The Project Gutenberg EBook of Harper's New Monthly Magazine, v. 3, number
18, by Various

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Title: Harper's New Monthly Magazine, v. 3, number 18

Author: Various

Editor: Unknown

Release Date: June 30, 2011 [EBook #36516]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


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Monthly Record of Current Events.
Editor's Table.
Editor's Easy Chair.
Editor's Drawer.
Literary Notices.
A Leaf from Punch.
Fashions for November.



[Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1851, by Harper and Brothers, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District of New York.]




Early in July, 1796, the eyes of all Europe were turned to Mantua. Around its walls these decisive battles were to be fought which were to establish the fate of Italy. This bulwark of Lombardy was considered almost impregnable. It was situated upon an island, formed by lakes and by the expansion of the river Mincio. It was approached only by five long and narrow causeways, which were guarded by frowning batteries. To take the place by assault was impossible. Its reduction could only be accomplished by the slow, tedious, and enormously expensive progress of a siege.



Napoleon, in his rapid advances, had not allowed his troops to encumber themselves with tents of any kind. After marching all day, drenched with rain, they threw themselves down at night upon the wet ground, with no protection whatever from the pitiless storm which beat upon them. "Tents are always unhealthy," said Napoleon at St. Helena. "It is much better for the soldier to bivouac in the open air, for then he can build a fire and sleep with warm feet. Tents are necessary only for the general officers who are obliged to read and consult their maps." All the nations of Europe, following the example which Napoleon thus established, have now abandoned entirely the use of tents. The sick, the wounded, the exhausted, to the number of fifteen thousand, filled the hospitals. Death, from such exposures, and from the bullet and sword of the enemy, had made fearful ravages among his troops. Though Napoleon had received occasional reinforcements from France, his losses had kept pace with his supplies, and he had now an army of but thirty thousand men with which to retain the vast extent of country he had overrun, to keep down the aristocratic party, ever upon the eve of an outbreak, and to encounter the formidable legions which Austria was marshaling for his destruction. Immediately upon his return from the south of Italy, he was compelled to turn his eyes from the siege of Mantua, which he was pressing with all possible energy, to the black and threatening cloud gathering in the North. An army of sixty thousand veteran soldiers under General Wurmser, an officer of high renown, was accumulating its energies in the wild fastnesses of the northern Alps, to sweep down upon the[Pg 722] French through the gorges of the Tyrol, like a whirlwind.

About sixty miles north of Mantua, at the northern extremity of Lake Garda, embosomed among the Tyrolean hills, lies the walled town of Trent. Here Wurmser had assembled sixty thousand men, most abundantly provided with all the munitions of war, to march down to Mantua, and co-operate with the twenty thousand within its walls in the annihilation of the audacious foe. The fate of Napoleon was now considered as sealed. The republicans in Italy were in deep dismay. "How is it possible," said they, "that Napoleon, with thirty thousand men, can resist the combined onset of eighty thousand veteran soldiers?" The aristocratic party were in great exultation, and were making preparations to fall upon the French the moment they should see the troops of Napoleon experiencing the slightest reverse. Rome, Venice, Naples began to incite revolt, and secretly to assist the Austrians. The Pope, in direct violation of his plighted faith, refused any further fulfillment of the conditions of the armistice, and sent Cardinal Mattei to negotiate with the enemy. This sudden development of treachery, which Napoleon aptly designated as a "Revelation," impressed the young conqueror deeply with a sense of his hazardous situation.

Between Mantua and Trent there lies, extended among the mountains, the beautiful Lake of Garda. This sheet of water, almost fathomless, and clear as crystal, is about thirty miles in length, and from four to twelve in breadth. Wurmser was about fifteen miles north of the head of this lake at Trent; Napoleon was at Mantua, fifteen miles south of its foot. The Austrian general, eighty years of age, a brave and generous soldier, as he contemplated his mighty host, complacently rubbed his hands, exclaiming, "We shall soon have the boy now." He was very fearful, however, that Napoleon, conscious of the utter impossibility of resisting such numbers, might, by a precipitate flight, escape. To prevent this, he disposed his army at Trent in three divisions of twenty thousand each. One division, under General Quasdanovich, was directed to march down the western bank of the lake, to cut off the retreat of the French by the way of Milan. General Wurmser, with another division of twenty thousand, marched down the eastern shore of the lake, to relieve Mantua. General Melas, with another division, followed down the valley of the Adige, which ran parallel with the shores of the lake, and was separated from it by a mountain ridge, but about two miles in width. A march of a little more than a day would reunite those vast forces, thus for the moment separated. Having prevented the escape of their anticipated victims, they could fall upon the French in a resistless attack. The sleepless vigilance and the eagle eye of Napoleon, instantly detected the advantage thus presented to him. It was in the evening of the 31st of July, that he first received the intimation from his scouts of the movements of the enemy. Instantly he formed his plan of operations, and in an hour the whole camp was in commotion. He gave orders for the immediate abandonment of the siege of Mantua, and for the whole army to arrange itself in marching order. It was an enormous sacrifice. He had been prosecuting the works of the siege with great vigor for two months. He had collected there, at vast labor and expense, a magnificent battering train and immense stores of ammunition. The city was on the very point of surrender. By abandoning his works all would be lost, the city would be revictualed, and it would be necessary to commence the whole arduous enterprise of the siege anew. The promptness with which Napoleon decided to make the sacrifice, and the unflinching relentlessness with which the decision was executed, indicated the energetic action of a genius of no ordinary mould.

The sun had now gone down, and gloomy night brooded over the agitated camp. But not an eye was closed. Under cover of the darkness every one was on the alert. The platforms and gun carriages were thrown upon the campfires. Tons of powder were cast into the lake. The cannon were spiked and the shot and shells buried in the trenches. Before midnight the whole army was in motion. Rapidly they directed their steps to the western shore of Lake Garda, to fall like an avalanche upon the division of Quasdanovich, who dreamed not of their danger. When the morning sun arose over the marshes of Mantua, the whole embattled host, whose warlike array had reflected back the beams of the setting sun, had disappeared. The besieged, who were half famished, and who were upon the eve of surrender, as they gazed, from the steeples of the city, upon the scene of solitude, desolation, and abandonment, could hardly credit their eyes. At ten o'clock in the morning, Quasdanovich was marching quietly along, not dreaming that any foe was within thirty miles of him, when suddenly the whole French army burst like a whirlwind upon his astonished troops. Had the Austrians stood their ground they must have been entirely destroyed. But after a short and most sanguinary conflict they broke in wild confusion, and fled. Large numbers were slain, and many prisoners were left in the hands of the French. The discomfited Austrians retreated to find refuge among the fastnesses of the Tyrol, from whence they had emerged. Napoleon had not one moment to lose in pursuit. The two divisions which were marching down the eastern side of the lake, heard across the water the deep booming of the guns, like the roar of continuous thunder, but they were entirely unable to render any assistance to their friends. They could not even imagine from whence the foe had come, whom Quasdanovich had encountered. That Napoleon would abandon all his accumulated stores and costly works at Mantua, was to them inconceivable. They hastened along with the utmost speed to reunite their forces, still forty thousand strong, at the foot of the lake. Napoleon also turned upon[Pg 723] his track, and urged his troops almost to the full run. The salvation of his army depended upon the rapidity of his march, enabling him to attack the separated divisions of the enemy before they should reunite at the foot of the mountain range which separated them. "Soldiers?" he exclaimed, in hurried accents, "it is with your legs alone that victory can now be secured. Fear nothing. In three days the Austrian army shall be destroyed. Rely only on me. You know whether or not I am in the habit of keeping my word."

Regardless of hunger, sleeplessness, and fatigue, unincumbered by baggage or provisions, with a celerity, which to the astonished Austrians seemed miraculous, he pressed on, with his exhausted, bleeding troops, all the afternoon and deep into the darkness of the ensuing night. He allowed his men at midnight to throw themselves upon the ground an hour for sleep, but he did not indulge himself in one moment of repose. Early in the morning of the 3d of August, Melas, who but a few hours before had heard the thunder of Napoleon's guns, over the mountains and upon the opposite shore of the lake, was astonished to see the solid columns of the whole French army marching majestically upon him. Five thousand of Wurmser's division had succeeded in joining him, and he consequently had twenty-five thousand fresh troops drawn up in battle array. Wurmser himself was at but a few hours' distance, and was hastening with all possible speed to his aid, with fifteen thousand additional men. Napoleon had but twenty-two thousand with whom to meet the forty thousand whom his foes would thus combine. Exhausted as his troops were with the Herculean toil they had already endured, not one moment could be allowed for rest. It was at Lonato, in a few glowing words he announced to his men their peril, the necessity for their utmost efforts, and his perfect confidence in their success. They now regarded their young leader as invincible, and wherever he led they were prompt to follow. With delirious energy, they rushed upon the foe. The pride of the Austrians was roused and they fought with desperation. The battle was long and bloody. Napoleon, as cool and unperturbed as if making the movements in a game of chess, watched the ebb and the flow of the conflict. His eagle eye instantly detected the point of weakness and exposure. The Austrians were routed and in wild disorder took to flight over the plains, leaving the ground covered with the dead, and five thousand prisoners and twenty pieces of cannon in the hands of the victors. Junot, with a regiment of cavalry, dashed at full gallop into the midst of the fugitives rushing over the plain, and the wretched victims of war were sabred by thousands and trampled under iron hoofs.

The battle raged until the sun disappeared behind the mountains of the Tyrol, and another night, dark and gloomy, came on. The groans of the wounded and of the dying, and the fearful shrieks of dismembered and mangled horses, struggling in their agony, filled the night air for leagues around. The French soldiers, utterly exhausted, threw themselves upon the gory ground by the side of the mutilated dead, the victor and the bloody corpse of the foe reposing side by side, and forgot the horrid butchery in leaden sleep. But Napoleon slept not. He knew that before the dawn of another morning, a still more formidable host would be arrayed against him, and that the victory of to-day might be followed by a dreadful defeat upon the morrow. The vanquished army were falling back to be supported by the division of Wurmser, coming to their rescue. All night long Napoleon was on horseback, galloping from post to post, making arrangements for the desperate battle to which he knew that the morning sun must guide him.

Four or five miles from Lonato, lies the small walled town of Castiglione. Here Wurmser met the retreating troops of Melas, and rallied them for a decisive conflict. With thirty thousand Austrians, drawn up in line of battle, he awaited the approach of his indefatigable foe. Long before the morning dawned, the French army was again in motion. Napoleon, urging his horse to the very utmost of his speed, rode in every direction to accelerate the movements of his troops. The peril was too imminent to allow him to intrust any one else with the execution of his all-important orders. Five horses successively sank dead beneath him from utter exhaustion. Napoleon was every where, observing all things, directing all things, animating all things. The whole army was inspired with the indomitable energy and ardor of their young leader. Soon the two hostile hosts were facing each other, in the dim and misty haze of the early dawn, ere the sun had arisen to look down upon the awful scene of man's depravity about to ensue.

A sanguinary and decisive conflict, renowned in history as the battle of Castiglione, inflicted the final blow upon the Austrians. They were routed with terrible slaughter. The French pursued them, with merciless massacre, through the whole day, in their headlong flight, and rested not until the darkness of night shut out the panting, bleeding fugitives from their view. Less than one week had elapsed since that proud army, sixty thousand strong, had marched from the walls of Trent, with gleaming banners and triumphant music, flushed with anticipated victory. In six days it had lost in killed, wounded, and prisoners forty thousand men, ten thousand more than the whole army which Napoleon had at his command. But twenty thousand tattered, exhausted, war-worn fugitives effected their escape. In the extreme of mortification and dejection they returned to Trent, to bear themselves the tidings of their swift and utter discomfiture. Napoleon, in these conflicts, lost but seven thousand men. These amazing victories were to be attributed entirely to the genius of the conqueror. Such achievements history had never before recorded. The victorious soldiers called it, "The six days' campaign." Their admiration of their[Pg 724] invincible chief now passed all bounds. The veterans who had honored Napoleon with the title of corporal, after "the terrible passage of the bridge of Lodi," now enthusiastically promoted him to the rank of sergeant, as his reward for the signal victories of this campaign.

The aristocratic governments which, upon the marching of Wurmser from Trent, had perfidiously violated their faith, and turned against Napoleon, supposing that he was ruined, were now terror-stricken, anticipating the most appalling vengeance. But the conqueror treated them with the greatest clemency, simply informing them that he was fully acquainted with their conduct, and that he should hereafter regard them with a watchful eye. He, however, summoned Cardinal Mattei, the legate of the perjured Pope, to his head-quarters. The cardinal, conscious that not a word could be uttered in extenuation of his guilt, attempted no defense. The old man, high in authority and venerable in years, bowed with the humility of a child before the young victor, and exclaimed "peccavi! peccavi!"—I have sinned! I have sinned! This apparent contrition disarmed Napoleon, and in jocose and contemptuous indignation he sentenced him to do penance for three months, by fasting and prayer, in a convent.

During these turmoils, the inhabitants of Lombardy remained faithful in their adherence to the French interests. In a delicate and noble letter which he addressed to them, he said, "When the French army retreated, and the partisans of Austria considered that the cause of liberty was crushed, you, though you knew not that this retreat was merely a stratagem, still proved constant in your attachment to France and your love of freedom. You have thus deserved the esteem of the French nation. Your people daily become more worthy of liberty, and will shortly appear with glory on the theatre of the world. Accept the assurance of my satisfaction, and of the sincere wishes of the French people to see you free and happy."

In the midst of the tumultuous scenes of these days of incessant battle, when the broken divisions of the enemy were in bewilderment, wandering in every direction, attempting to escape from the terrible energy with which they were pursued, Napoleon, by mere accident, came very near being taken a prisoner. He escaped by that intuitive tact and promptness of decision which never deserted him. In conducting the operations of the pursuit, he had entered a small village, upon the full gallop, accompanied only by his staff and guards. A division of four thousand of the Austrian army, separated from the main body, had been wandering all night among the mountains. They came suddenly and unexpectedly upon this little band of a thousand men, and immediately sent an officer with a flag of truce, demanding their surrender. Napoleon, with wonderful presence of mind, commanded his numerous staff immediately to mount on horseback, and gathering his guard around him, ordered the flag of truce to be brought into his presence. The officer was introduced, as is customary, blindfolded. When the bandage was removed, to his utter amazement he found himself before the commander-in-chief of the French army, surrounded by his whole brilliant staff. "What means this insult?" exclaimed Napoleon in tones of affected indignation. "Have you the insolence to bring a summons of surrender to the French commander-in-chief, in the middle of his army! Say to those who sent you, that unless in five minutes they lay down their arms, every man shall be put to death." The bewildered officer stammered out an apology. "Go!" Napoleon sternly rejoined, "unless you immediately surrender at discretion, I will, for this insult, cause every man of you to be shot." The Austrians, deceived by this air of confidence, and disheartened by fatigue and disaster, threw down their arms. They soon had the mortification of learning that they had capitulated to one-fourth of their own number, and that they had missed making prisoner the conqueror, before whose blows the very throne of their empire was trembling.

It was during this campaign that one night Napoleon, in disguise, was going the rounds of the sentinels, to ascertain if, in their peculiar peril, proper vigilance was exercised. A soldier, stationed at the junction of two roads, had received orders not to let any one pass either of those routes. When Napoleon made his appearance, the soldier, unconscious of his rank, presented his bayonet and ordered him back. "I am a general officer," said Napoleon, "going the rounds to ascertain if all is safe." "I care not," the soldier replied, "my commands are to let no one go by; and if you were the Little Corporal himself you should not pass." The general was consequently under the necessity of retracing his steps. The next day he made inquiries respecting the character of the soldier, and hearing a good report of him, he summoned him to his presence, and extolling his fidelity, raised him to the rank of an officer.



Napoleon and his victorious army again returned to Mantua. The besieged, during his absence, had emerged from the walls and destroyed all his works. They had also drawn all his heavy battering train, consisting of one hundred and forty pieces, into the city, obtained large supplies of provisions, over sixty thousand shot and shells, and had received a reinforcement of fifteen thousand men. There was no suitable siege equipage which Napoleon could command, and he was liable at any moment to be again summoned to encounter the formidable legions which the Austrian empire could again raise to crowd down upon him. He therefore simply invested the place by blockade. After the terrible struggle through which they had just passed, the troops, on both sides, indulged themselves in repose for three weeks. The Austrian government, with inflexible resolution, still refused to make peace with France. It had virtually inserted upon its banners, "Gallia delenda est"—"The French Republic shall be destroyed." Napoleon[Pg 725] had now cut up two of their most formidable armies, each of them nearly three times as numerous as his own.

The pride and the energy of the whole empire were aroused in organizing a third army to crush republicanism. In the course of three weeks Wurmser found himself again in command of fifty-five thousand men at Trent. There were twenty thousand troops in Mantua, giving him a force of seventy-five thousand combatants. Napoleon had received reinforcements only sufficient to repair his losses, and was again in the field with but thirty thousand men. He was surrounded by more than double that number of foes.

Early in September the Austrian army was again in motion, passing down from the Tyrol for the relief of Mantua. Wurmser left Davidovich at Roveredo, a very strong position, about ten miles south of Trent, with twenty-five thousand men to prevent the incursions of the French into the Tyrol. With thirty thousand men he then passed over to the valley of the Brenta, to follow down its narrow defile, and convey relief to the besieged fortress. There were twenty thousand Austrians in Mantua. These, co-operating with the thirty thousand under Wurmser, would make an effective force of fifty thousand men to attack Napoleon in front and rear.

Napoleon contemplated with lively satisfaction this renewed division of the Austrian force. He quietly collected all his resources, and prepared for a deadly spring upon the doomed division left behind. As soon as Wurmser had arrived at Bassano, following down the valley of the Brenta, about sixty miles from Roveredo, where it was impossible for him to render any assistance to the victims upon whom Napoleon was about to pounce, the whole French army was put in motion. They rushed, at double quick step, up the parallel valley of the Adige, delaying hardly one moment either for food or repose. Early on the morning of the 4th of September, just as the first gray of dawn appeared in the east, he burst like a tempest upon the astounded foe. The battle was short, bloody, decisive. The Austrians were routed with dreadful slaughter. As they fled in consternation, a rabble-rout, the French cavalry rushed in among them, with dripping sabres, and for leagues the ground was covered with the bodies of the slain. Seven thousand prisoners and twenty pieces of cannon graced the triumph of the victor. The discomfited remains of this unfortunate corps retired far back into the gorges of the mountains. Such was the battle of Roveredo, which Napoleon ever regarded as one of his most brilliant victories. Next morning Napoleon, in triumph, entered Trent. He immediately issued one of his glowing proclamations to the inhabitants of the Tyrol, assuring them that he was fighting, not for conquest, but for peace; that he was not the enemy of the people of the Tyrol; that the Emperor of Austria, incited and aided by British gold, was waging relentless warfare against the French Republic; and that, if the inhabitants of the Tyrol would not take up arms against him, they should be protected in their persons, their property, and in all their political rights. He invited the people, in the emergence, to arrange for themselves the internal government of the country, and intrusted them with the administration of their own laws.

Before the darkness of the ensuing night had passed away Napoleon was again at the head of his troops, and the whole French army was rushing down the defiles of the Brenta, to surprise Wurmser in his straggling march. The Aus[Pg 726]trian general had thirty thousand men. Napoleon could take with him but twenty thousand. He, however, was intent upon gaining a corresponding advantage in falling upon the enemy by surprise. The march of sixty miles was accomplished with a rapidity such as no army had ever attempted before. On the evening of the 6th, Wurmser heard with consternation that the corps of Davidovich was annihilated. He was awoke from his slumbers before the dawn of the next morning by the thunders of Napoleon's cannon in his rear. The brave old veteran, bewildered by tactics so strange and unheard of, accumulated his army as rapidly as possible in battle array at Bassano. Napoleon allowed him but a few moments for preparation. The troops on both sides now began to feel that Napoleon was invincible. The French were elated by constant victory. The Austrians were disheartened by uniform and uninterrupted defeat. The battle at Bassano was but a renewal of the sanguinary scene at Roveredo. The sun went down as the horrid carnage continued, and darkness vailed the awful spectacle from human eyes. Horses and men, the mangled, the dying, the dead, in indiscriminate confusion were piled upon each other. The groans of the wounded swelled upon the night air; while in the distance the deep booming of the cannon of the pursuers and the pursued echoed along the mountains. There was no time to attend to the claims of humanity. The dead were left unburied, and not a combatant could be spared from the ranks to give a cup of water to the wounded and the dying. Destruction, not salvation was the business of the hour.

Wurmser, with but sixteen thousand men remaining to him of the proud array of fifty-five thousand with which, but a few days before, he had marched from Trent, retreated to find shelter within the walls of Mantua. Napoleon pursued him with the most terrible energy, from every eminence plunging cannon-balls into his retreating ranks. When Wurmser arrived at Mantua the garrison sallied out to aid him. Unitedly they fell upon Napoleon. The battle of St. George was fought, desperate and most bloody. The Austrians, routed at every point, were driven within the walls. Napoleon resumed the siege. Wurmser, with the bleeding fragment of his army, was held a close prisoner. Thus terminated this campaign of ten days. In this short time Napoleon had destroyed a third Austrian army, more than twice as numerous as his own. The field was swept clean of his enemies. Not a man was left to oppose him. Victories so amazing excited astonishment throughout all Europe. Such results had never before been recorded in the annals of ancient or modern warfare.

While engaged in the rapid march from Roveredo, a discontented soldier, emerging from the ranks, addressed Napoleon, pointing to his tattered garments, and said, "We soldiers, notwithstanding all our victories, are clothed in rags." Napoleon, anxious to arrest the progress of discontent among his troops, with that peculiar tact which he had ever at command, looked kindly upon him and said, "You forget, my brave friend, that with a new coat, your honorable scars would no longer be visible." This well timed compliment was received with shouts of applause from the ranks. The anecdote spread like lightning among the troops, and endeared Napoleon still more to every soldier in the army.



The night before the battle of Bassano, in the eagerness of the march, Napoleon had advanced far beyond the main column of the army. He had received no food during the day, and had enjoyed no sleep for several nights. A poor[Pg 727] soldier had a crust of bread in his knapsack. He broke it in two, and gave his exhausted and half famished general one half. After this frugal supper, the commander-in-chief of the French army wrapt himself in his cloak, and threw himself unprotected upon the ground, by the side of the soldier, for an hour's slumber. After ten years had passed away, and Napoleon, then Emperor of France, was making a triumphal tour through Belgium, this same soldier stepped out from the ranks of a regiment, which the emperor was reviewing, and said, "Sire! on the eve of the battle of Bassano, I shared with you my crust of bread, when you were hungry. I now ask from you bread for my father, who is worn down with age and poverty." Napoleon immediately settled a pension upon the old man, and promoted the soldier to a lieutenancy.

After the battle of Bassano, in the impetuosity of the pursuit, Napoleon, spurring his horse to his utmost speed, accompanied but by a few followers, entered a small village quite in advance of the main body of his army. Suddenly Wurmser, with a strong division of the Austrians, debouched upon the plain. A peasant woman informed him that but a moment before Napoleon had passed her cottage. Wurmser, overjoyed at the prospect of obtaining a prize which would remunerate him for all his losses, instantly dispatched parties of cavalry in every direction for his capture. So sure was he of success, that he strictly enjoined it upon them to bring him in alive. The fleetness of Napoleon's horse saved him.

In the midst of these terrible conflicts, when the army needed every possible stimulus to exertion, Napoleon exposed himself like a common soldier, at every point where danger appeared most imminent. On one of these occasions a pioneer, perceiving the imminent peril in which the commander-in-chief had placed himself, abruptly and authoritively exclaimed to him, "Stand aside." Napoleon fixed his keen glance upon him, when the veteran with a strong arm thrust him away, saying, "If thou art killed who is to rescue us from this jeopardy?" and placed his own body before him. Napoleon appreciated the sterling value of the action, and uttered no reproof. After the battle he ordered the pioneer to be sent to his presence. Placing his hand kindly upon his shoulder he said, "My friend! your noble boldness claims my esteem. Your bravery demands a recompense. From this hour an epaulet instead of a hatchet shall grace your shoulder." He was immediately raised to the rank of an officer.

The generals in the army were overawed by the genius and the magnanimity of their young commander. They fully appreciated his vast superiority, and approached him with restraint and reverence. The common soldiers, however, loved him as a father, and went to him freely, with the familiarity of children. In one of those terrific battles, when the result had been long in suspense, just as the searching glance of Napoleon had detected a fault in the movements of the enemy, of which he was upon the point of taking the most prompt advantage, a private soldier, covered with the dust and the smoke of the battle, sprung from the ranks and exclaimed, "General! send a squadron there, and the victory is ours." "You rogue!" rejoined Napoleon, "where did you get my secret?" In a few moments the Austrians were flying in dismay before the impetuous charges of the French cavalry. Immediately after the battle Napoleon sent for the soldier who had displayed such military genius. He was found dead upon the field. A bullet had pierced his brain. Had he lived he would but have added another star to that brilliant galaxy, with which the throne of Napoleon was embellished.

"Perhaps in that neglected spot is laid,
A heart once pregnant with celestial fire,
Hands which the rod of empire might have swayed.
Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre."

The night after the battle of Bassano, the moon rose cloudless and brilliant over the sanguinary scene. Napoleon, who seldom exhibited any hilarity or even exhilaration of spirits in the hour of victory, rode, as was his custom, over the plain, covered with the bodies of the dying and the dead, and, silent and thoughtful, seemed lost in painful reverie. It was midnight. The confusion and the uproar of the battle had passed away, and the deep silence of the calm starlight night was only disturbed by the moans of the wounded and the dying. Suddenly a dog sprung from beneath the cloak of his dead master, and rushed to Napoleon, as if frantically imploring his aid, and then rushed back again to the mangled corpse, licking the blood from the face and the hands, and howling most piteously. Napoleon was deeply moved by the affecting scene, and involuntarily stopped his horse to contemplate it. In relating the event, many years afterward, he remarked, "I know not how it was, but no incident upon any field of battle ever produced so deep an impression upon my feelings. This man, thought I, must have had among his comrades friends; and yet here he lies forsaken by all except his faithful dog. What a strange being is man! How mysterious are his impressions! I had, without emotion, ordered battles which had decided the fate of armies. I had, with tearless eyes, beheld the execution of those orders, in which thousands of my countrymen were slain. And yet here my sympathies were most deeply and resistlessly moved by the mournful howling of a dog. Certainly in that moment I should have been unable to refuse any request to a suppliant enemy."



Austria was still unsubdued. With a perseverance worthy of all admiration, had it been exercised in a better cause, the Austrian government still refused to make peace with republican France. The energies of the empire were aroused anew to raise a fourth army. England, contending against France wherever her navy or her troops could penetrate, was the soul of this warfare. She animated the cabinet of Vienna, and aided the Austrian armies with her strong[Pg 728] co-operation and her gold. The people of England, republican in their tendencies, and hating the utter despotism of the old monarchy of France, were clamorous for peace. But the royal family and the aristocracy in general, were extremely unwilling to come to any amicable terms with a nation which had been guilty of the crime of renouncing monarchy.

All the resources of the Austrian government were now devoted to recruiting and equipping a new army. With the wrecks of Wurmser's troops, with detachments from the Rhine, and fresh levies from the bold peasants of the Tyrol, in less than a month an army of nearly one hundred thousand men was assembled. The enthusiasm throughout Austria, in raising and animating these recruits, was so great that the city of Vienna alone contributed four battalions. The empress, with her own hand, embroidered their colors and presented them to the troops. All the noble ladies of the realm devoted their smiles and their aid to inspire the enterprise. About seventy-five thousand men were rendezvoused in the gorges of the northern Tyrol, ready to press down upon Napoleon from the north, while the determined garrison of twenty-five thousand men, under the brave Wurmser, cooped up in Mantua, were ready to emerge at a moment's warning. Thus in about three weeks another army of one hundred thousand men was ready to fall upon Napoleon. His situation now seemed absolutely desperate. The reinforcements he had received from France had been barely sufficient to repair the losses sustained by disease and the sword. He had but thirty thousand men. His funds were all exhausted. His troops, notwithstanding they were in the midst of the most brilliant blaze of victories, had been compelled to strain every nerve of exertion. They were also suffering the severest privations, and began loudly to murmur. "Why," they exclaimed, "do we not receive succor from France? We can not alone contend against all Europe. We have already destroyed three armies, and now a fourth, still more numerous, is rising against us. Is there to be no end to these interminable battles?" Napoleon was fully sensible of the peril of his position, and while he allowed his troops a few weeks of repose, his energies were strained to their very utmost tension in preparing for the all but desperate encounter now before him. The friends and the enemies of Napoleon alike regarded his case as nearly hopeless. The Austrians had by this time learned that it was not safe to divide their forces in the presence of so vigilant a foe. Marching down upon his exhausted band with seventy-five thousand men to attack him in front, and with twenty-five thousand veteran troops, under the brave Wurmser, to sally from the ramparts of Mantua and assail him in the rear, it seemed to all reasonable calculation that the doom of the French army was sealed. Napoleon in the presence of his army assumed an air of most perfect confidence, but he was fearfully apprehensive that, by the power of overwhelming numbers, his army would be destroyed. The appeal which, under the circumstances, he wrote to the Directory for reinforcements, is sublime in its dignity and its eloquence. "All of our superior officers, all of our best generals, are either dead or wounded. The army of Italy, reduced to a handful of men, is exhausted. The heroes of Millesimo, of Lodi, of Castiglione, of Bassano, have died for their country, or are in the hospitals. Nothing is left to the army but its glory and its courage. We are abandoned at the extremity of Italy. The brave men who are left me have no prospect but[Pg 729] inevitable death amidst changes so continual and with forces so inferior. Perhaps the hour of the brave Augereau, of the intrepid Massena is about to strike. This consideration renders me cautious. I dare not brave death when it would so certainly be the ruin of those who have so long been the object of my solicitude. The army has done its duty. I do mine. My conscience is at ease, but my soul is lacerated. I never have received a fourth part of the succors which the minister of war has announced in his dispatches. My health is so broken that I can with difficulty sit upon horseback. The enemy can now count our diminished ranks. Nothing is left me but courage. But that alone is not sufficient for the post which I occupy. Troops, or Italy is lost."

Napoleon addressed his soldiers in a very different strain, endeavoring to animate their courage by concealing from them his anxieties. "We have but one more effort to make," said he, "and Italy is our own. True, the enemy is more numerous than we; but half his troops are recruits, who can never stand before the veterans of France. When Alvinzi is beaten Mantua must fall, and our labors are at an end. Not only Italy, but a general peace is to be gained by the capture of Mantua."

During the three weeks in which the Austrians were recruiting their army and the French were reposing around the walls of Mantua, Napoleon made the most Herculean exertions to strengthen his position in Italy, and to disarm those states which were manifesting hostility against him. During this period his labors as a statesman and a diplomatist were even more severe than his toils as a general. He allowed himself no stated time for food or repose, but day and night devoted himself incessantly to his work. Horse after horse sunk beneath him, in the impetuous speed with which he passed from place to place. He dictated innumerable communications to the Directory, respecting treaties of peace with Rome, Naples, Venice, Genoa. He despised the feeble Directory, with its shallow views, conscious that unless wiser counsels than they proposed should prevail, the republic would be ruined. "So long," said he, "as your general shall not be the centre of all influence in Italy, every thing will go wrong. It would be easy to accuse me of ambition, but I am satiated with honor and worn down with care. Peace with Naples is indispensable. You must conciliate Venice and Genoa. The influence of Rome is incalculable. You did wrong to break with that power. We must secure friends for the Italian army, both among kings and people. The general in Italy must be the fountain-head of negotiation as well as of military operations." These were bold assumptions for a young man of twenty-five. But Napoleon was conscious of his power. He now listened to the earnest entreaties of the people of the duchy of Modena and of the papal states of Bologna and Ferrara, and, in consequence of treachery on the part of the Duke of Modena and the Pope, emancipated those states and constituted them into a united and independent Republic. As the whole territory included under this new government extended south of the Po, Napoleon named it the Cispadane Republic, that is the This side of the Po Republic. It contained about a million and a half of inhabitants, compactly gathered in one of the most rich, and fertile, and beautiful regions of the globe. The joy and the enthusiasm of the people, thus blessed with a free government, surpassed all bounds. Wherever Napoleon appeared he was greeted with every demonstration of affection. He assembled at Modena a convention, composed of lawyers, landed proprietors, and merchants to organize the government. All leaned upon the mind of Napoleon, and he guided their counsels with the most consummate wisdom. Napoleon's abhorrence of the anarchy which had disgraced the Jacobin reign in France, and his reverence for law were made very prominent on this occasion. "Never forget," said he in an address to the Assembly, "that laws are mere nullities without the necessary force to sustain them. Attend to your military organization, which you have the means of placing upon a respectable footing. You will then be more fortunate than the people of France. You will attain liberty without passing through the ordeal of revolution."

The Italians were an effeminate people and quite unable to cope in arms with the French or the Austrians. Yet the new republic manifested its zeal and attachment for its youthful founder so strongly, that a detachment of Austrians having made a sally from Mantua, they immediately sprang to arms, took it prisoner, and conducted it in triumph to Napoleon. When the Austrians saw that Napoleon was endeavoring to make soldiers of the Italians, they ridiculed the idea, saying that they had tried the experiment in vain, and that it was not possible for an Italian to make a good soldier. "Notwithstanding this," said Napoleon, "I raised many thousands of Italians, who fought with a bravery equal to that of the French, and who did not desert me even in my adversity. What was the cause? I abolished flogging. Instead of the lash I introduced the stimulus of honor. Whatever debases a man can not be serviceable. What honor can a man possibly have who is flogged before his comrades. When a soldier has been debased by stripes he cares little for his own reputation or for the honor of his country. After an action I assembled the officers and soldiers and inquired who had proved themselves heroes. Such of them as were able to read and write I promoted. Those who were not I ordered to study five hours a day, until they had learned a sufficiency, and then promoted them. Thus I substituted honor and emulation for terror and the lash."

He bound the Duke of Parma and the Duke of Tuscany to him by ties of friendship. He cheered the inhabitants of Lombardy with the hope, that as soon as extricated from his present embarrassments, he would do something for the promotion of their independence. Thus with the skill of a veteran diplomatist he raised around[Pg 730] him friendly governments, and availed himself of all the resources of politics to make amends for the inefficiency of the Directory. Never was a man placed in a situation where more delicacy of tact was necessary. The Republican party in all the Italian states were clamorous for the support of Napoleon, and waited but his permission to raise the standard of revolt. Had the slightest encouragement been given the whole peninsula would have plunged into the horrors of civil war; and the awful scenes which had been enacted in Paris would have been re-enacted in every city in Italy. The aristocratic party would have been roused to perfect desperation, and the situation of Napoleon would have been still more precarious. It required consummate genius as a statesman, and moral courage of the highest order, to wield such opposing influences. But the greatness of Napoleon shone forth even more brilliantly in the cabinet than in the field. The course which he had pursued had made him extremely popular with the Italians. They regarded him as their countryman. They were proud of his fame. He was driving from their territory the haughty Austrians whom they hated. He was the enemy of despots, the friend of the people. Their own beautiful language was his mother tongue. He was familiar with their manners and customs, and they felt flattered by his high appreciation of their literature and arts.

Napoleon, in the midst of these stormy scenes, also dispatched an armament from Leghorn, to wrest his native island of Corsica from the dominion of the English. Scott, in allusion to the fact that Napoleon never manifested any special attachment for the obscure island of his birth, beautifully says, "He was like the young lion, who, while he is scattering the herds and destroying the hunters, thinks little of the forest cave in which he first saw the light." But at St. Helena Napoleon said, and few will read his remarks without emotion, "What recollections of childhood crowd upon my memory, when my thoughts are no longer occupied with political subjects, or with the insults of my jailer upon this rock. I am carried back to my first impressions of the life of man. It seems to me always in these moments of calm, that I should have been the happiest man in the world, with an income of twenty-five hundred dollars a year, living as the father of a family, with my wife and son, in our old house at Ajaccio. You, Montholon, remember its beautiful situation. You have often despoiled it of its finest bunches of grapes, when you ran off with Pauline to satisfy your childish appetite. Happy hours! The natal soil has infinite charms. Memory embellishes it with all its attractions, even to the very odor of the ground, which one can so realize to the senses, as to be able with the eyes shut, to tell the spot first trodden by the foot of childhood. I still remember with emotion the most minute details of a journey in which I accompanied Paoli. More than five hundred of us, young persons of the first families in the island, formed his guard of honor. I felt proud of walking by his side, and he appeared to take pleasure in pointing out to me, with paternal affection, the passes of our mountains which had been witnesses of the heroic struggle of our countrymen for independence. The impression made upon me still vibrates in my heart. Come, place your hand," said he to Montholon, "upon my bosom! See how it beats!" "And it was true," Montholon remarks, "his heart did beat with such rapidity as would have excited my astonishment, had I not been acquainted with his organization, and with the kind of electric commotion which his thoughts communicated to his whole being." "It is like the sound of a church bell," continued Napoleon. "There is none upon this rock. I am no longer accustomed to hear it. But the tones of a bell never fall upon my ear without awakening within me the emotions of childhood. The Angelus bell transported me back to pensive yet pleasant memories, when in the midst of earnest thoughts and burdened with the weight of an imperial crown, I heard its first sounds under the shady woods of St. Cloud. And often have I been supposed to have been revolving the plan of a campaign or digesting an imperial law, when my thoughts were wholly absorbed in dwelling upon the first impressions of my youth. Religion is in fact the dominion of the soul. It is the hope of life, the anchor of safety, the deliverance from evil. What a service has Christianity rendered to humanity! What a power would it still have, did its ministers comprehend their mission."

Early in November the Austrians commenced their march. The cold winds of winter were sweeping through the defiles of the Tyrol, and the summits of the mountains were white with snow. But it was impossible to postpone operations; for unless Wurmser were immediately relieved Mantua must fall, and with it would fall all hopes of Austrian dominion in Italy. The hardy old soldier had killed all his horses, and salted them down for provisions; but even that coarse fare was nearly exhausted, and he had succeeded in sending word to Alvinzi that he could not possibly hold out more than six weeks longer. Napoleon, the moment he heard that the Austrians were on the move, hastened to the head-quarters of the army at Verona. He had stationed General Vaubois, with twelve thousand men, a few miles north of Trent, in a narrow defile among the mountains to watch the Austrians, and to arrest their first advances. Vaubois and his division, overwhelmed by numbers, retreated, and thus vastly magnified the peril of the army. The moment Napoleon received the disastrous intelligence, he hastened, with such troops as he could collect, like the sweep of the wind, to rally the retreating forces and check the progress of the enemy. And here he singularly displayed that thorough knowledge of human nature which enabled him so effectually to control and to inspire his army. Deeming it necessary, in his present peril, that every man should be a hero, and that every regiment[Pg 731] should be nerved by the determination to conquer or to die, he resolved to make a severe example of those whose panic had proved so nearly fatal to the army. Like a whirlwind, surrounded by his staff, he swept into the camp, and ordered immediately the troops to be collected in a circle around him. He sat upon his horse, and every eye was fixed upon the pale and wan, and wasted features of their young and adored general. With a stern and saddened voice he exclaimed, "Soldiers! I am displeased with you. You have evinced neither discipline nor valor. You have allowed yourselves to be driven from positions where a handful of resolute men might have arrested an army. You are no longer French soldiers! Chief of the staff, cause it to be written on their standards, They are no longer of the army of Italy."

The influence of these words upon those impassioned men, proud of their renown and proud of their leader, was almost inconceivable. The terrible rebuke fell upon them like a thunderbolt. Tears trickled down the cheeks of these battered veterans. Many of them actually groaned aloud in their anguish. The laws of discipline could not restrain the grief which burst from their ranks. They broke their array, crowded around the general, exclaiming, "we have been misrepresented; the enemy were three to our one; try us once more; place us in the post of danger, and see if we do not belong to the army of Italy!" Napoleon relented, and spoke kindly to them, promising to afford them an early opportunity to retrieve their reputation. In the next battle he placed them in the van. Contending against fearful odds they accomplished all that mortal valor could accomplish, rolling back upon the Austrians the tide of victory. Such was the discipline of Napoleon. He needed no blood-stained lash to scar the naked backs of his men. He ruled over mind. His empire was in the soul. "My soldiers," said he "are my children." The effect of this rebuke was incalculable. There was not an officer or a soldier in the army who was not moved by it. It came exactly at the right moment, when it was necessary that every man in the army should be inspired with absolute desperation of valor.

Alvinzi sent a peasant across the country to carry dispatches to Wurmser in the beleaguered city. The information of approaching relief was written upon very thin paper, in a minute hand, and inclosed in a ball of wax, not much larger than a pea. The spy was intercepted. He was seen to swallow the ball. The stomach was compelled to surrender its trust, and Napoleon became acquainted with Alvinzi's plan of operation. He left ten thousand men around the walls of Mantua, to continue the blockade, and assembled the rest of his army, consisting only of fifteen thousand, in the vicinity of Verona. The whole valley of the Adige was now swarming with the Austrian battalions. At night the wide horizon seemed illuminated with the blaze of their camp fires. The Austrians, conscious of their vast superiority in numbers, were hastening to envelop the French. Already forty thousand men were circling around the little band of fifteen thousand who were rallied under the eagles of France. The Austrians, wary in consequence of their past defeats, moved with the utmost caution, taking possession of the most commanding positions. Napoleon, with sleepless vigilance, watched for some exposed point, but in vain. The soldiers understood the true posture of affairs, and began to feel disheartened, for their situation was apparently desperate. The peril of the army was so great, that even the sick and the wounded in the hospitals at Milan, Pavia, and Lodi, voluntarily left their beds and hastened, emaciate with suffering, and many of them with their wounds still bleeding, to resume their station in the ranks. The soldiers were deeply moved by this affecting spectacle, so indicative of their fearful peril and of the devotion of their comrades to the interests of the army. Napoleon resolved to give battle immediately, before the Austrians should accumulate in still greater numbers.

A dark, cold winter's storm was deluging the ground with rain, as Napoleon roused his troops from the drenched sods upon which they were slumbering. The morning had not yet dawned through the surcharged clouds, and the freezing wind, like a tornado, swept the bleak hills. It was an awful hour in which to go forth to encounter mutilation and death. The enterprise was desperate. Fifteen thousand Frenchmen, with frenzied violence, were to hurl themselves upon the serried ranks of forty thousand foes. The horrid carnage soon began. The roar of the battle, the shout of onset, and the shriek of the dying, mingled in midnight gloom, with the appalling rush and wail of the tempest. The ground was so saturated with rain that it was almost impossible for the French to drag their cannon through the miry ruts. As the darkness of night passed and the dismal light of a stormy day was spread around them, the rain changed to snow, and the struggling French were smothered and blinded by the storm of sleet whirled furiously into their faces. Through the live-long day this terrific battle of man and of the elements raged unabated. When night came the exhausted soldiers, drenched with rain and benumbed with cold, threw themselves upon the blood-stained snow, in the midst of the dying and of the dead. Neither party claimed the victory, and neither acknowledged defeat. No pen can describe, nor can imagination conceive, the horrors of the dark and wailing night of storm and sleet which ensued. Through the long hours the groans of the wounded, scattered over many miles swept by the battle, blended in mournful unison with the wailings of the tempest. Two thousand of Napoleon's little band were left dead upon the field, and a still larger number of Austrian corpses were covered with the winding-sheet of snow. Many a blood-stained drift indicated the long and agonizing struggle of the wounded ere the motionlessness of death[Pg 732] consummated the dreadful tragedy. It is hard to die even in the curtained chambers of our ceiled houses, with sympathizing friends administering every possible alleviation. Cold must have been those pillows of snow, and unspeakably dreadful the solitude of those death scenes, on the bleak hill sides and in the muddy ravines, where thousands of the young, the hopeful, the sanguine, in horrid mutilation, struggled through the long hours of the tempestuous night in the agonies of dissolution. Many of these young men were from the first families in Austria and in France, and had been accustomed to every indulgence. Far from mother, sister, brother, drenched with rain, covered with the drifting snow, alone—all alone with the midnight darkness and the storm—they writhed and moaned through lingering hours of agony.

The Austrian forces still were accumulating, and the next day Napoleon retired within the walls of Verona. It was the first time he had seemed to retreat before his foes. His star began to wane. The soldiers were silent and dejected. An ignominious retreat after all their victories, or a still more ignominious surrender to the Austrians appeared their only alternative. Night again came. The storm had passed away. The moon rose clear and cold over the frozen hills. Suddenly the order was proclaimed, in the early darkness, for the whole army, in silence and celerity, to be upon the march. Grief sat upon every countenance. The western gates of the city, looking toward France were thrown open. The rumbling of the artillery wheels, and the sullen tramp of the dejected soldiers fell heavily upon the night air. Not a word was spoken. Rapidly the army emerged from the gates, crossed the river, and pressed along the road toward France, leaving their foes slumbering behind them, unconscious of their flight. The depression of the soldiers thus compelled at last, as they supposed, to retreat, was extreme. Suddenly, and to the perplexity of all, Napoleon wheeled his columns into another road, which followed down the valley of the Adige. No one could imagine whither he was leading them. He hastened along the banks of the river, in most rapid march, about fourteen miles, and, just at midnight, recrossed the stream, and came upon the rear of the Austrian army. Here the soldiers found a vast morass, many miles in extent, traversed by several narrow causeways, in these immense marshes superiority in number was of little avail, as the heads of the column only could meet. The plan of Napoleon instantly flashed upon the minds of the intelligent French soldiers. They appreciated at once the advantage he had thus skillfully secured for them. Shouts of joy ran through the ranks. Their previous dejection was succeeded by corresponding elation.

It was midnight. Far and wide along the horizon blazed the fires of the Austrian camps, while the French were in perfect darkness. Napoleon, emaciate with care and toil, and silent in intensity of thought, as calm and unperturbed as the clear, cold, serene winter's night, stood upon an eminence observing the position, and estimating the strength of his foes. He had but thirteen thousand troops. Forty thousand Austrians, crowding the hill sides with their vast array, were manœuvring to envelop and to crush him. But now indescribable enthusiasm animated the French army. They no longer doubted of success. Every man felt confident that the Little Corporal was leading them again to a glorious victory.

In the centre of these wide spreading morasses was the village of Arcola, approached only by narrow dykes and protected by a stream, crossed by a small wooden bridge. A strong division of the Austrian army was stationed here. It was of the first importance that this position should be taken from the enemy. Before the break of day the solid columns of Napoleon were moving along the narrow passages, and the fierce strife commenced. The soldiers, with loud shouts, rushed upon the bridge. In an instant the whole head of the column was swept away by a volcanic burst of fire. Napoleon sprung from his horse, seized a standard, and shouted, "Conquerors of Lodi, follow your general!" He rushed at the head of the column, leading his impetuous troops through a perfect hurricane of balls and bullets, till he arrived at the centre of the bridge. Here the tempest of fire was so dreadful that all were thrown into confusion. Clouds of smoke enveloped the bridge in almost midnight darkness. The soldiers recoiled, and trampling over the dead and dying, in wild disorder retreated. The tall grenadiers seized the fragile and wasted form of Napoleon in their arms as if he had been a child, and regardless of their own danger, dragged him from the mouth of this terrible battery. But in the tumult they were forced over the dyke, and Napoleon was plunged into the morass and was left almost smothered in the mire. The Austrians were already between Napoleon and his column, when the anxious soldiers perceived, in the midst of the darkness and the tumult, that their beloved chief was missing. The wild cry arose, "Forward to save your general." Every heart thrilled at this cry. The whole column instantly turned, and regardless of death, inspired by love for their general, rushed impetuously, irresistibly upon the bridge. Napoleon was extricated and Arcola was taken.



As soon as the morning dawned, Alvinzi perceived that Verona was evacuated, and in astonishment he heard the thunder of Napoleon's guns reverberating over the marshes which surrounded Arcola. He feared the genius of his adversary, and his whole army was immediately in motion. All day long the battle raged on those narrow causeways, the heads of the columns rushing against each other with indescribable fury, and the dead and the dying filling the morass. The terrible rebuke which had been inflicted upon the division of Vaubois still rung in the ears of the French troops, and every officer and every man resolved to prove that he belonged to[Pg 733] the army of Italy. Said Augereau, as he rushed into the mouth of a perfect volcano of flame and fire, "Napoleon may break my sword over my dead body, but he shall never cashier me in the presence of my troops." Napoleon was every where, exposed to every danger, now struggling through the dead and the dying on foot, heading the impetuous charge; now galloping over the dykes, with the balls from the Austrian batteries plowing the ground around him. Wherever his voice was heard, and his eye fell, tenfold enthusiasm inspired his men. Lannes, though severely wounded, had hastened from the hospital at Milan, to aid the army in this terrible emergence. He received three wounds in endeavoring to protect Napoleon, and never left his side till the battle was closed. Muiron, another of those gallant spirits, bound to Napoleon by those mysterious ties of affection which this strange man inspired, seeing a bomb shell about to explode, threw himself between it and Napoleon, saving the life of his beloved general by the sacrifice of his own. The darkness of night separated the combatants for a few hours, but before the dawn of the morning the murderous assault was renewed, and continued with unabated violence through the whole ensuing day. The French veterans charged with the bayonet, and hurled the Austrians with prodigious slaughter into the marsh. Another night came and went. The gray light of another cold winter's morning appeared faintly in the east, when the soldiers sprang again from their freezing, marshy beds, and in the dense clouds of vapor and of smoke which had settled down over the morass, with the fury of blood-hounds rushed again to the assault. In the midst of this terrible conflict a cannon-ball fearfully mangled the horse upon which Napoleon was riding. The powerful animal, frantic with pain and terror, became perfectly unmanageable. Seizing the bit in his teeth, he rushed through the storm of bullets directly into the midst of the Austrian ranks. He then, in the agonies of death, plunged into the morass and expired. Napoleon was left struggling in the swamp up to his neck in the mire. Being perfectly helpless, he was expecting every moment either to sink and disappear in that inglorious grave, or that some Austrian dragoon would sabre his head from his body or with a bullet pierce his brain. Enveloped in clouds of smoke, in the midst of the dismay and the uproar of the terrific scene, he chanced to evade observation, until his own troops, regardless of every peril, forced their way to his rescue. Napoleon escaped with but a few slight wounds. Through the long day, the tide of war continued to ebb and to flow upon these narrow dykes. Napoleon now carefully counted the number of prisoners taken and estimated the amount of the slain. Computing thus that the enemy did not outnumber him by more than a third, he resolved to march out into the open plain for a decisive conflict. He relied upon the enthusiasm and the confidence of his own troops and the dejection with which he knew that the Austrians were oppressed. In these impassable morasses it was impossible to operate with the cavalry. Three days of this terrible conflict had now passed. In the horrible carnage of these days Napoleon had lost 8000 men, and he estimated that the Austrians could not have lost less, in killed, wounded, and prisoners, than 20,000. Both armies were utterly exhausted, and those hours of dejection and lassitude had ensued in which every one wished that the battle was at an end.[Pg 734]

It was midnight. Napoleon, sleepless and fasting, seemed insensible to exhaustion either of body or of mind. He galloped along the dykes from post to post, with his whole soul engrossed with preparations for the renewal of the conflict. Now he checked his horse to speak in tones of consolation to a wounded soldier, and again by a few words of kind encouragement animated an exhausted sentinel. At two o'clock in the morning the whole army, with the ranks sadly thinned, was again roused and ranged in battle array. It was a cold, damp morning, and the weary and half-famished soldiers shivered in their lines. A dense, oppressive fog covered the flooded marsh and added to the gloom of the night. Napoleon ordered fifty of the guards to struggle with their horses through the swamp, and conceal themselves in the rear of the enemy. With incredible difficulty most of them succeeded in accomplishing this object. Each dragoon had a trumpet. Napoleon commenced a furious attack along the whole Austrian front. When the fire was the hottest, at an appointed signal, the mounted guards sounded with their trumpets loudly the charge, and with perfect desperation plunged into the ranks of the enemy. The Austrians, in the darkness and confusion of the night, supposing that Murat,[1] with his whole body of cavalry, was thundering down upon their rear, in dismay broke and fled. With demoniacal energy the French troops pursued the victory, and before that day's sun went down, the proud army of Alvinzi, now utterly routed, and having lost nearly thirty thousand men, marking its path with a trail of blood, was retreating into the mountains of Austria. Napoleon, with streaming banners and exultant music, marched triumphantly back into Verona, by the eastern gates, directly opposite those from which, three days before, he had emerged. He was received by the inhabitants with the utmost enthusiasm and astonishment. Even the enemies of Napoleon so greatly admired the heroism and the genius of this wonderful achievement, that they added their applause to that of his friends. This was the fourth Austrian army which Napoleon had overthrown in less than eight months, and each of them more than twice as numerous as his own. In Napoleon's dispatches to the Directory, as usual, silent concerning himself, and magnanimously attributing the victory to the heroism of the troops, he says, "Never was a field of battle more valiantly disputed than the conflict at Arcola. I have scarcely any generals left. Their bravery and their patriotic enthusiasm are without example."

In the midst of all these cares he found time to write a letter of sympathy to the widow of the brave Muiron. "You," he writes, "have lost a husband who was dear to you; and I am bereft of a friend to whom I have been long and sincerely attached. But our country has suffered more than us both, in being deprived of an officer so pre-eminently distinguished for his talents and his dauntless bravery. If it lies within the scope of my ability to yield assistance to yourself, or your infant, I beseech you to reckon upon my utmost exertions." It is affecting to record that in a few weeks the woe-stricken widow gave birth to a lifeless babe, and she and her little one sank into an untimely grave together. The woes of war extend far and wide beyond the blood-stained field of battle. Twenty thousand men perished around the marshes of Arcola. And after the thunders of the strife had ceased, and the groans of the dying were hushed in death, in twenty thousand distant homes, far away on the plains of France, or in the peaceful glens of Austria, the agony of that field of blood was renewed, as the tidings reached them, and a wail burst forth from crushed and lacerated hearts, which might almost have drowned the roar of that deadly strife.

How Napoleon could have found time in the midst of such terrific scenes for the delicate attentions of friendship, it is difficult to conceive. Yet to a stranger he wrote, announcing the death of a nephew, in the following affecting terms: "He fell with glory and in the face of the enemy, without suffering a moment of pain. Where is the man who would not envy such a death? Who would not gladly accept the choice of thus escaping from the vicissitudes of an unsatisfying world. Who has not often regretted that he has not been thus withdrawn from the calumny, the envy, and all the odious passions which seem the almost exclusive directors of the conduct of mankind." It was in this pensive strain that Napoleon wrote, when a young man of twenty-six, and in the midst of a series of the most brilliant victories which mortal man had ever achieved.

The moment the Austrians broke and fled, while the thunders of the pursuing cannonade were reverberating over the plains, Napoleon seized a pen and wrote to his faithful Josephine, with that impetuous energy, in which "sentences were crowded into words, and words into letters." The courier was dispatched, at the top of his speed, with the following lines, which Josephine with no little difficulty deciphered. She deemed them worth the study. "My adored Josephine! at length I live again. Death is no longer before me, and glory and honor are still in my breast. The enemy is beaten. Soon Mantua will be ours. Then thy husband will fold thee in his arms, and give thee a thousand proofs of his ardent affection. I am a little fatigued. I have received letters from Eugene and Hortense. I am delighted with the children. Adieu, my adorable Josephine. Think of me often. Should your heart grow cold toward me, you will be indeed cruel and unjust. But I am sure that you will always continue my faithful friend as I shall ever continue your fond lover. Death alone can break[Pg 735] the union which love, sentiment, and sympathy have formed. Let me have news of your health. A thousand and a thousand kisses."

A vein of superstition pervaded the mind of this extraordinary man. He felt that he was the child of destiny—that he was led by an arm more powerful than his own, and that an unseen guide was conducting him along his perilous and bewildering pathway. He regarded life as of little value, and contemplated death without any dread. "I am," said he, "the creature of circumstances. I do but go where events point out the way. I do not give myself any uneasiness about death. When a man's time is come, he must go." "Are you a Predestinarian?" inquired O'Meara. "As much so," Napoleon replied, "as the Turks are. I have been always so. When destiny wills, it must be obeyed. I will relate an example. At the siege of Toulon I observed an officer very careful of himself, instead of exhibiting an example of courage to animate his men. 'Mr. Officer,' said I, 'come out and observe the effect of your shot. You know not whether your guns are well pointed or not.' Very reluctantly he came outside of the parapet, to the place where I was standing. Wishing to expose as little of his body as possible, he stooped down, and partially sheltered himself behind the parapet, and looked under my arm. Just then a shot came close to me, and low down, which knocked him to pieces. Now, if this man had stood upright, he would have been safe as the ball would have passed between us without hurting either." Maria Louisa, upon her marriage with Napoleon, was greatly surprised to find that no sentinels slept at the door of his chamber; that the doors even were not locked; and that there were no guns or pistols in the room where they slept. "Why," said she, "you do not take half so many precautions as my father does." "I am too much of a fatalist," he replied, "to take any precautions against assassination." O'Meara, at St. Helena, at one time urged him to take some medicine. He declined, and calmly raising his eyes to heaven, said, "That which is written is written. Our days are numbered." Strange and inconsistent as it may seem, there is a form which the doctrine of Predestination assumes in the human mind, which arouses one to an intensity of exertion which nothing else could inspire. Napoleon felt that he was destined to the most exalted achievements. Therefore he consecrated himself through days of toil and nights of sleeplessness to the most Herculean exertions that he might work out his destiny. This sentiment which inspired Napoleon as a philosopher, animated Calvin as a Christian. Instead of cutting the sinews of exertion, as many persons would suppose it must, it did but strain those sinews to their utmost tension.

Napoleon had obtained, at the time of his marriage, an exquisite miniature of Josephine. This, in his romantic attachment, he had suspended by a ribbon about his neck, and the cheek of Josephine ever rested upon the pulsations of his heart. Though living in the midst of the most exciting tumults earth has ever witnessed, his pensive and reflective mind was solitary and alone. The miniature of Josephine was his companion, and often during the march, and in the midnight bivouac, he gazed upon it most fondly. "By what art is it," he once passionately wrote, "that you, my sweet love, have been able to captivate all my faculties, and to concentrate in yourself my moral existence? It is a magic influence which will terminate only with my life. My adorable wife! I know not what fate awaits me, but if it keep me much longer from you, it will be insupportable. There was a time when I was proud of my courage. When contemplating the various evils to which we are exposed, I could fix my eyes steadfastly upon every conceivable calamity, without alarm or dread. But now the idea that Josephine may be ill, and, above all, the cruel thought that she may love me less, withers my soul, and leaves me not even the courage of despair. Formerly I said to myself, Man can not hurt him who can die without regret. But now to die without being loved by Josephine is torment. My incomparable companion! thou whom fate has destined to make, along with me, the painful journey of life, the day on which I shall cease to possess thy heart will be to me the day of utter desolation." On one occasion the glass covering the miniature was found to be broken. Napoleon considered the accident a fearful omen of calamity to the beloved original. He was so oppressed with this presentiment, that a courier was immediately dispatched to bring him tidings from Josephine.

It is not surprising that Napoleon should thus have won, in the heart of Josephine the most enthusiastic love. "He is," said she, "the most fascinating of men." Said the Duchess of Abrantes, "It is impossible to describe the charm of Napoleon's countenance when he smiled. His soul was upon his lips and in his eyes." "I never," said the Emperor Alexander, "loved any man as I did that man." Says the Duke of Vicenza, "I have known nearly all the crowned heads of the present day—all our illustrious contemporaries. I have lived with several of those great historical characters on a footing quite distinct from my diplomatic duties. I have had every opportunity of comparing and judging. But it is impossible to institute any comparison between Napoleon and any other man. They who say otherwise did not know him." Says Duroc, "Napoleon is endowed with a variety of faculties, any one of which would suffice to distinguish a man from the multitude. He is the greatest captain of the age. He is a statesman who directs the whole business of the country, and superintends every branch of the service. He is a sovereign whose ministers are merely his clerks. And yet this Colossus of gigantic proportions can descend to the most trivial details of private life. He can regulate the expenditure of his household as he regulates the finances of the empire."

Notwithstanding Napoleon had now destroyed four Austrian armies, the imperial court was still[Pg 736] unsubdued, and still pertinaciously refused to make peace with republican France. Herculean efforts were immediately made to organize a fifth army to march again upon Napoleon. These exciting scenes kept all Italy in a state of extreme fermentation. Every day the separation between the aristocratic and the republican party became more marked and rancorous. Austria and England exerted all their arts of diplomacy to rouse the aristocratic governments of Rome, Venice, and Naples to assail Napoleon in the rear, and thus to crush that spirit of republican liberty so rapidly spreading through Italy, and which threatened the speedy overthrow of all their thrones. Napoleon, in self-defense, was compelled to call to his aid the sympathies of the republican party, and to encourage their ardent aspirations for free government.

And here again the candid mind is compelled to pause, and almost to yield its assent to that doctrine of destiny which had obtained so strong a hold upon the mind of Napoleon. How could it be expected that those monarchs, with their thrones, their wealth, their pride, their power, their education, their habits, should have submissively relinquished their exalted inheritance, and have made an unconditional surrender to triumphant democracy. Kings, nobles, priests, and all the millions whose rank and property were suspended upon the perpetuity of those old monarchies, could, by no possibility have been led to such a measure. Unquestionably many were convinced that the interests of humanity demanded the support of the established governments. They had witnessed the accomplishments of democracy in France—a frenzied mob sacking the palace, dragging the royal family, through every conceivable insult, to dungeons and a bloody death, burning the chateaus of the nobles, bruising with gory clubs upon the pavements, the most venerable in rank and the most austere in virtue, dancing in brutal orgies around the dissevered heads of the most illustrious and lovely ladies of the realm, and dragging their dismembered limbs in derision through the streets. Priests crowded the churches, praying to God to save them from the horrors of democracy. Matrons and maidens trembled in their chambers as they wrought with their own hands the banners of royalty, and with moistened eyes and palpitating hearts they presented them to their defenders.

On the other hand, how could republican France tamely succumb to her proud and aristocratic enemies. "Kings," said a princess of the house of Austria, "should no more regard the murmurs of the people than does the moon the barking of dogs." How could the triumphant millions of France, who had just overthrown this intolerable despotism, and whose hearts were glowing with aspirations for liberty and equal rights, yield without a struggle all they had attained at such an enormous expense of blood and misery. They turned their eyes hopefully to the United States, where our own Washington and their own La Fayette had fought, side by side, and had established liberty gloriously; and they could not again voluntarily place their necks beneath the yoke of kingly domination. Despotism engenders ignorance and cruelty; and despotism did but reap the awful harvest of blood and woe, of which, during countless ages of oppression, it had been scattering broadcast the seed.

The enfranchised people could not allow the allied monarchs of Europe to rear again, upon the soil of republican France, and in the midst of thirty millions of freemen, an execrated and banished dynasty. This was not a warfare of republican angels against aristocratic fiends, or of refined, benevolent, intellectual loyalists against rancorous, reckless, vulgar Jacobins. It was a warfare of frail and erring man against his fellow—many, both monarchists and republicans, perhaps animated by motives as corrupt as can influence the human heart. But it can not be doubted that there were others on each side, who were influenced by considerations as pure as can glow in the bosom of humanity. Napoleon recognized and respected these verities. While he had no scruples respecting his own duty to defend his country from the assaults of the allied kings, he candidly respected his opponents. Candidly he said, "Had I been surrounded by the influences which have surrounded these gentlemen, I should doubtless have been fighting beneath their banners." There is probably not a reader of these pages, who, had he been an English or an Austrian noble, would not have fought those battles of the monarchy, upon which his fortune, his power, and his rank were suspended. And there probably is not a noble upon the banks of the Danube or the Thames, who, had he been a young lawyer, merchant, or artisan, with all his prospects in life depending upon his own merit and exertions, would not have strained every nerve to hew down these bulwarks of exclusive privilege, which the pride and oppression of ages had reared. Such is man; and such his melancholy lot. We would not detract from the wickedness of these wars, deluging Europe with blood and woe. But God alone can award the guilt. We would not conceal that all our sympathies are with the republicans struggling for their unquestionable rights. But we may also refrain from casting unmerited obloquy upon those, who were likewise struggling for every thing dear to them in life.

The Directory, trembling in view of the vast renown Napoleon was acquiring, and not at all relishing the idea of having the direction of affairs thus unceremoniously taken from their hands, sent Gen. Clarke, as an envoy, to Napoleon's head-quarters, to conduct negotiations with the Austrians. Napoleon received him with great external courtesy, but that there might be no embarrassing misunderstanding between them, informed him in so many words, "If you come here to obey me, I shall always see you with pleasure; if not, the sooner you return to those who sent you the better." The proud envoy yielded at once to the master-mind, and so completely was he brought under the influence[Pg 737] of its strange fascination, that he became a most enthusiastic admirer of Napoleon, and wrote to the Directory, "It is indispensable that the General-in-chief should conduct all the diplomatic operations in Italy."

While Alvinzi had been preparing his overwhelming host to crush Napoleon, the Pope also, in secret alliance, had been collecting his resources to attack the common foe. It was an act of treachery. Napoleon called Mattei from his fastings and penance in the convent, and commissioned him to go and say to the Pope: "Rome desires war. It shall have war. But first I owe it to humanity to make a final effort to recall the Pope to reason. My army is strong. I have but to will it and the temporal power of the Pope is destroyed. Still France permits me to listen to words of peace. War, so cruel for all, has terrible results for the vanquished. I am anxious to close this struggle by peace. War has for me now neither danger nor glory." The Pope, however, believing that Austria would still crush Napoleon, met these menaces with defiance. Napoleon, conscious that he could not then march upon Rome, devoted all his energies to prepare for the onset of the Austrians, while he kept a vigilant eye upon his enemies in the south. Some he overawed. Others, by a change of government, he transformed into fast friends. Four weeks passed rapidly away, and another vast Austrian army was crowding down from the north with gigantic steps to relieve Mantua, now in the last stage of starvation. Wurmser had succeeded in sending a spy through the French lines, conveying the message to Alvinzi, that unless relieved he could not possibly hold out many days longer.

Josephine had now come, at Napoleon's request, to reside at the head-quarters of the army, that she might be near her husband. Napoleon had received her with the most tender affection, and his exhausted frame was re-invigorated by her soothing cares. He had no tendencies to gallantry, which provoked Madame de Staël once to remark to him, "It is reported that you are not very partial to the ladies." "I am very fond of my wife, Madame," was his laconic reply. Napoleon had not a high appreciation of the female character in general, and yet he highly valued the humanizing and refining influence of polished female society. "The English," said he, "appear to prefer the bottle to the society of their ladies; as is exemplified by dismissing the ladies from the table, and remaining for hours to drink and intoxicate themselves. Were I in England I should certainly leave the table with the ladies. You do not treat them with sufficient regard. If your object is to converse instead of to drink, why not allow them to be present. Surely conversation is never so lively or so witty as when ladies take a part in it. Were I an Englishwoman I should feel very discontented at being turned out by the men, to wait for two or three hours while they were guzzling their wine. In France society is nothing unless ladies are present. They are the life of conversation." At one time Josephine was defending her sex from some remarks which he had made respecting their frivolity and insincerity. "Ah! my dear Josephine," he replied, "they are all nothing compared with you."

Notwithstanding the boundless wealth at Napoleon's disposal, when Josephine arrived at the head-quarters of the army, he lived in a very simple and frugal manner. Though many of his generals were rolling in voluptuousness, he indulged himself in no ostentation in dress or equipage. The only relaxation he sought was to spend an occasional hour in the society of Josephine. In the midst of the movements of these formidable armies, and just before a decisive battle, it was necessary that she should take her departure to a place of greater safety. As she was bidding her husband adieu, a cart passed by, loaded with the mutilated forms of the wounded. The awful spectacle, and the consciousness of the terrible peril of her husband moved her tender feelings. She threw herself upon his neck and wept most bitterly. Napoleon fondly encircled her in his arms, and said, "Wurmser shall pay dearly for those tears which he causes thee to shed." Napoleon's appearance at this time was deplorable in the extreme. His cheeks were pallid and wan. He was as thin as a skeleton. His bright and burning eye alone indicated that the fire of his soul was unextinguished. The glowing energies of his mind sustained his emaciated and exhausted body. The soldiers took pleasure in contrasting his mighty genius and his world-wide renown, with his effeminate stature and his wasted and enfeebled frame.

In allusion to the wonderful tranquillity of mind which Napoleon retained in the midst of all harassments, disasters, and perils, he remarked. "Nature seems to have calculated that I should endure great reverses. She has given me a mind of marble. Thunder can not ruffle it. The shaft merely glides along."

Early in January Alvinzi descended toward Mantua, from the mountains of Austria. It was the fifth army which the Imperial Court had sent for the destruction of the Republicans. The Tyrol was in the hands of the French. Napoleon, to prevent the peasants from rising in guerrilla bands, issued a decree that every Tyrolese taken in arms should be shot as a brigand. Alvinzi replied, that for every peasant shot he would hang a French prisoner of war. Napoleon rejoined, that for every French prisoner thus slain he would gibbet an Austrian officer, commencing with Alvinzi's own nephew, who was in his hands. A little reflection taught both generals that it was not best to add to the inevitable horrors of war by the execution of these sanguinary threats. With the utmost vigilance Napoleon, with his army gathered around him in the vicinity of Mantua, was watching the movements of his formidable enemy, uncertain respecting his line of march, or upon what points the terrible onset was to fall.

The 12th of January, 1797, was a dark, stormy winter's day. The sleet, swept by the gale over the bleak mountains, covered the earth with an[Pg 738] icy mantle. The swollen streams, clogged with ice, roared through the ravines. As the sun went down a clear belt of cloudless sky appeared brilliant in the west. The storm passed away. The cold north wind blew furiously, and the stars with unwonted lustre, adorned the wintry night. As the twilight was fading a courier galloped into the camp with the intelligence that the Austrians had made their appearance in vast numbers upon the plains of Rivoli, and that they were attacking with great fury the advanced post of the French stationed there. At the same time another courier arrived informing him that a powerful division of the Austrian army was moving in another direction to carry relief to Mantua. It was a fearful dilemma. Should Napoleon wait for the junction of these two armies to assail him in front, while the garrison in Mantua, emerging from the walls should attack him in the rear, his situation would be hopeless. Should he march to attack one army, he must leave the road open for the other to enter Mantua with reinforcements and relief. But Napoleon lost not one moment in deliberation. Instinctively he decided upon the only course to be pursued. "The French," said the Austrians, "do not march; they fly." With a rapidity of movement which seems almost miraculous, before two o'clock in the morning, Napoleon, with thirty thousand men, stood upon the snow-clad heights overlooking the encampment of his sleeping foes. It was a sublime and an appalling spectacle which burst upon his view. For miles and miles the watch-fires of the mighty host filled the extended plain. The night was clear, cold, and beautiful. Gloomy firs and pines frowned along the sides of the mountains, silvered by the rays of an unclouded moon. The keen eye of Napoleon instantly detected that there were fifty thousand men, in five divisions of ten thousand each, whom he, with thirty thousand was to encounter upon that plain. He also correctly judged, from the position of the divisions, that the artillery had not arrived, and resolved upon an immediate attack. At four o'clock in the morning, the Austrians were roused from their slumbers by the rush of Napoleon's battalions and by the thunders of his artillery. The day of Rivoli! It was a long, long day of blood and woe. The tide of victory ebbed and flowed. Again and again Napoleon seemed ruined. Night came, and the genius of Napoleon had again triumphed. The whole plain was covered with the dead and the dying. The Austrians, in wild terror, were flying before the impetuous charges of the French cavalry; while from every eminence cannon-balls were plunged into the dense ranks of the fugitives. The genius of this stern warrior never appeared more terrible than in the unsparing energy with which he rained down his blows upon a defeated army. Napoleon had three horses shot under him during the day. "The Austrians," said he, "manœuvred admirably, and failed only because they are incapable of calculating the value of minutes."

An event occurred in the very hottest of the battle which singularly illustrates Napoleon's wonderful presence of mind. The Austrians had completely enveloped him, cutting off his retreat, and attacking him in front, flanks, and rear; the destruction of the army seemed inevitable. Napoleon, to gain time, instantly sent a flag of truce to Alvinzi, proposing a suspension of arms for half an hour, to attend to some propositions to be made in consequence of dispatches just received from Paris. The Austrian general fell into the snare. The roar of battle ceased, and the blood-stained combatants rested upon their guns. Junot repaired to the Austrian head-quarters, and kept Alvinzi busy for half an hour in discussing the terms of accommodation. In the mean time Napoleon had re-arranged his army to repel these numerous attacks. As was to be expected, no terms could be agreed upon, and immediately the murderous onset was renewed.

The scene displayed at the close of this battle was awful in the extreme. The fugitive army, horse, foot, cannon, baggage-wagons, and ammunition-carts struggled along in inextricable confusion through the narrow passes, while a plunging fire from the French batteries produced frightful havoc in the crowd. The occasional explosion of an ammunition-wagon under this terrific fire, opened in the dense mass a gap like the crater of a volcano, scattering far and wide over the field the mangled limbs of the dead. The battle of Rivoli Napoleon ever regarded as one of the most dreadful battles he ever fought, and one of the most signal victories he ever won.

Leaving a few troops to pursue and harass the fugitives, Napoleon, that very night, with the mass of his army, turned to arrest the Austrian division of twenty thousand men under Provera, hastening to the reinforcement of Mantua. He had already marched all of one night, and fought all of the ensuing day. He allowed his utterly exhausted troops a few hours for sleep, but closed not his own eyes. He still considered the peril of his army so great as to demand the utmost vigilance. So intense was his solicitude, that he passed the hours of the night, while the rest were sleeping, in walking about the outposts. At one of them he found a sentinel, utterly worn down by fatigue, asleep at the root of a tree. Without awaking him, Napoleon took his gun and performed a sentinel's duty in his place for half an hour. At last the poor man, starting from his slumbers, overwhelmed with consternation, perceived the countenance and the occupation of his general. He knew that death was the penalty for such a crime, and he fell speechless upon his knees. "My brave friend," said Napoleon kindly, "here is your musket. You have marched long and fought hard, and your sleep is excusable. But a moment's inattention at the present time might ruin the army. I happened to be awake, and have held your post for you. You will be more careful another time." It is not surprising that such deeds as these, continually repeated at the campfires of the soldiers, should have inspired them with the most enthusiastic admiration of their commander-in-chief.[Pg 739]



The hour of midnight had hardly passed before the whole army was again in motion. The dawn of the morning found them pressing on with all possible speed, hoping to arrive at Mantua before the Austrian force should have effected an entrance into the beleaguered city. All the day long they hurried on their way, and just as the sun was setting, they heard the roar of the conflict around the ramparts of Mantua. Provera was attacking the French in their intrenchments upon one side. The brave old Wurmser was marching from the city to attack them upon the other. An hour might have settled the unequal conflict. Suddenly Napoleon, like a thunderbolt, plunged into the midst of the foe. Provera's band was scattered like chaff before the whirlwind. Wurmser and his half-starved men were driven back to their fortress and their prison. Thus terminated this signal campaign of three days, during which the Austrians lost twenty-five thousand prisoners, twenty-five standards, sixty pieces of cannon, and six thousand men in killed and wounded. The Austrian army was again destroyed, and the French remained in undisputed possession of Italy. Such achievements filled the world with astonishment. Military men of all lands have regarded these brilliant operations of Napoleon as the most extraordinary which history has recorded.

Wurmser's situation was now hopeless, and no resource was left him but to capitulate. One half of his once numerous garrison were in the hospital. The horses which had been killed and salted down were all consumed. Famine was now staring the garrison in the face. Wurmser sent an aid-de-camp to the tent of Serrurier to propose terms of capitulation. Napoleon was sitting in a corner of the tent unobserved, wrapped in his cloak. The aid, with the artifice usual on such occasions, expatiated on the powerful means of resistance Wurmser still enjoyed, and the large stores of provisions still in the magazines. Napoleon, without making himself known, listened to the conversation, taking no part in it. At last he approached the table, silently took the paper containing Wurmser's propositions, and, to the astonishment of the aid, wrote upon the margin his answer to all the terms suggested. "There," said he, "are the conditions which I grant to your marshal. If he had provisions but for a fortnight and could talk of surrender, he would not deserve an honorable capitulation. As he sends you, he must be reduced to extremity. I respect his age, his valor, his misfortunes. Carry to him the terms which I grant. Whether he leaves the place to-morrow, in a month, or in six months he shall have neither better nor worse conditions. He may stay as long as his sense of honor demands."

The aid now perceived that he was in the presence of Napoleon. Glancing his eye over the terms of capitulation, he was surprised at the liberality of the victor, and seeing that dissimulation was of no further avail, he confessed that Wurmser had provisions but for three days. The brave old marshal was deeply moved with gratitude in acknowledging the generosity with which he was treated by his young adversary. Wurmser was entirely in his power, and must have surrendered at discretion. Yet Napoleon, to spare the feelings of his foe, allowed him to march out of the place with all his staff, and to retire unmolested to Austria. He even granted him two hundred horse and five hundred men, to be chosen by himself, and six pieces of cannon, to render his departure less humiliating. Wurmser most gratefully accepted this magnanimous offer, and to prove his gratitude informed Napo[Pg 740]leon of a plan laid in the Papal States for poisoning him, and this undoubtedly saved his life. The remainder of the garrison, twenty thousand strong, surrendered their arms, and were retained as prisoners of war. Fifteen standards, a bridge equipage, and above five hundred pieces of artillery fell into the hands of the victor.

On the following morning the Austrian army, emaciate, humiliated, and dejected, defiled from the gates of Mantua to throw down their arms at the feet of the triumphant Republicans. But on this occasion also, Napoleon displayed that magnanimity and delicacy of mind, which accorded so well with the heroism of his character and the grandeur of his achievements. Few young men, twenty-six years of age, at the termination of so terrific a campaign, would have deprived themselves of the pleasure of seeing the veteran Austrian marshal and his proud array pass vanquished before him. But on the morning of that day Napoleon mounted his horse, and heading a division of his army, disappeared from the ground, and marched for the Papal States. He left Serrurier to receive the sword of Wurmser. He would not add to the mortification of the vanquished general, by being present in the hour of his humiliation. Delicacy so rare and so noble attracted the attention of all Europe. This magnanimous and dignified conduct extorted reluctant admiration even from the bitterest enemies of the young Republican general.

The Directory, unable to appreciate such nobility of spirit, were dissatisfied with the liberal terms which had been granted Wurmser. Napoleon treated their remonstrances with scorn, and simply replied, "I have granted the Austrian general such terms as, in my judgment, were due to a brave and honorable enemy, and to the dignity of the French Republic."

The Austrians were now driven out of Italy. Napoleon commenced the campaign with thirty thousand men. He received, during the progress of these destructive battles, twenty thousand recruits. Thus, in ten months, Napoleon, with fifty-five thousand men, had conquered five armies, under veteran generals, and composed of more than two hundred thousand highly disciplined Austrian troops. He had taken one hundred thousand prisoners, and killed and wounded thirty-five thousand men. These were great victories, and "a great victory," said the Duke of Wellington, "is the most awful thing in the world excepting a great defeat."

Napoleon now prepared to march boldly upon Vienna itself, and to compel the emperor, in his own palace, to make peace with insulted France. Such an idea he had not conceived at the commencement of the campaign; circumstances, however, or as Napoleon would say, his destiny led him on. But first it was necessary to turn aside to humble the Pope, who had been threatening Napoleon's rear with an army of 40,000 men, but who was now in utter consternation in view of the hopeless defeat of the Austrians. Napoleon issued the following proclamation: "The French army is about to enter the Pope's territories. It will protect religion and the people. The French soldier carries in one hand the bayonet, as the guarantee of victory; in the other the olive branch, a symbol of peace, and a pledge of protection. Woe to those who shall provoke the vengeance of this army. To the inhabitants of every town and village peace, protection, and security are offered." All the spiritual machinery of the Papal Church had been put into requisition to rouse the people to frenzy. The tocsin had been tolled in every village, forty hours' prayers offered, indulgences promised, and even miracles employed to inspire the populace with delirious energy. Napoleon took with him but four thousand five hundred French soldiers, aided by four thousand Italian recruits. He first encountered the enemy, seven thousand strong, under Cardinal Busca, intrenched upon the banks of the Senio. It was in the evening twilight of a pleasant spring day, when the French approached the river. The ecclesiastic, but little accustomed to the weapons of secular warfare, sent a flag of truce, who very pompously presented himself before Napoleon, and declared, in the name of the cardinal-in-chief, that if the French continued to advance he should certainly fire upon them. The terrible menace was reported through the French lines, and was received with perfect peals of merriment. Napoleon replied that he should be extremely sorry to expose himself to the cardinal's fire, and that therefore, as the army was very much fatigued, with the cardinal's leave it would take up its quarters for the night. In the darkness a division of the French army was sent across the stream, by a ford, to cut off the retreat of the Papal troops, and in the morning the bloody conflict of an hour left nearly every man dead upon the field, or a prisoner in the hands of Napoleon. Pressing rapidly on, the French arrived the same day at Faenza. The gates were shut, the ramparts manned with cannon, and the multitude, in fanatical enthusiasm, exasperated the French soldiers with every species of insulting defiance. The gates were instantly battered down, and the French rushed into the city. They loudly clamored for permission to pillage. "The case," said they, "is the same as that of Pavia." "No!" replied Napoleon, "at Pavia the people, after having taken an oath of obedience, revolted, and attempted to murder our soldiers who were their guests. These people are deceived, and must be subdued by kindness." All the prisoners taken here, and in the battle of the Senio, were assembled in a large garden of one of the convents of Faenza. Napoleon had been represented to them as a monster of atheism, cruelty, and crime. They were in a perfect paroxysm of terror, not doubting that they were gathered there to be shot. Upon the approach of Napoleon they fell upon their knees, with loud cries for mercy. He addressed them in Italian, and in those tones of kindness which seemed to have a magic power over the human heart. "I am the friend," said he, "of all the people of Italy. I come among you for your good. You are all free. Return[Pg 741] to the bosom of your families, and tell them that the French are the friends of religion and of order, and of all the poor and the oppressed." From the garden he went to the refectory of the convent, where the captured officers were assembled. Familiarly he conversed with them a long time, as with friends and equals. He explained to them his motives and his wishes; spoke of the liberty of Italy, of the abuses of the pontifical government, of its gross violation of the spirit of the gospel, and of the blood which must be vainly expended in the attempt to resist such a victorious and well-disciplined army as he had at his disposal. He gave them all permission to return to their homes, and simply requested them, as the price of his clemency, to make known to the community the sentiments with which he was animated. These men now became as enthusiastic in their admiration of Napoleon as they had previously been exasperated against him. They dispersed through the cities and villages of Italy, never weary in eulogizing the magnanimity of their conqueror. He soon met another army of the Romans at Ancona. He cautiously surrounded them, and took them all prisoners without hurting a man, and then, by a few of his convincing words, sent them through the country as missionaries proclaiming his clemency, and the benevolence of the commander-in-chief of the Republican army. Ancona was so situated as to be one of the most important ports of the Adriatic. Its harbor, however, was in such a neglected condition, that not even a frigate could enter. He immediately decided what ought to be done to fortify the place and to improve the port. The great works which he consequently afterward executed at Ancona, will remain a perpetual memorial of his foresight and genius. The largest three-decker can now ride in its harbor with perfect safety.

At Loretto there was an image of the Virgin, which the Church represented as of celestial origin, and which, to the great edification of the populace, seemed miraculously to shed tears in view of the perils of the Papacy. Napoleon sent for the sacred image, exposed the deception by which, through the instrumentality of a string of glass beads, tears appeared to flow, and imprisoned the priests for deluding the people with trickery which tended to bring all religion into contempt.

The Papal States were full of the exiled French priests. The Directory enjoined it upon Napoleon to drive them out of the country. These unhappy men were in a state of despair. Long inured to Jacobin fury they supposed that death was now their inevitable doom. One of the fraternity, weary of years of exile and frantic in view of his supposed impending fate, presented himself to Napoleon, announced himself as an emigrant priest, and implored that his doom of death might be immediately executed. The bewildered man thought it the delirium of a dream when Napoleon, addressing him in terms of courtesy and of heartfelt sympathy, assured him that he and all his friends should be protected from harm. He issued a proclamation enjoining it upon the army to regard these unfortunate men as countrymen and as brothers, and to treat them with all possible kindness. The versatile troops instantly imbibed the humane spirit of their beloved chief. This led to a number of very affecting scenes. Many of the soldiers recognized their former pastors, and these unhappy exiles, long accustomed to scorn and insult, wept with gratitude in being again addressed in terms of respect and affection. Napoleon was censured for this clemency. "How is it possible," he wrote to the Directory, "not to pity these unhappy men? They weep on seeing us." The French emigrant priests were quite a burden upon the convents in Italy, where they had taken refuge, and the Italian priests were quite ready, upon the arrival of the French army, to drive them away, on the pretext that by harboring the emigrants they should draw down upon themselves the vengeance of the Republican army. Napoleon issued a decree commanding the convents to receive them, and to furnish them with every thing necessary for their support and comfort. In that most singular vein of latent humor which pervaded his nature, he enjoined that the French priests should make remuneration for this hospitality in prayers and masses, at the regular market price. He found the Jews in Ancona suffering under the most intolerable oppression, and immediately relieved them from all their disabilities.

The court of Naples, hoping to intimidate Napoleon from advancing upon the holy city, and not venturing openly to draw the sword against him, sent a minister to his camp, to act in the capacity of a spy. This envoy, Prince Pignatelli, assuming an air of great mystery and confidential kindness, showed Napoleon a letter from the Queen of Naples, proposing to send an army of thirty thousand men to protect the Pontiff. "I thank you," said Napoleon, "for this proof of your confidence, and will repay you in the same way." Opening the portfolio of papers relating to Naples, he exhibited to him a copy of a dispatch, in which the contemplated movement was not only anticipated, but provision made, in case it should be attempted, for marching an army of twenty-five thousand men to take possession of the capital, and compel the royal family to seek refuge in Sicily. An extraordinary courier was dispatched in the night to inform the Queen of the manner in which the insinuation had been received. Nothing more was heard of the Neapolitan interference.

Napoleon was now within three days' march of Rome. Consternation reigned in the Vatican. Embassadors were hastily sent to Napoleon's head-quarters at Tolentino, to implore the clemency of the conqueror. The horses were already harnessed to the state carriages, and Pope Pius the Sixth was just descending the stairs for flight, when a messenger arrived from Napoleon informing the Pope that he need apprehend no personal violence, that Napoleon was contending only for peace. The Directory, exasperated by[Pg 742] the unrelenting hostility and the treachery of the Pope, enjoined it upon Napoleon to enter into no negotiations with him, but immediately to deprive him of all temporal power. Napoleon, however, understood fanatical human nature too well to attempt such a revolution. Disregarding the wishes of the government at home, he treated the Pope with that gentlemanly deference and respect which was due to his exalted rank, as a temporal and a spiritual prince. The treaty of Tolentino was soon concluded. Its simple terms were peace with France, the acknowledgment of the Cispadane Republic, and a renewed promise that the stipulations of the preceding armistice should be faithfully performed. Even the Pope could not refrain from expressions of gratitude in view of the moderation of his victor. Napoleon insisted for a long time upon the suppression of the inquisition. But out of complaisance to the Pope, who most earnestly entreated that it might not be suppressed, assuring Napoleon that it no longer was what it had been, but that it was now rather a tribunal of police than of religious opinion, Napoleon desisted from pressing the article. All this was achieved in nine days. Napoleon now returned to Mantua, and prepared for his bold march upon Vienna.

Notwithstanding the singular moderation displayed by Napoleon in these victories, the most atrocious libels respecting his conduct were circulated by his foes throughout Europe. To exasperate the Catholics he was reported to have seized the venerable Pope by his gray hairs, and thus to have dragged him about the room. One day Napoleon was reading one of these virulent libels, describing him as a perfect monster of licentiousness, blood-thirstiness, and crime. At times he shrugged his shoulders, and again laughed heartily, but did not betray the least sign of anger. To one who expressed surprise at this, he said, "It is the truth only which gives offense. Every body knows that I was not by nature inclined to debauchery, and moreover the multiplicity of my affairs allowed me no time for such vices. Still persons will be found who will believe these things. But how can that be helped? If it should enter any one's head to put in print that I had grown hairy and walked on four paws, there are people who would believe it, and who would say that God had punished me as he did Nebuchadnezzar. And what could I do? There is no remedy in such cases."

[1] Joachim Murat, subsequently married Caroline, the youngest sister of Napoleon, and became Marshal of France, and finally King of Sicily. After the fall of Napoleon he lost his throne, and was shot, by command of the King of Naples. "Murat," said Napoleon, "was one of the most brilliant men I ever saw upon a field of battle. It was really a magnificent spectacle to see him heading the cavalry in a charge."


[The Story of Reynard the Fox, in prose and in rhyme, has for centuries been the favorite popular tale in Europe. We can not go back to the time when it was not told in every dialect spoken by the Teutonic race. "Among the people," says Carlyle, "it was long a house-book, and universal best-companion; it has been lectured on in universities, quoted in imperial council-halls; it lay on the toilets of princesses, and was thumbed to pieces on the work-bench of the artisan; we hear of grave men ranking it next to the Bible.... It comes before us with a character such as can belong only to a very few; that of being a true world's book, which through centuries was every where at home, and the spirit of which diffused itself through all languages and all minds." The translation which we present is from the old Low-German version, which, by superseding all previous ones, has come to be considered the recognized form of the tale. Goethe has expanded it into a long poem, for which Kaulbach designed some forty illustrations, forming the finest series of pictures ever produced for the illustration of a single book. Hermann Plouquet of Stuttgart, has contributed to the Great Exhibition in London a display of animals stuffed in the most comic attitudes. A portion of these are in illustration of Reynard the Fox, the designs of Kaulbach serving as models. The illustrations which we furnish are taken from daguerreotype pictures of these animals, and afford a striking example of the expression which the animal face and figure are capable of conveying.]

About the feast of Whitsuntide, when the woods were in their lustyhood and gallantry, when every tree was clothed in the green and white livery of glorious leaves and sweet-smelling blossoms, when the earth was covered with her fairest mantle of flowers, and the sweet birds entertained the groves with the delight of their harmonious songs, the Lion, the Royal King of Beasts, made solemn proclamation that all quadrupeds whatsoever should attend his court, and celebrate this great festival.

Now when the King had assembled all his subjects together, there was no one absent save Reynard the Fox, against whom many grievous accusations were laid. First came Isegrim the Wolf, with all his family and kindred, who, standing before the King, complained loudly how that Reynard had ill-treated his wife and children. Then there came a little hound named Curtsie, who accused the fox of having stolen his pudding in the extreme cold winter-time, when he was nigh dying of starvation. But scarcely had the hound finished his tale, when, with a fiery countenance, in sprang Tibert the Cat, and accused Curtsie of having stolen this pudding from himself, and declared that Reynard had righteously taken it away.

Then rose the Panther: "Do you imagine, Tibert," quoth he, "that Reynard ought not to be complained of? The whole world knows that he is a murderer, a vagabond, and a thief."

Then quoth Grimbard the Badger, Reynard's nephew: "It is a common proverb, Malice never spake well: what can you say against my kinsman the fox? All these complaints seem to me to be either absurd or false. Mine uncle is a gentleman, and can not endure falsehood. I affirm that he liveth as a recluse; he chastiseth his body, and weareth a shirt of hair-cloth. It is above a year since he hath eaten any flesh; he hath forsaken his castle Malepardus, and abandoned all his wealth; he lives only upon alms and good men's charities, doing infinite penance for his sins; so that he has become pale and lean with praying and fasting."

While Grimbard was still speaking, there came down the hill Chanticleer the Cock, and with him two hens, who brought with them on a bier their dead sister Copple, who had just been murdered by Reynard. Chanticleer smote piteously his feathers, and, kneeling before the King, spake in this manner:



"Most merciful and my great Lord the King, vouchsafe, I beseech you, to hear our complaint,[Pg 743] and redress the injuries which Reynard the Fox has done to me and my children. Not longer ago than last April, when the weather was fair, and I was in the height of my pride and glory, because of my eight valiant sons and seven fair daughters, who were strong and fat, and who walked in safety in a yard well-fenced round, wherein also were several large dogs for their protection, Reynard, that false and dissembling traitor, came to me in the likeness of a hermit, and brought me a letter to read, sealed with your Majesty's seal, in which I found written, that your Highness had made peace throughout all your realm, and that no manner of beast or fowl should do injury one to another; affirming unto me, that, for his own part, he was become a monk, vowing to perform a daily penance for his sins; showing unto me his beads, his books, and the hair shirt next to his skin; saying, in humble wise, unto me, 'Sir Chanticleer, never henceforth be afraid of me, for I have vowed never more to eat flesh. I am now waxed old, and would only remember my soul; therefore I take my leave, for I have yet my noon and my evensong to say.' Which spake, he departed, saying his Credo as he went, and laid him down under a hawthorn. At this I was exceeding glad, that I took no heed, but went and clucked my children together, and walked without the wall, which I shall ever rue; for false Reynard, lying under a bush, came creeping betwixt us and the gate, and suddenly surprised one of my children, which he trussed up and bore away, to my great sorrow; for, having tasted the sweetness of our flesh, neither hunter nor hound can protect or keep him from us. Night and day he[Pg 744] waits upon us, with that greediness, that of fifteen of my children, he hath left me but four unslaughtered; and yesterday, Copple, my daughter, which here lieth dead on this bier, was, after her murder, rescued from him. This is my complaint, and this I leave to your Highness's mercy to take pity on me, and the loss of my fair children."

Then spake the King; "Sir Grimbard, hear you this of your uncle the recluse? he hath fasted and prayed well: believe me, if I live a year, he shall dearly abide it. As for you, Chanticleer, your complaint is heard, and shall be cured; to your daughter that is dead we will give the rites of burial, and with solemn dirges bring her to the earth, with worship."

After this the King sent for his lords and wisest counselors, to consult how this foul murder of Reynard's might be punished. And in the end, it was concluded that Reynard should be sent for, and without all excuse, he should be commanded to appear before the King, to answer whatever trespasses should be objected against him; and that this message should be delivered by Bruin the Bear.

To all this the King gave consent, and calling the bear before him, he said, "Sir Bruin, it is our pleasure that you deliver this message, yet in the delivery thereof have great regard to yourself; for Reynard is full of policy, and knoweth how to dissemble, flatter, and betray; he hath a world of snares to entangle you withal, and without great exercise of judgment, will make a scorn and mock of the best wisdom breathing."


"My Lord," answered Sir Bruin, "let me alone with Reynard; I am not such a truant in[Pg 745] discretion to become a mock to his knavery;" and thus, full of jollity, the bear departed.



The next morning Bruin set out in quest of the fox; and after passing through a dark forest and over a high mountain, he came to Malepartus, Reynard's chiefest and most ancient castle. Reynard was at home, and pretended to be ill with eating too much honey. When the bear heard this, he was extremely desirous of knowing where such excellent food could be obtained; and Reynard promised to take him to a garden where he should find more honey-combs than ten bears could eat at a meal. But the treacherous rascal took him to a carpenter's yard, where lay the trunk of a huge oak-tree, half-riven asunder, with two great wedges in it, so that the cleft stood a great way open. "Behold now, dear uncle," said the fox, "within this tree is so much honey that it is unmeasurable." The bear, in great haste, thrust his nose and fore-paws into the tree; and immediately Reynard pulled out the two great wedges, and caught Bruin in so sharp a trap, that the poor beast howled with pain. This noise quickly brought out the carpenter, who, perceiving how matters stood, alarmed the whole village, who came and belabored the bear's sides with sticks and hoes and pitchforks, until, mad with rage, he tore his bleeding face and paws from the tree, and rushed blindly into a river that ran close by, knocking into the water with him many of the villagers, and among them, Dame Julock, the parson's wife, for whose sake every one bestirred himself; and so poor Bruin got safe away. After some delay, the bear returned to the court, where, in dismal accents, he recounted the sad trick that Reynard had played him.

Then said the King, "Now, by my crown, I[Pg 746] will take such revenge as shall make that traitor tremble;" and sending for his counselors, they decided that Reynard should be again summoned to court, and that Tibert the Cat should be the bearer of the message. "It is your wisdom, Sir Tibert, I employ," said the great King, "and not your strength: many prevail with art, when violence returns with lost labor."

So Tibert made ready, and set out with the King's letter to Malepardus, where he found the fox standing before his castle-gates; to whom Tibert said, "Health to my fair cousin Reynard; the King, by me, summons you to the court, in which if you fail, there is nothing more assured unto you than a cruel and a sudden death."

The fox answered, "Welcome, dear cousin Tibert; I obey your command, and wish my Lord the King infinite days of happiness; only let me entreat you to rest with me to-night, and take such cheer as my simple house affordeth, and to-morrow, as early as you will, we will go toward the court, for I have no kinsman I trust so dearly as yourself."

Tibert replied, "You speak like a noble gentleman; and methinks it is best now to go forward, for the moon shines as bright as day."

"Nay, dear cousin," said the fox, "let us take the day before us, so may we encounter with our friends; the night is full of danger."

"Well," said the cat, "if it be your pleasure, I am content; what shall we eat?"

Reynard said, "Truly my store is small; the best I have is a honey-comb, pleasant and sweet; what think you of it?"

To which Tibert replieth, "It is meat I little respect, and seldom eat; I had rather have one mouse than all the honey in Europe."





[Pg 747]"A mouse!" said Reynard; "why, my dear cousin, here dwelleth a priest hard by, who hath a barn by his house so full of mice, that I think half the wagons in the parish are not able to bear them."

"Oh, dear Reynard," quoth the cat, "do but lead me thither, and make me your servant forever."

"Why," said the fox, "love you mice so exceedingly?"

"Beyond expression," quoth the cat.

Then away they went with all speed to the priest's barn, which was well walled about with a mud wall, where, but the night before, the fox had broken in and stolen an exceeding fat hen, at which the priest was so angry, that he had set a snare before the hole to catch him at his next coming, which the false fox knew of; and therefore said to the cat, "Sir Tibert, creep in at this hole, and believe it, you shall not tarry a minute's space but you shall have more mice than you are able to devour; hark, you may hear how they peep. When you have eaten your fill, come again, and I will stay and await for you here at this hole, that to-morrow we may go together to the court; but, good cousin, stay not too long, for I know my wife will hourly expect us."

Then Tibert sprang quickly in at the hole, but was presently caught fast by the neck in the snare, which as soon as the cat felt, he quickly leaped back again; and the snare running close together, he was half-strangled, so that he began to struggle and cry out and exclaim most piteously.

Then the priest, hearing the outcry, alarmed all his servants, crying out, "The Fox is taken!" and away they all ran to where poor Tibert was caught in the snare, and, without finding out their mistake, they beat him most unmercifully, and cruelly wounded one of his eyes. The cat, mad with pain, suddenly gnawed the cord, and seizing the priest by the legs, bit him and tore him in such a way that he fell down in a swoon, and then, as every one ran to help his master, Tibert leaped out of the hole, and limped as fast as his wounded legs would carry him to the court where the King was infinitely angry at the treatment he had received.

Then Grimbard the Badger, Reynard's nephew fearing it was likely to go hard with his uncle, offered to go to Malepardus and take the King's[Pg 748] message to his most subtle kinsman; to which his Majesty graciously consented. So Grimbard set forth; and when he came to Malepardus, he found Reynard with Dame Ermelin his wife, sporting with their children. When Grimbard had delivered the King's letter, Reynard found that it would be better for him to show himself at court at once; so bidding an affectionate farewell to his dear wife and children, he immediately set out with the badger to go with him before the King. On his way, Reynard, remembering the heavy crimes he had committed, and fearing that his end was at hand, desired of the holy Grimbard, who had always led a hermit's life, that he would hear him confess, and set him a penance for his sins. Grimbard bade him proceed. And the fox confessed how shamefully he had ill-used the bear, and the cat, and the wolf, and Chanticleer's children, and many other ill-doings during his life; and when he had finished, he knelt before Grimbard, and said, "Thus have I told you my wickedness; now order my penance, as shall seem fit in your discretion."

Grimbard was both learned and wise; and therefore brake a rod from a tree, and said, "Uncle, you shall three times strike your body with this rod, and then lay it down upon the ground, and spring three times over it without bowing your legs or stumbling; then shall you take it up and kiss it gently, in sign of meekness and obedience to your penance; which done, you are absolved of your sins committed up to this day, for I pronounce unto you clear remission."



At this the fox was exceeding glad; and immediately he performed the penance to Grimbard's satisfaction. But as they went journeying[Pg 749] on, it happened that they passed by the poultry-yard of a convent; and as one young cock strayed far from the rest, Reynard leaped at him, and caught him by the feathers, but the cock escaped.

"Villain that you are," said Grimbard, "will you, for a silly pullet, fall again into your sins?"

To which Reynard answered, "Pardon me, dear nephew, I had forgotten myself; but I will ask forgiveness, and mine eye shall no more wander."

However, Grimbard noted that he turned many times to look at the poultry. But soon afterward they arrived at the court.

As soon as it was bruited in the court that Reynard the Fox and Grimbard his kinsman were arrived there, every one, from the highest to the lowest, prepared himself to complain of the fox; at which Reynard's heart quaked, but his countenance kept the old look, and he went as proudly as ever he was wont with his nephew through the high street, and came as gallantly into the court as if he had been the King's son, and as clear from trespass as the most innocent whosoever; and when he came before the chair of state in which the King sat, he said, "Heaven give your Majesty glory and renown above all the princes of the earth."

But the King cut him short at these words, and said, "Peace, traitorous Reynard; think you I can be caught with the music of your words? no, it hath too oft deceived me; the peace which I commanded and swore unto, that have you broken."

Then Bellin the Ram, and Oleway his wife, and Bruin the Bear, and Tibert the Cat, and Isegrim the Wolf, and Kyward the Hare, and Bruel the Goose, and Baldwin the Ass, and Bortle the Bull, and Hamel the Ox, and Chanticleer the Cock, and Partlett the Hen, and many others, came forward; and all these with one entire noise cried out against the fox, and so moved the King with their complaints, that the fox was taken and arrested.

Upon this arrest a parliament was called; and notwithstanding that he answered every objection severally, and with great art, Reynard was condemned, and judgment was given that he should be hanged till his body was dead; at which sentence the fox cast down his head, for all his jollity was lost, and no flattery nor no words now prevailed.

Then Isegrim on the one side and Bruin on the other led the poor fox to the gallows, Tibert running before with the halter. And when they were come to the place of execution, the King and the Queen, and all the rest of the nobility, took their places to see the fox die.

When all things were prepared, the fox said, "Now my heart is heavy, for death stands in all his horror before me, and I can not escape. My dread Lord the King, and you my sovereign Lady the Queen, and you my lords that stand to behold me die, I beseech you grant me this charitable boon, that I may unlock my heart before you, and clear my soul of her burdens, so that hereafter no man may be blamed for me; which done, my death will be easy."

Every creature now took compassion on the fox, and said his request was small, beseeching the King to grant it, which was done; and then the fox thus spake, "Help me, Heaven, for I see no man here whom I have not offended; yet was this evil no natural inclination in me, for in my youth I was accounted as virtuous as any breathing. This know, I have played with the lambs all the day long, and taken delight in their pretty bleating; yet at last in my play I bit one, and the taste of its blood was so sweet unto me, that I approved the flesh, and both were so good, that since I could never forbear it. This liquorish humor drew me into the woods among the goats, where hearing the bleating of the little kids, I slew one of them, and afterward two more, which slaughter made me so hardy, that then I fell to murder hens, geese, and other poultry. And thus my crimes increased by custom, and fury so possessed me, that all was fish which came to my net. After this, in the winter season, I met with Isegrim, where, as he lay hid under a hollow tree, he unfolded unto me how he was my uncle, and laid the pedigree down so plain, that from that day forth we became fellows and companions; which knot of friendship I may ever curse, for then began the flood of our thefts and slaughters. He stole the great things, I the small; he murdered nobles, I the mean subjects; and in all our actions his share was still ever the greatest: when he got a ram or a calf, his fury would hardly afford me the horns to pick on; nay, when he had an ox or a cow, after himself, his wife, and his seven children were served, nothing remained to me but the bare bones to pick. This I speak not in that I wanted (for it is well known I have more plate, jewels, and coin than twenty carts are able to carry), but only to show his ingratitude."

When the King heard him speak of this infinite treasure and riches, his heart grew inflamed with a desire thereof; and he said, "Reynard, where is that treasure you speak of?"

The fox answered: "My Lord, I shall willingly tell you, for it is true the wealth was stolen; and had it not been stolen in that manner which it was, it had cost your Highness your life (which Heaven, I beseech, keep ever in protection)."

When the Queen heard that dangerous speech, she started, and said: "What dangers are these you speak of, Reynard? I do command you, upon your soul's health, to unfold these doubtful speeches, and to keep nothing concealed which concerns the life of my dread Lord."

Then the fox in these words unfolded to the King and Queen this most foul treason: "Know, then, my dread sovereign Lord the King, that my father, by a strange accident, digging in the ground, found out King Ermerick's great treasure—a mass of jewels infinite and innumerable; of which being possessed, he grew so proud and haughty, that he held in scorn all the beasts of the wilderness, which before had been his kinsmen and companions. At last he caused Tibert the Cat to go into the vast forest of Arden to[Pg 750] Bruin the Bear, and to tender to him his homage and fealty; and to say that if it would please him to be king, he should come into Flanders, where he would show him means how to set the crown upon his head. Bruin was glad of this embassage (for he was exceeding ambitious, and had long thirsted for sovereignty), and thereupon came into Flanders, where my father received him nobly. Then presently he sent for the wise Grimbard, my nephew, and for Isegrim the Wolf, and for Tibert the Cat; then these five coming between Gaunt and the village called Elfe, they held a solemn council for the space of a whole night, in which, by the assistance of the evil one, and the strong confidence of my father's riches, it was there concluded that your Majesty should be forthwith murdered; which to effect, they took a solemn oath in this manner: the bear, my father, the badger, and the cat, laying their hands on Isegrim's crown, swore, first to make Bruin their king, and to place him in the chair of estate at Aeon, and to set the imperial diadem on his head; and if by any of your Majesty's blood and alliance they should be gainsaid, that then my father with his treasure should hire those which should utterly chase and root them out of the forest. Now after this determination held and finished, it happened that my nephew Grimbard being on a time high flown with wine, he discovered this dread plot to Dame Slopecade, his wife, commanding her upon her life to keep secret the same; but she, forgetful of her charge, disclosed it in confession to my wife, as they went a pilgrimage over an heath, with like conjuration of secrecy. But she, woman-like, contained it no longer than till she met with me, and gave me a full knowledge of all that had passed, yet so as by all means that I must keep it secret too, for she had sworn by the Three Kings of Cologne never to disclose it: and withal she gave me such assurance by certain tokens, that I right well found all was true which she had spoken; insomuch that the very affright thereof made my hair stand upright, and my heart become like lead, cold and heavy in my bosom.

"But to proceed from this sorrow, I began to meditate how I might undo my father's false and wicked conspiracies, who sought to bring a base traitor and a slave into the throne imperial; for I well perceived as long as he held the treasure, there was a possibility of deposing your Majesty. And this troubled my thought exceedingly, so that I labored how I might find out where my father's treasure was hid; and to that end I watched and attended night and day in the woods, in the bushes, and in the open fields; nay in all places wheresoever my father laid his eyes, there was I ever watching and attending. Now it happened on a time, as I was laid down flat on the ground, I saw my father come running out of a hole, and as soon as he was come out, he gazed round about him, to see if any discovered him; then seeing the coast clear, he stopped the hole with sand, and made it so even, smooth, and plain, that no curious eye could discern a difference betwixt it and the other earth; and where the print of his foot remained, that with his tail he stroked over, and with his mouth so smoothed, that no man might perceive it: and indeed that and many other subtleties I learned of him there at that instant. When he had thus finished, away he went toward the village about his private affairs. Then I went presently toward the hole, and notwithstanding all his subtlety, I quickly found it; then I entered the cave, where I found that innumerable quantity of treasure, which can not be expressed; which found, I took Ermelin my wife to help me; and we ceased not, day nor night, with infinite great toil and labor, to carry and convey away this treasure to another place, much more convenient for us, where we laid it safe from the search of any creature.

"Thus by my art only was the treason of Bruin defeated, for which I now suffer. From hence sprang all my misfortune, as thus: these foul traitors, Bruin and Isegrim, being of the King's privatest council, and sitting in high and great authority, tread upon me, poor Reynard, and work my disgrace; notwithstanding, for your Majesty's sake, I have lost my natural father. O my dread Lord, what is he, or who can tender you a better affection, thus to lose himself to save you?"

Then the King and Queen, having great hope to get this inestimable treasure from Reynard, took him from the gibbet; and the King, taking a straw from the ground, pardoned the fox of all his trespasses which either he or his father had ever committed. If the fox now began to smile, it was no wonder; the sweetness of life required it: yet he fell down before the King and Queen, and humbly thanked them for mercy, protesting that for that favor he would make them the richest princes in the world.

Then the King began to inquire where all these treasures were hid, and Reynard told that he had hid them in a wood called Hustreloe, near a river named Crekinpit. But when the King said that he had never heard of such a place, Reynard called forth Kyward the Hare from among the rest of the beasts, and commanded him to come before the King, charging him, upon his faith and allegiance which he bore to the King and Queen, to answer truly to such questions as he should ask him.

The hare answered, "I will speak truth in all things, though I were sure to die for the same."

Then the fox said, "Know you not where Crekinpit floweth?"

"Yes," said the hare, "I have known it any time these dozen years; it runneth in a wood called Hustreloe, upon a vast and wide wilderness."

"Well," said the fox, "you have spoken sufficiently; go to your place again;" so away went the hare.

Then said the fox, "My sovereign Lord the King, what say you now to my relation; am I worthy your belief or no?"

The King said, "Yes, Reynard, and I beseech[Pg 751] thee excuse my jealousies; it was my ignorance which did the evil; therefore forthwith make preparation that we may go to this pit where the treasure lieth."

But the fox answered that he could not go with his Majesty without dishonor; for that at present he was under excommunication, and that it was necessary that he should go to Rome to be absolved, and that from thence he intended to travel in the Holy Land. "The course you propose is good," said the King; "go on and prosper in your intent."

Then the King mounted on a rock, and addressing his subjects, told them how that, for divers reasons best known to himself, he had freely given pardon to Reynard, who had cast his wickedness behind him, and would no more be guilty of wrong-doing; and furthermore, he commanded them all to reverence and honor not only Reynard, but also his wife and children. At this, Isegrim the Wolf and Bruin the Bear inveighed against the fox in such an unseemly way, that his Majesty caused them both to be arrested for high treason. Now when the fox saw this, he begged of the Queen that he might have so much of the bear's skin as would make him a large scrip for his journey; and also the skin of the wolf's feet for a pair of shoes, because of the stony ways he would have to pass over. To this the Queen consented, and Reynard saw his orders executed.

The next morning Reynard caused his new shoes to be well oiled, and made them fit his feet as tightly as they had fitted the wolf's. And the King commanded Bellin the Ram to say mass before the fox; and when he had sung mass and used many ceremonies over the fox, he hung about Reynard's neck his rosary of beads, and gave him into his hands a palmer's staff.

Then the King took leave of him, and commanded all that were about him, except the bear and the wolf, to attend Reynard some part of his journey. Oh! he that had seen how gallant and personable Reynard was, and how well his staff and his mail became him, as also how fit his shoes were for his feet, it could not have chosen but have stirred in him very much laughter. But when they had got onward on their way, the fox entreated all the beasts to return and pray for him, and only begged of Bellin the Ram and Kyward the Hare that they would accompany him as far as Malepardus.

Thus marched these three together; and when Reynard was come to the gates of his own house, he said to Bellin, "Cousin, I will entreat you to stay here without a little, while I and Kyward go in." Bellin was well content; and so the fox and the hare went into Malepardus, where they found Dame Ermelin lying on the ground with her younglings about her, who had sorrowed exceedingly for the loss and danger of her husband; but when she saw his return, her joy was ten times doubled. But beholding his mail, his staff, and his shoes, she grew into great admiration, and said, "Dear husband, how have you fared?" so he told all that had passed with him at the King's court, as well his danger as his release, and that now he was to go a pilgrimage. As for Kyward, he said the King had bestowed him upon them, to do with him what they pleased, affirming that Kyward was the first that had complained of him, for which, questionless, he vowed to be sharply revenged.

When Kyward heard these words, he was much appalled, and would fain have fled away, but he could not, for the fox had got between him and the gate; who presently seized the hare by the neck, at which the hare cried unto Bellin for help, but could not be heard, for the fox in a trice had torn out his throat; which done, he, his wife, and young ones feasted therewith merrily, eating the flesh, and drinking to the King's health.

All this while stood Bellin the Ram at the gate, and grew exceedingly angry both against the fox and the hare, that they made him wait so long; and therefore called out aloud for Reynard to come away, which when Reynard heard, he went forth, and said softly to the ram, "Good Bellin, be not offended, for Kyward is in earnest conference with his dearest aunt, and entreated me to say unto you, that if you would please to walk before he would speedily overtake you, for he is light of foot and speedier than you: nor will his aunt part with him thus suddenly, for she and her children are much perplexed at my departure."

"Ay, but," quoth Bellin, "methought I heard Kyward cry for help."

"How! cry for help! can you imagine he shall receive hurt in my house? far be such a thought from you; but I will tell you the reason. As soon as we were come into my house, and that Ermelin my wife understood of my pilgrimage, presently she fell down in a swoon, which, when Kyward saw, he cried aloud, 'O Bellin, come, help my aunt, she dies, she dies!'"

Then said the ram: "In sadness, I mistook the cry, and thought the hare had been in danger."

"It was your too much care of him," said the fox. "But, letting this discourse pass, you remember, Bellin, that yesterday the King and his council commanded me that, before I departed from the land, I should send unto him two letters, which I have made ready, and will entreat you, my dearest cousin, to bear them to his Majesty."

The ram answered: "I would willingly do you the service if there be nothing but honorable matter contained in your letters; but I am unprovided of any thing to carry them in."

The fox said: "That is provided for you already, for you shall have my mail, which you may conveniently hang about your neck; I know they will be thankfully received of his Majesty, for they contain matter of great importance."

Then Bellin promised to carry them. So the fox returned into his house, and took the mail, and put therein the head of Kyward, and brought it to the ram, and gave him a great charge not to look therein till it was presented to the King, as he did expect the King's favor; and that he[Pg 752] might further endear himself with his Majesty, he bade the ram take upon him the inditing of the letters, "which will be so pleasing to the King, that questionless he will pour upon you many favors."

This said, Bellin took leave of the fox and went toward the court, in which journey he made such speed, that he came thither before noon, where he found the King in his palace sitting among the nobility.

The king wondered when he saw the ram come in with the mail, which was made of the bear's skin, and said: "Whence comest thou, Bellin, and where is the fox, that you have that mail about you?"

Bellin answered: "My dread Lord, I attended the noble fox to his house, where, after some repose, he desired me to bear certain letters to your Majesty of infinite great importance, to which I easily consented. Wherefore he delivered me the letters inclosed in this mail, which letters I myself indited, and I doubt not but they are such as will give your highness both contentment and satisfaction." Presently the King commanded the letters to be delivered to Bocart, his secretary, who was an excellent linguist and understood all languages, that he might read them publicly; so that he and Tibert the Cat took the mail from Bellin's neck, and opening the same instead of letters they drew out the head of Kyward the Hare, at which being amazed, they said: "Wo and alas, what letters call you these? Believe it, my dread Lord, here is nothing but the head of poor murdered Kyward."

Which the King seeing, he said, "Alas, how unfortunate was I to believe the traitorous fox!" And with that, being oppressed with anger, grief, and shame, he held down his head for a good space, and so did the Queen also. But in the end, shaking his curled locks, he groaned out such a dreadful noise, that all the beasts of the forest did tremble to hear it.

Then the King, full of wrath, commanded the bear and the wolf to be released from prison, and gave to them and to their heirs forever Bellin and all his generation.

Thus was peace made between the King and these nobles, and Bellin the Ram was forthwith slain by them; and all these privileges doth the wolf hold to this hour, nor could ever any reconcilement be made between the wolf's and the ram's kindred. When this peace was thus finished, the King, for joy thereof, proclaimed a feast to be held for twelve days after, which was done with all solemnity.

To this feast came all manner of wild beasts, for it was known through the whole kingdom, nor was there wanting any pleasure that could be imagined. Also to this feast resorted abundance of feathered fowl, and all other creatures that held peace with his Majesty, and no one missing but the fox only.

Now after this feast had thus continued in all pomp the space of eight days, about high noon came Laprell the Rabbit before the King and Queen, as they sat at dinner, and with a heavy and lamentable voice said, "My gracious and great Lord, have pity upon my misery and attend to my complaint, which is of great violence which Reynard the Fox would yesterday have committed against me. As I passed by the castle of Malepardus, supposing to go peaceably toward my nest, I saw the fox, standing without his gates, attired like a pilgrim and telling his beads so devoutly, that I saluted him; but he, returning no answer, stretched forth his right foot, and with his pilgrim's staff gave me such a blow on the neck between the head and shoulders, that I imagined my head had been stricken from my body; but yet so much memory was left me that I leaped from his claws, though most grievously hurt and wounded. At this he was wrathful extremely, because I escaped; only of one of my ears he utterly deprived me, which I beseech your Majesty in your royal nature to pity, and that this bloody murderer may not live thus to afflict your poor subjects."

The royal King was much moved with anger when he heard this complaint, so that his eyes darted out fire among the beams of majesty; his countenance was dreadful and cruel to look on, and the whole court trembled to behold him. In the end he said, "By my crown, I will so revenge these outrages committed against my dignity, that goodness shall adore me, and the wicked shall die with the remembrance; his falsehood and flattery shall no more get belief in me. Is this his journey to Rome and to the Holy Land? are these the fruits of his mail, his staff, and other ornaments becoming a devout pilgrim? Well, he shall find the reward of his treason. I will besiege Malepardus instantly, and destroy Reynard and his generation from the earth forever."

When Grimbard heard this, he grew exceedingly sorry, and stealing from the rest, he made all haste to Malepardus, and told to his uncle all that had happened. Reynard received him with great courtesy, and the next morning accompanied him back to court, confessing on his way many heinous sins, and obtaining absolution from the badger. The King received him with a severe and stately countenance, and immediately asked him touching the complaint of Laprell the Rabbit.

To which Reynard made answer, "Indeed, sire, what Laprell received he most richly deserved. I gave him a cake when he was hungry; and when my little son Rossel wanted to share a bit, the rabbit struck him on the mouth and made his teeth bleed; whereupon my eldest son Reynardine forthwith leaped upon him, and would have slain him had I not gone to the rescue." Then the rabbit, fearing Reynard, stole away out of court.

"But," quoth the King, "I must charge you with another foul treason. When I had pardoned all your great transgressions, and you had promised me to go a pilgrimage to the Holy Land; when I had furnished you with mail, scrip, and all things fitting that holy order; then, in the greatest despite, you sent me back in the mail, by Bellin the Ram, the head of Kyward the[Pg 753] Hare; a thing so notoriously to my disgrace and dishonor, that no treason can be fouler."

Then spake Reynard to the King, and said, "Alas, my sovereign Lord, what is that you have said? Is good Kyward the Hare dead? Oh, where is then Bellin the Ram, or what did he bring to your Majesty at his return? For it is certain I delivered him three rich and inestimable jewels, I would not for the wealth of India they should be detained from you; the chief of them I determined for you my Lord the King, and the other two for my sovereign Lady the Queen."

"But," said the King, "I received nothing but the head of poor murdered Kyward, for which I executed the ram, he having confessed the deed to be done by his advice and counsel."

"Is this true?" said the fox; "then woe is me that ever I was born, for there are lost the goodliest jewels that ever were in the possession of any prince living; would I had died when you were thus defrauded, for I know it will be the death of my wife, nor will she ever henceforth esteem me."

Then Reynard told the King and Queen of the great value of these inestimable jewels. One was a gold ring, another a comb polished like unto fine silver, and the third was a glass mirror; and so great were the virtues of this rare glass that Reynard shed tears to think of the loss of it. When the fox had told all this, he thus concluded, "If any one can charge me with crime and prove it by witness, here I stand to endure the uttermost the law can inflict upon me; but if malice only slander me without witness, I crave the combat, according to the law and instance of the court."

Then said the King, "Reynard, you say well, nor know I any thing more of Kyward's death than the bringing of his head unto me by Bellin the Ram; therefore of it I here acquit you."

"My dear Lord," said the fox, "I humbly thank you; yet is his death grievous unto me."

But Isegrim the Wolf was not content with this conclusion, and defied the fox to mortal combat. This challenge the fox accepted; and the next day was appointed for the meeting.

When all the ceremonies were done, and none but the combatants were in the lists, the wolf went toward the fox with infinite rage and fury, thinking to take him in his fore-feet; but the fox leaped nimbly from him, and the wolf pursued him, so that there began a tedious chase between them, on which their friends gazed. The wolf taking larger strides than the fox, often overtook him, and lifted up his feet to strike him; but the fox avoided the blow, and smote him on the face with his tail, so that the wolf was stricken almost blind, and was forced to rest while he cleared his eyes; which advantage when Reynard saw, he scratched up the dust with his feet, and threw it in the eyes of the wolf. This grieved him worse than the former, so that he durst follow him no longer, for the dust and sand sticking in his eyes smarted so sore, that of force he must rub and wash it away; which Reynard seeing, with all the fury he had he ran upon him, and with his teeth gave him three sore wounds on his head.

Then the wolf being enraged, said, "I will make an end of this combat, for I know my very weight is able to crush him to pieces; and I lose much of my reputation to suffer him thus long to contend against me." And this said, he struck the fox again so sore a blow on the head with his foot, that he fell down to the ground; and ere he could recover himself and arise, the wolf caught him in his feet and threw him under him, lying upon him in such wise, as if he would have pressed him to death.

Then the fox bethought himself how he might best get free: and thrusting his hand down, he caught the wolf fast by the belly, and he wrung him so extremely hard thereby, that he made him shriek and howl out with the anguish, and in the end the wolf fell over and over in a swoon; then presently Reynard leaped upon him, and drew him about the lists and dragged him by the legs, and struck, wounded, and bit him in many places, so that the whole field might take notice thereof.

Then a great shout was raised, the trumpets were sounded, and every one cried, "Honor to the fox for this glorious conquest." Reynard thanked them all kindly, and received their congratulations with great joy and gladness. And, the marshals going before, they went all to the King, guarding the fox on every side, all the trumpets, pipes, and minstrelsy sounding before him.

When Reynard came before the King he fell on his knees, but the King bade him stand up, and said to him, "Reynard, you may well rejoice, for you have won much honor this day; therefore here I discharge you, and set you free to go whither your own will leads you." So the court broke up, and every beast returned to his own home.

With Reynard, all his friends and kinsfolk, to the number of forty, took their leave also of the King, and went away with the fox, who was no little glad that he had sped so well, and stood so far in the King's favor; for now he had power enough to advance whom he pleased, and pull down any that envied his fortune.

After some travel the fox and his friends came to his borough or castle of Malepardus, where they all, in noble and courteous manner, took leave of each other, and Reynard did to every one of them great reverence, and thanked them for the love and honor he had received from them, protesting evermore to remain their faithful servant, and to send them in all things wherein his life or goods might be available unto them; and so they shook hands and departed.

Then the fox went to Dame Ermelin his wife, who welcomed him with great tenderness; and to her and her children he related at large all the wonders which had befallen him at court, and missed no tittle or circumstance therein. Then grew they proud that his fortune was so excellent; and the fox spent his days from thenceforth, with his wife and children, in great joy and content.


[Pg 754]"It is haunted with an evil thing, believe me, sir. Never till the plowshare has passed over the place will men dwell there in peace."

The gray-headed speaker turned away, and left me alone to gaze on the mansion he had thus banned. I had heard the same when I was a child; the nurse had been chidden for talking of it in my presence, and my own questions on the subject had always been evaded. Strange that now, after thirty years' sojourning in a far-off land, I should come back to hear the same mystery alluded to, the same destiny foretold! The impressions were more than half effaced; but now, like the colors of a picture brought to light after long obscurity, they returned vividly to my mind. I gazed on the mansion; it was the only thing in the village of my birth that I found greatly changed; but in looking at this once stately Tudor hall I was reminded painfully how long I had been absent. When I last saw it, the sunshine had glowed upon the gables and mullions of a goodly mansion; the clear starlight now only showed a moss-grown ruin. The balustrades and urns were cracked and thrown down; there were no peacocks on the sloping lawn, and its once trim grass was overgrown with nettles and coltsfoot. The quaint-patterned beds of the garden, too, had lost the shapes of diamonds and stars, and, no longer glittering with flowers, were scarcely to be distinguished from the walks save by more luxuriant crops of weeds. The roof of the private chapel had recently fallen in, and little remained of the building but an exquisitely-sculptured window, amidst the tracery of which the wall-flower and the ivy had long taken the place of the herald's blazon. The shadow of all this ruined beauty was on my spirit; so being just in the humor for a ghostly legend, I determined, on my return, to ask my friend L., with whom I was spending a few days, for an explanation of the mystery. Thus much was readily told. Briarhurst had been suffered to fall into decay ever since old Sir Lambert's death; another branch of the family had become the possessors; and as no tenant staid there, the present owner intended very shortly to have it pulled down.

"Well, but what is the difficulty of living there?" said I. "It is quite possible, with the aid of a yearly run up to town in the season, and plenty of books, to exist even in that 'lonesome lodge' without hanging one's self. Do any lords spiritual interfere with one's repose?"

"Ring for Edward and Hetty, my dear," said L. to his wife. Then, turning to me, "Please don't allude to that subject before the children, or we shall have them both afraid to stir after dark."

My curiosity was balked again; so, after a more constrained evening than we had yet passed, I wished the family good night. My friend followed me out of the room.

"Look at that picture for five minutes, while I fetch something," said he, pointing to a portrait, evidently just rescued from damp and destruction, that leant against the wall.

I obeyed. It represented a lady in a white morning dress of the fashion of a century ago. She was young and beautiful, with bright hair, and blue eyes of infinite depth and lustre. In her bosom she wore a curiously-shaped ruby brooch; a bracelet, set with the same stones, was clasped round the white arm that supported her head; and on her knee was an open book. Inscribed on its page was the name "Cicely Clayton," and the initials "L.E." She was apparently seated in some church or chapel, for over her head was a grotesque Gothic corbel, and the polished oak of a sombre-looking organ was visible in the back-ground. My eyes had wandered from the mild face, and I was pondering on the significance of the Cain and Abel on the carving, when L. returned.

"I see you are bent on hearing the legend. Professionally connected as I am with the Evrards and their affairs, it is not my place to encourage such tales; but you are nobody; and," he added, smiling, "I rather want to know your opinion of my style: I may turn author one of these days." So saying, he handed me a few sheets of exceedingly legal-looking paper, and, wishing me pleasant dreams, left me to the perusal of the following story.

From the time of the fourth Henry to the beginning of the present century, Briarhurst was in the possession of the Evrard family. The last baronet was a Sir Lambert Evrard; at the time I speak of, a gallant, hearty gentleman, who, after a youth spent amidst the brilliance and gayety of the court, the acquaintance of Walpole, and the worshiper of Lady Montague had, in the evening of his days, settled down at his country seat, a quiet country gentleman. He was not rich, for his father's extravagance had mortgaged and wasted every thing available. Worldly wisdom, undoubtedly, would have had Sir Lambert marry an heiress, but, most perversely, he chose the Daphne of his early love sonnets—a lady whose sweet voice and sparkling eyes had captivated him on his Italian travels. His wife had no fortune, so he could not afford to keep up a town house, and, soon after the birth of his first son, came to reside permanently at Briarhurst. They had two sons, whom the father, before they were three years old, had respectively destined for the bar and the army, and his time was principally occupied in their education. It was natural, in the then state of his affairs, that he should look forward to his sons distinguishing themselves, as the only means of restoring the family to its former position. Circumstances, however, pointed out another way by which the desired wealth might be more easily secured. On the death of a distant relative, Sir Lambert became the guardian of an orphan heiress; he earnestly hoped his eldest son would marry her, and thus fulfill the wish of his life. Contrary to the custom of the heroes and heroines of romance, who always wantonly thwart the desires of their parents and guardians in affairs of matrimony, young Lambert Evrard and his beautiful cousin, Cicely Clayton, glided imper[Pg 755]ceptibly from childhood's pretty playing at man and wife to the more serious kind of love-making, and by the time they had reached respectively the ages of twenty and seventeen, their union was fixed on.

The young man was of a strangely meditative turn of mind; he was very studious, too, and had imbued his ladye love with a taste for the sombre musings and sage books he loved himself. There is one spot in the old garden—a knot of lindens shading a broken figure of Niobe—where I have often fancied those two lovers might have sat. It seems just the place for such an earnest, thoughtful love as theirs was, to hold communion in. Lambert inherited from his mother a rare skill in music; and he and Cicely would spend hours at the organ in the chapel, his fingers seeming unconsciously to wander over the keys, and his spirit apparently floating heavenward in the tide of glorious anthem and solemn symphony his art awakened. He was a painter, too; and many an hour would she sit before him as he sketched her lovely face, sometimes in the simple dress she wore at her books or work, at other times as the garlanded Pastorella, or the green-robed Laura of their favorite poets. His brother Maurice was seldom their companion in these pursuits. In disposition, and even in person, he was the very opposite of Lambert. When a child, his temper had been morose and reserved; and, as he grew up, all the unamiable points of his character became more conspicuous. In fact, he was galled perpetually by the manifest superiority of his brother, by his success in all he undertook, by his popularity with the tenantry, by Cicely's preference for him. He had great command of temper, however, and contrived to prevent any outbreaks of passion before his father or Cicely; but when alone with Lambert he would vent his ill-humor in sarcasms and taunts that would have bred innumerable quarrels, had the temper of the elder brother been a whit less equable than it was. But no human being is less prone to seek offense or contention than a gentle scholar whose poet-mind is just awakened by the spirit of love; and such was Lambert Evrard.

It was settled that the wedding should take place on Cicely's eighteenth birthday; and preparations had long been making for the ceremony and its attendant festival, when the destined bridegroom was suddenly taken ill. His physician never assigned a name to his complaint, and its origin appeared unaccountable. He was in danger for weeks; and on his being sufficiently recovered was immediately ordered abroad for change of air. The marriage was, of course, deferred till his health was re-established. Maurice, whose attention to his sick brother had been as exemplary as it was unexpected, accompanied him to the Continent. They had not been abroad three months before letters brought tidings of his brother's rapid convalescence. The soft Italian air was doing wonders for his enfeebled constitution; he was comparatively well, and they purposed to prolong their absence, and convert the quest of health into a tour of pleasure. We may be sure that with the announcement of their intention came many a line of kind regret and wistful longing (lines destined to be read alone and often), many a leaf plucked from the haunts of song, and many a plaintive verse inscribed to Cicely. There were tears, perhaps, when the news of lengthened separation came; but the lady consoled herself with the reflection that it would prevent Lambert leaving her after their marriage, and give them both many happy hours of converse in the sunny days to come. All the hopes and promises of future happiness, however, were fated to be disappointed. The next letter that arrived brought news of a fearful calamity. Lambert Evrard was dead! The particulars of the accident were thus given in a letter written by a friend of Maurice's, for he himself was too much afflicted by the event to give any detailed account. It appeared that the brothers had set out with the intention of ascending one of the loftiest peaks in the Tyrol, and had started overnight, that they might reach the summit in time to see the glories of an Alpine sunrise. The guide left them for a moment to see whether a stream was fordable, when Lambert, attempting, against his brother's advice, to pass a ledge of rock unassisted by the mountaineer's pole, fell into a chasm between the glaciers.

The body was never found. It was said that for days Maurice remained in the neighborhood, offering immense rewards to any peasant who would even commence a search for the remains; but the men knew too well the hopelessness and peril of the task to attempt it. Finding this unavailing, he left the place. His return was delayed by severe illness; but at length, in one gray autumn twilight, a traveling-carriage dashed up the shadowy avenue of Briarhurst, and Maurice was received in his father's hall—a mourner amid mourners. He was much altered. The demure severity of his old manner was changed to at least an appearance of candor and trustfulness. Grief for his brother seemed to have bettered his whole nature, to have opened his heart to the influences of kindness and gentleness—to have made him, in short, more lovable. Such appeared the best interpretation of the change that was wrought in him, and which showed itself conspicuously in his conduct to the afflicted ones around him. Kindly and thoughtfully did he console the anguish of his parents, and with innumerable offices of delicate care and thoughtful consideration did he show his respect and sympathy for Cicely's affliction. By no intrusive efforts at comforting, but silently and gently did he seek to wean his cousin from the remembrance of her bereavement. By sparing her feelings in every possible way, by avoiding the mention of Lambert's name, save in a manner calculated to awaken those tender memories which are the softeners of grief, he strove to divert Cicely's mind from dwelling too constantly on her dead betrothed; and thus, without ap[Pg 756]pearing to drive away the impression, he gradually supplied her with other objects and pursuits; and though at first her walks were always to the scenes he had loved, and her mornings spent over the books he had read, their beauties were soon explored with other interests than those which arose merely from the pleasures of remembrance. The chapel which had been wont to recall Lambert most painfully to her mind was now unentered.

The dell of lindens, through the bright leaves of which the sunbeams had so often poured upon his open book, was now unfrequented. With none of the ardor of first love, but with a regard originating in their mutual sharing of the same grief, and nurtured by gratitude for his constant sympathy, Cicely accepted Maurice for her lover; then, in obedience to the earnest wish of those whom she had always reverenced as parents, consented to be his wife. It had ever been the fervent hope of Sir Lambert that he might live to see the wealth of his family restored before he died. The plan for the accomplishment of this wish of a life had been once fatally disappointed. It was natural, then, that he should rejoice in this new prospect of its realization. Lady Evrard also was desirous that the stain the baronet had brought on the family escutcheon by his marriage with her should be blotted out. Sir Lambert was a kind husband in the main, but his wife's penetration could not help perceiving that he often inwardly sighed for the society of his aristocratic neighbors, when his inability to return their hospitality made him refuse their invitations. She had another inducement. Her mother's eye had observed with pleasure what seemed to her the beneficial influence of adversity upon her wayward son's character, and she hoped the gentleness of his cousin would complete his reformation. All seemed to favor the alliance. The day was fixed; and Cicely Clayton, in a strange mood of alternating doubt and hope, arrayed herself for her bridal. The hour had come. The wedding party were assembled in the chapel. Few had been invited, for it had been the express wish of the bride that the rite should be celebrated as privately as possible. Two bridemaids, daughters of a neighboring gentleman, Lord R., a friend of the late Lambert, and the family lawyer were the only bidden guests. They approached the communion rails. The ruby-tinged sunbeams streamed through the graceful trefoil on the white-robed Cicely and on the trembling Maurice. There was need of something to lend a glow to his haggard face, for he was ghastly pale. No artist's tint was half so radiant as the rising blush upon her cheek. The minister had commenced the service; the address had been read; the irrevocable "I will" had been uttered in a stifled whisper by the bridegroom, had been murmured in accents of gentlest music by the bride, when, as Maurice received the ring from the priest, a strange unearthly sound rang through the chapel—a strange interruption stayed every hand, hushed every voice. From the organ (untouched since Lambert in his happy youth awoke its melody) burst forth a wailing, plaintive sound, more like a restless spirit's cry, than any mortal note—so loud, so long, so wild, that it seemed to rack the senses that it held in horrible uncertainty till it was done. Such a strain that nameless minstrel might have used to kindle prophet-fire in Elisha. Then it stopped. But only for an instant; and a dirge, sad as the contrite's weeping, clear as the accents of forgiveness, came from that wondrous organ. Such a strain the shepherd-harper might have woke who calmed the demon rage in Saul.

But the second solemn threne was more terrible than the first crashing peal, for it called up an awful memory and a dark suspicion. It was the very same air that Lambert had composed and played the night before he left. With a cry as of recognition the mother stood expectant. With clasped hands and broken voice the father prayed. Cicely and Maurice thought only of that strain as they had heard it first. The bride remembered how on that sad night Lambert had sought to smile away her tears, and called them dearest tributes to his music.

It seemed like listening to his voice to hear again that unforgotten melody; she listened then unfearing, in very delight of spirit; but when the dirge was done, the influence that had upheld her in such ecstasy gave way too, and she fell fainting on the steps. The bridegroom remembered the purpose that was in his heart that night, and which had made the music jarring discord. In his ears the sound was but the voice of retribution, and, in an agony of passion, he hurried down the aisle to see who woke a strain so dreadful to him. But no human hand had touched the keys.

Maurice was taken to bed in a state of delirium, and expired the next morning. Those who watched beside him remembered long, that through the live-long night he raved of nothing but a deep abyss that he was falling down, and that he prayed them to stretch a hand and help him, for that down there rotted a ghastly corpse, whose stare was death to him.

The vault in Briarhurst church was next opened to receive the remains of Lady Evrard.

Cicely survived for some years, the good genius of the village poor, a ministering angel to the sorrowing and the helpless; then, full of that glorious confidence which faith engenders, entered into her rest.

Sir Lambert lived to a great age; but happily he had sunk into perfect childishness before Cicely was taken from him. It was a sad sight to watch that desolate old man as he would sometimes wander about the neglected shrubbery, or sometimes stand pondering before the pictures of his sons and of their betrothed bride, apparently quite forgetful of the features of Lambert and Maurice, but often asking anxiously why the beautiful lady that was once so kind to him sat always silent now.


[Concluded from the October Number.]


"Nulla dies sine linea."


[Pg 757]Seeing ye woodman fell a noble tree, which, as it went to the ground, did uptear several small plants by ye roots, methoughte such woulde be the fall of dear father, herein more sad than that of the abbot of Sion and the Charterhouse monks, inasmuch as, being celibate, they involve noe others in theire ruin. Brave, holie martyrs! how cheerfully they went to theire death. I'm glad to have seene how pious men may turn e'en an ignominious sentence into a kind of euthanasy. Dear father bade me note how they bore themselves as bridegrooms going to theire marriage, and converted what mighte have beene a shock to my surcharged spiritts, into a lesson of deep and high comfort.

One thing hath grieved me sorelie. He mistooke somewhat I sayd at parting for an implication of my wish that he shoulde yield up his conscience. Oh, no, dearest father, that be far from me! It seems to have cut him to the heart, for he hath writ that "none of the terrible things that may befall him touch him soe nearlie as that his dearly beloved child, whose opinion he soe much values, shoulde desire him to overrule his conscience." That be far from me, father! I have writ to explayn the matter, but his reproach, undeserved though it be, hath troubled my heart.


Parliament will meet to-morrow. 'Tis expected father and ye good bishop of Rochester will be attainted for misprison of treason by ye slavish members thereof, and though not given hithertoe unto much heede of omens and bodements while our hearts were light and our courage high, yet now ye coming evil seemeth foreshadowed unto alle by I know not how many melancholick presages, sent, for aught we know, in mercy. Now that the days are dark and short, and the nights stormy, we shun to linger much after dusk in lone chambers and passages, and what was sayd of the enemies of Israel may be nigh sayd of us, "that a falling leaf shall chase them." I'm sure "a going in the tops of the mulberry-trees" on a blusterous evening, is enow to draw us alle, men, mothers, and maids, together in an heap.... We goe about ye house in twos and threes, and care not much to leave the fireside. Last Sunday we had closed about ye the hearth, and little Bill was a reading by the fire-light how Herodias' daughter danced off the head of St. John the Baptist, when down comes an emptie swallow's nest tumbling adown the chimnie, bringing with it enow of soot, smoke, and rubbish to half smother us alle; but the dust was nothing to the dismay thereby occasioned, and I noted one or two of our bravest turn as pale as death. Then, the rats have skirmished and galloped behind the wainscoat more like a troop of horse than a herd of such smaller deer, to ye infinite annoyance of mother, who coulde not be more firmly persuaded they were about to leave a falling house, if, like the sacred priests in the temple of Jerusalem, she had heard a voyce utter, "Let us depart hence." The round upper half of the cob-loaf rolled off the table this morning, and Rupert, as he picked it up, gave a kind of shudder, and muttered somewhat about a head rolling from the scaffold. Worse than this was o' Tuesday night.... 'Twas bedtime, and yet none were liking to goe, when, o' suddain, we hearde a screech that made every body's heart thrill, followed by one or two hollow groans. Will snatches up the lamp and runs forth, I close following, and alle the others at our heels, and after looking into sundrie deserted cupboards and corners, we descend the broad stone steps of the cellars, halfway down which Will, stumbling over something he sees not, takes a flying leap to clear himself down to the bottom, luckily without extinguishing the lamp. We find Gillian on the steps in a swoon; on bringing her to, she exclayms about a ghost without a head, wrapped in a winding-sheet, that confronted her and then sank to the ground as she entered the vaults. We cast a fearfulle look about, and descry a tall white sack of flour, recently overturned by the rats, which clears up the mystery, and procures Gillian a little jeering, but we alle return to the hall with fluttered spiritts. Another time I, going up to the nurserie in the dark, on hearing baby cry, am passed on the stairs by I know not what breathing heavilie. I reach forthe my arm, but pass cleare through the spirituall nature, whatever it is, yet distinctlie feel my cheek and neck fanned by its breath. I turn very faint, and get nurse to goe with me when I return, bearing a light, yet think it as well to say naught to distress the rest.

But worst of alle was last night ... After I had been in bed awhile, I minded me that deare Will had not returned me father's letter. I awoke him and asked if he had broughte it upstairs; he sleepily replied he had not, soe I hastily arose, threw on a cloke, took a light, and entered the gallery, when, halfway along it, between me and the pale moonshine, I was scared to behold a slender figure alle in white, with naked feet and arms extended. I stoode agaze, speechlesse, and to my terror made out the features of Bess ... her eyes open, but vacant; then saw John Dancey softly stealing after her, and signing to me with his finger on his lips. She passed without noting me, on to father's door, there knelt as if in prayer, making a low sort of wail, while Dancey, with tears running down his cheeks, whispered, "'Tis the third time of her thus sleep-walking ... the token of how troubled a mind!"

We disturbed her not, dreading that a suddain waking might bring on madness; soe, after making moan awhile, she kisses the senseless door, rises up, moves toward her own chamber, followed by Dancey and me, wrings her hands[Pg 758] a little, then lies down, and graduallie falls into what seems a dreamless sleep, we watching her in silence till she's quiet, and then squeezing each other's hands ere we part.

... Will was wide awake when I got back; he sayd, "Why, Meg, how long you have beene! coulde you not lighte on the letter?" ... When I tolde him what had hindered me by the way, he turned his face to the wall and wept.


The wild wind is abroad, and, methinketh, nothing else. Sure, how it rages through our empty courts! In such a season, men, beasts, and fowls cower beneath ye shelter of their rocking walls, yet almost fear to trust them. Lord, I know that thou canst give the tempest double force, but do not, I beseech thee! Oh! have mercy on the frail dwelling and the ship at sea.

Dear little Bill hath ta'en a feverish attack. I watch beside him while his nurse sleeps. Earlie in the night his mind wandered, and he told me of a pretty ring-streaked poney noe bigger than a bee, that had golden housings and barley-sugar eyes; then dozed, but ever and anon kept starting up, crying "Mammy, dear!" and softlie murmured "Oh" when he saw I was by. At length I gave him my forefinger to hold, which kept him ware of my presence without speaking, but presentlie he stares hard toward ye foot of the bed, and says fearfullie, "Mother, why hangs yon hatchet in the air, with its sharp edge turned toward us?" I rise, move the lamp, and say, "Do you see it now?" He sayth, "No, not now," and closes his eyes. After a good space, during the which I hoped he slept, he says in quite an altered tone, most like unto soft, sweet music, "There's a pretty little cherub there now, alle head and noe body, with two little wings aneath his chin; but, for alle he's soe pretty, he is just like dear Gaffer, and seems to know me ... and he'll have a body agayn, too, I believe, by and by ... Mother, mother, tell Hobbinol there's such a gentle lamb in heaven!" And soe, slept.

He's gone, my pretty ...! slipt through my fingers like a bird! upfled to his own native skies, and yet whenas I think on him, I can not choose but weepe.... Such a guileless little lamb!... My Billy-bird! his mother's owne heart. They are alle wondrous kind to' me....

How strange that a little child shoulde be permitted to suffer soe much payn, when of such is the kingdom of heaven! But 'tis onlie transient, whereas a mother makes it permanent, by thinking it over and over agayn. One lesson it taughte us betimes, that a naturall death is not, necessarilie, the most easie. We must alle die.... As poor Patteson was used to say, "The greatest king that ever was made, must bed at last with shovel and spade," ... and I'd sooner have my Billy's baby deathbed than King Harry's, or Nan Boleyn's either, however manie years they may yet carry matters with a high hand. Oh, you ministers of evill, whoever you be, visible or invisible, you shall not build a wall between my God and me.... I've something within me, grows stronger and stronger, as times grow more and more evill; some woulde call it resolution, but methinketh 'tis faith.

Meantime, father's foes ... alack that anie can shew 'emselves such! are aiming by fayr seemings of friendlie conference, to draw from him admissions they can come at after noe other fashion. The new Solicitor General hath gone to ye Tower to deprive him of ye few books I have taken him from time to time.... Ah, Master Rich, you must deprive him of his brains afore you can rob him of their contents!... and, while having 'em packt up, he falls into easie dialogue with him, as thus ... "Why now, sure, Mr. More, were there an act of parliament made that all ye realm shoulde take me for king, you woulde take me for such with the rest."

"Aye, that would I, sir," returns father.

"Forsooth, then," pursues Rich, "we'll suppose another act that should make me the Pope. Would you not take me for Pope?"

"Or suppose another case, Mr. Rich," returns father, "that another act shoulde pass, that God shoulde not be God, would you say well and good?"

"No, truly," returns the other hastily, "for no parliament coulde make such act lawful."

"True, as you say," repeats father, "they coulde not" ... soe eluded the net of the fowler; but how miserable and unhandsome a device to lay wait for him thus, to catch him in his talk.

... I stole forthe, ere 'twas lighte, this damp, chill morning, to pray beside the little grave, but found dear Daisy there before me. How Christians love one another!

Will's loss is as heavie as mine, yet he bears with me tenderlie. Yesternighte, he sayth to me half reproachfullie, "Am not I better unto thee than ten sons?"

March, 1534.

Spring comes, that brings rejuvenescence to ye land, and joy to the heart, but it brings none to us, for where hope dieth, joy dieth. But patience, soul; God's yet in the aumry!

May 7. Father arraigned.

July 1. By reason of Will's minding to be present at ye triall, which, for the concourse of spectators, demanded his earlie attendance, he committed the care of me, with Bess, to Dancey, who got us places to see father on his way from the Tower to Westminster Hall. We coulde not come at him for the press, but clambered on a bench to gaze our very hearts away after him as he went by, sallow, thin, gray-haired, yet in mien not a whit cast down. Wrapt in a coarse woollen gown, and leaning on a staff, which unwonted support when Bess markt, she hid her eyes on my shoulder and wept sore, but soon lookt up agayn, though her eyes were soe blinded, I think[Pg 759] she coulde not see him. His face was calm, but grave, as he came up, but just as he passed he caughte the eye of some one in the crowd, and smiled in his old, frank way; then glanced up toward the windows with the bright look he hath soe oft cast to me at my casement, but saw us not. I coulde not help crying "Father," but he heard me not; perchance 'twas soe best.... I woulde not have had his face cloud at ye sighte of poor Bessy's tears.

... Will tells me the indictment was ye longest ever hearde; on four counts. First, his opinion on the king's marriage. Second, his writing sundrie letters to the Bishop of Rochester, counselling him to hold out. Third, refusing to acknowledge his grace's supremacy. Fourth, his positive deniall of it, and thereby willing to deprive the king of his dignity and title.

When the reading of this was over, the Lord Chancellor sayth, "You see how grievouslie you have offended the king his grace, but and yet he is soe mercifulle, as that if ye will lay aside your obstinacie, and change your opinion, we hope ye may yet obtayn pardon."

Father makes answer ... and at sounde of his deare voyce alle men hold their breaths.... "Most noble Lords, I have great cause to thank your honors for this your courtesie ... but I pray Almighty God I may continue in the mind I'm in, through his grace, until death."

They coulde not make good their accusation agaynst him. 'Twas onlie on the last count he could be made out a traitor, and proof of 't had they none; how coulde they have? He shoulde have beene acquitted out of hand, 'steade of which, his bitter enemy, my Lord Chancellor, called on him for his defense. Will sayth there was a general murmur or sigh ran through ye court. Father, however, answered the bidding by beginning to express his hope that the effect of long imprisonment mighte not have beene such upon his mind and body, as to impair his power of rightlie meeting alle ye charges agaynst him ... when, turning faint with long standing, he staggered and loosed hold of his staff, whereon he was accorded a seat. 'Twas but a moment's weakness of the body, and he then proceeded frankly to avow his having always opposed the king's marriage to his grace himself, which he was soe far from thinking high treason, that he shoulde rather have deemed it treachery to have withholden his opinion from his sovereign king when solicited by him for his counsell. His letters to ye good Bishop he proved to have beene harmlesse. Touching his declining to give his opinion, when askt, concerning the supremacy, he alleged there coulde be noe transgression in holding his peace thereon, God only being cognizant of our thoughts.

"Nay," interposeth the Attorney Generall, "your silence was the token of a malicious mind."

"I had always understoode," answers father, "that silence stoode for consent. Qui tacet, consentire videtur;" which made sundrie smile. On the last charge, he protested he had never spoken word against ye law unto anie man.

The jury are about to acquit him, when up starts the Solicitor Generall, offers himself as witness for the crown, is sworn, and gives evidence of his dialogue with father in the Tower, falselie adding, like a liar as he is, that on his saying "No parliament coulde make a law that God shoulde not be God," father had rejoined, "No more coulde they make the king supreme head of the Church."

I marvell the ground opened not at his feet. Father brisklie made answer, "If I were a man, my lords, who regarded not an oath, ye know well I needed not stand now at this bar. And if the oath which you, Mr. Rich, have just taken, be true, then I pray I may never see God in the face. In good truth, Mr. Rich, I am more sorry for your perjurie than my perill. You and I once dwelt long together in one parish; your manner of life and conversation from your youth up were familiar to me, and it paineth me to tell ye were ever held very light of your tongue, a great dicer and gamester, and not of anie commendable fame either there or in the Temple, the inn to which ye have belonged. Is it credible, therefore, to your lordships, that the secrets of my conscience touching the oath, which I never woulde reveal, after the statute once made, either to the king's grace himself, nor to anie of you, my honorable lords, I should have thus lightly blurted out in private parley with Mr. Rich?"

In short, the villain made not goode his poynt; ne'erthelesse, the issue of this black day was aforehand fixed; my Lord Audley was primed with a virulent and venomous speech; the jury retired, and presentlie returned with a verdict of Guilty; for they knew what the king's grace would have 'em doe in that case.

Up starts my Lord Audley—commences pronouncing judgment, when—

"My lord," says father, "in my time, the custom in these cases was ever to ask the prisoner before sentence, whether he could give anie reason why judgment shoulde not proceed agaynst him."

My lord, in some confusion, puts the question.

And then came ye frightfulle sentence.

Yes, yes, my soul, I know; there were saints of old sawn asunder. Men of whom the world was not worthy.

... Then he spake unto 'em his mind, how that after lifelong studdy, he could never find that a layman mighte be head of the church. And bade his judges and accusers farewell; hoping that like as St. Paul was present and consenting unto St. Stephen's death, and yet both were now holy saints in heaven, soe he and they might speedilie meet there, joint heirs of e'erlasting salvation.

Meantime, poor Bess and Cecilie, spent with grief and long waiting, were forct to be carried home by Heron, or ever father returned to his prison. Was't less feeling, or more strength of body, enabled me to bide at the Tower wharf[Pg 760] with Dancey? God knoweth. They brought him back by water; my poor sisters must have passed him.... The first thing I saw was the ax, turned with its edge toward him—my first note of his sentence. I forct my way through the crowd ... some one laid a cold hand on mine arm; 'twas poor Patteson, soe changed I scarce knew him, with a rosary of gooseberries he kept running through his fingers. He sayth, Bide your time, mistress Meg; when he comes past, I'll make a passage for ye.... Oh, brother, brother! what ailed thee to refuse the oath? I've taken it! In another moment, "Now, mistress, now!" and flinging his arms right and left, made a breach through which I darted, fearlesse of bills and halberds, and did fling mine arms about father's neck. He cries, "My Meg!" and hugs me to him as though our very souls shoulde grow together. He sayth, "Bless thee, bless thee! Enough, enough, my child; what mean ye, to weep and break mine heart? Remember, though I die innocent, 'tis not without the will of God, who coulde send 's angels to rescue me if 'twere best; therefore possess your soul in patience. Kiss them alle for me, thus and thus" ... soe gave me back into Dancey's arms, the guards about him alle weeping; but I coulde not thus lose sight of him forever; soe, after a minute's pause, did make a second rush, brake away from Dancey, clave to father agayn, and agayn they had pitie on me, and made pause while I hung upon his neck. This time there were large drops standing on his dear brow; and the big tears were swelling into his eyes. He whispered, "Meg, for Christ's sake don't unman me; thou'lt not deny my last request?" I sayd, "Oh! no;" and at once loosened mine arms. "God's blessing be with you," he sayth with a last kiss. I could not help crying, "My father! my father!" "The chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof!" he vehementlie whispers, pointing upward with soe passionate a regard, that I look up, almost expecting a beatific vision; and when I turn about agayn, he's gone, and I have noe more sense nor life till I find myself agayn in mine own chamber, my sisters chafing my hands.

Alle's over now ... they've done theire worst, and yet I live. There were women coulde stand aneath ye cross. The Maccabees' mother— ... yes, my soul, yes; I know—Naught but unpardoned sin.... The chariot of Israel.

Dr. Clement hath beene with us. Sayth he went up as blythe as a bridegroom to be clothed upon with immortality.

Rupert stoode it alle out. Perfect love casteth out feare. Soe did his.

... My most precious treasure is this deare billet, writ with a coal; the last thing he sett his hand to, wherein he sayth, "I never liked your manner toward me better than when you kissed me last."

They have let us bury his poor mangled trunk; but, as sure as there's a sun in heaven, I'll have his head!—before another sun hath risen, too. If wise men won't speed me, I'll e'en content me with a fool.

I doe think men, for ye most part, be cowards in theire hearts ... moral cowards. Here and there, we find one like father, and like Socrates, and like ... this and that one, I mind not theire names just now; but in ye main, methinketh they lack the moral courage of women. Maybe, I'm unjust to 'em just now, being crost.

... I lay down, but my heart was waking. Soon after the first cock crew, I hearde a pebble cast agaynst my lattice, knew yesignall, rose, dressed, stole softlie down and let myself out. I knew the touch of ye poor fool's fingers; his teeth were chattering, 'twixt cold and fear, yet he laught aneath his breath as he caught my arm and dragged me after him, whispering, "Fool and fayr lady will cheat 'em yet." At the stairs lay a wherry with a couple of boatmen, and one of 'em stepping up to me, cries, "Alas for ruth, mistress Meg, what is 't ye do? Art mad to go on this errand?" I sayd, "I shall be mad if I go not, and succeed too—put me in, and push off."

We went down the river quietlie enow—at length reach London Bridge stairs. Patteson, starting up, says, "Bide ye all as ye are," and springs aland and runneth up to the bridge. Anon, returns, and sayth, "Now, mistress, alle's readie ... readier than ye wist ... come up quickly, for the coast's clear." Hobson (for 'twas he) helps me forth, saying, "God speed ye, mistress.... Gin I dared, I woulde goe with ye." ... Thought I, there be others in that case.

Nor lookt I up, till aneath the bridge-gate, when casting upward a fearsome look, I beheld ye dark outline of the ghastly yet precious relic; and, falling into a tremour, did wring my hands and exclaym, "Alas, alas, that head hath lain full manie a time in my lap, woulde God, woulde God it lay there now!" When, o' suddain, I saw the pole tremble and sway toward me; and stretching forth my apron, I did in an extasy of gladness, pity, and horror, catch its burthen as it fell. Patteson, shuddering, yet grinning, cries under his breath, "Managed I not well, mistress? Let's speed away with our theft, for fools and their treasures are soon parted; but I think not they'll follow hard after us, neither, for there are well-wishers to us on the bridge. I'll put ye into the boat, and then say, God speed ye, lady, with your burthen."

Rizpah, daughter of Aiah, did watch her dead from the beginning of harvest until the latter rain, and suffered neither the birds of the air to light on them by day, nor the wild beasts of the the field by night. And it was told the king, but he intermeddled not with her.

Argia stole Polynices' body by night and buried it, for the which, she with her life did willingly pay forfeit. Antigone, for aiding in the pious[Pg 761] theft, was adjudged to be buried alive. Artemisia did make herself her loved one's shrine, by drinking his ashes. Such is the love of woman; many waters can not quench it, neither can the floods drown it. I've hearde Bonvisi tell of a poor Italian girl, whose brothers did slay her lover; and in spite of them, she got his heart, and buried it in a pot of basil, which she watered day and night with her tears, just as I do my coffer. Will has promised it shall be buried with me; layd upon my heart; and since then, I've beene easier.

He thinks he shall write father's life, when he gets more composed, and we are settled in a new home. We are to be cleared out o' this in alle haste; the king grutches at our lingering over father's footsteps, and gazing on the dear familiar scenes associate with his image; and yet, when the news of the bloody deed was taken to him, as he sate playing at tables with Queen Anne, he started up and scowled at her, saying, "Thou art the cause of this man's death!" Father might well say, during our last precious meeting in the Tower, "'Tis I, Meg, not the king, that love women. They bely him; he onlie loves himself." Adding, with his own sweet smile, "Your Gaffer used to say that women were a bag of snakes, and that the man who put his hand therein woulde be lucky if he founde one eel among them alle; but 'twas onlie in sport, Meg, and he owned that I had enough eels to my share to make a goodly pie, and called my house the eel-pie house to the day of his death. 'Twas our Lord Jesus raised up women and shewed kindnesse unto 'em, and they've kept theire level, in the main, ever since."

I wish Will may sett down everie thing of father's saying he can remember; how precious will his book then be to us! But I fear me, these matters adhere not to a man's memory ... he'll be telling of his doings as Speaker and Chancellor, and his saying this and that in Parliament. Those are the matters men like to write and to read; he won't write it after my fashion.

I had a misgiving of Will's wrath, that night, 'speciallie if I failed; but he called me his brave Judith. Indeed I was a woman bearing a head, but one that had oft lain on my shoulder.

My thoughts beginne to have connexion now; but till last night, I slept not. 'Twas scarce sunsett. Mercy had been praying beside me, and I lay outside my bed, inclining rather to stupor than sleep. O' suddain, I have an impression that some one is leaning over me, though I hear 'em not nor feel theire breath. I start up, cry "Mercy!" but she's not there nor anie one else. I turn on my side and become heavie to sleep; but or ere I drop quite off, agayn I'm sensible or apprehensive of some living consciousness between my closed eyelids and the setting sunlight; agayn start up and stare about, but there's nothing. Then I feel like ... like Eli, maybe, when the child Samuel came to him twice; and tears well into mine eyes, and I close 'em agayn, and say in mine heart, "If he's at hand, oh, let me see him next time ... the third time's lucky." But 'steade of this, I fall into quiet, balmy, dreamlesse sleep. Since then, I've had an abiding, assuring sense of help, of a hand upholding me, and smoothing and glibbing the way before me.

We must yield to ye powers that be. At this present, we are weak, but they are strong; they are honourable, but we are despised. They have made us a spectacle unto the world, and, I think, Europe will ring with it; but at this present hour, they will have us forth of our home, though we have as yet no certayn dwelling-place, and must flee as scared pigeons from their dove-cot. No matter, our men are willing to labour, and our women to endure; being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it. Onlie I marvell how anie honest man, coming after us, will be able to eat a mouthful of bread with a relish within these walls. And, methinketh, a dishonest man will have sundrie frights from the Lares and Lemures. There 'ill be dearth o' black beans in ye market.

Flow on, bright shining Thames. A good brave man hath walked aforetime on your margent, himself as bright, and usefull, and delightsome as be you, sweet river. And like you, he never murmured; like you, he upbore the weary, and gave drink to the thirsty, and reflected heaven in his face. I'll not swell your full current with any more fruitless tears. There's a river whose streams make glad the city of our God. He now rests beside it. Good Christian folks, as they hereafter pass this spot, upborne on thy gentle tide, will, maybe, point this way, and say—"There dwelt Sir Thomas More;" but whether they doe or not, vox populi is a very inconsiderable matter, for the majority are evil, and "the people sayd, Let him be crucified!" Who would live on theire breath? They hailed St. Paul as Jupiter, and then stoned him and cast him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. Theire favourite of to-day may, for what they care, goe hang himself to-morrow in his surcingle. Thus it must be while the world lasts; and the very racks and scrues wherewith they aim to overcome the nobler spiritt, onlie test and reveal its power of exaltation above the heaviest gloom of circumstance.

Interfecistis, interfecistis hominem omnium Anglorum optimum.


Karl Herwitz is a German. He is about fifty years of age, and one of the most original of characters. Since I have known him, I have passed whole nights in listening to his adventures, which are in general as instructive as they are amusing. Married at a very early age, he left the military career for that of inventions. He had a most marvelous talent for conceiving novel machines, often of practical utility; but his soul was set upon perfecting a flying machine. To this he had devoted nearly his whole life. He made models, he tried experiments, he brought to bear all his prodigious knowledge of mathe[Pg 762]matics on the subject of traveling in air, with an enthusiasm, a childish earnestness, which is not uncharacteristic of genius. He studied every natural law which was likely to advance him toward the consummation of all his hopes and desires, namely, the ability to fly. At one time his little garden was turned into an aviary. He filled it with birds of various kinds, to study the mechanism of their powers of flight. There was the eagle and the dove, the vulture and the sparrow, all of which were made subservient to his darling object. He has often explained all this to me. "The Golden Eagle," he once said, "can cleave the air at the rate of forty miles an hour. Now, if I can succeed in imitating the mechanism by which he travels in space, exactly and efficiently, of course, my machine will move in the air at the same pace." What could I say? No argument, no warning availed. Still he went on, hoping and working, and buying expensive tools and materials. He completed aerial ships one after another; and although none of them answered, he was never discouraged.

At one time, however, he thought he had succeeded. His contrivance was a curious affair, shot out of a bomb; but it was about as buoyant as a shot, fell, and failed, disheartening every body but the persevering projector. Still he did not wholly neglect useful productions, and several times made improvements in mechanism, and sold them for very good prices. But the money went as fast as it came. His winged Pegasus was a merciless Ogre, which swallowed up all the money the old German earned.

Last Christmas-eve, in Paris, five of us were collected, after dinner, round a roaring fire, half wood, half charcoal. For some time the conversation was general enough. We spoke of England and of an English Christmas. The magic spell of the fireside was felt, and the word "home" hung on the trembling lip of all; for we were in a foreign land; we were all English, save one. There was a lawyer, the most unlawyer-like man I ever knew, a noble-hearted fellow, whom to know is to like; there was a poet, of an eccentric order of merit, whose love of invective, bitter satire, and intense propensity to hate—whose fantastic and Germanic cast of philosophy will ever prevent his succeeding among rational beings; then there was an artist, a young man well known in the world, not half so much as he deserves, if kindness of soul could ever make a man famous; there was Citizen Karl Herwitz, as he loved to be called; lastly myself. I had been speaking of some far-off land, relating some personal adventure; and, with commendable modesty, feeling that I had held possession of the chair quite long enough, paused for a reply.

"Tell us your adventures at the court of Konningen," said the poet, standing up to see that his hair hung tastefully around his shoulders, addressing at the same time Karl, and mentioning the name of one of the smaller German states. "I have heard it before, but it will be new to the rest, and I promise them a rich treat."

"Ah!" sighed the German, with a huge puff at his long pipe; "that was an adventure—or, rather, a whole string of adventures. I have told it several times; but, if you like, I will tell it again."

All warmly called on the German to keep his promise. After freshly loading his pipe, and taking a drain at his glass, he drew his armchair closer to the fire, settled his feet on the chenets, and began his narrative in a quaint and strange English, which I shall not seek to copy:

I had spent all my money. I had sold all my property. There remained nothing but a little furniture in my house, which was in a quiet retired quarter of the town; but then I had completed a machine, and sent it for the approval of the Minister of the Interior, who promised to purchase it for the government. I now looked forward with delight to a long career of success, and saw the completion of my flying machine in prospect. On this I depended, and still depend, for fame, reputation, and fortune.

I had then a good wife and four children; she is dead now.—The German paused, puffed away vigorously at his pipe, and tried to hide his emotion from our view by enveloping himself in smoke.—

I was naturally impatient for some result,—he continued, when his face became once more visible.—I used to go every day to the Minister, and wait in the ante-chamber, with other suitors, for my turn. Weeks passed, and then months, and yet it never came. But we must all eat, and six mouths are not fed for nothing. We had no resources, save our clothes and our furniture. My clothes were needed to go out with, so the furniture went first. One article was sold, and the produce applied by my careful wife to the wants of the family. We had come to that point when food is the only thing which must be looked on as a necessity. We lived hardly, indeed. Bread, and a little soup, was all we ever attempted to indulge in.

Six months passed without any change for the better. I went to the Minister's every day; sometimes I saw him, and sometimes I did not. He was always very polite, bowed to me affably, said my machine was under consideration, should be reported on immediately, and passed on his way. It was the dead of winter. Every article of furniture was now gone, my wife and children having not gone out for two months for want of clothes. We huddled together, for warmth, on two straw mattresses, in the corner of an empty room, without table, without chairs, without fire. Catherine had nothing to wear but an old cotton gown and one under-garment. We had not eaten food for a day and a night, when I rose in the morning to go to the Minister's. I felt savage, irate, furious. I thought of my starving and perishing family, of the long delay which had taken place in the consideration of my machine. I compared the luxurious ease of the Minister with my own position, and was inclined to do some desperate act. I think I could have turned conspirator, and have overthrown the government. I was already half a misanthrope.

When I entered the Minister's ante-chamber,[Pg 763] I placed myself, as usual, near the stove. I kept away from the well-dressed mob as much as possible. They were solicitors, it is true, and humble enough, some of them; but then they had good coats on, smart uniforms, polite boots, and came, perhaps, in carriages. I came on foot, clad in a long frock reaching almost to my heels, patched in several places; with trowsers so darned about the calves as to be almost falling to pieces; with boots which were absolutely only worn for look, for they had no soles to them. My hat, too, was a dreadful-looking thing. This day, being faint with hunger, and pinched by the cold, the heat of the room overcame me, and I grew dizzy. I am sure I knew nothing of what passed around. I saw my wife and children, through a misty haze, starving with hunger and cold. A basket full of logs of wood lay beside my knee. Reckless, wild, not caring who saw me, I took a thick log, huddled it under my frock, and went away. I passed the porter's lodge unseen; I was in the open air; I was proud, I was happy. I had stolen a log of wood; but my children would have fire for one day.

When I got home I went to bed. I was feverish and ill; wild shapes floated round me; I saw the officers of justice after me; I beheld a furious mob chasing me along interminable fields; and on every hedge, and every tree, and every house, and every post, I read, in large letters, the word 'thief.' It was evening when I awoke. I looked around for some minutes without moving or speaking; a delicious fragrance seemed to fill the air, a fire blazed on the hearth, and round it huddled my wife and children, sitting on logs of wood. I rubbed my eyes: The presence of these logs of wood seemed to convince me that I still dreamed. But there was an odor of mutton-broth which was too real to be mistaken.

"Catherine," said I, "why, you seem to have some food."

All came rushing to my bedside, mother and children. They scarcely spoke; but one brought a basin of broth, another a hunch of bread, another a plate of meat and potatoes, which had been kept hot before the fire. I was too faint and sick to talk. I took my broth slowly. Never did food prove a greater blessing. Life, reason, courage, hope, all seemed to return, as mouthful by mouthful I swallowed the nourishing liquid. It spread warmth and comfort through every fibre of my frame. When I had taken this, I ate the meat, and vegetables, and bread without fear. While I did so, my wife, sending the children back to the fire-place, told me, in a whisper, how she had procured such unexpected subsistence. It seems that scarcely had I got home, and, after flinging my log on the ground, rushed to bed, when a knock came to the door. Catherine went to answer it. A man of middle age entered. He gave a hurried glance around, seemed to shudder at its emptiness, looked at the next room through the open door, saw that it was as bare as the other, turned his eyes away from the crouching form of my half-dressed wife, and spoke:

"Have you any children?"

"Four," said Catherine, tremblingly; but, still, answering at once, so peremptory was the tone of the stranger.

"How long have you been in this state?"

"Six months."

"Your husband is Karl Herwitz, the mechanist?"

"He is, sir."

"Well, madam, please to tell him that I recognized him as he came out of the Minister's of the Interior, and, noticing what he clutched with such wild energy, followed him here. Tell him, I am not rich, but I can pay my debts; I owe him the sum contained in this purse. I am happy to pay it."

"And did he owe it you?" said I, anxiously.

No, replied Karl; he had never seen me or heard of me before. Generous Englishman, I shall never forget him. I found out afterward that he was a commercial traveler, with a large family and a moderate income. On what he left we lived a month, by exercising strict economy. I did not go to the minister's for several days. I feared some one might have seen me, and I was bowed by shame. But, at last, I mustered courage, and presented myself at the audience. I was, as usual, totally unnoticed, and I resumed my wretched dangling in the ante-chamber, as usual. The result was always the same. Generally I caught a glimpse of the minister; but, when I did, it was eternally the same words. Meanwhile time swept rapidly by, and soon my misery was as great as ever. My children, who, during the past month, had recovered a little their health and looks, looked pale and wan again. I was more shabby, more dirty, more haggard and starved-looking than ever. Once again I went out, after our all being without food for some twenty-four hours. I knew not what to do. I walked along the street, turning over every possible expedient in my mind.

Suddenly I saw, on the opposite side of the way, a lieutenant belonging to the regiment I had quitted. He had been my intimate friend, but so shabby was I, that I sought to avoid him. He saw me, however, and, to my surprise, hurried across and shook me heartily by the hand. I could scarce restrain tears; so sure was I, in my present state, to be cut by even old friends. But, in my worst troubles, something has always turned up to make me love and cherish the human heart.

"My poor Karl," said he, "the world uses you badly."

"Very," said I: and in a few words I told my story.

"My dear Karl!" he exclaimed, when I had concluded, "I was going to ask you to dine with me on what I have left. I am come up to claim a year's arrears of pay, and I have been sent back with a free passage and promises. But I have a little silver; and, as I said, meant to ask you to devour it. But after what you have told me, will you share my purse with me for your wife and children's sake?" And he pulled out[Pg 764] a purse containing about the value of five shillings English, forced me to take half, shook me heartily by the hand, and hurried away to escape my thanks.

Home I rushed with mad eagerness, a loaf in one hand, the rest of the money in the other. My poor wife once more could give food to her little ones. On the morning of the third day after I had obtained this little help, I lay in bed, ruminating. I was turning over in my mind every possible expedient by which to raise enough money to go on with, a brief time, until my machine was really decided on by the government. Suddenly I sat up in my bed and addressed my wife.

"How much money have you got left, Catherine?"

She had threepence of your money.

"Can you manage with the loaf of bread then, and three-halfpence for to-day?"

"I have often managed on less," said she.

"Then give me three-halfpence to take out with me."

"But what are you going to do? We may have nothing to-morrow, and then the three-halfpence will be missed."

"Give!" said I, rather sternly, reflecting as I was on my scheme; "be assured, it is for our good."

My poor wife gave me the money with a very ill-grace, but without another word; and, rising, I went out. When in the street, I directed my footsteps toward the outskirts. They were soon reached. I halted before a tavern frequented wholly by workmen, and going into the public room, called for a choppe of beer. I had purposely chosen my position. Before me was a handsome, neatly-dressed young workman, who, like all his companions, was smoking and drinking beer. Quietly, without saying a word, I drew out a small note-book and a drawing-pencil. I was then considered a very good artist; but had only used my pencil to sketch models. But I now sketched the human face with care and anxiety. Presently, as my pencil was laid down, a man sitting next to me peeped over my shoulder.

"Why!" he cried, "that's Alexis to the life."

"How so?" said the man I had been sketching, holding out his hand, into which I put my note-book.

"Good!" cried he, while a smile of satisfaction covered his face. "Will you sell this? I should like to keep it."

"I will sell it if you like," replied I, as quietly as I could, though my heart was nigh bursting with excitement.

"How much?"

I knew my man, and asked but six sous, threepence, which the workman gladly paid, while five others followed his example at the same price. I went home a proud and happy man with my thirty-six pence of copper. Would you believe it? that was the commencement of a long and prosperous career, which lasted until the Revolution of 1848 threw me back again. Six months after, I received a thousand florins for a portrait in oil of the Grand Duchess of B——; and about the end of the same year I drove up to the hotel of the Minister of the Interior in a splendid carriage, a gentleman by my side; it was the English commercial traveler.

We had a letter of audience, and were admitted at once. The Minister rose, and after a very warm greeting, requested us to be seated. We took chairs.

"My dear Herwitz," said the Minister, a little, bowing, smirking man, "what can I do for you? Glad to see you doing so well. The Grand Duchess says wonders of you. I will have the committee on your machine."

"I beg your pardon," said I, "but I have come to request your written order for its removal. I have sold it to the English house represented by this gentleman."

"Its removal!" cried the astonished Minister; "but it is impossible. So excellent an invention should not pass into the hands of foreigners."

"So I thought," replied I, coldly, "when for nine months I waited daily in your ante-chamber, with my family starving at home. But it is now sold. My word is my bond."

The Minister bit his lip, but made no reply. He took up a sheet of paper, and wrote the order for removal. I took it, bowed stiffly, and came away.—

We all heartily thanked the old German for his narrative. Since the Revolution, and the consequent impossibility of selling his machines in Germany, he has come to Paris, and taken to portrait-painting once more. His perseverance and endurance are untiring. His wife died long since, and he is like a mother to his four girls—all of whom are most industrious and devoted. He still believes in his flying machine; but, for the sake of his parental love, his hard-working head and fingers—for the sake of his goodness of soul, his eccentricities, he must be forgiven for this invincible credulity.

None can fail to admire the original dreamer, when he is also a practical worker; while few will be willing to patronize the mere visionary, who is always thinking and never doing.


Except, perhaps, to naturalists, the Seal will be known to many readers only through the medium of Sir Walter Scott's "Antiquary." "'What is that yonder!' says Hector M'Intyre to his uncle, Jonathan Oldbuck. 'One of the herd of Proteus,' replied the Antiquary—'a Phoca, or Seal, lying asleep on the beach.' Upon which M'Intyre, with the eagerness of a young sportsman, exclaiming, 'I shall have him! I shall have him!' snatched the walking-stick out of the hand of the astonished Antiquary, at some risk of throwing him down, and set off at full speed to get between the animal and the sea, to which element, having caught the alarm, she was rapidly retreating.... The Seal finding her retreat intercepted by the light-footed soldier, confronted him manfully, and having sustained a heavy blow without injury, she knit[Pg 765]ted her brows, as is the fashion of the animal, and making use at once of her fore-paws and her unwieldy strength, wrenched the weapon out of the assailant's hand, overturned him on the sands, and scuttled away into the sea without doing him any further injury." We shall not dwell on the mortification of the gallant captain, or the gibes of his uncle, as these will readily occur to the readers of Scott's magic pages. Turning, then, from the romancer, we shall trace the records of the Phoca through the denser chapters of the scientific compiler, and the Arctic voyagers.

The literature of the Seal, which is very limited, would lead us to suppose that, like the owl of terra firma, it maintains—to quote from one authority—an "ancient, solitary reign, threading an unfurrowed track along the dark waters of the Atlantic, and skimming in peace and security along the margins of ice-bound shores, where all is dumb." But how stands the actual fact? In the year 1850, no fewer than one hundred thousand Seals were captured by British vessels, and in the present year a greater number will probably be slain. What will be the commercial value of those animals? Reckoning the whole to be even young seals, and estimating one ton of oil to be produce of one hundred seals, the oil will yield, in round numbers, thirty-five thousand pounds, and the skins, calculated at three shillings each, would bring fifteen thousand pounds—in all, fifty thousand pounds. So that we have an interesting branch of commerce represented in our literature as all but extinct, while in reality it is flourishing in a high degree, adding extensively to national wealth, and giving employment to a large portion of the seafaring community.

Whale-fishery in the Arctics has been in a declining state for a number of years; a result which, so far as mere purposes of illumination are concerned, might have been of minor consequence, seeing that the substitution of gas for oil-lamps has rendered us comparatively independent of oil as a lighting agent; but, concurrently with the introduction of gas, there has been an increased demand for oil for lubricating machinery, and for other manufacturing purposes; hence fish-oil has maintained its price remarkably well, notwithstanding an opposition that at first seemed fatal to it. Greenland was, at the beginning of the whale-fishing, the resort of the whale, and thither its pursuers went, and captured it in large numbers; but in process of time, the animal finding the peace of its ancient home ruthlessly invaded; retreated to the more northern latitude of Davis Straits. The distance, although greater, being still practicable, the chase was still continued, and the slaughter went on as before. Again, the leviathan, as if conscious that its track was followed, beat another retreat, which has turned out more successful than the first. Each spring witnessed the departure of Arctic fleets from every port of note in Britain, and the regions of the North were instinct with life, in search of the monster of the deep. Captains would stand, telescope in hand, in the "crow's nest," perched on the summit of the main-mast, and peer through the instrument till eye became dim and hand was frozen—boats' crews would be dispatched, and pull for weary miles in the sea, or drag their skiffs for still more weary miles on the surface of the ice—men on deck would gaze wistfully across the main, and mutter charms, or invoke omens; but all in vain. The ice would close in like iron mountains around them, and the time would come that they must bend their sails homeward. Then stray fish would be seen far off, or very shy fish would dart off in their immediate vicinity, and the disappointed mariners would return for the season, either with clean vessels, or at best with small cargoes of oil. Some accounted for the change by asserting that the whale had been hunted from Davis Straits just as it had been pursued from Greenland, and that it had betaken itself to still higher and now inaccessible latitudes;—some held that the animal had diminished in numbers, and as gestation takes place only once in two years, there was some ground for this conjecture;—while a third section, who were principally composed of superannuated Blowhards, and who harpooned only by the fireside, held pertinaciously to the notion that the failure arose from the inefficiency of modern fishermen. But, arise from what cause it might, whales were either not brought home at all, or else they were brought home in woefully diminished numbers. Owners became discouraged, and captains sank in despair; harpoons and flinching gear were flung aside, and whalers were dispatched to the Baltic for timber, or wherever else a freight could be procured, and others departed to strange ports, and returned no more; for they were sold. The whaling fleet became, therefore, small by degrees. Yet two ports struggled on against the receding tide; Hull in England, and Peterhead in Scotland, always hoped against hope, and persevered amid every disadvantage. They still sent vessels out; if not to catch whales, to be contented with seals. Peterhead reaped the reward of perseverance. We observe from a recent return, that out of the hundred thousand Seals captured in 1850, sixty-three thousand four hundred and twenty-six fell to the share of ten Peterhead vessels.

There was something romantic about whale-fishing. When the captain, with his assisted eye, descried the far-off parabolic spout of his victim, the cry of "Fall! fall!" would resound from stem to stern, and from hold to cross-trees. Down went the boats, sharp and graceful as regatta skiffs, and yet as strong and compact as herring yawls; the steerer took his oar, for rudders are too slow for this kind of navigation; the line-coiler, stood by his ropes; while last, and most important of all, the harpooner descended with his glittering instruments. Muffled oars dip in the waters, and the skiff nears the sleeping leviathan. A single awkward splash would rouse him; but all is silent as death, and the harpooner, poising himself, takes his deadly aim,[Pg 766] and buries his javelin in the huge carcase. Smarting with pain, the enormous black mass lurches, and then with lightning speed darts underneath the wave; the boiling surge raised by its descent lifts the boat like a feather; the line attached to the harpoon disappears fathom after fathom, hissing around the rolling-pin, with a force and velocity that, but for copious libations, would cause ignition; a long and still extending streak of gore marks the route of the wounded animal; the rope at last goes less rapidly off, and as its rapidity decreases, they pull up to the victim, and insert more instruments, and then after a few deadly slaps with his tail, the monarch of the ocean yields up the contest.

What has the Russian, the Dutch or the Hanseatic man, or the Esquimaux, been doing all this time? They have been following the pastime of Captain Hector M'Intyre, and endeavoring to slay the Phoca. Most of the Britons pursuing whales, and the foreigners and natives peddling with seals; just as if Captain Gordon Cumming had been hunting a lion, while some other sportsmen would stand by shooting sparrows or mice. No glory in capturing a seal, and as little pay. Thirty large seals are needed to make up one ton of oil, while an average whale would produce twenty tons of the oleaginous fluid. The whale-fishers despised such small game, and regarded mere seal-fishers with contempt;—we say mere seal-fishers, because if seals did come in the way, they were shot or knocked down by the whale-fisher; but his main vocation consisted in waging war with the colossal member of the finny tribe. And apart from the larger quantity of oil yielded by the one animal, the bone of the whale was singularly valuable. Twenty tons of oil would indicate one ton of bone, and that was worth some two hundred and fifty pounds sterling. The seal, too, had its extrinsic value, for its skin was worth seven-pence—dust in the balance compared with the bone of its huge contemporary. Whales, then, undoubtedly were the superior subjects for capture; but as whales could not be had, and seals became plentiful, the whalers lowered their plumes, and raised their arms against their amphibious prey.

Old seals had wont to be pursued, but although their capture was more profitable than young ones, still the old seals are so excessively shy that they can only be shot in detail, and hence a preference is given to the destruction of the young. The seal propagates twice a year—the first pups of the season lie upon the ice early in the spring, and being unable to run to the water and swim off, they fall ready prey to the spoiler. A smart blow with a club stuns them, and a wound does the rest. Their numbers are very large. During the present season of 1851, a flock of them extending to about fifteen miles was discovered, not far from the Scottish coast; a dozen animals at least occupying every hundred square yards. Of course, with such opportunities, a ship is readily filled, and bearing homeward with her valuable cargo, there is still time to undertake a second and more northern voyage, in search of whales or larger seals.

The Dutch have been in the habit of prosecuting the trade with small vessels, but the British although occasionally using tiny craft, prefer employing large and stout vessels, as with such they can penetrate into fissures of the ice, instead of timidly sailing by the margin; and their success in this respect is gradually inducing their foreign competitors to follow their example.

The size of ships generally preferred for seal or whale fishing, is three hundred and fifty tons burden, or upward, although this year some vessels have gone out so small as eighty tons. A ship of the larger size carries sixty-five men, of the latter dimensions, twenty. The average outfit of a large vessel costs about one thousand four hundred pounds, and the original cost of such varies from two thousand to ten thousand pounds, according to age and quality of vessel, and also whether a used ship has been purchased, or one expressly built for the trade. The loss when a vessel is unsuccessful, is greater than in any other maritime speculation, there being no return whatever to stand against outlay; but, on the other hand, if fortunate, no other kind of shipping adventure yields so large profits. One vessel this year brought home a cargo of the gross value of six thousand pounds, leaving (it being her first fishing voyage) a net profit to her owners of three thousand pounds. The vessels sailing from the small northern port of Peterhead have, as before stated, been remarkably successful. The following is a statement of the produce of the ten vessels which sailed from thence in 1850:

1,144 tons of oil.
63,426 seal-skins.
14 tons of whalebone.

The aggregate commercial value of the whole would amount to about fifty thousand pounds. Seal-skins have lately risen in value—the former rate of seven-pence having been augmented to three shillings; and they are used principally for the purpose of being manufactured into patent-leather. Each skin is split into two or three layers, and each layer is turned to separate account. No other leather possesses the same closeness of texture, smoothness of surface, and elasticity. From being employed as rough waist-coats for seamen, and hairy coverings for trunks, it is now in its stratified state applied to the most delicate artistic purposes.

The Seal belongs to the four-limbed mammiliferous animals. It is half quadruped, half fish. The head and general physiognomy, especially when seen in the water, resemble those of a dog. The limbs, which in the sea act as excellent paddles, are indifferent instruments of locomotion on land—the fore-paws are almost the only motive powers, the posterior portion of the body having to be dragged over the ground. The young are very obedient to the parent seals, and are obedient to, and recognize the voices of their dams amid the loudest tumult. They are decidedly[Pg 767] gregarious in their habits, and hunt and herd together in common; and, in those cases, when surprised by an enemy, they have great facilities in expressing, both by tone and gesture, the approach of a dreaded enemy. There are four different species of the animal; the one to which we have been referring is called the Phoca Greenlandica, and is about six feet in length, and has the peculiar property of often changing the color of its skin as it approaches maturity. The seal visiting the British shores (Phoca Vitulina) is seldom more than four or five feet in length.

We have now given our contribution to the literature of the Seal, and submit, that it has the merit of being up to what Mr. Carlyle calls the "present hour."


[Continued from the October Number.]



While I was dressing, a note was handed to me from the curé, apologizing for his departure without seeing me, and begging, as a great favor, that I would not leave the Chateau till his return. He said that the count's spirits had benefited greatly by our agreeable converse, and that he requested me to be his guest for some time to come. The postscript added a suggestion, that I should write down some of the particulars of my visit to Ettenheim, but particularly of my conversation alluding to the meditated assassination of Bonaparte.

There were many points in the arrangement which I did not like. To begin, I had no fancy whatever for the condition of a dependent, and such my poverty would at once stamp me. Secondly, I was averse to this frequent intercourse with men of the Royalist party, whose restless character and unceasing schemes were opposed to all the principles of those I had served under; and finally, I was growing impatient under the listless vacuity of a life that gave no occupation, nor opened any view for the future. I sat down to breakfast in a mood very little in unison with the material enjoyments around me. The meal was all that could tempt appetite; and the view from the open window displayed a beautiful flower-garden, imperceptibly fading away into a maze of ornamental planting, which was backed again by a deep forest, the well-known wood of Belleville. Still I ate on sullenly, scarce noticing any of the objects around me. I will see the count, and take leave of him, thought I, suddenly; I can not be his guest without sacrificing feeling in a dozen ways.

"At what hour does monsieur rise?" asked I, of the obsequious valet who waited behind my chair.

"Usually at three or four in the afternoon, sir; but to-day he has desired me to make his excuses to you. There will be a consultation of doctors here; and the likelihood is, that he may not leave his chamber."

"Will you convey my respectful compliments, then, to him, and my regrets that I had not seen him before leaving the Chateau?"

"The count charged me, sir, to entreat your remaining here till he had seen you. He said you had done him infinite service already, and indeed it is long since he has passed a night in such tranquillity."

There are few slight circumstances which impress a stranger more favorably, than any semblance of devotion on the part of a servant to his master. The friendship of those above one in life is easier to acquire than the attachment of those beneath. Love is a plant whose tendrils strive ever upward. I could not help feeling struck at the man's manner, as he spoke these few words; and insensibly my mind reverted to the master who had inspired such sentiments.

"My master gave orders, sir," continued he, "that we should do every thing possible to contribute to your wishes; that the carriage, or, if you prefer them, saddle-horses, should be ready at any hour you ordered. The wood has a variety of beautiful excursions; there is a lake, too, about two leagues away; and the ruins of Monterraye are also worth seeing."

"If I had not engagements in Paris," muttered I, while I affected to mumble over the conclusion of the sentence to myself.

"Monsieur has seldom done a greater kindness than this will be," added he, respectfully; "but if monsieur's business could be deferred for a day or two without inconvenience—"

"Perhaps that might be managed," said I, starting up, and walking to the window, when, for the first time, the glorious prospect revealed itself before me. How delicious, after all, would be a few hours of such a retreat!—a morning loitered away in that beautiful garden; and then, a long ramble through the dark wood till sunset. Oh, if Laura were but here; if she could be my companion along those leafy alleys! If not with, I can at least think of her, thought I; seek out spots she would love to linger in, and points of view she would enjoy with all a painter's zest. And this poor count, with all his riches, could not derive in a whole lifetime the enjoyment that a few brief hours would yield to us! So is it almost ever in this world; to one man the appliances, to another the faculties for enjoyment.

"I am so glad monsieur has consented," said the valet, joyously.

"Did I say so? I don't know that I said any thing."

"The count will be so gratified," added he; and hurried away to convey the tidings.

Well, be it so. Heaven knows my business in Paris will scarcely suffer by my absence; my chief occupation there being to cheat away the hours till meal-time. It is an occupation I can easily resume a few days hence. I took a book, and strolled out into the garden; but I could not read. There is a gush of pleasure felt at times from the most familiar objects, which the[Pg 768] most complicated machinery of enjoyment often fails to equal; and now the odor of moss-roses and geraniums, the rich perfume of orange flowers, the plash of fountains and the hum of the summer insects, steeped my mind in delight; and I lay there in a dream of bliss that was like enchantment. I suppose I must have fallen asleep; for my thoughts took every form of wildness and incoherency. Ireland; the campaign; the Bay of Genoa; the rugged height of Kuffstein, all passed before my mind, peopled with images foreign to all their incidents. It was late in the afternoon that I aroused myself, and remembered where I was, the shadows of the dark forest were stretching over the plain; and I determined on a ride beneath their mellow shade. As if in anticipation of my wishes, the horses were already saddled, and a groom stood awaiting my orders. Oh, what a glorious thing it is to be rich! thought I, as I mounted; from what an eminence does the wealthy man view life. No petty cares nor calculations mar the conceptions of his fancy. His will, like his imagination, wanders free and unfettered. And so thinking, I dashed spurs into my horse, and plunged into the dense wood. Perhaps I was better mounted than the groom, or perhaps the man was scarcely accustomed to such impetuosity. Whatever the reason, I was soon out of sight of him. The trackless grass of the alley, and its noiseless turf, made pursuit difficult in a spot where the paths crossed and recrossed in a hundred different directions; and so I rode on for miles and miles without seeing more of my follower.

Forest riding is particularly seductive; you are insensibly led on to see where this alley will open, or how that path will terminate. Some of the spirit of discovery seems to seal its attractions to the wild and devious track, untrodden as it looks; and you feel all the charm of adventure as you advance. The silence, too, is most striking; the noiseless footfalls of the horse, and the unbroken stillness, add indescribable charm to the scene, and the least imaginative can not fail to weave fancies and fictions as he goes.

Near as it was to a great city, not a single rider crossed my path; not even a peasant did I meet. A stray bundle of fagots, bound and ready to be carried away, showed that the ax of the woodman had been heard within the solitude; but not another trace told that human footstep had ever pressed the sward.

Although still a couple of hours from sunset, the shade of the wood was dense enough to make the path appear uncertain, and I was obliged to ride more cautiously than before. I had thought that by steadily pursuing one straight track, I should at last gain the open country, and easily find some road that would reconduct me to the Chateau; but now I saw no signs of this. "The alley" was, to all appearance, exactly as I found it—miles before. A long aisle of beech-trees stretched away in front and behind me; a short, grassy turf was beneath my feet; and not an object to tell me how far I had come, or whither I was tending. If now and then another road crossed the path, it was in all respects like this one. This was puzzling; and to add to my difficulty, I suddenly remembered that I had never thought of learning the name of the Chateau, and well knew that to ask for it as the residence of the Count de Maurepas would be a perfect absurdity. There was something so ludicrous in the situation, that I could not refrain from laughing at first; but a moment's re-consideration made me regard the incident more gravely. In what a position should I stand, if unable to discover the Chateau. The curé might have left Paris before I could reach it; all clew to the count might thus be lost; and although these were but improbable circumstances, they came now very forcibly before me, and gave me serious uneasiness.

I have been so often in false positions in life, so frequently implicated where no real blame could attach to me, that I shall not be in the least surprised if I be arrested as a horse-stealer! The night now began to fall rapidly, so that I was obliged to proceed at a slow pace; and at length, as the wood seemed to thicken, I was forced to get off, and walk beside my horse. I have often found myself in situations of real peril, with far less anxiety than I now felt; my position seemed at the time inexplicable and absurd. I suppose, thought I, that no man was ever lost in the wood of Belleville; he must find his way out of it sooner or later; and then, there can be no great difficulty in returning to Paris. This was about the extent of the comfort I could afford myself; for, once back in the capital, I could not speculate on a single step further.

I was at last so weary with the slow and cautious progression I was condemned to, that I half determined to picket my horse to a tree, and lie down to sleep till daylight. While I sought out a convenient spot for my bivouac, a bright twinkling light, like a small star, caught my eye. Twice it appeared, and vanished again so that I was well assured of its being real, and no phantom of my now over-excited brain. It appeared to proceed from the very densest part of the wood, and whither, so far as I could see, no path conducted. As I listened to catch any sounds, I again caught sight of the faint star, which now seemed at a short distance from the road where I stood. Fastening my horse to a branch, I advanced directly through the brushwood for about a hundred yards, when I came to a small open space, in which stood one of those modest cottages, of rough timber, wherein, at certain seasons, the game-keepers take refuge. A low, square, log hut, with a single door, and an unglazed window, comprised the whole edifice, being one of the humblest, even of its humble kind, I had ever seen. Stealing cautiously to the window, I peeped in. On a stone, in the middle of the earthen floor, a small iron lamp stood, which threw a faint and fickle light around.[Pg 769] There was no furniture of any kind; nothing that bespoke the place as inhabited; and it was only as I continued to gaze that I detected the figure of a man, who seemed to be sleeping on a heap of dried leaves, in one corner of the hovel. I own that, with all my anxiety to find a guide, I began to feel some scruples about obtruding on the sleeper's privacy. He was evidently no "Garde de chasse," who are a well-to-do sort of folk, being usually retired sous-officiers of the army. He might be a poacher, a robber, or perhaps a dash of both together—a trade I had often heard of as being resorted to by the most reckless and abandoned of the population of Paris, when their crimes and their haunts became too well known in the capital.

I peered eagerly through the chamber, to see if he were armed; but not a weapon of any kind was to be seen. I next sought to discover if he were quite alone; and although one side of the hovel was hidden from my view, I was well assured that he had no comrade. Come, said I to myself, man to man, if it should come to a struggle, is fair enough; and the chances are I shall be able to defend myself.

His sleep was sound and heavy, like that after fatigue; so that I thought it would be easy for me to enter the hovel, and secure his arms, if he had such, before he should awake. I may seem to my reader, all this time, to have been inspired with an undue amount of caution and prudence, considering how evenly we were matched; but I would remind him, that it was a period when the most dreadful crimes were of daily occurrence. Not a night went over without some terrible assassination; and a number of escaped galley slaves were known to be at large in the suburbs and outskirts of the capital. These men, under the slightest provocation, never hesitated at murder; for their lives were already forfeited, and they scrupled at nothing which offered a chance of escape. To add to the terror their atrocities excited, there was a rumor current at the time, that the Government itself made use of these wretches for its own secret acts of vengeance; and many implicitly believed that the dark assassinations of the "Temple" had no other agency. I do not mean to say that these fears were well founded, or that I myself partook of them; but such were the reports commonly circulated, and the impunity of crime certainly favored the impression. I know not if this will serve as an apology for the circumspection of my proceeding, as, cautiously, pushing the door, inch by inch, I at length threw it wide open. Not the slightest sound escaped as I did so; and yet, certainly before my hand quitted the latch, the sleeper had sprung to his knees; and with his dark eyes glaring wildly at me, crouched like a beast about to rush upon an enemy.

His attitude and his whole appearance at that moment are yet before me. Long black hair fell in heavy masses at either side of his head; his face was pale, haggard, and hunger-stricken; a deep, drooping mustache descended from below his chin, and almost touched his collar-bones which were starting from beneath the skin; a ragged cloak, that covered him as he lay, had fallen off, and showed that a worn shirt and a pair of coarse linen trowsers were all his clothing. Such a picture of privation and misery I never looked upon before nor since!

"Qui va là?" cried he, sternly, and with the voice of one not unused to command; and although the summons showed his soldier training, his condition of wretchedness suggested deep misgivings.

"Qui va là?" shouted he again, louder and more determinedly.

"A friend—perhaps a comrade," said I, boldly.

"Advance, comrade, and give the counter-sign," replied he, rapidly, and like one repeating a phrase of routine; and then, as if suddenly remembering himself, he added with a low sigh, "There is none!" His arms dropped heavily as he spoke, and he fell back against the wall with his head drooping on his chest.

There was something so unutterably forlorn in his looks, as he sat thus, that all apprehension of personal danger from him left me at the moment, and advancing frankly, I told him how I had lost my way in the wood, and by mere accident chanced to descry his light as I wandered along in the gloom.

I do not know if he understood me at first, for he gazed half vacantly at my face while I was speaking, and often stealthily peered round to see if others were coming; so that I had to repeat more than once that I was perfectly alone. That the poor fellow was insane seemed but too probable; the restless activity of his wild eye, the suspicious watchfulness of his glances, all looked like madness, and I thought that he had probably made his escape from some military hospital, and concealed himself within the recesses of the forest. But even these signs of over-wrought excitement began to subside soon; and as though the momentary effort at vigilance had been too much for his strength, he now drew his cloak about him, and lay down once more.

I handed him my brandy flask, which still contained a little, and he touched it to his lips with a slight nod of recognition. Invigorated by the stimulant, he supped again and again, but always cautiously, and with prudent reserve.

"You have been a soldier," said I, taking my seat at his side.

"I am a soldier," said he, with a strong emphasis on the verb.

"I, too, have served," said I; "although, probably, neither as long nor as creditably as you have."

He looked at me fixedly for a second or two and then dropped his eyes without a reply.

"You were probably with the Army of the Meuse?" said I, hazarding the guess, from remembering how many of that army had been invalided by the terrible attacks of ague contracted in North Holland.

"I served on the Rhine," said he, briefly, "but I made the campaign of Jemappes, too. I[Pg 770] served the king also—King Louis," cried he, sternly. "Is that avowal candid enough; or do you want more!"

Another Royalist, thought I, with a sigh. Whichever way I turn they meet me—the very ground seems to give them up.

"And could you find no better trade than that of a Mouchard?" asked he, sneeringly.

"I am not a Mouchard—I never was one. I am a soldier like yourself; and, mayhap, if all were to be told, scarcely a more fortunate one."

"Dismissed the service—and for what?" asked he, bluntly.

"If not broke, at least not employed;" said I, bitterly.

"A Royalist?"

"Not the least of one, but suspected."

"Just so. Your letters—your private papers ransacked, and brought in evidence against you. Your conversations with your intimates noted down and attested—every word you dropped in a moment of disappointment or anger; every chance phrase you uttered when provoked, all quoted; wasn't that it?"

As he spoke this, with a rapid and almost impetuous utterance, I for the first time, noticed that both the expressions and the accent implied breeding and education. Not all his vehemence could hide the evidences of former cultivation.

"How comes it," asked I, eagerly, "that such a man as you are, is to be found thus? You certainly did not always serve in the ranks?"

"I had my grade," was his short, dry reply.

"You were a quarter-master; perhaps a sous-lieutenant?" said I, hoping by the flattery of the surmise to lead him to talk further.

"I was the colonel of a dragoon regiment," said he; sternly; "and that neither the least brave nor the least distinguished in the French army."

Ah! thought I, my good fellow, you have shot your bolt too high this time; and in a careless, easy way, I asked, "What might have been the number of the corps?"

"How can it concern you?" said he, with a savage vehemence. "You say that you are not a spy. To what end these questions? As it is, you have made this hovel, which has been my shelter for some weeks back, no longer of any service to me. I will not be tracked. I will not suffer espionage, by heaven!" cried he, as he dashed his clenched fist against the ground beside him. His eyes, as he spoke, glared with all the wildness of insanity, and great drops of sweat hung upon his damp forehead.

"Is it too much," continued he, with all the vehemence of passion, "is it too much that I was master here? Are these walls too luxurious? Is there the sign of foreign gold in this tasteful furniture and the splendor of these hangings? Or is this"—and he stretched out his lean and naked arms as he spoke—"is this the garb?—is this the garb of a man who can draw at will on the coffers of Royalty? Ay!" cried he, with a wild laugh, "if this is the price of my treachery, the treason might well be pardoned."

I did all I could to assuage the violence of his manner. I talked to him calmly and soberly of myself and of him, repeating over and over the assurance that I had neither the will nor the way to injure him. "You may be poor," said I, "and yet scarcely poorer than I am—friendless, and have as many to care for you as I have. Believe me, comrade, save in the matter of a few years the less on one side, and some services the more on the other, there is little to choose between us."

These few words, wrung from me in sorrowful sincerity, seemed to do more than all I had said previously, and he moved the lamp a little to one side that he might have a better view of me as I sat; and thus we remained for several minutes staring steadfastly at each other without a word spoken on either side. It was in vain that I sought in that face, livid and shrunk by famine—in that straggling matted hair, and that figure enveloped in rags, for any traces of former condition. Whatever might once have been his place in society, now he seemed the very lowest of that miserable tribe whose lives are at once the miracle and shame of our century.

"Except that my senses are always playing me false," said he, as he passed his hand across his eyes, "I could say that I have seen your face before. What was your corps?"

"The Ninth Hussars, 'the Tapageurs,' as they called them."

"When did you join—and where?" said he, with an eagerness that surprised me.

"At Nancy," said I, calmly.

"You were there with the advanced guard of Moreau's corps," said he, hastily; "you followed the regiment to the Moselle."

"How do you know all this?" asked I, in amazement.

"Now for your name; tell me your name," cried he, grasping my hand in both of his—"and I charge you by all you care for here or hereafter, no deception with me. It is not a head that has been tried like mine can bear a cheat."

"I have no object in deceiving you; nor am I ashamed to say who I am," replied I. "My name is Tiernay—Maurice Tiernay."

The word was but out, when the poor fellow threw himself forward, and grasping my hands, fell upon and kissed them.

"So, then," cried he, passionately, "I am not friendless—I am not utterly deserted in life—you are yet left to me, my dear boy."

This burst of feeling convinced me that he was deranged; and I was speculating in my mind how best to make my escape from him, when he pushed back the long and tangled hair from his face, and staring wildly at me, said, "You know me now—don't you? Oh, look again, Maurice, and do not let me think that I am forgotten by all the world."

"Good heavens!" cried I; "it is Colonel Mahon!"

"Ay, 'Le Beau Mahon,'" said he, with a[Pg 771] burst of wild laughter; "Le Beau Mahon, as they used to call me long ago. Is this a reverse of fortune, I ask you?" and he held out the ragged remnants of his miserable clothes. "I have not worn shoes for nigh a month. I have tasted food but once in the last thirty hours! I, that have led French soldiers to the charge full fifty times, up to the very batteries of the enemy, am reduced to hide and skulk from place to place like a felon, trembling at the clank of a gendarme's boot, as never the thunder of an enemy's squadron made me. Think of the persecution that has brought me to this, and made me a beggar and a coward together!"

A gush of tears burst from him at these words, and he sobbed for several minutes like a child.

Whatever might have been the original source of his misfortunes, I had very little doubt that now his mind had been shaken by their influence, and that calamity had deranged him. The flighty uncertainty of his manner, the incoherent rapidity with which he passed from one topic to another, increased with his excitement, and he passed alternately from the wildest expressions of delight at our meeting, to the most heart-rending descriptions of his own sufferings. By great patience and some ingenuity, I learned that he had taken refuge in the wood of Belleville, where the kindness of an old soldier of his own brigade—now a Garde de Chasse—had saved him from starvation. Jacques Caillon was continually alluded to in his narrative. It was Jacques sheltered him when he came first to Belleville. Jacques had afforded him a refuge in the different huts of the forest, supplying him with food—acts not alone of benevolence, but of daring courage, as Mahon continually asserted. If it were but known, "they'd give him a peleton and eight paces." The theme of Jacques's heroism was so engrossing, that he could not turn from it; every little incident of his kindness, every stratagem of his inventive good-nature, he dwelt upon with eager delight, and seemed half to forget his own sorrows in recounting the services of his benefactor. I saw that it would be fruitless to ask for any account of his past calamity, or by what series of mischances he had fallen so low. I saw—I will own with some chagrin—that, with the mere selfishness of misfortune, he could not speak of any thing save what bore upon his own daily life, and totally forgot me and all about me.

The most relentless persecution seemed to follow him from place to place. Wherever he went, fresh spies started on his track, and the history of his escapes was unending. The very fagot-cutters of the forest were in league against him, and the high price offered for his capture had drawn many into the pursuit. It was curious to mark the degree of self-importance all these recitals imparted, and how the poor fellow, starving and almost naked as he was, rose into all the imagined dignity of martyrdom, as he told of his sorrows. If he ever asked a question about Paris, it was to know what people said of himself and of his fortunes. He was thoroughly convinced that Bonaparte's thoughts were far more occupied about him than on that empire now so nearly in his grasp, and he continued to repeat with a proud delight, "He has caught them all but me! I am the only one who has escaped him!" These few words suggested to me the impression that Mahon had been engaged in some plot or conspiracy; but of what nature, how composed, or how discovered, it was impossible to arrive at.

"There!" said he, at last, "there is the dawn breaking! I must be off. I must now make for the thickest part of the wood till nightfall. There are hiding-places there known to none save myself. The blood-hounds can not track me where I go."

His impatience became now extreme. Every instant seemed full of peril to him now; every rustling leaf and every waving branch a warning. I was unable to satisfy myself how far this might be well-founded terror, or a vague and causeless fear. At one moment I inclined to this—at another, to the opposite impression. Assuredly nothing could be more complete than the precautions he took against discovery. His lamp was concealed in the hollow of a tree; the leaves that formed his bed he scattered and strewed carelessly on every side; he erased even the foot-tracks on the clay; and then gathering up his tattered cloak, prepared to set out.

"When are we to meet again, and where?" said I, grasping his hand.

He stopped suddenly, and passed his hand over his brow, as if reflecting. "You must see Caillon; Jacques will tell you all," said he, solemnly. "Good-by. Do not follow me. I will not be tracked;" and with a proud gesture of his hand he motioned me back.

Poor fellow! I saw that any attempt to reason with him would be in vain at such a moment; and determining to seek out the Garde de Chasse, I turned away slowly and sorrowfully.

"What have been my vicissitudes of fortune compared to his?" thought I. "The proud colonel of a cavalry regiment, a beggar and an outcast!" The great puzzle to me was, whether insanity had been the cause or the consequence of his misfortunes. Caillon will, perhaps, be able to tell me his story, said I to myself; and thus ruminating, I returned to where I had picketed my horse three hours before. My old dragoon experiences had taught me how to "hobble" a horse, as it is called, by passing the bridle beneath the counter before tying it, and so I found him just as I left him.

The sun was now up, and I could see that a wide track led off through the forest straight before me. I accordingly mounted, and struck into a sharp canter. About an hour's riding brought me to a small clearing, in the midst of which stood a neat and picturesque cottage, over the door of which was painted the words "Station de Chasse—No. 4." In a little garden in front, a man was working in his shirt sleeves, but his military trowsers at once proclaimed him the "Garde." He stopped as I came up, and eyed me sharply.

"Is this the road to Belleville?" said I.[Pg 772]

"You can go this way, but it takes you two miles of a round," replied he, coming closer, and scanning me keenly.

"You can tell me, perhaps, where Jacques Caillon, Garde de Chasse, is to be found?"

"I am Jacques Caillon, sir," was the answer, as he saluted in soldier fashion, while a look of anxiety stole over his face.

"I have something to speak to you about," said I, dismounting, and giving him the bridle of my horse. "Throw him some corn, if you have got it, and then let us talk together;" and with this I walked into the garden, and seated myself on a bench.

If Jacques be an old soldier, thought I, the only way is to come the officer over him; discipline and obedience are never forgotten, and whatever chances I may have of his confidence will depend on how much I seem his superior. It appeared as if this conjecture was well founded, for as Jacques came back, his manner betrayed every sign of respect and deference. There was an expression of almost fear in his face, as, with his hand to his cap, he asked, "What were my orders?"

The very deference of his air was disconcerting, and so, assuming a look of easy cordiality, I said,

"First, I will ask you to give me something to eat; and, secondly, to give me your company for half an hour."

Jacques promised both, and learning that I preferred my breakfast in the open air, proceeded to arrange the table under a blossoming chestnut-tree.

"Are you quite alone here?" asked I, as he passed back and forward.

"Quite alone, sir; and except a stray fagot-cutter or a chance traveler who may have lost his way, I never see a human face from year's end to year's end. It's a lonely thing for an old soldier, too," said he, with a sigh.

"I know more than one who would envy you, Jacques," said I, and the words made him almost start as I spoke them. The coffee was now ready, and I proceeded to make my breakfast with all the appetite of a long fast.

There was indeed but little to inspire awe, or even deference in my personal appearance—a threadbare undress frock and a worn-out old foraging cap were all the marks of my soldier-like estate; and yet, from Jacques's manner, one might have guessed me to be a general at the least. He attended me with the stiff propriety of the parade, and when, at last, induced to take a seat, he did so full two yards off from the table, and arose almost every time he was spoken to. Now it was quite clear that the honest soldier did not know me either as the hero of Kehl, of Ireland, or of Genoa. Great achievements as they were, they were wonderfully little noised about the world, and a man might frequent mixed companies every day of the week, and never hear of one of them. So far, then, was certain it could not be my fame had imposed on him, and, as I have already hinted, it could scarcely be my general appearance. Who knows, thought I, but I owe all this obsequious deference to my horse. If Jacques be an old cavalry-man, he will have remarked that the beast is of great value, and doubtless argue to the worth of the rider from the merits of his "mount." If this explanation was not the most flattering, it was, at all events, the best I could hit on; and with a natural reference to what was passing in my own mind, I asked him if he had looked to my horse?

"Oh, yes, sir," said he, reddening suddenly, "I have taken off the saddle, and thrown him his corn."

What the deuce does his confusion mean, thought I; the fellow looks as if he had half a mind to run away, merely because I asked him a simple question.

"I've had a sharp ride," said I, rather by way of saying something, "and I shouldn't wonder if he was a little fatigued."

"Scarcely so, sir," said he, with a faint smile; "he's old now, but it's not a little will tire him."

"You know him, then," said I, quickly.

"Ay, sir, and have known him for eighteen years. He was in the second squadron of our regiment; the major rode him two entire campaigns!"

The reader may guess that his history was interesting to me, from perceiving the impression the reminiscence made on the relator, and I inquired what became of him after that.

"He was wounded by a shot at Neuwied, and sold into the train, where they couldn't manage him; and after three years, when horses grew scarce, he came back into the cavalry. A sergeant-major of lancers was killed on him at 'Zwei Brucken.' That was the fourth rider he brought mishap to, not to say a farrier whom he dashed to pieces in his stable."

Ah, Jack, thought I, I have it; it is a piece of old-soldier superstition about this mischievous horse has inspired all the man's respect and reverence; and, if a little disappointed in the mystery, I was so far pleased at having discovered the clew.

"But I have found him quiet enough," said I; "I never backed him till yesterday, and he has carried me well and peaceably."

"Ah, that he will now, I warrant him; since the day a shell burst under him at Waitzen, he never showed any vice. The wound nearly left the ribs bare, and he was for months and months invalided; after that he was sold out of the cavalry, I don't know where or to whom. The next time I saw him was in his present service."

"Then you are acquainted with the present owner?" asked I, eagerly.

"As every Frenchman is?" was the curt rejoinder.

"Parbleu! it will seem a droll confession, then, when I tell you, that I myself do not even know his name."

The look of contempt these words brought to my companion's face could not, it seemed, be either repressed or concealed; and although my conscience acquitted me of deserving such a glance, I own that I felt insulted by it.[Pg 773]

"You are pleased to disbelieve me, Master Caillon," said I, sternly, "which makes me suppose that you are neither so old nor so good a soldier as I fancied; at least, in the corps I had the honor to serve with, the word of an officer was respected like an 'order of the day.'"

He stood erect as if on parade, under this rebuke, but made no answer.

"Had you simply expressed surprise at what I said, I would have given you the explanation frankly and freely; as it is, I shall content myself with repeating what I said—I do not even know his name."

The same imperturbable look and the same silence met me as before.

"Now, sir, I ask you how this gentleman is called, whom I alone, of all France, am ignorant of?"

"Monsieur Fouché," said he, calmly.

"What! Fouché, the Minister of Police?"

This time, at least, my agitated looks seemed to move him, for he replied, quietly:

"The same, sir. The horse has the brand of the 'Ministere' on his haunch."

"And where is the Ministere?" cried I, eagerly.

"In the Rue des Victoires, monsieur."

"But he lives in the country, in a chateau near this very forest."

"Where does he not live, monsieur? At Versailles, at St. Germain, in the Luxembourg, in the Marais, at Neuilly, the Battignolles. I have carried dispatches to him in every quarter of Paris. Ah, monsieur, what secret are you in possession of, that it was worth while to lay so subtle a trap to catch you?"

This question, put in all the frank abruptness of a sudden thought, immediately revealed every thing before me.

"Is it not as I have said?" resumed he, still looking at my agitated face; "is it not as I have said—monsieur is in the web of the Mouchards?"

"Good heavens! is such baseness possible?" was all that I could utter.

"I'll wager a piece of five francs I can read the mystery," said Jacques. "You served on Moreau's staff, or with Pichegru in Holland; you either have some of the general's letters, or you can be supposed to have them, at all events; you remember many private conversations held with him on politics; you can charge your memory with a number of strong facts; and you can, if needed, draw up a memoir of all your intercourse. I know the system well, for I was a Mouchard myself."

"You a police spy, Jacques?"

"Ay, sir; I was appointed without knowing what services were expected from me, or the duties of my station. Two months' trial, however, showed that I was 'incapable,' and proved that a smart sous-officier is not necessarily a scoundrel. They dismissed me as impracticable, and made me Garde de Chasse; and they were right, too. Whether I was dressed up in a snuff-brown suit, like a Bourgeois of the Rue St. Denis; whether they attired me as a farmer from the provinces, a retired maitre-de-poste, an old officer, or the conducteur of a diligence, I was always Jacques Caillon. Through every thing, wigs and beards, lace or rags, jack-boots or sabots, it was all alike; and while others could pass weeks in the Pays Latin as students, country doctors, or 'notaires de village,' I was certain to be detected by every brat that walked the streets."

"What a system! And so these fellows assume every disguise?" asked I, my mind full of my late rencontre.

"That they do, monsieur. There is one fellow, a Provençal by birth, has played more characters than ever did Brunet himself. I have known him as a laquais de place, a cook to an English nobleman, a letter-carrier, a flower-girl, a cornet-à-piston in the opera, and a curé from the Ardëche."

"A curé from the Ardëche!" exclaimed I. "Then I am a ruined man."

"What! has monsieur fallen in with Paul?" cried he, laughing. "Was he begging for a small contribution to repair the roof of his little chapel, or was it a fire that had devastated his poor village? Did the altar want a new covering, or the curé a vestment? Was it a canopy for the Fête of the Virgin, or a few sous toward the 'Orphelines de St. Jude'?"

"None of these," said I, half angrily, for the theme was no jesting one to me. "It was a poor girl that had been carried away."

"Lisette, the miller's daughter, or the schoolmaster's niece?" broke he in, laughing. "He must have known you were new to Paris, monsieur, that he took so little trouble about a deception. And you met him at the 'Charette rouge' in the Marais?"

"No; at a little ordinary in the Quai Voltaire!"

"Better again. Why half the company there are Mouchards. It is one of their rallying-points, where they exchange tokens and information. The laborers, the beggars, the fishermen of the Seine, the hawkers of old books, the venders of gilt ornaments, are all spies; the most miserable creature that implored charity behind your chair as you sat at dinner, has, perhaps, his ten francs a day on the roll of the Prefecture! Ah, monsieur! if I had not been a poor pupil of that school, I'd have at once seen that you were a victim and not a follower; but I soon detected my error—my education taught me at least so much!"

I had no relish for the self-gratulation of honest Jacques, uttered, as it was, at my own expense. Indeed I had no thought for any thing but the entanglement into which I had so stupidly involved myself; and I could not endure the recollection of my foolish credulity, now that all the paltry machinery of the deceit was brought before me. All my regard, dashed as it was with pity for the poor curé; all my compassionate interest for the dear Lisette; all my benevolent solicitude for the sick count, who was neither more nor less than Mons. Fouché himself, were[Pg 774] any thing but pleasant reminiscences now, and I cursed my own stupidity with an honest sincerity that greatly amused my companion.

"And is France come to this?" cried I, passionately, and trying to console myself by inveighing against the Government.

"Even so, sir," said Jacques. "I heard Monsieur de Talleyrand say as much the other day, as I waited behind his chair. It is only 'dans les bonnes maisons,' said he, 'that servants ever listen at the doors; depend upon it, then, that a secret police is a strong symptom that we are returning to a monarchy.'"

It was plain that even in his short career in the police service, Caillon had acquired certain shrewd habits of thought, and some power of judgment, and so I freely communicated to him the whole of my late adventure from the moment of my leaving the Temple to the time of my setting out for the Chateau.

"You have told me every thing but one, monsieur," said he, as I finished. "How came you ever to have heard the name of so humble a person as Jacques Caillon, for you remember you asked for me as you rode up?"

"I was just coming to that point, Jacques; and, as you will see, it was not an omission in my narrative, only that I had not reached so far."

I then proceeded to recount my night in the forest, and my singular meeting with poor Mahon, which he listened to with great attention and some anxiety.

"The poor colonel!" said he, breaking in, "I suppose he is a hopeless case; his mind can never come right again."

"But if the persecution were to cease; if he were at liberty to appear once more in the world—"

"What if there was no persecution, sir?" broke in Jacques. "What if the whole were a mere dream, or fancy? He is neither tracked nor followed. It is not such harmless game the blood-hounds of the Rue des Victoires scent out."

"Was it, then, some mere delusion drove him from the service?" said I, surprised.

"I never said so much as that," replied Jacques; "Colonel Mahon has foul injury to complain of, but his present sufferings are the inflictions of his own terror; he fancies that the whole power of France is at war with him; that every engine of the Government is directed against him; with a restless fear he flies from village to village, fancying pursuit every where; even kindness now he is distrustful of, and the chances are, that he will quit the forest this very day, merely because he met you there."

From being of all men the most open-hearted and frank, he had become the most suspicious; he trusted nothing nor any one; and if for a moment a burst of his old generous nature would return, it was sure to be followed by some excess of distrust that made him miserable almost to despair. Jacques was obliged to fall in with this humor, and only assist him by stealth and by stratagem; he was even compelled to chime in with all his notions about pursuit and danger, to suggest frequent change of place, and endless precautions against discovery.

"Were I for once to treat him frankly, and ask him to share my home with me," said Jacques, "I should never see him more."

"What could have poisoned so noble a nature?" cried I; "when I saw him last he was the very type of generous confidence."

"Where was that, and when?" asked Jacques.

"It was at Nancy, on the march for the Rhine."

"His calamities had not fallen on him then. He was a proud man in those days, but it was a pride that well became him; he was the colonel of a great regiment, and for bravery had a reputation second to none."

"He was married, I think?"

"No, sir; he was never married!"

As Jacques said this, he arose, and moved slowly away as though he would not be questioned further. His mind, too, seemed full of its own crowding memories, for he looked completely absorbed in thought, and never noticed my presence for a considerable time. At last he appeared to have decided some doubtful issue within himself, and said,

"Come, sir, let us stroll into the shade of the wood, and I'll tell you in a few words the cause of the poor colonel's ruin—for ruin it is! Even were all the injustice to be revoked to-morrow, the wreck of his heart could never be repaired."

We walked along, side by side, for some time, before Jacques spoke again, when he gave me, in brief and simple words, the following sorrowful story. It was such a type of the age, so pregnant with the terrible lessons of the time, that, although not without some misgivings, I repeat it here as it was told to myself, premising that however scant may be the reader's faith in many of the incidents of my own narrative—and I neither beg for his trust in me, nor seek to entrap it—I implore him to believe that what I am now about to tell was a plain matter of fact, and, save in the change of one name, not a single circumstance is owing to imagination.



When the French army fell back across the Sambre, after the battle of Mons, a considerable portion of the rear, who covered the retreat, were cut off by the enemy, for it became their onerous duty to keep the allied forces in check, while the Republicans took measures to secure and hold fast the three bridges over the river. In this service many distinguished French officers fell, and many more were left badly wounded on the field; among the latter was a young captain of dragoons, who, with his hand nearly severed by a sabre cut, yet found strength enough to crawl under cover of a hedge, and there lie down in the fierce resolve to die where he was, rather than surrender himself as a prisoner.

Although the allied forces had gained the battle, they quickly foresaw that the ground they had won was untenable; and scarcely had night closed in when they began their preparations to[Pg 775] fall back. With strong pickets of observation to watch the bridges, they slowly withdrew their columns toward Mons, posting the artillery on the heights around Grandrengs. From these movements the ground of the late struggle became comparatively deserted, and before day began to dawn, not a sound was heard over its wide expanse, save the faint moan of a dying soldier, or the low rumble of a cart, as some spoiler of the dead stole stealthily along. Among the demoralizing effects of war, none was more striking than the number of the peasantry who betook themselves to this infamous trade; and who, neglecting all thoughts of honest industry, devoted themselves to robbery and plunder. The lust of gain did not stop with the spoil of the dead, but the wounded were often found stripped of every thing, and in some cases the traces of fierce struggle, and the wounds of knives and hatchets, showed that murder had consummated the iniquity of these wretches.

In part, from motives of pure humanity, in part, from feelings of a more interested nature—for terror to what this demoralization would tend, was now great and wide spread—the nobles and gentry of the land instituted a species of society to reward those who might succor the wounded, and who displayed any remarkable zeal in their care for the sufferers after a battle. This generous philanthropy was irrespective of country, and extended its benevolence to the soldiers of either army: of course, personal feeling enjoyed all its liberty of preference, but it is fair to say, that the cases were few where the wounded man could detect the political leanings of his benefactor.

The immense granaries, so universal in the Low Countries, were usually fitted up as hospitals, and many rooms of the chateau itself were often devoted to the same purpose, the various individuals of the household, from the "seigneur" to the lowest menial, assuming some office in the great work of charity; and it was a curious thing to see how the luxurious indolence of chateau life become converted into the zealous activity of useful benevolence; and not less curious to the moralist to observe how the emergent pressure of great crime so instinctively, as it were, suggested this display of virtuous humanity.

It was a little before daybreak that a small cart, drawn by a mule, drew up by the spot where the wounded dragoon sat, with his shattered arm bound up in his sash, calmly waiting for the death that his sinking strength told could not be far distant. As the peasant approached him, he grasped his sabre in the left hand, resolved on making a last and bold resistance; but the courteous salutation, and the kindly look of the honest countryman, soon showed that he was come on no errand of plunder, while, in the few words of bad French he could muster, he explained his purpose.

"No, no, my kind friend," said the officer, "your labor would only be lost on me. It is nearly all over already! A little further on in the field, yonder, where that copse stands, you'll find some poor fellow or other better worth your care, and more like to benefit by it. Adieu!"

But neither the farewell, nor the abrupt gesture that accompanied it, could turn the honest peasant from his purpose. There was something that interested him in this very disregard of life, as well as in the personal appearance of the sufferer, and, without further colloquy, he lifted the half-fainting form into the cart, and, disposing the straw comfortably on either side of him, set out homeward. The wounded man was almost indifferent to what happened, and never spoke a word nor raised his head as they went along. About three hours' journey brought them to a large old-fashioned chateau beside the Sambre, an immense straggling edifice which, with a façade of nearly a hundred windows, looked out upon the river. Although now in disrepair and neglect, with ill-trimmed alleys and grass-grown terraces, it had been once a place of great pretensions, and associated with some of the palmiest days of Flemish hospitality. The Chateau d'Overbecque was the property of a certain rich merchant of Antwerp, named D'Aerschot, one of the oldest families of the land, and was, at the time we speak of, the temporary abode of his only son, who had gone there to pass the honeymoon. Except that they were both young, neither of them yet twenty, two people could not easily be found so discrepant in every circumstance and every quality. He the true descendant of a Flemish house, plodding, commonplace, and methodical, hating show and detesting expense. She a lively, volatile girl, bursting with desire to see and be seen, fresh from the restraint of a convent at Bruges, and anxious to mix in all the pleasures and dissipations of the world. Like all marriages in their condition, it had been arranged without their knowledge or consent; circumstances of fortune made the alliance suitable; so many hundred thousands florins on one side were wedded to an equivalent on the other, and the young people were married to facilitate the "transaction."

That he was not a little shocked at the gay frivolity of his beautiful bride, and she as much disappointed at the staid demureness of her stolid-looking husband, is not to be wondered at; but their friends knew well that time would smooth down greater discrepancies than even these; and if ever there was a country, the monotony of whose life could subdue all to its own leaden tone, it was Holland in old days. Whether engaged in the active pursuit of gain in the great cities, or enjoying the luxurious repose of chateau life, a dull, dreary uniformity pervaded every thing—the same topics, the same people, the same landscape, recurred day after day; and save what the season induced, there was nothing of change in the whole round of their existence. And what a dull honeymoon was it for that young bride at the old Chateau of Overbecque! To toil along the deep sandy roads in a lumbering old coach, with two long-tailed black horses—to halt at some little eminence, and strain the[Pg 776] eyes over a long unbroken flat, where a wind-ill, miles off, was an object of interest—to loiter beside the bank of a sluggish canal, and gaze on some tasteless excrescence of a summerhouse, whose owner could not be distinguished from the wooden effigy that sat, pipe in mouth, beside him—to dine in the unbroken silence of a funeral feast, and doze away the afternoon over the "Handelsblatt," while her husband smoked himself into the seventh heaven of a Dutch Elysium—Poor Caroline! this was a sorry realization of all her bright dreamings! It ought to be borne in mind, that many descendants of high French families, who were either too proud or too poor to emigrate to England or America, had sought refuge from the Revolution in the convents of the Low Countries; where, without entering an order, they lived in all the discipline of a religious community. These ladies, many of whom had themselves mixed in all the elegant dissipations of the court, carried with them the most fascinating reminiscences of a life of pleasure, and could not readily forget the voluptuous enjoyments of Versailles, and the graceful caprices of "La Petit Trianon." From such sources as these the young pupils drew all their ideas of the world, and assuredly it could have scarcely worn colors more likely to fascinate such imaginations.

What a shortcoming was the wearisome routine of Overbecque to a mind full of the refined follies of Marie Antoinette's court! Even war and its chances offered a pleasurable contrast to such dull monotony, and the young bride hailed with eagerness the excitement and bustle of the moving armies—the long columns which poured along the high road, and the clanking artillery, heard for miles off! Monsieur D'Aerschot, like all his countrymen who held property near the frontier, was too prudent to have any political bias. Madame was, however, violently French. The people who had such admirable taste in "toilet," could scarcely be wrong in the theories of government; and a nation so invariably correct in dress, could hardly be astray in morals. Besides this, all their notions of morality were as pliant and as easy to wear as their own well-fitting garments. Nothing was wrong but what looked ungracefully; every thing was right that sat becomingly on her who did it. A short code, and wonderfully easy to learn. If I have dwelt somewhat tediously on these tendencies of the time, it is that I may pass the more glibly over the consequences, and not pause upon the details by which the young French captain's residence at Overbecque gradually grew, from the intercourse of kindness and good offices, to be a close friendship with his host, and as much of regard and respectful devotion as consisted with the position of his young and charming hostess.

He thought her, as she certainly was, very beautiful; she rode to perfection, she sung delightfully; she had all the volatile gayety of a happy child with the graceful ease of coming womanhood. Her very passion for excitement gave a kind of life and energy to the dull old chateau, and made her momentary absence felt as a dreary blank.

It is not my wish to speak of the feelings suggested by the contrast between her husband and the gay and chivalrous young soldier, nor how little such comparisons tended to allay the repinings at her lot. Their first effect, was, however, to estrange her more and more from D'Aerschot, a change which he accepted with most Dutch indifference. Possibly, piqued by this, or desirous of awakening his jealousy, she made more advances toward the other, selecting him as the companion of her walks, and passing the greater part of each day in his society. Nothing could be more honorable than the young soldier's conduct in this trying position. The qualities of agreeability which he had previously displayed to requite, in some sort, the hospitality of his hosts, he now gradually restrained, avoiding as far as he could, without remark, the society of the young countess, and even feigning indisposition, to escape from the peril of her intimacy.

He did more—he exerted himself to draw D'Aerschot more out, to make him exhibit the shrewd intelligence which lay buried beneath his native apathy, and display powers of thought and reflection of no mean order. Alas! these very efforts on his part only increased the mischief, by adding generosity to his other virtues! He now saw all the danger in which he was standing, and, although still weak and suffering, resolved to take his departure. There was none of the concealed vanity of a coxcomb in this knowledge. He heartily deplored the injury he had unwittingly done, and the sorry return he had made for all their generous hospitality.

There was not a moment to be lost; but the very evening before, as they walked together in the garden, she had confessed to him the misery in which she lived by recounting the story of her ill-sorted marriage. What it cost him to listen to that sad tale with seeming coldness—to hear her afflictions without offering one word of kindness; nay, to proffer merely some dry, harsh counsels of patience and submission, while he added something very like rebuke for her want of that assiduous affection which should have been given to her husband!

Unaccustomed to even the slightest censure, she could scarcely trust her ears as she heard him. Had she humiliated herself, by such a confession, to be met by advice like this! And was it he that should reproach her for the very faults his own intimacy had engendered! She could not endure the thought, and she felt that she could hate, just at the very moment when she knew she loved him!

They parted in anger—reproaches, the most cutting and bitter, on her part; coldness, far more wounding, on his! Sarcastic compliments upon his generosity, replied to by as sincere expressions of respectful friendship. What hypocrisy and self-deceit together! And yet deep beneath all lay the firm resolve for future victory. Her wounded self-love was irritated, and[Pg 777] she was not one to turn from an unfinished purpose. As for him, he waited till all was still and silent in the house, and then seeking out D'Aerschot's chamber, thanked him most sincerely for all his kindness, and, affecting a hurried order to join his service, departed. While in her morning dreams she was fancying conquest, he was already miles away on the road to France.

It was about three years after this, that a number of French officers were seated one evening in front of a little café in Freyburg. The town was then crammed with troops moving down to occupy the passes of the Rhine, near the Lake of Constance, and every hour saw fresh arrivals pouring in, dusty and wayworn from the march. The necessity for a sudden massing of the troops in a particular spot compelled the generals to employ every possible means of conveyance to forward the men to their destination, and from the lumbering old diligence with ten horses, to the light charette with one, all were engaged in this pressing service.

When men were weary, and unable to march forward, they were taken up for twelve or fourteen miles, after which they proceeded on their way, making room for others, and thus forty, and even fifty miles were frequently accomplished in the same day.

The group before the café were amusing themselves criticising the strange appearance of the new arrivals, many of whom certainly made their entry in the least military fashion possible. Here came a great country wagon, with forty infantry soldiers all sleeping on the straw. Here followed a staff-officer trying to look quite at his ease in a donkey-cart. Unwieldy old bullock-carts were filled with men, and a half-starved mule tottered along with a drummer-boy in one pannier, and camp-kettles in the other.

He who was fortunate enough to secure a horse for himself, was obliged to carry the swords and weapons of his companions, which were all hung around and about him on every side, together with helmets and shakos of all shapes and sizes, whose owners were fain to cover their heads with the less soldier-like appendages of a nightcap or a handkerchief. Nearly all who marched carried their caps on their muskets, for in such times as these all discipline is relaxed, save such as is indispensable to the maintenance of order; and so far was freedom conceded, that some were to be seen walking barefoot in the ranks, while their shoes were suspended by a string on their backs. The rule seemed to be "Get forward—it matters not how—only get forward!"

And with French troops, such relaxation of strict discipline is always practicable; the instincts of obedience return at the first call of the bugle or the first roll of the drum; and at the word to "fall in!" every symptom of disorder vanishes, and the mass of seeming confusion becomes the steady and silent phalanx.

Many were the strange sights that passed before the eyes of the party at the café, who, having arrived early in the day, gave themselves all the airs of ease and indolence before their wayworn comrades. Now laughing heartily at the absurdity of this one, now exchanging some good-humored jest with that, they were in the very full current of their criticism, when the sharp, shrill crack of a postillion's whip informed them that a traveler of some note was approaching. A mounted courier, all slashed with gold lace, came riding up the street at the same moment, and a short distance behind followed a handsome equipage, drawn by six horses, after which came a heavy "fourgon" with four.

One glance showed that the whole equipage betokened a wealthy owner. There was all that cumbrous machinery of comfort about it that tells of people who will not trust to the chances of the road for their daily wants. Every appliance of ease was there; and even in the self-satisfied air of the servants who lounged in the "rumble" might be read habits of affluent prosperity. A few short years back, and none would have dared to use such an equipage. The sight of so much indulgence would have awakened the fiercest rage of popular fury; but already the high fever of democracy was gradually subsiding, and bit by bit men were found reverting to old habits and old usages. Still each new indication of these tastes met a certain amount of reprobation. Some blamed openly, some condemned in secret; but all felt that there was at least impolicy in a display which would serve as a pretext for the terrible excesses that were committed under the banner of "Equality."

"If we lived in the days of princes," said one of the officers, "I should say there goes one now. Just look at all the dust they are kicking up yonder; while, as if to point a moral upon greatness, they are actually stuck fast in the narrow street, and unable from their own unwieldiness to get further."

"Just so," cried another; "they want to turn down toward the 'Swan,' and there isn't space enough to wheel the leaders."

"Who or what are they?" asked a third.

"Some commissary-general, I'll be sworn," said the first. "They are the most shameless thieves going; for they are never satisfied with robbery, if they do not exhibit the spoils in public."

"I see a bonnet and a lace vail," said another, rising suddenly and pushing through the crowd. "I'll wager it's a 'danseuse' of the Grand Opera."

"Look at Merode!" remarked the former, as he pointed to the last speaker. "See how he thrusts himself forward there. Watch, and you'll see him bow and smile to her, as if they had been old acquaintances."

The guess was so far unlucky, that Merode had no sooner come within sight of the carriage-window, than he was seen to bring his hand to the salute, and remain in an attitude of respectful attention till the equipage moved on.[Pg 778]

"Well, Merode, who is it?—who are they?" cried several together, as he fell back among his comrades.

"It's our new adjutant-general, parbleu!" said he, "and he caught me staring at his pretty wife."

"Colonel Mahon!" said another, laughing; "I wish you joy of your gallantry, Merode." "And worse, still," broke in a third, "she is not his wife. She never could obtain the divorce to allow her to marry again. Some said it was the husband—a Dutchman, I believe—refused it; but the simple truth is, she never wished it herself."

"How, not wish it?" remarked three or four in a breath.

"Why should she? Has she not every advantage the position could give her, and her liberty into the bargain? If we were back again in the old days of the Monarchy, I agree with you, she could not go to court; she would receive no invitations to the 'petits soupers' of the Trianon, nor be asked to join the discreet hunting-parties at Fontainebleu; but we live in less polished days; and if we have little virtue, we have less hypocrisy."

"Voila!" cried another, "only I, for one, would never believe that we are a jot more wicked or more dissolute than those powdered and perfumed scoundrels that played courtier in the King's bed-chamber."

"There, they are getting out, at the 'Tour d'Argent!'" cried another. "She is a splendid figure, and what magnificence in her dress!"

"Mahon waits on her like a laquais," muttered a grim old lieutenant of infantry.

"Rather like a well-born cavalier, I should say," interposed a young hussar. "His manner is all that it ought to be—full of devotion and respect."

"Bah!" said the former; "a soldier's wife, or a soldier's mistress—for it's all one—should know how to climb up to her place on the baggage-wagon, without three lazy rascals to catch her sleeve or her petticoats for her."

"Mahon is as gallant a soldier as any in this army," said the hussar; "and I'd not be in the man's coat who disparaged him in any thing."

"By St. Denis!" broke in another, "he's not more brave than he is fortunate. Let me tell you, it's no slight luck to chance upon so lovely a woman as that, with such an immense fortune, too."

"Is she rich?"

"Enormously rich. He has nothing. An emigré of good family, I believe, but without a sous; and see how he travels yonder."

While this conversation was going forward, the new arrivals had alighted at the chief inn of the town, and were being installed in the principal suite of rooms, which opened on a balcony over the "Place." The active preparations of the host to receive such distinguished guests—the hurrying of servants here and there—the blaze of wax-lights that shone half way across the street beneath—and, lastly, the appearance of a regimental band to play under the windows—were all circumstances well calculated to sustain and stimulate that spirit of sharp criticism which the group around the café were engaged in.

The discussion was, however, suddenly interrupted by the entrance of an officer, at whose appearance every one arose and stood in attitudes of respectful attention. Scarcely above the middle size, and more remarkable for the calm and intellectual cast of his features, than for that air of military pride then so much in vogue among the French troops—he took his place at a small table near the door, and called for his coffee. It was only when he was seated, and that by a slight gesture he intimated his wishes to that effect, that the others resumed their places, and continued the conversation, but in a lower, more subdued tone.

"What distinguished company have we got yonder?" said he, after about half an hour's quiet contemplation of the crowd before the inn, and the glaring illumination from the windows.

"Colonel Mahon, of the Fifth Cuirassiers, general," replied an officer.

"Our republican simplicity is not so self-denying a system, after all, gentlemen," said the general, smiling half sarcastically. "Is he very rich?"

"His mistress is, general," was the prompt reply.

"Bah!" said the general, as he threw his cigar away, and, with a contemptuous expression of looks, arose and walked away.

"Parbleu! he's going to the inn," cried an officer, who peered out after him; "I'll be sworn Mahon will get a heavy reprimand for all this display and ostentation."

"And why not?" said another. "Is it when men are arriving half dead with fatigue, without rations, without billets, glad to snatch a few hours' rest on the stones of the Place, that the colonel of a regiment should travel with all the state of an eastern despot."

"We might as well have the Monarchy back again," said an old weather-beaten captain; "I say far better, for their vices sat gracefully and becomingly on those essenced scoundrels, whereas they but disfigure the plainness of our daily habits."

"All this is sheer envy, comrades," broke in a young major of hussars, "sheer envy; or, what is worse, downright hypocrisy. Not one of us is a whit better or more moral than if he wore the livery of a king, and carried a crown on his shako instead of that naked damsel that represents French Liberty. Mahon is the luckiest fellow going, and, I heartily believe, the most deserving of his fortune! And see if General Moreau be not of my opinion. There he is on the balcony, and she is leaning on his arm."

"Parbleu! the major is right!" said another; "but, for certain, it was not in that humor he left us just now; his lips were closely puckered up, and his fingers were twisted into his sword-knot, two signs of anger and displeasure, there's no mistaking."

"If he's in a better temper, then," said an[Pg 779]other, "it was never the smiles of a pretty woman worked the change. There's not a man in France so thoroughly indifferent to such blandishments."

"Tant pis pour lui," said the major; "but they're closing the window-shutters, and we may as well go home."



Whatever opinion may be formed of the character of the celebrated conspiracy of Georges and Pichegru, the mode of its discovery, and the secret rules by which its plans were detected, are among the great triumphs of police skill. From the hour when the conspirators first met together in London, to that last fatal moment when they expired in the Temple, the agents of Fouché never ceased to track them.

Their individual tastes and ambitions were studied; their habits carefully investigated; every thing that could give a clew to their turn of thought or mind well weighed; so that the Consular Government was not only in possession of all their names and rank, but knew thoroughly the exact amount of complicity attaching to each, and could distinguish between the reckless violence of Georges and the more tempered, but higher ambition of Moreau. It was a long while doubtful whether the great general would be implicated in the scheme. His habitual reserve—a habit less of caution than of constitutional delicacy—had led him to few intimacies, and nothing like even one close friendship; he moved little in society; he corresponded with none, save on the duties of the service. Fouché's well-known boast of, "Give me two words of a man's writing and I'll hang him," were then scarcely applicable here.

To attack such a man unsuccessfully, to arraign him on a weak indictment, would have been ruin; and yet Bonaparte's jealousy of his great rival pushed him even to this peril, rather than risk the growing popularity of his name with the army.

Fouché, and, it is said also, Talleyrand, did all they could to dissuade the First Consul from this attempt, but he was fixed and immutable in his resolve, and the Police Minister at once addressed himself to his task with all his accustomed cleverness.

High play was one of the great vices of the day. It was a time of wild and varied excitement, and men sought, even in their dissipations, the whirlwind passions that stirred them in active life. Moreau, however, was no gambler; it was said that he never could succeed in learning a game. He, whose mind could comprehend the most complicated question of strategy, was obliged to confess himself conquered by écarte! So much for the vaunted intellectuality of the play-table! Neither was he addicted to wine. All his habits were temperate, even to the extent of unsociality.

A man who spoke little, and wrote less, who indulged in no dissipations, nor seemed to have taste for any, was a difficult subject to treat; and so Fouché found, as, day after day, his spies reported to him the utter failure of all their schemes to entrap him. Lajolais, the friend of Pichegru, and the man who betrayed him, was the chief instrument the Police Minister used to obtain secret information. Being well born, and possessed of singularly pleasing manners, he had the entrée of the best society of Paris, where his gay, easy humor made him a great favorite. Lajolais, however, could never penetrate into the quiet domesticity of Moreau's life, nor make any greater inroad on his intimacy than a courteous salutation as they passed each other in the garden of the Luxembourg. At the humble restaurant where he dined each day for two francs, the "General," as he was distinctively called, never spoke to any one. Unobtrusive and quiet, he occupied a little table in a recess of the window, and arose the moment he finished his humble meal. After this he was to be seen in the garden of the Luxembourg, with a cigar and a book, or sometimes, without either, seated pensively under a tree for hours together.

If he had been conscious of the "espionage" established all over his actions, he could scarcely have adopted a more guarded or more tantalizing policy. To the verbal communications of Pichegru and Armand Polignac, he returned vague replies; their letters he never answered at all, and Lajolais had to confess that, after two months of close pursuit, the game was as far from him as ever!

"You have come to repeat the old song to me, Monsieur Lajolais," said Fouché, one evening, as his wily subordinate entered the room; "you have nothing to tell me, eh?"

"Very little, Monsieur le Ministre, but still something. I have at last found out where Moreau spends all his evenings. I told you that about half-past nine o'clock every night all lights were extinguished in his quarters, and, from the unbroken stillness, it was conjectured that he had retired to bed. Now, it seems that, about an hour later, he is accustomed to leave his house, and crossing the Place de l'Odeon, to enter the little street called the 'Allée de Caire,' where, in a small house next but one to the corner, resides a certain officer, 'en retraite'—a Colonel Mahon, of the Cuirassiers."

"A Royalist?"

"This is suspected, but not known. His politics, however, are not in question here; the attraction is of a different order."

"Ha! I perceive; he has a wife or a daughter."

"Better still, a mistress. You may have heard of the famous Caroline de Stassart, that married a Dutchman named D'Aerschot."

"Madame Laure, as they called her," said Fouché, laughing.

"The same. She has lived as Mahon's wife for some years, and was as such introduced into society; in fact, there is no reason, seeing what society is in these days, that she should not participate in all its pleasures."[Pg 780]

"No matter for that," broke in Fouché; "Bonaparte will not have it so. He wishes that matters should go back to the old footing, and wisely remarks, that it is only in savage life that people or vices go without clothing."

"Be it so, monsieur. In the present case no such step is necessary. I know her maid, and from her I have heard that her mistress is heartily tired of her protector. It was originally a sudden fancy, taken when she knew nothing of life—had neither seen any thing, nor been herself seen. By the most wasteful habits she has dissipated all, or nearly all, her own large fortune, and involved Mahon heavily in debt; and they are thus reduced to a life of obscurity and poverty—the very things the least endurable to her notions."

"Well, does she care for Moreau?" asked Fouché, quickly; for all stories to his ear only resolved themselves into some question of utility or gain.

"No, but he does for her. About a year back she did take a liking to him. He was returning from his great German campaign, covered with honors and rich in fame; but as her imagination is captivated by splendor, while her heart remains perfectly cold and intact, Moreau's simple, unpretending habits quickly effaced the memory of his hard-won glory, and now she is quite indifferent to him."

"And who is her idol now, for, of course, she has one?" asked Fouché.

"You would scarcely guess," said Lajolais.

"Parbleu! I hope it is not myself," said Fouché, laughing.

"No, Monsieur le Ministre, her admiration is not so well placed. The man who has captivated her present fancy is neither good-looking nor well-mannered; he is short and abrupt of speech, careless in dress, utterly indifferent to women's society, and almost rude to them."

"You have drawn the very picture of a man to be adored by them," said Fouché, with a dry laugh.

"I suppose so," said the other with a sigh; "or General Ney would not have made this conquest."

"Ah! it is Ney, then. And he, what of him?"

"It is hard to say. As long as she lived in a grand house of the Rue St. Georges, where he could dine four days a week, and, in his dirty boots and unbrushed frock, mix with all the fashion and elegance of the capital; while he could stretch full length on a Persian ottoman, and brush the cinders from his cigar against a statuette by Canova, or a gold embroidered hanging; while in the midst of the most voluptuous decorations he alone could be dirty and uncared for, I really believe that he did care for her, at least, so far as ministering to his own enjoyments; but in a miserable lodging of the 'Allée de Caire,' without equipage, lackeys, liveried footmen—"

"To be sure," interrupted Fouché, "one might as well pretend to be fascinated by the beauty of a landscape the day after it has been desolated by an earthquake. Ney is right! Well, now, Monsieur Lajolais, where does all this bring us to?"

"Very near to the end of our journey, Monsieur le Ministre. Madame, or mademoiselle, is most anxious to regain her former position; she longs for all the luxurious splendor she used to live in. Let us but show her this rich reward, and she will be our own!"

"In my trade, Monsieur Lajolais, generalities are worth nothing. Give me details; let me know how you would proceed."

"Easily enough, sir; Mahon must first of all be disposed of, and perhaps the best way will be to have him arrested for debt. This will not be difficult, for his bills are every where. Once in the Temple, she will never think more of him. It must then be her task to obtain the most complete influence over Moreau. She must affect the deepest interest in the Royalist cause: I'll furnish her with all the watch-words of the party, and Moreau, who never trusts a man, will open all his confidence to a woman."

"Very good, go on!" cried Fouché, gathering fresh interest as the plot began to reveal itself before him.

"He hates writing; she will be his secretary, embodying all his thoughts and suggestions; and now and then, for her own guidance, obtaining little scraps in his hand. If he be too cautious here, I will advise her to remove to Geneva, for change of air; he likes Switzerland, and will follow her immediately."

"This will do; at least it looks practicable," said Fouché, thoughtfully; "is she equal to the part you would assign her?"

"Ay, sir, and to a higher one, too! She has considerable ability, and great ambition; her present narrow fortune has irritated and disgusted her; the moment is most favorable for us."

"If she should play us false," said Fouché, half aloud.

"From all I can learn, there is no risk of this; there is a headlong determination in her, when once she has conceived a plan, from which nothing turns her; overlooking all but her object, she will brave any thing, do any thing to attain it."

"Bonaparte was right in what he said of Necker's daughter," said Fouché, musingly, "and there is no doubt it adds wonderfully to a woman's head, that she has no heart. And now, the price, Master Lajolais; remember that our treasury received some deadly wounds lately—what is to be the price?"

"It may be a smart one; she is not likely to be a cheap purchase."

"In the event of success—I mean of such proof as may enable us to arrest Moreau, and commit him to prison—" He stopped as he got thus far, and paused for some seconds—"Bethink you, then, Lajolais," said he, "what a grand step this would be, and how terrible the consequences if undertaken on rash or insufficient grounds. Moreau's popularity with the[Pg 781] army is only second to one man's! His unambitious character has made him many friends; he has few, very few enemies."

"But you need not push matters to the last—an implied, but not a proven guilt would be enough; and you can pardon him!"

"Ay, Lajolais, but who would pardon us?" cried Fouché, carried beyond all the bounds of his prudence, by the thought of a danger so imminent. "Well, well, let us come back; the price—will that do?" And taking up a pen he scratched some figures on a piece of paper.

Lajolais smiled dubiously, and added a unit to the left of the sum.

"What! a hundred and fifty thousand francs!" cried Fouché.

"And a cheap bargain, too," said the other; "for, after all, it is only the price of a ticket in the Lottery, of which the great prize is General Ney!"

"You say truly," said the Minister; "be it so."

"Write your name there, then," said Lajolais, "beneath those figures; that will be warranty sufficient for my negotiation, and leave the rest to me."

"Nature evidently meant you for a Chef-de-Police, Master Lajolais."

"Or a cardinal! Monsieur le Ministre," said the other, as he folded up the paper, a little insignificant slip, scrawled over with a few figures, and an almost illegible word; and yet pregnant with infamy to one, banishment to another, ruin and insanity to a third.

This sad record need not be carried further. It is far from a pleasant task to tell of baseness unredeemed by one trait of virtue—of treachery, unrepented even by regret. History records Moreau's unhappy destiny—the pages of private memoir tell of Ney's disastrous connection; our own humble reminiscences speak of poor Mahon's fate, the least known of all, but the most sorrowful victim of a woman's treachery!




One night in midsummer, a long, long time ago—so long ago that I may not venture to assign the date—the moon shone down, as it might have done last night, over the wild, lone shore of Loch Dochart. Upon a little promontory on its southern margin stood a girl, meanly clad, wasted, and wayworn. In her arms she bore a little babe, wrapped up in the folds of a plaid; and as she bent her thin, pallid face over that of the child, her rich, long, yellow hair fell in a shower around her, unconfined either by snood or curch. One might have taken her for Magdalene, in her withered beauty, her penitence, and her grief; but other than Magdalene, in her passionate despair. She looked around her, and a shudder shook her feeble frame. Was it the chill of the night mist?—it might be; for as her eye wandered away toward the hills beyond, northward, the mists were creeping along their sides, and she saw the moonlight gleaming on a lowly cot, amid a fir grove. 'Twas the home of her parents, the home of her happy childhood, her innocent youth. She looked again at the little one in her bosom; it slept, but a spasm of pain wrung its pale, pinched, sharp features. It appeared to be feeble and pining, for sleepless nights and days of grief and tears had turned the milk of the mother to gall and poison, and the little innocent drank in death—death, the fruit of sin in all climes and ages. Gently she laid the little one by the margent of the water, amid the green rushes; and the breeze of night sweeping by murmured plaintively to them, and caused them to sigh, and rock to and fro around the infant. Then the poor mother withdrew a space from the babe, and sat her down upon a white stone, and covered her face with her long, thin, bloodless hands. She said in her heart, as Hagar said, "Let me not see the death of the child." And she wept sore, for the poor girl loved the babe, as a mother, like her, only can love her babe, with a wild, passionate, absorbing love, for it is her all, her pearl of great price, which she has bought with name and fame, with home and friends, with health and happiness, with earth, and, it may be, with heaven. And she thought bitterly over that happy home, where, a few months since, in the gloaming of the autumn's eve, she sat on the heathery braes, and tripped along the brink of the warbling burn, or milked the kine in the byre, or sang to her spinning-wheel beside her mother, near the ingle. Next came the recollection of one who sat beside her in the braes, and strayed with her down the burn; who won her heart with his false words, and drew her from the holy shelter of her father's roof, to leave her in her desolation among the southern strangers. And now, with the faithfulness—though not with the purity or trustfulness—of the dove, she was returning over the waste of the world's dark waters to that ark which had sheltered her early years—from which no father had sent her forth. The ark is in sight; but the poor bird is weary from her flight, and she would even now willingly fold her wings and sink down amid the waters, for she is full of shame, and fear, and sorrow. Ah! will her father "put forth his hand and take her in, and pull her in unto him into the ark," with the glory of her whiteness defiled, her plumage ruffled and drooping? Ah! will her mother draw her again to nestle within her bosom, when she sees the dark stain upon her breast, once so pure and spotless? The poor girl wept as she thought these things—at first wild and bitterly, but at length her sorrow became gentler, and her soul more calm, for her heavy heart was relieved by the tears that seemed to have gushed straight up from it, as the dark clouds are lightened when the rain pours from them. And so she sobbed and mused in the cold, dreary night, till her thoughts wandered and her vision grew dim, and she sank down in slumber—a slumber like that of childhood, sweet and deep. And she dreamed that angels, pure and white, stood around: and, oh! strange and charming, they looked not on her as the unfallen ones of the[Pg 782] world—the pure and the sinless in their own sight—looked upon her through the weary days of her humiliation—scornfully, loathingly, pitilessly; but their sweet eyes were bent upon her full of ruth, and gentleness, and love; and tears like dew-pearls fell from those mild and lustrous orbs upon her brow and bosom, as those beautiful beings hung over her, and those tears calmed her poor wild brain, and each, where it fell upon her bosom, washed away a stain. Then the angels took the little one from her breast, and spread their wings as if for flight; but she put forth her arms to regain her child, and one of the bright beings repressed her gently, and said,

"It may not be—the babe goes with us."

Then said she to the angel, "Suffer me also to go with my child, that I may be with it and tend it ever."

But the angel said, in a voice of sweet and solemn earnestness, "Not yet—not yet. Thou mayest not come with us now, but in a little while shalt thou rejoin us, and this our little sister."

And the dreamer thought that they rose slowly on the moonlit air, as the light clouds float before a gentle breeze at evening; then the child stretched forth its arms toward her with a plaintive cry, and she awoke and sprang forward to where her child lay. The waters of the lake rippled over the feet of the mother, but the babe lay beyond in the rushes at the point of the promontory where she had laid it. The bewildered mother essayed to spring across the stream that now flowed between her and the island, but in vain; her strength failed her, and as she sank to the earth she beheld the island floating slowly away upon the waveless bosom of the lake, while eldritch laughter rang from out the rushes, mingled with sweet tiny voices soothing with a fairy lullaby the cries of the babe that came fainter and fainter on the ears of the bereaved mother, as the little hands of the elfin crew impelled the floating island over the surface of Loch Dochart.

Some herdsmen going forth in the early morning found a girl apparently lifeless lying on the edge of the lake. She was recognized and brought to her early home. When she opened her eyes her parents stood before her. No word of anger passed from the lips of her father, though his eye was clouded and his head was bowed down with sorrow and humiliation. Her mother took the girl's head and laid it on her bosom—as she had done when she was a little guileless child—and wept, and kissed her, and prayed over her. Then after a time she came to know those around her and where she was, and she started up and looked restlessly around, and cried out with a loud and wild cry, "My child! Where is my child!"

Near the spot where she had been discovered was found a portion of a baby's garment. The people feared the child had been drowned, and searched the loch along its shores. Nothing, however, was found which could justify their suspicions; but, to the astonishment of the searchers, they discovered in the midst of the lake a small island, about fifty feet in length, and more than half that in width, covered with rushes and water-plants. No one had ever seen it before, and when they returned with others to show the wonder, they found that it had sensibly changed its position. The home-returned wanderer whispered into her mother's ear all her sin and all her sorrow. Then she pined away day by day. And when the moon was again full in the heavens, she stole forth in the gloaming. She was missed in the morning, and searched for during many days, but no trace could be found of her. At length some fishermen passing by the floating island, scared a large kite from the rushes, and discovered the decaying body of the hapless girl. How she had reached the island none could say—whether it drifted sufficiently near the land to enable her to wade to it in her search for her babe, and then floated out again from the shore; or whether beings of whom peasants fear to speak had brought her there. The latter conjecture was, of course, the one more generally adopted by the people, and there are those who say that at midnight, when the moon shines down at the full upon Loch Dochart, he who has sharp ears may hear the cry of a baby mingling with elfish laughter and sweet low songs from amidst the plants and rushes of the floating island.


From the reign of Peter the Great to the present moment, exile to Siberia as a punishment for political offenses, has been of constant recurrence, and most of the romance of Russian history is connected with the frozen steppes of that country. To enumerate all the illustrious names that have swelled the list of exiles up to the reign of Alexander, would be to write the history of the innumerable conspiracies which at various periods have shaken the throne of Russia, of the cruel caprices of a race of absolute and unscrupulous despots, and of the various individual passions which, under governments such as that of Russia, can always find means of making the public authorities the avengers of private hatreds. From the reign of Alexander up to the present time, sentence of exile to Siberia for political offenses has perhaps been more frequently pronounced than before; and as within this period the victims have mostly suffered for opinions, not for criminal deeds, and in many instances for opinions which, judged from the point of view of absolute right, must be pronounced to be noble and generous, though, in opposition to the reigning system in the country, the fate of these exiles has elicited the sympathy of Europe in a far higher degree than was ever called forth by the fall of court favorites, whose change of fortune was generally caused by an inordinate and selfish ambition. That to the latter, life in Siberia was but a succession of hardships, privations, and humiliations, history affirms; but what may be the fate of the exiles in the present day, there are no more authentic means of ascertaining than the narratives of the few west Europeans who have visited Siberia,[Pg 783] and the inferences which may be drawn from the general system of convict colonization followed in the country, and from the spirit which pervades society there.

A regular system of convict colonization was commenced in 1754, during the reign of the Empress Elizabeth, who was too tender-hearted to sign the death-warrant even of the most atrocious criminal, though she tolerated and countenanced the most barbarous cruelties; but it was carried on without any attention to the necessities of the various localities, and was found not to work as favorably as might be desired. The existing irregularities having been brought to light, by the census taken in Siberia in 1819, new regulations were issued in 1822; and these were further improved upon in 1840, and brought into harmony with the improved penal code of the country. Notwithstanding the energetic endeavors of Peter the Great to force European civilization upon his people, he took little pains with regard to the necessary preliminary process of humanizing the penal laws of the country, and the most barbarous and degrading punishments continued, during his and several subsequent reigns, to be inflicted on persons of all ranks and both sexes. Torture in its most cruel forms was frequently applied, and the bodies of the criminals mutilated in the most inhuman manner, their noses and ears being cut off, and their tongues torn out by the root. Under the reign of Catharine II., mitigations were, however, introduced: torture was abolished, and the nobles, as also the burghers of the two first guilds, were exempted from corporeal punishment. The cruel and capricious Paul I., however, again gave to the world the sad and degrading spectacle of individuals of high social position and refined education wincing under the lash of the executioner; and to this day the knout and the cat-o'-nine-tails are reckoned among the instruments of correction in Russia. The punishments, as regulated by law at present, consist, according to the nature of the offense committed, in money fines, restitution, church penitence, loss of office, forfeiture of privileges and of honor, and in corporeal punishments of various kinds and degrees—regarding which it is, however, expressly stipulated that the sentence must not contain a recommendation "to flog without mercy," as was formerly the case—and in banishment to Siberia, which, in case of heinous offenses, is further sharpened by forced labor in the mines and manufactories. Capital punishment is reintroduced, but for crimes of high treason only, and is even in such cases but very rarely applied. From the execution of the Cossack rebel Pugatscher, which took place in Moscow, in 1775, fifty years elapsed before sentence of death was again pronounced in Russia, when five of the leaders of the insurrection of 1826, which had nearly deprived the Emperor Nicholas of the throne to which he had just succeeded, were sentenced to lose their lives at the hands of the hangman. The knout, in addition to hard labor for life in the mines of Siberia, is the general substitute for capital punishment; and up to 1822, all criminals under this last sentence were branded on the forehead, though the practice of slitting up the ears and nostrils, which continued in force until the reign of Alexander, was discontinued. In cases when the criminals are condemned to banishment for life, the sentence may be rendered still more rigorous by condemnation to civil death, in which cases alone the families of the convicts are not allowed to follow them into exile, and they are neither allowed to receive nor to write letters.

Kasan, in which city there is a bureau of dispatch for exiles, is the starting point of the detachments of convicts and exiles which periodically leave Russia for Siberia—their halting-places being indicated along the line of route by large four-winged wooden buildings, with yellow walls and red roofs, and surrounded by a stout palisade, erected at every post-station opposite the crown post-house. According to the improved regulations of 1840, the convicts condemned to forced labor are not allowed to travel in company with the criminals of lesser degree destined for immediate colonization, as was previously the case, but are sent in separate detachments, care being also taken that several days shall elapse between the departures of the successive detachments, so as to preclude all possibility of contact on the road. As far as can be judged from the very imperfect records which are available, the number of convicts transported to Siberia up to the year 1818 averaged 2500 yearly; but among these it may be presumed were not numbered the political exiles. In the year 1819, 3141 persons were transported; in 1820, the number swelled to 4051; and from that period until 1823, the annual number was from 4000 to 5000. In 1823 a ukase was issued, ordering that all vagrants who had until then been subjected to forced labor in the fortresses should in future be sent to Siberia as colonists. This of course greatly augmented the number transported; and during the period of six years which elapsed from the date of this ukase to 1829, 64,035 persons, or 10,067 individuals annually, were sent to people these uncultivated wilds. Among these, persons convicted of vagrancy only were, however, in a great majority, the number of criminal offenders condemned to hard labor, amounting only to one-seventh of the whole number. The number of women in proportion to that of the men was one to ten. The convicts travel on foot, all being, on starting, supplied with clothing at the public expense. The men walk in pairs; but, except in cases of extreme criminality, are rarely burdened with fetters during the journey. When passing through towns, however, irons are generally attached to their ankles, and every attempt at escape is punished with corporeal chastisement, without any reference to the cause of exile or the former social position of the individual. To each detachment are generally attached some wagons or sledges for the women, the aged, and the infirm; and these usually lead the van, the younger men following, and the whole party, commonly numbering from fifty to sixty indi[Pg 784]viduals, being escorted from station to station by a detachment of the Cossacks stationed in the villages. That a journey of several thousand wersts on foot, and through such a country as Siberia, must cause much suffering, can not be doubted; but the stations are not at very great distances from each other, and travelers agree in asserting that the ostrogs—that is, fortified places—in which the convicts rest from their fatigues, afford as comfortable accommodation as any post-house throughout Siberia; besides which the inhabitants of the towns and villages through which they pass, either from that perverse sympathy which so frequently leads the unthinking masses to look upon a doomed felon as upon a victim of oppression, or from a knowledge of how many sufferers for mere opinion may be mixed up with the really guilty individuals in the troop, contribute in every way in their power to mitigate the hardships of their position. The officer commanding the escort is intrusted with the sum stipulated by law for the daily subsistence of each convict, and this must never, under any pretense, pass into the hands of the latter. Many tales are told of the barbarous treatment to which the exiles are subjected during their passage to their various places of destination; but this, it would seem, must be attributed to the general brutality of the men forming the escort, and not to any desire in the government to render in an indirect way the punishment of the condemned more severe than expressed in the terms of the sentence; though in these cases, as in all others, it is of course the despotic character of the government in Russia which prevents the complaints of the oppressed from being heard, and thus perpetuates all abuses.

The convicts who have committed heinous offenses, such as murder, burglary, highway robbery, or who have been judged guilty of high treason, and are banished for life and condemned to forced labor, are chiefly under the superintendence of the governor of Irkutsk, who determines whether they are to be employed in the mines and salt-works, or in the distilleries, or other manufactories of the crown. For each of these convicts government allows thirty-six paper rubles yearly; but the price of the necessaries of life being in Siberia so very low that the half of this suffices for the support of the convict, the other half goes to form a fund which, in case, after the lapse of four or six years, he gives proofs of reform, is given to him to begin life with in some part of the wide-spread steppes which admits of cultivation, and where a certain portion of land and materials for building a house are assigned to him. The house must, however, be erected by his own labor, and the money laid by for him be applied to the purchasing of the necessary utensils and implements for commencing house-keeping and agricultural pursuits. From this moment the convicts become glebæ adscripti in the strictest sense of the term, as they are, under no pretense whatsoever, allowed to quit the lands assigned to them, or to change their condition; thenceforward also they pay the capitation tax and other imposts in like manner as the other crown peasants of Siberia, and enjoy in return the same rights, such as they are. The children of these convicts, born during the parents' period of punishment, are bound to the soil; but their names are not enrolled among those of the exiles, and the law orders that they shall be treated in the same manner as the overseers of the works.

The second class of convicts is subdivided into five classes, namely, 1. Exiles sentenced to labor in the manufactories; 2. Those sentenced to form part of the labor companies engaged on the public works; 3. Those allowed to work at their respective trades; 4. Those hired out as domestic servants; and 5. Those destined to become colonists. The last-mentioned of these are at once established on the waste lands allotted to them, each person obtaining an area of not less than thirty acres, and being besides furnished with materials for building a house, with a cow, some sheep, agricultural implements, and seed corn. During the first three years these settlers are exempted from all imposts; during the next seven years they pay half the usual amount of taxes, and in addition to this, fifteen silver copeks annually toward an economical fund erected for their benefit. After the lapse of these ten years they take their rank among the other crown peasants, and are subjected to the same burdens. Except when especially pardoned, these colonists are not either allowed to change their condition, or arbitrarily to quit the lands allotted to them. Colonization, according to this system, being found excessively expensive, and at the same time very precarious, on account of the frequent desertion of the colonists, who, living without families, were bound by no ties, was given up in 1822, but has since been resumed. In order to promote the speedy amalgamation of the convict population with the free population, the government bestows on every free woman who marries one of these colonists a donation of fifty silver rubles; while the free man who takes to wife a female convict receives a donation of fifteen rubles. Persons enjoying the privilege of collecting gold from the sands of the government of Tomsk, and who employ convicts for the washings, are bound to pay, in addition to the daily wages, one ruble and fifteen copeks in silver toward the economical fund. The convicts employed as domestic servants are fed by their employers, and receive in wages one silver ruble and a half per month. After eight years of such compulsory service, these exiles may also become colonists, and be enrolled among the peasants of the crown. Convict colonists may, should the authorities deem it expedient, be allowed to work at trades in the towns, but they must not become members of corporations or guilds, and must never be considered as being withdrawn from their condition of colonists.

The convicts condemned to forced labor, and employed in the manufactories, are the most leniently dealt with of this class, their position being, indeed, such as to render the sentence a[Pg 785] reward rather than a punishment. In the manufactories of Telma more than eight hundred convicts are employed, who receive in wages, according to the work executed by them, from six to fifty rubles per month, besides bread flour; and their wives, who dwell in the village, earn from two and a half to five rubles per month by spinning and weaving hemp. The convicts employed in manufactories, and receiving wages, are, however, generally such as have previously been under stricter discipline, and are in a state of transition toward the position of liberated colonists. In several towns of Siberia there are establishments for them during the first stage of their punishment. In these establishments, called Remeslenui Dom, or the House of Trades, the convicts are employed as joiners, turners, saddlers, wheelwrights, smiths, &c., and are housed, clothed, and fed at the public expense, but do not receive wages, their wives and children finding employment in other ways. All orders must be addressed to the officers intrusted with the superintendence of the establishments; but persons having work executed there are at liberty to enter the workshops, and to communicate directly with the different craftsmen, who are not chained, but are guarded by military. In winter, the hours of labor are eight, in summer, twelve. The proceeds of the labor of the convicts go to pay the expenses of the establishment, and the surplus is applied to charitable purposes, such as the building and maintenance of hospitals. The convict laborers in the mines of the Ural, as well as those of Nertchynsk, dwell together in large barrack-like buildings, the worst criminals among them being alone chained; but owing to the unhealthy nature of the mines, particularly those of Nertchynsk, their existence is a very miserable one. The usual term of compulsory labor in the mines is twenty years, at the expiration of which the convicts are generally established as colonists in the vicinity of the mines, and continue to labor in them, but as free laborers, receiving wages. In case there be at any time a scarcity of mining laborers, the authorities are at liberty to apply to this purpose exiles who have not been especially sentenced to this punishment; but in such cases the exiles are paid for their labor, and are not confined to the mines for more than one year, which counts, besides, for two years of exile. Upon the whole, great latitude is allowed the central and local authorities in Siberia with regard to the employment and allocation of the convicts and exiles, it being merely laid down as a general rule that agricultural settlements shall always be made in the least populous districts of the localities capable of cultivation. It seems also to be the plan, as far as possible, to put each man to the work which he is most competent to execute; and the exiles belonging to the laboring classes are therefore, in preference, established as agricultural colonists, while those belonging to the higher classes, who are unaccustomed to manual labor, are generally located in the towns, where it is easier for them to find some means of subsistence, which may relieve the government from the burden of their support. Even independently of the political exiles, the number of the latter is great, for exile is the punishment which usually follows the detection of those peculations and abuses of power of which the Russian officials are so frequently guilty. On their first arrival, it seems, the exiles of this class are made to do penance in the churches, under the guardianship of the police, but after a time they are allowed to go about unguarded; and it is said that, when exiled for life, the Russians even of high birth bear the change of fortune with extraordinary equanimity, assimilating in a very short time, and without any apparent struggle, to the Cossacks and peasants among whom they are thrown. When, as is frequently the case, they marry Siberian women, their children in no way differ from the people among whom they live. In the city of Tobolsk, in particular, there are a great many exiles belonging to the class of unfaithful employés, the sentence being considered less rigorous the nearer the place of exile to the frontiers of Russia Proper. Political exiles are, on the contrary, sent further north and east, where the nature of the surrounding country is such as to make an attempt at flight impossible, or at least very difficult. The hardships to which these exiles are subjected seem, in by far the greater number of cases, to be exclusively such as are necessarily connected with their being torn away from all they hold dear, and transplanted from the luxurious life of European society (for these exiles mostly belong to the higher classes) to the uncultivated wilds and rigorous climate of a country but very partially redeemed from a state of nature; but the tenderest sympathies of the natives of all races seem, by all accounts, to be readily bestowed upon the exiles, who, whatever be the nature of the offense of which they have been guilty, are never named by a harsher term than that of "unfortunates." In many cases the lot of the political exiles is also mitigated by the kindness of the local authorities, who allow them the use of books and other indulgences, and even receive them as friends in their houses, when this can be done without risk of giving offense at St. Petersburg.

As in Russia nothing with which the government is concerned can be commented on by the press without especial permission, it is difficult to ascertain correctly how far the system followed in Siberia works beneficially as regards the moral reformation of the criminals, and their relations to society in general. The accounts of travelers are very conflicting—some extolling the extreme leniency with which even the worst offenders are treated, as the ne plus ultra of social policy, and dwelling with delight on its happy results; while others consider it disastrous in its consequences, and relate instances of the most atrocious crimes committed by the convicts, and of whole tracts of country in which life and property have been rendered insecure by their presence. The statistics of Siberia, however, prove the country to be improving; and all trav[Pg 786]elers agree as to the freedom from molestation which they have experienced while traversing its immeasurable steppes; and it is therefore but fair to conclude, that though the attempt at moral reformation may be unsuccessful in many instances, in general convict colonization has here borne good fruits. That great severity in the chastisement of new transgressions has been found necessary, is on the other side proved by the penal laws bearing exclusively on Siberia. According to these laws, drunkenness, fighting, idleness, theft of articles of small value, unallowed absence from the place of detention, are considered venial offenses, and are punished with from ten to forty lashes with the cat-o'-nine-tails; while desertion among the colonists is punished, the first time with simple flogging, the second and third time with the cat-o'-nine-tails. If the offense be persisted in after this, sentence is to be pronounced by the local tribunals, and often consists in temporary removement to some distant and thinly-populated district, or incorporation in one of the penal labor companies. Convicts condemned to hard labor who attempt to escape are punished with the knout, and are branded on the forehead, in case this mark of ignominy have not previously been inflicted on them. Repeated thefts, robberies, and other like offenses are punished in the same way as desertion; but in these cases the value of the object stolen is not so much taken into consideration as the motives by which the criminals are actuated, and the number of times the offense has been repeated. A fourth repetition by an exile of a crime previously punished renders him liable to forty lashes with the knout, and to being placed in the category of the convicts condemned to forced labor. Murder, highway robbery, and incendiarism are, if the offender be a simple exile, punished with from thirty-five to fifty lashes with the knout, in addition to branding on the forehead, and forced labor in irons for a period of not less than three years—the term beyond this being left to the judgment of the local tribunals. The convict condemned to forced labor who renders himself guilty of similar crimes receives fifty-five lashes of the knout, is branded on the forehead, and is chained to the wall of a prison for five years, after which period he is allowed to move about, but must continue to wear fetters during his life. Criminals of this class are never to be employed beyond the prison walls, and are not even in illness to be taken into the open air beyond the prison-yard, or to be relieved from their chains, except by especial permission of the superior authorities, which can only be granted in consequence of a medical certificate.

The river Irtysh is the Styx of the Siberian Hades: from the moment they cross the ferry in the neighborhood of the city of Tobolsk, the Russian employés appointed to offices in Siberia are placed in the enjoyment of the higher grade of rank which they so much covet; and from the moment they cross this same ferry commences the extinction of the political life of the exiles. Here they exchange the name by which, until then, they have been known in the world, for one bestowed upon them by the authorities, and any change of the latter is punished with five years' compulsory labor over and above the original sentence. At Tobolsk sits the board which decides the final destination of each culprit or each martyr. It consists of a president and assessors, having under them a chancellerie divided into two sections, and has offices of dispatch in several of the towns of Siberia. Before their arrival at Tobolsk the convicts are, however, liable to be detained by the authorities of Kasan or Perm, for the public works, in their respective governments.

It is as the land of political exile that Siberia is generally known, and that it has gained so unenviable a reputation among the liberty-loving nations of Europe, whose imagination pictures it to them as a vast unredeemable desert, whose icy atmosphere chills the breath of life, and petrifies the soul. Yet the truly benevolent should rejoice in circumstances which have led a government that punishes a dissentient word as severely as the direst crime, to select exile as the extreme penalty of the law. Siberia is, it is true, the great prison-house of Russia; but it is a prison-house through which the blessed light of the sun shines, through which the free air of plain and mountain plays, and in which the prisoner, though he may not labor in a self-elected field, may still devote his faculties to the benefit of his fellow-creatures, and continue the great task of moral and intellectual progress. How different his lot from that of the Austrian prisoner of state, doomed to drag on long years of a miserable existence in the dungeons of Spielberg, or some other fortress, severed from all intercourse with the world beyond his prison-walls, deprived even of the light of day, and left in solitude and forced idleness to brood over his dark and despairing thoughts.


One of the most wonderful characteristics of scientific discovery is the singular way in which every advance connects itself with past phases of progress. Each new victory over the stubborn properties of matter not only gives man increase of power on its own account, but also reacts on older conquests, and makes them more productive. Thirty years ago, Davy and Arago observed that iron-filings became magnetic when lying near a wire that was carrying a current of galvanic electricity. Since then powerful temporary magnets have been made for various purposes by surrounding bars of soft iron by coils of copper-wire, and transmitting electric currents through these. In fact, it has been ascertained that iron always becomes a magnet when electricity is passed round it. The alarm-bells of the electric telegraphs are set ringing by a simple application of this principle. A conducting wire is made to run for hundreds of miles, and then coils itself round an iron bar. Electric currents are sent at will through the hundreds of miles of wire, and the inert iron becomes an act[Pg 787]ive magnet. Observe the clerk in the Telegraph Office at London. When he jerks the handle that is before him, he turns on a stream of electricity that runs to Liverpool or Edinburgh, as the case may be. In either of those places a piece of iron that is twisted round with the extremity of the wire becomes a magnet for an instant, and attracts to itself a steel armature that is connected with a train of wheel-work. The motion of the armature, as it is drawn up to the magnet, sets free a spring that was before kept quiet; and this gives token of its freedom by making an alarm-bell to ring. The clerk in London awakens the attention of the clerk in Edinburgh by turning a piece of soft iron placed near to the latter into a magnet for a few seconds. He is able to do this because currents of electricity induce magnetism in iron. This, and this alone, is the secret principle to which he is indebted for the wonderful power that enables him to annihilate space when he instantaneously attracts the attention of an ear hundreds of miles away.

It has recently been announced that this electro-magnetic induction has been made a means for the instantaneous registration of astronomical observations. We have already to draw attention to another practical application of the principle. M. Niklès has just invented an arrangement of apparatus that enables him to make the wheels of locomotives bite the rails with any degree of force without increasing the weight that has to be carried to the extent of a single grain. Our readers are aware that in wet weather the driving-wheels of locomotives often slip round upon the rail without acquiring the power of moving the weight that is attached behind them. Whenever they are asked to ascend inclined planes with a weight that is beyond the adhesive powers of their wheels this result invariably follows; and the only practical escape from the difficulty hitherto has been the adoption of one of two expedients—either to increase their own intrinsic weight, so that the earth's attraction might bind the wheels down more firmly, or to let the railway be level and the load to be dragged proportionally light. In either of these cases a waste of power is experienced. Power is either expended in moving a superfluous load, or the same amount of power drags less weight even upon a level rail than it otherwise could upon an ascending one, that would have required less outlay in its construction. It therefore becomes a great desideratum to find some means of making the locomotive wheels bite more tenaciously without increasing the load they have to carry. The important problem of how to do this it is that M. Niklès has solved.

If our readers will take a common horse-shoe magnet, and slide the connecting slip of steel that rests upon its ends backward and forward, they will feel that the slip sticks to the magnet with a certain degree of force. M. Niklès' plan is to convert the wheel of the locomotive into a magnet, and make it stick to the iron rail by a like adhesion. This he does by placing a galvanic battery under the body of the engine. A wire coming from the poles of this battery is then coiled horizontally round the lower part of the wheel, close to the rail, but in such a way that the wheel turns round freely within it, fresh portions of its circumference coming continually into relation with the coil. The part of the wheel in immediate contact with the rail is thus made magnetic, and therefore has a strong adhesion for the surface along which it moves—and the amount of the adhesion may be increased or diminished at any time, by merely augmenting or reducing the intensity of the galvanic current that circulates through the surrounding coil. By means of a handle the electricity may be turned on or off, and an effectual break be thus brought into activity that can make the iron rail smooth or adhesive according to the requirements of the instant, and this without in any way interfering with the free rotation of the wheels as the friction-breaks of necessity do. Increased adhesion is effected by augmented pressure, but the pressure results from an attraction that is altogether independent of weight. The lower portion of the wheel for the time being is in exactly the same condition as a bar of soft iron placed within a coil of wire circulating electricity. But as it rises up out of the coil during the rotation of the wheel, it grows less and less magnetic, the descending portions of the opposite side of the circumference acquiring increased magnetic power in the like degree.

M. Niklès' experiments have been made with large locomotives in full operation; and he states as the result, that the velocity of the wheel's motion does not in any way affect the development of the magnetic force. He finds the condition of the rail, as regards wetness or dryness, to be quite unimportant to the success of his apparatus, and he has already managed by its aid to achieve an ascent as rapid as one in five.


Geraldine Delisle was the year previous to the late Revolution, which in one day shattered one of the great monarchies of the earth, the reigning belle in her circle. Lovely in form and face, she wanted but to correct some trifling defects of character to be perfect. But if she had large black eyes and massive brow, and beautiful hair and white teeth—if she had a lily-white hand and tiny feet, she knew it too well, and knew the power of her charms over man. She loved admiration, and never was so happy as when in a ball-room all the men were almost disputing for the honor of her hand. But Geraldine had no declared suitor; she never gave the slightest encouragement to any one. Many offered themselves, but they were invariably rejected, until at twenty her parents began to be alarmed at the prospect of her never marrying. M. and Mme Delisle had found so much genuine happiness in marriage—the only natural state for adult human beings—that they had promoted the early marriage of two sons and an elder daughter; and now that Geraldine alone[Pg 788] remained, they earnestly desired to see her well and happily married before they died. They received numerous offers: but the young girl had such winning ways with her parents, that when she declared that she did not like the proposer, they never had courage to insist.

During the season of 1847 Geraldine never missed a party or ball. She never tired as long as there was music to listen to, and it was generally very nearly morning before she gained her home. About the middle of the season she was sitting by her mother's side in the splendid salons of the Princess Menzikoff. She had been dancing, and her late partner was saying a few words, to which she scarcely made any reply. Her eyes were fixed upon a gentleman, who, after observing her for some time, had turned away in search of some one. He was the handsomest man she had ever seen in her life, and she was curious to know who he was. A little above the middle height, slight, pale, with great eyes, soft in repose like those of a woman, he had at once interested Geraldine, who, like most women, could excuse every bad feature in a man save insipid or unmeaning eyes; and she asked her mother who he was.

"He's a very bad man," said Mme Delisle. "Of noble family, rich, titled, young, and handsome, he is celebrated only for his follies. He throws away thousands on very questionable pleasures, and has the unpardonable fault, in my eyes of always ridiculing marriage."

"I can not forgive him for ridiculing marriage, mamma, but I can excuse him for not wishing to marry."

"My dear, a man who dislikes marriage is never a good man. A woman may from caprice or from many motives object to marrying, but a man, except when under the influence of hopeless affection—and men have rarely feeling enough for this—always must be a husband to be a good citizen."

"Ah, mamma, you have been so happy that you think all must be so; but you see many who are not."

"Mme Delisle," said the Princess Menzikoff, who unperceived had come round to her, "allow me to introduce you to my friend Alfred de Rougement. I must not call him count, he being what we call a democrat with a clean face and white kid-gloves."

"The princess is always satirical," replied M. de Rougement smiling; "and my harmless opposition to the government now in power, and which she honors with her patronage; is all her ground for so terrible an announcement."

Mme Delisle and Geraldine both started and colored, and when Alfred de Rougement proposed for the next dance, was accepted, though next minute the mother would gladly have found any excuse to have prevented her daughter from dancing. Alfred de Rougement was the very "bad man" whom she had the instant before been denouncing. But it was now too late. From that evening Geraldine never went to a ball without meeting Alfred. She received many invitations from most unexpected quarters, but as surely as she went she found her new admirer, who invited her to dance as often as he could without breaking the rules of etiquette. And yet he rarely spoke; the dance once over, he brought her back to her mother's side, and left her without saying a word, coming back when his turn came again with clockwork regularity. In their drives Mme Delisle and Geraldine were always sure to meet him. Scarcely was the carriage rolling up the Champs Elysées before he was on horseback within sight. He merely bowed as he passed, however, keeping constantly in sight without endeavoring to join them.

One evening, though invited to an early soirée and to a late ball, during dinner they changed their mind, and decided on going to the Opera at the very opening, to hear some favorite music which Geraldine very much admired. They had not yet risen from dessert when a note came from Alfred de Rougement, offering them his box, one of the best in the house!

"Why he is a regular Monte Christo," cried Mme Delisle impatiently. "How can he know our movements so well?"

"He must have bribed some one of the servants," replied Geraldine; "we talked just now of where we were going before they left the room."

"But what does he mean?" said Mme Delisle. "Is he going to give up his enmity to marriage, and propose for you!"

"I don't know, mamma," exclaimed the daughter, coloring very much; "but he may spare himself the trouble."

"Geraldine—Geraldine! you will always then make me unhappy!" said her mother, shaking her head.

"But you can not want me to marry Alfred? You told me every thing against him yourself."

"But if he is going to marry and be steady, I owe him an apology. But go and dress; you want to hear the overture."

They went to Alfred's box—father, mother, and daughter. But though in the house, he scarcely came near them. He came in to inquire after their health, claimed Geraldine's hand for the opening quadrille at the soirée to which they were going after the opera, and went away. The young girl rather haughtily accepted his offer, and then turned round to attend to the music and singing.

Next day, to the astonishment of both M. and Mme Delisle, Alfred de Rougement proposed for the hand of their daughter, expressing the warmest admiration for her, and declaring with earnestness that the happiness of his whole life depended on her decision. Geraldine was referred to. She at once refused him, giving no reason, but expressing regret that she could not share his sentiments. The young man cast one look of reproach at her, rose, and went away without a word. When he was gone she explained to her parents, that though in time she thought she should have liked him, she did not admire[Pg 789] his mode of paying his addresses; she thought he ought to have spoken to her first. Mme Delisle replied, that she now very much admired him, and liked his straightforward manner; but Geraldine stopped the conversation by reminding her that he was rejected, and that all discussion was now useless.

That evening Geraldine danced several times with her cousin Edouard Delisle, a young man who for a whole year had paid his addresses to her. They were at a house in the Faubourg St. Germain, where the ball-room opened into a splendid conservatory. Geraldine was dressed in white, with one beautiful rose in her hair, its only ornament. Edouard had been dancing with her, and now sat down by her side. They had never been so completely alone. They occupied a corner near the end, with a dense mass of trees behind them and a tapestry door. Edouard once again spoke of his love and passion, vowed that if she would not consent to be his he should never be happy; all this in a tone which showed how fully he expected to be again refused.

"If you can get mamma's consent, Edouard," she replied quickly, "I am not unwilling to be your wife."

Edouard rose from his seat and stood before her the picture of astonishment. Geraldine rose at the same time.

"But where is your rose?" said the young man, still scarcely able to speak with surprise.

"It is gone—cut away with a knife!" replied she thoughtfully; "but never mind; let us look for mamma."

Edouard took her arm, and in a few minutes the whole family were united. The young man drew his uncle away from a card-table, saying that Geraldine wished to go home. After handing his aunt and cousin to their carriage, he got in after them, quite an unusual thing for him.

"Why, Edouard, you are going out of your way," said the father.

"I know it. But I can not wait until to-morrow. M. Delisle, will you give me your daughter's hand? Geraldine has given her consent."

"My dear girl," exclaimed her mother, "why did you not tell us this before? You would have saved us so much pain, and your other suitors the humiliation of being rejected."

"I did not make up my mind until this evening," replied Geraldine. "I do not think I should have accepted him to-morrow. But he was cunning enough to come and propose before I had time for reflection."

"You will then authorize me to accept him?" said M. Delisle.

"I have accepted him, papa," replied Geraldine.

That evening Edouard entered the house with them, and sat talking for some time. When he went away, he had succeeded in having the wedding fixed for that day-month. Geraldine looked pale the next day; and when her mamma noticed it, said that she should go to no more parties, as she wished to look well the day she was married, and expressed a wish to go on excursions into the country instead. Mme Delisle freely acquiesced, Edouard came to dinner, looking much pleased, but still under the influence of the astonishment which had not yet been effaced from his plump and rosy face.

"Why, what do you think?" he said toward the end of the dinner, "Alfred de Rougement has left Paris. All his servants were dismissed this morning, and his steward received orders to meet him at Constantinople."

"Indeed?" replied Mme Delisle, gravely, while Geraldine turned deadly pale. "But this room is too close for you, my child."

"No, mamma," said she, quietly; "but we are forgetting all about our excursions. I should like to go to Versailles to-morrow, and take all the pretty places round Paris in turn."

"Bon!" cried Edouard; "that suits me. I shall be with you early, for I suppose you will go in the morning?"

"I want to breakfast at Versailles," replied Geraldine; "so we must go to bed early."

"That I vote to be an admirable proposition. At eleven I will go. But you are going to practice the new variations on Pastoris, are you not?"

"Yes; and you are going to sing, monsieur," said Geraldine, rising from table. "So come along, and ma and papa can play trictrac all the time."

That evening the cousins played and sang together until about ten, when they took tea, which Edouard, good-natured fellow, pretended to like prodigiously, drinking three cups of milk and water under the serious impression that it was the genuine infusion—a practice very common in France, where tea is looked on as dangerous to the nerves. Next day they went to Versailles, breakfasted at the Hôtel de France, visited the interminable galleries of pictures, and dined in Paris at a late hour. The day after they went to Montmorency.

Swiftly passed the hours, and days, and weeks, and soon Geraldine saw the last day which was to be her own. In twenty-four hours she was to leave her mother's home forever, to share that of a man to whom it must be supposed she was very much attached, but who was not exactly the companion suited to her. Geraldine was very grave that morning. It had been arranged that they were to go to St. Germain; and though the sky was a little dark, the young girl insisted on the excursion not being put off.

"This is the last day I shall have any will of my own," said she; "so let me exercise it."

"My dear Geraldine," replied her cousin, kindly, "you will always find me ready to yield to you in every thing. I shall be a model husband, for I am too lazy to oppose any one."

"My dear Edouard," put in Mme Delisle, "a man who consults his wife's happiness will always be happy himself. We are very easily pleased when we see you try to please us. The will is every thing to us."

"Then let us start," said Edouard, laughing, "it will pass the time, and I am eager to try."[Pg 790]

They entered the open carriage which they usually used for their excursions, and started, the sun now shining very brightly. Edouard was full of spirits: he seemed bursting with happiness, and was forced to speak incessantly to give it vent. Geraldine was very grave, though she smiled at her cousin's sallies, and every now and then answered in her own playful, witty way. The parents, though happy, were serious too. They were about to lose their last child, and though they knew she would be always near them, a feeling of involuntary loneliness came over them. A marriage-day is always for affectionate parents a day of sorrowful pleasure—a link in the chain of sacrifices which makes a parent's love so beautiful and holy, so like what we can faintly trace in thought as the love of the Creator for man.

They took the road by Bongiral, and they were about a mile distant from that place when suddenly they found themselves caught in a heavy shower. The coachman drove hastily for shelter into the midst of a grove of trees, which led up to a villa that appeared totally uninhabited. But it was not so; for the porte cochère flew wide open as they drew up, and two servants advancing, requested them to take shelter in the house.

"But we are intruding?" said Mme Delisle.

"No, madame. Our master is out, but had he been at home he would insist as we do."

Edouard leaped out, and set the example of compliance. The whole party followed the servants, who led the way into a splendidly-furnished suite of rooms. The style was that of the renaissance, of the richest materials, while the walls were covered with genuine paintings by the first masters. The servants then left them, and they were heard next minute assisting to take the horses from the carriage. The rain fell heavily all the time.

"Upon my word we are very fortunate," said Mme Delisle: "in ten minutes we should have been soaked through. The master of the house must be some very noble-minded man; no ordinary person would have such polite and attentive servants."

"Some eccentric foreigner," said Edouard: "all his servants are men; I don't see the sign of a petticoat any where."

"Some woman-hater, perhaps," said Geraldine, laughing, as she took from the table before her a celebrated satire against the sex.

"All the more polite of him," said Mme Delisle, while looking with absolute horror at a book which she knew spoke irreverently of marriage.

"If you will pass this way," said a servant entering, "we shall have the honor to offer you breakfast. The rain has set in for some hours, and your servants spoke of your wishing to breakfast at St. Germain. But you will not be able to wait so long."

The whole party looked unfeignedly surprised; but there was no resisting a servant who spoke so politely, and who threw open a door whence they discovered a table magnificently laid out. Several servants were ready to wait.

"Ma foi!" cried Edouard, "there is no resisting such temptation. You seem to know your master's character, and we take your word for it that he would make us welcome."

With these words he gave Geraldine his arm, and led the way, setting the example also of attacking the delicate viands offered to them so unexpectedly. All breakfasted with appetite after their ride, and then returned to the room they had first occupied. The shower was over, and the warm sun was quickly clearing away all sign of the rain.

"What a beautiful house and grounds your master has here!" exclaimed Edouard: "the garden appears to me even better than the house."

"It is very beautiful," said the servant addressed.

"Can we go over it?" continued the young man.

"Certainly, monsieur: I was about to offer to show it you."

"I shall remain here," said Geraldine; "my shoes are very thin; besides I wish to have another look at the pictures."

Edouard demurred, but the young girl bade him go at once; and, like an obedient lover, he took the mamma's arm, and went into the garden.

The instant all were gone Geraldine rose from her chair and tottered across the room. She was pale, and looked cautiously round, as if about to do some guilty act. Presently she stood before a curtain which had been hastily drawn before a kind of niche in the wall, or rather before a portion of the room. But it had been done very quickly, and through two apartures you could see stained glass, and on a small table something under a glass-case. Geraldine could not restrain herself. She pulled away the curtain, and there, under a large glass on a velvet cushion, lay the rose which had been cut from her head-dress on the night she had accepted the hand of her cousin. Near it was a pencil-sketch of herself.

"My God!" she cried, passionately, "he did love me then: what a fool I have been! Wicked pride, to what will you lead me?"

"My Geraldine," exclaimed Alfred, who rose from a chair where he had been seated in a dark corner, "pardon me! But I could not resist the temptation. To see, to hear you once more, for the last time, was my only wish. Do you forgive me?"

"Do you forgive me?" said Geraldine, hanging down her head, and speaking in a low, soft, sweet voice, that had never been hers before.

"My God!—what?" exclaimed Alfred, who, pale and trembling, stood by her side.

"You will not force me to say, Alfred," she continued in a beseeching tone.

"Do I understand aright? O forgive me, Geraldine, if I say too much; but is it possible that you do not hate me?"

"Hate you, Alfred! How can I hate one so generous and good? If you think me not bold to say it, I will say I love you. After behaving as I did, that confession will be my punishment."

"My Geraldine! then why did you refuse me?" cried Alfred, in a tone of passionate delight.[Pg 791]

"Because you did not seem to love me; because you only in my eyes sought to marry me because others did."

"Geraldine, I seemed cold because I loved you with all my heart and soul. But I was a known satirist on marriage, and I was ashamed to let the world see my deep affection. I wanted them to think that I married merely because it was a triumph to carry off the reigning belle."

"You deceived me and all the world together," replied Geraldine; "but to own the truth, after you were gone and took my rose with you, I guessed the truth."

"The rose! but did you know—"

"I guessed—"

"My God!" cried Edouard, returning alone to fetch Geraldine, to whom he wanted to show the garden, "what is the meaning of this?"

"My good cousin," said Geraldine, advancing toward him, and taking both his hands, "come here; you will forgive Geraldine, won't you? I have been very wicked. Do excuse your cousin, will you not? but I was only going to marry you because I thought Alfred did not love me."

"Hein!" cried Edouard, quite bewildered.

"Don't be angry with me," continued Geraldine, gravely: "I should have been a very good wife, and have loved you very much had I married you."

"Oh, then, you do not mean to marry me now?" said Edouard, in a tone of deep sadness.

"What am I to do?" cried Geraldine. "See, my dear cousin, how he loved me! How can I marry you when my heart is given to another?"

"You were going to do so, but for a shower of rain," said Edouard, with a vain attempt at gravity. "But take her, M. Alfred: I think after all I'm lucky to have escaped her! I don't forgive you a bit, because it's hard to find out that when at last one thinks one's self loved, the lady was only pretending."

"You do forgive me!" exclaimed Geraldine, shaking her head, and putting his hand into that of Alfred, who shook it warmly.

"Yes, yes!—of course you're pleased! But I must marry now. I shall ask Hélène at Bordeaux to have me, as nobody there will know any thing about my present mishap."

At this moment M. and Mme Delisle returned; their astonishment was of course very great. Edouard gravely introduced the young couple.

"You see, madame," he said, "that while you were walking round the garden, I have managed to lose my wife, and you to find a son-in-law."

"But, my Geraldine," exclaimed her mother, "are you not behaving very badly to Edouard?"

"Not at all!" said the young man: "I could not think of marrying her. Look at her! Five minutes with Alfred has done her more good than all her excursions in search of roses!"

"Mischievous man to betray me!" said Geraldine in her turn, warmly shaking his hand.

"But what will the world say?" exclaimed M. Delisle.

"I will tell the truth," said Alfred; and in a few words he explained the cause of the refusal of Geraldine to have him.

It was now settled that the day should be spent at the villa; that in the evening they should return to Paris, without the count, who was to present himself only next day. He agreed to own frankly to all his friends the depth and sincerity of his affection, while Edouard good-naturedly volunteered to tell every one that he had been turned off—a promise which he gravely kept, relating his discomfiture in a way that drew tears of laughter from all his hearers.

And Geraldine and Alfred were married, to the surprise of the world. They were both cured of their former errors, and I know no instance of a happier marriage than that of M. and Mme de Rougement. He is now a member of the Legislative Assembly, and is remarked for the liberality of his opinions—being one of the many ex-legitimists who have gone over to the moderate republican party. Edouard married his country cousin. Both young couples have children, and both are happy: the only revenge the young man having taken is to persevere on all occasions, even before his own wife, in calling Geraldine "The Stolen Rose."


Thomas Moore, a man of brilliant gifts and large acquirements, if not an inspired poet, was born on the 28th of May, 1780, in Augier-street, Dublin, where his father carried on a respectable business as a grocer and spirit-dealer. Both his parents were strict Roman Catholics, and he, of course, was educated in the same faith; at that time under the ban not only of penal statutes, but of influential opinion both in Great Britain and Ireland. Thus humble and unpromising were the birth and early prospects of an author who—thanks to the possession of great popular talent, very industriously cultivated and exercised, together with considerable tact and prudence, and pleasing social accomplishments—won for himself not only the general fame which ordinarily attends the successful display of genius, but the especial sympathy and admiration of his countrymen and fellow-religionists, and the smiles and patronage of a large and powerful section of the English aristocracy, at whose tables and in whose drawing-rooms his sparkling wit and melodious patriotism rendered him an ever-welcome guest. Few men, indeed, have passed more pleasantly through the world than Thomas Moore. His day of life was one continual sunshine, just sufficiently tempered and shaded by passing clouds—"mere crumpling of the rose-leaves"—as to soften and enhance its general gayety and brightness. With its evening thick shadows came—the crushing loss of children—and the gray-haired poet, pressed by his heavy grief, has turned in his latter years from the gay vanities of brilliant society, and sought peace and consolation in seclusion, and the zealous observance of the precepts and discipline of the church to which he is, not only from early training and[Pg 792] association, but by temperament and turn of mind, devotedly attached.

As a child, Moore was, we are told, remarkable for personal beauty, and might have sat, says a writer not over-friendly to him, "as Cupid for a picture." This early promise was not fulfilled. Sir Walter Scott, speaking of him in 1825, says: "He is a little, very little man—less, I think, than Lewis, whom he resembles: his countenance is plain, but very animated when speaking or singing." The lowness of his stature was a sore subject with Moore—almost as much, and as absurdly so, as the malformation of his foot was with Lord Byron. Leigh Hunt, in a work published between twenty and thirty years ago, gives the following detailed portrait of the Irish poet: "His forehead is bony and full of character, with bumps of wit large and radiant enough to transport a phrenologist; his eyes are as dark and fine as you would wish to see under a set of vine-leaves; his mouth, generous and good-humored, with dimples; 'his nose, sensual and prominent, and at the same time the reverse of aquiline: there is a very peculiar characteristic in it—as if it were looking forward to and scenting a feast or an orchard.' The face, upon the whole, is Irish, not unruffled by care and passion, but festivity is the predominant expression." In Mr. Hunt's autobiography, not long since published, this portrait is repeated, with the exception of the words we have inclosed within single inverted commas—struck out possibly from a lately-awakened sense of their injustice; and it is added that "his (Moore's) manner was as bright as his talk was full of the wish to please and be pleased." To these testimonials as to the personal appearance and manners of Thomas Moore, we can only add that of Mr. Joseph Atkinson, one of the poet's most intimate and attached friends. This gentleman, when speaking to an acquaintance of the author of the "Melodies," said that to him "Moore always seemed an infant sporting on the bosom of Venus." This somewhat perplexing idea of the mature author of the songs under discussion was no doubt suggested by the speaker's recollections of his friend's childhood.

Whatever the personal graces or defects of Mr. Moore, it is quite certain, at all events, that he early exhibited considerable mental power and imitative faculty. He was placed when very young with Mr. Samuel Whyte, who kept a respectable school in Grafton-street, Dublin. This was the Mr. Whyte who attempted to educate Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and pronounced him to be "an incorrigible dunce;" a verdict in which at the time the mother of the future author of the "School for Scandal" fully concurred. Mr. Whyte, it seems, delighted in private theatricals, and his labors in this mode of diffusing entertaining knowledge were, it appears, a good deal patronized by the Dublin aristocracy. Master Moore was his "show-actor," and played frequently at Lady Borrowes's private theatre. On one occasion the printed bills announced "An Epilogue—A Squeeze at St. Paul's, by Master Moore," in which he is said to have been very successful. These theatricals were attended by several members of the ducal family of Leinster, the Latouches of Dublin, with many other Irish notabilities; and it was probably here that Moore contracted the taste for aristocratic society which afterward became a passion with him.

The obstinate exclusion of the Catholics from the common rights of citizenship naturally excited violent and growing discontent among that body of religionists; and Thomas Moore's parents, albeit prudent, wary folk, were, like thousands of others naturally sensible and pacific people, carried away for a moment by the tremendous outburst of the French Revolution. The meteor-blaze which suddenly leaped forth and dazzled the astonished world, seemed a light from Heaven to the oppressed nations of Europe; and in Ireland, especially, it was hailed as the dawn of a great deliverance by millions whom an unwise legislation had alienated and almost maddened. Young Moore, when little more than twelve years of age, sat upon his father's knee at a great banquet in Dublin, where the toast—"May the breezes from France fan our Irish oak into verdure!" was received with a frantic vehemence which, child as he was, left an impression upon him that did not pass away with many years. The Day-star of Liberty, as it was termed, which arose in France, set in blood and tempest; but the government, alarmed at the ominous aspect of the times, relaxed (1793) the penal laws, and Catholics, for the first time, were eligible for admission to the Dublin University: eligible—that is, to partake of the instruction conferred at the national seat of learning, but not for its honors or rewards. These were still jealously reserved for the dominant caste. Young Moore was immediately entered of Trinity College; and although he succeeded by his assiduity and ability in extorting an acknowledgment from the authorities that he had earned a classical degree, he was, for religion's sake, as a matter of course, denied it. Some English verses, however, which he presented at one of the quarterly examinations in lieu of the usual Latin metre, were extolled; and he received a well-bound copy of the "Travels of Anarchasis" as a reward. The young student's proficiency in the Greek and Latin languages was also acknowledged, though not officially.

For several previous years the thunder-cloud which burst so fatally in 1798, had been slowly gathering in Ireland. Moore sympathized with the object, if not with the mode of operation contemplated by the opponents of English rule in that country; and he appears to have been only saved from serious if not fatal implication in the rebellion by the wise admonitions of his excellent mother, aided by his own instinctive aversion to the committal of any act which might compromise his present and future position, by placing him among extreme men in the front and forlorn hope of the battle, instead of amid the wiser respectabilities of liberalism, from whose ranks a man of wit and genius may, he knew, shoot his[Pg 793] diamond-tipt arrows at the enemy not only without danger, but with almost certain fame and profit to himself. Moore was intimate with the two Emmets, and an active member of a debating-club, in which the eldest, the unfortunate Robert, endeavored to mature his oratorical powers against the time when his dream of political regeneration should be realized. Toward the close of the year 1797, the, at the time, celebrated newspaper called "The Press," was started by Arthur O'Connor, the Emmets, and other chiefs of the United Irishmen. It was published twice a week, and although, Mr. Moore says, not distinguished at all for talent, had a large circulation among the excited masses. Moore first contributed a poetical effusion—anonymously of course—and soon growing bolder with impunity, contributed a fiery letter, which had the questionable honor of being afterward quoted in the House of Commons by the minister as one of his proofs that severe repressive measures were required to put down the dangerous spirit manifested in Ireland. On the evening this letter appeared, young Moore read it after supper to the assembled family—his heart beating violently all the while lest the sentiments it contained, and the style in which they were expressed, should reveal the eloquent author. His fears were groundless; no one suspected him; and the only remark elicited by the violent letter was a quiet one from his sister—"that it was rather strong!" Next day his mother, through the indiscretion of a person connected with the newspaper, discovered his secret, and commanded him, as he valued her blessing, to disconnect himself at once from so dangerous a pursuit and companionship. The young man obeyed, and the storm of 1798 passed over harmlessly for him. Moore was once slightly questioned upon the subject of the apprehended conspiracy by Lord Chancellor Clare, who insisted upon compelling a disclosure, upon oath, of any knowledge the students of the university might possess of the persons and plans of the plotters. Moore at first declined being sworn, alleging in excuse that he had never taken an oath, and although perfectly unconscious himself of offense against the government, that he might unwittingly compromise others. This odd excuse Lord Clare, after consulting with Duigenan, famous for his anti-papist polemics, declined to receive, and Moore was sworn. Three or four questions were asked as to his knowledge of any conspiracy to overthrow the government, by violence; and these briefly answered, the matter ended. This is Mr. Moore's own version of a scene which has been rendered in various amusing and exaggerated forms.

The precocity of Moore's rhyming genius had been also exemplified by a sonnet, written when he was only fourteen years of age, and inserted in a Dublin magazine called "The Anthologia." Two or three years later he composed a Masque, which was performed by himself, his elder sister, and some young friends, in the little drawing-room over the shop in Augier-street, a friend, afterward a celebrated musician, enacting orchestra on the piano-forte. One of the songs of the masque was written to the air of Haydn's Spirit Song, and obtained great applause. Master Moore belonged, moreover, to a band of gay spirits who occasionally amused themselves by a visit to Dalkey, a small island in the Bay of Dublin, electing one Stephen Armitage, a respectable pawnbroker, and "very agreeable singer," King of that Ilk. On one of these coronation days King Stephen conferred the honor of knighthood upon Incledon, with the title of Sir Charles Melody; and he created Miss Battier, a rhyming lady, Henrietta, Countess of Laurel, and His Majesty's Poetess-Laureate. The working laureate was, however, Master Moore, and in that capacity he first tried his hand at political squibbing, by launching some not very brilliant sarcasms against governments in general. Lord Clare, we are told, was half alarmed at this Dalkey court and its poets, and insisted upon an explanation from one of the mock officials. This is, however, we believe, a fable, though at the time a current one.

In 1799, being then only in his twentieth year, Thomas Moore arrived in London, for the purpose of entering himself of the Middle Temple, and publishing his translation of the Odes of Anacreon. He had already obtained the friendship of Earl Moira, and that nobleman procured him permission to dedicate the work to the Prince of Wales. His poetical career may now be said to have fairly commenced. It was a long and brilliant one, most of his works having rapidly passed through numerous editions, and been, perhaps, more extensively read than those of any contemporary author, always excepting the romances of Scott. There can be no reasonable doubt that Moore owed much of this popularity and success to the accident of his position, and the favoring circumstances of the times in which he wrote. The enfant gaté of high and influential circles; as well as the melodious expositor and poet-champion of the wrongs of a nation to whose glorious music he has, happily for himself, married much of his sweetest verse, he dwelt in a peculiar and irradiating atmosphere, which greatly enhanced his real magnitude and brightness. Even now, when the deceptive medium has lost its influence, it is somewhat difficult, and may seem ungracious, to assign his true place in the splendid galaxy of British poets to a writer who has contributed so largely to the delight of the reading and musical population of these kingdoms.

The Odes of Anacreon obtained much present popularity at a time when the moralities of respectable literature were not so strictly enforced by public opinion as in the present day. Many of them are paraphrases rather than translations, containing, as Dr. Laurence, Burke's friend, remarked at the time, "pretty turns not to be found in Anacreon."

"Thomas Little's Poems, Songs," &c., given to the world by Mr. Moore in 1801, are a collection of puerile rhapsodies still more objectionable than the Anacreontic Odes: and the only excuse[Pg 794] for them was the extreme youth of the writer. Byron thus alluded to the book in his once famous satire:

"'Tis Little, young Catullus of his day,
As sweet but as immoral in his lay."

Many years afterward his lordship, in a letter to Moore (1820), reverted, half in jest, half in earnest, to the work in these words, "I believe all the mischief I have ever done or sung has been owing to that confounded book of yours." The most objectionable of these songs have been omitted from the recent editions of Moore's works, and we believe no one has more deplored their original publication than the author himself.

In 1803, thanks to his verses and Lord Moira's patronage, Moore obtained a place under the government—that of Registrar to the Court of Admiralty at Bermuda. Moore sailed in the Phœnix frigate, and took formal possession of his post; but he soon wearied of the social monotony of the "still vexed Bermoothes," hastily appointed a deputy to perform all the duties of his office for a share of the income, and betook himself to America. He was as much out of his proper element there as in Bermuda. The rugged republicanism of the States disgusted him, and after a brief glance at Canada he returned to England, having been absent about fifteen months.

Soon after his return he favored the world with his impressions of Bermuda, the United States, and Canada. His sketches of Bermudan scenery have been pronounced by Captain Basil Hall and others to be extremely accurate and vivid. On the truthfulness of his American social and political pictures and prophecies, Time—a much higher authority—has unmistakably delivered judgment. While in Canada, Mr. Moore composed the popular "Boat-song," the words and air of which were, he says, inspired by the scenery and circumstances which the verses portray, and by the measured chant of the Canadian rowers. Captain Hall also testifies to the fidelity of this descriptive song.

The republication in 1806 of Juvenile Songs, Odes, &c., elicited a fierce and contemptuous denunciation of them from the Edinburgh Review, and this led to a hostile meeting between the editor of that publication, the late Lord Jeffrey, and Mr. Moore. They met at Chalk Farm, near Hampstead; but the progress of the duel was interrupted by police officers, who, on examining the pistols of the baffled combatants, found that they had been charged with powder only. This was probably a sensible device—it was not at all an uncommon one—on the part of the seconds to prevent mischief; or, it might have been, as is usually believed, that the bullets dropped out of one or both of the pistols by the jolting of the carriages in which the combatants reached the field of expected battle; but of course the discovery created a great laugh at the time. Moore indignantly denied through the newspapers that he was cognizant of the innocent state of Mr. Jeffrey's pistol—an assertion there can not be the slightest reason for doubting. This droll incident led to his subsequent acquaintance with Lord Byron, who, unmindful or regardless of Mr. Moore's denial of the "calumny," repeated it with variations in his "English Bards and Scotch Reviewers," chiefly with a view to annoy Mr. Jeffrey. Moore was again indignant, and demanded an apology or satisfaction. His letter did not, however, reach the noble lord till many months afterward, when explanations ensued, and the affair terminated by a dinner at the house of Mr. Rogers, where the four poets, Byron, Campbell, Moore, and Rogers, met each other for the first time.

The intimacy thus commenced, if we may judge from the biography of Byron, ripened into a lasting friendship on the part of Moore. This feeling was but faintly reciprocated by Byron. Indeed, if we are to believe his own statement, made in one of his latest letters, the noble poet was almost incapable of friendship, "never having," he says, "except toward Lord Clare, whom he had known from infancy, and perhaps little Moore," experienced any such emotion. "Little Tommy dearly loves a lord," was Byron's sneering expression more than once; and perhaps he believed Moore's loudly-expressed regard for himself to be chiefly based on that predilection.

Moore had before this married a Miss Dyke, who is described as a lady of great beauty and amiability, and moreover distinguished for considerable decision of character and strong common sense—qualities which more than once proved of essential service to her husband. They had several children, the loss of whom, as we have before stated, has darkened and embittered the close of the poet's days.

In 1811, Moore made a first and last appearance before the world as a dramatist, by the production at the Lyceum theatre of an operatic piece called "An M.P.; or, The Blue Stocking." It was emphatically damned, notwithstanding two or three pleasing songs, which somewhat redeemed its dull and vapid impertinence. The very pretty song of "Young Love lived once in an humble shed," occurs in this piece. Moore's acquaintance with Leigh Hunt dates from the acting of the "Blue Stocking." Mr. Hunt was at the time editor of the "Examiner" newspaper, in which he had just before paid some compliments to Moore's poetry; and the nervous dramatist, naturally anxious to propitiate a critic whose opinion was esteemed oracular in certain circles, wrote him a rather fulsome letter, in which he set forth, as an ad misericordiam plea for lenient judgment, that he had rashly been induced to promise Arnold a piece for his theatre, in consequence of the state of attenuation to which the purses of poets are proverbially liable. The "M.P." was, as we have said, condemned, and Esop's disappointed fox received another illustration. "Writing bad jokes," quoth Mr. Moore, "for the Lyceum to make the galleries laugh is in itself sufficiently degrading; but to try to make them laugh, and fail to do so, is indeed deplorable." In sooth, to make "galleries" either laugh or weep was never Mr. Moore's aim or vocation. His eye was ever fixed upon the gay company of the "boxes," occasionally only glancing apprehensively aside[Pg 795] from its flattering homage to scan the faces of the sour critics of the pit. And yet to make the galleries of the theatre and the world laugh has tasked and evidenced wit and humor, in comparison with which the gayest sallies, the most sparkling of Mr. Moore's fancies, are vapidity itself. The mortified dramatist gave up play-writing forever, or, as he contemptuously expressed it, "made a hearty abjuration of the stage and all its heresies of pun, equivoque, and clap-trap." He was wise in doing so. The discretion evinced by the hasty retreat was only exceeded by the rashness of the venture.

The intimacy of Thomas Moore and Leigh Hunt continued for some years. Moore, in company with Lord Byron, dined once or twice with Hunt in prison during his confinement for a pretended libel upon the regent. A pertinent anecdote, throwing some light on Byron's sneer respecting Moore's love of lords, is told of one of these visits. The three friends, Byron, Moore, and Hunt, were walking before dinner in the prison garden, when a shower of rain came on, and Moore ran into the house, and upstairs, leaving his companions to follow as they best might. Consciousness of the discourtesy of such behavior toward his noble companion quickly flashed upon him, and he was overwhelmed with confusion. Mr. Hunt tried to console him. "I quite forgot at the moment," said Moore, "whom I was walking with; but I was forced to remember it by his not coming up. I could not in decency go on, and to return was awkward." This anxiety—on account of Byron's lameness—Mr. Hunt remarks, appeared to him very amiable.

This friendship came to an abrupt and unpleasant close. Lord Byron agreed with Hunt and Shelley to start a new periodical, to be called "The Liberal," the profits of which were to go to Leigh Hunt. Byron's parody on Southey's "Vision of Judgment" appeared in it, and ultimately William Hazlitt became a contributor. Moore immediately became alarmed for his noble friend's character, which he thought would be compromised by his connection with Hunt and Hazlitt, and wrote to entreat him to withdraw himself from a work which had "a taint in it," and from association with men upon whom society "had set a mark." His prayer was complied with, and the two last-named gentlemen were very angry, as well they might be. There has been a good deal of crimination and recrimination between the parties on the subject, not at all worth reproducing. The truth is that both Hunt and Hazlitt, but especially the latter, were at the time under the ban of influential society and a then powerful Tory press; and Moore, with his usual prudence, declining to be mad-dog'd in their company and for their sakes, deliberately cut two such extreme Radicals, and induced his noble friend to do likewise. How could a prudent man who had given hostages to fortune, which Moore by this time had, in a wife and children, act otherwise?

Moore had long cherished a hope of allying his poetry with the expressive music of Ireland; of giving appropriate vocal utterance to the strains which had broken fitfully from out the tumults and tramplings of centuries of unblest rule. A noble task! in which even partial success demands great powers and deserves high praise. The execution of the long-meditated design now commenced; and the "Melodies," as they appeared, obtained immense and well-deserved popularity. It is upon these his fame, as a poet, will mainly rest; and no one can deny that, as a whole, they exhibit great felicity of expression, and much graceful tenderness of thought and feeling, frequently relieved by flashes of gay and genial wit and humor. No one could be more keenly aware, or could more gracefully acknowledge than Moore the great help to a poet's present reputation of connecting his verse with national or local associations.

In 1812 Moore determined on writing an Eastern tale in verse; and his friend Mr. Perry of the "Chronicle" accompanied him to Messrs. Longman, the publishers, to arrange for the sale of a work of which the proposed author had not yet written a line nor even settled the subject. Mr. Perry appears to have been an invaluable intermediary. He proposed at once, as the basis of the negotiation, that Moore should have the largest sum ever given for such a work. "That," observed the Messrs. Longman, "was three thousand guineas." And three thousand guineas it was ultimately covenanted the price should be, thanks to Moore's reputation, and the business abilities of his friend Perry. It was further agreed that the manuscript should be furnished at whatever time might best suit the author's convenience, and that Messrs. Longman should accept it for better for worse, and have no power or right to suggest alterations or changes of any kind. The bargain was altogether a safe one on Moore's side, and luckily it turned out equally profitable for the publishers.

In order to obtain the necessary leisure and quiet for the composition of such a work, Moore resolved to retire from the gayeties of Holland and Lansdowne Houses, and other mansions of his distinguished patrons and friends, to the seclusion and tranquillity of the country. He made choice of Mayfield Cottage, near Ashbourne in Derbyshire, and not far distant from Donnington Park, Lord Moira's country-seat, where an excellent library was at his service. It may be as well to mention that when this early and influential friend of Moore went out to India as governor-general, he apologized for not being able to present his poetical protégé with any thing worth his acceptance in that country. "But," said Lord Moira (Marquis of Hastings), "I can perhaps barter a piece of India patronage against something at home that might suit you." This offer, which would have gravely compromised Moore with his Whig friends, he with some asperity declined. The governor-general went to India, and Moore retired to Derbyshire, remaining, with the exception of his Bermudan registrarship, placeless. This offer and refusal Moore communicated by letter to Leigh Hunt.[Pg 796]

Mayfield Cottage, when the poet and his wife arrived to view it, wore any thing but an inviting aspect. "It was a poor place," Moore wrote, "little better than a barn; but we at once took it, and set about making it habitable and comfortable." He now commenced the formidable task of working himself up into a proper Oriental state of mind for the accomplishment of his work. The first part of this process consisted in reading every work of authority that treated of the topography, climate, zoology, ornithology, entomology, floriculture, horticulture, agriculture, manners, customs, religion, ceremonies, and languages of the East. Asiatic registers, D'Herbelot, Jones, Tavernier, Flemming, and a host of other writers were industriously consulted; and so perfect did Mr. Moore become in these various branches of knowledge, that a great Eastern traveler, after reading "Lalla Rookh," and being assured that the poet had never visited the scenes in which he placed his stories, remarked that if it were so, a man might learn as much of those countries by reading books as by riding on the back of a camel! This, however, was but a part of the requisite preparation. "I am," says Mr. Moore, "a slow, painstaking workman, and at once very imaginative and very matter-of-fact;" and he goes on to say that the slightest exterior interruption or contradiction to the imaginary state of things he was endeavoring to conjure up in his brain threw all his ideas into confusion and disarray. It was necessary, therefore, to surround himself in some way or other with an Eastern atmosphere. How this could be managed in the face of the snows of the Derbyshire winters, during which the four stories which compose "Lalla Rookh" were written, it is difficult to conceive, and perhaps to the fact that it could not be effectually done, must be ascribed the ill success which beset the poet during an entire twelvemonth. Vainly did he string together peris and bulbuls, and sunny apples of Totkahar: the inspiration would not come. It was all "Double, double, toil and trouble," to no purpose. Each story, however trippingly it began, soon flagged, drooped, and, less fortunate than that of

——"The bear and fiddle,
Begun and broke off in the middle,"

expired of collapse after a brief career of a few score lines only, frequently nothing like so many. Some of these fragments have since been published. One of them, "The Peri's Daughter," ran to some length, and is rather pretty and sparkling.

This uninspiring state of things seemed interminable—the three thousand guineas were as far off as ever; and apprehension of the necessity of a bodily journey to the East, in order to get at the genuine "atmosphere," must have suggested itself, when a gleam of light, in the idea of the "Fire-Worshipers," broke in upon the poet; the multifarious collection of Eastern materials deposited in the chambers of his brain arranged themselves in flowing numbers, without encountering any further accident; and at the end of three years "Lalla Rookh" was ushered before an admiring world. Its success was immense, and the work ran rapidly through many editions. "Paradise and the Peri," the second story, although not so much praised as the first and third, is, we fancy, much the most read of the four; and from its light, ringing tone, its delicate and tender sentiment, its graceful and musical flow, will always be a principal favorite with the admirers of Thomas Moore's poetry.

The bow so long bent required relaxation, and in the first flush of his great success, while his ears were still ringing with the applauses, and his nostrils still titillating with the incense which the press showered upon "Lalla Rookh," pronounced by general consent—"when they do agree, their unanimity is wonderful"—to be unrivaled as a work of melody, beauty, and power, Moore set out on a continental tour with his friend and brother-poet Rogers. On his return to England he published the "Fudge Family"—not a very brilliant performance, and which, with the exception of its political hits, is but an imitation of "Les Anglaises Pour Rire." He also worked at the "Melodies," and wrote articles for the "Edinburgh Review." In 1818 one of the most pleasing incidents in his life occurred. A public dinner was given in his honor at Dublin, the Earl of Charlemont in the chair—the poet's venerable father, Garret Moore, being present on the chairman's right hand, the honored and delighted witness of the enthusiastic welcome bestowed upon his son by his warm-hearted fellow-countrymen. Moore made a graceful, cleverly-turned speech; but he was no orator: few literary men are. He could not think upon his legs; and you could see by the abstraction of his look that he was not speaking, in the popular sense, but reciting what had previously been carefully composed and committed to memory. Such speeches frequently read well, but if long, they are terrible things to sit and hear.

The following year Moore accompanied Lord John Russell on a continental tour, taking the road of the Simplon to Italy. Lord John went on to Genoa, and Moore directed his steps toward Venice, for the purpose of seeing Byron. It was during this visit the noble lord made Moore a present of his personal memoirs, for publication after the writer's death. Moore gives the following account of the transaction: "We were conversing together when Byron rose and went out. In a minute or two he returned carrying a white leathern bag. 'Look here!' he said, holding it up, 'this would be worth something to Murray, though you, I daresay, would not give sixpence for it.' 'What is it?' I asked, 'My life and adventures,' he answered. On hearing this I raised my hands in a gesture. 'It is not a thing that can be published during my life, but you may have it if you like: then do whatever you please with it.' In taking the bag, and thanking him most warmly, I added: 'This will make a nice legacy for my little Tom, who shall astonish the latter end of the nineteenth century with it.' He then added: 'You[Pg 797] may show it to any of your friends you think worthy of it.' This is as nearly as I can recollect all that passed." These memoirs Moore sold to Murray for two thousand guineas, but at Lord Byron's death, his executors and family induced Moore to repay Mr. Murray and destroy the manuscript. The precise reasons which decided Moore to yield to the solicitations of the deceased lord's friends and family are not known, but there can be little doubt that they were urgent, and in a moral sense irresistible. A man does not usually throw away two thousand guineas for a caprice, even of his own, much less for that of others. It is not likely that the world has lost much by the destruction of these memoirs. Lord Byron's life is sufficiently written in his published works for all purposes save that of the gratification of a morbid curiosity and vulgar appetite for scandal.

During the journey to and from Italy, Moore sketched the "Rhymes on the Road," which were soon afterward published. There is nothing remarkable about them except his abuse of Rousseau and Madame Warens, à propos of a visit to Les Charmettes. Moore was violently assailed for this by writers, who held that as he had himself translated Anacreon, and written juvenile songs of an immoral tendency, he was thereby incapacitated from fy, fying naughty people in his maturer and better years. This seems hardly a reasonable maxim, and would, if strictly interpreted and enforced, silence much grave and learned eloquence, oral as well as written. His denunciations of the eccentric and fanciful author of the "Confessions," which twenty years before he would probably have called the enunciations of "Virtue with her zone loosened;" were certainly violent and unmeasured, and not, perhaps, in the very best taste.

Pecuniary difficulties, arising from the misconduct of his deputy in Bermuda, now threatened Mr. Moore, and flight to France—for process against him had issued from the Court of Admiralty—became immediately necessary. The deputy-registrar, from whom Mr. Moore had exacted no securities, had made free with the cargoes of several American vessels, and immediately decamped with the proceeds, leaving his principal liable, it was feared, to the serious amount of six thousand pounds. Active and successful efforts were, however, made by Moore's friends to compromise the claims, and ultimately they were all adjusted by the payment of one thousand guineas. Three hundred pounds toward this sum were contributed by the delinquent's uncle, a London merchant; so that Moore's ultimate loss was seven hundred and fifty pounds only. During the progress, and at the close of these negotiations, numerous offers of pecuniary assistance were addressed to Mr. Moore, all of which he gratefully but firmly declined.

While the matter was pending, Moore resided near Paris at La Butte Coaslin, on the road to Belle Vue. This was also the residence of some agreeable Spanish friends of the poet. Kenny the dramatic writer lived also in the neighborhood. Here Moore composed his "Loves of the Angels," passing his days, when they were fine, in walking up and down the park of Saint Cloud, "polishing verses and making them run easy," and the evenings in singing Italian duets with his Spanish friends. Previous to leaving Paris, at the close of 1822, he attended a banquet got up in his honor by many of the most distinguished and wealthy of the English residents in that gay city. His speech on this occasion was a high-flown panegyric upon England and every thing English, and grievously astonished Byron, Shelley, Hunt, and others, when they read it in Italy. Either they thought the tone of some of the Irish melodies was wrong, or the speech was. They did not reflect that a judicious speaker always adapts his speech to his audience. Apt words in apt places are the essentials of true eloquence.

Moore's publishers' account, delivered in the following June, exhibited a very pleasing aspect. He was credited with one thousand pounds for the "Loves of the Angels," and five hundred pounds for "Fables for the Holy Alliance." These were the halcyon days of poetry. There was truth as well as mirthful jest in Sir Walter Scott's remark a few years afterward, in reply to Moore's observation, "that hardly a magazine is now published but contains verses which would once have made a reputation." "Ecod!" exclaimed the baronet, "we were very lucky to come before these fellows!"

In 1825 Moore paid a visit to Sir Walter Scott at Abbottsford. The meeting was a cordial one, and the baronet, Mr. Lockhart informs us, pronounced Mr. Moore "to be the prettiest warbler" he ever knew. What somewhat diminishes the value of this praise is, that, according to the warbler himself, Sir Walter—but the thing seems incredible—had no genuine love or taste for music, except indeed for the Jacobite chorus of "Hey tuttie, tattie," now indissolubly united to "Scots wha hae wi' Wallace bled!" which, when sung after supper by the company, with hands clasped across each other, and waving up and down, he hugely delighted in. Scott accompanied Moore to Edinburgh, and both of them, with Mr. Lockhart and his lady, went to the theatre on the same evening that it was honored by the presence of the celebrated Mrs. Coutts, afterward Duchess of St. Albans. Soon after their at first unmarked entrance, the attention of the audience which had till then been engrossed by the lady millionaire, was directed toward the new-comers, and according to a newspaper report, copied and published by Mr. Moore, in one of his last prefaces, considerable excitement immediately prevailed. "Eh!" exclaimed a man in the pit—"eh! yon's Sir Walter, wi' Lockhart and his wife: and wha's the wee body wi' the pawkie een? Wow, but it's Tam Moore just!" "Scott—Scott! Moore—Moore!" immediately resounded through the house. Scott would not rise: Moore did, and bowed several times with his hand on his heart. Scott afterward acknowledged the plaudits of his countrymen, and the[Pg 798] orchestra, during the rest of the evening, played alternately Scotch and Irish airs.

At the request of the Marquis of Lansdowne, who was desirous that he should reside near him, Moore at this period took a journey into Wiltshire, to look at a house in the village of Bromham, near Bowood, the seat of the noble marquis, which it was thought might suit him. He, however, pronounced it to be too large, and declined taking it. On his return he told his wife there was a cottage in a thickly-wooded lane in the neighborhood to let, which he thought might be made to do. Mrs. Moore immediately left town, secured it, and there they shortly afterward took up their permanent abode. They have greatly improved and enlarged Sloperton Cottage; and covered almost as its front and two porches are with roses and clematis, with the trim miniature lawn and garden in front, along which runs a raised walk inclosed with evergreens, from which a fine view is obtained, it presents an entirely satisfactory aspect of well-ordered neatness, prettiness, and comfort. It is situated within about two miles of Devizes, and is within easy reach of the country residence of Lord Lansdowne. It was here he wrote the biographies of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, Lord Byron, and Richard Brinsley Sheridan, of which we need only remark that they are industriously compiled and pleasantly written.

In 1824, five years before the passing of the Catholic Relief Act, Moore published "The Memoirs of Captain Rock, written by Himself." It is a bitter, rhapsodical, and of course one-sided commentary upon the government of Ireland by England, not only since the Reformation, but from the time of Pope Adrian's famous bull, which is twisted into an exclusively English grievance and insult.

The next considerable work of Moore's—for his light Parthian warfare in the politics of the hour continued as usual, and with about the same success, as in his younger days—was "The Travels of an Irish Gentleman in search of a Religion"—a perfectly serious and earnest book in defense of the Roman Catholic faith. There is a vast amount of erudition displayed in its pages; and remembering how slow and painstaking a workman Moore declared himself to be, it must, one would suppose, have been the work of years. The author's object is to prove, from the writings of the early fathers and other evidence, that the peculiar dogmas, and discipline, and practice of the Church of Rome, date from the apostolic age, or at least from the first centuries of the Christian era, and are consequently true. This the writer does entirely, at least, to his own satisfaction, which is the case, we believe, with controversial writers generally. The book concludes with the following words, addressed to the Catholic Church, which his after-life proves to have been earnest and sincere: "In the shadow of thy sacred mysteries let my soul henceforth repose, remote alike from the infidel who scoffs at their darkness, and the rash believer who would pry into its recesses."

These imaginary travels were published anonymously, but the book was always known to be Moore's. Apart from any other evidence, the poetic translations of portions of the writings of ancient bishops would have amply sufficed to determine the authorship.

The last, and, according to Moore's own authority, one of the most successful of his works, as far as a great sale constitutes success, was the prose romance of "The Epicurean." There is much learning displayed in this book, and it contains some striking descriptions. We also meet occasionally with passages of simple and natural beauty and eloquence, the more striking and effective from the contrast they afford to the cumbrous and ambitious rhetoric through which they are sparsely scattered. It was commenced in verse, and gradually reached to a considerable length in that form, but ultimately, like the "Peri's Daughter," broke down irretrievably. No one who respects Mr. Moore's poetical fame will regret this after reading the fragment which has been published. "The Epicurean" is a moral and religious story; and it has this great merit, that it has very little of the merely sensuous imagery in which Mr. Moore generally indulged. The plot is of the most commonplace kind, and the conduct of the story so entirely languid and lulling, that it may be freely indulged in without the slightest fear of ill-consequences by the most nervous and impressionable lady-reader in the three kingdoms.

On the 30th of June, 1827, the day after the publication of "The Epicurean," Moore was one of the gay and distinguished assemblage at a magnificent fête at Boyle Farm, in the environs of London, the cost of which had been clubbed by five or six rich young lords. It appears by Mr. Moore's description to have been a very brilliant affair. There were crowds of the élite of society present of both sexes; well-dressed men and groups of fair women, "all looking their best;" together with dancing, music, the Tyrolese minstrels, and Madame Vestris and Fanny Ayton, rowing up and down the river, singing Moore's "Oh, come to Me when Daylight sets!" and so on. The author of "The Epicurean" relates all this for the purpose of introducing an anecdote concerning his book, and we notice it for the same reason. During one of the pauses of the music, the Marquis of Palmella—Moore disguises the name of the Portuguese embassador in this impenetrable mode, the Marquis of P-lm—-a, approaching the poet, remarked upon the magnificence of the fête. Moore agreed. "The tents," he remarked, "had a fine effect." "Nay," said the marquis, "I was thinking of your fête at Athens. I read it this morning in the newspaper." "Confound the newspaper!" Moore had a great aversion to having his best morceaux served up without context in that manner; but worse remained behind. A Mr. D—— accosted him a few minutes afterward, and mentioning the book, added these flattering words, "I never read any thing so touching as the death of your heroine." "What!" exclaimed the delighted author,[Pg 799] "have you got so far as that already?" "Oh, dear, no, I have not seen the book—I read what I mentioned in the Literary Gazette." "Shameful!" says Mr. Moore, "to anticipate my catastrophe in that manner!" Perhaps so; but that which we should like especially to know is whether Mr. B——m, who is mentioned as being present at the enunciation of these courtesies, was Mr. Brougham. If so, the flash of the keen gray eyes that followed the compliment on the touching death of Alethe, must, to an observant looker-on, have been one of the most entertaining incidents of the fête.

The smart political squibs, scattered like fire-flies through the dreary waste of journalism during the last active years of Moore's life, are not obnoxious to criticism. Squire Corn, Famished Cotton, Weeping Chancellors, Salmagundian Kings, and knavish Benthamites, as penciled by Moore, have passed from the domain of wit and verse into that of the historian and the antiquary, into the hands of the collector of forgotten trifles; and there we very willingly leave them, pleasant, piquant, and welcome, as we fully admit them in their day to have been. Moore has also written several pieces of religious verse, which, although not of very high merit as poetry, finely at times bring out and illustrate the Christian spirit in its most engaging aspect—unalloyed, unclouded by the mists of fanatic sectarianism.

That Moore was not an inspired creative poet like Shakspeare, Milton, Burns, and a few others, is true; but beneath those heaven-reaching heights there are many still lofty eminences upon which gifted spirits sit enthroned, their brows encircled with coronets bright with gems of purest ray, serene, though pale, indeed, and dim in presence of the radiant crowns of the kings of poetry and song, between whom also there are degrees of glory; for immeasurably above all, far beyond even the constellated splendor of

"The blind old man of Scio's rocky isle,"

soars Shakspeare, palm-wreathed and diademed with stars. One of these lesser heights and circlets must unquestionably be awarded to Thomas Moore. His wing, it must be admitted, is feeble, requiring artificial stimulants and help to lift him above the ground a sufficient time for warbling a brief melody. He did not sing as a flower exhales—from the law and necessity of its nature; still there is at times a grace, and tenderness, and music, about his carefully-polished snatches of song, which the world is not sufficiently rich in to willingly let die.

Turning from Moore the poet to Moore the politician, there is not much to remark upon; neither certainly is there place for two opinions. Moore wrote politics at times—pointed, bitter, rankling politics—but he was really at heart no politician. There was no earnestness in what he did in this way, and it was early and abundantly evident from his alternate eulogies and vituperation of democratic institutions, that he had no firmly-based convictions. His love for Ireland was a sentiment only: it never rose to the dignity of a passion. Not one of his patriotic songs breathes the fiery energy, the martyr zeal, the heroic hate and love, which pulsate in the veins of men who ardently sympathize with a people really oppressed, or presumed to be so. But let us hasten to say, that if there was little of the hero or martyr, there was nothing of the renegade or traitor about Thomas Moore. The pension of three hundred a year obtained for him of the crown by his influential friends was not the reward of baseness or of political tergiversation. It was the prize and reward of his eminence as a writer, and his varied social accomplishments. If he did not feel strongly, he at all events felt honestly; and although he had no mission to evoke the lightning of the national spirit, and hurl its consuming fire at the men who, had they possessed the power, would have riveted the bondage of his people, he could and did soothe their angry paroxysms with lulling words of praise and hope, and, transforming their terribly real, physical, and moral griefs and ills into picturesque and sentimental sorrows, awakened a languid admiration, and a passing sympathy for a nation which could boast such beautiful music, and whose woes were so agreeably, so charmingly sung. Liberal opinions Moore supported by tongue and pen, but then they were fashionable within a sufficiently extensive circle of notabilities, and had nothing of the coarseness and downrightness of vulgar Radicalism about them. The political idiosyncrasy of Moore is developed in the same essential aspect in his memoir of Lord Edward Fitzgerald as in his national songs. There is nothing impassioned, nothing which hurries the pulse or kindles the eye—but a graceful regret, a carefully guarded appreciation of the acts and motives of that unfortunate and misguided nobleman, run throughout. Moore was what men call a fair weather politician—which means, not that storms do not frequently surround them, but that by a prudent forethought, a happy avoidance of prematurely committing themselves, they contrive to make fair weather for themselves, however dark and tempestuous may be the time to other and less sagacious men, and who, when their sun does at last shine, come out with extreme effulgence and brilliancy. Moore, therefore, as a politician, was quite unexceptionable, though not eminent. He was at once a pensioned and unpurchased, and, we verily believe, unpurchasable partisan; an honest, sincere, and very mild patriot; a faithful, and at the same time prudent and circumspect lover of his country, its people, and its faith. There are very high-sounding names in the list of political celebrities, of whom it would be well if such real though not highly-flattering praise could be truly spoken.

Moore's prose works require but little notice at our hands beyond that incidentally bestowed upon them in our passage through his works. None of them that we are acquainted with add at all to the reputation for genius acquired by his poetry. The flow and rhyme of verse are indispensable to carry the reader through stories without probability or interest, and to render men and[Pg 800] women, not only without originality—that frequently happens—but destitute of individualism, decently tolerable. We are ignorant of the contributions to the "Edinburgh Review;" but they could scarcely have much enhanced the power and attractiveness of a periodical which in his time numbered among its contributors such names as Jeffrey, Brougham, Sidney Smith, Hallam, Macaulay, and others of that mint and standard. Moore is assigned by his friends a high rank among the defenders or apologists of the Church of Rome; and we believe his "Travels," like Cobbett's "Reformation," have been translated by papal authority and command into most of the languages of Europe. Of his merits in this department of literature, which is quite out of our way, we do not presume to offer an opinion. His book unquestionably displays a vast deal of research and learning; but whether it is so entirely perverse as its adversaries contend, or so pre-eminently irrefragable and convincing as its admirers assert, we really can not say.

It is, after all, in the home-life of individuals that their true character must be read and studied. The poet and the politician—the latter more especially—dwell, as regards their vocations, apart from the household tests which really measure the worth, the truth, the kindliness of individual men and women. Moore, we are pleased to be able to repeat, as a son, a husband, a father, a friend, and neighbor, bore, and deservedly, the highest character. His domestic affections were ardent, tender, and sincere; and the brilliant accomplishments which caused his society to be courted by the great ones of the world, shed their genial charm over the quiet fireside at which sat his wife, and in whose light and warmth the children whose loss has bowed him to the grave, grew up only to bloom and perish. There have been much greater poets, more self-sacrificing, though perhaps no more sincere lovers of their country; but in the intimate relations of domestic life, and the discharge of its common, every-day, but sacred obligations, there are few men who have borne a more unspotted and deservedly-high reputation than Thomas Moore.


Many, many years ago, before fairies were exploded, and when every noble family had a guardian spirit attached to it, the fairy Aquarella, my heroine, existed. The date is so far back, that it belongs to those good old days known as "once upon a time." Now, Aquarella was the spirit of a pretty, sparkling streamlet, which strayed through the grounds of a mighty lord, in whose welfare she had always been interested. She was but a tiny little thing—one of the progeny of Isis and Thames; but people said she inherited the beauties of both her parents. Her little stream was of the purest water, and in her way she carefully avoided all ugly spots, while her banks were always studded with the choicest flowers. Here, the Narcissus found a fitting mirror for his waxen leaves; here, the water-lilies spread their broad petals, and formed cups fit for a fairy's board; and here, the humble forget-me-not crept under the foliage, nestling close to its birth-place, and looking so innocent, you could scarcely believe it had once lured a gay knight to a melancholy death. Aquarella, however, could never become an accessary to so sad a crime—her waters could never injure any one, save in one place, where the young Lord Albert loved to come and bathe.

The lord's bath, as it was called, was in a sweet, shady spot—the weeping willow and gentle aspen shielded it from the sun's rays, and the bright smooth pebbles that lined it seemed quite to form a pavement. This was Aquarella's favorite retreat, and hither she would calmly repose after her capricious wanderings. Sometimes she would almost hide herself under a sedgy canopy, when you could only trace her course by the deeper verdure on either side of her; and this was the chosen lurking-place of the speckled trout, the rosy dace, and other dandy fish, for she would only allow her waters to be inhabited by the choicest of their kind; slimy eels, vulgar tittlebats, or the voracious pike, were forbidden to approach her court. Sometimes she would tire of this quiet life, and suddenly making a prodigious fuss in the world, would splash around a few great stones that lay in her path, spreading herself out as wide as she could, sparkling and dancing in the sunlight, till each tiny ripple seemed to wear a crown of diamonds, and you could hardly fancy the noisy, smiling waters, belonged to the tranquil stream that had been creeping along so gently.

Few mortals were acquainted with Aquarella; but she was well-known to the gallant kingfisher, to the lordly heron, who would pursue their sport by her banks.

It was when the Lord Albert was a baby, that Aquarella first saw and loved him; his nurses had brought him to bask in her waters. The fairy was resting in her chosen retreat, and never before having noticed a mortal infant, was greatly struck with his beauty. She tempered her natural delicious coolness to receive him, and the child crowed, and clapped his pretty pink fingers, as the clear stream closed around him; he laughed as he emerged from his bath, and struggled for another dip; his women could scarcely tear him away. From that day the bath was his favorite amusement; invisibly supported by Aquarella, he sported in her waters, and each day imbibed new virtues from them. Health, strength, good temper, and good looks—these were the fairy's gifts to her protégé, and wherever her wanderings led her, she heard him cited as the kindest, the bravest, the wisest, and the best of young noblemen.

Albert knew not of the beneficent being who protected him, and when he occasionally saw a vapory wreath arising from the brook, he little suspected whom it concealed; and yet if he could have seen Aquarella, her loveliness would have charmed him. She was fair—as all English maidens are—and was attired in the highest[Pg 801] fashion of her father's court. Her dress was of that changing blue-green—known to aquatic beauties as mackerel-back—spangled with scales from the gold and silver fish. Some of her father's marine friends had brought her pearls and coral, from the great ocean itself, and with them she looped up her drapery, and braided her long tresses, while over all she threw a rich vail of mist which concealed her from the common gaze; and thus she would float along, hearing the praises of her beloved mortal, or busily occupied in increasing his wealth, ornamenting his ground, and shielding him from evil.

So passed Aquarella's days. She was now seldom seen in her father's court; her whole happiness was centred in Albert. She cared not to join in her sisters' gambols, as each brought their tribute to their august parents—she was pining away for love, and only lived when in Albert's domain; elsewhere she dwindled away till her fond mother feared she would lose all her beauty and animation, and become a mere rillet. It was proposed to unite her waters with those of a neighboring river, who wished to marry, but she would not hear of such a thing, and threatened if it were mentioned again to hide herself underground for the rest of her life.

"But, good gracious! what is to be done?" asked Isis; "we can not let the poor child, our youngest and prettiest, incur the unhappy fate of the unfortunate little Fleet River."

"No, no," replied father Thames, "that must not be; I will take her to-morrow to London Bridge; he is older, and has seen more of the world than any one we know. I dare say he can give us some good advice."

"Very well," said Isis, "you may speak to the Bridge, as you go to meet those nauseous salt rivers; I hate them, they are so rough and roar so when they are angry. I will see what I can learn nearer home, at the Universities; there are plenty of doctors there."

"You had better call at Sion House, too, and Richmond."

"To be sure, that I will; there—where fair queens have fretted and have mourned, where noble ladies have dwelt and wept—they must know something of this strange disease, called Love, for I really fear that is Aquarella's disorder."

"Nonsense! where could she get that complaint?"

"On earth, to be sure. It is very prevalent there, and I am told it is infectious; we can but ask, you know."

The two anxious parents now separated, Isis remaining impatiently till old Thames's return from his sea visit allowed her to proceed on her inland course. They gained but little information at any of the places they had mentioned, as, though such things had occasionally happened in Greece, the case was quite new to all the sages here. Aquarella was the first English fairy who had been known to die of love for a mortal. This low attachment of hers made her friends very unhappy, and at last they summoned her godfather Aquarius. As he was the god of all the rivers, and a very high personage, there was a great deal of ceremony in his reception, and he came to the bed of Thames in a special train of thunder, lightning, and rain, accompanied by his friend Boreas. This high honor made the old couple so proud, that they spread out their waters to make room for him, till they even covered their banks, and frightened all who lived near them.

Aquarius, from his long experience and intimate acquaintance with lady-rivers of all nations, was quite the most proper person to treat with the poor fairy. He did not scold, rough as he was, for he knew scolding was of no good in her complaint; he reasoned with her, but that was scarce more efficient.

"Do you know, child, that to marry this mortal, you must take his religion?"

"And is not that better than ours, your Mightiness?"

"Give up your immortality?"

"And gain his. Ours must cease with this world; his can never end."

"But it may be an immortality of grief?"

"Not unless we deserve it, and we will not. I learned much, your Mightiness, while washing the walls of a little chapel, by whose side I flow."

"You must relinquish your high privileges."

"What are they, without love?"

"Aquarella, you are mad! Do you know what the life of a mortal woman is?"

"Oh, yes. Have I not watched Albert's mother? I know how she spends her days; in providing comforts for son and husband, in instructing the ignorant, in relieving the poor, in doing good to all. Hers is indeed a happy and useful life."

"And suppose Albert should not love you?"

"I could still watch over him."

"Suppose he should become poor—should fall from his high estate?"

"I would work for, and comfort him."

"If he live, he will lose his youthful beauty."

"But he will preserve his virtues."

"He will become old and decrepit."

"I will nurse him."

"She has an answer for every thing; there must be a woman's soul in her. After all—listen to me seriously, daughter—you may indeed do all you say, and become the blessing of Albert's life; but to do this, you must leave your parents, your sisters—leave them, and forever."

"Must I, indeed?"

"You must. Albert is of another class; he may be as good as you, still he is not your equal, nor can you enjoy his love and that of your family. Now choose between them."

"My sisters—my father—Albert."

"Choose—weigh them well in the balance; or one, or the other—both you can not have."

"Does my father disapprove?"

"You can not expect he wishes you to leave him for one of another sort. Your separation must be eternal."

"Will Albert be happy?"

"Why not? Even if he knew you, he could[Pg 802] not think much of a wife who could sever herself from her earliest ties."

"My mother, too! No, no, you are right; I should never be happy. What! To feel I had offended those who have the best claim to my love and affection! I must not think of it. Still, are they not a little prejudiced?"

"Perhaps they are; but if you do your duty, their prejudices may eventually give way."

"I am afraid all you say is true; I can not leave them. Oh! I am very miserable. What shall I do?"

"Do good to every one, make yourself useful—that is the only cure for a broken heart."

"Can I help Albert?"

"To be sure you can. And now you have shown yourself to be a dutiful daughter, and a fairy of proper sense, I will teach you how to assist him, and all his fellow-men."

I can not tell all the advice the old god gave to the disconsolate Aquarella, but its consequences were of great benefit to the young lord, and ultimately to all the world, for she consented to restrain her vagaries, and become a useful member of society, a working river. The same lively energy that helped her to quarrel with the stones, now enabled her to turn a mill; there is no saying what amount of water power is within her. Like all really benevolent, sensible persons, she considers no good work a degradation; and her activity is boundless. She has turned from her course to assist a paper manufacturer, her waters are invaluable to a calico printer also, and she may be seen in a bleaching ground.

She is not so wildly beautiful as in her early days, but her banks are still charming, and, like a kind old maiden aunt, she is ever indulgent to youth. She has famous bays, where rosy boys can launch their tiny vessels; deep recesses, where sober anglers enjoy their silent sport; and sweet nooks, where Albert's posterity have often mused on pleasant thoughts, have pledged the faith, and vowed the love denied to the poor fairy, and here her course flows placidly and serenely along, as if she still took an interest in human happiness, and the trifles that compose it.

It is even said that for the greater benefit of mankind, and of the loved one's descendents in particular, she has consented to be united with a sluggish, but wealthy canal, who wishes to get some pure water. This report at present wants good authority; however, we shall see.

At all events the fairy's fate may teach us that all—even those who have known great troubles—may be happy if they do their duty; that no lot is without its trials and its reward, and that there is no cure to sorrow so potent as a good conscience.


About twenty years ago, after a fatiguing London season, I was stopping at the decayed port and bathing village of Parkgate, on the Dee, opposite the equally decayed town and castle of Flint. It was a curious place to choose for amusement, for it had, and has, no recommendation except brackish water, pleasant scenery at high water, and excessive dullness. But, to own the truth, I was in love, desperately in love, with one of the most charming, provoking little sylphs in the world, who, after driving me half crazy in London, was staying on a visit with an uncle, a Welsh parson, at dreary Parkgate. Not that it was dreary to me when Laura was amiable; on the contrary, I wrote to my friends and described it as one of the most delightful watering-places in England, and, by so doing, lost forever the good graces and legacy of my Aunt Grumph, who traveled all the way from Brighton on my description, and only staid long enough to change horses. One sight of the one street of tumble-down houses, in face of a couple of miles of sand and shingle at low water, was enough. She never spoke to me again, except to express her extreme contempt for my opinion.

Our chief amusement was riding on the sand, and sometimes crossing to Flint at low water. You know, of course, that formerly the Dee was a great commercial river, with important ports at Chester, Parkgate, and Flint; but, in the course of time, the banks have fallen in, increasing the breadth at the expense of the depth; so that at Parkgate, whence formerly the Irish packets sailed, the fisher-girls can walk over at low water, merely tucking up their petticoats in crossing the channel, down which the main stream of fresh water flows.

But although this broad expanse of sand affords a firm footing, at low water, for the whole way across, except just round Flint, where there are several quicksands, when the tide turns, in certain states of the wind, the whole estuary is covered with wonderful rapidity; for the tide seems to creep up subterranean channels, and you may find yourself surrounded by salt-water when you least expect it.

This was of no consequence to us, as we were never tied for time. I was teaching Laura to ride on a little Welsh pony, and the sands made a famous riding-school. I laugh now when I think of the little rat of a pony she used to gallop about, for she now struggles into a Brougham of ordinary dimensions with great difficulty, and weighs nearly as much as her late husband, Mr. Alderman Mallard. In a short time, Laura made so much progress in horsemanship that she insisted on mounting my hackney, a full-sized well-bred animal, and putting me on the rat-pony. When I indulged her in this fancy—for of course she had her own way—I had the satisfaction of being rewarded by her roars of laughter at the ridiculous figure I cut, ambling beside her respectable uncle, on his cart-horse cob, with my legs close to the ground, and my nose peering over the little Welshman's shaggy ears, while my fairy galloped round us, drawing all sorts of ridiculous comparisons. This was bad enough, but when Captain Egret, the nephew of my charmer's aunt's husband, a handsome fellow, with "a lovely gray horse, with such a tail," as Laura described it, came up from Chester to stay a few days, I could stand my rat-pony no[Pg 803] longer, and felt much too ill to ride out; so stood at the window of my lodgings with my shirt-collar turned down, and Byron in my hand open at one of the most murderous passages, watching Laura on my chestnut, and Captain Egret on his gray, cantering over the deserted bed of the Dee. They were an aggravatingly handsome couple, and the existing state of the law on manslaughter enabled me to derive no satisfaction from the hints contained in the "Giaour" or the "Corsair." These were our favorite books of reference for Young England in those days. Indeed, we were all amateur pirates, and felons in theory; but when I had been cast down in disgust at the debased state of civilization, which prevented me from challenging Captain Egert to single combat, with Laura for the prize of the victor, instead of a cell in Chester Castle, my eyes fell on an advertisement in a local paper, which turned my thoughts into a new channel, of "Sale of Blood Stock, Hunters, and Hackneys, at Plas * * *, near Holywell."

I determined to give up murder, and buy another horse, for I could ride as well as the captain; and then what glorious tête-à-têtes I could have, with my hand on the pommel of Laura's side-saddle. The idea put me in good-humor. Regimental duties having suddenly recalled Captain Egret, I spent a delightful evening with Laura; she quite approved of my project, and begged that I would choose a horse "with a long tail, of a pretty color," which is every young lady's idea of what a horse should be.

Accordingly I mounted my chestnut on a bright morning of July, and rode across to Flint, accompanied by a man to bring back my intended purchase. It was dead low water; when, full of happy thoughts, in the still warm silence of the summer morning, holding my eager horse hard in, I rode at a foot-pace across the smooth, hard, wave-marked bed of the river. There was not a cloud in the sky. The sun, rising slowly, cast a golden glow over the sparkling sand. Pat-pat-pit-pat, went my horse's feet, not loud enough to disturb the busy crows and gulls seeking their breakfast; they were not afraid of me; they knew I had no gun. I remember it; I see it all before me, as if it were yesterday, for it was one of the most delicious moments of my life. But the screaming gulls and whistling curlews were put to flight, before I had half crossed the river's bed, by the cheerful chatter, laughter, and fragments of Welsh airs sung in chorus by a hearty crowd of cockle and mussel gatherers, fishermen, and farmers' wives, on their way to the market on the Cheshire side—men, women (they were the majority), and children, on foot, on ponies, and donkeys, and in little carts. Exchanging good-humored jokes, I passed on until I came to the ford of the channel, where the river runs between banks of deep soft sand. At low water, at certain points, in summer, it is but a few inches deep; but after heavy rains, and soon after the turning of the tide, the depth increases rapidly.

At the ford I met a second detachment of Welsh peasantry preparing to cross, by making bundles of shoes and stockings, and tucking up petticoats very deftly. Great was the fun and the splashing, and plenty of jokes on the Saxon and his red horse going the wrong way. The Welsh girls in this part of the country are very pretty, with beautiful complexions, a gleam of gold in their dark hair, and an easy, graceful walk, from the habit of carrying the water-pitchers from the wells on their heads. The scene made me feel any thing but melancholy or ill-natured. I could not help turning back to help a couple of little damsels across, pillion-wise, who seemed terribly afraid of wetting their finery at the foot ford.

Having passed the channels, the wheels and footmarks formed a plain direction for a safe route, which, leaving Flint Castle on my right, brought me into the centre of Flint, without any need of a guide. The rest of my road was straightforward and commonplace. I reached the farm where the sale was to take place, in time for breakfast, and was soon lost in a crowd of country squires, Welsh parsons, farmers, horse-dealers, and grooms.

Late in the day I purchased a brown stallion, with a strain of Arab blood, rather undersized, but compact, and one of the handsomest horses I ever saw before or since, very powerful, nearly thorough-bred. When the auctioneer had knocked him down to me, I said to one of the grooms of the establishment who was helping my man—handing him a crown-piece at the same time:

"As the little brown horse is mine, with all faults, just have the goodness to tell me what is his fault?"

"Why, sir," he answered, "he can walk, trot, gallop, and jump, first rate, surely; but he's very awkward to mount; and when you are on, he'll try uncommon hard to get you off, for two minutes; if you stick fast, he will be quiet enough all day."

"Thank you, my man," I replied; "I'll try him directly."

Just before starting I found the chestnut had a shoe loose, and had to send him to the nearest village, two miles off. I had promised Laura to return by eight o'clock, to finish a delightful book we were reading aloud together, until the tiff about Captain Egret had interrupted us. You may judge if I was not impatient; and yet, with fifteen miles to ride to Flint, I had no time to spare.

My friend, the groom, saddled the brown horse, and brought him down to the open road to me. He trotted along, with shining coat and arched neck, snorting and waving his great tail like a lion. As he piaffed and paraded sideways along, casting back his full eye most wickedly, every motion spoke mischief; but there was no time for consideration; I had barely an hour to do fifteen miles of rough roads before crossing the river, and must get to the river-side, cool. I had intended to have ridden the chestnut, who was experienced in water, but the loose shoe upset that arrangement.[Pg 804]

Without giving him any time to see what I was about, I caught him by the mane and the reins, threw myself from a sloping bank into the saddle, and, although he dragged the groom across the road, I had both feet in the stirrups before he burst from his hold. Snorting fiercely, he bucked and plunged until I thought the girths would surely crack; but other horsemen galloping past, enabled me to bustle him into full speed, and in five minutes he settled down into a long, luxurious stride, with his legs under his haunches, that felt like a common canter, but really devoured the way, and swept me past every thing on the road. Up hill and down, it was all the same, he bounded, like a machine full of power on the softest of steel-springs.

Ten miles were soon past, and we reached Holywell; up the steep hill and through the town, and down the steep narrow lanes, we went, and reached the level road along the shore leading to Flint, without halt, until within two miles of that town; then I drew bridle, to walk in cool.

By this time the weather, which had been bright all day, had changed; a few heat drops of rain fell, thunder was heard rolling in the distance, and a wind seemed rising and murmuring from the sea.

I looked at my watch as we entered the town; it was an hour past the time when I intended to have crossed—but Laura must not be disappointed; so I only halted at the inn long enough to let the brown wash his mouth out, and, without dismounting, rode on to the guide's house. As I passed the Castle, I heard a band playing; it was a party of officers, with their friends, who had come up on a pic-nic from Chester.

When I reached the cottage of old David, the guide, he was sitting on the bench at the door, putting on his shoes and stockings; and part of the party I had met in the morning, as they passed, cried, "You're late, master; you must hurry on to cross to-night." David was beginning to dissuade me; but when I threw him a shilling, and trotted on, he followed me, pattering down the beach.

"You must make haste, master, for the wind's getting up, and will bring the tide like a roaring lion—it will. But I suppose the pretty lady with the rosy face expects you. But where's the red horse? I wish you had him. I do not like strange horses on such a time as this—indeed, and I do not," he added. But I had no time for explanations, although David was a great ally of ours. I knew I was expected; it was getting dusk, and Laura would be anxious, I hoped.

Pushing briskly along, we soon reached the ford of the channel, so calm and shallow in the morning, but now filling fast with the tide; dark clouds were covering the sky, and the wind brought up a hollow murmuring sound.

"Now get across, young gentleman, as fast as you can, and keep your eye on the wind-mill, and don't spare your spurs, and you will have plenty of time; so, good-evening, God bless you! young gentleman, and the pretty lady, too," cried David, honestest of Welsh guides.

I tried to walk the brown horse through the ford where it was not more than three or four feet deep; but he first refused; then, when pressed, plunged fiercely in, and was out of his depth in a moment. He swam boldly enough, but obstinately kept his head down the stream, so that, instead of landing on an easy, shelving shore, he came out where all but a perpendicular bank of soft sand had to be leaped and climbed over. After several unsuccessful efforts, I was obliged to slip off, and climb up on foot, side by side with my horse, holding on by the flap of the saddle. If I had not dismounted, we should probably have rolled back together.

When I reached the top of the bank, rather out of breath, I looked back, and saw David making piteous signs, as he moved off rapidly, for me to push along. But this was easier said than done; the brown horse would not let me come near him. Round and round he went, rearing and plunging, until I was quite exhausted. Coaxing and threatening were alike useless; every moment it was getting darker. Once I thought of letting the brute go, and swimming back to David. But when I looked at the stream, and thought of Laura, that idea was dismissed. Another tussle, in which we plowed up the sand in a circle, was equally fruitless, and I began to think he would keep me there to be drowned, for to cross the Parkgate on foot before the tide came up strong, seemed hopeless. At length, finding I could not get to touch his shoulder, I seized the opportunity, when he was close to the bank of the stream, and catching the curb sharply in both hands, backed him half way down almost into the water. Before he had quite struggled up to the top, I threw myself into the saddle, and was carried off at the rate of thirty miles an hour toward the sea.

But I soon gathered up the reins, and, firm in my seat, turned my Tartar's head toward the point where I could see the white wind-mill gleaming through the twilight on the Cheshire shore.

I felt that I had not a moment to spare. The sand, so firm in the morning, sounded damp under my horse's stride; the little stagnant pools filled visibly, and joining formed shallow lakes, through which we dashed in a shower of spray; and every now and then we leaped over, or plunged into deep holes. At first I tried to choose a path, but as it rapidly grew darker, I sat back in my saddle, and with my eyes fixed on the tower of the wind-mill, held my horse firmly into a hand gallop, and kept a straight line. He was a famous deep-chested, long-striding, little fellow, and bounded along as fresh as when I started. By degrees my spirits began to rise; I thought the danger past; I felt confidence in myself and horse, and shouted to him in encouraging triumph. Already I was, in imagination, landed and relating my day's adventures to Laura, when with a heavy plunge down on his head, right over went the brown stallion, and away I flew as far as the reins, fortunately fast grasped, would let me. Blinded with wet sand, startled, shaken,[Pg 805] confused, by a sort of instinct, I scrambled to my feet almost as soon as my horse, who had fallen over a set of salmon-net stakes. Even in the instant of my fall, all the honor of my situation was mentally visible to me. In a moment I lived years. I felt that I was a dead man; I wondered if my body would be found; I thought of what my friends would say; I thought of letters in my desk I wished burned. I thought of relatives to whom my journey to Parkgate was unknown, of debts I wished paid, of parties with whom I had quarreled, and wished I had been reconciled. I wondered whether Laura would mourn for me, whether she really loved me. In fact, the most serious and ridiculous thoughts were jumbled altogether, while I muttered, once or twice, a hasty prayer; and yet I did not lose a moment in remounting. This time my horse made no resistance, but stood over his hocks in a pool of salt water, and trembled and snorted—not fiercely, but in fear. There was no time to lose. I looked round for the dark line of the shore; it had sunk in the twilight. I looked again for the white tower; it had disappeared. The fall and the rolling, and turning of the horse in rising, had confused all my notions of the points of the compass. I could not tell whether it was the dark clouds from the sea, or the dizzy whirling of my brain; but it seemed to have become black night in a moment.

The water seemed to flow in all directions round and round. I tried, but could not tell which was the sea, and which the river side. The wind, too, seemed to shift and blow from all points of the compass.

Then, "Softly," I said to myself, "be calm; you are confused by terror; be a man;" and pride came to my rescue. I closed my eyes for a moment, and whispered, "Oh Lord, save me." Then with an effort, calmer, as though I had gulped down something, I opened my eyes, stood up in my stirrups, and peered into the darkness. As far as I could see, were patches of water eating up the dry bits of sand; as far as I could hear, a rushing tide was on all sides. Four times, in different directions, I pushed on, and stopped when I found the water rising over the shoulders of my horse.

I drew up on a sort of island of sand, which was every minute growing less, and gathering all the strength of my lungs, shouted again and again, and then listened; but there came no answering shout. Suddenly, a sound of music came floating past me. I could distinguish the air; it was the military band playing "Home, sweet Home." I tried to gather from what quarter the sound came; but each time the wind instruments brayed out loudly, the sounds seemed to come to me from every direction at once. "Ah!" I thought, "I shall see home no more." I could have wept, but I had no time; my eyes were staring through the darkness, and my horse plunging and rearing, gave me no rest for weeping. I gave him his head once, having heard that horses, from ships sunk at sea, have reached land distant ten miles, by instinct; but the alternation of land, and shallow and deep water confused his senses, and destroyed the calm power which might have been developed in the mere act of swimming.

At length, after a series of vain efforts, I grew calm and resigned. I made up my mind to die. I took my handkerchief from my neck, and tied my pocket-book to the D's of the saddle. I pulled my rings off my fingers, and put them in my pocket—I had heard of wreckers cutting off the fingers of drowned men—and then was on the point of dashing forward at random, when some inner feeling made me cast another steady glance all round. At that moment, just behind me, something sparkled twice, and disappeared, and then reappearing, shone faintly, but so steadily, that there could be no doubt it was a light on the Cheshire shore. In an instant my horse's head was turned round. I had gathered him together, dug in the spurs, and crying from the bottom of my heart, "Thank God!" in the same moment, not profanely, but with a horseman's instinct, shouting encouragingly, and dashed away toward the light. It was a hard fight; the ground seemed melting from under us—now struggling through soft sand, now splashing over hard, now swimming (that was easy), and now and again leaping and half falling, but never losing hold of my horse or sight of the beacon; we forced through every obstacle, until at length the water grew shallower and shallower; we reached the sand, and, passing the sand, rattled over the shingle at high-water mark—and I was saved! But I did not, could not stop; up the loose shingles I pressed on to the light that had saved me. I could not rest one instant, even for thanksgiving, until I knew to what providential circumstance I owed my safety. I drew up at a fisherman's hut of the humblest kind, built on the highest part of the shore, full two miles from Parkgate; a light, which seemed faint when close to it, twinkled from a small latticed window. I threw myself from my horse, and knocked loudly at the door, and as I knocked, fumbled with one hand in my soaked pocket for my purse. Twice I knocked again, and the door, which was unhasped, flew open. A woman, weeping bitterly, rose at this rude summons; and at the same moment I saw on the table the small coffin of a young child, with a rushlight burning at either end. I owed my life to death!




The life of the Turkish Effendi, or gentleman, at Antioch, is rather of a monotonous character. He lives in his own, or rather in two houses—for the harem, though part of the same house, is entirely partitioned off, and no one but himself and his slaves know where it is, or how to get in or out of it. He always keeps the door-key in his pocket, and when the ladies want any thing, they rap, like so many woodpeckers, at a kind of revolving cupboard, which is securely fastened into the wall. Through this cupboard[Pg 806] at which neither party can see the other, the lady speaks to the servant, and tells him what to fetch or buy for her at the bazaars; and the article is brought and placed in the cupboard, which is wheeled round by the lady inside, so that she may take it out. When they are desirous of walking in the garden, or going to the bath, the key is delivered into the charge of some old duenna, and the Effendi sees nothing more of it till the party has returned, and the ladies are safely locked up again.

The Effendi is, generally speaking, an early riser, and seldom sits up till a late hour at night. On issuing from his harem, he is waited upon by half a dozen slaves, who assist in his ablutions: one holds the ewer, another the soap, a third the towel, and a fourth and fifth assist him with his clean apparel. Having washed and dressed, he goes through his morning devotions at the nearest mosque. Returning home, his servants serve him with his cup of bitter coffee and pipe of real gibili, by which time it is about seven A.M., the fashionable hour for a Turkish gentleman to call and receive visits. Acquaintances and friends saunter in, and salute the host, who salutes them. Beyond this, there is little conversation; for Turks hate talking; and still less joking, for they detest laughing. They inquire like a parcel of anxious doctors, very kindly after each other's health, and after the general salubrity of their respective houses, for no one ever dreams of asking how his friend's wife is; that would be considered the grossest breach of decorum. Draft-boards, and pipes, and coffee are introduced. Some play, others look on; and, save the rattling of the dice, very little is heard to interrupt the silence of the room. The Effendi's clerk comes in occasionally, with a batch of unanswered letters in his hands, and whispers mysteriously to the Effendi, who either goes off into a violent fit of rage, or nods his consent in approval of what has been done, just as the contents of the letter are pleasing or the reverse. Most of these letters are from the overseers, or the laborers in the Effendi's silk-gardens, or olive-plantations; some few from people craving his assistance; others demanding repayment of loans of money; for there are but few of the Effendis of Antioch, though all rolling in riches, that are not indebted to some person or other for cash loans, as, such is their strange avarice, that though they possess (to use an Oriental expression) rooms full of money, they are loth to extract one farthing from their treasures for their daily expenditure.

About ten A.M., the Effendi orders his horse, and followed by his pipe-bearer, who is equally well-mounted, takes a sedate ride in the environs of the town. On Saturdays, in lieu of riding, he goes to the bath, but in either case he is pretty punctual as to the hour of his return. On reaching home, more pipes and coffee are produced, and he affixes his seal (for a Turk never signs his name) to the various business letters that his secretary has prepared, ready for dispatching. The cry from the minaret now warns him that it is the hour for mid-day prayer. Washing his hands, face, and feet, he proceeds to the sami (mosque), where he remains till it is time to breakfast; and when the breakfast is served, he goes through the forms of ablution again. After his meals, he is required to wash once more.

I may here remark, for the guidance of strangers, that there is nothing a Turk considers more degrading than the want of this scrupulous cleanliness in Europeans; and considering the climate, and the wisdom of doing in Rome as Rome does (apart from all other arguments), travelers, although seldom obliged to use their fingers as Turks do at their meals, ought strictly to adhere to this custom while among Orientals.

The Effendi, after his breakfast, which is generally a very good one, and is prepared by the careful hands of the fair ladies of the harem, retires into his seraglio for a couple of hours' siesta, during the heat of the day. In this interval, if a Pasha, or a bosom-friend, or the devil himself were to appear, and ask of the servants to see their master immediately, they would reply that he was asleep in the harem, and that it was as much as their heads were worth to disturb him.

At about two, P.M., the Effendi is again visible. He then occupies his time in playing drafts, or reading a Turkish newspaper. At four, he goes once more to the mosque, and thence proceeds to the secluded garden, on the banks of the Orontes. Here several other Effendis are sure to meet him, for it is their usual evening rendezvous. Carpets are spread; baskets of cucumbers and bottles of spirit produced; and they drink brandy, and nibble cucumbers, till nigh upon sundown. Sometimes cachouks, or dancing boys, dressed up in gaudy tinsel-work, and musicians, are introduced, for the entertainment of the party. By nightfall, every individual has finished his two—some more—bottles of strong aqua vitæ, and they return homeward, and dine—and dine heartily. Coffee is then introduced, but nothing stronger—as they never drink spirit or wine after their evening meals. The nine o'clock summons to prayer, resounds from the minaret, and nine minutes after that, the Effendi is fast asleep, and nothing under an earthquake would bring him forth from the harem again, till he rises simultanously with the sun next day.


Antioch is, beyond dispute, the cheapest place in the world, as well as one of the healthiest; and if it were not for the ragged little boys, who hoot at every stranger, and throw stones at his door, annoying you in every possible way, I should prefer it, as a place of residence, to any spot I have visited in Europe, Asia, Africa, or America.

My house was of perfectly new construction, well planted, and well situated, and proof against water, as well as wind. I had four rooms—a sitting-room, a dining-room, a bed-room, and a dressing-room. I had a walled inclosure of about eighty feet square, where roses and geraniums vied in beauty with jessamines and lilies. There was also a poultry-yard, a pigeon-house, stables[Pg 807] for three horses, a store-house, a kitchen, and a servants' room. I had in the garden a grape-vine (muscatel), a pomegranate-tree, a peach-tree, a plum-tree, an apricot, and a China quince; and, in addition to all these, a fountain perpetually jetting up water, and a well, and a bathing-room. For all this accommodation, I paid three hundred and fifty piastres—about three pounds sterling—and this was a higher rent than would be paid by any native. Of course, the house was unfurnished, but furniture in the East is seldom on a grand scale: a divan, half a dozen chairs, a bedstead, a mattress, a looking-glass, a table or two, and half a dozen pipes, and narghilies are all one requires. Servants cost about three pounds a head per annum. Seven and a half pounds of good mutton may be had for a shilling. Fowls—and fat ones, too—twopence each. Fish is sold by the weight—thirteen rotolos for a beshlik, or about seventy pounds weight for a shilling. Eels—the very best flavored in the world—three halfpence each. As for vegetables, whether cabbages, lettuces, des asperges, celery, watercresses, parsley, beans, peas, radishes, turnips, carrots, cauliflowers, and onions, a pennyworth would last a man a week. Fruit is sold at the same rates; and grapes cost about five shillings the horse-load. Game is also abundant. Dried fruits and nuts can be obtained in winter. In fact, living as well as one could wish, I found it impossible—house-rent, servants, horses, board, washing, and wine included—to exceed the expenditure of forty pounds per annum.

Under these circumstances, it may appear marvelous that many Europeans, possessed of limited means, have not made Antioch their temporary home; but every question has two sides, and every thing its pros and cons. The cons, in this instance, are the barbarous character of the people among whom you live; the perpetual liability of becoming, at one instant's warning, the victim of some fanatical émeute; the small hopes you have of redress for the grossest insults offered; the continual intrigues entered into by the Ayans to disturb your peace and comfort; the absence of many of the luxuries enjoyed in Europe; the want of society and books, and the total absence of all places of worship, which gradually creates in the mind a morbid indifference to religion, and which feeling frequently degenerates into absolute infidelity. It is better to choose with David in such a case, and say, "I would rather be a door-keeper in the house of the Lord than dwell in the tents of iniquity."


Two hours and a half ride from Antioch, through a country that is a perfect paradise upon earth, but over the most execrable and detestable: road, brought me to the ancient Seleucia. Famed in the olden history as the emporium of Eastern commerce and as a port unequaled for safe harborage, Suedia is celebrated in our own days as having been the residence and favorite retreat of the late John Barker, Esq., formerly her Majesty's Consul-general in Egypt, equally eminent as a philanthropist and a Christian gentleman.

Suedia, or, as it is termed by the Syrians, Zectoonli, embraces a wide range of mulberry gardens, extending over a space of ten miles by three, and containing a scattered and mixed population, equal, if not exceeding in number, to that of Antioch. The village is spread chiefly upon the banks of the Orontes, and running parallel with the beach, which forms a boundary to the waves of the Seleucian gulf where the Orontes ends her course, and nature has scattered around her choicest gifts.

It would require the pen of an inspired writer to describe in adequate colors this garden of Eden. Mulberry, lemon, and orange-trees form an uninterrupted succession of gardens, surrounding picturesque little cottages, each one eclipsing the other in neatness and beauty of situation. The peasants themselves are hale, robust, and sturdy-looking men; the children are rosy and healthy; and the women beautiful, innocent, and happy. Each stops, as a stranger passes, to make a bashful salute, and bid him welcome to their country. This is what I never met elsewhere; and it was very pleasing to find uncivilized and untaught Arabs so polite and courteous. There is, in fact, nothing that a native of Suedia will not do to render a sojourn among them agreeable and pleasant. They are a simple people, and as simple in their habits as in their character. The sun teaches them when to rise, and darkness when to seek their beds. They labor for subsistence; they sleep for refreshment; they laugh with the merry, and weep with the afflicted. Their simple old pastor, in their venerable rustic church, has pointed out to them from childhood how heinous is sin—how amiable virtue; and they are taught ever to remember that an all-seeing Eye will detect and punish sins hidden to men, as surely as public offenses will entail flagellation from the pasha and governors of the district. Thus they live happy in their innocence, and in each other, and almost void of offense toward God and man; a meet people to inhabit a country like that they dwell in.

To this quiet retreat, Mr. Barker, after zealously serving his king and country for a long period of years, retired, on quitting Egypt, to enjoy in seclusion the pension awarded him by the government, and devote the remainder of his days to the peaceful pursuit of agriculture. Few men could better appreciate the rich gifts Nature had lavished on this spot. A perfect botanist, and skilled in agriculture, his time and income during a period of nearly twenty years, were spent in promoting every improvement in the cultivation of the soil; and many have grown rich, directly or indirectly, from the methods of tillage introduced into the country by Mr. Barker.

On taking possession of his wife's landed inheritance, Mr. Barker's first steps were to erect an edifice becoming his means and station, and one that would render his sojourn in the country agreeable to himself and his family, and the many friends and strangers, who delighted in visiting him, remaining his guests for days, weeks, and, in some instances, months. There was no mis[Pg 808]take as to the genuine hospitality of the worthy host. His word of welcome was truth itself; and the warm cordiality of his excellent heart was felt in the firm grasp of his hand. "Sir," he has said to me on more than one occasion, "it is the traveler who confers a favor upon me by remaining, and giving me the benefit of his society, provided he be a man that is at all sufferable. Some few, I must own, have staid longer than myself or my family could have wished, but they have been very few." A perfect gentleman, an accomplished scholar, a sagacious thinker, a philosopher, and philanthropist, people wondered how so great a heart could content itself to remain in a place like Suedia. I had the honor to be on intimate terms with him during my two years' residence in Suedia, and I learned to love and respect him so much, that when he died, full of years and honor, I felt a void in my heart, to which I still recur with the deepest regret.

Mr. Barker's main object in life was to confer benefits upon his suffering neighbors. He knew how much misery and wretchedness was to be every day met with in England, and how incompetent were his means, all-sufficient though they were for his own wants, to relieve such distress; but in Syria a more available field for benevolence presented itself. How far and how well his charitable disposition exerted itself may be imagined, when I say that out of more than six thousand inhabitants, there is not one who does not to this day bless the memory of the good man, who through so many years was the friend of all. I ought to add that through fifty years of uninterrupted intercourse with as many thousand people, he never made one enemy, but was universally respected and beloved.

The gardens of Mr. Barker have been long celebrated for the quantity, variety, and excellent quality of their fruit. In the piece of ground attached to his own private residence, I have plucked from the tree the guava, the sweet-kerneled apricot, the Stanwick nectarine (for which the Duke of Northumberland obtained for him a silver medal), the sweet-kerneled peach, the shucapara, the celebrated apricot of Damascus, the plaqueminia kaki, the loquot or nepolis japonica, the mandarin, and the Malta blood-orange; in short, the fruit of every country in the world. At Mr. Barker's request, I wrote to Penang and China for seeds of some rare fruits and spices, which Colonel Butterworth and Sir George Bonham had the kindness to send me; and though previously produced solely in those climes, they have since sprung up in these charming gardens. But, alas! they did not thus display themselves till the excellent old man had passed away. On the demise of Mr. Barker, the whole of his landed property reverted to his amiable and kind-hearted widow.

Besides introducing the finest fruit-trees in the world, and many rare ornamental trees, from the cuttings and graftings of which the whole of the gardens of Suedia have been supplied, Mr. Barker greatly ameliorated the conditions of the natives by obtaining from Italy regular supplies of the best silk worm seed, which was then divided among them. Originally, the silk produced was of a very inferior quality; it has now become the finest in any part of the East. As for flowers, it was a perfect sight to see the garden attached to Mr. Barker's house at any season of the year, even in the depth of winter, when the surrounding mountains were covered with snow, and every where else vegetation had disappeared, thousands of Bengal roses and other rare and beautiful flowers here presented the appearance of perpetual summer.


Every traveler who has ever visited Cyprus has heard of Signor Baldo Matteo, the Ebenezer Scrooge of the East. While I was at Larnaca, a sad adventure, furnishing ample materials for a melodrama, nearly terminated old Baldo's life, and all his speculations. His only daughter, and heiress, lost her heart to a needy Austrian, who had come to Cyprus expressly to make his fortune by marriage. Hearing of the wealth of old Baldo, and of his daughter, he fixed upon him at once; but Baldo was not to be easily caught, and totally repulsed every advance. The Austrian grew desperate, and, as a final resource, became fanatically religious, attending the Catholic chapel morning, noon, and night. Nothing could exceed his devotion to a certain old priest troubled with the cramp, on whose leg he sat, whenever it was attacked, till the pain passed off. When, after this, he whispered to him the sin that preyed most heavily upon his mind, which was a wish to possess riches, that he might bestow them on Mother Church, and hinted at a passion for Miss Baldo, he received immediate absolution, and was next day dining at old Baldo's table, in company with the Padre Presidenti, and seated next to the object in whom all his hopes were concentrated. Miss Baldo was luckily placed on his right, and heard with unspeakable rapture all his protestations of love and devotion. Had she been on his left, these would all have been lost, as she had been perfectly deaf on that side from her birth.

To be brief, the Austrian proposed, and was accepted, and all that he had now to obtain was old Baldo's consent. Baldo, however, as a man of the world, saw clearly through his designs, and knew him to be a knave, though he had too much reverence for the priestly clique, who had introduced the Austrian, to give a decided negative. All he asked was time—a year—to consider so important a measure. This was accorded, and Baldo devoutly prayed that the true character of his daughter's suitor might before that time be unmasked. His prayer was granted, but in a way the least expected, and certainly the least agreeable to himself.

The lover of the Signorina Baldo, finding his exchequer rather low, and being sorrowfully conscious of his inability to increase his wealth, so as to enable him to keep up necessary appearances, came to the desperate resolution of grasping, without further delay, his intended wife's fortune, by sending poor old Baldo out of the world. Accordingly, armed with a loaded dou[Pg 809]ble-barreled pistol, which he concealed about his person, he proceeded to Matteo's house at an hour when he knew he would find him alone, the daughter and servants being in the habit of attending high mass on Sunday mornings; and he knocked at the door, which, after a little hesitation, was opened to him. Old Baldo, though believed to be an honorable man, and fair and just in his transactions with others, was a confirmed miser. He had accumulated great sums in hard cash, which, unseen by human eye, he had buried in his garden, and hidden in various parts of his house. The house was going to ruin, and wanted whitewashing and repairing in many parts. The garden was a perfect wilderness of weeds and thistles; but these he set fire to regularly once a year, and by this means, to a certain extent, kept them under. As for gardeners armed with a spade, which might dig up and bring to light all kinds of secret hoards, if there was one trade Baldo detested, it was this. He kept the key of his walled-in garden, and on Sundays, when all his family were absent, he strolled about in it till their return.

He was thus occupied when he admitted his would-be son-in-law; and the first thing this promising youth did, was to draw forth his pistol and take deliberate aim, discharging it at the breast of the feeble old man, who, tottering backward a few paces, fell to the earth apparently a corpse. For such the murderer took him; and depositing the pistol close by his side, to make it appear he had died by his own hand, he rushed into the street, closing the door after him.

Running with the haste of a man charged with some important news, he came suddenly on a gentleman attached to the Austrian consulate, whom he breathlessly informed that passing near Baldo's house, he had heard the report of a pistol, followed by a sound like that of some heavy body falling to the earth, that he had in vain knocked at the door for admission, and that he had no doubt in his own mind that some sad catastrophe had occurred.

In a few seconds a perfect mob was collected at Baldo's door, which they broke open, and rushing in, beheld old Baldo stretched upon the ground, his clothes literally saturated with blood, and a pistol lying close by his side. The assassin, who never dreamt that the old man was still alive, witnessed this spectacle with fiendish triumph, though loudly lamenting the loss of him, whom he called the best friend on earth. But it happened that the ball, though it struck against a part where a wound would have been mortal, had come in contact with the sharp edge of a bone, which turned it in another direction, and it was now safely lodged between the skin and the spine. Baldo, who had fainted from fright and loss of blood, now, to the amazement of all, recovered his senses, and hearing the voice of his late assailant, slowly raised himself up, and denounced him on the spot. Having done this, he fell back, and again became unconscious. The wretch was immediately seized and handcuffed, and safely borne away to the Austrian consulate, where he was placed in confinement.

Doctors were now assembled from all parts of Cyprus, and all examined the wound, and declared it fatal, expressing the greatest surprise that the patient should have lingered so long. The blood being stanched, and Baldo suffering from no real injury, but laboring under a sense of approaching dissolution, begged that a confessor might be sent for. To this confessor, he acknowledged, among other offenses, the commission of one sin which weighed heavier than all the rest upon his guilty conscience. It appeared that his niece, who was then married to a French merchant at Larnaca, had been left at a very early age an orphan, and had become his ward. She had, however, been well provided for by her parents, and a large sum of money had been deposited in his hands, which, after covering the expenses of her education and board, &c., would still leave a considerable surplus as a marriage portion. Now old Baldo, never forgetting his thrift, had more than twice turned this capital over before the date of the niece's marriage, but he had retained the proceeds of his own, handing over the principal to the bridegroom on the nuptial day. But on the approach of death, as it seemed, he felt considerable qualms of conscience, and confessed his unworthy stewardship, and indicated the spots where these savings were concealed. The husband of the niece quickly dug them up, and came into possession. Scarcely was this done, when Baldo recovered, and would almost have forgiven the attempt upon his life, had it not involved such serious results.

The Austrian was by the Turkish authorities handed over to his own consulate, and was eventually removed to Trieste, but I believe, for lack of sufficient testimony, escaped punishment. This affair, as it may be imagined, created a great sensation in Cyprus, which was once the scene of the memorable tragedy which terminated the life of Desdemona.


It was in Nicosia, about the year 1840, that Dame Fortune once more played off one of her eccentric frolics on the person of a poor Greek priest, who had little to depend upon in this world, save such meagre offerings as the more charitable of his parishioners bestowed upon him. As the story goes, he was a devout and holy man, but beyond being able to go through the regular routine of his priestly office, possessed but scant learning, and was equally ignorant of the world's ways and manners. At the commencement of a fast, fearing he should, from his defective memory, forget its exact duration, he carefully filled his pockets with so many dried peas as there were fast days, and each day extracting one from his pockets, as the peas diminished, he was warned of the proximity of a feast, and prepared accordingly. On one occasion, his wife happening to find a few peas in her husband's pockets, and imagining the devout man was fond of this Eastern luxury, very affectionately replenished his pockets from her own store of cadamies, or[Pg 810] roasted peas. Great was the consternation of his congregation, when on the eve of the feast day, instead of proclaiming its advent from the pulpit, as is usual, he informed them that eight or ten days yet remained for the approaching festival. A discussion on this point immediately ensued, when the priest, in confirmation of what he asserted, produced from his pocket the remaining peas, making known at the same time his method of calculating. Upon this, his wife stepped forward, and acknowledged what she had done, and great merriment ensued, in which the priest joined.

To this poor man, fortune now brought one of those rare windfalls which are more frequently heard of than experienced. One summer's evening he was seated in the courtyard of his humble house, watching with satisfaction and delight the gambols of his little children, who were amusing themselves with throwing stones at a hole in the wall. At length he remarked, that whenever a stone chanced to go near the crevice, he heard a ringing sound, and to convince himself that he was not deceived, he stepped nearer, and hit it repeatedly with a stone, each time hearing the sound distinctly. It now occurred to him that there was some concealed treasure within, and the thought made him tremble with expectation. He went to bed early, but not to sleep, having formed the determination that he would that night make a rigorous search. When all was still, he rose from his sleepless couch, and going out stealthily and noiselessly, commenced, by aid of a small pickax, breaking into the wall, removing stone by stone. He had hardly worked an hour, when out fell a bag of doubloons, followed by a second and a third. This was indeed a treasure, sufficient to satisfy a more covetous man; but he felt there would be no safety with it in Cyprus. That very night, he carefully stowed his riches in two saddle-bags, and before daybreak, awoke his wife and acquainted her with their good fortune, when horses were hired at a neighboring khan, and priest, wife, and children turned their backs upon Nicosia, and arriving early at Larnaca, embarked that very day on board a vessel sailing for Italy. The priest became the head of one of the wealthiest mercantile firms now established at Leghorn, and is, I believe, still living.


In Hartshorn Lane, near Charing Cross, about the year 1580, dwells Mr. Thomas Fowler, a master bricklayer. He had married, in 1575, Mrs. Margaret Jonson, a widow; and had become the protector of her little boy, Benjamin, then about a year and a half old.

Benjamin is now in his sixth year. He duly attends the parish school in St. Martin's Church; for his father was "a grave minister of the gospel," and his mother is anxious that her only child, poor although he must be, shall lack no advantages of education. We see the sturdy boy daily pacing to school, through the rough and miry way of that half-rural district. In his play-hours he is soon in the fields, picking blackberries in Hedge-lane, or flying his kite by the Windmill in Saint Giles's. His father-in-law is a plain, industrious, trusty man—not rich enough to undertake any of the large works which the luxurious wants of the town present; and oft-times interfered with, in the due course of his labor, by royal proclamations against the increase of houses, which are rigidly enforced when a humble man desires to build a cottage. But young Ben has found friends. To the parish school sometimes comes Master Camden; and he observes the bold boy, always at the head of his class, and not unfrequently having his "clear and fair skin" disfigured by combats with his dirty companions, who litter about the alleys of Saint Martin's-lane. The boy has won good Master Camden's heart; and so, in due time, he proposes to remove him to Westminster School.

Let us look at the Shadow of his Mother, as she debates this question with her husband, at their frugal supper. "The boy must earn his living," says the bricklayer. "He is strong enough to be of help to me. He can mix the mortar; he will soon be able to carry the hod. Learning! stuff! he has learning enow, for all the good it will do him."—"Thomas Fowler," responds the mother, "if I wear my fingers to the bone, my boy shall never carry the hod. Master Camden, a good man, and a learned, will pay for his schooling. Shall we not give him his poor meals and his pallet-bed? Master Camden says he will make his way. I owe it to the memory of him who is gone, that Benjamin shall be a scholar, and perhaps a minister."—"Yes; and be persecuted for his opinions, as his father was. These are ticklish times, Margaret—the lowest are the safest. Ben is passionate, and obstinate, and will quarrel for a straw. Make him a scholar, and he becomes Papist or Puritan—the quiet way is not for the like of him. He shall be apprenticed to me, wife, and earn his daily bread safely and honestly." Night after night is the debate renewed. But the mother triumphs. Ben does go to Westminster School. He has hard fare at home; he has to endure many a taunt as he sits apart in the Abbey cloisters, intent upon his task. But Camden is his instructor and his friend. The bricklayer's boy fights his way to distinction.

Look again at the Shadow of that proud Mother as, after three or four anxious years, she hears of his advancement. He has an exhibition. He is to remove to Cambridge. Her Benjamin must be a bishop. Thomas Fowler is incredulous—and he is not generous: "When Benjamin leaves this roof he must shift for himself, wife." The mother drops one tear when her boy departs; the leathern purse which holds her painful savings is in Benjamin's pocket.

It is a summer night of 1590, when Benjamin Jonson walks into the poor house of Hartshorn-lane. He is travel-stained and weary. His jerkin is half hidden beneath a dirty cloak. That jerkin, which looked so smart in a mother's[Pg 811] eyes when last they parted, is strangely shrunk—or, rather, has not the spare boy grown into a burly youth, although the boy's jerkin must still do service? The bricklayer demands his business; the wife falls upon his neck. And well may the bricklayer know him not. His face is "pimpled;" hard work and irregular living have left their marks upon him. The exhibition has been insufficient for his maintenance. His spirit has been sorely wounded. The scholar of sixteen thinks he should prefer the daily bread which is to be won by the labor of his hands, to the hunger for which pride has no present solace. Benjamin Jonson becomes a bricklayer.

And now, for two years, has the mother—her hopes wholly gone, her love only the same—to bear up under the burden of conflicting duties. The young man duly works at the most menial tasks of his business. He has won his way to handle a trowel; but he is not conformable in all things. "Wife," says Thomas Fowler, "that son of yours will never prosper. Can not he work—and can not he eat his meals—without a Greek book in his vest? This very noon must he seat himself, at dinner-hour, in the shade of the wall in Chancery-lane, on which he had been laboring; and then comes a reverend Bencher and begins discourse with him; and Ben shows him his book—and they talk as if they were equal. Margaret, he is too grand for me; he is above his trade."—"Shame on ye, husband! Does he not work, honestly and deftly? and will you grudge him his books?"—"He haunts the play-houses; he sits in the pit—and cracks nuts—and hisses or claps hands, in a way quite unbeseeming a bricklayer's apprentice. Margaret, I fear he will come to no good." One night there is a fearful quarrel. It is late when Benjamin returns home. In silence and darkness, the son and mother meet. She is resolved. "Benjamin, my son, my dear son, we will endure this life no longer. There is a sword; it was your grandfather's. A gentleman wore it; a gentleman shall still wear it. Go to the Low-Countries. Volunteers are called for. There is an expedition to Ostend. Take with you these few crowns, and God prosper you."

Another year, and Benjamin's campaign is ended. At the hearth in Hartshorn-lane sits Margaret Fowler—in solitude. There will be no more strife about her son. Death has settled the controversy. Margaret is very poor. Her trade is unprosperous; for the widow is defrauded by her servants. "Mother, there is my grandfather's sword—it has done service; and now, I will work for you."—"How, my son?"—"I will be a bricklayer again." We see the Shadow of the Mother, as she strives to make her son content. He has no longer the "lime and mortar" hands with which it was his after-fate to be reproached; but he bestows the master's eye upon his mother's workmen. Yet he has hours of leisure. There is a chamber in the old house now filled with learned books. He reads, and he writes, as his own pleasure dictates. "Mother," he one day says, "I wish to marry."—"Do so, my son; bring your wife home; we will dwell together." So a few years roll on. He and his wife weep

"Mary, the daughter of their youth."

But there is an event approaching which sets aside sorrow. "Daughter," says the ancient lady, "we must to the Rose Playhouse to-night. There is a new play to be acted, and that play is Benjamin's."—"Yes, mother, he has had divers moneys already. Not much, I wot, seeing the labor he has given to this 'Comedy of Humors'—five shillings, and ten shillings, and, once, a pound."—"No matter, daughter, he will be famous; I always knew he would be famous." A calamity clouds that fame. The play-writer has quarrels on every side. In the autumn of 1598, Philip Henslowe, the manager of "the Lord Admiral's men," writes thus to his son-in-law, Alleyn; "Since you were with me, I have lost one of my company, which hurteth me greatly—that is, Gabriel; for he is slain in Hogsden Fields, by the hands of Benjamin Jonson, bricklayer." Twenty years after, the great dramatist, the laureat, thus relates the story to Drummond: "Being appealed to the fields, he had killed his adversary, which had hurt him in the arm, and whose sword was ten inches longer than his; for the which he was imprisoned and almost at the gallows." There is the proud Shadow of a Roman Matron hovering about his cell, in those hours when the gallows loomed darkly in the future.

The scholar and the poet has won his fame. Bricklayer no longer, Ben is the companion of the illustrious. Shakspeare hath "wit-combats" with him; Camden and Selden try his metal, in learned controversies; Raleigh, and Beaumont, and Donne, and Fletcher, exchange with him "words of subtle flame" at "The Mermaid." But a new trouble arises—James is come to the throne. Hear Jonson's account of a remarkable transaction: "He was delated by Sir James Murray to the King, for writing something against the Scots, in a play, 'Eastward Ho,' and voluntarily imprisoned himself, with Chapman and Marston, who had written it among them. The report was, that they should then have had their ears cut, and noses." They are at length released. We see the shadow of a banquet, which the poet gave to his friends in commemoration of his deliverance. There is a joyous company of immortals at that feast. There, too, is that loving and faithful mother. The wine-cups are flowing; there are song and jest, eloquence, and the passionate earnestness with which such friends speak when the heart is opened. But there is one, whose Shadow we now see, more passionate and more earnest than any of that company. She rises, with a full goblet in her hand: "Son, I drink to thee. Benjamin, my beloved son, thrice I drink to thee. See ye this paper; one grain of the subtle drug which it holds is death. Even as we now pledge each other in rich canary, would I have pledged thee in lusty strong poison, had thy sentence taken execution. Thy shame would have been my shame, and neither of us should have lived after it."

"She was no churl," says Benjamin.


[Pg 812]Light and Air are two good things: two necessaries of existence to us animals, possessing eyes and lungs: two of the things prayed for by sanitary philosophers in the back streets of London; where, we fear, they might as well be crying for the moon.

Light and Air, then, being two good things, what happens when they come together? Spirit and water combined, says the toper, are two good things spoiled; and how do light and air mix? Pick out of Cheapside the busiest of men, and he will tell you that he loves the sky-blue in its proper place, making a sickly joke about his milk-jug. There is not a Scrub in the whole world who would not think it necessary to show pleasure—yes, and feel some indication of it—over sunset colors, when, by chance, he treads the fields upon a summer evening. We all look up at the stars, and feel that they would seem much less the confidential friends they really are, if they were shining down upon us with a rigid light. There is a beating human pulse which answers to our hearts in their incessant twinkling. And then the rainbow! Light that might pass down to us, and give us sight, but nothing more, gives sight and blesses it at once. Its touch converts the air into a region of delightful visions, ever changing, ever new. To reach us it must penetrate our atmosphere, and it is a fact that He who made the Universe, so made it that, in the whole range of Nature there is not one barren combination. Light must pass through the air; and, from a knowledge of the other laws of Nature, it might confidently be proclaimed, that, in addition to the useful purposes of each, and their most necessary action on each other, beauty and pleasure would be generated also by their union, to delight the creatures of this world.

It is not our design just now to talk about the nature of the atmosphere; to attempt any analysis of light, or even to mention its recondite mysteries. But in a plain way we propose to look into the reason of those changes made by light in the appearance of the sky, those every-day sights with which we are the most familiar.

Blue sky itself, for example. Why is the sky blue? To explain that, we must state a few preliminary facts concerning light, and beg pardon of any one whose wisdom may be outraged by the elementary character of our information. There are some among our readers, no doubt, who may find it useful. In the first place, then, we will begin with the erection of a pole upon a play-ground, and, like boys and girls, we will go out to play about it with an india-rubber ball. The pole being planted upright, is said to be planted at right angles to the surface of the ground. Now, if we climb the pole, and throw our ball down in the same line with it, it will run down the pole and strike the ground, and then jump back again by the same road into our fingers. The bouncing back is called in scientific phrase, Reflection; and so we may declare about our ball, that if it strike a plane surface at right angles, it is reflected immediately back upon the line it went by, or, as scientific people say, "the line of incidence." Now, let us walk off, and mount a wall at a short distance from the pole. We throw our ball so that it strikes the ground quite close to the spot at which the pole is planted in the earth, and we observe that the said ball no longer returns into our hand, but flies up without deviating to the right or left (in the same plane, says Science) beyond the pole, with exactly the same inclination toward the pole on one side, and the surface of the ground on the other, as we gave it when we sent it down. So if there were a wall on the other side of our pole, exactly as distant and as high as our own, and somebody should sit thereon directly opposite to us, the ball would shoot down from our fingers to the root of the pole, and then up from the pole into his hand. Spread a string on each side along the course the ball has taken, from wall to pole, and from pole to wall. The string on each side will make with the pole an equal angle: the angle to the pole, by which the ball went, is called, we said, the angle of incidence; the angle from the pole, by which it bounced off, is called the angle of reflection. Now, it is true not only of balls, but of all things that are reflected; of light, for example, reflected from a looking-glass, or a sheet of water, that "the angle of reflection is equal to the angle of incidence."

The light that shines back to us from a sheet of water, has not penetrated through its substance, certainly. But now, let us be Tritons, or sea-nymphs, and let us live in a cool crystal grot under the waves. We don't live in the dark, unless we be unmitigated deep-sea Tritons. The deeper we go, the darker we find it. Why? Now, let us be absurd, and suppose that it is possible for light to be measured by the bushel. Ten bushels of light are poured down from the sun upon a certain bit of water; six of these, we will say, reflected from its surface, cause the glittering appearance, which is nothing to us Tritons down below. But light can pass through water; that is to say, water is a transparent substance; so the other four bushels soak down to illuminate the fishes. But this light, so soaking down, is by the water (and would be by any other transparent substance) absorbed, altered, partly converted into heat—when we understand exactly what Mr. Grove calls the Correlation of Physical Forces, we shall understand the why and how—we only know just now the fact, that all transparent bodies do absorb and use up light; so that the quantity of light which entered at the surface of our water suffers robbery, becoming less and less as if sinks lower down toward our coral caves.

Furthermore, beside reflection and absorption, there is one more thing that light suffers; and that we must understand before we can know properly why skies are blue, and stars are twinkling. That one thing more is called Refraction. A horse trots fairly over the stones, but slips the moment stones end, and he comes upon wood pavement. A ray of light travels straight as a dancing-master's back, so long as it is in air, or[Pg 813] water, or glass, or any other "medium," as the books say, of a certain unvarying thinness or thickness, fineness or coarseness, or according to the school-word "density." But if a ray that has been traveling through warm and light air, suddenly plunges into air cold and heavy, it is put out of the way by such a circumstance, and in the moment of making such a change, it alters its direction. Still more, a ray of light that has been traveling in a straight line through air, is put out of its course on entering the denser medium of water; it is dislocated, refracted very much, alters its course, and then continues in a straight line on the new course, so long as the new medium continues. In the same way, a ray of light which travels through a medium that becomes denser and denser very gradually would be perpetually swerving from its straight path, and would travel on a curve. Our atmosphere is heaviest upon the surface of the earth, and becomes lighter and thinner as we rise; the ray, therefore, from a star comes to us after traveling in such a curve. But we see all objects in the direction of a perfectly straight line continued in the direction which the rays sent from them took at the moment of falling upon our sense of sight. Therefore we see all stars in a part of the heavens where they really are not; we see the sun before it really rises. Light entering a denser medium is refracted from, entering a lighter medium is refracted toward, a line drawn at right angles to its surface. Light entering a new medium at right angles—that is to say, not aslant—continues its own course unaltered.

There is but one more fact necessary to fill up the small measure of preliminary knowledge necessary for a general understanding of the phenomena produced by the mixing of light with air. Light in its perfect state is white, but the white light is a compound of other rays in due proportion, each ray being different in color and different in quality. So it takes place, because their qualities are different, that grass reflects the green ray and absorbs the rest, and therefore grass is green; while orange-peel reflects another ray, and swallows up the green and all the rest. These colors being in the light, not in the substance colored; in a dark room it is not merely a fact that we can not see red curtains and pictures; but the curtains really are not red, the paintings have no color in them, till the morning come, and artfully constructed surfaces once more in a fixed manner decompose the light. Beside the color of these rays, from which light is compounded, there are combined with them other subtle principles which act mysteriously upon matter. Upon the hard surface of a pebble there are changes that take place whenever a cloud floats before the sun. Never mind that now. The colored rays of which pure white light is compounded are usually said to be seven—Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red; and they may be technically remembered in their proper order by combining their initials into the barbarous word Vibgyor. These are called prismatic colors, because they were first separated by the passing of a ray of pure light through a prism. In that passage light is much refracted, and it happens that the contained rays all disagree with one another as to the extent to which they suffer themselves to be put out by a change of medium. Violet refracts most, and red least; the others stand between in the order in which they have just been named, the order in which you see them in the rainbow. So the rays after refraction come out in a state of dissension; all the rays—made refractory—having agreed to separate, because they are not of one mind, but of seven minds, about the degree to which they should be put out by the trouble they have gone through.

Now we have settled our preliminaries, we have got our principles; the next thing is to put them into practice. Let us first note what has been said of the absorption of light by transparent bodies. The air is one of the most transparent bodies known. On a clear day—when vapor (that is not air) does not mingle with our atmosphere—mechanical obstacles and the earth's figure form the only limits to our vision. You may see Cologne Cathedral from a mountain distant nearly sixty miles. Nevertheless, if the atmosphere had no absorbing power, only direct rays of the sun, or rays reflected from the substances about us, would be visible; the sky would be black, not blue; and sunset would abruptly pitch us into perfect night. The air, however, absorbs light, which becomes intermixed with its whole substance. Hold up your head, open your eyes widely, and stare at the noonday sun. You will soon shut your eyes and turn your head away; look at him in the evening or in the morning, and he will not blind you. Why? Remembering the earth to be a globe surrounded by an atmosphere, you will perceive that the sun's rays at noonday have to penetrate the simple thickness of the atmosphere, measured in a straight line upward from the earth; but in the evening or morning its beams fall aslant, and have to slip through a great deal of air before they reach us; suffering, therefore, a great deal of robbery; that is to say, having much light absorbed.

Now, why is the sky blue? Not only does the air absorb light; it reflects it also. The particles of air reflect, however, most especially the blue ray, while they let the red and his companions slip by. This constant reflection of the blue ray causes the whole air to appear blue; but what else does it cause? Let us consider. If air reflects or turns aside, or hustles out of its place the blue ray, suffering the rest to pass, it follows as a consequence that the more air a ray of light encounters, the more blue will it lose. The sun's rays in the morning and the evening falling aslant, as we have said, across a great breadth of our atmosphere, must lose their blue light to a terrible extent, and very likely reach us with the blue all gone, and red lord paramount. But so, in truth, the case is; and the same fact which explains the blueness of the atmosphere, explains the redness of the sunrise and the sunset. It will now easily be understood, also, why the blue color of the sky is deepest in the zenith, faintest when[Pg 814] we look over the horizon; why the blue is at noon deeper than after mid-day; why it grows more intense as we ascend to higher elevations. From what we have already said, the reason of these things will come out with a very little thought. Again, in the example of our London fogs, &c., when in the upper portion of the dense mass the blue rays have been all refracted, there can penetrate only those other rays which make the lurid sky, with which we are familiar, or the genuine old yellow fog. Fog in moderation, the thin vapor on the open sea, and so forth, simply gives a lightness to the blue tint, or more plentiful, an absolute whiteness to the atmosphere.

Now let us see whether we are yet able to make out the philosophy of a fine autumn sunset. As the sun comes near the horizon, he and the air about him become red, because the light from that direction has been robbed of the blue rays in traversing horizontally so large a portion of the atmosphere. The sky in the zenith pales, for it has little but the absorbed or diffused light to exist upon. Presently, we see a redness in the east, quite opposite to the sun, and this redness increases till the sun sinks from our sight. In this case, the last rays of the sun that traverse the whole breadth of the atmosphere, reflected from the east, from vapors there, and more especially from clouds, come red to our eyes; no blue can be remaining in them. From the west, where the sun is setting, the rays come from the surrounding air, and from the clouds, variously colored; they lose their blue, but there remain the red, green, orange, yellow, and the purple rays; and some or all of these may make the tints that come to us, according to the state and nature of the clouds, the atmosphere, and other circumstances that may modify the process of refraction. The sun has set; it is immediately below the horizon, and its rays still dart through all our atmosphere, except that portion which is shielded from them by the intervening shadow of the earth. That shadow appears in the east, soon after sunset, in the shape of a calm blue arch, which rises gradually in the sky, immediately opposite to the part glorified by sunset colors. Over this arch the sky is red, with the rays not shut out by the round shadow of our ball. As the sun sinks, our shadow of course rises; and within it there can be only the diffused twilight, always blue. When this arch—this shadow of the earth—has risen almost to the zenith, and the sun is at some distance below the horizon, then the red color in the west becomes much more distinct and vivid; for the sun then shoots up thither its rays through a still larger quantity of intervening atmosphere; so that the redness grows as the sun sinks, until the shadow of the earth has covered all, and the stars—of which the brightest soon were visible—grow numerous upon the vault of heaven. When stars of the sixth magnitude are visible, then, astronomically speaking, twilight ends. The length of twilight will depend upon the number of rays of light that are reflected and dispersed, and that, again, will depend entirely on the atmosphere. Where there is much vapor, and the days are dull by reason of the quantity of kidnapped light, there compensation is made by the consequent increase of twilight. In the interior of Africa night follows immediately upon sunset. In summer the vapor rises to a great height, and pervades the atmosphere; the twilight then is longer than in winter, when the colder air contains less vapor, and the vapor it contains lies low.

Now, since the appearances at twilight depend on the condition of the sky, it follows that our weather-wisdom, drawn from such appearances, is based upon a philosophical foundation. When there is a blue sky, and after sunset a slight purple in the west, we have reason for expecting fine weather. After rain, detached clouds, colored red and tolerably bright, may rejoice those who anticipate a pic-nic party. If the twilight show a partiality for whitish yellow in its dress, we say that very likely there will be some rain next day; the more that whitish yellow spreads over the sky, the more the chance of water out of it. When the sun is brilliantly white, and sets in a white light, we think of storms; especially so when light high clouds that dull the whole sky become deeper near the horizon. When the color of the twilight is a grayish red, with portions of deep red passing into gray that hide the sun, then be prepared, we say, for wind and rain. The morning signs are different. When it is very red, we expect rain; a gray dawn means fine weather. The difference between a gray dawn and a gray twilight is this—in the morning, grayness depends usually upon low clouds, which melt before the rising sun; but in the evening grayness is caused by high clouds, which continue to grow denser through the night. But if in the morning there be so much vapor as to make a red dawn, it is most probable that thick clouds will be formed out of it in the course of the operations of the coming day.

Refraction of light has a good deal to do also with the twinkling of the stars; though there may go to the explanation of the phenomenon other principles which do not concern our present purpose. The air contains layers of different density, shifting over each other in currents. The fixed stars are, to our eyes, brilliant points of light; their rays broken in passing through these currents, exhibit an agitation which is not shown by the planets. The planets are not points to our sight, nor points to our telescopes; being much nearer, although really smaller, they are to our eyes of a decided, measurable size; so being in greater body, we at most could only see their edges scintillate; and this we can do sometimes through a telescope, but scarcely with the naked eye.

In rainbows, light is both refracted and reflected. You can only see a rainbow when the sun is low, your own position being between the rainbow and the sun. The rays of light refracted by the shower into their prismatic colors, are then reflected by the shower back into your eye, and so, from the principles we started with, it will be clear that while a thousand people may[Pg 815] see under the same circumstances a rainbow of the same intensity, no two people see precisely the same object, but each man enjoys a rainbow to himself.

Of halos, and of lunar rainbows, of double suns, of the mirage, or any other extraordinary things developed by the play of light and air together, we did not intend to speak. Our discussion was confined to such an explanation of some every-day sights as may lend aid to contemplation sometimes of an autumnal evening, when

——"the soft hour
Of walking comes: for him who lonely loves
To seek the distant hills, and there converse
With Nature."

Do you not think the man impenetrably deaf who, professing to converse with Nature, can not hear the tale which Nature is forever telling?


In the year 1641, there lived in a narrow, obscure street of Cologne a poor woman named Marie Marianni. With an old female servant for her sole companion, she inhabited a small, tumble-down, two-storied house, which had but two windows in front. Nothing could well be more miserable than the furniture of this dark dwelling. Two worm-eaten four-post bedsteads, a large deal-press, two rickety tables, three or four old wooden chairs, and a few rusty kitchen utensils, formed the whole of its domestic inventory.

Marie Marianni, despite of the wrinkles which nearly seventy years had left on her face, still preserved the trace of former beauty. There was a grace in her appearance, and a dignity in her manner, which prepossessed strangers in her favor whenever they happened to meet her; but this was rarely. Living in the strictest retirement, and avoiding as much as possible all intercourse with her neighbors, she seldom went out except for the purpose of buying provisions. Her income consisted of a small pension, which she received every six months. In the street where she lived she was known by the name of "The Old Nun," and was regarded with considerable respect.

Marie Marianni usually lived in the room on the ground-floor, where she spent her time in needlework; and her old servant Bridget occupied the upper room, which served as a kitchen, and employed herself in spinning.

Thus lived these two old women in a state of complete isolation. In winter, however, in order to avoid the expense of keeping up two fires, Marie Marianni used to call down her domestic, and cause her to place her wheel in the chimney-corner, while she herself occupied a large old easy-chair at the opposite side. They would sometimes sit thus evening after evening without exchanging a single word.

One night, however, the mistress happened to be in a more communicative temper than usual, and addressing her servant, she said: "Well, Bridget, have you heard from your son?"

"No, madame, although the Frankfort post has come in."

"You see, Bridget, it is folly to reckon on the affection of one's children; you are not the only mother who has to complain of their ingratitude."

"But, madame, my Joseph is not ungrateful: he loves me, and if he has not written now, I am certain it is only because he has nothing to say. One must not be too hard upon young people."

"Not too hard, certainly; but we have a right to their submission and respect."

"For my part, dear lady, I am satisfied with possessing, as I do, my son's affection."

"I congratulate you, Bridget," said her mistress, with a deep sigh. "Alas! I am also a mother, and I ought to be a happy one. Three sons, possessing rank, fortune, glory; yet here I am, forgotten by them, in poverty, and considered importunate if I appeal to them for help. You are happy, Bridget, in having an obedient son—mine are hard and thankless!"

"Poor, dear lady, my Joseph loves me so fondly!"

"You cut me to the heart, Bridget: you little know what I have suffered. An unhappy mother, I have also been a wretched wife. After having lived unhappily together during several years, my husband died, the victim of an assassin. And whom, think you, did they accuse of instigating his murder? Me! In the presence of my children—ay, at the instance of my eldest son—I was prosecuted for this crime!"

"But doubtless, madame, you were acquitted?"

"Yes; and had I been a poor woman, without power, rank, or influence, my innocence would have been publicly declared. But having all these advantages, it suited my enemies' purpose to deprive me of them, so they banished me, and left me in the state in which I am!"

"Dear mistress!" said the old woman.

Marie Marianni hid her face in her handkerchief, and spoke no more during the remainder of the evening.

As the servant continued silently to turn her wheel, she revolved in her mind several circumstances connected with the "Old Nun." She had often surprised her reading parchments covered with seals of red wax, which, on Bridget's entrance, her mistress always hurriedly replaced in a small iron box.

One night Marie Marianni, while suffering from an attack of fever, cried out in a tone of unutterable horror: "No: I will not see him! Take away yon red robe—that man of blood and murder!"

These things troubled the simple mind of poor Bridget, yet she dared not speak of them to her usually haughty and reserved mistress.

On the next evening, as they were sitting silently at work, a knock was heard at the door.

"Who can it be at this hour?" said Marie Marianni.

"I can not think," replied her servant; "'tis now nine o'clock."

"Another knock! Go, Bridget, and see who it is, but open the door with precaution."

The servant took their solitary lamp in her hand, went to the door. She presently re[Pg 816]turned, ushering into the room Father Francis, a priest who lived in the city. He was a man of about fifty years old, whose hollow cheeks, sharp features, and piercing eyes wore a sinister and far from hallowed expression.

"To what, father, am I indebted for this late visit?" asked the old lady.

"To important tidings," replied the priest, "which I am come to communicate."

"Leave us, Bridget," said her mistress. The servant took an old iron lamp, and went upstairs to her fireless chamber.

"What have you to tell me?" asked Marie Marianni of her visitor.

"I have had news from France."

"Good news?"

"Some which may eventually prove so."

"The stars, then, have not deceived me!"

"What, madam!" said the priest, in a reproving tone; "do you attach any credit to this lying astrology? Believe me, it is a temptation of Satan which you ought to resist. Have you not enough of real misfortune without subjecting yourself to imaginary terrors?"

"If it be a weakness, father, it is one which I share in common with many great minds. Who can doubt the influence which the celestial bodies have on things terrestrial?"

"All vanity and error, daughter. How can an enlightened mind like yours persuade itself that events happen by aught save the will of God?"

"I will not now argue the point, father; tell me rather what are the news from France?"

"The nobles' discontent at the prime minister has reached its height. Henri d'Effiat, grand-equerry of France, and the king's favorite, has joined them, and drawn into the plot the Duke de Bouillon, and Monsieur, his majesty's brother. A treaty, which is upon the point of being secretly concluded with the king of Spain, has for its object peace, on condition of the cardinal's removal."

"Thank God!"

"However, madame, let us not be too confident; continue to act with prudence, and assume the appearance of perfect resignation. Frequent the church in which I minister, place yourself near the lower corner of the right-hand aisle, and I will forewarn you of my next visit."

"I will do so, father."

Resuming his large cloak, the priest departed, Bridget being summoned by her mistress to open the door.

From that time, during several months, the old lady repaired regularly each day to the church; she often saw Father Francis, but he never spoke, or gave her the desired signal. The unaccustomed daily exercise of walking to and from church, together with the "sickness of hope deferred," began to tell unfavorably on her health; she became subject to attacks of intermitting fever, and her large, bright eyes seemed each day to grow larger and brighter. One morning, in passing down the aisle, Father Francis for a moment bent his head toward her, and whispered, "All is lost!"

With a powerful effort Marie Marianni subdued all outward signs of the terrible emotion which these words caused her, and returned to her cheerless dwelling. In the evening Father Francis came to her. When they were alone, she asked, "Father, what has happened?"

"Monsieur de Cinq-Mars is arrested."

"And the Duke de Bouillon?"


"The treaty with the king of Spain?"

"At the moment it was signed at Madrid, the cunning cardinal received a copy of it."

"By whom was the plot discovered?"

"By a secret agent, who had wormed himself into it."

"My enemies, then, still triumph?"

"Richelieu is more powerful, and the king more subject to him than ever."

That same night the poor old woman was seized with a burning fever. In her delirium the phantom-man in red still pursued her, and her ravings were terrible to hear. Bridget, seated at her bedside, prayed for her; and at the end of a month she began slowly to recover. Borne down, however, by years, poverty, and misfortune, Marie Marianni felt that her end was approaching. Despite Father Francis's dissuasion, she again had recourse to the astrological tablets, on which were drawn, in black and red figures, the various houses of the sun, and of the star which presided over her nativity. On this occasion their omens were unfavorable; and rejecting all spiritual consolation—miserable in the present, and hopeless for the future—Marie Marianni expired in the beginning of July, 1642.

As soon as her death was known a magistrate of Cologne came to her house, in order to make an official entry of the names of the defunct and her heirs. Bridget could not tell either, she merely knew that her late mistress was a stranger.

Father Francis arrived. "I can tell you the names of her heirs," he said. "Write—the King of France; Monsieur the Duke of Orleans; Henrietta of France, queen of England."

"And what," asked the astounded magistrate, "was the name of the deceased?"

"The High and Mighty Princess Marie de Medicis, widow of Henri IV., and mother of the reigning king!"


[Continued from the October Number.]


Before a table in the apartments appropriated to him in his father's house at Knightsbridge, sate Lord L'Estrange, sorting or destroying letters and papers—an ordinary symptom of change of residence. There are certain trifles by which a shrewd observer may judge of a man's disposition. Thus, ranged on the table, with some elegance, but with soldier-like precision, were sundry little relics of former days, hallowed by some sentiment of memory, or perhaps endeared solely by custom; which, whether he was in Egypt, Italy, or England, always made part of[Pg 817] the furniture of Harley's room. Even the small, old-fashioned, and somewhat inconvenient inkstand in which he dipped the pen as he labeled the letters he put aside, belonged to the writing-desk which had been his pride as a schoolboy. Even the books that lay scattered round were not new works, not those to which we turn to satisfy the curiosity of an hour, or to distract our graver thoughts: they were chiefly either Latin or Italian poets, with many a pencil-mark on the margin; or books which, making severe demand on thought, require slow and frequent perusal, and become companions. Somehow or other, in remarking that even in dumb inanimate things the man was averse to change, and had the habit of attaching himself to whatever was connected with old associations, you might guess that he clung with pertinacity to affections more important, and you could better comprehend the freshness of his friendship for one so dissimilar in pursuits and character as Audley Egerton. An affection once admitted into the heart of Harley L'Estrange, seemed never to be questioned or reasoned with: it became tacitly fixed, as it were, into his own nature; and little less than a revolution of his whole system could dislodge or disturb it.

Lord L'Estrange's hand rested now upon a letter in a stiff legible Italian character; and instead of disposing of it at once, as he had done with the rest, he spread it before him, and reread the contents. It was a letter from Riccabocca, received a few weeks since, and ran thus:

Letter from Signor Riccabocca to Lord L'Estrange.

"I thank you, my noble friend, for judging of me with faith in my honor, and respect for my reverses.

"No, and thrice no, to all concessions, all overtures, all treaty with Giulio Franzini. I write the name, and my emotions choke me. I must pause and cool back into disdain. It is over. Pass from that subject. But you have alarmed me. This sister! I have not seen her since her childhood; and she was brought under his influence—she can but work as his agent. She wish to learn my residence! It can be but for some hostile and malignant purpose. I may trust in you. I know that. You say I may trust equally in the discretion of your friend. Pardon me—my confidence is not so elastic. A word may give the clew to my retreat. But, if discovered, what harm can ensue? An English roof protects me from Austrian despotism, true; but not the brazen tower of Danaë could protect me from Italian craft. And were there nothing worse, it would be intolerable to me to live under the eyes of a relentless spy. Truly saith our proverb, 'He sleeps ill for whom the enemy wakes.' Look you, my friend, I have done with my old life—I wish to cast it from me as a snake its skin. I have denied myself all that exiles deem consolation. No pity for misfortune, no messages from sympathizing friendship, no news from a lost and bereaved country follow me to my hearth under the skies of the stranger. From all these I have voluntarily cut myself off. I am as dead to the life I once lived as if the Styx rolled between it and me. With that sternness which is admissible only to the afflicted, I have denied myself even the consolation of your visits. I have told you fairly and simply that your presence would unsettle all my enforced and infirm philosophy, and remind me only of the past, which I seek to blot from remembrance. You have complied, on the one condition, that whenever I really want your aid I will ask it; and, meanwhile, you have generously sought to obtain me justice from the cabinets of ministers and in the courts of kings. I did not refuse your heart this luxury; for I have a child—(Ah! I have taught that child already to revere your name, and in her prayers it is not forgotten). But now that you are convinced that even your zeal is unavailing, I ask you to discontinue attempts that may but bring the spy upon my track, and involve me in new misfortunes. Believe me, O brilliant Englishman, that I am satisfied and contented with my lot. I am sure it would not be for my happiness to change it. 'Chi non ha provato il male non conosce il bene.' ('One does not know when one is well off till one has known misfortune.') You ask me how I live—I answer, alla giornata—to the day—not for the morrow, as I did once. I have accustomed myself to the calm existence of a village. I take interest in its details. There is my wife, good creature, sitting opposite to me, never asking what I write, or to whom, but ready to throw aside her work and talk the moment the pen is out of my hand. Talk—and what about? Heaven knows! But I would rather hear that talk, though on the affairs of a hamlet, than babble again with recreant nobles and blundering professors about commonwealths and constitutions. When I want to see how little those last influence the happiness of wise men, have I not Machiavel and Thucydides? Then, by-and-by, the Parson will drop in, and we argue. He never knows when he is beaten, so the argument is everlasting. On fine days I ramble out by a winding rill with my Violante, or stroll to my friend the Squire's, and see how healthful a thing is true pleasure; and on wet days I shut myself up, and mope, perhaps, till, hark! a gentle tap at the door, and in comes Violante, with her dark eyes that shine out through reproachful tears—reproachful that I should mourn alone, while she is under my roof—so she puts her arms round me, and in five minutes all is sunshine within. What care we for your English gray clouds without?

"Leave me, my dear Lord—leave me to this quiet happy passage toward old age, serener than the youth that I wasted so wildly; and guard well the secret on which my happiness depends.

"Now to yourself, before I close. Of that same yourself you speak too little, as of me too much. But I so well comprehend the profound melancholy that lies underneath the wild and[Pg 818] fanciful humor with which you but suggest, as in sport, what you feel so in earnest. The laborious solitude of cities weighs on you. You are flying back to the dolce far niente—to friends few, but intimate; to life monotonous, but unrestrained; and even there the sense of loneliness will again seize upon you; and you do not seek, as I do, the annihilation of memory; your dead passions are turned to ghosts that haunt you, and unfit you for the living world. I see it all—I see it still, in your hurried fantastic lines, as I saw it when we two sat amidst the pines and beheld the blue lake stretched below. I troubled by the shadow of the Future, you disturbed by that of the Past.

"Well, but you say, half-seriously, half in jest, 'I will escape from this prison-house of memory; I will form new ties, like other men, and before it be too late; I will marry—ay, but I must love—there is the difficulty'—difficulty—yes, and Heaven be thanked for it! Recall all the unhappy marriages that have come to your knowledge—pray, have not eighteen out of twenty been marriages for love? It always has been so, and it always will. Because, whenever we love deeply, we exact so much and forgive so little. Be content to find some one with whom your hearth and your honor are safe. You will grow to love what never wounds your heart—you will soon grow out of love with what must always disappoint your imagination. Cospetto! I wish my Jemima had a younger sister for you. Yet it was with a deep groan that I settled myself to a—Jemima.

"Now, I have written you a long letter, to prove how little I need of your compassion or your zeal. Once more let there be long silence between us. It is not easy for me to correspond with a man of your rank, and not incur the curious gossip of my still little pool of a world which the splash of a pebble can break into circles. I must take this over to a post-town some ten miles off, and drop it into the box by stealth.

"Adieu, dear and noble friend, gentlest heart and subtlest fancy that I have met in my walk through life. Adieu—write me word when you have abandoned a day-dream and found a Jemima.


"P.S.—For heaven's sake, caution and recaution your friend the minister, not to drop a word to this woman that may betray my hiding-place."

"Is he really happy?" murmured Harley, as he closed the letter; and he sunk for a few moments into a reverie.

"This life in a village—this wife in a lady who puts down her work to talk about villagers—what a contrast to Audley's full existence. And I can never envy nor comprehend either—yet my own—what is it?"

He rose, and moved toward the window, from which a rustic stair descended to a green lawn—studded with larger trees than are often found in the grounds of a suburban residence. There were calm and coolness in the sight, and one could scarcely have supposed that London lay so near.

The door opened softly, and a lady, past middle age, entered; and, approaching Harley, as he still stood musing by the window, laid her hand on his shoulder. What character there is in a hand! Hers was a hand that Titian would have painted with elaborate care! Thin, white, and delicate—with the blue veins raised from the surface. Yet there was something more than mere patrician elegance in the form and texture. A true physiologist would have said at once, "there are intellect and pride in that hand, which seems to fix a hold where it rests; and, lying so lightly, yet will not be as lightly shaken off."

"Harley," said the lady—and Harley turned—"you do not deceive me by that smile," she continued, sadly; "you were not smiling when I entered."

"It is rarely that we smile to ourselves, my dear mother; and I have done nothing lately so foolish as to cause me to smile at myself."

"My son," said Lady Lansmere, somewhat abruptly, but with great earnestness, "you come from a line of illustrious ancestors; and methinks they ask from their tombs why the last of their race has no aim and no object—no interest—no home in the land which they served, and which rewarded them with its honors."

"Mother," said the soldier, simply, "when the land was in danger I served it as my fore-fathers served—and my answer would be the scars on my breast."

"Is it only in danger that a country is served—only in war that duty is fulfilled? Do you think that your father, in his plain, manly life of country gentleman, does not fulfill, though obscurely, the objects for which aristocracy is created and wealth is bestowed?"

"Doubtless he does, ma'am—and better than his vagrant son ever can."

"Yet his vagrant son has received such gifts from nature—his youth was so rich in promise—his boyhood so glowed at the dream of glory?"

"Ay," said Harley, very softly, "it is possible—and all to be buried in a single grave!"

The Countess started, and withdrew her hand from Harley's shoulder.

Lady Lansmere's countenance was not one that much varied in expression. She had in this, as in her cast of feature, little resemblance to her son.

Her features were slightly aquiline—the eyebrows of that arch which gives a certain majesty to the aspect: the lines round the mouth were habitually rigid and compressed. Her face was that of one who had gone through great emotion, and subdued it. There was something formal, and even ascetic, in the character of her beauty, which was still considerable;—in her air and in her dress. She might have suggested to you the idea of some Gothic baroness of old, half chatelaine, half abbess; you would[Pg 819] see at a glance that she did not live in the light world round her, and disdained its fashions and its mode of thought; yet with all this rigidity it was still the face of the woman who has known human ties and human affections. And now, as she gazed long on Harley's quiet, saddened brow, it was the face of a mother.

"A single grave," she said, after a long pause. "And you were then but a boy, Harley! Can such a memory influence you even to this day? It is scarcely possible; it does not seem to me within the realities of man's life—though it might be of woman's."

"I believe," said Harley, half soliloquizing, "that I have a great deal of the woman in me. Perhaps men who live much alone; and care not for men's objects, do grow tenacious of impressions, as your sex does. But oh," he cried aloud, and with a sudden change of countenance, "oh, the hardest and the coldest man would have felt as I do, had he known her—had he loved her. She was like no other woman I have ever met. Bright and glorious creature of another sphere! She descended on this earth, and darkened it when she passed away. It was no use striving. Mother, I have as much courage as our steel-clad fathers ever had. I have dared in battle and in deserts—against man and the wild beast—against the storm and the ocean—against the rude powers of Nature—dangers as dread as ever pilgrim or Crusader rejoiced to brave. But courage against that one memory! no, I have none!"

"Harley, Harley, you break my heart," cried the Countess, clasping her hands.

"It is astonishing," continued her son, so wrapped in his own thoughts that he did not, perhaps, hear her outcry—"yea, verily, it is astonishing, that considering the thousands of women I have seen and spoken with, I never see a face like hers—never hear a voice so sweet. And all this universe of life can not afford me one look and one tone that can restore me to man's privilege—love. Well, well, well, life has other things yet—Poetry and Art live still—still smiles the heaven, and still wave the trees. Leave me to happiness in my own way."

The Countess was about to reply, when the door was thrown hastily open, and Lord Lansmere walked in.

The Earl was some years older than the Countess, but his placid face showed less wear and tear; a benevolent, kindly face—without any evidence of commanding intellect, but with no lack of sense in its pleasant lines. His form not tall, but upright, and with an air of consequence—a little pompous, but good-humoredly so. The pomposity of the Grand Seigneur, who has lived much in provinces—whose will has been rarely disputed, and whose importance has been so felt and acknowledged as to react insensibly on himself; an excellent man; but when you glanced toward the high brow and dark eye of the Countess, you marveled a little how the two had come together, and, according to common report, lived so happily in the union.

"Ho, ho! my dear Harley," cried Lord Lansmere, rubbing his hands with an appearance of much satisfaction. "I have just been paying a visit to the Duchess."

"What Duchess, my dear father?"

"Why, your mother's first cousin, to be sure—the Duchess of Knaresborough, whom, to oblige me, you condescended to call upon; and delighted I am to hear that you admire Lady Mary—"

"She is very high-bred, and rather—high-nosed," answered Harley. Then observing that his mother looked pained, and his father disconcerted, he added seriously, "But handsome, certainly."

"Well, Harley," said the Earl, recovering himself, "the Duchess, taking advantage of our connection to speak freely, has intimated to me that Lady Mary has been no less struck with yourself; and to come to the point, since you allow that it is time you should think of marrying, I do not know a more desirable alliance. What do you say, Catherine?"

"The Duke is of a family that ranks in history before the Wars of the Roses," said Lady Lansmere, with an air of deference to her husband; "and there has never been one scandal in its annals, or one blot in its scutcheon. But I am sure my dear Lord must think that the Duchess should not have made the first overture—even to a friend and a kinsman?"

"Why, we are old-fashioned people," said the Earl, rather embarrassed, "and the Duchess is a woman of the world."

"Let us hope," said the Countess mildly, "that her daughter is not."

"I would not marry Lady Mary, if all the rest of the female sex were turned into apes," said Lord L'Estrange, with deliberate fervor.

"Good Heavens!" cried the Earl, "what extraordinary language is this! And pray why, sir?"

Harley.—"I can't say—there is no why in these cases. But, my dear father, you are not keeping faith with me."

Lord Lansmere.—"How?"

Harley.—"You, and my Lady here, entreat me to marry—I promise to do my best to obey you; but on one condition—that I choose for myself, and take my time about it. Agreed on both sides. Whereon, off goes your Lordship—actually before noon, at an hour when no lady without a shudder could think of cold blonde and damp orange flowers—off goes your Lordship, I say, and commits poor Lady Mary and your unworthy son to a mutual admiration—which neither of us ever felt. Pardon me, my father—but this is grave. Again let me claim your promise—full choice for myself, and no reference to the Wars of the Roses. What war of the roses like that between Modesty and Love upon the cheek of the virgin!"

Lady Lansmere.—"Full choice for yourself,[Pg 820] Harley—so be it. But we, too, named a condition—Did we not, Lansmere?"

The Earl (puzzled).—"Eh—did we? Certainly we did."

Harley.—"What was it?"

Lady Lansmere.—"The son of Lord Lansmere can only marry the daughter of a gentleman."

The Earl.—"Of course—of course."

The blood rushed over Harley's fair face, and then as suddenly left it pale.

He walked away to the window—his mother followed him, and again laid her hand on his shoulder.

"You were cruel," said he, gently, and in a whisper, as he winced under the touch of the hand. Then turning to the Earl, who was gazing at him in blank surprise—(it never occurred to Lord Lansmere that there could be a doubt of his son's marrying beneath the rank modestly stated by the Countess)—Harley stretched forth his hand, and said, in his soft, winning tone, "You have ever been most gracious to me, and most forbearing; it is but just that I should sacrifice the habits of an egotist, to gratify a wish which you so warmly entertain. I agree with you, too, that our race should not close in me—Noblesse oblige. But you know I was ever romantic; and I must love where I marry—or, if not love, I must feel that my wife is worthy of all the love I could once have bestowed. Now, as to the vague word 'gentleman' that my mother employs—word that means so differently on different lips—I confess that I have a prejudice against young ladies brought up in the 'excellent foppery of the world,' as the daughters of gentlemen of our rank mostly are. I crave, therefore, the most liberal interpretation of this word 'gentleman.' And so long as there be nothing mean or sordid in the birth, habits, and education of the father of this bride to be, I trust you will both agree to demand nothing more—neither titles nor pedigree."

"Titles, no—assuredly," said Lady Lansmere; "they do not make gentlemen."

"Certainly not," said the Earl. "Many of our best families are untitled."

"Titles—no," repeated Lady Lansmere; "but ancestors—yes."

"Ah, my mother," said Harley, with his most sad and quiet smile, "it is fated that we shall never agree. The first of our race is ever the one we are most proud of; and pray what ancestors had he? Beauty, virtue, modesty, intellect—if these are not nobility enough for a man, he is a slave to the dead."

With these words Harley took up his hat and made toward the door.

"You said yourself, 'Noblesse oblige,'" said the Countess, following him to the threshold; "we have nothing more to add."

Harley slightly shrugged his shoulders, kissed his mother's hand, whistled to Nero, who started up from a doze by the window, and went his way.

"Does he really go abroad next week?" said the Earl.

"So he says."

"I am afraid there is no chance for Lady Mary," resumed Lord Lansmere, with a slight but melancholy smile.

"She has not intellect enough to charm him. She is not worthy of Harley," said the proud mother.

"Between you and me," rejoined the Earl, rather timidly, "I don't see what good his intellect does him. He could not be more unsettled and useless if he were the merest dunce in the three kingdoms. And so ambitious as he was when a boy! Catherine, I sometimes fancy that you know what changed him."

"I! Nay, my dear Lord, it is a common change enough with the young, when of such fortunes; who find, when they enter life, that there is really little left for them to strive for. Had Harley been a poor man's son, it might have been different."

"I was born to the same fortunes as Harley," said the Earl, shrewdly, "and yet I flatter myself I am of some use to old England."

The Countess seized upon the occasion, complimented her Lord, and turned the subject.


Harley spent his day in his usual desultory, lounging manner—dined in his quiet corner at his favorite club—Nero, not admitted into the club, patiently waited for him outside the door. The dinner over, dog and man, equally indifferent to the crowd, sauntered down that thoroughfare which, to the few who can comprehend the Poetry of London, has associations of glory and of woe sublime as any that the ruins of the dead elder world can furnish—thoroughfare that traverses what was once the courtyard of Whitehall, having to its left the site of the palace that lodged the royalty of Scotland—gains, through a narrow strait, that old isle of Thorney, in which Edward the Confessor received the ominous visit of the Conqueror—and, widening once more by the Abbey and the Hall of Westminster, then loses itself, like all memories of earthly grandeur amidst humble passages and mean defiles.

Thus thought Harley L'Estrange—ever less amidst the actual world around him, than the images invoked by his own solitary soul—as he gained the Bridge, and saw the dull lifeless craft sleeping on the "Silent Way," once loud and glittering with the gilded barks of the antique Seignorie of England.

It was on that bridge that Audley Egerton had appointed to meet L'Estrange, at an hour when he calculated he could best steal a respite from debate. For Harley, with his fastidious dislike to all the resorts of his equals, had declined to seek his friend in the crowded regions of Bellamy's.

Harley's eye, as he passed along the bridge, was attracted by a still form, seated on the stones in one of the nooks, with its face covered[Pg 821] by its hands. "If I were a sculptor," said he to himself, "I should remember that image whenever I wished to convey the idea of Despondency!" He lifted his looks and saw, a little before him in the midst of the causeway, the firm erect figure of Audley Egerton. The moonlight was full on the bronzed countenance of the strong public man—with its lines of thought and care, and its vigorous but cold expression of intense self-control.

"And looking yonder," continued Harley's soliloquy, "I should remember that form when I wished to hew out from the granite the idea of Endurance."

"So you are come, and punctually," said Egerton, linking his arm in Harley's.

Harley.—"Punctually, of course, for I respect your time, and I will not detain you long. I presume you will speak to-night."

Egerton.—"I have spoken."

Harley (with interest).—"And well, I hope."

Egerton.—"With effect, I suppose, for I have been loudly cheered, which does not always happen to me."

Harley.—"And that gave you pleasure?"

Egerton (after a moment's thought).—"No, not the least."

Harley.—"What, then, attaches you so much to this life—constant drudgery, constant warfare—the more pleasurable faculties dormant, all the harsher ones aroused, if even its rewards (and I take the best of those to be applause) do not please you?"



Egerton.—"You say it. But turn to yourself; you have decided, then, to leave England next week."

Harley (moodily).—"Yes. This life in a capital, where all are so active, myself so objectless, preys on me like a low fever. Nothing here amuses me, nothing interests, nothing comforts and consoles. But I am resolved, before it be too late, to make one great struggle out of the Past, and into the natural world of men. In a word, I have resolved to marry."


HARLEY (seriously).—"Upon my life, my dear fellow, you are a great philosopher. You have hit the exact question. You see I can not marry a dream; and where, out of dreams, shall I find this 'whom?'"

Egerton.—"You do not search for her."

Harley.—"Do we ever search for love? Does it not flash upon us when we least expect it? Is it not like the inspiration to the muse? What poet sits down and says, 'I will write a poem?' What man looks out and says, 'I will fall in love?' No! Happiness, as the great German tells us, 'falls suddenly from the bosom of the gods;' so does love."

Egerton.—"You remember the old line in Horace: 'Life's tide flows away, while the boor sits on the margin and waits for the ford.'"

Harley.—"An idea which incidentally dropped from you some weeks ago, and which I had before half meditated, has since haunted me. If I could but find some child with sweet dispositions and fair intellect not yet formed, and train her up, according to my ideal. I am still young enough to wait a few years, and meanwhile I shall have gained what I so sadly want—an object in life."

Egerton.—"You are ever the child of romance. But what—"

Here the minister was interrupted by a messenger from the House of Commons, whom Audley had instructed to seek him on the bridge should his presence be required—

"Sir, the opposition are taking advantage of the thinness of the House to call for a division. Mr.—— is put up to speak for time, but they won't hear him."

Egerton turned hastily to Lord L'Estrange, "You see you must excuse me now. To-morrow I must go to Windsor for two days; but we shall meet on my return."

"It does not matter," answered Harley; "I stand out of the pale of your advice, O practical man of sense. And if," added Harley, with affectionate and mournful sweetness—"If I worry you with complaints which you can not understand, it is only because of old schoolboy habits. I can have no trouble that I do not confide in you."

Egerton's hand trembled as it pressed his friend's; and, without a word, he hurried away abruptly. Harley remained motionless for some seconds, in deep and quiet reverie; then he called to his dog, and turned back toward Westminster.

He passed the nook in which had sate the still figure of Despondency. But the figure had now risen, and was leaning against the balustrade. The dog who preceded his master paused by the solitary form, and sniffed it suspiciously.

"Nero, sir, come here," said Harley.

"Nero," that was the name by which Helen had said that her father's friend had called his dog. And the sound startled Leonard as he leaned, sick at heart, against the stone. He lifted his head and looked wistfully, eagerly into Harley's face. Those eyes, bright, clear, yet so strangely deep and absent, which Helen had described, met his own, and chained them. For L'Estrange halted also; the boy's countenance was not unfamiliar to him. He returned the inquiring look fixed on his own, and recognized the student by the book-stall.

"The dog is quite harmless, sir," said L'Estrange, with a smile.

"And you call him Nero?" said Leonard, still gazing on the stranger.

Harley mistook the drift of the question.

"Nero, sir; but he is free from the sanguinary propensities of his Roman namesake." Harley was about to pass on, when Leonard said, falteringly,

"Pardon me, but can it be possible that you are one whom I have sought in vain, on behalf of the child of Captain Digby?"[Pg 822]

Harley stopped short. "Digby!" he exclaimed, "where is he? He should have found me easily. I gave him an address."

"Ah, Heaven be thanked," cried Leonard. "Helen is saved; she will not die;" and he burst into tears.

A very few moments, and a very few words sufficed to explain to Harley the state of his old fellow-soldier's orphan. And Harley himself soon stood in the young sufferer's room, supporting her burning temples on his breast, and whispering into ears that heard him, as in a happy dream, "Comfort, comfort; your father yet lives in me."

And then Helen, raising her eyes, said, "But Leonard is my brother—more than brother—and he needs a father's care more than I do."

"Hush, hush, Helen. I need no one—nothing now!" cried Leonard; and his tears gushed over the little hand that clasped his own.


Harley L'Estrange was a man whom all things that belong to the romantic and poetic side of our human life deeply impressed. When he came to learn the ties between these two children of nature, standing side by side, alone amidst the storms of fate, his heart was more deeply moved than it had been for many years. In those dreary attics, overshadowed by the smoke and reek of the humble suburb—the workday world in its harshest and tritest forms below and around them—he recognized that divine poem which comes out from all union between the mind and the heart. Here, on the rough deal table (the ink scarcely dry), lay the writings of the young wrestler for fame and bread; there, on the other side the partition, on that mean pallet, lay the boy's sole comforter—the all that warmed his heart with living mortal affection. On one side the wall, the world of imagination; on the other this world of grief and of love. And in both, a spirit equally sublime—unselfish Devotion—"the something afar from the sphere of our sorrow."

He looked round the room into which he had followed Leonard, on quitting Helen's bedside. He noted the MSS. on the table, and, pointing to them, said gently, "And these are the labors by which you supported the soldier's orphan?—soldier yourself, in a hard battle!"

"The battle was lost—I could not support her," replied Leonard, mournfully.

"But you did not desert her. When Pandora's box was opened, they say Hope lingered last—"

"False, false," said Leonard; "a heathen's notion. There are deities that linger behind Hope: Gratitude, Love, and Duty."

"Yours is no common nature," exclaimed Harley, admiringly, "but I must sound it more deeply hereafter; at present I hasten for the physician; I shall return with him. We must move that poor child from this low, close air as soon as possible. Meanwhile, let me qualify your rejection of the old fable. Wherever Gratitude, Love, and Duty remain to man, believe me that Hope is there too, though she may be oft invisible, hidden behind the sheltering wings of the nobler deities."

Harley said this with that wondrous smile of his, which cast a brightness over the whole room—and went away.

Leonard stole softly toward the grimy window; and looking up toward the stars that shone pale over the roof-tops, he murmured, "O thou, the All-seeing and All-merciful!—how it comforts me now to think that though my dreams of knowledge may have sometimes obscured the Heaven, I never doubted that Thou wert there—as luminous and everlasting, though behind the cloud!" So, for a few minutes, he prayed silently—then passed into Helen's room, and sate beside her motionless, for she slept. She woke just as Harley returned with a physician, and then Leonard, returning to his own room, saw among his papers the letter he had written to Mr. Dale; and muttering, "I need not disgrace my calling—I need not be the mendicant now," held the letter to the flame of the candle. And while he said this, and as the burning tinder dropped on the floor, the sharp hunger, unfelt during his late anxious emotions, gnawed at his entrails. Still even hunger could not reach that noble pride which had yielded to a sentiment nobler than itself—and he smiled as he repeated, "No mendicant! the life that I was sworn to guard is saved. I can raise against Fate the front of the Man once more."


A few days afterward, and Helen, removed to a pure air, and under the advice of the first physician, was out of all danger.

It was a pretty, detached cottage, with its windows looking over the wild heaths of Norwood, to which Harley rode daily to watch the convalescence of his young charge—an object in life was already found. As she grew better and stronger, he coaxed her easily into talking, and listened to her with pleased surprise. The heart so infantine, and the sense so womanly, struck him much by its rare contrast and combination. Leonard, whom he had insisted on placing also in the cottage, had staid there willingly till Helen's recovery was beyond question. Then he came to Lord L'Estrange, as the latter was about one day to leave the cottage, and said, quietly, "Now, my Lord, that Helen is safe, and now that she will need me no more, I can no longer be a pensioner on your bounty. I return to London."

"You are my visitor—not my pensioner, foolish boy," said Harley, who had already noticed the pride which spoke in that farewell; "come into the garden, and let us talk."

Harley seated himself on a bench on the little lawn; Nero crouched at his feet; Leonard stood beside him.

"So," said Lord L'Estrange, "you would return to London! What to do?"[Pg 823]

"Fulfill my fate."

"And that?"

"I can not guess. Fate is the Isis whose vail no mortal can ever raise."

"You should be born for great things," said Harley, abruptly. "I am sure that you write well. I have seen that you study with passion. Better than writing and better than study, you have a noble heart, and the proud desire of independence. Let me see your MSS., or any copies of what you have already printed. Do not hesitate—I ask but to be a reader. I don't pretend to be a patron; it is a word I hate."

Leonard's eyes sparkled through their sudden moisture. He brought out his portfolio, placed it on the bench beside Harley, and then went softly to the farther part of the garden. Nero looked after him, and then rose and followed him slowly. The boy seated himself on the turf, and Nero rested his dull head on the loud heart of the poet.

Harley took up the various papers before him and read them through leisurely. Certainly he was no critic. He was not accustomed to analyze what pleased or displeased him; but his perceptions were quick, and his taste exquisite. As he read, his countenance, always so genuinely expressive, exhibited now doubt, and now admiration. He was soon struck by the contrast in the boy's writings; between the pieces that sported with fancy, and those that grappled with thought. In the first, the young poet seemed so unconscious of his own individuality. His imagination, afar and aloft from the scenes of his suffering, ran riot amidst a paradise of happy golden creations. But in the last, the THINKER stood out alone and mournful, questioning, in troubled sorrow, the hard world on which he gazed. All in the thought was unsettled, tumultuous; all in the fancy serene and peaceful. The genius seemed divided into twain shapes; the one bathing its wings amidst the starry dews of heaven; the other wandering "melancholy, slow," amidst desolate and boundless sands. Harley gently laid down the paper and mused a little while. Then he rose and walked to Leonard, gazing on his countenance as he neared the boy, with a new and deeper interest.

"I have read your papers," he said, "and recognize in them two men, belonging to two worlds, essentially distinct."

Leonard started, and murmured, "True, true!"

"I apprehend," resumed Harley, "that one of these men must either destroy the other, or that the two must become fused and harmonized into a single existence. Get your hat, mount my groom's horse, and come with me to London; we will converse by the way. Look you, I believe you and I agree in this, that the first object of every noble spirit is independence. It is toward this independence that I alone presume to assist you; and this is a service which the proudest man can receive without a blush."

Leonard lifted his eyes toward Harley's, and those eyes swam with grateful tears; but his heart was too full to answer.

"I am not one of those," said Harley, when they were on the road, "who think that because a young man writes poetry he is fit for nothing else, and that he must be a poet or a pauper. I have said that in you there seems to me to be two men, the man of the Ideal world, the man of the Actual. To each of these men I can offer a separate career. The first is, perhaps, the more tempting. It is the interest of the state to draw into its service all the talent and industry it can obtain; and under his native state every citizen of a free country should be proud to take service. I have a friend who is a minister, and who is known to encourage talent—Audley Egerton. I have but to say to him, 'There is a young man who will well repay to the government whatever the government bestows on him;' and you will rise to-morrow independent in means, and with fair occasions to attain to fortune and distinction. This is one offer, what say you to it?"

Leonard thought bitterly of his interview with Audley Egerton, and the minister's proffered crown-piece. He shook his head, and replied:

"Oh, my lord, how have I deserved such kindness? Do with me what you will; but if I have the option, I would rather follow my own calling. This is not the ambition that inflames me."

"Hear, then, the other offer. I have a friend with whom I am less intimate than Egerton, and who has nothing in his gift to bestow. I speak of a man of letters—Henry Norreys—of whom you have doubtless heard, who, I should say, conceived an interest in you when he observed you reading at the book-stall. I have often heard him say, that literature, as a profession, is misunderstood, and that rightly followed, with the same pains and the same prudence which are brought to bear on other professions, a competence, at least, can be always ultimately obtained. But the way may be long and tedious—and it leads to no power but over thought; it rarely attains to wealth; and, though reputation may be certain, Fame, such as poets dream of, is the lot of few. What say you to this course?"

"My lord, I decide," said Leonard, firmly; and then his young face lighting up with enthusiasm, he exclaimed, "Yes, if, as you say, there be two men within me, I feel, that were I condemned wholly to the mechanical and practical world, one would indeed destroy the other. And the conqueror would be the ruder and the coarser. Let me pursue those ideas that, though they have but flitted across me vague and formless—have ever soared toward the sunlight. No matter whether or not they lead to fortune or to fame, at least they will lead me upward! Knowledge for itself I desire—what care I, if it be not power!"

"Enough," said Harley, with a pleased smile at his young companion's outburst. "As you decide so shall it be settled. And now permit[Pg 824] me, if not impertinent, to ask you a few questions. Your name is Leonard Fairfield?"

The boy blushed deeply, and bowed his head as if in assent.

"Helen says you are self-taught; for the rest she refers me to you—thinking, perhaps, that I should esteem you less—rather than yet more highly—if she said you were, as I presume to conjecture, of humble birth."

"My birth," said Leonard, slowly, "is very—very—humble."

"The name of Fairfield is not unknown to me. There was one of that name who married into a family in Lansmere—married an Avenel—" continued Harley—and his voice quivered. "You change countenance. Oh, could your mother's name have been Avenel?"

"Yes," said Leonard, between his set teeth. Harley laid his hand on the boy's shoulder. "Then, indeed, I have a claim on you—then, indeed, we are friends. I have a right to serve any of that family."

Leonard looked at him in surprise—"For," continued Harley, recovering himself, "they always served my family; and my recollections of Lansmere, though boyish, are indelible." He spurred on his horse as the words closed—and again there was a long pause; but from that time Harley always spoke to Leonard in a soft voice, and often gazed on him with earnest and kindly eyes.

They reached a house in a central, though not fashionable street. A man-servant of a singularly grave and awful aspect opened the door; a man who had lived all his life with authors. Poor devil, he was indeed prematurely old! The care on his lip, and the pomp on his brow—no mortal's pen can describe!

"Is Mr. Norreys at home?" asked Harley.

"He is at home—to his friends, my lord," answered the man, majestically; and he stalked across the hall with the step of a Dangeau ushering some Montmorenci to the presence of Louis le Grand.

"Stay—show this gentleman into another room. I will go first into the library; wait for me, Leonard." The man nodded, and ushered Leonard into the dining-room. Then pausing before the door of the library, and listening an instant, as if fearful to disturb some mood of inspiration, opened it very softly. To his ineffable disgust, Harley pushed before, and entered abruptly. It was a large room, lined with books from the floor to the ceiling. Books were on all the tables—books were on all the chairs. Harley seated himself on a folio of Raleigh's History of the World, and cried:

"I have brought you a treasure!"

"What is it?" said Norreys, good-humoredly, looking up from his desk.

"A mind!"

"A mind!" echoed Norreys, vaguely. "Your own?"

"Pooh—I have none—I have only a heart and a fancy. Listen: you remember the boy we saw reading at the book-stall. I have caught him for you, and you shall train him into a man. I have the warmest interest in his future—- for I knew some of his family—and one of that family was very dear to me. As for money, he has not a shilling, and not a shilling would he accept, gratis, from you or me either. But he comes with bold heart to work—and work you must find him." Harley then rapidly told his friend of the two offers he had made to Leonard—and Leonard's choice.

"This promises very well; for letters a man must have a strong vocation as he should have for law—I will do all that you wish."

Harley rose with alertness—shook Norreys cordially by the hand—hurried out of the room, and returned with Leonard.

Mr. Norreys eyed the young man with attention. He was naturally rather severe than cordial in his manner to strangers—contrasting in this, as in most things, the poor vagabond Burley. But he was a good judge of the human countenance, and he liked Leonard's. After a pause he held out his hand.

"Sir," said he, "Lord L'Estrange tells me that you wish to enter literature as a calling, and no doubt to study it as an art. I may help you in this, and you, meanwhile, can help me. I want an amanuensis—I offer you that place. The salary will be proportioned to the services you will render me. I have a room in my house at your disposal. When I first came up to London, I made the same choice that I hear you have done. I have no cause, even in a worldly point of view, to repent my choice. It gave me an income larger than my wants. I trace my success to these maxims, which are applicable to all professions: 1st. Never to trust to genius—for what can be obtained by labor; 2dly. Never to profess to teach what we have not studied to understand; 3dly. Never to engage our word to what we do not do our best to execute. With these rules, literature, provided a man does not mistake his vocation for it, and will, under good advice, go through the preliminary discipline of natural powers, which all vocations require, is as good a calling as any other. Without them a shoeblack's is infinitely better."

"Possible enough," muttered Harley; "but there have been great writers who observed none of your maxims."

"Great writers, probably, but very unenviable men. My Lord, my Lord, don't corrupt the pupil you bring to me." Harley smiled and took his departure, and left Genius at school with Common Sense and Experience.


While Leonard Fairfield had been obscurely wrestling against poverty, neglect, hunger, and dread temptations, bright had been the opening day, and smooth the upward path, of Randal Leslie. Certainly no young man, able and ambitious, could enter life under fairer auspices; the connection and avowed favorite of a popular and[Pg 825] energetic statesman, the brilliant writer of a political work, that had lifted him at once into a station of his own—received and courted in those highest circles, to which neither rank nor fortune alone suffices for a familiar passport—the circles above fashion itself—the circles of power—with every facility of augmenting information, and learning the world betimes through the talk of its acknowledged masters—Randal had but to move straight onward, and success was sure. But his tortuous spirit delighted in scheme and intrigue for their own sake. In scheme and intrigue he saw shorter paths to fortune, if not to fame. His besetting sin was also his besetting weakness. He did not aspire—he coveted. Though in a far higher social position than Frank Hazeldean, despite the worldly prospects of his old school-fellow, he coveted the very things that kept Frank Hazeldean below him—coveted his idle gayeties, his careless pleasures, his very waste of youth. Thus, also, Randal less aspired to Audley Egerton's repute than he coveted Audley Egerton's wealth and pomp, his princely expenditure, and his Castle Rackrent in Grosvenor-square. It was the misfortune of his birth to be so near to both these fortunes—near to that of Leslie, as the future head of that fallen house—near even to that of Hazeldean, since as we have seen before, if the Squire had had no son, Randal's descent from the Hazeldeans suggested himself as the one on whom these broad lands should devolve. Most young men, brought into intimate contact with Audley Egerton, would have felt for that personage a certain loyal and admiring, if not very affectionate, respect. For there was something grand in Egerton—something that commands and fascinates the young. His determined courage, his energetic will, his almost regal liberality, contrasting a simplicity in personal tastes and habits that was almost austere—his rare and seemingly unconscious power of charming even the women most wearied of homage, and persuading even the men most obdurate to counsel—all served to invest the practical man with those spells which are usually confined to the ideal one. But indeed, Audley Egerton was an Ideal—the ideal of the Practical. Not the mere vulgar, plodding, red-tape machine of petty business, but the man of strong sense, inspired by inflexible energy, and guided to definite earthly objects. In a dissolute and corrupt form of government, under a decrepit monarchy, or a vitiated republic, Audley Egerton might have been a most dangerous citizen; for his ambition was so resolute, and his sight to its ends was so clear. But there is something in public life in England which compels the really ambitious man to honor, unless his eyes are jaundiced and oblique like Randal Leslie's. It is so necessary in England to be a gentleman. And thus Egerton was emphatically considered a gentleman. Without the least pride in other matters, with little apparent sensitiveness, touch him on the point of gentleman, and no one so sensitive and so proud. As Randal saw more of him, and watched his moods with the lynx eyes of the household spy, he could perceive that this hard mechanical man was subject to fits of melancholy, even of gloom, and though they did not last long, there was even in his habitual coldness an evidence of something compressed, latent, painful, lying deep within his memory. This would have interested the kindly feelings of a grateful heart. But Randal detected and watched it only as a clew to some secret it might profit him to gain. For Randal Leslie hated Egerton; and hated him the more because with all his book-knowledge and his conceit in his own talents, he could not despise his patron—because he had not yet succeeded in making his patron the mere tool or stepping-stone—because he thought that Egerton's keen eye saw through his wily heart, even while, as if in profound disdain, the minister helped the protégé. But this last suspicion was unsound. Egerton had not detected Leslie's corrupt and treacherous nature. He might have other reasons for keeping him at a certain distance, but he inquired too little into Randal's feelings toward himself to question the attachment, or doubt the sincerity of one who owed to him so much. But that which more than all embittered Randal's feelings toward Egerton, was the careful and deliberate frankness with which the latter had, more than once, repeated and enforced the odious announcement, that Randal had nothing to expect from the minister's—WILL, nothing to expect from that wealth which glared in the hungry eyes of the pauper heir to the Leslies of Rood. To whom, then, could Egerton mean to devise his fortune? To whom but Frank Hazeldean. Yet Audley took so little notice of his nephew—seemed so indifferent to him, that that supposition, however natural, seemed exposed to doubt. The astuteness of Randal was perplexed. Meanwhile, however, the less he himself could rely upon Egerton for fortune, the more he revolved the possible chances of ousting Frank from the inheritance of Hazeldean—in part, at least, if not wholly. To one less scheming, crafty, and remorseless than Randal Leslie with every day became more and more, such a project would have seemed the wildest delusion. But there was something fearful in the manner in which this young man sought to turn knowledge into power, and make the study of all weakness in others subservient to his own ends. He wormed himself thoroughly into Frank's confidence. He learned through Frank all the Squire's peculiarities of thought and temper, and thoroughly pondered over each word in the father's letters, which the son gradually got into the habit of showing to the perfidious eyes of his friend. Randal saw that the Squire had two characteristics which are very common among proprietors, and which might be invoked as antagonists to his warm fatherly love. First, the Squire was as fond of his estate as if it were a living thing, and part of his own flesh and blood; and in his lectures to Frank upon the sin[Pg 826] of extravagance, the Squire always let out this foible:—"What was to become of the estate if it fell into the hands of a spendthrift? No man should make ducks and drakes of Hazeldean; let Frank beware of that," &c. Secondly, the Squire was not only fond of his lands, but he was jealous of them—that jealousy which even the tenderest fathers sometimes entertain toward their natural heirs. He could not bear the notion that Frank should count on his death; and he seldom closed an admonitory letter without repeating the information that Hazeldean was not entailed; that it was his to do with as he pleased through life and in death. Indirect menace of this nature rather wounded and galled than intimidated Frank; for the young man was extremely generous and high-spirited by nature, and was always more disposed to some indiscretion after such warnings to his self-interest, as if to show that those were the last kinds of appeal likely to influence him. By the help of such insights into the character of father and son, Randal thought he saw gleams of daylight illumining his own chance of the lands of Hazeldean. Meanwhile it appeared to him obvious that, come what might of it, his own interests could not lose, and might most probably gain, by whatever could alienate the Squire from his natural heir. Accordingly, though with consummate tact, he instigated Frank toward the very excesses most calculated to irritate the Squire, all the while appearing rather to give the counter advice, and never sharing in any of the follies to which he conducted his thoughtless friend. In this he worked chiefly through others, introducing Frank to every acquaintance most dangerous to youth, either from the wit that laughs at prudence, or the spurious magnificence that subsists so handsomely upon bills endorsed by friends of "great expectations."

The minister and his protégé were seated at breakfast, the first reading the newspaper, the last glancing over his letters; for Randal had arrived to the dignity of receiving many letters—ay, and notes too, three-cornered, and fantastically embossed. Egerton uttered an exclamation, and laid down the paper. Randal looked up from his correspondence. The minister had sunk into one of his absent reveries.

After a long silence, observing that Egerton did not return to the newspaper, Randal said, "Ehem—sir, I have a note from Frank Hazeldean, who wants much to see me; his father has arrived in town unexpectedly."

"What brings him here?" asked Egerton, still abstractedly.

"Why, it seems that he has heard some vague reports of poor Frank's extravagance, and Frank is rather afraid or ashamed to meet him."

"Ay—a very great fault extravagance in the young!—destroys independence; ruins or enslaves the future. Great fault—very! And what does youth want that it should be extravagant? Has it not every thing in itself, merely because it is? Youth is youth—what needs it more?"

Egerton rose as he said this, and retired to his writing-table, and in his turn opened his correspondence. Randal took up the newspaper, and endeavored, but in vain, to conjecture what had excited the minister's exclamation, and the reverie that succeeded it.

Egerton suddenly and sharply turned round in his chair—"If you have done with the Times, have the goodness to place it here."

Randal had just obeyed, when a knock at the street-door was heard, and presently Lord L'Estrange came into the room, with somewhat a quicker step, and somewhat a gayer mien than usual.

Audley's hand, as if mechanically, fell upon the newspaper—fell upon that part of the columns devoted to births, deaths, and marriages. Randal stood by, and noted; then, bowing to L'Estrange, left the room.

"Audley," said L'Estrange, "I have had an adventure since I saw you—an adventure that reopened the Past, and may influence my future."


"In the first place, I have met with a relation of—of—the Avenels."

"Indeed! Whom—Richard Avenel?"

"Richard—Richard—who is he? Oh, I remember; the wild lad who went off to America; but that was when I was a mere child."

"That Richard Avenel is now a rich thriving trader, and his marriage is in this newspaper—married to an honorable Mrs. M'Catchley. Well—in this country—who should plume himself on birth?"

"You did not say so always, Egerton," replied Harley, with a tone of mournful reproach.

"And I say so now, pertinently to a Mrs. M'Catchley, not to the heir of the L'Estranges But no more of these—these Avenels."

"Yes, more of them. I tell you I have met a relation of theirs—a nephew of—of—"

"Of Richard Avenel's?" interrupted Egerton; and then added in the slow, deliberate, argumentative tone in which he was wont to speak in public. "Richard Avenel the trader! I saw him once—a presuming and intolerable man!"

"The nephew has not those sins. He is full of promise, of modesty, yet of pride. And his countenance—oh, Egerton, he has her eyes."

Egerton made no answer. And Harley resumed—

"I had thought of placing him under your care. I knew you would provide for him."

"I will. Bring him hither," cried Egerton eagerly. "All that I can do to prove my—regard for a wish of yours."

Harley pressed his friend's hand warmly.

"I thank you from my heart; the Audley of my boyhood speaks now. But the young man has decided otherwise; and I do not blame him. Nay, I rejoice that he chooses a career in which if he find hardship, he may escape dependence."

"And that career is—"

"Letters?"[Pg 827]

"Letters—Literature!" exclaimed the statesman. "Beggary! No, no, Harley, this is your absurd romance."

"It will not be beggary, and it is not my romance: it is the boy's. Leave him alone, he is my care and my charge henceforth. He is of her blood, and I said that he had her eyes."

"But you are going abroad; let me know where he is; I will watch over him."

"And unsettle a right ambition for a wrong one? No—you shall know nothing of him till he can proclaim himself. I think that day will come."

Audley mused a moment, and then said, "Well, perhaps you are right. After all, as you say, independence is a great blessing, and my ambition has not rendered myself the better or the happier."

"Yet, my poor Audley, you ask me to be ambitious."

"I only wish you to be consoled," cried Egerton with passion.

"I will try to be so; and by the help of a milder remedy than yours. I said that my adventure might influence my future; it brought me acquainted not only with the young man I speak of, but the most winning affectionate child—a girl."

"Is this child an Avenel too?"

"No, she is of gentle blood—a soldier's daughter; the daughter of that Captain Digby, on whose behalf I was a petitioner to your patronage. He is dead, and in dying, my name was on his lips. He meant me, doubtless, to be the guardian to his orphan. I shall be so. I have at last an object in life."

"But can you seriously mean to take this child with you abroad?"

"Seriously, I do."

"And lodge her in your own house?"

"For a year or so while she is yet a child. Then, as she approaches youth, I shall place her elsewhere."

"You may grow to love her. Is it clear that she will love you? not mistake gratitude for love? It is a very hazardous experiment."

"So was William the Norman's—still he was William the Conqueror. Thou biddest me move on from the past, and be consoled, yet thou wouldst make me as inapt to progress as the mule in Slawkenbergius's tale, with thy cursed interlocutions, 'Stumbling, by St. Nicholas, every step. Why, at this rate, we shall be all night, getting into—' Happiness! Listen," continued Harley, setting off, full pelt, into one of his wild, whimsical humors. "One of the sons of the prophets in Israel, felling wood near the River Jordan, his hatchet forsook the helve, and fell to the bottom of the river; so he prayed to have it again (it was but a small request, mark you); and having a strong faith, he did not throw the hatchet after the helve, but the helve after the hatchet. Presently two great miracles were seen. Up springs the hatchet from the bottom of the water, and fixes itself to its old acquaintance, the helve. Now, had he wished to coach it to Heaven in a fiery chariot like Elias, be as rich as Job, strong as Samson, and beautiful as Absalom, would he have obtained it, do you think? In truth, my friend, I question it very much."

"I can not comprehend what you mean. Sad stuff you are talking."

"I can't help that; Rabelais is to be blamed for it. I am quoting him, and it is to be found in his prologue to the chapters on the Moderation of Wishes. And apropos of 'moderate wishes in point of hatchet,' I want you to understand that I ask but little from Heaven. I fling but the helve after the hatchet that has sunk into the silent stream. I want the other half of the weapon that is buried fathom deep, and for want of which the thick woods darken round me by the Sacred River, and I can catch not a glimpse of the stars."

"In plain English," said Audley Egerton, "you want"—he stopped short, puzzled.

"I want my purpose and my will, and my old character, and the nature God gave me. I want the half of my soul which has fallen from me. I want such love as may replace to me the vanished affections. Reason not—I throw the helve after the hatchet."


Randall Leslie, on leaving Audley, repaired to Frank's lodgings, and after being closeted with the young guardsman an hour or so, took his way to Limmer's hotel, and asked for Mr. Hazeldean. He was shown into the coffee-room, while the waiter went upstairs with his card, to see if the Squire was within, and disengaged. The Times newspaper lay sprawling on one of the tables, and Randal, leaning over it, looked with attention into the column containing births, deaths, and marriages. But in that long and miscellaneous list, he could not conjecture the name which had so excited Mr. Egerton's interest.

"Vexatious!" he muttered; "there is no knowledge which has power more useful than that of the secrets of men."

He turned as the waiter entered and said that Mr. Hazeldean would be glad to see him.

As Randal entered the drawing-room, the Squire shaking hands with him, looked toward the door as if expecting some one else, and his honest face assumed a blank expression of disappointment when the door closed, and he found that Randal was unaccompanied.

"Well," said he bluntly, "I thought your old school-fellow, Frank, might have been with you."

"Have not you seen him yet, sir?"

"No, I came to town this morning; traveled outside the mail; sent to his barracks, but the young gentleman does not sleep there—has an apartment of his own; he never told me that. We are a plain family, the Hazeldeans—young sir; and I hate being kept in the dark, by my own son too."[Pg 828]

Randal made no answer, but looked sorrowful. The Squire, who had never before seen his kinsman, had a vague idea that it was not polite to entertain a stranger, though a connection to himself, with his family troubles, and so resumed good-naturedly.

"I am very glad to make your acquaintance at last, Mr. Leslie. You know, I hope, that you have good Hazeldean blood in your veins?"

Randal (smilingly).—"I am not likely to forget that; it is the boast of our pedigree."

Squire (heartily).—"Shake hands again on it, my boy. You don't want a friend, since my grandee of a half-brother has taken you up; but if ever you should, Hazeldean is not very far from Rood. Can't get on with your father at all, my lad—more's the pity, for I think I could have given him a hint or two as to the improvement of his property. If he would plant those ugly commons—larch and fir soon come into profit, sir; and there are some low lands about Rood that would take mighty kindly to draining."

Randal.—"My poor father lives a life so retired, and you can not wonder at it. Fallen trees lie still, and so do fallen families."

Squire.—"Fallen families can get up again, which fallen trees can't."

Randal.—"Ah, sir, it often takes the energy of generations to repair the thriftlessness and extravagance of a single owner."

Squire (his brow lowering).—"That's very true. Frank is d——d extravagant; treats me very coolly, too—not coming, near three o'clock. By-the-by, I suppose he told you where I was, otherwise how did you find me out?"

Randal (reluctantly).—"Sir, he did; and, to speak frankly, I am not surprised that he has not yet appeared."


Randal.—"We have grown very intimate."

Squire.—"So he writes me word—and I am glad of it. Our member, Sir John, tells me you are a very clever fellow, and a very steady one. And Frank says that he wishes he had your prudence, if he can't have your talents. He has a good heart, Frank," added the father, relentingly. "But, zounds, sir, you say you are not surprised he has not come to welcome his own father!"

"My dear sir," said Randal, "you wrote word to Frank that you had heard from Sir John and others, of his goings-on, and that you were not satisfied with his replies to your letters."


"And then you suddenly come up to town."


"Well. And Frank is ashamed to meet you. For, as you say, he has been extravagant, and he has exceeded his allowance; and, knowing my respect for you, and my great affection for himself, he has asked me to prepare you to receive his confession and forgive him. I know I am taking a great liberty. I have no right to interfere between father and son; but pray—pray think I mean for the best."

"Humph!" said the Squire, recovering himself very slowly, and showing evident pain. "I knew already that Frank had spent more than he ought; but I think he should not have employed a third person, to prepare me to forgive him. (Excuse me—no offense.) And if he wanted a third person, was not there his own mother? What the devil!—(firing up)—am I a tyrant—a bashaw—that my own son is afraid to speak to me? Gad, I'll give it him?"

"Pardon me, sir," said Randal, assuming at once that air of authority which superior intellect so well carries off and excuses. "But I strongly advise you not to express any anger at Frank's confidence in me. At present I have influence over him. Whatever you may think of his extravagance, I have saved him from many an indiscretion, and many a debt—a young man will listen to one of his own age so much more readily than even to the kindest friend of graver years. Indeed, sir, I speak for your sake as well as for Frank's. Let me keep this influence over him; and don't reproach him for the confidence he placed in me. Nay, let him rather think that I have softened any displeasure you might otherwise have felt."

There seemed so much good sense in what Randal said, and the kindness of it seemed so disinterested, that the Squire's native shrewdness was deceived.

"You are a fine young fellow," said he, "and I am very much obliged to you. Well, I suppose there is no putting old heads upon young shoulders; and I promise you I'll not say an angry word to Frank. I dare say, poor boy, he is very much afflicted, and I long to shake hands with him. So, set his mind at ease."

"Ah, sir," said Randal, with much apparent emotion, "your son may well love you; and it seems to be a hard matter for so kind a heart as yours to preserve the proper firmness with him."

"Oh, I can be firm enough," quoth the Squire—"especially when I don't see him—handsome dog that he is—very like his mother—don't you think so?"

"I never saw his mother, sir."

"Gad! Not seen my Harry? No more you have; you must come and pay us a visit. We have your grandmother's picture, when she was a girl, with a crook in one hand and a bunch of lilies in the other. I suppose my half-brother will let you come?"

"To be sure, sir. Will you not call on him while you are in town?"

"Not I. He would think I expected to get something from the Government. Tell him the ministers must go on a little better, if they want my vote for their member. But go. I see you are impatient to tell Frank that all's forgot and forgiven. Come and dine with him here at six, and let him bring his bills in his pocket. Oh, I shan't scold him."

"Why, as to that," said Randal, smiling, "I think (forgive me still) that you should not take it too easily; just as I think that you had better[Pg 829] not blame him for his very natural and praise-worthy shame in approaching you, so I think, also, that you should do nothing that would tend to diminish that shame—it is such a check on him. And therefore, if you can contrive to affect to be angry with him for his extravagance, it will do good."

"You speak like a book, and I'll try my best."

"If you threaten, for instance, to take him out of the army, and settle him in the country, it would have a very good effect."

"What! would he think it so great a punishment to come home and live with his parents?"

"I don't say that; but he is naturally so fond of London. At his age, and with his large inheritance, that is natural."

"Inheritance!" said the Squire, moodily—"inheritance! he is not thinking of that, I trust? Zounds, sir, I have as good a life as his own. Inheritance!—to be sure the Casino property is entailed on him; but, as for the rest, sir, I am no tenant for life. I could leave the Hazeldean lands to my plowman, if I chose it. Inheritance, indeed!"

"My dear sir, I did not mean to imply that Frank would entertain the unnatural and monstrous idea of calculating on your death; and all we have to do is to get him to sow his wild oats as soon as possible—marry, and settle down into the country. For it would be a thousand pities if his town habits and tastes grew permanent—a bad thing for the Hazeldean property, that. And," added Randal, laughing, "I feel an interest in the whole place, since my grandmother comes of the stock. So, just force yourself to seem angry, and grumble a little when you pay the bills."

"Ah, ah, trust me," said the Squire, doggedly, and with a very altered air. "I am much obliged to you for these hints, my young kinsman." And his stout hand trembled a little as he extended it to Randal.

Leaving Limmers, Randal hastened to Frank's rooms in St. James's-street. "My dear fellow," said he, when he entered, "it is very fortunate that I persuaded you to let me break matters to your father. You might well say he was rather passionate; but I have contrived to soothe him. You need not fear that he will not pay your debt."

"I never feared that," said Frank, changing color; "I only feared his anger. But, indeed, I fear his kindness still more. What a reckless hound I have been! However, it shall be a lesson to me. And my debts once paid, I will turn as economical as yourself."

"Quite right, Frank. And, indeed, I am a little afraid that when your father knows the total, he may execute a threat that would be very unpleasant to you."

"What's that?"

"Make you sell out, and give up London."

"The devil!" exclaimed Frank, with fervent emphasis: "that would be treating me like a child."

"Why, it would make you seem rather ridiculous to your set, which is not a very rural one. And you, who like London so much, and are so much the fashion."

"Don't talk of it," cried Frank, walking to and fro the room in great disorder.

"Perhaps, on the whole, it might be well not to say all you owe, at once. If you named half the sum, your father would let you off with a lecture; and really I tremble at the effect of the total."

"But how shall I pay the other half?"

"Oh, you must save from your allowance; it is a very liberal one; and the tradesmen are not pressing."

"No—but the cursed bill-brokers—"

"Always renew to a young man of your expectations. And if I get into an office, I can always help you, my dear Frank."

"Ah, Randal, I am not so bad as to take advantage of your friendship," said Frank, warmly. "But it seems to me mean, after all, and a sort of a lie, indeed, disguising the real state of my affairs. I should not have listened to the idea from any one else. But you are such a sensible, kind, honorable fellow."

"After epithets so flattering, I shrink from the responsibility of advice. But apart from your own interests, I should be glad to save your father the pain he would feel at knowing the whole extent of the scrape you have got into. And if it entailed on you the necessity to lay by—and give up hazard, and not be security for other men—why, it would be the best thing that could happen. Really, too, it seems hard on Mr. Hazeldean, that he should be the only sufferer, and quite just that you should bear half your own burdens."

"So it is, Randal; that did not strike me before. I will take your counsel; and now I will go at once to Limmer's. My dear father? I hope he is looking well?"

"Oh, very. Such a contrast to the sallow Londoners! But I think you had better not go till dinner. He has asked me to meet you at six. I will call for you a little before, and we can go together. This will prevent a great deal of gêne and constraint. Good-by till then. Ha!—by the way, I think if I were you, I would not take the matter too seriously and penitentially. You see the best of fathers like to keep their sons under their thumb, as the saying is. And if you want at your age to preserve your independence, and not be hurried off and buried in the country, like a schoolboy in disgrace, a little manliness of bearing would not be amiss. You can think over it."

The dinner at Limmer's went off very differently from what it ought to have done. Randal's words had sunk deep, and rankled sorely in the Squire's mind; and that impression imparted a certain coldness to his manner which belied the hearty, forgiving, generous impulse with which he had come up to London, and which even Randal had not yet altogether whispered away. On the other hand, Frank, embarrassed both by the sense of disingenuousness, and[Pg 830] a desire "not to take the thing too seriously," seemed to the Squire ungracious and thankless.

After dinner, the Squire began to hum and haw, and Frank to color up and shrink. Both felt discomposed by the presence of a third person; till, with an art and address worthy of a better cause, Randal himself broke the ice, and so contrived to remove the restraint he had before imposed, that at length each was heartily glad to have matters made clear and brief by his dexterity and tact.

Frank's debts were not, in reality, large; and when he named the half of them—looking down in shame—the Squire, agreeably surprised, was about to express himself with a liberal heartiness that would have opened his son's excellent heart at once to him. But a warning look from Randal checked the impulse; and the Squire thought it right, as he had promised, to affect an anger he did not feel, and let fall the unlucky threat, "that it was all very well once in a way to exceed his allowance; but if Frank did not, in future, show more sense than to be led away by a set of London sharks and coxcombs, he must cut the army, come home, and take to farming."

Frank imprudently exclaimed, "Oh, sir, I have no taste for farming. And after London, at my age, the country would be so horribly dull."

"Aha!" said the Squire, very grimly—and he thrust back into his pocket-book some extra bank-notes which his fingers had itched to add to those he had already counted out. "The country is terribly dull, is it? Money goes there not upon follies and vices, but upon employing honest laborers, and increasing the wealth of the nation. It does not please you to spend money in that way: it is a pity you should ever be plagued with such duties."

"My dear father—"

"Hold your tongue, you puppy. Oh, I dare say, if you were in my shoes, you would cut down the oaks, and mortgage the property—sell it, for what I know—all go on a cast of the dice! Aha, sir—very well, very well—the country is horribly dull, is it? Pray, stay in town."

"My dear Mr. Hazeldean," said Randal, blandly, and as if with the wish to turn off into a joke what threatened to be serious, "you must not interpret a hasty expression so literally. Why, you would make Frank as bad as Lord A——, who wrote word to his steward to cut down more timber; and when the steward replied, 'There are only three sign-posts left on the whole estate,' wrote back, 'They've done growing, at all events—down with them.' You ought to know Lord A——, sir; so witty; and—Frank's particular friend."

"Your particular friend, Master Frank? Pretty friends!"—and the squire buttoned up the pocket, to which he had transferred his note book, with a determined air.

"But I'm his friend, too," said Randal, kindly; "and I preach to him properly, I can tell you." Then, as if delicately anxious to change the subject, he began to ask questions upon crops, and the experiment of bone manure. He spoke earnestly, and with gusto, yet with the deference of one listening to a great practical authority. Randal had spent the afternoon in cramming the subject from agricultural journals and Parliamentary reports; and, like all practiced readers, had really learned in a few hours more than many a man, unaccustomed to study, could gain from books in a year. The Squire was surprised and pleased at the young scholar's information and taste for such subjects.

"But, to be sure," quoth he, with an angry look at poor Frank, "you have good Hazeldean blood in you, and know a bean from a turnip."

"Why, sir," said Randal, ingenuously, "I am training myself for public life; and what is a public man worth if he do not study the agriculture of his country?"

"Right—what is he worth? Put that question, with my compliments, to my half-brother. What stuff he did talk, the other night, on the malt-tax, to be sure!"

"Mr. Egerton has had so many other things to think of, that we must excuse his want of information upon one topic, however important. With his strong sense, he must acquire that information, sooner or later; for he is fond of power; and, sir, knowledge is power!"

"Very true; very fine saying," quoth the poor Squire, unsuspiciously, as Randal's eye rested upon Mr. Hazeldean's open face, and then glanced toward Frank, who looked sad and bored.

"Yes," repeated Randal, "knowledge is power;" and he shook his head wisely, as he passed the bottle to his host.

Still, when the Squire, who meant to return to the Hall next morning, took leave of Frank, his heart warmed to his son: and still more for Frank's dejected looks. It was not Randal's policy to push estrangement too far at first, and in his own presence.

"Speak to poor Frank—kindly now, sir—do," whispered he, observing the Squire's watery eyes, as he moved to the window.

The Squire rejoiced to obey—thrust out his hand to his son, "My dear boy," said he, "there, don't fret—pshaw!—it was but a trifle, after all. Think no more of it."

Frank took the hand, and suddenly threw his arm round his father's broad shoulder.

"Oh, sir, you are too good—too good." His voice trembled so, that Randal took alarm, passed by him, and touched him meaningly.

The Squire pressed his son to his heart—heart so large, that it seemed to fill the whole width under his broadcloth.

"My dear Frank," said he, half blubbering, "it is not the money; but, you see, it so vexes your poor mother; you must be careful in future; and, zounds, boy, it will be all yours one day; only don't calculate on it; I could not bear that—I could not indeed."

"Calculate!" cried Frank. "Oh, sir, can you think it?"[Pg 831]

"I am so delighted that I had some slight hand in your complete reconciliation with Mr. Hazeldean," said Randal, as the young men walked from the hotel. "I saw that you were disheartened, and I told him to speak to you kindly."

"Did you? Ah, I am sorry he needed telling."

"I know his character so well already," said Randal, "that I flatter myself I can always keep things between you as they ought to be. What an excellent man!"

"The best man in the world!" cried Frank, heartily; and then as his accent drooped, "yet I have deceived him. I have a great mind to go back—"

"And tell him to give you twice as much money as you had asked for. He would think you had only seemed so affectionate in order to take him in. No, no, Frank; save—lay by—economize; and then tell him that you have paid half your own debts. Something high-minded in that."

"So there is. Your heart is as good as your head. Good-night."

"Are you going home so early? Have you no engagements?"

"None that I shall keep."

"Good-night, then."

They parted, and Randal walked into one of the fashionable clubs. He neared a table, where three or four young men (younger sons who lived in the most splendid style, heaven knew how) were still over their wine.

Leslie had little in common with these gentlemen; but he forced his nature to be agreeable to them, in consequence of a very excellent piece of worldly advice given to him by Audley Egerton. "Never let the dandies call you a prig," said the statesman. "Many a clever fellow fails through life, because the silly fellows, whom half a word well spoken could make his claqueurs, turn him into ridicule. Whatever you are, avoid the fault of most reading men: in a word, don't be a prig!"

"I have just left Hazeldean," said Randal, "what a good fellow he is!"

"Capital," said the Honorable George Borrowwell. "Where is he?"

"Why, he is gone to his rooms. He has had a little scene with his father, a thorough, rough country squire. It would be an act of charity if you would go and keep him company, or take him with you to some place a little more lively than his own lodgings."

"What! the old gentleman has been teasing him?—a horrid shame! Why, Frank is not expensive, and he will be very rich—eh?"

"An immense property," said Randal, "and not a mortgage on it; an only son," he added, turning away.

Among these young gentlemen there was a kindly and most benevolent whisper, and presently they all rose, and walked away toward Frank's lodgings.

"The wedge is in the tree," said Randal to himself, "and there is a gap already between the bark and the wood."


Harley L'Estrange is seated beside Helen at the lattice-window in the cottage at Norwood. The bloom of reviving health is on the child's face, and she is listening with a smile, for Harley is speaking of Leonard with praise, and of Leonard's future with hope. "And thus," he continued, "secure from his former trials, happy in his occupation, and pursuing the career he has chosen, we must be content, my dear child, to leave him."

"Leave him!" exclaimed Helen, and the rose on her cheek faded.

Harley was not displeased to see her emotion. He would have been disappointed in her heart if it had been less susceptible to affection.

"It is hard on you, Helen," said he, "to separate you from one who has been to you as a brother. Do not hate me for doing so. But I consider myself your guardian, and your home as yet must be mine. We are going from this land of cloud and mist, going as into the world of summer. Well, that does not content you. You weep, my child; you mourn your own friend, but do not forget your father's. I am alone, and often sad, Helen; will you not comfort me! You press my hand, but you must learn to smile on me also. You are born to be the Comforter. Comforters are not egotists; they are always cheerful when they console."

The voice of Harley was so sweet, and his words went so home to the child's heart, that she looked up and smiled in his face as he kissed her ingenuous brow. But then she thought of Leonard, and felt so solitary—so bereft—that tears burst forth again. Before these were dried, Leonard himself entered, and obeying an irresistible impulse, she sprang to his arms, and, leaning her head on his shoulder, sobbed out, "I am going from you, brother—do not grieve—do not miss me."

Harley was much moved; he folded his arms, and contemplated them both silently—and his own eyes were moist. "This heart," thought he, "will be worth the winning!"

He drew aside Leonard, and whispered—"Soothe, but encourage and support her. I leave you together; come to me in the garden later."

It was nearly an hour before Leonard joined Harley.

"She was not weeping when you left her?" asked L'Estrange.

"No; she has more fortitude than we might suppose. Heaven knows how that fortitude has supported mine. I have promised to write to her often."

Harley took two strides across the lawn, and then, coming back to Leonard, said, "Keep your promise, and write often for the first year, I would then ask you to let the correspondence drop gradually."[Pg 832]

"Drop!—Ah, my Lord!"

"Look you, my young friend, I wish to lead this fair mind wholly from the sorrows of the Past. I wish Helen to enter, not abruptly, but step by step, into a new life. You love each other now, as do two children—as brother and sister. But later, if encouraged, would the love be the same? And is it not better for both of you, that youth should open upon the world with youth's natural affections free and unforestalled?"

"True! And she is so above me," said Leonard mournfully.

"No one is above him who succeeds in your ambition, Leonard. It is not that, believe me!"

Leonard shook his head.

"Perhaps," said Harley, with a smile, "I rather feel that you are above me. For what vantage-ground is so high as youth? Perhaps I may become jealous of you. It is well that she should learn to like one who is to be henceforth her guardian and protector. Yet, how can she like me as she ought, if her heart is to be full of you?"

The boy bowed his head; and Harley hastened to change the subject, and speak of letters and of glory. His words were eloquent, and his voice kindling; for he had been an enthusiast for fame in his boyhood; and in Leonard's, his own seemed to him to revive. But the poet's heart gave back no echo—suddenly it seemed void and desolate. Yet when Leonard walked back by the moonlight, he muttered to himself, "Strange—strange—so mere a child, this can not be love! Still what else to love is there left to me?"

And so he paused upon the bridge where he had so often stood with Helen, and on which he had found the protector that had given to her a home—to himself a career. And life seemed very long, and fame but a dreary phantom. Courage, still, Leonard! These are the sorrows of the heart that teach thee more than all the precepts of sage and critic.

Another day and Helen had left the shores of England, with her fanciful and dreaming guardian. Years will pass before our tale reopens. Life in all the forms we have seen it travels on. And the Squire farms and hunts; and the parson preaches and chides and soothes. And Riccabocca reads his Machiavelli, and sighs and smiles as he moralizes on Men and States. And Violante's dark eyes grow deeper and more spiritual in their lustre; and her beauty takes thought from solitary dreams. And Mr. Richard Avenel has his house in London, and the honorable Mrs. Avenel her opera box; and hard and dire is their struggle into fashion, and hotly does the new man, scorning the aristocracy, pant to become aristocrat. And Audley Egerton goes from the office to the Parliament, and drudges, and debates, and helps to govern the empire on which the sun never sets. Poor Sun, how tired he must be—but none more tired than the Government! And Randal Leslie has an excellent place in the bureau of a minister, and is looking to the time when he shall resign it to come into Parliament, and on that large arena turn knowledge into power. And meanwhile, he is much where he was with Audley Egerton; but he has established intimacy with the Squire, and visited Hazeldean twice, and examined the house and the map of the property—and very nearly fallen a second time into the Ha-ha; and the Squire believes that Randal Leslie alone can keep Frank out of mischief, and has spoken rough words to his Harry about Frank's continued extravagance. And Frank does continue to pursue pleasure; and is very miserable, and horribly in debt. And Madame di Negra has gone from London to Paris, and taken a tour into Switzerland, and come back to London again, and has grown very intimate with Randal Leslie; and Randal has introduced Frank to her; and Frank thinks her the loveliest woman in the world, and grossly slandered by certain evil tongues. And the brother of Madame di Negra is expected in England at last; and what with his repute for beauty and for wealth, people anticipate a sensation; and Leonard, and Harley, and Helen? Patience—they will all re-appear.



The moorland was wide, level, and black; black as night, if you could suppose night condensed on the surface of the earth, and that you could tread on solid darkness in the midst of day. The day itself was fast dropping into night, although it was dreary and gloomy at the best; for it was a November day. The moor, for miles around, was treeless and houseless; devoid of vegetation, except heather, which clad with its gloomy frieze coat the shivering landscape. At a distance you could discern, through the misty atmosphere, the outline of mountains apparently as bare and stony as this wilderness, which they bounded. There were no fields, no hedgerows, no marks of the hand of man, except the nakedness itself, which was the work of man in past ages; when, period after period, he had tramped over the scene with fire and sword, and left all that could not fly before him, either ashes to be scattered by the savage winds, or stems of trees, and carcases of men trodden into the swampy earth. As the Roman historian said of other destroyers, "They created solitude and called it peace." That all this was the work of man, and not of Nature, any one spot of this huge and howling wilderness could testify, if you would only turn up its sable surface. In its bosom lay thousands of ancient oaks and pines, black as ebony; which told, by their gigantic bulk, that forests must have once existed on this spot, as rich as the scene was now bleak. Nobler things than trees lay buried there; but were, for the most part, resolved into the substance of the inky earth. The dwellings of men had left few or no traces, for they had been consumed in flames; and the hearts that had loved, and suf[Pg 833]fered, and perished beneath the hand of violence and insult, were no longer human hearts, but slime. If a man were carried blindfold to that place, and asked when his eyes were unbandaged where he was, he would say—"Ireland!"

He would want no clew to the identity of the place, but the scene before him. There is no heath like an Irish heath. There is no desolation like an Irish desolation. Where Nature herself has spread the expanse of a solitude, it is a cheerful solitude. The air flows over it lovingly; the flowers nod and dance in gladness; the soil breathes up a spirit of wild fragrance, which communicates a buoyant sensation to the heart. You feel that you tread on ground where the peace of God, and not the "peace" of man created in the merciless hurricane of war, has sojourned: where the sun shone on creatures sporting on ground or on tree, as the Divine Goodness of the Universe meant them to sport: where the hunter disturbed alone the enjoyment of the lower animals by his own boisterous joy: where the traveler sung as he went over it, because he felt a spring of inexpressible music in his heart: where the weary wayfarer sat beneath a bush, and blessed God, though his limbs ached with travel, and his goal was far off. In God's deserts dwells gladness; in man's deserts, death. A melancholy smites you as you enter them. There is a darkness from the past that envelops your heart, and the moans and sighs of ten-times perpetrated misery seem still to live in the very winds.

One shallow, and widely-spread stream struggled through the moor; sometimes between masses of gray stone. Sedges and the white-headed cotton-rush whistled on its margin, and on island-like expanses that here and there rose above the surface of its middle course.

I have said that there was no sign of life; but on one of those gray stones stood a heron watching for prey. He had remained straight, rigid, and motionless for hours. Probably his appetite was appeased by his day's success among the trout of that dark red-brown stream, which was colored by the peat from which it oozed. When he did move, he sprung up at once, stretched his broad wings, and silent as the scene around him, made a circuit in the air; rising higher as he went, with slow and solemn flight. He had been startled by a sound. There was life in the desert now. Two horsemen came galloping along a highway not far distant, and the heron, continuing his grave gyrations, surveyed them as he went. Had they been travelers over a plain of India, an Australian waste, or the Pampas of South America, they could not have been grimmer of aspect, or more thoroughly children of the wild. They were Irish from head to foot.

They were mounted on two spare but by no means clumsy horses. The creatures had marks of blood and breed that had been introduced by the English to the country. The could claim, if they knew it, lineage of Arabia. The one was a pure bay, the other and lesser, was black; but both were lean as death, haggard as famine. They were wet with the speed with which they had been hurried along. The soil of the damp moorland, or of the field in which, during the day, they had probably been drawing the peasant's cart, still smeared their bodies, and their manes flew as wildly and untrimmed as the sedge or the cotton-rush on the wastes through which they careered. Their riders, wielding each a heavy stick instead of a riding-whip which they applied ever and anon to the shoulders or flanks of their smoking animals, were mounted on their bare backs, and guided them by halter, instead of bridle. They were a couple of the short frieze-coated, knee-breeches and gray-stocking fellows who are as plentiful on Irish soil as potatoes. From beneath their narrow-brimmed, old, weather-beaten hats, streamed hair as unkemped as their horses' manes. The Celtic physiognomy was distinctly marked—the small and somewhat upturned nose; the black tint of skin; the eye now looking gray, now black; the freckled cheek, and sandy hair. Beard and whiskers covered half the face, and the short square-shouldered bodies were bent forward with eager impatience, as they thumped and kicked along their horses, muttering curses as they went.

The heron, sailing on broad and seemingly slow vans, still kept them in view. Anon, they reached a part of the moorland where traces of human labor were visible. Black piles of peat stood on the solitary ground, ready, after a summers cutting and drying. Presently patches of cultivation presented themselves; plots of ground raised on beds, each a few feet wide, with intervening trenches to carry off the boggy water, where potatoes had grown, and small fields where grew more stalks of ragwort than grass, inclosed by banks cast up and tipped here and there with a briar or a stone. It was the husbandry of misery and indigence. The ground had already been freshly manured by sea-weeds, but the village—where was it? Blotches of burnt ground; scorched heaps of rubbish, and fragments of blackened walls, alone were visible. Garden-plots were trodden down, and their few bushes rent up, or hung with tatters of rags. The two horsemen, as they hurried by with gloomy visages, uttered no more than a single word: "Eviction!"

Further on, the ground heaved itself into a chaotic confusion. Stony heaps swelled up here and there, naked, black, and barren: the huge bones of the earth protruded themselves through her skin. Shattered rocks arose, sprinkled with bushes, and smoke curled up from what looked like mere heaps of rubbish; but which were in reality human habitations. Long dry grass hissed and rustled in the wind on their roofs (which were sunk by-places, as if falling in); and pits of reeking filth seemed placed exactly to prevent access to some of the low doors; while to others, a few stepping-stones made that access only possible. Here the two riders stopped, and hurriedly tying their steeds to an elder-bush, disappeared in one of the cabins.[Pg 834]

The heron slowly sailed on to the place of its regular roost. Let us follow it.

Far different was this scene to those the bird had left. Lofty trees darkened the steep slopes of a fine river. Rich meadows lay at the feet of woods and stretched down to the stream. Herds of cattle lay on them, chewing their cuds after the plentiful grazing of the day. The white walls of a noble house peeped, in the dusk of night, through the fertile timber which stood in proud guardianship of the mansion; and broad winding walks gave evidence of a place where nature and art had combined to form a paradise. There were ample pleasure-grounds. Alas! the grounds around the cabins over which the heron had so lately flown, might be truly styled pain-grounds.

Within that home was assembled a happy family. There was the father, a fine-looking man of forty. Proud you would have deemed him, as he sate for a moment abstracted in his cushioned chair; but a moment afterward, as a troop of children came bursting into the room, his manner was instantly changed into one so pleasant, so playful, and so overflowing with enjoyment, that you saw him only as an amiable, glad, domestic man. The mother, a handsome woman, was seated already at the tea-table; and, in another minute, sounds of merry voices and childish laughter were mingled with the jocose tones of the father, and the playful accents of the mother; addressed, now to one, and now to another, of the youthful group.

In due time the merriment was hushed, and the household assembled for evening prayer. A numerous train of servants assumed their accustomed places. The father read. He had paused once or twice, and glanced with a stern and surprised expression toward the group of domestics, for he heard sounds that astonished him from one corner of the room near the door. He went on—"Remember the children of Edom, O Lord, in the day of judgment, how they said, Down with it, down with it, even to the ground. O daughter of Babylon, wasted with misery, yea, happy shall he be who rewardeth thee, as thou hast served us!"

There was a burst of smothered sobs from the same corner, and the master's eye flashed with a strange fire as he again darted a glance toward the offender. The lady looked equally surprised, in the same direction; then turned a meaning look on her husband—a warm flush was succeeded by a paleness in her countenance, and she cast down her eyes. The children wondered, but were still. Once more the father's sonorous voice continued—"Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us." Again the stifled sound was repeated. The brow of the master darkened again—the mother looked agitated; the children's wonder increased; the master closed the book, and the servants, with a constrained silence, retired from the room.

"What can be the matter with old Dennis?" exclaimed the lady, the moment that the door had closed on the household.—"O! what is amiss with poor old Dennis!" exclaimed the children.

"Some stupid folly or other," said the father, morosely. "Come! away to bed, children. You can learn Dennis's troubles another time." The children would have lingered, but again the words, "Away with you!" in a tone which never needed repetition, were decisive: they kissed their parents and withdrew. In a few seconds the father rang the bell. "Send Dennis Croggan here."

The old man appeared. He was a little thin man, of not less than seventy years of age, with white hair and a dark spare countenance. He was one of those many nondescript servants in a large Irish house, whose duties are curiously miscellaneous. He had, however, shown sufficient zeal and fidelity through a long life, to secure a warm nook in the servants' hall for the remainder of his days.

Dennis entered with an humble and timid air, as conscious that he had deeply offended; and had to dread at least a severe rebuke. He bowed profoundly to both the master and mistress.

"What is the meaning of your interruptions during the prayers, Dennis?" demanded the master, abruptly. "Has any thing happened to you?"

"No, sir."

"Anything amiss in your son's family?"

"No, your honor."

The interrogator paused; a storm of passion seemed slowly gathering within him. Presently he asked, in a loud tone, "What does this mean? Was there no place to vent your nonsense in, but in this room, and at prayers?"

Dennis was silent. He cast an imploring look at the master, then at the mistress.

"What is the matter, good Dennis?" asked the lady, in a kind tone. "Compose yourself, and tell us. Something strange must have happened to you."

Dennis trembled violently; but he advanced a couple of paces, seized the back of a chair as if to support him, and, after a vain gasp or two, declared, as intelligibly as fear would permit, that the prayer had overcome him.

"Nonsense, man!" exclaimed the master, with fury in the same face, which was so lately beaming with joy on the children. "Nonsense! Speak out without more ado, or you shall rue it."

Dennis looked to the mistress as if he would have implored her intercession; but as she gave no sign of it, he was compelled to speak; but in a brogue that would have been unintelligible to English ears. We therefore translate it:

"I could not help thinking of the poor people at Rathbeg, when the soldiers and police cried, 'Down with them! down with them, even to the ground!' and then the poor bit cabins came down all in fire and smoke, amid the howls and cries of the poor creatures. Oh! it was a fearful sight, your honor—it was, indeed—to see the poor women hugging their babies, and the houses where they were born burning in the wind. It[Pg 835] was dreadful to see the old bedridden man lie on the wet ground among the few bits of furniture, and groan to his gracious God above. Oh, your honor! you never saw such a sight, or—you—sure a—it would never have been done!"

Dennis seemed to let the last words out, as if they were jerked from him by a sudden shock.

The master, whose face had changed during this speech to a livid hue of passion, his eyes blazing with rage, was in the act of rushing on old Dennis, when he was held back by his wife, who exclaimed—"Oswald! be calm; let us hear what Dennis has to say. Go on, Dennis—go on!"

The master stood still, breathing hard to overcome his rage. Old Dennis, as if seeing only his own thoughts, went on—"O, bless your honor! if you had seen that poor frantic woman when the back of the cabin fell, and buried her infant, where she thought she had laid it safe for a moment, while she flew to part her husband and a soldier, who had struck the other children with the flat of his sword, and bade them to troop off! Oh, your honor, but it was a killing sight! It was that came over me in the prayer, and I feared that we might be praying perdition on us all, when we prayed about our trespasses. If the poor creatures of Rathbeg should meet us, your honor, at Heaven's gate (I was thinking) and say—'These are the heathens that would not let us have a poor hearthstone in poor ould Ireland.' And that was all, your honor, that made me misbehave so; I was just thinking of that, and I could not help it."

"Begone! you old fool!" exclaimed the master; and Dennis disappeared, with a bow, and an alertness that would have done credit to his earlier years.

There was a moment's silence after his exit. The lady turned to her husband, and clasping his arm with her hands, and looking into his darkened countenance with a look of tenderest anxiety, said:

"Dearest Oswald, let me, as I have so often done, once more entreat that these dreadful evictions may cease. Surely there must be some way to avert them, and to set your property right, without such violent measures."

The stern, proud man said, "Then, why, in the name of Heaven, do you not reveal some other remedy? Why do you not enlighten all Ireland? Why don't you instruct Government? The unhappy wretches who have been swept away by force are no people, no tenants of mine. They squatted themselves down, as a swarm of locusts fix themselves while a green blade is left. They obstruct all improvement; they will not till the ground themselves; nor will they quit it to allow me to provide more industrious and provident husbandmen to cultivate it. Land that teems with fertility, and is shut out from bearing and bringing forth food for man, is accursed. Those who have been evicted, not only rob me; but their more industrious fellows."

"They will murder us!" said the wife, "some day for these things. They will—"

Her words were cut short suddenly by her husband starting, and standing in a listening attitude. "Wait a moment," he said, with a peculiar calmness, as if he had just got a fresh thought; and his lady, who did not comprehend what was the cause, but hoped that some better influence was touching him, unloosed her hands from his arm. "Wait just a moment," he repeated, and stepped from the room, opened the front door, and without his hat, went out.

"He is intending to cool down his anger," thought his wife: "he feels a longing for the freshness of the air." But she had not caught the sound which had startled his quicker, because more excited ear: she had been too much engrossed by her own intercession with him: it was a peculiar whine from the mastiff, which was chained near the lodge-gate, that had arrested his attention. He stepped out. The black clouds which overhung the moor had broken, and the moon's light struggled between them.

The tall and haughty man stood erect in the breeze and listened. Another moment—there was a shot, and he fell headlong upon the broad steps on which he stood. His wife sprang with a piercing shriek from the door, and fell on his corpse. A crowd of servants gathered about them, making wild lamentations, and breathing vows of vengeance. The murdered master and the wife were borne into the house.

The heron soared from its lofty perch, and wheeled with terrified wings through the night air. The servants armed themselves; and, rushing furiously from the house, traversed the surrounding masses of trees. Fierce dogs were let loose, and dashed frantically through the thickets. All was, however, too late. The soaring heron saw gray figures, with blackened faces, stealing away—often on their hands and knees—down the hollows of the moorlands toward the village; where the two Irish horsemen had, in the first dusk of that evening, tied their lean steeds to the old elder bush.

Near the mansion no lurking assassin was to be found. Meanwhile, two servants, pistol in hand, on a couple of their master's horses, scoured hill, and dale. The heron, sailing solemnly on the wind above, saw them halt in a little town. They thundered with the butt-ends of their pistols on a door in the principal street. Over it there was a coffin-shaped board, displaying a painted crown, and the big-lettered words, "POLICE STATION." The mounted servants shouted with might and main. A night-capped head issued from a chamber casement with—"What is the matter?"

"Out with you, Police! out with all your strength, and lose not a moment; Mr. FitzGibbon, of Sporeen, is shot at his own door."

The casement was hastily clapped to, and the two horsemen galloped forward up the long, broad street; now flooded with the moon's light. Heads full of terror were thrust from upper windows to inquire the cause of that rapid galloping; but ever too late. The two men held their course up a steep hill outside of the town, where stood a vast building overlooking the whole place.[Pg 836] It was the barracks. Here the alarm was also given.

In less than an hour, a mounted troop of police in olive-green costume, with pistols at holster, sword by side, and carbine on the arm, were trotting briskly out of town, accompanied by the two messengers; whom they plied with eager questions. These answered, and sundry imprecations vented, the whole party increased their speed, and went on, mile after mile, by hedgerow and open moorland, talking as they went.

Before they reached the house of Sporeen, and near the village where the two Irish horsemen had stopped the evening before, they halted, and formed themselves into more orderly array. A narrow gully was before them on the road, hemmed in on each side by rocky steeps, here and there overhung with bushes. The commandant bade them be on their guard, for there might be danger there. He was right; for the moment they began to trot through the pass, the flash and rattle of fire-arms from the thickets above saluted them, followed by a wild yell. In a second, several of their number lay dead or dying in the road. The fire was returned promptly by the police; but it was at random, for although another discharge, and another howl, announced that the enemy were still there, no one could be seen. The head of the police commanded his troop to make a dash through the pass; for there was no scaling the heights from this side; the assailants having warily posted themselves there, because at the foot of an eminence were stretched on either hand impassable bogs. The troop dashed forward, firing their pistols as they went; but were met by such deadly discharges of fire-arms as threw them into confusion, killed and wounded several of their horses, and made them hastily retreat.

There was nothing for it, but to await the arrival of the cavalry; and it was not long before the clatter of horses' hoofs and the ringing of sabres were heard on the road. On coming up, the troop of cavalry, firing to the right and left on the hill-sides, dashed forward, and, in the same instant, cleared the gully in safety; the police having kept their side of the pass. In fact, not a single shot was returned; the arrival of this strong force having warned the insurgents to decamp. The cavalry in full charge ascended the hills, to their summits. Not a foe was to be seen, except one or two dying men, who were discovered by their groans.

The moon had been for a time quenched in a dense mass of clouds, which now were blown aside by a keen and cutting wind. The heron, soaring over the desert, could now see gray-coated men flying in different directions to the shelter of the neighboring hills. The next day he was startled from his dreamy reveries near the moorland stream, by the shouts and galloping of mingled police and soldiers, as they gave chase to a couple of haggard, bare-headed, and panting peasants.

These were soon captured, and at once recognized as belonging to the evicted inhabitants of the recently deserted village.

Since then years have rolled on. The heron, who had been startled from his quiet haunts by these things, was still dwelling on the lofty tree with his kindred, by the hall of Sporeen. He had reared family after family in that airy lodgment, as spring after spring came round; but no family, after that fatal time, had ever tenanted the mansion. The widow and children had fled from it so soon as Mr. FitzGibbon had been laid in the grave. The nettle and dock flourished over the scorched ruins of the village of Rathbeg; dank moss and wild grass tangled the proud drives and walks of Sporeen. All the woodland rides and pleasure-grounds lay obstructed with briars; and young trees, in time, grew luxuriantly where once the roller in its rounds could not crush a weed; the nimble frolics of the squirrel were now the only merry things where formerly the feet of lovely children had sprung with elastic joy.

The curse of Ireland was on the place. Landlord and tenant, gentleman and peasant, each with the roots and the shoots of many virtues in their hearts, thrown into a false position by the mutual injuries of ages, had wreaked on each other the miseries sown broadcast by their ancestors. Beneath this foul spell men who would, in any other circumstances, have been the happiest and the noblest of mankind, became tyrants; and peasants, who would have glowed with grateful affection toward them, exulted in being their assassins. As the traveler rode past the decaying hall, the gloomy woods, and waste black moorlands of Sporeen, he read the riddle of Ireland's fate, and asked himself when an Œdipus would arise to solve it.


A long time ago, when the powerful clan of the Cumyns were lords of half the country round, the chief of that clan slew a neighboring chieftain, with whom he had a feud; for feuds in those days were as easily found as blackberries, and quarrels might be had any day in the year for the picking. He that was slain had, at the time of his death, an only child, an infant, of the name of Hugh. The widow treasured deep within her heart the hope of vengeance, which the daily sight of her son, recalling, by his features, the memory of her slaughtered husband, kept ever awake. With the first opening of his intellect, he was instructed in the deed that made him fatherless, and taught to look forward to avenging his parent as a holy obligation cast upon him; and so, with his strength and his stature, grew his hatred of the Cumyns, and his resolution to take the life of him who had slain his father. He spent his days in the woods practicing archery, till at length he became a most expert bowman. None could send a shaft with so strong an arm, or so true an aim, as Hugh Shenigan; and the eagle or the red deer was sure to fall beneath his arrow, when the one was soaring too high in the air, or the other fleeing too swiftly on the hill, for ordinary woodcraft. But it was not the eagle or the deer that kept[Pg 837] Hugh in the forest, and upon the mountains, from the dawn of the morning till the setting of the sun. He was watching for other prey, and at length chance brought what he sought within his reach. One day he climbed up the side of Benigloe, and took his station upon a spot that commanded a view of the glen between it and the opposite range of hills. He had ascertained that Cumyn would return to Blair by the glen that evening; and so it happened, that an hour or so before sun-fall he espied the chieftain, with two of his clan, wending onwards toward the base of the hill. A few minutes more, and they would reach a point within the range of his bow. His practiced eye measured the distance, and his heart throbbed with a fierce, dark emotion, as he put the shaft to the thong, and drew it, with a strong arm, to his ear. With a whiz, the arrow sped from the bow, and cleft the air with the speed of light, while a wild shout burst from the lips of the young archer. His anxiety, it would seem, did not suffer him to wait till his foe had come within range of his arrow, for it sank quivering into the earth at the foot of him for whose heart it was aimed. The shout and the shaft alike warned the Cumyns that danger was nigh, and not knowing by what numbers they might be assailed, they plunged into the heather on the hill side, and were quickly lost to the sight. But the young man watched with the keenness of an eagle, and his sense seemed intensified with the terrible desire of vengeance that consumed him. At length, just where the little stream falls from the crown of the hill, the form of a man became visible, standing out from the sky, now bright with the last light of the setting sun. With a strong effort, the young man mastered the emotion of his heart, as the gambler becomes calm, ere he throws the cast upon which he has staked his all. The bow is strained to its utmost, the eye ranges along the shaft from feather to barb, it is shot forth as if winged by the very soul of him who impelled it. One moment of breathless suspense, and in the next the chief of the Cumyns falls headlong into the stream, pierced through the bowels by the deadly weapon.


It is now upward of eleven years since the writer of this commenced advocating "postal reform and cheap postage." At first it found but little favor either from the public or the Post-Office Department. Many considered the schemes Utopian, and if carried into effect would break down the post-office: but neither ridicule or threats prevented him from prosecuting his object until Congress was compelled in 1845 to reduce the rates of postage to five and ten cents the half-ounce.

The success attending even this partial reduction equaled the expectations of its friends, and silenced the opposition of its enemies. The friends of cheap postage, in New York and other places, renewed their efforts to obtain a further reduction, and petitioned for a uniform rate of two cents prepaid. But such was either the indifference or hostility of a majority of the members that no definite action was taken on the subject for six years, nor was it until the last session that any reduction was made from the rates adopted in 1845. Notwithstanding this shameful delay in complying with the wishes of the people, the new law adopted four rates instead of one, leaving the prepayment of postage optional. Besides this, the new law imposes on newspapers and printed matter a most unreasonable, burdensome, and complicated tax, which has created universal dissatisfaction.

The obnoxious features of the present law imperiously demand the immediate attention of Congress. Neither the rates of postage on letters, nor the tax on newspapers and printed matter, meet the wishes of the friends of cheap postage. They have uniformly insisted upon simplicity, uniformity, and cheapness. But the present law possesses none of these requisites. On letters the rates in the United States are three and five, six and ten cents, according to distance. Ocean postage is enormous and too burdensome to be borne any longer. The rates of postage on newspapers are so complicated that few postmasters can tell what they are, and those on transient newspapers and printed matter generally, are so enormous as to amount to a prohibition. A revision of this law is rendered indispensable. Other reforms are required, some of which I shall here notice.

1. Letter postage should be reduced to a uniform rate of two cents prepaid. This rate has been successfully adopted in Great Britain. It has increased the letters and the income of the post-office. It is the revenue point, sufficiently low, to encourage the people to write, and to send all their letters through the post-office; and yet high enough to afford ample revenue to pay the expenses of the Department. If this rate is adopted, it will defy all competition, for none will attempt to carry letters cheaper than the post-office.

2. Ocean postage is enormous and burdensome, especially upon that class of persons which is least able to bear it. It has been computed by those who are competent to judge, that about three-quarters of the ship letters are written by emigrants, and are letters of friendship and affection. The greater portion of them are from persons in poor circumstances, and to tax them with twenty-four or twenty-nine cents for a single letter is cruel. To send a letter and receive an answer, will cost a servant girl half a week's wages, and a poor man in the country will have to work a day to earn the value of the postage of a letter to and from his friends in Europe. Were the postage reduced to a low rate, ten letters would be written where one now is, and the revenue, in a short period, would be equal if not greater than under the present high rates. During the last twelve months, the amount received for transatlantic postages was not less than a million of dollars, and three-fourths of this sum has been paid by the laboring classes on letters relating to their domestic relations and friendship.[Pg 838]

3. Next to the reduction of inland and ocean postage is the free delivery of mail letters in all the large towns and cities. An improvement has been attempted by the Postmaster-general in respect of letters to be sent by the mails. They are now conveyed to the post-office free of any charge; and the next step necessary is to cause them to be delivered without any addition to the postage. A letter is carried by the mails three thousand miles for three cents, but if it is sent three hundred yards from the post-office, it is charged two cents! This is not only an unreasonable tax, but is attended with much inconvenience both to the carrier and receiver of the letter, in the trouble of making the change, and the delay attending the delivery of letters. If the prepayment of the postage covered the whole expense, a carrier could deliver ten letters where he now delivers one, and fewer persons would be able to deliver them. Two cents cover the whole expense of postage and delivery of letters in London, and there is no reason why they can not be delivered in New York and other cities as cheaply as they are in the capital of Great Britain. The expense to the post-office would be comparatively small, as the income from city letters would be nearly equal to what would be paid if an efficient city delivery was adopted. If the free delivery should be adopted, it would be a great relief to the people, and this like every other facility afforded by the post-office, would tend to increase the number of letters sent by the mails.

4. The franking privilege should be wholly abolished. This has been so much abused, that the people have loudly complained of it, and almost every Postmaster-general for the last ten years has recommended its abolition. Instead, however, of diminishing or repealing it, it has been increased, so that two sets of members can now exercise it, and the cart-loads of franked matter sent from Washington show that it is a dead weight upon the Department. At the last session, one member had twenty-eight large canvas bags of franked matter, weighing not less than five thousand pounds! To say nothing of the vast expense of printing and binding millions of documents and speeches which are never read, the burden, and labor, and cost to the post-office are incalculable. When newspapers were few in number, there might have been a necessity to send out speeches and documents, but as newspapers are published in all parts of the Union, every important report and speech is published and read long before it can be printed and sent from Washington. Let the members of Congress be furnished with a sufficient number of stamps to cover their postage, and these be paid for as the other expenses of Congress. The frank was wholly abolished in Great Britain, when the cheap system was adopted, so that Queen Victoria herself can not now frank a letter!

5. But the grievance, which is now felt and most complained of by the people, is the complicated and burdensome tax on newspapers and other printed matter. It has heretofore been the good policy of Congress to favor the circulation of newspapers throughout the country, and accordingly one and a half cents was the highest rate charged to regular subscribers for any distance, and two cents, prepaid, for transient papers. These rates were plain and easy to be understood, and few were disposed to complain of them, although they were much higher than they should be. The new bill has some sixty or seventy different rates, and so complicated, depending upon weight and distance, that not one postmaster in twenty can tell what postage should be charged upon newspapers. Again the rates are enormous. For example, a newspaper in California, weighing one ounce or under, is charged five cents prepaid, and if not prepaid ten cents, and the same for every additional ounce; hence the Courier and Enquirer or Journal of Commerce, weighing two and one quarter ounces, is charged to San Francisco fifteen cents prepaid, and if not prepaid thirty cents! What is the effect of this law? It prohibits the circulation of newspapers through the post-office entirely, and all that are now sent go by private expresses. If I understand the subject correctly, it was the object of those who proposed the "substitute" to the Bill which passed the House of Representatives, to exclude from the mails newspapers and printed matter. Is this right?

6. Another reform which should be made by Congress, is the payment of postage entirely by stamps. If no money was received at the post-office except for stamps, and the postage on every thing passing through the office prepaid, the saving of labor would be immense, both to the general post-office and local offices. But this is not the only advantage. The amount lost, by the destruction of post bills, is incalculable. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are unaccounted for and lost every year by the Department, by the present loose, inefficient system of accounting for the postages received on letters and newspapers. While this system continues there is not, and can not be any check on the postmasters. Let the payment of postage be made by stamps, and it would be an effectual check upon every post-office, and the Department would receive the money for every stamp sold, whether it was used by the purchaser or not. This is a subject worthy of the serious consideration of Congress and the Post-Office Department.

7. There is one more improvement which I would recommend before closing this already long article, and that is the establishment of a money-order office. This would not only be a great convenience to the people, especially to the poorer class, but it would also prove a source of revenue to the post-office. During the last year, there were sent through the money-order office in Great Britain upward of forty millions of dollars! When it is recollected that each order is limited to twenty-five dollars, the number of letters carrying these orders must be very large, adding to the receipts of the post-office. The same results would follow a similar establishment in the United States. There being no guarantee for the safe delivery of money, trans[Pg 839]mitted by the mails, such letters are now sent by private expresses, for which they receive a remunerating compensation.

I have briefly suggested some of the reforms which I deem necessary for the improvement of the post-office. It was said last winter by some of our Senators in Congress, in their places, that "OURS IS THE WORST MANAGED POST-OFFICE IN THE WORLD." I can not agree with them in this assertion. But I regret to say that it is not the best managed, nor so good as it should and must be. The great drawback to its improvement, and, I may add, the curse that rests upon it, is its being made a political machine. It was a great and fatal mistake to make the Postmaster-general a member of the Cabinet. The great personal worth of Mr. McLean induced President Monroe to take him into his Cabinet, and the practice has been continued ever since. The consequence is, that the Postmaster-general is changed under every new administration. In less than two years we had three, and two assistants. How can it be expected that men, whatever may be their talents, can make themselves acquainted with the business of the office in the short space of three or four years? Before they are warm in their seats they are removed. Besides, after a new administration comes in, it takes six or twelve months to turn out political opponents and appoint their friends. If, instead of this, when intelligent and efficient men are in office (no matter what their political affinities may be), they were continued, it would be an inducement to make improvements, and an encouragement to fidelity; but now there is no security to any man that he will be continued one hour, nor any encouragement to excel in the faithful discharge of his duty. These things ought not so to be.

There is another practice which greatly retards the improvement of our post-office, and that is the manner in which the post-office committees are appointed in Congress. At every session of Congress new committees are appointed by the Senate and House, a majority of which is composed of the dominant political party, without much regard to their qualifications. For a number of years there has been scarcely a single member selected from any of our large cities, where the principal portion of the revenue is collected, consequently, they are persons who have little or no knowledge of post-office business, or the wants of the people. Their principal business is to obtain new post-routes, but any improvement of postal concerns is little thought of. Hence the Post-Office Department may be considered a vast political machine, wielded for the benefit of the party in power; and there is not an appointment made, from the Postmaster-general down to the postmaster of the smallest office, without a special regard to the politics of the person appointed.

The only correction of this evil, under the present system, is to give the appointment of all the postmasters to the people. They are the best qualified to judge of the character and qualifications of the person who will serve them in the most acceptable manner; and the postmasters, knowing that they are dependent upon the people for their offices, will be more obliging and attentive in the discharge of their duties. This will diminish the patronage of the President and the Postmaster-general, which I have not a doubt they would gladly part with, as there is nothing more troublesome and perplexing to a conscientious man, than the exercise of this power.

In the old world, where monarchy exists, the press is called the "fourth estate;" but with us, where "vox populi, vox Dei," the press and the ballot-box may be considered the sovereign. The press utters the wish of the people, and the ballot-box confirms that wish. Hence, if the press speaks out clearly and strongly in favor of postal reform, the people will sanction it by their votes in selecting men to represent their wishes in the councils of the nation. Our post-office, instead of being denounced the "worst," should be made the best managed in the world. We have no old prejudices or established customs to abolish, no pensioners or sinecures to support, no jealousy on the part of the government against the diffusion of knowledge through the mails; but we have an intelligent, active, liberal gentleman at the head of the Post-Office Department, who desires to meet the wants and wishes of the people. Therefore we have reason to hope that in due time our post-office will be established on such a footing as to secure the patronage and support of the people, defying all competition, and superior to any similar establishment in the world.



There are some superstitious observances, which are strictly adhered to by the peasants employed in rearing the silk-worm. Thus, when the eggs are first hatched, the peasant's wife rises up very early in the morning, and creeping stealthily to the master's house, flings a piece of wet clay against the door. If the clay adheres, it is a sign that there will be a good mousoum or silk harvest: if it do not stick, then the contrary may be expected. During the whole time the worms are being reared, no one but the peasants themselves are permitted to enter the khook or hut; and, when the worms give notice that they are about to mount and form their cocoons, then the door is locked, and the key handed to the proprietor of the plantation. After a sufficient time has elapsed, and the cocoons are supposed to be well and strongly formed, the proprietor, followed by the peasants, marches in a kind of procession up to the huts, and, first dispensing a few presents among them, and hoping for good, to which they all reply, "Inshalla! Inshalla!—please God! please God," the key is turned, the doors thrown wide open, and the cocoons are detached from the battours of cane mats, and prepared for reeling the next day.

Monthly Record of Current Events.


The past month has not been one of special interest, either at home or abroad. None of the great legislative bodies of the country have been in session, and political action has been confined to one or two of the Southern States. The annual Agricultural Fair of the State of New York was held at Rochester on the three days following the 17th of September, and was attended by a larger number of persons, and with greater interest than usual. Hon. Stephen A. Douglas, United States Senator from Illinois, delivered the address, which was a clear and interesting sketch of the progress and condition of agriculture in the United States. The number of persons in attendance at the Fair is estimated to have exceeded one hundred and fifty thousand. The State Agricultural Society of New York is gaining strength every year. A very interesting Railroad Jubilee was held in Boston on the 17th of September, to celebrate the completion of railroad communication between Boston and Ogdensburg, thus connecting the New England capital with the Western lakes by two distinct routes. President Fillmore and several members of his Cabinet were present, as were also Lord Elgin and several other distinguished gentlemen from Canada. An immense multitude of people was in attendance to celebrate this triumph of business, energy, and enterprise. Brief public congratulations were exchanged between the municipal officers of Boston and their guests, and a grand aquatic excursion down the bay took place on the 18th. The celebration lasted three days, and was closed by a grand civic feast under a pavilion on the Common.

No event of the past month has excited more general interest, than the return of the two vessels sent to the Arctic Ocean a year and a half ago, by Mr. Henry Grinnell of New York, to aid in the search for Sir John Franklin. The Advance reached New York on the 1st of October; the Rescue was a few days later. Although unsuccessful in the main object of their search, the gallant officers and men by whom these vessels were manned, have enjoyed their cruise, and returned without the loss of a single life and in excellent health. They entered Wellington Sound on the 26th of August, 1850, and were at once joined by Capt Penny, who commanded the vessel sent out by Lady Franklin. On the 27th, three graves were discovered, known by inscriptions upon them to be those of three of Sir John Franklin's crew. The presence of Sir John at that spot was thus established at as late a date as in April, 1846. On the 8th of September, the vessels forced their way through the ice, and on the 10th, reached Griffith's Island, which proved to be the ultimate limit of their western progress. On the 13th, they started to return, but were frozen in near the mouth of Wellington Channel, and for nine months they continued thus, unable to move, threatened with destruction by the crushing of the ice around them, and borne along by the southeast drift until, on the 10th of June, they emerged into open sea, and found themselves in latitude 65° 30', and one thousand and sixty miles from the spot at which they became fixed in the ice. The history of Arctic navigation records no drift at all to be compared with this, either for extent or duration. The intervening season was full of peril. The ice crushing the sides of the vessels, forced them several feet out of water. The thermometer fell to 40 degrees below zero. The Rescue was abandoned, for the sake of saving fuel, and on two occasions, the crews had left their vessels, expecting to see them crushed to atoms between the gigantic masses of ice that threatened them on either side, and with their knapsacks on their backs had prepared to strike off across the ice for land, which was nearly a hundred miles off. The scurvy made its appearance, and was very severe in its ravages, especially among the officers.

After refitting his vessels on the coast of Greenland, Captain De Haven, who had the command of the expedition, started again for the North. After passing Baffin's Bay on the 8th of August, he became again hopelessly entangled in the vast masses of ice that were floating around, and was compelled to start for the United States. The expedition is likely to contribute essentially to our knowledge of the natural history of that remote region of the earth, as Dr. Kane, an intelligent naturalist, who went in the vessels as surgeon, has very complete memoranda of every thing of interest especially in this department. Although unable to find any distinct traces of him later than 1846, the officers of the expedition think it far from impossible that Sir John Franklin may be still alive, hemmed in by ice at a point which they were unable to reach. They agree in the opinion that a steamer of some kind should accompany any other expedition that may be sent.

A State election took place in Georgia, on the 7th of October, which has a general interest on account of the issues which it involved. The old political distinctions were entirely superseded, both candidates for Governor having belonged to the Democratic party—one of them, however, Hon. Howell Cobb, late Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, being in favor of abiding by the Compromise measures of 1850, and his opponent Mr. McDonald being opposed to them, and in favor of secession from the Union. Up to the time of closing this record, full returns have not been received; but it is quite certain that Mr. COBB, the Union candidate, has been elected by a very large majority. Full returns of the Congressional canvass, which was held at the same time, have not yet reached us; but it is believed that six Union, and two State Rights members have been elected.

The Legislature of Vermont met at Montpelier on the 9th of October. The House was organized by the election of Mr. Powers, speaker, and Mr. C. T. Davey, clerk. The message of Gov. Williams treats of national topics at considerable length. He insists that the laws must be obeyed, and vindicates the habeas corpus act passed by Vermont at the last session of its Legislature from many of the censures that have been cast upon it.

The month has been distinguished by an unusual number of steamboat explosions, railroad casualties, crimes and accidents of various sorts. The steamer Brilliant, on her way up the Mississippi from New Orleans, on the 28th of September, while near Bayou Sara, burst her boiler, killing fifteen or twenty persons, wounding as many more, and making a complete wreck of the vessel. A brig on Lake Erie, having left Buffalo for Chicago, sprung a leak on the 30th of September, and sunk within an hour. About twenty persons were drowned, only one of those on board escaping. All but he got into the longboat, which capsized; he fastened himself to the foremast of the brig, which left him, as the vessel touched bottom, about four feet out of water. He remained there two days when he was rescued by a passing steamer.[Pg 841]

A very severe storm swept over the northeast coast of British America on the 5th of October, doing immense injury to the fishing vessels, nearly a hundred of them being driven ashore. About three hundred persons are supposed to have perished in the wrecks, and great numbers of dead bodies had been drifted ashore.

The steamer James Jackson, while near Shawneetown, in Illinois, on the 21st of September, burst her boiler, killing and wounding thirty-five persons, and tearing the boat to pieces. The scene on board at the time of the explosion is described as having been heart-rending.

A duel was fought at Vienna, S.C. on the 27th of September, in which Mr. Smyth, one of the editors of the Augusta Constitutionalist, was wounded by a ball through the thigh from the pistol of his antagonist, Dr. Thomas of Augusta. The meeting grew out of a newspaper controversy, Smyth taking offense at an article in the Chronicle of which Thomas avowed himself the author.—Another duel, with a still more serious result took place in Brownsville, Texas, on the 8th. The parties were Mr. W.H. Harrison and Mr. W.G. Clarke, who met in the street with five-barreled pistols. Clarke fell at the second fire, receiving his antagonist's ball near the heart.—Mr. W. Laughlin, an alderman in the city of New Orleans, and a very respectable and influential citizen, was killed by William Silk, another alderman, on the 29th of September: the affray grew out of political differences.

The great Railroad Conspiracy trials at Detroit terminated on the 25th of September, by a verdict of guilty against twelve of the prisoners and acquitting the rest. Two of them were sentenced to the State Prison for ten years, six for eight years, and four for five years.

Father Mathew has returned from his visit to the Western States, and has been spending a few weeks in New York. Some of the most influential gentlemen of New York city have appealed to the public for contributions to form a fund of twenty-five or thirty thousand dollars for his aid: it is seconded by a very strong letter from Mr. CLAY. Father Mathew is soon to leave the United States for Ireland.

A number of the literary gentlemen of New York have taken steps to render some fitting tribute to the memory of the late James Fenimore Cooper. A preliminary meeting was held at the City Hall, at which Washington Irving presided, and a committee was appointed to consider what measures will be most appropriate. The delivery of a eulogium and the erection of a statue are suggested as likely to be fixed upon. At a meeting of the New York Historical Society, held on the 7th of October, resolutions upon the subject were adopted.

The Episcopal Convention of the New York diocese was held on the 24th of September, and the Rev. Dr. Creighton, of Tarrytown, was elected, after a protracted canvass, Provisional Bishop. He is a native of New York, graduated at Columbia College in 1812, and has officiated at Grace Church and St Mark's Church, in New York.

From California our intelligence is to the 6th of September. San Francisco and Sacramento have been the scenes of great excitement. The self-appointed Vigilance Committee, which was organized to supervise, and, if it should be deemed necessary, to supersede the criminal courts, has given terrible proofs of its energy. Two men named Whittaker and McKenzie were in prison at San Francisco awaiting their trial. Fearing that justice might not be done them, the Vigilance Committee broke in the prison doors, took the men out during divine service on Sunday, and hung them both in front of the building. An immense crowd of people was present, approving and encouraging the proceedings. The regular authorities made very slight resistance to the mob. At Sacramento three men had been convicted of highway robbery and sentenced to be hung. One of them, named Robinson, was respited by the Governor, for a month. The day for executing the sentence of the law upon the other two arrived. A large concourse of people was present. The sheriff ordered the two men, Gibson and Thompson, to the place of execution, and directed Robinson to be taken to a prison-ship in which he could be secured. The crowd, however, refused to allow this, but retained him in custody. The two men were then executed by the sheriff, who immediately left the ground. Robinson was then brought forward and, after proper religious exercises, was hung. These occurrences created a good deal of excitement in California at the time, but it soon subsided. It seems to have been universally conceded that the men deserved their fate, and that only justice had been attained, although by irregular means.

The news from the mines continues to be encouraging. The companies were all doing well, and extensive operations were in progress to work the gold-bearing quartz. The steamer Lafayette was burned on the 9th, at Chagres. Marysville, in California, was visited on the night of August 30th, by a very destructive fire. The steamer Fawn burst her boiler near Sacramento on the 28th of August; five or six persons were killed.

From New Mexico we have news to the end of September. Colonel Sumner's expedition against the Navajo Indians had reached Cyrality, in the very heart of the Indian country, and intended to erect a fort there. The Indians were swarming on his rear, threatening hostilities. News had reached Santa Fé that five of Colonel Sumner's men had perished for want of water, before reaching Laguna. The troops were scattered along the road for forty miles, and horses were daily giving out. Colonel Sumner will establish a post at St. Juan, one in the Navajo country, and one at Don Ana.

Quite an excitement had been raised at Santa Fé by the demand of the Catholic Bishop for the church edifice commonly known as the Military Church. Under the Mexican Government it was used exclusively as the chapel of the army. Since the conquest it had been used by the United States army as an ordnance house. After the departure of the troops, Chief Justice Baker obtained from Col. Brooks permission to occupy the house as a court room. The Catholic clergy considered this as a desecration of the house, and consequently objected to its being thus appropriated. The commotion was quelled by the Governor's surrendering the key to the Bishop, formally putting the possession of the building into the hands of the Church.—Major Weightman is certain to be elected delegate to Congress.—Much misunderstanding exists between the Judges in construing the laws in regard to holding the courts, and some fear a good deal of delay in administering justice in consequence, as the lawyers are refusing to bring suits until there shall be unanimity among the Judges.—The difficulty between Mr. Bartlett and Colonel Graham, of the Boundary Commission, is still unsettled. The former was progressing with the survey.

Rain had fallen to some extent throughout New Mexico, and vegetation was consequently beginning to revive.[Pg 842]


Late advices from the City of Mexico state that the Cabinet resigned in a body on the 2d of September, and much disaffection prevailed throughout the country, which was in the most deplorable and abject condition.

The Convention of the Governors of the different States, called for the purpose of devising some means for the relief of the difficulties under which the people are now laboring, had met, and, without taking any decisive action on the subject, adjourned, causing great dissatisfaction. Don Fernando Ramnez has accepted the appointment of Minister of Foreign Affairs, and is charged with the formation of a new Cabinet. The Tehuantepec question engages public attention to a very great degree. The press represent that if the Americans are allowed to construct a railroad across the isthmus, the adjoining country will be colonized, revolutionized, and annexed to the United States, and that another large and valuable department will thus be lost to Mexico. It is stated that the Government has sent 3000 men to defend the isthmus against the Americans, but this we are inclined to doubt.

A revolution has broken out in Northern Mexico which, thus far, has proved entirely successful. It commenced at Camargo, where the Patriots attacked the Mexicans. The Patriots came off victorious, having taken the town by storm, with a loss on the side of the Mexicans of 60. The Government troops were intrenched in a church, with artillery. The people of the town had held a meeting, at which it was resolved to accept the pronunciamiento issued by the Revolutionists. The Mexican troops stationed there were allowed to march out of the town with the honors of war. The Revolutionists were determined to defend the place. The Revolutionists are commanded by Carabajal, who has also with him two companies of Texans. At the last accounts they were marching on Matamoras and Reynosa. Gen. Avalos, who is at Matamoras, has only 200 troops. He had made a requisition on the city for 2000, but the city refused to raise a single man. The plan of the Revolutionists was a pronunciamiento which was widely circulated. The pronunciamiento pronounces "death to tyrants." The reasons given for the revolt are: 1st. The utter failure of the Mexican Government to protect the northern Mexican States from Indian depredations. 2d. The unjust, unequal, prohibitory system of duties, which operates most destructively on the interests of the people of the frontier. 3d. The despotic power exerted by the Federal Government over the rights and representation of several States. Beside Camargo, Mier, Tampico, and several other towns were in the hands of the insurgents. A report having reached Matamoras that the invaders were preparing to march upon them, a large number of the inhabitants, including all the woman and children, fled, leaving only two hundred and fifty men in the town.


This country continues to be in a very disturbed condition. The revolution started by Munoz is still in progress, the leader being, at the latest dates, about to march upon Granada with the intention of taking that city by force if it would not yield. The government, however, had impressed into its service all the seamen in port, and many of those in the service of the canal company.

A military disturbance had occurred at San Juan. A company of native soldiers was sent by the local authorities with orders to take as their prisoner a certain American, of the name of M'Lean, suspected of being a political spy. The soldiers surrounded the shanty where M'Lean and a dozen other Americans on their return from California, had halted, and fired into it, killing a negro and severely wounding a white man. The Americans returned the fire, killing one man and dispersing the whole company. Next day the affair was compromised by an agreement that M'Lean should leave the country, which he did.

An insurrection has broken out in the States of San Salvador and Guatemala. General Carrera with 1500 men had attacked the enemy in San Salvador and defeated them, but he did not follow up his advantage.

Mr. Chatfield, the English consul in Nicaragua, has become involved in another difficulty with the authorities. His exequatur has been revoked, on account of his refusal to recognize the Central Government.


We have news from Buenos Ayres to the 18th of August. The war raging in that country is becoming more and more important, and a brief sketch of its origin and character may be useful in aiding our readers to understand the course of events. The contest is properly between Brazil and Buenos Ayres, and the prize for which the two forces are contending is the province of Uruguay. Until 1821 Uruguay was a province of Buenos Ayres; but Pedro I. of Brazil, by the lavish use of bribes and other agencies, equally potent and equally corrupt, succeeded in revolutionizing the country and attaching it to Brazil. In 1825 Uruguay declared itself free, and in 1828 it was recognized as a free government by the Plata Confederation, in which recognition Brazil was obliged to concur. Upon the abdication of Pedro, which occurred soon after, Brazil was governed by a regency of which Louis Philippe obtained complete control. France, Spain, and Portugal formed a design of re-annexing Uruguay to Brazil, and they found facile allies in this purpose in the Brazilian Court, which sought to extend the boundaries of the Empire to the coasts of the River Plata and the Uruguay, and to occupy the vast and fertile territory which they include. From that time to this, with occasional intermissions, the war has been going on. Rosas, dictator of Buenos Ayres, struggles with the strength of desperation for the recovery of Uruguay, and he is aided by Oribe, the President of Uruguay, who resists to the utmost the designs of Brazil, and prefers annexation to Buenos Ayres. Against them are the Brazilian troops, aided by Urquiza, formerly a general under Rosas, but subsequently a traitor to him and his country.

On the 20th of July Urquiza and Garzon crossed the Uruguay with a large force, which was constantly increased by desertions from the army of Oribe: they were to be joined by a Brazilian army of 12,000 men, and the war was to be carried into the heart of Buenos Ayres. On the 26th, Oribe issued a proclamation against Urquiza, and on the 30th marched with a large force to meet him. At our latest advices the troops on both sides were preparing for a grand battle, which must be, to a considerable extent, decisive of the question at issue. It is very difficult to acquire accurate and reliable information from the papers which reach us, as they are without exception partisan prints, and far more solicitous to magnify the deeds and strength of their respective parties, than to tell the truth. By the time our next Number is issued we shall probably receive decisive intelligence.

From Valparaiso our dates are to the 1st of Sep[Pg 843]tember. Of the loan of three hundred thousand dollars asked for by the Chilian government, only seventy thousand had been raised. Two or three shocks of an earthquake had been felt at Conception, but very little injury was sustained. The coinage at the National Mint during the first half of this year, up to July 10th, had amounted to two million dollars and upward, in 127,101 gold doubloons. The Custom House receipts for the year ending 30th June, 1851, exceed those of the previous year $118,389.70. Reciprocity has been established with Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bremen, Sardinia, Denmark, United States, France, Great Britain, Hamburg, Oldenburg, Prussia, and the Sandwich Islands. It is reported that Peru has entered into a close alliance with Brazil against Rosas. Reciprocity has been established in Chilian ports for Swedish and Norwegian vessels. The rails are laid on the Copiaco Railroad, a distance of 26 miles. On the 20th of July, the first locomotive engine ran through from Caldera to the Valley, and has since been transporting timber and iron for the extension of the track.


We have intelligence from England to the 30th of September, but there is very little worthy a place in our Record. The Queen and Court were still in Scotland, at Balmoral, and of course the public eye was turned thither for all news of interest. Parliament was not in session, but several of the members had met their constituents at county gatherings. Lord Palmerston delivered an elaborate speech at Tiverton, on the 24th, which gave material for a good deal of comment. It was a general review of the condition of the kingdom, with a vindicatory sketch of the policy pursued by the government. He dwelt eloquently on the admirable manner in which the great Exhibition had been conducted, and the excellent effect it would have upon the various nations whose representatives it had brought together. The Catholic question, the corn-laws, and the slave-trade were treated briefly and cogently. The speech was very able, and very well received. Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, after holding himself aloof from politics for several years, has again come forward and avowed his willingness to represent the County of Hertford in Parliament. He professes a firm belief in protection principles, and expresses the belief that the present free-trade system is ruining the country. Mr. Disraeli addressed the citizens of Buckinghamshire on the 17th, the occasion being an agricultural dinner. He represented the effect of free-trade upon the leading interests of England as having been exceedingly disastrous, but avowed his conviction that the protective system could not be restored, and urged the importance of reforms in the financial administration of the country. He referred frequently to the history of his own course in Parliament, and indicated a suspicion that the new reform bill of the Ministry would prove to aim rather at curtailing the influence of the agricultural class, than to effect any desirable change. Mr. Hume met an assembly of his constituents on the 13th, at Montrose, and addressed them on the necessity of a more economical administration of public affairs, if England desired to compete with the United States. The people ought to insist, he said, upon such a new reform bill as should give every householder a vote in the national representation. This would increase the number of voters from nine hundred thousand to between three and four millions.

The vessels sent out by the English government in search of Sir John Franklin, have returned, without any further discoveries than those already recorded. The officers assert their belief that Sir John is still alive and shut up by ice, at a point beyond any which the expedition was able to reach. They have applied to the government for a steam propeller, with which, they are confident, they can reach the region where he is supposed to be confined. No answer to this application has yet been made.

The Crystal Palace continued to be crowded with visitors. The approaching close of the Exhibition had caused an increase in the number in attendance. The close is fixed for the middle of October, and notwithstanding the strenuous efforts made for its preservation, the building will probably be taken down soon after.

Hon. Abbott Lawrence, the American Minister, has been making a tour through Ireland. He was received every where with great enthusiasm. Public receptions awaited him at Galway and Limerick, and at both these cities he made brief addresses, expressing the interest taken by himself and his countrymen in the affairs of Ireland. The project of a line of steamers between Galway and the Atlantic coast was pressed upon his attention.

Emigration from Ireland continues rapidly to increase, and many towns have been almost depopulated. Every body who can get away seems inclined to leave. The census returns show that the population of Ireland has diminished very considerably within the last ten years. The potato crop promises to be generally good, though the disease has made its appearance in several localities. In all other crops the returns will be above the average.

An experiment has been made in England with a steam plow, which proved highly successful.

Another attempt has been made, with a good degree of success, to establish telegraphic communication across the Straits of Dover. A large cable has been prepared and sunk in the Channel from one shore to the other, and so far as could be perceived, it promised to answer the purpose. This will bring London into immediate connection with every part of the Continent.


The government is pushing to the extreme its measures of severity against the press. Upon the merest rumor about two hundred foreigners were suddenly arrested by the authorities, on charge of conspiracy, though investigation proved the charge to be utterly groundless, and led to the immediate discharge of most of them. The Constitutionnel lavished the most extravagant eulogiums upon the government for its action in this case. One of the sons of Victor Hugo in a newspaper article ventured to protest against these eulogiums, for which he was condemned to an imprisonment of nine months, and a fine of 2200 francs; and M. Meurice, the proprietor of the Evenement, the paper in which the article appeared, to imprisonment for nine months, and a fine of 3000 francs. The Presse was condemned in a similar penalty for a like offense, and several papers in the country districts have been visited with the utmost severity for reflecting upon the government. Meantime the official journals are allowed to indulge in the most direct and emphatic denunciations of the Republic.

The whole tendency of the government is toward an unbridled despotism. Arrests are made on the slightest suspicion. Police agents are quartered in cafés. Houses are entered and papers searched, in a style befitting the worst despotism in the world rather than a nominal Republic. There have been various rumors of conspiracies and intended insurrection, but they seem to have been groundless.[Pg 844]

The President laid the foundation stone of the great central market hall, which the city is erecting at a cost of over five million dollars, near St. Eustache. The ceremony was witnessed by an immense concourse. The President in his speech took occasion to express the hope that he might be able to "lay upon the soil of France some foundations whereupon will be erected a social edifice, sufficiently solid to afford a shelter against the violence and mobility of human passions."


An important commercial treaty has been concluded in Germany. Hanover has joined the Prussian Zollverein, having heretofore been the head of a separate association, called the Steuerverein, which has been by this movement dissolved. The custom-duties of the Zollverein have been levied on a protective scale; by this new arrangement, the rates will be lowered. The conclusion of this treaty has created a marked sensation in Vienna, as the journals there were loudly predicting the dissolution of the Zollverein.

The Emperor of Austria has written to Prince Schwartzenberg, urging the necessity of increased economy in public affairs. The King of Prussia is about to abolish the Landwehr, and have none but regular troops in his service.

The Austrian government has exercised its severity upon the humorist, Saphir, who edited a small paper in Vienna. He has been sentenced to three months' imprisonment and the suppression of his journal for a similar period, for having printed a humorous article on the recent ordinances, which the court-martial declared to be an attempt to excite popular ill-feeling toward the government. He is over sixty years old, and quite infirm from disease. The authorities, as if to make their acts as ridiculous as possible, lately punished a printer and a hatter, the former for wearing, and the latter for making a Klapka hat. The whole system of government is oppressive and tyrannical in the extreme. A writer from Vienna to the London Daily News, says that it hampers, impedes, nay, crushes, every kind of superior talent not of a military cast. Lawyers of all kinds are suspected of treason, even those whom the government itself employs; they are watched; their practice is taken away from them; they are not permitted to plead before the courts-martial sitting every where; the universities are all placed under martial law, that of Vienna is entirely suppressed; the professors and teachers of all kinds are left to their own resources; literature is closed to them; no one writes books, for a publisher will not publish any thing but of the lightest character; newspapers can not employ men of talent; in fine, nothing but soldiering or police spying seems left to the majority of the educated classes.

The Austrian government have found it necessary to resort to a loan, of some ten or twelve millions of dollars, of which, at the latest advices, over half had been taken, mainly on the Continent.

The Neapolitan government has published an official reply to the charges against it contained in the letters of Mr. Gladstone. These charges were of the most serious character, implicating the government in acts of cruelty, which would have disgraced the barbarous tribes of Africa. Mr. Gladstone solemnly arraigned the government, before the public opinion of the civilized world, as being an "incessant, systematic, deliberate violation of law," with the direct object of destroying whole classes of citizens, and those the very classes upon which the health, solidity, and progress of the nation depend. A series of special instances was given to sustain these charges. The reply consists in a denial of the charges, and in specific refutation of many of the facts alleged. It is a carefully prepared paper, and has done something to moderate the very harsh judgment which Mr. Gladstone's letters induced almost every one to form.

A letter from Rome, published in the Paris Debats states that another attempt to murder by means of an explosive contrivance, had occurred there within the last few days. A tube, filled with gunpowder and bits of iron, had been placed in a passage leading to the laboratory of a chemist, at whose shop several persons, well-known for their attachment to the Pontifical Government, usually meet in the early part of the evening. Fortunately the match fell out of the tube, after having been lighted, and the explosion did not take place. The police had not discovered the culprit.

The same letter mentions a new difficulty that has lately arisen between the French and Papal authorities at Civita Vecchia. The new French packets of the Messageries having superseded the old bateaux-postes, it appears that the captain of one of the former, claimed for his ship the privileges of a vessel of war, a claim which the sanitary authorities of Civita Vecchia would not admit; whereupon Colonel de la Mare, commandant of the garrison of Civita Vecchia, had two or three of the employés of the Board of Health arrested. It was believed, however, that the question will be amicably settled.

In Spain public attention has been almost entirely absorbed in the Cuban question. The Spanish papers were very violent against the United States, and clamored loudly for war, though the necessity of European aid in such a contest is very sensibly felt. It is announced with every appearance of truth, that England and France have entered into engagements with Spain for the purpose of preventing future attempts upon Cuba from the United States. To what extent this guarantee goes we have no precise information; but it is stated in the Paris journals that a French steamer has been dispatched to the United States for the express purpose of making representations to our government upon the subject. Spain has sent reinforcements to her army in Cuba and is taking active steps to increase her naval strength for an anticipated collision with the United States.

The usual party struggles agitate the Spanish Capital. It is said that the Government contemplate decided reforms in the Tariff regulations of the country, maintaining the protective duties wherever Spanish manufactures can be aided thereby, and encouraging competition in all those branches which have been stationary hitherto.


Intelligence has been received of the departure of Kossuth and his Hungarian companions from Constantinople, in the steamer Mississippi, for the United States. They arrived at Smyrna on the 12th of September, and are daily expected at New York as we close this Record of the month. It is understood that Austria employed her utmost resources of diplomacy to prevent the release of Kossuth, but they were ineffectual. She will probably now seek to punish Turkey for disregarding her wishes, by sending the chiefs of the Bosnian rebellion again into Bosnia, to rekindle the flame. She concentrates her troops on the frontiers of Bosnia, Servia, and Wallachia. She attempts to gain the leading men in Servia, and she encourages and patronizes the former princes of Servia, who are still pretenders. Thus it is tried to kindle a new revolution in that country. Russia apparently keeps aloof on the question of the liberation of Kossuth, ready to profit by the oppor[Pg 845]tunity to present herself either as protecting the Porte, should the revolution succeed, or as mediator, should the difficulties with Austria lead to the brink of a rupture.

Omer Pasha, the Sultan's great general, remains in Bosnia, as long as the difficulties with Austria are not settled. In consequence of the Austrian movements he had concentrated 30,000 men in this province. The Servian Government has given orders for the armament of the militia, at the same time an explanation has been required from Austria as to the concentration of her troops on the frontier.

The political condition and prospects of Turkey, notwithstanding the representations of her papers, are represented as very far from promising. A correspondent of the London Morning Chronicle depicts her position in gloomy colors. She is tormented, he says, on every side. On the one hand, France imperiously demands the Holy Sepulchre; on the other, Russia as imperiously forbids her giving it up. If she gives in to France, the whole Christian population will rise to a man against her. The Pasha of Egypt and the Bey of Tunis both refuse to obey her, and of all the troops with their fine uniforms and arms which parade at Constantinople, not one dare go against these audacious subjects. The provinces of the empire are a prey to brigandage on a scale which makes even all that is said of Greek brigandage appear as nothing. In the mean time the treasury is empty, nor can all the expedients resorted to succeed in filling it. The national feeling, always against the system of reform, which was quite superficial, has broken out openly, and the people, supported by the clergy, are ready to rise on all sides. Even in the capital this state of feeling is very prevalent, and shows itself by the usual barbarous expedient of incendiary fires. There have been several very severe ones, even within the last few days. One time three hundred of the largest houses in Constantinople were reduced to ashes; next fifteen hundred houses in Scutari fell, including all the markets, magazines, mills, and probably the whole town would have followed, had it not been for a violent fall of rain, which quelled the fire.

It is, above all, the position of the Christians, which is deplorable and precarious. The scenes of Aleppo last year are now acting in Magnesia, and threaten to break out again at Aleppo, where the Government wants to force the inhabitants to pay an indemnity to the Christians, which they insolently refuse. The Government, in trying to maintain her system of progress, is but showing her weakness. She is obliged to keep an army of observation constantly on foot in Bosnia, where the revolt is not by any means entirely quelled, and which is covered with bands of brigands ready to unite and become an insurgent army. Bagdad is in a state of siege by the Arabs, who fly as soon as pursued, but quickly return, devastating the country wherever they appear.


Important news has been received from Teheran, announcing a serious coolness between Russia and Persia, and the possibility of a rupture between these governments. Several months ago some Turcomans are alleged to have set fire to Russian vessels in the Caspian, near Astrabad, and massacred the crews. Orders were consequently sent from St. Petersburg to the Russian embassador at Teheran to demand the immediate dismissal of the governor of Mazanderan, or to haul down his flag. The dismissal has been finally granted, but only after difficulties which have brought about the coolness above mentioned. The same mail from Persia brings intelligence that the governor of Herat, Yar-Mehemed Khan, having died, the Shah immediately sent troops to occupy that city, notwithstanding the opposition of the English minister.


News from Calcutta has been received to the 1st of September. We mentioned last month the probable seizure by the English government, of part of the provinces of the Nizam as security for a debt. We now learn that he has rescued his territory from seizure by paying part of the money due, and giving, security for the remainder. He had pledged part of the Hyderabad jewels. A conspiracy to effect the escape of Moolraj had been discovered in Calcutta. It was reported that the Arsenal had been set on fire and the prisoners liberated in the confusion. Twenty villages round about Goolburgah had been plundered and burned by the Rohillas. It was mentioned, in the way of a report, that the troops of Goolab Singh had been beaten in a conflict with the people some four days' journey from Cashmere. A great many men and a quantity of baggage were said to have been lost. The Calcutta railroad progresses, notwithstanding the rainy season; the terminus had been chosen, and the necessary ground for its erection, and that of the requisite office has been purchased at Howrah.

In China the rebellion continued to extend. The Imperial troops had not been able to make any impression upon the rebels. A good deal of alarm was felt at Canton in regard to the probable result.

In Australia the discoveries of gold absorb attention. The reported existence of the mines is not only confirmed, but it is proved that even rumor has under-estimated the extent and value of the gold region. The government itself, satisfied from the official report, has moved in the matter, and has put forth a claim to the precious metal, prohibiting any one from taking gold or metal from any property within the territory of New South Wales, and threatening with punishment any person finding gold in the uninhabited parts of the said territory which has not yet been disposed of, or ceded by the Crown, or who shall search or dig for gold in and upon such territory. The proclamation adds that "upon receipt of further information upon this matter, such regulations shall be made as may be considered just and decisive, and shall be published as soon as possible, whereby the conditions will be made known on which, by the payment of a reasonable sum, licenses shall be granted." Although this proclamation was issued on the publication of the discovery, the government had taken no steps to carry out the licensing system, apparently sensible that the means at their command were insufficient to compel parties to abandon their rich and selected spots. The accounts received from Sydney to June 5th are full of the gold discoveries. There were about 16,000 to 20,000 persons employed at the diggings, comprising all classes, from the polite professions to handicraftsmen, runaway policemen, and seamen from the shipping. Indeed, desertions from the latter were so numerous and frequent, that vessels were quitting for fear of similar desertions and the destruction of shipping as occurred at California, in consequence of whole crews flitting to the mines. At Sydney labor had advanced fifty per cent., but up to the above date accounts of the gold-finding had not reached the sister settlements. The gold range of the Blue Mountains extended nearly 400 miles in length, and about forty miles wide.

Editor's Table.

[Pg 846]Westward—EVER WESTWARD has been the marching symbol of mankind from the earliest periods to the present. The striking fact is suggested in the well known line of Bishop Berkeley—

Westward the course of empire takes its way.

"The progress of the race," says the German psychologist Rauch, "has ever been against the rotation of the earth, and toward the setting sun;" as though it were in obedience to some natural law common to all planets that revolve upon their axes. We may reject this as fanciful; and yet there are some reasons why the primitive roaming tendency, or spirit of discovery, should have taken one direction rather than another—reasons grounded, not on any direct physiological magnetism, but upon the effect of certain outward phenomena on the course of human thought. Especially may we believe in some such influence as existing in that young and impressible period, when an unchanging direction may be rationally supposed to have been derived from the first faintest impressions, either upon the sense or the intelligence. To the early musing, meditative mind, the setting, rather than the ascending or meridian sun, would most naturally connect itself with the ideas of the vast and the undiscovered—the remote, legendary land, where the light goes down so strangely behind the mountains, or on the other side of the seemingly boundless plain, or beyond the deserts' solitary waste, or away on the ocean wave, as it grows dim in the misty horizon, or presents in its vanishing outline the far-off, shadowy isle. The darkness, too, that follows, would nourish the same feeling of mysterious interest, and thus aid in giving rise to that impulse, which, when once originated, maintains itself afterward by its own onward self-determining energy.

But whatever we may think, either of the poetry or the philosophy, there can be no denying the historical fact. Westward, ever westward, has been the course of emigration, of civilization, of learning, and of religion. It was so in the days of the Patriarchs, and the process is still going on in the middle of the nineteenth century. The first express mention of such a tendency we find in one of the earliest notices of Holy Writ. "And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, they came to the land of Shinar, and they settled there"—Gen. xi. 2. The language would imply that the process had been going on for some time before. The east there mentioned was the country beyond the great river Euphrates, whence, as those learned in the sacred language would inform us, came the name Hebrews, the Trans-Euphratean colonists, or those who had come over the great bounding stream that separated the "old countries," or the "cradle of the race," from the then new and unexplored western world. The next migration of which we have a particular account is that of Abraham who journeyed from Ur of the Chaldees to the promised land. Previous to this, however, the most extensive movements had taken place. Egypt was already settled by the stream, which, taking a southwest deflection, was destined to fill the vast continent of Africa. It was after the dispersion at Babel that the main current of humanity moved rapidly and steadily onward in the direction of the original impulse. There was indeed a tendency toward the east, but it never had the same impetus from the start; and its movement resembled more the flow of a sluggish backwater, than the natural progress. It sooner came to a stand, such as we find it represented in the civilization of India, Thibet, and China, dead and stagnant as it has been for centuries. But the western flood was ever onward, onward—a stream of living water, carrying with it the best life of humanity, and the ultimate destinies of the race. A bare glance at the map of the world will show what were the original courses of emigration. Asia must have poured into Europe through three principal channels—through Asia Minor and the isles of Greece, across the Hellespont by the way of Thrace and the lower part of Central Europe, or between the Black and Caspian seas, through the regions afterward occupied by Gog and Magog, and Meshek, or the Scythian, the Gothic, and the Muscovite hordes. But light and civilization ever went mainly by the way of the sea. The intercourse from coast to coast, and from isle to isle, was more favorable to cultivation of manners, and elevation of thought, than the laborious passages through the dark forests of the north, or the torrid deserts of the south; and hence the early superiority of the sons of Javan, and Kittim, and Tarshish, or in short, of all whose advance was ever along that great high way of civilization, the Mediterranean Sea. "By these," to use the language of Scripture, "were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands." The most crowded march, however, must have been that taken up by the sons of Tiras, and Gomer, and Ashkenaz, by way of Thrace, and the mid regions of Europe. We have one proof of this in the name given to the famous crossing-place between Europe and Asia. It was called by an oriental word denoting the passage of flocks and herds, and hence, to the thousands and tens of thousands who constantly gathered on its banks, it was the Bosphorus (bo-os, poros), the Ox-ford or ox-ferry—a most notable spot in the world's early emigration, the name of which the Greeks afterward translated into their own tongue, and then, according to their usual custom, invented, or accommodated, for its explanation, the mythus of the wandering Io.

But still, through all these channels, it was ever westward, ever from the rising and toward the setting sun. It may be a matter of curious interest to note how the word itself seems to have moved onward with the march of mankind. The far-off, unknown land, for the time being, was ever the West—departing farther and farther from the terminus which each succeeding age had placed, and continually receding from the emigrant, like Hesperia (the West of the Æneid) ever flying before the wearied Trojans—

Oras Hesperiæ semper fugientis.

In the very earliest notices of sacred history, Canaan was the West. When Abraham arrived there from Ur of the Chaldees, he found the pioneers had gone before him. "The Canaanites," it is said, "were already in the land," although soon to give way to a more heaven-favored race. Next the coast of the Philistines becomes the West. Then the Great Sea, or the Mediterranean, with its stronghold of Tyre, as it is called, Joshua xix. 29. Tyre, the ancient Gibraltar, "the entry of the waters" (Ezek. xxvii. 1), and which was to be "the merchant of the people for many isles." In this way the language derived its fixed name for this quarter of the horizon. As the north is called by a word meaning the dark or hidden place, so the sea ever denotes the west. Hence the Psalmist's method of expressing the immensity of[Pg 847] the Divine presence; "Should I take the wings of the morning (or the east) and dwell in the parts beyond the sea," or the uttermost west, "even then shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand still shall hold me." In the next period, the west is removed to the land of Chittim (Gen. x. 4), or the modern isle of Cyprus, of which there is a city yet remaining with the radicals of the ancient name. Among other places it is mentioned, Isaiah xxiii. 1. "News from the land of Chittim," or, "From the land of Chittim is it revealed unto them," says the prophet in his account of the wide-spread commerce of Tyre. It would almost seem like a modern bulletin from San Francisco and California. Soon, however, the ever retiring terminus is to be found in the country of Caphtor (Jeremiah xlvii. 4), or the island of Crete, first settled by the roving Cretites, or Cherethites, from a more ancient city of the same name on the coast of Philistia (Deut. ii. 23), and not in a reverse direction, as some would suppose. Again it recedes rapidly among the "Isles of the Sea," so often mentioned in the Scriptures, and which becomes a general name for the remote—the countries beyond the waters, and, in fact, for all Europe. Proceeding from what was imperfectly known as Cyprus and the Ægean Archipelago, the early Orientals would seem to have regarded all this quarter of the world as one vast collection of islands, in distinction from the main earth, main land, or Continent of Asia. Hence the contrast, Ps. xcvii. 1:

The Lord is King—Let the earth rejoice
Let the many isles be glad.

Leaving behind us the Jews, and taking Homer for our guide, we next find the west in Greece as opposed to the Eoïan realm of Troy, or the land toward the morning dawn. In the interval between the Iliad and the Odyssey, another transition has taken place. The latter poem is separate from the former in space as well as in time. The Odyssey is west of the Iliad. It is the "setting sun" in a sense different from that intended by the critic Longinus, but no less true and significant. Epirus, Phaëcia, and the Ionian isles (as they have been called), are now the West. Sicily is just heard of as the ultima regio of the known world. It is the mythical land of the cannibal Cyclops, and beyond it dwells the King of the Winds. To the Trojan followers of Æneas, Italy is the West—the land of promise to the exiles fleeing from the wars of the older eastern world. The imagination pictured it as lying under the far distant Hesper, or evening star, and hence it was called Hesperia:

Graïo cognomine dicta.

But we must travel more rapidly onward. In the noon of the Roman empire, Spain and Gaul were the West, the terra occidentalis. Soon Britain and Ireland take the place and name. It was to the same quarters, too, on the breaking up of this immense Roman mass, that the main element of its strength moved onward, although the mere shadow of empire remained in the slow decaying East. And now for centuries the march seemed impeded by the great ocean barrier, until the same original impulse, gathering strength by long delay, at length achieved the discovery of what, more emphatically than all other lands, has been called The Western World. Every one knows how rapid has been the same movement since. Scarcely had the eastern shores been visited, when hardy adventurers brought news of a western coast, and of a Western Ocean, still beyond. This remoter sea becomes the mythical terminus in the grants and charters of the first English settlements, as though in anticipation of the future greatness of the empire of which they were to form the constituent parts. Since then how swift has been the same march across the new discovered continent! Rapid as must be our sketch, it is hardly more so than the reality it represents. Even within the memory of persons not yet past the meridian of life, a portion of our own State was called the West. The name was given to the land of the Mohawks and the Six Nations; but like Hesperia of old, it was always flying in the van of advancing cultivation. Soon Ohio becomes the West, along with Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky. Then Michigan is the West. In a few years Wisconsin assumes the appellation; then Iowa; then Minnesota; while, in another quarter, Missouri and Arkansas successively carry on the steady march toward the setting sun. It is true, there seemed to be a pause in sight of the obstacles presented by the barren plains of Texas and New Mexico, but it was only to burst over them with a more powerful impetus. And California is now the West—the land of gold and golden hope. It is now, to the present age, what Canaan was to the Hebrews (we mean, of course, geographically), or as the isles of the sea to the sons of Javan and Tarshish, or as Italy to the Trojan exiles. But is the movement there to find its termination? The next step mingles it with the remains of the old Eastern civilization. China and India must yet feel its revivifying power, and then the rotation will have been complete. Ophir has been already reached, and soon the long journeying of restless humanity will come round again to the plain of Shinar, or the region in which commenced the original dispersion of the race.

Some most serious reflections crowd upon the mind in connection with such a thought. What, during all this period, has been the real progress of humanity? In certain aspects of the question the answer is most prompt and easy. In the supply of physical wants, and in facilities for physical communication, the advance gained has been immense. But are men—the mass of men—really wiser in respect to their truest good? Or are they yet infatuated with that old folly of building a tower, whose top should reach unto heaven? In other words, are they still seeking to get above the earth by earthly means, and fancying that through science, or philosophy, or "liberal institutions," or any other magic name, they may obtain a self-elevating power, which shall lift them above physical and moral evil. Will the long and toilsome march be followed by that true gnothi seauton, that real self-knowledge, which is cheaply obtained even at such a price, or will it be only succeeded by another varied exhibition of the selfish principle, the more malignant in proportion as it is more refined, another Babel of opinions, another confusion of speech, another proof of the feebleness and everlasting unrest of humanity while vainly seeking to be independent of Heaven?

Marriage has ever been closely allied to religion. It has had its altar, its offering, its rites, its invocation, its shrine, its mysteries, its mystical significance. "It is honorable," says the Apostle. "Precious," some commentators tell us, the epithet should be rendered—of great value, of highest price. In either sense, it would well denote what may be called, by way of eminence, the conservative institution of human society, the channel for the transmission of its purest life, and for this very reason, the object ever of the first and fiercest attacks of every scheme of disorganizing radical philosophy. In harmony with this idea there was a deep significance in some of the Greek marriage ceremonies; and among these none pos[Pg 848]sessed a profounder import than the custom of carrying a torch, or torches, in the bridal procession. Especially was this the mother's delightful office. It was hers, in a peculiar manner, to bear aloft the blazing symbol before the daughter, or the daughter-in-law, and there was no act of her life to which the heart of a Grecian mother looked forward with a more lively interest. It was, on the other hand, a ground of the most passionate grief, when an early death, or some still sadder calamity, cut off the fond anticipation. Thus Medea—

I go an exile to a foreign land,
Ere blest in you, or having seen you blessed.
That rapturous office never shall be mine,
To adorn the bride, and with a mother's hand,
Lift high the nuptial torch.

Like many other classical expressions, it has passed into common use, and become a mere conventional phraseology. This is the case with much of our poetical and rhetorical dialect. Metaphors, which, in their early usage, presented the most vivid conceptions, and were connected with the profoundest significance, have passed away into dead formulas. They keep the flow of the rhythm, they produce a graceful effect in rounding a period, they have about them a faint odor of classicality, but the life has long since departed. As far as any impressive meaning is concerned, a blank space would have answered almost as well. The "altar of Hymen," the "nuptial torch," suggest either nothing at all, or a cold civil engagement, with no higher sanctions than a justice's register, or the business-like dispatch of what, in many cases, is a most unpoetical, as well as a most secular transaction.

The nuptial torch was significant of marriage, as the divinely appointed means through which the lamp of life is sent down from generation to generation. It was the symbol of the true vitality of the race, as preserved in the single streams of the "isolated household," instead of being utterly lost in the universal conflagration of unregulated passion. It was the kindling of a new fire from the ever-burning hearth of Vesta. It was the institution of a new domestic altar. The torch was carried by the mother in procession before the daughter, or the daughter-in-law, and then given to the latter to perform the same office, with the same charge, to children, and children's children, down through all succeeding generations. Such a custom, and such a symbol, never could have originated where polygamy prevailed, nor have been ever preserved in sympathy with such a perversion of the primitive idea. Neither could it maintain itself where marriage is mainly regarded as a civil contract, having no other sanction for its commencement, and, of course, no other for its dissolution, than the consent of the parties. Have we not reason to suppose that some such conception is already gaining ground among us. It would seem to come from that wretched individualism, the source of so many social errors, which would regard marriage as a transaction for the convenience of the parties, and subject to their spontaneity, rather than in reference to society or the race. The feeling which lends its aid to such a sophism, is promoted by the prevailing philosophy in respect to what are called "woman's rights." We allude not now to its more extravagant forms, but to that less offensive, and more plausible influence, which, in the name of humanity and of protection to the defenseless, is in danger of sapping the foundation of a most vital institution. We can not be too zealous in guarding the person or property of the wife against the intemperate or improvident husband; but it should be done, and it can be done, without marring that sacred oneness which is the vitality of the domestic commonwealth. In applying the sharp knife of reform in this direction, it should be seen to, that we do not cut into the very life of the idea—to use a favorite phrase of the modern reformer. No evil against which legislation attempts to guard, can be compared with the damage which might come from such a wound. No hurt might be more incurable than one that would result from families of children growing up every where with the familiar thought of divided legal interests in the joint source whence they derived their birth. There must be something holy in that which the apostle selected as the most fitting comparison of the relation between Christ and his Church; and there have been far worse superstitions (if it be a superstition) than the belief which would regard marriage as a sacrament. Be this, however, as it may, it is the other error of which we have now the most reason to be afraid. There is a process going forward on the pages of the statute book, in judicial proceedings respecting divorce, and in the general tendency of certain opinions, which is insensibly undermining an idea, the most soundly conservative in the best sense of the term, the most sacred in its religious associations, as well as the most important in its bearings upon the highest earthly good of the human race.

The opposing philosophy sometimes comes in the most plausible and insidious shape. It, too, has its religionism. It talks loftily of the "holy marriage of hearts," and of the sacredness of the affection; but in all this would only depreciate the sacredness of the outward relation. It affects to be conservative, moreover. It would preserve and exalt the essence in distinction from the form. It has much to say of "legalized adulteries." The affection, it affirms, is holier than any outward bond. But let it be remembered that the first is human and changeable, the second is divine and permanent. It is the high consideration, too, of the one that, more than any earthly means, would tend to preserve the purity of the other. The relation is the regulator of the affection, the mould through which it endures, the constraining form in which alone it acquires the unity, and steadiness, and consistency of the idea, in distinction from the capricious spontaneity of the individual passion. Let no proud claim, then, of inward freedom, assuming to be holier than the outward bond, pretend to sever what God has joined together. At no time, perhaps, in the history of the world, and of the church, has there been more need of caution against such a sophism than in this age so boastful of its lawless subjectivity, or in other words, its higher rule of action, transcending the outward and positive ordinance.

Charity is love—Liberality is often only another name for indifference. The bare presentation of the terms in their true relation, is enough to show the immense opposition between them. Charity is tenderness. "It suffereth long and is kind." But the same authority tells us, likewise, that "it rejoiceth in the truth." Except as connected with a fervent interest in principles we hold most dear, the word loses all significance, and the idea all vitality. Even when it assumes the phase of intolerance, it is a nobler and more precious thing than the liberality which often usurps its name. In this aspect, however, it is ever the sign of an unsettled and a doubting faith. He who is well established in his own religious convictions can best afford to be charitable. He has no fear and no hatred of the heretic lest he[Pg 849] should take from him his own insecure foundation. His feet upon a rock, he can have no other than feelings of tenderness for the perishing ones whom he regards as struggling in the wild waters below him. How can he be uncharitable, or unkind, to those of his companions in the perilous voyage, who, in their blindness, or their weakness, or it may be in the perverse madness of their depravity, can not, or will not lay hold of the plank which he offers for their escape because it is the one on which he fondly hopes he himself has rode out the storm. They may call his warm zeal bigotry and uncharitableness; but then, what name shall be given to that greater madness, that fiercer intolerance, which would not only reject the offered aid, but exercise vindictive feelings toward the hand that would draw them out of the overwhelming billows?

One of the richest illustrations of the view here presented is to be found in the writings of that durus pater, Saint Augustine. We find nothing upon our editorial table more precious—nothing that we would send forth on the wings of our widely circulated Magazine, with a more fervent desire that it might, not only meet the eye, but penetrate the heart of every reader "How can I be angry with you," says this noble father, in his controversy with the Manichæans, "how can I be angry with you when I remember my own experience? Let him be angry with you who knows not with what difficulty error is shunned and truth is gained. Let him be angry with you, who knows not with what pain the spiritual light finds admission into the dark and diseased eye. Let him be angry with you, who knows not with what tears and groans the true knowledge of God and divine things is received into the bewildered human soul."

Editor's Easy Chair.

Since we last chatted with our readers, a month ago, old Autumn has fairly taken the year upon his shoulders, and is bearing him in his parti-colored jacket, toward the ice-pits of Winter. The soft advance of Indian Summer, with its harvest moons round and red, and its sunsets deep-dyed with blood and gold, is stealing smokily across the horizon, and witching us to a last smile of warmth, and to a farewell summer joyousness.

The town has changed, too, like the season: and the streets are all of them in the hey-day of the Autumn flush. The country merchants are gone home, and the Southern loiterers are creeping lazily southward—preaching the best of Union discourses—with their geniality and their frankness. The old Broadway hours of promenade are coming again; and you can see blithe new-married couples, and wishful lovers, at morning and evening, lighting up the trottoir with their sunshine. The wishful single ones too, are wearing new fronts of hope, as the town-men settle again into their winter beat, and feel, in their bachelor chambers, the lack of that stir of sociality, which enlivens the summer of the springs.

Old married people too—not so joyous as once—forget all the disputes of the old winter, in the pleasant approaches of a new one; and try hard to counterfeit a content which they esteem and desire.

But with all its gayety, theatre-running, concert-going, and shopping, the town wears underneath a look of sad sourness. Merchants that were as chatty as the most loquacious magpies only a five-month gone, are suddenly grown as gruff and dumb as the Norwegian bears. The tightness of Wall-street has an uncommon "effect upon facial muscles;" and men that would have been set down by the "Medical Examiners" as good for a ten years' lease of life, are now wearing a visage that augurs any thing but healthy action of the liver.

Even our old friends that we parted from in May, as round and dimpled as country wenches, have met us the week past with a rueful look, and have said us as short a welcome as if we were their creditors. We pity sadly the poor fellow, who, with a firm reliance on the steady friendship of his old companion, goes to him in these times for a loan of a "few thousands." Friendship has a hard chance for a livelihood nowadays in Wall-street; and the man that would give us an easy shake of the hand when we met him on 'Change in the spring, will avoid us now as if he feared contagion from our very look.

The fat old gentlemen who used to loll into our office in May-time, to read the journals, and crack stale jokes, and quietly puff out one or two of our choice Regalias, have utterly vanished. We find no invitations to dine upon our table—no supper cards for a "sit-down" to fried oysters and Burgundy "punctually at nine."

Wall-street is the bugbear that frights New York men out of all their valor; and, as is natural enough, Wall-street, and specie, and heavy imports; and a new tariff, and the coming crop of cotton are just now at the top of the talk of the town.

Let our good readers then, allow for this incubus, in tracing the jottings down, this month, of our usually gossiping pen. Let them remember in all charity that two per cent. a month, for paper good as the bank, makes a very poor stimulant for such pastime as literary gossip. When our men of business replace their Burgundy and Lafitte of 1841, with merely merchantable Medoc, readers surely will be content with a plain boiled dish, trimmed off with a few carrots, in place of the rich ragouts, with which, at some future time, we shall surely tickle their appetite.

The Northern Expedition under the lead of Lieutenant De Haven, has given no little current to the chit-chat of the autumn hours; and people have naturally been curious to see some of the brave fellows who wintered it among the crevices of the Polar ice, and who braved a night of some three months' darkness. It is just one of those experiences which must be passed through to be realized; nor can we form any very adequate conceptions (and Heaven forbid that experience should ever improve our conceptions!) of a night which lasts over weeks of sleeping, and waking, and watching—of a night which knows neither warmth, nor daybreak—a night which counts by cheerless months, and has no sounds to relieve its darkness, but the fearful crashing of ice bergs, and the low growl of stalking bears.

What a waste of resolution and of energy has been suffered in those northern seas! And yet it is no waste; energy is never wasted when its action is in the sight of the world. It tells on new development, and quickens impulse for action, wherever the story of it goes.

It is, to be sure, sad enough that the poor Lady Franklin must go on mourning; but she has the satisfaction of knowing that sympathy with her woes has enlisted thousands of brave beating hearts, and has led them fearlessly into the very bosom of those icy perils, which now, and we fear must forever, shroud the fate of her noble husband. Nor is that grief and devotion of the Lady Franklin without its teaching of beneficence. Its story adds to the dignity of humanity, and quickens the ardor of a thou[Pg 850]sand hearts, who watch it as a beacon of that earnest and undying affection, which belongs to a true heart-life, but which rarely shows such brilliant tokens of its strength.

Perhaps it is fortunate that at a time when commerce is shaking with an ague, that makes pallid cheeks about town, there should be such a flush as now in the histrionic life of the city. Scarce a theatre or concert-room but has its stars; and if music and comedy have any great work of goodness to do in this world, it may surely be in relieving despondency and lightening the burdens of misfortune.

Miss Catharine Hays is a very good chit-chat topic for any breakfast-room of the town; and although she has not excited that excess of furor which was kindled by the Swedish singer, she has still gained a reputation whose merits are spoken with enthusiasm, and will be remembered with affection. Poor, suffering Ireland can not send to such a sympathetic nation as this, a pretty, graceful, pure-minded songstress—whatever might be her qualities—without enlisting a fervor that would shower her path with gold, and testify its strength with flowers and huzzas.

Madame Thillon is pointing much of the after-dinner talk with story of her beauty; and connoiseurs in cheeks and color are having amiable quarrels about her age and eyes. Mrs. Warner is drawing somewhat of the worn-out Shakspearean taste to a new rendering of Elizabethan comedy. In short the town is bent on driving away the stupor of dull trade with the cheer of art and song.

Speaking of art, reminds us of the new picture which is just now gracing the halls of the Academy of Design. It is precisely one of those Art-wonders which, with its great stock of portraits to be discussed, makes the easiest imaginable hinge of talk. It is Healy's great picture of Daniel Webster in his place in the Senate Chamber, replying to General Hayne of South Carolina. The work has been a long time under Mr. Healy's thought and hand, and is perfected, if not with elaborateness, at least with an artistic finish and arrangement that will make the picture one of the great Western pictures. We could wish indeed—although we hazard the opinion with our easy diffidence—that Mr. Healy had thrown a little more of the Demosthenic action into the figure, and bearing of the orator; yet, with all its quietude, it shows the port of a strong man. Indeed, in contrast with the boy-like presentment of General Hayne, it almost appears that the fire of the speaker is wasting on trifles; yet, if we may believe contemporaneous history, Hayne was by no means a weak man, and if the fates had not thrust him upon such Titan conflict too early, there might well have been renowned deeds to record of the polished Southron. The initiate lookers-on will see good distance-views of Mrs. Webster, of Mrs. George P. Marsh, and of sundry other ladies, who were by no means so matronly at the date of the "Union" Speech as Mr. Healy's complimentary anachronism would imply.

The Art Union is coming in for its share of the autumn love of warm tints and glowing colors; and if we might trust a hasty look-in on our way to office duties, we should say there was a scalding brightness about some of the coloring which needs an autumn haze to subdue it to a healthy tone. For all this there are gems scattered up and down, which will woo the eye to a repeated study, and, if we may judge from the flocking crowds, educate the public taste to an increasing love of whatever is lovable in Art.

Leutze's great picture of Washington, will, before this shall have reached the eye of our readers, have won new honors to the name of the painter of the Puritan iconoclasts; and we count it a most healthful augury for American art, that the great painting should have created in advance such glowing expectations.

We wish to touch with our pen nib—as the observant reader has before this seen—whatever is hanging upon the lip of the town; and with this wish lighting us, we can not of a surety pass by that new burst of exultation, which is just now fanning our clipper vessels, of all rig and build, into an ocean triumph.

Nine hundred and ninety odd miles of ocean way within three days' time, is not a speed to be passed over with mere newspaper mention; and it promises—if our steam-men do not look to their oars—a return to the old and wholesome service of wind and sail. We are chronicling here no imaginary run of a "Flying Dutchman," but the actual performance of the A Number One, clipper-built, and copper-fastened ship, Flying Cloud—Cressy, commander! And if the clipper-men can give us a line, Atlantic-wise, which will bowl us over the ocean toward the Lizard, at a fourteen-knot pace, and not too much spray to the quarter deck—they will give even the Collins' monsters a scramble for a triumph. There is a quiet exultation after all, in bounding over the heaving blue wave-backs, with no impelling power, but the swift breath of the god of winds, which steam-driven decks can never give. It is taking nature in the fulness of her bounty, and not cramping her gifts into boiling water-pots; it is a trust to the god of storms, that makes the breezes our helpers, and every gale to touch the cheek with the wanton and the welcome of an aiding brother!

Leaving now the matters of gossip around us, we propose to luxuriate in that atmosphere of gossip, which pervades the Paris world, and which comes wafted to us on the gauze feuilletons of such as Jules Janin, and of Eugene Guinot. They tell us that the city world of France has withdrawn lazily and longingly from the baths of Aix-la-Chapelle and the beaches of Dieppe and Boulogne; and that the freshened beauties of the metropolis, are taking their first autumn-ing upon the shaded asphalte of the Champs Elysées. A little fraction of the beau monde has just now taken its usual turn to the sporting ground of Dauphiny and Bretagne; but it is only for carrying out in retired quarters the series of flirtations, which the watering places have set on foot. The French have none of that relish for covers and moor shooting, which enters so largely into the English habit; and a French lady in a land-locked chateau—without a lover in the case—would be the sorriest Nekayah imaginable.

But, says Guinot, the country recluses are just now acquiring a taste for the races and for horsemanship; and he signalizes, in his way, a fairly-run match of ladies, well-known in the salons of Paris, which came off not long since in the grounds of some old country chateau. Among the other whim-whams, which this veteran wonder-teller sets down, is the story of an old Hollander, who every year makes his appearance at the springs of Ems, and devotes himself to rouge et noir with the greatest assiduity, until he has won from the bank the sum of twenty-five thousand francs, when he gathers up his gold and disappears for another season. No run of good luck will induce him to increase his earnings, and no bad[Pg 851] fortune in the early part of his visit will break down his purpose, until he has won his usual quota. The managers have even proposed to buy him off for half his usual earnings in advance, but he accepts of no compromise; and stolidly taking his seat at the table, with a bag of rouleaux at his side, he stakes his money, and records upon a card the run of the colors—nor quits his place, until his bag is exhausted, or the rooms closed for the night.

As is usual with these tit-bits of French talk, no name is given to the Hollander, and he may live, for aught we know, only in the pestilent brain of the easy paragraphist.

Again, we render grace to French fertility of invention for this petit histoire, to which we ourselves venture to add a point or two, for the humor of this-side appetite.

Borrel, a great man in the kitchen, kept the famous Rocher de Cancale. Who has not heard of the Rocher de Cancale? Who has not dreamed of it when—six hours after a slim breakfast of rolls and coffee—he has tugged at his weary brain—as we do now—for the handle of a dainty period?

Borrel had a wife, prettier than she was wise—(which can be said of many wives—not Borrel's). Borrel was undersold by neighbor restaurateurs, and found all the world flocking to the Palais Royal caterers. Borrel's wife spent more than Borrel earned (which again is true of other wives). So that, finally, the Rocher de Cancale was ended: Borrel retired to private life with a bare subsistence; and, Borrel's wife, playing him false in his disgrace, ran away with a vagrant Russian.

Borrel languished in retirement: but his friends found him; and having fairly put him on his feet, thronged for a season his new Salon of Frascati. But directly came the upturn of February, and poor Borrel was again broken in business, and thrice broken in spirit. He took a miserable house without the Boulevard, in the quarter of the Batignolles, and only crept back to the neighborhood of his old princely quarters, like the vagrant starveling that he was, at dusk. Years hung heavily on him, and his domestic sorrows only aggravated his losses and his weakness.

But, in process of time, a Russian came to Paris, who had known the city in the days of the Rocher de Cancale. He came with his appetite sharpened for the luxurious dinners of the Rue Montorgueil. But, alas, for him—the famous Restaurant had disappeared, and in its place, was only a paltry show-window of caleçons and of chemisettes.

He inquired anxiously after the famous Borrel: some shook their heads, and had never heard the name: others, who had known the man, believed him dead. In despair he visited all the Restaurants of Paris, but, for a long time, in vain. At length, an old white-haired garçon of the Café de Paris, to whom he told his wishes, informed him of the miserable fate of the old Prince of suppers.

The Russian traced him to his humble quarters, supplied him with money and clothes—engaged him as his cook, took him away from his ungrateful city, and installed him, finally, as first Restaurateur of St. Petersburg.

His patron was passably old, but still a wealthy and prosperous merchant of the northern empire; and his influence won a reputation and a fortune for the reviving head of the house of Borrel. The strangest part (omitted by Lecomte), is yet to come.

Borrel had often visited his patron, but knew nothing of his history, or family: nor was it until after a year or two of the new life, that the poor Restaurateur discovered in the deft-handed housekeeper of his patron, his former wife of the Rue Montorgueil!

The discovery seemed a sad one for all concerned. Borrel could not but make a show for his wounded honor. His patron had no wish to lose an old servant; and the lady herself, now that the hey-day of her youth was gone, had learned a wholesome dread of notoriety. Wisely enough, each determined to sacrifice a little: Borrel was re-married to his wife; his patron found a new mistress of his household; and madame promised to live discreetly, and guard carefully the profits of the Russian Rocher de Cancale.

If this is not a good French story, we should like to know what it is?

Again we shift our vision to a belle maison (pretty house) in a back quarter of London—newly furnished—a little cockneyish in taste, and with all the new books of the day, piled helter-skelter upon the library-table. The owner is a tall, laughing-faced, good natured, not over-bred man, who has traveled to Constantinople and Egypt—to say nothing of an adventurous trip to the top of Mont Blanc.

His history is written by the letter-writers in this way: Poor, and clever, he wrote verses, and essays, and sold them for what he could get; and some say filled and extracted teeth, to "make the ends meet." It is certain that he once walked the Hospitals of Paris, and that he knows the habits of the grisettes of the Quarter by the Pantheon.

A certain Lord happening upon him, and fancying his laughter-loving look, and waggish eye, cultivated his acquaintance, and proposed to him a trip to the East as his friend, courier, and what-not. Our hero assented—went with him as far as Trieste—quarreled with My Lord—parted from him—pushed his way by "hook and by crook" as far as Cheops—and returned to London with not a penny in his pocket.

Writing brought dull pay (as it always does), and the traveler thought of talking instead. He advertised to tell his story in a lecture-room, with songs, and mimicry thrown in to enliven it. The people went slowly at first: finally, they talked of the talking traveler, and all the world went; and the adventurer found his purse filling, and his fortune made.

He bought the belle maison we spoke of; and this summer past set off for Mont Blanc, and ascended it—not for the fun of the thing, but for the fun of telling it.

We suppose our readers will have recognized the man we have in our eye: to wit—ALBERT SMITH.

And that—says Lecomte—is the way they do things in England!

Editor's Drawer.

It was Thomas Hood, if we remember rightly ("poor Tom's a-cold" now)! whose "Bridge of Sighs," and "Song of the Shirt," both of them the very perfection of pathos, will be remembered when his lighter productions are forgotten, or have ceased to charm—it was Tom Hood, we repeat, who described, in a characteristic poetical sketch, the miseries of an Englishman in the French capital, who was ignorant of the language of that self-styled "metropolis of the world." He drew a very amusing picture of the desagrémens such as one would be sure to encounter; and among others, the following

"Never go to France,
Unless you know the lingo,
If you do, like me,
You'll repent, by Jingo!
[Pg 852]
"Signs I had to make,
For every little notion;
Arms all the while a-going,
Like a telegraph in motion.

"If I wanted a horse,
How d'you think I got it?
I got astride my cane,
And made-believe to trot it!"

There was something very ridiculous, he went on to say, we remember, about the half-English meaning of some of the words, and the utter contradiction of the ordinary meaning in others. "They call," said he,

"They call their mothers mares,
And all their daughters fillies!"

and he cited several other words not less ludicrous. The celebrated Mrs. Ramsbottom, and her accomplished daughter Lavinia, the cockney continental travelers, those clever burlesques of "John Bull," were the first, some thirty years ago, to take notice of this discrepancy, and to illustrate it in their correspondence. The old lady, writing from Paris to friends in her peculiar circle in London, tells them that she has been to see all the curious things about the French capital; and she especially extols the bridges, with their architectural and other adornments. "I went yesterday afternoon," she wrote, "to see the statute of Lewis Quinzy, standing close to the end of one of the ponts, as they call their bridges here. I was told by a man there, that Lewis Quinzy was buried there. Quinzy wasn't his real name, but he died of a quinzy sore-throat, and just as they do things here, they called him after the complaint he died of! The statute is a more superior one than the one of Henry Carter (Henri Quatre), which I also see, with my daughter Lavinia. I wonder if he was a relation of the Carters of Portsmouth, because if he is, his posteriors have greatly degenerated in size and figure. He is a noble-looking man, in stone." The same old ignoramus wrote letters from Italy, which were equally satirical upon the class of would-be "traveled" persons, to which she was assumed to belong.

Speaking of Rome, and certain of its wonderful and ancient structures, she says: "I have been all through the Vacuum, where the Pope keeps his bulls. Every once in a while they say he lets one out, and they occasion the greatest excitement, being more obstinater, if any thing, than an Irish one. I have been, too, to see the great church that was built by Saint Peter, and is called after him. Folks was a-looking and talking about a knave that had got into it, but I didn't see no suspicionary person. I heard a tedium sung while I was there, but it wasn't any great things, to my taste. I'd rather hear Lavinia play the 'Battle of Prag.' It was very long and tiresome." Not a little unlike "Mrs. Ramsbottom," is a foreign correspondent of the late Major Noah's paper, the "Times and Messenger," who writes under the nom de plume of "A Disbanded Volunteer," from Paris. He complains that the French language is very "onhandy to articklate;" that the words wont "fit his mouth at all" and that he has to "bite off the ends of 'em," and even then they are cripples. "The grammer," he says, "is orful, specially the genders, and oncommon inconsistent. A pie is a he, and yet they call it Patty, and a loaf is a he, too, but if you cut a slice off it, that's a she! The pen I'm a-driving is a she, but the paper I'm a-writing on is a he! A thief," he goes on to say, "is masculine, but the halter that hangs him is feminine;" but he rather likes that, he adds, there being something consoling in being drawn up by a female noose! F-e-m-m-e, he contends, "ought to spell femmy—but I'm blowed if they don't pronounce it fam!"

Like the English cockney travelers, he was pleased with the public monuments, particularly one in the "Plaster La Concord," built by Louis Quartz, so called, in consequence of the kind of stone used in its erection. The "Basalisk of Looksir," and the "Jargon da Plant," also greatly excited his admiration. No one who has ever studied French, but will be reminded by the "Disbanded Volunteer's" experience of the difficulty encountered in mastering the classification of French genders.

We find, on a scrap in our "Drawer," this passage from a learned lecture by a German adventurer in London, one "Baron Vondullbrainz." He is illustrating the great glory of Mechanics, as a science: "De t'ing dat is made is more superior dan de maker. I shall show you how in some t'ings. Suppose I make de round wheel of de coach? Ver' well; dat wheel roll five hundred mile!—and I can not roll one, myself! Suppose I am de cooper, what you call, and I make de big tub to hold de wine? He hold t'ons and gallons; and I can not hold more as fives bottel!! So you see dat de t'ing dat is made is more superior dan de maker!"

The following domestic medicines and recipes may be relied upon. They are handed down from a very ancient period; and, "no cure, no pay:"

"A stick of brimstone wore in the pocket is good for them as has cramps.

"A loadstone put on the place where the pain is, is beautiful in the rheumatiz.

"A basin of water-gruel, with half a quart of old rum in it, or a quart, if partic'lar bad, with lots o' brown sugar, going to bed, is good for a cold in the 'ead.

"If you've got the hiccups, pinch one o' your wrists, and hold your breath while you count sixty, or—get somebody to scare you, and make you jump!

"The Ear-Ache: Put an inyun in your ear, after it is well roasted!"

How old Dr. Johnson did hate Scotland! His severity of sarcasm upon that country is unexampled by his comments upon any thing else, however annoying. On his return from the Hebrides, he was asked by a Scottish gentleman, at an evening party in London, how he liked Scotland. "Scotland, sir?" replied Johnson, with a lowering brow, and savage expression generally, "Scotland? Scotland, sir, is a miserable country—a contemptible country, sir!" "You can not do the Almighty the great wrong to say that, Dr. Johnson," answered the other, deeply nettled at so harsh a judgment: "God made Scotland, sir." "Yes, sir," was the cutting rejoinder: "God did make Scotland, but He made it for Scotchmen! God made hell also, sir!" On another occasion, when asked how he liked certain views of scenery in that country, he replied: "The finest and most satisfactory view in Scotland, sir, is the view looking from it, on the high-road to London!" The same spirit was manifested in his reply to a friend, who was consoling him for the loss of a favorite cane with which he had traveled in the north of Scotland. "You can easily replace it, Dr. Johnson," said his friend. "Replace it, sir! Consider, where I'm to find the timber for such a purpose in this barren country!" It strikes us that a lack of trees or shrubbery could not be more forcibly exemplified than by this sarcastic reply.

Somebody, in one of the newspapers, has been telling a story of a schoolmistress, who had a hopeful boy-pupil, whose intelligence was scarcely "fair[Pg 853] to middling," if one may judge from one of his "exercises" in spelling. "I got him," said the schoolmarm, "clean through the alphabet, and he would point out any letter, and call it by its right name. One bright Monday morning I put him, when he was sufficiently advanced, into words of two syllables; but I was obliged to tell him some fifty times what was the nature of a syllable; and after all, his brain was opaque as a rock. In order to interest him, however, I said to him:

"Do you love pies?"

"Yes, marm, I guess I do!"

"Well, then, 'apple' and 'pie,' when put together, spell 'apple-pie,' don't they?"

"Yes, marm."

"By the same rule, 'la' and 'dy,' spell 'lady?' You understand that, don't you?"

"Very well. Now, what do 'mince' and 'pie' spell?"

"I know!—Mince-Pie!"

"That's right: well, now what do 'pumpkin' and 'pie' spell? Speak up."

"I know that: that's pumpkin-pie!"

"That's correct. Now, what does 'la' and 'dy' spell?"

"Custard-Pie!" exclaimed the urchin, with great exultation at his success.

Now, this is very good, and very possibly it may have occurred, precisely as narrated; but we have a suspicion—perhaps not a "shrewd suspicion"—that the whole thing was borrowed from the following dialogue, which is indubitably an actual occurrence:

"James," said a schoolmaster to a dull pupil, after the morning chapter had been read in the school, "James, we have read this morning that Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth; now, James, will you tell us who was the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth?"

"Sir?" said James, inquiringly.

"Why, James," answered his colloquist, "you have seen that Noah had three sons, and that their names were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. These were Noah's sons, James. Now, who was the Father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth?"

"Sir?" said James, dubiously pondering the full extent of the query.

"Why, James," said the preceptor, "don't you know who the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth was, after I've told you so much?"

"No, sir—I d' know!"

"You are very dull, James—very! You know Mr. Smith, don't you, that lives next to your house?"

"Sartain!—Bill and Jo Smith and I play together. Bill took my cross-gun, and owes me—"

"Very well: Mr. Smith has three boys, William, Joseph, and Henry. Who is the father of William, Joseph, and Henry Smith?"

"Mr. Smith!" exclaimed James, instantly; "Mr. Smith: guess I know that!"

"Certainly, James. Very well, then. Now, this is exactly the same thing. You see, as we have been reading, that Noah had three sons, like Mr. Smith; but their names were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Now, who was the father of Noah's three sons?"

James hesitated a minute, with his finger in his mouth; and then, as if the difficult question had been suddenly solved in his mind, he exclaimed:

"I know now: Mr. Smith!"

Perhaps some of our readers have heard of that rare compound of all that was quaint, curious, and ridiculous, Lord Timothy Dexter, of Newburyport, Massachusetts. He was an ignorant, eccentric old fellow, who, having made himself a rich man, conceived the original idea of setting up for a lord. Accordingly he proclaimed himself "Lord Timothy Dexter," bought a magnificent mansion, and set up an equipage in splendid style. Every thing that he did and every thing he had about him was original. He sent a ship-load of warming-pans to the East Indies; he filled his gardens with sprawling wooden statues; his dress was a mixture of the Roman senator and a Yankee militia-captain; the ornaments of his mansion were of the most unique stamp; and his literary compositions were more original than all the rest put together. He wrote in the most heroic disregard and defiance of the common laws of etymology and syntax. Here is a specimen of his style, and an illustration of his powers as a philosopher: "How great the SOUL is! Don't you all wonder and admire to see and behold and hear? Can you all believe half the truth, and admire to hear the wonders how great the soul is?—that if a man is drowned in the water, a great bubble comes up out of the top of the water—the last of the man dying in the water; this is mind—the SOUL, that is the last to ascend out of the deep to glory. Only behold!—past finding out! The bubble is the soul! When a man dies in his bed in a house, you can't see his soul go up, but when he is drowned, then you can see his soul go up like a kite or a rocket!"

There is a very amusing story told of a curious fowl called "The Adjutant," in the East Indies. They are as solemn-faced a creature as the owl, the "Bird of Minerva." Sometimes they become great favorites with the soldiers and officers of the army stationed there, and numerous, and not unfrequently ridiculous, were the tricks which the wicked wags played upon them. Sometimes the soldiers would take a couple of half-picked beef-bones, tie them strongly together, at each end of a stout cord, and then throw both where some two or three "Adjutants" would be sure to try to rival each other in the first possession of the desiderated luxury; the consequence of which competition would be, that two of the ravenous birds would attack the treasure at one and the same time: the one would swallow one (for they have most capacious maws) and the other the other. Then there was trouble! Each saw before him a divided "duty," the "line" of which, while it was sufficiently defined (and con-fined) was very far from being convenient to follow, so far as the practice was concerned. But each, in the consequent struggle, rose into the air; a pair of aërial Siamese-twins, with no power of severing their common ligament; so that very soon down they came, an easy prey to their ingenious tormentors. But the funniest trick was this: A soldier would take a similar unconsumed beef-bone; carefully scoop out a long cavity in it, establish therein a cartridge and fusee, with a long leader, lighted, and then throw it out for the especial benefit of the feathered victim. It was of course swallowed at once, and then, like a snake with a big frog in its belly, the uncouth bird would mount upon some post, or other similar eminence, and with one leg crossed like a figure-four, over the other, it would stand, in digestive mood, and with solemn visage, until suddenly the secret mine would explode, and the unsuspicious "Adjutant" would be "reduced to the ranks" of birds "lost upon earth."

He was a right sensible man who wrote as follows; and his theory and advice will apply as well in Gotham as elsewhere: "As to extensive dinner-giving, we can be but hungry, eat, and be happy. I would have a great deal more hospitality practiced[Pg 854] among us than is at all common; more hospitality, I mean, and less show. Properly considered, 'the quality of dinner,' like that of mercy, 'is twice blessed—it blesses him that gives, and him that takes.' A dinner with friendliness is the best of all friendly meetings; a pompous entertainment, where 'no love is,' is the least satisfactory.

"I own myself to being no worse nor better than my neighbors, in giving foolish and expensive dinners. I rush off to the confectioner's for sweets, et cetera; hire sham butlers and attendants; have a fellow going round the table with 'still' and 'dry' champagne, just as if I knew his name, and it was my custom to drink those wines every day of my life. Now if we receive great men or ladies at our house, I will lay a wager that they will select mutton and gooseberry-tart for their dinner; forsaking altogether the 'entrées' which the men in white gloves are handing round in the plated dishes. Asking those who have great establishments of their own to French dinners and delicacies, is like inviting a grocer to a meal of figs, or a pastry-cook to a banquet of raspberry tarts. They have had enough of them. Great folks, if they like you, take no account of your feasts, and grand preparations. No; they eat mutton, like men."

As to giving large dinners, morever, Mr. Brown reasons like a philosopher. In the right way of giving a dinner, he contends, "every man who now gives one dinner might give two, and take in a host of friends and relations," who are now excluded from his forced hospitality. "Our custom," he says "is not hospitality nor pleasure, but to be able to cut off a certain number of our really best acquaintances from our dining-list." Again, these large, ostentatious dinners are scarcely ever pleasant, so far as regards society: "You may chance to get near a pleasant neighbor and neighboress, when your corner of the table is possibly comfortable. But there can be no general conversation. Twenty people around one board can not engage together in talk. You want even a speaking-trumpet to communicate from your place with the lady of the house." The sensible conclusion of the whole matter is: "I would recommend, with all my power, that if we give dinners they should be more simple, more frequent, and contain fewer persons. A man and woman may look as if they were really glad to see ten people; but in a 'great dinner,' an ostentatious dinner, they abdicate their position as host and hostess, and are mere creatures in the hands of the sham butlers, sham footmen, and tall confectioner's emissaries who crowd the room, and are guests at their own table, where they are helped last, and of which they occupy the top and bottom. I have marked many a lady watching with timid glances the large artificial major-domo who officiates 'for that night only,' and thought to myself, 'Ah, my dear madam, how much happier might we all be, if there were but half the splendor, half the made-dishes, and half the company assembled!'"

To our conception there is something rather tickling to the fancy in the following sage advice as to how to conduct one's self in case of fire: "Whatever may be the heat of the moment, keep cool. Let nothing put you out, but find something to put out the fire. Keep yourself collected, and then collect your family. After putting on your shoes and stockings, call out for pumps and hose to the fireman. Don't think about saving your watch and rings, for while you stand wringing your hands, you may be neglecting the turn-cock, who is a jewel of the first water at such a moment. Bid him with all your might turn on the main!"

Punch once drew an admirable picture of a London "Peter Funk," a sort of character not altogether unknown in the metropolis of the western world:

"The amount that prodigal man must spend every year would drive Rothschild into the work-house. Nothing is too good or too common, too expensive or too cheap, for him. One moment he will buy a silver candelabra, the next a silver thimble. In the morning he will add a hundred-guinea dressing-case to his enormous property, and in the afternoon amuse himself by bidding a shilling for a little trumpery pen-knife. Why he must have somewhere about fifty thousand pen-knives already.

"The article he has the greatest hankering for, are razors: and yet, to look at his unshorn beard, you would fancy that he never shaved from one month's end to another. The hairs stick out on his chin like the wires on the drum of a musical-box. It is most amusing to watch him when the razors are handed round. He will snatch one off the tray, draw the edge across his nail, breathe upon it, then hold it up to the light, and after wiping it in the gentlest manner upon the cuff of his coat, bid for it as ravenously as if he would not lose the scarce article for all the wealth of the Indies. What he does with all the articles he buys we can not tell. Saint Paul's would not be large enough to contain all the rubbish he has been accumulating these last ten years. His collection of side-boards alone would fill Hyde-Park, and he must possess by this time more dumb waiters than there are real waiters in England."

A capital burlesque upon the prevalent affectation of popular song-writers, in making their first line tell as a title, is given in the following: such, for example, as "When my Eye," "I dare not use thy cherished Name," and so forth:

"Oh! don't I love you rather still?
Are all my pledges set at naught?
Dishonored is Affection's bill?
Or passed is Love's Insolvent Court?
Is Memory's schedule coldly filed,
On one of Cupid's broken darts?
Is Hymen's balance-sheet compiled,
A bankrupt's stock of damaged hearts?


"I dare not use thy cherished name,
Would'st thou accept, were I to draw?
The god of Love may take his aim,
But with an arrow made of straw
Each fonder feeling that I knew
A lifeless heap of ruin lies:
Yes, false one! ticketed by you:
Look here!—'Alarming Sacrifice!'"

We must say one thing in favor of John Bull. He confesses to a beat with great unanimity and frankness. It is in evidence, on the authority of the three gentlemen interested in the race of the yacht America, that the triumph of American skill in ship-architecture was most candidly admitted on all hands, as it was in all the public journals most handsomely. This is as it should be; and we were glad to see, that at the recent dinner given to Mr. Stevens at the Astor-House cordial and ample acknowledgments, for courtesies and attentions from the Queen herself, down to the most eminent members of the Royal Yacht Squadron, were feelingly and appropriate rendered.[Pg 855]

Literary Notices.

A Book of Romances, Lyrics, and Songs, by Bayard Taylor. This volume consists chiefly of pieces which have not before been given to the public, and are evidently selected with great severity of taste from the miscellaneous productions of the writer. This was a highly judicious course, and will be friendly, in all respects, to the fame of Bayard Taylor, whose principal danger as a poet is his too great facility of execution. The pieces in this volume exhibit the marks of careful elaboration; of conscientious artistic finish; of a lofty standard of composition; and of the intellectual self-respect which is not content with a performance inferior to the highest. They are profuse in bold, poetic imagery; often expressing conceptions of exquisite delicacy and pathos; and, pervaded by a spirit of classic refinement. Mr. Taylor's merits as a descriptive poet of a high order have long been recognized; the present volume will confirm his beautiful reputation in that respect; while it shows a freer and nobler sweep of the imagination and reflective faculties than he has hitherto exercised. (Boston: Ticknor, Reed, and Fields.)

Phillips, Sampson, and Co., Boston, have published a revised edition of Margaret, a Tale of the Real and the Ideal, in two volumes. The edition is introduced with a characteristic preface by the author, explaining his own conception of the drift of the work, and justifying certain features which have been severely commented on by critics. In spite of its numerous displays of eccentricity and waywardness, we believe that "Margaret" possesses the elements of an enduring vitality. Its quaint and expressive delineations of New-England life, its vivid reproduction of natural scenery, and the freedom and boldness with which its principal characters are sustained, will always command a certain degree of sympathy, even from those who are the most impatient with the reckless mannerisms of the writer. His genius is sufficient to atone for a multitude of faults, and there is need enough for its exercise in this respect, in the present volumes.

A new edition, greatly improved and enlarged, of Abbott's Young Christian, has been published by Harper and Brothers, and will speedily be followed by the other volumes of the series, The Corner Stone and The Way to Do Good. It is superfluous to speak of the rare merits of Mr. Abbott's writings on the subject of practical religion. Their extensive circulation, not only in our own country, but in England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany, Holland, India, and at various missionary stations throughout the globe, evinces the excellence of their plan, and the felicity with which it has been executed. Divesting religion of its repulsive, scholastic garb, they address the common mind in simple and impressive language. Every where breathing an elevated tone of sentiment, they exhibit the practical aspects of religious truth, in a manner adapted to win the heart, and to exercise a permanent influence upon the character. In unfolding the different topics which he takes in hand, Mr. Abbott reasons clearly, concisely, and to the point; but the severity of argument is always relieved by a singular variety and beauty of illustration. It is this admirable combination of discussion with incident, that invests his writings with an almost equal charm for readers of every diversity of age and of culture. While the young acknowledge the fascination of his attractive pages, the most mature minds find them full of suggestion, and often presenting an original view of familiar truth.—The present edition is issued in a style of uncommon neatness, and is illustrated with numerous engravings, most of which are spirited and beautiful.

Episodes of Insect Life, Third Series, published by J.S. Redfield, is brought to a close in the volume before us, which treats of the insects of autumn and the early winter. We take leave of these beautiful studies in nature with regret, though rejoicing in the eminent success which has attended their publication, both in England and in our own country. They have entered largely into the rural delights of many a family circle, during the past season, and will long continue to perform the same congenial ministry.

George P. Putnam has issued the first number of A Biographical and Critical Dictionary of Painters, Engravers, Sculptors, and Architects, by S. Spooner, M.D., compiled from a variety of authentic sources, and containing more than fifteen hundred names of eminent artists, which are not to be found in the existing English dictionaries of Art. Free use has been made of the best European authorities, and a mass of information concentrated which we should look for in vain in any other single work. The editor appears to have engaged in his task, not only with conscientious diligence, but with an enthusiastic interest in Art, and with such qualifications, his success in its performance is almost a matter of course.

The third volume of The Memoirs of Dr. Chalmers (published by Harper and Brothers), embraces the period of his life during his residence at Aberdeen, and a portion of his career as Professor at Edinburgh. The interest of the previous volumes is well sustained in the present. It contains many original anecdotes, illustrating the private and social life of Dr. Chalmers, as well as a succinct narrative of the events in which he bore a conspicuous part before the public. Every incident in the biography of this admirable man is a new proof of his indomitable energy of character, his comprehensive breadth of intellect, and the mingled gentleness and fervor of his disposition. Whoever wishes to see a strong, compact, massive specimen of human nature, softened and harmonized by congenial religious and domestic influences, should not fail to become acquainted with these rich and instructive volumes.

The Bible in the Family, by H.A. Boardman (published by Lippincott, Grambo, and Co.), is a series of discourses treating of the domestic relations, as the chief sources of personal and social welfare, and illustrating the importance of the principles of the Bible to the happiness of the family. They were delivered to the congregation of the author, in the regular course of his pastoral ministrations, and without aiming at a high degree of exactness of thought, or literary finish, are plain, forcible, and impressive addresses on topics of vital moment. Their illustrations are drawn from every-day life, and are often striking as well as pertinent. An occasional vein of satire in their descriptions of society, is introduced with good effect, tempering the prevailing honeyed suavity of discussion, which, without a corrective, would be apt to cloy.

Lippincott, Grambo, and Co. have republished The Scalp Hunters, by Capt. Mayne Reid, a record of wild and incredible adventures among the trappers and savages of New Mexico. It is written in an incoherent, slap-dash style, in which the want of real descriptive strength is supplied by the frequent use of interjectional phrases. The scenes, for the most part, consist of pictures of city brawls and forest[Pg 856] fights, with an excess of blood and thunder sufficient to satiate the most sanguinary appetite.

The Human Body and its Connection with Man, by James John Garth Wilkinson, is the transcendental title of a treatise by an original and vigorous English writer, in which the theories of Swedenborg are applied to the illustration of human physiology. Profoundly mystical in its general character, and thoroughly repellent to those who make the length of their own fingers the measure of the universe, it abounds in passages of admirable eloquence, presenting a piquant stimulus to the imagination, even when it fails to satisfy the intellect. Its rhetoric will be attractive to many readers who take no interest in its anatomy.

Ladies of the Covenant, by Rev. James Anderson, under an odd apposition of terms in the title, conceals a work of more than common merit. Why could not the author use the good Saxon word "women" in designating those heroic spirits who shed their blood for their religion in the era of the Scottish Covenant? We shall next hear of the noble army of "lady martyrs," of the "holy ladies of old," and other fantastic phrases engendered by a squeamish taste. With this exception, the volume is worthy of the highest commendation. It shows the horrors of political persecution, and the beauty of religious faith, in a succession of forcible and touching narratives. (Published by J.S. Redfield).

Alban, a Tale of the New World, is a novel combining an unctuous melange of sensual description and religious discussion, by an enthusiastic neophyte of the Roman Catholic Church. It has some lively pictures of modern Puritanic character in New-England villages, which are a grateful relief to its pervading tone of speculative voluptuousness. (Published by George P. Putnam.)

The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World, by E.S. Creasy (published by Harper and Brothers). The key to this volume is contained in the following passage of the author's preface: "There are some battles which claim our attention, independently of the moral worth of the combatants, on account of their enduring importance, and by reason of the practical influence on our own social and political condition, which we can trace up to the results of those engagements. They have for us an abiding and actual interest, both while we investigate the chain of causes and effects by which they have helped to make us what we are, and also while we speculate on what we probably should have been, if any one of those battles had come to a different termination." The hint of his work, was first suggested to the author, by the remark of Mr. Hallam on the victory gained by Charles Martel, between Tours and Poictiers, over the invading Saracens, that "it may justly be reckoned among those few battles of which a contrary event would have essentially varied the drama of the world in all its subsequent scenes; with Marathon, Arbela, the Metaurus, Chalons, and Leipsic." The idea, presented in this form, is developed with great ingenuity by the author, in its application to the most significant battles in history, from Marathon to Waterloo. Abstaining from merely theoretical speculations, he exhibits a profound insight into the operation of political causes, which he unfolds with great sagacity, and in a manner suited to enchain the attention of the reader. Among the decisive battles embraced in his work, those of Marathon, of Arbela, of Hastings, of the Spanish Armada, of Blenheim, of Saratoga, and of Waterloo, are described with picturesque felicity, and their consequences to the fortunes of the civilized world are traced out in the genuine spirit of a sound philosophical historian. His observations, connected with the battle of Saratoga, in regard to the position of America in modern history, are just and impartial. "The fourth great power of the world is the mighty commonwealth of the Western Continent, which now commands the admiration of mankind. That homage is sometimes reluctantly given, and is sometimes accompanied with suspicion and ill-will But none can refuse it. All the physical essentials for national strength are undeniably to be found in the geographical position and amplitude of territory which the United States possess; in their almost inexhaustible tracts of fertile but hitherto untouched soil, in their stately forests, in their mountain chains and their rivers, their beds of coal, and stores of metallic wealth, in their extensive sea-board along the waters of two oceans, and in their already numerous and rapidly-increasing population. And when we examine the character of this population, no one can look on the fearless energy, the sturdy determination, the aptitude for local self-government, the versatile alacrity, and the unresisting spirit of enterprise which characterize the Anglo-Americans, without feeling that here he beholds the true elements of progressive might."

The Second Volume of Miss Strickland's Queens of Scotland (published by Harper and Brothers), completes the Life of Mary of Lorraine, and contains that of Lady Margaret Douglas. It is marked by the careful research and animated style which have given the author such an enviable reputation as an authentic and pleasing historical guide.

The Lily and the Bee, by Samuel Warren (published by Harper and Brothers), is a reprint of a rhapsodical prose-poem, suggested by the strange and beautiful spectacle of the Crystal Palace. The author has selected a wild and incoherent form for the embodiment of his impressions, but it is pervaded by a vein of rich, imaginative thought, which no one can follow without being touched with its spirit of suggestive musing. Whoever peruses this volume, as the writer intimates, should suspend his judgment until the completion, and then both the Lily and the Bee may be found speaking with some significance.

Mayhew's London Labor (published by Harper and Brothers) has reached its Fourteenth Number, and fully sustains the interest of the earlier portions of the work. It is a faithful sketch of one aspect of London life, drawn from nature, and in graphic effect is hardly inferior to the high-wrought creations of fiction.

The Eighteenth Part of Lossing's Pictorial Field-Book of the Revolution (published by Harper and Brothers), is now completed, and the successive parts will be issued rapidly until the work is closed. This noble tribute to the memory of our revolutionary fathers has been kindly and cordially received by the American people. We rejoice in its success, for the spirit of patriotism which it breathes is as wholesome, as the execution of its charming pictures is admirable.

Malmiztic the Toltec, by W.W. Fosdick (Cincinnati, Wm. H. Moore and Co.), is a romance of Mexico, reproducing the times of Montezuma and Cortez. In spite of the desperate cacophony of the title, and the high-flown magnificence of the preface, it is a work of considerable originality and power. The style of the author would be improved by an unrelenting application of the pruning-knife, but he shows a talent of description and narrative, which, after abating the luxuriance of a first effort, might be turned to excellent account. We hope to hear from him again.[Pg 857]

The Mind and the Heart, by Franklin W. Fish, is the title of a little volume in verse by a very youthful poet, written before the completion of his eighteenth year. We utterly disapprove the publication of such precocious efforts, as they have no interest for the reader but that of a literary curiosity, and none but a perilous reflex influence on the unfledged author. These effusions, however, are highly creditable specimens of the kind, and show a facility of versification and a command of poetic thought and imagery, which give a fair promise of future excellence. We will not subject them to a harsh criticism, which they certainly do not deserve, but we advise the young aspirant to cling to the pen in private, and for the present to cherish a profound horror of printing ink. (Adriance, Sherman, and Co.)

A new translation of Dante's Divina Commedia has recently been made in England by C.B. Cayley. The volume published, containing the "Inferno," is to be followed by the "Purgatorio" and "Paradiso." The metre of the original is preserved. A London journal says that "it is by far the most effectual transcript of the original that has yet appeared in English verse: in other words, the nearest approximation hitherto made to what the poet, such as we know him, might have written had he been of our time and country, instead of being a Tuscan in the thirteenth century. To have done this office with tolerable success for any great poet is a claim to praise: in a translator of Dante it is something more. Mr. Cayley's one main ground of superiority to previous translators lies in the true perception that nothing but plain and bold language in the copy can represent the bold plainness of the original. He has accordingly handled our whole vocabulary with unusual frankness; and we admire his skill in pressing apt though uncouth forms into the service, as much as we approve of the right feeling that taught him how Dante may be most nearly approached."

The Hymn for All Nations, 1851, by M.F. Tupper, D.C.L., says The Athenæum "is at least a philological and typographical curiosity. The hymn—'would it were worthier!'—is translated into thirty different languages, and printed in the characters of each country."

Thomas Cooper, a well-known English Chartist, distinguished by the inviting prestige, "Author of the 'Purgatory of Suicides,'" advertises to deliver his orations on the genius of all men, from Shakspeare to George Fox the Quaker, Milton to Mohammed, and on many subjects from astronomy to civil war, at the low charge of (to working men) two pounds per speech, or at thirty shillings each for a quantity.

Thackeray is writing a novel in three volumes, to be published in the winter. The scene is in England early in the eighteenth century, and the stage will be crossed by many of the illustrious actors of that time—such as Bolingbroke, Swift, and Pope; and Dick Steele will play a prominent part.

"There is more than a bit of gossip," says The Leader "in the foregoing paragraph. It intimates that Thackeray has 'risen above the mist;' he will no more be hampered and seduced by the obstacles and temptations coextensive with the fragmentary composition of monthly parts. It intimates that he has the noble ambition of producing a work of art. It also intimates that he has bidden adieu, for the present, to Gaunt-house, the Clubs, Pall-mall, and May-fair—to forms of life which are so vividly, so wondrously reproduced in his pages, that detractors have asserted he could paint nothing else—forgetting that creative power to that degree can not be restricted to one form. His Lectures have prepared us for a very vivid and a very charming picture of the Eighteenth Century."

The Master of the Rolls has given a favorable answer to the memorial presented to him by Lord Mahon and various literary men, praying for the admission of historical writers to the free use of the records. On this, the London Examiner remarks, "There is a point of view in which this matter is most important. The concession throws a vast amount of new responsibility upon literary men. Henceforth the guess-work, the mere romance-writing, which we have been too long accustomed to suppose to be history, will be without excuse. Writers who neglect to take advantage of record-evidence on all subjects to which it is applicable, will lay themselves open to the sharpest and justest critical censure. Our history may now be put upon the strong foundation, not of borrowed evidence, but of the records themselves. If literary men neglect this opportunity, the Government will be no longer to blame. The Master of the Rolls has cleared his conscience, and that of the State. But we have no fear that such will be the result. Wise and liberal concession, like that of the Master of the Rolls, must tell with honorable effect both upon our literary men and upon our national character."

The following ludicrous remarks, are from an article in the London Spectator on Parkman's History of Pontiac. They are a specimen of what a certain class of English writers call criticism. The obtuseness of John Bull can no farther go.

"It is remarked by travelers, that however individual Americans may differ—as the observing shepherd can detect physiognomical differences in his flock—there is a general resemblance throughout the Union in lathy lankiness, in haste, in tobacco-chewing, in dress, in manners or (as Scott expressed it) 'no manners.' The remark may be truly applied to American books. Poetry and travels with hardly an exception, historical novels and tales without any exception, and works on or about history, have a certain family likeness. As one star differs from another in brightness, and yet they are all stars, so one American writer on history differs from another in point of merit, yet their kind of merit is alike. Washington Irving's mode of composition is the type of them all, and consists in making the most of things. The landscape is described, not to possess the reader with the features of the country so far as they are essential to the due apprehension of the historical event, but as a thing important in itself, and sometimes as a thing adapted to show off the writing or the writer. The costumes are not only indicated, to remind the reader of the various people engaged, but dwelt upon with the unction of a virtuoso. The march is narrated in detail; the accessories are described in their minutiæ; and the probable or possible feelings of the actors are laid before the reader. Sometimes this mode of composition is used sparingly and chastely, as by Bancroft; sometimes more fully, as by Theodore Irving in his Conquest of Florida; other styles (in the sense of expressing ideas) than the model may also preponderate, so as to suggest no idea of the author of the Sketch Book and the Conquest of Granada; but, more or less, the literary sketcher or tale-writer has encroached upon the province of the historian."[Pg 858]

The London journals announce that Carlyle's Memoirs of John Stirling will be issued immediately.

The Leader announces the certainty of an abridged translation of Auguste Comte's six volumes of Positive Philosophy appearing as soon as is compatible with the exigencies of so important an undertaking. A very competent mind has long been engaged upon the task; and the growing desire in the public to hear more about this Bacon of the nineteenth century, remarks the Leader, renders such a publication necessary.

At a recent meeting of the Royal Society of Literature in London, a communication was made from the celebrated antiquarian explorer, Mr. Layard, of the progress and results of his recent investigations at Nimroud; from which it was evident that the public is justified in forming high expectations of the advance which it will be enabled to make in the knowledge of Assyrian history and antiquities, in consequence of his further indefatigable labors. The new objects of antiquity exhumed will throw light on the state of the arts, the chronology, the origin of the Egyptian influence, and other facts relating to this the most ancient empire of the world.

A tablet in memory of the late William Wordsworth has just been fixed in Grasmere church, executed by Mr. Thomas Woolner. The inscription is from the pen of Professor Keble.

Dr. Achilli has intimated at one of the meetings of the Evangelical Alliance, that he intends to prosecute Dr. Newman for libel at the commencement of next term.

Mazzini's little work, The Pope in the Nineteenth Century, which made considerable sensation, when it appeared in French, has been translated into English, and is now published as a pamphlet.

French literature is beginning to show some activity. Thiers issues the eleventh volume of his History of the Consulate and the Empire; instead of the ten volumes originally proposed, the work is to extend to fourteen—an extension for which few will be grateful!

Adolphe Granier de Cassagnac, the lively, impertinent, paradoxical journalist, is writing a Histoire du Directoire in his own paper, and the Brussels edition of volume I. is already published. It is full of sarcasms and declamations against the Republican party and their great leaders; but it is sprightly, amusing, and has something of novelty in its tone: after so much wearisome laudation of every body in the Revolution, a spirited, reckless, and dashing onslaught makes the old subject piquant.

This is verily the age of cheapness. George Sand has consented to allow all her novels to be reprinted in Paris, for the small charge of four sous, a shade less than twopence, per part, which will make, it appears, about 1l. for the whole collection. This popular edition is to be profusely illustrated by eminent artists, and is to be printed and got up in good style.

During the last year or two an immense deal of business has been done by three or four publishing houses, in the production of esteemed works at four sous the sheet, of close yet legible type, excellent paper, and spirited illustrations. By this plan, the humblest working-man and the poorest grisette have been able to form a very respectable library. Naturally the works so brought out have been chiefly of the class of light literature, but not a few are of a graver character. Among the authors whose complete works have been published, are Lesage, Chateaubriand, Anquetil (the historian), Balzac, Sue, Paul de Kock; among those partially published, Rousseau, Lamennais, Voltaire, Diderot, Fénélon, Bernardin de Saint Pierre. Translations of foreign works have also been produced; in the batch are, complete or partial, Goldsmith, Sterne, Anne Radcliffe, Mrs. Inchbald, Walter Scott, Fenimore Cooper, Bulwer, Dickens, Marryatt, Goethe, Schiller, Silvio Pellico; and Boccacio.

An eminent critic has just revealed a fact which very few people knew—viz. that St. Just, one of the most terrible of the terrible heroes of the first French Revolution, wrote and published, before he gained his sanguinary celebrity, a long poem, entitled, "Orgaut." The opinion which M. Thiers and other historians have caused the public to form of this man was, that he was a fanatic—implacable, but sincere—a ruthless minister of the guillotine; but deeming wholesale slaughter indispensable for securing, what he conscientiously considered, the welfare of the people. He was, we may imagine, something like the gloomy inquisitors of old, who thought it was doing God service to burn heretics at the stake. To justify this opinion, one would have expected to have found in a poem written by him when the warm and generous sentiments of youth were in all their freshness, burning aspirations for what it was the fashion of his time to call vertu, and lavish protestations of devotedness to his country and the people. But instead of that, the work is, it appears, from beginning to end, full of the grossest obscenity—it is the delirium of a brain maddened with voluptuousness—it is coarser and more abominable than the "Pucelle" of Voltaire, and is not relieved, as that is, by sparkling wit and graces of style. In a moral point of view, it is atrocious—in a literary point of view, wretched.

Of a political writer, who, for the last year or two, has made some noise in the world, the all-destructive PROUDHON, a sharp English critic keenly enough observes: "After Comte there is no one in France to compare with Proudhon for power, originality, daring, and coherence. His name is a name of terror. He is of no party, no sect. Like Ishmael, his hand is raised against every one, and his blows are crushing. In some respects he reminds us of Carlyle there is the same relentless scorn for his adversaries, the same vehement indignation against error, the same domineering personality, the same preference for crude energy of statement, the same power of sarcasm; but there is none of the abounding poetry which is in Carlyle, none of the true genius; and there is an excess of dialectics such as Carlyle would turn aside from. If Carlyle is the Prophet of Democracy, Proudhon is its Logician and Economist. Proudhon loves to startle. It suits his own vehement, combative nature. We do not think he does it from calculation so much as from instinct; he does not fire a musket in the air that its noise may call attention to him, but from sheer sympathy with musket shots. Whatever may be the motive, the result is unquestionable: attention is attracted and fixed."

A French writer, M. Leon de Montbeillard, has just published a work on Spinoza, calling in question the logical powers of that "thorny" reasoner on inscrutable problems. The London Leader dis[Pg 859]poses of it in a summary manner: "If Spinoza has one characteristic more eminent than another, it is commonly supposed to be the geometric precision and exactitude of his logical demonstrations. To say that Spinoza was a rigorous logician is like saying that Shakspeare was dramatic, and Milton imaginative—a platitude unworthy of an original mind, a truism beneath notice. M. Montbeillard declines to walk in such a beaten path. He denies Spinoza's logical merit. Spinoza a logician; fi donc! Read this treatise and learn better. What all the world has hitherto supposed to be severe deductive logic, only to be escaped by a refusal to accept the premises, is here shown to be nothing but a pedantic array of pretended axioms and theorems, which are attacked and overturned by this adventurous author avec une assez grande facilité. We have not seen the work, but we have not a doubt of the facility!"

In a letter to the newspapers, Alexandre Dumas complains that a publisher, who has got possession of a manuscript history of Louis Philippe, written by him, intends to bring it out under a title insulting to the exiled royal family—"Mysteries of the Orleans Family," or something of that kind. The proceeding would certainly be scandalously unjust to the author; but doubts are raised whether he can obtain any legal redress. The manuscript is the publisher's, paid for with his money, purchased by him, not from Dumas himself, but from another editeur to whom Dumas ceded it. It is, therefore, to all intents and purposes, merchandise in the eyes of the owner; and, as in the case of any other merchandise, it is contended that he may sell it under any title he pleases that does not absolutely misrepresent its character.

Eugene Sue has commenced the publication of another of his lengthy romances in one of the daily papers, and has also begun the printing of a comedy, in six acts, in another journal. The quantity of matter which popular romancers in France manage to produce is really extraordinarily great. They think nothing of writing three or four columns of newspaper type in a day, and that day after day, for months at a time. The most active journalists certainly, on an average, do not knock off any thing like that quantity; and yet what they produce requires (or at least obtains) little or no thought—no previous study—is not part of a regular plan—and is not expected to display much originality of conception, or much grace of style.

The success of Balzac's comedy has caused the playwrights to turn their attention to his novels, and it is probable that in the course of the next few months we shall see one and all dramatized. Full as Balzac's novels are of forcibly drawn personages and striking incidents, competent critics doubt whether they will suit the stage; for their great charm and their great merit consists in minute analyzation, which is impracticable in the theatre. He was an admirable miniaturist, a laborious anatomist, and a complete master of detail—qualities with which the acted drama has naught to do.

Eugene Sue offers us a new novel, L' Avarice, the last of his series on the seven cardinal sins, in one volume.

The two volumes of De Maistre's letters and inedited trifles, Lettres et Opuscules inédits, with a biographical notice written by his son, will be very acceptable, not only to Catholics, but to all who can rise above differences of creed, and recognize the amazing power of this great writer. These volumes present him, en déshabille, and he is worthy knowing so.

Jules Janin's Letters on the Exhibition, reprinted in a neat volume in Paris as well as at London, have procured him the honor of a very complimentary autograph letter from Prince Albert. The popularity which Janin has contrived to gain, not only in his own country, but in Europe—and not only among the middle classes, those great patrons of literary men nowadays, but among royal and aristocratic personages also—this popularity is envied by scores of writers of far greater pretensions.

The French have a very common and most unjust practice—that of appropriating the authorship of works which they only translate. A complete edition of Fielding has appeared under the title "Œuvres de l'Abbé St. Romme," or some such name. Ducis has passed himself off as the author of Hamlet and Macbeth, and the other great plays of Shakspeare which he has dared to mutilate. There are half a dozen translations of "Paradise Lost," in which the name of some obscure varlet figures on the title-page, while that of Milton is not once mentioned. There are editions of the "Decline and Fall," by Monsieur So-and-so, without the slightest indication that the work is that of Gibbon; and Bulwer and Scott, and indeed all English authors of note, dead and living, have been pillaged in the same way. The German and Italian authors have suffered the same treatment from these literary wreckers.

An edition of Brentano's works has been published in six volumes. As one of the most famous of the "Romantic School," Brentano is interesting to all students of German literature, and the present publication receives additional stimulus from the knowledge that Brentano, late in life, looked upon his works as "dangerous," if not "devilish," and destroyed all the copies he could lay hands on.

Metternich is writing a book, and that book is a History of Austria during his own time! Unhappily this bit of gossip can only interest our grandchildren, as the prince inserts a clause in his will, which forbids the publication till sixty years after his death.

The inhabitants of Schaffhausen have been inaugurating a monument to the memory of the historian John von Muller in that, his native town. The monument—which is the work of the Swiss sculptor Oechslein—is composed of a colossal marble bust of the historian—on a lofty granite pedestal, ornamented with a bas-relief, in marble, representing the Muse of History engaging Muller to write the great events of his country's story. Below, inscribed in characters of gold, is the following passage from one of Muller's own letters: "I have never been on the side of party—but always on that of truth and justice wherever I could recognize them."

John Bartlett, Cambridge, has in press the Miscellaneous Writings of Andrews Norton, in one volume, 8vo, including reviews, critiques, and essays on various subjects of literature and theology. It will be a work of considerable interest. The same publisher announces also Stockhardt's Agricultural Chemistry, to be published simultaneously with the German edition. A seventh edition of this author's Principles of Chemistry has been published by Mr. Bartlett. In a letter to him, Dr. Stockhardt thus writes of the American reprint: "The style in which[Pg 860] you have got up my 'Principles of Chemistry,' is worthy of the great land of freedom, whose adopted son you have made my work, and places the original quite in the shade. The translation, by Dr. Peirce, is likewise so faithful and correct, that any author would be highly gratified to find his thoughts and opinions rendered so perfectly in another language."

From the recent report of the Methodist Book Concern in New York, it appears that the sales for the last twelve months were more than $200,000, being an increase of $65,000 over the previous year, and exceeding all former years. The profits on the new Hymn Book were $47,561. The Christian Advocate and Journal has a circulation of from 25,000 to 29,000. The Missionary Advocate 20,000. The Sunday School Advocate 65,000, with a yearly sale of Sunday School books amounting to $5000. The Quarterly Review has 3000 subscribers.

The name of the popular author, W. Gilmore Simms, having been publicly mentioned in connection with the Presidency of the South Carolina College, the Charleston Literary Gazette remarks, "We should rejoice greatly to see Mr. Simms in a position which, we think, would be so congenial to his tastes, and for which his whole career has eminently fitted him. The watchword of his life has been, 'Strive.' He has striven, manfully, daringly, nobly, successfully! He has raised himself to a position in the world of letters, scarcely a whit inferior to the noblest of our writers. The death of Cooper leaves him without a living American compeer in the realm of fiction, and we confidently predict that the next generation will pronounce him to have been the greatest American poet of this!"

From America, says the London "Household Narrative," we receive a well-written and animated history of the campaigns of the celebrated Indian chief, Pontiac, during his gallant "conspiracy" to expel the English colonists after the conquest of Canada. It is principally interesting for the picture it gives of the chief himself; and for a more favorable view of the plans, and of the sagacity which informed and shaped them, than Englishmen have been prepared for in the case of any chief of those tribes.

Mr. James Richardson, the enterprising African traveler, died on the 4th of March last, at a small village called Ungurutua, six days distant from Kouka, the capital of Bornou. Early in January, he and the companions of his mission, Drs. Barth and Overweg, arrived at the immense plain of Damergou, when, after remaining a few days, they separated, Dr. Barth proceeding to Kanu, Dr. Overweg to Guber, and Mr. Richardson taking the direct route to Kouka, by Zinder. There, it would seem, his strength began to give way, and before he had arrived twelve days distant from Kouka he became seriously ill, suffering much from the oppressive heat of the sun. Having reached a large town called Kangarrua, he halted for three days, and feeling himself rather refreshed he renewed his journey. After two days' more traveling, during which his weakness greatly increased, they arrived at the Waddy Mellaha. Leaving this place on the 3d of March, they reached in two hours the village of Ungurutua, when Mr. Richardson became so weak that he was unable to proceed. In the evening he took a little food and tried to sleep, but became very restless, and left his tent, supported by his servant. He then took some tea, and threw himself again on his bed, but did not sleep. His attendants[Pg 861] having made some coffee, he asked for a cup, but had no strength to hold it. He repeated several times "I have no strength," and after having pronounced the name of his wife, sighed deeply, and expired without a struggle, about two hours after midnight.

Mr. William Nicol, F.R.S.E., died in Edinburgh on the 2d inst., in his eighty-third year. Mr. Nicol commenced his career as assistant to the late Dr. Moyes, the eminent blind lecturer on natural philosophy. Dr. Moyes, at his death, bequeathed his apparatus to Mr. Nicol, who then lectured on the same subject as his predecessor. Mr. Nicol's contributions to the "Edinburgh Philosophical Journal" were various and valuable; the more important being his description of his successful repetition of Döbereiner's celebrated experiment of igniting spongy platina by a stream of cold hydrogen gas; also his method of preparing fossil woods for microscopic investigation, which led to his discovery of the structural difference between the arucarian and coniferous woods, by far the most important in fossil botany. But the most valuable contribution to physical science, and with which his name will ever be associated, was his invention of the single image prism of calcareous spar, known to the scientific world as Nicol's prism.

The London papers announce the death of Mr. B. P. Gibbon, the line engraver, deservedly celebrated for his many excellent engravings after the works of Sir Edwin Landseer. His death was occasioned by a sudden attack of English cholera. "He was well versed in the history of his art, and of a mild and gentlemanlike disposition of mind. One of his first works was a small engraving after Landseer's 'Traveled Monkey;' and the work on which he was last engaged—and which he has left scarcely half done—was an engraving after one of Mr. Webster's pictures. His inclinations in early life turned to the stage; but his true path was line engraving. In this he was distinguished rather for the delicacy of his touch and the close character of his work, than for breadth of effect and boldness in the laying in of lines."

The London papers record the death of John Kidd, D.M. of Christchurch, Regius Professor of Medicine, Tomline's Prælector of Anatomy, Aldrichian Professor of Anatomy, and Radcliffe's Librarian. Dr. Kidd was highly esteemed and respected both in the University and city of Oxford, In 1822 Dr. Kidd succeeded Sir Christopher Pegge, Bart., in the office of Regius Professor of Medicine, to which is annexed Tomline's Prælectorship of Anatomy, and the Aldrichian Professorship of Anatomy, and in 1834 he succeeded Dr. Williams as Radcliffe's Librarian. The Leader says, "Oxford has lost an ornament in losing Dr. Kidd, the Regius Professor of Medicine in the University, whose death we see recorded in the papers; and the public will remember him as the author of one of the most popular Bridgewater Treatises, a series of works intended to give orthodoxy the support of science, and which, by the very juxtaposition of religion and science, have greatly helped to bring their discordances into relief. Dr. Kidd was not a writer of such attainments in philosophy as to give any weight to his views; but his knowledge of facts was extensive, and his exposition popular in style. It may be worth remarking that the title of his book, On the Adaptation of External Nature to the Physical Condition of Man, is radically opposed to the most advanced views of physiology.[Pg 862]"

A Leaf from Punch.


Brother Jonathan.—"I guess, Master Johnny, If you don't look sharp, I'll show you how to make a Seventy-four next."



"Let the poor Gipsy tell your Fortune, my pretty Gentleman."[Pg 863]



Medical Student. "Well, old Feller, so you've 'passed' at last."
Consulting Surgeon. "Yes; but I don't get much practice somehow—although I am nearly always at home, in case any one should call."



Fashions for November.


Fig. 1.—Ball and Dinner Costumes.

[Pg 864]This is the commencement season for social parties and public amusements. We present seasonable illustrations of fashionable costumes for dinner parties, balls, and the opera. The first figure in the above engraving represents an elegant

Ball Dress.—Hair in short bandeaux, tied behind à la Grecque, with a wreath of bluebells; the flowers are small and arranged on a cord along the forehead; they increase in size and form tufts at the sides. The cord is continued behind and a second cord of flowers passes over the head, and blends with the flowers at the sides. The dress of white watered silk with a body and upper skirt of white silk net, festooned and embroidered in spots with silk. The spots are small. The opening of the body is heart-shape. The waist is pointed behind and before. The sleeves are silk net, puffed, and held up by a few bluebells. The body is trimmed with a double berthe, of silk net; a bouquet of bluebells is placed on the left, goes down from the waist en cordon, and forms another bouquet to hold up the left side of the skirt. On the right side it is held up by an isolated bouquet. This upper skirt is very full, and much longer behind than before. In the opening of the body and that formed by turning up the sleeves, a chemisette plaited very small, and edged with lace, is visible.

Dinner Toilet.—The second, or right hand figure, represents a graceful dinner toilet. Fanchonnette cap made of English lace, which is disposed in two rows. The upper one is about four inches wide sewed on silk net, which forms the middle, the joining being covered by a narrow band of terry velvet, No. 1. The bottom is composed of the same elements, exactly in the shape of a fanchon, straight in front, pointed behind, with small barbes at the side. Under the row that covers the top of the head are loops of silk ribbon. The sides are trimmed with more of the same kind, that hang down the cheeks. Plain silk dress. The body is low and opens down to the point. The skirt, in front, is open the whole length. The edges of the body, sleeves, and front of the skirt are undulated, and the undulations are trimmed with a silk ruché, the sides of which are the same stuff as the dress, while the middle is of a different-colored silk. The sleeves, turned up at the bend of the arm, show under-sleeves composed of three waves of lace; the body and under-skirt are muslin, embroidered so as to show the embroidery at the openings. The skirt has five graduated openings. The bottom edge of the body is composed of a deep lace, arranged square.

opera dress

Fig. 2.—Opera Dress.

Opera Dress.—Costumes for the opera are diversified and quite fanciful. Our illustration exhibits one of the most elegant and admired. Hair in short puffed bandeaux. The knot behind is composed of two plaits, and a third is brought round on the top of the head in front. Waistcoat of watered silk, opening heart-shape in front, sitting well to the shape of the breast and waist, ending in an open point at bottom, and hollowed over the hip about an inch and a half. The back of the waistcoat is tight. It buttons straight down in front, the left side lapping over a little on the right, like a gentleman's waistcoat; it has one row of small buttons. The edge of the waistcoat has a narrow silk binding lapped over the edge, and all round run five rows of braid, one-tenth of an inch wide, at intervals of about one-fifth of an inch. Jaconet skirt, ornamented in front with six English bands one above the other; the first 3 inches long, the second 5, the third 6½, the fourth 8, the fifth 9½, and the sixth 12 inches. Each of these bands falls over the gathering of the other, the last covering the top of the flounce which runs round the skirt. The flounce is 16 inches deep, and the width of the bands, beginning with the top one is 2, 2¾, 3½, 4¼, 5, and 5¾ inches. The white sleeves which come below those of the soutanelle (cassock) have two rows of embroidery. The soutanelle is made of silk, and lined with a different color; it has a hood, the inside of which is like the lining; it forms a pelerine, and ends square in front. The soutanelle is cut without arm-holes; that is, the sleeve is taken out of the stuff and the seams of the body are taken in the cut under the arm. Sitting close on the shoulders and the upper part of the body, it forms round plaits from the waist. This fullness is owing to its being cut in a style like the paletot. The back is not tight. The edges of the hood, the soutanelle, and the sleeves are trimmed with three ruchés, very full, and indented like a saw. The one in the middle is the same color as the lining, the two others like the outside.


Figs. 3 and 4.—Head-Dresses and Caps.

Head Toilet.—Much attention continues to be bestowed upon caps and other arrangements for the head. Figure 3 represents one of the newest styles, called the chambord head-dress. The hair forms a point over the forehead: a very small cap à la Marie Stuart, formed of several small quillings of white silk net, set close together, with a bouquet of flowers upon one side and a small bow of ribbon upon the other. Figure 4 represents a simple cap of black lace, with broad appendages of the same, instead of ribbons, on each side, and covering the ears. This is a neat head toilet for the morning costume of matrons. Head-dresses for the young are principally composed of the same flowers as those which decorate the dress, and are formed so as to suit the countenance of the wearer, either as a cordon around the head, from which droop long sprays of twining herbs, or bouquets of flowers, placed very far back, and tied with bows of black ribbon or velvet, with long ends.

The rage for lace is undiminished. It is adapted to so many purposes—vails, falls, flounces, shawl-berthes, collars, ruffles, habit-shirts, &c., that every variety of costume has lace as an important material in trimming. It forms a part of the head-dress, accompanies the gown, surrounds the waist, falls from the shoulders; light as feathers, rich as velvet, it is at once an article of luxury and ornament—a garment and a jewel.

Embroidery, following the example of lace, is coming more and more into favor; sleeves, collars, petticoats, and handkerchiefs are literally loaded with it, abroad; even stockings are beginning to participate in this kind of luxury.

There is no essential change in the make of dresses. Sleeves à la Duchesse are beginning to be more fashionable than the pagoda sleeves. The waistcoat is still greatly admired, and is more seasonable now than in midsummer.

A new style of mantelet has appeared, called the Valdivia. It is a light gray cloth, lined with blue sarcenet. It is made without seams, very full, falling very low behind, where it is rounded in the form of the half circle. The two lappets before are also very long and wide, rounded like the back. No sleeves; the place for the hand is indicated by the sloped part. Another, called the Espera mantelet, is of black watered silk, trimmed with a wide velvet, and bordered by a chenille fringe. It fits to the waist and falls as low as the calf behind. The fronts fall straight and square, a little lower than behind.

The Bloomer costume has appeared in England and Ireland, and attracted attention and approbation. Although comparatively few in this country have yet adopted it to its full extent (or, rather, curtailment), the agitation of the question has been of essential benefit in modifying the long and untidy skirts. They are now made some inches shorter than they were six months ago.

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