portrait, in old age, discloses to us how the first stanza might be also, in days beyond the ken of the existing generation.

Of her early sorrows, in the loss of two children and a beloved sister, who was domesticated with the family, there are probably no living witnesses. It will never be forgotten, by those who saw it, how the late dreary train of afflictions was met. For many years Wordsworth's sister Dorothy was a melancholy charge. Mrs. Wordsworth was wont to warn any rash enthusiasts for mountain-walking by the spectacle before them. The adoring sister would never fail her brother; and she destroyed her health, and then her reason, by exhausting walks and wrong remedies for the consequences. Forty miles in a day was not a singular feat of Dorothy's. During the long years of this devoted creature's helplessness she was tended with admirable cheerfulness and good sense. Thousands of lake tourists must remember the locked garden-gate when Miss Wordsworth was taking the air, and the garden-chair going round and round the terrace, with the emaciated little woman in it, who occasionally called out to strangers and amused them with her clever sayings. She outlived the beloved Dora, Wordsworth's only surviving daughter.

After the lingering illness of that daughter (Mrs. Quillinan), the mother encountered the dreariest portion, probably, of her life. Her aged husband used to spend the long Winter evenings in grief and tears--week after week, month after month. Neither of them had eyes for reading. He could not be comforted. She, who carried as tender a maternal heart as ever beat, had to bear her own grief and his too. She grew whiter and smaller, so as to be greatly [pg 79]changed in a few months; but this was the only expression of what she endured, and he did not discover it. When he, too, left her, it was seen how disinterested had been her trouble. When his trouble had ceased, she, too, was relieved. She followed his coffin to the sacred corner of Grasmere churchyard, where lay now all those who had once made her home. She joined the household guests on their return from the funeral, and made tea as usual. And this was the disinterested spirit which carried her through the last few years, till she had just reached the ninetieth. Even then she had strength to combat disease for many days. Several times she rallied and relapsed; and she was full of alacrity of mind and body as long as exertion of any kind was possible. There were many eager to render all duty and love--her two sons, nieces, and friends, and a whole sympathizing neighborhood.

The question commonly asked by visitors to that corner of Grasmere churchyard was: Where would she be laid when the time came? The space was so completely filled. The cluster of stones told of the little children who died a long life-time ago; of the sisters--Sarah Hutchinson and Dorothy Wordsworth; and of Mr. Quillinan, and his two wives, Dora lying between her husband and father, and seeming to occupy her mother's rightful place. And Hartley Coleridge lies next the family group; and others press closely round. There is room, however. The large gray stone, which bears the name of William Wordsworth, has ample space left for another inscription; and the grave beneath has ample space also for his faithful life-companion.

Not one is left now of the eminent persons who rendered that cluster of valleys so eminent as it has been. Dr. Arnold went first, in the vigor of his years. Southey died at Keswick, and Hartley Coleridge on the margin of Rydal [pg 80]Lake; and the Quillinans under the shadow of Loughrigg; and Professor Wilson disappeared from Elleray; and the aged Mrs. Fletcher from Lancrigg; and the three venerable Wordsworths from Rydal Mount.

The survivor of all the rest had a heart and a memory for the solemn last of every thing. She was the one to inquire of about the last eagle in the district, the last pair of ravens in any crest of rocks, the last old dalesman in any improved spot, the last round of the last peddler among hills where the broad white road has succeeded the green bridal-path. She knew the district during the period between its first recognition, through Gray's "Letters," to its complete publicity in the age of railways. She saw, perhaps, the best of it. But she contributed to modernize and improve it, though the idea of doing so probably never occurred to her. There were great people before to give away Christmas bounties, and spoil their neighbors, as the established alms-giving of the rich does spoil the laboring class, which ought to be above that kind of aid. Mrs. Wordsworth did infinitely more good in her own way, and without being aware of it. An example of comfortable thrift was a greater boon to the people round than money, clothes, meat, or fuel. The oldest residents have long borne witness that the homes of the neighbors have assumed a new character of order and comfort, and wholesome economy, since the poet's family lived at Rydal Mount. It used to be a pleasant sight when Wordsworth was seen in the middle of a hedge, cutting switches for half a dozen children, who were pulling at his cloak, or gathering about his heels; and it will long be pleasant to family friends to hear how the young wives of half a century learned to make home comfortable by the example of the good housewife at the Mount, who never was above letting her thrift be known.

[pg 81]Finally, she who had noted so many last survivors was herself the last of a company more venerable than eagles, or ravens, or old-world yeomen, or antique customs. She would not, in any case, be the first forgotten. As it is, her honored name will live for generations in the traditions of the valleys round. If she was studied as the poet's wife, she came out so well from that investigation that she was contemplated for herself; and the image so received is her true monument. It will be better preserved in her old-fashioned neighborhood than many monuments which make a greater show.

"She was a phantom of delight
When first she gleamed upon my sight;
A lovely apparition, sent
To he a moment's ornament;
Her eyes, as stars of twilight fair;
Like twilight's, too, her dusky hair;
But all things else about her drawn
From May-time and the cheerful dawn;
A dancing shape, an image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and waylay.

And now I see, with eye serene,
The very pulse of the machine;
A being breathing thoughtful breath,
A traveler between life and death;
The reason firm, the temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;
A perfect woman, nobly planned,
To warn, to comfort, and command;
And yet a spirit still and bright,
With something of an angel light."

            HARRIET MARTINEAU IN 1859.
[pg 82]



(BORN 1808--DIED 1836.)


Marie Felicita Garcia, who died at the early age of twenty-eight, was one of the greatest singers the world has ever known. Born at Paris in 1808, according to some biographers at Turin, she was the daughter of Manuel Garcia, the famous Spanish tenor singer, by whom she was so thoroughly trained that she made her first public appearance in London March 25, 1826, and achieved a remarkable and instant success.

She sang with wonderful acceptance in different parts of England, and in the Autumn of the same year came to America as prima donna of an opera company under the management of her father. In New York her success was without precedent. In the memory of many aged people there she still holds her place as the Queen of Song.

In the following year she married Eugene Malibran, an elderly French merchant, under whose name she was ever afterwards known.

Returning to Europe, she made her first appearance in Paris January 14, 1828, where she added other jewels to the singer's crown.

We can not follow her throughout her brilliant career, but must hasten on to the closing scenes of her life.

In May, 1836, she fell from her horse and was seriously injured. Not considering the matter in its true aspect, she kept her engagements during the Summer, and in September [pg 83]appeared in England, at the Manchester Musical Festival, though warned by her physician to desist. As the result of the imprudence a nervous fever set in, and she died September 23d, 1836.

In one of the many notices of this great singer, these words are found:

"Madame Malibran's voice was a mezzo-soprano of great volume and purity, and had been brought to absolute perfection by the severe training of her father. Her private character was irreproachable. Few women have been more beloved for their amiability, generosity, and professional enthusiasm. Her intellect was of a high order, and the charms of her conversation fascinated all who were admitted into the circle of her intimate friends. Her benefactions amounted to such considerable sums that her friends were frequently obliged to interfere for the purpose of regulating her finances."

Many stories are told, which show her kindness of heart. The following is one of pathetic interest:

In a humble room in one of the poorest streets of London, Pierre, a faithful French boy, sat humming by the bedside of his sick mother. There was no bread in the closet, and for the whole day he had not tasted food. Yet he sat humming to keep up his spirits. Still at times he thought of his loneliness and hunger, and he could scarcely keep the tears from his eyes; for he knew that nothing would be so grateful to his poor invalid mother as a good, sweet orange, and yet he had not a penny in the world.

The little song he was singing was his own--one he had composed, both air and words--for the child was a genius.

He went to the window, and, looking out, saw a man putting up a great bill with yellow letters, announcing that Madame Malibran would sing that night in public.

[pg 84]"O, if I could only go!" thought little Pierre; and then pausing a moment, he clasped his hands, his eyes lighted with a new hope.

Running to the little stand, he smoothed his yellow curls, and taking from a little box some old, stained paper, gave one eager glance at his mother, who slept, and ran speedily from the house.

"Who did you say was waiting for me?" said the madame to her servant; "I am already worn out with company."

"It's only a very pretty little boy, with yellow curls, who said if he can just see you he is sure you will not be sorry, and he will not keep you a moment."

"O, well, let him come in!" said the beautiful singer, with a smile; "I can never refuse children."

Little Pierre came in, his hat under his arm, and in his hand a little roll of paper. With manliness unusual for a child, he walked straight to the lady, and, bowing, said:

"I came to see you because my mother is very sick, and we are too poor to get food and medicine. I thought, perhaps, that if you would sing my little song at some of your grand concerts, may be some publisher would buy it for a small sum, and so I could get food and medicine for my mother."

The beautiful woman arose from her seat. Very tall and stately she was. She took the little roll from his hand and lightly hummed the air.

"Did you compose it?" she asked; "you, a child! And the words? Would you like to come to my concert?" she asked.

"O yes!" and the boy's eyes grew bright with happiness; "but I couldn't leave my mother."

"I will send somebody to take care of your mother for the evening, and here is a crown with which you may go and [pg 85]get food and medicine. Here is also one of my tickets. Come to-night; that will admit you to a seat near me."

Almost beside himself with joy, Pierre bought some oranges, and many a little luxury besides, and carried them home to the poor invalid, telling her, not without tears, of his good fortune.

When evening came, and Pierre was admitted to the concert hall, he felt that never in his life had he been in so great a place. The music, the myriad lights, the beauty, the flashing of diamonds and rustling of silks bewildered his eyes and brain.

At last she came, and the child sat with his glance riveted on her glorious face. Could he believe that the grand lady, all blazing with jewels, and whom every body seemed to worship, would really sing his little song?

Breathless he waited; the band--the whole band--struck up a plaintive little melody. He knew it, and clasped his hands for joy. And O, how she sang it! It was so simple, so mournful. Many a bright eye dimmed with tears, and naught could be heard but the touching words of that little song--O, so touching!

Pierre walked home as if he were moving on the air.

What cared he for money now? The greatest singer in all Europe had sung his little song, and thousands had wept at his grief.

The next day he was frightened at a visit from Madame Malibran. She laid her hand on his yellow curls, and, turning to the sick woman, said, "Your little boy, madame, has brought you a fortune. I was offered this morning, by the best publisher in London, $1,500 for his little song; and, after he has realized a certain amount from the sale, little Pierre here is to share the profits. Madame, thank God that your son has a gift from heaven."

[pg 86]The noble-hearted singer and the poor woman wept together. As to Pierre, always mindful of Him who watches over the tried and tempted, he knelt down by his mother's bedside and uttered a simple prayer, asking God's blessing on the kind lady who had deigned to notice their affliction.

The memory of that prayer made the singer more tender-hearted, and she, who was the idol of England's nobility, went about doing good. And in her early, happy death, he who stood beside her bed and smoothed her pillow, and lightened her last moments by his undying affection, was little Pierre of former days, now rich, accomplished, and the most talented composer of the day.

    O singer of the heart,
    The heart that never dies!
The Lord's interpreter thou art,
    His angel from the skies.

    Thy work on earth is great
    As his who saves a soul,
Or his who guides the ship of state,
    When mountain-billows roll.

    The life of Heaven comes down
    In gleams of grace and truth;
Sad mortals see the shining crown
    Of sweet, perennial youth.

    The life of God, in song
    Becomes the life of man;
Ashamed is he of sin and wrong
    Who hears a Malibran!
[pg 87]




I would rather be beaten in right than succeed in wrong.

I feel a profounder reverence for a boy than for a man. I never meet a ragged boy in the street without feeling that I may owe him a salute, for I know not what possibilities may be buttoned under his coat.

Poverty is uncomfortable, as I can testify; but, nine times out of ten, the best thing that can happen to a young man is to be tossed overboard and compelled to sink or swim for himself. In all my acquaintance, I never knew a man to be drowned who was worth the saving.

If the power to do hard work is not talent, it is the best possible substitute for it.

We can not study nature profoundly without bringing ourselves into communion with the spirit of art which pervades and fills the universe.

If there be one thing upon this earth that mankind love and admire better than another, it is a brave man; it is a man who dares to look the devil in the face and tell him he is a devil.

It is one of the precious mysteries of sorrow that it finds solace in unselfish thought.

Every character is the joint product of nature and nurture.

It has been fortunate that most of our greatest men [pg 88]have left no descendants to shine in the borrowed luster of a great name.

An uncertain currency, that goes up and down, hits the laborer, and hits him hard. It helps him last and hurts him first.

We no longer attribute the untimely death of infants to the sin of Adam, but to bad nursing and ignorance.

The granite hills are not so changeless and abiding as the restless sea.

In their struggle with the forces of nature, the ability to labor was the richest patrimony of the colonists.

Coercion is the basis of every law in the universe--human or divine. A law is no law without coercion behind it.

For the noblest man who lives there still remains a conflict.

We hold reunions, not for the dead; for there is nothing in all the earth that you and I can do for the dead. They are past our help and past our praise. We can add to them no glory, we can give them no immortality. They do not need us, but for ever and for evermore we need them.

Throughout the whole web of national existence we trace the golden thread of human progress toward a higher and better estate.

Heroes did not make our liberties, but they reflected and illustrated them.

After all, territory is but the body of a nation. The people who inhabit its hills and valleys are its soul, its spirit, its life. In them dwells its hope of immortality. Among them, if anywhere, are to be found its chief elements of destruction.

It matters little what may be the forms of national institution if the life, freedom, and growth of society are secured.

Finally, our great hope for the future--our great safeguard [pg 89]against danger--is to be found in the general and thorough education of our people, and in the virtue which accompanies such education.

The germ of our political institutions, the primary cell from which they were evolved, was in the New England town, and the vital force, the informing soul, of the town was the town meeting, which, for all local concerns, was kings, lords, and commons in all.

It is as much the duty of all good men to protect and defend the reputation of worthy public servants as to detect public rascals.

Be fit for more than the thing you are now doing.

If you are not too large for the place, you are too small for it.

Young men talk of trusting to the spur of the occasion. That trust is vain. Occasions can not make spurs. If you expect to wear spurs, you must win them. If you wish to use them, you must buckle them to your own heels before you go into the fight.

Greek is perhaps the most perfect instrument of thought ever invented by man, and its literature has never been equaled in purity of style and boldness of expression.

Great ideas travel slowly, and for a time noiselessly, as the gods whose feet were shod with wool.

What the arts are to the world of matter, literature is to the world of mind.

History is but the unrolled scroll of prophecy.

The world's history is a divine poem, of which the history of every nation is a canto and every man a word. Its strains have been pealing along down the centuries, and though there have been mingled the discords of warring cannon and dying men, yet to the Christian, philosopher, and historian--the humble listener--there has been a divine melody running [pg 90]through the song which speaks of hope and halcyon days to come.

Light itself is a great corrective. A thousand wrongs and abuses that are grown in darkness disappear like owls and bats before the light of day.

Liberty can be safe only when suffrage is illuminated by education.

Parties have an organic life and spirit of their own, an individuality and character which outlive the men who compose them; and the spirit and traditions of a party should be considered in determining their fitness for managing the affairs of the nation.

    Of Garfield's finished days,
    So fair, and all too few,
Destruction which at noonday strays
    Could not the work undo.

    O martyr, prostrate, calm!
    I learn anew that pain
Achieves, as God's subduing psalm,
    What else were all in vain.

    Like Samson in his death
    With mightiest labor rife,
The moments of thy halting breath
    Were grandest of thy life.

    And now amid the gloom
    Which pierces mortal years,
There shines a star above thy tomb
    To smile away our tears.
[pg 91]




Nobody has brought me a kiss to-day,
As forty comes marching along life's way;

At least, only such as came in a letter,--
And two hundred leagues from home, the debtor!

So out of my life I will dig a treasure,
And feast on a reminiscent pleasure.

Our old New England folks, you know,
Little favor to kissing were wont to show.

It smacked, they thought, too much of Satan,
Whose hook often has a pleasant bate on.

And even as token of purity's passion,
Sometimes, I think, it was out of fashion.

So at least in the home my boyhood knew,
And of other homes, no doubt, it was true.

My grandsire and grandma, of the olden school,
Were strict observers of the proper rule.

And from New-Year on to the end of December,
A kiss is something I do not remember.

It seemed, I suppose, an abomination,
Somewhat like a Christmas celebration,

Or a twelfth-day pudding in English style,
Whose plums are sweet as a maiden's smile.

[pg 92]Hush! fountains New England fathers quaffed at
Were surely something not to be laughed at.

They drank, the heavens above and under,
Eternity's abiding wonder.

And here, I confess, in the joy of the present,
The thought of those days is sacredly pleasant.

Grandma, with the cares of the household on her,
In the morning smoked in the chimney corner.

She hung the tea-kettle filled with water
While still asleep was her youngest daughter.

Ah! there were reasons, good and plenty,
Why she should indulge that baby of twenty.

The rest were all courted and married and flown,
And that little birdie was left alone.

Grandmother, when she had finished her smoking,
Bustled about--she never went poking--

And fried the pork, and made the tea,
And pricked the potatoes, if done to see;

While grandsire finished his chapter of snores,
And uncle and I were doing the chores.

When breakfast was over, the Bible was read,
And a prayer I still remember said.

The old folks in reverence bowed them down,
As those who are mindful of cross and crown.

My uncle and aunt, who were unconverted,
Their right to sit or stand asserted.

And I, I fear, to example true,
The part of a heathen acted too.

[pg 93]But there was always for me a glory,
Morning and night, in that Bible story.

The heroes and saints of the olden time
In beautiful vision moved sublime.

I wondered much at the valor they had,
And in wondering my soul was glad.

My wonderment, I can hardly tell,
At the boldness Jacob showed at the well

In kissing Rachel, when meeting her first;
I wondered not into tears he burst.

Had I been constrained to choose between
That deed at the well and that after-scene

When David and Goliath met,
My heart on the fight would have certainly set.

And yet there was much for a bashful boy
To gather up and remember with joy.

God bless my grandsire's simple heart,
Which made up in faith what it lacked in art,

And led me on to the best of the knowledge
Which years thereafter I carried to college.

Tending the cattle stalled in the "linter,"
Going to school eight weeks in the Winter;

Planting and hoeing potatoes and corn,
Milking the cows at night and morn;

Spreading and raking the new-mown hay,
Stowing it in the mow away;

Gathering apples, and thinking of all
The joys of Thanksgiving late in the Fall--

[pg 94]So passed I the years in such like scenes
Until I had grown well into my teens.

And then, with many a dream in my heart,
I struck for myself and a nobler part;

I hardly knew what, yet some higher good,
Earning and spending as fast as I could;

Earning and spending in teaching and going
To school, what time I to manhood was growing.

My maiden aunt--and Providence
Is approved in its blessed consequence--

That baby of twenty, to thirty had grown,
And from the nest had not yet flown.

And a childless aunt, my uncle's wife,
Had come to gladden that quiet life.

God bless them both, for they were ever
The foremost to second my life's endeavor.

Our aunts sometimes are almost mothers,
Toiling and planning and spending for others.

Aunt Hannah, the maiden; Aunt Emily, wife,--
How they labored to gird me for the strife,

Cheering me on with words befitting,
Doing my sewing and doing my knitting,

And pressing upon me many a token
Whose meaning was more than ever was spoken!

At length the time for parting came--
They both in heaven will have true fame!

They did not bid me good-bye at the stile;
They with me went through the woods a mile.

Caught me in their arms, a great baby of twenty, And smothered me with
kisses, not too plenty.
Caught me in their arms, a great baby of twenty, And smothered me with kisses, not too plenty.

[pg 95]It was the still September time,
When the Autumn fruits were in their prime.

Here and there a patch of crimson was seen
Where the breath of the early frost had been.

The songs of the birds were tender and sad,
Yet I could not say they were not glad.

Nature's soft and mellow undertone
To a note-like trust in the Father had grown.

And that trust, I ween, in our hearts had sway,
As on through the woods we wended our way.

Meeting and parting fringe life below;
We parted--twenty years ago.

My aunts turned back, and on went I,
Striving my burning tears to dry.

Almost a thousand miles away
Was the Alma Mater I sought that day.

To a voice I turned me on my track,
And saw them both come running back.

"Is something forgotten?" soon stammered I;
And they, without a word in reply,

Caught me in their arms, a great baby of twenty,
And smothered me with kisses not too plenty.

Some joys I had known before that day,
And many since have thronged my way;

But in all my seeking through forty years,
In which rainbow hopes have dried all tears,

I have nothing found in the paths of knowledge,
Surpassing those kisses I carried to college.
[pg 96]



(BORN 1786--DIED 1847.)


The life of this great navigator is an epic of the ocean, which will stir the brave heart for many ages to come.

One day, toward the close of the last century, a young English lad, named John Franklin, spent a holiday with a companion in a walk of twelve miles from their school at Louth, to look at the sea from the level shores of his native country. It was the first time that the boy had ever gazed on the wonderful expanse, and his heart was strangely stirred. The youngest of four sons, he had been intended for the ministry of the Church of England, but that day's walk fixed His purposes in another direction; and though he knew it not, he was to serve God and man even more nobly by heroic deeds than he could have done by the wisest and most persuasive words.

Mr. Franklin was a wise man, and when he found his son bent on a sailor's life, determined to give him a taste-of it, in the hope that this would be enough. John was therefore taken from school at the age of thirteen, and sent in a merchantman to Lisbon. The Bay of Biscay, however, did not cure his enthusiasm; and so we next find John Franklin as a midshipman on board the Polyphemus, seventy-four guns. These were stirring times. In 1801 young Franklin's ship led the line in the battle of Copenhagen, and in 1805, having been transferred to the Bellerophon, he held charge [pg 97]of the signals at the battle of Trafalgar, bravely standing at his post and coolly attending to his work while the dead and dying fell around him.

Between these two dates Franklin had accompanied an exploring voyage to Australia on board the Investigator, gaining in that expedition not only a great store of facts to be treasured up for use in his eager and retentive mind, but those habits of observation which were to be of the greatest service to him in after-years. On his return home in another vessel--the Porpoise--Franklin and his companions were wrecked upon a coral reef, where ninety-four persons remained for seven weeks on a narrow sand-bank less than a quarter of a mile in length, and only four feet above the surface of the water!

It was in 1818 that the young lieutenant first set sail for the Polar Sea, as second commander of the Trent, under Captain Buchan. The aim was to cross between Spitzbergen and Greenland; but the companion vessel, the Dorothea, being greatly injured by the ice, the two had to return to England, after reaching the eightieth degree of latitude.

A year later lieutenants Franklin and Parry were placed at the head of expeditions, the latter to carry on the exploration through Baffin's Bay, and to find an outlet, if possible, by Lancaster Sound. This was splendidly done, and the North-west Passage practically discovered. The task of Franklin was more arduous. He had to traverse the vast solitary wastes of North-eastern America, with their rivers and lakes, to descend to the mouth of the Coppermine River, and to survey the coast eastward. The toil and hardship of this wonderful expedition, and the brave endurance of Franklin and his friend Richardson, and their trusty helpers, have often been related. They had to contend with famine and illness, with the ignorance and treachery of the Indians, [pg 98]who murdered three of the party. The land journey altogether extended over 5,500 miles, occupying a year and six months.

In less than two years after their return to England, Franklin, Richardson, and Back volunteered for another expedition to the same region.

In 1825 this second expedition started, Franklin mournfully leaving the death-bed of his wife, to whom he had been married after his last return to England. This brave lady not only let him go, though she knew she was dying, but begged him not to delay one day for her! At New York Franklin heard of her death, but manfully concealed his grief, and pressed on to the northern wastes. As before, his object was to survey the northern shore, only this time by the Mackenzie River, instead of the Coppermine.

This expedition, too, was full of, stirring adventure among the Esquimaux, though without the terrible hardships and calamities of the former journey. It was also crowned with great success, leaving in the end only 150 miles of the coast from Baffin's Bay to Behring Straits unsurveyed. These, too, were explored in later years by Franklin's successors, and the great discovery of the North-west Passage completed.

Franklin was now made commander; in 1829 was knighted, and covered with honors by the University of Oxford and the great learned societies in England and France. He had married his second wife in 1828--the Lady Franklin of the later story. In 1832 Sir John Franklin was given the command of the Rainbow, on the Mediterranean station; and so wise and gracious was his rule, that the sailors nicknamed the sloop "The Celestial Rainbow" and "Franklin's Paradise." But we have no space to speak of this now, nor of Franklin's wise and gracious government of Van Diemen's Land, now better known as Tasmania, that succeeded. [pg 99]Lady Franklin was here his wise and devoted helper in every scheme of usefulness and benevolence.

Returning to England, he was appointed, in 1845, to the command of an expedition for the further discovery of the North-west Passage. The ships Erebus and Terror sailed from England on the 26th of May, and were seen by the crew of the Prince of Wales, a whaler, on the 26th of July, in Melville Bay, for the last time.

Toward the close of 1847 serious anxiety was aroused respecting the fate of these brave explorers. The brave-hearted, devoted wife of the commander expended her whole fortune on these endeavors to ascertain what had become of her husband. It is interesting to note that the people of Tasmania, Franklin's colony, subscribed the sum of £1,700 toward the expenses of the search.

In the year 1850 it was discovered that the first Winter of the explorers to the following April, or later (1846), had been spent at Beechey Island, beyond Lancaster Sound, and that it had been an active holiday time.

In 1854 an exploring party under Dr. Rae were told by the Esquimaux that several white men, in number about forty, had been seen dragging a boat over the ice near the north shore of King William's Land, and that bodies and skeletons were afterward found on the mainland opposite, by the banks of the Great Fish River. Many relics of this party were procured by Dr. Rae from the natives, and being brought to England were identified as belonging to the Franklin explorers. On this Dr. Rae received the government reward of £10,000.

In 1859 Lady Franklin bought and fitted the yacht Fox, which she placed under the command of Captain Leopold McClintock. The expedition set sail from Aberdeen, and, on reaching King William's Land, divided into three sledging [pg 100]parties, under Lieutenant Hobson, Captain Young, and McClintock himself. In Boothia several relics were discovered, such as would be dropped or left behind by men too weak to carry the usual belongings of a boat or sledge. At Point Victory a cairn, or heap of stones, was discovered by Lieutenant Hobson, with a paper, inclosed in a tin case, which too clearly told its sad story. After a memorandum of progress up to May 28, 1847, "All well," it was added on the same paper: "April 25, 1848. H.M. ships Terror and Erebus were deserted 22d April, five leagues N.W. of this, having been beset since 12th September, 1846. The officers and crews, consisting of 105 souls, under the command of Captain F.R.M. Crozier, landed here in latitude 69 degrees, 37 minutes, 42 seconds N., longitude 98 degrees 41 minutes W. Sir John Franklin died on the 11th June, 1847; and the total loss by deaths in the expedition has been, to this date, nine officers and fifteen men. Signed, F.E.M. Crozier, Captain and Senior Officer; James Fitzjames, Captain H.M.S. Erebus. And start on to-morrow, 26th April, 1848, for Back's Fish River." From this point two boats, with heavily laden sledges, seem to have been dragged forward while strength lasted. One boat was left on the shore of King William's Land, and was found by Captain McClintock, with two skeletons; also boats and stores of various kinds, five watches, two double-barreled guns, loaded, a few religious books, a copy of the "Vicar of Wakefield," twenty-six silver spoons and forks, and many other articles. The Esquimaux related that the men dragging the boat "dropped as they walked." The other boat was crushed in the ice. No trace, but a floating spar or two, and driftwood embedded in ice, was ever found of the Erebus or Terror.

Truly the "Franklin relics," brought from amid the [pg 101]regions of snow and ice, are a possession of which those know the value who know how great a thing it is to walk on in the path of duty, with brave defiance of peril, and, above all, a steadfast dependence upon God.

Mr. William L. Bird, a young man of great promise, deaf from his seventh year, who died in Hartford, Conn., in 1879, left among his papers a little poem which well expresses the mood of Lady Franklin in her lonely years:


        I stand alone
        On wave-washed stone
To fathom thine immensity,
        With merry glance
        Thy wide expanse
Smiles, O! so brightly upon me.
Art thou my friend, blue, sparkling sea?

        With your cool breeze
        My brow you ease,
And brush the pain and care away.
        Your waves, the while,
        With sunny smile,
Around my feet in snowy spray
Of fleecy lightness dance and play.

        So light of heart,
        So void of art,
Your waves' low laugh is mocking me.
        I hear their voice--
        "Come, play, rejoice;
Come, be as happy as are we;
Why should you not thus happy be?"

        Alas! I know
        That, deep below,
And tangled up in sea-weeds, lies,
        Where light dares not
        Disturb the spot,
He who alone can cheer my eyes.
O sea! why wear this sparkling guise!
[pg 102]



(BORN 1682--DIED 1762.)


The story of Elizabeth Haddon is as charming as any pastoral poem that was ever written. She was the oldest daughter of John Haddon, a well-educated and wealthy Quaker of London. She had two sisters, both of whom, with herself, received the best education of that day. Elizabeth possessed uncommon strength of mind, earnestness, energy, and originality of character, and a heart overflowing with the kindest and warmest feelings. The following points in her life, as far as necessary for the setting, of the main picture, are drawn chiefly from the beautiful narrative by Lydia Maria Child, and almost in her own words.

At one time, during her early childhood, she asked to have a large cake baked, because she wanted to invite some little girls. All her small funds were expended for oranges and candy on this occasion. When the time arrived, her father and mother were much surprised to see her lead in six little ragged beggars. They were, however, too sincerely religious and sensible to express any surprise. They treated the forlorn little ones very tenderly, and freely granted their daughter's request to give them some of her books and playthings at parting. When they had gone, the good mother quietly said, "Elizabeth, why did'st thou invite strangers, instead of thy schoolmates?" There was a heavenly expression [pg 103]in her eye, as she looked up earnestly, and answered, "Mother, I wanted to invite them, they looked so poor."

When eleven years of age, she accompanied her parents to the yearly meeting of the Friends, where she heard, among other preachers, a very young man named John Estaugh, with whose manner of presenting divine truth she was particularly pleased. Many of his words were treasured in her memory. At the age of seventeen she made a profession of religion, uniting herself with the Quakers.

During her early youth, William Penn visited the house of her father, and greatly amused her by describing his adventures with the Indians. From that time she became interested in the emigrant Quakers, and began to talk of coming to America. Her father at length purchased a tract of land in New Jersey, with the view of emigrating, but his affairs took a new turn, and he made up his mind to remain in his native land: This decision disappointed. She had cherished the conviction that it was her duty to come to this country; and when, at length, her father, who was unwilling that any of his property should lie unimproved, offered the tract of land in New Jersey to any relative who would settle upon it, she promptly agreed to accept of the proffered estate. Willing that their child should follow in the path of duty, at the end of three months, after much prayer, the parents consented to let Elizabeth join "the Lord's people" in the New World.

Accordingly, early in the Spring of 1700, arrangements were made for her departure, and all things were provided that abundance of wealth or the ingenuity of affection could devise.

A poor widow, of good sense and discretion, accompanied her as friend and housekeeper, and two trusty men-servants, members of the Society of Friends. Among the many [pg 104]singular manifestations of strong faith and religious zeal, connected with the settlement of this country, few are more remarkable than the voluntary separation of this girl of eighteen from a wealthy home and all the pleasant associations of childhood, to go to a distant and thinly inhabited country to fulfill what she deemed a religious duty. And the humble, self-sacrificing faith of the parents, in giving up their child, with such reverent tenderness for the promptings of her own conscience, has in it something sublimely beautiful, if we look at it in its own pure light. The parting took place with more love than words can express, and yet without a tear on either side. Even during the long and tedious voyage, Elizabeth never wept. She preserved a martyr-like cheerfulness to the end.

The house prepared for her reception stood in a clearing of the forest, three miles from any other dwelling. She arrived in June, when the landscape was smiling in youthful beauty; and it seemed to her as if the arch of heaven was never before so clear and bright, the carpet of the earth never so verdant. As she sat at her window and saw evening close in upon her in that broad forest home, and heard for the first time the mournful notes of the whippowil and the harsh scream of the jay in the distant woods, she was oppressed with a sense of vastness, of infinity, which she never before experienced, not even on the ocean. She remained long in prayer, and when she lay down to sleep beside her matron friend, no words were spoken between them. The elder, overcome with fatigue, soon sank into a peaceful slumber; but the young enthusiast lay long awake, listening to the lone voice of the whippowil complaining to the night. Yet, notwithstanding this prolonged wakefulness, she arose early and looked out upon the lovely landscape. The rising sun pointed to the tallest trees with his golden finger, and was [pg 105]welcomed by a gush of song from a thousand warblers. The poetry in Elizabeth's soul, repressed by the severe plainness of her education, gushed up like a fountain. She dropped on her knees, and, with an outburst of prayer, exclaimed fervently; "O Father, very beautiful hast thou made this earth! How beautiful are thy gifts, O Lord!"

To a spirit less meek and brave, the darker shades of the picture would have obscured these cheerful gleams; for the situation was lonely, and the inconveniences innumerable. But Elizabeth easily triumphed over all obstacles, by practical good sense and the quick promptings of her ingenuity. She was one of those clear, strong natures, who always have a definite aim in view, and who see at once the means best suited to the end. Her first inquiry was what grain was best suited to the soil of her farm, and being informed that rye would yield best, "Then I shall eat rye bread," was her answer. But when Winter came, and the gleaming snow spread its unbroken silence over hill and plain, was it not dreary then? It would have been dreary to one who entered upon this mode of life from mere love of novelty, or a vain desire to do something extraordinary. But the idea of extended usefulness, which had first lured this remarkable girl into a path so unusual, sustained her through all trials. She was too busy to be sad, and leaned too trustingly on her Father's hand to be doubtful of her way. The neighboring Indians soon loved her as a friend, for they found her always truthful, just, and kind. From their teachings she added much to her knowledge of simple medicines. So efficient was her skill, and so prompt her sympathy, that for many miles around, if man, woman, or child were alarmingly ill, they were sure to send for Elizabeth Haddon; and, wherever she went, her observing mind gathered some hint for farm or dairy. Her house and heart were both large, and as her residence was on [pg 106]the way to the Quaker meeting-house in Newtown, it became a place of universal resort to Friends from all parts of the country traveling that road, as well as an asylum for benighted wanderers.

The Winter was drawing to a close, when, late one evening, the sound of sleigh-bells was heard, and the crunching of snow beneath the hoofs of horses as they passed into the barn-yard gate. The arrival of travelers was too common an occurrence to excite or disturb the well-ordered family.

Great logs were piled in the capacious chimney, and the flames blazed up with a crackling warmth, when two strangers entered. In the younger Elizabeth instantly recognized John Estaugh, whose preaching had so deeply impressed her at eleven years of age. This was almost like a glimpse of home--her dear old English home. She stepped forward with more than usual cordiality, saying:

"Thou art welcome, Friend Estaugh, the more so for being entirely unexpected."

"I am glad to see thee, Elizabeth," he replied, with a friendly shake of the hand. "It was not until after I landed in America that I heard the Lord had called thee here before me; but I remember thy father told me how often thou hadst played the settler in the woods when thou wast quite a little girl."

"I am but a child still," she replied, smiling.

"I trust thou art," he rejoined; "and as for these strong impressions in childhood, I have heard of many cases where they seemed to be prophecies sent of the Lord. When I saw thy father in London, I had even then an indistinct idea that I might sometime be sent to America on a religious visit."

"And, hast thou forgotten, friend John, the ear of Indian corn which my father begged of thee for me? I can show it to thee now. Since then I have seen this grain in perfect [pg 107]growth, and a goodly plant it is, I assure thee. See," she continued, pointing to many bunches of ripe corn which hung in their braided husks against the walls of the ample kitchen, "all that, and more, came from a single ear no bigger than the one thou didst give my father. May the seed sown by thy ministry be as fruitful!"

"Amen," replied both the guests.

The next morning it was discovered that the snow had fallen during the night in heavy drifts, and the roads were impassable. Elizabeth, according to her usual custom, sent out men, oxen, and sledges to open pathways for several poor families, and for households whose inmates were visited by illness. In this duty John Estaugh and his friend joined heartily, and none of the laborers worked harder than they. When he returned, glowing from this exercise, she could not but observe that the excellent youth had a goodly countenance. It was not physical beauty; for of that he had but little. It was that cheerful, child-like, out-beaming honesty of expression, which we not unfrequently see in Germans, who, above all nations, look as if they carried a crystal heart within their manly bosoms.

Two days after, when Elizabeth went to visit her patients, with a sled-load of medicines and provisions, John asked permission to accompany her. There, by the bedside of the aged and the suffering, she saw the clear sincerity of his countenance warmed with rays of love, while he spoke to them words of kindness and consolation; and then she heard his pleasant voice modulate itself into deeper tenderness of expression, when he took little children in his arms.

The next First Day, which we call the Sabbath, the whole family attended Newtown meeting; and there John Estaugh was gifted with an outpouring of the Spirit in his ministry, which sank deep into the hearts of those who listened to [pg 108]him. Elizabeth found it so remarkably applicable to the trials and temptations of her own soul, that she almost deemed it was spoken on purpose for her. She said nothing of this, but she pondered upon it deeply. Thus did a few days of united duties make them more thoroughly acquainted with each other than they could have been by years of fashionable intercourse.

The young preacher soon after bade farewell, to visit other meetings in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Elizabeth saw him no more until the May following, when he stopped at her house to lodge, with numerous other Friends, on their way to the quarterly meeting at Salem. In the morning quite a cavalcade dashed from her hospitable door on horseback; for wagons were then unknown in Jersey. John Estaugh, always kindly in his impulses, busied himself with helping a lame and very ugly old woman, and left his hostess to mount her horse as she could. Most young women would have felt slighted; but in Elizabeth's noble soul the quiet, deep tide of feeling rippled with an inward joy. "He is always kindest to the poor and the neglected," thought she; "verily, he is a good youth." She was leaning over the side of her horse, to adjust the buckle of the girth, when he came up on horseback and inquired if any thing was out of order. She thanked, with a slight confusion of manner, and a voice less calm than her usual utterance. He assisted her to mount, and they trotted along leisurely behind the procession of guests, speaking of the soil and climate of this new country, and how wonderfully the Lord had here provided a home for his chosen people. Presently the girth began to slip, and the saddle turned so much on one side that Elizabeth was obliged to dismount. It took some time to readjust it, and when they again started, the company were out of sight. There was brighter color than usual [pg 109]in the maiden's cheeks, and unwonted radiance in her mild deep eyes. After a short silence she said, in a voice slightly tremulous: "Friend John, I have a subject of importance on my mind, and one which nearly interests thee. I am strongly impressed that the Lord has sent thee to me as a partner for life. I tell thee my impression frankly, but not without calm and deep reflection; for matrimony is a holy relation, and should be entered into with all sobriety. If thou hast no light on the subject, wilt thou gather into the stillness and reverently listen to thy own inward revealings? Thou art to leave this part of the country to-morrow, and not knowing when I should see thee again, I felt moved to tell thee what lay upon my mind."

The young man was taken by surprise. Though accustomed to that suppression of emotion which characterizes his religious sect, the color went and came rapidly in his face for a moment; but he soon became calmer and said: "This thought is new to me, Elizabeth, and I have no light thereon. Thy company has been right pleasant to me, and thy countenance ever reminds me of William Penn's title-page, 'Innocency with her open face.' I have seen thy kindness to the poor, and the wise management of thy household. I have observed, too, that thy warm-heartedness is tempered by a most excellent discretion, and that thy speech is ever sincere. Assuredly, such is the maiden I would ask of the Lord as a most precious gift; but I never thought of this connection with thee. I came to this country solely on a religious visit, and it might distract my mind to entertain this subject at present. When I have discharged the duties of my mission, we will speak further."

"It is best so," rejoined the maiden; "but there is one thing which disturbs my conscience. Thou hast spoken of my true speech; and yet, friend John, I have deceived thee [pg 110]a little, even now, while we conferred together on a subject so serious. I know not from what weakness the temptation came; but I will not hide it from thee. I allowed thee to suppose, just now, that I was fastening the girth of my horse securely; but, in plain truth, I was loosening the girth, John, that the saddle might slip, and give me an excuse to fall behind our friends; for I thought thou wouldst be kind enough to come and ask if I needed thy services."

They spoke no further concerning their union; but when he returned to England in July, he pressed her hand affectionately, as he said: "Farewell, Elizabeth. If it be the Lord's will I shall return to thee soon."

In October he returned to America, and they were soon married, at Newtown meeting, according to the simple form of the Society of Friends. Neither of them made any change of dress for the occasion, and there was no wedding-feast. Without the aid of priest or magistrate, they took each other by the hand, and, in the presence of witnesses, calmly and solemnly promised to be kind and faithful to each other. The wedded pair quietly returned to their happy home, with none to intrude on those sacred hours of human life, when the heart most needs to be left alone with its own deep emotions.

During the long period of their union, she three times crossed the Atlantic to visit her aged parents, and he occasionally left her for a season, when called abroad to preach. These temporary separations were felt as a cross; but the strong-hearted woman always cheerfully gave him up to follow his own convictions of duty. In 1742 he parted from her to go on a religious visit to Tortola, in the West Indies. He died there in the sixty-seventh year of his age. She published a religious tract of his, to which she prefixed a preface entitled, "Elizabeth Estaugh's Testimony concerning [pg 111]her Beloved Husband, John Estaugh." In this preface she says: "Since it pleased divine Providence so highly to favor me with being the near companion of this dear worthy, I must give some small account of him. Few, if any, in a married state ever lived in sweeter harmony than we did. He was a pattern of moderation in all things; not lifted up with any enjoyments, nor cast down at any disappointments; a man endowed with many good gifts, which rendered him very agreeable to his friends and much more to me, his wife, to whom his memory is most dear and precious."

Elizabeth survived her excellent husband twenty years, useful and honored to the last. The monthly meeting of Haddonfield, in a published testimonial, speaks of her thus: "She was endowed with great natural abilities, which, being sanctified by the spirit of Christ, were much improved; whereby she became qualified to act in the affairs of the Church, and was a serviceable member, having been clerk to the women's meeting nearly fifty years, greatly to their satisfaction. She was a sincere sympathizer with the afflicted, of a benevolent disposition, and in distributing to the poor, was desirous to do it in a way most profitable and durable to them, and, if possible, not to let the right hand know what the left did. Though in a state of affluence as to this world's wealth, she was an example of plainness and moderation. Her heart and house were open to her friends, whom to entertain seemed one of her greatest pleasures. Prudently cheerful, and well knowing the value of friendship, she was careful not to wound it herself, nor to encourage others by whispering supposed failings or weaknesses. Her last illness brought great bodily pain, which she bore with much calmness of mind and sweetness of spirit. She departed this life as one falling asleep, full of days, like unto a shock of corn, fully ripe."

[pg 112]The town of Haddonfield, in New Jersey, took its name from her; and the tradition concerning her courtship is often repeated by some patriarch among the Quakers.

Her medical skill is so well remembered, that the old nurses of New Jersey still recommend Elizabeth Estaugh's salve as the "sovereignest thing on earth."

The following beautiful lines from Whittier, though inspired by another, well apply to this Quakeress of the olden time:

As pure and sweet, her fair brow seemed
    Eternal as the sky;
And like the brook's low song, her voice,--
    A sound that could not die.

And half we deemed she needed not
    The changing of her sphere,
To give to heaven a shining one,
    Who walked an angel here.

The blessing of her quiet life
    Fell on us like the dew;
And good thoughts, where her footsteps pressed,
    Like fairy blossoms grew.

Sweet promptings unto kindest deeds
    Were in her very look;
We read her face as one who reads
    A true and holy book.

We miss her in the place of prayer,
    And by the hearth-fire's light;
We pause beside her door to hear
    Once more her sweet "Good-night."

Still let her mild rebuking stand
    Between us and the wrong,
And her dear memory serve to make
    Our faith in goodness strong.
[pg 113]





At the present writing (Summer of 1884), General Gordon, who has won the heart of the world by his brave deeds, is exciting a great deal of interest on account of his perilous position in Khartoum. A sketch of his career will be acceptable to not a few readers.

The likeness which accompanies this chapter is from a photograph taken not long ago at Southampton, England; but no portrait gives the expression of the man. His smile and his light-blue eyes can not be painted by the sun. The rather small physique, and mild and gentle look, would not lead the ordinary observer to recognize in General Gordon a ruler and leader of men; but a slight acquaintance shows him to be a man of unusual power and great force of character.

His religious fervor and boundless faith are proverbial--so much so that some men call him a fatalist; whilst others say, like Festus, "Thou art beside thyself." Neither of these judgments is true, though it is certainly true that, from a desire to oblige others, Gordon has sometimes made errors in judgment that have led him into sad dilemmas. To say nothing of his second visit to the Soudan, to oblige Ismail Pasha, and his rash and most dangerous embassy to King John of Abyssinia, to oblige Tewfik Pasha, we need but allude to his unwise acceptance of the post of private secretary to Lord Ripon in India. He was overpersuaded, and to please others [pg 114]he sacrificed himself. To those who knew him, it was not surprising that almost the first thing he did on landing at Bombay was to throw up his appointment and rush off to China, where he was instrumental in preventing war between that country and Russia.

The active life of General Gordon, who is about fifty years old, may be divided into the following sections: the Crimea and Bessarabia; China (the suppression of the Taiping rebellion); Gravesend (the making of the defenses at Tilbury); and the Soudan. A later and shorter episode occurs in his visit to Mauritius and the Cape, the latter colony being the only place in which his great capabilities and high character were unappreciated.

In the Crimea General Gordon worked steadily in the trenches, and won the praise of his superior officers for his skill in detecting the movements of the Russians. Indeed, he was specially told off for this dangerous duty. Lord Wolseley, then a captain, was a fellow-worker with Gordon before Sebastopol.

In 1856 Gordon was occupied in laying down the boundaries of Russia, in Turkey and Roumania, for which work he was in a peculiar manner well fitted, and he resided in the East, principally in Armenia, until the end of 1858. During this time he ascended both Little and Great Ararat.

In 1860 he was ordered to China, and assisted at the taking of Pekin and the sacking and burning of the Summer Palace. This work did not seem to be much to his taste.

China was the country destined to give to the young engineer the sobriquet by which he is now best known--"Chinese" Gordon. Here he first developed that marvelous power, which he still holds above all other men, of engaging the confidence, respect, and love of wild and irregular soldiery.

The great Taiping rebellion, which was commenced soon [pg 115]after 1842 by a sort of Chinese Mahdi--a fanatical village schoolmaster--had attained such dimensions that it had overrun and desolated a great portion of Southern China, and threatened to drive the foreigners into the sea. Nanking, with its porcelain tower, had been taken, and was made the capital of the Heavenly King, as the rebel chieftain, Hung, now called himself. His army numbered some hundreds of thousands, divided under five Wangs, or kings, and the Imperialists were driven closer and closer to the cities of the seacoast.

In 1863 the British Government was applied to for assistance, and Captain Gordon was selected to take command of the Imperial forces in the place of an American adventurer named Burgevine, who had been cashiered for corrupt practices. The Ever-victorious Army, as it was called, numbered 4,000 men, when the young engineer took the command. Carefully and gradually he organized and increased it, and as he always led his men himself, and ever sought the post of danger, he soon obtained their fullest confidence, and never failed to rally them to his support.

He wore no arms, but always carried a small cane, with which he waved on his men, and as stockade after stockade fell before him, and city after city was taken, that little cane was looked upon as Gordon's magic wand of victory. He seemed to have a charmed life, and was never disconcerted by a hailstorm of bullets. Occasionally, when the Chinese officers flinched and fell back before the terrible fusillade, he would quietly take one by the arm and lead him into the thickest of the enemy's fire, as calmly as though he were taking him in to dinner. Once, when his men wavered under a hail of bullets, Gordon coolly lighted his cigar, and waved his magic wand; his soldiers accepted the omen, came on with a rush, and stormed the defense. He was wounded [pg 116]once only, by a shot in the leg, but even then he stood giving his orders till he nearly fainted, and had to be carried away.

Out of 100 officers he lost almost one-half in his terrible campaign, besides nearly one-third of his men. But he crushed the rebellion, and rescued China from the grasp of the most cruel and ruthless of spoilers. His own estimate was that his victories had saved the lives of 100,000 human beings.

Then he left China without taking one penny of reward. Honors and wealth were poured at his feet, but he accepted only such as were merely honorary. He was made a Ti-Tu--the highest title to which a subject can attain--and he received the Orders of the Star, the Yellow Jacket, and the Peacock's Feather. When, however, the Imperial messengers brought into his room great boxes containing £10,000 in coin, he drove them out in anger. The money he divided amongst his troops. And yet he might well have taken even a larger sum. One who knew how deeply the empire was indebted to him, wrote, "Can China tell how much she is indebted to Colonel Gordon? Would 20,000,000 taels repay the actual service he has rendered to the empire?"

Gordon returned home to England, and, avoiding all the flattering notice that was continually thrust upon him, he retired to his work at Gravesend, where, from 1865 to 1871, he labored at the construction of the Thames Defenses.

Here he passed six of the happiest years of his life--in active work, in deep seclusion from the world of wealth and fashion, but in a state of happiness and peace. His house was school, hospital, and almshouse, and he lived entirely for others. "The poor, the sick, the unfortunate were welcome, and never did supplicant knock vainly at his door."

Gutter children were his especial care. These he cleansed and clothed, and the boys he trained for a life at sea. His [pg 117]evening classes were his delight, and he read and taught his children with the same ardor with which he had led the Chinese troops into battle. For the boys he found suitable places on board vessels respectably owned, and he never lost sight of his proteges. A large map of the world, stuck over with pins, showed him at a glance where he had last heard from one of these rescued waifs. "God bless the Kernel," was chalked upon many a wall in Gravesend; and well might the poor bless the man who personified to them the life and daily walk of one who "had been with Jesus." To them he was the "Good Samaritan," pouring in oil and wine; and they blessed and reverenced him, and gave him a love which he valued more than royal gifts.

We must, however, hasten on, and see him transferred from Gravesend to the Danube, and thence to the Soudan. He succeeded Sir Samuel Baker in the government of these distant territories in Egypt in 1873. The Khedive Ismail offered him £10,000 a year, but he would only accept £2,000, as he knew the money would have to be extorted from the wretched fellaheen. His principal work was to conquer the insurgent slave-dealers who had taken possession of the country and enslaved the inhabitants. The lands south of Khartoum had long been occupied by European traders, who dealt in ivory, and had thus "opened up the country." This opening up was a terrible scourge to the natives, because these European traffickers soon began to find out that "black ivory" was more valuable than white. So they formed fortified posts, called sceribas, and garrisoned them with Arab ruffians, who harried the country and organized manhunts on a gigantic scale. The profits were enormous, but the "bitter cry" of Africa began to make itself heard in distant Europe, and the so-called Christian slave-dealers found it more prudent to withdraw. This they did without loss, [pg 118]for they sold their stations to Arabs, and the trade in human beings went on as merrily as ever. Dr. Schweinfurth, the African explorer and botanist, visited one of these slave-dealing princes in 1871, and found him surrounded by an almost regal court, and possessed of more than vice-regal power. He was lord of thirty stations, all strongly fortified, and stretching like a chain into the very heart of Africa. Thus his armies of fierce soldiery, Arab and black, were able to make raids over whole provinces, and gather in the great human harvest to supply the demands of Egypt, Turkey, and Arabia. This famous man was named Sebehr Rahma; and although he was defeated by Colonel Gordon and sent down to Cairo, he never quite lost favor at the Egyptian Court, and was not long since appointed commander in chief of the Soudan, to uphold the power of Egypt against the Mahdi! The scandals of the slave-trade, combined with the lust of conquest, were the causes out of which grew the famous expedition of Sir Samuel Baker to the Soudan. The love of conquest made it pleasing in the eyes of the Khedive Ismail, and the desire to uproot the infamous slave-trade obtained for the enterprise the warm approval of the Prince of Wales, and the hearty co-operation of Sir Samuel Baker, who displayed the greatest courage and energy in the conduct of the enterprise.

From this first expedition the two succeeding ones of Colonel Gordon may be said to have arisen. The struggle against the slave-hunters had developed into a war, and the Khedive began to fear that their power would grow until his own position at Cairo might become endangered. The slave-king Sebehr must be destroyed, together with his numerous followers and satellites.

Gordon was not long in perceiving why he was selected for the office of governor; for we find him writing home, [pg 119]"I think I can see the true motive of the expedition, and believe it to be a sham to catch the attention of the English people." With him, however, it was no sham. He was determined to do what he was professedly sent to do, viz.: put down the slave-trade. "I will do it," he said, "for I value my life as naught, and should only leave much weariness for perfect peace."

How hard he found his task to ameliorate the condition of the wretched inhabitants, we perceive from such an outburst as this, amongst many similar: "What a mystery, is it not? Why are they created? A life of fear and misery, night and day! One does not wonder at their not fearing death. No one can conceive the utter misery of these lands--heat and mosquitoes day and night all the year round. But I like the work, for I believe I can do a great deal to ameliorate the lot of the people."

This spirit of unselfishness and of a sublime charity runs through all his work. Every man, black or white, was "neighbor" to him, and he ever fulfilled the command of his Lord, to "love his neighbor as himself." Against oppression he could, however, be stern and severe. Not a few ruffians whom he caught red-handed in flagrant acts of cruelty were executed without mercy. So that the same man who, by the down-trodden people, was called the "Good Pasha," was to the robber and murderer a terror and avenger.

When at Khartoum he was on one occasion installed with a royal salute, and an address was presented, and in return he was expected to make a speech. His speech was as follows: "With the help of God, I will hold the balance level." The people were delighted, for a level balance was to them an unknown boon. And he held it level all through his long and glorious reign, which lasted, with small break, from February, 1874, until August, 1879.

[pg 120]During those five years and a half he had traveled over every portion of the huge territory which was placed under him--provinces extending all the way to the Equatorial Lakes. Besides riding through the deserts on camels and mules 8,490 miles in three years, he made long journeys by river. He conveyed a large steamer up the Nile as far as Lake Albert Nyanza, and succeeded in floating her safely on the waters of that inland sea. He had established posts all the way from Khartoum to Gondokora, and reduced that enormous journey from fifteen months to only a few weeks. He writes respecting these posts in January, 1879: "I am putting in all the frontier posts European Vakeels, to see that no slave caravans come through the frontier. I do not think that any now try to pass; but the least neglect of vigilance would bring it on again in no time."

This is only one out of hundreds of instances of the hawk-eyed vigilance of the governor-general. The vast provinces under his sway had never been ruled in this fashion before.

One strain runs through all his numerous letters written during the five years he remained in the Soudan, and that is the heart-rending condition of the thousands of slaves who were driven through the country, and the cruelty of the slave-hunters. Were we to begin quoting from those letters, we should outrun the limits of this sketch. He had broken the neck of the piratical army of man-stealers, and their forces were scattered and comparatively powerless. So many slaves were set free that they became a serious inconvenience, as they had to be fed and provided for.

And yet there was no shout of joy at the capital, whence he had set out years before, armed with the firman of the khedive to put an end to the slave trade. On the contrary, We find him saying: "What I complain of in Cairo is the [pg 121]complete callousness with which they treat all these questions, while they worry me for money, knowing by my budgets that I can not make my revenue meet my expenses by £90,000 a year. The destruction of Sebehr's gang is the turning-point of the slave-trade question, and yet, never do I get one word from Cairo to support me."

One more extract:

"Why should I, at every mile, be stared at by the grinning skulls of those who are at rest?

"I said to Yussef Bey, who is a noted slave-dealer, 'The inmate of that ball has told Allah what you and your people have done to him and his.'

"Yussef Bey says, 'I did not do it!' and I say, 'Your nation did, and the curse of God will be on your land till this traffic ceases.'"

This man, Yussef Bey, was one of the most cruel of the slave-hunters, and renowned for the manner in which he tortured his victims, more especially the young boys. He also cruelly murdered the interesting and peaceful king of the Monbuttos, so graphically described in Schweinfurth's "Heart of Africa."

In June, 1882, Yussef Bey met his deserts, for going out with an army of Egyptian troops to meet the Mahdi, he and all his men were cut to pieces, scarcely one surviving.

Much of Gordon's time, during his first expedition, had been occupied in strengthening the Egyptian posts south of Gondokoro, stretching away toward the country of King M'tesa. So badly were they organized that it took him twenty-one months to travel from Gondokoro to Foweira and Mrooli, his southernmost points. There he found that it would be impossible to interfere with the rival kings of that region without becoming involved in a war, and he returned from the lake districts "with the sad conviction that no good [pg 122]could be done in those parts, and that it would have been better had no expedition ever been sent."

We conclude our imperfect sketch with the following quotation, describing General Gordon's resignation:

"I am neither a Napoleon nor a Colbert," was his reply to some one who spoke to him in praise of his beneficent rule in the Soudan; "I do not profess either to have been a great ruler or a great financier; but I can say this: I have bearded the slave-dealers in their strongholds, and I made the people love me."

What Gordon had done was to justify Ismail's description of him eight months before. "They say I do not trust Englishmen; do I mistrust Gordon Pasha? That is an honest man; an administrator, not a diplomatist!"

Apart from the difficulties of serving the new khedive, Gordon longed for rest. The first year of his rule, during which he had done his own and other men's work, the long marches, the terrible climate, the perpetual anxieties, had all told upon him. Since then he had had three years of desperate labor, and had ridden some 8,500 miles. Who can wonder that he resented the impertinences of the pashas, whose interference was not for the good of his government or of his people, but solely for their own?

But it was not for him to stay on and complain. To one of the worst of these pashas he sent a telegram which ran, "Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin." Then he sailed for England, bearing with him the memory of the enthusiastic crowd of friends who bade him farewell at Cairo. It is said that his name sends a thrill of love and admiration through the Soudan even yet. A hand so strong and so beneficent had never before been laid on the people of that unhappy land.

[pg 123]




Homely phrases sometimes carry in them a truth which is passed over on account of its frequent repetition, and thus they fail to effect the good they are intended to do. For instance, there is one with reference to woman, which asserts that she is man's "better half;" and this is said so often, half in satire and half in jest, that few stop to inquire whether woman really be so. Yet she is in good truth his better half; and the phrase, met with in French or Latin, looks not only true but poetical, and in its foreign dress is cherished and quoted. She is not the wiser--in a worldly sense--certainly not the stronger, nor the cleverer, notwithstanding what the promoters of the Woman's Rights movements may say; but she is the better. All must feel, indeed, that, if the whole sins of the present world could be, and were, parceled into two huge heaps, those committed by the men would far exceed those of the women. We doubt whether any reflective man will deny this. On the other hand, the active virtues of man, his benevolence and good deeds, might equal those of woman; but his passive virtues, his patience and his endurance, would be much smaller. On the whole, therefore, woman is the much better half; and there is no good man but owes an immense deal to the virtues of the good women about him. He owes, too, a considerable deal of evil to their influence, not only of the absolutely bad, for those a pure man shuns, but the half-good and respectably selfish women of society--these [pg 124]are they who undermine his honesty, his benevolence, and his purity of mind.

The influence man receives from woman is of a very mixed character. But of all the influence which woman has over man, that which is naturally most permanent, for good or evil, arises from the marriage tie. How we of the cold North have been able to emancipate woman from the deplorable depth into which polygamy would place her, it is not easy to say. That it is a state absolutely countenanced--nay, enjoined--in the Old Testament, it would be useless to deny. But custom and fair usance are stronger than the Old Testament; and the Jews, who readily adopt the laws of the country under which they live, forbid polygamy to their brethren in Christian lands, whilst they permit and practice it where it exists, as with the Mahometan and Hindoo. Under its influence the character of woman is terribly dwarfed. She sinks to nothing where she would be, as she should be, of half the importance of life at least.

To preserve her position, it will be necessary for all good women to try and elevate the condition of their sisters. With all of us, "the world is too much with us, day by day;" and worldly success plays so large a part in the domestic drama, that woman is everywhere perceptibly influenced by it. Hence, to return to the closer consideration of the subject from our own point of view, the majority of men's wives in the upper and middle classes fall far short of that which is required of a good wife. They are the wives not made by love, but by the chance of a good match. They are the products of worldly prudence, not of a noble passion; and, although they may be very comfortable and very well clad, though they may think themselves happy, and wear the very look of health and beauty, they can never be to their husbands what a wife of true and real tender love would be.

[pg 125]The consequence is that, after the first novelty has passed away, the chain begins to rub and the collar to gall. "The girl who has married for money," writes a clergyman, "has not by that rash and immoral act blinded her eyes to other and nobler attractions. She may still love wisdom, though the man of her choice may be a fool; she will none the less desire gentle, chivalrous affection because he is purse-proud and haughty; she may sigh for manly beauty all the more because he is coarse and ugly; she will not be able to get rid of her own youth, and all it longs for, by watching his silver hair." No; and, while there comes a curse upon her union--whilst in the long, long evenings, in the cold Spring mornings, and in the still Summer days, she feels that all worth living for is gone, while she is surrounded by all her body wants--her example is corrupting others. The scorned lover, who was rejected because he was poor, goes away to curse woman's fickleness and to marry some one whom he can not love; and the thoughtless girls, by whom the glitter of fortune is taken for the real gold of happiness, follow the venal example, and flirt and jilt till they fancy that they have secured a good match.

Many women, after they have permanently attached a husband of this sort, sit down, with all the heroism of martyrs, to try to love the man they have accepted, but not chosen. They find it a hard, almost an impossible task. Then comes the moment so bitterly predicted by Milton, who no doubt drew from his own feeling and experience, when he put into the mouths of our first parents the prophecy that either man should never find the true partner of his choice, or that, having found her, she should be in possession of another. This is far too often true, and can not fail to be the source of a misery almost too bitter to be long endured.

[pg 126]It says much for our Anglo-Saxon wives that their constancy has passed into many proverbs. When a woman really loves the man who marries her, the match is generally a happy one; but, even where it is not, the constancy of the wife's affection is something to be wondered at and admired. No after ill-usage, no neglect, or want of love, will remove the affection once given. No doubt all women, when they fall in love, do so with that which they conceive to be great and noble in the character of the object. But they still love on when all the glitter of novelty has fallen off, and when they have been behind the scenes and found how bare and gloomy was the framework of the scene they admired. All illusions may be gone; the hero may have sunk into the cowardly braggart; the saint into the hypocritical sinner; the noble aspirant into a man whose mouth alone utters but empty words which his heart can never feel; but still true love remains, "nor alters where it alteration finds." The duration of this passion, the constancy of this affection, surprises many; but, adds a writer, such persons--

                  "Know not woman, the blest being
Who, like a pitying angel, gifts the mean
And sordid nature even with more love
Than falls to the lot of him who towers above
His fellow-men; like parasitic flowers
That grow not on high temples, where the showers
And light of heaven might nourish, but alone
Cloth the rent altar and the fallen stone."

There must be some great reason, some combination of feeling, for this. M. Ernest Feydeau, in a popular story of very bad principles, seems to hit the right nail on the head. "What woman," he asks, "would not love her husband, and be ever true to him, without thinking of a lover, if her husband would give her that which a lover gives her, not alone attention, politeness, and a cold friendship, but a little of [pg 127]that balm which is the very essense of our existence--a little love?" Probably these very bad men, for whom women will so generously ruin themselves, are, by their nature, soft and flattering; and, after cruelties and excesses, will, by soft words and Belial tongues, bind to them yet more closely the hearts of their victims.

The ideal wife has been often painted, but the real far exceeds her. When Ulric von Hutten wrote to Frederick, he painted such a portrait as must have made that staunch advocate for the marriage of the clergy glow with admiration. "Da mihi uxorem," he commences. "Get me a wife, Frederick, after my own heart, such as you know I should like--neat, young, fairly educated, modest, patient; one with whom I may joke and play, and yet be serious; to whom I may babble and talk, mixing hearty fun and kisses together; one whose presence will lighten my anxiety and soften the tumult of my cares."

It is not too much to say that the great majority of wives equal this ideal. United to such a woman, a man becomes better. He can never be the perfect man unless married. With marriage he undertakes those duties of existence which he is born to fulfill. The excitements of life and of business, the selfishness of daily existence, diminish; the generosities of the heart expand; the health of the mind becomes daily more robust; small repressions of selfishness, daily concessions, and daily trials, render him better; the woman of his choice becomes his equal, and in lifting her he lifts himself. He may not be a genius, nor she very clever; but, once truly married, the real education of life begins. That is not education which varnishes a man or a woman over with the pleasant and shining accomplishments which fit us for society, but that which tends to improve the heart, to bring forward the reflective qualities, and to form a firm and regular character; [pg 128]that which cultivates the reason, subdues the passions, restrains them in their proper place, trains us to self-denial, makes us able to bear trials, and to refer them, and all our sentiments and feelings to their proper source; which makes us look beyond this world into the next. A man's wife, if properly chosen, will aid in all this. The most brilliant and original thinker, and the deepest philosopher we have--he who has written books which educate the statesmen and the leaders of the world--has told us in his last preface that he, having lost his wife, has lost his chief inspiration. Looking back at his works, he traces all that is noble, all that is advanced in thought and grand in idea, and all that is true in expression, not to a poet or a teacher, but to his own wife; in losing her he says he has lost much, but the world has lost more. So, also, two men, very opposite in feelings, in genius, and in character, and as opposite in their pursuits, declared at a late period in their lives--lives spent in industry and hard work, and in expression of what the world deemed their own particular genius--"that they owed all to their wives." These men were Sir Walter Scott and Daniel O'Connell. "The very gods rejoice," says Menu the sage, "when the wife is honored. When the wife is injured, the whole family decays; when the contrary is the case, it flourishes." This may be taken as an eternal truth--as one of those truths not to be put by, not to be argued down by casual exceptions. It is just as true of nations as it is of men; of the whole people as it is of individual families. So true it is, that it may be regarded as a piece of very sound advice when we counsel all men, married or single, to choose only such men for their friends as are happy in their wedded lives. No man can afford to know a broken family. Quarreling, discord, and connubial disagreements are catching. With unhappiness at home, no man is safely to be [pg 129]trusted, no woman to be sought in friendship. The fault may not be his or hers, but it must be between them. A man and woman must prove that they can be a good husband and wife before they can be admitted to have proved that they are good citizens. Such a verdict may seem harsh, but it is necessary and just. Young people just married can not possibly afford to know unhappy couples; and they, in their turn, may, with mutual hypocrisy, rub on in the world; but in the end they feel that the hypocrisy can not be played out. They gradually withdraw from their friends and acquaintance, and nurse their own miseries at home.

All good men feel, of course, that any distinctive separation of the sexes, all those separate gatherings and marks which would divide woman from man, and set her upon a separate pedestal, are as foolish as they are really impracticable. You will find no one who believes less in what certain philanthropists call the emancipation of women than a happy mother and wife. She does not want to be emancipated; and she is quite unwilling that, instead of being the friend and ally of man, she should be his opponent. She feels truly that the woman's cause is man's.

"For woman is not undeveloped man,
But diverse. Could we make her as the man,
Sweet love were slain, whose dearest bond is this--
Not like to like, but like in difference."

The very virtues of woman, not less than her faults, fit her for her attachment to man. There is no man so bad as not to find some pitying woman who will admire and love him; and no man so wise but that he shall find some woman equal to the full comprehension of him, ready to understand him and to strengthen him. With such a woman he will grow more tender, ductile, and appreciative; the man will be more of woman, she of man. Whether society, as it is [pg 130]at present constituted, fits our young women to be the good wives they should be is another question. In lower middle life, and with the working classes, it is asserted that the women are not sufficiently taught to fulfill their mission properly; but, if in large towns the exigencies of trade use up a large portion of the female population, it is no wonder that they can not be at the same time good mill-hands, bookbinders, shopwomen, and mothers, cooks, and housewives. We may well have recourse to public cookery, and talk about working men's dinners--thus drifting from an opposite point into the coming socialism--when we absorb all the home energies of the woman in gaining money sufficient for her daily bread. Yet these revelations, nor those yet more dreadful ones which come out daily in some of our law courts, are not sufficient to make us overlook the fact that with us by far the larger portion of marriages are happy ones, and that of men's wives we still can write as the most eloquent divine who ever lived, Jeremy Taylor, wrote, "A good wife is Heaven's last, best gift to man--his angel and minister of graces innumerable--his gem of many virtues--his casket of jewels. Her voice is sweet music--her smiles his brightest day--her kiss the guardian of his innocence--her arms the pale of his safety, the balm of his health, the balsam of his life--her industry his surest wealth--her economy his safest steward--her lips his faithful counselors--her bosom the softest pillow of his cares--and her prayers the ablest advocate of Heaven's blessings on his head."

[pg 131]




It would not be holding the balance of the sexes fairly, if after saying all that can be said in favor of men's wives, we did not say something on the side of women's husbands. In these clever days the husband is a rather neglected animal. Women are anxious enough to secure a specimen of the creature, but he is very soon "shelved" afterwards; and women writers are now so much occupied in contemplating the beauties of their own more impulsive sex that they neglect to paint ideals of good husbands. There has been also too much writing tending to separate the sexes. It is plain that in actual life all the virtues can not be on one side, and all the faults on the other; yet some women are not ashamed to write and speak as if such were really the case. The wife is taught to regard herself as a woman with many wrongs, because her natural rights are denied her. She is cockered up into a domestic martyr, and is bred into an impatience of reproof which is very harmful and very ungraceful. If we look about us, we find that in our cities, especially, this is producing some very sad results. Some of the men are getting very impatient at the increasing demands of women for attention, for place, and for consideration; and, on merely selfish grounds, it is hardly doubtful whether our women in the upper and middle classes do not demand too much. It is evident that, as society is constituted, man is [pg 132]the working and woman, generally, the ornamental portion, of it, at least in those classes to which Providence or society has given what we call comfortable circumstances. Woman may do, and does do, a great deal of unpleasant, tiresome work; she fritters away her time upon occupations which require "frittering;" but beyond that she does not do the "paying" work. The husband, or houseband, still produces the money. He is the poor, plain, working bee; and the queen bee too often sits in regal state in her comfortable hive while he is toiling and moiling abroad.

It results from the different occupations of the two sexes, that the husband comes home too often worried, cross, and anxious; that he finds in his wife a woman to whom he can not tell his doubts and fears, his humiliations and experience. She, poor woman, with little sense of what the world is, without any tact, may bore him to take her to fresh amusements and excitements; for, while he has been expending both brain and body, she has been quietly at home. A certain want of tact, not unfrequently met with in wives, often sets the household in a flame of anger and quarreling, which might be avoided by a little patience and care on the part of the wife.

It is not in human nature for a man who has been hard at work all day to return to his home toiled and weary, or with his mind agitated after being filled with many things, and to regard with complacency little matters which go awry, but which at another time would not trouble him. The hard-working man is too apt to regard as lazy those who work less than himself, and he therefore looks upon the slightest unreadiness or want of preparation in his wife as neglect. Hence a woman, if she be wise, will be constantly prepared for the return of her husband. He, after all, is the bread-winner; and all that he requires is an attention [pg 133]less by far than we should ordinarily pay to a guest. In the good old Scotch song, which thrills our heart every time it is sung, and makes us remember, however skeptical we may have grown, the true worth and divinity of love, the wife's greatest pleasure is that of looking forward to the return of her husband. She puts on-her best clothes and her sweetest smile; she clothes her face with that fondness which only a wife's look can express; she makes her children look neat and pretty--"gi'es little Kate her cotton gown, and Jock his Sunday coat" because the husband is returning. There is not a prettier picture throughout the whole range of literature. How her love breathes forth--

"Sae sweet his voice, sae smooth his tongue;
    His breath like caller air;
His very foot has music in 't
    As he comes up the stair."

And the love which thus colors with its radiant tints the common things of this life, which makes poverty beautiful, and the cottage richer than the palace, will be sure to teach the heart which possesses it how to manage the husband.

In "managing a man"--an important lesson, which some women are very anxious to impress upon others--immense tact and delicacy are wanted, but are very seldom found. Wives should remember that they had better, very much better, never try to manage, than try and not succeed. And yet all men like to be managed, and require management. No one can pretend to be the be-all and end-all in a house. It is from his wife that the husband should learn the true value of things--his own dignity, his position, and even his secondary position by her side as manageress. But, if she be wise, she will not make this too apparent. Directly the voice gets too loud, the tone too commanding, and the manner too fussy, the unhappy man begins to suspect that he is [pg 134]being "managed," and in nine cases out of ten sinks into utter imbecility, or breaks away like an obstinate pig. Both these symptoms are bad, and perhaps the first is the worst. No true woman can love and reverence a man who is morally and intellectually lower than herself, and who has driveled down into a mere assenting puppet. On the other hand, the pig-headed husband is very troublesome. He requires the greatest care; for whatever his wife says he will refuse to do; nay, although it may be the very essence of wisdom, he will refuse it because he knows the behest proceeds from his wife. He is like a jibbing horse, which you have to turn one way because you want him to start forward on the other; or he more closely resembles the celebrated Irish pig, which was so obstinate that his master was obliged to persuade him that he was being driven to Dublin, when his back was towards that city, and he was going to Athlone!

One part of management in husbands lies in a judicious mixture of good humor, attention, flattery, and compliments. All men, as well as women, are more or less vain; the rare exceptions of men who do not care to be tickled by an occasional well-turned compliment only prove the rule. But, in the case of a husband, we must remember that this love of being occasionally flattered by his wife is absolutely a necessary and natural virtue. No one needs to be ashamed of it. We are glad enough to own, to remember, to treasure up every little word of approval that fell from the lips of the woman we courted. Why should we forget the dear sounds now she is our wife? If we love her, she may be sure that any little compliment--an offered flower, a birthday gift, a song when we are weary, a smile when we are sad, a look which no eye but our own will see--will be treasured up, and will cheer us when she is not there. Judiciously used, this conduct is of the greatest effect in managing the husband. [pg 135]A little vanity does not, moreover, in such cases as these, prove a man to be either a bad man or a fool. "All clever men," says a great observer, "are more or less affected with vanity. It may be blatant and offensive, it may be excessive, but not unamusing, or it may show itself just as a large soupçon, but it is never entirely absent." The same writer goes on to say that this vanity should by no means be injudiciously flattered into too large a size. A wife will probably admire the husband for what he is really worth; and the vanity of a really clever man probably only amounts to putting a little too large a price on his merits, not to a mistake as to what those merits are. The wife and husband will therefore think alike; but, if she be wise, she will only go to a certain point in administering the domestic lumps of sugar. "A clever husband," says the writer we have quoted, "is like a good despot; all the better for a little constitutional opposition." Or the same advice may be thus put, as it often is, by a wise and cautious mother-in-law: "My dear," she would say, "you must never let your husband have matters all his own way."

A woman who abdicates all her authority, who is not queen over her kitchen, her chamber, and her drawing-room or best parlor, does a very dangerous and foolish thing, and will soon dwarf down into a mere assenting dummy. Now old Burleigh, the wise counselor of Queen Elizabeth, has, in his advice to his son, left it upon record that "thou shalt find there is nothing so irksome in life as a female fool." A wife who is the mere echo of her husband's opinions; who waits for his advice upon all matters; who is lazy, indolent, and silly in her household; fussy, troublesome, and always out of the way or in the way when she is traveling; who has no opinions of her own, no temper of her own; who boasts that "she bears every thing like a lamb;" and [pg 136]who bears the breakage of her best china and the desecration of her white curtains with tobbaco-smoke with equal serenity; such a woman may be very affectionate and very good, but she is somewhat of a "she-fool." Her husband will too often first begin to despise and then to neglect her. She will follow so closely on the heels of her husband's ideas and her husband's opinions that she will annoy him like an echo. Her genuine love will be construed into something like cunning flattery; her very devotion will be mistaken; her sweet nature become tiresome and irksome, from want of variety; and, from being the mistress of the house, she will sink into the mere slave of the husband. A wife should therefore learn to think, to walk alone, to bear her full share of the troubles and dignities of married life, never to become a cipher in her own house, but to rise to the level of her husband, and to take her full share of the matrimonial throne. The husband, if a wise man, will never act without consulting his wife; nor will she do any thing of importance without the aid and advice of her husband.

There is, however--and in these days of rapid fortune-making we see it constantly--a certain class of men who rise in the world without the slightest improvement in their manners, taste, or sense. Such men are shrewd men of business, or perhaps have been borne to the haven of fortune by a lucky tide; and yet these very men possess wives who, although they are of a lower sphere, rise at once with their position, and in manner, grace, and address are perfect ladies, whilst their husbands are still the same rude, uncultivated boors. These wives must be wise enough to console themselves for their trials; for indeed such things are a very serious trial both to human endurance and to human vanity. They must remember that they married when [pg 137]equals with their husbands in their lowliness, and that their husbands have made the fortune which they pour at their feet. They will recollect also that their husbands must have industry, and a great many other sterling good qualities, if they lack a little polish; and, lastly, that they are in reality no worse off than many other women in high life who are married to boors, to eccentric persons, or, alas! too often to those who, with many admirable virtues, may blot them all by the indulgence in a bosom sin or an hereditary vice.

The last paragraph will lead us naturally enough to the faults of husbands. Now, although we are inclined to think that these are greatly exaggerated, and that married men are, on the whole, very good--excellent men and citizens, brave men, battling with the world and its difficulties, and carrying forward the cumbrous machine in its path of progress and civilization--although we think that, as a class, their merits are actually not fully appreciated, and that the bachelors (sly fellows!) get very much the best of it--still, we must admit that there is a very large class of thoroughly bad husbands, and that this class may be divided into the foolish, the careless, and the vicious sub-classes, each of which would require at least a volume to be devoted to their treatment and castigation. Nay, more than a volume. Archdeacon Paley notes that St. John, apologizing for the brevity and incompleteness of Gospel directions, states that, if all the necessary books were written, the world would not contain them. So we may say of the faults of foolish husbands; we will, therefore, say no more about them, but return to the part which the wives of such men ought to play.

In the first place, as a true woman, a wife will be as tender of those faults as she can be. She will not talk to her neighbors about them, nor magnify them, nor dwell [pg 138]upon them. She, alas! will never be without her share of blame; for the world, rightly or wrongly, often dowers the wife with the faults of the husband, and, seeing no possibility of interfering and assigning to each his or her share, suspects both. Moreover, in many cases she will have to blame herself chiefly. We take it that the great majority of women marry the men that they choose. If they do not do so, they should do so. They may have been unwise and vain enough to have been pleased and tickled by the flattery of a fool. When they have married him, they find him, as Dr. Gregory wrote to his daughters, "the most intractable of husbands; led by his passions and caprices, and incapable of hearing the voice of reason." A woman's vanity may be hurt when she finds that she has a husband for whom she has to blush and tremble every time he opens his lips. She may be annoyed at his clownish jealousy, his mulish obstinacy, his incapability of being managed, led, or driven; but she must reflect that there was a time when a little wisdom and reflection on her own part would have prevented her from delivering her heart and her person to so unworthy a creature.

Women who have wicked husbands are much more to be pitied: In early life the wives themselves are innocent; and, from the nature of things, their innocence is based upon ignorance. Here the value of the almost intuitive wisdom and perception of the gentler sex comes into full play. During courtship, when this perception is in its full power and vigor, it should be freely exercised. Scandal and common report, in themselves to be avoided, are useful in this.

Women should choose men of character and of unspotted name. It is a very old and true remark--but one may as well repeat what is old and trite when that which is new would be but feeble repetition at the best--that a good son [pg 139]generally makes a good husband; a wise companion in a walk may turn out a judicious companion through life. The wild attempt to reform a rake, or to marry a man of a "gay" life, in the hope that he will sow "his wild oats," is always dangerous, and should never be attempted. A woman who has a sense of religion herself should never attach herself to a man who has none. The choice of a husband is really of the greatest consequence to human happiness, and should never be made without the greatest care and circumspection. No sudden caprice, no effect of coquetry, no sally of passion, should be dignified by the name of love. "Marriage," says the apostle, "is honorable in all;"' but the kind of marriage which is so is that which is based upon genuine love, not upon fancy or caprice; which is founded on the inclination of nature, on honorable views, cemented by a similarity of tastes, and strengthened by the true sympathy of souls.

    Love is the tyranny
    So blessed to endure!
Who mourns the loss of liberty,
    With all things else secure?

    Live on, sweet tyranny!
    (Cries heart within a heart)
God's blossom of Eternity,
    How beautiful thou art!
[pg 140]




John Ploughman's Talk, says the author, Rev. C.H. Spurgeon, the famous London preacher, "has not only obtained an immense circulation, but it has exercised an influence for good." As to the "influence for good," the reader will judge when he has read the following choice bits from the pages of that unique book. And we feel sure that he will thank us for including John among our "Brave Men and Women."


When a man has a particularly empty head, he generally sets up for a great judge, especially in religion. None so wise as the man who knows nothing. His ignorance is the mother of his impudence and the nurse of his obstinacy; and, though he does not know B from a bull's foot, he settles matters as if all wisdom were in his fingers' ends--the pope himself is not more infallible. Hear him talk after he has been at meeting and heard a sermon, and you will know how to pull a good man to pieces, if you never knew it before. He sees faults where there are none, and, if there be a few things amiss, he makes every mouse into an elephant. Although you might put all his wit into an egg-shell, he weighs the sermon in the balances of his conceit, with all the airs of a bred-and-born Solomon, and if it be up to his standard, he lays on his praise with a trowel; [pg 141]but, if it be not to his taste, he growls and barks and snaps at it like a dog at a hedgehog. Wise men in this world are like trees in a hedge, there is only here and there one; and when these rare men talk together upon a discourse, it is good for the ears to hear them; but the bragging wiseacres I am speaking of are vainly puffed up by their fleshly minds, and their quibbling is as senseless as the cackle of geese on a common. Nothing comes out of a sack but what was in it, and, as their bag is empty, they shake nothing but wind out of it. It is very likely that neither ministers nor their sermons are perfect--the best garden may have a few weeds in it, the cleanest corn may have some chaff--but cavilers cavil at any thing or nothing, and find fault for the sake of showing off their deep knowledge; sooner than let their tongues have a holiday, they would complain that the grass is not a nice shade of blue, and say that the sky would have looked neater if it had been whitewashed.


Do not be all sugar, or the world will suck you down; but do not be all vinegar, or the world will spit you out. There is a medium in all things; only blockheads go to extremes. We need not be all rock or all sand, all iron or all wax. We should neither fawn upon every body like silly lap-dogs, nor fly at all persons like surly mastiffs. Blacks and whites go together to make up a world, and hence, on the point of temper, we have all sorts of people to deal with. Some are as easy as an old shoe, but they are hardly ever worth more than the other one of the pair; and others take fire as fast as tinder at the smallest offense, and are as dangerous as gunpowder. To have a fellow going about the farm as cross with every body as a bear with a sore head, with a temper as sour as verjuice and as sharp as a [pg 142]razor, looking as surly as a butcher's dog, is a great nuisance; and yet there may be some good points about the man, so that he may be a man for all that; but poor, soft Tommy, as green as grass and as ready to bend as a willow, is nobody's money and every body's scorn. A man must have a backbone, or how is he to hold his head up? But that backbone must bend, or he will knock his brow against the beam.

There is a time to do as others wish, and a time to refuse. We may make ourselves asses, and then every body will ride us; but, if we would be respected, we must be our own masters, and not let others saddle us as they think fit. If we try to please every body, we shall be like a toad under a harrow, and never have peace; and, if we play lackey to all our neighbors, whether good or bad, we shall be thanked by no one, for we shall soon do as much harm as good. He that makes himself a sheep will find that the wolves are not all dead. He who lies on the ground must expect to be trodden on. He who makes himself a mouse, the cats will eat him. If you let your neighbors put the calf on your shoulders, they will soon clap on the cow. We are to please our neighbor for his good to edification, but this is quite another matter.


Patience is better than wisdom; an ounce of patience is worth a pound of brains. All men praise patience, but few enough can practice it; it is a medicine which Is good for all diseases, and therefore every old woman recommends it; but it is not every garden that grows the herbs to make it with. When one's flesh and bones are full of aches and pains, it is as natural for us to murmur as for a horse to shake his head when the flies tease him, or a wheel to rattle when a spoke is loose; but nature should not be the rule [pg 143]with Christians, or what is their religion worth? If a soldier fights no better than a plowboy, off with his red coat. We expect more fruit from an apple-tree than from a thorn, and we have a right to do so. The disciples of a patient Savior should be patient themselves. Grin and bear it is the old-fashioned advice, but sing and bear it is a great deal better. After all, we get very few cuts of the whip, considering what bad cattle we are; and when we do smart a little, it is soon over. Pain past is pleasure, and experience comes by it. We ought not to be afraid of going down into Egypt, when we know we shall come out of it with jewels of silver and gold.


Some men never are awake when the train starts, but crawl into the station just in time to see that every body is off, and then sleepily say, "Dear me, is the train gone? My watch must have stopped in the night!" They always come into town a day after the fair, and open their wares an hour after the market is over. They make their hay when the sun has left off shining, and cut their corn as soon as the fine weather is ended. They cry "Hold hard!" after the shot has left the gun, and lock the stable-door when the steed is stolen. They are like a cow's tail, always behind; they take time by the heels and not by the forelock, if indeed they ever take him at all. They are no more worth than an old almanac; their time has gone for being of use; but, unfortunately, you can not throw them away as you would the almanac, for they are like the cross old lady who had an annuity left to her, and meant to take out the full value of it--they won't die, though they are of no use alive. Take-it-easy and Live-long are first cousins, they say, and the more's the pity. If they are immortal [pg 144]till their work is done, they will not die in a hurry, for they have not even begun to work yet. Shiftless people generally excuse their laziness by saying, "they are only a little behind;" but a little too late is much too late, and a miss is as good as a mile. My neighbor Sykes covered up his well after his child was drowned in it, and was very busy down at the Old Farm bringing up buckets of water after every stick of the house had been burned; one of these days, he'll be for making his will when he can't hold a pen, and he'll be trying to repent of his sins when his senses are going.


He who boasts of being perfect is perfect in folly. I have been a good deal up and down in the world, and I never did see either a perfect horse or a perfect man, and I never shall till two Sundays come together. You can not get white flour out of a coal sack, nor perfection out of human nature; he who looks for it had better look for sugar in the sea. The old saying is, "Lifeless, faultless;" of dead men we should say nothing but good; but as for the living, they are all tarred more or less with the black brush, and half an eye can see it. Every head has a soft place in it, and every heart has its black drop. Every rose has its prickles, and every day its night. Even the sun shows spots, and the skies are darkened with clouds. Nobody is so wise but he has folly enough to stock a stall at Vanity Fair. Where I could not see the fool's cap, I have nevertheless heard the bells jingle. As there is no sunshine without some shadows, so is all human good mixed up with more or less of evil; even poor-law guardians have their little failings, and parish beadles are not wholly of heavenly nature. The best wine has its lees. All men's faults are not written on their foreheads, and it's quite as well they [pg 145]are not, or hats would need very wide brims; yet as sure as eggs are eggs, faults of some sort nestle in every bosom. There's no telling when a man's sins may show themselves, for hares pop out of the ditch just when you are not looking for them. A horse that is weak in the legs may not stumble for a mile or two, but it is in him, and the driver had better hold him up well. The tabby cat is not lapping milk just now, but leave the dairy door open, and see if she is not as bad a thief as the kitten. There's fire in the flint, cool as it looks: wait till the steel gets a knock at it, and you will see. Every body can read that riddle, but it is not every body that will remember to keep his gunpowder out of the way of the candle.

If we would always recollect that we live among men who are imperfect, we should not be in such a fever when we find out our friend's failings; what's rotten will rend, and cracked pots will leak. Blessed is he who expects nothing of poor flesh and blood, for he shall never be disappointed. The best of men are men at the best, and the best wax will melt.

"It is a good horse that never stumbles,
And a good wife that never grumbles."


That word home always sounds like poetry to me. It rings like a peal of bells at a wedding, only more soft and sweet, and it chimes deeper into the ears of my heart. It does not matter whether it means thatched cottage or manor-house, home is home; be it ever so homely, there is no place on earth like it. Green grows the house-leek on the roof forever, and let the moss flourish on the thatch. Sweetly the sparrows chirrup and the swallows twitter around the chosen spot which is my joy and rest. Every bird loves its [pg 146]own nest; the owls think the old ruins the fairest spot under the moon, and the fox is of opinion that his hole in the hill is remarkably cozy. When my master's nag knows that his head is toward home he wants no whip, but thinks it best to put on all steam; and I am always of the same mind, for the way home, to me, is the best bit of road in the country. I like to see the smoke out of my own chimney better than the fire on another man's hearth; there's something so beautiful in the way in which it curls up among the trees. Cold potatoes on my own table taste better than roast meat at my neighbor's, and the honeysuckle at my own door is the sweetest I ever smell. When you are out, friends do their best, but still it is not home. "Make yourself at home," they say, because every body knows that to feel at home is to feel at ease.

"East and west,
Home is best."

Why, at home you are at home, and what more do you want? Nobody grudges you, whatever your appetite may be; and you don't get put into a damp bed.


No man's lot is fully known till he is dead; change of fortune is the lot of life. He who rides in the carriage may yet have to clean it. Sawyers change-places, and he who is up aloft may have to take his turn in the pit. In less than a thousand years we shall all be bald and poor too, and who knows what he may come to before that? The thought that we may ourselves be one day under the window, should make us careful when we are throwing out our dirty water. With what measure we mete, it shall be measured to us again, and therefore let us look well to our dealings with the unfortunate.

[pg 147]Nothing makes me more sick of human nature than to see the way in which men treat others when they fall down the ladder of fortune: "Down with him," they cry, "he always was good for nothing."

"Down among the dead men, down, down, down,
Down among the dead men, there let him lie."

Dog won't eat dog, but men will eat each other up like cannibals, and boast of it too. There are thousands in this world who fly like vultures to feed on a tradesman or a merchant as soon as ever he gets into trouble. Where the carcass is thither will the eagles be gathered together. Instead of a little help, they give the sinking man a great deal of cruelty, and cry, "Serves him right." All the world will beat the man whom fortune buffets. If providence smites him, all men's whips begin to crack. The dog is drowning, and therefore all his friends empty their buckets over him. The tree has fallen, and every body runs for his hatchet. The house is on fire, and all the neighbors warm themselves. The man has ill luck, therefore his friends give him ill usage; he has tumbled into the road, and they drive their carts over him; he is down, and selfishness cries, "Let him be kept down, then there will be the more room for those who are up."

How aggravating it is when those who knocked you down kick you for not standing up! It is not very pleasant to hear that you have been a great fool, that there were fifty ways at least of keeping out of your difficulty, only you had not the sense to see them. You ought not to have lost the game; even Tom Fool can see where you made a bad move. "He ought to have looked the stable-door;" every body can see that, but nobody offers to buy the loser a new nag. "What a pity he went so far on the ice!" That's very true, but that won't save the poor fellow from drowning. When a man's [pg 148]coat is threadbare, it is an easy thing to pick a hole in it. Good advice is poor food for a hungry family.

"A man of words and not of deeds
Is like a garden full of weeds."

Lend me a bit of string to tie up the traces, and find fault with my old harness when I get home. Help my old horse to a few oats, then tell him to mend his pace. Feel for me and I shall be much obliged to you, but mind you, feel in your pocket, or else a fig for your feelings.


Eggs are eggs, but some are rotten; and so hopes are hopes, but many of them are delusions. Hopes are like women, there is a touch of angel about them all, but there are two sorts. My boy Tom has been blowing a lot of birds'-eggs, and threading them on a string; I have been doing the same thing with hopes, and here's a few of them, good, bad, and indifferent.

The sanguine man's hope pops up in a moment like Jack-in-the-box; it works with a spring, and does not go by reason. Whenever this man looks out of the window he sees better times coming, and although it is nearly all in his own eye and nowhere else, yet to see plum-puddings in the moon is a far more cheerful habit than croaking at every thing like a two-legged frog. This is the kind of brother to be on the road with on a pitch-dark night, when it pours with rain, for he carries candles in his eyes and a fireside in his heart. Beware of being misled by him, and then you may safely keep his company. His fault is that he counts his chickens before they are hatched, and sells his herrings before they are in the net. All his sparrows'-eggs are bound to turn into thrushes, at the least, if not partridges and pheasants. Summer has fully come, for he has seen one swallow. [pg 149]He is sure to make his, fortune at his new shop, for he had not opened the door five minutes before two of the neighbors crowded in; one of them wanted a loaf of bread on trust, and the other asked change for a shilling. He is certain that the squire means to give him his custom, for he saw him reading the name over the shop door as he rode past. He does not believe in slips between cups and lips, but makes certainties out of perhapses. Well, good soul, though he is a little soft at times, there is much in him to praise, and I like to think of ope of his odd sayings, "Never say die till you are dead, and then it's no use, so let it alone." There are other odd people in the world, you see, besides John Ploughman.


My experience of my first wife, who will, I hope, live to be my last, is much as follows: matrimony came from Paradise and leads to it. I never was half so happy before I was a married man as I am now. When you are married, your bliss begins. I have no doubt that where there is much love there will be much to love, and where love is scant faults will be plentiful. If there is only one good wife in England, I am the man who put the ring on her finger, and long may she wear it. God bless the dear soul, if she can put up with me, she shall never be put down by me.


Hard work is the grand secret of success. Nothing but rags and poverty can come of idleness. Elbow-grease is the only stuff to make gold with. No sweat, no sweet. He who would have the crow's eggs must climb the tree. Every man must build up his own fortune nowadays. Shirt-sleeves rolled up lead on to best broad cloth; and he who is not [pg 150]ashamed of the apron will soon be able to do without it. "Diligence is the mother of good luck," as Poor Richard says; but "idleness is the devil's bolster," John Ploughman says.

Make as few changes as you can; trees often transplanted bear little fruit. If you have difficulties in one place, you will have them in another; if you move because it is damp in the valley, you may find it cold on the hill. Where will the ass go that he will not have to work? Where can a cow live and not get milked? Where will you find land without stones, or meat without bones? Everywhere on earth men must eat bread in the sweat of their faces. To fly from trouble men must have eagle's wings. Alteration is not always improvement, as the pigeon said when she got out of the net and into the pie. There is a proper time for changing, and then mind you bestir yourself, for a sitting hen gets no barley; but do not be forever on the shift, for a rolling stone gathers no moss. Stick-to-it is the conqueror. He who can wait long enough will win. This, that, and the other, any thing and every thing, all put together, make nothing in the end; but on one horse a man rides home in due season. In one place the seed grows, in one nest the bird hatches its eggs, in one oven the bread bakes, in one river the fish lives.

Do not be above your business. He who turns up his nose at his work quarrels with his bread and butter. He is a poor smith who is afraid of his own sparks: there's some discomfort in all trades, except chimney-sweeping. If sailors gave up going to sea because of the wet, if bakers left off baking because it is hot work, if ploughmen would not plough because of the cold, and tailors would not make our clothes for fear of pricking their fingers, what a pass we should come to! Nonsense, my fine fellow, there's no [pg 151]shame about any honest calling; don't be afraid of soiling your hands, there's plenty of soap to be had. All trades are good to good traders. A clever man can make money out of dirt. Lucifer matches pay well, if you sell enough of them.

You can not get honey if you are frightened at bees, nor sow corn if you are afraid of getting mud on your boots. Lackadaisical gentlemen had better emigrate to fool's-land, where men get their living by wearing shiny boots and lavender gloves. When bars of iron melt under the south wind, when you can dig the fields with toothpicks, blow ships along with fans, manure the crops with lavender-water, and grow plum-cakes in flower-pots, then will be a fine time for dandies; but until the millennium comes we shall all have a deal to put up with, and had better bear our present burdens than run helter-skelter where we shall find matters a deal worse.

Keep your weather eye open. Sleeping poultry are carried off by the fox. Who watches not, catches not. Fools ask what's o'clock, but wise men know their time. Grind while the wind blows, or if not do not blame Providence. God sends every bird its food, but he does not throw it into the nest: he gives us our daily bread, but it is through our own labor. Take time by the forelock. Be up early and catch the worm. The morning hour carries gold in its mouth. He who drives last in the row gets all the dust in his eyes: rise early, and you will have a clear start for the day.


Can't do it sticks in the mud, but Try soon drags the wagon out of the rut. The fox said Try, and he got away from the hounds when they almost snapped at him. The bees said Try, and turned flowers into honey. The squirrel [pg 152]said Try, and up he went to the top of the beech-tree. The snow-drop said Try, and bloomed in the cold snows of Winter. The sun said Try, and the Spring soon threw Jack Frost out of the saddle. The young lark said Try, and he found his new wings took him over hedges and ditches, and up where his father was singing. The ox said Try, and ploughed the field from end to end. No hill too steep for Try to climb, no clay too stiff for Try to plough, no field too wet for Try to drain, no hole too big for Try to mend. As to a little trouble, who expects to find cherries without stones, or roses without thorns! Who would win must learn to bear. Idleness lies in bed sick of the mulligrubs where industry finds health and wealth. The dog in the kennel barks at the fleas; the hunting dog does not even know they are there. Laziness waits till the river is dry, and never gets to market; "Try" swims it, and makes all the trade. Can't do it couldn't eat the bread and butter which was cut for him, but Try made meat out of mushrooms.

If you want to do good in the world, the little word "Try" comes in again. There are plenty of ways of serving God, and some that will fit you exactly as a key fits a lock. Don't hold back because you can not preach in St. Paul's; be content to talk to one or two in a cottage; very good wheat grows in little fields. You may cook in small pots as well as big ones. Little pigeons can carry great messages. Even a little dog can bark at a thief, and wake up the master and save the house. A spark is fire. A sentence of truth has heaven in it. Do what you do right thoroughly; pray over it heartily, and leave the result to God.

Alas! advice is thrown away on many, like good seed on a bare rock. Teach a cow for seven years, but she will never learn to sing the Old Hundreth. Of some it seems [pg 153]true that when they were born Solomon went by the door, but would not look in. Their coat-of-arms is a fool's cap on a donkey's head. They sleep when it is time to plough, and weep when harvest comes. They eat all the parsnips for supper, and wonder they have none left for breakfast.

Once let every man say Try,
Very few on straw would lie,
Fewer still of want would die;
Pans would all have fish to fry;
Pigs would fill the poor man's sty;
Want would cease and need would fly;
Wives,and children cease to cry;
Poor rates would not swell so high;
Things wouldn't go so much awry--
You'd be glad, and so would I.
[pg 154]



(BORN 1750--DIED 1848)


March 16, 1750, and January 9, 1848. These are the dates that span the ninety-eight years of the life of a woman whose deeds were great in the service of the world, but of whom the world itself knows all too little. Of the interest attaching to the life of such a woman, whose recollections went back to the great earthquake at Lisbon; who lived through the American War, the old French Revolution, the rise and fall of Napoleon; who saw the development of the great factors of modern civilization, "from the lumbering post wagon in which she made her first journey from Hanover to the railroads and electric telegraphs which have intersected all Europe;" of the interest which such a life possesses, apart from that which attaches to it as that of a noble, self-sacrificing woman, who was content to serve when she might have led in a great cause, but few will be insensible.

Caroline Herschel was born on the 16th of March 1750, and was the eighth child of ten children. Her father, Isaac Herschel, traced his ancestry back to the early part of the seventeenth century, when three brothers Herschel left Moravia through religious differences, they being Protestant. The father, Isaac, was passionately fond of music, to the study of which, as a youth, he devoted himself, and, at the time of his marriage in Hanover, was engaged as hautboy player in the band of the Guards. When, in the [pg 155]course of time, his family grew up around him, each child received an education at the garrison school, to which they were sent between the ages of two and fourteen; and at home the father strove to cultivate the musical talents of his sons, one of whom, William, soon taught his teacher, while another, Jacob, was organist of the garrison church.

Of her very early childhood one gets the impression that Caroline was a quiet, modest little maiden, "deeply interested in all the family concerns," content to be eclipsed by her more brilliant and less patient elder sister, and overlooked by her thoughtless brothers, toward one of whom, William, she already began to cherish that deep affection which she maintained throughout their lives. The lives of this brother and sister, indeed, in this respect, recall to mind those of Charles and Mary Lamb. When she was five years old the family life was disturbed by war, which took away temporarily father and sons, and left the little girl at home, her mother's sole companion. Her recollections of this time are very dismal, and may be read at length in the memoir by Mrs. John Herschel, to which we are indebted for much aid. When she was seventeen her father died, and the polished education which he had hoped to give her was supplanted by the rough but useful knowledge which her mother chose to inculcate in her--an education which was to help to fit her to earn her bread, and to be of great assistance to her beloved brother William. He had now for some years been living at Bath, England, from which he wrote in 1772, proposing that his sister should join him there to assist him in his musical projects, for he had now become a composer and director. In August of this year she accomplished a most adventurous and wearisome journey to London, encountering storms by land and sea, and on the 28th of the month found herself installed in her brother's lodgings at Bath.

[pg 156]It will be necessary here to speak a little more at length of her brother's life as she found it when she joined him, as thereafter her own existence was practically merged in his, and, as she has said modestly of herself and her service: "I did nothing for my brother but what a well-trained puppy-dog would have done; that is to say, I did what he commanded me. I was a mere tool, which he had the trouble of sharpening." Posterity discredits this self-depreciation, while it admires it, and Miss Herschel's services are now esteemed at their true worth. Her brother then, when she came to Bath, had established himself there as a teacher of music, as organist of the Octagon Chapel, and, as we have said before, was a composer and director of more than ordinary merit. This was all a side issue, however. It was but a means to an end. His music was the goose that laid the golden egg, which, once in his possession, he turned over to the mistress of his soul--Astronomy.

Every spare moment of the day, we are told, and many hours stolen from the night, had long been devoted to the studies which were compelling him to become himself an observer of the heavens. He had worked wonders of mechanical invention, forced thereto by necessity; had become a member of a philosophical society, and his name was beginning to be circulated among the great, rumors of his work reaching and arresting even royal attention.

At this point his sister arrived, the quiet domestic life she had been living in Hanover being suddenly changed for one of "ceaseless and inexhaustible activity" in her brother's service, being at once his astronomical and musical assistant, and his housekeeper and guardian. Of the latter, his erratic habits made him in great need. "For ten years she persevered at Bath," says her biographer, "singing when she was told to sing, copying when she was told to copy, 'lending [pg 157]a hand' in the workshop, and taking her full share in all the stirring and exciting changes by which the musician became the king's astronomer and a celebrity; but she never, by a single word, betrays how these wonderful events affected her, nor indulges in the slightest approach to an original sentiment, comment, or reflection not strictly connected with the present fact." In an ordinary case this would not be remarkable, but in the present instance it acquires considerable significance from the fact that, to our best knowledge, Miss Herschel's was a temperament which would be strongly affected by the life she was leading, and her silence as to personal sentiment shows to what an extent she had become a tool in her brother's hands--rejoicing in his successes, and sympathizing in his sorrows, but never revealing to what depth of self-sacrifice she may have been plunged by her voluntary surrender and devotion to her brother.

As we understand her, Miss Herschel would have been eminently fitted to fill a position of high domestic responsibility; and no woman of this sort, who has once dreamed of a home of her own, with its ennobling and divine responsibilities, can, without a pang, give up so sweet a vision for a life of sacrifice, although it be brilliant with the cold splendors of science. Her life with her brother, as has been said, was one of ceaseless activity in all the capacities in which she served him. As housekeeper, she occupied a small room in the attic, while her brother occupied the ground-floor, furnished in new and handsome style. She received a sum for weekly expenses, of which she must keep a careful account, and all the marketing fell to her. She had to struggle with hot-tempered servants, and with the greatest irregularity and disorder in the household; while her imperfect knowledge of English (this was soon [pg 158]after her arrival at Bath) added a new pang to her homesickness and low spirits. Later on, in her capacity as musical assistant, we are told that she once copied the scores of the "Messiah" and "Judas Maccabaeus" into parts for an orchestra of nearly one hundred performers, and the vocal parts of "Samson," besides instructing the treble singers, of whom she was now herself the first. As astronomical assistant, she has herself given a glimpse of her experience in the following words: "In my brother's absence from home, I was, of course, left solely to amuse myself with my own thoughts, which were any thing but cheerful. I found I was to be trained for an assistant astronomer, and, by way of encouragement, a telescope adapted for 'sweeping,' consisting of a tube with two glasses, such as are commonly used in a 'finder,' was given me. I was 'to sweep for comets,' and I see by my journal that I began August 22, 1782, to write down and describe all remarkable appearances I saw in my 'sweeps,' which were horizontal. But it was not till the last two months of the same year that I felt the least encouragement to spend the star-light nights on a grass-plot covered with dew or hoar-frost, without a human being near enough to be within call. I knew too little of the real heavens to be able to point out every object so as to find it again without losing too much time by consulting the atlas." And, in another place, she says: "I had, however, the comfort to see that my brother was satisfied with my endeavors to assist him, when he wanted another person either to run to the clocks, write down a memorandum, fetch and carry instruments, or measure the ground with poles, etc., of which something of the kind every moment would occur." How successful she was in her sky-sweeping may be judged from the fact that she herself discovered no less than eight different comets at various times during her apprenticeship. Her [pg 159]work was not unattended by danger and accidents, and on one occasion, on a cold and cloudy December night, when a strip of clear sky revealed some stars and there was great haste made to observe them, in assisting her brother with his huge telescope she ran in the dark on ground covered with melting snow a foot deep, tripped, and fell on a large iron hook such as butchers use, and which was attached for some purpose to the machine. It entered her right leg, above the knee, and when her brother called, "Make haste," she could only answer by a pitiful cry, "I am hooked." He and the workmen were instantly with her; but they did not free her from the torturing position without leaving nearly two ounces of her flesh behind, and it was long before she was able to take her place again at the instrument.

It would be interesting, if it were but practicable, to give a brief journal of her life during the fifty years she lived in England, from the time of her arrival in Bath, August 28, 1772, till the time of her brother's death, August 25, 1822, after which she returned to Hanover.

We have given enough, perhaps, to suggest the mode and the activity of her life; but of her brother's marriage, and the trial it brought upon her in giving up the supreme place she had held in his love and companionship for sixteen years; of the details of her discoveries, and the interesting correspondence which accompanied them; of her various great and noble friends, and her relations with them; of the death of her brother, then Sir William Herschel, and the terrible blow it proved to her; of her return to Holland, to the home of another brother; of her sorrow and disappointment at the changes which had taken place in the home of her youth during the long years which had brought her to old age--she was then seventy-two--and to face "the blank of life after having lived within the radiance [pg 160]of genius;" of the comfort she derived from the members of her brother's family whom she had left behind in "happy England;" of the honors which the chief scientific men in the kingdom bestowed upon her--of all these matters we can do no more than to simply touch upon them as above, although, if we might refer to them at greater length, it would be but to increase our admiration and esteem for one of the strongest, most serviceable, and most faithful women that ever lived.

She died at eleven o'clock on the night of the 9th of January, 1848, at the age of ninety-eight; and the holy words were spoken in the same little chapel in the garrison in which, "nearly a century before, she had been christened and afterward confirmed." In the coffin with her was placed, at her request, "a lock of her beloved brother's hair, and an old, almost obliterated almanac that had been used by her father;" and with these tokens of the unswerving love and fidelity she had always borne to parent and brother, she was laid away to rest, leaving the memory of a noble woman, great in wisdom, and greater in womanliness, without which, in woman, wisdom is unhallowed.--S.A. CHAPIN, JR., in the Christian Union.

[pg 161]




He is a brave man, who, at the right time and in the right place and manner, lifts his voice against a great evil of the day. Dr. Talmage has recently done this, with an earnestness like that of the old Hebrew prophets. His timely words of warning >an not be unfruitful:

"Of making books there is no end." True in the times so long B.C., how much more true in the times so long A.D.! We see so many books we do not understand what a book is. Stand it on end. Measure it, the height of it, the depth of it, the length of it, the breadth of it. You can not do it. Examine the paper, and estimate the progress made from the time of the impressions on clay, and then on the bark of trees, and from the bark of trees to papyrus, and from papyrus to the hide of wild beasts, and from the hide of wild beasts on down until the miracles of our modern paper manufactories, and then see the paper, white and pure as an infant's soul, waiting for God's inscription. A book! Examine the type of it; examine the printing, and see the progress from the time when Solon's laws were written on oak planks, and Hesiod's poems were written on tables of lead, and the Sinaitic commands were written on tables of stone, on down to Hoe's perfecting printing-press. A book! It took all [pg 162]the universities of the past, all the martyr-fires, all the civilizations, all the battles, all the victories, all the defeats, all the glooms, all the brightnesses, all the centuries, to make it possible. A book! It is the chorus of the ages--it is the drawing-room in which kings and queens, and orators, and poets, and historians, and philosophers come out to greet you. If I worshiped any thing on earth, I would worship that. If I burned incense to any idol, I would build an altar to that. Thank God for good books, helpful books, inspiring books, Christian books, books of men, books of women, books of God. The printing-press is the mightiest agency on earth for good and for evil. The minister of the Gospel standing in a pulpit has a responsible position, but I do not think it is as responsible as the position of an editor or a publisher. Take the simple statistics that our New York dailies now have a circulation of 450,000 per day, and add to it the fact that three of our weekly periodicals have an aggregate circulation of about one million, and then cipher, if you can, how far up and how far down and how far out reach the influences of the American printing-press. I believe the Lord intends the printing-press to be the chief means for the world's rescue and evangelization, and I think that the great last battle of the world will not be fought with swords or guns, but with types and press--a purified Gospel literature triumphing over, trampling down, and crushing out forever that which is depraved. The only way to right a bad book is by printing a good one. The only way to overcome unclean newspaper literature is by scattering abroad that which is healthful. May God speed the cylinders of an honest, intelligent, aggressive, Christian printing-press.

I have to tell you this morning that I believe that the greatest scourge that has ever come upon this nation has [pg 163]been that of unclean journalism. It has its victims in all occupations and departments. It has helped to fill insane asylums and penitentiaries, and alms-houses and dens of shame. The bodies of this infection lie in the hospitals and in the graves, while their souls are being tossed over into a lost eternity, an avalanche of horror and despair. The London plague was nothing to it. That counted its victims by thousands; but this modern pest has already shoveled its millions into the charnel-house of the morally dead. The longest rail train that ever ran over the Erie or the Hudson tracks was not long enough or large enough to carry the beastliness and the putrefaction which have gathered up in the bad books and newspapers of this land in the last twenty years. Now, it is amid such circumstances that I put the questions of overmastering importance to you and your families: What can we do to abate this pestilence? What books and newspapers shall we read? You see I group them together. A newspaper is only a book in a swifter and more portable shape, and the same rules which apply to book-reading will apply to newspaper-reading. What shall we read? Shall our minds be the receptacle of every thing that an author has a mind to write? Shall there be no distinction between the tree of life and the tree of death? Shall we stoop down and drink out of the trough which the wickedness of men has filled with pollution and shame? Shall we mire in impurity, and chase fantastic will-o'-the-wisps across the swamps, when we might walk in the blooming gardens of God? O, no. For the sake of our present and everlasting welfare, we must make an intelligent and Christian choice.

Standing, as we do, chin-deep in fictitious literature, the first question that many of the young people are asking me is, "Shall we read novels?" I reply, there are novels that [pg 164]are pure, good, Christian, elevating to the heart, and ennobling to the life. But I have still further to say, that I believe three-fourths of the novels in this day are baneful and destructive to the last degree. A pure work of fiction is history and poetry combined. It is a history of things around us, with the licenses and the assumed names of poetry. The world can never repay the debt which it owes to such fictitious writers as Hawthorne, Mackenzie, and Landor and Hunt, and others whose names are familiar to all. The follies of high life were never better exposed than by Miss Edgeworth. The memories of the past were never more faithfully embalmed than in the writings of Walter Scott. Cooper's novels are healthfully redolent with the breath of the seaweed and the air of the American forest. Charles Kingsley has smitten the morbidness of the world, and led a great many to appreciate the poetry of sound health, strong muscles, and fresh air. Thackeray did a grand work in caricaturing the pretenders to gentility and high blood. Dickens has built his own monument in his books, which are an everlasting plea for the poor and the anathema of injustice. Now, I say books like these, read at right times and read in right proportion with other books, can not help but be ennobling and purifying. But, alas! for the loathsome and impure literature that has come upon this country in the shape of novels like a freshet overflowing all the banks of decency and common sense. They are coming from some of the most celebrated publishing houses in the country. They are coming with the recommendation of some of our religious newspapers. They lie on your center-table, to curse your children and blast with their infernal fires generations unborn. You find these books in the desk of the school-miss, in the trunk of the young man, in the steamboat cabin, and on the table of the hotel reception-room. You see a light [pg 165]in your child's room late at night. You suddenly go in and say: "What are you doing?". "I am reading." "What are you reading?" "A book." You look at the book. It is a bad book. "Where did you get it?" "I borrowed it." Alas! there are always those abroad who would like to loan your son or daughter a bad book. Everywhere, everywhere an unclean literature. I charge upon it the destruction of ten thousand immortal souls; and I bid you this morning to wake up to the magnitude of the theme. I shall take all the world's literature--good novels and bad; travels, true or false; histories, faithful and incorrect; legends, beautiful and monstrous; all tracts, all chronicles, all epilogues, all family, city, state, national libraries--and pile them up in a pyramid of literature; and then I shall bring to bear upon it some grand, glorious, infallible, unmistakable Christian principles. God help me to speak with reference to the account I must at last render! God help you to listen.

I charge you, in the first place, to stand aloof from all books that give false pictures of human life. Life is neither a tragedy nor a farce. Men are not all either knaves or heroes. Women are neither angels nor furies. And yet if you depended upon much of the literature of the day, you would get the idea that life, instead of being something earnest, something practical, is a fitful and fantastic and extravagant thing. How poorly prepared are that young man and woman for the duties of to-day who spent last night wading through brilliant passages descriptive of magnificent knavery and wickedness! The man will be looking all day long for his heroine in the tin-shop, by the forge or in the factory, in the counting-room, and he will not find her, and he will be dissatisfied. A man who gives himself up to the indiscriminate reading of novels will be nerveless, inane, and [pg 166]a nuisance. He will be fit neither for the store, nor the shop, nor the field. A woman who gives herself up to the indiscriminate reading of novels will be unfitted for the duties of wife, mother, sister, daughter. There she is, hair disheveled, countenance vacant, cheeks pale, hands trembling, bursting into tears at midnight over the woes of some unfortunate. In the day-time, when she ought to be busy, staring by the half-hour at nothing; biting her finger-nails to the quick. The carpet that was plain before will be plainer after having through a romance all night long wandered in tessellated halls of castles, and your industrious companion will be more unattractive than ever now that you have walked in the romance through parks with plumed princesses or lounged in the arbor with the polished desperado. O, these confirmed novel-readers! They are unfit for this life, which is a tremendous discipline. They know not how to go through the furnaces of trial where they must pass, and they are unfitted for a world where every thing we gain we achieve by hard, long continuing, and exhaustive work.

Again, abstain from all those books which, while they have some good things about them, have also an admixture of evil. You have read books that had the two elements in them--the good and the bad. Which stuck to you? The bad! The heart of most people is like a sieve, which lets the small particles of gold fall through, but keeps the great cinders.

Again, abstain from those books which are apologetic of crime. It is a sad thing that some of the best and most beautiful bookbindery, and some of the finest rhetoric, have been brought to make sin attractive. Vice is a horrible thing, anyhow. It is born in shame, and it dies howling in the darkness. In this world it is scourged with a whip [pg 167]of scorpions, but afterward the thunders of God's wrath pursue it across a boundless desert, beating it with ruin and woe. When you come to paint carnality, do not paint it as looking from behind embroidered curtains, or through lattice of royal seraglio, but as writhing in the agonies of a city hospital. Cursed be the books that try to make impurity decent, and crime attractive, and hypocrisy noble! Cursed be the books that swarm with libertines and desperadoes, who make the brain of the young people whirl with villainy. Ye authors who write them, ye publishers who print them, ye book-sellers who distribute them, shall be cut to pieces; if not by an aroused community, then at last by a divine vengeance, which shall sweep to the lowest pit of perdition all ye murderers of souls. I tell you, though you may escape in this world, you will be ground at last under the hoof of eternal calamities, and you will be chained to the rock, and you will have the vultures of despair clawing at your soul, and those whom you have destroyed will come around to torment you and to pour hotter coals of fury upon your head and rejoice eternally in the outcry of your pain and the howl of your damnation! "God shall wound the hairy scalp of him that goeth on in his trespasses." The clock strikes midnight, a fair form bends over a romance. The eyes flash fire. The breath is quick and irregular. Occasionally the color dashes to the cheek, and then dies out. The hands tremble as though a guardian spirit were trying to shake the deadly book out of the grasp. Hot tears fall. She laughs with a shrill voice that drops dead at its own sound. The sweat on her brow is the spray dashed up from the river of Death. The clock strikes four, and the rosy dawn soon after begins to look through the lattice upon the pale form, that looks like a detained specter of the night. Soon in a mad-house, she will mistake her ringlets [pg 168]for curling serpents, and thrust her white hand through the bars of the prison and smite her head, rubbing it back as though to push the scalp from the skull, shrieking, "My brain! my brain!" O, stand off from that. Why will you go sounding your way amidst the reefs and warning buoys, when there is such a vast ocean in which you may voyage, all sail set?

There is one other thing I shall say this morning before I leave you, whether you want to hear it or not; that is, that I consider the bad pictorial literature of the day as most tremendous for ruin. There is no one who can like good pictures better than I do. But what shall I say to the prostitution of this art to purposes of iniquity? These death-warrants of the soul are at every street corner. They smite the vision of the young with pollution. Many a young man buying a copy has bought his eternal discomfiture. There may be enough poison in one bad picture to poison one soul, and that soul may poison ten, and the ten fifty, and the hundreds thousands, until nothing but the measuring line of eternity can tell the height and depth and ghastliness and horror of the great undoing. The work of death that the wicked author does in a whole book the bad engraver may do on half a side of pictorial. Under the disguise of pure mirth the young man buys one of these sheets. He unrolls it before his comrades amid roars of laughter; but long after the paper is gone the results may perhaps be seen in the blasted imaginations of those who saw it. The Queen of Death every night holds a banquet, and these periodicals are the printed invitations to her guests. Alas! that the fair brow of American art should be blotched with this plague spot, and that philanthropists, bothering themselves about smaller evils, should lift up no united and vehement voice against this great calamity! [pg 169]Young man, buy not this moral strychnine for your soul! Pick not up this nest of coiled adders for your pocket! Patronize no news-stand that keeps them! Have your room bright with good engravings, but for these iniquitous pictorials have not one wall, not one bureau, not one pocket. A man is no better than the picture he loves to look at. If your eyes are not pure, you heart can not be. One can guess the character of a man by the kind of pictorial he purchases. When the devil fails to get a man to read a bad book, he sometimes succeeds in getting him to look at a bad picture. When Satan goes a-fishing he does not care whether it is a long line or a short line, if he only draws his victim in.

If I have this morning successfully laid down any principles by which you may judge in regard to books and newspapers, then I have done something of which I shall not be ashamed on the day which shall try every man's work, of what sort it is. Cherish good books and newspapers. Beware of the bad ones. One column may save your soul; one paragraph may ruin it. Go home to-day and look through your library, and then look on the stand where you keep your pictorials and newspapers, and apply the Christian principles I have laid down this morning. If there is any thing in your home that can not stand the test do not give it away, for it might spoil an immortal soul; do not sell it, for the money you get would be the price of blood; but rather kindle a fire on your kitchen hearth, or in your back yard, and then drop the poison in it, and keep stirring the blaze until, from preface to appendix, there shall not be a single paragraph left.

Once in a while there is a mind like a loadstone, which, plunged amidst steel and brass filings, gathers up the steel and repels the brass. But it is generally just the opposite. [pg 170]If you attempt to plunge through a hedge of burs to get one blackberry, you get more burs than blackberries. You can not afford to read a bad book, however good you are. You say: "The influence is insignificant." I tell you that the scratch of a pin has sometimes produced the lock-jaw. Alas, if through curiosity, as many do, you pry into an evil book, your curiosity is as dangerous as that of the man who would stick a torch into a gunpowder mill, merely to see whether it would blow up or not. In a menagerie in New York a man put his hand through the bars of a black leopard's cage. The animal's hide looked so slick and bright and beautiful. He just stroked it once. The monster seized him, and he drew forth a hand, torn, and mangled, and bleeding. O, touch not evil, even with the faintest stroke; though it may be glossy and beautiful, touch it not, lest you pull forth your soul torn and bleeding under the clutch of the black leopard. "But," you say, "how can I find out whether a book is good or bad, without reading it?" There is always something suspicious about a bad book. I never knew an exception. Something suspicious in the index or the style of illustration. This venomous reptile almost always carries a warning rattle.

Again, I charge you to stand off from all those books which corrupt the imagination and inflame the passions. I do not refer now to that kind of a book which the villain has under his coat, waiting for the school to be out, and then looking both ways to see that there is no policeman around the block, offers the book to your son on his way home. I do not speak of that kind of literature, but that which evades the law and comes out in polished style, and with acute plot sounds the tocsin that rouses up all the baser passions of the soul. Years ago a French lady came forth as an authoress, under the assumed name of George Sand, [pg 171]She smoked cigars. She wore gentlemen's apparel. She stepped off the bounds of decency. She wrote with a style ardent, eloquent, mighty in its gloom, horrible in its unchastity, glowing in its verbiage, vivid in its portraiture, damning in its effects, transfusing into the libraries and homes of the world an evil that has not even begun to relent, and she has her copyists in all lands. To-day, under the nostrils of your city, there is a fetid, reeking, unwashed literature enough to poison all the fountains of public virtue and smite your sons and daughters as with the wing of a destroying angel, and it is time that the ministers of the Gospel blew the trumpet and rallied the forces of righteousness, all armed to the teeth, in this great battle against a depraved literature. Why are fifty per cent of the criminals in the jails and penitentiaries of the United States to-day under twenty-one years of age? Many of them under seventeen, under sixteen, under fifteen, under fourteen, under thirteen. Walk along one of the corridors of the Tombs Prison in New York and look for yourselves. Bad books, bad newspapers bewitched them as soon as they got out of the cradle. "O," says some one, "I am a business man, and I have no time to examine what my children read. I have no time to inspect the books that come into my household." If your children were threatened with typhoid fever would you have time to go for the doctor? Would you have time to watch the progress of the disease? Would you have time for the funeral? In the presence of my God, I warn you of the fact that your children are threatened with moral and spiritual typhoid, and that unless this thing be stopped, it will be to them funeral of body, funeral of mind, funeral of soul, three funerals in one day.

Against every bad pamphlet send a good pamphlet; against every unclean picture send an innocent picture; against [pg 172]every scurrilous song send a Christian song; against every bad book send a good book. The good literature, the Christian literature, in its championship for God and the truth, will bring down the evil literature in its championship for the devil. I feel tingling to the tips of my fingers, and through all the nerves of my body, and all the depths of my soul, the certainty of our triumph. Cheer up! O men and women who are toiling for the purification of society. Toil with your faces in the sunlight. If God be for us, who can be against us?

    Ye workers in the light,
    There is a grand to-morrow,
After the long and gloomy night,
  After the pain and sorrow

    The purposes of God
    Do not forever linger;
With peace and consolation shod,
    Do ye not see the finger

    Which points the way of life
    To all down in the valley?
Then gird ye, gird ye for the strife;
    Against the darkness rally.

    The victory is yours,
    And ye are God's forever;
For all things He for you secures
    Through brave and right endeavor.
[pg 173]

Illustration: By
and by another sleep. Angels watch and ward to keep. By an by from wakeful
eyes Nothing of the old surprise.
By and by another sleep. Angels watch and ward to keep. By an by from wakeful eyes Nothing of the old surprise.




Sleeping, waking, on we glide,
  Dreamful, and unsatisfied,

  In the heart a vague surprise,
  Master of the thoughtful eyes.

  What though Spring is in the air,
  And the world is bright and fair?

  Something hidden from the sight
  Dashes fullness of delight.

  Soothed are we in duty done,
  And in something new begun,

  Like a kissed and flattered child
  To denial reconciled;

  Yet the something unattained
  Keeps us like Prometheus chained,

  And our hearts intenser grow
  As the vultures come and go.

  Sleeping, waking, on we glide,
  Dreamful and unsatisfied,

  Pilgrims on a foreign shore,
  Wanting something evermore,

  All the shadow in our eyes,
  All the substance in the skies.

[pg 174]By and by another sleep,
    Angels watch and ward to keep.

    By and by, from wakeful eyes,
    Nothing of the old surprise,

    All pure dreams of earth fulfilled,
    Every sense with gladness thrilled.

    Then are we, no more denied,
    With Thy likeness satisfied.


    Sacrifice! therein
I find no superstition of the past,
But one of Truth's great words, all life within,
    As into chaos cast.

    God, God put it there,
A trumpet-note to every living soul,
A prophecy of all that is most fair
    Through darkness to the goal.

    I can not efface
The record of this wonder-working Word,
Nor in my memory but faintly trace
    Stern voices I have heard.

    Voices come by day
Between life's lightning-flash and thunder-peal,
And sooner heaven and earth shall pass away
    Than what they there reveal.

    Voices come at night
Amid the silence of deluding cares,
And pain flows through the darkness and grows bright,
    And knowledge unawares.

[pg 175]Voices fill the strife
To which I give the beauty of my days,
And testify that sacrifice is life,
    Availing prayer and praise.

    Life retained is lost,
The tocsin of interminable war;
And life relinquished is of life the cost,
    Which shineth as a star.

    Tongue can never tell
God's revelations in this mighty Word,
Nor how the mystery of life they spell,
    With which all hearts are stirred.

    I continue mute,
In joyful awe before the Infinite,
Until at length eternity transmute
    My darkness into light.

    I can only speak
An earth-born language, that does not reveal
The infinitude of duty which I seek
    To utter and but feel.

    Duty! heart of joy!
Which giveth strength to suffer and endure,
Till self-forgetfulness in God's employ
    Enthrones a life secure.

    Shepherd of the sheep,
To whom God gives the universal charge,
I think of Thy devotion and I weep,
    Thy love appears so large!

    And I think of all
The grief which strengthened Thy exalting hand,
Until great tears of Easter gladness fall,
    To think in Thee I stand,

[pg 176]
          Out of whose great heart
So glorious is death's sacrificial knife--
To think I know Thee now somewhat, who art
          The way, the truth, the life;

          Who art with Thine own,
Where Thou hast been through immemorial years,
In every touch of consolation known,
          In every flood of tears.

The Way of the Lord.

I cast my lot with the surging world,
    To find out the way of the Lord;
A pebble hither and thither hurled,
    To find out the way of the Lord.

I sought where the foot of man was unknown,
    To find out the way of the Lord;
In the desert alone, alone, alone,
    To find out the way of the Lord.

I bowed my heart to the voice of the sea,
    To find out the way of the Lord;
To the sob of unuttered mystery,
    To find out the way of the Lord.

I went down into the depths of my soul,
    To find out the way of the Lord;
Down where the years of eternity roll,
    To find out the way of the Lord.

Ah, me! I had no interpreter
    To tell me the way of the Lord;
For Nature, it was not in her
    To tell me the way of the Lord.

[pg 177]I heard of One who came out from God
  To show me the way of the Lord;
I entered the path which here He trod
To show me the way of the Lord.

I walked the way of humility
  To find out the way Of the Lord;
It turned to the way of sublimity,
  To show me the way of the Lord.

From grief and loss came joy and gain,
  To show me the way of the Lord;
And the dead came back to life again,
  To show me the way of the Lord.

Yea, into the heaven of heavens He went,
  To show me the way of the Lord;
And the Comforter from the Father He sent,
  To show me the way of the Lord.

I learned how for me He lived and died,
  To show me the way of the Lord;
And bearing the cross, which He glorified,
  I found out the way of the Lord:

Via Crucis.

Cross uplifted, clouds are rifted,
Vision clearer, God grown dearer!
Via crucis via lucis.[1]

Cross, thy way is where the day is;
Thy surprises sweet sunrises!
Via crucis via lucis.

[pg 178]Life eternal, fair and vernal,
Is the glory of the story,
Via crucis via lucis;

Dawns in beauty, born of duty,
Joins thereafter Heaven's sweet laughter--
Via crucis via lucis;

Finds probation tribulation,
Onward presses and confesses,
Via crucis via lucis;

Bursts the fetter of the letter,
Reckons sorrow joy to-morrow--
Via crucis via lucis;

To the Master in disaster
Bravely clinging, journeys singing,
Via crucis via lucis;

Ranges crownward, never downward,
Always loving, always proving,
Via crucis via lucis;

Drinks forever from the river
Everlasting, still forecasting,
Via crucis via lucis;

And presages all the ages,
Light-enfolden, growing golden,
Via crucis via lueis.

O the shinings and refinings!
O the sweetness of completeness!
Via crucis via lucis!
[pg 179]




The loftiest class of scientists pursue science because they love truth. They derive no animation from the thought of any practical application which they can make from their scientific discoveries. They have no dreams of patents and subsequent royalties, although these sometimes come. They enter upon their work, smit with a passion for truth. If to any one of them it should happen to be pointed out--as Sir Humphrey Davy showed the ardent young Michael Faraday--at the beginning of his career, that science is a hard mistress who pays badly, they are so in love with science that, really and truly, they prefer from their very hearts to live with her on bread and water in a garret to living without her in palaces in which they might fare sumptuously every day.

There are others by whom science is regarded only in the measure of its fruitfulness in producing material wealth. Their great men are not the discoverers of principles, but the inventors, the men who can apply the discoveries of others to supplying such wants as men are willing to pay largely to have satisfied. As has been said--

"To some she is the goddess great;
    To some the milch-cow of the field;
Their business is to calculate
    The butter she will yield."

Our highest admiration must be for the discoverers; but we may do well to remind ourselves, from time to time, that [pg 180]to such men we are indebted not only for thrilling insight into the beautiful mysteries of nature, and for the withdrawal of the veil which shuts out from ordinary sight the august magnificences of nature, but also for the discovery of those principles which can be turned to the best practical account, ministering to us in our kitchens and bed-chambers and drawing-rooms and factories and shops and fields, filling our nights with brilliancy and our days with potencies, giving to each man the capability of accomplishing in one year what his ancestors, who lived in unscientific ages, could not have achieved in twenty; not only exhibiting the forces of nature as steeds, but also showing how they may be harnessed to the chariots of civilization.

To keep us in healthful gratitude to the men who, having turned away from the marts of the money-makers, have unselfishly set themselves to discover what will enrich the money-makers, and, content to live in simple sorts of ways, have sent down beauty and comfort into the homes of rich and poor, it is well to make an occasional résumé of the results of the work of useful scientists, and ponder the lessons of their single-mindedness.


Few names on the roll of the worthies of science are better known through all the world than that of Michael Faraday, who was born in England in 1791 and died in 1867. Rising from poverty, he became assistant to Sir Humphrey Davy, in the Royal Institution, London, where he soon exhibited great ability as an experimenter, and a rare genius for discovering the secret relation of distant phenomena to one another, which gave him his skill as a discoverer, so that he came to be regarded, according to Professor Tyndall, "the prince of the physical investigators [pg 181]of the present age," "the greatest experimental philosopher the world has ever seen."

His greatest discoveries may be stated to have been magneto-electric induction, electro-chemical decomposition, the magnetization of light, and diamagnetism, the last announced in his memoir as the "magnetic condition of all matter." There were many minor discoveries. The results of his labors are apparent in every field of science which has been cultivated since his day. Indeed, they made a great enlargement of that field. His life of simple independence was a great contribution to the highest wealth of the world. He might have been rich. He lived in simplicity and died poor. It is calculated that, if he had made commercial uses of his earlier discoveries, he might easily have gathered a fortune of a million of dollars. He preferred to use his extraordinary endowments for the promotion of science, from which he would not be turned away by honors or money, declining the presidency of the Royal Institution, which was urged upon him, preferring to "remain plain Michael Faraday to the last," that he might make mankind his legatees.

While Faraday does not claim the parentage of the electric telegraph, he was among the earliest laborers in the practical application of his own discoveries, without which the telegraph would probably never have had existence. It was on his advice that Mr. Cyrus W. Field determined to push the enterprise of the submarine cable. His labors were essential to the success of the efforts of his friend Wheatstone in telegraphy. It was his genius which discovered the method of preventing the incrustation by ice of the windows of light-houses, and also a method for the prevention of the fouling of air in brilliantly lighted rooms, by which health was impaired and furniture injured. He discovered [pg 182]a light, volatile oil, which he called "bicarburet of hydrogen." It is now known to us as benzine, which is so largely employed in the industrial arts. Treated by nitric acid, that has produced a substance largely used by the perfumer and the confectioner. From that came the wonderful base aniline, which was not only useful in the study of chemistry, as throwing light on the internal structure of organic compounds, but has come also into commerce, creating a great branch of industry, by giving strong and high colors which can be fixed on cotton, woolen, and silken fabrics. It may be worth while to notice what gratifying beauty was provided for the eye, while profitable work was afforded to the industrious.

It is not to be forgotten that, whatever we have of magneto-electric light, in all its various applications, is due to Faraday's discoveries.

Faraday's distinguished successor, Professor Tyndall, in his admirable and generous tribute to his famous predecessor, says: "As far as electricity has been applied for medical purposes, it is almost exclusively Faraday's." How much of addition to human comfort that one sentence includes, who can estimate? And who can calculate the money-value to commerce in the production of instruments used in the application of electricity to medicine? Professor Tyndall continues: "You have noticed those lines of wire which cross the streets of London. It is Faraday's currents that speed from place to place through these wires. Approaching the point of Dungeness, the mariner sees an unusually brilliant light, and from the noble Pharos of La Hève the same light flashes across the sea. These are Faraday's sparks, exalted by suitable machinery to sunlight splendor. At the present moment (1868), the Board of Trade and the Brethren of the Trinity House, as well as [pg 183]the Commissioners of Northern Lights, are contemplating the introduction of the magneto-electric light at numerous points upon our coast; and future generations will be able to point to those guiding stars in answer to the question, what has been the practical use of the labors of Faraday?"


One of the most useful of modern men was Sir William Siemens, who was born in 1823 and died in 1883. The year before his death he was president of the British Association, and was introduced by his predecessor, Sir J. Lubbock, with the statement that "the leading idea of Dr. Siemens's life had been to economize and utilize the force of Nature for the benefit of man." It is not our purpose to give a sketch of his life, or a catalogue of his many inventions, all of which were useful. It was his comprehensive and accurate study of the universe which led him to discover, as he thought, that it is a vast regenerative gas furnace. The theory has been that the sun is cooling down; but Dr. Siemens saw that the water, vapor, and carbon compounds of the interstellar spaces are returned to the sun, and that the action of the sun on these literally converted the universe into a regenerative furnace. On a small scale, in a way adapted to ordinary human uses, and by ingenious contrivances, he produced a regenerative gas furnace which so utilized what had hitherto been wasted that, in the last lecture delivered by Michael Faraday (1862) before the Royal Society, he praised the qualities of the furnace for its economy and ease of management; and it soon came into general use. It is probably impossible to calculate the amount of saving to the world due to his practical application of the theory of the conservation of force to the pursuits of industry. It has changed the processes for the production of steel so as to make it much cheaper, and so revolutionized [pg 184]ship-building. The carrying power of steel ships is so much greater than that of iron ships that the former earn twenty-five per centum more than the latter. So great a gain is this, that one-fourth the total tonnage of British ship-building in 1883 consisted of steel vessels.

Sir William Siemens's name is popularly associated with electric light. Perhaps it can not be claimed that he was the sole inventor of it, since Faraday had discovered the principle, and at the meeting of the Royal Society, in 1867, at which Siemens's paper was read, the same application of the principle was announced in a paper which had been prepared by Sir Charles Wheatstone, and a patent had been sought by Mr. Cromwell Varley, whose application involved the same idea. But it is believed that Sir William did more than any other man to make the discovery of wide and great practical benefit. His dynamo machine is capable of transforming into electrical energy ninety per cent of the mechanical energy employed. His inventions for the application of electricity to industry are too numerous to mention. He has made it a hewer of wood and a drawer of water and a general farm-hand, and has shown how it can be applied to the raising and ripening of fruits. He has shown us how gas can be made so that its "by-products" shall pay for its production, and demonstrated that a pound of gas yields, in burning, 22,000 units, being double that produced by the combustion of a pound of common coal. He has put the world in the way of making gas cheap and brilliant. His sudden death prevented the completion of plans by which London will save three-fourths of its coal bill by getting rid of its hideous fog. His suggestions will, undoubtedly, be carried out. He was also the inventor of the "chronometric governor," an apparatus which regulates the movements of the great transit instruments at Greenwich.

These are some of the practical benefits bestowed upon [pg 185]mankind by Sir William Siemens. He did much, by stimulating men, to make science practically useful, and has left suggestions which, if followed out with energy and wisdom, will add greatly to the comfort of the world. He calculated that "all the coal raised throughout the world would barely suffice to produce the amount of power that runs to waste at Niagara alone," and said that it would not be difficult to realize a large proportion of this wasted power by-turbines, and to use it at greater distances by means of dynamo-electrical machines. Myriads of future inhabitants of America are probably to reap untold wealth and comfort from what was said and done by Sir William Siemens.


M. Pasteur, now a member of the French Academy, after years of scientific training and study and teaching, began a career of public usefulness which has been a source of incalculable pecuniary profit to his country and to the world.

He began to study the nature of fermentation; and the result of this study made quite a revolution in the manufacture of wine and beer. He discovered a process which took its name from him; and now "pasteurization" is practiced on a large scale in the German breweries, to the great improvement of fermented beverages.

This attracted the attention of the French Government. At that time an unknown disease was destroying the silk-worm of France and Italy. It was so wide-spread as to threaten to destroy the silk manufacture in those countries. M. Pasteur was asked to investigate the cause. At that time he had scarcely ever seen a silk-worm; but he turned his acute, and practical intellect to the study of this little worker, and soon detected the trouble. He showed that it was due to a microscopic parasite, which was developed from a germ [pg 186]born with the worm; and he pointed out how to secure healthy eggs, and so rear healthy worms. He thus gave his countrymen the knowledge necessary to the saving of the French silk industry, and to a very large increase of the value of the annual productiveness of the country.

Of course, a man who had gone thus far could not stop. If he ęcould save the silk-worm, he might save larger animals. France was losing sheep and oxen at the rate of from fifteen to twenty millions annually. The services of M. Pasteur were again in demand. Again he discovered that the devastator was a microscopic destroyer. It was anthrax. The result of his experimenting was the discovery of an antidote, a method of prevention by inoculation with attenuated microbes. Similar studies and experiments and discoveries enabled him to furnish relief to the hog, at a time when the hog-cholera was making devastations. As he had discovered a preventive remedy for anthrax, he also found a remedy for chicken-cholera, to the saving of poultry to an incalculable extent.

Having thus contributed more to the material wealth of his country than any other living Frenchman, M. Pasteur naturally turned his discovery of the parasitic origin of disease toward human sufferers. A man of convictions and of faith, he has had the courage to ask the French minister of commerce to organize a scientific commission to go to Egypt to study the cholera there under his guidance.

M. Paul Best, who was M. Pasteur's early rival in scientific discussion, paid a generous tribute to his great ability and services, and declared that the discovery of the prevention of anthrax was the grandest and most fruitful of all French discoveries. M. Pasteur's native town, Dole, on the day of the national fete last year (1883), placed a commemorative tablet on the house in which he was born. [pg 187]The government's grant of a pension of $5,000 a year, to be continued to his widow and children, was made on the knowledge that if M. Pasteur had retained proprietary right in his discovery, he might have amassed a vast fortune; but he had freely given all to the public. According to an estimate made by Professor Huxley, the labors of M. Pasteur are equal in money value alone to the one thousand millions of dollars of indemnity paid by France to Germany in the late war. It is also to be remembered that M. Pasteur's labors imparted stimulus to discovery in many directions, setting many discoverers at work, who are now experimenting on the working hypothesis of the parasitic origin of all other infectious diseases.

Now here are three men, to whom the world is probably more indebted than to any other twenty men who have lived this century; indebted for health, wealth, comfort, and enjoyment; indebted in kitchen, chamber, drawing-room, counting-house; at home and abroad, by day and by night, for gratification of the bodily and aesthetic taste. They were the almoners of science. Practical men would have no tools to work with if they did not receive them from those who, in abstraction, wrought in the secluded heights of scientific investigation. It is base to be ungrateful to the studious recluses who are the devotees of science.

These three men were Christians--simple, honest, devout Christians. Faraday was a most "just and faithful knight of God," as Professor Tyndall says. Sir William Siemens, it is said, was a useful elder in the Presbyterian Church, and M. Pasteur, still living, is a reverent Roman Catholic. Surely, when we find these men walking a lofty height of science, higher than that occupied by any of their contemporaries, and when we find these men sending down more [pg 188]enriching gifts to the lowly sons of toil, and all the traders in the market places, and all seekers of pleasure in the world, than any other scientific men, we must be safe in the conclusion that to be an earnest Christian is not incompatible with the highest attainments in science; and we can not find fault with those who look with contempt upon the men who disdain Christianity, as if it were beneath them, when it is remembered that among the rejecters of our holy faith are no men to whom we have a right to be grateful for any discovery that has added a dollar to the world's exchequer, or a "ray to the brightness of the world's civilization."--DR. DEEMS, in the New York Independent.

[pg 189]




"If I were requested," says Leigh Hunt in his "Essay on Wit and Humor," "to name the book of all others which combines wit and humor under their highest appearance of levity with the profoundest wisdom, it would be 'Tristram Shandy,'" the chief work of Laurence Sterne, who was born in 1713, and died in 1768. The following story of LeFevre, drawn from that unique book, full of simple pathos and gentle kindness, presents, perhaps, the best picture of the character that names this chapter:

It was some time in the Summer of that year in which Dendermond was taken by the allies--which was about seven years before my father came into the country, and about as many after the time that my uncle Toby and Trim had privately decamped from my father's house in town, in order to lay some of the finest sieges to some of the finest fortified cities in Europe--when my uncle Toby was one evening getting his supper, with Trim sitting behind him at a small sideboard, the landlord of a little inn in the village came into the parlor, with an empty phial in his hand, to beg a glass or two of sack. "'Tis for a poor gentleman, I think, of the army," said the landlord, "who has been taken ill at my house four days ago, and has never held up his head since, or had a desire to taste any thing till just now, that he has a fancy for a glass of sack and a thin toast. 'I think,' says he, taking his hand from his forehead, 'it would comfort me.'"

[pg 190]"If I could neither beg, borrow, nor buy such a thing," added the landlord, "I would almost steal it for the poor gentleman, he is so ill. I hope in God he will still mend," continued he; "we are all of us concerned for him."

"Thou art a good-natured soul, I will answer for thee," cried my uncle Toby; "and thou shalt drink the poor gentleman's health in a glass of sack thyself--and take a couple of bottles, with my service, and tell him he is heartily welcome to them, and to a dozen more if they will do him good."

"Though I am persuaded," said my uncle Toby, as the landlord shut the door, "he is a very compassionate fellow, Trim, yet I can not help entertaining a very high opinion of his guest, too; there must be something more than common in him, that in so short a time should win so much upon the affections of his host." "And of his whole family," added the corporal, "for they are all concerned for him." "Step after him," said my uncle Toby; "do, Trim; and ask if he knows his name."

"I have quite forgot it, truly," said the landlord, coming back into the parlor with the corporal, "but I can ask his son again." "Has a son with him then?" said my uncle Toby. "A boy," replied the landlord, "of about eleven or twelve years of age; but the poor creature has tasted almost as little as his father; he does nothing but mourn and lament for him night and day; he has not stirred from the bedside these two days."

My uncle Toby laid down his knife and fork, and thrust his plate from before him, as the landlord gave him the account; and Trim, without being ordered, took them away without saying one word, and in a few minutes after brought him his pipe and tobacco.

"Stay in the room a little," says my uncle Toby. "Trim," said my uncle Toby, after he had lighted his pipe [pg 191]and smoked about a dozen whiffs. Trim came in front of his master and made his bow; my uncle Toby smoked on and said no more. "Corporal," said my uncle Toby. The corporal made his bow. My uncle Toby proceeded no farther, but finished his pipe. "Trim," said my uncle Toby, "I have a project in my head, as it is a bad night, of wrapping myself up warm in my roquelaure, and paying a visit to this poor gentleman." "Your honor's roquelaure," replied the corporal, "has not been had on since the night before your honor received your wound, when we mounted guard in the trenches before the gate of St. Nicholas; and, besides, it is so cold and rainy a night, that what with the roquelaure and what with the weather, 't will be enough to give your honor your death, and bring on your honor's torment in your groin." "I fear so," replied my uncle Toby; "but I am not at rest in my mind, Trim, since the account the landlord has given me. I wish I had not known so much of this affair," added my uncle Toby, "or that I had known more of it. How shall we manage it!" "Leave it, an 't please your honor, to me," quoth the corporal; "I'll take my hat and stick, and go to the house, reconnoitre, and act accordingly; and I will bring your honor a full account in an hour." "Thou shalt go, Trim," said my uncle Toby, "and here's a shilling for thee to drink with his servant." "I shall get it all out of him," said the corporal, shutting the door. My uncle Toby filled his second pipe; and, had it not been that he now and then wandered from the point, with considering whether it was not full as well to have the curtain of the tennaile a straight line as a crooked one, he might be said to have thought of nothing else but poor LeFevre and his boy the whole time he smoked it.

My uncle Toby had knocked the ashes out of his third pipe, when Trim returned and gave the following account:

[pg 192]"I despaired at first," said the corporal, "of being able to bring back your honor any kind of intelligence concerning the poor sick lieutenant." "Is he in the army, then?" said my uncle Toby. "He is," said the corporal. "And in what regiment?" said my uncle Toby. "I'll tell your honor," replied the corporal, "every thing straight forward, as I learnt it." "Then, Trim, I'll fill another pipe," said my uncle Toby, "and not interrupt thee till thou hast done; so sit down at thy ease, Trim, in the window-seat, and begin thy story again." The corporal made his old bow, which generally spoke as plain as a bow could speak it. "Your honor is good," and, having done that, he sat down as he was ordered, and began the story to my uncle Toby over again, in pretty nearly the same words.

"I despaired at first," said the corporal, "of being able to bring back any intelligence to your honor about the lieutenant and his son; for when I asked where his servant was, from whom I made myself sure of knowing every thing which was proper to be asked"--"That's a right distinction, Trim," said my uncle Toby. "I was answered, an please your honor, that he had no servant with him; that he had come to the inn with hired horses, which, upon finding himself unable to proceed (to join, I suppose, the regiment), he had dismissed the morning after he came. 'If I get better, my dear,' said he, as he gave his purse to his son to pay the man, 'we can hire horses from hence.' 'But, alas! the poor gentleman will never get from hence,' said the landlady to me, 'for I heard the death-watch all night long; and when he dies, the youth, his son, will certainly die with him, for he is broken-hearted already.'

"I was hearing this account," continued the corporal, "when the youth came into the kitchen to order the thin toast the landlord spoke of; 'but I will do it for my father [pg 193]myself,' said the youth. 'Pray let me save you the trouble, young gentleman,' said I, taking up a fork for the purpose, and offering him my chair to sit down upon by the fire, whilst I did it. 'I believe, sir,' said he, very modestly, 'I can please him best myself.' 'I am sure,' said I, 'his honor will not like the toast the worse for being toasted by an old soldier.' The youth took hold of my hand and instantly burst into tears."

"Poor youth," said my uncle Toby, "he has been bred up from an infant in the army, and the name of a soldier, Trim, sounded in his ears like the name of a friend; I wish I had him here."

"I never, in the longest march," said the corporal, "had so great a mind to my dinner as I had to cry with him for company. What could be the matter with me, an' please your honor?" "Nothing in the world, Trim," said my uncle Toby, blowing his nose; "but that thou art a good-natured fellow."

"When I gave him the toast," continued the corporal, "I thought it was proper to tell him I was Captain Shandy's servant, and that your honor (though a stranger) was extremely concerned for his father; and that if there was any thing in your house or cellar, ('and thou mightst have added my purse, too,' said my uncle Toby,) he was heartily welcome to it. He made a very low bow (which was meant to your honor), but no answer--for his heart was full--so he went upstairs with the toast. 'I warrant you, my dear,' said I, as I opened the kitchen door, 'your father will be well again.' Mr. Yorick's curate was smoking a pipe by the kitchen fire, but said not a word, good or bad, to comfort the youth. I thought it was wrong," added the corporal. "I think so, too," said my uncle Toby.

"When the lieutenant had taken his glass of sack and [pg 194]toast, he felt himself a little revived, and sent down into the kitchen to let me know that in about ten minutes he should be glad if I would come upstairs. 'I believe,' said the landlord, 'he was going to say his prayers, for there was a book laid upon the chair by his bedside; and as I shut the door I saw his son take up a cushion.'

"'I thought,' said the curate, 'that you gentlemen of the army, Mr. Trim, never said your prayers at all.' 'I heard the poor gentleman say his prayers last night,' said the landlady, 'very devoutly, and with my own ears, or I could not have believed it.' 'Are you sure of it,' replied the curate. 'A soldier, an' please your reverence,' said I, 'prays as often (of his own accord) as a parson; and when he is fighting for his king and for his own life, and for his honor too, he has the most reason to pray to God of any one in the whole world.'" "'Twas well said of thee, Trim," said my uncle Toby. "'But when a soldier,' said I, 'an' please your reverence, has been standing for twelve hours together in the trenches up to his knees in cold water, or engaged,' said I, 'for months together in long and dangerous marches; harassed, perhaps, in his rear to-day; harassing others to-morrow; detached here; countermanded there; resting this night upon his arms; beat up in his shirt the next; benumbed in his joints; perhaps without straw in his tent to kneel on, he must say his prayers how and when he can, I believe,' said I, for I was piqued," quoth the corporal, "for the reputation of the army. 'I believe, an't please your reverence,' said I, 'that when a soldier gets time to pray, he prays as heartily as a parson, though not with all his fuss and hypocrisy.'" "Thou shouldst not have said that, Trim," said my uncle Toby, "for God only knows who is a hypocrite and who is not. At the great and general review of us all, corporal, at the day of judgment (and not till then), it [pg 195]will be seen who has done their duties in this world and who has not; and we shall be advanced, Trim, accordingly." "I hope we shall," said Trim. "It is in the Scripture," said my uncle Toby, "and I will show it thee to-morrow. In the meantime, we may depend upon it, Trim, for our comfort," said my uncle Toby, "that God Almighty is so good and just a governor of the world, that if we have but done our duties in it, it will never be inquired into whether we have done them in a red coat or a black one." "I hope not," said the corporal. "But go on, Trim," said my uncle Toby, "with thy story."

"When, I went up," continued the corporal, "into the lieutenant's room, which I did not do till the expiration of the ten minutes, he was lying in his bed with his head raised up on his hand, with his elbow upon the pillow, and a clean white cambric handkerchief beside it. The youth was just stooping down to take up the cushion upon which I supposed he had been kneeling; the book was laid upon the bed, and as he rose, in taking up the cushion with one hand, he reached out his other to take it away at the same time. 'Let it remain there, my dear,' said the lieutenant.

"He did not offer to speak to me till I had walked up close to his bedside. 'If you are Captain Shandy's servant,' said he, 'you must present my thanks to your master, with my little boy's thanks along with them, for his courtesy to me, if he was of the Leven's,' said the lieutenant. I told him your honor was. 'Then,' said he, 'I served three campaigns with him in Flanders, and remember him; but 't is most likely, as I had not the honor of any acquaintance with him, that he knows nothing of me. You will tell him, however, that the person his good nature has laid under obligations to him, is one LeFevre, a lieutenant in Angus's; but he knows me not,' said he a second time, [pg 196]musing. 'Possibly, he may my story,' added he; 'pray tell the captain I was the ensign at Breda whose wife was most unfortunately killed with a musket-shot, as she lay in my arms in my tent.' 'I remember the story, an't please your honor,' said I, very well.' 'Do you so?' said he, wiping his eyes with his handkerchief; 'then well may I.' In saying this, he drew a little ring out of his bosom, which seemed tied with a black ribbon about his neck, and kissed it twice. 'Here, Billy,' said he. The boy flew across the room to the bedside, and, falling down upon his knee, took the ring in his hand, and kissed it, too; then kissed his father, and sat down upon the bed and wept."

"I wish," said my uncle Toby, with a deep sigh, "I wish, Trim, I was asleep."

"Your honor," replied the corporal, "is too much concerned. Shall I pour your honor out a glass of sack to your pipe?" "Do, Trim," said my uncle Toby.

"I remember," said my uncle Toby, sighing again, "the story of the ensign and his wife, with a circumstance his modesty omitted; and particularly well that he, as well as she, upon some account or other (I forget what), was universally pitied by the whole regiment; but finish the story thou art upon." "Tis finished already," said the corporal, "for I could stay no longer, so wished his honor good-night." Young LeFevre rose from off the bed and saw me to the bottom of the stairs; and, as we went down together, told me they had come from Ireland, and were on their route to join their regiment in Flanders. "But, alas," said the corporal, "the lieutenant's last day's march is over." "Then what is to become of his poor boy?" cried my uncle Toby.

It was to my uncle Toby's eternal honor, though I tell it only for the sake of those who, when cooped in betwixt [pg 197]a natural and a positive law, know not, for their souls, which way in the world to turn themselves, that, notwithstanding my uncle Toby was warmly engaged at that time in carrying on the siege of Dendermond, parallel with the allies, who pressed theirs on so vigorously that they scarce allowed him to get his dinner, that, nevertheless, he gave up Dendermond, although he had already made a lodgment upon the counterscarp, and bent his whole thoughts-toward the private distresses at the inn, and that, except that he ordered the garden gate to be bolted up, by which he might be said to have turned the siege of Dendermond into a blockade, he left Dendermond to itself, to be relieved or not by the French king as the French king thought good, and only considered how he himself should relieve the poor lieutenant and his son.

That kind Being, who is a friend to the friendless, shall recompense thee for this.

"Thou hast left this matter short," said my uncle Toby to the corporal, as he was putting him to bed, "and I will tell thee in what, Trim. In the first place, when thou madest an offer of my services to LeFevre, as sickness and traveling are both expensive, and thou knewest he was but a poor lieutenant, with a son to subsist as well as himself out of his pay, that thou didst not make an offer to him of my purse, because, had he stood in need, thou knowest, Trim, he had been as welcome to it as myself."

"Your honor knows," said the corporal, "I had no orders." "True," quoth my uncle Toby, "thou did'st very right, Trim, as a soldier, but certainly very wrong as a man."

"In the second place, for which, indeed, thou hast the same excuse," continued my uncle Toby, "when thou offeredst him whatever was in my house, thou shouldst have offered [pg 198]him my house, too. A sick brother officer should have the best quarters, Trim, and if we had him with us, we could tend and look to him. Thou art an excellent nurse thyself, Trim, and what with thy care of him, and the old woman's, and his boy's and mine together, we might recruit him again at once and set him upon his legs."

"In a fortnight, or three weeks," added my uncle Toby, smiling, "he might march." "He will never march, an', please your honor, in this world," said the corporal. "He will march," said my uncle Toby, rising from the side of the bed with one shoe off. "An', please your honor," said the corporal, "he will never march, but to his grave." "He shall march," cried my uncle Toby, marching the foot which had a shoe on, though without advancing an inch, "he shall march to his regiment." "He can not stand it," said the corporal. "He shall be supported," said my uncle Toby. "He'll drop at last," said the corporal, "and what will become of his boy?" "He shall not drop," said my uncle Toby, firmly. "Ah, welladay, do what we can for him," said Trim, maintaining his point, "the poor soul will die." "He shall not die, by G--d," cried my uncle Toby.

The accusing spirit which flew up to heaven's chancery with the oath, blushed as he gave it in, and the recording angel, as he wrote it down, dropped a tear upon the word and blotted it out forever.

My uncle Toby went to his bureau, put his purse into his breeches pocket, and, having ordered the corporal to go early in the morning for a physician, he went to bed and fell asleep.

The sun looked bright the morning after to every eye in the village but LeFevre's and his afflicted son's; the hand of death pressed heavy upon his eyelids, and hardly could the wheel at the cistern turn round its circle when my uncle [pg 199]Toby, who had rose up an hour before his wonted time, entered the lieutenant's room, and, without preface or apology, set himself down upon the chair by the bedside, and independently of all modes and customs, opened the curtain in the manner an old friend and brother officer would have done it, and asked him how he did; how he had rested in the night; what was his complaint; where was his pain, and what could he do to help him? and without giving him time to answer any one of the inquiries, went on and told him of the little plan which he had been concerting with the corporal, the night before, for him.

"You shall go home directly, LeFevre," said my uncle Toby, "to my house, and we'll send for a doctor to see what's the matter, and we'll have an apothecary, and the corporal shall be your nurse and I'll be your servant, LeFevre."

There was a frankness in my Uncle Toby, not the effect of familiarity, but the cause of it, which let you at once into his soul and showed you the goodness of his nature; to this, there was something in his looks, and voice, and manner superadded, which eternally beckoned to the unfortunate to come and take shelter under him; so that before my uncle Toby had half finished the kind offers he was making to the father, had the son insensibly pressed up close to his knees, and had taken hold of the breast of his coat and was pulling it toward him. The blood and spirits of LeFevre, which were waxing cold and slow within him, and were retreating to their last citadel, the heart, rallied back, the film forsook his eyes for a moment, and he looked up wishfully in my uncle Toby's face, then cast a look upon his boy, and that ligament, fine as it was, was never broken.

Nature instantly ebbed again; the film returned to its place; the pulse fluttered--stopped--went on--throbbed--stopped again--moved--stopped--shall I go on? No.

[pg 200]



(BORN 1750--DIED 1831.)


Imagine the figure of an old man, low in stature, squarely built, clumsily dressed, and standing on large feet. To this uncouth form, add a repulsive face, wrinkled, cold, colorless, and stony, with one eye dull and the other blind--a "wall-eye." His expression is that of a man wrapped in the mystery of his own hidden thoughts. He looks--

"Like monumental bronze, unchanged his look--
A soul which pity never touched or shook--
Trained, from his lowly cradle to his bier,
The fierce extremes of good and ill to brook
Unchanging, fearing but the charge of fear--
A stoic of the mart, a man without a tear."

Such a man was Stephen Girard, one of the most distinguished merchants in the annals of commerce, and the founder of the celebrated Girard College in Philadelphia. Let us briefly trace his history and observe his character.

Girard was a Frenchman by birth, born in the environs of Bordeaux, in May, 1750, of obscure parents. His early instruction was very limited; and, being deformed by a wall-eye, he was an object of ridicule to the companions of his boyhood. This treatment, as is supposed by his biographer, soured his temper, made him shrink from society, and led him to live among his own thoughts rather than in mental communion with his fellows.

[pg 201]The precise cause of his leaving his native hearth-stone is unknown. The fact is certain that he did leave it, when only ten or twelve years old, and sailed, a poor cabin-boy, to the West Indies. This was his starting-point in life. Never had any boy a smaller capital on which to build his fortune. He went out from his unhappy home, ignorant, poor, unfriended, and unknown. That from such a cheerless beginning he should rise to the rank of a merchant prince must be accounted one of the marvels of human history.

His first step was to gain the confidence of his superiors, not so much by affability and courtesy--for of these social virtues he was never possessed--as by steady good conduct, fidelity to his employers, temperance, and studied effort to do his humble duties well. Whatsoever his hands found to do he did with his might. As a consequence, we find him, in a few years, in high favor with a Captain Randall, of New York, who always spoke of him as "my Stephen," and who promoted him from one position to another, until he secured him the command of a small vessel, and sent him on trading voyages between the ports of New York and New Orleans. That the poor cabin-boy should rise, by his own merits, in some six or seven years, to be the commander of a vessel was success such as few lads have ever won with such slender means and few helps as were within reach of young Girard.

When only nineteen, we find him in Philadelphia, driving a thrifty but quiet trade in a little shop in Water Street. Shortly after opening this store, his fancy was taken captive by a maiden of sixteen Summers, named Mary, but familiarly called Polly, Lum. She was a shipwright's daughter, a pretty brunette, who was in the habit of going to the neighboring pump, barefooted, "with her rich, glossy, black hair hanging in disheveled curls about her [pg 202]neck." Her modesty pleased him, her beauty charmed him, and, after a few months of rude courtship, he was married to her, in 1770.

His marriage, instead of carrying happiness into the home over which he installed his beautiful bride, only embittered two lives. It was a union of mere fancy on his side, and of self-interest on hers, not of genuine affection. Their dispositions were not congenial. She was ignorant, vulgar, slovenly. He was arbitrary, harsh, rude, imperious, unyielding. How could their lives flow on evenly together? It was impossible. The result was misery to both, and, as we shall see hereafter, the once beautiful Polly Lum ended her days in a mad-house--a sad illustration of the folly of premature, ill-assorted marriages.

Finding little at his fireside to move his heart, Girard gave his whole soul to business, now trading to San Domingo and New Orleans, and then in his store in Water Street. When the Revolutionary War began, it swept his commercial ventures from the ocean, but he, still bent on gain and indifferent as to the means of winning it, then opened a grocery, and engaged in bottling cider and claret. When the British army occupied Philadelphia, he moved this bottling business to Mount Holly, in New Jersey, where he continued until the American flag again floated over Independence Hall.

But times were hard and money scarce, and for awhile Girard added very little to his means. Yet his keen eye was sharply watching for golden opportunities, and his active mind busily thinking how to create or improve them. In 1780, circumstances made trade with New Orleans and San Domingo very profitable. He promptly engaged in it, and in two years doubled his resources.

Peace being restored, Girard, full of faith in the future [pg 203]of his adopted country, leased a block of stores for ten years at a very low rent. The following year, while business still lay stunned by the blows it had received during the war, he obtained a stipulation from his landlord, giving him the right to renew his lease for a second ten years, if he chose to demand it, when the first one should expire. This was an act of judicious foresight. When, at the expiration of the first lease, he visited his landlord, that gentleman, on seeing him enter his counting-room, said:

"Well, Mr. Girard, you have made out so well by your bargain that I suppose you will hardly hold me to the renewal of the lease for ten years more."

"I have come," replied Gerard, with a look of grim satisfaction, "to secure the ten years more. I shall not let you off."

Nor did he. And the great profits he derived from that fortunate lease greatly broadened the foundation of his subsequently colossal fortune.

As yet, however, his wealth was very moderate, for in 1790, at the dissolution of a partnership he had formed with his brother who had come to America, his own share of the business amounted to only thirty thousand dollars. And yet, forty years later, he died leaving a fortune of ten millions.

It is sad; but may be profitable to know, that his happiness did not increase with his possessions. While his balance-sheets recorded increasing assets, his hearth-stone echoed louder and wilder echoes of discordant voices. He was jealous, arbitrary, and passionate; his unfortunate wife was resentful, fiery, and finally so furious that, in 1790, she was admitted as a maniac to an insane hospital, which she never left until she was carried to her grave, unwept and unregretted, twenty-five years after. Their only child had [pg 204]gone to an early grave. Girard's nature must have been strangely perverted if he counted, as he seems to have done, the pleasure of making money a compensation for the absence of true womanly love from his cheerless fireside. His heart, no doubt, was as unsentimental as the gold he loved to hoard.

The terrible retribution which about this time overtook the slave-holders of St. Domingo, when their slaves threw off their oppressive yoke, added considerably to his rising fortunes. He happened to have two vessels in that port when the tocsin of insurrection rang out its fearful notes. Frantic with apprehension, many planters rushed with their costliest treasure to these ships, left them in care of their officers, and went back for more. But the blood-stained hand of massacre prevented their return. They and their heirs perished by knife or bullet, and the unclaimed treasure was taken to Philadelphia, to swell the stream of Girard's wealth. He deemed this a lucky accident, no doubt; and smothered his sympathies for the sufferers in the satisfaction he felt over the addition of fifty thousand dollars to his growing estate. It stimulated, if it did not beget, the dream of his life, the passion which possessed his soul, which was to acquire wealth by which his name might be kept before the world forever. "My deeds must be my life. When I am dead my actions must speak for me," he said to an acquaintance one day, and thus gave expression to his plan of life. There was nothing intrinsically noble in it. If the means he finally adopted bore a philanthropic stamp on their face, his motive was purely personal, and therefore low and selfish. What he toiled for was a name that would never die. He was shrewd enough to perceive that this end could be most surely gained by linking it with the philanthropic spirit of the Christianity which he detested. And hence arose his idea of founding Girard College.

[pg 205]Shortly after plucking the golden fruit which fell into his hands from the St. Domingo insurrection Girard enlarged his business by building several splendid ships and entering into the China and India trade. His operations in this line were managed with a spirit that indicated a true mercantile genius, and contributed greatly to the enlargement of his fortune.

He made these ships the visible expressions of his thoughts on religion and philosophy by naming them, after his favorite authors, the Montesquieu, the Helvetius, the Voltaire, and the Rousseau. He thus defiantly assured the world that he was not only a skeptic, but that he also gloried in that by no means creditable fact.

Girard's life was filled with enigmas. He really loved no living soul. He had no sympathies. He would not part with his money to save agent, servant, neighbor, or relation from death. Nevertheless, when the yellow fever spread dismay, desolation, and death throughout Philadelphia, in 1793, sweeping one-sixth of its population into the grave in about sixty days, he devoted himself to nursing the sick in the hospital with a self-sacrificing zeal which knew no bounds, and which excited universal admiration and praise. His biographer accounts for this conduct, repeated on two subsequent visitations of that terrible fever, by supposing that he was naturally benevolent, but that his early trials had sealed up the fountains of his human feeling. A great public catastrophe broke the seal, the suppressed fountain flowed until the day of terror passed, and then with resolute will he resealed the fountain, and became a cold-hearted, selfish man again.

His selfish disregard for the claims of his dependents was shown, one day, when one of his most successful captains, who had risen from the humble position of apprentice [pg 206]to the command of a fine ship, asked to be transferred to another ship. Girard made him no reply, but, turning to his desk, said to his chief clerk:

"Roberjot, make out Captain Galigar's account immediately."

When this order was obeyed and the account settled, he coolly said to the faithful officer:

"You are discharged, sir. I do not make the voyage for my captains, but for myself."

There was no appeal to be made from this unjust, arbitrary decision, and the man who had served him faithfully seventeen years left his counting-room to seek another employer.

Discourtesy was also a characteristic of this unlovely and unloving man. He never considered men's feelings, nor sought to give pleasure to others by means of the small courtesies of life. He had a farm in the suburbs of the city, and a garden at the back of his town residence. In both he cultivated beautiful flowers and rare fruits; but never, either to visitors or neighbors, did he offer gifts of either. Rich though he was, he sent the surplus to market. He once told a visitor he might glean strawberries from a bed which had been pretty thoroughly picked over. Returning from the lower part of the garden, he found the gentleman picking berries from a full bed. With a look of astonishment, and a voice of half-suppressed anger, he pointed to the exhausted, bed and said:

"I gave you permission only to eat from that bed."

Singular meanness! Yet, notwithstanding this narrow disposition, which ran like veins abnormally distended over nearly all his habits of life, he could, and did at times, do liberal things. But even in such things he was capricious and eccentric; as when a highly esteemed Quaker, named [pg 207]Coates, asked him one day to make a donation to the Pennsylvania Hospital. He replied:

"Call on me to-morrow morning, Mr. Coates, and if you find me on a right footing, I will do something."

Mr. Coates called as requested, and found Girard at breakfast.

"Draw up and eat," said Girard.

Coates did so quite readily. The repast ended, he said, "Now we will proceed to business, Stephen."

"Well, what have you come for, Samuel?"

"Any thing thee pleases, Stephen," rejoined the Quaker.

Girard filled out and signed a check for two hundred dollars. Coates took it, and, without noting how much was the amount, put it in his pocket-book.

"What, you no look at the check I gave you!" exclaimed the merchant.

"No, beggars must not be choosers."

"Hand me back the check I gave you," demanded Girard.

"No, no, Stephen; a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush," responded Coates.

"By George," exclaimed Girard, "you have caught me on the right footing."

He then drew a check for five hundred dollars, which he laid before the Quaker, saying: "Will you now look at it, Samuel!"

"Well, to please thee, Stephen, I will."

He did so, and then, at Girard's request, returned the first and went away triumphantly with the second check.

Skeptic though he was, Girard sometimes gave money to build churches, not because they were churches, but because, as buildings, they contributed to the improvement of the city. To a brother merchant, who solicited aid toward [pg 208]building a Methodist church, he once presented a check for five hundred dollars, saying:

"I approve of your motives, and, as the erection of such a building will tend to improve that quarter of the city, I am willing to assist in the furtherance of your object."

It happened that the church to which he thus contributed was subsequently sold to the Episcopalians, who proceeded to convert it into a Gothic structure at a very considerable outlay. They also waited on Girard soliciting a contribution. He handed them a check for five hundred dollars. The gentlemen solicitors looked blank, and intimated that he had made the mistake of omitting a cipher. He had given the "poor Methodists" that sum they pleaded; he surely must have intended to make his present gift five thousand. With this remark they handed back the check, requesting him to add the desired cipher.

"Ah, gentlemen, what you say? I have made one mistake? Let me see; I believe not; but if you say so I must correct it."

Thus saying, he took up the check, tore it to pieces, and added: "I will not contribute one cent. Your society is wealthy. The Methodists are poor, but I make no distinction. Yet I can not please you.... I have nothing to give for your magnificent church."

But, with all his offensive peculiarities, Girard continued to increase his wealth. His ships spread their sails on every sea and earned money for him in every great commercial port. In 1812 he founded the old Girard Bank, and added the rich profits of banking to the immense gains of his vast mercantile transactions. This new enterprise greatly enlarged the sphere of his influence, especially as in matters pertaining to the financial interests of the country and of the city of Philadelphia he manifested a degree of public [pg 209]spirit which contrasted marvelously with his narrowness, meanness, and even inhumanity, in dealing with individual and private interests. He was certainly a patriotic man. Nevertheless, as his biographer demonstrates, he always contrived to make his patriotism tributary to the increase of his immense wealth. His magnificent purchases of United States securities in times of pecuniary disaster, though they contributed immensely to the credit of the government, were not wholly patriotic. They were, to his far-seeing mind, investments which were sure to pay. And he knew also that the very magnitude of his purchases would, by strengthening public confidence, insure the profitable returns he sought. Still, there is no room for doubting the sincerity of his attachment to the country of his adoption.

This fortunate accumulator of millions took very little from his hoards for the promotion of his personal ease and physical enjoyments. He lived in a plain mansion, simply furnished, and standing in the midst of warehouses, where the din of business, the rolling of heavy wheels, and the city's noisiest roar, constantly filled his ears. His table was plentifully but not luxuriously supplied. As he grew old it was extremely simple. He gave no parties, invited none to share his hospitality, except now and then an individual from whom he had reason for believing he could extract information which would be useful to him. He worked incessantly at his business, rising at three or four o'clock and toiling until after midnight. His keen eye inspected every department of his complicated business, from the discounting of a note to the building of a ship or the erection of a building. His only recreation was his garden, his farm at Passyunk, or the training of his birds. His life was coined into work. Its only real pleasure was derived from the accumulation of the money which was to make his name immortal.

[pg 210]In 1830 the sight of his eye grew so dim that it was both difficult and dangerous for him to grope his way along the familiar streets where he transacted business. But so obstinately self-reliant was he that he refused the aid of an attendant. He paid dearly for this obstinacy; for, one day as he was going home from his bank, he was knocked down by a wagon on a street-crossing. A gentleman, seeing him fall, rushed to his assistance. But before he could reach him the plucky old merchant was on his feet shouting, "Stop that fellow! stop that fellow!"

He was badly hurt. Nevertheless, he persisted in walking home. When his physician came his face was found to be seriously wounded. His right ear was almost entirely cut off. His eye was entirely closed. His entire system had received a violent shock, from which it never recovered. His wound healed, but from that time his body began to waste, his face grew thin, and his natural force began to abate. His strength was sadly impaired, and when, in December, 1831, he was attacked by a prevailing influenza, his worn-out system succumbed. The disease touched his powerful brain. He became first insane and then insensible, until, on the 26th of December, 1831, this old man of eighty-two rose from his bed, walked across his chamber, returned almost immediately to his bed, and then, placing his hand upon his burning head, exclaimed:

"How violent is this disorder! How very extraordinary it is!"

After this he lapsed into an unconscious condition, and while in this state, his naked soul passed into the presence-chamber of that Infinite One whose worship it had neglected, and whose existence it had boldly denied.

Thus ended that busy life, which began in poverty, and which had yielded its possessor a fortune of ten millions of [pg 211]dollars. Surely, if wealth and the power it wields be the real crown of life, Stephen Girard must be accorded high rank among the mighty men who win magnificent victories over the adverse circumstances of an obscure birth. He sought riches, not as a miser who gloats with low delight over his glittering gold, but as a man ambitious to make his name imperishable. His ambition was satisfied. His ten millions, invested as directed in his will, which is itself a marvel of worldly wisdom, is accomplishing his life-long desire. So far as human foresight can perceive, Girard College will keep the name of this wonderful man before the eyes of men through the coming ages.

Nevertheless, we count this victor over the mighty obstacles which stand between a penniless cabin-boy and the ownership of millions a vanquished man. Bringing his life into the "light of the glory of God which shines from the face of Jesus Christ," we are compelled to pronounce it a miserable failure. We do not find either Christian faith or Christian morality in it. As to faith, he had none; for he was an atheist, and gloried in his disbelief of all revealed truth. As to morality, his biographer informs us that he was an unchaste, profane, passionate, arbitrary, ungenerous, unloving man. His apparent philanthropy was so veined with selfishness that it was rarely ever exhibited except under conditions which secured publicity. And even the college which perpetuates his name proclaims, by its prohibition of religious instruction, his hatred of "the only name given under heaven among men whereby we can be saved." It is true that his will enjoins instruction in morals; but it is heathen, not Christian, morality that he intended; and, if the letter and spirit of his remarkable will were strictly carried out, the graduates of Girard College would leave its walls as ill instructed in the principles of genuine morality [pg 212]as were the disciples of Socrates or the followers of Confucius. The only roots on which pure morals can grow are faith in our heavenly Father and his divine Son, and love which is born of that precious faith. That faith is forbidden to be taught, and its divinely ordained teachers are prohibited entrance within the walls his unsanctified ambition built. Happily for the orphan boys who congregate there, the spirit of that antichristian will can not be executed in this Christian country. Its letter is no doubt respected; but the ethics of the institution are not those of Voltaire, Rousseau, or Confucius, but of Jesus, whose life is the only "light of men." Hence, while his college may perpetuate his name, it will never cause mankind to love his character, nor to hope that he is one of that exalted host which ascended to heaven through much tribulation, and after washing their robes in the blood of the Lamb.--DR. WISE, in "Victors Vanquished," Cranston & Stowe, Cincinnati.

[pg 213]




Our illusions commence in the cradle, and end only in the grave. We have all great expectations. Our ducks are ever to be geese, our geese swans; and we can not bear the truth when it comes upon us. Hence our disappointments; hence Solomon cried out that all was vanity, that he had tried every thing, each pleasure, each beauty, and found it very empty. People, he writes, should be taught by my example; they can not go beyond me--"What can he do that comes after the king?"

It is very doubtful whether, to an untried or a young man, the warnings of Solomon, or the outpourings of that griefful prophet whose name now passes for a lamentation, have done much good. Hope balances caution, and "springs eternal in the human breast." The old man fails, but the young constantly fancies he shall succeed. "Solomon," he cries, "did not know every thing;" but in a few years his own disappointments tell him how true the king's words are, and he cherishes the experience he has bought. But experience does not serve him in every case; it has been said that it is simply like the stern-lights of a ship, which lighten the path she has passed over, but not that which she is about to traverse. To know one's self is the hardest lesson we can learn. Few of us ever realize our true position; few see that they are like Bunyan's hero in the midst of Vanity Fair, and that all about them are snares, illusions, painted shows, real troubles, and true miseries, many trials and few enjoyments.

[pg 214]Perhaps the bitterest feelings in our life are those which we experience, when boys and girls, at the failures of our friendships and our loves. We have heard of false friends; we have read of deceit in books; but we know nothing about it, and we hardly believe what we hear. Our friend is to be true as steel. He is always to like us, and we him. He is a second Damon, we a Pythias. We remember the fond old stories of celebrated friendships; how one shared his fortune, another gave his life. Our friend is just of that sort; he is noble, true, grand, heroic. Of course, he is wonderfully generous. We talk of him; he will praise us. The whole people around, who laugh at the sudden warmth, we regard as old fogies, who do not understand life half as well as we do. But by and by our friend vanishes; the image which we thought was gold we find made of mere clay. We grow melancholy; we are fond of reading Byron's poetry; the sun is not nearly so bright nor the sky so blue as it used to be. We sing, with the noble poet--

"My days are in the yellow leaf,
The flowers and fruits of love are gone;
The worm, the canker, and the grief
Are mine alone.!"

We cease to believe in friendship; we quote old saws, and fancy ourselves cruelly used. We think ourselves philosophic martyrs, when the simple truth is, that we are disappointed.

The major part of the misery in marriage arises from the false estimate which we make of married happiness. A young man, who is a pure and good one, when he starts in life is very apt to fancy all women angels. He loves and venerates his mother; he believes her better, purer far, than his father, because his school-days have taught him practically [pg 215]what men are; but he does not yet know what women are. His sisters are angels too, and the wife he is about to marry, the best, the purest woman in the world, also an angel, of course. Marriage soon opens his eyes. It would be out of the course of nature for every body to secure an angel; and the young husband finds that he has married a woman of the ordinary pattern--not a whit better on the whole than man; perhaps worse, because weaker. The high-flown sentiment is all gone, the romantic ideas fade down to the light of common day. "The bloom of young desire, the purple light of love," as Milton writes in one of the most beautiful lines ever penned, too often pass away as well, and a future of misery is opened up on the basis of disappointment. After all, the difficulty to be got over is this--how is mankind to be taught to take a just estimate of things? Is it possible to put old heads upon young shoulders? Is not youth a perpetual state of intoxication? Is not every thing better and brighter far then than in middle life? These are the questions to be solved, and once solved we shall be happy; we shall have learnt the great lesson, that whatever is, is ordained by a great and wise power, and that we are therewith to be content.

A kindly consideration for others is the best method in the world to adopt, to ease off our own troubles; and this consideration is to be cultivated very easily. There is not one of those who will take up this book who is perfectly happy, and not one who does not fancy that he or she might be very much better off. Perhaps ten out of every dozen have been disappointed in life. They are not precisely what they should be. The wise poor man, in spite of his wisdom, envies the rich fool; and the fool--if he has any appreciation--envies the wisdom of the other. One is too tall, the other is too short; ill-health plagues a third, and a bad wife [pg 216]a fourth; and so on. Yet there is not one of the sorrows or troubles that we have but might be reasoned away. The short man can not add a cubit to his stature; but he may think, after all, that many great heroes have been short, and that it is the mind, not the form, that makes the man. Napoleon the Great, who had high-heeled boots, and was, to be sure, hardly a giant in stature, once looked at a picture of Alexander, by David. "Ah!" said he, taking snuff, with a pleased air, "Alexander was shorter than I." The hero last mentioned is he who cried because he had no more worlds to conquer, and who never thought of conquering himself. But if Alexander were disappointed about another world, his courtiers were much more so because they were not Alexanders. But the world would not have cared for a surplus of them; one was enough. Conquerers are very pleasant fellows, no doubt, and are disappointed and sulky because they can not gain more battles; but we poor frogs in the world are quite satisfied with one King Stork.

If we look at a disappointment as a lesson, we soon take the sting out of it. A spider will teach us that. He is watching for a fly, and away the nimble fellow flies. The spider upon this runs round his net to see whether there be any holes, and to mend them. When doing so, he comes upon an old body of one of his victims, and he commences again on it, with a pious ejaculation of "Better luck next time." So one of the greatest and wisest missionaries whom we have ever had, tried, when a boy, to climb a tree. He fell down, and broke his leg. Seriously lamed, he went on crutches for six months, and at the end of that time quietly set about climbing the tree again, and succeeded. He had, in truth, a reserve fund of good-humor and sound sense, saw where he failed, and conquered it. His disappointment was worth twenty dozen successes to him, and to the world [pg 217]too. It is a good rule, also, never to make too sure of any thing, and never to put too high a price on it. Every thing is worth doing well; every thing, presuming you like it, is worth having. The girl you fall in love with may be silly and ill-favored; but what of that? she is your love. "'Tis a poor fancy of mine own to like that which none other man will have," says the fool Touchstone; but he speaks like a wise man. He is wiser than the melancholy Jacques in the same play, who calls all people fools, and mopes about preaching wise saws. If our young men were as wise, there would not be half the ill-assorted marriages in the world, and there would be fewer single women. If they only chose by sense or fancy, or because they saw some good quality in a girl--if they were not all captivated by the face alone, every Jill would have her Jack, and pair off happily, like the lovers in a comedy. But it is not so. We can not live without illusions; we can not, therefore, subsist without disappointments. They, too, follow each other as the night the day, the shade the sunshine; they are as inseparable as life and death.

The difference of our conditions alone places a variety in these illusions; perhaps the lowest of us have the brightest, just as Cinderella, sitting amongst the coals, dreamed of the ball and beautiful prince as well as her sisters. "Bare and grim to tears," says Emerson, "is the lot of the children I saw yesterday; yet not the less they hung it round with frippery romance, like the children of the happiest fortune, and would talk of 'the dear cottage where so many joyful hours had flown.' Well, this thatching of hovels is the custom of the country. Women, more than all, are the element and kingdom of illusion." Happy is it that they are so. These fancies and illusions bring forth the inevitable disappointments, but they carry life on with a swing. If every hovel-born [pg 218]child had sat down at his doorstep, and taken true stock of himself, and had said, "I am a poor miserable child, weak in health, without knowledge, with little help, and can not do much," we should have wanted many a hero. We should have had no Stephenson, no Faraday, no Arkwright, and no Watt. Our railways would have been unbuilt, and the Atlantic Ocean would have been unbridged by steam. But hope, as phrenologists tells us, lies above caution, and has dangerous and active neighbors--wit, imagination, language, ideality--so the poor cottage is hung round with fancies, and the man exists to help his fellows. He may fail; but others take up his tangled thread, and unravel it, and carry on the great business of life.

The constantly cheerful man, who survives his blighted hopes and disappointments, who takes them just for what they are--lessons, and perhaps blessings in disguise--is the true hero. He is like a strong swimmer; the waves dash over him, but he is never submerged. We can not help applauding and admiring such a man; and the world, good-natured and wise in its verdict, cheers him when he gains the goal. There may be brutality in the sport, but there can be no question as to the merit, when the smaller prizefighter, who receives again and again his adversary's knockdown blow, again gets up and is ready for the fray. Old General Blucher was not a lucky general. He was beaten almost every time he ventured to battle; but in an incredible space of time he had gathered together his routed army, and was as formidable as before. The Germans liked the bold old fellow, and called, and still call him, Marshal Forwards. He had his disappointments, no doubt, but turned them, like the oyster does the speck of sand which annoys it, to a pearl. To our minds, the best of all these heroes is Robert Hall, the preacher, who, after falling on the ground in [pg 219]paroxysms of pain, would rise with a smile, and say, "I suffered much, but I did not cry out, did I? did I cry out?" Beautiful is this heroism. Nature, base enough under some aspects, rises into grandeur in such an example, and shoots upwards to an Alpine height of pure air and cloudless sunshine; the bold, noble, and kindly nature of the man, struggling against pain, and asking, in an apologetic tone, "Did I cry out?" whilst his lips were white with anguish, and his tongue, bitten through in the paroxysm, was red with blood!

There is a companion picture of ineffaceable grandeur to this in Plato's "Phoedo," where Socrates, who has been unchained simply that he may prepare for death, sits upon his bed, and, rubbing his leg gently where the iron had galled it, begins, not a complaint against fate, or his judges, or the misery of present death, but a grateful little reflection. "What an unaccountable thing, my friends, that seems to be which men call pleasure; and how wonderful it is related to that which appears to be its contrary--pain, in that they will not both be present to a man at the same time; yet if any one pursues and attains the one, he is almost always compelled to receive the other, as if they were both united together from one head." Surely true philosophy, if we may call so serene a state of mind by that hackneyed word, never reached, unaided, a purer height!

There is one thing certain, which contains a poor comfort, but a strong one--a poor one, because it reduces us all to the same level--it is this: we may be sure that not one of us is without disappointment. The footman is as badly off as his master, and the master as the footman. The courtier is disappointed of his place, and the minister of his ambition. Cardinal Wolsey lectures his secretary Cromwell, and tells him of his disappointed ambition; but Cromwell [pg 220]had his troubles as well. Henry the Eighth, the king who broke them both, might have put up the same prayer; and the pope, who was a thorn in Harry's side, no doubt had a peck of disappointments of his own. Nature not only abhors a vacuum, but she utterly repudiates an entirely successful man. There probably never lived one yet to whom the morning did not bring some disaster, the evening some repulse. John Hunter, the greatest, most successful surgeon, the genius, the wonder, the admired of all, upon whose words they whose lives had been spent in science hung, said, as he went to his last lecture, "If I quarrel with any one to-night, it will kill me." An obstinate surgeon of the old school denied one of his assertions, and called him a liar. It was enough. Hunter was carried into the next room, and died. He had for years suffered from a diseased heart, and was quite conscious of his fate. That was his disappointment. Happy are they who, in this world of trial, meet their disappointments in their youth, not in their old age; then let them come and welcome, not too thick to render us morose, but like Spring mornings, frosty but kindly, the cold of which will kill the vermin, but will let the plant live; and let us rely upon it, that the best men (and women, too) are those who have been early disappointed.

[pg 221]




Gaspar, a king and shepherd,
  Alone at the door of his tent,
Thus mused, his eyes uplifted
  And fixed on the firmament:

"Is it a dream, this vision
  That haunts me day and night,
This beautiful manifestation
  Of some eternal delight?

God set me to watching and waiting
  Long years and years ago,
Waiting and watching for something
  My heart could not forego.

I caught the hope of the nations,
  The desire of the common heart,
Which grew to an expectation
  That would not from me depart.

My soul was filled with hunger
  Deeper than I can tell,
The while I watched for the shining
  Of the Star in Israel.

O Star, to arise in Jacob!
  I cried as my heart grew bold;
O Star, to arise in Jacob,
  By prophecy seen of old!

[pg 222]For the sight of Thee I am dying,
  For the joy of Thy Beautiful Face!
Of Thy coming give me a token,
  Grant me this favor and grace!

At length there came an answer
  Flaming the desolate year,
A revelation of beauty,
  A more than mortal cheer;

For afar in the kindly heavens
  The blessed token I saw!
And now my life is transfigured,
  And lost in a nameless awe.

In a nameless awe I wander,
  As one with a joy untold,
Too great for his own defining,
  Too great for him to withhold.

But deep in my heart is the secret,
  And in yonder beckoning Star,
And I must wait for the telling
  Until I can hasten afar,--

Until I can find in travel
  A heart akin to mine,
That day and night is adoring
  And imploring beauty divine.

And so I will share the gladness
  Which God intends for the world;
And so will I lift the banner,
  To remain forever unfurled."

Hardly had Gaspar ended
  The musing he loved so well,
When he heard the dreamy tinkle
  Of a distant camel-bell.

[pg 223]He set his tent in order;
  He brought forth of his best,
After the Arab custom,
  To welcome the coming guest.

Who is this eager stranger
  Dismounted so soon at the door?
A king from another kingdom,
  Who has traveled the desert o'er,

In search of the same communion
  That Gaspar was longing for.
And before of food he tasted,
  Thus spake King Melchior:

"O Gaspar, God hath sent me
  In the light of a peaceful Star,
To tell thee, my royal brother,
  What my sweet communings are.

My life has been hid with Nature
  For many a quiet year,
And in the hearts of my people,
  Whose love hath cast out fear.

And I have been a dweller
  With God, who is everywhere,
On earth, in the stars, the Spirit
  Sublimest, calmest, most fair.

Among his mediators
  And messengers of rest,
Which fill the earth and the heavens,
  The stars I reckoned the best.

To the stars I gave my study,
  I watched them rise and set,
And heard the music of silence
  My soul can not forget;--

[pg 224]The music that seemed prophetic
  Of the reign of peace to come,
When men shall live as lovers
  In the quiet of one dear home.

But contemplation only
  My heart could not satisfy:
I longed for the very presence
  The stars did prophesy,

And eagerly looked for a token
  Of heaven descended to earth,
A manifestation to tell me
  The Prince had come to his birth--

The Prince to rule the nations,
  The blessed Prince of Peace,
Through the scepter of whose kingdom
  Confusion and war shall cease.

And God to me has been gracious,
  Though one of his children the least,
For I have seen his token
  All glorious in the east.

Yea, God to me has been gracious,
  And shown me the way of love,
A revelation of goodness
  As fair as heaven above."

The kings sat down together,
  Communed in the breaking of bread,
And each the heart of the other
  As an open volume read.

They felt the new force within them
  Through fellowship increase:
The one he called it beauty,
  The other named it peace.

[pg 225]All through the silent night-tide
  Their thoughts one burden bore:
There was a joy eternal
  Their longing souls before.

But still they waited, waited,
  They hardly knew what for.
"What lack we yet, O Gaspar!"
  At length asked Melchior.

"Three lights in yonder heaven
  Wait on the polar star.
Hast eyes to read the poem?
  Dost see how calm they are?

Three lights in yonder heaven
  Wait on the polar star;
But we are two," said Gaspar.
"Not two, but three we are,"

Belthazzar said, dismounting,
  Another king from far;
"And we whom God hath chosen
  Follow a greater Star.

O, what are peace and beauty,
  Except they stir the soul
And make the man a hero,
  To gain some happier goal?

O, what are peace and beauty
  That stop this side of God,
Though infinite the distance
  Remaining to be trod?"

In haste, in haste they mounted,
  The kings in God's employ,
And quickly peace and beauty
  Began to change to joy.

[pg 226]They left behind their kingdoms
  Whose lure was far too small,
To keep them apart from the kingdom
  Of Him who is all in all.

They left behind their people,
  Of loving and loved a host,
The first of the thronging Gentiles,
  To love the Redeemer most.

They left behind possessions,
  Their flocks in all their prime,
In haste to greet the Shepherd
  Whose charge is the most sublime.

They passed through hostile regions;
  For fear they halted not;
And weariness and hunger
  Were less than things forgot.

So on and on they hastened
  Where they never before had trod,
And the flaming Guide that led them,
  Was ever the Glory of God.

By night in yonder heavens,
  Within their hearts by day,
As of old the blessed Shekinah
  Along the Red Sea way.

And they have troubled Herod
  And left Jerusalem,
The joy-giving Star before them,
  The Star of Bethlehem.

And they have seen and worshiped
  The Everlasting Child,
In whom sweet Truth and Mercy
  Were never unreconciled.

[pg 227]They have kissed the Beauty of Heaven,
  Incarnate on the earth,
The Babe in the lap of Mary,
  Of whom He came to his birth.

Their gifts of love they have rendered
  Unto the new-born King,
Their gold and myrrh and frankincense,
  The best that they could bring.

And vanished the Star forever,
  When they turned from the Child away?
Shone it not then in their bosoms,
  The light of Eternal Day?

They could not return to Herod--
  Too precious for any swine,
The pearls which they had gathered
  Out of the Sea Divine!

O Vision of the Redeemer,
  In which faith has struggled to sight!
They carried it back to their country,
  And published it day and night.

They carried it back to their country,
  The vision since Eden's fall,
Which seen afar off has sweetened
  The wormwood and the gall.

And it has become the story
  Of every triumphant soul,
That in seeking the Eternal
  Reaches a blessed goal.
[pg 228]




"The care of the poor," said Hannah More, herself one of the most illustrious women of her time, "is essentially the profession of women." In her own person, Florence Nightingale has proved this; and not in one or two cases, but by a whole life passed in devotion to the needs of the poor and humble, the sick and the distressed. Comparatively little was known of Miss Nightingale before the year 1854, when the needs of the English army in the Crimea called forth the heroism of thousands. Then it was that Florence Nightingale and other heroic women went out to the East, and personally succored the wounded, comforted the weak-hearted, and smoothed the pillows of the dying.

Florence Nightingale
Florence Nightingale

Miss Nightingale is every way a remarkable woman. The daughter of an Englishman, W. Shore Nightingale, of Embly Park, Hampshire, she was born in Florence, in the year 1823, and from this fair city she received her patronymic. From her earliest youth she was accustomed to visit the poor, and, as she advanced in years, she studied in the schools, hospitals, and reformatory institutions of London, Edinburgh, and other principal cities of England, besides making herself familiar with similar places on the Continent. In 1851, "when all Europe," says a recent writer, "seemed to be keeping holiday in honor of the Great Exhibition, she took up her abode in an institution at Kaiserwerth, on the Rhine, where Protestant sisters of mercy are trained for [pg 229]the business of nursing the sick, and other offices of charity. For three months she remained in daily and nightly attendance, accumulating the most valuable practical experience, and then returned home to patiently wait until an occasion should arise for its exercise. This occasion soon arose; for, after attending various hospitals in London, the cry of distress which, in 1854, arose from the distressed soldiery in Russia, enlisted her warmest sympathies. Lady Mary Forester, Mrs. Sidney Herbert, and other ladies, proposed to send nurses to the seat of war. The government acceded to their request, and Miss Florence Nightingale, Mrs. Bracebridge, and thirty-seven others, all experienced nurses, went out to their assistance, and arrived at Constantinople on the 5th of November. The whole party were soon established in the hospital at Scutari, and there pursued their labor of love and benevolence. The good they did, and the wonders they accomplished, are too well known to need particular detail. "Every day," says one, writing from the military hospital, "brought some new combination of misery to be somehow unraveled by the power ruling in the sisters' town. Each day had its peculiar trial to one who has taken such a load of responsibility in an untried field, and with a staff of her own sex, all new to it. She has frequently been known to stand twenty hours, on the arrival of fresh detachments of sick, apportioning quarters, distributing stores, directing the labors of her corps, assisting at the most painful operations, where her presence might soothe or support, and spending hours over men dying of cholera or fever. Indeed, the more awful to every sense any particular case might be, the more certainly might her slight form be seen bending over him, administering to his case by every means in her power, and seldom quitting his side until death had released him. And yet, probably, Miss [pg 230]Nightingale's personal devotion in the cause was, in her own estimation, the least onerous of her duties. The difficulties thrown in her way by the formalities of system and routine, and the prejudices of individuals, will scarcely be forgotten, or the daily contests by which she was compelled to wring from the authorities a scant allowance of the appliances needed in the daily offices of her hand, until the co-operation of Mr. Macdonald, the distributor of the Times fund, enabled her to lay in stores, to institute separate culinary and washing establishments, and, in short, to introduce comfort and order into the department over which she presided." And so, during the greater part of the momentous campaign, she did the work that she had set out to do, bravely and faithfully, and earnestly and well; and we may be sure that on her return to England she was welcomed gladly. The queen presented her with a costly diamond ornament, to be worn as a decoration, and accompanied it with an autograph letter, in which her great merits were fully, gracefully, and gratefully acknowledged. It was proposed to give Miss Nightingale a public reception; but, with true modesty, she shrunk from appearing in any other than her own character of nurse and soother, and at once passed into retirement. But that retirement was not allowed to be unproductive. So soon as her health, which was at all times delicate, and had suffered considerably in the Crimea, had been somewhat restored, she set to work to render the fruits of her experience useful to the world. In 1859 she produced her "Hints on Nursing," one of the most useful and practical little books ever published. In it she showed how much might be done, even with small means, and in the midst of manifold difficulties and discouragements; and it is no small triumph to the advocates of female labor, in proper spheres, that Florence Nightingale and her friends have shown that, as a nurse [pg 231]and comforter on the field of battle, woman may work out her mission quietly and unostentatiously, without, at the same time, interfering with the occupations of the other sex. In Florence Nightingale we have an example of a lady bred in the lap of luxury, and educated in the school of wealth and exclusiveness, breaking down the barriers of custom, and proving to the world that true usefulness belongs to no particular rank, age, or station, but is the privilege of all Eve's daughters, and that any employment sanctified by devotion and fervor and earnest desire to do good is essentially womanly and graceful, and fitting alike to the inheritors of wealth or poverty.

That the absence of feminine influence must tend to materialize, to sensualize, and to harden, must, we think, be admitted by all the thoughtful. Woman is instituted by God the guardian of the heart as man is of the mind. How many husbands, sons, and brothers, driven and driving, through life in the absorbing excitement of a professional or mercantile career, can testify to the arresting, reposeful, humanizing atmosphere of a home where the wife, mother, or sister exerts her kindly sway; and it is as necessary to the immaterial interests of a nation, to the prevention of the legislative mind and executive hands being completely swallowed up in the actual, the present, the mechanical, the sensible, that some counteracting influence should be allowed and encouraged similar to that of woman in her home.

To show the influence for good of associations of women for charitable ends, Mrs. Jameson, in "Sisters of Charity at Home and Abroad," has collected accounts from history and biography of many Romanist orders of sisters, besides vindicating and putting forward Miss Nightingale and her companions as examples. She would not for the world that [pg 232]the woman should aspire to be the man, and aim at a masculine independence for which she was never meant; and we thank the noble champion of Protestant sisterhoods for disclaiming connection with any who want her to take part in the public and prominent life of society, so to speak. It is co-operation that is insisted upon--the ministering influence of the woman with the business tact of the man. In prisons, hospitals, work-houses, and lunatic asylums the influence of well-trained women, to soften rigor, charm routine, beguile poverty, and tranquilize distraction is often wanted; not so much to talk as to think, feel, and do.

It may be said that there can not be the same need in a Protestant country as in Roman Catholic countries of communities of single women, where they are doubtless called for, if only in opposition to the immense bodies of the higher and lower clergy; but, besides the fact of there always being a greater number of women in a country in proportion to the number of men, our commerce requires many sailors, not to mention our army and navy, which in years past have swallowed up so many. Surely, ministering women would be a blessing to the widows and orphans of our gallant soldiers and sailors. There are numbers of daughters in large families kept in conventual bondage by a father or brother or their own timidity. Daughters, sisters, widows, we appeal to you! Are there not some few among you with courage to lead where multitudes would follow--some to whom a kind Providence has given liberty of action? It is far from our intention to excite rebellion in families, or tempt away from the manifest calls of duty; but can not some one begin what others will continue? And we must not be indefinite: begin what? continue what? A system which, in this Protestant land, would give to the poor outcast, the little criminal, the child of the [pg 233]State, a mother as well as a father; that would give to the wretched of all ages a sister as well as a brother.

Alluding to Florence Nightingale, Mrs. Jameson says: "No doubt but it will be through the patience, faith, and wisdom of men and women working together. In an undertaking so wholly new to our English customs, so much at variance with the usual education given to women in this country, we shall meet with perplexities, difficulties--even failures. All the ladies who have gone to Scutari may not turn out heroines. There may be vain babblings and scribblings and indiscretions, such as may put weapons into adverse hands. The inferior and paid nurses may, some of them, have carried to Scutari bad habits, arising from imperfect training. Still, let us trust that a principle will be recognized in the country which will not be again lost sight of. It will be the true, the lasting glory of Florence Nightingale and her band of devoted assistants that they have broken through what Goethe calls a Chinese wall of prejudices--prejudices religious, social, professional--and established a precedent which will, indeed, multiply the good to all time. No doubt there are hundreds of women who would now gladly seize the privileges held out to them by such an example, and crowd to offer their services; but would they pay the price of such dear and high privileges? Would they fit themselves duly for the performance of such services, and earn by distasteful, and even painful studies, the necessary certificates for skill and capacity? Would they, like Miss Nightingale, go through a seven years' probation, to try at once the steadiness of their motives and the steadiness of their nerves? Such a trial is absolutely necessary; for hundreds of women will fall into the common error of mistaking an impulse for a vocation. But I do believe that there are also hundreds who are fitted, or would [pg 234]gladly, at any self-sacrifice, fit themselves for the work, if the means of doing so were allowed to them. At present, an English lady has no facilities whatever for obtaining the information or experience required; no such institutions are open to her, and yet she is ridiculed for presenting herself without the competent knowledge! This seems hardly just."

Anticipating objection, Mrs. Jameson says:

"To make or require vows of obedience is objectionable; yet we know that the voluntary nurses who went to the East were called upon to do what comes to the same thing--to sign an engagement to obey implicitly a controlling and administrative power--or the whole undertaking must have fallen to the ground. Then again, questions about costume have been mooted, which appear to me wonderfully absurd. It has been suggested that there should be something of uniformity and fitness in the dress when on duty, and this seems but reasonable. I recollect once seeing a lady in a gay, light, muslin dress, with three or four flounces, and roses under bonnet, going forth to visit her sick poor. The incongruity struck the mind painfully--not merely as an incongruity, but as an impropriety--like a soldier going to the trenches in an opera hat and laced ruffles. Such follies, arising from individual obtuseness, must be met by regulation dictated by good sense, and submitted to as a matter of necessity and obligation."

Again, says our authoress, who passed from her sphere of usefulness in 1860:

"It is a subject of reproach, that in this Christendom of ours, the theory of good we preach should be so far in advance of our practice; but that which provokes the sneer of the skeptic, and almost kills faith in the sufferer, lifts up the contemplative mind with hope. Man's theory of good is God's reality; man's experience is the degree to [pg 235]which he has already worked out, in his human capacity, that divine reality. Therefore, whatever our practice may be, let us hold fast to our theories of possible good; let us, at least, however they may outrun our present powers, keep them in sight, and then our formal, lagging practice, may in time overtake them. In social morals, as well as in physical truth, 'the goal of yesterday will be the starting-point of to-morrow,' and the things before which all England now stands in admiring wonder will become the simple produce of the common day. This we hope and believe."

The example of Florence Nightingale, so full of hope and prophecy to Mrs. Jameson five-and-twenty years ago, has proved indeed an earnest of better things, which all these years have been passing into realities. Who shall say how much inspiration the noble band of ministering women in our civil war derived from the heroine of the Crimea? When the great occasion arrives, the heavenly impulse is seldom wanting. But God works through means; and that one example of Christian devotion, so fresh in the hearts of mothers, wives, and sisters, was an immense help in developing the self-sacrifice which is latent in every true life. To say nothing of the new impulse given to the organization of woman's work in England, it is a matter for thankfulness to be able to note that the signs of new life in this country are full of promise. In several of our large cities, notably New York and Philadelphia, institutions have recently been founded for the training of nurses, and sisterhoods organized for the better accomplishment of Christian work in hospitals, asylums, and among the poor and unfortunate--a work, indeed, which has been done, in one way or another, in all the Christian ages, by every true follower of the Master.

[pg 236]And here, in conclusion, the thought suggests itself that differences of organization, whether ecclesiastical or otherwise, should not conceal from our eyes the true notes of "the communion of the saints," or shut from our hearts the conditions of inheriting the kingdom prepared from the foundation of the world: "I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me."

O English Nightingale,
Who hadst the grace to hear
The dying soldier's far-off wail,
And pause not for a tear--

Who, as on angel wings,
Didst seek the wintry sea,
To put thy hand to menial things,
Which were not such to thee;

And didst, with heaven-born art,
Where pain implored release,
To mangled form and broken heart
Bring healing and sweet peace--

Thy work was music, song,
As brave as ever stirred
A nation's heart; as calm and strong
As angels ever heard!

Gazing on the modest, unassuming countenance shown in the illustration which accompanies this sketch, one can imagine the surprised question to which the King answers in the last day: "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

[pg 237]




Sympathy is the most delicate tendril of the mind, and the most fascinating gift which nature can give us. The most precious associations of the human heart cluster around the word, and we love to remember those who have sorrowed with us in sorrow, and rejoiced with us when we were glad. But for the awkward and the shy the sympathetic are the very worst company. They do not wish to be sympathized with--they wish to be with people who are cold and indifferent; they like shy people like themselves. Put two shy people in a room together, and they begin to talk with unaccustomed glibness. A shy woman always attracts a shy man. But women who are gifted with that rapid, gay impressionability which puts them en rapport with their surroundings, who have fancy and an excitable disposition, a quick susceptibility to the influences around them, are very charming in general society, but they are terrible to the awkward and the shy. They sympathize too much, they are too aware of that burning shame which the sufferer desires to conceal.

The moment a shy person sees before him a perfectly unsympathetic person, one who is neither thinking nor caring for him, his shyness begins to flee; the moment that he recognizes a fellow-sufferer he begins to feel a re-enforcement of energy. If he be a lover, especially, the almost certain embarrassment of the lady inspires him with hope and renewed [pg 238]courage. A woman who has a bashful lover, even if she is afflicted with shyness, has been known to find a way to help the poor fellow out of his dilemma more than once.


Who has left us the most complete and most tragic history of shyness which belongs to "that long rosary on which the blushes of a life are strung," found a woman (the most perfect character, apparently, who ever married and made happy a great genius) who, fortunately for him, was shy naturally, although without that morbid shyness which accompanied him through life. Those who knew Mrs. Hawthorne found her possessed of great fascination of manner, even in general society, where Hawthorne was quite impenetrable. The story of his running down to the Concord River and taking boat to escape his visitors has been long familiar to us all. Mrs. Hawthorne, no doubt, with a woman's tact and a woman's generosity, overcame her own shyness in order to receive those guests whom Hawthorne ran away from, and through his life remained his better angel. It was through this absence of expressed sympathy that English people became very agreeable to Hawthorne. He describes, in his "Note-Book," a speech made by him at a dinner in England: "When I was called upon," he says, "I rapped my head, and it returned a hollow sound." He had, however, been sitting next to a shy English lawyer, a man who won upon him by his quiet, unobtrusive simplicity, and who, in some well-chosen words, rather made light of dinner-speaking and its terrors. When Hawthorne finally got up and made his speech, his "voice, meantime, having a far-off and remote echo," and when, as we learn from others, a burst of applause greeted a few well-chosen words drawn from that full well of thought, that pellucid [pg 239]rill of "English undefiled," the unobtrusive gentleman by his side applauded and said to him, "It was handsomely done." The compliment pleased the shy man. It is the only compliment to himself which Hawthorne ever recorded.

Now, had Hawthorne been congratulated by a sympathetic, effusive American, who had clapped him on the back, and who had said, "O, never fear--you will speak well!" he would have said nothing. The shy sprite in his own eyes would have read in his neighbor's eyes the dreadful truth that his sympathetic neighbor would have indubitably betrayed--a fear that he would not do well. The phlegmatic and stony Englishman neither felt nor cared whether Hawthorne spoke well or ill; and, although pleased that he did speak well, invested no particular sympathy in the matter, either for or against, and so spared Hawthorne's shyness the last bitter drop in the cup, which would have been a recognition of his own moral dread. Hawthorne bitterly records his own sufferings. He says, in one of his books, "At this time I acquired this accursed habit of solitude." It has been said that the Hawthorne family were, in the earlier generation, afflicted with shyness almost as a disease--certainly a curious freak of nature in a family descended from robust sea-captains. It only goes to prove how far away are the influences which control our natures and our actions.

Whether, if Hawthorne had not been a shy man, afflicted with a sort of horror of his species at times, always averse to letting himself go, miserable and morbid, we should have been the inheritors of the great fortune which he has left us, is not for us to decide. Whether we should have owned "The Gentle Boy," the immortal "Scarlet Letter," "The House with Seven Gables," "The Marble Faun," and all the other wonderful things which grew out of that [pg 240]secluded and gifted nature, had he been born a cheerful, popular, and sympathetic boy, with a dancing-school manner, instead of an awkward and shy youth (although an exceedingly handsome one), we can not tell. That is the great secret behind the veil. The answer is not yet made, the oracle has not spoken, and we must not invade the penumbra of genius.


It has always been a comfort to the awkward and the shy that Washington could not make an after-dinner speech; and the well-known anecdote--"Sit down, Mr. Washington, your modesty is even greater than your valor"--must have consoled many a voiceless hero. Washington Irving tried to welcome Dickens, but failed in the attempt, while Dickens was as voluble as he was gifted. Probably the very surroundings of sympathetic admirers unnerved both Washington and Irving, although there are some men who can never "speak on their legs," as the saying goes, in any society.

Other shy men--men who fear general society, and show embarrassment in the every-day surroundings--are eloquent when they get on their feet. Many a shy boy at college has astonished his friends by his ability in an after-dinner speech. Many a voluble, glib boy, who has been appointed the orator of the occasion, fails utterly, disappoints public expectation, and sits down with an uncomfortable mantle of failure upon his shoulders. Therefore, the ways of shyness are inscrutable. Many a woman who has never known what it is to be bashful or shy has, when called upon to read a copy of verses, even to a circle of intimate friends, lost her voice, and has utterly broken down, to her own and her friends' great astonishment.

The voice is a treacherous servant; it deserts us, trembles, [pg 241]makes a failure of it, is "not present or accounted for" often when we need its help. It is not alone in the shriek of the hysterical that we learn of its lawlessness; it is in its complete retirement. A bride often, even when she felt no other embarrassment, has found that she had no voice with which to make her responses. It simply was not there.

A lady who was presented at court, and who felt--as she described herself wonderfully at her ease, began talking, and, without wishing to speak loud, discovered that she was shouting like a trumpeter. The somewhat unusual strain which she had put upon herself during the ordeal of being presented at the English court revenged itself by an outpouring of voice which she could not control.

Many shy people have recognized in themselves this curious and unconscious elevation of voice. It is not so common as a loss of voice, but it is quite as uncontrollable.

The bronchial tubes play us another trick when we are frightened; the voice is the voice of somebody else; it has no resemblance to our own. Ventriloquism might well study the phenomena of shyness, for the voice becomes base that was treble, and soprano that which was contralto.

"I dislike to have Wilthorpe come to see me," said a very shy woman, "I know my voice will squeak so." With her Wilthorpe, who for some reason drove her into an agony of shyness, had the effect of making her talk in a high, unnatural strain, excessively fatiguing.

The presence of one's own family, who are naturally painfully sympathetic, has always had upon the bashful and the shy a most evil effect.

"I can never plead a case before my father," "Nor I before my son," said two distinguished lawyers. "If mamma is in the room, I shall never be able to get through my part," said a young amateur actor.

[pg 242]But here we must pause to note another exception in the laws of shyness.

In the false perspective of the stage, shyness often disappears. The shy man, speaking the words and assuming the character of another, often loses his shyness. It is himself of whom he is afraid, not of Tony Lumpkin or of Charles Surface, of Hamlet or of Claude Melnotte. Behind their masks he can speak well; but if he at his own dinner-table essays to speak, and mamma watches him with sympathetic eyes, and his brothers and sisters are all listening, he fails.

"Lord Percy sees me fall."

Yet it is with our own people that we must stand or fall, live or die; it is in our own circle that we must conquer our shyness.

Now, these reflections are not intended as an argument against sympathy properly expressed. A reasonable and judiciously expressed sympathy with our fellow-beings is the very highest attribute of our nature. "It unravels secrets more surely than the highest critical faculty. Analysis of motives that sway men and women is like the knife of the anatomist; it works on the dead. Unite sympathy to observation, and the dead spring to life." It is thus to the shy, in their moments of tremor, that we should endeavor to be calmly sympathetic; not cruel, but indifferent, unobservant.

Now, women of genius, who obtain a reflected comprehension of certain aspects of life through sympathy, often arrive at the admirable result of apprehending the sufferings of the shy without seeming to observe them. Such a woman, in talking to a shy man, will not seem to see him; she will prattle on about herself, or tell some funny anecdote of how she was tumbled out into the snow, or how she spilled her glass of claret at dinner, or how she got just too late to the [pg 243]lecture; and while she is thus absorbed in her little improvised autobiography, the shy man gets hold of himself, and ceases to be afraid of her. This is the secret of tact.


Madame Recamier, the famous beauty, was always somewhat shy. She was not a wit, but she possessed the gift of drawing out what was best in others. Her biographers have blamed her that she had not a more impressionable temper, that she was not more sympathetic. Perhaps (in spite of her courage when she took up contributions in the churches dressed as a Neo-Greek) she was always hampered by shyness. She certainly attracted all the best and most gifted of her time, and had a noble fearlessness in friendship, and a constancy which she showed by following Madame de Stael into exile, and in her devotion to Ballenche and Chateaubriand. She had the genius of friendship, a native sincerity, a certain reality of nature--those fine qualities which so often accompany the shy that we almost, as we read biography and history, begin to think that shyness is but a veil for all the virtues.

Perhaps to this shyness, or to this hidden sympathy, did Madame Recamier owe that power over all men which survived her wonderful beauty. The blind and poor old woman of the Abbaye had not lost her charm; the most eminent men and women of her day followed her there, and enjoyed her quiet (not very eloquent) conversation. She had a wholesome heart; it kept her from folly when she was young, from a too over-facile sensitiveness to which an impressionable, sympathetic temperament would have betrayed her. Her firm, sweet nature was not flurried by excitement; she had a steadfastness in her social relations which has left behind an everlasting renown to her name.

[pg 244]And what are, after all, these social relations which call for so much courage, and which can create so much suffering to most of us as we conquer for them our awkwardness and our shyness? Let us pause for a moment, and try to be just. Let us contemplate these social ethics, which call for so much that is, perhaps, artificial and troublesome and contradictory. Society, so long as it is the congregation of the good, the witty, the bright, the intelligent, and the gifted, is the thing most necessary to us all. We are apt to like it and its excitements almost too well, or to hate it, with its excesses and its mistakes, too bitterly. We are rarely just to society.

The rounded, and harmonious, and temperate understanding and use of society is, however, the very aim and end of education. We are born to live with each other and not for ourselves. If we are cheerful, our cheerfulness was given to us to make bright the lives of those about us; if we have genius, that is a sacred trust; if we have beauty, wit, joyousness, it was given us for the delectation of others, not for ourselves; if we are awkward and shy, we are bound to break the crust, and to show that within us is beauty, cheerfulness, and wit. "It is but the fool who loves excess." The best human being should moderately like society.--MRS. JOHN SHERWOOD.

[pg 245]



(BORN 1755--DIED 1835.)


The family stock of Marshall, like that of Jefferson, was Welsh, as is generally the case in names with a double letter, as a double f or a double l. This Welsh type was made steady by English infusions. The first Marshall came from Wales in 1730, and settled in the same county where Washington, Monroe, and the Lees were born. He was a poor man, and lived in a tract called "The Forest." His eldest son, Thomas, went out to Fauquier County, at the foot of the Blue Ridge, and settled on Goose Creek, under Manassas Gap. This Thomas Marshall had been a playmate of George Washington, and, like him, was a mountain surveyor, and they loved each other, and when the Revolutionary War broke out both went into the service, Thomas Marshall being colonel of one of the Virginia regiments. His son, John Marshall, who was not twenty years old when the conflict began, became a lieutenant under his father. The mother of John Marshall was named Mary Kieth, and his grandmother Elizabeth Markham, and the latter was born in England.

Marshall's father had a good mind, not much education; but he was a great reader, and especially loved poetry, and he taught his son to commit poetry to memory, and to model his mind on the clear diction and heroic strain of poets like Milton, Shakespeare, Dryden, and Pope. In these books of [pg 246]poetry the great chief-justice found the springs to freshen his own good character. To the last day of his life he loved literature, and was especially fond of novels, and of books written by females. He held the view that the United States must be a literary nation in the sense of having great and noble authors to leaven its people and teach them high thoughts. His schools were chiefly down in the Chesapeake Bay, in the county of his birth, and his teachers were poor Presbyterian clergymen from Scotland, who at that period were the teachers of nearly all the Middle States, from New York southward. He knew some Latin, but not very much. One of his teachers was his own father, who, with a large family, took delight in training this boy.


In 1775 the country hunters and boors on the Blue Ridge Mountain went to their mustering place, and, the senior officer being absent, this young Marshall, with a gun on his shoulder, began to show them how to use it. Like them, he wore a blue hunting shirt and trousers of some stuff fringed with white, and in his round hat was a buck-tail for a cockade. He was about six feet high, lean and straight, with a dark skin, black hair, a pretty low forehead, and rich, dark small eyes, the whole making a face dutiful, pleasing, and modest. After the drill was over he stood up and told those strange, wild mountaineers, who had no newspapers and knew little of the world, what the war was about. He described to them the battle of Lexington. They listened to him for an hour, as if he had been some young preacher.

Thus was our great chief-justice introduced to public life. He had come to serve, and found that he must instruct. When he marched with the regiment of these mountaineers, who carried tomahawks and scalping-knives, [pg 247]the people of Williamsburg trembled for their lives. At that time, the country near Harper's Ferry was the Far West. In a very little while, these mountaineers, by mingled stratagem and system, defeated Lord Dunmore, very much as Andrew Jackson defeated the British at New Orleans thirty-five years later. Marshall then went with the army to the vicinity of Philadelphia; was in the battles of Brandywine and Germantown, and in the long Winter of Valley Forge. Almost naked at that place, he showed an abounding good-nature, that kept the whole camp content. If he had to eat meat without bread, he did it with a jest. Among his men he had the influence of a father, though a boy. He was so much better read than others that he frequently became a judge advocate, and in this way he got to know Alexander Hamilton, who was on Washington's staff. Marshall was always willing to see the greatness of another person, and Judge Story says that he said of Hamilton that he was not only of consummate ability as both soldier and statesman, but that, in great, comprehensive mind, sound principle, and purity of patriotism, no nation ever had his superior.

It became Marshall's duty, in the course of twenty-five years, to try for high treason the man who killed his friend Hamilton, but he conducted that trial with such an absence of personal feeling that it was among the greatest marvels of our legal history. He could neither be influenced by his private grief for Hamilton, nor by Jefferson's attempts as President to injure Burr, nor by Burr himself, whom he charged the jury to acquit, but whom he held under bond on another charge, to Burr's rage. Marshall was in the battle of Monmouth, and at the storming of Stony Point, and at the surprise of Jersey City. In the army camps, he became acquainted with the Northern men, and so far from [pg 248]comparing invidiously with them, he recognized them all as fellow-countrymen and brave men, and never in his life was there a single trace of sectionalism.


Near the close of the Revolution, Marshall went to Yorktown, somewhat before Cornwallis occupied it, to pay a visit, and there he saw Mary Ambler at the age of fourteen. She became his wife in 1783. Her father was Jacqueline Ambler, the treasurer of the State of Virginia. She lived with him forty-eight years, and died in December, 1831. He often remarked in subsequent life that the race of lovers had changed. Said he: "When I married my wife, all I had left after paying the minister his fee was a guinea, and I thought I was rich." General Burgoyne, whom Marshall's fellow-soldiers so humiliated, wrote some verses, and among these were the following, which Marshall said over to himself often when thinking of his wife:

"Encompassed in an angel's frame,
    An angel's virtues lay;
Too soon did heaven assert its claim
    And take its own away.
My Mary's worth, my Mary's charms,
    Can never more return.
What now shall fill these widowed arms?
    Ah, me! my Mary's urn."


The only law lectures Marshall ever attended were those of Chancellor Wythe, at William and Mary College, Williamsburg, while the Revolution was still going on. Before the close of the war he was admitted to the bar, but the courts were all suspended until after Cornwallis's surrender. Before the war closed Marshall walked from near Manassas Gap, or rather from Oak Hill, his father's residence, to [pg 249]Philadelphia on foot to be vaccinated. The distance was nearly two hundred miles; but he walked about thirty-five miles a day, and when he got to Philadelphia looked so shabby that they repelled him at the hotel; but this only made him laugh and find another hotel. He never paid much attention to his dress, and observed through life the simple habits he found agreeable as a boy. For two years he practiced in one rough, native county; but it soon being evident that he was a man of extraordinary grasp of a law case, he removed to Richmond, which had not long been the capital, and there he lived until his death, which happened in 1835 in the city of Philadelphia, whither he had repaired to submit to a second operation. The first of these operations was cutting to the bladder for the stone, and he survived it. Subsequently, his liver became enlarged and had abcesses on it, and his stomach would not retain much nutriment. Marshall was a social man, and at times convivial; and I should think it probable that, though he lived to a good old age, these complaints were, to some extent, engendered by the fried food they insist upon in Virginia, and addiction to Madeira wine instead of lighter French or German wines. He was one of the last of the old Madeira drinkers of this country, like Washington, and his only point of pride was that he had perhaps the best Madeira at Richmond. Above all other men who ever lived at Richmond, Virginia, Marshall gives sanctity and character to the place. His house still stands there, and ought to become the property of the bar of this country. It is now a pretty old house, made of brick and moderately roomy.


The basis of Marshall's ability at the bar was his understanding. Not highly read, he had one of those clear [pg 250]understandings which was equal to a mill-pond of book-learning. His first practice was among his old companions in arms, who felt that he was a soldier by nature, and one of those who loved the fellowship of the camp better than military or political ambition. Ragged and dissipated, they used to come to him for protection, and at a time when imprisonment for debt and cruel executions were in vogue. He not only defended them, but loaned them money. He lost some good clients by not paying more attention to his clothing, but these outward circumstances could not long keep back recognition of the fact that he was the finest arguer of a case at the Richmond bar, which then contained such men as Edmund Randolph, Patrick Henry, and later, William Wirt. He was not an orator, did not cultivate his voice, did not labor hard; but he had the power to penetrate to the very center of the subject, discover the chief point, and rally all his forces there. If he was defending a case, he would turn his attention to some other than the main point, in order to let the prosecution assemble its powers at the wrong place. With a military eye he saw the strong and weak positions, and, like Rembrandt painting, he threw all his light on the right spot. The character of his argument was a perspicuous, easy, onward, accumulative, reasoning statement. He had but one gesture--to lift up his hand and bring it down on the place before him constantly. He discarded fancy or poetry in his arguments. William Wirt said of him, in a sentence worth committing to memory as a specimen of good style in the early quarter of this century: "All his eloquence consists in the apparent deep self-conviction and emphatic earnestness of his manner; the corresponding simplicity and energy of his style; the close and logical connection of his thoughts, and the easy graduations by which he opens his lights on the attentive [pg 251]minds of his hearers. The audience are never permitted to pause for a moment. There is no stopping to weave garlands of flowers to hang in festoons around a favorite argument. On the contrary, every sentence is progressive; every idea sheds new light on the subject; the listener is kept perpetually in that sweetly pleasurable vibration with which the mind of man always receives new truths; the dawn advances with easy but unremitting pace; the subject opens gradually on the view, until, rising in high relief in all its native colors and proportions, the argument is consummated by the conviction of the delighted hearer."

Immediately after the Revolutionary War the State courts were crowded with business, because of the numerous bankruptcies, arising from war habits, the changes in the condition of families, repudiation of debts, false currency, etc. Marshall was one of the first lawyers who rose to the magnanimity to admit the propriety of a federal judiciary, different from that of the States. The other lawyers thought it would not do to take the business away from these courts. They preferred to see the people hanging around Richmond, with their cases undecided and unheard on account of the pressure of business, rather than to concede a national judiciary. All sorts of novel questions were arising at that time, cases which had no precedents, which the English law-books did not reach, and where the man of native powers, pushing out like Columbus on the unknown, soon developed a sturdy strength and self-reliance the mere popinjay and student of the law could never get. Among the cases he argued was the British debt case, tried in 1793. The United States now had its Circuit Court, and Chief-justice Jay presided at Richmond. The treaty of peace of England provided that the creditors on either side should meet with no lawful impediment to the recovery of [pg 252]the full value of all bona fide debts theretofore contracted. The question was whether debts sequestrated by the Virginia Legislature during the war came under this treaty. It is said that the Countess of Huntingdon heard the speeches on this case, and said that every one of the lawyers, if in England, would have been given a peerage. Patrick Henry broke his voice down in this case, and never again could speak with his old force. Marshall surpassed them all in the cogency of his reasoning. At that time he was thought to be rather lazy. He went into the State Legislature in 1782, just before he married. His personal influence was such in Richmond that, although he was constantly in the minority, he was always elected. His principal amusement was pitching the quoit, which he did to the end of his days, and could ring the meg, it is said, at a distance of sixty feet frequently. He arose early in the morning and went to market without a servant, and brought back his chickens in one hand and his market basket on the other arm. He never took offense, and once when a dude stopped him on the street and asked him where there was a fellow to take home his marketing, Marshall inquired where he lived, and said, "I will take it for you." After he got home with the other man's marketing, the dude was much distressed to find that Mr. Marshall had been his supposed servant.


Nevertheless, the intellectual existence of the man was decided. From the beginning of his life he took the view that while Virginia was the State of his birth, his country was America; that all he and his neighbors could accomplish on this planet would be under the great government which comprehends all, and, true to this one idea, he never wavered in his life. Mr. Jefferson, who was much his senior, [pg 253]he distrusted profoundly, regarding him as a man of cunning, lacking in large faith, and constitutionally biased in mind. In the sketch Marshall made of General Washington, he said, and it is believed that he referred to Jefferson: "He made no pretension to that vivacity which fascinates or to that wit which dazzles, and frequently imposes on the understanding. More solid than brilliant; judgment, rather than genius, constituted the most prominent feature of his character. No man has ever appeared upon the theater of public action whose integrity was more incorruptible, or whose principles were more perfectly free from the contamination of those selfish and unworthy passions which find their nourishment in the conflicts of party. Having no views which required concealment, his real and avowed motives were the same, and his whole correspondence does not furnish a single case from which even an enemy would infer that he was capable, under any circumstances, of stooping to the employment of duplicity. No truth can be uttered with more confidence than that his ends were always upright and his means always pure. He exhibited the rare example of a politician to whom wiles were totally unknown, and whose professions to foreign governments, and to his own countrymen, were always sincere. In him was fully exemplified the real distinction which found existence between wisdom and cunning, and the importance, as well as the truth of the maxim, that honesty is the best policy." It is to be noticed that Marshall's "Life of Washington," though written by the chief-justice of the United States, was not a success, and passed through only one edition. It gave him more annoyance than any thing in his life. He wrote it with labor and sincerity, but he was incapable of writing mere smart, vivacious things, and, in the attempt to give Washington his due proportions, he insensibly failed of making a popular book.

[pg 254]Jefferson, who had been urging Tobias Lear, Washington's secretary, to get out of Washington's papers remarks injurious to himself, was greatly exercised at the publication of Marshall's book about as much as the better element dudes are at Blaine's book.

Mr. Marshall, in 1788, assisted to make the new constitution of Virginia. By the desire of Washington he ran for Congress as a Federalist. President Washington offered him the place of attorney-general, which he declined. He also declined the minister to France, but subsequently accepted the position from President Adams, and in France was insulted with his fellow-members by Talleyrand. John Adams, on his return, wished to make him a member of the Supreme Court, but this he declined, preferring the practice of the law.

It was at Mount Vernon that Washington prevailed upon him to run for Congress. The story being raised that Patrick Henry was opposed to him, old Henry came forward and said: "I should rather give my vote to John Marshall than to any citizen of this State at this juncture, one only excepted," meaning Washington.

The father of Robert E. Lee was one of the old Federal minority rallying under Marshall. Marshall had scarcely taken his seat in Congress, in 1799, when Washington died, and he officially announced the death at Philadelphia, and followed his remarks by introducing the resolutions drafted by General Lee, which contained the words, "First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen."


John Marshall was next Secretary of State of John Adams, succeeding Timothy Pickering. Adams was defeated for re-election, but before he went out of office he appointed Marshall chief-justice, at the age of forty-five.

[pg 255]At the head of that great bench sat Marshall more than one-third of a century. Before him pleaded all the great lawyers of the country, like William Pinckney, Hugh Legaré, Daniel Webster, Horace Binney, Luther Martin, and Walter Jones.

John Marshall left as his great legacy to the United States his interpretation of the Constitution. While chief-justice he became a member of the Constitutional Convention of Virginia in company with Madison and Monroe, both of whom had been President. He gave the Federal Constitution its liberal interpretation, that it was not merely a bone thrown to the general government, which must be watched with suspicion while it ate, but that it was a document with something of the elasticity of our population and climate, and that it was designed to convey to the general state powers noble enough to give us respect.

Without a spot on his reputation, without an upright enemy, the old man attended to his duty absolutely, loved argument, encouraged all young lawyers at the bar, and he lived down to the time of nullification, and when General Jackson issued his proclamation against the nullifiers John Marshall and Judge Story went up to the White House and took a glass of wine with him.

And thus those two old men silently appreciated each other near the end of their days when the suspicions of Jefferson had resulted in incipient rebellion that was to break out in less than thirty years, and which Marshall predicted unless there was a more general assent to the fact that we were one country, and not a parcel of political chicken-coops.--GEORGE ALFRED TOWNSEND.

[pg 256]




Harrietta Rea, in The Christian Union, some time ago, drew a picture of home life in the West, which ought to be framed and hung up in every household of the land.

In one of the prairie towns of Northern Iowa, where the Illinois Central Railroad now passes from Dubuque to Sioux City, lived a woman whose experience repeats the truth that inherent forces, ready to be developed, are waiting for the emergencies that life may bring.

She was born and "brought up" in New England. With the advantages of a country school, and a few terms in a neighboring city, she became a fair scholar--not at all remarkable; she was married at twenty-one to a young farmer, poor, but intelligent and ambitious. In ten years, after the death of their parents they emigrated to Iowa, and invested their money in land that bade fair to increase in value, but far away from neighbors. Here they lived, a happy family, for five years, when he died, leaving her, at the age of thirty-five, with four boys, the eldest nearly fourteen, the youngest nine. The blow came suddenly, and at first was overwhelming. Alone, in what seemed almost a wilderness, she had no thought of giving up the farm. It was home. There they must stay and do the best they could. The prospect of a railroad passing near them, in time, was good; then some of the land might be sold. A little money bad been laid by--nothing that she ought to touch for the [pg 257]present. Daniel, the hired man, who had come out with them, and who was a devoted friend and servant, she determined to keep--his judgment was excellent in farm matters. Hitherto the boys had gone regularly to school, a mile or two away; for a settlement in Iowa was never without its school-house. They were bright and quick to learn. Their father had been eager to help and encourage them. Newspapers, magazines, and now and then a good book, had found their way into this household. Though very fond of reading herself, with the care of her house she had drifted along, as so many women do, until the discipline of study, or any special application, had been almost forgotten. It was the ambition of both parents that their sons should be well educated. Now Jerry and Thede, the two oldest, must be kept at home during the summer to work. Nate and Johnnie could help at night and in the morning. The boys had all been trained to habits of obedience. They were affectionate, and she knew that she could depend upon their love.

One evening, alone in her bedroom, she overheard some part of a conversation as the children were sitting together around the open fire-place:

"I don't mind the work," said Theodore, "if I could only be learning, too. Father used to say he wanted me to be a civil engineer."

"If father was here," said eleven-year-old Nate, "you could study evenings and recite to him. I wish mother could help; but, then I guess mother's--"

"Help how?" she heard Jerry ask sharply, before Nate could finish his sentence; and she knew the boy was jealous at once for her. "Isn't she the best mother in the world?"

"Yes, she is; and she likes stories, too; but I was just thinking, now that you can't go to school, if she only knew a lot about every thing, why, she could tell you."

[pg 258]"Well," replied Jerry, with all the gravity of a man, "we must just take hold and help all we can; it's going to be hard enough for mother. I just hate to give up school and pitch into work. Thede, you shall go next Winter, any way."

"Shan't we be lonesome next winter?" said little Johnnie, who had taken no part in the talk; until now; "won't mother be afraid? I want my father back," and, without a word of warning, he burst into tears.

Dead silence for a few minutes. The outburst was so sudden, she knew they were all weeping. It was Jerry again who spoke first: "Don't let mother see us crying. Come, Johnnie, let's take Bone, and all go down to the trap;" then she heard them pass out of the house.

Desolation fell upon that poor mother for the next hour. Like a knife, Nate's remark had passed through her heart, "Father could have helped!" Couldn't she help her boys, for whom she was ready to die? Was she only "mother," who prepared their meals and took care of their clothes? She wanted a part in the very best of their lives. She thought it all over, sitting up far into the night. If she could only create an interest in some study that should bind them all together, and in which she could lead! Was she too old to begin? Never had the desire to become the very center of interest to them taken such a hold upon her.

A few weeks after, she said one morning, at the breakfast table, "Boys, I've been thinking that we might begin geology this summer, and study it, all of us together. Your father and I meant to do it sometime. I've found a text-book; by and by, perhaps, Thede can draw us a chart. Jerry will take hold, I know, and Nate and Johnnie can hunt for specimens. We'll have an hour or two every night."

The children's interest awoke in a flash, and that very evening the question discussed was one brought in by Nate: [pg 259]"What is the difference between limestone and granite?" A simple one, but it opened the way for her, and their first meeting proved a success. She had to study each day to be ready and wide awake for her class. They lived in a limestone region. Different forms of coral abounded, and other fossils were plenty. An old cupboard in the shed was turned into a cabinet. One day Nate, who had wandered off two or three miles, brought home a piece of rock, where curious, long, finger-shaped creatures were imbedded. Great was the delight of all to find them described as orthoceratites, and an expedition to the spot was planned for some half-holiday. Question after question led back to the origin of the earth. She found the nebular hypothesis, and hardly slept one night trying to comprehend it clearly enough to put it before others in a simple fashion. Her book was always at hand. By and by they classified each specimen, and the best of their kind were taken to shelves in the sitting-room. Her own enthusiasm in study was aroused, and, far from a hardship, it now became a delight. Her spirit was contagious. The boys, always fond of "mother," wondered what new life possessed her; but they accepted the change all the same. She found that she could teach, and also could inspire her pupils. They heard of a gully, five or six miles away, where crystals had been found. Making a holiday, for which the boys worked like Trojans, they took their lunch in the farm wagon, and rode to the spot; and if their search was not altogether successful, it left them the memory of a happy time.

In the meantime the farm prospered. She did all the work in the house and all the sewing, going out, too, in the garden, where she raised a few flowers, and helping to gather vegetables. Daniel and the boys were bitterly opposed to her helping them. "Mother," said Jerry, "if you [pg 260]won't ever think you must go out, I'll do any thing to make up. I don't want you to look like those women we see sometimes in the fields." Generally she yielded; her work was enough for one pair of hands. Through it all now ran the thought that her children were growing up; they would become educated men; she would not let them get ahead, not so as to pass her entirely.

Winter came. Now Daniel could see to the work; but these habits of study were not to be broken. "Boys, let us form a history club," was the proposition; "it shan't interfere with your lessons at school." They took the history of the United States, which the two younger children were studying. Beginning with the New England settlements, and being six in number, they called each other, for the time, after the six States, persuading old Daniel to take his native Rhode Island. "That woman beats all creation," he was heard to exclaim, "the way she works all day and goes on at night over her books." The mother used to say she hardy knew if she were any older than her boys when they were trying to trip each other with questions. The teacher of the district school came over one Saturday afternoon. "I never had such pupils," said he, "as your sons, in history; and indeed they want to look into every thing." Afterward he heard with delight the story of their evening's work. The deep snows often shut them in, but the red light shone clearly and bright from that sitting-room window, and a merry group were gathered around the table. Every two weeks an evening was given to some journey. It was laid out in advance, and faithfully studied. Once, Theodore remembers, a shout of laughter was raised when nine o'clock came by Jerry's exclamation, "O, mother, don't go home now; we are all having such a good time!" Five years they lived in this way, and almost entirely by themselves. [pg 261]They studied botany. She knew the name of every tree and shrub for miles around. The little boys made a collection of birds' eggs, and then began to watch closely the habits of the birds. It was a pure, simple life. It would have been too wild and lonely but for the charm of this devoted mother. Her hours of loneliness were hidden from them; but she learned in an unusual degree to throw every energy into the day's work of study, and create, as it were, a fresh enthusiasm for the present hour. Her loving sacrifice was rewarded. Each child made her his peculiar confidante. She became the inspiration of his life.

English history opened a wide field to this family. One afternoon she brought in Shakespeare to prove some historical question. It was a rainy day, and the boys were all at home. Jerry began to read "Hamlet" aloud; it proved a treasure that brought them into a new world of delight. Sometimes they took different characters for representation, and the evening ended in a frolic; for good-natured mirth was never repressed.

First of all, a preparation had been made for the Sabbath. There was a church in this town, but at a distance of several miles, and during many days the roads were impassable. She had leaned upon infinite Strength, gathering wisdom through all these experiences. The secret of many a promise had been revealed to her understanding; and, above every thing, she desired that the Scriptures should become precious to her children. She took up Bible characters, bringing to bear the same vivid interest, the same power of making them realities.

These lessons were varied by little sketches or reports of one Sunday to be read aloud the next. Of this, Nate took hold with a special zest. None of this family could sing. She thought of a substitute. They learned the [pg 262]Psalms, much of Isaiah, and many hymns, repeating them in concert, learning to count upon this hour around the fire as others do upon their music. How many of these times came to her in after life--the vision of the bright faces of her boys as they clustered affectionately around her!

Time rolled by. The railroad passed through. A village sprang up, and the land was ready to sell. She could keep enough for her own use, and the boys could prepare for college. Thede and Nate went away to school. The old home was kept bright and pleasant; friends, new settlers, came in, and now there was visiting and social life.

Jerry stayed on the farm; Theodore became a civil engineer; Nate a minister; Johnnie went into business. Theodore used to say: "Mother, as I travel about, all the stones and the flowers make me think of you. I catch sight of some rock, and stop to laugh over those blessed times." Nate said: "Mother, when I am reading a psalm in the pulpit, there always comes to me a picture of those old evenings, with you in the rocking-chair by the firelight, and I hear all your voices again." Johnnie wrote: "Mother, I think that every thing I have has come to me through you." When Jerry, who remained faithful always, had listened to his brothers, he put his arm about her, saying tenderly: "There will never be any body like mother to me."

She died at sixty-five, very suddenly. Only a few hours before, she had exclaimed, as her children all came home together: "There never were such good boys as mine. You have repaid me a thousand-fold. God grant you all happy homes." They bore her coffin to the grave themselves. They would not let any other person touch it. In the evening they gathered around the old hearth-stone in the sitting-room, and drew their chairs together. No one spoke [pg 263]until Nate said, "Boys, let us pray;" and then, all kneeling around her vacant chair, he prayed that the mantle of their mother might fall upon them. They could ask nothing beyond that.

No Longer My Own.

In serving the Master I love,
    In doing his bidding each day,
The sweetness of bondage I prove,
    And sing, as I go on my way--
I never such freedom have known
As now I'm no longer my own.

His burden is easy to bear,
    My own was a mountain of lead;
His yoke it is gladness to wear,
    My own with my life-blood was red--
I never such gladness have known
As now I'm no longer my own.

Discharging the duties I owe
    To household and neighbor of mine,
The beauty of bondage I know,
    And count it as beauty divine--
I never such beauty have known
As now I'm no longer my own.

And everywhere, Master so dear,
    A dutiful bondman of thine,
All things my possession appear,
    Their glory so verily mine--
I never such glory have known
As now I'm no longer my own.

My heart overflows with brave cheer;
    For where is the bondage to dread,
As long as the Master is dear,
    And love that is selfish is dead!--
I never such safety have known
As now I'm no longer my own.
[pg 264]




The time is coming--indeed has come--when every writer will divide the subject of education into physical, moral, and intellectual. We recognize theoretically that physical education is the basis of all education. From the time of Plato down to the time of Horace Mann and Herbert Spencer that has been the theory. It has also been the theory of German educators. The idea that the mind is a distinct entity, apart from the body, was a theological idea that grew out of the reaction against pagan animalism. The development of the body among the Greeks and Romans was followed by those brutal exhibitions of physical prowess in the gladiatorial contests where the physical only was cultivated and honored. With the dawn of Christianity a reaction set in against this whole idea of developing the body. They thought no good could come from its supreme development, because they had seen so much evil. The priests represented the great danger which accompanied this physical training without moral culture, and there is no doubt that they were right to a certain degree. Give a man only supreme physical education, without any attention to the moral and intellectual, and he will go to pieces like our prize-fighters and athletes. But the Christians went to the other extreme. They practiced the most absurd system of asceticism, depriving themselves of natural food and rest, and, of course, the results which [pg 265]followed on a grand scale were just what would follow in the individual. Let a person follow the course they did, denying himself necessary raiment and food, taking no exercise, and living in retirement, and nervous prostration will follow, and hysterical disturbances and troubles. This result in the individual was found on a large scale throughout Christendom. The idea that the Christians brought down from the very earliest dawn of Christianity, that the body and soul are distinct, and that whatever is done to mortify the flesh increases the spiritual, life, has a grain of truth in it. There were men in our army who, half-starved, marched through the Southern swamps in a state of exaltation. They imagined they were walking through floral gardens, with birds flitting about and singing overhead. But it was an unnatural, morbid state. So priests deprived themselves of food, and reduced themselves to the lowest extent physically, and then saw visions; and were in an exalted mental state. But it was morbid. If a man sit up till twelve o'clock to write on a certain theme, he may not have a single idea until that hour; but then his mind begins to work, and perhaps he can work better than under any other circumstances. But his condition is abnormal. It does not represent the man's true state of health. He is gaining that momentary advancement of power at terrible cost.

This disregard of physical conditions is giving rise to national disturbance. It has thoroughly worked itself into our educational system. Though our schools profess to be purely secular, they still adhere to this old theological idea. You can not get teachers to enter with zest into exercises for physical development, because they think that a man who trains the body must be inferior to the man who trains the mind. They do not see that the two are closely allied. They will tell you that the time is all apportioned, so many [pg 266]hours for each study, and that if you take half an hour out for exercise the boy must lose so much Latin or Greek, or something else. The idea of the high-school is to get the boy into college. They care nothing about the condition of the individual. The individual must be sacrificed to the reputation of the school, or of the master; the standard must be kept up. If the master can not get just such a percentage of scholars into college, his own reputation and the reputation of the school are injured. If he can get this percentage into college, he does not care what becomes of the individual. Our schools treat a boy as professional trainers treat a man on the field; the only idea is to make the boy win a certain prize. They do not care any thing about his health; that is nothing to them. Their reputation is made upon the success of the boy in his entrance to college. Here I have to step in and say to the father: "This boy must not go any farther. His future prospects ought not to be sacrificed in this way. Your son's success in life does not depend upon his going through the Latin school. Let him step out and take another year. Do not attempt to crowd him." The result of this lack of attention to physical training, even looking at it from the intellectual stand-point, is fatal. The boy gets a disgust for study, as one does for any special kind of food when kept exclusively upon it. Many a fellow who stood high in school breaks away from books as soon as he enters college, and goes to the other extreme. That is nature's method of seeking relief. He has mental dyspepsia, and every opportunity that offers for physical play he accepts. He can not help it, and he ought not to be blamed for it, because it is the natural law.

The laws of assimilation govern the brain as well as the body. You can only store up just about so much matter--call [pg 267]it educational material if you will--in a given time. If you undertake to force the physical activity of the brain, you must supply it with more nourishment. If a boy takes no exercise to increase his appetite, if he does not invigorate and nourish his blood, which supplies brain substance, of course there is deterioration. If he has a good stock of reserve physical power he will get on very well for a while, but all at once he will come to a stop. How many hundreds of those who stood well when they entered college get to a certain point and can get no farther, because they have not the physical basis. They are like athletes who can run a certain speed, but can never get beyond that. On the other hand, men who have had a more liberal physical training will go right by them, though not such good scholars, because they have more of a basis back in the physical.

When these things are fully appreciated, the whole system of education will be revolutionized. To build the brain we must build the body. We must not sacrifice nerve tissue and nerve power in physical training, as there is danger of doing if gymnastics are not guided by professional men. But the proper training of the body should produce the highest intellectual results.

Certain parts of the body bear certain relations to one another. The office of the stomach is to supply the body with nourishment. The office of the heart is to pump this nourishment over the body. The office of the lungs is to feed the heart and stomach with pure blood. All support one another, and all are dependent on each other. If a boy sits in a cramped position in school, that interferes with the circulation of the blood, and that with the nourishment of the brain. You could in this way trace the cause of many a schoolboy's headache. Speaking roughly, we might say that one-half of the school children have a hollow at the [pg 268]bottom of the breast-bone from sitting in such positions, and this depression interferes with digestion. And the moment the stomach gives out, that affects the whole physical and mental condition. When nutrition is imperfect, the action of the heart and the distribution of the blood are interfered with.

The only way to remedy these evils is by popular education. It is of no use to attempt to bring about at once; any regular or prescribed system of exercise, requiring such exercises to be carried out in school, because our schools, like our theaters, are what the public make them. There is many a master who knows he is pursuing the wrong course, but he is kept to it by the anxious solicitations of parents who wish their children kept up to a certain rank. They are forced to follow the present system by the inordinate demands of parents. The parents must be educated. The father and mother must be converted to the necessity, the absolute necessity for success in life, of physical culture. There are plenty of men who stand as political and financial leaders who are not highly educated men. A man who has the rudiments of education--reading, writing, arithmetic--with a good physique, good health, a well-balanced and organized frame, brought into contact with the world, stands a better chance of success than the one who goes through school and takes a high rank at the expense of his physique.

Let a gifted but weakly lawyer go into a court-room and meet some bull-headed opponent with not half the keen insight or knowledge of the law, but one who has tenacity, ability to hold on, and nine times out ten the abler man of the two--mentally--goes home wearied and defeated, and the other man wins the case. Who are the men prominent in the pulpit? Are they weak, puny men, or men of physique? Who are the leaders in the Churches? They are not [pg 269]leaders on account of their intellectual brilliancy, but by their wholeness as men. They find sympathy with the people because they are good specimens of manhood. There might be many more such had they been better trained.

The best training-school for the body is the gymnasium. That is the purpose of all its appliances and apparatus. But it may be dispensed with if one has an adequate desire for physical training. Give a boy to understand that his body is not impure and vile, but that it is as much worth consideration as his mind, and that if he does not take carte of his body he can not do any thing with his mind, and ways of physical training will not be wanting.

All children should be examined at intervals by a physician, and a record kept of their development. I measure my little boy every year. I know how he is growing. If he has been subject to too much excitement, there will be larger relative growth of the head, and we adjust his manner of life accordingly. The object of education is to develop the boy, not to put him through so much of arithmetic or so much language. The object is to get out of the boy all there is in him. The first thing, then, is to have the boy examined. If, instead of calling a physician when the children are sick, he is called while they are well, it would be much better. Is he getting round-shouldered? Has he a crook in the back? Is he beginning to stoop? There are many things which can be stopped in a child which can never be changed after the habits are hardened. Too late the parent may find that his child is incapacitated for the highest education, because there is no room for the heart and lungs to play their parts. The boy is limited in his possibilities as a tree planted in unfavorable soil is limited. He is stunted. He will reach a certain limit, and no efforts on his part will carry him further. But if he has been taken [pg 270]in hand in time, and these suggestions acted upon, different results might have been produced. These efforts to develop the boy's body will awaken the interest of the boy himself. It does not awaken animalism. Let a man have pride in his body, and his morals will look out for themselves. If a a boy is thus examined, and a record kept, he will take a pride in keeping up his record. It is not necessary, then, to have appliances. He can make trees and clothes-horses and gates and fences take their place. Teach him the value of such opportunities. Teach him to increase the capacity of his lungs and heart, and what relation they bear to the brain, and thus awaken his interest. He will soon learn to exercise in the best way. When the parent has to watch a boy to see that he exercises, exercise is of little or no avail. But let the father and mother realize the full value and importance of the body, and the results will follow naturally. Every thing depends primarily upon the parent. If he simply commands exercise without sharing in it, he is like a father who lectures his sons about smoking and drinking while he smokes and drinks himself.

This is a great field. It is opening up broader every day. I do not know any field where a man can go more enthusiastically to work. It affects not only the physical, but the moral condition. We have brought about a higher moral tone at Harvard through physical training. There is less smoking and drinking by far than before the gymnasium was so universally used. Every thing that develops the whole man affects morals. Our Maker did not put us here merely to be trained for somewhere else. No one can walk through the streets of Boston without feeling that there is need enough of work to do right here, in bringing about a better condition of affairs; something which shall be nearer an ideal heaven on earth.--The Christian Union.

[pg 271]

God's harmony is written All through, in shining bars, The soul his love
has smitten, As heaven is writ with stars.
God's harmony is written All through, in shining bars, The soul his love has smitten, As heaven is writ with stars.




Her legend relates that about the year 230, which would be in the time of the Emperor Alexander. Severus, Cecilia, a Roman lady, born of a noble and rich family, who in early youth had been converted to Christianity, and had made a vow of perpetual virginity, was constrained by her parents to marry a certain Valerian, a pagan, whom she succeeded in converting to Christianity without infringing the vow she had made. She also converted her brother-in-law, Tiburtius, and a friend called Maximius, all of whom were martyred in consequence of their faith.

It is further related, among other circumstances purely legendary, that Cecilia often united instrumental music to that of her voice, in singing the praises of the Lord. On this all her fame has been founded, and she has become the special patroness of music and musicians all the world over. Half the musical societies of Europe have been named after her, and her supposed musical acquirements have led the votaries of a sister art to find subjects for their work in episodes of her life. The grand painting by Domenichino, at Bologna, in which the saint is represented as rapt in an ecstasy of devotion, with a small "organ," as it is called--an instrument resembling a large kind of Pandean pipes--in her hand, is well known, as is also Dryden's beautiful ode. The illustration which accompanies this chapter, after a [pg 272]painting by one of the brothers Caracci, of the seventeenth century, represents Cecilia at the organ. Borne heavenward on the tide of music, she sees a vision of the holy family, the child Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, with an angel near at hand in quiet gladness.

God's harmony is written
All through, in shining bars,
The soul His love has smitten
As heaven is writ with stars.


Music is so delightfully innocent and charming an art, that we can not wonder at finding it almost universally regarded as of divine origin. Pagan nations generally ascribe the invention of their musical instruments to their gods, or to certain superhuman beings of a godlike nature. The Hebrews attributed it to man, but as Jubal is mentioned as "the father of all such as handle the harp and organ" only, and as instruments of percussion were almost invariably in use long before people were led to construct stringed and wind instruments, we may suppose that, in the Biblical records, Jubal is not intended to be represented as the original inventor of all the Hebrew instruments, but rather as a great promoter of the art of music.

"However, be this as it may, this much is certain: there are among Christians at the present day not a few sincere upholders of the literal meaning of these records, who maintain that instrumental music was already practiced in heaven before the creation of the world. Elaborate treatises have been written on the nature and effect of that heavenly music, and passages from the Bible have been cited by the learned authors which are supposed to confirm indisputably the opinions advanced in their treatises.

"It may, at a first glance, appear singular that nations [pg 273]have not, generally, such traditional records respecting the originator of their vocal music as they have respecting the invention of their musical instruments. The cause is, however, explicable; to sing is-as natural to man as to speak, and uncivilized nations are not likely to speculate whether singing has ever been invented.

"There is no need to recount here the well-known mythological traditions of the ancient Greeks and Romans referring to the origin of their favorite musical instruments. Suffice it to remind the reader that Mercury and Apollo were believed to be the inventors of the lyre and cithara (guitar); that the invention of the flute was attributed to Minerva, and that Pan is said to have invented the syrinx. More worthy of our attention are some similar records of the Hindoos, because they have hitherto scarcely been noticed in any work on music.

"In the mythology of the Hindoos, the god Nareda is the inventor of the vina, the principal musical instrument of Hindoostan. Saraswati, the consort of Brahma, may be said to be considered as the Minerva of the Hindoos. She is the goddess of music as well as of speech. To her is attributed the invention of the systematic arrangement of the sounds into a musical scale. She is represented seated on a peacock and playing a stringed instrument of the guitar kind. Brahma, himself, we find depicted as a vigorous man with four handsome heads, beating with his hands upon a small drum. Arid Vishnu, in his incarnation as Krishna, is represented as a beautiful youth playing upon a flute. The Hindoos still possess a peculiar kind of flute which they consider as the favorite instrument of Krishna. Furthermore, they have the divinity of Genesa, the god of wisdom, who is represented as a man with the head of an elephant holding in his hands a tamboura, a kind of lute with a long neck.

[pg 274]"Among the Chinese, we meet with a tradition according to which they obtained their musical scale from a miraculous bird called Foung-hoang, which appears to have been a sort of phoenix. As regards the invention of musical instruments, the Chinese have various traditions. In one of these we are told that the origin of some of their most popular instruments dates from the period when China was under the 'dominion of the heavenly spirits called Ki. Another assigns the invention of several of their stringed instruments to the great Fohi, called the "Son of Heaven," who was, it is said, the founder of the Chinese Empire, and who is stated to have lived about B.C. 3000, which was long after the dominion of the Ki, or spirits. Again, another tradition holds that the most important Chinese musical instruments, and the systematic arrangement of the tones, are an invention of Niuva, a supernatural female, who lived at the time of Fohi, and who was a virgin-mother. When Confucius, the great Chinese philosopher, happened to hear, on a certain occasion, some divine music, he became so greatly enraptured that he could not take any food for three months. The music which produced the miraculous effect was that of Kouei, the Orpheus of the Chinese, whose performance on the king, a kind of harmonicon constructed of slabs of sonorous stone, would draw wild animals around him and make them subservient to his will.

"The Japanese have a beautiful tradition, according to which the Sun-goddess, in resentment of the violence of an evil-disposed brother, retired into a cave, leaving the universe in darkness and anarchy; when the beneficent gods, in their concern for the welfare of mankind, devised music to lure her forth from her retreat, and their efforts soon proved successful.

"The Kalmucks, in the vicinity of the Caspian Sea, adore [pg 275]a beneficient divinity called Maidari, who is represented as a rather jovial-looking man, with a mustache and imperial, playing upon an instrument with three strings, somewhat resembling the Russian balalaika.

"Almost all these ancient conceptions we meet with, also, among European nations, though more or less modified.

"Odin, the principal deity of the ancient Scandinavians, was the inventor of magic songs and Runic writings.

"In the Finnish mythology the divine Vainamoinen is said to have constructed the five-stringed harp, called kantele, the old national instrument of the Finns. The frame he made out of the bones of a pike, and the teeth of the pike he used for the tuning-pegs. The strings he made of hair from the tail of a spirited horse. When the harp fell into the sea and was lost, he made another, the frame of which was birchwood, with pegs made out of the branch of an oak-tree. As strings for this harp he used the silky hair of a young girl. Vainamoinen took his harp, and sat down on a hill, near a silvery brook. There he played with so irresistible an effect that he entranced whatever came within hearing of his music. Men and animals listened, enraptured; the wildest beasts of the forests lost their ferocity; the birds of the air were drawn toward him; the fishes rose to the surface of the water and remained immovable; the trees ceased to wave their branches; the brook retarded its course and the wind its haste; even the mocking echo approached stealthily, and listened with the utmost attention to the heavenly sounds. Soon the women began to cry; then the old men and the children also began to cry, and the girls and the young men--all cried for delight. At last Vainamoinen himself wept, and his big tears ran over his beard and rolled into the water and became beautiful pearls at the bottom of the sea.

[pg 276]"Several other musical gods, or godlike musicians, could be cited; and, moreover, innumerable minor spirits, all bearing evidence that music is of divine origin.

"True, people who think themselves more enlightened than their forefathers, smile at these old traditions, and say that the original home of music is the human heart. Be it so. But do not the purest and most beautiful conceptions of man partake of a divine character? Is not the art of music generally acknowledged to be one of these? And is it not, therefore, even independently of myths and mysteries, entitled to be called the divine art?"


"Give us," says Carlyle, "O, give us the man who sings at his work! Be his occupation what it may, he is equal to any of those who follow the same pursuit in silent sullenness. He will do more in the same time--he will do it better--he will persevere longer. One is scarcely sensible of fatigue whilst he marches to music. The very stars are said to make harmony as they revolve in their spheres. Wondrous is the strength of cheerfulness, altogether past calculation its powers of endurance. Efforts, to be permanently useful, must be uniformly joyous--a spirit all sunshine--graceful from very gladness--beautiful because bright."

Again, this author says, who had so much music in his heart, though not of the softest kind--rather of the epic sort:

"The meaning of song goes deep. Who is there that, in logical words, can express the effect music has on us? A kind of inarticulate, unfathomable speech, which leads to the edge of the infinite, and lets us for moments gaze into that!"

[pg 277]The late Canon Kingsley certainly conceived much of the height and depth, and length and breath of song, when he wrote:

"There is music in heaven, because in music there is no self-will. Music goes on certain rules and laws. Man did not make these laws of music; he has only found them out; and, if he be self-willed and break them, there is an end of his music instantly: all he brings out is discord and ugly sounds: The greatest musician in the world is as much bound by those laws as the learner in the school; and the greatest musician is one who, instead of fancying that because he is clever he may throw aside the laws of music, knows the laws of music best, and observes them most reverently. And therefore it was that the old Greeks, the wisest of the heathens, made a point of teaching their children music; because, they said, it taught them not to be self-willed and fanciful, but to see the beauty, the usefulness of rule, the divineness of laws. And, therefore, music is fit for heaven; therefore music is a pattern and type of heaven, and of the everlasting life of God which perfect spirits live in heaven; a life of melody and order in themselves; a life of harmony with each other and with God.

"If thou fulfillest the law which God has given thee, the law of love and liberty, then thou makest music before God, and thy life is a hymn of praise to God.

"If thou act in love and charity with thy neighbors, thou art making sweeter harmony in the ears of our Lord Jesus Christ than psaltery, dulcimer, and all other kinds of music.

"If thou art living a righteous and a useful life, doing thy duty orderly and cheerfully where God has put thee, then thou art making sweeter melody in the ears of the Lord Jesus Christ than if thou hast the throat of the nightingale; for then thou, in thy humble place, art humbly [pg 278]copying the everlasting harmony and melody by which God made the worlds and all that therein is, and, behold, it was very good, in the day when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy over the new-created earth, which God made to be a pattern of his own perfection."

The minstrel's heart in sadness
    Was wrestling with his fate;
"Am I the sport of madness,"
    He sighed, "and born too late?"

"No gifts are ever given,"
    A friendly voice replied,
"On which the smile of Heaven
    Does not indeed abide.

God's harmony is written
    All through, in shining bars,
The soul his love has smitten,
    As heaven is writ with stars.

The major notes and minor
    Are waiting for their wings;
Pray thou the great Diviner
    To touch the secret springs.

He may not give expression
    In any ocean-tide,
But music, like confession,
    Will waft thee to his side;

Where thou, as on a river,
    The current deep and strong,
Shalt sail with him forever
    Into the land of song."
[pg 279]



(BORN 1786--DIED 1859.)


The "English Opium-eater" himself told publicly, throughout a period of between thirty and forty years, whatever is known about him to any body; and in sketching the events of his life, the recorder has little more to do than to indicate facts which may be found fully expanded in Mr. De Quincey's "Confessions of an Opium-eater" and "Autobiographic Sketches." The business which he, in fact, left for others to do is that which, in spite of obvious impossibility, he was incessantly endeavoring to do himself--that of analyzing and forming a representation and judgment of his mind, and of his life as molded by his mind. The most intense metaphysician of a time remarkable for the predominance of metaphysical modes of thought, he was as completely unaware, as smaller men of his mental habits, that in his perpetual self-study and analysis he was never approaching the truth, for the simple reason that he was not even within ken of the necessary point of view. "I," he says, "whose disease it was to meditate too much and to observe too little." And the description was a true one, as far as it went. And the completion of the description was one which he could never have himself arrived at. It must, we think, be concluded of De Quincey that he was the most remarkable instance in his time of a more than abnormal, of an artificial, condition of body and mind--a characterization which he must necessarily [pg 280]be the last man to conceive of. To understand this, it is necessary to glance at the events of his life. The briefest notice will suffice, as they are within the reach of all, as related in his own books.

Thomas De Quincey was the son of a merchant engaged in foreign commerce, and was born at Manchester in 1786. He was one of eight children, of whom no more than six were ever living at once, and several of whom died in infancy. The survivors were reared in a country home, the incidents of which, when of a kind to excite emotion, impressed themselves on this singular child's memory from a very early age. We have known only two instances, in a rather wide experience of life, of persons distinctly remembering so far back as a year and a half old. This was De Quincey's age when three deaths happened in the family, which he remembered, not by tradition, but by his own contemporary emotions. A sister of three and a half died, and he was perplexed by her disappearance, and terrified by the household whisper that she had been ill-used just before her death by a servant. A grandmother died about the same time, leaving little impression, because she had been little seen. The other death was of a beloved kingfisher, by a doleful accident. When the boy was five, he lost his playfellow and, as he says, intellectual guide, his sister Elizabeth, eight years old, dying of hydrocephalus, after manifesting an intellectual power which the forlorn brother recalled with admiration and wonder for life. The impression was undoubtedly genuine; but it is impossible to read the "Autobiographical Sketch" in which the death and funeral of the child are described without perceiving that the writer referred back to the period he was describing with emotions and reflex sensations which arose in him and fell from the pen at the moment. His father, meantime, was residing [pg 281]abroad, year after year, as a condition of his living at all; and he died of pulmonary consumption before Thomas was seven years old. The elder brother, then twelve, was obviously too eccentric for home management, if not for all control; and, looking no further than these constitutional cases, we are warranted in concluding that the Opium-eater entered life under peculiar and unfavorable conditions.

He passed through a succession of schools, and was distinguished by his eminent knowledge of Greek. At fifteen he was pointed out by his master (himself a ripe scholar) to a stranger in the remarkable words, "That boy could harangue an Athenian mob better than you or I could address an English one." And it was not only the Greek, we imagine, but the eloquence, too, was included in this praise. In this, as in the subtlety of the analytical power (so strangely mistaken for entire intellectual supremacy in our day), De Quincey must have strongly resembled Coleridge. Both were fine Grecians, charming discoursers, eminent opium-takers, magnificent dreamers and seers; large in their promises, and helpless in their failure of performance. De Quincey set his heart upon going to college earlier than his guardians thought proper; and, on his being disappointed in this matter, he ran away from his tutor's house, and was lost for several months, first in Wales and afterward in London. He was then sixteen. His whole life presents no more remarkable evidence of his constant absorption in introspection than the fact that, while tortured with hunger in the streets of London, for many weeks, and sleeping (or rather lying awake with cold and hunger) on the floor of an empty house, it never once occurred to him to earn money. As a classical corrector of the press, and in other ways, he might no doubt have obtained employment; but it was not till afterward asked why he did not, that the idea ever [pg 282]entered his mind. How he starved, how he would have died but for a glass of spiced wine in the middle of the night on some steps in Soho Square, the Opium-eater told all the world above thirty years since; and also of his entering college; of the love of wine generated by the comfort it had yielded in his days of starvation; and again, of the disorder of the functions of the stomach which naturally followed, and the resort to opium as a refuge from the pain. It is to be feared that the description given in those extraordinary "Confessions" has acted more strongly in tempting young people to seek the eight years' pleasures he derived from laudanum than, that of his subsequent torments in deterring them. There was no one to present to them the consideration that the peculiar organization of De Quincey, and his bitter sufferings, might well make a recourse to opium a different thing to him than to any body else. The quality of his mind and the exhausted state of his body enhanced to him the enjoyments which he called "divine," whereas there is no doubt of the miserable pain by which men of all constitutions have to expiate an habitual indulgence in opium. Others than De Quincey may or may not procure the pleasures he experienced; but it is certain that every one must expiate his offense against the laws of the human frame. And let it be remembered that De Quincey's excuse is as singular as his excess. Of the many who have emulated his enjoyment, there can hardly have been one whose stomach had been well-nigh destroyed by months of incessant, cruel hunger.

This event of his life, his resort to opium, absorbed all the rest. There is little more to tell in the way of incident. His existence was thenceforth a series of dreams, undergone in different places, now at college, and now in a Westmoreland cottage, with a gentle, suffering wife, by his side, striving [pg 283]to minister to a need which was beyond the reach of nursing. He could amuse his predominant faculties by reading metaphysical philosophy and analytical reasoning on any subject, and by elaborating endless analyses and reasonings of his own, which he had not energy to embody. Occasionally the torpor encroached even on his predominant faculties, and then he roused himself to overcome the habit; underwent fearful suffering in the weaning; began to enjoy the vital happiness of temperance and health, and then fell back again. The influence upon the moral energies of his nature was, as might be supposed, fatal. Such energy he once had, as his earlier efforts at endurance amply testify. But as years passed on, he had not only become a more helpless victim to his prominent vice, but manifested an increasing insensibility to the most ordinary requisitions of honor and courtesy, to say nothing of gratitude and sincerity. In his hungry days, in London, he would not beg nor borrow. Five years later he wrote to Wordsworth, in admiration and sympathy; received an invitation to his Westmoreland Valley; went, more than once, within a few miles, and withdrew and returned to Oxford, unable to conquer his painful shyness; returned at last to live there, in the very cottage which had been Wordsworth's; received for himself, his wife, and a growing family of children, an unintermitting series of friendly and neighborly offices; was necessarily admitted to much household confidence, and favored with substantial aid, which was certainly not given through any strong liking for his manners, conversation, or character. How did he recompense all this exertion and endurance oh his behalf? In after years, when living (we believe) at Edinburgh, and pressed by debt, he did for once exert himself to write, and what he wrote was an exposure of every thing about the Wordsworths which he knew merely [pg 284]by their kindness. He wrote papers, which were eagerly read, and, of course, duly paid for, in which Wordsworth's personal foibles were malignantly exhibited with ingenious aggravations. The infirmities of one member of the family, the personal blemish of another, and the human weaknesses of all, were displayed, and all for the purpose of deepening the dislike against Wordsworth himself, which the receiver of his money, the eater of his dinners, and the dreary provoker of his patience strove to excite. Moreover, he perpetrated an act of treachery scarcely paralleled, we hope, in the history of literature. In the confidence of their most familiar days, Wordsworth had communicated portions of his posthumous poem to his guest, who was perfectly well aware that the work was to rest in darkness and silence till after the poet's death. In these magazine articles DeQuincey, using for this atrocious purpose his fine gift of memory, published a passage, which he informed us was of far higher merit than any thing else we had to expect. And what was Wordsworth's conduct under this unequaled experience of bad faith and bad feeling? While so many anecdotes were going of the poet's fireside, the following ought to be added: An old friend was talking with him by that fireside, and mentioned DeQuincey's magazine articles. Wordsworth begged to be spared any account of them, saying that the man had long passed away from the family life and mind, and that he did not wish to ruffle himself in a useless way about a misbehavior which could not be remedied. The friend acquiesced, saying: "Well, I will tell you only one thing that he says, and then we will talk of other things. He says your wife is too good for you." The old poet's dim eyes lighted up instantly, and he started from his seat and flung himself against the mantel-piece, with his back to the fire, as he cried with loud enthusiasm: "And that's true! There [pg 285]he is right!" And his disgust and contempt for the traitor were visibly moderated.

During a long course of years DeQuincey went on dreaming always, sometimes scheming works of high value and great efficacy, which were never to exist; promising largely to booksellers and others, and failing through a weakness so deep-seated that it should have prevented his making any promises. When his three daughters were grown up, and his wife was dead, he lived in a pleasant cottage at Lasswade, near Edinburgh, well-known by name to those who have never seen its beauties as the scene of Scott's early married life and first great achievements in literature. There, while the family fortunes were expressly made contingent on his abstinence from his drug, DeQuincey did abstain, or observe moderation. His flow of conversation was then the delight of old acquaintance and admiring strangers, who came to hear the charmer and to receive the impression, which could never be lost, of the singular figure and countenance and the finely modulated voice, which were like nothing else in the world. It was a strange thing to look upon the fragile form and features, which might be those of a dying man, and to hear such utterances as his--now the strangest comments and insignificant incidents; now pregnant remarks on great subjects, and then malignant gossip, virulent and base, but delivered with an air and a voice of philosophical calmness and intellectual commentary such as caused the disgust of the listener to be largely qualified with amusement and surprise. One good thing was, that nobody's name and fame could be really injured by any thing DeQuincey could say. There was such a grotesque air about the mode of his evil speaking, and it was so gratuitous and excessive, that the hearer could not help regarding it as a singular sort of intellectual exercise, or an effort in [pg 286]the speaker to observe, for once, something outside of himself, rather than as any token of actual feeling towards the ostensible object.

Let this strange commentator on individual character meet with more mercy and a wiser interpretation than he was himself capable of. He was not made like other men; and he did not live, think, or feel like them. A singular organization was singularly and fatally deranged in its action before it could show its best quality. Marvelous analytical faculty he had; but it all oozed out in barren words. Charming eloquence he had; but it degenerated into egotistical garrulity, rendered tempting by the gilding of his genius. It is questionable whether, if he had never touched opium or wine, his real achievements would have been substantial, for he had no conception of a veritable stand-point of philosophical investigation; but the actual effect of his intemperance was to aggravate to excess his introspective tendencies, and to remove him incessantly further from the needful discipline of true science. His conditions of body and mind were abnormal, and his study of the one thing he knew any thing about--the human mind--was radically imperfect. His powers, noble and charming as they might have been, were at once wasted and weakened through their own partial excess. His moral nature relaxed and sank, as must always be the case where sensibility is stimulated and action paralyzed; and the man of genius who, forty years before his death, administered a moral warning to all England, and commanded the sympathy and admiration of a nation, lived on, to achieve nothing but the delivery of some confidences of questionable value and beauty, and to command from us nothing more than a compassionate sorrow that an intellect so subtle and an eloquence so charming in its pathos, its humor, its insight, [pg 287]and its music, should have left the world in no way the better for such gifts, unless by the warning afforded in "Confessions" first, and then, by example, against the curse which neutralized their influence and corrupted its source.--HARRIET MARTINEAU.

[pg 288]




O did you not see him that over the snow
Came on with a pace so cautious and slow?--

That measured his step to a pendulum-tick,
Arriving in town when the darkness was thick?

In the midst of a vision of mind and heart,
A drama above all human art,

I saw him last night, with locks so gray,
A long way off, as the light died away.

And I knew him at once, so often before
Had he silently, mournfully passed at my door.

He must be cold and weary, I said,
Coming so far, with that measured tread.

I will urge him to linger awhile with me
Till his withering chill and weariness flee.

A story--who knows?--he may deign to rehearse,
And when he is gone I will put it in verse.

I turned to prepare for the coming guest,
With curious, troublous thoughts oppressed.

The window I cheered with the taper's glow
Which glimmered afar o'er the spectral snow.

My anxious care the hearth-stone knew,
And the red flames leaped and beckoned anew.

But chiefly myself, with singular care,
Did I for the hoary presence prepare.

[pg 289]Yet with little success, as I paced the room,
Did I labor to banish a sense of gloom.

My thoughts were going and coming like bees,
With store from the year's wide-stretching leas;

Some laden with honey, some laden with gall,
And into my heart they dropped it all!

O miserable heart! at once overrun
With the honey and gall thou can'st not shun.

O wretched heart! in sadness I cried,
Where is thy trust in the Crucified?

And in wrestling prayer did I labor long
That the Mighty One would make me strong.

That prayer was more than a useless breath:
It brought to my soul God's saving health.

The hours went by on their drowsy flight,
And came the middle watch of the night;

In part unmanned in spite of my care,
I beheld my guest in the taper's glare,

A wall of darkness around him thick,
As onward he came to a pendulum-tick.

Then quickly I opened wide the door,
And bade him pass my threshold o'er,

And linger awhile away from the cold,
And repeat some story or ballad old,--

His weary limbs to strengthen with rest,
For his course to the ever-receding West.

Through the vacant door in wonder I glanced,
And stood--was it long?--as one entranced.

[pg 290]Silence so awful did fill the room,
That the tick of the clock was a cannon's boom.

And my heart it sank to its lowest retreat,
And in whelming awe did muffle its beat.

For now I beheld, as never before;
And heard to forget--ah, nevermore!

For with outstretched hand, with scythe and glass,
With naught of a pause did the traveler pass.

And with upturned face he the silence broke,
And thus, as he went, he measuredly spoke:

My journey is long, but my limbs are strong;
And I stay not for rest, for story, or song.

It is only a dirge, that ever I sing;
It is only of death, the tale that I bring;

Of death that is life, as it cometh to pass;
Of death that is death, alas! alas!

And these I chant, as I go on my way,
As I go on my way forever and aye.

Call not thyself wretched, though bitter and sweet
In thy cup at this hour intermingle and meet.

Some cloud with the sunshine must ever appear,
And darkness prevails till morning is near.

But who doth remember the gloom and the night,
When the sky is aglow with the beautiful light?

O alas! if thou drinkest the bitter alone,
Nor heaven nor earth may stifle thy moan!

Thy moan!--and the echo died away--
Thy moan! thy moan forever and aye!

[pg 291]His measured voice I heard no more;
But not till I stand on eternity's shore,

And the things of time be forgotten all,
Shall I cease that traveler's words to recall.

As onward he moved to a pendulum-tick,
The gloom and the darkness around him thick,

I fell on my knees and breathed a prayer;
And it rose, I ween, through the midnight air,

To a God who knoweth the wants and all
The evil and good of this earthly thrall;

To One who suffered as on this day,
And began our sins to purge away:

To Him who hath promised to heed our cry,
And a troubled heart to purify.

And I feel that the gall will ever grow less,
Till I see His face in righteousness.

And now my soul is filled with cheer
For the march of a bright and happy New Year.

As years roll on, whether sun doth shine
Or clouds overcast, I will never repine;

For I know, when the race of time is run,
I shall enter a realm of Eternal Sun.
[pg 292]



(BORN 1628--DIED 1688.)


John Bunyan, the most popular religious writer in the English language, was born at Elstow, about a mile from Bedford, in the year 1628. He may be said to have been born a tinker. The tinkers then formed a hereditary caste, which was held in no high estimation. They were generally vagrants and pilferers, and were often confounded with the gypsies, whom, in truth, they nearly resembled. Bunyan's father was more respectable than most of the tribe. He had a fixed residence, and was able to send his son to a village school, where reading and writing were taught.

The years of John's boyhood were those during which the Puritan spirit was in the highest vigor all over England; and nowhere had that spirit more influence than in Bedfordshire. It is not wonderful, therefore, that a lad to whom nature had given a powerful imagination, and sensibility which amounted to a disease, should have been early haunted by religious terrors. Before he was ten, his sports were interrupted by fits of remorse and despair; and his sleep was disturbed by dreams of fiends trying to fly away with him. As he grew older, his mental conflicts became still more violent. The strong language in which he described them has strangely misled all his biographers except Mr. Southey. It has long been an ordinary practice with pious writers to cite Bunyan as an instance of the supernatural power of divine [pg 293]grace to rescue the human soul from the lowest depths of wickedness. He is called in one book the most notorious of profligates; in another, the brand plucked from the burning. He is designated in Mr. Ivimey's "History of the Baptists" as the depraved Bunyan, the wicked tinker of Elstow. Mr. Ryland, a man once of great note among the Dissenters, breaks out into the following rhapsody: "No man of common sense and common integrity can deny that Bunyan was a practical atheist, a worthless, contemptible infidel, a vile rebel to God and goodness, a common profligate, a soul-despising, a soul-murdering, a soul-damning, thoughtless wretch as could exist on the face of the earth. Now, be astonished, O heavens, to eternity! and wonder, O earth and hell, while time endures! Behold this very man become a miracle of mercy, a mirror of wisdom, goodness, holiness, truth, and love." But whoever takes the trouble to examine the evidence, will find that the good men who wrote this had been deceived by a phraseology which, as they had been hearing it and using it all their lives, they ought to have understood better. There can not be a greater mistake than to infer, from the strong expressions in which a devout man bemoans his exceeding sinfulness, that he has led a worse life than his neighbors. Many excellent persons, whose moral character from boyhood to old age has been free from any stain discernible to their fellow-creatures, have, in their autobiographies and diaries, applied to themselves, and doubtless with sincerity, epithets as severe as could be applied to Titus Oates or Mrs. Brownrigg. It is quite certain that Bunyan was, at eighteen, what, in any but the most austerely Puritan circles, would have been considered as a young man of singular gravity and innocence. Indeed, it may be remarked that he, like many other penitents who, in general terms, acknowledged themselves to [pg 294]have been the worst of mankind, fired up and stood vigorously on his defense whenever any particular charge was brought against him by others. He declares, it is true, that he had let loose the reins on the neck of his lusts, that he had delighted in all transgressions against the divine law, and that he had been the ringleader of the youth of Elstow in all manner of vice. But, when those who wished him ill accused him of licentious amours, he called on God and the angels to attest his purity. No woman, he said, in heaven, earth, or hell could charge him with having ever made any improper advances to her. Not only had he been strictly faithful to his wife, but he had, even before marriage, been perfectly spotless. It does not appear from his own confessions, or from the railings of his enemies, that he ever was drunk in his life. One bad habit he contracted, that of using profane language; but he tells us that a single reproof cured him so effectually that he never offended again. The worst that can be laid to the charge of this poor youth, whom it has been the fashion to represent as the most desperate of reprobates, as a village Rochester, is that he had a great liking for some diversions, quite harmless in themselves, but condemned by the rigid precisians among whom he lived, and for whose opinion he had a great respect. The four chief sins of which he was guilty were dancing, ringing the bells of the parish church, playing at tip-cat, and reading the "History of Sir Bevis of Southampton." A rector of the school of Laud would have held such a young man up to the whole parish as a model. But Bunyan's notions of good and evil had been learned in a very different school; and he was made miserable by the conflict between his tastes and his scruples.

When he was about seventeen, the ordinary course of his life was interrupted by an event which gave a lasting color [pg 295]to his thoughts. He enlisted in the Parliamentary army, and served during the decisive campaign of 1645. All that we know of his military career is that, at the siege of Leicester, one of his comrades, who had taken his post, was killed by a shot from the town. Bunyan ever after considered himself as having been saved from death by the special interference of Providence. It may be observed that his imagination was strongly impressed by the glimpse which he had caught of the pomp of war. To the last he loved to draw his illustrations of sacred things from camps and fortresses, from guns, drums, trumpets, flags of truce, and regiments arrayed, each under its own banner. His Greatheart, his Captain Boanerges, and his Captain Credence are evidently portraits, of which the originals were among those martial saints who fought and expounded in Fairfax's army.

In a few months Bunyan returned home and married. His wife had some pious relations, and brought him as her only portion some pious books. And now his mind, excitable by nature, very imperfectly disciplined by education, and exposed, without any protection, to the infectious virulence of the enthusiasm which was then epidemic in England, began to be fearfully disordered. In outward things he soon became a strict Pharisee. He was constant in attendance at prayers and sermons. His favorite amusements were, one after another, relinquished, though not without many painful struggles. In the middle of a game at tip-cat he paused, and stood staring wildly upward with his stick in his hand. He had heard a voice asking him whether he would leave his sins and go to heaven, or keep his sins and go to hell; and he had seen an awful countenance frowning on him from the sky. The odious vice of bell-ringing he renounced; but he still for a time ventured to go to the [pg 296]church-tower and look on while others pulled the ropes. But soon the thought struck him that, if he persisted in such wickedness, the steeple would fall on his head; and he fled in terror from the accursed place. To give up dancing on the village green was still harder; and some months elapsed before he had the fortitude to part with this darling sin. When this last sacrifice had been made, he was, even when tried by the maxims of that austere time, faultless. All Elstow talked of him as an eminently pious youth. But his own mind was more unquiet than ever. Having nothing more to do in the way of visible reformation, yet finding in religion no pleasures to supply the place of the juvenile amusements which he had relinquished, he began to apprehend that he lay under some special malediction; and he was tormented by a succession of fantasies which seemed likely to drive him to suicide or to Bedlam.

At one time he took it into his head that all persons of Israelite blood would be saved, and tried to make out that he partook of that blood; but his hopes were speedily destroyed by his father, who seems to have had no ambition to be regarded as a Jew.

At another time, Bunyan was disturbed by a strange dilemma: "If I have not faith, I am lost; if I have faith, I can work miracles." He was tempted to cry to the puddles between Elstow and Bedford, "Be ye dry," and to stake his eternal hopes on the event.

Then he took up a notion that the day of grace for Bedford and the neighboring villages was passed; that all who were to be saved in that part of England were already converted; and that he had begun to pray and strive some months too late.

Then he was harassed by doubts whether the Turks were not in the right, and the Christians in the wrong. [pg 297]Then he was troubled by a maniacal impulse which prompted him to pray to the trees, to a broomstick, to the parish bull. As yet, however, he was only entering the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Soon the darkness grew thicker. Hideous forms floated before him. Sounds of cursing and wailing were in his ears. His way ran through stench and fire, close to the mouth of the bottomless pit. He began to be haunted by a strange curiosity about the unpardonable sin, and by a morbid longing to commit it. But the most frightful of all the forms which his disease took was a propensity to utter blasphemy, and especially to renounce his share in the benefits of the redemption. Night and day, in bed, at table, at work, evil spirits, as he imagined, were repeating close to his ear the words, "Sell him! sell him!" He struck at the hobgoblins; he pushed them from him; but still they were ever at his side. He cried out in answer to them, hour after hour, "Never, never! not for thousands of worlds--not for thousands!" At length, worn out by this long agony, he suffered the fatal words to escape him, "Let him go, if he will." Then his misery became more fearful than ever. He had done what could not be forgiven. He had forfeited his part of the great sacrifice. Like Esau, he had sold his birthright, and there was no longer any place for repentance. "None," he afterward wrote, "knows the terrors of those days but myself." He has described his sufferings with singular energy, simplicity, and pathos. He envied the brutes; he envied the very stones in the street, and the tiles on the houses. The sun seemed to withhold its light and warmth from him. His body, though cast in a sturdy mould, and though still in the highest vigor of youth, trembled whole days together with the fear of death and judgment. He fancied that this trembling was the sign set on the worst reprobates, the sign [pg 298]which God had put on Cain. The unhappy man's emotion destroyed his power of digestion. He had such pains that he expected to burst asunder like Judas, whom he regarded as his prototype.

Neither the books which Bunyan read nor the advisers whom he consulted were likely to do much good in a case like his. His small library had received a most unseasonable addition--the account of the lamentable end of Francis Spira. One ancient man of high repute for piety, whom the sufferer consulted gave an opinion which might well have produced fatal consequences. "I am afraid," said Bunyan, "that I have committed the sin against the Holy Ghost." "Indeed," said the old fanatic, "I am afraid that you have."

At length the clouds broke; the light became clearer and clearer, and the enthusiast, who had imagined that he was branded with the mark of the first murderer, and destined to the end of the arch-traitor, enjoyed peace and a cheerful confidence in the mercy of God. Years elapsed, however, before his nerves, which had been so perilously overstrained, recovered their tone. When he had joined a Baptist society at Bedford, and was for the first time admitted to partake of the Eucharist, it was with difficulty that he could refrain from imprecating destruction on his brethren while the cup was passing from hand to hand. After he had been some time a member of the congregation he began to preach; and his sermons produced a powerful effect. He was, indeed, illiterate; but he spoke to illiterate men. The severe training through which he had passed had given him such an experimental knowledge of all the modes of religious melancholy as he could never have gathered from books; and his vigorous genius, animated by a fervent spirit of devotion, enabled him not only to exercise a great influence over the vulgar, but even to extort the half-contemptuous [pg 299]admiration of scholars. Yet it was long before he ceased to be tormented by an impulse which urged him to utter words of horrible impiety in the pulpit.

Counter-irritants are of as great use in moral as in physical diseases. It should seem that Bunyan was finally relieved from the internal sufferings which had embittered his life by sharp persecution from without. He had been five years a preacher when the Restoration put it in the power of the Cavalier gentlemen and clergymen all over the country to oppress the Dissenters; and, of all the Dissenters whose history is known to us, he was, perhaps, the most hardly treated. In November, 1660, he was flung into Bedford jail; and there he remained, with some intervals of partial and precarious liberty, during twelve years. His persecutors tried to extort from him a promise that he would abstain from preaching; but he was convinced that he was divinely set apart and commissioned to be a teacher of righteousness, and he was fully determined to obey God rather than man. He was brought before several tribunals, laughed at, caressed, reviled, menaced, but in vain. He was facetiously told that he was quite right in thinking that he ought not to hide his gift; but that his real gift was skill in repairing old kettles. He was compared to Alexander the coppersmith. He was told that, if he would give up preaching, he should be instantly liberated. He was warned that, if he persisted in disobeying the law, he would be liable to banishment; and that if he were found in England after a certain time, his neck would be stretched. His answer was, "If you let me out to-day, I will preach again to-morrow." Year after year he lay patiently in a dungeon, compared with which the worst prison now to be found in the island is a palace. His fortitude is the more extraordinary because his domestic feelings were unusually strong. [pg 300]Indeed, he was considered by his stern brethren as somewhat too fond and indulgent a parent. He had several small children, and among them a daughter who was blind, and whom he loved with peculiar tenderness. He could not, he said, bear even to let the wind blow on her; and now she must suffer cold and hunger, she must beg, she must be beaten. "Yet," he added, "I must, I must do it." While he lay in prison, he could do nothing in the way of his old trade for the support of his family. He determined, therefore, to take up a new trade. He learned to make long tagged thread-laces; and many thousands of these articles were furnished by him to the hawkers. While his hands were thus busied, he had other employment for his mind and his lips. He gave religious instruction to his fellow-captives, and formed from among them a little flock, of which he was himself the pastor. He studied indefatigably the few books which he possessed. His two chief companions were the Bible and Fox's "Book of Martyrs." His knowledge of the Bible was such that he might have been called a living concordance; and on the margin of his copy of the "Book of Martyrs" are still legible the ill-spelled lines of doggerel in which he expressed his reverence for the brave sufferers, and his implacable enmity to the mystical Babylon.

At length he began to write, and though it was some time before he discovered where his strength lay, his writings were not unsuccessful. They were coarse, indeed, but they showed a keen mother-wit, a great command of the homely mother-tongue, an intimate knowledge of the English Bible, and a vast and dearly bought spiritual experience. They, therefore, when the corrector of the press had improved the syntax and the spelling, were well received by the humbler class of Dissenters.

[pg 301]Much of Bunyan's time was spent in controversy. He wrote sharply against the Quakers, whom he seems always to have held in utter abhorrence. It is, however, a remarkable fact that he adopted one of their peculiar fashions; his practice was to write, not November or December, but eleventh month and twelfth month.

He wrote against the liturgy of the Church of England. No two things, according to him, had less affinity than the form of prayer and the spirit of prayer. Those, he said with much point, who have most of the spirit of prayer are all to be found in jail; and those who have most zeal for the form of prayer are all to be found at the ale-house. The doctrinal articles, on the other hand, he warmly praised, and defended against some Arminian clergymen who had signed them. The most acrimonious of all his works is his answer to Edward Fowler, afterward bishop of Gloucester, an excellent man, but not free from the taint of Pelagianism.

Bunyan had also a dispute with some of the chiefs of the sect to which he belonged. He doubtless held with perfect sincerity the distinguishing tenet of that sect, but he did not consider that tenet as one of high importance, and willingly joined in communion with pious Presbyterians and Independents. The sterner Baptists, therefore, loudly pronounced him a false brother. A controversy arose which long survived the original combatants. In our own time the cause which Bunyan had defended with rude logic and rhetoric against Kiffin and Danvers was pleaded by Robert Hall with an ingenuity and eloquence such as no polemical writer has ever surpassed.

During the years which immediately followed the Restoration Bunyan's confinement seems to have been strict; but as the passions of 1660 cooled, as the hatred with which the Puritans had been regarded while their reign was recent [pg 302]gave place to pity, he was less and less harshly treated. The distress of his family, and his own patience, courage, and piety, softened the hearts of his persecutors. Like his own Christian in the cage, he found protectors even among the crowd of Vanity Fair. The bishop of the diocese, Dr. Barlow, is said to have interceded for him. At length the prisoner was suffered to pass most of his time beyond the walls of the jail, on condition, as it should seem, that he remained within the town of Bedford.

He owed his complete liberation to one of the worst acts of one of the worst governments that England has ever seen. In 1671 the Cabal was in power. Charles II had concluded the treaty by which he bound himself to set up the Roman Catholic religion in England. The first step which he took toward that end was to annul, by an unconstitutional exercise of his prerogative, all the penal statutes against the Roman Catholics; and in order to disguise his real design, he annulled at the same time the penal statutes against Protestant Non-conformists. Bunyan was consequently set at large. In the first warmth of his gratitude, he published a tract in which he compared Charles to that humane and generous Persian king who, though not himself blessed with the light of the true religion, favored the chosen people, and permitted them, after years of captivity, to rebuild their beloved temple. To candid men, who consider how much Bunyan had suffered, and how little he could guess the secret designs of the court, the unsuspicious thankfulness with which he accepted the precious boon of freedom will not appear to require any apology.

Before he left his prison he had begun the book which has made his name immortal. The history of that book is remarkable. The author was, as he tells us, writing a treatise, in which he had occasion to speak of the stages of the [pg 303]Christian progress. He compared that progress, as many others had compared it, to a pilgrimage. Soon his quick wit discovered innumerable points of similarity which had escaped his predecessors. Images came crowding on his mind faster than he could put them into words: quagmires and pits, steep hills, dark and horrible glens, soft vales, sunny pastures; a gloomy castle, of which the courtyard was strewn with the skulls and bones of murdered prisoners; a town all bustle and splendor, like London on the Lord Mayor's Day; and the narrow path, straight as a rule could make it, running on uphill and down hill, through city and through wilderness, to the Black River and the Shining Gate. He had found out--as most people would have said, by accident; as he would doubtless have said, by the guidance of Providence--where his powers lay. He had no suspicion, indeed, that he was producing a masterpiece. He could not guess what place his allegory would occupy in English literature, for of English literature he knew nothing. Those who suppose him to have studied the "Fairy Queen," might easily be confuted, if this were the proper place for a detailed examination of the passages in which the two allegories have been thought to resemble each other. The only work of fiction, in all probability, with which he could compare his pilgrim, was his old favorite, the legend of Sir Bevis of Southampton. He would have thought it a sin to borrow any time from the serious business of his life, from his expositions, his controversies, and his lace tags, for the purpose of amusing himself with what he considered merely as a trifle. It was only, he assures us, at spare moments that he returned to the House Beautiful, the Delectable Mountains, and the Enchanted Ground. He had no assistance. Nobody but himself saw a line till the whole was complete. He then consulted his pious friends. Some [pg 304]were pleased. Others were much scandalized. It was a vain story, a mere romance about giants, and lions, and goblins, and warriors, sometimes fighting with monsters, and sometimes regaled by fair ladies in stately palaces. The loose, atheistical wits at Will's might write such stuff to divert the painted Jezebels of the court; but did it become a minister of the Gospel to copy the evil fashions of the world? There had been a time when the cant of such fools would have made Bunyan miserable. But that time was passed, and his mind was now in a firm and healthy state. He saw that in employing fiction to make truth clear and goodness attractive, he was only following the example which every Christian ought to propose to himself; and he determined to print.

The "Pilgrim's Progress" stole silently into the world. Not a single copy of the first edition is known to be in existence. The year of publication has not been ascertained. It is probable that during some months, the little volume circulated only among poor and obscure sectaries. But soon the irresistible charm of a book which gratified the imagination of the reader with all the action and scenery of a fairy tale, which exercised his ingenuity by setting him to discover a multitude of curious analogies, which interested his feelings for human beings, frail like himself, and struggling with temptations from within and from without, which every moment drew a smile from him by some stroke of quaint yet simple pleasantry, and nevertheless left on his mind a sentiment of reverence for God and of sympathy for man, began to produce its effect. In Puritanical circles, from which plays and novels were strictly excluded, that effect was such as no work of genius, though it were superior to the "Iliad," to "Don Quixote," or to "Othello," can ever produce on a mind accustomed to indulge in literary [pg 305]luxury. In 1668 came forth a second edition, with additions; and then the demand became immense. In the four following years the book was reprinted six times. The eighth edition, which contains the last improvements made by the author, was published in 1682, the ninth in 1684, the tenth in 1685. The help of the engraver had early been called in, and tens of thousands of children looked with terror and delight on execrable copperplates, which represented Christian thrusting his sword into Apollyon or writhing in the grasp of Giant Despair. In Scotland and in some of the colonies, the Pilgrim was even more popular than in his native country. Bunyan has told us, with very pardonable vanity, that in New England his Dream was the daily subject of the conversation of thousands, and was thought worthy to appear in the most superb binding. He had numerous admirers in Holland and among the Huguenots of France. With the pleasure, however, he experienced some of the pains of eminence. Knavish booksellers put forth volumes of trash under his name, and envious scribblers maintained it to be impossible that the poor ignorant tinker should really be the author of the book which was called his.

He took the best way to confound both those who counterfeited him and those slandered him. He continued to work the gold-field which he had discovered, and to draw from it new treasures; not, indeed, with quite such ease and in quite such abundance as when the precious soil was still virgin, but yet with success which left all competition far behind. In 1684 appeared the second part of the "Pilgrim's Progress." It was soon followed by the "Holy War," which, if the "Pilgrim's Progress" did not exist, would be the best allegory that ever was written.

Bunyan's place in society was now very different from what it had been. There had been a time when many Dissenting [pg 306]ministers, who could talk Latin and read Greek, had affected to treat him with scorn. But his fame and influence now far exceeded theirs. He had so great an authority among the Baptists that he was popularly called Bishop Bunyan. His episcopal visitations were annual. From Bedford he rode every year to London, and preached there to large and attentive congregations. From London he went his circuit through the country, animating the zeal of his brethren, collecting and distributing alms, and making up quarrels. The magistrates seem in general to have given him little trouble. But there is reason to believe that, in the year 1685, he was in some danger of again occupying his old quarters in Bedford jail. In that year, the rash and wicked enterprise of Monmouth gave the government a pretext for prosecuting the Non-conformists; and scarcely one eminent divine of the Presbyterian, Independent, or Baptist persuasion remained unmolested. Baxter was in prison; Howe was driven into exile; Henry was arrested. Two eminent Baptists, with whom Bunyan had been engaged in controversy, were in great peril and distress. Danvers was in danger of being hanged, and Kiffin's grandsons were actually hanged. The tradition is, that during those evil days, Bunyan was forced to disguise himself as a wagoner, and that he preached to his congregation at Bedford in a smock-frock, with a cart-whip in his hand. But soon a great change took place. James the Second was at open war with the Church, and found it necessary to court the Dissenters. Some of the creatures of the government tried to secure the aid of Bunyan. They probably knew that he had written in praise of the indulgence of 1672, and therefore hoped that he might be equally pleased with the indulgence of 1687. But fifteen years of thought, observation, and commerce with the world had made him wiser. Nor were [pg 307]the cases exactly parallel. Charles was a professed Protestant; James was a professed papist. The object of Charles's indulgence was disguised; the object of James's indulgence was patent. Bunyan was not deceived. He exhorted his hearers to prepare themselves by fasting and prayer for the danger which menaced their civil and religious liberties, and refused even to speak to the courtier who came down to remodel the corporation of Bedford, and who, as was supposed, had it in charge to offer some municipal dignity to the bishop of the Baptists.

Bunyan did not live to see the Revolution. In the Summer of 1688 he undertook to plead the cause of a son with an angry father, and at length prevailed on the old man not to disinherit the young one. This good work cost the benevolent intercessor his life. He had to ride through heavy rain. He came drenched to his lodgings on Snow Hill, was seized with a violent fever, and died in a few days. He was buried in Bunhill Fields; and the spot where he lies is still regarded by the Non-conformists with a feeling which seems scarcely in harmony with the stern spirit of their theology. Many Puritans, to whom the respect paid by Roman Catholics to the relics and tombs of saints seemed childish or sinful, are said to have begged with their dying breath that their coffins might be placed as near as possible to the coffin of the author of the "Pilgrim's Progress."

The fame of Bunyan during his life, and during the century which followed his death, was indeed great, but was almost entirely confined to religious families of the middle and lower classes. Very seldom was he, during that time, mentioned with respect by any writer of great literary eminence. Young coupled his prose with the poetry of the wretched D'Urfey. In the "Spiritual Quixote," the adventures [pg 308]of Christian are ranked with those of Jack the Giant-killer and John Hickathrift. Cowper ventured to praise the great allegorist, but did not venture to name him. It is a significant circumstance that, till a recent period, all the numerous editions of the "Pilgrim's Progress" were evidently meant for the cottage and the servants' hall. The paper, the printing, the plates were all of the meanest description. In general, when the educated minority and the common people differ about the merit of a book, the opinion of the educated minority finally prevails. The "Pilgrim's Progress" is perhaps the only book about which, after the lapse of a hundred years, the educated minority has come over to the opinion of the common people.--MACAULAY.

O king without a crown,
O priest above the line
Whose course is through the ages down,
What wondrous eyes were thine!

As in the sea of glass,
So pictured in those eyes
Were all the things that come to pass
Beneath, above the skies;

Between two worlds the way,
The sun, the cloud, the snares,
The pilgrim's progress day by day,
The gladness God prepares.

Enough, enough this vision,
By thee built into story,
To crown thy life by Heaven's decision,
With monumental glory.
[pg 309]

Madame Roland
Madame Roland



(BORN 1754--DIED 1793.)


Marie-Jeanne Phlipon, for this was her maiden name, was born in Paris in the year 1754. Her father was an engraver. The daughter does not delineate him in her memoirs with such completeness as she has sketched her mother, but we can infer from the fleeting glimpses which she gives of him that he was a man of very considerable intellectual and physical force, but also of most irregular tendencies, which in his later years debased him to serious immoralities. He was a superior workman, discontented with his lot. He sought to better it by speculative operations outside his vocation. As his daughter expresses it, "he went in pursuit of riches, and met with ruin on his way." She also remarks of him, "that he could not be said to be a good man, but he had a great deal of what is called honor."

Her mother was evidently an angelic woman. Many passages in the memoirs indicate that she possessed uncommon intellectual endowments; but so exceeding were her virtues that, when her face rose to the daughter's view in the night of after years, and gazed compassionately on her through prison bars, the daughter, writing in the shadow of death, presents her in the light only of purest, noblest womanhood.

Marie was so precocious that she could not remember [pg 310]when she was unable to read. The first book she remembered reading was the Old and New Testament. Her early religious teaching was most sufficient, and was submitted to by a mind which, although practical and realistic, was always devout and somewhat affected by mystical, vague, and enthusiastic tendencies. She was a prodigy in the catechism, and was an agent of terror to the excellent priest who taught her and the other children, for she frequently confounded him in open class by questions which have vexed persons of maturest years. She was taught the harp, the piano, the guitar, and the violin. She was proficient in dancing. Such was her astonishing aptitude in all studies that she says, "I had not a single master who did not appear as much flattered by teaching me as I was grateful for being taught; nor one who, after attending me for a year or two, was not the first to say that his instructions were no longer necessary." It was her habit in childhood, after she had read any book, to lay it aside and reconstruct its contents by the processes of a most powerful memory, and while doing so, to meditate upon, analyze, and debate with it in the severest spirit of criticism and controversy.

When nine years of age she was reading Appian, the romances of Scarron, which disgusted and did not taint her; the memoirs of De Paites and of Madame de Montpensier. She mastered a treatise on heraldry so thoroughly that she corrected her father one day when she saw him engraving a seal inconformably to some minor rule of that art. She essayed a book on contracts, but it did not entice her to a complete perusal.

She took great delight in Plutarch, which she often carried to church instead of her missal. She read the "Candide" of Voltaire, Fénelon on the education of girls, and Locke on that of children. During all this time her mind was [pg 311]troubled by those unanswerable and saddening reflections upon those recondite theological subjects which often torture such children, and which grown up people are too often so forgetful of their own childhood that they fail to sympathize with them. She regarded with disapproval the transformation of the Devil into a serpent, and thought it cruel in God to permit it. Referring to the time when her first communion drew near, she writes: "I felt a sacred terror take possession of my soul."

She became profoundly humble and inexpressibly timid. As she grew older she learned that she was to live in a world of errors, sorrows, and sins, and the mere knowledge of their existence, by some peculiar process of her wonderful mind, seemed to be the signal for their combined attack upon her soul. She watched her thoughts until forbidden topics were generated in her mind by the very act of watchfulness. She then regarded herself as an accomplice with every profane image which invaded her innocent imagination. She subjected herself to physical mortifications and austerities of a whimsical yet severe character. She aspired to the fate of holy women of old, who had suffered martyrdom, and she finally resolved to enter a convent. She was then eleven years old. She was placed in such an institution ostensibly for further education, but with the intention on her part there to always remain. It was like entering the vestibule of heaven. She records of her first night there: "I lifted up my eyes to the heavens; they were unclouded and serene; I imagined that I felt the presence of the Deity smiling on my sacrifice, and already offering me a reward in the consolatory peace of a celestial abode."

She was always an acute observer and a caustic commentator, and she soon discovered that the cloister is not necessarily [pg 312]a celestial abode, and that its inmates do not inevitably enjoy consolatory peace. She found feminine spite there of the same texture with that wreaked by worldly women upon each other, and she notes the cruel taunts which good, old, ugly, and learned sister Sophia received from some stupid nuns, who, she says, "were fond of exposing her defects because they did not possess her talents." But her devotional fervor did not abate. She fainted under the feeling of awe in the act of her first communion, for she literally believed that her lips touched the very substance of her God, and thereafter she was long brooded over by that perfect peace which passeth understanding.

She remained there a year, when her destiny was changed by some domestic events which made her services necessary to her parents, and she returned home. Her resolution was unchanged, and she read and meditated deeply upon the Philotee of Saint Francis de Sales, upon the manual of Saint Augustine, and upon the polemical writings of Bossuet. But by this time the leaven of dissent began to work in that powerful intellect, for she remarks upon these works, that "favorable as they are to the cause which they defended, they sometimes let me into the secret of objections which might be made to it, and set me to scrutinizing the articles of my faith;" and she states that "this was the first step toward a skepticism at which I was destined to arrive after having been successively Jansenist, Cartesian, Stoic, and Deist." By this skepticism she doubtless meant merely skepticism as to creeds, for in her memoirs, written in daily expectation of death, and in most intense self-communion, she writes upon the great subjects of immortality, Deity, and providence in language of astonishing eloquence. "Can," she writes, "can the sublime idea of a Divine Creator, whose providence watches over the world, the immateriality of the [pg 313]soul and its immortality, that consolatory hope of persecuted virtue, be nothing more than amiable and splendid chimeras? But in how much obscurity are these difficult problems involved? What accumulated objections arise when we wish to examine them with mathematical rigor? No! it is not given to the human mind to behold these truths in the full day of perfect evidence; but why should the man of sensibility repine at not being able to demonstrate what he feels to be true? In the silence of the closet and the dryness of discussion, I can agree with the atheist or the materialist as to the insolubility of certain questions; but in the contemplation of nature my soul soars aloft to the, vivifying principle which animates it, to the intellect which pervades it, and to the goodness which makes it so glorious. Now, when immense walls separate me from all I love, when all the evils of society have fallen upon us together, as if to punish us for having desired its greatest blessings, I see beyond the limits of life the reward of our sacrifices. How, in what manner, I can not say. I only feel that so it ought to be." She read incongruously. Condillac, Voltaire, the Lives of the Fathers, Descartes, Saint Jerome, Don Quixote, Pascal, Montesquieu, Burlamaqui, and the French dramatists, were read, annotated, and commented on. She gives an appalling list of obsolete devotional books, which she borrowed of a pious abbé, and returned with marginal notes which shocked him. She read the Dictionnaire Philosophique, Diderot, D'Alembert, Raynal, Holbach, and took delight in the Epistles of Saint Paul. She was, while studying Malebranche and Descartes, so convinced, that she considered her kitten, when it mewed, merely a piece of mechanism in the exercise of its functions. The chilling negations and arid skepticism of Helvetius shocked her, and she writes: "I felt myself possessed of a generosity of soul of which he denied [pg 314]the existence." She concluded at this time that a republic is the true form of government, and that every other form is in derogation of man's natural rights.

She mastered Clairaut's geometry by copying the book, plates, and all, from beginning to end. She read Pufendorf's folio on the law of nature. She learned English, and read the life of Cromwell. She read the great French preachers, Bossuet, Flechier, Bourdaloue, and Massillon. She was vexed by the terrorism of their arguments. She thought that they overrated the importance of the devil. She did not believe him to be as powerful as they feared. She thought that they might teach oftener what seemed to her the potent element of Christian faith--love--and leave the devil out sometimes, and so she herself wrote a sermon on brotherly love, with which that personage had nothing to do, and in which his name was not even mentioned. She also read the Protestant preachers--Blair especially. She entangled herself in the acute skepticism of Bayle.

She seemed possessed of one of those assimilative intellects which extract by glances the substance from a book as the flash of lightning demagnetizes the lodestone. Her acquisitions were consequently immense. Though very yielding in the grasp of the mighty thinkers whom she encountered, yet she read them in the spirit of criticism, controversy, and dissent.

She was, nevertheless, the farthest in the world from becoming a literary dragon. All this did not impair the freshness of girlhood. She was meek and pure. Passages in her autobiography, which I can not repeat, yet which ought to be read, establish this. She was throughout entirely domestic. She did the marketing, cooked the food; nursed her mother; kept a sharp eye on the apprentices; nearly fell in love, for when the young painter, Taborel, who [pg 315]was twenty, and blushed like a girl, visited her father's workshop, she always had a crayon or something else to seek there, but at the sight of him ran away trembling, without saying a word.

It was not difficult for her to be both scholar and housewife. Writing in after years, of domestic cares, she says: "I never could comprehend how the attention of a woman who possesses method and activity can be engrossed by them.... Nothing is wanting but a proper distribution of employments, and a small share of vigilance.... People who know how to employ themselves always find leisure moments, while those who do nothing are in want of time for any thing.... I think that a wife should keep the linen and clothes in order, or cause them to be so kept; nurse her children; give directions concerning the cookery, or superintend it herself, but without saying a word about it, and with such command of her temper, and such management of her time, as may leave her the means of talking of other matters, and of pleasing no less by her good humor than by the graces natural to her sex.... It is nearly the same in the government of states as of families. Those famous housewives who are always expatiating on their labors are sure either to leave much in arrears, or to render themselves tiresome to every one around them; and, in like manner, those men in power so talkative and so full of business, only make a mighty bustle about the difficulties they are in because too awkward or ignorant to remove them."

An acquaintance which one of her uncles, who was an ecclesiastic, had with an upper servant of the royal household, enabled her to spend some days at the palace of Versailles. She was lodged with the servants, and enjoyed the servant's privilege of seeing every thing and sparing nothing. Royalty was never put in the focus of eyes so critical. Her [pg 316]comments upon this visit are very brief. She expresses her detestation of what she saw, saying, "It gives me the feeling of injustice, and obliges me every moment to contemplate absurdity."

The studies and experiences which have been described bring us to her fifteenth year. She was then a beautiful woman. In her memoirs she declines to state how she looked when a child, saying that she knows a better time for such a sketch. In describing herself at fifteen, she says: "I was five feet four inches tall; my leg was shapely; my hips high and prominent; my chest broad and nobly decorated; my shoulders flat; ... my face had nothing striking in it except a great deal of color, and much softness and expression; my mouth is a little too wide--you may see prettier every day--but you will see none with a smile more tender and engaging; my eyes are not very large; the color of the iris is hazel; my hair is dark brown; my nose gave me some uneasiness; I thought it a little too flat at the end.... It is only since my beauty has faded that I have known what it has been in its bloom. I was then unconscious of its value, which was probably augmented by my ignorance."

That she understated her personal charms, the concurrent admiration of contemporary men and women fully attests. Her physical beauty was marvelous, and when great men were subjected to its influence, to the imperial functions of her intellect, and to the persuasions of an organization exceedingly spiritual and magnetic, it is no wonder that her influence, domestic woman, housewife, as she always was, became so effectual over them.

Let me here warn my hearers not to forestall this woman in their judgments. She was not a manlike female. No better wife ever guided her husband anonymously by [pg 317]her intuitions, or assisted him by her learning. In the farm house and in the palace she was as wifely and retiring as any of the excellent women who have been the wives of American statesmen. Every one knew her abilities and her stupendous acquirements, and she felt them herself, but, notwithstanding, she never would consent to write a line for publication and avow it as her own, and never did, until that time when her husband was an outlaw, when her child was torn from her, when she herself stood in the shadow of the guillotine, and writhed under the foulest written and spoken calumnies that can torture outraged womanhood into eloquence. She then wrote, in twenty-six days, her immortal Appeal to Posterity, and those stirring letters and papers incident to her defense, from which some extracts have been here presented. She was mistress of a faultless style. Her command over the resources of her language was despotic. She could give to French prose an Italian rhythmus. She had wit and imagination--a reasoning imagination. She was erudite. Probably no woman ever lived better entitled to a high position in literature. But she never claimed it. She holds it now only as a collateral result of her defense in the struggle in which her life was the stake, and in which she lost. She says: "Never, however, did I feel the smallest temptation to become an author. I perceived at a very early period that a woman who acquires this title loses far more than she gains. She forfeits the affections of the male sex, and provokes the criticisms of her own. If her works be bad, she is ridiculed, and not without reason; if good, her right to them is disputed; or if envy be forced to acknowledge the best part to be her own, her character, her morals, her conduct, and her talents are scrutinized in such a manner that the reputation of her genius is fully counterbalanced by the publicity given to [pg 318]her defects. Besides, my happiness was my chief concern, and I never saw the public intermeddle with that of any one without marring it.... During twelve years of my life I shared in my husband's labors as I participated in his repasts, because one was as natural to me as the other. If any part of his works happened to be quoted in which particular graces of style were discovered, or if a flattering reception was given to any of the academic trifles, which he took a pleasure in transmitting to the learned societies, of which he was a member, I partook of his satisfaction without reminding him that it was my own composition.... If during his administration an occasion occurred for the expression of great and striking truths, I poured forth my whole soul upon the paper, and it was but natural that its effusions should be preferable to the laborious teemings of a secretary's brain. I loved my country. I was an enthusiast in the cause of liberty. I was unacquainted with any interest or any passions that could enter into competition with that enthusiasm; my language, consequently, could not but be pure and pathetic, as it was that of the heart and of truth.... Why should not a woman act as secretary to her husband without depriving him of any portion of his merit? It is well known that ministers can not do every thing themselves; and, surely, if the wives of those of the old governments, or even of the new, had been capable of making draughts of letters, of official dispatches, or of proclamations, their time would have been better employed than in intriguing first for one paramour and then for another." "An old coxcomb, enamored of himself, and vain of displaying the slender stock of science he has been so long in acquiring, might be in the habit of seeing me ten years together without suspecting that I could do more than cast up a bill or cut out a shirt."

[pg 319]Suitors, she writes, came numerously from her fifteenth year. She marches them off en masse in her memoirs. As is the custom in France, the first overture was made to her father, and usually by letter. Her music teacher was her first devotee. He was followed by her dancing master, who, as a propitiatory preparation had a wen cut out of his cheek; then came a wealthy butcher; then a man of rank; then a dissolute physician, from marrying whom she narrowly escaped; then a jeweler, and many others. The merits of these gentlemen--particularly those of the energetic butcher---were warmly commended by their female friends, who, in France, are brokers in this business on a very extensive scale. It is a unique proof of her ascendancy over every person near her that the letters which her father received, requesting his permission to address her, were submitted by him to her to draft the answer he was to send. So she placed herself loco parentis, and wrote the most paternal letters of refusal; all of which her father dutifully copied and sent, with many a pang when she let riches and rank pass by her. The suitors were dismissed, one and all, and she resumed her books and studies.

Her mother died in 1775. She became the mistress of the house. Her father formed disreputable connections. Late in that year her future husband, Roland de la Platiere, presented himself, with a letter from a friend of her girlhood. He was forty years old; he was a student; his form was awkward and his manners were stiff; his morals were irreproachable, his disposition was exacting, but his ability was great. He was capable of instructing even her on many subjects, and they became well acquainted by the elective sympathy of scholarship. She became the critic and depositary of his manuscripts. Finally, one day, after asking leave, in her father's presence the worthy man actually [pg 320]kissed her, on his departure for Italy. Her father, sinking lower and lower, squandered her little fortune of about three thousand dollars, wasted his own business, and then treated her with brutality. Her only amusement at this time was playing the violin, accompanied by an old priest who tortured a bass viol, while her uncle made a flute complain.

Finally, after an acquaintance of five years, Roland, by letter to her father, proposed marriage. The purity of Roland's life was esteemed by Phlipon such a reproach to his own dissoluteness that he revenged himself by an insulting refusal. He then made his daughter's life at home so insupportable that she took lodgings in a convent. She was visited there by Roland, and they were finally married, without again consulting her father. During the year next succeeding their marriage they remained at Paris. From Paris they went to Amiens, and lived there four years, where her daughter was born. She assisted her husband in the preparation of several statistical and scientific articles for the Encyclopedic. She made a hortus siccus of the plants of Picardy.

In 1784 they removed to the family estate of Roland at Villefranche, near Lyons. She had, in the course of her studies, acquired considerable knowledge of medicine. There was no physician in that little community, and she became the village doctor. Some of her experiences were quite whimsical. A country-woman came several leagues, and offered her a horse if she would save the life of her husband, whom a physician had given up to die. She visited the sick man, and he recovered, but she had great difficulty in resisting the importunities of his wife that she should take the horse.

In 1784 they went to England, and in 1787 they made [pg 321]the tour of Switzerland. Roland was elected member of the constitutional assembly from Lyons, and they went to Paris.

I am compelled now to pass from the uneventful first ten years of her married life with the single remark that, through them all, she was the devoted wife and mother, the kind neighbor, and the most assiduous student. But her mind bore, as on a mirror, prophetic, shadowy, and pictured glimpses of those awful events which were marching out of futurity toward France. Her letters written during this period show that she gazed upon them with a prescient eye, and heard with keenest ear the alarum of the legions which were gathering for attack. The young men of Lyons, where she and her husband spent the Winters, gathered in her parlors, and heard from the lips of this impassioned seeress of liberty words which, in such formative periods of a nation's life, hasten events with a power that seems like absolute physical force.

Her husband was chosen a member of the national assembly, and she went with him again to Paris in 1791.

Here ends the peaceful period of her life. Here close upon her forever the doors of home; and here open to her the doors of history, which too often admits its guests only to immolate them in splendid chambers, as it immolated her. From this time we miss the pure womanliness of her character, in which she is so lovely, and see her imperial beauty and her regal intellect in all their autocratic power, until that time when her husband, home, child, power, and hope were all forever gone, and her womanhood again shone out, like a mellow and beauteous sunset, when life's day drew near its close.

Nothing had become more certain than that the monarchy would undergo radical constitutional changes. Of [pg 322]this every one was conscious except the king and the nobility. They were struck with that blindness which foreruns ruin. They constituted one party, and this party was the common object of attack by two political and revolutionary divisions, the Girondists and the Jacobins. The Gironde wished reform, a constitution, a monarchy, but one limited and constitutional, equality in taxes. They did not wish to destroy utterly, but they were willing to dislocate and then readjust, the machinery of state. The Jacobins at first said much, but proposed little. They aspired to the abolition of the throne and the establishment of a republic; they wished to overthrow the altar; they promised, vaguely, to wreak upon the rich and titled full revenge for the wrongs of the poor and lowly. Every political and social dream which had found expression for twenty years, every skeptical attack upon things ancient and holy, found in this body of men a party and an exponent. Up to a certain point both of these parties necessarily made common war upon the old order of things. But, beyond that point, it was equally certain that they would attack each other. The Girondists would wish to stop, and the Jacobins would wish to go on.

During the session of this assembly the influence of Madame Roland on men of all modes of thought became most marked. Her parlors were the rendezvous of eminent men, and men destined to become eminent. It is impossible to discover, from the carping records of that time, that she asserted her powers by an unwomanly effort. Men felt in her presence that they were before a great intellectual being--a creative and inspiring mind--and it shone upon them without effort, like the sun. Among these visitors was Maximilien Robespierre, who afterwards took her life. He was then obscure, despised, and had been coughed down [pg 323]when he rose to speak. She discerned his talents, and encouraged him. He said little, but was always near her, listening to all she said; and in his after days of power, he reproduced, in many a speech, what he had heard this wondrous woman say. In this time of his unpopularity she unquestionably saved him from the guillotine by her own personal and persistent intercession with men in power.

By the time that the session of this assembly drew near its close the ground-swell began to be felt of that tempest of popular wrath which eventually swept over France, and which the Jacobins rode and directed until it dashed even them upon the rocks. Squalor came forth and consorted with cleanliness; vice crept from its dens and sat down by the side of purity in high places; atheism took its stand at the altar, and ministered with the priest.

This assembly adjourned, and the Rolands returned, for a short time, to Platiere. By this time it was evident that the monarchy could not stand against the attacks of both its enemies; the king was compelled to yield; he threw himself into the arms of the Girondists, as his least obnoxious foes. He formed a new cabinet, and to Roland was given the ministry of the interior. It was a very great office. Its incumbent had administrative charge of all the internal affairs of France. The engraver's daughter was now the mistress of a palace. From the lowly room where she had read Plutarch until her mind was made grand with ideas of patriotic glory, until she loved her country as once she loved her God, she had gone by no base degrees to an eminence where her beloved France, with all its hopes and woes and needs and resources, lay like a map beneath her--a map for her and hers to change.

By this time the titled refugees had brought the Prussian armies to the frontier; a majority of the clergy had [pg 324]identified themselves with the reaction, were breaking down the revolution among the people, and were producing a reversionary tendency to absolutism. The king was vacillating and timid, but the queen had all the spirit and courage of her mother, Maria Theresa. It is very evident from Madame Roland's memoirs and letters, that these two women felt that they were in actual collision. It is a strange contrast; the sceptered wife, looking from her high places with longing and regret over centuries of hereditary succession, divine right and unquestioned prerogative, calling on her house of Hapsburg for aid, appealing to the kings of the earth for assistance in moving back the irreversible march of destiny:--from another palace the daughter of the people looking not back, but forward, speaking of kings and monarchies as gone, or soon to go, into tables of chronology, listening to what the ancient centuries speak from Grecian and Roman tombs, summoning old philosophies to attest the inalienable rights of man, looking beyond the mobs of kings and lords to the great nation-forming people, upon which these float and pass away like the shadows of purple Summer clouds; and stranger still, the ending of the contrast in the identification of these typical women in their death, both going to the same scaffold, discrowned of all their hopes. Of all the lessons which life has taught to ambition, none are more touching than when it points to the figures of these women as they are hurried by the procession in which they moved to a common fate.

The ministry insisted that the king should proclaim war against those who were threatening invasion, and that he should proceed stringently against the unpatriotic clergy. He refused to take either course against his ancient friends. It was at this time that Madame Roland wrote to the king in advocacy of those measures that celebrated letter which [pg 325]her husband signed, and to which all of the ministers assented. It is a most statesmanlike appeal for the nation. It is predictive of all the woes which followed. No Hebrew prophet ever spoke bolder to his king. She writes: "I know that the words of truth are seldom welcome at the foot of thrones; I know that it is the withholding truth from the councils of kings that renders revolution necessary."

The king, instead of adopting the policy recommended, dismissed his ministers. The letter was then made public through the newspapers. Few state papers have ever produced such an effect. It became a popular argument, and the people demanded the restoration of the ministry for the reasons which it contained, and for expressing which the ministry had been dismissed.

While the Girondists were supporting the ministry of their choice, they, with the king, were the object of furious attacks by the Jacobins. When the ministry was dismissed the Gironde renewed its attacks upon the monarchy, emulated the Jacobins in the severity of its assaults, and began to conspire for a federative republic, similar to the United States, which to Madame Roland was the ideal of a free government.

Madame Roland went from the palace to hired lodgings, and in the temporary fusion which followed of the revolutionists of all parties, the most eminent leaders gathered around her again. Robespierre came, but said little, for he was waiting his hour. Danton laid his lion mane in her lap, all his savagery for the moment tamed. Vergniaud, Buzot, and all the chiefs of the Gironde, gathered around this oracle of liberty. Anarchy supervened. Paris and all France were filled with riotings and murder. The king finally declared war, but battles went against France. Riot and murder increased. A mob of twenty thousand invaded [pg 326]the Tuileries then occupied by the royal family. It was divided into three divisions. The first was composed of armed and disciplined men, led by Santerre. The male ruffians of Paris, blood-thirsty and atrocious beyond any thing that civilization has ever produced, formed the second division. The third, most terrible of all, was composed of the lost women of Paris, led by Theroigne de Mericourt, clad in a blood-red riding dress, and armed with sword and pistol. This notorious woman had acted a prominent part in former scenes. She led the attack upon the Bastille. She led the mob which brought the king from Versailles to Paris. In the subsequent riots life and death hung upon her nod, and in one of them she met her betrayer. He begged piteously for her pardon and his life, and this was her answer, if we believe Lamartine: "My pardon!" said she, "at what price can you buy it? My innocence gone, my family lost to me, my brothers and sisters pursued in their own country by the jeers of their kindred; the maledictions of my father; my exile from my native land; my enrollment among courtesans; the blood by which my days have been and will be stained; that imperishable curse of vice linked to my name instead of that immortality of virtue which you once taught me to doubt--it is for this that you would buy my forgiveness--do you know of any price on earth sufficient to purchase it?" And he was massacred. She died forty years afterwards in a mad-house, for in the fate of the revolution, she was stripped and whipped in the streets to madness by the very women she had led.

These loathsome cohorts forced their way into the palace. They invaded the rooms of the king and queen. They struck at him with pikes, and forced upon his head the red bonnet of the Jacobins, while the most wretched of her sex encircled the queen with a living wall of [pg 327]vice, and loaded her with obscene execrations, charges, and epithets.

Although this outbreak has been charged to both the great political parties, it is probably nearer to truth to say that it originated spontaneously with that demoniac mob soon to rule France, and which from this time carried all political organizations with it. The Girondists, however, still retained enough of their constitutional conservatism to be the only hope which royalty could have for its preservation. The king again threw himself into their arms. Roland was reinstated in his ministry, and the palace again received his wife.

Then every revolutionary element began at once to combine against the king and the party which was thus supporting him. It was soon apparent that the king and the Girondists could neither govern the country nor save themselves if they acted together. The Gironde, from about this time, pusillanimously conceded point by point to the anarchic demands made by their enemies and the king's. Madame Roland did not join them in this, but when she saw that her husband was but a minister in name, that he and his associates were powerless to punish murder and prevent anarchy, doubtless the vision which she had seen of a people regenerated and free began to fade away. The Gironde consented to the imprisonment of the royal family in the Temple. This was not concession enough. The Jacobins, with the mob at their back, accused them not only of lack of works, but of lack of faith, and when such an accusation against a party becomes the expression of a popular conviction, that party has nothing to do except to die. To prove this charge untrue, the Gironde united with their enemies in abolishing the monarchy and establishing a republic. Madame Roland drew up a plan for a republic, [pg 328]but it was too late for such a one as she desired. Her scheme was federative, like our own, in which the provinces of France should have the status of states. This plan was a blow at the mob of Paris, which, through the Jacobin clubs, with which France was thickly sown, controlled the nation. The republic which followed was such only in name. The mob of Paris now stepped from behind the transparent screen, whence it had moved all parties like wire-hung puppets, and stood disclosed before the world in all its colossal horror, stained with blood, breathing flames, and grasped directly the springs of power. The national assembly was like a keeper of lunatics captured by his patients. Its members were crowded in their seats by blood-thirsty men, depraved women, and by merciless visionaries, who clamored for extirpation and destruction, absolute and universal.

The power of Roland as a minister became as feeble as a shadow's hand. The blade of the guillotine rose and fell automatically. Thousands fled from the city, upon which heaven itself seemed to rain fire and plagues. The armies of foreign kings were upon the soil of France, and were fast advancing, and the wild rumors of their coming roused the people to panic, and frenzied resolutions of resistance and retribution. Thousands, whose only crime was a suspected want of sympathy, were crowded into the prisons of Paris. Hoary age, the bounding boy, the tender virgin, the loving wife, the holy priest, the sainted nun, the titled lady, filed along with the depraved of both sexes in endless procession through those massive gates, never more to see the sky and the green earth again. For the mob had resolved to extirpate its enemies in the city before marching against foreign invaders. It went from prison to prison, bursting in the doors, and slaughtering without distinction [pg 329]of age, sex, or condition. Madame Roland was nearly frantic over these scenes. Her divinity had turned to Moloch in her very presence. Her husband called for troops to stop the horrible massacre, but none were furnished, and it went on until men were too tired to slay. These acts were doubtless incited by the Jacobin leaders, though they cloaked with secrecy their complicity in these great crimes. The Jacobins became all-powerful. The Girondists became the party of the past, and from this time their history is a record of a party in name, but in such act of dissolution as to make its efforts spasmodic, clique-like, and personal; sometimes grand, sometimes cruel, and often cowardly. They were under the coercion of public opinion, but were dragged instead of driven by it. They frequently held back, but this was merely a halt, which accelerated the rapidity of the march which left them at the scaffold, where they regained their heroism in the presence of death, while the bloody mob went on to a similar ending a little distance beyond.

When the lull came, after the massacre, the two parties stood looking at each other across the river of blood. The Jacobins accused the Girondists of being enemies of the country. It is characteristic of revolutionary times to accuse vaguely and to punish severely. Socrates died as an alleged corrupter of youth. Pilate, after acquitting Jesus of the crime of high treason, suffered him to be executed for "teaching throughout all Jewry." "Roundhead" and "Cavalier" were once expressive terms of condemnation. In our own times the words "slave-holder," "abolitionist," "loyal," "disloyal," and "rebel" have formed the compendious summing up of years of history. An indictment is compressed into an epithet in such times. In the time of Madame Roland, to be "a suspect" was to be punishable with death. So the Jacobins suspected the Girondists, and [pg 330]accused them of being enemies of France. They introduced measures which pandered to the bloodthirst of the mob, and for which the Girondists were compelled either to vote or to draw upon themselves its vengeance. Madame Roland urged and entreated the Girondists to make one last struggle for law, liberty, and order, by moving to bring to justice the ringleaders in the massacre, including the Jacobin chiefs, who instigated it. This issue was made in the assembly, but it was voted down before the tiger-roar of the mob which raged in the hall. The Jacobins resolved to destroy Madame Roland, whose courage had prompted this attack upon them, and for which she had become the object of their intensest hate. They suborned an adventurer named Viard to accuse her of being privy to a correspondence with the English Government for the purpose of saving the life of the king. She was summoned before the assembly to confront her accuser. She appeared in the midst of her enemies, armed with innocence, resplendent with beauty, defended by her own genius. Her very presence extorted applause from reluctant lips. She looked upon her accuser, and he faltered. By a few womanly words she tore his calumny into shreds, and left amid plaudits. Justice thus returned once more to illumine that place by a fleeting gleam, and then with this woman left it forever.

The Jacobins pressed the trial of the king. The mob demanded him as a victim. The Girondists voted with the Jacobins that he was guilty; but they voted to leave the sentence to the determination of the French people, and when they were defeated in this they voted for his death. I am unable to find any thing in the memorials of Madame Roland which shows that she had any sympathy with this. What is written tends rather to show that she was in the very apathy and lassitude of horror. From the time when her [pg 331]courageous effort to work justice upon the abettors and perpetrators of the massacre failed, her history ceases to be political and becomes personal.

The revolutionary tribunal was reorganized, consisting of twenty judges, a jury, and a public accuser. Merlin of Douai, a consummate jurist, proposed a statute, in every line of which suspicion, treachery, and hate found an arsenal of revenge. It provided that: "Immediately after the publication of this present decree, all suspected persons who are found in the territory of the republic, and who are still at liberty, shall be arrested.

"Are deemed suspected all persona who, by their conduct, writings, or language, have proved themselves partisans of tyranny, federalism, and enemies of liberty;

"Those who can not prove they possess the means of existence, and that they have fully performed all of their duties as citizens;

"Those to whom certificates of citizenship have been refused;

"Those of noble families--fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, sisters, husbands, wives, and agents--who have not constantly manifested their attachment to the Revolution."

The traveler, standing upon the stone seats of the Flavian amphitheater, looks down into the arena, and peoples the Coliseum with the criminals and the innocent martyrs, shut out from hope by its merciless walls and by a populace more merciless, and slain by thousands by wild beasts and swordsmen and spearsmen, to make a Roman holiday. How complacently he felicitates himself upon the assumption that modern times present nothing like this. But less than one hundred years ago, the pen of a lawyer erected in France a statute which inclosed a kingdom with its architectural horror, made one arena of an empire, and [pg 332]in one year drank up more blood than sank into the sands of the Coliseum in centuries.

The revolutionary tribunal was in permanent session. Its trials were summary. It heard with predetermination, and decided without evidence. It was the mere routine formality of death. Proof often consisted solely in the identification of the person whose death had been predetermined. Prostitutes sold acquittals, and revenged themselves by convictions. Paris now ruled France, the Jacobins ruled Paris, and the mob ruled the Jacobins. They had pressed the Girondists, those men of lofty genius and superb eloquence, from their high position into complicity with crimes with which they had no sympathy, and this want of sympathy now became their crime. It was resolved to destroy them. The mob of Paris again came forth. Devilish men and women again crowded the assembly, and even took part in its deliberations. The act of accusation was passed, and twenty-six of the leaders of the Gironde went from their places to the scaffold, where they suffered death sublimely.

Madame Roland was also arrested. Her husband had fled from Paris. She was consigned to the prison of St. Pelagie, and afterwards, after suffering the cruel mockery of a release, she was imprisoned in the Conciergerie. This prison was the abiding place of assassins, thieves, and all impurity. It was the anteroom to the scaffold, for incarceration there was an infallible symptom of death. The inmates were crowded into rooms with merciless disregard of their relative characters or antecedents. Madame Roland was first associated with the duchess of Grammont, with a female pick-pocket, with a nun, with an insane woman, and with a street-walker. She finally procured a cell to herself, which she made bloom with flowers. The prison was populous with the most degraded of her sex. Yet she asserted [pg 333]here the same marvelous ascendancy which she had always possessed over her associates. The obscene outcries of lost women died away when she approached. Her cell was an ark of safety for any dove seeking refuge from that deluge of human sin. When she went into the courtyard the lost of her own sex gathered around her with reverence, as around a tutelary and interceding angel, the same women who inflicted upon Madame Du Barry, that princess of their caste, every torment which the malice of their sex could inspire. Inmates and visitors crowded to the door of her cell, and she spoke to them through its iron bars with eloquence, which increased as inspiring death drew near, of liberty, country, equality, and of better days for France, but when they went away she would look through her window to the sky, and, thinking of her hunted husband and sequestered little daughter, cry and moan like the simplest wife and mother. Then she would send by surreptitious conveyance, letters to refugee statesmen, which discussed the political situation as calmly as if written upon the work-table of a secure and peaceful home. Calumny now busied itself to defile her. Hebert, vilest of editors, flung the ordure of Pere Duchesne, vilest of newspapers, upon this spotless woman, soon to be a saint, and sent the newsmen to cry the disgusting charges under her prison windows, so that she heard them rendered in all the villainies of a language whose under-drains have sources of vileness filthier than any other speech of man. She did not fear death, but she did fear calumny. She had never delighted in any public display of her enormous intellectual powers, and she had never made any such display. She had fixed the sentiment of Lyons by an anonymous newspaper article, of which sixty thousand copies had been bought in one day. She had written to the king a letter which drove her husband from power, [pg 334]and which, when read by the people, compelled the king to restore him. She had written a dispatch to the pope, claiming rights for certain French in Rome, in which the sanctity of his office and the dignity of her country was respected, appealed to, and asserted. It is said that the state papers were hers which persuaded William Pitt to abstain so long from intervention in the affairs of France, in that time of English terror and hope, which furnished arguments to Fox, and which drew from Burke those efforts of massive reason and gorgeous imagination which will endure as long as the language itself. The counsel by which she had disentangled the perplexity of wisest men had been repeated by them to applauding senates in tones less eloquent than those by which they had been received, and triumph had followed. In none of these efforts did she avow herself. She shrank from the honors which solicited her, though the world knew that they came from her just as the world knows that moon and planets shine with the reflected light of a hidden sun. But now, when thus assailed, she resolved to speak personally and for herself. And so, sitting in her cell, she wrote in concealment and sent out by trusty hands, in cantos, that autobiography in which she appealed to posterity, and by which posterity has been convinced. She traced her career from earliest childhood down to the very brink of the grave into which she was looking. Her intellectual, affectional and mental history are all there written with a hand as steady and a mind as serene as though she were at home, with her baby sleeping in its cradle by her side. Here are found history, philosophy, political science, poetry, and ethics as they were received and given out again by one of the most receptive and imparting minds ever possessed by woman. She knew that husband, home, child, and friends were not for her any more, and that very soon she was to see the last of earth [pg 335]from beside the headsman and from the block, and yet she turned from all regret and fear, and summoned the great assize of posterity, "of foreign nations and the next ages," to do her justice. There was no sign of fear. She looked as calmly on what she knew she must soon undergo as the spirit released into never-ending bliss looks back upon the corporeal trammels from which it has just earned its escape.

There are those who believe that a woman can not be great as she was and still be pure. These ghouls of history will to the end of time dig into the graves where such queens lie entombed. This woman has slept serenely for nearly a century. Sweet oblivion has dimmed with denial and forgetfulness the obloquy which hunted her in her last days. Tears such as are shed for vestal martyrs have been shed for her, and for all her faults she has the condonation of universal sorrow. Nothing but the evil magic of sympathetic malice can restore these calumnies, and even then they quickly fade away in the sunlight of her life. Nothing can touch her further. Dismiss them with the exorcism of Carlyle, grown strangely tender and elegiac here. "Breathe not thy poison breath! Evil speech! That soul is taintless; clear as the mirror sea." She was brought to trial. The charge against her was, "That there has existed a horrible conspiracy against the unity and indivisibility of the French people; that Marie Jeanne Phlipon, wife of Jean Marie Roland has been one of the abettors or accomplices of that conspiracy." This was the formula by which this woman was killed, and it simply meant that the Gironde had existed and that she had sympathized with it.

She was racked with interrogations, and returned to the prison, weeping at the infernal imputations which they cast upon her womanhood. On the day of her final trial she [pg 336]dressed herself in spotless white, and let fall the voluminous masses of her brown, abundant hair. She was asked to betray her husband by disclosing his hiding place. Her answer is full of wifely loyalty and dignity--"Whether I know it or not I neither ought nor will say."

There was absolutely no evidence against her except of her affiliations with the Girondists. The mockery ended by her condemnation to death within twenty-four hours, and this Iphigenia of France went doomed back to her cell. Her return was awaited with dreadful anxiety by her associates in confinement, who hoped against hope for her safe deliverance. As she passed through the massive doors, she smiled, and drew her hand knife-like across her neck, and then there went up a wail from all assembled there, the wail of titled women, of sacred nuns, of magdalens and thieves, a dirge of inconsolable sorrow, of humanity weeping for its best beloved child.

Late in the afternoon of November 8, 1693, the rude cart which was to bear her to the guillotine received her. She was dressed in white; her hair fell like a mantle to her knees. The chilly air and her own courage brought back to her prison-blanched cheek the rosy hues of youth. She spoke words of divine patience to the crowd which surged around her on her way and reviled her. With a few low words she raised the courage of a terror-stricken old man who took with her the same last journey, and made him smile. As the hours wore into twilight, she passed the home of her youth, and perhaps longed to become a little child again and enter there and be at rest. At the foot of the scaffold she asked for pen and paper to bequeath to posterity the thoughts which crowded upon her; they were refused, and thus was one of the books of the sibyls lost. She bowed to the great statue of Liberty near by, exclaiming, [pg 337]"O Liberté! comme on t' a jouée!"[2] and gave her majestic form to the headsman to be bound upon the plank.

The knife fell, and the world darkened upon the death of the queenliest woman who ever lived and loved.--EX-GOVERNOR C.K. DAVIS, of Minnesota.

What though the triumph of thy fond forecasting
    Lingers till earth is fading from thy sight?
Thy part with Him whose arms are everlasting,
    Is not forsaken in a hopeless night.

Paul was begotten in the death of Stephen;
    Fruitful through time shall be that precious blood:
No morning yet has ever worn to even
    And missed the glory of its crimson flood.

There is a need of all the blood of martyrs,
    Forevermore the eloquence of God;
And there is need of him who never barters
    His patience in that desert way the Master trod.

What mean the strange, hard words, "through tribulation?"
    O Man of sorrows, only Thou canst tell,
And such as in Thy life's humiliation,
    Have oft been with Thee, ay, have known Thee well.

The failures of the world are God's successes,
    Although their coming be akin to pain;
And frowns of Providence are but caresses,
    Prophetic of the rest sought long in vain.
[pg 338]




Baron Muffling relates of the Duke of Wellington, that that great general remained at the Duchess of Richmond's ball till about three o'clock on the morning of the 16th of June, 1815, "showing himself very cheerful." The baron, who is a very good authority on the subject, having previously proved that every plan was laid in the duke's mind, and Quatre Bras and Waterloo fully detailed, we may comprehend the value of the sentence. It was the bold, trusting heart of the hero that made him cheerful. He showed himself cheerful, too, at Waterloo. He was never very jocose; but on that memorable 18th of June he showed a symptom of it. He rode along the line and cheered men by his look and his face, and they too cheered him. But, when the danger was over--when the 21,000 brave men of his own and the Prussian army lay stiffening in death--the duke, who was so cheerful in the midst of his danger, covered his face with his hands and wept. He asked for that friend, and he was slain; for this, and a bullet had pierced his heart. The men who had devoted themselves to death for their leader and their country had been blown to pieces, or pierced with lances, or hacked with sabers, and lay, like Ponsonby covered with thirteen wounds, upon the ground. Well might the duke weep, iron though he was. "There is nothing," he writes, "nothing in the world so dreadful as a battle lost, unless it [pg 339]be such a battle won. Nothing can compensate for the dreadful cruelty, carnage, and misery of the scene, save the reflection on the public good which may arise from it."

Forty years' peace succeeded the great battle. Forty years of prosperity, during which he himself went honored to his tomb, rewarded the constant brave look and tongue which answered his men, when he saw the whole side of a square blown in, with "Hard work, gentlemen! They are pounding away! We must see who can pound the longest." It is not too much to say that the constant cheerfulness of the Duke of Wellington was one great element of success in the greatest battle ever fought, one of the fifteen decisive battles in the world, great in the number engaged, greater in the slaughter, greatest in the results. But all commanders ought to be cheerful. Gloomy looks do not do in the army. A set of filibusters or pirates may wear looks and brows as black as the sticking-plasters boots that their representatives are dressed in at the minor theaters; but a soldier or a sailor should be, and as a rule is, the most cheerful of fellows, doing his duty in the trench or the storm, dying when the bullet comes, but living like a hero the while. Look, for instance, at the whole-hearted cheerfulness of Raleigh, when with his small English ships he cast himself against the navies of Spain; or at Xenophon, conducting back from an inhospitable and hostile country, and through unknown paths, his ten thousand Greeks; or Cæsar, riding up and down the banks of the Rubicon, sad enough belike when alone, but at the head of his men cheerful, joyous, well dressed, rather foppish, in fact, his face shining with good humor as with oil. Again, Nelson, in the worst of dangers, was as cheerful as the day. He had even a rough but quiet humor in him just as he carried his coxswain behind him to bundle the swords of the Spanish and French [pg 340]captains under his arm. He could clap his telescope to his blind eye, and say, "Gentlemen, I can not make out the signal," when the signal was adverse to his wishes, and then go in and win, in spite of recall. Fancy the dry laughs which many an old sea-dog has had over that cheerful incident. How the story lights up the dark page of history! Then there was Henry of Navarre, lion in war, winner of hearts, bravest of the brave, who rode down the ranks at Ivry when Papist and Protestant were face to face, when more than his own life and kingdom were at stake, and all the horrors of religious war were loosened and unbound, ready to ravage poor, unhappy France. That beaming, hopeful countenance won the battle, and is a parallel to the brave looks of Queen Elizabeth when she cheered her Englishmen at Tilbury.

But we are not all soldiers or sailors, although, too, our Christian profession hath adopted the title of soldiers in the battle of life. It is all very well to cite great commanders who, in the presence of danger, excited by hope, with the eyes of twenty thousand men upon them, are cheerful and happy; but what is that to the solitary author, the poor artist, the governess, the milliner, the shoemaker, the factory-girl, they of the thousand persons in profession or trade who are given to murmur, and who think life so hard and gloomy and wretched that they can not go through it with a smile on their faces and despair in their hearts? What are examples and citations to them? "Hecuba!" cries out poor, melancholy, morbid Hamlet, striking on a vein of thought, "what's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba?" Much.

We all have trials; but it is certain that good temper and cheerfulness will make us bear them more easily than any thing else. "Temper," said one of our bishops, "is nine-tenths [pg 341]of Christianity." We do not live now in the Middle Ages. We can not think that the sect of Flagellants, who whipped themselves till the blood ran into their shoes, and pulled uncommonly long faces, were the best masters of philosophy. "True godliness is cheerful as the day," wrote Cowper, himself melancholy-mad enough; and we are to remember that the precept of the Founder of our faith, that when we fast we are to anoint our countenances and not to seem to fast, enjoins a certain liveliness of face. Sydney Smith, when a poor curate at Foster-le-Clay, a dreary, desolate place, wrote: "I am resolved to like it, and to reconcile myself to it, which is more manly than to fancy myself above it, and to send up complaints by the post of being thrown away, or being desolated, and such like trash." And he acted up to this; said his prayers, made his jokes, did his duty, and, Upon fine mornings, used to draw up the blinds of his parlor, open the window, and "glorify the room," as he called the operation, with sunshine. But all the sunshine without was nothing to the sunshine within the heart. It was that which made him go through life so bravely and so well; it is that, too, which renders his life a lesson to us all.

We must also remember that the career of a poor curate is not the most brilliant in the world. That of an apprentice boy has more fun in it; that of a milliner's girl has more merriment and fewer depressing circumstances. To hear always the same mistrust of Providence, to see poverty, to observe all kinds of trial, to witness death-bed scenes--this is not the most enlivening course of existence, even if a clergyman be a man of mark and of station. But there was one whose station was not honored, nay, even by some despised, and who had sorer trials than Sydney Smith. His name is well known in literature; and his writings and his [pg 342]example still teach us in religion. This was Robert Hall, professor of a somber creed in a somber flat country, as flat and "deadly-lively," as they say, as need be. To add to difficulties and troubles, the minister was plagued with about as painful an illness as falls to the lot of humanity to bear. He had fought with infidelity and doubt; he had refused promotion, because he would do his duty where it had pleased God to place him; next he had to show how well he could bear pain. In all his trials he had been cheerful, forcible, natural, and straightforward. In this deep one he preserved the same character. Forced to throw himself down and writhe upon the floor in his paroxysms of pain, he rose up, livid with exhaustion, and with the sweat of anguish on his brow, without a murmur.

In the whole library of brave anecdote there is no tale of heroism which, to us, beats this. It very nearly equals that of poor, feeble Latimer, cheering up his fellow-martyr as he walked to the stake, "Be of good cheer, brother Ridley; we shall this day light such a fire in England as by God's grace shall not be readily put out." The very play upon the torture is brave, yet pathetic. Wonderful, too, was the boldness and cheerfulness of another martyr, Rowland Taylor, who, stripped to his shirt, was forced to walk toward the stake, who answered the jeers of his persecutors and the tears of his friends with the same noble constant smile, and, meeting two of his very old parishioners who wept, stopped and cheered them as he went, adding, that he went on his way rejoicing.

Heroes and martyrs are perhaps too high examples, for they may have, or rather poor, common, every-day humanity will think they have, a kind of high-pressure sustainment. Let us look to our own prosaic days; let us mark the constant cheerfulness and manliness of Dr. Maginn, or that [pg 343]much higher heroic bearing of Tom Hood. We suppose that every body knows that Hood's life was not of that brilliant, sparkling, fizzing, banging, astonishing kind which writers such as Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, and some others, depict as the general life of literary men. He did not, like Byron, "jump up one morning, and find himself famous." All the libraries were not asking for his novel, though a better was not written; countesses and dairy-women did not beg his autograph. His was a life of constant hard work, constant trial or disappointment, and constant illness, enlivened only by a home affection and a cheerfulness as constant as his pain. When slowly, slowly dying, he made cheerful fun as often almost as he said his prayers. He was heard, after, perhaps, being almost dead, to laugh gently to himself in the still night, when his wife or children, who were the watchers, thought him asleep. Many of the hard lessons of fate he seasoned, as old Latimer did his sermons, with a pun, and he excused himself from sending more "copy" for his magazine by a sketch, the "Editor's Apologies," a rough pen-and-ink drawing of physic-bottles and leeches. Yet Hood had not only his own woes to bear, but felt for others. No one had a more tender heart--few men a more catholic and Christian sympathy for the poor--than the writer of the "Song of the Shirt."

What such men as these have done, every one else surely can do. Cheerfulness is a Christian duty; moroseness, dulness, gloominess, as false, and wrong, and cruel as they are unchristian. We are too far advanced now in the light of truth to go back into the Gothic and conventual gloom of the Middle Ages, any more than we could go back to the exercises of the Flagellants and the nonsense of the pre-Adamites. All whole-hearted peoples have been lively and bustling, noisy almost, in their progress, pushing, energetic, [pg 344]broad in shoulder, strong in lung, loud in voice, of free brave color, bold look, and bright eyes. They are the cheerful people in the world--

"Active doers, noble livers--strong to labors sure to conquer;"

and soon pass in the way of progress the more quiet and gloomy of their fellows. That some of this cheerfulness may be simply animal is true, and that a man may be a dullard and yet sit and "grin like a Cheshire cat;" but we are not speaking of grinning. Laughter is all very well; is a healthy, joyous, natural impulse; the true mark of superiority between man and beast, for no inferior animal laughs; but we are not writing of laughter, but of that continued even tone of spirits, which lies in the middle zone between frantic merriment and excessive despondency. Cheerfulness arises from various causes: from health; but it is not dependent upon health;--from good fortune; but it does not arise solely from that;--from honor, and position, and a tickled pride and vanity; but, as we have seen, it is quite independent of these. The truth is, it is a brave habit of the mind; a prime proof of wisdom; capable of being acquired, and of the very greatest value.

A cheerful man is pre-eminently a useful man. He does not "cramp his mind, nor take half views of men and things." He knows that there is much misery, but that misery is not the rule of life. He sees that in every state people may be cheerful; the lambs skip, birds sing and fly joyously, puppies play, kittens are full of joyance, the whole air full of careering and rejoicing insects, that everywhere the good outbalances the bad, and that every evil that there is has its compensating balm. Then the brave man, as our German cousins say, possesses the world, whereas the melancholy man does not even possess his own share of it. Exercise, [pg 345]or continued employment of some kind, will make a man cheerful; but sitting at home, brooding and thinking, or doing little, will bring gloom. The reaction of this feeling is wonderful. It arises from a sense of duty done, and it also enables us to do our duty. Cheerful people live long in our memory. We remember joy more readily than sorrow, and always look back with tenderness on the brave and cheerful. Autolycus repeats the burden of an old song with the truth that "a merry heart goes all the day, but your sad ones tires a mile a!" and what he says any one may notice, not only in ourselves, but in the inferior animals also. A sulky dog, and a bad-tempered horse, wear themselves out with half the labor that kindly creatures do. An unkindly cow will not give down her milk, and a sour sheep will not fatten; nay, even certain fowls and geese, to those who observe, will evidence temper--good or bad.

We can all cultivate our tempers, and one of the employments of some poor mortals is to cultivate, cherish, and bring to perfection, a thoroughly bad one; but we may be certain that to do so is a very gross error and sin, which, like all others, brings its own punishment, though, unfortunately, it does not punish itself only. If he "to whom God is pleasant is pleasant to God," the reverse also holds good; and certainly the major proposition is true with regard to man. Addison says of cheerfulness, that it lightens sickness, poverty, affliction; converts ignorance into an amiable simplicity, and renders deformity itself agreeable; and he says no more than the truth. "Give us, therefore, O! give us"--let us cry with Carlyle--"the man who sings at his work! Be his occupation what it may, he is equal to any of those who follow the same pursuit in silent sullenness. He will do more in the same time; he will do it better; he will persevere longer. One is scarcely sensible of [pg 346]fatigue whilst he marches to music. The very stars are said to make harmony as they revolve in their appointed skies." "Wondrous is the strength of cheerfulness! altogether past calculation the powers of its endurance. Efforts, to be permanently useful must be uniformly joyous--a spirit all sunshine--graceful from very gladness--beautiful because bright." Such a spirit is within every body's reach. Let us get out into the light of things. The morbid man cries out that there is always enough wrong in the world to make a man miserable. Conceded; but wrong is ever being righted; there is always enough that is good and right to make us joyful. There is ever sunshine somewhere; and the brave man will go on his way rejoicing, content to look forward if under a cloud, not bating one jot of heart or hope if for a moment cast down; honoring his occupation, whatever it may be; rendering even rags respectable by the way he wears them; and not only being happy himself, but causing the happiness of others.

[pg 347]




The father of Harold, the last Saxon king of England, was named Godwin, and was the first great English statesman. It was from him that Harold in a great measure inherited his vigor and power, though, indeed, he came altogether of a noble race, both by lineage and character, for his mother was a daughter of Canute the Great.

All the English loved Harold; he was strong and generous, and a better counselor than Godwin, his father, in many ways. At first he never sought any thing for himself; but as time went on, and he found how he was obeyed, and how he was beloved, how the whole country turned her eyes to him as the fittest king when Edward the Confessor should be gone, he also took the same idea into his mind, and gave himself to rule, to teach, and to act as one who should by and by be king.

Edward's queen, Edith, was Harold's sister; but there was another Edith, who influenced Harold more than any one else in many ways. From his boyhood he and she had played together, and they grew up, never so much as thinking that a time would come when they would separate.

The more Harold saw her the more he felt he should like to ask her to be his wife, and have her always with him; but there were many things which made that impossible. And then England required Harold. If he thought only of his own happiness his country must suffer. The [pg 348]great nobles wished him to establish the kingdom by marrying the daughter of one of the most powerful lords; this would connect the people and the land more closely, and prevent quarrels and divisions; and the government required the whole of Harold's services, and the people required his watchfulness, his thought, his care, his presence.

All his life through he had consulted Edith, and now at this terrible moment he consulted her again. He stood before her, and in great trouble and agony of spirit told her just how things were, scarcely daring to look at the woman he loved; for if he looked at her, England, her greatness and her needs, all melted away, and he saw nothing but a beaming vision of a quiet, beloved home, free from the storms of the great world outside.

But Edith too was unselfish, pure and good; so she put all thought of personal happiness away, and putting her hand on his shoulder, said, "Never, O Harold, did I feel so proud of thee, for Edith could not love thee as she doth, and will till the grave clasp her, if thou didst not love England more than Edith." So these two separated.

His whole energy was given to his king and his country. He had no great love for the monks; but he sought out the good and noble ones, put power into their hands, and gave them his support in ruling wisely and well. The Abbey of Waltham had fallen into almost complete decay; he chose two humbly born men, renowned for the purity and benevolence of their lives, and gave to them the charge of selecting a new brotherhood there, which he largely endowed.

At last Edward passed quietly away, and with one accord Harold, the beloved, was chosen king and crowned.

Over the sea dwelt William, duke of the Normans, With no careless ear did he hear that Edward was dead Edward dead! Edward! Why, Edward, in a moment of [pg 349]friendship, had promised the English throne to him--had even, William asserted, left it him in will; therefore his rage was great when he heard that Harold was not only proclaimed and crowned king, but was ready to defend his claim by battle sooner than yield. William was a man of power and iron will; he forced his reluctant Normans to listen to his complaint, equipped an army, and sailed for Britain. On came the queer little ships of war, nearer and nearer to England's white, free cliffs, and cast anchor in Pevensey Bay.

William, eager and impatient, sprang from his ship; but his foot slipping, he fell, to rise again with both his hands full of earth, which he showed to his scared soldiers in triumph, crying:

"So do I grasp the earth of a new country."

Meanwhile Harold had gathered his forces, and they were assembled on Senlac Hill, an advantageous position. He himself was in the center, his brave brother Gurth at his right hand.

A general charge of the Norman foot opened the battle, which raged the whole day, victory now leaning to the English and now to the Normans. There was a cry that the duke was killed. "I live!" he shouted, "and by God's help will conquer yet!" And tearing off his helmet he rushed into the thickest of the battle, and aimed right at the standard. Round that standard the last sharp, long struggle took place. Harold, Gurth, all the greatest who still survived, met there. With his tremendous battle-ax the king did mighty slaughter, till, looking upward as he swung his ax with both hands, a Norman arrow pierced his eye, and he fell.

"Fight on!" he gasped. "Conceal my death--England to the rescue!" One instant he sprang to his feet, and then [pg 350]fell back--lifeless. One by one the other noble guardians fell around him, till only Gurth was left, brave chief and last man, with no thought of surrender, though all was gone and lost.

"Spare him! spare the brave!" shouted one; but the brave heart was already pierced, and he sank beside his king and brother. So fell the last of the Saxon kings, and so arose the Norman race.

Long did they search the battlefield for Harold's body, disfigured by wounds and loss of blood, but long did they seek it in vain, till a woman whose toil had never ceased burst into a sharp cry over a lifeless form. It was Edith, who with many another woman had watched the battle. The body was too changed to be recognized even by its nearest friends; but beneath his heart was punctured in old Saxon letters "Edith," and just below, in characters more fresh, "England," the new love he had taken when duty bade him turn from Edith; which recalls the lines of Lovelace to Lucasta:

"Tell me not, sweet, I am unkind,
    That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
    To war and arms I fly.

True, a new mistress now I chase,
    The first foe of the field;
And with a stronger faith embrace
    A sword, a horse, a shield.

Yet this inconstancy is such
    As you too shall adore;
I could not love thee, dear, so much
    Loved I not not honor more."
[pg 351]




(BORN 1791--DIED 1883.)


Barzillai, of sacred history, was a very old man, a very kind man, a very affectionate man, a very rich man of the tenth century before Christ, a type of our American philanthropist, Peter Cooper, in the nineteenth century after Christ. When I see Barzillai, from his wealthy country seat at Rogelim, coming out to meet David's retreating army, and providing them with flour and corn and mattresses, it makes me think of the hearty response of our modern philanthropist in time of trouble and disaster, whether individual, municipal, or national. The snow of his white locks has melted from our sight, and the benediction of his genial face has come to its long amen. But his influence halted not a half-second for his obsequies to finish, but goes right on without change, save that of augmentation, for in the great sum of a useful life death is a multiplication instead of subtraction, and the tombstone, instead of being the goal of the race, is only the starting point. What means this rising up of all good men, with hats off, in reverence to one who never wielded a sword or delivered masterly oration or stood in senatorial place? Neither general, nor lord, nor governor, nor President. The LL. D., which a university bestowed, did not stick to him. The word mister, as a prefix, or the word esquire, as a suffix, seemed a superfluity. He was, in all Christendom, plain Peter Cooper. Why, [pg 352]then, all the flags at half-mast, and the resolutions of common council, and the eulogium of legislatures, and the deep sighs from multitudes who have no adequate way to express their bereavement?

First, he was in some respects the father of American philanthropies. There have been far larger sums donated to the public since this man founded Cooper Institute, but I think that hundreds of the charities were born of his example. Sometimes a father will have a large family of children who grow up to be larger than himself. When that six-storied temple of instruction was built on Fourth Avenue and Seventh Street by Mr. Cooper, at an expense of $630,000, and endowed by him with $150,000, you must remember $100,000 was worth as much as $500,000 now, and that millionaires, who are so common now that you hardly stop to look at them, were a rare spectacle. Stephen Girard and John Jacob Astor, of the olden time, would in our day almost excite the sympathy of some of our railroad magnates. The nearly $800,000, which built and endowed Cooper Institute, was as much as $3,000,000 or $5,000,000 now. But there are institutions in our day that have cost many times more dollars in building and endowment which have not accomplished more than a fraction of the good done by this munificence of 1857. This gift brooded charities all over the land. This mothered educational institutions. This gave glorious suggestion to many whose large fortune was hitherto under the iron grasp of selfishness. If the ancestral line of many an asylum or infirmary or college or university were traced back far enough, you would learn that Peter Cooper was the illustrious progenitor. Who can estimate the effect of such an institution, standing for twenty-six years, saying to all the millions of people passing up and down the great [pg 353]thoroughfares: "I am here to bless and educate, without money and without price, all the struggling ones who come under my wings?" That institution has for twenty-six years been crying shame on miserliness and cupidity. That free reading-room has been the inspiration of five hundred free reading-rooms. Great reservoir of American beneficence!

Again, Peter Cooper showed what a wise thing it is for a man to be his own executor. How much better is ante-mortem charity than post-mortem beneficence. Many people keep all their property for themselves till death, and then make good institutions their legatees. They give up the money only because they have to. They would take it all with them if they only had three or four stout pockets in their shroud. Better late than never, but the reward shall not be as great as the reward of those who make charitable contribution while yet they have power to keep their money. Charity, in last will and testament, seems sometimes to be only an attempt to bribe Charon, the ferryman, to land the boat in celestial rather than infernal regions. Mean as sin when they disembark from the banks of this world, they hope to be greeted as benefactors when they come up the beach on the other side. Skinflints when they die, they hope to have the reception of a George Peabody. Besides that, how often donations by will and testament fail of their final destination. The surrogate's courts are filled with legal quarrels. If a philanthropist has any pride of intellect, and desires to help Christian institutions, he had better bestow the gift before death, for the trouble is, if he leaves any large amount to Christian institutions, the courts will be appealed to to prove he was crazy. They will bring witnesses to prove that for a long time he has been becoming imbecile, and as almost every one of positive nature has idiosyncrasies, these idiosyncrasies will be brought out on the [pg 354]trial, and ventilated and enlarged and caricatured, and the man who had mind enough to make $1,000,000, and heart enough to remember needy institutions, will be proved a fool. If he have a second wife, the children of the first wife will charge him with being unduly influenced. Many a man who, when he made his will, had more brain than all his household put together, has been pronounced a fit subject for a lunatic asylum. Be your own executor. Do not let the benevolent institutions of the country get their chief advantage from your last sickness and death. How much better, like Peter Cooper, to walk through the halls you have built for others and see the young men being educated by your beneficence, and to get the sublime satisfaction of your own charities! I do not wonder that Barzillai, the wealthy Gileadite, lived to be eighty, for he stood in the perpetual sunshine of his beneficence. I do not wonder that Peter Cooper, the modern Barzillai, lived to be ninety-two years of age, for he felt the healthful reaction of helping others. Doing good was one of the strongest reasons of his longevity. There is many a man with large estate behind him who calls up his past dollars as a pack of hounds to go out and hunt up one more dollar before he dies. Away away the hunter and his hounds for that last dollar! Hotter and hotter the chase. Closer on the track and closer. Whip up and spur on the steed! The old man just ahead, and all the pack of hounds close after him. Now they are coming in at the death, that last dollar only a short distance ahead. The old hunter, with panting breath and pale cheek and outstretched arm, clutches for it as it turns on its track, but, missing it, keeps on till the exhausted dollar plunges into a hole and burrows and burrows deep; and the old hunter, with both hands, claws at the earth, and claws deeper down, till the burrowed embankment gives way, and [pg 355]he rolls over into his own grave. We often talk of old misers. There are but few old misers. The most of them are comparatively young. Avarice massacres more than a war. In contrast, behold the philanthropist in the nineties, and dying of a cold caught in going to look after the affairs of the institution he himself founded, and which has now about two thousand five hundred persons a day in its reading-rooms and libraries, and two thousand students in its evening schools.

Again, Peter Cooper has shown the world a good way of settling the old quarrel between capital and labor, the altercation between rich and poor. There are two ways in which this conflict can never be settled. One is the violent suppression of the laboring classes, and the other the violent assault of the rich. This is getting to be the age of dynamite--dynamite under the Kremlin, dynamite in proximity to Parliament House and railroad track, dynamite near lordly mansions, dynamite in Ireland, dynamite in England, dynamite in America. The rich are becoming more exclusive, and the poor more irate. I prescribe for the cure of this mighty evil of the world a large allopathic dose of Peter Cooperism. You never heard of dynamite in Cooper Institute. You never heard of any one searching the cellar of that man's house for a keg of dynamite. At times of public excitement, when prominent men had their houses guarded, there were no sentinels needed at his door. The poorest man with a hod on his shoulder carrying brick up a wall begrudged not the philanthropist his carriage as he rode by. No one put the torch to Peter Cooper's glue factory. When on some great popular occasion the masses assembled in the hall of Cooper Institute and its founder came on the platform, there were many hard hands that clapped in vigorous applause. Let the rich stretch forth [pg 356]toward the great masses of England, Ireland, and America as generous and kind a hand as that of Peter Cooper, and the age of dynamite will end. What police can not do, and shot and shell can not do, and strongest laws severely executed can not do, and armies can not do, will yet be accomplished by something that I see fit to baptize as Peter Cooperism. I hail the early twilight of that day when a man of millions shall come forth and say: "There are seventy thousand destitute children in New York, and here I put up and endow out of my fortune a whole line of institutions to take care of them; here are vast multitudes in filthy and unventilated tenement-houses, for whom I will build a whole block of residences at cheap rents; here are nations without Christ, and I turn my fortune inside out to send them flaming evangels; there shall be no more hunger, and no more sickness, and no more ignorance, and no more crime, if I can help it." That spirit among the opulent of this country and other countries would stop contention, and the last incendiary's torch would be extinguished, and the last dagger of assassination would go to slicing bread for poor children, and the last pound of dynamite that threatens death would go to work in quarries to blast foundation-stones for asylums and universities and churches. May the spirit of Peter Cooper and Wm. E. Dodge come down on all the bank stock and government securities and railroad companies and great business houses of America!

Again, this Barzillai of the nineteenth century shows us a more sensible way of monumental and epitaphal commemoration. It is natural to want to be remembered. It would not be a pleasant thought to us or to any one to feel that the moment you are out of the world you would be forgotten. If the executors of Peter Cooper should build on his grave a monument that would cost $20,000,000, it [pg 357]would not so well commemorate him as that monument at the junction of Third and Fourth Avenues, New York. How few people would pass along the silent sepulcher as compared with those great numbers that will ebb and flow around Cooper Institute in the ages to come! Of the tens of thousands to be educated there, will there be one so stupid as not to know who built it, and what a great heart he had, and how he struggled to achieve a fortune, but always mastered that fortune, and never allowed the fortune to master him? What is a monument of Aberdeen granite beside a monument of intellect and souls? What is an epitaph of a few words cut by a sculptor's chisel beside the epitaph of coming generations and hundreds writing his praise? Beautiful and adorned beyond all the crypts and catacombs and shrines of the dead! But the superfluous and inexcusable expense of catafalque and sarcophagus and tumulus and necropolis the world over, put into practical help, would have sent intelligence into every dark mind and provided a home for every wanderer. The pyramids of Egypt, elevated at vast expense, were the tombs of kings--their names now obliterated. But the monuments of good last forever. After "Old Mortality" has worn out his chisel in reviving the epitaphs on old tombstones, the names of those who have helped others will be held in everlasting remembrance. The fires of the Judgment Day will not crumble off one of the letters. The Sabbath-school teacher builds her monument in the heavenly thrones of her converted scholars. Geo. Müller's monument is the orphan-houses of England. Handel's monument was his "Hallelujah Chorus." Peabody's monument, the library of his native village and the schools for educating the blacks in the South. They who give or pray for a church have their monument in all that sacred edifice ever accomplishes. [pg 358]John Jay had his monument in free America. Wilberforce his monument in the piled up chains of a demolished slave trade. Livingstone shall have his monument in regenerated Africa. Peter Cooper has his monument in all the philanthropies which for the last quarter of a century he encouraged by his one great practical effort for the education of the common people. That is a fame worth having. That is a style of immortality for which any one without degradation may be ambitious. Fill all our cities with such monuments till the last cripple has his limb straightened, and the last inebriate learns the luxury of cold water, and the last outcast comes home to his God, and the last abomination is extirpated, and "Paradise Lost" has become "Paradise Regained."

But notice, also, that the longest life-path has a terminus. What a gauntlet to run--the accidents, the epidemics, the ailments of ninety-two years! It seemed as if this man would live on forever. His life reached from the administration of George Washington to that of President Arthur. But the liberal hand is closed, and the beaming eye is shut, and the world-encompassing heart is still. When he was at my house, I felt I was entertaining a king. But the king is dead, and we learn that the largest volume of life has its last chapter, its last paragraph, and its last word. What are ninety-two years compared with the years that open the first page of the future? For that let us be ready. Christ came to reconstruct us for usefulness, happiness, and heaven.

I know not the minutiae of Peter Cooper's religious opinions. Some men are worse than their creed, and some are better. The grandest profession of Jesus Christ is a life devoted to the world's elevation and betterment. A man may have a membership in all the orthodox Churches in Christendom, [pg 359]and yet, if he be mean and selfish and careless about the world's condition, he is no Christian; while, on the other hand, though he may have many peculiarities of belief, if he live for others more than for himself, he is Christ-like, and, I think, he must be a Christian. But let us remember that the greatest philanthropist of the ages was Jesus Christ, and the greatest charity ever known was that which gave not its dollars, but its blood, for the purchase of the world's deliverance. Standing in the shadow of Peter Cooper's death, I pray God that all the resources of America may be consecrated. We are coming on to times of prosperity that this country never imagined. Perhaps here and there a few years of recoil or set-back, but God only can estimate the wealth that is about to roll into the lap of this nation. Between five years ago, when I visited the South, and my recent visit, there has been a change for the better that amounts to a resurrection. The Chattahoochee is about to rival the Merrimac in manufactures, and the whole South is being filled with the dash of water-wheels and the rattle of spindles. Atlanta has already $6,000,000 invested in manufactures. The South has gone out of politics into business. The West, from its inexhaustible mines, is going to, disgorge silver and gold, and pour the treasure all over the nation. May God sanctify the coming prosperity of the people. The needs are as awful as the opulence is to be tremendous. In 1880 there were 5,000,000 people over ten years of age in the United States that could not read, and over 6,000,000 who could not write, and nearly 2,000,000 of the voters. We want 5,000 Cooper Institutes and churches innumerable, and just one spiritual awakening, but that reaching from the St. Lawrence to Key West, and from Barnegat Light-house to the Golden Gate. We can all somewhere be felt in the [pg 360]undertaking. I like the sentiment and the rhythm of some anonymous poet, who wrote:

"When I am dead and gone,
And the mold upon my breast,
Say not that he did well or ill,
Only 'He did his best.'"
        --DR. TALMAGE.


Goodness needs no lure:
All compensations are in her enshrined,
Whatever things are right and fair and pure,
Wealth of the heart and mind.

Failure and Success,
The Day and Night of every life below,
Are but the servants of her blessedness,
That come and spend and go.

Life is her reward,
A life brim-full, in every day's employ,
Of sunshine, inspiration, every word
And syllable of joy.

Heaven to thee is known,
If Goodness in the robes of common earth
Becomes a presence thou canst call thine own,
To warm thy heart and hearth.

Clothed in flesh and blood,
She flits about me every blessed day,
The incarnation of sweet womanhood;
And age brings no decay.
[pg 361]



"Therefore trust to thy heart, and what the world calls illusions."--LONGFELLOW.

This curious sentence of Longfellow's deserves reading again. He is an earnest man, and does not mean to cheat us; he has done good work in the world by his poems and writings; he has backed up many, and lifted the hearts of many, by pure thought; he means what he says. Yet, what is altogether lighter than vanity? The human heart, answers the religionist. What is altogether deceitful upon the scales? The human heart. What is a Vanity Fair, a mob, a hubbub and babel of noises, to be avoided, shunned, hated? The world. And, lastly, what are our thoughts and struggles, vain ideas, and wishes? Vain, empty illusions, shadows, and lies. And yet this man, with the inspiration which God gives every true poet, tells us to trust to our hearts, and what the world calls illusions. And he is right.

Now there are, of course, various sorts of illusions. The world is itself illusive. None of us are exactly what we seem; and many of those things that we have the firmest faith in really do not exist. When the first philosopher declared that the world was round, and not a plane as flat and circular as a dinner-plate or a halfpenny, people laughed at him, and would have shut him up in a lunatic asylum. They said he had an "illusion;" but it was they who had it. He was so bold as to start the idea that we had people under us, and that the sun went to light them, and that they walked with their feet to our feet. So they do, we know well now; [pg 362]but the pope and cardinals would not have it, and so they met in solemn conclave, and ordered the philosopher's book to be burnt, and they would have burnt him, too, in their hardly logical way of saving souls, only he recanted, and, sorely against his will, said that it was all an "illusion." But the pope and his advisers had an illusion, too, which was, that dressing up men who did not believe in their faith, in garments on which flames and devils were represented--such a garment they called a san benito--and then burning them, was really something done for the glory of God. They called it with admirable satire an auto da fé (an "act of faith"), and they really did believe--for many of the inquisitors were mistaken but tender men--that they did good by this; but surely now they have outgrown this illusion. How many of these have we yet to outgrow; how far are we off the true and liberal Christianity which is the ideal of the saint and sage; how ready are we still to persecute those who happen, by mere circumstances attending their birth and education, to differ from us!

The inner world of man, no less than the external world, is full of illusions. They arise from distorted vision, from a disorder of the senses, or from an error of judgment upon data correctly derived from their evidence. Under the influence of a predominant train of thought, an absorbing emotion, a person ready charged with an uncontrolled imagination will see, as Shakspeare has it--

"More devils than vast hell can hold."

Half, if not all, of the ghost stories, which are equally dangerous and absorbing to youth, arise from illusion--there they have their foundation; but believers in them obstinately refuse to believe anything but that which their overcharged and predisposed imagination leads them to. Some of us [pg 363]walk about this world of ours--as if it were not of itself full enough of mystery--as ready to swallow any thing wonderful or horrible, as the country clown whom a conjurer will get upon his stage to play tricks with. Fooled by a redundant imagination, delighted to be tricked by her potency, we dream away, flattered by the idea that a supernatural messenger is sent to us, and to us alone. We all have our family ghosts, in whom we more than half believe. Each one of us has a mother or a wise aunt, or some female relation, who, at one period of her life, had a dream, difficult to be interpreted, and foreboding good or evil to a child of the house.

We are so grand, we men, "noble animals, great in our deaths and splendid even in our ashes," that we can not yield to a common fate without some overstrained and bombast conceit that the elements themselves give warning. Casca, in "Julius Caesar," rehearses some few of the prodigies which predicted Caesar's death:

"A common slave (you know him well by sight)
Held up his left hand, which did flame, and burn
Like twenty torches join'd; and yet his hand,
Not sensible of fire, remained unscorched....
And, yesterday, the bird of night did sit,
Even at noon-day, upon the market-place,
Hooting and shrieking. When these prodigies
Do so conjointly meet, let not men say,
'These are their reasons--they are natural;
For, I believe, they are portentous things."

A great many others besides our good Casca believe in these portents and signs, and their dignity would be much hurt if they were persuaded that the world would go on just the same if they and their family were utterly extinct, and that no eclipse would happen to portend that calamity. In Ireland, in certain great families, a Banshee, or a Benshee, [pg 364]for they differ who spell it, sits and wails all night when the head of the family is about to stretch his feet towards the dim portals of the dead; and in England are many families who, by some unknown means, retain a ghost which walks up and down a terrace, as it did in that fanciful habitation of Sir Leicester Dedlock. In Scotland, they have amongst them prophetic shepherds, who, on the cold, misty mountain top, at eventide, shade their shaggy eyebrows with their hands, and, peering into the twilight, see funerals pass by, and the decease of some neighbor portended by all the paraphernalia of death.

With us all these portents "live no longer in the faith of Reason;" we assert, in Casca's words, that "they are natural;" but we offend the credulous when we do so. "Illusions of the senses," says an acute writer, "are common in our appreciation of form, distance, color, and motion; and also from a lack of comprehension of the physical powers of Nature, in the production of images of distinct objects. A stick in the water appears bent or broken; the square tower at the distance looks round; distant objects appear to move when we are in motion; the heavenly bodies appear to revolve round the earth." And yet we know that all these appearances are mere illusions. At the top of a mountain in Ireland, with our back to the sun, we, two travelers, were looking at the smiling landscape gilded by the sunshine; suddenly a white cloud descended between us and the valley, and there upon it were our two shadows, distorted, gigantic, threatening or supplicatory, as we chose to move and make them. Here was an exactly similar apparition to the Specter of the Brocken. The untaught German taxed his wits to make the thing a ghost; but the philosopher took off his hat and bowed to it, and the shadow returned the salute; and so with the Fata Morgana, and the [pg 365]mirage. We now know that these things had no supernatural origin, but are simply due to the ordinary laws of atmospheric influence and light; so all our modern illusions are easily rectified by the judgment, and are fleeting and transitory in the minds of the sane.

But, beyond these, there are the illusions of which we first spoke, from which we would not willingly be awakened. The sick man in Horace, who fancied that he was always sitting at a play, and laughed and joked, or was amazed and wept as they do in a theater, rightly complained to his friends that they had killed him, not cured him, when they roused him from his state of hallucination. There are some illusions so beautiful, so healthful, and so pleasant, that we would that no harshness of this world's ways, no bitter experience, no sad reality, could awaken us from them. It is these, we fancy, that the poet tells us to trust to; such are the illusions--so-called by the world--to which we are always to give our faith. It will be well if we do so. Faith in man or woman is a comfortable creed; but you will scarcely find a man of thirty, or a woman either, who retains it. They will tell you bitterly "they have been so deceived!" One old gentleman we know, deceived, and ever again to be deceived, who is a prey to false friends, who lends his money without surety and gets robbed, who fell in love and was jilted, who has done much good and has been repaid with much evil. This man is much to be envied. He can, indeed, "trust in his heart and what the world calls illusions." To him the earth is yet green and fresh, the world smiling and good-humored, friends are fast and loving, woman a very well-spring of innocent and unbought love. The world thinks him an old simpleton; but he is wiser than the world. He is not to be scared by sad proverbs, nor frightened by dark sayings. An enviable [pg 366]man, he sits, in the evening of life, loving and trusting his fellow-men, and, from the mere freshness of his character, having many gathered round him whom he can still love and trust.

With another sort of philosophers all around is mere illusion, and the mind of man shall in no way be separated from it; from the beginning to the end it is all the same. Our organization, they would have us believe, creates most of our pleasure and our pain. Life is in itself an ecstasy. "Life is as sweet as nitrous oxide; and the fisherman, dripping all day over a cold pond, the switchman at the railway intersection, the farmer in the field, the negro in the rice-swamp, the fop in the street, the hunter in the woods, the barrister with the jury, the belle at the ball--all ascribe a certain pleasure to their employment which they themselves give to it. Health and appetite impart the sweetness to sugar, bread, and meat." So fancy plays with us; but, while she tricks us, she blesses us. The mere prosaic man, who strips the tinsel from every thing, who sneers at a bridal and gladdens at a funeral; who tests every coin and every pleasure, and tells you that it has not the true ring; who checks capering Fancy and stops her caracoling by the whip of reality, is not to be envied. "In the life of the dreariest alderman, Fancy enters into all details, and colors them with a rosy hue," says Emerson. "He imitates the air and action of people whom he admires, and is raised in his own eyes.... In London, in Paris, in Boston, in San Francisco, the masquerade is at its height. Nobody drops his domino. The chapter of fascinations is very long. Great is paint; nay, God is the painter; and we rightly accuse the critic who destroys too many illusions."

Happy are they with whom this domino is never completely dropped! Happy, thrice happy, they who believe, [pg 367]and still maintain that belief, like champion knights, against all comers, in honor, chastity, friendship, goodness, virtue, gratitude. It is a long odds that the men who do not believe in these virtues have none themselves; for we speak from our hearts, and we tell of others that which we think of ourselves. The French, a mournful, sad, and unhappy nation--even at the bottom of all their external gaiety--have a sad word, a participle, désillusionné, disillusioned; and by it they mean one who has worn out all his youthful ideas, who has been behind the scenes, and has seen the bare walls of the theater, without the light and paint, and has watched the ugly actors and gaunt actresses by daylight. The taste of life is very bitter in the mouth of such a man; his joys are Dead Sea apples--dust and ashes in the mouths of those who bite them. No flowers spring up about his path; he is very melancholy and suspicious, very hard and incredulous; he has faith neither in the honesty of man nor in the purity of woman. He is désillusionné--by far too wise to be taken in with painted toys. Every one acts with self-interest! His doctor, his friend, or his valet will be sorry for his death merely from the amount of money interest that they have in his life. Bare and grim unto tears, even if he had any, is the life of such a man. With him, sadder than Lethe or the Styx, the river of time runs between stony banks, and, often a calm suicide, it bears him to the Morgue. Happier by far is he who, with whitened hair and wrinkled brow, sits crowned with the flowers of illusion; and who, with the ear of age, still remains a charmed listener to the songs which pleased his youth, trusting "his heart and what the world calls illusions."

[pg 368]




Phillips Brooks at home, of course, means Phillips Brooks in Trinity Church, Boston. Other than his church, home proper he has none, for he abides a bachelor.

And somehow it seems almost fit that a man like Mr. Brooks, a man so ample, so overflowing; a man, as it were, more than sufficient to himself, sufficient also to a multitude of others, should have his home large and public; such a home, in fact, as Trinity Church. Here Phillips Brooks shines like a sun--diffusing warmth and light and life. What a blessing to what a number! To what a number of souls, it would have been natural to say; but, almost as natural, to what a number of bodies! For the physical man is a source of comfort, in its kind, hardly less so than the intellectual and the spiritual. How that massive, majestic manhood makes temperature where it is, and what temperature! Broad, equable, temperate, calm; yet tonic, withal, and inspiring. You rejoice in it. You have an irrational feeling that it would be a wrong to shut up so much opulence of personal vitality in any home less wide and open than a great basilica like Trinity Church. At least, you are not pained with sympathy for homelessness in the case of a man so richly endowed. To be so pained would be like shivering on behalf of the sun, because, forsooth, the sun had nothing to make him warm and bright. Phillips Brooks in Trinity Church is like the sun in its [pg 369]sphere. Still, and were it not impertinent, I could even wish for Phillips Brooks an every-day home, such as would be worthy of him. What a home it should be! And with thus much of loyal, if of doubtfully appropriate tribute, irresistibly prompted, and therefore not to be repressed, let me go on to speak of Phillips Brooks as he is to be seen and heard Sunday after Sunday at home in Trinity Church.

Every body knows how magnificent an edifice, with its arrested tower yet waiting and probably long to wait completion, Trinity Church is. The interior is decorated almost to the point of gorgeousness. The effect, however, is imposing for "the height, the glow, the glory." Good taste reigning over lavish expenditure has prevented chromatic richness from seeming to approach tawdriness. It is much to say for any man preaching here that the building does not make him look disproportionate, inadequate. This may strongly be said for Phillips Brooks. But even for him it can not be said that the form and construction of the interior do not oppose a serious embarrassment to the proper effect of oratory. I could not help feeling it to be a great wrong to the truth, or, to put it personally, a great wrong to the preacher and to his hearers, that an audience-room should be so broken up with pillars, angles, recesses, so sown with contrasts of light and shade, as necessarily, inevitably, to disperse and waste an immense fraction of the power exerted by the preacher, whatever the measure, great or small, of that power might be. The reaction of this audience-room upon the oratorical instinct and habit of the man who should customarily speak in it could not but be mischievous in a very high degree. The sense, which ought to live in every public speaker, of his being fast bound in a grapple of mind to mind, and heart to heart, and soul to [pg 370]soul, with his audience, must be oppressed, if not extinguished, amid such architectural conditions as those which surround Phillips Brooks when he stands to preach. That in him this needful sense is not extinguished is a thing to be thankful for. That it is, in fact, oppressed, I can not doubt. There is evidence of it, I think, in his manner of preaching. For Mr. Brooks is not an orator such as Mr. Beecher is. He does not speak to people with people, as Mr. Beecher does; rather he speaks before them, in their presence. He soliloquizes. There is almost a minimum of mutual relation between speaker and hearer. Undoubtedly the swift, urgent monologue is quickened, reinforced, by the consciousness of an audience present. That consciousness, of course, penetrates to the mind of the speaker. But it does not dominate the speaker's mind; it does not turn monologue into dialogue; the speech is monologue still.

This is not invariably the case; for, occasionally, the preacher turns his noble face toward you, and for that instant you feel the aim of his discourse leveled full at your personality. Now there is a glimpse of true oratorical power. But the glimpse passes quickly. The countenance is again directed forward toward a horizon, or even lifted toward a quarter of the sky above the horizon, and the but momentarily interrupted rapt soliloquy proceeds.

Such I understand to have been the style of Robert Hall's pulpit speech. It is a rare gift to be a speaker of this sort. The speaker must be a thinker as well as a speaker. The speech is, in truth, a process of thinking aloud--thinking accelerated, exhilarated, by the vocal exercise accompanying, and then, too, by the blindfold sense of a listening audience near. This is the preaching of Mr. Brooks.

It is, perhaps, not generally known that Mr. Brooks practices two distinct methods of preaching: one, that with the [pg 371]manuscript; the other, that without. The last time that I had the chance of a Sunday in Trinity Church was Luther's day. The morning discourse was a luminous and generous appreciation of the great reformer's character and work. This was read in that rapid, vehement, incessant manner which description has made sufficiently familiar to the public. The precipitation of utterance is like the flowing forth of the liquid contents of a bottle suddenly inverted; every word seems hurrying to be foremost. The unaccustomed hearer is at first left hopelessly in the rear; but presently the contagion of the speaker's rushing thought reaches him, and he is drawn into the wake of that urgent ongoing; he is towed along in the great multitudinous convoy that follows the mighty motor-vessel, steaming, unconscious of the weight it bears, across the sea of thought. The energy is sufficient for all; it overflows so amply that you scarcely feel it not to be your own energy. The writing is like in character to the speaking--continuous, no break, no shock, no rest, not much change of swifter and slower till the end. The apparent mass of the speaker, physical and mental, might at first seem equal to making up a full, adequate momentum without multiplication by such a component of velocity; but by-and-by you come to feel that the motion is a necessary part of the power. I am told, indeed, that a constitutional tendency to hesitation in utterance is the speaker's real reason for this indulged precipitancy of speech. Not unlikely; but the final result of habit is as if of nature.

Of the discourse itself on Luther, I have left myself room to say no more than that Mr. Brooks's master formula for power in the preacher, truth plus personality, came very fitly in to explain the problem of Luther's prodigious career. It was the man himself, not less than the truth he found, that [pg 372]gave Luther such possession of the present and such a heritage in the future.

In the afternoon, Mr. Brooks took Luther's "The just shall live by faith," and preached extemporarily. The character of the composition and of the delivery was strikingly the same as that belonging to morning's discourse. It was hurried, impetuous soliloquy; in this particular case hurried first, and then impetuous. That is, I judged from various little indications that Mr. Brooks used his will to urge himself on against some obstructiveness felt in the current mood and movement of his mind. But it was a noteworthy discourse, full and fresh with thought. The interpretation put upon Luther's doctrine of justification by faith was free rather than historic. If one should apply the formula, truth plus personality, the personality--Mr. Brooks's personality--would perhaps be found to prevail in the interpretation over the strict historic truth.--W.C. WILKINSON in The Christian Union.

[pg 373]

Fear not
Fear not! there is hope and a refuge, And life shall yet be thine.




There is a beautiful legend
  Come down from ancient time,
Of John, the beloved disciple,
  With the marks of his life sublime.

Eusebius has the story
  On his quaint, suggestive page;
And God in the hearts of his people
  Has preserved it from age to age.

It was after the vision in Patmos,
  After the sanctified love
Which flowed to the Seven Churches,
  Glowing with light from above:

When his years had outrun the measure
  Allotted to men at the best,
And Peter and James and the others
  Had followed the Master to rest,

In the hope of the resurrection,
  And the blessed life to come
In the house of many mansions,
  The Father's eternal home;

It was in this golden season,
  At the going down of his sun,
When his work in the mighty harvest
  Of the Lord was almost done;

[pg 374]At Ephesus came a message,
  Where he was still at his post,
Which unto the aged Apostle
  Was the voice of the Holy Ghost.

Into the country he hastened
  With all the ardor of youth,
Shod with the preparation
  Of the Gospel of peace and truth.

His mission was one of mercy
  To the sheep that were scattered abroad,
And abundant consolation,
  Which flowed through him from the Lord.

O, would my heart could paint him,
  The venerable man of God,
So lovingly showing and treading
  The way the Master had trod!

O, would my art could paint him,
  Whose life was a fact to prove
The joy of the Master's story,
  And fill their hearts with his love!

At length, when the service was ended,
  His eye on a young man fell,
Of beautiful form and feature,
  And grace we love so well.

At once he turned to the bishop,
  And said with a love unpriced,
"To thee, to thee I commit him
  Before the Church and Christ."

He then returned to the city,
  The beloved disciple, John,
Where the strong unceasing current
  Of his deathless love flowed on.

[pg 375]The bishop discharged his duty
  To the youth so graceful and fair;
With restraining hand he held him,
  And trained him with loving care.

At last, when his preparation
  Was made for the holy rite,
He was cleansed in the sanctified water,
  And pronounced a child of light.

For a time he adorned the doctrine
  Which Christ in the Church has set.
But, alas! for a passionate nature
  When Satan has spread his net!

Through comrades base and abandoned
  He was lured from day to day,
Until, like a steed unbridled,
  He struck from the rightful way;

And a wild consuming passion
  Raised him unto the head
Of a mighty band of robbers,
  Of all the country the dread.

Time passed. Again a message
  Unto the Apostle was sent,
To set their affairs in order,
  And tell them the Lord's intent.

And when he had come and attended
  To all that needed his care,
He turned him and said, "Come, Bishop,
  Give back my deposit so rare."

"What deposit?" was the answer,
  Which could not confusion hide.
"I demand the soul of a brother,"
  Plainly the Apostle replied,

[pg 376]"Which Christ and I committed
  Before the Church to thee."
Trembling and even weeping,
  "The young man is dead," groaned he.

"How dead? What death?" John demanded.
  "He the way of the tempter trod,
Forgetting the Master's weapon,
  And now he is dead unto God.

Yonder he roves a robber."
  "A fine keeper," said John, "indeed,
Of a brother's soul. Get ready
  A guide and a saddled steed."

And all as he was the Apostle
  Into the region rode
Where the robber youth and captain
  Had fixed his strong abode.

When hardly over the border,
  He a prisoner was made,
And into their leader's presence
  Demanded to be conveyed.

And he who could brave a thousand
  When each was an enemy,
Beholding John approaching,
  Turned him in shame to flee.

But John, of his age forgetful,
  Pursued him with all his might.
"Why from thy defenseless father,"
  He cried, "dost thou turn in flight?

Fear not; there is hope and a refuge,
  And life shall yet be thine.
I will intercede with the Master
  And task His love divine."

[pg 377]Subdued by love that is stronger
  Than was ever an arméd band,
He became once more to the Father
  A child to feel for His hand.

Subdued by a love that is stronger
  Than a world full of terrors and fears,
He returned to the House of the Father
  Athrough the baptism of tears.

Such is the beautiful legend
  Come down from ancient days,
Of love that is young forever;
  And is he not blind who says

That charity ever faileth,
  Or doth for a moment despair,
Or that there is any danger
  Too great for her to dare;

When John, the beloved disciple,
  With the faith of the Gospel shod,
Went forth in pursuit of the robber,
  And brought him back to God?

O Church, whose strength is the doctrine
  Of the blessed Evangelist,
This doctrine of love undying
  Which the world can not resist!

Put on thy beautiful garments
  In this sordid and selfish day,
And be as of old a glory
  To turn us from Mammon away;

Until to the prayer of thy children,
  The sweetly simple prayer,
That bathed in the light of Heaven
  Thy courts may grow more fair,

[pg 378]There comes the eternal answer
  Of works that are loving and grand,
To remain for the generations
  The praises of God in the land.

O Church, whose strength is the doctrine
  Of the blessed Evangelist,
The doctrine of love undying
  Which the world can not resist!

Go forth to the highways and hedges
  To gather the sheep that are lost,
Conveying the joyful tidings,
  Their redemption at infinite cost.

Proclaim there is hope and a refuge
  For every wanderer there;
For every sin there is mercy--
  Yea, even the sin of despair!

O, then will thy beautiful garments,
  As once in the prime of thy youth,
Appear in celestial splendor,
  Thou pillar and ground of the Truth!
[pg 379]




The Rev. C.H. Spurgeon, of London, who has furnished our readers with several specimens of "John Ploughman's Talk," has also published "John Ploughman's Pictures," some of which we present in pen and ink, without any help from the engraver. John thus introduces himself:


Friendly Readers: Last time I made a book I trod on some people's corns and bunions, and they wrote me angry letters, asking, "Did you mean me?" This time, to save them the expense of a halfpenny card, I will begin my book by saying--

Whether I please or whether I tease,
  I'll give you my honest mind;
If the cap should fit, pray wear it a bit;
  If not, you can leave it behind.

No offense is meant; but if any thing in these pages should come home to a man, let him not send it next door, but get a coop for his own chickens. What is the use of reading or hearing for other people? We do not eat and drink for them: why should we lend them our ears and not our mouths? Please then, good friend, if you find a hoe on these premises, weed your own garden with it.

I was speaking with Will Shepherd the other day about our master's old donkey, and I said, "He is so old and [pg 380]stubborn, he really is not worth his keep." "No," said Will, "and worse still, he is so vicious that I feel sure he'll do somebody a mischief one of these days." You know they say that walls have ears; we were talking rather loud, but we did not know that there were ears to haystacks. We stared, I tell you, when we saw Joe Scroggs come from behind the stack, looking as red as a turkey-cock, and raving like mad. He burst out swearing at Will and me, like a cat spitting at a dog. His monkey was up and no mistake. He'd let us know that he was as good a man as either of us, or the two put together, for the matter of that. Talk about him in that way; he'd do--I don't know what. I told old Joe we had never thought of him nor said a word about him, and he might just as well save his breath to cool his porridge, for nobody meant him any harm. This only made him call me a liar and roar the louder. My friend Will was walking away, holding his sides; but when he saw that Scroggs was still in a fume, he laughed outright, and turned round on him and said, "Why, Joe, we were talking about master's old donkey, and not about you; but, upon my word, I shall never see that donkey again without thinking of Joe Scroggs." Joe puffed and blowed, but perhaps he thought it an awkward job, for he backed out of it, and Will and I went off to our work in rather a merry cue, for old Joe had blundered on the truth about himself for once in his life.

The aforesaid Will Shepherd has sometimes come down rather heavy upon me in his remarks, but it has done me good. It is partly through his home-thrusts that I have come to write this new book, for he thought I was idle; perhaps I am, and perhaps I am not. Will forgets that I have other fish to fry and tails to butter; and he does not recollect that a ploughman's mind wants to lie fallow a little, [pg 381]and can't give a crop every year. It is hard to make rope when your hemp is all used up, or pancakes without batter, or rook pie without the birds; and so I found it hard to write more when I had said just about all I knew. Giving much to the poor doth increase a man's store, but it is not the same with writing; at least, I am such a poor scribe that I don't find it come because I pull. If your thoughts only flow by drops, you can't pour them out in bucketfuls.

However, Will has ferreted me out, and I am obliged to him so far. I told him the other day what the winkle said to the pin: "Thank you for drawing me out, but you are rather sharp about it." Still, Master Will is not far from the mark: after three hundred thousand people had bought my book it certainly was time to write another. So, though I am not a hatter, I will again turn capmaker, and those who have heads may try on my wares; those who have none won't touch them. So, friends, I am,

Yours, rough and ready, JOHN PLOUGHMAN.


Well may he scratch his head who burns his candle at both ends; but do what he may, his light will soon be gone and he will be all in the dark. Young Jack Careless squandered his property, and now he is without a shoe to his foot. His was a case of "easy come, easy go; soon gotten, soon spent." He that earns an estate will keep it better than he that inherits it. As the Scotchman says, "He that gets gear before he gets wit is but a short time master of it," and so it was with Jack. His money burned holes in his pocket. He could not get rid of it fast enough himself, and so he got a pretty set to help him, which they did by helping themselves. His fortune went like a pound [pg 382]of meat in a kennel of hounds. He was every body's friend, and now he is every body's fool.


He points at the man in front of him, but he is a good deal more of a guy himself. He should not laugh at the crooked until he is straight himself, and not then. I hate to hear a raven croak at a crow for being black. A blind man should not blame his brother for squinting, and he who has lost his legs should not sneer at the lame. Yet so it is, the rottenest bough cracks first, and he who should be the last to speak is the first to rail. Bespattered hogs bespatter others, and he who is full of fault finds fault. They are most apt to speak ill of others who do most ill themselves.

We may chide a friend, and so prove our friendship, but it must be done very daintily, or we may lose our friend for our pains. Before we rebuke another we must consider, and take heed that we are not guilty of the same thing, for he who cleanses a blot with inky fingers makes it worse. To despise others is a worse fault than any we are likely to see in them, and to make merry over their weaknesses shows our own weakness and our own malice too. Wit should be a shield for defense, and not a sword for offense. A mocking word cuts worse than a scythe, and the wound is harder to heal. A blow is much sooner forgotten than a jeer. Mocking is shocking.


Some men are blinded by their worldly business, and could not see heaven itself if the windows were open over their heads. Look at farmer Grab, he is like Nebuchadnezzar, for his conversation is all among beasts, and if he does not eat grass it is because he never could stomach salads. [pg 383]His dinner is his best devotion; he is a terrible fastener on a piece of beef, and sweats at it more than at his labor. As old Master Earle says: "His religion is a part of his copyhold, which he takes from his landlord, and refers wholly to his lordship's discretion. If he gives him leave, he goes to church in his best clothes, and sits there with his neighbors, but never prays more than two prayers--for rain and for fair weather, as the case may be. He is a niggard all the week, except on market-days, where, if his corn sell well, he thinks he may be drunk with a good conscience. He is sensible of no calamity but the burning of a stack of corn, or the overflowing of a meadow, and he thinks Noah's flood the greatest plague that ever was, not because it drowned the world, but spoiled the grass. For death he is never troubled, and if he gets in his harvest before it happens, it may come when it will, he cares not." He is as stubborn as he is stupid, and to get a new thought into his head you would need to bore a hole in his skull with a center-bit. The game would not be worth the candle. We must leave him alone, for he is too old in the tooth, and too blind to be made to see.


Anger is a short madness. The less we do when we go mad the better for every body, and the less we go mad the better for ourselves. He is far gone who hurts himself to wreak his vengeance on others. The old saying is: "Don't cut off your head because it aches," and another says: "Set not your house on fire to spite the moon." If things go awry, it is a poor way of mending to make them worse, as the man did who took to drinking because he could not marry the girl he liked. He must be a fool who cuts off his nose to spite his face, and yet this is what Dick did when he [pg 384]had vexed his old master, and because he was chid must needs give up his place, throw himself out of work, and starve his wife and family. Jane had been idle, and she knew it, but sooner than let her mistress speak to her, she gave warning, and lost as good a service as a maid could wish for. Old Griggs was wrong, and could not deny it, and yet because the parson's sermon fitted him rather close he took the sulks, and vowed he would never hear the good man again. It was his own loss, but he wouldn't listen to reason, but was as willful as a pig.


Sam may try a fine while before he will make one of his empty sacks stand upright. If he were not half daft he would have left off that job before he began it, and not have been an Irishman either. He will come to his wit's end before he sets the sack on its end. The old proverb, printed at the top, was made by a man who had burned his fingers with debtors, and it just means that when folks have no money and are over head and ears in debt, as often as not they leave off being upright, and tumble over one way or another. He that has but four and spends five will soon need no purse, but he will most likely begin to use his wits to keep himself afloat, and take to all sorts of dodges to manage it.

Nine times out of ten they begin by making promises to pay on a certain day when it is certain they have nothing to pay with. They are as bold at fixing the time as if they had my lord's income; the day comes round as sure as Christmas, and then they haven't a penny-piece in the world, and so they make all sorts of excuses and begin to promise again. Those who are quick to promise are generally slow to perform. They promise mountains and perform [pg 385]mole-hills. He who gives you fair words and nothing more feeds you with an empty spoon, and hungry creditors soon grow tired of that game. Promises don't fill the belly. Promising men are not great favorites if they are not performing men. When such a fellow is called a liar he thinks he is hardly done by; and yet he is so, as sure as eggs are eggs, and there's no denying it, as the boy said when the gardener caught him up the cherry-tree.


Our friend will cut more than he will eat, and shave oft something more than hair, and then he will blame the saw. His brains don't lie in his beard, nor yet in the skull above it, or he would see that his saw will only make sores. There's sense in choosing your tools, for a pig's tail will never make a good arrow, nor will his ear make a silk purse. You can't catch rabbits with drums, nor pigeons with plums. A good thing is not good out of its place. It is much the same with lads and girls; you can't put all boys to one trade, nor send all girls to the same service. One chap will make a London clerk, and another will do better to plough, and sow, and reap, and mow, and be a farmer's boy. It's no use forcing them; a snail will never run a race, nor a mouse drive a wagon.

"Send a boy to the well against his will,
The pitcher will break, and the water spill."

With unwilling hounds it is hard to hunt hares. To go against nature and inclination is to row against wind and tide. They say you may praise a fool till you make him useful. I don't know so much about that, but I do know that if I get a bad knife I generally cut my finger, and a blunt axe is more trouble than profit. No, let me shave [pg 386]with a razor if I shave at all, and do my work with the best tools I can get.

Never set a man to work he is not fit for, for he will never do it well. They say that if pigs fly they always go with their tails forward, and awkward workmen are much the same. Nobody expects cows to catch crows, or hens to wear hats. There's reason in roasting eggs, and there should be reason in choosing servants. Don't put a round peg into a square hole, nor wind up your watch with a corkscrew, nor set a tender-hearted man to whip wife-beaters, nor a bear to be a relieving-officer, nor a publican to judge of the licensing laws. Get the right man in the right place, and then all goes as smooth as skates on ice; but the wrong man puts all awry, as the sow did when she folded the linen.


We have all heard of the two men who quarreled over an oyster, and called in a judge to settle the question; he ate the oyster himself, and gave them a shell each. This reminds me of the story of the cow which two farmers could not agree about, and so the lawyers stepped in and milked the cow for them, and charged them for their trouble in drinking the milk. Little is got by law, but much is lost by it. A suit in law may last longer than any suit a tailor can make you, and you may yourself be worn out before it comes to an end. It is better far to make matters up and keep out of court, for if you are caught there you are caught in the brambles, and won't get out without damage. John Ploughman feels a cold sweat at the thought of getting into the hands of lawyers. He does not mind going to Jericho, but he dreads the gentlemen on the road, for they seldom leave a feather upon any goose which they pick up.

[pg 387]


This is the man who is always dry, because he takes so much heavy wet. He is a loose fellow who is fond of getting tight. He is no sooner up than his nose is in the cup, and his money begins to run down the hole which is just under his nose. He is not a blacksmith, but he has a spark in his throat, and all the publican's barrels can't put it out. If a pot of beer is a yard of land, he must have swallowed more acres than a ploughman could get over for many a day, and still he goes on swallowing until he takes to wallowing. All goes down Gutter Lane. Like the snipe, he lives by suction. If you ask him how he is, he says he would be quite right if he could moisten his mouth. His purse is a bottle, his bank is the publican's till, and his casket is a cask; pewter is his precious metal, and his pearl is a mixture of gin and beer. The dew of his youth comes from Ben Nevis, and the comfort of his soul is cordial gin. He is a walking barrel, a living drain-pipe, a moving swill-tub. They say "loath to drink and loath to leave off," but he never needs persuading to begin, and as to ending that is out of the question while he can borrow twopence.


Set a stout heart to a stiff hill, and the wagon will get to the top of it. There's nothing so hard but a harder thing will get through it; a strong job can be managed by a strong resolution. Have at it and have it. Stick to it and succeed. Till a thing is done men wonder that you think it can be done, and when you have done it they wonder it was never done before.

In my picture the wagon is drawn by two horses; but I would have every man who wants to make his way in life pull as if all depended on himself. Very little is done right [pg 388]when it is left to other people. The more hands to do work the less there is done. One man will carry two pails of water for himself; two men will only carry one pail between them, and three will come home with never a drop at all. A child with several mothers will die before it runs alone. Know your business and give your mind to it, and you will find a buttered loaf where a sluggard loses his last crust.


Most men are what their mothers made them. The father is away from home all day, and has not half the influence over the children that the mother has. The cow has most to do with the calf. If a ragged colt grows into a good horse, we know who it is that combed him. A mother is therefore a very responsible woman, even though she may be the poorest in the land, for the bad or the good of her boys and girls very much depends upon her. As is the gardener such is the garden, as is the wife such is the family. Samuel's mother made him a little coat every year, but she had done a deal for him before that; Samuel would not have been Samuel if Hannah had not been Hannah. We shall never see a better set of men till the mothers are better. We must have Sarahs and Rebekahs before we shall see Isaacs and Jacobs. Grace does not run in the blood, but we generally find that the Timothies have mothers of a goodly sort.


Little children give their mother the headache, but if she lets them have their own way, when they grow up to be great children they will give her the heartache. Foolish fondness spoils many, and letting faults alone spoils more. Gardens that are never weeded will grow very little worth, gathering; all watering and no hoeing will make a bad crop. A child may have too much of its mother's love, and in the long run it may turn out that it had too little. Soft-hearted [pg 389]mothers rear soft-hearted children; they hurt them for life because they are afraid of hurting them when they are young. Coddle your children, and they will turn out noodles. You may sugar a child till every body is sick of it. Boys' jackets need a little dusting every now and then, and girls' dresses are all the better for occasional trimming. Children without chastisement are fields without ploughing. The very best colts want breaking in. Not that we like severity; cruel mothers are not mothers, and those who are always flogging and fault-finding ought to be flogged themselves. There is reason in all things, as the madman said when he cut off his nose.

Good mothers are very dear to their children. There's no mother in the world like our own mother. My friend Sanders, from Glasgow, says, "The mither's breath is aye sweet." Every woman is a handsome woman to her own son. That man is not worth hanging who does not love his mother. When good women lead their little ones to the Saviour, the Lord Jesus blesses not only the children, but their mothers as well. Happy are they among women who see their sons and daughters walking in the truth.


The egg is white enough, though the hen is black as a coal. This is a very simple thing, but it has pleased the simple mind of John Ploughman, and made him cheer up when things have gone hard with him. Out of evil comes good, through the great goodness of God. From threatening clouds we get refreshing showers; in dark mines men find bright jewels; and so from our worst troubles come our best blessings. The bitter cold sweetens the ground, and the rough winds fasten the roots of the old oaks, God sends us letters of love in envelopes with black borders. [pg 390]Many a time have I plucked sweet fruit from bramble bushes, and taken lovely roses from among prickly thorns. Trouble is to believing men and women like the sweetbrier in our hedges, and where it grows there is a delicious smell all around, if the dew do but fall upon it from above.

Cheer up, mates, all will come right in the end. The darkest night will turn to a fair morning in due time. Only let us trust in God, and keep our heads above the waves of fear. When our hearts are right with God every thing is right. Let us look for the silver which lines every cloud, and when we do not see it let us believe that it is there. We are all at school, and our great Teacher writes many a bright lesson on the blackboard of affliction. Scant fare teaches us to live on heavenly bread, sickness bids us send off for the good Physician, loss of friends makes Jesus more precious, and even the sinking of our spirits brings us to live more entirely upon God. All things are working together for the good of those who love God, and even death itself will bring them their highest gain. Thus the black hen lays a white egg.


It pleases me to see how fond the birds are of their little homes. No doubt each one thinks his own nest is the very best; and so it is for him, just as my home is the best palace for me, even for me, King John, the king of the Cottage of Content. I will ask no more if Providence only continues to give me

"A little field well tilled,
A little house well filled,
And a little wife well willed."

An Englishman's house is his castle, and the true Briton is always fond of the old roof-tree. Green grows the house-leek [pg 391]on the thatch, and sweet is the honeysuckle at the porch, and dear are the gilly-flowers in the front garden; but best of all is the good wife within, who keeps all as neat as a new pin. Frenchmen may live in their coffee-houses, but an Englishman's best life is seen at home.

"My own house, though small,
Is the best house of all."

When boys get tired of eating tarts, and maids have done with winning hearts, and lawyers cease to take their fees, and leaves leave off to grow on trees, then will John Ploughman cease to love his own dear home. John likes to hear some sweet voice sing,

"'Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home;
A charm from the sky seems to hallow us there,
Which, wherever we rove, is not met with elsewhere.
        Home! Home! sweet, sweet home!
        There's no place like home!"
[pg 392]



(BORN 1812--DIED 1875.)


Henry Wilson, the Vice-president of the United States, was at my tea-table with the strangest appetite I ever knew. The fact was, his last sickness was on him, and his inward fever demanded everything cold. It was tea without any tea. He was full of reminiscence, and talked over his life from boyhood till then. He impressed me with the fact that he was nearly through his earthly journey. Going to my Church that evening to speak at our young peoples' anniversary, he delivered the last address of his public life. While seated at the beginning of the exercises, his modesty seemed to overcome him, and he said: "I am not prepared to address such a magnificent audience as that. Can not you get somebody else to speak? I wish you would." "O no," I said, "these people came to hear Henry Wilson." He placed a chair in the center of the platform to lean on. Not knowing he had put it in that position, I removed it twice. Then he whispered to me, saying: "Why do you remove that chair? I want it to lean on." The fact was, his physical strength was gone. When he arose his bands and knees trembled with excitement, and the more so as the entire audience arose and cheered him. One hand on the top of the chair, he stood for half an hour, saying useful things, and, among others, these words: "I hear men sometimes say, when a man writes his name on the records of a visible [pg 393]Church, that he had better let other things alone, especially public affairs. I am not a believer in that Christianity which hides itself away. I believe in that robust Christianity that goes right out in God's world and works. If there ever was a time in our country, that time is now, when the young men of this country should reflect and act according to the teachings of God's holy Word, and attempt to purify, lift up, and carry our country onward and forward, so that it shall be in practice what it is in theory--the great leading Christian nation of the globe. You will be disappointed in many of your hopes and aspirations. The friends near and dear to you will turn sometimes coldly from you; the wives of your bosom and the children of your love will be taken from you; your high hopes may be blasted; but, gentlemen, when friends turn their backs upon you, when you lay your dear ones away, when disappointments come to you on the right hand and on the left, there is one source for a true and brave heart, and that is an abiding faith in God, and a trust in the Lord Jesus Christ."

Having concluded his address he sat down, physically exhausted. When we helped him into his carriage we never expected to see him again. The telegram from Washington announcing his prostration and certain death was no surprise. But there and then ended as remarkable a life as was ever lived in America.

It is no great thing if a man who has been carefully nurtured by intelligent parents, and then passed through school, college, and those additional years of professional study, go directly to the front. But start a man amid every possible disadvantage, and pile in his way all possible obstacles, and then if he take his position among those whose path was smooth, he must have the elements of power. Henry Wilson was great in the mastering and overcoming [pg 394]all disadvantageous circumstances. He began at the bottom, and without any help fought his own way to the top. If there ever was a man who had a right at the start to give up his earthly existence as a failure, that man was Henry Wilson. Born of a dissolute father, so that the son took another name in order to escape the disgrace; never having a dollar of his own before he was twenty-one years of age; toiling industriously in a shoemaker's shop, that he might get the means of schooling and culture; then loaning his money to a man who swamped it all and returned none of it; but still toiling on and up until he came to the State Legislature, and on and up until he reached the American Senate, and on and up till he became Vice-president. In all this there ought to be great encouragement to those who wake up late in life to find themselves unequipped. Henry Wilson did not begin his education until most of our young men think they have finished theirs. If you are twenty-five or thirty, or forty or fifty, it is not too late to begin. Isaac Walton at ninety years of age wrote his valuable book; Benjamin Franklin, almost an octogenarian, went into philosophic discoveries; Fontenelle's mind blossomed even in the Winter of old age; Arnauld made valuable translations at eighty years of age; Christopher Wren added to the astronomical and religious knowledge of the world at eighty-six years of age.

Do not let any one, in the light of Henry Wilson's career, be discouraged. Rittenhouse conquered his poverty; John Milton overcame his blindness; Robert Hall overleaped his sickness; and plane and hammer, and adze and pickax, and crowbar and yardstick, and shoe-last have routed many an army of opposition and oppression. Let every disheartened man look at two pictures--Henry Wilson teaching fifteen hours a day at five dollars a week to get [pg 395]his education, and Henry Wilson under the admiring gaze of Christendom at the national capital. He was one of the few men who maintained his integrity against violent temptations. The tides of political life all set toward dissipation. The congressional burying-ground at Washington holds the bones of many congressional drunkards. Henry Wilson seated at a banquet with senators and presidents and foreign ministers, the nearest he ever came to taking their expensive brandies and wines was to say, "No, sir, I thank you; I never indulge." He never drank the health of other people in any thing that hurt his own. He never was more vehement than in flinging his thunderbolts of scorn against the decanter and the dram-shop. What a rebuke it is for men in high and exposed positions in this country who say, "We can not be in our positions without drinking." If Henry Wilson, under the gaze of senators and presidents, could say No, certainly you under the jeers of your commercial associates ought to be able to say No. Henry Wilson also conquered all temptations to political corruption. He died comparatively a poor man, when he might have filled his own pockets and the pockets of his friends if he had only consented to go into some of the infamous opportunities which tempted our public men. Credit Mobilier, which took down so many senators and representatives, touched him, but glanced off, leaving him uncontaminated in the opinion of all fair-minded men. He steered clear of the "Lobby," that maelstrom which has swallowed up so many strong political crafts. The bribing railroad schemes that ran over half of our public men always left him on the right side of the track. With opportunities to have made millions of dollars by the surrender of good principles, he never made a cent. Along by the coasts strewn with the hulks of political adventurers he voyaged without loss of rudder or spar. [pg 396]We were not surprised at his funeral honors. If there ever was a man after death fit to lie on Abraham Lincoln's catafalque, and near the marble representation of Alexander Hamilton, and under Crawford's splendid statue of Freedom, with a sheathed sword in her hand and a wreath of stars on her brow, and to be carried out amid the acclamation and conclamation of a grateful people, that man was Henry Wilson.

The ministers did not at his obsequies have a hard time to make out a good case as to his future destiny, as in one case where a clergyman in offering consolation as to the departure of a man who had been very eminent, but went down through intemperance till he died in a snow-bank, his rum-jug beside him. At the obsequies of that unfortunate, the officiating pastor declared that the departed was a good Greek and Latin scholar. We have had United States senators who used the name of God rhetorically, and talked grandly about virtue and religion, when at that moment they were so drunk they could scarcely stand up. But Henry Wilson was an old-fashioned Christian, who had repented of his sins and put his trust in Christ. By profession he was a Congregationalist; but years ago he stood up in a Methodist meeting-house and told how he had found the Lord, and recommending all the people to choose Christ as their portion--the same Christ about whom he was reading the very night before he died, in that little book called "The Changed Cross," the more tender passages marked with his own lead-pencil; and amid these poems of Christ Henry Wilson had placed the pictures of his departed wife and departed son, for I suppose he thought as these were with Christ in heaven their dear faces might as well be next to His name in the book.

It was appropriate that our Vice-president expire in the [pg 397]Capitol buildings, the scene of so many years of his patriotic work. At the door of that marbled and pictured Vice-president's room many a man has been obliged to wait because of the necessities of business, and to wait a great while before he could get in; but that morning, while the Vice-president was talking about taking a ride, a sable messenger arrived at the door, not halting a moment, not even knocking to see if he might get in, but passed up and smote the lips into silence forever. The sable messenger moving that morning through the splendid Capitol stopped not to look at the mosaics, or the fresco, or the panels of Tennessee and Italian marble, but darted in and darted out in an instant, and his work was done. It is said that Charles Sumner was more scholarly, and that Stephen A. Douglas was a better organizer, and that John J. Crittenden was more eloquent; but calling up my memory of Henry Wilson, I have come to the conclusion that that life is grandly eloquent whose peroration is heaven.--DR. TALMADGE, in The Sunday Magazine.

[pg 398]



(BORN 1412--DIED 1431.)


No story of heroism has greater attractions for youthful readers than that of Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orleans. It would be long to tell how for hundreds of years the greatest jealousy and mistrust existed between England and France, and how constant disputes between their several sovereigns led to wars and tumults; how, in the time of Henry the Fifth, of England, a state of wild confusion existed on the continent, and how that king also claimed to be king of France; how this fifth Henry was married to Catherine, daughter of King Charles, and how they were crowned king and queen of France; how, in the midst of his triumphs, Henry died, and his son, an infant less than a year old, was declared king in his stead; how wars broke out, and how, at last, a simple maiden saved her country from the grasp of ambitious men. Hardly anything in history is more wonderful than, the way in which she was raised up to serve her country's need, and, having served it, died a martyr in its cause.

Joan of Arc, Maid of Orleans, was born in the forest of Greux, upon the Meuse, in the village of Domremy, in Lorraine, in the year 1412. At this time France was divided into two factions--the Burgundians and the Armagnacs--the former of whom favored the English cause, and the latter pledged to the cause of their country.

[pg 399]Joan was the daughter of simple villagers. She was brought up religiously, and from her earliest youth is said to have seen visions and dreamed dreams; the one great dream of her life was, however, the deliverance of her country from foreign invasions and domestic broils. When only about thirteen years of age, she announced to the astonished townspeople that she had a mission, and that she meant to fulfill it.

The disasters of the war reached Joan's home; a party of Burgundians dashed into Domremy, and the Armagnacs fled before them. Joan's family took refuge in the town of Neufchateau, and she paid for their lodging at an inn by helping the mistress of the house.

Here, in a more public place, it was soon seen and wondered at that such a young girl was so much interested in the war. Her parents were already angry that she would not marry. They began to be frightened now. Jacques D'Arc told one of his sons that sooner than let Joan go to the camp he would drown her with his own hands. She could not, however, be kept back. Very cautiously, and as though afraid to speak of such high things, she began to let fall hints of what she saw. Half-frightened herself at what she said, she exclaimed to a neighbor, "There is now, between Colombey and Vaucouleurs, a maid who will cause the king of France to be crowned!"

Now came the turn in the war, when all the strength of both sides was to be gathered up into one great struggle, and it was to be shown whether the king was to have his right, or the usurper triumph. The real leaders of the war were the Duke of Bedford, regent of England, and the captains of the French army. Bedford gathered a vast force, chiefly from Burgundy, and gave its command to the Earl of Salisbury. The army went on; they gained, without a [pg 400]struggle, the towns of Rambouillet, Pithwier, Jargean, and others. Then they encamped before the city of Orleans. To this point they drew their whole strength. Orleans taken, the whole country beyond was theirs, as it commanded the entrance to the River Loire and the southern provinces; and the only stronghold left to King Charles was the mountain country of Auvergne and Dauphine.

The men of Orleans well knew how much depended upon their city. All that could be done they did to prepare for a resolute defense. The siege of Orleans was one of the first in which cannon were used. Salisbury visiting the works, a cannon broke a splinter from a casement, which struck him and gave him his death wound. The Earl of Suffolk, who was appointed to succeed him, never had his full power.

Suffolk could not tame the spirit of the men of Orleans by regular attack, so he tried other means. He resolved to block it up by surrounding it with forts, and starve the people out. But for some time, before the works were finished, food was brought into the city; while the French troops, scouring the plains, as often stopped the supplies coming to the English. Faster, however, than they were brought in, the provisions in Orleans wasted away. And through the dreary Winter the citizens watched one fort after another rise around them. The enemy was growing stronger, they were growing weaker; they had no prospect before them but defeat; when the Spring came would come the famine; their city would be lost, and then their country.

The eyes of all France were upon Orleans. News of the siege and of the distress came to Domremy, and Joan of Arc rose to action. Her mind was fixed to go and raise the siege of Orleans and crown Charles king. Not for one moment did she think it impossible or even unlikely. [pg 401]What God had called her to do, that she would carry out. She made no secret of her call, but went to Vaucouleurs and told De Briancourt that she meant to save France. At first the governor treated her lightly, and told her to go home and dream about a sweetheart; but such was her earnestness that at last not only he, but thousands of other people, believed in the mission of Joan of Arc. And so, before many days, she set out, with many noble attendants, to visit Charles at the castle of Chinon.

On all who saw her, Joan's earnestness, singleness of heart, and deep piety made but one impression. Only the king remained undecided; he could hardly be roused to see her, but at last he named a day, and Joan of Arc had her desire and stood before him in the great hall of Chinon. Fifty torches lighted the hall, which was crowded with knights and nobles. Joan, too self-forgetful to feel abashed, walked forward firmly. Charles had placed himself among his courtiers, so that she should not know him. Not by inspiration, as they thought, but because with her enthusiasm she must have heard him described often and often, she at once singled him out and clasped his knees. Charles denied that he was the king. "In the name of God," Joan answered, "it no other but yourself. Most noble Lord Dauphin, I am Joan, the maid sent on the part of God to aid you and your kingdom; and by his command I announce to you that you shall be crowned in the city of Rheims, and shall become his lieutenant in the realm of France." Charles led her aside, and told his courtiers afterward that in their private conversation she had revealed to him secrets. But all that she said appears to have been, "I tell thee from my Lord that thou art the true heir of France." A few days before the king had offered a prayer for help only on condition that he was the rightful sovereign, and it has been [pg 402]well said that "such a coincidence of idea on so obvious a topic seems very far from supernatural or even surprising." It is but one out of many proofs how ready every one in those days was to believe in signs and wonders.

Her fame spread wide; there went abroad all kinds of reports about her miraculous powers. Already the French began to hope and the English to wonder.

The king still doubted, and so did his council. People in our own day, who admire the wisdom of the Dark Ages, would do well to study the story of Joan of Arc. She was taken before the University of Poictiers. Six weeks did the learned doctors employ in determining whether Joan was sent by God or in league with the devil. She never made any claim to supernatural help beyond what she needed to fulfill her mission. She refused to give them a sign, saying that her sign would be at Orleans--the leading of brave men to battle. She boasted no attainments, declaring that she knew neither A nor B; only, she must raise the siege of Orleans and crown the Dauphin. The friars sent to her old home to inquire about her, and brought back a spotless report of her life. So, after the tedious examination, the judgment of the learned and wise men of Poictiers was that Charles might accept her services without peril to his soul.

The vexatious delays over, Joan of Arc set out for Orleans. In the church of Fierbois she had seen, among other old weapons, a sword marked with five crosses. For this she sent. When she left Vaucouleurs she had put on a man's dress; now she was clad in white armor. A banner was prepared under her directions; this also was white, strewn with the lilies of France.

So much time had been lost that Joan was not at Blois till the middle of April. She entered the town on horseback; her head was uncovered. All men admired her [pg 403]skillful riding and the poise of her lance. Joan carried all before her now; she brought spirit to the troops; the armor laid down was buckled on afresh when she appeared; the hearts of the people were lifted up--they would have died for her. Charles, who had been with the army, slipped back to Chinon; but he left behind him better and braver men--his five bravest leaders. Joan began her work gloriously by clearing the camp of all bad characters. Father Pasquerel bore her banner through the streets, while Joan, with the priests who followed, sang the Litany and exhorted men to prepare for battle by repentance and prayer. In this, as in all else, she succeeded.

When the English heard that Joan was really coming, they pretended to scorn her. Common report made Joan a prophet and a worker of miracles. Hearts beat higher in Orleans than they had done for months. More terror was in the English camp than it had ever known before.

The English took no heed of Joan's order to submit. They little thought that in a fortnight they would flee before a woman.

She entered the city at midnight. LaHire and two hundred men, with lances, were her escort. Though she had embarked close under an English fort, she was not molested. Untouched by the enemy, coming in the midst of the storm, bringing plenty, and the lights of her procession shining in the black night, we can not wonder that the men of Orleans looked on her as in very truth the messenger of God. They flocked round her, and he who could touch but her horse was counted happy.

Joan went straight to the cathedral, where she had the Te Deum chanted. The people thought that already they were singing their thanksgivings for victory. Despair was changed to hope; fear to courage. She was known as "the [pg 404]Maid of Orleans." From the cathedral she went to the house of one of the most esteemed ladies of the town, with whom she had chosen to live. A great supper had been prepared for her, but she took only a bit of bread sopped in wine before she went to sleep. By her orders, the next day an archer fastened to his arrow a letter of warning, and shot it into the English lines. She went herself along the bridge and exhorted the enemy to depart. Sir William Gladsdale tried to conceal his fright by answering her with such rude words as made her weep. Four days afterwards the real terror of the English was shown. The Maid of Orleans and LaHire went to meet the second load of provisions. As it passed close under the English lines not an arrow was shot against it; not a man appeared.

Joan of Arc was now to win as much glory by her courage as before her very name had brought. While she was lying down to rest, that same afternoon, the townspeople went out to attack the Bastile of St. Loup. They had sent her no word of the fight. But Joan started suddenly from her bed, declaring that her voices told her to go against the English. She put on her armor, mounted her horse, and, with her banner in her hand, galloped through the streets. The French were retreating, but they gathered again round her white banner, and Joan led them on once more. Her spirit rose with the thickness of the fight. She dashed right into the midst. The battle raged for three hours round the Bastile of St. Loup, then Joan led on the French to storm it. Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orleans, had gained her first victory.

The day after there was no fighting, for it was the Feast of the Ascension. Joan had been first in the fight yesterday; she was first in prayer to-day. She brought many of the soldiers to their knees for the first time in their lives.

[pg 405]


All along the captains had doubted the military skill of "the simplest girl they had ever seen," and they did not call her to the council they held that day. They resolved to attack the English forts on the southern and weakest side. After a little difficulty Joan consented, when she was told of it. The next day, before daybreak, she took her place with LaHire on a small island in the Loire, from whence they crossed in boats to the southern bank. Their hard day's work was set about early. Joan would not wait for more troops, but began the fight at once. The English joined two garrisons together, and thus for a time overpowered the French as they attacked the Bastile of the Augustins.

Carried on for a little while with the flying, Joan soon turned round again upon the enemy. The sight of the witch, as they thought her, was enough. The English screened themselves from her and her charms behind their walls. Help was coming up for the French. They made a fresh attack; the bastile was taken and set on fire. Joan returned to the city slightly wounded in the foot.

The only fort left to the English was their first-made and strongest, the Bastile de Tournelles. It was held by the picked men of their army, Gladsdale and his company. The French leaders wished to delay its attack until they had fresh soldiers. This suited Joan little. "You have been to your council," she said, "and I have been to mine. Be assured that the council of my Lord will hold good, and that the council of men will perish." The hearts of the people were with her; the leaders thought it best to give in. Victory followed wherever she led, and, after several actions, at which she took active part, the siege was raised. It began on the 12th of October, 1428, and was raised on the 14th of May, 1429.

[pg 406]Even now, in Orleans, the 14th of May is held sacred, that day on which, in 1429, the citizens watched the English lines growing less and less in the distance.

Joan of Arc had even yet done but half her work. Neither Charles nor Henry had been crowned. That the crown should be placed on Charles's head was what she still had to accomplish. Though we have always spoken of him as "King," he was not so in reality until this had been done. He was strictly but the Dauphin. Bedford wished much that young Henry should be crowned; for let Charles once have the holy crown on his brow, and the oil of anointing on his head, and let him stand where for hundreds of years his fathers had stood to be consecrated kings of France, in the Cathedral of Rheims, before his people as their king, any crowning afterwards would be a mockery. Charles was now with the Court of Tours. Rheims was a long way off in the north, and to get there would be a work of some difficulty; yet get there he must, for the coronation could not take place anywhere else. Joan went to Tours, and, falling before him, she begged him to go and receive his crown, saying, that when her voices gave her this message she was marvelously rejoiced. Charles did not seem much rejoiced to receive it. He said a great deal about the dangers of the way, and preferred that the other English posts on the Loire should be taken first. It must have been very trying to one so quick and eager as Joan to deal with such a person, but, good or bad, he was her king. She was not idle because she could not do exactly as she wished; she set out with the army at once.

The news flew onwards. The inhabitants of Chalons and of Rheims rose and turned out the Burgundian garrisons. The king's way to Rheims was one triumph, and, amidst the shouts of the people, he entered Rheims on the [pg 407]16th of July. The next day Charles VII was crowned. The visions of the Maid had been fulfilled. By her arm Orleans had been saved, through her means the king stood there. She was beside the king at the high altar, with her banner displayed; and when the service was over, she knelt before him with streaming eyes, saying, "Gentle king, now is done the pleasure of God, who willed that you should come to Rheims and be anointed, showing that you are the true king, and he to whom the kingdom should belong."

All eyes were upon her as the savior of her country. She might have secured every thing for herself; but she asked no reward, she was content to have done her duty. And of all that was offered her, the only thing she would accept was that Domremy should be free forever from any kind of tax. So, until the time of the first French Revolution, the collectors wrote against the name of the village, as it stood in their books, "Nothing, for the Maid's sake."

Joan of Arc said that her work was done. She had seen her father and her uncle in the crowd, and, with many tears, she begged the king to let her go back with them, and keep her flocks and herds, and do all as she had been used to do. Never had man or woman done so much with so simple a heart. But the king and his advisers knew her power over the people, and their entreaties that she would stay with them prevailed. So she let her father and her uncle depart without her. They must have had enough to tell when they reached home.

We have little heart to tell the rest of the story. At length the king reached Paris, and the Duke of Bedford was away in Normandy. Joan wished to attack the city, and it was done. Many of the soldiers were jealous of her, and they fought only feebly. They crossed the first ditch round the city, but found the second full of water. Joan [pg 408]was trying its depth with her lance, when she was seriously wounded. She lay on the ground cheering the troops, calling for fagots and bundles of wood to fill the trench, nor would she withdraw until the evening, when the Duke of Alencon persuaded her to give up the attempt, as it had prospered so ill.

Were it not so wicked and so shameful, it might be laughable to think of the king's idleness. It is really true that he longed for his lovely Chinon, and a quiet life, as a tired child longs to go to sleep. He made his misfortune at Paris, which would have stirred up almost any one else to greater exertions, an excuse for getting away. The troops were sent to winter quarters; he went back across the Loire now, when the English leader was away, and the chief towns in the north ready to submit. Had he but shown himself a man, he might have gained his capital, and the whole of the north of France. The spirit lately roused for him was down again. It seemed really not worth while to fight for a king who would not attend to business for more than two months together.

We know little more of the Maid of Orleans in the Winter, than that she continued with the army. After her defeat at Paris, she hung her armor up in the church at St. Denis, and made up her mind to go home. The entreaties of the French leaders prevailed again; for, though they were jealous of her, and slighted her on every occasion, they knew her power, and were glad to get all out of her that they could. In December, Joan and all her family were made nobles by the king. They changed their name from Arc to Du Lys, "Lys" being French for lily, the flower of France, as the rose is of England; and they were given the lily of France for their coat of arms.

With the return of Spring the king's troops marched [pg 409]into the northern provinces. Charles would not leave Chinon. The army was utterly disorderly, and had no idea what to set about. Joan showed herself as brave as ever in such fighting as there was. But, doubting whether she was in her right place or her wrong one, in the midst of fierce and lawless men, nothing pointed out for her to do, her situation was most miserable. The Duke of Gloucester sent out a proclamation to strengthen the hearts of the English troops against her. The title was "against the feeble-minded captains and soldiers who are terrified by the incantations of the Maid."

A long and troublesome passage had Joan of Arc from this bad world to her home in heaven, where dwelt those whom she called "her brothers of Paradise." Her faith was to be tried in the fire--purified seven times. All the French army were jealous of her. The governor of the fortress of Compiègne was cruel and tyrannical beyond all others, even in that age. Compiègne was besieged by the English; Joan threw herself bravely into the place. She arrived there on the 24th of May, and that same evening she headed a party who went out of the gates to attack the enemy. Twice they were driven back by her; but, seeing more coming up, she made the sign to go back. She kept herself the last; the city gate was partly closed, so that but few could pass in at once. In the confusion she was separated from her friends; but she still fought bravely, until an archer from Picardy seized her and dragged her from her horse. She struggled, but was obliged to give up; and so the Maid of Orleans was taken prisoner.

Joan was first taken to the quarters of John of Luxembourg. Her prison was changed many times, but the English were eager to have her in their own power. In November John of Luxemburg sold her to them for a large [pg 410]sum of money. When she was in his prison she had tried twice to escape. She could not try now; she was put in the great tower of the castle of Rouen, confined between iron gratings, with irons upon her feet. Her guards offered her all kinds of rudeness, and even John of Luxembourg was so mean as to go and rejoice over her in her prison.

It would have been a cruel thing to put her to death as a prisoner of war; but those were dark days, and such things were often done. The desire of the English was to hold Joan up to public scorn as a witch, and to prove that she had dealings with the devil. With this wicked object, they put her on her trial. They found Frenchmen ready enough to help them. One Canchon, bishop of Beauvais, even petitioned that the trial might be under his guidance. He had his desire; he was appointed the first judge, and a hundred and two other learned Frenchmen were found ready to join him.

Before these false judges Joan of Arc was called--as simple a girl as she was when, just two years before, she left Domremy. All that malice and rage could do was done against her. She was alone before her enemies. Day after day they tried hard to find new and puzzling questions for her; to make her false on her own showing; to make her deny her visions or deny her God. They could not. Clearheaded, simple-hearted, she had been always, and she was so still. She showed the faith of a Christian, the patience of a saint, in all her answers. Piety and wisdom were with her, wickedness and folly with her enemies. They tried to make evil out of two things in particular: her banner, with which it was declared she worked charms, and the tree she used to dance around when she was a child, where they said she went to consult the fairies. Concerning her banner, Joan said that she carried it on purpose to spare the [pg 411]sword, so she might not kill any one with her own hand; of the tree, she denied that she knew any thing about fairies, or was acquainted with any one who had seen them there. She was tormented with questions as to whether the saints spoke English when she saw them, what they wore, how they smelt, whether she helped the banner or the banner her, whether she was in mortal sin when she rode the horse belonging to the bishop of Senlis, whether she could commit mortal sin, whether the saints hated the English. Every trap they could lay for her they laid. She answered all clearly; when she had forgotten any thing she said so; her patience never gave way; she was never confused. When asked whether she was in a state of grace, she said: "If I am not, I pray to God to bring me to it; and, if I am, may he keep me in it."

After all, they did not dare condemn her. Try as they could, they could draw nothing from her that was wrong. They teased her to give the matter into the hands of the Church. She put the Church in heaven, and its head, above the Church on earth and the pope. The English were afraid that after all she might escape, and pressed on the judgment. The lawyers at Rouen would say nothing, neither would the chapter. The only way to take was to send the report of the trial to the University of Paris, and wait the answer.

On the 19th of May arrived the answer from Paris. It was this: that the Maid of Orleans was either a liar or in alliance with Satan and with Behemoth; that she was given to superstition, most likely an idolater; that she lowered the angels, and vainly boasted and exalted herself; that she was a blasphemer and a traitor thirsting for blood, a heretic and an apostate. Yet they would not burn her at once; they would first disgrace her in the eyes of people. This was [pg 412]done on the 23d of May. A scaffold was put up behind the Cathedral of St. Onen; here in solemn state sat the cardinal of Winchester, two judges, and thirty-three helpers. On another scaffold was Joan of Arc, in the midst of guards, notaries to take reports, and the most famous preacher of France to admonish her. Below was seen the rack upon a cart.

The preacher began his discourse. Joan let him speak against herself, but she stopped him when he spoke against the king, that king for whom she had risked every thing, but who was dreaming at Chinon, and had not stretched out a finger to save her. Their labor was nearly lost; her enemies became furious. Persuading was of no use; she refused to go back from any thing she had said or done. Her instant death was threatened if she continued obstinate, but if she would recant she was promised deliverance from the English. "I will sign," she said at last. The cardinal drew a paper from his sleeve with a short denial. She put her mark to it. They kept their promise of mercy by passing this sentence upon her: "Joan, we condemn you, through our grace and moderation, to pass the rest of your days in prison, to eat the bread of grief and drink the water of anguish, and to bewail your sins."

When she went back to prison there was published through Rouen, not the short denial she had signed, but one six pages long.

Joan was taken back to the prison from whence she came. The next few days were the darkest and saddest of all her life, yet they were the darkest before the dawn. She had, in the paper which she had signed, promised to wear a woman's dress again, and she did so. Her enemies had now a sure hold on her. They could make her break her own oath. In the night her woman's dress was taken away, and man's [pg 413]clothes put in their place. She had no choice in the morning what to do.

As soon as it was day Canchon and the rest made haste to the prison to see the success of their plot. Canchon laughed, and said, "She is taken." No more hope for her on earth; no friend with her, save that in the fiery furnace was "One like unto the Son of God."

Brought before her judges, Joan only said why she had put on her old dress. They could not hide their delight, and joked and laughed among themselves. God sent her hope and comfort; she knew that the time of her deliverance was near. She was to be set free by fire. They appointed the day after the morrow for her burning. But a few hours' notice was given her. She wept when she heard that she was to be burnt alive, but after awhile she exclaimed: "I shall be to-night in Paradise!"

Eight hundred Englishmen conducted her to the market-place! On her way, the wretched priest L'Oiseleur threw himself on the ground before her, and begged her to forgive him. Three scaffolds had been set up. On one sat the cardinal with all his train. Joan and her enemies were on another. The third, a great, towering pile, built up so high that what happened on it should be in the sight of all the town, had upon it the stake to which she was to be tied. Canchon began to preach to her. Her faith never wavered; her Saviour, her best friend, was with her. To him she prayed aloud before the gathered multitude. She declared that she forgave her enemies, and begged her friends to pray for her. Even Canchon and the cardinal shed tears. But they hastened to dry their eyes, and read the condemnation. All the false charges were named, and she was given over to death.

They put her on the scaffold and bound her fast to the [pg 414]stake. Looking round on the crowd of her countrymen, who stood looking over, she exclaimed: "O Rouen! I fear thou wilt suffer for my death!" A miter was placed on her head, with the words: "Relapsed Heretic, Apostate, Idolater." Canchon drew near, to listen whether even now she would not say something to condemn herself. Her only words were, "Bishop, I die through your means." Of the worthless king she said: "That which I have well or ill done I did it of myself; the king did not advise me." These were her last words about earthly matters. The flames burnt from the foot of the pile, but the monk who held the cross before her did not move. He heard her from the midst of the fire call upon her Saviour. Soon she bowed her head and cried aloud "Jesus!" And she went to be with him forever.

We have little to add of the character of the Maid of Orleans. She was simple amid triumph and splendor; unselfish, when she might have had whatever she had asked; humane and gentle, even on the battlefield; patient in the midst of the greatest provocation; brave in the midst of suffering; firm in faith and hope when all beside were cast down; blameless and holy in her life, when all beside were wicked and corrupt.

The English never recovered from the blow struck by the Maid. Their power in France gradually weakened. In 1435 peace was made between Charles VII and the Duke of Burgundy. One by one the ill-gotten gains were given up, and the English king lost even the French provinces he inherited. In the year 1451 the only English possession in France was the town of Calais. This, too, was lost about a hundred years after, in the reign of Queen Mary. Yet the kings of England kept the empty title of kings of France, and put the lilies of France in their coat of arms until the middle of the reign of George III.

[pg 415]The last incident in the strange story of Joan of Arc remains to be told. Ten years after her execution, to the amazement of all who knew him, Charles VII suddenly shook off his idleness and blazed forth a wise king, an energetic ruler. Probably in this, his better state of mind, he thought with shame and sorrow of Joan of Arc. In the year 1456 he ordered a fresh inquiry to be made. At this every one was examined who had known or seen her at any period of her short life. The judgment passed on her before was contradicted, and she was declared a good and innocent woman. They would have given the whole world then to have had her back and to have made amends to her for their foul injustice. But the opinions of men no longer mattered to her. The twenty-five years since she had been burnt at Rouen had been the first twenty-five of her uncounted eternity of joy.

"The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart; and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come."

[pg 416]





In every leaf and flower
  The pulse of music beats,
And works the changes hour by hour,
  In those divine retreats.

Alike in star and clod
  One melody resides,
Which is the working will of God,
  Beyond all power besides.

It is by angels heard,
  By all of lower birth,
The silent music of the Word
  Who works in heaven and earth.

For music order is
  To which all work belongs,
And in this wondrous world of His
  Work is the song of songs.

Divine Workers.

The Father hitherto,
  And his Eternal Son
Work, work, and still have work to do
  With each successive sun.

[pg 417]O bow the heart in awe,
  And work as with the Lord,
Who, with his everlasting law,
  Works on in sweet accord.

Work is the law of love
  Which rules the world below,
Which rules the brighter world above,
  Through which, like God, we grow.

And this and every day
  The work of love is rest
In which our sorrows steal away,
  Which cares may not infest.

The Will of God.

With heart as strong as fate,
  Brave worker, girt and shod,
Adore! and know that naught is great
  Except the will of God.

O sweet, sweet light of day,
  Through which such wonders run,
Thou ownest, in thy glorious sway,
  Allegiance to the sun.

And thou, O human will,
  As wondrous as the light,
Cans't thou thy little trust fulfill
  Save through Another's might?

With heart to conquer fate,
  Brave worker, girt and shod,
Work on! and know that he is great
  Who does the will of God.

[pg 418]"Laborare est Orare."

To labor is to pray,
  As some dear saint has said,
And with this truth for many a day
  Have I been comforted.

The Lord has made me bold
  When I have labored most,
And with his gifts so manifold,
  Has given the Holy Ghost

When I have idle been
  Until the sun went down,
Mine eyes, so dim, have never seen
  His bright, prophetic crown.

O, praise the Lord for work
  Which maketh time so fleet,
In which accusers never lurk,
  Whose end is very sweet.

Birds of Grace.

O little birds of grace,
  To-day ye sweetly sing,
Yea, make my heart your nesting-place,
  And all your gladness bring.

When ye are in my heart,
  How swiftly pass the days!
The fears and doubts of life depart,
  And leave their room to praise.

My work I find as play,
  And all day long rejoice;
But, if I linger on my way,
  I hear this warning voice:

[pg 419]With fervor work and pray,
  And let not coldness come,
Or birds of grace will fly away
  To seek a warmer home


O work that Duty shows
  Through her revealing light!
It is in thee my bosom glows
  With infinite delight!

The shadows flee away
  Like mist before the sun;
And thy achievement seems to say,
  The will of God is done!

Ah, what if Duty seem
  A mistress cold and stern!
Can he who owns her rule supreme
  From her caresses turn?

O work that Duty shows
  In light so fair and clear,
Whoever thy completion knows
  Is 'minded heaven is near!


In Pharaoh's dazzling court
  No work did Moses find
That could heroic life support
  And fill his heart and mind.

[pg 420]Beneath their grievous task
  Did not his kindred groan?
And a great voice above him ask,
  "Dost thou thy brethren own?"

The work which Duty meant
  At length he found and did,
And built a grander monument
  Than any pyramid.

Sometimes his eyes were dim,
  All signs he could not spell;
Yet he endured as seeing Him
  Who is invisible.


In search of greener shores
  The Northmen braved the seas
And reached, those faith-illumined rowers,
  Our dear Hesperides.

And when Oblivion
  Swept all their work away,
And left for faith to feed upon
  But shadows lean and gray,

Columbus dreamed the dream
  Which fired a southern clime
And hailed a world--O toil supreme!--
  As from the womb of Time.

God's dauntless witnesses
  For toil invincible,
They gazed across uncharted seas
  On the invisible.

[pg 421]God's Order.

In gazing into heaven
  In idle ecstacy,
What progress make ye to the haven
  Where ye at length would be?

In heaven-appointed work
  The sure ascension lies.
O, never yet did drone or shirk
  Make headway to the skies.

Who in his heart rebels
  Has never ears to hear
The morning and the evening bells
  On yonder shores so clear.

For work communion is
  With God's one order here,
And all the secret melodies
  Which fill our lives with cheer.


In action day by day
  King David's manhood grew,
A character to live for aye,
  It was so strong and true.

Hordes of misrule became
  As stubble to the fire,
Till songs of praise like leaping flame
  Burst from his sacred lyre.

He grappled with all rude
  And unpropitious things:
A garden from the solitude
  Smiled to the King of kings.

[pg 422]And fiercer yet the strife
  With mighty foes within,
Who stormed the fortress of his life
  And triumphed in his sin.

Good out of Evil.

True David halted not
  When sin had cast him down,
Upon his royal life a blot,
  Death reaching for his crown.

His work was but half done;
A man of action still,
  He struggled in the gloaming sun
To do his Maker's will;

Till in the golden light
  Great words began to shine:
In sorrow is exalting might,
  Repentance is divine

And now the shepherd king
  We count the human sire
Of One who turns our hungering
  Into achieved desire.


Elijah, through the night
  Which shrouded Israel
In toiling, groping for the light,
  Foretold Immanuel.

[pg 423]And in heroic trust
  That night would yield to day--
His imperfections thick as dust
  Along the desert way;

His bold, rebuking cry
  Heard in the wilderness.
Till from the chariot of the sky
  His mantle fell to bless--

The stern, half-savage seer
  Became a prophecy
Of gladness and the Golden Year,
  In all high minstrelsy.

Aelemaehus the Monk.

How well he wrought who stood
  Against an ancient wrong,
And left the spangles of his blood
  To light the sky of song!

A gladiatorial show,
  And eighty thousand men
For savage pastime all aglow--
  O marvel there and then!

An unknown monk, his life
  Defenseless, interposed,
Forbade the old barbaric strife--
  The red arena closed!

That unrecovered rout!
  Those fire-shafts from the Sun!
O Telemaque! who, who shall doubt
  Thy Master's will was done?

[pg 424]Washington.

The deeds of Washington
  Were lit with patriot flame;
A crown for Liberty he won,
  And won undying fame.

He heard his country's cry,
  He heard her bugle-call,
'Twas sweet to live for her, or die;
Her cause was all in all.

He heard the psalm of peace,
  He sought again the plow;
O civic toil, canst thou increase
  The laurels for his brow?

As with a father's hand
  He led the infant state;
Colossus of his native land,
  He still is growing great.


God placed on Lincoln's brow
  A sad, majestic crown;
All enmity is friendship now,
  And martyrdom renown.

A mighty-hearted man,
  He toiled at Freedom's side,
And lived, as only heroes can,
  The truth in which he died.

Like Moses, eyes so dim,
  All signs he could not spell;
Yet he endured, as seeing Him
  Who is invisible.

[pg 425]His life was under One
  "Who made and loveth all;"
And when his mighty work was done,
  How grand his coronal!


Of Garfield's finished days,
  So fair and all too few,
Destruction, which at noon-day strays,
  Could not the work undo.

O martyr prostrate, calm,
  I learn anew that pain
Achieves, as God's subduing psalm,
  What else were all in vain!

Like Samson in his death,
  With mightiest labor rife,
The moments of thy halting breath
  Were grandest of thy life.

And now, amid the gloom
  Which pierces mortal years,
There shines a star above thy tomb
  To smile away our tears.

Not Too Near.

O workers brave and true,
  Whose lives are full of song,
I dare not take too near a view,
  Lest I should do you wrong.

[pg 426]I only look to see
  The marks of sacrifice,
The heraldry of sympathy,
  Which can alone suffice.

For nothing else is great,
  However proudly won,
Or has the light to indicate
  The will of God is done.

Ah, who would judge what fire
  Will surely burn away!
And ask not, What doth God require
  At the Eternal Day?

"Stonewall" Jackson.

God somehow owns the creeds
  That seem so much amiss,
What time they bear heroic deeds
  Above analysis.

How, in his burning zeal,
  Did Stonewall breast his fate,
Converted to his country's weal
  With fame beyond debate!

Sincere and strong of heart,
  In very truth he thought
His ensign signaled duty's part;
  And as he thought he fought.

And truth baptized in blood,
  As many a time before,
Gave honor to his soldierhood,
Though trailed the flag he bore.

[pg 427]Work Its Own Reward

    O worker with the Lord,
    To crown thee with success,
Believe thy work its own reward,
    Let self be less and less.

    In all things be sincere,
    Afraid not of the light,
A prophet of the Golden Year
    In simply doing right.

    And be content to serve,
    A little one of God,
In loyalty without reserve,
    A hero armored, shod.

    Or this dear life of thine,
    Of every charm bereft,
Will crumble in the fire divine,
    Naught, naught but ashes left.

Now and Here

    O not to-morrow or afar,
    Thy work is now and here;
Thy bosom holds the fairest star--
    Dost see it shining clear?

    The nearest things are great,
    Remotest very small,
To him with eyes to penetrate
    The silent coronal.

    So deep the basis lies
    Of life's great pyramid,
That out of reach of common eyes
    Prophetic work is hid.

[pg 428]His reign for which we pray,
    His kingdom undefiled,
Whose scepter shall not pass away,
    Is in a little child.

A Little Child

    Come hither, little child,
    And bring thy heart to me;
Thou art the true and unbeguiled,
    So full of melody.

    The presence of a child
    Has taught me more of heaven,
And more my heart has reconciled
    Than Greece's immortal Seven.

    For when I sometimes think
    That life is void of song,
Before a little child I sink
    And own that I am wrong.

    And lo my heart grows bright
    That was so dark and drear,
Till in the tender morning light
    I find the Lord is near.

The Divine Presence

    O, when the Lord is near,
    The rainbow banners wave;
The star I follow shineth clear,
    I am no more a slave.

[pg 429]
    As if to honor Him,
    My work is true and free;
And flowing to the shining brim,
    The cup of heaven I see.

    I marvel not that song
    Should be employment there
In which the innumerable throng
    Their palms of triumph bear;

    Or that the choral strife
    And golden harps express
The stirring labors of the life
    Of peace and righteousness.

Death in Life

    The song of work, I know,
    Has here its minor tone;
And in its ever-changing flow,
    Death, death in life is known.

    Discordant notes, alas!
    So often cleave the air
And smite the music as they pass,
    And leave their poison there.

    And oft, ah me! from some
    Wild region of the heart
Will startling intimations come,
    And peace at once depart.

    With open foes without,
    And secret foes within,
His heart must needs be brave and stout
    That would life's battle win.

[pg 430]Evil

    In the great wilderness
    Through which I hold my way,
Is there no refuge from distress,
    Where foes are kept at bay?

    Saint Anthony of old
    Could not from evil flee;
The desert cave was found to hold
    His mortal enemy.

    And knew untiring Paul
    The world's relentless scorn;
While in his flesh, amid it all,
    He bore another thorn.

    Our common lot is cast
    In a great camp of pain!
Until the night be over-past,
    Some foe will yet remain.

With His Foes

    The king of beasts was dead--
    By an old hero slain;
Did dreams of honey for his bread
    Dance through the hero's brain?

    Or did he chafe at this:
    That pain is everywhere?
Down, down, thou fabled right to bliss,
    Life is to do and bear!

    Beguiled, enslaved, made blind,
    Yet unsubdued in will,
He kept the old heroic mind
    To serve his country still.

[pg 431]
    And in recovered might
    Pulled the tall pillars down,
Died with his foes--that was his right--
    And built his great renown.

For His Foes

    Devotion all supreme
    Throbs in the mighty psalm
Of One who filled our highest dream
    And poured His healing balm;

    Who worlds inherited
    And yet renounced them all;
Who had not where to lay His head
    And drank the cup of gall;

    Who emptied of His power
    Became the foremost man--
Calm at the great prophetic hour
    Through which God's purpose ran;

    Who in the darkest fight
    Imagination knows,
Saluted Thee, Eternal Light,
    And died as for His foes.

The Master

    The Master many a day
    In pain and darkness wrought:
Through death to life He held His way,
    All lands the glory caught.

[pg 432]
    And He unlocked the gain
    Shut up in grievous loss,
And made the stairs to heaven as plain
    As His uplifted cross--

    The stairs of pain and woe
    In all the work on earth,
Up which the patient toilers go
    To their eternal birth.

    O Master, Master mine,
    I read the legend now,
To work and suffer is divine,
    All radiant on Thy brow.

Life in Death

    Strong children of decay,
    Ye live by perishing:
To-morrow thrives on dead to-day,
    And joy on suffering.

    The labor of your hearts,
    Like that of brain and hands,
Shall be for gain in other marts,
    For bread in other lands.

    And will ye now despond
    Amid consuming toil,
When there is hope and joy beyond
    Which death can not despoil?

    Herein all comfort is:
    In usefulness and zeal,
The Lord announces who are His
    And gives eternal weal

[pg 433]Sacrifice

Through stern and ruthless years
Beyond the ken of man,
All filled with ruin, pain, and tears,
Has God worked out His plan.

Change on the heels of change,
Like blood-hounds in the chase,
Has swept the earth in tireless range,
Spangled with heavenly grace.

At last the mystery
Of the great Cross of Christ,
Red with a world-wide agony,
The God-Man sacrificed;

And from the Sacrifice
The seven great notes of Peace,
Which pierce the clouds beneath all skies
Till pain and sorrow cease.

The Mind of Christ

Into the surging world,
Upon thy lips His word,
And in thy hand His flag unfurled,
Go, soldier of the Lord;

Like Him who came from far
To toil for our release,
And framed the startling notes of war
Out of the psalm of peace.

And all the recompense
Which thou wilt ever need,
Shall kindle in the throbbing sense
Of this life-laden creed:

[pg 434]
    Grace has for him sufficed
    Who has St. Michael's heart,
The fullness of the mind of Christ,
    To do a hero's part


    The Master we revere,
    Who bled on Calvary,
To fill us with heroic cheer,
    Abides eternally.

    From His ascended heights
    Above the pain and ruth,
To all His servants He delights
    To come in grace and truth.

    His presence is so dear,
    His face so brave and fair,
That all our heavy burdens here
    He somehow seems to share.

    Copartner in our work,
    He every pain beguiles;
How can the fear of failure lurk
    In that on which He smiles!

Love for Love.

    Master, far Thy dear sake
    I bear my anguish now,
And in Thy blessed cross partake
    Whose sign is on my brow.

    For Thy dear sake I toil
    Who didst so toil for me;
O more than balm, or wine, or oil,
    The cheer that comes from Thee.

[pg 435]
  For Thy dear sake I live
  A servant unto all,
And know that Thou wilt surely give
  Thyself as coronal.

  For Thy dear sake I watch
  And keep my flag unfurled,
Until her golden gleam I catch,
  Sweet evening of the world.


    True worker with the Lord,
    He labors not for hire;
Co-partner in the sure reward,
    What can he more desire?

    Sometimes his eyes are dim,
    All signs he can not spell;
Yet he endures as seeing Him
    Who is invisible.

    The work he ought is bliss,
    The highest thing to crave;
And all his life is found in this
    Memorial for his grave:

    A worker with the Lord,
    He sought no other name,
And found therein enough reward,
    Enough, enough of fame.
[pg 436]




This gentleman, a member of the American Geographical Society, has furnished, in the columns of The Sunday Magazine, the following picture of his experience in crossing the most perilous of the African deserts:

Those who have not actually undergone the hardships of African travel almost always believe that the most dangerous desert routes are found in the Great Sahara. Such is not the fact. The currency given to this popular delusion is doubtless due to the immensity of the arid waste extending from the Mediterranean to the Soudan, and which is deceptive in its imagined dangers because of its large area. All travelers who have made the transit of the Nubian Desert from Korosko, situated between the First and Second Cataracts, southward across the burning sands of the Nubian Desert, a distance of 425 miles, concur in the statement that it is an undertaking unmatched in its severity and rigors by any like journey over the treeless and shrub-less spaces of the earth. "The Flight of a Tartar Tribe," as told by De Quincey, in his matchless descriptive style, carrying his readers with him through scenes of almost unparalleled warfare, privation, and cruelty, until the remnant of the Asiatic band stands beneath the shadow of the Chinese Wall to receive the welcome of their deliverer, but imperfectly portrays the physical suffering that must be endured in the solitude of the most dangerous of African deserts. Let me, therefore, briefly record my life in the [pg 437]Nubian Desert, at a time when I was filled with the hopes and ambitions which led Bruce, in the last century, to the fountains of the Blue Nile, and but a few years since guided Speke and Grant, Sir Samuel Baker, and Stanley to the great basin of the major river, and determined the general geography of the equatorial regions.

It was in the middle of January, after a pleasant journey up the Nile from Lower Egypt, on board a luxuriously fitted up "dahabeah," that I arrived at Korosko, a Nubian village about a thousand miles from the Mediterranean. The ascent of the Nile was simply a prolonged feast in this comfortable sailing-craft, with the panorama of imposing temples and gigantic ruins relieving the dreary monotony of the river-banks. The valley of this ancient stream, from the First Cataract, where it ceases to be navigable, to Cairo, is remarkable alone to the traveler for its vast structures and mausoleums. The sikeahs and shadofs, which are employed to raise water from the river, in order that it may be used for irrigation, suggest that no improvement has been made in Egyptian farming for four thousand years. But the smoke curling away from tall chimneys, and the noise of busy machinery in the midst of extensive fields of sugarcane, remind us that Egypt has become one of the greatest sugar-producing powers of the East. From the site of ancient Memphis to Korosko, comprising about six degrees of latitude, the soil under cultivation rarely extends beyond the distance of a mile into the interior, while to eastward and westward is one vast, uninhabited waste, the camping-ground of the Bedouins, who roam from river to sea in predatory bands, leading otherwise aimless lives. Thinly populated, and now without the means of subsisting large communities, Upper Egypt can never become what it was when, as we are taught, the walls of Thebes inclosed 4,000,000 [pg 438]of people, and the Nile was bridged from shore to shore. Turning from this strange land, I encamped on the border of the Nubian Desert, and prepared to set out on camel-back toward the sources of the Nile.

In conjunction with the local officials I began the necessary preparations, which involved the selection of forty-two camels, three donkeys, and nineteen servants. My ample provision and preparation consisted of the camels' feed--durah and barley, stowed in plaited saddle-bags; filling the goatskins with water, each containing an average of five gallons. Eighty were required for the journey. Three sheep, a coup-full of chickens, a desert range, a wall-tent, with the other supplies, made up over 10,000 pounds of baggage as our caravan, entering the northern door of the barren and dreary steppe, felt its way through a deep ravine paved with boulders, shifting sands, and dead camels. We soon left the bluffs and crags which form the barrier between the Nile and the desolate land beyond, and then indeed the real journey began.

Our camp apparatus was quite simple, consisting of a few plates, knives and forks, blankets and rugs, a kitchen-tent, and a pine table; and this outfit formed the nucleus of our nomadic village, not omitting the rough cooking-utensils. I recall now one of these strange scenes in that distant region, under the cloudless sky, beneath the Southern Cross. A few feet distant from my canvas chateau was my aged Arab cook, manipulating his coals, his tongs, and preparing the hissing mutton, the savory pigeons and potatoes. The cook is the most popular man on such an expedition, and is neither to be coaxed nor driven. The baggage-camels were disposed upon the ground, a few yards distant, eating their grain and uttering those loud, yelping, beseeching sounds--a compound of an elephant's trumpet [pg 439]and a lion's roar--which were taken up, repeated by the chorus, and re-echoed by the hills. These patient animals, denuded of their loads and water, the latter having been corded in mats, became quiet only with sleep. Add to these scenes and uproar the deafening volubility of twenty Arabs and Nubians, each shouting within the true barbaric key, the seven-eighths nudity of the blacks, the elaborate and flashing wear of the upper servants, and the small asperities of this my menial world--all of these with a refreshing breeze, a clear atmosphere, the air laden with ozone and electric life, the sky inviting the serenest contemplation, with the great moon thrice magnified as it rose, and I recall an evening when I was supremely content.

Piloted by the carcasses of decayed camels, we took up our route in the morning, led by our guide, and soon emerged on the sublimest scenery of the desert. Our line of travel lay through the center of grand elliptical amphitheaters, which called to mind the Coliseum at Rome and the exhumed arena at Pompeii. These eroded structures, wrought by the hand of nature at some remote period, were floored over by hard, gravelly sand, inclosed by lofty, semi-circular sides, and vaulted only by the blue sky, and are among the grandest primitive formations I have ever seen. From the maroon shade of the sand to the dark, craggy appearance of the terraced rocks, there is as much variety as can be found in landscape without verdure and in solitude without civilization. These amphitheaters are linked together by narrow passages; and so perfect were the formations, that four doorways, breaking the view into quadrants, were often seen. The view broadened and lengthened day by day, until our journey lay through a plain of billowing sand. Then the sun grew fierce and intolerable. The lips began to crack, the eyebrows and mustache were burned to a light blonde, [pg 440]the skin peeled, and the tongue became parched, while the fine sand, ever present in the hot wind, left its deposits in the delicate membranes of the eye. It is thus that a period of ten hours in the saddle, day after day, under the scorching sun, takes the edge off the romance of travel, and calls to one's mind the green lawn, the sparkling fountain, and the beauties of a more tolerable zone.

We were making about thirty miles a day, sleeping soundly at night, when the ever-watchful hyena, and occasionally a troop of wild asses, would pay us their nocturnal visits, and upon the fourth morning we began to approach the shores of the Mirage Seas. These atmospheric phenomenas on the Nubian Desert are not only very perfect imitations of real lakes, but have on many occasions inveigled expeditions away, to perish of heat and thirst. A little time before my expedition to Central Africa a body of Egyptian troops crossing this desert found their water almost at a boiling point in the skins, and nearly exhausted. They beheld, a few miles distant, an apparent lake overshadowed by a forest, and bordered with verdure and shrubbery. Although told by the guide that it was an illusion, they broke ranks, started off in pursuit of the sheet of water, chasing the aerial phantom, although it receded with the pace of their approach. At last they sunk down from thirst and fatigue, and died! Twelve hours on the Nubian Desert without water means a certain and terrible death; and even to this day, having been near such an end, with all of its indescribable anguish, I seldom raise a glass of water to my lips that I do not recall a day when I lay upon the burning sand, awaiting with impatience the moment that should snap asunder the vital cord and give peace to my burning body.

A mirage certainly presents an incomparable scenic effect. Once in its midst, you are encompassed by an imponderable [pg 441]mirror. It reflects the rocks, the mountains, the stray mimosa trees, and reproduces by inverted mirage every prominent object of the extended landscape. It has the blue of polished platinum, and lies like a motionless sea, stretching away from the craggy bluffs. Sometimes during the noonday heat it dances within a few yards of the caravan, and gives motion to every object within its area, changing the waste to the semblance of rolling seas peopled with the semblance of men.

Attacked by semi-blindness, with a blistering nose, and lips almost sealed to speech because of the agony of attempted articulation, I found the fifth day brought me to the extreme of suffering, when a terrific simoon burst over the desert, gathering up and dispersing the sands with indescribable fury. My mouth and nostrils were filled with earthy atoms, and my eyes were filled with irritating particles. The storm grew so dense and awful that it became a tornado, and we were soon enveloped in total darkness. All routes of travel were obliterated, and destruction threatened my command. These sand spouts are frequent, making a clean swathe, burying alike man and beast, and often they blow for weeks. During the approach of one of those death-dealing simoon's I noted a sublime phenomenon. To southward were fine equi-distant sand spouts, rising perpendicularly to a great height, and losing their swelling capitals in the clouds. They seemed to stand as majestic columns supporting the vault of the sky, and the supernatural architecture was further heightened by mirage-lakes, whose waters seemed to dash against the pillars as the green of doom-palms waved through the colonnade. The spectacle appeared like the ruin of a supernal pantheon once reared by the banks of the Nile, whose welcome and real waters greeted my eye after a fourteen days' journey, which I trust I may never be called upon to repeat.

[pg 442]




Why don't they stop it? Why do some people persist, spite of my hopes and prayers, my silent tears and protestations, in asking if "I'm well," when I'm before their eyes apparently the personification of health?

Why am I of that unfortunate class of beings who are afflicted with friends ("Heaven defend me from such friends") who appear to take a fiendish delight in recounting to me my real or (by them) imagined ill-looks; who come into my presence, and scrutinizing me closely, inquire, with what looks to me like a shade of anxiety, "Are you sick?" and if I, in astonishment, echo, "Sick? why, no; I never felt better in my life," observe, with insulting mock humility, "O, excuse me; I thought you looked badly," and turn again to other subjects.

But I do not flatter myself they are done with me. I know their evil-working dispositions are far from satisfied; and, presently they renew the attack by asking, still more obnoxiously, "My dear, are you sure you are quite well today? you certainly are pale;" and if I, thus severely cross-questioned, am induced to admit, half sarcastically, and, perhaps, just to note the effect, that I have--as who has not--a little private ache somewhere about me (that, by the way, I considered was only mine to bear, and therefore nobody's business but my own, and which may have been happily forgotten for a few moments), I have removed the barrier, [pg 443]given the opportunity desired, and the flood rushes in. "I knew you were not well," they cry, triumphantly. "Your complexion is very sallow; your lips are pale; your eyes look dull, and have dark rings under them; and surely you are thinner than when I saw you last"--concerning all which I may have doubts, though I have none that a frantic desire is taking possession of me to get away, and investigate these charges; and when, finally, I am released from torture, I fly to my good friend, the mirror; and, having obtained from it the blissful reassurance that these charges are without foundation in my features, I feel like girding on my armor and confronting my disagreeable ex-callers and all their kind with a few pertinent (or impertinent) questions.

I want to ask them if it does them any particular good to go and sit in people's houses by the hour, watch their every look and action, and harrow up their feelings by such gratuitous information? I want to ask them if they suppose our eyesight is not so sharp as theirs? And I take great pleasure in informing them, and in politely and frigidly requesting them to remember, that, so far as my observation goes, when people are ill, or looking ill, they are not so blind, either to feelings or appearances, as not to have discovered the fact; that, indeed, they must be exceptions to the general rule of half-invalids if they do not frequently and critically examine every lineament of their face, and secretly grieve over their increasing imperfections; consequently, ye provokingly observant ones, when you meet them and find them not looking well, even find yourselves in doubt as to whether they are looking quite as well as when you last saw them, and are sure you shall perish unless you introduce what Emerson declares "a forbidden topic" in some form--at least give your friends the benefit of the [pg 444]doubt; tell them they are looking better than usual, and, my word for it, they will be by the time they hear that; for if there is anything that will make a person, especially a woman look well, and feel better, it is the knowledge that some one thinks she does.

But if she is thin, remember there is nothing fat-producing in your telling her of the fact; or if her eyes are dull, they will not brighten at the certainty that you know it, unless with anger that your knowledge should be conveyed in such a fashion; and if she is pale, telling her of it will not bring the color to her face, unless it be a blush of shame for your heartless ill-breeding.

So much for the class who appear purposely to wound one's feelings. Then there is another class who accomplish the same result with no such intention, who do it seemingly from pure thoughtlessness, but who should none the less be held accountable for their acts.

One of these unlucky mortals, who would not willingly cause any one a single heartache, lately met a gentleman friend of ours, who is, 't is true--and "pity 'tis 'tis true"--in very delicate health, and thus accosted him:

"I tell you, my man, unless you do something for yourself, right off, you won't be alive three months from now!"

"Do something!" As if he had not just returned from a thousand mile journey taken to consult one of the most eminent physicians in the country, to whom he paid a small fortune for services that saved his life; and as if he were not constantly trying every thing he possibly can to help and save himself! Nevertheless, after this blunt prophecy, he did something more, something he is not in the habit of doing. He went home utterly miserable, related the circumstances to his wife (whose murderous inclinations toward his officious fellow-man were forgivable), assured her that [pg 445]were his appearance so horrifying to casual acquaintances he must indeed be a doomed man; and, spite of her efforts, always directed to the contrary, got the blues, and conscious of having done every thing else, began contemplating death as the only remedy still untried.

Now, to me, such carelessness seems criminal. The gentleman addressed was attending to his extensive business, was more cheerful than half the men who are considered in perfect health, and was, for him, really looking, as well as feeling, finely; and to give him such startling intelligence, when he was so totally unprepared for it, was inflicting misery upon him that one human being has no right to inflict upon another; he has no right to advise a friend to do an indefinite "something," unless he knows what will help or cure him; he has no right to verbally notice his condition, and particularly when he meets him doing his duty in active business life.

People should "think before they speak," that if their friends or acquaintances are ill, for that very reason they are generally discouraged enough, and need all the gladsome aid and comfort those about them can possibly give; and it is their simple duty to give it.

Said a mother to me once, when urging me to call upon her invalid daughter, "And when you come, do not tell her she looks badly; tell her she looks better, and you hope soon to see her well. Every one who comes in exclaims about her terrible aspect, and it drives me almost distracted to note its ill effect on her."

"Why, how can people be so heedless?" cried I. "Do they not know that even truth is not to be spoken at all times? When I come I'll give her joy, you may be sure;" and I did, though my heart ached the while, for I feared, all too truly, her days on earth were numbered; but I had [pg 446]my reward in her changed, happy countenance and the gratitude of her sorrowing mother.

Therefore, if you are not the enviable possessor of one of those "merry hearts that doeth good like a medicine," both to yourself and to those with whom you come in contact, at least avoid wounding these by dwelling upon their infirmities. Even should you see your friends in the last stages of a long illness; though their cheeks are terrifying in their hollowness, and their eyes resemble dark caverns with faint lights at the far ends, and all their other features prove them soon to be embraced by the king of terrors, not only in sweet mercy's name do not speak of it, but, unless compelled to do so, except by your softened tones, make no sign that you notice it; remember you can not smooth their way to the tomb by descanting upon their poor emaciated bodies, and there is just a chance that they may recollect you a trifle more kindly when they have cast them off, like worn-out garments, if you now talk on pleasanter themes--themes with which they are not already so grievously familiar.--GALE FOREST, in The Christian Union.


The savor of our household talk,
    Which earneth silent thanks;
The glory of our daily walk
    Among the busy ranks.

Life's cleanly, lubricating oil,
    In which a help is found
To make the wheels of common toil
    Go lightly, swiftly round.

Benevolence and grace of heart
    That gives no needless pain,
And pours a balm on every smart
    Till smiles appear again.
[pg 447]




About forty-six years ago a story of English heroism stirred the heart of the world. Grace Darling was born at Bamborough, on the coast of Northumberland, in 1815, and died in 1842. Her father was the keeper of the Long-stone Light-house, on one of the most exposed of the Farne islands. On the night of September 6, 1838, the Forfarshire steamer, proceeding from Hull to Dundee, was wrecked on one of the crags of the Farne group. Of fifty-three persons on board, thirty-eight perished, including the captain and his wife. On the morning of the 7th the survivors were discovered by Grace clinging to the rocks and remnants of the vessel, in imminent danger of being washed off by the returning tide. Grace, with the assistance of her parents, but against their remonstrance, immediately launched a boat and, with her father, succeeded in rescuing nine of them, and six escaped by other means. Presents and admiration were showered upon her from all parts of the United Kingdom, and a public subscription to the amount of £700 was raised for her. Among the many poets who sang her praises was Wordsworth, in a poem of considerable length, of which the following is a passage:

"Among the dwellers in the silent fields
The natural heart is touched, and public way
And crowded street resound with ballad strains,
Inspired by one whose very name bespeaks
Favor divine, exalting, human love;
Whom, since her birth on bleak Northumbrian coast,
[pg 448]Known unto few, but prized as far as known,
A single act endears to high and low
Through the whole land--to manhood, moved in spite
Of the world's freezing cares; to generous youth;
To infancy, that lisps her praise; to age,
Whose eye reflects it, glistening through tears
Of generous admiration. Such true fame
Awaits her now; but, verily, good deeds
Do no imperishable record find
Save in the roll of heaven, where hers may live
A theme for angels, when they celebrate
The high-souled virtues which forgetful earth
Has witnessed."

These lines describe equally well Ida Lewis, the heroine of our own country, whose brave deeds have passed into the habit of a life.

Ida Lewis Wilson, for she is now married, is the daughter of Hosea Lewis, who was formerly of the revenue service, became keeper of Lime Rock Lighthouse, in the inner harbor of Newport, R.I. The lighthouse is situated on one of the small rocks of limestone in that harbor, and is entirely surrounded by water.

From her thirteenth year Ida has resided on the rock. As the only means of connection with the city of Newport is by water, she early learned the use of oars. When she was about fifteen years of age she rescued from drowning four boys who had been thrown into the water by the upsetting of their boat near the lighthouse. During the Winter of 1865-66, on one of the coldest days of that season, she rescued a soldier belonging to Fort Adams, who was clinging to a skiff, which had upset with him and become full of water. She lifted him out of the water into her own boat and carried him to the lighthouse.

About this time the duty of looking after the light depended on Ida and her mother, her father having become a [pg 449]hopeless cripple from paralysis. This charge they fulfilled in the most perfect manner, no light on the coast being more regularly or more perfectly attended to. It is a singular life to imagine, these two women living thus isolated from the rest of the world. The freedom of the life, however, and the constant abundance of stimulating sea air, together with the exercise of rowing to and from the city, gave Ida a physical strength and a health which makes her richer in all the valuable part of life than many of her sex whose lives are passed in constant repining for something to live for, while surrounded with all the appliances of luxury. That Miss Lewis has also developed an independence of courage is shown by her deeds, which prove also that the isolation of her life has not in any way prevented the development of the tenderness of sympathy with suffering which is supposed to be peculiar to only the helplessness of women.

It was owing to the efforts of the late Senator Burnside that Ida became the recognized keeper of the lighthouse, a promotion as graceful as it was deserved. The matter was arranged in January, 1879, by Senator Burnside and Collector Pratt.

The keeper of Lime Rock Light then was Mrs. Zoradia Lewis, Ida's mother, who had been in charge for a number of years. Mrs. Lewis's second daughter, who was very sick, required all the mother's attention, and accordingly it was suggested to her that by her resignation the heroine could receive the appointment. She gladly accepted the suggestion, and on January 24th Ida received her appointment, with a salary of $750 a year, an increase of $250 over her mother's pay. In communicating the appointment Secretary Sherman said: "This appointment is conferred upon you as a mark of my appreciation for your noble and heroic efforts in saving human lives." Ida Lewis had given up all [pg 450]hope that her claims would ever be recognized, and the news was joyfully received.

In July, 1881, the Secretary of the Treasury awarded the gold life-saving medal to her in recognition of her services in rescuing a number of persons from drowning since the passage of the act authorizing such awards. Most of the rescues made were under circumstances which called for heroic daring, and involved the risk of her life. The following summary of her achievements in life-saving is taken from the records of the Treasury Department:

"The total number of lives Mrs. Ida Lewis Wilson has saved since 1854, so far as known, is thirteen. In all these cases except two she has relied wholly on herself. Her latest achievement was the rescue in February, 1881, of two bandsmen from Fort Adams, near Newport, R.I. The men were passing over the ice near Lime Rock Light-house, where Mrs. Lewis Wilson resides, when the ice gave way and they fell in. Hearing their cries, Mrs. Wilson ran out with a clothes-line which she threw to them, successively hauling them out at a great risk to herself from the double peril of the ice giving way beneath her and of being pulled in. Her heroism on various occasions has won her the tribute of her State's Legislature expressed in an official resolution; the public presentation to her of a boat by the citizens of Newport; a testimonial in money from the officers and soldiers of Fort Adams for saving their comrades; and medals from the Massachusetts Humane Society and the New York Life-saving Benevolent Association. To these offerings is now fitly added the gold medal of the United States Life-saving Service."


The presentation took place at the Custom House at Newport, on October 11, 1881, in the presence of many of the leading residents of the State, who met there upon invitation [pg 451]of Collector Cozzors. Mrs. Wilson was introduced to the company by Ex-Collector Macy. The collector introduced Lieutenant-commander F.E. Chadwick, U.S.N., who, in a happy speech, made the presentation of the highest token of merit of the kind which can be given in this country, the life-saving medal of the first class, conferred by the United States Government "for extreme heroic daring involving eminent personal danger." After a simple and eloquent recital of the circumstances in which Mrs. Wilson had, at the risk of her own life and in circumstances requiring the utmost skill and daring, saved from a watery grave on six occasions thirteen persons, Commander Chadwick paid a glowing tribute to the heroism of Mrs. Wilson, and concluded by reading the letter of Secretary of the Treasury Windom, conferring the medal awarded to her under the law of June 20th, 1874. Lieutenant-governor Fay responded on behalf of Mrs. Wilson, and an appropriate address was made by Ex-Governor Van Zant on behalf of Newport and Rhode Island.

After the addresses the public were invited to inspect the gold medal, and were greatly impressed with its beauty. It bears upon its obverse side a tablet with the following inscription:


Ida Lewis Wilson,

For Signal Heroism in Saving Two Men from Drowning,

FEBRUARY 4, 1881.

Surrounding the tablet is the inscription:

In Testimony of Heroic Deeds in Saving Life
    from the Peril of the Seas.
[pg 452]



(BORN 1767--DIED 1828.)


Rachel Donelson was the maiden name of General Jackson's wife. She was born in Virginia, in the year 1767, and lived there until she was eleven years of age. Her father, Colonel John Donelson, was a planter and land surveyor, who possessed considerable wealth in land, cattle, and slaves. He was one of those hardy pioneers who were never content unless they were living away out in the woods, beyond the verge of civilization. Accordingly, in 1779, we find him near the head-waters of the Tennessee River, with all his family, bound for the western part of Tennessee, with a river voyage of two thousand miles before them.

Seldom has a little girl of eleven years shared in so perilous an adventure. The party started in the depth of a severe Winter, and battled for two months with the ice before it had fairly begun the descent of the Tennessee. But, in the Spring, accompanied by a considerable fleet of boats, the craft occupied by John Donelson and his family floated down the winding stream more rapidly. Many misfortunes befell them. Sometimes a boat would get aground and remain immovable till its whole cargo was landed. Sometimes a boat was dashed against a projecting point and sunk. One man died of his frozen feet; two children were born. On board one boat, containing twenty-eight persons, the small-pox raged. As this boat always sailed at a certain [pg 453]distance behind the rest, it was attacked by Indians, who captured it, killed all the men, and carried off the women and children. The Indians caught the small-pox, of which some hundreds died in the course of the season.

But during this voyage, which lasted several months, no misfortune befell the boat of Colonel Donelson; and he and his family, including his daughter Rachel, arrived safely at the site of the present city of Nashville, near which he selected his land, built his log house, and established himself. Never has a settlement been so infested by hostile Indians as this. When Rachel Donelson, with her sisters and young friends, went blackberrying, a guard of young men, with their rifles loaded and cocked, stood guard over the surrounding thickets while the girls picked the fruit. It was not safe for a man to stoop over a spring to drink unless some one else was on the watch with his rifle in his arms; and when half a dozen men stood together, in conversation, they turned their backs to each other, all facing different ways, to watch for a lurking savage.

So the Donelsons lived for eight years, and gathered about them more negroes, more cattle, and more horses than any other household in the settlement. During one of the long Winters, when a great tide of emigration had reduced the stock of corn, and threatened the neighborhood with famine, Colonel Donelson moved to Kentucky with all his family and dependents, and there lived until the corn crop at Nashville was gathered. Rachel, by this time, had grown to be a beautiful and vigorous young lady, well skilled in all the arts of the backwoods, and a remarkably bold and graceful rider. She was a plump little damsel, with the blackest hair and eyes, and of a very cheerful and friendly disposition. During the temporary residence of her father in Kentucky, she gave her hand and heart [pg 454]to one Lewis Robards, and her father returned to Nashville without her.

Colonel Donelson soon after, while in the woods surveying far from his home, fell by the hand of an assassin. He was found pierced by bullets; but whether they were fired by red savages or by white was never known. To comfort her mother in her loneliness, Rachel and her husband came to Nashville and lived with her, intending, as soon as the Indians were subdued, to occupy a farm of their own.

In the year 1788 Andrew Jackson, a young lawyer from North Carolina, arrived at Nashville to enter upon the practice of his profession, and went to board with Mrs. Donelson. He soon discovered that Mrs. Rachel Robards lived most unhappily with her husband, who was a man of violent temper and most jealous disposition. Young Jackson had not long resided in the family before Mr. Robards began to be jealous of him, and many violent scenes took place between them. The jealous Robards at length abandoned his wife and went off to his old home in Kentucky, leaving Jackson master of the field.

A rumor soon after reached the place that Robards Had procured a divorce from his wife in the Legislature of Virginia; soon after which Andrew Jackson and Rachel Donelson were married. The rumor proved to be false, and they lived together for two years before a divorce was really granted, at the end of which time they were married again. This marriage, though so inauspiciously begun, was an eminently happy one, although, out of doors, it caused the irrascible Jackson a great deal of trouble. The peculiar circumstances attending the marriage caused many calumnies to be uttered and printed respecting Mrs. Jackson, and some of the bitterest quarrels which the general ever had had their origin in them.

[pg 455]At home, however, he was one of the happiest of men. His wife was an excellent manager of a household and a kind mistress of slaves. She had a remarkable memory, and delighted to relate anecdotes and tales of the early settlement of the country. Daniel Boone had been one of her father's friends, and she used to recount his adventures and escapes. Her abode was a seat of hospitality, and she well knew how to make her guests feel at home. It used to be said in Tennessee that she could not write; but, "as I have had the pleasure of reading nine letters in her own handwriting," says Parton, "one of which was eight pages long, I presume I have a right to deny the imputation. It must be confessed, however, that the spelling was exceedingly bad, and that the writing was so much worse as to be nearly illegible. If she was ignorant of books, she was most learned in the lore of the forest, the dairy, the kitchen, and the farm. I remember walking about a remarkably fine spring that gushed from the earth near where her dairy stood, and hearing one of her colored servants say that there was nothing upon the estate which she valued so much as that spring." She grew to be a stout woman, Which made her appear shorter than she really was. Her husband, on the contrary, was remarkably tall and slender; so that when they danced a reel together, which they often did, with all the vigor of the olden time, the spectacle was extremely curious.

It was a great grief to both husband and wife that they had no children, and it was to supply this want in the household that they adopted one of Mrs. Donelson's nephews, and named him Andrew Jackson. This boy was the delight of them both as long as they lived.

Colonel Benton, so long in the United States Senate, himself a pioneer of the still remoter West, who knew Mrs. [pg 456]Jackson well and long, recorded his opinion of her in the following forcible language:

"A more exemplary woman in all the relations of life--wife, friend, neighbor, mistress of slaves--never lived, and never presented a more quiet, cheerful, and admirable management of her household. She had the general's own warm heart, frank manners, and admirable temper; and no two persons could have been better suited to each other, lived more happily together, or made a house more attractive to visitors. No bashful youth or plain old man, whose modesty sat them down at the lower end of the table, could escape her cordial attention, any more than the titled gentlemen at her right and left. Young persons were her delight, and she always had her house filled with them, all calling her affectionately 'Aunt Rachel.'"

In the homely fashion of the time, she used to join her husband and guests in smoking a pipe after dinner and in the evening. There are now living many persons who well remember seeing her smoking by her fireside a long reed pipe.

When General Jackson went forth to fight in the war of 1812, he was still living in a log house of four rooms. "And this house," says Parton, in a sketch written years ago, from which this is chiefly drawn, "is still standing on his beautiful farm ten miles from Nashville. I used to wonder, when walking about it, how it was possible for Mrs. Jackson to accommodate so many guests as we know she did. But a hospitable house, like a Third Avenue car, in never full; and in that mild climate the young men could sleep on the piazza or in the corn-crib, content if their mothers and sisters had the shelter of the house. It was not until long after the general's return from the wars that he built, or could afford to build, the large brick mansion [pg 457]which he named the 'Hermitage,' The visitor may still see in that commodious house the bed on which this happy pair slept and died, the furniture they used, and the pictures on which they were accustomed to look. In the hall of the second story there is still preserved the huge chest in which Mrs. Jackson used to stow away the woolen clothes of the family in the Summer, to keep them from the moths. Around the house are the remains of the fine garden of which she used to be proud, and a little beyond are the cabins of the hundred and fifty slaves, to whom she was more a mother than a mistress."

A few weeks after the battle of New Orleans, when Jackson was in the first flush of his triumph, this plain planter's wife floated down the Mississippi to New Orleans to visit her husband and accompany him home. She had never seen a city before; for Nashville, at that day, was little more than a village. The elegant ladies of New Orleans were exceedingly pleased to observe that General Jackson, though he was himself one of the most graceful and polite of gentlemen, seemed totally unconscious of the homely bearing, the country manners, and awkward dress of his wife. In all companies and on all occasions he showed her every possible mark of respect. The ladies gathered about her and presented her with all sorts of showy knick-knacks and jewelry, and one of them undertook the task of selecting suitable clothes for her. She frankly confessed that she knew nothing at all about such things, and was willing to wear any thing the ladies thought proper. Much as she enjoyed her visit, she was glad enough to return to her old home on the banks of the Cumberland, and resume her oversight of the dairy and the plantation.

Soon after the peace, a remarkable change came over the spirit of this excellent woman. Parson Blackburn, as the [pg 458]general always called him, was a favorite preacher in that part of Tennessee, and his sermons made so powerful an impression on Mrs. Jackson that she joined the Presbyterian Church, and was ever after devotedly religious. The general himself was almost persuaded to follow her example. He did not, however; but he testified his sympathy with his wife's feelings by building a church for her--a curious little brick edifice--on his own farm; the smallest church, perhaps, in the United States. It looks like a very small school-house; it has no steeple, no portico, and but one door; and the interior, which contains forty little pews, is unpainted, and the floor is of brick. On Sundays, the congregation consisted chiefly of the general, his family, and half a dozen neighbors, with as many negroes as the house would hold, and could see through the windows. It was just after the completion of this church that General Jackson made his famous reply to a young man who objected to the doctrine of future punishment.

"I thank God," said this youth, "I have too much good sense to believe there is such a place as hell."

"Well, sir," said General Jackson, "I thank God there is such a place."

"Why, general," asked the young man, "what do you want with such a place of torment as hell?"

To which the general replied, as quick as lightning: "To put such rascals as you are in, that oppose and vilify the Christian religion."'

The young man said no more, and soon after found it convenient to take his leave.

Mrs. Jackson did not live to see her husband President of the United States, though she lived long enough to know that he was elected to that office. When the news was brought to her of her husband's election, in December, 1828, [pg 459]she quietly said: "Well, for Mr. Jackson's sake" (she always called him Mr. Jackson) "I am glad; for my own part, I never wished it."

The people of Nashville, proud of the success of their favorite, resolved to celebrate the event by a great banquet on the 22d of December, the anniversary of the day on which the general had first defeated the British below New Orleans; and some of the ladies of Nashville were secretly preparing a magnificent wardrobe for the future mistress of the White House. Six days before the day appointed for the celebration, Mrs. Jackson, while busied about her household affairs in the kitchen of the hermitage, suddenly shrieked, placed her hands upon her heart, sank upon a chair, and fell forward into the arms of one of her servants. She was carried to her bed, where, for the space of sixty hours, she suffered extreme agony, during the whole of which her husband never left her side for ten minutes. Then she appeared much better, and recovered the use of her tongue. This was only two days before the day of the festival, and the first use she made of her recovered speech was to implore her husband to go to another room and sleep, so as to recruit his strength for the banquet. He would not leave her, however, but lay down upon a sofa and slept a little. The evening of the 22d she appeared to be so much better that the general consented, after much persuasion, to sleep in the next room, and leave his wife in the care of the doctor and two of his most trusted servants.

At nine o'clock he bade her good-night, went to the next room, and took off his coat, preparatory to lying down. When he had been gone five minutes from her room, Mrs. Jackson, who was sitting up, suddenly gave a long, loud, inarticulate cry, which was immediately followed by the death rattle in her throat. By the time her husband had reached her side, she had breathed her last.

[pg 460]"Bleed her," cried the general.

But no blood flowed from her arm.

"Try the temple," doctor.

A drop or two of blood stained her cap, but no more followed. Still, it was long before he would believe her dead, and when there could no longer be any doubt, and they were preparing a table upon which to lay her out, he cried, with a choking voice:

"Spread four blankets upon it; for if she does come to she will lie so hard upon the table."

All night long he sat in the room, occasionally looking into her face, and feeling if there was any pulsation in her heart. The next morning when one of his friends arrived, just before daylight, he was nearly speechless and utterly unconsolable, looking twenty years older.

There was no banquet that day in Nashville. On the morning of the funeral, the grounds were crowded with people, who saw, with emotion, the poor old general supported to the grave between two of his old friends, scarcely able to stand. The remains were interred in the garden of the Hermitage, in a tomb which the general had recently completed. The tablet which covers her dust contains the following inscription:

"Here lie the remains of Mrs. Rachel Jackson, wife of President Jackson, who died the 22nd of December, 1828, aged 61. Her face was fair, her person pleasing, her temper amiable, her heart kind; she delighted in relieving the wants of her fellow-creatures, and cultivated that divine pleasure by the most liberal and unpretending methods; to the poor she was a benefactor; to the rich an example; to the wretched a comforter; to the prosperous an ornament; her piety went hand in hand with her benevolence, and she thanked her Creator for being permitted to do good. A being so gentle [pg 461]and so virtuous, slander might wound but not dishonor. Even death, when he tore her from the arms of husband, could but transport to the bosom of her God."

Andrew Jackson was never the same man again. During his presidency he never used the phrase, "By the Eternal," nor any other language which could be considered profane. He mourned his wife until he himself rejoined her in the tomb he had prepared for them both.

Of all the blessed things below
    To hint the joys above,
There is not one our hearts may know
    So dear as mated love.

It walks the garden of the Lord,
    It gives itself away;
To give, and think not of reward,
    Is glory day by day.

And though sometimes the shadows fall,
    And day is dark as night,
It bows and drinks the cup of gall,
    But gives not up the fight.

For One is in the union where
    The mine is ever thine,
Whose presence keeps it brave and fair,
    A melody divine.
[pg 462]




Not every girl is discontented, nor are any wretched all the time. If they were, our homes would lose much sunshine. Certainly no class in the community is so constantly written about, talked at, and preached to as our girls. And still there always seems to be room left for one word more. I am persuaded that the leaven of discontent pervades girls of the several social ranks, from the fair daughter of a cultured home to her who has grown up in a crowded tenement, her highest ambition to dress like the young ladies she sees on the fashionable avenue. City girls and country girls alike know the meaning of this discontent, which sometimes amounts to morbidness, and again only to nervous irritability.

I once knew and marveled at a young person who spent her languid existence idly lounging in a rocking-chair, eating candy, and reading novels, whilst her mother bustled about, provoking by her activity an occasional remonstrance from her indolent daughter. "Do, ma, keep still," she would say, with amiable wonder at ma's notable ways. This incarnation of sweet selfishness was hateful in my eyes, and I have often queried, in the twenty years which have passed since I saw her, what sort of woman she made. As a girl she was vexatious, though no ripple of annoyance crossed the white brow, no frown obscured it, and no flurry of impatience ever tossed the yellow curls. She had no aspirations which candy and a rocking-chair could not gratify. [pg 463]It is not so with girls of a larger mind and greater vitality--the girls, for instance, in our own neighborhood, whom we have known since they were babies. Many of them feel very much dissatisfied with life, and do not hesitate to say so; and, strangely enough, the accident of a collegiate or common-school education makes little difference in their conclusions.

"To what end," says the former, "have I studied hard, and widened my resources? I might have been a society girl, and had a good time, and been married and settled sometime, without going just far enough to find out what pleasure there is in study, and then stopping short."

I am quoting from what girls have said to me--girls who have been graduated with distinction, and whose parents preferred that they should neither teach, nor paint, nor enter upon a profession, nor engage in any paid work. Polished after the similitude of a palace, what should the daughters do except stay at home to cheer father and mother, play and sing in the twilight, read, shop, sew, visit, receive their friends, and be young women of elegant leisure? If love, and love's climax, the wedding march, follow soon upon a girl's leaving school, she is taken out of the ranks of girlhood, and in accepting woman's highest vocation, queenship in the kingdom of home, foregoes the ease of her girlish life and its peril of ennui and unhappiness together. This, however, is the fate of the minority, and while young people continue, as thousands do, to dread beginning home life upon small means, it must so remain.

Education is not a fetich, though some who ought to know better regard it in that superstitious light. No amount of school training, dissevered from religious culture and from that development of the heart and of the conscience without which intellectual wealth is poverty, will lift anybody, [pg 464]make anybody happier or better, or fit anybody for blithe living in this shadowy world. I have no doubt that there are numbers of girls whose education, having made them objects of deep respect to their simple fathers and mothers, has also gone far to make the old home intolerable, the home ways distasteful, and the old people, alas! subjects of secret, deprecating scorn. A girl has, indeed, eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil when her eyes are opened in such wise that she is ashamed of her plain, honorable, old-fashioned parents, or, if not ashamed, is still willing to let them retire to the background while she shines in the front.

I did not write this article for the purpose of saying what I hold to be the bounden duty of every father and mother in the land; viz., to educate the daughter as they educate the son, to some practical, bread-winning pursuit. That should be the rule, and not the exception. A girl should be trained so that with either head or hands, as artist or artisan, in some way or other, she will be able to go into the world's market with something for which the world, being shrewd and knowing what it wants, will pay in cash. Rich or poor, the American father who fails to give his daughter this special training is a short-sighted and cruel man.

My thought was rather of the girls themselves. Some of them will read this. So will some of their mothers-Mothers and daughters often, not invariably, are so truly en rapport that their mutual comprehension is without a flaw. There are homes in which, with the profoundest regard and the truest tenderness on both sides, they do not understand each other. The mother either sees the daughter's discontent, recognizes and resents it, or fails to see it, would laugh at its possibility, and pity the sentimentalist who imagined it. And there are dear, blooming, merry-hearted, clear-eyed [pg 465]young women who are as gay and as elastic as bird on bough or flower in field.

To discontented girls I would say, there is for you one panacea--Work; and there is one refuge--Christ. Have you been told this before? Do you say that you can find no work worth the doing? Believe me, if not in your own home, you need go no further than your own set, your own street, your own town, to discover it waiting for you. No one else can do it so well. Perhaps no one else can do it at all. The girl can not be unhappy who, without reserve and with full surrender, consecrates herself to Christ, for then will she have work enough.--MARGARET E. SANGSTER.

God giveth his beloved rest through action
    Which reacheth for the dream of joy on earth;
Inertness brings the heart no satisfaction,
    But condemnation and the sense of dearth.

And shall the dream of life, the quenchless yearning
    For something which is yet beyond control,
The flame within the breast forever burning,
    Not leap to action and exalt the soul?--

Surmount all barriers to brave endeavor,
    Make for itself a way where it would go,
And flash the crown of ecstacy forever,
    Which only laborers with God may know?

In action there is joy which is no fiction,
    The hope of something as in faith begun,
God's sweet and everlasting benediction,
    The flush of victory and labor done!

Labor puts on the livery of greatness,
    While genius idle withers from the sight,
And in its triumph takes no note of lateness,
    For time exists not in Eternal Light.
[pg 466]



"Rachel weeping for her children, and would not he comforted, because they were not."

We have heard the voice in Ramah,
  The grief in the days of yore,
When the beautiful "flowers of the martyrs"
  Went to bloom on another shore.

The light of our life is darkness,
  And with sorrow we are not done;
For thine is the bitterest mourning,
  Mourning for an only son!

And what shall I utter to comfort
  The heart that is dearest of all?
Too young for the losses and crosses,
  Too young for the rise and the fall?

O, yes; we own it, we own it;
  But not too young for the grace
That was so nameless and blameless,
  For the yearning and tender embrace!

He hung, he hung on thy bosom
  In that happiest, weariest hour,
A dear little bird to its blossom,
  The beautiful, dutiful flower.

And thus he grew by its sweetness,
  He grew by its sweetness so
That smile unto smile responded--
But a little while ago!

[pg 467]

Illustration: We
have heard the voice in Ramah.
We have heard the voice in Ramah.

And you and I were happy
  In many a vision fair
Of a ripe and glorious manhood
  Which the world and we should share.

In a little while the patter
  Of two little feet was heard;
And many a look it cheered us,
  A look that was more than a word.

In a little while he uttered
  The words we longed to hear;
And mamma and papa blessed him
  With a blessing of hope and fear.

In a little while he budded,
  A bud of the promising Spring,
And O for the beautiful blossom,
  And O for the fruit it will bring!

The joy, they never may know it
  Who never have parents been,
The joy of a swelling bosom,
  With a growing light within:

A light that is soft and tender,
  And growing in strength and grace,
Which wreathes a form that is slender
  And glows in a dear little face!

But life it knoweth the shadow,
  The shadow as well as the shine;
For the one it follows the other,
  And both together are thine.

For the bud it never unfolded,
  The light it flickered away,
And whose is the power to utter
  The grief of that bitterest day?

[pg 468]His form is yet before me,
    With the fair and lofty brow,
And the day since last we kissed it--
    Is it long since then and now?

Dearest, it seems but a minute,
    Though Winter has spread the snow,
Meek purity's mantle to cover
    The one that is resting below.

In the acre of God, that is yonder,
    And unto the west his head,
He sleepeth the sleep untroubled,
    With one to watch at his bed.

For the bright and guardian angel
    Who beholdeth the Father's face,
Doth stand as a sentinel watching
    O'er the dear one's resting-place;

Doth stand as a sentinel guarding
    The dust of the precious dead,
Till at length the trumpet soundeth,
    When the years of the world are sped;

And the throng which can not be numbered
    Put on their garments of white,
And gird themselves for the glory
    Of a realm that hath no night.

And so he is gone, the darling,
    And the dream so fair and vain,
Whose light has faded to darkness,
    We shall never dream again!

Never? Is the earth the limit
    To bright and beautiful hope?
If the world brings not fruition,
    Must we in darkness grope?

[pg 469]O no! There is expectation
    Which the grave can not control;
There is boundless infinite promise
    For the living and deathless soul.

And the darling who left us early
    May yonder grow a man;
In deeds of the great hereafter
    He may take his place in the van.

O, if thine is the bitterest mourning,
    Mourning for an only son,
Believe that in God, the Giver,
    Our darling his course begun;

Believe that in God, the Taker,
    His course forever will be;
For this is the blessed comfort,
    The comfort for thee and me.

Yea, this is the blessed comfort
    In sorrow like that of yore,
When the beautiful "flowers of the martyrs"
    Went to bloom on another shore.
[pg 470]



(BORN 1757--DIED 1834.)


In the year 1730 there appeared in Paris a little volume entitled "Philosophic Letters," which proved to be one of the most influential books produced in modern times.

It was written by Voltaire, who was then thirty-six years of age, and contained the results of his observations upon the English nation, in which he had resided for two years. Paris was then as far from London, for all practical purposes, as New York now is from Calcutta, so that when Voltaire told his countrymen of the freedom that prevailed in England, of the tolerance given to religious sects, of the honors paid to untitled merit, of Newton, buried in Westminster Abbey with almost regal pomp, of Addison, secretary of state, and Swift, familiar with prime ministers, and of the general liberty, happiness, and abundance of the kingdom, France listened in wonder, as to a new revelation The work was, of course, immediately placed under the ban by the French Government, and the author exiled, which only gave it increased currency and deeper influence.

This was the beginning of the movement which produced at length, the French Revolution of 1787, and which has continued until France is now blessed with a free and constitutional government. It began among the higher classes of the people, for, at that day, not more than one-third of the French could read at all, and a much smaller fraction [pg 471]could read such a book as the "Philosophic Letters" and the books which it called forth. Republicanism was fashionable in the drawing-rooms of Paris for many years before the mass of the people knew what the word meant.

Among the young noblemen who were early smitten in the midst of despotism with the love of liberty, was the Marquis de La Fayette, born in 1757. Few families in Europe could boast a greater antiquity than his. A century before the discovery of America we find the La Fayettes spoken of as an "ancient house," and in every generation at least one member of the family had distinguished himself by his services to his king. This young man, coming upon the stage of life when republican ideas were teeming in every cultivated mind, embraced them with all the ardor of youth and intelligence. At sixteen he refused a high post in the household of one of the princes of the blood and accepted a commission in the army. At the age of seventeen he was married to the daughter of a duke, whose dowry added a considerable fortune to his own ample possessions. She was an exceedingly lovely woman, and tenderly attached to her husband, and he was as fond of her as such a boy could be.

The American Revolution broke out. In common with all the high-born republicans of his time, his heart warmly espoused the cause of the revolted colonies, and he immediately conceived the project of going to America and fighting under her banner. He was scarcely nineteen years of age when he sought an interview with Silas Deane, the American envoy, and offered his services to the Congress. Mr, Deane, it appears, objected to his youth.

"When," says he, "I presented to the envoy my boyish face, I spoke more of my ardor in the cause than of my experience; but I dwelt much upon the effect my departure would have in France, and he signed our mutual agreement."

[pg 472]His intention was concealed from all his family and from all his friends, except two or three confidants. While he was making preparation for his departure, most distressing and alarming news came from America--the retreat from Long Island, the loss of New York, the battle of White Plains, and the retreat through New Jersey. The American forces, it was said, reduced to a disheartened band of three thousand militia, were pursued by a triumphant army of thirty-three thousand English and Hessians. The credit of the colonies at Paris sank to the lowest ebb, and some of the Americans themselves confessed to La Fayette that they were discouraged, and tried to persuade him to abandon his project. He said to Mr. Deane:

"Until now, sir, you have only seen my ardor in your cause, and that may not at present prove wholly useless. I shall purchase a ship to carry out your officers. We must feel confidence in the future, and it is especially in the hour of danger that I wish to share your fortune."

He proceeded at once with all possible secrecy to raise the money and to purchase and arm a ship. While the ship was getting ready, in order the better to conceal his intention, he made a journey to England, which had previously been arranged by his family. He was presented to the British king, against whom he was going to fight; he dined at the house of the minister who had the department of the colonies; he visited Lord Rawdon, afterwards distinguished in the Revolutionary struggle; he saw at the opera Sir Henry Clinton, whom he next saw on the battlefield of Monmouth, and he breakfasted with Lord Shelburne, a friend of the colonies.

"While I concealed my intentions," he tells us, "I openly avowed my sentiments. I often defended the Americans. I rejoiced at their success at Trenton, and it was my spirit [pg 473]of opposition that obtained for me an invitation to breakfast with Lord Shelburne."

On his return to France his project was discovered, and his departure forbidden by the king. He sailed, however, in May, 1777, cheered by his countrymen, and secretly approved by the government itself. On arriving at Philadelphia, he sent to Congress a remarkably brief epistle to the following effect: "After my sacrifices, I have the right to ask two favors. One is, to serve at my own expense; the other, to begin to serve as a volunteer."

Congress immediately named him a major-general of the American army, and he at once reported himself to General Washington. His services at the Brandywine, where he was badly wounded; in Virginia, where he held an important command; at Monmouth, where he led the attack--are sufficiently well known. When he had been in America about fifteen months, the news came of the impending declaration of war between France and England. He then wrote to Congress that, as long as he had believed himself free, he had gladly fought under the American flag; but that his own country being at war, he owed it the homage of his service, and he desired their permission to return home. He hoped, however, to come back to America; and asserted then that, wherever he went, he should be a zealous friend of the United States. Congress gave him leave of absence, voted him a sword, and wrote a letter on his behalf to the king of France. "We recommend this noble young man," said the letter of Congress, "to the favor of your majesty, because we have seen him wise in council, brave in battle, and patient under the fatigues of war." He was received in France with great distinction, which he amusingly describes:

"When I went to court, which had hitherto only written [pg 474]for me orders for my arrest, I was presented to the ministers. I was interrogated, complimented, and exiled--to the hotel where my wife was residing: Some days after, I wrote to the king to acknowledge my fault. I received in reply a light reprimand and the colonelcy of the Royal Dragoons. Consulted by all the ministers, and, what was much better, embraced by all the women, I had at Versailles the favor of the king and celebrity of Paris."

In the midst of his popularity he thought always of America, and often wished that the cost of the banquets bestowed upon him could be poured into the treasury of Congress. His favorite project at that time was the invasion of England--Paul Jones to command the fleet, and he himself the army. When this scheme was given up, he joined all his influence with that of Franklin to induce the French Government to send to America a powerful fleet and a considerable army. When he had secured the promise of this valuable aid, he returned to America and served again in the armies of the young republic.

The success of the United States so confirmed him in his attachment to republican institutions, that he remained their devoted adherent and advocate as long as he lived.

"May this revolution," said he once to Congress, "serve as a lesson to oppressors, and as an example to the oppressed."

And, in one of his letters from the United States occurs this sentence: "I have always thought that a king was at least a useless being; viewed from this side of the ocean, a king cuts a poor figure indeed."

By the time he had left America, at the close of the war, he had expended in the service of Congress seven hundred thousand francs--a free gift to the cause of liberty.

[pg 475]One of the most pleasing circumstances of La Fayette's residence in America was the affectionate friendship which existed between himself and General Washington. He looked up to Washington as to a father as well as a chief; and Washington regarded him with a tenderness truly paternal. La Fayette named his eldest son George Washington, and never omitted any opportunity to testify his love and admiration for the illustrious American. Franklin, too, was much attached to the youthful enthusiast, and privately wrote to General Washington, asking him, for the sake of the young and anxious wife of the marquis, not to expose his life except in an important and decisive engagement.

In the diary of the celebrated William Wilberforce, who visited Paris soon after the peace, there is an interesting passage descriptive of La Fayette's demeanor at the French court:

"He seemed to be the representative of the democracy in the very presence of the monarch--the tribune intruding with his veto within the chamber of the patrician order. His own establishment was formed upon the English model, and amidst the gayety and ease of Fontainebleau he assumed an air of republican austerity. When the fine ladies of the court would attempt to drag him to the card-table, he shrugged his shoulders with an air of affected contempt for the customs and amusements of the old regime. Meanwhile, the deference which this champion of the new state of things received, above all from the ladies of the court, intimated clearly the disturbance of the social atmosphere, and presaged the coming tempest."

From the close of the American war for independence to the beginning of the French Revolution a period of six years elapsed, during which France suffered much from the [pg 476]exhaustion of her resources in aiding the Americans. La Fayette lived at Paris, openly professing republicanism, which was then the surest passport to the favor both of the people and the court. The queen of France herself favored the republican party, though without understanding its object or tendencies. La Fayette naturally became the organ and spokesman of those who desired a reform in the government. He recommended, even in the palace of the king, a restoration of civil rights to the Protestants; the suppression of the heavy and odious tax on salt; the reform of the criminal courts; and he denounced the waste of public money on princes and court favorites.

The Assembly of the Notables convened in 1787 to consider the state of the kingdom. La Fayette was its most distinguished and trusted member, and it was he who demanded a convocation of the representatives of all the departments of France, for the purpose of devising a permanent remedy for the evils under which France was suffering.

"What, sir," said one of the royal princes to La Fayette, "do you really demand the assembling of a general congress of France?"

"Yes, my Lord," replied La Fayette, "and more than that."

Despite the opposition of the court, this memorable congress met in Paris in 1789, and La Fayette represented in it the nobility of his province. It was he who presented the "Declaration of Rights," drawn upon the model of those with which he had been familiar in America, and it was finally adopted. It was he, also, who made the ministers of the crown responsible for their acts, and for the consequences of their acts.

When this National Assembly was declared permanent, La Fayette was elected its vice-president, and it was in that [pg 477]character that, after the taking of the Bastile, he went to the scene, at the head of a deputation of sixty members, to congratulate the people upon their triumph. The next day, a city guard was organized to preserve the peace of Paris, and the question arose in the assembly who should command it. The president arose and pointed to the bust of La Fayette, presented by the State of Virginia to the city of Paris. The hint was sufficient, and La Fayette was elected to the post by acclamation. He called his citizen soldiers by the name of National Guards, and he distinguished them by a tri-colored cockade, and all Paris immediately fluttered with tri-colored ribbons and badges.

"This cockade," said La Fayette, as he presented one to the National Assembly, "will make the tour of the world." From the time of his acceptance of the command of the National Guard, the course of La Fayette changed its character, and the change became more and more marked as the revolution proceded. Hitherto he had been chiefly employed in rousing the sentiment of liberty in the minds of his countrymen; but now that the flame threatened to become a dangerous conflagration, it devolved upon him to stay its ravages. It was a task beyond human strength, but he most gallantly attempted it. On some occasions he rescued with his own hands the victims of the popular fury, and arrested the cockaded assassins who would have destroyed them. But even his great popularity was ineffectual to prevent the massacre of innocent citizens, and more than once, overwhelmed with grief and disgust, he threatened to throw up his command.

On that celebrated day when sixty thousand of the people of Paris poured in a tumultuous flood into the park of Versailles, and surrounded the palace of the king, La Fayette was compelled to join the throng, in order, if possible, to [pg 478]control its movements. He arrived in the evening, and spent the whole night in posting the National Guard about the palace, and taking measures to secure the safety of the royal family. At the dawn of day he threw himself upon the bed for a few minutes' repose. Suddenly, the alarm was sounded. Some infuriated men had broken into the palace, killed two of the king's body-guard, and rushed into the bed-chamber of the queen, a minute or two after she had escaped from it. La Fayette ran to the scene, followed by some of the National Guard, and found all the royal family assembled in the king's chamber, trembling for their lives. Beneath the window of the apartment was a roaring sea of upturned faces, scarcely kept back by a thin line of National Guards. La Fayette stepped out upon the balcony, and tried to address the crowd, but could not make himself heard. He then led out upon the balcony the beautiful queen, Marie Antoinette, and kissed her hand; then seizing one of the body-guard embraced him, and placed his own cockade on the soldier's hat. At once the temper of the multitude was changed, and the cry burst forth:

"Long live the general! Long live the queen! Long live the body-guard!"

It was immediately announced that the king would go with the people to Paris; which had the effect of completely allaying their passions. During the long march of ten miles, La Fayette rode close to the door of the king's carriage, and thus conducted him, in the midst of the tramping crowd, in safety to the Tuilleries. When the royal family was once more secure within its walls, one of the ladies, the daughter of the late king, threw herself in the arms of La Fayette, exclaiming:

"General, you have saved us."

From this moment dates the decline of La Fayette's popularity; [pg 479]and his actions, moderate and wise, continually lessened it. He demanded, as a member of the National Assembly, that persons accused of treason should be fairly tried by a jury, and he exerted all his power, while giving a constitution to his country, to preserve the monarchy.

To appease the suspicions of the people that the king meditated a flight from Paris, he declared that he would answer with his head for the king's remaining. When, therefore, in June, 1791, the king and queen made their blundering attempt to escape, La Fayette was immediately suspected of having secretly aided it. Danton cried out at the Jacobin club:

"We must have the person of the king, or the head of the commanding general!"

It was in vain that, after the king's return, he ceased to pay him royal honors; nothing could remove the suspicions of the people. Indeed, he still openly advised the preservation of the monarchy, and, when a mob demanded the suppression of the royal power, and threatened violence to the National Guard, the general, after warning them to disperse, ordered the troops to fire--an action which totally destroyed his popularity and influence. Soon after, he resigned his commission and his seat in the Assembly, and withdrew to one of his country seats.

He was not long allowed to remain in seclusion. The allied dynasties of Europe, justly alarmed at the course of events in Paris, threatened the new republic with war. La Fayette was appointed to command one of the three armies gathered to defend the frontiers. While he was disciplining his troops, and preparing to defend the country, he kept an anxious eye upon Paris, and saw with ever-increasing alarm the prevalence of the savage element in the national politics. In 1792 he had the boldness to write a letter to the National [pg 480]Assembly, demanding the suppression of the clubs, and the restoration of the king to the place and power assigned him by the constitution.

Learning, soon after, the new outrages put upon the king, he suddenly left his army and appeared before the bar of the Assembly, accompanied by a single aide-de-camp; there he renewed his demands, amid the applause of the moderate members; but a member of the opposite party adroitly asked:

"Is the enemy conquered? Is the country delivered, since General La Fayette is in Paris?"

"No," replied he, "the country is not delivered; the situation is unchanged; and, nevertheless, the general of one of our armies is in Paris."

After a stormy debate, the Assembly declared that he had violated the constitution in making himself the organ of an army legally incapable of deliberating, and had rendered himself amenable to the minister of war for leaving his post without permission. Repulsed thus by the Assembly, coldly received at court, and rejected by the National Guard, he returned to his army despairing of the country. There he made one more attempt to save the king by inducing him to come to his camp and fight for his throne. This project being rejected, and the author of it denounced by Robespierre, his bust publicly burned in Paris, and the medal formerly voted him broken by the hand of the executioner, he deemed it necessary to seek an asylum in a neutral country. Having provided for the safety of his army, he crossed the frontiers in August, 1792, accompanied by twenty-one persons, all of whom, on passing an Austrian post, were taken prisoners, and La Fayette was thrown into a dungeon. The friend of liberty and order was looked upon as a common enemy. His noble wife, who had been [pg 481]for fifteen months a prisoner in Paris, hastened, after her release, to share her husband's captivity.

For five years, in spite of the remonstrances of England, America, and the friends of liberty everywhere, La Fayette remained a prisoner. To every demand for his liberation the Austrian Government replied, with its usual stupidity, that the liberty of La Fayette was incompatible with the safety of the governments of Europe. He owed his liberation, at length, to General Bonaparte, and it required all his great authority to procure it. When La Fayette was presented to Napoleon to thank him for his interference, the first consul said to him:

"I don't know what the devil you have done to the Austrians; but it cost them a mighty struggle to let you go."

La Fayette voted publicly against making Napoleon consul for life, against the establishment of the empire. Notwithstanding this, Napoleon and he remained very good friends. The emperor said of him one day:

"Everybody in France is corrected of his extreme ideas of liberty except one man, and that man is La Fayette. You see him now tranquil: very well; if he had an opportunity to serve his chimeras, he would reappear on the scene more ardent than ever."

Upon his return to France, he was granted the pension belonging to the military rank he had held under the republic, and he recovered a competent estate from the property of his wife. Napoleon also gave a military commission to his son, George Washington; and, when the Bourbons were restored, La Fayette received an indemnity of four hundred and fifty thousand francs.

Napoleon's remark proved correct. La Fayette, though he spent most of the evening of his life in directing the [pg 482]cultivation of his estate, was always present at every crisis in the affairs of France to plead the cause of constitutional liberty. He made a fine remark once in its defense, when taunted with the horrors of the French Revolution: "The tyranny of 1793," he said, "was no more a republic than the massacre of St. Bartholomew was a religion."

His visit to America in 1824 is well remembered. He was the guest of the nation; and Congress, in recompense of his expenditures during the Revolutionary War, made him a grant of two hundred thousand dollars and an extensive tract of land. It was La Fayette who, in 1830, was chiefly instrumental in placing a constitutional monarch on the throne of France. The last words, he ever spoke in public were uttered in behalf of the French refugees who had fled from France for offenses merely political; and the last words he ever wrote recommended the abolition of slavery. He died May 19, 1834, aged seventy-seven. His son, George Washington, always the friend of liberty, like his father, died in 1849, leaving two sons--inheritors of a name so full of inspiration to the world.

[pg 483]



(BORN 1791--DIED 1865.)


"A beautiful life I have had. Not more trial than was for my good. Countless blessings beyond expectation or desert.... Behind me stretch the green pastures and still waters by which I have been led all my days. Around is the lingering of hardy flowers and fruits that bide the Winter. Before stretches the shining shore."

These are the words of Mrs. Sigourney, written near the close of a life of seventy-four years. All who have much observed human life will agree that the rarest achievement of man or woman on this earth is a solid and continuous happiness. There are very few persons past seventy who can look back upon their lives, and sincerely say that they would willingly live their lives over again. Mrs. Sigourney, however, was one of the happy few.

Lydia Huntley, for that was her maiden name, was born at Norwich, Connecticut, on the first of September, 1791. Her father was Ezekiel Huntley, an exceedingly gentle, affectionate man, of Scotch parentage, who had as little of a Yankee in him as any man in Connecticut. Unlike a Yankee, he never attempted to set up in business for himself, but spent the whole of the active part of his life in the service of the man to whom he was apprenticed in his youth. His employer was a druggist of great note in his day, who made a large fortune in his business, and built [pg 484]one of the most elegant houses in the State. On his retirement from business his old clerk continued to reside under his roof, and to assist in the management of his estate; and, even when he died, Mr. Huntley did not change his abode, but remained to conduct the affairs of the widow. In the service of this family he saved a competence for his old age, and he lived to eighty-seven, a most happy, serene old man, delighting chiefly in his garden and his only child. He survived as late as 1839.

Owing to the peculiar relations sustained by her father to a wealthy family--living, too, in a wing of their stately mansion, and having the free range of its extensive gardens--Lydia Huntley enjoyed in her youth all the substantial advantages of wealth, without encountering its perils. She was surrounded by objects pleasing or beautiful, but no menial pampered her pride or robbed her of her rightful share of household labor. As soon as she was old enough to toddle about the grounds, her father delighted to have her hold the trees which he was planting, and drop the seed into the little furrows prepared for it, and never was she better pleased than when giving him the aid of her tiny fingers. Her parents never kept a servant, and she was brought up to do her part in the house. Living on plain, substantial fare, inured to labor, and dressed so as to allow free play to every limb and muscle, she laid in a stock of health, strength, and good temper that lasted her down to the last year of her life. She never knew what dyspepsia was. She never possessed a costly toy, nor a doll that was not made at home, but she passed a childhood that was scarcely anything but joy. She was an only child, and she was the pet of two families, yet she was not spoiled.

She was one of those children who take naturally to all kinds of culture. Without ever having had a child's book, [pg 485]she sought out, in the old-fashioned library of the house, everything which a child could understand. Chance threw a novel in her way ("Mysteries of Udolpho"), which she devoured with rapture, and soon after, when she was but eight years of age, she began to write a novel. Poetry, too, she read with singular pleasure, never weary of repeating her favorite pieces. But the passion of her childhood was painting pictures. Almost in her infancy she began to draw with a pin and lilac-leaf, and advanced from that to slate and pencil, and, by and by, to a lead-pencil and backs of letters. When she had learned to draw pretty well, she was on fire to paint her pictures, but was long puzzled to procure the colors. Having obtained in some way a cake of gamboge, she begged of a washerwoman a piece of indigo, and by combining these two ingredients she could make different shades of yellow, blue, and green. The trunks of her trees she painted with coffee-grounds, and a mixture of India ink and indigo answered tolerably well for sky and water. She afterwards discovered that the pink juice of chokeberry did very well for lips, cheeks, and gay dresses. Mixed with a little indigo it made a very bad purple, which the young artist, for the want of a better, was obliged to use for her royal robes. In sore distress for a better purple she squeezed the purple flowers of the garden and the field for the desired tint, but nothing answered the purpose, until, at dinner, one day, she found the very hue for which she longed in the juice of a currant and whortleberry tart. She hastened to try it, and it made a truly gorgeous purple, but the sugar in it caused it to come off in flakes from her kings and emperors, leaving them in a sorry plight. At length, to her boundless, inexpressible, and lasting joy, all her difficulties were removed by her father giving her a complete box of colors.

[pg 486]At school she was fortunate in her teachers. One of them was the late Pelatiah Perit, who afterward won high distinction as a New York merchant and universal philanthropist. Her first serious attempts at practical composition were translations from Virgil, when she was fourteen years of age. After leaving school she studied Latin with much zeal under an aged tutor, and, later in life, she advanced far enough in Hebrew to read the Old Testament, with the aid of grammar and dictionary. To these grave studies her parents added a thorough drill in dancing. Often, when her excellent mother observed that she had sat too long over her books, she would get her out upon the floor of their large kitchen, and then, striking up a lively song, set her dancing until her cheeks were all aglow.

This studious and happy girl, like other young people, had her day-dream of the future. It was to keep a school. This strange ambition, she tells us in her autobiography, she feared to impart to her companions, lest they should laugh at her; and she thought even her parents would think her arrogant if she mentioned it to them. The long-cherished secret was revealed to her parents at length. Her mother had guessed it before, but her father was exceedingly surprised. Neither of them, however, made any objection, and one of the pleasantest apartments of their house was fitted up for the reception of pupils. She was then a delicate-looking girl of about eighteen, and rather undersized. As soon as her desks were brought home by the carpenter, the ambitious little lady went around to the families of the place, informed them of her intention, and solicited their patronage at the established rate of three dollars a quarter for each pupil. She was puzzled and disappointed at the coolness with which her project was received. Day after day she tramped the streets of Norwich, only to return at night [pg 487]without a name upon her catalogue. She surmised, after a time, that parents hesitated to intrust their children to her because of her extreme youth, which was the fact. At length, however, she began her school with two children, nine and eleven years of age, and not only did she go through all the formalities of school with them, working six hours a day for five days, and three hours on Saturday, but at the end of the term she held an examination in the presence of a large circle of her pupils' admiring relations.

Afterwards, associating herself with another young lady, to whom she was tenderly attached, she succeeded better. A large and populous school gathered about these zealous and admirable girls, several of their pupils being older than themselves. Compelled to hold the school in a larger room, Lydia Huntley walked two miles every morning, and two more every night, besides working hard all day; and she was as happy as the weeks were long. Her experience confirms that of every genuine teacher--from Dr. Arnold downward--that, of all employments of man or woman on this earth, the one that is capable of giving the most constant and intense happiness is teaching in a rationally conducted school. So fond was she of teaching, that when the severity of the Winter obliged her to suspend the school for many weeks, she opened a free school for poor children, one of her favorite classes in which was composed of colored girls. In the course of time, the well-known Daniel Wadsworth, the great man of Hartford sixty or seventy years ago, lured her away to that city, where he personally organized a school of thirty young ladies, the daughters of his friends, and gave her a home in his own house. There she spent five happy years, cherished as a daughter by her venerable patron and his wife, and held in high honor by her pupils and their parents.

[pg 488]It was in 1815, while residing in Hartford, that her fame was born. Good old Mrs. Wadsworth, having obtained sight of her journals and manuscripts in prose and verse, the secret accumulation of many years, inflamed her husband's curiosity so that he, too, asked to see them. The blushing poetess consented. Mr. Wadsworth pronounced some of them worthy of publication, and, under his auspices, a volume was printed in Hartford, entitled "Moral Pieces in Prose and Verse." The public gave it a generous welcome, and its success led to a career of authorship which lasted forty-nine years, and gave to the world fifty-six volumes of poetry, tales, travels, biography, and letters.

So passed her life till she was past twenty-eight. She had received many offers of marriage from clergymen and others, but none of her suitors tempted her to forsake her pupils, and she supposed herself destined to spend her days as an old maid. But another destiny was in store for her. On her way to and from her school, "a pair of deep-set and most expressive black eyes" sometimes encountered hers and spoke "unutterable things." Those eyes belonged to a widower, with three children, named Charles Sigourney, a thriving hardware merchant, of French descent, and those "unutterable things" were uttered at length through the unromantic medium of a letter. The marriage occurred a few months after, in the year 1819.

For the next fifteen years she resided in the most elegant mansion in Hartford, surrounded by delightful grounds, after Mr. Sigourney's own design; and even now, though the Sigourney place is eclipsed in splendor and costliness by many of more recent date, there is no abode in the beautiful city of Hartford more attractive than this. Mr. Sigourney was a man of considerable learning, and exceedingly interested in the study of languages. When he was [pg 489]past fifty he began the study of modern Greek. Mrs. Sigourney became the mother of several children, all of whom, but two, died in infancy. One son lived to enter college, but died at the age of nineteen, of consumption. A daughter grew to womanhood, and became the wife of a clergyman.

After many years of very great prosperity in business, Mr. Sigourney experienced heavy losses, which compelled them to leave their pleasant residence, and gave a new activity to her pen. He died at the age of seventy-six. During the last seven years of Mrs. Sigourney's life, her chief literary employment was contributing to the columns of the New York Ledger. Mr. Bonner, having while an apprentice in the Hartford Current office "set up" some of her poems, had particular pleasure in being the medium of her last communications with the public, and she must have rejoiced in the vast audience to which he gave her access--the largest she ever addressed.

Mrs. Sigourney enjoyed excellent health to within a few weeks of her death. After a short illness, which she bore with much patience, she died in June, 1865, with her daughter at her side, and affectionate friends around her. Nothing could exceed her tranquility and resignation at the approach of death. Her long life had been spent in honorable labor for the good of her species, and she died in the fullest certainty that death would but introduce her to a larger and better sphere.

[pg 490]




Dear Lord! I thank thee for a life of use;
Dear Lord! I do not pine for any truce.
Peace, peace has always come from duty done;
Peace, peace will so until the end be won.
Thanks, thanks! a thankful heart is my reward;
Thanks, thanks befit the children of the Lord.
Wind, wind! the peaceful reel must still go round;
Wind, wind! the thread of life will soon be wound.
The worker has no dread of growing old;
First, years of toil, and then the age of gold!
For lo! he hopes to bear his flag unfurled
Beyond the threshold of another world.

Wind, wind! the peaceful reel must still go round. Wind, wind! the thread
of life will soon be wound.
Wind, wind! the peaceful reel must still go round. Wind, wind! the thread of life will soon be wound.

John Foster, he who sprang into celebrity from one essay, Popular Ignorance, had a diseased feeling against growing old, which seems to us to be very prevalent. He was sorry to lose every parting hour. "I have seen a fearful sight to-day," he would say--"I have seen a buttercup." To others the sight would only give visions of the coming Spring and future Summer; to him it told of the past year, the last Christmas, the days which would never come again--the so many days nearer the grave. Thackeray continually expressed the same feeling. He reverts to the merry old time when George the Third was king. He looks back with a regretful mind to his own youth. The black Care constantly rides, behind his chariot. "Ah, my friends," he says, "how beautiful was youth! We are growing old. Spring-time and Summer are past. We near the Winter of our days. [pg 491]We shall never feel as we have felt. We approach the inevitable grave." Few men, indeed, know how to grow old gracefully, as Madame de Stael very truly observed. There is an unmanly sadness at leaving off the old follies and the old games. We all hate fogyism. Dr. Johnson, great and good as he was, had a touch of this regret, and we may pardon him for the feeling. A youth spent in poverty and neglect, a manhood consumed in unceasing struggle, are not preparatives to growing old in peace. We fancy that, after a stormy morning and a lowering day, the evening should have a sunset glow, and, when the night sets in, look back with regret at the "gusty, babbling, and remorseless day;" but, if we do so, we miss the supporting faith of the Christian and the manly cheerfulness of the heathen. To grow old is quite natural; being natural, it is beautiful; and if we grumble at it, we miss the lesson, and lose all the beauty.

Half of our life is spent in vain regrets. When we are boys we ardently wish to be men; when men we wish as ardently to be boys. We sing sad songs of the lapse of time. We talk of "auld lang syne," of the days when we were young, of gathering shells on the sea-shore and throwing them carelessly away. We never cease to be sentimental upon past youth and lost manhood and beauty. Yet there are no regrets so false, and few half so silly. Perhaps the saddest sight in the world is to see an old lady, wrinkled and withered, dressing, talking, and acting like a very young one, and forgetting all the time, as she clings to the feeble remnant of the past, that there is no sham so transparent as her own, and that people, instead of feeling with her, are laughing at her. Old boys disguise their foibles a little better; but they are equally ridiculous. The feeble protests which they make against the flying chariot of Time [pg 492]are equally futile. The great Mower enters the field, and all must come down. To stay him would be impossible; We might as well try with a finger to stop Ixion's wheel, or to dam up the current of the Thames with a child's foot.

Since the matter is inevitable, we may as well sit down and reason it out. Is it so dreadful to grow old? Does old age need its apologies and its defenders? Is it a benefit or a calamity? Why should it be odious and ridiculous? An old tree is picturesque, an old castle venerable, an old cathedral inspires awe--why should man be worse than his works?

Let us, in the first place, see what youth is. Is it so blessed and happy and flourishing as it seems to us? Schoolboys do not think so. They always wish to be older. You cannot insult one of them more than by telling him that he is a year or two younger than he is. He fires up at once: "Twelve, did you say, sir? No, I'm fourteen." But men and women who have reached twenty-eight do not thus add to their years. Amongst schoolboys, notwithstanding the general tenor of those romancists who see that every thing young bears a rose-colored blush, misery is prevalent enough. Emerson, Coleridge, Wordsworth, were each and all unhappy boys. They all had their rebuffs, and bitter, bitter troubles; all the more bitter because their sensitiveness was so acute. Suicide is not unknown amongst the young; fears prey upon them and terrify them; ignorances and follies surround them. Arriving at manhood, we are little better off. If we are poor, we mark the difference between the rich and us; we see position gains all the day. If we are as clever as Hamlet, we grow just as philosophically disappointed. If we love, we can only be sure of a brief pleasure--an April day. Love has its bitterness. "It is," says Ovid, an adept in the matter, "full of anxious [pg 493]fear." We fret and fume at the authority of the wise heads; we have an intense idea of our own talent. We believe calves of our own age to be as big and as valuable as full-grown bulls; we envy whilst we jest at the old. We cry, with the puffed-up hero of the Patrician's Daughter:

              "It may be by the calendar of years
You are the elder man; but 'tis the sun
Of knowledge on the mind's dial shining bright,
And chronicling deeds and thoughts, that makes true time."

And yet withal life is very unhappy, whether we live amongst the grumbling captains of the clubs, who are ever seeking and not finding promotion; amongst the struggling authors and rising artists who never rise; or among the young men who are full of riches, titles, places, and honor, who have every wish fulfilled, and are miserable because they have nothing to wish for. Thus the young Romans killed themselves after the death of their emperor, not for grief, not for affection, not even for the fashion of suicide, which grew afterwards prevalent enough, but from the simple weariness of doing every thing over and over again. Old age has passed such stages as these, landed on a safer shore, and matriculated in a higher college, in a purer air. We sigh not for impossibilities; we cry not:

"Bring these anew, and set me once again
      In the delusion of life's infancy;
I was not happy, but I knew not then
      That happy I was never doom'd to be."

We know that we are not happy. We know that life, perhaps, was not given us to be continuously comfortable and happy. We have been behind the scenes, and know all the illusions; but when we are old we are far too wise to throw life away for mere ennui. With Dandolo, refusing a crown at ninety-six, winning battles at ninety-four; with Wellington, [pg 494]planning and superintending fortifications at eighty; with Bacon and Humboldt, students to the last gasp; with wise old Montaigne, shrewd in his grey-beard wisdom and loving life, even in the midst of his fits of gout and colic--Age knows far too much to act like a sulky child. It knows too well the results and the value of things to care about them; that the ache will subside, the pain be lulled, the estate we coveted be worth little; the titles, ribbons, gewgaws, honors, be all more or less worthless. "Who has honor? He that died o' Wednesday!" Such a one passed us in the race, and gained it but to fall. We are still up and doing; we may be frosty and shrewd, but kindly. We can wish all men well; like them, too, so far as they may be liked, and smile at the fuss, bother, hurry, and turmoil, which they make about matters which to us are worthless dross. The greatest prize in the whole market--in any and in every market--success, is to the old man nothing. He little cares who is up and who is down; the present he lives in and delights in. Thus, in one of those admirable comedies in which Robson acted, we find the son a wanderer, the mother's heart nearly broken, the father torn and broken by a suspicion of his son's dishonesty, but the grandfather all the while concerned only about his gruel and his handkerchief. Even the pains and troubles incident to his state visit the old man lightly. Because Southey sat for months in his library, unable to read or touch the books he loved, we are not to infer that he was unhappy. If the stage darkens as the curtain falls, certain it also is that the senses grow duller and more blunted. "Don't cry for me, my dear," said an old lady undergoing an operation; "I do not feel it."

It seems to us, therefore, that a great deal of unnecessary pity has been thrown away upon old age. We begin at school reading Cicero's treatise, hearing Cato talk with [pg 495]Scipio and Lælius; we hear much about poor old men; we are taught to admire the vigor, quickness, and capacity of youth and manhood. We lose sight of the wisdom which age brings even to the most foolish. We think that a circumscribed sphere must necessarily be an unhappy one. It is not always so. What one abandons in growing old is, perhaps, after all not worth having. The chief part of youth is but excitement; often both unwise and unhealthy. The same pen which has written, with a morbid feeling, that "there is a class of beings who do not grow old in their youth and die ere middle age," tells us also that "the best of life is but intoxication." That passes away. The man who has grown old does not care about it. The author at that period has no feverish excitement about seeing himself in print; he does not hunt newspapers for reviews and notices. He is content to wait; he knows what fame is worth. The obscure man of science, who has been wishing to make the world better and wiser; the struggling curate, the poor and hard-tried man of God; the enthusiastic reformer, who has watched the sadly slow dawning of progress and liberty; the artist, whose dream of beauty slowly fades before his dim eyes--all lay down their feverish wishes as they advance in life, forget the bright ideal which they can not reach, and embrace the more imperfect real. We speak not here of the assured Christian. He, from the noblest pinnacle of faith, beholds a promised land, and is eager to reach it; he prays "to be delivered from the body of this death;" but we write of those humbler, perhaps more human souls, with whom increasing age each day treads down an illusion. All feverish wishes, raw and inconclusive desires, have died down, and a calm beauty and peace survive; passions are dead, temptations weakened or conquered; experience has been won; selfish interests are widened into universal ones; vain, idle [pg 496]hopes, have merged into a firmer faith or a complete knowledge; and more light has broken in upon the soul's dark cottage, battered and decayed, "through chinks which Time has made."

Again, old men are valuable, not only as relics of the past, but as guides and prophets for the future. They know the pattern of every turn of life's kaleidoscope. The colors merely fall into new shapes; the ground-work is just the same. The good which a calm, kind, and cheerful old man can do is incalculable. And whilst he does good to others, he enjoys himself. He looks not unnaturally to that which should accompany old age--honor, love, obedience, troops of friends; and he plays his part in the comedy or tragedy of life with as much gusto as any one else. Old Montague, or Capulet, and old Polonius, that wise maxim-man, enjoy themselves quite as well as the moody Hamlet, the perturbed Laertes, or even gallant Mercutio or love-sick Romeo. Friar Lawrence, who is a good old man, is perhaps the happiest of all in the dramatis personae--unless we take the gossiping, garrulous old nurse, with her sunny recollections of maturity and youth. The great thing is to have the mind well employed, to work whilst it is yet day. The precise Duke of Wellington, answering every letter with "F.M. presents his compliments;" the wondrous worker Humboldt with his orders of knighthood, stars, and ribbons, lying dusty in his drawer, still contemplating Cosmos, and answering his thirty letters a day--were both men in exceedingly enviable, happy positions; they had reached the top of the hill, and could look back quietly over the rough road which they had traveled. We are not all Humboldts or Wellingtons; but we can all be busy and good. Experience must teach us all a great deal; and if it only teaches us not to fear the future, not to cast a maundering regret over the past, we can be as [pg 497]happy in old age--ay, and far more so--than we were in youth. We are no longer the fools of time and error. We are leaving by slow degrees the old world; we stand upon the threshold of the new; not without hope, but without fear, in an exceedingly natural position, with nothing strange or dreadful about it; with our domain drawn within a narrow circle, but equal to our power. Muscular strength, organic instincts, are all gone; but what then? We do not want them; we are getting ready for the great change, one which is just as necessary as it was to be born; and to a little child perhaps one is not a whit more painful--perhaps not so painful as the other. The wheels of Time have brought us to the goal; we are about to rest while others labor, to stay at home while others wander. We touch at last the mysterious door--are we to be pitied or to be envied?

The desert of the life behind,
Has almost faded from my mind,
It has so many fair oases
Which unto me are holy places.

It seems like consecrated ground,
Where silence counts for more than sound,
That way of all my past endeavor
Which I shall tread no more forever.

And God I was too blind to see,
I now, somewhat from blindness free,
Discern as ever-present glory,
Who holds all past and future story.

Eternity is all in all;
Time, birth and death, ephemeral--
Point where a little bird alighted,
Then fled lest it should be benighted.
[pg 498]





As free as fancy and reason,
And writ for many a season;
In neither spirit nor letter
To aught but beauty a debtor.


    The reader knows
    His woes.
How oft "someone has blundered!"
    How oft a thought
    Is caught,
And rhyme and reason sundered!
    With line and hook,
    Just look!
And see a swimming hundred--
    A school of rhymes
    And chimes
As free as summer air.
    So, if you wish
    To fish,
Please angle anywhere.


    Thou pet of modern art,
Since I the spell have broken,
    Now on thy journey start,
And gather many a token
    From many an honest heart,
The best or thought or spoken.


    Go forth, thou little book,
And seek that wondrous treasure,
    Affection's word and look,
Which only heaven can measure.


This Album comes a-tapping
    At many a friendly door;
Yea, gently, gently rapping--
    "Hast aught for me in store?
Dear Love and Truth I show,
    To point a life's endeavor--
Thanks for thy heart! I go
    And bear it on forever."


"Whose name was writ in water!"
    It was not so of Keats.
How many a son and daughter
    His gentle name repeats!
And Friendship and Affection
    Will keep thy name as bright,
If Beauty give protection
    And wed thee to the Right.

[pg 499]V.

So you desire my heart!
Well, take it--and depart.
It is not cold and heavy,
        It is not light,
        Seeks to be right,
And answers Beauty's levy.


Be it a fable or rumor,
    Or an old device,
'Tis true; gentle wit and humor
    Are as good as cold advice.


This dainty little Album thine
Is of a quality so fine
That happy Laughter here may write,
And all the pages still be white.


    There is no open mart
    In which to sell a heart,
        For none the price can pay;
        So mine I give away,
    Since I with it must part--
        'Tis thine, my friend, for aye.
    "Do I not feel the lack.
        And want to get it back?"
    No, no! for kindly Heaven
    A better one has given.


        There is a cup, I know,
        Which, full to overflow,
        Has yet the space to hold
        Its measure many fold;
        And when from it I drink,
        It is so sweet to think--
        What it retains is more
        Than all it held before
        If you my riddle guess,
        You surely will confess
        The greater in the less,
        Which is our blessedness.


    Dost give away thy heart,
        With all its sweet perfume?
    Angels dwell where thou art,
        The more, the greater room.


        A life lost in a life--
        True husband or true wife--
        A life come back again
        As with a shining train.


        A cheery maiden's love
    As large as heaven and earth--
        That were a gift to prove
    How much this life is worth.


        Fast by Eternal Truth,
    And on a sunny mountain,
    Springs that perennial fountain
        Which gives immortal youth;
    And all who bathe therein
    Are washed from every sin.


    It is to do the best,
        Unmindful of reward,
    Which brings the sweetest rest
        And nearness to the Lord;
    And this has been thy aim,
        And will be to the end,
    Knows she who writes her name
        As thy unchanging friend.

[pg 500]XV.

Words--words--and pen and ink,
But not a thought to think!
And yet, perhaps, perchance,
Who knows his ignorance
Is not the greatest fool,
Although long out of school.


Our greatest glory, friend,
    Is chiefly found herein--
That when we fall, offend,
    We quickly rise from sin,
And make the very shame,
Which gathered round our name
Like many scorpion rings,
The stairs to better things
In that high citadel
Which has a warning bell.


Whence honor, wealth, or fame,
    Which God delights to see?
Out of a blameless name,
    Born of Eternity.
    And these are prizes
    At God's assizes,
    Reported day by day,
    Which no man takes away.


Life is movement, action,
Joy, and benefaction.
Rest is bravely doing,
While the past reviewing,
Still the years forecasting
With the Everlasting.
Such be days of thine,
Such thy rest divine.


The brook's joy
Does not cloy.
Too much sun,
Too much rain;
Work is done
Not in vain.
Sun receives
And cloud leaves
Just enough.
Skies are black
And winds rough,
Yet no lack
Of good will;
For 'tis still
God is good.


    The brook's rest
        Is rest indeed;
    The brook's quest
        Is daily need.
Thoughts of to-morrow
They bring no sorrow;
And so it babbles away,
And does the work of to-day.


The brook knows the joy
Down in the heart of a boy,
And the swallow kens the whirl
Up in the head of a girl.


How many a psalm is heard
From yon rejoicing bird,
That finds its daily food
And feels that God is good!
That little life's employ
Is toil and song and joy.
[pg 501]Hast music in thy heart,
  O toiler day by day,
  Along life's rugged way?
Then what thou hast thou art.


True, Good, and Beautiful!
  A perfect line
Of love and sainthood full--
  And it is thine.


Thou doest well, dear friend,
  Thy labor is not lost.
As notes in music blend,
  So here Affection's host.
Their names thy book within,
  Their thoughts of love and truth,
Are worth the cost to win--
  First trophies of thy youth.
This little Album thine
  Suggests to Book Divine--
The Book of Life, God's own.
  What names are written there!
What names are there unknown!
  Hast thou no thought or care?
I do thee wrong to ask--
God speed the nobler task
Until thy labor prove
Indeed a work of love!


  True friends
  Are through friends
  To the next world--
  That unvexed world.
What will friends be good for
When the witness is needless they stood for?


Wouldst have another gem
In Friendship's diadem?
Then take this name of mine;
Thy light will make it shine.


Thou comest beauty-laden,
Thou sprightly little maiden,
And dancing everywhere
Like sunbeams in the air;
And for thy cheery laugh
Here is my autograph.


Something for nothing? No!
  A false device.
For all things here below
  We pay the price.
For even grace we pay,
  Which is so free;
And I have earned to-day
  A smile from thee.


Friend, make good use of time!
Eternity sublime
Is cradled in its use,
And Time allows no truce.
The past, with shadowy pall,
Is gone beyond recall;
To-morrow is not thine;
  'To-day is all thou hast,
  Which will not always last:
Make thou to-day divine!


  Every hour a duty
Brings thee from the courts on high.
  Every hour a beauty
Waits her transit to the sky;
[pg 502]Waits till thou adorn her
    With the glory of thy heart,
Or until thou scorn her--
    Shall she with thy sin depart?


If you seek in life success,
    Own yourself the instrument
Which the Lord alone can bless,
    And the world as helper meant;
Perseverance as your friend
    And experience your eyes,
Onward press to reach your end,
    Resting not with any prize;
Counting it a joy to lend
    Unto Him who sanctifies.


That day is lost forever,
    Whose golden sun
Beholds through thine endeavor
    No goodness done.


Count not thy life by heart-throbs;
    He thinks and lives the most
Who with the noblest actions
    Adorns his chosen post.


The secret of the world,
Although in light impearled,
No one can e'er discover,
No one--except a lover.
To him are given new eyes
In self's true sacrifice.


If Love is blind
    And overlooks small things,
He has a mind
    To apprehend all things.


As Love sails down life's river
He from his gleaming quiver
    Shoots into every heart
    A strange and nameless smart.
How is thy heart protected?
The wound is unsuspected!


Dost thou truly love?
Nothing hard can prove,
All the stress and rigor
Doth thy heart transfigure.


Love is the key of joy
Which keeps the man a boy
When outward things decay
And all his locks are gray.


Of Heaven below
    Which is so sweet to know,
And Heaven above,
    The title-deed is love.


Who is bravest
    Of my four friends?
Thou that slavest,
    And self all spends;
Thou that savest,
    And usest never;
Thou that cravest,
    With no endeav-or,
Thou that gavest,
    And hast forever?



I can do without praise,
    I can do without money:
[pg 503]I have found other honey
  To sweeten my days;
And the Kaiser may wear his gold crown
While I on his splendor look down.


  God thy Light!
  Then is Right
Life's own polar star;
All thy fortunes are
  Gifts that come from Him,
  Filling to the brim
Life's great golden cup,
And thy heart looks up!


A debtor to hate,
  A debtor to money,
Forever may wait
  And never have honey.
A debtor to love
  And sweet benefaction,
Hath treasures above,
  A heart's satisfaction.


God is a liberal lender
  To those who use,
  But not abuse,
And daily statements render;
And here's the beauty of it--
He lends again the profit!


Days of heroic will
Which God and duty fill,
Are evermore sublime
Memorials of Time.
That such thy days may be
Is my best wish for thee.


Finds Paradise;
Hearts that rebel
Are gates of Hell.
Goals of all races
Are these two places.


The blushes of roses
And all that reposes
Sublime in a hero
Affixed by his zero--
Ah, you will complete him,
As soon as you meet him.


Maidens passing into naught,
What a work by them is wrought!
  Not prefixes,
  But affixes
On the better side of men--
See! they multiply by ten.


The golden key of life,
True maiden crowned a wife.
What then are toil and trouble,
With strength to meet them, double?


True Heaven begins on earth
Around a common hearth,
Or in a humble heart--
Thy faith means what thou art,
And that which thou wouldst be;
Thou makest it, it thee.


No Heaven in Truth and Love?
Then do not look above.
[pg 504]
  Yet Truth and Love have wings,
  Although the highest things;
Therewith to mount, dear friend,
  Is life that has no end.


Art thou a mourner here?
But One can give thee cheer:
Affliction turns to grace
Before the Master's face.


My friend, my troubled friend,
  If true, Love has not found you,
Then I can comprehend
  That Duty has not bound you.


Love is the source of duty,
  The parent of all life,
Which Heaven pronounces beauty,
  The crown of man and wife,
Beginning and the end
To hero, saint, and friend;
An inspiration which
Is so abundant, rich,
That from the finger-tips
And from the blooming lips,
Yea, from the voiceful eyes,
In questions and replies--
From every simple action
And hourly benefaction
It pours itself away,
A gladness day by day,
Exhaustless as the sun,
Work done and never done.
And I have painted you,
O maiden fair and true!


The voice of God is love,
As all who listen prove.
Be thou assured of this,
Or life's chief comfort miss.


"O is not love a marvel
Which one can not unravel?
Behold its bitter fruit!
Ah, that kind does not suit."
My friend, I'm not uncivil--
Self makes of love a devil,
And it is love no more;
His guise love never wore,
But Satan steals the guise
Of love for foolish eyes--
Therein the danger lies,
But do not be too wise.
Dost wait for perfect good
In man or womanhood?
Then thou must onward press
In single blessedness,
And find, perhaps too late,
Love dies without a mate--
Perhaps this better fate
When love a banquet makes
Which all the world partakes,
Proved never out of date.


Prove all things--even love
Thou must needs prove.
But let the touch be fine
That tests a thing divine.
Yea, let the touch be tender;
True love will answer render.


'Tis Give-and-take,
  Not Take-and-give,
That seeks to make
  Folk blessed live.
Where is he now?
Yet on thy brow
  His name I spell.

[pg 505]LIX.

    To make folk blest,
Seeks everywhere
    To be a guest.
Angelic one,
    Who art so near,
Thy will be done,
    Both now and here.


Comes knowledge
At college;
Wisdom comes later,
And is the greater.
Art thou of both possessed?
Then art thou richly blest.


What can I wish thee better
Than that through all thy days,
The spirit, not the letter,
Invite thy blame or praise?
Seek ever to unroll
The substance or the soul;
If that be fair and pure,
It will, and must endure;
And lo! the homely dress
Grows into loveliness.


Into the heart of man
The things that bless or ban;
Out of the life he lives,
The boon or curse he gives.
Guard well thy open heart,
What enters must depart.


Is this--is this thine album?
'Tis nothing but a sign
Of something more divine.
Thou art the real album,
And on its wondrous pages
Is writ thy daily wages.
Thou canst not blot a word,
Much less tear out a leaf.
But all thy prayers are heard,
And every pain and grief
May be to thee as stairs
To better things, until
Thou reachest, unawares,
The Master's mind and will.


Seek thou for true friends,
Aim thou at true ends,
With God above them all;
Then, as the shadows lengthen,
Will thy endurance strengthen,
With heaven thy coronal.


Ten thousand eyes of night,
One Sovereign Eye above;
Ten thousand rays of light,
One central fire of Love.
No eyes of night appear,
God's Eye is never closed;
No rays of light to cheer,
For self hath interposed.
Yet Love's great fire is bright
By day as well as night.


O we remember
    In leafy June,
And white December
    Love's gentle tune;
For nevermore,
On any shore,
Is life the same
As ere love came.

[pg 506]LXVII.

  And this is the day
My child came down from heaven,
  And this is the way
The sweetest kiss is given.


Thy natal day, my dear!
Good heart, good words for cheer,
And kisses now and here,
With love through many a year!


Earthly duty,
Heavenly beauty.


Truth! her story
Is God's glory;
Her triumph on the earth,
Man's heavenly birth.


What's in a name?
  A symbol of reality,
All human fame,
  And God's originality.


Thou art so neat and trim,
  So modest and so wise,
  Such gladness in thine eyes,
Thou art a prize--for him,
And for the world, I think;
So here thy health I drink,
O mother Eve's fair daughter,
In this good cup of water.


  All, all thou art
  Is in thy heart;
Thy mind is but a feeder,
Thy heart alone the leader,


If you want a fellow.
Not too ripe and mellow,
Just a little green,
Courteous, never mean,
One who has a will
For the steepest hill,
And can rule a wife,
Love her as his life,
And from fortune's frown
Weave a blessed crown,
Then you want the best;
Win him, and be blest.


If you wish a dandy,
Moustache curled and sandy,
Just the thing for parties,
Who, so trim and handy,
Knows not where his heart is,
Whether with your banker,
Or for you it hanker,
Why, then take the dude;
Naught is void of good.


His faults are many--
Hast thou not any?
But how will the bundles mix?
Is a question for Doctor Dix,
For both were picked up at Ann Arbor.


I can not wish thee better
In a world of many a sorrow,
Than that thou be a debtor
To only love and to-morrow.
Then pain has little anguish,
And life no time to languish,
When debts are paid to Heaven,
And grace sufficient for thee
Thy daily strength has given;
For all is bright before thee.

[pg 507]LXXVIII.

Seek not for happiness,
    But just to do thy duty;
And then will blessedness
    Impart her heavenly beauty.


Indulge no selfish ease,
    Each golden hour employ,
Seek only God to please,
    And thou shalt life enjoy;
Yea, thou shalt then please all,
And blessings on thee fall.


To use thy time discreetly,
To show forbearance sweetly,
To do thy duty neatly,
To trust in God completely,
Is good advice to give,
And best of all to live.


If words are light as cloud foam,
    So too is mountain air;
If in the air is beauty,
    So too may words be fair.
If in the air contagion,
    Distemper words may bear.
Our words are real things,
    And full of good or ill;
The tongue that heals or stings,
    So needs the Master's will!


The world has many a fool,
The schemer many a tool;
    A mirror shows them,
    The wise man knows them.
    Ten thousand disguises,
    Ten thousand surprises.
In wisdom is detection,
In righteousness protection.


To do good to another
    Is thy self to well serve;
And to succor thy brother
    For thyself is fresh nerve
And new strength for the battle,
In the dash and the rattle,
When thy foes press thee hard,
And thy all thou must guard.


Canst show a finer touch,
    A grain of purer lore--
"I could not love thee, dear, so much,
    Loved I not honor more?"


Frittered away,
    Grace to begin
Duty to-day--
    Wages of sin!
Truth out of sight,
    Falsehood crept in,
Wrong put for right--
    Wages of sin.
Self become god,
    Eager to win
All at its nod--
    Wages of sin.
Scorn of the seer,
    Vanity's grin,
Darkness grown dear--
    Wages of sin.
Trouble without,
    Canker within,
Fear, hate, and doubt--
    Wages of sin.
What is to be,
    All that has been,
Shadows that flee--
    Wages of sin.
[pg 508]Loss of the soul,
    Wrangle and din,
Tragedy's dole--
    Wages of sin.
Warning enough!
    (Mortals are kin)
Ragged and rough
    Wages of sin!


Words great to express Him,
    And Healer,
By these ye confess Him.
Enough, this beginning?
    Before ye
    The glory
Known only in winning.
In deed-bearing Duty
    Behold Him,
    Enfold Him,
The King in his Beauty;
Until ye discover
    How meetly,
    How sweetly
He rules as a Lover!
And then will confession,
    O new men,
    Now true men,
Be one with possession.


O wouldst thou know
    The rarity
    Of Charity?
Thyself forego!
Then will the field,
    To God inviting,
    To man requiting,
Sweet harvest yield.


In consecration
    To single-hearted toil
Is animation,
    Yea, life's true wine and oil;
And that vocation
    Which heart and mind secures
Hath consolation
    That verily endures.


To fast and pray
The live-long day
    Is preparation--
O doubt it not!
For some high lot,
But in thy deed,
Not in thy creed,
    Is consummation.


It is the cheerful heart
    That finds the key of gold,
The bravely-acted part
    Which gets the grip and hold.
And opens wide the door
    Where treasures are unrolled
Thine eager eyes before.
Then life is evermore
A strife for wealth untold.
God keep thee true and bold!


Sometimes our failures here
    Are God's successes;
And things that seemed so drear
    His sweet caresses.
It is our Father's hand
    That gives our wages,
Before us many a land
    And all the ages.
[pg 509]And shall we forfeit hope
  Because the fountains
Are up the mighty slope
  Of yonder mountains?


The storm is raging.
  The sun is shining,
And both presaging
  Some true refining;
Through them are passing
  The hosts forever,
All wealth amassing
  Through brave endeavor.


O trees, rejoicing trees,
  Along my path to-day
I hear your quiet melodies,
  And care all charmed away,
    I catch your mood,
    Dear forest brotherhood.

O trees, rejoicing trees,
  Arrayed in springtide dress,
How full ye are of prophecies
  Of everlastingness!
    I find a balm
    In your rejoicing psalm.

O trees, rejoicing trees,
  In living green so grand,
Like saints with grateful memories,
  Ye bless the Father's hand;
    Which stripped you bare
    To make you now so fair.

O trees, rejoicing trees,
  Who have another birth,
Through you my bounding spirit sees
  The day beyond the earth,
    So calm, so fair, so free.

O trees, rejoicing trees,
  Dear children of the Lord,
I thank you for the ministries
  Which ye to me accord;
    New life and light
    Burst from my wintry night!

O friend, rejoicing friend,
  A better poem thou
To hint the joys that have no end
  Through gladness here and now.
    Be thou to me
    Perpetual prophecy!


The battle is set,
  The field to be won;
What foes have you met,
  What work have you done?
To courage alone
  Does victory come;
To coward and drone
  Nor country nor home!


For thee, of blessed name,
I ask not wealth or fame,
Nor that thy path may be
From toil and trouble free;
For toil is everywhere,
Some trouble all must bear,
And wealth and fame are naught,
With better stuff unwrought--
I crave for thy dear heart
Eternal Duty's part.
For then indeed I know
Thy pathway here below
Will bloom with roses fair,
And beauty everywhere;
And this will be enough
When winds are wild and rough,
To keep thy heart in peace.

[pg 510]XCVI

All things to-day have voices,
To tell the joy of heaven,
Which unto earth is given;
This Winter flower rejoices,
This snowy hellebore
Which blooms for evermore
On merry Christmas Day,
Reminding us of One
Here born a Virgin's Son,
To take our sins away.
The death its leaves within
Is but the death of sin;
Which death to die was born
The pure and guiltless Child
Who Justice reconciled
And oped the gates of morn,
What time a crimson flame
Throughout a word of shame
Did purge away the dross,
And leave the blood-red gold,
Whose worth can not be told,
He purchased on the cross!
And thus a prophecy
Of Him on Calvary,
Who takes our sins away,
Is this fair snow-white flower
Which has of death the power,
And blooms on Christmas Day.


True friendship writes thee here
    A birthday souvenir:
All blessings on thee, dear,
    For this and many a year!


A myth that grew within the brain
    Relates that Eden's bowers
Did not, 'mid all their wealth, contain
    The glory of the flowers;

Because there were no opened eyes
    To take that glory in,
The sweet and innocent surprise
    Which looks rebuke to sin;

For Love, and Innocence, and Truth
    There made their dwelling-place,
Than which fair three immortal Youth
    Required no other grace.

But when through sin the happy seat
    Was lost to wretched man,
Our Lord, redeeming love to meet,
    Redeeming work began:

The flowers, which have a language now,
    Shall deck the weary earth,
And, while men 'neath their burdens bow,
    Remind them of their birth;

And, with their vernal beauty rife,
    To all the Gospel preach,
The Resurrection and the Life,
    In sweet, persuasive speech.


Reader! if thou hast found
Thy life to reach and sound,
Some thought among these rhymes,
My school of rhymes and chimes,
Then this, I pray thee, con:
Somewhat to feed upon
It has--a kind of lunch,
Served with Olympian punch,
To brace thee every night,
And make thy mornings bright--
Complines at even-song
To make thee brave and strong:


Thou, Father, givest sleep
So calm, so sweet, so deep;
And all Thy children share
Thy goodness everywhere,
And to Thy likeness grow
Who love to others show.
Grant me more love, I pray,
Than I have shown to-day.
O Father, Son, and Dove,
Dear Trinity of Love,
Hear Thou my even-song
And keep me brave and strong.


Before I go to sleep,
That I in joy may reap,
Lord, take the tares away
Which I have sown to-day,
Productive make the wheat,
For Thine own garner meet,
And give me grace to-morrow
To sow no seeds of sorrow.
O Father, Son, and Dove,
Dear Trinity of Love,
Hear Thou my even-song
And keep me brave and strong.


While I am wrapped in sleep,
And others watch and weep,
Dear Lord, remember them,
Their flood of sorrow stem,
Take all their grief away,
Turn Thou their night to day,
Until in Thee they rest
Who art of friends the best.
O Father, Son, and Dove,
Dear Trinity of Love,
Hear Thou my even-song
And keep me brave and strong.


Night is for prayer and sleep!
Behind the western steep
Now has the sun gone down
With his great golden crown.
O Sun of Righteousness,
Arise! Thy children bless;
With healing in thy wings
Cure all our evil things.
O Father, Son, and Dove,
Dear Trinity of Love,
Hear Thou my even-song
And keep me brave and strong.


While I am safe asleep,
Good Shepherd of the sheep,
If some poor lamb of Thine
Stray from the Fold Divine
Into the desert night,
In the sweet morning light,
Choose me to bring it thence
Through Thy dear providence.
O Father, Son, and Dove,
Dear Trinity of Love,
Hear Thou my even-song
And keep me brave and strong.


That I may sweetly sleep,
Thy child, O Father, keep
To wake and love thee more
Than I have done before.
And do Thou prosper all
Who on Thy goodness call,
And take their sins away
Who have not learned to pray.
O Father, Son, and Dove,
Dear Trinity of Love,
Hear Thou my even-song
And keep me brave and strong.


If death upon me creep
While I in darkness sleep,
Dear Lord! whose time is best,
Be Thou my bed and rest!
Then at Thy smile of light
Will my dark cell grow bright,
And angel-sentinels
Ring the sweet morning bells.
O Father, Son, and Dove,
Dear Trinity of Love,
Hear Thou my even-song
And keep me brave and strong.


There is no bitterness
  Without some lump of sweet;
Without some blessedness
  There is no sad defeat.

And there is no confusion
  Without some order fair,
No infinite diffusion
  But unity is there.

The goodness of the Lord
  Is round about us here;
Beholding it reward
  To fill the heart with cheer.

All things are ever tending
  To some divine event,
The sweet and bitter blending
  With some divine intent.

All things are ever tending
  To some divine event,
The sweet to have no ending--
  Avaunt! O Discontent.

Brave men and women all,
  How are we comforted
With honey out of gall,
  Served with our daily bread!


1. The way of the cross the way of light.

2. O Liberty! how they have counterfeited thee!

It is generally understood, however, that her last words were: O Liberté! que de crimes on commet en ton nom! (O Liberty! what crimes are committed in thy name!)

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