The Project Gutenberg EBook of Atlantic Monthly,Volume 14, No. 82, August,
1864, by Various

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Title: Atlantic Monthly,Volume 14, No. 82, August, 1864
       A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics

Author: Various

Release Date: June 14, 2005 [EBook #16057]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


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Paolucci and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at





Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1864, by TICKNOR AND FIELDS, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.



Some one lately took occasion, in passing, to class Charles Reade with the clever writers of the day, sandwiching him between Anthony Trollope and Wilkie Collins,—for no other reason, apparently, than that he never, with Chinese accuracy, gives us gossiping drivel that reduces life to the dregs of the commonplace, or snarls us in any inextricable tangle of plots.

Charles Reade is not a clever writer merely, but a great one,—how great, only a careful résumé of his productions can tell us. We know too well that no one can take the place of him who has just left us, and who touched so truly the chords of every passion; but out of the ranks some one must step now to the leadership so deserted,—for Dickens reigns in another region,—and whether or not it shall be Charles Reade depends solely upon his own election: no one else is so competent, and nothing but wilfulness or vanity need prevent him,—the wilfulness of persisting in certain errors, or the vanity of assuming that he has no farther to go. He needs to learn the calmness of a less variable temperature and a truer equilibrium, less positive sharpness and more philosophy; he will be a thorough master, when the subject glows in his forge and he himself remains unheated.

He is about the only writer we have who gives us anything of himself. Quite unconsciously, every sentence he writes is saturated with his own identity; he is, then, a man of courage, and—the postulate assumed that we are not speaking of fools—courage in such case springs only from two sources, carelessness of opinion and possession of power. Now no one, of course, can be entirely indifferent to the audience he strives to please; and it would seem, then, that that daring which is the first element of success arises here from innate capacity. Unconsciously, as we have said, is it that our author is self-betrayed, for he is by nature so peculiarly a raconteur that he forgets himself entirely in seizing the prominent points of his story; and it is to this that his chief fault is attributable,—the want of elaboration,—a fault, however, which he has greatly overcome in his later books, where, leaving sketchy outlines, he has given us one or two complete and perfect pictures. His style, too, owes some slight debt to this fact; it has been saved thereby from offensive mannerism, and yet given traits of its own insusceptible of imitation,—for by mannerism we mean affectations of language, not absurdities of type.

There is a racy verve and vigor in Charles Reade's style, which, after the current inanities, is as inspiriting as a fine breeze on the upland; it tingles with vitality; he seems to bring to his work a superb physical strength, which he employs impartially in the statement of a trifle or the storming of a city; and if on this page he handles a ship in a sea-fight with the skill and force of a Viking, on the other he picks up a pin cleaner of the adjacent dust than weaker fingers would do it. There is no trace of the stale, flat, and unprofitable here; the books are fairly alive, and that gesture tells their author best with which a great actress once portrayed to us the poet Browning, rolling her hands rapidly over one another, while she threw them up in the air, as if she would describe a bubbling, boiling fountain.

Charles Reade is the prose for Browning. The temperament of the two in their works is almost identical, having first allowed for the delicate femineity proper to every poet; and the richness that Browning lavishes till it strikes the world no more than the lavish gold of the sun, the lavish blue of the sky, Reade, taking warning, hoards, and lets out only by glimpses. Yet such glimpses! for beauty and brilliancy and strength, when they do occur, unrivalled. Yet never does he desert his narrative for them one moment; on the contrary, we might complain that he almost ignores the effect of Nature on various moods and minds: in a volume of six hundred pages, the sole bit of so-called fine writing is the following, justified by the prominence of its subject in the incidents, and showing in spite of itself a certain masculine contempt for the finicalities of language:—

"The leaves were many shades deeper and richer than any other tree could show for a hundred miles round,—a deep green, fiery, yet soft; and then their multitude,—the staircases of foliage, as you looked up the tree, and could scarce catch a glimpse of the sky,—an inverted abyss of color, a mound, a dome, of flake-emeralds that quivered in the golden air.

"And now the sun sets,—the green leaves are black,—the moon rises,—her cold light shoots across one-half that giant stem.

"How solemn and calm stands the great round tower of living wood, half ebony, half silver, with its mighty cloud above of flake-jet leaves tinged with frosty fire at one edge!"

This oak was in Brittany,—the very one, perhaps, before which,

"So hollow, huge, and old,
It looked a tower of ruined mason-work,
At Merlin's feet the wileful Vivien lay."

Indeed, Brittany seems a kind of fairy-land to many writers. Tennyson, Spenser, Matthew Arnold, Reade, all locate some one of their choicest scenes there. The reason is not, perhaps, very remote. We prate about the Anglo-Saxon blood; yet, in reality, there is very little of it to prate about, especially in the educated classes. When the British were driven from their island, they took refuge in Wales and Brittany. When William the Norman conquered that island again, his force was chiefly composed of the descendants of those very Britons; for so feeble was the genuine Norse element that it had been long since absorbed, and in the language of the Norman—used until a late day upon certain records in England—there is not one single word of Scandinavian origin. Thus it was neither French nor Norman nor Scandinavian invading the white cliffs, but the exiled Briton reconquering his native land; and, to make the fact still stronger, the army of Richmond, Henry VII., was entirely recruited in Brittany. Perhaps, then, the reason that Brittany is to many a region of romance and delight is a feeling akin to the pleasure we take in visiting some ancestral domain from whose soil our fathers once drew their being.

The Breton novel of Mr. Reade, "White Lies," although somewhat crude, otherwise ranks with his best. The action is uninterrupted and swift, the characters sharply defined, if legendary, the dialogue always sparkling, the plot cleanly executed, the whole full of humor and seasoned with wit. So well has it caught the spirit of the scene that it reads like a translation, and, lest we should mistake the locale, everybody in the book lies abominably from beginning to end.

"'A lie is a lump of sin and a piece of folly,' cries Jacintha.

"Edouard notes it down, and then says, in allusion to a previous remark of hers,—

"'I did not think you were five-and-twenty, though.'

"'I am, then,—don't you believe me?'

"'Why not? Indeed, how could I disbelieve you after your lecture?'

"'It is well,' said Jacintha, with dignity.

"She was twenty-seven by the parish-books."

There is a good deal of picturesque beauty in this volume, and at the opening of its affairs there occurs a paragraph which we appropriate, not merely for its merit, nor because it is the only "interior" that we can recall in all his novels, but because also it contains a characteristically fearless measuring of swords with a great champion:—

"A spacious saloon panelled: dead, but snowy white picked out sparingly with gold. Festoons of fruit and flowers finely carved in wood on some of the panels. These also not smothered with gilding, but as it were gold speckled here and there like tongues of flame winding among insoluble snows.... Midway from the candle to the distant door its twilight deepened, and all became shapeless and sombre. The prospect ended half-way, sharp and black, as in those out-o'-door closets imagined and painted by Mr. Turner, whose Nature (Mr. Turner's) comes to a full stop as soon as Mr. Turner sees no further occasion for her, instead of melting by fine expanse and exquisite gradation into genuine distance, as Nature does in Claude and in Nature. To reverse the picture: standing at the door, you looked across forty feet of black, and the little corner seemed on fire, and the fair heads about the candle shone like the heads of St. Cecilias and Madonnas in an antique stained-glass window. At last Laure [Laure Aglaë Rose de Beaurepaire,—would a rose by any other name smell as sweet?] observed the door open, and another candle glowed upon Jacintha's comely peasant-face in the doorway; she dived into the shadow, and emerged into light again close to the table, with napkins on her arm."

The book abounds, as indeed all its companions do, in quaint passages, comical turns of a word, shrewd sayings,—of which a handful:—

'"Now you know,' said Dard, 'if I am to do this little job to-day, I must start.'

"'Who keeps you?' was the reply.

"Thus these two loved."

Dard, by the way, being an entirely new addition to the novelists' corps dramatique, and almost a Shakspearian character.

"It was her feelings, her confidence, the little love wanted,—not her secret: that lay bare already to the shrewd young minx,—I beg her pardon,—lynx."

Another involves a curious philosophy, summed up in the following formula:—

"She does not love him quite enough.

"He loves her a little too much. Cure,—marriage."

But there are one or two scenes in this tale of "White Lies" perfectly matchless for fire and spirit; and to support the assertion, the reader must allow a citation. And he will pardon the first for the sake of the others, since Josephine is the betrothed of Camille Dujardin.

"When he uttered these terrible words, each of which was a blow with a bludgeon to the Baroness, the old lady, whose courage was not equal to her spirit, shrank over the side of her arm-chair, and cried piteously,—'He threatens me! he threatens me! I am frightened!'—and put up her trembling hands, so suggestive was the notary's eloquence of physical violence. Then his brutality received an unexpected check. Imagine that a sparrow-hawk had seized a trembling pigeon, and that a royal falcon swooped, and with one lightning-like stroke of body and wing buffeted him away, and there he was on his back, gaping and glaring and grasping at nothing with his claws. So swift and irresistible, but far more terrible and majestic, Josephine de Beaurepaire came from her chair with one gesture of her body between her mother and the notary, who was advancing on her with arms folded in a brutal menacing way,—not the Josephine we have seen her, the calm, languid beauty, but the Demoiselle de Beaurepaire,—her great heart on fire, her blood up,—not her own only, but all the blood of all the De Beaurepaires,—pale as ashes with wrath, her purple eyes flaring, and her whole panther-like body ready either to spring or strike.

"'Slave! you dare to insult her, and before me! Arrière, misérable! or I soil my hand with your face!'

"And her hand was up with the word, up, up,—higher it seemed than ever a hand was lifted before. And if he had hesitated one moment, I believe it would have come down; and if it had, he would have gone to her feet before it: not under its weight,—the lightning is not heavy,—but under the soul that would have struck with it. But there was no need: the towering threat and the flaming eye and the swift rush buffeted the caitiff away: he recoiled three steps, and nearly fell down. She followed him as he went, strong in that moment as Hercules, beautiful and terrible as Michael driving Satan. He dared not, or rather he could not, stand before her: he writhed and cowered and recoiled down the room while she marched upon him. Then the driven serpent hissed as it wriggled away.

"'For all this, she too shall be turned out of Beaurepaire,—not like me, but forever! I swear it, parolé de Perrin!'

"'She shall never be turned out! I swear it, foi de De Beaurepaire!'

"'You, too, daughter of Sa—'

"'Tais toi, et sors à l'instant même! Lâche!'

"The old lady moaning and trembling and all but fainting in her chair; the young noble like destroying angel, hand in air, and great eye scorching and withering; and the caitiff wriggling out at the door, wincing with body and head, his knees knocking, his heart panting, yet raging, his teeth gnashing, his cheek livid, his eye gleaming with the fire of hell."

Too much of this sort of thing becomes meretricious; a man is never the master of his subject, when he suffers himself to be carried away by it. And though a fault of haste is pardonable, when lost in fine execution, we must acknowledge that there is certainly something very "Frenchy" in this scene,—a remark, though, which can hardly be considered as derogatory, when we remember that altogether the most readable fiction of the day is French itself. Our author is evidently a great admirer of Victor Hugo, though he is no such careful artist in language: he seldom closes with such tremendous subjects as that adventurous writer attempts; but he has all the sharp antithesis, the pungent epigram of the other, and in his freest flight, though he peppers us as prodigally with colons, he never becomes absurd, which the other is constantly on the edge of being.

The next scene which we adduce is that where the battered figure of a pale, grisly man walks into the garrison-town of Bayonne, after a three-years' absence, explained only to his disgrace, mutely overcomes the guard, and rings the bell of the Governor's house.

"The servant left him in the hall, and went up-stairs to tell his master. At the name, the Governor reflected, then frowned, then bade his servant reach him down a certain book. He inspected it.

"'I thought so: any one with him?'

"'No, Monsieur the Governor.'

"'Load my pistols: put them on the table: put that book back: show him in: and then order a guard to the door.'

"The Governor was a stern veteran, with a powerful brow, a shaggy eyebrow, and a piercing eye. He never rose, but leaned his chin on his hand, and his elbow on a table that stood between them, and eyed the new-comer very fixedly and strangely.

"'We did not expect to see you on this side of the Pyrenees.'

"'Nor I myself, Governor.'

"'What do you come to me for?'

"'A welcome, a suit of regimentals, and money to take me to Paris.'

"'And suppose, instead of that, I turn out a corporal's guard, and bid them shoot you in the court-yard?'

"'It would be the drollest thing you ever did, all things considered,' said the other, coolly; but he looked a little surprised.

"The Governor went for the book he had lately consulted, found the page, handed it to the rusty officer, and watched him keenly: the blood rushed all over his face, and his lip trembled; but his eye dwelt stern, yet sorrowful, on the Governor.

"'I have read your book: now read mine.'

"He drew off his coat, and showed his wrists and arms, blue and waled.

"'Can you read that, Monsieur?'


"'All the better for you! Spanish fetters, General.'

"He showed a white scar on his shoulder.

"'Can you read that, Sir?'


"'This is what I cut out of it,'—and he handed the Governor a little round stone, as big and almost as regular as a musket-ball.

"'Humph! that could hardly have been fired from a French musket.'

"'Can you read this?'—and he showed him a long cicatrix on his other arm.

"'Knife, I think?' said the Governor.

"'You are right, Monsieur: Spanish knife!—Can you read this?'—and opening his bosom, he showed a raw and bloody wound on his breast.

"'Oh, the Devil!' cried the General.

"The wounded man put his coat on again, and stood erect and haughty and silent.

"The General eyed him, and saw his great spirit shining through this man. The more he looked, the less could the scarecrow veil the hero from his practised eye.

"'There has been some mistake, or else I dote—and can't tell a soldier from a'—

"'Don't say the word, old man, or your heart will bleed!'

"'Humph! I must go into this matter at once. Be seated, Captain, if you please, and tell me what have you been doing all these years?'


"'What, all the time?'

"'Without intermission.'

"'But what? suffering what?'

"'Cold, hunger, darkness, wounds, solitude, sickness, despair, prison,—all that man can suffer.'

"'Impossible! a man would be dead at that rate before this.'

"'I should have died a dozen times, but for one thing.'

"'Ay! what was that?'

"'I had promised to live.'

"There was a pause. Then the old man said, calmly,—

"'To the facts, young man: I listen.'"

And high time, be it said; since it begins to read very much like one of Artemas Ward's burlesques. The upshot of which listening was, that the man left for Paris directly in the demanded regimentals, and wrapt about with the Governor's furred cloak to boot; that he would not delay in the metropolis one moment, even to put on the epaulets they gave him, but saved them for his sweetheart to make him a colonel with, and, though weary and torn with pain, galloped away to the Chateau de Beaurepaire, to find that sweetheart another man's wife.

"He turned his back quickly on her. 'To the army!' he cried, hoarsely. He drew himself haughtily up in marching-attitude. He took three strides, erect and fiery and bold. At the fourth the great heart snapped, and the worn body it had held up so long rolled like a dead log upon the ground, with a tremendous fall."

Which scene must be followed by its pendant, taking place during the siege of a Prussian town, when, from the enemy's bastion, Long Tom, out of range of Dujardin's battery, was throwing red-hot shot, sending half a hundred-weight of iron up into the clouds, and plunging it down into the French lines a mile off.

"'Volunteers to go out of the trenches!' cried Sergeant La Croix, in a stentorian voice, standing erect as a poker, and swelling with importance.

"There were fifty offers in less than as many seconds.

"'Only twelve allowed to go,' said the Sergeant; 'and I am one,' added he, adroitly inserting himself.

"A gun was taken down, placed on a carriage, and posted near Death's Alley, but out of the line of fire.

"The Colonel himself superintended the loading of this gun; and to the surprise of his men had the shot weighed first, and then weighed out the powder himself.

"He then waited quietly a long time, till the bastion pitched one of its periodical shots into Death's Alley; but no sooner had the shot struck, and sent the sand flying past the two lanes of curious noses, than Colonel Dujardin jumped upon the gun and waved his cocked hat. At this preconcerted signal, his battery opened fire on the bastion, and the battery to his right hand opened on the wall that fronted them; and the Colonel gave the word to run the gun out of the trenches. They ran it out into the cloud of smoke their own guns were belching forth, unseen by the enemy; but they had no sooner twisted it into the line of Long Tom than the smoke was gone, and there they were, a fair mark.

"'Back into the trenches, all but one!' roared Dujardin.

"And in they ran like rabbits.

"'Quick! the elevation.'

"Colonel Dujardin and La Croix raised the muzzle to the mark,—hoo! hoo! hoo! ping! ping! ping' came the bullets about their ears.

"'Away with you!' cried the Colonel, taking the linstock from him.

"Then Colonel Dujardin, fifteen yards from the trenches, in full blazing uniform, showed two armies what one intrepid soldier can do. He kneeled down and adjusted his gun, just as he would have done in a practising-ground. He had a pot-shot to take, and a pot-shot he would take. He ignored three hundred muskets that were levelled at him. He looked along his gun, adjusted it and readjusted to a hair's-breadth. The enemy's bullets pattered over it; still he adjusted and readjusted. His men were groaning and tearing their hair inside at his danger.

"At last it was levelled to his mind, and then his movements were as quick as they had hitherto been slow. In a moment he stood erect in the half-fencing attitude of a gunner, and his linstock at the touch-hole: a huge tongue of flame, a volume of smoke, a roar, and the iron thunderbolt was on its way, and the Colonel walked haughtily, but rapidly, back to the trenches: for in all this no bravado. He was there to make a shot,—not to throw a chance of life away, watching the effect.

"Ten thousand eyes did that for him.

"Both French and Prussians risked their own lives, craning out to see what a colonel in full uniform was doing under fire from a whole line of forts, and what would be his fate: but when he fired the gun, their curiosity left the man and followed the iron thunderbolt.

"For two seconds all was uncertain: the ball was travelling.

"Tom gave a rear like a wild horse, his protruding muzzle went up sky-high, then was seen no more, and a ring of old iron and a clatter of fragments were heard on the top of the bastion. Long Tom was dismounted. Oh, the roar of laughter and triumph from one end to another of the trenches, and the clapping of forty thousand hands, that went on for full five minutes! then the Prussians, either through a burst of generous praise for an act so chivalrous and so brilliant, or because they would not be crowed over, clapped their ten thousand hands as loudly, and thundering heart-thrilling salvo of applause answered salvo on both sides that terrible arena."

If all this was melodramatic, it should be remembered that the time was melodramatic itself; it is, however, saved from such accusation by the truthfulness of the handling; and the homeliness of a portion of it recalls the ballad of "Up at the villa, down in the city," with its speeches of drum and fife. Nevertheless, here are combined the true elements of modern sensational writing: there are the broad canvas, the vivid colors, the abrupt contrast, all the dramatic and startling effects that weekly fiction affords, the supernatural heroine, the more than mortal hero. What, then, rescues it? It would be hard to reply. Perhaps the reckless, rollicking wit: we cannot censure one who makes us laugh with him. Perhaps nothing but the writer's exuberant and superabundant vitality, which through such warp shoots a golden woof till it is filled and interwoven with the true glance and gleam of genius. The difference between these pages and that of the previously mentioned style is the same as exists between any coarse scene-curtain and some glorious painting, be it Church, with his tropical lushness, or Gifford, with his shaking, shining mists,—

Like a vaporous amethyst,
Or an air-dissolved star
Mingling light and fragrance far
As the curved horizon's bound,"—

some canvas that seems to palpitate and live and tremble with the breathing being confided to it by the painter. Indeed, Charles Reade has a great deal of this pictorial power. A single sentence will sometimes give not only the sketch, but all its tints. Take, for instance, the paragraph in which, speaking of the Newhaven fish-wives, he says, "It is a race of women that the Northern sun peachifies instead of rosewoodizing"; and it is as good as that picture of the "Two Grandmothers," where the rosy woman with her rosy troop is confronted by the tawny sunburnt gypsy and her swarthy group of dancing-girl and tambourine-tosser.

When "Peg Woffington" first fell upon us, a dozen years ago or so, Humdrum opened his eyes: it was like setting one's teeth in a juicy pear fresh from the warm sunshine. Then came "Christie Johnstone," a perfect pearl of its kind, in which we recognize an important contribution to one class of romance. If ever the literature of the fishing-coast shall be compiled, it will be found to be scanty, but superlative; let us suggest that it shall open with Lucy Larcom's "Poor Lone Hannah," the most touching and tearful of the songs of New-England life,—followed by Christie Johnstone's night at sea among the blue-lights and the nets with their silver and lightning mixed, where the fishers struggle with that immense sheet varnished in red-hot silver,—and at the end let not the "Pilot's Pretty Daughter" of William Allingham's be forgotten:—

"Were it my lot—there peeped a wish—
To hand a pilot's oar and sail,
Or haul the dripping moonlit mesh
Spangled with herring-scale:
By dying stars how sweet 'twould be,
And dawn-blow freshening the sea,
With weary, cheery pull to shore
To gain my cottage-home once more,
And meet, before I reached the door,
My pretty pilot's daughter!"

But it is a fine fashion of this noble world never to acknowledge itself too well pleased. Men are ashamed of satisfaction. So soon as they have exhausted the honey, they condemn the comb; it will do to wax an old wife's thread;—they forget that the cells whose sides break the usual uniformity contain the royal embryos. Humdrum read these little novels through and through, laughed and cried over them in secret, then pulled a long face, stepped forth and denounced—the typography. Now we admit that the page presents a fairer appearance with single punctuations, unblurred by Italics, and its smooth surface unbroken by strings of capitals;—but let us ask these criticasters for what purpose types were cast at all. To assist the author in the expression of his ideas, and to elucidate subtile shades of meaning? or to prove his let and hindrance, and to wrap his expression in mystery? Whether or no, it is patent that Charles Reade makes an exclamation—and an interrogation-point together say as much as many novelists can dibble over a whole page. Nevertheless, in his latest work these eccentricities are greatly modified; yet who would forego in the sea-fight that almost inaudible, breathless whisper of "Our ammunition is nearly done"? or again the moment when Skinner pokes Mr. Hardie lightly in the side and says, "But—I've—got—THE RECEIPT"? And could anything express the state of young Reginald's mind so ineffably as the primer type of his letter to Lucy?

A much less venial fault than any typographical trifle is a tendency belonging to this author to repeat both incident and colloquy. This of course is merely the result of negligence,—and negligence no one likes to forgive; only Shakspeare can afford to be careless of his fame, and the rags that his commentators make of him are a warning to all pettier people. We have seen the manuscript of a man already immortal, so interlined, erased, and corrected as to be undecipherable by any but himself and the printer who has been for twenty years condemned to such hard labor; surely others can condescend to the same pains;—yet we doubt if Mr. Reade so much as looks his over a second time.

Many persons have a trick of writing their names, not on the fly-leaf of the books they possess, but on the hundredth or the fiftieth page. Perhaps it is according to some such brand of the warehouse that we find in "Very Hard Cash," or in "White Lies," indifferently, such brief dialogues as this:—


"'Are you sure?'


Then, Reade's characters are perpetually doing the same thing. Josephine and Margaret both seize their throats not to cry out; Josephine and Margaret both kiss their babies alike,—a very pretty description of the act, though:—

"The young mother sprang silently upon her child,—you would have thought she was going to kill it,—her head reared itself again and again, like a crested snake's, and again and again, and again and again plunged down upon the child, and she kissed his little body from head to foot with soft violence, and murmured through her starting tears."

But not content with that, Margaret must reënact it. Then Gerard and Alfred, returning from long absences, both find their only sister dead; and the plot of three of the novels turns on the fact of long and inexplicable absences on the part of the heroes. The Baroness de Beaurepaire, who is flavored with what her maker calls the "congealed essence of grandmamma," shares her horror of the jargon-vocabulary equally with Mrs. Dodd, (the captain's wife, who "reared her children in a suburban villa with the manners which adorn a palace,—when they happen to be there"). There is a singular habit in the several works of putting up marble inscriptions for folks before actual demise requires it,—Hardie showing Lucy Fountain hers, Camille erecting one to Raynal. All his heroines, as soon as they are crossed in love, invariably lose their tempers, and invariably by the same process; all, without exception, have violet eyes and velvet lips, (and sometimes the heroes also have the latter!) and all of them should wear key-holes at their ear-rings. Indeed, here is our quarrel with Mr. Reade. The conception of an artless woman is impossible with him. Plenty of beautiful ideals he creates, but with the actual woman he is almost unacquainted: Lucy Fountain, of all his feminine characters, is the only one whose counterpart we have ever met; Julia, the most perfect type of his fancy, impetuous, sparkling, and sweet, has this to say for herself, on occasion of a boat-race:—"'We have won at last,' cried Julia, all on fire, 'and fairly; only think of that!'" Through every sentence that he jots down runs a vein of gentle satire on the sex. Every specimen that he has drawn from it possesses feline characteristics: if provoked, they scratch; if happy, they purr; when they move, it is with the bodies of panthers; when they caress their children, it is like snakes; and in every single one of his books the women listen, behind the door, behind the hedge, behind the boat.

"'He would make an intolerable woman,' says the Baroness. 'A fine life, if one had a parcel of women about one, blurting out their real minds every moment, and never smoothing matters!'

"'Mamma, what a horrid picture!' cries Laure."

When upon this subject our author leaves innuendo, and fairly shows his colors, he writes in this wise:—

"For nothing is so hard to her sex as a long, steady struggle. In matters physical, this is the thing the muscles of the fair cannot stand. In matters intellectual and moral, the long strain it is that beats them dead. Do not look for a Bacona, a Newtona, a Handella, a Victoria Huga. Some American ladies tell us education has stopped the growth of these. No, Mesdames! These are not in Nature. They can bubble letters in ten minutes that you could no more deliver to order in ten days than a river can play like a fountain. They can sparkle gems of stories; they can flash little diamonds of poems. The entire sex has never produced one opera, nor one epic that mankind could tolerate a minute: and why?—these come by long, high-strung labor. But, weak as they are in the long run of everything but the affections, (and there giants,) they are all overpowering while the gallop lasts. Fragilla shall dance any two of you flat on the floor before four o'clock, and then dance on till peep of day. You trundle off to your business as usual, and could dance again the next night, and so on through countless ages. She who danced you into nothing is in bed, a human jelly crowned with headache."

Certainly, the concluding sentence shows that the writer is unacquainted with the Fifth-Avenue Fragilla. And, moreover, we were unaware that she had ever entered herself as competitor with Dr. Windship in the lifting of three-thousand-pound weights. But this is poor stuff for a man of talent to busy himself with,—as if the Creator intended rivalry between beings complementary to each other, and of too diverse physical organization to allow the idea. Yet a fair friend of ours would meet him on his own ungallant ground. If Mr. Reade will trouble himself, says Una and the Lion, to turn over a work of Frances Power Cobbe's on Intuitive Morals, he will see that the first two impossibilities in his catalogue are lessened so far as to allow hope; as for Handella, there is reason to believe in her advent,—many women have written faultless tunes,—all that is wanted is mathematical harmony,—and Mary Somerville, Maria Mitchell, and the sister of the Herschels forbid despair on that point; and God forbid the Victoria Huga! the male of the species is more than enough. We must look upon any wide departure from the prevailing pattern either as a monstrosity or as a development of the great plan; therefore, if one of these women is a monstrosity, Laplace and Aristotle are to be considered equally so. And then, also, Mr. Reade, masculine as he is, finds eclipse in the shade of either Mrs. Lewes, (Marion Evans,) or Charlotte Brontè, or Madame Dudevant. As for men, they are themselves just emerging from barbarism; a race rises only with its women, as all history shows. The whole sex has produced no operas? they are modern things; when men have advanced a little, when our audience is ready, we shall write operas. Epics? how many has the entire opposite sex produced? well, four: terrible disparity, when we count by billions! These are not in Nature? Whose assertion for that? till he can prove it, the word of "some American ladies" is as good as the word of Mr. Charles Reade. For myself, continued the outraged Una, I know a beautiful woman who left lovers, society, pleasures,—absorbed in her moulding and modelling, day by day and year by year, with no positive result except in her own convictions and consciousness,—who spent the long summer hours alone in the little building with her white ideas, and who, winter night after night, rose to cross street and garden and snowy fields to tend the fire and wet the clay, and who, on more than one morning finding the weary labor of months wasted where the frozen substance had peeled from the framework and lay in fragments on the floor, without a murmur began the patient work again. That was during the trial; afterwards attainment. Was there no long strain and steady struggle there?

Una's enthusiasm infects us; and very apropos to all this do we hear Mr. Reade's Jacintha remark,—

"We are good creatures, but we don't trouble our heads with justice; it is a word you shall never hear a woman use, unless she happens to be doing some monstrous injustice at the very moment."

And with the best-natured contempt in the world, Dr. Sampson exclaims,—

"What! go t' a wumman for the truth, when I can go t' infallible inference?"

Even Lucy Fountain saw many young ladies healed of many young enthusiasms by a wedding-ring,—but a wittier woman has said it better, Una declares, in asserting that a married woman's name is her epitaph. If, however, Mr. Reade's opinion of womankind is at any time justifiable, we must bring Una to witness that it is so in the following instance:—

"Realize the situation, and the strange incongruity between the senses and the mind in these poor fellows! The day had ripened its beauty; beneath a purple heaven shone, sparkled, and laughed a blue sea, in whose waves the tropical sun seemed to have fused his beams; and beneath that fair, sinless, peaceful sky, wafted by a balmy breeze over those smiling, transparent, golden waves, a bloodthirsty pirate bore down on them with a crew of human tigers; and a lady babble babble babble babble babble babbled in their quivering ears!"

We have heard numberless inquiries as to Mr. Reade's private life, with which, whether they have the right or not, the public will concern itself. So at home is he on every subject that each appears to be his specialty. One asserts that he follows Galen: witness his mania on medicine. Certainly not, another replies; are not his principles erroneous, and second-hand at that? Does he not dredge the science with ridicule? No practitioner would gravely assert the feasibility of transfusion, an operation never yet performed with success, since the red globules of his own blood seem to be as proper to each individual as his identity, and allow no admixture from alien veins; in surgery he has but one foe,—phlebotomy; in pharmacy, but one friend,—chloroform; he asserts of Dr. Sampson, (Dr. Dickson, the writer of "Fallacies of the Faculty"?) that "he was strong, but not strong enough to make the populace suspend an opinion; yet it might be done: by chloroforming them." (Which leads one parenthetically to remark that it is great pity, then, that, in the prevalent headlong precipitancy of public judgment, anæsthetics have not been more generally employed on this side of the water of late.) Certainly he is no physician, they say. But, on the other hand, a conjecture that he has been before the mast is as plausible a one as that ever Herman Melville was; there is the true sailor's-roll about him; nobody less skilful than the captain of a three-decker could have run the Agra through such a gantlet of broadsides and hurricanes; the manœuvring of the ship, when her master puts her before the wind that he may rake one schooner's deck and hurl the majestic monster bodily upon the other, is unequalled by anything in nautical literature, and approached by nothing in verity, except it may be Admiral Dupont's waltz of fire around the two forts of Hilton Head. Another, who laughs at both of these amateur statements, has a Grub-Street one; but, except to a favored few, to everybody in this country he is only an impersonal existence. In this general dearth of useful information, there are, however, one or two biographical sketches afloat,—possibly hints of those waiting their chance in the pigeon-holes of the Thunderer,—of which we are tempted to give the reader a sample, brought to us by Una in substantiation of her hostilities.

The subject of the present notice was picked up at sea, a child, and, under the provisions of maritime law concerning flotsam, jetsam, and lagan, was appropriated by the crew. He then followed their fortunes for several years, with various adventures, among which is the one wherein he is said to have accompanied Arthur Gordon Pym (disguised in the published account of that voyage under the name and appearance of one Peters) upon his fearful South-Sea sail towards that vapory cataract at the world's end which was seen "rolling silently into the sea from some immense and far-distant rampart of the heaven," from the horrors of which he escaped in the same miraculous manner that Mr. Pym did. He must still have been young at the time, as this occurred in 1838. Unable to find any credence to these extraordinary statements upon his return, he found an asylum from the unbelieving world, where, in order not to become a permanent resident, and being capable of impartial judgment thereon, he employed himself in a profound study of finance. Emerging from this seclusion, lest he should defraud his natural element entirely, he plunged into the hot water of the revolutions then ravaging Europe. Receiving wounds, he was laid up in hospital; and being of an active turn of mind and debarred from other pursuits, he fell (like Dr. Marie Zakrzewski) to studying the cards renewed every day above the patients' beds with the disease written thereon, its symptoms, and its treatment; in this manner he acquired quite a knowledge of medicine. He was, however, mercifully prevented from practising by the fact, that, upon repeating his story to an acquaintance, he met, as before, with such total disbelief, that, most fortunately for many readers, he determined at once to devote the remainder of his days to fiction.

How much faith such a narrative deserves we leave others to decide. It, however, has the virtue, as Una declares again, of plausibly explaining Mr. Reade's entire misapprehension of the feminine portion of humanity,—since, during the whole course of such a career, it would have been impossible that he should have made intimate acquaintance with a single specimen of the sex. It is true that in "Christie Johnstone" he speaks of the musical performances of certain female relatives of his own; but of course that is to be taken only as a part of the fiction. One thing, however, is evident,—that, if this sketch is not true, the converse of it must be, and where the reader has paid his money he may take his choice.

Mr. Reade's latest novel, "Very Hard Cash," is a continuation of a previous one, "Love me Little, Love me Long." A great charm of Thackeray's books was, that in every fresh one we heard a little news of the dear old friends of former ones; and "Very Hard Cash" has all the advantage of prepossession in its favor. Its forerunner was a startling thing to the circulating-library, for the hero was an entirely new character, dashing among the elegancies of the habitual hero like a shaggy dog in a drawing-room; and though the author admires him to the core of his heart, he never once hesitates to put him in ridiculous plight, and sets at last this diamond-in-the-rough in his purest and most polished gold. It is a delightful book, with one scene in it, the memorable night at sea, worth scores of customary novels, and, apart from the noble and beautiful delineation of David Dodd, would be invaluable for nothing else but its faultless portraiture of that millinery devotee, Mrs. Bazalgette.

From two such natures as David and his wife nothing less noble should spring; and therefore, through necessity, their daughter Julia, the heroine of "Very Hard Cash," is that ideal of vehemence and sweetness which we find her, not by any choice or fancy of the writer, but on account of fate, natural deduction, and a priori logic. She is, however, for all that, to some extent a creation; one may imagine her, long for her, look for her,—one will not immediately find her. Youth never was painted so well as here; both Julia and Alfred are aureoled in its beauty; they are not reasonable mortals with the accumulated perfections of three-score and ten, but young creatures just brimmed, as young creatures are, with the blissfulness of being. Nobody ever appreciated youth as this writer does, nobody has so entered into it; he never fails, to be sure, to make you laugh at it a little, but all the time he confesses a kind of loving worship of that buoyant time when the effervescence of the animal spirits fills the brain with its happy fumes, of that fearless, confident period that

"Is not, like Atlas, curled
Stooping 'neath the gray old world,
But which takes it, lithe and bland,
Easily in its small hand."

We have often wondered that no one ever before grappled with the material of this last volume. The easy ability of one person to incarcerate another in a mad-house is as often abused in America as in England, and circumstances in this drama which might strike a casual reader as preposterous we can match with kindred and more hopeless cases within our own knowledge. Perhaps one of the ablest portions of the treatment which this book affords the theme is in the singular collocation of characters,—the hero being wrongfully imprisoned as insane, the heroine's father really made so by medical malpractice, the hero's sister dying of injuries received from another maniac, his uncle being imbecile, and his father and one of his physicians becoming monomaniac. Nicer shades than these allow could not be drawn, and the subject stands in bold relief as a monument of dauntless courage and enthusiasm.

No one can hesitate to declare this novel, as it is the latest, to be also the finest of all that Charles Reade has given us. In saying this we do not forget the "Cloister and Hearth," which, however tender and touching and true to its century, is rather a rambling narrative than an elucidated plot. "Very Hard Cash" is wrought out with the finest finish, yet nowhere overdone; it so abounds in scenes of dramatic climax that we fancy the stage has lost immensely by the romance-reader's gain; yet there is never a single situation thrown away, every word tends in the main direction, and after that the prolific mind of the writer overflows in marginalia. There are one or two striking improbabilities, which Mr. Reade himself excuses by asserting that the commonplace is neither dramatic nor evangelical,—and therefore we confess, that, so long as Reginald Bazalgette had a ship, Captain Dodd was as likely to turn up on that as on any other, the purser as likely to make his communication at that moment as later, and the fly as likely to resuscitate the patient as the surgeon. But the characterization in this book is wonderful; every name becomes an acquaintance, from Mrs. Beresford, dividing Ajax's emotion and declining to be drowned in the dark, with her servant Ramgolam and his matchless Orientalisms, up to the loftier models, one of whom he endows with this exquisite bit of description:—

"A head overflowed by ripples of dark-brown hair sat with heroic grace upon his solid white throat, like some glossy falcon new-lighted on a Parian column."

We must, however, object to Fullalove, who is quite unworthy of the author, though perhaps complacently regarded by him as a success, being merely the traditional Yankee compound of patents and conjectures, a little smarter than usual, as of course a passage through Mr. Reade's pen must make him;—he never touched his brain. Vespasian, also, is not so good as he might be, although one enjoys his contempt for the pirate's crew of Papuans, Sooloos, and Portuguese, as a "mixellaneous bilin' of darkies," and finds something inimitable in his injured dignity over the anomalous sobriquet afforded him, whose changes he rings through analogy and anatomy till he declares himself to be only a "darned anemone." The real charm of the book, however, lies in the beautiful relation which it pictures between mother and children, and in the nature of the daughter herself, so exuberant, so dancing, yet the foam subsiding into such a luminous body of clearness, which so lights up the page with its loveliness, that, seeing how an artless woman is foreign to Mr. Reade's ideas, we are forced to believe that Nature was too strong for him and he wrote against the grain. Nevertheless, there is enough of his own prejudice retained for piquancy,—and since the poor things must be insignificantly wicked, see how charming they can be! There are many scenes between these covers that would well bear repetition, were they not too fresh in the reader's mind to require it; we will content ourselves with a single one, which contains the only pretentious writing of the whole novel, done at a touch, with a light, loose pen, but showing beyond compare the soul of the poet through the flesh of the novelist.

"At six twenty-five, the grand orb set calm and red, and the sea was gorgeous with miles and miles of great ruby dimples: it was the first glowing smile of southern latitude. The night stole on so soft, so clear, so balmy, all were loath to close their eyes on it; the passengers lingered long on deck, watching the Great Bear dip, and the Southern Cross rise, and overhead a whole heaven of glorious stars most of us have never seen and never shall see in this world. No belching smoke obscured, no plunging paddles deepened; all was musical; the soft air sighing among the sails; the phosphorescent water bubbling from the ship's bows; the murmurs from little knots of men on deck subdued by the great calm: home seemed near, all danger far; Peace ruled the sea, the sky, the heart: the ship, making a track of white fire on the deep, glided gently, yet swiftly, homeward, urged by snowy sails piled up like alabaster towers against a violet sky, out of which looked a thousand eyes of holy, tranquil fire. So melted the sweet night away.

"Now carmine streaks tinged the eastern sky at the water's edge, and that water blushed; now the streaks turned orange, and the waves below them sparkled. Thence splashes of living gold flew and settled on the ship's white sails, the deck, and the faces; and, with no more prologue, being so near the line, up came majestically a huge, fiery, golden sun, and set the sea flaming liquid topaz.

"Instant the lookout at the foretop-gallant-mast-head hailed the deck below.

"'Strange sail! Right ahead!'

"Ah! the stranger's deck swarms black with men!

"His sham ports fell as if by magic, his guns grinned through the gaps like black teeth; his huge foresail rose and filled, and out he came in chase.

"The breeze was a kiss from Heaven, the sky a vaulted sapphire, the sea a million dimples of liquid, lucid gold."

In conclusion, we must pronounce Mr. Reade's merit, in our judgment, to belong not so much to what he has already done as to what, if life be allowed him, he is yet to do. All his previous works read like 'studies,' in the light of his last. For "Very Hard Cash" is the beginning of a new era; it shows the careful hand of the artist doing justice to the conceptions of genius, in the prime of his vigor, with all his powers well in hand. The forms of literature change with the necessities of the age,—to some future generation what illustration the dramatists were to the Elizabethan day the knot of superior novelists will be to this, and among them all Charles Reade is destined to no subordinate rank.


There are a thousand descriptions of Rome, its antiquities, galleries, ceremonies, and manners, but hardly any, that I remember, of the organization of the Papal Government,—that wonderful power which long played the chief part in the social and political revolutions of Europe, which, even in its decay, preserves so much of its original grandeur, and still clings to its traditions with a tenacity of conviction that commands our respect, although the remembrance of the evil that it has done compels us, as men and as Christians, to rejoice at the prospect of its fall.

This omission on the part of so many thoughtful travellers is by no means an unnatural one. We go to Rome in order to see and to feel, rather than to study and to think. The past crowds upon us overladen with history and poetry; and the present is so full of new forms of life that it is only when we come to sit down at a distance and gather up our recollections that we ask ourselves how all the instruments of that gorgeous pageantry are put together and moved. The Pope has palaces and villas. The cardinals live in splendid apartments, and ride in massive coaches of purple and gilt, drawn by horses richly caparisoned, and attended by servants in livery. Bishops and prelates and monks and priests and friars fill long processions on public occasions, and move about in their daily life with the air and bearing of men who belong to a sphere that common men have no concern in.

There is a church or a chapel for every day in the year, and some emblem of external recognition for every saint in the calendar. There are lenten days, when the rich eat fresh tunny from the Adriatic or eels from Comacchio, and the poor whatever they can get; and holidays, when the shops are shut and the churches and theatres open, and everybody amuses himself as well as his tastes and his means allow. Nowhere are processions so splendid, festivals so magnificent, the whole body of the population accustomed, either as actors or as spectators, to such daily displays of opulence and grandeur.

How is all this done? How do all these men live? What do they do for themselves and for one another? What is the object of this multiplication of insignia and titles? What is the meaning of the red stockings and the purple stockings, and the red and the purple hat-band, and the various decorations of the horses, and the infinite varieties of cut and color and device in dress and equipage, which you begin to distinguish only when you become accustomed to objects so unlike anything you have ever seen before? For every one of them has a meaning, and tells the instructed eye the hopes and aspirations and half the history of the bearer as plainly as a tablet or an inscription.

Without attempting, on the present occasion, to answer all of these questions in detail, I shall endeavor to give such an outline of the organization of the Roman Government as shall cover the most important of them.

The head of this vast body, the Pope, is better known than any of the inferior members; for, as spiritual head of the Church and absolute sovereign of her temporal dominions, his peculiar position has always made him the object of peculiar attention. Officially, he was for centuries the acknowledged chief of Christendom, jealous of his prerogatives, bold in his assumptions, often feared where he was not reverenced, and often courted and flattered where he inspired neither reverence nor fear. Individually, his education and habits, the books he reads and the company he keeps, have seldom led him to study the causes of national prosperity, and still more seldom taught him to sympathize with the feelings or respect the rights of mankind.

From his childhood, the purest source of sympathies and affections is closed for him rigorously and hopelessly. He grows up as a stranger at the family-hearth; for, as he sits there, he is taught that he can never have a family-hearth of his own. He begins life by renouncing its dearest privileges, and training all his faculties for a relentless war upon himself,—for repressing natural impulses, not guiding them, extirpating his passions, not subduing them, and aiming at an insensibility that can be attained only by the sacrifice of every human instinct, rather than that serene tranquillity of spirit in which every passion is recognized as a power for good as well as for evil, and all are subjected alike to the guidance of a discriminating and conscientious self-control.

He is in a false position from his first step in life, and strays farther and farther from the true course to the very end of it. His hopes and aspirations are all directed to one object, trained to flow in a dark and narrow channel, on which the sunbeams never play, and which the pure breath of Nature never visits. His brothers and sisters have a thousand things to talk about and think about which he has no part in. If he joins in their games, it is still as the abbatino: the formal small-clothes and narrow neckband and three-cornered hat that contrast so strongly with their gay dresses are ever present to remind him and them that they have different paths to travel, and have already entered upon them. It is a dreary process that education of his, and one that makes your heart ache to look upon. A rosy-cheeked, bright-eyed boy, with boyish blood in his veins, running through them quick and warm, and every now and then making them tingle with some boyish longing that will out, although he is a priest in miniature and a Pope in prospective. I never could look at it without thinking of the gardener, in the fulness of his topiary pride, cutting trees and shrubs into towers and walls, and every shape but that which Nature designed them for. Clip, clip, go the long, scythe-like shears, and with every clip down comes a branch with its thousand songs unsung, or a shoot with its half-blown promise of spring. Cut away earnestly, patiently. You have your faith to help you; and though your eyes are of the strongest and keenest, you have never been taught to use them. Cut away till your arms ache and your head swims with the strain of measuring angles and inches and pyramids and obelisks; Nature is working at the root while you are warring on the branches. True, the birds will not build where your shears have passed; and the winds will wail where they would have piped it merrily, if the young boughs had been there to dance to their breathings. But the roots are tough and the trunks are strong, and the sap wells surely up from those mysterious sources where, in darkness and silence, Nature works her wondrous transformations,—proving, through each waxing and waning year, by bud and leaf and branch, that, thwart and mutilate and deny her as you may, she is the same kind mother still.

As life advances, the dividing lines grow sharper and more defined. He has got his Latin, and, in getting it, read Virgil and Horace and Cicero, as his brothers did. But henceforth St. Augustine becomes his Cicero; and he already begins to suspect that the best service his Homer and Thucydides and Demosthenes have rendered him has been by enabling him to understand St. Chrysostom. What is Herodotus to the Lives of the Saints, or Livy to Baronius? Why should he waste his time on human nature in Tacitus, or follow, with Guicciardini, the tortuous paths of princes, when he can find lessons more to his taste, and wisdom more to his purpose, in Mabillon and Pallavicini? His daily conversation is about the interests and concerns of his order, and, as he enters upon its duties, about the questions which those duties raise, and the rewards which their fulfilment promises or brings. It was a great day for him and for his friends, when he first ascended the altar in cope and stole; but mass soon becomes a daily exercise, and, like all things done daily, sinks into routine. A still more anxious day was it, when he first took his seat in the confessional to absolve and to condemn, to interpret and to enjoin, to listen to secrets which are like the lifting of the veil from one of the darkest mysteries of life, and feel the breath that bore them through the punctures of the thin partition fall on his cheek with a warmth that made his veins glow and his own breath come fast and thick.

I once heard a confession of murder from the murderer's lips, as we sat alone, side by side, on the same sofa. It was of a Sunday morning, bright, beautiful, and still, one of those days in which earth looks so pure and lovely that you can hardly believe sin could ever have found a home thereon. He was a Sicilian, a gentleman by birth and fortune; and when he first came into the room, apologizing for the intrusion, and regretting that he was taking up my time with the business of a stranger, I thought that I had never seen a more intelligent face or felt more immediately at home with an utter stranger. He began his story in a low, musical voice,—Italian loses none of its softness in the mouth of a Sicilian,—and I had followed him through a midnight ride over a wild and solitary road before I began to suspect how it was to end. Then came the details: a sudden meeting,—angry words, heating to madness blood already too hot,—a shot,—a body writhing on the ground in its own blood. His voice hardly changed, though the tones, perhaps, were somewhat deeper; but his cheek flushed and his eye kindled, and I felt such a sickening shudder come over me as I had never felt before. He was dressed in white, too,—spotless white, as it seemed to me, when he first came into the room; I had even admired the neatness of his trousers and waistcoat: but as I looked and listened, big drops of blood seemed to come out upon them,—a drop for every word, slowly exuding from some mysterious source, till he was bathed all over in it from head to foot. A day or two afterwards, I met him upon the Pincian, in the midst of walkers and riders and all the gay throng of a crowded promenade at its most crowded hour. But the blood was on him still, and, under the locks that clustered darkly over his forehead, the ineffaceable mark of Cain.

But even the story of murder may become familiar. Human nature at the confessional is the dark side of human nature, and it is as hard for the moral eye to preserve a healthy tone in the midst of this moral darkness as for the physical eye to preserve its clearness and strength in the constant presence of physical darkness. Curious questions come up there, undoubtedly, of a deep, strange interest, and often, too, of a deep and strange fascination. But it is not Nature's generous impulses, its tender yearnings, its noble aspirations, that the stricken conscience pours into the confessor's ear. The strugglings and writhings of the soul, the convulsive efforts to cast off an insupportable burden, to escape from an insufferable anguish, to find rest for itself in its weariness, peace for its warring passions, an answer and a solution to its doubts,—these are the events of the confessional. And its fruits are the folios of Molina and Vasquez and Filutius and Lessius and Escobar, wherein sin and temptation are weighed in scales so delicate that the tenderest conscience can hardly hesitate to indulge itself now and then in the flowery little by-paths that run so pleasantly close to the straight and narrow way. It was not in the confessional that Filangieri and Gioja and Romagnosi studied, that Adam Smith sought the secret of national prosperity, or that Sismondi found that perennial fountain of generous sympathies, which, through his fifty years of incessant labor, welled up with such a quickening and invigorating vitality from the profound investigations of the historian and the patient statistics of the economist.

Not all, however, who wear the priest's dress are confessors and priests. There is a body of reserves always in waiting upon the vast army of regular ecclesiastics: men ready to push forward into the ranks, but who stop short at the prima tonsura till they have ascertained how much their chances will be bettered by taking the final and irrevocable step. Yet, although they now and then bring somewhat more of worldly leaven into their intellectual and moral training, they well know that there is but one road to the red hat and the tiara, and that they who give themselves up to this ambition must give themselves up to it with undivided hearts. Thus the models which they set before themselves, the ideals after which they strive, are all taken from successful aspirants to the honors of the Church. And the interests of that great body, as a body independent of laymen, and which can preserve its immunities only by preserving its independence, and its independence only by a rigid exclusion of foreign elements,[A] become as dear to them as if they already enjoyed all its privileges and had assumed all its obligations.

If any one wishes to know what sort of statesmen such an education makes, let him go thoughtfully over the twenty legations, prolegations, delegations, and governments into which the twelve thousand nine hundred and twenty square miles of the Pontifical States were still divided only four years ago, and see how the two million nine hundred and eighty thousand subjects of the Pope lived and throve under the care of cardinals and prelates. Subtle negotiators, skilled in the crooks and tangles of a wily and selfish policy, they have always been,—for they have studied well the selfish elements of the human heart; patient, too, and persevering and keen-eyed, as they must needs be who walk in tortuous ways,—but cold, contracted, and arrogant, mistaking artifice for statesmanship, unwilling to learn from the lessons of the past, and unable to comprehend the changes that are going on around them, or to see that every forward step of the human race is the result of causes which man has sometimes been permitted to modify, but which he can never hope to control.

It is from men thus educated that the Pope and his counsellors are chosen.

As far as theoretical origin goes, the Pope is the most democratic of sovereigns; for there is nothing to prevent his being taken from any rank or order of the faithful. The sons of peasants and mechanics have sat upon the Papal throne, and the thunderbolts of the Vatican have been launched by hands familiar with the pruning-knife and the plough. But in practice these bounds were effectually narrowed, when the college of cardinals tacitly restricted the choice to the members of their own body,—and still more effectually, when, by the same silent usurpation, they resolved that Adrian of Utrecht should be the last of foreign pontiffs. For three hundred and forty years none but Italians have been called to the chair of St. Peter's, thus, by an inevitable result of the unnatural alliance of temporal with spiritual sovereignty, confining the birthright of Christendom to the nation which all Christendom delighted to humiliate and oppress.

Theoretically, also, the election of the Pope is made by the special intervention of the Holy Ghost, although the doings of most conclaves fill many pages of very unholy history. Intrigues begin the moment the Pope's health is known to be failing, and grow thicker and more intricate with each unfavorable bulletin. There are few among the cardinals who do not feel that they have at least a chance of election; and not one, perhaps, but enters the conclave prepared to make the most of his individual pretensions. Some even, like Consalvi at the conclave of Leo XII., set their hearts so strongly upon it that they have been supposed to have died of the disappointment. Great services are not always the best recommendation; for it is difficult to serve the public well without making some private enemies. Little griefs, long forgotten by the offender, but carefully treasured up in the more tenacious memory of the offended, have more than once proved insurmountable obstacles in the path to the throne. Each, too, of the great Catholic powers has a right to exclude one among the candidates, if the exclusion be announced before the votes are all given in: a privilege which, as it narrows the circle of the eligible and increases individual chances, seldom fails to be faithfully exercised. Indeed, up to the last moment, no one can tell who may and who may not be chosen. The most prominent candidates are often the first to be set aside; and the election, like all elections, from that of a President of the United States to that of a village-constable, is oftener decided by a combination of personal ambitions and interests than by those pure and elevated motives which look so attractive in the programme.

The death of the Pope is announced by the tolling of the great bell of the Capitol, and with all convenient haste the nine days' funeral begins. Everybody that has been at Rome will remember the beautiful little chapel on the right hand as you enter St. Peter's; for in the niche above the altar is the group of the Virgin with the dead Christ on her knees, one of the few works which the volcanic genius of Michel Angelo could bring itself to finish in marble. In this chapel, directly in front of this marvellous group, the body of the dead Pope, embalmed and clad in Pontifical robes, is laid on a sumptuous bier, amid a blaze of tapers, with sentinels from the Swiss guard at his feet, leaning on their long halberds, and officers of the household in official costume, and all that imposing mixture of sacred and profane which Rome knows so well how to use upon all great occasions. And here, day after day, the faithful still crowd to take the last look of their "Holy Father," and kiss the cross on his slipper, and repeat a prayer for his soul. And hundreds among them, especially the very young and the very old, go a few yards farther on to the bronze statue of St. Peter, once the bronze statue of Jupiter, and with equal faith imprint a fervent kiss on the well-worn toe, and repeat a prayer for themselves.

On the opposite side, over the doorway that leads to the dome, is a large sarcophagus of white marble, looking down, if marble can be supposed to look, upon the monument of the last of the Stuarts: dead Pope and dead King almost face to face; crown and tiara mouldering within a few paces of each other; for in that sarcophagus Pope after Pope has silently taken his place, till summoned by the death of his successor to go down to the darker slumbers of the vaults below. And at the close of the ninth day of the funeral, when the crowd is gone, and the doors are closed, and the evening shadows begin to fall upon chapel and altar, and the votive tapers twinkle like dim stars through the gathering gloom, the sarcophagus is opened, the coffin taken out and examined and then carried down to the vault, the newly dead is raised to his temporary resting-place, and amid a silence seldom broken by lamentation the apostolic notary writes by flickering torchlight that once more the successor of the throne has become the successor of the grave.

Then begins the conclave. Each cardinal comes in state with his two conclavistas, or conclave-companions, usually prelates, and always chosen with a view to the services they may be able to render in the approaching struggle; the mass of the Holy Spirit is solemnly said, if not always devoutly listened to; the ambassadors of the Catholic powers utter their official exhortations to harmony and a single eye to the good of the Church; and when they withdraw, the mason of the conclave steps gravely forth, trowel in hand, to build up a solid wall of brick and mortar betwixt the electors and that world which still looks forward with curious interest, although with diminished faith, to the result of the election.

The conclave, as the name indicates, is a room, and when the constitution of the customary circular letters announcing his election, the new Pope, John XXI., better known, if known at all, by his "Thesaurus Pauperum" than by his administration of the Holy See, issued a Bull confirming the suspension of the obnoxious constitution, as containing things "obscure, impracticable, and opposed to the acceleration of the election." The next conclave lasted six months and eight days.

Still the conclave is a kind of imprisonment, which nothing but that love of power which reconciles man to so many things he hates, and those hopes that never die in hearts that have once cherished them, could induce seventy men accustomed to lives of luxury and indulgence to submit to. The usual place of holding it is the Quirinal, a cooler and healthier palace than the Vatican; and, in a spirit very different from that of the Gregorian constitution, everything is done to make it as comfortable as is consistent with narrow space and walled-up doors. Each cardinal has four small rooms for himself and his two companions, and the number and quality of the dishes at his dinner and supper depend upon his own habits and the skill of his cook. The approaches are guarded by the senators and conservatori, patriarchs and bishops, and at meal-times, a judge of the Rota is stationed at the dumb-waiter to examine the dishes as they are brought up, and make sure that the intrigues within get no help from the intrigues without. Daily mass forms, of course, a part of the daily routine, and is followed by the morning vote.

The voting usually begins with the scrutinio, or, as we should term it, the ballot. Each cardinal writes his own name and that of his candidate on a ticket. Then, with many ceremonies and genuflections, not very edifying to profane eyes, if profane eyes were permitted to see them, but each of which has its mystical interpretation, he ascends to the altar and lays his ticket on the communion-plate, whence it is transferred to the chalice,—communion-plate and communion-cup playing a part in the ceremony which has made more than one good Catholic groan deeply in spirit. The votes are then counted, care being taken that they correspond in number to the number of cardinals present, and if any candidate is found to have two-thirds of the votes cast, the election is complete. If, however, the legal two-thirds are not reached, any voter may change his vote by saying that he accedes to the votes thrown in favor of any other candidate. This mode of election is called accession, and has often been found successful where the prominence of any candidate was sufficient to make it evident that two or three votes would secure a choice.

Inspiration is another mode of election, not so common as the ballot, but which, whenever any candidate has succeeded in forming a strong party, is not without its advantages. Several cardinals call out together the name of their candidate, and if many of them agree in calling the same name, the rest are seldom willing to hold out in open opposition to a choice which after all may be made without them: the successful candidate always being expected to remember those who favored, and seldom known to forget those who opposed his election.

A fourth and last mode, never resorted to except in desperate straits, and when the contest seems interminable, is by delegation: the power of choice being delegated by the cardinals to one or more of their number, and all solemnly pledging themselves to abide by the decision. It was thus that Gregory X. was chosen by a delegation of six,—and that John XXII. became Pope after two years of regular voting had failed to procure a successor to the Prince of the Apostles. It has been said, however, that John, who, partly by his talents and partly by fraud, had raised himself from the lowest walks of life, had no sooner secured a pledge of concurrence than he announced his own name as that of the candidate of his choice. Surprised, but not edified, the cardinals made no opposition to his elevation, for Christendom and folio crammed with projects and reports: bishops and missionaries transport him in a moment from England to China, from Egypt to Peru. If you could look into those piles of papers which are awaiting his signature, you would find petitions and remonstrances, death-warrants and pardons, political processes and criminal processes, schemes for a new bishopric or a new canonization, plans for a cathedral in New York or a convent in Syria, for a new prison in the Patrimony or a new tax in the Marches, architecture and law, finance and theology, sacred and profane all jumbled together: and what wonder they should keep jumbled, from the beginning to the end, from his coronation to his funeral, leaving him, even with the best intentions and the most untiring industry, a helpless prey to intrigues and cabals and all the artifices and deceptions which beset a throne? Gioja and Romagnosi are under the ban, and he has no wish to ask them for the clue to the labyrinth he is wandering in, even if he had the time. He has no time to read the newspapers. His knowledge of them is derived from abstracts prepared for him by a clerk in the Governor's office,—containing, therefore, what the minister allows to be put there, and nothing more; while their living pictures, those columns of advertisements which bring before you day by day the wants and hopes and pursuits of so many of your fellow-creatures, carrying you, as it were, into hundreds of families, and laying open to your scrutiny hundreds of human hearts, the different lights in which men and things appear to the organs of different parties, and the proof which, in the midst of their contradictions, they all concur in giving that there is a spirit abroad which cannot be lulled to sleep, are lessons all lost for him, and which, perhaps, would be equally lost, even if he had the leisure and the knowledge to study them.

He dines alone,—for in the city, in the dearth of publicans and sinners, no one can sit at table with the Vicar of Christ; and thus dinner-hour, the open-hearted hour, puts him almost more absolutely in the hands of his immediate attendants than any hour of the twenty-four. If he walks, it is in the garden or library; if he rides, it is surrounded by guards and followed by his household train. He took his last walk in the streets when he was a prelate, and thenceforth knows no more of the city than he can see through his carriage-windows; and now even that imperfect view is more than half cut off by the officers of the guard, who ride their great black horses close to the carriage-door.

But enough of the Pope, and much more than I had intended when I first took up my pen. That, even when he has studied them most, the temporal interests of his people must suffer in his hands, has been proved by the sufferings of millions through centuries of oppression and misrule. And must it not always be so, when the interests of husbands and fathers are intrusted to men cut off by education and profession from the domestic sympathies wherein these interests have birth, and that domestic hearth which is at once the source and the emblem and the purifier of the State?

The electors and advisers of the Pope form the College of Cardinals, seventy in number, when full: six bishops, fifty priests, and fourteen deacons; once merely the parish priests of Rome, then princes of the Church and electors of its visible head. In this body, formerly so important and on which so much still depends, all Catholic Europe has its representatives, although it is mainly composed of native Italians. Many of them are men of exemplary piety, many of them eminent for talent and learning, but some, too, mere worldlings, raised by intrigue or favor or the necessities of birth to a position too exalted for weak heads, and too much beset with temptation for corrupt hearts.

The path that leads to the sacred college is neither a straight nor a narrow one. There are no prescribed qualifications of age or of rank. Leo X. was cardinal at thirteen; and although no such premature appointment to the gravest duties has been made since, or will ever, probably, be made again, yet there is always a salutary sprinkling of youth in this eminent body, if priests and prelates can ever be said to be truly young. And although families of a certain rank are sure of the speedy promotion of any child whom they may see fit to dedicate to the Church, yet the representative of untainted blood has often found himself side by side with the son of a peasant or of an artisan. The cardinal is not necessarily even a priest. Adrian V. died without ordination; and Leo X. held the keys of St. Peter four days with unconsecrated hands. He may even have been married, but must be single again when he puts on the red hat.

The appointment is made by the Pope, and, although announced to the whole body assembled in consistory, requires no confirmation to make it valid. Certain offices lead to it, and are known as cardinalate offices. Every prelate looks forward to it with hope, and every priest with longing; and besides the priests and prelates, the regular orders also, the monks and friars, claim a representation in the college. But whatever the pretensions or expectations of individuals may be, the decision rests with the Pope, whose good-will, adroitly managed, has often let fall the coveted honor upon men who had little else to recommend them. It was certainly honorable to this reverend body in our own day that they numbered Mai and Mezzofante among their brethren; but in Rome the story ran that neither the palimpsestic labors of the one nor the fifty languages of the other would have won him the well-earned promotion, if the Pope's favorite servant had not set his heart upon making his children's tutor assistant-librarian of the Vatican.

Although nominally the council of the Pope, the consistory or official assembly of the cardinals has few of the characteristics of a deliberative body. The Pope addresses them from his throne; but the substance of his address is already known to most of them beforehand, and his opinion upon the subject, as well as theirs, made up before they come together. They have no constituents to enlighten, nothing to hope and nothing to fear from public opinion. They are all so near the topmost round that each of them is justified in feeling as if he already had his hand upon it; but to whichever of them that envied preëminence may be destined, it is neither the favor nor the gratitude of the people that can raise him to it. What they already hold they are sure of; and it is only to the good-will of their colleagues that they are to look for more.

But it is in those public meetings that the Roman court puts on all its splendor. The very hall has a grave and imposing air about it that inspires serious thoughts in serious minds, and checks, for a moment, the frivolous vivacity of lighter ones. You cannot look at the walls without feeling a solemn sadness steal over you, as you think of the thousands of your fellow-creatures who have gazed on them with the same freshness and fulness of life with which you now gaze on them, since Raphael and Michel Angelo first clothed them with their own immortal conceptions, three hundred years ago. It was in an assembly like this, and perhaps in this very room, that the condemnation of Luther was pronounced, that Henry was proclaimed "Defender of the Faith," and that Cardinal Pole rejoiced with his brethren of the purple over the approaching return of England to the bosom of the Church. And as you are musing on these things, and centuries seem to pass before you like the figures of a dream, the room gradually fills, the cardinals come in and take their places, each clad in the simple majesty of the purple, and last of all comes the Pope himself, the steel sabres of his guard ringing on the marble floor with a clang that breaks the harmonious silence most discordantly. Then in a moment all is hushed again. The cardinals go one by one to pay their homage to their spiritual father, kneeling and kissing the cross on his mantle, he blessing them all, as duteous children, in return. If you are an American and a Catholic, you look on devoutly, feeling, perhaps, at moments, although you take good care not to say so, that, although highly edifying, it is a little dull; if an American and a Protestant, you think of the morning prayer in Congress, and members with newspapers or half-read letters in their hands, a very busy one now and then forgetting that he is standing with his hat on, and all of them in a hurry to have it over and enter upon the business of the day,—or of a reception-night, perhaps, at the White House, with the President shaking hands as fast as they can be held out, and trying hard to smile each new-comer into the belief that the "present incumbent" is the very best man he can vote for at the next election.

But hush! the Pope is speaking,—not always as orators speak, it is true, but gravely, at least, and with that indefinable air of dignity which the habit of command seldom fails to impart. The language is sonorous, and if you have had the good sense to unlearn your barbarous application of English sounds—cunningly devised by Nature herself to keep damp fogs and cold winds out of the mouth—to Italian vowels, which the same judicious mother framed with equal cunning to let soft and odoriferous airs into it, you will probably understand what he says, for his speech is generally in Latin, and very good Latin too.[B]

But still you grow tired, and, like the actors in the splendid pageant, are heartily glad when it is all over,—well pleased to have seen it, but, unless a sight-seer by nature, equally pleased to feel that you will never be compelled by your duty to your guide-book and cicerone to see it again.

There are three kinds of consistory,—the private, the public, and the semi-public. The most interesting are those in which ambassadors are received, for the ambassador's speech gives some variety to the routine. But in substance they are all equally splendid, equally formal, and—now that the world no longer looks to the Vatican for its creeds—all equally insignificant and dull.

Thus it is not as a deliberative body that the cardinals take part in the government. Their collective functions are for the most part purely formal, and the great wheel turns steadily on its axle without any direct help from them. But as sole electors of the sovereign, whom they are not only to choose, but to choose from among themselves, and as the body from which the highest functionaries of the State are drawn, their individual influence is always very considerable, often whatever they have the tact and skill to make it.

Another body which shares with the "Sacred College" the privilege of furnishing the instruments of government is the Prelacy,—a term which must be taken in its restricted sense, of men, whether laymen or ecclesiastics, destined by profession to various offices of dignity and trust in the civil and ecclesiastical administration, some of which lead directly to the cardinalate, and all of them to personal privileges and a competent income. Their education is often less exclusive than that of the priests, for many of them have belonged to the world before they gave themselves up to the Church, and profane studies have employed some of the time which might otherwise have been devoted to Bellarmino and his brethren. In dress they are distinguished by the color of their stockings and hat-band. When they walk out, a liveried servant follows them a few paces in the rear; and while the cardinals, from "Illustrious" have become "Eminent," these aspirants to the purple are always addressed as "Monsignore," or "My Lord."

The first set of wheels in this complicated machine is composed of the twenty-three Congregations, a kind of executive and deliberative committees, consisting of cardinals and prelates, and first used by Sixtus V., as a speedier and more effective method of eliciting the opinions of his counsellors and bringing their administrative talents into play than the deliberations in full consistory which had obtained till his time. Sixteen of them are ecclesiastical, the remaining seven civil, although the number may at any time be restricted or enlarged according to the wants and the views of the reigning Pontiff. They have their stated meetings, their regular offices and officers; and while theoretically under the immediate direction of the sovereign, they actually relieve him from many of the details and not a few of the direct responsibilities of sovereignty.

The first of these Congregations bears a name which sounds harshly in Protestant ears, although but a shadow of that fearful power which once carried terror to every fireside, and made even princes tremble and turn pale on their thrones. The Holy Office still retains the form and authority conferred upon it by Paul III., if not the spirit breathed into it by the grasping Innocent and fiery Dominic. Its dark walls, which so long shrouded darkest deeds, stand close to St. Peter's, under the very eye of the Pope, as he looks from his bedroom-window,—within ear-shot of the thousands whom curiosity or devotion brings yearly to the church or to the palace, little heeding, as they gaze on the dome of Michel Angelo or climb the stairway of Bernini, that almost beneath the pavement they tread on are dungeons and chains and victims.

But the Inquisition, you say, is no longer the Inquisition of three hundred years ago. Bunyan tells us that Christian, on his pilgrimage to the Celestial City, saw, among other memorable sights, a cave hard by the way-side, wherein sat an old man, grinning at pilgrims as they passed by, and biting his nails because he could not get at them. And now let me tell you a story of the Inquisition which I know to be true.

Some twenty-five years ago there lived in Rome a physician well known for his professional skill, and still better for his good companionship and ready wit. He was, in fact, a pleasant companion, fond of a good story, fonder still of his dog and gun, fondest of all of talking about poetry and reciting verses, which he could do by the hour,—sometimes repeating whole pages from Dante or Petrarch or Tasso or his favorite of all, Alfieri,—and sometimes extemporizing sonnets, or terzine, or odes, with that wonderful facility which Nature has given to the Italian improvvisatore and denied to the rest of mankind. It has often been remarked that the study of medicine goes hand in hand with a certain boldness of speculation not altogether in harmony with the lessons of the priest. No one who has lived in Italy long enough to get at the true character of the people can have failed to observe this in Italian physicians; and our doctor, like many of his brethren, was suspected of carrying his speculations into forbidden fields. Still, his practice was large, and went on increasing. Laymen, if they must needs be sick, were glad to have him at their bedsides; and there were even men with purple on their shoulders who had strong faith in his skill, if they had strong doubts of his orthodoxy. Externally he conformed to the requirements of the Church: heard mass of Sundays, and went once a year to the confessional; for this much is a police regulation, a tax upon conscience which every Roman is bound to pay. But he was too much behind the scenes to do it with a good will, and saw professionally too much of the daily life of the clergy, looked too freely and too closely at some of their "pleasant vices," to feel much reverence either for them or for their teachings.

Suddenly his chair, for he was professor in the medical college, was taken from him: a warning, thought his friends, that unfriendly eyes were upon him; and so, also, thought some of his patients, and called in a new physician. Still his general practice continued large; and although he found a little more time for his wife,—for a father to sit in, in darkness and silence, and recall the sunny faces and sweet prattle of his children. But he felt that unseen eyes might be watching him even there, and that a sigh, though breathed never so softly, might reach the ears of some who would rejoice in it and come all the more confidently to the work they had resolved to do upon him. So, setting down his lamp, he made two or three turns across the room, and then, drawing out his watch, as if to assure himself that it was bedtime, deliberately undressed and went to bed.

And to sleep?

You will not call him coward, if with closed eyes he lay wakeful upon his pillow, thinking over the last hour with a heart that beat quick, though it faltered not, listening vainly for some sound to break the unearthly silence, and longing for daylight, if, indeed, the light of day was permitted to visit that lonely cell. It came at last, the daylight,—though not as it was wont to come to him in his own dear home, with a fresh morning breath and a fresher song of birds, waking familiar voices and greeted with endearing accents. How would it be in that home this morning? How had it been there through the slow hours of that feverish night? How was it to be thenceforth with those precious ones, and with him too, whom they all looked to for guidance and counsel?

He got up and dressed himself a little more carefully than usual, resolved that there should be no outside telltales of the thoughts that were struggling within. He had hardly finished dressing when the door opened. Neither footsteps in the corridor nor the turning of the key had he heard, but there stood a familiar of the Inquisition, friar in dress, and with the stony face of a man accustomed to live by lamp-light and talk in whispers. He brought the prisoner's breakfast,—coffee and bread. "You have been listening," thought M——; "but I will be even with you." And to make a fair start, he refused to touch either the bread or the coffee until the familiar had tasted both.

The morning passed slowly, though he helped it along as well as he could by repeating verses and writing a sonnet on the wall with his pencil. Dinner came: a good meal, more substantial than dungeon-air could give an appetite for; but he ate it. Supper followed,—brought by the same silent familiar who had served breakfast and dinner, and who still came with the same noiseless step, set the dishes upon the table, tasted the food as the Doctor bade him, and then went silently away.

Five days passed, slowly, monotonously, wearily. Five nights of unwelcome dreams and sleep that brought no rest. The close air and narrow bounds began to tell upon his appetite and strength. He had soon gone over his poets. Fortunately, they were well chosen and would bear repeating. The fountain in his own mind, too, was still full, and he found great relief in declaiming extempore verses in a loud voice, and writing out those that pleased him best. But could he hold out? for it was evidently intended to wear him down by anxiety and solitude, and when they had broken his spirits bring him to an examination.

At last a new face appeared: not cold like that of the familiar, nor wreathed in smiles like that of a successful enemy, but wearing a decent expression of gravity tempered by compassion. And "How do you do, Doctor?" asked the visitor in a soothing voice, trained like his face to tell lies at his bidding.

"Well, Father, perfectly well."

"I am very glad to hear it. I was afraid your appetite might have suffered from the sudden change in your mode of life."

"Not in the least. I have a sound stomach, and can digest anything you send me."

"And how do you contrive to pass your time? For so active a man, the change is very great."

"Oh, that is easy enough. I am very fond of poetry, and have such a good memory that I know volumes of it by heart. There is nothing pleasanter than repeating verses that you like,—except, perhaps, making verses yourself."

"Do you ever compose?"

"I? It has always been my favorite pastime. Would you like to hear some of my verses?"

The sympathizing father was, of course, too happy; and M—— recited, in his most effective manner, a sonnet, not very complimentary to eavesdroppers and spies. A shadow passed over the monk's face; but he was too well trained to let out his feelings prematurely; and resuming the conversation as if nothing had occurred to disturb his equanimity, he told M—— in his softest tone that he hoped there had been nothing in his treatment to complain of. M—— sprang to his feet.

"Oh, this, by Heaven, is too much, even from you! Nothing to complain of! To tear the father of a family from the arms of his wife and children, a physician from patients who are looking to him for life and health,—and nothing to complain of!"

It was just the question he wanted; and partly from design, and partly from irrepressible indignation, he poured out a torrent of invective and reproach which soon sent his visitor away, perfectly convinced that the spirit they had undertaken to break had not yet begun to bend.

Five more weary days, and then began the examination,—cautious, minute, perplexing: questions framed to entangle; charges advanced, not for discussion, but for conviction; a review of the whole course and tenor of his past life; his stories and verses; his jests among friends; sayings that he had forgotten; things that he had done years before, mixed up with things that he had never done; all adroitly commingled, and so skilfully arranged, that, while each seemed comparatively unimportant in itself, each had its place prepared for it with malignant craft and wondrous subtlety; and all taken together forming a network of harmonious evidence from which there seemed no possibility of escape. Familiar as he was with the history of the Holy Office, and aware as he had always been that his steps, like those of every man upon whom suspicion had ever fallen, were dogged by spies, he had never supposed that his daily life had been tracked with such persistence, and so carefully treasured up against him.

He saw his danger, and saw, too, that the course he had resolved upon in the first hour of his arrest was the only course that could save him. Denial would be useless. They expected it and were well prepared for it. But it remained to be seen whether they were equally well prepared for frank confession and adroit interpretation. To every question with regard to acts or words he answered, "Yes, I did so,—I said so,—but"—and then, by putting an unexpected interpretation upon it, he either stripped it of its offensive bearing, or reduced it to an idle jest of which nothing worse could be said than that it was indiscreet.

The fathers were puzzled. For denial they had proofs. Prevarication they were familiar with, and never so happy as when they saw a poor, perplexed, bewildered victim vainly struggling in the toils, driven triumphantly from subterfuge to subterfuge, and at last, with nerveless arms and faltering tongue, dropping hopeless upon his chair, as the conviction forced itself upon him that he was there, not for trial, but for condemnation.

But a bold, self-possessed, self-reliant man, looking them in the face with an eye as keen and scrutinizing as their own, answering every question promptly in a firm voice, and, just as the blow seemed ready to fall, parrying it by a movement so skilful as to compel his adversary to change his ground and gird himself up for a new attack,—this was something which, with all their experience, they had not counted upon, and knew not how to meet. Day after day he was brought to the bar. Hour after hour they laboriously plied question upon question. On their side was the written record,—nothing omitted, nothing forgotten; the words of yesterday close by the words of ten years ago; each accusation propping the others; and every explanation and answer written minutely down, to be brought out unexpectedly, and compared with each new one as it came. On his, a ready wit, perfect self-control, a thorough knowledge of the character of those whom he was dealing with, a remarkable command of language, and a courage that nothing could shake.

It was an exhausting process, and the Inquisitors, like the royal patron of their institution, well knew that time was a powerful ally. Still they resolved to call in a new one to their aid. M—— was known to be very fond of his family; and long experience had taught the reverend fathers that even the manliest heart may be shaken by a sudden awakening of tender emotions. The examinations were discontinued. For three days M—— was left to the solitude of his cell,—a solitude deeper and more unnerving from contrast with the mental tension of the last fortnight. Then, at the usual hour of examination, the door opened. The usual attendants were in waiting. "Now for a new trial of wits," thought he, as he rose to follow them. Then it occurred to him that it might be for sentence that he was summoned; and while he was weighing the probabilities, and calling up his strength for the occasion, he reached the door, the attendants threw it open, and he found himself in the presence, not of his judges, but of his wife and children. Pale, bewildered, looking timidly towards him, through eyes dim with tears, there they stood, utterly at a loss what to say or what to do.

He felt his heart bound. But he saw the snare, and, repressing his emotions by a powerful effort, held out his hand instead of opening his arms, and bidding them, cheer up and give themselves no uneasiness about him, and above all not to let their enemies fancy that either he or they would be cast down by anything that they could do, he calmly turned to the guards, and told them, that, if that stale trick was all they had brought him there for, they had better take him back to his cell.

Meanwhile his friends were not idle: and he had friends, as I have already hinted, even in the sacred college. With a cardinal on your side, you may do many things in Rome which it would hardly answer to venture upon without him; for who can tell but that that Cardinal may one day be Pope? The precise nature of the accusation lodged against him M—— never knew; but he had gathered enough from the interrogatories to feel that he had got lightly off, when he found himself condemned to say his prayers and read books of devotion three months in a convent, with the privilege of walking in the garden and talking theology with the elder brethren.

And thus the old man whom Bunyan's English Pilgrim saw in the cave by the way-side two hundred years ago still sits there, biting his nails and grinning, not altogether impotently, at Roman Pilgrims, to this very day.

The Congregation of the Holy Office is composed of thirteen cardinals, one of whom is secretary, and an assessor, a commissary, counsellors, and several officers taken from the prelates and regular orders. The Pope himself is Prefect. The counsellors meet on Mondays in the Palace of the Inquisition; the whole body on Wednesdays in the Convent of the Minerva,—where St. Dominic still smiles upon his faithful followers,—and Thursdays before the Pope. The examination of their records and the opening of their prisons, during the brief existence of the "Roman Republic" of 1849, showed that these meetings were not always mere matters of form.

The Congregation of the Index was founded by Pius V., in order to relieve the Holy Office of that part of its duties which relates to written and printed thought: censorship of the press would be the proper term, if censorship, even in its most rigid form, did not fall short of the attributes and functions of this odious tribunal. It is composed of cardinals and ecclesiastics, many of them distinguished by their learning, some, doubtless, by their piety,—but all leagued together, and solemnly pledged to sleepless warfare against every form of intellectual freedom. Without their approbation no manuscript can be seat to the press, no new editions issued, no thought promulgated. Even the stone-carver is not permitted to use his chisel until they have decided how far love or pride may go in commemoration of the dead. They mutilate, with equal sovereignty of will, the printed pages of a classic and the manuscript of an unknown scribbler,—sit in judgment upon Botta and Laplace, as their predecessors sat in judgment upon Guicciardini and Galileo,—and, in the fervor of their undiscriminating zeal, condemn Robertson and Gibbon, Reid and Hume, the skeptic Bolingbroke and the pious Addison, to the same fiery purgation. That Italian literature was not crushed by them long ago is, perhaps, the strongest proof of the irrepressible vigor and marvellous vitality of the Italian mind. Not to be on the "Index" would call a blush to the cheek of the most unambitious of authors,—would carry a presumption of worthlessness with it from which even the penny-a-liner would shrink with dismay,—and to the poet and historian would sound like a sentence of perpetual exclusion from all those cherished hopes which irradiate with heavenly light the steep and thorny paths of intellectual renown.

Next to these in importance is the Congregation of the "Propaganda," or of that celebrated institution for the propagation of the Roman Catholic religion which, since the reign of Gregory XV., has governed, as from a common centre, the immense network of missions that Christian Rome has spread over the lands she hopes to conquer, as Pagan Rome spread her network of military roads over the lands which she had already reduced to subjection. Cardinals, with a cardinal for prefect and a prelate for secretary, compose this congregation, which holds regular meetings twice a month, and, not unfrequently, extraordinary meetings in the presence of the Pope. In these the important questions of the missionary world are discussed, reports examined, new missions proposed, new missionaries appointed, new bishoprics founded "among the heathen," and all these complicated interests taken into impartial consideration.

For here, at least, there is little room for heart-burnings and jealousies. It is of equal importance to all that the conquests of the Church should be extended to the utmost limits of the earth, the heathen converted, and heretics won back to the fold. While John Eliot was translating the Bible into a language which no one has been left to read, and his Puritan brethren were hanging and shooting the Indians whom they had neither the patience to win by their teaching nor the charity to enlighten by their example, Indians from the true Indies were preparing themselves in the halls of the Propaganda to carry the healing promises of the gospel to the fathers and mothers who had watched over their heathen infancy. In the record of the great things that Rome has done, there is nothing greater than the foundation of the Propaganda,—no conception so worthy of a steadfast faith, or more in harmony with the spirit of the Saviour of mankind. To borrow the helpless child, and restore him a helpful man,—to enlist the sympathies of birth, and secure for themselves the eloquence of natural affection,—to overleap the barriers of race and elude the sensitiveness of national pride by putting the doctrines they sought to diffuse into mouths which, untainted by repulsive accents, could enforce new truths by well-known images and familiar illustrations,—was like laying anew the foundations of the Capitol, and consecrating that spirit of worldly wisdom wherein ancient Rome was never found wanting by that spirit of Christian philanthropy which modern Rome has always claimed as her peculiar distinction.

But alas that a twenty-minutes' walk should take us from the Piazza di Spagna to the Via di Sant' Uffizio!

The other ecclesiastical functions of government are performed in a similar way: one congregation superintending the churches of Rome and its district, under the title of Visita Apostolica; one, the ceremonies of the Church; one, ecclesiastical immunities; one, sacred rites; one, indulgences and relies. Questions relative to bishops, bishoprics, and the regular orders are intrusted to four congregations, under different and appropriate names. St. Peter's has a special congregation for itself, and not the least dignified and important of them; for, besides eight cardinals and four prelates, it commands the official services of the Auditor of the Apostolic Chamber, the Treasurer, a judge of the Rota, a comptroller, an attorney-general, a secretary, and several counsellors-at-law. Not St. Peter's only, but all the churches of Rome, come in for a share of their attention; and what is more important, they form a court of probate, with exclusive jurisdiction over all wills containing charitable bequests, or bequests to heretics and strangers, fugitives, exiles, or the dead. Even a doubt as to the probability of being able to execute the bequest according to the wishes of the testator, or an apparent contradiction in the devises themselves, brings the will within the jurisdiction of this tribunal; and should the legatee, after full experience of the law's delay, succeed in obtaining a favorable decree, the income of his legacy, from the death of the testator to the publication of the decision, is sequestrated to the treasury of the church of St. Peter's. Few congregations are more assiduous in the performance of their duties.

A criminal court of appeals, with the appellation of Sacra Consulta,—how this sacred meets you at every turn!—a council called Buon Governo, for the superintendence of municipal administration,—one for roads, fountains, and water-courses, called the General Prefecture of Waters and Roads,—a Council of "Economy," a Council of Studies, a Council for the Examination of Accounts, in which four laymen sit side by side with four prelates, under the presidency of a cardinal, and the Congregation of the Census for the apportionment of taxes on real estate in the country, form the seven civil congregations by which the Pope is assisted in his labors, and the cardinals and prelates brought in to a share of the administration. Add to these sixteen tribunals, or courts, civil and ecclesiastical, two Secretaries of State, a Secretary of Briefs and one of Memorials, a Camerlengo, a Treasurer, and a Governor of Rome, and you have an outline of the Roman Government under Gregory XVI.

The Secretaries of State are always cardinals; the Camerlengo, who is the official head of government during the vacancies of the Holy See, a cardinal; the Treasurer and Governor of Rome, prelates, who, on leaving office, become cardinals by right. The only part of this complex machinery which was intrusted to laymen was the Tribunal of the Capitol and the Tribunal of Commerce: the latter an institution of Pius VII., and directly connected with the Chamber of Commerce, from whose fifteen members two of its three judges are chosen, while the third is furnished by the bar; the former, the feeble representative of all that is left of the municipal government of Rome.

Rome has sixty noble families who enjoy the title of Conscript. From these are chosen, every three months, three Conservatori and a Prior of the Wards, who form a committee for the superintendence of the walls and public monuments, and for the administration of the income of the Capitoline Chamber. If we look at them in connection with the ancient government of Rome, we shall find them employed in functions not unlike those of the Ædiles. From the same point of view, the Senator may be said to resemble the City Prefect; although, when you see him on public days, standing like a statue on the steps of the Pontifical throne, above the prelates, but a little lower than the cardinals, you can think neither of prefect nor of senate, nor of anything that recalls the days when Romans acknowledged no superior but the fellow-citizens whom they themselves had chosen as representatives of their sovereign will.

It requires no very profound examination of this system to see that it is purely and rigidly ecclesiastical. The ecclesiastical leaven penetrates it in every part. Wherever you go, either for business or for amusement, you find some representative of the Church. Whichever way you turn, you see keen eyes peering upon you from under a three-cornered hat or a cowl. And even when the path seems for a while to be leading you back to the world, through rows of shops, under the windows of bankers, within sight of sails and steam, or within sound of humming wheels, there are still shrines and oratories numberless by the way, and a church or a convent at the end.

Elective sovereign by origin, the moment the Pope ascends the throne, he becomes absolute. Authority and honors proceed from him as from their legitimate source. Money bears his image and superscription. Monuments are inscribed with his name. Laws and decrees are promulgated as voluntary emanations of his sovereign will. As head of the Church, all spiritual interests are under his protection. As chief of the State, all temporal interests are subject to his control. He reigns, not merely like other sovereigns, by the "grace of God," but by a peculiar privilege and inherent right, as Vicar of Christ. Resistance to his will is not simply rebellion, but the deeper and deadlier sin of sacrilege. His interpretation relieves the mind from the agony of doubt; his blessing frees the conscience from the burden of sin. And how, if earnest-minded and sincere, can he fail to look upon the interests of the State as subordinate to the interests of the Church, and interpret his duties and obligations as the legatee of Constantine by his feelings and convictions as the successor of St. Peter?

In the practical exercise of this authority be feels the want of other eyes to help him see and other hands to help him do. He cannot read all that is to be read, or write all that is to be written, or even hear and say all that is to be heard and said. However great his love of detail, there are details which he cannot reach. However comprehensive his glance, or unwearied his industry, there are objects that lie beyond the compass of his vision, and labor to be performed which no industry can bring within the human allotment of twenty-four hours.

Therefore, reserving to himself the final decision, he distributes the various functions of government among his official counsellors and those from whom new counsellors are to be chosen. He spreads an elaborate network over all the interests and functions of the State, holding the line in his own hand, and drawing or relaxing it at his own pleasure. He is still the lawgiver and the judge, dictating according to his own judgment, and deciding according to his own conviction. Of his laws there is no revision; from his sentence there is no appeal. The duties of the subject are defined by the rights of the sovereign; and of those rights he is the sole and absolute judge.

Hence a consciousness of power ever present and supreme, extending to all that has been left him of the common relations of life,—to the hour of business and the hour of repose, to the hall of audience and the garden-walk, and giving equally its deceptive coloring to the thoughts that stir him when borne on the shoulders of men through a prostrate crowd, and those that flit dimly through his brain as he lays a weary head upon a solitary pillow. And hence, too, he becomes for himself, as well as for others, an object of constant contemplation,—valuing things as they contribute to his pleasure, and men as they subject themselves to his will,—not always cruel in heart, even when his acts are cruel, nor unfeeling when he inflicts unmerited suffering and needless pain, but seeming both cruel and unfeeling, because education and habit have dried up within him that fount of human sympathies which Nature has set in the heart of man at his birth, that he might ever bear something about him to remind him of a mother's tenderness and a father's pride.

If that be the best government wherein all the moral and intellectual faculties of the governed receive their fullest development, and the responsibility of the sovereign is made so immediate that he can neither lose sight of it nor escape from its obligations, that surely must be the worst in which one man thinks and judges for all, and, by an unnatural union of spiritual and temporal attributes, is raised above all human responsibility,—a theocracy, with man to interpret the will of God, and to enforce his own interpretations.


MAY 23, 1864.

How beautiful it was, that one bright day
In the long week of rain!
Though all its splendor could not chase away
The omnipresent pain.

The lovely town was white with apple-blooms,
And the great elms o'erhead
Dark shadows wove on their aërial looms,
Shot through with golden thread.

Across the meadows, by the gray old manse,
The historic river flowed:—
I was as one who wanders in a trance,
Unconscious of his road.

The faces of familiar friends seemed strange;
Their voices I could hear,
And yet the words they uttered seemed to change
Their meaning to the ear.

For the one face I looked for was not there,
The one low voice was mute;
Only an unseen presence filled the air,
And baffled my pursuit.

Now I look back, and meadow, manse, and stream
Dimly my thought defines;
I only see—a dream within a dream—
The hill-top hearsed with pines.

I only hear above his place of rest
Their tender undertone,
The infinite longings of a troubled breast,
The voice so like his own.

There in seclusion and remote from men
The wizard hand lies cold,
Which at its topmost speed let fall the pen,
And left the tale half told.

Ah, who shall lift that wand of magic power,
And the lost clue regain?
The unfinished window in Aladdin's tower
Unfinished must remain!




"Please, Ma'am, I want to come in out of the rain," said the dripping figure at the door.

"And who are you, Sir?" demanded the lady, astonished; for the bell had been rung familiarly, and, thinking her son had come home, she had hastened to let him in, but had met instead (at the front-door of her fine house!) this wretch.

"I'm Fessenden's fool, please, Ma'am," replied the son—not of this happy mother, thank Heaven! not of this proud, elegant lady, oh, no!—but of some no less human-hearted mother, I suppose, who had likewise loved her boy, perhaps all the more fondly for his infirmity,—who had hugged him to her bosom so many, many times, with wild and sorrowful love,—and who, be sure, would not have kept him standing there, ragged and shivering, in the rain.

"Fessenden's fool!" cries the lady. "What's your name?"

"Please, Ma'am, that's my name." Meekly spoken, with an earnest, staring face. "Do you want me?"

"No; we don't want a boy with such a name as that!"

And the lady scowls, and shakes her head, and half closes the forbidding door,—not thinking of that other mother's heart,—never dreaming that such a gaunt and pallid wight ever had a mother at all. For the idea that those long, lean hands, reaching far out of the short and split coat-sleeves, had been a baby's pure, soft hands once, and had pressed the white maternal breasts, and had played with the kisses of the fond maternal lips,—it was scarcely conceivable; and a delicate-minded matron, like Mrs. Gingerford, may well be excused for not entertaining any such distressing fancy.

"Wal! I'll go!" And the youth turned away.

She could not shut the door. There was something in the unresentful, sad face, pale cheeks, and large eyes, that fascinated her; something about the tattered clothes, thin, wet locks of flaxen hair, and ravelled straw hat-brim, fantastic and pitiful. And as he walked wearily away, and she saw the night closing in black and dark, and felt the cold dash of the rain blown against her own cheek, she concluded to take pity on him. For she was by no means a hard-hearted woman; and though her house was altogether too good for poor folks, and she really didn't know what she should do with him, it seemed too bad to send him away shelterless, that stormy November night. Besides, her husband was a rising politician,—the public-spirited Judge Gingerford, you know,—the eloquent philanthropist and reformer;—and to have it said that his door had been shut against a perishing stranger might hurt him. So, as I remarked, she concluded to take pity on the boy, and, after duly weighing the matter, to call him back. And she called,—though, as I suspect, not very loud. Moreover, the wind was whistling through the leafless shrubbery, and his rags were fluttering, and his hat was flapping about his ears, and the rain was pelting him; and just then the Judge's respectable dog put his head out of the warm, dry kennel, and barked; so that he did not hear,—the lady believed.

He had heard very well, nevertheless. Why didn't he go back, then? Maybe, because he was a fool. More likely, because he was, after all, human. Within that husk of rags, under all that dull incumbrance of imperfect physical organs that cramped and stifled it, there dwelt a soul; and the soul of man knows its own worth, and is proud. The coarsest, most degraded drudge still harbors in his wretched house of clay a divine guest. There is that in the convict and slave which stirs yet at an insult. And even in this lank, half-witted lad, the despised and outcast of years, there abode a sense of inalienable dignity,—an immanent instinct that he, too, was a creature of God, and worthy therefore to be treated with a certain tenderness and respect, and not to be roughly repulsed. This was as strong in him as in you. His wisdom was little, but his will was firm. And though the house was cheerful and large, and had room and comforts enough and to spare, rather than enter it, after he had been flatly told he was not wanted, he would lie down in the cold, wet fields and die.

"Certainly, he will find shelter somewhere," thought the Judge's lady, discharging her conscience of the responsibility. "But I am sorry he didn't hear."

Was she very sorry?

She went back into her cozy, fire-lighted sewing-room, and thought no more of the beggar-boy. And the watchdog, having barked his well-bred, formal bark, without undue heat,—like a dog that knew the world, and had acquired the tone of society,—stood a minute, important, contemplating the drizzle from the door of his kennel, out of which he had not deigned to step, then stretched himself once more on his straw, gave a sigh of repose, and curled himself up, with his nose to the air, in an attitude of canine enjoyment, in which it was to be hoped no inconsiderate vagabond would again disturb him.

As for Fessenden's—How shall we name him? Somehow, it goes against the grain to call any person a fool. Though we may forget the Scriptural warning, still charity remembers that he is our brother. Suppose, therefore, we stop at the possessive case, and call him simply Fessenden's?

As for Fessenden's, then, he was less fortunate than the Judge's mastiff. He had no dry straw, not even a kennel to crouch in. And the fields were uninviting; and to die was not so pleasant. The veriest wretch alive feels a yearning for life, and few are so foolish as not to prefer a dry skin to a wet one. Even Fessenden's knew enough to go in when it rained,—if he only could. So, with the dismallest prospect before him, he kept on, in the wind and rain of that bitter November night.

And now the wind was rising to a tempest; and the rain was turning to sleet; and November was fast becoming December. For this was the last day of the month,—the close of the last day of autumn, as we divide the seasons: autumn was flying in battle before the fierce onset of winter. It was the close of the week also, being Saturday.

Saturday night! what a sentiment of thankfulness and repose is in the word! Comfort is in it; and peace exhales from it like an aroma. Your work is ended; it is the hour of rest; the sense of duty done sweetens reflection, and weariness subsides into soothing content. Once more the heart grows tenderly appreciative of the commonest blessings. That you have a roof to shelter you, and a pillow for your head, and love and light and supper, and something in store for Sunday,—that the raving rain is excluded, and the wolfish wind howls in vain,—that those dearest to you are gathered about your hearth, and all is well,—it is enough; the full soul asks no wore.

But this particular Saturday evening brought no such suffusion of bliss to Fessenden's,—if, indeed, any ever did. He saw, through the streaming, misty air, the happy homes in the village lighted up one by one as it grew dark. He had glimpses, through warm windows, of white supper-tables. The storm made sufficient seclusion; there was no need to draw the curtains. Servants were bringing in the tea-things. Children were playing about the floors,—laughing, beautiful children. Behold them, shivering beggar-boy! Lean by the iron rail, wait patiently in the rain, and look in upon them; it is worth your while. How frolicsome and light-hearted they seem! They are never cold, and seldom very hungry, and the world is dry to them, and comfortable. And they all have beds,—delicious beds. Mothers' hands tuck them in; mothers' lips teach them to say their little prayers, and kiss them good-night. Foolish fellow! why didn't you be one of those fortunate children, well fed, rosy, and bright, instead of a starved and stupid tatterdemalion? A question which shapes itself vaguely in his dull, aching soul, as he stands trembling in the sleet, with only a few transparent squares of glass dividing him and his misery from them and their joy.

Mighty question! it is vast and dark as the night to him. He cannot answer it; can you?

Vast and dark and pitiless is the night. But the morning will surely come; and after all the wrongs and tumults of life will rise the dawn of the Day of God. And then every question of fate, though it fill the universe for you now, shall dissolve in the brightness like a vapor, and vanish like a little cloud.

Meanwhile a servant comes out and drives Fessenden's away from the fence. He recommenced his wanderings,—up one street and down another, in search of a place to lay his head. The inferior dwellings he passed by. But when he arrived at a particularly fine one, there he rang. Was it not natural for him to infer that the largest houses had amplest accommodations, and that the rich could best afford to be bounteous? If in all these spacious mansions there was no little nook for him, if out of their luxuries not a blanket or crust could be spared, what could he hope from the poor? You see, he was not altogether witless, if he was a—Fessenden's. Another proof: At whatever house he applied, he never committed the vulgarity of a détour to the back-entrance, but advanced straight, with bold and confident port, to the front-door. The reason of which was equally simple and clear: Front-doors were the most convenient and inviting; and what were they made for, if not to go in at?

But he grew weary of ringing and of being repulsed. It was dismal standing still, however, and quite as comfortless sitting down. He was so cold! So, to keep his blood in motion, he keeps his limbs in motion,—till, lo! here he is again at the house where the happy children were! They have ceased their play. Two young girls are at the window, gazing out into the darkness, as if expecting some one. Not you, miserable! You needn't stop and make signs for them to admit you. There! don't you see you have frightened them? You are not a fitting spectacle for such sweet-eyed darlings. They do well to drop the shade, to shut out the darkness, and the dim, gesticulating phantom. Flit on! 'Tis their father they are looking for, coming home to them with gifts from the city.

But he does not flit. When, presently, they lift a corner of the shade to peep out, they see him still standing there, spectral in the gloom. He is waiting for them to open the door! He thinks they have quitted the window for that purpose! Ah! here comes the father, and they are glad.

He comes hurrying from the cars under his umbrella, which is braced against the gale and shuts out from his eyes the sight of the unsheltered wretch. And he is hastily entering his door, which is opened to him by the eager children, when they scream alarm; and looking over his shoulder, he perceives, following at his heels, the fright. He is one of your full-blooded, solid men; but he is startled.

"What do you want?" he cries, and lifts the threatening umbrella.

"I'm hungry," says the intruder, with a ghastly glare, still advancing.

He stands taller in his tattered shoes than the solid gentleman in his boots; and those long, lean, claw-like hands act as if anxious to clutch something. Papa thinks it is his throat.

"By heavens! and do you mean to"—And he prepares to charge umbrella.

"You may!" answers the wretch, with perfect sincerity, presenting his ragged bosom to the blow.

The lord of the castle lowers his weapon. The children huddle behind him, hushing their screams.

"Go in, Minnie! In, all of you! Tell Stephen to come here,—quick!"

The children scamper. And the florid, prosperous parent and the gaunt and famishing pauper are alone, confronting each other by the light of the shining hall-lamp.

"I'm cold," says the latter,—"and wet," with an aguish shiver.

"I should think so!" cries the gentleman, recovering from his alarm, and getting his breath again, as he hears Stephen's step behind him. "Stand back, can't you?" (indignantly). "Don't you see you are dripping on the carpet?"

"I'm so tired!"

"Well! you needn't rub yourself against the door, if you are! Don't you see you are smearing it? What are you roaming about in this way for, intruding into people's houses?"

"Please, Sir, I don't know," is the soft, sad answer; and Fessenden's is meekly taking himself away.

"It's too bad, though!" says the man, relenting. "What can we do with this fellow, Stephen?"

"Send him around to Judge Gingerford's,—I should say that's about the best thing to do with him," says the witty Stephen.

The man knew well what would please. His master's face lighted up. He rubbed his hands, and regarded the vagabond with a humorous twinkle, with malice in it.

"Would you, Stephen? By George, I've a good notion to! Take the umbrella, and go and show him the way."

Stephen did not like that.

"I was only joking, Sir," he said.

"A good joke, too! Here, you fellow! go with my man. He'll take you to a house where you'll find friends. Excellent folks! damned philanthropical! red-hot abolitionists! If you only had nigger-blood, now, they'd treat you like a prince. I don't know but I'd advise you to tell 'em you're about a quarter nigger,—they'll think ten times as much of you!"

It was sufficiently evident that the gentleman did not love his neighbor the Judge. There was in his tone bitter personal and political hatred. With his own hands he spread again the soaked umbrella, and, giving it to the reluctant Stephen, turned him away with the vagabond. Then he shut the door, and went in. By the fire he pulled off his wet boots, and put on the warm slippers, which the children brought him with innocent strife to see which should be foremost. And he gave to each kisses and toys; for he was a kind father. And sitting down to supper, with their beaming faces around him, he thought of the beggar-boy only in connection with the jocular spite he had indulged against his neighbor.

Meanwhile the disgusted Stephen, walking alone under the umbrella, drove Fessenden's before him through the storm. They turned a corner. Stephen stopped.

"There, that's the house, where the lights are. Good bye! Luck to you!" And Stephen and umbrella disappeared in the darkness.

Fessenden's kept on, wearily, wearily! He reached the house. And lo! it was the same, at the door of which the lady had told him that he, with his name, was not wanted. Tiger slept in his kennel, and dreamed of barking at beggars. The Judge, snugly ensconced in his study, listened to the report of his speech before the Timberville Benevolent Association. His son read it aloud, in the columns of the "Timberville Gazette." Gingerford smiled and nodded; for he thought it sounded well. And Mrs. Gingerford was pleased and proud. And the heart of Gingerford Junior swelled with the fervor of the eloquence, and with exultation in his father's talents and distinction, as he read. The sleet rattled a pleasant accompaniment against the window-shutters; and the organ-pipes of the wind sounded a solemn symphony. This last night of November was genial and bright to those worthy people, in their little family-circle. And the future was full of promise. And the rhetoric of the orator settled the duty of man to man so satisfactorily, and painted the pleasures of benevolence in such colors, that all their bosoms glowed.

"It is gratifying to think," said Mrs. Gingerford, wiping her eyes at the pathetic close, "how much good the printing of that address in the 'Gazette' must accomplish. It will reach many so who hadn't the good-fortune to hear it at the rooms."

Certainly, Madam. The "Gazette" is taken, and perhaps read this very evening, in every one of the houses at which the pauper has applied in vain for shelter, since you frowned him from your door. Those exalted sentiments, breathed in musical periods, are no doubt a rich legacy to the society of Timberville, and to the world. It was wise to print them; they will "reach many so." But will they reach this outcast beggar-boy, and benefit him? Alas, it is fast growing too late for that!

Utter fatigue and discouragement have overtaken him. The former notion of dying in the fields recurs to him now; and wretched indeed must he be, since even that desperate thought has a sort of comfort in it. But he is too weary to seek out some suitably retired spot to take cold leave of life in. On every side is darkness; on every side, wild storm. Why endeavor to drag farther his benumbed limbs? As well stretch himself here, upon this wet wintry sod, as anywhere. He has the presumption to do it,—never considering how deeply he may injure a fine gentleman's feelings by dying at his door.

Tiger does not bark him away, but only dreams of barking, in his cozy kennel. Close by are the windows of the mansion, glowing with light. There beat the philanthropic hearts; there smiles the pale, pensive lady; there beams the aspiring face of her son; and there sits the Judge, with his feet on the rug, pleasantly contemplating the good his speech will do, and thinking quite as much, perhaps, of the fame it will bring him,—happily unconscious alike of his neighbor's malicious jest, and of the real victim of that jest, lying out there in the tempest and freezing rain.

So November goes out; and winter, boisterous and triumphant, comes in.

Sunday morning: cold and clear. The December sun shines upon the glassy turf, and upon trees all clad in armor of glittering ice. And the trees creak and rattle in the north wind; and the icy splinters fall tinkling to the ground.

The splendor of the morning gilds the Judge's estate. Everything about the mansion smiles and sparkles. Were last night's horrors a dream?

There was danger, we remember, that the foolish youth might do a very inconsiderate and shocking thing, and perhaps ruin the Judge. What if he had really deposited his mortal remains at the gate of that worthy man,—to be found there, ghastly and stiff, a revolting spectacle, this bright morning? What a commentary on Gingerford philanthropy! For of course some one would at once have stepped forward to testify to having seen him driven from the door, which he came back to lay his bones near. And Stephen would have been on hand to remember directing such a person, inquiring his way a second time to the Judge's house. And here he is dead,—to the secret delight of the Judge's enemies, and to the indignation of all Timberville. At anybody else's door it wouldn't have seemed so bad. But at Gingerford's! a philanthropist by profession! author of that beautiful speech you cried over! You will never forgive him those tears. The greatest crime a man can be guilty of in the eyes of his constituents is to have been over-praised by them. Woe to him, when they find out their error! and woe now to the Judge! The fact that a dozen other influential citizens had also refused shelter to the vagabond will not help the matter. Those very men will probably be the first to cry, "Hypocrite! inhuman! a judgment upon him!"—for it is always the person of doubtful virtue who is most eager to assume the appearance of severe integrity; and we often flatter ourselves that our private faults are atoned for, when we have loudly denounced them in others.

Fortunately, the flower of the Judge's reputation is saved from so terrible a blight. There is no corpse at his gate; and our speculations are idle.

This is what had occurred. Not long after the lad had lain down, a dream-like spell came over him. His pain was gone. He forgot that he was cold. He was not hungry any more. A sweet sense of rest was diffused through his tired limbs. And smiling and soothed he lay, while the storm beat upon him. Was this death? For we know that in this merciful shape death sometimes comes to the sufferer.

Fessenden's afterwards said that he had "one of his fits." He was subject to such. When men reviled and denied him, then came the angels,—or he imagined they came. They walked by his side, and talked with him; and often, all a summer's afternoon, he could be heard conversing in the fields, as with familiar friends, when only himself was visible, and his voice alone was heard in the silence. This was, in fact, one of those idiosyncrasies which had earned him his shameful name.

In the trance of that night, lying cold upon the ground, he beheld his ghostly visitors. They came and stood around him, a shining company, and looked upon him with countenances of fair women and good men. Their apparel was not unlike that of mortals. And he heard them questioning among themselves how they should help him. And one of them, as it seemed, brought human assistance; though the boy, who could see plenty of ghosts, could not, for some reason, see the only actually visible and substantial person then on the spot besides himself. He felt, however, sensibly enough, the concussion of a stout pair of mortal legs that presently went stumbling over him in the dark. The shock roused him. The whole shadowy company vanished instantly; and in their place he saw, by the glimmer from the Judge's windows, a dark sprawling figure getting up out of the mud and water.

"Don't be scared, it's me," said Fessenden's; for he guessed the fellow was frightened.

"Excuse me, Sir! I really didn't know it was you, Sir!" said the man, with agitated politeness. "And who might you be, Sir? if I may be so bold as to inquire." And regaining his balance, his umbrella, and his self-possession, he drew near, and squatted cautiously before the prostrate beggar, who, had his eyesight been half as keen for the living as it was for the dead, would have discovered that the face bending over him was black.

"Never mind me," said Fessenden's. "Did it hurt ye?"

"Well, Sir,—no, Sir,—only my knee went pretty seriously into something wet. And I believe I've turned my umbrella wrong side out. I say, Sir, what was you doing, lying here, Sir? You don't think of remaining here all night, I trust, Sir?"

"I've nowhere else to go," said the boy, trying to rise.

The black man helped him up.

"But this never'll do, you know! such an inclement night as this is!—you'd die before morning, sure! Just wait till I can get my umbrella into shape,—my gracious! how the wind pulls it! Now, then, suppose you come along with me."

"Please, Sir, I can't walk"; for the lad's limbs had stiffened, in spite of his angels.

"Is that so, Sir? Let me see; about how much do you weigh, Sir? Not much above a hundred, do you? It isn't impossible but I may take you on my back. Suppose you try it."

"Oh, I can't!" groaned the boy.

"Excuse me for contradicting you, but I think you can, Sir. I shouldn't like to do it myself, in the daytime; but in the night so, who cares? Nobody'll laugh at us, even if we don't succeed. Really, I wish you wasn't quite so wet, Sir; for these here is my Sunday clothes. But never mind a little water; we'll find a fire to get dry again. There you are, my friend! A little higher. Put your hands over across my breast. Couldn't manage to hold, the umbrella over us, could you? So fashion. Now steady, while I rise with you."

And the stalwart young negro, hooking his arms well under the legs of his rider, got up stoopingly, gave a toss and a jolt to get him into the right position, and walked off with him. Away they go, tramp, tramp, in the storm and darkness. Thank Heaven, the Judge's fame is safe! If the pauper dies, it will not be at his door. Little he knows, there in his elegant study, what an inestimable service this black Samaritan is rendering him. And it was just; for, after all the Judge had done for the negro, (who, I suppose, was equally unconscious of any substantial benefit received,) it was time that the negro should do something for him in return.

Tramp! tramp! a famous beggar's ride! It was a picturesque scene, with food for laughter and tears in it, had we only been there with a lantern. Fessenden's, fantastic, astride of the African, staring forward into the darkness from under his ragged hat-brim, endeavoring to hold the wreck of an umbrella over them,—the wind flapping and whirling it. Tramp! tramp! past all those noble mansions, to the negro-hut beyond the village. And, oh, to think of it! the rich citizens, the enlightened and white-skinned Levites, having left him out, one of their own race, to perish in the storm, this despised black man is found, alone of all the world, to show mercy unto him!

"How do you get on, Sir?" says the stout young Ethiop. "Would you ride easier, if I should trot? or would you prefer a canter? Tell 'em to bring on their two-forty nags now, if they want a race."

Talking in this strain, to keep up his rider's spirits, he brought him, not without sweat and toil, to the hut. A kick on the door with the beggar's foot, which he used for the purpose, caused it to be opened by a woolly-headed urchin; and in he staggered.

Little woolly-head clapped his hands and screamed.

"Oh, crackie, pappy! here comes Bill with the Devil on his back!"

Sensation in the hut. There was an old negro woman in the corner, on one side of the stove, knitting; and a very old negro man in the opposite corner, napping; and a middle-aged man, with spectacles on his ebony nose, reading slowly aloud from an ancient grease-covered book opened before him on the old pine table; and a middle-aged woman patching a jacket; and a girl washing dishes, which another girl was wiping: representatives of four generations: and they all quitted their occupations at once, to see what sort of a devil Bill had brought home.

"Why, William! who have you got there, William?" said he of the spectacles, with mild wonder,—removing those clerkly aids of vision, and laying them across the book.

"A chair!" panted Bill. "Now ease him down, if you please,—careful,—and I'll—recite the circumstances,"—puffing, but polite to the last.

Helpless and gasping, Fessenden's was unfastened, and slipped down the African's back upon a seat placed to receive him. He still clung to the umbrella, which he endeavored to keep spread over him, while he stared around with stupid amazement at the dim room and the array of black faces.

And now the excited urchin began to caper and sing:—

"'Went down to river, couldn't get across;
Jumped upon a nigger's back, thought it was a hoss!'

"Oh, crackie, Bill!"

"Father," said William, with wounded dignity,—for he was something of a gentleman in his way,—"I wish you'd discipline that child, or else give me permission to chuck him."

"Joseph!" said the father, with a stern shake of his big black head at the boy, "here's a stranger in the house! Walk straight, Joseph!"

Which solemn injunction Joseph obeyed in a highly offensive manner, by strutting off in imitation of William's dandified air.

By this time the aged negro in the corner had become fully roused to the consciousness of a guest in the house. He came forward with slow, shuffling step. He was almost blind. He was exceedingly deaf. He was withered and wrinkled in the last degree. His countenance was of the color of rust-eaten bronze. He was more than a hundred years old,—the father of the old woman, the grandfather of the middle-aged man, and the great-grandfather of William, Joseph, and the girls. He was muffled in rags, and wore a little cap on his head. This he removed with his left hand, exposing a little battered tea-kettle of a bald pate, as with smiling politeness he reached out the other trembling hand to shake that of the stranger.

"Welcome, Sah! Sarvant, Sah!"

He bowed and smiled again, and the hospitable duty was performed; after which he put on his cap and shuffled back into his corner, greatly marvelled at by the gazing beggar-boy.

The girls and their mother now bestirred themselves to get their guest something to eat. The tin tea-pot was set on the stove, and hash was warmed up in the spider. In the mean time William somewhat ruefully took off his wet Sunday coat, and hung it to dry by the stove, interpolating affectionate regrets for the soiled garment with the narration of his adventure.

"It was the merest chance my coming that way," he explained; "for I had got started up the other street, when something says to me, 'Go by Gingerford's! go by Judge Gingerford's!' so I altered my course, and the result was, just as I got against the Judge's gate I was precipitated over this here person."

"I know what made ye!" spoke up the boy, with an earnest stare.

"What, Sir,—if you please?"

"The angels!"

"The—the what, Sir?"

"The angels! I seen 'em!" says Fessenden's.

This astounding announcement was followed by a strange hush. Bill forgot to smooth out the creases of his coat, and looked suspiciously at the youth whom it had served as a saddle. He wondered if he had really been ridden by the Devil.

The old woman now interfered. She was at least seventy years of age. The hair of her head was like mixed carded wool. Her coarse, cleanly gown was composed of many-colored, curious patches. The atmosphere of thorough grandmotherly goodness surrounded her. In the twilight sky of her dusky face twinkled shrewdness and good-humor; and her voice was full of authority and kindness.

"Stan' back here now, you troubles!" pushing the children aside. "Didn't none on ye never see nobody afore? This 'ere chile has got to be took keer on, and that mighty soon! Gi' me the comf'table off'm the bed, mammy."

"Mammy" was the mother of the children. The "comf'table" was brought, and she and her husband helped the old negress wrap Fessenden's up in it, from head to foot, wet clothes and all.

"Now your big warm gret-cut, pappy!"

"Pappy" was her own son; and the "gret-cut" was his old, gray, patched and double-patched surtout, which now came down from its peg, and spread its broad flaps, like brooding wings, over the half-drowned human chicken.

"Now put in the wood, boys! Pour some of that 'ere hot tea down his throat. Bless him, we'll sweat the cold out of him! we'll give him a steaming!"

She held with her own hand the cracked tea-cup to the lad's lips, and made him drink. Then she pulled up the comforter about his face, till nothing of him was visible but his nose and a curl or two of saturated tow. Then she had him moved up close to the glowing stove, like a huge chrysalis to be hatched by the heat.

The dozing centenarian now roused again, and, perceiving the little nose in the big bundle on the other side of the chimney, was once more reminded of the sacred duties of hospitality. So he got upon his trembling old legs again, pulled off his cap, and bowed and smiled as before, with exquisite politeness, across the stove. "Sarvant, Sah! Welcome, Sah!". And he sat down, and dozed again.

Fessenden's was not in a position to return the courteous salute. The old woman had by this time got his feet packed into the stove-oven, and he was beginning to smoke.

"Oh, Bill! just look a' Joe!" cried one of the girls.

Bill left smoothing his broadcloth, and, turning up the whites of his eyes, uttered a despairing groan. "Oh, that child! that child! that child!"—his voice running up into a wild falsetto howl.

The child thus passionately alluded to had possessed himself of Bill's genteel silk hat, which had been tenderly put away to dry. It had been sadly soaked by the rain, and bruised by the flopping umbrella which Fessenden's had unhappily attempted to hold over it. And now Joe had knocked in the crown, whilst geting it down from its peg with the broom. He had thought to improve its appearance by stroking the nap the wrong way with his sleeve. Lastly, putting it on his head, he had crushed the sides together, to prevent its coming quite down over his eyes and ears and resting on his shoulders. And there he was, with the broken umbrella spread, hitting the top of the hat with it at every step, as he strutted around the room in emulation of his brother's elegant style.

"My name's Mr. Bill Williams, Asquare!" simpered the little satirist. "Some folks call me Gentleman Bill, 'cause I'm so smart and good-looking, Sar!"

Gentleman Bill picked up the jack with which he had pulled off his wet boots, and waited for a good chance to launch it at Joe's head. But Joe kept behind his grandmother, and proceeded with his mimicry.

"Nobody knows I'm smart and good-looking 'cept me, and that's the why I tell on't Sar; that's the reason I excite the stircumsances, Sar!"—He remembered Bill's saying he would "recite the circumstances," and this was as near as he could come to the precise words.—"I'm a gentleman tailor; that's my perfession, Sar. Work over to the North Village, Sar. Come home Sat'day nights to stop over Sunday with the folks, and show my good clo'es. How d' 'e do, Sar? Perty well, thank ye, Sar." And Joe, putting down the umbrella, in order to lift the ingulfing hat from his little round, black, curly head with both hands, made a most extravagant bow to the chrysalis.

"Old granny!" hoarsely whispered Bill, "you just stand out of the way once, while I propel this boot-jack!"

"Old granny don't stan' out o' the way oncet, for you to frow no boot-jack in this house! S'pose I want to see that chile's head stove in? Which is mos' consequence, I'd like to know, your hat, or his head? Hats enough in the world. But that 'ere head is an oncommon head, and, bless the boy, if he should lose that, I do'no' where he'd git another like it! Come, no more fuss now! I got to make some gruel for this 'ere poor, wet, starvin' critter. That hash a'n't the thing for him, mammy,—you'd ought to know! He wants somefin' light and comfortin', that'll warm his in'ards, and make him sweat, bless him!—Joey! Joey! give up that 'ere hat now!"

"Take it, then! Mean old thing,—I don't want it!"

Joe extended it on the point of the umbrella; but just as Bill was reaching to receive it, he gave it a little toss, which sent it into the chip-basket.

"Might know I'd had on your hat!" and the little rogue scratched his head furiously.

"I shall certainly massacre that child some fine morning!" muttered Bill, ruefully extricating the insulted article from the basket. "Oh, my gracious! only look at that, now, Creshy!" to his sister. "That's an interesting object—isn't it?—for a gentleman to think of putting on to his head Sunday morning!"

"Oh, Bill!" cried Creshy, "jest look a' Joe agin!"

Whilst he was sorrowfully restoring his hat to its pristine shape, he had been robbed of his coat. The thief had run with it behind the bed, where he had succeeded in getting into it. The collar enveloped his ears. The skirts dragged upon the floor. He had buttoned it, to make it fit better, but there was still room in it for two or three boys. He had got on his father's spectacles and Fessenden's straw hat. He looked like a frightful little old misshapen dwarf. And now, rolling up the sleeves to find his hands, and wrinkling the coat outrageously at every movement, he advanced from his retreat, and began to dance a pigeon-wing, amid the convulsive laughter of the girls.

"Oh, my soul! my soul!" cried Bill, his voice inclining again to the falsetto. "Was there ever such an imp of Satan! Was there ever"—

Here he made a lunge at the offender. Joe attempted to escape, but, getting his feet entangled in the superabundant coat-skirts, fell, screaming as if he were about to be killed.

"Good enough for you!" said his mother. "I wish you would get hurt!"

"What you wish that for?" cried the old grandmother, rushing to the rescue, brandishing a long iron spoon with which she had been stirring the gruel. "Can't nobody never have no fun in this house? Bless us! what 'ud we do, if 't wa'n't for Joey, to make us laugh and keep our sperits up? Jest you stan' back now, Bill!—'d ruther you'd strike me 'n see ye hit that 'ere boy oncet!"

"He must let my things be, then," said Bill, who couldn't see much sport in the disrespectful use made of his wearing apparel.—"Here, you! surrender my property!"

"Laws! you be quiet! You'll git yer cut agin. Only jest look at him now, he's so blessed cunning!"

For Joe, reassured by his grandmother, had stopped screaming, and gone to tailoring. He sat cross-legged on one of the unlucky coat-skirts, and pulled the other up on his lap, for his work. Then he got an imaginary thread, and, putting his fingers together, screwed up his mouth, and looked over the spectacles, sharpening his sight,—

"Like an old tailor to his needle's eye."

Then he began to stitch, to the infinite disgust of Bill, who was sensitive touching his vocation.

"I do declare, father! how you can smile, seeing that child carrying on in this shape, is beyond my comprehension!"

"Joseph!" said Mr. Williams, good-naturedly, "I guess that'll do for to-night. Come, I want my spectacles."

He had sat down to his book again. He was a slow, thoughtful, easy, cheerful man, whom suffering and much humiliation had rendered very mild and patient, if not quite broken-spirited. His voice was indulgent and gentle, with that mellow richness of tone peculiar to the negro. After he had spoken, the laughter subsided; and Joe, impressed by the quiet paternal authority, quickly devised means to obey without appearing to do so. For it is not so much obedience, as the manifestation of obedience, that is repugnant to human nature,—not in children only, but in grown folks as well.

Joe disguised his compliance in this way. He got up, took off the beggar's hat, put the spectacles into it, holding his hand on a rip in the crown to keep them from falling through, and passed it around, walking solemnly in his brother's abused coat.

"I'm Deacon Todd," said he, "taking up a collection to buy Gentleman Bill a new cut: gunter make a missionary of him!"

He passed the hat to the women and the girls, all of whom pretended to put in something.

"I ha'n't got nothin'!" said Fessenden's, when it came to him; "I'm real sorry I but I'll give my hat!"—earnest as could be.

When the hat came to Mr. Williams, he quietly put in his hand and took out his glasses.

"Here, I've got something for you; I desire to contribute," said Gentleman Bill.

But Joe was shy of his brother.

"Oh, we don't let the missionary give anything!" he said. "Here's the hat what you're gunter wear;—give it to him, Cresh!"

Bill disdained the beggar's, contribution; but, in his anxiety to seize Joe, he suffered his sister to slip up behind him and clap the wet, ragged straw wreck on his head.

"Oh, Bill! Oh, Bill!" screamed the girls with merriment, in which mother and grandmother joined, while even their father indulged in a silent, inward laugh.

"Good!" said Fessenden's; "he may have it!"

Bill, watching his opportunity, made a dash at the pretending Deacon Todd. That nimble and quick-witted dwarf escaped as fast as his awkward attire would permit. The bed seemed to be the only place of refuge, and he dodged under it.

"Come out!" shouted Bill, furious.

"Come in and git me!" screamed Joe, defiant.

Bill, if not too large, was far too dignified for such an enterprise. So he got the broom, and began to stir Joe with the handle,—not observing, in his wrath, that, the more he worried Joe, the more he was damaging his own precious broadcloth.

"I'm the lion to the show!" cried Joe, rolling and tumbling under the bed to avoid the broom. "The keeper's a punchin' on me, to make me roar!"

And the lion roared.

"He's a gunter come into the cage by-'m-by, and put his head into my mouth. Then I'm a gunter swaller him! Ki! hoo! hoo! oo!"

He roared in earnest this time. Bill, grown desperate, had knocked his shins. As long as he hit him only on the head, the king of beasts didn't care; but he couldn't stand an attack on the more sensitive part.

"Jest look here, now!" exclaimed the old negress, with unusual spirit; "gi' me that broom!"

She wrenched it from Bill's hand.

"Perty notion, you can't come home a minute without pesterin' that boy's life out of him!"

You see, color makes no difference with grandmothers. Black or white, they are universally unjust, when they come to decide the quarrels of their favorites.

"Great lubberly fellow like you, 'busin' that poor babby all the time! Come, Joey! come to granny, poor chile!"

It was a sorry-looking lion that issued whimpering from the cage, limping, and rubbing his eyes. His borrowed hide—namely, Bill's coat—had been twisted into marvellous shapes in the scuffle; and, being wet, it was almost white with the dust and lint that adhered to it. Bill threw up his arms in despair; while Joe threw his, great sleeves and all, around granny's neck, and found comfort on her sympathizing bosom.

"Silence, now," said Mr. Williams, "so's we can go on with the reading."

Order was restored. Bill hung up his coat, and sat down. Joe nestled in the old woman's lap. And now the storm was heard beating against the house.

"Say!" spoke up Fessenden's, "can I stop here over night?"

"You don't suppose," said Mr. Williams, "we'd turn you out in such weather as this, do you?"

"Wal!" said Fessenden's, "nobody else would keep me."

"Don't you be troubled! While we 've a ruf over our heads, no stranger don't git turned away from it that wants shelter, and will put up with our 'commodations. We can keep you to-night, and probably to-morrow night, if you like to stay; but after that I can't promise. Mebby we sha'n't have a ruf for our own heads then. But we'll trust the Lord," said Mr. Williams, with a deep, serious smile,—while Mrs. Williams sighed.

"How is it about that matter?" Gentleman Bill inquired.

"The house is to be tore down Monday, I suppose," replied his father, mildly.

"My gracious!" exclaimed Bill; "Mr. Frisbie a'n't really going to carry that threat into execution?"

"That's what he says, William. He has got a prejudice ag'inst color, you know. Since he lost the election, through the opposition of the abolitionists, as he thinks, he's been very much excited on the subject," added Mr. Williams, in his subdued way.

"Excited!" echoed his wife, bitterly.

She was a much-suffering woman, inclined to melancholy; but there was a latent fire in her when she seemed most despondent, and she roused up now and spoke with passionate, flashing eyes:—

"Sence he got beat, town-meetin' day, he don't 'pear to take no comfort, 'thout 't is hatin' Judge Gingerford and spitin' niggers, as he calls us. He sent his hired man over agin this mornin', to say, if we wa'n't out of the house by Monday, 't would be pulled down on to our heads. Call that Christian, when he knows we can't git another house, there 's sich a s'picion agin people o' color?"

"'T wa'n't alluz so; 't wa'n't so in my day," said the old woman, pausing, as she was administering the gruel to Fessenden's with a spoon. "Here's gran'pa, he was a slave, and I was born a slave, in this here very State, as long ago as when they used to have slaves here, as I've told ye time and agin; though I don't clearly remember it, for I scacely ever knowed what bondage was, bless the Lord! But we allus foun' somebody to be kind to us, and got along,—for it did seem as though God kind o' looked arter us, and took keer on us, same as He did o' white folks. We've been carried through, somehow or 'nother; and I can't help thinkin' as how we shall be yit, spite o' Mr. Frisbie. S'pose God'll forgit us 'cause His grand church-folks do? S'pose all they can say'll pedijice Him?"

Having advanced this unanswerable question, she turned once more to her patient, who put up his head, and opened his mouth wide, to receive the great spoon.

"Lucky for them that can trust the Lord!" said Mrs. Williams, over her patching. "But if I was a man, I'm 'fraid I should put my trust in a good knife, and stan' by the ol' house when they come to pull it down! The fust man laid hands on 't 'ud git hurt, I'm dreffle 'fraid! Prayin' won't save it, you see!"

"Mr. Frisbie owns the house," observed Gentleman Bill, "and I wouldn't resort to violent measures to prevent him; though 't isn't possible for me to believe he'll be so unhuman as to demolish it before you find another."

"I'm inclined to think he will," answered Mr. Williams, calmly. "He's a rather determined man, William. But God won't quite forget us, I'm sartin sure. And we won't worry about the house till the time comes, anyhow. Le' 's see what the Good Book says to comfort us," he added, with a hopeful smile.

Unfortunately, the "Timberville Gazette" had not reached this benighted family; and not having the Judge's Address to read, Mr. Williams read the Sermon on the Mount.

Fessenden's listened with the rest. And alight, not of the understanding, but of the spirit, shone upon him. His intellect was too feeble, I think, to draw any very keen comparison between those houses where the "Timberville Gazette" was taken and read that evening and this lowly abode,—between the rich there, who had shut their proud, prosperous doors against him, and these poor servants of the Lord, who had taken him in and comforted him, though the hour was nigh when they, too, were to be driven forth shelterless in the wintry storms. The deep and affecting suggestiveness of that wide contrast his mind was, no doubt, too weak thoroughly to appreciate. Yet something his heart felt, and something his soul perceived; his pale and vacant face was illumined; and at the close of the reading he rose up. The coarse wrappings of his body fell away; and the muffling ignorance, the swaddling dulness, wherein that divine infant, the bright immortal spirit, was confined, seemed also to fall off. He lifted up his hands, spreading them as if dispensing blessings; and his countenance had a vague, smiling wonder in it, almost beautiful, and his voice, when he spoke, thrilled the ear.

"Praise the Lord! praise the Lord! for He will provide!

"Be comforted! for ye are the children of the Lord!

"Be glad! be glad! for the Angel of the Lord is here!

"Don't you see him? don't you see him? There! there!" he cried, pointing, with an earnestness and radiance of look which filled all who saw him with astonishment. They turned to gaze, as if really expecting to behold the vision; then fixed their eyes again on the stranger.

"You'll be taken care of, the Angel says. Even they that hate you shall do you good. The mercy you have shown, Christ will show to you."

Having uttered these sentences at intervals, in a loud voice, the speaker gave a start, turned as if bewildered, and sat down again.

Not a word was spoken. A hush of awe suspended the breath of the listeners. Then a smile of fervent emotion lighted up like daybreak the negro's dark visage, and his joy broke forth in song. The others joined him, filling the house with the jubilee of their wild and mellow voices.

"A poor wayfaring man of grief
Hath often crossed me on my way,
And sued so humbly for relief
That I could never answer nay."

And so the fair fame of Gingerford, as we said before, was saved from blight. The beggar-boy awakes this Sunday morning, not in the blaze of Eternity, but in that dim nook of the domain of Time, Nigger Williams's hut. He made his couch, not on the freezing ground, but in a bunk of the low-roofed garret. His steaming clothes had been taken off, a dry shirt had been given him, and he had Joe for a bedfellow.

"Hug him tight, Joey dear!" said the old woman, as she carried away the candle. "Snug up close, and keep him warm!"

"I will!" cried Joe, as affectionate as he was roguish; and Fessenden's never slept better than he did that night, with the tempest singing his lullaby, and the arms of the loving negro boy about him.

In the morning he found his clothes ready to put on. They had been carefully dried; and the old woman had got up early and taken a few needful stitches in them.

"It's Sunday, granny," Creshy reminded her, to see what she would say.

"A'n't no use lett'n' sich holes as these 'ere go, if 't is Sunday!" replied the old woman. "Hope I never sh'll ketch you a doin' nuffin' wus! A'n't we told to help our neighbor's sheep out o' the ditch on the Lord's day? An' which is mos' consequence, I'd like to know, the neighbor's sheep, or the neighbor hisself?"

"But his clothes a'n't him," said Creshy.

"S'pose I do'no' that? But what's a sheep for, if 't a'n't for its wool to make the clo'es? Then, to look arter the sheep that makes the clo'es, and not look arter the clo'es arter they're made, that's a mis'ble notion!"

"But you can mend the clothes any day."

"Could I mend 'em yis'day, when I didn't have 'em to mend? or las' night, when they was wringin' wet? Le' me alone, now, with your nonsense!"

"But you can mend them to-morrow," said the mischievous girl, delighted to puzzle her grandmother.

"And let that poor lorn chile go in rags over Sunday, freezin' cold weather like this? Guess I a'n't so onfeelin,'—an' you a'n't nuther, for all you like to tease your ole granny so! Bless the chile, seems to me he's jest gwine to bring us good luck. I feel as though the Angel of the Lord did ra'ly come into the house with him las' night! Wish I had somefin' ra'l good for him for his breakfas' now! He'll be dreffle hungry, that's sartin. Make a rousin' good big Johnny-cake, mammy; and, Creshy, you stop botherin', and slice up them 'ere taters for fryin'."

Soon the odor of the cooking stole up into the garret. Fessenden's snuffed it with delighted senses. The feeling of his garments dry and whole pleased him mightily. He heard the call to breakfast; and laughing and rubbing his eyes, he followed Joe down the dark, uncertain footing of the stairs.

The family was already huddled about the table. But room was reserved for their guest, and at his appearance the old patriarch rose smilingly from his seat, pulled off his cap, which it seemed he always wore, and shook hands with him, with the usual hospitable greeting.

"Sarvant, Sah! Welcome, Sah!"

Fessenden's was given a seat by his side. And the old woman piled his plate with good things. And he ate, and was filled. For he was by no means dainty, and had not, simple soul! the least prejudice against color.

And he was happy. The friendly black faces around him,—the cheerful, sympathetic, rich-toned voices,—the motherly kindness of the old woman,—the exquisite smiling politeness of the old man, who got up and shook hands with him, on an average, every half-hour,—the Bible-reading,—the singing,—the praying,—the elegance and condescension of Gentleman Bill,—the pleasant looks and words of the laughing-eyed girls,—and the irrepressible merriment of Joe, made that a golden Sabbath in the lad's life.

Alas that it should come to this! Associate with black folks! how shocking! What if he was a—Fessenden's? wasn't he white? Where were those finer tastes and instincts which make you and me shrink from persons of color? Pity they had not been properly developed in him! Pity he should stoop so low as to eat and sleep with niggers, and feel grateful! He rolls and tumbles in mad frolic with Joe on the garret-floor, and plays horse with him. He suffers his hair to be combed by the girls, and actually experiences pleasure at the touch of their gentle hands, and feels a vague wondering joy when they praise his smooth flaxen locks. In a word, he is so weak as to wish that good Mr. Williams was his father, and this delightful hut his home!

And so he spends his Sunday. The family does not attend public worship. They used to, when the old meeting-house was standing, and the old minister was alive. But they do not feel at ease in the new edifice, and the smart young preacher is too smart for them altogether. His rhetoric is like the cold carving and frescos,—very fine, very admirable, no doubt; but it has no warmth in it for them; it is foreign to their common daily lives; it comes not near the hopes and fears and sufferings of their humble hearts. Here religion, which too long suffered abasement, is exalted. It is highly respectable. It shows culture; it has the tone of society. It is worth while coming hither of a Sunday morning, if only to hear the organ and see the fashions. Yet it can hardly be expected that such creatures as the Williamses should appreciate the privilege of hearing and beholding from the inclosure which has been properly set off for their class,—the colored people's pew.

But Fessendon's might have done better, one would say, than to stay at home with them. Why didn't he go to church, and be somebody? He would not have been put into the niggers' pew. As for his clothes, which might have been objected to by worldly people, who would have thought of them, or of anything else but his immortal soul, in the house of God? Of course, there were no respecters of persons there,—none to say to a rich Frisbie, or an eloquent Gingerford, "Sit thou, here, in a good place," and to a ragged Fessenden's, "Stand thou there."

But perhaps the less said on the subject the better. Pass over that golden Sunday in the lad's life. Alas, when will he ever have such another? For here it is Monday morning, and the house is to be torn down.

There seems to be no mistake about it. Mr. Frisbie has come over early, driven in his light open carriage by his man Stephen, to see that the niggers are out. And yonder come the workmen, to commence the work of demolition.

But the niggers are not out; not an article of furniture has been removed.

"You see, Sir,"—Mr. Williams calmly represents the case to his landlord, as he sits in his carriage,—"it has been impossible. We shall certainly go, just as soon as we can get another house anywhere in town"—

"I don't want you to get another house in town," interrupts the full-blooded, red-faced Frisbie. "We have had enough of you. You have had fair warning. Now out with your traps, and off with you!"

"I trust, at least, Sir, you will give us another week"—

"Not an hour!"

"One day," remonstrates the mild negro; "I don't think you will refuse us that."

"Not a minute!" exclaims the firm Frisbie. "I've borne with you long enough. Fact is, we have got tired of niggers in this town. I bought the house with you in it, or you never would have got in. Now it is coming down. Call out your folks, and save your stuff, if you're going to.—Good morning, Adsly," to the master carpenter. "Go to work with your fellows. Guess they'll be glad to get out by the time you've ripped the roof off."

Mr. Williams retires, disheartened, his visage surcharged with trouble. For this wretched dwelling was his home, and dear to him. It was the centre of his world. Around it all the humble hopes and pleasures of the man had clustered for years. When weary with the long day's heavy toil, here he had found rest. To this spot his spirit, sorrow-laden, had ever turned with gratitude and yearning. And here he had found shelter, here he had found love and comfort, the lonely, despised man. Even care and grief had contributed to strengthen the hold of his heart upon this soil. Here had died the only child he had ever lost; and in the old burying-ground, over the hill yonder, it was buried. Under this mean roof he had laid his sorrows before the Lord, he had wrestled with the Lord in prayer, and his burdens had been taken from him, and light and gladness had been poured upon his soul. Oh, ye proud! do you think that happiness dwells only in high places, or that these lowly homes are not dear to the poor?

But now this sole haven of the negro and his family was to be destroyed. Cruel cold blew the December wind, that wintry morning. And the gusts of the landlord's temper were equally pitiless.


Besides the four elements known to us as such, namely, air, fire, earth, and water, there is a liquid substance not entirely unknown in our country, which, in the kingdom of Bavaria, is sometimes called the fifth element, under the specific name of beer. It is true, that, where this extra element is in such repute, some of the others suffer depreciation, and especially is this true of water, though this latter is still occasionally used both as a beverage and in purifying processes; and there is, too, a tradition, which these inland people have little opportunity of verifying, that it has sometimes been exclusively used for purposes of navigation, and they are aware, that, if at any time they should decide to emigrate to America, they might have occasion to test on a large scale both its utility and its perils for this purpose. The centre of gravity of this fifth element seems to be in the city of Munich, the capital of the kingdom. People in this country who have heard much of lager-beer, and seen a little of its use as introduced into our land from Germany, may, perhaps, suppose that it is equally distributed over all that extensive region known by this name. This is, however, an error. Just as our atmosphere becomes ever less dense according to its distance from the earth's centre of gravity, so this fifth element, as one retires farther from the city of Munich.

It would be an interesting inquiry for the medical man, who seeks to enlarge his knowledge of the vis medicatrix Naturæ, for the philanthropist, who would stimulate or increase the means of human happiness, and remove or diminish those of human misery, and even for the statistician, alike indifferent to both: Why do particular articles of diet and beverage concentrate their use so much in particular climates, lands, and localities? Within certain limits the question is easy. The inhabitant of the tropics lives on the bread-fruit, the plantain, the orange, the fig, and the date. They grow around him, drop as it were into his mouth, and are just what he needs to allay his hunger and support his nature. The Greenlanders and the Esquimaux of Labrador eat the flesh of bears, reindeer, and seals, and even drink their fat by the quart. Fruits, if they were to be had, would not meet their wants, and Providence has ordered accordingly. He of the tropics, in addition to the external heat, needs but the mild and gentle fire generated by the combustion of his native fruits, to keep his life-fluid in action; while he of the frigid zones must be kept in life and motion by rousing fires of seal's fat. Temperate latitudes produce most fruits, and all the cereals and animals used for food; but Nature nowhere gives us these in the shape of plum-puddings and pastries, or of beer and alcoholic drinks. The combinations and commutations must be manufactured. But does an impulse in man, like the instinct of the bee, lead him to make just what he needs in his particular climate? Does the Bavarian take to beer as the bee to honey? Does instinct or appetite in general shape itself to climate and other outward circumstances? This is but partly true. As Nature has distributed noxious vegetable and animal substances through land and sea, which must be avoided, so man may not pitch or pour indiscriminately into his stomach whatever substance may be cooked or liquid distilled and offered to him, and we are thrown back upon the direct test of their innocent or noxious properties, with full responsibility of action; but still I have a profound conviction that all such general production of the chief articles of food and drink has its origin in some deeply felt necessity of human nature in their particular localities;—the people may be on the wrong track in their attempts to provide for such necessities, but that these are felt and are the stimulus to the production is beyond doubt.

Allowing for the changes wrought by time and cultivation, we can still perceive the truth of what Tacitus wrote of Germany almost two thousand years ago:—"The land, though somewhat varied in aspect, is in the main deformed with dismal forests and foul marshes. The part next to Gaul is wetter, and that next to Pannonia and Noricum higher and more windy. It is sufficiently productive, but not adapted to fruit-trees." The whole country lies in a high latitude,—Munich, though in the southern part, being forty-eight degrees North. No large city on the continent lies at such an elevation,—about eighteen hundred feet above the level of the Adriatic. In the midst of a vast plain, it is exposed to all winds. Its site and the surrounding country are a great gravel-bed, hundreds of feet thick, a deposit from the Alps, spurs of which are within thirty miles on the south, subjecting the whole region to sudden changes of weather ranging in a few hours through many degrees of Fahrenheit. The air is raw and chilly, and although many parts of Germany have since the days of Tacitus developed an adaptation to the vine and other fruits, none flourish in the neighborhood of Munich. The whole country suffers from deficiency of nourishing and stimulating food. They may not themselves know it, but this is true of the peasants who are best to do in the world. Of the peasantry of Upper Bavaria, some have meat five times in the year, on their chief holidays,—namely, Shrove Tuesday, Easter, Whitsuntide, Church-Consecration, and Christmas; some have it on but two of these days, and some only at Christmas. The exceptions may be many, and the large cities are quite exceptional, but the change is of late introduction. When people must labor upon such a diet, they feel the lack of something; but the Bavarians have been too long in this case to think of crying, like Israel of old in the wilderness, after having left the abundance of Egypt, "Who shall give us flesh to eat?"—they attempt rather to allay the gnawings at their stomachs by potations of beer, and the appetite grows by what it feeds on.

It is plausibly maintained that the climate of this particular locality creates an actual necessity for the use of this beverage. Often, during the earlier part of my residence there, I was besought by friends, with manifestation of deepest concern, to use beer instead of water, with the remark that the climate made this a necessary measure of security against the prevalent typhus and typhoid fevers: a conviction which seems to be deeply seated in the minds of the people.

Aside from all this, there is an almost total want of the pleasant beverages used in our families. Tea is as good as unknown in Old Bavaria, its use being confined to those who have been in England, or have learned it of the English, and not one woman in twenty thousand can prepare it. Let the word tea be erased from our vocabulary, and from our minds all the cheerful associations which it awakens, and there passes from our hearts none can tell how much of that which we most fondly cherish there,—the family of both sexes, and occasionally some neighbors and friends, seated around the table,—the gently stimulating narcotic diffusing a charm over the whole social being, and communicating itself to the vocal machinery. Fanatical reformers have proclaimed its injurious effects; and it may have such; but they are a thousand times compensated by its value as a bond of union to the elements of the domestic circle. The tea-table has been the butt of many a jest and sarcasm, as a fountain of gossip and slander. This may be true; but the security it furnishes against the dissipation of the elements of the social circle outweighs thousands of such trifles, and we half suspect that this objection was originated, and is mischievously propagated, by those who are already developing a love for other beverages. If Cowper, with the "sofa" assigned as his subject, could sing so beautifully of all things social and domestic, what might he not have done with the tea-table—the rallying-point of social life to so many who never had a sofa—for his theme?

From the general use of coffee in the cities and large towns of Germany, we have inferred its general use by the peasantry; but even this is quite limited, in Upper Bavaria at least; it is found only where the influence of city-life has penetrated. Sometimes a peasant woman has a little hid in her chest, from which she stealthily prepares and drinks a cup when her husband is away; but it is little used. This article was brought into Western Europe in the seventeenth century, and found beer in possession of Germany. The monks are said to have preached against the use of coffee, as anticipating, by the dense black smoke which arose from burning it, the "fumes of hell." It came from Turkey, and at that day the Turk was still the hereditary dread of all the peoples on the middle and upper Danube. He was next thing to the Devil; and what came direct from the former could be but recent from the latter.

Their beloved beer could not be traced so directly to an origin in the nether world. The German tribes, as far back as history or tradition reports them, seem to have loved this quieting beverage. Traces of their coming together as now for banqueting purposes, under the shade of Germany's primeval forests, are still found in history and historical traditions. There is one fact which Americans, so accustomed to rapid transformations of society by migration, immigration, and intermixture of races, can scarcely comprehend, even when they know it as a fact: it is the persistency with which national traits adhere to a people in an old country, through generations and decades of generations and of centuries, withstanding the shock of revolution both in government and religion. Tacitus says of these people:—"At meals, they sit every man upon a seat by himself and at a separate table. Arising, they proceed armed to their business; and they go armed also to their banquets. It is no reproach to them to continue day and night drinking. Their drink is fermented from barley or wheat into a certain resemblance of wine. Their food is simple,—wild fruits, fresh game, or coagulated milk. They satisfy hunger without formality and without delicacies. In regard to thirst they do not exercise this moderation. Indulge their appetites by giving them all they desire, and you may conquer them by their vices not less easily than by arms."

Viewing, then, these people of Upper Bavaria, and of Munich in particular, in their cold, raw air,—in their supposed exposure to typhus and typhoid fevers,—deficiency of good food,—the want of the domestic circle as cemented in our country over other beverages,—the national abstemiousness in regard to food, and the addictedness to beer for thousands of years past,—and we have a somewhat rational explanation of the springing-up and development into such monstrous proportions of the manufacture and consumption of this article. Of the many it may be said,—

"They drink their simple beverage with a gust,
And feast upon an onion and a crust."

Bavaria, not including the Rhenish Palatinate, uses over six million bushels of barley, and upwards of seven million pounds of hops, annually, in its breweries, making over eight million eimers, that is, about five million barrels of beer. But nearly half the kingdom is wine-growing, and uses comparatively little beer; so that this is mainly consumed in the other half, that is, by about three millions of people. At an average price of three and a half cents per quart, there is consumed in the kingdom fifty million florins, or over twenty million dollars, annually, in this beverage. Both manufacture and consumption have their head-quarters in Munich. The quantity manufactured in this city alone in 1856-7 was nine hundred and fifty thousand eimers, or about five hundred and seventy thousand barrels, being nearly five barrels a head for the whole population, men, women, and children. Allowing for the amount exported, or sent out of the city, there remains something like four barrels to each person. This is one quart, or four of our common table-glasses, per day. But some drink none, others little; a man is scarcely reckoned with real beer-drinkers until he drinks six masses,—twenty-four of our common tumblers; ten masses are not uncommon; twenty to thirty masses—eighty to one hundred and twenty of our dinner-glasses—are drunk by some, and on a wager even much more. The sick man whose physician prescribed for him a quart of herb-tea as the only thing that would save him, and who replied that he was gone, then, for he held but a pint, was no Bavarian; for the most modest Bavarian girl would not feel alarmed in regard to her capacity, if ordered to drink a gallon,—certainly not, if the liquid were beer.

The aggregate labor performed in this branch of popular industry is thus seen at a glance. But how is this done, and by whom? What is the noise or noiselessness with which such torrents of this foaming liquid rush daily through the channels of human bodies made originally too small to admit half the quantity? What are the final results upon body, mind, and heart of the present and future of the race? Does government encourage, stimulate, control, and turn to account this national appetite? These questions invite, and will well repay, a few moments' attention.

I once heard a college student announce as the text of his oration Lindley Murray's well-known definition of the verb,—a word which signifies "to be, to do, or to suffer"; and he followed up his announcement by a most beautiful and conclusive argument to show that this definition describes with equal accuracy three classes of men into which the whole world may be divided: a class who have no purpose in life but simply "to be"; an active class, whose mission is "to do," to which they bend all their energies; and a passive class, who merely "suffer" themselves to be employed as the tools of the men of action. Whether he would have modified his statement, had he known something of Bavarian beer-drinkers, I do not know; for, although these belong, doubtless, in general, to the class of men which he designated as having no purpose but simply "to be," yet they certainly have a decided preference as to the means of their being, which must be beer; they have activity enough to get where this can be obtained, and to handle the needed quantity; and the man who holds and bears about fifteen or twenty quarts a day must have no small share of the grace of passive endurance.

There is a class of the nobility too poor to treat themselves with the diversions of court-life, and with notions of noble birth which forbid them to engage in business, especially as they would thereby forfeit their rank. They fund their small means, so as to yield them a stated income; and in spending this and their time, they fall into a round which brings them three or four times a day to some place where beer is to be found, and with it a billiard-table and a reading-room. This class does not, perhaps, embrace a very large number of the nobility, but it is largely reinforced from others, whose small means are similarly invested, and whose whole time is on their hands for disposal. The class of men engaged in business, and pursuing it somewhat actively, give less attention to beer during the day. They take a couple of glasses—four of our common tumblers—at dinner, and perhaps send out a servant occasionally during the day to replenish a pitcher for the counter,—not, however, to treat customers, as used to be done in our country; but as beer had been all day secondary to business, the latter is dropped for the evening, and the undivided attention bestowed upon the national beverage. A large portion of the poor, and many who cannot be called poor, have not the means for this indulgence; and yet men and women are seldom seen at their work without a mug of beer standing near them. Ladies have the same provision in their families, as also students, and all who occupy rented rooms in connection with the families of the city; from ten to one o'clock servant-girls, with pitchers in their hands and immense bunches of keys hanging to their apron-strings, are seen running to and from the neighboring beer-houses thick as butterflies floating in a summer sun, and seem far more as if on business requiring haste. No room is sought for renting without an inquiry as to the quality of the beer of the neighborhood; and the landlady feels that her chances for a tenant are exceedingly slim, if she cannot furnish a satisfactory recommendation in this respect. Scarcely a house in the city is thirty steps from where the article can be had. The places fitted up with seats and tables for drinking accommodate from twenty to five hundred persons, and even one thousand or more in summer, when a garden is generally prepared with seats for the purpose. At these larger places, music is often provided, and ladies are frequently found lending the charm and solace of their presence, and sometimes a good deal more, to the other sex, in this self-denying work, in which the men have generally been the great burden-bearers. But the greatest crowds of real beer-drinkers go to another class of houses,—that is, the breweries themselves, where rooms are always fitted up for drinking. Of these the Court Brewery is perhaps in highest repute, and is at least a great curiosity. I visited it three or four times during a six years' residence in the city, and always in company with others who wished to see the lions of the place, and for the same reason that would have taken us to see a menagerie. Why did the monks never think of applying to such places the figure by which they protested against the introduction of coffee, "the fumes of hell"? The smoke of five hundred cigars or pipes rising to a ceiling which had been thus smoked for centuries,—the hoarse hum of five hundred voices uttering the German gutturals from tongues thickened by the use of beer, and floating heavily through an atmosphere of densest smoke, dimming the lights and turning all into an indefinite and uniform brown color,—this may indeed be a picture of Elysium to some minds, but to ours it is not. I never found a vacant seat there, nor felt a desire to occupy one, had there been such. Stone mugs of double the size of the common glasses are used, perhaps to save servants' labor in drawing, which is no small matter, as a barrel of beer lasts not more than ten minutes at the height of the drinking-time of the evening.

None of the drinking-places in the city are filled until evening. In the afternoon many take their walks into the suburbs, and turn aside where a glass may be had. On all holidays the whole city is adrift, much of it in the surrounding country, and most of this drift lodges against the suburban beer-houses. In summer evenings there are frequent entertainments, some provided by the government,—as one every Saturday evening from six to seven o'clock, from May to November, a mile from the city, in the English Garden, where sometimes two thousand persons may be in attendance, to hear the royal bands play. It is presumed that there will always be a considerable number among these who will not be able to stand it an hour without beer, and a beneficent provision is made for such,—seats and tables for at least five hundred persons being there provided, and often filled, so that some must drink standing.

The regularity with which the men of Munich bring themselves around to the same place at about the same time of day, especially if that place is a beer-house, is remarkable,—indeed, amusing. A gentleman residing in Berlin, where this everlasting beer-drinking does not prevail, mentioned to me, as one of the most ludicrous occurrences of his life, an invitation which he once received to visit a Munich professor whose acquaintance he had made in Berlin. The professor told him, that, in case he should arrive in Munich after a certain hour of the day, he must go directly to the Court Brewery, and would find him there. We do indeed regard this as the consummation of the ridiculous; but to this bachelor professor it was the most natural thing in the world. He might change his lodgings half a dozen times in a year, and so might not be readily found; but the Court Brewery would remain from generation to generation, and while he lived he expected regularly to appear there, and there, of course, was the only place where he could make appointments for years to come.

This incident will intimate what an external view of this dark brown mass of humanity would never have hinted,—that it contains men of learning and parts. Could one go round and listen to each party by itself, instead of hearing the low rumble which falls upon the ears of the general observer, the profoundest problems of philosophy, statesmanship, philology, geography, ethnography, and history would be found undergoing the most searching examination. Fame says of our politicians who rise to positions which ought to be occupied only by statesmen, that they frequent low places and mingle with the boisterous crowd. This is probably not a slander. But these men frequent such places only for a purpose. Their tastes do not lead them thither. They go no oftener than serves their purpose. Not so with the learned German beer-drinker. He is in his own proper society. Chinese or Sanscrit, Arabic or Coptic, the last discoveries in the interior of Africa or about the North Pole, or the more recondite regions of chemistry or mineralogy, may be the theme of a familiar discourse, which each of the party may fully appreciate.

To these places, of course, only the men resort. Indeed, in this part of Germany there is little of family-life. The members of the family take their coffee separately, as each rises and is ready. The men quite generally dine and sup away from home, and that, too, when their business and their residence are in the same house, and the hotel or eating-house is at a distance. An English gentleman told me of a German friend of his who appeared in his seat in the beer-house on the evening of his wedding-day; and to the suggestion that this was not quite right to the newly married wife, he replied that it did indeed seem so, but he thought it better not to encourage hopes destined to disappointment. This may, too, have been one of those numerous instances in which the parties had already spent many evenings together in such a way as to have diminished the interest of both in each other's society on the first evening of married life. A genuine Munich man would never be embarrassed like the Parisian, of whom the well-known story is told, that, having been accustomed to spend all his evenings in the drawing-room of a certain lady, he was advised, on the death of her husband, to marry her, and promptly replied with the question, "Where, then, should I spend my evenings?" A true South-Bavarian's plan of spending his evenings is not affected by the trifling event of his marriage.

Indeed, there is an aspect of this virtual dissolution of family-life which has great interest as connected with German erudition. The English or American scholar, whose social hours are mainly spent with his family, or in the mixed society of the sexes, would never think of introducing the subjects of his study into such circles, and hence is without the best means of familiarizing his mind with the very topics to which all his hours of close application are devoted; for no subject is fully understood and reduced to material for ready use until it has been in some form the theme of frequent familiar discourse. It is thus turned over,—looked at on every side,—the views of men of different tastes, studies, and orders of mind, who have not disqualified themselves for this by being curled into the same nutshell, are called forth,—and the sparks thus elicited catch on other tinder, which had not been touched by those struck out in solitary study. It is thus that the thoughts of the learned are familiarized, and their area extended. It is thus that subjects which sit upon us as holiday-clothes are, in a society of German literati, who are together every day at dinner, or over their coffee after dinner, and every evening over their beer, become to them as their every-day clothing. I am not of those who deem this result well purchased at the price of the refining influence of the other sex, and the virtual breaking-up of family-life; but if some middle way could be hit upon to secure the two advantages at once, both science and society would be great gainers.

The government has regulated the manufacture of beer, and collected an income-tax upon it, for centuries past; and this is even now one of its most puzzling problems. It determines the price, both wholesale and retail, at which the beer may be sold. The calculations are based upon an estimate of the medium amount of fixed capital necessary for the manufacture, then the labor, then the average price of barley and hops at the October and November markets of each year; every item which enters into the manufacture, including interest at five per cent on capital, enters also into the government's calculation by which it determines its tax and the price of beer. The price is never increased or diminished by less than half a kreutzer, or two pfennigs, that is, one-third of a cent, per mass. The fractional parts of this half-kreutzer which may appear in the calculation are divided by a fixed rule between the public and the brewer: that is, when the fraction is one-fourth of a kreutzer, or less, the brewer must drop it for the public benefit; when more, he may call it a half for his own benefit. The government tax is nearly one kreutzer per mass, making about six millions of florins. There is also in several places an additional local beer-tax, amounting to nearly two million florins more. The population of the kingdom is about five millions. A considerable portion of this population are wine-growing, and manufacture and drink but little beer. Ledlmayr, the largest brewer in Munich, made in the year 1856—the latest statistics published—one hundred and twenty-nine thousand eimers. Allowing three hundred working-days to the year, this would be four hundred and thirty eimers, or twenty-seven thousand five hundred and twenty masses, per day, and would pay to the government, at one kreutzer per mass, one hundred and eighty dollars of our money for each of these working-days, or fifty-four thousand dollars yearly. In a time of popular sensitiveness, there is nothing which the government could do that would be so likely to be followed by a revolutionary outbreak as to add a kreutzer to the price of the mass or quart of beer. This article is ranked in all police-regulations among the necessaries of life. The bakeries and beer-houses must remain open at those holiday-hours when all other shopkeepers, except the apothecaries, must close their shops.

The statistics already given have reference to the common beer; but, besides this, the brewers have permission to brew for certain short periods what are called the double beers, without paying a tax upon them. My statistics of the beer-drinking will, therefore, fall short of the truth, at least by this uncertain quantity. During the brief periods of the sale of the double beers, there is a great rush for them, relieving somewhat the monotony of the ordinary routine. The two principal kinds of double beer are the Bock-beer and the Salvator-beer. The latter creates quite a furor. Many, led by curiosity to the head-quarters of its sale, find their amusement there in testing the capacity of some great beer-drinker,—and such are always on hand waiting the chance,—by paying for all he will drink. These curious visitors seldom return without a similar test of their own capacities; and as the article has double the alcohol of the common beer, many a one staggers a little on his homeward way who had never felt such effect from the common form of the beverage.

There is also no small amount of wine drunk in Munich. I have not the statistics, but the number of large houses with the sign, "Weinhandlung," and of the smaller ones with the sign, "Weinschenck," and then the fact that at all the large hotels wine is mainly drunk at dinner, furnish my data for this conclusion. In the wine-growing districts of Bavaria beer-drinking is reduced to about one-fourth of the Munich standard, and so we may suppose that the removal of all wine from the capital might add one-fourth to the beer-drinking as given above,—at least, it takes the place of one-fourth of that which would be the aggregate of the beer-drinking.

The government has a commission for the examination of the quality of the beer; and, indeed, aside from this, the popular taste is not a bad test in this respect. There is an error in the lines of Prior,—

"When you with High-Dutch Herren dine,
Expect false Latin and stummed wine:
They never taste who always drink;
They always talk who never think."[C]

The most common manifestation of Bavarian beer-drinking is a perpetual tasting, and not a pouring-down of the liquid a glass at a time. These people seem to have the art of doing this thing so gradually and quietly that the soothing liquor passes gently into the circulation, and produces an effect very different from that which would result from swallowing it a glass at a draught, enabling them to drink without visible effect a much larger quantity in the aggregate. They practise upon the proverb, "The still sow drinks the swill,"—a proverb which would serve admirably the purpose of those who desire to join in the general sarcasm expended upon Bavarian beer-drinking, since almost every word in it seems to express so exactly some characteristic which North Germans and others are disposed to attribute to Bavarians.

Reference was made above to the government's regulating the price of beer. The margin allowed between the wholesale and retail price is half a kreutzer on the mass,—that is, one-fourth of a kreutzer or one-sixth of a cent on the glass. What a blessing, if the retail liquor-trade in our country were reduced to such a scale of profit! This would bring less than two dollars on one thousand glasses. The work would have to be turned over to benevolence for its prosecution, and would doubtless be done much more to the advantage of the community. The profit, however, on this trade in Bavaria is somewhat increased by the manner in which servants are paid. Especially if good-looking girls are employed, the employer may pay them nothing, but leave them to get their pay from the customer. They bring him his change in kreutzers and fractions of a kreutzer, and he shoves back to them often these fractional parts; and if no such are there, a truly liberal soul may give the girl a whole kreutzer, and then in return he will receive an expression of thanks somewhat stronger than our lordly porters would allow themselves to make for half a dollar on which they had no claim. Small as this profit is, it brings to the retailers of Munich about five hundred thousand florins, somewhat more than two hundred and fifty thousand dollars in gold per annum. Then, if the servants receive from the customers gratuities of half that amount, that is, an average of one-twelfth of a cent on the glass, this amounts to two hundred and fifty thousand florins per annum. In view of all these facts, it can be conceived that nothing would be so certain to be followed by a revolutionary outbreak as the addition of a kreutzer to the price of a mass of beer.

The wit which sparkles and flashes in a Bavarian beer-house may be as much less boisterous, or rather as much more quiet, than that which explodes over the distilled spirits of our bar-rooms, as the stimulant itself is less exciting, but is for this very reason the more genuine. Like the myriads of fire-flies on a warm summer evening amid the rising fog of a marshy ground, so gleams this wit in its smoky atmosphere; still it is there, notwithstanding the popular notion of Bavarian stupidity. The North German, and even English and American satirists of these people, fare generally much as did Ulysses's men on drinking of Circe's magic cup; and once turned into swine, they are seldom turned back again, at least until they leave the charmed spot. When once drawn into the vortex of students' convivial gatherings, they feel that there is no escape without flying from the place.

A drinking frolic, involving Americans, once called in my aid to settle a great international difficulty—that is, one about as threatening as most of those diplomatic cases flaunted so often in our newspapers—between the United States and Bavarian governments. Two American art-students had taken a room at Nymphenburg, a little village in the vicinity of Munich, the site of a royal château, which in summer is always occupied by a royal prince. There the great Napoleon lodged, when he visited the Bavarian capital. There the present king was born. There, at the time to which I refer, the king's youngest brother, Adalbert,—who would have succeeded Otho on the throne of Greece, if the Greeks had not otherwise determined,—was residing in the palace, and a company of cuirassiers was stationed in the town. The two students were visited on a Sunday evening by three or four more Americans, and one English and two Bavarian friends. The usual beer-guzzling prevailed; some exciting topic was up, and each must have his glass empty when the time for refilling was announced. One of the Americans felt his capacity not quite equal to the demands made upon it. The shift often resorted to in such a trying situation is quietly to empty the glass under the table or out of a window, if this can be done without observation,—and most young men are not very observing at such times. Under the window, outside, sat a party of the cuirassiers drinking, about a dozen of whom made a sudden irruption into that bacchanal chamber, and, with little explanation, proceeded to clear it of its tenants and guests, knocking down, beating, and pitching them headlong down-stairs, until the work was done. There were sundry flesh-bruises inflicted, some small blood-vessels lying near the surface tapped, one collar-bone fractured, a wrist sprained, garments torn off or left hanging in shreds; and rarely has the darkness of a summer evening concealed a more ludicrous spectacle than that of these dispersed beer-bacchanalians, each running on his own account, hatless or coatless, as he happened to have been left by some stout cuirassier into whose hands he had fallen. The next day, a deputation of the injured company and their friends came to me, desiring that redress might be demanded of the Bavarian government. They stated their case both verbally and in writing. They were conscious of no offence. If the assailants gave any reason for their assault, it was not understood. Most of the young men knew but little German, and perhaps just then less than usual of that or any other language. The supposition was, that the rough treatment grew out of the cuirassiers' jealousy that they were not so well served by the waiting-maids as the American company and their guests. One, however, stated the unimportant incident, that the coat of the man who handled him so carelessly seemed to be very wet. One of the Americans who had been present on this occasion did not present himself until sent for several days afterwards. He had observed an incident seen by no other,—one of which the performer, himself as honest a young man as ever lived, was utterly unconscious,—the pouring of a glass of beer from the window. The beer did as little harm on the cuirassiers' coats as it would have done in the American's stomach, and was at least the incidental means of bringing the whole scene to an abrupt end. The government was inclined to do us justice, but very naturally thought that the drenching of its cuirassiers might be pleaded in abatement of the insult to our national dignity; and so a nominal punishment of the offenders finally settled the question.

If asked whether inebriation and its accompaniments are as marked under the reign of beer as under that of the more fiery fluids used among us, I should feel bound to reply negatively. The common Bavarian beer has but about half the strength of the average malt liquors of our country, and seldom produces real intoxication except upon novices. It may stupefy, though this is by no means observable in the mental action of learned Bavarians. The charge of dulness, so sarcastically made against them, could be retorted with about as much show of reason against Prussians, Hanoverians, Saxons, or, indeed, any other people. The students, after their Kneips, have what they call Katzenjammer,—cat-sickness,—the effect of debauch, loss of rest, and general irregularities; and those who do most of the beer-drinking do least of the studying. I should, indeed, fear fatal effects from drinking half the quantity of water which some of them take of beer. The drunkenness produced by beer is at least a very different thing from that produced by distilled spirits. The one may be a stupor, the other is a brief and sudden insanity. Beer holds no one captive by such spell as that which seizes some natures on the first taste of ardent spirits, throwing them beyond their own control until their week's frolic is ended. The cases are rare, if they ever occur, in which the beer-drinker is enticed from the prosecution of his business, if he has one,—and beer furnishes the main substitute for business to those who have no other employment. If it causes men to pursue their avocations lazily or stupidly, it does not cause the irregularities and neglects of American inebriation. Cases of pawning clothes and impoverishing families from the appetite for beer may occur, just as from laziness, but not as from the bewitching appetite for ardent spirits.

The practice of Americans in Bavaria, even of those who never drink a drop of beer at home, is, so far as I know, to drink a little while in the country, acting from a supposed necessity in that climate, or impelled by the want of other beverages. Physicians advise it, and I suppose that American physicians would do the same in the case of their countrymen temporarily residing there. In my own family, it was taken every day at dinner as a kind of prescription, and the children were disciplined to drink their little glass daily with rather less urging than would have been necessary, had the dose been castor-oil; and they always felt that they deserved an expression of approbation as being "good children," if they drank their entire portion. Our taste for beer never increased, but rather the contrary; and should I again reside in that country, notwithstanding the general impression that its use is a kind of necessity, as a security against the fevers incident to the climate, I should feel just as secure without a drop. My little boy, born in Bavaria, and but four years old when we left the kingdom, liked the beer better than the other children, and so gave some support to the theory that the Bavarians take to beer by instinct. He shared, too, in the patriotic doubt of the people as to the possibility of successfully imitating the article in other countries. When, on our journey homeward, the train brought us into the little city of Koethen, we found evidence of one of those attempts so unsuccessfully made everywhere in North Germany to imitate the Bavarian beer. A man passed along by the train, crying at the top of his voice, "Baierisches bier!" upon which the little fellow, in the height of his indignation, cried out, "Baierisches Bier nicht!"—("Not Bavarian beer!")—and so the cry and response continued until the parties were out of each other's hearing, and all the passengers in the train had their attention called, and their main amusement furnished, by this childish outburst of patriotic indignation. At this point, my life, observation, and adventures in connection with Bavarian beer ceased, and almost the last echo of its magic name in the original tongue died on my ears. That the results may not be lost and forgotten, I now commit them to paper and to the public.


The Friar Jerome, for some slight sin,
Done in his youth, was struck with woe.
"When I am dead," quoth Friar Jerome,
"Surely, I think my soul will go
Shuddering through the darkened spheres,
Down to eternal fires below!
I shall not dare from that dread place
To lift mine eyes to Jesus' face,
Nor Mary's, as she sits adored
At the feet of Christ the Lord.
Alas! December's all too brief
For me to hope to wipe away
The memory of my sinful May!"
And Friar Jerome was full of grief,
That April evening, as he lay
On the straw pallet in his cell.
He scarcely heard the curfew-bell
Calling the brotherhood to prayer;
But he arose, for't was his care
Nightly to feed the hungry poor
That crowded to the Convent-door.

His choicest duty it had been:
But this one night it weighed him down.
"What work for an immortal soul,
To feed and clothe some lazy clown!
Is there no action worth my mood,
No deed of daring, high and pure,
That shall, when I am dead, endure,
A well-spring of perpetual good?"

And straight he thought of those great tomes
With clamps of gold,—the Convent's boast,—
How they endured, while kings and realms
Passed into darkness and were lost;
How they had stood from age to age,
Clad in their yellow vellum-mail,
'Gainst which the Paynim's godless rage,
The Vandal's fire could nought avail:
Though heathen sword-blows fell like hail,
Though cities ran with Christian blood,
Imperishable they had stood!
They did not seem like books to him,
But Heroes, Martyrs, Saints,—themselves
The things they told of, not mere books
Ranged grimly on the oaken shelves.

To those dim alcoves, far withdrawn,
He turned with measured steps and slow,
Trimming his lantern as he went;
And there, among the shadows, bent
Above one ponderous folio,
With whose miraculous text were blent
Seraphic faces: Angels, crowned
With rings of melting amethyst;
Mute, patient Martyrs, cruelly bound
To blazing fagots; here and there,
Some bold, serene Evangelist,
Or Mary in her sunny hair:
And here and there from out the words
A brilliant tropic bird took flight;
And through the margins many a vine
Went wandering—roses, red and white,
Tulip, wind-flower, and columbine
Blossomed. To his believing mind
These things were real, and the soft wind,
Blown through the mullioned window, took
Scent from the lilies in the book.

"Santa Maria!" cried Friar Jerome,
"Whatever man illumined this,
Though he were steeped heart-deep in sin,
Was worthy of unending bliss,
And no doubt hath it! Ah! dear Lord,
Might I so beautify Thy Word!
What sacristan, the convents through,
Transcribes with such precision? who
Does such initials as I do?
Lo! I will gird me to this work,
And save me, ere the one chance slips.
On smooth, clean parchment I'll engross
The Prophet's fell Apocalypse;
And as I write from day to day,
Perchance my sins will pass away."

So Friar Jerome began his Book.
From break of dawn till curfew-chime
He bent above the lengthening page,
Like some rapt poet o'er his rhyme.
He scarcely paused to tell his beads,
Except at night; and then he lay
And tossed, unrestful, on the straw,
Impatient for the coming day,—
Working like one who feels, perchance,
That, ere the longed-for goal be won,
Ere Beauty bare her perfect breast,
Black Death may pluck him from the sun.
At intervals the busy brook,
Turning the mill-wheel, caught his ear;
And through the grating of the cell
He saw the honeysuckles peer;
And knew't was summer, that the sheep
In golden pastures lay asleep;
And felt, that, somehow, God was near.
In his green pulpit on the elm,
The robin, abbot of that wood,
Held forth by times; and Friar Jerome
Listened, and smiled, and understood.

While summer wrapped the blissful land,
What joy it was to labor so,
To see the long-tressed Angels grow
Beneath the cunning of his hand,
Vignette and tail-piece deftly wrought!
And little recked he of the poor
That missed him at the Convent-door;
Or, thinking of them, put the thought
Aside. "I feed the souls of men
Henceforth, and not their bodies!"—yet
Their sharp, pinched features, now and then,
Stole in between him and his Book,
And filled him with a vague regret.

Now on that region fell a blight:
The corn grew cankered in its sheath;
And from the verdurous uplands rolled
A sultry vapor fraught with death,—
A poisonous mist, that, like a pall,
Hung black and stagnant over all.
Then came the sickness,—the malign
Green-spotted terror, called the Pest,
That took the light from loving eyes,
And made the young bride's gentle breast
A fatal pillow. Ah! the woe,
The crime, the madness that befell!
In one short night that vale became
More foul than Dante's inmost hell.
Men cursed their wives; and mothers left
Their nursing babes alone to die,
And wantoned, singing, through the streets,
With shameless brow and frenzied eye;
And senseless clowns, not fearing God,—
Such power the spotted fever had,—
Razed Cragwood Castle on the hill,
Pillaged the wine-bins, and went mad.
And evermore that dreadful pall
Of mist hung stagnant over all:
By day, a sickly light broke through
The heated fog, on town and field;
By night the moon, in anger, turned
Against the earth its mottled shield.

Then from the Convent, two and two,
The Prior chanting at their head,
The monks went forth to shrive the sick,
And give the hungry grave its dead,—
Only Jerome, he went not forth,
But hiding in his dusty nook,
"Let come what will, I must illume
The last ten pages of my Book!"
He drew his stool before the desk,
And sat him down, distraught and wan,
To paint his darling masterpiece,
The stately figure of Saint John.
He sketched the head with pious care,
Laid in the tint, when, powers of Grace!
He found a grinning Death's-head there,
And not the grand Apostle's face!

Then up he rose with one long cry:
"'Tis Satan's self does this," cried he,
"Because I shut and barred my heart
When Thou didst loudest call to me!
O Lord, Thou know'st the thoughts of men,
Thou know'st that I did yearn to make
Thy Word more lovely to the eyes
Of sinful souls, for Christ his sake!
Nathless, I leave the task undone:
I give up all to follow Thee,—
Even like him who gave his nets
To winds and waves by Galilee!"

Which said, he closed the precious Book
In silence with a reverent hand;
And, drawing his cowl about his face,
Went forth into the Stricken Land.
And there was joy in heaven that day,—
More joy o'er that forlorn old friar
Than over fifty sinless men
Who never struggled with desire!

What deeds he did in that dark town,
What hearts he soothed with anguish torn,
What weary ways of woe he trod,
Are written in the Book of God,
And shall be read at Judgment-Morn.
The weeks crept on, when, one still day,
God's awful presence filled the sky,
And that black vapor floated by,
And, lo! the sickness passed away.
With silvery clang, by thorp and town,
The bells made merry in their spires,
Men kissed each other on the street,
And music piped to dancing feet
The livelong night, by roaring fires!

Then Friar Jerome, a wasted shape,—.
For he had taken the Plague at last,—
Rose up, and through the happy town,
And through the wintry woodlands passed
Into the Convent. What a gloom
Sat brooding in each desolate room!
What silence in the corridor!
For of that long, innumerous train
Which issued forth a month before,
Scarce twenty had come back again!

Counting his rosary step by step,
With a forlorn and vacant air,
Like some unshriven church-yard thing,
The Friar crawled up the mouldy stair
To his damp cell, that he might look
Once more on his beloved Book.

And there it lay upon the stand,
Open!—he had not left it so.
He grasped it, with a cry; for, lo!
He saw that some angelic hand,
While he was gone, had finished it!
There't was complete, as he had planned!
There, at the end, stood finis, writ
And gilded as no man could do,—
Not even that pious anchoret,
Bilfrid, the wonderful,—nor yet
The miniatore Ethelwold,—
Nor Durham's Bishop, who of old
(England still hoards the priceless leaves)
Did the Four Gospels all in gold.
And Friar Jerome nor spoke nor stirred,
But, with his eyes fixed on that word,
He passed from sin and want and scorn;
And suddenly the chapel-bells
Rang in the holy Christmas-Morn!

In those wild wars which racked the land,
Since then, and kingdoms rent in twain.
The Friar's Beautiful Book was lost,—
That miracle of hand and brain:
Yet, though its leaves were torn and tossed,
The volume was not writ in vain!




We are no "lion-hunters." When we wish to learn something of eminent authors, we hasten to the nearest book-shop and buy their works. They put the best of themselves in their books. The old saw tells us how completely all great men give the best part of themselves to the public, while the valet-de-chambre picks up little else than food for contempt. Nevertheless, we are as inquisitive about everything that concerns eminent people as anybody can be. We would not blot a single line from Boswell. We protest against a word being effaced from the garrulous pages of Lady Blessington and Leigh Hunt. We "hang" the stars with which Earl Russell has milky-wayed Moore's Diary. But we are no "lion-hunters," (the name should be "lion-harriers,") simply because this chase is not the best way to take the game we desire. What does the lion-hunter secure? A commonplace observation upon the weather, an adroit or awkward parry of flattery, and some superficial compliment upon one's native place or present residence; for a great man at bay is nothing more nor less than a casual acquaintance extremely on his guard, and, commonly, extremely fatigued by admirers. True, one obtains an acquaintance with the great man's voice, and the hearth where he lives, and the right to boast with truth, "I have seen him." Voilà tout! Now this is not what we want. We desire some good, clear, faithful account of these people, as they are, when they talk freely and easily to their contemporaries, to their peers. Boswell's picture of the Literary Club is invaluable, although, with the insatiable curiosity of the nineteenth century, we regret that the prince of reporters failed to sketch the persons and peculiarities of the dramatis personæ whose conversations he has so faithfully recorded.

We wish to go behind the scenes, and to hear the conversation engaged in in the green-room. We expect to see some dirt, some grease-pots, stained ropes, and unpainted pulleys,—and, to tell the truth, we want to see these blemishes. They are encouraging. They lessen the distance between us and it by teaching us that even fairy-land knows no exemption from those imperfections which blur our purest natures.

A work has lately appeared in Europe which in some measure gratifies this desire. It exhibits in full light a good many scenes of literary life in Paris. They may be and probably are exaggerated, but exaggerations do not mar truth; if they did, we should be obliged to throw away the microscope, with nativities and divining-rods. We are tempted to give our readers a share of the pleasure we have found in perusing this picture of Paris life. We forewarn them that we have taken liberties innumerable with the book. We have compressed into these few leaves a volume of several hundred pages. We have discarded all the machinery of the author, and introduced him personally to the reader in the character of an autobiographer. We have not scrupled to make explanations and additions wherever we thought them necessary, without resorting to the artifice of notes or of quotation-marks. We repeat, that we have taken a great many liberties with the author; but we have made no statement, advanced no fact, indulged no reflection, which is not to be found in the work referred to, or in some trustworthy authority. And now we leave him the door without another observation.

I am Count Armand de Pontmartin. I was born of noble parents at Aix, in Provence, in 1820. I was educated at Paris, but the first twelve years after I left college were passed on my estate in the enjoyment of an income of three thousand dollars a year. Belonging to a Legitimist family, my principles forbade my serving the Orléans dynasty, and I should scarcely have known how to satisfy that thirst for activity which fevers youth, had I not for years burned with the ambition to acquire literary fame. Circumstances conspired to thwart these literary schemes, and it was not until I had reached my thirtieth year that I came to Paris with a heart full of emotion and hope, a trunk full of manuscripts, and some friends' addresses on my memorandum-book. Before I had been a week in town they had introduced me to three or four editors of newspapers or reviews, and to several publishers and theatrical managers. In less than a fortnight I breakfasted alone at Café Bignon with one of my favorite authors, the celebrated novelist, Monsieur Jules Sandeau.[D] I was confounded with astonishment and gratitude that he should allow me to sit at the same table and eat with him. I felt embarrassed to know where to find viands meet to offer him, and beverages not unworthy to pass his lips. There were in his works so many souls exiled from heaven, so many tearful smiles, so many melancholy glances constantly turned towards the infinite horizon, that it seemed to me something like sacrilege to offer to the creator of this noble and charming world a dish of rosbif aux pommes and a turbot à la Hollandaise and a claret wine. I could have invented for him some of those Oriental delicacies made by sultans during harem's heavy hours; rose-leaves kneaded with snow-water, dreams or perfumes disguised as sweetmeats, or citron and myrtle-flowers dew-diamonded in golden beakers. Of a truth, the personal appearance of my poetical guest did give something of a shock to the ideal I had formed. Many and many a time I had pictured him to myself tall and thin and pale, with large black eyes raised heavenwards, and hair curling naturally on a forehead shadowed by melancholy! In reality, Monsieur Jules Sandeau is a good stout fellow, with broad, stalwart shoulders, a tendency to premature obesity, small, bright, gentle, acute eyes, a head as bald as my knee, rather thick lips, and a rubicund complexion; he has an air of good-nature and simplicity which excludes everything like sentimental exaggeration; he wears a black cravat tied negligently around a muscular neck; in fine, he looks like a sub-lieutenant dressed in citizen's-clothes. I got over this shock, and hunted all through the bill of fare, (which, as you know, forms in Paris a duodecimo volume of a good many pages,) trying my best to discover some romantic dish and some supernal liqueur, until he cut short my chase by suggesting a dinner of the most vulgar solidity; and when I tried to retrieve this commonplace dinner by ordering for dessert some vapory liqueurs, such as uncomprehended women sip, he proposed a glass of brandy. This was my first literary deception.

A theatrical newspaper was lying on the table. It contained an account of a piece played the evening before. The writer spoke of the play as a masterpiece, and of the performance as being one of those triumphs which form an epoch in the history of dramatic art. I read this panegyric with avidity, and exclaimed,—

"Oh, what a glorious thing success is! How happy that author must be!"

"He!" replied Monsieur Sandeau, smiling; "he is mortified to death; his play is execrable, and it fell flat."

"You must be mistaken!"

"I was present at the performance; and I have no reason to be pleased at the miscarriage of the piece, for I am neither an enemy nor an intimate friend of the author."

Monsieur Jules Sandeau then went on to explain to me how the theatrical newspapers, which contain the lists of performers and of pieces in all the theatres of Paris, (play-bills being unknown,) enter into a contract, which is the condition precedent of their sale in the theatres, stipulating that they will never speak otherwise than in praise of the pieces brought out. The report of the new piece is often written and set up before the performance takes place.

I blushed and said,—

"That is deplorable! But, thank Heaven! these are only the Grub-Street writers, the mere penny-a-liners; the influential reporters of the great morning papers, fortunately, are animated by a love of truth and justice."

Monsieur Sandeau looked at me, and smiled as be remarked,—

"Oh! as for them, they don't care a whit for piece or author or public. They think of nothing but showing off themselves. Monsieur Théophile Gautier has no care except to display the wealth of a palette which mistook its vocation when it sought to obtain from pen, ink, and paper those colors which pencil and canvas alone can give. He discards sentiments, ideas, characters, dialogue, probability, intellectual delicacy, everything which raises man above wood or stone. He would be the very first writer of the age, if the world would agree to suppress everything like heart and soul. He is never more at ease than when he has to report a piece whose literary beauties are its splendid scenery and costumes. He will dismiss the subject, the plot, the characters, and the details in five lines; while fifteen columns will not suffice for all the wonders of the decorations. If you ask him to send you to some person most familiar with contemporary dramatic art, instead of sending you to Alexandre Dumas, the elder or the younger, to Ponsard, or to Augier, he will send you to the celebrated scene-painters, to Cicéri or Séchan or Cambon. As for Monsieur Jules Janin, of whom I am very fond, he is—You have sometimes been to concerts where virtuosos play variations on the sextuor of "Lucie," or the trio of "William Tell," or the duet of "Les Huguenots"? You listen attentively, and do at first detect a phrase here and a phrase there which vaguely recall the work of Donizetti, or of Rossini, or of Meyerbeer; but in an instant the virtuoso himself forgets all about them. You have nothing but volley after volley of notes, a musical storm, tempest, avalanche; the primitive idea is fathoms deep under water, and when it is caught again it is drowned. Now Monsieur Jules Janin has had for the last five-and-twenty years the business of executing brilliant variations upon the piano of dramatic criticism. He acts like the virtuosos you hear at concerts. He writes, for conscience' sake, the name of the author and the title of the play at the head of his dramatic report, and then off he goes, heels over head, with variation and variation, and variation and variation again, in French and in Latin, until at last no human being can tell what he is after, where he is going, what he is talking about, or what he means to say. He will tell you the whole story of the Second Punic War, speaking of a sentimental comedy played at the Gymnase Theatre, and a low farce of the Palais Royal Theatre will furnish him the pretext to quote ten lines of Xenophon in the original Greek. Monsieur Jules Janin is, notwithstanding all this, an excellent fellow, and a man of great talents; but you must not ask him to work miracles; in other words, you must not ask him to express briefly and clearly what he thinks of the play he criticizes, nor to remember to-day the opinion he entertained yesterday. These are miracles he cannot work. He hears a piece; he is delighted with it; he says to the author, 'Your piece is charming. You will be gratified by my criticism upon it.' He comes home; he sits at his desk. What happens? Why, the wind which blew from the north blows from the south; the soap-bubble rose on the left, it floats away towards the right. His pen runs away with him; praise is thrown out by the first hole in the road; epigram jumps in; and at last the poor dramatic author, who was lauded to the skies yesterday, complimented this morning, finds himself cut to pieces and dragged at horses' tails in to-morrow's paper. Don't blame Monsieur Jules Janin for it. 'Tis not his fault. The fault lies with his inkhorn; the fault lies with his pen, which mistook the mustard-pot for the honey-jar; 'twill be more careful next time. 'Tis the fault of the hand-organ which would grind away while he was writing; 'tis the fault of the fly which would keep buzzing about the room and bumping against the panes of glass; 'tis the fault of the idea which took wings and flew away. The poor dramatic author is mortified to death; but, Lord bless your soul! Monsieur Jules Janin is not guilty."

"What do you think of Monsieur Sainte-Beuve? Is he as unfaithful a critic as Monsieur Théophile Gautier and Monsieur Jules Janin?" I asked, rather timidly.

"Monsieur Sainte-Beuve has received from Heaven (which he has ceased to believe in) an exquisite taste, an extraordinary delicacy of tact, admirable talents of criticism, relieved, and, as it were, fertilized, by rare poetical faculties. He possesses and exercises in the most masterly manner the art of shading, of hints, of hesitations, of insinuations, of infiltrations, of evolutions, of circumlocutions, of precautions, of ambuscades, of feline gambols, of ground and lofty tumbling, of strategy, and of literary diplomacy. He excels in the art of distilling a drop of poison in a phial of perfume so as to render the poison delicious and the perfume venomous. His prose is as attractive and magnetizing as a woman slightly compromised in public opinion, and who does not tell all her secrets, but increases her attractions both by what she shows and by what she conceals. Monsieur Sainte-Beuve has had no desire but to be a pilgrim of ideas, lacking the first requisite in a pilgrim, which is faith. He has circumnavigated, merely in the character of amateur, every doctrine of the century; but though he has never adopted one of them for his creed, when he abandoned them he seemed to have betrayed them. Accused unjustly of treachery and apostasy, he has done his best to confirm his reputation, and has ended by becoming the enemy of those from whom at first he had only deserted. His error has been in adulterating that which he might have put, with singular grace, talents, and natural superiority, pure into currency,—in acting as if literature were a war of treachery, where one was constantly obliged to keep a sword in the hand and a poniard in the pocket. They say he is at great pains to provide himself with an immense arsenal of defensive and offensive weapons, that he may be able to crush those he loves to-day and may detest to-morrow, and those he hates to-day and wishes to wreak vengeance on hereafter. Monsieur Sainte-Beuve might have been the most indisputable of authorities: he is only the most delightful of literary curiosities."

Such was the language of Monsieur Jules Sandeau. He spoke in the same strain of many another eminent literary man. Around these illustrious planets gravitated satellites. When new pieces were brought out, he told me one could see between the acts the lieutenants go up to the captain-critics and receive instructions from them; the consequence was, the theatrical criticisms were either collective apotheoses or collective executions. One day it was Mademoiselle Rachel they put on the black list for three months, and they raised up against her Madame Ristori, declaring that she was as superior to Rachel as Alfieri was to Racine. Then 'twas the Gymnase Theatre they put in Coventry, for having spoken disrespectfully of newspaper-writers. Another day Monsieur Scribe was their victim, to punish him for fatiguing with his dramatic longevity the young men, the new-comers, who are neither young men, nor new men, nor men of talents. Monsieur Jules Sandeau had passed through the thorny paths, the steppes, and the waste frontiers of literary life in Paris, without losing his honor, but without retaining a particle of illusion. He told me of his days of harsh and pernicious poverty, the abyss of debt, the constable at the door, the agony of hunting after dollar by dollar, "copy" hastily written to meet urgent wants, and the sweet toil of literary exertion changed into torture. I questioned him about Madame George Sand. What child of twenty has not been fired by that free, proud poetry which refused to accept the cold chains of commonplace life and justified the paradoxes of revolt by the eloquence of the pleading and the beauty of the dream? I soon discovered that the ideal and the real are two hostile brothers. De Balzac's works had kindled sincere enthusiasm in my breast. Monsieur Jules Sandeau showed me the dash of madness and of ingenuous depravity mixed with incontestable genius in that powerful mind. He told me of De Balzac's insane vanity, of his furious passion for wealth and luxury, of his readiness to plunge and to drag others after him into the most hazardous adventures, and of his insensibility to commercial honor.

After parting from Monsieur Jules Sandeau, I strolled towards a circulating-library. I was asking the mistress of the establishment some questions about the latest publications, when all of a sudden the glass door opened in the most violent manner, and who should come in but Monsieur Philoxène Boyer, rushing forward like a whirlwind, a last lock of hair dancing on top of a bald pate, a livid complexion, a feverish eye, a sack-overcoat friable as tinder, a hat reddened by the rain, trousers falling in lint upon boots run down at the heel: such was the appearance presented by Monsieur Philoxène Boyer, our old classmate at college, and now a critic, a romantic, an uncomprehended man of genius, and a literary man. I had already seen at the Exchange the martyrs of money; I now saw a martyr of letters. Monsieur Philoxène Boyer is neither a fool nor a foundling; he was educated with care; he belongs to an excellent family of Normandy; he might have been at this very hour an excellent gentleman-farmer, honored by his neighbors, and leading a quiet, useful life, while cultivating his paternal acres, and making a respectable woman happy. But when he graduated at the Law School, the demon of literature seized and refused to release him. His patrimonial estate was worth thirty thousand dollars; ignorant of business, he sold it below its true value, and, instead of placing the capital out at interest, he put it in his pocket and dissipated it in those taxes, as varied as old feudal burdens, which the poor, uncomprehended men of genius levy on their wealthy brethren. One day it went in dinners given to brethren who deliver diplomas of genius; another day it went in money lent to Grub-Street penny-a-liners who were starving; again it went to found petty newspapers established to demolish old reputations and raise new ones, and to die of inanition at their fifth number for want of a sixth subscriber. In fine, before three years had passed away, not a cent was left of Monsieur Philoxène Boyer's estate, and in return he had acquired neither talents nor fame. He is scarcely thirty years old: he looks like a man of sixty. I know no man in the world who, for the hope of half a million of dollars and a place in the French Academy, would consent to bear the burden of tortures, privations, and humiliations which make up Monsieur Philoxène Boyer's existence. He undergoes the torments of the damned; he fasts; he flounders in all the sewers of Paris. But he is riveted to this horrible existence as the galley-slave to his chain; he can breathe no other air than this mephitic atmosphere; he can lead no other life. When I saw him on the threshold of that sombre and humid reading-room, muddied, wet, pale, thin, almost in rags, I could not help thinking of this wretched galley-slave of literary ambition as he might have been at home in his old Norman mansion, cozily stretched before a blazing fire, with a cellar full of cider and a larder groaning beneath the fat of that favored land, smiling at a young wife on whose lap merry children were gambolling. He was in the vein of bitter frankness. He had not dined the preceding day. He seized me by the arm, and, dragging me out of the circulating-library, said to me, in a voice as abrupt as a feverish pulsation,—

"Don't listen to that old hag! All the books she offers you are miserable stuff, fit at best for the pastry-cooks. Oh! you don't know how success is won nowadays. I'll tell you. There is an assurance society between the book, the piece, and the judge. Praise me, and I'll praise you. If you will praise us, we will praise you. The public buys."

Then he went on with his bitter voice to utter a furious philippic against our celebrated literary men. He attacked them all, with scarcely an exception. This one sold his pen to the highest bidder; that one levied contributions of all sorts on the vanity of authors and artists; another was a mere actor; a fourth was nothing but a mountebank; a fifth was a mere babbler; and so on he went through the whole catalogue of authors. The illustrious literary democrats were Liberals and Spartans only for the public eye. They cared as much about liberty as about old moons: this one speculated on a title; that one on a vice; a third, to possess a carriage and dine at Vefour's, had become the thrall of a wealthy stockjobber who paid his virtues by the month and his opinions by the line. He spoke in this way for an hour, bitter, excessive, nervous, extravagant, and sometimes eloquent. All at once he stopped,—and pressing my hand with a mixture of bitterness and cynicism, he said,—"Old boy, I have now given you a dollar's worth of literature; lend me ten dimes." I hastily drew from my pocket three or four gold coins, and, blushing, slipped them into his hand; it trembled a little; he thanked me with a glance, and, muttering something like "Good bye," disappeared around the next corner.

The next time I met Monsieur Jules Sandeau he said to me,—"I want you to go with me to Madame Émile de Girardin's to-morrow evening. She is to read a tragedy she has written in five acts and in verse. You will meet a good many of our celebrated literary men there. You must remember that the watchword at that house is, Admiration, more admiration, still more admiration. You must excite enthusiasm to ecstasy, compliments to lyrical poetry, and carry flattery to apotheosis. But before we go there I beg you to allow me to return your aristocratic breakfast by a poor literary man's dinner, which we will eat, not in Bignon's sumptuous private room, but outside the walls of Paris, at 'Uncle' Moulinon's, which is the rendezvous of the supernumeraries of art and literature. The wine, roast, and salad are cheaper than you find them on the Boulevard des Italiens, and it is advisable that a fervent neophyte like you should take all the degrees in our freemasonry as soon as possible. 'Uncle' Moulinon's dining-saloon is to Madame Émile de Girardin's drawing-room what a conscripts' barrack is to the official mansion of a French marshal."

I gratefully accepted the invitation, and at the appointed time I joined Monsieur Jules Sandeau. We left Paris by the Barrière des Martyrs, climbed Montmartre hill, and entered "Uncle" Moulinon's dining-saloon when it was full of its usual frequenters. I had never seen such a sight before. Imagine a gourmand obliged to witness with gaping mouth all, even the most prosaic details of the culinary preparations for a grand dinner. The dining-saloon was a long, narrow room, low-pitched and sombre; it was filled with small tables, where in unequal groups were seated young men between eighteen and fifty-five, anticipating glory by tobacco-smoke. Here were beardless chins accompanied by long locks; there were bushy beards which covered three-quarters of the owners' cadaverous, wasted faces; yonder were premature bald heads, leaden eyes, feverish glances: look where you would, you saw everywhere that uneasy, startled air which bore witness to a disordered life. To the sharp aroma of tobacco were joined the stale and rancid odors peculiar to fifth-rate eating-houses. I sought in vain upon all those faces youth's gentle and poetical gayety, the exuberance of gifted natures, the amiable cordiality of travelling-companions pressing on together in different paths. The most salient characteristics of this bizarre assembly were sickly smiles, an incredible mixture of triviality and affectation, motions of wild beasts trying their teeth and claws, starving attitudes, words tortured to make them look like ideas, a brutal familiarity, and the evident desire to devour all their superiors that they might next crush all their equals. I was glad when dinner was over, for I felt ill at ease,—the sight before me differed so much from that I had dreamed.

Monsieur Jules Sandeau gave me his arm, and we walked towards the Avenue des Champs Elysées. It was nine o'clock when we reached the Rue de Chaillot, where Madame Émile de Girardin resided. She lived in a sort of Greek temple, built about thirty feet below the level of the street, and down to which we had to go as if we were entering a cellar. The house was full of columns, statues, flowers, paintings, candelabra, and servants in black dress-coats and short breeches; but everything about the place looked so accidental and ephemeral that the Comte de Saint-Brice, a very witty frequenter of the house, used to say,—"Whenever I visit the place, I am always afraid of finding the horses sold, the servants dismissed, the husband run away, the drawing-room closed, and the house razed." The Comte de Saint-Brice's fears must have been allayed on this evening. Everything was in its place,—horses, servants, husband, drawing-room, house. Madame Émile de Girardin was in full dress; the manuscript tragedy was in her lap. I found in the drawing-room Monsieur Victor Hugo, Monsieur de Lamartine, Monsieur Alfred de Musset, the three stars of our poetical heavens; Monsieur Théophile Gautier, Monsieur Méry, Monsieur Paulin Limayrac, the secondary planets; Madame George Sand, the great Amazon novelist; some doctors, some artists, two or three actors from the French Comedy, and some other gentlemen. At this period of time Madame Émile de Girardin was forty-five years old. Her flatterers still spoke of her beauty. Her conversation was dazzling, but it lacked charm: her talents forced themselves upon one; her bons mots took you by storm. Strength had overcome everything like grace, and two hours' conversation with Madame Émile de Girardin left one with a sick-headache or exhausted by fatigue. Nevertheless, one of her most fervent admirers has uttered this singular paradox about her: "She would be the first woman of the age, if she had always talked and never written a line."

Her husband, Monsieur Émile de Girardin, was present, with his pale face, lymphatic complexion, glassy eye, and forehead checkered with a Napoleon-like lock. He was then, and has remained ever since, the most exact personification of a pasteboard man of genius lighted by histrionic foot-lights. He was a compound of the dandy, the sophist, and the agitator. His talents lay in making people believe him in possession of ideas, when he had none,—just as speculators disseminate the illusion of their capital, when in reality they are worse than bankrupt. He began what others have since completed,—that is, he made trade and advertisements the sovereign masters of literature and newspapers. Abetted by the spirit of the age, he introduced into the intellectual world the risks and unexpected hazards of stock-jobbing circles. He made a great deal of money in this trade, and, besides, it gave him the pleasure of making a great deal of noise in the world, of overturning governments, of dreaming of being minister, nay, prime-minister, when the day may come in which good, sense is to be challenged and France made bankrupt. Everybody around him, even his wife, seemed to accept his superiority for something unquestionable. Their union was not one of those affectionate, faithful, and tender marriages, such as commonplace folk hope to enjoy, but it was a copartnership of two smart people, aided by two bunches of quills. Each pretended to admire the other with an extravagance of show which made it hard for the bystander to repress doubts and smiles.

Monsieur Jules Sandeau had informed Madame Émile de Girardin that he intended to bring me with him. I do not know how she found out that I had, in the very heart of the Faubourg Saint Germain, an old aunt, a real duchess, who was recognized as an authority whose dicta could not be disputed by any noble family to be found from the Quai Voltaire to the Rue de Babylone, which, as all the world knows, are the frontiers of that, the most aristocratic quarter of Paris. Madame de Girardin knew that my aunt was in a position to open to vanity the portals of some noble houses which talents and fame alone could not open. Now Madame Émile de Girardin's monomania was to be received in the noble faubourg,—to live there perfectly at home, as if it were her native sphere,—to be able to say, "My friend, the little Marchioness," or, "I have just come from our dear Jeanne's house, my charming Countess, you know: she is suffering dreadfully from her neuralgia." She reckoned a triumph of this sort a thousand times preferable to the applause of her readers and her friends. All the dull pleasantries with which she adorned her over-praised "Letters" owed their origin solely to the unequivocal veto placed by two or three courageous noble ladies on the attempts made by Madame Émile de Girardin to force her entrance vi et armis into their mansions. For my aunt's sake, she received me with especial courtesy, which I was ingenuous enough to attribute to my own personal merit. However, I had not time to indulge in analysis: she was about to begin to read her tragedy.

The tragedy was that "Cléopâtre" in which Mademoiselle Rachel appeared, after wrangling for some time with the authoress to induce the latter to give Antony some other name, vowing that Antoine was entirely too vulgar to be uttered on the stage. The great tragic actress had never heard of the illustrious Roman, and knew no other Antony but the Antoine who scrubbed her floors and brought her water. It was a woman's tragedy, but written by a woman in man's attire, determined to write a very masculine, vigorous work, but succeeding in producing only a plated piece, in which everything was puerile, artificial, and conventional, from the first word to the last line. It was an olla podrida, in which Shakspeare hobnobbed with Campistron, Théophile Gautier locked arms with Dorat, Plutarch was dovetailed with the Mantua-Makers' Journal of Fashions. Cleopatra spouted long speeches upon archæology, hieroglyphics, the sun, climate, and virtue; Antony was guilty of concetti in the style of Seneca; Octavia prattled like a respectable Parisian lady, who takes care of her children when they have the measles, and hides from them their father's bad habits. It was neither antique nor Roman, nor classic nor romantic, nor good nor bad nor indifferent; it was a tragical wager won by a smart woman at the expense of her audience. The latter, nevertheless, bravely did their duty. Neither "Le Cid," nor "Polyeucte," nor "Andromaque," nor "Athalie"—Corneille and Racine's masterpieces—ever produced such rapturous enthusiasm. Monsieur Méry dashed off extemporaneously, in Marseillais accent, admiring paradoxes which lacked nothing but splendid rhyme. Monsieur Théophile Gautier, who looked like an obese Turk habited in European clothes, laid aside his Moslem placidity to cry that the tragedy was marvellous. Monsieur Alfred de Musset, lolling in his arm-chair in an attitude which seemed a compromise between sleep and Kief, smiled beatifically. Monsieur Victor Hugo vowed that nothing half so fine had ever before been written in any age or in any country or in any language—except (aside) "my own 'Burgraves'"! Monsieur de Lamartine, like a god descended upon earth and astounded to find himself at home, let fall from his divine lips compliments perfumed with ambrosia, sparkling with poetry, and glittering with indifference. Monsieur Paulin Limayrac, that little bit of a fellow, the fly of the political and literary coach, went first to one and then to another, his eye-glass incrusted in his eyebrow, stiffening his wee form as long as he could make it, rattling his high-heeled boots as loudly as he could contrive, stretching out his round, dogmatic face, puffing and blowing to give himself importance, dying to be the Coryphæus of the company, and mortified to see himself reduced to sing his enthusiasm in the chorus; he frisked about the room, and seemed to be handing around his rapture on a waiter, as domestics hand around cake and ices at parties.

The tragedy fatigued me. This comedy of adulation disgusted me. My very humble and obscure position in the midst of all these illustrious shareholders of the Mutual-Admiration Society, organized by the vanity of all to the profit of the vanity of each, kindled in me a desire to show myself frank and independent. I murmured, loud enough to be heard by all my neighbors,—"Of a truth, the Country's Muse is not Melpomene!" Madame Émile de Girardin, when Mademoiselle Delphine Gay and in the most brilliant period of her poetical youth, had styled herself "the Country's Muse"; her admirers had adopted the title, and it had remained her poetical alias. The exclamation was, therefore, if not very brilliant, at least very plain and quite just. It soon went around the room as rapidly as every ill-natured phrase will go; for everybody is glad to borrow such remarks from his neighbor without paying the price of them himself. I soon saw one of Madame Émile de Girardin's intimate friends whisper something into her ear. She blushed. Her thin lips became thinner. Her nose and her chin, which always seemed as if about to wage war on each other, became more menacing than ever; her bright, clear eyes turned from her friend and gave me a glance ten times more tragic than the five acts of her tragedy. I saw that my exclamation had been repeated to her, and that a universal anathema was thundered at the rustic boor, at the barbarian impudent enough to dare to be witty by Monsieur Méry's side, and to affect to be insensible to the sublime beauties of "Cléopâtre." However, all was not yet lost; I had unconsciously another way of conquering Madame de Girardin's favor. Her countenance became wreathed in smiles, she advanced towards me, and said, in a honeyed tone,—"Well, Count, give me some tidings of our excellent Duchess de ——, your aunt, I believe?"

In the mood of mind I was then in, nothing could have been more disagreeable to me than this way of recalling my aristocratic titles at the very moment when I sought to be nothing but a literary man. I replied with a careless, indifferent, plebeian air, as if noble titles were nothing in my opinion,—"The Duchess de ——! Gracious me! I never see her, and I could not tell you for the life of me whether she is my aunt or my cousin. Her drawing-room is the stupidest place on earth. They played whist there at two cents a point. Every door was wadded to keep draughts and ideas out. I long ago ceased to go there, and now I would not dare show my face again."

"Admirable! The Provinces are not devoid of sprightliness!" dryly replied Madame Émile de Girardin.

That was enough. I was weighed in the balance and found sadly wanting by an ill-natured remark plus and a duchess minus. Fifteen minutes afterwards we took leave of Madame de Girardin. She gave Monsieur Jules Sandeau a fraternal and virile shake of the hand in the English style; I received only a very cold and very dry nod, which was as much as to say,—"You are an ill-bred fellow and a fool; I have no fancy for you; return here as rarely as possible."

Soon after this memorable evening, Monsieur Jules Sandeau's friendly offices acquainted literary circles that a young man of the best society, devoted to literature, the author of some remarkable sketches in the newspapers and reviews, was about to appear as the literary critic of "L'Assemblée Nationale," the well-known dally newspaper, which has been since suppressed by the government. A month afterwards my signature might have been read at the foot of a feuilleton of fifteen columns. About the same period of time a fashionable publisher brought out a volume of tales by me. This was my literary honey-moon. I was astonished at the number of friends and admirers that rose on every side of me. I could scarcely restrain myself from parodying Alceste's phrase,—"Really, Gentlemen, I did not think myself the fellow of talents I find I am!" But, of all surprises, the human heart finds this the easiest to grow accustomed to. I soon found it perfectly natural that people should look upon me as a genius, and I ingenuously reproached myself for not having sooner made the discovery. Everybody praised my little book as if it were a masterpiece. I might have made a volume with the packets of praises sent to me; but I must add, for truth's sake, that most of my panegyrists took care to slip under the envelope which covered their letter of praise a volume of their works. I have kept several of these letters. Here are copies of three of them.

"Sir,—Your appearance among us is an honor in which every literary man feels he has a share. You will regenerate criticism, as you have purified novel-writing. One becomes better as he reads your works, and feels an irresistible desire to do better that he may be more worthy of your esteem. The days your criticisms appear are our red-letter days, and every line you give our poor little books is worth to them the sale of a hundred copies. I take the liberty to send you herewith a humble volume. You may, perhaps, find in it some over-crude tones, some raw shades; but do not forbear to exercise your critical perspicuity. I submit myself in advance to your reproaches and to your reservations; to be censured by you is even a piece of good fortune, as your reprimands themselves are adorned with courtesy and grace."

"Sir,—I admire you the more because our opinions are not the same; they may be said to be contrary; but extremes meet, and we join hands on a great many points: are we not both of us vanquished? Châteaubriand sympathized, nay, more, fraternized, with Armand Carrel. I am not Carrel, but you may be Châteaubriand before a very long while. I would beg to lay before you the book which goes with this note; some passages of it may, perhaps, wound your honorable regrets, your chivalrous respects, but they are sincere; and this sincerity I have never better understood and practised than when I assure you that I am your most assiduous reader and most fervent admirer."

"Sir,—Do not judge me, I pray you, from the newspapers in which, to my great regret, I write: imperious circumstances, old acquaintance, and—why shall I not confess it?—the necessities of Parisian life, have driven me to appear to have enlisted on the side of the most numerous battalions. But I have in the Provinces a good old mother who reads no newspaper but yours; one of my uncles is a Chevalier de Saint Louis; another served in Condé's army; my Aunt Veronica is a pious woman, who would forever look kindly upon me, if she should ever perceive through her spectacles her nephew's name followed by praise from your pen. For I need not say that you are her favorite author, as, of a truth, you are of everybody; for who can remain insensible to those treasures of.... [Here my modesty refuses to copy the text before me]. There is but one opinion upon this subject. Royalists and democrats, disciples of tradition or fanatics of fancy, voltigeurs of the old monarchy or reformers of the future, are all unanimous in saluting, as a rising glory of our literature, the pure and noble talent which.... [Here my modesty again refuses to copy the text before me].

"P.S. I send you herewith two copies of my works, which I submit to your able and kind criticism."

Nor were appeals like these the only sort of seduction to which I was exposed when I became the literary critic of "L'Assemblée Nationale." The eminent men, sublime philosophers like Monsieur Victor Cousin and Monsieur de Rémusat, incomparable historians like Monsieur Guizot, Monsieur Thiers, Monsieur de Barante, admirable literary men like Monsieur Villemain and Monsieur de Salvandy, (all of whom had spent their lives in laying down political maxims, and in expressing their astonishment that French heads were too hard or French nature too fickle to conform French life to the profound maxims which they, the former, had weighed and meditated in the silence of their study,) who had for eighteen years ruled France, found themselves, one February morning in 1848, stripped of power and of place. They returned to their favorite studies, and produced new works, to the delight of lettered men everywhere. But, as the human heart, even in the beat of men, has its weaknesses, these eminent men, who could not for a single instant doubt either their talents or their success or the universal admiration in which they were held, were a little too fond of hearing these agreeable truths told them in articles devoted especially to their works. Now to heighten the zeal of the authors of these articles, the eminent retired statesmen held in their hands an infallible method: They would take these trumpeters of fame aside, and, without contracting any positive engagement, would distinctly hint to these critics, (a word to the wise is sufficient!) that, after a few years of these excellent and useful services in the daily press or in the periodicals, they, the former, would elect the latter members of the French Academy. A seat in the French Academy was the object of the most ardent ambition. No sooner was the breath out of the body of one of the forty members of the French Academy than twenty candidates entered the lists, and canvassed, canvassed, canvassed the nine-and-thirty living Academicians, without losing a minute in eating, drinking, or sleeping, until the election took place.

You may now see the various sorts of seductions which assailed me during this short and brilliant period of my literary life. The world lay smiling before me, and I felt quite happy,—when I met Monsieur Louis Veuillot, the eminent editor of "L'Univers," which the government has since suppressed.

We had exchanged visiting-cards several times, and a few letters, but I did not as yet know him. I was attracted to him by the very contrasts which existed between us. My elegant and delicate nature (as the newspapers then styled it: they now call it my weak and morbid nature) seemed in absolute contradiction to that robust frame, that oaken solidity, which revealed beneath its rugged bark its virile juices. His masculine and potent ugliness reminded me of Mirabeau, of a plebeian Mirabeau with straight black hair, of a Mirabeau who had found at the foot of the altar calmness for his tempest-tossed soul. His conversation delighted and fascinated me. One felt (despite some coarseness in minor details, and which almost seemed to be assumed) that there glowed within him the energetic convictions of an honest man and a Christian, who had at command the most stinging language that ever wrung the withers of Voltaire's pale successors. No man among our contemporaries has been more hated than Monsieur Louis Veuillot. He has flagellated, kicked, cuffed, jeered, mocked, humiliated, exasperated, better than anybody else, the writers I most detest. He has given them wounds which will forever rankle. He has indelibly branded these miserable actors who play upon the theatre of their vices the comedy of their vanity. We together examined the pages where I had expressed my opinion upon contemporary authors.

"Are these," said Monsieur Louis Veuillot, speaking severely to me, "are these all your sacrifices to the truth? Praises to that one, flattery to this one, soft words to him, compliments to another? You blame them just enough to incite people to buy their books. Is that what you call serving our noble and austere cause? Oh, Sir! Sir!" ...

He lectured me long and well. He spoke with the edification of a sermon and the brilliancy of a satire. At last, ashamed of my weakness, electrified by his language, burning to repair lost time, I said to him, pressing his hands in mine,—

"I am dwelling amid the luxuries of Capua; when next you hear from me, I shall be in the midst of the field of battle."

I at once began my campaign. I made war upon Voltaire, Béranger, Eugene Sue, De Balzac, George Sand, Victor Hugo, Michelet, Quinet; and as for the small fry of literature, I showed them no mercy. War was soon declared on me,—war without quarter.

My first adversary was little Monsieur Paulin Limayrac. He has become the most accomplished specimen of the job-editor. As firmly convinced of the supremacy of the Articles of War as the best disciplined private soldier who ever showed how perfect an automaton man may become by thorough discipline, his political opinions are something more than a creed: they are a watchword which be observes with a most supple obstinacy. The cabinet-minister he calls master is a corporal who has the right to think for him; and were the corporal to contradict himself ten times in the course of a single day, imperturbable little Paulin Limayrac would demonstrate to him that he was ten times in the right. But then (that is, in 1855) Monsieur Paulin Limayrac was a Republican, a Socialist; and his weakness lay in imagining not only that people read his articles in "La Presse," but that they remembered them for a whole sennight after reading them. When you met him, he always commenced conversation:—

"Ah, ha! what did I tell you? Am I not an excellent prophet? You remember the prophecy I made the other day? It has come to pass just as I predicted it!"

Poor Paulin Limayrac really thought himself a prophet, when in good truth he was not even a conjurer. Stiffening himself up on his stumpy legs, he stared as hard as he could through his eye-glass, and from his giant's height of four feet ten, at everybody who pretended to believe there was a God in heaven. His occupation just at that time was to toss the incense-burning censer in honor of Madame, Émile de Girardin under her aquiline nose. He had become the page, the groom, the dwarf of this celebrated woman, who had, alas! only a few months more to live. He opened the fire against me. To gratify Madame Émile de Girardin, he one day wrote on the corner of her table twenty harsh lines against me, (he took good care not to sign them,) in which he said of me exactly the contrary of what he had written to me. As these lines were anonymous, I did not care to pretend to recognize the author; besides, can you feel anger towards such a whipper-snapper? I met him a short time afterwards, and he gave me a more cordial shake-hands than ever. Now comes the cream of the fellow's conduct: for all this that I have mentioned is as nothing, so common of occurrence is it in Paris. Note that Madame Émile de Girardin was dying: I was ignorant of it, but Monsieur Paulin Limayrac knew it well. Note further, that for weeks before this he had celebrated in the tenderest sentimental strains the loving friendship which existed between Madame George Sand and Madame Émile de Girardin. Note lastly, that Monsieur Paulin Limayrac had good reason to think that I knew perfectly well who was really the author of the malicious attack on me in "La Presse," which was his paper. Remember all this while I repeat to you the dialogue which took place between us under an arcade of the Rue Castiglione. I said to him,—

"Ah! my dear Sir, Madame George Sand must be gratified this time! Your article this morning upon her autobiography really did hit the bull's-eye, plumb! What fire! what enthusiasm! what lyric strains!"

"I could not help myself," replied he. "It is one of the fatigues of my place, I was obliged to write it."

"Well, between you and me, the truth is that your admiration is a little exaggerated. The work is less dull since Madame George Sand has reached the really interesting periods of her life; but how fatiguing the first part of it was! What stuff she thrust into it! What particulars relating to her family and her mother, which were, to say the least of it, useless!"

"Why, my dear fellow," replied Monsieur Paulin Limayrac, with a knowing look, "don't you know the secret?"

"What secret?"

"Ah! you have not yet shaken off provincial dust! Madame George Sand, with that carelessness one almost always finds in great artists, sent to Monsieur Émile de Girardin that enormous packet of four-and-twenty volumes, at the same time authorizing him to retrench at least one-third of the manuscript, if he thought fit. But Madame de Girardin (who is extremely astute) thought, that, if the work were published without the numerous dull chapters of the first part, it would command too brilliant a success; and Her Most Gracious Majesty determined that the whole four-and-twenty volumes should appear without the omission of a single line,—which is all the more noble, grand, and generous, as we pay a high price for the 'copy,' and it has curtailed our subscription-list a good deal."

"I thought Madame George Sand and Madame Émile de Girardin were upon the footing of a most affectionate friendship."

"'Tis a woman's friendship. 'Tis a poet's love for a poet. Each adores the other; but then what is more vulgar than to love one's friends when they are successful? Every hind can do that; while none but delicate and sensitive souls can shed torrents of tears over a friend's reverses."

A fortnight after this conversation took place, Madame Émile de Girardin died. There was a flood of panegyrics and of tears. Monsieur Paulin Limayrac was chief pall-bearer, and demonstrated in the columns of "La Presse" that Madame Émile de Girardin had herself alone more genius than Sappho, Corinne, Madame de Sévigné, Madame de Staël, and Madame George Sand, all put together.



My father's old friend, Captain Joseph, came down by the morning train, to inquire concerning a will placed in my keeping by Farmer Hill, lately deceased.

This is his first visit since our marriage.

He declares himself perfectly satisfied with—a certain person, and insists on my revealing the reason, or reasons, of her choosing—a certain person, when she might, no doubt, have done better.

And he is equally charmed with our locality,—is glad to find such a paradise.

I like Captain Joseph. He doesn't croak. Some old men would look dismal, and say, perhaps,—"Happiness is not for earth," or, "In prosperity prepare for adversity." As if anybody could!

"A beautiful spot," says Captain Joseph. And truly it is a pleasant place here, close by the sea,—a place made on purpose to live in. It is a sort of valley, shut in on the east and on the west by high wooded hills, which stretch far out into the sea, and so make for us a charming little bay. There are only a few houses here: the town proper, where I have my law-office, is a mile off.

I found this nook quite accidentally, while sketching the islands off in the harbor, and the water, and the deep shading on the woods beyond. The people here took me to board. That was ten years ago.

Then the family was large. There was old Mr. Lane, his wife, their five grown-up boys, Emily, the sick one, and Miss Joey. The eldest son went out to China, and there died. The next three, at different times, started for California. Two died of the fever, and the third was supposed to have been murdered in crossing the Plains.

David remained. He was a tall, well-made youth, with plenty of health and good looks, willing to work on the farm, but devoted mainly to his little sloop-boat. People called him odd. He was both odd and even. He was odd in being somewhat different in his habits from other young men; but then he had an even way of his own, which he kept. With him, the sea and his little sloop-boat and the daily paper supplied the place of balls, concerts, parties, and young women.

"Why don't you dress up, and go gallivantin' about 'mong the gals?" his old mother used to say. But he would only laugh, and pshaw, and walk off to the shore. And I, watching his erect gait and firm tread, would wonder how it was that one good-looking young man should be so different from all other good-looking young men. Still, there was a sort of sheepishness about the eyes, and that was probably why he never turned them, when meeting the girls, but strode along, looking straight ahead, as if they had been so many fence-posts.

Fanny J—— once laid a wager with me that she would make him bow. She contrived a plan to meet him as he returned from the Square. I hid behind the stone wall, and peeped through the chinks. Just as they met, she almost let the wind blow her bonnet off, hoping to catch his eye. But he looked so straight forward into the distance that I was alarmed, thinking there might be a loose horse coming, or a house afire. That was in the first of my staying there. We were afterwards great friends. He liked me, because I was good to the old folks, and to Emily,—and had a sort of respect for me, because I was the oldest, and because I could talk, and because of the great thick books in my room. I respected him, because I had seen the world and its shams, and knew him to be good all the way through, and because he couldn't talk, and also, perhaps, because he was so much bigger and handsomer than I. In fact, I should have felt quite downhearted about my own looks, if I hadn't learned from books—not the thick ones—that sallow-looking men, with dark eyes, are interesting.

David's mother approved of steady habits, but for all that she would rather have had him waste some of his time, and be like the rest of his kind.

"Poor David!" she would say, sometimes, "if anybody could only make him think he was somebody, he'd be somebody. But he 'a'n't got no confidence."

"Mother," I would answer, "don't worry about David. He's good, and goodness is as good as anything."

She liked to have me call her mother. I had been there so long that I almost filled the place of one of her lost ones. Besides, I had no mother of my own, and no real home.

Miss Joey, not being past thirty, had a plan in her head. Her head was small,—so was she,—but the plan was large enough and good enough.

This plan, however, was upset, and by her own means, even before the prospect of its being carried out was even probable. It was Miss Joey's own notion that one half the house should be let.

"We are so dwindled down," she said. "A small, quiet family would bring in a little something, and be company." This was at the close of a long and rather lonely winter.

So, one day, Mr. Lane came home, and said he had let the other half to a family from up-country,—man and wife and little girl.

"The very thing!" said Miss Joey.

Alas for human foresight!

The next day, at sundown, a loaded wagon drove up; then a carryall, from which stepped an elderly couple and a sweet pretty girl.

"What angel is that, alighting upon earth?" I exclaimed, looking over Miss Joey's head.

"Thought she was goin' to be a little girl," said she.

"Wal," replied Mr. Lane, "that's what he called her: suppose she seems little to him. But so much the better. The bigger she is, the more company she'll be."

Miss Joey went in to receive them, and I retired to my chamber. From the window I observed that the pretty girl was very handy about helping, and heard her mother call her Mary Ellen.

The next morning, just as I was leaving for the office, I heard a quick step across the entry. The door opened, and "the little girl," Mary Ellen, came in. Her hair was pushed straight behind her ears, and her sleeves were rolled up to the elbows.

"I came in," said she, rather bashfully, "to ask if Mr. Lane would help us set up a bedstead; father had to go, and mother's feeble."

"Mr. Lane's gone to get his horse shod," said Miss Joey.

Mary Ellen stood still, doubting whether to speak, but looking rather puzzled; for David was in plain sight, fixing his pickerel-traps in the back-room.

"Miss Joey," said I, smiling, and looking towards him, "there are two Mr. Lanes, you know."

"Oh, David,—yes,—David. Wal, so David could."

And so David did. I bit my lip, and went out.

In turning the corner of the house, I passed the open window, and glanced in, as was natural. 'Twas an old-fashioned bedstead, and there was David, red as a rose, screwing up the cord, while Mary Ellen, fair as a lily, was hammering away at the wooden peg, while the old lady stood by, giving directions.

It struck me so queerly that I laughed and talked to myself all the way to the office.

"Poor David!" I muttered, "how could he steady his hands, with such a pair of white arms near them? Good! good!" And then I would ha! ha! and strike my stick against the stones. "Turner," said I, addressing myself, "she's what you may call a sweet pretty girl."

I addressed the same remark to Miss Joey that night at tea.

"The girl," said she, "is an innocent little country-girl. She's got a good skin and a handsome set of teeth. But there's no need of her findin' out her good looks, unless you men-folks put her up to 't."

This I of course took to myself, David being out of the question.

An innocent little country-girl! And so she was. She brought to mind damask roses, and apple-blossoms, and red rosebuds, and modest violets, and stars and sunbeams, and all the freshness and sweetness of early morning in the country. A delicious little innocent country-girl! Poor David! who could have guessed that you were to be the means of letting in upon her benighted mind the secret of her own beauty?

Anybody who has travelled in the country has noticed two kinds of country-girls. The first are green-looking and brazen-faced, staring at you like great yellow buttercups, and are always ready to tell all they know. The others are shy. They look up at you modestly, with their blue or their brown eyes, and answer your questions in few words. Of this last kind was Mary Ellen. She looked up with brown eyes,—not dark brown, but light,—hazel, perhaps.

And those brown, or hazel, or grayish eyes looked up to some purpose,—as David, if he had had the gift of speech, might have testified. But a man may tell a good deal and never use his tongue at all. The eyes, for instance, or even the cheeks, can talk, and are full as likely not to tell lies.

It might have been two months, perhaps, after the other half was let, that I heard Mrs. Lane say one day,—

"Joey, there's an alteration in David."

"For better or wuss?" calmly inquired that maiden.

I did not hear the reply, but I had seen the alteration. In fact, I had noticed it from the beginning, and had come to the conclusion that the mischief was done the first day,—that his heart somehow got a twist in the screwing-up of the bed-cord,—that it received every one of the blows which those white arms were aiming at the insensible wood.

It was a case which had vastly interested me. I mean that it was quite in my line, detecting a man's secret in his countenance. I was glad of the practice.

Mary Ellen knew, too; and yet she had received no help from the profession. Only an innocent little country-girl! 'Twas her natural penetration. What a pity women can't be lawyers, they have so much to start with!

Poor David! He wasn't sensible of what had befallen him. How should he be? He didn't know why he smarted up his dress, why Bay-fishing wasn't profitable, or why working on the land agreed with him best. He hadn't even found out, as late as June, why he liked to have her bring out the luncheon-basket to the mowers. But before the autumn he had discovered his own secret. He knew very well, then, why he thought it a good plan for Mary Ellen to come in and pare apples with Miss Joey at the halves.

I could have wished him a pleasanter way, though, of finding out his secret.

There was another that saw the alteration, and that was Emily, the sick one,—the care and the blessing of the household. For twelve summers her foot had never pressed the greensward. They told me that once she was a gay, frolicsome girl. 'Twas hard to believe, so tranquil, so spiritual, so heavenly was the expression which long suffering had brought to her face. That face, apart from this wonderful expression, was beautiful to look upon. It seemed as if sickness itself was loath to meddle with aught so lovely. So, while her body slowly wasted from the ravages of disease, her countenance remained fair and youthful.

She often had days of freedom from suffering,—days when, as she expressed it, her Father called away His unwelcome messengers. At these times she would sit in her stuffed chair, or lie on the sofa, and the family went in and out as they chose. Everybody liked to stay in Emily's room. Its very atmosphere was elevating.

Then there were collected so many beautiful things,—for these she craved. "I need them, mother," she would say,—"my soul has need of them. If there are no flowers, get green leaves, or a picture of Christ, or of some saint, or little child." And sometimes I would dream, for a moment, that even I, with all my obtuseness, my earthiness, could have some faint perception of the way in which, in the midst of suffering, any form of beauty was a strength and a consolation.

And singularly enough for a sick girl, she liked gold ornaments and jewels. People used to lend her their chains and bracelets. "I know it is strange, mother," she said, one day, while holding in her hand a ruby bracelet,—"strange that I care for them; but they look so strong, so enduring, so full of life: hang them across the white vase, please; I love to see them there."

It was good for her when Mary Ellen came, vigorous, fresh, beautiful, like the early morning. She liked to have her in the room, to watch her face, to braid her long brown hair, and dress it with flowers, or pearls, or strings of beads,—to clasp her hands about the pretty white throat, as if she were only a pigeon, or a little lamb, brought in for her to play with.

She was pleased, too, about David. "He is so good," she said to me one day. "I always knew he had love and gentleness in his heart, and now an angel has come to roll away the stone."

I thought a great deal of my privilege of going into her room, the same as the rest. After the perplexing, and often low, grovelling duties of my profession, it was like sitting at the gate of heaven.

I used to love to come home, at the close of a long summer's day, and find the family assembled there. I felt the rest of the hour so much more, sitting among people who had been hard at work all day.

The windows would be set wide open, that not a breath of out-door air might he lost. And with the air would seem to come in the deep peace, the solemn Hush of a country-twilight. It pervaded the room; and even my cold, worldly nature would be touched.

In these dim, shadowy hours, when Nature seemed to stand still, breathless, waiting for the coming darkness, if I longed for anything, it was for a voice to sing. Speech seemed harsh. Yet we often repeated hymns and ballads. Emily knew a great many, and, after saying them over, would dwell upon them, drawing the most beautiful meanings from passages which to me had seemed obscure, and sometimes talked like one inspired.

I felt that these seasons were my salvation,—were saving me from my worldliness. Still, I sometimes had a guilty feeling, as if I were drawing from Emily her beautiful life,—as if I were getting something to which I had no right, something too good for me,—as if she might exclaim, at any moment, "Virtue is gone out from me!"

But Mary Ellen could sing. That was good. She knew hymns by dozens, and tunes to them all, both old and new. Besides these, she could sing love-songs and quaint old ballads, that nobody ever heard before.

After she came, we had music to our twilights.

David, of course, was a listener. He said he was always fond of music. I used sometimes to wonder if the pretty singer of love-songs had any special designs upon him. For I had been curiously watching this innocent little country-girl.

In talking with a friend of mine, he had laid it down as a law of Nature, that all women, wild or cultivated, delight to worry and torment all men; that they play with and prey upon their hearts; and that this is done instinctively, as a cat worries a mouse.

"A ministering angel thou," quoted I, rather abstractedly, as if comparing views.

"Angels? Yes,—and so they are," he answered, rather smartly. "And every man's heart is a pool, into which they must descend and trouble the waters!"

I knew my friend had reason for his bitterness. Still, I resolved to watch Mary Ellen.

David's bashful attentions were by no means displeasing to her: that I saw. She had not been accustomed to your glib, off-handed, smartly dressed youths. Here was a good-looking young man, of blameless life, who helped her draw up the bucket, took her to sail, taught her to row, brought her home bushes of huckleberries and branches of swamp-pinks from the pasture, and shells from the beach.

That few words accompanied his offerings was matter of little moment, since what he would have said was easily enough read in his face. It was sufficient that his eyes spoke, that they followed her motions, that he seemed never ready to go so long as she remained, that when she went he could not long stay behind.

Poor David! It wasn't his fault. He didn't mean to. Everybody knew 't wasn't a bit like him. He was charmed. And that reminds me of what Miss Joey said to Mr. Lane, the old man.

It was just about sundown, and they two were sitting in the front-room, looking out of the windows. It had been a sultry day. I was trying to keep comfortable, and had found a nice little seat just outside the door, underneath the lilacs.

Mary Ellen and David came slowly walking past. They didn't seem to be saying much. She had come out bareheaded, just for a little fresh air and a stroll round the house. How cool she looked, in her light blue gown, and her white apron, that tied behind with white bows and strings, or streams! A May-bee buzzed about their ears, and lighted on her shoulder. Poor David! He brushed it off before he thought. How frightened he looked! how confused! But then just think of all the other may-bes he had in his head, confusing him, buzzing to him all manner of beautiful things!

They stopped under the early-ripe tree. Mary Ellen pointed upwards, laughing. He sprang up and snatched off the apple. Then she pointed higher, and still higher, until at last he climbed the tree, and dropped the apples down into her apron.

"Mr. Lane," said Miss Joey, in an impressive undertone, "did you ever hear of anybody's bewitchin' anybody?"

"In books, Joey," he answered.

"Wal," said she, in a low, but decided voice, "I'll tell you what I think, and what's ben my mind from the beginnin' on't. That gal's bewitched David. Don't you remember," she continued, "that the fust week they come David had a bad cold?"

"Wal, like enough he did," drawled the old man. "David was always subject to a bad cold."

"He did," replied Miss Joey. "I've got the whole on't in my mind now. And mebby you've noticed that these folks are great for gatherin' in herbs, and lobely, and bottlin' up hot-crop?"

"Pepper-tea's a suvverin' remedy for a cold," put in the old man.

"But now," Miss Joey proceeded, sinking her voice almost to a whisper, "I want to fix your thoughts on somethin' dark-colored, in a vial, that she fetched across the entry for him to take."

"Help him any?"

"Can't say it did, and can't say it didn't. But ever sence that, David's ben a different man. He's follered that gal about as if there'd ben a chain a-drawin' him,—as if she'd flung a lassoo round his neck, and was pullin' him along. See him, and you see her. If she wants huckleberries, she has huckleberries. If she wants violets, she has violets. See him now, lookin' down at her through the branches. And see her, turnin' her face up towards him. He's nigh upon addled. Shouldn't wonder this minute, if he didn't know enough to keep his hold o' the branch. Does that seem like our David, Mr. Lane, a bashful young feller like him?"

"Bashful or bold makes no difference," replied the old man. "Love'll go where't is sent,—likely to hit one as t' other. And when they're hit, you can't tell 'em apart.—Why, Joey," he continued, suddenly quickening his tone, "there's the Doctor's boy, as I'm alive!"

Dr. Luce lived the other side of "the Crick." The young man coming along the road was his son, just arrived home.

As he came nearer, I took notice of his dress. I usually did, when people came from the city. He wore a black bombazine coat, white trousers, white waistcoat, blue necktie, and a Panama hat. His complexion was fair, with plenty of light hair waving about his temples. He stepped briskly along, with shoulders set back, twirling his glove.

I knew Warren Luce well enough. I could tell just how it would strike him, seeing David up in a tree, flinging down apples to a girl. I could very well judge, too, how he would encounter the fair apparition beneath.

But how would he strike Mary Ellen,—this polished, smooth-tongued, handsomely dressed youth? I had forebodings. I seemed to divine the future. I fidgeted upon my seat, and straightened myself up, rather pleased that my studies were getting complicated,—that I should have a chance of searching out the natural heart of woman, when under the most trying circumstances.

But just as I was making ready to commence upon my new chapter, Mrs. Lane called me to come and help move Emily. I very often lifted her from the chair to the sofa. It could hardly be called lifting. 'Twas like taking a little bird out of its nest and placing it in another. "The Doctor's boy has come," said I, very quietly, when I had wheeled the sofa so that she might feel the air from the window.

She made no answer then; but a little after, when her mother stepped out a minute, she said, just as quietly,—

"How will it be?"

"How do you think?" I said.

"I wish," she replied, "that he hadn't come. David is a dear brother. I fear."

When Emily said "I fear," there was no need to ask what. She feared the effect upon Warren Luce of Mary Ellen's fresh and simple beauty. She feared the effect upon her of his city-manners and fluent speech. She feared for David an abiding sorrow. Warren Luce had travelled, had been in society, and had been educated. I knew him well for a selfish, heartless fellow, whose very soul had been drowned in worldly pleasures. Just from the midst of artificial life, how charming must appear to him our sweet wild-rose, our singing-bird, our fresh, untutored, innocent little country-girl!

"But why borrow trouble?" I said to myself. "It will come soon enough. If not in this way, then in some other. Trouble stays not long away."


"The Crick" wasn't half a mile across. The Doctor's house was in plain sight from our windows. 'Twas just a pleasant walk round there, and we called them neighbors. The two young men had always been on the very best of terms. Warren liked David because he knew how good he was, and David liked Warren because he didn't know how bad he was. The chief bond between them was the boat. Our stylish young gentleman, when he came down to Nature, wanted to get as near her as he could,—not, perhaps, that he loved her, but he liked a change. Nothing suited him better than "camping out," or starting off before light a-fishing with David.

I was not at all surprised, therefore, that he should appear bright and early the next morning, to make some arrangement for the day.

I saw him coming, from my window, and was pleased that I had lingered at home rather beyond office-hours,—for Mary Ellen was shelling peas in the back-doorway beneath, and I should have an opportunity of advancing somewhat in my new chapter. It was a nice shady place. The door-steps and the ground about them were still damp from the dew.

He came trippingly along, inquiring for David. Mary Ellen blushed some. I saw that their acquaintance had commenced the night before. He chatted a little with the old folks, but directed most of his talk to Mary Ellen, that he might have an excuse for looking her full in the face, and drinking in her beauty. I saw him seat himself on the flat stone. I saw him glance admiringly at the pretty white hands, handling so daintily the green pods. I saw him show her how to make a boat of one, putting in sticks for the thwarts. And finally, I saw David come round the house and stop short.

Warren sprang up.

"Waiting for you, David," said he. "Tide coming, stiff breeze. We can be on Jake's Ledge in a twinkling."

And passing over a high hill, on my way to the Square, I saw the sloop-boat, with flag flying, putting off towards Jake's Ledge.

For the next two months the Doctor's boy walked straight in the path which my prophetic vision had marked out for him. Morning, noon, and evening brought him paddling across "the Crick," or footing it round by the shore-way.

Emily and I were troubled. We had once feared that our good brother and friend would pass through life as a blind man wanders through a flower-garden, lost to its chief beauty and sweetness. But his eyes had been opened. And now was his life-path to lead him into a thorny wilderness? was a worse darkness to settle down upon him?

I fancied there was a hopeless look in his face,—that he shrank into himself more than ever. The Doctor's boy had fairer gifts than he to offer, and no lack of well-chosen words. It was with the utmost uneasiness that I caught, occasionally, some of these telling phrases. I liked not his air of devotedness, his eye constantly following Mary Ellen's movements. I liked not the flower-gatherings, the rambles among the rocks, the rowing by moonlight. Emily's short sentence came often to mind, "I fear."

For I felt almost sure that Warren Luce was in earnest,—that he was deeply and truly in love with Mary Ellen. Not that he intended this at first, but that her beauty conquered him. Most likely this was the first of his knowing he had a heart, 'twas so small. Still, 'twas the best thing he had, and appeared to hold considerable love for one of its size.

And how was it with Mary Ellen? Ah, she was enough to puzzle a justice! I was not long, though, in perceiving that this unenlightened maiden felt instinctively that her personal appearance should be attended to a little more carefully than when only David was to admire. Her hair was always in nice order, and I observed that even in the morning she would have some bit of muslin or lace-work peeping from beneath her short sleeve. I hope there is no harm in saying that I had, even before this, noticed the shapeliness of her arm. I think I was struck with it the first morning, when she came across the entry.

And was she really a coquette, carrying herself steadily along between two lovers, that she smiled just as pleasantly on David, giving him never a cold word, even while the blushes kindled by the soft speeches of Warren Luce still burned upon her cheeks?

I found myself getting confused. My new studies were very absorbing in their nature, and extremely intricate. Three books to translate, and never a dictionary!

After patient investigation, I settled down upon the conviction that there was in the heart of our little country-girl one corner of which David's constant goodness, and earnest, though unspoken love, had given him the entire possession.

I thought thus, because I saw that in her own nature were truth and goodness. And she was quick of perception. I was often struck by the shrewdness of her remarks. I thought the more favorably of her, too, that she was fond of pictures. Before they came to live in the other part, she had taken a dozen lessons of an itinerant drawing-master. I had often encountered her in my walks, trying to make a sketch of a tree or a house. She always tucked it behind her, though, or into her pocket, the minute I came in sight.

It was certainly true that she had not yielded to the fascinations of the Doctor's boy so readily and so entirely as I had feared. "The girl has some common sense," I thought, "some stability,—and likewise some ideas of the eternal fitness of things." For I noticed, with pleasure, one night in Emily's room, when somebody said, "There comes the Doctor's boy," that she got up and closed the door.

She had been singing the old-fashioned hymn commencing,—

"On the fair Heavenly Hills."

The last line,

"And all the air is Love,"

was repeated. The music was peculiar,—the notes rising and falling and rolling over each other like waves.

She had just stopped. Nobody moved. The silence was broken only by the rustling of the lilac-bushes, as the night-wind swept over them.

"The whispering of angels!" said Emily, softly.

I was pleased that she closed the door. It showed that she felt his unfitness to enter our little paradise. I took heart for David. And yet it was only the next day that came the crowning with hop-blossoms.

I had returned home early, and was in my own room, waiting for tea. Casting my eyes towards the garden, I saw Mary Ellen sitting beneath a tree, leaning against the trunk. Near by was a hop-pole, laden with its green. And near by, also, stood Warren Luce, holding in his hand a thin, square book. He had gathered a quantity of the beautiful hop-blossoms and tendrils, and was directing her how to arrange them about her head. It appeared to be his object to make her look like a picture in his book. "A little more to the right. A few leaves about the ear," I heard him say; and then, "They must drop a little lower on the other side. In the picture, the tendrils touch the left shoulder. Now hold the basket full of them, in this way. The blossoms must be trailing over it, and your right hand upon the handle. Not so. Let me show"—And as he touched her hand to place it in the right position, I almost sprang from my seat, I was so indignant for David.

I might have saved myself the trouble, though, for the next moment David himself appeared, walking slowly home from the Square, with something in a basket he was bringing for Emily. David was a good brother.

"Perfect!" exclaimed Warren, as he completed his tableau. "Just like the picture, only"—And here he dropped his voice.

"David, come here," he called out, "and see which picture is the prettiest."

Poor David! I saw that it was all he could do, to walk straight past without speaking.

"Take them off," said Mary Ellen. "They are heavy."

And she pulled the wreath from her head.

That evening, coming home late, I saw a bright light in her room, and glanced up, as I came near. She stood at the looking-glass between the windows, holding a light in her hand. Upon her head, trailing down upon her left shoulder, was a wreath of hop-blossoms. She wanted to know how she looked in them. At least, this was my interpretation of the vision. And while she held the light, first in one hand, then in the other, turning this way and that, I stood debating whether there was any harm in a girl's knowing she was pretty, or in her wishing to inform herself whether any adornments rather out of the common course—hop-blossoms, for instance—were becoming. That question, and the other, about all women being coquettes, remain in my mind undecided to this day.

Emily must have noticed something peculiar in David's manner, when he brought her the basket. For it was the next day, I think, that she said to me, in her quiet way,—

"Mr. Turner, a new feeling is taking hold of me. I'm afraid I—hate!"

She made this announcement in her usual calm voice, as if she had been speaking of some new manifestation of her disease. Then she told what she had been observing in David's manner, and in Mary Ellen's. Said she,—

"The girl has no heart. She trifles with David, and he is so wretched. Better the stone had never been rolled away than his love be so thrown back upon him. I pity him so much, and can do nothing."

I hardly knew what to say in reply, for I was just as troubled as she about David. He wandered off by himself, in the chill autumn evenings, returned late, and stole off to his bed in silence. Stories of suicides came to me. A man who never spoke might do anything. And this, I thought, was the point. If I could only make him speak!

He had always been more open with me than anybody,—had expressed himself freely about the homestead, and his plans for redeeming it, and about his anxiety for Emily. I could certainly, I thought, bring him to speak of his trouble, if I only had for him a sure word of encouragement. But this I had not, because Mary Ellen was such a puzzle. Her openness served better for hiding the truth than did David's reserve. At the bottom of my heart, though, was full faith in her love for him. I paid her the compliment of believing she was too good to care seriously for such a man as Warren Luce. But, then, I couldn't give my faith to David.

How would it do to make a bold move,—to speak to her? Might I not show her how much was at stake, and in some way have my faith confirmed? Would, or wouldn't it answer for me to do this? Should, or shouldn't I make bungling work of it? I turned the matter over in my mind, to assure myself of my right to intermeddle.

We, too, had a sort of friendship, and I conceived that she very much respected my opinion. In some ways, I had been of service to her. The old man, her father, had been involved in legal troubles. She was anxious to understand all about it. So I talked law to her, read law to her, and marked law for her in my big books, besides giving advice gratis. She had also taken other books from my library, whenever she chose. I had lent her pictures to copy, and had shown her the way to various points, in the country round about, whence a simple view might easily be taken. Moreover, I was all the same as one of the family, and felt a brother's interest in David. And, lastly, I was eight or ten years older than she.

'Twas certainly my right to speak. I could well see, however, that it was a matter of some delicacy. My superior age and wisdom might shed a halo around me; still, I was nothing more nor less than a young man, for all that.

It was one pleasant afternoon in the latter part of September, that, engaged in these perplexing meditations, I strolled down towards the shore. Mary Ellen hadn't been in to tea, her mother said, and I was wondering what had become of her.

One solitary buttonwood stood close to the edge of the bank,—so close that at high tide its brandies hung over the water. I climbed up into a reserved seat which was always kept for me there, a comfortable little crotch among the boughs. Upon extraordinary occasions,—a splendid sunset, or a rain, coming over the water, or an uncommonly fine moon, or a furious storm,—I used to mount to this seat for a good view.

On this particular afternoon the tide was unusually high,—in some places, up to the top-rail of the meadow-fence. Our "Crick" was quite a little bay.

A skiff came paddling along-shore. As it drew near, I saw that it contained two people,—the Doctor's boy and Mary Ellen. He was singing, but I was unable to distinguish the words. Then there was some laughing. After that, she began singing to him, and I made out both words and tune, for then the boat was quite near. It was an old-fashioned ballad, which I once heard her sing to Emily. It began thus:—

"As I was walking by the river-side,
Where little streams do gently glide,
I heard a fair maiden making her moan,—
'Oh, where is my sweet William gone?
Go, build me up a little boat,
All on the ocean I will float,
Hailing all ships as they pass by,
Inquiring for my sweet sailor-boy.'"

I liked the music, it was so plaintive, so different from the common well-bred songs.

Not a breath of air was stirring. Her voice rang out upon the stillness, clear and shrill as a wild bird's. It was such a voice as you frequently meet with among country-girls, entirely uncultivated, but of great power, and, on some notes, of wonderful sweetness. Her admiring listener rested upon his oars, letting his skiff drift along upon the tide. It floated underneath the tree, and up into "the Crick." As it passed, I saw, in the bottom of the boat, a little basket of wild cherries.

While watching their progress, I heard a rustling among some alder-bushes that grew about a fence, and, upon looking that way, saw David. He, too, was watching the play, though he had not, like me, the benefit of a seat in the gallery.

The expression on his countenance was something like what I had seen on the faces of people at the theatre: a sort of fixed, immovable look, as if its wearer were determined on being sensation-proof.

I glanced at the skiff. The Doctor's boy was throwing cherries at Mary Ellen, and she was catching them in her mouth. She was in a great frolic, laughing, showing her pretty teeth, and so earnest that one might suppose life had no other object than catching wild cherries.

Just then I perceived, a little to the right of me, the head and shoulders of a woman rising slowly above the bank, and recognized at once the small features and peculiarly small gray eyes of Miss Joey. She had been gathering marsh-rosemary along-shore.

She, too, was a spectator of the play,—was, in part, an actor in it; for, while David's eyes were fixed upon the boat, hers were fixed upon him, and with the same despairing expression.

"Poor Miss Joey!" I said mentally, "doomed to see your beautiful plan fail and come to nought! You and he suffer the same suffering, but it can be no bond between you."

She turned, and slowly descended the bank, and I watched her small figure as it picked its way among the rocks, and finally disappeared around a point.

Meanwhile the voyagers had landed, and were making their way to the house. I could see them until they reached the garden-gate, could see Mary Ellen swinging her sun-bonnet by its string, and hear her laughing, as she tried to mock the katydids.

Then I looked for David. The feeling came over me that I was in some magnificent theatre, where I was like a king, having a play acted for me alone. David was lying upon the ground, with his face buried in the damp grass.

No matter how much we may read of the effects of great sorrow or great happiness, they will always, in real life, come to us as something we never heard of. I involuntarily turned my head aside, feeling that I was where I had no right to be, that I had intruded my profane presence into the innermost sanctuary of a human heart.

While I was debating whether to remain concealed, or to go to him, throw my arms around him, and say some word of comfort, he arose and walked slowly towards the house. And I noticed that he went by exactly the same route which the two had taken before him,—which brought to mind Miss Joey's expression, "as if there'd ben a chain a-drawin' him."

That very evening, as I was sitting at my window, watching the moon rise over the water, I saw Mary Ellen pass along the road, and sit down upon a little wooden step which was attached to a fence for convenience in getting over. She was watching the moon rise, too.

The scene I had so recently witnessed from the buttonwood-tree had made me desperate. I felt that now, if ever, I must speak. Seizing my hat, I walked rapidly to the spot, hoping it would be given me in that hour what to say.

After we had talked awhile about the moon, how it looked, rising over the waters, as we saw it, and rising over the mountains, as she had seen it, I turned my face rather aside, and said, quite suddenly,—

"Mary Ellen, I want to speak to you about something important. I hope you will take it kindly."

She made no answer; seemed startled. I hardly know how I stumbled along, but I finally found myself speaking of my friendship for David, and of my aversion to Warren Luce. She appeared not at all displeased, but said very little. This was not as I expected. I thought she might answer carelessly,—lightly.

There came a pause. I couldn't seem to get on. She safe with averted face, her arm on the fence, her head in her hand. In the strong light of the moon, every feature was revealed. How beautiful she was in the moonlight! But what was her face saying? A good deal, certainly; but what?

I stood leaning against the fence.

"Mary Ellen," said I, with a sudden jerk, as it were, "it can't be that Warren Luce—that he is the one whom—that—that you"—And here I stopped.

"I think Warren Luce has great power over me," said she, calmly, as if coolly scanning her own feelings; "but you said right. He is not the one whom—that"—

And here she smiled, as if at the thought of my broken-off sentences, but without looking up.

"My dear girl," said I, earnestly, and taking a forward step,—"forgive me, but—I think—I hope—you love David,—don't you?"

'Twas a bold question, and I knew it; but I was thinking how pleasant 'twould be to carry good tidings to my friend.

"I love his goodness," said she, just as calmly as before. "And I love him for loving me. I wish he was happy. I hope no harm will come to him. I would do everything for him,—but"—and here her voice fell—"I don't love him as Jane loved."

"Jane who?" I asked, in surprise.

"Jane Eyre."

Here was a dilemma for me. What should I say next? What business had I, meddling with a young girl's heart? I had been almost sure of finding soundings, yet here I was in deep water! And, with all my pains, what had I accomplished?

She arose, and moved towards the house. I walked along by her side, without speaking.

"I'm going away to-morrow," said she, as we reached the gate, "to make a visit at the old place; then everybody will be happier."

It was my turn then to be silent,—for I was trying to take in the idea that there was to be no Mary Ellen in the house. She had occupied our thoughts so long, had been so prominent an actor in our daily life,—how we should miss her!

"Oh, no," I said, calmly,—for I had thought away all my surprise,—"we shall all miss you very much."

And there we parted.

She left us the next morning, for a visit to her old home.

The latter part of the day I went into Emily's room. She had been growing worse for some time, and had been removed to the westerly room to be rid of the bleak winds. David was sitting on a low stool by her bedside, his head resting upon the bed, looking up in her face. She smiled as I entered.

"David is so tall," said she, "that I can't see his face away up there, and so he brings it down for me to look at."

She held in her hand the ruby bracelet.

"David says," she continued, "that he is going to the gold-country, to get money to pay off the mortgages,—and that, when he begins to get gold, he shall get a heap, and will bring me home a whole necklace of rubies, and make a beautiful home for me: when he goes," she repeated, with an unbelieving smile.

I smiled, too, and passed on, feeling that I had already intruded too much upon the privacy of hearts, and would leave the brother and sister in peace.

A few nights after this, I came home late from the Square, and found the household in great commotion. David went out fishing, long before daybreak, and had not yet returned. Other boats had come in, but nothing had they seen of him, either on the Ledge or off in the Bay. This was the more mysterious, as the weather had been unusually mild, with but little wind.

After talking over the matter with them, I suggested that he might have gone farther than usual, and, on account of the light winds, had not been able to get back. The night was calm, with plenty of moonlight. There could be no possible danger to one so accustomed to the water as David.

This appeared very reasonable; and, at a late hour, all retired to bed.

The next morning I looked from my window at daybreak. Miss Joey was standing on the hill, gazing off upon the water. In a few minutes the old folks came out. They crept up the hill, and stood looking off with Miss Joey. I joined them. There was a fine strong breeze, and fair for boats bound in. Not one, however, was in sight. Away off in the Bay was a homeward-bound schooner, with colors flying. A fisherman, probably, returning from the Banks. The morning air was chilly. We silently descended the hill.

During the day we heard that a vessel from Boston had spoken, half-way on her passage, a small sloop-boat, with one man in it. Boston was sixty miles distant, and it was something very unusual for a small boat to make the passage. Friends in the city were written to, but no information was obtained, and day after day passed without relieving our suspense.

But this was at last ended by a letter from David himself. It was written to me. He had sold his boat in Boston, and had gone to New York, where his letter was dated. He was going to sail for California the next day.

"I have long been meaning to go," he wrote, "but never thought of leaving in this way, until I reached the fishing-ground, last Wednesday morning. It came into my mind all at once, and I kept straight along. If I'd gone back, the old folks, maybe, wouldn't have let me come, because, you know, I'm the last. Besides, I thought I could go easier while—But you know all about it, Turner. I saw that you knew. It has been very hard. Somehow, trouble don't slip off of me easy. Taking everything as it was, I couldn't stay by any longer. Otherwise, I don't know as I could have left the old folks and Emily. I can't ask you to stay, unless it's convenient; but while you do, I hope you'll have a care over all I've left behind. You can cheer up Emily better than anybody."

"The strength and the beauty of the house are gone!" remarked Emily to me, as I sat down one afternoon by her window.

Poor girl! It was but seldom she was able to speak at all. David's sudden departure, and the anxiety attending it, had been too much for her. Besides, she missed Mary Ellen. That little country-girl had, besides her innocence and her good looks, a vein of drollery, which made her a very entertaining companion. And then, being so quick-witted, and so kind-hearted, she thought of various little things to do for Emily's comfort, which never would have occurred to her mother or Miss Joey. Emily wanted her back again. She had got over that feeling of hatred of which she once accused herself.

"It wasn't her fault," said she, one day, quite suddenly.

"What?" I asked.

"That she didn't love David in the way he loved her. I don't think she deceived him. He never said anything, you know; so, of course, she had no reason for being any other than kind to him. I believe she felt badly about it, herself. I've seen her, when she thought I was asleep, lean her head upon her hand, and sit so for a great while. Maybe, though, it's because I want so much to love her that I make excuses for her. I wish she'd come,—it's so lonely."

And it was lonely. It was like remaining in the theatre after the play is over and the actors retired. For Warren Luce, too, was gone. His visit was only for the summer, and he had returned to his clerkship.

"How would it have been, if he hadn't come?" I asked myself. "Might David have been happy? Might she have loved him as 'Jane' loved? And how much of her heart had the Doctor's boy carried away? Perhaps his power over her was greater than she would own,—greater than she knew herself. Perhaps he was even then corresponding with her. He might even be with her among the mountains."

Thus I debated, thus I questioned.


Mary Ellen was gone six weeks. We were all glad when she came back, the house had seemed so like a tomb. I'm not sure about Miss Joey. No doubt she looked upon her with an evil eye, as being the upsetter of all her plans. But then there was nothing Miss Joey dreaded more than a lonely house. She wanted company.

And what better company, pray, can there be than a fair young face? Who would ask for better entertainment than to watch the lighting-up of bright eyes, and the parting of rosy lips, or the thousand other bewitchments of youth and beauty?

And she looked more beautiful than ever,—I suppose, because she came in a dull time: just as flowers seem lovelier and more precious in the winter. I fancied she was very sad, very thoughtful. Perhaps 'twas David's going away that caused this. Perhaps she was sorry she had cast from her such a precious thing as love.

When Emily became much worse, which was shortly after her return, she installed herself as chief nurse, sitting for hours in the darkened room, amusing her with children's songs and stories,—for the sick girl, in her weakest state, craved childish things.

That was a quiet, a truly pleasant winter. After getting letters from David, telling of his safe arrival out, everybody became more cheerful.

But in the spring, as warm weather came on, Emily grew every day weaker. The apple-blossoms came and went unheeded.

One morning she awoke, unusually free from pain, and said to Mary Ellen,—

"I saw David last night. He said to me, 'I shall come sooner than I expected. But, before I come, I shall send the ruby necklace.'" Then she described the miner's hut in which she had seen him.

This was in the first part of June.

On the day after the fourth of July we got news of his death. He had been lost overboard, in a storm, between San Francisco and the Sandwich Islands.

It is very sad to recall that time of deep affliction. He was the last of five sons, all of whom had left home in full health and strength, none of whom returned.

"Five as likely young men," said poor Miss Joey, "as ever grew up beneath one roof."

"All five gone!" groaned the old man, as he leaned his face against the wall.

"Five brothers waiting for me," whispered Emily, as Mary Ellen bent over her, weeping.

"Five boys," moaned the poor broken-hearted mother,—"nobody to take care of them, nobody to do for them, no comforts, no mother, and now no grave!"

'Twas touching to see her husband trying to console her. Her favorite seat was in one corner of the hard, old-fashioned settee. There she would sit, swaying herself to and fro, whispering sometimes to herself, "Deep waters! deep waters!"

The old man would sit close up to her, and say, softly,—

"Now, mother, don't! I wouldn't take on. You know he isn't there. Look up. Don't forget God!"

Poor old man! 'Twas hard for him to look up, with so much to draw him down. But I don't think he ever forgot God.

A little before sunset, one afternoon, a few weeks after the sad news of David's death had reached us, Mary Ellen came out to where I was sitting under the lilacs, and asked if I couldn't move Emily into her own room for a little while.

"Is she able?" I asked.

"I don't know what has come over her," she replied, "she seems so strong. For a long time I thought her asleep, but all at once she spoke out clear and loud, and said, 'I want to see his grave. If anybody could take me to my own room, I could see his grave.' She keeps repeating it, and she means the sea."

'Twas not much to take her across the entry. Mary Ellen arranged everything, and we placed her on a sofa by the window.

"Oh," she exclaimed, "how I have longed for this! I have hungered and thirsted for a good look at the sea."

Her cheeks were pale, her eyes large and bright.

She looked so ethereal, so unearthly, and lay so long motionless, with her eyes fixed upon the water, that I half feared she would at that moment pass away from us,—that she might, in some beautiful form, a dove, or a bright angel, soar upward through the open window, and be lost to our sight among the golden-edged clouds above.

But she was thinking of David's grave. And a beautiful grave it seemed, from that window. The water was still, as smooth as glass. I had never noticed upon it so uncommon a tinge. 'Twas mostly of a pale green, very pale; but portions of it were of a deep lilac. Farther off it was purple, and very far off a dim, shadowy gray. I was glad it had on that particular night such a peaceful, placid look.

"Oh, what a beautiful grave!" said Emily. Then her eyes wandered to different points of the landscape, dwelling for a long time on each.

"I suppose you think," said she, at last, in a low, sweet voice, "that it is easy for a sick girl to go. But I love everything I've been looking at. It may be more beautiful there, but it will not be the same. I shall want to see exactly this stretch of water, and the islands beyond, and the shadows on those woods away off in the distance, and the field where father has mowed the grass for so many years. Every summer, as soon as June came in, I've listened, early in the morning, before noise began, to hear the whetting of the scythe, and then waited for the smell of the hay to come in at the windows.

"Those maples, on the knoll, are my dear friends. I've been glad with them in the spring, and sorry with them in the fall, through all these years. The birds and the dandelions and the violets are all my friends. I've waited for them every year, and it seemed as if the same ones came back. You well people can't understand it. They are near to me. I enter into the life of each one of them, just as you do into the lives of your human friends. Spirits go everywhere, see everything. That will be too much. I'm attached to just this spot of earth. And then I'm attached to myself. I can't realize that I shall be the same, and I don't want to give myself up, poor miserable creature as I am."

Mary Ellen and I could only look at each other in astonishment. Her voice, her seeming strength, and, more than all, her conversation, amazed us. She had always been so trusting, so full of faith in her Heavenly Father.

The next morning, when Mary Ellen went to her bedside, she found her lying awake, with her thin, white fingers clasped about her throat. She looked up with a strange smile, and said,—

"My ruby necklace has come, and next, you know, will be the beautiful home. It is almost ready, David said. But he brought the necklace, and clasped it about my throat. It choked me, and I groaned a little. David went then, and I've been waiting ever since for you to come."

It was noontime when Mary Ellen told me this. I observed that she trembled. "My dear girl," said I, "what makes you tremble so?"

"Why," said she, in a whisper, "there is truly a red circle about her throat. I saw it. 'Tis a warning. She's going to die."

"Maybe," I said, "she is going soon to her beautiful home. But we know no harm can come to our dear sister, she is so good, and so pure." Then, taking her by the hand, I led her along to Emily's room.

Her mother and Miss Joey stood near, weeping. The old man, with the Bible upon his knees, sat at the foot of the bed. He had been reading and praying.

She looked up with a smile, as I entered with Mary Ellen.

"I know," said she, in a perfectly distinct, but low voice, as we drew near the bedside,—"I know what made me talk so yesterday.".

She paused then, and afterwards spoke with difficulty. We all stood breathless, bending eagerly forward, that not a word might be lost.

"I know," she repeated, "what it was. 'Twas the earthy principle in me—which revived—for a moment—at the last—and then put forth all its strength. Since I have seen David—it seems pleasant—to go. I can't tell,—you wouldn't understand,—I couldn't, if the separation—hadn't begun. I'm not wholly here now." And the fixed, strange look in her face confirmed the words as they fell from her lips.

She lay for some time very still, breathing every moment fainter and fainter, but seemingly in no distress.

Suddenly she started. Her face grew radiant. Her gaze seemed fixed on some point, thousands and thousands of miles away. Clasping her hands together, she cried out, joyfully,—

"Oh, the beautiful home! the beautiful home!"

'Twas over in an instant. She closed her eyes, turned her head a little on the pillow, and breathed her life away as softly and peacefully as a poor tired child sinks away to sleep.

"And I saw the angels of God ascending and descending," I said, earnestly. For I felt that one whose spiritual eyes were opened might certainly do so.

Late in the afternoon, when the heat of the day was past, I walked out to the clump of maples on the knoll. Mary Ellen was already there.

"Yes," said I, sitting down by her side, upon the grass, "we will lay her here among her friends. And we will place here a white marble monument."

"I wish," said Mary Ellen, looking timidly up in my face, "that it could be in memory of David, too." She said this with tears in her eyes, and an unsteady voice.

As I sit writing, I can see from my window the simple white monument, which Mary Ellen and I planned together. The grass and field-flowers are growing all about it, and the birds, Emily's birds, are singing in the branches above. It has only this inscription,—

"In memory of David and Emily."

"Six children,—and only one grave to show for all of them!" groaned the poor old mother, when we first led her out to show her the stone.

But there was shortly another grave beneath the maples; for the worn-out old woman soon sank after Emily's death, and with her last breath begged to be laid by her side.

Only the old man and Miss Joey left. Still I could not go away. No other place seemed like home. And besides, I had found out, long ago, my own secret. It had been revealed to me, day by day, as I watched Mary Ellen in the sick-room of Emily,—as I observed her patience, her sweetness, her tenderness!

And my secret came upon me with an overwhelming power. But I mastered it. I kept it to myself. That is, as far as words were concerned. For the expression of his face, for involuntary glances, no man can be held responsible.

I kept it to myself,—or tried to do so; for I wasn't sure—of anything. Emily's words, "I fear," came to me with deep meaning. For, if the goodness of David, if the fascinations of Warren Luce had effected nothing, what could I hope?

And was I sure about this last, about Warren? He was in the place. Emily's sickness only had kept him away. I reviewed myself to myself, overhauled whatever virtues or failings I knew of as belonging to me.

Nothing very satisfactory resulted. But I remembered what the old man said to Miss Joey, "Love'll go where 'tis sent," and took courage. Eight or ten years older. I wonder if she would mind that?

Day after day passed, and my secret still burned within me. It must shine out of my eyes, I thought. But then, since Emily's death, I had seen Mary Ellen much less frequently. She kept mostly with her mother, on their own side of the house.

But the time that was foreordained from the beginning of the world for the bursting-forth of my secret came at last.

It was a month after Emily's death. I happened to come home in the evening unusually early. 'Twas exactly such a night as the one on which I tried to sound the depths of a young girl's heart, and failed. If she would only come out in the moonlight again, and let me try once more!

As I passed the orchard, my heart gave a great leap, for she was there,—she and Miss Joey, carrying in a great basket of apples. I seized her side of the basket with one hand, and with the other grasped hers so earnestly that she fairly started: I was so glad to see her!

I led her along to the house, and then led her back, until we came to the same little step on the fence,—with full faith, now, that it would be given me in this hour what to say.

I seated her exactly as she was before, with the moon shining full in her face. Then I took my stand, leaning against the fence, just the same. How beautiful she was in the moonlight!

"And is there anybody," said I, as if continuing the conversation, "that you do love as Jane did?"

My voice, though, was far less steady than at the other time.

"Mr. Turner," she exclaimed, starting up, with flashing eyes and glowing cheeks, "you've no right to ask me such a question!"

That blushing by moonlight! It was too much to be endured with calmness. I felt myself giving way before it.

But I sha'n't tell any more. It's no sign, because a man opens his heart, that he should let everything drop out of it.

If those interested know, that, at my earnest request, she gave me the right to ask not only that question, but others which would naturally follow, they know enough.

I would willingly tell them, though, if our English language had a few thousand words added to it, how delightful it was to know that this sweet wild-rose had been blossoming for me, that our singing-bird had been singing for me! I am willing to tell, too, how foolish I felt, when the deceitfulness of the human heart, of my own human heart, became apparent; when I found that I had been loving for myself, while I thought I was loving for David,—that I had been jealous for myself, and not for him; when I found that I had been studying my chapter, without regarding the notes underneath.

And being at last put upon the right track, I found it taking me a long way backwards. It took me away to the beginning, when Mary Ellen first came across the entry, and showed me that then and there the arrow was sped, and love went where it was sent. I had misgivings, even, of having taken a portion of the dark liquid in the little bottle. I could perceive the drawing of the "chain," and almost feel the "lassoo" about my neck.

"Lawyer, indeed! And wonderfully sharp at cross-questioning, when you couldn't draw a secret from a woman! Lawyer, indeed! Of great penetration, that couldn't read a young girl's heart, when it lay open before you,—that couldn't read your own! You'd better give up the profession, and go to painting. That suits you better. Beauty is your chief delight, after all. Not only beauty of face, but beauty of everything under the sun. Go sit in your crotch among the green boughs and paint landscapes!"

It was full four years ago that I thus inveighed against myself, and just about a year from the time when I took up the moonlight talk where it had been left off, and finished it so charmingly. We two were taking a long stroll together, and had been making our mutual confessions,—our man-and-wife confessions.

My innocent little country-girl turned her sweet face up to mine with a doubtful expression, a comically wise look, and said, a little anxiously,—

"Do you think it will pay?"

Oh, she's a capital wife! She has beauty and sweetness and exquisite taste and simplicity and loving-kindness, with just enough worldliness to take all these charming qualities safely along through life.

Hear how wisely she discusses the "coquette" question.

Says she,—"I think it's natural for all women to want to please all men. I believe that the very best and wisest woman in the world is affected by flattery from a handsome man who knows how to flatter. Very likely this might be put the other way about, but then in books that side is usually left out. But what you, Mr. Landscape-painter, would like to know is, whether I coquetted with the Doctor's boy. And I will own that I tried to please him. I liked to have him think I was pretty. I can't think what it was about him that had such power over me. I tremble now to think what might have been, if—And just think what a whole life would be with such a person! I don't believe, though, any girl could have withstood him, unless her heart—I believe I should certainly have loved him, if"—

"If what, and unless what?" I asked, drawing her close up to me, as if that dangerous youth had still power to take her from me.

She looked up so roguishly,—

"You ought to know; you took the chapter to study."

Oh, my innocent little country-girl! If I were a poet, I'd write a song in your praise; and if I were a musician, I'd set it to music. But the poetry is in my heart; and 'tis set to music there.


Tender of words should singer be,
Sweet-Brier, who would tell of thee;
One who has drunk with eager lip
And treasured thy companionship;

One who has sought thee far and wide,
In early dew, with morning pride;
To whom thou art no new-made friend,
Whose memories on thy breath attend.

For such thou art a lemon-grove,
Where wandering orient odors rove,—
Yet loyal ever to thy home,
The valley where the north winds roam.

Sometimes I would call thee mine;
But sweeter far than mine or thine
To listen unto Nature's song,
Saying, To lovers all belong.

I love thee for my greenest days
Rescued from Time at thy sweet gaze,
For pictures brilliant as the Spring
Brought back upon thy breathing wing.

I love thee for thy influence,
Heart-honey, without impotence;
He who would reach thy virgin blush,
Like warrior bold, must dangers crush.

Chiefly I love thee for thyself,
Wealth-giver, ignorant of pelf;
Fain would I learn thy upright ways
And heart thus redolent of praise.





"The fact is," said Jennie, as she twirled a little hat on her hand, which she had been making over, with, nobody knows what of bows and pompons, and other matters for which the women have curious names,—"the fact is, American women and girls must learn to economize; it isn't merely restricting one's self to American goods, it is general economy, that is required. Now here's this hat,—costs me only three dollars, all told; and Sophie Page bought an English one this morning at Madame Meyer's for which she gave fifteen. And I really don't think hers has more of an air than mine. I made this over, you see, with things I had in the house, bought nothing but the ribbon, and paid for altering and pressing, and there you see what a stylish hat I have!"

"Lovely! admirable!" said Miss Featherstone. "Upon my word, Jennie, you ought to marry a poor parson; you would be quite thrown away upon a rich man."

"Let me see," said I. "I want to admire intelligently. That isn't the hat you were wearing yesterday?"

"Oh, no, papa! This is just done. The one I wore yesterday was my waterfall-hat, with the green feather; this, you see, is an oriole."

"A what?"

"An oriole. Papa, how can you expect to learn about these things?"

"And that plain little black one, with the stiff crop of scarlet feathers sticking straight up?"

"That's my jockey, papa, with a plume en militaire."

"And did the waterfall and the jockey cost anything?"

"They were very, very cheap, papa, considering. Miss Featherstone will remember that the waterfall was a great bargain, and I had the feather from last year; and as to the jockey, that was made out of my last year's white one, dyed over. You know, papa, I always take care of my things, and they last from year to year."

"I do assure you, Mr. Crowfield," said Miss Featherstone, "I never saw such little economists as your daughters; it is perfectly wonderful what they contrive to dress on. How they manage to do it I'm sure I can't see. I never could, I'm convinced."

"Yes," said Jennie, "I've bought but just one new hat. I only wish you could sit in church where we do, and see those Miss Fielders. Marianne and I have counted six new hats apiece of those girls',—new, you know, just out of the milliner's shop; and last Sunday they came out in such lovely puffed tulle bonnets! Weren't they lovely, Marianne? And next Sunday, I don't doubt, there'll be something else."

"Yes," said Miss Featherstone,—"their father, they say, has made a million dollars lately on Government contracts."

"For my part," said Jennie, "I think such extravagance, at such a time as this, is shameful."

"Do you know," said I, "that I'm quite sure the Misses Fielder think they are practising rigorous economy?"

"Papa! Now there you are with your paradoxes! How can you say so?"

"I shouldn't be afraid to bet a pair of gloves, now," said I, "that Miss Fielder thinks herself half ready for translation, because she has bought only six new hats and a tulle bonnet so far in the season. If it were not for her dear bleeding country, she would have had thirty-six, like the Misses Sibthorpe. If we were admitted to the secret councils of the Fielders, doubtless we should perceive what temptations they daily resist; how perfectly rubbishy and dreadful they suffer themselves to be, because they feel it important now, in this crisis, to practise economy; how they abuse the Sibthorpes, who have a new hat every time they drive out, and never think of wearing one more than two or three times; how virtuous and self-denying they feel, when they think of the puffed tulle, for which they only gave eighteen dollars, when Madame Caradori showed them those lovely ones, like the Misses Sibthorpe's, for forty-five; and how they go home descanting on virgin simplicity, and resolving that they will not allow themselves to be swept into the vortex of extravagance, whatever other people may do."

"Do you know," said Miss Featherstone, "I believe your papa is right? I was calling on the oldest Miss Fielder the other day, and she told me that she positively felt ashamed to go looking as she did, but that she really did feel the necessity of economy. 'Perhaps we might afford to spend more than some others,' she said; 'but it's so much better to give the money to the Sanitary Commission!'"

"Furthermore," said I, "I am going to put forth another paradox, and say that very likely there are some people looking on my girls, and commenting on them for extravagance in having three hats, even though made over, and contrived from last year's stock."

"They can't know anything about it, then," said Jennie, decisively; "for, certainly, nobody can be decent, and invest less in millinery than Marianne and I do."

"When I was a young lady," said my wife, "a well-dressed girl got her a new bonnet in the spring, and another in the fall;—that was the extent of her purchases in this line. A second-best bonnet, left of last year, did duty to relieve and preserve the best one. My father was accounted well-to-do, but I had no more, and wanted no more. I also, bought myself, every spring, two pair of gloves, a dark and a light pair, and wore them through the summer, and another two through the winter; one or two pair of white kids, carefully cleaned, carried me through all my parties. Hats had not been heard of, and the great necessity which requires two or three new ones every spring and fall had not arisen. Yet I was reckoned a well-appearing girl, who dressed liberally. Now, a young lady who has a waterfall-hat, an oriole-hat, and a jockey, must still be troubled with anxious cares for her spring and fall and summer and winter bonnets,—all the variety will not take the place of them. Gloves are bought by the dozen; and as to dresses, there seems to be no limit to the quantity of material and trimming that may be expended upon them. When I was a young lady, seventy-five dollars a year was considered by careful parents a liberal allowance for a daughter's wardrobe. I had a hundred, and was reckoned rich; and I sometimes used a part to make up the deficiencies in the allowance of Sarah Evans, my particular friend, whose father gave her only fifty. We all thought that a very scant pattern; yet she generally made a very pretty and genteel appearance, with the help of occasional presents from friends."

"How could a girl dress for fifty dollars?" said Marianne.

"She could get a white muslin and a white cambric, which, with different sortings of ribbons, served her for all dress-occasions. A silk, in those days, took only ten yards in the making, and one dark silk was considered a reasonable allowance to a lady's wardrobe. Once made, it stood for something,—always worn carefully, it lasted for years. One or two calico morning-dresses, and a merino for winter wear, completed the list. Then, as to collars, capes, cuffs, etc., we all did our own embroidering, and very pretty things we wore, too. Girls looked as pretty then as they do now, when four or five hundred dollars a year is insufficient to clothe them."

"But, mamma, you know our allowance isn't anything like that,—it is quite a slender one, though not so small as yours was," said Marianne. "Don't you think the customs of society make a difference? Do you think, as things are, we could go back and dress for the sum you did?"

"You cannot," said my wife, "without a greater sacrifice of feeling than I wish to impose on you. Still, though I don't see how to help it, I cannot but think that the requirements of fashion are becoming needlessly extravagant, particularly in regard to the dress of women. It seems to me, it is making the support of families so burdensome that young men are discouraged from marriage. A young man, in a moderately good business, might cheerfully undertake the world with a wife who could make herself pretty and attractive for seventy-five dollars a year, when he might sigh in vain for one who positively could not get through, and be decent, on four hundred. Women, too, are getting to be so attached to the trappings and accessories of life, that they cannot think of marriage without an amount of fortune which few young men possess."

"You are talking in very low numbers about the dress of women," said Miss Featherstone. "I do assure you that it is the easiest thing in the world for a girl to make away with a thousand dollars a year, and not have so much to show for it either as Marianne and Jennie."

"To be sure," said I. "Only establish certain formulas of expectation, and it is the easiest thing in the world. For instance, in your mother's day girls talked of a pair of gloves,—now they talk of a pack; then it was a bonnet summer and winter,—now it is a bonnet spring, summer, autumn, and winter, and hats like monthly roses,—a new blossom every few weeks."

"And then," said my wife, "every device of the toilet is immediately taken up and varied and improved on, so as to impose an almost monthly necessity for novelty. The jackets of May are outshone by the jackets of June; the buttons of June are antiquated in July; the trimmings of July are passées by September; side-combs, back-combs, puffs, rats, and all sorts of such matters, are in a distracted race of improvement; every article of feminine toilet is on the move towards perfection. It seems to me that an infinity of money must be spent in these trifles, by those who make the least pretension to keep in the fashion."

"Well, papa," said Jennie, "after all, it's just the way things always have been since the world began. You know the Bible says, 'Can a maid forget her ornaments?' It's clear she can't. You see, it's a law of Nature; and you remember all that long chapter in the Bible that we had read in church last Sunday, about the curls and veils and tinkling ornaments and crimping-pins, and all that. Women always have been too much given to dress, and they always will be."

"The thing is," said Marianne, "how can any woman, I, for example, know what is too much or too little? In mamma's day, it seems, a girl could keep her place in society, by hard economy, and spend only fifty dollars a year on her dress. Mamma found a hundred dollars ample. I have more than that, and find myself quite straitened to keep myself looking well. I don't want to live for dress, to give all my time and thoughts to it; I don't wish to be extravagant; and yet I wish to be lady-like; it annoys and makes me unhappy not to be fresh and neat and nice; shabbiness and seediness are my aversion. I don't see where the fault is. Can one individual resist the whole current of society? It certainly is not strictly necessary for us girls to have half the things we do. We might, I suppose, live without many of them, and, as mamma says, look just as well, because girls did before these things were invented. Now, I confess, I flatter myself, generally, that I am a pattern of good management and economy, because I get so much less than other girls I go with. I wish you could see Miss Thorne's fall dresses that she showed me last year when she was visiting here. She had six gowns, and no one of them could have cost less than seventy or eighty dollars, and some of them must have been even more expensive; and yet I don't doubt that this fall she will feel that she must have just as many more. She runs through and wears out these expensive things, with all their velvet and thread lace, just as I wear my commonest ones; and at the end of the season they are really gone,—spotted, stained, frayed, the lace all pulled to pieces,—nothing left to save or make over. I feel as if Jennie and I were patterns of economy, when I see such things. I really don't know what economy is. What is it?"

"There is the same difficulty in my housekeeping," said my wife. "I think I am an economist. I mean to be one. All our expenses are on a modest scale, and yet I can see much that really is not strictly necessary; but if I compare myself with some of my neighbors, I feel as if I were hardly respectable. There is no subject on which all the world are censuring one another so much as this. Hardly any one but thinks her neighbors extravagant in some one or more particulars, and takes for granted that she herself is an economist."

"I'll venture to say," said I, "that there isn't a woman of my acquaintance that does not think she is an economist."

"Papa is turned against us women, like all the rest of them," said Jennie. "I wonder if it isn't just so with the men?"

"Yes," said Marianne, "it's the fashion to talk as if all the extravagance of the country was perpetrated by women. For my part, I think young men are just as extravagant. Look at the sums they spend for cigars and pipes,—an expense which hasn't even the pretence of usefulness in any way; it's a purely selfish, nonsensical indulgence. When a girl spends money in making herself look pretty, she contributes something to the agreeableness of society; but a man's cigars and pipes are neither ornamental nor useful."

"Then look at their dress," said Jennie; "they are to the full as fussy and particular about it as girls; they have as many fine, invisible points of fashion, and their fashions change quite as often; and they have just as many knick-knacks, with their studs and their sleeve-buttons and waistcoat-buttons, their scarfs and scarf-pins, their watch-chains and seals and seal-rings, and nobody knows what. Then they often waste and throw away more than women, because they are not good judges of material, nor saving in what they buy, and have no knowledge of how things should be cared for, altered, or mended. If their cap is a little too tight, they cut the lining with a penknife, or slit holes in a new shirt-collar, because it does not exactly fit to their mind. For my part, I think men are naturally twice as wasteful as women. A pretty thing, to be sure, to have all the waste of the country laid to us!"

"You are right, child," said I; "women are by nature, as compared with men, the care-taking and saving part of creation,—the authors and conservators of economy. As a general rule, man earns and woman saves and applies. The wastefulness of woman is commonly the fault of man."

"I don't see into that," said Bob Stephens.

"In this way. Economy is the science of proportion. Whether a particular purchase is extravagant depends mainly on the income it is taken from. Suppose a woman has a hundred and fifty a year for her dress, and gives fifty dollars for a bonnet; she gives a third of her income;—it is a horrible extravagance, while for the woman whose income is ten thousand it may be no extravagance at all. The poor clergyman's wife, when she gives five dollars for a bonnet, may be giving as much, in proportion to her income, as the woman who gives fifty. Now the difficulty with the greater part of women is, that the men who make the money and hold it give them no kind of standard by which to measure their expenses. Most women and girls are in this matter entirely at sea, without chart or compass. They don't know in the least what they have to spend. Husbands and fathers often pride themselves about not saying a word on business-matters to their wives and daughters. They don't wish them to understand them, or to inquire into them, or to make remarks or suggestions concerning them. 'I want you to have everything that is suitable and proper,' says Jones to his wife, 'but don't be extravagant.'

"'But, my dear,' says Mrs. Jones, 'what is suitable and proper depends very much on our means; if you could allow me any specific sum for dress and housekeeping, I could tell better.'

"'Nonsense, Susan! I can't do that,—it's too much trouble. Get what you need, and avoid foolish extravagances; that's all I ask.'

"By-and-by Mrs. Jones's bills are sent in, in an evil hour, when Jones has heavy notes to meet, and then comes a domestic storm.

"'I shall just be ruined, Madam, if that's the way you are going on. I can't afford to dress you and the girls in the style you have set up;—look at this milliner's bill!'

"'I assure you,' says Mrs. Jones, 'we haven't got any more than the Stebbinses,—nor so much.'

"'Don't you know that the Stebbinses are worth five times as much as ever I was?'

"No, Mrs. Jones did not know it;—how should she, when her husband makes it a rule never to speak of his business to her, and she has not the remotest idea of his income?

"Thus multitudes of good conscientious women and girls are extravagant from pure ignorance. The male provider allows bills to be run up in his name, and they have no earthly means of judging whether they are spending too much or too little, except the semi-annual hurricane which attends the coming in of these bills.

"The first essential in the practice of economy is a knowledge of one's income, and the man who refuses to accord to his wife and children this information has never any right to accuse them of extravagance, because he himself deprives them of that standard of comparison which is an indispensable requisite in economy. As early as possible in the education of children they should pass from that state of irresponsible waiting to be provided for by parents, and be trusted with the spending of some fixed allowance, that they may learn prices and values, and have some notion of what money is actually worth and what it will bring. The simple fact of the possession of a fixed and definite income often suddenly transforms a giddy, extravagant girl into a care-taking, prudent little woman. Her allowance is her own; she begins to plan upon it,—to add, subtract, multiply, divide, and do numberless sums in her little head. She no longer buys everything she fancies; she deliberates, weighs, compares. And now there is room for self-denial and generosity to come in. She can do without this article; she can furbish up some older possession to do duty a little longer, and give this money to some friend poorer than she; and ten to one the girl whose bills last year were four or five hundred finds herself bringing through this year creditably on a hundred and fifty. To be sure, she goes without numerous things which she used to have. From the stand-point of a fixed income she sees that these are impossible, and no more wants them than the green cheese of the moon. She learns to make her own taste and skill take the place of expensive purchases. She refits her hats and bonnets, retrims her dresses, and in a thousand busy, earnest, happy little ways, sets herself to make the most of her small income.

"So the woman who has her definite allowance for housekeeping finds at once a hundred questions set at rest. Before, it was not clear to her why she should not 'go and do likewise' in relation to every purchase made by her next neighbor. Now, there is a clear logic of proportion. Certain things are evidently not to be thought of, though next neighbors do have them; and we must resign ourselves to find some other way of living."

"My dear," said my wife, "I think there is a peculiar temptation in a life organized as ours is in America. There are here no settled classes, with similar ratios of income. Mixed together in the same society, going to the same parties, and blended in daily neighborly intercourse, are families of the most opposite extremes in point of fortune. In England there is a very well understood expression, that people should not dress or live above their station; in America none will admit that they have any particular station, or that they can live above it. The principle of democratic equality unites in society people of the most diverse positions and means.

"Here, for instance, is a family like Dr. Selden's, an old and highly respected one, with an income of only two or three thousand,—yet they are people universally sought for in society, and mingle in all the intercourse of life with merchant-millionnaires whose incomes are from ten to thirty thousand. Their sons and daughters go to the same schools, the same parties, and are thus constantly meeting upon terms of social equality.

"Now it seems to me that our danger does not lie in the great and evident expenses of our richer friends. We do not expect to have pineries, graperies, equipages, horses, diamonds,—we say openly and of course that we do not. Still, our expenses are constantly increased by the proximity of these things, unless we understand ourselves better than most people do. We don't, of course, expect to get a fifteen-hundred-dollar Cashmere, like Mrs. So-and-so, but we begin to look at hundred-dollar shawls and nibble about the hook. We don't expect sets of diamonds, but a diamond ring, a pair of solitaire diamond ear-rings, begins to be speculated about among the young people as among possibilities. We don't expect to carpet our house with Axminster and hang our windows with damask, but at least we must have Brussels and brocatelle,—it would not do not to. And so we go on getting hundreds of things that we don't need, that have no real value except that they soothe our self-love,—and for these inferior articles we pay a higher proportion of our income than our rich neighbor does for his better ones. Nothing is uglier than low-priced Cashmere shawls; and yet a young man just entering business will spend an eighth of a year's income to put one on his wife, and when he has put it there it only serves as a constant source of disquiet,—for now that the door is opened, and Cashmere shawls are possible, she is consumed with envy at the superior ones constantly sported around her. So also with point-lace, velvet dresses, and hundreds of things of that sort, which belong to a certain rate of income, and are absurd below it."

"And yet, mamma, I heard Aunt Easygo say that velvet, point-lace, and Cashmere were the cheapest finery that could be bought, because they lasted a lifetime."

"Aunt Easygo speaks from an income of ten thousand a year; they may be cheap for her rate of living,—but for us, for example, by no magic of numbers can it be made to appear that it is cheaper to have the greatest bargain in the world in Cashmere, lace, and diamonds, than not to have them at all. I never had a diamond, never wore a piece of point-lace, never had a velvet dress, and have been perfectly happy, and just as much respected as if I had. Who ever thought of objecting to me for not having them? Nobody, as I ever heard."

"Certainly not, mamma," said Marianne.

"The thing I have always said to you girls is, that you were not to expect to live like richer people, not to begin to try, not to think or inquire about certain rates of expenditure, or take the first step in certain directions. We have moved on all our life after a very antiquated and old-fashioned mode. We have had our little old-fashioned house, our little old-fashioned ways."

"Except the parlor-carpet, and what came of it, my dear," said I, mischievously.

"Yes, except the parlor-carpet," said my wife, with a conscious twinkle, "and the things that came of it; there was a concession there, but one can't be wise always."

"We talked mamma into that," said Jennie.

"But one thing is certain," said my wife,—"that, though I have had an antiquated, plain house, and plain furniture, and plain dress, and not the beginning of a thing such as many of my neighbors have possessed, I have spent more money than many of them for real comforts. While I had young children, I kept more and better servants than many women who wore Cashmeres and diamonds. I thought it better to pay extra wages to a really good, trusty woman who lived with me from year to year, and relieved me of some of my heaviest family-cares, than to have ever so much lace locked away in my drawers. We always were able to go into the country to spend our summers, and to keep a good family-horse and carriage for daily driving,—by which means we afforded, as a family, very poor patronage to the medical profession. Then we built our house, and while we left out a great many expensive commonplaces that other people think they must have, we put in a profusion of bathing-accommodations such as very few people think of having. There never was a time when we did not feel able to afford to do what was necessary to preserve or to restore health; and for this I always drew on the surplus fund laid up by my very unfashionable housekeeping and dressing."

"Your mother has had," said I, "what is the great want in America, perfect independence of mind to go her own way without regard to the way others go. I think there is, for some reason, more false shame among Americans about economy than among Europeans. 'I cannot afford it' is more seldom heard among us. A young man beginning life, whose income may be from five to eight hundred a year, thinks it elegant and gallant to affect a careless air about money, especially among ladies,—to hand it out freely, and put back his change without counting it,—to wear a watch-chain and studs and shirt-fronts like those of some young millionnaire. None but the most expensive tailors, shoemakers, and hatters will do for him; and then he grumbles at the dearness of living, and declares that he cannot get along on his salary. The same is true of young girls, and of married men and women too,—the whole of them are ashamed of economy. The cares that wear out life and health in many households are of a nature that cannot be cast on God, or met by any promise from the Bible,—it is not care for 'food convenient,' or for comfortable raiment, but care to keep up false appearances, and to stretch a narrow income over the space that can be covered only by a wider one.

"The poor widow in her narrow lodgings, with her monthly rent staring her hourly in the face, and her bread and meat and candles and meal all to be paid for on delivery or not obtained at all, may find comfort in the good old Book, reading of that other widow whose wasting measure of oil and last failing handful of meal were of such account before her Father in heaven that a prophet was sent to recruit them; and when customers do not pay, or wages are cut down, she can enter into her chamber, and when she hath shut her door, present to her Father in heaven His sure promise that with the fowls of the air she shall be fed and with the lilies of the field she shall be clothed: but what promises are there for her who is racking her brains on the ways and means to provide as sumptuous an entertainment of oysters and Champagne at her next party as her richer neighbor, or to compass that great bargain which shall give her a point-lace set almost as handsome as that of Mrs. Croesus, who has ten times her income?"

"But, papa," said Marianne, with a twinge of that exacting sensitiveness by which the child is characterized, "I think I am an economist, thanks to you and mamma, so far as knowing just what my income is, and keeping within it; but that does not satisfy me, and it seems that isn't all of economy;—the question that haunts me is, Might I not make my little all do more and better than I do?"

"There," said I, "you have hit the broader and deeper signification of economy, which is, in fact, the science of comparative values. In its highest sense, economy is a just judgment of the comparative value of things,—money only the means of enabling one to express that value. This is the reason why the whole matter is so full of difficulty,—why every one criticizes his neighbor in this regard. Human beings are so various, the necessities of each are so different, they are made comfortable or uncomfortable by such opposite means, that the spending of other people's incomes must of necessity often look unwise from our stand-point. For this reason multitudes of people who cannot be accused of exceeding their incomes often seem to others to be spending them foolishly and extravagantly."

"But is there no standard of value?" said Marianne.

"There are certain things upon which there is a pretty general agreement, verbally at least, among mankind. For instance, it is generally agreed that health is an indispensable good,—that money is well spent that secures it, and worse than ill spent that ruins it.

"With this standard in mind, how much money is wasted even by people who do not exceed their income! Here a man builds a house, and pays, in the first place, ten thousand more than he need, for a location in a fashionable part of the city, though the air will be closer and the chances of health less; he spends three or four thousand more on a stone front, on marble mantels imported from Italy, on plate-glass windows, plated hinges, and a thousand nice points of finish, and has perhaps but one bathroom for a whole household, and that so connected with his own apartment that nobody but himself and his wife can use it.

"Another man buys a lot in an open, airy situation, which fashion has not made expensive, and builds without a stone front, marble mantels, or plate-glass windows, but has a perfect system of ventilation through his house, and bathing-rooms in every story, so that the children and guests may all, without inconvenience, enjoy the luxury of abundant water.

"The first spends for fashion and show, the second for health and comfort.

"Here is a man that will buy his wife a diamond bracelet and a lace shawl, and take her yearly to Washington to show off her beauty in ball-dresses, who yet will not let her pay wages which will command any but the poorest and most inefficient domestic service. The woman is worn out, her life made a desert by exhaustion consequent on a futile attempt to keep up a showy establishment with only half the hands needed for the purpose. Another family will give brilliant parties, have a gay season every year at the first hotels at Newport, and not be able to afford the wife a fire in her chamber in midwinter, or the servants enough food to keep them from constantly deserting. The damp, mouldy, dingy cellar-kitchen, the cold, windy, desolate attic, devoid of any comfort, where the domestics are doomed to pass their whole time, are witnesses to what such families consider economy. Economy in the view of some is undisguised slipshod slovenliness in the home-circle for the sake of fine clothes to be shown abroad; it is undisguised hard selfishness to servants and dependents, counting their every approach to comfort a needless waste,—grudging the Roman-Catholic cook her cup of tea at dinner on Friday, when she must not eat meat,—and murmuring that a cracked, second-hand looking-glass must be got for the servants' room: what business have they to want to know how they look?

"Some families will employ the cheapest physician, without regard to his ability to kill or cure; some will treat diseases in their incipiency with quack medicines, bought cheap, hoping thereby to fend off the doctor's bill. Some women seem to be pursued by an evil demon of economy, which, like an ignis fatuus in a bog, delights constantly to tumble them over into the mire of expense. They are dismayed at the quantity of sugar in the recipe for preserves, leave out a quarter, and the whole ferments and is spoiled. They cannot by any means be induced at any one time to buy enough silk to make a dress, and the dress finally, after many convulsions and alterations, must be thrown by altogether, as too scanty. They get poor needles, poor thread, poor sugar, poor raisins, poor tea, poor coal. One wonders, in looking at their blackened, smouldering grates, in a freezing day, what the fire is there at all for,—it certainly warms nobody. The only thing they seem likely to be lavish in is funeral expenses, which come in the wake of leaky shoes and imperfect clothing. These funeral expenses at last swallow all, since nobody can dispute an undertaker's bill. One pities these joyless beings. Economy, instead of a rational act of the judgment, is a morbid monomania, eating the pleasure out of life, and haunting them to the grave.

"Some people, again, think that nothing is economical but good eating. Their flour is of an extra brand, their meat the first cut; the delicacies of every season, in their dearest stages, come home to their table with an apologetic smile,—'It was scandalously dear, my love, but I thought we must just treat ourselves.' And yet these people cannot afford to buy books, and pictures they regard as an unthought-of extravagance. Trudging home with fifty dollars' worth of delicacies on his arm, Smith meets Jones, who is exulting with a bag of crackers under one arm and a choice little bit of an oil painting under the other, which he thinks a bargain at fifty dollars. 'I can't afford to buy pictures,' Smith says to his spouse, 'and I don't know bow Jones and his wife manage.' Jones and his wife will live on bread and milk for a month, and she will turn her best gown the third time, but they will have their picture, and they are happy, Jones's picture remains, and Smith's fifty dollars' worth of oysters and canned fruit to-morrow will be gone forever. Of all modes of spending money, the swallowing of expensive dainties brings the least return. There is one step lower than this,—the consuming of luxuries that are injurious to the health. If all the money spent on tobacco and liquors could be spent in books and pictures, I predict that nobody's health would be a whit less sound, and houses would be vastly more attractive. There is enough money spent in smoking, drinking, and over-eating to give every family in the community a good library, to hang everybody's parlor-walls with lovely pictures, to set up in every house a conservatory which should bloom all winter with choice flowers, to furnish every dwelling with ample bathing and warming accommodations, even down to the dwellings of the poor; and in the Millennium I believe this is the way things are to be.

"In these times of peril and suffering, if the inquiry arises, How shall there be retrenchment? I answer, First and foremost retrench things needless, doubtful, and positively hurtful, as rum, tobacco, and all the meerschaums of divers colors that do accompany the same. Second, retrench all eating not necessary to health and comfort. A French family would live in luxury on the leavings that are constantly coming from the tables of those who call themselves in middling circumstances. There are superstitions of the table that ought to be broken through. Why must you always have cake in your closet? why need you feel undone to entertain a guest with no cake on your tea-table? Do without it a year, and ask yourselves if you or your children, or any one else, have suffered materially in consequence.

"Why is it imperative that you should have two or three courses at every meal? Try the experiment of having but one, and that a very good one, and see if any great amount of suffering ensues. Why must social intercourse so largely consist in eating? In Paris there is a very pretty custom. Each family has one evening in the week when it stays at home and receives friends. Tea, with a little bread and butter and cake, served in the most informal way, is the only refreshment. The rooms are full, busy, bright,—everything as easy and joyous as if a monstrous supper, with piles of jelly and mountains of cake, were waiting to give the company a nightmare at the close.

"Said a lady, pointing to a gentleman and his wife in a social circle of this kind, 'I ought to know them well,—I have seen, them every week for twenty years.' It is certainly pleasant and confirmative of social enjoyment for friends to eat together; but a little enjoyed in this way answers the purpose as well as a great deal, and better too."

"Well, papa," said Marianne, "in the matter of dress now,—how much ought one to spend just to look as others do?"

"I will tell you what I saw the other night, girls, in the parlor of one of our hotels. Two middle-aged Quaker ladies came gliding in, with calm, cheerful faces, and lustrous dove-colored silks. By their conversation I found that they belonged to that class of women among the Friends who devote themselves to travelling on missions of benevolence. They had just completed a tour of all the hospitals for wounded soldiers in the country, where they had been carrying comforts, arranging, advising, and soothing by their cheerful, gentle presence. They were now engaged on another mission, to the lost and erring of their own sex; night after night, guarded by a policeman, they had ventured after midnight into the dance-houses where girls are being led to ruin, and with gentle words of tender, motherly counsel sought to win them from their fatal ways,—telling them where they might go the next day to find friends who would open to them an asylum and aid them to seek a better life.

"As I looked upon these women, dressed with such modest purity, I began secretly to think that the Apostle was not wrong, when he spoke of women adorning themselves with the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit; for the habitual gentleness of their expression, the calmness and purity of the lines in their faces, the delicacy and simplicity of their apparel, seemed of themselves a rare and peculiar beauty. I could not help thinking that fashionable bonnets, flowing lace sleeves, and dresses elaborately trimmed could not have improved even their outward appearance. Doubtless, their simple wardrobe needed but a small trunk in travelling from place to place, and hindered but little their prayers and ministrations.

"Now, it is true, all women are not called to such a life as this; but might not all women take a leaf at least from their book? I submit the inquiry humbly. It seems to me that there are many who go monthly to the sacrament, and receive it with sincere devotion, and who give thanks each time sincerely that they are thus made 'members incorporate in the mystical body of Christ,' who have never thought of this membership as meaning that they should share Christ's sacrifices for lost souls, or abridge themselves of one ornament or encounter one inconvenience for the sake of those wandering sheep for whom he died. Certainly there is a higher economy which we need to learn,—that which makes all things subservient to the spiritual and immortal, and that not merely to the good of our own souls and those of our family, but of all who are knit with us in the great bonds of human brotherhood.

"The Sisters of Charity and the Friends, each with their different costume of plainness and self-denial, and other noble-hearted women of no particular outward order, but kindred in spirit, have shown to womanhood, on the battle-field and in the hospital, a more excellent way,—a beauty and nobility before which all the common graces and ornaments of the sex fade, appear like dim candles by the pure, eternal stars."


Peace in the clover-scented air,
And stars within the dome;
And underneath, in dim repose,
A plain, New-England home.
Within, a murmur of low tones
And sighs from hearts oppressed,
Merging in prayer, at last, that brings
The balm of silent rest.

I've closed a hard day's work, Marty,—
The evening chores are done;
And you are weary with the house,
And with the little one.
But he is sleeping sweetly now,
With all our pretty brood;
So come and sit upon my knee,
And it will do me good.

Oh, Marty! I must tell you all
The trouble in my heart,
And you mast do the best you can
To take and bear your part.
You've seen the shadow on my face,
You've felt it day and night;
For it has filled our little home,
And banished all its light.

I did not mean it should be so,
And yet I might have known
That hearts that live as close as ours
Can never keep their own.
But we are fallen on evil times,
And, do whate'er I may,
My heart grows sad about the war,
And sadder every day.

I think about it when I work,
And when I try to rest,
And never more than when your head
Is pillowed on my breast;
For then I see the camp-fires blaze,
And sleeping men around,
Who turn their faces toward their homes,
And dream upon the ground.

I think about the dear, brave boys,
My mates in other years,
Who pine for home and those they love,
Till I am choked with tears.
With shouts and cheers they marched away
On glory's shining track,
But, ah! how long, how long they stay!
How few of them come back!

One sleeps beside the Tennessee,
And one beside the James,
And one fought on a gallant ship
And perished in its flames.
And some, struck down by fell disease,
Are breathing out their life;
And others, maimed by cruel wounds,
Have left the deadly strife.

Ah, Marty! Marty! only think
Of all the boys have done
And suffered in this weary war!
Brave heroes, every one!
Oh! often, often in the night,
I hear their voices call:
"Come on and help us! Is it right
That we should bear it all?"

And when I kneel and try to pray,
My thoughts are never free,
But cling to those who toil and fight
And die for you and me.
And when I pray for victory,
It seems almost a sin
To fold my hands and ask for what
I will not help to win.

Oh! do not cling to me and cry,
For it will break my heart;
I'm sure you'd rather have me die
Than not to bear my part.
You think that some should stay at home
To care for those away;
But still I'm helpless to decide
If I should go or stay.

For, Marty, all the soldiers love,
And all are loved again;
And I am loved, and love, perhaps,
No more than other men.
I cannot tell—I do not know—
Which way my duty lies,
Or where the Lord would have me build
My fire of sacrifice.

I feel—I know—I am not mean;
And though I seem to boast,
I'm sure that I would give my life
To those who need it most
Perhaps the Spirit will reveal
That which is fair and right;
So, Marty, let us humbly kneel
And pray to Heaven for light.

Peace in the clover-scented air,
And stars within the dome;
And underneath, in dim repose,
A plain, New-England home.
Within, a widow in her weeds,
From whom all joy is flown,
Who kneels among her sleeping babes,
And weeps and prays alone!


The founders of the American Republic were wise alike in their grasp of temporary difficulties and in the forethought they bestowed upon the period of construction which was to come. Before a government was formed, its necessary elements had attained something of order, much of efficacy. In the very inception of revolution, the beginning was made of that elaborate diplomatic system which became the medium by which we have asserted rights, elicited respect, and received amenities from the great powers of the earth.

In the early days of our Revolution, the conduct of the foreign correspondence was intrusted to the care of a Committee, composed of men of established reputation for capacity and patriotism. Through their labors, not only did we receive substantial sympathy from those unselfish men in the mother-country who discountenanced the hateful oppression of the crown: France, guided by the generous Vergennes, was also attracted to our active defence; the independent spirit of the Low Countries cheered and helped us; Tuscany, inheriting the sentiment of liberty from Dante and Macchiavelli, extended loans with a liberal hand; Spain and Portugal rose superior to their traditional bigotry, and sent us money, ships, and stores. So efficient was our infant system of diplomacy, that, long before the war had ended, England stood absolutely without the countenance of a single Continental power, and confronted boldly by her most ancient and most dreaded enemy. Proudly as she entered into the conflict with her colonies, she became humbled as well by the skill with which they attracted monarchies and empires to their aid as by the valor with which they met her armies. It is hardly to be doubted that our final success is to be in a great degree attributed to the excellent diplomacy of Franklin, Lee, and Izard. Certain it is that their labors vastly accelerated that success. How gigantic those labors must have been, to bring the representatives and supporters of mediæval systems of state-craft to countenance not only rebellion, but the sentiment of republican liberty which rebellion matured, and which successful revolution was to lay at the foundation of a new government!

The Confederation, established for the more easy transition to a permanent system, included almost as its corner-stone a Department of Foreign Affairs. The duties of the Secretary were confined to the performance of the specific acts authorized by Congress, at that time at once the executive and the legislative power,—and consisted chiefly in the preservation of the papers and records of the office, and conducting the correspondence with ministers and agents abroad; he had likewise a seat, but without a vote, in Congress, to give information and answer inquiries. He was powerless to perform any executive act; he could not negotiate a treaty; he could not give positive instructions to ministers; and he was removable at the pleasure of Congress. Under the Constitution, the duties of the Secretary of State became more responsible; and the office was recognized as the highest in dignity, next to the Executive.

We may attribute our present rank among nations in no little degree to the conspicuous fitness of our envoys at foreign courts for the peculiar mission which it was their duty to fulfil, in the first quarter of a century of our national existence. As soon as the British ministry recognized the nationality of the United States, it was clear, that, on the new footing, our relations with the mother-country must of necessity be more intimate than those with any other nation. To pave the way for the establishment of such an intercourse, no man could have been more aptly chosen than John Adams. While his high-toned manners opened the way to favor, his nervous logic followed up the advantage so gracefully won, and drove home his purpose to its end. Franklin was equally felicitous in attaching to himself the good-will of the court of Versailles. Their successors well sustained the respect which they had inspired; and it was a matter of surprise among the best educated Europeans that such cultivated and capable men should proceed from a country which they had thought to be a wilderness, and from a people of whom they expected only the most flagrant barbarisms.

That the elevated standard thus set up by our early diplomacy has been preserved with but little exception is a simple matter of history. We have been almost uniformly fortunate in the choice of our ministers abroad, especially those to Great Britain. It is rightly regarded as a distinction hardly inferior to any in the State, to occupy the post of Plenipotentiary to St. James's or Versailles,—and this no less because the incumbent has generally been one of our most honored statesmen than because of the essential dignity and importance of the office.

If we consider, in connection with this fact, the persistency with which the Government has asserted the rights of an equal power, the promptness with which it has resented every indignity offered to our flag, and the vigor with which it has enforced in our favor the principles of international law, it can be no matter of surprise that we should stand, as we assuredly have stood, second to none in the estimate of our physical and moral power.

Starting on a totally new system,—a system which, if successful, would disprove the universally received dogmas of the political philosophers of Europe,—running counter to every prejudice and every conclusion of the Old-World statesmen,—the United States had to work their way through difficulties innumerable to their present rank, and were forced to prove their institutions by experience, before they could assume the dignity of a first-class power.

When the present Rebellion arose, America had thus far proved the success of democratic institutions. In military and naval power, in education, in the administration of justice, in commercial thrift, in mechanical and agricultural enterprise, in the development of the national resources, the progress had been steady and rapid. The politicians of Europe had been amazed to find that their unanimous prediction of the frailty of our political system had totally failed. The idea of a political centre combined with separate State organizations was as firmly fixed as ever. The General Government wielded an undiminished power in aid of the general good; the local Legislatures controlled, within the original limits, local interests. The people had suffered no curtailment of their liberties from the delegation of political power; the executive had not been weakened either by the accession of new States or the disaffection of old ones. The most philosophic of the English statesmen had predicted again and again that one of these alternatives must occur,—but they had begun to doubt their own theories, and wellnigh confessed that our institutions were a success. It was difficult for them to conceive that an entirely novel frame of government, deriving its genius from an idea, and regardless of precedent, could live to shame a system which had received the sanction of centuries of success, which was seemingly Providential in its stability, which had everywhere superseded every other form, which had absorbed into itself the elements of all other systems. Our Government was an anomaly; as such, there were ten chances to one against it. And now, the Englishman who, above all others, is, on both sides of the Atlantic, regarded as the ablest of modern political theorists, has in a series of papers triumphantly vindicated the wisdom of the founders of this Republic, and placed in the clearest logical sequence the origin and tendency of our institutions. Every American feels gratitude and reverence toward John Stuart Mill, who, in the disinterestedness and courage of a great mind, has led the honest opinion of England to appreciate at its value the system in which our reason and our feelings are alike bound up.

The confident belief, that an unusual strain on the supposed weak points of the Federal Constitution would involve it in the fate of the Cromwell dynasty and the French Revolution had begun to sleep, at the time of the Secession movement, and but one ray of hope yet remained to the enemies of republican government. They watched Slavery with an anxious eye. There was their only chance. In that they saw the apple of discord which might destroy our Union. They observed with exultation the increasing influence of those who warred upon slavery in the North, and the increasing insolence of those who would nationalize it in the South. On this ground State and Federal authority must, they thought, come in conflict. And as far as foresight could avail them, they had some reason to be encouraged. That question has always been, without doubt, our greatest, almost our only danger.

There is reason to believe, then, that, when the Rebellion broke out, the theorists of Europe deemed the test to have come, and that the final success or failure of the Federal Constitution was staked on the result. The people of the United States have been willing to accept that issue. We have been ready to test the doctrines of Democracy by the practicability of maintaining the Union, and to demonstrate, that, if need be, the General Government may receive at the hands of the people greater strength without endangering either their liberties or the order of law.

The diplomatic correspondence between the State Department and our ministers to foreign powers during the present contest is contained in two large volumes, published by the Government, which are full of valuable matter. In the limited space permitted us, but little more than a general survey of this correspondence can be attempted; and as our relations with England far exceed all others in closeness and interest,—a striking proof of which is found in the fact that the room occupied in these volumes by communications with that country is greater than that given to all the world besides,—we mainly confine ourselves to the portion which regards her.

England stands in the somewhat anomalous attitude of being to us the champion of the old monarchical principle, and to Europe the champion of Anglo-Saxon progress; so that the dicta of her thinkers (those who have opposed our Republic) may be regarded as the best thought of the most enlightened monarchists in the world. As the ministry are obliged, however unwillingly, to represent as well the popular as the aristocratic ideas, through them there comes to us a pretty correct exposition of the different opinions entertained by all classes. We may regard two facts as well established, one leading out of the other,—that England has ever been, and is, the most selfish of nationalities, and that she does not desire the prosperity of any power which may become a rival. With her politicians and her philosophers, Tory and Whig, Churchmen and Dissenters, the ascendancy of Great Britain has lain at the bottom of every policy, and has been the postulate of every theory. Her history is that of a nationality eager to attain the distinction of the first of powers. This fact, and this alone, can reconcile the apparent inconsistencies of her record. At one time the bold accuser of Despotism, she has with marvellous celerity turned to the inthralment of oppressed races. Maxim has superseded maxim, until her code of international law is a bewildering complication of anomaly and contradiction. To humble her rivals by every means, and to encourage the efforts of a people striving for freedom only when decided advantage would accrue to herself, has been her constant policy. This is true of the general tone of her successive cabinets, of the press, and of those politicians who have by comfortable doctrines most successfully gained the public ear.

The classes who look at questions of policy with an eye to expediency are, the leading statesmen of both parties, who regard as the proper end of their labors the interests of Great Britain, and the business-community, who judge of every political event by the manner in which it affects their pockets. There are two other classes, who take a higher view,—those who are conservative and fearful of innovation, and those who believe in the progressive tendency of the Anglo-Saxon. Within the last quarter of a century, the public opinion of England has been undergoing a great change, especially that part of it which is influenced by the lower-middle class. The people have been growing up to the adoption of liberal principles of government. The Reform Bill of 1832 was a great stride in that direction; and the measures which have followed upon it have widened the observation of the masses, made the sense of political wrong quicker, and the appreciation of a free system much more vivid. As a natural result, the attention of this class has been drawn toward America, as the exponent of a government before which all men are equal,—and so it is, that, as the Rebellion goes on, we receive weekly evidence that the sober, honest thought of English opinion is with us of the North. The class to which we refer, if it is not now, will very shortly be, the governing element. The tendency is irresistibly that way; the signs of its growing power are daily more and more manifest. That it should be deeply interested in the perpetuity of American institutions, as affecting its own position, is natural. In the failure of man's self-governing capacity here, where every circumstance has been favorable to its exercise, the rising spirit of a broader liberty in England must foresee the death-blow to its own hopes. Our failure will not be fatal to us alone; it will involve the fate of the millions who are now seeking to plant themselves against the tremendous force of kingly and patrician prestige. They have hitherto derived from our example all the inspiration with which they have struggled upward. They have been able to accomplish, step by step, important alterations in the unwritten constitution, by the apt comparisons their leaders have been able to make between American and British civilization. So that, in considering the forces at work to influence those at the head of affairs, it is necessary to consider that force which is imperceptibly, but subtly, brought to bear upon them by the working-class. Mr. Beecher, and other eminent Americans who have lately visited England, tell us that this class are almost to a man sympathizers with us; and that this sympathy has in many cases worked favorably to us cannot be doubted. Even the operatives and manufacturers of Manchester and Leeds, at first, a little morose because of the effect of the war on their industry, seem to have come to a better second-thought, and are now outspoken for the North.

The different elements of English feeling toward us may be, we think, stated thus. The aristocracy would view with complacency the disruption of the Union, because we are a rival power, and they are thoroughly pledged to British aggrandizement; because the success of the Union would belie the principle whence they derive their prerogative, and encourage the opposing element of popular rights to greater exertions for ascendancy; because hatred of democracy is a sentiment inherited, as well as a principle of self-preservation; and because they have not forgotten the former dependence of America on England. The ministry feel toward us as the servants of a jealous power would naturally feel toward a rival. The theorists are eager for events to crown them with the flattery of verified prediction. The commercial classes are ill pleased that their thrift should be curtailed; the manufacturers grumble about the scarcity of cotton. The timid minds of some honest thinkers did not see the real issue, until the regular developments of the war satisfied them; the lower orders had to be told before they could comprehend that in our destiny they must read the counterpart of their own. Those pretentious philanthropists who have assumed to direct the anti-slavery party in England have mostly espoused the Southern side of the quarrel; thus demonstrating that their moral scruples have no higher source than their own political advantage, and no more lofty end than to divide and distract a sister-nation. Of these we may instance the most conspicuous of all, Lord Brougham,—who, after having for half a century derived all the benefit he could from the striking and pathetic points in slavery to vivify his eloquence, turns the bitter vial of his dotage against those who stake everything upon its extinction. But everybody knows that Lord Brougham is a type of those statesmen who stand by the people in the Commons and grind the people in the Lords; who, after crying down public wrongs, upon finding the responsibility of a coronet on their shoulders, suddenly become arrant sticklers for hereditary rights. We are amused to notice, among those peers who have risen above the selfishness by which they are surrounded, and have given us a well-timed sympathy, but few who are of new creations: for the Duke of Argyle and the Earls of Carlisle and Clarendon are descendants of the oldest and proudest houses in the realm.

It is gratifying to observe that those forces which are operating against us are those which are rapidly losing that control in public affairs which belonged to past phases of society; while those forces which are proper to the present, and are inevitably to assume the preponderance in the future, appear as they develop to be more and more sympathetic with the cause of our national integrity. Aristocratic prestige is shrinking back before an advancing enlightenment which elevates all to equal dignity.

The present ministry is a fair type of the selfishness of British statesmanship. The antecedents of its principal members are those of timeserving politicians. Lord Palmerston, starting on his career as a Tory of the Wellington stamp, has veered round as the tide has turned against his former associates, and is the still distrusted representative of the Liberal party. Lord Russell, in the youth of his public service a Radical reformer, and the eager disciple of Sir Francis Burdett when Sir Francis Burdett could not lead a corporal's guard, once the prop and hope of those who sought a wider suffrage, has again and again eaten his own words, and the history of his political life is a ludicrous illustration of the perplexities of politicians. His invariable course as a diplomatist has been to leave the way open to prevarication, to keep his opinions in a cloud, and to confound sense with ambiguity. It would be pure credulity to place much confidence in the expressions of a statesman who within two months boldly censured and then as boldly favored the designs of Victor Emmanuel on Venice, officially and unblushingly before all Europe. Both these noble lords, however, are fortunate in a keen appreciation of the national prejudices, and know how to make use of the existing tone of public feeling. A long vicissitude of successes and failures has taught both a lesson which is every day a practical benefit; and after finding that they were powerless when mutually opposed, they have succeeded in swallowing the hatred of half a century, that they may join and divide the power. The fact that there has been for some time a Tory majority in the House of Commons shows the cunning with which Palmerston manœuvres his machinery. If we could conclude at all from his acts what his sentiments are toward America, there is little love wasted on us from that quarter; and Lord Russell, even while addressing the House of Lords in terms favorable to us, never lets the occasion pass without slipping in a sneer between his praises.

Selfishness, national or individual, is ever cautious and ever suspicious. It seldom rashly grasps the thing coveted: it oftener lets the apt occasion pass without improvement. The diplomatic intercourse between Lord Palmerston's government and our own for the last year or two amply illustrates this. He had in the first place no prepossession in favor of the United States. We believe that he was not at all unwilling to see the Union dissolved. It was natural for a statesman hardened by fifty years of intrigue and devotion to politics to look with absolute gratification upon what seemed the dissolution of a great, and, because a near, a hated rival. We do not think it too much to assume, that, as far as Palmerston's personal feelings were concerned, he was ready for the chance of Southern recognition at the outset. In such a sentiment, he had the sympathy of the aristocracy, and of all others who take the low standard of self-aggrandizement in determining opinions. Two circumstances, however, were a restraint upon him, and appealed with controlling force to his caution. He was not only an aristocrat and a hater of republics, he was also the Prime-Minister of all England. He was absolutely dependent to a great degree upon the lower orders for the permanence of his present dignity. Was it wise in him to disregard the sentiments of those who were advancing to the predominance, and resort for support to those whose power was rapidly waning, whose opinions were yielding to the newer intelligence? Would it not be fatally inconsistent in a Liberal statesman to override every Liberal maxim and belie every Liberal profession? Was not the popular current too strong to be safely defied? There were Liberal statesmen enough of conspicuous merit to take his place at the helm, should he make the misstep: Gladstone, Gibson, Herbert, Granville, would fully answer the popular demand: his downfall, if it came, would doubtless be final. His private feelings, therefore, even his political wishes, must yield to policy. His love of place is too strong to succumb either to personal prejudice or national jealousy; and the long habit has made the self-denial more easy.

The other reason why Lord Palmerston has withheld open comfort from the Rebels is doubtless to be found in the steady adherence of our Government to the position which it assumed at the beginning,—in the promptness with which we have insisted upon our rights throughout the world,—the grace with which we have disavowed the evident errors of public servants,—the steadiness of our military progress,—the ease with which we have borne the strain upon our resources in respect both of men and money,—the possible, if not probable, success of the war,—the certainty that that success would strengthen our system, and render us capable of resenting foreign insult. For while Lord Palmerston and Lord Russell are very apt to stalk about and threaten and talk very loudly at nations whose weakness causes them not to be feared, and by bullying whom some power or money may slide into British hands, they are slow to provoke nations whose resentment either is or may become formidable to British weal. The British lion roars over the impotence of Brazil: he lies still and watches before the might of Napoleon. In the one case he stands forth the lordly king of beasts; in the other he seems metamorphosed into the fox. The hope that America would descend incontinently to the rank of an inferior power was quickly dispelled; so the lion crouched and the foxy head appeared. The everlasting caution came in and said,—"Wait your chance; a hasty judgment is always a poor judgment; let events take their course, and if occasion offers, strike the right blow at the right time; but do not decree away the stability of the Union either by the illusion of hope or by an expectation as yet ill-founded." It was the wisdom of the serpent, eager, and conquering eagerness.

Under the cloak of a pretended neutrality, the ministry have had opportunity to watch the course of events, to connive at aid to the Rebellion, and to leave themselves unembarrassed when the success of one side or the other should make it expedient to declare in its favor. It has been with the greatest difficulty that Mr. Adams has been able to bring the Foreign Office to exert its authority against violations of that neutrality. Vessels, known well enough to be in the service of the Confederates, or intended for their use, have been allowed to escape from the Clyde, and to put into British ports to refit. Frequent conflicts on questions of international law have arisen, in which our Government has invariably insisted upon the known precedents set by Great Britain, and which that power has generally deemed it prudent to follow. In the case of the Trent, if we lost the possession of two valuable prisoners of war, we at all events, by promptly disavowing the act of Commodore Wilkes, set England an example of fairness which she has been loath to follow, but which it would have been folly totally to disregard. Yet it has been apparent that the British ministers have borne us no good-will. Whatever justice has been done us has been done grudgingly,—with the moroseness of an enemy who is compelled to yield. While Lord Russell has been cautious how he offended our Government in acts, his repeated sneers in Parliament, at dinners, and on the hustings have exhibited the rancor of a jealous mind. There has been no hearty will to do justice, no word other than of discouragement. Even the amicable assurances which customarily pass between the statesmen of two nations seem to have been dropped. We believe that any American would rather bear the manly and outspoken denunciations of the Earl of Derby, consistent and honest in his hostility, than the sly, covert insinuations to which the Foreign Secretary gives utterance, at the very time he is advocating a favorable course toward us.

The ministry have constantly been met with the fact that our Government has assumed throughout that the Union was to be preserved, and both the act and the possibility of secession forever crushed. They cannot have failed to observe, that, while the inevitable fortune of war has at times brought momentary depression to our arms, the field of the Rebellion has steadily contracted,—that those great conflicts which have seemed drawn games have contributed in every instance to the general end,—that repulse has been invariably followed by overbalancing success. They must have been aware that the contrast between the feeling of the North and that of the South has tended to foreshadow the issue. Upon grounds of political economy, a life-long study to them, they must have viewed with vast suspicion the ability of a people to attain independence, who are trammelled by a blockade which they are themselves fain to acknowledge effectual, prevented from the usual methods of subsistence by inferiority of population, and under dreadful apprehensions from the existence in their midst of millions of malcontent slaves. They have not needed a subtle knowledge of political philosophy to teach them that during the progress of the war the Federal idea has received new strength, which its success will make permanent, and which only total failure can diminish. Their favorite doctrine, that governments within a government cannot exist, and that our Constitution is weakened by the accession of every new State and the rise of every new disagreement, is meeting its refutation every day. A concentration of extraordinary power at the centre does not seem to shatter every bond of union, as they have predicted,—and the States hold together and work together with amazing zeal for so feeble a tie as that they have represented. In their intercourse with our Government, they have illustrated the effect which events have had on their policy.

The course pursued by our Government seems to us to present a favorable contrast to that pursued by Great Britain. The United States has always manifested an anxiety to preserve amity. But the effort to preserve amity has been dignified. We have claimed to be treated as a friendly sovereign State. We have urged that the war should be regarded by foreign powers as the rightful exercise of a complete nationality to suppress insurrection. That the insurgents should be put upon a par with the Government, that they should enjoy the benefits of an established system, that they should have every right and every immunity as if the quarrel were between equal powers, has seemed to us a fallacy tinctured with deep prejudice. That feeling has been courteously, but firmly represented by our ministers. Since it pleased the European courts to proclaim their neutrality, we have borne the injustice temperately, and have confined our demands to our rights under that status. When the conduct of Great Britain has been of so irritating a nature as to produce universal indignation throughout the community, our statesmen have moderated the popular anger, and have remonstrated patiently as well as firmly. They have discerned more accurately than the multitude could do the evils of a twofold war, and yet have not avoided the danger, when to avoid it would have been disgraceful. Whatever may be the opinion of any as to Mr. Seward's political career, it is generally admitted that as Secretary of State he has accomplished the better thought of the nation. In his hands our foreign relations have been administered with prudence, with minute attention, and with great dignity. He has constantly maintained the idea of our national integrity, the full expectation of our final success, the continued efficacy of the Federal system, and our right to be considered none the less a compact nationality because the insurrection has taken the form of State secession. Our diplomatic intercourse has been confined to strictly diplomatic etiquette. No attempt has been made to justify, for the satisfaction of foreign courts, either the origin of the war, or the modes which have been adopted in its prosecution. It has not been deemed necessary to retaliate upon the Confederate agents who fill Europe with their tale of woe, by retorting upon them a reference to the unchristian practices of their soldiery. There has been no appeal to the moral sympathies of the Old World, by harping upon the enormities of slavery, and by announcing a crusade against it. Foreign communities have been left to the ordinary modes of information, to the press and the accounts of American and European orators, for the events which have been passing. It has contented us to let the record speak for itself, to attach infamy where it is due, to extort praise where praise is merited. We have not shown an ungenerous exultation at the embroilments of European politics, as diverting the hostile attention of enemies from our own affairs. "We are content," says Mr. Seward, in a despatch to Mr. Adams, "to rely upon the justice of our cause, and our own resources and ability to maintain it." We have not sought the aid of any power; we have only desired to sustain out admitted rights, and to be free from external interference.

It is surprising that Earl Russell should intimate his dissatisfaction that we have been less quick to offence from France than from England. The reason why we should not, in his opinion, feel so is the very reason why we should. He thinks, because our relations have been more intimate with England, because we speak the same language and inherit the same Anglo-Saxon genius, that therefore we should be more patient with her. But these circumstances seem to us to aggravate the treatment we have received at her hands. It has appeared to us unnatural that a nation so identified with us should mistrust us, and embrace every occasion to slight us where they could safely do so. The closer the tie, the deeper the wound. Besides, despite the common ground upon which England and America have stood, the past bequeaths us little grudge against France, much against England. France was the patron, England the bitter enemy, of our national infancy. Our arms have never closed with those of France; we have fought England twice, and virulently. Our diplomatic intercourse with England has been a series of misunderstandings; that with France has been, in general, harmonious. In later times, French essayists and journalists have been tolerant of our faults, and eloquent over our virtues; and not a little good feeling has been produced among our educated classes by the fairness and acuteness with which one of the greatest of modern Frenchmen, De Tocqueville, has considered our institutions. On the other hand, the English press and the English Parliament have been outspoken in their contempt of America; and the offence has been enhanced by the peculiarly insulting terms in which the feeling has been expressed. Such facts cannot but intensify our chagrin at finding that power which we had always regarded as our companion in the march of modern progress ill-disposed to sympathy now in the time of our trouble.

Mr. Seward has well expressed our attitude towards England in a few words:—"The whole case may be summed up in this. The United States claim, and they must continually claim, that in this war they are a whole sovereign nation, and entitled to the same respect, as such, that they accord to Great Britain. Great Britain does not treat them as such a sovereign, and hence all the evils that disturb their intercourse and endanger their friendship. Great Britain justifies her course, and perseveres. The United States do not admit the justification, and so they are obliged to complain and stand upon their guard. Those in either country who desire to see the two nations remain in this relation are not well-advised friends of either of them."

Our relations with France during the war have not been dissimilar to those with England, but have been less grating and more courteous. The same difficulties in regard to neutral rights have arisen; and the Imperial cabinet have seemed throughout favorable to the South. But the popular feeling, as far as it is patent, is decidedly more favorable to us than that of England; whatever has been said against us has been said considerately and temperately; and there has been at no period any imminent danger of war. The design of Napoleon to mediate was interpreted by the community as hostile and aggressive in its object. The President, we think justly, took what appears a more simple view,—that the Emperor miscalculated the actual condition of the country, and a mistaken desire to advise induced him to take the course he did. But those who know France best tell us that the Imperial opinion is far from being the index of the popular opinion, on any subject; and every evidence induces the conclusion that there is a strong undercurrent of sympathy for America throughout France.

Of all the foreign powers, Russia has been the only one which has given us cordial, unstinted encouragement. The sovereign, the most liberal and enlightened Czar who ever ascended the Muscovite throne, has expressed himself again and again the constant friend of the Union. It is agreeable to reflect that that vast empire, now far on its way to a liberal constitution, and hastened, instead of retarded by its august head, should lend the moral force of its unqualified good-will to the cause of American liberty. The noble words of Prince Gortschakoff to our envoy will be grateful to every loyal American heart:—"We desire above all things the maintenance of the American Union, as one indivisible nation. Russia has declared her position, and will maintain it. There will be proposals for intervention. Russia will refuse any invitation of the kind. She will occupy the same ground as at the beginning of the struggle. You may rely upon it, she will not change."

Our relations with other nations have not been important, and are quite similar to those with England and France. But, generally, the belief and hope in the final success of the Union have been steadily strengthening throughout Europe. The idea of our centralization has become more vivid; and far juster estimates of our character and institutions have been formed. When the war shall have been brought to a successful issue, we shall have afforded a noble proof of the full efficiency of a republican system over an intelligent people. Our own sinews will be compact, and our spirit will be infused into the aspirations of distant peoples. It may not be presumptuous to feel that our efforts are not for ourselves alone, but that they tell upon the fate of the earnest and hopeful millions who are striving for disenthralment in the Old World. Let us, then, expand our just ambition beyond the object of our national integrity; let us embrace within our own hopes the dawning fortunes of a free Italy and a free Hungary, of Poland liberated, of Greece regenerated. While nerving ourselves for the final struggle, let the sublime thought that our success will reach in its vast results the limits of the Christian world bring us redoubled strength. For if we should fall, the thrones of despots are fixed for centuries; if we triumph, in due time they will vanish and crumble to the dust. Those sovereigns who are wise will appear in the van, leading their people to the blessings of the liberty they have so long yearned for; those who throw themselves in the way will be overwhelmed by the resistless tide. To such an end we fight, and suffer, and wait; the greater the stake, the more fearful the ordeal; but Providence smiles upon those whose aim is freedom, and through danger guides to consummation.


The Roman and the Teuton: A Series of Lectures delivered before the University of Cambridge. By CHARLES KINGSLEY, M.A., Professor of Modern History. Cambridge and London: Macmillan & Co.

Mr. Kingsley is a vivid and entertaining mediator between Carlyle and commonplace. In his younger days and writings he mediated between his master and commonplace radicalism,—representing the great Scot's antagonism to existing institutions, his sympathy with man as man, and his hope of a more human society, but representing it with sufficient admixture of vague fancy, Chartist catchword, weak passionateness, and spasmodic audacity, based, as such ever is, on moral cowardice. Of late he has gone to the other side of his master, and now mediates between him and the Thirty-Nine Articles and the Hanover family,—representing Carlyle's passionate craving for supereminent persons, his passionate abhorrence of democracy, his admiration of strong character, his disposition to work from historical bases rather than from absolute principles, but representing them at once with a prudence of common sense and a prudence of self-seeking and timidity which are alike foreign to his master's spirit.

We prefer the second phase of the man. It belongs more properly to him. He is ambitious; and the rôle which he first assumed is one which ambition can only spoil. He has but a weak faith in principles, and flinches and flies off to "Prester John," or somewhere into the clouds, when at last principle and sentiment must either fly off or fairly take the stubborn British taurus by the horns. And in truth, his early creed was in part merely passionate and foolish, and with courage and disinterestedness to do more he would have professed less. His present position is better,—that is, sounder and sincerer. Better for him, because more limited and British, leaving him room still to toil at good work, and not calling upon him to break with Church and State, which he really has not the heart to do. As head of the hierarchy of beadles, he is an effective and even admirable man, pious, zealous, and reformatory; but institutions are more necessary to him than principles, and any attempt to plant himself purely on the latter places him in a false position.

Mr. Kingsley has fine gifts and good purposes. He has a rare power of realizing scenes and characters,—a power equally rare of presenting them in vivid, pictorial delineation. He must be a very engaging lecturer, imparting to his official labor an interest which does not always belong to labors of like kind.

For discoursing upon history he has important qualifications, which it would be uncandid not to acknowledge. Of these it is the first that he clings manfully, despite the tendencies of our time, to the human, rather than the extra-human stand-point. He respects personality; he treats of men, not of puppets; he is old-fashioned enough to believe that men may be moved from within no less than from without, and does not attempt, as Quinet has it, to abolish human history and add a chapter to natural history instead. Here, too, he follows Carlyle, but in a way which is highly to his credit. The enthusiasm for science which marks these later centuries breeds in many minds a powerful desire to establish "laws" for the history of man,—that is, to establish for man's history an invariable programme. To this end an effort is made to render all results in history dependent on a few simple and tangible conditions. The intrepid prosaic logic of Spencer, the discursive boldness of Buckle, the rigid dogmatism of Draper are all engaged in this endeavor. But, while eager to make history simple and orderly, they forget to make it human. There is an order and progress, perhaps, but an order and progress of what? Of men? Of human souls, self-moved? No, of sticks floating on a current, of straws blown by the wind! Men, according to this theory, are but ninepins in an alley which Nature sets up only to bowl them down again; and what avails it, if Nature makes improvement and learns to set them up better and better? The triumphs are hers, not theirs. They are but ninepins, after all. Progress? Yes, indeed; but wooden progress, observe.

Mr. Kingsley recognizes human beings, and recognizes them heartily,—loves, hates, admires, despises; in fine, he deals with history not merely as a scientist or theorist, but first of all as a man. There are those who will think this weak. They are superior to this partiality of man for himself, they! They would be ashamed not to sink the man in the savant. But Mr. Kingsley refuses to dehumanize himself in order to become historian and philosopher. He does well.

Again, it is partly Mr. Kingsley's merit, and partly it expresses his limitation, that he is treating history more distinctively as a moralizer than any other noted writer of the time. He assumes in this respect the Hebraistic point of view, and looks out from it with an undoubting heartiness which in these days is really refreshing. He believes in the Old Testament, and doubts not that riches and honors are the rewards of right-doing. And in this, too, there is a vast deal of truth; and it is truly delightful to find one who affirms it, not with perfunctory drawl, but with hearty human zest, a little red in the face.

It adds to the color of Mr. Kingsley's pages, while detracting from his authority, that he is always and inevitably a partisan. He must have somebody to cry up and somebody to cry down. In "Sir Amyas Leigh," his hatred of the Spanish and admiration of the English were like those of a man who had suffered intolerable wrongs from the one and received invaluable rescue from the other. The same element appears powerfully in the volume above named. The Teuton stands for all that is best, and the Roman for all that is worst in humanity. He makes no secret, indeed, of his deliberate belief that the whole future of the human race depends upon the Teutonic family. Deliberate, we say; but in truth Mr. Kingsley is little capable of believing anything deliberately. He is always precipitate. His opinions have the force which can be given them by warm espousal, vivid expression, a certain desire to be fair, and a constant appeal to the moral nature of man; but the impression of hasty and heated partisanship goes with them always, and two words from a broad and balanced judgment might overturn many a chapter of this red-hot advocacy.

The present volume derives an interest for Americans from its relation to our great contest. Mr. Kingsley has been represented as intensely hostile to the North, and as using all his endeavor to infect his pupils with his opinions. These lectures, however, hardly sustain such representations. He is, indeed, anti-democratic in a high degree. He is so as a disciple of Carlyle, as a prosperous Englishman, not destitute of flunkyism, and also as a man whose very best power is that of passionately admiring individual greatness. He is a believer in natural aristocracy, in the British nobility, and in Carlyle; and democracy could, of course, find small place in his creed. Hence he has a sentimental sympathy with the South, and once in a foot-note speaks of "the Southern gentleman" in a maudlin way. There is also another passage in which he makes the South stand for the Teuton, whom he worships, and the North for the Roman, whom he abhors. Yet this very passage occurs in connection with a denunciation of deserved doom upon the Southern Confederacy. He had been describing the last great battle of the Eastern Goths, after which they literally disappeared from history. And the reason of their defeat and destruction, he avers, was simply this, that they were a slaveholding aristocracy. As such they must perish; the earth, he declares, will not and cannot afford them a dwelling-place. Indeed, he repeatedly lays it down as a law of history that slaveholding aristocracies must go down before the progress of the world, and must go down in blood.

The Small House at Allington. By ANTHONY TROLLOPE. New York: Harper & Brothers.

This is probably the best of Mr. Trollope's numerous works. It is by no means different in kind from its predecessors; for it stands in the path struck out by "The Warden" ten years ago. But it is better, inasmuch as it is later; that is, it is by ten years better than "The Warden," and by four years better than "Framley Parsonage." Mr. Trollope's course has been very even,—too even, almost, to be called brilliant; for success has become almost monotonous with him. His first novel was a triumph, after its kind; and a list of his subsequent works would be but a record of repeated triumphs. He has closely adhered to the method which he found so serviceable at first; and although it is not for the general critic to say whether he has felt temptations to turn aside, we may be sure, in view of his unbroken popularity, that he has either been very happy or very wise. His works, as they stand, are probably the exact measure of his strength.

We do not mean that he has exhausted his strength. It seems to be the prime quality of such a genius as Mr. Trollope's that it is exempt from accident,—that it accumulates, rather than loses force with age. Mr. Trollope's work is simple observation. He is secure, therefore, as long as he retains this faculty. And his observation is the more efficient that it is hampered by no concomitant purpose, rooted to no underlying beliefs or desires. It is firmly anchored, but above-ground. We have often heard Mr. Trollope compared with Thackeray,—but never without resenting the comparison. In no point are they more dissimilar than in the above. Thackeray is a moralist, a satirist; he tells his story for its lesson: whereas Mr. Trollope tells his story wholly for its own sake. Thackeray is almost as much a preacher as he is a novelist; while Mr. Trollope is the latter simply. Both writers are humorists, which seems to be the inevitable mood of all shrewd observers; and both incline to what is called quiet humor. But we know that there are many kinds of laughter. Think of the different kinds of humorists we find in Shakspeare's comedies. Mr. Trollope's merriment is evoked wholly by the actual presence of an oddity; and Thackeray's, although it be, by the way, abundantly sympathetic with superficial comedy, by its existence, by its history, by some shadow it casts. Of course all humorists have an immense common fund. When Cradell, in the present tale, talks about Mrs. Lupex's fine torso, we are reminded both of Thackeray and Dickens. But when the Squire, coming down to the Small House to discuss his niece's marriage, just avoids a quarrel with his sister about the propriety of early fires, we acknowledge, that, as it stands, the trait belongs to Trollope alone. Dickens would have eschewed it, and Thackeray would have expanded it. The same remark applies to their pathos. With Trollope we weep, if it so happen we can, for a given shame or wrong. Our sympathy in the work before us is for the jilted Lily Dale, our indignation for her false lover. But our compassion for Amelia Osborne and Colonel Newcome goes to the whole race of the oppressed.

Mr. Trollope's greatest value we take to be that he is so purely a novelist. The chief requisite for writing a novel in the present age seems to be that the writer should be everything else. It implies that the story-telling gift is very well in its way, but that the inner substance of a tale must repose on some direct professional experience. This fashion is of very recent date. Formerly the novelist had no personality; he was a simple chronicler; his accidental stand-point was as impertinent as the painter's attitude before his canvas. But now the main question lies in the pose, not of the model, but of the artist. It will fare ill with the second-rate writer of fiction, unless he can give conclusive proof that he is well qualified in certain practical functions. And the public is very vigilant on this point. It has become wonderfully acute in discriminating true and false lore. The critic's office is gradually reduced to a search for inaccuracies. We do not stop to weigh these truths; we merely indicate them. But we confess, that, if Mr. Trollope is somewhat dear to us, it is because they are not true of him. The central purpose of a work of fiction is assuredly the portrayal of human passions. To this principle Mr. Trollope steadfastly adheres,—how consciously, how wilfully, we know not,—but with a constancy which is almost a proof of conviction, and a degree of success which lends great force to his example. The interest of the work before us is emphatically a moral interest: it is a story of feeling, the narrative of certain feelings.

Mr. Troliope's tales give us a very sound sense of their reality. It may seem paradoxical to attribute this to the narrowness of the author's imagination; but we cannot help doing so. On reflection, we shall see that it is not so much persons as events that Mr. Trollope aims at depicting, not so much characters as scenes. His pictures are real, on the whole. Their reality, we take it, is owing to the happy balance of the writer's judgment and his invention. Had his invention been a little more tinged with fancy, it is probable that he would have known certain temptations of which he appears to be ignorant. Even should he have successfully resisted them, the struggle, the contest, the necessity of choice would have robbed his manner of that easy self-sufficiency which is one of its greatest charms. Had he succumbed, he would often have fallen away from sober fidelity to Nature. As the matter stands, his great felicity is that he never goes beyond his depth,—and this, not so much from fear, as from ignorance. His insight is anything but profound. He has no suspicion of deeper waters. Through the whole course of the present story, he never attempts to fathom Crosbie's feelings, to retrace his motives, to refine upon his character. Mr. Trollope has learned much in what is called the realist school; but he has not taken lessons in psychology. Even while looking into Crosbie's heart, we never lose sight of Courcy Castle, of his Club, of his London life; we cross the threshold of his inner being, we knock at the door of his soul, but we remain within call of Lily Dale and the Lady Alexandrina. We never see Crosbie the man, but always Crosbie the gentleman, the Government clerk. We feel at times as if we had a right to know him better,—to know him at least as well as he knew himself. It is significant of Mr. Trollope's temperament—a temperament, as it seems to us, eminently English—that he can have told such a story with so little preoccupation with certain spiritual questions. It is evident that this spiritual reticence, if we may so term it, is not a parti pris; for no fixed principle, save perhaps the one hinted at above, is apparent in the book. It belongs to a species of single-sightedness, by which Mr. Trollope, in common with his countrymen, is largely characterized,—an indifference to secondary considerations, an abstinence from sidelong glances. It is akin to an intense literalness of perception, of which we might find an example on every page Mr. Trollope has written. He is conscious of seeing the surface of things so clearly, perhaps, that he deems himself exempt from all profounder obligations. To describe accurately what he sees is a point of conscience with him. In these matters an omission is almost a crime. We remember an instance somewhat to the purpose. After describing Mrs. Dale's tea-party at length, in the beginning of the book, he wanders off with Crosbie and his sweetheart on a moonlight-stroll, and so interests us in the feelings of the young couple, and in Crosbie's plans and promises for the future, (which we begin faintly to foresee,) that we have forgotten all about the party. And, indeed, how could the story of the party end better than by gently passing out of the reader's mind, superseded by a stronger interest, to which it is merely accessory? But such is not the author's view of the case. Dropping Crosbie, Lilian, and the more serious objects of our recent concern, he begins a new line and ends his chapter thus:—"After that they all went to bed." It recalls the manner of "Harry and Lucy," friends of our childhood.

But to return to our starting-point,—in "The Small House at Allington" Mr. Trollope has outdone his previous efforts. He has used his best gifts in unwonted fulness. Never before has he described young ladies and the loves of young ladies in so charming and so natural a fashion. Never before has he reproduced so faithfully—to say no more—certain phases of the life and conversation of the youth of the other sex. Never before has he caught so accurately the speech of our daily feelings, plots, and passions. He has a habit of writing which is almost a style; its principal charm is a certain tendency to quaintness; its principal defect is an excess of words. But we suspect this manner makes easy writing; in Mr. Trollope's books it certainly makes very easy reading.

A Class-Book of Chemistry; in which the Latest Facts and Principles of the Science are explained and applied to the Arts of Life and the Phenomena of Nature. A New Edition, entirely rewritten. By EDWARD L. YOUMANS, M.D. New York: D. Appleton & Co.

Though Science has been often vaguely supposed to be something generally distinct from ordinary knowledge, yet the slightest consideration will suffice to show us that this is not the case. Scientific knowledge is only a highly developed form of the common information of ordinary minds. The specific attribute by which it is distinguished from the latter is quantitative prevision. Mere prevision is not peculiar to science. When the school-boy throws a stone into the air, he can predict its fall as certainly as the astronomer can predict the recurrence of an eclipse; but his prevision, though certain, is rude and indefinite: though he can foretell the kind of effect which will follow the given mechanical impulse, yet the quantity of effect—the height to which the stone will ascend, and the rapidity with which it will fall—is something utterly beyond his ken. The servant-girl has no need of chemistry to teach her, that, when the match is applied, the fire will burn and smoke ascend the chimney; but she is far from being able to predict the proportional weights of oxygen and carbon which will unite, the volume of the gases which are to be given off, or the intensity of the radiation which is to warm the room: her prevision is qualitative, not quantitative, in its character. But when Galileo discovers the increment of the velocity of falling bodies, and when Dalton and De Morveau discover the exact proportions in which chemical union takes place, it is evident that knowledge has advanced from a rudely qualitative to an accurately quantitative stage; and it does not admit of dispute that the progress of science is thus a progress from the indefinite to the definite.

From the point of view here taken it would appear that during the present century no science has made such rapid and unprecedented strides as Chemistry; and its progress becomes all the more striking, when we consider the state of the science previous to the French Revolution. For centuries nothing had been done in it whatever. Besides the commonest previsions of every-day life, the ancients knew scarcely anything either of chemistry or physics, except that amber possessed attractive properties. The discovery of the strong acids by the Arabs Giafar and Rhazes, and of phosphorus by Bechil, are almost the only landmarks in the history of the science, until the discovery of oxygen and the destruction of the phlogistic theory by Priestley and Lavoisier, together with the introduction of the balance and the thermometer into the laboratory, rendered quantitative experiments possible. Since then its progress has been unexampled. The law of definite proportions, not long since disputed or unwillingly accepted, has been proved to hold even among organic compounds. A nomenclature has been invented and perfected, such as no other science can boast of, whether we consider the extent to which it facilitates practical operations, or its logical value as a means of mental discipline. Chemistry has also interacted with the different branches of physics, giving us the voltaic battery, the telegraph, and the wonderful results of spectrum-analysis. On the other hand, it has analyzed the proximate constituents of animal and vegetal structures, and has even gone far toward determining some of the conditions of organic existence; while every one of the arts, whether æsthetic, therapeutic, or industrial, has received from it many and important suggestions.

In a science which advances so rapidly there is great need of popular books which shall clearly and succinctly present the very latest results of investigation, without burdening the reader with technical details. For some time there has been no such work in this country. To ascertain the newest discoveries, it has been necessary to consult the journals and memoirs of learned societies, the excellent works of Professor Miller being too cumbrous to be of much service either to the unscientific reader or to the general scholar. On the other hand, the text-books in common use have been positively detestable. The information furnished by many of them is worse than ignorance. We are tired of works on chemical physics which discourse of "calorie" and "the electric fluid,"—of works on organic chemistry which ascribe the phenomena of life to "a vital principle which overrides chemical laws." A book at once clear, concise, and modern has long been the great desideratum.

This need is most amply supplied by the recent work of Dr. Youmans. Laying no claim to the character of an exposition of original discoveries, and thus keeping aloof from involved discussion, it is at the same time so lucid in its statements, so pertinent in its illustrations, and so philosophic in its reflections, as to invest with a new charm every subject of which it treats. The author deserves high praise for taking into account the circumstance that the reading public is not entirely composed of physicists and chemists. It has been too much the fashion for writers on scientific subjects to give definitions which can be rendered intelligible only by an intimate acquaintance with the very matters defined. It would be tedious to enumerate the countless absurd explanations given in elementary text-books of the phenomena of interference, polarization, and double refraction,—explanations as enigmatical as the inscriptions at Memphis and Karnak,—explanations useless to the optician because needless, and to the student because obscure. It would seem that subjects so simple and beautiful as these could not be rendered difficult of comprehension, except by the most awkward treatment; and yet we know of no work previous to that of Dr. Youmans which does not utterly fail to give the general scientific reader any idea whatever of their nature and theory. Here, however, they are explained with clearness and elegance, and their bearing on the undulatory theory of light is distinctly shown. As other instances of most admirable exposition, we may call attention to the paragraphs on crystallization, on the atomic theory, on isomerism and allotropism, on diamagnetism, magnetic induction, and electric "currents," on the sources of heat, on the chemical and thermal spectra, on the correlation and equivalence of the forces, on the theory of ozone, on the exceptional expansion of water and the supposed complexity of its atom, on the structure of flame, on the constitution of salts, on the colloid condition of matter, on types and compound radicles, on the dynamics of vegetable growth and the production of animal power, and, above all, to the passage which describes the phenomena of latent heat. Throughout, in treating of these subjects, the author's felicity of exposition never fails him. The most difficult phenomena are rendered perfectly easy of comprehension, and their mutual relations are not left out of account. Each set of facts is treated, not as forming an isolated body of truth, but as an integral portion of the complex and logically indivisible universe. In this respect Dr. Youmans's work is far superior to the recent production of Dr. Hooker, in which, for example, the mere existence of such a doctrine as that of the correlation of forces is grudgingly noticed, and its ultimate significance entirely overlooked.

Far different is Dr. Youmans's treatment of the same doctrine. Indeed, we think that the chapters on chemical physics form the most interesting portion of his work, and their value consists chiefly in the constant reference to the modern ideas of force which pervades them. In a work intended for the education of youth, such a feature cannot be too highly praised. It is time that the old material superstitions about force were eradicated from men's minds, and as far as possible from their language. It is already more than half a century since Count Rumford demonstrated the immaterial nature of heat, and Young established the undulatory theory of light,—ideas which had germinated two hundred years ago in the lofty minds of Huygens and Hooke. Since then have been discovered the polarization and interference of heat, the triple constitution of the solar ray, the identity of magnetism and electricity, the polar nature of chemical affinity, the optical polarities of crystals, and the interaction of magnetism and light. Since then the once meagre and fragmentary science of physics has become one of the grandest and richest departments of human thought; and the illustrious names of Helmholtz, Joule, and Mayer, of Grove, Faraday, and Tyndall, may be fitly named beside those of the leading thinkers of past ages. The physical forces are no longer to be looked upon as inscrutable material entities,—forms of matter imponderable, and therefore inconceivable; but they have been shown to be diverse, but interchangeable modes of molecular motion, omnipresent, ceaselessly active. The wondrous phenomena of light, heat, and electricity are seen to be due to the rhythmical vibration of atoms. There is thus no such thing as rest: from the planet to the ultimate particle, all things are endlessly moving: and the mystic song of the Earth-Spirit in "Faust" is recognized as the expression of the sublimest truth of science:—

"In Lebensfluthen, im Thatensturm,
Wall' ich auf und ab, webe hin und her,
Geburt und Grab,
Ein ewiges Meer,
Ein wechselnd Weben,
Ein glühend Leben,
So schaff' ich am sausenden Webstuhl der Zeit,
Und wirke der Gottheit lebendiges Kleid."

In a discussion containing so much that is noble, however, we are sorry to observe that Dr. Youmans is betrayed into using the current expressions concerning an "ether" which is supposed to be the universal vehicle for the transmission of molecular vibrations. We are told, that, while "the vibrations of a sonorous body produce undulations in the air," on the other hand, "the vibrations of atoms in a flame produce undulations in the ether." We would by no means charge Dr. Youmans with all the consequences naturally deducible from such a statement. We believe that he uses the term "ether" simply to render himself more intelligible to those who have been wont to make use of it to facilitate their thinking. Such an object is highly praiseworthy, and is too often left out of sight by those who write elementary works. But the good service thus rendered is far more than counterbalanced by the host of erroneous conceptions which at once arise at the introduction of this luckless term. This notion of an "imaginary ether" should be at once and forever discarded by every writer on physics. The very word should be remorselessly expunged from every discussion of the subject. It is one of the most baneful words in the whole dictionary of scientific terminology. It stands for a fiction as useless as it is without foundation. It is useless because superfluous, and not needed in order to account for the phenomena. An ether is no more necessary in the case of light than it is in the case of sound. Thermal vibrations are the oscillations of atoms, not the undulations of an ether. If it be urged that rays of light and heat will traverse a vacuum, we reply, that the much-derided aphorism, "Nature abhors a vacuum," is as true at this day as it was before Torricelli's experiment. A perfect vacuum has never been produced; and if it were to be produced, the ether must be excluded, else it would be no vacuum, after all. For, if there were such a thing as an ether, it must of course be some form of matter; nobody ever claimed for it the character of motion or force. If it be considered as matter, then, we are confronted with new difficulties; for all matter must exert gravitation. Weight is our sole test of the very existence of matter; it is the balance which has proved that nothing ever disappears. Imponderable matter is no more possible than a triangular ellipse. Away, then, with such a mischief-breeding conception! Let this last-surviving fetich be ousted from the fair temple of inorganic science. Undulations have been measured and counted; quantitative relations, like those expressed in Joule's law, have been established between them; but an "ether" has never yet been the object of human ken.

We have expressed ourselves thus emphatically upon this all-important point, in order to warn the reader of Dr. Youmans's book against drawing conclusions which the author himself evidently does not mean to convey. No clear ideas can ever be entertained in physics until this anomalous "ether" is excommunicated; and therefore we wish it had been banished from this excellent treatise. We differ also very widely from the author's views of animal heat, but have not space to enter upon the discussion. With these exceptions we know of nothing in the work that could be improved. It is an honor to American science, and fully merits a more exhaustive examination than we have here been enabled to bestow upon it.

Strategy and Tactics. By General G.H. DUFOUR, lately an Officer of the French Engineer Corps, Graduate of the Polytechnic School, and Commander of the Legion of Honor; Chief of Staff of the Swiss Army. Translated from the latest French Edition, by WILLIAM R. CRAIGHILL, Captain U.S. Engineers, lately Assistant Professor of Civil and Military Engineering and Science of War at the U.S. Military Academy. New York: D. Van Nostrand.

The author of this work is a distinguished civil and military engineer and practical soldier, who, in all military matters, is recognized as one of the first authorities in Europe. His history is especially interesting to Americans, since not many years ago he played a prominent part in the suppression of a rebellion which, in many features, exhibited a remarkable similarity to the one with which our own Government is contending. We refer to the secession of the seven Swiss cantons forming the Sonderbund, which, like the insurrection of the Southern States, was a revolt of reactionary against liberal principles of government; it was likewise the fruit of a well-organized and long-matured conspiracy, which only delayed an open outbreak until all its preparations were adequately perfected for a formidable resistance. The issue of the contest was what we may hope will be that of our own,—the triumph of free principles, and the complete reëstablishment of the authority of the legitimate Government on a firmer basis than it had before occupied.

General Dufour was born at Constance, of a family of Genevese origin. Having acquired his early education at Geneva, where he devoted his attention chiefly to mathematics, he entered the Polytechnic School at Paris, was commissioned two years afterwards in the corps of Engineers, and served in the later campaigns of Napoleon, where he rose to the rank of captain. He afterwards entered the Swiss Federal service, in which he became colonel, chief of the general staff, and quartermaster-general. At later periods he has held the less active, but equally responsible and honorable positions of superintendent of the triangulation of Switzerland on which the topographical map of the country is based, and chief instructor of engineering in the principal military school of the Republic, at Thun.

When, in 1847, the Swiss Diet determined to dissolve the Sonderbund, which had at length committed the overt act of treason, General Dufour was appointed commander-in-chief of the Federal army. A few days after the call for troops was issued, he found himself at the head of an army of one hundred thousand men, and immediately entered actively upon the work before him. His dispositions were skilful and his movements rapid. He adopted with success the "anaconda" system of strategy, and hemmed in the insurgents at every point, closing in the mountain-passes, and completely isolating them. After six days of active campaigning the Canton of Freyburg was subdued; nine days afterwards Luzerne submitted; the other rebellious cantons were quick to yield; and in eighteen days from the commencement of active operations, and twenty-three days from the issue by the Federal Diet of the decree of coercion, the rebellion was extinguished so completely that no murmur of treason has since been heard in the Republic. So rapidly was the whole accomplished, that foreign powers had not time to intervene; and it is said, that, when the French messenger went to seek the insurgents with his proposals, they were already fugitives. In honor of his services in this contest, the Federal Diet voted General Dufour a sabre of honor and a donative of forty thousand francs.

General Dufour's "Strategy and Tactics" is evidently the fruit of an attentive study of the best examples and authorities of all ages. He has avoided mere theories and fine writing, and has aimed to present a work practical in its treatment and application. The lessons of history have been his guide; his precepts are fortified by pertinent examples from the campaigns of the best generals, and we may study them with confidence that when put to the actual test they will not fail.

The distinction between strategy and tactics, not always clearly understood, is in substance drawn thus by General Dufour. Strategy involves general movements and the general arrangement of campaigns, depending chiefly upon the topographical features of the country which is the scene of operations,—while tactics relate to the minor details of campaigns, as the disposition for marches and battles, the arrangement of camps, etc. Strategy depends upon circumstances fixed in their nature, and is the same always and everywhere; but tactics must be modified to suit degree of skill, arms, and manner of fighting of the combatants. Hence, "much instruction in strategy may be derived from the study of history; but very grave errors will result, if we attempt to apply in the armies of the present day the tactics of the ancients. This fault has been committed by more than one man of merit, for want of reflection upon the great difference between our missile weapons and those of the ancients, and upon the resulting differences in the arrangement of troops for combat." Our own military leaders have not entirely avoided mistakes of this kind in the conduct of the present war.

The treatise before us elucidates the general principles of strategy and tactics, and applies them to the different classes of field—operations, without entering into details, or describing the minor manœuvres, which belong more appropriately to another class of works.

The first chapter treats of bases and lines of operations, strategic points, plans of offensive and defensive campaigns, and strategical operations. Under the last head are embraced forward movements and retreats, diversions, (combined movements and detachments,) the pursuit of a defeated enemy, and the holding of a conquered country. The great lesson of the chapter, prominent in almost every paragraph, is the necessity of concentration. Divergent marches, scattering of forces, unless ample facilities are secured for a speedy rally, when necessary, to a common point, are among the most fruitful sources of disaster.

The organization of armies next receives attention. The explanation of the composition of the army, its divisions and subdivisions, and the adjustment of the relative proportions of the different classes of troops, is brief and lucid. In the article on the formation of troops the relative merits of formation in two ranks or three are discussed at length.

Under the head of marches and manœuvres are considered the rules by which these movements should be conducted. These apply to the adjustment of the columns, and the division, when necessary, of the forces upon different roads in order to facilitate progress and make subsistence more easy, the detailing of scouts and advance and rear guards, etc. The adaptation of these rules to forward movements and battles leads to a description of the order of march of the division, the precautions to be observed in the passage of defiles, bridges, woods, and rivers, and when the column has arrived in the presence of the enemy, and the conduct of flank marches, marches in retreat, and the simultaneous movement of several columns. The importance of precautions against surprise, of preserving the mobility of the columns, and of providing for concentration on short notice whenever it may be necessary, is not lost sight of, but is dwelt upon with great frequency. But military rules are not more inflexible than other human rules. Though they are based upon fixed principles, cases may, and do, arise when they cannot be strictly adhered to,—sometimes when they ought not to be. When should they be strictly observed? When and how far is it prudent to depart from them? "These questions," says General Dufour, "admit of no answers. Circumstances, which are always different, must decide in each particular case that arises. Here is the place for a general to show his ability. The military art would not be so difficult in practice, and those who have become so distinguished in it would not have acquired their renown, had it been a thing of invariable rules. To be really a great general, a man must have great tact and discernment in order to adopt the best plan in each case as it presents itself; he must have a ready coup d'oeil, so as to do the right thing at the right time and place; for what is excellent one day may be very injurious the next. The plans of a great captain seem like inspirations, so rapid are the operations of the mind from which they proceed: notwithstanding this, everything is taken into account and weighed; each circumstance is appreciated and properly estimated; objects which escape entirely the observation of ordinary minds may to him seem so important as to become the principal means of inducing him to pursue a particular course. As a necessary consequence, a deliberative council is a poor director of the operations of a campaign. As another consequence, no mere theorizer can be a great general."

Battles, on which the fortune of the campaign must turn at last, receive a large share of attention. The decision of the question as to when they shall be fought, though sometimes admitting of no choice, is more often, with a skilful general, a matter of pure calculation, depending upon fixed principles, which General Dufour recites in a few brief, but suggestive sentences. His directions for the disposition and manoeuvres of the forces in both offensive and defensive battles are quite complete, though the thousand varying circumstances by which these may be modified, and which render it impossible for one battle to be a copy of another, can only be hinted at. Among the elements of a battle here considered are the disposition of the forces, the manner of bringing on and conducting the engagement, the manœuvres to change position on the field, bringing on reinforcements, seizing all advantages that may offer, and the manner of conducting pursuit or retreat. The attack and defence of mountains and rivers, of redoubts, houses, and villages, covering a siege, infantry, cavalry, and artillery combats and reconnoissances, each involve special principles, and are treated separately. In the course of the article on battles, some general observations are introduced on conducting manœuvres so as to insure promptness, security, and precision. The conduct of topographical reconnoissances is well explained by means of a map of a supposed district of country, with marked features, which is to be examined. On this the course of the reconnoitring party, as it goes over the whole, is traced step by step, and fully explained in the letter-press. In the concluding chapter the author treats of convoys, ambuscades, advance posts, the laying-out of camps, and giving rest to troops.

Such are the outlines of a subject which General Dufour has handled in a masterly manner. His maxims are practical in their bearing, they commend themselves to our common sense as sound in principle, and are such as have received the indorsement of the best authorities. His style is clear and comprehensive; nothing superfluous is inserted, nothing need be added to make the subject more clear. The illustrations, which are given wherever they are needed, are simple and clear; the explanations are sufficient. This work will be a valuable manual to soldiers, and students will find it an excellent text-book. We hail it as an important addition to our growing military literature.

Man and Nature; or, Physical Geography as modified by Human Action. By GEORGE P. MARSH. New York: Charles Scribner. 8vo. pp. 560.

The student of Physical Geography must not expect to find in this massive book a systematic exposition of the science in the manner of Guyot and the French and German geographers; nor must he expect to see worked out on its pages the elaborate application of Geography to History, such as one day will be done, and such as was attempted, though with results of varied value and certainty, by the eloquent and plausible Buckle; but he will find an unexpected development of man's dominion over the world he inhabits. Mr. Marsh takes his readers very much by surprise; for few are aware, we apprehend, that in the course of his wandering life, and while prosecuting his eminent philological studies, he has made leisure enough to survey the natural sciences with critical exactness, pursue an extended course of inquiry into physical phenomena, note and digest the results of Italian, Spanish, English, French, German, Dutch, and American naturalists, ply every guide and ploughman, every driver and forester, every fisherman and miner, every lumberman and carpenter, for the results which men attain by observing within the narrow circle of their occupation,—and weave all into a copious work which subordinates all results to a grand psychological law, the mastery of man's mind over the world it calls its home.

The work which we are noticing aspires to and rightly claims a foremost place among the literary productions of America, despite a certain homely flavor and a certain unpretending way which its author has of saying things which are really great and fine. The main thought illustrated is not new, but it is brought out so forcibly, and illustrated by such encyclopedic learning, that it has the power of novelty. Mr. Marsh shows, as many before him have done, that man is now using the organic and inorganic forms of the earth in a manner so subsidiary to the might of his intellect and his will, that such obstacles as mountains and seas, which used to impede him hopelessly, now are his auxiliaries; but he does more than this: he demonstrates the destructive and annihilating sway of man over the world in the past and in the present; and, proceeding from the historic fact that the countries which in the palmy days of the Roman Empire were the granary and the wine-cellar of the world have been given over by the improvident destructiveness of man to desolation and desert, he enters into a thorough study of the fact, that, no sooner does man recede from the barbaric state than he commences a career of destructiveness, cutting off, in a manner reckless and criminally wasteful, forests, the lives of quadrupeds, birds, insects, and in short every living thing excepting the few domestic animals which follow him and serve him for companionship or for food. Mr. Marsh shows, with more than prophetic insight, with the mathematical logic of facts, that, unless compensations far more general and adequate than have yet been devised are provided, the destructive propensities of civilized man will convert the world into a waste. Some of our readers have paused thoughtfully over that chapter in "Les Misérables" which deals so grimly with the sewerage of cities, and details with the faithfulness of an historian the exhausting demands of those conduits which carry untold millions to the sea, and waste that aliment of impoverished soils which not all the science of the age has found it possible to restore; but Mr. Marsh, not drawing single pictures with so strong lines, spreads a broader canvas, and compels his reader to equal thoughtfulness. To quote but one instance is enough. We have in America thus far escaped, and as singularly as fortunately, the importation of the wheat-midge which has been the scourge of the grain-fields of Europe: it will, doubtless, some time be a passenger on our Atlantic ships or steamers; it will commence its work; and then man has the task of importing its natural antagonists, of promoting their spread, and so of compensating the evil. The work which we are noticing abundantly shows, that, if man were not in the world, the natural compensations which the Divine Being has introduced would produce perfect harmony in all things; that man, from his first stroke at a tree, his first slaying of a beast or bird, introduces an element of disorder which he can compensate only after civilization has reached a height of which we yet know nothing, and of which our present civilization gives us but the suggestion.

To those who may not care to master the philosophy of "Man and Nature," the book presents great attractions in the fund of new and entertaining knowledge given in the text, and yet more largely in the foot-notes. Many have waded through Mr. Buckle's two volumes a second time for the purpose of gleaning his facts and gathering up in the easiest way the latest word in science and literature. Mr. Marsh spreads a homelier table, but one just as varied and hearty. Never in the course of our miscellaneous reading have we met an equal store of fresh facts. As hinted above, they are gathered from every source: the experience of the maple-sugar maker in Vermont is quoted side by side with the testimony of the European scholar. The reader will be amazed that there are so many common things in the world of which he has never heard, and that they have so large and fruitful an influence over the world's progress.

If there are striking faults in Mr. Marsh's work, they seem to be these: want of continuity in treatment, and disproportionate development of some subjects in contrast with others. The book is, in fact, too large for a popular treatise, and not large enough for a scientific exposition of all it essays to discuss. It claims to be a popular work; but the elaborate discussion of Forests is far beyond the wishes or needs of any but a scientific reader. The broken, jagged, paragraph style is a drawback to the pleasure of perusing it: the notion seems to impress the author that people will not read anything elaborate, unless it be broken up into labelled paragraphs. It is true of the newspaper: it is not true of the octavo, to which they sit down expecting a different mode of treatment, a broad, discursive style, flowing, redundant, and even eloquent. Yet Mr. Marsh has in some instances transgressed, we think, even in fulness: the great prominence given, for example, to the drainage of Holland is untrue to the general tenor of the book and to the prospective future of the world. It was a great historic deed, when the relations of man to Nature were quite other than what they are to-day; but now that man is master of the sea, regulates the price of bread in London by the price of corn in Illinois, and of broadcloth in Paris by the cost of wool in Australia, the recovery of a few hundred thousand acres from the bottom of the North Sea is a great thing for Holland, but a small thing for the world.

Yet we accept this book with grateful thanks to the accomplished author. In the present transition-stage from metaphysical to physical studies, it will be eagerly accepted, as showing, not openly nor yet covertly, yet suggestively, the true connection of both. Few books give in quiet, modest fashion so much theology as this, and yet few claim to give so little. Few bear more strongly on the mooted points of Anthropology; few strike so strong a blow at that Development-theory which makes man merely king of the beasts, and superior to the ape and the gorilla only in degree; and yet few proceed in such high argument with less ostentation. This book leaves one great want unfulfilled: to take up the mantle of Ritter and proceed carefully to the study of French, German, Russian, English, Spanish, and Italian history, and indeed all great nations' history, by the light of geography. The problem is stated; it has now only to be wrought out. Perhaps Mr. Marsh, whose acquisitions seem to be boundless, and whose powers unlimited, may live to win fresh laurels on this field.



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[A] I was once trying to convince an eminent prelate—one of the most learned and liberal of his order, and even then close to the red hat—of the importance of admitting laymen to certain State functions. "All right," said he, "from your point of view; but still I shall oppose it always, tooth and nail; for, if they come in, we must go out."

[B] Dr. Lieber, in his "Reminiscences of Niebuhr,"—a delightful book of a delightful class,—records the great historian's testimony in favor of Italian Latin.

[C] This is a metrical version of the following passage of the "Scaligeriana":—"Les Allemans ne se soucient pas quel vin ils boivent pourvu que ce soit vin, ni quel Latin ils parlent pourvu que ce soit Latin."

[D] Need we say that this gentleman is a member of the French Academy, a librarian of the Mazarin Library, and the well-known author of "Mademoiselle de la Seiglière," "La Maison de Penarvan," "Sacs et Parchemins," etc.?

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Atlantic Monthly,Volume 14, No. 82,
August, 1864, by Various


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