The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Continental Monthly, Vol. IV. October,
1863, No. IV., by Various

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Title: The Continental Monthly, Vol. IV. October, 1863, No. IV.
       Devoted to Literature and National Policy.

Author: Various

Release Date: July 18, 2005 [EBook #16323]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Cornell University, Joshua Hutchinson, Janet
Blenkinship and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team





VOL. IV.—OCTOBER, 1863.—No. IV.




An important discussion has arisen since the commencement of the war, bearing upon the interests of the American Press. The Government has seen fit, at various times, through its authorities, civil and military, to suppress the circulation and even the publication of journals which, in its judgment, gave aid and comfort to the enemy, either by disloyal publications in reference to our affairs, or by encouraging and laudatory statements concerning the enemy. The various papers of the country have severally censured or commended the course of the Government in this matter, and the issue between the Press and the Authorities has been regarded as of a sufficiently serious nature to demand a convocation of editors to consider the subject; of which convention Horace Greeley was chairman. A few remarks on the nature of the liberty of the press and on its relations to the governing powers will not, therefore, at this time, be inopportune.

Men are apt, at times, in the excitement of political partisanship, to forget that the freedom of the press is, like all other social liberty, relative and not absolute; that it is not license to publish whatsoever they please, but only that which is within certain defined limits prescribed by the people as the legitimate extent to which expression through the public prints should be permitted; and that it is because these limits are regulated by the whole people, for the whole people, and not by the arbitrary caprice of a single individual or of an aristocracy, that the press is denominated free. Let it be remembered, then, as a starting point, that the press is amenable to the people; that it is controlled and regulated by them, and indebted to them for whatever measure of freedom it enjoys.

The scope of this liberty is carefully defined by the statutes, as also the method by which its transgression is to be punished. These enactments minutely define the nature of an infringement of their provisions, and point out the various methods of procedure in order to redress private grievance or to punish public wrong, in such instances. These statutes emanate from the people, are the expression of their will, and in consonance with them the action of the executive authorities must proceed, whenever the civil law is sufficient for the execution of legal measures.

But there comes a time, in the course of a nation's existence, when the usual and regular methods of its life are interrupted; when peaceful systems and civilized adaptations are forced to give place to the ruder and more peremptory modes of procedure which belong to seasons of hostile strife. The slow, methodical, oftentimes tedious contrivances of ordinary law, admirably adapted for periods of national quietude, are utterly inadequate to the stern and unforeseen contingencies of civil war. Laws which are commonly sufficient to secure justice and afford protection, are then comparatively powerless for such ends. The large measure of liberty of speech and of the press safely accorded when there is ample time to correct false doctrines and to redress grievances through common methods, is incompatible with the rigorous promptitude, energy, celerity, and unity of action necessary to the preservation of national existence in times of rebellion. If an individual be suspected of conspiring against his country, at such a time, to leave him at liberty while the usual processes of law were being undertaken, would perhaps give him opportunity for consummating his designs and delivering the republic into the hands of its enemies. If a portion of the press circulate information calculated to aid the foe in the defeat of the national armies, to endeavor to prevent this evil by the slow routine of civil law, might result in the destruction of the state. The fact that we raise armies to secure obedience commonly enforced by the ordinary civil officers is a virtual and actual acknowledgment that a new order of things has arisen for which the usual methods are insufficient, civil authority inadequate, and to contend with which powers must be exercised not before in vogue. Codes of procedure arranged for an established and harmoniously working Government cannot answer all the requirements of that Government when it is repudiated by a large body of its subjects, and the existence of the nation itself is in peril.

It is evident, therefore, that at times the accustomed methods of Civil government must, in deference to national safety, be laid aside, to some extent, and the more vigorous adaptations of Military government substituted in their stead. But it does not follow from this that arbitrary power is necessarily employed, or that such methods are not strictly legal. There is a despotic Civil government and a despotic Military government, a free Civil government and a free Military government. The Civil government of Russia is despotic; so would its Military government be if internal strife should demand that military authority supersede the civil; the Civil government of the United States is free, so must its Military government be in order to be sustained.

But what is a free Military government? There is precisely the same difference between a free and a despotic military polity as between a free and a despotic civil polity. It is the essential nature of despotic rule that it recognizes the fountain head of all power to be the ruler, and the people are held as the mere creatures of his pleasure. It is the essence of free government that it regards the people as the source of all power, and the rulers as their agents, possessing only such authority as is committed by the former into the hands of the latter. It matters not, therefore, whether a ruler be exercising the civil power in times of peaceful national life, or whether, in times of rebellion, he wields the military authority essential to security, he is alike, at either time, a despot or a republican, accordingly as he exercises his power without regard to the will of the people, or as he exercises such power only as the national voice delegates to him.

Wendell Phillips said in his oration before the Smithsonian Institute: 'Abraham Lincoln sits to-day the greatest despot this side of China.' The mistake of Mr. Phillips was this: He confounded the method of exercising power with the nature of the power exercised. It is the latter which decides the question of despotism or of freedom. The methods of the republican governor and of the despot may be, in times of war must be, for the most part, identical. But the one is, nevertheless, as truly a republican as the other is a despot. Freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right of travel, the writ of habeas corpus—these insignia of liberty in a people are dispensed with in despotic Governments, because the ruler chooses to deprive the people of their benefits, and for that reason only; they were suspended in our Government because the national safety seemed to demand it, and because the President, as the accredited executive of the wishes of the people, fulfilled their clearly indicated will. In the former case it is lordly authority overriding the necks of the people for personal pride or power; in the latter, it is the ripe fruit of republican civilization, which, in times of danger, can with safety and security overleap, for the moment, the mere forms of law, in order to secure its beneficial results. They seem to resemble each other; but are as wide apart as irreligion and that highest religious life which, transcending all external observances, seems to the mere religious formalist to be identical with it.

But how is the Executive to ascertain the behest of the people? In accordance with the modes which they, as a part of their behest, indicate. But as there are two methods of fulfilling the wishes of the people, one adapted to the ordinary routine of peaceful times, and another to the more summary necessities of war, so there are two methods, calculated for these diverse national states, by which the Government must discover the will of the people. The slow, deliberate action of the ballot box and of the legislative body is amply expeditious for the purposes of undisturbed and tranquil periods. But in times of rebellion or invasion, the waiting and delay which are often essential to the prosecution of forms prescribed for undisturbed epochs are, as has been said, simply impossible. War is a period in which methods and procedures are required diametrically opposite to those which are so fruitful of good in days of peace. The lawbreaker who comes with an army at his back cannot be served with a sheriff's warrant, nor arrested by a constable. War involves unforeseen emergencies, to meet which there is no time for calling Congress together, or taking the sense of the populace by a ballot. It is full of attempted surprises, which must be guarded against on the instant, and of dangers which must be quickly avoided, but for whose guardance or avoidance the statutes make no provision. Hence arises a necessity for a mode of ascertaining the will of the people other than the slow medium of formal legislation or of balloting.

The Government of the United States is the servant of its people. It was ordained to insure for them 'domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to' themselves and their posterity. Its laws and statutes are but the forms by which the people attempt to secure these things. But the people are sovereign, even over their laws. As they have instituted them for their own good, so may they dispense with them for their own good, whenever the national safety requires this. As they have established certain modes of lawful procedure for their own security, so may they adopt other modes when their safety demands it. Their laws and their codes of procedure are for their uses, not for their destruction. 'When a sister State is endangered, red tape must be cut,' said Governor Seymour, when it was telegraphed to him that some delaying forms must be gone through in order to arm and send off our State troops who were ordered to the defence of Harrisburg; and all the people said, Amen! The people of the United States inaugurated a government, whose forms of law were admirably suited to times of peace, but have been found inadequate to seasons of intestine strife. They have, as we have seen, superadded, in some degree, other methods of action, indorsing and adopting those to which the Executive was compelled to resort as better adapted to changed conditions. They have not done this in accordance with prescribed forms, in all instances, because the forms of civil government do not provide for a condition of society in which civil authority is virtually abrogated, to a greater or less extent, for military authority.

In the same way and by virtue of the same sovereignty, the people of the United States may lay aside the common method of indicating their pleasure to the Executive, and substitute one more in consonance with the requirements of the times. They may make known that they do lay aside an established mode, either by a formal notice or by a general tacit understanding, as the exigencies of the case require. They may recognize the right, aye, the duty of the Executive to act in accordance with other methods than those prescribed for ordinary seasons, in cases where the national security demands this.

But this is not an abandonment of the methods and forms of law! This is not the establishment of an arbitrary government! This is not passing from freedom to despotism! The people of this country are sovereign, let it be repeated. So long as its Government is conducted as its people or as the majority of them wish, it is conducted in accordance with its established principle. There were no freedom if the vital spirit of liberty were to be held in bondage to the dead forms of powerless or obsolete prescriptions in the very crisis of the nation's death struggle! Freedom means freedom to act, in all cases and under all circumstances, so as to secure the highest individual and national well-being. It does not mean freedom to establish certain codes of procedure under certain regulations, and to be forever bound under these when the preservation of liberty itself demands their temporary abeyance. So long as the Government fulfils the wishes of the people, it is not arbitrary, it is not despotic, no matter what methods an emergency may require it to adopt for this purpose, or in what manner it ascertains these wishes; provided always that the methods adopted and the modes of ascertainment are also in accordance with the people's desires.

But how is the Executive to discover the will of the people if he does not wait for its formal expression? How is he to be sure that he does not outrun their desires? How is he to be checked and punished, should he do so? Precisely the same law must apply here as has been indicated to be the true one in reference to the fulfilment of the people's behest. Fixed, definite, precise, formal expressions of popular will, when time is wanting for these, must be replaced by those which are more quickly ascertained and less systematically expressed. The Executive must forecast the general desire and forestall its commands, regarding the tacit acceptance of the people or their informal laws, such as resolutions, conventions, and various modes of expressing popular accord or dissent, as indications of the course which they approve. Nor is this an anomaly in our legal system. The citizen ordinarily is not at liberty to take the law into his own hands; he must appeal to the constituted authorities, and through the machinery of a law court obtain his redress or protection. But there are times when contingencies arise in which more wrong would be done by such delay than by a summary process transcending the customary law. The man who sees a child, a woman, or even an animal treated with cruelty, does not wait to secure protection for the injured party by the common methods of legal procedure, but, on the instant, prevents, with blows if need be, the outrage. He oversteps the forms of law to secure the ends of law, and rests in the consciousness that the law itself will accept his action. When the case is more desperate, his usurpation of power generally prohibited to him is still greater, up to that last extremity in which he deliberately takes the whole law into his own hands, and, acting as accuser, witness, judge, executioner, slays the individual who assaults him with deadly weapons or with hostile intent.

In this case now stands the nation. Along her borders flashes the steel of hostile armies, their cannon thunder almost in hearing of our capitol, their horses but recently trampled the soil of neighboring States. A deadly enemy is trying to get its gripe upon the republic's throat and its knife into her heart. The nation must act as an individual would under similar circumstances; and the nation must act through its Executive. If one person, attacked by another, should snatch from the hands of a passer his cane, in order to defend his life; if, in his struggles with his assailant, he should strike a second through misconception, how immeasurably ridiculous would be the action of these individuals, should they, while the death struggle were still raging, berate the man, one for breaking the law by taking away his cane, and the other for breaking the law by the commission of a battery! Every man feels instinctively that in such a crisis all weapons of defence are at his disposal, and that he takes them, not in violation of law, but in obedience to the law of extraordinary contingencies, which every community adopts, but which no community can inscribe upon its statute book, because it is the law of contingencies.

The Executive of this, as of every country, resorts to this law when, in the nature of things, the statute law is inadequate. In doing this, he does not violate law; he only adopts another kind of law. A subtle, delicate law, indeed, which can neither be inscribed among the enactments, nor exactly defined, circumscribed, or expressed. When it is to be substituted for the ordinary modes of legal procedure, how far it is to be used, when its use must cease—these are questions which the people, as the sole final arbiters, must decide. As the individual in society must judge wisely when the community will sanction his use of the contingent law, the law of private military power, so to speak, in his own behalf; so must the Executive judge when the urgency of the national defence demands the exercise of the summary power in the place of more technical methods. If the public sentiment of the community sustain the individual, it is an indorsement that he acted justifiably in accordance with this exceptional law; if it do not, he is liable for an unwarranted usurpation of power. The Executive stands in the same relation to the nation. The Mohammedans relate that the road to heaven is two miles long, stretching over a fathomless abyss, the only pathway across which is narrower than a razor's edge. Delicately balanced must be the body which goes over in safety! The intangible path which the Executive must walk to meet the people's wishes on the one side, and to avoid their fears upon the other, in the national peril, is narrower than the Mahommedan's road to heaven, and cautiously bold must be the feet that safely tread it! Blessed shall that man be who succeeds in crossing. The nations shall rise up and call him blessed, and succeeding generations shall praise him.

We come then to the relations of the press and the Executive. We have seen that all liberty is relative, and not absolute; that the people, the sovereigns in this country, have prescribed certain methods for securing, in ordinary periods, those blessings which it is their desire to enjoy; that when, under special contingencies, these methods become insufficient for this purpose, the people may, in virtue of their sovereignty, suspend them and adopt others adequate to the occasion; that these may not, indeed, from their very nature, cannot be of a fixed and circumscribed kind, but must give large discretionary power into the hands of the Executive, to be used by him in a summary manner as contingencies may indicate; that this abrogation or suspension, for the time, of so much of the ordinary civil law, in favor of the contingent law, is not an abandonment of free government for arbitary or despotic government, because it is still in accordance with the will of the people, and hence is merely the substitution of a new form of law, which, being required for occasions when instant action is demanded, is necessarily summary in its character; that the extent to which this law is to be substituted for the ordinary one is to be discovered by the Executive from the general sense of the nation, when it cannot be made known through the common method of the ballot box and the legislature; that in the people resides the power ultimately to determine whether their wishes have been correctly interpreted or not; and, finally, that the Executive is equally responsible for coming short of the behests of the nation in the use of the contingent law or for transgressing the boundaries within which they desire him to constrain his actions.

The press of the United States has always been free to the extent that it might publish whatsoever it listed, within certain limits prescribed by the law. The press may still do this. But the nature of the law which prescribes the limits has changed with the times. The constituted authorities of the people of the United States are obliged now, in the people's interest, to employ the processes of summary rather than those of routine law. Hence when the press infringes too violently the boundaries indicated, and persists in so doing, the sterner penalty demanded by the dangers of the hour is enforced by the sterner method likewise rendered necessary. So long as Executive action concerning the press shall be in accordance with the general sentiment of the people, it will be within the strict scope of the highest law of the land. Should the Executive persistently exercise this summary law in a manner not countenanced by the nation, he is amenable to it under the strict letter of the Constitution for high crimes or misdemeanors, not the least of which would be the usurpation of powers not delegated to him by the people.

The Executive of the United States occupies at this time an exceedingly trying and dangerous position, which demands for him the cordial, patient, and delicate consideration of the American nation. He is placed in a situation where the very existence of the republic requires that he use powers not technically delegated to him, and in which the people expect, yea, demand him, to adopt methods transcending the strict letter of statute law, the use of which powers and the adoption of which methods would be denounced as the worst of crimes, even made the basis of an impeachment, should the mass of the populace be dissatisfied with his proceedings. It is easy to find fault, easy in positions devoid of public responsibility to think we see how errors might have been avoided, how powers might have been more successfully employed and greater results achieved. But the American Executive is surrounded with difficulties too little appreciated by the public, while an almost merciless criticism, emanating both from injudicious friends and vigilant foes, follows his every action. Criticism should not be relaxed; but it should be exercised by those only who are competent to undertake its office. The perusal of the morning paper does not ordinarily put us in possession of sufficient information to enable us to understand, in all their bearings, the measures of the Government. Something more is required than a reading of the accounts of battles furnished by the correspondents of the press to entitle one to express an opinion on military movements. It should not be forgotten that the officers engaged in the army of the United States are better judges of military affairs than civilians at home; that the proceedings of the Government, with rare exceptions, possibly, are based upon a fuller knowledge of all the facts relating to a special case, than is obtained by private persons, and that its judgment is therefore more likely to be correct, in any given instance, than our own. The injury done to the national cause by the persistent animadversion of well-intentioned men, who cannot conceive that their judgments may perchance be incorrect, is scarcely less, than the openly hostile invective of the friends of the South. The intelligent citizens of the North, especially those who occupy prominent positions as teachers and instructors of the people through the press, the pulpit, and other avenues, should ever be mindful that the political liberty which they possess of free thought and free speech, has imposed upon them the moral duty of using this wisely for the welfare of humanity, and that they cannot be faithless to this obligation without injuring their fellow men and incurring a heavy moral guilt.




'I love thee freely, as men strive for right;

I love thee purely, us they turn from praise

I love thee with the passion put to use

In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith;

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose

With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,

Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,

I shall but love thee dearer after death.'

The Creator still loved and guarded the earth, although its children had departed from their early obedience. In evidence of His care, He sent, from time to time, gifted spirits among men to aid them in developing and elevating the souls so fallen from their primal innocence. These spirits He clad in sensuous bodies, that they might be prepared to enter the far country of Human Life. Earth was rapidly falling under the merciless rule of a hopeless and crushing materialism, when He determined upon sending among men, Anselm, the saint; Angelo, the tone artist; Zophiel, the poet; and Jemschid, the painter. The spirits murmured not, although they knew they were to relinquish their heaven life for that torment of perpetual struggle which the forbidden knowledge of Good and Evil has entailed upon all incarcerated in a human form.

For self-abnegation is the law of heaven!

'Brothers,' said the merciful Father, 'go, and sin not, for of all things that pass among men must a strict account be rendered. For are not their evil deeds written upon the eternally living memory of a just God? Evil lurks in the land of your exile; it may find its way into your own hearts, for you are to become wholly human, and to lose for a time the memory of your home in heaven. But even in that far country you will find the Book of Life, which I have given for the guidance and consolation of the fallen. For it is known even there that 'God is Love!''

Then the journey of the Heaven Brothers began through the blinding clouds and trailing mists of chaos, in whose palpable gloom all memories are obliterated. Naked, trembling, and human, they arrived upon the shifting sands of the world of Time and Death.

A vague, shadowy sense, like a forgotten dream which we struggle vainly to recall, often flitted through their clay-clogged souls, of a strangely glorious life in some higher sphere; but all attempts to give definite form to such bewildering visions ended but in fantastic reveries of mystic possibilities or dim yearnings of unseen glories. They found the Book of Life, but they remembered not that the Father had told them the Word was His.

For the thread of Identity, on which are strung the pearls of Memory, in the passage through chaos had snapped in twain!

Like the silver light through the storm clouds flitting over the fair face of the moon, gleam the antenatal splendors through the gloom of the earth life.

As Anselm wonderingly turned the pages of the Book of Life, strange memories awoke within him. So inextricably were the dreams of his past woven with the burning visions of the Prophets, that the darkness of Revelation, like the heaven vault at midnight, was illumined by the light of distant worlds; his own vague reminiscences supplying the inner sense of the inspired but mystic leaves. What wonder that he loved the Book, when in its descriptions of the life to come, he felt the history of the life already past; and through its sternest threatenings, like the rainbow girdling storm clouds, shone the promise of a blessed future!

He spent the hours of exile in a constant effort to commune with the Father; in humble prayer and supplication for strength to resist the power of sin. For he feared the Evil which lurked in the land. He examined the springs of his own actions, analyzed his motives, and tortured himself lest any of the evils denounced in the Book should lurk in the folds of his own soul. In contemplating the awful justice of the Father, he sometimes forgot that He is Love. He feared close commune with the children of the earth, for Evil dwelt among them; he looked not into the winecup, nor danced with the maidens under the caressing tendrils of the vine or the luxuriant branches of the myrtle—nay, the rose cheek of the maiden was a terror to him, for lo! Evil might lurk under its brilliant bloom. The Dread of Evil sapped the Joy of Life!

He turned from all the lovely Present, to catch faint traces of the dim Past, to picture the unseen Future, about which it is vain to disquiet ourselves, since, like everything else, it rests upon the heart of God! His life was holy, innocent, and self-sacrificing. He sought to serve his fellow men, yet feared to give them his heart, lest he should rob the Father of His just due. He knew not from his own experience that Love is infinite, and grows on what it gives. He bore religious consolation to the afflicted, aid to the needy, sympathy to the suffering. He was universally esteemed, but the spirit of his brethren broke not into joy at his approach, for the trusting heart of genial humanity throbbed not in his sad breast. He was no Pharisee, but he dined not with the Publican, and the precious ointment of the Magdalen never bathed his weary head. His language was: 'All is fleeting and evil, save Thee, O my Father; in Thee alone can rest be found!'

Solace for human anguish can only be found upon the heart of love. 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy mind: and thy neighbor as thyself!' Blessed Son of Mary! Thou alone hast fully kept these two commandments!

'For wisdom is justified of her children!'

Angelo, Zophiel, and Jemschid also resolved to avoid the Evil spoken of in the Book of Life. But the far country into which the Father had sent them was lovely in their eyes, and they were charmed with the Beauty with which He had surrounded them. They dreamed by the shady fountains, with their silver flow and gentle ripples; roamed by the darker rivers as they hurry on to plunge themselves into the sea; gazed on the restless ocean breakers when the dying sun fringes their crest with rainbow hues, and the flushing sky, to cool her burning blushes, flings herself into the heart of the restless waters. They loved to breathe the 'difficult air' of mountain tops, so softly pillowed and curtained by the fleecy vapors, which they win again from heaven in limpid streams, leading them in wild leaps through gloomy chasms fringed by timid harebells, whose soft blue eyes look love upon the rocks, while the myriad forest leaves musically murmur above their flinty couch. They watched the fitful shadow-dance of clouds over the green earth. They loved to see these heaven tents where Beauty dwells chased by the young zephyrs, or, driven on in heavy masses by the bolder winds, blush under the fiery glances of the sun, and melt into the sky upon his nearer approach. Ah! these clouds and vapors had more than human tenderness, for had they not seen them throng around the ghastly disc of the star-deserted moon, weaving their light webs into flowing veils to shadow the majestic sorrow written upon her melancholy but lovely face, shielding the mystic pallor of the virgin brow from the desecrating gaze of the profane?

The three brothers were happy upon earth, for they looked into the heart of their fellow mortals, and felt the genial feeling beating there; and so luxuriantly twined its vivid green around, that the evil core was hidden from their charmed eyes, and they ceased not to bless the Father for a gift so divine as Human Love! They could not weep and pray the long night through, as did the saintly Anselm, for their eyes were fastened upon the wildering lustre of the thronging stars as they wove their magic rings through the dim abysses of distant space, yet the incense of constant praise rose from their happy souls to the Beauty-giving Father.

They struggled to awake the sleeping powers of men to a perception of the glories of creation; to lead them 'through nature up to nature's God.' The Artist-Brothers were closely united in feeling, striving through different mediums to refine the soul of man.

For the spirit of Beauty always awakens the spirit of Love, sent by God to elevate and consecrate the heart of man!

Of a more subtle genius and more daring spirit than Zophiel or Jemschid, Angelo boldly launched into the bewildering chaos of the realm of sound. As yet the laws of the Acoustic Prism were unknown; the seven-ranged ladder was all unformed, and without its aid it seemed impossible to scale the ever-renewing heights, to sound the ever-growing depths of this enchanted kingdom. But Angelo was a bold adventurer. Haunted by the heaven sounds, vague memories of his antenatal existence, although he had entirely lost the meaning of their flow, as one may recall snatches of the melody of a song when he cannot remember one of its words—he commenced his subtle task. He resolved the Acoustic Prism; he built the seven-runged ladder; he charmed the wandering Tones, and bound them in the holy laws of Rhythm. Divining the hidden secrets of their affiliations, relations, loves, and hates, he wrought them into gorgeous webs of harmonics, to clothe the tender but fiery soul of ever-living melodies. Soothing their jarring dissonances into sweet accord, he filled their pining wails with that 'divine sorrow,' that mystic longing for the Infinite, which is the inner voice of every created heart. If he could not find the heaven sense of the tones, he found their earthly meaning, and caused them to repeat or suggest every joy and sorrow of which our nature is capable. He forced the heaven tongue to become human, while it retained its divine. Without a model or external archetype, he formed his realm and divined its changing limits; wide enough to contain all that is noble, holy enough to exclude all that is low or profane. He forever exorcised the spirits of Evil—the strong Demons of materialism—from his rhythmed world. Flinging his spells on the unseen air, he forced it to breathe his passion, his sighs; he saddened it with his tears, kindled it with his rapture, until fired and charged with the electric breath of the soul, it glowed into an atmosphere of Life, swaying at will the wild and restless heart. He created Music, the only universal language, holding the keys of Memory, and wearing the crown of Hope. Angelo, strange architect in that dim domain of chaos, thy creation, fleeting, invisible, and unembodied, is in perpetual, flow; changeful as the play of clouds, yet stable as the eternal laws by which they form their misty towers, their glittering fanes, and foam-crested pinnacles! Trackless as the wind, yet as powerful, thy sweet spirit, Music, floats wherever beats the human heart, for Rhythm rocks the core of life. Music nerves the soul with strength or dissolves it in love; she idealizes Pain into soul-touching Beauty; assuming all garbs, robing herself in all modes, and moving at ease through every phase of our complicated existence. White and glittering are her robes, yet she is no aristocrat. She disdains not to soothe the weary negro in his chains, or to rock the cradle of the child of shame, as the betrayed and forsaken girl murmurs broken-hearted lullabies around the young 'inheritor of pain.' She is with the maiden in the graceful mazes of the gay Mazourka; she inflames the savage in the barbaric clang of the fierce war-dance; or marks the measured tramp of the drilled soldiery of civilization. She is in the court of kings; she makes eloquent the ripe lip of the cultured beauty; she chants in the dreary cell of the hermit; she lightens the dusty wallet of the wanderer. She glitters through the dreams of the Poet; she breathes through the direst tragedies of noblest souls. On—on she floats through the wide world, everywhere present, everywhere welcome, refining, and consecrating our dull life from the Baptismal Font to the Grave!

All the inner processes of life are guarded by the hand of nature. In vain would the curiosity of the scalpel knife invade the sanctuary of the beating heart to lay open the burning mystery of Being. The outraged Life retreats before it to its last citadel, and the indignant heart, upon its entrance, refuses to throb more. The citadel is taken; but the secret of Life is not to be discovered in the kingdom of Death. It is because Music is essentially a living art that we find it impossible to read the mystery of its being. If Painting touch us, we can always trace the emotion to its exciting cause; if we weep over the pages of the Poet, it is because we find our own blighted hopes imaged there. But why does Music sway us? Where did we learn that language without words? in what consists its mystic affinities with our spirits? Why does the harp of David soothe the insanity of Saul? Is not its festal voice too triumphant to be the accompaniment of our own sad, fallen being; its breath of sorrow too divine to be the echo of our petty cares? All other arts arise from the facts of our earthly existence, but Music has no external archetype, and refuses to submit her ethereal soul to our curious analysis. 'I am so, because so I am,' is the only answer she gives to the queries of materialism. Like the primitive rock, the skeleton of earth's burning heart, she looms up through the base of our existence. Addressing herself to some mystic faculty born before thought or language, she lulls the suffering baby into its first sleep, using perhaps the primeval and universal language of the race. For the love which receives the New Born, cadences the monotonous chant; and human sympathies are felt by the innocent and confiding infant before his eyes are opened fully upon the light, before his tongue can syllable a word, his ear detect their divisions, or his mind divine their significations. But Music looms not only through the base of our being; like the encompassing sky, her arch spans our horizon. Lo! is it not the language through which the Angels convey the secrets of their profound adoration to the Heart of God!

'Having every one of them harps'—'and they sung a new song'—in which are to join 'every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea'—'and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands.' (Revelation, chap, v.)

While Angelo linked the fiery tones in rhythmed laws, Zophiel sketched with glowing pen the joys of virtue, the glories of the intellect, and the pleasures, pains, raptures, woes, and loves of the heart. The deeds of heroes were sung in Epic; Dramas, Elegies, and Lyrics syllabled the inner life; men listened to the ennobling strains, and became freemen as they heard. The intermingling flow of high thought and melodious measures elevated and soothed the soul, and love for, and faith in, humanity, were awakened and nourished by the true Poet.

Jemschid wrought with brush and pencil, until the canvas imaged his loved skies and mountains, glowed with the noble deeds of men, and pictured that spiritual force which strangely characterizes and mingles with the ethereal grace of woman's fragile form.

Through the artists, life grew into loveliness, for all was idealized, and the scattered and hidden beauties of the universe were brought to light. The plan of creation is far too vast to be embraced in its complex unity by the finite: it is the province of art to divide, condense, concentrate, reunite, and rearrange the vast materials in smaller frames, but the new work must always be a whole. Angelo aroused and excited the emotions of the soul, which Zophiel analyzed and described in words most eloquent; while Jemschid made clearer to his brethren that Beauty of creation which is an ever visible proof of the love of God. His portraits illumined the walls of the bereaved, keeping fresh for them the images of the loved and lost. Historical pictures enlarged the mind of his people, keeping before it the high deeds of its children and stimulating to noble prowess. His landscapes warmed the dingy city homes, bringing even there the blue sky, the clouds, the streams, the forests, the mountains, moss, and flowers.

Men became happier and better, for the Brothers, in showing the universal Beauty, awakened the universal Love.

For the true essence of man, made in the image of God, is also Love!

The artists turned not from the rose-cheek of the maiden, nor refused the touch of the ruby lip; but they loved her too well to sully by one wronging thought the tender confidence of perfect innocence, or cause her guileless heart a single pang. For womanhood was holy in their sight!

Among earth's purest maidens shone a fair Lily, whose virgin leaves had all grown toward the sky; whose cup of snow had never been filled save by the dews of heaven; whose tall circlet of golden stamens seemed more like altar lamps arranged to light a sanctuary, than meant to warm and brighten the heart of human love. But the devotion of a noble heart is a holy thing; Genius is full of magic power, and the maiden did not always remain insensible to the love of Angelo, for he was spiritually beautiful, and when he moved in the world of his own creation, his face shone as it were the face of an angel. In ethereal 'fantasies' and divine 'adagios,' he won the Lily to rest its snowy cup upon his manly heart. He soothed the earth cares with the heaven tones and beautified the bitter realities of life by transfiguring them into passionate longings for the Perfect. Bathed in Music's heavenly dew, and warmed by the fire of a young heart, the snow petals of the Lily multiplied, the bud slowly oped, and allowed the perfumed heart to exhale its blessed odor; and as Love threw his glowing light upon the leaves, they blushed beneath his glance of fire—and thus the pale flower grew into a fragrant Rose, around which one faithful Bulbul ever sang. Sheltered in the close folds of the perfumed leaves, what chill could reach the heart of Angelo? His Rose cradled his genius in her heart, while he poured for her the golden flow of the tones, coloring them with the hues of Love, and filling them with the joys of Purity and Peace. Alike in their susceptibility to tenderness and beauty are the woman and the artist; and she who would find full sympathy and comprehension must seek it in his heart!

Time passed on with Anselm, the Saint; Angelo, the Musician; Zophiel, the Poet; Jemschid, the Painter. But the artists grew not old, for Beauty keeps green the heart of her worshippers; and Art, immortal though she be, is indigenous, and, happy in her natal soil, exhausts not the heart of her children. Anselm, however, seemed already old, with his pure heart sick—sick for the Evil possessing the earth. Alas! holiness is an exotic here, soon exhausting the soil of clay in which it pines, and ever sighing to win its transplantation to its native clime.

'The Lethe of Nature
Can't trance him again,
Whose soul sees the Perfect
His eyes seek in vain.'

It was midnight, and Anselm, worn with fasts and pale with vigils, knelt at his devotions in his lonely cell. Lo! a majestic form of fearful but perfect beauty stood beside him. The Angel was clad in linen, white as snow, and his voice startled the soul like the sound of the last trumpet.

'Gird up thy loins like a man, for the darksome doors of Death stand open before thee, and this night thy Lord requires thy spirit!' said the mighty messenger.

Anselm trembled. He feared to stand before the All-seeing Eye, whose dread majesty subdued his soul.

'Behold! He putteth no trust in His saints, and the heavens are not pure in His sight,' he murmured. But he hesitated not to obey, and giving his hand to the Angel, said:

'Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him!'

His earnest lips still thrilling with a prayer for mercy, together they departed 'for that bourne from which no traveller returns.' Between the imperfections of the created and the perfections of the Creator, what can fill the infinite abyss? Infinite Love alone!

The artist-brothers had never separated. Music, Poetry, and Painting spring from the triune existence of man, represent his life in its triune being, and thus move harmoniously together.

They had made their home the happiest spot on earth.

It was evening, and the Poet seemed lost in revery as he gazed on the dying light. His hand rested tenderly on the shoulder of a dark but brilliant woman, who loved him with the strength of a fervid soul.

'Sibyl,' said he softly to his young wife, 'were I now to leave thee, how many of my lines would remain written on thy heart?'

'All! they are all graven there,' replied the enthusiast, 'for the glowing words of a pure poet are the true echoes of a woman's soul!'

The Painter sat near them, putting the last touches upon a picture of a Virgin and Child, which he was striving so to finish that his brethren might be able to grasp more fully that sweet scene of human love and God's strange mercy.

Tender were the shadows that fell from the veiling lashes on the rounded cheek of his fair model; lustrous, yet soft and meek, the light from the maiden's eye as she gazed upon the beautiful infant resting on her bosom. The name of the child was Jemschid, and there was in that name a charm sufficient to awaken her innocent love.

She was the betrothed of the Painter.

'Imogen!' said he to the fair model, 'I know not why the thought rushes so sadly over me, but I feel I shall never finish this picture. The traits escape me—I cannot find them.'

'Never finish the beautiful Madonna, to which you have given so much time, and on which you have expended so much care!' Then with a sudden change of tone, in which astonishment darkened into fear, she exclaimed: 'Are you ill, Jemschid? You have already worked too long upon it. You will destroy your health; you need rest.'

'Nay, sweet Imogen, not so; I am well, quite well, and too happy for words. But I cannot finish the picture. I have lost the expression for the face of the Madonna. Six months ago, when I began it, your face was so meek and tranquil it served me well, but now, even with its present air of meek entreaty, it is too passionate for the mother of God. It is far dearer thus to me, Imogen—but I can never finish the painting now—and only an angel can, for your young face is fairer and purer than aught else on earth.'

Again fell the heavy lashes, half veiling the innocent love in the timid eyes, as the Painter parted the massive braids from the spotless brow, and softly kissed the snowy forehead of his betrothed.

The harp of Angelo quivered, as the sun set behind the crimson clouds, under his nervous touch. Some sadness seemed to weigh upon his buoyant spirit too, in this eventful eve. His music always pictured the depths of his own soul, and he forced the heaven tones to wail the human Miserere. But the Beauty into which the sorrow was transfigured gave promise that it would end in the triumphant chorus of the 'Hosanna in Excelsis.' For music gives the absolute peace in the absolute conflict; the absolute conflict to terminate in the absolute peace.

Fair as the Angel of Hope, the Rose listened with her heart. Her childlike, deep blue eyes were raised to heaven, while her long golden curls, lighting rather than shading her pale brow, like the halos of dim glory which the light vapors wreathe round the moon, mingled with the darker flow of wavy hair falling upon the shoulder of the harpist, on which she leaned as if to catch the flying sounds as they soared from the heart of the loved one.

'Thy song is very sad,' said the Rose, as her eyes rested tenderly upon the inspired face. 'Is there no Gloria to-night, Angelo?'

'I cannot sing it now, sweet Rosalie! The Hosanna is for heaven; not for a world in which Love is, and Death may enter. If I am to lose thee, my soul must chant the Miserere. Ah! that thought unmans me. I cannot part from thee, sweet wife. Cling closer, closer to me, Rosalie. There! Death must be strong to untwine that clasp! But he alone is strong—and Love'—

'Love is stronger far!' cried the startled Rose, as she buried her face in the bosom of her husband, to hide the unwonted tears which dimmed her trustful eyes.

'Parting! there is no parting for those whom God has joined. His ties are for eternity. The Merciful parts not those whom He has made for each other. Even if we must chant the Miserere here, together will we chant the Gloria before the throne of our Creator. Ah, Angelo, do you not feel that but one life throbs in our two hearts? Parting and Death are only seeming!'

Thus sped time on until midnight was upon the earth. The little group were still together; mystic thoughts and previsions were upon them. Zophiel read at intervals weird passages from the Book of Life; Jemschid touched, now and then, the face of the Madonna, and some unwonted spirit of sorrow brooded over the harp of Angelo.

'Rosalie! once more the Miserere ere we sleep,' said he. Scarcely had he commenced the solemn chant, when, suddenly resting his hand on the chords, he cried: 'Hark! brothers. It is the voice of Anselm—he calls he calls us—but I hear not what he says. Listen!'

Lo! a Shining One from the court of the Great King suddenly stands among them. His gossamer robes seemed woven of the deep blue of the fields of space through which he had just passed, and the stars were glittering through the graceful folds bound with rare devices, wrought from the jasper, onyx, and chrysoprase of the heavenly city.

'Brothers!' said the sweet voice of the beautiful vision, 'the term of exile is past; the Father has sent me to recall His children.'

But the heart of the artists sank, for the human love was strong in their bosoms.

Jemschid gazed upon the betrothed bride; the unfinished picture; and tears rushed into his sad eyes.

The Angel was touched with pity for the double grief of artist and lover, and said:

'Gaze not so sorrowfully upon the unwedded maiden; the unfinished picture! She shall yet be thine-and the picture shall be dear to thy fellow men. Lo! I am Rubi, the angel of Beauty!'

Then, taking the brush in his glittering hands, with rapid touch he gave the lovely face an expression of tender innocence, of virgin purity, of maternal love and adoration, which will never cease to thrill the heart of the faithful.

'It is the Mother of our Lord!' said the astonished brothers, as they gazed upon the finished work.

'Zophiel!' continued the pitying angel, 'the lips of Sibyl shall repeat thy songs, for they are all graven upon her heart! But you are now to chant in heaven, and the canticle is to be for His praise who made all; and when you exalt Him, put forth all your strength, and be not weary; for you can never go far enough!

'Angelo! the Hosanna is for heaven. The Rose lingers not here to chant alone the Miserere.'

Alas! the wild human dread and sorrow overpowered all else in the breasts of the brothers as they gazed upon the women of their love. A strange smile played over the heavenly face of the Angel as he murmured: 'Are they not safe in the bosom of the everlasting Love?'

Slowly through the Valley of the Shadow—and then more rapid than the flight of thought, moved the brothers, on—on—through myriads upon myriads of blazing suns, of starry universes; on—on—until they reached the limits of space, the boundary of material worlds. The angels left them as they entered the primeval night of chaos, the shoreless ocean between the sensuous and spiritual life. For alone with God through chaos do we arrive at the sensuous body; alone with God in chaos do we leave this body of corruption, from which is evolved the Body of the Spirit, 'glorious and unchangeable.' And again is clasped the thread of Identity, on which are strung the pearls of memory, and the Past and Future of Time become the Eternal Present!

Clothed in immortal vesture, the brothers now stand before that Great White Throne, which has no shadow, but is built of Light inaccessible, and full of Glory.

Summoned by the Holy Lawgiver, the meek Anselm knelt before Him, blinded with splendor, dazzled with fathomless majesty.

'Behold thy creature before thee for judgment, O Thou in whose sight the angels are not pure! We are born to evil, and who may endure thy justice? Look not into my weak and sinful heart, O God, but upon the face of Thy Anointed, in whom is all my trust! Have mercy upon me!'

Tears of mingled gratitude and penitence welled up, as in the days of exile, from his self-accusing breast.

Wonderful condescension the Father Himself wiped them from the downcast eyes!

And the Saviour of men clothed him in a garment of fine linen, white and pure, and 'to him was given the hidden manna, and a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth but he that receiveth it.'

Then the words over whose mystic meaning he had so often pondered, came, like the sound of many waters, upon his ear:

'And he that shall overcome, and keep my works unto the end, to him I will give power over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, and as the vessel of a potter they shall be broken.

'And I will give him the morning star.'

Thus the humble and self-abnegating Anselm, who had kept the commandments and loved his Maker, passed in glory to the Saints of Power. The morn of the Eternal Present dawned upon him, and the sublime 'vision in God' was open before him.

Then were the artists summoned before the Throne. Awed yet enchanted, they bowed before their Maker, with raised hands clasped in gratitude for the happiness they had known on earth. Then spoke Angelo, the musician:

'Behold thy grateful children at thy feet, O Father of earth and heaven! We truly repent of all we may have done amiss in Thy lower world. Thy heritage was very fair, and the exceeding Beauty thereof covered the Evil, and in all things were planted the germs of Good. 'Our prayer was in our work,' and all things spake to us of Thee, for the hand of a Father made all. Forgive us if we have loved life too well; we have always felt that the rhythmed pulse of our own hearts throbbed but in obedience to Thy tuneful laws! Loving our fellow men, we have labored to awake them to a sense of Thy tenderness, O Creator of Love and of Beauty, so unsparingly casting the ever-new glories around them! Father, we have loved Thee in thy glorious creation.

"For Thou lovest all things that are, and hatest none of the things that thou hast made, for thou didst not appoint or make anything hating it. For He made the nations of the earth for health: and there is no poison of destruction in them, nor kingdom of hell upon earth.

"For justice is perpetual and immortal.'

"We have looked upon the rainbow, and blessed Him that made it: for it was very beautiful in its brightness.'

"For by the greatness of the Beauty, and of the creature, the Creator of them may be seen so as to be known thereby.'

"It is good to give praise to the Lord: to show forth thy loving kindness in the morning, and thy truth in the night;

"Upon an instrument of ten strings, upon the psaltery, upon the harp with a solemn sound.

"For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy works, and in the works of thy hand I shall rejoice.'

'Have mercy upon us for the sake of the Redeemer, whose Perfection crowns the universe, who has not disdained to give Himself to us, and for us: the chief among ten thousand, and altogether lovely. Mercy for ourselves—and for those whom we have left on earth, we beseech Thee!'

Gently smiled the Virgin Mother, whose humble heart had cradled the Everlasting Love! 'All generations shall call her blessed,' for on that tender woman bosom rests that wondrous God-built arch spanning the awful Chaim between the sinful human and the Perfect Infinite! 'For He was born of a Virgin.'

The heart of Anselm throbbed through his garments white and pure; he loved his brothers, and feared that human art would be deemed vain and worthless in heaven. For the saints forget that God himself is the Great Artist!

Then was there silence in heaven, and the brothers knelt before the Throne.

The Father spoke:

'Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise, be thankful unto him, and bless his name: the Lion of the tribe of Judah hath conquered. He will give to him that overcometh to eat of the Tree of Life, which is in the Paradise of God.'

The silence that ensued was the bliss of heaven!

As Rubi, the Angel of Beauty, advanced to greet the spirits whom he had left on the confines of chaos, the triumphant song burst from the young choir of angels: 'For they shall not hunger nor thirst any more; neither shall the sun fall on them or any heat. For the Lamb, which is in the midst of the throne, shall rule them, and shall lead them to the fountains of the waters of life, and God shall wipe away all tears from their fives.'

Joy! joy! for the soul of the musician! The heart of the Rose had broken while chanting the last Miserere, and she was again at his side to catch his first Hosanna!

'Angelo—Angelo—parting and death are only seeming!'

To the soul of the poet was given the highest theme, the splendor and love of the Eternal City, and power to join the scribes of heaven. And the painter looked upon the face of the Virgin, the strange lights, the forms of Cherubim and Seraphim, and the twelve gates and the golden streets of that city; 'which needeth not sun or moon to shine in it, for the glory of God hath enlightened it; and the Lamb is the light thereof.'

Who can imagine that region of supernal splendor, 'whose glories eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive'?

The strings of Angelo's heaven harp quivered as though stirred by the breath of God.

Then did he first truly discern the soul of that divine language whose form he had made known on earth.

Then arose 'as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying: Alleluia! for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.'

Loud rang the heaven harps: 'Holy—Holy—Holy! To Him that sitteth on the Throne, and to the Lamb, Benediction, and Honor, and Glory, and Power, forever and ever!'


Said a poet, sighing lowly,
As his life ebbed slowly, slowly,
And upon his pallid features shone the sun's last rosy light,
Shedding there a radiance tender,
Softened from the dazzling splendor
Of the burning clouds of sunset, gleaming in the west so bright,
Glancing redly, ere forever lost within the gloom of night:

'Gold and crimson clouds of even,
Kindling the blue vault of heaven,
Ye are types of airy fancies that within my spirit glow!
Thou, O Night, so darkly glooming,
And those brilliant tints entombing
In thy black and heavy shadows, thou art like this life of woe,
Prisoning all the glorious visions that still beat their wings to go!

'Oh, what brilliancy and glory
Had illumed my life's dull story,
Could those thoughts have found expression as within my soul they shone!
But though there like jewels gleaming,
And with golden splendor streaming,
Cold and dim their lustre faded, tarnished, like the sparkling stone
That, from out the blue waves taken, looks a pebble dull alone.
'For within my heart forever
Was a never-dying river,
Was a spring of deathless music welling from my deepest soul!
And all Nature's deep intonings,
Merry songs, and plaintive meanings,
Floated softly through my spirit, swelling where those bright waves stole,
Till the prisoning walls seemed powerless 'gainst that billowy rush and roll.

'Oh, the surging thoughts and fancies;
Oh, the wondrous, wild romances
That from morn till dewy twilight murmured through my haunted brain!
Thoughts as sweet as summer roses,
And with music's dreamiest closes,
Dying faintly into silence, from the full and ringing strain
That through all my spirit sounded with a rapture half of pain.

'How I longed those words to utter
That within my heart would flutter,
Beating wild against their prison, as its walls they'd burst in twain:
But it broke not, throbbing only,
Aching in a silence lonely,
Till my very life was flooded with a wild, delicious pain;
Kindled with a blaze illuming all the chambers of my brain!

'And to me death had been glorious,
If those burning words, victorious,
Had at last surged o'er their prison, bearing my departing soul!
Gladly were my heart's blood given,
If those bonds I might have riven;
If, with every crimson lifedrop that from out my full heart stole,
I might hear that swelling chorus upward in its glory roll.

'Sad and low my heart is beating!
Each pulsation still repeating
'All in vain those eager longings, all in vain that burning prayer.
See the breezes, 'mid the bowers,
Sigh above the fragrant flowers,
And from out those drooping roses, their heart-folded sweetness bear—
But no heaven-sent wind shall whisper thy soul-breathings to the air.'

'But upon my darkened vision
Comes a gleam of light Elysian;
And a seraph voice breathes softly—'Answered yet shall be that prayer!
For the spirit crushed and broken
By those burning words unspoken,
Soon shall hear them swelling, floating far upon the heavenly air,
And its deepest inmost visions shall have perfect utterance there!''


'A cunning man, hight Sidrophel,

That deals in destiny's dark counsels,

And sage opinions of the moon sells,

To whom all people, far and near,

On deep importances repair.

Do not our great reformers use

This Sidrophel to forebode news?

To write of victories next year,

And castles taken yet i' the air?

Of battles fought at sea, and ships

Sunk two years hence—the great eclipse?

A total overthrow given the king

In Cornwall, horse and foot, next spring?'

Thus much, and more, wrote Butler in his 'Hudibras' of William Lilly, who was famous in London during that eventful period of English history from the time of Charles I, onward through the Commonwealth and the Protectorate, to the Restoration: a time of civil commotions and wars, when political parties and religious sects, striving for mastery, or struggling for existence, made the lives and estates of men insecure, and their outlook in many respects a troubled one. Lifelong connections of families and neighbors were then rudely severed, and doubt, distrust, and discontent filled all minds, or most. Of this widespread commotion London was the active centre; and there a judgment of God, called the plague, had, in the year 1625, desolated whole streets. The timid, time-serving, faithless, a wavering host, peered anxiously into the future, eager to know what might be hidden there, so that they could shape their course accordingly for safety or for profit. Finding their own short vision inadequate, they turned for aid to the professional prophets of that troublous time—magicians who could call forth spirits and make them speak, or astrologers who could read the stars, and show how the great Disposer of events could be forestalled. These discoverers of the hidden, disclosers of the future, though branded now as impostors, were not therefore worse than their dupes; for in all ages the two classes, deceivers and deceived, are essentially alike; positives and negatives of the same thing. 'Men are not deceived; they deceive themselves.' Witness a great American nation, in these latter days, electing its ablest man to its highest place, and choosing between a Fremont and a Buchanan! But let us turn quickly to the seventeenth century again, and leave the nineteenth to its day of judgment.

Among the many astrologers dwelling in London at the time of which we treat, William Lilly was the most famous; and his life being of great interest to himself, he wrote an account of it for the instruction of mankind—or for some other purpose; and we will now get from it what we conveniently can.[1]

'I was born,' says this renowned astrologer, 'in the county of Leicester, in an obscure town, in the northwest part thereof, called Diseworth, seven miles south of the town of Derby, one mile from Castle Donnington.' 'This town of Diseworth is divided into three parishes; one part belongs under Lockington, in which stands my father's house (over against the steeple), in which I was born' on the first day of May, 1602. After this rather too minute account of his birthplace, Lilly tells us of his ancestors, substantial yeomen for many generations, who 'had much free land and many houses in the town;' but all the family estates were 'sold by my grandfather and father, so that now our family depends wholly on a college lease.' 'Of my infancy I can speak but little; only I do remember that in the fourth year of my age I had the measles.' 'My mother intended I should be a scholar from my infancy, seeing my father's backslidings in the world, and no hopes by husbandry to recruit a decayed estate.' Therefore, after some schooling at or near home, the boy, when eleven years old, was sent to Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicester, to the school of Mr. John Brinsley, who 'was very severe in his life and conversation, and did breed up many scholars for the universities; in religion he was a strict Puritan.' 'In the fourteenth year of my age, about Michaelmas, I got a surfeit, and thereupon a fever, by eating beechnuts.' 'In the sixteenth year of my age I was exceedingly troubled in my dreams concerning my salvation and damnation, and also concerning the safety and destruction of my father and mother: in the nights I frequently wept and prayed, and mourned, for fear my sins might offend God.' 'In the seventeenth year of my age my mother died.' The next year, 'by reason of my father's poverty, I was enforced to leave school, and so came home to my father's house, where I lived in much penury one year, and taught school one quarter of a year, until God's providence provided better for me. For the last two years of my being at school I was of the highest form of the school, and chiefest of that form. I could then speak Latin as well as English; could make extempore verses upon any theme.' 'If any scholars from remote schools came to dispute, I was ringleader to dispute with them.' 'All and every of those scholars, who were of my form and standing, went to Cambridge, and proved excellent divines; only I, poor William Lilly, was not so happy, fortune then frowning on my father's condition, he not in any capacity to maintain me at the university.'

So this poor scholar, first of his class, bright visions of the university, and of what might lie beyond, all fading into darkness, went down to his father's house in the country, where his acquirements were useless. He says: 'I could not work, drive plough, or endure any country labor; my father oft would say, 'I was good for nothing,' and 'he was willing to be rid of me." A sorrowful time for the poor young fellow, without any outlook toward a better. But at last, one Samuel Smatty, an attorney, living in the neighborhood, took pity on the lad, and gave him a letter to Gilbert Wright, of London, who wanted a youth who could read and write, to attend him. Thereupon Lilly, in a suit of fustian, with this letter in his pocket, and ten shillings, given him by his friends, took leave of his father, who was then in Leicester jail for debt, and set off for London with 'Bradshaw, the carrier.' He 'footed it all along,' and was six days on the way; spending for food two shillings and sixpence, and nothing for lodgings; but he was in good heart, I think, for almost the only joyous expression in his autobiography is this one, relating to this time: 'Hark, how the wagons crack with their rich lading!'

Gilbert Wright, who had been 'servant to the Lady Pawlet in Hertfordshire,' had married a widow with property, and lived afterward 'on his annual rents;' or on his wife's, and 'was of no calling or profession.' This man had real need of a servant who could read and write, for he himself could do neither; but he was, however, 'a man of excellent natural parts, and would speak publicly upon any occasion very rationally and to the purpose.' Lilly was kindly received by Master Wright, who found, it seems, employment enough for him. 'My work was to go before my master to church; to attend my master when he went abroad; to make clean his shoes; sweep the street; help to drive bucks when he washed; fetch water in a tub from the Thames—I have helped to carry eighteen tubs of water in one morning;—weed the garden. All manner of drudgery I willingly performed.'

Mrs. Wright, who brought money to her husband, brought also a jealous disposition, and made his life uncomfortable. 'She was about seventy years of age, he sixty-six,' 'yet was never any woman more jealous of a husband than she!' She vexed more than one man, too, and her first husband had temptations to cut his own throat and escape from trouble so; but he, as we shall learn by and by, got some relief otherwise, and lived till death came by better means.

Tally had difficulty in keeping on good terms 'with two such opposite natures' as those of his master and mistress, that he managed it somehow, and says: 'However, as to the things of this world, I had enough, and endured their discontents with much sereneness. My mistress was very curious to know of such as were then called cunning, or wise men, whether she should bury her husband. She frequently visited such persons, and this begot in me a little desire to learn something that way; but wanting money to buy books, I laid aside these notions, and endeavored to please both master and mistress.'

This mistress had a cancer in her left breast, and Lilly had much noisome work to do for her; which he did faithfully and kindly. 'She was so fond of me in the time of her sickness, she would never permit me out of her chamber.' 'When my mistress died (1624) she had under her armhole a small scarlet bag full of many things, which one that was there delivered unto me. There were in this bag several sigils, some of Jupiter in Trine; others of the nature of Venus; some of iron, and one of gold, of pure virgin gold, of the bigness of a thirty-three shilling piece of King James coin. In the circumference on one side was engraven, Vicit Leo de Tribu Judæ Tetragrammation+: within the middle there was engraven a holy lamb. In the other circumference there was Amraphel, and three + + +. In the middle, Sanctus Petrus, Alpha and Omega.'

This sigil the woman got many years before of Dr. Samuel Foreman, a magician or astrologer; the same who 'wrote in a book left behind him,' 'This I made the devil write with his own hand, in Lambeth Fields, 1596, in June or July, as I now remember.' This sigil the woman got from the doctor, who was evidently a foreman among liars, for her first husband, who had been 'followed by a spirit which vocally and articulately provoked him to cut his own throat.' Her husband, wearing this sigil 'till he died, was never more troubled by spirits' of this kind of call; but on the woman herself it seems to have failed of effect, for though she too wore it till she died, she was continually tormented by an authentic spirit of jealousy—a torment to herself and to her husband.

After this mistress had gone, Lilly lived very comfortably, his 'master having a great affection' for him; and also a great confidence in him, it seems; for when the plague (1625) began to rage in London, the master went for safety into Leicestershire, leaving Lilly and a fellow servant to keep the house, in which was much money and plate, belonging to his master and others. Lilly was faithful to his charge in this fearful time, and kept himself cheerful by amusements. 'I bought a bass viol, and got a master to instruct me; the intervals of time I spent in bowling in Lincoln's Inn Fields with Watt, the cobbler, Dick, the blacksmith, and such-like companions.' Nor did he neglect more serious business, but attended divine service at the church of St. Clement Danes, where two ministers died in this time; but the third, Mr. Whitacre, 'escaped not only then, but all contagion following,' though he 'buried all manner of people, whether they died of the plague or not,' and 'was given to drink, so that he seldom could preach more than one quarter of an hour at a time.' This year of plague was indeed a fearful one in London, and Lilly says elsewhere, 'I do well remember this accident, that going in July, 1625, about half an hour after six in the morning, to St. Antholine's church, I met only three persons on the way, from my house over against Strand bridge, till I came there; so few people were there alive and the streets so unfrequented.' 'About fifty thousand people died that year;' but Lilly escaped death, though his 'conversation was daily with the infected.'[2]

Master Wright did not continue long a widower, but took to himself another wife, and a younger, who was of 'brown ruddy complexion,' and of better disposition than her predecessor in the household. Master Wright was probably a happy man for a time; but only for a short time; for in May, 1627, he died, and the estate, by agreement of the parties in it, was assigned to Lilly for payment of its debts. The trust was not misplaced; the debts were all paid, and the remainder of the estate, except an annuity of twenty pounds, which his master had settled on Lilly, he returned to the executors.

Mistress Wright, the widow, 'who had twice married old men,' had now many suitors; 'old men, whom she declined; some gentlemen of decayed fortunes, whom she liked not, for she was covetous and sparing;' 'however, all her talk was of husbands,' and, in short, William Lilly became the happy man; made happy within four months of the death of the old master. 'During all the time of her life, which was till October, 1633, we lived very lovingly; I frequenting no company at all; my exercises were angling, in which I ever delighted; my companions, two aged men.' 'I frequented lectures, and leaned in judgment to Puritanism; and in October, 1627, I was made free of the Salters' company of London.'

Up to this time, therefore, the history of William Lilly, so far as he has made it known, is briefly this: Born poor, the grandfather and father having wasted the family estates, he was sent by his mother, who intended him from his infancy for a scholar, to the school of Ashby-de-la-Zouch; where, at one time, he was in trouble about his soul and the souls of his parents; and he 'frequently wept, prayed, and mourned, for fear his sins might offend God.' But the mother died, the father got into prison for debt, and poor Lilly, who had made himself the best scholar in the school, could not go up to the university as he had hoped to do, but after a wretched year at his father's house, where he was accounted useless and an encumbrance, he had to become the servant of one who could neither read nor write, doing all kinds of drudgery. Serving faithfully, the much-enduring young man won the love and confidence of the old master and mistress, and at last married the young widow, who was a wholesome-looking woman, of brown ruddy complexion, and had property, which served, among other things, to make Lilly 'free of the Salters' company.' Not a bad history, certainly, if not one of the best: he was a thriving young man, not a complaining one; but one who accepted the conditions under which he was placed, and made the best of them; which is what all young men ought to do.

And now Lilly—being a man of some property and standing, without any profession or regular business, but with an inclination to the occult arts, begot in him probably by the folly of old Mistress Wright—tells us how he 'came to study astrology.' 'It happened on one Sunday, 1632, as myself and a justice of peace's clerk were, before service, discoursing of many things, he chanced to say that such a person was a great scholar; nay, so learned that he could make an almanac, which to me was strange: one speech begot another, till at last he said he could bring me acquainted with one Evans, who lived in Gunpowder alley, who formerly lived in Staffordshire, that was an excellent wise man, and studied the black art. The same week (after) we went to see Mr. Evans. When we came to his house, he, having been drunk the night before, was upon his bed—if it be lawful to call that a bed whereon he lay.' 'He was the most saturnine man my eyes ever beheld either before I practised (astrology) or since: of middle stature, broad forehead, beetle browed, thick shoulders, flat nosed, full lips, down looked, black, curling, stiff hair, splay footed;' 'much addicted to debauchery, and then very abusive and quarrelsome; seldom without a black eye, or one mischief or another.' A very good description this, save that the shoulders of it are between the brow and nose: not a handsome man, certainly; a kind of white negro, we should say, and not the better for being white: nevertheless men of high rank came to see him, and readers who have made acquaintance with Sir Kenelm Digby will not be astonished to learn that he was one of them. He came with Lord Bothwell, and 'desired Evans to show them a spirit.' But 'after some time of invocation, Evans was taken out of the room, and carried into the fields near Battersea causeway, close to the Thames:' taken by the spirits, because the magician 'had not at the time of invocation made any suffumigation;' for spirits must always be treated gingerly. 'Sir Kenelm Digby and Lord Bothwell went home without any harm;' which was better than they deserved.

Lilly, after many lessons given him by this Evans, was doubtful about the black art, as he might well be; but, he says, 'being now very meanly introduced, I applied myself to study those books I had obtained, many times twelve or fifteen or eighteen hours a day and night: I was curious to discover whether there was any verity in the art or not. Astrology at this time, viz. 1633, was very rare in London; few professing it that understood anything thereof.' Lilly gives us next some account of the astrologers of his time; but the reader need form no further acquaintance of this kind; acquaintance with Lilly, who was the best of them, will be enough for him.

In October of this year, 1633, Lilly's wife died, and left him 'very near to the value of one thousand pounds sterling'—all she had to leave. He continued a widower 'a whole year,' which he, as that phrase implies, held to be a long time in such bereavement—and followed his studies in astrology very diligently. So diligently that he soon had knowledge to impart to others, and he 'taught Sir George Knight astrology, that part which concerns sickness, wherein he so profited that in two or three months he would give a very good discovery of any disease only by his figures.'

With a new wife, which he got the next year (1634), Lilly had £500 portion; but 'she was of the nature of Mars,' which is surely not a good nature in a wife. In that same year he, with some 'other gentlemen,' engaged in an adventure for hidden treasure: they 'played the hazel rod round about the cloyster,' and digged, in the place indicated, six feet deep, till they came to a coffin; but they did not open it, for which they were afterward regretful, thinking that it probably contained the treasure. Suddenly, while they were at this work, a great wind arose, 'so high, so blustering, and loud,' that all were frightened, 'and knew not what to think or do;' all save Lilly, who gave 'directions and commands to dismiss the dæmons,' and then all became quiet again. These doings Lilly did not approve, and says he 'could never again be induced to join in such kind of work.' He engaged, however, in another transaction of still worse character, which seems to have been even more unpleasant to him; for he says: 'After that I became melancholy, very much afflicted with the hypochondriac melancholy, growing lean and spare, and every day worse; so that in the year 1635, my infirmity continuing and my acquaintance increasing, I resolved to live in the country, and in March and April, 1636, I removed my goods unto Hersham (Horsham in Sussex, thirty-six miles from London), where I continued until 1641, no notice being taken who or what I was:' and in this time he burned some of his books, which treated of things he did not approve, and which he disliked to practise; for this man really had a conscience as good as the average, or even better: he was driven into solitude by the reproaches of it—or, perhaps, by the scoldings of a wife who 'was of the nature of Mars.'

Thus far we have followed Lilly's account of himself closely, using often his own words, because they give a more correct idea of the man than could be got from the words of another; but henceforth to the end, we will skip much and be brief. This astrologer did not always rely on his special art to discover things hidden, but used often quite ordinary means; sometimes such as are common to officers of detective police. His confessions of doings in that kind are candid enough, and we must say of his 'History of his Life and Times' that it is, on the whole, a simple, truthful statement of facts; not an apology for a life at all; for he seldom attempts to excuse or justify his actions, but leaves a plain record with the reader for good or evil.

A man, it is sometimes said, is to be judged by the company he keeps, and we will therefore say a few words of this astrologer's friends. Of men like William Pennington, of Muncaster, in Cumberland, 'of good family and estate,' introduced to Lilly by David Ramsay, the king's clockmaker, in 1634, who are otherwise unknown to us, we will say nothing. But the reader surely knows something of Hugh Peters, the Puritan preacher—who could do other things as well as preach: with him Lilly had 'much conference and some private discourses,' and once in the Christmas holidays, a time of leisure, Peters and the Lord Gray of Groby invited him to Somerset House, and requested him to bring two of his almanacs. At another time Peters took Lilly along with him into Westminster Hall 'to hear the king tried.' But the most influential friend, perhaps, was Sir Bulstrode Whitlocke, a man well known to readers of English history as very prominent in the time of the Commonwealth and Protectorate. He was high steward of Oxford, member of the council of state, one of the keepers of the great seal, a man very learned in the law, who made long discourses to Oliver Cromwell on the matter of the kingship, and on other matters. He went to Sweden as Cromwell's ambassador, and was one of the great men of that time, or one of the considerable men. Sir Bulstrode, according to Ashmole, was Lilly's patron; and indeed the great man did befriend him long, and help him out of difficulties. The acquaintance began in this wise: Sir Bulstrode being sick, Mrs. Lisle, 'wife to John Lisle,' afterward one of the keepers of the great seal, came to Lilly, bringing a specimen of the sick man. Whereupon the astrologer, having inspected the specimen, 'set a figure,' and said, 'the sick for that time would recover, but by means of a surfeit would dangerously relapse within one month; which he did, by eating of trouts at Mr. Sands' house in Surrey.' Therefore, as there could no longer be any doubt of Lilly's skill, he, at the time of Sir Bulstrode's second sickness, was called to him daily; and though the family physician said 'there was no hope of recovery,' the astrologer said there was 'no danger of death,' and 'that he would be sufficiently well in five or six weeks; and so he was.' This Mrs. Lisle, who brought the specimen, being apparently one of Lilly's she friends, we will add that she made herself remarkable by saying at the martyrdom of King Charles I, in 1648, that 'her blood leaped within her to see the tyrant fall.' For this, and for other things, the woman was finally beheaded; it being impossible otherwise to stop her tongue; and I have no tear for her.

Lilly's most intimate friend, however, was Elias Ashmole, Esq. Born in 1617, the name for him agreed on among his friends was Thomas; but at the baptismal font the godfather, 'by a more than ordinary impulse of spirit,' said Elias; and under that prophetic name the boy grew up to manhood, and became for a time rather famous in high places. He was a learned antiquary, and made a description of the consular and imperial coins at Oxford, and presented it, in three folio volumes, to the library there. He made also a catalogue and description of the king's medals; a book on the Order of the Garter; a book entitled, Fasciculus Chemicus, and another, Theatrum Chemicum. He published, moreover, a book called 'The Way to Bliss;' but if he himself ever arrived at that thing, he found the way uncomfortable, if we may judge from his diary, half filled with record of his ailments, surfeits, and diseases, and of the sweatings, purgings, and leechings consequent thereupon, or intended as preventives thereof. To one kind of bliss, however, he did certainly attain—that of high society; dining often with lords, earls, and dukes, bishops and archbishops, foreign envoys, ambassadors, and princes; and they, many of them, came in turn, and dined with him, who had made a book on the Order of the Garter, and who understood the art of dining. Continental kings sent to this man chains of gold, and his gracious majesty, Charles II, was very gracious to him, and gave him fat offices, mostly sinecures: and over and above all he gave a pension. This world is a very remarkable one—especially remarkable in the upper crust of it.

Lilly's acquaintance with Ashmole began in 1646, and continued till death did them part in 1681. Through all these thirty-five years there was a close intimacy, Ashmole being a frequent visitor at Lilly's house in the country, staying there often months at a time, and Lilly in return coming often to London, and staying weeks with his honored friend—a kind of Damon and Pythias affair without the heroics. Ashmole, we said, was famous in his time; but indeed he has a kind of fame now, and cannot soon be altogether forgotten, for he founded the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, and in the library there the curious can probably find all his books, and read them, if they will; but I, who have read one of them, shall not seek for more.[3]

But indeed Lilly attracted the attention of Oliver Cromwell himself, and once had an interview with him—a remarkably silent one. The occasion of it was as follows: The astrologer, in his Martinus Anglicus (astrological almanac) for 1650, had written that 'the Parliament should not continue, but a new government should arise;' and the next year he 'was so bold as to aver therein that the Parliament stood upon a tottering foundation, and that the commonalty and soldiers would join together against it.' These things, and others, published in Anglicus, offended the Presbyterians, and on motion of some one of them, it was ordered that 'Anglicus should be inspected by the committee for plundered ministers;' and the next day thereafter Lilly was brought before the committee, which was very full that day (thirty-six in number), for the matter was an interesting one, whispered of before in private, and now made public by prophecy. The astrologer, by skilful management of friends, and some lies of his own, got off without damage to himself.

At the close of the first day's proceedings in committee, as the sergeant-at-arms was carrying Lilly away, he was commanded to bring him into the committee room again. 'Oliver Cromwell, lieutenant-general of the army, having never seen me, caused me to be produced again, where he steadfastly beheld me for a good space, and then I went with the messenger.' This first meeting was, it appears, the only one, for Lilly speaks of no other; but Cromwell spoke a good word for him that same night, and was ever after rather friendly to him, or at least tolerant of him. The lieutenant-general, looking fixedly at this man 'for a good space,' saw nothing very bad in him; and knowing that his prophecies favored the good cause, he, a man of strong, practical sense, was willing to let him work as one of the influences of that time.

This was not Lilly's only appearance before Parliament; sixteen years later we shall find him there again; but of that at its time; and we will look first at some of his doings in the interim. With another general our astrologer had a meeting too, but with him—General Fairfax—there was talk, not so full of meaning to me as the silence of Cromwell. 'There being,' says Lilly, 'in those times, some smart difference between the army and Parliament, the headquarters of the army were at Windsor, whither I was carried with a coach and four horses, and John Boker (an astrologer) with me. We were welcomed thither, and feasted in a garden where General Fairfax lodged. We were brought to the general, who bid us kindly welcome to Windsor.' Lilly tells what Fairfax said, and what he himself said in reply; but if these speeches were all that was there said and done, the coach and four, and the time spent, seem to me wasteful. The speeches ended, 'we departed, and went to visit Mr. Peters (Hugh Peters), the minister, who lodged in the castle; whom we found reading an idle pamphlet come from London that morning.' He said—what gives proof, if proof be needed, that there was idle talk current in that time, as indeed there is in all times.

Our astrologer, professing a high art, standing above the common level, did not give 'up to party what was meant for mankind.' The stars look down, from their high places, on sublunary things, with a sublime indifference; and he, their interpreter, was at the service of all comers, or of all who could pay. Many came to him; among others came 'Madam Whorwood,' from King Charles, who intended to escape from Hampton Court, where he was held prisoner by the army. She came to inquire 'in what quarter of this nation he (the king) might be most safe?' Lilly, after 'erection of his figure,' said, 'about twenty miles from London, and in Essex,' 'he might continue undisturbed;' but the poor king, misguided by himself, or others, 'went away in the night time westward, and surrendered to Hammond in the Isle of Wight. Twice again, according to Lilly, Madam Whorwood came to him, asking advice and assistance for the king. This Madam Whorwood I have not met with elsewhere in my reading, and the name may be a fictitious one; but that King Charles, in his straits, sought aid of William Lilly, who by repute could read the stars, is not improbable. In 1648, Lilly gave to the council of state 'some intelligence out of France,' which he got by means not astrological, or in any way supernatural; and the council thereupon gave him 'in money fifty pounds, and a pension of one hundred pounds per annum,' which he received for two years, 'but no more.'

So Lilly, whose business as astrological prophet brought him into close contact with many kinds of men—men of all parties and sects—went on getting information of all, and by all kinds of means; and imparting it again to all who had need; but always he had an eye to the 'main chance,' and provided well for himself. With each of his three wives he got money. The second one, who, as we remember, 'was of the nature of Mars,' died in February, 1654, and the bereaved man says that he thereupon 'shed no tear;' which we can well believe. Dry eyed, or with only such moisture as comes of joy, he, within eight months after the departure of Mrs. Mars, took another to his bosom, one who, he says, 'is signified in my nativity by Jupiter in Libra, and she is so totally in her conditions, to my great comfort.'

After the Restoration, Lilly was apprehended and committed to the Gate House. 'I was had,' he says, 'into the guard room, which I thought to be hell: some therein were sleeping, others swearing, others smoking tobacco. In the chimney of the room I believe there were two bushels of broken tobacco-pipes, and almost half one load of ashes.' A sad time and place: but his 'old friend, Sir Edward Walker, garter king-at-arms,' made interest for him in the right quarters, and he was released from the place he 'thought to be hell.' In 1660 he sued out his pardon for all offences 'under the broad seal of England.'

Of Lilly's religion (so called) there is not much to be said: in early life he 'leaned to Puritanism,' as we have been told, and he probably leaned on that so long as he could find support in it; but after the Restoration (in 1663) he was made churchwarden of Walton-upon-Thames, and settled 'the affairs of that distracted parish' as well as he could; and upon leaving the place, 'forgave them seven pounds' which was due to him.

Soon after this, when the great plague of 1665 came upon London, Lilly gave up business there and retired into the country to his wife and family, and continued there for the remainder of his life; going up to the great city occasionally to visit his friends, or on calls to business in his special line: one call from a high quarter came to him in this shape:

'Monday, 22d October, 1666.

At the committee appointed to inquire after the causes of the late fires:

'Ordered, That Mr. Lilly attend the committee on Friday next, being the 25th day of October, at two o'clock in the afternoon, in the speaker's chamber, to answer such questions as shall be then and there asked him.

'Robert Brooke.'

The question before Parliament was in relation to the great fire in London: 'as to the causes of the late fire; whether there might be any design therein;' and Lilly was supposed to know something about that matter, because he, in his book or pamphlet entitled 'Monarchy or no Monarchy,' published in 1651, had printed on page seventh a hieroglyphic 'representing a great sickness and mortality, wherein you may see the representation of people in their winding sheets, persons digging graves and sepultures, coffins, etc.;' and on another page another hieroglyphic representing a fire: two twins topsy-turvy, and back to back, falling headlong into a fire. 'The twins signify Gemini, a sign in astrology which rules London:' all around stand figures, male and female, pouring liquids (oil or water?) on the flames. When, therefore, the great fire of 1666 followed the plague of the preceding year, these hieroglyphics again attracted attention, and the maker of them was called before Parliament to declare if he, who had foreseen these events, could see into them, and give any explanation of their causes. But Lilly was prudent: to the question, 'Did you foresee the year of the fire?' he replied: 'I did not; nor was I desirous; of that I made no scrutiny.' As to the cause of the fire, he said: 'I have taken much pains in the search thereof, but cannot, or could not, give myself any the least satisfaction therein: I conclude that it was only the finger of God; but what instruments he used therein I am ignorant.'

That William Lilly, who, as we have seen, was twice called before Parliament and questioned, attracted much attention elsewhere by his prophecies and publications, there can be no doubt; and his books found many readers. Their titles, so far as known to us, are as follows: 'Supernatural Insight;' 'The White King's Prophecy;' 'The Starry Messenger;' 'A Collection of Prophecies;' an introduction to astrology, called, 'Christian Astrology;' 'The World's Catastrophe;' 'The Prophecies of Merlin, with a Key thereto;' 'Trithemius of the Government of the World by the Presiding Angels;' 'A Treatise of the Three Suns seen the preceding winter,' which was the winter of 1648; 'An Astronomical Judgment;' 'Annus Tenebrosus;' 'Merlinus Anglicus,' a kind of astrological almanac, published annually for many years, containing many prophecies—a work which got extensive circulation, 'the Anglicus of 1658 being translated into the language spoken in Hamburg, printed and cried about the streets as it is in London;' and his 'Majesty of Sweden,' of whom 'honorable mention' was made in Anglicus, sent to the author of it 'a gold chain and a medal worth about fifty pounds.'

Of these books made by Lilly, we, having little knowledge, indeed none at all of the most of them, do not propose to speak; but one who has looked into the 'Introduction to Astrology' can say that it has something of method and completeness, and he can readily conceive how Lilly, studying astrology through long years very diligently, then practising it, instructing other men in it, writing books about it, could have himself some kind of belief in it; such belief at least as many men have in the business they study, practise, and get fame and pudding by. Consider, too, how his belief in his art must have been strengthened and confirmed by the belief of other men in it; able men of former times, and respectable men of his own time. Indeed we will say of astrology generally that it is a much better thing than the spiritualism of this present day, with its idle rappings and silly mediums.

We have named some of Lilly's friends—those only of whom we happened to have some knowledge; but he had many friends, or many acquaintances—a large circle of them. There were 'astrologers' feasts' in those days, held monthly or oftener. Ashmole (called, by a more than ordinary impulse of spirit, Elias) makes record in his Diary: 'Aug. 1, 1650, the astrologers' feast at Painter's Hall, where I dined;' 'Oct. 31, the astrologers' feast;' and other entries there are to the same effect. Some ten years after, Lilly seems to have had these festivals, or similar ones, in his own house; and on the 24th October, 1660, one Pepys, well known to literary men, 'passed the evening at Lilly's house, where he had a club of his friends.'[4]

Thus far, namely, to the year 1666, Lilly brought the history of his life: and in the continuation of it by another hand, we learn that in the country at Horsham, near London, 'he betook himself to the study of physic;' and in 1670, his old and influential friend, Mr. Ashmole, got for him from the archbishop of Canterbury a license for the practice of it. 'Hereupon he began to practise more openly and with good success; and every Saturday rode to Kingston, where the poorer sort flocked to him from several parts, and received much benefit by his advice and prescriptions, which he gave them freely and without money. From those that were more able he now and then received a shilling, and sometimes a half crown, if they offered it to him; otherwise he received nothing; and in truth his charity toward poor people was very great, no less than the care and pains he took in considering and weighing their particular cases, and applying proper remedies to their infirmities, which gained him extraordinary credit and estimation.' So William Lilly lived at Horsham, publishing his 'astronomical judgments' yearly, and helping as he could the poor there and in the neighborhood, till the 9th day of June, 1681, when he died. The 'great agony' of his diseases, which were complicated, he bore 'without complaint.' 'Immediately before his breath went from him, he sneezed three times;' which, we will hope, cleared his head of some nonsense.

In the judgment of his contemporaries, this William Lilly, astrologer, was, as we can see, 'a respectable man.' Such judgment, however, is never conclusive; for the time clement is always a deceptive one; and, as all navigators know, the land which looms high in the atmosphere of to-day does often, in the clearer atmosphere of other days, prove to be as flat as a panecake: but we must say of Lilly, that though unfortunately an impostor, he was really rather above the common level of mankind—a little hillock, if only of conglomerate or pudding stone: for, in his pamphlet entitled 'Observations on the Life and Times of Charles I,' where he, looking away from the stars and treating of the past, is more level to our judgment, he is still worth reading; and does therein give a more impartial and correct character of that unhappy king than can be found in any other contemporary writing; agreeing well with the best judgments of this present time, and showing Lilly to be a man of ability above the common. On the whole, we will say of him, that he was the product of a mother who was good for something, and of a father who was good for nothing, or next to that; that with such parentage, and under such circumstances as we have seen, he became an astrologer, the best of his kind in that time.

It would be easy to institute other moral reflections, and to pass positive judgment on the man: but instead thereof I will place here two questions:

First: Did William Lilly, in the eighteenth year of his age, need anything except a little cash capital to enable him to go up to the university and become a respectable clergyman of the Church of England, or the minister of some dissenting congregation, if he had liked that better?

Second: When this impostor and the clergymen, who as boys stood together in the same form of the school at Ashby-de-la-Zouch, come together before the judgment bar of the Most High, will the Great Judge say to each of the clergymen: Come up hither; and to the impostor: Depart, thou cursed?

'A fool,' it is said, 'may ask questions which wise men cannot answer;' and the writer, having done his part in asking, leaves the more difficult part for the consideration of the reader.[5]


[1] The Lives of those eminent Antiquaries, Elias Ashmole, Esquire, and Mr. William Lilly, written by themselves; containing first, William Lilly's History of his Life and Times, with Notes by Mr Ashmole; secondly, Lilly's Life and Death of Charles I; and lastly, the Life of Elias Ashmole, Esq., by way of Diary, etc. London, 1774.

[2] Lilly's Life and Death of King Charles I.

[3] The Lives of those eminent Antiquaries, Ellas Ashmole and William Lilly, &c. London, 1774.

[4] See Pepys' Diary and Correspondence. London, 1858. Vol. i, p. 116.

[5] The reader will find this question already answered in the pages of holy writ: 'For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.'—Matt, xvi, 27.—Ed. Con.


letter no. ii, from hon. robert j walker.

London, 10 Half Moon Street, Piccadily}
July 30th, 1863. }

In my publication of the 1st inst., it was proved by the two letters of Mr. Jefferson Dans of the 25th May, 1849, and 29th August, 1849, that he had earnestly advocated the repudiation of the bonds of the State of Mississippi issued to the Union Bank. It was then shown that the High Court of Errors and Appeals of Mississippi, the tribunal designated by the Constitution of the State, had unanimously decided that these bonds were constitutional and valid, and that more than seven years thereafter, Mr. Jefferson Davis had nevertheless sustained the repudiation of those bonds.

In his letter before quoted, of the 23d March last, Mr. Slidell, the minister of Jefferson Davis at Paris, says, 'There is a wide difference between these (Union) bonds and those of the Planters' Bank, for the repudiation of which neither excuse nor palliation can be offered.' And yet I shall now proceed to prove, that Mr. Jefferson Davis did not only palliate and excuse, but justified the repudiation, in fact, of those bonds by the State of Mississippi. First, then, has Mississippi repudiated those bonds? The principal and interest now due on those bonds exceed $5,000,000 (£1,000,000), and yet, for a quarter of a century, the State has not paid one dollar of principal or interest. 2. The State, by act of the Legislature (ch. 17), referred the question of taxation for the payment of those bonds to the vote of the people, and their decision was adverse. As there was no fund available for the payment, except one to be derived from taxation, this popular vote (to which the question was submitted by the Legislature) was a decision of the State for repudiation, and against payment. 3. The State, at one time (many years after the sale of the bonds), had made them receivable in purchase of certain State lands, but, as this was 'at three times its current value,' as shown by the London Times, in its article heretofore quoted by me, this was only another form of repudiation. 4. When a few of the bondholders commenced taking small portions of these lands in payment, because they could get nothing else, the State repealed the law (ch. 22), and provided no substitute. 5. The State, by law, deprived the bondholders of the stock of the Planters' Bank ($2,000,000), and of the sinking fund pledged to the purchasers for the redemption of these bonds when they were sold by the State. Surely there is here ample evidence of repudiation and bad faith.

The bonds issued by the State of Mississippi to the Planters' Bank were based upon a law of the State, and affirmed, by name, in a specific provision of the State Constitution of 1832. The State, through its agent, received the money, and loaned it to the citizens of the State, and the validity of these obligations is conceded by Mr. Slidell and Mr. Davis.

These bonds were for $2,000,000, bearing an interest of six per cent. per annum, and were sold at a premium of 13-1/2 per cent For those bonds, besides the premium, the State received $2,000,000 of stock of the Planters' Bank, upon which, up to 1838, the State realized ten per cent. dividends, being $200,000 per annum. In January, 1841, the Legislature of Mississippi unanimously adopted resolutions affirming the validity of these bonds, and the duty of the State to pay them. (Sen. Jour. 314.)

In his message to the Legislature of 1843, Governor Tucker says:

'On the 1st of January, 1838, the State held stock in the Planters' Bank for $2,000,000, which stock had, prior to that time, yielded to the State a dividend of $200,000 per annum. I found also the first instalment of the bonds issued on account of the Planters' Bank, $125,000, due and unpaid, as well as the interest for several years on said bonds.' (Sen. Jour. 25.)

The Planters' Bank (as well as the State), by the express terms of the law, was bound for the principal and interest of these bonds. Now, in 1839, Mississippi passed an act (Acts, ch. 42), 'to transfer the stock now held by the State in the Planters' Bank, and invest the same in stock of the Mississippi Railroad Company.' By the first section of this act, the Governor was directed to subscribe for $2,000,000 of stock in the railroad company for the State, and to pay for it by transferring to the company the Planters' Bank stock, which had been secured to the State by the sale of the Planters' Bank bonds. The 10th section released the Planters' Bank from the obligation to provide for the payment of these bonds or interest. Some enlightened members, including Judge Gholson, afterward of the Federal Court, protested against this act as unconstitutional, by impairing the obligation of contracts, and as a fraud on the bondholders.

They say in this protest:

'The money which paid for the stock proposed to be transferred from the Planters' Bank to the Mississippi Railroad Company, was, under the provisions of the charter, obtained by loans on the part of the State, for the payment of which the stock, in addition to the faith of the Government, was pledged to the holders of the bonds of the State. By the terms of the contract between the commissioners on the part of the State and the purchasers of the bonds, the interest on the loans is required to be paid semiannually out of the semiannual dividends accruing upon the said stock; and the surplus of such dividends, after paying the said interest, is to be converted into a sinking fund for the payment and liquidation of said loans. The bill, as the title purports, simply provides for the transfer of the stock now held by the State in the Planters' Bank, and that the same shall be invested in the stock of the Mississippi Railroad Company, leading from Natchez to Canton, which has banking privileges to twice the amount of capital stock paid in. The transferring of the stock and dividend to another irresponsible corporation, and the appropriation of the same to the construction of a road, is a violation of and impairing the obligation of the contract made and entered into with the purchasers or holders of the bonds of the State, under a solemn act of the Legislature. If it should be thought that a people, composed of so much virtue, honor, and chivalry, as the noble and generous Mississippians, would disdain, and consequently refrain, from repealing or violating their plighted faith, it may be answered, that the faith of the State, solemnly and sacredly pledged by an act of the Legislature, with all the formality and solemnity of a constitutional law, is violated by the provisions of this very bill under consideration. The faith of the State is pledged to the holders of the bonds, by the original and subsequent acts incorporating the Planters' Bank, as solemnly as national or legislative pledges can be made, that the stock and dividends accruing thereon shall be faithfully appropriated to the redemption and payment of said loans and all interest thereon, as they respectively become due; the appropriation of this fund to an other purpose is, therefore, a violation of the faith of the State.' (House Jour. 443.)

Thus was it, that the stock of the bank, which for so many years had been yielding a dividend far exceeding the interest on the loan, and which stock had been pledged for the redemption of the loan, was diverted to the building of a railroad, which never did or could yield a single dollar, and the company soon became insolvent. By another clause of this act of 1839, the Planters' Bank, which, by the loan act, was made responsible (together with the State) for the payment of these bonds, was released from the obligation to make such payments.

And now, what is the answer of Jefferson Davis on this subject? He says, in his letter of the 25th May, 1849, before quoted:

'A smaller amount is due for what are termed Planters' Bank bonds of Mississippi. These evidences of debt, as well as the coupons issued to cover accruing interest, are receivable for State lands, and no one has a right to assume they will not be provided for otherwise, by or before the date at which the whole debt becomes due.'

To this the London Times replied, in its editorial of the 13th July, 1849, before quoted, as follows:

'The assurance in this statement that the Planters' Bank, or non-repudiated bonds, are receivable for State lands, requires this addition, which Mr. Jefferson Davis has omitted, that they are only so receivable upon land being taken at three times its current value. The affirmation afterward, that no one has a right to assume that these bonds will not be fully provided for before the date at which the principal falls due, is simply to be met by the fact, that portions of them fell due in 1841 and 1846, and that on these, as well as on all the rest, both principal and interest remain wholly unpaid.'

Mr. Davis's 'palliation and excuse' for the non-payment of these bonds was: 1st. That the principal was not due. If this were true, it would be no excuse for the non-payment of the semi-annual interest. But the statement of Jefferson Davis as to the principal was not true, as shown by the Times, and as is clear upon the face of the law. Then, as to the lands. The bonds, principal aid interest, were payable in money, and it was a clear case of repudiation to substitute lands. But when, as stated by the Times, this land was only receivable 'at three times its current value,' Mr. Davis's defence of the repudiation of the Planters' Bank bonds by Mississippi, is exposed in all its deformity. When, however, we reflect, as heretofore shown, that the law authorizing the purchase of these lands by these bonds was repealed, and the bondholders left without any relief, and the proposition for taxation to pay the bonds definitively rejected, it is difficult to imagine a case more atrocious than this.

The whole debt, principal and interest, now due by the State of Mississippi, including the Planters' and Union Bank bonds, exceeds $11,250,000 (£2,250,000). Not a dollar of principal or interest has been paid by the State for more than a fourth of a century on any of these bonds. The repudiation is complete and final, so long as slavery exists in Mississippi. Now, would it not seem reasonable that, before Mississippi and the other Confederate States, including Florida and Arkansas, ask another loan from Europe, they should first make some provision for debts now due, or, at least, manifest a disposition to make some arrangement for it at some future period. If a debtor fails to meet his engagements, especially if he repudiates them on false and fraudulent pretexts, he can borrow no more money, and the same rule surely should apply to states or nations. Nor can any pledge of property not in possession of such a borrower, or, if so, not placed in the hands of the lender, change the position. It is (even if the power to pay exists) still a question of good faith, and where that has been so often violated, all subsequent pledges or promises should be regarded as utterly worthless.

The Times, in reference to the repudiation of its Union Bank bonds by Mississippi, and the justification of that act by Jefferson Davis, says:

'Let it circulate throughout Europe that a member of the United States Senate in 1849 has openly proclaimed, that at a recent period the Governor and legislative assemblies of his own State deliberately issued fraudulent bonds for five millions of dollars to 'sustain the credit of a rickety bank;' that, the bonds in question having been hypothecated abroad to innocent holders, such holders have not only no claim against the community by whose executive and representatives this act was committed, but that they are to be taunted for appealing to the verdict of the civilized world rather than to the judgment of the legal officers of the State by whose functionaries they have been already robbed; and that the ruin of toil-worn men, of women, of widows, and of children, and the 'crocodile tears' which that ruin has occasioned, is a subject of jest on the part of those by whom it has been accomplished; and then let it be asked if any foreigner ever penned a libel on the American character equal to that against the people of Mississippi by their own Senator.'

Such was the opinion then expressed by the London Times of Jefferson Davis and of the repudiation advocated by him. It was denounced as robbery, 'the ruin of toil-worn men, of women, of widows, and of children.' And what is to be thought of the 'faith' of a so-called Government, which has chosen this repudiator as their chief, and what of the value of the Confederate bonds now issued by him? Why, the legal tender notes of the so-called Confederate Government, fundable in a stock bearing eight per cent, interest, is now worth in gold at their own capital of Richmond, less than ten cents on the dollar (2s., on the pound), whilst in two thirds of their territory such notes are utterly worthless; and it is treason for any citizen of the United States, North or South, or any alien resident there, to deal in them, or in Confederate bonds, or in the cotton pledged for their payment. No form of Confederate bonds, or notes, or stock, will ever be recognized by the Government of the United States, and the cotton pledged by slaveholding traitors for the payment of the Confederate bonds is all forfeited for treason, and confiscated to the Federal Government by act of Congress. As our armies advance, this cotton is either burned by the retreating rebel troops, or seized by our forces, and shipped and sold from time to time, for the benefit of the Federal Government. By reference to the census of 1860, it will be seen that three fourths of the whole cotton crop was raised in States (now held by the Federal army and navy) touching the Mississippi and its tributaries, and all the other ports are either actually held or blockaded by the Federal forces. The traitor pledge of this cotton is, then, wholly unavailing; the bonds are utterly worthless; they could not be sold at any price in the United States, and those who force them on the London market, in the language of the Times, before quoted, will only accomplish 'the ruin of toil-worn, men, of women, of widows, and of children.'

But the advocacy of repudiation by Jefferson Davis has not been confined to his own State, as I shall proceed to demonstrate in my next letter.

R.J. Walker.


or, life in poland during the eighteenth century,

Tuesday, March 19th.

The Prince and Princess Lubomirski left us about half an hour ago; they had decided upon going yesterday, but my father told them that Monday was an unfortunate day, and fearing that this argument would not possess sufficient weight, he ordered the wheels to be taken off their carriage.

They overwhelmed me with kindness during their sojourn in the castle; the princess, especially, treated me with great affability. Both she and the prince take a deep interest in my future lot; they endeavored to persuade my parents to send me to Warsaw to finish my education.

A foreigner, Miss Strumle, who, however, receives universally the title of madame, has recently opened a young ladies' boarding school in Warsaw. This school enjoys a high reputation, and all the young ladies of distinction are sent there to finish their education. It is the same for a young lady to have been some time at Madame Strumle's as for a young gentlemen to have been at Luneville. The prince palatine advised my mother to send me for a year to Madame Strumle. My parents prefer the Sisters of the Holy Sacrament; they say that nothing can be better than a convent.

I do not know what will be their final decision, but I feel restless and agitated. I no longer find pleasure in my reading; my work is tedious to me, and not so well executed as formerly; the future occupies my mind much more than the present; in short, I am in a constant state of excitement, as if awaiting some great event. Since the visit of the prince and princess I have an entirely different opinion of myself, and I am by no means so happy as I was before....In truth, I no longer understand myself.

Sunday, March 24th.

Ah! God be praised, my suspense is over, and we leave day after to-morrow for Warsaw. My parents have been suddenly called there on matters of business connected with the recent death of my uncle, Blaise Krasinski, who has left a large fortune and no children. I do not yet know whether I am to be placed at a boarding school or not, but I believe it will be a long time before I return to Maleszow.

Ah! how happy the idea of this journey makes me! We will go a little out of our way, that we may stop at Sulgostow. Her ladyship the starostine has at length, after a very agreeable tour, returned to her palace. The starost has introduced her to all his cousins, friends, and neighbors; she was everywhere admirably received, and will now settle down in her own mansion, at which prospect she is very well pleased; she has all the necessary qualifications for becoming a good housekeeper. The Palatine Swidzinski spoke of her so affectionately in one of his letters that my parents wept hot tears, but tears of joy, so sweet and go rare. Barbara has always been a source of happiness to her parents.

Warsaw, Sunday, April 7th.

I can scarcely believe it, but here I am fairly installed in Madame Strumle's famous boarding school. The princess palatine's advice has prevailed, and Madame Strumle has received the preference over the Sisters of the Holy Sacrament. God be praised, for I really was very anxious to come here. I received a most flattering reception.

On our way to Warsaw we stopped at Sulgustow. We found her ladyship the starostine gay and most hospitable; the presence of our dear parents filled the measure of her happiness. She assured me that the delight of receiving one's parents in one's own house could be neither expressed nor understood. 'You must yourself experience it,' added she, 'before you can form any idea of it.'

On the table were all the dishes, confections, and beverages preferred by our parents. Barbara forgot nothing which could be agreeable to them, and the starost aided her wonderfully in all her efforts. My mother remarked that Barbara was still better since her marriage than before, to which the starost replied:

'Indeed, she is no better, for thus did I receive her from the hands of your highnesses. But she gladly profits by the present opportunity to testify her gratitude; she shows here those lovely and precious qualities which you have cultivated in her soul, and during the past three days she has been for her parents what she is every day for me.'

There was no flattery in what the starost said—it came really from his heart. He adores Barbara, and she respects, honors, and obeys him as if he were her father.

She understands perfectly the whole management of a household, and does the honors of her mansion most gracefully. Every one praises her, and the young ladies and waiting women who followed her from Maleszow are delighted with their new position.

My parents regretted the necessity of parting from their daughter; they would willingly have remained longer; but I must confess I was very anxious to see Warsaw, and was charmed when they received letters obliging them to hasten their departure.

It was really a true instinct which gave me a preference for this place. I study well, and must improve. My education will be complete, and I may perhaps become a superior woman, as I have always desired to do; but I need much study and close application to bring me to that point; above all, must I chain my wandering fancies, and not suffer them to stray about so vaguely as I have hitherto done.

Yesterday my mother came to take me to church. I made my confession, and communed for the intention of using well the new acquirements which I have now the opportunity of making.

When I am well established here, I will write in my journal every day as I did at Maleszow; but I am still in a state of excitement from all I have seen, and I must first become better acquainted with my new dwelling.

Wednesday, April 17 th.

I am already quite familiar with all the regulations of the school. I am very well pleased with Madame Strumle; she has excellent manners, and is very kind to me. I might perhaps regret our court, the magnificence, bustle, and gayety of our castle, but there comes a time for everything, and we live here very happily and comfortably.

That which seems most strange and entirely new to me is, that there is not even a little boy in the house, no men servants, women always, and only women; they wait upon us even at table.

There are about fifteen boarders, all young, and belonging to the best families.

Every one speaks highly of Miss Marianne, the Starost Swidzinski's sister, now married to the Castellan of Polaniec; she spent two years at the school, and has left an ineffaceable impression in the hearts of Madame Strumle and her young companions. They say she was very accomplished, very good and sensible, very gay, and very studious.

My parents, after having made a thorough examination of the school, felt quite satisfied; and truly they might well be so, for no one could be more securely guarded in a convent than here. Madame keeps the key of the front door always in her pocket; no one can go out or come in without her knowledge, and were it not for two or three aged masters of music and the languages, we might be in danger of forgetting the very existence of man-kind.

It is expressly forbidden to receive visits even from one's male cousins within the walls of the school. The dancing master desired that the young potockis should come and learn quadrilles with their sisters and myself, but madame rejected this proposition at once, saying, 'These gentlemen are not the brothers of all my boarders, and I cannot permit them to enter my school.'

We have masters in French and German, as also in drawing, music, and embroidery. We learn music on a fine piano of five octaves and a half. What an improvement on that of Maleszow! Some of the scholars play polonaises very well, but not by rote; they read them from the notes. My master tells me that in six months I will have reached this perfection; but then I already had some ideas of music when I came.

I draw quite well from the patterns set before me, but ere I proceed any further, I wish to paint a tree in oil colors. On one of the branches I will hang a garland of flowers, encircling the cypher of my parents, and will thus testify to them my gratitude for all they have done for me, and especially for the care they have bestowed upon my education.

The young Princess Sapieha, who has been here a year, is at present employed upon such a picture, and I envy her her pleasure every time my eyes fall upon the work.

What a fine effect my picture will make in our hall at Maleszow, beneath the portrait of our good uncle, the Bishop of Kamieniec!

Our dancing master, besides the minuet and quadrilles, teaches us to walk and courtesy gracefully. To tell the truth, I was so ignorant when I came, that I knew but one mode of making a salutation; but there are several kinds, which must be employed toward personages of different ranks; one for the king, another for the princes of the blood, and still another for lords and ladies of rank.

I learned first how to salute the prince royal, and succeeded quite well; some day, perhaps, this knowledge may be useful to me.

My lessons follow one another regularly, and I am so anxious to learn that the time passes rapidly and agreeably.

My mother is very much occupied with family affairs, and has been only once to see me.

When I first entered the school, everything surprised me, but what seemed to me most strange was that I was continually reproved, and even obliged to undergo real penance. An iron cross was placed at my back to make me hold myself upright, and my limbs were enclosed in a kind of wooden box, to straighten them. I must however think that they were already quite straight enough. All that was not very amusing for me, who thought myself already a young lady. Since Barbara's marriage I had myself been asked in marriage, and the prince palatine had not treated me as if I were a child!

Madame Strumle has commanded me to omit in future these words from my prayers: 'O my God, give me a good husband,' and to say instead, 'Give me the grace to profit by the good education I am receiving.'

One must here work continually, or think of one's work, and of nothing else.

Sunday, April 28th.

I have been nearly three weeks at Madame Strumle's school, and my poor journal has been quite neglected during all that time; but the uniformity of my life, these monotonous hours, all passed in the constant repetition of the same occupations, afford no matter for interesting details or descriptions.

At this very moment, when I hold the pen in my hand, I am ready to lay it down, so great is the poverty of my observations.

My parents will soon leave. The princess palatiness has honored me with a visit; she remarked that my carriage was much improved. My masters are all satisfied with the closeness of my application. Madame is especially kind to me, and my companions are polite and friendly.... But is all this worth the trouble of writing?

I sometimes fancy that I am not really in Warsaw, so ignorant am I with regard to all political events. I have seen neither the king nor the royal family. At Maleszow we at least hear the news, and occasionally see Borne distinguished men.

The Duke of Courland is absent, and will not return for some time.

Sunday, June 9th.

If I were to live forever in this school, I should give up writing in my journal, and it really serves one very valuable purpose; for I find I am in great danger of forgetting Polish. With the exception of the letters I write to my parents, and the few words I say to my maid, I always write and speak French.

I progress in all my studies, and if I am sometimes melancholy, at least my time is not lost.

The princess palatiness has again been to see me. A month had passed since her last visit; she found me considerably taller, and was kind enough to praise my manners and bearing.

I am the tallest of all our boarders, and it really pleases me exceedingly to find that my waist is not quite a half yard round.

Summer has come, the fine weather has returned, but I cannot go out—a privation which is really quite vexatious. Ah! how I wish I were a little bird! I would fly away, far away—and then I would return to my cage.

But my days and my nights must all be spent in this dull house and in this ugly street; I believe that Cooper street (ulika Bednarska) is the darkest, dingiest, and dirtiest street in Warsaw. God willing, next year I shall be no longer here.

Friday, July 28th.

Labor has at least the good quality of making the time pass more rapidly; our days vanish one by one, without distractions or news from without.

I just now felt a desire to write in my journal, and when I consulted the almanac to find out the day of the month, I was quite surprised to find that seven whole weeks had passed since I had written a single word in my poor diary.

This day certainly deserves to be noted down, for never since I was born did such a thing happen to me as I experienced this morning. I received a letter by the mail, and the world is no longer ignorant that the Countess Frances Krasinska is now living in Warsaw! I danced with joy when I saw my letter, my own letter! It came from her ladyship, the Starostine Swidzinska; I shall keep it as a precious and delightful remembrance. My sister writes to me that she is quite well, and happy beyond all I can imagine; she was kind enough to send me four gold ducats, which she has saved from her own private purse.

For the first time in my life I have money to spend as I will, which gives me great pleasure. With the money came the desire to spend, and a variety of projects; it seemed to me as if I could buy the whole city.

Thanks to my parents, I need nothing, and I will buy nothing for myself; but I would have liked to leave a pretty remembrance to each of my companions, a gold ring, for example; but madame quite distressed me by telling me that my four ducats would only buy four rings-a real affliction to me, who had hope to purchase, besides the rings, a blonde mantle for Madame Strumle herself.... All my projects are overturned; I have learned that the mantle will cost at least a hundred ducats, and have thence determined to give one ducat to the parish church, to have a mass said in the chapel of Jesus to draw the blessing of Heaven upon the affairs now occupying my parents, and for the continuation of the happiness of her ladyship the starostine. I will have another ducat changed into small coin, to be distributed among all the servants in the house; there will still remain two ducats, which will buy a charming collation for my companions on Sunday next. We will have coffee, an excellent beverage, which we never see here, cakes, and fruit. Madame Strumle willingly consented to this last project.

May God reward my dear starostine for the happiness she has bestowed upon me! There can be no greater pleasure than that of making presents and regaling one's friends. If I am anxious to have a husband richer than I am myself, it is solely that I may be very generous.

I am not losing my time; I improve daily. I can already play several minuets and cotillons from the notes, and will soon learn a polonaise. The most fashionable one just now has a very strange name; it is called the Thousand Fiends.

In one month more I shall begin my tree in oil colors, with its allegoric garland.

Notwithstanding my more serious studies, I by no means neglect my little feminine occupations. I am embroidering on canvas a huntsman carrying a gun, and holding his hound by a leash.

I read a great deal, I write under dictation, I copy good works, an excellent method of forming one's own style. I speak French quite as well as Polish, perhaps even better; in short, I think I will soon be fitted to make my appearance in the best society.

As for dancing, I need scarcely say that that progresses wonderfully; my master, who has no reason to flatter me, assures me that in all Warsaw no one dances better than I do.

I occasionally visit the Prince and Princess Lubomirski, but at times when they have no company. I always hear there many agreeable and flattering things, especially from the prince. He is desirous that I should leave school now, but the princess and my parents wish me to remain here during the winter. It is now only the end of July! How many hours and days must pass before the winter sets in! Will that time ever come?

Thursday, December 26th

Finally, God be praised, the time has come for leaving school; a new existence is opening before me; my journal will be overflowing, and I shall have no lack of matter, but plenty of charming things to say.

The prince and princess are so kind to me; they have obtained permission from my parents for me to pass the winter with them, and they will introduce me into society. I shall leave this place day after to-morrow, and will reside with the Princess Lubomirska. I am quite sorry to part from Madame Strumle and my companions, to many of whom I am sincerely attached, but my joy is greater than my sorrow, for I shall see the world, and fly away from this narrow cage.

I shall be taken to court and presented to the king and the royal family; the Duke of Courland is expected daily; I shall see him at last!

The days have become intolerably long since I knew I was to leave school.

warsaw, Saturday, December 28th. 1759.

Never, never can I forget this day. The Princess Lubomirska came for me quite early. I bade adieu to Madame Strumle and my companions. I was glad to go, and yet I wept when I parted from them!

Before going to her own house, the princess took me to church; but I could scarcely force my recollection; there was a whole future in my brain, a whole world in my thoughts.

I am now established with the princess; her palace is situated in the quarter named after Cracow, nearly opposite to the residence of the Prince Palatine of Red-Russia, Czartoryski.

The palace in which we live is not very large, but very elegant; the windows upon one side overlook the Vistula and a handsome garden. My chamber is delightful, and will be still more agreeable in summer; it communicates on the right with the apartments of the princess, and on the left with my waiting maid's room.

The tailor came yesterday to take my measure; he is to make me several dresses. I do not know what they will be, as the princess has ordered them without consulting my taste. She inspires me with so much respect, or perhaps awe, that I do not venture to ask her the least question. I am much less afraid of the prince; his manners are so gentle and engaging. He has gone to Bialystok, where he expects to meet the Duke of Courland; he is in high favor with the duke.

We are to make some visits to-morrow, when the princess will introduce me into some of the most distinguished houses; one must thus make one's appearance, if one desires to be invited to balls and parties. I am glad, and yet I am a little frightened at the idea of these visits: I shall be so looked at, perhaps criticized; however, I shall see many new things and will have much to observe, which thought affords me much consolation in my new and trying position.

Sunday, December 29th.

At least, now I have some news to tell, and my journal will no longer be so dry and uninteresting. The prince royal, accompanied by the prince palatine, arrived yesterday about one o'clock. Indeed I am quite confused by the palatine's overwhelming kindness; he received me as if I had been his daughter, and there is no kind of friendship or interest which he has not testified toward me.

We accomplished our visits and went to about fifteen different houses, but were not everywhere admitted. At the French and Spanish ambassadors' and the prince primate's, etc., the princess merely left cards.

Our first visit was to Madame Humiecka, wife of the swordbearer to the crown; this lady is my aunt. We then went to see the Princess Lubomirska, wife of the general of the advance guard of the royal armies; she is a full cousin to the princess palatine. She was born a Princess Czartoryska, is very young and very beautiful; she holds the first rank among the younger ladies, and loves passionately everything French. I am so glad I am a proficient in the French language; besides being very useful, it will cause me to be much more sought after in society.

French is here spoken in nearly all the more distinguished houses; only the older men retain the tiresome custom of mingling Latin in their conversation; the young people avoid this pedantry and speak French, which is much better; at least, I can understand them, which I cannot the others.

We also went to see the wife of the Grand-General Branicki. Her husband is one of the most wealthy lords of Poland, but is not very favorably regarded at court.

We then visited the Princess Czartoryska, Palatiness of Red-Russia. The conversation there was held entirely in Polish; she is quite aged, and consequently no admirer of new fashions. She introduced to us her only son, a very handsome young man, with polished and elegant manners; he overwhelmed me with the most graceful compliments. This visit was more agreeable than any of the others. But no—I think I was quite as much pleased at the palace of the Castellane of Cracow, Poniatowska. She is a very superior person; she talks a great deal, it is true, but then she speaks with enthusiasm and in a very interesting manner. We found her quite elated with the pleasure of welcoming her son after a long absence. Many think that this much-loved son may one day be king of Poland; I do not believe that will ever be, but I did not the less examine him with great attention. I frankly confess that I was not pleased with him, and yet he is handsome and amiable; but he has a kind of stiffness in his manners, a pretension to dignity and to airs of grandeur, which injure his bearing.

I must not forget, in enumerating our visits, to mention that paid to the Palatiness of Podolia, Rzewuska. This visit possessed a doubled interest for me; I was anxious to see Rzewuski, the vice-grand-general of the crown, because I had heard my father speak of him so often.

The vice-grand-general, although belonging to an illustrious family, was brought up among the children of the common people; he went barefooted as they did, and shared all their pleasures (very rustic indeed, it seems to me). This strange education has given him great strength and a wonderful constitution. He is now quite aged; he is more than fifty years old, and yet he walks and rides like a young man. Following the old Polish custom, he permits his beard to grow, and this gives him a very grave appearance.

They say he has composed some very fine tragedies. We also called upon Madame Brühl, who received us most politely. Her husband, the king's favorite minister, is not much esteemed, but they are visited for the sake of etiquette, and likewise for that of Madame Brühl, who is very amiable.

We saw too Madame Soltyk, Castellane of Sandomir; she is a widow, but still young and beautiful. Her son is nine years old; he is a charming child, already possessing all the manners of the best society. As we entered, he offered me a chair, and made me, at the same time, a very graceful compliment; the castellane was kind enough to say that he was a great admirer of pretty faces and black eyes. The Bishop of Cracow is this child's uncle; he was anxious to have the charge of him, but his mother was not willing to part with him.

Of all the persons whom I saw, I was the most pleased with Madame Moszynska, the widow of the grand-treasurer of the crown. She received me most affectionately, and I feel a strong attraction toward her. She expressed much admiration for me; but indeed, I received commendation everywhere, and everywhere did I hear that I was beautiful. Perhaps I owe a great part of these praises to my costume; I was so well dressed! ... much better than at Barbara's wedding! I wore a white silk dress with gauze flounces, and my hair was dressed with pearls.

If I had seen the Duke of Courland, I should have been perfectly satisfied; but I met him in none of the houses to which I went. They say .e is so happy to be once more with his family that he devotes all his time to them. This feeling seems very natural to me, for when I was at boarding school, I was very melancholy whenever I thought of my parents, and I felt an imperative desire to see them, surpassing anything I had before experienced.

The carnival will soon begin; every one says it will be very brilliant, and that there will be many balls; it is impossible that I should not somewhere meet the Duke of Courland.

Wednesday, January 1st, 1750.

All my desires have been gratified, and far beyond my hopes; I have seen the prince royal! I have seen and spoken to him! ... I must indeed be dreaming; my mind is filled with the most lively impressions, strange and wild fancies surge through my brain, and I feel at once exalted and depressed, transported with joy and tremulous through fear. I would not dare to confide to any one that which I am about to write; it is all perhaps only illusion, deception, error.... But yet, I have always hitherto judged correctly of the effect which I produced; I instinctively divined the degree in which I pleased; I have never been deceived; can I be mistaken now? ... And indeed, why should not a prince find me beautiful, when all other men tell me that I am so? But there was more than admiration in the prince royal's eyes, which have a peculiarly penetrating expression; his look was more kind than ordinary glances, and said more than any words. Perhaps all princes may be thus!

But that I may remember during my whole life, or rather that I may one day read all this again, I will now write down a detailed account of last evening and of the few hours immediately preceding.

Yesterday morning the Princess Lubomirska sent for me and said, 'To-day is the last of the year, and there will be to-night a grand festival, a masked ball; all the nobility will be there, and even the king and his sons; at least, I think so. I have selected a dress for you; you will go as a virgin of the sun.'

I was so charmed with the choice of this costume, that I kissed the hand of the princess.

After dinner all the maids came to assist at my toilet, and most assuredly it was no ordinary toilet. My hair was not powdered and I wore no hoop, whence the prince said to me, quite gravely, 'This costume is not at all in accordance with received notions and fashions; any other woman would certainly be lost were she to wear it; but I am sure you will supply by the severity of your deportment and the propriety of your manners whatever may be lacking in dignity, or too light, in your dress.'

I did not forget his advice: notwithstanding my vivacity, I can assume upon occasion a very majestic air; and indeed, I overheard some one saying at the ball, 'Who is that queen in disguise?'

Ah! I know that I was more beautiful than I usually am. My hair, without powder and black as ebony, fell in curls over my forehead, my neck, and my shoulders; my dress was made of white gauze, and had not that long train which hides the feet and impedes the motions. I wore a zone of gold and precious stones round my waist, and was entirely enveloped in a transparent white veil; I seemed to be in a cloud. When I looked in my mirror, I could scarcely recognize myself.

The ball room, brilliantly lighted, and glittering with gold and the most gorgeous costumes, presented a dazzling spectacle; the women, nearly all robed in fancy dresses, were charming; I did not know to which one I should give the preference.

A few moments after our arrival, we learned that the Duke of Courland was in the hall; my eyes sought and found him, surrounded by a brilliant group of young men. His dress differed but little from that of the lords of his court; but I could distinguish him among them all. His figure is tall and dignified, his air noble and affable; his beautiful blue eyes and his charming smile eclipse all that approach him; where he is, no one can see anything but himself.

I looked at him until our eyes met; then I avoided his gaze, but found it always fixed upon me. But what was my confusion when I understood that he was asking the Prince Palatine Lubomirski who I was! His face lighted up with joy when he heard the answer; be made no delay in approaching the Princess Lubomirska, and saluted her with a grace peculiar to himself. After the exchange of the preliminary compliments, the princess introduced me as her niece. I do not know what kind of a courtesy I made, doubtless quite different from that which I had learned from my dancing master; I was so agitated, and still am so much so, that I cannot remember the words used by the prince as he saluted me; but the impression is not fugitive like the words.

What an evening! The prince opened the ball with the princess palatiness, and danced the second polonaise—with me; he had then time to speak to me; and I, at first so timid, embarrassed, and agitated, found myself replying to him with inconceivable assurance. He questioned me about my parents, my sister the starostine, and all the details of her marriage. I was surprised to find him so well acquainted with my family affairs; but then I remembered that Kochanowski, son of the castellan, is his favorite. What a good, forgiving soul that Kochanowski must have; not only has he digested the goose dressed with the black sauce, but he has said so many kind things of us all!

The prince danced with me nearly the whole evening, and talked all the time ... The words would seem insignificant and absurd, were I to write them down; but with him, tone, manner, expression, all speak and say more than words, and yet his very words signify more, depict better, and penetrate more deeply than those of others. I keep them in my memory, and fear to weaken their impression should I write them.

When, at midnight, the cannon were fired to announce the end of one year and the beginning of another, the prince said to me, 'Ah! never can I forget the hours I have just passed; this is not a new year which I am beginning, but a new life which I am receiving.'

This is but one of the many things he said to me; but as he always spoke French, I should find great difficulty, in my present agitated state of mind, in translating his conversation into Polish.

All that I have read in Mademoiselle Scudery, or in Madame de Lafayette, is flat, compared with what the prince himself said to me; but perhaps this may all be nothing more than simple politeness. Ah! merciful Heaven, if it should be indeed an illusion, a mere court flattery, applicable to all women, or, perhaps,—a series of empty compliments, due solely to my dress, which became me wonderfully well! I am a prey to the most inconceivable perplexities, and dare confide in no one; I should not venture to say to any one: 'Has he a real preference for me?'

My parents are far away, and the princess does not invite my confidence; I fear her as a cold, severe, and uninterested judge.... The prince palatine is very kind, but can one expose to a man all the weakness of a woman's heart? ... I am then abandoned to myself, without a standard of judgment, without experience or advice.... Yesterday, I was at school, studying as a child, and now I am thrown into a world entirely new, and in which I am playing a part envied by all my sex.... I surely dream, or I have lost my reason.

In ten days Barbara will be here, and she must be my good angel; she will guide and protect me: she is so wise, and has so much judgment! I will be so glad to lay my soul bare before her; I have no fear of her, she is so compassionate; she is beautiful and happy, and I have always remarked that such women are the best.

I have not seen my dear sister for nine months; but I see from her letters that she is every day more and more loved by her husband, and satisfied with her destiny.

Shall I again see the prince royal? Will he recognize me in my ordinary dress, and will he still think me beautiful?...


Fast the sunset light is fading,
Nearer comes the lonely night,
On a maid intently dreaming
Dimly falls the evening light.
Far into the future gazing,
Heeds she not the waning light;
By the fireside softly dreaming,
Heeds she not the minutes' flight.
Heeds she not the firelight flickering
Bright upon her dark brown hair,
Tresses where the gold still lingers—
Loth to quit a home so fair.
On her lap a book is lying,
Clasped her hands upon her knee;
Dreaming of the distant future—
Wonders what her fate will be.
Dreams of knights of manly bearing,
Nodding plumes and shining casques,
Wearing all her favorite colors,
Quick to do whate'er she asks.
Dreams of castles old and stately,
Vaulted halls all life and light,
Courtly nobles stepping through them,
Smiling dames with jewels bright.
Round her own brow, in her dreaming,
She a coronet has bound;
Round her waist, so lithe and slender,
Venus' girdle she has wound.
Charms the knights of manly bearing,
Courtly nobles seek her grace,
Maidens free from envious passions
Love her kind and smiling face.
Now her dreams are growing fainter,
And her eyelids heavy grow;
Dull the waning firelight flickers
On her brow as white as snow.
Lower droop the heavy eyelids—
Weary eyes they cover quite—
And the dreamy girl is sleeping
Softly in the red firelight.


The 71st Regiment N.Y.S.N.G. left New York to aid in repelling the invasion of Pennsylvania on the 17th of June. On the 19th, having meantime determined to 'go to the wars,' Dick and I presented ourselves at the armory, inquiring whether we could follow and join the regiment, and were told briefly to report there at one o'clock on Monday next, and go on with a squad.

So at one o'clock on Monday we stood ready in the armory, duly clothed in blue and buttons; but long after the appointed hour we waited without moving, I taking the chance to practise in putting on my knapsack and accoutrements, whose various straps and buckles seemed at first as intricate as a ship's rigging, and benefiting by the kindly hints of regular members who sent substitutes this trip.

At length came the word, 'Fall in,' and the squad formed, about a hundred. A few minutes' drill ensued, sufficing to show me that I needed considerably more, and then out—down Broadway to Cortlandt street—aboard the ferry boat—into the cars, and about half past seven actually off, amid the cheers and wavings of the bystanders, men, women, and children.

'Gone for a soger!' Should I ever come back? Perhaps I should wish myself home again soon enough. However, that couldn't be now, so good-by everything and everybody, and into it head and heels.

I went, among other reasons, chiefly to see what it was like, and I will record my experience;—for though, since the war began, tales and sketches of military life have been written and read without number, and we have all become sufficiently learned in warlike matters to see how ignorant of, and unprepared for war the nation was at the outbreak of the rebellion; yet, all I saw and learned was new to me, and may prove interesting to some others.

Tuesday morning by daylight we were in Harrisburg, and marched from the cars to the Capitol grounds through the just awaking town, escorted by one policeman armed with a musket. There a wash at a hydrant refreshed me—then to breakfast in a temporary shed-like erection near the depot.

An army breakfast! Huge lumps of bread and salt junk, and coffee. To this I knew it must come; but just then, after spending the night in the cars, the most I could do was to swallow some coffee, scorning however to join those who dispersed through the town for a civilized breakfast—wherein I intended to be soldierly, though before long I learned that your old soldier is the very man who goes upon the plan of snatching comfort whenever he can.

But the regiment was at Chambersburg; so for Chambersburg we took the cars, a distance, I believe, of about fifty miles.

Chambersburg, however, we were not destined to reach. Along the route we met all sorts of rumors: 71st cut up; six men in the 8th killed; fighting still going on a little in front, &c., &c.;—a prospect of immediate work. So in ignorance and doubt we came to Carlisle. Here we were greeted by part of the 71st, and the truth proved to be that the 8th and 71st had retreated to this place the night before. 'Not, not the six hundred,' however, for the left wing of our regiment had somehow been left behind, and nothing was certainly known of it. At all events, we were to go no farther, and out of the cars we came. Old members exchanged greetings, and recruits made acquaintances.

But what were we going to do? I could not learn. We waited, having stacked arms, some sleeping beneath the trees in the College grounds, until the lieutenant-colonel appeared upon the scene. Then we marched, back and forth; toward the cars—'going back to Harrisburg;' past the cars—'no, not to Harrisburg'—through the main street, and turned away from the town, still unconscious of officers' intentions. We privates never know anything of plans or objects. We never know where we are going till we get there, nor what we are to do till we do it, and then we don't know what we are going to do next. I soon got used to this; and although conjectures and prophecies fly through the ranks, of all kinds, from shrewd to ridiculous, I very early learned it was sheer bother of one's brains attempting to discover anything, and ceased to ask questions or form theories—getting up when I heard 'Company I, fall in,' without seeking to know whether it was for march, drill, picket duty, or what not. Company officers seldom know more about the matter than their men, and I speedily came to content myself with trying to extract from past work and present position some general notion of the 'strategy' of our movements. Nor is this ignorance wholly unblissful, as leaving always room for hope that the march is to be short or the coming work pleasant. Well, in the present case, just out of the town we halted in the Fair grounds; an ample field, a high tight face around it, a large shed in the centre. We all stacked arms—most went to sleep. I always took sleep when I could, because, in a regiment constantly on the move as ours was, if you don't want it now, you will before long.

By and by, in came the left wing, weary but safe, and were greeted with three tremendous cheers. I hastened to find Company I. The first lieutenant had come on with us—the captain I had not yet seen. To him I was now introduced.

Very soon the Fair ground was a camp; we on one side—the 8th N.Y., Colonel Varian, opposite. Tents were up, fires blazing, and cooking and eating going on. As I had not started with the regiment, I had no tent, and none could be had here, so my camping consisted of piling my traps in a heap. But I needed none, and indeed, throughout the whole time was under one but twice. Tents are all very well, when you are quietly encamped for any length, of time; but when, as with us, you are on the more continually, I consider them a humbug and nuisance. You must carry half a one all day, and at night join it with your comrade's half. The common shelter tent, which is the only one that can be so carried, is a poor protection against heavy rain, for the water can beat in at the sides and form pools beneath you; against midday sun you can guard with a blanket and two muskets, and at any other time you need no shelter.

That night I went on guard. Two hours you watch, four for sleep, and then two hours you watch again. All quiet, save that two or three prisoners are brought in from the front to be deposited in limbo, and gazed at in the morning by recruits who have never seen a live rebel.

The most surprising thing I learned in these first days, was that everything one has will certainly be stolen by his own regiment, even by his own company, if he does not watch it carefully. This practice is styled 'winning.' It is simple, naked stealing, in no wise to be excused or palliated, and utterly disgraceful. It imposes, moreover, the grievous nuisance of remaining to guard your property when you would be loafing about, or of carrying everything—no light load—with you, wherever you go. Of course, all colonels should prevent this, and one of any force and energy could easily do so; but Colonel—— is not of that kind. An excellent company officer, as I judge, he has not the activity and nerve required in the commander of a regiment, and many a wish did I hear expressed in those thirty days that his predecessor, Colonel Martin, were still in command. Confidence in his bravery before the enemy, was universal; but many things necessary to the decorum, discipline, health, &c., of the regiment devolve duties finally upon the colonel, for whose discharge other qualities than bravery are needed.

The next afternoon, the 24th, our laziness is disturbed by orders to take three days' rations; our knapsacks are to be sent to Harrisburg; we are to pack up everything, to be ready to move, Nobody knows, of course, what it means; but a decided conviction prevails that 'something heavy is up.' Presently a hollow square is 'up,' formed of the 8th and ourselves, field officers in the centre. Colonel Varian advances. Unquestionably a speech. Perhaps a few Napoleonic words on the eve of battle. No; Colonel Varian wishes to explain that it was nobody's fault that our left wing was deserted at Chambersburg, in order to prevent ill feeling between the regiments. He does so, and appeals to our lieutenant-colonel. Our lieutenant-colonel verifies and indorses. Perfectly satisfactory; in evidence of which the two commands exchange cheers.

Henceforth we and the 8th are fast friends. We have other friends also—Captain Miller's battery, of Pennsylvania, has been in front with us, and though out for 'the emergency,' declares it will stay as long as the 71st. So we all fraternize, hailing any member as '8th,' '71st,' or 'Battery,' and cheer when we pass each other. The 8th are good cheerers, and though we outnumbered them, I think they outdid us in three times three and a 'tiger,' the inevitable refrain. The 'tiger' (sounding tig-a-h-h) is the test of a cheer. If the cheer be a spontaneous burst of hearty good feeling, the tiger concentrates its energy, and is full and prolonged—if it be only the cheer courteous or the cheer civil, the tiger will fall off and die prematurely.

Just at dark we left camp, passed rapidly through the town, along the turnpike about two miles, and halted in a cornfield beside the road, where we formed line of battle. We received orders to 'load at will,' and fire low. The 8th were on the opposite side of the road, and their battery somewhere near us. After some time, nobody appearing, permission was given to thrust our muskets by the bayonets in the ground; and soon after, one by one, the men dropped off asleep. The evening had been extremely sensational. The sudden departure, the rapid march, whither and for what we knew not, yet full of momentary expectation; the orders and preparations indicating the imminence of grim, perhaps ghastly work, in the night hours; the line of men, stretching beyond sight in the darkness, far from home, and, it might be, near to death, sleeping yet waiting:—the total was singularly impressive.

Nevertheless, I too was soon asleep, and slept undisturbed till morning. Then, rebels or no rebels, we must have breakfast. There was none to be had in the regiment; but the farmhouses supplied us, and an ancient dame intermitted packing her goods for flight, to cook the pork which made part of my three days' rations. Then I stretched myself beneath the shade of a roadside house within sound of orders, and having nothing else on hand, went to sleep again.

I was now broken in. Camp rations I could eat; camp coffee, though always sans milk and often sans sugar, I deemed good; a wash was a luxury, not a necessity; and I could sleep anywhere.

When I was aroused, I found a barricade thrown up across the road, and a force of contrabands digging a trench across the field. A cavalry picket reported the enemy within half a mile, advancing. The citizens came out from Carlisle to aid us, and we went in line into the trenches. Two men were detailed from each company to carry off the wounded; the red hospital flag fluttered upon a house behind us, and the colonel, passing in front, told us they were very near, and exhorted us not to let them pass. But the day wore on to evening, and no rebels appeared, and at dark we moved again. Starting in a heavy rain, we marched nine miles to the borders of a town known as New Kingston. Here we halted while quarters were hunted up. Every man, tired with the rapid walking through rain and mud, squatted at once in the road, no matter where, and then along the whole column singing began. A soldier will sing under all circumstances, comfortable or uncomfortable.

At length we moved into the town and took possession of a church, distributing ourselves in aisles, pews, and pulpit. What little remained of the night, we were glad to have in quiet. It had been questionable whether we could reach Kingston, for on the march it was rumored that we were flanked; and a man, emerging from the shade as we passed, had asked a question of the chaplain, and, receiving no answer, had retreated a few yards, and fired his piece in the air, which looked very like a signal. The next morning, the 26th, we went into camp in woods just in front of the town, while the general and the surgeon established headquarters in the town.

Here we repeated substantially the programme of the day before, except that continuous rain was substituted for the baking sun, and proved far more endurable.

On the afternoon of the 27th we marched some seven or eight miles, and encamped at night in Oyster Point, about two miles from Harrisburg.

Sunday! the 28th of June. My first Sunday with the regiment. No rumors of the enemy reach us, and to us privates the prospect is of a quiet day. The boys gather round the chaplain for divine service. And as for a few minutes we renew our connection with civilization, and, amid stacked arms, tents, camp fires, and the paraphernalia of war, sing psalms and hymns, and listen to the chaplain's prayer, I decide that this surpasses all luxury possible in camp. I shall never forget that 'church.'

But no Sunday in camp. Hardly were the services concluded, when we went forward a little to an orchard, and then line of battle again. This performance of 'laying for a fight' which never came, had by this time grown tame, in fact intolerably stupid, and I for one was growing tired of sitting in silence, when boom! crash! a cannon shot in front of us, the smoke visible too, curling above the woods, and showing how near it had been fired. A smothered 'Ah!' and 'Now you've got it, boys,' went through the ranks. It was no humbug this time. The rebels were shelling the woods as they advanced.

But it appeared we were not to receive them at that spot, for suddenly we were ordered off again, and marched across lots, to the destruction of many a bushel of wheat, clear into the intrenchments in front of Harrisburg. There for the remainder of the day we waited in line. Other regiments, we knew not what, were near us in different positions. The signal flags were waving, and officers galloping by constantly, of whom the quartermaster was hailed with shouts of 'Grub, grub.'

That night my company and two others went out on picket, taking position near our camp of the day before. In the morning we advanced a little to a lane—a cobbler's stall was converted into headquarters, and the half of the company not on duty went foraging for dinner. Pigs and chickens were captured, and cooking began in the kitchen of a deserted house close by. Apple butter, too, the prevalent institution in Pennsylvania, was found in plenty. So the two halves of the company relieved each other in standing guard and picnicking. Meantime, however, the rebels, from the woods just in front, were paying their respects with two-inch shell, which shrieked and crashed through the branches, bursting over us, around us, and many of them altogether too near to be pleasant. Moreover, by one of those blunders which cannot always be avoided, some of our own men, mistaking us, opened fire on our rear; but to this a stop was speedily put by a flag of truce, improvised from a ramrod and a white handkerchief. We were allowed to fire only three or four volleys in return. This skirmishing tries courage, I believe, more than a pitched battle. To lie on the ground for hours, two or three miles in front of your main body, ten feet from the nearest man, and be fired at without firing yourself or making any noise, is a different thing from standing in your place amid the throng and all the noise, excitement, and enthusiasm of a battle, earnestly occupied in firing as fast as you can. In a battle all the circumstances combine to produce high excitement and drive fear out of a man, leaving room only for that kind of courage properly called fearlessness or intrepidity, belonging to men like Governor Pickens, 'born insensible to fear.' But the highest grade of courage is that which, despite of fear, stands firm. That is the courage of principle, of morale, as opposed to purely physical courage. It is the last degree—at the next step we rise into heroism.

In the afternoon we were relieved by a Pennsylvania company, and as we retired in full sight of the rebels, the rascals yelled at us, and gave us several volleys, from which it is wonderful that every man escaped.

That evening we moved to the extreme rear, into Fort Washington, on the bank of the river in front of Harrisburg. Here it was said our advance work was over, and we were promised comfortable quarters and rest.

Any one nowadays can see a camp, but only one who has seen it can understand how picturesque it is. The night scene at Harrisburg was beautiful in the extreme. Behind us slept the city—we guarded it in front, and the river rolled between. The moonlight, illuminating a most exquisite scenery, between the foliage gave glimpses of that placid stream, and shone upon the tents and bayonets of some six thousand men within the formidable works; the expiring fires sent up wreaths of smoke; grim guns looked over the ramparts down the gentle slope in front and up the beautiful Cumberland Valley; and only the occasional call of the sentry for the corporal of the guard broke the serene stillness.

Here were our friends of the 8th, and here we regained our knapsacks. Many of them had been 'gone through,' and everything 'won.' The 56th and 22d New York, the 23d and 18th Brooklyn, besides others, were encamped inside.

Here we were sworn into the United States service for thirty days from the 17th June.

On Wednesday, July 1st, all our prospect of camp life, with its regularity of drill, inspection, and, above all, of rations, was dashed by orders to move in the morning to Carlisle. General Knipe, riding through camp, was asked where he was going to take us. 'Right into the face of the enemy,' said he. 'Hi, hi!' shouted the men.

So away we went again. I was detailed to guard baggage, and remained, loading wagons, &c., subject to the quartermaster, and went on in the cars to Carlisle, where, on the evening of the 3d, I joined the regiment when it came in.

Since we left Carlisle the rebels had been there and burned the barracks. They had shelled the town the night before, and the 37th had had a sharp skirmish with them.

On the morning of the 4th July we started about ten thousand strong—a movement in force. The battle of Gettysburg had been fought, the danger to Harrisburg was past, and, without knowing exactly where we were bound, it was plain that we were to cooperate with Meade. That day we made a long march. Our knapsacks were left behind. The first six miles were well enough. We move on slowly, the sun overclouded, the road good, and marching, as always is allowed on a long march (save when we pass through a town), without order or file. The men talk, laugh, and sing, get water and tobacco from the roadside dwellers, and chaff them with all sorts of absurd questions. The first six miles are pleasant. At the foot of the South Mountains we rest. This is Papertown. Papertown, as far as visible, consists of one house. From the piazza of said house, an 8th makes a speech: I am not near enough to hear, but suppose it funny, for colonels and all laugh. Some go to eating, some to sleep, some take the chance, as is wise, to wash their feet at the stream below, the best preventive of blisters.

In an hour it begins to rain, and we start to go through the Gap, along which we meet squads of prisoners and deserters from Lee's army. Eleven miles through that rain. I have never seen such rain before; it is credited to the cannonading which for days past has been going on all around. Trudge, trudge; in fifteen minutes soaked through, in half an hour walking in six inches of water, in two hours walking in six inches of mud. Then throw away blankets and overcoats—men fall behind done up—men can go no farther for sore feet.

At Pine Grove, that night, Company I, out of seventy men, musters thirty at roll call. The different regiments scatter over half a mile of ground. Every fence about is converted into fuel. The cattle and hogs in the fields are levied upon—shot, dressed, cooked, and eaten. There is nothing else to be had, and the wagons cannot follow us for some time over such roads. So officers shut their eyes. It rains still, but we can be no wetter than we are, so we lie down and take it. This is our glorious Fourth!

In the morning—Sunday morning again—there is nothing to eat. In the town, which comprises half a dozen houses and an old foundery, the answer is, 'The rebels has eat us all out.' A few secure loaves of bread, paying as high as a dollar; another few boil what coffee they had carried with them and contrived to save from the rain. The rest have nothing. Henceforth the order of the day is march and starve, and the story is only of ceaseless fatigue, hunger, and rain. Thus far we have stood stiff and taken it cheerfully. There was growling before we got through.

Off again over the mountains.

If I have enough to eat, I can stand anything—if not, I break down. In two miles I 'caved in.' The captain thought the regiment would return shortly. So I staid behind. On Monday afternoon, however, they had not come back, and I started after them. I got a meal and passed the night in a house on the mountain, and, after some sixteen miles' walking, caught them on the broad turnpike the next day, and marched some seven miles farther, to Funkstown, Pennsylvania.

Here an episode. As we started the next morning (in the rain, of course), I was sent to the rear to report to a sergeant. The sergeant, with nine besides me, reported to the brigade quartermaster. The quartermaster distributed the ten, with an equal number of the 23d, through ten army wagons, to drive and guard. We went through Chambersburg to Shippensburg, where we loaded with provisions. Here I heard abundance of the doings of the rebels, who loaded seven hundred wagons at this place. I bought Confederate money and got meals at a hotel—at my own expense.

On Friday evening, the 10th, we rejoined the column at Waynesboro', a welcome arrival, for grub was terribly scarce. Here was the Sixth Corps, Army of the Potomac, under General Neal—'Bucky Neal,' a 'Potomaker' called him. For a time we belonged to it, and adorned our caps with the badge of the corps, cut out of cracker.

On Saturday evening we crossed the line into Maryland, fording the Antietam creek, the bridge over which the rebs had burned; and Sunday we footed it back and forth over roads and across lots, bringing up at Cavetown.

'Earthquakes, as usual,' wrote Lady Sale, in her 'Diary.' 'Rain, as usual,' wrote we. And such rain! They do a heavy business in rain in that region, and in thunder and lightning, too. I have heard Western thunder storms described, but I doubt if they surpass such as are common beneath these mountains. Four poor fellows of the 56th, who were sitting beneath a tree, were struck by lightning—one of them killed.

On Monday we camped at Boonsboro', and on Tuesday beside a part of Meade's army. When I saw all the wagons here, and what an immense job it is to move any considerable force, with all the delays that may come from broken wheels, lame horses, and bad roads, I could not but smile at the military critics at home, who show you how general this should have made a rapid movement so; or general that hurled a force upon that point, &c.

Here, near Boonsboro', on Tuesday night, the 14th, news of the riot in New York reached us. The near approach of the expiration of our time had already made much talk of home, and now anxiety was doubled. Rumors flew through camp, and all ears and mouths were open, and before we settled for the night it came. Orderlies carried directions through the ranks to have all ready and clean up pieces to go home.

In the morning our Battery friends came up to say good-by. Seventy-first buttons were exchanged for their crossed-cannon badges, songs sung and cheers given ad lib.

Soon we all started, bound, we knew, for the cars at Frederick City. The last march! It was very warm, and the road across the mountains often steep, but there was little straggling.

Most incidents of soldier life grow tame, but to the last the spectacle of the column on march retained its impressiveness for me.

We passed through Frederick just at dusk—ejaculating tenderly 'Ah! ah!' as fair damsels waved handkerchiefs at us—and went out to the junction. The cars were ready. We had done the last march. Twenty-five miles that day! And I had gone through this month of walking without foot trouble, for which I am indebted to my 'pontoons,' i.e., Government shoes. Take them large enough, and they are the only things to walk in.

Marching is the hardest thing I met with. I have always been a regular and good walker. But ordinary walking is no preparation for marching. The weight of musket and accoutrements, the dust (rain and mud in our case), the inability to see before you, and the necessity of keeping up in place, are all wearing and nervously exhausting.

We did not get off at once. Red tape delayed us, and we growled savagely. But we had plenty to eat, and a river beside us. So, bathing and eating, we passed Thursday in sight of the train. At length red tape was untied, and Thursday night the 8th and 71st set off, in cattle cars. This time the advance was a privilege. In Baltimore we were beset by women trying to sell cakes, and boys trying to beg cartridges. Along the road we ate, smoked, and slept. In Philadelphia we had 'supper' in the 'United States Volunteers' Refreshment Saloon.' I remember a bright girl there, who got me a second cup of coffee.

And so, Saturday morning, the 18th, we took the boat at Amboy, within two hours of home! But there was less hilarity than usual on the return of a regiment. Our news from the city was not the latest, and our grimmest work might be to come—and in New York! Woe to any show of a mob we had met! The indignation was deep and intense.

But in two minutes after we landed on the Battery, papers were circulated through the ranks, and we knew all was quiet.

So up Broadway. We were too early in the street to gather much of a crowd. Those who were out hailed us heartily, and at the corner of Grand street or thereabouts an ardent individual from a fourth-story window, plying two boards cymbal-wise (clap-boards, say), initiated a respectable noise. And so round the corner and into the armory at Centre Market. The campaign was over, and a few days after we were paid off and mustered out.

As I said, I went to see what it was like, and I saw. It is a strange life, but a wholesome one, if you get a tolerable sufficiency to eat, and not too heavy a dose of marching. So severe a time as we had is terribly physical, and benumbs the brain somewhat. The campaign was short, but the utmost was crowded into those thirty days.

The first portion was advance work, always arduous. General Knipe's work was to check the rebel advance. He did so by going to the front and meeting them, and then retreating slowly before them, making a stand and demonstration of fight, at which their advance would fall back on the main body, at whose approach he would up stakes, run a few miles, and make another show. Thus he gained ten days' time, which enabled General Couch, in command of the department, to fortify, and collect and organize troops, and probably saved Harrisburg. And for the manner in which he did it, without, too, the loss of a man, he deserves credit.

On the whole, did I like it? Well, I am glad I have been. But the exact answer to that question is a sentence of Winthrop's, in his paper 'Washington as a Camp': 'It is monotonous, it is not monotonous, it is laborious, it is lazy, it is a bore, it is a lark, it is half war, half peace, and totally attractive, and not to be dispensed with from one's experience in the nineteenth century.'



The Divine Attributes, the base of all true Art.

Art must be based upon a study of Nature, upon a clear and comprehensive knowledge of natural laws. No man was ever yet a great poet without being at the same time a profound philosopher, for Poetry is the blossom and fragrance of all human knowledge, human thoughts, human passions, and human emotions. The poet must have the ability to observe things as they really are, in order to depict them with accuracy, unchanged by any passion in the mind of the describer, whether the things to be depicted are actually present to the senses, or have a place only in the memory.

Nature may be regarded either as the home of man, and consequently associated with all the phases of his existence; or as an assemblage of symbols, manifesting the thoughts of the Creator. In accordance with the first view, the poet may give it its place in the different scenes of human life, animated with our passions, sympathizing with us, and expressing our feelings; in the second, he must try to interpret this divine language, to seize the idea gleaming through the veil of the material envelope, for there is an established harmony between material nature and intellectual. Every thought has its reflection in a visible object which repeats it like an echo, reflects it like a mirror, rendering it sensible first to the senses by the visible image, then to the thought by the thought.

Genius is the instinct of discovering some more of the words in this divine language of universal analogies, the key of which God alone possesses, but some portions of whose stores he sometimes deigns to unclose for man. Therefore in earlier times the Prophet, an inspired poet; and the poet, an uninspired prophet—were both considered holy. They are now looked upon as insane or useless; and indeed, this is but a logical consequence of the so-called utilitarian views. If only the material and palpable part of nature which may be calculated, percented, turned into gold, or made to minister to sensual pleasures, is to be regarded with interest; if the lessons of the harvest, with its 'good seed and tares,' and the angels, its reapers; the teachings of the sparrow and the Divine Love which watched over them; the grass and the lilies of the field clothed in splendor by their Creator, are to awaken neither hope nor fear—then men are right in despising those who preserve a deep reverence for moral beauty; the idea of God in his creation; and respect the language of images, the mysterious relations between the visible and invisible worlds. Is it asked what does this language prove? The answer is, God and Immortality! Alas! they are worth nothing on 'Change!

Yet let him who would study his own happiness and well-being, follow the advice given in the Good Book:

'Look upon the rainbow, and bless Him that made it, for it is very beautiful.

'It encompasseth the heavens about with the circle of its glory; the hands of the Most High have displayed it.'

As creation is symbolic, and the province of the poet is humbly to imitate the works of the Great Artist, we must expect to find him also make use of symbolic language, imagery.

Metaphor (metapherô) is the application of a physical fact to the moral order; the association of an external material fact to one internal and intellectual. As this association is not reflective, but spontaneous, and is found pervading the infancy of languages; as it is intuitively and generally understood; it must take place in accordance with a mental law which establishes natural relations of analogy between the moral world and the physical. To become perceptible, thought must be imaged, reflected upon a sensuous form; the definition by an image is generally the most clear and complete. We may have clear enough ideas of some invisible truth in our own minds, but if we would convey our conception to another, we cannot give it to him by a pure idea, for then we would still be in the internal world of intellect; we must go out from this internal world, we must seek a sign in the physical world that he can see and contemplate; we select some phenomenon which can be easily observed, and in accordance with the law of analogy of which we have just spoken, we associate our thought with it, and in this manner we can clearly communicate the thought we have conceived.

Almost all the ideas we have of the moral world are expressed through metaphors: thus we say the movements or emotions of the soul; the clearness or coloring of a style; the heat or warmth of a discourse; the hardness or softness of the heart, &c., &c. Language expresses the invisible thought of the soul; in accordance with the etymology of the word (exprimere) it presses them from the soul, from the realm of internal thought, to transport them to the visible sphere. But the etymology itself is nothing but a metaphor, for the immaterial facts of the soul always remain in their own region inaccessible to the senses, and the instinctive facts of the organism always remain in the visible world, so that there can be no actual passage from one to the other, for an immaterial fact cannot be changed into a material one:—association, simultaneousness, correlation may obtain between them, but nothing more.

Saint Thomas Aquinas asserts 'that in our present state of degradation the intellect comprehends nothing without an image.' Language is in reality the association of material facts to facts of the will, heart, and intellect. Apparently insufficient to give a full idea of material things alone, it would seem almost impossible that it should ever be able to express the facts of the invisible world; but the human spirit, in accordance with the mental law impressed upon it by the Hand Divine, seizes the analogies of the moral phenomena with the phenomena of nature, and, seeing physical facts used as symbols by the Creator to convey ethical, also instinctively uses them to express the facts of the moral world; and thus is born the human Word which, invisibly ploughing the waves of the unseen air, can convey the most subtile thought, the most evanescent shade of feeling, the wildest, darkest, and deepest emotion. Language is man's expression of the finite, with its infinite meanings modified by the extent of his intelligence and his power of expression. It is truly a universal possession, but every man gifts it with his own individualities, his own idiosyncrasies. The style, one might almost say, is the man.

Thus the imagery of language finds its base in the very essence of our being. The poet is one gifted to seize upon these hidden analogies, to read these mystic symbols, and, through the force of his own imagination, to reveal them to his brethren in truth and love.

The imagination has two distinct functions. It combines, and by combination creates new forms; it penetrates, analyzes, and realizes truths discoverable by no other faculty.

An imagination of high power of combination seizes and associates at the same moment all the important ideas of its work or poem, so that while it is working with any one of them, it is at the same instant working with and modifying them all in their several relations to it. It never once loses sight of their bearings upon each other—as the volition moves through every part of the body of a snake at the same moment, uncoiling some of its involute rings at the very instant it is coiling others. This faculty is inconceivable, admirable, almost divine; yet no less an operation is necessary for the production of any great work, for by the definition of unity of membership above given, not only certain couples or groups of parts, but all the parts of a noble work must be separately imperfect; each must imply and ask for all the rest; the glory of every one of them must consist in its relation to the rest; neither while so much as one is wanting can any be right. This faculty is indeed something that looks as if its possessor were made in the Divine image!

'The hand that rounded Peter's dome,

And groined the aisles of Christian Rome,

Wrought in a sad sincerity;

Himself from God he could not free;

He builded better than he knew;—

The conscious stone to beauty grew.'


By the power of the combining imagination various ideas are chosen from an infinite mass, ideas which are separately imperfect, but which shall together be perfect, and of whose unity therefore the idea must be formed at the very moment they are seized, as it is only in that unity that their appropriateness consists, and therefore only the conception of that unity can prompt the preference. Therefore he alone can conceive and compose who sees the whole at once before him.

Shakspeare is the great example of this marvellous power. Not only is every word which falls from the lips of his various characters true to his first conception of them, so true that we always know how they will act under any given circumstances, and we could substitute no other words than the words used by them without contradicting our first impression of them; but every character with which they come in contact is not only ever true to itself, but is precisely of the nature best fitted to develop the traits, vices, or virtues of the main figure. So perfect and complete is this lifelike unity, that we can scarcely think of one of his leading characters without recalling all those with whom it is associated. If we name Juliet, for instance, not only is her idea inseparable from that of Romeo, but the whole train of Montagues and Capulets, Mercutio, Tybalt, the garrulous nurse, the lean apothecary, the lonely friar, sweep by. What an exquisite trait of the poetic temperament, tenderness, and human sympathies of this same lonely friar is given us in his exclamation:

'Here comes the lady: O, so light a foot
Will ne'er wear out the everlasting flint.'

It also explains to us that it was the good friar's unconscious affection for Juliet, the pure sympathies of a lonely but loving heart, which so imprudently induced him to unite the unfortunate young lovers. The men and women of Shakspeare live and love, and we cannot think of them without at the same time thinking of those with whom they lived and whom they loved. Indeed, when we can wrest any character in a drama from those which surround it, and study it apart, the unity of the whole is but apparent, never vital. Simplicity, harmony, life, power, truth, and love, are all to be found in any high work of the associative imagination.

We now proceed to characterize the penetrative imagination, 'which analyzes and realizes truths discoverable by no other faculty.' Of this faculty Shakspeare is also master. Ruskin, from whom we continue to quote, says: It never stops at crusts or ashes, or outward images of any kind, but ploughing them all aside, plunges at once into the very central fiery heart; its function and gift are the getting at the root; its nature and dignity depend on its holding things always by the heart. Take its hand from off the beating of that, and it will prophesy no longer; it looks not into the eyes, it judges not by the voice, it describes not by outward features; all that it affirms, judges, or describes, it affirms from within. There is no reasoning in it; it works not by algebra nor by integral calculus; it is a piercing Pholas-like mind's tongue that works and tastes into the very rock-heart; no matter what be the subject submitted to it, substance or spirit, all is alike divided asunder, joint and marrow; whatever utmost truth, life, principle it has laid bare, and that which has no truth, life, nor principle, is dissipated into its original smoke at a touch. The whispers at men's ears it lifts into visible angels. Vials that have lain sealed in the sea a thousand years it unseals, and brings out of them genii.

Every great conception of Art is held and treated by this faculty. Every character touched by men like Æschylus, Homer, Dante, or Shakspeare, is by them held by the heart; and every circumstance or sentence of their being, speaking, or seeming, is seized by a process from within, and is referred to that inner secret spring of which the hold is never lost for a moment; so that every sentence, as it has been thought out from the heart, opens a way down to the heart, and leads us to the very centre of life. Hence there is in every word set down by the Imagination an awful undercurrent of meaning—an evidence and shadow upon it of the deep places out of which it has come.

In this it utterly differs from the Fancy, with which it is often confounded.

Fancy sees the outside, and is able to give a portrait of the outside, clear, brilliant, and full of detail. The Imagination sees the heart and inner nature, and makes them felt; but in the clear seeing of things beneath, is often impatient of detailed interpretation, being sometimes obscure, mysterious, and abrupt. Fancy, as she stays at the externals, never feels. She is one of the hardest hearted of the intellectual faculties; or, rather, one of the most purely and simply intellectual. She cannot be made serious; no edge tools but she will play with; while the Imagination cannot but be serious—she sees too far, too darkly, too solemnly, too earnestly, to smile often! There is something in the heart of everything, if we can reach it, at which we shall not be inclined to laugh. Those who have the deepest sympathies are those who pierce deepest, and those who have so pierced and seen the melancholy deeps of things, are filled with the most intense passion and gentleness of sympathy. The power of an imagination may almost be tested by its accompanying degree of tenderness; thus there is no tenderness like Dante's, nor any seriousness like his—such seriousness that he is quite incapable of perceiving that which is commonplace or ridiculous.

Imagination, being at the heart of things, poises herself there, and is still, calm, and brooding; but Fancy, remaining on the outside of things, cannot see them all at once, but runs hither and thither, and round about, to see more and more, bounding merrily from point to point, glittering here and there, but necessarily always settling, if she settle at all, on a point only, and never embracing the whole. From these simple points she can strike out analogies and catch resemblances, which are true so far as the point from which she looks is concerned, but would be false, could she see through to the other side. This, however, she does not care to do—the point of contact is enough for, her; and even if there be a great gap between two things, she will spring from one to the other like an electric spark, and glitter the most brightly in her leaping. Fancy loves to follow long chains of circumstance from link to link; but the Imagination grasps a link in the middle that implies all the rest, and settles there.

'Bring the rathe primrose that forsaken dies,


The tufted crowtoe and pale jessamine,


The white pink and the pansy streaked with jet,


The glowing violet,


The musk rose and the well attired woodbine,

[Fancy, vulgar.

With cowslips wan that hang the pensive head,


And every flower that sad embroidery wears.



'Oh, Proserpina,

For the flowers now that frighted thou lett'st fall

From Dis's wagon. Daffodils

That come before the swallow dare, and take

The winds of March with beauty. Violets, dim,

But sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes

Or Cytherea's breath; pale primroses

That die unmarried, ere they can behold

Bright Phoebus in his strength, a malady

Most incident to maids.'

Here the Imagination goes into the inmost soul of every flower, after having touched them all with that heavenly timidness, the shadow of Proserpine's; and, gilding them all with celestial gathering, never stops on their spots or their bodily shape; while Milton sticks in the stains upon them, and puts us off with that unhappy streak of jet in the very flower that without this bit of paper staining would have been the most precious to us of all.

'There is pansies—that's for thoughts.'

Can the tender insight of the Imagination be more fully manifested than in the grief of Constance?

'And, father cardinal, I have heard you say

That we shall see and know our friends in heaven:

If that be true, I shall see my boy again;

For, since the birth of Cain, the first male child,

To him that did but yesterday suspire,

There was not such a gracious creature born.

But now will canker sorrow eat my bud,

And chase the native beauty from his cheek;

And he will look as hollow as a ghost,

As dim and meagre as an ague's fit;

And so he'll die; and, rising so again,

When I shall meet him in the court of heaven

I shall not know him: therefore, never—never—

Shall I behold my pretty Arthur more.

Grief fills the room up of my absent child,

Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me;

Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words,

Remembers me of all his gracious parts,

Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form;

Then have I reason to be fond of grief.

O lord, my boy, my Arthur, my fair son!

My life, my joy, my food, my all the world!

My widow-comfort and my sorrow's cure.'

This is the impassioned but simple eloquence of Nature, and Nature's child: Shakspeare.

In these examples the reader will not fail to remark that the Imagination seems to gain much of its power from its love for and sympathy with the objects described. Not only are the objects with which it presents us truthfully rendered, but always lovingly treated.

With the Greeks, the Graces were also the Charities or Loves. It is the love for living things and the sympathy felt in them that induce the poet to give life and feeling to the plant, as Shelley to the 'Sensitive Plant;' as Shakspeare, when he speaks to us through the sweet voices of Ophelia and Perdita; as Wordsworth, in his poems to the Daisy, Daffodil, and Celandine; as Burns in his Mountain Daisy. As a proof of the power of the Imagination, through its Truth, and Love, to invest the lowest of God's creatures with interest, we offer the reader one of these simple songs of the heart.


On turning her up in her nest with the plough,
November, 1785.
Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hastie,
Wi' bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murd'ring pattle!
I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken nature's social union,
An' justifies that ill opinion
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor earth-born companion
An' fellow mortal!
I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen icher in a thrave
'S a sma' request;
I'll get a blessin' wi' the lave
An' never miss't!
Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
Its silly wa's the win's are strewin'!
An' naething, now, to big anew ane,
O' foppage green!
An' bleak December's winds ensuin',
Baith snell and keen!
Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste,
An' weary winter comin' fast,
An' cozie here beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro' thy cell.
That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,
Has cost thee mony a weary nibble!
Now thou's turned out, for a' thy trouble,
Nor house nor hald,
To thole the winter's sleety dribble
An' cranreuch cold!
But, mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promised joy.
Still thou art blest, compared with me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But och! I backward cast my e'e,
On prospects drear;
An' forward, though I canna see,
I guess and fear!

Poor Burns! Seventy years and more have passed since that cold November morning on which he sang this simple and tender song, yet it is as fresh in its rustic pathos, bathed in the quickening dews of the poet's heart, as if it had sprung from the soul but an hour since: and fresh it will still be long after the fragile hand now tracing this tribute to the heart of love from which it flowed shall have been cold in an unknown grave!

Such poems are worth folios of the erudite and stilted pages which are now so rapidly pouring their scoria around us. Men seem ashamed now to be simply natural. Either they have ceased to love, or to believe in the dignity of loving. The great barrier to all real greatness in this present age of ours is the fear of ridicule, and the low and shallow love of jest and jeer, so that if there be in any noble work a flaw or failing, or unclipped vulnerable part where sarcasm may stick or stay, it is caught at, pointed at, buzzed about, and fixed upon, and stung into, as a recent wound is by flies, and nothing is ever taken seriously or as it was meant, but always perverted and misunderstood. While this spirit lasts, there can be no hope of the achievement of high things, for men will not open the secrets of their hearts to us, if we intend to desecrate the holy, or to broil themselves upon a fire of thorns.

As the poet is full of love for all that God has made, because his imagination enables him to seize it by the heart, he would in this love fain gift the inanimate things of creation with life, that he might find in them that happiness which pertains to the living; hence the constant personification of all that is in his pages. He personifies, he individualizes, he gifts creation with life and passion, not willingly considering any creature as subordinate to any purpose quite out of itself, for then some of the pleasure he feels in its beauty is lost, for his sense of its happiness is in that case destroyed, as its emanation of inherent life is no longer pure. Thus the bending trunk, waving to and fro in the wind above the waterfall, is beautiful because it seems happy, though it is, indeed, perfectly useless to us. The same trunk, hewn down and thrown across the stream, has lost its beauty. It serves as a bridge—it has become useful, it lives no longer for itself, and its pleasant beauty is gone, or that which it still retains is purely typical, dependent on its lines and colors, not on its functions. Saw it into planks, and though now fitted to become permanently useful, its whole beauty is lost forever, or is to be regained only in part, when decay and ruin shall have withdrawn it again from use, and left it to receive from the hand of Nature the velvet moss and varied lichen, which may again suggest ideas of inherent happiness, and tint its mouldering sides with hues of life. For the Imagination, unperverted, is essentially loving, and abhors all utility based on the pain or destruction of any creature. It takes delight in such ministering of objects to each other as is consistent with the essence and energy of both, as in the clothing of the rock by the herbage, and the feeding of the herbage by the stream.

We have seen that the soul rejects exaggeration or falsehood in Art, and indeed all high Art, that which men will not suffer to perish, has no food, no delight, no care, no perception, except of truth; it is forever looking under masks and burning up mists; no fairness of form, no majesty of seeming will satisfy it; the first condition of its existence is incapability of being deceived; and though it may dwell upon and substantiate the fictions of fancy, yet its peculiar operation is to trace to their farthest limits the true laws and likelihoods even of such fictitious creations.

As to its love, that is not only seen in its wish and struggle to quicken all with the warm throb of happy life, but is also clearly manifested in the lingering over its creations with clinging fondness, 'hating nothing that it maketh,' pruning, elaborating, and laboring to gift with beauty the works of its patient hands, finishing every line in love, that it too may feel its creations to be 'good.' For Love not only gives wings, but also vital heat and life, to Genius.

Thus we again arrive at the fact that the two Divine attributes of Truth and Love, in their finite form indeed, but still 'images,' are absolutely necessary for the creation of any true work of Art. No work can be great without their manifestation; unless they have brooded with their silvery wings over its progress to perfection; and in exact proportion to their manifestation will be its greatness. On these two attributes in God repose in holy trust the universes He hath made; and that which typifies or suggests His faithfulness and love to the soul created to enjoy Him, must be a source, not only of Beauty, but of Delight.

'For He made all things in wisdom; and Truth is perpetual and immortal.'

'For Thou lovest all things that are, and hatest none of the things Thou hast made; for Thou didst not appoint or make anything, hating it.'

We make no attempt to give an enumeration of the attributes on which Beauty is based; we would rather induce the reader to examine his Maker's great Book of Symbols for himself. We hope we have turned his attention to the fact that every Letter in this sacred Language is full of meaning; enough to induce him to investigate the glorious mysteries of the 'Open Secret.'

Whatever may be the decisions of the men of the senses, or the men of the schools, let him fearlessly condemn any work in which he cannot find wrought into its very heart suggestions or manifestations of the Divine attributes, or an earnest effort on the part of its author, naive and unconscious as it may be, to imitate the Spirit of the Great Artist.

We have placed the Rosetta stone of Art, with its threefold inscriptions in Sculpture, Painting and Music, with their union or resumé in Poetry, before him; we have given him the key to some of its wondrous hieroglyphics; let him study the remaining letters of this mystical alphabet for himself! These inscriptions are indeed trilingual, phonetic, and sacred, yet the simple and loving soul may decipher them without the genius of Champollion; their meaning is written within it. It will readily learn to connect the sign with the thing signified, and under the fleeting forms of rhythmed time and measured space, learn to detect the immutable principles which are to be its glory and joy for eternity!


1. History of the Bank of England, its Times and Traditions, from 1694 to 1844. By John Francis. First American Edition. With Notes, Additions, and an Appendix, including Statistics of the Bank to the close of the year 1861. By J. Smith Homans, Author of the 'Cyclopædia of Commerce and Commercial Navigation.' New York. 8vo, pp.476.

2. Letter from the Secretary of the Treasury to the Chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, in relation to the Issue of an Additional Amount of United States Treasury Notes.

3. Report of the Secretary of the Treasury on the State of the Finances of the United States for the Year ending June 30, 1862.

4. The Tariff Question considered in regard to the Policy of England and the Interests of the United States. With Statistical and Comparative Tables. By Erastes B. Bigelow. Boston: Little, Brown & Co. 4to, pp. 103 and 242.

5. The Bankers' Magazine and Statistical Register. New York, monthly, 1861-2. Edited by J. Smith Homans, jr.

The Bank of England was created during the urgent necessities of national finance. It was a concession of a valuable privilege to a few rich men, in consideration of their loaning the capital to the treasury. 'The estimates of Government expenditure in the year 1694 were enormous,' says Macaulay, in his fourth volume. King William asked to have the army increased to ninety-four thousand, at an annual expense of about two and a half millions sterling—a small sum compared with what it costs in the year 1862 to maintain an army of equal numbers.

At the period of the charter of the bank, the minds of men were on the rack to conceive new sources of revenue with which to meet the increased expenditures of the nation. The land tax was renewed at four shillings in the pound, and yielded a revenue of two millions. A poll tax was established. Stamp duties, which had prevailed in the time of Charles II had been allowed to expire, but were now revived, and have ever since been among the most prolific sources of income, yielding to the British Government in the year 1862 no less than £8,400,000 sterling. Hackney coaches were taxed, notwithstanding the outcries of the coachmen and the resistance of their wives, who assembled around Westminster Hall and mobbed the members. A new duty on salt was imposed, and finally resort was had to the lottery, whereby one million sterling was raised. All these resources were not sufficient for the growing wants of the Government, and the plan of the Bank of England was devised to furnish immediate relief to the finances. Montague brought the measure forward in Parliament, and 'he succeeded,' as Macaulay remarks, 'not only in supplying the wants of the state for twelve months, but in creating a great institution, which, after the lapse of more than a century and a half, continues to flourish, and which he lived to see the stronghold, through all vicissitudes, of the Whig party, and the bulwark, in dangerous times, of the Protestant succession.'

The birth of the bank and the birth of the English national debt were both in King William's time. In 1691, when England was at war with France, the national debt unfunded was £3,130,000, at an annual interest of £232,000. In 1697, at the Peace of Ryswick, this debt had swollen to £14,522,000. At the Peace of Utrecht, in 1713, it had reached £34,000,000. The war with Spain in 1718 brought it up to forty millions sterling. And here it might have rested, had the advice of Shakspeare been followed:

'Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace.'

But England went to war with Spain 'on the right of search.' From 1691 to this time the debt had increased on an average about a million sterling per year. As early as 1745 the credit of the bank was so identified with that of the state, that during the invasion of the Pretender, whose forces were at Derby, only one hundred and twenty miles from London, the creditors of the bank flocked in crowds to its counter to obtain specie for its notes. The merchants intervened and signed an agreement to make the bank's notes receivable in all business transactions.

The war of the Austrian succession followed in 1742, and at the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, in 1748, 'forever to be maintained,' the English were saddled with a debt of £75,000,000.

'Peace hath her victories,
No less renowned than war.'

It was early in the last century that the abuse of paper money gave a lasting and unfavorable impression against such issues. The scheme of John Law and the South Sea Bubble about the same time broke and scattered their fragments over both England and France. It was in the latter scheme or folly that Pope lost a large portion of his earnings, from which we may infer that his temper was not improved. He wrote, in his Third Epistle, dedicated to Lord Bathurst:

'Statesman and patriot ply alike the stocks;
Peeress and butler share alike the box;
And judges job, and bishops bite the town,
And mighty dukes pack cards for half a crown.'

In the same 'Moral Essay' he alludes to paper money in the following lines:

'Blest paper credit! last and best supply!
That lends corruption lighter wings to fly!
Gold imp'd by thee, can compass hardest things,
Can pocket states, can fetch or carry kings;
A single leaf shall waft an army o'er,
Or ship off senates to a distant shore;
A leaf, like Sibyl's, scatter to and fro
Our fates and fortunes, as the winds shall blow:
Pregnant with thousands flits the scrap unseen,
And silent sells a king, or buys a queen.'

These are among the earliest tirades against paper money; which, like many other good things, is condemned because its power has been abused and prostituted.

England's enormous debt, which should have warned the Georges against further war, was not contracted without severe sacrifices. The legal rate of interest at the opening of the funding system was six per cent. In 1714 it was reduced to five per cent. Loans during the early wars of the eighteenth century were raised on annuities for lives on very high terms, fourteen per cent. being granted for single lives, twelve per cent. for two lives, and ten per cent. for three lives. But so far was England from being awake to the enormous debt she was creating by her expensive wars, that the seventy-five millions existing in 1748 became £132,000,000 at the close of the Seven Years' War in 1763. This volume was enlarged at the end of the American Revolution to £231,000,000. During all this time the bank was the lever with which these enormous sums were raised; but the end was not yet.

The French war with Napoleon became more exhaustive, and within twenty years from the peace with America to the Peace of Amiens, in 1802, the debt went up from £231,000,000 to £537,000,000 sterling. From this period to 1815 the debt accumulated annually, until it reached its maximum, or eight hundred and sixty-one millions sterling.

During these severe changes, reverses, extravagance, and extraordinary governmental expenditure, the bank was considered the prop of national finance. The French Revolution and its consequent war with England led to many heavy outlays by the British Government. In 1795 the bank desired the chancellor of the exchequer to make his arrangements for the year without 'any further assistance' from the bank. This was again urged in 1796, and the bank appealed again to Mr. Pitt.

'The only reply from Mr. Pitt was a request for a further accommodation, on the credit of the consolidated fund, which the court refused to sanction, until they had received satisfaction on the topic of the treasury bills, and requested Mr. Pitt to enter into a full explanation on this subject, which was not even touched upon in his letter. This resolution being communicated, Mr. Pitt wrote to the governor and deputy-governor on the 12th August, that 'they might depend upon measures being immediately taken for the payment of one million, and a further payment, to the amount of one million, being made in September, October, and November, in such proportions as might be found convenient. But, as fresh bills might arrive, he was under the necessity of requesting a latitude to an amount not exceeding one million.' About the same period the court 'desired the governor and deputy-governor would express their earnest desire that some other means might be adopted for the future payment of bills of exchange drawn on the treasury.' (Vide 'History Bank of England,' pp. 114, 115.)

The circumstances of the nation and of the bank were known to the capitalists and to the people. Hence various causes of uneasiness and distress. The bank loaned the public treasury seven and a half millions in the years 1794, 1795, 1796, and the more they loaned to the exchequer, the less they could loan to the people. Thus followed a diminution of gold in the bank, and hoarding by the people. Gold was exported more freely to the Continent, and reduced accommodation was given to the merchants. Finally, on the 26th February, 1797, the king's council passed an order for the suspension of cash payments.

The bank was on the eve of suspension in the year 1847. On the 25th of October the cabinet authorized a violation of the charter, thereby acknowledging the inability of the bank to maintain specie payments. This order of Lord John Russell inspired fresh confidence, and the bank immediately recovered strength, and reduced the rate of interest from 8 per cent. in October to 7 per cent. in November, to 6 and 5 per cent. in December, to 4 per cent. in January, and to 3-1/2 in June following. The distress and revulsion of 1847 were consequent upon the over-trading and railway mania of 1844, 1845, and 1846, and the failure of crops in Ireland and England in 1847.

The distress of England in 1847 was scarcely over when France was more severely affected than at any period since the Continental War. Louis Philippe abdicated in February, 1848, when consols closed at 88-7/8. By the close of the week they fell to 83, upon the formation of a provisional government. The political dissensions and commercial revulsion led to a large withdrawal of gold from the Bank of France, and finally the Government authorized, in March, the suspension of the bank, which was followed by the suspension of the Bank of Belgium and by the Société Generale.

Again, in 1857, the Bank of England was on the verge of suspension. Lord Palmerston and the then cabinet issued an order, November 12, authorizing the bank, if they thought it advisable, again to violate the charter; but it was found at the last moment unnecessary.

November was the critical period of the year 1857. The Times of November 12, 1857, contained these announcements:

1.Bank charter suspended. 
2.Interest in London,10 per cent.
3.Interest in Hamburg,10 per cent.
4.Interest in Paris,8-1/2 per cent.
5.Interest in New York,25 per cent.
6.Suspension of cash payments generally 
 by all banks in the United States. 
7.Two banks stopped in Glasgow,
 and one in Liverpool, and a great bill
 panic in London.
8.Commercial credit and transactions
 almost suspended in the country.
9.Bullion in the bank,£7,170,000.
10.Reserve notes in the bank,£975,000.
11.Bank liabilities,£40,875,000.

'One gentleman, during the heat of the excitement at Glasgow, went into the Union Bank and presented a check for £500. The teller asked him if he wished gold. 'Gold!' replied he, 'no; give me notes, and let the fools who are frightened get the gold,' Another gentleman rushed into the same bank in a great state of excitement, with a check for £1,400. On being asked if he wished gold he replied, 'Yes.' 'Well,' said the teller, 'there is £1,000 in that bag and £400 in this one.' The gentleman was so flurried by the readiness with which the demand was granted that he lifted up the bag with the £400 only, and walked off, leaving the £1,000 on the counter. The teller, on discovering the bag, laid it aside for the time. Late in the day the gentleman returned to the bank in great distress, stating he had lost the bag with the £1,000, and could not tell whether he dropped it in the crowd or left it behind him on leaving the bank. 'Oh, you left it on the counter,' said the teller, quietly, 'and if you call to-morrow you will get your £1,000.' (Vide ' History Bank of England,' p. 429.)

The facts and statistics from the year 1844 to 1860 relating to the bank are superadded to the English work by the American editor. Of the important phases of this period the editor gives a slight sketch in the following paragraphs. The prominent financial movements in England, France, and the United States are given in the subsequent pages of the volume.

'The sixteen years which followed the last charter of the bank have been pregnant with important events of a financial character; the most important, perhaps, during the whole history of the institution. The bank has twice, during this short period, been on the brink of suspension, and was relieved only by the interference of Government. The second instance occurred after new gold, to the extent of one hundred millions sterling, or more, had been poured into Western Europe from California and Australia. The Bank of France had, during the same period, suspended specie payment. Two financial revulsions have occurred in the United States, when, with few exceptions, the banks of the whole country suspended specie payments. The production of gold and silver throughout the world, which, up to 1844, was annually about ten or twelve millions sterling, had recently advanced from twenty-five to thirty millions sterling per annum, thus stimulating industry and production largely throughout Europe and America. Sir Robert Peel, the author of the new charter of the bank, has left the world's stage, after witnessing the failure of the charter to fully accomplish the end promised; Europe and America, Asia and Europe, have been knit together by a wire cord, and capital is now subscribed to

'Put a girdle round about the earth,'

whereby London may speak to San Francisco (the prospective commercial centre of the world) in less than 'forty minutes.' During the same short space of sixteen years the suspended States of this Union (five at least) have resumed payment of their obligations; two violent wars, with sundry revolutions, have occurred in Europe; the ancient city of the Cortez has been conquered by the 'hordes of the North,' and magnanimously given up by the captors to the possession of their weaker enemy, and millions were paid to the latter for portions of their territory; the northwest passage of the American continent has been discovered; steam has accomplished wonders between Europe and America, and between Europe and their distant colonies of Asia, Africa, and Australia; Ireland has been on the verge of starvation,[6] when 600,000 of her people died from hunger alone and its effects, and her population was reduced two millions by emigration and privation; England's minister has been expelled from the capital of the United States; speculation has been rife in Europe and America, and its inevitable effects, revulsion and bankruptcy, have followed in its train; the railway and the telegraph have brought remote regions together; China, with her four hundred millions of people, has been conquered by the united forces of the English and the French.

'The Bank of England, instead of pursuing one even course, with a view to permanent commercial interests, has unfortunately, and, we fear, from selfish and individual views, fostered speculation by reducing her rate of discount to 2 per cent., and soon after, but too late, discovered the error, and forced her borrowers to pay from 6 to 10 per cent.

'We propose to give the leading events of each year, from 1844 to 1861, referring the reader to authorities where more copious information can be gained by those who wish to study the invariable connection between commerce and money.

'The bank shares in the depressed period of 1847-8 fell to 180, after having reached, in the flattering times of 1844-'5, 215 per share, or 115 per cent. advance. Consols, at the same depressed period, fell to 78-3/4, when starvation stared Ireland in its face, and the bank simultaneously sought protection from the Cabinet.'

Attention has been recently directed in this country to the premium on gold, or to the alleged fall in the value of bank paper and Government notes. Although the premium on gold as an article of merchandise has reached a high rate during the present year, it will be seen, on reference to the reliable tables in the History of the Bank of England, that a great difference occurred during the suspension of the bank in 1797 to 1819. Gold at one time (1812) reached £5 8s., a difference of 30 per cent. The annexed table shows the changes from 1809 to 1821.

YEARS Price of Difference from NominalAmount in
  Gold. Mint Prices. TaxesGold Currency
 £s.d.  ££
1809,491016-1/3per cent.71,887,00060,145,000
Sept.  to  Dec. 1812,58038-1/2"......
Nov. 1812,  to  Mch. 1813510041"......
Oct.  to Dec. 1816,3186under 1"......
1819,  4th  Feb.4306-1/3"58,288,00054,597,000
1820,31710-1/2par. 59,812,00059,812,000
1821,31710-1/2par. 61,000,00061,000,000

The increased volume of Government and bank paper afloat in the United States since the 1st January, 1862, is conceded to be only temporary. The Government is engaged in crushing the greatest rebellion known to history; in doing this, the national expenditures are six or seven fold what they ever were before, in a time of peace. During the four years 1813 to 1816, when war raged with England, the whole expenses of the Government were $108,537,000. During the Mexican war, when the disbursements of the treasury were much heavier, the average annual expenses of the Government were about 35 to 48 millions. It will be well to recur to these tabular details for future history. They are presented as follows, for the whole period of the General Government.

EXPENDITURES of the United States, exclusive of Payments on account of the Public Debt.

"1797-1800,John Adams,21,338,000
"1825-1828,John Quincy Adams,49,313,000
"1837-1840,Van Buren,112,188,000
"1841-1844,Harrison and Tyler,81,216,000
"1849-1852,Taylor and Fillmore,194,647,000

During the past fiscal year, 1862-3 and the year 1863-4, the Government expenditures are estimated at ten hundred millions of dollars. These heavy disbursements cannot be carried on merely by the ordinary bank paper and the gold and silver of the country. Instead of sixty-five millions of dollars, the average annual expenditures of the Government during the last administration, these now involve the sum of five hundred millions annually. Hence the obvious obligation on the part of the Government of putting in circulation the most reliable currency, and of avoiding those of local banks, which do not possess the confidence of the people at a distance. This can be done only by maintaining a currency of Government paper which every holder will have full confidence in, and in which no loss can be sustained.

There is here no conflict or competition between the Government and the State banks. The latter have the benefit of their legitimate circulation in their own respective localities; while the national treasury furnishes to the troops and to the creditors of the nation a circulation of treasury notes which must possess confidence as long as the Government lasts.

The policy of the English Government in this respect was a wise one. At the adoption of the last charter of the bank (1844) the Government allowed the country banks to maintain from that time forward the circulation then outstanding, which was not to be increased; and as fast as the banks failed or were wound up voluntarily, their circulation was retired and the vacuum became filled by the notes of the Bank of England. The latter was forbidden by its new charter to exceed certain prescribed limits in its issues. They could issue to the amount of their capital, £14,000,000, and beyond that to the extent of gold in the vaults. Thus the bank circulation of England, Scotland, and Ireland is less now than in 1844, when the new principle was established, viz.:


 Bank of England.Country Banks.Ireland.Scotland.Total.

Had this principle been adopted in the United States at the same period, the excesses and extravagance of 1856-'7 might have been obviated, as well as the revulsion of the latter year, and the distress which followed.

Let us recur to the eventful history of the bank. Although a private institution, owned and controlled by private capital, its large profits accruing for the benefit of its own share-holders, yet it became so closely inter-woven with the commerce, manufactures, trade, and the public finances of the nation, that it may be considered as in reality a national institution. At its inception its whole capital was swallowed by the treasury. This was a part of the contract of charter. Its subsequent accumulations of capital, from £1,200,000, have likewise been absorbed by the Government, until now the bank reports the Government debt to them to be £11,015,100, and the Government securities held, to be £11,064,000. Without the aid of the bank, the national treasury could not, probably, have made the enormous disbursements which were actually made between the commencement of the American Revolution in 1776, and the termination of the continental war of 1815. The bank here furnished, almost alone, 'the sinews of war.'

During this eventful period there were large numbers of provincial banks of issue created in England and Ireland. These were managed mainly with a view to private profit, while the public interests have suffered severely from the frequent expansions and contractions of the volume of the currency through such private management, and from the numerous failures of these concerns. The evils of this system were for many years the subject of discussion in Parliament and among prominent journals. In 1826 the Edinburgh Review expressed the opinion that

'So long, therefore, as any individual, or association of individuals, may issue notes of a low value, to be used in the common transactions of life, without lodging any security for their ultimate payment, so long is it certain that those panics which must necessarily occur every now and then, and against which no effectual precaution can be devised, must occasion the destruction of a greater or smaller number of banking establishments, and by consequence a ruinous fluctuation in the supply and value of money.' (Edinburgh Review, February, 1826.)

This was a period of great speculation in England. In the year 1823 no less than 532 companies were chartered, with a nominal capital of 441 millions sterling. These speculations were fostered by the increasing volume of bank paper. The evil increased, and was allowed to exist until the year 1844, when a stop was put to the further increase of the volume of bank circulation, and to the further incorporation of joint stock banks.

We learn one lesson here, which may have a good effect upon us if we will bear it in mind in our future legislation, and take warning from the experiences of our contemporaries. We allude to the obvious necessity in a country like ours, and, indeed, in any country, of maintaining a national moneyed institution as a check upon the vacillation, expansions, and contractions which mark the policy of small banks of issue. This national institution, while free from individual profit, and without power to grant individual favors, should create and perform the functions of a national currency, and execute all the details required by or for the national treasury. Its chief utility would be as a check upon the excess to which all joint stock banks are liable—a sort of controlling and conservative power to prevent that mischief which our past experience shows has been the result of paper money when issued merely for private gain.

The advantage, the convenience, we may say the necessity, of a national circulation of paper money, are fully demonstrated by our own past history, and by the history of European nations. This circulation should be dictated by the wants of the National Government, and convertible, at the will of the holder, into specie. With these obvious restraints it would accomplish its ends and aims.

The Bank of England, in its early stages, was endangered by various and extraordinary circumstances. Within three years of its establishment it was compelled to suspend payment to its depositors in cash, and issued certificates therefor payable ten per cent. every fortnight. In 1709 the Sacheverell riots occurred in London, and fears were felt that the bank would be sacked; but this violence was obviated by well-trained troops. In 1718 John Law's bank was established in France, and for two years kept the people in a ferment. This was followed by the South Sea scheme in England, in 1720, 'a year (the historian Anderson says) remarkable beyond any other which can be pitched upon for extraordinary and romantic projects.' The bank, of course, suffered by these speculative measures, and was repeatedly exposed to a run upon its specie resources.

In 1722 the rest (or reserve fund) was established by the bank, as a measure to cover extraordinary losses in the future, and to inspire more confidence among the public as to the ability of the bank to meet reverses. This fund, in July, 1862, had accumulated to £3,132,500 sterling, or about twenty-one and a half per cent. of the capital.

The first forged note of the Bank of England was presented in the year 1758, or sixty-four years after the bank was established. In 1780 these forgeries became more numerous, and were so well executed as to deceive the officers of the bank.

Let us now recur to some of the incidents connected with the bank in early ages. Of these, the author, Mr. Francis, furnishes numerous instances.

Among other frauds upon the bank was that of clipping the guineas, by one of the clerks employed in the bullion office. This occurred in 1767.

The forgery of its notes having been made a capital offence, the waste of life in consequence was severe. During the eight years, 1795 to 1803, there were one hundred and forty executions for this crime; and two hundred and nine between 1795 and 1809; and from 1797 to 1811 the executions were 469. 'The visible connection between the issue of small notes and the effusion of blood, is one of the most frightful parts of this case.'

In 1803 a fraud on the bank to the extent of £320,000 was perpetrated by Mr. Robert Astlett, a cashier of the bank. This was in the re-issue of exchequer bills that had been previously redeemed, but which were not cancelled. This fraud amounted to about 2-1/2 per cent. of the capital, and although it did not prevent a dividend, it prevented the distribution of a bonus which would otherwise have been paid to the shareholders.

In the year 1822 another fraud on the bank came to light. This was perpetrated by a bookkeeper, and amounted to £10,000. In 1824 the fraud of Mr. Fauntleroy on the bank was discovered, amounting to £360,000. This was done by forged powers of attorney for the transfer of Government consols.

The bank was brought near suspension again in 1825 by the imprudent expansion of its notes. After the resumption of specie payments in 1820-'21, the true policy of the bank would have been to maintain an even tenor of its way; instead of which it increased its circulation twenty-five per cent. in the year 1825 (or from £18,292,000 to £25,709,000), while the issues of the country banks were equally enlarged, giving encouragement to violent speculation among the people. The specie reserve of the Bank of England fell from £14,200,000 in January 1824 to £1,024,000 in December, 1825. This difficulty of the bank was relieved by the issue of a few thousand bills of £1 and £2.

Speculation had been rife in 1824; no less than 624 companies were started with a nominal capital of £372,000,000, including mining, gas, insurance, railroad, steam, building, trading, provision, and other companies. At the same time foreign loans were contracted in England to the extent of £32,000,000, of which over three fourths were advanced in cash.

The country banks of England had increased their circulation from £9,920,000 in 1823 to £14,980,000 in 1825, or over fifty per cent., thus stimulating prices, and promoting speculation widely throughout the country.

Immediately following the revulsion at the close of the year 1825, Mr. Huskisson's free trade policy was advocated in the House of Commons by a vote of 223 to 40. In the same year lotteries were suppressed in England. In 1828 branches of the Bank of England were established—a measure, of course, unpopular among the provincial joint stock banks.

In the year 1832-'3 were brought forward three important measures in Parliament. One was the abolishment of the death penalty for forgery; another was the modification of the usury laws; the third was the re-charter of the bank.

The last criminal executed for forgery was a man by the name of Maynard, in December, 1829. Public sentiment had long been opposed to the infliction of this punishment for the offence of forgery, and transportation was now substituted in the prominent cases. England, at the same time, opened the way for a gradual abolishment of the usury laws. At first the relief was extended to short commercial paper, afterward to all paper having not over twelve months to run, 1837; and finally, in 1854, the usury laws were removed from all negotiable paper, as well as from bonds and mortgages.

By the new charter of 1833, Bank of England notes were, for the first time, made a legal tender, except at the bank itself. Joint stock banks were authorized in the metropolis, but were prohibited from issuing notes.

The English work of Mr. Francis is anecdotical in its character. The American edition conveys to the reader, for the first time, a resumé of the leading movements in Parliament on the subject of the bank, and its close connection with the Government finances. The part which Mr. Pitt, Mr. Canning, Sir Robert Peel, and other distinguished statesmen took in the relations between the bank and the exchequer, is in the supplementary portion of the new edition shown, as well as the views of Lord Althorpe, Lord Ashburton, Lord Geo. Bentinck, Mr. Thomas Baring, Lord Brougham, Mr. Gilbart, Sir James Graham, Lord King, Earl of Liverpool, Jones Loyd, Lord Lyndhurst, Mr. Rothschild, and others who exercised a large influence over the monetary interests of their day.

In the consideration of the banking and currency questions of the day and of the last and present century, it is desirable to have thus brought together in a single work, a continuous history of the institution which has had so large an influence upon the public interests of Europe, and a review of the important circumstances which marked the progress of the bank in its successful efforts to sustain England against foreign enemies and domestic revulsions, an index to the speculative movements of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when commerce, trade, and the vast monetary interests of Europe and America have been unnecessarily and cruelly involved.

The letter addressed by Secretary Chase, of the Treasury Department, to the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, and to the chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, under date June 7th, 1862, suggested the power by Congress to the treasury to issue $150,000,000 in treasury notes, in addition to this sum, authorized by the act of February 25th, 1862; also, authority to receive fifty millions of dollars on deposit, in addition to fifty millions previously authorized by Congress. These suggestions were favorably considered in both Houses, and the recommendations of the Secretary were adopted fully, leading to the adoption of a national system of finance, which will eventually reëstablish and preserve national credit. Fears have been expressed in some quarters that this increased volume of paper money would be a public evil, and serve to disturb the value of property and the price of labor. This might be reasonably anticipated if the country were at peace, and the Government expenditures were upon a peace footing.

But a state of things exists now in this country hitherto unknown. The contracts of the Government involve the expenditure of larger sums than were ever paid before in the same space of time by this or any other Government. In the disbursements of these large sums it is an obvious duty of Congress to provide a national circulation of uniform value throughout the whole country—a circulation of a perfectly reliable character, not subject in the least to the ordinary vicissitudes of trade or to the revulsions which have frequently marked our history. These revulsions have been witnessed, and their results seen by the leading public men of the century. Mr. Madison saw at an early day the importance of creating and sustaining a government circulation. His language was: 'It is essential to every modification of the finances that the benefits of an uniform national currency should be restored to the community.'

Mr. Calhoun, in 1816, said: 'By a sort of undercurrent, the power of Congress to regulate the money of the country has caved in, and upon its ruin have sprung up those institutions which now exercise the right of making money in and for the United States.'

'It is the duty of government,' says a well known writer, 'to interfere to regulate every business or pursuit that might otherwise become publicly injurious. On this principle it interferes to prevent the circulation of spurious coin.' Counterfeit coin is more readily detected than a fictitious paper currency, yet no sane man would advocate the repeal of the laws which prohibit it. Why, then, permit the unlimited manufacture of paper money of an unreliable character?

In the consideration of this subject we should divest ourselves of all selfish views of private profit and advantage. We should look only to the public good, to stability in trade and commerce, and to the general interests of the people at large as distinguished from those of a few individuals. It is clearly then the province of government to establish and to regulate the paper money of the nation, so that it shall possess the following attributes:

I. To be uniform in value throughout all portions of the country.

II. To be perfectly reliable at all times as a medium for the payment of debts.

III. To be issued in limited amounts, and under the control of the Government only.

IV. To be convertible, at the pleasure of the holder, into gold or silver.

It must be conceded that these requisites do not belong, and never can belong, to paper issued by joint stock banks, which are governed with a view to the largest profit, and which are but little known beyond their own immediate localities.

Recent history assures us that abuses have been practised in reference to the bank circulation of the country, which have led to violent revulsions and severe loss. England experienced the same results between the years 1790 and 1840, and to such an extent that in the year 1844 her statesmen devised a system whereby no further expansion of paper money should occur. The amount then existing was assumed to be a minimum of the amount required for commercial transactions, and it was ordered that all bank issues beyond that sum shall be represented by a deposit of gold.

If the Bank of England had been governed by considerations of public welfare, and not by those of private interest, it would not have reduced the rate of interest to 2-1/2 per cent. in 1844-'5, thus producing violent speculation, and leading to the revulsion of 1849. Nor would the bank have established low rates of interest only in the year 1857, thus leading this powerful institution to the verge of bankruptcy, and to the clemency of the British Cabinet in November of that year.

England has checked the paper circulation of the country, but has not withdrawn from the bank the power to promote speculation by extravagant loans at a low rate of discount.

The Governments of France and England have both assumed control of the paper currency of their respective countries. This is sound policy, and it is one of the prerogatives that must be exercised, in its full force, by the Government of the United States and by all other governments, if stability, permanency, consistency are to be observed or maintained for the people. This is obviously necessary in a time of peace and prosperity; it is perhaps more so in a time of rebellion or war, like the present. Circumstances may arise where it will be the course of wisdom and safety to suspend specie payment; and, in some extreme exigencies, to forbid the export of specie.

This position was well explained by Mr. J.W. Gilbart, manager of the London and Westminster Bank, who, in his testimony before Sir Robert Peel, in 1843, said, 'If I were prime minister, I would immediately, on the commencement of war, issue an order in council for the bank to stop payment. I stated also that I spoke as a politician, not as a banker. * * * I came to the conclusion that, under the circumstances of the war of 1797, a suspension of cash payments was not a matter of choice, but of necessity.' (Vide 'History of the Bank of England,' New York edition, p. 130.)

We come now to consider what is necessary, in order to restore the currency of the United States to a specie footing. This restoration is demanded alike by motives of justice and sound policy. No contracts can be well entered into, unless the currency of the country is upon a substantial and permanent footing of redemption. It is a matter which concerns every individual in the community; it is especially so to the General Government in view of its extraordinary expenditures: and no commercial prosperity can be maintained without it.

A restoration of public and private credit can be accomplished only by an observance of those sound principles of finance that have been announced by the wise men of our own and other countries. Mr. Alexander Hamilton, Mr. Gallatin, Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Madison, each in his turn advocated a national institution, by which the currency of the country could be placed upon a reliable and permanent footing. Such an institution should control the currency and receive surplus capital on deposit; but need not interfere with the legitimate operations of the State banks as borrowers and lenders of money, nor encourage in the slightest degree, through loans, any speculative movements among the people.

In the next place our people must resort to and maintain more economy in their individual expenditure, and thus preserve a balance of foreign trade in our own favor. It is shown that, during the fiscal year ending 30 June, 1860, there were imported into the United States goods, wholly manufactured, of the value of ... $166,073,000, partially manufactured, 62,720,000.

We can dispense with two thirds of such articles during our present national reverses, and rely upon our own domestic labor for similar products, viz.:

Manufactures of Wool,$37,937,000
Manufactures of Silk,32,948,000
Manufactures of Cotton,32,558,000
Manufactures of Flax,10,736,000
Laces and Embroideries,4,017,000
Gunny Cloths, Mattings,2,386,000
Iron, and Manufactures of Iron and Steel18,694,000
China and Earthenware,4,387,000
Clocks, Chronometers, Watches,2,890
Boots, Shoes and Gloves,2,230,000

besides other articles exceeding one hundred millions in value.

Rather than send abroad thirty or forty millions in gold annually, as we have done of late years, let us dispense with foreign woollen goods, silk and cotton goods, laces, &c., and encourage our own mills, at least until the war and its debt are over.

Mr. Madison said much in a few words, when he said:

'The theory of 'let us alone' supposes that all nations concur in a perfect freedom of commercial intercourse. Were this the case, they would, in a commercial view, be but one nation, as much as the several districts composing a particular nation; and the theory would be as applicable to the former as the latter. But this golden age of free trade has not yet arrived, nor is there a single nation that has set the example. No nation can, indeed, safely do so, until a reciprocity, at least, be insured to it. * * A nation, leaving its foreign trade, in all cases, to regulate itself, might soon find it regulated by other nations into subserviency to a foreign interest.'

There is much good sense, too, in the views promulgated by another president, who said, in relation to our independence of other nations:

'The tariff bill before us, embraces the design of fostering, protecting, and preserving within ourselves the means of national defence and independence, particularly in a state of war. * * * The experience of the late war (1812) taught us a lesson, and one never to be forgotten. If our liberty and republican form of government, procured for us by our Revolutionary fathers, are worth the blood and treasure at which they were obtained, it surely is our duty to protect and defend them. * * * What is the real situation of the agriculturist? Where has the American farmer a market for his surplus product? Except for cotton, he has neither a foreign nor home market. Does not this clearly prove, when there is no market either at home or abroad, that there is too much labor employed in agriculture, and that the channels of labor should be multiplied? Common sense points out the remedy. Draw from agriculture the superabundant labor; employ it in mechanism and manufactures; thereby creating a home-market for your bread-stuffs, and distributing labor to the most profitable account and benefits to the country. Take from agriculture in the United States six hundred thousand men, women and children, and you will at once give a home-market for more bread-stuffs than all Europe now furnishes us. In short, sir, we have been too long subject to the policy of British merchants. It is time that we should become a little more Americanized; and, instead of feeding the paupers and laborers of England, feed our own; or else, in a short time, by continuing our present policy, we shall be rendered paupers ourselves.'

Mr. Bigelow, in his late and highly valuable work on the tariff, says truly (p. 103):

'Can any one question that our home production far outweighs in importance all other material interests of the nation? * * * It is the nation of great internal resources, of vigorous productive power and self-dependent strength, which is always best prepared and most able, not only to defend itself, but to lend others a helping hand.'

If our people would maintain their own national integrity, their own individual independence, and their true status in the great family of nations of the earth, they will [at least until the present rebellion is crushed, and until the public debt thereby created shall be extinguished] pursue a strict course of public and private economy. Let us encourage and support our own manufactures, and thereby contribute to the subsistence and wealth of our own laborers instead of contributing millions annually to the pauper labor of European nations; especially of those nations that have failed to give us countenance in the present struggle and that have, on the contrary, given both direct and indirect aid to the rebels of the South.

The United States have within themselves, in great abundance, contributed by a bountiful Providence, the leading products of the earth. In metals and in agricultural products, we exceed any and all other countries of the earth. If we encourage the labor of our own people in the development of the great resources of the country, we shall not only preserve our own commercial independence, but we shall soon be, as we ought to be in view of such advantages, the creditor nation of the world, and compel other countries to resort to us for the raw materials for their own manufacturing districts.

With the aid of the vast iron and coal mines of our own country, we can construct and keep in force an adequate navy for peace or for war. Our skilled industry can produce firearms equal to any in the world. The vast agricultural resources of the West yield abundance for ourselves and a large surplus for other countries. The breadstuffs of the West and Northwest; the tobacco of the Middle States, and the cotton of the South are in demand, throughout nearly all Europe. Let us then be independent ourselves of foreign manufacturers, and endeavor to place the rest of the world under obligations to our own country for the necessaries of life. This will do more to preserve peace than all the arguments of cabinets or the combined navies and armies of the world.

Lord Palmerston and Lord John Russell said,[7] in parliament, in 1842, five years before the famine in Ireland: 'We are not, we cannot be, independent of foreign nations, any more than they can of us: * * * two millions of our people have been dependent on foreign countries for their daily food. At least five millions of our people are dependent on the supplies of cotton from America, of foreign wool or foreign silk. * * * The true independence of a great commercial nation is to be found, not in raising all the produce it requires within its own bound, but in attaining such a preëminence in commerce that the time can never arise when other nations will not be compelled, for their own sales, to minister to its wants.'

Now this principle, enunciated twenty years ago by men, who now hold the reins of the English Government, is especially one for us to bear in mind. While England, from her limited surface, can never be independent of other countries for the supply of food, we may say, and we can demonstrate, that the United States can reach that preëminence to which the great English statesman alluded—a preëminence which he would gladly attain for his own countrymen.

To the General Government was confided by the framers of the Constitution the power to 'coin money, and regulate the value thereof;' and the States were forbidden to 'emit bills of credit;' from which we may infer that it was intended to place the control of the currency in the hands of the General Government. It will be generally conceded that it would be wiser to have one central point of issue than several hundred as at present. There should be but one form for, and one source of, the currency. It should emanate from a source where the power cannot be abused, and where the interests of the people at large, and not of individuals, will be consulted.

The people have thus an interest at stake. It is for their benefit that a national circulation, of a perfectly reliable character, should be established. The remark made by Sir Robert Peel, in parliament, in May, 1844, at the time of the recharter of the bank, applies with equal force to the national currency of this or any other country.

'There is no contract, public or private, national or individual, which is unaffected by it. The enterprises of trade—the arrangements made in all the domestic relations of society—the wages of labor—pecuniary transactions of the highest amount and the lowest—the payment of the national debt—the provision for the national expenditure—the command which the coin of the lowest denomination has over the necessaries of life—are all affected by the decision to which we may come.'

Sir Robert Peel wisely comprehended the powers and attributes of a national currency, and we may wisely adopt his idea that such a national currency, controlled by the national legislature, for the use and benefit of the people, is the only one that can be safely adopted.

The national banking system established by Congress, in the year 1863, at the suggestion of Secretary Chase, of the Treasury Department, is the initiatory step toward a highly desirable reform in the paper currency of the country. Already over seventy national banks have been organized, under the act of Congress, with a combined capital of ten millions of dollars, whose circulation will have not only a uniform appearance, but a uniform value throughout the whole country. Numerous others are in process of organization. To the community at large the new system is desirable, because it secures to the people a currency of uniform value and perfect reliability. The notes of these institutions will be at par in every State in the Union, and holders may rely upon the certainty of redemption upon demand: whether the institution be solvent or not—in existence or not—the Government holds adequate security for instant redemption of all notes issued under the law.

This feature of the paper currency of the country is one that has long been needed. For the want of it the States have been for many years crowded with a currency of unequal market value, and of doubtful security. Added to this is a marked feature of the new system which did not pertain to the Bank of the United States in its best days. Its workings are free from individual favoritism. No loans are granted to political or personal friends, at the risk of the Government, and all temptation to needless and hurtful expansion is thus destroyed. There is no mammoth institution, under the control of one or a few individuals, liable at times to be prostituted to political and personal ends of an objectionable character. While the banks under the new system are spread over a large space, they perform what is needed of the best managed institutions; and although perfectly independent of each other in their liabilities, expenses, losses, and in their action generally, yet together they form a practical unit, and will be serviceable in counteracting that tendency to inflation and speculation which has marked many years in the commercial history of this country.

We consider the Bank Act of 1863 as one of the most important features of the Thirty-seventh Congress, and of this Administration. It will create a link long wanted between the States and Territories, and do much to strengthen the Union and maintain commercial prosperity. The country will hereafter honor Secretary Chase for the conception and success of this scheme, even if there were no other distinguished traits in his administration of the Treasury and the Government finances.


[6] 'The scenes exhibited far exceeded in horror anything yet recorded in European history.' (Alison.) America, in her own fulness, sent succor to famished Ireland, in 1847, and when her own day of travail came near, in 1861, England volunteered no helping hand to her kindred.

[7] See 'History of the Bank of England,' p. 851.


Slowly toward the western mountains

Sinks the gold October sun;

Longer grow the deepening shadows,

And the day is nearly done.

Rosy gleams the quiet River

'Neath the crimson-tinted sky;

White-winged vessels, wind-forsaken,

On the waveless waters lie.

Glow the autumn-tinted valleys,

On the hills soft shadows rest,

Growing warmer, purple glowing,

As the sun sinks toward the west.

Slanting sunlight through the Cedars,

Scarlet Maples all aglow,

Long rays streaming through the forests,

Gleam the dead leaves lying low.

Golden sunshine on the cornfields,

Glittering ripples on the stream.

And the still pools in the meadows

Catch the soft October gleam.

Warmer grows the purple mountains,

Lower sinks the glowing sun,

Soon will fade the streaming sunlight—

See, the day is nearly done!




After having been detained in town several days longer than I had reckoned on, by heavy rains, which ran through the streets in rivers, and filled the bed of Sandy Gully, through which we must pass, with a rushing torrent of irresistible strength, a small party of us left Kingston one morning for the mountains of St. Andrew and Metcalfe, among which lie the stations of the American missionaries whom we had come to join. We were mounted on the small horses of the country, whose first appearance excited some doubts in the mind of a friend whether he was to carry the horse or the horse him. However, they are not quite ponies, and their blood is more noble than their size, being a good deal of it Arab. They are decidedly preferable for mountain travel to larger animals.

We directed our course over the hot plains towards the mountains which rose invitingly before us, ready to receive us into their green depths. On leaving the town, we passed first through sandy lanes bordered by cactus hedges, rising in columnar rows, and then came out upon the excellent macadamized road over which thirteen of the sixteen miles of our journey lay. As we went along we met a continual succession of groups of the country people, mostly women and children, coming into Kingston with their weekly load of provisions to sell. They eyed us with expressions varying from good-natured cordiality to sullenness, and occasionally we heard a rude remark at the expense of the 'Buckras;' but for the most part their demeanor was civil and pleasant. Most of them had the headloads without which a negro woman seems hardly complete in the road, varying in dimensions from a huge basket of yams or bananas to an ounce vial. How such a slight thing manages to keep its perpendicular with their careless, swinging gait, is something marvellous, but they manage it to perfection. Almost every group, in addition, had a well-laden donkey—comical little creatures, looking hardly bigger under their huge hampers than well-sized Newfoundland dogs, and hurrying nimbly along, with a speed that betokened a wholesome remembrance of a good many hard thrashings in the past and a reasonable dread of similar ones in the future. If I held the doctrine of transmigration, I should be firmly persuaded that the souls of parish beadles, drunken captains, and other petty tyrants, shifted quarters into the bodies of Jamaica negroes' donkeys. One patriotic black woman, whose donkey was rather refractory, relieved her mind by exclaiming, in a tone of infinite disgust, 'O-h-h you Roo-shan!' accompanying her objurgation by several emphatic demonstrations on his hide of how she was disposed to treat a 'Rooshan' at that present moment.[8]

Going on, we passed several beautiful 'pens,' as farms devoted to grazing are called. These near town are little more than mere pieces of land surrounding elegant villas, the residence of wealthy gentlemen whose business lies in Kingston. Here you see 'the one-storied house of the tropics, with its green jalousies and deep veranda,' surrounded by handsomely kept meadows of the succulent Guinea grass, which clothes so large a part of the island with its golden green, and enclosed by wire fences or by the intricate but delicate logwood hedges, or else by stone walls. On either side of the carriage road which swept round before the most elegant of these villas, that of Mr. Porteous, we noticed rows of the mystic century plant.

At last we left the comparatively arid plain, with its scantier vegetation, and began to ascend Stony Hill, which is 1,360 feet high where the road passes over it. The cool air passing through the gap, and our increasing elevation, now began to temper the heat, and soon the clouds began to gather again, and a slight rain fell. But I did not notice it, for every step of the journey now seemed to bring me farther into the heart of fairyland. It was not any variety of colors, but the unutterable depth of green, enclosing us, as we ascended, more and more completely in its boundless exuberance. From that moment the richest verdure of my native country has seemed pale and poor. Reaching the top of the hill, we saw above us the higher range, looking down on us through the shifting mists, with that inexpressible gracefulness which tempers the grandeur of tropical mountains.

We descended the hill on the other side into a small inland valley, containing the two estates of Golden Spring and Temple Hall. The former, which presented nothing very noticeable then, has since passed under the management of a gentleman who to a judicious and energetic personal oversight has added a kindliness and strict honesty in his dealings with the laborers much more desirable than frequent in the island. As a result of this, Golden Spring has become a garden. A great many more dilapidated estates would become gardens under the same efficacious mode of treatment.

The streams were so swollen by the rain that on coming to what is commonly a trifling rivulet, we found it so high as to cost us some trouble to cross. However, we all got over, although one servant boy with his pack horse was caught by the current and carried down several rods almost into the river, which was rushing by in a turbid torrent. I ought to have been much alarmed, but having a happy way, in new circumstances, of taking it for granted that everything which happens is just what ought to happen then and there, I stood composedly on the farther bank, nothing doubting that the boy and the beast had their own good reasons for striking out a new track, and it was not till they were both safe on land that I learned with some consternation that they had come within an inch of being drowned.

At length we turned aside into a byroad leading up a steep hill, slippery with mud, and left this pleasant valley. I passed through it many a time afterwards, and never lost the impression of its peaceful richness.

We now found ourselves in the wild country in which our missionary stations lie. Hills rose around on every side; their surfaces broken and furrowed into every fantastic variety of shape, with only distance enough between their bases for the mountain streams to flow. In our latitude such a country would be much of the time a bleak desolation. But here the mantle of glorious and everlasting green softens and enriches the broken and fluctuating surfaces into luxuriant and cloying beauty. In such an ocean of verdure we now found ourselves, its emerald waves rolling above, below, and around us. Our road, when once we had surmounted the short hill, was a narrow, winding bridle path, which kept along almost upon a level over a continual succession of natural causeways, spanning the gullies with such an appearance of art as I have never seen elsewhere. I afterward learned that these are dikes of trap, from which the softer rock has been gradually disintegrated, leaving them thus happily arranged for human convenience.

After three miles' travel over these roads of nature's making, in a rain which at last became quite uncomfortable, we came finally to Oberlin Mission House. A West Indian country house, without fire or carpets, must be very pleasingly fitted up not to look dreary in a wet day, and Oberlin House appeared rather cheerless as we alighted with streaming garments, the romance pretty well soaked out of us for the time. But after supper and a change of clothes, and the clearing away of the clouds, our dismal spirits cleared up too, and we went out into the garden to enjoy the rare flowers and plants—the crimson-leaved ponsetto, the Bleeding Heart, with its ensanguined centre, the curiously pied and twisted Croton Pictum, the Plumbago, well named from the leaden hue of its flowers, the long, deep-red leaves of the Dragon's Blood, the purple magnificence of the Passion flower, relieved by the more familiar beauty of the Four o'clock and of the Martinique rose. Seeing something that pleased me, I stepped forward to view it more narrowly, when a sudden access of acute pain in one foot, quickly spreading to the knee, admonished me that I had got into mischief in the shape of an ant's nest, and gave me the first instalment of a lesson I learned in due time very thoroughly, that the beauties of Jamaica are to be enjoyed with a very cautious regard to the paramount rights of the insect creation.

When I went to bed, I found the bedclothes saturated with dampness. But I learned that it was like a Newport fog, too saline to be mischievous. The atmosphere of the island, even in the brightest and most elastic weather, is so impregnated with moisture, that a Leyden jar will lose its charge in being taken across the room, and an electrical machine will not work without a pan of coals under the cylinder. But as no part of the island is more than twenty-five miles from the sea, this continual moisture appears to be quite innocuous, its worst effect being the musty smell which it causes in everything in the mountains, where there is the most rain. Use fortunately takes from us the perception of this, or it would be quite intolerable. Perpetual summer, and the utmost glory of earth, sky, and sea, are not to be enjoyed without drawbacks that would make a careful housekeeper very doubtful about the desirableness of the exchange. And so ended my first day in the country.



I had intended writing some of my first impressions about Jamaica, particularly its negro population. But I find, on reviewing my residence of five years and a half in the tranquil island, that first impressions melt so imperceptibly into final conclusions, that it appears best not to attempt a too formal separation of them. Before recounting the results of my own experience, however, in any form, it will not be amiss to attempt some general description of the island and of its population, and to give a slight sketch of its history.

The parallel of 18° N lat. passes through the island of Jamaica, which has thus a true tropical climate. It is 160 miles in length and 40 in average breadth, having thus a plane area of 6,400 square miles, being about equal to the united area of Connecticut and Rhode Island. Although the third in size of the Greater Antilles, it comes at a great remove after Hayti, the second, being not more than one-fourth as large. Nor does it compare in fertility with either Hayti or Cuba. The former island is the centre of geological upheaval, and the great rounded masses, sustaining a soil of inexhaustible depth, run off from thence splintering into sharp ridges, which in Jamaica become veritable knife edges, sustaining a soil comparatively thin. The character of the island is that of a mountain mass, which, as the ancient watermark on the northern coast shows, has at some remote period been tilted over, and has shot out an immense amount of detritus on its southern side, forming thus the plains which extend along a good part of that coast, varying in breadth from ten to twenty miles, besides the alluvial peninsula of Vere. In the interior, also, there is an upland basin of considerable extent, looking like the dry bed of a former lake, which now forms the chief part of the parish of St. Thomas-in-the-Vale. The mountain mass which makes the body of the island, running in various ranges through its whole length, culminates in the eastern part of it in the Blue Mountains, whose principal summit, the Blue Mountain Peak, is 7,500 feet high. It is said that Columbus, wishing to give Queen Isabella an impression of the appearance of these, took a sheet of tissue paper, and crumpling it up in his hand, threw it on a table, exclaiming, 'There! such is their appearance.' The device used by the great discoverer to convey to the mind of the royal Mother of America some image of her new-found realms, forcibly recurs to the mind of the traveller as he sails along the southeastern coast, and notices the strange contortions of the mountain surfaces. But seen from the northern shore, at a greater distance, through the purple haze which envelops them, their outlines leave a different impression. I shall always remember their aspect of graceful sublimity, as seen from Golden Vale, in Portland, and of massive sweetness, as seen from Hermitage House, in the parish of St. George. The gray buttresses of their farthest western peak, itself over 5,000 feet in height, rose in full view of a station where I long resided, and the region covered by their lower spurs, ranging in elevation from seven to ten and twelve hundred feet, is that which especially deserves the name of the 'well-watered land,' or, as it is poetically rendered, the 'isle of springs,' of which Jamaica, or perhaps more exactly Xaymaca, is the Indian equivalent. There you meet in most abundance with those crystal rivulets, every few hundred yards threading the road, and going to swell the wider streams which every mile or two cross the traveller's way, laving his horse's sides with refreshing coolness, as they hurry on in their tortuous course from the mountain heights to the sea. Farther west the mountains and hills assume gentler and more rounded forms, particularly in the parish of St. Anne, the Garden of Jamaica. I regret that I know only by report the scenes of Eden-like loveliness of this delightful parish. It is principally devoted to grazing, and its pastures are maintained in a park-like perfection. Grassy eminences, crowned with woods, and covered with herds of horses and the handsome Jamaica cattle, descend, in successive undulations, to the sea. Over these, from the deck of a vessel a few miles out, may be seen falling the silver threads of many cascades. Excellent roads traverse the parish, which is inhabited by a gentry in easy circumstances, and by a contented and thriving yeomanry. St. Anne appears to be truly a Christian Arcadia.

In respect of climate and vegetation, there are three Jamaicas—Jamaica of the plains, Jamaica of the uplands, and Jamaica of the high mountains. The highest summit of the mountain region, is below the line at which snow is ever formed in this latitude, and it is disputed whether an evanescent hoarfrost even is sometimes seen upon it. As high as four and five thousand feet there are residences, which, however, purchase freedom from the lowland heats at the expense of being a large part of the time enveloped in chilling fogs. Here the properly tropical productions cease to thrive, and melancholy caricatures of northern vegetables and fruits take their place. You see in the Kingston market diminutive and watery potatoes and apples, that have come down from the clouds, and on St. Catherine's Peak I once picked a few strawberries, which had about as much savor as so many chips. The noble forest trees of the lower mountains, as you go up, give way to an exuberant but spongy growth of tree-ferns and bushes. Great herds of wild swine, descended from those introduced by the Spaniards, roam these secluded thickets, and once furnished subsistence to the runaway negroes who, under the name of Maroons, for several generations annoyed and terrified the island.

In these high mountains the sense of deep solitude is at once heightened and softened by the flute-like notes of the solitaire. I shall never forget the impression produced by first hearing this. It was on the top of St. Catherine's Peak, fifty-two hundred feet above the sea, in the early morning, when the mountain solitude seemed most profound, that my companion and I heard from the adjacent woods its mysterious note. It was a soft and clear tone, somewhat prolonged, and ending in a modulation which imparted to it an indescribable effect, as if of supernal melancholy. It seemed almost as if some mild angel were lingering pensively upon the mountain tops, before pursuing his downward flight among the unhappy sons of men.

The uplands of the island, from 800 to 1,500 feet above the sea, are a cheerful, sunny region, in which the tropical heat is tempered by almost constant refreshing breezes, and, in the eastern part at least, by abundant showers. Some of the western parishes not unfrequently suffer terribly from drought. There are two or three which have not even a spring, depending wholly upon rain water collected in tanks. These sometimes become dry, causing unutterable distress both to man and beast. We hear even sometimes of poor people starving during these seasons of drought. But our more favored region in the east scarcely knows dearth. Our mighty mountain neighbors seldom permitted us even to fear it, and were more apt to send us a deluge than a drought.

In the uplands our winter temperature was commonly about 75° in the shade at noon, and the summer temperature about ten degrees higher. The nights are almost always agreeably cool, and frequent showers and breezes allay the sultriness of the days. I never saw the thermometer above 90° in the shade, and seldom below 65°. It once fell to 54°, to the lamentable discomfort of our feelings and fingers. Of course, where the sun for months is nearly vertical, and twice in the summer actually so, the heat of his direct beams is intense. But those careful precautions of avoiding travelling in the middle of the day, on which some lay such stress, we never concerned ourselves with in Jamaica, and I could not discover that we were ever the worse for it. An umbrella was enough to stand between us and mischief.

On the whole, it may safely be said that there is no climate more like that which we imagine of Eden than that of the highland region of Jamaica during a large part of the year. It is true that after a while northern constitutions begin to miss the stimulus of occasional cold. But for a few years nothing could be more delightful. The chief drawback is that at uncertain cycles there come incessant deluges of rain for months together, making it dreary and uncomfortable both in doors and out. Years will sometimes pass before there is any excessive amount of these, and then sometimes for years together they will prevail to a most disagreeable extent. They break up the mountain roads and swell the mountain streams to such a degree as to render travelling almost impossible, and in a country where your friends are few, you do not like to be kept back from seeing them by the imminent risk of finding no road at all on the side of a hill where at best there is barely room enough between the bank and the gully for one horse to pass another, or of finding yourself between two turns of a stream, with a sudden shower making it impossible for you to get either forward or back. But during my residence I had just enough of these adventures to give a pleasant zest to life. And after a tremendous rain of hours, when the sun reappeared, and the banks of fleecy cloud were once more seen floating tranquilly in heaven, and the streams ran again crystal clear, and the hills smiled again in all the glory of their brilliant green, and the air had again its wonted temper, at once balmy and elastic, it was enough to make amends for all previous discomfort.

Although no part of the island is peculiarly favorable to constitutions of the European race, yet with prudence and temperance foreigners find this midland region reasonably healthy. The missionaries, who have mostly resided in the uplands, have but seldom fallen victims to fevers. Foreigners must not expect to live here without occasional attacks of fever; but with care, there need be little apprehension of a fatal result, except to those of a sanguine temperament or of a corpulent habit. And the general exemption from the dreadful ravages of consumption may well be thought to compensate the somewhat greater risks from fever. Even on the plains, that immense mortality of whites from the mother country which once gave to Jamaica the ominous name of 'The Grave of Europeans,' was caused as much by their reckless intemperance as by any necessity of the climate. Or, rather, habits which in Great Britain might have been indulged in with comparative impunity, in Jamaica were rapidly fatal. It is said that another cause of the excessive mortality among the overseers was that they were often secretly poisoned by the blacks. On some plantations, I have heard it said, overseer after overseer was poisoned off, almost as soon as he arrived. In most cases, I dare say, it would be found that over-liberal potations of Jamaica rum were the poison that did the mischief. But the reports have probably some foundation in truth. An oppressed race, seldom daring to strike openly, would be very apt to devise subtle ways of vengeance. It will be remembered that one of the most frequent items in our own Southern newspapers used to be accounts of attempts made by slave girls to poison their masters' families. Arsenic, which they commonly used, is a clumsy means, almost sure to be detected; but in the West Indies, where the proportion of native Africans was always very large, the African sorcerers, the dreaded Obi-men, who exercise so baleful a power over the imaginations of the blacks, appear also to have availed themselves of other than imaginary charms to keep up their credit as the disposers of life and death, and to have often gained such a knowledge of slow vegetable poisons as made them formidable helpers of revenge, whether against their own race or against the race of their oppressors. In a recent Jamaica story of Captain Mayne Reid's, the plot centres in the hideous figure of an old Obi-man, who wreaks his revenge for former wrongs in this secret way, destroying victim after victim from among the lords of the soil. The piece is stocked with horrors enough for the most ravenous devourer of yellow-covered literature, but nevertheless it is so true to the conditions of life in the old days of Jamaica, that it is well worth reading for a lively sense of the time when the fearful influences of savage heathenism, slavery, and tropical passion were working together in that land of rarest beauty and of foulest sin. Evil enough remains, but, thank God, the hideous shadows of the past have fled away forever.

But these tragical remembrances and suspicions belong rather to the plains, into which we are about to descend. Here we feel distinctly that we are in the tropics. The sweltering heat, tempered, indeed, by the land and sea breezes, but still sufficiently oppressive, and almost the same day and night, leaves no doubt of this fact. Vegetation, too, appears more distinctly tropical. The character of the landscape in the two regions is quite different. In the uplands the wealth of glowing green swallows up peculiarities of form, and presents little difference of color except the endless diversity of its own shades. There are, however, some distinct features of the landscape. Conspicuous on every hillside are the groves 'where the mango apples grow,' their mass of dense rounded foliage looking not unlike our maples, and giving a pleasant sense of home to the northern sojourner. The feathery bamboo, most gigantic of grasses, runs in plumy lines across the country. Around the negro cottages, here and there, rise groups of the cocoanut palms, giving, more than anything else, a tropical character to the landscape. On a distant eminence may perhaps be seen a lofty ceiba or cotton tree, its white trunk rising sixty or seventy feet from the ground without a limb, and then putting out huge, scraggy arms, loaded with parasites. Every lesser feature is swamped in verdure, except that here and there the white-washed walls of a negro cottage of the better sort gleam pleasantly forth from embowering hedges and fruit trees. I do not know how Wordsworth's advice to make country houses as much as possible of the color of the surrounding country may apply among the gray hills of Westmoreland; but among the green hills of Jamaica, the white which he deprecates forms a welcome relief to the splendid monotony of glowing emerald. It is not amiss to call it emerald, for there are so many plants here with glossy leaves, that under the brilliant sunlight the lustre of the green is almost more than the eye can bear. To the southward of Oberlin station, formerly belonging to our mission, rises a range of verdant hills, which in some lights has so much the pure, continuous color of a gem, as almost to realize Arabian fables to the eye. Indeed, I have gazed at it sometimes with such a feeling as Aladdin had when the magician had left him confined in the Hall of Jewels, and have almost wished for an earthquake to cleave its oppressive superbness and give a refreshing sight of the blue sea beyond.

But on descending to the plains, where there is less moisture, and where vegetation therefore is scantier, we find the unwonted forms of growth more distinct, and have the full sense of being in a southern land. Here the thorn palms, the cactus hedges, the penguin fences, resembling huge pineapple plants, and various trees and shrubs, being seen more isolated, make a stronger impression of the peculiarities of tropical forms. Here too we meet in greater abundance with the cocoanut tree, occasionally forming long avenues of lofty palms on the estates. And here we see more frequently the huge squares of many acres, heavy with the luxuriant wealth of the cane, and thronged by dusky laborers. The heat, which in the uplands is pleasant, though rather too steady in the plains, becomes oppressive and enervating. The distinction between the wet and dry seasons, also, is much more distinctly marked, and, in short, everything corresponds more fully with the usual idea of a tropical land.

The luxuriance and the glory of nature are the same now as ever; but everywhere over the island the traveller sees the melancholy evidences of the decay of former wealth. You may travel over miles and miles on the plains once rich with the cane, or ridge after ridge in the uplands once covered with the dark-green coffee plantations, which now are almost a wilderness. To quote the language of another, 'ridges, overgrown with guava bushes, mark the cornfields; rank vegetation fills the courtyard, and even bursts through the once hospitable roof. A curse seems to have fallen upon the land, as if this generation were atoning for the sins of the past. For while we lament the ruin of the present proprietors, we cannot forget the unrequited toil which in times gone by created the wealth they have lost; nor that hapless race, the original owners of the soil, whose fate darkens the saddest page in history.'

A passing traveller will see little to compensate the sadness occasioned by old magnificence thus in ruins, strewing the whole island with its melancholy wrecks. What there is to set off against it, we shall consider hereafter.

What survives of the agriculture and commerce of Jamaica is still, as formerly, mainly dependent on the two great staples, sugar and coffee; the former being raised chiefly in the plains and valleys, the latter in the uplands and mountains. There was, it is said, an indigenous sugar cane in the West Indies, when first discovered; but if so, it has long been supplanted by the Mauritius cane, which is now cultivated. The joints of the cane, being cut and laid horizontally in furrows, which are then covered over, spring up in a crop which comes to maturity in about a year; and when this is cut, the roots rattoon, or send up shoots for five or six years in succession. This is one reason why Jamaica sugar planters find it so hard to compete with Cuban production. On the deep soil of Cuba the cane rattoons, it is said, not five or six, but forty years in succession.

The coffee plant is a beautiful shrub. Left to itself, it would grow twenty or thirty feet high; but it is kept down to such a height as that the berries can easily be picked by the hand. Its glossy, dark-green leaves resemble a good deal the jessamine; and the resemblance is increased during the time of flowering, by the beautiful white blossoms, of a faint, delicate fragrance, which are scattered over the branches like a light powdering of snow. It thrives well in a moist air; and coffee plantations may be seen clothing the sides of mountains three, four, and even five thousand feet above the sea. The history of the way in which coffee was introduced to the West Indies is really quite a little romance, though an authentic one. It is well known that Holland used to practise the most odious commercial monopoly ever known among Christian nations. Her spice islands were guarded with a cruel jealousy rivalling the fables of the dragon that guarded the golden apples; and her great coffee island, Java, was equally locked up from the world. To give a spice plant or a coffee plant to a stranger, was an offence inexorably punished with death. A single coffee plant, however, was allowed to come to Europe as an ornament to the conservatory of a wealthy Amsterdam burgomaster. This was still more jealously watched than its fellows in the East Indies; but at length a French visitor managed to secrete a living berry, and, taking it with him to Paris, to raise a plant. From this again a young plant was taken to Martinique, one of the French West Indies. When the young stranger, freighted with such possibilities of wealth, arrived there, it was found that the exposure of the voyage had nearly extinguished its vitality. It was tended with the most anxious care; but for two or three years it continued to languish, and threatened by an untimely death to give Dutch selfishness a triumph after all. At last, however, it took a happy start, and from that plant the whole West Indies have derived their coffee. It was introduced into Jamaica in 1720, and Temple Hall, one of the two estates which I have mentioned as being in the beautiful valley between Kingston and the American Mission, has the honor of showing the oldest coffee walk in the island.

Jamaica coffee is of an excellent quality; the berries, it is said, if kept two years, being equal to the best Mocha. As some one laments that the cooks and grooms of the Romans spoke better Latin than even Milton among the moderns could write, so I can boast in behalf of the Jamaica negroes, that even Delmonico, unless he could secure the services of one of them who understands the true method of reducing the browned berry to an impalpable powder, by pulverizing it between a flat stone and a round one, must give up all hopes of presenting his guests with the ideal cup of coffee. I would give the whole process by which an amber-colored stream, of perfect flavor, might be poured out, without a trace of sediment, to the very last drop, did I not reflect with pity that probably in all the wide extent of my country there is neither the apparatus of grinding nor the sable domestic with skill to use it. Nay, even in Jamaica, where one would think they could afford to be slow for a good thing, since they are so amazingly slow to every good thing, I grieve to say that the barbarous mill, hacking and mangling the fragrant berry, has almost universally supplanted the more laborious ancient method by which it was gently reduced to its most perfect attrition, yielding up every particle of its aromatic strength. Thus the modern demon of expedition, to whom quickness is so much more than quality, has invaded even the slumberous repose of our fair island, bringing under his arm, not a locomotive, but a coffee mill. There are, to be sure, two or three locomotives on the twelve-mile railway between Kingston and Spanishtown, but it would be a cruel sarcasm to intimate that the genius of expedition ever brought them.

There are several other vegetable products of Jamaica, which it owes likewise to a happy accident. The mango, for instance, which now grows in such profusion on uplands and plains, that if the groves should be cut down, the face of the country would seem naked, was a spoil of war, being brought from a French ship destined for Martinique, somewhere about 1790. At first it is said the mangoes sold for a guinea a piece, with the express stipulation that the seed should be returned. Now, in a good bearing season, I have actually seen a narrow mountain road fetlock deep with decaying mangoes, besides the thousands consumed by man and beast. During the summer, in the good years, they furnish the main subsistence to the negro children, and a large part of the subsistence of the adults, and make a grateful and wholesome change from the yam and salt fish which constitute the staples of their diet the rest of the time. It is this, probably, which has given rise to the absurd report that the negroes live principally on fruits spontaneously growing.

The young leaves of the mango are of a brownish red; and amid the general profusion of green, they impart a not ungrateful relief to the eye. Even their russet blossoms have a pleasant look. But in a good season, when the fruit is ripe, the groves have a magnificently rich appearance. Rows upon rows of yellow fruit look like lines of golden apples. Most people are extravagantly fond of them; but for myself I must say that, excepting the superb 'No. 11'—so named from being thus numbered on the captured French ship—and one or two other rare kinds, I concur with the late Prof. Adams, of Amherst, in thinking that a very good mango might be made by steeping raw cotton in turpentine, and sprinkling a little sugar over it.

Another fortuitous gift to Jamaica, so far as human intention is concerned, was the invaluable donation of the Guinea grass. Toward a century ago some African birds were brought as a present to a gentleman in the west of the island. Some grass seeds had been brought along for their feed; and when they reached their journey's end, the seeds were thrown away. After a while it was noticed that the cattle were very eager to reach the grass growing on a certain spot, and on examination it was found that the seeds thrown away had come up as a grass of remarkable succulence and nutritiousness. It was soon distributed, and now it is spread over the island. You pass rich meadows of it on every lowland estate; and it clothes hundreds of hills to their tops with its yellowish green. I do not see what the island would do without it. The pens or grazing farms in particular have been almost wholly created by it.

Jamaica has, of course, the usual West Indian fruits, the orange, the shaddock, the lime, the pineapple, the guava, the nispero, the banana, the cocoanut, and many others not much known abroad. But the lusciousness of tropical fruits compares ill with the thousand delicate flavors which cultivation has extended through our temperate clime; while, at the same time, steam makes nearly all the best fruits of the West Indies familiar to our markets. The resident of New York or Philadelphia, and still more of Baltimore has small occasion to wish himself in the tropics for the sake of fruit.

The great staple of negro existence, and therefore the great staple of existence to the immense majority of the inhabitants, is the yam. There are some indigenous kinds; but the species most in use appear to have been brought in by the imported African slaves. This solid edible dwarfs our potatoes, a single root varying in weight from five to ten pounds, and sometimes even reaching the weight of fifty pounds. They are of all shapes, globular, finger shaped, and long; and the latter, with their thick, brown rinds, look more like billets of wood, crusted with earth, than anything else. People in this country are apt to imagine them to be a huge kind of sweet potato, with which they have no other connection than that both are edible roots. The white yams, boiled and mashed, are scarcely distinguishable from very superior white potatoes. Above ground the plant is a vine, requiring to be trained on a pole, and a yamfield looks precisely like a vineyard. But oh, the difference! while the vineyard calls up a thousand recollections of laughing girls treading the grape, and the sunny lands of story, a yamfield reminds you only that under the ground is a bulky esculent, which some months hence will be put into a negro pot, and boiled and eaten, with an utter absence of poetry, or of anything but appetite and salt. It is plain that in this case solid usefulness stands no chance with erratic and rather loose-mannered brilliancy. And yet some kinds of yam in flower diffuse a fragrance more exquisite, I am persuaded, than comes from any vineyard. So that, after all, their homely prose has some flavor of poetry, which, when African poets arise, will doubtless be duly canonized in song.

As yet the small freeholders have chiefly occupied themselves in raising these 'ground provisions,' as yams, plantains, bananas, and the various vegetables are called. But they are more and more largely planting cane and coffee, greatly to their own advantage and that of the island.

If in this favored zone the earth is pleasant underneath, nothing can be more glorious than the heavens above. Being under the parallel of 18° N. lat., of course we have a full view of all the northern heavens, and of all the southern heavens, except 18° about the South Pole. The rarefied atmosphere gives peculiar brilliancy to the stars; and on a clear night—and most nights are clear—the heavens are indeed flooded with white fire, while, according to the season of the year, Orion and his northern company appear with a lustre unwonted to us, or the Scorpion unfolds his sparkling length, or the Ship displays its glittering confusion of stars, or the Southern Cross rears aloft its sacred symbol. Meanwhile, well down toward the northern horizon, the pole star holds its fixed position, and the Great and the Little Bear, dipping toward the ocean wave, but not yet dipping in it, pursue their nightly revolutions. Long after sunset, and long before sunrise, night after night, the faint, nebulous gleam of the zodiacal lights stretches up toward the zenith. The shortness of the twilight frequently leaves the fugacious planet, Mercury, so seldom seen at the north, in distinct view. While Venus not merely casts a shadow in a clear night, as she does with us, but when she is brightest, actually shines through the clouds with an illumining power.

Alternating with these glories of the starry firmament, the moon at the full fills the lower air with a soft, yet bright light, in which you can read without difficulty the smallest print. Under this milder illumination, the overpowering luxuriance of the landscape loses its oppressiveness, the hills assume more rounded forms, and from the general obscurity, the palms, a tree made for moonlight, stand out in soft distinctness. At such a time we forget the foul crimes which disfigure the past, and the vices which degrade the present of this fair land, and can easily imagine ourselves in the garden where the yet unfallen progenitors of mankind walked under a firmament 'glowing with living sapphires,' and together hymned the praises of their Creator. Daylight chases away this illusion, but brings back the reality of Christian work, whose rugged but cheerful tasks replace the delicious but ineffectual dreams of Paradise Lost, by the hope of contributing, in some humble measure, toward restoring in a province of fallen earth the lineaments of Paradise Regained.


[8] This was during the Crimean war.


God is on the side of our country. Let us reverently thank him that he has favored the general march of our arms toward the sacred end of our exertions—the defeat of the daring attempt against the unity of our national power and the integrity of our free institutions. Not always in human affairs has the cause of right and freedom prevailed. In the gradual development of human society, as unfolded in the lapse of long ages, the oppressor has generally triumphed, and history has full often been compelled to record the failure of the noblest efforts, and the downfall of the most righteous designs conceived for the benefit of man. Such has been the experience of the race in those parts of the world which have longest been the theatre of human enterprise and of established government. But the American continent seems to present an exception to this uniformity of sinister events: it is destined to be the seat of civil liberty. The success of our institutions in withstanding the awful trial to which they have just been subjected, indicates the existence of providential designs toward our favored country, not to be thwarted by any mortal agency at home or abroad. Such a combination of hostile elements, so powerful and determined, has never before assailed any political structure without overthrowing it. The failure in the present instance shows that our great destiny will be accomplished in the face of all obstacles, however insurmountable they may appear to be.

Providence always accomplishes its ends by appropriate instrumentalities; and in our case there are natural causes adequate to the great result which seems to be inevitable. In North America the principle of equal rights and of unobstructed individual progress has become the fundamental law of society. It is needless to trace the origin and growth of this principle; but its operation has been so powerful and productive, so fully imbued with moral and intellectual power, so solid and safe as a basis of national organization, as shown in the marvellous history of the United States, that no uncongenial principle is capable of resisting it, or even of maintaining an existence by its side. This is true not only with regard to that antagonistic principle which is now desperately but hopelessly waging a suicidal war within the bosom of the great republic; but it is equally true with regard to that insidious germ of despotism, which threatens to push its way through the soil of a neighboring country, displacing the free institutions which have long and sadly languished amid the civil wars of a most unhappy people. The same vigorous vitality which will renew the growth of our national authority and maintain it in the Union, will, at the same time, establish its predominant influence on the continent. Having overborne and rooted out every opposing principle within the boundaries of our own imperial domain, its growth will be so majestic that every unfriendly influence which may possibly have secured a feeble foothold in its vicinity during its perilous struggle, will soon wither in the shadow of its greatness and disappear from around it. Foreign nations may exert their sinister authority in the Old World, and plant their peculiar institutions in that congenial soil, with their accustomed success; but no amount of skilful manipulation will preserve these exotics when transplanted in the American soil. The prevailing elements are not suited to their organization; they cannot be naturalized and acclimated. This continent, with its peculiar population and antecedents, has its own political fauna and flora, fixed by nature and destiny, which cannot be utterly changed at the will of any human authority.

The most wicked and disastrous experiment of the age has been tried upon the grandest scale. It was a bold undertaking to break up the American Union, and to arrest the progress of its benign principles. To the great relief and joy of almost universal humanity, the monstrous attempt is about to result in disgraceful failure. Yet this prodigious enterprise of destruction was initiated under the most favorable circumstances, with the most auspicious promise for its fatal success. The malignant envy of all the instruments of despotism throughout the whole civilized world were brought to bear against us for the accomplishment of a work of stupendous ruin—the annihilation of American nationality, American power, and American freedom. All the bad, restless, retrogressive elements of our own population sought alliance with the foreign enemies of human liberty; and, for the most selfish and detestable of all social and political schemes, attempted to prostrate the paternal government of their country, before the expiration of the first century of its unexampled career. Vast armies of deluded citizens, led by degenerate sons of the republic—ingrates, educated at her own military schools—have impiously defied her lawful authority, and sometimes assailed her with unnatural triumph over her arms; while foreign capital, subsidized by prospective piratical plunder, has filled the ocean with daring cruisers to destroy her commerce, and thus to weaken the right hand of her power. Feathers from the wing of her own eagle have plumed the arrows directed at her heart; while the barb has been steeled and sharpened by the aid of mercenary enemies in distant lands—aid purchased by means of the robberies which have desolated one half the land. Deep and dangerous have been the wounds inflicted on our unhappy country through this shameless combination of traitors at home and enemies of humanity abroad; but she still stands erect, though bleeding, with her great strength yet comparatively undiminished, and with her foot uplifted ready to be planted on the breast of her prostrate foes. She holds aloft the glorious banner, its stars still undimmed, and with her mild but penetrating voice, she still proclaims the principles of universal freedom to all who may choose to claim it; and with the sublimity of the most exalted human charity, she invites even the fallen enemy—the misguided betrayers of their country—to return to her bosom and share the protection of her generous institutions. In the hour of her triumph she seeks no bloody vengeance, but tenders a magnanimous forgiveness to her repenting children, wooing them back to the shelter of re-established liberty and vindicated law. All hail to the republic in the splendor of her coming triumph and the renewal of her beneficent power!

It has not been within the ability of reckless treason and armed rebellion to break down the Constitution of the country and permanently destroy its institutions; so will it be as far beyond the capacity, as it ought to be distant from the thoughts of the men now wielding the Federal authority, to operate unauthorized changes in the fundamental law which they have solemnly sworn to support. The strength of the people has been put forth, through the Government—their blood has been profusely poured out, for the sole purpose of maintaining its legitimate ascendency, and of overthrowing and removing the obstacles opposed by the hand of treason to its constitutional action. To uphold the supremacy of the Constitution and laws, is the very object of the war; and it would be a gross perversion of the authority conferred and a palpable misuse of the means so amply provided by Congress, to use them for the purpose of defeating the very end intended to be accomplished. Neither the legislative nor the executive department of the Government could legitimately undertake to destroy or change the Constitution, from which both derive their existence and all their lawful power. It is true that pending a war, either foreign or civil, the Constitution itself confers extraordinary powers upon the Government—powers far transcending those which it may properly exercise in time of peace. These war powers, however, great as they are, and limited only by the laws of and usages civilized nations, are not extra-constitutional; they are expressly conferred, and are quite as legitimate as those more moderate ones which appropriately belong to the Government in ordinary times. But when there is no longer any war—when the Government shall have succeeded in completely suppressing the rebellion—what then will be the proper principle of action? Will not the Constitution of itself, by the simple force of its own terms, revert to its ordinary operation, and spread its benign protection over every part of the country? Will not all the States, returning to their allegiance, be entitled to hold their place in the Union, upon the same footing which they held prior to the fatal attempt at secession? These are indeed momentous questions, demanding a speedy solution.

If we say that the Federal Government may put the States upon any different footing than that established by the existing Constitution, then we virtually abrogate that instrument which accurately prescribes the means by which alone its provisions can be altered or amended. But, on the other hand, if we concede the right of each State, after making war on the Union until it is finally conquered, quietly to return and take its place again with all the rights and privileges it held before, just as if nothing had happened in the interim, then, indeed, do we make of the Federal Government a veritable temple of discord. We subject it to the danger of perpetual convulsions, without the power to protect itself except by the repetition of sanguinary wars, whenever the caprice or ambition of any State might lead her into the experiment of rebellion. Between these two unreasonable and contradictory alternatives—the right of the Government to change its forms, and the right of the rebellious State to assume its place in the union without conditions—there must be some middle ground upon which both parties may stand securely without doing violence to any constitutional principle. The Federal Government is clothed with power, and has imposed upon it the duty, to conquer the rebellion. This is an axiom in the political philosophy of every true Union man, and we therefore do not stop to argue a point disputed only by the enemies of our cause. But if the Government has power to conquer the domestic enemy in arms against it, then, as a necessary consequence, it must be the sole judge as to when the conquest has been accomplished; in other words, it must pronounce when and in what manner the state of internal war shall cease to exist. This implies nothing more than the right claimed by every belligerent power, and always exercised by the conqueror—that of deciding for itself how far the war shall be carried—what amount of restraint and punishment shall be inflicted—what terms of peace shall be imposed. The Constitution of the United States does not seem to contemplate the holding, by the Federal Government, of any State as a conquered and dependent province; but in authorizing it to suppress rebellion, it confers every power necessary to do the work effectually. It authorizes the use of the whole military means of the Government, to be applied in the most unrestricted manner, for the destruction of the rebellious power. If a State be in rebellion, then the State itself may be held and restrained by military power, so long as may be necessary, in order to secure its obedience to the Federal laws and the due performance of its constitutional obligations. It would be contradictory and wholly destructive of the right of suppressing rebellion by military power, to admit the irreconcilable right of the State unconditionally to assume its place in the Union, only to renew the war at its own pleasure. Acting in good faith, the Federal Government has the undoubted right to provide for its own security, and to follow its military measures with all those supplementary proceedings which are usual and appropriate to this end. This principle surely cannot be questioned; and if so, it involves everything, leaving the question one only of practical expediency and of good faith in the choice of means.

But it is said there is and indeed can be no war between the Government and any of the States; but only between the former, and certain rebellious individuals in the States. We are well aware that in the ordinary operation of the Federal Government, it acts directly on individuals and not on States. The cause of this arrangement and its purpose are well understood. But in case of war or insurrection, the power must be coextensive with the emergency which calls it forth. If States are actually in rebellion, then of necessity the Government must treat that fact according to its real nature. The fiction of supposing the State to be loyal when its citizens are all traitors, and of considering it incapable of insurrection when all its authorities are notoriously in open rebellion, would be not less pernicious in its folly and imbecility than it would be absurd to the common sense of mankind. Undoubtedly it may be true in some instances, that the rebellion has usurped authority in the States. The will of the people may have been utterly disregarded, and set aside by violence or fraud. The insurrectionary government of the State may be only the government de facto and not de jure, using these terms with reference only to the State and its people, and not with reference to the paramount authority of the Union which, under all circumstances, deprives the insurrectionary State organization of any legal character whatever. In all cases of such usurped authority, the people of the States would have the unquestionable right to be restored to the Union upon the terms of their recent connection, without any conditions whatever. It would be the solemn duty of the United States to defend each one of its members from the violence which might thus have overthrown its legitimate government. But, on the other hand, when the people of the States themselves have inaugurated the insurrectionary movement and have voluntarily sustained it in its war upon the Government, then no such favor can reasonably be claimed for them. If excitement and delusion have suddenly hurried them into rebellion against their better judgments and their real inclinations, they are to be pitied for their misfortune, and ought to be treated with great leniency and favor; but they cannot claim exemption from those conditions which may be imperatively demanded for the future security and tranquillity of the country.

If by possibility there might be some technical legal difficulty in this view, there would be none whatever of a practical nature; for any mind gifted with the most ordinary endowment of reason would not fail to be impressed with the gross inconsistency and inequality of holding that rebels may not only set aside the Constitution at their will and make war for its destruction, but may set it up again and claim its protection; while its defenders and faithful asserters must be held to such strict and impracticable regard for its provisions that they may not take the precautions necessary to preserve it, even in the emergency of putting down a rebellion against it. Such an irrational predicament of constitutional difficulties and political contradictions would soon necessitate its own solution. The revolution on the one side would induce a similar revolutionary movement on the other; attempted destruction by violence would justify the measures necessary to the restoration of the Government and to its permanent security in the future. There would be little hesitation in adopting these measures in spite of any doubt as to their regularity. The public safety would be acknowledged as the supreme law, and they who had placed themselves in the attitude of public enemies could not complain of the rigid application of its requirements to them.

The most inveterate of the rebels certainly do not anticipate the relaxation of this principle. They are careful to make known to the Southern people the impossibility of returning to the Union, except upon such conditions as may be prescribed by the conquering power. It is true they do this to deter their followers from indulging the thought of any restoration of their former Federal relations; but this fact of itself shows their consciousness of the justice of the position. They have betrayed their people into a situation from which they cannot reasonably hope to escape without making important concessions to the Federal Government. Their effort now is to convince the misguided population of the South that the required concessions will be more intolerable than the indefinite continuance of a hopeless and destructive civil war.

There is no necessity, however, to go beyond the limits of the Constitution; nor is there any reason to believe that the Government, in any event, will be disposed to exact terms inconsistent with the true spirit of our institutions. A great danger, such as now threatens our country, might, in some circumstances, justify a revolution, altering even the fundamental laws, for the purpose of preserving our national unity. The justification would depend upon the nature of the circumstances—the extremity and urgency of the peril; and the change would be recognized and defended as the result of violence, irregular and revolutionary. At a more tranquil period, in the absence of danger and excitement, it would be practicable to return to the former principles of political action; or, in case of necessity, the sanction of the people might be obtained in the forms prescribed by the Constitution, and the change found necessary in the revolutionary period would either be approved and retained, modified, or altogether rejected.

But fortunately no constitutional obstacle whatever stands in the way of making such stipulations as may be appropriate between the Federal Government and the States; nor would they at all imply any admission of the right of secession, or of the actual efficacy of the attempted withdrawal from the Union. On the contrary, any agreement with the State would, ex vi termini, admit the integrity of its organization under the Constitution. Special agreements are usually made whenever a new State is admitted into the Union; and as all the States, old and new, stand upon an equal footing, there can be nothing in the ordinances usually adopted by the new States, conflicting with the principles on which the Government is organized. The States are prohibited from making 'any agreement or compact' with each other, without the consent of the Federal Government; but there is no prohibition against making such agreements with the Federal Government itself. What the new States may do upon entering the Union, the old States may do at any time upon the same conditions This principle was settled upon the admission of Texas into the Union; it has been sanctioned in many other instances; and we are not aware that there is or can be any question of its soundness. Surely, if there could ever be an occasion proper for a solemn compact between the General Government and any of the separate States, it will be found at the conclusion of this unhappy war, when it will be necessary to heal the wounds of the country, and provide for its permanent peace and security. To quell an insurrection so extensive, involving so many States in its daring treason, especially when it has assumed an organized form and been recognized not only by other nations but even by ourselves, as a belligerent entitled to the rights of war, implies the necessity, in addition to the annihilation of its armies and all its warlike resources, of removing the causes of its dissatisfaction, and destroying its means of exciting disturbance. The Government is by no means bound unconditionally to recognize the old relations of States which, as such, have taken part in the rebellion; which have themselves repudiated all their constitutional rights and obligations; and which may again, at any time, renew the war, from the same impulse and for the same cause. On the contrary, the close of the disastrous contest will be a most favorable opportunity for compelling the conquered insurrection to submit to terms such as will deprive it of all capacity for similar mischief in the future. The insurrection will not be effectually suppressed unless its active principle is destroyed. Nothing can be plainer than the right and the solemn duty of the Government in this great emergency.

Supposing these principles to be admitted, there still remains for determination the most important question as to the nature of the conditions which ought to be exacted of the returning States—a problem of the most difficult character, involving the most delicate of all considerations, and demanding for its solution the highest practical statesmanship and the most profound wisdom, based upon moderation, firmness, liberality, and justice. In this problem several elements exist in complicated combination, and each one of these must be fairly considered in the adjustment whenever it may be made. The measures of safety which the Government has been compelled to adopt in the progress of the war, and to which it may be committed without recall; the condition of the rebellious States, and their demands and propositions; and finally, the interests, rights, and just expectations of the African race, which has become so intimately involved in this terrible strife—all these must be weighed accurately in the scales of truth, and with the impartial hand of disinterested patriotism. No mere partisan considerations, no promptings of selfish ambition, and no miserable sectional enmities or fierce desires for revenge, ought to be allowed to mingle with our thoughts and feelings when we approach this great subject of restoring peace and harmony to the people and States of this mighty republic. Awful will be the responsibility of those men in authority, who shall fail to rise to the height of this momentous emergency in the history of our country—who shall be wanting in the courage, the purity, the magnanimity necessary to save the nation from disunion and anarchy.

What ought to be the conditions upon which the rebellious States are to be reëstablished in their old relations, it is perhaps premature now to attempt to determine. The war is not yet closed, although we are sufficiently sanguine to believe that we have already seen 'the beginning of the end.' But the still nearer approach of the final acts in the great drama will give a mighty impetus to events, and many great changes will be wrought in the condition of the Southern people, and in their feelings toward the Union, against which too many of them are still breathing hate and vengeance. They have scarcely yet been sufficiently chastened even by the fiery ordeal through which they have been compelled to pass. Every day, however, increases the bitterness of the scourge under which they suffer, and if it does not avail to humble them, it tends at least to convince them, in their hearts, of the terrible mistake into which they have been led. We may well hope and believe that the masses of the people will soon be brought to that rational frame of mind which will incline them to acknowledge the irresistible exigencies of their situation, and to make those concessions that may be found indispensable to peace and union. As we approach the moment of decisive action, experience will teach us the solemn duty devolving upon us. While we may not at present anticipate fully what will then be necessary, we can nevertheless determine some few principles of a general nature which must control the adjustment.

We will be compelled to consider not only the duty which the Government owes the people, in the matter of their own permanent security, but also the obligations it has assumed, the promises it has made, and the hopes it has excited in the bondsmen of the rebellious States. There must be good faith toward the black man. It would be infamous to have incited him to escape from slavery only to remand him again, upon the restoration of the Union, to the tender mercies of his master. What differences of opinion may have existed in the beginning as to the legality and policy of the Proclamation and of employing the liberated slaves as soldiers, the Government and people are too far committed in this line of action to be able now to withdraw without dishonour and foul injustice. Many of the consequences of the war may be remedied, and even the last vestiges of them obliterated. Cities may be rebuilt, desolated fields made to bloom again with prosperity, and commerce may return to its old channels with even increased activity and volume. Many wounds may be healed, and may separations may be brought to an end by the renewal of friendships broken by the war; but the separation of the slave from his mater, so far as it has been caused by any action of the Government, can never be remedied. That must be an eternal separation, resting for its security upon the humanity as well as the honor of the American people. What! Shall we restore the States unconditionally, and permit the fugitive slave law again to operate as it did before the rebellion? Shall we consent to see the men whom we have invited away from the South dragged back into slavery tenfold more severe by reason of our act inducing them to escape? This is plainly impossible. Argument is wholly out of place; felling and conscience revolt at the very idea. It may be admitted that this question, with its peculiar complications, presents the most difficult and dangerous of all problems; but there is no alternative: we must meet and solve it at the close of this rebellion. We have to combat the selfish interests of a class still powerful, aided by the great strength of a popular prejudice almost universal. The emergency will require the exertion of all our wisdom and all our energy.

The vast body of slaves in the South have not yet been incited to action, either by the movements of our armies or by the potency of the Proclamation. Whether they will be, and to what extent, depends upon the continuance of the war, and its future progress. The result in this particular remains to be seen, and cannot now be anticipated. What legal effect the measures of the Government may have upon the slaves remaining in the South would be a question for the decision of the courts; and doubtless most of them would be entitled to liberation as the penalty of the treason of their masters, who may have participated in the rebellion. But it is well worthy of consideration whether it would not be wise and better for all parties, including the slaves, to commute this penalty by a compact with the States for the gradual emancipation of the slaves remaining at the time of the negotiation. The sudden and utter overthrow of the existing organization of labor and capital in those States, coming in addition to the awful devastation which the war has produced, will deal a disastrous blow, not alone to those unfortunate States, but to the commerce and industry of the whole country.

But neither the Government of the United States alone, nor this together with the Africans, liberated and unliberated, can prescribe their own requirements, as the law of the emergency, without reference to other great interests involved. The question must necessarily be controlled by the sum of all the political elements which enter into it. It is desirable to restore the States to the Union with as little dissatisfaction as possible, and even with all the alleviation which can properly be afforded to the misfortunes of the people who have so sadly erred in their duty to themselves and to their country. After any settlement—the most favorable that can be made—heavy will be the punishment inflicted by the great contest upon the unhappy population of the rebellious region. In many things, it is true, they will suffer only in common with the people of all the States; but they will also have their own peculiar misfortunes in addition to the common burdens. A generous Government, in the hour of its triumph, will seek to lessen rather than to aggravate their misfortunes, even though resulting from their crimes. Having received them back into the bosom of the Union, it will do so heartily and magnanimously, yielding everything which does not involve a violation of principle, and endanger the future tranquillity of the country. The harmony of the States, their homogeneity, and their general progress in all that contributes to the greatness and happiness of communities, ought to be, and doubtless will be, the benign object of the Government in the settlement of the existing difficulty. If these high purposes necessarily require in their development a provision for the rapid disappearance of slavery, the requirement will not arise from any remaining hostility to the returning States; on the contrary, it will look to their own improvement and prosperity, quite as much as to the peace and security of the whole country. The day will yet arrive when these States themselves will gratefully acknowledge that all the sacrifices of the war will be fully compensated by the advantages of that great and fundamental change, which they will undoubtedly now accept only with the utmost reluctance and aversion.


'Do but grasp into the thick of human life! Every one lives it—to not many is it known; and seize it where you will, it be interesting.'—Goethe.

'SUCCESSFUL.—Terminating in accomplishing what is wished or intended.'—Webster's Dictionary.


Hiram was never in serious difficulty before.

When he came carefully to survey the situation, he felt greatly embarrassed, and in real distress. To understand this, you have only to recollect what value he placed on church membership. In this he was perfectly sincere. He felt, too, as he afterward expressed it to Mr. Bennett, that he had not 'acted just right toward Emma Tenant,' but he had not the least idea the matter could possibly become a subject of church discipline. The day for such extraordinary supervision over one's private affairs had gone by, it is true, but Dr. Chellis, roused and indignant, would no doubt revive it on this occasion.

Hiram had absented himself the first Sunday after his interview with his clergyman, but on the following he ventured to take his accustomed seat. The distant looks and cold return to his greeting which he received from the principal members of the congregation, were unmistakable. Even the female portion, with whom he was such a favorite, had evidently declared against him.

He had gone too far.

However, he went into Sunday school, and took his accustomed seat with the class under his instruction. It was the first time he had been with it since he left town to attend on his mother. The young gentleman who had assumed a temporary charge of this class, which was one of the finest in the school, shook hands with cool politeness with Hiram, but did not offer to yield the seat. The latter, already nervous and ill at ease by reason of his reception among his acquaintances, did not dare assume his old place, lest he should be told he had been superseded. He contented himself with greeting his pupils, who appeared glad to see him, and sitting quietly by while they recited their lesson. Then, taking advantage of the few moments remaining, he gave them a pathetic account of the loss of his mother, and exhorted them all to honor and obey their parents. In the afternoon he did not go back to church, but went to hear Dr. Pratt, the clergyman who, the reader may recollect, had been recommended by Mr. Bennett on Hiram's first coming to new York. Our hero was not at all pleased with this latter gentleman. The fact is, to a person of Hiram's subtle intellect, a man like Dr. Chellis was a thousand times more acceptable than a milk-and-water divine.

From Dr. Pratt's, Hiram proceeded to his room, to take a careful survey of his position, and, as we said at the beginning of the chapter, he found himself in serious difficulty, greatly embarrassed and in real distress. He could not join another church, for a letter had been formally refused from his own. He could not remain where he was, for the feeling there was too strong against him, besides, evidently, Dr. Chellis was determined to institute damaging charges against him. He thought of attempting to make friends with Mr. and Mrs. Tenant, and humbly asking them to intercede for him, but the recollection of his last interview with Mrs, Tenant discouraged any hope of success. Emma, alas! was away, far away, else he would go and appeal to her—not to reinstate him as her accepted, but—to aid him to get right with Dr. Chellis. Such were some of the thoughts that went through his brain as he sat alone by his open window quite into the twilight. He felt worse and worse. Prayer did not help him, and every chapter which he read in the Bible added to his misery. At last it occurred to him to step to his cousin's house, not far distant, and talk the whole matter over there.

Although Mr. Bennett's family were out of town during the summer, he was obliged to remain most of the season, on account of his business. Up to this time he had not mentioned the fact of the breaking his engagement; indeed, he had avoided the subject whenever the two had met, because he knew he was wrong, and there was something about Mr. Bennett, notwithstanding his keen, shrewd, adroit mercantile habits, which was very straightforward and aboveboard, and which Hiram disliked to encounter. Besides, he had always been praised by his cousin for his tact and management, and he felt exceedingly mortified at being obliged to confess himself cornered. But something must be done, and that speedily. Yes, he would go and consult him. Hiram took his hat and walked slowly to Mr. Bennett's house. He found him extended on a sofa in his front parlor, quite alone and in the dark, enjoying apparently with much zest a fine Havana segar. It was by its light that Hiram was enabled to discover the smoker.

'Why, Hiram, is it you? Glad to see you!'—so his greeting ran. 'Didn't know you ever went out Sunday evenings except to church. Take a segar—oh, you don't smoke. It's deuced lonesome here without the folks. Must try and get off for a week or two myself. Why didn't I think to ask you to come and stay with me? Well, we will have some light on the occasion, and a cup of tea.' And he rose to ring the bell.

'Not just yet, if you please,' said Hiram, checking the other. 'I want to have some conversation with you, and I need your advice. I am in trouble.'

By a singular coincidence, these were the very words which Mr. Tenant employed when he went to consult his friend Dr. Chellis. As Hiram differed totally from Mr. Tenant, so did the drygoods jobbing merchant from the Doctor. Both were first-rate advisers in their way: the Doctor in a humane and noble sort, after his kind; the merchant in a shrewd, adroit, quick-witted, fertile manner, after his kind.

Mr. Bennett and Hiram both sat on the sofa, even as the Doctor and Mr. Tenant had sat together. It was quite dark, as I have said, and this gave Hiram a certain advantage in telling his story, for he dreaded his cousin's scrutinizing glance.

Mr. Bennett was much alarmed at Hiram's announcement. 'In trouble?' What could that mean but financial disaster?

'I was afraid he would speculate too much,' said Mr. Bennett to himself; 'but how could he have got such a blow as this? I saw him the day after his return, and he said everything had gone well in his absence.'

He settled himself, however, resolutely to hear the worst, and, to his praise be it spoken, fully determined to do what he could to aid the young man in his difficulties.

Hiram was brief in his communication. When he chose, he could go as straight to the point as any one. He did not attempt to gloss over his story, but put his cousin in possession of the facts pretty much as the reader understands them.

It is doubtful if Mr. Bennett was much relieved by the communication. Indeed, I think he would have preferred to have some pecuniary tangle out of which to extricate his cousin. In fact, it was impossible for him to suppress a feeling of contempt, not to say disgust, at Hiram's conduct. For, worldly minded as he was, It was what he never would have been guilty of. Indeed, it so happened that Mr. Bennett had actually married his wife under circumstances quite similar, three months after her father's failure, and one month after his death; so that where he expected a fortune, he had taken a portionless wife and her widowed mother. What is more, he did it cheerfully, and was, as he used to say, the happiest fellow in the world in consequence. It would have been singular, therefore, if while hearing Hiram's story he had not recurred to his own history. In indulging his contempt for him, he unconsciously practised an innocent self-flattery.

He did not immediately reply after Hiram concluded, but waited for this feeling to subside, and for the old worldly leaven to work again.

'A nice mess you're in,' he said, at length, 'and all from not seeking my advice in time. Do you know, Hiram, you made a great mistake in giving up that girl? I'm not talking of any matter of affection or sentiment or happiness, or about violating pledges and promises. That is your own affair, and I've nothing to do with it. I have often told you that you have much to learn yet, and here is a tremendous blunder to prove it. The connection would have been as good as a hundred thousand dollars cash capital, if the girl hadn't a cent. That clique is a powerful one, and they all hang together. Mark my words: they won't let the old man go under, and it would have been a fortune to you to have stood by him. You've taken a country view of this business, Hiram. There every man tries to pull his neighbor down. Here, we try to build one another up.'

'You are doubtless correct,' replied Hiram, 'but the mischief is done, and I want you to help me remedy it. If you can't aid me, nobody can.'

Mr. Bennett was not insensible to the compliment.

'Certainly, certainly,' he answered, 'you know you can count on me. I have always told you that you could, and I meant what I said. But you must permit me to point out your mistakes, and I tell you you should have asked my advice in this affair.'

'Very true.'

'You think Dr. Chellis won't yield?'

'I am sure of it.'

Mr. Bennett sat fixed in thought for at least five minutes, during which time, I am inclined to think, Hiram's countenance, could it have been seen through the darkness, would have been a study for an artist. For it doubtless exhibited (because it could not be seen) his actual feelings and anxieties. He was startled at last into an exclamation of fright by receiving an unexpected slap on his shoulder, which came from Mr. Bennett, who, rising at that moment, gave this as a token of having arrived at a happy solution of the difficulty. In this respect he was as abrupt as Dr. Chellis had been with his friend.

'The thing is settled. There is but one course to pursue, and you must take it. I will explain when we can have more light on the subject, to say nothing of our cup of tea.'

He rang the bell, the parlor was lighted, and tea served, when Mr. Bennett again broke the silence.

'Hiram,' he said, abruptly, 'you must quit the Presbyterian church.'

Hiram's heart literally stopped beating. He turned deadly pale.

Mr. Bennett perceived it. 'Don't be frightened,' he said. 'You have made a great mistake, and I would help you repair it. I repeat, you must quit the Presbyterian church, and you must join ours. You must indeed,' he continued, seeing Hiram look undecided.

'Does it teach the true salvation?' asked Hiram, doubtingly.

'How can you ask such a question?' replied Mr. Bennett, in a severe tone; 'are we not in the apostolic line? Are not the ordinances administered by a clergy whose succession has never been broken? You—you Presbyterians, may possibly be saved by the grace of God, but you have really no church, no priesthood, no ordinances. We won't discuss this. I will introduce you to our clergyman, and you shall examine the subject for yourself. Perhaps you don't know it, Hiram, but I have been confirmed; yes, I was confirmed last spring. When I had that fit of sickness in the winter, I thought more about these matters than I ever did before, and I came to the conclusion that it was my duty to be confirmed. I have felt much more comfortable ever since, I assure you. My wife, you know, is a strict churchwoman. She and you will agree first rate if you come with us. For my part, I don't pretend to be so very exact. I believe in the spirit more than the letter, and our clergyman don't find any fault with me. What say you, will you call on him? If yes, I will open up a little plan which I have this moment concocted for your particular benefit. But you must first become a churchman.

Hiram sat stupefied, horrified, in a trance, in a maze. Cast loose from his church, within whose pale he was accustomed to think salvation could only be found, the possibility that there might be hope for him in another quarter nearly took away his senses. He had been accustomed to regard the Episcopalians as little better than Papists, and they were the veritable children of wrath. Could he have been mistaken? He was now willing to hope so. It could certainly do no harm to confer with the clergyman. He would hear what he had to say, and then judge for himself, and so he told his cousin.

'All right; you talk like a sensible man. Now, Hiram, between us two, I am going to find you a wife.'

Hiram started. His pulse began again to beat naturally.

'Yes, I have found you a wife, that is, if you will do as I advise you, instead of following your own head. I tell you what it is, Hiram; you're green in these matters.'

Hiram smiled an incredulous smile, and asked, in a tone which betrayed a good deal of interest, 'Who is the young lady?'

'Never mind who she is until you come over to us. Then my wife shall introduce you. But I'll tell you this much, Hiram: she has a clear two hundred thousand dollars—no father, no mother, already of age, in our first society, and very aristocratic.'

'Is she pious?' asked Hiram, eagerly.

'Excessively so. Fact is, she is the strictest young woman in the church in—Lent. She belongs to all the charitable societies, and gives away I don't know how much.'

'Humph,' responded Hiram. The last recommendation did not seem specially to take with him. Still his eyes glistened at the recital. He could not resist asking several questions about the young lady, but Mr. Bennett was firm, and would not communicate further till Hiram's decision was made.

Thus conversing, they fell into a pleasant mood, and so the evening wore away. When Hiram rose to leave, he found it was nearly midnight. His cousin insisted he should remain with him, and Hiram was glad to accept the invitation. He did not feel like returning to his solitary room with his mind unsettled and his feelings discomposed.

In a most confidential mood the two walked up stairs together, and Mr. Bennett bade Hiram good night in a tone so cheerful that the latter entered his room quite reassured. He proceeded, as was his habit, to read a chapter in the Bible, but his teeth chattered when, on opening the volume, he discovered it to be—the prayer book!—something he had been accustomed to hold in utter abomination. He controlled his feelings sufficiently to glance through the book, and at last, selecting a chapter from the Psalter, he perused it and retired. He dreamed that he was married to the rich girl, and had the two hundred thousand dollars safe in his possession. And so real did this seem that he woke in the morning greatly disappointed to find himself minus so respectable a sum.

'I must not lose the chance,' said Hiram to himself, as he jumped out of bed. 'With that amount in cash I would teach all South street a lesson. I wonder if this is the true church after all;' and he took up the prayer book this time without fear, as if determined to find out.

He spent some time in reading the prayers, and confessed to himself that they were quite unobjectionable. Mr. Bennett's warning that there was no certainty of salvation, out of the church (i.e. his church) was not without its effect. As Hiram sought religion for the purpose of security on the other side, you can readily suppose any question of the validity of his title would make him very nervous; once convinced of his mistake, he would hasten to another church, just as he would change his insurance policies, when satisfied of the insolvency of the company which had taken his risks.

After breakfast Hiram renewed the subject of the last night's conversation, and Mr. Bennett was pleased to find that his views were already undergoing a decided change.

'Now, Hiram,' he exclaimed, 'if you do come over to us, it's no reason you should join my church. You may not like our clergyman. You know, when you first came to New York, I recommended you to join Dr. Pratt's congregation instead of Dr. Chellis's; but you wanted severe preaching, and you have had it. Now there are similar varieties among the Episcopalians. Dr. Wing, though a strict churchman, will give you sharp exercise, if you listen to him. He will handle you without gloves. He is fond of using the sword of the spirit, and you had best stand from under, or he will cleave you through and through. My clergyman, Mr. Myrtle, is a very different man. He believes in the gospel as a message of peace and love, and his sermons are beautiful. One feels so safe and happy to hear him discourse of the mercy of God, and the joys of heaven.'

'Nevertheless,' replied Hiram, stoutly, 'I hold to my old opinion, and I confess I prefer such a preacher as Dr. Wing to one like Mr. Myrtle. But under existing circumstances I shall go with you.'

He was thinking about the splendid match Mr. Bennett had hinted at.

'I am glad to hear you say so,' said Mr. Bennett; 'it will bring us more frequently together. You have a brilliant future, if you will listen to me; but it won't do to make another blunder, such as you have just committed.'

'I suppose you will tell me now about that young lady?' asked Hiram, with an interest he could not conceal.

'Not one word, not one syllable,' replied the other, good humoredly, 'until you are actually within the pale. Don't be alarmed,' he continued, seeing Hiram look disappointed. 'To tell you would not do the least good, and might frustrate my plans. But I will work the matter for you, my boy, if it is a possible thing; and for my part I see no difficulty in it. When my family come in town we will organize. Meantime let me ask, have you learned to waltz?'

'To waltz?' exclaimed Hiram, in horror. 'No. I don't even know how to dance; I was taught to believe it sinful. As to waltzing, how can you ask me if I practise such a disgusting, such an immoral style of performance, invented by infidel German students to give additional zest to their orgies.'

'Did Dr. Chellis tell you that,' said Mr. Bennett, with something like a sneer.

'No; I read it in the Christian Herald.'

'I thought so. Dr. Chellis has too much sense to utter such stuff.'

'Does Mr. Myrtle approve of waltzing?' inquired Hiram, with a groan.

'Hiram, don't be a goose. Of course, Mr. Myrtle does not exactly approve of it. That is, he don't waltz himself, his wife don't waltz, and his children are not old enough; but he does not object to any 'rational amusement,' and he leaves his congregation to decide what is rational.'

'Well, I shall not waltz, that's certain.'

'Yes you will, too. The girl you are to marry—the girl who has a clear two hundred thousand in her own right—she waltzes, and you have got to waltz.'

Hiram's head swam, as if already giddy in the revolving maze; but it was the thought of the two hundred thousand dollars, nothing else, which turned his brain. The color in his face went and came; he hesitated.

'I will think of it,' at last he ejaculated.

'Of course you will,' cried Mr. Bennett, 'of course you will, and decide like a sensible man afterward, not like an idiot; but you must decide quick, for I must put you in training for the fall campaign.'

'What do you mean?'

'Why, simply this; the girl will not look at you unless you are a fashionable fellow—don't put on any more wry faces, but think of the prize—and I must have you well up in all the accomplishments. For the rest, you are what I call, a finely-formed, good-looking, and rather graceful fellow, if you are my cousin.'

Hiram's features relaxed.

'When can I call on Mr. Myrtle?' he asked.

'Not for several weeks. He is taking a longer vacation than usual. However, come with me every Sunday, and you will hear Mr. Strang, our curate, who officiates in Mr. Myrtle's absence. A most excellent man, and a very fair preacher.'

'Have you a Sunday school connected with the church?'

'Do you think we are heathen, Hiram? Have we a Sunday school? I should suppose so! What is more, the future Mrs. Meeker is one of the teachers,'

'Yet she waltzes?'

'Yet she waltzes.'

'Well, I hope I shall understand this better by and by.'

'Certainly you will.'

The two proceeded down town to their business.

In a very few days after, Hiram Meeker was the pupil—the private pupil—of Signor Alberto, dancing master to the aristocracy of the town. [That is not what he called himself, but I wish to be intelligible.] Alberto had directions to perfect his pupil in every step practised in the world of fashion. Hiram proved an apt and ready scholar. He gave this new branch of education the same care and assiduity that he always practised in everything he undertook. Mr. Bennett was not out of the way in praising his parts. Signor Alberto was delighted with his pupil. His rapid progress was a source of great pleasure to the master. To be sure, he could not get on quite as well as if he had consented to go in with a class; but this Hiram would not think of. Still the matter was managed without much difficulty, as the Signor could always command supernumeraries.

When it came to the waltz, Alberto was kind enough to introduce to Hiram a young lady—a friend of his—who, he said, was perfectly familiar with every measure; and who would, as a particular favor, take the steps with him, under the master's special direction. It took Hiram's breath away, poor fellow, to be thrown so closely into the embraces of such a fine-looking, and by no means diffident damsel. It was what he had not been accustomed to. True, he had been in the habit at one time of playing the flirt, of holding the girls' hands in his, and pressing them significantly, and sighing and talking sentimental nonsense; but here the tables were turned. Hiram was the bashful one, and the young lady apparently the flirt. She explained, with, tantalizing nonchalance, how he ought to take a more encircling hold of her waist. She illustrated practically the different methods—close waltzing, medium waltzing, and waltzing at arms' length. She would waltz light and heavy—observing to Hiram that he might on some occasion have an awkward partner, and it was well to be prepared.

To better explain, the young lady would become the gentleman; and in whirling Hiram round, she exhibited a strength and vigor truly astonishing.

All the while Hiram, with quick breath, and heightened color, and whirling brain, was striving hard and failing fast to keep his wits about him. What was most annoying of all, the young lady, though so accommodating and familiar as a partner to practise with under the master's eye, when the exercise was over appeared perfectly and absolutely indifferent to Hiram. She was quite insensible to every little byplay of his to attract her notice, which, as he advanced in her acquaintance, he began to practice before the lesson commenced, or after it was finished. The fact is, whoever or whatever she might be, she evidently held Hiram in great contempt as a greenhorn. Strange to say, for once all his powers of fascination failed; and the more he tried to call them forth, the more signal was his discomfiture. It does not appear that Hiram, after finishing his education with Signor Alberto, attempted to continue his acquaintance with his partner in the waltz. Once during the course he did ask the young lady where she lived, and intimated that he would be pleased to call and see her; but the observation was received with such evident signs of dissatisfaction, that he never renewed the subject, and it is doubtful if he ever explained to himself satisfactorily his failure to get in the good graces of such a handsome girl and so perfect a waltzer.


The Rev. Augustus Myrtle, rector of St. Jude's, was one of those circumstances of nature which are only to be encountered in metropolitan life. This seems a paradox. I will explain. All his qualities were born with him, not acquired, and those qualities could only shine in the aristocratic and fashionable circles of a large city. As animals by instinct avoid whatever is noxious and hurtful, so Augustus Myrtle from his infancy by instinct avoided all poor people and all persons not in the 'very first society.'

Children are naturally democrats; school is a great leveller. Augustus Myrtle recognized no such propositions. While a boy at the academy, while a youth in college, he sought the intimacy of boys and youths of rich persons of ton. It was not enough that a young fellow was well bred and had a good social position—he must be rich. It was not enough that he was rich—he must have position.

I do not think that Augustus Myrtle sat down carefully to calculate all this. So I say it was instinctive—born with him. A person who frequents only the society of the well bred and the wealthy must, to a degree at least, possess refined and elegant and expensive tastes, and it was so in the case of Myrtle. His tastes were refined and elegant and expensive.

His parents were themselves people of respectability, but very poor. His mother used to say that her son's decided predilections were in consequence of her unfortunate state of mind the season Augustus was born, when poverty pinched the family sharply. Mr. Myrtle was a man of collegiate education, with an excellent mind, but totally unfitted for active life. The result was, after marrying a poor girl, who was, however, of the 'aristocracy,' he became, through the influence of her friends, the librarian of the principal library in a neighboring city, with a fair salary, on which, with occasional sums received for literary productions, he managed to bring up and support his small family. At times, when some unexpected expenses had to be incurred, as I have hinted, poverty seemed to poor Mrs. Myrtle a very great hardship, and such was their situation the year Augustus was born.

He was the only son, and the hope of the parents centred on him. It was settled that he should be sent to the best schools and to a first-class college. He had, perhaps, rather more than ordinary ability, the power to display to the best advantage the talents and acquirements he did possess, together with attractive manners, which, though reserved, were pleasing. He was slight, gracefully formed, and a little above the ordinary height. He had a dark complexion, a face thin and colorless, with fine, large, black eyes.

When I say Augustus Myrtle sought only the intimacy of the rich and well bred, you must not suppose he was a toady, or practised obsequiously. Not at all. He mingled with his associates, assuming to be one of them—their equal. True, his want of money led to desperate economical contrivances behind the scenes, but on the stage he betrayed by no sign that affairs did not flow as smoothly with him as with his companions. In all this, he had in his mother great support and encouragement. Her relations were precisely of the stamp Augustus desired to cultivate, and this gave him many advantages. As usually happens, he found what he sought. By the aid of the associations he had formed with so much assiduity, to say nothing of his own personal recommendations, he married a nice girl, the only child of a widowed lady in the right 'set' and with sixty thousand dollars, besides a considerable expectancy on the mother's decease. Shortly after, he became rector of St. Jude's, the most exclusive 'aristocratic' religious establishment in New York.

At this present period, the Rev. Augustus Myrtle was but thirty-five, and, from his standing and influence, he considered it no presumption to look forward to the time when he should become bishop of the diocese.

His health was excellent, if we may except some very slight indications of weakness of the larynx, which had been the cause of his making two excursions to Europe, each of six months' duration, which were coupled with an appropriation of twenty-five hundred dollars by his indulgent congregation to pay expenses.

While Mr. Myrtle and his family were still absent, Hiram had made very sensible progress in mastering the mysteries of the Episcopal form of worship, and became fully versed in certain doctrinal points, embracing all questions of what constitutes a 'church' and a proper 'succession.' His investigations were carried on under the direction of the Rev. Mr. Strang, a man of feeble mind (Mr. Myrtle was careful to have no one near him unless the contrast was to his advantage), but a worthy and conscientious person, who believed he was doing Heaven service in bringing Hiram into the fold of the true church. Hiram was again in his element as an object of religious interest. Before the rector had returned, he became very impatient to see him. It was a long while since he had been at communion, and he began to fear his hold on heaven would be weakened by so long an absence from that sacrament. Besides, he felt quite prepared and ready to be confirmed.

The Myrtles returned at last. In due time, Mrs. Bennett talked the whole matter over with Mrs. Myrtle. Hiram was represented as 'a very rich young merchant, destined to be a leading man in the city—of an ancient and honorable New England family—very desirable in the church—a cousin'—[here several sentences were uttered in a whisper, accompanied by nods and signs significant, which I shall never be able to translate]—'must secure him—ripe for it now.'

I think I forgot to say that Mrs. Myrtle and Mrs. Bennett were in the same 'set' as young ladies, and were very intimate.

The nest day Mrs. Bennett opened the subject to Mr. Myrtle, his wife having duly prepared him. The object was to introduce Hiram into the church in the most effective manner. This could only be done through the instrumentality of the reverend gentleman himself. Everything went smoothly. Mr. Myrtle was not insensible to the value of infusing new and fresh elements into his congregation.

'Of course,' he observed, 'this wealthy young man will take an entire pew.' (The annual auction of rented pews was soon to come off, and Mr. Myrtle liked marvellously to see strong competition. It spoke well for the church.)

'He will purchase a pew, if a desirable one can be had,' answered Mrs. Bennett.

'Oh, that is well. How fortunate! The Winslows are going to Europe to reside, and I think will sell theirs. One of the best in the church. Pray ask Mr. Bennett to look after it.'

'Thank you. How very considerate, how very thoughtful! We will see to it at once.'

The interview ended, after some further conversation, in a manner most satisfactory.

It was a magnificent autumnal afternoon, the second week of October, when Hiram Meeker, by previous appointment, called at the residence of the Rev. Augustus Myrtle. The house was built on to the church, so as to correspond in architecture, and exhibited great taste in exterior as well as interior arrangement. Hiram walked up the steps and boldly rang the bell. He had improved a good deal in some respects since his passage at arms with Dr. Chellis, and while under the auspices of Mr. Bennett. He had laid aside the creamy air he used so frequently to assume, and had hardened himself, so to speak, against contingencies. I was saying he marched boldly up and rang the bell.

A footman in unexceptionable livery opened the door. Mr. Myrtle was engaged, but on Hiram's sending in his name, he was ushered into the front parlor, and requested to sit, and informed that Mr. Myrtle would see him in a few minutes. This gave Hiram time to look about him.

It so happened that it was the occasion of a preliminary gathering for the season (there had been no meeting since June) of those who belonged to the 'Society for the Relief of Reduced Ladies of former Wealth and Refinement.' This 'relief' consisted in furnishing work to the recipients of the bounty at prices about one quarter less than they could procure elsewhere, and without experiencing a sense of obligation which these charitable ladies managed to call forth.

There was already in the back parlor a bevy of six or eight, principally young, fine-looking, and admirably dressed women.

Arrayed in the most expensive silks, of rich colors, admirably corresponding with the season, fitted in a mode the most faultless to the exquisite forms of these fair creatures, or made dexterously to conceal any natural defect, they rose, they sat, they walked up and down the room, greeting from time to time the new comers as they arrived.

The conversation turned meanwhile on the way the summer had been spent, and much delicate gossip was broached or hinted at, but not entered into. Next the talk was about dress. The names of the several fashionable dressmakers were quoted as authority for this, and denunciatory of that. Congratulations were exchanged: 'How charmingly you look—how sweet that is—what a lovely bonnet!'

All this Hiram Meeker drank in with open ears and eyes, for from where he was sitting, he could see everything that was going on, as well as hear every word.

One thing particularly impressed him. He felt that never before had he been in such society. The ladies of Dr. Chellis's church were intelligent, refined, and well bred, but here was TON—that unmistakable, unquestionable ton which arrogates everything unto itself, claims everything, and with a certain class is everything.

I need not say, to a person of Hiram's keen and appreciative sense, the picture before him was most attractive. How perfect was every point in it! What minute and fastidious attention had been devoted to every article of dress! How every article had been specially designed to set off and adorn! The hat, how charming; the hair, how exquisitely coiffed; the shawl, how magnificent; the dress how rich! The gloves, of what admirable tint, and how neatly fitted; and how wonderfully were the walking boots adapted to display foot and ankle! And these did not distinguish one, but every one present.

I do not wonder Hiram was carried away by the spectacle. There is something very overpowering in such a scene. Who is sufficient to resist its seductive influences?

In the midst of what might be called a trance, when Hiram's senses were wrapt in a sort of charmed Elysium, the Rev. Augustus Myrtle entered the room. He did not look toward Hiram, but passed directly into the back parlor. He walked along, not as if he were stepping on eggs, but very smoothly and noiselessly, as if treading (as he was doing) on the finest of velvet carpets.

Instantly what a flutter! How they ran up to him, ambitious to get the first salute, and to proffer the first congratulation! How gracefully the Rev. Augustus Myrtle received each! Two or three there were (there were reasons, doubtless) whose cheeks he kissed decorously, yet possibly with some degree of relish. The rest had to content themselves with shaking hands. Many and various were the compliments he received. Their 'delight to see him, how well he was looking,' and so forth.

Presently he started to leave them.

'Oh, you must not run off so soon, we shall follow you to your sanctum.'

'An engagement,' replied Mr. Myrtle, glancing into the other room.

A score of handsome eyes were turned in the direction where Hiram was seated, listening with attention, and watching everything. Discomfited by such an array, he colored, coughed, and nervously shifted his position. Some laughed. The rest looked politely indifferent.

'A connection of the Bennetts,' whispered Mrs. Myrtle, 'a fine young man, immensely rich. He is to come in future to our church.'

'Ah,' 'Yes,' 'Indeed,' 'Excellent.' Such were the responses.

Meanwhile Mr. Myrtle had greeted Hiram courteously, and invited him to his library. This was across the hall, in a room which formed a part of the church edifice.

As Hiram followed Mr. Myrtle out of the parlor, several of the ladies took another look at him. They could not but remark that he was finely formed, fashionably dressed, and, thanks to Signor Alberto, of a very graceful carriage.

The interview between Mr. Myrtle and Hiram was brief. The latter, thoroughly tutored by his cousin, was careful to say nothing about his previous conviction and wonderful conversion, but left Mr. Myrtle, as was very proper, to lead in the conversation. He had previously talked with Mr. Strang, which, with the recommendation of Mrs. Bennett, left no doubt in his mind as to Hiram's fitness to receive confirmation.

It was very hard for him to be informed that his early baptism must go for nothing—what time his father and mother, in their ignorance and simplicity, brought their child to present before God, and receive the beautiful rite of the sprinkling of water.

A dreadful mistake they made, since no properly consecrated hands administered on that occasion. But nevertheless, Hiram is safe. Lucky fellow, he has discovered the mistake, and repaired it in season.

'I think, Mr. Meeker, your conversations with Mr. Strang have proved very instructive to you. Here is a work I have written, which embraces the whole of my controversy with Mr. Howland on the true church (and there is not salvation in any other) and the apostolic succession. Having read and approved this,' he added with a pleasant smile, 'I will vouch for you as a good churchman.'

Hiram was delighted. He took the volume, and was about to express his thanks, when Mrs. Myrtle appeared at the door, which had been left open.

'My dear, I regret to disturb you, but'—

'I will join you at once,' said Mr. Myrtle, rising. This is Mr. Meeker, a cousin of your friend Mrs. Bennett'—as if she did not know it.

Mrs. Myrtle bowed graciously, and said, with charming condescension:

'Then it is you I have heard such a good report of. You are coming to our church away from——'

'Never mind from where, my dear,' said Mr, Myrtle pleasantly, and he bowed Hiram out in a manner which positively charmed our hero.

That evening Mr. Bennett told Hiram he had purchased a pew for him—price sixteen hundred and fifty dollars.

'Sixteen hundred and fifty dollars,' exclaimed the other, in amazement.


'Why, I can't stand that. The dearest pews in Dr. Chellis's church were not over six hundred. You are joking.'

'You are an idiot,' retorted Mr. Bennett, half pettishly, half playfully. 'Have you not placed yourself in my hands? Shall I not manage your interests as I please? I say I want sixteen hundred and fifty dollars. I know you can draw the money without the least inconvenience. If I thought you could not, I would advance it myself. Are you content?'

Hiram nodded a doubtful assent.

How fortunate,' continued Mr. Bennett, that the Winslows are going to Europe, and how lucky I got there the minute I did! Young Bishop came in just as I closed the purchase. I know what he wanted it for, and I know what I wanted it for. Hiram, a word in your ear—your pew is immediately in front of our heiress! Bravo, old fellow! Now, will you pay up?'

Hiram nodded this time with satisfaction.

The second Sunday thereafter one might observe that the Winslows' pew had been newly cushioned and carpeted, and otherwise put in order. Several prayer books and a Bible, elegantly bound, and lettered 'H. Meeker,' were placed in it. This could not escape the notice of the very elegant and fashionably dressed young lady in the next slip. Strange to say, the pew contained no occupant. But just before the service was about to commence, Hiram, purposely a little late, walked quietly in, and took possession of his property. His pose was capital. His ease and nonchalance were perfectly unexceptionable, evidencing haut ton. He had been practising for weeks.

'Who can he be?' asked the elegant and fashionably dressed young lady of herself. She was left to wonder. When he walked homeward, Hiram was informed by Mr. Bennett that the elegant and fashionably dressed young lady was Miss Arabella Thorne, without father, without mother, of age, and possessed of a clear sum of two hundred thousand dollars in her own right!


letter no. i, from hon. robert j. walker.

London, 10 Half Moon Street, Piccadilly,}
August 5, 1863.}

The question has been often asked me, here and on the continent, how has your Secretary of the Treasury (Mr. Chase) so marvellously sustained American credit during this rebellion, and when will your finances collapse? This question I have frequently answered in conversations with European statesmen and bankers, and the discussion has closed generally in decided approval of Mr. Chase's financial policy, and great confidence in the wonderful resources of the United States.

Thus encouraged, I have concluded to discuss the question in a series of letters, explaining Mr. Chase's system and stating the reasons of its remarkable success. The interest in such a topic is not confined to the United States, nor to the present period, but extends to all times and nations. Indeed, finance, as a science, belongs to the world. It is a principal branch of the doctrine of 'the wealth of nations,' discussed, during the last century, with so much ability by Adam Smith. Although many great principles were then settled, yet political economy is emphatically progressive, especially the important branches of credit, currency, taxation, and revenue.

Mr. Chase's success has been complete under the most appalling difficulties. The preceding administration, by their treasonable course, and anti-coercion heresies, had almost paralyzed the Government. They had increased the rate of interest of Federal loans from six to nearly twelve per cent. per annum. Their Vice-president (Mr. Breckenridge), their Finance Minister (Mr. Cobb), their Secretary of War (Mr. Floyd), their Secretary of the Interior (Mr. Thompson), are now in the traitor army. Even the President (Mr. Buchanan), with an evident purpose of aiding the South to dissolve the Union, had announced in his messages the absurd political paradox, that a State has no right to secede, but that the Government has no right to prevent its secession. It was a conspiracy of traitors, at the head of which stood the President, secretly pledged, at Ostend and Cininnati, to the South (as the price of their support), to aid them to control or destroy the republic. Thus was it that, in time of profound peace, when our United States six per cents. commanded a few weeks before a large premium, and our debt was less than $65,000,000, that Mr. Buchanan's Secretary of the Treasury (Mr. Cobb) was borrowing money at an interest of nearly twelve per cent. per annum. Most fortunately that accursed administration was drawing to a close, or the temporary overthrow of the Government would have been effected. Never did any minister of finance undertake a task apparently so hopeless as that so fully accomplished by Mr. Chase in reviving the public credit. A single fact will illustrate the extraordinary result. At the close of the fiscal year ending 1st July, 1860, our public debt was only $64,769,703, and Secretary Cobb was borrowing money at twelve per cent. per annum. On the first of July 1863, in the midst of a stupendous rebellion, our debt was $1,097,274,000, and Mr. Chase had reduced the average rate of interest to 3.89 per cent. per annum, whilst the highest rate was 7.30 for a comparatively small sum to be paid off next year. This is a financial achievement without a parallel in the history of the world. If I speak on this subject with some enthusiasm, it is in no egotistical spirit, for Mr. Chase's system differs in many respects widely from that adopted by me as Minister of Finance during the Mexican war, and which raised United States five per cents. to a premium. But my system was based on specie, or its real and convertible equivalent, and would not have answered the present emergency, which, by our enormous expenditure, necessarily forced a partial and temporary suspension of specie payments upon our banks and Government. Mr. Chase's system is exclusively his own, and, in many of its aspects, is without a precedent in history. When first proposed by him it had very few friends, and was forced upon a reluctant Congress by the great emergency, presenting the alternative of its adoption or financial ruin. Indeed, upon a test vote in Congress in February last, it had failed, when the premium on gold rose immediately over twenty per cent. This caused a reconsideration, when the bills were passed and the premium on gold was immediately reduced more than the previous rise, exhibiting the extraordinary difference in a few days of twenty-three per cent., in the absence of any intermediate Federal victories in the field.

Such are the facts. Let me now proceed to detail the causes of these remarkable results. The first element in the success of any Minister of Finance is the just confidence of the country in his ability, integrity, candor, courage, and patriotism. He may find it necessary, in some great emergency, like our rebellion, to diverge somewhat from the via trita of the past, and enter upon paths not lighted by the lamp of experience. He must never, however, abandon great principles, which are as unchangeable as the laws developed by the physical sciences. When Mr. Chase, in his first annual Treasury Report of the 9th of December, 1861, recommended his system of United States banks, organized by Congress throughout the country, furnishing a circulation based upon private means and credit, but secured also by an adequate amount of Federal stock, held by the Government as security for its redemption, it was very unpopular, and encountered most violent opposition. The State banks, and all the great interests connected with them, were arrayed against the proposed system. When we reflect that many of these banks (especially in the great State of New York) were based on State stocks, and in many States that the banks yielded large revenues to the local Government;—when we see, by our Census Tables of 1860 (p. 193), that these banks numbered 1642, with a capital paid up of $421,890,095, loans $691,495,580, and a circulation and deposits, including specie, of $544,469,134,—we may realize in part the tremendous power arrayed against the Secretary. This opposition was so formidable, that neither in the public press nor in Congress did this recommendation of Mr. Chase receive any considerable support. Speaking of the currency issued by the State banks, and of the substitute proposed by Mr. Chase, he presented the following views in his first annual Report before referred to, of December, 1861:—

'The whole of this circulation constitutes a loan without interest from the people to the banks, costing them nothing except the expense of issue and redemption and the interest on the specie kept on hand for the latter purpose; and it deserves consideration whether sound policy does not require that the advantages of this loan be transferred in part at least, from the banks, representing only the interests of the stockholders, to the Government, representing the aggregate interests of the whole people.

'It has been well questioned by the most eminent statesmen whether a currency of bank notes, issued by local institutions under State laws, is not, in fact, prohibited by the national Constitution. Such emissions certainly fall within the spirit, if not within the letter, of the constitutional prohibition of the emission of bills of credit by the States, and of the making by them of anything except gold and silver coin a legal tender in payment of debts. 'However this may be, it is too clear to be reasonably disputed that Congress, under its constitutional powers to lay taxes, to regulate commerce, and to regulate the value of coin, possesses ample authority to control the credit circulation which enters so largely into the transactions of commerce and affects in so many ways the value of coin.

'In the judgment of the Secretary the time has arrived when Congress should exercise this authority. The value of the existing bank note circulation depends on the laws of thirty-four States and the character of some sixteen hundred private corporations. It is usually furnished in greatest proportions by institutions of least actual capital. Circulation, commonly, is in the inverse ratio of solvency. Well-founded institutions, of large and solid capital, have, in general, comparatively little circulation; while weak corporations almost invariably seek to sustain themselves by obtaining from the people the largest possible credit in this form. Under such a system, or rather lack of system, great fluctuations, and heavy losses in discounts and exchanges, are inevitable; and not unfrequently, through failures of the issuing institutions, considerable portions of the circulation become suddenly worthless in the hands of the people. The recent experience of several States in the valley of the Mississippi painfully illustrates the justice of these observations; and enforces by the most cogent practical arguments the duty of protecting commerce and industry against the recurrence of such disorders.

'The Secretary thinks it possible to combine with this protection a provision for circulation, safe to the community and convenient for the Government.

'Two plans for effecting this object are suggested. The first contemplates the gradual withdrawal from circulation of the notes of private corporations and for the issue, in their stead of United States notes, payable in coin on demand, in amounts sufficient for the useful ends of a representative currency. The second contemplates the preparation and delivery, to institutions and associations, of notes prepared for circulation under national direction, and to be secured as to prompt convertibility into coin by the pledge of United States bonds and other needful regulations.

'The first of these plans was partially adopted at the last session of Congress in the provision authorizing the Secretary to issue United States notes, payable in coin, to an amount not exceeding fifty millions of dollars. That provision may be so extended as to reach the average circulation of the country, while a moderate tax, gradually augmented, on bank notes, will relieve the national from the competition of local circulation. It has been already suggested that the substitution of a national for a State currency, upon this plan, would be equivalent to a loan to the Government without interest, except on the fund to be kept in coin, and without expense, except the cost of preparation, issue, and redemption; while the people would gain the additional advantage of a uniform currency, and relief from a considerable burden in the form of interest on debt. These advantages are, doubtless, considerable; and if a scheme can be devised by which such a circulation will be certainly and strictly confined to the real needs of the people, and kept constantly equivalent to specie by prompt and certain redemption in coin, it will hardly fail of legislative sanction.

'The plan, however, is not without serious inconveniences and hazards. The temptation, especially great in times of pressure and danger, to issue notes without adequate provision for redemption; the ever-present liability to be called on for redemption beyond means, however carefully provided and managed; the hazards of panics, precipitating demands for coin, concentrated on a few points and a single fund; the risk of a depreciated, depreciating, and finally worthless paper money; the immeasurable evils of dishonored public faith and national bankruptcy; all these are possible consequence of the adoption of a system of government circulation. It may be said, and perhaps truly, that they are less deplorable than those of an irredeemable bank circulation. Without entering into that comparison, the Secretary contents himself with observing that, in his judgment, these possible disasters so far outweigh the probable benefits of the plan that he feels himself constrained to forbear recommending its adoption.

'The second plan suggested remains for examination. Its principal features are, (1st) a circulation of notes bearing a common impression and authenticated by a common authority; (2d) the redemption of these notes by the associations and institutions to which they may be delivered for issue; and (3d) the security of that redemption by the pledge of the United States stocks, and an adequate provision of specie.

'In this plan the people, in their ordinary business, would find the advantages of uniformity in currency; of uniformity in security; of effectual safeguard, if effectual safeguard is possible, against depreciation; and of protection from losses in discount and exchanges; while in the operations of the Government the people would find the further advantage of a large demand for Government securities, of increased facilities for obtaining the loans required by the war, and of some alleviation of the burdens on industry through a diminution in the rate of interest, or a participation in the profit of circulation, without risking the perils of a great money monopoly.

'A further and important advantage to the people may be reasonably expected in the increased security of the Union, springing from the common interest in its preservation, created by the distribution of its stocks to associations throughout the country, as the basis of their circulation.

'The Secretary entertains the opinion that if a credit circulation in any form be desirable, it is most desirable in this. The notes thus issued and secured would, in his judgment, form the safest currency which this country has ever enjoyed; while their receivability for all Government dues, except customs, would make them, wherever payable, of equal value, as a currency, in every part of the Union. The large amount of specie now in the United States, reaching a total of not less than two hundred and seventy-five millions of dollars, will easily support payments of duties in coin, while these payments and ordinary demands will aid in retaining this specie in the country as a solid basis both of circulation and loans.

'The whole circulation of the country, except a limited amount of foreign coin, would, after the lapse of two or three years, bear the impress of the nation whether in coin or notes; while the amount of the latter, always easily ascertainable, and, of course, always generally known, would not be likely to be increased beyond the real wants of business.

'He expresses an opinion in favor of this plan with the greater confidence, because it has the advantage of recommendation from experience. It is not an untried theory. In the State of New York, and in one or more of the other States, it has been subjected, in its most essential parts, to the test of experiment, and has been found practicable and useful. The probabilities of success will not be diminished but increased by its adoption under national sanction and for the whole country.

'It only remains to add that the plan is recommended by one other consideration, which, in the judgment of the Secretary, is entitled to much influence. It avoids almost, if not altogether, the evils of a great and sudden change in the currency by offering inducements to solvent existing institutions to withdraw the circulation issued under State authority, and substitute that provided by the authority of the Union. Thus, through the voluntary action of the existing institutions, aided by wise legislation, the great transition from a currency heterogeneous, unequal, and unsafe, to one uniform, equal, and safe, may be speedily and almost imperceptibly accomplished.

'If the Secretary has omitted the discussion of the question of the constitutional power of Congress to put this plan into operation, it is because no argument is necessary to establish the proposition that the power to regulate commerce and the value of coin includes the power to regulate the currency of the country, or the collateral proposition that the power to effect the end includes the power to adopt the necessary and expedient means.

'The Secretary entertains the hope that the plan now submitted, if adopted with the limitations and safeguards which the experience and wisdom of senators and representatives will, doubtless, suggest, may impart such value and stability to Government securities that it will not be difficult to obtain the additional loans required for the service of the current and the succeeding year at fair and reasonable rates; especially if the public credit be supported by sufficient and certain provision for the payment of interest and ultimate redemption of the principal.'

Congress adjourned after a session of eight months, and failed to adopt Mr. Chase's recommendation. Indeed, it had then but few advocates in Congress or the country. Events rolled on, and our debt, as anticipated by Mr. Chase, became of vast dimensions. In his Report of December, 1861, the public debt on the 30th June, 1862 (the close of the fiscal year), was estimated by the Secretary at $517,372,800; and it was $514,211,371, or more than $3,000,000 less than the estimate. In his Report of December 4, 1862, our debt, on the 30th June, 1863, was estimated by Mr. Chase at $1,122,297,403, and it was $1,097,274,000, being $25,023,403 less than the estimate. The average rate of interest on this debt was 3.89, being $41,927,980, of which $30,141,080 was payable in gold, and $11,786,900 payable in Federal currency. It will thus be seen that the whole truth, as to our heavy debt, was always distinctly stated in advance by Mr. Chase, and that the debt has not now quite reached his estimate. Long before the date of the second annual Report of the Secretary, the banks had suspended specie payments, and the Secretary renewed his former recommendation on that subject in these words:—

'While the Secretary thus repeats the preference he has heretofore expressed for a United States note circulation, even when issued direct by the Government, and dependent on the action of the Government for regulation and final redemption, over the note circulation of the numerous and variously organized and variously responsible banks now existing in the country; and while he now sets forth, more fully than heretofore, the grounds of that preference, he still adheres to the opinion expressed in his last Report, that a circulation furnished by the Government, but issued by banking associations, organized under a general act of Congress, is to be preferred to either. Such a circulation, uniform in general characteristics, and amply secured as to prompt convertibility by national bonds deposited in the treasury, by the associations receiving it, would unite, in his judgment, more elements of soundness and utility than can be combined in any other.

'A circulation composed exclusively of notes issued directly by the Government, or of such notes and coin, is recommended mainly by two considerations:—the first derived from the facility with which it may be provided in emergencies, and the second, from its cheapness.

'The principal objections to such a circulation as a permanent system are, 1st, the facility of excessive expansion when expenditures exceed revenue; 2d, the danger of lavish and corrupt expenditure, stimulated by facility of expansion; 3d, the danger of fraud in management and supervision; 4th, the impossibility of providing it in sufficient amounts for the wants of the people whenever expenditures are reduced to equality with revenue or below it.

'These objections are all serious. The last requires some elucidation. It will be easily understood, however, if it be considered that a government issuing a credit circulation cannot supply, in any given period, an amount of currency greater than the excess of its disbursements over its receipts. To that amount, it may create a debt in small notes, and these notes may be used as currency. This is precisely the way in which the existing currency of United States notes is supplied. That portion of the expenditure not met by revenue or loans has been met by the issue of these notes. Debt in this form has been substituted for various debts in other forms. Whenever, therefore, the country shall be restored to a healthy normal condition, and receipts exceed expenditures, the supply of United States notes will be arrested, and must progressively diminish. Whatever demand may be made for their redemption in coin must hasten this diminution; and there can be no reissue; for reissue, under the conditions, necessarily implies disbursement, and the revenue, upon the supposition, supplies more than is needed for that purpose. There is, then, no mode in which a currency in United States notes can be permanently maintained, except by loans of them, when not required for disbursement, on deposits of coin, or pledge of securities, or in some other way. This would convert the treasury into a government bank, with all its hazards and mischiefs.

'If these reasonings be sound, little room can remain for doubt that the evils certain to arise from such a scheme of currency, if adopted as a permanent system, greatly overbalance the temporary though not inconsiderable advantages offered by it.

'It remains to be considered what results may be reasonably expected from an act authorizing the organization of banking associations, such as the Secretary proposed in his last Report.

'The central idea of the proposed measure is the establishment of one sound, uniform circulation, of equal value throughout the country, upon the foundation of national credit combined with private capital.

'Such a currency, it is believed, can be secured through banking associations organized under national legislation.

'It is proposed that these associations be entirely voluntary. Any persons, desirous of employing real capital in sufficient amounts, can, if the plan be adopted, unite together under proper articles, and having contributed the requisite capital, can invest such part of it, not less than a fixed minimum, in United States bonds, and, having deposited these bonds with the proper officer of the United States, can receive United States notes in such denominations as may be desired, and employ them as money in discounts and exchanges. The stockholders of any existing banks can, in like manner, organize under the act, and transfer, by such degrees as may be found convenient, the capital of the old to the use of the new associations. The notes thus put into circulation will be payable, until resumption, in United States notes, and, after resumption, in specie, by the association which issues them, on demand; and if not so paid will be redeemable at the treasury of the United States from the proceeds of the bonds pledged in security. In the practical working of the plan, if sanctioned by Congress, redemption at one or more of the great commercial centres, will probably be provided for by all the associations which circulate the notes, and, in case any association shall fail in such redemption, the treasurer of the United States will probably, under discretionary authority, pay the notes, and cancel the public debt held as security.

'It seems difficult to conceive of a note circulation which will combine higher local and general credit than this. After a few years no other circulation would be used, nor could the issues of the national circulation be easily increased beyond the legitimate demands of business. Every dollar of circulation would represent real capital, actually invested in national stocks, and the total amount issued could always be easily and quickly ascertained from the books of the treasury. These circumstances, if they might not wholly remove the temptation to excessive issues, would certainly reduce it to the lowest point, while the form of the notes, the uniformity of the devices, the signatures of national officers, and the imprint of the national seal authenticating the declaration borne on each that it is secured by bonds which represent the faith and capital of the whole country, could not fail to make every note as good in any part of the world as the best known and best esteemed national securities.

'The Secretary has already mentioned the support to public credit which may be expected from the proposed associations. The importance of this point may excuse some additional observations.

'The organization proposed, if sanctioned by Congress, would require, within a very few years, for deposit as security for circulation, bonds of the United States to an amount not less than $250,000,000. It may well be expected, indeed, since the circulation, by uniformity in credit and value, and capacity of quick and cheap transportation, will be likely to be used more extensively than any hitherto issued, that the demand for bonds will overpass this limit. Should Congress see fit to restrict the privilege of deposit to the bonds known as five-twenties, authorized by the act of last session, the demand would promptly absorb all of that description already issued and make large room for more. A steady market for the bonds would thus be established and the negotiation of them greatly facilitated.

'But it is not in immediate results that the value of this support would be only or chiefly seen. There are always holders who desire to sell securities of whatever kind. If buyers are few or uncertain, the market value must decline. But the plan proposed would create a constant demand, equalling and often exceeding the supply. Thus a steady uniformity in price would be maintained, and generally at a rate somewhat above those of bonds of equal credit, but not available to banking associations. It is not easy to appreciate the full benefits of such conditions to a government obliged to borrow.

'Another advantage to be derived from such associations would be found in the convenient agencies which they would furnish for the deposit of public moneys.

'The Secretary does not propose to interfere with the independent treasury. It may be advantageously retained, with the assistant treasurers already established in the most important cities, where the customs may be collected as now, in coin or treasury notes issued directly by the Government, but not furnished to banking associations.

'But whatever the advantages of such arrangements in the commercial cities in relation to customs, it seems clear that the secured national circulation furnished to the banking associations should be received everywhere for all other dues than customs, and that these associations will constitute the best and safest depositaries of the revenues derived from such receipts. The convenience and utility to the Government of their employment in this capacity, and often, also, as agents for payments and as distributors of stamps, need no demonstration. The necessity for some other depositaries than surveyors of ports, receivers, postmasters, and other officers, of whose responsibilities and fitness, in many cases, nothing satisfactory can be known, is acknowledged by the provision for selection by the Secretary contained in the internal revenue act; and it seems very clear that the public interest will be secured far more certainly by the organization and employment of associations organized as proposed than by any official selection.

'Another and very important advantage of the proposed plan has already been adverted to. It will reconcile, as far as practicable, the interest of existing institutions with those of the whole people.

'All changes, however important, should be introduced with caution, and proceeded in with careful regard to every affected interest. Rash innovation is not less dangerous than stupefied inaction. The time has come when a circulation of United States notes, in some form, must be employed. The people demand uniformity in currency, and claim, at least, part of the benefit of debt without interest, made into money, hitherto enjoyed exclusively by the banks. These demands are just and must be respected. But there need be no sudden change; there need be no hurtful interference with existing interests. As yet the United States note circulation hardly fills the vacuum caused by the temporary withdrawal of coin; it does not, perhaps, fully meet the demand for increased circulation created by the increased number, variety, and activity of payments in money. There is opportunity, therefore, for the wise and beneficial regulation of its substitution for other circulation. The mode of substitution, also, may be judiciously adapted to actual circumstances. The plan suggested consults both purposes. It contemplates gradual withdrawal of bank note circulation, and proposes a United States note circulation, furnished to banking associations, in the advantages of which they may participate in full proportion to the care and responsibility assumed and the services performed by them. The promptitude and zeal with which many of the existing institutions came to the financial support of the Government in the dark days which followed the outbreak of the rebellion is not forgotten. They ventured largely, and boldly, and patriotically on the side of the Union and the constitutional supremacy of the nation over States and citizens. It does not at all detract from the merit of the act that the losses, which they feared but unhesitatingly risked, were transmuted into unexpected gains. It is a solid recommendation of the suggested plan that it offers the opportunity to these and kindred institutions to reorganize, continue their business under the proposed act, and with little loss and much advantage, participate in maintaining the new and uniform national currency.

'The proposed plan is recommended, finally, by the firm anchorage it will supply to the union of the States. Every banking association whose bonds are deposited in the treasury of the Union; every individual who holds a dollar of the circulation secured by such deposit; every merchant, every manufacturer, every farmer, every mechanic, interested in transactions dependent for success on the credit of that circulation, will feel as an injury every attempt to rend the national unity, with the permanence and stability of which all their interests are so closely and vitally connected. Had the system been possible, and had it actually existed two years ago, can it be doubted that the national interests and sentiments enlisted by it for the Union would have so strengthened the motives for adhesion derived from other sources that the wild treason of secession would have been impossible?

'The Secretary does not yield to the phantasy that taxation is a blessing and debt a benefit; but it is the duty of public men to extract good from evil whenever it is possible. The burdens of taxation may be lightened and even made productive of incidental benefits by wise, and aggravated and made intolerable by unwise, legislation. In like manner debt, by no means desirable in itself, may, when circumstances compel nations to incur its obligations, be made by discreet use less burdensome, and even instrumental in the promotion of public and private security and welfare.

'The rebellion has brought a great debt upon us. It is proposed to use a part of it in such a way that the sense of its burden may be lost in the experience of incidental advantages. The issue of United States notes is such a use; but if exclusive, is hazardous and temporary. The security by national bonds of similar notes furnished to banking associations is such a use, and is comparatively safe and permanent; and with this use may be connected, for the present, and occasionally, as circumstances may require, hereafter, the use of the ordinary United States notes in limited amounts.

'No very early day will probably witness the reduction of the public debt to the amount required as a basis for secured circulation. Should no future wars arrest reduction and again demand expenditures beyond revenue, that day will, however, at length come. When it shall arrive the debt may be retained on low interest at that amount, or some other security for circulation may be devised, or, possibly, the vast supplies of our rich mines may render all circulation unadvisable except gold and the absolute representatives and equivalents, dollar for dollar, of gold in the treasury or on safe deposit elsewhere. But these considerations may be for another generation.

'The Secretary forbears extended argument on the constitutionality of the suggested system. It is proposed as an auxiliary to the power to borrow money; as an agency of the power to collect and disburse taxes; and as an exercise of the power to regulate commerce, and of the power to regulate the value of coin. Of the two first sources of power nothing need be said. The argument relating to them was long since exhausted, and is well known. Of the other two there is not room, nor does it seem needful to say much. If Congress can prescribe the structure, equipment, and management of vessels to navigate rivers flowing between or through different States as a regulation of commerce, Congress may assuredly determine what currency shall be employed in the interchange of their commodities, which is the very essence of commerce. Statesmen who have agreed in little else have concurred in the opinion that the power to regulate coin is, in substance and effect, a power to regulate currency, and that the framers of the Constitution so intended. It may well enough be admitted that while Congress confines its regulation to weight, fineness, shape, and device, banks and individuals may issue notes for currency in competition with coin. But it is difficult to conceive by what process of logic the unquestioned power to regulate coin can be separated from the power to maintain or restore its circulation, by excluding from currency all private or corporate substitutes which affect its value, whenever Congress shall see fit to exercise that power for that purpose.

'The recommendations, now submitted, of the limited issue of United States notes as a wise expedient for the present time, and as an occasional expedient for future times, and of the organization of banking associations to supply circulation secured by national bonds and convertible always into United States notes, and after resumption of specie payments, into coin, are prompted by no favor to excessive issues of any description of credit money.

'On the contrary, it is the Secretary's firm belief that by no other path can the resumption of specie payments be so surely reached and so certainly maintained. United States notes receivable for bonds bearing a secure specie interest are next best to notes convertible into coin. The circulation of banking associations organized under a general act of Congress, secured by such bonds, can be most surely and safely maintained at the point of certain convertibility into coin. If, temporarily, these associations redeem their issues with United States notes, resumption of specie payments will not thereby be delayed or endangered, but hastened and secured; for, just as soon as victory shall restore peace, the ample revenue, already secured by wise legislation, will enable the Government, through advantageous purchases of specie, to replace at once large amounts, and, at no distant day, the whole, of this circulation by coin, without detriment to any interest, but, on the contrary, with great and manifest benefit to all interests.

'The Secretary recommends, therefore, no mere paper money scheme, but, on the contrary, a series of measures looking to a safe and gradual return to gold and silver as the only permanent basis, standard, and measure of values recognized by the Constitution—between which and an irredeemable paper currency, as he believes, the choice is now to be made.'

Congress, however, was still unwilling to adopt the recommendations of the Secretary, until the necessity was demonstrated by the course of events. On reference to the laws, which are printed in the Appendix, it will be found, that the great features of the system of the Secretary were as follows:

1. A loan to the Government upon its bonds reimbursable in twenty years, but redeemable after five years, at the option of the nation, the interest being six per cent., payable semi-annually in coin, as is also the principal.

2. The issue of United States legal tender notes, receivable for all dues to the nation except customs, and fundable in this United States 5—20 six per cent. stock.

3. The authorization of the banks recommended in his Report, whose circulation would be secured not only by private capital, but by adequate deposits of United States stock with the Government.

4. To maintain, in the meantime, as near to specie as practicable, this Federal Currency,—1st, by making it receivable in all dues to the Government except for customs; 2d, by the privilege of funding it in United States stock; 3d, by enhancing the benefit of this privilege, not only by making the stock, both principal and interest, payable in specie, but by making it gradually the ultimate basis of our whole bank circulation, which, as shown by the census tables before referred to (including deposits), nearly doubles every decade.

5. By imposing such a tax on the circulation of the State banks, as, together with State or municipal taxes, would induce them to transfer their capital to the new banks proposed by the Secretary.

6. To relieve the new banks from all State or municipal taxation.

7. In lieu thereof, to impose a moderate Federal tax on all bank circulation, as a bonus to be paid cheerfully by these banks for the great privilege of furnishing ultimately the whole paper currency of the country, and the other advantages secured by these bills.

This tax, as proposed by the Secretary, was one per cent. semi-annually, which in effect would have reduced the interest on our principal loans from six to four per cent. per annum, so far as those loans were made the basis of bank circulation. Congress, however, fixed this tax at about one half, thus making the interest on such loans equivalent in fact to five per cent. per annum, so far as such loans, at the option of the holder, are made the basis of banking and of bank circulation. This is a privilege which gives great additional value to these loans, for the right to issue the bank paper circulation of the country free from State or municipal taxes, is worth far more than one half per cent, semi-annually, to be paid on such circulation. That this privilege is worth more than the Federal tax, is proved by the fact, that many banks are already being organized under this system, and by the further fact, that more than $200,000,000 of legal tenders have already been funded in this stock, and the process continues at the rate of from one to two millions of dollars a day. It will be observed, that the holders of such bonds can keep them, if they please, disconnected with all banks, receiving the principal at maturity, as well as the semi-annual interest, in gold, free from all taxes.

This system has been attended with complete success, and notwithstanding the increase of our debt, the premium on gold, for our Federal currency, fundable in this stock, has fallen from 73 per cent. in February last, before the adoption of Mr. Chase's system, to 27 per cent. at present; and before the 30th of June next, it is not doubted that this premium must disappear. No loyal American doubts the complete suppression of the rebellion before that date, in which event, our Federal currency will rise at once to the par of gold. In the meantime, however, gold is at a premium of 27 per cent., which is the least profit (independent of future advance above par) so soon to be realized by those purchasing this currency now, and waiting its appreciation, or investing it in our United States 5—20 six per cent. stock.

But, besides the financial benefits to the Government of Mr. Chase's system, its other advantages are great indeed. It will ultimately displace our whole State bank system and circulation, and give us a national currency, based on ample private capital and Federal stocks, a currency of uniform value throughout the country, and always certainly convertible on demand into coin. Besides, by displacing the State bank circulation, the whole bank note currency of the Union will be based on the stocks of the Government, and give to every citizen who holds the bonds or the currency (which will embrace the whole community in every State), a direct interest in the maintenance of the Union.

The annual losses which our people sustain under the separate State bank system, in the rate of exchange, is enormous, whilst the constant and ever-recurring insolvency of so many of these institutions, accompanied by eight general bank suspensions of specie payment, have, from time to time, spread ruin and devastation throughout the country. I believe that, in a period of twenty years, the saving to the people of the United States, by the substitution of the new system, would reach a sum very nearly approaching the total amount of our public debt, and in time largely exceeding it. As a question, then, of national wealth, as well as national unity, I believe the gain to the country in time by the adoption of the new system, will far exceed the cost of the war. It was the State bank system in the rebel States that furnished to secession mainly the sinews of war. These banks are now generally insolvent, but, if the banking system now proposed had been in existence, and the circulating medium in all the States had been an uniform national currency based entirely on the stocks of the United States, the rebellion could never have occurred. Every bank, and all its stockholders, and all the holders of the stock and notes of all the banks, embracing our whole paper currency, would have been united to the Government by an interest so direct and universal, that rebellion would have been impossible. Hamilton and Madison, Story and Marshall, and the Supreme Court of the United States, have declared that to the Federal Government belongs the 'entire regulation of the currency of the country.' That power they have now exercised in the adoption of the system recommended by the Secretary. Our whole currency, in coin as well as paper, will soon, now, all be national, which is the most important measure for the security and perpetuity of the Union, and the welfare of the people, ever adopted by Congress. It is to Congress that the Constitution grants the exclusive power 'to regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the States;' and a sound, uniform currency, in coin, or convertible on demand into coin, is one of the most essential instrumentalities connected with trade and exchanges.

After these preliminary remarks, I shall proceed with the discussion of the subject in my next letter.

R.J. Walker.


A bird is singing in the leaves
That quiver on yon linden tree;
So soft and clear the song he sings,
The roses listen dreamily.
The crimson buds in clusters cling;
The full, sweet roses blush with bloom;
And, white as ocean's swaying foam,
The lily trembles from the gloom.
I know not why that happy strain
That dies so softly on the air,
That perfect utterance of joy,
Has left a strange, dim sadness there.
Perchance the song, so silver-sweet,
The roses' regal blossoms shrine:
Perchance the bending lily droops,
And trembles, 'neath its thrill divine.
It may be that all beauteous things,
Though lacking music's perfect key,
Have with their inmost being twined
The hidden chords of melody.
So pine they all, to hear again
The song they know, but cannot sing;
The living utterance, full and clear,
Whose voiceless breathings round them cling.
Yet still those accents waken not;
The bird has left the linden tree;
A summer silence falls once more
Upon the listening rose and me.


The following is a true story, by a late well-known member of the Detective service, and, with, the exception of some names of persons and places, is given precisely as he himself related it.

Late one Friday afternoon, in the latter part of November, 18—, I was sent for by the chief of the New York Police, and was told there was a case for me. It was a counterfeiting affair. Notes had been forged on a Pennsylvania bank; two men had been apprehended, and were in custody. The first, Springer, had turned State's evidence on his accomplice; who, according to his account, was the prime mover in the business. This man, Daniel Hawes by name, had transferred the notes to a third party, of whom nothing had been ascertained except that he was a young man, wrote a beautiful hand, and had been in town the Monday before. He was the man I was to catch.

It was sundown when I left the superintendent's office. I had not much to guide me: there were hundreds of young men who wrote a beautiful hand, and had been in town last Monday. But I did not trouble myself about what I did not know: I confined myself to what I did know. Upon reflection I thought it probable that my man had been in intimate relations with Hawes for the last few days, probably since Monday last, although it was not known that he had been in town since that day. He might not be a resident in the city; but I decided to seek him here—since, if he had not left town before the arrest of Springer and Hawes, he would not just now run the risk of falling into the hands of the police by going to any railroad station or steamer wharf.

I determined, therefore, to follow up the track of Hawes, and thereby, if possible, strike that of his confederate—which was, in fact, all that could be done.

Hawes was a small broker. He lived in Eighteenth street, and had an office in Wall street.

He lived too far up town, I thought, to go home every day to his dinner; he went then, most probably, always to the same eating house, and one not far from his office.

After inquiring at several restaurants near by, I came to one in Liberty street, where, on asking if Mr. Hawes was in the habit of dining there, the waiter said yes.

'Have you seen a young man here with him, lately?' I inquired.

'No—no one in particular,' replied the waiter.

'Are you sure of it? Come, think.'

After scratching his head for a moment, he said:

'Yes, there has been a young man here speaking to him once or twice.'

'How did he look?'

'He was short, and had black hair and eyes.'

'Who is he? What does he do?'

'He is clerk to Mr. L——, the linen importer.'

'Where does Mr. L—— live?'

The waiter did not know. Looking into a Directory, I ascertained his residence to be in Fourteenth street. The stores by this time were closed, so I went immediately to Mr. L——'s house, and asked to see him. He was at dinner.

'I am sorry to disturb him,' said I to the servant, 'but I wish to speak with him a moment on a matter of importance, and cannot wait.'

Mr. L—— came out, evidently annoyed at the intrusion.

'Have you such a person in your employment?' said I, describing him.

'No, sir, I have not.'

'You had such a person?'

'I have not now.'

'Did you discharge him?'



'What business is that of your's?' he asked, rather huffily.

'My name, sir, is M——, of the police. I am after this fellow, that's all. Tell me, if you please, why you discharged him?'

'Oh, I beg your pardon,' said Mr. L——. 'I took you for one of his rascally associates. I discharged him a week or ten days ago. He was a dissipated, good-for-nothing fellow.'

'Was he your bookkeeper?'

'No, he was a junior clerk.'

'Have you any of his handwriting that you can show me?'

He fumbled in a side pocket and drew out a pocketbook from which he took a memorandum of agreement, or some paper of the sort, to the bottom of which a signature was attached as witness.

'That's his writing,' said he.

It was a stiff schoolboy's scrawl.

This was not my man then. I apologized to Mr. L—— for the trouble I had given him, and withdrew.

Lost time, said I to myself. I am on the wrong track. I must back to the eating house, and begin the chase again from the point where I left off. I saw the same waiter.

'I want you to think again,' said I, 'Try hard to remember whether there was never any other man here with Hawes on any occasion.'

After reflecting for a little while, he said he thought he recollected his going up stairs not long ago, with another man, to a private room.

'Did you wait on him yourself at the time you speak of?' I asked.

'No—most likely it was Joe Harris.'

'Will you send for him, if you please.'

Joe Harris came.

'You waited on Mr. Hawes a few days ago, when he dined with another gentleman in a private room up stairs, didn't you?'

'Yes, sir.'

'Who was that other man?'

'He is a young man who is clerk in a livery stable in Sullivan street.'

'What are his looks?'

'He is tall and light haired.'

'Do you know his name?'

'His name is Edgar.'

I hurried up to Sullivan street, went into the first livery stable I came to, inquired for the proprietor, and asked him if he had a young man in his stable of the name of Edgar.

He said he had.

'Does he keep your books?'

'Yes, he takes orders for me.'

'Let me see some of his handwriting, if you please.'

He stepped back into the office and took from a desk a little order book. I opened it: there were some orders, hastily written, no doubt, but in a hand almost like beautiful copperplate.

This was my man—I felt nearly certain of it. I asked where he lived, and was told, with his mother, a widow woman, at such a number in Hudson street. I started for the place. It was now nine o'clock. Arriving at the house, I rang the bell. It was answered by a servant girl.

'Does Mr. Edgar live here?' I inquired.

'Yes, sir.'

'Is he at home?'

'No, sir.'

'When will he come home?'

'I don't know.'

'Does he sleep here?'

'Sometimes he does, and sometimes he doesn't.'

'Where is he likely to be found? I should like to see him.'

She said she really didn't know, unless perhaps he might be at a billiard saloon not far off. I went there. A noisy crowd was around the bar. I looked around the room and closely scrutinized every face. No tall, light-haired young man was there. I asked the barkeeper if Mr. Edgar had been there that evening. He said no, he had not seen anything of him for two or three days, I asked him if there was any other place he knew of that Edgar frequented, and was told he went a good deal to a bowling alley in West Broadway near Duane street. Not much yet, I thought, as I hurried on to West Broadway. Descending a few steps into a basement, I entered a sort of vestibule or office to the bowling saloon. 'Has Mr. Edgar been here this evening?' I inquired of the man in attendance.

'He is here now,' was the reply, 'in the other room, through that door.'

I passed through the door indicated into the bowling alley, and accosted the marker:

'Is Mr. Edgar here?'

'He has just gone—fifteen minutes ago.'

'Do you know where he went to?'

'Seems to me some of them said something about going to the Lafayette Theatre.'

I am on his track now—I said to myself—only fifteen minutes behind him. I bent my steps to the theatre—taking with, me a comrade in the police service, whom I had encountered as I was leaving the saloon. We hurried on with the utmost rapidity, but on reaching the theatre, found, to my disgust, what I had already feared, that the play was over, and the theatre just closed.

'Better give it up for to-night,' said my companion; 'we know enough about him now, and can take up the search again to-morrow.'

'It won't do, Clarke,' said I, 'we have inquired for him at too many places. Stay, I've a notion he may be heard of at some of these oyster cellars hereabouts.'

I went down into one of them, and asked if a tall young man with light hair had been there that evening. A tall young man with light hair and mustache had come in from the theatre with a lady, and had just left. I asked my informant if he knew the lady. She was a Miss Kearney, he answered.

'What?' I continued, 'didn't her sister marry the actor Levison?'

'Yes, the same person.'

'He lives in Walker street, near the Bowery, I believe?'

'Yes, I think so,' replied the man.

I considered a moment. Of course no one could tell me where Edgar had gone to; but I was tolerably certain he had gone home with the girl. Where she lived I did not know, but I thought it probable the actor could tell me. So we started on to Walker street. There are—or were at the time I speak of—several boarding houses in Walker street. We passed one or two three-story houses with marble steps. 'Shall I ask along here?' said Clarke. 'No,' I answered; 'poor actors don't board there; we must look for him farther on.' We kept on, and after a little while, we found one that seemed to me to be likely to be the house we were looking for. I rang the bell and inquired for Mr. Levison. He was gone to bed. It was now twelve o'clock. I desired the man that opened the door to tell him that some one was below who wished to see him immediately. He soon returned, saying that Mr. Levison was in bed, and could not be disturbed: I must leave my business, or call again next day.

I thought it necessary to frighten him a little; so I sent up word that I was an officer of police, and he must come down instantly, or I should go up and fetch him. In a few moments the actor made his appearance, terribly frightened. Before I could say anything he began to pour out such a flood of questions and asseverations that I could not get a word in: What did I want with him? I had come to the wrong man; he hadn't been doing anything, etc., etc. 'I don't want you,' I began—but it was of no use, I could not stop him; his character was excellent, anybody would vouch for him; I ought to be more sure what I was about before I roused people from their beds at midnight, etc., etc. His huddled words and apprehensive looks made me suspect there was something wrong with him; but it was no concern of mine then. I seized him by the shoulder, and ordered him to be quiet.

'Don't utter another word,' said I, 'except to answer my questions, or I'll carry you off and lock you up. I have not come to arrest you. I only want to ask you a few questions. Haven't you a sister-in-law named Miss Kearney?'

'Yes, what do you want with her?'

'I am not going to do her any harm. I only want to know where she lives.'

'Oh! she lives in —— street.'

'Do you know the number?'

'Goodness, yes; it is number 34. I have boarded there myself until only a little while ago.'


'Yes, I have got a dead-latch key somewhere about.'

'The deuce you have! Give it to me; it is just what I want.'

'Give you a dead-latch key! a pretty notion!'

'I wouldn't give it to any man—not to all the detective squad in New York.'

'Look here, my friend, I am M——, pretty well known in this town. I have a good many opportunities in the course of my business to do people good turns, and not a few to do them ill turns. It is a convenient vocation to pay off scores, particularly to persons of your sort. If you will give me that key, I'll make it worth your while the first chance I have. If you don't, you'll be sorry; that's all."

I gave him a significant look as I concluded. He looked me in the face a minute—as if to see how much I meant, or if I suspected anything; then turned and ran up stairs. In a few moments he came down, and handed me the key. I took it with satisfaction.

'Now,' said I, 'you'll have no objections to telling me where your sister-in-law's room in the house is.'

'Third story, back room, second door to the left from the head of the stairs.'

'Thank you, good night.'

We walked rapidly to —— street, and reaching the house, I stopped a moment to examine my pistols, by the street lamp, and then softly opened the door. Clarke and I stepped in, and I shut the door.

Leaving my comrade in the hall, I crept noiselessly up stairs, and tapped at the door of the room.

'Who is there?' called out a woman's voice. 'Open the door,' I replied, 'and I'll tell you what I want.'

'You can't come in. I have gone to bed.'

'Oh, well, I am a married man; I'll do you no harm; but you must let me in, or I shall force the door.'

After a moment's delay the door was opened by a young woman in a morning wrapper, who stood as if awaiting an explanation of the intrusion. I passed by her, and walked up to a young man sitting in a low chair by the fire, and tapping him on the shoulder, said: 'You are my prisoner.' He raised his head and looked up. 'Why, Bill,' I exclaimed, 'is this you? I have been looking for you all night under a wrong name. If I had known it was you, I'd have caught you in an hour.' And so I would.

It is only necessary to say further, that he was the man I was set to catch. I may add, however, that a large amount of the counterfeit notes, and the plates on which they were printed, were secured, and the criminal sent to Sing Sing in due course of law.


Flower for the Parlour and Garden. By Edward Sprague Rand, jr. Boston: J.E. Tilton & Co. Price $2.50.

J.E. Tilton & Co. are the publishers of the series of photographic and lithographic cards of flowers, leaves, mosses, butterflies, hummingbirds, &c., noted for their beauty of execution. 'Flowers are so universally loved, and accepted everywhere as necessities of the moral life, that whatever can be done to render their cultivation easy, and to bring them to perfection in the vicinity of, or within, the household, must be regarded as a benefaction.' This benefit our author has certainly conferred upon us. The gift is from one who must himself have loved these lily cups and floral bells of perfume, and will be warmly welcomed by all who prize their loveliness. In the pages of this book may be found accurate and detailed information on all subjects likely to be of interest to their cultivators. We give a list of the contents of its chapters, to show how wide a field it covers. Chap. I. The Green-House and Conservatory. Chap. II. Window Gardening. Chap. III, IV, V, VI. Plants for Window Gardening. VII. Cape Bulbs. VIII. Dutch Bulbs. IX. The Culture of the Tube Rose. X. The Gladiolus and its culture. XI. How to force flowers to bloom in Winter. XII. Balcony Gardening. XIII. The Wardian Case and Winter Garden. XIV. Stocking and Managing Wardian Cases. XV. Hanging Baskets and Suitable Plants, and Treatment of Ivy. XVI. The Waltonian Case. XVII. The Aquarium and Water Plants. XVIII. How to grow specimen Plants. XIX. Out Door Gardening, Hot Beds. XX. The Garden. XXI. Small Trees and Shrubs. XXII. Hardy Herbaceous Plants. XXIII. Hardy Annuals. XXIV. Bedding Plants. XXV. Hardy and half hardy Garden Bulbs. XXVI. Spring Flowers and where to find them.

The appearance of this book is singularly elegant, its tinted paper soft and creamy, its type clear and beautiful, its quotations evince poetic culture, and its illustrations are exquisitely graceful. It is a real pleasure to turn over its attractive leaves with the names of loved old flower-friends greeting us on every page, and new claimants with new hopes and types of beauty constantly starting up before us. What with Waltonian cases, hanging baskets, Wardian cases, &c., our ladies may adorn their parlors with artistic taste with these fragrant, fragile, rainbow-hued children of Nature.

'Bright gems of earth, in which perchance we see
"What Eden was, what Paradise may be.'

'From the contemplation of nature's beauty there is but the uplifting of the eye to the footstool of the Creator.'


Hospital Transports. A Memoir of the Embarkation of the Sick and Wounded from the Peninsula of Virginia in the Summer of 1862. Compiled and published at the request of the Sanitary Commission. Boston: Ticknor & Fields. For sale by D. Appleton & Co., New York.

A book which should be in the hands of all who love their country. The Sanitary Commission deserve the undying gratitude of the nation. Their organization is one of pure benevolence; the men and women working effectively through its beneficent channel have given evidence of some of the noblest and divinest attributes of the human soul. It is difficult to form any idea of the magnitude and importance of the work the commission has achieved. 'Never till every soldier whose last moments it has soothed, till every soldier whose flickering life it has gently steadied into continuance, whose waning reason it has softly lulled into quiet, whose chilled blood it has warmed into healthful play, whose failing frame it has nourished into strength, whose fainting heart it has comforted with sympathy,—never, until every full soul has poured out its story of gratitude and thanksgiving, will the record be complete; but long before that time, ever since the moment that its helping hand was first held forth, comes the Blessed Voice: 'Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.''

'The blessings of thousands who were ready to perish, and tens of thousands who love their country and their kind, rest upon those who originated, and those who sustain this noble work.'

This book is full of vivid interest, of true incident, of graphic sketches, of loyalty, patriotism, and self-abnegation, whether of men or of noble women, and recommends itself to all who love and would fain succor the human race.


Austin Elliot. By Henry Kingsley, Author of Ravenshoe, etc. Boston: Ticknor & Fields. For sale by D. Appleton & Co. New York.

A graphic novel of considerable ability, and more than usual interest. The tone is highly moral throughout. The lessons on duelling are excellent. Would that our young men would lay them to heart! The characters are, many of them, well drawn and sustained—we confess to a sincere affection for the Highlander, Gil Macdonald, and the Scotch sheep-dog, Robin. Many of the scenes in which they appear are full of simple and natural pathos.


Husband and Wife; or, The Science of Human Development through Inherited Tendencies. By the Author of the Parent's Guide, etc. Carleton, publisher, 413 Broadway, New York.

A suggestive book on an important subject. The writer assumes that 'there are laws of hereditary transmission in the mental and moral, as well as the physical constitution. Precisely what these laws are, she does not assume to state. Such as are well known will however be helpful to all, and will facilitate the discovery of those yet hidden from us. Women, who bear such an important part in parentage, should be the most clear-sighted students of nature in these things. It is to woman that humanity must look for the abatement of many frightful evils, malformation, idiocy, insanity, &c., yet the principles pertaining to the knowledge of her own duties and powers, which ought to be a part of the instruction of every woman, are rarely placed before her. Much that pertains to the same phenomena among the lower animals may properly constitute a part of her studies in natural history; but with the laws which govern the most momentous of all social effects—the moral and mental constitution of individuals composing society—with the gravest of possible results to herself—the embodiment of power and weakness, capacity or incapacity, worth or worthlessness in her own offspring, she is forbidden all acquaintance. Yet when she assumes the duties and responsibilities of maternity, such knowledge would be more valuable to her and to those dearest to her, than all of the treasures of the gold-bearing lands, if poured at her feet.'

The laws of hereditary transmission make the staple of this book. It is written by a lady, and will commend itself to all interested in this subject. Pearl, in the Scarlet Letter, and Elsie Venner, are artistic exemplifications of such disregarded truths.


Victor Hugo, by a Witness of his Life: Madame Hugo. Translated from the French, by Charles Edwin Wilbour, translator of 'Les Miserables.' Carleton, publisher, 413 Broadway, New York.

A biography of a remarkable man, written by a constant observer of his actions, almost a second self, can scarcely fail to prove interesting. In this case the interest is increased by its close connection with a popular novel. Indeed, the readers of 'Les Miserables' will be astonished to find what a flood of light is thrown upon that master work by this charming life-history of its author. Marius is but a free variation of Victor Hugo himself. In Joly, the old school-mate of the Pension Cordier, the author of Jean Valjean becomes closely acquainted with a real galley slave. In short, the great romance is a part of the life of Victor Hugo, and cannot be fully understood without the biography—its completion.'


Life and Times of Sir William Johnson, Baronet.

J. Munsell, 78 State street, Albany, announces for publication by subscription, 'The Life and Times of Sir William Johnson, Baronet.' The work is by William L. Stone, son of Colonel Stone, well known as editor and biographer. The materials of this Life were derived from original papers furnished by the family of Sir William, from his own diary, and other sources which have never before been consulted. The work was begun by the late William L. Stone, has been completed by his son, and with the Lives of Brant and Red Jacket, brings down the history of the Six Nations and their relations with Great Britain, from 1560 to 1824. The edition will be very nearly confined to the number subscribed for. Price $5, payable on delivery.

Sir William Johnson was Superintendent of Indian Affairs in this country before the Revolution, was distinguished in Colonial history, and active in the French and Indian war. His life was one of romantic interest and vicissitude. The work is highly spoken of by the literati who have seen the advance sheets. Jared Sparks, George Bancroft, F. Parkman, G.W. Curtis, Lewis Cass, &c., testify to its interest and historical accuracy. From the well-known ability of its author, it may be safely and highly commended to the reading and thinking public.


Beyond the Lines; or, a Yankee Prisoner Loose in Dixie. By Captain J.J. Geer, late of General Buckland's Staff. Philadelphia: J.W. Daughaday, publisher, 1308 Chestnut street.

Captain John J. Geer was, before the war, a minister of the Methodist Church in Ohio, was taken prisoner before the battle of Shiloh, in a skirmish with Beauregard's pickets, passed some months in rebel prisons, made his escape, and pleasantly tells the story of his adventures. He reports that the large slave-holders and the wretched clay-eaters are all Secessionists, but that a large middle class, people who own but few slaves and till their own fields, are mostly true to the Union, in the parts of the South he visited. The book is one of incident, contains many curious pictures of life and character, and will address itself to a large class of readers.


The Amber Gods, and other Stories. By Harriet Elizabeth Prescott. Ticknor & Fields, Boston. For sale by D. Appleton & Co., New York.

The many readers of Miss Prescott will be glad to welcome the present collection of her very popular tales. It contains: The Amber Gods. In a Cellar. Knitting Sale-Socks. Circumstance. Desert Lands. Midsummer and May. The South Breaker.

Few writers have attained distinction and recognition so immediately as Miss Prescott. Her fancy is brilliant, her style glowing, and culture and varied information mark the products of her pen.


Philip Van Artevelde; a Dramatic Romance. Ticknor & Fields, Boston. For sale by D. Appleton & Co., New York.

An historical romance, cast in a dramatic and rhythmical form, by Henry Taylor. It has been too long known to the community to require any commendation at the present date. It has gone through many editions in England. We are glad to see it in the convenient and pleasant form of Ticknor's "Blue and Gold," so well known to American readers.


The British American; a Colonial Magazine. Published monthly by Messrs. Rollo & Adam, 61 King street, Toronto, Canada West.

The articles of this magazine are of varied interest, generally well written and able. "What is Spectrum Analysis?" given by the Editor in the August number, is a contribution of research and merit.


The Christian Examiner. Boston: By the proprietors, at Walker, Wise & Co.'s, 245 Washington street.

Contents: Tertullian and Montanism. The Reality of Fiction. Rome in the Middle Age. Zschokke's Religious Meditations. Henry James on Creation. Loyalty in the West. Altar, Pulpit, and Platform, A Month of Victory and its Results. Review of Current Literature. Theology.

The Continental Monthly

The readers of the Continental are aware of the important position it has assumed, of the influence which it exerts, and of the brilliant array of political and literary talent of the highest order which supports it. No publication of the kind has, in this country, so successfully combined the energy and freedom of the daily newspaper with the higher literary tone of the first-class monthly; and it is very certain that no magazine has given wider range to its contributors, or preserved itself so completely from the narrow influences of party or of faction. In times like the present, such a journal is either a power in the land or it is nothing. That the Continental is not the latter is abundantly evidenced by what it has done—by the reflection of its counsels in many important public events, and in the character and power of those who are its staunchest supporters.

Though but little more than a year has elapsed since the Continental was first established, it has during that time acquired a strength and a political significance elevating it to a position far above that previously occupied by any publication of the kind in America. In proof of which assertion we call attention to the following facts:

1. Of its Political articles republished in pamphlet form, a single one has had, thus far, a circulation of one hundred and six thousand copies.

2. From its Literary department, a single serial novel, "Among the Pines," has, within a very few months, sold nearly thirty-five thousand copies. Two other series of its literary articles have also been republished in book form, while the first portion of a third is already in press.

No more conclusive facts need be alleged to prove the excellence of the contributions to the Continental, or their extraordinary popularity; and its conductors are determined that it shall not fall behind. Preserving all "the boldness, vigor, and ability" which a thousand journals have attributed to it, it will greatly enlarge its circle of action, and discuss, fearlessly and frankly, every principle involved in the great questions of the day. The first minds of the country, embracing the men most familiar with its diplomacy and most distinguished for ability, are among its contributors; and it is no mere "flattering promise of a prospectus" to say that this "magazine for the times" will employ the first intellect in America, under auspices which no publication ever enjoyed before in this country.

While the Continental will express decided opinions on the great questions of the day, it will not be a mere political journal: much the larger portion of its columns will be enlivened, as heretofore, by tales, poetry, and humor. In a word, the Continental will be found, under its new staff of Editors, occupying a position and presenting attractions never before found in a magazine.


Two copies for one year, ......... Five dollars.
Three copies for one year, ...... Six dollars.
Six copies for one year, ........... Eleven dollars.
Eleven copies for one year, .... Twenty dollars.
Twenty copies for one year, .... Thirty-six dollars.

paid in advance.

Postage, Thirty-six cents a year, to be paid by the subscriber.


Three dollars a year, IN ADVANCE. Postage paid by the Publisher.

JOHN F. TROW, 50 Greene St., N.Y.,

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As an inducement to new subscribers, the Publisher offers the following liberal premiums:

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Any person remitting $3, in advance, will receive the magazine from July, 1862, to January, 1864 thus securing the whole of Mr. Kimball's and Mr. Kirke's new serials, which are alone worth the price of subscription. Or, if preferred, a subscriber can take the magazine for 1863 and a copy of "Among the Pines," or of "Undercurrents of Wall Street," by R.B. Kimball, bound in cloth, or of "Sunshine in Thought," by Charles Godfrey Leland (retail price, $1 25.) The book to be sent postage paid.

pointing finger

Any person remitting $4 50, will receive the magazine from its commencement, January, 1862, to January, 1864, thus securing Mr. Kimball's "Was He Successful?" and Mr. Kirke's "Among the Pines," and "Merchant's Story," and nearly 3,000 octavo pages of the best literature in the world. Premium subscribers to pay their own postage.





Near Markets, Schools, Railroads, Churches, and all the blessings of Civilization.

1,200,000 Acres, in Farms of 40, 80, 120, 160 Acres and upwards, in ILLINOIS, the Garden State of America.

The Illinois Central Railroad Company offer, ON LONG CREDIT, the beautiful and fertile PRAIRIE LANDS lying along the whole line of their Railroad, 700 MILES IN LENGTH, upon the most Favorable Terms for enabling Farmers, Manufacturers, Mechanics and Workingmen to make for themselves and their families a competency, and a HOME they can call THEIR OWN, as will appear from the following statements:


Is about equal in extent to England, with a population of 1,722,686, and a soil capable of supporting 20,000,000. No State in the Valley of the Mississippi offers so great an inducement to the settler as the State of Illinois. There is no part of the world where all the conditions of climate and soil so admirably combine to produce those two great staples, CORN and WHEAT.


Nowhere can the industrious farmer secure such immoderate results from his labor as on these deep, rich, loamy soils, cultivated with so much ease. The climate from the extreme southern part of the State to the Terre Haute, Alton and St. Louis Railroad, a distance of nearly 200 miles, is well adapted to Winter.


Peaches, Pears, Tomatoes, and every variety of fruit and vegetables is grown in great abundance, from which Chicago and other Northern markets are furnished from four to six weeks earlier than their immediate vicinity. Between the Terre Haute, Alton & St. Louis Railway and the Kankakeo and Illinois Rivers, (a distance of 115 miles on the Branch, and 135 miles on the Main Trunk,) lies the great Corn and Stock raising portion of the State.


of Corn is from 50 to 80 bushels per acre. Cattle, Horses, Mules, Sheep and Hogs are raised here at a small cost, and yield large profits. It is believed that no section of country presents greater inducements for Dairy Farming than the Prairies of Illinois, a branch of farming to which but little attention has been paid, and which must yield sure profitable results. Between the Kankakee and Illinois Rivers, and Chicago and Dunleith,(a distance of 56 miles on the Branch and 147 miles by the Main Trunk,) Timothy Hay, Spring Wheat, Corn, &c., are produced in great abundance.


The Agricultural products of Illinois are greater than those of any other State. The Wheat crop of 1861 was estimated at 85,000,000 bushels, while the Corn crop yields not less than 140,000,000 bushels besides the crop of Oats, Barley, Rye, Buckwheat, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkins, Squashes, Flax, Hemp, Peas, Clover, Cabbage, Beets, Tobacco, Sorgheim, Grapes, Peaches, Apples, &c., which go to swell the vast aggregate of production in this fertile region. Over Four Million tons of produce were sent out the State of Illinois during the past year.


In Central and Southern Illinois uncommon advantages are presented for the extension of Stock raising. All kinds of Cattle, Horses, Mules, Sheep, Hogs, &c., of the best breeds, yield handsome profits; large fortunes have already been made, and the field is open for others to enter with the fairest prospects of like results. DAIRY FARMING also presents its inducements to many.


The experiments in Cotton culture are of very great promise. Commencing in latitude 39 deg. 30 min. (see Mattoon on the Branch, and Assumption on the Main Line), the Company owns thousands of acres well adapted to the perfection of this fibre. A settler having a family of young children, can turn their youthful labor to a most profitable account in the growth and perfection of this plant.


Traverses the whole length of the State, from the banks of the Mississippi and Lake Michigan to the Ohio. As its name imports, the Railroad runs through the centre of the State, and on either side of the road along its whole length lie the lands offered for sale.


There are Ninety-eight Depots on the Company's Railway, giving about one every seven miles. Cities, Towns and Villages are situated at convenient distances throughout the whole route, where every desirable commodity may be found as readily as in the oldest cities of the Union, and where buyers are to be met for all kinds of farm produce.


Mechanics and working-men will find the free school system encouraged by the State, and endowed with a large revenue for the support of the schools. Children can live in sight of the school, the college, the church, and grow up with the prosperity of the leading State in the Great Western Empire.


80 acres at $10 per acre. with interest at
6 per ct. annually on the following terms:

Cash payment   $48.00

40 acres, at $10.00 per acre:

Cash payment   $24.00

Commissioner. Illinois Central Railroad, Chicago, Ill.





Literature and National Policy.








The Defence and Evacuation of Winchester. By Hon. F.P. 
The Two Southern Mothers. By Isabella MacFarlane,490
Diary of Frances Krasinska,491
November. By E.W.C.500
The Assizes of Jerusalem. By Prof. Andrew Ten Brook,501
Letters to Professor S.F.B. Morse. By Rev. Dr. Henry,514
Buckle, Draper, and the Law of Human Development. By 
Edward B. Freeland,529
Treasure Trove,545
Matter and Spirit. By Lieut. E. Phelps. With Reply of Hon. 
F.P. Stanton,546
Extraterritoriality in China. By Dr. Macgowan,556
Reason, Rhyme, and Rhythm. By Mrs. Martha W. Cook,567
The Lions of Scotland. By W. Francis Williams,584
We Two. By Clarence Butler,591
Patriotism and Provincialism. By H. Clay Preuss,592
Literary Notices,594
Editor's Table,598

'Edmund Kirke,' author of 'Among the Pines.' &c., and until recently one of the Editors of this Magazine, is prepared to accept a limited number of invitations to Lecture before Literary Associations, during the coming fall and winter, on 'The Southern Whites: Their Social and Political Characteristics.' He can be addressed 'care of Continental Monthly, New York.'

All communications, whether concerning MSS. or on business, should be addressed to

JOHN F. TROW, Publisher,

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1863, by John F. Trow, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York.

John F Trow, Printer

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of The Continental Monthly, Vol. IV.
October, 1863, No. IV., by Various


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