The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Continental Monthly , Vol. 2 No. 5, 
November 1862, by Various

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Title: The Continental Monthly , Vol. 2 No. 5,  November 1862
       Devoted to Literature and National Policy

Author: Various

Release Date: March 25, 2007 [EBook #20899]

Language: English

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Literature and National Policy.

Vol. II.—NOVEMBER, 1862.—No. V.



[Pg 513]


No other nation was ever convulsed by an internal struggle so tremendous as that which now rends our own unhappy country. No mere rebellion has ever before spread its calamitous effects so widely, beyond the scene of its immediate horrors. Just in proportion to the magnitude of the evils it has produced, is the enormity of the crime involved, on one side or the other; and good men may well feel solicitous to know where rests the burden of this awful responsibility.

The long train of preparatory events preceding the outbreak, and the extraordinary acts by which the conspirators signalized its commencement, point, with sufficient certainty, to the incendiaries who produced the vast conflagration, and who appear to be responsible for the ruin which has ensued. But it remains to inquire by what means the great mass of inflammable materials was accumulated and made ready to take fire at the touch; what justification there may be for the authors of the fatal act, or what palliation of the guilt which seems to rest upon them. The reputation of the American people, and of the free government which is their pride and glory, must suffer in the estimation of mankind, unless they can be fairly acquitted of all responsibility for the civil war, which not only desolates large portions of our own country, but seriously interferes with the prosperity of multitudinous classes, and the stability of large industrial interests, in other lands.

Neither in the physical nor in the moral world, can the effects of any phenomenon go beyond the nature and extent of its causes. Mighty convulsions, like that which now shakes this continent, must have their roots in far distant times, and must gather their nutriment of passion and violence from a wide field of sympathetic opinion. No influence of mere individuals, no sudden acts of government even, no temporary causes of any nature whatsoever, are adequate to produce results so widespread and astounding. The social forces which contend in such a conflict, must have been 'nursing their wrath' and gathering their strength for years, in order to exhibit the gigantic death-struggle, in which they are now engaged.

Gen. Jackson, after having crushed the incipient rebellion of 1832, wrote, in a private letter, recently published, that the next attempt to [Pg 514]overthrow the Union would be instigated by the same party, but based upon the question of slavery.

That single-hearted patriot, in his boundless devotion to the Union, seemed to be gifted with almost preternatural foresight; nor did he exhibit greater sagacity in penetrating the motives and purposes of men, than in comprehending the nature and influence of great social causes, then in operation, and destined, as he clearly foresaw, to be wielded by wicked men as instruments of stupendous mischief to the country. His extraordinary prevision of the present attempt to overthrow the Union, signalizes the evident affiliation of this rebellion with that which he so wisely and energetically destroyed in embryo, by means of the celebrated proclamation and force bill.

It was, however, only in the real motive and ultimate object of the conspirators of 1832, that the attempt of South Carolina at that time was the lineal progenitor of the rebellion of the present day. The purpose was the same in both cases, but the means chosen at the two epochs were altogether different. In the first attempt, the purpose was, indeed, to break up the Union and to establish a separate confederacy; but this was to be done upon the ground of alleged inequality and oppression, as well as unconstitutionality, in the mode of levying duties upon foreign importations. The attempt, however, proved to be altogether premature. The question involved, being neither geographical nor sectional in character, was not then, if it could ever be, susceptible of being made the instrument of concentrating and intensifying hostile opinion against the federal power. Louisiana, with her great sugar interest, was a tariff State, and advocated protection as ardently as it was opposed in the greater part of the North-West, and in extensive districts of the North. She was not even invited to join the proposed confederacy. Kentucky, Maryland, and Delaware were decided in their support of the protective policy, while Tennessee, Missouri, and North Carolina were divided on the question. Mr. Calhoun himself, the very prophet of nullification, could not obliterate the memory of his own former opinions, and it was difficult to induce the people to coöperate in overthrowing the Federal Government, simply for adopting a policy which the very authors of this movement had themselves so recently thoroughly approved.

Thus, opinion was broken into fragments; and nowhere outside of South Carolina did it acquire sufficient unanimity and power to impart any great momentum to the revolutionary design. Besides, in the absence of clear and deep convictions, the question itself was of such a nature, that strong passions could not easily spring from it. The interests involved were not necessarily in conflict; their opposition was more apparent than real, so that an adjustment could readily be made without sacrifice of principle. In short, the subject of dispute did not contain within itself the elements of civil war, capable of development to that extreme, at the time and under the circumstances when the futile attempt at separation was made. Doubtless, the sinister exertions of restless and ambitious men, acting upon ignorant prejudices, might, under some circumstances, have engendered opinions, even upon the tariff question, sufficiently strong and violent for the production of civil commotion. Had the conditions been more favorable to the plot; had the conspirators of that day been as well prepared as those of 1861; had they been equally successful in sowing dissatisfaction and hatred in the minds of the Southern people; had they found in Gen. Jackson the weak and pliant instrument of treason which James Buchanan afterward became in the hands of Davis and his coadjutors, the present rebellion might have been anticipated, and the germ of secession wholly extirpated and destroyed, in the contest which would then have ensued. The Union would doubtless have been main[Pg 515]tained, and, in the end, strengthened; the fatal element of discord would scarcely have survived to work and plot in secret for more than a quarter of a century. It is true, slavery would have remained; but in the absence of other causes, slavery would not necessarily have brought the country to the present crisis. Providence may have so ordered the events of that day as to leave the revolutionary element in existence, in order that it might eventually fasten upon slavery as the instrument of its treason, and thus bring this system, condemned alike by the lessons of experience and by the moral sense of mankind, to that complete eventual destruction, which seems to be inevitably approaching.

The idea of an independent Southern confederacy, to be constituted of a fragment of the Union, survived the contest of 1832, and has been cherished with zeal and enthusiasm, by a small party of malcontents, from that day to this. Either from honest conviction or from the syren seductions of ambition, or perhaps from that combination of both which so often misleads the judgment of the wisest and best of men, this party has pursued its end with unrivalled zeal and consummate tact, never for a single moment abating its efforts to convince the South of the advantages of separation. But all its ability and all its untiring labors failed to make any serious impression, until the great and powerful interest of slavery was enlisted in the cause, and used as the means of reaching the feelings, and arousing the prejudices of the Southern people. The theories of nullification and secession, while accepted by many leading minds in that section, never made any serious impression upon the mass of the people. Indeed, it may be said with truth, that the honest instincts of the people invariably rejected these pernicious and dangerous theories, whenever they were distinctly involved in the elections. Nevertheless, there was an undercurrent of opinion in favor of them: the minds of the people were familiarized with the doctrines, and thus made ready to embrace them, whenever they should be satisfied it was indispensable to their safety and liberty to avail themselves of their benefit.

These abstract principles, however industriously and successfully taught, would not of themselves have availed to urge the people on to the desperate contest into which they have been madly precipitated. The dogma of the right of secession was not left a mere barren idea: it was accompanied with constant teachings respecting the incompatibility of interests, and the inevitable conflict, between the North and the South; the superiority of slavery over every other form of labor; and the imminent danger of the overthrow of this benign institution by Northern fanaticism, and by the unfriendly influence of the commercial and financial policy of that section. Thus, the mischievous error of secession was roused to life and action by the exhibition of those unreal phantoms, so often conjured up to frighten the South—abolition, agrarianism, and protective oppression.

All these deceptive ideas were required to be infused into the minds of the people, in order to prepare the way for rebellious action. The right of secession was an indispensable condition, without which there could be no justification for the violent measures to be adopted. No considerable number of American citizens could be found ready to lay treasonable hands upon their government; but a great step would be taken if they could be convinced that the constitution provided for its own abrogation, and that the act of destruction could at any time be legally and regularly accomplished. The absolute humanity, justice, and morality of slavery, its excellence as a social institution, and its efficiency in maintaining order and insuring progress, must be fully established and universally admitted, in[Pg 516] order to enlist the powerful motives of self-interest on the side of the projected revolution. And finally, it was necessary to show that the divine institution was in danger, that the free labor of the North was actively hostile to it and planning its ruin, and that this hostility was to be aided by all the selfish desires of the protectionists and the dangerous violence of the agrarian 'mudsills' of the other section. It was not of the least importance that these statements or any of them should be true. Let them be thoroughly believed by the people, and that conviction would answer all the purposes of the conspirators. Accordingly, for more than a quarter of a century, these heresies and falsehoods were most industriously instilled into the minds of the Southern people, of whom the great mass are unfortunately, and, from their peculiar condition, necessarily, kept in that state of ignorance which would favor the reception of such incredible and monstrous fallacies.

The argument as to the right of secession has been exhausted; and if it had not been, it does not come within the scope and design of this paper to discuss the question. Enemies of the United States, foreign and domestic, will continue to believe, or at least to profess to believe and try to convince themselves, that the Constitution of 1787, which superseded the Confederation, contained all the defects of the latter which it was specially designed to remedy,—that the league of the preceding period was prolonged in the succeeding organization, only to be the fatal object of future discontent and ambition. Certainly this doctrine is the basis of the rebellion, and without it no successful movement could have been made to secure cooperation from any of the States. Nevertheless, it cannot be considered one of the impelling causes which moved the rebellious States to action, for it is not of itself an active principle. It rather served to smooth the way, by removing obstacles which opposed the operation of real motives. Veneration for the work of the fathers of the republic, respect for the Constitution and love of the Union, as things of infinite value, worthy to be cherished and defended, stood in the way of the conspiracy which compassed the destruction of the government. It was necessary to remove this obstacle, and to eradicate these patriotic sentiments, which had taken strong hold of the minds and hearts of the people of both sections. For more than two generations the Union had been held sacred, beyond all other earthly blessings. It was an object of the first magnitude to unsettle this long-cherished sentiment.

The conspirators were altogether too shrewd and full of tact to approach their object directly. They adopted the artifice of arousing and studiously cultivating another sentiment of equal strength, which should spring up side by side with their love of the Union, flourish for a time in friendly cooperation with it, but ultimately supplant and entirely supersede it. This was the plausible and attractive sentiment of State pride, concealing in itself the idea of perfect sovereignty, with the right of nullification and secession. With consummate ability, with untiring industry and perseverance, and without a moment's cessation for more than a quarter of a century, this fruitful but pernicious seed of disorganization was sown broadcast among the Southern people. So long as there was no occasion to put the theory into practice, there seemed to be no ground for alarm. The question was one rather of curious subtlety than of practical importance. Meanwhile, the minds of men became familiar with the thought; they entertained it without aversion; the germs of ultimate discord and dissolution silently took root, and slowly grew up in the understandings of men. Not that the principle was adopted; it was rather tolerated than accepted. But this was the very thing intended by the wily conspirators. They expected nothing better; for they knew well that an accident or a bold precipi[Pg 517]tation of events would cause the popular mind to seize this principle and use it, as the only justification for revolutionary violence. Thus this doctrine, which is the embodiment of anarchy, was carefully prepared for the occasion, and artfully placed within easy mental reach of those who would be called upon to wield it.

Pari passu with the dissemination and growth of this dangerous opinion, the political school which cherished it endeavored to promote the object steadily held in view, by restricting and embarrassing the action of the Federal Government in every possible way. Notwithstanding the distrust and aversion of the Jackson party against them, continued long after the events of 1832, they succeeded in forming, first a coalition, and finally a thorough union with the great popular organization—the democratic party. Holding the balance of power between that party and their opponents, they dictated terms to the successive democratic conventions, and, in effect, controlled their nominations and their policy. They imposed upon that party the formidable dogma of 'a strict construction of the Constitution,' and under that plausible pretext, denied to the Government the exercise of every useful power necessary to make it strong and efficient within the limits of its legitimate functions. Their evident object, though cautiously and successfully concealed, was to weaken the Federal Government, and build up the power of the separate States, so that the former, shorn of its constitutional vigor, and crippled in its proper field of action, might, at the critical moment, fall an easy prey to their iniquitous designs. The navigation of the great Mississippi river, the imperial highway of the continent, could not be improved, because every impediment taken away, and every facility given to commerce on its bosom, were so much strength added to the bonds of the Union. The harbors of the great lakes and of the Atlantic coast could not be rendered secure by the agency of the Federal Government, because every beneficent act of this nature fixed it more firmly in the affections of the people, and gave it additional influence at home and abroad. The great Pacific railroad—a measure of infinite importance to the unity of the nation, to the development of the country, and to the general prosperity, as well as to the public defence—a work so grand in its proportions, and so universal in its benefits, that only the power of a great nation was equal to its accomplishment or capable and worthy of its proper control—this great and indispensable measure was defeated from year to year, so long as the conspirators remained in Congress to oppose it, and was only passed in the end, after they had launched the rebellion, and made their open attack against the Government, which they had so long sought to embarrass and weaken, in view of this very contingency.

While yielding these principles in theory, the democratic party did not always adhere to them in practice. The instinct of patriotism was often stronger than the obligations of party necessity and party policy. Moreover, the text of these doctrines in the democratic creed was frequently a subject of grave dispute in the party, and unanimity never prevailed in regard to it. Yet the subtle poison infused into the body of the organization, extended its baleful influence to all questions, and too often paralyzed the arm of the Government in every field of its appropriate action.

Never was presented in history a better illustration of the effect of false and mischievous ideas. It would be unjust, because it would be untrue, to suspect the democratic party of any clear knowledge of the ends to which these principles were intended to lead, or of any participation in the treasonable purpose. Many members of that party saw the danger in time, and abandoned the organization before it was caught in the meshes of the great conspiracy. Some, however, even in the loyal States, clung[Pg 518] to Breckinridge and the fatal abstractions of the party creed, until these reached their final and legitimate culmination, in the ghastly paralysis of the most indispensable functions of the Government—the ruinous abnegation of all power of self-defence—the treacherous attempt at national suicide only failing for want of courage to perpetrate the supreme act, which was exhibited by the administration of James Buchanan, in its last hours, when it proclaimed the doctrine of secession to be unfounded in constitutional right, and yet denied the power of the Government to prevent its own destruction. The threats of an imperious band of traitors, operating upon the fears of a weak old man, who was already implicated in the treason, drove him to the verge of the abyss into which he was willing to plunge his country, but from which, at the last moment, he drew back, dismayed at the thought of sacrificing himself.

The doctrine of secession, long and laboriously taught, and the cognate principles calculated to diminish the power of the Federal Government and magnify that of the States, thus served to smooth the way, to lay the track, upon which the engine of rebellion was to be started. But there was still wanting the motive power which should impel the machine and give it energy and momentum. Something tangible was required—something palpable to the masses—on the basis of which violent antagonisms and hatreds could be engendered, and fearful dangers could be pictured to the popular imagination.

The protective system, loudly denounced as unequal and oppressive, as well as unconstitutional, had proved wholly insufficient to arouse rebellion in 1832. It would have proved equally so in 1861: but then the ultra free trade tariff of 1856 was still in existence; and it continued in force, until, to increase dissatisfaction, and invite the very system which they pretended to oppose and deplore, the conspirators in Congress, having power to defeat the 'Morrill Tariff,' deliberately stepped aside, and suffered it to become a law. But this was merely a piece of preliminary strategy intended to give them some advantage in the great battle which was eventually to be fought on other fields. It might throw some additional weight into their scale; it might give them some plausible ground for hypocritical complaint; and might even, to some extent, serve to hide the real ground of their movement; yet, of itself, it could never be decisive of anything. It could neither justify revolution in point of morals, nor could it blind the people of the South to the terrible calamities which the experiment of secession was destined to bring upon them.

Slavery alone, with the vast material prosperity apparently created by it, with the debatable and exciting questions, moral, political, and social, which arise out of it, and with the palpable dangers, which, in spite of every effort to deny it, plainly brood over the system—slavery alone had the power to produce the civil war, and to shake the continent to its foundations. In the present crisis of the struggle, it would be a waste of time and of thought to attempt to trace back to its origin the long current of excitement on the slavery question, beginning in 1834, and swelling in magnitude until the present day; or to seek to fix the responsibility for the various events which marked its progress, from the earliest agitation down to the great rebellion, which is evidently the consummation and the end of it all. The only lesson important to be learned, and that which is the sum of all these great events, plainly taught by the history of this generation, and destined to characterize it in all future time, is, that slavery had in itself the germs of this profound agitation, and that, for thirty years, it stirred the moral and political elements of this nation as no other cause had power to do. It is of little consequence, for the purpose in view, to inquire what antagonisms struggled with slavery in this immense[Pg 519] contest, covering so great an area in space, and so long a period of time. All ideas and all interests were involved. Moral, social, political, and economical considerations clashed and antagonized in the gigantic conflict.

Is slavery right or wrong? Has it the sanction of enlightened conscience, or of the divine law as revealed in the Old and New Testaments? The last words of this moral contest have scarcely yet ceased to reverberate in our ears, even while the sound of cannon tells of other arguments and another arbitrament, which must soon cut short all the jargon of the logicians. But one of the most remarkable features of the whole case, has been the indignation with which the slave interest, from beginning to end, has resisted the discussion of these moral questions. As if such inquiries could, by any possibility, be prevented! As if a system, good and right in itself, defensible in the light of sound reason, could suffer by the fullest examination which could be made in private or in public, or by the profoundest agitation which could arise from the use of mere moral means! The discussions, the agitations, and all the fierce passions which attended them, were unavoidable. Human nature must be changed and wholly revolutionized before such agitations can be suppressed. They are the means appointed by the Creator for the progress of humanity. The seeds of them are planted in the heart of man, and, in the sunshine and air of freedom, they must germinate and grow, and eventually produce such fruit as the eternal laws of God have made necessary from the beginning.

The social question shaped itself amidst the turbulent elements, and came out clear and well defined, in the perfect contrast and antagonism of the two sectional systems. Free labor, educated, skilful, prosperous, self-poised, and independent, grew into great strength, and accumulated untold wealth, in all the States in which slavery had been supplanted. Unexampled and prodigious inventive energy had multiplied the physical power of men by millions, and these wonderful creations of wealth and power seemed destined to have no bounds in the favored region in which this system of free labor prevailed. Immigration, attracted by this boundless prosperity, flowed in with a steady stream, and an overflowing population was fast spreading the freedom and prosperity of the Northern States to all the uncultivated regions of the Union.

On the other hand, by a sort of social repulsion—a sort of polarity which intensifies opposition and repugnance—the theory of slavery was carried to an extreme never before known in the history of mankind. Capital claimed to own labor, as the best relation in which the two could be placed toward each other. The masses of men, compelled to spend their lives in physical toil, were held to be properly kept in ignorance, under the guidance of intelligent masters. The skilful control of the master, when applied to slaves, was hold to be superior in its results to the self-regulating energies of educated men, laboring for their own benefit, and impelled by the powerful motives of self-interest and independent enterprise. The safety of society demanded the subordination of the laboring class; and especially in free governments, where the representative system prevails, was it necessary that working men should be held in subjection. Slavery, therefore, was not only justifiable; it was the only possible condition on which free society could be organized, and liberal institutions maintained. This was 'the corner stone' of the new confederacy. The opposite system in the free States, at the first touch of internal trouble and civil war, would prove the truth of the new theory by bread riots and agrarian overthrow of property and of all other institutions held sacred in the true conditions of social order.

Such was the monstrous inversion of social phenomena which the Southern mind accepted at the hands of their leading men, and conceived to be possible in this advanced[Pg 520] age of the world. Seizing upon a system compatible only with the earliest steps in the progress of man, and suitable only to the moral sentiments and unenlightened ideas of the most backward races of the world, they undertook to naturalize and establish it—nay, to perpetuate it, and to build up society on its basis—in the nineteenth century, and among the people of one of the freest and most enlightened nations! Evidently, this was a monstrous perversion of intellect—a blindness and madness scarcely finding a parallel in history. It was expected, too, that this anomalous social proceeding—this backward march of civilization on this continent—would excite no animadversion and arouse no antagonism in the opposite section. It involved the reopening of the slave trade, and it was expected that foreign nations would abate their opposition, lower their flags, and suffer the new empire, founded on 'the corner stone of slavery,' to march forward in triumph and achieve its splendid destiny.

These moral and social ideas might have had greater scope to work out their natural results, had not the political connections between the North and the South implicated the two sections, alike, in the consequences of any error or folly on the part of either. Taxation and representation, and the surrender of fugitive slaves, all provided for in the Constitution, were the points in which the opposite polities came into contact in the ordinary workings of the Federal Government. Perpetual conflicts necessarily arose. But it was chiefly on the question of territorial extension, and in the formation of new States, that the most inveterate of all the contests were engendered. The constitutional provisions applicable to these questions are not without some obscurity, and this afforded a plausible opportunity for all the impracticable subtleties arising out of the doctrine of strict construction. From the time of the admission of Missouri, in 1820, down to the recent controversy about Kansas, the territorial question was unsettled, and never failed to be the cause of terrible agitation.

But the march of events soon superseded the question; and even while the contest was fiercest and most bitter, the silent operation of general causes was sweeping away the whole ground of dispute. The growth of population in the Northern States was so unexampled, and so far exceeded that of the Southern States, that there could be no actual rivalry in the settlement of the territories. The latter already had more territory than they could possibly occupy and people. While the Northern population, swollen by European emigration, was taking possession of the new territories and filling them with industry and prosperity, slavery was repelling white emigration, and the South, from sheer want of men, was wholly unable to meet the competition. Yet, with most unreasonable clamors, intended only to arouse the passions of the ignorant, Southern statesmen insisted on establishing the law of slavery where they could not plant the institution itself. They finally demanded that slavery should be recognized everywhere within the national domain; and that the Federal power should be pledged for its protection, even against the votes of the majority of the people. This was nothing less than an attempt to check the growth of the country, by the exclusion of free States, when it was impossible to increase it by the addition of any others.

Upon the failure of this monstrous demand, civil war was to be inaugurated! A power which had been relatively dwindling and diminishing from the beginning—which, in the very nature of things, could not maintain its equality in numbers and in constitutional weight—this minority demanded the control of the Government, in its growth, and in all its policy, and, in the event of refusal, threatened to rend and destroy it. Such pretensions could not have been made with sincerity. They were but the sinister means of exciting sectional enmities, and preparing for the[Pg 521] final measures of the great conspiracy. Having discarded the rational and humane views of their own fathers—Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and others—it was but the natural sequel that they should signalize their degeneracy by aiming to overthrow the work in which those sages had embodied their generous ideas—the Constitution of the United States and the whole fabric of government resting upon it.

In what manner these mischievous absurdities became acceptable to the Southern people—by what psychological miracle so great a transformation was accomplished in so short a time—is only to be explained by examining some of the delusions which blinded the authors of the rebellion, and enabled them to mislead the masses who confided too implicitly in the leadership of their masters.

Weak as were the Southern people in point of numbers and political power, compared with those of the opposite section, the haughty slaveholders easily persuaded themselves and their dependents that they could successfully cope in arms with the Northern adversary, whom they affected to despise for his cowardly and mercenary disposition. Wealth, education, and ample leisure gave them the best opportunity for political studies and public employments. Long experience imparted skill in all the arts of government, and enabled them, by superior ability, to control the successive administrations at Washington. Proud and confident, they indulged the belief that their great political prestige would continue to serve them among their late party associates in the North, and that the counsels of the adversary would be distracted, and his power weakened, by the fatal effects of dissension. All warlike sentiment and capacity was believed to be extinct among the traders and manufacturers, 'the shopkeepers and pedlars,' of the Middle and Eastern States. Hence a vigorous attack in arms against the Federal Government was expected to be met with no energetic and effective resistance. A peaceable dissolution of the Union, and the impossibility of war—at least of any serious and prolonged hostilities—was a cardinal point in the teachings of the secessionists. The fraudulent as well as violent measures by which they sought to disarm the Federal Government and to forestall its action, were only adopted 'to make assurance doubly sure.'

Beyond all doubt, the system of slavery encourages those habits and passions which make the soldier, and which instigate and maintain wars. The military spirit and that of slavery are congenial; for both belong to an early stage in the progress of civilization, when each is necessary to the support and continuance of the other. It was therefore to be expected that the Southern people would be better prepared for the organization, and also for the manœuvring of armies. But the mistake and the fatal delusion cherished by the conspirators, was the belief that the Northern people were without manly spirit, and incapable of being aroused by sentiments of patriotism. It was an equal miscalculation to anticipate that the fabric of Northern free society would fall to pieces, and be thrown into irremediable disorder, at the first appearance of civil commotion. This false idea was the offspring of the slave system, which boasted of the solidity of its own organization and the impossibility of its overthrow. From their standpoint, amid the darkness of a social organization, in which one half the population is not more than semi-civilized, the slaveholders could not easily obtain any other view. Long accustomed to wield irresponsible power as masters, enjoying wealth and independence from the unrewarded labor of the slave, but liberal and humane, condescending and indulgent, so long as the untutored black was quiet and obedient, the planter very naturally imagined his system to be the perfection of social order. In the atmosphere of luxurious ease which sur[Pg 522]rounded him, were the elements of a mental mirage which distorted everything in his deceptive vision. He weighed the two systems, and found his own immeasurably more powerful than its antagonist. Fatal mistake! fatal but inevitable, in his condition, in the midst of the blinding refractions of the medium which enveloped him.

Prosperity had made him giddy. Cotton was not merely King—it was God. Moral considerations were nothing. The sentiment of right, he argued, would have no influence over starving operatives; and England and France, as well as the Eastern States of the Union, would stand aghast and yield to the masterstroke which should deprive them of the material of their labor. Millions were dependent on it in all the great centres of civilization, and the ramifications of its power extended into all ranks of society and all departments of industry and commerce. It was only necessary to wave this imperial sceptre over the nations, and all of them would fall prostrate and acknowledge the supremacy of the power which wielded it. Nothing could be more plausible than this delusion. Satan himself, when about to wage war in heaven, could not have invented one better calculated to marshal his hosts and give promise of success in rebellion against the authority of the Most High. But alas! the supreme error of this anticipation lay in omitting from the calculation all power of principle. The right still has authority over the minds of men and in the counsels of nations. Factories may cease their din; men and women may be thrown out of employment; the marts of commerce may be silent and deserted; but truth and justice still command some respect among men, and God yet remains the object of their adoration.

Drunk with power and dazzled with prosperity, monopolizing cotton, and raising it to the influence of a veritable fetich, the authors of the rebellion did not admit a doubt of the success of their attack on the Federal Government. They dreamed of perpetuating slavery, though all history shows the decline of the system as industry, commerce, and knowledge advance. The slaveholders proposed nothing less than to reverse the currents of humanity, and to make barbarism flourish in the bosom of civilization. They even thought of extending the system, by opening the slave trade and enlarging the boundaries of their projected empire, Mexico and Central America, Cuba and St. Domingo, with the whole West Indian group of islands, awaited the consolidation of their power, and stood ready to swell the glory of their triumph.

But these enticing visions quickly faded away from their sight. At an early day after the inauguration of their government, they were compelled to disavow the design of reopening the slave trade, and in no event is it probable their recognition will be yielded by foreign governments, except on the basis of ultimate emancipation. How such a proposition will be received by their deluded followers, remains yet to be ascertained by an experiment which the authors of the rebellion will be slow to try among their people. One of the most effective appeals made to the non-slaveholders of the South, in order to start the revolution, was to their fears and prejudices against the threatened equality and competition of the emancipated negro. The immense influence of this appeal can scarcely be estimated by those not intimately acquainted with the social condition of the great mass of the Southern people. Among them, the distinction of color is maintained with the utmost rigor, and the barrier between the two races, social and political, is held to be impassable and eternal. The smallest taint of African blood in the veins of any man is esteemed a degradation from which he can never recover. Toward the negro, as an inferior, the white man is often affable and kind, cruelty being the exception, universally condemned and often punished;[Pg 523] but toward the black man as an equal, an implacable hostility is instantly arrayed. This intense and unconquerable prejudice, it is well known, is not confined wholly to the South; but it prevails there without dissent, and is, in fact, one of the fundamental principles of social organization.

When, therefore, the leaders of the rebellion succeeded in persuading the Southern masses that the success of the Republican party would eventually liberate the slave and place him on an equality with the whites, an irresistible impulse was given to their cause. To the extent that this charge was credited was the rebellion consolidated and embittered. Had it been universally believed, there would have been few dissenting voices throughout the seceding States. All would have rushed headlong into the rebellion. And even now, every measure adopted on our part, in the field or in Congress, which can be distorted as looking to a similar end, must prove to be a strong stimulus in sustaining and invigorating the enemy. Happily, while the system of slavery naturally discourages education, and leaves the mass of whites comparatively uninformed, and peculiarly subject to be deceived and misled, there are yet many highly intelligent men among the non-slaveholders, and some liberal and unprejudiced ones among the slaveholders themselves. These serve to break the force of the appeals made to the ignorant, and they have had a powerful influence in maintaining the love of the Union and the true spirit of our institutions, among considerable numbers, in all parts of the South.

From the foregoing views, it is plain, that only in a certain sense can slavery be pronounced the cause of the rebellion. It was not the first and original motive; neither is it the sole end of the conspirators. But in another sense, it may justly be considered the cause of the war; for without it, the war could never have taken place.

There was no actual necessity to destroy the Union for the protection of slavery and for its continued existence. Construed in any rational sense likely to be adopted, the Constitution afforded ample security—far more, indeed, than could be found under a separate confederacy. This was evident to the leaders of the rebellion, though it was their policy to conceal the truth from the people, by the fierce passions artfully aroused in the beginning. Slavery could not have been perpetuated, because its permanence is against the decrees of nature. But it could have lived out a peaceful and perhaps a prosperous existence, gradually disappearing without convulsion or bloodshed. Discussion and agitation could not have been prevented, nor could the inevitable end have been averted. Yet the whole movement could well have been controlled and directed, by the adoption of wise and well-considered measures, not inconsistent with the natural laws governing the case, whose final operation it was wholly impossible to prevent.

But this system of gradual amelioration, and peaceful development of ends that must come, did not satisfy the ambition of the conspirators. They saw their last opportunity for a successful rebellion, and they determined not to let it pass unimproved. The vast power of the slave interest; the passions easily to be excited by it; the encouraging delusions clustering around it; and the fearful apprehensions growing out of its darker aspects, all contributed to make it the very instrument for accomplishing the long-cherished design.

Slavery has been the chief means of bringing about the rebellion. It is the lever, resting upon the fulcrum of State sovereignty, by which the conspirators have been able, temporarily, to force one section of the Union from its legitimate connections. Thus used for this unhallowed purpose, and become tainted with treason and crimsoned with the blood of slaughtered citizens, slavery necessarily subjects itself to all the fearful contingencies and responsibilities of the rebellion. Whether the confederate[Pg 524] cause shall succeed or fail, the slave institution, thus fatally involved in it, cannot long survive. In either event, its doom is fixed. Like one of those reptiles, which, in the supreme act of hostility, extinguish their own lives inflicting a mortal wound upon their victims, slavery, roused to the final paroxysm of its hate and rage, injects all its venom into the veins of the Union, exhausts itself in the effort, and inevitably dies.


The time has come when we must have an entirely new lot of superlatives—intensifiers of meaning—verifiers of earnestness—asserters of exactness, etc., etc. The old ones are as dead as herrings; killed off, too, as herrings are, by being taken from their natural element. What between passionate men and affected women, all the old stand-bys are used up, and the only practical question is, Where are the substitutes to come from? Who shall be trusted to invent them? Not the linguists: they would make them too long and slim. Not the mob: they would make them too short and stout.

There are plenty of words made; but in these times they are all nouns, and what we want are adverbs—'words that qualify verbs, participles, adjectives, and other adverbs.' We could get along well enough with the old adjectives, badly as the superlative degree of some of them has been used. They are capable of being qualified when they become too weak—or, rather, when our taste becomes too strong—just as old ladies qualify their tea when they begin to find the old excitement insufficient. But even this must be done with reason, or we shall soon find with the new supply, as we are now finding with the old, that the bottle gives out before the tea-caddy. The whole language is sufficient, except in the excessives—the ultimates.

Why use up the sublime to express the ridiculous? Why be only noticeable from the force of your language as compared with the feebleness of what you have to say? Why chain Pegasus to an ox cart, or make your Valenciennes lace into horse blankets? If the noble tools did the ignoble work any better, it might be some satisfaction; but cutting blocks with a razor is proverbially unprofitable, and a million-magnifying microscope does not help a bit to tell the time by the City Hall clock. And again: the beggar doth but make his mishaps the more conspicuous by climbing a tree, while the poor bird of paradise, when once fairly on the ground, must needs stay and die, being kept from rising into her more natural element by the very weight of her beauties. Like this last-named victim of misdirected ambition, poetical expressions, being once fairly reduced to the level of ordinary use, so that all feel at liberty to take them in vain, can never 'revocare gradem.'

The elegant, however, is not so much of a loss, as the strong and serviceable part of the language;—which, so far, is like grain in a hopper, always being added to at the top, and ground away at the bottom. The good old unmistakable words seem to sink the faster from their greater specific gravity compared to the chaff that surrounds them; for example: Indeed used to be a fine and reliable word for impressing an assertion, but now it is almost discarded except as a sort of questioning expression of surprise, which might advantageously be shortened thus:?! Strictly interpreted, it denotes a lack of faith, suggesting a possible discrepancy between the words of the speaker and the deeds they relate to. It is but one step removed from the politeness of the Sligo Irishwomen, who[Pg 525] say, 'You are a liar,' meaning exactly what an American lady does in saying 'You don't mean so!'

I suppose it seemed as if the force of language could no further go, when men first said really. "What is more indisputable than reality? But it has come to be a sort of vulcanizer, to make plain English, irony. Nowadays, when a young lady adds, 'really,' one may know that she means to cast a doubt over the seriousness of what she says, or to moderate its significance. 'Really, sir, you must not talk so,' is the appropriate form for a tone of decided encouragement to continue your remarks—probably complimentary to herself, or the opposite to some friend. And so we might go on down, taking every word of the sort from the dictionary, and comparing its usefulness now, with that of the time when it had no ambiguity.

Positively, seriously, perfectly, and their synonymes, have been subtracted, one after another, from our list of absolute words,—Burked, carried off, and consumed, by people who, if they had each had the finishing off of one word, instead of each doing a part at the ruin of all, would deserve to have their names handed down to posterity in connection with the ruin they had wrought, as much as ever Erostratus or Martin did; the former, we all know, was he of whom it is said:

'The ambitious youth who fired th' Ephesian dome
Outlives in fame the pious fool that reared it.'

The latter, it is not so well known, did likewise by Yorkminster, for a similar purpose, and is now, as Mrs. Partington would say, 'Expatiating his offence' in a lunatic asylum. But their name is legion. How many a man, perhaps, 'father of a family, member of the church, and doing a snug business,' hears every day or two 'positively and without joking or exaggeration, the most perfectly absurd and ridiculous thing, he ever heard in all his born days!'

Actually was a nice word. We suffered a loss when it died, and it deserves this obituary notice. It was a pretty word to speak and to write, and there was a crisp exactness about its very sound that gave it meaning. Requiescat in pace. But last and most to be lamented, comes literally. I could be pathetic about that word. So classic—so perfect—it crystallized the asseveration honored with its assistance. And so early dead! Cut off untimely in the green freshness of its days—and I have not even the Homeric satisfaction of burying it! It still wanders in the shades of purgatory, Vox et præterea nihil; being bandied about from mouth to mouth of the profane vulgar. And not even by them alone is disrespect offered it, for the grave and practical Mr. Layard says somewhere in the account of his uncoveries, 'They literally bathed my shoes with their tears!' Idem, sed quantum mutatus ab illo! I am almost tempted to the ambiguous wish that he might have slipped in literally to one of the many graves he robbed figuratively.

Now listen for a moment to Miss Giggley, who is telling of her temptation to laugh at some young unfortunate who thought he was making himself very agreeable. 'Really and truly, upon my word and honor, I positively thought I—should—die: as sure as I'm alive.' You pretty liar! You smiling murderess! You playful puss, gracefully toying with the victims your sweet mouth kills! Those expletives were like five strong men standing in a row, and you were like a bright, innocent-looking electric machine, with its transparent and clear-voiced cylinder, which is capable (give it only enough turnings) of making the men, at a shock, into five long, prostrate heaps of clay, lifeless, useless, and offensive, as are the expletives in question, by reason of a succession of just such shocking assaults as the untruth you this moment swore to.

Anonymous writers, as a class, might be called the Boythorns of Literature. All of them, from Junius down, have[Pg 526] shown a great satisfaction in waving a tremendously sharp sword out from behind a fence. Sometimes the hand that has held the weapon was strong enough to have done good service wherever it might have been engaged, but always the wielding is a little more fearless than if the owner's face were visible, and usually it is the better for his cause that it was not. We all know what a very large cannon the monkey touched off, and how, if any one had been in the way, it might have hurt him very much. As when a traveller writes of a far country, he tries to make it seem worth all the trouble he took to go there, so a critic must find enough bad about a book to make his article on it important and interesting.

These exaggerators—these captatores (and occisores) verborum—have no idea of the adaptation of means to ends. They are not deficient in forces—they have a powerful army, but no generalship. Horse, foot, and artillery; it's all vanguard. Right, left, and centre—but all vanguard. At the first glimpse, pioneers and scouts, rank and file, sappers and miners, sutlers and supernumeraries, all come thundering down like a thousand of brick, and gleaming in the purple and gold of imagery, to rout, disperse, and confound their obstacle; even if it's only a corporal's guard of one private!

This specialité in newspapers has occasionally been ridiculed, though not very well. Dickens's Eatonsville Gazette and Independent are perhaps the best caricatures; and they are a very good embodiment of a particular class of partisan provincial papers; but they are utterly inadequate to characterize the exaggeration that runs riot through the whole tribe of periodicals—and amok through the serried ranks of Anglo-Saxon words. See the New York Rostrum; daily, weekly, and semi-weekly. It is rampant! It suspects an abuse, and it ramps against it. It seizes an idea, and it ramps toward its development. All who are not with it are against it, and all who are against it are either fools or knaves. The Rostrum never chronicles railroad accidents. Oh, no! It only tells its readers of dastardly and cowardly outrages, committed by blood-thirsty fiends in the shape of presidents and directors against virtuous and estimable passengers, whole hecatombs of whom are assassinated to gratify the hideous appetite for carnage of the officials aforesaid; every one of whom, from the president to the water-boys, ought to suffer the extremest penalty of the law. It doesn't say that they ought to be hung. No! capital punishment was the most benighted characteristic of barbarism. It is a horrid atrocity to bring it down to the present day. Nobody ought to be subjected to it but the slimy reptiles who advocate its continuance.

Not only does the Rostrum behave like a wild bull of Bashan when it is fairly under way, but it is a perfect rocket at starting. It makes haste to commit itself. It is continually entering into bonds to break the peace. Its principle is not unlike that of the Irishman in a row: 'Wherever you see a head, hit it.' It deals around little doses of shillelah, just by way of experiment; and if the unlucky head does not happen to be that of an enemy, make it one; so it's all right again. It carries whole baskets of chips on its shoulders, knock one off who will.

Forgive me, good Rostrum! I honestly believe thee to be the best paper in this world; and my morning breakfast and car ride would be as fasting and a pilgrimage, without thee! It takes all my philosophy and more than all my piety (besides the lying abed late, and the coffee, which we only have once a week) to dispense with thee on Sunday. No paper is so untrammelled as thou art, for thou hast no shackles but those thou thrustest thine own wrists into; and I prize thee more than a whole sheaf of thy compeers, who always try to decide safely by deciding last. Thou art prompt, brave, and straightforward.[Pg 527] In nine cases out of ten, when there are two cages open, thou dashest impetuously into the right one. Verily, thou art a little more headstrong than strong-headed, and a little less long-headed than headlong; but I say, rather let me be occasionally wrong with thee than always mean with some of thy rivals. But why be intemperate in thine advocacy of the nigger question, so overbearing in thine efforts for freedom of speech, or why enslave thyself in the cause of liberty? I could imagine a paper without even thy faults—and for this, I know full well that if thou notice me at all, it will be as a besotted and dangerous old fogy.

To be sure, the Rostrum might be found guilty on other counts of the general crime of word-murder. It has done for the word height by spelling it hight, at the same time giving a supererogatory kick to the good old English participle (already deceased) of the latter orthography. And then, it is not always quite certain whether its events occurred or transpired! The misapplication of this last word is a shocking abuse of our defenceless mother tongue, and one I have not often seen publicly rebuked. It is not long since I saw the poor dissyllable in question evidently misapplied in the dedication of a book, and on Sunday, not long ago, I heard the pastor of one of the first churches in the city preach of the power directing the events which transpire in this world!

There are two ways of getting public duties attended to; one of which is to advertise for proposals,—a very expensive way; and the other is to get up a public meeting or association, when all men think it an honor to be elected officers for the sake of seeing their names in the papers. Now this last way is the best, in so many respects that it shall be adopted without hesitation for our purposes. Let there be a new Humane Society established, principally for the prevention of cruelty to words, and let the chief officer of the society be so named as to suggest its chief office—that of 'moderator.' And let us hope that as words are the things in question, deeds will abound, as we so well know the truth of the reverse, that where deeds are to be looked for, words prevail amazingly. Outside of its primary beneficent purpose, it may make provision for charities incidental thereunto. It may appoint one committee for the prevention of cruelty to compositors, to examine the chirography of all MSS. about to be 'put in hand,' and, in any case it thinks necessary, return mercilessly the whole scrawled mass to the author to have t's crossed, i's dotted, a's and o's joined at the top, etc., etc. Another privileged three may be merciful to the authors themselves, by providing for the better reading of proofs, by examining and qualifying the readers thereof; a class in this country very deficient, and for a happy reason: namely, that we have not yet a multitude of literary men, very well educated and very poor, who can find nothing better to do. This last committee would find comparatively little occupation, when the previous one had become effective in its line.

To what an illimitable enterprise does the vastness of our plans lead us! Long vistas open before our eyes, with fine prospects for patronage and the gift of many offices. It is at least equal in dignity and grandeur to the city government, and nothing prevents its becoming a vast scheme of corruption, except that it never can, by any possibility, possess a penny of revenue. Of course there should be a committee of repairs and supplies, and one of immigration, the latter to provide for the naturalization of foreign words and their proper treatment before they could take care of themselves; the former for furnishing a supply to meet the growing demand mentioned at the beginning of this article, and for patching up several of the most obvious imperfections we now suffer from. We want a word for the opposite of a compliment. Not that this[Pg 528] is as great a defect as the lack of the word compliment would be in these smooth-spoken times, but still the want is felt, and the feeling is shown by such awkward expedients as the expression 'a left-handed compliment.' Then, besides, they might give the seal of legitimacy to a fine lot of words and phrases, the need of which is shown by their being spontaneously invented, and universally adopted by the vulgar; but which are not classic, have never been written except in caricature, and are therefore inadmissible to the writings of us cowardly fellows who 'do' the current literature. For instance: the word onto, to bear the same relation to on and upon, that the word into does to in and within, has no synonyme, and if we had once adopted it, we should be surprised at our own self-denial in having had it so long in our ears without taking it for the use of our mouths and pens.

The judiciary department should have full power to try all defilers of the well of English, be they these offenders we have been talking of—spendthrifts and drunkards in the use of its strong waters—or be they punsters, or be they the latest development of miscreants, the transposers. To the punsters shall be adjudged a perpetual strabismus, that they may look two ways at once, forever—always seeing double with their bodily eyes, as they have been in the habit of doing with their mental ones. Even so to the transposer. Let him be inverted, and hung by the heels till healed of his disorder.

If this idea of an association is seized upon, I should be happy to suggest well-qualified persons for all the offices except the highest. The most appropriate incumbent for that, modesty forbids my mentioning. But the matter must not be let drop. Unless there can be some check put to the present extravagance, we shall all take to swearing, for I am sure that is the first step beyond it.


Those who have watched the growth of New York, have found a striking criterion of its gradual advance in the different aspects of the dry goods trade. We select this branch of business as a better illustration of the progress of our metropolis than any other, since in breadth, as well as in enterprise, it has always taken the lead. What grocer, hardwareman, druggist, or any other of the different tradesmen of the metropolis, ever wrought out of nothing the majestic structures or the enormous traffic which is represented by some of our dry goods concerns.

Dry goods originally held their headquarters between Wall street and Coenties slip. In those days Front street for grocers, and Pearl for dry goods men, within the limits above mentioned, sufficed for all the demands of trade, and in many instances the jobber lived in the upper part of his store. The great fire of 1835 put an end to all that was left of these primitive manners, and the burnt district was in due time covered with new brick stores, of a style vastly superior to those of the past. At the same time the advance in the price of lots fully made up the loss of insurance on buildings which was inevitable from the universal bankruptcy of fire offices. As trade appeared to be firmly established in that section, a mammoth hotel was built near Coenties slip for the accommodation of country merchants, and was long famous as the 'Pearl Street House.' A jobbing concern at that day might be satisfied with the first floor and basement of a building twenty-five feet by sixty to eighty, in which a business of from one hundred thou[Pg 529]sand to two hundred and fifty thousand dollars could be done. Such a business was then thought of respectable amount, and few exceeded it.

The trade even at that early day was remarkable for its precariousness—and while a few made fortunes, whole ranks were swept away by occasional panics. In 1840, Hanover square was the dry goods emporium of New York, and there a few years earlier Eno & Phelps commenced a thriving trade which grew into famous proportions. As an illustration of the risks of trade, we may mention that we know of no other concern engaged in that vicinity at that time which escaped eventual bankruptcy. Near Eno & Phelps stood the granite establishment of Arthur Tappan & Co., while lesser concerns were crowded in close proximity. The first disposition to abandon this section was shown by opening new stores in Cedar street, which soon became so popular as a jobbing resort that its rents quadrupled. The Cedar street jobbers would in the present day be considered mere Liliputians, since many of their stores measured less than eighteen by thirty feet. They were occupied by a class of active men, who bought of importers and sold to country dealers on the principle of the nimble sixpence. Of this class (now about extinct) a few built up large concerns, while others, after hopelessly contending year after year with adverse fortune, sunk eventually into bankruptcy, and may in some instances now be found in the ranks of clerkship. From Cedar street, trade moved to Liberty, Nassau, and John streets, while as these new emporiums prospered, Pearl street gradually lost its prestige, until the general hegira of trade in 1848, which left that ancient mart deserted. The Pearl street hotel, which once was thronged by country dealers and city drummers, was then altered into a warehouse for storage, while the jobbing houses, where merchants were wont to congregate, fell into baser uses, and property sunk in value correspondingly.

The 'hegira,' to which we have referred, led from the east to the north side of the town, and was so exacting in its demands, that at length no man could hope to sell goods except in the new locality. Meanwhile, property in Cortlandt, Dey, Vesey, and the neighboring streets, rose immensely, and old rookeries were replaced by elegant stores. The chief features in this improvement were increased size and enlarged room. L.O. Wilson & Co. took the lead in this by opening a store extending through from Cortlandt to Dey street, whose spacious hall could have swallowed up a half dozen old fashioned Pearl street concerns.

It was Mr. Wilson's ambition to break the bondage of antiquated habit, and inaugurate a revolution in trade. He had been a prominent Pearl street man, and had retired with a snug fortune, but had too active a mind to be satisfied with the quiet of retired life, and hence returned to trade with renewed energy. The new concern created a decided sensation, and for several years was successful, but we regret that we cannot record for it any other end than that which is the general fate of New York merchants. The movement which had now been inaugurated, continued with rapid progress until Barclay, Warren, Murray, and Chambers streets were transformed from quiet abodes of wealthy citizens to bustling avenues of trade. With this change the demand for size and ornament still continued, and was accompanied by enormous increase in rents. A newly-built Pearl street jobbing house in 1836 might be worth $1,500 per annum, while $3,000 was considered enormous; but now rents advanced to rates, which, compared with these, seemed fabulous. To meet these expenses, the consolidation of firms was resorted to, and the standard of a good year's trade extended from $250,000 to a million and upward.

From 1848 to 1860 the principle of extension was in active operation.[Pg 530] From Chambers street the work of renovation progressed upward, until even Canal street was invaded by jobbers, and until a space of a half mile square had been entirely torn down and rebuilt. Vast fortunes were made in the twinkling of an eye. A German grocer, who held a lease of the corner of Warren and Church streets, received $10,000 for two years of unexpired lease. The fellow found that the property was needed for the improvement of adjacent lots, and made a bold and successful strike for a premium. The church property, corner of Duane and Church streets, one hundred feet square, was sold for $28,000, and within a week resold to a builder for $48,000. The widening of streets now became popular, and a spot long famed for the degradation of its inhabitants, was thrown open to the activities of trade, and its rookeries replaced by marble palaces. What a transformation for Reade, Duane, Church, and Anthony streets, once synonymous with misery and crime, thus to become the splendid seats of trade!

The growth of the dry goods trade had by 1860 assumed proportions which twenty years previously could not have entered into the wildest dreams. Indeed, had a prophet stood in Hanover square at that epoch, and portrayed the future, he would have been met with the charge of lunacy. $30,000 rent for a store was not more absurd than the idea that trade would ever wing its way to a neighborhood chiefly known through the police reports, and only visited by respectable people in the work of philanthropy. The enterprise of New York houses, in either following or leading this movement, is admirably illustrated, and as the merchants of New York are among her public men, we purpose a brief reference to a few leading houses. As it is nothing new to state that only three per cent. of our mercantile community are successful in making fortunes, the results of these examples need not surprise the reader.

Among the chief concerns of nearly forty years' career, may be mentioned C.W. & J.T. Moore & Co., who began in a small way in Pearl street, followed the flood of trade to Broadway, and afterward took possession of the splendid store built by James E. Whiting, on the site of the Broadway theatre. Bowen & McNamee commenced somewhere about 1840, having sprung from the bankrupt house of Arthur Tappan & Co. Their first establishment was in Beaver street, whence they removed to a marble palace which they built in Broadway in 1850, having, in ten years, realized an enormous fortune in the silk trade. Encouraged by the success following this second movement, the firm sold their store at an enormous advance, and purchased the corner of Broadway and Pearl streets, thus indicating that trade had advanced a mile up town. The palatial store which they erected on this spot will long mark the climacteric point in mercantile architecture. It was supposed at the time of its erection to be the finest jobbing store in existence, and although since then both Mr. Astor and James E. Whiting have each put up a splendid marble establishment in Broadway, they have not surpassed the one we refer to. Messrs. Bowen & McNamee were early identified with the progressive views of New England politics, which they maintained throughout their business career. At an early day a system of persecution was opened upon them by a portion of the New York press on the score of their anti-slavery sentiments, to which they replied by announcing that 'they had goods for sale, not opinions.' This bold expression became quite popular in its day, and did much to extend the business of the high-toned concern which proclaimed it, so that what was lost by prejudice was more than gained from legions of new friends, until, for a time, they reaped a golden harvest from a trade which ramified to all parts of the North, East, and West.

Another famous concern which sustained a position diametrically opposite[Pg 531] to the one we have just mentioned, was that of Henrys, Smith & Townsend. This house was for more than a quarter of a century distinguished in the dry goods line, but held a Southern trade, and its members were men of corresponding proclivities. Commencing in Hanover square, the firm had followed the drift of trade into Broadway, and had become immensely rich. Like Bowen & McNamee (or Bowen, Holmes & Co., their later firm), they led in political, as well as in mercantile enterprise, and these two houses, like Calpe and Abyla, were for years set over against each other as the trade representatives of the Northern and Southern sentiment.

Yet, whatever may have been their difference of opinion, we are well persuaded of the fact that both houses were composed of patriotic and high-minded men, who differed simply because their views were of an extreme character. We might record other distinguished firms, which like these arose to greatness from humble beginnings, and at last fell like them beneath the revulsion which preceded the present civil war; but these will serve as general illustrations.

With this revulsion the glory of the great houses has passed away. The marble palaces which formerly rented for $20,000 to $50,000, either stand empty or are tenanted at a nominal rate; and the enormous traffic of millions annually, has sunk down to the proportions of primitive times. Those grand Broadway stores must hereafter be divided, for no one concern can fill them, and the dreams of merchant and of builder are alike exploded. The dry goods trade in New York is now under a process of change, and as the dispensation of high rents and broad floors, long credits and enormous sales, seems to be passing away, it is a question of no small interest what shape the trade will put on. We will not attempt to answer that question. We prefer to give a sketch of the man who has done the most to solve it—Mr. A. T. Stewart.

Mr. Stewart possesses one of the most truly executive minds in America. Indeed, as respects this feature, we doubt if any exception could be made to according him the very first position among our business men. Others may occasionally equal him in grasp of intellect, as in the instance of George Law, or Cornelius Vanderbilt; but, considered in the point of executive ability, we consider him unapproachable. He has long been chief among American dry goods dealers, and is known far and wide as the largest merchant (that is, buyer and seller) on this continent, and perhaps in the world. Yet there are thousands, including New Yorkers as well as country people, who have lost sight of Mr. Stewart's personality, and mention his name daily, and, perhaps, hourly, merely as the representative of a mammoth house of trade. The reason of this is obvious: hundreds and thousands have dealt year after year in that marble palace without ever beholding its proprietor. To such persons the name 'Stewart' has become merely a symbol, or, at most, a term of locality. To them he is a myth, with no personal entity. To their minds the term sets forth, instead of so many feet stature encased in broadcloth, with countenance, character, and voice like other men, merely a train of ideas, a marble front, plate glass, gorgeous drapery, legion of clerks, paradise of fashion, crowds of customers, and all the fascination of a day of shopping. 'Where did you get that love of a shawl?' asks Miss Matilda Namby Pamby of her friend Miss Araminta Vacuum. 'Why, at Stewart's, of course,' is the inevitable reply; 'and so cheap! only $250.' Now, to this pair of lady economists, what is 'Stewart's' but a mere locality, as impersonal as Paris or Brussels, or any other mart of finery? We would correct this tendency to the unreal (which, by the way, is very natural), by stating that behind the mythic idea, there is a Stewart; not a mere locality, but a man—plain, earnest, and industrious—who, amid this army[Pg 532] of clerks and bustle of external traffic, drives the secret machinery with wonderful precision. Purchasers at retail are the most liable to the symbolic idea, since they never behold the existing Stewart. They see hundreds of salesmen, some stout and some thin, some long and some short, some florid and some pale, moving about in broadcloth, with varied port of dignity and importance, who may look as if they would like to own a palace. Yet among these the proprietor will be sought in vain. But if one ascends to the second story, he will find himself in a new world. This is the wholesale establishment, and here Mr. Stewart appears as the presiding genius.

As one enters this department he may observe, in a large office on the side of the house looking into Chambers street, the grandmaster of the mammoth establishment, sitting at the desk, and occupied by the pressing demands of so important a position. Here, from eight in the morning until a late dinner hour, he is engrossed by the schemes and plans of his active brain. He bears a calm and thoughtful appearance, and yet, such is his executive ability, that the burden which would crush others is borne by him with comparative ease. His aspect and manners are plain and simple to a remarkable degree, and a stranger would be surprised to acknowledge in that tall form and quiet countenance, the Autocrat of the Dry Goods Trade. This man did not achieve this position save by patient toil; his greatness was not 'thrust upon him.' It has arisen from forty years of close application to the branch of trade which he adopted in early life, and to which he has bent his rare powers of mind. Like most of our successful men, he began the world with no capital beside brains; and like Daniel Webster and Louis Philippe, his early employment was teaching. The instructor, however, was soon merged in the business man, and in 1827 his unpretending name was displayed in Broadway, The little concern in which he then was salesman, buyer, financier, and sole manager, has gradually increased in importance, until it has become the present marble palace. It is probable that much of his early prosperity was owing to a remarkably fine taste in the selection of dress goods; but the subsequent breadth of his operations and their splendid success may be ascribed to his love of order, and its influence upon his operations. Years of practice upon this idea have enabled him to reduce everything to a system. Beside this, he is a first-class judge of character, reads men and schemes at a glance, and continually exhibits a depth of penetration which astonishes all who witness it. Thus, although sitting alone in his office, he is apparently conscious of whatever is going on in all parts of his establishment. So completely is he en rapport with matters on the different floors, that the clerks sometimes imagine that there must be an invisible telegraph girdling the huge building. These men often say, by way of pleasant illustration of this fact, that if any one of them is absent, he is the very man to be first called for. From this it may be understood that it is not an easy matter to vary from the rigid system which holds its alternative of diligence or discharge over all beneath its control. We have referred to Mr. Stewart's habits of order as a means by which he controls his vast business with apparent ease. To explain this more explicitly, we may state that each department or branch of trade is under a distinct manager. These wholesale departments have been increased every year, until there is hardly an item in the comprehensive variety of the dry goods trade that is not here to be found. The advantage of this progressive movement was lately shown by the fact that, while Mr. Stewart lost enormous sums by Southern repudiation, he made up a large portion of the loss by the recent advance in domestics, a department which he had just added to his stock. The numerous failures which take place among New York business men give Mr. Stew[Pg 533]art the choice among them for his managers, and a representation of the finest business talent of the city can, at this moment, be found in his establishment. These men turn their energies into that mighty channel which flows into his treasury. Indeed, to this merchant prince, they are what his marshals were to Napoleon, and, like him, this Autocrat of Trade sits enthroned in the insulated majesty of mercantile greatness.

It may be inferred that no man in the concern works harder than its owner, and we believe that this is acknowledged by all its employés. Day after day he wears the harness of silent and patient toil.

It is not generally known that during these hours of application, and while engrossed in the management of his immense operations, no one is allowed to address him personally until his errand or business shall have been first laid before a subordinate. If it is of such a character that that gentleman can attend to it, it goes no farther, and hence it vests with him to communicate it to his principal. To illustrate this circumstance, we relate the following incident: A few weeks ago a person entered the wholesale department, with an air of great importance, and demanded to see the proprietor. That proprietor could very easily be seen, as he was sitting in his office, but the stranger was courteously met by the assistant, with the usual inquiry as to the nature of his business. The stranger, who was a Government man, bristled up and exclaimed, indignantly, 'Sir, I come from Mr. Lincoln, and shall tell my business to no one but Mr. Stewart.' 'Sir,' replied the inevitable Mr. Brown, 'if Mr. Lincoln himself were to come here, he would not see Mr. Stewart until he should have first told me his business.'

The amount of annual sales made at this establishment is not known outside of the circle of managers, but may be variously estimated at from ten to thirty millions. This includes the retail department, whose daily trade varies, according to weather and season, from three thousand to twelve thousand dollars per day. To supply this vast demand for goods, Mr. Stewart has agencies in Paris, London, Manchester, Belfast, Lyons, and other European marts. Two of the above cities are the permanent residences of his partners; and while Mr. Fox represents the house in Manchester, Mr. Warton occupies the same position in Paris. These gentlemen are the only partners of the great house of A.T. Stewart & Co.

The marble block which the firm now occupies was built nearly twenty years ago. It had been the site of an old-fashioned hotel—which, like many others of its class, bore the name of 'Washington,' and which was eventually destroyed by fire. Mr. Stewart bought the plot at auction for less than $70,000, a sum which now would be considered beneath half its value. To this was subsequently added adjacent lots in Broadway, Reade and Chambers streets, and the present magnificent pile reared. To such of our readers as walk Broadway, we need not add any detail of its dimensions, nor mention what is now well known, that, large as it is, it is still too small for the increasing business. Hence another mercantile palace has been erected by Mr. Stewart in Broadway near Tenth street. This is intended for the retail trade, and is, no doubt, the most convenient, as well as the most splendid structure of the kind in the world. After the retail department shall have been thus removed up town the present store will be devoted to the wholesale trade.

If any of our readers should inquire what impulse moves the energies of one whose circumstances might warrant a life of ease, we presume that the reply would be force of character and the strength of habit. Mr. Stewart has an empire in the world of merchandise which he can neither be expected to resign or abdicate. We cannot regret that law of centralization which builds up[Pg 534] one marble palace, where hundreds have failed utterly to make a living. Centralization of trade has its objections, and yet, upon the whole, there is, no doubt, a much healthier and happier condition prevailing among the parties connected with Mr. Stewart, than would be found among the struggling concerns (say fifty or more) whose place he has taken. Centralization is a law in trade whose movement crushes the weak by an inevitable step, while, by compelling them to take refuge beneath the protection of the strong it affords a better condition than the one from which they have been driven. To his early perception of this law Mr. Stewart largely owes his present colossal fortune.


As on the top of Lebanon,
Slowly the Temple grew,
All unobserved, though every shaft
A giant shadow threw:

Unheeded, though the golden pomp
Of ponderous roof and spire,
Wrought in the chambers of the earth,
Like subterranean fire:

Until the huge translated pile,
By brother kings upreared,
On Zion's hill, enthroned at last,
In silence reappeared.

So, not with observation comes
God's kingdom in the heart;
But like that Temple, silently,
With golden doors apart.

And all the Mighty Ones that watch,
With folded wings above,
Trembling with awe, now stoop to earth,
On messages of love.

Another Temple riseth fast,
Unbuilt of mortal hands,
Upheaving to the battle-blast
Of Freedom's conquering bands!

The bannered host—the darkened skies—
The thunderings all about,
Foreshadow but a Nation's birth,
Answering a Nation's shout!
[Pg 535]


Alas for the old fashions! Wonder, incredulity, curiosity, and a crowd of primitive sensations, the whooping host that greeted, like misformed brutes on Circean shores, the steamboat and the telegraph, are passing away on a Lethean tide, and our mysteries are departing from among us. The intelligence which so long gazed wistfully upon the barred door of nature, or picked unsuccessfully at the bolts, with skeleton theories, and vague speculations, had learned to try the 'open sesame' of science. The master key is turning, the shafts yield, and already a dim glory shines through.

While the strides of a positive philosophy are crippled by enthusiastic rhapsodies about intuition and instinct, her footsteps are still indelible, and her progress is certain and accelerating. Reason is written on her brow; she appeals to the universal gift, and denies the authoritative dictations of fallible genius, as much as a moral equality disallows the divine right of kings. Speculators among stars, speculators among sounds and colors, are the skirmishers in front of an intellectual post, whose tread reverberates but little in their rear. Accoutred with a few empiric facts and inductive minds, they aspire to beautiful and stable theories, whence they may descend, by deductive steps, accurate even to mathematical absoluteness, to the very arcana of what has been the inexplicable. To them the true, the beautiful, must be facts, defined, realized, and vigorously analyzed. Visible embodiments of an incomprehensible grace must be disintegrated, and the thinnest essences escape not the analytical rack whereon they confess the causal entity of their composition. 'Broad-browed genius' may toss his locks in the studio redolent of art; his eye may light, and his nervous fingers print the grand creation on the canvas. The divine afflatus is in his nostrils; it is his spirit, and his picture is the reflex of his soul. But keen-eyed Science lays a shadowy hand upon the 'holy coloring,' and says: 'Truly, the harmony is beautiful; it has pleased a sympathetic instinct from the first. Yet, from the first, my laws have been upon it—inexorable laws, which answer to the mind as instinct echoes to the soul.'

The august simile of the philosopher, who likened the world to a vast animal, is appearing each day as too real for poetry. The ocean lungs pulse a gigantic breath at every tide, her continental limbs vibrate with light and electricity, her Cyclopean fires burn within, and her atmosphere, ever giving, ever receiving, subserves the stupendous equilibrium, and betrays the universal motion. Motion is material life; from the molecular quiverings in the crystal diamond, to the light vibrations of a meridian sun—from the half-smothered sound of a whispered love, to the whirl of the uttermost orb in space, there is life in moving matter, as perfect in particulars, and as magnificent in range, as the animation which swells the tiny lung of the polyp, or vitalizes the uncouth python floundering in the saurian slime of a half-cooled planet.

When a polar continent heaves from the bosom of the deep, or when the inquiring eye rests upon the serrated rock, the antique victim of some drift-dispersing glacier, the mind perceives the effects and recognizes the existence of nature's omnipotent muscles, and their appalling power.

But that adventurer who chases the chain of necessity to the sources of this grand instability, is merged at once in a haze of speculations, beautiful as sunlight through morning mists, but uncertain as the veriest chimeras. While beyond the idea of comprehensive motion the colossal symmetry of Truth[Pg 536] expands in ultimate outlines, her features are shrouded, but in such an attractive clare-obscure of inviting analogies and semi-satisfying glimpses, that the temptation to guess at the ideal face almost overpowers the desire to kiss the real and shining feet below. Unfortunately, there is the domain of the myths and immaterials, there is the home of the law and the force, there dwell the Odyles, the electricities, the magnetisms, and affinities, and there the speculative Æneas pursues shadows more fleeting than the Stygian ghosts, and the grasp of the metaphysician closes on shapes whose embrace is vacancy. The bark that ploughs within this mystic expanse, sheds from its cleaving keel but coruscations of phosphorescent sparkles, which glimmer and quench in a gloom that Egyptian seers never penetrated, and modern guessers cannot conjecture through. There is, indeed, 'oak and triple brass' upon his breast who steeps his lips in the chalice of the Rosicrucian, and the doom of Prometheus is the fabled defeat which is waiting for the wanderer in those opaque spaces. While we warily, therefore, tread not upon the ground whose trespass brought the vulture of unfilled desire, the craving void for visionary lore upon the heaven-born, earth-punished speculator, we can still find flowery paths and full fruition, in meadows wherein the light of reason requires no support from the ignes fatui of imagination; meadows after all so broad, that did not metaphysics 'teach man his tether,' they would seem illimitable. The book of nature is not spread before us, turning leaf after leaf at every sunrise, with new delineations on every page, to be stared at with vacant inanity, or criticized with imbecile verbosity. The rivulet does not tinkle and the sky does not look blue that people may feed the ear alone with the one, or satisfy the eye alone with the other; the nerves which carry the sensation to the brain, flutter with the news, and knock at the house of mind for explanation. We do not anticipate being hurried into any extravaganza about the rural felicity of green trees, clinking cowbells, cane chairs, and cigars, when we recall to the trainer of surburban vines the harmony, the analogy, the relationship, which he must have observed between sounds and colors in nature's album of melodies.

When, at evening, the zenith blue melts away toward the horizon in dreamy violet, and the retreating sun leaves limber shafts of orange light, like Parthian arrows, among the green branches of the elms, what sounds can charm the ear like the soft chirrup of the cricket, the homely drone of the hive-seeking bee, and the cool rustle of the breeze through the tops of the spring-sodden water grasses? How fondly the mind blends the evening colors and the incipient voices of the night! 'Oh,' says the metaphysician, 'this is association: just so a strain of music reminds you of a fine passage in a book you have read, or a beautiful tone in a picture you have seen; just so the Ranz des Vaches bears the exile to the timber house, with shady leaves, corbelled and strut-supported, whose very weakness appeals to the avalanche that shakes an icicly beard in monition from the impeding crags.'

Well, let association play her part in some cases; when a habit has necessitated the recurrence of two distinct ideas together, they will certainly be associated at times when the habit is gone; but suppose the analogy is felt when the ideas have never before been in juxtaposition, or when there has even been no sensation at all to generate one of the notions. How, for instance, did the sightless imaginer ever conceive that red must be like the sound of the trumpet? Simply because the analogy between color and music is deeper than the idea of either, more absolute than association could make it; because certain tints are calculated to produce exactly similar impressions on the eye that certain sounds do upon the ear; or, to use a[Pg 537] mathematical turn of expression, because some color [Greek: x] is to the eye as some sound [Greek: x] is to the ear.

That this mathematical turn of expression is no vagary, but perfectly germane to the subject, and accurate in application, we propose to prove to those who love coincidences and analogies sufficiently to fish them out of a little dilute science.

Light and sound are the daughters of motion. Color and music, the ethereal and aërial offspring of this ancestry, born with the world, fostered in Biblical times, expanded in China and Egypt, living on the painted jar, and breathing in the oaten reed, deified in Greece, and analyzed to-day, are natural cousins at the least, and they have come from the spacious home of their progenitor, upon our dusky and silent sphere, like Peace and Goodwill, with hands bound in an oath and contract never to part. We will spare a dissertation on chaos; we will not speak of matter and inertia; but as our greatest and purest fountain of light is the sun, we may be allowed a modest exposition of his philosophical state, as a granite gate to the garden beyond. Ninety-five millions of miles to the north, east, south, or west of us, up or down, as the case may be, stands the molten centre of our system—an orb, whose atoms, turbulent with electricity, gravity, or whatever mechanists please to call the attraction of particle for particle, are forever urging to its centre, forever meeting with repulsions when they slide within the forbidden limits of molecular exclusiveness, and eternally vibrating with a quake and quiver which lights and heats the worlds around. In other words, this agitation is one that, transmitted to an ethereal medium, produces therein corresponding vibrations or waves, which are light and heat.

As sound is the symmetrical aërial motion, if our atmosphere embraced our sun, and extended throughout space, we should perhaps hear in the ambient the fundamental chord, resolvable into the diatonic scale—as we look upon the beam of white which the prism decomposes into the solar spectrum, and in the ghostly watches of the night, we might recognize the 'music of the spheres' as the planets rushed around their airy orbits, with a noise like the 'noise of many waters,' no longer a poetic illusion, but a harmonic fact.

Light, whether white or colored, is transmitted through ether in waves of measurable length: each atom of the medium, when disturbed, moves around its place of rest in an orbit of variable dimension and eccentricity. On the character of the orbit depends the character of the light; and on the velocity of orbit motion, its intensity. Like the gentle pulsations which circle from the point where fell the pebble in the purple lake, come the grateful twilight waves, red with the last kiss of day; like the fierce struggles of the storm-beaten ocean floods come the lightning waves, blazing through the thunder clouds, howling in riven agony: so great is the variety of character in these orbicular disturbances, which, acting upon the optic nerves, produce the sensation of multiform light and color.

Waves of light, like waves of sound, are of different lengths, and while the eye prefers some single waves to others, it recognizes a harmony in certain combinations, which it cannot discover in different ones.

While, however, the constitution of individual eyes acknowledges one color more pleasing than another, there is none, perhaps, which does not prefer the coldest monochromatic to entire absence of color, as in blank white, or to an absolute vacancy of light, as in black.

Sepia pieces are more agreeable than the neatest drawings in China ink, or the most graceful curves done in chalk upon a blackboard. But however the eye may admire a severe and simple unity, it relishes still more a harmonious complexity; and a very mediocre little pensée in water colors, will prove more[Pg 538] generally attractive than the monochromatic copies in the Liber Veritatis.

But to this complexity there must be limits—an endless and incongruous variety teases and revolts; the discordant effect of innumerable tints, among which some are sure to be uncongenial to each other, is always extremely irritating. There ought, then, to be a scale of color, it would seem, within whose limits the purest harmonies are to be found, and beyond which subdivisions should be no more allowed than in constant musical notes. When this idea strikes, as it must have, many artists, reason, consideration, instinct, and all, refer at once to the solar spectrum as such an one. The analogy between this scale, which governs the chromatics of the sunset and thunderstorm, and that which the science of man has established, empirically, for harmonies, is remarkable, and we shall try to make it patent. They are both scales of seven: the tonic, mediant, and dominant, find their types in red, yellow, and blue, while the modifications on which the diatonic scale is constructed, resemble, numerically and esthetically, the well-known variations in the spectrum.

The theory of harmonies in optics is the same as in acoustics, the same as in everything—it is based on simplicity. Those colors, like those notes, the number of whose vibrations or waves in the same time bear some simple ratio to each other, are harmonious; an absolute equality produces unison; and a group of harmonies is melody both in music and in color. At this point we cannot but hint at the analogy already discovered between the elements of music and the elements of form. Angles harmonize in simple analysis, or intricate synthesis, whose circular ratios are simple.

Numerical proportions are the roots of that shaft of harmony which, springing from motion, rises and spreads into the nature around us, which the senses appreciate, the spirit feels, and the reason understands. Beauty is order, and the infinity of the law is testified in the ever-swelling proofs of an unlimited consonance in creation, of which these analogies are the smallest types. But the idea of numerical analogy is not new to our age, now that the atomic theory is established, and people are turned back to the days when the much bescouted alchemist pored with rheumy eyes over the crucible, about to be the tomb of elective affinity, and whence a golden angel was to develop from a leaden saint: when they are reminded of the Pythagorean numbers, and the arithmetic of the realists of old, they may very well imagine that the vain world, like an empty fashion, has cycled around to some primitive phase, and look for the door of that academy 'where none could enter but those who understood geometry.'

But to return. When the ear accepts a tone, or the eye a single color, it is noticed that these organs, satiated finally with the sterile simplicity, echo, as it were, in a soliloquizing manner, to themselves, other notes or tints, which are the complementary or harmony-completing ones: so that if nature does not at once present a satisfaction, the organization of the senses allows them internal resources whereon to retreat. 'There is a world without, and a world within,' which may be called complementary worlds. But nature is ever liberal, and her chords are generally harmonies, or exquisite modifications of concord. The chord of the tonic, in music, is the primal type of this harmony in sound; it is perfectly satisfactory to the tympanum; and the ear, knowing no further elements (for the tonic chord combines them all), can ask for nothing more.

This chord, constructed on the tonic C, or Do, as a key note, and consisting of the 1st, 3d, and 5th of the diatonic scale, or Do, Mi, Sol, is called the fundamental chord. The harmony in color which corresponds to this, and leaves nothing for the eye to desire, is, of course, the light that nature is full of[Pg 539]—sunlight. White light is then the fundamental chord of color, and it is constructed on the red as the tonic, consisting of red, yellow, and blue, the 1st, 3d, and 5th of the solar spectrum.

This little analogy is suggestive, but its development is striking.

The diatonic scale in music, determined by calculation and actual experiment on vibrating chords, stands as follows. It will be easily understood by musicians, and its discussion appears in most treatises on acoustics:


The intervals, or relative pitches of the notes to the tonic C, appear expressed in the fractions, which are determined by assuming the wave length or amount of vibration of C as unity, and finding the ratio of the wave length of any other note to it. The value of an interval is therefore found by dividing the wave length of the graver by that of the acuter note, or the number of vibrations of the acuter in a given time by the corresponding number of the graver. These fractions, it is seen, comprise the simplest ratios between the whole numbers 1 and 2, so that in this scale are the simple and satisfactory elements of harmony in music, and everybody knows that it is used as such. Now nature exposes to us a scale of color to which we have adverted; it is thus:

Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet.

Let us investigate this, and see if her science is as good as mortal penetration; let us see if she too has hit upon the simplest fractions between 1 and 2, for a scale of 7. We can determine the relative pitch of any member of this scale to another, easily, as the wave lengths of all are known from experiment.

The waves of red are the longest; it corresponds, then, to the tonic. Let us assume it as unity, and deduce the pitch of orange by dividing the first by the second.

The length of a red wave is 0.0000266 inches; the length of an orange wave is 0.0000240 inches; the fraction required then is 266/240; dividing both members of this expression by 30, it reduces to 9/8, almost exactly. This is encouraging. We find a remarkable coincidence in ratio, and in elements which occupy the same place on the corresponding scales. Again, the length of a yellow wave is 0.0000227 inches; its pitch on the scale is therefore 266/227; dividing both terms by 55, the reduced fraction approximates to 5/4 with great accuracy, when we consider the deviations from truth liable to occur in the delicate measurements necessary to determine the length of a light vibration, or the amount of quiver in a tense cord. A green wave is 0.0000211 inches in length; its pitch is then 266/211, which reduced, becomes 4/3; in like manner the subsequent intervals may be determined, which all prove to be complete analogues, except, perhaps, violet, whose fraction is 266/167, which reduces nearer 16/9 than 15/8. But these small discrepancies, which might be expected in the results of physical measurements, do not cripple the analogy which appears now in the two following scales:





Thus orange is to red what D is to C; and to resume the proportion we used before, red is to eye as C is to ear; yellow: eye: Mi: ear; and so on the proportion extends, till the analogy embraces chords, harmonies, melodies, and compositions even.

We have already mentioned the chord of the tonic, and the corresponding eye-music, red, yellow, and blue; let us con[Pg 540]sider the chord of the dominant or 5th note, whose analogue is blue. This chord is constructed on the 5th of the diatonic as a fundamental note, and consists of the 5th, 7th, and 9th, or returning the 9th an octave, the 5th, 7th, and 2d. The parallel harmony among the spectral colors is blue, violet, and orange. The name 'dominant' indicates the nature of this chord; its often recurring importance in harmonic combinations of a certain key make it easily recognized, and it is even more pleasing than the tonic in its subdued character.

Out of doors this chord is preëminent in the sunset key, and the western skies ever chant their evening hymn in the 5th, 7th, and 2d of the ethereal music. The correspondence of the sub-dominant would be red, green, and indigo; of the chord of the 6th, red, yellow, and indigo; and so on, the curious mind may elicit the symmetrical to any notes, half notes, or combinations of notes. It is evident that as a note may be interpolated between any two of the scale, for reach or variety, and called, e.g. ♯F or ♭G, so a half tint between green and blue is a kind of analogical  green or  blue.

It seems to us that the elementary angles which Mr. Hay conceives to be the tonic, mediant, and dominant, in formal symmetry, will soon be proved to decompose into a scale of linear harmony, forming another beam in this glory of natural analogy. These angles are the fundamental ones of the pentagon square, and equilateral triangle—respectively 108°, 90°, and 60°. Some such scale it is known existed when art was at its culmination in buried Greece, and it was less the stupendous genius of her designers than the soul of the universe which their rules taught them how to infuse into form, which rendered the marbles of Hellas synonymes for immortality.

The most beautiful and conclusive, and yet most mysterious sign, that points the seeker to the prosecution of this last analogy, remains yet for us to remark, and for some investigator yet to take advantage of. It is the nodal figures which arrange themselves upon an elastic plate (as of glass), when it is made to vibrate (strewed with sand) by a fiddle bow drawn across its edge, so as to produce a pitch of some intensity. These have been investigated, and found subject to certain laws, which link into the chain of symmetry that philosophers have already grasped. Among these figures, of which the simplest arise from the deepest pitches, the angles mentioned occur.

But however interesting it might be to follow out these episodical instances, they would lead us too far from our original compass.

We have plainly exhibited the identity of principle which governs the bases of sound and color, and might fairly write Q.E.D. to our proposition; but the fact so determined has a farther bearing upon art, which it may not be out of place to enlarge upon.

The painter's palette, charged with color, is the instrument with which he thrills a melody to the eye, even as the magniloquent organ or the sigh-breathing flute speak to the ear. And just as the compass of all instruments is constructed on the diatonic scale, so should the range of the palette depend upon the tinges of the spectrum.

While artists of a certain school pretend to imitate Nature, who paints literally with a pencil dipped in rainbow, they make use of a complication of tints, at which their goddess would shudder. In mixing and mixing on the groaning palette, they generate an unhappy brood of misformed tones, which never can agree upon the canvas; while the pigments, impure at best, become doubly so by amalgamation, the ramifications of contrast which such differences superinduce are sure to prove sometimes repulsive.

Contrast is nature's charm, the bubbling source that she exhausts for her prettiest harmonies and varieties.

But earthen pitchers are easily broken[Pg 541] at the brink, and if the slippery streams thence flowing are not judiciously checked, they merge into a harsh flood that sweeps away all grace, like the magic fountain in the German myth, whose fairy tricklings, uncovered for a single night, burst into a curbless flood, that drowned the sleeping landscape ere the dawn. The small reactions of contrast in infinitesimal tints, are perhaps neglected or unforeseen, but their influence is fearfully apparent in the end.

The simplicity of beauty is very limited, and he who dabbles in infinite decompositions of color will be certain to encounter turbid and unnatural tones, whose ultimate result will be an inharmonious and disunited whole.

It is true that in the landscape, and cloudscape, and waterscape, there are wonderful extremes of chromatic gradation, for it is the hand and mind of nature that adorns herself; she can see unerringly, and lay on divinely, the remotest intricacies of shade, and her colors are pure light, swimming in ether.

But these media do not come bottled up in tin tubes, and to this gift a mortal hand ought not to presume. It might as well aspire to draw infinitely as to tint infinitesimally; for before it can find use for all the colors in nature, it ought to have all nature upon the canvas. But finally, we hold that reproductive art is as much part and parcel of human nature as the appreciative, or sensation of beauty; and that any one can learn to copy and color a landscape or design, as well as to perform upon a musical instrument. Let genius still wield the creative wand, but in the wide domain of art, over his grotto alone be it written, Procul o procul este profani.


Shoemaker Scheffer opened his shop within sight of the college buildings, and expected to live by trade. He was young and skilful, obliging, and prompt, and acquired, ere long, a substantial reputation. Prosperity did not mislead him; he applied his income to the furtherance of his business, abhorred debt, squandered nothing, was exact and persevering.

At work early and late, he seemed the model of contentment, as he was of industry. Prompt, obliging, careful, he made the future easy of prediction.

But though the ruddy firelight shines well on the window panes, what griefs, what agonies, what discords, are developed around the hearthstone. Scheffer's quiet demeanor was, in some degree, deception. One woman in the world knew it was so—no other being did.

The immediate excitant of his unrest was found in the college students, who passed his place of business at all hours of the day. He remembered that he might have worked his way into the ranks of those fellows. Nothing vexed him so much as to see a lounger among them; for he must needs think of the time when, a stripling, he agonized over his choice, and said to himself, thinking of his mother (dead now, when the comfort he toiled for was secured), 'Time enough for books when I am sure of bread; flesh is needy and perishing, spirit is eternal.' He had walked out of school to the counter of his uncle, and stood behind it seven years, doing with earnest might what his hand found to do.

And here he was now, on his own ground, wistfully looking over his bar[Pg 542]riers into the college yard, and, shall we say it, envying the career of every studious lad—most of all that of the scholarly Harry Cromwell, and the broad-browed, proud young Mitchell, who came into his shop now and then, in remembrance of old days; for these lads could all remember when they stood in one straight line among the social forces, and neither had marched out of the old division to take rank in the new.

One day Paul Mitchell strolled into Scheffer's shop. Scheffer, at the moment, was reading a newspaper, and he did not instantly throw the sheet aside: he thought it unlikely that Paul required his service. But at last, laying the paper away, and going up to Mitchell, he asked:

'What will you have, this morning?'

Paul's bright eyes smiled, full of fun.

'I'll have fifty thousand dollars, straight, and a library like that in the Atheneum.'

'You want shoeing more,' was Scheffer's dry response; and, turning from the youth, he went back to his counter, and emptied thereon a large box of patent leathers, which he began to assort.

Gradually Paul approached, and at last he took up a pair of the boots, and asked the price. Scheffer named it; Paul threw them down again.

'You might as well ask fifty dollars as three. It's you fellows who have all the money.'

'Do you think so?' answered Scheffer; and he began to collect his goods again, and to pack them in separate boxes. He was careful, however, to throw aside the pair that had tempted Mitchell to confess a truth.

At last, when the counter was cleared, he took the boots, and said to the boy, pointing to one of the sofas:

'Sit down there, my man.'

Paul did as bidden. Scheffer untied his shoestring, drew off the dusty, worn-out shoe, and tried the pair in his hand. The fit was perfect.

Then Scheffer looked up, and, without rising, asked:

'How long have you to study before you graduate?'

'Five years.'

'Why do you speak in that way?'

'How did I speak?' asked Paul.

'Discouraged like.'

'You're mistaken.'

'Am I? Then why look so solemn? I'd like your chance.'

'You would!' exclaimed Paul, incredulous. 'Why, you had such a chance yourself once, and you didn't accept it, if they know the facts at home.'

Scheffer stood up.

'Who says that?' he asked, quietly. Still, the question had a hurried sound to Paul. 'Did any one in that house remember!'

'Josephine told me so. She thinks you made a wise choice. So do I. I wish I was as well off as you are, doing something for a support. And it was on account of your mother you made the choice! But my mother insists on my having a profession. Stuff! But nobody seems satisfied. That's one kind of consolation.'

Scheffer was silent for a moment. Half of Paul's words were unheard; but enough had struck through sense to spirit, and he said:

'Do you want to be shod for the next five years? I'll strike a bargain with you, Paul.'

'What can I do for you?' asked the astonished lad.

'I'll tell you, and if you don't like it, why, no matter—that's all.' And Scheffer added, in an earnest tone: 'I don't know but it's living near the college, hearing the bell ring, and seeing the fellows with their books, has bewitched me; any way, I'm thinking I must have an education, and I wish to get it systematically. I always thought I could have it when I chose; but if I don't bestir myself, I shall not be able to choose much longer.'

August wiped his forehead as he spoke; but he had said it. Gravely,[Pg 543] anxiously he looked at Paul. He could have forgiven him even a smile. But Paul did not smile. Neither did he hesitate too long to rob his words of grace.

'What will you study?' he asked.

'Whatever you set me at.'


'They say a fool is not a perfect fool till he has studied Latin. No, I thank you. Five years, did you say?'

'Five years,' repeated Paul, this time without sighing.

'Well, get the books I need. You know what they are. Bring the bill to me. Have it made out in your name, though, I'll settle the account. Mum's the word, Paul. I won't have snobs laughing at the learned shoemaker. The secret is mine.'

Paul promised. Scheffer thereupon picked up the student's worn-out shoes, and tossed them into a distant heap of rubbish, and the lad went on his way rejoicing. He was a widow's son, and poor; and to be shod as a gentleman should be was a serious matter to him.


But, as to the secret, there was Josephine, who shared the family burden of poverty and pride; Josephine, who was a beauty, and not spoiled at that, but light of heart and cheerful, disposed to make the best of things; laughing lightly over mishaps which made her mother weep; Josephine, of whose fair womanhood as much was hoped in a worldly way as of Paul's talents; Josephine, to whom Paul told everything: how could he withhold from her August Scheffer's curious secret?

That afternoon, when he went home, Paul found her in the porch. She had a book; of course, it was one of Cromwell's. Paul discovered that when he had settled himself near her, with a book in his own hand. He had come to her so conscious of his late bargain, and the immediate benefit he had derived therefrom, that he expected an instant leaning toward discovery on her part. But Josephine was absorbed in her occupation, and though she looked up and smiled when she saw Paul coming, she looked down again and sighed the next instant, and continued reading with a gravity that soon attracted his notice. Her looks troubled him. Of late, a shadow seemed to have fallen darkly over her; she was, though Paul understood it not, in the struggle of youth with life. Do you know what that struggle is? Not all who pass through it go on their way rejoicing, over the everlasting blessedness won from the 'good and great angel.' For then this earth more manifestly were the world of the redeemed ones.

Not long before, Paul had heard Josephine say that she would not live on in this idle way. She must find some work to do. Perhaps, he thought, the sense of a necessity her mother instantly and constantly denied when Josephine spoke of it, is now again oppressing her. However occasioned, Paul's face saddened when he looked at her. The maddening impatience he had felt many times—impatience for the strength and efficiency of manhood—once more tormented him; it grew an intolerable thought to him that so many years must pass before he should be prepared to do a man's work, earn a man's wages—do as August Scheffer was doing.

Such sombre reflections as these absorbed him, when he became suddenly conscious of the eyes of Josephine. She sat looking upon him; disturbed anew, it seemed, by the show of his disturbance. His eyes met hers, and she said:

'What is it, Paul? What has gone wrong with you?'

'Nothing. But it is enough to give one the horrors to see you looking so like destruction. Something has happened, Josephine; what is it?'

'What fine shoes you have on, Paul!' she said, quickly, pretending to be absorbed in the discovery she had only that instant made.

Paul laughed, and blushed.[Pg 544]

'I earned them,' said he.

'Earned them!' Josephine's beautiful eyes were full of surprise, of admiration even, as she now fixed them on her brother. 'I wish I could earn anything—a row of pins, or a loaf of bread.'

'If you did, you wouldn't eat all the loaf yourself. But I spent all my wage on myself, you see! But I did earn them—at least, I'm going to, before I get through.'

'How in the world did you do it, Paul?'

'I am a tutor, Josephine,' said he, with mock gravity. She answered, earnestly:

'You're a good fellow, any way, tutor or not. It's a secret, then, this business?'

'Yes, the deadest kind of a dead secret. But I shall tell you. I made a mental reservation of you. August Scheffer——'

Josephine started, trembled, looked away from Paul, recovered herself in an instant; then looked back again, and straight into his eyes. Paul saw nothing strange in this; he went on quietly:

'Scheffer is getting ambitious! If I had a shop and such a business as his, catch me bothering about books!'

'He was always fond of reading,' answered Josephine. 'You know what a reader his mother was? No, you don't know. You were too young. Well, he wants you to help him, and you are to be shod.'

'Yes, that's the whole of it. Why don't you laugh, or be surprised. I shall do my best with him.'

'I should hope you would do better than your best. Be punctual and steady in this business; for, really, you owe August Scheffer more than a shop full of shoes is worth. You will get as much good as you can possibly give. I wish I had your chance!'

'To teach him, Josephine?'

'To be a helpful man, dear Paul.'

'As far as I can see, everybody in these days is wishing that he was somebody else. That's what's the matter with Scheffer.'

'No,' said Josephine, quietly; 'it isn't. Not that. He wouldn't take any man's place that lives. Ask him.'

'Of course he would say 'No.' He is proud as Lucifer.'

'I like his spirit.'

'Yes, and you like Cromwell's spirit, too. What in the world do you suppose he is going to do?'

'What?' asked Josephine, as if she did not know.

Paul surveyed her for a moment. Did she not know? He could not decide. He could look through most people, simple, earnest, penetrating fellow that he was; but not through Josephine.

'Cromwell is going abroad,' he said, finally. 'He's been talking with a sea captain for a month back. It's all out now. He's going to quit his class, and take deck passage for Havre; going to the school of mines in Paris, and, when through with that, on a mineral hunt from Africa to Siberia. And he hasn't a cent of money! Perhaps that's the spirit you like. Perhaps you won't object to my going with him.'

Josephine looked at Paul; she was not in the least alarmed. 'I like the spirit well enough,' she said, 'but it isn't your kind; it would be misery to do a thing in that way, for you. He has another 'fervor.''

'Yes, he has,' said Paul, with a deeper meaning than his sister guessed.

'You say I like a queer kind of spirit,' said she. 'I like independence. But there's some great lack in me, there must be. I'm what you call too prudent, I suppose. I seem unable to put out of sight the chances of failure; and it can't be that people who venture a great deal think much of them. I wish, as you do, that Harry had a little money—ever so little—to fall back on. He never seems to think of accidents, or sickness; but he is going to a strange country, and, to be sure, if he is able to do exactly what he expects, he will succeed; and in the end he will, I know,[Pg 545] whatever happens. But it would be dreadful for him to meet with misfortunes, though he laughs at my croaking. Everything is to turn out just as he wants! But do things often, I wonder?'

'Yes, with August Scheffer—the only one I know of.'

'But you never can know the struggle he passed through; it was terrible. You call him a philosopher; he is so, because he found out early how to fight the good fight. Nothing will ever look so alluring to him as the career he might have had by choosing the thing he did not choose.' Ceasing to speak aloud and to Paul, Josephine added, in a voice no one could hear: 'I was in the midst of that struggle; I understand him as no one else does. And—he knows it.'

'Tell me about it,' said Paul. 'You don't know how much I admire Scheffer.'

'Well you may,' she answered; 'but there is nothing to tell. He had the opportunity to keep at school, or to go into his uncle's shop—and he chose the shop on his mother's account.'

'And I chose a profession on my mother's account,' said Paul bitterly.

Josephine laid her hand on his; it was a gentle touch, but it recalled him.

'The best choice in both cases,' said she. 'Any one can see you are not expert enough to make a successful trader. Ask August if a man must not have a talent for trade, just as an artist must have a genius for painting.'

'Then you think August a born trader?'

'I know he can do more than one thing well,' she answered.

'If you think so well of August,' said he, 'I don't see how you can think better of another fellow. The town couldn't contain him if he heard what you said just now.'

Josephine turned a page of her book.

'He knows perfectly well what I think of him, Paul.'

The very frankness of her words and manner misled the boy. The curious suspicion that for a moment had beset him fled fast before his laughter.

She went on reading—seemed to do so. But an image for which the writer of that book was not responsible stood, all the while, clear and immovable in her memory. Before her, in a rude shed, were a boy and a girl. The girl had a basket in her hand, filled with chips, which she had raked from the sawdust; the boy was offering her assistance; but he knew well enough there was no wood to be sawn or split. It was growing dark and cold within the house, and still more dismal without it. The hearts of these two are warmer than their hands.

'I've done it,' said the boy. 'I brought my books home last night, Josey, and I'm going to my uncle in the morning.'

'What did he say?'

'He wouldn't say a word. It was my choice, and I must stand by it,' he answered. 'It's for my mother! If I had only you, and was working for you, I would take the other track. But, you see, it is for her; and I'm her only son.'

'You will be August Scheffer, whatever you may do,' she said, in a soft, sweet voice.

—And did August Scheffer ever stand for less among powers and places, than when, in the darkening wood shed, he spoke these words:

'But, Josey, will things always be the same with us?'

—Things had changed, indeed. The whole world had changed since then. Had the changing world rolled in between them? Since then the widow Mitchell had worked her way out of the worst of her distresses. Josephine had become a beautiful woman. Paul was striding on toward a profession. The family had removed to one of those box-like dwellings opposite the college grounds, and the fair face of Mrs. Mitchell's daughter was the theme of many a student's dreaming—of Harry Cromwell's, most conspicuous among stu[Pg 546]dents—of his dreaming, day and night. It was his book she held.


It happened, of course, that Paul dropped into Scheffer's shop the next day. August was on the lookout, and conducted him forthwith into a quiet corner. The books were there delivered, but the package remained unopened. Scheffer had his reasons. He wanted leisure to examine them—above all, privacy. He also saw, or thought he saw, that Paul was in haste to be gone; and there was something on his mind of which he desired to be free.

Paul was only disturbed about a proposal he wished to make to Scheffer.

He was electrified when Scheffer himself broached the subject, and transacted it half, at a stroke, though all unconsciously, by asking:

'What has become of Hal Cromwell? He took so many prizes last year.'

Paul's eyes brightened strangely, his whole countenance became luminous. Scheffer surveyed the change as if it were not half agreeable to him. 'Harry is here yet, but he won't be long. That's a secret, though. He's going to France. Guess how.'

'In a balloon, I suppose. He hasn't any money.'

'No,' said Paul, half offended at the tone in which this was spoken. 'He's going to work his passage. He's one of the fellows who can do without money.'

'Indeed!' said Scheffer.

Paul went on: 'He hasn't more than twenty dollars. He sold all his prizes long ago.'

'Is he going to travel?' asked Scheffer, quietly.

'Travel! no. Not yet awhile, I mean. He's mad, just now, on minerals and geology. He's going to school in Paris, where he can learn all about such things. Then he's going to hunt up specimens for cabinets; then he'll be sending curiosities over here by the ship load. If any one wanted to speculate, he'd pay an enormous interest on the money lent him. But catch him asking the loan of a threepenny bit of any man! You know him.'

'Yes,' he said; 'we've had many a rough day together. About the time his father got into trouble, my father did more than one good turn for him. But that's neither here nor there.'

'Yes, it is,' said Paul, quickly; 'if your father helped his father, it's a token that you will help him.'

Scheffer was not so clear on that point: his reply might have chilled Paul's enthusiasm, could anything have done that.

'I can tell you what, Mitchell,' he said, 'I don't wonder at Cromwell, and I don't blame him. I believe it's better to go hungry on your own earnings than full fed at another man's expense. One can starve at home with a better grace than he can among strangers. That's my mind. It mayn't be his.'

'It's mine, though,' said Paul. 'If I had the money—if I had a hundred dollars, I should insist on his taking them. I wish my mother had put me to a trade: it's all nonsense, this slaving for the sake of position—what you call it.'

'Don't talk so,' said Scheffer. 'If Harry Cromwell wants anything of me, I should be ashamed of him if he wouldn't ask it. As to wishing that you had a trade, if there's a mechanical turn in you, you'll twist into it yet. But I don't believe there is. Go on as you have begun. It will all come out right.'

Paul scanned the fine face of the speaker in a spirit of inquiry unguessed of August. He was thinking of Josephine, and of her words. Then he said, 'So you always say. But I can't see it. If I could, then I'd be a philosopher like you. Do you mean I should speak to Harry?'

Scheffer hesitated.

'I see him every day,' said he. 'Sometimes he comes in here. Don't you think he would be better pleased if it should happen of itself, you know[Pg 547]—not as if we had talked over his affairs. He is such a proud fellow.'

Paul readily acceded to this plan. He told Josephine what he had done, and she worked on with a lighter heart. She was thinking of Scheffer. How slowly he had grown up into her sight again! Man and woman, if they looked at each other now, must it be across a great gulf? What had education done for her! Could she thank the teaching that had brought her to see in her womanhood something beyond the reach of a man like Scheffer? Could she thank the culture that gave her a position for which nature and habits like his were all unfit? This maturity seemed unnatural to the heart of that remembered childhood, which, in its brave, loving generosity, could trust a boy to any work or station, feeling that in the workman would be securely lodged himself.

Even more than she suspected, Josephine had been moved by the secret Paul had confided to her—of Scheffer's new ambition. No new ambition was it, she could testify. In the fulness of time the bud had come to flower, and on the same stem fair fruits were ripening.

And now, it was he who would relieve her of the anxiety she felt on Cromwell's behalf. She kept these things in her heart.


Cromwell strolled into Scheffer's shop within the week. When Scheffer saw him coming, he satisfied himself at a glance that the visit was an unsuggested one.

There was only one other person in the world whose appearance within his doors could so much disturb the master of the place as Harry Cromwell's. That one was Josephine. Let her but come, and it was a day indeed.

But the disturbance created by her presence was very different from that excited by the entrance of this student. He, inadvertently, or otherwise, and it mattered not which, set Scheffer's heart into such a fume of jealousy, as perhaps the heart of philosopher never knew before. For, it was generally supposed among those who were interested in the affairs transacted on the point of space occupied by these people, that Cromwell's ambition was less undefined than that of young men generally. In short, that he was already, though alone in the world, burdened in mind with family cares—looking upon himself, even then, as the oldest son of the widow Mitchell.

He had said frankly, that he could not afford to give so much of his life to preparatory study as would be required if he chose any one of the professions open to him. He must go to work in some direction where the rewards of labor were sooner obtained.

When Cromwell came into the shop, August advanced to wait upon him. Cromwell was in a cheerful mood. He stretched his hand across the counter, and shook hands with his old acquaintance, as if he were thinking of days when the little white house of Daniel Scheffer stood between two cottages, occupied respectively by families of equal poverty and condition—the Cromwells and the Mitchells.

It wasn't often that they met in these days, he said; and he looked about him with a sort of surprise not disagreeable to Scheffer, for there was nothing offensive in it. Scheffer was always ready to make allowance for the little vanities and weaknesses of others. He was not surprised that Cromwell, handsome as he was, and brilliant intellectually, as he was proving himself to be, should overlook old times and old friends. Present times, and cares, and neighbors, would, of course, engage him to the neglect of what was past and gone.

'Prospering as usual!' said Harry, 'How do you manage it, August? for I am going to launch out into the world, and I can't expect to succeed more suddenly than you have.'

August answered, taking the praise as if it were well meant, and he knew it was well earned:[Pg 548]

'By sticking to a thing, when I have made up my mind it is best. It's the only way I know of, Harry. I thought, from all I had heard, that you had found that out.'

'Don't trust report. I've done little yet to satisfy a man; got a few prizes; what do you suppose I care for them?'

'You care for what they mean to other folks,' said Scheffer.

'Not much, I assure you. A little praise, like music, is pleasant. But a man can't live on sound. Show me your seven-league boots, Scheffer; I'm going to take a stroll around the world.'

'What do you mean?' asked Scheffer, without moving.

'I'm going over the ocean.'

'India rubber soles?' asked Scheffer, again speaking in his quietest manner, but really feeling great excitement.

Cromwell laughed. 'I suppose they have iron-bound boots, even in Paris; but I thought I'd like to take something out of your shop with me; something of your own make, if possible. Do you know, Scheffer, you've had more to do with me, a vast deal, than you ever supposed? I've had the feeling that you were watching me as often as ever I got into lazy ways, just as if you stood by that window and searched me out across the grounds, no matter where I was lurking. I shall take my time when I am well rid of you. But I'll have the boots for a token; and when I am tired and sick of my work, as I shall be a hundred times, I'll pretend that you put some magic into the soles. Give them to me with a strong squeak.'

Cromwell laughed, but he was at least two thirds in earnest.

Still August did not stir. 'Are you really going away?' he asked.

'If I'm a live man, next week.'

'Going to France?'

'To France. To Paris for one year. In five years I shall be home again, and I mean to bring with me two or three cabinets of minerals, worth thousands of dollars apiece.'

Cromwell's eyes flashed; they fell on Scheffer, who stood silent, motionless, a cold shiver running over him from his head to his feet.

'What, then, brave fellow?' asked August. It was well to know the worst, and Harry seemed to be in a communicative mood.

'Why, what are you working for?'

'Because I've nothing else to do,' said Scheffer, with a shrug. 'I hate to be idle.'

'No; you are making your fortune; you'll have a house and a family some day. It's written, a hundred girls would think the chance beyond their desert; or they might think so.'

'Yes; well—I don't want a hundred girls.'

'Nor one, I suppose.'

Behind this idle talk the gravest and sharpest scrutiny was bestowed by each man on his fellow. Both were thinking of Josephine, but neither would name her.

'You're a philosopher, Paul says,' continued Cromwell. 'Paul is always talking about you. I don't like to leave that boy; but knowing that you are his friend should make me comfortable. Beside, I couldn't do anything for the lad, if he stood in need of a ten-penny bit.'

Cromwell laughed, but not in recklessness—in pride.

'How can you afford to travel, then?' asked Scheffer.

'Oh, I shall go as some other good fellows have gone—on foot; for I shall work my passage, and get somehow from Havre to Paris.'

'What next?'

'Hard work, you know.'

'Yes; I know what hard work means. But do you? Such hard work as this will be?'

'Do you take me for a dunce? Of course I know; and I shall tell you how I did it, five years from now.'

Then Scheffer said, not hesitating—for anything like a doubtfulness of manner on his part would have defeated his design:[Pg 549]

'I want to invest some money, Harry. Take a couple of hundred for me, and buy some of the specimens; or find them, if you like that better. You shall sell them, when you get back, and pay me a percentage, whatever you can afford.'

There was no delay in the answer. It had all the readiness, and the sound, of sincerity.

'Sooner from you, August, than from any other man; but not from any man. I should feel that I was mortgaged. I must begin my own master, as I told Josephine Mitchell. What I bring to her shall be fruit from the tree of my own planting.'

August, for a moment, was like a man struck dumb; but when he spoke, he was the philosopher again.

'That's all foolishness,' he said, in a gentle voice; but there was no tenderness in it: it was but the firmness of self-control that made the voice so mild, and the expostulation, so deliberate. 'It's like using an old tool, when you have a new invention that would save half the labor. You'd laugh at a man for that.'

'Laugh away! But I must go out my own man, Scheffer. You'd do the same thing. Don't talk about it. Have you any of those boots I asked for?'

Scheffer found a pair. He named the price. Cromwell paid for them, and shook his hand when they separated; for, in the press of business, he said, it might be he should not find time to call on his old friend again.

The young men did not meet again. But a fortnight after Cromwell sailed, Scheffer was called upon to pay a note at the bank; a note that bore his own signature, and stated that, for 'value received, I promise to pay to the order of Henry Cromwell, four hundred dollars.'

The demand was made in such a manner, and at such a time, as to vex Scheffer to the utmost.

Cromwell, it seemed, could not consent to accept a favor at his hands; yet he could condescend to make that manner of use of him! He paid the sum due on the note, but at the same time was beset by a sore temptation.

This was the temptation, and this his resistance: If Harry had gone, leaving anywhere, in any woman's heart, a hope in him, should he not dispel it? Should he not convince her that it rested on a foundation looser than the sand? He did not do so! When Paul spoke now and then of Cromwell, and prophesied proudly of him, August took the words as an echo of Josephine's thought, and said to himself:

'Oh! well; it makes no difference.'

But, for all that, he kept on with his studies, and sometimes on Sunday would walk past the college grounds on Monumental square; for that was also walking past the cottage occupied by Josephine.


The college, in those days, could have produced no student more industrious than August.

He advanced with rapid strides through the elementary books, for he chose to begin at the beginning, and he was proud of his progress. But he kept his studies secret. He would risk nothing by reporting his own progress. No man should honor his future to the prejudice of his past. The story of Minerva, born to the prerogatives of wisdom, was more attractive to him than that life which 'grew in grace, and in favor with God and man.'

He had no plans in reference to future studies. His tutor was fairly puzzled; for he was not long in discovering that it was not the delight of knowledge, but the ends which knowledge may serve, that prompted to such industry.

One evening Paul threw himself on one of the red-plush sofas Scheffer had transferred to his private apartment. He was in one of those serious moods that had become frequent since Cromwell went away; or, rather, since he had come into this near relation with a working and prosperous man.

'It's easy enough to be poor for one's self,' said the anxious youngster; 'but[Pg 550] whether one ought to be poor, when money is to be honestly made, and at only a trifling risk, though by desperate hard work—that's the question.'

'H'm!' said Scheffer.

'Well,' said Paul, irritated by his seeming indifference, 'a fellow is in a deuced bad plight, if he has to plead poverty, when he ought to be able to help one or two beside himself! I envy you, Scheffer. I envy you every time I come here. You can do so much! You could leap all the college gates in no time, if you were fool enough to try.'

'I'm not,' said Scheffer. 'I know I can't work with many irons in the fire—never could. And I've nothing to complain of. I'm prospering, as you say. That's the chief thing, I suppose. Folks seem to think so. I'm one of the million; I must do as the rest—build a house, and marry a wife some day. But not till I can support her like a lady, I tell you, Paul.'

There was the difference of many years between the man and the boy, but to no other person was Scheffer in the habit of saying such things.

'I'd like to see Madam Scheffer,' said Paul, with a quiet laugh. Scheffer was indulgent toward that mirth; he smiled as he said:

'Be patient, as I am, and you shall see her. There was a Mrs. Scheffer once—my mother that was; if there's another like her—I believe there is!'

'Can't you draw me her portrait?'

'Perhaps I could, if I cared.'

'But you don't care. Well, I can get it out of Josephine; she remembers your mother.'

Paul looked so much like his sister when he named the name of Josephine and of his mother in one breath, that Scheffer could not refuse him.

'Medium size,' he said, 'and built to last. Graceful, as any mother would have been—if—as she was, in spite of hard work—it was her nature, and her nature was a strong one. She has light hair, that curls as if it liked to, and her eyes are blue. It is a fair face, Paul, and she has a kind smile.'

'But tell me her name; for you need not say it's a fancy sketch.'

'May be not; but that, you see, is my secret.'

There was no such thing, in reality, as intruding further on this ground. Still, half embarrassed, Mitchell persisted:

'Where is she, though?'

'Where? I can't tell that.'

'With Cromwell?'

'It may be.'

'Would you trust her with him?'

'Is he not to be trusted?' asked August, so quickly as to startle Paul.

If Paul was to be startled—but he was not. The teller in the bank had told him—(Paul was one of those persons with whom acquaintances of every quality lodge their secrets)—of the note Scheffer had taken up with so little fuss and so much amazement. He saw that August for a moment suspected that he knew the facts, but he was not yet prepared to confess such knowledge; for he knew as well as Scheffer what Harry Cromwell was to Josephine. So he answered:

'I should say so, August—if any man on earth could be.'

'So I supposed,' said Scheffer, quietly; and Paul hurried back to the old queer topic, and said, half in jest: 'You mean to keep house, Scheffer, I'll be bound.'

Scheffer's dark face brightened; he would share with Paul his pleasant dream—the pleasant dream he cherished, though his sober sense denied its possibility, and his consistent realism charged upon him the special folly of fools.

'Aye,' said he; 'there'll be a library in it—but more select than that of the Atheneum you were wishing for! You shall have the freedom of my house, lad—I'll not forget how kind you've been to me. I shall have a flower garden, and a yard deep enough for shade trees like those—but you don't remember the place.'

Scheffer got up and walked away to the window.[Pg 551]

'I've not the slightest doubt that you'll do everything you say! I vow I wouldn't like to be the man to stand in your way to anything.'

Scheffer came back, and sat on the sofa beside Paul. His voice had an almost fatherly tenderness in it when he began to speak, and it took no colder tone.

'You were saying something about an improvement you could suggest in some of the tools we use. Here they are. What did you mean?' He pulled out a box from underneath the sofa.

Paul took the box, and looked over its contents; but it was easy to see that he was in search of nothing. He was soon through his investigation, and restored the box to its place. Then he looked at Scheffer, and laughed.

But Scheffer answered the look by one that seemed to say that he expected an explanation; whereupon Paul, now grave enough, stirred by a sudden confidence, pulled from his pocket a box much smaller than that which held August's tools, and passed it into his friend's hands. Scheffer took it, but he did not attempt to loosen the cord that secured the cover. Then Paul said:

'You do not really suppose that I am the only idle person in the world. I have been at work longer than Josephine, though you might not believe it; but what I have done, no one has yet seen. If I had the money, Scheffer! I'd—well—look at the thing! I want you should study it, of course.'

August, however, was in no haste. He was more desirous to learn the meaning of what Paul had said about Josephine. But that could not be asked by him; and so he unfastened the cord, opened the box, and beheld within a miniature machine, whose meaning no one in the world, Paul Mitchell excepted, could explain. That was Paul's thought of pride.

'That's my secret,' said he. 'That's my beauty! and I'd build a house for it, if I had the money, to be sure, as you are going to do for yours. How do you like it?'

'Explain; then I can tell you.' It was still the father-voice that spoke; but the tone was that of a man whose son has forestalled hope, and justified the most vague of ambitious wishes.

'That, Scheffer, is a contrivance for printing. Will you please to examine it? It's to be used henceforth, for all time, understand! by bankers in their banks, and by all men of great business. See—'

He arose, and brought near to the sofa a small table, on which he placed the machine. Then he set it in motion. 'For numbering notes, and so on. Does it work, August?'

Scheffer, though admiring and amazed, said not a word, but sat down before the machine, and studied it in every part.

His judgment was satisfied when at last he gave it.

'It's worth money to you, Mitchell.'

'Do you believe it, Scheffer? Worth money. Oh, my goodness!'

'Paul, you expected that.'

'I knew it; but to hear you say so, makes me feel like a man. Then I shall do for my mother what you did for yours, and get Josephine out of that school-teaching freak of hers. She has actually gone and done it, Scheffer.... Worth money, eh? Then I shall do some things as well as others, Mr. Scheffer.'

Scheffer smiled. He understood this exultation too well not to share it and to be deeply moved by it.

'I suppose so,' said he. 'I always believed in you.'

'Well, then, look here.'

Paul's voice broke; he looked on the floor, and was a long time in producing the second box. When he had fairly drawn it forth, he gave a sudden and wonderful look at Scheffer, that penetrated like fire to the heart of the man.

'There,' said he, 'that's my pet. That's the Rachel of this Jacob. Look close, and see what you'll do with it, supposing you turn lockpick some day.'

It was a veritable lock. He drew out a chain of keys, a hundred of them.[Pg 552]

'Now,' said he, in a low voice, 'you may ransack the town, as I've done, and get all your keys together. I want to see if you can find one, or contrive one with any locksmith's help, that will fit into that lock. I'll give you a month to try it. I'd give another man six. But you'll do the work of six in a sixth of the time. It's a lock on a new principle, and the principle is mine, because I applied it first. Eh? Hang it! If I had the money I wouldn't be so beggarly poor as I am. But I've had to beg and borrow, and almost steal, to get these things, that were in my brain, into a decent shape, as you see them. When I get started, Scheffer, you shall inspect all my inventions.'

'Then you are started,' said August. 'Don't say that again, I'd mortgage my stock but you should have what you need to help you. Have you any tools to work with, my son?'

'Oh, yes; that is, my neighbor has. He keeps a carpenter's shop, you know. I'm a capital hand at borrowing.'

'Have you got a room at home where you can work?'

'Acres of room! You've seen the house.'

'I've walked past it sometimes,' answered Scheffer, with a smile.

'Well, it isn't such a mite of a place as you'd think. There's room enough.'

'It looks pretty and snug. I have often admired those flower beds; the place don't look much like others in the same row: one might know that. Paul, I've seen the time when I'd thought the man who offered me help was an angel. I'm older than you are. Of course you must experiment, and where's the merit of carrying plans about in your head a dozen years, waiting a chance to prove whether they're worth anything or not? Tell me now, do you want any money?'

'No,' Paul answered quickly, yet with inward hesitation. 'I'll come to you, though,' he added, 'when I do. I'll let you know the very day. But I I have something to study out yet. I'm going to get patents, you know.'


Paul returned home, and in a musing mood seated himself under the grapevine that grew on the brick wall in the rear of the cottage, the sole ornament and pride of the narrow yard. He may have been here an hour, when he heard strange noises in the house, then a heavy closing of the street door, and the voice of Josephine calling him. In the lobby stood an open iron-bound chest. A glance at the box explained it to Paul; but he said nothing—not a word—in explanation to Josephine or his mother, who stood expressing surprise and wonder, while he found the key and opened the heavy lid. They saw it was a tool chest.

Paul was the first to speak; for when he exhibited the contents, a deeper silence seemed to fall upon the women.

'It's no mistake,' he said to his mother. 'This belongs to August Scheffer. He has lent it to me. Isn't it kind of him? For I told him I had to borrow when I worked.'

'No,' said Paul's mother. 'It's anything but kind. You could waste time enough in such doings, Paul, without getting a tempter into the house. What do you want of tools? Do you get along with your books so fast you don't know what to do with your time? August Scheffer is just like his father, he never, as long as he lived, found out the use of money; if he had, his wife wouldn't have been left a beggar.'

'And August would never have been himself,' said Paul. 'That would have been a pity.'

'No,' said Josephine; 'he would always have been himself.'

'Don't talk like a simpleton, child. You are old enough to see that August might have been a very different man from what he is, if his father before him hadn't always this same ridiculous way of throwing the money he earned about like dust.'

'Well, mother—' began Paul: he hesitated, but a glance at Josephine decided him. 'I can tell you that if Harry Cromwell comes to any good, you and every[Pg 553] one else will have to thank Scheffer for it.'

Josephine looked at Paul with serious, curious interest; but he saw that she was not greatly excited by what he had said. He looked at his mother, and resolved to say no more. And by that resolution he would have held, but for his mother's words.

'We shall never hear the end of that,' said she. 'Scheffer's father signed for Oliver Cromwell; but what of that? he lost his money. Better men have done as much for worse; but I don't know that it deserved to be talked of to all generations.'

'It was a generous act,' said Paul. 'But August has beat his father at that, I can tell you, if you want to hear.'

'Some slander, I suppose,' said the mother. 'I suppose every young man within fifty miles is jealous of Harry; it's well he has gone far enough to get rid of it all.'

'Well, mother, keep your good opinion of him. It isn't from Scheffer I heard it. You don't want to know what a noble fellow he is;' and he wound up with August's frequent saying, 'it makes no difference.'

'I want to hear what you are going to do with this box, though,' said Mrs. Mitchell. 'There's not a room in the house big enough to hold it.'

Paul plead for a corner of his own room; a startling proposal, indeed, for those who heard it, the 'room' being hardly an apology for a closet. He pleads well, however, for he carried the point, and space was in some way provided; and Mrs. Mitchell, who had hopes of a future for her children that should throw a glory round their unfolding and her closing years, heard the boy say, with, some sort of faith: 'Oh, mother, you don't know yet what a genius you've got in your boy;' and when she left him he was still laughing over the boast. But Josephine saw that as he stooped over the chest there were tears in his eyes.

For that reason she did not leave him to rejoice alone over his treasure. And for the reason that she did not leave him, he said to her, observing with what interest she took up one bright tool after another from its place:

'Scheffer has bought this box for me. You see, don't you, the tools were never used before? Not one of them.'

'Yes,' said Josephine, 'that's easy to be seen.'

'I must keep them and use them, I suppose!'

'You intend to do it, Paul. Are you trying to deceive me? Do you suppose I don't know that of course he had a reason for sending them to you! People are not in the habit of sending such things to boys who don't know how to use them.'

'But, Josephine, I shall pay him for them.'

'Yes, or else I shall, Paul. But let him enjoy the gift; for I know how it pleased him to send it.'

'And I won't serve him as another fellow did, too proud to accept a favor of him till he should get beyond sight and sound, so stingy of his thanks. That's what your Cromwell did! I hate the hateful fellow.'

'My Cromwell? Did he that?' But Josephine neither swooned, nor cried, nor blushed; was not overwhelmed with shame, nor indignation, nor distress. Some such exhibition, that should be as a confession, Paul had looked for, trembling, when the daring deed was done, of exposing a lover's baseness to the woman he loved.

'Yes,' said Paul, cooled somewhat by his sister's calmness. 'I knew I ought to let you know. But I thought I never could. He wouldn't take the money August offered him, but he got it from the bank, on a forged note.'

'Paul!' exclaimed Josephine. The lad looked again at his sister; but he now saw through her horrified surprise; there was really no danger in continuing this revelation; elated, he went on:

'Forged and paid! so the young fellow told me. That's not Scheffer, un[Pg 554]derstand. He don't know that I have got wind of it; he thinks it is safe with him; and you never would have known anything but for me! August thinks too much of you, I've found that out, to tell you, or me either, that Cromwell is a scamp.'

'What have I to do with all this, Paul?' asked his sister, with a well-assumed indifference. She had time now to consider whether she had not betrayed too much interest in the affairs of these young men, the scientific forger and the man of trade.

'Why,' answered Paul, with no less composure, inwardly rejoicing in what he considered his triumph, 'you have to make the best of it, I suppose—satisfy mother—marry Cromwell when he comes back, rich as Croesus, with ship-loads of treasure. That's what the handsome girls are for, to marry off to rich men, isn't it?'

Paul had had his say, but that was his only consolation. Whatever answer Josephine might have made was prevented by the voice of her mother calling from the foot of the stairs. Yet he chose to consider that sufficient confession, in regard to some of his suspicions, was given in her words as she went down; though what she said was merely,

'Paul, if you don't join the detectives, you'll fail of your mission.'


Scheffer's uniform good luck took a sudden turn one day. The fine row of buildings that faced the college grounds took fire one morning, and his shop was burned with the rest. He saved but little of his stock, and it was but recently that he had greatly added to it. His loss was a severe one.

Toward nightfall of that day, Paul looked for Scheffer, and found him in a room to which he had removed the remnants of his goods. He was alone there, and trying to come to an understanding with himself, singing meanwhile, but, it must be said, in not the most straightforward and perfectly musical manner.

Paul came expressly deputed by his mother to bring Scheffer home to tea with him. The news of his disaster had set August before her in a different light from that in which he had stood in the days of his vulgar prosperity. Calamity restored him to his place again—the son of an old neighbor, the son of a good woman—one of the heirs of misfortune: and who might not have expected this event, that knew in August's veins the Scheffer blood was flowing? Yes; the mother of Josephine was this day disposed to compassion, helped, may be, to that gentleness by the letter she had recently received from Cromwell, in which he detailed his successes in a manner that made the heart of the prophetess to rejoice.

Scheffer hesitated for a moment, only one, over that invitation. But he did hesitate. And Paul, the lynx-eyed, saw it. Scheffer might invent whatever excuse seemed best to his own kindliness of heart: Paul was convinced that his friend felt no confidence in the impulse that had obtained for him an open door in the house that he had seen, in spite of Josephine's friendliness, was closed on him all these years.

Paul did not urge the invitation. Instead, he produced a purse—sole purse of the house of Mitchell, that had not, in a generation, held as many bank notes as this now contained. He put this purse into Scheffer's hands, and said, moving back from him a pace:

'That is yours. I knew you fibbed about the tool chest. You had no use for it. So we have bought it. Look if I have counted the money right. I knew you would never tell me the truth about the cost, so I've been to the maker, and asked him a civil question. No dodging, Mr. Scheffer.'

Mr. Scheffer did not 'dodge.' He emptied the purse, counted the bills, put them into his own leather pocket-book; then he handed the purse to Paul.

Paul did not expect this. It was plain that he did not. He thought that[Pg 555] Scheffer would have 'stood' against receiving the payment for his gift. He had said so to Josephine; but Josephine had replied, 'You are mistaken, Paul. You don't know him, after all. But, if you are right, insist on his taking the money. Do not go too far, however. If he should seem to be offended, bring it back to me, and I will attend to it.'

Was he offended? Paul was in doubt. The doubt made him desperate, and he exclaimed:

'I meant that for a present. Josephine worked it.'

Scheffer's eye fell on the light and pretty trifle; a change came over him. He would have struggled hard and long before he would have surrendered that little tissue of floss, but now less than vanity to him. 'Josephine worked it.' What are words?

'I suppose,' he began; but he did not conclude what he had on his tongue; he did not say to Paul that he supposed it was Josephine's money too—her earnings—that paid for the chest.

There came an awkward silence into the confused and dismal room. Scheffer stood among his ruins, not like a ruined man: he could not talk, however. He could say nothing whatever in continuance, about the fire. It was never his habit to boast; as little his practice to lament.

'Paul,' he said at last, resuming his dismal endeavor to arrange and assort the chaotic remnant of his goods, 'I got your box under weigh last night. There's a friend of mine going to see it; and you needn't be worrying on account of this—this fire; for I shall have money enough to push your business pretty soon; and there are two good fellows standing ready to buy your rights to the patent in this State, on your own terms, I guess, if you are tolerably reasonable. You can have five thousand dollars, if you will be easy with them about the payments. They are as safe as the best in town. I settled all that last night. All you have to do is to come to an agreement.'

Paul's heart beat as fast as any young man's heart beats when the result of secret toil, of wakeful nights, and patient endurance of home misconception, is before him in the form of honorable success. But instead of thanks, these words escaped him in a tumult:

'Scheffer, have you heard the news from Cromwell?'

Scheffer considered ere he answered; he was puzzled, looking at Paul, such a contradiction and confusion of signs he read in the lad's face.

'I heard that your family had great tidings from him,' he answered finally.

'He is dead!'

'Poor Josephine!'

What was it that brought so low the head of the man who had stood all day bravely erect, enduring the condolence of people, sustaining himself in the shock of integrity? Scheffer sat down when he heard this news, and wept.

And Paul wept with him. There, in that chamber of ruins, they deplored the loss of the proud, ambitious, brilliant, and dishonest wordling, who had long ago gone out of their world with a lie on his soul.

Then Paul produced the foreign letter he had brought with him from the mail, as he came in his search for Scheffer. The letter he read aloud. It was written by one of Harry's fellow students, his companion in that notable journey Cromwell made to the Ural, and the Zavods of Siberia. He had returned to Paris, and thence had written of his various successes to his friends: they knew it was his purpose to sail at once for Alexandria. His preparations, wrote this correspondent, were complete; but, on the day when the vessel sailed, he died—sickened and died in one morning; his disease was of the heart.

'Poor Josephine!' groaned August again; this time his pity had comment.

'It's awful!' said Paul. 'Josephine cried when she heard of your misfortune. She won't do more when she sees this letter.' Paul was entirely reckless of consequences. He was de[Pg 556]termined Scheffer's fire should serve a private purpose of illumination, 'It is so rare a thing, her crying,' he continued, 'I should have thought the fire would have been put out by it.'

Scheffer's tears ceased falling. But he spoke in a low voice, somewhat broken, too:

'It's enough to wipe out my regrets. If she cared that much, I don't consider it a misfortune. Tell her so, Paul.'

'I will, after you have told her yourself, Scheffer,' said Paul. Then casting all their fortunes on a word, speaking hurriedly, impetuously, driven on by admiration and gratitude toward Scheffer, and a determination to end all misunderstandings at once and forever, he continued: 'I found it all out, myself, without prying. The young fellow in the bank told me. I knew that you never would. It made me love you, that did. I told Josephine, but not till I thought I might safely. He didn't get that money from the bank till Josephine had told him she could not promise herself to him before he went away. Poor fellow! It made him mad, I think.'

'Paul,' said Scheffer, with reproof, and yet the mildest, in his voice, 'he is dead. That was an ugly twist, but it wasn't his nature to grow in a crooked fashion. Harry will come out straight yet. He is in better circumstances now than ever before. I could forgive a man for worse things than he had the wit to do, if he loved Josephine.'

'There! I'm glad we are back on that ground! I hate mysteries,' exclaimed Paul.

'Except in locks,' said Scheffer.

'Why wouldn't she promise Harry? It is what mother expected. And I was fool enough to wonder. You are wiser than we; so tell me, Scheffer, did anything ever happen in old times that binds her yet? Do you suppose she ever loved a lad when she was a child?'

'I know she did,' said Scheffer, looking not away from Paul, neither busying himself any longer with the endeavor to bring order out of chaos. 'I know she did.'

Then Paul laughed again, as he had not laughed in many a day; but it was laughter that did not jar the silence of the room—such laughter as formed a fit prelude for words like these:

'Find out if the lad is alive yet. There is a piece of business worthy of Scheffer himself! I'm tired of hunting out secrets. Promise me, August—promise before you leave this room—before you breathe again.'

Scheffer did.

Mrs. Mitchell waited tea that evening for at least an hour. Josephine was sure that if August could be found, Paul would bring him home. At last they came. Home at last! The darkness might besiege the house, it could not enter the hearts there; rain might fall on Scheffer's ruins, it could not prevent the rising of the Phoenix. Not recognized altogether as the household's eldest son, he stood under the roof of the little house on Cottage Row. But enough! he was satisfied: he saw two women smiling on him—one from her heart. And from the circle that night Paul, triumphant and joyful, excluded the vision of death.[Pg 557]


I moved among the moving multitude
In old Manila, when the afternoon
Releases labor, and the scorching skies
Are tempered with the coming on of night.
Above the 'ever loyal city,' rose
The surging sound of unloosed tongues and feet,
As the encompassed town and suburbs vast,
The boated river and the sentinelled bridge
Swarmed, parti-colored, with the populace.
The sovereign sun, that through the toilsome day
No eye had seen for brightness, now subdued,
Stepping, like Holy Pontiff, from his throne,
Neared to the people, and, with level rays,
As hands outstretching, benedictions shed.
Full the effulgence flashed upon the walls
Which girt the city with a strength renowned,
Rimming them with new glory: bright it gleamed
Upon the swarthy soldiery, as they filed
A dazzling phalanx through the gaping crowd
With martial intonation, and it played
Softly upon the evening-breathing throng
On the Calsada's broad and dashing drive,
On gay, armorial equipage, wherein
Dozed dowagers: on unbonneted dames
In open chariots, toying daintily
With dark hidalgos, as they sipped the scene
In languishing contentment, and between
Responsive glances, showing hidden fire,
With fluent breath of Spanish repartee.
There lounged senoras, fat officials' wives,
From their soft cushions casting cool disdain
On the mestiza, who, in hired hack,
Blooming in beauty of commingled blood,
And robed in slippery tissue, rainbow-bright,
Sat, in her sandal-footed grace, a queen
Among her fellows, they who yesterday
Whirled her lithe figure in the tireless dance,
And now, with airy compliment, kept bright
The flame she yet may quench in wedlock dull.
Thus rolled the wealthy in their liveried ease,
'Mid walking peasantry and pale Chinese,
And curious-shirted Creole; while, tight swathed
Up to their shrivelled features, mummy like,
The Indian women filled the motley scene.
Meanwhile, the sovereign sun had crowned the palms
[Pg 558]Standing in stately clusters; and from thence
Scaled the high walls and climbed the citadel,
Pouring a parting radiance on the tower
Of San Sebastian: mounting to its goal,
It swept the public dial plate and lay,
E'en in the face of stern recording time
Smiling significance; thence slowly crept
Up to the turret, blazing, momently,
Thence reached the dizzy ball; and, last of all,
Kissed with its dying lips the sacred cross.

Then pealed the solemn vesper bell to prayer,
And suddenly—completely—with a hush,
As if a god-like voice had stricken it dead,
Stood still the city!

Motionless the life
That but an instant off stirred the warm air
With murmurs multifarious, and the waves
Of great humanity, sunk silenced there,
With stillness so supreme, that pulses beat
More quickly from the contrast, and the soul
Hearkened to listen, humbled and subdued
As when the Saviour uttered 'Peace, be still.'
The tardy laborer, walled within the town,
Brought the uplifted hammer noiseless down,
And stood in meek confession, tool in hand.
The mother hushed the baby lullaby,
And o'er her sleeping innocence exhaled
Voiceless thanksgiving. Children ceased to play,
Feeling an awe they comprehended not,
And stood, unconscious of their beauty's pose,
As those Murillo's pencil glorifies.
Upon the airy esplanade the steed
No longer pawed the air in wantonness,
But, like his compeer of the fabled song,
Stood statued with his rider, while below
The beggar ceased his cry importunate,
And to a Higher Almoner than man
Sent up a dumb appeal. In folly's court
The laugh was hushed, and the half-uttered jest
Fell witless into air, and burning thought
Cooled, as it flowed, unmoulded into speech.
As throbbed the distant bell with serious pause,—
Standing bareheaded in the dewless air,
Or prostrate in their penitence to earth,
Or bending with veiled lids,—the people prayed.
Then was that moment, in its muteness, worth
The laboring day that bore it, for all sense
Seemed filtered of its grossness; what was earth
Sunk settling with the dust to earth again,
As through the calm, pure atmosphere, arose
[Pg 559]One mingling meditation unto Heaven.
Oh, beautiful is silence, when it falls
On housed assemblies bowed in voiceless prayer:
But when it lays its finger on the heart
Of a great city, stilling all the wheels
Of life's employment, that to Heaven may turn
Its many thousand reverend breathing souls
With gesture simultaneous; when proud man
Like multitudinous marble, moveless stands
With God communing, then does silence seem,
In its unworded eloquence, sublime.
Therein, doth Romish worship point rebuke
To him who doth ignore it, for therein
It rises to a majesty of praise
O'erspanning huge cathedrals, for it makes
The censer, candle, rosary, and book
But senseless mockeries.

So sunk the sun
Till on its amber throne, like drapery doffed,
Lay piled th' imperial purple. Then the stir
Of an awakened world swept through the crowd,
As forest leaves are wind-swept after lulls,
And, with the sense of a renewing joy,
The murmurous people turned them to their homes.

Manila, 1856.



They took thy boots, they took thy coats,
My Maryland!
And paid for them in 'Confed' notes,
My Maryland!
They gobbled down thy corn like goats,
And rooted up thy truck like shoats,
But then—they didn't get thy votes
Or volunteers—my Maryland!
[Pg 560]


'All of which I saw, and part of which I was.'


On the cleared plot in front of the store were assembled, as I have said, about a hundred men, women, and children, witnessing a 'turkey match.' It was a motley gathering. All classes and colors and ages were there. The young gentleman who boasted his hundred darkies, and the small planter who worked in the field with his five negroes; the 'poor trash' who scratched a bare subsistence from a sorry patch of beans and 'collards,' and the swearing, staggering bully who did not condescend to do anything; the young child that could scarcely walk alone, and the old man who could hardly stand upright; the brawny field hand who had toiled over night to finish his task in time for 'de shootin;' and the well-dressed body servant who had roused 'young massa oncommon airly' for the same purpose; all, white, black, and yellow—and some neither white, black, nor yellow—were there; scattered over various parts of the ground, engaged in lounging, playing, drinking, smoking, chewing, chatting, swearing, wrangling, and looking on at the turkey match.

A live turkey was fastened to an ordinary bean pole, in a remote quarter of the ground, and when I emerged from the cabin, seven or eight 'natives' had entered for 'a shot.' The payment of a 'bit,' 'cash down,' to Tom, who officiated as master of ceremonies, secured a chance of hitting the turkey's head with a rifle bullet at 'long distance.' Any other 'hit' was considered 'foul,' and passed for nothing. Whoever shot the mark took the prize, and was expected to 'treat the crowd.' As 'the crowd' seemed a thirsty one, it struck me that turkey would prove expensive eating to the fortunate shots; but they were oblivious to expense, and in a state of mind that unfitted them for close financial calculations.

Nearly every marksman present had 'carried off his poultry,' and Tom had already reaped a harvest of dimes from the whiskey drinking. 'Why, bless ye,' he said to me, 'I should be broke, clean done up, if it warn't fur the drinks; I haint got more'n a bit, or three fips, fur nary a fowl; the fust shot allers brings down the bird; they're all cocksure on the trigger—ary man on 'em kin hit a turkey's eye at a hundred paces.' This was true; and in such schools were trained the unerring marksmen who are now 'bringing down' the bravest youth of our country, like fowls at a turkey match.

A disturbance had broken out on a remote part of the ground, and, noticing about twenty negro men and women seated on a log near by, I went in that direction, in hopes of meeting the negro trader. It was a dog fight. Inside an imaginary ring about ten feet in diameter, two dogs were clenched in what seemed a life-and-death struggle. One was holding the other down by the lower jaw, while a man, evidently the owner of the half-vanquished brute, was trying to separate them. Outside this ring about twenty other brutes—men, women, and children—were cheering the combatants, and calling on the meddler to desist. It was strange how the peacemaker managed to stand up against the volleys of oaths they showered on him; he did, however, and persisted in his laudable efforts, till a tall, rawboned, heavy-jawed fellow stepped into the ring, and, taking him by the collar, pulled him away, saying: 'Let 'em be—it's a fair fight; d—— yer pictur—let 'em alone.'

'Take thet! you whelp,' said the other, planting a heavy blow between[Pg 561] the intruder's eyes. Blow followed blow; they clenched; went down; rose up; fought on—at one end of the ring the canines, at the other the humans; while the rest looked on, shouting, 'Let 'er rip! Go in, Wade! Hit 'im agin! Smash his mug! Pluck the grizzly! Hurrah fur Smith! Drown his peepers! Never say die! Go in agin!' till the blood flowed, and dogs and men rolled over on the ground together.

Disgusted with this exhibition of nineteenth-century civilization, I turned and walked away. As I did so, I noticed, following me at a short distance, a well-dressed man of about thirty-five. He wore a slouched hat, a gray coat and lower garments, and enormous high-top boots, to one of which was affixed a brass spur. Over his shoulder, holding the two ends in his hands, he carried a strong, flexible whip, silver mounted, and polished like patent leather. He was about six feet high, stoutly built, with a heavy, inexpressive face, and a clear, sharp gray eye. One glance satisfied me that he was the negro trader.

As he approached he held out his hand in a free, hearty way, saying: 'Cunnel, good evenin'.'

'Good evenin',' I replied, intentionally adopting his accent; 'but yer wrong, stranger; I'm nary cunnel.'

'Well, Major, then?'

'No, Gin'ral; not even a sargint.'

'Then ye're Squire——,' and he hesitated for me to fill up the blank.

'No; not even Squire——,' I added, laughing. 'I've nary title; I'm plain Mister Kirke; nothin' else.'

'Well, Mister Kirke, ye're the fust man I've met in the hull Suthern country who wus jest nobody at all; and drot me ef I doan't like ye for't. Ev'ry d——d little upstart, now-a-days, has a handle ter his name—they all b'long ter the nobility, ha! ha!' and he again brought his hand down upon mine with a concussion that made the woods ring.

'Come,' he added; 'let's take a drink.'

'Glad ter drink with ye, stranger; but I karn't go Tom's sperrets—it's hard ter take.'

'That's a fact, but I keeps the raal stuff. That's the pizen fur ye;' he replied, holding up a small willow flask, and starting toward the bar. Entering a cloud of tobacco smoke, and groping our way over groups of drunken chivalry, who lay 'loosely around,' we approached the counter.

'Har, you lousy sorrel-top,' said the trader to the red-faced and red-headed bar tender; 'har, give us some mugs.'

'Sorrel-top' placed two glasses on the counter, and my new acquaintance proceeded to rinse them thoroughly. They were of a clear grass-green color, and holding one up to the light, the trader said: 'Now luk a' them. Them's 'bout as green as the fellers that drink out on 'em—a man's stumac's got ter be of cast iron ter stand the stuff they sell har.'

'It's better'n you kin 'ford ter drink,' exclaimed the bar tender, in high dudgeon.

'Who spoke ter ye—take thet!' rejoined the trader, discharging the contents of the glass full in the man's face. The sorrel-crowned worthy bore the indignity silently, evidently deeming discretion the better part of valor.

'Buy'n ony nigs, Kirke?' said the trader, inserting his arm in mine, and leading me away from the shanty: 'I've got a prime lot—prime;' and he smacked his lips together at the last word, in the manner that is common to professional liquor tasters. He scented a trade afar off, and his organs of taste, sympathizing with his olfactories, gave out that token of satisfaction.

'Well, I doan't know. What ye got?'

'Some o' the likeliest property ye ever seed—men and wimmin. All bought round har; haint ben ter Virginny yit. Come 'long, I'll show ye;' and he proceeded toward the group of chattels. He was becoming altogether too familiar, but I called to mind a favorite maxim of good old Mr. Russell—Necessitus non arbit legum—and quietly submitted.[Pg 562]

The negroes were seated on a fallen pine, in a remote quarter of the ground, and were chained together by the wrists, in gangs of four or five, the outside one having one hand secured by a cord bound about the waist. The men wore woollen hats, and the women neat Madras turbans, and both had thick linsey clothing, warm enough for any weather. Their dusky faces were sleek and oily, and their kinky locks combed as straight as nature would permit. The trader had 'rigged them up,' as a jockey 'rigs up' his horses for market.

Pausing before a brawny specimen of the yellow species, he said: 'Thar, Kirke, luk o' thar; thar's a boy fur ye—a nig thet kin work—'tend ten thousand boxes (turpentine) easy. He's the sort. Prime stuff thet—(feeling of his arms and thighs)—hard—hard as rock—siners like rope. Come o' good stock, he did—the old Devereaux blood—(a highly respectable family in those parts)—they's the raal quality—none on yer shams or mushrooms; but genuwine 'stockracy—blamed if they haint. What d'ye say ter him?'

'Well, he moight do, p'raps—but I rather reckon ye've done him up sum; 'iled his face, greased his wool, and sech like. It's all right, ye know—onything's far in trade; but ye karn't come it over me, ole feller. I'm up ter sech doin's. I am, Mr.——,' and I paused for him to finish the sentence.

'Larkin,' he added quickly and good-humoredly; 'Jake Larkin, and yours, by——,' and he gave my hand another shake. 'Yer one on 'em, I swar, and I own up; I hev 'iled em' a trifle—jest a trifle; but ye kin see through thet; we hev ter do it ter fix the green 'uns, ye knows.'

'Yes, I knows—'iled 'em inside and out, haint ye?'

'No, on my soul—only one glass ter day—true as preachin'.'

'Boy,' I said to the yellow man, 'how much whiskey hev ye drunk ter day? Now, tell the truth.'

'Nary drop, massa; hed a moufful o' sperrets—a berry little moufful—dat's all.'

'Taint 'nough, Larkin! Come, now, doan't be mean with nigs. Give 'em sum more—sum o' thet tall brandy o' your'n; a good swig. They karn't stand it out har in the cold without a little warmin' up.'

'Well, I'm blamed ef I won't. Har, you, Jim,' speaking to a well-dressed darky standing near. 'Har, go ter thet red-headed woodpecker, thar at the cabin, and tell him I'll smash his peepers if he doan't send me sum glasses ter onst—d'ye har? Go.'

The gentlemanly darky went, and soon returned with the glassware; and meanwhile Larkin directed another well-clad negro man to 'bring the jugs.' They were strung across the back of a horse which was tied near, and, uncorking one of them, the trader said: 'I allers carry my own pizen. 'Taint right to give even nigs sech hell-fire as they sell round har; it git's a feller's stumac used ter tophet 'fore the rest on him is 'climated.'

'Well, it does,' I replied; 'it's the devil's own warming pan.'

Each negro received a fair quantity of the needed beverage, and seemed the better for it. A little brandy, 'for the stomach's sake,' is enjoyed by those dusky denizens of the low latitudes.

When they were all supplied, the trader said to me: 'Now, what d'ye say, Kirke? What'll ye give fur the boy?'

'Well, I reckon I doan't want no boys jest now; and I doan't know as I wants ary 'ooman nother; but if ye've got a right likely gal—one thet'll sew, and nuss good—I moight buy her fur a friend o' mine. His wife's hed twins, and he moight use her ter look arter the young 'uns.'

'Young or old?'

'Young and sprightly.'

'They is high, ye knows—but thar's a gal that'll suit. Git up gals;' and a row of five women rose: 'No; git up thar, whar we kin see ye.' They stepped up on the log. 'Now, thar's a gal[Pg 563] fur ye,' he continued, pointing to a clean, tidy mulatto woman, not more than nineteen, with a handsome but meek, sorrow-marked face: 'Luk at thet!' and he threw up her dress to her knees, while the poor girl reached down her shackled hands in the vain effort to prevent the indignity. He was about to show off other good points, when I said: 'Never mind—I see what she is. Let 'em git down.'

They resumed their seats, and he continued: 'Thet's jest the gal ye wants, Kirke—good at nussin', wet or dry; good at breedin', too; hed two young 'uns, a'ready. Ye kin * * * * *' [The rest of this discourse will not bear repeating.]

'No, thank you.'

'Well, jest as ye say. She's sound, though; sold fur no fault. Har young massa's ben a-usin' on har—young 'uns are his'n. Old man got pious; couldn't stand sech doin's no how—ter home—so he says ter me, 'Jake, says he, take har ter Orleans—she's jest the sort—ye'll make money sellin' har ter some o' them young bloods. Ha! ha! thet's religion for ye! I doan't know, Kirke, mebbe ye b'long ter the church, and p'raps yer one o' the screamin' sort; but any how, I say, d—— sech religion as thet. Jake Larkin's a spec'lator, but he wouldn't do a thing like thet—ef he would, d—— him.'

[The dealer in negroes never applies the term 'trader' to himself; he prefers the softer word, 'speculator.' The phrase 'negro trader' is used only by the rest of the community, who are 'holier than he.']

'I doan't b'lieve ye would, Larkin; yer a good fellow, at bottom, I reckon.'

'Well, Kirke, yer a trump. Come, hev another drink.'

'No; excuse me; karn't stand more'n one horn a day: another'd lay me out flatter'n a stewpan. But ter business. How much fur thet gal—cash down? Come, talk it out.'

'Well, at a word—twelve hun'red.'

'Too much; bigger'n my pile; couldn't put so much inter one gal, nohow. Wouldn't give thet money fur ary nig in Car'lina.'

'Oh, buy me, good massa. Mister Larkin'll take less'n dat, I reckon; do buy me,' said the girl, who had been eying me very closely during the preceding dialogue.

'I would, my good girl, if I could; but you'll not exactly suit my friend.'

'Buy har fur yourself, then, Kirke. She'd suit you. She's sound, I tell ye—ye'd make money on har.'

'Not much, I reckon,' I replied, dryly.

'Why not? She'll breed like a rabbit.' * * * * *

'I wouldn't own her for the whole State: if I had her, I'd free her on the spot!' The cool bestiality of the trader disgusted me, and I forgot myself.

He started back surprised; then quietly remarked: 'Ye're a Nutherner, I swar; no corncracker ever held sech doctrines as them.'

'Yes,' I replied, dropping the accent, which my blunder had rendered useless; 'I am a Northerner; but I want a nurse, notwithstanding, for a friend.'

'Whar d'ye live?' asked the trader, in the same free, good-natured tone as before.

'In New York.'

'In York! What! Yer not Mr. Kirke, of Randall, Kirke & Co.? But, blamenation, ye ar! How them whiskers has altered ye! I thort I'd seed ye afore. Haint ye come it over me slick? Tuk in clean, swallered hull. But thar's my hand, Mr. Kirke; I'm right glad ter see ye.'

'Where have you met me, my good fellow? I don't remember you.'

'Down ter Orleans. Seed ye inter Roye, Struthers & Co.'s. The ole man thinks a heap o' you; ye give 'em a pile of business, doan't ye.'

'No, not much of our own. They buy cotton for our English correspondents, and negotiate through us, that is all. Roye is a fine old gentleman.'[Pg 564]

'Yes, he ar; I'm in with him.'

'How in with him?'

'Why, in this business—we go snacks; I do the buyin', and he finds the rocks. We use a pile—sometimes a hun'red, sometimes two hun'red thousand.'

'Is it possible! Then you do a large business?'

'Yes, right smart; I handle 'bout a thousand—big and little—ev'ry year.'

'That is large. You do not buy and sell them all, yourself, do you?'

'Oh, no? I hardly ever sells; once in a while I run agin a buyer—like you—ha! ha!—and let one drap; but gin'rally I cage 'em, and when I git 'bout a hun'red together, I take 'em ter Orleans, and auction 'em off. Thar's no fuss and dicker 'bout thet, ye knows.'

'Yes, I know! But how do you manage so large a gang? I should think some would get away.'

'No, they doan't. I put the ribands on 'em; and, 'sides, ye see them boys, thar?' pointing to three splendid specimens of property, loitering near; 'I've hed them boys nigh on ter ten year, and I haint lost nary a nig sense I had 'em. They're cuter and smarter nor I am, any day.'

'Then you pick the negroes up round the country, and send them to a rendezvous, where you put them in jail till you make up your number?'

'Yes, the boys takes 'em down ter the pen. I'm pickin' sum up round har, now, ye see, and I send 'em ter Goldsboro'. When I've toted these down thar, the boys and I'll go up ter Virginny.'

'Why don't you send them on by stage? I should think it would hurt them to camp out at this season.'

'Hurt 'em! Lord bless ye, fresh air never hurt a nig; they're never so happy as sleepin' on the groun', with nothin' over 'em, and thar heels close ter a light-wood fire.'

'But the delicate house women and the children, can they bear it?'

'It do come a trifle hard on them, but it doan't last long. I allers takes ter the railroad when I gets a gang together.'

'Well, come; I want a woman. Show me all you have.'

'Do ye mean so, raally, Mr. Kirke? I thort ye wus a comin' it on me, and I swar ye does do the Suthern like a native. I'm blamed ef I didn't s'pose ye b'longed round har. Ha! ha! How the ole man would larf ter hear it!'

'But I am a native, Larkin; born within sight of Bunker Hill.'

'Yes, thet kind o' native; and them's the sort, too. They make all-fired smart spec'lators. I knows a dozen on 'em, thet hev made thar pile, and haint older'n I am, nother.'

'Is it possible! Yankees in this business?'

'Yes, lots on 'em. Some on yer big folks up ter York and Bostin are in it deep; but they go the 'portin' line, gin'rally, and thet—d—d if I'd do it, anyhow.'

'Well, about the woman. None of these will do; are they all you have?'

'No, I've got one more, but I've sort o' 'lotted har ter a young feller down ter Orleans. He told me ter git him jest sech a gal. She's 'most white, and brought up tender like, and them kind is high prized, ye knows.'

'Yes, I know; but where is she—let me see her?'

'She's in the store;' and rising, he led the way to the shanty.

When we arrived at the part of the ground where the marksmen were stationed, we found an altercation going on between Tom and a young planter. It appeared that the young man had paid for a shot, and insisted on his body servant taking his place in the lists. To that Tom, and the stout yeomen who had entered for the turkey, objected, on account of the yellow man's station and complexion.

The young gentleman was dressed in the highest style of fashion, and, though not more than nineteen, was evidently a 'blood' of 'the very first water.' The body servant was a good-looking quad[Pg 565]roon, and sported an enormous diamond pin and a heavy gold watch chain. In his sleek beaver hat, and nicely-brushed suit of black broadcloth, he looked a much better-dressed gentleman than any one on the ground.

As we approached, Tom, every pimple on his red face swelling with virtuous indignation, was delivering himself of the following harangue:

'We doan't put ourselfs on a futtin' with niggers, Mr. Gaston. We doan't keer if they do b'long ter kid-gloved 'ristocrats like ye is; they karn't come in har, no how! Ye'd better go home. Ye orter be in better business then prowlin' round shootin' matches, with yer scented, bedevilled-up buck niggers. Go home, and wash the smell out o' yer cloes. Yer d——d muskmelon (Tom's word for musk) makes ye smell jest like hurt skunks; and ye ar skunks, clar through ter the innards. Whew! Clar eöut, I tell ye!'

The young man's face reddened. The blood of the chivalry was rising. He replied:

'Keep a civil tongue in your head, you thieving scoundrel; if you don't, the next time I catch you trading with my nigs, I'll see you get a hundred lashes; d——d if I don't.'

Tom bade him go to a very warm latitude, and denied trading with negroes.

'You lie, you sneaking whelp; you've got the marks on your back now, for dealing with Pritchett's.'

Tom returned the lie, when the young man's face grew a trifle redder, and his whip rising in the air, it fell across Tom's nose in a very uncomfortable manner—for Tom. The liquor vender reeled, but, recovering himself in a moment, he aimed a heavy blow at the young gentleman's frontispiece. That 'parlor ornament' would have been sadly disfigured, had not the darky caught the stroke on his left arm, and at the same moment planted what the 'profession' call a 'wiper,' just behind Tom's left ear. Tom's private dram shop went down—'caved in'—was 'laid out sprawling;' and two or three minutes elapsed before it got on its legs again. When it did, it frothed at the mouth like a mug of ale with too much head on it.

They were not more than six paces apart, when Tom rose, and drawing a double-barrelled pistol from his pocket, aimed it at the planter. The latter was in readiness for him. His six-shooter was level with Tom's breast, and his hand on the trigger, when, just as he seemed ready to fire, the negro trader coolly stepped before him, and twisted the weapon from his hand. Turning then to Tom, Larkin said, 'Now, you clar out. Make tracks, or I'll lamm ye like blamenation. Be off, I tell ye,' he added as Tom showed an unwillingness to move. 'A sensible man like ye arn't a gwine ter waste good powder on sech a muskrat sort of a thing as this is, is ye? Come, clar!' and he placed his hand on Tom's shoulder, and accelerated his rather slow movements toward the groggery. Returning then to the young man, he said:

'And now you, Mr. Gustavus Adolphus Pocahontas Powhatan Gaston, s'pose you clar out, too?'

'I shall go when I please—not before,' said Mr. Gaston.

'You'll please mighty sudden, then, I reckon. A young man of your edication should be 'bout better business than gittin' inter brawls with low groggery keepers, and 'sultin' decent white folks with your scented-up niggers. Yer a disgrace ter yer good ole father, and them as was afore him. With yer larnin' and money ye moight be doin' suthin' fur them as is below ye; but instead o' thet, yer doin' nothin' but hangin' round bar rooms, gittin' drunk, playin' cards, drivin' fast hosses, and keepin' nigger wimmin. I'm ashamed o' ye. Yer gwine straight ter hell, ye is; and the hull country's gwine thar, too, 'cause it's raisin' a crap of jest sech idle, no-account, blusterin', riproaring young fools as you is. Now, go home. Make tracks ter onst, or I'll hev thet d——d[Pg 566] nigger's neck o' your'n stretched fur strikin' a white man, I will! Ye knows me, and I'll do it, as sure's my name's Jake Larkin.'

The young planter listened rather impatiently to this harangue, but said nothing. When it was concluded, he told his servant to bring up the horses; and then turning to the trader, said:

'Well, Right Reverend Mr. Larkin, you'll please to make yourself scarce around the plantation in future. If you come near it, just remember that we keep dogs, and that we use them for chasing—niggers.' The last word was emphasized in a way that showed he classed Larkin with the wares he dealt in.

'Yer father, young man, is a honest man, and a gentleman. He knows I'm one, if I do trade in niggers; and he'll want ter see me when I want ter come.'

The negro by this time had brought up the horses. 'Good evening, Mr. Larkin,' said young Hopeful, as he mounted and rode off.

'Good evenin', replied the trader, coolly, but respectfully.

'Good evenin', Mister Larkin,' said the gentleman's gentleman, as he also mounted to ride off. The emphasis on the 'Mister' was too much for the trader, and taking one spring toward the darky, he laid his stout whip across his face. The scented ebony roared, and just then his horse, a high-blooded animal, reared and threw him. When he had gathered himself up, Larkin made several warm applications of his thick boot to the inexpressible part of the darky's person, and, roaring with pain, that personage made off at a gait faster than that of his runaway horse.

During the affray the occupants of the ground gathered around the belligerents; but as soon as it was over, they went quietly back to 'old-sledge' 'seven-up,' 'pitch-and-toss,' 'chuck-a-luck,' and the 'turkey match.'

As we walked toward the shanty, the trader said: 'Thet feller's a fool. What a chance he's throwin' away! He arn't of no more use than a rotten coon skin or a dead herrin', he arn't. All on our young bucks is jest like him. The country's going to the devil, sure;' and with this choice bit of moralizing, he entered the cabin.


The Squire was pacing to and fro in the upper end of the room, and the woman and children were seated on the low bench near the counter. Phyllis lifted her eyes to my face as I entered, with a hopeful, inquiring expression, but they fell again when the trader said: 'Thet's the gal fur ye, Mr. Kirke; the most perfectest gal in seven States; good at onything, washin', ironin', nussin', breedin'; rig'larly fotched up; worth her weight in gold; d——d if she haint.' Turning then to Preston, he exclaimed: 'Why, Squire, how ar ye?'

'Very well,' replied my friend, coolly.

'How's times?' continued the trader.

'Very well,' said Preston, in a tone which showed a decided distaste for conversation.

'Well, glad on it. I heerd ye were hard put. Glad on it, Squire.'

The Squire took no further notice of him; and, turning to his property, the trader said: 'Stand up, gal, and let me show the gentleman what yer made of. Doan't look so down in the mouth, gal; this gentleman's got a friend thet'll keep ye in the style ye's fotched up ter.'

Phyllis rose and made a strong effort to appear composed.

'Now, Mr. Kirke, luk at thet rig,' said Larkin, seizing her rudely by the arm and turning her half around; 'straight's a rail. Luk at thet ankle and fut—nimble's a squirrel, and healthy!—why, ye couldn't sicken har if ye put har ter hosspetal work.'

'Well, never mind. I see what she is. What's your price?'

'But ye haint seed har, yit! She's puny like, I knows, but she's solid, I reckon; thar haint a pound of loose stuff on har—it's all muscle. See thar—jest look o' thet,' and he stripped the[Pg 567] sleeve of her dress to the elbow; 'thar's a arm fur ye—whiter'n buttermilk, and harder'n cheese. Feel on't.'

The poor woman submitted meekly to this rough handling of her person, but I said impatiently:

'I tell you, Larkin, I'm satisfied. Name your price. I've no time to lose: the stage will be along in five minutes.'

'The stage! Lord bless ye, Mr. Kirke, it's broke down—'twon't be har fur an hour—I knows. Now look o' thet,' he continued, drawing the poor woman's thin dress tightly across her limbs, while he proceeded, despite my repeated attempts to interrupt him, with his disgusting exhibitions, which it would be disgraceful even to describe. 'Ye doan't mind, do ye, gal?' he added, chucking her under the chin in a rude, familiar way, and giving a brutal laugh. Phyllis shrank away from him, but made no reply. She had evidently braced her mind to the ordeal, and was prepared to bear anything rather than offend him. I determined to stop any further proceeding, and said to him:

'I tell you, Larkin, I'm satisfied. I cannot waste more time in this manner. Name your price at once.'

'Time! Mr. Kirke? why yer time arn't worth nothin' jest now. The stage won't be 'long till dark. Ye haint seed half on har, yit. I doan't want ter sell ye a damaged article. I want ter show ye she's sound's a nut—ye won't pay my price ef I doan't. Look a thar, now,' and with a quick, dexterous movement, he tore open the front of her dress. * * * * *

The poor girl, unable to use her hands, bent over nearly double, and strained the children to her breast to hide her shame. A movement at the other end of the room made me look at the Squire. With his jaws set, his hands clenched, and his face on fire, he bounded toward the trader. In a moment he would have been upon him. My own blood boiled, but, knowing that an outbreak would be fatal to our purpose, I planted myself firmly in his way, and said, as I took him by the arm and held him by main force:

'Stand back, Preston; this is my affair.'

'Yes, Squire,' added the trader, 'ye'd better be quiet. Ye'll turn trader, yerself, yit. If things is true, ye'll have ter begin on yer own nigs, mighty sudden.'

'If I am brought to that,' replied the Squire, with the calm dignity which was natural to him, 'I shall treat them like human beings—not like brutes.'

'Ye'll show 'em off the best how ye kin; let ye alone fur thet; I know yer hull parson tribe; thar haint nary a honest one among ye.'

Preston turned silently away, as if disdaining to waste words on such a subject; and I said to the trader:

'Mr. Larkin, I've told you I've no time to lose. Name your price at once, or I'll not buy the woman at all.'

'Well, jest as ye say, Mr. Kirke. But ye see she's a rare 'un; would bring two thousand in Orleans, sure's a gun.'

'Pshaw! you know better than that; but, name your price.'

'What, fur the hull, or the 'ooman alone?'

'Either way; I've no particular use for the children, but I'll buy them if cheap.'

'Oh! do buy us,' cried the little girl, taking hold of my coat; 'do buy us—please do, good massa.'

'Shet up, ye young whelp,' said the trader, raising his whip. The little thing slunk back affrighted, and commenced sobbing, but said no more.

'Well, Mr. Kirke, the lot cost me sixteen fifty, hard rocks, and 'twas dirt cheap, 'cause the 'ooman alone'll bring more'n thet. I couldn't hev bought har fur thet, but har owner wus hard up. Ye see he's Gin'ral——, down ter Newbern, one of yer rig'lar 'ristocrats, the raal ole-fashioned sort—keeps a big plantation, house in town; fine wines; fine wimmin; fast hosses; and goes it mighty strong. Well, he's allers a trifle under—ev'ry year 'bout two thousand short; and ev'ry year I buy a couple or[Pg 568] so of nigs on him ter make it up. He's a pertickerler friend o' mine, ye see; he thinks a heap o' me—he does. Well, when I gets 'long thar t'other day, he says ter me, says he: 'Lark,' (he allers calls me Lark; thet's the name I goes by 'mong my intimate 'quaintance), well, says he; 'Lark, thar's Phylly. I want ye ter take har. She's the likeliest gal in the world—good old Virginny blood, father one of the raal old stock. Ye knows she's right, good ev'ry way, prays like a camp meetin', and virtuous ter kill; thar ain't none round har thet's up to har at thet—tried ter cum round har myself, but couldn't git nigher'n a rod—won't hev but one man, and'll stick ter him like death; jest the gal fur one o' them New Orleans bloods as wants one thet'll be true ter 'em. Do ye take, Lark?' says he. 'Well, I do, says I, and I knows just the feller fur har; one of yer raal high-flyers—rich's a Jew—twenty thousand a year—lives like a prince—got one or two on 'em now; but he says to me when I comes off, 'Lark,' says he, 'find me a gal, raather pale, tidy, hard's a nut, and not bigger'n a cotton bale.' Wall, says I, 'I will,' and, Gin'ral, Phylly's the gal! She'll hev good times, live like a queen, hev wines, dresses, hosses, operas, and all them sort o' things—ye knows them ar fellers doan't stand fur trifles.' 'Yes, I knows, Lark,' says the Gin'ral, 'and bein' it's so, ye kin take har, Lark; but I wouldn't sell har ter ary nother man livin'—if I would, d——n me. Ye kin hev har, Lark, but ye must take the young 'uns; she's got two, ye knows, and it hain't Christian-like ter sell 'em apart.' 'D——n the young 'uns, Gin'ral,' says I,' I karn't do nary a thing with them. What'll one o' them young bloods want o' them? They goes in fur home manufactures.' 'Yes, I knows, Lark,' says he, 'but ye kin sell 'em off thar—ony planter'll buy 'em—they'll pay ter raise. They're two likely little gals, ye knows; honest born, white father, and'll make han'some wimmin—han'somer'n thar mother, and sell higher when they's grow'd; ye'd better take 'em, Lark. If ye doan't, I'm d——d if I'll sell ye the mother; fur, ye see, I must have the hull vally, now, that's honest.' 'Wall, Gin'ral,' says I, 'ye allers talks right out, that's what I likes in ye. What's the price?' 'Wall,' says he, 'bein' it's ye, and ye've a good master in yer eye for Phylly, I'll say two thousand fur the lot—the gal alone'll fetch twenty-five hun'red down ter Orleans.' 'Whew!' says I, 'Gin'ral, ye've been a takin' suthin'. (But he hadn't; he war soberer than a church clock; 'twarn't more'n 'lev'n, and he's never drunk 'fore evenin'.) Wall,' says I, 'karn't think of it, nohow, Gin'ral.' Then he come down ter eighteen, but I counted out sixteen fifty—good rags of the old State Bank—and I'm blamed if he didn't take it. I'd no idee he wud; but debt, Mr. Kirke, debt's the devil—but it helps us, 'cause, I s'pose (and he laughed his hardened, brutal laugh), we do the devil's own work. But be thet how it may, if these high flyin' planters didn't run inter it, and hev ter pay up, nigger spec'latin' wouldn't be worth follerin'. Well, I took the nig's, and thar they is; and bein' it's you, Mr. Kirke, and yer a friend of the ole man, you shill hev the lot fur a hun'red and fifty more, or the 'ooman alone fur fifteen hun'red; but ary nother white man couldn't toch 'em fur less'n two thousand—if they could, d——n me.'

The stage had not arrived, and I had submitted to this lengthy harangue, because I saw I could more certainly accomplish the purchase by indulging the humor of the trader. The suspense was, no doubt, agony to Phyllis, and the Squire manifested decided impatience, but the delay seemed unavoidable. It was difficult for Preston to control himself. He chafed like a chained tiger. At first he paced up and down the farther side of the apartment, then sat down, then rose and paced the room again, and then again sat down, every now and then glaring upon Larkin with a look of savage ferocity that[Pg 569] showed the wild beast was rising in him. The trader once in a while looked toward him with a cool unconcern that indicated two things: nerves of iron, and perfect familiarity with such demonstrations.

Fearing an explosion, I at last stepped up to the Squire, and said to him in a low tone: 'Let me beg of you to leave the room—do—you may spoil all.' He made no reply, but did as I requested.

When he had gone, Larkin remarked, in an indifferent way, 'The Squire's got the devil in him. He's some when his blood's up—edged tools, dangerous ter handle—he is—I knows him.' I'd ruther have six like Tom on me, ony time, than one like him. But he karn't skeer me. The man doan't breathe thet kin turn Jake Larkin a hair.'

'I see he's excited,' I replied; 'but why is he so interested in this woman?'

'Why? She was fotched up 'long with him—children together. He owned har till he got in the nine-holes one day, and sold har ter the Gin'ral. I'd bet a pile the young 'uns ar his'n. He knows har as he do the psa'm book. Ha! ha!' and he laughed his brutal laugh, as, chucking Phyllis again under the chin, he asked, 'Doan't he, gal?'

She shrank away from him, but said nothing.

'Doan't be squeamy, gal; out with it; we'll think the more on ye fur't. Arn't the young 'uns his'n? Didn't ye b'long ter the Squire till he got so d——d pious five year ago?'

'Yes, master; I belonged to him; Master Robert wus allers pious.'

'Yes, I knows; he wus allers preachin' pious. But didn't ye b'long ter him—ye knows what I means—till he got so d——d camp-meetin' pious five year ago?'

'Master Robert was allers camp-meetin' pious,' replied the woman, looking down, and drawing her thin shawl more closely over her open bosom.

'Well,' said Larkin, 'ye karn't git nothin' out o' har, but it's so—sartin! Ev'ry 'un says so; and what ev'ry 'un says arn't more'n a mile from the truth. Jest look o' that little 'un. Doan't ye see the Squire's eyes and forrerd thar?' and he took the little girl roughly by the arm, and turned her face toward mine. The lower part of her features were like her mother's, but her eyes, hair, and forehead were Preston's!

'Yes, I see,' I said; 'but you spoke of two little girls; where is the other?'

'Well, you see, I bought 'em both, and the Gin'ral give me a bill o' sale on 'em; but when we come to look arter the young 'un in the mornin', she warn't thar. The Gin'ral's 'ooman—she's a 'ooman fur me—a hull team—she makes him stan' round, I reckon. Well, she'd a likin' for the little 'un, and she swoore she shouldn't be sold. She told me ter my face she'd packed har off whar I couldn't git har, nohow; and she said she'd raise the town, and hev me driv' out if I 'tempted it.'

'What did you do then?' I asked.

'Well, ye knows the Gin'ral's a honerubble man; so, when he seed his 'ooman was sot thet way, he throw'd in the yaller boy—and he's wuth a hun'red more'n the gal, ony day. His mother took on ter kill, 'cause the Gin'ral'd sort o' promised him ter har, and she'd been a savin' up ter buy him. But the Gin'ral's a honerubble man, and he didn't flinch a hair—not a hair. Thet's the sort ter deal with, I say. I stuck fur the little gal, though—'cause, ye see, I'd takin' a likin' ter har myself—she's the pootiest little thing ye ever seed, she is; but the Gin'ral he said 'twarn't no use, fur his 'ooman would have har way, and finally I guv in, and took another bill o' sale. And what d'ye think! I'd no more'n got it inter my pocket, 'fore the Gin'ral's 'ooman pulled out a gold watch, two or three diamond pins, a ring or two, and some wimmin's fixin's, and says she, 'See thar, Mister Larkin, them's what I got fur the little gal. I've sold har—sold har this mornin', and guv the bill o' sale; and if the Gin'ral doan't cartify it, he woan't git no[Pg 570] peace, I reckon. I was bound ter see one on 'em done right by, I was.' Well, I told har she wus ahead o' my time, and I put out raather sudden, I did. A 'ooman's the devil; I'd ruther trade with twenty men than one 'ooman, I swar.'

When he spoke of her child, the slave woman burst into tears. Her emotion drowned the curiosity which had made me a patient listener to the trader's story, and recalled me to the business in hand. With some twinges of conscience for having kept the wretched girl so long on the rack, I said to him, 'Well, Larkin, let's get through with this. Name your lowest price for the lot.'

'P'raps you'd as lief throw out the boy. I'll take off three hundred fur him.'

'Oh! doan't ye leab Ally, massa; buy Ally too, massa; oh do, good massa!' he cried, with an expression of keen agony such as I had never till then seen in a child. He was a 'likely' little fellow, with a round, good-natured face, and a bright, intelligent eye; and though I presumed Preston felt no particular interest in him, I thought of his mother, depriving herself of sleep and rest to save up the price of her boy, and I said: 'No, I have taken a liking to him; I'll take the whole or none.'

'Well, then, seventeen fifty, not a dime less. Thet's only a hun'red profit.'

'Will a hundred profit satisfy you?'

'Yes, bein' as you's a friend of the ole man, and I hain't had 'em only four days.'

I quietly sat down on the bench, beside the little girl, and taking her hand in mine, and playing with her small fingers in a careless way, said: 'Well, I will give you a hundred profit; but, Larkin,' and I looked him directly in the eye and smiled, 'you cannot intend to come the Yankee over me! I am one of them myself, you know, and understand such things. These people cost you twelve hundred—not a mill more.'

'The h——ll they did! P'raps ye mean ter say I lie?' he replied, in an excited tone, his face reddening with anger.

'No, I don't. I merely state a fact, and you know it. So keep cool.'

'It's a d——d lie, sir. I doan't keer who says it,' he exclaimed, now really excited.

'Come, come, my fine fellow,' I said, rising and facing him; 'skip the hard words, and don't get up too much steam—it might hurt you, or your friends.'

'What d'ye mean? Speak out, Mr. Kirke. If ye doan't want ter buy 'em, say so, and hev done with it.' This was said in a more moderate tone. He had evidently taken my meaning, and feared he had gone too far.

'I mean simply this. This woman and the children cost you twelve hundred dollars four days ago. Preston wants them—must have them—and he will give thirteen hundred for them, and pay you in a year, with interest; that's all.'

'Well, come now, Mr. Kirke, thet's liberal, arn't it! S'pose I doan't take it, what then?'

'Then Roye, Struthers & Co. will stop your supplies, or I'll stop their's—that's 'SARTIN',' and I laughed good-humoredly as I said it.

'Well, yer one on 'em, Mr. Kirke, thet's a fact;' and then he added, seriously, 'but ye karn't mean to saddle my doin's onter them.'

'Yes, I will; and tell them they have you to thank for it.'

'What,' and he struck his forehead with his hand; 'what a dangnation fool I wus ter tell ye 'bout them!'

'Of course, you were; and a greater one to say you paid sixteen fifty for the property. I'd have given fifteen hundred for them if you had told the truth. But come, what do you say; are they Preston's or not?'

'No, I karn't do it; karn't take Preston's note—'tain't wuth a hill o' beans. Give me the money, and it's a trade.'

'Preston is cramped, and cannot pay[Pg 571] the money just now. I'll give you my note, if you prefer it.'

'Payable in York, interest and exchange?'


'Well, it's done. And now, d——n the nigs. I'll never buy ary 'nother good-lookin' 'un as long's I live.'

'I hope you won't,' I replied, laughing.

He then produced a blank note and a bill of sale, and drawing from his pocket a pen and a small ink bottle, said to me: 'Thar, Mr. Kirke, ye fill up the note, and I'll make out the bill o' sale. I'm handy at such doin's.'

'Give me the key of these bracelets first. Make out the bill to Preston—Robert Preston, of Jones County.'

He handed me the key, and I unlocked the shackles. 'Now, Phyllis,' I said, 'it is over. Go and tell Master Robert.'

She rose, threw her arms wildly above her head, and staggering weakly forward, without saying a word, left the cabin. Yelping and leaping with joy, the yellow boy followed her; but the little girl came to me, and looking up timidly in my face, said: 'O massa! Rosey so glad 'ou got mammy—Rosey so glad. Rosey lub 'ou, massa—Rosey lub 'ou a heap.' I thought of the little girl I had left at home, and with a sudden impulse lifted the child from the floor and kissed her. She put her little arms about my neck, laid her soft cheek against mine, and burst into tears. She was not accustomed to much kindness.

I filled out the note and gave it to the trader; and, with the bill of sale in my hand, was about to go in search of Preston, when he and Phyllis entered the cabin. I handed him the document, and glancing it over, he placed it in his pocket book.

'Now, Larkin,' I said, 'this is a wretched business; give it up; there's too much of the man in you for this sort of thing.'

'Well, p'raps yer right, Mr. Kirke; but I'm in it, and I karn't git out; but it seems ter me it tain't no wuss dealin' in 'em then ownin' 'em.'

'I don't know. Is it not a little worse on the man himself? Does it not sort of harden you—blunt your better feelings, to be always buying and selling people that do not want to be bought and sold?'

'Well, p'raps it do; it's a cussed business ony how. But thar's my hand, Mr. Kirke. Yer a gentleman, I swar, if ye hev come it over me, ha! ha! How slick you done it! I likes ye the better fur it; and if Jake Larkin kin ever do ye a good turn, he'll do it. I allers takes ter a man thet's smarter nor I am, I do,' and he gave my hand another of his powerful shakes.

'I thank you, Larkin; and if I can ever serve you, it will give me great pleasure to do so.'

'I doan't doubt it, Mr. Kirke, I doan't; and I'll call on ye, sure, if ye ever kin do me ony good. Good-by; ye want ter be with the Squire; good-by;' and giving my hand another shake, he left the cabin.

Which was the worse—that coarse, hardened man, or the institution which had made him what he was?

It was many years before the trader and I met again. When we did, he kept his word![Pg 572]



Having stated the course of England on the slavery question and the rebellion, gladly would I rest here; but, as a Northern man, by parentage, birth, and education, always devoted to the Union, twice elected by Mississippi to the Senate of the United States, as the ardent opponent of nullification and secession, and, upon that very question, having announced in my first address, of January, 1833, the right and duty of the Government, by "coercion," if necessary, to suppress rebellion or secession by any State, truth and justice compel me to say, that we of the North, next to England, are responsible for the introduction of slavery into the South. Upon a much smaller scale than England, but, under her flag, which was then ours, and the force of colonial tradition, we followed the wretched example of England, and Northern vessels, sailing from Northern ports, and owned by Northern merchants, brought back to our shores from Africa their living cargoes.

Small numbers only of these slaves were brought from their tropical African homes to the colder North, where their labor was unprofitable, but, were taken to the South, and against their earnest protest, forced upon them. It was not the South that engaged in the African slave trade. It was not the South that brought slavery into America. No, it was forced upon the South, against their protest, mainly by England, but partly, also, by the North. Believing, as I do, that this war was produced by slavery, we should still remember by whom the slaves were imported here.

Nor should we forget how zealously, from first to last, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware, in framing the Federal Constitution, sustained by Washington, Franklin, and Hamilton, and by New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, opposed the continuance, even for a day, of the African slave trade, and how they were overborne by the unfortunate coalition of the Eastern States with Georgia and the Carolinas, legalizing the execrable traffic for twenty years, and how fearfully the predictions of those great prophet statesmen, George Mason, of Virginia, and Luther Martin, of Maryland, have been fulfilled, that this fatal measure, by the force of its moral influence in favor of slavery, and by the rapid importation of negroes here, would menace the peace and safety of the Union.

Indeed, when the Constitution was framed, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware, not only opposed the African slave trade, but interdicted the interstate slave trade. All these States then regarded slavery as a great evil, destined soon to disappear, and the failure to adopt gradual emancipation arose, mainly, from the fact, that the majority could not agree as to the practical details of the measure. In Virginia, Washington, Jefferson, George Mason, Madison and Monroe, Marshall and St. George Tucker, were all gradual emancipationists. Even as late as 1830, the measure failed, only by a single vote in the Virginia State Convention; and this year, Western Virginia has voted for manumission with great unanimity. Let us then, as a nation, do our full duty on this question to all loyal citizens; and the border States, acting by compact with the Federal Government, will surely adopt the system of gradual emancipation and colonization. The failure of any State to adopt the measure immediately, although greatly to be deplored, is no indication as to what their course will be when the rebellion shall have been suppressed, and Congress acted definitely on the subject.

As the North, next to England, was mainly responsible for forcing slavery upon the South, honor demands that the whole nation, as an act of justice, and[Pg 573] as a measure that would greatly exalt the character of the country, should bear any loss that may arise to loyal citizens from a change of system in any State. Indeed, under all the circumstances, the nation cannot afford to leave all the sacrifice, and all the glory of such an achievement, to the South only. It will be a grand historical fact in the progress of humanity, and must adorn the annals of the nation.

I speak now of the slaves of the loyal. What course should be pursued with the slaves of rebels, is a very different question. As regards the seceded States, it is clear, as our army advances, that the slaves of the disloyal, seized or coming voluntarily within our lines, with or without previous proclamation, necessarily will be, and ought to be emancipated, under that clause of the Constitution authorizing Congress to 'make rules concerning captures on land and water,' and the law carrying that provision into effect. There never has been a war, foreign or intestine, in which slaves coming within the lines of an army have not been emancipated. In the case of Rose vs. Himly, 2d Curtis, 87, the Supreme Court of the United States declared that, in case of rebellion, 'belligerent rights may be superadded to those of sovereignty,' and that we may punish the rebels as traitors, or, treating them, by land and sea, as we now do, as belligerents, under the war power, which is also a constitutional power, we may enforce the same military contributions, or make the same captures, as in case of a foreign war. Indeed, if this were otherwise, our Constitution, as claimed by secessionists and anti-coercionists, at home and abroad, would have been a miserable failure, and would have invited rebellion, by depriving us of the power to suppress it by all war measures recognized by the law of nations. Such is the law, ancient and modern, and the uniform practice of nations in suppressing rebellion. Such acts are not bills of attainder, operating as judgments without war or capture, but the exercise by Congress of the power expressly granted by the Constitution, applicable, as the Supreme Court has declared, in case of rebellion, to 'make rules concerning captures on land and water.' But this provision implies capture or conquest, and the act of Congress proposes no mere paper edicts, which, without capture or conquest, can only operate as offers of conditional amnesty to rebels, or freedom to slaves. This great constitutional war power, as our army advances, should be clearly proclaimed and exercised, and the slaves of the disloyal, used, as they are, to supply the means of support to the rebel armies, should be emancipated, as required by Congress, and employed, at reasonable wages, in some useful labor in aid of the Union cause. In this way, the rebel whites and masters must soon, to a vast extent, leave the army, to raise the provisions now supplied by their slaves, and the war thus much more speedily be brought to a successful conclusion. By paper edicts I mean those designed to operate as judgments or sentences, without capture or conquest, and not those announced under the acts of Congress, in advance, but only to become operative and consummated in the contingency of capture or conquest. The unconditional friends of the Union should not only adhere to the Constitution as the bulwark of our cause, but will find in that great instrument the most ample power to suppress the rebellion. It is the rebels who are striving to overthrow the Constitution, and we who are resolved to maintain and enforce it, in war and in peace, as 'the supreme law of the land,' in every State, from the lakes to the gulf, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

It is vain to deny the prejudice in the North against the negro race, constantly increasing as the numbers multiply, accompanied by the stern refusal of social or political equality with the negro, and the serious apprehension among their working classes of the degradation[Pg 574] of labor by negro association, and the reduction of wages to a few cents a day by negro competition—all demonstrating, as a question of interest, as well as of humanity, that it is best for them, as for us, that the separation, though necessarily gradual and voluntary, must be complete and eternal.

Wherever the vote of the people of any State of the North has been taken on this question, it has been uniformly for the exclusion of the free negro race. In the midst of the excitement of the slavery question in Kansas, when the republicans acted alone upon the question of the adoption of their celebrated Topeka constitution, they submitted the free negro question to a distinct vote of the people, which was almost unanimous for their exclusion. The recent similar overwhelming vote, to the same effect, of the people of Illinois, is another clear test of the present sentiment of the nation. That sentiment is this: that the negro, although to be regarded as a man, and treated with humanity, belongs, as they believe, to an inferior race, communion or association with whom is not desired by the whites. Those who regard the slavery question as the only, or the principal difficulty, are greatly mistaken. The negro question is far deeper. It is not slavery, as a mere political institution, that is sustained in the South, but the greater question of the intermingling and equality of races. In this aspect, it is far more a question of race than of slavery. If, as among the Greeks and Romans, the white race were enslaved here, the institution would instantly disappear. Among the many millions of the population of the South, less than a tenth are slaveholders. Why, then, is it, that the non-slaveholding masses there support the institution? It is the instinct, the sentiment, the prejudice, if you please, of race, almost universal and unalterable. It is the fear that if the slaves of the South were emancipated, the non-slaveholding whites would be sunk down to their level. But let the non-slaveholders of the South know that colonization abroad would certainly accompany gradual emancipation, and they would support the measure. They do not wish the Africans among them; but if that must be the case, then they desire them to remain as slaves, and not to be raised to their own condition as freemen, to degrade labor and reduce its wages, as they believe. Abolition alone, touches then merely the surface of this question. It lies far deeper, in the antagonism of race, and the laws of nature. In this respect there is a union of sentiment between the masses, North and South, both opposing the introduction of free blacks.

Should the slaves be gradually manumitted and colonized abroad with their consent, and the North be thereafter reproached with aiding to force slavery upon the South, we could then truly say, that we had finally freely united with the South in expending our treasure to remove the evil. The offence of our forefathers would then be gloriously redeemed by the justice and generosity of their children, and made instrumental in carrying commerce, civilization, and Christianity to the benighted regions of Africa. Nor should the colonization be confined to Africa, but extended to 'Mexico, Central and Southern America' (as proposed in my Texas letter of the 8th January, 1844), and to the West Indies, or such other homes as might be preferred by the negro race.

From my youth upward, at all times and under all circumstances, whether residing North or South, whether in public or in private life, I have ever supported gradual emancipation, accompanied by colonization, as the only remedy for the evil of slavery. In my Texas letter, just referred to, published at its date over my signature, being then a senator from Mississippi, I expressed the following opinions on this great question:

'Again the question is asked, is slavery never to disappear from the Union? This is a startling and momentous ques[Pg 575]tion, but the answer is easy and the proof is clear—it will certainly disappear if Texas is reannexed to the Union, not by abolition, but in spite of all its frenzy, slowly and gradually, by diffusion, as it has thus nearly receded from several of the more Northern of the slaveholding States, and as it will certainly continue more rapidly to recede by the reannexation of Texas, into Mexico and Central and Southern America. Providence * * * thus will open Texas as a safety-valve, into and through which slavery will slowly and gradually recede, and finally disappear into the boundless regions of Mexico, and Central and Southern America. Beyond the Del Norte slavery will not pass; not only because it is forbidden by law, but because the colored races there preponderate in the ratio of ten to one over the whites, and holding, as they do, the government and most of the offices in their own possession, they will never permit the enslavement of any portion of the colored race, which makes and executes the laws of the country. In Bradford's Atlas the facts are given as follows:

'Mexico, area 1,690,000 square miles; population eight millions, one sixth white, and all the rest Indians, Africans, Mulattoes, Zambos, and other colored races. Central America, area 186,000 square miles; population nearly two millions, one sixth white, and the rest Negroes, Zambos, and other colored races. South America, area 6,500,000 square miles; population fourteen millions, one million white, four millions Indians, and the remainder, being nine millions, blacks and other colored races. The outlet for our negro race through this vast region can never be opened but by the reannexation of Texas; but, in that event, there, in that extensive country, bordering on our negro population, and four times greater in area than the whole Union, with a sparse population of but three to the square mile, where nine tenths of the people are of the colored races—there, upon that fertile soil, and in that delicious climate, so admirably adapted to the negro race, as all experience has now clearly shown, the free black would find a home. There, also, as the slaves, in the lapse of time, from the density of population and other causes, are emancipated, they will disappear, from time to time, west of the Del Norte, and beyond the limits of the Union, and among a race of their own color will be diffused through this vast region, where they will not be a degraded caste, and where, as to climate and social and moral condition, and all the hopes and comforts of life, they can occupy, amid equals, a position they can never attain in any part of this Union.'

This, it is true, was a slow process, but it was peaceful, progressive, and certain, especially when Texas should have been checkered by railroads, and her system connected with that of the South and of Mexico. I desired then, however, to accelerate this action, by making it a part of the compact of Texas with the Federal Government, that the proceeds of the sales of her public lands, exceeding two hundred millions of acres, should be devoted in aid of the colonization described in this extract. The principle, however, was adopted of State action by irrevocable compact with the Federal Government, by which, provision therein was made for abolishing slavery in all such States north of a certain parallel of latitude (embracing a territory larger than New England), as might be thereafter admitted by subdivision of the State of Texas. The power of action on this subject, by compact of a State with the General Government, was then clearly established, in perfect accordance with repeated previous acts of Congress, then cited by me. The doctrine rests upon the elemental principle of the combined authority of the nation, and a State, acting by compact within its limits.

It being clearly our interest and duty to adopt this system of gradual emancipation in the loyal States, with colonization abroad, aided by Congress, the[Pg 576] constitutional power being unquestionable, and the expense comparatively small (less than a few months' cost of the war,) it is a signal mark of that special Providence, which has so often shielded our beloved country from imminent peril, that the President of the United States should have recommended, and Congress should have adopted, by so large a majority, this very system, by which slavery might soon disappear, at least from the border States. In making an appropriation for gradual emancipation and colonization, so much of the overture as embraced colonization might and should be extended to the North, as well as the South, so as, with their consent, to colonize beyond our limits the free blacks of every State.

In a former letter, published over my signature, of the 30th September, 1856, called 'An Appeal for the Union,' I said: 'I have never believed in a peaceable dissolution of the Union. * * No; it will be war, civil war, of all others the most sanguinary and ferocious. * * It will be marked * * by frowning fortresses, by opposing batteries, by gleaming sabres, by bristling bayonets, by the tramp of contending armies, by towns and cities sacked and pillaged, by dwellings given to the flames, and fields laid waste and desolate. It will be a second fall of mankind; and while we shall be performing here the bloody drama of a nations suicide, from the thrones of Europe will arise the exulting shouts of despots, and upon their gloomy banners shall be inscribed, as, they believe, never to be effaced, their motto, Man is incapable of self-government.' Alluding to the subject of the present discussion, I then also said: 'I see, too, what, in this probable crisis of my country's destiny, it is my duty again to repeat from my Texas letter: * * The African race, gradually disappearing from our borders, passing, in part, out of our limits to Mexico, and Central and Southern America, and in part returning to the shores of their ancestors, there, it is hoped, to carry Christianity, civilization, and freedom throughout the benighted regions of the sons of Ham.' My views, then, of 1844, were thus distinctly reiterated in 1856, in favor of the gradual extinction of slavery, accompanied by colonization.

The President of the United States, in view of the limited appropriation by Congress, and the economy of short voyages, has recommended one of the great interoceanic routes through the American isthmus for a new negro colony. It is a great object to secure the control of this isthmus by a friendly race, born on our soil, and the selection corresponds with the views expressed in my Texas letter of 1844. As, however, the negroes can only be colonized by their own consent, we should therefore, and as an act of humanity and justice, open all suitable homes abroad for their free choice. After much reflection, I think it is their interest and ours (when the nation shall make large and adequate appropriations), mainly to seek Liberia as a permanent home, establishing there, among their own race, and in the land of their ancestors, a great republic. Liberia has already largely contributed to the decline of the African slave trade. She has reclaimed from barbarism, for civilization, Christianity, liberty, and the English language, 700 miles of the coast, running far into the interior, reaching a high, healthy, well watered, rich, and beautiful country. She has already civilized and Christianized 300,000 native Africans, and brought them into willing obedience to her government. As her power extends along the coast and into the interior, she may soon extinguish the slave trade. This would relieve our squadron, stationed by treaty on the African coast to suppress that traffic, and leave the large sums, annually expended by Congress for that purpose, to be applied in further aid of the cause of colonization.

Providence, for several centuries, has mysteriously connected our destiny with that of the African race. This rebellion[Pg 577] developes that purpose; the civilization of that race here, and their transfer to the land of their fathers, carrying with them our language, laws, religion, and free institutions, redeemed from the curse of slavery. Now, indeed, we see the approaching fulfilment of prophecy, when 'Ethiopia shall stretch forth her hands unto God.' We have just established commercial and diplomatic relations with Liberia, and, in separating from the race here, let us do them ample justice. Let us purchase for Liberia (which can be done for a small sum), the great adjacent coast and interior of Africa, and thus eventually evangelize and civilize that whole region. Liberia would thus expand and become the great Afric-American republic, and the dominant nation of that immense continent. Commerce, the first great missionary—like St. John in the wilderness, preceding the advent of the Redeemer—would penetrate that dark region, and the execrable trade in human beings, give way to the interchange of products and manufactures.

The Westminster Review has said, 'The Americans are planting free negroes on the coast of Africa; a greater event, probably, in its consequences, than any that has occurred since Columbus set sail for the New World.' Let us now adopt gradual emancipation, and the colonization of Africa, and the voyage of the great discoverer will have given civilization and Christianity to two continents, and eventually, we trust, the blessings of liberty to all mankind.

The divers products and fabrics of Africa and of our Union invite reciprocal commerce. We want her gold, coffee, ivory, dyestuffs, and numerous raw materials of manufactures; and she wishes our fabrics, engines, agricultural implements, breadstuffs, and provisions. The trade will give immense and profitable employment to our shipping. From the Cape of Good Hope to the Mediterranean, from the Atlantic to the Red sea and the Indian ocean, Africa is tropical or semi-tropical. She has most of the products of the East and West Indies. She can produce cheaper and better cotton than any other region, except our Southern States, to which, from their fertile soil, and climate favored by the Gulf Stream, free white labor will eventually give us, substantially, a monopoly of that great staple. She equals any country in the production of sugar, coffee, and cocoa. In palm oil and ivory she has almost a monopoly. Of spices, she has the clove, nutmeg, pepper, and cinnamon. Of dyes and dyewoods, she has indigo, camwood, harwood, and the materials for the best blue, brown, red, and yellow colors. In nuts, she has the palm, the ground, the cocoa, and the castor. In gums, she has the copal, senegal, mastic, India rubber, and gutta percha. In fruits, she has the orange, lime, lemon, citron, tamarind, papaw, banana, fig, grape, date, pineapple, guava, and plantain. In vegetables, she has the yam, cassado, tan yan, and sweet potato. She has beeswax and honey, and most valuable skins and furs. In woods, she has the ebony, mangrove, silver tree, teak, unevah, lignumvitæ, rosewood, and mahogany. She has birds with the sweetest notes and brightest plumage, and fish and animals in the greatest variety. There are the giant elephant, rhinoceros, and hippopotamus. There the lordly lion roams, the monarch of his native forest, as if conscious of furnishing robes for royalty and symbolizing the flag of a great nation. Where animals of such sagacity, courage, power, and majesty are found, why should not man be great also? Our ancestors, the Britons, were once savages; so were our Celtic and Saxon forefathers, and most of them were slaves. What are their descendants now? Let Shakespeare, Newton, Fox, Burke, Pitt, Peel, Washington, Wellington, Franklin and Hamilton, Madison and Jefferson, the Adamses, Webster, Clay, and Jackson answer the question. I am hopeful of complete success; but whatever the result may[Pg 578] be, we owe to ourselves, to our moral and material progress, but, above all, to the down-trodden race so long enslaved among us, to make the great experiment. If we succeed, it will be a monument to our glory, that will endure when time shall have crumbled the pyramids. If we fail, it will have been a noble effort in the cause of justice and humanity. Here, with the sentiment almost universal against the negro race, indicated by the votes and acts of all sections, and their exclusion everywhere, North and South, practically, from all social or political equality with the whites, they can never have among us any of those hopes, aspirations, energy, or opportunities, enabling them to test their capacity for great improvement. It is only where they shall be equals among equals, that they can ever attain high elevation. I take the facts as they are, and know that this prejudice of race here is ineradicable. In making the vain and hopeless effort to change it, we sacrifice to an impracticable idea our own good, and that of the race whose welfare we seek to promote. Colonization has heretofore been opposed by many, because they believed it hostile to manumission; but now, when emancipation is proposed, with appropriations to enable the manumitted to choose freely between remaining here and homes elsewhere, why should such a system encounter any hostility? Especially, when millions will vote for emancipation, if connected with voluntary colonization, why continue to oppose it? What objection is there to furnishing the means to enable the free or freed blacks to remain or to emigrate, and why should any of their friends wish to deprive them of such a privilege? Opposition springs also from confounding the border with the seceded States—the slaves of the loyal with those of the disloyal, and the conduct of the war; but the questions are different and independent.

On this subject of what is called abroad the prejudice of color, the North has been censured, even by many of our best friends. But it is impossible for Europe, where the African race are not, and never have been, either as slaves or freemen, to solve for us this most difficult problem of the social equality of the white and black races. Where marriage between them is unknown, such social equality cannot exist. Europe has an idea and a theory, but no practical knowledge of the subject. We have the facts and experience. Efforts have been made here for a century to establish this social equality, but the failure is complete. New England has devoted years of toil and thousands of dollars to accomplish this object, and the Quakers, and Franklin's Pennsylvania society, spared neither time nor money. Statesmen, philanthropists, and Christians have labored for years in the cause, but the case grows worse with each succeeding census. State after State, including now a large majority, forbid their introduction. The repugnance is invincible, and the census of 1840 (as shown by the tables annexed to my Texas letter of January, 1844) proved that one sixth of the negroes of the North are supported by taxation of the whites—a sum which would soon colonize them all. The free negroes, regarded here as an inferior caste, have no adequate motive for industry or exertion. Each year, as their numbers augment, intensifies the prejudice, invites collision in various pursuits, with competition for wages, and renders colonization more necessary. We must not any longer keep the free negro here in an exhausted receiver, or mix the races, as chemical ingredients in a laboratory, for the edification of experimental philosophers. Such empiricism as regards the negro race, after our repeated failures, is cruel and unjust. We have made the trial here for nearly a century, and the race continues to retrograde. Compare their progress and condition in America and Liberia, and what friend of the race or of humanity can desire to retain them among us? The voice of nature and of experience[Pg 579] proclaims, that America is our home and Africa is theirs; and let us, in a spirit of true kindness and sympathy for them, obey the mandate.

There will soon be a great change among the free blacks on this subject. When Liberia shall expand and become a considerable power—when she shall have great marts of commerce, and her flag shall float in our harbors—when the Messages of her President, the reports of her Cabinet, the debates in her Congress shall be read here, her ministers and consuls be found among us, and the ambition of her race shall thus be aroused, we shall probably have as great a negro exodus from our country to Africa, as there ever was from Europe to America.

When the gold so profusely scattered through Africa shall reach our shores, as also her rich and varied products, when our reciprocal commerce shall be counted by millions of dollars, the home of their ancestors will present irresistible attractions to the negro race. Ceasing to be menials and inferiors, they will then go where they will be welcomed as citizens and rulers of a great republic. They will go where they govern themselves, and not where they are governed or enslaved by others. They will go where they give all the votes, and hold all the offices, and not where their exclusion is complete. They will go where the flag, the army, and navy, and government are theirs—and theirs also the social position—equals among equals, peers among peers. This they can never attain here: indeed, they will continue to retrograde, and become a mere element of social and political agitation. The complete success of Liberia must extinguish African slavery, here, and throughout the world. Emigration there, is the true interest and destiny of the negro race. Let us aid them to fulfil it. This is alike our interest and our duty. If they have been wronged here, let us pave their way with kindness and with gold on their return to the land of their forefathers. Let us aid them in building up there a great nation, which will call us blessed. Let the curse of slavery be forgotten, in the prosperous career of a great and free Afric-American republic. Born on our soil, let them transfer our language and institutions to Africa. Our material progress has been marvellous; but such an act, on our part, would indicate a moral advance, that would greatly exalt us among nations. Every dollar thus expended, would come back to us with compound interest, giving us also that which money cannot purchase, the consolation of good deeds, the favor of Heaven, and the blessing of mankind.

I have stated that so much of the overture made by Congress to the States, as regards appropriations for colonizing abroad their free blacks, should be extended to the free, as well as the slave States. Among the alleged evils of emancipation apprehended at the North, is the belief that this policy would fill the free States with manumitted slaves. But, by extending the proposed compacts, so far as regards colonization, to the free as well as the slave States, this result would not only be arrested, but the number of free blacks in the North, as well as the South, would soon be greatly diminished. The brutal assaults lately made by mobs on unoffending blacks in some of the free States is truly disgraceful. It is, however, a warning of the fatal consequences of retaining the free blacks in the North, especially when, from increasing density of population, or other causes, the struggle for subsistence, and competition for work and wages, between whites and negroes, should become general. In view of these facts, surely no friend of the negro race would persuade them to remain here.

NOTE.—This was printed before the President's emancipation proclamation, but is not hostile to it, when accompanied by capture or conquest.

[Pg 580]


Air—'Una niña bonita y hermosa.'

We will ride to the wolf hunt together,
Where thousands must yield up their breath,
By the night, by the light—in all weather!
Then hurrah, for the wild hunt of death!
Where the deep cannon bays for our beagle,
Over mountain and valley we come,
While the death-fife now screams like an eagle
To the roll
and the roll
and the roll
and the roll of the drum.

Fatherland!—how the wild beasts are yelling!
Blood drips from each ravenous mouth;
Blood of brothers, each torn from his dwelling
By the wild, hungry wolves of the South.

Chorus—Where the deep cannon bays for our beagle, &c.

Let them rave! for our rifles are ready;
Let them howl! for our sabres are keen;
And the nerve of the hunter is steady
When the track of the wére-wolf is seen.

Chorus—Where the deep cannon bays for our beagle, &c.

Yes, the foul wolves have been o'er the border,
But the fields were piled high with their slain,
Till we drove them, in frantic disorder,
To their dark home of hunger again.

Chorus—Where the deep cannon bays for our beagle, &c.

So we'll ride to the wolf hunt together,
Where the bullet stops many a breath,
By the night, by the light—in all weather,
To the wild Northern wolf hunt of death.
Where the deep cannon bays for our beagle,
Over mountain and valley we come;
While the death-fife now screams like an eagle
To the roll
and the roll
and the roll
and the roll of the drum.
[Pg 581]


Among the many marvellous myths of antiquity, I know of none more directly applicable to Man and Art than that of the great struggle between Antæus the Earth-born and Hercules.

Lifted on high by brute force, Antæus is stifled; but falling and touching Earth, he revives. Man, borne by the irresistible force of circumstance, may become false, frivolous, and weak: his Art may dwindle to mere imitation, his Poetry turn to wailing and convulsions: but let him once fall back to Nature—to the all-cherishing Earth, the Mother of Beauty—and all his Works and Songs become as seas, rivers, green leaves, and the music of birds.

We have too long needed the touch of fresh and holy Earth. Too long has our love of picture and poem, and of all that the glorious impulse to create in beauty achieves, been fickle as the wind; based on discordant fancies and distorted tradition. Symbolism in art, at present means only an arbitrary and puerile substitution of one object or caprice for another. The most successful poetic simile is often as thoroughly conventional, and consequently as perishable, as possible. In short, we are not in an age when there is one poetry alike for all men; when the artist and bard are truly great and honored, and their works regarded as the Best that man can do. The few who comprehend this in all its sad significance look from their towers tearfully forth into the dark night, and wail, 'Great Pan is dead!'

But he is not dead, nor sleepeth. He will yet return in that awful dawn of the day which will know no end. Already faint gleams of its glory gild the steep hills, the high places, and the groves sacred of old to the Starry Queen, and a reviving breath sweeps from the blue sea, calling up in ruined fane, and on the green turf where once stood temples in the olden time, fresh ideals of those forms of ineffable beauty, faun and fay, born of the primeval myth. There is already a quivering in the ancient graves, and strange lights flicker over the mighty stones consecrated by tradition to incantations, not of morbid fears, but of the strong and beautiful in nature. For in the Utilitarianism, in the steam and machinery of 'this age without faith,' I see the first necessary step of a return to real needs, solid facts, and natural laws. It is the first part of the doing away with rococo sentimentalisms, mediæval tatters, and all wretched and ragged remainders and reminders of states of society which have nothing in common with our present needs. And it will be a revival, not of the ancient adoration of Nature as a mythology and a superstition, but as a heartfelt love of all that is beautiful, and joyous, and healthy in itself. Then the gods will indeed return and live again among us; not as literal beings, however, but as blessings in all that is best for man. Nor will 'Romance' be wanting—that influence which the age, without defining, still declares is essential to poetry. In Science, in Humanity, and in perfecting human ties and interests by the influence of love, there exists a romance which is exquisitely fascinating, and which lends itself to tenderer and more graceful dreams than Trouveur or Minnesinger of any age ever knew—dreams the more delightful because they will not fade away with the mists of morning, but be fulfilled in clear sunlight, line by line, before man.

It is not difficult to prove what I have here asserted of this tendency toward the Real in modern literature and art. Within twenty, nay, within ten years, men of genius have abandoned the Supernatural and the Gothic as affording fit themes for creative efforts. That unfortunate creature the Ghost—especially the Ghost in Armor—as well as the His[Pg 582]torical or Sensational personages who live only in the superlative—are at present in general demand only by that harmless class who read 'for entertainment,' and even they are beginning to ungratefully mock their old friends. It is not difficult to foresee that the Romance so dear to the last generation will soon become the exclusive heritage of the vulgar. Meanwhile, genial sketches of fresh, unaffected Nature, draughts from real life, are beginning to be loved with keen zest. What novels are so successful as those in which the writer has truthfully mirrored the heart or the home? What pictures are so loved as those which set before us the Real, or, rather, the Ideal in its true meaning—that of the perfected essence of the Real?

When this tendency shall have fairly placed man on the right road—when we shall have learned to follow and set forth Nature as she is, in spirit and in truth, the great cherishing mother, ever young, ever joyous, of all beauty and all pleasure, then we may anticipate the last and greatest era of human culture. Then we may hope for a more than Greek art—an art freed from every strain of oppression and injustice. To effect this we must, however, do what the earliest founders of poetry find mythology did: search Nature closely, bear constantly in mind her one great principle of potent Being, continually displaying itself in all things as life and death, mutually creating each other, and acting in all organic life by the mystery of Love, Then, while establishing those affinities and correspondences between natural objects which constitute Poetry, let it be ever present to the mind that each is, so to speak, always polarized with its positive end of activity, creation or birth, and its negative of cessation, decay and death. It is by the constant realization of this solemn and beautiful truth in all things that Nature eventually appears so strengthening and cheerful. The flower and the fruit, the delight of anticipation and the luxury of realization, are the delightful culmination of every natural existence; and it is to perfect these that all action tends. Decay, disease, pain, and death, are only kindly agencies acting more effectually and rapidly, to sweep away that which is fading, and hasten it into new forms of beauty and pleasure.

'Nature within her placid breast receives
All her creation; and the body pays
Itself the due of nature, and its end
Is self-consummated.'[A]

Birth is thus an essential part of death, and death of birth—both forming, by their inseparable action, the highest and first intelligible stage of the inscrutable mystery of the active power of Nature. 'This,' the reader may say, 'is, however, only the old theme, worn threadbare by poet and moralist.' Let him look more earnestly into it—let him master it, and he will find it the germ of a deeper, a bolder, and a more genial Art than the world has known for ages. It is no slander on the intellect or sensibility of this day to say that its admiration for Nature is really at a low ebb, and that, with thousands even of the educated, nothing gives so little solid satisfaction as lovely scenery or other inartificially beautiful phenomena. The reason is that Poetry—the hymn which should elevate the soul in Nature-worship—instead of reflecting in every simile, every image, directly or indirectly, the deep mystery of life which intuitively associates with itself that of love and all loveliness, is satisfied with mere comparisons based on casual and petty resemblance. The reader or critic of modern times, when the poet speaks of 'rosy-fingered dawn,' or of 'cheeks like damask roses,' is quite satisfied with the accuracy of the simile as to delicate color, and with the refined, vague association of perfume and of individual memories attached to the flower. But if we could realize by even the dimmest hint that the mind of the poet was penetrated and filled by the knowledge that the rose was a flower-favorite of man in all lands in primeval ages, and, as Geol[Pg 583]ogy asserts, literally coeval with him; that its points of resemblance to woman properly gave it place in the oldest mythology as the floral type of the female godhead; that it was the earth-born reflection of the morning star, and rose from the foam with it when the Aphrodite-Astarte-Venus-Anadyomeno came to life; that, as the nearest symbol of beautiful virginity expanding into womanhood and maternity, it was appropriately allied to dawning life and light, and consequently to the rosy Aurora and to blushing youth; and that finally, in withered age, set around by sharp thorns, it is a striking likeness of wounding death, yet from which new roses may spring—we should find that in a knowledge of all these interchangable symbolisms lies a music and a color, a perfume and a feeling, as of a perfectly satisfactory Thought. Let it be observed that each of these rose-correspondences is directly based on Nature, and that, to a mind familiar with the antithetic identity of life and death, all are promptly soluble and mutually convertible, as by mental-magic alchemy. There is a truth and earnestness in them which, while stimulating the joyous sentiment, gives to every allusion to the rose the value of genius, and not of accident or the chic of a 'happy idea.'

But with the rose there are a thousand beautiful objects all consecrated by myth and legend, based on deeply-seated affinities, all reflecting the solemn mystery of birth and death in unity, all expressing love and pleasure, and all mutually convertible one into the other. All the differently-named Venuses, yes, all the goddesses of ancient mythology, are but one Venus and one goddess—all gods blend in one Arch-Bel, or 'Belerus old,' of myriad names—he, the inscrutable Abyss, self-developing into male and female—who is reflected again in every object which springs from them. All mountains meet in 'the solemn mystery of the guarded mount'—the lily teaches the same lessons as the rose and the sea shell—each and all are seen in the light ark which skims the waves, or floats high in heaven as the pearly-horned moon; and then the dew of the morning and the foaming sea become the wine of life and the honey of the flower, and they are found again in the CUP. So on through all beautiful forms, whether of nature or of the simpler creations of man—wherever we meet one, there, to the eye of him who has studied the purely natural science of symbolism, is a full garden of flowers of thought. Once master the primary solution of the great problem, once learn the method of its application, and every flower and simple attribute of life becomes invested with deep significance and earnest, passionate beauty. But this can be no half-way study, to be modified or qualified by prejudices. Do you seek, thirst for Truth, O reader? Dare you grasp it without blanching, without blushing? Then cast away all the loathsome littleness which has rusted and fouled around you, and look at Nature as she literally is, in her naked beauty, conceiving and forming, quickening and warming into infinitely varied and lovely life, and then forming once again with the strong and harsh influences of death, pain and decay. It avails nothing to be squeamish and timid in the tremendous laboratory of Truth. There is but little account taken of your parlor-propriety in the depths of ocean, where wild sea-monsters engender, where the million-tonned coral-rock rises to be crowned with palms, amid swaying tides and currents which cast up in a night leagues of sandy peninsulas. Little heed is taken of your prudish scruples or foul follies, where the screaming eagle chases his mate on the road of the mad North-wind; little care for your pitiful perversions of health and truth into scurvy jests or still scurvier blushes, wherever life takes new form as life, ever begetting through the endless chain of being. There is no learning a little and leaving the rest, for him who would explore the fountain-springs of Poetry and of Nature. The[Pg 584] true poet, like the true man of science, cannot limit vision and thought to a handful of twigs or a cluster of leaves. In the minutest detail he recalls the roots, trunk, and branches—the smallest part is to him a reflection of the whole, and formed by the same laws.

The great minds of the early mythologic and hitherto Unknown Age had this advantage in shaping that stupendous Lehre or lore which embraced under the same laws, mythology, language, science, poetry, and art—they modified nothing and avoided nothing for fear of shocking conventional and artificial feelings. Nature was to them what she was to herself—literal. The great law of reproduction, around whose primary stage gathers all that is attractive or beautiful in organic life; the 'moment' toward which everything blossoms, and from which everything fades, was not by them ignored as non-existent, or treated in paltry equivoque, as though it were a secondary consequence and a vile corruption, instead of a healthy cause. Their science was, it is true, only founded on observation (and therefore easily warped to error by apparent analogies) instead of induction, while their æsthetics had the same illusive basis; and yet, by fearlessly following the great manifest laws of organic life, they were enabled to lay the foundations of all which in later ages came to perfection in the Hindu Mahabarata, and Sacrintala—in Greek statues, and, it may be, in Greek humanity—in Norse Eddas, and Druidic mysteries. All of these, and, with them, all that Phoenician, Etruscan, and Egyptian gave to beauty, owe their origin to the fearless incarnation in early times of the manifest laws of Nature in myth, song, and legend. He who would feel Nature as they felt it—a real, quickening presence, a thrilling, wildly beautiful life, inspiring the Moerad to madness by the intensity of rushing mountain torrent and passionately rustling leaves, a spirit breathing a god into every gray old rock and an exquisite love into every flower—should take up the clue which these old myths afford, and follow it to the end. Then the Hidden in forgotten lore will be revealed to him, the Orgie and Mystery will yield to him all, and more than all, they gave to Pythagoras of old. He will hold the key to every faith—nay more, he will form and feel new faiths for himself in studying mountains and seas. To him the cliff, high-rising above the foaming tide, the serpent gliding through the summer grass, the cool dark woodland path winding into arching leafy shadows, the brook and the narrow rocky pass, the red sunset and the crimson flower, gnarled roots and caverns, lakes, promontories, and headlands, will all have a strange meaning—not vague and mystical, but literal and expressive—a mutual and self-reflecting meaning, embodying all of the Beautiful that man loves best in life, and consecrated by the exquisite fables of a joyous mythology.

I have long thought that a work devoted to the natural poetry and antique mystery of such objects as occur most prominently in Nature would be acceptable to all lovers of the Beautiful. It would be worth the while, I should think, to all such, to know that every object, by land or sea, was once the subject of a myth, that this myth had a meaning founded in the deepest laws of life, and that all were curiously connected and mutually reflected in one vast system. It would be worth while to know, not only that dove and goblet, flower and ring were each the 'motive' of a graceful fable, but also that this fable was something more than merely fanciful or graceful—that it had a deep meaning, and that each and all were essential parts of one vast whole. And it would be pleasant, I presume, to see these myths and meanings somewhat illustrated by poem or proverb, or other literary ornament. What is here offered is, indeed, little more than a beginning—for the actual completion of such a work would involve the learning and labor, not of a man, but of an age. I[Pg 585] trust, however, that these chapters may induce some curiosity and research into the marvels and mysteries of antique symbolism, and perhaps invest with a new interest many objects hitherto valued more for their external attractions than for their associations.

The reading world has for many years received with favor works purporting to teach with poetic illustration the Language of Flowers. But we learn from ancient lore that there is a secret language and a symbolism, not only of flowers, but of all natural objects. These objects, on one side, or from one point of view, all stand for each other, and are, in fact, synonymes—the whole representing singly the Venus-mystery of love and generation, or life. That is to say, this is what they do positively—for negatively, at the same time, and under the same forms, they also typify death, repulsion, darkness—even as the same word in Hebrew often means unity or harmony when read backward, and the reverse when taken forward. Why they represent opposites (the great opposites of existence, life and death, lust and loathing, darkness and light) is evident enough to any one who will reflect that each was intended to represent in itself all Nature, and that in Nature the great mystery of mysteries is the springing of death from life and of life from death by means of the agency of sexual action through vitality and light.

I would beg the reader to constantly bear in mind this fact when studying the symbolism and mythology of Nature—that among the ancients every object, beginning with the serpent, typified all that is, or all Nature, and consequently the opposites of Death and Life, united in one, as also the male and female principle, darkness and light, sleep and waking, and, in fact, all antagonisms. Even when, as in the case of the goat, the wild boar, or the Typhon serpent of the waters, destruction is more peculiarly implied, the fact that destruction is simply a preparation for fresh life was never forgotten. The destroying, undulating, wavy serpent of the waters was also the type of life, and wound around the staff of Escalapius as a healing emblem, recalling the brazen serpent of Moses. In like manner the Tree of Life or of Knowledge was the tree also of Death, or of Good and of Evil, arbor cogniti boni et mali, and, according to the Rabbis, of sexual generation, from eating of which the first parents became self-conscious. Beans, which were symbols of impurity and peculiarly identified with evil (Menke, De Leguminibus Veterum, Gottingen, 1814), were also typical of supporting life and of reviving spring and light. To see all reflected in each, and each in all, is, in fact, the key to all the mysteries of symbolism and the clue to the whole poetry of Nature.

I propose in the following chapters to discuss the poetry and mystery of flowers, herbs, and other objects, and give not only their ancient signification, but also their more modern meaning, as set forth in song and in tradition.


'I felix Rosa, mollibusque sertis
Nostri cinge comas Apollinaris.
Quas tu nectere candidas, sed olim,
Sic te semper amet Venus, memento!'

Martial, Epig. 88, lib. 7.

Among the most exquisite outbreathings of feeling in Nature we have the Rose. Many flowers are in certain senses more beautiful, but as, among women, she who charms is not always the most highly gifted with conventional attractions, so it is with the Queen of the Garden, whose proud simplicity is delicately blended with a familiar, friendly grace, which wins by the tenderest spell of association.

Of all flowers, of all ages, in every land, the Rose has ever been most intimately connected with humanity—a sentiment so earnestly expressed and so lovingly repeated in the poetry, art, and myths of the olden time, that it would seem as if tradition had once recorded what science has only recently discov[Pg 586]ered, that this plant was coeval with Man. Inferior, indeed, to the sacred Lotus as a religious symbol, the Rose has always been superior to her sister of the silent waters as expressing the most delicate mysteries of Beauty and of Love. The Lotus, the only rival of the Rose in the early Nature-worship,[B] furnished indeed in its name alone a solemn formula of faith which has been more frequently repeated than any other on earth. It was the flower of mystery, the primeval emblem of Pantheism in beauty, the blossom of the Morning Land. But the Rose belongs to the revellers and lovers in Persia, to the worship and banquets of the joyous Greeks, to those who meet in gardens by moonlight beside fountains, the children of Aphrodite the Foam-born.

From the earliest age the World of Thought has been disputed by two Spirits, and none are mightier than they. One, fearful in mysterious beauty, the Queen of all that is occult and inscrutable, rises in cloudy state from the antique Orient—from the Egypt of the Only Isis, and from the Avatar land of Brahma—solemnly breathing the love of the All in One. Infinitely lovely is the dark-browed Queen, and she bears in her hand the lotus. Against her, in laughing sunlight, amid green leaves and birdsong, waving merry warning, stands a brighter form—the incarnation of purely earthly beauty—for she is all of earth and life; the Spirit of the Actual and Material; and she is crowned with roses.

These are the Thought-Queens of Greece and India, of France and of Germany. But the Christianity of the middle ages declared that the flower was neither a Rose nor Lotus, and placed in the hand of its Queen of Heaven the Lily of Martyrdom!

Dear reader, sit among green leaves until the birds no longer fear you; or else peer from some quiet corner into your June garden, so that you may watch its blossoms unobserved—as the little damsel in the Danish tale did the dancing lilies. When the fever of life and self grows calm, a feeling will steal over you, as of wonder, that the flowers seem to be breathing and beautying for themselves, and not for man. A pure, holy life, quite apart from all ultimate destinies of bouquets and wreaths and human uses, seems to prevail among them. Each has its expression, its ineffably tender idea, not more clearly formulized, it is true, than those which music conveys, yet quite as delicious. One might say that they seem to talk together; but they do not think as we think or dream as we dream—not even symbolically. It will be long ere you appreciate more than their fresh joy of existence. But, little by little one herb and flower after the other becomes individualized—they are artists living themselves out into hues and lines and parts of a tableau; the vine draws itself in an arabesque which is perfect because self-forming; and the whole harmonize with the sway of sunlight and shadow, with rustling breeze and hurrying ant on the footpath, and chirping birds, so exquisitely that you may feel, as you never have in studying human art or in poetry, that tones, colors, curves, organisms form altogether, or separately, the effect of each other. If among them all there be a Rose, you will then find why it was that she was Flower Queen in Eden, and in all ages. No matter what rivals are present, the Rose will first suggest Woman—Woman in her most exquisite loveliness.

We find, indeed, in detail, that no[Pg 587] flower furnishes so many obvious points of comparison to a fair girl. Its delicate tints of white and red are suggestive of her complexion, the bud is like prettily pouting lips, while the exquisite perfume is, especially among the excitable children of the East, the most daintily piquant of exotic stimulants. The Nature-worship of the early ages, which saw in all things the action of the male and female principles of generation, did not fail to discover in the mossy rose (as it had done in the cup, the ring, the gate, the mountain-path, and every other imaginable type of opening, passing through, and receiving) a striking symbol of the Queen of Love, and of her chief attribute. In accordance with the first rule of the first religion, which was to identify the male and female godheads in the Producer, they also discovered in the Rosebud a symbol of the male principle, or of germinating life, from which unchanged word, as has been thought, the name of Buddh' or Buddha was given—or taken.

As the flower dearest to Venus and the Graces—nay, in a certain sense, the very Venus herself, dew-dripping and odorous, the Rose soon shed the Aurora light to which it was compared, and its winning perfume, over every antique dream of love and beauty. It rises with the sea-foam when Aphrodite comes in pearly whiteness from the blue waters; or it is born of the blood of the dying Adonis when he—the type of summer beauty—dies by the tusk of the boar, the emblem of winter, of destruction, and of death; or it springs from the exquisitely pure and sacred drops incarnadine of the goddess herself when scratched by thorns, in pursuit of her darling. And as among the ancients, whether Etruscan or Egyptian, it was usual to celebrate the rites of Venus during banquets, the rose, with which the revellers and their goblets were crowned, became also the symbol of Dionysus—or of Bacchus. And as silence should be especially kept as to the secret pleasures of love and the favors of fair ladies, as well as to what is uttered when heated by wine, the rose was also hung up at all orgies to intimate silence—whence the expression sub rosa, 'under the rose.' And therefore Harpocrates, the god of silence and mystery (or of the secret productive force of Nature), bears this flower—the first emblem of 'still life'—silence as to the joys of love and wine.

'Let us the Rose of Love entwine
Round the cheek-flushed god of wine:
As the rose its gaudy leaves
Round our twisted temples weaves,
Let us sip the time away,
Let us laugh as blithe as they.

'Rose, oh rose, the gem of flowers!
Rose, the care of vernal hours!
Rose, of every god the joy!
With roses Venus' darling boy
Links the Graces in a round
With him in flowery fetters bound.

'With roses, Bacchus, crown my head:
The lyre in hand thy courts I'll tread,
And, with some full-bosomed maid,
Dance, nodding with the rosy braid,
That veils me with its clustered shade.'

The study of mythologic symbolism gives a thousand indications that in prehistoric ages, among the worshippers of the Serpent and the Fire, all the deepest feelings of men, whether artistic, religious, or sensual, were concentrated on the real or fancied affinities of natural objects with an earnestness of which we of the present age have no conception. Poetry, as it exists for us, is a pretty rococo fancy; to the worshippers and framers of myths it was a truth of tremendous significance. To such minds a Rose freshly blowing was a symbol, not merely of Divinity in a barren, abstract manner, but of Divinity in its most vivid and fascinating forms. It was GOD, male and female, manifested as love, as perfume, and as light. Believing that every flower on earth was the reflection of an arch-typal star in heaven, they honored the Rose by holding that as a flower it was generated by and reflected the sun, and the morning star, and, in[Pg 588] fact, the moon also. So, in a poem of the Arab Meflana Dschelaledin:

'The full rose, in its glory, is like the sun,
Thou seest all its leaves, each like unto the moon.'

It was therefore one of the flowers of Light. Its color was that of the Aurora—not in Homer alone, but in all ancient song, Dawn is rosy-fingered, rosy-hued. This resemblance to the morning is beautifully set forth by Ausonius:

'There Pæstan roses blushed before my view,
Bedropped with early morning's freshening dew;
'Twere doubtful if the blossoms of the rose
Had robbed the morning, or the morning those:
In dew, in tint the same, the star and flower,
For both confess the Queen of Beauty's power.
Perchance their sweets the same; but this more nigh
Exhales its breath, while that embalms the sky:
Of flower and star the goddess is the same,
And both she tinged with hues of roseate flame.'

As the warmest floral type of love, of light, of revelling, and of the glowing dawn, the Rose became naturally the symbol of Youth. Here again, some decided resemblance was, as usual, required, and it was found in the Blush, the most characteristic, as well as the most beautiful, indication of affinity in early life between the moral and physical nature. Youth is the rose-time of love, the June of its summer; its hours are those of the morning-star of life, and of its dawn; the lover is the bud, the bride the blushing flower expanding in perfume. Every resemblance in it refers to incipient life. The Bud is God, or Buddh', as the procreating deity, while the opening flower is the conceiving Aphrodite. All is early and transitory. The tendency of roses to quickly fade has given the poets of every land a most obvious simile for 'fleeting youth.'

'Go, lovely rose!
Tell her that wastes her time and me,
That now she knows,
When I resemble her to thee,
How sweet and fair she seems to be!

'Then die, that she
The common fate of all things rare
May read in thee—
How small a part of time they share
That are so wondrous sweet and rare.'

In connection with youth, freshness, and blushes, the rose became, naturally enough, a type of reality and of natural truth. So in Hafiz:

'Can cheeks where living roses blow,
Where nature spreads her richest dyes,
Require the borrowed gloss of Art?'

The deepest and most solemn mystery which the Nature-love of the earliest times attached to every object, was that it reflected its very opposite, and must always be regarded as identified with it in a primitive origin, in which both existed undeveloped. So we have seen that the rose, while female as the expanding flower, was yet male as the contracted bud. As a symbol of joyousness, youth, light, beauty, and the blushing dawn, it was eminently the floral type of life—a simile which has been employed by the poets of every land, Spenser among others:

'The whiles some one did chant this lovely lay:
Ah see, who so fair thing dost fain to see,
In springing flower the image of thy day;
All see thy virgin ROSE, how sweetly she
Doth first peep forth with bashful modesty,
That fairer seems the less you see her may;
Lo! see soon after, how more bold and free
Her bared bosom she doth broad display;
Lo! see soon after, how she fades and falls away.

'So passeth, in the passing of a day
Of mortal life, the leaf, the bud, the flower,
Nor more doth flourish after first decay,
That erst was sought to deck both bed and bower
Of many a lady, many a paramour:
Gather the rose of love while yet in time,
Whilst loving thou may'st loved be with equal crime.'

But, as implying Life, the Rose also reflected Death, and this seemed to ray from the cruel thorns, which, as the German couplet says, remain after the leaves have vanished:

'The rose falls away,
But the thorns ever stay.'
[Pg 589]

And a far older Hindu proverb solemnly exclaims: 'Hast thou obtained thy wish; exult not: canst thou not see how the thorn pierces the finger at the same instant when the rose is gathered?'

Birth and Death, as typified in the Rose, and their mutual production, are beautifully expressed by Ausonius in the remainder of the poem already cited:

'I saw a moment's interval divide
The rose that blossomed from the rose that died.
This with its cap of tufted moss looked green;
That, tipped with reddening purple, peeped between;
One reared its obelisk with opening swell,
The bud unsheathed its crimson pinnacle;
Another, gathering every purpled fold,
Its foliage multiplied; its blooms unrolled,
The teeming chives shot forth; the petals spread;
The bow-pot's glory reared its smiling head;
While this, that ere the passing moment flew
Flamed forth one blaze of scarlet on the view,
Now shook from withering stalk the waste perfume,
Its verdure stript, and pale its faded bloom,
I marvelled at the spoiling flight of time,
That roses thus grew old in earliest prime.
E'en while I speak, the crimson leaves drop round,
And a red brightness veils the blushing ground.
These forms, these births, these changes, bloom, decay,
Appear and vanish in the self-same day.
The flower's brief grace, O Nature! moves my sighs,
Thy gifts, just shown, are ravished from our eyes.
One day the rose's age; and while it blows
In dawn of youth, it withers to its close.
The rose the glittering sun beheld at morn,
Spread to the light its blossoms newly born,
When in his round he looks from evening skies
Already droops in age, and fades, and dies.
Yet blest that, soon to fade, the numerous flower
Succeeds herself, and still prolongs her hour.
O virgins! roses cull, while yet ye may;
So bloom your hours, and so shall haste away.'

A Jewish legend declares that a famed cabalist was vainly pursued by Death through many forms. But at last the grim enemy changed himself into the perfume of a rose, which the magician—his suspicion lulled for the instant—inhaled, and died. In many German cities—Hildesheim, Bremen, and Lübeck among others—it is said that the death of a prebend is heralded by the discovery of a white rose under his seat in the cathedral. 'And,' as J. B. Friederich states (Symbolik und Mythologie der Natur, p. 225), 'in the Tyrol the rose has a deathly meaning, since it is there believed that whoever wears an Alpine rose in his hat during a thunderstorm will be struck by the lightning; for which reason it is called the thunder-rose—a name probably derived from the consecration of that flower to Donar, the god of thunder.'

The fantastic symbolism of the middle ages twined the Rose into innumerable capricious forms, few of which, however, have any direct derivation from Nature. Thus the Rose, from being typical of literal love, became that of Christ; from symbolizing the light of Aurora, it was made significant as the rose-window bearing the cross. The five-leaved rose indicated the love of God for Man, as set forth by His five wounds; while the eight-leaved typified that of the believer for the Lord. The Rose also emblemed the Virgin Mary, and from her was reflected through countless works of art and many legends, all of which are 'tenderly beautiful,' and, it may be added, generally rather silly—as, for instance, that of the holy friar Josbert of Doel, who sang daily five hymns in honor of the Virgin; in reward of which, immediately after his death, there grew from his mouth, ears, and nostrils, five roses, each marked with the words of a hymn. It has been usual to say much, of late years, of the 'child-like and earnest,' 'tender and trusting' spirit which inspired these saintly legends, and to praise with them the morbid delicacy of a Fra Angelico. Believe me, reader, when I say that no vigorous and healthy mind ever passed through a period of adoration for and cultivation of mediæval Roman Catholic Art, who did not[Pg 590] eventually see that this naïve and innocent art-expression of the foulest, darkest, and most oppressive stage of history, had precisely the same foundation in truth as the love of the French court during the days of the Regency for a shepherd's life and child-like rural pleasures. A wicked and degraded age seeks for relief in contemplating its opposite; a healthy one—like the Greek—glories in itself, and strives to raise self to the highest standard of truth and beauty. None of the symbolisms of the middle ages grew directly from Nature—it was based on second-hand reveries, and on emblems from which all juice and life had been drained ages before in the East.

Yes—look at the beautiful Rose, radiant with dewdrops, ruddy in the morning light, or dreamily lovely, with the moonbeams melting through her moon-shaped petals. Unchanged since that primeval age when she was a living idol—a visible and blest presence of the Great Goddess of beauty and love—whether as Astarte or Ma Nerf Baaltis, Ashtaroth or Venus. Let her breathe in her fragrance of the far times when millions in a strange and busy age now forgotten thronged rose-garlanded to the temples; when, bearing roses, they gathered to wild worship at the Feast of the New Moon, under shady groves or in picturesque high places among the ancient rocks. Rose-breathing, rose-perfumed, amid sweetest music and black Assyrian eyes, in the gliding dance under thousands of brazen serpent lamps, or far in dusky fragrant forests, they adored the Rose Queen—the very visible spirit and incarnation of nature in her loveliest form. Over many a shining sea passed the barks, rose-wreathed, to the far isles of the South: she—the Rose—was there! From many a steep crag looked out on the blue ocean the temple of the Star Queen, the Heaven and Sea-born sister of the Rose: and she was there. Through beautiful temples the lover strayed to meet his love, and, taking the rose from her brow, won her in worship of the Serpent-light of Loveliness: for she, the Rose—the Mystery of all Rapture—was ever there! On coin and jewel, in prayer and song they bore the Rose-Venus to every land in a living, ever-thrilling romaunt—far goldener, more thrilling with poetry than was in later times the dull lay of De Loris and Clopinel: for wherever man found joy and beauty in life, feast, and song, she—the Rose Incarnate—was there. In the Rose was the twin sister of all the mysteries: we may read them as clearly in her, if we will, as ever did rapt Sidonian, or priest, or daughter of the Aryan, or whatever the early unknown burning race may have been, which built fire-towers in melting Lesbos, and names Cor-on, the crowned Corinthos, ere yet a syllable of Greek had ever rung on earth. She is the Cup; her calyx and dew reflect the goblet of life, and the nectar-wine of life, typical in early times of endless generation, in later days of re-generation. Born of the sea, she recalls the Cor-olla Cup-Ark in which Hercules—Arech El Es—crossed the sea between the rosy dawn and ruddy sundown, 'strength upborne by love and life.' She is the Morning Star which hovered over Aphrodite when the Queen rose from the sea, since each was either in that Trinity; as in later days the star shone on him who rose from Maria the sea, accompanied by Iona, the dove. She is the Shell and the Ark of so many ancient legends—that Ark into which life enters, and from which it is born—the Ark of Earth, in which Adon and the flowers sleep till Spring—the Ark of maternal Being, from which man is born—the exquisite and beautiful Rose. She is the Door or Gate of the Transition or Passing Through from death to life: wherever man enters, there is the Rose, and with her all the twin-symbols;—and when, bearing a rose, you chance to pass through some antique rock-gap, far inland, near a running stream, start not, reader, should a strange thrill, as of a solemn vanished life, sweep over you; for so surely as[Pg 591] you live, know that in ancient days the footsteps of the rose-bearing worshipper went before you through that narrow pass, performing, by so doing, the rite typical of new birth, revival, and the Covenant. She is the cavern, the secret lair of life and the casket in which that one great arcanum and impenetrable secret of motherhood is forever concealed—forever and forever. They found it hidden—those priests of old—in Woman and in the Rose, in fruits, and in all that lives or grows; they traced the mystery up to godhood; they found it reflected in every object of reception and transit—in the temple, and house, and vase, and moon-like horns; they saw it in the woodland path, winding away in darkness among the trees; it lurked in seeds and nuts: man could crush the grape and burn the flower, but he could not solve the inscrutable mystery of generation and life; and so he hallowed it. Hail to thee, thou, its fairest earthly form, O Rose of sunlight and luxury and love!

In a 'Floral Dictionary' at hand, I find the rose means, 'genteel, pretty.' In another, twenty-four very different interpretations are ascribed to as many varieties of this flower. It is almost needless to say that the modern 'Language of Flowers' is, for the greater part, merely the arbitrary invention of writers entirely ignorant of the signification anciently attached to natural objects. The primary meaning of the rose is love; and it is a rose-garland, and not a tulip, which should stand for a 'declaration of passion,' and, at the same time, for a pledge of secrecy. Many of these modern fancies are, however, very beautiful; as, for instance, in that German lyric in which the Angel of the Flowers confers a fresh grace on the rose by veiling it in moss:

'And, robed in Nature's simplest weed,
Could there a flower that rose exceed?'

But our task is to investigate those antique meanings of flowers, that secret language of life and love consecrated to them for thousands of years, and now buried under forgotten lays, legends, and strange relics of art.




It was a warm day in October when Caper engaged rooms in the Babuino; the sun shone cheerfully, and he took no heed of the cold weather to come: in fact he entertained the popular idea that the land half-way between the tropics and paradise, called Italy, stood in no need of pokers and coal hods: he was mistaken. Awaking one morning to the fact that it was cold, he began an examination of his rooms for a fireplace: there was none. He searched for a chimney—in vain. He went to see his landlady about it: she was standing on a balcony, superintending the engineering of a bucket in its downward search for water. The house was five stories high, and from each story what appeared to be a lightning rod ran down into what seemed to be a well, in a small garden. Up and down these rods, tin buckets, fastened to ropes, were continually running, rattling, clanking down, or being drawn splashing, dripping up; and as they were worked assiduously, it made lively music for those dwelling in the back part of the house.

Having mentioned to the landlady[Pg 592] that he wanted a fire, the good woman reflected a moment, and then directed the servant to haul out a sheet iron vessel mounted on legs: this was next filled with charcoal, on which was thrown live coals, and the entire arrangement being placed outside the door on the balcony, the servant bent over and fanned it with a turkey feather fan. Caper looked on in astonishment.

'Are you going to embark in the roast chestnut trade?' he asked.

'Ma che!' answered madame; 'that is your fire.'

'It will bring on asphyxia.'

'We are never asphyxied in Rome with it. You see, the girl fans all the venom out of it; and when she takes it into your room it will be just as harmless as—let me see—as a baby without teeth.'

This comparison settled the question, for it proved it wouldn't bite. Caper managed to worry through the cold weather with this poor consoler: it gave him headaches, but it kept his head otherwise cool, and his feet warm; and, as he lived mostly in his studio, where he had a good wood stove, he was no great loser.

'But,' said he, descanting on this subject to Rocjean, 'how can the Romans fight for their firesides, when they haven't any?'

'They will fight for their scaldine, especially the old women and the young women,' answered Rocjean, 'to the last gasp. There is nothing they stick to like these: even their husbands and lovers are not so near and dear to them.'

'What are they? and, how much do they cost?' asked Caper, artistically.

'Crockery baskets with handles; ten baiocchi,' replied Rocjean, 'You must have noticed them; why, look out of that window: do you see that girl in the house opposite. She has one on the window sill, under her nose, while her hands are both held over the charcoal fire that is burning in it. If there were any proof needed that the idea of a future punishment by fire did not originate in Rome, the best reply would be the bitter hatred the Romans have of cold. I can fancy the income of the church twice as large if they had only thought to have filled purgatory with icebergs and a corresponding state of the thermometer. A Roman, in winter time, would pay twice as many baiocchi for prayers to get a deceased friend out of the cold, as he could otherwise be induced to. The English and other foreigners have, little by little, induced hotel and boarding house keepers to introduce grates and stoves, with good coal and wood fires, wherever they may hire lodgings; but the old Romans still stand by braseras and scaldinas.'

'I caught a bad cold yesterday, thanks to this barbarous custom,' said Caper. 'I was in the Vatican, looking at a pretty girl copying a head of Raphael's, and depending on imagination and charcoal to warm me: the results were chills and the snuffles.'

'Let that be a warning to you against entering art galleries during cold weather. To visit the Borghese collection with the thermometer below freezing point, and see all those semi-nude paintings, whether of saints or sinners, chills the heart; not only that they have no clothes, but that the artists who made the pictures were so radically vulgar—because they were affected!'

'But,' spoke Caper,'they probably painted them in the merry spring time, when they had forgotten all about frozen fountains and oranges iced; or, it may be, in their day wood was cheaper than it is now, and money plentier.'

'Yes, in the days when three million pilgrims visited Rome in a year. But would you believe it? within thirty miles of this city I have seen enough timber lying rotting on the ground, to half warm the Eternal City? The country people, in the commune where I lived one summer, had the privilege of gathering wood in the forest that crowns the range of mountains backing up from the sea, and separating the Pontine[Pg 593] Marshes from the higher lands of the Campagna: but the trunks of the hewn trees, after such light branches as the women could hack off were carried away, were left to rot; for there was no way to get them to Rome—an hour's distance by railroad. Cold? The Romans are numbed to the heart: wait until they are warmed up; wait until they have a chance to make money—there will be no poets like Casti in those days—Casti, who wrote two hundred sonnets against a man who dunned him for—thirty cents! Talk about knowing enough to go into the house when it rains! Why the Roman shopkeepers of the poorer class don't know enough to shut their shop doors when they are starved with cold: you will find this to be the fact. Look, too, at the poor little children! do they ever think of playing fire engine, and thus warming themselves in a wholesome manner? No! One day I was painting away, when I heard a poor, thin little voice, as of a small dinner bell with a croup, and hoping at last I might see the little ones having a good frolic, I went to the window and looked out. What did I see? A small boy with a large, tallow-colored head, carrying a large black cross in the pit of his stomach; another small boy ringing a bell; and five others following along, in a crushed, despondent manner—inviting other boys to hear the catechism explained in the parish church. Meat for babes! I don't wonder the Roman women all want to be men, when I see the men without half the spirit of the women, and, such as they are, loafing away the winter evenings for warmth in wine shops or cafes. Poor Roman women, huddled together in your dark rooms, feebly lighted with a poor lamp, and hugging scaldine for better comfort! Would that the American woman could see her Italian sister, and bless her stars that she did not live under the cap and cross keys.'

'The cold has one good effect,' interrupted Caper; 'the forcible gesticulation of the Italians, which we all admire so much, arises from the necessity they have to do so—in order to keep warm. I have, however, an idea to better the condition of the wood sawyers in the Papal States, by introducing a saw buck or saw horse: as it is, they hold the wood in their hands, putting the saw between their knees, and then fairly rubbing the wood through the saw, instead of the saw through the wood. How, too, the Romans manage to cut wood with such axes as they have is passing strange. It would be well to introduce an American axe here, handle and all.'

'We have an old, old saying in France,' spoke Rocjean:

'Jamais cheval n'y homme
S'amenda pour aller a Rome.'

'Never horse or man mended, that unto Rome wended.' Your American axe is useless without American energy, and would not, if introduced here, mend the present shiftless style of wood chopping: evidently the people will one day take it up and try it—when their minds and arms are free. As it is, the genuine Romans live through their winters without wood in a merry kind of humor; taking the charcoal sent them by chance for cooking with great good nature; and, without words, blessing God for giving them vigorous frames and sturdy bodies to withstand cold and heat. After all, the want of fixed firesides by no manner of means annoys the buxom Roman woman of the people: she picks up her moving stove, the scaldina, and trots out to see her nearest gossip, knowing that her reception will be warm, for she brings warmth with her. There is a copy of Galignani, a round of bull beef, and a dirty coal fire, even in Rome, for every Englishman who will pay for them; but why, oh why! forever hoist the banner of the Blues over the gay gardens of every earthly paradise? Why hide Psyche under a hogshead?'

'Are you asking me those hard questions? For if you are,' said Caper, 'I will answer you thus: A fishwoman passing along a street in Philadelphia[Pg 594] one day, heard from an open window the silver-voiced Brignoli practising an aria, possibly from the Traviata: 'That voice,' quoth she, 'would be a fortune for a woman in shad time!''


'It is well to be off with the old love
Before you are on with the new:'

hummed James Caper, as he sauntered, one morning early, through the dewy grass of the Villa Borghese, with his uncle, Bill Browne, leisurely picking a little bouquet of violets—'dim, but sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes, or Cytherea's breath.'—and pleasantly thinking of the pretty face of his last love, the blonde Rose, who was at that moment smiling on somebody else in Naples.

'There is nothing keeps a man out of mischief so well as the little portrait a pair of lovely eyes photographs on his heart; is there now, Uncle Bill?'

'No, Jim, you are 'bout right there: if you want to keep the devil out of your heart, you must keep an angel in it. If you can't find a permanent resident, why you must take up with transient customers. First and last, I've had the pictures of half the pretty girls in Saint Louis hanging up in my gallery: as one grows dim I take up another, and that's the way I preserve my youth. If it hadn't been for business, I should have been a married man long ago; and my advice to you, Jim, is to stop off being a bachelor the instant you are home again.'

'I think I shall, the instant I find one with the beauty of an Italian, the grace of a French girl, the truth and tenderness of a German, the health of an Englishwoman, and—'

'Draw it mild, my boy,' broke in Uncle Bill: 'here she comes!'

Caper and his uncle were standing, as the latter spoke, under the group of stone pines, from whose feet there was a lovely view of the Albanian snow-capped mountains, and they saw coming toward them two ladies. There was the freshness of the morning in their cheeks, and though one was older than the other, joy-bringing years had passed so kindly with her, that if Caper had not known she was the mother of the younger lady—they would have passed for sisters. When he first saw them, the latter was gathering a few violets; when she rose, he saw the face of all others he most longed to see.

He had first seen her the life of a gay party at Interlachen; then alone in Florence, with her mother for companion, patiently copying the Bella di Tiziano in the Pitti palace; then in Venice, one sparkling morning, as he stepped from his gondola on the marble steps of a church, he met her again: this time he had rendered himself of assistance to the mother and daughter, in procuring admittance for them to the church, which was closed to the public for repairs, and could only be seen by an especial permit, which Caper fortunately had obtained. They were grateful for his attention, and when, a few days afterward, he met them in company with other of his American friends, and received a formal introduction, the acquaintance proved one of the most delightful he had made in Europe, rendering his stay in Venice marked by the rose-colored light of a new love, warming each scene that passed before his dreamy gaze. But other cities, other faces: memory slept to awake again with renewed strength at the first flash of light from the eyes of Ida Buren, there, over the spring violets of the Villa Borghese.

The meeting between Mrs. Buren, her daughter, and Caper, was marked, on the part of the ladies, with that cordiality which the truly well bred show instinctively to those who merit it—to those who, brave and loyal, prove, by word and look, that theirs is the right to stand within the circle of true politeness and courtesy.

'And so,' Mrs. Buren concluded her greeting, 'we are here in Rome,[Pg 595] picking violets with the dew on them, and waiting for the nightingales to sing before we leave for Naples.'

'And forget,' said Caper, among the violets of Pæstum, the poor flowers of the Borghese? I protest against it, and beg to add this little bouquet to yours, that their united perfume may cause you to remember them.'

'I accept them for you, mother,' spoke Ida; 'and that they may not be forgotten, I will make a sketch at once of that fountain under the ilex trees, and Mr. Caper in classic costume, making floral offerings to Bacchus—of violets.'

'And why not to Flora?'

'I have yet to learn that Flora has a shrine at—Monte Testaccio! where the Signore Caper, if report speaks true, often goes and worships.'

'That shrine is abandoned hereafter: where shall my new one be?'

'In the Piazza di Spagna, No.——,' said Mrs. Buren, smiling at Caper's mournful tone of voice. 'While the violets bloom we shall be there. Good morning!'

The ladies continued their walk, and although, as they turned away, Ida dropped a tiny bunch of violets, hidden among two leaves, Caper, when he picked it up, did not return it to her, but kept it many a day as a souvenir of his fair countrywoman.

'They are,' said Uncle Bill, slowly and solemnly, 'two of the finest specimens of Englishwomen I ever saw, upon me word, be gad!'

'They are,' said Caper, 'two of the handsomest Americans I ever met.'

'Americans?' asked Uncle Bill, emphatically.

'Americans!' answered Caper, triumphantly.

'Shut up your paint shop, James, my son, call in the auctioneer, stick up a bill 'To Let.' Let us return at once to the land of our birth. No such attractions exist in this turkey-trodden, maccaroni-eating, picture-peddling, stone-cutting, mass-singing land of donkeys. Let us go. Americans!'

'Yes, Americans—Bostonians,'

'Farewell, seventy-five niggers—good-by, my speculations in Lewsianny cotton planting—depart from behind me, sugar crops on Bayou Fooshe! I am of those who want a Mrs. Browne, a duplicate of the elderly lady who has just departed, at any price. James, my son, this morning shalt thou breakfast with me at Nazzari's; and if thou hast not a bully old breakfast, it's because the dimes ain't in me—and I know they are. Nothing short of cream de Boozy frappayed, paddy frog grass pie, fill it of beef, and myonhays of pullits, with all kinds of saucy sons and so forth, will do for us. We have been among angels—shall we not eat like the elect? Forward!'

During breakfast, Caper discoursed at length with his uncle of the two ladies they met in the villa.

Mrs. Buren, left a widow years since, with a large fortune, had educated her only child, Ida, systematically, solidly, and healthily. The child's mind, vine-like, clings for support to something already firm and established, that it may climb upward in a healthy, natural growth, avoiding the earth; so the daughter had found in her mother a guide toward the clear air where there is health and purity. Ida Buren, with clear brown eyes, high spirits, rosy cheeks, and full perfected form, at one glance revealed the attributes that Uncle Bill had claimed for her so quickly. With all the beauty of an Italian, she had her perceptions of color and harmony in the violets she gathered; the truth and tenderness of a German, to appreciate their sentiment; the health of an Englishwoman, to tramp through the dewy grass to pick them; the grace of a Frenchwoman, to accept them from Nature with a merci, madame!

Caper had now a lovely painting to hang up in his heart, one in unison with the purity and beauty of the violets of the Villa Borghese.[Pg 596]


There is lightness and brightness, music, laughter, merry jests, masks, bouquets, flying flowers, and confetti around you; you are in the Corso, no longer the sober street of a solemn old city, but the brilliant scene of a pageant, rivalling your dreams of Fairy land, excelling them; for it is fresh, sparkling, real before your eyes. From windows and balconies wave in the wind all-colored tapestries, flutter red, white, and golden draperies; laugh out in festal garments gay revellers; fly through the golden sunlight showers of perfumed flowers; beam down on you glances from wild, loving eyes, sparkling with fun, gleaming with excitement, thrilling with witching life.

Hurrah for to-day! Fiori, fiori, ecco fiori! Baskets of flowers, bunches of flowers, bouquets of flowers, flowers natural and flowers artificial, flowers tied up and flowers loose. Confetti, confetti, ecco confetti! Sugar plums white, sugar plums blue, bullets and buckshot of lime water and flour. Whiz! down comes the Carnival shower: 'Bella, donzella, this bouquet for thee!' Up go the white camellias and blue violets: 'down comes a rosebud for me.' What wealth of loveliness and beauty in thousands of balconies and windows; what sheen of brilliance in the vivid colors of the varied costumes!

The Carnival has come!

Right and left fly flowers; and here and there dart in between wheels and under horses' legs, dirty, daring Roman boys, grasping the falling flowers or confetti. From a balcony, some wealthy forestiero ('Ugh! how rich they are!' grumbles the coachman) scatters baiocchi broadcast, and down in the dirt and mud roll and tumble the little ragamuffins, who never have muffins, and always have rags—and 'spang!' down comes a double handful of hard confetti on Caper's head, as he rides by in an open carriage. He bombards the window with a double handful of white buckshot; but a woman in full Albano costume, crimson and white, aims directly at him a beautiful bouquet. Not to be outdone, Caper throws her a still larger one, which she catches and keeps—never throwing him the one she aimed! He is sold! But 'whiz, whir!' right and left fly flowers and confetti; and—oh, joy unspeakable!—an Englishman's chimney-pot hat is knocked from his head by a strong bouquet; and we know

'There is a noun in Hebrew means 'I am,'
The English always use to govern d——n,'

and that he is using it severely, and don't see the fun, you know—of throwing things! Who cares? Avanti!

Caper had filled the carriage with loose flowers, small bouquets, a basket of confetti, legal and illegal size, for the Carnival. Edict strictly prohibited persons from throwing large-sized bouquets and confetti; consequently, everybody considered themselves compelled to disobey the command. Rocjean, who was in the carriage with Caper, delighted the Romans with his ingenuity in attaching bouquets to the end of a long fish pole, and thus gently engineering them to ladies in windows or balconies. The crowd in the Corso grows larger and larger—the scene in this long street resembles a theatre in open air, with decorations and actors, assisted by a large supply of infantry and cavalry soldiers to keep order and attend to the scenes. The prosaic shops are no longer shops, but opera boxes, filled with actors and actresses instead of spectators, wearing all varieties of costume; the Italian ones predominant, gay, bright, and beautifully adapted to rich, peach-like complexions. Why call them olive complexions? For all the olives ever seen are of the color of a sick green pumpkin, or a too, too ripe purple plum; and who has ever yet seen a beautiful Italian maiden of either of these morbid colors?

The windows and balconies of the Corso are opera boxes. 'Whiz!' The flying bouquets and white pills show plainly that the prime donne are making[Pg 597] their positively first appearances for the season. Look at that French soldier in company with another, who is passing under a balcony, when a tiny bunch of flowers falls, or is thrown at him: he stoops to grasp it: too late, mon brave, a Roman boy is ahead of you: no use swearing; so he grasps his comrade by the arm, and points to the balcony, which is not more than six feet above his head.

'Mon Dieu, qu'elle est gentille!'

And there stands the beauty, a thorough soldier's girl; weighs her hundred and seventy pounds, has cheeks like new-cut beefsteaks, hair black as charcoal, eyes bright as fire, and an arm capable of cooking for a regiment. She is dressed in full Albanian costume, has the dew of the fields in her air, and oh, when she smiles, she shows such splendid teeth!—the contadine have them, and don't ruin them by continual eating! The soldier stops, 'Oh lord, she is neat!' He wants to return her flowery compliment with a similar one; but, Tu bleu! one can't buy bouquets on four sous a day income—even in Rome: so he looks around for a waif, and spies on the pavement something green; he gallantly throws it up, and with a smile and, wave of the hand like a Chevalier Bayard on a bender, he bids adieu to the fair maiden. He threw up half a head of lettuce.

'Ach mein Gott! wollen sie nur?' and in return for a double handful of confetti flung into a carriage full of German artists ahead of him, 'bang!' comes into Caper's vehicle a shower of lime pills and other stunners—not including the language—and he is in for it. A minute, and the whole Corso rains, hails, and pelts flowers and white pills; nothing else is visible: up there laugh down at them whole balconies, filled with delirious men and women, throwing on their devoted heads, American, French, German, rattling, tumbling, fistfuls of confetti and wild flowers:—even that half head of lettuce was among the things flying! English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Germans, Italians, Americans, and those wild northern bloods—all grit and game—the Russians, are down on them like a thousand of bricks. Hurrah! the carriages move on—they are safe. Hurrah for a new fight with fresh faces! Avanti!

Comes a carriage load of wild Rustians. Ivan, the mondjik, fresh from the Nevskoi Prospekt, now drives for the first time in the Corso—Dam na vodka, Sabakoutchelovek, thinks he. Yes, my sweet son of a dog, thou shalt have vodka to drink after all this scrimmage is over. So he holds in his horses with one hand, crowds down his fur hat with the other, so that his eyes will be safe; and then bravely faces the stinging shower of confetti his lord and master draws down on him. Up on the back seat of this carriage, all life and fire, stands the Russian prince, with headpiece of mail and red surtout, a Carnival Circassian, 'down on' the slow-plodding Italians, and throwing himself away with flowers and fun. Isn't he a picture? how his blue eyes gleam, how his long, wavy moustache curls with the play of features! how the flowers fly—how the rubles fly for them! Look at the other Russians—there are beards for you! beards grown where brandy freezes! but, they are thawed out now. Look at these men: hear their wild northern tongue, how it rolls out the sounds that frighten Italians back to sleepy sonnets and voluptuous songs. Hurrah, my Russians! look fate in the face. Your road is—onward!

'Ah, yes; and really, my dear'—here a handful of white pills and lime dust breaks the sentence—'really my dear, hadn't we better'—'bang!' comes a tough bouquet, and hits milady on that bonnet—'better go to the hotel?'

'Indeed, now,' milady continues, 'they don't respect persons, these low Italians. They haven't the faintest idea of dignity.'

These 'low Italians' were more than probably fellow countrymen and women of the speaker; but they may have[Pg 598] been 'low' all the same in her social barometer, for they pitched and flung, hurled and threw all the missiles they could lay hands on into the carriage of their unmistakable compatriots, with hearty delight; since the gentleman, who was not gentle, sat upright as a church steeple, never moving a muscle, and looking angry and worried at being flung at; and the milady also sat a la mode de church steeple—throwing nothing but angry looks. They went to the hotel. Sorrow go with them!

Caper and Rocjean now began to throw desperately, for they had a large supply of flowers and confetti on hand, which they were anxious to dispose of suddenly—since in ten minutes the horses would run, and then the carriages must leave the Corso. It was the last day of Carnival, and to-morrow—sackcloth and ashes. How the masks crowd around them; how the beautiful faces, unmasked, are smiling! Look at them well, stamp them on your heart, for many and many one shall we see never again. Another Carnival will bring them again, like song birds in summer; but a long, long winter will be between, and we will be far, far away.

The Corso is cleared, the infantry half keeps the crowd within bounds, a charge of cavalry sweeps the street, and then come rattling, clattering, rushing on the bare-backed horses, urged on by cries, shouts, yells; and frightened thus to top speed, while the Dutch metal, tied to their sides increases their alarm—whir! they are past us, and—the bay horse is ahead.

Again the carriages are in the Corso; here and there a few bouquets are thrown, floral farewells to the merry season: then as dusk comes on, and red and golden behind San Angelo flames the funeral pyre of the sun, and through the blue night twinkles the evening star, see down the Corso a faint light gleaming. Another and another light shines from balcony and window, flashes from rolling carriage, and flames out from along the dusky walls, till, presto! you turn your head, and up the Corso, and down the Corso, there is one burst of trembling light, and ten thousand tapers are brightly gleaming, madly waving, brilliantly swaying to and fro.

Moccoli! ecco, moccoli!

Along roll carriages; high in air gleam tapers, upheld by those within; from every balcony and window shine out the swaying tapers. Hurrah! here, there, hand to hand are contests to put out these shining lights, and Senza moccoli! 'Out with the tapers!' rings forth in trumpet tones, in gay, laughing tones, in merry tones, the length of the whole glorious Corso.

Daring beauty, wild, lovely bacchante, with black, beaming eyes, tempt us not with that bright flame to destruction! Look at her, as she stands so proudly and erectly on the highest seat in the carriage, her arms thrown up, her wild eyes gleaming from under jet black, dishevelled locks, while the night breeze flutters in wavy folds the drapery of her classic dress. Senza moccoli! she sends the challenge ringing down through fifteen centuries. He braves all; the carriage is climbed, the taper is within his reach.

'To-morrow I leave!'

She flings the burning taper away from her.

'Then take this kiss!'

'Senza moccoli!' black, witching eyes—farewell!

'Boom!' rings out the closing bell; fast fades the light, 'Out with the tapers!' the shout swells up, up, up, then slowly dies, as die an organ's tones—and Carnival is ended.

A handful of beautiful flowers, found among gray, crumbling ruins; a few notes of wild, stirring music, suddenly heard, then quickly dying away in the lone watches of the night: these are the hours of the Roman Carnival.

'Played is the comedy, deserted now the scene.'


Miracles are no longer performed in Rome. As soon as the police are offi[Pg 599]cially informed, they prevent their being worked even in the Campagna:—official information, however, always travels much faster when the spurs of heretical incredulity are applied—otherwise it lags; and the performances of miracle-mongers insure crowded houses, sometimes for years.

Among Caper's artist friends was a certain Blaise Monet, French by nature, Parisian by birth, artist or writer according to circumstances. Circumstances—that is to say, two thousand francs left him by a deceased relation—created him a temporary artist in Rome.

'When the money is gone,' said he, 'I shall endow some barber with my goat's hair brushes, and resume the stylus: the first have attractions—capillary—for me; the latter has the attraction—gravitation of francs—still more interesting—that is to say, more stylish.'

Blaise Monet with the May breezes fled to a small town on top of a high mountain, in order to enjoy them until autumn: with the rains of October he descended on Rome.

'How did you enjoy yourself up in that hawk's nest?' Caper asked him, when he first saw him after his return to the city.

'Like the king D'Yvétot. My house was a castle, my drink good wine, my food solid—the cheese a little too much so, and a little too much of it: no matter—the views made up for it. Gr-r-rand, magnificent, splendid—in fact, paradise for twenty baiocchi a day, all told.'

'And as for affairs of the heart?'

'My friend, mourn with me: that hole was—so to speak in regard to that matter—a monastery, without doors, windows, or holes; and a wall around it, so high, it shut out—hope! I wish you could have seen the camel who was my monastic jailer.'

'That is, when you say camel, you mean jackass?'

'Precisely! Well, my friend, his name was Father Cipriano; though why they call a man father who has no legal children, I can't conceive, though probably many of his flock do. He prejudiced the minds of the maidens against me, and made an attempt to injure my reputation among the young men and elders—in vain. The man who could paint a scorpion on the wall so naturally as even to delude Father Ciprian into beating it for ten minutes with that bundle of sticks they call a broom; the man who could win three races on a bare-backed horse, treat all hands to wine, and even bestow segars on a few of the elders; win a terno at the Timbola, and give it back to the poor of the town; catch hold of the rope and help pull by the horns, all over town, the ox, thus preparatorily made tender before it was slaughtered: such a man could not have the ill will of the men.

'Believe me, I did all my possible to touch the hearts of the maidens. I serenaded them, learning fearful rondinelle, so as to be popular; I gathered flowers for them; I volunteered to help them pick chestnuts and cut firewood; I helped to make fireworks and fire balloons for the festivals; I drew their portraits in charcoal on a white wall, along the main street; and when they passed, with copper water jars on their heads, filled with water from the fountain, they exclaimed:

''Ecco! that is Elisa, that is Maricuccia, that is Francesca.'

'But I threw my little favors away: there was a black cloud over all, in a long black robe, called Padre Cipriano; and their hearts were untouched.

'I made one good friend, a widow lady, the Signora Margarita Baccio: she was about thirty-three years of age, and was mourning for a second husband—who did not come; the first one having departed for Cielo a few months past, as she told me. The widow having a small farm to hoe and dig, and about twelve miles to walk daily, I had but limited opportunities to study her character; but I believe, if I had, I should not have discovered much, since she had very little: she was deplorably ig[Pg 600]norant, and excessively superstitious—but good natured and hopeful—looking out for husband No. 2. She it was that informed me that Padre Cipriano had set the faces of the maidens against me, and for this I determined to be revenged.

'A short time before I left the town, my oil colors were about used up. I had made nearly a hundred sketches, and not caring to send to Rome for more paints, I used my time making pencil sketches. Among the tubes of oil colors left, of course there was the vermilion, that will outlast for a landscape painter all others, I managed to paint a jackass's head for the landlord of the inn where I boarded, with my refuse colors:—after all were gone, there still remained the vermilion. One day, out in the fields sketching an old tower, and watching the pretty little lizards darting in and out the old ruins, an idea struck me. The next day I commenced my plan.

'I caught about fifty lizards, and painted a small vermilion cross on the head of each one, using severe drying oil and turpentine, in order to insure their not being rubbed off.

'The next dark night, when Padre Cipriano was returning from an excursion, he saw an apparition: phosphorus eyes, from the apothecary; a pair of horns, from the butcher; a tall form, made from reeds, held up by Blaise Monet, and covered with his long cloak, made in the Rue Cadet—strode before him with these words:

''I am the shade of Saint Inanimus, boiled to death by Roman legions, for the sake of my religion—in oil. My bones long since have mouldered in the dust, but, where they lie, the little lizards bear a red cross on their heads. Seek near the old tower by the old Roman road, here at the foot of this mountain, and over it erect a chapel, and cause prayers to be said for Saint Inanimus: I, who was boiled to death for the sake of my religion—in oil.'

''Sh-sh-shade of S-s-saint Ann-on-a-muss, w-w-what k-kind of oi-oil was it?' gasped Padre Cipriano.

'The shade seemed to collect himself as if about to bestow a kick on the padre, but changed his mind as he screamed:

''Hog oil. Go!'

'The priest departed in fear and trembling, and the next day the whole town rang with the news that an apparition had visited Padre Cipriano, and that a procession for some reason was to be made at once to the old tower. Accordingly all the population that could, set forth at an early hour in the afternoon, the padre first informing them of all the circumstances attending the ghostly visitor, the red-headed cross lizards by no means omitted. Arrived at the tower, they were fortunate enough to find a red-cross lizard, then another, and another; and it being buzzed about that one of them was worth, I don't know how many gallons of holy water—the inhabitants moreover believing, if they had one, they could commit all kinds of sins free gratis, without confession, &c.,—there at once commenced, consequently, a most indecorous riot among those in the procession; taking advantage of which, the lizards made hurried journeys to other old ruins. The inhabitants of another small town, having heard of the Miracolo delle lucertole, came up in force to secure a few lizards for their households: then commenced those exquisite battles seen nowhere else in such perfection as in southern Italy.

'His eyes starting out of his head, his hands and legs shaking with excitement, one man stands in front of another so 'hopping mad' that you would believe them both dancing the tarantella, if you did not hear them shout—such voices for an opera chorus!—

''You say that to me? to me? to ME!' Hands working.

''I do, to you!'

''To me, me, ME?' striking himself on his breast.

''Yes, yes, I do, I do!'

''What, to me! me! I?' both hands[Pg 601] pointing toward his own body, as if to be sure of the identity of the person; and that there might not be the possibility of any mistake, he again shouts, screams, yells, shrieks: 'To me? What, that to me! to ME!' hands and arms working like a crab's.

'Then the entire population rush, in with, 'Bravo, Johnny, bravo!' At last, after they have screamed themselves black in the face, and swung their arms and legs until they are ready to drop off, both combatants coolly walk off; and a couple of fresh hands rush in, assisted by the splendid Roman chorus, and begin:

''What, me? me?' &c.

'But the battle of the lizards was conducted with more spirit than the general run of quarrels, for the people were fighting for remission of their sins as it were—the possession of every sanctified red-headed lizard being so much money saved from the church, so many years out of purgatory.

'The gendarmerie heard the row, and at once rushed down—four soldiers comprised the garrison—to dissipate the crowd: this they managed to do in a peaceable way. There happened to be a heretical spur in the town, in the shape of three German artists, and this incited the bishop of the province, who was at once informed of the miracle-working doings of Father Ciprian, to displace him.

'Thus, my dear friend, I was left to make love to the girls until I had to return to Rome—unfortunately only two weeks' time—for the newly-appointed priest had not the opportunity to set them against me.

'The moral of this long story is: that even vermilion can be worked up in a miraculous manner—if you put the powerful reflective faculty in motion; and doing so, you can have the satisfaction of knowing that by its means you can cause an invisible sign to be stuck up over even a country town in Italy: 'All Persons are Forbidden to Work Miracles Here!''


The government, aware of its foreign reputation for patronizing the Belle Arti, has an annual display of such paintings and sculpture as artists may see fit to send, and—the censor see fit to admit: for, in this exhibition, 'nothing is shown that will shock the most fastidious taste'—and it can be found thus, in a building in the Piazza del Popolo.

Caper's painting for the display was rejected for some reason. It represented a sinister-looking brigand, stealing away with Two Keys in one hand and a spilt cap in the other, suddenly kicked over by a large-sized donkey, his mane and tail flying, head up, and an air of liberty about him generally, which probably shocked Antonelli's tool the censor's sense of the proprieties.

Rocjean consoled Caper with the reflection that his painting was refused admittance because the donkey had gradually grown to be emblematical of the state—in fact, was so popularly known to the forestieri as the Roman Locomotive, with allusions to its steam whistle, &c., highly annoying to the chief authorities—and therefore, its introduction in a painting was intolerable, and not to be endured.

The works of art included contributions from Americans, Italians, Belgians, Swiss, English, Hessians, French, Dutch, Danes, Bavarians, Spaniards, Norwegians, Prussians, Russians, Austrians, Finns, Esthonians, Lithuanians, Laplanders, and Samoyedes. There was little evidence of the handiwork of mature artists; they either withheld their productions from dislike of the managers, or through determination of giving their younger brethren a fair field and a clear show. A careful observer could see that these young artists had not profited to the fullest extent by the advantages held out to them through a residence in the Imperial City. There was a wine-yness, and a pretty-girl-yness, and tobacco-ness, about paintings and sculpture, that could have been picked up just as well in Copenhagen or[Pg 602] Madrid or New York as in Rome. Michael Angelo evidently had not 'struck in' on their canvases, or Praxiteles struck out from their marbles. Theirs was an unrevealed religion to these neophytes.

The study of a piece of old Turkey carpet, or a camel's hair shawl, or a butterfly's wing, or a bouquet of many flowers would have taught the best artist in the exhibition more concerning color than he would learn in ten years simply copying the best of the old painters, who had themselves studied directly from these things and their like.

In sculpture, as in painting, the artists showed the same tame following other sculptors; the same fear of facing Nature, and studying her face to face. A pretty kind of statue of Modesty a man would make, who would take the legs of a satyr, the body of a Venus, the head of Bacchus, the arms of Eros, and thus construct her; yet scarcely a modern statue is made wherein some such incongruous models do not play their part. Go with a clear head, not one ringing with last night's debauch, and study the Dying Gladiator! That will be enough—something more than five tenths of you young Popolites can stand, if you catch but the faintest conception of the mind once moving the sculptor of such a statue. After you have earnestly thought over such a masterpiece, go back to your studio: break up your models for legs, arms, bodies, and heads: take the scalpel in hand, and study anatomy as if your heart was in it. Have the living model nude before you at all times. Close your studio door to all 'orders,' be they ever so tempting: if a fastidious world will have you make 'nude statues dressed in stockinet,' tell it to get behind you! After long years of earnest study and labor, carve a hand, a foot: if, when you have finished it, one living soul says, with truth, 'Blood, bones, and muscles seem under the marble!' believe that you are not far off from exceeding great reward.

In the Popolo exhibition for 1858 was a marble statuette of Daphnis and Chloe, by Luigi Guglielmi, of Rome.

Chloe had a low-necked dress on.

The Roman censor disapproved of this. In a city claiming to be the 'HOME OF ART'—they pinned a piece of foolscap paper around the neck of Chloe.

Rome is the cradle of art:—if so, the sooner the world changes its nurse, the better for the babe!


Oh not in Independence Hall
Will ye proclaim your will;
Nor read aloud your negro call,
As yet, on Bunker Hill.

He said he would, and thought he could,
And tried—and missed it clean;—
Now he's o'er the Border, and awa',
Weel thrashed and unco' mean.
[Pg 603]


[September 22, 1862.]

Now who has done the greatest deed
Which History has ever known,
And who, in Freedom's direst need,
Became her bravest champion?
Who a whole continent set free?
Who killed the curse and broke the ban
Which made a lie of liberty?
You—Father Abraham—you're the man!

The deed is done. Millions have yearned
To see the spear of Freedom cast:—
The dragon writhed and roared and burned:
You've smote him full and square at last.
O Great and True! You do not know,
You cannot tell, you cannot feel
How far through time your name must go,
Honored by all men, high or low,
Wherever Freedom's votaries kneel.

This wide world talks in many a tongue—
This world boasts many a noble state—
In all, your praises will be sung,
In all the great will call you great.
Freedom! Where'er that word is known,
On silent shore, by sounding sea,
'Mid millions or in deserts lone,
Your noble name shall ever be.

The word is out—the deed is done;
Let no one carp or dread delay:
When such a steed is fairly on,
Fate never fails to find a way.
Hurrah! hurrah! The track is clear,
We know your policy and plan;
We'll stand by you through every year:
Now, Father Abraham, you're our man!
[Pg 604]


The unexampled extent of newspaper issues in the United States has often excited the astonishment of intelligent observers; but it is doubtful whether the whole of the enormous truth could have been fully appreciated without the actual figures which reveal it. According to the "preliminary report" of the 8th census, 1860, recently published by the Hon. J.C.G. Kennedy, the superintendent, it appears that the annual circulation of newspapers and periodicals is no less than 927,951,548, or at the rate of 34.36 for every white man, woman, and child of our population. The annual value of all the printing done in the United States, for that year, is stated at a fraction less than thirty nine and three quarters millions of dollars.

These numbers are sufficiently astounding; but the rate of increase since 1850, is, if possible, even more so. In that year, says Mr. Kennedy, the whole circulation amounted to 426,409,978 copies; and the rate of increase for the decade is 117.61 per cent., while the increase of the white population during the same period was only 38.12 per cent. If the circulation should continue to grow in the same proportion for the next ten years, the number of newspapers and periodicals issued in 1870 will be a little over two billions.

In addition to these domestic publications, no inconsiderable number of foreign journals is introduced into the United States. "The British Almanac and Companion" for 1862 states the number in 1860 to have been as follows: from Great Britain, 1,557,689; from France, 270,655; from Bremen, 41,171; from Prussia, 83,349. These figures comprehend only the foreign newspapers, and not the periodicals, some of which are republished in the United States.

Persons competent to form a correct judgment, do not hesitate to say that the number of newspapers taken in this country, exceeds that in all the world beside. So vast an amount of reading matter, voluntarily sought for and consumed by the people, at a cost of so many millions of dollars, is one of the most remarkable phenomena of the present age of wonders, and proves the avidity with which information is received, as well as the incalculable influence which the press must have on the public mind. The popular newspaper, issued in immense numbers, is in truth emphatically an American institution. Nowhere else could an audience, capable of reading, be found sufficiently numerous to absorb the issues of our teeming press. It is the offspring and indispensable accompaniment of universal education and popular representative government. These could scarcely be maintained without it. Everywhere in Europe, except perhaps in England, Italy, and Switzerland, the press is little more than an engine of the government, used chiefly, or only, for its own political purposes. Here it enjoys absolute freedom, being responsible only to the laws for any abuse of its high privilege.

This entire freedom promotes unbounded growth in journalism, and gives a circulation to the remotest cabin in the land. And if the unrestricted energies of the system produce fruits somewhat wild, not imbued with the refined flavor of better-cultivated productions, their universal distribution and bounteous fulness of supply make up somewhat for the deficiency in quality, and give promise of a future improvement, which will leave nothing to be desired. If every leaf of the forest were a sibylline record, and every month of the year should bring round the deciduous influences of autumn, the leaves that would then "strew the vales" of our country would give some adequate idea of the immense shower of these printed missiles which falls every day,[Pg 605] every week, and every month, into the hands of the American people. Do they come as "a kindly largess to the soil they grew on," or do they scatter mischief where they fall? Of the power, for good or for evil, of this vast intellectual agency, there can be no question. But what is the nature of this influence? How does it affect the character and welfare of the community in which its unregulated and unlimited authority prevails?

The daily papers of New York, and of some other cities, contain, in each sheet, an amount of printed matter equal to sixty-four pages of an ordinary octavo volume. The scope and variety of the information embodied in them, and the uniformity with which they are maintained from year to year, give evidence of wonderful enterprise, mechanical skill, and intellectual ability. Concentrating news from all parts of the world, by means of a vast and expensive organization, and discussing, with more or less profound learning and logic, all the important questions of the day, they have established an immense spiritual power in the bosom of modern society, such as was not known to the nations in past ages.

It is true that much of the space in the great dailies, so voluminous as has been stated, is occupied in mere business notices and individual advertisements; and such is the case, generally, with the daily and weekly papers throughout the country. But even this, the humblest department of the newspaper, may justly be considered an invaluable instrument of civilization. It multiplies to an unlimited extent the means of communication among men, and is, therefore, a labor-saving invention of precisely the same character as the railroad and the steam engine. In a few brief phrases, made expressive by conventional understanding, every man can converse with thousands of his neighbors, and even of distant strangers. Without change of place, without labor of limbs or of lungs, the man of business can, in a single day, and every day, if he will, inform a whole community of his own wants, and of his readiness to meet the wants of others. The newspaper performs the work of thousands of messengers, and saves countless hours of labor to the whole community in which it circulates. In some sense, every man is brought nearer to every other. Each hears the innumerable voices which address him, and is able to distinguish the individual message which each one has sent.

It is difficult to estimate the value of this simple agency in its social aspect. Its material saving is plain to the most cursory thought; but its higher influence in binding society together and making it homogeneous, if not equally apparent, is at least quite as indisputable. Civilization is the direct result of bringing mankind into cooperation and combined effort, so that the whole power of mind and body of whole communities is brought to bear in unison for the accomplishment of social ends. Therefore, as a mere instrument of intercommunication, rendering more direct and intimate the relations of individuals, and promoting ease, celerity, and harmony in their combined movements, the power of the press is prodigious and invaluable. But when this power is extended beyond the bounds of mere material interests and the relations of ordinary business—when it appeals to the intellect and enters the domain of art, literature, science, and philosophy, embracing politics, morality, and all the highest interests of mankind, its capacity for good would seem to be illimitable.

In future ages, these innumerable sheets, which float so lightly on the surface of our civilization, will form imperishable records of the manners, habits, occupations, and the whole intellectual existence of our people. They are so numerous that no accident can destroy them all; and they will present to the eye of the future student of history the most lively, natural, and perfect picture—the very moving panorama—of the busy and teeming life of the[Pg 606] present generation. No exhumed relics of buried cities, no hieroglyphic inscriptions upon ancient monuments, with whatever skill and genius deciphered, nor even any labored descriptions of past ages, which may have survived the ravages of time, will be equal to these memorials, in their power to recall the daily work, the amusements, the business, and, in short, the whole material, intellectual, and social being of our people.

The types and footprints of creation, imprinted on the rocks and imbedded in the strata of the earth, giving knowledge of the existence and habits of extinct species of animals, and teaching how geological periods have succeeded each other, with their causes and concomitants, are not so plain and distinct to us, as will be these daily effusions, advertisements, and business notices of all kinds in the ordinary newspapers of the country, to future generations of men, who shall there seek to learn the successive and gradual steps by which the social fabric shall be built up on the foundations of human thought and action. Like the worm that crawls over the mud ere it hardens into rock; or the leaf that fixes its form and impress in the bed of coal; or like the bowlder that forms the pencil point of a mighty iceberg, scratching the rocks in its movement across a submerged plain, destined to be upheaved as a continent in some future convulsion; or like the coral insect, which, in forming his separate cell, unconsciously assists in laying the foundation of islands and vast regions of solid earth; we, the creatures of the hour, all unconscious of the record we are making, leave imperishable memorials of our existence and works, in the apparently petty and fugitive contents of the journals which we read daily, and in which we make known our business and our wants. Narratives and formal descriptions may be one-sided, and may easily deceive and mislead; but these indications, which will be preserved in the social strata as they slowly subside in the ocean of humanity, carry in themselves perfect fulness and absolute verity.

One of the most significant and influential results of the wide and rapid circulation of newspapers is to be found in the simultaneous impression made on the popular mind throughout the vast extent of our country. Flashed on the telegraph, daguerreotyped and made visible in the newspaper, every event of any importance, occurring in any part of the world, is communicated, almost at the same moment, to many millions of people. All are impressed at the same time with the same thoughts, or with such kindred ideas as will naturally arise from reflection upon the same facts. Humor, with its thousand tongues, is hushed; and the telegraph, under control of agents employed to sift the truth, and responsible for it, takes its place. Falsehood still may, and, indeed, often does tamper with this mighty instrument; but its speed is so great that it can overtake even falsehood, and soon counteract and correct the mischief. What is the import of this momentous fact,—the instantaneous communication of information over a continent, and the participation of all minds, in the same thoughts, virtually at the same time? Undoubtedly the result must be a closeness of intercourse and a completeness of cooperation, which will give to the social organization a power and efficiency in accomplishing great ends, such as no human thought has ever heretofore conceived. Society becomes a unity in the highest and truest sense of that term; like the bodily frame of the individual man, it is connected throughout all its parts by a network of nerves, every member sympathizing with every other, feeling the same impulses, having the same knowledge, and forming judgments upon the same facts. When sentiments are perfectly harmonious among men, the increase of power is not merely in proportion to numbers. It grows in a much higher ratio. The effect is something like that of multiplying the[Pg 607] surfaces in a galvanic battery, or increasing the coils in an electro-magnetic apparatus. Passion in a multitude becomes a tornado. Eloquence moves a large audience with a power vastly greater than when the listeners are few. Similar is that strange influence which fashion exerts in all societies. Nor is this sympathetic multiplication of power limited to passion or artistic sentiment: it extends to opinions and all intellectual phenomena. A person feeling strong emotions or having profound convictions, and knowing them to be shared by millions of others, inevitably experiences a strengthening and intensifying influence from the sympathy of his fellows. If he knew himself to be solitary and alone in his opinions, unsupported by that human sympathy which every one craves, his ideas would languish, and be greatly diminished in their power. It is only great minds, of exceptional character, which can do battle, single-handed, against the world. Most men require to be propped and supported on all sides, by the great power of public opinion. The approach to unanimity of thought promoted by the general circulation of newspapers, has something of the marvellous effects seen in other cases, in enhancing the moral and intellectual power of the community.

The telegraph is the legitimate offspring of the newspaper. In the absence of the latter, there would have been comparatively little use for the former. Without the almost universal distribution of the newspaper, instantaneous communication of news would not have been so much required, and the invention for that purpose would hardly have been made. It is probably in the United States alone, with its unlimited circulation of newspapers, that this extraordinary application of natural forces could have been conceived. It is here those wonderful lightning presses have been constructed, under the stimulus of that vast demand for daily papers which arises from the general education of the people and their avidity for information. In no other state of things could such combinations have been imagined, because there would have been no occasion for the inventive effort, and even the very idea would not have occurred. Although the wide extent of our country, the vast distances separating important centres of commerce and industry, and the general activity and energy of men in this free government, all concurred in enforcing the necessity of this latest wonder of human ingenuity—the telegraph,—yet the newspaper, with its boundless circulation and power of distribution, was indispensable to make it available and to give it all its inestimable value.

But, after all, the prodigious influence of the press, aided by its great instrument, the telegraph, derives its moral and political value chiefly from the lessons it teaches, and the good purposes it aims to accomplish. Unhappily, if the newspaper may be the means of doing incalculable good, it may also be instrumental in doing infinite mischief. If it may multiply the power of the community, by promoting harmony of thought and feeling, it may direct this concentrated energy to the wrong end, as well as to the right. Being a great vehicle for the communication of ideas on all subjects, it becomes a mighty instrument of education; entering almost every house in the land, and reaching the eye of every man, woman, and child who can read, it exercises almost supreme control over the sentiments of the masses. It is a tremendous intellectual engine, radiating the light of knowledge to the extremities of the land, and, in its turn, wielding, to some extent, the incalculable power which that knowledge imparts to its recipients.

Like every other human agency, the press is liable to be controlled by sinister influences. Perhaps, from the entire absence of all direct responsibility, from its usual entire devotion to public affairs, and the acknowledged influence of its representations on the popular[Pg 608] mind, it is peculiarly exposed to the seductions of patronage, and to the temptations of personal and mercenary interests. A mere party journal, involved in a perpetual conflict for power, and for the accompanying spoils, is, of all the depositaries of moral power, at once the most dangerous and the most contemptible. To it, truth is of secondary importance; having satisfied itself that no prosperity, or even liberty, can exist without the success of its men and measures, it makes everything bend to this purpose. The end justifies the means. Impartial statement or rational investigation is seldom to be found in its columns. Nevertheless, in the general competition which arises where the press is free, the tendency will always be toward the true and the good. Rival journals will advocate different theories and maintain opposite systems; but free discussion will gradually eliminate error, and out of the multitudinous rays of different colors, diffused throughout society, will eventually come that perfect combination which constitutes the clear, pure, homogeneous light of truth. And even pending the early struggle and confusion which attend the inauguration of a free press, divergencies of opinion, ever tending to harmony, cannot become so great as to produce fatal effects. The rebellion of the Southern States of this Union could never have happened, in the presence of universal education and of a free press, whose emanations could have penetrated as widely as those which reach the people of the opposite section.

In view of the high functions of the press and its immense influence in the nation,—its perpetual daily lessons, falling on the public mind like drops that wear away the hardest rock and work their channel where they will,—it is of the first importance to comprehend the power behind this imperial throne, which directs and controls it. Does it assume to originate and establish principles in government and morals? Or does it aspire only to the humbler office of propagating such ideas as have been sanctioned by the best judgment of the age, of illustrating their operation, and making them acceptable to the people? The fugitive essays and hurried comments on passing events, which fill the columns of newspapers, do not ordinarily constitute solid foundations on which the principles of social or political action can be safely established. The men usually employed in this work of distributing ideas, are not they who are capable of building up substantial systems by the slow process of induction, or who can, by the opposite system, apply great general truths to the purposes of national prosperity and happiness. They are far too much engaged in the active business of life,—too deeply involved in the strifes and turmoils of mankind,—too thoroughly imbued with the spirit of the passing hour, with all its passions and prejudices—to be the philosophic guides of humanity, and to lay down, with the serene logic of truth, the bases of moral and political progress. The inevitable sympathy between the editor and his daily readers—the action and reaction which constantly take place and insensibly lead the journalist into the paths of popular opinion and passion—these are too apt to render him altogether unfit to be an oracle in the great work of social organization and government. The common sense of the multitude is often an invaluable corrective of speculative error; but the impulses and strong prejudices of communities, though calculated to sweep along with them the judgments of all, are mostly pernicious, and sometimes dangerous in the extreme. The true remedy for these evils and dangers is, to employ in the management of the daily press, the noblest intellect, combined with the most incorruptible purity of motive. Commanding the entire confidence of the nation, and worthy of it, the lessons of this great teacher—the central light-giving orb of civilization—will be received with reverence and gratitude, and with a benign and fructifying in[Pg 609]fluence, something like that which the sun sheds on the world of nature.

A French philosopher, writing in 1840, says of us:

'This universal colony, notwithstanding the eminent temporal advantages of its present position, must be regarded as, in fact, in all important respects, more remote from a true social reorganization than the nations from whom it is derived, and to whom it will owe, in course of time, its final regeneration. The philosophical induction into that ulterior state is not to be looked for in America—whatever may be the existing illusions about the political superiority of a society in which the elements of modern civilization are, with the exception of industrial activity, most imperfectly developed.'

It may be admitted that we are yet somewhat behind the foremost nations of Europe in the higher walks of philosophy, and certainly in the practical application of true social principles, which, as yet, we do not fully comprehend, even if they do. But the conclusion of this author cannot be sound. However moderate may be our standard of knowledge in the United States, this knowledge, such as it is, is more widely diffused among the people who are to profit by it, than in any other country. If our attainments be comparatively small in philosophic statesmanship, the whole population partakes more or less in such progress as we have made; for education is universal, and whatever ideas are generated in the highest order of minds, soon become the familiar possession of all to the extremities of the land. Government yields with little opposition or delay to the interests and intelligence, and it may be, to the ignorance of the people: there is no other nation on the globe in which social forms and institutions are so plastic in the hands of wise and energetic men. By means of universal education and the perfect distribution of knowledge, we are laying the broadest possible basis on which the noblest structure may be raised, if we can only command the wisdom to build aright. The question, therefore, is, whether a whole people thoroughly educated and with the most perfect machinery for the diffusion of knowledge, though starting from a moderate condition of enlightenment, will outrun or fall behind other nations in which the few may be wiser, while the multitude is greatly more ignorant, and in which the forms of government and of social, organization are more rigid, and inaccessible to change or improvement. To answer this question will not cause much hesitation, at least in the mind of an American; and if we are not altogether what we think ourselves, the wisest and best of mankind, we may at least claim to be on the way to the highest improvement, with no serious obstacles in our path.


Two souls alone are friends of ours
In all the British isles;
Who sorrow for our darkened hours
And greet our luck with smiles.
"And who may those twain outcasts be
Whose favor ye have won?"
The first is Queen of England's realm,
The other that good Queen's son.
[Pg 610]


'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 is interesting.'—Goethe.

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



Elihu Joslin belonged to that class of knaves who are cowardly as well as unscrupulous. He never hesitated to cheat where he had an opportunity, trusting to his powers of blustering and browbeating to sustain him. When these failed, that is, when he encountered persons who were not imposed on nor intimidated by his swaggering, bullying mien, he showed his craven nature by an abject submission. From being an errand boy in an old-established paper house in the city, he had himself become the proprietor of a large business in the same line. He had but a single idea—to make money. And he did make it. His reputation among the trade was very bad. But this did not, as it ought to have done, put him out of the pale of business negotiations. Every merchant knows that there are many rich men in business, whose acts of dishonesty and whose tricks form a subject of conversation and anecdote with their associates in trade, yet who are not only tolerated, but are by some actually courted. Joslin, when quite a young man, had been the assignee of his employer, who hoped to find in him a pliant tool. He soon found his mistake. He had put himself completely in the power of his clerk, and the latter took full advantage of it. The result was, his principal was beggared, and Joslin rose on his ruins.

It was a favorite practice with Joslin to discover men who were short of money, lend them what they wanted, and thus, after a while, get control of all they possessed. When Joslin first met Mr. Burns, he hoped to entangle him as he had his friend. But the former was too good a merchant and in too sound a position to be brought in this way into his toils. He was therefore obliged to have recourse to sheer knavery to compass his object. The fact of Mr. Burns living so far from the city, the great expense which would be entailed on him by a litigation, and the natural repugnance he thought Mr. Burns would have to a lawsuit, emboldened him to employ the most high-handed measures to cheat him. The fact was, Mr. Burns's paper had become well known in the market, and commanded a ready sale. The manufacture was even—the texture firm and hard. There was a continually increasing demand for it. Joslin determined on—even for him—some audacious strokes. He sent a lot of the paper to an obscure auctioneer, one of his tools, and had it bid off in the name of a young man in his store. He thereupon reported the entire consignment to be unsalable, and credited Mr. Burns with the whole lot at the auction prices, less expenses. In this way he claimed to have no funds when Mr. Burns's drafts became due, and called on the latter for the ready money. The previous consignment he pretended to have sold in the city, at a time when paper was much lower than usual, but he had returned for this the then market price. Really he had not sold the paper at all. Knowing it was about to rise, he simply reported a sale, and kept the paper on hand to take advantage of the market, and he was now selling it at an advance of ten per cent, on the previous rates.

Mr. Burns had never before encountered so desperate a knave. As we[Pg 611] have said, the affair troubled him greatly. True, he was determined to investigate it thoroughly, but he could not well afford the time to go himself to New York. His chief man at the paper mill had failed to accomplish anything; so it was a great relief when Hiram volunteered his services. Mr. Burns could not tell why, but he had a singular confidence that Hiram would bring the matter out right. He was up to see his confidential clerk off in the stage, which passed through Burnsville before daylight, and which was to call at the office for its passenger. From that office a light could be seen glimmering as early as three o'clock. Hiram, after an hour or two in bed, where he did not close his eyes, had risen, and taking his valise in his hand, had gone to the office, and was again deep in the accounts. He would make memorandums from time to time, and at last wrote a brief note to Mr. Burns, asking him to send forward by the first mail a full power of attorney. At length the stage horn was heard. Hiram rose, opened his valise, and placed his papers within it. The stage wheeled rapidly round the corner, and drew up at the office door; Hiram extinguished the light, seized his valise, stepped quietly out, and was in the act of turning the key—he had a duplicate—when Mr. Burns arrived.

'I thought,' he said, 'I would see you off. You will have a fine day, and reach New Haven in ample time for the boat.'

'I have left a brief note on your table,' responded Hiram, 'to ask for a power of attorney. I think it may be important.'

'You shall have it. Good luck to you. Write me how you get along. Good-by.'

He shook Hiram's hand with an enthusiasm which belonged to his nature. The latter extended his cold, dry palm to his employer, and said, 'Good morning, sir,' and got inside. He did not in the least enter into Mr. Burns's cheerful, sympathizing spirit. If the truth must be told, he had not the slightest sympathy for him; neither did any desire to extricate him from this awkward business induce the present adventure. He cared no more for Mr. Burns than he did for Mr. Joslin. But he did enjoy the idea of meeting that knave and circumventing him. It was the pleasantest 'duty' he ever had undertaken. On it his whole thoughts were centred. What did he care whether the day was fair or foul—whether the roads were good or bad? He longed to get to work at Joslin.

The stage door closed, and the vehicle rolled swiftly away. Mr. Burns stood a moment looking after it. He had felt the entire absence of responsive sympathy in his clerk, and his old feeling returned, as it invariably did at times. He walked slowly toward his house.

'Why is it that I so often wish I was rid of that fellow, when he serves me so effectually?'

Mr. Burns turned before entering, and cast his eyes over the horizon. Daylight was just streaking the sky from the east. Joel Burns paused, and directed his glance over the town—the town he had founded and made to flourish. Tears stood in his eyes. Wherefore? He was thinking of the time when, after Mr. Bellows's death, he had, step by step, carefully travelled over this locality, while laying plans for his future career. Here—just here—he had marked four trees to indicate the site for his house, and here he had built it.

'Oh, Sarah, why had you to leave me?'

The words, uttered audibly, recalled him to himself. He opened and passed through the gate, and stepped on the piazza.

'Is that you, father?' It was his daughter's voice. He looked up and saw her at the window. 'I heard you go out, and I have been watching for you ever since. Did Mr. Meeker get off?'


'Wait, father, and I will come down and take a walk with you. Wouldn't you like it?'[Pg 612]

'Yes, dear, very much.'

They walked on together in silence. Presently Sarah perceived they were going in the direction of the burying ground. Mr. Burns entered it with his daughter, and soon stood by his wife's grave.

'She left us early, my child. You do not forget her?'

'Oh no, father!'

'Do you remember all about her—all?'

'Yes, everything.'

'I know it—I know you do. Why is it, Sarah, that lately I feel more solitary than usual?'

'Do you, father?'

'Yes, since—' He paused, unwilling, it would seem, to finish the sentence.

'You know, father, I have not been quite so much with you since Mr. Meeker came. You are more in the office.'

'So I am. I wish—' He hesitated again. Evidently something oppressed him.

Just then the first slanting rays of the morning sun gleamed over the place—pleasant rays, which seemed to change the current of Mr. Burns's thoughts, lighting up his soul as they were lighting the universe.

He spoke cheerfully: "Let us run home, now. And, Sarah, won't you see that we have a very nice breakfast? Early rising has given me an appetite."


All this time the stage was conveying Hiram Meeker toward his goal—toward Elihu Joslin. He reached New Haven in time for the boat, and early the following morning was in New York. At this date the town had not assumed its present magnificent proportions. Broadway, above Canal street, was lined with private residences instead of stores, and Bleecker street was one of the most fashionable in the city. Nevertheless it was already imposing, especially to a young man from the country.

Hiram had visited New York on two several occasions when a boy, in company with his mother, but latterly had not found any opportunity to do so. Lauding from the boat, he made his way to the then leading hotel, 'The Franklin House,' and entered his name, and presently went in to breakfast. After he had finished, he stepped out on the sidewalk. He beheld a continuous stream of human beings pouring along this extraordinary thoroughfare. Omnibuses, carts, wagons, and vehicles of every description already filled the way.

Hiram stood and regarded the scene. 'What a field here!' he said to himself. 'Look at this mass of people. Every other man an idiot—and of the rest, not one in a thousand has more than a medium share of brains. What a field, indeed, to undertake to manage and direct and control these fellows! What machinery though! Not too fast. This is the place for me. Burnsville-pho! Now, friend Joslin, * * * *

Hiram made his way to the store of H. Bennett & Co., in Pearl street. Mr. Bennett was in; glad to see Hiram, but wonderfully busy. He invited his relative to dinner—indeed, asked him why he had not come direct to his house. Then he turned away to business.

All this did not fluster Hiram in the slightest. He waited a few minutes; then took occasion to interrupt Mr. Bennett, and say he wished to speak with him on something of importance.

'Certainly,' replied the other. 'What can I do for you?'

'I come to New York on special business,' said Hiram. 'It is necessary I should know just what kind of a person Elihu Joslin is—the large paper dealer in Nassau street. I have not your facilities for ascertaining, and I ask you, as a particular favor, to find out for me.'

'Joslin!' exclaimed Mr. Bennett. 'I hope none of your people are in his clutches. He is a very hard case to deal with, so they say.'

'Is he rich?'

'Yes, worth a couple of hundred thousand, easy.'[Pg 613]

'How does he stand with the trade?'

'Oh, unpopular enough, I should imagine. Can't tell you particularly—is not in my line, you know; but if the matter is really pressing, you shall learn all you wish to in an hour.'

'Thank you. I must know all about him prior to a personal interview, which I am to have.'

'I see. Call in at twelve o'clock, and the information will be ready for you.'

'One word more. Do you know the house of Orris & Tweed, auctioneers?'

'Orris & Tweed? Never heard their name before.'

'It is in the directory.'

'I dare say. That don't amount to anything.'

'Please let me know something of them, too. I am sorry to give you this trouble; but I am a greenhorn in New York, and have a difficult matter on my hands.'

'No trouble—at least, I don't count it such to help a friend in the way of business. Besides, if you are a greenhorn, you act as if you know what you are about.'

H. Bennett, of the prosperous house of Bennett & Co., would not have devoted five minutes extra to his namesake in the way of social chat; regarding such conduct in business hours, and in the busy season, as worse than superfluous; but as a matter of business, though purely incidental and profitless, he would have given the whole day to Hiram's affair, if absolutely necessary.

Mr. Bennett here gave some special directions to one of his numerous clerks, a sharp, active-looking fellow, with a keen eye and an air like a game cock, who vanished as soon as they were received.

Hiram left the store, and turning into Wall street, walked on till he reached Nassau street, in which was the establishment of Elihu Joslin. He strolled on without any special purpose, till his attention was arrested by an obstruction on the sidewalk. It was simply the ordinary circumstance of the delivery of goods. In this instance a dray was backed up to the curbstone, with paper. Hiram looked at it carefully. It was of Mr. Burns's manufacture. He glanced up to see the name of the house. It was not Joslin.

A new thought flashed on him. Actuated by it, he commenced to speak with the carman, but checked himself, and walked boldly into the store, and back to the counting room.

'I see you have Burns's paper. I want to purchase a small quantity of it.'

'We couldn't supply you, to-day—have just got this in to fill an order. His paper stands so high that it is scarce in the market. How much do you want? We may get some more in by Thursday.'

'Only a few reams to make out an assortment. I suppose I can buy of you on as good terms as of Joslin.'

'For a small lot, I am sure, better; indeed, I have this direct from him, which is the same thing as if sent from the mill. You know the manufacturers will sell only to jobbers. You are in the retail line, I presume?'

'I am; and I wish you would spare me a couple of reams out of this lot, and send them round to H. Bennett & Co.'s, Pearl street.'

The merchant recognized in Hiram a young country storekeeper, and, desirous as all merchants are to make new acquaintances, was willing to accommodate him. H. Bennett & Co. was a first-class name, and this decided him to break into the lot, which was already sold to somebody else.

Hiram paid for his purchase, called up a carman instanter, and never took his eye off the paper till it was delivered at Mr. Bennett's store.

That gentleman was standing at the door, saying good-by to a first-rate customer, when Hiram came up with his cart, and directed his two reams of paper to be deposited inside.

'Well, youngster, what's all this? said Mr. Bennett, good humoredly.

'A little speculation of mine,' quoth Hiram, quietly.[Pg 614]

'Well, men do sometimes buy their own paper, I know—that is, when there is a promise to pay written on it; but this is a blank lot.'

'It will prove a prize to me, unless I am mistaken.'

Mr. Bennett caught the general idea on the instant. The two exchanged looks, such as are only current between very 'cute, knowing, sharp-witted men. Hiram was betrayed into returning Mr. Bennett's leer before he was aware of it. It was a spontaneous recognition, and he felt ashamed at being thus thrown off his guard. He colored slightly, and said something about his duty to his employer.

'There's where you're right,' replied Mr. Bennett. 'A man who does not serve his employer well will not serve himself well in the long run; that you may be sure of.'

The conversation ended here. Hiram strolled out again for half an hour; and when he returned, Mr. Bennett was able to give him a daguerreotype of Elihu Joslin's character, which agreed with that with which we have already favored the reader. As to 'Orris & Tweed, auctioneers,' they were not much better than Peter Funks—lived by acting as stool pigeons, and cheating generally.

Hiram left the store rejoicing at this intelligence, and took his way direct to Joslin's place. Inquiring if that personage was in, he was told yes, but specially engaged. Hiram sat for a full hour, waiting patiently: then he was told to go into the private counting room.

Entering, he beheld a large, overgrown, rough-looking man, about five and thirty, with black hair and eyes, and a coarse, florid complexion, who looked up and nodded carelessly on his entering.

'This is Mr. Joslin, I presume?'


'My name is Meeker, I come from Burnsville—am in the employ of Mr. Burns.'


'I have come down to take a look at York, and knowing you owned half the paper mill, guessed you was a friend of Mr. Burns, and might not object to let some of your folks show me about a little.'

'You don't belong in the mill, then?'

'No; but I've been all over it. It's curious work—paper making.'

'How long are you going to stay here?'

'Well, I want to make a little visit and see the place. In fact, I've a notion to come here by-and-by, and I would like to look about first. Don't you want a clerk yourself?'

'What can you do?'

'I can tend store first rate.'

'What do you want to leave Burns for?'

'I didn't say I wanted to leave him. He's a first-rate man, if he was only a little sharper—got too many soft spots: that's what I hear folks say. But I think I should like New York.'

'Well, Nicker—'

'Meeker, if you please.'

'All right, I say, Meeker; we are pretty busy now, but if you want to see the elephant—and I suppose you do—I will introduce you to one of my boys, who will give you a chance.'

He stepped out, beckoning Hiram to follow.

'Hill! Tell Hill to come here, some of you. Hill, this is Mr. Meeker, in the employ of our particular friend, Mr. Burns, of Burnsville. He wants to see something of the city. You must do what you can for him. I would not wish to slight any one, you know, who belongs with Mr. Burns.'

'All right, sir,' said Hill, a jaunty, devil-may-care looking fellow, with a sallow, sickly face, evidently the result of excess and dissipation.' If the young gentleman will tell me where he stops. I will call for him this evening.'

'At the Franklin House,' responded Hiram.

'The devil!' exclaimed Joslin. 'Tall quarters, I should say.'

'Ain't it a good place, sir? I was told[Pg 615] it was a good house on board the boat.'

'Good! I should think it was. The best in New York. A dollar and a half a day: did you understand that?'

'No, sir; I did not ask the price.'

'Green, that's a fact,' said Joslin to himself.' Never mind,' he continued, 'Hill will recommend you to his boarding place, if you like. Good day;' and Hiram took his leave.

'I say, Hill, I want to find out how matters stand with Burns. You've got just the chance now. Put this chap through generally. His mother don't seem to know he's out. Don't mind a few dollars: you understand? And recollect, pump him dry.'

'Dry as a sandbank,' said Hill, who was already chuckling over the sport in prospect.

Mr. Joslin continued his instructions, which, as they were of a strictly private nature, we should be violating confidence to record.

Hiram occupied himself the remainder of the day in looking about the town. He took one of Brower's omnibuses and rode to the end of the route in Broadway, opposite Bond street. Here he descended and retraced his steps. Broadway was then the general promenade. Hiram's pulse beat quick as he gazed on the beauty and fashion of the metropolis moving magnificently along. Susceptible as he was, he had never before been so impressed with female charms. He thought of the belles of Hampton and Burnsville with a species of disgust. His own costume, which he regarded as so perfect, he perceived had a provincial, country look, when contrasted with that of the gentlemen he encountered. Now in business matters, Hiram was as much at home and as self-possessed in New York as in Connecticut. But when it came to the display he now beheld, he felt and acknowledged his inferiority.

Here Hiram was green. He did not stop to reflect that fine feathers make fine birds, so suddenly was he confronted with the glittering panorama. He continued to mingle with the crowd which swept along, and sometimes the blood would rush swiftly to his brain, causing him to reel, as dark eyes would be turned languidly on him, exhibiting, as he was ready to believe, an incipient interest in his destiny.

Below Canal street the character of the current began to change, till gradually Hiram was freed from the exciting trial he had been subjected to. He collected his thoughts and brought his mind back to his work—and his work Hiram Meeker never neglected. Slowly the old current drove out the new. Gradually his mind returned to its even tenor. He walked through the custom house. He entered the exchange. He visited the shipping; and when he got back to the hotel, he was tired and hungry enough. But, tired and hungry as he was, he proceeded at once to open his valise and take out a bundle of papers. Glancing over certain account sales, his eye fell on the name of Hill as purchaser. A peculiar gleam of satisfaction passed over his face as he replaced the papers in his valise and went down to dinner.


At the appointed hour, the young gentleman whom Mr. Joslin had addressed as 'Hill' waited on Hiram at the Franklin House. He sent up his card, and Hiram descended to meet him. He could scarcely recognize the young man before him, dressed in a ridiculous extreme of fashion, and covered with rings, pins, and gold chains, as the clerk hard at work with coat off, superintending the stowing away of a lot of merchandise. But Hiram was in no way deceived or taken in by the imposing manner in which Mr. Hill had got himself up. He saw quickly the difference between the real and the flash fashionable. But he did not betray this by word or sign, and continued to maintain the character he had assumed of an unsophisticated, verdant country youth.[Pg 616]

Mr. Hill at the outset proposed they should take a drink, to which Hiram readily assented. They proceeded to the bar, when the young man asked his companion what he would have.

'A glass of lemonade,' replied Hiram.

'Lemonade!' exclaimed the other. 'You don't call that drinking with a fellow, do you?'

'I can't take anything stronger,' answered Hiram. 'I belong to the temperance society.'

'Temperance society!' retorted Hill, a good deal chapfallen that he was to lose his chief weapon of attack. 'I thought the pledge didn't hold when you were away from home?'

'Oh, yes it does; our minister says it holds everywhere. Still, I wouldn't mind taking some soda and sarsaparilla, though Dr. Stevens says there's alcohol in the sarsaparilla.'

Hiram was impracticable. Hill could not induce him even to take a little wine. He was so much chagrined that he poured out for himself a double portion of brandy, and, before he had finished it, regained his good humor.

'Well, what do you say to another glass? I think I can stand the brandy, if you can the lemonade.'

Hiram had no objections.

Hill lighted a segar. Hiram did not smoke.

'I hope you are not going to refuse my next invitation,' said Hill. 'I have got tickets for the theatre: what do you say?'

Hiram had often discussed the theatre question, both at the lyceum and on other occasions. It was to be condemned—no doubt about it. But the Rev. Mr. Goddard had once remarked in his hearing that he thought if a good opportunity was presented for a young man to visit the theatre, he had perhaps better do so, than feel an irritating curiosity all his life about it.

Seeing Hiram hesitate, Hill proceeded to urge him. 'You had better go,' he said. 'Lots to be seen. You don't know what you are losing, I tell you.'

Hiram was not influenced by his companion's importunity, but he decided to go, nevertheless. The elder Kean was then in New York, and the old Park Theatre in all its glory. That evening Kean was to play Shylock in the 'Merchant of Venice.' Hill, greatly pleased that at last he had made some headway, took another glass of brandy and water, and the young men proceeded to the theatre. The house was crowded from galleries to pit. The orchestra was playing when they entered.

Hiram was blinded by the brilliancy of the gaslights. His heart beat fast in spite of his effort to be composed.

The play began with some second-rate actors, who went through the first scene with the usual affected stage strut and tone. Hiram thought he never witnessed anything more unnatural and ridiculous. Even in the second, where Portia and Nerissa hold a dialogue, he was rather disgusted than otherwise. The machinery had scarcely been adjusted for the third scene, when a storm of applause burst from all parts of the house; clapping of hands, stamping of feet, bravos, and various noises of welcome commingled, and Hiram beheld an old man enter, somewhat bent, dressed in a Hebrew cap and tunic, having a short cane, which would serve either for support or as a means of defence. As he advanced, he cast sidelong, suspicious, and sinister glances from beneath bushy, beetling eyebrows.

At first Hiram was inclined to believe it was a real personage, so natural was his entrance—so destitute of all trick, or of anything got up.

'That's Kean,' whispered Hill.

Hiram held his breath as the words of the Jew broke distinctly on the house:

'Three thousand ducats—well.'

He entered at once with the deepest interest into the play. With head leaning forward, eyes open wide and fixed on the speaker, he drank in every word. From the first he sympathized with the main character. When Shylock went[Pg 617] on to say: 'Yet his means are in supposition: he hath an argosy bound to Tipolis, another to the Indies. I understand, moreover, upon the Rialto, he hath a third at Mexico, a fourth for England; and other ventures he hath, squandered abroad. But ships are but boards, sailors but men. There be land rats and water rats, land thieves and water thieves—I mean pirates; and there is the peril of waters, winds, and rocks. The man is notwithstanding sufficient:'—Hiram unconsciously shook his head, as if he doubted it.

His whole soul was now centred in the performance. When it came to the trial, in the fourth act, he turned and twisted his body, as if he could with difficulty abstain from advising Shylock to accept the offer of Bassanio: 'For the three thousand ducats here is six.'

It does not appear that Hiram felt any sympathy for the merchant who was to lose the pound of flesh; but for Shylock, when turned out of court stripped of all he had, it was intense. When at last he exclaims:

'Nay, take my life and all; pardon not that:
You take my house when you do take the prop
That doth sustain my house; you take my life
When you do take the means whereby I live:'

Hiram leaned back, and exclaimed audibly: 'It's too bad, I declare!'

All this time, Hill sat as quietly as he could. He laughed whenever Launcelot Gobbo appeared; and tried hard to get Hiram to go out and take more lemonade between the acts. Hiram would not move. He offered to introduce him to lots of pretty girls whom he pointed out in the distance; but it was useless. Hill began to think he would not make much of Hiram, after all. The evening was past, and he had as yet accomplished just nothing.

The play was over. The farce had been performed. It did not interest Hiram. He thought everything over-strained and unnatural. It was now late, Hiram had declined various seductive invitations of Hill, when the latter finally insisted they should have some oysters. Hiram assented, and the two descended into Windust's.

'Well, old fellow, what are you doing here?' was Hill's exclamation to a young man with notebook and pencil, seated at one of the small tables, on which already smoked an oyster stew and some brandy toddy.

'Hallo, Hill, is that you? Sit down. What will you have?' was the reply.

Hiram regarded the speaker curiously. He was twenty-two or three years old—serious looking, with black hair, dark eyes, and pale, bony features. He had the easy, indifferent air of one careless of opinion, or independent of it.

'My friend, Mr. Meeker, from Connecticut.'

'Mr. Meeker, Mr. Innis.'

After these salutations, the parties sat down, and orders were given.

'Excuse me,' said Innis; 'I am not quite through my work.'

'Go ahead,' replied Hill; whereat the other proceeded with his pencil and notebook, scratching away in a most rapid manner.

Seeing Hiram look as if he did not exactly comprehend the employment, Hill remarked, 'Innis is item man and reporter for the Clarion, and you will see his notice of Kean's performance, which he is just finishing, in to-morrow morning's paper.'

This struck Hiram as rapid work, considerably increasing his respect for the stranger, and led him to regard Innis still more critically. His appearance had impressed him favorably from the first.

Suddenly he exclaimed, 'Wern't you at Newton Academy?'

'Yes; and so were you. I remember now. You were a little fellow. You took the first prize in bookkeeping.'

'And you learned shorthand of Chellis.'

'Which counts now, at any rate. I should starve without it.'

During this colloquy Hill sat in utter amazement.[Pg 618]

'You a Newton boy?' he exclaimed at last.

'Yes,' said Hiram.

'And you know him, and no mistake?' to Innis.

Innis nodded.

'Then old Joslin may go to the devil. I—'

'He'll go soon enough, and without your permission; and if you are not careful, you'll go with him,' interrupted Innis, rising. 'I am all right now,' he continued. 'I've but to step a block and a half and back. I will be with you again in three minutes;' and he darted off to hand in his evening's report.

Hill sat looking at Hiram, who, with all his impenetrability wore a surprised and puzzled expression.

'You don't remember me,' he said.


'Why, I am Deacon Hill's son, of Newton. I quit the academy, I guess, just about the time you came. Innis and I were there together. Well, I declare, your innocent look threw me off the track; but I have seen you many a time in Hampton. You used to be with Jessup, didn't you?'


'You've been coming possum over Joslin; isn't it so?'

'I don't understand you.'

'Oh, never mind; he's a cursed knave, anyway. I shall quit him first of January—keeps me on promises and the lowest kind of a salary, and no end of the dirty work—'

'Such as sham sales of my employer's paper sold A.H. Hill,' interrupted Hiram, dryly.

'Hallo! where did you get hold of that?' said Hill, laughing.

Hiram made no reply; and Innis entering at this moment, the subject was changed.

Hill, who had already imbibed more than was good for him, ordered a brandy toddy; and Hiram, true to his temperance principles, partook of a cup of hot coffee. Before the toddy was half finished, Hill, who was already illustrating the proverb that 'children, fools, and drunken men speak truth,' commenced again about his employer, Joslin.

'Really, Mr. Hill, I don't think you ought to refer to your confidential relations with your principal,' said Hiram, gravely. He knew, cunning fellow, it would only be adding fuel to the fire.

'You be——,' said Hill. 'I tell you what it is, Innis: here's a sell. I'm fairly come over. He is on Joslin's track—I know it, and I'll own up.' He thereupon proceeded to give a general account of Joslin, and how he did business, and what a cowardly, lying knave he was.

Innis laughed. Hiram was quiet, but he did not miss a word. The little supper was finished, and the trio rose to depart.

'I had no idea it was so late,' said Innis.

'Have you far to go?' said Hiram.

'Yes, to Chelsea; and the omnibuses have stopped.'

'Come and stay with me: I have a very nice room.'

Innis saw Hiram was in earnest, and after a little hesitation he assented. Hill bid them good night, and hiccoughed off toward his own quarters; and Hiram with Innis went to the Franklin House.

When these young men reached their room, they did not go to bed. They sat up for an hour or two. What this conference led to we shall see by-and-by.


Hiram rose early, notwithstanding the late hours of the previous night. Innis breakfasted with him and then took his departure. On going to the post office, Hiram found a letter from Mr. Burns, enclosing a full power of attorney, as he had requested. He then went to H. Bennett & Co., where he took up at least an hour of that gentleman's time, apparently quite to that gentleman's satisfaction. Thence Hiram proceeded[Pg 619] to the office of a well-known counsellor at law, who had been recommended to him by Mr. Bennett.

The day was spent in preparing certain ominous-looking documents. I am told that on the occasion Hiram exhibited a breadth and clearness of comprehension which astonished the counsellor, who could not help suggesting to the young man that he would make an excellent lawyer, which compliment Hiram received with something very like a sneer. That evening Hiram went to bed early. He slept well. His plans were perfected—his troops in order of battle, only waiting for the signal to be given.

He awoke about sunrise, and rang his bell. A sleepy servant at length replied to it.

'Bring me a Clarion,' said Hiram.

'The papers won't be along, sir, for half an hour.'

'Well, let me have one the moment they come. Here's a quarter; bring a Clarion quick, and I shall ask no change.'

I record this instance of an impatient spirit in Hiram, as probably the last he ever exhibited through his whole life. What could cause it?

Presently the waiter came back. The Clarion was in his hand. Hiram took it eagerly, turned swiftly to the 'City Items,' and nodded with intense satisfaction as his eye rested on one paragraph.

At ten o'clock precisely, Hiram presented himself at the counting room of Elihu Joslin. Again he was forced to wait some time, and again he waited most patiently.

[I ought to state that Hill, in order to keep up his credit with his employer, his bravado being sensibly cooled the following morning, had made up all sorts of stories about Mr. Burns's affairs, which, as he reported, had been pumped from Hiram, whom he professed to have left in a most dilapidated state at the hotel.]

At length Mr. Joslin would see Hiram. The latter entered and sat down.

'Well, my young friend,' said the merchant, 'what do you think of New York? Equal to Burnsville, eh? Did Hill do the polite thing by you?'

'Mr. Joslin,' said Hiram, seriously, and quite in his natural manner, while he fixed his quiet but strangely searching eyes on him, 'I have an important communication to make to you?'


'I am not what I appear to be!'

'No? What the devil are you then?'

'I am the CONFIDENTIAL CLERK of Joel Burns, sent here by him to ferret out and punish your rascalities. Stay,' continued Hiram—perceiving Joslin was about to break forth in some violent demonstrations. 'Sit down, sir, and hear me through quietly. It is your best course. It is your ONLY course. Now listen. You have undertaken to cheat my employer. You have rendered false accounts of sales, using your own clerks for sham purchasers, and employing stool-pigeon auctioneers. You have attempted to swindle him generally. I have the whole story here. You are in my power.'

'By——! that's more than I'll stand,' shouted Joslin, 'from any d——d Connecticut Yankee.'

'Stop,' said Hiram, authoritatively. 'A word more, and you are ruined past all redemption. Read that,' and he handed him the Clarion, placing his finger on a particular paragraph. Joslin took the paper. His hand trembled, but he managed to read as follows:

'Some extraordinary disclosures have reached us, involving a wholesale paper house in Nassau street in large swindling transactions. We forbear to give the name of the party implicated, but understand that the police to-morrow will be in possession of the facts.'

'Here,' said Hiram, showing a bundle of papers, 'are the documents. Outside there on the curbstone stands an officer. I mean to make short work of it. Will you behave rationally or not?'[Pg 620]

Joslin sat down.

'What do you want?' he said at length.

'I want nothing but what is HONEST, sir—that I mean to have,' said Hiram, in a mild, but very firm tone. 'Here is the account as it ought to be rendered. Look it over, and put your name to it.'

'Really, this will take time—a good deal of time,' said Joslin, recovering from his stupor. 'I must consult my bookkeeper.'

'You will consult nobody, and you will settle this account before I leave the room.'

Joslin took the document. He trembled from head to foot. He saw himself completely circumvented.

Hiram proceeded to show him just how the account ought to stand. Very coolly and very accurately he went through the whole.

'I suppose you are right,' said Joslin, moodily, and he affixed his signature to the paper, and began to think he was getting off easy. 'Now, do you want anything more of me?'

'Yes,' said Hiram, 'considerably more. You own one half of the paper mill with Mr. Burns. You must sell out to him. Here is an agreement to sell, drawn ready for your signature.'

'D——d if I will do it for all Burnsville! You've settled with me, and you can't stir a peg farther. Outwitted yourself this time!' said Joslin, triumphantly.

'Not quite so fast. You have settled with Mr. Burns by signing that paper, which gives the lie to your other accounts, and is so much evidence for me before a police court; but Mr. Burns has not settled with you, and won't settle with you till you bind yourself, by signing this document, to sell out to him, on reasonable terms.'

Joslin was again struck dumb.

'You will receive,' continued Hiram, 'just what you paid for it, less my expenses, and charges for my time and trouble in coming to New York, counsel fees, and so forth; and you may think yourself fortunate in falling into conscientious hands!'

Not to pursue the interview farther, Hiram accomplished just exactly what he undertook to do before he entered Joslin's store that morning. The accounts were made right, and Hiram turned to leave the store with the agreement to sell in his pocket. He stopped before going out.

'Mark you,' he said; 'when Joel Burns gets a clean deed of your half the paper mill, according to this agreement, I will tear up these little documents'—exhibiting some law papers. 'Don't forget. You have undertaken to settle with me. I shan't have settled with you till I get the deed. Good morning.'

It was only twelve o'clock when all this was concluded. Hiram marched out of the store triumphant. His impulse on touching the pavement was to jump up and down, run, kick up his heels, and shout all sorts of huzzas. He did none of these, but walked up to the Park very quietly, and then into Broadway. But his heart beat exultantly. A glow of absolute satisfaction suffused his mental, moral, and physical system. It was just the happiest moment of his life. The day was fine—the air clear and bracing. Broadway was filled to overflowing. How he enjoyed the promenade! It was when turning to retrace his steps, after reaching the limits of fashionable resort, that his feelings became so buoyant that it seemed as if he must find some outlet for them. The exquisite beauty of the ladies, the richness of their dresses, and the air and style with which they glided along, put new excitement into his soul.

'One of these days I shall make their acquaintance. Oh! what a place this is,' he muttered.

Unconsciously he stopped quite still, almost in an ecstacy.

At that moment his attention was attracted by a hearse, which, having accomplished its task, was proceeding at a rapid rate up Broadway. Careening this way and that, it jolted swiftly over[Pg 621] the pavement. The driver, either hardened by habit, or, it may be, a little tipsy, exhibited a rollicking, reckless air, as he urged his horse along. As he came opposite Hiram, their eyes met. Influenced by I know not what, perhaps for a joke, perhaps to give the young fellow who was so verdantly staring at him a start, he half checked the animal, as if about to pull up, and gesturing to Hiram in the style of an omnibus driver, motioned him to get inside!

Never before, never afterward, did Hiram receive such a shock. Dismay was so evident on his face, that the man gave vent to a coarse laugh at the success of his experiment, applied the lash to his brute, and dashed furiously on.

What sent that hearse along just then and there? It gave you a ghostly reminder, Hiram. It made you recollect that you were not to lose sight of the other side.

That morning Hiram forgot, yes, forgot to say his prayers. So entirely was he carried away by the Joslin business, that for once he neglected this invariable duty. Now this was not singular under the circumstances. To a genuine spirit the omission would have been followed by no morbid recollections. As Hiram, after the affair of the hearse, took his way to the hotel, the fact that he had not sought God's blessing on his morning's work suddenly presented itself. He was persuaded the shock he received was providential. Arrived at the Franklin, he mounted to his room, and read three or four times the customary amount in the Bible, and prayed longer and more energetically than he ever did before in his life. He was now much more calm, but still a good deal depressed. It was not till after he had partaken of an excellent dinner that he felt entire equanimity.

That evening Hiram was to spend at Mr. Bennett's. True to his rule, which he applied with severity, not to let pleasure interfere with business, he had declined all his cousin's invitations. Now he was at liberty to go and enjoy himself. Mr. Bennett lived in a very handsome house in a fashionable street. His daughters were all older than Hiram, but still they were very pretty, and by no means passée. Mrs. Bennett was quite a grand lady. Mr. B. received Hiram very cordially, and asked immediately how he had got along. Hiram replied briefly. Mr. B. was delighted. Mrs. B. received Hiram very graciously, but with something of a patronizing manner, very different from what she exhibited when spending several weeks at Hampton. The two girls were more cordial. Hiram's country-bred politeness, which omitted not the least point required by books of etiquette, amused them much as the vigorous and very scientific dancing of a country belle amuses the city-bred girl who walks languidly through the measure. Notwithstanding, Hiram managed to make himself agreeable. It was not till two or three young gentlemen of the city came in that they showed slight signs of weariness, and Hiram was transferred to mamma. Our hero was not slow to perceive the disadvantage under which he labored. He was not one whit discouraged. He watched his rivals closely. He smiled occasionally in disdain while listening to some of the conversation. 'They are almost fools,' he said to himself. 'The tailor has done the whole.' Never mind, I can afford to wait.

The next morning Hiram took the boat for New Haven, and on the following morning reached Burnsville. He had written but a line to Mr. Burns, to acknowledge the receipt of the power of attorney, and had given his employer no inkling of what he was attempting to do.

As the stage, a little after sunrise, drove into that beautiful village, Hiram felt glad to get back to its quiet, charming repose. He thought of the glare and hustle and excitement of New York with no satisfaction, contrasted with the placid beauty of the scene he now witnessed. The idea of being wel[Pg 622]comed by Louisa and Charlotte Hawkins filled his mind with pleasure, and Sarah Burns did not at that moment suffer in comparison with the Miss Bennetts.

'It is a happy spot!' said Hiram. 'Can I do better than stay in it?'

It was an instinct of his better nature which spoke. He had given way to it for a moment, but only for a moment. The next, the old sense returned and was triumphant.

The stage whirled on, and soon Hiram was driven up to the house of Mrs. Hawkins. How rejoiced they all were to see him! The widow Hawkins had missed him so much! As for Louisa and Charlotte, they were ready to devour him.

Hiram hurried through his breakfast, hastily adjusted his toilette, and walked over to Mr. Burns's house. He rang the bell. The door was opened by Mr. Burns himself. He greeted Hiram most cordially.

'I did not expect you back so soon. Come in; we are just sitting down to breakfast.'

'I have already breakfasted,' said Hiram, 'and am going to the office. Please look these papers over,' he continued. 'By them you will see precisely what I have been able to do.'

Mr. Burns took the papers and turned to go in. He thought Hiram had accomplished little, and he did not wish to mortify him by asking what.

Just then Sarah Burns came tripping down stairs, and, passing her father, extended her hand to Hiram, and said:

'Welcome back! What have you done?'

'Do not forget your promise,' replied Hiram, in a low, distinct tone. 'I have WON!'


'For Waterloo,' says Victor Hugo, 'was not a battle: it was a change of front of the universe.'

Great events are developed by nearness. "To-day," says Emerson, "is a king in disguise." Probably half the soldiers of Constantine's army regarded their leader's adoption of the Cross as his sign of hope and triumph as of small account. Their pay and rations, their weapons, their officers, were the same as before; the enemy before them, their duty to beat him, were unchanged. What availed a symbol more or less on the imperial banner? Even admit that it indicated the emperor's personal rejection of the old and adoption of the newer faith, what of that? Would not everybody else abide by the religion of his own choice, whatever that might be? Away, then, with all theological babble, which plain people can never half understand! Rome and the emperor for ever! Yet in that despised symbol, announcing that the Empire had become the protector instead of the persecutor of the Christian faith, was the germ of a greater transformation than was wrought by the Deluge.

The Proclamation of Freedom by President Lincoln is doubtless open to criticism. Why did he not declare all slaves emancipated? Why not make such legal manumission operative at once? Why intimate that certain States should (or might) be excepted from its operation? Why not declare the slaves liberated because of the essential, inevitable wrong of holding them in bondage? Why not appeal to God for His blessing on the cause henceforward inseparably[Pg 623] identified with that of Right and Liberty? Such questions may be multiplied indefinitely; but to what end? What matters that the Proclamation might or should be different, since we have practical concern only with the Proclamation as it is?

For more than a lifetime, slavery has been accepted and regarded as a national institution. The American in Europe was "perplexed in the extreme" by the questionings and criticisms of humane, intelligent observers, who could not comprehend how a country should contain Four Millions of slaves by the official census, yet not be a slaveholding country. With our capital a slaveholding city; with our fortresses in good part constructed by the labor of slaves; with our flag the chief shelter of the African Slave Trade, and our statute book disgraced by the most arbitrary and inhuman Fugitive Slave Law ever devised, it was a nice operation to prove this no slaveholding country, but only one wherein certain citizens, by virtue of local laws, over which we had no control, were permitted to hold Blacks in slavery. And, when it is notorious that the active partisans of slavery filled every Federal office, even in the nominally free States, and excluded rigorously from office every opponent of the baleful system, it is certain that the shrug of the polite Frenchman who listened to our demonstration that ours, after all, was not a slaveholding country, was an indication of complaisance rather than of conviction. To prove this nothing of the sort, while Brazil was placed at the head of modern slaveholding countries, was to overtax the resources of human sophistry.

The Proclamation is an immense fact. If it were no more than a recognition from the highest quarter of the deadly antagonism between slavery and the Union, it would have inexhaustible significance. The American republic, bleeding at every pore while fighting desperately for life, arraigns slavery as her chief enemy and peril. The truth was long since clear to every candid mind; but truth gains force by recognition. Thousands realize a fact thus proclaimed, who have hitherto ignored and resisted it.

For thirty years, the charge of disloyalty has borne heavily on the American champion of Universal Liberty. True, as to a very few, who could not obtain the assent of their consciences to compacts which bound them to aid the oppressor against his victim, they were made a weapon of offense against all. Abolitionists were execrated and hooted by the mob as champions at once of Negro Equality and of National dissolution.

The times are bravely altered. The partnership between Slavery and Unionism is absolutely dissolved. Like most divorces, this involves a deadly quarrel. Not even the soaring platitudes of George Francis Train can longer evoke cheers for the Union blent with curses on Abolition. In a strictly, sternly real sense, "Liberty and Union" are henceforth "one and inseparable!"

For thirty years, our great seaboard merchants, our shippers, our factors, have given their patronage to pro-slavery journals and their votes to pro-slavery politicians, with intent to preserve the Union and lay the red spectre of civil war. Their recompense is found in the repudiation of the immense debts for merchandise due them from the South, and a gigantic war waged by the Slave Power for the overthrow of the Union. The profits of a lifetime of obsequious pandering to the master crime of our era are swept away at a blow, and the arm that strikes it is that of the monster they have made such sacrifices of conscience and manhood to conciliate. Was ever retribution more signal?

To-day, the American Union, through the official action of its President and Congress, stands distinctly on the side of Liberty for All. Its success in the fearful struggle forced upon it involves the overthrow and extinction of American slavery. The sentiment of nation[Pg 624]ality, the instinct which impels every people to deprecate and resist the dismemberment and degradation of their country, the impulse of loyalty, are all arrayed against the traitorous "institution" which, after having so long bent the Union to its ends, now seeks its destruction. It once seemed to the majority patriotic to champion slavery; it is now a sacred duty to resist the bloody Moloch unto death.

The very hesitation of the President to take the decisive step gives weight to his ultimate decision. The compromisers have never tired of eulogizing his firmness, his candor, his patience, his clearness of vision, his independence, and his unsectional patriotism. His associations were largely with the Border State school of conservatives. His favorite counsellor was the most eminent and sturdy Republican opponent of an emancipation policy. His decision in favor of that policy, like the Proclamation which announces it, is entirely his own. The "pressure" to which he deferred was that of an urgent public necessity and the emphatic conviction of the great mass of our loyal citizens.

And, though few days have elapsed since the Proclamation was uttered, the evils predicted by its opponents are already banished to the limbo of chimera. Those officers who threatened to resign in case an emancipation policy were adopted make no haste to justify their menaces. As yet, not one of them has done so; in time, a few may screw their courage to the sticking-point. There are enough who can be spared; and they are generally those who deprecate and denounce an "Abolition war." May they yet prove men of their word!

Outside of the army, the general feeling is one of wonder that this act of direst portent to the rebellion has been so long delayed. Even the rebels share in this amazement. When secession was first openly mooted at the South, every Unionist argued that secession was practical abolition. It has puzzled them to comprehend the weary months through which their prophecies were left unfulfilled. They will be perplexed no longer.

The Opposition in the loyal States is manifestly weakened by the Proclamation. Their dream is of wearing out the Unionists by disappointments and delays, restoring a Democratic ascendency in the government, and then buying back the rebels to an outward loyalty by new concessions and guaranties to slavery. Hence torpid campaigns, languid strategy, advances without purpose, and surrenders without necessity. But the policy of emancipation brings the quarrel to a speedy decision. The rebel States must promptly triumph or brave a social dissolution. Every Union advance into a rebel region henceforth clears a broad district of slaves. The few are hurried off by their masters; the many escape to a land of freedom. How signally this process will be accellerated after the first of January, few will yet believe. Let the war simply go on, with fluctuating fortunes, for a year or two longer, and the new slave empire will be nearly denuded of slaves. The process is at once inevitable and irresistible. Whether the able-bodied slaves thus escaping to the loyal States shall or shall not be used in whatever way they may be found most serviceable against the cruel despotism which so long robbed them of their earnings while crushing out their manhood, is purely a question of time. There are thousands who would last year have revolted against the employment of Blacks in any way in our struggle, who are now ripe for it: every week, as it transpires, adds to their number. Loyal men hesitated at first, believing that the rebellion would easily and speedily be put down. These have now discovered their mistake and amended it. An aristocracy of three hundred thousand generally capable, energetic persons, accustomed to rule, and recognizing a deadly foe in every opponent of their wishes, surrounded by twice so many shrewd and skilful parasites, and wielding the entire resources of ten millions of peo[Pg 625]ple, are not easily conquered. The poor Whites fill the ranks of their armies; the Blacks grow the food and perform the labor essential to the subsistence of those armies and of their families. Slavery unassailed is the strongest natural base of a gigantic rebellion: it easily adapts all the resources of a people to the stern exigencies of war. Slavery resisted and undermined is a very different affair, as the annals of this struggle are destined to prove.

Let no doubts, then, vex the mind of a single hearty Unionist as to the issue of our great contest. The Proclamation has not added a thousand to the number of our enemies, while it has supplied four millions with the most cogent reasons for being henceforth our friends. These millions are humble, ignorant, timid, distrustful, and now grinding in the prison-house of the traitors. They are not, let us frankly admit, the equals in prowess, capacity, or opportunity, of four millions of Whites; but they are, nevertheless, human beings; they have human affections and aspirations, and they feel the stirrings of the universal and indestructible human longing for liberty. "Breaking in a nigger" is a rough and pretty effectual process: it crushes down the manhood of its subject, but does not crush it out. Should the republic say to-morrow to its Black step-children, "We want one hundred thousand of you to aid in this struggle against the slaveholding rebels, and will treat you in every respect as human beings should be treated," it would not have to wait long for the full number. Hitherto a low prejudice, studiously fostered by Democratic politicians for the vilest party ends, has repelled and expelled this abused race from the militia service of the Union. The exclusion is absurd where its impulse is not treasonable, and must share the fate of all absurdities. "Would you," asked a Unionist of a Democrat, "refuse the aid of a negro, if you were assailed and your life threatened by an assassin?" "Yes," replied the Democrat; "I would rather be killed by a White man than saved by a nigger." Who does not know that this man at heart sympathizes with the rebellion, and deprecates the War for the Union as unnecessary and ruinous?

That war will go on. Our new and vast levies, our new iron-clads, our new policy, will add immensely to the strength already put forth in vindication of the rightful authority of the Federal government and the integrity of the Union. Yet a little while, and the immense superiority in every respect of the moral and material forces of the loyal States will make themselves felt and respected. Yet a little while, and the authority of the Nation will be acknowledged by its now revolted citizens, and the rebellion will subside as suddenly as it broke upon us. Yet a little while, and ours will again be a land of peace, returning joyfully to the pursuits of productive industry and radiant with the sunlight of Universal Liberty.


The magnates of Richmond all swore out of hand,
That the war must go in the enemies' land;
And it did: when they crossed to the Maryland shore
They turned all into foes who were friendly before!
[Pg 626]


Silence and light and scenes stupendous greet
My wondering sense and sight! Here midway meet
Those rocky splendors where th' embracing clouds
Above, below, wrap them in misty shrouds.

Our mules with cautious feet the sharp ascent
Accomplish; and, the steep o'ertopped, all spent
Our strength, we look wild nature in the face,
Some features of the human soul to trace.

A phantom drap'ry betwixt sky and earth,
Of blending tints, spans in impulsive birth
Th' entranced view! A heav'nly arch it forms—
It seems suspended by some seraph's arms!

Ethereal Rainbow! Daughter of the Shower!
Thy beauty lends enchantment to the hour.
The seraph arm grows weary—now is furled
The gleam in dreamy vapor from the world!

And now in purple shadows stand the hills:
The night winds beat their stony sides, and trills
From hidden rivulets, and stealthy creep
Of some lone reptile down the grooved steep,

Divert the eye and ear—th' restricted breath
Of each rapt soul is heard—and still as death
Stand the dumb mules. Homeward we turn our eyes,
And leave the region of the naked skies.



Freeman! if you pant for glory,
If you sigh to live in story,
If you burn with patriot zeal;
Seize this bright, auspicious hour,
Chase those venal tools of power,
Who subvert the public weal.
[Pg 627]


After a severe struggle of more than a quarter of a century, from March, 1836, to May, 1862, the Homestead bill has become a law. We quote its main provisions, as follows:

'That any person who is the head of a family or arrived at the age of twenty-one years, and is a citizen of the United States, or shall have filed his declaration of intention to become such, as required by the naturalization laws of the United States, and has never borne arms against the United States government, or given aid and comfort to its enemies, from and after the 1st January, 1863, shall be entitled to enter one quarter section or a less quantity of unappropriated public land, upon which said person may have filed a preëmption claim, or which may at the time the application is made be subject to preëmption at $1.25 or less per acre, or eighty acres or less of such unappropriated land at $2.50 per acre, to be located in a body in conformity to the legal subdivisions of the public lands, and after the same shall have been surveyed, &c.

'Sec. 2. That the person applying for the benefit of this act shall, upon application to the register of the land office in which he or she is about to make such entry, make affidavit before the said register or receiver that he or she is the head of a family, or is twenty-one years of age or more, or shall have performed service in the army or navy of the United States, and that he has never borne arms against the government of the United Stales, or given aid and comfort to its enemies, and that such application is made for his or her exclusive use and benefit, and that said entry is made for the purpose of actual settlement and cultivation, and not either directly or indirectly for the use or benefit of any other person or persons whomsoever: and upon filing the said affidavit with the register or receiver, and on the payment of ten dollars, he or she shall thereupon be permitted to enter the quantity of land specified,' &c.

Settlement and cultivation for five years required, when the patent issues—the land secured in case of the settler's death, to the widow, children, or heirs—the settler must be a citizen of the United States before the patent is given—the land is subject to no debt incurred before the emanation of the patent. As the title remains for five years in the government, and until the patent issues, the land, in the meantime, could scarcely be subject to taxation. The land is substantially a gift, the $10 (£2. 0. 16.) being only sufficient to pay for the survey and incidental expenses.

Whilst natives are included in this act, Europeans already here, or who may come hereafter, participate alike in its benefits. The emigrant can make the entry and settle upon the land merely on filing the declaration of intention to become a citizen, and it is only after the lapse of five years therefrom, that he must be naturalized.

This law should be widely circulated, at home and abroad, and especially in Ireland and Germany. It should be published in all leading presses, and distributed in printed circulars. By law, two sections (1,280 acres) are reserved in each township of six miles square, from the sale of which to establish free schools, where all children can be instructed, so that our material progress may be accompanied by universal education and intellectual development.

This great domain reserved, as farms and homesteads for the industrious masses of Europe and America, is thus described by the Hon. Joseph S. Wilson, in his great historical and statistical report, as commissioner of the General Land Office of Nov. 29, 1860:

'Of the 3,250,000 of square miles which constitute the territorial extent of the Union, the public lands embrace an area of 2,265,625 square miles, or 1,450,000,000 of acres, being more than two thirds of our geographical extent, and nearly three times as large as the United States at the ratification of the definitive treaty of peace in 1783 with Great Britain. This empire domain extends from the northern line of Texas, the gulf of Mexico, reaching to the Atlantic ocean, northwesterly to the Canada line bordering upon the great lakes Erie, Huron, Michigan, and Superior, extending westward to the Pacific ocean, with Puget's sound on the north, the Mediterranean sea of our extreme northwestern possessions.'[Pg 628]

'It includes fifteen sovereignties known as the 'Land States,' and an extent of territory sufficient for thirty-two additional, each equal to the great central land State of Ohio.

'It embraces soils capable of abundant yield of the rich productions of the tropics, of sugar, cotton, rice, tobacco, corn, and the grape, the vintage, now a staple, particularly so of California; of the great cereals, wheat and corn, in the western, northwestern, and Pacific States, and in that vast interior region from the valley of the Mississippi river to the Rocky mountains; and thence to the chain formed by the Sierra Nevada and Cascades, the eastern wall of the Pacific slope, every variety of soil is found revealing its wealth.

'Instead of dreary inarable wastes, as supposed in earlier times, the millions of buffalo, elk, deer, mountain sheep, the primitive inhabitants of the soil, fed by the hand of nature, attest its capacity for the abundant support of a dense population through the skilful toil of the agriculturist, dealing with the earth under the guidance of the science of the present age.

'Not only is the yield of food for man in this region abundant, but it holds in its bosom the precious metals of gold, silver, with cinnabar, the useful metals of iron, lead, copper, interspersed with immense belts or strata of that propulsive element coal, the source of riches and power, and now the indispensable agent not only for domestic purposes of life, but in the machine shop, the steam car, and steam vessel, quickening the advance of civilization and the permanent settlement of the country, and being the agent of active and constant intercommunication with every part of the republic.'

Kansas having been admitted since the date of this report, our public domain, thus described officially, now includes the sixteen land States, and all the Territories.

Of this vast region (originally 1,450,000,000 acres), there was surveyed up to September, 1860, 441,067,915 acres, and 394,088,712 acres disposed of by sales, grants, &c., leaving, as the commissioner states,'the total area of unsold and unappropriated, of offered and unoffered lands of the public domain on the 30th September, 1860, 1,055,911,288 acres.' This is 'land surface,' exclusive of lakes, bays, rivers, &c., 1,055,911,288 acres, or 1,649,861 square miles, and exceeds one half the area of the whole Union. The area of New York being 47,000 square miles, is less than a thirty-fifth part of our public domain. England (proper) has 50,922 square miles, France 203,736, Prussia 107,921, and Germany 80,620 square miles: The area then of our public domain is more than eight times as large as France, more than fifteen times as large as Prussia, more than twenty times as large as Germany, more than thirty-two times as large as England, and larger (excluding Russia) than all Europe, containing more than 200 millions of people.

As England (proper) contained in 1861, 18,949,916 inhabitants, if our public domain were as densely settled, its population would exceed 606 millions, and it would be 260,497,561, if numbering as many to the square mile as Massachusetts. But if, contrary to the opinion before quoted of the commissioner, one fourth of this domain was unfit for agriculture, grazing, mining, commerce, or manufactures, the remainder would still contain 195,373,171 inhabitants (if as densely settled as Massachusetts), and with every variety of soil, climate, mineral and agricultural products. Its average fertility far exceeds that of Europe, as does also the extent of its mines, especially gold, silver, coal, and iron.

These lands are surveyed at the expense of the government into town-ships of six miles square, subdivided into sections, and these into quarter sections (160 acres), set apart for homesteads. Our system of public surveys into squares, by lines running due north and south, east and west, is so simple as to have precluded all disputes as to boundary or title. This domain reaches from the 24th to the 49th parallel, from the lakes to the gulf, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Its isothermes (the lines of equal mean annual temperature) strike on the north the coast of Norway midway, touch St. Petersburg in Russia, and pass through Manchooria to the coast of Asia, about three degrees south of the mouth of the Amour river. On the south, these isothermes run through northern Africa, and nearly the[Pg 629] centre of Egypt near Thebes, cross northern Arabia, Persia, northern Hindostan, and southern China near Canton. No empire in the world of contiguous territory possesses such a variety of climate, soil, forests, and prairies, fruits, and fisheries, animal, vegetable, mineral, and agricultural products. It has all those of Europe, and many in addition, with a climate, as shown by the international census, far more salubrious, with a more genial sun, and millions in other countries are already fed and clothed by our surplus products.

Of this vast domain, less than two per cent. is cursed by slavery, which is prohibited by law in ten of these land States, and in all the Territories. Indeed, when the present rebellion shall be crushed, and this vast territorial region (accelerated by the Homestead bill) shall be settled and admitted as States, three fourths of the States will then be free States, and thus authorized by the Constitution to amend that instrument. Thus we can by just and lawful measures make emancipation universal. From the progress of events, we shall probably celebrate the 4th of July, 1876, our first centennial, now less than fourteen years distant, as a nation, of freemen, with slavery abolished or rapidly disappearing. State will then have succeeded State in unbroken column, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, united by imperial railroads traversing the continent. Adjacent regions, geographically connected with us, will then consummate the political union designed by Providence, The Homestead bill, having accomplished its great work within our present limits, will then commence a new career, and carry our banner in peaceful triumph, over the continent. Our Review, then, is called Continental, as prefiguring the destiny of our country.

Now, however, within our present vast domain, not only the poor, but our own industrious classes and those of Europe may not only find a home, but a farm for each settler, substantially as a free gift by the government. Here all who would rather be owners than tenants, and wish to improve and cultivate their own soil, are invited. Here, too, all who would become equals among equals, citizens (not subjects) of a great and free country, enjoying the right of suffrage, and eligible to every office except the presidency, can come and occupy with us this great inheritance. Here liberty, equality, and fraternity reign supreme, not in theory or in name only, but in truth and reality. This is the brotherhood of man, secured and protected by our organic law. Here the Constitution and the people are the only sovereigns, and the government is administered by their elected agents, and for the benefit of the people. Those toiling elsewhere for wages that will scarcely support existence, for the education of whose children no provision is made by law, who are excluded from the right of suffrage, may come here and be voters and citizens, find a farm given as a homestead, free schools provided for their children at the public expense, and hold any office but the presidency, to which their children, born here, are eligible. What does England for any one of its toiling millions who rejects this munificent offer? He is worked and taxed there to his utmost endurance, or pressed into military service. He has the right to work, to fight, and pay taxes, but not to vote. Unschooled ignorance is his lot and that of his descendants. If a farmer, he works and improves the land of others, in constant terror of rent day, the landlord, and eviction. Indeed, the annual rent of a single acre in England exceeds the price—$10 (£2. 0. 16)—payable for the ownership in fee simple of the entire homestead of 160 acres, granted him here by the government. For centuries that are past, and for all time to come, there, severe toil, poverty, ignorance, the workhouse, or low wages, impressment, and disfranchisement, would seem to be his lot. Here, freedom, competence, the right of suffrage,[Pg 630] the homestead farm, and free schools for his children.

In selecting these homestead farms, the emigrant can have any temperature, from St. Petersburg to Canton. He can have a cold, a temperate, or a warm climate, and farming or gardening, grazing or vintage, varied by fishing or hunting. He can raise wheat, rye, Indian corn, oats, rice, indigo, cotton, tobacco, cane or maple sugar and molasses, sorghum, wool, peas and beans, Irish or sweet potatoes, barley, buckwheat, wine, butter, cheese, hay, clover, and all the grasses, hemp, hops, flax and flaxseed, silk, beeswax and honey, and poultry, in uncounted abundance. If he prefers a stock farm, he can raise horses, asses, and mules, camels, milch cows, working oxen and other cattle, goats, sheep, and swine. In many locations, these will require neither housing nor feeding throughout the year. He can have orchards, and all the fruits and vegetables of Europe, and many in addition. He can have an Irish or German, Scotch, English, or Welsh, French, Swiss, Norwegian, or American neighborhood. He can select the shores of oceans, lakes, or rivers; live on tide water or higher lands, valleys or mountains. He can be near a church of his own denomination; the freedom of conscience is complete; he pays no tithes, nor church tax, except voluntarily. His sons and daughters, on reaching twenty-one years of age, or sooner, if the head of a family, or having served in the army, are each entitled to a homestead of 160 acres; and if he dies, the title is secured to his widow, children, or heirs. Our flag is his, and covers him everywhere with its protection. He is our brother, and he and his children will enjoy with us the same heritage of competence and freedom. He comes where labor is king, and toil is respected and rewarded. If before, or instead of receiving his homestead, he chooses to pursue his profession, or business, to work at his trade, or for daily wages, he will find them double the European rate, and subsistence cheaper. From whatever part of Europe he may come, he will meet his countrymen here, and from them and us receive a cordial welcome. A government which gives him a farm, the right to vote, and free schools for his children, must desire his welfare. And well has this been merited by our immigrants, for, side by side with our native sons, have they ever upheld our banner with devoted courage.

Of all the epidemic insanities which occasionally afflict nations, none exceeded in folly the recent frenzy, which, by diminishing immigration, would have retarded our progress in wealth, power, and population, Nearly all our railroads and canals have been constructed mainly by immigrants, thus rapidly improving our whole country, and furnishing profitable business, employment, and augmented wages in all the pursuits of industry. Simultaneously with the homestead, Congress has provided the means for constructing the imperial railway which will soon unite the Atlantic with the Pacific. Passing, as it will, for several thousand miles, through our public domain, it will add much to the value of the homestead lands. It should be remembered, especially by the Irish and Germans, who are asked in the South to fight the rebel battles, that, but for the opposition of Mr. Calhoun and the secession leaders, this bill would long since have been a law.

It was first proposed by Robert J. Walker, in October, 1830, and again, in a speech made by him against nullification and secession, at Natchez, Mississippi, on the first Monday of January, 1833, and then published in the Mississippi Journal. From that speech we make the following extract: 'The public lands are now unincumbered by the public debt: no more sales are necessary, unless (to settlers) at a price required to pay the expenses of survey and sale. This is the period for the new States to produce this beneficial change in the policy of the Government, (instead of) the present onerous system, which ar[Pg 631]rests the cultivation of our soil, and growth of our country.' Here the Homestead bill was recommended by a Union man, in a speech against secession; and as the opponent of that heresy, he was elected to the United States Senate by Mississippi, on the 8th of January, 1836.

In the United States Senate Journal, of 31st March, 1836, will be found the following entry: 'Agreeable to notice, Mr. Walker asked and obtained leave to bring in a bill to reduce and graduate the price of the public lands in favor of actual settlers only, to provide a standing preëmption law, to authorize the sale and entry of all the public lands in forty acre lots, &c. On motion by Mr. Calhoun, that this bill be referred to the Committee on Public Lands, ayes 19, nays 25. On motion by Mr. Walker, ordered that this bill be referred to a select committee of five, to be appointed by the Vice-President. Mr. Walker (chairman), Ewing of Ohio, Linn, Prentiss and Ewing of Illinois, are appointed the committee.' And now, that we may understand the motive of the hostile motion made by Mr. Calhoun, I make the following extract from Gales & Beaton's Congressional Register, vol. xii., part 1, page 1027, March 31, 1836, containing the debate, on this bill: 'Mr. Walker asked and obtained leave to introduce a bill to reduce and graduate the price of public lands to actual settlers only, &c. The bill having been read twice, Mr. Walker moved that it be referred to a committee of five. Mr. Calhoun opposed the bill, and moved a reference to the Committee on Public Lands. Mr. Walker rose and said:

* * 'He had heard with regret the actual settlers denounced in the Senate as squatters, as if that were a term of reproach. Our glorious Anglo-Saxon ancestry, the pilgrims who landed on Plymouth rock, the early settlers at Jamestown, were squatters. They settled this continent with less pretension to title than the settlers on the public lands. Daniel Boone was a squatter; Christopher Columbus was a squatter.

* * They are the men who cultivate the soil in peace, and defend your country in war, when those who denounce them are reposing upon beds of down. These are the men who, in the trackless wilderness and upon the plains of Orleans, carried forward to victory, the bannered eagle of our great and glorious Union. These are the men with whom the patriot Jackson achieved his great and glorious victories; and if but one thousand of these much abused squatters, these Western riflemen, had been at Bladensburg beneath their great commander, never would a British army have polluted the soil where stands the capitol of the Union. They would have driven back the invader ere the torch of the incendiary had reached the capitol, or they would have left their bones bleaching there (as did the Spartans at Thermopylæ), alike, in death or victory, the patriot defenders of their country's soil, and fame, and honor. [Here Mr. Walker was interrupted by warm applause from the crowded galleries.] It is proposed to send this bill to the Committee on Public Lands, that has already reported against reducing the price of the public lands, against granting preemptions to settlers, against every other material feature of this bill—to send this bill there, to have another report against us. No, said Mr. Walker; we have had one report against the new States, and the settlers in them, and now let them be heard through the report of a select committee: let argument encounter argument, and the question be decided on its real merits.'

The opposition of Mr. Calhoun to this measure, was based upon the idea, originating with him, that, selling the public lands, only in small tracts, and at reduced prices, exclusively to actual settlers, would be hostile to large plantations, prevent the transfer of slavery to new Territories, and the multiplication of slave States. This view was gradually adopted by nearly all the advocates of secession, and delayed for[Pg 632] years the success of the homestead policy. The measure also encountered then serious opposition from the supporters of the bill (opposed by Mr. Calhoun), distributing among the States the proceeds of the sales of the public lands. A majority of the Committee of Public Lands of the Senate favored then the distribution policy, and therefore Mr. Calhoun's motion to refer the Homestead bill to that committee was designed to defeat the measure.

Mr. Walker's bill granted a homestead of a quarter section to every settler on payment of twenty dollars, after three years' occupancy and possession.

The special committee, to which this bill was referred, would not go so far, but authorized Mr. Walker to report 'A bill to arrest monopolies of the public lands and purchases thereof for speculation, and substitute sales to actual settlers only, in limited quantities, and at reduced prices,' &c. This report will be found in vol. 5, Sen. Doc., 1st session, 24th Congress, No. 402. 'In Senate of the United States, June 15, 1836, Mr. Walker made the following report:'

Extracts.—'The committee have adopted the principle that the public lands should be held as a sacred reserve for the cultivators of the soil; that monopolies by individuals or companies should be prevented; that sales should be made only in limited quantities to actual settlers, and the price in their favor reduced and graduated.' * * The old system 'is throwing the public domain into the hands of speculating monopolists. It is reviving many of the evils of the old feudal system of Europe. Under that system, the lands were owned in vast bodies by a few wealthy barons, and leased by them to an impoverished and dependent tenantry.'

A bill based on this principle, and reported by Mr. Walker at a succeeding session, passed the Senate, but was defeated in the House. In each of his annual reports as Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Walker strongly recommended the homestead policy, which encountered the continual opposition of Mr. Calhoun.

In his inaugural address as Governor of Kansas, of the 27th May, 1857, Mr. Walker thus strongly advocated the Homestead policy:

'If my will could have prevailed as regards the public lands, as indicated in my public career, and especially in the bill presented by me, as chairman of the Committee on Public Lands, to the Senate of the United States, which passed that body but failed in the House, I would authorize no sales of these lands except for settlement and cultivation, reserving not merely a preëmption, but a Homestead of a quarter section of land in favor of every actual settler, whether coming from other States or emigrating from Europe. Great and populous States would thus be added to the Confederacy, until we should soon have one unbroken line of States, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, giving immense additional power and security to the Union, and facilitating intercourse between all its parts. This would be alike beneficial to the old and to the new States. To the working men of the old States, as well as of the new, it would be of incalculable advantage, not merely by affording them a home in the West, but by maintaining the wages of labor, by enabling the working classes to emigrate and become cultivators of the soil, when the rewards of daily toil should sink below a fair remuneration. Every new State, beside, adds to the customers of the old States, consuming their manufactures, employing their merchants, giving business to their vessels and canals, their railroads and cities, and a powerful impulse to their industry and prosperity. Indeed, it is the growth of the mighty West which has added, more than all other causes combined, to the power and prosperity of the whole country; whilst, at the same time, through the channels of business and commerce, it has been building up immense cities in the Eastern Atlantic and Middle States, and replenishing the Federal treasury with large payments from the settlers upon the public lands, rendered of real value only by their labor, and thus, from increased exports, bringing back augmented imports, and soon largely increasing the revenue of the Government from that source also.'—See Doc. Vol. I., No. 8, 1st Sess. XXXVth Congress.

It will no doubt be remembered how much this address was denounced by the secession leaders, and with what fury Mr. Walker was assailed by them for insisting on the rejection of the Lecompton[Pg 633] Constitution, by which, it was attempted, by fraud and forgery, to force slavery upon Kansas, against the will of the people.

In June, 1860, a Homestead bill was passed by Congress, securing to actual settlers a quarter section of the public lands, at twenty-five cents per acre, which was vetoed by Mr. Buchanan. The veto message says: 'The Secretary of the Interior estimated the revenue from the public lands for the nest fiscal year at $4,000,000, on the presumption that the present land system would remain unchanged. Should this bill become a law, he does not believe that $1,000,000 will be derived from this source.' It would thus seem that Jacob Thompson, then Secretary of the Interior, was permitted to dictate the financial portion of this veto. He is now in the traitor army; but before leaving the Cabinet, he communicated to the enemy at Charleston important information he had received officially and confidentially. Whilst still Secretary, he was permitted by Mr. Buchanan to accept from Mississippi, after she had seceded, the post of her ambassador to North Carolina, to induce her to secede; which public mission he openly fulfilled, still remaining a member of the Cabinet. Such was the abyss of degradation to which the late Administration had then fallen. Indeed, Thompson (like Floyd and Cobb), was never dismissed by Mr. Buchanan, but resigned his office, receiving then, after all these treasonable and perfidious acts, a most complimentary letter from the late President.

Mr. Thompson's financial argument against the Homestead bill is most fallacious. Our national wealth, by the last census, was $16,159,616,068, and its increase during the last ten years $8,925,481,011, or 126.45 per cent. Now if, as a consequence of the Homestead bill, there should be occupied, improved, and cultivated, during the next ten years, 50,000 additional farms by settlers, or only 5,000 per annum, it would make an aggregate of 8,000,000 acres. If, including houses, fences, barns, and other improvements, we should value each of these farms at ten dollars an acre, it would make an aggregate of $80,000,000. But if we add the products of these farms, allowing only one half of each (80 acres) to be cultivated, and the average annual value of the crops, stock included, to be only ten dollars per acre, it would give $40,000,000 a year, and, in ten years, $400,000,000, independent of the reinvestment of capital. It is clear that, thus, vast additional employment would be given to labor, freight to steamers, railroads, and canals, and markets for manufactures.

The homestead privilege will largely increase immigration. Now, beside the money brought here by immigrants, the census proves that the average annual value of the labor of Massachusetts per capita was, in 1860, $220 for each man, woman, and child, independent of the gains of commerce—very large, but not given. Assuming that of the immigrants at an average annual value of only $100 each, or less than 33 cents a day, it would make, in ten years, at the rate of 100,000 each year, the following aggregate:


In this table, the labor of all immigrants each year is properly added to those arriving the succeeding year, so as to make the aggregate, the last year, one million. This would make the value of the labor of this million of immigrants, in ten years, $550,000,000, independent of the annual accumulation of capital, and the labor of the children of the immigrants after the first ten years, which, with their descendants, would go on constantly increasing.

But, by the actual official returns (see page 14 of Census), the number of alien[Pg 634] immigrants to the United States, from December, 1850, to December, 1860, was 2,598,216, or an annual average of 259,821, say 260,000. The effect, then, of this immigration, on the basis of the last table, upon the increase of national wealth, was as follows:


Thus the value of the labor of the immigrants from 1850 to 1860, was fourteen hundred and thirty millions of dollars, making no allowance for the accumulation of capital by annual reinvestment, nor for the natural increase of population, amounting by the census in ten years to about twenty-four per cent. This addition to our wealth by the labor of the children, in the first ten years, would be small; but in the second, and each succeeding decennium, when we count children and their descendants, it would be large and constantly augmenting. But the census shows, that our wealth increases each ten years at the rate of 126.45 per cent. Now then, take our increase of wealth in consequence of immigration as before stated, and compound it at the rate of 126.45 per cent, every ten years, and the result is largely over three billions of dollars in 1870, and over seven billions of dollars in 1880, independent of the effect of any immigration succeeding 1860. If these results are astonishing, we must remember that immigration here is augmented population, and that it is population and labor that create wealth. Capital, indeed, is but the accumulation of labor. Immigration, then, from 1850 to 1860, added to our national wealth a sum more than double our whole debt on the first of July last, and augmenting in a ratio much more rapid than its increase, and thus enabling us to bear the war expenses.

As the homestead privilege must largely increase immigration, and add especially to the cultivation of our soil, it will contribute more than any other measure to increase our population, wealth, and power, augment our revenue from duties and taxes, and soon enable us to repeal the tax bill, or, at least, confine it to a few articles of luxury.

Nor has this immigration merely increased our wealth; but it has filled our army with brave volunteer soldiers, Irish, Germans, and of other nationalities, who, side by side with our native sons, are now pouring out their blood on every battle field in defence of our flag and Union. Thousands of them have suffered in rebel dungeons, where many are still languishing—thousands are wounded, disabled for life, or filling a soldier's grave.

Thus has the immigrant proved himself worthy to participate with our native sons in the homestead privilege. He fights our battle, and dies, that the Union may live.

Come, then, our European brother, and enjoy with us every privilege of an American citizen. The altar of freedom is consecrated by the sacrament of our commingled blood. Countrymen of Lafayette and Montgomery, of Steuben and DeKalb, of Koscinsko and Pulaski! you are fighting, like them, in the same great cause, under the same banner, and for the same glorious Union, and, like them, you will reap an immortality of glory, and the gratitude of our country and of mankind. As century shall follow century, in marking this crisis of human destiny, history will record the stupendous fact, that the blood of all Europe commingled freely with our own in the mighty contest, the pledges of the freedom and brotherhood of man!

We have seen that the Homestead bill was of Union origin, opposed by Mr. Calhoun and the pro-slavery party. We have seen that the bill was vetoed by Mr. Buchanan, quoting the opposing ar[Pg 635]gument of a traitor member of his Cabinet, now in the rebel army. The vote in the Senate after the veto, was, yeas 28 (not two thirds), and nays 18. (Sen. Journal, 757, June 23, 1860.) Of the yeas, all but three were from the free States; and of the nays, all were from the slave States. The opposition, then, as foreshadowed by Mr. Calhoun in 1836, was exclusively sectional and pro-slavery. As Mr. Buchanan changed his policy as to Kansas upon the threats of the secession leaders in 1857, so he sacrificed upon their mandate the Homestead bill in 1860.

Most of the eighteen Southern Senators who voted against this bill, are now in the rebel service. Among these eighteen nays, are Jefferson Davis, Bragg, Mason, Hunter, Mallory, Chesnut, Yulee, Wigfall, Fitzpatrick, Iveson, Johnson of Arkansas, Hemphill, and Sebastian. Now, then, when Irish and Germans in the South are asked to fight for the pro-slavery rebellion, let them remember that the secession leaders voted unanimously against the homestead bill, whilst the North then gave its entire vote in, favor of the measure, and have now made it the law of the land.

As it is a blessed thing for the poor and landless to receive, substantially as a gift, a farm from the Government, where they and their children may till their own soil, and enjoy competence, freedom, and free schools, let them never forget, that this was the act of the North, and opposed by the South. If the rebels succeed, they will hold the public domain in their States and Territories for large plantations, to be cultivated by slaves, and sink their 'poor whites,' as nearly as practicable, to the level of their slaves, in accordance with their theory, that capital should own labor.

Texas, is very nearly six times as large as New York, and more than one half the area is public domain of the State, with a most salubrious climate, with all the products of the North and South, as shown by the census, and with three times as many cattle (2,733,267) as in any other State. This vast domain, if the South succeeds, will be cultivated in large tracts by slaves; but with our success, the State title will be forfeited to the Government, and the land colonized by loyal freemen, and subjected to the Homestead law, so that educated free white labor can raise there sugar, cotton, rice, tobacco, and indigo, as well as the crops of the North. It appears by the history of the reign of Henry II., that Ireland (in the year 1102) was the first country which abolished slavery, England still retaining it for many centuries; and Germany scarcely participated in the African slave trade. And now those two brave and mighty races, the Celtic and Teutonic, so devoted to liberty and the rights of man, will never erect the temple of their faith upon the Confederate corner stone, the ownership, of man by man, and of labor by capital. No—they are fighting in the great cause, (now, henceforth, and forever inseparable,) of Liberty and Union. And when, as the result of this rebellion, slavery shall disappear from our country, the words of the Sermon on the Mount, announcing the brotherhood of man, and adopted by our fathers in the Declaration of American Independence, may be inscribed on our banner, 'that all men are created Equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inalienable Rights; that among these are life, LIBERTY, and the pursuit of happiness.' Such was the faith plighted to God, our country, and humanity, on the day of the nation's birth; in crushing this rebellion, and inaugurating the reign of universal freedom, we are now fulfilling that pledge. Slavery having struck down our flag, having dissevered our States, having, with sacrilegious steps, entered our holy temples, separated churches, and erected a government based on dehumanizing man, under the Union as it was: liberty will reunite us by fraternal and indissoluble ties, under the Union as it will be.[Pg 636]


The Patience of Hope. By the Author of A Present Heaven. With an Introduction by John G. Whittier, 'Et teneo et teneor.' Boston: Ticknor & Fields.

A work less remarkable for talent than for tender, pious feeling—less marked by genius than goodness, yet of a kind which the impartial critic will still sincerely commend, simply because its defects are negative while its merits are positive and apparent to all who will read only a few pages in it. The author seems to us as one who has gleaned the best from mystical Christianity or Quietism, without having taken up its defects—one who has found in Tauler or Guyon, or perhaps still more in Fénélon, something to love, and has loved it without effort. We are certain that the work is one which will enjoy a very extensive popularity among all liberal-minded yet truly devout Christians.

History of Friedrich the Second, called Frederick the Great. By Thomas Carlyle. In four volumes. Vol. III. New York: Harper & Brothers. Boston: A.K. Loring. 1862.

To judge Carlyle well, one should have outgrown a love for him. Then, and not till then, will the reader ace him as he is—a genius obscured and belittled by eccentricity in judgment and grotesqueness in literary art; a man who must be seen, out of whom much may be taken, but not with profit unless we leave much behind; a writer who was ahead of his age in 1830, but who is wellnigh thirty years behind it now; one still worshipping heroes, and quite ignorant that great ideas are taking for the world the place of great men. It is curious to consider that Carlyle, without understanding the first principles of the French Revolution, should have written most readably on it, and that, still more blind to the manifest path of free labor and of utility, he should still have assumed a pseudo-radical position. Yet, after all, nothing is strange when a man is wrong in his premises. Carp at them as he may, Carlyle is of the destructives rather than the builders, and, like all literary destructives, continually flies for shelter to the conservatives, even as Rabelais fled for safety to the Pope.

In this third volume of Friedrich the Second, he who neither overrates nor underrates Carlyle may read with great profit. In it one sees, as in a brilliant series of highly-colored views—overcolored very often—shifting with strange rapidity and in wild lights, how from June, 1740, to August, 1744, King Frederick lived his own life, and incidentally that of Prussia and a good part of the civilized world with it, as all active and earnest monarchs are wont to do. That it is piquant and interesting—to the well-educated taste more so than any novel—is true enough; and if the author acts despotically and talks arbitrarily, we may smile, and leave him to settle it with his dead men. He must be dumb indeed who can read it and not feel his thinking powers greatly stimulated, and with it, if he be a writer, his faculty of creating.

Jenkins's Vest-Pocket Lexicon. BY Jabez Jenkins. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co. Boston: A.K. Loring. 1862.

A dictionary is generally referred to for unfamiliar—not for well-known words; but it is in large and copious ones only that such words are given, and every one has not always at hand his Webster and Worcester 'unabridged.' In view of this want, Jabez Jenkins has compiled an admirable little two-and-a-half-inch square English 'Lexicon of all except familiar words, including the principal scientific and technical terms, and foreign moneys, weights, and measures.' The common Latin and French phrases of two and three words, and the principal names of classical mythology, are also given; 'omitting,' says J.J., 'what everybody knows, and containing what everybody wants to[Pg 637] know, and cannot readily find.' It would be difficult to exaggerate the great practical utility of this admirable little book, in which, we have, so to speak, the very quintessence of a dictionary given in poco. We should not have looked for a joke, however, in an abridged dictionary—but there is one. 'This Lexicon,' says its author, 'will be found a convenient, and, it is hoped, a valuable vade mecum; and, though not inspiring the same degree of veneration as some of its leviathan contemporaries, may possibly occupy a place much nearer the heart, viz., in the heart-pocket.' Let us not forget, by the way, to mention that S. Austin Allibone has indorsed this little work as one of the most important and useful publications of the day.

Inside Out. A Curious Book by a Singular Man. New York: Miller, Mathews & Clasback, 767 Broadway. Boston; A.K. Loring.

The first instalment of the promised oddity of this work occurs in the first page—in fact, several pages before it—in the assertion that 'this work is respectfully dedicated to the first young lady who can truthfully assert that she has read from title page to colophon WITHOUT SKIPPING. Such is the determination of the author.'

It is needless to say that the determined author has hit upon a tolerably effectual means of securing a few lady readers. As for the work itself, it is, with more eccentricity of thought and less familiarity with composition than we should anticipate in a bad one. It is bold, rather sensational, involving a high-pressure murder and the somewhat connu father-in-difficulties with a daughter, but interesting, and on the whole likely enough—in New York, where any amount of anything may be supposed to take place at any time without in the slightest degree violating the conditions of probability. For his bete noir or grand villain, the Singular Man seems to have studied very carefully the gentleman who is said to have poséd for 'Dens-death' in 'Cecil Dreeme,' and has to our mind approached him more closely even than Winthrop has done. Among the characters one—'Charles Tewphunny'—strikes us as a reality; a vigorous, earnest, cheerful nature, clear and fine even through the obscurity and occasional crudity of his word-painter. We like Charles—he should have been the favored one by love, as he is in being the true hero of the tale.

The work is in fact crude, as though hastily written and had not been at all reviewed—at least by an experienced writer. On the other hand, its author is evidently a gentleman, one widely familiar with life—even a town life in many details—and is most unmistakably a scholar of rare ripeness. So manifest is his ability, and so remarkable the varied learning and experience which gleam (unknown to the author himself) through many unconscious allusions, that we wonder at finding such peculiar gifts turned to illustrate a tale, above all one so carelessly constructed as this is. We find fault with the names: 'Malfaire,' 'Tewphunny,' 'Mrs. Kairfull,' are not well devised; and yet again we at once regret all harsher judgment in some truly human, refined, and delicate passage, which is as creditable to the author's taste as heart. Taking it altogether, 'Inside Out' is, according to promise, a very curious book indeed. In justice to the publishers, we must say a word in favor of its neat binding and very attractive typography.

Country Living and Country Thinking. By Gail Hamilton. Boston: Ticknor & Fields. 1862.

The Essay, after long years of sleep, has sprung up of late to, at least, popularity, and from the pens of the Country Parson and his disciples has sent word-pictures and personal experiences well through the country. Among the most promising of the American members of the 'Parson's' flock is Gail Hamilton, a lively, well-writing, intensely-Yankee woman; that is to say, a bird who would fly far and fast indeed were she not well bound down by Puritanical chains, and who, in default of other experience-means of expression, clinks her fetters in measures which are merry enough for the many, albeit somewhat sorrowful at times to those who feel how much more she might have done under more genial influences and in a freer field. We could also wish a little less of the endless I and Me and Mine of the Essays, and wonder if the author will never tire of her intense self-setting forth. But this is the constant fault of the personal essay, let who will write it; and since it has great names to sanction it, we may perhaps let it pass.[Pg 638]


The President's Proclamation is based mainly on the act of Congress to which he refers. That act was passed with great approach to unanimity among unconditional Unionists, and met their approbation throughout the country. That the rebel States, as a military question, must be deprived of the 'sinews of war,' which, with them, are the sinews of slaves, is quite certain. They have boasted, as well before as since the rebellion, that their great strength in war consisted in their ability to send all the whites to battle, whilst the slaves were retained at home to cultivate the lands and provide subsistence for armies. Take from the South its slaves, and the necessary supplies must cease for want of laborers in the field, or the whites must be withdrawn from the armies to raise provisions. In either event, the rebellion must terminate in defeat. There are thousands then, who, under ordinary circumstances, would oppose emancipation, yet who will support this measure as a military necessity. As regards the Border States, the President still adheres to his original programme: emancipation with their consent, compensation by Congress, and colonization beyond our limits.

As regards the seceded States, the proclamation only applies to such of them as shall persist in rebellion after the first of January next, and even in those States compensation for their slaves is to be made to all who are loyal.

The friends of Secession in Europe, and especially in France and England, have contended that slavery was not the cause of the rebellion, and it has been suggested that the rebels would themselves adopt a system of gradual emancipation. Even now it is alleged that if Mr. Lincoln had not issued this proclamation, we should have had something very similar from Jefferson Davis.

However this may be, these professions of the friends of the South in Europe, and particularly of their friends in France and England, will soon be tested.

If the South objects to emancipation, and denounces this proclamation, they will make this contest, on their part, still more clearly a war for the maintenance, perpetuity, and unlimited extension of slavery.

If, under such circumstances, England continues to support the rebellion, she must do so as the open and avowed advocate of slavery. What is to be done with the slaves when they are emancipated? is a grave question, which we shall discuss at a future period. There can be little doubt, however, that emancipation, on a scale so extensive, would give a great impulse to the cause of colonization.

There are, however, three classes of States in which this proclamation will have no effect on the 1st of January next:

1st. The Border States.

2d. Such of the rebel States, and such
parts of them, as shall return to their allegiance
before that date.

3d. Such of the rebel States, and such
parts of them, as shall not then have been

In the mean time there may be rebel States, or portions of them, where the apprehended loss of their slaves, as a consequence of persisting in the rebellion, may induce a return to the Union, and thus hasten a successful conclusion of the war.

How far this proclamation, merely as such, would avail to change the status of slaves in such seceded States as may not be occupied by us and conquered before the first of January next, may be more appropriately discussed when, if ever, such a contingency shall happen.

In the mean time, whatever may be the effect of this proclamation upon the institution of slavery, which was the cause of the war, let us all unite in its vigorous prosecution, and in carrying, promptly and triumphantly, the flag of the Union throughout every State, from Richmond and Charleston to Mobile and Savannah. Our next campaign must witness the final overthrow of the rebellion.[Pg 639]


The whole number of males in the rebel States, by the census of 1860, between 15 and 60 years of age (excepting East Tennessee and Western Virginia), is less than one million; of whom, from physical disability, sickness, alienage, &c., at least 100,000 are not available. Of the remaining 900,000, at least 200,000 have been withdrawn by death, wounds, sickness, parole, capture, &c., reducing the number to 700,000; of whom, for indispensable pursuits, at least one third must remain at home, reducing their present maximum forces to 466,000. Now, if these disappear no more rapidly in the future than in the past (although the war will be prosecuted with much more vigor), their numbers would be diminished at the rate of at least 12,000 a month. Therefore, as there are no means of obtaining new recruits, it is clear that the rebellion must soon fail for want of troops to meet our immense armies. It is true no allowance has been made for recruits from the Border States; but these (greatly overestimated) would be more than counter-balanced by the inability to obtain troops from that large portion of the Rebel States occupied by our forces, such as all the coast from New Orleans to Norfolk, nearly all the Mississippi River, and considerable sections of West and Middle Tennessee, North Alabama, North Mississippi, and Arkansas. The days of the rebellion, then, are numbered.

Sharpsburg is a name which will be long remembered, and is destined to be found in many a lay and legend. Among the earliest written commemorating it, we have the following, from one whose lyrics are well known to our readers:



Once smiling fields stretched far on either side,
Where bowed to every breeze the ripening grain;
But now with carnage are those waters dyed,
And all around are slumbering the slain.
Patriots and heroes! unto whom in vain
Ne'er cried the voice of Right,—their names shall be
Graved on a million hearts, and with just pride
Shall children say, 'For Truth and Liberty
Our fathers fought at Sharpsburg, where they fell—
They bravely fought, as history's pages tell.'
Not for the fallen toll the funeral bell,—
Their rest is peaceful—they the goal have won.
Let the thinned ranks be filled, and let us see
Complete the glorious work by them begun.

Yes—forward! onward! Let it be complete. Scripta est—it is written, and it will be done. After going so far in the great cause which has become our religion and our life, it were hardly worth while to retreat. Life and fortune are of small account now in this tremendous opening of new truths and new interests. And we are only at the beginning! With every new death the cause grows more sacred, and the North more grandly earnest. 'Hurrah for the faithful dead!'


My Dear Mrs. Stowe:

Your great work, 'Uncle Tom's Cabin,' will no longer circulate in England. Mr. Mason, the Southern ambassador, has convinced us all that slavery is a divine institution, that whipping and branding are really good for the negro, and education dangerous. Indeed, we dare not educate our own working classes. We begin to perceive the truth of the corner stone principle of the Southern Confederacy, that capital should always own labor, whether white or black. Then we would have no more strikes, or riots, or claims for higher wages, or for the right of suffrage, and all would be peace. You see my opinion of slavery has changed; and so has that of England in church and state, except the working classes, who wish to vote, and such pestiferous democrats as Bright and Cobden.

This rebellion came just in the right time for us. In a few years more of your success, we should have been compelled to establish free schools, give the vote by ballot, and extend the suffrage, until the people should rule here, as with you. But now that your rebellion has proved the failure of republics, we shall yield no more. Slavery, in dissolving your Union, has accomplished all this for us, and therefore must be a good institution. Some one has sent me one Edmund[Pg 640] Kirke's anti-slavery novel, entitled, 'Among the Pines.' Your people seem to have gone crazy over it; but it will have no readers here. Is this Kirke a Scotchman? I had a tenant called Kirke, who was evicted for avowing republican opinions. Can this be the same man? I told the Confederate minister, Mr. Mason, that if some Southron would write a good novel in favor of slavery, it would have a great circulation here; and he said he would name this in his next despatch to his Government. He has a fine aristocratic air, and could scarcely be descended from the women (imported and sold as wives for a few pounds of tobacco to the Virginians) who were the mothers of the F. F. V.'s. But Mr. M. says slavery will soon build up a splendid nobility in the South.

Jefferson Davis is very popular here, and was lately cheered in Exeter Hall; but Yancey and Wigfall are idolized. Our great favorite in the North is Ex-President Buchanan. When did the head of a Government ever before have the courage to aid a rebellion against it, so gracefully yielding it the national forts, ships, mints, guns, and arsenals? But what we most admire is his message, in which he proved you have no right to coerce the South or suppress rebellion. This was a splendid discovery for us, as it demonstrated how superior our Government is to yours. If Mr. Buchanan would come here, we would raise him to the peerage, and, in commemoration of his two great acts, would give him the double title of the Duke of Lecompton and Disunion. Floyd, Cobb, and Thompson should each be earls. Thompson should be called Earl Arnold, in gratitude for the services to us of the celebrated Benedict Arnold.

I told Mr. M. how much we had condemned his fugitive slave law; but he convinced me that it was a most humane and excellent measure. Fugitives from the kindest masters, and ungrateful for all the blessings of slavery, why should they not be brought back in chains? He reminded me of Generals Shields, Corcoran, and Meagher, Irishmen commanding Irish troops for the North, and said they should be brought back to Ireland and hung on Emmet's scaffold. You know we keep that scaffold still standing, as a terror to Irish rebels, although we admire so much rebellion in America. Mr. M. spoke also of Sigel, Heintzelman, Rosecrans, Asboth, and expressed his surprise that the Bourbon princes would fight side by side with the mudsills of the North.

In a few years, Mr. M. said, the South would establish a monarchy, and that a son of the Queen should marry a daughter of Jefferson Davis, and thus unite the two dynasties by kindred ties. It was his opinion that the South would limit the right of suffrage to slaveholders, numbering about two hundred thousand; that they would have a house of peers, lords temporal and spiritual, composed (including bishops) of all who held over five hundred slaves; but that their Archbishop of Cantingbury should own at least one thousand. He thought the number requisite for the peerage would be enlarged after the reopening of the African slave trade, which would soon furnish England cheap cotton. His remarks on this subject reminded me how large a portion of my fortune was accumulated, during the last century, by the profits of the African slave trade. Mr. M. told me the King of Dahomey would furnish the South one hundred thousand slaves a year, for twenty dollars each, and that England should have the profits of the trade as before, and Liverpool again be the great slave port. He alluded to the Continental Monthly, which he said was an abolition journal, and denounced Kirke, Kimball, Leland, Henry, Greeley, Stanton, and Walker. He was specially severe on Walker and Stanton, charging them with the defeat of the pro-slavery Lecompton Constitution, and the consequent accession of Kansas and all the Territories to the free States, He said Walker and Stanton had no right to reject the Oxford and McGee returns, although they were forged. And now, dear Mrs. Stowe, if you would only change, as we all have here, and write, as you only can, a great novel to prove the beauties of slavery, its circulation here would be enormous, and we would make you a duchess. Adieu until my next.

P.S.—I have invested all my United States stock in Confederate bonds.

The style of the foregoing letter would point to the Duchess of Sutherland as the author, but such a change would be miraculous. Was the copy of the letter found in an intercepted despatch from Mr. Mason to Jefferson Davis?[Pg 641]


[A] Lucan, Pharsalia.

[B] The Lotus was to the Egyptian and Hindu not only an image of physical life, but of life in all its strength and splendor, the type of the generating and forming force of Nature in itself, expressing the idea of 'water, health, life.' The Hindu imagined in its form the whole earth, swimming like the lotus on water; the pistils represent Mount Meru (the world's central point and the Indian Olympus), the stamens are the peaks of the surrounding mountains, the four central leaves of its crown are the four great divisions of the earth, according to the four points of the compass, while the other leaves represented the circles of the earth surrounding India. On the lotus is throned Brahma the creator, and Lakshmi, the goddess of all blessings.

Die Symbolik und Mythologie der Natur, von J. B. Friederich, Würzburg, 1859.






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.

By the accession of Hon. Robert J. Walker and Hon. F. P. Stanton to its editorial corps, the Continental acquires a strength and a political significance which, to those who are aware of the ability and experience of these gentlemen, must elevate it to a position far above any previously occupied by any publication of the kind in America. Preserving all "the boldness, vigor, and ability" which a thousand journals have attributed to it, it will at once 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 men most familiar with its diplomacy and most distinguished for ability, are to become 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.

Charles Godfrey Leland, the accomplished scholar and author, who has till now been the sole Editor of the Magazine, will, beside his editorial labors, continue his brilliant contributions to its pages; and Edmund Kirke, author of "Among the Pines," will contribute to each issue, having already begun a work on Southern Life and Society, which will be found far more widely descriptive, and, in all respects, superior to the first.

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.

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.,

pointing finger

As an Inducement to new subscribers, the Publisher offers the following liberal premiums:

pointing finger

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.

Finest Farming Lands



At FROM $8 to $12 PER ACRE,

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 1,722,666, 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 immediate 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 Kankakee and Illinois Rivers, (a distance of 115 miles on the Branch, and 136 miles on the Main Trunk,) lies the great Corn and Stock raising portion of the State.


of Corn is from 60 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 35,000,000 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
Paymentin one year48 00
"in two years48 00
"in three years48 00
"in four years236 00
"in five years224 00
"in six years212 00

40 acres, at $10 00 per acre:

Cash payment $24 00
Paymentin one year24 00
"in two years24 00
"in three years24 00
"in four years118 00
"in five years112 00
"in six years106 00

Address Land Commissioner, Illinois Central Railroad, Chicago, Ill.[Pg 379]

[Pg 643]

Number 1225 Cents.


Devoted To Literature and National Policy.



[Pg 644]


The Union. Hon. Robert J. Walker,641
Something we have to Think of, and to Do. C. S. Henry, LL.D.657
Cambridge and Its Colleges,662
A Physician's Story,667
La Vie Poetique,679
The Ash Tree. Charles G. Leland,682
An Englishman in South Carolina,689
The Causes of the Rebellion. Hon. F. P. Stanton,695
On Guard. John G. Nicolay, Private Secretary to President Lincoln,706
Railway Photographs. Isabella McFarlane,708
The Obstacles to Peace. A Letter to an Englishman. Hon. Horace Greeley, 714
Thank God for All. Chas. G. Leland,718
A Merchant's Story. Edmund Kirke,719
The Freed Men of the South. Hon. F. P. Stanton,730
Was He Successful? Richard B. Kimball,734
Gold. Hon. Robert J. Walker,743
Literary Notices,747
Editor's Table,750


The Proprietors of The Continental Monthly, warranted by its great success, have resolved to increase its influence and usefulness by the following changes:

The Magazine has become the property of an association of men of character and large means. Devoted to the National Cause, it will ardently and unconditionally support the Union. Its scope will be enlarged by articles relating to our public defences, Army and Navy, gunboats, railroads, canals, finance, and currency. The cause of gradual emancipation and colonization will be cordially sustained. The literary character of the Magazine will be improved, and nothing which talent, money, and industry combined can achieve, will be omitted.

The political department will be controlled by Hon. Robert J. Walker and Hon. Frederic P. Stanton, of Washington, D.C. Mr. Walker, after serving nine years as Senator, and four years as Secretary of the Treasury, was succeeded in the Senate by Jefferson Davis. Mr. Stanton served ten years in Congress, acting as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and of Naval Affairs. Mr. Walker was succeeded as Governor of Kansas by Mr. Stanton, and both were displaced by Mr. Buchanan, for refusing to force slavery upon that people by fraud and forgery. The literary department of the Magazine will be under the control of Charles Godfrey Leland of Boston, and Edmund Kirke of New York. Mr. Leland is the present accomplished Editor of the Magazine. Mr. Kirke is one of its constant contributors, but better known as the author of "Among the Pines," the great picture, true to life, of Slavery as it is.

The Continental, while retaining all the old corps of writers, who have given it so wide a circulation, will be reënforced by new contributors, greatly distinguished as statesmen, scholars, and savans.

Entered, according to Act of Congress, In the year 1862, by James R. Gilmore, 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. 2 No.
5,  November 1862, by Various


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