The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 100,
February, 1866, by Various

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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 100, February, 1866

Author: Various

Release Date: April 8, 2007 [EBook #21009]

Language: English

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[Pg 129]



A Magazine of Literature, Science, Art, and Politics.


Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1866, by Ticknor and Fields, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.

Transcriber's Note: Minor typos have been corrected and footnotes moved to the end of the article. Table of contents has been generated for the HTML version.




The great events which took place in the United States between the first election of President Lincoln and the accession of President Johnson excited an amount of party-spirit in England greater than I recollect in connection with any other non-English occurrences, and fairly proportionate even to that supreme form of party-spirit which the same events produced in the States themselves,—the party-spirit which, in hostile and closing ranks, clenches teeth and sets life at nought, seeing no alternative, no possibility, save this one only, to carry its point or die. "I am a Northerner," and "I am a Southerner," were, during the war, phrases as common on Englishmen's lips as "I am a Liberal" or "a Conservative," "I am a Protectionist" (this, indeed, has about become obsolete) or "a Free-Trader." It would be very far from correct to say that this party-spirit has yet subsided in England; highly important questions, personal and political, remain in ample abundance to keep it lively; but we have at any rate reached a point at which one may try to discuss the past phases of our partisanship, not in the temper of a partisan. My endeavor in the following pages will be to do this,—very imperfectly, beyond a doubt, but, as far as it goes, candidly and without disguise.

The writer must in the first instance, in order that his remarks may be accurately judged by the reader, essay to define his own position and the sphere within which his observations extend. He is a born and bred Englishman and Londoner, of parentage partly Italian. His professional employment is that of a Government clerk, of fair average standing; he is also occupied a good deal in writing for publication, chiefly upon subjects of fine art. His circle of personal intimacy and acquaintanceship is mainly made up of artists and literary men, including especially several of those who have made themselves most prominent in these classes within the last twenty years; and this acquaintanceship shades naturally off, in a minor and moderate degree, into those circles of good social standing which are rather liberally receptive than productive of literature and art. The writer cannot profess or affect to be "behind the scenes" of political parties, or to [Pg 130]have dived into the minds of the peerage over their wine or of artisans in their workshops. He has conversed freely with many persons of culture and many fair representatives of the average British middle classes, and has read, in a less or more miscellaneous way, a good many opinions and statements, in books and newspapers, on both sides of the question. His own opinions are not strictly to the point, but may as well be stated at once, so that the reader, if he finds or fancies a bias in the views to be expressed in the sequel, may know to what to attribute it.

From the first symptoms of Secession to the surrender of the last Southern army, the writer has felt a vivid interest in the great struggle and its issues, and a thorough sympathy with the cause of the North and alienation from that of the South,—points on which he might, perhaps, be more inclined to dilate, were it not, that, at this late hour of the day, Northern adherency might read like the mere worship of success. So it is now, but so it was not, in many circles of English society at least, during the continuance of the war. Almost up to the very fall of Richmond, to express a decisive adherence to the Northern cause was often to be singular and solitary in a roomful of company; the timorous adherent would be minded to keep silence, and the outspoken one would be prepared for a stare and an embarrassed pause to ensue upon his avowal. At the same time that all his sympathies and hopes were for the North, the writer entertained opinions which forbade him to condemn the South, so far as the mere fact of secession and armed insurrection was concerned. To take a wide view of the question, he apprehends, that, in every fully constituted community, there are two coextensive and countervailing rights: the right of the existent de facto government to maintain itself by all legal and honorable means, and, if requisite, by the arbitrament of the sword; and the right of any section of the community to reorganize itself as it may see fit for its own interests, and to establish its independence by force of arms, should nothing else serve,—the "sacred right of insurrection." The insurgent party is not to be decried for the mere act of resistance, nor the loyal and governmental party for the mere act of self-conservation and repression of its opponents; each stands the hazard of the die, and commits its cause to a supreme trial of strength. If the American colonies of Great Britain were not to be blamed for the mere act of resisting the constituted authorities, if the English Parliamentarians, the French Revolution, the Polish Insurrection, the Italian Wars of Independence, were justifiable,—and the writer thoroughly believes that they all were so,—he fails to see that the Southern States of the American Union were necessarily in the wrong simply because they revolted from the Federal authority. And in each case he recognizes the coextensive right, so far as that alone is concerned, of the existing government to assert itself, and stem the tide of revolt. It is the old question of the Rights of Man and the Mights of Man, concerning which Carlyle has had so much to say. A trial between the Mights often throws considerable light upon the question of the Rights; and, until at any rate the true Might has been ascertained by this crucial test, one may without half-heartedness admit that both of the opposing Rights, the conservative and the disruptive, are genuine rights, mutually antagonistic and internecine, but neither disproved by the other.

But this is only the most rudimentary view of the matter. An abstract and indefeasible right of insurrection may exist, maintainable in any and every case; and yet a particular instance of insurrection maybe foolish, wicked, and altogether worthy of ruin and extinction. And the writer believes that he is perfectly consistent with himself in thinking both that the abstract right of insurrection existed in the case of the Southern States of the Union and the abstract right of repression in the Federal Government, and also that this particular insurrection deserved condemnation[Pg 131] and failure, and this particular repression deserved credit and triumph,—a triumph which, when the "Mights of Men" had been sufficiently tested, it very arduously and very conclusively managed to achieve.

As to the question of a legal and constitutional right of secession, the writer has not the impudence to express—and scarcely to entertain—an opinion. That is a question for American lawyers and publicists to discuss and determine; the obfuscated British mind being entitled to affirm only this: that there seems to have been something to say on the Southern side of the question, as well as a good deal on the Northern. The writer apprehends that the abstract right of insurrection on the one hand, and of self-conservation on the other, quite overbears, in so vast and momentous a debate, the narrow, technical, legal question: that which it does not overbear is the rightness or wrongness of the immediate motive, conduct, and aim of any particular insurrection and repression, considered individually. The abstract rights remain the same in all cases; the application of those rights differs immeasurably, according to the merits of each several case.

What were the merits of this particular case? The constitutional majority of the whole nation had elected a President whose election was held by both parties to be tantamount to the policy of non-extension of slavery into the Territories of the Republic, and into all States to be thereafter constructed; and before the President elect had entered upon his functions, before a single subsisting legal right (which might or might not be a moral wrong) had been interfered with, while there was yet no ground for affirming that any such right would ever be interfered with, the Southern States declared that their minority was of more weight than the nation's majority, that they would break up the nation rather than abide by its award, and would themselves constitute a new nation, founded on the maintenance of slavery within their own borders, and its extension and propagation as opportunity might offer. This, and not the mere fact that they were secessionists, insurgents, rebels, or whatever harder term may be forthcoming, is the reason why the writer disliked the revolt of the Southern States, and wished it to come to nought; and corresponding facts regarding the Northern States,—that they were simply upholding a constitutional act performed by the nation at large, were contending for the majestic present and the magnificent future of a great and free republic, were arrayed against the extension of slavery, and might, by the force of circumstances and the growth of ideas, find themselves called up even to exterminate the existing slave-system,—these were the facts which commanded his homage to the Northern cause,—not merely that they were the assertors of authority against innovation. The case, as the writer understands it, amounts simply to this: that the South seceded before it had been in any degree damnified, and to maintain a system the scotching or killing of which, though not in fact then contemplated by the North to any extent contrary to existing laws, would have been a benefit to mankind and an atonement to human conscience. It may perhaps seem superfluous or impertinent to have given so many words to the statement of opinions so simple and obvious. But the English Liberal adherents of the Northern States were continually twitted with their assumed inconsistency in censuring the insurrection of the South, while they approved of (for instance) the insurrection of Lombardy against the Austrians; and it seemed impossible to get the objectors to understand, or at any rate to acknowledge, that motives, aims, and consequences have some bearing upon revolts, as upon other transactions, and that one may consistently abhor a revolt the motive and aim of which he believes to be bad, while he sympathizes with another the motive and aim of which he believes to be good. Of course, too, there were other objectors who denied, and[Pg 132] will to this day not blush to deny, that the question of Slavery was the real substantial incentive to secession, and who paraded the minor questions of tariffs, the conflicting interests of the productive and the manufacturing States, and the like. These arguments the writer leaves unfingered; it is no business of his to fray their delicate texture. All he has to say of them here is, that, as he does not value them at a pin's fee as representing the main point at issue, they in no way affected the feelings which he entertained concerning the war. Again, there were remonstrants of a still more impracticable frame of mind, who could see the right, absolute or potential, of any despotic or constitutional monarchy, or any conquering power, to suppress secession and revolt, but could not conceive that any similar right pertained to the central government of a federative republic. To hear them, the will of a national majority was of no account in a national issue, provided the majority of any particular State of the federation took the contrary side. The national majority had no rights such as the strong arm of the law, or the armed force, ought to impose upon gainsayers; it was only the national minority which had such rights. The latter might break up the nation; the former must not enforce any veto upon the disruption. Why elect a President as your governmental chief, if you mean that government should be a reality? Why not be respectable, like us Europeans, and have a King at once? Such, briefly interpreted, appears to have been the quintessence of the wisdom of these political sages.

The writer has now done with the exposition of his own views,—of no consequence assuredly to his American readers, save for the clearer understanding of what he has to say concerning the views entertained by his British countryman at large. He has also done with the few specimens which it fell in his way to cite of objections urged against his colleagues in opinion, and which he was obtuse enough to imagine to be no objections at all. He proceeds to his main subject,—the varieties of English opinion on the American War.

These varieties may perhaps, with some approach to completeness, be defined under the following seven heads.

1st. The party which believed in the sincerity, the right, and the probable eventual success of the North.

2d. That which believed in the right of the North, but which doubted or disbelieved its sincerity, especially on the question of Slavery, or its eventual success, or both.

3d. That which cared only for the anti-slavery aspect of the contest.

4th. That which believed in the right and the probable eventual success of the South.

5th. That which believed in the right of the South, but which doubted or disbelieved its eventual success.

6th. That which, contrariwise, believed in the eventual success of the South, but doubted or disbelieved its right.

7th. That which covertly or avowedly justified slavery.

To each of these parties a few words of comment must be given.

1st. The party which believed in the sincerity, the right, and the probable eventual success of the North was, I think, extremely small during the greater part of the war,—say, between the first Battle of Bull Run and the capture of Atlanta. By sincerity I mean such points as these: that the Federal Government was honestly desirous of fulfilling its obligations towards the South; that the North, having to maintain the integrity of the country by force of arms, was ready to make all needful sacrifices for that object, and to lavish its blood and treasure; above all, that the professions of dislike to slavery, the offer of military emancipation to negroes, and, finally, the efforts to amend the Constitution so as to abolish slavery, root and branch, were sincere. Many, of course, believed in the right of the North, and in one of other of these items of sincerity; few, I think, in the right, in the sincerity throughout, and[Pg 133] in the success as well. The delusion, that the North, after using up its Irish and German population and its incoming immigrants, would quail before the necessity of hazarding also a large proportion of its own settled Anglo-Saxon population, was extremely prevalent. Equally prevalent the notion that the North was fighting merely for a constitutional idea, or for national integrity, predominance, or (as Lord Russell phrased it) "for empire," without any real regard for the interests of the negro. And when all these demands upon one's faith had to be supplemented by a belief in the probable success of the North, few persons seemingly ventured to commit themselves to the whole of the proposition. Within my own personal circle of observation, I could name but one, or, at the utmost, two, besides myself, who, in the main, with some variations according to the changing current of events, clung to the cause of the North in its entirety. The first of these two persons is a painter of great distinction and a man, in other respects, of very thinking and serious mind, well known by name, and partially by his works, to such Americans as take an interest in fine art. The second of the two is one of our very greatest living poets.—As to the question of success, the following may perhaps be a tolerably fair account of the varying impressions of many, who, along with myself, hoped for the triumph of the North, and were disposed, though not with any overwhelming confidence, to believe in it. Up to the first Battle of Bull Run, opinion was suspended or fluctuating; but in the main one's sympathies conspired with one's information as to the comparative resources of the opponents to produce a considerable degree of confidence. That battle and some other Southern successes acted as a severe check; and discouragement prevailed up to the time when the capture of New Orleans, Grant's advance on the line of the Mississippi, and McClellan's "On to Richmond" march righted the balance. Great uncertainty, however, was still felt; and I should say that afterwards, between the repulse of McClellan and Pope and the Battle of Gettysburg, most of the adherents of the North were consciously "hoping against hope," and, especially at the time of the defeat at Chancellorsville and the Northern invasion by Lee in 1863, were almost ready to confess the case desperate.[A] Gettysburg, Vicksburg, and Port Hudson altered the face of affairs, and revived a confidence which gradually strengthened almost into a conviction, such as not all the vast difficulties which afterwards beset Grant in his advance towards Richmond, nor all the nonsense of the Times and other Southern journals about "Johnston continuing to draw Sherman from his base," or Hood cutting him off from his communications, and compelling him to retreat by that most singular of retreating processes, the triumphal march through Georgia from end to end, could ever avail substantially to becloud. Soon after the victory at Gettysburg, those who were not blinded by their wishes or preconceptions saw ground for thinking that the South had made its greatest efforts, and failed,—the North sustained its worst rebuffs, and surmounted them.

2d. The party which believed in the right of the North, but which doubted or disbelieved its sincerity, especially on the question of Slavery, or its eventual success, or both, was of necessity very large,—including, as it did, in a general way, all the Northern partisans whose strength and fulness of conviction were not great enough to enroll them in my first division. It is extremely[Pg 134] difficult to form an opinion, or even a guess, on the question of relative numbers; but I have always fancied, that, could the whole nation have been polled on the subject, the number of Northern well-wishers would have been found sensibly to exceed that of the Southern. Generally, men of very grave, reflective, and unprejudiced minds, students in the philosophy of society and history, men known for their lofty ideal of liberty or of culture, appeared to be on the side of the North; and the calm, unfaltering attitude, free from petulance and invective, of those operative classes in Lancashire, whom the war ruined for a while, has often been pointed to as showing that the more informed and intelligent workingmen were also for the North. They endured a great calamity without murmuring, because they thought the cause just which had entailed that calamity upon them. Assuming this to be correct, as I believe it to be, the question remains, What was the opinion (or perhaps one should rather say the sentiment) of the class below this,—the great numerical bulk of the population, who would take sides according as their sympathies, imaginations, prejudices, or traditional conceptions of the right might be roused, irrespectively in the main of reasoning as to any antecedents or consequences? I incline to suppose that the most powerful impulsion to the feelings of this class must have been that strong anti-slavery sentiment which had undoubtedly for many years been bone of the bone of Englishmen,—more powerful even than that sympathy for an overmatched struggle on behalf of independence which would have pleaded for the South. If this is a correct view, it may be inferred that the majority of the poorer classes was for the North; as they, without refining over the question, would regard the contest as one between Slavery and Anti-slavery, the latter represented by the North and the former by the South. Short, however, of some decided majority for the North in these classes, whose views do not transpire much upon the surface of English opinion, I fear the majority of the whole nation would have been found to be with the South; and could I take my own sphere of society as the criterion, I should be compelled to say that so it was in overwhelming preponderance. A more diffused connection with America, through the emigration movement, and through community of interest and feeling with a democratic nation, may have combined with a truer instinct of right in the popular heart to rectify the balance; and in default of evidence to the contrary, I am fain to suppose it did.—A few words must be added as to one branch of our immediate subject,—the doubt or disbelief of the sincerity of the North on the question of Slavery. Had no prejudice or perversity of argument been imported into the subject, it would, I imagine, have been apparent to most of my countrymen that the dominant party at the North was genuinely antagonistic to slavery; that, as long as the South did not violate the Federal Constitution, the North was trammelled from interfering with slavery as already established by law in certain States; that the duty immediately imposed upon the North and the Government by the act of Secession was one and undivided,—the maintenance of the Constitution and of the Union; but that, in proportion to the obstinacy of Southern resistance, the antagonism to slavery would obtain free play in the North, the slavery question would assume greater and greater prominence as the nexus of the whole debate, and those who had at first been bound to make a stand for an extant Union and compromise would be impelled and more than willing to fight on for reunion and abolition. But this view of the matter was consistently distorted. The constitutionalism and nationalism of the North figured in argument as indifference to slavery, the steps taken towards, the emancipation of slaves as mere hypocritical stratagems of war, and the climax of disingenuousness was reached when the anti-conscription and anti-negro riots of[Pg 135] New York were fastened upon that very war-party against which they had been levelled. Systematic misrepresentations of this nature, invidious glosses and plausible misconstructions, did undoubtedly conspire with the really complicated conditions of the case and the undisputed fact of certain antipathies of race (predicable as truly of the Northern States as of any other part of the world) to persuade very many Englishmen that the North was not sincerely hostile to slavery, but used the Anti-slavery or the Abolition cry as a mere feint to disguise the lust of domination. Those who liked to be persuaded of this were persuaded with the utmost ease; and even among men who considered the subject without bias, many were confused and shaken.

3d. The party which cared only for the anti-slavery aspect of the contest was large. Their attitude is to a certain extent indicated in what has just been said. One and not an insignificant section of them would have sided frankly with the North, if satisfied that the Northern triumph would be an anti-slavery triumph; but, talked as they were, or talking themselves, into the belief that slavery had little more to fear from the North than the South, they remained, at least during the earlier part of the war, indifferent or indignant. Others, of course the great majority, watched eagerly every symptom and every step which proved the North to be in earnest in the work of abolition; they thrilled to the sounds which "proclaimed liberty to the captive,"—the tones of Northern manifestoes and legislation, the tread of Northern legions, and the volleys fired by negro soldiers. They got to feel a genuine veneration and even enthusiasm for President Lincoln, and formed probably the only section of men or women in this country who could speak of General Butler without bringing "railing accusations." The party was diffused over the length and breadth of the land. It numbered, I suppose, some adherents even in the aristocratic and governing classes,—thousands, no doubt, among the working and laboring millions; but its central strength was in that backbone of English philanthropic effort, the more plebeian section of the well-to-do middle class,—that section which gravitates towards Dissent, in religion, towards Radicalism in politics, towards Bible Societies, Temperance Movements, "Bands of Hope," and Exeter Hall. If this section of the British community had not remained true to anti-slavery ideas, the country would indeed have been turned "the seamy side without." That we were spared, in the severer crises of the war, the last uglinesses of tergiversation, is owing mainly to people of this class, the cheapest subjects for well-bred sneers and intellectual superiority in ordinary times.

4th. The party which believed in the right and the probable eventual success of the South was obviously, during the greater part of the war, a numerous one. In the earlier stages of Secession, when the chief question before one's thoughts was that of right, I think that comparatively few people sided with the South, though very many were lukewarm or frigid, or actually inimical towards the North. At that time party-spirit still respected the old-fashioned notions, that a self-governing nation must be ruled by its own majority, not minority; that a minority which cried out before it was hurt, and "cut the connection" rather than the balance in its own favor, was likely to be a factious and misguided minority; and that a new commonwealth, whose raison d'être was Slavery, had little claim to the sympathies of Englishmen or of civilization. Others laid greater stress from the first on the argument, that the States of the Union were all sovereign states, which had respectively entered into a voluntary bond, and could voluntarily withdraw from it without gainsaying; and that this ground of right on the side of the South remained unaffected by any accessory considerations. This view rapidly gained over the willing convictions of Southern sympathizers, when the impulse and determination, the courage[Pg 136] and early successes of the South, had once roused strong feelings in its favor. The earlier argumentative view as to majorities and minorities, and the fundamental basis of all governments, sank into desuetude, while the right of a compact community to independent self-government at its own option occupied the field of vision. Vast numbers of people—I should think, during the greater part of the war, four fifths of the whole country—believed in the success of the South; considering it impossible that so determined a community, with so vast a territory, should ever be coerced into reunion, and not being prepared for an equal amount of determination on the part of the Northern Government and people, or for their capacity, even had the will been admitted, to meet the required outlay in money and men. Another question, too, was prominent in men's minds, and indisposed them to contemplating a subjugated South. They would ask, "What is to be done with the South, on the unlikely supposition of its being conquered? Is it to become an American Poland?" All these considerations inclined the great majority of the nation to believe that the South would succeed; and, of those who so believed, a large proportion held the Southerners to be in the right, or sympathized with them to a degree which obscured the strict question of right in favor of preference.

5th. The party which believed in the right of the South, but which doubted or disbelieved its eventual success, appears to me to have been most inconsiderable up to the final stages of the war. I doubt whether I ever met two men, prior, let me say, to Sherman's march through Georgia, who would distinctly limit themselves to this: "I wish the South might succeed, but I don't think it will." When the impending catastrophe of the South was no longer disputable, the Saturday Review, the idol of our Club-men and University-men, of those who are at once highly cultivated and intensely English, and who fancy themselves freer from prejudice and more large-minded than others in proportion to their incapacity to perceive that their own prejudices are prejudices,—a paper which had "gone in for" the South with a vehemence only balanced by its virulence against the North,—found it convenient to turn tail, and retort upon those opponents with whom the laugh remained at last. The Saturday Review bleated pitifully, yet unconfessingly, to this effect:—"True it is that we have been backing up the South all the while; but we meant no more by it than the backer of any prize-fighter or any race-horse means, when he has made his choice, and staked his money, and shouts to adopted competitor, 'Go in and win!' That backer does not necessarily believe that his side will be the winner, but only signalizes that that side is his." The evasion came too late; persons who had inconvenient memories saw through the shuffling of a pseudo-prophet, who only managed to cast a retrospective gleam of insincerity over his fortune-telling, to convert blunder into bad faith, and to stultify his present along with his past position. The leek had to be eaten at last: why, after so many "prave 'ords" of superiority and defiance, confess that the eating of it had been more than half foreseen all along?

6th. The party which believed in the eventual success of the South, but doubted or disbelieved its right, must have been pretty considerable, if my previous estimates are true; for I have already advanced the conjecture that more than half the nation sided with the North, while four fifths believed for a long time in the success of the South. This fact alone, if correctly alleged, furnishes tolerable evidence of the persistency and influence of pro-Southern papers and partisans, and their ingenuity in so misreading the facts,

"Chè il no e il sì nel capo ci tenzona."

The event has proved that the chances of success were really very much on the side of the North. The superiority in material resources, and certain solid and undeniable successes obtained at and early stage of the war, such as the[Pg 137] capture of New Orleans, were known to be on the same side. Slighter grounds would in most cases have sufficed to persuade minds predisposed by sympathy that this side would win; yet the Southern advocates shuffled and played the cards well enough to induce an opposite conclusion in numerous instances. And no doubt many who began by simply believing that the South would succeed went on to think that the North deserved to lose,—partly because, upon such an assumption, the personal superiority must have been very largely with the South, and partly because a combatant who has no fair chance of winning ought to give in, and not persist in shedding blood in vain. If a big man fights a little one, and turns out upon experiment to have next to no chance of beating him, one soon gets angry with the big one for "pegging away," even though one may at first have perceived him to be in the right. Such seemed to many English observers to be the condition of the case in America. They were mistaken, but excusable; but for the error in their premise, their deduction would have been correct, or at least not irrational.

7th. The party which covertly or avowedly, justified slavery was incomparably larger than any Englishman would have dreamed of a week before the secession took place. Till then, I doubt whether any writer of credit, except one, had ventured deliberately to affirm that American slavery is, under limitations, an allowable and advantageous thing. That exception is assuredly a most illustrious one, perhaps the strongest head and stoutest heart in the British dominions, and our living writer of the most exalted and durable fame,—Thomas Carlyle. His "Occasional Discourse on the Nigger Question," published some years ago, ruffled and outraged the anti-slavery mind, which then, and for some while before and since, might fairly be termed the mind of all England. That Discourse staggered some readers, and roused others,—roused them to contemplate the whole question from a more fundamental and actual, a less traditional and prejudged point of view, than had been in vogue since our own abolition movement gained the ascendency. It became apparent to various thinkers that the humanitarian view of the question was not its be-all and end-all; that some facts and considerations per contra had to be taken into account; and that what one train of thought and feeling denounced as a mere self-condemned wrong might, according to another, be even regarded as a higher right. Still, this "new light" upon slavery was received more or less fully by only a very few minds, as compared with the general mass of British conviction,—a few thorough-going believers in Carlyle, a few hardy and open-minded speculators; hardly more, perhaps, in all, than those who would join Mr. John Stuart Mill in saying that the right form of Parliamentary suffrage is universal suffrage, open to women as well as men. No ordinary English newspaper would have thought of professing at that time, nor any ordinary English reader of tolerating, the theory that slavery is right. (It is no part of my plan or business to discuss this question of slavery: I will simply say, to avoid misapprehension, that, while recognizing the profound good sense of much that Carlyle has said on this and cognate matters, my own instinct of right and habits of opinion rebel against the pro-slavery theory, and never allowed me to doubt which side I was on, when the question came to its supreme practical issue in the civil war.) Such, then, appears to me to have been the state of English opinion on this subject when the secession occurred. On one ground or another, a large proportion of our population and our writers sided with the South. At first I fancy that no journal and no average Englishman affirmed that slavery is justifiable; but, as events progressed, it became more and more difficult to say that the South was right, and yet that slavery was wrong. "No man can serve two masters," not even such a couple as Jefferson Davis and Wilberforce. The British sympathizers, who had determined[Pg 138] to "hold to the one," were reduced to the logical necessity of "despising the other." It was a surprising spectacle. The dogmas and traditions of half a century snapped like threads, when it became their office to constrain a penchant. Ethnologists and politicians were equally ready to find out that the negro was fit for nothing but enforced servitude. Parsons, marchionesses, and maiden aunts received simultaneous enlightenment as to Christian truth, and discovered that slavery was not prohibited, but was even countenanced, in the Bible. The inference was inevitable: what Moses did not condemn in Jews thirty-three centuries ago must be the correct thing for Anglo-Americans to uphold at the present day. Did not St. Paul tell Onesimus to return to his master? etc., etc. Many Secessionist organs of public opinion, no doubt, declined to commit themselves to pro-slavery views: they started with the assumption that slavery is an evil and a crime, and they continued protesting the same creed. How far this creed was compatible with so rabid an advocacy of the Southern cause,—how far it was possible for genuine abominators of slavery to continue unfaltering their Southern palinodes and Northern anathemas, after such acts on the part of the South as the refusal to include colored troops among exchangeable prisoners of war, and the massacre at Fort Pillow, and such acts on the part of the North as the Emancipation Proclamation, and the introduction of the Constitutional Amendment for abolition,—these are questions which appear deserving of an answer; yet one may be quite prepared to find that the spirit of party, which made such an anomaly possible, is blind to the fact of its being anomalous, and has an answer pat. My own belief about the matter is this. When the Secession began, there were two sects among the English partisans of the South: the Carlylese apologists of slavery,—a very small sect; and the political advocates of Secession, who, partly with full conviction, partly as a mere matter of unchallenged use and wont, repudiated slavery,—a very large sect. The Southern partisanship of the former sect was perfectly logical; that of the latter unable to stand the wear and tear of discussion, as the progress of events made it more and more manifest that slavery or abolition was the real issue. With this latter sect the political or other liking for the South was a much stronger and more active feeling than the humanitarian or other dislike of slavery; the first feeling, indeed, soon developed into a passion, the second into a self-reproachful obstruction. Thus the logical view, that slavery as well as the slaveholding interest was right, exercised a powerful centripetal attraction; and many minds were betrayed into adopting it as a truth, or using it for a purpose, without probing the depth of apostasy to their own more solid convictions, or of moral disingenuousness, which the practice involved. The South had to be justified, and here were at hand the means of justification. Now that the contest is over, I have no doubt that a large residuum of tolerance for slavery, much larger than seemed possible for Englishmen before the Secession, is left behind; but also that this tolerance was in most instances factitious and occasional, and is cleared or clearing away, and will leave the British reprobation of slavery, in a little while, pretty nearly where it used to be of old. The orange has been squeezed: what use can the rind be of? It rests with the re-United States, by a just and successful treatment of the still formidable negro question,[B] to persuade unreluctant minds in the Old Country that slavery is, in very deed, the unmitigated wrong and nuisance which they used to reckon it; and those who have sympathized with the North look confidently for this ultimate result.

As a corollary to all that I have been saying in this slight analysis of English opinion during the war, I should add,—what, indeed, American writers have abundantly observed,—that the knowledge[Pg 139] of American affairs possessed by the great mass of English partisans was extremely superficial. I will not now speak of our newspapers and pamphleteers; but, within my own experience, among ordinary persons, who were quite ready to take sides, and stand stubbornly to their colors, I have often found that even such rudimentary points as the distinction between "States" and "Territories," the Northern resistance to the extension of slavery into Territories, the issue taken on that immediate question in the Presidential election of 1860, the relation between the three Federal Government and the States' governments, and the limits within which it would be possible for a President and his administration, however anti-slavery in principle, to interfere with slavery, were either not understood in theory, or not practically laid to heart. People would talk as if a Federal President were a Russian autocrat, who, if sincerely opposed to slavery, would have nothing in the world to do except to cancel the "peculiar institution" throughout the States, North and South, by a motion of his will and a stroke of his pen. They would demonstrate the half-heartedness on this matter of the North, as represented by its President Lincoln, and the hypocrisy or truckling of Lincoln himself, by the omission of such a sealing of their professed faith,—not caring to reflect how utterly subversive these notions must be of that favorite catchword of Southern partisans; "State rights." It may be objected, "These people can have been only the extremely ignorant." That, however, is my own conviction: but such childish assumptions were not the less prevalent for being preposterous, nor the less potent in leavening the mass of opinion, when the question was, which party to adopt.

Something—but necessarily very brief and imperfect—may be added concerning the particular organs of public opinion which sided with the North or with the South. I shall confine myself to London publications, not knowing enough of those in the country to treat that subject even with fairness, much less with command of the materials. I presume, however, that the tone of the London press furnishes a tolerable index to that of the provincial, taking the whole average.

The political color of the English press may be summarized as either Conservative, Liberal, or Liberal-Conservative. The Conservative daily papers are the "Standard" and the "Herald," both rabidly Southern. The principal Liberal ones are the "Times," "Globe," "Telegraph," "Daily News," and "Star." Of these five journals, three were for the South, and only two for the North,—the two which I have named last. Two other Liberal daily papers are but little known to me,—the "Advertiser" and the "Sun": I believe the latter was at any rate not decidedly Southern. Everybody knows that the Times is the Englishman's paper par excellence; it would hardly be unfair to call us "a Times-led population," unless, indeed, one prefers the term, "a popularity-led Times." Converse with ten ordinary middle-class Englishmen,—men of business or position, receiving or imparting the current of opinion which is uppermost in their class,—probably nine of them will express views which you will find amplified in the columns of the Times. That journal is neither above their level nor below it; as matters strike them, so do they also strike the Times. Englishmen do not particularly respect the Times; it is like them, (or in especial like the bustling, energetic, money-making, money-spending classes of them,) and they are like it; but an Englishman of this sort will not feel bound to "look up to" the Times any more than to another Englishman of the same class. They reciprocally express each other, and with no obligation or claim to lofty regard on either side. When, therefore, one finds the Times abiding for a long while (which is not invariably its way) by one constant view of a question, one may be sure that it is supported in that view by an active, business-like, prominent, and probably even[Pg 140] predominant body of its countrymen; but it by no means follows that the deeper convictions of the nation, its hearty sentiments of right, for which it would be prepared to do or die, are either represented or roused by the newspaper. The Times, during the American War, was cursed—or cursed its readers—with prophets, seers, and oracles, in its correspondents; and the prophecies turned out to be ridiculously wrong, the seeing to be purblindness, and the oracles to be gibberish. A more miserable exposure could not easily be cited; the most indignant American might afford to pity the Times, when, after four years of leonine roarings and lashings of tail, its roar sank into a whine, and its tail was clapped between its legs. The supremacy of the Times had already been sapped by the abolition of the British paper-duty, and the consequent starting of various penny-newspapers. If this fiasco does not gravely damage it, the reason can only, I suppose, be in the conformity of character and of impetus already pointed out between our average middle class and the Times. The Englishman whom the Times has misled for four years concerning the American struggle has a fellow-feeling for his Times even in the mortification of undeception; for this Englishman had never supposed that the Times, any more than himself, was actuated by profound political morality in the side it espoused—rather by personal proclivities, clamor, and "rule of thumb." And so, when the next great question arises, the Englishman may again make the Times his crony and confabulator, just as he would more likely, through general sympathy of notions and feelings, to take counsel with private acquaintances who had erred with him in predicting success to the South, rather than with those who had dissented from him in desire and expectation. Certainly, however, after all allowances made, the prestige of the Times must have received a perceptible shock. The other daily papers which I have named, along with the Times, as Southern partisans, represent divers sections of Liberalism; and there must be more than I am cognizant of to say in detail of their views of various phases and at various periods in the contest. The two Northerners, the Daily News and the Star, (the latter being specially connected with Mr. John Bright,) represent the more advanced section of Liberalism: no doubt their more thorough sympathy with the cause of the North was not unrelated to their more thorough sympathy with the political constitution and influences of the American Republic; and the same would be true of many private Northern adherents. In general, it may be said without much inexactness that the Northern advocates in the press belonged either to this section of Liberalism or to the "humanitarian" and "Evangelical" categories—those which distinctly uphold Abolitionism, "Aborigines-Protection," etc.; while the Southerners were recruited from all other classes,—Conservative, Liberal, and Liberal-Conservative. To this class one may perhaps assign the last two of the daily papers, the "Post" and the "Pall-Mall Gazette," the latter of which, however, was firmly on the side of the North; it only started during the final stages of the war,—a time when (be it said without any derogation from the sincerity of the Pall-Mall Gazette) some other papers also would probably, from the aspect of the times, have been better inclined to take the same side, but for finding themselves already up to the armpits in Secessionism. Passing now to the weekly papers, of which we can name only two or three, we find the Conservative "Press," the Anglican-Clerical "Guardian" the "Examiner,"—a representative of a somewhat old-fashioned form of Liberalism or "Whiggery,"—and the caustic, Liberal-Conservative "Saturday Review," (already mentioned,) on the side of the South; the advanced Liberal "Spectator" on that of the North. It is a significant sign of the widespread Southernism in all grades of town-society, especially the young and[Pg 141] exuberant, the man-about-town class, the club-men, the jolly young bachelors, the tavern-politicians, that all the "comic" papers were on that side,—not only the now almost "legitimated" "Punch,"[C] a staid grimalkin which has outgrown the petulances of kittenhood, or, as it has been well nicknamed erewhile, "The Jackall of the Times," but equally the more free-and-easy "Fun," the plebeian "Comic News," the fashionable "Owl," and the short-lived "Arrow." Among the magazines, the "Quarterly" and "Blackwood," with various others, not all of them colleagues of these two in strict Conservatism, were for the South; "Macmillan's Magazine," again an organ of the advanced and theoretic Liberalism, consistently for the North, so far as it could be considered to express aggregate, and not merely individual, views.

Of our leading writers, taken personally, Carlyle was of course against the North, and perhaps one may say on the side of the South, as shown by his epigram, "The American Iliad in a Nutshell,"—one of the few instances (if I may trust my own opinion concerning so great a genius) in which even his immense power of humor and pointed illustration has fallen flat and let off a firework which merely fizzed without flashing. Ruskin also would appear, from some occasional expressions in what he has published, to have adopted the same view; as, indeed, he very generally does "Carlylize" when Carlylean subject-matter engages his pen. For the North three of the most distinguished and resolute writers have been Mr. John Stuart Mill and Professors Cairnes and Goldwin Smith,—men on whose position and services in their own country to the Federal cause it is assuredly not for me to dilate.

Having thus far, to the best of my ability, sketched the varieties of English opinion concerning the great conflict, I must now endeavor to analyze somewhat more in detail the phases and motives of that large and powerful section of it which was hostile to the North. Something has been already said or implied on this matter as we proceeded; but it remains to be distinctly accounted for. If, at the time when England bestowed cheap tears upon the sorrows of Uncle Tom, cheap aristocratic homage upon Mrs. Stowe, and cheap or indeed gratis advice upon "American sisters," any American or Continental paper had prophesied (seeing farther into a millstone than Times prophets during the war) that the issues between Slavery and Abolition would, in a very few years, come to a tremendous crisis and not less tremendous arbitrament, and that the great majority of the most trained and influential British opinion would then be found on the side of the champions of Slavery, and against those of Abolition, the prediction would have been universally treated by Englishmen as an emanation and a proof of the most grovelling malignity, not less despicably silly than shamelessly calumnious. The time of trial came; and what no one would have ventured to suggest as conceivable proved to be the actual and positive truth. There must have been some deep-lying reason for this,—some reason which remained latent below the surface as long as the United States were regarded as one integral community, but which asserted itself as soon as Abolition and Slavery became identified, on the one hand, with national indivisibility, and, on the other, with disruption. It seems impossible to doubt, that, had the maintenance or the dissolution of slavery been the sole question, England would have continued true, without any noteworthy defection, to her traditions and professions reprobating slavery; and that, as she did not decisively so continue, other[Pg 142] incentives must have intervened,—the cause being in fact tried upon a different issue. Wherefore? It is to that question that I now address myself.

Four motives appear to me to have been puissant in indisposing Englishmen to the Northerners. I speak generally of all such British men and women as sided with the South, and whom I imagine to have been not much less than half the whole number of those who took sides at all,—but more especially of the class in which Southern sympathy was the very prevalent rule, and Northern sympathy the scanty exception. This class comprehended the members of the leading professions, army, navy, church, and bar, the writers upon events of the day in newspapers and elsewhere, and, broadly speaking, the moneyed and leading social circles,—in short, "the upper classes"; and, to trust my own experience, not only these, but the great bulk of, at any rate, the professional middle class as well. For instance, in the Government office to which I belong, comprising some hundreds of employés, of whom a tolerable percentage are known to me, I can recollect only one person, besides myself, whom I knew to be decidedly for the North,—and he, by the by, is an Irishman. I have used above the term "the upper classes"; but I believe that the aristocracy, properly so called, was by no means so Southern as the society next below it. The first of the four motives in question is one in whose potency it gives me no pleasure to believe, but it was, I think, by far the most powerful of all. The English,[D] as a nation, dislike the Americans as a nation. This is a broad statement, which I make, because, as far as my powers and opportunities of observation extend, I believe it to be true; but I am quite prepared to find it contested, or summarily denied, by many of my countrymen,—the more, the better. The dislike, be it greater or less in fact, appears to me to rest upon two main foundations.

In the first place, the Englishman is a born Conservative, or, to use the old phrase, a Tory. Toryism is of two kinds,—political and social. The majority of the nation is certainly not, at the present day, Tory in political preferences, though there is still a large leaven of that feeling also. But very many persons who are political Liberals are social Tories: they venerate the aristocracy; they batten daily upon the "Court Circular"; they cling to class distinctions in theory, and still more in practice; they strain towards "good society" and social conformity; their ideal is "respectability." Indeed, it appears to me that comparatively very few English people are free from some tincture of Toryism in either political or social sentiment, or both: one knows many Radicals, some Democrats, and even a few theoretic Republicans; but it by no means follows that all or most of these are not Tories in grain, in some part of their mental or personal anatomy. A total revulsion in public and popular feeling would have to take place, before, for instance, such an institution as our House of Lords could be in any practical danger: no such revulsion appears to be within the purview of any one now living, even as a matter of opinion, much less of practical performance. I believe, that, if universal suffrage were to become the law of the land to-morrow, not much difference would ensue in the personnel or the tone of the House of Commons. It could hardly help ensuing, in the long run, by the inevitable reaction Of institutions upon the people who exercise or undergo them, and, with a changed House of Commons, much else would, no doubt, be changed; but there seems strong reason to doubt whether a democratic constituency[Pg 143] would, in the earlier stages, produce a decisively democratic body of representatives. As regards English opinion upon the American dispute, nothing was commoner than the remark, that the Southerners were "the better gentlemen," or "represented the aristocratic element," and therefore commanded the speaker's good wishes in their struggle; and this not necessarily from members of the landed gentry, or from political anti-liberals, but equally from Liverpool merchants, or others of the middle class. The remark may have been true or incorrect,—with that I have nothing to do; but it was very generally accepted in England as accurate, and represented a large body of consequent sympathy. In like manner, people were slow to believe in the possibility of Lincoln's competence for his post; because he rose from the populace to his great elevation, they inferred that he was a boor and a bungler, not (as might have seemed equally fair and rather more logical) that he was a capable man; and, with a foregone conclusion, they were quite ready to construe as blundering and grotesque that line of policy and conduct on his part, which, after a war of no immoderate length, resulted in the surmounting of obstacles which they had dubbed insurmountable.

This innate British temper—aristocratic, conservative, or Tory, whichever one may term it—is the first of the two foundations whereon English dislike of Americans appears to me to rest. The second is a natural, though assuredly not a laudable feeling,—the residual soreness left by our defeat in the old American War of Independence. Far be it from me to say that the English nation at large, or Englishmen individually, brood gloomily over that defeat, or, with active and conscious malignity, long for the desolation of their brothers in blood, language, and a common history. To say that would be as strained and exaggerated, and as contrary to British practicality and freedom from vengefulness, as to deny that some degree of soreness and distance remains would seem to me uncandid. Englishmen are quite ready to believe, and to light upon the casual evidences, that Frenchmen remember Waterloo, and would have no objection to wipe out the reminiscence upon occasion; and Frenchmen and Americans may probably perceive that like causes lead to like results in the Englishmen's own case, although the latter are less quick-sighted regarding that. There is, I apprehend, quite enough soreness on the subject to lead us to watch the career of the United States with jealousy, to take offence easily where the relative interests of both countries are concerned, to put the less favorable of two possible constructions upon American doings, and to feel as if, in any reverse which may happen to the States, a certain long-standing score of our own, which we did not clear off quite satisfactorily to ourselves, were in a round-about course of settlement.

It may perhaps be rejoined, "Even admitting what you have said as to British conservatism and soreness, and consequent dislike of Americans, this furnishes no reason why the more influential classes in England should have sided with Southern rather than Northern Americans." But I cannot acknowledge the force of the rejoinder. The United States are, like any other nation, represented by their Government, with which the Northern and Union section was in harmony, the Southern and Disunion section in conflict; indeed, the very fact of secession divided the South from the obnoxious entity, the United States, and so far ranged the South under the same banner with all other antagonists of the States and their Government. The anti-American might with perfect consistency plead for his Southernism, "Not that I disliked Carolina less, but that I disliked Massachusetts more." Besides, there was a very prevalent impression that the Southern Confederacy would be an essentially aristocratic commonwealth, as contrasted with the democratic Northern Union,—an impression which the peculiar conditions of society in the South would hardly[Pg 144] have failed to justify to the full, had a cessation of the war allowed the Confederacy to develop internally, according to its own bias. Rumors were even rife of a possible monarchy; and leading Southerners were credited with the statement, that the best upshot of all, would popular prejudice in the South but allow of it, would be to import a king from the English royal family. Such rumors may have been fallacious, but they were not unacceptable to the British Tory. On the other hand, the disruption of the United States by the secession of the South was continually spoken of as "the breakdown of Democracy," or "the bubble of Democracy has burst." The experiment of a great federative republic—or, one might say, of a great republic, whether federative or otherwise—was held to have been tried, and to have broken down. The fact that there would be two republics, jointly coextensive with the original one, went for little, inasmuch as neither of the two could be as powerful as that one, and they would be divided by conflicting policy and interests, even if not engaged in active hostilities. All these considerations were not only powerful determinants to Southernism, but in themselves balm to the conservative heart, and hardly less so to that overwhelming section of educated liberal opinion in this country, which, genuinely liberal though its politics may be according to the English standard, abhors all approach towards what is termed "Americanizing our institutions," and is fully as eager as the strictly conservative class to lay hold of any facts which may make monarchy appear a stable, and republicanism an unstable system. It was but a very short time before the fall of Richmond that I heard an Englishman, so far from anticipating the catastrophe of the South, repeat the threadbare augury of the Times and other journals, that the remaining Federal States would yet split up into a Western and an Eastern aggregation. The Cerberus of Democracy was to start his three heads off on three different roads, by that process common in many of the lower animal organisms, known to zoölogists as "fission"; and monarchists were fain to augur that very little of either bite or bark would be thereafter native to his jaws.

Such are the grounds on which I think that British conservatism and soreness produce a widely diffused feeling of national dislike to Americans, and that this dislike, beyond all other motives, indisposed multitudes to the Northern cause. Three other motives conducing to the same result remain to be analyzed.

Many Englishmen believe—as will have been abundantly apparent to Americans during the vicissitudes of the last few years—that the greatness of the United States involves a serious danger to England, whether in the projects upon Canada which are attributed to the States, or in other directions, such as that of naval power. It is no business of mine to discuss the validity of this belief, but simply to record it as one important motive why the success of the Federal Government was not desired. It is a substantial and a reasoned motive; and very few persons, whether in England or out of it, are so cosmopolite or calm-minded as to assume that the growth and aggrandizement of a foreign power, in its proportional relation to one's own nation, are matter for brotherly satisfaction and congratulation without arrière pensée, provided always that growth proceeds from internal conditions honorable to the foreigner, and not in themselves derogatory or offensive to the home-power. Few will heartily say, "Let our neighbors and competitors develop to their uttermost, and welcome; be it our sole care that we also develop to our uttermost. They shall run us as close as they like, and shall find that we do not mean to be run down." To say this might be an act of national Christianity; but it is not one which has ever been in very active exercise or popular repute. It may be observed, too, that, besides all other causes of national vigilance or jealousy, the Trent affair, at an early date in the war, brought the whole[Pg 145] practical question very forcibly home to us; and though Englishmen almost unanimously, within the limits of my reading and hearing, protested that a rupture with the United States would be formidable and disabling only to that belligerent, (a point on which I ventured to fancy that British self-confidence might not have fathomed all the possibilities of Providence,) the crisis did not the less tend to rouse all our defensive and some of our aggressive instincts, and to weight the scales of public feeling against the North. The question of perils from American power then passed out of the region of mere theory, and became practical and imminent. The danger itself dispersed, indeed, as suddenly as it had come, but the impression remained.

Another motive for siding against the North was the abstract hatred of war, which has grown to be a very widespread and genuine feeling in England,—and, in my humble opinion, a most befitting and praiseworthy one,—active whenever we are in the position of outsiders, and overborne only when our own passions and real or supposed interests are involved. The great majority of the nation plunged headlong into the Russian War, and the grip of the British bull-dog's teeth upon his opponent was not easily loosed, even when good cause for loosing it appeared. We had no more notion of retiring from India in 1857, when the Indian mutineers used some cogency of material argument to make us do so, than we should have of retiring from Ireland, if a new Irish rebellion occurred; but when the question was merely that of breaking up a vast republic beyond the Atlantic in the interests of negro slavery, the horrors and wickedness of war were obvious and impressive to us. That historical phrase of General Scott's, "Wayward sisters, go in peace!" was very generally, and I think rightly, regarded as expressing one of the points of view which might with honor, caution, and consistency have been acted upon, when the tremendous decision between peace and war had to be made. The opposite point of view was also tenable: it was adopted with overwhelming impulse by the Federal Government and the loyal States; and, having been carried out to a triumphant conclusion, may be admitted to have been the wisest and most patriotic, even by persons who (and I will not deny having been one of them from time to time during the war) were induced to doubt whether any cause, however equitable, and any object, however righteous and great, sufficed to justify the frightful devastation and carnage which their prosecution involved. If such doubts beset the adherents of the North, of course the view of the matter entertained by opponents of war in the abstract, who were also on the side of the South, was incomparably stronger in reprobation of this particular war. True, it might be urged, that the South, and not the North, both furnished the casus belli, and began the actual hostilities by the assault upon Fort Sumter; but it was not the cue of Southern partisans to admit that this internal action of certain sovereign States of the Union was of a nature to justify coercive war on the part of the North, while the fact that it rested with the North to decline or accept the challenge was patent to the friends of both belligerents. Thus, when the enormous magnitude and horrors of the war startled English onlookers, the odium, in the opinion of many, attached to the North: a view which, though it might not stand the test of strict investigation, or of a severe discussion of principles and provocations, was superficially maintainable, and not to be anyhow argued out of all plausibility. "The South is defensive, and the North aggressive," one disputant might say. "Yes," would be the reply, "at this stage of the contest; but ascend a step higher, and it is the South which made an aggression on the Union, and the North is defending that." "Still, the North might have abstained from defending it, and might have said, 'Wayward sisters, go in peace!'" "It might; but it saw good reason for saying the reverse." "Still, it might."[Pg 146] This seems a fair enough statement of the case between North and South, so far as the mere question of fact as to responsibility for the war is concerned. Beyond this, one must go to the larger questions, whether any causes justify war, and whether this individual cause was one of them,—questions, as I have said, to which the English mind tends to return a negative answer, save when England herself is affected. The very men who could least see a pretext for a war by the Federal people against the seceded States were those who would most eagerly have rushed into a war to sustain the British claim in the Trent affair.

Lastly, there was a generous and an especially English motive for anti-Northern partisanship,—the feeling of sympathy with the weaker side, which was unmistakably the Southern; a generous motive, but not to be trusted too far in deciding between any two litigants. Besides the mere inferiority of strength, the splendid valor and enterprising spirit of the South stirred the British heart and blood, and commanded numberless good wishes; while, for some time after the first battle of Bull Run, a prejudice, not readily amenable to reasoning, clung around the Northern arms, and impeded many from doing full relative justice to the military temper and prowess of the Unionists. There was, moreover, a very widespread impression that the North was carrying on the war chiefly by means of mercenaries,—Germans, Irishmen, and "the offscourings of Europe," as the uncomplimentary phrase ran,—who enlisted for the sake of the bounty, and were equally prompt at exhibiting their indifferentism to the grave issues at stake and their blackguardism in dealing with the hostile populations. The Southerners, on the contrary, figured as a chivalrous territorial body driven to fight "for their hearths and homes," (I have even seen "their altars" in print,) waging a noble defensive war against preconcerted spoliation and despotism. To this moment, many people have phrases of the above sort upon their lips.

Then there were certain personal feelings which told powerfully in the same direction,—personal partly to the English as a nation, and partly to the more prominent actors in the war. The contrast between the American colonies of Great Britain throwing off their allegiance to the Old Country because they saw fit to do so for their own interests, and the government of the Federation of these same ex-colonies insisting that some of them, which in their turn see fit to break loose from the Federal pact, shall not do so, under the alternative of war and the pains of treason,—this contrast is assuredly a glaring one; many people considered that it amounted to a positive anomaly,—not a few to a barefaced act of tyrannic apostasy. The personal feeling of the English people, their national amour propre, conspired to lead towards this harshest construction of the facts: it was so tempting to convict our old adversaries out of their own mouths, and make them, by the logic of events, read out either their recantation of the Colonial Revolution, or their self-condemnation for the Anti-Secession War. I have already explained to what extent these views appear to me to be tenable, and where their weak point lies: that both the insurrection of the colonies against England, and that of the South against the Federation,—both the repressive measures of England against the colonies, and of the Federation against the South,—were in themselves founded on an indefeasible right, and abstractly defensible; and that the "casting vote," (so to speak,) in both cases, depends, not upon any wordy denial of the right, but upon a thorough estimate of all the attendant conditions, and prominently of the "mights of man."

So far for one phase of the personal question. The other phase pertained to the character and the deeds of some leading actors in the war-drama. To most English apprehensions, the hero of the war, from an early stage of it up to his tragic death, was Stonewall Jackson, whose place was afterwards taken, in popular esteem, though not in coequal[Pg 147] enthusiasm, by General Lee, both of them Southerners; while the bête noire of the story was General Butler, the Northerner. It would be futile to expound the reasons of this, patent as they are to everybody; or to inquire what deductions from the renown of Jackson and Lee, or what allowances for the position of Butler, a judicial review of the whole case would proclaim to be equitable. I will only remark here, that, as far as my observation extended, no one complained of Jackson, when it transpired that he had been resolutely in favor of refusing all quarter to Northern soldiers: a severity, not to say barbarism, which, be it right or wrong in itself, would undoubtedly have appeared to many atrocious enough, had it been the doctrine of any Northern general, and beside which the sternest measures of Butler look lax and conciliatory. In like manner, the terrible treatment of Northern prisoners, and the most savage act of war in the whole contest, the massacre at Fort Pillow,[E] seemed hardly to graze that delicate susceptibility of Southern partisans which was lashed into a white rage by a few words of printed proclamation from Butler's hand; the facts were either ignored, or dismissed as of secondary importance in the general conduct of the war. Of two other prime actors in the contest, President Davis and President Lincoln, the popular judgment seemed equally arbitrary. Of course each had his admirers among professed Southern or Northern adherents: it is not in that aspect that I speak of them for the moment, but rather as figures in the popular imagination. As such, Davis was credited with all the qualities of a powerful statesman; while Lincoln showed as a not ill-meaning, but grotesquely inadequate and misplaced oddity, a sort of mere accident of mob-favor, and made abundant mirth for the mirthful: how justly the event has perhaps demonstrated. Among the Northern generals, I think that the only one who became to some extent generally popular, though bitterly denounced in adverse quarters, was Sherman,—not only for the splendor and originality of his practical achievements, but for a certain incisive and peremptory realism in his administrative proceedings, which almost marked him with a touch of grim humor.

I have thus sought to account for the anti-Northern bias in a large number of my countrymen, by their dislike of the American nation and polity, arising partly from the remains of soreness left by past defeat,—by the jealousy of American power, as a practical danger,—by the hatred of war,—and by the sympathy for the gallant weaker combatant. I am compelled reluctantly to add, that the particular operation of these various influences reflects no credit upon British consistency of farsightedness. The conservative temper which stiffens Englishmen towards America was the very same which, in the interests of the moment, led them to justify violent revolutionary measures, and armed resistance to the constitutional and national majority. The greater the conservative, the greater the advocate of insurrection. In like manner, the English detestation of slavery was overwhelmed by sympathy for an "oppressed" community, whose oppression (apart from the much-paraded tariff and other such questions) consisted in a definite intimation that they would not henceforward be allowed to enlarge the area of slavery, and in a suspicion present to their own minds that even the existing area of that cherished institution would be narrowed, and finally reduced to nought,—expunged "as a man wipeth a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down." The friends among us of constitutional liberty and of legality, the enemies of anarchy, the unseduced execrators of slavery, the upholders of the tie of brotherhood across the Atlantic, may well look back with[Pg 148] shame to the time—and it was no matter of days or weeks, but a period of about four years together—when the loudest and most accepted voices in England exulted over the now ludicrously delusive proposition that the United States were a burst bubble, and slavery the irremovable corner-stone of an empire. It may be a lesson to nations against the indulgence in rancor, the abnegation of the national conscience, and the dear delight of prophesying one's own likings. "Now, therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil against thee."

The collapse of the South came at last; and nearly at the same moment came the murder of a man whose modesty, integrity, firmness, single-minded persistency, unresentfulness, and substantial truth of judgment have been invested by his fate with an almost sacred depth of interest and significance,—President Lincoln. Amid the many momentous bearings of these events, it is for me to note only one of comparative unimportance,—the effect which they produced upon English public opinion. There was, I think, a certain good-fortune for Southern sympathizers, in the fact that the announcement of Lincoln's death almost synchronized with that of the surrender of the Confederate armies. After so many confident anticipations and loud predictions of a Southern triumph, so many denunciations of the policy, acts, and leaders of the North, these sympathizers found themselves in a sort of cul-de-sac when Richmond had been taken. Lee had yielded, Johnston was yielding, and the very same "butcher" Grant, "ruthless" Sherman, and "Yahoo" Lincoln, whose savageries and imbecilities had been the theme of annual moral-pointing, were reading the world a lesson of moderation and self-forgetfulness in victory, such as almost seemed to shrink from the plentitude of a triumph which was a humiliation to some of their countrymen. The sympathizers found that they were and had long been of the party in evil odor with that modern "Providence which sides with the stronger battalions," not to speak of the older "God of Battles." They were pulled up sharp in the direction they had been going in, and the alternative of turning right round and retracing their steps was a very awkward and unwelcome one. The assassination of Lincoln came to their relief. They could join, without insincerity, in the burst of public feeling which that terrible deed excited; could merge their protests against Lincoln in the established unwillingness to say evil of the dead; could give momentary pause to national and political considerations, beside the grave of one preëminent citizen; and could start afresh afterwards, with a new situation, and a new chief figure in it to contemplate. President Johnson had taken the place of President Lincoln, and had, at the hands of many of Lincoln's vituperators, succeeded to an inheritance of the abuse lavished upon him. Neither caution nor moderation had been learned by some, suitable as were the circumstances of Lincoln's death for teaching the lesson. Of late, however, I have observed symptoms of a decided change in this respect: the policy of President Johnson being recognized as broad, generous, resolute, and auspicious of the best results. I think this feeling, and a general sentiment of respect and good-will for the United States, promise to grow rapidly and powerfully among my countrymen,—who, true once again to their conservative instincts, will look with a certain regard upon a nation which can show those elements of solidity and "respectability," a tremendous past war, and a heavy national debt, with augmented authority in the central government. John Bull's ill-humor against the "Yankees" has been in vigorous exercise these four years, and has assumed fair latitude for growling itself out: it has been palpably wrong in some of its inferences; for the bubble of Democracy has not burst, nor the Republic been split up into two or three federations, nor the abolition of slavery been a mere pretext and hypocrisy. Englishmen, with their practical turn,[Pg 149] and candid frankness towards those to whom they have done less than right, may be expected in the future to look upon the States with a degree of confidence and cordiality long deplorably absent. The events of the war have, in the long run, compelled even the hostile party to respect the Unionists and their government: the plague of slavery is fast going, and, with its disappearance, will relieve Englishmen from either (as they used to do) reprobating the Americans as abettors of and trucklers to the barbaric institution, or else (as they have been doing of late) from inventing half-sincere excuses for that same institution, to subserve partisan feelings. As matters stand at present in the United States, there appears to be only one contingency which would again rouse into a fierce flame the glowing embers of pro-Southern sentiment among Englishmen, and restore Southerners to the position of angels of light, and Northerners to that of angels of darkness, in British imaginations. This contingency is harshness in the treatment and trial of ex-President Davis, and more especially his execution as a traitor. Southern sympathizers declare that such a proceeding would be an abominable crime: the steadiest, most thorough, and most confiding adherents of the North believe, that, whatever else it might be, it would, at any rate, be most deplorable,—an ugly blight-spot upon laurels won arduously and gloriously, and as yet nobly worn.

I have now, in however cursory or limping a mode, gone over the ground I proposed to cover. The main conclusion of all may be summarized in the briefest terms thus. A slight majority of the whole British nation probably sided with the North, and that chiefly on anti-slavery grounds: a great majority of the more influential classes, certainly, sided with the South, and that chiefly on general grounds of antagonism to the United States. For anything I have said which may possibly sound egotistic or intrusive,—still more for anything erroneous or unfair in my statements or point of view,—I must commit myself to the candid construction of my reader, be he American or English, be he on the same side of the question as myself, or on the opposite one.

W. M. Rosetti.


[A] I remember meeting at dinner, just about this time, a near relative of the American ambassador, Mr. Adams. I expressed myself as anxious, but barely able, to believe that the Northerners would yet gain the day, and asked whether he candidly supposed they would. His emphatic "Certainly" surprised me at the time, and remained in my mind as an almost sublime instance of a true citizen's inability to "despair of the Republic." It soon turned out to be a deserved rebuke to any who desponded, along with myself, and finally prophetic. No doubt there were thousands of Americans who could, even in those dark days, with equal conviction have pronounced that "Certainly," and whose very certainty was the one thing needed and able to make the thing certain indeed.

[B] As some time may have elapsed, and some change in the state of facts occurred, before this article appears in print, I add that it was completed early in October.

[C] Probably many of my American readers are aware that Punch, after doing its little best to make Lincoln ridiculous (which perhaps history will pronounce no easy job) throughout his administration, recanted as soon as he had been murdered, and made the amende honorable in terms as handsome as the case admitted of. It is one more instance of the mania which some writers have for saying ill-natured and unfair things, which they themselves must know to be not the real opinion which they would profess under circumstances when their amour propre becomes enlisted on the same side as candor.

[D] Of course I very often employ the term "English," as meaning "the natives of all or any parts of the United Kingdom," without making nice distinctions between English, Scotch, and Irish. Such is the case here. As a matter of fact, however, I presume that America and the Federal Government have found and find somewhat more sympathy in Scotland and Ireland than in England: the Scotch, spite of their "clannish" tendencies, have a certain democratic bias as well (chiefly, perhaps, evidenced and fostered by their religious organization); and the Irish, disaffected as they are towards England having so numerous and so close ties, through the emigration movement, with the United States.

[E] For American readers any confirmatory testimony as to this massacre is no doubt superfluous. But, in case these pages should obtain any English readers, I may perhaps be allowed to say that the fact of the massacre of the vanquished colored garrison has been attested to me. vivâ voce, by a Confederate, and still Secessionist, army surgeon, who witnessed it with his own eyes.


In sky and wave the white clouds swam,
And the blue hills of Nottingham
Through gaps of leafy green
Across the lake were seen,—
When, in the shadow of the ash
That dreams its dream in Attitash,
In the warm summer weather,
Two maidens sat together.
They sat and watched in idle mood
The gleam and shade of lake and wood,—
The beach the keen light smote,
The white sail of a boat,—
[Pg 150]
Swan flocks of lilies shoreward lying,
In sweetness, not in music, dying,—
Hardhack and virgin's-bower,
And white-spiked clethra-flower.
With careless ears they heard the plash
And breezy wash of Attitash,
The wood-bird's plaintive cry,
The locust's sharp reply.
And teased the while, with playful hand,
The shaggy dog of Newfoundland,
Whose uncouth frolic spilled
Their baskets berry-filled.
Then one, the beauty of whose eyes
Was evermore a great surprise,
Tossed back her queenly head,
And, lightly laughing, said,—
"No bridegroom's hand be mine to hold
That is not lined with yellow gold;
I tread no cottage-floor;
I own no lover poor.
"My love must come on silken wings,
With bridal lights of diamond rings,—
Not foul with kitchen smirch,
With tallow-dip for torch."
The other, on whose modest head
Was lesser dower of beauty shed,
With look for home-hearths meet,
And voice exceeding sweet,
Answered,—"We will not rivals be;
Take thou the gold, leave love to me;
Mine be the cottage small,
And thine the rich man's hall.
"I know, indeed, that wealth is good;
But lowly roof and simple food,
With love that hath no doubt,
Are more than gold without."
Behind the wild grape's tangled screen,
Beholding them, himself unseen,
A young man, straying near,
The maidens chanced to hear.
He saw the pride of beauty born,
He heard the red lips' words of scorn;
And, like a silver bell,
That sweet voice answering well.
[Pg 151]
"Why trust," he said, "my foolish eyes?
My ear has pierced the fair disguise;
Who seeks my gold, not me,
My bride shall never be."
The supreme hours unnoted come;
Unfelt the turning tides of doom;
And so the maids laughed on,
Nor dreamed what Fate had done:
Nor knew the step was Destiny's
That rustled in the birchen trees,
As, with his life forecast
Anew, the listener passed.
Erelong by lake and rivulet side
The summer roses paled and died,
And Autumn's fingers shed
The maple's leaves of red.
Through the long gold-hazed afternoon,
Alone, but for the diving loon,
The partridge in the brake,
The black duck on the lake,
Beneath the shadow of the ash
Sat man and maid by Attitash;
And earth and air made room
For human hearts to bloom.
Soft spread the carpets of the sod,
And scarlet-oak and golden-rod
With blushes and with smiles
Lit up the forest aisles.
The mellow light the lake aslant,
The pebbled margin's ripple-chant
Attempered and low-toned,
The tender mystery owned.
And through the dream the lovers dreamed
Sweet sounds stole in and soft lights streamed;
The sunshine seemed to bless,
The air was a caress.
Not she who lightly scoffed was there,
With jewels in her midnight hair,
Her dark, disdainful eyes,
And proud lips worldly-wise;
But she who could for love dispense
With all its gilded accidents,
And trust her heart alone,
Found love and gold her own.

[Pg 152]




The manuscript of the following pages has been handed to me with the request that I would revise it for publication, or weave its facts into a story which should show the fitness of the Southern black for the exercise of the right of suffrage.

It is written in a fair, legible hand; its words are correctly spelled; its facts are clearly stated, and—in most instances—its sentences are properly constructed. Therefore it needs no revision. On reading it over carefully, I also discover that it is in itself a stronger argument for the manhood of the negro than any which could be adduced by one not himself a freedman; for it is the argument of facts, and facts are the most powerful logic. Therefore, if I were to imbed these facts in the mud of fiction, I should simply oblige the reader to dredge for the oyster, which in this narrative he has without the trouble of dredging, fresh and juicy as it came from the hand of Nature,—or rather, from the hand of one of Nature's noblemen,—and who, until he was thirty years of age, had never put two letters together.

The narrative is a plain and unpretending account of the life of a man whose own right arm—to use his own expression—won his rights as a freeman. It is written with the utmost simplicity, and has about it the verisimilitude which belongs to truth, and to truth only when told by one who has been a doer of the deeds and an actor in the scenes which he describes. It has the further rare merit of being written by one of the "despised race"; for none but a negro can fully and correctly depict negro life and character.

General Thomas—a Southern man, and a friend of the Southern negro—was once in conversation with a gentleman who has attained some reputation as a delineator of the black man, when a long, lean, "poor white man," then a scout in the Union army, approached the latter, and, giving his shoulder a familiar slap, accosted him with,—

"How are you, ole feller?"

The gentleman turned about, and forgetting, in his joy at meeting an old friend, the presence of this most dignified of our military men, responded to the salutation of the scout in an equally familiar and boisterous manner. General Thomas "smiled wickedly," and quietly remarked,—

"You seem to know each other."

"Know him!" exclaimed the scout. "Why, Gin'ral, I ha'n't seed him fur fourteen year; but I sh'u'd know him, ef his face war as black as it war one night when we went ter a nigger shindy tergether!"

The gentleman colored up to the roots of his hair, and stammered out,—

"That was in my boy days, General, when I was sowing my wild oats."

"Don't apologize, Sir," answered the General, "don't apologize; for I see that to your youthful habit of going to negro shindies we owe your truthful pictures of negro life."

And the General was right. Every man and woman who has essayed to depict the slave character has miserably failed, unless inoculated with the genuine spirit of the negro; and even those who have succeeded best have done only moderately well, because they have not had the negro nature. It is reserved to some black Shakspeare or Dickens to lay open the wonderful humor, pathos, poetry, and power which slumber in the negro's soul, and which now and then flash out like the fire from a thunder-cloud.

I do not mean to say that this black[Pg 153] prophet has come in this narrative. He has not. This man is a doer, not a writer; though he gives us—particularly in the second part—touches of Nature, and little bits of description, which are perfectly inimitable. The prophet is still to come; and he will come. God never gives great events without great historians; and for all the patience and valor and heroic fortitude and self-sacrifice and long-suffering of the black man in this war, there will come a singer—and a black singer—who shall set his deeds to a music that will thrill the nations.

But I am holding the reader at the threshold.

The author of this narrative—of every line in it—is William Parker. He was an escaped slave, and the principal actor in the Christiana riot,—an occurrence which cost the Government of the United States fifty thousand dollars, embittered the relations of two "Sovereign States," aroused the North to the danger of the Fugitive-Slave Law, and, more than any other event, except the raid of John Brown, helped to precipitate the two sections into the mighty conflict which has just been decided on the battle-field.

Surely the man who aided towards such results must be a man, even if his complexion be that of the ace of spades; and what he says in relation to the events in which he was an actor, even if it have no romantic interest,—which, however, it has to an eminent degree,—must be an important contribution to the history of the time.

With these few remarks, I submit the evidence which he gives of the manhood of his race to that impartial grand-jury, the American people. E. K.


I was born opposite to Queen Anne, in Anne Arundel County, in the State of Maryland, on a plantation called Rowdown. My master was Major William Brogdon, one of the wealthy men of that region. He had two sons,—William, a doctor, and David, who held some office at Annapolis, and for some years was a member of the Legislature.

My old master died when I was very young; so I know little about him, except from statements received from my fellow-slaves, or casual remarks made in my hearing from time to time by white persons. From those I conclude that he was in no way peculiar, but should be classed with those slaveholders who are not remarkable either for the severity or the indulgence they extend to their people.

My mother, who was named Louisa Simms, died when I was very young; and to my grandmother I am indebted for the very little kindness I received in my early childhood; and this kindness could only be shown me at long intervals, and in a hurried way, as I shall presently show.

Like every Southern plantation of respectable extent and pretensions, our place had what is called the "Quarter," or place where the slaves of both sexes are lodged and fed. With us the Quarter was composed of a number of low buildings, with an additional building for single people and such of the children as were either orphans or had parents sold away or otherwise disposed of. This building was a hundred feet long by thirty wide, and had a large fireplace at either end, and small rooms arranged along the sides. In these rooms the children were huddled from day to day, the smaller and weaker subject to the whims and caprices of the larger and stronger. The largest children would always seize upon the warmest and best places, and say to us who were smaller, "Stand back, little chap, out of my way"; and we had to stand back or get a thrashing.

When my grandmother, who was cook at the "great house," came to look after me, she always brought me a morsel privately; and at such times I was entirely free from annoyance by the older ones. But as she could visit me only once in twenty-four hours, my juvenile days enjoyed but little rest from my domineering superiors in years and strength.

[Pg 154]

When my grandmother would inquire of the others how her "little boy" was getting on, they would tell her that I was doing well, and kindly invite me to the fire to warm myself. I was afraid to complain to her of their treatment, as, for so doing, they would have beaten me, after she had gone to the "great house" again. I was thus compelled to submit to their misrepresentation, as well as to their abuse and indifference, until I grew older, when, by fighting first with one and then with another, I became "too many" for them, and could have a seat at the fire as well as the best. This experience of my boyhood has since been repeated in my manhood. My rights at the fireplace were won by my child-fists; my rights as a freeman were, under God, secured by my own right arm.

Old master had seventy slaves, mostly field-hands. My mother was a field-hand. He finally died; but after that everything went on as usual for about six years, at the end of which time the brothers, David and William, divided the land and the slaves. Then, with many others, including my brother and uncle, it fell to my lot to go with Master David, who built a house on the southeast part of the farm and called it Nearo.

Over the hands at Nearo an overseer name Robert Brown was placed; but as he was liked by neither master nor slaves, he was soon discharged. The following circumstance led to his dismissal sooner, perhaps, than it would otherwise have happened.

While master was at Annapolis, my mistress, who was hard to please, fell out with one of the house-servants, and sent for Mr. Brown to come and whip her. When he came, the girl refused to be whipped, which angered Brown, and he beat her so badly that she was nearly killed before she gave up. When Master David came home, and saw the girl's condition, he became very angry, and turned Brown away at once.

Master David owned a colored man named Bob Wallace. He was a trusty man; and as he understood farming thoroughly, he was installed foreman in place of Brown. Everything went on very well for a while under Wallace, and the slaves were as contented as it is possible for slaves to be.

Neither of our young masters would allow his hands to be beaten or abused, as many slaveholders would; but every year they sold one or more of them,—sometimes as many as six or seven at a time. One morning word was brought to the Quarter that we should not work that day, but group to the "great house." As we were about obeying the summons, a number of strange white men rode up to the mansion. They were Negro-traders. Taking alarm, I ran away to the woods with a boy of about my own age, name Levi Storax; and there we remained until the selections for the sale were made, and the traders drove away. It was a serious time while they remained. Men, women, and children, all were crying, and general confusion prevailed. For years they had associated together in their rude way,—the old counseling the young, recounting their experience, and sympathizing in their trials; and now, without a word of warning, and for no fault of their own, parents and children, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, were separated to meet no more on earth. A slave sale of this sort is always as solemn as a funeral, and partakes of its nature in one important particular,—the meeting no more in the flesh.

Levi and I climbed a pine-tree, when we got to the woods, and had this conversation together.

"Le," I said to him, "our turn will come next; let us run away, and not be sold like the rest."

"If we can only get clear this time," replied Le, "may-be they won't sell us. I will go to Master William, and ask him not to do it."

"What will you get by going to Master William?" I asked him. "If we see him, and ask him not to sell us, he will do as he pleases. For my part, I think the best thing is to run away to the Free States."

"But," replied Levi, "see how many[Pg 155] start for the Free States, and are brought back, and sold away down South. We could not be safe this side of Canada, and we should freeze to death before we got there."

So ended our conversation. I must have been about ten or eleven years old then; yet, young as I was, I had heard of Canada as the land far away in the North, where the runaway was safe from pursuit; but, to my imagination, it was a vast and cheerless waste of ice and snow. So the reader can readily conceive of the effect of Levi's remarks. They were a damper upon our flight for the time being.

When night came, Levi wanted to go home and see if they had sold his mother; but I did not care about going back, as I had no mother to sell. How desolate I was! No home, no protector, no mother, no attachments. As we turned our faces toward the Quarter,—where we might at any moment be sold to satisfy a debt or replenish a failing purse,—I felt myself to be what I really was, a poor, friendless slave-boy. Levi was equally sad. His mother was not sold, but she could afford him no protection.

To the question, "Where had we been?" we answered, "Walking around." Then followed inquiries and replies as to who were sold, who remained, and what transpired at the sale.

Said Levi,—

"Mother, were you sold?"

"No, child; but a good many were sold; among them, your Uncles Anthony and Dennis."

I said,—

"Aunt Ruthy, did they sell Uncle Sammy?"

"No, child."

"Where, then, is Uncle Sammy?"

I thought, if I could be with Uncle Sammy, may-be I would be safe. My Aunt Rachel, and her two children, Jacob and Priscilla, were among the sold, who altogether comprised a large number of the servants.

The apologist for slavery at the North, and the owner of his fellow-man at the South, have steadily denied that the separation of families, except for punishment, was perpetrated by Southern masters; but my experience of slavery was, that separation by sale was a part of the system. Not only was it resorted to by severe masters, but, as in my own case, by those generally regarded as mild. No punishment was so much dreaded by the refractory slave as selling. The atrocities known to be committed on plantations in the Far South, tidings of which reached the slave's ears in various ways, his utter helplessness upon the best farms and under the most humane masters and overseers, in Maryland and other Northern Slave States, together with the impression that the journey was of great extent, and comfortless even to a slave, all combined to make a voyage down the river or down South an era in the life of the poor slave to which he looked forward with the most intense and bitter apprehension and anxiety.

This slave sale was the first I had ever seen. The next did not occur until I was thirteen years old; but every year, during the interval, one or more poor souls were disposed of privately.

Levi, my comrade, was one of those sold in this interval. Well may the good John Wesley speak of slavery as the sum of all villanies; for no resort is too despicable, no subterfuge too vile, for its supporters. Is a slave intractable, the most wicked punishment is not too severe; is he timid, obedient, attached to his birthplace and kindred, no lie is so base that it may not be used to entrap him into a change of place or of owners. Levi was made the victim of a stratagem so peculiarly Southern, and so thoroughly the outgrowth of an institution which holds the bodies and souls of men as of no more account, for all moral purposes, than the unreasoning brutes, that I cannot refrain from relating it. He was a likely lad, and, to all appearance, fully in the confidence of his master. Prompt and obedient, he seemed to some of us to enjoy high favor at the "great house." One morning he was told to take a letter to Mr. Henry[Pg 156] Hall, an acquaintance of the family; and it being a part of his usual employment to bring and carry such missives, off he started, in blind confidence, to learn at the end of his journey that he had parted with parents, friends, and all, to find in Mr. Hall a new master. Thus, in a moment, his dearest ties were severed.

I met him about two months afterwards at the Cross-Road Meeting-House, on West River; and, after mutual recognition, I said to him,—

"Levi, why don't you come home?"

"I am at home," said he; "I was sold by Master William to Mr. Henry Hall."

He then told me about the deception practised upon him. I thought that a suitable opportunity to remind him of our conversation when up the pine-tree, years before, and said,—

"You told me, that, if you could escape the big sale, Master William would not sell you. Now you see how it was: the big sale was over, and yet you were sold to a worse master than you had before. I told you this would be so. The next time I hear from you, you will be sold again. Master Mack will be selling me one of these days, no doubt; but if he does, he will have to do it running."

Here ended our conversation and our association, as it was not in our power to meet afterward.

The neighbors generally called Master David, Mack, which was one of his Christian names; and the slaves called him Master Mack; so the reader will understand, that, whenever that name occurs, Master David is meant.

After the sale of Levi, I became greatly attached to Alexander Brown, another slave. Though not permitted to learn to read and write, and kept in profound ignorance of everything, save what belonged strictly to our plantation duties, we were not without crude perceptions of the dignity and independence belonging to freedom; and often, when out of hearing of the white people, or certain ones among our fellow-servants, Alexander and I would talk the subject over in our simple way.

Master Mack had a very likely young house-servant named Ann. She was between sixteen and eighteen years old; every one praised her intelligence and industry; but these commendable characteristics did not save her. She was sold next after Levi. Master told the foreman, Bob Wallace, to go to Annapolis, and take Ann with him. When Wallace told me he was going, I had a presentiment that the purpose was to sell the girl, and I told him so; but, man as he was, he had no fear about it. Wallace and Ann started for the city on horseback, and journeyed along pleasantly until they reached the town and were near the market-place, when a man came up to them, took Ann off the horse without ceremony, and put her into jail. Wallace, not suspecting the man[oe]uvre, attacked the man, and came well-nigh getting into difficulty. When Wallace returned, he said to Master Mack, "Why did you not tell me that Ann was sold, and not have me fighting for her? They might have put me in jail." But his master did not appear to hear him.

Poor Uncle Henry followed Ann. His wife lived in Annapolis, and belonged to a Mr. George McNear, residing there. Uncle Henry went one Saturday night to see her, when Master William put him into jail for sale; and that was the last we saw or heard of him.

Alex Brown's mother followed next. After the poor woman was gone, I said to Alex,—

"Now that your mother has been sold, it is time that you and I studied out a plan to run away and be free."

But so thoroughly had his humanity been crushed by the foul spirit of Slavery, so apathetic had he—though in the vigor of youth—become from long oppression, that he would not agree to my suggestion.

"No," he said, "'t is no use for you and I to run away. It is too far to the Free States. We could not get there. They would take us up and sell us; so we had better not go. Master Mack can't sell any more of his hands; there are no more than can carry on his farm."[Pg 157]

"Very well," said I, "trust to that, and you will see what will come of it."

After that I said no more to him, but determined to be free. My brother Charles was of like mind; but we kept our thoughts to ourselves. How old I was then I do not know; but from what the neighbors told me, I must have been about seventeen. Slaveholders are particular to keep the pedigree and age of favorite horses and dogs, but are quite indifferent about the age of their servants, until they want to purchase. Then they are careful to select young persons, though not one in twenty can tell year, month, or day. Speaking of births,—it is the time of "corn-planting," "corn-husking," "Christmas," "New Year," "Easter," "the Fourth of July," or some similar indefinite date. My own time of birth was no more exact; so that to this day I am uncertain how old I am.

About the time of the conversation last narrated, Jefferson Dorsey, a planter near by, had a butchering. One of Dorsey's men met me, and said that they wanted more help, and that Master Mack said I might go and lend a hand. Thinking that he spoke truth, I did not ask permission, but went, and stayed until noon. I soon learned, however, that the man had deceived me.

Master Mack, when told by some of the people where I was, sent my brother John after me, with the threat of a whipping. On reaching home, the women also told me that master would almost kill me. This excited me greatly, and I replied,—

"Master Mack is 'most done whipping me."

When I went in to see him, I saw plainly enough that his face foretold a storm.

"Boy," said he, "yoke up the oxen, and haul a load of wood."

I went at once, and did the task; but, to my dismay, there he stood at the stable. I had to drive near to him; and as he evidently intended to catch me, I was all vigilance.

"When you unload that wood, come to me, Sir," he said.

I made no reply, but unloaded the wood, left the oxen standing, and stole away to Dorsey's, where I staid until the next day. Then I prevailed upon Samuel Dorsey to go home with me. Master Mack told me to go to my work, and he would forgive me; but the next time he would pay me for "the new and the old." To work I went; but I determined not to be paid for "the new and the old."

This all occurred in the month of May. Everything went on well until June, when the long-sought-for opportunity presented itself. I had been making preparations to leave ever since Master Mack had threatened me; yet I did not like to go without first having a difficulty with him. Much as I disliked my condition, I was ignorant enough to think that something besides the fact that I was a slave was necessary to exonerate me from blame in running away. A cross word, a blow, a good fright, anything, would do, it mattered not whence nor how it came. I told my brother Charles, who shared my confidence, to be ready; for the time was at hand when we should leave Old Maryland forever. I was only waiting for the first crooked word from my master.

A few days afterwards all hands were ordered to the fields to work; but I stayed behind, lurking about the house. I was tired of working without pay. Master Mack saw me, and wanted to know why I did not go out. I answered, that it was raining, that I was tired, and did not want to work. He then picked up a stick used for an ox-gad, and said, if I did not go to work, he would whip me as sure as there was a God in heaven. Then he struck at me; but I caught the stick, and we grappled, and handled each other roughly for a time, when he called for assistance. He was badly hurt. I let go my hold, bade him good-bye, and ran for the woods. As I went by the field, I beckoned to my brother, who left work, and joined me at a rapid pace.

I was now at the beginning of a new and important era in my life. Although[Pg 158] upon the threshold of manhood, I had, until the relation with my master was sundered, only dim perceptions of the responsibilities of a more independent position. I longed to cast off the chains of servitude, because they chafed my free spirit, and because I had a notion that my position was founded in injustice; but it has only been since a struggle of many years, and, indeed, since I settled upon British soil, that I have realized fully the grandeur of my position as a free man.

One fact, when I was a slave, often filled me with indignation. There were many poor white lads of about my own age, belonging to families scattered around, who were as poor in personal effects as we were; and yet, though our companions, (when we chose to tolerate them,) they did not have to be controlled by a master, to go and come at his command, to be sold for his debts, or whenever he wanted extra pocket-money. The preachers of a slave-trading gospel frequently told us, in their sermons, that we should be "good boys," and not break into master's hen-roost, nor steal his bacon; but they never told this to these poor white people, although they knew very well that they encouraged the slaves to steal, trafficked in stolen goods, and stole themselves.

Why this difference? I felt I was the equal of these poor whites, and naturally I concluded that we were greatly wronged, and that all this talk about obedience, duty, humility, and honesty was, in the phrase of my companions, "all gammon."

But I was now on the high-road to liberty. I had broken the bonds that held me so firmly; and now, instead of fears of recapture, that before had haunted my imagination whenever I thought of running away, I felt as light as a feather, and seemed to be helped onward by an irresistible force.

Some time before this, I had been able, through the instrumentality of a friend, to procure a pass, for which I paid five dollars,—all the money I had saved in a long time; but as my brother determined to go with me, and as we could not both use it safely, I destroyed it.

On the day I ceased working for master, after gaining the woods, we lurked about and discussed our plans until after dark. Then we stole back to the Quarter, made up our bundles, bade some of our friends farewell, and at about nine o'clock of the night set out for Baltimore. How shall I describe my first experience of free life? Nothing can be greater than the contrast it affords to a plantation experience, under the suspicious and vigilant eye of a mercenary overseer or a watchful master. Day and night are not more unlike. The mandates of Slavery are like leaden sounds, sinking with dead weight into the very soul, only to deaden and destroy. The impulse of freedom lends wings to the feet, buoys up the spirit within, and the fugitive catches glorious glimpses of light through rifts and seams in the accumulated ignorance of his years of oppression. How briskly we travelled on that eventful night and the next day!

We reached Baltimore on the following evening, between seven and eight o'clock. When we neared the city, the patrols were out, and the difficulty was to pass them unseen or unsuspected. I learned of a brick-yard at the entrance to the city; and thither we went at once, took brick-dust and threw it upon our clothes, hats, and boots, and then walked on. Whenever we met a passer-by, we would brush off some of the dust, and say aloud, "Boss gave us such big tasks, we would leave him. We ought to have been in a long time before." By this ruse we reached quiet quarters without arrest or suspicion.

We remained in Baltimore a week, and then set out for Pennsylvania.

We started with the brightest visions of future independence; but soon they were suddenly dimmed by one of those unpleasant incidents which annoy the fugitive at every step of his onward journey.

The first place at which we stopped to rest was a village on the old York[Pg 159] road, called New Market. There nothing occurred to cause us alarm; so, after taking some refreshments, we proceeded towards York; but when near Logansville, we were interrupted by three white men, one of whom, a very large man, cried,—


I answered,—

"Hallo to you!"

"Which way are you travelling?" he asked.

We replied,—

"To Little York."

"Why are you travelling so late?"

"We are not later than you are," I answered.

"Your business must be of consequence," he said.

"It is. We want to go to York to attend to it; and if you have any business, please attend to it, and don't be meddling with ours on the public highway. We have no business with you, and I am sure you have none with us."

"See here!" said he; "you are the fellows that this advertisement calls for," at the same time taking the paper out of his pocket, and reading it to us.

Sure enough, there we were, described exactly. He came closely to us, and said,—

"You must go back."

I replied,—

"If I must, I must, and you must take me."

"Oh, you need not make any big talk about it," he answered; "for I have taken back many a runaway, and I can take you. What's that you have in your hand?"

"A stick."

He put his hand into his pocket, as if to draw a pistol, and said,—

"Come! give up your weapons."

I said again,—

"'Tis only a stick."

He then reached for it, when I stepped back and struck him a heavy blow on the arm. It fell as if broken; I think it was. Then he turned and ran, and I after him. As he ran, he would look back over his shoulder, see me coming, and then run faster, and halloo with all his might. I could not catch him, and it seemed, that, the longer he ran, the faster he went. The other two took to their heels at the first alarm,—thus illustrating the valor of the chivalry!

At last I gave up the chase. The whole neighborhood by that time was aroused, and we thought best to retrace our steps to the place whence we started. Then we took a roundabout course until we reached the railroad, along which we travelled. For a long distance there was unusual stir and commotion. Every house was lighted up; and we heard people talking and horses galloping this way and that way, with other evidences of unusual excitement. This was between one and two o'clock in the morning. We walked on a long distance before we lost the sounds; but about four o'clock the same morning, entered York, where we remained during the day.

Once in York, we thought we should be safe, but were mistaken. A similar mistake is often made by fugitives. Not accustomed to travelling, and unacquainted with the facilities for communication, they think that a few hours' walk is a long journey, and foolishly suppose, that, if they have few opportunities of knowledge, their masters can have none at all at such great distances. But our ideas of security were materially lessened when we met with a friend during the day, who advised us to proceed farther, as we were not out of imminent danger.

According to this advice we started that night for Columbia. Going along in the dark, we heard persons following. We went very near to the fence, that they might pass without observing us. There were two, apparently in earnest conversation. The one who spoke so as to be distinctly heard we discovered to be Master Mack's brother-in-law. He remarked to his companion that they must hurry and get to the bridge before we crossed. He knew that we had not gone over yet. We were then near enough to have killed them, concealed as we were by the[Pg 160] darkness; but we permitted them to pass unmolested, and went on to Wrightsville that night.

The next morning we arrived at Columbia before it was light, and fortunately without crossing the bridge, for we were taken over in a boat. At Wrightsville we met a woman with whom we were before acquainted, and our meeting was very gratifying. We there inclined to halt for a time.

I was not used to living in town, and preferred a home in the country; so to the country we decided to go. After resting for four days, we started towards Lancaster to try to procure work. I got a place about five miles from Lancaster, and then set to work in earnest.

While a slave, I was, as it were, groping in the dark, no ray of light penetrating the intense gloom surrounding me. My scanty garments felt too tight for me, my very respiration seemed to be restrained by some supernatural power. Now, free as I supposed, I felt like a bird on a pleasant May morning. Instead of the darkness of slavery, my eyes were almost blinded by the light of freedom.

Those were memorable days, and yet much of this was boyish fancy. After a few years of life in a Free State, the enthusiasm of the lad materially sobered down, and I found, by bitter experience, that to preserve my stolen liberty I must pay, unremittingly, an almost sleepless vigilance; yet to this day I have never looked back regretfully to Old Maryland, nor yearned for her flesh-pots.

I have said I engaged to work; I hired my services for three months for the round sum of three dollars per month. I thought this an immense sum. Fast work was no trouble to me; for when the work was done, the money was mine. That was a great consideration. I could go out on Saturdays and Sundays, and home when I pleased, without being whipped. I thought of my fellow-servants left behind, bound in the chains of slavery,—and I was free! I thought, that, if I had the power, they should soon be as free as I was; and I formed a resolution that I would assist in liberating every one within my reach at the risk of my life, and that I would devise some plan for their entire liberation.

My brother went about fifteen miles farther on, and also got employment. I "put in" three months with my employer, "lifted" my wages, and then went to visit my brother. He lived in Bart Township, near Smyrna; and after my visit was over, I engaged to work for a Dr. Dengy, living nearby. I remained with him thirteen months. I never have been better treated than by the Doctor; I liked him and the family, and they seemed to think well of me.

While living with Dr. Dengy, I had, for the first time, the great privilege of seeing that true friend of the slave, William Lloyd Garrison, who came into the neighborhood, accompanied by Frederick Douglass. They were holding anti-slavery meetings. I shall never forget the impression that Garrison's glowing words made upon me. I had formerly known Mr. Douglass as a slave in Maryland; I was therefore not prepared for the progress he then showed,—neither for his free-spoken and manly language against slavery. I listened with the intense satisfaction that only a refugee could feel, when hearing, embodied in earnest, well-chosen, and strong speech, his own crude ideas of freedom, and his own hearty censure of the man-stealer. I believed, I knew, every word he said was true. It was the whole truth,—nothing kept back,—no trifling with human rights, no trading in the blood of the slave extenuated, nothing against the slaveholder said in malice. I have never listened to words from the lips of mortal man which were more acceptable to me; and although privileged since then to hear many able and good men speak on slavery, no doctrine has seemed to me so pure, so unworldly, as his. I may here say, and without offence, I trust, that, since that time, I have had a long experience of Garrisonian Abolitionists, and have always[Pg 161] found them men and women with hearts in their bodies. They are, indeed and in truth, the poor slave's friend. To shelter him, to feed and clothe him, to help him on to freedom, I have ever found them ready; and I should be wanting in gratitude, if I neglected this opportunity—the only one I may ever have—to say thus much of them, and to declare for myself and for the many colored men in this free country whom I know they have aided in their journey to freedom, our humble confidence in them. Yes, the good spirit with which he is imbued constrained William Lloyd Garrison to plead for the dumb; and for his earnest pleadings all these years, I say, God bless him! By agitation, by example, by suffering, men and women of like spirit have been led to adopt his views, as the great necessity, and to carry them out into actions. They, too, have my heartfelt gratitude. They, like Gideon's band, though few, will yet rout the enemy Slavery, make him flee his own camp, and eventually fall upon his own sword.[F]

One day, while living at Dr. Dengy's, I was working in the barn-yard, when a man came to the fence, and, looking at me intently, went away. The Doctor's son, observing him, said,—

"Parker, that man, from his movements, must be a slaveholder or kidnapper. This is the second time he has been looking at you. If not a kidnapper, why does he look so steadily at you and not tell his errand?"

I said,—

"The man must be a fool! If he should come back and not say anything to me, I shall say something to him."

We then looked down the road and saw him coming again. He rode up to the same place and halted. I then went to the fence, and, looking him steadily in the eye, said,—

"Am I your slave?"

He made no reply, but turned his horse and rode off, at full speed, towards the valley. We did not see him again; but that same evening word was brought that kidnappers were in the valley, and if we were not careful, they would "hook" some of us. This caused a great excitement among the colored people of the neighborhood.

A short while prior to this, a number of us had formed an organization for mutual protection against slaveholders and kidnappers, and had resolved to prevent any of our brethren being taken back into slavery, at the risk of our own lives. We collected together that evening, and went down to the valley; but the kidnappers had gone. We watched them for several nights in succession, without result; for so much alarmed were the tavern-keepers by our demonstration, that they refused to let them stop over night with them. Kidnapping was so common, while I lived with the Doctor, that we were kept in constant fear. We would hear of slaveholders or kidnappers every two or three weeks; sometimes a party of white men would break into a house and take a man away, no one knew where; and, again, a whole family would be carried off. There was no power to protect them, nor prevent it. So completely roused were my feelings, that I vowed to let no slaveholder take back a fugitive, if I could but get my eye on him.

One day word was sent to me that slaveholders had taken William Dorsey, and had put him into Lancaster jail to await a trial. Dorsey had a wife and three or four children; but what was it to the slaveholder, if the wife and children should starve? We consulted together, as to what course to take to deliver him; but no plan that was proposed could be worked. At last we separated, determining to get him away some way or other on the day of trial. His case caused great excitement. We attended the trial, and eagerly watched all the movements from an outside position, and had a man to tell us how proceedings were going on within. He finally came out and said that the case would go against Dorsey. We then formed in a column at the court-house[Pg 162] door, and when the slaveholders and Dorsey came out, we walked close to them,—behind and around them,—trying to separate them from him. Before we had gone far towards the jail, a slaveholder drew a pistol on Williams Hopkins, one of our party. Hopkins defied him to shoot; but he did not. Then the slaveholder drew the pistol on me, saying, he would blow my black brains out, if I did not go away. I doubled my fists to knock him down, but some person behind caught my hand; this started a fracas, and we got Dorsey loose; but he was so confused that he stood stock still, until they tied him again. A general fight followed. Bricks, stones, and sticks fell in showers. We fought across the road and back again, and I thought our brains would be knocked out; when the whites, who were too numerous for us, commenced making arrests. They got me fast several times, but I succeeded in getting away. One of our men was arrested, and afterwards stood trial; but they did not convict him. Dorsey was put into jail, but was afterwards bought and liberated by friends.

My friends now said that I had got myself into a bad difficulty, and that my arrest would follow. In this they were mistaken. I never was disturbed because of it, nor was the house at which I lodged ever searched, although the neighbors were repeatedly annoyed in that way. I distinctly remember that this was the second time that resistance had been made to their wicked deeds. Whether the kidnappers were clothed with legal authority or not, I did not care to inquire, as I never had faith in nor respect for the Fugitive-Slave Law.

The whites of that region were generally such negro-haters, that it was a matter of no moment to them where fugitives were carried,—whether to Lancaster, Harrisburg, or elsewhere.

The insolent and overbearing conduct of the Southerners, when on such errands to Pennsylvania, forced me to my course of action. They did not hesitate to break open doors, and to enter, without ceremony, the houses of colored men; and when refused admission, or when a manly and determined spirit was shown, they would present pistols, and strike and knock down men and women indiscriminately.

I was sitting one evening in a friend's house, conversing about these marauding parties, when I remarked to him that a stop should be put to such "didos," and declared, that, the next time a slaveholder came to a house where I was, I would refuse to admit him. His wife replied, "It will make a fuss." I told her, "It is time a fuss was made." She insisted that it would cause trouble, and it was best to let them alone and have peace. Then I told her we must have trouble before we could have peace, "The first slaveholder that draws a pistol on me I shall knock down."

We were interrupted, just at this stage of the conversation, by some one rapping at the door.

"Who's there?" I asked.

"It's me! Who do you think? Open the door!" was the response, in a gruff tone.

"What do you want?" I asked.

Without replying, the man opened the door and came in, followed by two others.

The first one said,—

"Have you any niggers here?"

"What have we to do with your niggers?" said I.

After bandying a few words, he drew his pistol upon me. Before he could bring the weapon to bear, I seized a pair of heavy tongs, and struck him a violent blow across the face and neck, which knocked him down. He lay for a few minutes senseless, but afterwards rose, and walked out of the house without a word, followed by his comrades, who also said nothing to us, but merely asked their leader, as they went out, if he was hurt.

The part of Lancaster County in which I lived was near Chester County. Not far away, in the latter county, lived Moses Whitson, a well-known Abolitionist, and a member of the Society of Friends. Mr. Whitson had a colored girl living in his family, who[Pg 163] was pounced upon by the slaveholders, awhile after the Dorsey arrest. About daylight three men went to Mr. Whitson's house and told him that the girl he had living with him was their property, and that they intended to have her. Friend Whitson asked the girl if she knew any of the men, and if any of them was her master. She said, "No!" One of the slaveholders said he could prove that she was his property; and then they forcibly tied her, put her into a carriage, and started for Maryland.

While the kidnappers were contending with Moses Whitson for the girl, Benjamin Whipper, a colored man, who now lives in this country, sounded the alarm, that "the kidnappers were at Whitson's, and were taking away his girl." The news soon reached me, and with six or seven others, I followed them. We proceeded with all speed to a place called the Gap-Hill, where we overtook them, and took the girl away. Then we beat the kidnappers, and let them go. We learned afterwards that they were all wounded badly, and that two of them died in Lancaster, and the other did not get home for some time. Only one of our men was hurt, and he had only a slight injury in the hand.

Dr. Duffield and Squire Henderson, two respectable citizens of the town, were looking on during this entire engagement; and after we had stopped firing, they went up to the slaveholders, and the following conversation took place:—

Squire Henderson. What's the matter?

Slaveholder. You may ask, what's the matter! Is this the way you allow your niggers to do?

Squire. Why did you not shoot them?

Slaveholder. We did shoot at them, but it did not take effect.

Squire. There's no use shooting at our niggers, for their heads are like iron pots; the balls will glance off. What were you doing?

Slaveholder. Taking our property, when the niggers jumped on us and nearly killed some of the men.

Squire. Men coming after such property ought to be killed.

Slaveholder. Do you know where we can find a doctor?

Squire. Yes; there are plenty of doctors South.

Being much disabled, and becoming enraged, they abruptly left, and journeyed on until they reached McKenzie's tavern, where their wounds were dressed and their wants attended to. So strongly was McKenzie in sympathy with these demons, that he declared he would never employ another nigger, and actually discharged a faithful colored woman who had lived a long time in his employ. Dr. Lemmon, a physician on the road to Lancaster, refused to attend the slaveholders; so that by the time they got to the city, from being so long without surgical aid, their limbs were past setting, and two of them died, as before stated, while the other survived but a short time after reaching Maryland.

A large reward was offered by the Maryland authorities for the perpetrators of the flogging, but without effect.

McKenzie, the tavern-keeper referred to, boasted after this that he would entertain all slaveholders who came along, and help them recapture their slaves. We were equally determined he should not, if we could prevent it.

The following affliction was eventually the means, under Providence, by which he was led to adopt other views, and become a practical Abolitionist.

A band of five men stood off, one dark night, and saw with evident satisfaction the curling flames ascend above his barn, from girder to roof, and lap and lash their angry tongues in wild license, until every vestige of the building was consumed.

After that mysterious occurrence, the poor fugitive had no better friend than the publican McKenzie.

Shortly after the incidents just related, I was married to Eliza Ann Elizabeth Howard, a fugitive, whose experience of slavery had been much more bitter than my own. We commenced house-keeping, renting a room from Enoch[Pg 164] Johnson for one month. We did not like our landlord, and when the time was up left, and rented a house of Isaac Walker for one year. After the year was out, we left Walker's and went to Smyrna, and there I rented a house from Samuel D. Moore for another year. After the year was out we left Smyrna also, and went to Joseph Moore's to live. We lived on his place about five years. While we were living there, several kidnappers came into the neighborhood. On one occasion, they took a colored man and started for Maryland. Seven of us set out in pursuit, and, soon getting on their track, followed them to a tavern on the Westchester road, in Chester County. Learning that they were to remain for the night, I went to the door and asked for admittance. The landlord demanded to know if we were white or colored. I told him colored. He then told us to be gone, or he would blow out our brains. We walked aside a little distance, and consulted about what we should do. Our men seemed to dread the undertaking; but I told them we could overcome them, and that I would go in. One of them said he would follow at the risk of his life. The other five said we should all get killed,—that we were men with families,—that our wives and children needed our assistance,—and that they did not think we would be doing our families justice by risking our lives for one man. We two then went back to the tavern, and, after rapping, were told again by the landlord to clear out, after he found that we were colored. I pretended that we wanted something to drink. He put his head out of the window, and threatened again to shoot us; when my comrade raised his gun and would have shot him down, had I not caught his arm and persuaded him not to fire. I told the landlord that we wanted to come in and intended to come in. Then I went to the yard, got a piece of scantling, took it to the door, and, by battering with it a short time, opened it. As soon as the door flew open, a kidnapper shot at us, and the ball lodged in my ankle, bringing me to the ground. But I soon rose, and my comrade then firing on them, they took to their heels. As they ran away, I heard one say, "We have killed one of them."

My companion and I then rushed into the house. We unbound the man, took him out, and started for home; but had hardly crossed the door-sill before people from the neighboring houses began to fire on us. At this juncture, our other five came up, and we all returned the compliment. Firing on both sides was kept up for ten or fifteen minutes, when the whites called for quarter, and offered to withdraw, if we would stop firing. On this assurance we started off with the man, and reached home safely.

The next day my ankle was very painful. With a knife I extracted the ball, but kept the wound secret; as long before we had learned that for our own security it was best not to let such things be generally known.

About ten o'clock of a Sabbath night, awhile after the event last narrated, we were aroused by the cry of "Kidnappers! kidnappers!" and immediately some one halloed under my window,—

"William! William!"

I put my head out and demanded his errand. He said,—

"Come here!"

I answered,—

"You must be a fool to think I am going to you at this time of the night, without knowing who you are and what you want."

He would not satisfy me, so I took my gun, and went out to him. I was then informed that kidnappers had been at Allen Williams's; that they had taken Henry Williams, and gone towards Maryland. I called one of our party, who dressed and proceeded to arouse our men. Two of us then started for the Nine Points, in Lancaster County, and left instructions for the other men to meet us in the valley. They did so, and we hurried on to our destination. We had not gone far before we heard some one calling, "Kidnappers! kidnappers!" Going back some distance, we[Pg 165] found the cry came from a man who had fallen into a lime quarry. He was in a bad situation, and unable to get out without assistance, and, hearing us pass, concluded we were kidnappers and raised the cry. We were delayed for a time in helping him out, and it provoked me very much, as it was important we should be in haste.

We started again for the Nine Points, but, arriving there, learned to our dismay, that the kidnappers had passed an hour before. The chase was given up, but with saddened feelings. A fellow-being had been dragged into hopeless bondage, and we, his comrades, held our liberty as insecurely as he had done but a few short hours before! We asked ourselves the question, "Whose turn will come next?" I was delegated to find out, if possible, who had betrayed him, which I accordingly did.

Lynch law is a code familiar to the colored people of the Slave States. It is of so diabolical a character as to be without justification, except when enforced by men of pure motives, and then only in extreme cases, as when the unpunished party has it in his power to barter away the lives and liberties of those whose confidence he possesses, and who would, by bringing him before a legal tribunal, expose themselves to the same risks that they are liable to from him. The frequent attacks from slaveholders and their tools, the peculiarity of our position, many being escaped slaves, and the secrecy attending these kidnapping exploits, all combined to make an appeal to the Lynch Code in our case excusable, if not altogether justifiable. Ourselves, our wives, our little ones, were insecure, and all we had was liable to seizure. We felt that something must be done, for some one must be in our midst with whom the slaveholders had communication. I inquired around, quietly, and soon learned that Allen Williams, the very man in whose house the fugitive was, had betrayed him. This information I communicated to our men. They met at my house and talked the matter over, and, after most solemnly weighing all the facts and evidence, we resolved that he should die, and we set about executing our purpose that evening. The difficulty was, how to punish him. Some were for shooting him, but this was not feasible. I proposed another plan, which was agreed to.

Accordingly, we went to his house and asked if a man named Carter, who lived with him, was at home, as rumor said that he had betrayed Henry Williams. He denied it, and said that Carter had fought for Henry with him, but the slaveholders being too strong for them, they had to give him up. He kept beyond reach, and the men apologized for intruding upon him, while I stepped up to the door and asked for a glass of water. He gave it to me, and to the others. When he was giving water to one of the party, I caught him by the throat, to prevent his giving the alarm, and drew him over my head and shoulders. Then the rest beat him until we thought we heard some one coming, which caused us to flee. If we had not been interrupted, death would have been his fate. At that time I was attending a threshing-machine for George Whitson and Joseph Scarlot.

It must have been a month after the Williams affray, that I was sitting at home one evening, talking with Pinckney and Samuel Thompson about how I was getting on with my work, when I thought I heard some one call my name. I went out, but all was quiet. When I went in, Pinckney and Thompson laughed at me, and said that I had become so "scary" that I could not stay in the house. But I was not satisfied. I was sure some one had called me. I said so, and that I would go to Marsh Chamberlain's to see if anything was wrong. They concluded to go also, and we started.

Arriving near the house, I told Pinckney and Thompson to stop outside, and I would go in, and if anything was wrong, would call them. When I reached the house, I saw a chair broken to pieces, and knew that something had happened, I said,[Pg 166]

"Hallo, Marsh!"

"Who is that?" said he.

And his wife said,—

"Parker, is that you?"

"Yes," I said.

"Oh, Parker, come here!" she called.

I called Pinckney and Thompson, and we went in. Marsh met us, and said that kidnappers had been there, had taken John Williams, and gone with him towards Buck Hill. They had then been gone about fifteen minutes. Off we started on a rapid run to save him. We ran to a stable, got out two horses, and Pinckney and I rode on. Thompson soon got the rest of our party together and followed. We were going at a pretty good gait, when Pinckney's horse stumbled and fell, fastening his rider's leg; but I did not halt. Pinckney got his horse up and caught up with me.

"You would not care," said he, "if a man were to get killed! You would not help him!"

"Not in such a case as this," I replied.

We rode on to the Maryland line, but could not overtake them. We were obliged to return, as it was near daybreak. The next day a friend of ours went to Maryland to see what had been done with Williams. He went to Dr. Savington's, and the Doctor told him that the fugitive could not live,—the kidnappers had broken his skull, and otherwise beaten him very badly; his ankle, too, was out of place. In consequence of his maimed condition, his mistress refused to pay the men anything for bringing him home. That was the last we ever heard of poor John Williams; but we learned afterwards why we failed to release him on the night he was taken. The kidnappers heard us coming, and went into the woods out of the way, until we had passed them.

Awhile before this occurrence, there lived in a town not far away from Christiana a colored man who was in the habit of decoying fugitives fresh from bondage to his house on various pretexts, and, by assuming to be their friend, got from them the name of their master, his residence, and other needed particulars. He would then communicate with the master about his slave, tell him at what time the man would be at his house, and when he came at the appointed hour, the poor refugee would fall into the merciless clutches of his owner. Many persons, mostly young people, had disappeared mysteriously from the country, from whom nothing could be heard. At last the betrayer's connection with these transactions was clearly traced; and it was decided to force him to quit the nefarious business.

He was too wary to allow himself to be easily taken, and a resort was had to stratagem. I, with others, thought he deserved to be shot openly in his daughter's house, and was willing to take the consequences.

At last this man's outrages became so notorious that six of our most reliable men resolved to shoot him, if they had to burn him out to do it. After I had sworn the men in the usual form, we went to his barn, took two bundles of wheat-straw, and, fastening them under the eaves with wisps, applied a lighted match to each. We then took our stations a few rods off, with rifles ready and in good condition,—mine was a smooth-bore, with a heavy charge.

The house burned beautifully; and half an hour after it ignited the walls fell in, but no betrayer showed himself. Instead of leaving the house by the rear door, as we had expected, just before the roof fell in, he broke out the front way, rushed to his next neighbor's, and left his place without an effort to save it. We had built the fire in the rear, and looked for him there; but he ran in the opposite direction, not only as if his life was in danger, but as if the spirit of his evil deeds was after him.


[F] This sentence was written before the beginning of our civil war. Viewed in the light of subsequent events, it is somewhat remarkable.—E. K.

[Pg 167]


For more than four hundred years the Gypsies have been one of the riddles of European history. Much deep study and learned research have found plentiful employment in the endeavor to point out the land of their origin; and the views taken have consequently been many and various. It appears to the writer that all the well-known views on this subject are far from the truth; and he desires to assert for the Gypsies an origin quite different, as he believes, from any ever yet suggested: at least, what he believes to be the real origin of this singular race is not even hinted at in the more celebrated treatises. Conscious of the diffidence with which any one should approach a matter which so many learned men have labored over, he advances the plea of the proverb, that they who study the stars will stumble at stones,—a plea, that much learning and genius may fail, where less would not be at fault.

It has been maintained that the Gypsies are Egyptians, and even that they are the followers of Pharaoh, perhaps not yet gotten home from that Red Sea journey. Otherwise that they are the descendants of the vagabond votaries of Isis, who were in Rome just what the Gypsies are in modern Europe. It has been argued that they were Grecian heretics; that they were persecuted Jews; that they were Tartars; that they were Moors; and that they were Hindoos, Grellman accepted (as it suited his theory) the assertion that they entered Germany from Turkey, though he rejected, without examination, the assertion, made on equally good authority, that they entered it from Spain, from Italy, from Denmark, and from Sweden. We find, by comparison of accounts, that they appeared within the space of a few years at every point of a circle of which Germany was the centre, and everywhere they were regarded as foreigners,—even in Egypt.

Later times have concluded that the Gypsies are Hindoos, and it is generally acknowledged that Grellman and Borrow have proved this. The evidences adduced are, that the Gypsy tongue is strikingly like some Hindoo dialects and the parent Sanscrit,—that the races are similar in complexion, shape, disposition, and habits,—distinguished by the same vagrant nature, the same love of idleness, music, dancing, and thievery. In this course of argument, that founded, upon the language is of course the really strong one.

Without denying any of these evidences,—assenting, indeed, to every one of them,—I yet assert that the Gypsies are not of Asiatic origin, and not, as the sturdy Dutchmen call them, the "heathens,"—unless we refer to the original use of that word, and call all heathens that dwell on the heath. I assert that they are Europeans, and one of the results of the religious wars of the fifteenth century. Bohemia is the land of their origin; and when we consider that one of the most enlightened nations of Europe has called them Bohemians for four hundred years, it is remarkable that that name has been so little considered in attempts to penetrate this mystery. John Ziska or Tschischka, the greatest of the Hussite leaders, in the brave struggle of that sect against the Roman Church, is the man who may be looked upon as the father of the race. Though a clumsy attempt to pronounce Tschischka by a foreign tongue might well result in something farther from it than Gypsy, there is, perhaps, nothing in that resemblance. The word gypsy, which is only the English name for this remarkable people, is, no doubt, a consequence of the ancient error that called them Egyptians; but it is odd to see English writers using the resemblance between those words as an argument in favor of that origin, and thus endeavoring to[Pg 168] perpetuate error by the results of error.

Ziska became prominent as a leader in the year 1418, and in that year was authorized to raise forces. Probably he had been busy in that way even earlier; and so, from the first, secrecy and deception would have been necessary in the organization of his innumerable small bodies, so suddenly made one great body when he extorted the royal authority. He carried on hostilities with great success until his death in 1424. By this event, the Hussites were divided into three bodies, one of which was called the Orphans, or orphan children of Ziska. These dwelt in their camps in the open country, and were under a vow never again to sleep beneath a roof. They also refused obedience to any sovereign. Driven out of Bohemia in the disasters to which the death of Ziska led the way, and still more effectually driven out in the expatriation of all non-Catholics, the whole sect became fugitives and wanderers; and it is easy to see what kind of wanderers the "Orphans" particularly would be, with their wagon-camps and their oath against houses.

It is a remarkable coincidence, (if it shall prove to be no more,) that the Gypsies, a race of wanderers, peculiar by reason of the very characteristic that would have resulted from the Hussite oath, made their first appearance in Europe at this very period,—between 1418 and 1427,—and in those very countries in which the Orphans ought first to have been seen. But the earliest circumstantial notice of a company of Gypsies relates to the one that visited Paris in 1427. Pasquier gave a particular account of them, and remarks, that, though they had a very bad name, and though he was with them a great deal, he "never lost a coin."

These were called Bohemians, and the French have adhered to that name ever since. Doubtless the French of that day, who conversed with these people, and looked at them with very wide-open eyes, had as good reason for calling them Bohemians as they had for calling other men Spaniards, Italians, or Russians. Bohemia then formed too important a part of Europe for Frenchmen to confound men of that country with Hindoos just from Asia. The Bohemians were not strangers in France. Nearly a hundred years before, a king of Bohemia, with a large retinue, was present on the French side at the battle of Crécy, and Ziska himself fought at Agincourt. But writers on the Gypsies treat very slightingly the fact, that the French called the first party that visited Paris, as mentioned above, Bohemians, and merely say that they use that name for the Gypsies, "because they first heard of them from Bohemia."

Various circumstances point to the probability that the Gypsies were, at their first appearance in different countries, fugitives from religious intolerance. They always called themselves pilgrims, which Egyptians or Hindoos would scarcely have done, but which would be quite natural in that age to Europeans desirous of concealing their real character and of commending themselves to strangers in whom their difference of faith made them expect to find enemies. They called themselves Christians also, and declared ostentatiously their conformity to the Roman Catholic rites; but they carefully kept away from the churches. This assumption of a character which they knew would protect them is in keeping with the whole craft of their lives.

Another notable fact is, that they showed everywhere passes of safe-conducts from the Emperor Sigismund. Ziska's followers could not have got authentic passes, but they could forge them easily; and Hindoo stragglers, on their first appearance in Europe, would hardly have known the value of such pieces of paper. In all the original Gypsy parties there were dukes and counts, and these men called themselves Lords of Little Egypt; and from this fact seems originally to have arisen the notion that they were Egyptians. But this seems less like an assertion of their origin than like a piece of Scriptural[Pg 169] phraseology. The Hussites used in that way a Biblical imagery, like the Puritans of a later age. Like the Puritans, they called their opponents Moabites, Amalekites, and so on. With the Puritans, Egypt was always "the house of bondage," and that name was the common designation of any place of persecution.

Grellman refers to the name Polgar as Indian, and as common with the Gypsies; but he does not notice that the men in all the original Gypsy parties bore such sufficiently Christian appellations as Michael, Andrew, John, and Peter. Rommany is the Gypsy name for a Gypsy, and this is referred to the Sanscrit Rama, man, by one author, and by others to the Coptic Rom. Either is possible, but sufficiently remote. By the kind of deception referred to above, which made the Gypsies call themselves Catholics when in Catholic countries, it is probable that they may sometimes have gone so far as to say that they were Romans,—that is, adherents of Rome,—and habit may have fastened the name. This derivation is as good as either of the others.

But the language of the Gypsies has been most relied upon to prove their derivation from Hindostan, both by Grellman and Borrow. Remarkable similarities have been shown to exist between the Hindoo dialects and the Gypsy tongue. But the argument of language is better for Bohemian than for Hindoo origin. The Bohemians were Cechs, a branch of the great Slavic race of undoubted Asiatic origin; and the Cech language descended from the Sanscrit almost as directly as the Hindoo dialects did. Here is a good reason why the Hindoo dialects and the Gypsy tongue—if the Gypsies were Bohemians—should closely resemble one another. They were from the same parent stem. The learned Büsching said, "The Gypsy language is a mixture of corrupt words from the Wallachian, Slavonian, Hungarian, and other nations." These are the cognate languages of the Slavic race, all descended from the same source, and that also the source of the Cech. The first list of Gypsy words ever made was cited to prove an Egyptian origin, and they were Slavic. That was, perhaps, the best list ever made, as later ones show the results of the use of the languages of the various lands in which the Gypsies wander.

The complexion, habits, and character of the Gypsies resemble those of the Cechs as nearly as they do those of the Hindoos. The Cechs are an eminently gay and musical race. As regards complexion, it is found that the Gypsies in the Austrian army, who have been compelled to relinquish their wild life and dwell in houses, are as white as Europeans generally.

Assuming that Grellman has disproved all the other suggested origins in favor of the Hindoo theory, and considering the question as simply between India and Bohemia, it appears to me that the argument is altogether in favor of the derivation of the Gypsies from the latter country.

[Pg 170]



Maine, July 5, 1837.—Here I am, settled since night before last with B——, and living very singularly. He leads a bachelor's life in his paternal mansion, only a small part of which is occupied by a family who serve him. He provides his own breakfast and supper, and occasionally his dinner; though this is oftener, I believe, taken at the hotel or an eating-house, or with some of his relatives. I am his guest, and my presence makes no alteration in his way of life. Our fare, thus far, has consisted of bread, butter, and cheese, crackers, herrings, boiled eggs, coffee, milk, and claret wine. He has another inmate, in the person of a queer little Frenchman, who has his breakfast, tea, and lodging here, and finds his dinner elsewhere. Monsieur S—— does not appear to be more than twenty-one years old,—a diminutive figure, with eyes askew, and otherwise of an ungainly physiognomy; he is ill-dressed also, in a coarse blue coat, thin cotton pantaloons, and unbrushed boots; altogether with as little of French coxcombry as can well be imagined, though with something of the monkey-aspect inseparable from a little Frenchman. He is, nevertheless, an intelligent and well-informed man, apparently of extensive reading in his own language;—a philosopher, B—— tells me, and an infidel. His insignificant personal appearance stands in the way of his success, and prevents him from receiving the respect which is really due to his talents and acquirements; wherefore he is bitterly dissatisfied with the country and its inhabitants, and often expresses his feelings to B—— (who has gained his confidence to a certain degree) in very strong terms.

Thus here are three characters, each with something out of the common way, living together somewhat like monks. B——, our host, combines more high and admirable qualities, of that sort which make up a gentleman, than any other that I have met with. Polished, yet natural, frank, open, and straightforward, yet with a delicate feeling for the sensitiveness of his companions; of excellent temper and warm heart; well acquainted with the world, with a keen faculty of observation, which he has had many opportunities of exercising, and never varying from a code of honor and principle which is really nice and rigid in its way. There is a sort or philosophy developing itself in him which will not impossibly cause him to settle down in this or some other equally singular course of life. He seems almost to have made up his mind never to be married, which I wonder at; for he has strong affections, and is fond both of women and children.

The little Frenchman impresses me very strongly, too,—so lonely as he is here, struggling against the world, with bitter feelings in his breast, and yet talking with the vivacity and gayety of his nation; making this his home from darkness to daylight, and enjoying here what little domestic comfort and confidence there is for him; and then going about all the livelong day, teaching French to blockheads who sneer at him, and returning at about ten o'clock in the evening (for I was wrong in saying he supped here,—he eats no supper) to his solitary room and bed. Before retiring, he goes to B——'s bedside, and, if he finds him awake, stands talking French, expressing his dislike of the Americans,—"Je hais, je hais les Yankees!"—thus giving vent to the stifled bitterness of the whole day. In the morning I hear him getting up early, at sunrise or before, humming to himself, scuffling about his chamber with his thick boots, and at last taking his departure for a solitary ramble till breakfast. Then he comes in, cheerful and vivacious enough, eats[Pg 171] pretty heartily, and is off again, singing French chansons as he goes down the gravel-walk. The poor fellow has nobody to sympathize with him but B——, and thus a singular connection is established between two utterly different characters.

Then here is myself, who am likewise a queer character in my way, and have come to spend a week or two with my friend of half a lifetime,—the longest space, probably, that we are ever destined to spend together; for Fate seems preparing changes for both of us. My circumstances, at least, cannot long continue as they are and have been; and B——, too, stands between high prosperity and utter ruin.

I think I should soon become strongly attached to our way of life, so independent and untroubled by the forms and restrictions of society. The house is very pleasantly situated,—half a mile distant from where the town begins to be thickly settled, and on a swell of land, with the road running at a distance of fifty yards, and a grassy tract and a gravel-walk between. Beyond the road rolls the Kennebec, here two or three hundred yards wide. Putting my head out of the window, I can see it flowing steadily along straightway between wooded banks; but arriving nearly opposite the house, there is a large and level sand island in the middle of the stream; and just below the island the current is further interrupted by the works of the mill-dam, which is perhaps half-finished, yet still in so rude a state that it looks as much like the ruins of a dam destroyed by the spring freshets as like the foundations of a dam yet to be. Irishmen and Canadians toil at work on it, and the echoes of their hammering and of the voices come across the river and up to this window. Then there is a sound of the wind among the trees round the house; and when that is silent, the calm, full, distant voice of the river becomes audible. Looking downward thither, I see the rush of the current, and mark the different eddies, with here and there white specks or streaks of foam; and often a log comes floating on, glistening in the sun, as it rolls over among the eddies, having voyaged, for aught I know, hundreds of miles from the wild, upper sources of the river, passing down, down, between lines of forest, and sometimes a rough clearing, till here it floats along by cultivated banks, and will soon pass by the village. Sometimes a long raft of boards comes along, requiring the nicest skill in navigating it through the narrow passage left by the mill-dam. Chaises and wagons occasionally go along the road, the riders all giving a passing glance at the dam, or perhaps alighting to examine it more fully, and at last departing with ominous shakes of the head as to the result of the enterprise. My position is so far retired from the river and mill-dam, that, though the latter is really rather a scene, yet a sort of quiet seems to be diffused over the whole. Two or three times a day this quiet is broken by the sudden thunder from a quarry, where the workmen are blasting rocks for the dam; and a peal of thunder sounds strange in such a green, sunny, and quiet landscape, with the blue sky brightening the river.

I have not seen much of the people. There have been, however, several incidents which amused me, though scarcely worth telling. A passionate tavern-keeper, quick as a flash of gunpowder, a nervous man, and showing in his demeanor, it seems, a consciousness of his infirmity of temper. I was a witness of a scuffle of his with a drunken guest. The tavern-keeper, after they were separated, raved like a madman, and in a tone of voice having a drolly pathetic or lamentable sound mingled with its rage, as if he were lifting up his voice to weep. Then he jumped into a chaise which was standing by, whipped up the horse, and drove off rapidly, as if to give his fury vent in that way.

On the morning of the Fourth of July, two printer's apprentice-lads, nearly grown, dressed in jackets and very tight pantaloons of check, tight as their skins, so that they looked like harlequins or circus-clowns, yet appeared to think[Pg 172] themselves in perfect propriety, with a very calm and quiet assurance of the admiration of the town. A common fellow, a carpenter, who, on the strength of political partisanship, asked B——'s assistance in cutting out great letters from play-bills in order to print "Martin Van Buren Forever" on a flag; but B—— refused. B—— seems to be considerably of a favorite with the lower orders, especially with the Irishman and French Canadians,—the latter accosting him in the street, and asking his assistance as an interpreter in making their bargains for work.

I meant to have dined at the hotel with B—— to-day; but having returned to the house, leaving him to do some business in the village, I found myself unwilling to move when the dinner-hour approached, and therefore dined very well on bread, cheese, and eggs. Nothing of much interest takes place. We live very comfortably in our bachelor establishment on a cold shoulder of mutton, with ham and smoked beef and boiled eggs; and as to drinkables, we had both claret and brown sherry on the dinner-table to-day. Last evening we had a long literary and philosophical conversation with Monsieur S——. He is rather remarkably well-informed for a man of his age, and seems to have very just notions on ethics, etc., though damnably perverted as to religion. It is strange to hear philosophy of any sort from such a boyish figure. "We philosophers," he is fond of saying, to distinguish himself and his brethren from the Christians. One of his oddities is, that, while steadfastly maintaining an opinion that he is a very small and slow eater, and the we, in common with other Yankees, eat immensely and fast, he actually eats both faster and longer than we do, and devours, as B—— avers, more victuals than both of us together.

Saturday, July 8th.—Yesterday afternoon, a stroll with B—— up a large brook, he fishing for trout, and I looking on. The brook runs through a valley, on one side bordered by a high and precipitous bank; on the other there is an interval, and then the bank rises upward and upward into a high hill with gorges and ravines separating one summit from another, and here and there are bare places, where the rain-streams have washed away the grass. The brook is bestrewn with stones, some bare, some partially moss-grown, and sometimes so huge as—once at least—to occupy almost the whole breadth of the current. Amongst these the stream brawls, only that this word does not express its good-natured voice, and "murmur" is too quite. It sings along, sometimes smooth, with the pebbles visible beneath, sometimes rushing dark and swift, eddying and whitening past some rock, or underneath the hither or the farther bank; and at these places B——cast his line, and sometimes drew out a trout, small, not more than five or six inches long. The farther we went up the brook, the wilder it grew. The opposite bank was covered with pines and hemlocks, ascending high upwards, black and solemn. One knew that there must be almost a precipice behind, yet we could not see it. At the foot you could spy, a little way within the darksome shade, the roots and branches of the trees; but soon all sight was obstructed amidst the trunks. On the hither side, at first the bank was bare, then fringed with alder-bushes, bending and dipping into the stream, which, farther on brawled through the midst of a forest of maple, beech, and other trees, its course growing wilder and wilder as we proceeded. For a considerable distance there was a causeway, built long ago of logs, to drag lumber upon; it was now decayed and rotten, a red decay, sometimes sunken down in the midst, here and there a knotty trunk stretching across, apparently sound. The sun being now low towards the west, a pleasant gloom and brightness were diffused through the forest, spots of brightness scattered upon the branches, or thrown down in gold upon the last year's leaves among the trees. At last we came to where a dam had been built across the brook many years ago, and[Pg 173] was now gone to ruin, so as to make the spot look more solitary and wilder than if man had never left vestiges of his toil there. It was a framework of logs with a covering of plank sufficient to obstruct the onward flow of the brook; but it found its way past the side, and came foaming and struggling along among scattered rocks. Above the dam there was a broad and deep pool, one side of which was bordered by a precipitous wall of rocks, as smooth as if hewn out and squared, and piled one upon another, above which rose the forest. On the other side there was still a gently shelving bank, and the shore was covered with tall trees, among which I particularly remarked a stately pine, wholly devoid of bark, rising white in aged and majestic ruin, thrusting out its barkless arms. It must have stood there in death many years, its own ghost. Above the dam the brook flowed through the forest, a glistening and babbling water-path, illuminated by the sun, which sent its rays almost straight along its course. It was as lovely and wild and peaceful as it could possibly have been a hundred years ago; and the traces of labors of men long departed added a deeper peace to it. I bathed in the pool, and then pursued my way down beside the brook, growing dark with a pleasant gloom, as the sun sank and the water became more shadowy. B—— says that there was formerly a tradition, that the Indians used to go up this brook, and return, after a brief absence, with large masses of lead, which they sold at the trading stations in Augusta; whence there has always been an idea that there is a lead mine hereabouts. Great toadstools were under the trees, and some small ones as yellow and almost the size of a half-broiled yolk of an egg. Strawberries were scattered along the brookside.

Dined at the hotel or Mansion-House to-day. Men were playing checkers in the parlor. The Marshal of Maine, a corpulent, jolly fellow, famed for humor. A passenger left by the stage hiring an express onward. A bottle of champagne was quaffed at the bar.

July 9th.—Went with B—— to pay a visit to the shanties of the Irish and Canadians. He says that they sell and exchange these small houses among themselves continually. They may be built in three or four days, and are valued at four or five dollars. When the turf that is piled against the walls of some of them becomes covered with grass, it makes quite a picturesque object. It was almost dusk—just candle-lighting time—when we visited them. A young Frenchwoman, with a baby in her arms, came to the door of one of them, smiling, and looking pretty and happy. Her husband, a dark, black-haired, lively little fellow, caressed the child, laughing and singing to it; and there was a red-bearded Irishman, who likewise fondled the little brat. Then we could hear them within the hut, gabbling merrily, and could see them moving about briskly in the candlelight, through the window and open door. An old Irishwoman sat in the door of another hut, under the influence of an extra dose of rum,—she being an old lady of somewhat dissipated habits. She called to B——, and began to talk to him about her resolution not to give up her house: for it is his design to get her out of it. She is a true virago, and though somewhat restrained by respect for him, she evinced a sturdy design to remain here through the winter, or at least for a considerable time longer. He persisting, she took her stand in the doorway of the hut, and stretched out her fist in a very Amazonian attitude, "Nobody," quoth she, "shall drive me out of this house, till my praties are out of the ground." Then would she wheedle and laugh and blarney, beginning in a rage, and ending as if she had been in jest. Meanwhile her husband stood by very quiet, occasionally trying to still her; but it is to be presumed, that, after our departure, they came to blows, it being a custom with the Irish husbands and wives to settle their disputes with blows; and it is said the woman often proves the better man. The different families also have battles, and occasionally the Irish fight with the[Pg 174] Canadians. The latter, however, are much the more peaceable, never quarrelling among themselves, and seldom with their neighbors. They are frugal, and often go back to Canada with considerable sums of money. B—— has gained much influence both with the Irish and the French,—with the latter, by dint of speaking to them in their own language. He is the umpire in their disputes, and their adviser, and they look up to him as a protector and patron-friend. I have been struck to see with what careful integrity and wisdom he manages matters among them, hitherto having known him only as a free and gay young man. He appears perfectly to understand their general character, of which he gives no very flattering description. In these huts, less than twenty feet square, he tells me that upwards of twenty people have sometimes been lodged.

A description of a young lady who had formerly been insane, and now felt the approach of a new fit of madness. She had been out to ride, had exerted herself much, and had been very vivacious. On her return, she sat down in a thoughtful and despondent attitude, looking very sad, but one of the loveliest objects that ever were seen. The family spoke to her, but she made no answer, nor took the least notice; but still sat like a statue in her chair,—a statue of melancholy and beauty. At last they led her away to her chamber.

We went to meeting this forenoon. I saw nothing remarkable, unless a little girl in the next pew to us, three or four years old, who fell asleep, with her head in the lap of her maid, and looked very pretty: a picture of sleeping innocence.

July 11th, Tuesday.—A drive with B—— to Hallowell, yesterday, where we dined, and afterwards to Gardiner. The most curious object in this latter place was the elegant new mansion of ——. It stands on the site of his former dwelling, which was destroyed by fire. The new building was estimated to cost about thirty thousand dollars; but twice as much has already been expended, and a great deal more will be required to complete it. It is certainly a splendid structure; the material, granite from the vicinity. At the angles it has small, circular towers; the portal is lofty and imposing. Relatively to the general style of domestic architecture in our country, it well deserves the name of castle or palace. Its situation, too, is fine, far retired from the public road, and attainable by a winding carriage-drive; standing amid fertile fields, and with large trees in the vicinity. There is also a beautiful view from the mansion adown the Kennebec.

Beneath some of the large trees we saw the remains of circular seats, whereupon the family used to sit before the former house was burned down. There was no one now in the vicinity of the place, save a man and a yoke of oxen; and what he was about, I did not ascertain. Mr. —— at present resides in a small dwelling, little more than a cottage, beside the main road, not far from the gateway which gives access to his palace.

At Gardiner, on the wharf, I witnessed the starting of the steamboat New England for Boston. There was quite a collection of people, looking on or taking leave of passengers,—the steam puffing,—stages arriving, full-freighted with ladies and gentlemen. A man was one moment too late; but running along the gunwale of a mud-scow, and jumping into a skiff, he was put on board by a black fellow. The dark cabin, wherein, descending from the sunshiny deck, it was difficult to discern the furniture, looking-glasses, and mahogany wainscoting. I met two old college acquaintances,—O——, who was going to Boston, and B——, with whom we afterwards drank a glass of wine at the hotel.

B——, Mons. S——, and myself continue to live in the same style as heretofore. We appear mutually to be very well pleased with each other. Mons. S—— displays many comical qualities, and manages to insure us several hearty laughs every morning and evening,—those being the seasons when we meet.[Pg 175] I am going to take lessons from him in the pronunciation of French. Of female society I see nothing. The only petticoat that comes within our premises appertains to Nancy, the pretty, dark-eyed maid-servant of the man who lives in the other part of the house.

On the road from Hallowell to Augusta we saw little booths, in two places, erected on the roadside, where boys offered beer, apples, etc., for sale. We passed an Irishwoman with a child in her arms, and a heavy bundle, and afterwards an Irishman with a light bundle, sitting by the highway. They were husband and wife; and B—— says that an Irishman and his wife, on their journeys, do not usually walk side by side, but that the man gives the woman the heaviest burden to carry, and walks on lightly ahead!

A thought comes into my mind: Which sort of house excites the most contemptuous feelings in the beholder,—such a house as Mr. ——'s, all circumstances considered, or the board-built and turf-buttressed hovels of these wild Irish, scattered about as if they had sprung up like mushrooms, in the dells and gorges, and along the banks of the river? Mushrooms, by the way, spring up where the roots of an old tree are hidden under the ground.

Thursday, July 13th.—Two small Canadian boys came to our house yesterday, with strawberries to sell. It sounds strange to hear children bargaining in French on the borders of Yankee-land. Among other languages spoken hereabouts must be reckoned the wild Irish. Some of the laborers on the mill-dam can speak nothing else. The intermixture of foreigners sometimes gives rise to quarrels between them and the natives. As we were going to the village yesterday afternoon, we witnessed the beginning of a quarrel between a Canadian and a Yankee,—the latter accusing the former of striking his oxen. B—— thrust himself between and parted them; but they afterwards renewed their fray, and the Canadian, I believe, thrashed the Yankee soundly,—for which he had to pay twelve dollars. Yet he was but a little fellow.

Coming to the Mansion-House about supper-time, we found somewhat of a concourse of people, the Governor and Council being in session on the subject of the disputed territory. The British have lately imprisoned a man who was sent to take the census; and the Mainiacs are much excited on the subject. They wish the Governor to order out the militia at once, and take possession of the territory with the strong hand. There was a British army-captain at the Mansion-House; and an idea was thrown out that it would be as well to seize upon him as a hostage. I would, for the joke's sake, that it had been done. Personages at the tavern: the Governor, somewhat stared after as he walked through the bar-room; Councillors seated about, sitting on benches near the bar, or on the stoop along the front of the house; the Adjutant-General of the State; two young Blue-Noses, from Canada or the Provinces; a gentleman "thumbing his hat" for liquor, or perhaps playing off the trick of the "honest landlord" on some stranger. The decanters and wine-bottles on the move, and the beer and soda-founts pouring out continual streams, with a whiz. Stage-drivers, etc., asked to drink with the aristocracy, and mine host treating and being treated. Rubicund faces; breaths odorous of brandy and water. Occasionally the pop of a champagne cork.

Returned home, and took a lesson in French of Mons. S——. I like him very much, and have seldom met with a more honest, simple, and apparently so well-principled a man; which good qualities I impute to his being, by the father's side, of German blood. He looks more like a German—or, as he says, like a Swiss—than a Frenchman, having very light hair and a light complexion, and not a French expression. He is a vivacious little fellow, and wonderfully excitable to mirth; and it is truly a sight to see him laugh;—every feature partakes of his movement, and even his whole body shares in it,[Pg 176] as he rises and dances about the room. He has great variety of conversation, commensurate with his experiences in life, and sometimes will talk Spanish, ore rotundo,—sometimes imitate the Catholic priests, chanting Latin songs for the dead, in deep, gruff, awful tones, producing really a very strong impression,—then he will break out into a light, French song, perhaps of love, perhaps of war, acting it out, as if on the stage of a theatre: all this intermingled with continual fun, excited by the incidents of the passing moment. He has Frenchified all our names, calling B—— Monsieur Du Pont, myself M. de L'Aubépine, and himself M. le Berger, and all, Knights of the Round-Table. And we live in great harmony and brotherhood, as queer a life as anybody leads, and as queer a set as may be found anywhere. In his more serious intervals, he talks philosophy and deism, and preaches obedience to the law of reason and morality; which law he says (and I believe him) he has so well observed, that, notwithstanding his residence in dissolute countries, he has never yet been sinful. He wishes me, eight or nine weeks hence, to accompany him on foot to Quebec, and then to Niagara and New York. I should like it well, if my circumstances and other considerations would permit. What pleases much in Mons. S—— is the simple and childlike enjoyment he finds in trifles, and the joy with which he speaks of going back to his own country, away from the dull Yankees, who here misunderstand and despise him. Yet I have never heard him speak harshly of them. I rather think that B—— and I will be remembered by him with more pleasure than anybody else in the country; for we have sympathized with him, and treated him kindly, and like a gentleman and an equal; and he comes to us at night as to home and friends.

I went down to the river to-day to see B—— fish for salmon with a fly,—a hopeless business; for he says that only one instance has been known in the United States of salmon being taken otherwise than with a net. A few chubs were all the fruit of his piscatory efforts. But while looking at the rushing and rippling stream, I saw a great fish, some six feet long and thick in proportion, suddenly emerge at whole length, turn a somerset, and then vanish again beneath the water. It was of a glistening, yellowish brown, with its fins all spread, and looking very strange and startling, darting out so lifelike from the black water, throwing itself fully into the bright sunshine, and then lost to sight and to pursuit. I saw also a long, flat-bottomed boat go up the river, with a brisk wind, and against a strong stream. Its sails were of curious construction: a long mast, with two sails below, one on each side of the boat, and a broader one surmounting them. The sails were colored brown, and appeared like leather or skins, but were really cloth. At a distance, the vessel looked like, or at least I compared it to, a monstrous water-insect, skimming along the river. If the sails had been crimson or yellow, the resemblance would have been much closer. There was a pretty spacious raised cabin in the after part of the boat. It moved along lightly, and disappeared between the woody banks. These boats have the two parallel sails attached to the same yard, and some have two sails, one surmounting the other. They trade to Waterville and thereabouts,—names, as "Paul Pry," on their sails.

Saturday, July 15th.—Went with B—— yesterday to visit several Irish shanties, endeavoring to find out who had stolen some rails of a fence. At the first door where we knocked, (a shanty with an earthen mound heaped against the wall, two or three feet thick,) the inmates were not up, though it was past eight o'clock. At last a middle-aged woman showed herself, half-dressed, and completing her toilet. Threats were made of tearing down her house; for she is a lady of very indifferent morals, and sells rum. Few of these people are connected with the mill-dam,—or, at least, many are not so, but have intruded themselves into the vacant huts which were occupied by the mill-dam[Pg 177] people last year. In two or three places hereabouts there is quite a village of these dwellings, with a clay and board chimney, or oftener an old barrel smoked and charred with the fire. Some of their roofs are covered with sods, and appear almost subterranean. One of the little hamlets stands on both sides of a deep dell, wooded and bush-grown, with a vista, as it were, into the heart of a wood in one direction, and to the broad, sunny river in the other: there was a little rivulet, crossed by a plank, at the bottom of the dell. At two doors we saw very pretty and modest-looking young women,—one with a child in her arms. Indeed, they all have innumerable little children; and they are invariably in good health, though always dirty of face. They come to the door while their mothers are talking with the visitors, standing straight up on their bare legs, with their little plump bodies protruding, in one hand a small tin saucepan and in the other an iron spoon, with unwashed mouths, looking as independent as any child or grown person in the land. They stare unabashed, but make no answer when spoken to. "I've no call to your fence, Misser B——." It seems strange that a man should have the right, unarmed with any legal instrument, of tearing down the dwelling-houses of a score of families, and driving the inmates forth without a shelter. Yet B—— undoubtedly has this right; and it is not a little striking to see how quietly these people contemplate the probability of his exercising it,—resolving, indeed, to burrow in their holes as long as may be, yet caring about as little for an ejectment as those who could find a tenement anywhere, and less. Yet the women, amid all the trials of their situation, appear to have kept up the distinction between virtue and vice: those who can claim the former will not associate with the latter. When the women travel with young children, they carry the baby slung at their backs, and sleeping quietly. The dresses of the new-comers are old-fashioned, making them look aged before their time.

Monsieur S—— shaving himself yesterday morning. He was in excellent spirits, and could not keep his tongue or body still more than long enough to make two or three consecutive strokes at his beard. Then he would turn, flourishing his razor and grimacing joyously, enacting droll antics, breaking out into scraps and verses of drinking-songs, "A boire! à boire!"—then laughing heartily, and crying, "Vive la gaîté!"—then resuming his task, looking into the glass with grave face, on which, however, a grin would soon break out anew, and all his pranks would be repeated with variations. He turned this foolery to philosophy, by observing that mirth contributed to goodness of heart, and to make us love our fellow-creatures. Conversing with him in the evening, he affirmed, with evident belief in the truth of what he said, that he would have no objection, except that it would be a very foolish thing, to expose his whole heart, his whole inner man, to the view of the world. Not that there would not be much evil discovered there; but, as he was conscious of being in a state of mental and moral improvement, working out his progress onward, he would not shrink from such a scrutiny. This talk was introduced by his mentioning the "Minister's Black Veil," which he said he had seen translated into French, as an exercise, by a Miss Appleton of Bangor.

Saw by the river-side, late in the afternoon, one of the above-described boats going into the stream, with the water rippling at the prow, from the strength of the current and of the boat's motion. By-and-by comes down a raft, perhaps twenty yards long, guided by two men, one at each end,—the raft itself of boards sawed at Waterville, and laden with square bundles of shingles and round bundles of clapboards. "Friend," says one man, "how is the tide now?"—this being important to the onward progress. They make fast to a tree, in order to wait for the tide to rise a little higher. It would be pleasant enough to float down the Kennebec on one of these rafts, letting the[Pg 178] river conduct you onward at its own pace, leisurely displaying to you all the wild or ordered beauties along its banks, and perhaps running you aground in some peculiarly picturesque spot, for your longer enjoyment of it. Another object, perhaps, is a solitary man paddling himself down the river in a small canoe, the light, lonely touch of his paddle in the water making the silence seem deeper. Every few minutes a sturgeon leaps forth, sometimes behind you, so that you merely hear the splash, and, turning hastily around, see nothing but the disturbed water. Sometimes he darts straight on end out of a quiet black spot on which your eyes happen to be fixed, and, when even his tail is clear of the surface, he falls down on his side, and disappears.

On the river-bank, an Irishwoman washing some clothes, surrounded by her children, whose babbling sounds pleasantly along the edge of the shore; and she also answers in a sweet, kindly, and cheerful voice, though an immoral woman, and without the certainty of bread or shelter from day to day. An Irishman sitting angling on the brink with an alder pole and a clothes-line. At frequent intervals, the scene is suddenly broken by a loud report like thunder, rolling along the banks, echoing and reverberating afar. It is a blast of rocks. Along the margin, sometimes sticks of timber made fast, either separately or several together; stones of some size, varying the pebbles and sand; a clayey spot, where a shallow brook runs into the river, not with a deep outlet, but finding its way across the bank in two or three single runlets. Looking upward into the deep glen whence it issues, you see its shady current. Elsewhere, a high acclivity, with the beach between it and the river, the ridge broken and caved away, so that the earth looks fresh and yellow, and is penetrated by the nests of birds. An old, shining tree-trunk, half in and half out of the water. An island of gravel, long and narrow, in the centre of the river. Chips, blocks of wood, slabs, and other scraps of lumber, strewed along the beach; logs drifting down. The high bank covered with various trees and shrubbery, and, in one place, two or three Irish shanties.


What a hand the Major has dealt me! Do look over my shoulder, Madam, and see these cards! What quaint, odd, old-time figures they are! I wonder if the kings and queens of by-gone centuries were such grotesque-looking objects as these. Look at that Queen of Spades! Why, Dr. Slop's abdominal sesquipedality was sylph-like grace to the Lambertian girth she displays. And note the pattern of her dress, if dress it can be called,—that rotund expanse of heraldic, bar-sinistered, Chinese embroidery. Look at that Jack of Diamonds! What a pair of collar-bones he must have! That little feat of Atlas would be child's-play to him; for he could step off with a whole orrery on those shoulders. And his hands! what Liliputian phalanges, which Beau Brummel, or D'Orsay, or any other professional dandy might die envying! As for the King of Hearts, he looks as much like a pet of the fair sex as Boanerges or Bung the Beadle. And what strange anatomical proportions they exhibit, with their gigantic heads, abortive necks, and the calves of their legs protuberant around their tibias and fibulas, alike before and behind! And then they are all left-handed! Were these the gay gallants and fair dames of the golden age of chivalry? Were these shapeless things the forms and costumes[Pg 179] of the princes and princesses of ancient France? Why, the dark-skinned old-clo' men, who hang their cast-off raiment in Brattle Street, would be mobbed, if they paraded such vestments at their doors; and Papanti would break his fiddle-bow over the head of any awkward lout who should unfortunately assume such an ungainly position.

But the power they wield! Ah, my dear Madam, kings and queens may be backed like a whale or humped like a camel, but down goes the world on its marrow-bones, and worships them for Venuses and Adonises. And as for this particular reigning family, these four great branches of the Hearts, Spades, Diamonds, and Clubs, Diana, fresh from the bath, never looked so enticing to the eager eyes of a losing player as their Brobdignagian dames, nor Apollo himself so beautiful as the ugly mugs of their lumbering kings. The Baroness Bernstein would bend her old back over the table to greet their wall-eyed monarchs, and forget young Harry was by; and little Nell's grandfather would bow beneath the midnight candle to caress those greasy Gorgons, while she, sweet little girl, was waiting his return in loneliness. All the other crowned heads of Christendom are titled nobodies beside these mighty potentates. The General of the Jesuits wields, they say, wonderful power; but his sceptre is a bulrush beside the truncheon which these kings of the earth hold in their grasp. And here, yes, here in Republican America, the thousands who scout Napoleon, frown on Victoria, and pity the Pope, do nightly homage to this mighty dynasty, and find grace and loveliness in their bottle noses and crooked legs. And—must I confess it, Madam?—do not I, democratic Asmodeus, when I play my quiet rubber at so much a corner, look chopfallen at the deuces and treys which I despondently arrange in numerical order, and welcome, with beating heart, those same crowned heads, as they lift themselves before me? Oh, it is not gambling, Madam. Only something to make it interesting, so that the Major and I shall keep our minds on the game.

And do we not all play our little game in the world,—sometimes with all that makes it bright to us at stake? What is the paltry sum beside me to that which we all of us hold in our hands, to be decided by the deal of Fortune? You don't play whist. And yet, Madam, I have seen you at a game of chance, in which you have risked your peace, your happiness, your future, upon what another should deal out to you. You don't understand me? In the great game of life, Frank offered you his hand, and you took it. I hope it held court-cards. We are all players. The lean and sanctified bigot, who looks in holy horror on this printed pasteboard, as though it were the legitimate offspring of the Devil and Dr. Faustus, plays his own pious game at winning souls, and risks—charity. The griping money-catcher, who shudders at the thought of losing gold in spendthrift play, takes his own close and cunning game at winning wealth, and risks—esteem. The ambitious aspirant, who scorns such empty things as cards, plays boldly at his daring game at winning position, and risks—honor. The bright-eyed girl throws heart and soul into the enchanting game of love, and risks—virtue. Charity, esteem, honor, virtue,—are not these great stakes to offer, beside which my modest risk sinks into very insignificance? Ah, we all play, and with what varied success! How many poor, unlucky wights turn up deuces all their life, while others, born under luckier stars, hold a fistful of kings and queens! How many eyes grow dim over the faint chances of small digits, while others sparkle in the reflected light of those regal robes! Ah, my dear Madam, not only in dank forecastles, in foul taverns, in luxurious club-houses, or elegant saloons, does Fortune deal out her winning or losing cards. She spreads them before us on the green cloth of life's table, in that game which counts up its gains or losses in another world.

Did you ever see an aëronaut, when he has risen high above the earth, scatter,[Pg 180] with lavish hand, a host of little cards, which flutter down upon us, twisting and turning, in showers of glittering colors? He but typifies the hand of Fate, which deals to us, brilliant with the hopes that tint them in rainbow beauty, the cards of life's eager game. We gather them up joyfully; but, alas! how rapidly their fictitious beauty fades, and what miserable pasteboard affairs they become to us, as, one by one, we lay them down, and see our treasures dwindling away from us with them, as they go!

Somebody must win? Yes, Madam, somebody gets the court-cards. We all get them sometimes; and we too often play them very wrongly. We throw away our kings and our queens. We pass by the opportunities to score, while some happier child of fortune bears off all the honors. But not always. Fortune rarely pursues any of us with unremitting ill-will. She sends us all court-cards, and we have only to trust on and wait for the change that is to bring, at last, success. Let us never throw up our hands in despair. Somebody—he must have been a tailor, or with sartorial proclivities—has said that there is a silver lining to every cloud. And so we all of us hold hands, which, among deuces and treys, have some court-cards. Let us not then inveigh against the goddess who blindly distributes them. Be it our aim to play those well which fall to our share, and not recklessly cast them away, because we find fewer of those broad-shouldered, goggle-eyed, party-colored gentry than we hoped for. No! let us tuck them carefully away under our thumbs, and make the most of them.

Perhaps Asmodeus may have pined in grief, playing his little deuces and never winning the great stake of fame;—but who shall tell? May not his hopeful heart break forth some day with regnant power which shall bear away the prize? Frank, you know, has toiled day and night for wealth to buy comfort and ease for his modest home. He has made his little ventures, and has seen his dreams of grand results fade from him, day by day. Let him venture on. By-and-by his vessels shall come home laden with noble freights; and his name shall be favorably known on 'Change, and be printed in the lists of men who pay heavy taxes on swelling fortunes; and you shall have your jewels and trinkets with the best. Pinxit, who has been starving in his garret, and whose walls are lined with dusty canvas, shall lay on colors which shall charm the world; his old, neglected frames shall be brought out, and the world shall find Apollos in his men, and Venuses in his women, which before were only meaner beauties; Vanitas shall loiter round his easel and command his pencil with ready gold; and Art-Journals shall rehearse his praises in strange, cabalistic words. Scripsit, who has digested his paltry rasher in moody silence, shall touch the hearts of men with new-born words of flame; and the poor epic, which once had served a clownish huckster's vulgar need, shall travel far and wide, in blue and gold, and lie on tables weighed with words familiar in all mouths. Patrista, who, thirsting for his country's good, has been, perforce, content to see all others rise and sway the crowd, while he has toiled in vain, shall shake the nation with his eloquence, and from his chair of state, whence go abroad the statutes he has framed, shall read again his earlier works, now rescued from the past to teach the young. Reporters on his words shall hang, from every window shall his sapient visage smile, and even the London Times shall think it worth the while to underrate him.

And then, my dear Madam, we rarely play alone. The melancholy unfortunates reduced to solitaire are few indeed. We have partners, Madam, to share our losses and our gains,—partners to mourn over our poor little lost deuces, and rejoice when royalty holds its court under our thumbs. Have not I beloved Mrs. Asmodeus, the lovely, kind, clever partner of my varied fortune? Did she not deal to me, one summer eve, the best bower in the pack, who reigns over all the kings and queens in or out of[Pg 181] Christendom, and whose sway remains supreme through all the changing suits of time and fortune? He does not sport the garb of those elder knaves, it is true, though he is knavish enough when occasion offers,—he is at this moment inspecting a new jack-knife, and will, I fear, whittle off one of his dear, chubby fingers,—but he outranks all the crowned monarchs in the world. Whom do I mean? Whom, but Thomas the First, Thomas the Only, my first-born, royal son? When that king of your own heart was taken from you,—when the little frocks, richer than ermine robes, were hid away in sacred recesses,—when the little toys, mightier than jewelled sceptres, were garnered up and kept as holy relics,—when the house no longer echoed to the tones of the sweet childish voice, and the silence of the grave settled over earth,—when the glare of day was hateful and the darkness of night fearful, and life, without the darling one, was living death,—had you not then a partner, a kind, tender, sympathizing partner, who took you to his heart, and bowed his head with you, and knit you closer to him by a bond the strongest life can weave, the bond of sorrow shared? And look farther back into the past, before sorrow came, and when light-hearted, beaming, hoping joy dwelt within you. When you used to catch Frank's eye with those tiny boots and flowing skirts, as you gracefully swept by him, had you not a partner to share those throbbing emotions? Were not all the hopes, dreams, and doubts, which then awoke, new-born within you, reëchoed and fondly shared? Did he not bear away, for days and nights, the brightness of your smile, the bend of your angelic head, and the trip of the tiny boots? And when the Heaven-sent moment came for the tongue to tell what the heart had so long cherished in silence, was there not a partner before you who dealt out words which filled your soul with rapture, and helped you to win the dearest prize that earth affords,—a mutual love? And look farther on into the distant future, when the tiny boots shall have long been cast aside, and the flowing silks shall have sunken into inexpansive, sober gray,—when the early joys and the early sorrows shall fade into the dim, half-remembered past,—when time shall have blanched the curly locks which first caught your girlish fancy, and lined the fair brow you once kissed in its manly beauty,—when the bloom of your own youth shall have passed away, and, in its stead, you see the faded remnants of your queenly prime,—when round you gather the fair youths and maidens who are living over the joys and sorrows which once moved your tired heart, and which you then shall look upon with that sad philosophy which tells you that the day has come when earthly interests can never sway you more,—will you not then have a partner who will share the memories of the past, and, heart to heart, will tread with you the slow decline, and win the prize outranking all,—eternal peace?

Yes, Madam, Jack has his messmate in the tarry bunk; Dick has his pal in the hidden haunt; the Major winks to the Colonel in the luxurious club; and Madame smiles on Monsieur in the brilliant drawing-room. Castor and Pollux pitched their quoits, Damon and Pythias ran their races, Strephon and Chloë ogled and blushed, and Darby and Joan tottered hand in hand along, in olden times; and all over the world, to-day, the never-ending game of human passion is played and shared by eager, restless, trembling hearts.

I declare, while I have been chatting aside with you, I have trumped the Major's ace, and lost the odd trick and the game! What a thunder-cloud he looks like! Ah, Madam, let us hope that we may all play the cards which Fortune shall deal to us, so as never to lose the prize we covet! And when they are at last thrown by, and the game of life is over, may we have won those riches which neither moth nor rust will corrupt! May kingly honor and queenly virtue guide us on, and lead us to those courts above, where they forever reign in sublime power![Pg 182]


Do you remember how, a dozen years ago, a number of our friends were startled by the report of the rupture of young Locksley's engagement with Miss Leary? This event made some noise in its day. Both parties possessed certain claims to distinction: Locksley in his wealth, which was believed to be enormous, and the young lady in her beauty, which was in truth very great. I used to hear that her lover was fond of comparing her to the Venus of Milo; and, indeed, if you can imagine the mutilated goddess with her full complement of limbs, dressed out by Madame de Crinoline, and engaged in small talk beneath the drawing-room chandelier, you may obtain a vague notion of Miss Josephine Leary. Locksley, you remember, was rather a short man, dark, and not particularly good-looking; and when he walked about with his betrothed, it was half a matter of surprise that he should have ventured to propose to a young lady of such heroic proportions. Miss Leary had the gray eyes and auburn hair which I have always assigned to the famous statue. The one defect in her face, in spite of an expression of great candor and sweetness, was a certain lack of animation. What it was besides her beauty that attracted Locksley I never discovered: perhaps, since his attachment was so short-lived, it was her beauty alone. I say that his attachment was of brief duration, because the rupture was understood to have come from him. Both he and Miss Leary very wisely held their tongues on the matter; but among their friends and enemies it of course received a hundred explanations. That most popular with Locksley's well-wishers was, that he had backed out (these events are discussed, you know, in fashionable circles very much as an expected prize-fight which has miscarried is canvassed in reunions of another kind) only on flagrant evidence of the lady's—what, faithlessness?—on overwhelming proof of the most mercenary spirit on the part of Miss Leary. You see, our friend was held capable of doing battle for an "idea." It must be owned that this was a novel charge; but, for myself, having long known Mrs. Leary, the mother, who was a widow with four daughters, to be an inveterate old screw, I took the liberty of accrediting the existence of a similar propensity in her eldest born. I suppose that the young lady's family had, on their own side, a very plausible version of their disappointment. It was, however, soon made up to them by Josephine's marriage with a gentleman of expectations very nearly as brilliant as those of her old suitor. And what was his compensation? That is precisely my story.

Locksley disappeared, as you will remember from public view. The events above alluded to happened in March. On calling at his lodgings in April, I was told he had gone to the "country." But towards the last of May I met him. He told me that he was on the look-out for a quiet, unfrequented place on the sea-shore, where he might rusticate and sketch. He was looking very poorly. I suggested Newport, and I remember he hardly had the energy to smile at the simple joke. We parted without my having been able to satisfy him, and for a very long time I quite lost sight of him. He died seven years ago, at the age of thirty-five. For five years, accordingly, he managed to shield his life from the eyes of men. Through circumstances which I need not detail, a large portion of his personal property has come into my hands. You will remember that he was a man of what are called elegant tastes: that is, he was seriously interested in arts and letters. He wrote some very bad poetry, but he produced a number of remarkable paintings. He left a mass of papers on all subjects, few of which are adapted to[Pg 183] be generally interesting. A portion of them, however, I highly prize,—that which constitutes his private diary. It extends from his twenty-fifth to his thirtieth year, at which period it breaks off suddenly. If you will come to my house, I will show you such of his pictures and sketches as I possess, and, I trust, convert you to my opinion that he had in him the stuff of a great painter. Meanwhile I will place before you the last hundred pages of his diary, as an answer to your inquiry regarding the ultimate view taken by the great Nemesis of his treatment of Miss Leary,—his scorn of the magnificent Venus Victrix. The recent decease of the one person who had a voice paramount to mine in the disposal of Locksley's effects enables me to act without reserve.

Cragthorpe, June 9th.—I have been sitting some minutes, pen in hand, pondering whether on this new earth, beneath this new sky, I had better resume these occasional records of my idleness. I think I will at all events make the experiment. If we fail, as Lady Macbeth remarks, we fail. I find my entries have been longest when my life has been dullest. I doubt not, therefore, that, once launched into the monotony of village life, I shall sit scribbling from morning till night. If nothing happens—But my prophetic soul tells me that something will happen. I am determined that something shall,—if it be nothing else than that I paint a picture.

When I came up to bed half an hour ago, I was deadly sleepy. Now, after looking out of the window a little while, my brain is strong and clear, and I feel as if I could write till morning. But, unfortunately, I have nothing to write about. And then, if I expect to rise early, I must turn in betimes. The whole village is asleep, godless metropolitan that I am! The lamps on the square without flicker in the wind; there is nothing abroad but the blue darkness and the smell of the rising tide. I have spent the whole day on my legs, trudging from one side of the peninsula to the other. What a trump is old Mrs. M——, to have thought of this place! I must write her a letter of passionate thanks. Never before, it seems to me, have I known pure coast-scenery. Never before have I relished the beauties of wave, rock, and cloud. I am filled with a sensuous ecstasy at the unparalleled life, light, and transparency of the air. I am stricken mute with reverent admiration at the stupendous resources possessed by the ocean in the way of color and sound; and as yet, I suppose, I have not seen half of them. I came in to supper hungry, weary, footsore, sunburnt, dirty,—happier, in short, than I have been for a twelvemonth. And now for the victories of the brush!

June 11th.—Another day afoot and also afloat. I resolved this morning to leave this abominable little tavern. I can't stand my feather-bed another night. I determined to find some other prospect than the town-pump and the "drug-store." I questioned my host, after breakfast, as to the possibility of getting lodgings in any of the outlying farms and cottages. But my host either did not or would not know anything about the matter. So I resolved to wander forth and seek my fortune,—to roam inquisitive through the neighborhood, and appeal to the indigenous sentiment of hospitality. But never did I see a folk so devoid of this amiable quality. By dinner-time I had given up in despair. After dinner I strolled down to the harbor, which is close at hand. The brightness and breeziness of the water tempted me to hire a boat and resume my explorations. I procured an old tub, with a short stump of a mast, which, being planted quite in the centre, gave the craft much the appearance of an inverted mushroom. I made for what I took to be, and what is, an island, lying long and low, some three or four miles, over against the town. I sailed for half an hour directly before the wind, and at last found myself aground on the shelving beach of a quiet little cove. Such a little cove![Pg 184] So bright, so still, so warm, so remote from the town, which lay off in the distance, white and semicircular! I leaped ashore, and dropped my anchor. Before me rose a steep cliff, crowned with an old ruined fort or tower. I made my way up, and about to the landward entrance. The fort is a hollow old shell. Looking upward from the beach, you see the harmless blue sky through the gaping loopholes. Its interior is choked with rocks and brambles, and masses of fallen masonry. I scrambled up to the parapet, and obtained a noble sea-view. Beyond the broad bay I saw miniature town and country mapped out before me; and on the other hand, I saw the infinite Atlantic,—over which, by the by, all the pretty things are brought from Paris. I spent the whole afternoon in wandering hither and thither over the hills that encircle the little cove in which I had landed, heedless of the minutes and my steps, watching the sailing clouds and the cloudy sails on the horizon, listening to the musical attrition of the tidal pebbles, killing innocuous suckers. The only particular sensation I remember was that of being ten years old again, together with a general impression of Saturday afternoon, of the liberty to go in wading or even swimming, and of the prospect of limping home in the dusk with a wondrous story of having almost caught a turtle. When I returned, I found—but I know very well what I found, and I need hardly repeat it here for my mortification. Heaven knows I never was a practical character. What thought I about the tide? There lay the old tub, high and dry, with the rusty anchor protruding from the flat green stones and the shallow puddles left by the receding wave. Moving the boat an inch, much more a dozen yards, was quite beyond my strength. I slowly reascended the cliff, to see if from its summit any help was discernible. None was within sight; and I was about to go down again in profound dejection, when I saw a trim little sail-boat shoot out from behind a neighboring bluff, and advance along the shore. I quickened pace. On reaching the beach, I found the new-comer standing out about a hundred yards. The man at the helm appeared to regard me with some interest. With a mute prayer that his feeling might be akin to compassion, I invited him by voice and gesture to make for a little point of rocks a short distance above us, where I proceeded to join him. I told him my story, and he readily took me aboard. He was a civil old gentleman, of the seafaring sort, who appeared to be cruising about in the evening breeze for his pleasure. On landing, I visited the proprietor of my old tub, related my misadventure, and offered to pay damages, if the boat shall turn out in the morning to have sustained any. Meanwhile, I suppose, it is held secure against the next tidal revolution, however insidious.—But for my old gentleman. I have decidedly picked up an acquaintance, if not made a friend. I gave him a very good cigar; and before we reached home, we had become thoroughly intimate. In exchange for my cigar, he gave me his name; and there was that in his tone which seemed to imply that I had by no means the worst of the bargain. His name is Richard Blunt, "though most people," he added, "call me Captain, for short." He then proceeded to inquire my own titles and pretensions. I told him no lies, but I told him only half the truth; and if he chooses to indulge mentally in any romantic understatements, why, he is welcome, and bless his simple heart! The fact is, that I have broken with the past. I have decided, coolly and calmly, as I believe, that it is necessary to my success, or, at any rate, to my happiness, to abjure for a while my conventional self, and to assume a simple, natural character. How can a man be simple and natural who is known to have a hundred thousand a year? That is the supreme curse. It's bad enough to have it: to be known to have it, to be known only because you have it, is most damnable. I suppose I am too proud to be successfully rich. Let me see how poverty will serve my turn.[Pg 185] I have taken a fresh start. I have determined to stand upon my own merits. If they fail me, I shall fall back upon my millions; but with God's help I will test them, and see what kind of stuff I am made of. To be young, to be strong, to be poor,—such, in this blessed nineteenth century, is the great basis of solid success. I have resolved to take at least one brief draught from the pure founts of inspiration of my time. I replied to the Captain with such reservations as a brief survey of these principles dictated. What a luxury to pass in a poor man's mind for his brother! I begin to respect myself. Thus much the Captain knows: that I am an educated man, with a taste for painting; that I have come hither for the purpose of cultivating this taste by the study of coast scenery, and for my health. I have reason to believe, moreover, that he suspects me of limited means and of being a good deal of an economist Amen! Vogue la galère! But the point of my story is in his very hospitable offer of lodgings. I had been telling him of my ill success of the morning in the pursuit of the same. He is an odd union of the gentleman of the old school and the old-fashioned, hot-headed merchant-captain. I suppose that certain traits in these characters are readily convertible.

"Young man," said he, after taking several meditative puffs of his cigar, "I don't see the point of your living in a tavern, when there are folks about you with more house-room than they know what to do with. A tavern is only half a house, just as one of these new-fashioned screw-propellers is only half a ship. Suppose you walk round and take a look at my place. I own quite a respectable house over yonder to the left of the town. Do you see that old wharf with the tumble-down warehouses, and the long row of elms behind it? I live right in the midst of the elms. We have the dearest little garden in the world, stretching down to the water's edge. It's all as quiet as anything can be, short of a graveyard. The back windows, you know, overlook the harbor; and you can see twenty miles up the bay, and fifty miles out to sea. You can paint to yourself there the livelong day, with no more fear of intrusion than if you were out yonder at the light-ship. There's no one but myself and my daughter, who's a perfect lady, Sir. She teaches music in a young ladies' school. You see, money's an object, as they say. We have never taken boarders yet, because none ever came in our track; but I guess we can learn the ways. I suppose you've boarded before; you can put us up to a thing or two."

There was something so kindly and honest in the old man's weather-beaten face, something so friendly in his address, that I forthwith struck a bargain with him, subject to his daughter's approval, I am to have her answer to-morrow. This same daughter strikes me as rather a dark spot in the picture. Teacher in a young ladies' school,—probably the establishment of which Mrs. M—— spoke to me. I suppose she's over thirty. I think I know the species.

June 12th, A. M.—I have really nothing to do but to scribble. "Barkis is willing." Captain Blunt brought me word this morning that his daughter smiles propitious. I am to report this evening; but I shall send my slender baggage in an hour or two.

P. M.—Here I am, housed. The house is less than a mile from the inn, and reached by a very pleasant road, skirting the harbor. At about six o'clock I presented myself. Captain Blunt had described the place. A very civil old negress admitted me, and ushered me into the garden, where I found my friends watering their flowers. The old man was in his house-coat and slippers. He gave me a cordial welcome. There is something delightfully easy in his manners,—and in Miss Blunt's, too, for that matter. She received me very nicely. The late Mrs. Blunt was probably a well-bred woman. As for Miss Blunt's being thirty, she is about twenty-four; She wore a fresh white dress, with a violet ribbon at her neck, and a rosebud[Pg 186] in her button-hole,—or whatever corresponds thereto on the feminine bosom. I thought I discerned in this costume a vague intention of courtesy, of deference, of celebrating my arrival. I don't believe Miss Blunt wears white muslin every day. She shook hands with me, and made me a very frank little speech about her hospitality. "We have never had any inmates before," said she; "and we are consequently new to the business. I don't know what you expect. I hope you don't expect a great deal. You must ask for anything you want. If we can give it, we shall be very glad to do so; if we can't, I give you warning that we shall refuse outright." Bravo, Miss Blunt! The best of it is, that she is decidedly beautiful,—and in the grand manner: tall, and rather plump. What is the orthodox description of a pretty girl?—white and red? Miss Blunt is not a pretty girl, she is a handsome woman. She leaves an impression of black and red; that is, she is a florid brunette. She has a great deal of wavy black hair, which encircles her head like a dusky glory, a smoky halo. Her eyebrows, too, are black, but her eyes themselves are of a rich blue gray, the color of those slate-cliffs which I saw yesterday, weltering under the tide. Her mouth, however, is her strong point. It is very large, and contains the finest row of teeth in all this weary world. Her smile is eminently intelligent. Her chin is full, and somewhat heavy. All this is a tolerable catalogue, but no picture. I have been tormenting my brain to discover whether it was her coloring or her form that impressed me most. Fruitless speculation! Seriously, I think it was neither; it was her movement. She walks a queen. It was the conscious poise of her head, the unconscious "hang" of her arms, the careless grace and dignity with which she lingered along the garden-path, smelling a red red rose! She has very little to say, apparently; but when she speaks, it is to the point, and if the point suggests it, with a very sweet smile. Indeed, if she is not talkative, it is not from timidity. Is it from indifference? Time will elucidate this, as well as other matters. I cling to the hypothesis that she is amiable. She is, moreover, intelligent; she is probably quite reserved; and she is possibly very proud. She is, in short, a woman of character. There you are, Miss Blunt, at full length,—emphatically the portrait of a lady. After tea, she gave us some music in the parlor. I confess that I was more taken with the picture of the dusky little room, lighted by the single candle on the piano, and by the effect of Miss Blunt's performance, than with its meaning. She appears to possess a very brilliant touch.

June 18th.—I have now been here almost a week. I occupy two very pleasant rooms. My painting-room is a vast and rather bare apartment, with a very good southern light. I have decked it out with a few old prints and sketches, and have already grown very fond of it. When I had disposed my artistic odds and ends in as picturesque a fashion as possible, I called in my hosts. The Captain looked about silently for some moments, and then inquired hopefully if I had ever tried my hand at a ship. On learning that I had not yet got to ships, he relapsed into a deferential silence. His daughter smiled and questioned very graciously, and called everything beautiful and delightful; which rather disappointed me, as I had taken her to be a woman of some originality. She is rather a puzzle;—or is she, indeed, a very commonplace person, and the fault in me, who am forever taking women to mean a great deal more than their Maker intended? Regarding Miss Blunt I have collected a few facts. She is not twenty-four, but twenty-seven years old. She has taught music ever since she was twenty, in a large boarding-school just out of the town, where she originally got her education. Her salary in this establishment, which is, I believe, a tolerably flourishing one, and the proceeds of a few additional lessons, constitute the chief revenues of the household. But Blunt fortunately owns his house, and his needs and habits are of the simplest[Pg 187] kind. What does he or his daughter know of the great worldly theory of necessities, the great worldly scale of pleasures? Miss Blunt's only luxuries are a subscription to the circulating library, and an occasional walk on the beach, which, like one of Miss Bronté's heroines, she paces in company with an old Newfoundland dog. I am afraid she is sadly ignorant. She reads nothing but novels. I am bound to believe, however, that she has derived from the perusal of these works a certain practical science of her own. "I read all the novels I can get," she said yesterday; "but I only like the good ones. I do so like Zanoni, which I have just finished." I must set her to work at some of the masters. I should like some of those fretful New-York heiresses to see how this woman lives. I wish, too, that half a dozen of ces messieurs of the clubs might take a peep at the present way of life of their humble servant. We breakfast at eight o'clock. Immediately afterwards, Miss Blunt, in a shabby old bonnet and shawl, starts off to school. If the weather is fine, the Captain goes out a-fishing, and I am left to my own devices. Twice I have accompanied the old man. The second time I was lucky enough to catch a big blue-fish, which we had for dinner. The Captain is an excellent specimen of the sturdy navigator, with his loose blue clothes, his ultra-divergent legs, his crisp white hair, and his jolly thick-skinned visage. He comes of a seafaring English race. There is more or less of the ship's cabin in the general aspect of this antiquated house. I have heard the winds whistle about its walls, on two or three occasions, in true mid-ocean style. And then the illusion is heightened, somehow or other, by the extraordinary intensity of the light. My painting-room is a grand observatory of the clouds. I sit by the half-hour, watching them sail past my high, uncurtained windows. At the back part of the room, something tells you that they belong to an ocean sky; and there, in truth, as you draw nearer, you behold the vast, gray complement of sea. This quarter of the town is perfectly quiet. Human activity seems to have passed over it, never again to return, and to have left a kind of deposit of melancholy resignation. The streets are clean, bright, and airy; but this fact seems only to add to the intense sobriety. It implies that the unobstructed heavens are in the secret of their decline. There is something ghostly in the perpetual stillness. We frequently hear the rattling of the yards and the issuing of orders on the barks and schooners anchored out in the harbor.

June 28th.—My experiment works far better than I had hoped. I am thoroughly at my ease; my peace of mind quite passeth understanding. I work diligently; I have none but pleasant thoughts. The past has almost lost its terrors. For a week now I have been out sketching daily. The Captain carries me to a certain point on the shore of the harbor, I disembark and strike across the fields to a spot where I have established a kind of rendezvous with a particular effect of rock and shadow, which has been tolerably faithful to its appointment. Here I set up my easel, and paint till sunset. Then I retrace my steps and meet the boat. I am in every way much encouraged. The horizon of my work grows perceptibly wider. And then I am inexpressibly happy in the conviction that I am not wholly unfit for a life of (moderate) labor and (comparative) privation. I am quite in love with my poverty, if I may call it so. As why should I not? At this rate I don't spend eight hundred a year.

July 12th.—We have been having a week of bad weather: constant rain, night and day. This is certainly at once the brightest and the blackest spot in New England. The skies can smile, assuredly; but how they can frown! I have been painting rather languidly, and at a great disadvantage, at my window.... Through all this pouring and pattering, Miss Blunt sallies forth to her pupils. She envelops her beautiful[Pg 188] head in a great woollen hood, her beautiful figure in a kind of feminine Mackintosh; her feet she puts into heavy clogs, and over the whole she balances a cotton umbrella. When she comes home, with the rain-drops glistening on her red cheeks and her dark lashes, her cloak bespattered with mud, and her hands red with the cool damp, she is a profoundly wholesome spectacle. I never fail to make her a very low bow, for which she repays me with an extraordinary smile. This working-day side of her character is what especially pleases me in Miss Blunt. This holy working-dress of loveliness and dignity sits upon her with the simplicity of an antique drapery. Little use has she for whalebones and furbelows. What a poetry there is, after all, in red hands! I kiss yours, Mademoiselle. I do so because you are self-helpful; because you earn your living; because you are honest, simple, and ignorant (for a sensible woman, that is); because you speak and act to the point; because, in short, you are so unlike—certain of your sisters.

July 16th.—On Monday it cleared up generously. When I went to my window, on rising, I found sky and sea looking, for their brightness and freshness, like a clever English water-color. The ocean is of a deep purple blue; above it, the pure, bright sky looks pale, though it bends with an infinite depth over the inland horizon. Here and there on the dark breezy water gleams the white cap of a wave, or flaps the white cloak of a fishing-boat. I have been sketching sedulously; I have discovered, within a couple of miles' walk, a large, lonely pond, set in quite a grand landscape of barren rocks and grassy slopes. At one extremity is a broad outlook on the open sea; at the other, deep buried in the foliage of an apple-orchard, stands an old haunted-looking farm-house. To the west of the pond is a wide expanse of rock and grass, of beach and marsh. The sheep browse over it as upon a Highland moor. Except a few stunted firs and cedars, there is not a tree in sight. When I want shade, I seek it in the shelter of one of the great mossy boulders which upheave their scintillating shoulders to the sun, or of the long shallow dells where a tangle of blackberry-bushes hedges about a sky-reflecting pool. I have encamped over against a plain, brown hillside, which, with laborious patience, I am transferring to canvas; and as we have now had the same clear sky for several days, I have almost finished quite a satisfactory little study. I go forth immediately after breakfast. Miss Blunt furnishes me with a napkin full of bread and cold meat, which at the noonday hours, in my sunny solitude, within sight of the slumbering ocean, I voraciously convey to my lips with my discolored fingers. At seven o'clock I return to tea, at which repast we each tell the story of our day's work. For poor Miss Blunt, it is day after day the same story: a wearisome round of visits to the school, and to the houses of the mayor, the parson, the butcher, the baker, whose young ladies, of course, all receive instruction on the piano. But she doesn't complain, nor, indeed, does she look very weary. When she has put on a fresh calico dress for tea, and arranged her hair anew, and with these improvements flits about with that quiet hither and thither of her gentle footsteps, preparing our evening meal, peeping into the teapot, cutting the solid loaf,—or when, sitting down on the low door-step, she reads out select scraps from the evening paper,—or else, when, tea being over, she folds her arms, (an attitude which becomes her mightily,) and, still sitting on the door-step, gossips away the evening in comfortable idleness, while her father and I indulge in the fragrant pipe, and watch the lights shining out, one by one, in different quarters of the darkling bay: at these moments she is as pretty, as cheerful, as careless as it becomes a sensible woman to be. What a pride the Captain takes in his daughter! And she, in return, how perfect is her devotion to the old man! He[Pg 189] is proud of her grace, of her tact, of her good sense, of her wit, such as it is. He thinks her to be the most accomplished of women. He waits upon her as if, instead of his old familiar Esther, she were a newly inducted daughter-in-law. And indeed, if I were his own son, he could not be kinder to me. They are certainly—nay, why should I not say it?—we are certainly a very happy little household. Will it last forever? I say we, because both father and daughter have given me a hundred assurances—he direct, and she, if I don't flatter myself, after the manner of her sex, indirect—that I am already a valued friend. It is natural enough that I should have gained their good-will. They have received at my hands inveterate courtesy. The way to the old man's heart is through a studied consideration of his daughter. He knows, I imagine, that I admire Miss Blunt. But if I should at any time fall below the mark of ceremony, I should have an account to settle with him. All this is as it should be. When people have to economize with the dollars and cents, they have a right to be splendid in their feelings. I have prided myself not a little on my good manners towards my hostess. That my bearing has been without reproach is, however, a fact which I do not, in any degree, set down here to my credit; for I would defy the most impertinent of men (whoever he is) to forget himself with this young lady, without leave unmistakably given. Those deep, dark eyes have a strong prohibitory force. I record the circumstance simply because in future years, when my charming friend shall have become a distant shadow, it will be pleasant, in turning over these pages, to find written testimony to a number of points which I shall be apt to charge solely upon my imagination. I wonder whether Miss Blunt, in days to come, referring to the tables of her memory for some trivial matter-of-fact, some prosaic date or half-buried landmark, will also encounter this little secret of ours, as I may call it,—will decipher an old faint note to this effect, overlaid with the memoranda of intervening years. Of course she will. Sentiment aside, she is a woman of an excellent memory. Whether she forgives or not I know not; but she certainly doesn't forget. Doubtless, virtue is its own reward; but there is a double satisfaction in being polite to a person on whom it tells. Another reason for my pleasant relations with the Captain is, that I afford him a chance to rub up his rusty old cosmopolitanism, and trot out his little scraps of old-fashioned reading, some of which are very curious. It is a great treat for him to spin his threadbare yarns over again to a sympathetic listener. These warm July evenings, in the sweet-smelling garden, are just the proper setting for his amiable garrulities. An odd enough relation subsists between us on this point. Like many gentlemen of his calling, the Captain is harassed by an irresistible desire to romance, even on the least promising themes; and it is vastly amusing to observe how he will auscultate, as it were, his auditor's inmost mood, to ascertain whether it is prepared for the absorption of his insidious fibs. Sometimes they perish utterly in the transition: they are very pretty, I conceive, in the deep and briny well of the Captain's fancy; but they won't bear being transplanted into the shallow inland lakes of my land-bred apprehension. At other times, the auditor being in a dreamy, sentimental, and altogether unprincipled mood, he will drink the old man's salt-water by the bucketful and feel none the worse for it. Which is the worse, wilfully to tell, or wilfully to believe, a pretty little falsehood which will not hurt any one? I suppose you can't believe wilfully; you only pretend to believe. My part of the game, therefore, is certainly as bad as the Captain's. Perhaps I take kindly to his beautiful perversions of fact, because I am myself engaged in one, because I am sailing under false colors of the deepest dye. I wonder whether my friends have any suspicion of the real state of the case. How should they? I fancy, that, on the[Pg 190] whole, I play my part pretty well. I am delighted to find it come so easy. I do not mean that I experience little difficulty in foregoing my hundred petty elegancies and luxuries,—for to these, thank Heaven, I was not so indissolubly wedded that one wholesome shock could not loosen my bonds,—but that I manage more cleverly than I expected to stifle those innumerable tacit allusions which might serve effectually to belie my character.

Sunday, July 20th.—This has been a very pleasant day for me; although in it, of course, I have done no manner of work. I had this morning a delightful tête-à-tête with my hostess. She had sprained her ankle, coming down stairs; and so, instead of going forth to Sunday school and to meeting, she was obliged to remain at home on the sofa. The Captain, who is of a very punctilious piety, went off alone. When I came into the parlor, as the church-bells were ringing, Miss Blunt asked me if I never went to meeting.

"Never when there is anything better to do at home," said I.

"What is better than going to church?" she asked, with charming simplicity.

She was reclining on the sofa, with her foot on a pillow, and her Bible in her lap. She looked by no means afflicted at having to be absent from divine service; and, instead of answering her question, I took the liberty of telling her so.

"I am sorry to be absent," said she. "You know it's my only festival in the week."

"So you look upon it as a festival," said I.

"Isn't it a pleasure to meet one's acquaintance? I confess I am never deeply interested in the sermon, and I very much dislike teaching the children; but I like wearing my best bonnet, and singing in the choir, and walking part of the way home with"——

"With whom?"

"With any one who offers to walk with me."

"With Mr. Johnson, for instance," said I.

Mr. Johnson is a young lawyer in the village, who calls here once a week, and whose attentions to Miss Blunt have been remarked.

"Yes," she answered, "Mr. Johnson will do as an instance."

"How he will miss you!"

"I suppose he will. We sing off the same book. What are you laughing at? He kindly permits me to hold the book, while he stands with his hands in his pockets. Last Sunday I quite lost patience. 'Mr. Johnson,' said I, 'do hold the book! Where are your manners?' He burst out laughing in the midst of the reading. He will certainly have to hold the book to-day."

"What a 'masterful soul' he is! I suppose he will call after meeting."

"Perhaps he will. I hope so."

"I hope he won't," said I, roundly, "I am going to sit down here and talk to you, and I wish our tête-à-tête not to be interrupted."

"Have you anything particular to say?"

"Nothing so particular as Mr. Johnson, perhaps."

Miss Blunt has a very pretty affectation of being more matter-of-fact than she really is.

"His rights, then," said she, "are paramount to yours."

"Ah, you admit that he has rights?"

"Not at all. I simply assert that you have none."

"I beg your pardon. I have claims which I mean to enforce. I have a claim upon your undivided attention, when I pay you a morning call."

"Your claim is certainly answered. Have I been uncivil, pray?"

"Not uncivil, perhaps, but inconsiderate. You have been sighing for the company of a third person, which you can't expect me to relish."

"Why not, pray? If I, a lady, can put up with Mr. Johnson's society, why shouldn't you, one of his own sex?"

"Because he is so outrageously conceited. You, as a lady, or at any rate as a woman, like conceited men."[Pg 191]

"Ah, yes; I have no doubt that I, as a woman, have all kinds of improper tastes. That's an old story."

"Admit, at any rate, that our friend is conceited."

"Admit it? Why, I have said so a hundred times. I have told him so."

"Indeed! It has come to that, then?"

"To what, pray?"

"To that critical point in the friendship of a lady and gentleman, when they bring against each other all kinds of delightful charges of moral obliquity. Take care, Miss Blunt! A couple of intelligent New-Englanders, of opposite sex, young, unmarried, are pretty far gone, when they begin morally to reprobate each other. So you told Mr. Johnson that he is conceited? And I suppose you added, that he was also dreadfully satirical and skeptical? What was his rejoinder? Let me see. Did he ever tell you that you were a little bit affected?"

"No: he left that for you to say, in this very ingenious manner. Thank you, Sir."

"He left it for me to deny, which is a great deal prettier. Do you think the manner ingenious?"

"I think the matter, considering the day and hour, very profane, Mr. Locksley. Suppose you go away and let me read my Bible."

"Meanwhile," I asked, "what shall I do?"

"Go and read yours, if you have one."

"I haven't."

I was nevertheless compelled to retire, with the promise of a second audience in half an hour. Poor Miss Blunt owes it to her conscience to read a certain number of chapters. What a pure and upright soul she is! And what an edifying spectacle is much of our feminine piety! Women find a place for everything in their commodious little minds, just as they do in their wonderfully subdivided trunks, when they go on a journey. I have no doubt that this young lady stows away her religion in a corner, just as she does her Sunday bonnet,—and, when the proper moment comes, draws it forth, and reflects while she assumes it before the glass, and blows away the strictly imaginary dust; for what worldly impurity can penetrate through half a dozen layers of cambric and tissue-paper? Dear me, what a comfort it is to have a nice, fresh, holiday faith!—When I returned to the parlor, Miss Blunt was still sitting with her Bible in her lap. Somehow or other, I no longer felt in the mood for jesting. So I asked her soberly what she had been reading. Soberly she answered me. She inquired how I had spent my half-hour.

"In thinking good Sabbath thoughts," I said. "I have been walking in the garden." And then I spoke my mind. "I have been thanking Heaven that it has led me, a poor, friendless wanderer, into so peaceful an anchorage."

"Are you, then, so poor and friendless?" asked Miss Blunt, quite abruptly.

"Did you ever hear of an art-student under thirty who wasn't poor?" I answered. "Upon my word, I have yet to sell my first picture. Then, as for being friendless, there are not five people in the world who really care for me."

"Really care? I am afraid you look too close. And then I think five good friends is a very large number. I think myself very well off with a couple. But if you are friendless, it's probably your own fault."

"Perhaps it is," said I, sitting down in the rocking-chair; "and yet, perhaps, it isn't. Have you found me so very repulsive? Haven't you, on the contrary, found me rather sociable?"

She folded her arms, and quietly looked at me for a moment, before answering. I shouldn't wonder if I blushed a little.

"You want a compliment, Mr. Locksley; that's the long and short of it. I have not paid you a compliment since you have been here. How you must have suffered! But it's a pity you couldn't have waited awhile longer, instead of beginning to angle with that very clumsy bait. For an artist, you are very inartistic. Men never know how to wait. 'Have I found you repulsive?[Pg 192] haven't I found you sociable?' Perhaps, after all, considering what I have in my mind, it is as well that you asked for your compliment. I have found you charming. I say it freely; and yet I say, with equal sincerity, that I fancy very few others would find you so. I can say decidedly that you are not sociable. You are entirely too particular. You are considerate of me, because you know that I know that you are so. There's the rub, you see: I know that you know that I know it. Don't interrupt me; I am going to be eloquent. I want you to understand why I don't consider you sociable. You call Mr. Johnson conceited; but, really, I don't believe he's nearly as conceited as yourself. You are too conceited to be sociable; he is not. I am an obscure, weak-minded woman,—weak-minded, you know, compared with men. I can be patronized,—yes, that's the word. Would you be equally amiable with a person as strong, as clear-sighted as yourself, with a person equally averse with yourself to being under an obligation? I think not. Of course it's delightful to charm people. Who wouldn't? There is no harm in it, as long as the charmer does not sit up for a public benefactor. If I were a man, a clever man like yourself, who had seen the world, who was not to be charmed and encouraged, but to be convinced and refuted, would you be equally amiable? It will perhaps seem absurd to you, and it will certainly seem egotistical, but I consider myself sociable, for all that I have only a couple of friends,—my father and the principal of the school. That is, I mingle with women without any second thought. Not that I wish you to do so: on the contrary, if the contrary is natural to you. But I don't believe you mingle in the same way with men. You may ask me what I know about it. Of course I know nothing: I simply guess. When I have done, indeed, I mean to beg your pardon for all I have said; but until then, give me a chance. You are incapable of listening deferentially to stupid, bigoted persons. I am not. I do it every day. Ah, you have no idea of what nice manners I have in the exercise of my profession! Every day I have occasion to pocket my pride and to stifle my precious sense of the ridiculous,—of which, of course, you think I haven't a bit. It is, for instance, a constant vexation to me to be poor. It makes me frequently hate rich women; it makes me despise poor ones. I don't know whether you suffer acutely from the narrowness of your own means; but if you do, I dare say you shun rich men. I don't. I like to go into rich people's houses, and to be very polite to the ladies of the house, especially if they are very well-dressed and ignorant and vulgar. All women are like me in this respect; and all men more or less like you. That is, after all, the text of my sermon. Compared with us, it has always seemed to me that you are arrant cowards,—that we alone are brave. To be sociable, you must have a great deal of pluck. You are too fine a gentleman. Go and teach school, or open a corner grocery, or sit in a law-office all day, waiting for clients: then you will be sociable. As yet, you are only agreeable. It is your own fault, if people don't care for you. You don't care for them. That you should be indifferent to their applause is all very well; but you don't care for their indifference. You are amiable, you are very kind, and you are also very lazy. You consider that you are working now, don't you? Many persons would not call it work."

It was now certainly my turn to fold my arms.

"And now," added my companion, as I did so, "I beg your pardon."

"This was certainly worth waiting for," said I. "I don't know what answer to make. My head swims. I don't know whether you have been attacking me or praising me. So you advise me to open a corner grocery, do you?"

"I advise you to do something that will make you a little less satirical. You had better marry, for instance."

"Je ne demande pas mieux. Will you have me? I can't afford it."[Pg 193]

"Marry a rich woman."

I shook my head.

"Why not?" asked Miss Blunt. "Because people would accuse you of being mercenary? What of that? I mean to marry the first rich man who offers. Do you know that I am tired of living alone in this weary old way, teaching little girls their gamut, and turning and patching my dresses? I mean to marry the first man who offers."

"Even if he is poor?"

"Even if he is poor, ugly, and stupid."

"I am your man, then. Would you take me, if I were to offer?"

"Try and see."

"Must I get upon my knees?"

"No, you need not even do that. Am I not on mine? It would be too fine an irony. Remain as you are, lounging back in your chair, with your thumbs in your waistcoat."

If I were writing a romance now, instead of transcribing facts, I would say that I knew not what might have happened at this juncture, had not the door opened and admitted the Captain and Mr. Johnson. The latter was in the highest spirits.

"How are you, Miss Esther? So you have been breaking your leg, eh? How are you, Mr. Locksley? I wish I were a doctor now. Which is it, right or left?"

In this simple fashion he made himself agreeable to Miss Blunt. He stopped to dinner and talked without ceasing. Whether our hostess had talked herself out in her very animated address to myself an hour before, or whether she preferred to oppose no obstacle to Mr. Johnson's fluency, or whether she was indifferent to him, I know not; but she held her tongue with that easy grace, that charming tacit intimation of "We could, an we would," of which she is so perfect a mistress. This very interesting woman has a number of pretty traits in common with her town-bred sisters; only, whereas in these they are laboriously acquired, in her they are severely natural. I am sure, that, if I were to plant her in Madison Square to-morrow, she would, after one quick, all-compassing glance, assume the nil admirari in a manner to drive the greatest lady of them all to despair. Johnson is a man of excellent intentions, but no taste. Two or three times I looked at Miss Blunt to see what impression his sallies were making upon her. They seemed to produce none whatever. But I know better, moi. Not one of them escaped her. But I suppose she said to herself that her impressions on this point were no business of mine. Perhaps she was right. It is a disagreeable word to use of a woman you admire; but I can't help fancying that she has been a little soured. By what? Who shall say? By some old love affair, perhaps.

July 24th.—This evening the Captain and I took a half-hour's turn about the harbor. I asked him frankly, as a friend, whether Johnson wants to marry his daughter.

"I guess he does," said the old man; "and yet I hope he don't. You know what he is: he's smart, promising, and already sufficiently well off. But somehow he isn't for a man what my Esther is for a woman."

"That he isn't!" said I; "and honestly, Captain Blunt, I don't know who is"——

"Unless it's yourself," said the Captain.

"Thank you. I know a great many ways in which Mr. Johnson is more worthy of her than I."

"And I know, one in which you are more worthy of her than he,—that is, in being what we used to call a gentleman."

"Miss Esther made him sufficiently welcome in her quiet way, on Sunday," I rejoined.

"Oh, she respects him," said Blunt. "As she's situated, she might marry him on that. You see, she's weary of hearing little girls drum on the piano. With her ear for music," added the Captain, "I wonder she has borne it so long."[Pg 194]

"She is certainly meant for better things," said I.

"Well," answered the Captain, who has an honest habit of deprecating your agreement, when it occurs to him that he has obtained it for sentiments which fall somewhat short of the stoical,—"well," said he, with a very dry expression of mouth, "she's born to do her duty. We are all of us born for that."

"Sometimes our duty is rather dreary," said I.

"So it be; but what's the help for it? I don't want to die without seeing my daughter provided for. What she makes by teaching is a pretty slim subsistence. There was a time when I thought she was going to be fixed for life, but it all blew over. There was a young fellow here from down Boston way, who came about as near to it as you can come, when you actually don't. He and Esther were excellent friends. One day Esther came up to me, and looked me in the face, and told me she was engaged.

"'Who to?' says I, though of course I knew, and Esther told me as much. 'When do you expect to marry?' I asked.

"'When John grows rich enough,' says she.

"'When will that be?'

"'It may not be for years,' said poor Esther.

"A whole year passed, and, as far as I could see, the young man came no nearer to his fortune. He was forever running to and fro between this place and Boston. I asked no questions, because I knew that my poor girl wished it so. But at last, one day, I began to think it was time to take an observation, and see whereabouts we stood.

"'Has John made his fortune yet?' I asked.

"'I don't know, father,' said Esther.

"'When are you to be married?'

"'Never!' said my poor little girl, and burst into tears. 'Please ask me no questions,' said she. 'Our engagement is over. Ask me no questions.'

"'Tell me one thing,' said I: 'where is that d——d scoundrel who has broken my daughter's heart?'

"You should have seen the look she gave me.

"'Broken my heart, Sir? You are very much mistaken. I don't know who you mean.'

"'I mean John Banister,' said I. That was his name.

"'I believe Mr. Banister is in China,' says Esther, as grand as the Queen of Sheba. And there was an end of it. I never learnt the ins and outs of it. I have been told that Banister is accumulating money very fast in the China trade."

August 7th.—I have made no entry for more than a fortnight. They tell me I have been very ill; and I find no difficulty in believing them. I suppose I took cold, sitting out so late, sketching. At all events, I have had a mild intermittent fever. I have slept so much, however, that the time has seemed rather short. I have been tenderly nursed by this kind old gentleman, his daughter, and his maid-servant. God bless them, one and all! I say his daughter, because old Dorothy informs me that for half an hour one morning, at dawn, after a night during which I had been very feeble, Miss Blunt relieved guard at my bedside, while I lay wrapt in brutal slumber. It is very jolly to see sky and ocean once again. I have got myself into my easy-chair by the open window, with my shutters closed and the lattice open; and here I sit with my book on my knee, scratching away feebly enough. Now and then I peep from my cool, dark sick-chamber out into the world of light. High noon at midsummer! What a spectacle! There are no clouds in the sky, no waves on the ocean. The sun has it all to himself. To look long at the garden makes the eyes water. And we—"Hobbs, Nobbs, Stokes, and Nokes"—propose to paint that kingdom of light. Allons, donc!

The loveliest of women has just tapped, and come in with a plate of early peaches. The peaches are of a gorgeous[Pg 195] color and plumpness; but Miss Blunt looks pale and thin. The hot weather doesn't agree with her. She is overworked. Confound it! Of course I thanked her warmly for her attentions during my illness. She disclaims all gratitude, and refers me to her father and Mrs. Dorothy.

"I allude more especially," said I, "to that little hour at the end of a weary night, when you stole in like a kind of moral Aurora, and drove away the shadows from my brain. That morning, you know, I began to get better."

"It was indeed a very little hour," said Miss Blunt. "It was about ten minutes." And then she began to scold me for presuming to touch a pen during my convalescence. She laughs at me, indeed, for keeping a diary at all. "Of all things," cried she, "a sentimental man is the most despicable."

I confess I was somewhat nettled. The thrust seemed gratuitous.

"Of all things," I answered, "a woman without sentiment is the most unlovely."

"Sentiment and loveliness are all very well, when you have time for them," said Miss Blunt. "I haven't. I'm not rich enough. Good morning."

Speaking of another woman, I would say that she flounced out of the room. But such was the gait of Juno, when she moved stiffly over the grass from where Paris stood with Venus holding the apple, gathering up her divine vestment, and leaving the others to guess at her face——

Juno has just come back to say that she forgot what she came for half an hour ago. What will I be pleased to like for dinner?

"I have just been writing in my diary that you flounced out of the room," said I.

"Have you, indeed? Now you can write that I have bounced in. There's a nice cold chicken down-stairs," etc., etc.

August 14th.—This afternoon I sent for a light wagon, and treated Miss Blunt to a drive. We went successively over the three beaches. What a time we had, coming home! I shall never forget that hard trot over Weston's Beach. The tide was very low; and we had the whole glittering, weltering strand to ourselves. There was a heavy blow yesterday, which had not yet subsided; and the waves had been lashed into a magnificent fury. Trot, trot, trot, trot, we trundled over the hard sand. The sound of the horse's hoofs rang out sharp against the monotone of the thunderous surf, as we drew nearer and nearer to the long line of the cliffs. At our left, almost from the lofty zenith of the pale evening sky to the high western horizon of the tumultuous dark-green sea, was suspended, so to speak, one of those gorgeous vertical sunsets that Turner loved so well. It was a splendid confusion of purple and green and gold,—the clouds flying and flowing in the wind like the folds of a mighty banner borne by some triumphal fleet whose prows were not visible above the long chain of mountainous waves. As we reached the point where the cliffs plunge down upon the beach, I pulled up, and we remained for some moments looking out along the low, brown, obstinate barrier at whose feet the impetuous waters were rolling themselves into powder.

August 17th.—This evening, as I lighted my bedroom candle, I saw that the Captain had something to say to me. So I waited below until the old man and his daughter had performed their usual picturesque embrace, and the latter had given me that hand-shake and that smile which I never failed to exact.

"Johnson has got his discharge," said the old man, when he had heard, his daughter's door close up-stairs.

"What do you mean?"

He pointed with his thumbs to the room above, where we heard, through the thin partition, the movement of Miss Blunt's light step.

"You mean that he has proposed to Miss Esther?"

The Captain nodded.

"And has been refused?"[Pg 196]


"Poor fellow!" said I, very honestly. "Did he tell you himself?"

"Yes, with tears in his eyes. He wanted me to speak for him. I told him it was no use. Then he began to say hard things of my poor girl."

"What kind of things?"

"A pack of falsehoods. He says she has no heart. She has promised always to regard him as a friend: it's more than I will, hang him!"

"Poor fellow!" said I; and now, as I write, I can only repeat, considering what a hope was here broken, Poor fellow!

August 23d.—I have been lounging about all day, thinking of it, dreaming of it, spooning over it, as they say. This is a decided waste of time. I think, accordingly, the best thing for me to do is, to sit down and lay the ghost by writing out my story.

On Thursday evening Miss Blunt happened to intimate that she had a holiday on the morrow, it being the birthday of the lady in whose establishment she teaches.

"There is to be a tea-party at four o'clock in the afternoon for the resident pupils and teachers," said Miss Esther. "Tea at four! what do you think of that? And then there is to be a speech-making by the smartest young lady. As my services are not required, I propose to be absent. Suppose, father, you take us out in your boat. Will you come, Mr. Locksley? We shall have a nice little picnic. Let us go over to old Fort Pudding, across the bay. We will take our dinner with us, and send Dorothy to spend the day with her sister, and put the house-key in our pocket, and not come home till we please."

I warmly espoused the project, and it was accordingly carried into execution the next morning, when, at about ten o'clock, we pushed off from our little wharf at the garden-foot. It was a perfect summer's day: I can say no more for it. We made a quiet run over to the point of our destination. I shall never forget the wondrous stillness which brooded over earth and water, as we weighed anchor in the lee of my old friend,—or old enemy,—the ruined fort. The deep, translucent water reposed at the base of the warm sunlit cliff like a great basin of glass, which I half expected to hear shiver and crack as our keel ploughed through it. And how color and sound stood out in the transparent air! How audibly the little ripples on the beach whispered to the open sky! How our irreverent voices seemed to jar upon the privacy of the little cove! The mossy rocks doubled themselves without a flaw in the clear, dark water. The gleaming white beach lay fringed with its deep deposits of odorous sea-weed, gleaming black. The steep, straggling sides of the cliffs raised aloft their rugged angles against the burning blue of the sky. I remember, when Miss Blunt stepped ashore and stood upon the beach, relieved against the heavy shadow of a recess in the cliff, while her father and I busied ourselves with gathering up our baskets and fastening the anchor—I remember, I say, what a figure she made. There is a certain purity in this Cragthorpe air which I have never seen approached,—a lightness, a brilliancy, a crudity, which allows perfect liberty of self-assertion to each individual object in the landscape. The prospect is ever more or less like a picture which lacks its final process, its reduction to unity. Miss Blunt's figure, as she stood there on the beach, was almost criarde; but how lovely it was! Her light muslin dress, gathered up over her short white skirt, her little black mantilla, the blue veil which she had knotted about her neck, the crimson shawl which she had thrown over her arm, the little silken dome which she poised over her head in one gloved hand, while the other retained her crisp draperies, and which cast down upon her face a sharp circle of shade, out of which her cheerful eyes shone darkly and her happy mouth smiled whitely,—these are some of the hastily noted points of the picture.

"Young woman," I cried out, over[Pg 197] the water, "I do wish you might know how pretty you look!"

"How do you know I don't?" she answered. "I should think I might. You don't look so badly, yourself. But it's not I; it's the accessories."

"Hang it! I am going to become profane," I called out again.

"Swear ahead," said the Captain.

"I am going to say you are devilish pretty."

"Dear me! is that all?" cried Miss Blunt, with a little light laugh, which must have made the tutelar sirens of the cove ready to die with jealousy down in their submarine bowers.

By the time the Captain and I had landed our effects, our companion had tripped lightly up the forehead of the cliff—in one place it is very retreating—and disappeared over its crown. She soon reappeared with an intensely white handkerchief added to her other provocations, which she waved to us, as we trudged upward, carrying our baskets. When we stopped to take breath on the summit, and wipe our foreheads, we of course rebuked her who was roaming about idly with her parasol and gloves.

"Do you think I am going to take any trouble or do any work?" cried Miss Esther, in the greatest good-humor. "Is not this my holiday? I am not going to raise a finger, nor soil these beautiful gloves, for which I paid a dollar at Mr. Dawson's in Cragthorpe. After you have found a shady place for your provisions, I would like you to look for a spring. I am very thirsty."

"Find the spring yourself, Miss," said her father. "Mr. Locksley and I have a spring in this basket. Take a pull, Sir."

And the Captain drew forth a stout black bottle.

"Give me a cup, and I will look for some water," said Miss Blunt "Only I'm so afraid of the snakes! If you hear a scream, you may know it's a snake."

"Screaming snakes!" said I; "that's a new species."

What nonsense it all sounds like now! As we looked about us, shade seemed scarce, as it generally is, in this region. But Miss Blunt, like the very adroit and practical young person she is, for all that she would have me believe the contrary, soon discovered a capital cool spring in the shelter of a pleasant little dell, beneath a clump of firs. Hither, as one of the young gentlemen who imitate Tennyson would say, we brought our basket, Blunt and I; while Esther dipped the cup, and held it dripping to our thirsty lips, and laid the cloth, and on the grass disposed the platters round. I should have to be a poet, indeed, to describe half the happiness and the silly poetry and purity and beauty of this bright long summer's day. We ate, drank, and talked; we ate occasionally with our fingers, we drank out of the necks of our bottles, and we talked with our mouths full, as befits (and excuses) those who talk wild nonsense. We told stories without the least point. Blunt and I made atrocious puns. I believe, indeed, that Miss Blunt herself made one little punkin, as I called it. If there had been any superfluous representative of humanity present, to register the fact, I should say that we made fools of ourselves. But as there was no fool on hand, I need say nothing about it. I am conscious myself of having said several witty things, which Miss Blunt understood: in vino veritas. The dear old Captain twanged the long bow indefatigably. The bright high sun lingered above us the livelong day, and drowned the prospect with light and warmth. One of these days I mean to paint a picture which in future ages, when my dear native land shall boast a national school of art, will hang in the Salon Carré of the great central museum, (located, let us say, in Chicago,) and remind folks—or rather make them forget—Giorgione, Bordone, and Veronese; A Rural Festival; three persons feasting under some trees; scene, nowhere in particular; time and hour, problematical. Female figure, a big brune; young man reclining on his elbow; old man drinking. An empty sky, with no end of expression. The[Pg 198] whole stupendous in color, drawing, feeling. Artist uncertain; supposed to be Robinson, 1900. That's about the programme.

After dinner the Captain began to look out across the bay, and, noticing the uprising of a little breeze, expressed a wish to cruise about for an hour or two. He proposed to us to walk along the shore to a point a couple of miles northward, and there meet the boat. His daughter having agreed to this proposition, he set off with the lightened pannier, and in less than half an hour we saw him standing out from shore. Miss Blunt and I did not begin our walk for a long, long time. We sat and talked beneath the trees. At our feet, a wide cleft in the hills—almost a glen—stretched down to the silent beach. Beyond lay the familiar ocean-line. But, as many philosophers have observed, there is an end to all things. At last we got up. Miss Blunt said, that, as the air was freshening, she believed she would put on her shawl. I helped her to fold it into the proper shape, and then I placed it on her shoulders, her crimson shawl over her black silk sack. And then she tied her veil once more about her neck, and gave me her hat to hold, while she effected a partial redistribution of her hair-pins. By way of being humorous, I placed her hat on my own head; at which she was kind enough to smile, as with downcast face and uplifted elbows she fumbled among her braids. And then she shook out the creases of her dress, and drew on her gloves; and finally she said, "Well!"—that inevitable tribute to time and morality which follows upon even the mildest forms of dissipation. Very slowly it was that we wandered down the little glen. Slowly, too, we followed the course of the narrow and sinuous beach, as it keeps to the foot of the low cliffs. We encountered no sign of human life. Our conversation I need hardly repeat. I think I may trust it to the keeping of my memory: I think I shall be likely to remember it. It was all very sober and sensible,—such talk as it is both easy and pleasant to remember; it was even prosaic,—or, at least, if there was a vein of poetry in it, I should have defied a listener to put his finger on it. There was no exaltation of feeling or utterance on either side; on one side, indeed, there was very little utterance. Am I wrong in conjecturing, however, that there was considerable feeling of a certain quiet kind? Miss Blunt maintained a rich, golden silence. I, on the other hand, was very voluble. What a sweet, womanly listener she is!

September 1st.—I have been working steadily for a week. This is the first day of autumn. Read aloud to Miss Blunt a little Wordsworth.

September 10th. Midnight.—Worked without interruption,—until yesterday, inclusive, that is. But with the day now closing—or opening—begins a new era. My poor vapid old diary, at last you shall hold a fact.

For three days past we have been having damp, chilly weather. Dusk has fallen early. This evening, after tea, the Captain went into town,—on business, as he said: I believe, to attend some Poorhouse or Hospital Board. Esther and I went into the parlor. The room seemed cold. She brought in lamp from the dining-room, and proposed we should have a little fire. I went into the kitchen, procured an armful of wood, and while she drew the curtains and wheeled up the table, I kindled a lively, crackling blaze. A fortnight ago she would not have allowed me to do this without a protest. She would not have offered to do it herself,—not she!—but she would have said that I was not here to serve, but to be served, and would have pretended to call Dorothy. Of course I should have had my own way. But we have changed all that. Esther went to her piano, and I sat down to a book. I read not a word. I sat looking at my mistress, and thinking with a very uneasy heart. For the first time in our friendship, she had put on a dark, warm dress: I think it was of the material[Pg 199] called alpaca. The first time I saw her she wore a white dress with a purple neck-ribbon; now she wore a black dress with the same ribbon. That is, I remember wondering, as I sat there eying her, whether it was the same ribbon, or merely another like it. My heart was in my throat; and yet I thought of a number of trivialities of the same kind. At last I spoke.

"Miss Blunt," I said, "do you remember the first evening I passed beneath your roof, last June?"

"Perfectly," she replied, without stopping.

"You played this same piece."

"Yes; I played it very badly, too. I only half knew it. But it is a showy piece, and I wished to produce an effect. I didn't know then how indifferent you are to music."

"I paid no particular attention to the piece. I was intent upon the performer."

"So the performer supposed."

"What reason had you to suppose so?"

"I'm sure I don't know. Did you ever know a woman to be able to give a reason, when she has guessed aright?"

"I think they generally contrive to make up a reason, afterwards. Come, what was yours?"

"Well, you stared so hard."

"Fie! I don't believe it. That's unkind."

"You said you wished me to invent a reason. If I really had one, I don't remember it."

"You told me you remembered the occasion in question perfectly."

"I meant the circumstances. I remember what we had for tea; I remember what dress I wore. But I don't remember my feelings. They were naturally not very memorable."

"What did you say, when your father proposed my coming?"

"I asked how much you would be willing to pay?"

"And then?"

"And then, if you looked 'respectable'."

"And then?"

"That was all. I told father to do as he pleased."

She continued to play. Leaning back in my chair, I continued to look at her. There was a considerable pause.

"Miss Esther," said I, at last.


"Excuse me for interrupting you so often. But,"—and I got up and went to the piano,—"but I thank Heaven that it has brought you and me together."

She looked up at me and bowed her head with a little smile, as her hands still wandered over the keys.

"Heaven has certainly been very good to us," said she.

"How much longer are you going to play?" I asked.

"I'm sure I don't know. As long as you like."

"If you want to do as I like, you will stop immediately."

She let her hands rest on the keys a moment, and gave me a rapid, questioning look. Whether she found a sufficient answer in my face I know not; but she slowly rose, and, with a very pretty affectation of obedience, began to close the instrument. I helped her to do so.

"Perhaps you would like to be quite alone," she said. "I suppose your own room is too cold."

"Yes," I answered, "you've hit it exactly. I wish to be alone. I wish to monopolize this cheerful blaze. Hadn't you better go into the kitchen and sit with the cook? It takes you women to make such cruel speeches."

"When we women are cruel, Mr. Locksley, it is without knowing it. We are not wilfully so. When we learn that we have been unkind, we very humbly ask pardon, without even knowing what our crime has been." And she made me a very low curtsy.

"I will tell you what your crime has been," said I. "Come and sit by the fire. It's rather a long story."

"A long story? Then let me get my work."

"Confound your work! Excuse me, but I mean it. I want you to listen to[Pg 200] me. Believe me, you will need all your thoughts."

She looked at me steadily a moment, and I returned her glance. During that moment I was reflecting whether I might silently emphasize my request by laying a lover's hand upon her shoulder. I decided that I might not. She walked over and quietly seated herself in a low chair by the fire. Here she patiently folded her arms. I sat down before her.

"With you, Miss Blunt," said I, "one must be very explicit. You are not in the habit of taking things for granted. You have a great deal of imagination, but you rarely exercise it on the behalf of other people." I stopped a moment.

"Is that my crime?" asked my companion.

"It's not so much a crime as a vice," said I; "and perhaps not so much a vice as a virtue. Your crime is, that you are so stone-cold to a poor devil who loves you."

She burst into a rather shrill laugh. I wonder whether she thought I meant Johnson.

"Who are you speaking for, Mr. Locksley?" she asked.

"Are there so many? For myself."


"Honestly doesn't begin to express it."

"What is that French phrase that you are forever using? I think I may say, 'Allons, donc!'"

"Let us speak plain English, Miss Blunt."

"'Stone-cold' is certainly very plain English. I don't see the relative importance of the two branches of your proposition. Which is the principal, and which the subordinate clause,—that I am stone-cold, as you call it, or that you love me, as you call it?"

"As I call it? What would you have me call it? For God's sake, Miss Blunt, be serious, or I shall call it something else. Yes, I love you. Don't you believe it?"

"I am open to conviction."

"Thank God!" said I.

And I attempted to take her hand.

"No, no, Mr. Locksley," said she,—"not just yet, if you please."

"Action speaks louder than words," said I.

"There is no need of speaking loud. I hear you perfectly."

"I certainly sha'n't whisper," said I; "although it is the custom, I believe, for lovers to do so. Will you be my wife?"

"I sha'n't whisper, either, Mr. Locksley. Yes, I will."

And now she put out her hand.—That's my fact.

September 12th.—We are to be married within three weeks.

September 19th.—I have been in New York a week, transacting business. I got back yesterday. I find every one here talking about our engagement. Esther tells me that it was talked about a month ago, and that there is a very general feeling of disappointment that I am not rich.

"Really, if you don't mind it," said I, "I don't see why others should."

"I don't know whether you are rich or not," says Esther; "but I know that I am."

"Indeed! I was not aware that you had a private fortune," etc., etc.

This little farce is repeated in some shape every day. I am very idle. I smoke a great deal, and lounge about all day, with my hands in my pockets. I am free from that ineffable weariness of ceaseless giving which I experienced six months ago. I was shorn of my hereditary trinkets at that period; and I have resolved that this engagement, at all events, shall have no connection with the shops. I was balked of my poetry once; I sha'n't be a second time. I don't think there is much danger of this. Esther deals it out with full hands. She takes a very pretty interest in her simple outfit,—showing me triumphantly certain of her purchases, and making a great mystery about others, which she is pleased to denominate tablecloths and napkins. Last evening I[Pg 201] found her sewing buttons on a tablecloth. I had heard a great deal of a certain gray silk dress; and this morning, accordingly, she marched up to me, arrayed in this garment. It is trimmed with velvet, and hath flounces, a train, and all the modern improvements generally.

"There is only one objection to it," said Esther, parading before the glass in my painting-room: "I am afraid it is above our station."

"By Jove! I'll paint your portrait in it," said I, "and make our fortune. All the other men who have handsome wives will bring them to be painted."

"You mean all the women who have handsome dresses," said Esther, with great humility.

Our wedding is fixed for next Thursday. I tell Esther that it will be as little of a wedding, and as much of a marriage, as possible. Her father and her good friend the schoolmistress alone are to be present.—My secret oppresses me considerably; but I have resolved to keep it for the honeymoon, when it may take care of itself. I am harassed with a dismal apprehension, that, if Esther were to discover it now, the whole thing would be à refaire. I have taken rooms at a romantic little watering-place called Clifton, ten miles off. The hotel is already quite free of city-people, and we shall be almost alone.

September 28th.—We have been here two days. The little transaction in the church went off smoothly. I am truly sorry for the Captain. We drove directly over here, and reached the place at dusk. It was a raw, black day. We have a couple of good rooms, close to the savage sea. I am nevertheless afraid I have made a mistake. It would perhaps have been wiser to go inland. These things are not immaterial: we make our own heaven, but we scarcely make our own earth. I am writing at a little table by the window, looking out on the rocks, the gathering dusk, and the rising fog. My wife has wandered down to the rocky platform in front of the house. I can see her from here, bareheaded, in that old crimson shawl, talking to one of the landlord's little boys. She has just given the little fellow a kiss, bless her heart! I remember her telling me once that she was very fond of little boys; and, indeed, I have noticed that they are seldom too dirty for her to take on her knee. I have been reading over these pages for the first time in—I don't know when. They are filled with her,—even more in thought than in word. I believe I will show them to her, when she comes in, I will give her the book to read, and sit by her, watching her face,—watching the great secret dawn upon her.

Later.—Somehow or other, I can write this quietly enough; but I hardly think I shall ever, write any more. When Esther came in, I handed her this book.

"I want you to read it," said I.

She turned very pale, and laid it on the table, shaking her head.

"I know it," she said.

"What do you know?"

"That you have a hundred thousand a year. But believe me, Mr. Locksley, I am none the worse for the knowledge. You intimated in one place in your book that I am born for wealth and splendor. I believe I am. You pretend to hate your money; but you would not have had me without it. If you really love me,—and I think you do,—you will not let this make any difference. I am not such a fool as to attempt to talk here about my sensations. But I remember what I said."

"What do you expect me to do?" I asked. "Shall I call you some horrible name and cast you off?"

"I expect you to show the same courage that I am showing. I never said I loved you. I never deceived you in that. I said I would be your wife. So I will, faithfully. I haven't so much heart as you think; and yet, too, I have a great deal more. I am incapable of more than one deception.—Mercy! didn't you see it? didn't you know it? see that I saw it? know that I knew it? It was diamond cut diamond. You deceived[Pg 202] me; I deceived you. Now that your deception ceases, mine ceases. Now we are free, with our hundred thousand a year! Excuse me, but it sometimes comes across me! Now we can be good and honest and true. It was all a make-believe virtue before."

"So you read that thing?" I asked: actually—strange as it may seem—for something to say.

"Yes, while you were ill. It was lying with your pen in it, on the table. I read it because I suspected. Otherwise I shouldn't have done so."

"It was the act of a false woman," said I.

"A false woman? No,—simply of a woman. I am a woman, Sir." And she began to smile. "Come, you be a man!"


On this lovely Western Shore, where no tempests rage and roar,
Over olive-bearing mountains, by the deep and violet sea,
There, through each long happy day, winding slowly on our way,
Travellers from across the ocean, toward Italia journeyed we,—
Each long day, that, richer, fairer,
Showed the charming Riviera.
There black war-ships doze at anchor, in the Bay of Villa-Franca;
Eagle-like, gray Esa, clinging to its rocky perch, looks down;
And upon the mountain dim, ruined, shattered, stern, and grim,
Turbia sees us through the ages with its austere Roman frown,—
While we climb, where cooler, rarer
Breezes sweep the Riviera.
Down the hillside steep and stony, through the old streets of Mentone,
Quiet, half-forgotten city of a drowsy prince and time,
Through the mild Italian midnight, rolls upon the wave the moonlight,
Murmuring in our dreams the cadence of a strange Ligurian rhyme,—
Rhymes in which each heart is sharer,
Journeying on the Riviera.
When the morning air comes purer, creeping up in our vettura,
Eastward gleams a rosy tumult with the rising of the day;
Toward the north, with gradual changes, steal along the mountain-ranges
Tender tints of warmer feeling, kissing all their peaks of gray;
And far south the waters wear a
Smile along the Riviera.
[Pg 203]
Helmed with snow, the Alpine giants at invaders look defiance,
Gazing over nearer summits, with a fixed, mysterious stare,
Down along the shaded ocean, on whose edge in tremulous motion
Floats an island, half-transparent, woven out of sea and air;—
For such visions, shaped of air, are
Frequent on our Riviera.
He whose mighty earthquake-tread all Europa shook with dread,
Chief whose infancy was cradled in that old Tyrrhenic isle,
Joins the shades of trampling legions, bringing from remotest regions
Gallic fire and Roman valor, Cimbric daring, Moorish guile,
Guests from every age to share a
Portion of this Riviera.
Then the Afric brain, whose story fills the centuries with its glory,
Moulding Gaul and Carthaginian into one all-conquering band,
With his tuskèd monsters grumbling, 'mid the alien snow-drifts stumbling,
Then, an avalanche of ruin, thundering from that frozen land
Into vales their sons declare are
Sunny as our Riviera.
Tired of these, the mighty mother sought among her types another
Stamp of blended saint and hero, only once on earth before,—
In the luminous aureole shining from a maiden's soul
Through four hundred sluggish years; till again on Nizza's shore
Comes the hero of Caprera
Born upon our Riviera.
Thus forever, in our musing, comes man's spirit interfusing
Thought of poet and of hero with the landscape and the sky;
And this shore, no longer lonely, lives the life of romance only:
Gauls and Moors and Northern Sea-Kings, all are gliding, ghost-like, by.
So with Nature man is sharer
Even on the Riviera.
Feeble voice! no longer stammer words which shame the panorama
Seen from all the mountain-passes of this old Aurelian Way,
With the shore below us sleeping, and the distant steamer creeping
From Marseilles to proud Genova, on to Spezzia's famous bay.
So forever, mia cara,
Shall we love this Riviera.

[Pg 204]



It would have been strange, if Adèle had not some day formed her ideal of a lover. What young girl, indeed, does not? Who cannot recall the sweet illusions of those tripping youthful years, when, for the first time, Sir William Wallace strode so gallantly with waving plume and glittering falchion down the pages of Miss Porter,—when sweet Helen Mar wasted herself in love for the hero,—when the sun-browned Ivanhoe dashed so grandly into that famous tilting-ground near to Ashby-de-la-Zouch, and brought the wicked Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert to a reckoning,—when we wished the disinherited knight better things than the cold love of the passionless Rowena, and sighed over the fate of poor Fergus MacIvor? With all these characters, and many other such, Adèle had made acquaintance, in company with her dear Rose; and by the light of them, they had fashioned such ideals in their little heads as do not often appear in the flesh. Not that the two friends always agreed in their dreamy fancies; but for either, a hero must have been handsome and brave and true and kind and sagacious and learned. If only a few hundred of men should be patterned after the design of a young girl of sixteen or eighteen, what an absurd figure we old sinners should cut in the comparison! Yet it is pleasant to reflect that thousands of fresh young hearts do go on, year after year, conceiving of wonderful excellences as pertaining to the baser sex; and the knowledge of the fact should, it would seem, give a little more of animation to our struggles against the deviltries and brutalities of the world.

But the ideal of our friend Adèle had not been constant. Three years back, the open, frank, brave front which Phil Elderkin wore had almost reached it; and when Rose had said,—as she was wont to say, in her sisterly pride,—"He's a noble fellow," there had been a little tingling of the heart in Adèle, which seemed to echo the words. Afterward had come that little glimpse of the world which her journey and intercourse with Maverick had afforded; and the country awkwardness of the Elderkins had somehow worked an eclipse of his virtues. Reuben, indeed, had comeliness, and had caught at that time some of the graces of the city; but Reuben was a tease, and failed in a certain quality of respect for her, (at least, she fancied it,) in default of which she met all his favors with a sisterly tenderness, in which there was none of the reserve that tempts passion to declare itself.

Later, when Reuben so opened the way to her belief, and associated himself so intimately with the culmination of her religious faith, he seemed to her for a time the very impersonation of her girlish fancy,—so tender, so true, so trustful. Her religious enthusiasm blended with and warmed her sentiment; and never had she known such hours of calm enjoyment, or such hopeful forecast of her worldly future, as in those golden days when the hearts of both were glowing (or seemed to be) with a common love. It was not that this sentiment in her took any open form of expression; her instinctive delicacy so kept it under control that she was but half conscious of its existence. But it was none the less true that the sad young pilgrim, who had been a brother, and who had unlocked for her the Beautiful Gate, wore a new aspect. Her heart was full of those glittering estimates of life, which come at rare intervals, in which duties and affections all seem in delightful accord, working each their task, and glowing through all the reach of years, until the glow is absorbed in the greater light which shines upon Christian graves. But Reuben's desertion from the faith broke this phantasm.[Pg 205] Her faith, standing higher, never shook; but the sentiment which grew under its cover found nothing positive whereby to cling, and perished with the shock. Besides which, her father's injunction came to the support of her religious convictions, and made her disposition to shake off that empty fancy tenfold strong. Had Reuben, in those days of his exaltation, made declaration of his attachment, it would have met with a response that could have admitted of no withdrawal, and her heart would have been leashed to his, whatever outlawry might threaten him. She thanked Heaven that it had not been thus. Her ideal was still unstained and unbroken; but it no longer found its type in the backsliding Reuben. It is doubtful, indeed, if her sentiment at this period, by mere force of rebound, and encouraged by her native charities and old proclivities, did not rally about young Elderkin, who had equipped himself with many accomplishments of the world, and who, if he made no pretensions to the faith she had embraced, manifested an habitual respect that challenged her gratitude.

As for Reuben, after his enthusiasm of the summer had vanished, he felt a prodigious mortification in reflecting that Adèle had been so closely the witness of his short-lived hallucination. It humiliated him bitterly to think that all his religious zeal had proved in her regard but the empty crackling of a fire of thorns. No matter what may be a youth's sentiment for girlhood, he never likes it to be witness of anything disparaging to his sturdy resolution and manly purpose. But Adèle had seen him shake like a reed under the deepest emotions that could give tone to character; and in his mortification at the thought, he transferred to her a share of the resentment he felt against himself. It was a relief to treat her with a dignified coolness, and to meet all her tender inquiries, which she did not forbear, with an icy assurance of manner that was more than half affected,—yet not unkind, but assiduously and intensely and provokingly civil.

Seeing this, the Doctor and Miss Eliza had given over any fear of a possibly dangerous interest on the part of Reuben; and yet keen observers might well have scented a danger in this very studied indifference, if they reflected that its motive lay exclusively in a mortified pride. We are not careful to conceal our mortifications from those whose regard we rate humbly.

At any rate, it happened, that, with the coming of the autumn months, Reuben, still floating drearily on a sea of religious speculation, and veering more and more into open mockery of the beliefs of all about him, grew weary of his affectations with respect to Adèle. He fretted under the kindly manner with which she met his august civilities. They did not wound her sensibilities, as he hoped they might have done. Either this disappointment or the need of relief provoked a change of tactics. With a sudden zeal that was half earnest and half a freak of vanity, he devoted himself to Adèle. The father's sympathy with him was just now dead; that of the aunt had never been kindled to such a degree as to meet his craving; with the Elderkins he was reluctant to unfold his opinions so far as to demand sympathy. As for Adèle, if he could light up again the sentiment which he once saw beaming in her face, he could at least find in it a charming beguilement of his unrest. She had a passion for flowers: every day he gathered for her some floral gift; every day she thanked him with a kindness that meant only kindness. She had a passion for poetry: every day he read to her such as he knew she must admire; every day she thanked him with a warmth upon which he could build no hopes.

Both the Doctor and Miss Eliza were disturbed by this new zeal of his. At the instance of the spinster, the Doctor undertook to lay before Reuben the information conveyed in the letter of Maverick, and that gentleman's disapproval of any association between the young people looking to marriage. It was not an easy or an agreeable task for the[Pg 206] Doctor; and he went about it in a very halting manner.

"Your Aunt Eliza has observed, Reuben, that you have lately become more pointed in your attentions to Adaly."

"I dare say, father; worries her, doesn't it?"

"We do not know how far these attentions may be serious, Reuben."

"Nor I, father."

The Doctor was shocked at this new evidence of his son's indifference to any fixed rule of conduct.

"How long is it, father," continued Reuben, "since Aunt Eliza has commenced her plottings against Adèle?"

"Not plottings against her, I trust, Reuben."

"Yes, she has, father. She's badgering her in her quiet way incessantly,—as far back as when she caught sight of her in that dance at the Elderkins'. For my part, I think it was a charming thing to see."

"We have graver reasons for our anxiety in regard to your relations with her, my son; and not the least of them is Mr. Maverick's entire disapproval of any such attachment."

And thereupon the Doctor had proceeded to lay before Reuben (who now showed a most lively interest) a full revelation of the facts announced in Maverick's letter.

The son had a strong smack of the father's family pride, and the strange news was bewildering to him; but in his present stage of distrust, he felt a strong disposition to protest against all the respectable conventionalities that hedged him in. A generous instinct in him, too, as he thought of the poor girl under the ban of the townsfolk, craved some chivalric expression; and whatever sentiment he may really have entertained for her in past days took new force in view of the sudden barriers that rose between him and the tender, graceful, confiding, charming Adèle, whose image had so long and (as he now thought) so constantly dwelt in the dreamy mirage of his future. Under the spur of these feelings, he presently gave over his excited walk up and down the study, and, coming close to the Doctor, whispered, with a grave earnestness that made the old gentleman recognize a man in his boy,—

"Father, I have doubted my own feelings about Adèle: now I do not. I love her; I love her madly. I shall protect her; if she will marry me," (and he touched the Doctor on the shoulder with a quick, nervous tap of his hand,) "I shall marry her,—God bless her!"

And Reuben, by the very speech, as well as by the thoughts that had gone before, had worked himself into a passion of devotion.

"Be careful, my son," said the old gentleman; "remember how your enthusiasm has betrayed you in a still more serious matter."

Reuben smiled bitterly.

"Don't reproach me with that, father. It seems to me that I am acting now more on the side of the Christian charities than either you or Aunt Eliza."

And with this he strode out, leaving the Doctor in an agony of apprehension.

A moment after, Miss Eliza, who was ever on the alert, and without whose knowledge a swallow could not dart into the chimneys of the parsonage, came rustling into the study.

"Well, Benjamin, what does Reuben say?"

"Given over to his idols, Eliza,—given over to his idols. We can only pray God to have him in His holy keeping."

It would be impossible to fathom all the emotions of Reuben during that interview with his father. It would be wrong to say that the view of future marriage had not often held up its brilliant illusions before him; it would be wrong to say that they had never been associated with the charming vivacity of Adèle, as well as, at other times, with the sweet graces of Rose Elderkin. But these illusions had been of a character so transitory, so fleeting, that he had come to love their brilliant changes, and to look forward with some dread to the possible permanence of them, or such fixedness as should take away the charming drift of his vagaries. If, in[Pg 207] some wanton and quite impossible moment, the modest Rose had conquered her delicacy so far as to put her hand in his, and say, "Will you be my husband?" he would not have been so much outraged by her boldness as disturbed by the reflection that a pleasant little dream of love was broken up, and that his thought must come to that practical solution of a yes or no which would make an end of his delightful doubts and yearnings. The positive and the known are, after all, so much less, under imaginative measure, than the uncertain and the dreamy!

And if he could have taken the spinster's old tales of Adèle's regard for him and devotion to him at their highest truth, (which he never did, because of the girl's provoking familiarity and indifference,) he would have felt a great charm in his life cut off. Yet now he wanders in search of her with his heart upon his lip and a great fire in his brain. Not a little pride in affronting opinion may have kindled the glow of his sudden resolve. There was an audacity in it that tempted and regaled him. Why should he, whose beliefs were so uncertain, who had grown into doubts of that faith on which all the conventional proprieties about him reposed,—why should he not discard them, and obey a single, strong, generous instinct? When a man's religious sensibilities suffer recoil as Reuben's had done, there grows up a new pride in the natural emotions of generosity; the humane instincts show exceptional force; the skeptics become the teachers of an exaggerated philanthropy.

Did he love her beyond all others? Yesterday he could not have told; to-day, under the fervor of his audacity and of his pride, his love blazes in a fiery flame. It seethes around the memory of her lithe, graceful figure in a whirl of passion. Those ripe red lips shall taste the burning heat of his love and tenderness. He will guard, cherish, protect, and the iron aunt may protest, or the world talk as it will. "Adèle!" "Adèle!" His heart is full of the utterance, and his step wild with tumultuous feeling, as he rushes away to find her,—to win her,—to bind together their destinies forever!


It was a mellow evening of later October. Mists hung in all the hollows of the hills. Within the orchard, where Adèle was strolling, a few golden apples still shone among the bronzed leaves. She saw Reuben coming swiftly through the garden; but his eager step faltered as he came near her. Even the serene look of girlhood has a power in it to make impassioned confidence waver, and enthusiasms suffer recoil. He meets her at last with an assumption of his every-day manner, which she cannot but see presently is underlaid with a tempest of struggling feeling to which he is a stranger. He has taken her hand and placed it in his arm,—a little coquettish device to which he was wont; but he keeps the little hand in his with a nervous clasp that is new, and that makes her tremble all the more when his speech grows impassioned, and the easy compliments of his past days of frolicsome humor take a depth of tone which make her heart thrill strangely. Meantime, they had come to the garden-end of the walk.

"It's late, Reuben, and I must go indoors," said she, with a quiet that she did not feel.

"We'll take one more turn, Adèle; you must." And her hand trembled in the eager clasp he fastened upon it.

Not once did it come into her mind that Reuben was to make a declaration of passion for her. She had feared only some burst of feeling in the direction of the spinster, or of the Doctor, which should compromise him even more seriously. When, therefore, he burst forth, as he did presently, with a passionate avowal of his love, she was overwhelmed with confusion.

"This is so sudden, so strange, Reuben! indeed it is!"

Tenderly as she may have felt toward him in days gone, and gratefully as she always felt, this sudden attempt to carry[Pg 208] by storm the very citadel of her affections was not alone a surprise, but seemed like sacrilege. The mystery and doubt that overhung the relations between her own father and mother—and which she felt keenly—had made her regard with awe any possible marriage of her own, investing the thought of it with a terrible sanctity, and as something to be approached only with a reverent fear. If in this connection she had ever thought of Reuben, it was in those days when he seemed so earnest in the faith, and when their feelings were blent by some superhuman agency. But at his divergence into the paths of skepticism, it seemed to her simple and intense faith that thenceforth their pilgrimages must be wholly distinct: his—and she trembled at the thought of it—through some terrible maze of error, where she could not follow: and hers—by God's grace—straight to the city whose gates are of pearl.

When, therefore, she had replied to the passionate address of Reuben, "You must not talk thus," it was with a tear in her eye.

"It grieves you, then, Adèle?"

"Yes, it grieves me, Reuben. Our paths are different now"; and she bethought herself of her father's injunction, which seemed to make her duty still plainer, and forbade her to encourage that parley with her heart which—with her hand still fast in Reuben's, and his eyes beaming with a fierce heat upon her—she was beginning to entertain.

"Adèle, tell me, can I go on?"

"Indeed, indeed, you must not, Reuben!"—and withdrawing her hand suddenly, she passed it over brow and eyes, as if to rally her thoughts to measure the situation.

"You are weeping, Adèle?" said Reuben.

"No, not weeping," said she, dashing the merest film of mist from her eyes, "but so troubled!—so troubled!" And she looked yearningly, but vainly, in his face for that illumination which had belonged to his enthusiasm of the summer.

They walked for a moment in silence,—he, with a scowl upon his face. Seeing this, Adèle said plaintively,—

"It seems to me, Reuben, as if this might be only a solemn mockery of yours."

"You doubt me, then?" returned he like a flash.

"Do you not doubt yourself, Reuben? Have you never doubted yourself?" This with a glance that pierced him through.

"Good Heavens! are you turned preacher?" said he, bitterly. "Will you measure a heart by its dogmatic beliefs?"

"For shame, Reuben!"

And for a time both were silent. At last Adèle spoke again,—

"There is a sense of coming trouble that oppresses me strangely,—that tells me I must not listen to you, Reuben."

"I know it, Adèle; and it is for this I would cherish you, and protect you against all possible shame or indignities"——

"Shame! Indignities! What does this mean? What do you know, Reuben?"

Reuben blushed scarlet. His speech had outrun his discretion; but seizing her hand, and pressing it more tenderly than ever, he said,—

"Only this, Adèle: I see that a coolness has grown up toward you in the parsonage; the old prejudice against French blood may revive again; besides which, there is, you know, Adèle, that little family cloud"——

"Is this the old, kind Reuben, my brother, who reminds me of a trouble so shadowy I cannot fairly measure it?" And Adèle covered her face with her hands.

"Forgive me, Adèle, for God's sake!"

"There is a cloud, Reuben; thank you for the word," said Adèle, recovering herself; "and there is, I fear, an even darker cloud upon your faith. Until both are passed, I can never listen to such talk as you would urge upon me,—never! never!"

And there was a spirit in her words now that awed Reuben.

"Would you impute my unbelief to[Pg 209] me as a crime, Adèle? Is this your Christian charity? Do you think that I enjoy this fierce wrestling with doubts? or, having them, would you bid me play false and conceal them? What if I am a final castaway, as your good books tell us some must be, would you make me a castaway before my time, and balk all my hopes in life? Is this your charity?"

"I would not,—you know I would not, Reuben."

"Listen to me, Adèle. If there be any hope of making my way out of this weary wrangle, it seems to me that it would be in the constant presence of your simple, exultant faith. Will you be my teacher, Adèle?"

"Teacher,—yes, with all my heart, Reuben."

"Then be mine," said he, seizing her hand again, "from this very hour!"

An instant she seemed to waver; then came over her the memory of her father's injunction,—the mystery, too, that overshadowed her own life.

"I cannot,—I cannot, Reuben!"

"Is this final?" said he, calmly.


She sighed it rather than spoke aloud; the next instant she had slipped away through the shrubbery, with a swift, cruel rustle of her silken dress, toward the parsonage.

Reuben lingered in the orchard until he saw the light flashing through the muslin hangings of her window. She had gone early to her chamber. She had kissed the crucifix that was her mother's with a fervor that sprang as much from devotion as from sentiment. She had sobbed out her prayer, and with sobs had buried her sweet face in the pillow.

Could Reuben have seen or conceived all this, he might have acted differently.

As it was, he entered the Doctor's study an hour later, with the utmost apparent coolness.

"Well, father," said he, "I have offered marriage to your motherless and pious French protégée, and she declines."

"My poor son!" said the Doctor.

But his sympathy was not so much with any possible feeling of disappointment as with the chilling heartlessness and unbelief that seemed to boast themselves in his speech.

"It will be rather dull in Ashfield now, I fancy," continued Reuben, "and I shall slip off to New York to-morrow and take a new taste of the world."

And the Doctor (as if to himself) said despairingly, "'Whom He will He hardeneth.'"

"But father," said Reuben, (without notice of the old gentleman's ejaculation,) "don't let Aunt Eliza know of this,—not a word, or she will be fearfully cruel to the poor child."

There was a grave household in the parsonage next morning. Reuben rebelled in heart, in face, and in action against the tediously long prayer of the parson, though the old gentleman's spirit was writhing painfully in his pleadings. The aunt was more pious and austere than ever. Adèle, timid and shrinking, yet with a beautiful and a trustful illumination in her eye, that for days, and weeks, and months, lingered in the memory of the parson's son.

Later in the day Reuben went to make his adieus to the Elderkins. The old Squire was seated in his door busied with the "Weekly Courant," which had just come in.

"Aha, Master Reuben," (this was his old-fashioned way,) "you're looking for that lazy fellow, Phil, I suppose. You'll find him up-stairs with his cigar and his Spanish, I'll venture."

Reuben made his way up to Phil's chamber after the unceremonious manner to which he has been used in that hospitable home, while a snatch of a little songlet from Rose came floating after him along the stairs. It was very sweet. But what were sweet songlets to him now? It being a mild autumn day, Phil sat at the open window, from which he had many a time seen the old Doctor jogging past in his chaise, and sometimes the tall Almira picking her maidenly way along the walk with her green parasol daintily held aloft with thumb and two fingers, while from the[Pg 210] lesser fingers dangled a little embroidered bag which was the wonder of all the school-girls. Other times, too, from this eyrie of his, he had seen Adèle tripping past, with Reuben beside her, and had wondered what their chat might be, while he had feasted his eyes upon her fair figure.

Yet Phil was by no means an idler; he had developed a great business shrewdness, and two or three times in the week drove over to a neighboring river-town to look after the shipments to the West Indies in which he was now interested in company with the Squire. But this had not forbidden a little cursory reading of a sentimental kind. There may have been a stray volume of Pelham upon his table, and a six-volume set of Byron in green and gold upon his limited book-shelf, (both of which were strongly disapproved of by Mrs. Elderkin, but tolerated by the Squire,)—besides which, there were certain Spanish ballads to which he had taken a great fancy since his late visit to Cuba.

Reuben was always a welcome visitor, and was presently in full flow of talk, and puffing nervously at one of Phil's choice Havanas (which in that day were true to their titles).

"I'm off, Phil," said Reuben at last, breaking in upon his host's ecstasy over a ballad he had been reciting, with what he counted the true Castilian magniloquence.

"Off where?" said Phil.

"Off for the city. I'm weary of this do-nothing life,—weary of the town, weary of the good people."

"There's nothing you care for, then, in Ashfield?" said Phil. And at that moment a little burst of the singing of Rose came floating up the stair,—so sweet! so sweet!

"Care for? Yes," said Reuben, "but they are all so good! so devilish good!"—and he puffed at his cigar with a nervous violence. It was not often that such an approach to profanity sullied the lips of Reuben, and Phil noted it with surprise.

"I thought there would have been at least one magnet that would have kept you here," said Phil.

"What magnet, pray?" says Reuben,—somewhat calm again.

"There she goes," says Phil, looking out of the window. And at the moment Adèle tripped by, with the old Doctor walking gravely at her side.

"Humph!" said Reuben, with a composure that was feigned, "she's too much of a Puritan for me, Phil: or rather, I'm too little of a Puritan for her."

Philip looked at his companion keenly. And Reuben, looking back at him as keenly, said, after a silence of a few moments,—

"I don't think you'll ever marry her either, Phil."

"Marry!" said Phil, with a deep, honest blush,—"who talks of that?"

"You, in your heart, Phil. Do you think I am blind? Do you think I have not seen that you have loved her, Phil, ever since you knew what it was to love a woman? Do you think, that, as a boy, you ever imposed upon me with your talk about that handsome Suke Boody, the tavern-keeper's daughter? Good Heavens! Phil, I think there were never two men in the world who talked their thoughts plainly to each other! Do you think I do not know that you have played the shy lover, because with your big heart you have yielded to what you counted a prior claim of mine,—because Adèle was one of us at the parsonage?"

"In such affairs," said Phil, with some constraint and not a little wounded pride, "I don't think men are apt to recognize prior claims."

Reuben replied only by a faint sardonic smile.

"You're a good fellow, Phil, but you won't marry her."

"Of course, then, you know why," said Phil, with something very like a sneer.

"Certainly," said Reuben. "Because you can't affront the world, because you are bound by its conventionalities and respectabilities, as I am not. I spurn them."[Pg 211]

"Respectabilities!" said Phil, in amazement. "What does this mean? Just now she was a Puritan."

"It means, Phil," (and here Reuben reflected a moment or two, puffing with savage energy,) "it means what I can't wholly explain to you. You know her French blood; you know all the prejudices against the faith in which she was reared; you know she has an instinct and will of her own. In short, Phil, I don't think you'll ever marry her; but if you can, you may."

"May!" said Phil, whose pride was now touched to the quick. "And what authority have you, pray?"

"The authority of one who has loved her," said Reuben, with a fierce, quick tone, and dashing his half-burnt cigar from the window; "the authority of one who, if he had chosen to perjure himself and profess a faith which he could not entertain, and wear sanctimonious airs, might have won her heart."

"I don't believe it!" said Phil, with a great burst of voice. "There's no hypocrisy could win Adèle."

Reuben paced up and down the chamber, then came and took the hand of his old friend:—

"Phil, you're a noble-hearted fellow. I never thought any one could convict me of injustice to Adèle. You have done it. I hope you'll always defend her; and whatever may betide, I hope your mother and Rose will always befriend her. She may need it."

Again there was a little burst of song from below, and it lingered upon the ear of Reuben long after he had left the Elderkin homestead.

The next day he was gone,—to try his new taste of the world.


It was in no way possible for the simple-hearted Doctor to conceal from the astute spinster the particular circumstances which had hurried Reuben's departure, and the knowledge of them made her humiliation complete. During all the latter months of Reuben's stay she had not scrupled to drop occasional praises of him into the ear of Adèle, as in the old times. It was in agreement with her rigid notions of retribution, that this poor social outlaw should love vainly; and a baffling disappointment would have seemed to the spinster's narrow mind a highly proper and most logical result of the terrible ignominy which overhung the unconscious victim. Indeed, the innocent unconsciousness of anything derogatory to her name or character which belonged to Adèle, and her consequent cheery mirthfulness, were sources of infinite annoyance to Miss Eliza. She would have liked to see her in sackcloth for a while, and to enjoy her own moral elevation by such a contrast. Nor was this from sheer malice; in that sense she was not malicious; but she deluded herself with the idea that this was a high religious view of sin and its consequences,—a proper mortification to befall one on whom Heaven's punishment (of the fathers through the children) must needs descend. And like many another of her iron purpose, she would not have shrunk from being herself the instrument of such punishment, and would have gloated over its accomplishment,—as if by it the Devil's devices had received rebuke, and the elect found cause for comfort. Many good people—as the world goes—have this vulture appetite for preying upon the very bowels of sinners; and there is no judge so implacable as one who inflames his judicial zeal with the fiery heats of an exaggerated religious pretension.

Think, then, of the situation of poor Adèle under the attentions of such a woman, after she has ferreted out from the Doctor the truth with respect to Reuben! It makes us tremble while we write of it. There is often a kind of moral tyranny in households, which, without ever a loud word, much less a blow, can pierce a sensitive mind as with fiery needles. Of such a silent, fearful tyranny Adèle now felt the innumerable stings, and under it her natural exuberance of spirits gave way,[Pg 212] her faith almost waned; it seemed to her that a kiss upon her silent crucifix were better than a prayer shared with her tormentor.

The Doctor showed all his old, grave kindness; but he was sadly broken by his anxieties with respect to his son; nor was he ever demonstrative enough to supply the craving of Adèle's heart, under her present greed for sympathy. Even the villagers looked upon her more coldly since the sharpened speech of the spinster had dropped widely, but very quietly, its damaging innuendoes, and since her well-calculated surmises, that French blood was, after all, not to be wholly trusted. It was clear to the townspeople that all was at an end between Adèle and Reuben,—clear that she had fallen away from the old favor in which she once stood at the parsonage; and Miss Eliza, by her adroit hints, and without any palpable violation of truth, found means of associating these results with certain suspicious circumstances which had come to light respecting the poor girl's character,—circumstances for which she herself (Miss Eliza was kind enough to say) was not altogether accountable, perhaps, but yet sufficient to warrant a little reserve of confidence, and of course putting an end to any thought of intimate alliance with "the Johns family." She even whispered in her most insidious manner into the ear of old Mistress Tew,—who, being somewhat deaf, is the most inveterate village gossip,—that "it was hard for the poor thing, when Reuben left so suddenly."

Adèle writes in these times to her father, that he need put himself in no fear in regard to marriage. "I have had an éclaircissement" (she says) "with friend Reuben. His declaration of attachment (I think I may tell you this, dear papa) was so wholly unexpected that I could not count it real. He seemed actuated by some sudden controlling sympathy (as he often is) that I could not explain; and had it been otherwise, your injunction, dear papa, and the fact that he has become a bitter skeptic in regard to our most holy religion, would have made me pause. He dropped a hint, too, of the mystery attaching to my family, (not unkindly, for he is, after all, a dear, good-hearted fellow,) which kindled not a little indignation in me; and I told him—with some of the pride, I think, I must have inherited from you, papa—that, until that mystery was cleared, I would marry neither him nor another. Was I not right?

"I want so much to be with you again, dear papa,—to tell you all I hope and fear,—to feel your kiss again! Miss Johns, whom I have tried hard to love, but cannot, is changed wofully in her manner toward me. I feel it is only my home now by sufferance,—not such a home as you would choose for me, I am sure. The Doctor—good soul—is as kind as he knows how to be, but I want—oh, how I want!—to leap into your arms, dear papa, and find home there. Why can I not? I am sure—over and over sure—that I could bring some sunlight into a home of yours, if you would but let me. And when you come, as you say you mean to do soon, do not put me off with such stories as you once told me, of 'a lean Savoyard in red wig and spectacles, and of a fat Frenchman with bristly moustache' (you see I remember all); tell me I may come to be the mistress of your parlor and your salon, and I will keep all in such order, that, I am sure, you will not want me to leave you again; and you will love me so much that I shall never want to leave you.

"Indeed, indeed, it is very wearisome to me here. The village people seem all of them to have caught the coolness of Miss Johns, and look askance at me. Only the Elderkins show their old kindness, and it is unfailing. Do not, I pray, disturb yourself about any 'lost fortune' of which you wrote to the Doctor, but never—cruel papa!—a word to me. I am rich: I can't tell you how many dollars are in the Savings Bank for me,—and for you, if you wish them, I have so little occasion to spend anything. But I have committed the extravagance of placing a beautiful tablet over the grave of poor Madame Arles,[Pg 213] and, much to the horror of the good Doctor, insisted upon having a little cross inscribed upon its front. You have never told me, dear papa, if you received the long account I gave you of her sudden death, and how she died without ever telling me anything of herself,—though I believe it was in her mind to do so, at the last."

No, of a truth, such a letter had never been received by Maverick, and he cursed the mails royally for it, since it might have prevented the need of any such disclosure as he had made to his friend Johns. When the present missive of Adèle came to him, he was entering the brilliant Café de L'Orient at Marseilles, in company with his friend Papiol. The news staggered him for a moment.

"Papiol!" said he, "mon ami, Julie is dead!"

"Parbleu! And among your Puritans, yonder? She must have made a piquant story of it all!"

"Not a word, Papiol! She has kept by her promise bravely."

"Tant mieux: it will give you good appetite, mon ami."

For a moment the better nature of Maverick had been roused, and he turned a look of loathing upon the complacent Frenchman seated by him (which fortunately the stolid Papiol did not comprehend). For a moment, his thought ran back to a sunny hillside near to the old town of Arles, where lines of stunted, tawny olives crept down the fields,—where fig-trees showed their purple nodules of fruit,—where a bright-faced young peasant-girl, with a gay kerchief turbaned about her head with a coquettish tie, lay basking in the sunshine. He heard once more the trip of her voice warbling a Provençal song, while the great ruin of the Roman arène came once more to his vision, with its tufting shrubs and battered arches rising grim and gaunt into the soft Southern sky; the church-bells of the town poured their sweet jangle on his ear again, the murmur of distant voices came floating down the wind, and again the pretty Provençal song fluttered on the balmy air; the coquettish turban was in his eye, the plump, soft hand of the pretty Provençal girl in his grasp, and her glossy locks touched his burning cheek. So much, at least, that was Arcadian; and then (in his glowing memory still) the loves, the jealousies, the delusions, the concealments, the faithlessness, the desertion, the parting! And now,—now the chief actress in this drama that had touched him so nearly lay buried in a New England grave, with his own Adèle her solitary mourner!

"It was your friend the Doctor who gave the good woman absolution, I suppose," said Papiol, tapping his snuff-box, and gathering a huge pinch between thumb and finger.

"Not even that comfort, I suspect," said Maverick.

"Bah! pauvre femme!"

And the philosopher titillated his nostril until he sneezed again and again.

"And the Doctor," continued Papiol,—"does he suspect nothing?"

"Nothing. He has counselled me to make what amends I may by marrying—you know whom."

"Pardieu! he is a good innocent, that old friend of yours!"

"Better than you or I, Papiol."

"Cela va sans dire, mon ami. And la petite,—the little bright-eyes,—what of her?"

"She is unsuspicious, but hints at a little cloud that overshadows her domestic history, and tells her lover that it shall be cleared up before she will marry him, or any other."

"Ta, ta! It's an inquisitive sex, Maverick! I could never quite understand how Julie should have learned that her little one was still alive, and been able to trace her as she did. I think the death was set forth in the Gazette,—eh, Maverick?"

"It certainly was," said Maverick,—"honestly, for the child's good."

"Ha!—honestly,—bon! I beg pardon, mom ami."

And Papiol took snuff again.

"Set forth in the Gazette, en règle,[Pg 214] and came to Julie's knowledge, as I am sure; and she sailed for the East with her brother, who was a small trader in Smyrna, I believe,—poor woman! To tell truth, Papiol, had she been alive, loving Adèle as I do, I believe I should have been tempted to follow the parson's admonition, cost what it might."

"And then?"

"And then I should give petite an honest name to bear,—honest as I could, at least; and would have lavished wealth upon her, as I mean to do; and made the last half of my life better than the first."

"Excellent! most excellent! considering that the lady is dead, pauvre femme! And now, my dear fellow, you might go over to your country and play the good Puritan by marrying Mees Eliza,—hein?"

And he called out obstreperously,—


"Voici, Messieurs!"

"Absinthe,—deux verres."

And he drummed with his fat fingers upon the edge of the marble slab.

"Mon Dieu!" said Maverick, with a sudden pallor on his face, "who is she?"

The eyes of Papiol fastened upon the figure which had arrested the attention of Maverick,—a lady of, may-be, forty years, fashionably, but gracefully attired, with olive-brown complexion, hair still glossy black, and attended by a strange gentleman with a brusque and foreign air.

"Who is she?" says Maverick, in a great tremor. "Do the dead come to haunt us?"

"You are facetious, my friend," said Papiol.

But in the next moment the lady opposite had raised her eyes, showing that strange double look which had been so characteristic of Madame Arles, and poor Papiol was himself fearfully distraught.

"It's true! It's true, mon ami!" he whispered his friend. "It's Julie!—elle même,—Julie!"

Maverick, too, had met that glance, and he trembled like a leaf. He gazed upon the stranger like one who sees a spectre. And she met his glance, boldly at the first; then the light faded from her eyes, her head drooped, and she fell in a swoon upon the shoulder of her companion.




"The fact is, my dear," said my wife, "that you have thrown a stone into a congregation of blackbirds, in writing as you have of our family wars and wants. The response comes from all parts of the country, and the task of looking over and answering your letters becomes increasingly formidable. Everybody has something to say,—something to propose."

"Give me a résumé," said I.

"Well," said my wife, "here are three pages from an elderly gentleman, to the effect that women are not what they used to be,—that daughters are a great care and no help,—that girls have no health and no energy in practical life,—that the expense of maintaining a household is so great that young men are afraid to marry,—and that it costs more now per annum to dress one young woman than it used to cost to carry a whole[Pg 215] family of sons through college. In short, the poor old gentleman is in a desperate state of mind, and is firmly of opinion that society is going to ruin by an express train."

"Poor old fellow!" said I, "the only comfort I can offer him is what I take myself,—that this sad world will last out our time at least. Now for the next."

"The next is more concise and spicy," said my wife. "I will read it.

"'Christopher Crowfield, Esq.,

"'Sir,—If you want to know how American women are to be brought back to family work, I can tell you a short method. Pay them as good wages for it as they can make in any other way. I get from seven to nine dollars a week in the shop where I work; if I could make the same in any good family, I should have no objection to doing it.

"'Your obedient servant,

"My correspondent Letitia does not tell me," said I, "how much of this seven or nine dollars she pays out for board and washing, fire and lights. If she worked in a good family at two or three dollars a week, it is easily demonstrable, that, at the present cost of these items, she would make as much clear profit as she now does at nine dollars for her shop-work.

"And there are two other things, moreover, which she does not consider: First, that, besides board, washing, fuel, and lights, which she would have in a family, she would have also less unintermitted toil. Shop-work exacts its ten hours per diem; and it makes no allowance for sickness or accident.

"A good domestic in a good family finds many hours when she can feel free to attend to her own affairs. Her work consists of certain definite matters, which being done her time is her own; and if she have skill and address in the management of her duties, she may secure many leisure hours. As houses are now built, and with the many labor-saving conveniences that are being introduced, the physical labor of housework is no more than a healthy woman really needs to keep her in health. In case, however, of those slight illnesses to which all are more or less liable, and which, if neglected, often lead to graver ones, the advantage is still on the side of domestic service. In the shop and factory, every hour of unemployed time is deducted; an illness of a day or two is an appreciable loss of just so much money, while the expense of board is still going on. But in the family a good servant is always considered. When ill, she is carefully nursed as one of the family, has the family physician, and is subject to no deduction from her wages for loss of time. I have known more than one instance in which a valued domestic has been sent, at her employer's expense, to the seaside or some other pleasant locality, for change of air, when her health has been run down.

"In the second place, family work is more remunerative, even at a lower rate of wages, than shop or factory work, because it is better for the health. All sorts of sedentary employment, pursued by numbers of persons together in one apartment, are more or less debilitating and unhealthy, through foul air and confinement.

"A woman's health is her capital. In certain ways of work she obtains more income, but she spends on her capital to do it. In another way she may get less income, and yet increase her capital. A woman cannot work at dress-making, tailoring, or any other sedentary employment, ten hours a day, year in and out, without enfeebling her constitution, impairing her eyesight, and bringing on a complication of complaints, but she can sweep, wash, cook, and do the varied duties of a well-ordered house with modern arrangements, and grow healthier every year. The times, in New England, when all women did housework a part of every day, were the times when all women were healthy. At present, the heritage of vigorous muscles, firm nerves, strong backs, and cheerful physical life has[Pg 216] gone from American women, and is taken up by Irish women. A thrifty young man, I have lately heard of, married a rosy young Irish girl, quite to the horror of his mother and sisters, but defended himself by the following very conclusive logic:—'If I marry an American girl, I must have an Irish girl to take care of her; and I cannot afford to support both.'

"Besides all this, there is a third consideration, which I humbly commend to my friend Letitia. The turn of her note speaks her a girl of good common sense, with a faculty of hitting the nail square on the head; and such a girl must see that nothing is more likely to fall out than that she will some day be married. Evidently, our fair friend is born to rule; and at this hour, doubtless, her foreordained throne and humble servant are somewhere awaiting her.

"Now domestic service is all the while fitting a girl physically, mentally, and morally for her ultimate vocation and sphere,—to be a happy wife and to make a happy home. But factory work, shop work, and all employments of that sort, are in their nature essentially undomestic,—entailing the constant necessity of a boarding-house life, and of habits as different as possible from the quiet routine of home. The girl who is ten hours on the strain of continued, unintermitted toil feels no inclination, when evening comes, to sit down and darn her stockings, or make over her dresses, or study any of those multifarious economies which turn a wardrobe to the best account. Her nervous system is flagging; she craves company and excitement; and her dull, narrow room is deserted for some place of amusement or gay street promenade. And who can blame her? Let any sensible woman, who has had experience of shop and factory life, recall to her mind the ways and manners in which young girls grow up who leave a father's roof for a crowded boarding-house, without any supervision of matron or mother, and ask whether this is the best school for training young American wives and mothers.

"Doubtless there are discreet and thoughtful women who, amid all these difficulties, do keep up thrifty, womanly habits, but they do it by an effort greater than the majority of girls are willing to make, and greater than they ought to make. To sew or read or study after ten hours of factory or shop work is a further drain on the nervous powers, which no woman can long endure without exhaustion.

"When the time arrives that such a girl comes to a house of her own, she comes to it as unskilled in all household lore, with muscles as incapable of domestic labor, and nerves as sensitive, as if she had been leading the most luxurious, do-nothing, fashionable life. How different would be her preparation, had the forming years of her life been spent in the labors of a family! I know at this moment a lady at the head of a rich country establishment, filling her station in society with dignity and honor, who gained her domestic education in a kitchen in our vicinity. She was the daughter of a small farmer, and when the time came for her to be earning her living, her parents wisely thought it far better that she should gain it in a way which would at the same time establish her health and fit her for her own future home. In a cheerful, light, airy kitchen, which was kept so tidy always as to be an attractive sitting-room, she and another young country-girl were trained up in the best of domestic economies by a mistress who looked well to the ways of her household, till at length they married from the house with honor, and went to practise in homes of their own the lessons they had learned in the home of another. Formerly, in New England, such instances were not uncommon;—would that they might become so again!"

"The fact is," said my wife, "the places which the daughters of American farmers used to occupy in our families are now taken by young girls from the families of small farmers in Ireland. They are respectable, tidy, healthy, and capable of being taught. A good mistress, who is reasonable and liberal in[Pg 217] her treatment, is able to make them fixtures. They get good wages, and have few expenses. They dress handsomely, have abundant leisure to take care of their clothes and turn their wardrobes to the best account, and they very soon acquire skill in doing it equal to that displayed by any women of any country. They remit money continually to relatives in Ireland, and from time to time pay the passage of one and another to this country,—and whole families have thus been established in American life by the efforts of one young girl. Now, for my part, I do not grudge my Irish fellow-citizens these advantages obtained by honest labor and good conduct: they deserve all the good fortune thus accruing to them. But when I see sickly, nervous American women jostling and struggling in the few crowded avenues which are open to mere brain, I cannot help thinking how much better their lot would have been, with good strong bodies, steady nerves, healthy digestion, and the habit of looking any kind of work in the face, which used to be characteristic of American women generally, and of Yankee women in particular."

"The matter becomes still graver," said I, "by the laws of descent. The woman who enfeebles her muscular system by sedentary occupation, and over-stimulates her brain and nervous system, when she becomes a mother, perpetuates these evils to her offspring. Her children will be born feeble and delicate, incapable of sustaining any severe strain of body or mind. The universal cry now about the ill health of young American girls is the fruit of some three generations of neglect of physical exercise and undue stimulus of brain and nerves. Young girls now are universally born delicate. The most careful hygienic treatment during childhood, the strictest attention to diet, dress, and exercise, succeeds merely so far as to produce a girl who is healthy so long only as she does nothing. With the least strain, her delicate organism gives out, now here, now there. She cannot study without her eyes fail or she has headache,—she cannot get up her own muslins, or sweep a room, or pack a trunk, without bringing on a backache,—she goes to a concert or a lecture, and must lie by all the next day from the exertion. If she skates, she is sure to strain some muscle; or if she falls and strikes her knee or hits her ankle, a blow that a healthy girl would forget in five minutes terminates in some mysterious lameness which confines our poor sibyl for months.

"The young American girl of our times is a creature who has not a particle of vitality to spare,—no reserved stock of force to draw upon in cases of family exigency. She is exquisitely strung, she is cultivated, she is refined; but she is too nervous, too wiry, too sensitive,—she burns away too fast; only the easiest of circumstances, the most watchful of care and nursing, can keep her within the limits of comfortable health: and yet this is the creature who must undertake family life in a country where it is next to an absolute impossibility to have permanent domestics. Frequent change, occasional entire break-downs, must be the lot of the majority of housekeepers,—particularly those who do not live in cities."

"In fact," said my wife, "we in America have so far got out of the way of a womanhood that has any vigor of outline or opulence of physical proportions, that, when we see a woman made as a woman ought to be, she strikes us as a monster. Our willowy girls are afraid of nothing so much as growing stout; and if a young lady begins to round into proportions like the women in Titian's and Giorgione's pictures, she is distressed above measure, and begins to make secret inquiries into reducing diet, and to cling desperately to the strongest corset-lacing as her only hope. It would require one to be better educated than most of our girls are, to be willing to look like the Sistine Madonna or the Venus of Milo.

"Once in a while our Italian opera-singers bring to our shores those glorious physiques which formed the inspiration of Italian painters; and then[Pg 218] American editors make coarse jokes about Barnum's fat woman, and avalanches, and pretend to be struck with terror at such dimensions.

"We should be better instructed, and consider that Italy does us a favor, in sending us specimens, not only of higher styles of musical art, but of a warmer, richer, and more abundant womanly life. The magnificent voice is only in keeping with the magnificent proportions of the singer. A voice which has no grate, no strain, which flows without effort,—which does not labor eagerly up to a high note, but alights on it like a bird from above, there carelessly warbling and trilling,—a voice which then without effort sinks into broad, rich, sombre depths of soft, heavy chest-tone,—can come only with a physical nature at once strong, wide, and fine,—from a nature such as the sun of Italy ripens, as he does her golden grapes, filling it with the new wine of song."

"Well," said I, "so much for our strictures on Miss Letitia's letter. What comes next?"

"Here is a correspondent who answers the question, 'What shall we do with her?'—apropos to the case of the distressed young woman which we considered in our November number."

"And what does he recommend?"

"He tells us that he should advise us to make our distressed woman Marianne's housekeeper, and to send South for three or four contrabands for her to train, and, with great apparent complacency, seems to think that course will solve all similar cases of difficulty."

"That's quite a man's view of the subject," said Jennie. "They think any woman who isn't particularly fitted to do anything else can keep house."

"As if housekeeping were not the very highest craft and mystery of social life," said I. "I admit that our sex speak too unadvisedly on such topics, and, being well instructed by my household priestess, will humbly suggest the following ideas to my correspondent.

"1st. A woman is not of course fit to be a housekeeper because she is a woman of good education and refinement.

"2d. If she were, a family with young children in it is not the proper place to establish a school for untaught contrabands, however desirable their training may be.

"A woman of good education and good common-sense may learn to be a good housekeeper, as she learns any trade, by going into a good family and practising first one and then another branch of the business, till finally she shall acquire the comprehensive knowledge to direct all.

"The next letter I will read.

"'Dear Mr. Crowfield,—Your papers relating to the domestic problem have touched upon a difficulty which threatens to become a matter of life and death with me.

"'I am a young man, with good health, good courage, and good prospects. I have, for a young man, a fair income, and a prospect of its increase. But my business requires me to reside in a country town near a great manufacturing city. The demand for labor there has made such a drain on the female population of the vicinity, that it seems, for a great part of the time, impossible to keep any servants at all; and what we can hire are of the poorest quality, and want exorbitant wages. My wife was a well-trained housekeeper, and knows perfectly all that pertains to the care of a family; but she has three little children, and a delicate babe only a few weeks old; and can any one woman do all that is needed for such a household? Something must be trusted to servants; and what is thus trusted brings such confusion and waste and dirt into our house, and the poor woman is constantly distraught between the disgust of having them and the utter impossibility of doing without them.

"'Now it has been suggested that we remedy the trouble by paying higher wages; but I find that for the very highest wages I secure only the most miserable service; and yet, poor as it is, we are obliged to put up with it,[Pg 219] because there is an amount of work to be done in our family that is absolutely beyond my wife's strength.

"'I see her health wearing away under these trials, her life made a burden; I feel no power to help her; and I ask you, Mr. Crowfield, What are we to do? What is to become of family life in this country?

"'Yours truly,
"'A Young Family Man.'

"My friend's letter," said I, "touches upon the very hinge of the difficulty of domestic life with the present generation.

"The real, vital difficulty, after all, in our American life is, that our country is so wide, so various, so abounding in the richest fields of enterprise, that in every direction the cry is of the plenteousness of the harvest and the fewness of the laborers. In short, there really are not laborers enough to do the work of the country.

"Since the war has thrown the whole South open to the competition of free labor, the demand for workers is doubled and trebled. Manufactories of all sorts are enlarging their borders, increasing their machinery, and calling for more hands. Every article of living is demanded with an imperativeness and over an extent of territory which set at once additional thousands to the task of production. Instead of being easier to find hands to execute in all branches of useful labor, it is likely to grow every year more difficult, as new departments of manufacture and trade divide the workers. The price of labor, even now higher in this country than in any other, will rise still higher, and thus complicate still more the problem of domestic life. Even if a reasonable quota of intelligent women choose domestic service, the demand will be increasingly beyond the supply."

"And what have you to say to this," said my wife, "seeing you cannot stop the prosperity of the country?"

"Simply this,—that communities will be driven to organize, as they now do in Europe, to lessen the labors of individual families by having some of the present domestic tasks done out of the house.

"In France, for example, no house-keeper counts either washing, ironing, or bread-making as part of her domestic cares. All the family washing goes out to a laundry; and being attended to by those who make that department of labor a specialty, it comes home in refreshingly beautiful order.

"We in America, though we pride ourselves on our Yankee thrift, are far behind the French in domestic economy. If all the families of a neighborhood should put together the sums they separately spend in buying or fitting up and keeping in repair tubs, boilers, and other accommodations for washing, all that is consumed or wasted in soap, starch, bluing, fuel, together with the wages and board of an extra servant, the aggregate would suffice to fit up a neighborhood laundry, where one or two capable women could do easily and well what ten or fifteen women now do painfully and ill, and to the confusion and derangement of all other family processes.

"The model laundries for the poor in London had facilities which would enable a woman to do both the washing and ironing of a small family in from two to three hours, and were so arranged that a very few women could with ease do the work of the neighborhood.

"But in the absence of an establishment of this sort, the housekeepers of a country village might help themselves very much by owning a mangle in common, to which all the heavier parts of the ironing could be sent. American ingenuity has greatly improved the machinery of the mangle. It is no longer the heavy, cumbersome structure that it used to be in the Old World, but a compact, neat piece of apparatus, made in three or four different sizes to suit different-sized apartments.

"Mr. H. F. Bond of Waltham, Massachusetts, now manufactures these articles, and sends them to all parts of the country. The smallest of them does[Pg 220] not take up much more room than a sewing-machine, can be turned by a boy of ten or twelve, and thus in the course of an hour or two the heaviest and most fatiguing part of a family ironing may be accomplished.

"I should certainly advise the 'Young Family Man' with a delicate wife and uncertain domestic help to fortify his kitchen with one of these fixtures.

"But after all, I still say that the quarter to which I look for the solution of the American problem of domestic life is a wise use of the principle of association.

"The future model village of New England, as I see it, shall have for the use of its inhabitants not merely a town lyceum-hall and a town library, but a town laundry, fitted up with conveniences such as no private house can afford, and paying a price to the operators which will enable them to command an excellence of work such as private families seldom realize. It will also have a town bakery, where the best of family bread, white, brown, and of all grains, shall be compounded; and lastly a town cook-shop, where soup and meats may be bought, ready for the table. Those of us who have kept house abroad remember the ease with which our foreign establishments were carried on. A suite of elegant apartments, a courier, and one female servant were the foundation of domestic life. Our courier boarded us at a moderate expense, and the servant took care of our rooms. Punctually to the dinner-hour every day, our dinner came in on the head of a porter from a neighboring cook-shop. A large chest lined with tin, and kept warm by a tiny charcoal stove in the centre, being deposited in an ante-room, from it came forth, first, soup, then fish, then roast of various names, and lastly pastry and confections,—far more courses than any reasonable Christian needs to keep him in healthy condition; and dinner being over, our box with its débris went out of the house, leaving a clear field.

"Now I put it to the distressed 'Young Family Man' whether these three institutions of a bakery, a cook-shop, and a laundry, in the village where he lives would not virtually annihilate his household cares, and restore peace and comfort to his now distracted family.

"There really is no more reason why every family should make its own bread than its own butter,—why every family should do its own washing and ironing than its own tailoring or mantua-making. In France, where certainly the arts of economy are well studied, there is some specialty for many domestic needs for which we keep servants. The beautiful inlaid floors are kept waxed and glossy by a professional gentleman who wears a brush on his foot-sole, skates gracefully over the surface, and, leaving all right, departeth. Many families, each paying a small sum, keep this servant in common.

"Now if ever there was a community which needed to study the art of living, it is our American one; for at present, domestic life is so wearing and so oppressive as seriously to affect health and happiness. Whatever has been done abroad in the way of comfort and convenience can be done here; and the first neighborhood that shall set the example of dividing the tasks and burdens of life by the judicious use of the principle of association will initiate a most important step in the way of national happiness and prosperity.

"My solution, then, of the domestic problem may be formulized as follows:—

"1st. That women make self-helpfulness and family helpfulness fashionable, and every woman use her muscles daily in enough household work to give her a good digestion.

"2d. That the situation of a domestic be made so respectable and respected that well-educated American women shall be induced to take it as a training-school for their future family life.

"3d. That families by association lighten the multifarious labors of the domestic sphere.

"All of which I humbly submit to the good sense and enterprise of American readers and workers."

[Pg 221]



The two combatants came to the field in a very different spirit. Neville had already fought two duels, and been successful in both. He had confidence in his skill and in his luck. His conscience, too, was tolerably clear; for he was the insulted person; and if a bullet should remove this dangerous rival from his path, why, all the better for him, and all the worse for the fool who had brought the matter to a bloody issue, though the balance of the lady's heart inclined his way.

He came in high spirits, and rode upon Kate Peyton's gray, to sting his adversary, and show his contempt of him.

Not so Griffith Gaunt. His heart was heavy, and foreboded ill. It was his first duel, and he expected to be killed. He had played a fool's game, and he saw it.

The night before the duel he tried hard to sleep; he knew it was not giving his nerves fair play to lie thinking all night. But coy sleep, as usual when most wanted, refused to come. At daybreak the restless man gave it up in despair, and rose and dressed himself. He wrote that letter to Catharine, little thinking it would fall into her hands while he lived. He ate a little toast, and drank a pint of Burgundy, and then wandered listlessly about till Major Rickards, his second, arrived.

That experienced gentleman brought a surgeon with him,—Mr. Islip.

Major Rickards deposited a shallow wooden box in the hall; and the two gentlemen sat down to a hearty breakfast.

Griffith took care of his guests, but beyond that spoke scarcely a word; and the surgeon, after a ghastly attempt at commonplaces, was silent too. Major Rickards satisfied his appetite first, and then, finding his companions dumb, set to work to keep up their spirits. He entertained them with a narrative of the personal encounters he had witnessed, and especially of one in which his principal had fallen on his face at the first fire, and the antagonist had sprung into the air, and both had lain dead as door-nails, and never moved, nor even winked, after that single discharge.

Griffith sat under this chilling talk for more than an hour.

At last he rose gloomily, and said it was time to go.

"Got your tools, Doctor?" inquired the Major.

The surgeon nodded slightly. He was more discreet than his friend.

When they had walked nearly a mile in the snow, the Major began to complain.

"The Devil!" said he; "this is queer walking. My boots are full of water. I shall catch my death."

The surgeon smiled satirically, comparing silent Griffith's peril with his second's.

Griffith took no notice. He went like Fortitude plodding to Execution.

Major Rickards fell behind, and whispered Mr. Islip,—

"Don't like his looks; doesn't march like a winner. A job for you or the sexton, you mark my words."

They toiled up Scutchemsee Nob, and when they reached the top, they saw Neville and his second, Mr. Hammersley, riding towards them. The pair had halters as well as bridles, and, dismounting, made their nags fast to a large blackthorn that grew there. The seconds then stepped forward, and saluted each other with formal civility.

Griffith looked at the gray horse, and ground his teeth. The sight of the animal in Neville's possession stirred up his hate, and helped to steel his heart. He stood apart, still, pale, and gloomy.

The seconds stepped out fifteen paces, and placed the men. Then they loaded two pair of pistols, and put a pistol in each man's hand.[Pg 222]

Major Rickards took that opportunity to advise his principal.

"Stand sharp. Keep your arm close to your side. Don't fire too high. How do you feel?"

"Like a man who must die, but will try to die in company."

The seconds now withdrew to their places; and the rivals held their pistols lowered, but fixed their deadly eyes on each other.

The eye, in such a circumstance, is a terrible thing: it is literally a weapon of destruction; for it directs the deadly hand that guides the deadly bullet. Moreover, the longer and the more steadily the duellist fixes his eye on his adversary, the less likely he is to miss.

Griffith was very pale, but dogged. Neville was serious, but firm. Both eyed each other unflinchingly.

"Gentlemen, are you ready?" asked Neville's second.


"Then," said Major Rickards, "you will fire when I let fall this handkerchief, and not before. Mark me, Gentlemen: to prevent mistakes, I shall say, 'One,—two,—three!' and then drop the handkerchief. Now, then, once more, are you quite ready?"



He dropped the handkerchief, and both gentlemen fired simultaneously. Mr. Neville's hat spun into the air; Griffith stood untouched.

The bullet had passed through Neville's hat, and had actually cut a lane through his magnificent hair.

The seconds now consulted, and it was intimated to Griffith that a word of apology would be accepted by his antagonist. Griffith declined to utter a syllable of apology.

Two more pistols were given the men.

"Aim lower," said Rickards.

"I mean to," said Griffith.

The seconds withdrew, and the men eyed each other,—Griffith dogged and pale, as before, Neville not nearly so self-assured: Griffith's bullet, in grazing him, had produced the effect of a sharp, cold current of air no wider than a knife. It was like Death's icy fore-finger laid on his head, to mark him for the next shot,—as men mark a tree, then come again and fell it.


And Griffith's pistol missed fire; but Neville's went off, and Griffith's arm sank powerless, and his pistol rolled out of his hand. He felt a sharp twinge, and then something trickle down his arm.

The surgeon and both seconds ran to him.

"Nay, it is nothing," said he; "I shoot far better with my left hand than my right. Give me another pistol, and let me have fair play. He has hit me; and now I'll hit him."

Both seconds agreed this was impossible.

"It is the chance of war," said Major Rickards; "you cannot be allowed to take a cool shot at Mr. Neville. If you fire again, so must he."

"The affair may very well end here," said Mr. Hammersley. "I understand there was some provocation on our side; and on behalf of the party insulted I am content to let the matter end, Mr. Gaunt being wounded."

"I demand my second shot to his third," said Griffith, sternly; "he will not decline, unless he is a poltroon, as well as—what I called him."

The nature of this reply was communicated to Neville, and the seconds, with considerable reluctance, loaded two more pistols; and during the process Major Rickards glanced at the combatants.

Griffith exasperated by his wound and his jealousy, was wearing out the chivalrous courage of his adversary; and the Major saw it. His keen eye noticed that Neville was getting restless, and looking confounded at his despised rival's pertinacity, and that Gaunt was more dogged and more deadly.

"My man will kill yours this time," said he, quietly, to Neville's second;[Pg 223] "I can see if in his eye. He is hungry: t' other has had his bellyful."

Once more the men were armed, and the seconds withdrew to their places, intimating that this was the last shot they would allow under any circumstances whatever.

"Are you both ready?"


A faint wail seemed to echo the response.

All heard it, and in that superstitious age believed it to be some mysterious herald of death.

It suspended even Major Rickards's voice a minute. He recovered himself, however, and once more his soldier-like tones rang in the keen air:—


There was a great rushing, and a pounding of the hard ground, and a scarlet Amazon galloped in, and drew up in the middle, right between the levelled pistols.

Every eye had been so bent on the combatants, that Kate Peyton and her horse seemed to have sprung out of the very earth. And there she sat, pale as ashes, on the steaming piebald, and glanced from pistol to pistol.

The duellists stared in utter amazement, and instinctively lowered their weapons; for she had put herself right in their line of fire with a recklessness that contrasted nobly with her fear for others. In short, this apparition literally petrified them all, seconds as well as combatants.

And while they stood open-mouthed, yet dumb, in came the Scamp, and, with a brisk assumption of delegated authority, took Griffith's weapon out of his now unresisting hand, then marched to Neville. He instantly saluted Catharine, and then handed his pistol to her seeming agent, with a high-bred and inimitable air of utter nonchalance.

Kate, seeing them, to her surprise, so easily disarmed, raised her hands and her lovely eyes to heaven, and, in a feeble voice, thanked God and Saint Nescioquis.

But very soon that faint voice quavered away to nothing, and her fair head was seen to droop, and her eyes to close; then her body sank slowly forward like a broken lily, and in another moment she lay fainting on the snow beside her steaming horse.

He never moved, he was so dead beat too.

Oh, lame and impotent conclusion of a vigorous exploit! Masculine up to the crowning point, and then to go and spoil all with "woman's weakness"!

"N. B. This is rote sarcasticul," as Artemus the Delicious says. Woman's weakness! If Solomon had planned and Samson executed, they could not have served her turn better than this most seasonable swooning did; for, lo! at her fall, the doughty combatants uttered a yell of dismay, and there was an indiscriminate rush towards the fair sufferer.

But the surgeon claimed his rights.

"This is my business," said he, authoritatively. "Do not crowd on her, Gentlemen: give her air."

Whereupon the duellists and seconds stood respectfully aloof, in a mixed group, and watched with eager interest and pity.

The surgeon made a hole in the snow, and laid his fair patient's head low.

"Don't be alarmed," said he; "she has swooned; that is all."

It was all mighty fine to say, "Don't be alarmed." But her face was ashy, and her lips the color of lead; and she was so like death, they could not help being terribly alarmed; and now, for the first time, the duellists felt culprits; and as for fighting, every idea of such a thing went out of their heads. The rivals now were but rival nurses; and never did a lot of women make more fuss over a child than all these bloodthirsty men did over this Amazon manquée. They produced their legendary lore. One's grandmother had told him burnt feathers were the thing; another, from an equally venerable source, had gathered that those pink palms must be profanely slapped by the horny hand of man,—for at no less a price could[Pg 224] resuscitation be obtained. The surgeon scorning all their legends, Griffith and Neville made hasty rushes with brandy and usquebaugh; but whether to be taken internally or externally they did not say, nor, indeed, know, but only thrust their flasks wildly on the doctor; and he declined them loftily. He melted snow in his hand, and dashed it hard in her face, and put salts close to her pretty little nostrils. And this he repeated many times without effect.

But at last her lips began to turn from lead color to white, and then from white to pink, and her heavenly eyes to open again, and her mouth to murmur things pitiably small and not bearing on the matter in hand.

Her cheek was still colorless, when her consciousness came back, and she found she was lying on the ground with ever so many gentlemen looking at her.

At that, Modesty alarmed sent the blood at once rushing to her pale cheek.

A lovely lily seemed turning to a lovely rose before their eyes.

The next thing was, she hid that blushing face in her hands, and began to whimper.

The surgeon encouraged her: "Nay, we are all friends," he whispered, paternally.

She half parted her fingers and peered through them at Neville and Gaunt. Then she remembered all, and began to cry hysterically.

New dismay of the unprofessionals!

"Now, Gentlemen, if you will lend me your flasks," said Mr. Islip, mighty calmly.

Griffith and Neville were instantly at his side, each with a flask.

The surgeon administered snow and brandy. Kate sipped these, and gulped down her sobs, and at last cried composedly.

But when it came to sipping brandied snow and crying comfortably, Major Rickards's anxiety gave place to curiosity. Without taking his eye off her, he beckoned Mr. Hammersley apart, and whispered,—

"Who the Deuse is it?"

"Don't you know?" whispered the other in return. "Why, Mistress Peyton herself."

"What! the girl it is all about? Well, I never heard of such a thing: the causa belli to come galloping and swooning on the field of battle, and so stop the fighting! What will our ladies do next? By Heaven! she is worth fighting for, though. Which is the happy man, I wonder? She doesn't look at either of them."

"Ah!" said the gentleman, "that is more than I know, more than Neville knows, more than anybody knows."

"Bet you a guinea she knows,—and lets it out before she leaves the field," said Major Rickards.

Mr. Hammersley objected to an even bet; but said he would venture one to three she did not. It was an age of bets.

"Done!" said the Major.

By this time Kate had risen, with Mr. Islip's assistance, and was now standing with her hand upon the piebald's mane. She saw Rickards and Hammersley were whispering about her, and she felt very uneasy: so she told Mr. Islip, timidly, she desired to explain her conduct to all the gentlemen present, and avert false reports.

They were soon all about her, and she began, with the most engaging embarrassment, by making excuses for her weakness. She said she had ridden all the way from home, fasting; that was what had upset her. The gentlemen took the cue directly, and vowed eagerly and unanimously it was enough to upset a porter.

"But, indeed," resumed Kate, blushing, "I did not come here to make a fuss, and be troublesome, but to prevent mischief, and clear up the strangest misunderstanding between two worthy gentlemen, that are, both of them, my good friends."

She paused, and there was a chilling silence: everybody felt she was getting on ticklish ground now. She knew that well enough herself. But she had a good rudder to steer by, called Mother-Wit.

Says she, with inimitable coolness,[Pg 225]

"Mr. Gaunt is an old friend of mine, and a little too sensitive where I am concerned. Some chatterbox has been and told him Mr. Neville should say I have changed horses with him; and on that the gossips put their own construction. Mr. Gaunt hears all this, and applies insulting terms to Mr. Neville. Nay, do not deny it, Mr. Gaunt, for I have it here in your own handwriting.

"As for Mr. Neville, he merely defends his honor, and is little to blame. But now I shall tell the true story about these horses, and make you all ashamed of this sorry quarrel.

"Gentlemen, thus it is. A few days ago Mr. Gaunt bade me farewell, and started for foreign parts. He had not been long gone, when word came from Bolton that Mr. Charlton was no more. You know how sudden it was. Consider, Gentlemen: him dead, and his heir riding off to the Continent in ignorance. So I thought, 'Oh, what shall I do?' Just then Mr. Neville visited me, and I told him: on that he offered me his piebald horse to carry the news after Mr. Gaunt, because my gray was too tired: it was the day we drew Yew-tree Brow, and crossed Harrowden Brook, you know,"——

Griffith interrupted her.

"Stay a bit," said he: "this is news to me. You never told me he had lent you the piebald nag to do me a good turn."

"Did I not?" said Kate, mighty innocently. "Well, but I tell you now. Ask him: he cannot deny it. As for the rest, it was all done in a hurry: Mr. Neville had no horse now to ride home with; he did me the justice to think I should be very ill pleased, were he to trudge home afoot and suffer for his courtesy; so he borrowed my gray to keep him out of the mire; and, indeed, the ways were fouler than usual, with the rains. Was there any ill in all this? HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE! say I."

The gentlemen all sided loudly with her on this appeal,—except Neville, who held his tongue, and smiled at her plausibility, and Griffith, who hung his head at her siding with Neville.

At last he spoke, and said, sorrowfully,—

"If you did exchange horses with him, of course I have only to ask his pardon—and go."

Catharine reflected a moment before she replied.

"Well," said she, "I did exchange, and I did not. Why quarrel about a word? Certainly he took my horse, and I took his; but it was only for the nonce. Mr. Neville is foreign-bred, and an example to us all: he knows his piebald is worth two of my gray, and so he was too fine a gentleman to send me back my old hunter and ask for his young charger. He waited for me to do that; and if anybody deserves to be shot, it must be Me. But, dear heart, I did not foresee all this fuss; I said to myself, 'La, Mr. Neville will be sure to call on my father or me some day, or else I shall be out on the piebald and meet him on the gray, and then we can each take our own again.' Was I so far out in my reckoning? Is not that my Rosinante yonder? Here, Tom Leicester, you put my side-saddle on that gray horse, and the man's saddle on the piebald there. And now, Griffith Gaunt, it is your turn: you must withdraw your injurious terms, and end this superlative folly."

Griffith hesitated.

"Come," said Kate, "consider: Mr. Neville is esteemed by all the county: you are the only gentleman in it who has ever uttered a disparaging word against him. Are you sure you are more free from passion and prejudice and wiser than all the county? Oblige me, and do what is right. Come, Griffith Gaunt, let your reason unsay the barbarous words your passion hath uttered against a worthy gentleman whom we all esteem."

Her habitual influence, and these last words, spoken with gentle and persuasive dignity, turned the scale. Griffith turned to Neville, and said in a low voice that he began to fear he had been hasty, and used harsher words than the occasion justified: he was going to stammer out something more, but Neville[Pg 226] interrupted him with a noble gesture.

"That is enough, Mr. Gaunt," said he. "I do not feel quite blameless in the matter, and have no wish to mortify an honorable adversary unnecessarily."

"Very handsomely said," put in Major Rickards; "and now let me have a word. I say that both gentlemen have conducted themselves like men—under fire; and that honor is satisfied, and the misunderstanding at an end. As for my principal here, he has shown he can fight, and now he has shown he can hear reason against himself, when the lips of beauty utter it. I approve his conduct from first to last, and am ready to defend it in all companies, and in the field, should it ever be impugned."

Kate colored with pleasure, and gave her hand eloquently to the Major. He bowed over it, and kissed the tips of her fingers.

"Oh, Sir," she said, looking on him now as a friend, "I dreamed I saw Mr. Neville lying dead upon the snow, with the blood trickling from his temple."

At this Neville's dark cheek glowed with pleasure. So! it was her anxiety on his account had brought her here.

Griffith heard too, and sighed patiently.

Assured by Major Rickards that there neither could nor should be any more fighting, Kate made her adieus, mounted her gray horse, and rode off, discreetly declining all attendance. She beckoned Tom Leicester, however. But he pretended not to see the signal, and let her go alone. His motive for lingering behind was characteristic, and will transpire shortly.

As soon as she was gone, Griffith Gaunt quietly reminded the surgeon that there was a bullet in his arm all this time.

"Bless my soul!" said Mr. Islip, "I forgot that, I was so taken up with the lady."

Griffith's coat was now taken off, and the bullet searched for: it had entered the fleshy part of his arm below the elbow, and, passing round the bone, projected just under the skin. The surgeon made a slight incision, and then, pressing with his finger and thumb, out it rolled. Griffith put it in his pocket.

Neville had remained out of civility, and now congratulated his late antagonist, and himself, that it was no worse.

The last words that passed between the rivals, on this occasion, were worth recording, and characteristic of the time.

Neville addressed Gaunt with elaborate courtesy, and to this effect:—

"I find myself in a difficulty, Sir. You did me the honor to invite me to Mr. Charlton's funeral, and I accepted; but now I fear to intrude a guest, the sight of whom may be disagreeable to you. And, on the other hand, my absence might be misconstrued as a mark of disrespect, or of a petty hostility I am far from feeling. Be pleased, therefore, to dispose of me entirely in this matter."

Griffith reflected.

"Sir," said he, "there is an old saying, 'Let every tub stand on its own bottom.' The deceased wished you to follow him to the grave, and therefore I would on no account have you absent. Besides, now I think of it, there will be less gossip about this unfortunate business, if our neighbors see you under my roof, and treated with due consideration there, as you will be."

"I do not doubt that, Sir, from so manly an adversary; and I shall do myself the honor to come."

Such was Neville's reply. The rivals then saluted each other profoundly, and parted.

Hammersley and Rickards lingered behind their principals to settle their little bet about Kate's affections: and, by the by, they were indiscreet enough to discuss this delicate matter within a dozen yards of Tom Leicester: they forgot that "little pitchers have long ears."

Catharine Peyton rode slowly home, and thought it all over as she went, and worried herself finely. She was one that winced at notoriety; and she could not hope to escape it now. How the gossips would talk about her! they would say the gentlemen had fought about her;[Pg 227] and she had parted them for love of one of them. And then the gentlemen themselves! The strict neutrality she had endeavored to maintain on Scutchemsee Nob, in order to make peace, would it not keep them both her suitors? She foresaw she should be pulled to pieces, and live in hot water, and be "the talk of the county."

There were but two ways out: she must marry one of them, and petition the other not to shoot him; or else she must take the veil, and so escape them both.

She preferred the latter alternative. She was more enthusiastic in religion than in any earthly thing; and now the angry passions of men thrust her the same road that her own devout mind had always drawn her.

As soon as she got home, she sent a message to Father Francis, who drove her conscience, and begged him to come and advise her.

After that, she did the wisest thing, perhaps, she had done all day,—went to bed.


The sun was just setting when Catharine's maid came into her room and told her Father Francis was below. She sent down to say she counted on his sleeping at Peyton Hall, and she would come down to him in half an hour. She then ordered a refection to be prepared for him in her boudoir; and made her toilet with all reasonable speed, not to keep him waiting. Her face beamed with quiet complacency now, for the holy man's very presence in the house was a comfort to her.

Father Francis was a very stout, muscular man, with a ruddy countenance; he never wore gloves, and you saw at once he was not a gentleman by birth. He had a fine voice: it was deep, mellow, and, when he chose, sonorous. This, and his person, ample, but not obese, gave him great weight, especially with his female pupils. If he was not quite so much reverenced by the men, yet he was both respected and liked; in fact, he had qualities that make men welcome in every situation,—good humor, good sense, and tact. A good son of his Church, and early trained to let no occasion slip of advancing her interests.

I wish my readers could have seen the meeting between Catharine Peyton and this burly ecclesiastic. She came into the drawing-room with that imperious air and carriage which had made her so unpopular with her own sex; and at the bare sight of Father Francis, drooped and bent in a moment as she walked; and her whole body indicated a submissiveness, graceful, but rather abject: it was as if a young poplar should turn to a weeping willow in half a moment. Thus metamorphosed, the Beauty of Cumberland glided up to Francis, and sank slowly on her knees before him, crossed her hands on her bosom, lowered her lovely head, and awaited his benediction.

The father laid two big, coarse hands, with enormous fingers, on that thorough-bred head and golden hair, and blessed her business-like.

"The hand of less employment hath the daintier sense."—Shakspeare.

Father Francis blessed so many of these pretty creatures every week, that he had long outgrown your fine, romantic way of blessing a body. (We manage these things better in the theatre.) Then he lent her his hand to rise, and asked her in what she required his direction at present.

"In that which shall decide my whole life," said she.

Francis responded by a look of paternal interest.

"But first," murmured she, "let me confess to you, and obtain absolution, if I may. Ah, Father, my sins have been many since last confession!"

"Be it so," said Father Francis, resignedly. "Confession is the best preface to Direction." And he seated himself with a certain change of manner, an easy assumption of authority.

"Nay, Father," suggested the lady, "we shall be more private in my room."[Pg 228]

"As you will, Mistress Catharine Peyton," said the priest, returning to his usual manner.

So then the fair penitent led her spiritual judge captive up another flight of stairs, and into her little boudoir. A cheerful wood fire crackled and flamed up the chimney, and a cloth had been laid on a side table: cold turkey and chine graced the board, and a huge glass magnum of purple Burgundy glowed and shone in the rays of the cheery fire.

Father Francis felt cozy at the sight; and at once accepted Kate's invitation to take some nourishment before entering on the labor of listening to the catalogue of her crimes. "I fasted yesterday," he muttered; and the zeal with which he attacked the viands rendered the statement highly credible.

He invited Kate to join him, but she declined.

He returned more than once to the succulent meats, and washed all down with a pint of the fine old Burgundy, perfumed and purple. Meantime she of the laïty sat looking into the fire with heavenly-minded eyes.

At last, with a gentle sigh of content, the ghostly father installed himself in an arm-chair by the fire, and invited his penitent to begin.

She took a footstool and brought it to his side, so that, in confessing her blacker vices, she might be able to whisper them in his very ear. She kneeled on her little footstool, put her hands across her breast, and in this lowly attitude murmured softly after this fashion, with a contrite voice:—

"I have to accuse myself of many vices. Alas! in one short fortnight I have accumulated the wickedness of a life. I have committed the seven deadly sins. I have been guilty of Pride, Wrath, Envy, Disobedience, Immodesty, Vanity, Concupiscence, Fibs,"——

"Gently, daughter," said the priest, quietly; "these terms are too general: give me instances. Let us begin with Wrath: ah! we are all prone to that."

The fair penitent sighed, and said,—

"Especially me. Example: I was angry beyond reason with my maid, Ruth. (She does comb my hair so uncouthly!) So, then, the other night, when I was in trouble, and most needed soothing by being combed womanly, she gets thinking of Harry, that helps in the stable, and she tears away at my hair. I started up and screamed out, 'Oh, you clumsy thing! go curry-comb my horse, and send that oaf your head is running on to handle my hair.' And I told her my grandam would have whipped her well for it, but nowadays mistresses were the only sufferers: we had lost the use of our hands, we are grown so squeamish. And I stamped like a fury, and said, 'Get you gone out of the room!' and 'I hated the sight of her!' And the poor girl went from me, crying, without a word, being a better Christian than her mistress. Mea culpa! mea culpa!"

"Did you slap her?"

"Nay, Father, not so bad as that."

"Are you quite sure you did not slap her?" asked Francis, quietly.

"Nay. But I had a mind to. My heart slapped her, if my hand forbore. Alas!"

"Had she hurt you?"

"That she did,—but only my head. I hurt her heart: for the poor wench loves me dear,—the Lord knows for what."

"Humph!—proceed to Pride."

"Yes, Father. I do confess that I was greatly puffed up with the praises of men. I was proud of the sorriest things: of jumping a brook, when't was my horse jumped it, and had jumped it better with a fly on his back than the poor worm Me; of my good looks, forgetting that God gave them me; and besides, I am no beauty, when all is done; it is all their flattery. And at my Lady Munster's dinner I pridefully walked out before Mistress Davies, the rich cheesemonger's wife, that is as proud of her money as I of my old blood, (God forgive two fools!) which I had no right to do,—a maid to walk before a wife; and oh, Father, I whispered the gentleman who led me out,—it was Mr. Neville"—[Pg 229]

Here the penitent put one hand before her face, and hesitated.

"Well, daughter, half-confession is no confession. You said to Mr. Neville?"——

"I said, 'Nothing comes after cheese.'"

This revelation was made most dolefully.

"It was pert and unbecoming," said Father Francis, gravely, though a twinkle in his eye showed that he was not so profoundly shocked as his penitent appeared to be. "But go to graver matters. Immodesty, said you? I shall be very sorry, if this is so. You did not use to be immodest."

"Well, Father, I hope I have not altogether laid aside modesty; otherwise it would be time for me to die, let alone to confess; but sure it cannot be modest of me to ride after a gentleman and take him a letter. And then that was not enough: I heard of a duel,—and what did I do but ride to Scutchemsee Nob, and interfere? What gentlewoman ever was so bold? I was not their wife, you know,—neither of them's."

"Humph!" said the priest, "I have already heard a whisper of this,—but told to your credit. Beati pacifici: Blessed are the peacemakers. You had better lay that matter before me by-and-by, as your director. As your confessor, tell me why you accuse yourself of concupiscence."

"Alas!" said the young lady, "scarce a day passes that I do not offend in that respect. Example: last Friday, dining abroad, the cooks sent up a dish of collops. Oh, Father, they smelt so nice! and I had been a-hunting. First I smelt them, and that I couldn't help. But then I forgot custodia oculorum, and I eyed them. And the next thing was, presently—somehow—two of 'em were on my plate."

"Very wrong," said Francis; "but that is a harsher term than I should have applied to this longing of a hungry woman for collops o' Friday. Pray, what do you understand by that big word?"

"Why, you explained it yourself, in your last sermon. It means 'unruly and inordinate desires.' Example: Edith Hammersley told me I was mad to ride in scarlet, and me so fair and my hair so light. 'Green or purple is your color,' says she; and soon after this didn't I see in Stanhope town the loveliest piece of purple broadcloth? Oh, Father, it had a gloss like velvet, and the sun did so shine on it as it lay in the shop-window; it was fit for a king or a bishop; and I stood and gloated on it, and pined for it, and died for it, and down went the Tenth Commandment."

"Ah," said Francis, "the hearts of women are set on vanity! But tell me,—these unruly affections of yours, are they ever fixed on persons of the other sex?"

The fair sinner reflected.

"On gentlemen?" said she. "Why, they come pestering one of their own accord. No, no,—I could do without them very well. What I sinfully pine for is meat on a Friday as sure as ever the day comes round, and high-couraged horses to ride, and fine clothes to wear every day in the week. Mea culpa! mea culpa!"

Such being the dismal state of things, Francis slyly requested her to leave the seven deadly sins in peace, and go to her small offences: for he argued, shrewdly enough, that, since her sins were peccadilloes, perhaps some of her peccadilloes might turn out to be sins.

"Small!" cried the culprit, turning red,—"they are none of them small."

I really think she was jealous of her reputation as a sinner of high degree.

However, she complied, and, putting up her mouth, murmured a miscellaneous confession without end. The accents were soft and musical, like a babbling brook; and the sins, such as they were, poor things, rippled on in endless rotation.

Now nothing tends more to repose than a purling brook; and ere long something sonorous let the fair culprit know she had lulled her confessor asleep.

She stopped, indignant. But at that he instantly awoke, (sublatâ causâ, tollitur effectus,)[Pg 230] and addressed her thus, with sudden dignity,—

"My daughter, you will fast on Monday next, and say two Aves and a Credo. Absolvo te."

"And now," said he, "as I am a practical man, let us get back from the imaginary world into the real. Speak to me at present as your director; and mind, you must be serious now, and call things by their right names."

Upon this Kate took a seat, and told her story, and showed him the difficulty she was in.

She then reminded him, that, notwithstanding her unfortunate itch for the seven deadly sins, she was a good Catholic, a zealous daughter of the Church; and she let him know her desire to retire from both lovers into a convent, and so, freed from the world and its temptations, yield up her soul entire to celestial peace and divine contemplation.

"Not so fast," said the priest. "Even zeal is nought without obedience. If you could serve the Church better than by going into a convent, would you be wilful?"

"Oh, no, Father! But how can I serve the Church better than by renouncing the world?"

"Perhaps by remaining in the world, as she herself does,—and by making converts to the faith. You could hardly serve her worse than by going into a convent: for our convents are poor, and you have no means; you would be a charge. No, daughter, we want no poor nuns; we have enough of them. If you are, as I think, a true and zealous daughter of the Church, you must marry, and instil the true faith, with all a mother's art, a mother's tenderness, into your children. Then the heir to your husband's estates will be a Catholic, and so the true faith get rooted in the soil."

"Alas!" said Catharine, "are we to look but to the worldly interests of the Church?"

"They are inseparable from her spiritual interests here on earth: our souls are not more bound to our bodies."

Catharine was deeply mortified.

"So the Church rejects me because I am poor," said she, with a sigh.

"The Church rejects you not, but only the Convent. No place is less fit for you. You have a high spirit, and high religious sentiments: both would be mortified and shocked in a nunnery. Think you that convent-walls can shut out temptation? I know them better than you: they are strongholds of vanity, folly, tittle-tattle, and all the meanest vices of your sex. Nay, I forbid you to think of it: show me now your faith by your obedience."

"You are harsh to me, Father," said Catharine, piteously.

"I am firm. You are one that needs a tight hand, Mistress. Come, now, humility and obedience, these are the Christian graces that best become your youth. Say, can the Church, through me, its minister, count on these from you? or" (suddenly letting loose his diapason) "did you send for me to ask advice, and yet go your own way, hiding a high stomach and a wilful heart under a show of humility?"

Catharine looked at Father Francis with dismay. This was the first time that easy-going priest had shown her how impressive he could be. She was downright frightened, and said she hoped she knew better than to defy her director; she laid her will at his feet, and would obey him like a child, as was her duty.

"Now I know my daughter again," said he, and gave her his horrible paw, the which she kissed very humbly, and that matter was settled to her entire dissatisfaction.

Soon after that, they were both summoned to supper; but as they went down, Kate's maid drew her aside and told her a young man wanted to speak to her.

"A young man?" screamed Kate. "Hang young men! They have got me a fine scolding just now! Which is it, pray?"

"He is a stranger to me."

"Perhaps he comes with a message from some fool. You may bring him[Pg 231] to me in the hall, and stay with us: it may be a thief, for aught I know."

The maid soon reappeared, followed by Mr. Thomas Leicester.

That young worthy had lingered on Scutchemsee Nob, to extract the last drop of enjoyment from the situation, by setting up his hat at ten paces, and firing the gentlemen's pistols at it. I despair of conveying to any rational reader the satisfaction, keen, though brief, this afforded him; it was a new sensation: gentlemen's guns he had fired many; but duelling-pistols, not one, till that bright hour.

He was now come to remind Catharine of his pecuniary claims. Luckily for him, she was one who did not need to be reminded of her promises.

"Oh, it is you, child!" said she. "Well, I'll be as good as my word."

She then dismissed her maid, and went up stairs, and soon returned with two guineas, a crown piece, and three shillings in her hand.

"There," said she, smiling, "I am sorry for you, but that is all the money I have in the world."

The boy's eyes glittered at sight of the coin: he rammed the silver into his pocket with hungry rapidity; but he shook his head about the gold.

"I'm afeard o' these," said he, and eyed them mistrustfully in his palm. "These be the friends that get you your throat cut o' dark nights. Mistress, please you keep 'em for me, and let me have a shilling now and then when I'm dry."

"Nay," said Kate, "but are you not afraid I shall spend your money, now I have none left of my own?"

Tom seemed quite struck with the reasonableness of this observation, and hesitated. However, he concluded to risk it.

"You don't look one of the sort to wrong a poor fellow," said he; "and besides, you'll have brass to spare of your own before long, I know."

Kate opened her eyes.

"Oh, indeed!" said she; "and pray, how do you know that?"

Mr. Leicester favored her with a knowing wink. He gave her a moment to digest this, and then said, almost in a whisper,—

"Hearkened the gentlefolks on Scutchemsee Nob, after you was gone home, Mistress."

Kate was annoyed.

"What! they must be prating as soon as one's back is turned! Talk of women's tongues! Now what did they say, I should like to know?"

"It was about the bet, ye know."

"A bet? Oh, that is no affair of mine."

"Ay, but it is. Why, 'twas you they were betting on. Seems that old soger and Squire Hammersley had laid three guineas to one that you should let out which was your fancy of them two."

Kate's cheeks were red as fire now; but her delicacy overpowered her curiosity, and she would not put any more questions. To be sure, young Hopeful needed none; he was naturally a chatterbox, and he proceeded to tell her, that, as soon as ever she was gone, Squire Hammersley took a guinea and offered it to the old soldier, and told him he had won, and the old soldier pocketed it. But after that, somehow, Squire Hammersley let drop that Mr. Neville was the favorite.

"Then," continued Mr. Leicester, "what does the old soger do, but pull out guinea again, and says he,—

"'You must have this back; bet is not won: for you do think 'tis Neville; now I do think 'tis Gaunt.'

"So then they fell to argufying and talking a lot o' stuff."

"No doubt, the insolent meddlers! Can you remember any of their nonsense?—not that it is worth remembering, I'll be bound."

"Let me see. Well, Squire Hammersley, he said you owned to dreaming of Squire Neville,—and that was a sign of love, said he; and, besides, you sided with him against t'other. But the old soger, he said you called Squire Gaunt 'Griffith'; and he built on that. Oh, and a said you changed the horses back to please our Squire. Says he,[Pg 232]

"'You must look to what the lady did; never heed what she said. Why, their sweet lips was only made to kiss us, and deceive us,' says that there old soger."

"I'll—I'll——And what did you say, Sir?—for I suppose your tongue was not idle."

"Oh, me? I never let 'em know I was hearkening, or they'd have 'greed in a moment for to give me a hiding. Besides, I had no need to cudgel my brains; I'd only to ask you plump. You'll tell me, I know. Which is it, Mistress? I'm for Gaunt, you know, in course. Alack, Mistress," gabbled this voluble youth, "sure you won't be so hard as sack my Squire, and him got a bullet in his carcass, for love of you, this day."

Kate started, and looked at him in surprise.

"Oh," said she, "a bullet! Did they fight again the moment they saw my back was turned? The cowards!"

And she began to tremble.

"No, no," said Tom; "that was done before ever you came up. Don't ye remember that single shot while we were climbing the Nob? Well, 't was Squire Gaunt got it in the arm that time."


"But I say, wasn't our man game? Never let out he was hit while you was there; but as soon as ever you was gone, they cut the bullet out of him, and I seen it."


"Doctor takes out his knife,—precious sharp and shiny 't was!—cuts into his arm with no more ado than if he was carving a pullet,—out squirts the blood, a good un."

"Oh, no more! no more! You cruel boy! how could you bear to look?"

And Kate hid her own face with both hands.

"Why, 't wasn't my skin as was cut into Squire Gaunt, he never hollered; a winced, though, and ground his teeth; but 't was over in a minute, and the bullet in his hand.

"'That is for my wife,' says he, 'if ever I have one,'—and puts it in his pocket.

"Why, Mistress, you be as white as your smock!"

"No, no! Did he faint, poor soul?"

"Not he! What was there to faint about?"

"Then why do I feel so sick, even to hear of it?"

"Because you ha'n't got no stomach," said the boy, contemptuously. "Your courage is skin-deep, I'm thinking. However, I'm glad you feel for our Squire, about the bullet; so now I hope you will wed with him, and sack Squire Neville. Then you and I shall be kind o' kin: Squire Gaunt's feyther was my feyther. That makes you stare, Mistress. Why, all the folk do know it. Look at this here little mole on my forehead. Squire Gaunt have got the fellow to that."

At this crisis of his argument he suddenly caught a glimpse of his personal interest; instantly he ceased his advocacy of Squire Gaunt, and became ludicrously impartial.

"Well, Mistress; wed whichever you like," said he, with sublime indifference; "only whichever you do wed, prithee speak a word to the gentleman, and get me to be his gamekeeper. I'd liever be your goodman's gamekeeper than king of England."

He was proceeding with vast volubility to enumerate his qualifications for that confidential post, when the lady cut him short, and told him to go and get his supper in the kitchen, for she was wanted elsewhere. He made a scrape, and clattered away with his hobnailed shoes.

Kate went to the hall window and opened it, and let the cold air blow over her face.

Her heart was touched, and her bosom filled with pity for her old sweetheart.

How hard she had been. She had sided with Neville against the wounded man. And she thought how sadly and patiently he had submitted to her decision,—and a bullet in his poor arm all the time.[Pg 233]

The gentle bosom heaved, and heaved, and the tears began to run.

She entered the dining-room timidly, expecting some comment on her discourteous absence. Instead of that, both her father and her director rose respectfully, and received her with kind and affectionate looks. They then pressed her to eat this and that, and were remarkably attentive and kind. She could see that she was deep in their good books. This pleased her; but she watched quietly, after the manner of her sex, to learn what it was all about. Nor was she left long in the dark. Remarks were made that hit her, though they were none of them addressed to her.

Father Francis delivered quite a little homily on Obedience, and said how happy a thing it was, when zeal, a virtue none too common in these degenerate days, was found tempered by humility, and subservient to ghostly counsel and authority.

Mr. Peyton dealt in no general topics of that kind; his discourse was secular: it ran upon Neville's Cross, Neville's Court, and the Baronetcy; and he showed Francis how and why this title must sooner or later come to George Neville and the heirs of his body.

Francis joined in this topic for a while, but speedily diverged into what might be called a collateral theme. He described to Kate a delightful spot on the Neville estate, where a nunnery might be built and endowed by any good Catholic lady having zeal, and influence with the owner of the estate, and with the lord-lieutenant of the county.

"It is three parts an island, (for the river Wey curls round it lovingly,) but backed by wooded slopes that keep off the north and east winds: a hidden and balmy place, such as the forefathers of the Church did use to choose for their rustic abbeys, whose ruins still survive to remind us of the pious and glorious days gone by. Trout and salmon come swimming to the door; hawthorn and woodbine are as rife there as weeds be in some parts; two broad oaks stand on turf like velvet, and ring with songbirds. A spot by nature sweet, calm, and holy,—good for pious exercises and heavenly contemplation: there, methinks, if it be God's will I should see old age, I would love to end my own days, at peace with Heaven and with all mankind."

Kate was much moved by this picture, and her clasped hands and glistening eyes showed the glory and delight it would be to her to build a convent on so lovely a spot. But her words were vague. "How sweet! how sweet!" was all she committed herself to. For, after what Tom Leicester had just told her, she hardly knew what to say or what to think or what to do; she felt she had become a mere puppet, first drawn one way, then another.

One thing appeared pretty clear to her now: Father Francis did not mean her to choose between her two lovers; he was good enough to relieve her of that difficulty by choosing for her. She was to marry Neville.

She retired to rest directly after supper; for she was thoroughly worn out. And the moment she rose to go, her father bounced up, and lighted the bed-candle for her with novel fervor, and kissed her on the cheek, and said in her ear,—

"Good night, my Lady Neville!"


What with the day's excitement, and a sweet secluded convent in her soul, and a bullet in her bosom, and a ringing in her ear, that sounded mighty like "Lady Neville! Lady Neville! Lady Neville!" Kate spent a restless night, and woke with a bad headache.

She sent her maid to excuse her, on this score, from going to Bolton Hall. But she was informed, in reply, that the carriage had been got ready expressly for her; so she must be good enough to shake off disease and go; the air would do her a deal more good than lying abed.

Thereupon she dressed herself in her black silk gown, and came down, looking[Pg 234] pale and languid, but still quite lovely enough to discharge what in this age of cant I suppose we should call "her mission": videlicet, to set honest men by the ears.

At half past eight o'clock the carriage came round to the front door. Its body, all glorious with the Peyton armorials and with patches of rusty gilding, swung exceedingly loose on long leathern straps instead of springs; and the fore-wheels were a mile from the hind-wheels, more or less. A pretentious and horrible engine; drawn by four horses; only two of them being ponies impaired the symmetry and majestic beauty of the pageant. Old Joe drove the wheelers; his boy rode the leaders, and every now and then got off and kicked them in the pits of their stomachs, or pierced them with hedge-stakes, to rouse their mettle. Thus encouraged and stimulated, they effected an average of four miles and a half per hour, notwithstanding the snow, and reached Bolton just in time. At the lodge, Francis got out, and lay in ambush,—but only for a time. He did not think it orthodox to be present at a religious ceremony of his Protestant friends,—nor common-sense-o-dox to turn his back upon their dinner.

The carriage drew up at the hall-door. It was wide open, and the hall lined with servants, male and female, in black. In the midst, between these two rows, stood Griffith Gaunt, bareheaded, to welcome the guests. His arm was in a sling. He had received all the others in the middle of the hall; but he came to the threshold to meet Kate and her father. He bowed low and respectfully, then gave his left hand to Kate to conduct her, after the formal fashion of the day. The sight of his arm in a sling startled and affected her; and with him giving her his hand almost at the same moment, she pressed it, or indeed squeezed it nervously, and it was in her heart to say something kind and womanly: but her father was close behind, and she was afraid of saying something too kind, if she said anything at all; so Griffith only got a little gentle nervous pinch. But that was more than he expected, and sent a thrill of delight through him; his brown eyes replied with a volume, and holding her hand up in the air as high as her ear, and keeping at an incredible distance, he led her solemnly to a room where the other ladies were, and left her there with a profound bow.

The Peytons were nearly the last persons expected; and soon after their arrival the funeral procession formed. This part was entirely arranged by the undertaker. The monstrous custom of forbidding ladies to follow their dead had not yet occurred even to the idiots of the nation, and Mr. Peyton and his daughter were placed in the second carriage. The first contained Griffith Gaunt alone, as head mourner. But the Peytons were not alone: no other relation of the deceased being present, the undertaker put Mr. Neville with the Peytons, because he was heir to a baronetcy.

Kate was much startled, and astonished to see him come out into the hall. But when he entered the carriage, she welcomed him warmly.

"Oh, I am so glad to see you here!" said she.

"Guess by that what my delight at meeting you must be," said he.

She blushed and turned it off.

"I mean, that your coming here gives me good hopes there will be no more mischief."

She then lowered her voice, and begged him on no account to tell her papa of her ride to Scutchemsee Nob.

"Not a word," said George.

He knew the advantage of sharing a secret with a fair lady. He proceeded to whisper something very warm in her ear: she listened to some of it; but then remonstrated, and said,—

"Are you not ashamed to go on so at a funeral? Oh, do, pray, leave compliments a moment, and think of your latter end."

He took this suggestion, as indeed he did everything from her, in good part; and composed his visage into a decent gravity.

Soon after this they reached the church, and buried the deceased in his family vault.[Pg 235]

People who are not bereaved by the death are always inclined to chatter, coming home from a funeral. Kate now talked to Neville of her own accord, and asked him if he had spoken to his host. He said yes, and, more than that, had come to a clear understanding with him.

"We agreed that it was no use fighting for you. I said, if either of us two was to kill the other, it did not follow you would wed the survivor."

"Me wed the wretch!" said Kate, "I should abhor him, and go into a convent in spite of you all, and end my days praying for the murdered man's soul."

"Neither of us is worth all that," suggested Neville, with an accent of conviction.

"That is certain," replied the lady, dryly; "so please not to do it."

He bade her set her mind at ease: they had both agreed to try and win her by peaceful arts.

"Then a pretty life mine will be!"

"Well, I think it will, till you decide."

"I could easily decide, if it were not for giving pain to—somebody."

"Oh, you can't help that. My sweet mistress, you are not the first that has had to choose between two worthy men. For, in sooth, I have nothing to say against my rival, neither. I know him better than I did: he is a very worthy gentleman, though he is damnably in my way."

"And you are a very noble one to say so."

"And you are one of those that make a man noble: I feel that petty arts are not the way to win you, and I scorn them. Sweet Mistress Kate, I adore you! You are the best and noblest, as well as the loveliest of women!"

"Oh, hush, Mr. Neville! I am a creature of clay,—and you are another,—and both of us coming home from a funeral. Do think of that."

Here they were interrupted by Mr. Peyton asking Kate to lend him a shilling for the groom. Kate replied aloud that she had left her purse at home, then whispered in his ear that she had not a shilling in the world: and this was strictly true; for her little all was Tom Leicester's now. With this they reached the Hall, and the coy Kate gave both Neville and Gaunt the slip, and got amongst her mates. There her tongue went as fast as her neighbors', though she had just come back from a funeral.

But soon the ladies and gentlemen were all invited to the reading of the will.

And now chance, which had hitherto befriended Neville by throwing him into one carriage with Kate, gave Gaunt a turn. He found her a moment alone and near the embrasure of a window. He seized the opportunity, and asked her, might he say a word in her ear?

"What a question!" said she, gayly; and the next moment they had the embrasure to themselves.

"Kate," said he, hurriedly, "in a few minutes, I suppose, I shall be master of this place. Now you told me once you would rather be an abbess or a nun than marry me."

"Did I?" said Kate. "What a sensible speech! But the worst of it is, I'm never in the same mind long."

"Well," replied Griffith, "I think of all that falls from your lips, and your will is mine; only for pity's sake do not wed any man but me. You have known me so long; why, you know the worst of me by this time; and you have only seen the outside of him."

"Detraction! is that what you wanted to say to me?" asked Kate, freezing suddenly.

"Nay, nay; it was about the abbey. I find you can be an abbess without going and shutting yourself up and breaking one's heart. The way is, you build a convent in Ireland, and endow it; and then you send a nun over to govern it under you. Bless your heart, you can do anything with money; and I shall have money enough before the day is over. To be sure, I did intend to build a kennel and keep harriers, and you know that costs a good penny: but we couldn't manage a kennel and an abbey too; so now down goes the English[Pg 236] kennel, and up goes the Irish abbey."

"But you are a Protestant gentleman. You could not found a nunnery."

"But my wife could. Whose business is it what she does with her money?"

"With your money, you mean."

"Nay, with hers, when I give it her with all my heart."

"Well, you astonish me," said Kate, thoughtfully. "Tell me, now, who put it into your head to bribe a poor girl in this abominable way?"

"Who put it in my head?" said Griffith, looking rather puzzled; "why, I suppose my heart put it in my head."

Kate smiled very sweetly at this answer, and a wild hope thrilled through Griffith that perhaps she might be brought to terms.

But at this crisis the lawyer from London was announced, and Griffith, as master of the house, was obliged to seat the company. He looked bitterly disappointed at the interruption, but put a good face on it, and had more chairs in, and saw them all seated, beginning with Kate and the other ladies.

The room was spacious, and the entire company sat in the form of a horse-shoe.

The London solicitor was introduced by Griffith, and bowed in a short, business-like way, seated himself in the horse-shoe aforesaid, and began to read the will aloud.

It was a lengthy document, and there is nothing to be gained by repeating every line of it. I pick out a clause here and there.

"I, Septimus Charlton, of Hernshaw Castle and Bolton Grange, in the County of Cumberland, Esquire, being of sound mind, memory, and understanding,—thanks be to God,—do make this my last will and testament, as follows:—

"First, I commit my soul to God who gave it, and my body to the earth from which it came. I desire my executors to discharge my funeral and testamentary expenses, my just debts, and the legacies hereinafter bequeathed, out of my personal estate."

Then followed several legacies of fifty and one hundred guineas; then several small legacies, such as the following:—

"To my friend Edward Peyton, of Peyton Hall, Esquire, ten guineas to buy a mourning ring.

"To the worshipful gentlemen and ladies who shall follow my body to the grave, ten guineas each, to buy a mourning ring."

"To my wife's cousin, Griffith Gaunt, I give and bequeath the sum of two thousand pounds, the same to be paid to him within one calendar month from the date of my decease.

"And as to all my messuages, or tenements, farms, lands, hereditaments, and real estate, of what nature or what kind soever, and wheresoever situate, together with all my moneys, mortgages, chattels, furniture, plate, pictures, wine, liquors, horses, carriages, stock, and all the rest, residue, and remainder of my personal estate and effects whatsoever, (after the payment of the debts and legacies hereinbefore mentioned,) I give, devise, and bequeath the same to my cousin, Catharine Peyton, daughter of Edward Peyton, Esquire, of Peyton Hall, in the County of Cumberland, her heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns, forever."

When the lawyer read out this unexpected blow, the whole company turned in their seats and looked amazed at her who in a second and a sentence was turned before their eyes from the poorest girl in Cumberland to an heiress in her own right, and proprietor of the house they sat in, the chairs they sat on, and the lawn they looked out at.

Ay, we turn to the rising sun. Very few looked at Griffith Gaunt to see how he took his mistress's good fortune, that was his calamity; yet his face was a book full of strange matter. At first a flash of loving joy crossed his countenance; but this gave way immediately to a haggard look, and that to a glare of despair.

As for the lady, she cast one deprecating glance, swifter than lightning, at[Pg 237] him she had disinherited, and then she turned her face to marble. In vain did curious looks explore her to detect the delight such a stroke of fortune would have given to themselves. Faulty, but great of soul, and on her guard against the piercing eyes of her own sex, she sat sedate, and received her change of fortune with every appearance of cool composure and exalted indifference; and as for her dreamy eyes, they seemed thinking of heaven, or something almost as many miles away from money and land.

But the lawyer had not stopped a moment to see how people took it; he had gone steadily on through the usual formal clauses; and now he brought his monotonous voice to an end, and added, in the same breath, but in a natural and cheerful tone,—

"Madam, I wish you joy."

This operated like a signal. The company exploded in a body; and then they all came about the heiress, and congratulated her in turn. She curtsied politely, though somewhat coldly, but said not a word in reply, till the disappointed one spoke to her.

He hung back at first. To understand his feelings, it must be remembered, that, in his view of things, Kate gained nothing by this bequest, compared with what he lost. As his wife, she would have been mistress of Bolton Hall, etc. But now she was placed too far above him. Sick at heart, he stood aloof while they all paid their court to her. But by-and-by he felt it would look base and hostile, if he alone said nothing; so he came forward, struggling visibly for composure and manly fortitude.

The situation was piquant; and the ladies' tongues stopped in a moment, and they were all eyes and ears.


I spent the months of September, October, and November, 1865, in the States of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. I travelled over more than half the stage and railway routes therein, visited a considerable number of towns and cities in each State, attended the so-called reconstruction conventions at Raleigh, Columbia, and Milledgeville, and had much conversation with many individuals of nearly all classes.


I was generally treated with civility, and occasionally with courteous cordiality. I judge, from the stories told me by various persons, that my reception was, on the whole, something better than that accorded to the majority of Northern men travelling in that section. Yet at one town in South Carolina, when I sought accommodations for two or three days at a boarding-house, I was asked by the woman in charge, "Are you a Yankee or a Southerner?" and when I answered, "Oh, a Yankee, of course," she responded, "No Yankee stops in this house!" and turned her back upon me and walked off. In another town in the same State I learned that I was the first Yankee who had been allowed to stop at the hotel since the close of the war. In one of the principal towns of Western North Carolina, the landlord of the hotel said to a customer, while he was settling his bill, that he would be glad to have him say a good word for the house to any of his friends; "but," added he, "you may tell all d——d Yankees I can git 'long jest as well, if they keep clar o' me"; and when I asked if the Yankees were poor pay, or made him extra trouble, he answered, "I don't want 'em 'round. I ha'n't got[Pg 238] no use for 'em nohow." In another town in the same State, a landlord said to me, when I paid my two-days' bill, that "no d—n Yankee" could have a bed in his house. In Georgia, I several times heard the people of my hotel expressing the hope that the passenger-train wouldn't bring any Yankees; and I have good reason for believing that I was quite often compelled to pay an extra price for accommodations because I was known to be from the North. In one town, several of us, passengers by an evening train, were solicited to go to a certain hotel; but the clerk declined to give me a room, when he learned that I was from Massachusetts, though I secured one after a time through the favor of a travelling acquaintance, who sharply rebuked the landlord.

It cannot be said that freedom of speech has been fully secured in either of these three States. Personally, I have very little cause of complaint, for my rôle was rather that of a listener than of a talker; but I met many persons who kindly cautioned me, that at such and such places, and in such and such company, it would be advisable to refrain from conversation on certain topics. Among the better class of people, resident in the cities and large towns, I found a fair degree of liberality of sentiment and courtesy of speech; but in travelling off the main railway-lines, and among the average of the population, any man of Northern opinions must use much circumspection of language; while, in many counties of South Carolina and Georgia, the life of an avowed Northern radical would hardly be worth a straw but for the presence of the military. In Barnwell and Anderson districts, South Carolina, official records show the murder of over a dozen Union men in the months of August and September; and at Atlanta, a man told me, with a quiet chuckle, that in Carroll County, Georgia, there were "four d—n Yankees shot in the month of October." Any Union man, travelling in either of these two States, must expect to hear many very insulting words; and any Northern man is sure to find his principles despised, his people contemned, and himself subjected to much disagreeable contumely. There is everywhere extreme sensitiveness concerning the negro and his relations; and I neither found nor learned of any village, town, or city in which it would be safe for a man to express freely what are here, in the North, called very moderate views on that subject. Of course the war has not taught its full lesson, till even Mr. Wendell Phillips can go into Georgia and proclaim "The South Victorious."


I often had occasion to notice, both in Georgia and the Carolinas, the wide and pitiful difference between the residents of the cities and large towns and the residents of the country. There is no homogeneity, but everywhere a rigid spirit of caste. The longings of South Carolina are essentially monarchical rather than republican; even the common people have become so debauched in loyalty, that very many of them would readily accept the creation of orders of nobility. In Georgia there is something less of this spirit; but the upper classes continually assert their right to rule, and the middle and lower classes have no ability to free themselves. The whole structure of society is full of separating walls; and it will sadden the heart of any Northern man, who travels in either of these three States, to see how poor, and meagre, and narrow a thing life is to all the country people. Even with the best class of townsfolk it lacks very much of the depth and breadth and fruitfulness of our Northern life, while with these others it is hardly less materialistic than that of their own mules and horses. Thus, Charleston has much intelligence, and considerable genuine culture; but go twenty miles away, and you are in the land of the barbarians. So, Raleigh is a city in which there is love of beauty, and interest in education; but the common people of the county are at least forty years behind the same class of people in Vermont. Moreover, in Macon[Pg 239] are many very fine residences, and the city may boast of its gentility and its respect for the nourishing elegancies of life; but a dozen miles out are large neighborhoods not yet half-civilized. The contrast between the inhabitants of the cities and those of the country is hardly less striking than that between the various classes constituting the body of the common people. Going from one county into another is frequently going into a foreign country. Travel continually brings novelty, but with that always came pain. Till all these hateful walls of caste are thrown down, we can have neither intelligent love of liberty, decent respect for justice, nor enlightened devotion to the idea of national unity. "Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?"

It has been the purpose of the ruling class, apparently, to build new barriers between themselves and the common people, rather than tear away any of those already existing. I think no one can understand the actual condition of the mass of whites in Georgia and the Carolinas, except by some daily contact with them. The injustice done to three fourths of them was hardly less than that done to all the blacks. There were two kinds of slavery, and negro slavery was only more wicked and debasing than white slavery. Nine of every ten white men in South Carolina had almost as little to do with even State affairs as the negroes had. Men talk of plans of reconstruction;—that is the best plan which proposes to do most for the common people. Till civilization has been carried down into the homes and hearts of all classes, we shall have neither regard for humanity nor respect for the rights of the citizen. In many sections of all these States human life is quite as cheap as animal life. What a mental and moral condition does this indicate! Any plan of reconstruction is wrong that does not assure toleration of opinion, and the elevation of the common people to the consciousness that ours is a republican form of government. Whether they are technically in the Union or out of the Union, it is the national duty to deal with these States in such manner as will most surely exalt the lower and middle classes of their inhabitants. The nation must teach them a knowledge of their own rights, while it also teaches them respect for its rights and the rights of man as man.

Stopping for two or three days in some back county, I was always seeming to have drifted away from the world which held Illinois and Ohio and Massachusetts. The difficulty in keeping connection with our civilization did not so much lie in the fact that the whole structure of daily life is unlike ours, nor in the other fact that I was forced to hear the Union and all loyal men reviled, as in the greater fact that the people are utterly without knowledge. There is everywhere a lack of intellectual activity. Schools, books, newspapers,—why, one may almost say there are none outside the cities and towns. The situation is horrible enough, when the full force of this fact is comprehended; yet there is a still lower deep,—there is small desire, even feeble longing, for schools and books and newspapers. The chief end of man seems to have been "to own a nigger." In the important town of Charlotte, North Carolina, I found a white man who owned the comfortable house in which he lived, who had a wife and three half-grown children, and yet had never taken a newspaper in his life. He thought they were handy for wrapping purposes, but he couldn't see why anybody wanted to bother with the reading of them. He knew some folks spent money for them, but he also knew a-many houses where none had ever been seen. In that State I found several persons—whites, and not of the "clay-eater" class, either—who never had been inside a school-house, and who didn't mean to 'low their children to go inside one. In the upper part of South Carolina, I stopped one night at the house of a moderately well-to-do farmer who never had owned any book but a Testament, and that was given to him.[Pg 240] When I expressed some surprise at this fact, he assured me that he was as well off as some other people thereabouts. Between Augusta and Milledgeville I rode in a stage-coach in which were two delegates of the Georgia Convention. When I said that I hoped the day would soon come in which school-houses would be as numerous in Georgia as in Massachusetts, one of them answered: "Well, I hope it'll never come,—popular education is all a d—n humbug in my judgment"; whereunto the other responded, "That's my opinion, too." These are exceptional cases, I am aware, but they truly index the situation of thousands of persons. It is this general ignorance, and this general indifference to knowledge, that make a Southern trip such wearisome work. You can touch the masses with few of the appeals by which we move our own people. There is very little aspiration for larger life; and, more than that, there is almost no opportunity for its attainment. That education is the stairway to a nobler existence is a fact which they either fail to comprehend or to which they are wholly indifferent.

Where there is such a spirit of caste, where the ruling class has a personal interest in fostering prejudice, where the masses are in such an inert condition, where ignorance so generally prevails, where there is so little ambition for improvement, where life is so hard and material in its tone, it is not strange to find much hatred and contempt. Ignorance is generally cruel, and frequently brutal. The political leaders of this people have apparently indoctrinated them with the notion that they are superior to any other class in the country. Hence there is usually very little effort to conceal the prevalent scorn of the Yankee,—this term being applied to the citizen of any Northern State. Any plan of reconstruction is wrong that tends to leave these old leaders in power. A few of them give fruitful evidence of a change of heart,—by some means save these for the sore and troubled future; but for the others, the men who not only brought on the war, but ruined the mental and moral force of their people before unfurling the banner of rebellion,—for these there should never any more be place or countenance among honest and humane and patriotic people. When the nation gives them life, and a chance for its continuance, it shows all the magnanimity that humanity in such case can afford.


In North Carolina there is a great deal of something that calls itself Unionism; but I know nothing more like the apples of Sodom than most of this North Carolina Unionism. It is a cheat, a Will-o'-the-wisp; and any man who trusts it will meet with overthrow. Its quality is shown in a hundred ways. An old farmer came into Raleigh to sell a little corn. I had some talk with him. He claimed that he had been a Union man from the beginning of the war, but he refused to take "greenback money" for his corn. In a town in the western part of the State I found a merchant who prided himself on the fact that he had always prophesied the downfall of the so-called Confederacy and had always desired the success of the Union arms; yet when I asked him why he did not vote in the election for delegates to the Convention, he answered, sneeringly—"I shall not vote till you take away the military." The State Convention declared by a vote of ninety-four to nineteen that the Secession ordinance had always been null and void; and then faced squarely about, and, before the Presidential instructions were received, impliedly declared, by a vote of fifty-seven to fifty-three, in favor of paying the war debt incurred in supporting that ordinance! This action on these two points exactly exemplifies the quality of North Carolina Unionism. There may be in it the seed of loyalty, but woe to him who mistakes the germ for the ripened fruit! In all sections of the State I found abundant hatred of some leading or local Secessionist; but how full of promise for the new era of[Pg 241] national life is the Unionism which rests only on this foundation?

In South Carolina there is very little pretence of loyalty. I believe I found less than fifty men who admitted any love for the Union. There is everywhere a passionate devotion to the State, and the common sentiment holds that man guilty of treason who prefers the United States to South Carolina. There is no occasion to wonder at the admiration of the people for Wade Hampton, for he is the very exemplar of their spirit,—of their proud and narrow and domineering spirit. "It is our duty," he says, in his letter of last November, "it is our duty to support the President of the United States so long as he manifests a disposition to restore all our rights as a sovereign State." That sentence will forever stand as a model of cool arrogance, and yet it is in full accord with the spirit of the South-Carolinians. He continues:—"Above all, let us stand by our State,—all the sacred ties that bind us to her are intensified by her suffering and desolation.... It only remains for me, in bidding you farewell, to say, that, whenever the State needs my services, she has only to command, and I shall obey." The war has taught this people only that the physical force of the nation cannot be resisted. They will be obedient to the letter of the law, perhaps, but the whole current of their lives flows in direct antagonism to its spirit.

In Georgia there is something worse than sham Unionism or cold acquiescence in the issue of battle: it is the universally prevalent doctrine of the supremacy of the State. Even in South Carolina a few men stood up against the storm, and now claim credit for faith in dark days. In Georgia that man is hopelessly dead who doubted or faltered. The common sense of all classes pushes the necessity of allegiance to the State into the domain of morals as well as into that of politics; and he who did not "go with the State" in the Rebellion is held to have committed the unpardonable sin. At Macon I met a man who was one of the leading Unionists in the winter of 1860-61. He told me how he suffered then for his hostility to Secession, and yet he added,—"I should have considered myself forever disgraced, if I hadn't heartily gone with the State, when she decided to fight." And Ben Hill, than whom there are but few more influential men in the State, advises the people after this fashion,—"I would vote for no man who could take the Congressional test-oath, because it is the highest evidence of infidelity to the people of the State." I believe it is the concurrent testimony of all careful travellers in Georgia, that there is everywhere only cold toleration for the idea of national sovereignty, very little hope for the future of the State as a member of the Federal Union, and scarcely any pride in the strength and glory and renown of the United States of America.

Much is said of the hypocrisy of the South. I found but little of it anywhere. The North-Carolinian calls himself a Unionist, but he makes no special pretence of love for the Union. He desires many favors, but he asks them generally on the ground that he hated the Secessionists. He expects the nation to recognize rare virtue in that hatred, and hopes it may win for his State the restoration of her political rights; but he wears his mask of nationality so lightly that there is no difficulty in removing it. The South-Carolinian demands only something less than he did in the days before the war, but he offers no plea of Unionism as a guaranty for the future. He rests his case on the assumption that he has fully acquiesced in the results of the war, and he honestly believes that he has so acquiesced. His confidence in South Carolina is so supreme that he fails to see how much the conflict meant. He walks by such light as he has, and cannot yet believe that Destiny has decreed his State a secondary place in the Union. The Georgian began by believing that rebellion in the interest of Slavery was honorable, and the result of the war has not changed his opinion. He is anxious for readmission to fellowship[Pg 242] with New York and Pennsylvania and Connecticut, but he supports his application by no claim of community of interest with other States. His spirit is hard and uncompromising; he demands rights, but does not ask favors; and he is confident that Georgia is fully as important to the United States as they are to Georgia.

Complaint is made that the Southern people have recently elected military men to most of their local State offices. We do ourselves a wrong in making this complaint. I found it almost everywhere true in Georgia and the Carolinas that the best citizens of to-day are the Confederate soldiers of yesterday. Of course, in many individual cases they are bitter and malignant; but in general the good of the Union, no less than the hope of the South, lies in the bearing of the men who were privates and minor officers in the armies of Lee and Johnston. It may not be pleasant to us to recognize this fact; but I am confident that we shall make sure progress toward securing domestic tranquillity and the general welfare, just in proportion as we act upon it. It should be kept in mind that comparatively few of those who won renown on the field were promoters of rebellion or secession. The original malcontents,—ah! where are they? Some of them at least are beyond interference in earthly affairs; others are in hopeless poverty and chilling neglect; others are struggling to mount once more the wave of popular favor. A few of these last have been successful,—to see that no more of them are so is a national duty. I count it an omen of good, when I find that one who bore himself gallantly as a soldier has received preferment. We cannot afford to quarrel on this ground; for, though their courage was for our wounding, their valor was the valor of Americans.

The really bad feature of the situation with respect to the relations of these States to the General Government is, that there is not only very little loyalty in their people, but a great deal of stubborn antagonism, and some deliberate defiance. Further war in the field I do not deem among the possibilities. Be the leaders never so bloodthirsty, the common people have had enough of fighting. The bastard Unionism of North Carolina, the haughty and self-complacent State pride of South Carolina, the arrogant dogmatism and insolent assumption of Georgia,—how shall we build nationality on such foundations? That is the true plan of reconstruction which makes haste very slowly. It does not comport with the character of our Government to exact pledges of any State which are not exacted of all. The one sole needful condition is, that each State establish a republican form of government, whereby all civil rights at least shall be assured in their fullest extent to every citizen. The Union is no Union, unless there is equality of privileges among the States. When Georgia and the Carolinas establish this republican form of government, they will have brought themselves into harmony with the national will, and may justly demand readmission to their former political relations in the Union. Each State has some citizens, who, wiser than the great majority, comprehend the meaning of Southern defeat with praiseworthy insight. Seeing only individuals of this small class, a traveller might honestly conclude that the States were ready for self-government. Let not the nation commit the terrible mistake of acting on this conclusion. These men are the little leaven in the gross body politic of Southern communities. It is no time for passion or bitterness, and it does not become our manhood to do anything for revenge. Let us have peace and kindly feeling; yet, that our peace may be no sham or shallow affair, it is painfully essential that we keep these States awhile within national control, in order to aid the few wise and just men therein who are fighting the great fight with stubborn prejudice and hidebound custom. Any plan of reconstruction is wrong which accepts forced submission as genuine loyalty, or even as cheerful acquiescence in the national desire and purpose.[Pg 243]


Before the war, we heard continually of the love of the master for his slave, and the love of the slave for his master. There was also much talk to the effect that the negro lived in the midst of pleasant surroundings, and had no desire to change his situation. It was asserted that he delighted in a state of dependence, and throve on the universal favor of the whites. Some of this language we conjectured might be extravagant; but to the single fact that there was universal good-will between the two classes every Southern white person bore evidence. So, too, in my late visit to Georgia and the Carolinas, they generally seemed anxious to convince me that the blacks had behaved well during the war,—had kept at their old tasks, had labored cheerfully and faithfully, had shown no disposition to lawlessness, and had rarely been guilty of acts of violence, even in sections where there were many women and children, and but few white men.

Yet I found everywhere now the most direct antagonism between the two classes. The whites charge generally that the negro is idle, and at the bottom of all local disturbances, and credit him with most of the vices and very few of the virtues of humanity. The negroes charge that the whites are revengeful, and intend to cheat the laboring class at every opportunity, and credit them with neither good purposes nor kindly hearts. This present and positive hostility of each class to the other is a fact that will sorely perplex any Northern man travelling in either of these States. One would say, that, if there had formerly been such pleasant relations between them, there ought now to be mutual sympathy and forbearance, instead of mutual distrust and antagonism. One would say, too, that self-interest, the common interest of capital and labor, ought to keep them in harmony; while the fact is, that this very interest appears to put them in an attitude of partial defiance toward each other. I believe the most charitable traveller must come to the conclusion, that the professed love of the whites for the blacks was mostly a monstrous sham or a downright false pretence. For myself, I judge that it was nothing less than an arrant humbug.

The negro is no model of virtue or manliness. He loves idleness, he has little conception of right and wrong, and he is improvident to the last degree of childishness. He is a creature,—as some of our own people will do well to keep carefully in mind,—he is a creature just forcibly released from slavery. The havoc of war has filled his heart with confused longings, and his ears with confused sounds of rights and privileges: it must be the nation's duty, for it cannot be left wholly to his late master, to help him to a clear understanding of these rights and privileges, and also to lay upon him a knowledge of his responsibilities. He is anxious to learn, and is very tractable in respect to minor matters; but we shall need almost infinite patience with him, for he comes very slowly to moral comprehensions.

Going into the States where I went,—and perhaps the fact is true also of the other Southern States,—going into Georgia and the Carolinas, and not keeping in mind the facts of yesterday, any man would almost be justified in concluding that the end and purpose in respect to this poor negro was his extermination. It is proclaimed everywhere that he will not work, that he cannot take care of himself, that he is a nuisance to society, that he lives by stealing, and that he is sure to die in a few months; and, truth to tell, the great body of the people, though one must not say intentionally, are doing all they well can to make these assertions true. If it is not said that any considerable number wantonly abuse and outrage him, it must be said that they manifest a barbarous indifference to his fate, which just as surely drives him on to destruction as open cruelty would.

There are some men and a few women—and perhaps the number of these[Pg 244] is greater than we of the North generally suppose—who really desire that the negro should now have his full rights as a human being. With the same proportion of this class of persons in a community of Northern constitution, it might be justly concluded that the whole community would soon join or acquiesce in the effort to secure for him at least a fair share of those rights. Unfortunately, however, in these Southern communities the opinion of such persons cannot have such weight as it would in ours. The spirit of caste, of which I have already spoken, is an element figuring largely against them in any contest involving principle,—an element of whose practical workings we here know very little. The walls between individuals and classes are so high and broad, that the men and women who recognize the negro's rights and privileges as a freeman are almost as far from the masses as we of the North are. Moreover, that any opinion savors of the "Yankee"—in other words, is new to the South—is a fact that even prevents its consideration by the great body of the people. Their inherent antagonism to everything from the North—an antagonism fostered and cunningly cultivated for half a century by the politicians in the interest of Slavery—is something that no traveller can photograph, that no Northern man can understand, till he sees it with his own eyes, hears it with his own ears, and feels it by his own consciousness. That the full freedom of the negroes would be acknowledged at once is something we had no warrant for expecting. The old masters grant them nothing, except at the requirement of the nation,—as a military and political necessity; and any plan of reconstruction is wrong which proposes at once or in the immediate future to substitute free-will for this necessity.

Three fourths of the people assume that the negro will not labor, except on compulsion; and the whole struggle between the whites on the one hand and the blacks on the other hand is a struggle for and against compulsion. The negro insists, very blindly perhaps, that he shall be free to come and go as he pleases; the white insists that he shall come and go only at the pleasure of his employer. The whites seem wholly unable to comprehend that freedom for the negro means the same thing as freedom for them. They readily enough admit that the Government has made him free, but appear to believe that they still have the right to exercise over him the old control. It is partly their misfortune, and not wholly their fault, that they cannot understand the national intent, as expressed in the Emancipation Proclamation and the Constitutional Amendment. I did not anywhere find a man who could see that laws should be applicable to all persons alike; and hence even the best men hold that each State must have a negro code. They acknowledge the overthrow of the special servitude of man to man, but seek through these codes to establish the general servitude of man to the commonwealth. I had much talk with intelligent gentlemen in various sections, and particularly with such as I met during the conventions at Columbia and Milledgeville, upon this subject, and found such a state of feeling as warrants little hope that the present generation of negroes will see the day in which their race shall be amenable only to such laws as apply to the whites.

I think the freedmen divide themselves into four classes: one fourth recognizing; very clearly, the necessity of work, and going about it with cheerful diligence and wise forethought; one fourth comprehending that there must be labor, but needing considerable encouragement to follow it steadily; one fourth preferring idleness, but not specially averse to doing some job-work about the towns and cities; and one fourth avoiding labor as much as possible, and living by voluntary charity, persistent begging, or systematic pilfering. It is true, that thousands of the aggregate body of this people appear to have hoped, and perhaps believed, that freedom meant idleness; true, too, that[Pg 245] thousands are drifting about the country or loafing about the centres of population in a state of vagabondage. Yet of the hundreds with whom I talked, I found less than a score who seemed beyond hope of reformation. It is a cruel slander to say that the race will not work, except on compulsion. I made much inquiry, wherever I went, of great numbers of planters and other employers, and found but very few cases in which it appeared that they had refused to labor reasonably well, when fairly treated and justly paid. Grudgingly admitted to any of the natural rights of man, despised alike by Unionists and Secessionists, wantonly outraged by many and meanly cheated by more of the old planters, receiving a hundred cuffs for one helping hand and a thousand curses for one kindly word,—they bear themselves toward their former masters very much as white men and women would under the same circumstances. True, by such deportment they unquestionably harm themselves; but consider of how little value life is from their stand-point. They grope in the darkness of this transition period, and rarely find any sure stay for the weary arm and the fainting heart. Their souls are filled with a great, but vague longing for freedom; they battle blindly with fate and circumstance for the unseen and uncomprehended, and seem to find every man's hand raised against them. What wonder that they fill the land with restlessness!

However unfavorable this exhibit of the negroes in respect to labor may appear, it is quite as good as can be made for the whites. I everywhere found a condition of affairs in this regard that astounded me. Idleness, not occupation, seemed the normal state. It is the boast of men and women alike, that they have never done an hour's work. The public mind is thoroughly debauched, and the general conscience is lifeless as the grave. I met hundreds of hale and vigorous young men who unblushingly owned to me that they had not earned a penny since the war closed. Nine tenths of the people must be taught that labor is even not debasing. It was pitiful enough to find so much idleness, but it was more pitiful to observe that it was likely to continue indefinitely. The war will not have borne proper fruit, if our peace does not speedily bring respect for labor, as well as respect for man. When we have secured one of these things, we shall have gone far toward securing the other; and when we have secured both, then indeed shall we have noble cause for glorying in our country,—true warrant for exulting that our flag floats over no slave.

Meantime, while we patiently and helpfully wait for the day in which

"All men's good shall
Be each man's rule, and Universal Peace
Lie like a shaft of light across the land,"

there are at least five things for the nation to do; make haste slowly in the work of reconstruction; temper justice with mercy, but see to it that justice is not overborne; keep military control of these lately rebellious States, till they guaranty a republican form of government; scrutinize carefully the personal fitness of the men chosen therefrom as representatives in the Congress of the United States; and sustain therein some agency that shall stand between the whites and the blacks, and aid each class in coming to a proper understanding of its privileges and responsibilities.[Pg 246]


Herman; or, Young Knighthood. By E. Foxton. Boston: Lee & Shepard.

We are entirely uncertain whether this work will be recognized for what it is by our young country-folk; but we are very certain, if it is not, it will be our young country-folk's loss. It is, we suppose, a novel. Its author admits that it is a story; but it is not at all the kind of banquet to which novel-readers are usually invited. We can fancy the consternation which awaits the devourers of story-books,—those persons, we mean, whose reading is confined to novels, who lie in wait for Mrs. Wood and Miss Braddon, and stretch their sales into the double-figured thousands, through whose passive brains plot after plot travels in quick succession and leaves no sign, and whose name, we fear, is Legion. They will eagerly seize this new story with the romantic title, be launched auspiciously into gay ball-rooms, glide graciously among the familiar flounces, dances, and small talk, only to find themselves suddenly and without warning in some gulf of grave discussion opening out deceptively from the sparkling stream of the story, or stranded on some lofty sentiment never dreamt of in their philosophy. For the author's mind is, in the best sense of the word, a discursive one. It is full of positive thought, and strikes out right and left like a school-boy who must needs relieve his superabundant spirits by pinching his sister's ear, thrusting his fists in his brother's face, kicking aside the foot-cushion, and making a plunge at the cat, while he is performing the simple operation of walking across the room. This book is written out of a mind so full of wit and wisdom that it overflows at the gentlest touch. It has more sense and learning and power than go to the making up of a dozen ordinary novels. The very prodigality of its resources is a stumbling-block. Its great fault is its muchness, if we may borrow a term from Hawthorne's mint. It is like a young minister's first sermon, into which he frantically attempts to cram the whole body of divinity. Especially in the early part of the book, we are constantly drawn away front the story by delightful little essays, sometimes read to us by the author himself,—sometimes wrought into the conversations by playful anecdotes, by effective character-sketches, and vivid scene and scenery-paintings. They do not always materially help forward the story, nor do they always hinder it. They often give it an air of reality, and they always help to utilize the author's idea. If they do not avail his art, they avail his didactics. Where they are not good for the story, they are good for something. By many thoughtless, and by all mere novel-readers, they will probably be skipped; but for ourselves, we confess, that, though high art may regard them as blemishes, we should not know how to give the order for their removal. Considered in themselves, in their style and sentiment, the little digressions, the long conversations, the carefully wrought side-scenes are so rich in a certain tender religious wisdom, yet crisp and piquant withal, and so full of living thought on the great questions of the day, that we dwell in them with enjoyment, though with a compunctious half-consciousness that they ought not to be there.

But though we are tolerant of discursiveness where it affects only the flow of the story, we like it less where it disturbs the flow of the style. A paragraph ought never, by the mere form into which it is cast, to require to be read over and over in order to get at the meaning. Yet we are confident that nine readers out of ten would need to read the following sentence more than once in order to get at its true construction:—

"Oh, that I were able to conform myself to that further fictitious, not to say factitious, standard of taste, according to which, just as,—though a hemorrhage from the nose, howsoever ill-timed, distressing, or even dangerous to the patient, is comic,—one from the lungs is poetical and tragic; and an extravasation of blood about the heart is not inappropriate to the demise of the most romantic civil hero, (who would seem, indeed, capable of escaping an earthly immortality only by means of pulmonary disease or some accident, unless pounced upon by some convenient and imposing epidemic,) while a similar affection of the brain of an imaginary personage can be rendered affecting or excusable only by a weight of years and virtues in the patient; so certain moral diseases,[Pg 247] alias sins, in actual life making the sinner by no means peculiarly engaging, have in fiction acquired a prescriptive right to our regard!"

But the true power and pathos of the book rise ever high and higher, and all minor defects are flooded out of sight. It is no small happiness that we have to do from the beginning with a family hitherto wellnigh unknown in American noveldom,—a family rich and not vulgar, beautiful and not frivolous, highly educated and fastidious, yet neither bitter nor disdainful,—refined, honorable, serene, affectionate. We are not merely told that they are so. We mingle with them, we see it for ourselves, and are refreshed and revived thereby. It is pleasant to miss for once the worldly mother, the empty daughter, the glare and glitter of shoddy, the low rivalry, the degrading strife, which can hardly be held up even to our reprobation without debasing us. Whether or not the best mode of inculcating virtue is that which gives us an example to imitate rather than a vice to shun, we are sure it is the most agreeable. It is infinitely sweeter to be attracted by the fragrance of Paradise than to be repelled by the sulphurous fumes of Pandemonium. The contemplation of such a home as this book opens to us is pleasant to the eyes and good for the heart's food, and to be desired to make one wise. A pure domestic love shines through it, tender, tranquil, and intense. Its inmates are daintily, delicately, yet distinctly drawn. They are courteous without being cold, playful without rudeness, serious, yet sensible, reticent or demonstrative as the case may be, yet in all things natural. It is not book, it is life. Each is a type of character matchless in its way, but each is also a living soul, whose outward elegance and grace are but the fit adjuncts of its inward purity and peace. Even if such a home never existed, we should still defend its portrayal, as the Vicar of Wakefield wrote his wife's epitaph during her life that she might have a chance to become worthy of its praise.

It is a happiness also to make the acquaintance of women who are brilliant and not bad, whose innocence does not run into insipidity, who are no less queens than vassals, worthily the one, royally the other. We meet in books many single-women, but they are usually embittered by disappointment or by hope deferred,—angular, envious, busybodies in other women's matters; or they are comically odd, self-ridiculing, and unrestful; or, worst of all, they have become morally attenuated by a thwarted love or a long course of dismal and absurd self-sacrifice and are so resigned, colorless, and impassive, that, like Naaman, we are tempted to go away in a rage. But where shall we find another Clara,—beautiful, attractive, radiant, serenely living her happy life, "aimless," but not "anxious," doing every day the duty that lies next her hand, scarcely knowing that it is duty, never fancying that she is out of her sphere or thinking whether she is in it, tranced in tranquil reveries that spiritualize instead of spoiling her, and, shining ever along her untroubled way,

"With the moon's beauty and the moon's soft pace"?

All the chief actors in the book are clever, rising often into the high latitudes of genius, yet without that perverse kink which is wont to mar all satisfaction. There is no taint of poison in the air they breathe. There is no passion hovering on the border-land of crime, or defiling its garments with the dust of earthliness. Love is what it ever should be, all noble and elevating,—worship as well as devotion,—annihilating only selfishness, sanctifying, not sacrificing, duty. There is no yielding to a depraved popular taste, no abdication of an inherited throne to stand on a level with the unthinking crowd and receive its worthless applauses. Rather the crowd is bidden higher, to enter upon its own rightful, royal possessions. This is the true missionary work. Manhood and womanhood in their best development are the theme of the book; and they are touched with so fine a grace, outlined with so true a pencil, tinted with so imperial a splendor, that the most discontented may be satisfied. Does this seem slight praise? In truth it can most rarely be bestowed. Why, it is matter for thanksgiving when we are not outraged!

On this Field of the Cloth of Gold rises a knight without fear and without reproach. Purely human and most heroic, as unpretending as spotless, womanly, gentle, yet of positive and aggressive strength, strength to do silently, to endure steadfastly, to die conquered, yet victorious, to live in the front, yet alone,—is it an ideal character? So much the more let it be studied, that our souls may absorb it and produce the reality: for it is ideal after no impossible sort. In his simple purity, in his fidelity to right, in his chivalry and his religion, he is only what all can be. It is an American boy, called to no loftier[Pg 248] living, to no more "extraordinary seeking," than his country has a right to claim from all her sons,—called to no sterner sacrifice, to no severer suffering, than many a brave lad has faced and may yet face again. If we could read the silent history of these last years, should we not find in thousands of young hearts the story of a resolve no less firm, of a pain scarcely less deadly? The pent-up agony in the prison-house of Slavery before Northern cannon thundered at its doors is a tale that will never be told. God grant its horrors may never be surpassed,—never renewed! But we cannot say that Herman's woe is too highly wrought. We cannot console ourselves with thinking, that, however vividly delineated, it is mere fictitious suffering. We know that such things have happened,—yes, and things immeasurably worse. We know that Herman did only what any high and clear-souled man ten years ago might have owed to do, and that he suffered only the natural consequences of such doing. Ten years ago this country of ours was so that a man might legally and without redress be tortured to death for doing that which was not merely a plain obedience to the plainest precepts of the Bible, but what in any other Christian country than our own would have been instantly recognized as a deed of the highest heroism. And if we are not careful to do justly, all the new ropes wherewith we have bound this accursed Samson of Slavery will be broken like a thread, and our last state be worse than our first.

We know no work of fiction so full as this of beauty and wisdom, so free from folly, so resplendent with intellectual life, with moral purity, and Christian holiness, so apt to teach, so graceful in the teaching. We follow it with admiration and sympathy, from its gay beginning, through all the pain, the passion, and the peace, to the heartache of its closing pages,—that close, supremely sad, yet strangely beautiful. "She sang to him, and he slept; she spoke, and he did not awaken." It is the record of heavy struggle, of defeat that was triumph, and triumph that was Heaven.

We offer no congratulations to the new author; nor do we deprecate for him any harsh censure;—not only because praise and censure seem alike rugged and halting by the sweet strains we seek to celebrate, but because he who in his "saintly solitude" can create a world so fair is independent of these light afflictions. For him there is always sympathy, great companionship, and godlike work. From this Earth can nothing take away; than this she has nothing more to give.

History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Rationalism in Europe. By W. E. H. Lecky, M. A. Two Vols. New York: D. Appleton & Co.

Mr. Lecky has given us a book replete with interesting matter; and yet, owing to some lack of intellectual mastery in him over his materials, it leaves a singularly vague and dispiriting impression on the mind in reading it. The author has a plethora of knowledge in regard to the surface changes in history, but no insight whatever apparently into the meaning of history itself, into the philosophic causes which these changes attest and obey. He is a man of uncommon bulk, but deficient muscle. His mental furniture enfeebles his intellectual faculty. His body obstructs his soul. Sumptus fructum superat. His book costs the author more than it comes to. He is so absorbed in the contemplation of the accidents of history as to forget that history itself is but a narrow river, conducting to the broad, illimitable ocean of human brotherhood or equality,—and that to stand upon the bank, therefore, and watch its successive waves, instead of manfully leaping in and committing one's life and fortunes to it, is scarcely the part of a wise man. Mr. Lecky's essay would seem to have originated more in a desire to try his hand at theorizing than in any necessity to ventilate some previous drifts from the beginning to the end of his book. You never feel yourself in a compact, water-tight boat, obedient to rudder and sail, but at most on a raft, drifting at the absolute gré of the tides, in a certain general direction, no doubt, but with no foresight of the specific intellectual port at which you are to bring up. Occasionally the mist condenses, the rain patters down, you catch a glimpse of far-off mountaintops, and suppose the entire landscape will soon be bathed in sunshine. But no, a new inrush of illustrative facts takes place, and all is fog again. There is a great deal of good writing in the book, and it leaves nothing to be desired in the way of advanced sentiment. But we fail to perceive its bearing upon the progress of ideas. It may flatter a superficial scientific optimism, but it will obstruct rather than promote the interests[Pg 249] of philosophic thought, for this reason, that it inclines the reader to suspend his convictions upon some fated progress of events which will of itself do the world's thinking for it, and turn both heart and mind at last into cheerful, complacent pensioners of science.

The object of Mr. Lecky is to trace the history of the spirit of Rationalism,—the spirit which disposes men to reject all belief founded upon authority, and to make the causes of phenomena intrinsic and not extrinsic to the phenomena themselves. Rationalism, if we rightly apprehend Mr. Lecky, is not any precise doctrine or system of doctrine, but only a diffused bias or tendency of the mind to regard the power which is operative in Nature and history as a rigidly creative or constitutive power, rather than a redemptive or formative one. Doubtless Mr. Lecky, if he should ever consider the subject, would be free to admit that the creative action implies a necessary reaction on the part of the creature. But he has manifestly no sympathy with the early or imaginative faiths of the world, which represent creation as a physical rather than a rational exhibition of the Divine power. His entire book is written in the service of the opposite conception. To be sure, he does not discuss the new faith as a theologian, but only as an historian. It is not an affair of the heart with him, but only of the head. He takes no pains to commend it as an advance in point of truth upon the old faith, and does not once even avow his own intellectual identification with it. In short, he is not the retained attorney of the new faith, but its disinterested annalist, treating it simply as an historic change wrought in the texture of men's thought, promoted by such and such causes, attested by such and such effects, but independent of all partisan judgment and clamor either favorable or adverse. Still there is no doubt of the historian's own private bias. He applauds ex animo the change he records; and his book would have gained greatly in interest, if he could only have written it a little more from the heart and a little less from the head. For then, apart from the incidental advantage which would accrue to it, to the reader's imagination, as being a revelation of the author's living personality, we think the author himself could hardly fail to have seen, before he had finished his task, that there is no essential contradiction between the world's earlier and later faiths; that these faiths differ not as good and evil or true and false differ, but only and at most as root and stem and flower differ in the plant, or birth, growth, and maturity in the animal.

The lesson which Mr. Lecky inculcates upon his reader is this: that civilization and miracle are fatally opposed; that the former waxes or wanes precisely as the latter is discredited or accredited. History shows civilization to have thriven precisely as men have outgrown their belief in miracle, or the possibility of any outward Divine intervention in Nature, and have learned to insist upon strictly natural causes for all natural effects. The fruits of Mr. Lecky's research on this subject are varied and interesting, and we cordially commend his volumes to the reader as an inviting storehouse of materials for reflection; but we very much doubt whether the school of thought he represents has, on the whole, mastered the problem of civilization any more thoroughly than its rival. The difference between the two schools is, indeed, one of principle more than of words; but we cannot help thinking, nevertheless, that the controversy is needlessly protracted on both sides, for want of a sufficiently definite and comprehensive statement of the point in dispute. Let us see whether we cannot make at least an approximation to such a statement.

What is agitated, then, between the two rival schools of thought is the Divine power: not the existence of such power, for there is no noticeable difference on that point, but only its quality or mode of operation. The Orthodox attribute to God a strictly moral, which is a specific method of action, addressed to purely personal or subjective issues; their opponents, a strictly physical, which is a universal method, addressed to purely impersonal and objective issues. The one party assigns to God a finite personality, or one limited by Nature; the other, an indefinite personality, as identified with natural law. The Orthodox, of course, maintain that God's creative action was universal, inasmuch as it contemplated only cosmical issues; but as that mode of action was exhausted by its own universality, His subsequent relation to His creatures must be purely administrative, as expressing His personal pleasure or displeasure in their various functioning. The other side do not dogmatize about the Divine power, or its method of action, in the abstract. They only insist, as against their antagonists, that the Divine administration of Nature is not, within the[Pg 250] limits of our science, personal; that it is not a power exerted upon Nature, or from without, and in contravention of her ordinary processes; that, so far as our knowledge goes, on the contrary, whatever may be our faith, it is a power invariably exerted through Nature, or from within, and therefore in habitual consistency with her ordinary effects. In other words, they insist, that, so far as the Divine power is cognizable to us, it falls exclusively within and never without the routine of Nature; and as universality is the characteristic of that routine, they do not hesitate, on behalf of science, to affirm that the Divine action is never addressed to specific or differential results, but always to universal or identical ones. In short, they logically refuse to the Divine power as exhibited in Nature all personal or moral quality, as inferring on the part of Deity any possible unequal or inequitable relations to the creatures He has made; and assign to all such reputed partial exhibitions of it a purely educative, and therefore universal, bearing upon the mind of the race.

Such, in brief, is the question agitated between the old and new faiths; whether God acts outwardly upon Nature, or inwardly through Nature,—that is to say, whether His action is specific as addressed to private ends, or strictly universal as addressed only to public ends. If the former hypothesis be true, then sense rightfully controls reason, and everything is exactly what it appears. If the latter hypothesis be true, then sense rightfully serves reason, and nothing is as it appears to be, namely, absolute and independent of everything else, but simply phenomenal and relative to everything else. It is evident to a glance that a controversy so eminently scientific could never have gone to the unwholesome lengths which it has reached in our day, unless there were something in it more than meets the eye: unless, for example, the interests of morality, which is the only recognized bond of our existing societies, were at stake. For if one and the same law binds all Nature, then plant and animal and man have one and the same destiny, so far as their nature goes. If, for example, the plant as one form of natural existence, and the animal as another form, are what they severally are, by no means absolutely, or in themselves, but only by relation to all other plants and animals, then man, who is only a higher, that is, a moral, or evil absolutely or in himself, but only relatively to all other men. And if we allow morality only this relative force,—if the good man is not good absolutely or in himself, nor the evil man evil absolutely or in himself,—why, then our existing civilization, which is built upon such absoluteness, has a fictitious basis, and must fall to the ground.

Hinc ilia lachrymæ. This is why a question apparently of pure science turns out practically so full of inward heartburning and mutual reviling. Neither theology nor science is competent to the philosophic recognition of man's associated destiny, and hence have neither of them the secret of those perturbations which ever and anon gloom our political atmosphere and shut out to the eye of sensuous thought the entire future of the race. Philosophy alone possesses this secret, because it alone perceives that all our political, civil, and even domestic broils grow out of this identical warfare between men's religions and scientific convictions,—have no other source than that persistent insubmission which the interests of force, as represented by priesthoods and governments, are under to the interests of freedom, represented by society. Philosophy mediates between the religious and secular thought of mankind, by making the sphere of God's universal action identical with that of man's organic necessities, and the sphere of His specific action identical with that of man's moral freedom: so harmonizing the two in one subject. Philosophy alone, in short, is competent to the future of human destiny, because it alone adjusts the relation of morals to physics, alone adjusts the specific interests avouched by religion with the universal interests avouched by science. And its competence is owing to this fact exclusively, that it alone apprehends or appreciates the distinctively social destiny of man, a destiny in which the interests of the most intense and exquisite freedom or individuality are bound up with the interests of the most imperious necessity or community,—or, what is the same thing, which presents every man no longer in subjective or moral, but only in objective or æsthetic, contrast with his kind, that so the general harmony may be inflamed by the widest partial diversity. Thus philosophy bids society recognise itself at once as God's perfect work on earth,—bids it rise to instant self-consciousness as the real Divine substance which Church and State have only feebly typified, and put on all Divine strength and peace as its rightful breastplate and ornament. For if all these[Pg 251] fleeting phenomenal discords among men, upon which our existing civilization proceeds, claim no longer an absolute, but only a relative Divine sanction, a sanction in relation to the interests of human society exclusively, what remains for society to do but to organize itself afresh upon an eternal basis, that is, upon the acknowledgment of a force in man infinitely transcending his moral force, because it forever unites instead of disjoining him with God, being the force of spontaneous or productive action?

An Address on the Limits of Education, read before the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, November 16th, 1865. By Jacob Bigelow, M. D. Boston: E. P. Dutton & Co.

Dr. Bigelow has had the honor of naturalizing, if not of inventing, the name of the Institute before which he delivered this address. His work on the Elements of Technology was the first in which this name appeared, at least in recent times. It designates that class of sciences which bear on art,—sciences of practical application. Dr. Bigelow, in this address, places himself emphatically with those who believe that mental discipline can be obtained as well by useful as by useless studies, and who think it a waste of time "to spend five years of the most susceptible part of life in acquiring a minute familiarity with tongues which are daily becoming more obsolete." We welcome this address as an important ally for those who desire that our schools and colleges shall not insist that every young man wishing for their advantages shall devote one half of his time to the details of Greek and Latin Grammar and Prosody. Dr. Bigelow is no rash reformer, no youthful enthusiast, no reckless radical. He has the confidence of the whole community for his science, scholarship, and ripe judgment. When, therefore, a man of his character and position, without passion or prejudice, publishes the conclusions which this address contains, we may hope that a change is at hand in the course of study now pursued in our colleges and universities, and in the schools which prepare for them. Dr. Bigelow does not desire Latin or Greek to be excluded from the college course; but he thinks that "under the name of classical literature they premise and afterward carry on a cumbrous burden of dead languages, kept alive through the dark ages, and now stereotyped in England, by the persistent conservatism of a privileged order." He thinks that the mind might be disciplined and trained quite as well and more cheaply by other studies than that of the Greek language. He is of opinion, that, if Greek should once cease to be made a requisite in our universities, though it would be studied still by a certain class, it would never be adopted again as an indispensable academic study.

In all this we quite agree with him. Thus far, almost everything else has been subordinated in our college course to the study of Greek and Latin. At least one half of the time of a young man desiring a liberal education, from twelve to twenty years of age, is given up to Greek and Latin. The other half is left for Mathematics, Geography, History, Geology, Chemistry, Natural History, Metaphysics, Ethics, Astronomy, and General Reading. Before entering college, his time must be almost wholly occupied with the study of Latin, Greek, and Mathematics. For he is required, in order to enter our principal university, to know Virgil, Cæsar, Cicero, Xenophon, three books of the Iliad, Arithmetic, Algebra, and Geometry, and to have the whole Latin and Greek Grammar at his tongue's end. He must also be able to write Latin, and to write Greek with the accents. But he need not know a word of American or Modern History (he must know the History of Greece and Rome),—not a word of any modern language or modern science,—nothing of Chemistry, Astronomy, Geology,—nothing of modern literature. Though he must be able to write Greek, he need not be able to write English. And so, after being obliged to spend the largest part of his time before entering college in learning Greek and Latin philology, is he then allowed to drop these studies and begin others? Not so. He is not even permitted to leave off Greek and Latin philology, in order to become acquainted with Greek and Latin literature, much less to become acquainted with any other. Nearly all the way through college he keeps on writing Creek and Latin exercises; and the result of it all is, that he not unfrequently becomes so disgusted with these languages that he forgets them as soon as he can, and on leaving college can hardly read with ease the simplest Greek or Latin book.

Such being, as is well known to all graduates of college, the present state of affairs,[Pg 252] we welcome with profound gratitude the present address of Dr. Bigelow. Coming from such a source, containing such unanswerable arguments, expressed in so lucid and striking a form, the effect must be excellent. We have dwelt upon a single point of the address, because it seemed to us the most important and valuable part of it. But there is in it much besides, that is both instructive and interesting; and we recommend the pamphlet as one to be carefully read, and by no means to be confounded with the commoner style of public addresses.

Vida de Abran Lincoln, décimosesto Presidente de los Estados Unidos, precedida de una Introduccion. Por D. F. Sarmiento. Nueva York: D. Appleton y Ca.

This life of our lamented President, by the distinguished Argentine, now Minister to Washington, is a very interesting circumstance, aside from the merit of the work, which is very great. It is an amazing fact that so few Eastern Americans read and speak Spanish, when one portion of our country borders upon a Republic that speaks that language only, and when we are so nearly allied in feeling and free principles of government to South America, twenty-three of whose Republics are now represented in the diplomatic body at Washington. The most remarkable of these gentlemen is Colonel D. F. Sarmiento, who has done more to elevate the Republic he represents than any other individual; for he has devoted many years of his active and patriotic life to introducing North American, and indeed we may say Massachusetts, systems of education into South America,—first into Chili, where he was an exile for twenty years, during the reign of the tyrants who brought such suffering upon the Argentine Republic, and since that time into the Argentine Republic itself, where he was at one time Governor of the province of San Juan, at another, Minister of Instruction in the province and city of Buenos Ayres, also Senator in their Congress. He took up the cause of his country when quite a boy, and has devoted himself to it, either in the field or as an educator, ever since. His eye has always been open to behold the workings of the free institutions that he desired to see established in it, and he has been probably the most powerful instrument in inducing his government to adopt the Constitution and laws of the United States, so that it is truly a sister Republic, and as such appeals irresistibly to our sympathy.

The Life of Mr. Lincoln, which he has now written for his own countrymen, has of course been gathered chiefly from biographies already written; but the interest of the work consists in the adaptation of it to the South American needs. To set forth the dignity of labor, the supremacy of the moral sentiments, the duty of education for the whole people, has been his aim; and he has enjoyed, and made others enjoy, the fact that two men of the people, par excellence, who had no adventitious aids of wealthy friends, or even of educated friends, did, by force of character and native powers of mind, come to be the free choice of this great people for President and Vice-President at a time when a new epoch opened in its history: for even before the war broke out, the "irrepressible conflict" was felt to be upon us, and we needed the best of helmsmen, and the wisest,—in that sense of the word wisdom which includes goodness as well as intelligence. We hope to see the Introduction to this work translated in full. The book closes with a translation of Mr. Lincoln's favorite poem, "Oh, why should the spirit of mortal be proud?" by young Bartholomew Mitre, one of Señor Sarmiento's legation, a son of the President of the Argentine Republic.

A few months since, Señor Sarmiento issued a pamphlet, giving an account of the splendid resources of the Republic, in answer to inquiries made by those who wished to emigrate thither. He also wrote, many years ago, a very interesting work, called "Civilization and Barbarism," giving an account of the reigns of some of those tyrants who so long arrested the great career of the Republic. That work is to be translated and published, and will give a new feeling of interest in the history of South America's struggles for freedom. If it had been one united country, like the United States, instead of being cut up into so many governments, it would have been easier for foreigners (if, indeed, North Americans should be called foreigners in South America) to follow it in its various changes; but, except where some great man, like Bolivar, made himself conspicuous, it was difficult, without much investigation of details, to keep the track of their proceedings, or to tell which side was specifically right,—for a revolution, to be very interesting, must have[Pg 253] its foundation in great principles. The answer to this may be, that to throw off the yoke of foreign dominion implies a great principle, and this is true; yet, until it is done intelligently rather than instinctively, it does not challenge the attention of the world.

Señor Sarmiento understands our institutions theoretically, as only those foreigners can who have suffered the ills of tyranny and oppression. Such men look at us from their various stand-points, and reason ethically upon the effect which freedom from all undue authority should have upon the human mind, and they judge of us by our theory rather than by our practice; and when they come amongst us, they are often disappointed and disheartened to find that we, too, are selfish and hesitate to stretch the helping hand to our fellow-sufferers. When they have patience to look deeper than the surface, however, they see that there is a hidden might in the possibilities created by political freedom; and since the outbreak of the war which has cost the nation such blood and treasure, they have seen that they were not mistaken,—that prosperity had not wholly spoiled us,—that the latent force only needed a stimulus to resolve itself into noble action; and such lives as Lincoln's and Johnson's are to them the most glorious expositions of the principles for which they have borne everything, suffered everything, and hoped everything. Our suffering neighbors, the Mexicans, may be helped in their struggles by the diffusion of this Spanish Life of Mr. Lincoln; for Sarmiento has dwelt with great minuteness upon all those features of our institutions which younger republics need to know in detail. It is, indeed, a manual of instruction for any young republic. He describes minutely the proceedings of the trial of Mr. Lincoln's assassins, evidently with the intention of showing to his countrymen the mode of conducting such proceedings to secure the ends of justice; and he often dwells upon the habitual regard of the majesty of Law evinced by our people in great emergencies, such as at the first election and at the re-election of Mr. Lincoln, when the whole nation stood breathless, as it were, and reverentially waited for that vox populi, which is theoretically vox Dei in a republic, but which, alas! does not always prove so. If all parts of the Republic were intelligently educated, it would doubtless be so without fail; but demagogues will always flourish and rule where there is ignorance and superstition, and the schoolmaster has not been abroad yet in the whole length and breadth of our land. Sarmiento never loses an opportunity of dwelling with power and eloquence, when addressing his countrymen, as he has often done upon this subject, on the advantages of a diffused knowledge among the people. Indeed, if all that he has written and said—even that portion of it which is recorded in the Buenos Ayres Common School Annals—could be collected, it would make a noble volume for all Spanish lands,—except, indeed, Old Spain, where there is not light enough to read it by.

Richard Cobden, the Apostle of Free Trade: his Political Career and Public Services. A Biography. By John McGilchrist, Author of "The Life of Lord Dundonald." etc. New York: Harper & Brothers.

This unassuming volume, of small size and plain covers, is strictly what it pretends to be, a simple biography, and therefore, apart from its subject, it is a book to be commended. We do not see the author on every page, we are not forced to stop and listen to his reflections, nor to long digressions into history, too commonly the fault in contemporaneous biography of political men. The writer kindly remembers that the reader's ignorance or knowledge does not rest upon his conscience. Therefore we find in the little book what we wish, the story of Richard Cobden, "the international man"; and it is a noble life-history, of which no American should be ignorant.

His success in business, remarkable as it was, is a greater source of wonder and admiration in England than in America, where the rapid accumulation of a fortune and the creation of a large mercantile house have hitherto been matters of less rare occurrence than in older countries; but the result and use of Richard Cobden's financial success are as unprecedented and surprising at one end of the money-making and money-spending world as the other.

Soon after the establishment of his business house in Manchester, Mr. Cobden interested himself in the public welfare of that city. His labors in behalf of the people attracted John Bright to his side, and at the early age of thirty years he had made a "decided local mark."

The saying, true and old as the fact men[Pg 254] call character, that it is what an individual is, and not what he does, which marks him good or ill among his kind, holds eminently true with regard to Richard Cobden. Not only was the range of his sympathies wide, the aim was sure; "he never lost sight," said Mr. Disraeli, "of the sympathies of those whom he addressed; and so, generally avoiding to drive his arguments to an extremity, he became, as a speaker, both practical and persuasive"; and the same power, brought to bear upon the actions and communications of every day, made him a puissant servant of the Right.

There are three or four benefactions, however, which he was instrumental in conferring upon his own country, and indirectly upon all countries, for which he has become justly celebrated. These are tangible and enduring proofs of character for those who knew him not, and show his sympathy to have transcended the bounds of mere sentiment, and passed into the region of energetic self-sacrifice.

His efforts for the Anti-Corn-Law and Free Trade in England cannot be over-estimated. His life and strength and fortune were as nothing in comparison with his desire to benefit the people. When he first comprehended the necessity of labor in the Anti-Corn-Law struggle, he determined to press Mr. Bright, whose abilities had already produced a deep impression upon Mr. Cobden, into the service; but Mr. Bright had lately lost his wife and had retired to Leamington, where Mr. Cobden found him bowed down by grief. "'Come with me,' said Cobden, 'and we will never rest until we abolish the Corn-Laws.' Bright arose and went with him; and thus was his great sorrow turned to the nation's and the world's advantage."

Years afterward, a short time before their final triumph in behalf of Free Trade, Mr. Cobden saw his fortune becoming materially injured, besides his actual losses, estimated at twenty thousand pounds. His courage failed at length, and he went so far as to write to Mr. Bright that it was his intention to withdraw from the agitation and endeavor to retrieve his business. Then in turn Mr. Bright went to his friend, in Manchester, and was successful in urging him to reconsider his determination. It was agreed among the Free-Traders to bestow eighty thousand pounds upon Mr. Cobden when the struggle was ended, and he soon after received this manifest mark of their esteem and gratitude.

His labors to preserve peace, to strengthen the bonds of amity and weaken the causes for distrust between England and France, were earnest, unwearying, and fruitful in their results. His endeavors also to stem the dreadful tide drifting into the Crimean War, and his appeal in the House of Commons, when war became imminent with China, "that a select committee be appointed to examine into the state of our commercial relations with that country," prove his unswerving principles, and his energetic desire to preserve peace, until war should be declared a national necessity.

A man of the iron integrity of Cobden found himself necessarily in opposition to a man of popularity and self-aggrandizement, like Palmerston. Therefore, when the prime-minister announced his determination to reserve certain seats in his cabinet and ministry "for the leaders of advanced Liberalism," Richard Cobden declined the position appointed to himself, saying to Lord Palmerston, "that he had always regarded him as a most dangerous minister for England, and his views still remained the same."

One of Mr. Cobden's last efforts in the House of Commons was for the repeal of the Paper Duty. He said,—"If I were a young man just fresh from college, with nothing in the world but a good education, there is nothing I should work for with so much interest as making perfectly free the press of this country, by removing all the taxes which tend to render scarce and dear literary productions." The last time Mr. Cobden addressed a public audience, he said,—"If I were a rich man, I would endow a professor's chair at Oxford and Cambridge to instruct the undergraduates of those universities in American history. I would undertake to say, and I speak advisedly, that I will take any undergraduate now at Oxford or Cambridge and ask him to put his finger on Chicago, and I will undertake to say that he does not go within a thousand miles of it.... To bring up young men from college with no knowledge of the country in which the great drama of modern politics and national life is now being worked out,—who are ignorant of a country like America, but who, whether it be for good or for evil, must exercise more influence in this country than any other class,—to bring up the young destitute of such knowledge, and to place them in responsible positions in the government is, I say, imperilling its best interests; and earnest[Pg 255] remonstrances ought to be made against such a state of education by every public man who values in the slightest degree the future welfare of his country." He concluded his speech by saying,—"Do you suppose it possible, when the knowledge of the principles of political economy has elevated the working classes, and when that elevation is continually progressing, that you can permanently exclude the whole mass of them from the franchise? It is their interest to set about solving the problem, and, to prevent any danger, they ought to do so without further delay."

The speech of Lord Palmerston in the House of Commons, after the death of Mr. Cobden, must be familiar to all readers. It came to round the measure of his eulogy, which had been sung in the East and in the West, in the North and in the South, and at length was heard even from the heart of Nazareth. We will not quote here the words of England's late minister; we would only urge those who love the study of nobility to read the Life of Richard Cobden, remembering such men "are set here for examples."

The Human Hair, and the Cutaneous Diseases which affect it: together with Essays on Acne, Sycosis, and Cloasma. By B. C. Perry, Dermatologist. New York: James Miller.

This is the first book of its kind which has been published, and it is well calculated to do good service in many ways. The author proposed to himself in its preparation so to present all topics which relate to the hair and scalp in health and disease, that his treatise should not only possess value as being founded upon a just discrimination of physiological principles, and interest for the general reader by reason of its familiarity of manner and the ana by which the subject should be illustrated, but also be of service to all who care to understand the nature of an important part of the physical system.

Upon the whole, this purpose has been well carried into effect; and every chapter of the comely volume bears witness to the research and reflection of the author. With no similar work for a guide or model, it was necessary to derive from the volumes of general and comparative physiology such facts and deductions as related to the theme; and that such have been drawn from recognized authorities, the frequent references to the writings of Carpenter, Wilson, Plumbe, Neligan, Rayer, and others of like eminence, will show.

Taking these collations of scientific statement as a basis, Dr. Perry proceeds—after giving some space to anecdotes and historical notes concerning the chevelure of former times—to speak at length of the formation and composition of the hair, of the unreasonable and injudicious treatment to which it is commonly subjected, and of its proper management. He then passes on to discuss the cutaneous diseases to which the scalp is liable, and by which of course the hair is affected to its detriment, devotes some chapters to the discussion of some diseases peculiar to the face, and concludes his volume with an Appendix containing an exposition of the constituents of many favorite and famous cosmetics, pointing out at the same time their true character, the danger and unpleasantness of which, he says, are disguised with much empirical skill.

The fundamental principle of Dr. Perry's treatise is, that the hair is ever in danger of being killed by much cherishing. He regards it as a delicate vegetable, growing in a tender soil, and amply supplied by Nature with the elements needed for its support and development. The skin of the head should not, he tells us, be subjected to any rough treatment, neither should it be exposed to sudden alternations of temperature. Cleanliness, gentle usage, and mild, innocuous specifics—vegetable, whenever possible—are his reliance to keep the hair in good order, and restore the proper tone when lost by negligence or disease. The harsh friction of the stiff, "penetrating hair-brush," the scraping of the fine comb, "the 'shampooing' operation of the hairdresser, with his exacerbating compound, a hundred degrees too violent, and his cataract of cold water at the end," are all condemned as injurious, together with the myriad nostrums in the form of oils, pomades, and the like. In dealing with these last, the author is indeed severe, remarking that "generally they are most mischievous, as well as common and filthy, mixtures, with nothing refined or elegant about them but their titles." For greasy compounds he has no tolerance, charging upon them, that, although they may for the moment lubricate and soften the hair, they burden the scalp, clog its pores, deaden the roots of the hair, and cause or increase many abnormal[Pg 256] conditions of the cuticle. And certainly the formulæ; which are quoted in the Appendix go far to arouse in the reader the disgust for the popular preparations of the day which the writer does not attempt to conceal.

In those chapters which discuss the scalp and hair in disease, Dr. Perry takes the ground, that the trouble is primarily in the skin, and that remedial treatment should therefore be directed to it. He mentions the different eruptive and other affections in turn, and quotes the method of procedure advised by medical men, in connection with a statement of the manner of practice which he has successfully adopted, illustrating his views with very good wood-cuts derived from the atlases of Wilson, Neligan, and Dendy. In many cases he believes constitutional debility to be the primary difficulty, and recommends a tonic regimen as the best preliminary to a course of local treatment.

Without, of course, attempting to give minute directions for the management of all diseased conditions of the head and hair,—which would be alike impracticable in a volume of this popular character and unprofitable to himself as a practitioner in such cases,—Dr. Perry gives a large number of recipes which his own experience or that of his favorite authors has proved to be trustworthy and serviceable, the ingredients of which are cleanly, simple, and agreeable, adding plain rules for the rational culture and preservation of the hair.

The book has its faults of style, to be sure,—principal among which is a tendency to make too much of the scientific investigation and the acquirement of the writer, extending sometimes almost to pedantry in the use of long words and large phrases; but it contains much information that is important and can be found nowhere else except by troublesome comparison of extended treatises, and a deal of plain common-sense that should commend it to attention and respect.


Vida de Abran Lincoln, Décimosesto Presidente de los Estados Unidos, precedida de una Introduccion. Por D. F. Sarmiento. Nueva York. D. Appleton y Ca. 12mo. pp. xlviii., 306. $1.75.

Life and Times of Joseph Warren. By Richard Frothingham. Boston. Little, Brown, & Co. 8vo. pp. xx., 558. $3.50.

Elements of Political Economy. By Arthur Latham Perry, Professor of History and Political Economy in Williams College. New York. C. Scribner & Co. 8vo. pp. xx., 449. $2.50.

The Vicarious Sacrifice, grounded on Principles of Universal Obligation. By Horace Bushnell. New York C. Scribner & Co. 8vo. pp. 552. $3.00.

History of Rationalism; embracing a Survey of the Present State of Protestant Theology. By the Rev. John F. Hurst, A. M. With an Appendix of Literature, New York. C. Scribner & Co. 8vo. pp. xvi., 623. $3.00.

Allworth Abbey. By Mrs. Emma D. E. N. Southworth. Philadelphia. T. B. Peterson & Brothers. 12mo. pp. 421. $2.00.

Miss Carew. A Novel. By Amelia B. Edwards. New York. Harper & Brothers. 8vo. pp. 141. paper. 50 cts.

Notes from Plymouth Pulpit: a Collection of Memorable Passages from the Discourses of Henry Ward Beecher. With a Sketch of Mr. Beecher and the Lecture-Room. By Augusta Moore. New Edition, revised and greatly enlarged. New York. Harper & Brothers. 12mo. pp. 374. $2.00.

Poems. By Robert Buchanan. Boston. Roberts Brothers. 16mo. pp. vi., 311. $1.75.

Winning his Way. By Charles Carleton Coffin. Boston. Ticknor & Fields. 16mo. pp. iv., 258. $1.50.

Richard Cobden, the Apostle of Free-Trade: his Political Career and Public Services. A Biography. By John McGilchrist. New York. Harper & Brothers. 16mo. pp. 304. $1.50.

The American Republic: its Constitution, Tendencies, and Destiny. By O. A. Brownson, LL. D. New York. P. O'Shea. 8vo. pp. xvi., 439. $2.50.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No.
100, February, 1866, by Various


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