The Project Gutenberg EBook of Harper's New Monthly Magazine, No. XXVII,
August 1852, Vol. V, by Various

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Title: Harper's New Monthly Magazine, No. XXVII, August 1852, Vol. V

Author: Various

Release Date: July 31, 2013 [EBook #43368]

Language: English

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[Pg 289]


No. XXVII.—AUGUST, 1852.—Vol. V.





The Christian traveler, in journeying to the Holy Land, often obtains his first view of the sacred shores from the deck of some small Levantine vessel in which he has embarked at Alexandria, after having completed his tour among the wonders of Egypt and the Nile. He ascends, perhaps, to the deck of his vessel, early in the morning, summoned by the welcome intelligence that the land is full in view. Here, as he surveys the shore that presents itself before him, the first object which attracts his eye is a lofty promontory which he sees rising in sublime and sombre majesty above the surrounding country, and at the same time jutting boldly into the sea. It forms, he observes, the seaward terminus of a mountain range which his eye follows far into the interior of the country, until the undulating crest loses itself at last from view in the haze of distant hills. The massive and venerable walls of an ancient convent crown its summit; its sloping sides are enriched with a soft and luxuriant vegetation; and the surf, rolling in from the sea, whitens the rocks at its foot with breakers and foam. This promontory is Mt. Carmel.


The geographical situation of Mt. Carmel is shown by the adjoining map. Palestine in the time of our Saviour was comprised in three distinct provinces—Judea, Samaria, and Galilee. Of these, Judea, which bordered upon the Dead Sea and the lower portion of the Jordan, was the most southerly; while Galilee, which was opposite to the sea of Tiberias and the upper part of the Jordan, was the most northerly; being separated from Judea by the mountainous district of Samaria, which lay between. The region comprised upon the map is chiefly that of Samaria and Galilee. The chain of which Mt. Carmel is the terminus forms the southern and southwestern boundary of Galilee. A little south of the boundary was Mt. Gerizim, the holy ground of the Samaritans. Mt. Gerizim forms a part of the great central chain or congeries of mountains which rises in the interior of Palestine, and from which the Carmel range branches, as a sort of spur or offshoot, traversing the country in a westward and northward direction, and continuing its course until it terminates at the sea. The other principal mountain groups in the Holy Land are the ranges of Lebanon on the north, and the mountainous tract about Jerusalem in the south.


On the northern side of the Carmel chain, at some distance from the sea, there lies a broad expanse of extremely rich and fertile country, which, though not strictly level, is called a plain. It was known in ancient times as the plain of Jezreel. It is now called the plain of Esdraelon. The waters of this plain, flowing westward and northward along the foot of Mt. Carmel to the sea, constitute the river Kishon, so celebrated in[Pg 290] sacred history. The sea itself sets up a little way into the valley through which this river flows, forming thus a broad bay to the north of Mt. Carmel, called the Bay of Acre. The town of Acre lies at the northern extremity of this bay, and the town of Haïfa[1] at the southern border of it, just at the foot of Carmel. The ceaseless action of the sea has sloped and smoothed the shore of this bay throughout the whole distance from Haïfa to Acre, and formed upon it a beach of sand, which serves the double purpose of a landing-place for the boats of the fishermen, and a road for the caravans of travelers that pass to and fro along the coast. The conformation of the bay, together with the precise situation of Acre and Haïfa, as well as the more important topographical details of the mountain, will be found very clearly represented in the chart upon the adjoining page.


The topographical chart of the bay of Acre here given is one made by the engineers of the French army during Napoleon's celebrated expedition to Egypt and Syria. These engineers accompanied the army wherever it marched, and in the midst of all the scenes of excitement, difficulty, and danger, through which they were continually passing, devoted themselves to the performance of the scientific duties which their commander had assigned them, with a calmness and composure almost incredible. No possible excitement or commotion around them seemed to have power to interrupt or disturb them in their work. The din and confusion of the camp, the marches and countermarches of the troops, the battles, the sieges, the assaults, the excitement of victory, and the confusion of sudden and unexpected retreats—all failed to embarrass or disconcert them. Whatever were the scenes that might be transpiring around them, they went quietly and fearlessly on, paying no regard to any thing but their own proper duties. They adjusted their instruments; they made their observations, their measurements, their drawings; they computed their tables and constructed their charts; and in the end they brought back to France a complete daguerreotype, as it were, of every hill, and valley, and river, and plain, of the vast surface which they traversed. The great chart from which the adjoining map is taken was the last one which they made, for Acre was the northern termination of Napoleon's expedition.[2]



By reference to the map, it will be seen that there are three roads by which Mt. Carmel may be approached on land. One advances along the coast from the southward, and passing round the promontory on the western and northern side, between its steep declivity and the sea, it turns to the east, and comes at last to the foot of the branch road which leads up the mountain to the convent on the top. The second is the road from Acre. It may be seen upon the map following closely the line of the shore on the margin of the sandy beach which has already been described. The third comes from Nazareth, in the interior of the country. It descends from the plain of Esdraelon by the banks of the Kishon, and joins the Acre road a little to the east of the town of Haïfa. After passing through Haïfa, the road follows the shore for a short distance, and then a branch diverges to the right, leading to some ancient ruins on the extremity of the cape. A little farther on another branch turns off to the left, and leads up the mountain to the convent, while the main road continues its course round the northern and western extremity of the promontory, and there passes into the road that comes up on the western coast, as at first described.

Travelers approaching Mt. Carmel from the interior of the country come generally from Nazareth by the way of the third road above described, that is, the one that leads down from the valley of the Kishon, following the bank of the stream. The town of Nazareth, where the journey of the day in such cases is usually commenced, lies among the hills about midway between the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Tiberias. The route for some hours leads the traveler along the northern part of the plain of Esdraelon, and charms him by the scenes of beauty and fertility which pass before his view. He sees rich fields of corn and grain, groves of the pomegranate, the fig, and the olive, verdant valleys clothed with the most luxuriant herbage, masses of hanging wood, that adorn the declivities of the hills, and descend in capes and promontories of foliage to beautify the plain, and ruins of ancient fortresses and towns, scattered here and there in picturesque and commanding positions. The whole country is like a romantic park, with the great chain of Mt. Carmel extending continuously to the southward of it, and bounding the view.


At length the great plain of Acre, with the bay, and the broad expanse of the Mediterranean in the distance, opens before him. The town of Acre, surrounded with its white walls, stands just on the margin of the water, at the northern extremity of the bay; while at the southern point of it stands Haïfa, sheltered by the mountain, and adorned by the consular flags of the several nations who have commercial agents there. In former times the principal harbor for shipping was at Acre, but from some change which the course of time has effected in the conformation of the coast or in the deposit of sand, the only deep water is now found at the southern extremity of the bay, where the Kishon finds its outlet—and Haïfa has consequently become the port. It is not improbable, in fact, that the greater depth of water at this point is to be attributed to the effect produced by the outflow of the river in impeding the accumulation of deposits from the sea.

The river, as will be seen from the map, in[Pg 291] flowing into the bay passes across the beach of sand. Its depth and the quantity of water which issues from it vary very much, according to the season of the year, and thus the accounts of travelers who ford it at different periods differ extremely. In its ordinary condition it is very easily forded, but sometimes, when swollen with rains, it overflows the meadows that line its banks, up the valley, and becomes wholly impassable near its mouth. In the summer the stream often becomes so low that the sea, incessantly rolling in from the offing, fills up the outlet entirely with sand, and then smoothing over the dyke which it has made, it forms a beach on the outer slope of it, and thus the sandy shore of the bay is carried continuously across the mouth of the river, and the water is shut back as by a dam.

The next rain, however, and perhaps even the ordinary flow of the river, causes the water to accumulate and rise behind this barrier until it surmounts it. A small stream then begins to flow over the beach—rapidly increasing in force and volume as the sand is washed away—and thus the river regains once more its accustomed channel. This alternate closing and opening of the outlet of a river is a phenomenon often witnessed in cases where the river, at its mouth,[Pg 292] traverses a sandy beach on a coast exposed to winds and storms.[3]

The distance from Haïfa to Acre along the shore of the bay is about eight miles. Acre itself has always been a very celebrated fortress, having figured as the central point of almost all great military operations in Syria for nearly two thousand years. It has experienced every possible form and phase of the fortune of war, having been assaulted, defended, besieged, destroyed, and rebuilt again and again, in an endless succession of changes, and in the experience of every possible fortune and misfortune which twenty centuries of uninterrupted military vicissitude could bring. Within the knowledge of the present generation it has been the scene of two terrific conflicts. Perhaps the most important of these events, in a historical point of view, was the struggle for the possession of the place between Napoleon and its English defenders, and the consequent check which was placed upon Napoleon's career, on his advance from Egypt into Syria. On his arrival at Acre, the young general found the port in possession of an English force under the command of Sir Sydney Smith, and though he made the most desperate and determined efforts to dislodge them, he was unable to succeed. He planted his batteries on the declivities of the hills behind the town, and cannonaded the walls from that position; while the English supported the garrison in their defense of the place, by firing upon the batteries of the besiegers from ships which they had anchored in the bay.



The plains and valleys which border the Carmel chain of mountains, especially on the northern side, are extremely fertile. They yield grapes, olives, corn, and other similar productions, in the greatest abundance, while the grass that clothes the slopes of the surrounding mountains, and adorns with verdure and beauty a thousand secluded valleys that wind among them, furnishes an almost exhaustless supply of food for flocks and herds. A considerable quantity of wheat, barley, cotton, and other similar products is exported, being brought down to Haïfa and Acre from the interior, on the backs of mules and camels, led by drivers in long caravans and trains. One traveler speaks of having been detained at the gates of Acre, when going out to make an excursion into the surrounding country, by a train of one hundred camels, laden with corn, that were just then coming in.


The commerce of the port, however, would be vastly greater than it is, were it not for the exactions of the government which restrict and burden it exceedingly. It is true that governments generally maintain themselves by taxing the commerce of the countries over which they rule, but the despotic authorities that have borne[Pg 293] military sway in Syria and Palestine for the last five hundred years, have done this, as it would seem, in a peculiarly exorbitant and reckless manner. A practice is adopted in those countries of "farming out" the revenue, as it is called; that is, the government sells the privilege of collecting a certain tax to some wealthy capitalist, who pays, or secures payment, in advance, and then collects from the people what is due, on his own account. Of course he is invested with power and authority from the government to enforce the collection, and as it is a matter of personal interest to him to make the amount that he receives as great as possible, he has every conceivable inducement to be extortionate and oppressive. The sufferers, too, in such cases generally find it useless to complain; for the government know well that, if they wish to obtain high prices from the farmers of the revenue, from year to year, they must not obstruct them in any way in the claims which they make, or the measures which they adopt, in collecting the amounts due, from the people.

In the more highly civilized and commercial nations of the world, a very different system is adopted. The revenue is never farmed, but it is collected by officers appointed for the purpose, in the name and for the benefit of the government; and generally in such a way, that they who assess the tax, have no direct pecuniary interest—or, at most, a very inconsiderable one—in the amount whether larger or smaller, which they receive. The assessors and collectors thus occupy, in some respects, the position of impartial umpires between the government and the people, with very slight influences operating upon their minds, to produce a bias in favor of one side or the other. Even in this way, the evils and disadvantages of raising national revenues by taxing commercial transactions, are very great, while, in the form that has so long prevailed in Syria and Palestine, the result is utterly disastrous. The taxes are increased, under one pretext or another, until the poor peasant and laborer finds himself robbed of every thing but the bare means of subsistence. All hope and possibility of acquiring property by his industry and thrift, and of rising to a respectable position in society are taken away from him, and he spends his life in idleness, degradation, and despair.


An incident strikingly illustrative of these truths, occurred to a traveler who was visiting Acre, about the year 1815. One morning, in rambling about the city, he chanced to come into the vicinity of the custom house, at the port, and there he overheard a violent dispute going on between some fishermen and a certain farmer of the revenue—probably a wealthy merchant of the town—who was standing near. It seems that a duty of about thirty-three per cent., that is, one-third part of the whole price, had been laid upon all fish that should be taken in the bay and brought into the port for sale; and the privilege of collecting the tax had been sold to the merchant, who was engaged in the dispute. It had been calculated that the remaining two-thirds of the value of the fish would be sufficient to induce the fishermen to continue their vocation. It proved, however, not to be so. The cost of boats and outfit, and the other expenses which were necessarily incurred in the prosecution of the business, were so great, that the poor fishermen found when they had returned to the shore and sold their fares, and paid the expenses of their trip, that the government tax took so large a portion of what remained, as to leave little or nothing over, to reimburse them for their labor. They accordingly became discouraged, and began to abandon the employment; so that the farmer who had bought the right to collect the tax, was alarmed at finding that the revenue was likely to fail altogether, inasmuch as for every five boats that had been accustomed to go out to fish before, only one went now. The dispute which attracted the attention of the traveler was occasioned by the anger of the farmer, who was assailing the fishermen with bitter invectives and criminations, and threatening to compel them to go out to fish, in order that he might receive his dues.


For many years extending through the latter part of the last century, and the earlier portion of the present one, the narratives of travelers visiting Acre are filled with accounts of the tyranny and oppression exercised upon the people of the country by a certain despot named Djezzar, the history of whose government illustrates very forcibly the nature of the injuries to which the wretched inhabitants of those countries are compelled to submit. Djezzar, in his infancy was carried into Egypt a slave, and sold to Ali-Bey, a celebrated ruler of that country. In the service of Ali-Bey he rose to high civil stations, and at length, after passing through a great number of vicissitudes and romantic adventures, in the course of which he was transferred to the service of the Turkish government, he was placed by the Turks in command of the Pachalik of Acre, in 1775. Here he ruled with such despotic cruelty, that he made himself an object of universal execration to all mankind, excepting always those who had placed him in power; for they seemed to be pleased rather than otherwise with his remorseless and terrible energy. One of the first measures which he adopted when he entered upon his government, was to confiscate all the houses of the town of Acre, declaring them the property of the government, and requiring the inhabitants to pay rent for them to him. The taxes were exorbitantly increased, and every possible pretext was resorted to to deprive the people of their property, and transfer it to the government. Land which was left uncultivated for three years was considered as abandoned by the owners, and thenceforth fell to him. Whenever a vessel was stranded upon the coast, he seized upon every thing that could be saved from the wreck, as his perquisite. His favorite mode of punishing those who displeased him, was to mutilate their persons by cutting off an ear, a nose, an arm, or a foot, or by taking out an eye. Those who visited his palace, say that it was common to see many persons in the ante-chambers and halls who were disfigured thus, having incurred the cruel monster's displeasure from time to time in the course of their service. These were his "marked men," as he called them—"persons bearing signs of their having been instructed to serve their master with fidelity." His secretary, who was his principal banker and minister, was deprived of both an ear and an eye, at the same time, for some offense, real or imaginary, which he had committed, and yet still continued to serve his savage master. Djezzar lived in a massive palace, occupying a well-protected part of the city of Acre, with gardens in the rear between the palace and the city wall. Within this palace was his harem, the residence of his women. No person but himself was ever admitted to the harem. He was accustomed to retire thither every evening through three massive doors, one within the other, which doors he always closed and barred with his own hands. No one knew how many or what women the harem contained. Additions were often made to the number, from female slaves that were presented to Djezzar from time to time; but no one knew how many were thus introduced, or what was their fate after they disappeared from public view. Every possible precaution was taken to seclude the inmates of this harem in the most absolute manner from the outer world. Their food was conveyed to them by means of a sort of wheel or cylinder, turning in the wall, and so contrived that those without could not see who received it. If any one was sick, a physician was brought to a room where there was a hole in the wall through which the patient, concealed on the other side, put her arm, and[Pg 294] thus the pulse was examined, and a prescription made. We might fill many pages with curious details in respect to the life and character, and peculiar habits, of this extraordinary man, but we must leave Acre and the bay, and prepare to ascend the mountain.



The height of Mt. Carmel has been generally estimated at about fifteen hundred feet. This is a very unusual elevation for land that rises thus abruptly from the margin of the sea. Of course, from every cliff, and rock, and projecting head-land on the higher portions of it there is obtained a widely extended and most commanding view both over the water and over the land. The sea lies toward the west; the prospect is consequently in that direction unobstructed to the horizon, and the whole western quarter of the sky is fully exposed to view. It is by understanding the position of Mt. Carmel in this respect, that we appreciate the full force and beauty of the passage that describes the coming of the rain, after the destruction of the priests of Baal by the Prophet Elijah; for it is always, as we observe, in the western sky, through the operation of some mysterious and hidden laws which human philosophy has not yet been able to unfold, that the clouds which produce sudden summer showers arise. It is almost invariably there, that those rounded and dome-like condensations are formed, which from small and almost unperceived beginnings expand and swell until they envelop the whole heavens in darkness and gloom, and then sweep over the earth in tempests of thunder, lightning, and rain. The narrative of the sacred writer, describing the event is as follows.


"And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain. So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, and said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times. And it came to pass at the seventh time that he said, Behold there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea like a man's hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down that the rain stop thee not. And it came to pass, in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain."—1 Kings, xviii. 41-45.

The traveler, as he looks up to the summit of the mountain from the beach of the Bay of Acre, over the sands of which he is slowly making his way toward the foot of the ascent, pictures in his imagination the form of the servant of Elijah standing upon some projecting pinnacle, and looking off over the sea. He loses for the moment his recollection of the age in which he lives, and under the influence of a temporary illusion, forgetting the five-and-twenty centuries which have elapsed since the days of Elijah, almost[Pg 295] looks to see the chariot and horsemen of Ahab riding away up the valley, in obedience to the prophet's command.


The road to the mountain, as will appear from the map, passes through Haïfa. Travelers and pilgrims, however, seldom make any stay in the town. There is no inn there to detain them. The convent is the inn—on the top of the mountain. After passing Haïfa, the road, as may be seen upon the map, follows the line of the shore for about half a mile, and then turns a little inland, while a branch of the main road, diverging to the right, continues along the shore of the sea. This branch leads to the extremity of the cape, where are situated the ruins of an ancient place named Porphyrion, and also a small fortress, on the point. Porphyrion was a place of some consequence in former times, but it went gradually to decay, and at last when Haïfa was built it was entirely abandoned.

A short distance further on, the traveler comes to another branch, where a mule-path turns off to the left from the main road, and leads up the mountain. The ascent is steep, but the path is so guarded by a parapet on the outer side wherever required, that it awakens no sense of danger. The declivities of the mountain, above and below the path, are clothed with trees and herbage, with gray walls, forming picturesque cliffs, and precipices, appearing here and there among them. There is a profusion, too, of wild flowers of every form and hue, which attract and charm the traveler, wherever he turns. He looks off at every salient point that he passes in his ascent, over the bay. He sees the white walls of the city of Acre rising from the margin of the water at the extremity of it, far in the distance—and never ceases to admire the smooth and beautiful beach which lies spread out before him, its broad expanse broken, perhaps, here and there on the side toward the sea, with the wrecks of ships which lie there half buried, and enlivened on the land with trains of mules or of camels passing toward Acre or Haïfa, or by some picturesque group of tents pitched upon the plain—the encampment of some wandering tribe of Arabs, or of a party of European travelers. Further inland, he surveys broad fields of luxuriant vegetation, variegated with every shade of green and brown, and groves of trees that extend along the margin of the rivers, and crown the summits of the distant hills. In a calm and clear summer's morning, the observer looks down upon this brilliant scene of verdure and beauty, as upon a map, and lingers long on his way, to study minutely every feature of it.



About midway between Haïfa and Acre, the traveler, pausing at some resting-place in the progress of his ascent, may trace the course of the river Belus, as it meanders through the plain beneath him, northwardly, toward an outlet just in the rear of Acre, where it empties into the sea. The course and direction of the stream are delineated upon the map near the commencement of this article. This river is celebrated as the place where, according to ancient story, the discovery of the art of making glass was first made by means of an accidental vitrification which chanced to take place under certain peculiar circumstances, on its shores.[4] Glass is composed essentially of silicious substances—such as sand—combined with certain alkalies by fusion. For sand, though very refractory if exposed alone to the influence of heat, when mixed with these alkaline substances fuses easily, and vitrifies, that is it forms a glass, which is more or less perfect according to the precise nature of the substances employed, and the arrangements of the process. The story of the origin of the discovery is, that a vessel came into the mouth of the Belus from the Bay of Acre, laden with certain fossil alkalies which were found somewhere along the coast, and were used in those times for certain purposes, and that the sailors landed on the beach and built a fire there, with a view of taking supper on the shore. When the fire was made they looked about the beach for stones to use as a support for their kettle; but the soil being alluvial and sandy they were not able to find any stones, and so they brought instead three fragments of the alkaline fossil, whatever it might have been,[Pg 296] with which their vessel was loaded. These fragments they placed in the margin of the fire which they had built upon the sand, and rested the kettle upon them; thus by means of the alkali, the sand, the metal, and the fire, all the conditions were combined that are essential to produce a vitrification, and after their supper was ended the seamen found the glassy substance which had been produced, lying beneath the fire. They made their discovery known, and the experiment was repeated. Soon after this the regular manufacture of glass for vessels and ornaments was commenced in the city of Sidon, which lies on the coast of the Mediterranean, not many miles north of the mouth of the Belus, and from Sidon the art soon spread into every part of the civilized world.



The time required for the ascent from Haïfa to the convent is about an hour—the buildings of the institution, though often spoken of as upon the top of the mountain, being really only about two-thirds of the way up to the highest summit. The condition in which the various travelers who have visited the spot within the last hundred years have found the institution, and the accounts which they have given of the edifice and of the inmates, varies extremely according to the time of the visit. In fact, after Napoleon's defeat before Acre, the convent was entirely destroyed, and the spot was for a time deserted. The cause of this was that Napoleon took possession of the edifice for the purpose of using it as a hospital, and quartered his wounded and disabled soldiers there. The Turks, consequently, when they came and found the institution in the possession of the French, considered themselves authorized to regard it as a post of the enemy. They accordingly slaughtered the troops which they found there, drove away the monks, and blew up the buildings. From this time the convent remained desolate and in ruins for more than twenty years.

At length, between 1820 and 1830, a celebrated monk, known by the name of John Baptist, undertook the work of building up the institution again. With great zeal, and with untiring patience and perseverance, he traversed many countries of Europe and Asia to gather funds for the work, and to remove the various obstacles which are always in the way in the case of such an undertaking. He succeeded, at length, in accomplishing the work, and the convent was rebuilt in a more complete and extended form than ever before. Since that time, accordingly, the traveler finds, when he reaches the brow of the mountain where the convent buildings stand, a stately and commodious edifice ready to receive him. Like most of the other convents and monasteries of Asia, the institution serves the purpose of an inn. A monk receives the traveler and his party, and conducts them to a commodious sitting-room, furnished with a carpet, with tables, and with chairs. A corridor from this apartment leads to bed-rooms in the rear, furnished likewise in a very comfortable manner, with beds, chairs, and tables;—articles which attract the attention of the traveler, and are specially mentioned in his journal, as they are very rarely to be found in the East. On the terraces and balconies of the building the visitor, wearied with the toil of the ascent, finds seats where he reposes in peace, and enjoys the illimitable prospect which the view commands, both up and down the coast, and far out over the waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

Travelers are entertained at the convent as at an inn, except that in place of a formal reckoning when they depart, they make their acknowledgment for the hospitality which they have received in the form of a donation to the monastery, the amount of which custom prescribes. The rule is that no guest is to remain longer than a fortnight—the arrangements being designed for the accommodation of travelers, and not of permanent guests. This rule, however, is not strictly enforced, except so far as to give to parties newly arriving the precedence in respect to choice of rooms, over those whose fortnight has expired. While the guests remain, they are very kindly and hospitably entertained by the monks,[Pg 297] who appear before them clothed in a hood and cassock of coarse brown cloth, with a rope girdle around the loins, and sandals upon the feet—the ancient habit of the order. Their countenances wear a thoughtful and serious, if not sad expression.


The halo of sacredness which invests Mt. Carmel proceeds from the memory of the prophet Elijah, who, while he lived on the earth, made this mountain his frequent resort, if not his usual abode. This we learn from the Scriptures themselves, as well as from the long and unbroken testimony of ancient tradition. The memorable transactions connected with the destruction of the priests of Baal, in the time of Ahab, at the conclusion of which came the sudden rain, as described in the passage already quoted, is supposed to have taken place at the foot of the mountain near this spot—and the ground on which the priests were slain is still shown, as identified by ancient tradition, on the banks of the Kishon, a little way up the valley.[5] The mountain above is full of grottos and caves. It is said that more than a thousand have been counted. The one which is supposed to have been Elijah's special abode is now within the buildings of the convent. Higher up, among the rocks behind the convent, is another which is called Elisha's cave, and at some distance below, in the bottom of a frightful chasm, into which the traveler descends by a steep and dangerous path, and which opens toward the sea, is another cavern, the largest and most noted of all. It forms a large and lofty apartment, vaulted above, and is said to have been the place where Obadiah concealed and protected the company of prophets, one hundred and fifty in number, and fed them with bread and water while they remained in their retreat.[6] This cave is called accordingly the cave of the prophets. The situation of this grotto is beyond description solitary, desolate, and sublime. Nothing is to be seen from within it but the open sea, and no sound is heard but the breaking of the surf, as it rolls in upon the rocky shore six hundred feet below.


Among the other objects of interest and attraction for the pilgrims and travelers that visit Mt. Carmel, are certain curious stones, well known to geologists as a common mineral formation, but which pass with the pilgrims and monks for petrified grapes, dates, or melons, according to their size and configuration. These stones are round in form, and are often hollow, being lined with a crystalline incrustation within, the crystals representing, in the imagination of the pilgrim, the seeds of the fruit from which the specimen was formed. These fossils are found in a part of the mountain remote from the convent, where a stream comes down from the heights above, and they are supposed to be miraculous in their origin. The legend accounting for the production of them is this.

In the time of Elijah there was a garden and a vineyard on the spot, and one day as Elijah was passing that way, weary and faint with his journey, he looked over the wall and asked the owner of the ground to give him some of the melons and fruits that he saw growing there. The man refused the wayfarer's request, saying jestingly in his refusal, that those things were not melons and fruits, but only stones. "Stones then let them be," said Elijah, and so passed on. The gardener, on turning to examine the fruits of his garden, found to his consternation that they had all been turned into stone, and ever since that day the ground has been under a curse, and has produced nothing but stony semblances of fruit, instead of the reality. These supposed petrifactions are greatly prized by all who visit the mountain. Well informed travelers value them as specimens illustrative of a very singular superstition, and as souvenirs of their visit to the spot;—while monks and pilgrims believe them to possess some supernatural virtue. They suppose that though Elijah's denunciation proved a curse to the ground in respect to the owner, in causing it to produce these flinty mockeries, the stones themselves, being miraculous in their nature and origin, are endued with some supernatural power to protect and bless those who reverently collect and preserve them.


[Pg 298]


The convent of Mt. Carmel, as alluded to and described by travelers during the last five hundred years is to be understood as denoting not a single building, but a series of buildings, that have risen, flourished, and gone to decay on the same spot, in a long succession, like a dynasty of kings following each other in a line on the same throne. The grottos and caverns which are found upon the mountain began to be occupied at a very early period by hermits and solitary monks, who lived probably at first in a state of separation from each other as well as of seclusion from the world. After a time however they began to combine together, and to live in edifices specially constructed for their use, and for the last thousand years the Carmelites have constituted a well known and numerous religious order, having spread from their original seat and centre to every part of Europe, and taken a very active and important part in the ecclesiastical affairs of modern times. Every religious order of the Roman Church prides itself on the antiquity of its origin, and the traditions of the Carmelites for a long time carried back the history of their society to a very remote period indeed—not merely to the Christian era, but from the time of Christ and the apostles back to Elijah, and from Elijah to Enoch. In discussing this subject, however, one ecclesiastical writer very gravely maintains that the Enoch, if there was one, among the founders of the Carmelite fraternity, could not have been the patriarch Enoch, the father of Methusaleh, since it is plain that there could have been no Carmelite monks among those saved in the ark, at the time of the deluge, for the vow of celibacy was an essential rule of the order from the beginning, and the sons of Noah, who were the only men besides Noah himself that were saved from the flood, were all married men, and took their wives with them when they went into the ark!

These traditions, however, ascribing a very high antiquity to the order of the Carmelites, were allowed to pass for many centuries with very little question; but at last, about two hundred years ago, certain religious historians belonging to other monastic orders, in the course of the investigations which they made into the early history of the church, came to the conclusion that the institution of the Carmelites was founded in the twelfth century of the Christian era. The earliest authentic information that they could find, they said, in respect to its origin was the account given by a traveler by the name of John Phocas, who visited the mountain in 1185, in the course of a tour which he was making in the Holy Land. He relates that he ascended Mt. Carmel, and that he found there the cave of Elijah, describing it as it now appears. He also states that there was a monastery there which had been founded a few years before by a venerable monk, gray-headed and advanced in years, who had come upon the mountain in obedience to a revelation which he had received from the Prophet Elijah, enjoining upon him so to do, and that he had built a small tower for a dwelling, and a small chapel for the purpose of worship, and that he had established himself here with ten companions of the same religious profession with himself; and this was the true origin of the convent of Mt. Carmel.


The Carmelite monks throughout Europe were every where greatly displeased at the publication of this account, which cut off at a single blow some two thousand years from the antiquity of their order, even supposing their pretensions to go no farther back than to the time of Elijah. A protracted and very bitter controversy arose. Volumes after volumes were published—the quarrel, as is usual with religious disputes, degenerating in character as it advanced, and growing continually more and more rancorous and bitter, until at last the Pope interposed and put an end to the dispute by a bull. The bull did not attempt to decide the question; it only silenced the combatants. Nothing more was to be said by any party, or under any pretext, on the origin of the institution of the Carmelites, but the whole subject was entirely interdicted. This bull, the issuing of which was a most excellent act on the part of his Holiness, proved an effectual remedy for the evil which it was intended to suppress. The dispute was suddenly terminated, and though the question was in form left undecided, it was settled in fact, for it has since been generally admitted that the story of John Phocas was true, and that Mt. Carmel, though inhabited by hermits and individual recluses long before, was not the seat of a regularly organized society of Monks until nearly twelve centuries after the Christian era.


The Carmelites themselves were accustomed to maintain that the earliest written rule for the government of their order was given them by a very celebrated ancient monk, known in history as St. Basil. St. Basil lived about three hundred years after the time of Christ. He was descended from a distinguished family, and received an excellent education in early life, in the course of which he made very high attainments in all the branches of knowledge customarily pursued in those days. His mind, however, being strongly impressed with a sense of religious obligation, he determined not to engage in the duties of the profession for which he had been trained, but to seclude himself from the world, in accordance with the custom that prevailed in those days, and spend his life in religious meditation and prayer. As a preliminary step he determined on taking a journey into the countries where the practice of religious retirement had begun to prevail, in order to visit the hermits, recluses, and monks, in their dens and caves, and become practically acquainted with the mode of life which these voluntary exiles from the world were accustomed to lead. He accordingly set out upon his travels, and in the course of a few years he explored Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Asia Minor, and other countries still[Pg 299] farther east, in order to visit and converse with all the monks and hermits that he could find, in the deserts and solitudes to which they had retired. We can not here give the subsequent particulars of his life. It is sufficient to say that his learning, his high rank, his exalted character, and perhaps his honest and conscientious piety, combined to raise him in the end to a very commanding position in respect to the whole monastic world while he lived, and to inspire many succeeding generations with a great veneration for his memory. He was believed to have been during his life an object of the special and miraculous protection of heaven; for it is recorded as sober historic truth, that at one time, during the latter part of his career, when certain theological enemies had prevailed in obtaining a sentence of banishment against him, and the decree, properly drawn up, was brought to the emperor to sign, the pen which was put into the emperor's hand broke suddenly into pieces as soon as it touched the paper. The emperor called for another pen, but on attempting to use it the same result followed. This was done three times, and at last, as the emperor seemed determined to persist in his design, his hand was seized with a sudden and uncontrollable trembling, and the chair upon which he was sitting broke down, and let him fall upon the floor. The emperor now perceived that he was contending against God, and taking up the decree he destroyed it by tearing it in pieces.

Now the Carmelites maintained that this St. Basil was a monk of their order, that he was one of the successors of Elijah, that they had obtained their first written rule of their order from him, and that the Basilians, an order of monks taking their name from him and well known throughout Europe in the middle ages, were to be considered as only a branch, or offshoot, from the ancient Carmelite institution. Out of this state of things there arose subsequently a very extraordinary controversy between the Basilians and the Carmelites as will presently appear.


The claim of the Carmelites to have received their first written charter from St. Basil is not very well sustained, as the earliest authentic evidence of any written rule for the government of the institution relates to one given them by the patriarch of Jerusalem in 1205, about thirty years after the time when the monastery was founded, according to John Phocas's narrative. This "rule," or charter as it would be called at the present day, consisted of sixteen articles, and some particulars of it may be interesting to the reader as illustrating the nature of this species of document. The first article treats of the election of the prior of the monastery, and of the obedience which was to be rendered to him by the other monks. The second treats of the cells in which the brethren were to live, and prescribes that they should be separated from each other in such a way that there could be no intercourse or communication between the respective inmates. The third contains regulations in respect to the cell of the prior, its situation and relation to the other cells. The fifth requires the monks to remain constantly each within his own cell except when called away by regularly prescribed duties elsewhere, and to devote himself in his retirement to the work of prayer and meditation. The sixth prescribes certain regulations in respect to divine service. By the seventh the monks are forbidden to possess any private property of any kind. The eighth requires the brethren of the monastery to build an oratory or place of prayer in some central place, near the cells, and to assemble there every morning to hear mass. The ninth prescribes rules for the internal discipline of the institution. The tenth enjoins certain fast days. The eleventh forbids the use of flesh for food entirely. The twelfth exhorts the monks to clothe themselves with certain spiritual armor which it describes. The thirteenth enjoins upon them to labor with their hands, in cultivating the fruits of the earth in their little gardens. The fourteenth enjoins absolute silence upon them, from vespers until the break of day on the following morning. The fifteenth inculcates upon them the duty of humility and of devoting themselves to prayer; and the sixteenth closes the series by exhorting them to be always obedient and submissive to the prior.


There is no question that the monastic system of Christian Europe, established originally by such beginnings as these, led in the end to evil consequences and results of the most deplorable character, and we are accustomed, as Protestants, to believe that there is nothing that is not worthy of unqualified condemnation in it from beginning to end. But when we dismiss from our minds the ideas and associations with which the religious history of the last five hundred years has invested every thing that pertains to monastic life, and look at such a community as this of Mt. Carmel as it was in its original inception and design, we shall find it impossible to ascribe the conduct of those simple-minded recluses to any other motive than a desire to withdraw themselves from the world, in a spirit of honest self-denial, in order to live nearer to God, and enjoy the peace and happiness of daily and uninterrupted communion with him. And as to the delusion and folly of the course which they pursued, in order to judge impartially, we must look at the circumstances of the case as they really were, and see how effectually, in the arrangements which the hermits made, all the essential requisites for human comfort and happiness were secured. The mountain which they chose for their retreat was beautiful beyond description; the soil was fertile, the air was balmy and pure, and such was the climate that the season with them was an almost perpetual summer. They had gardens to till, which produced them an abundance of fruits and vegetables, and in those climes the human constitution requires no other food. The grottos in which they lived were dry, and formed undoubtedly very safe and not uncomfortable[Pg 300] dwellings. They suffered neither heat nor cold, for in Palestine cold is seldom known, and though the sun is sometimes hot, and the air sultry, in the valleys, the mountain which they dwelt upon rises into a region of perpetual salubrity, where there is always an atmosphere of soft and balmy air reposing in the groves, or breathing gently over the summit. Besides all these natural advantages of their situation, their course of daily duty gave them healthful and agreeable employment. Their hours were systematically arranged, and their occupations, though varied in kind, were regular in rotation and order. Thus, on the whole, though there was doubtless much of superstition and of error in their ideas, still we are inclined to think that there are some usages and modes of life not at all monastic in their character—to be witnessed among the world-following Christians of the present day, in palaces of wealth and prosperity—which exhibit quite as much delusion and folly as was ever evinced by these poor world-abandoning monks, in the caves and grottos of Mt. Carmel.



A society of monks once established, depends of course for its continuance and prosperity on external additions, and not on any internal growth; for since celibacy is the rule of all monastic orders, there can not be in such communities, as in the case of an ordinary hamlet or village, any natural sequence of generations. A man is never born a monk: so that monasticism has at least one of the marks and characteristics of a monstrosity. It does not propagate its kind.

Notwithstanding this, however, the institution on Mt. Carmel gradually increased. Accessions were made from time to time to the numbers of the monks, until at length the order became so numerous that several branch institutions were established in different parts of Europe, and the Carmelites became very generally known throughout the Christian world. We can not here, however, go away from the mountain to follow the society in its general history, though we will digress from our immediate subject so far as to give a brief account of the singular controversy which arose in subsequent years between the Carmelites and the Basilians, a controversy which not only exhibits in a striking point of view some of the peculiar ideas and religious usages of the times in which it occurred, but illustrates certain important principles in respect to the nature of religious controversy, that are applicable to the disputes of every age. The question in this case related to the costume in which the prophet Elijah was represented in a certain picture belonging to a church which the Basilians built near Messina, in the island of Sicily. The church was built in the year 1670, and the open controversy arose then; but the origin of it may be traced to a period antecedent to that time. It seems that in 1080, six hundred years before the dispute to which we are referring commenced, a[Pg 301] certain Sicilian potentate built a church near Mt. Etna, in honor of the prophet Elijah, as a token of his gratitude to the prophet for appearing to him in a visible form at one time when he was involved in very imminent danger, in his wars with the Saracens, and for interposing to protect him. He also built a monastery in connection with the church, and established a society of Basilian monks in it.

It seems that at the time when the church and monastery were built, a picture of the prophet Elijah was painted and hung in the church, where it remained without exciting any question, for six hundred years.

At length at the expiration of that time the buildings of the establishment having become very old, and being often greatly damaged, and the lives of the inmates seriously endangered by the shocks of earthquakes and the volcanic eruptions to which their situation so near to Mt. Etna exposed them, it was determined to remove the institution to another place, several miles distant from its original location, where the ground was more secure. The old picture of Elijah was however found to be too much decayed to be removed. A careful copy of it was therefore made, the artist taking care to transfer, as nearly as possible, to his copy, both the features and the costume of the original. The following engraving is a faithful representation of this portrait and of the dress which became the subject of the dispute, except of course that the colors are not shown. The shoulders are covered with a cloak which in the painting was red. Beneath the cloak was a tunic, formed of the skin of some animal, which descended to the knees. There were sandals on the feet. There was a sword tipped with flame in the hand, and the head was covered with a red cap trimmed with ornaments of gold.


This painting in its original state had hung in its place in the old convent during the whole six hundred years without attracting any special notice; but when the copy was made and hung up in the new convent, it became an object of greater attention, and the Carmelites who saw or heard of it were much displeased with the costume, inasmuch as it was not the costume of their order. The painting by exhibiting the prophet in such a dress, seemed to deny that Elijah had been a Carmelite, and to claim him as belonging to some other order. They complained to the Basilians of the injustice done them, and demanded that the obnoxious costume should be changed. Finding, however, that their complaints and remonstrances were unavailing, they appealed to the Archbishop of Sicily, praying him to interpose his authority to redress the injury which they were suffering, and to compel the Basilians to take down the painting in question, the display of which was so dishonorable to the ancient order of Mt. Carmel. The Basilians in reply alleged that the costume of the portrait was no innovation of theirs, and they were not responsible for it at all. The work, they said, was a faithful copy of an ancient painting that had hung for six hundred years, unquestioned and uncomplained of, in their former monastery, and that they could not give up the ancient traditions and relics of their institution; and they were especially unwilling to consent that the prophet Elijah should be represented in their church in a Carmelite dress, since that would prejudice the ancient claims of the Basilian order.



The Archbishop of Sicily, after a long hearing of the parties to this dispute, refused to interpose, and finally the case was carried by the Carmelites to Rome, and laid before a certain board of the Roman church called the College of Rites, a sort of tribunal having jurisdiction of all questions of this nature that might arise in the Catholic church, and assume sufficient importance to come before them. Here the Carmelites brought forward their cause, and offered their complaints in language more earnest than ever. They represented in very strong terms the deep dishonor which the Basilians were inflicting upon them in publicly exhibiting the prophet Elijah—the patriarch and the father of their order—dressed in a cloak, and wearing a red cap upon his head, as if he were a Turkish pashaw. To give force and emphasis to their plea they exhibited to the sacred college before whom the cause was to be tried, a representation of the picture, colored like the original, in order that the judges might see for themselves how flagrant was the wrong which they endured, and how much cause they had to complain. After many long and patient hearings of the case before the college, and many fruitless attempts to find some mode satisfactory to all parties, for settling the dispute, the college finally decided upon a middle course, a sort of forced compromise which gave the victory to neither party. The costume of the painting was ordered to be changed. The cap was to be taken away[Pg 302] from the head, and the sandals from the feet, and the red cloak was to be replaced by one of a saffron color. The tunic of skin was to be retained, and it was to be bound about the waist with a leathern girdle. A new picture was accordingly painted in accordance with this decision, as represented in the above engraving. The controversy occupied ten years; it gave rise to protracted and voluminous proceedings, and embroiled a great number of partisans among all ranks and orders of the church: and by comparing the two engravings the reader will see at a glance the amount of the difference about which the combatants were contending. It might excite surprise in our minds that a large section of the Christian church could thus be engaged for ten years in an earnest, expensive, and bitter controversy about the costume of a painting, were it not that we sometimes see examples at the present day, of disputes equally earnest and protracted, about points smaller and more shadowy still. It ought, however, in strict justice to be said that the real questions at issue in disputes about religious rites and forms, are not usually as insignificant as they seem. Within and beyond the outward symbol there usually lies some principle of religious faith, which is, after all, the real object of the controversy. In this case, for example, the comparative claims to antiquity and pre-eminence on the part of two powerful religious orders constituted the real question at issue. The costume of the painting formed only the accidental battle ground, as it were, on which the war was waged. It is thus with a great many religious controversies, where at first view it would seem that the point at issue is wholly inadequate to account for the degree of interest taken in the dispute. The explanation is that the apparent question is not the real one. The outward aspect of the contest seems to indicate that the combatants are merely disputing about a form, while they are really contending for a principle that lies concealed beneath it. They are like soldiers at a siege, who fight on outer walls, in themselves worthless, to defend homes and fire-sides that are concealed within, entirely out of view.



But we must return to the mountain, though we return to it only to come down, for it is time that our visit to it should be ended. In his excursions around the convent during his stay on the mountain, the visitor is somewhat restricted in respect to the range that he can safely take, by fear of the wild beasts that infest the jungles and thickets that grow densely on the declivities of the mountain, and around the base of it, especially on the southern side. Panthers, hyenas, wild boars, and strange serpents, make these forests their abode, occupying, perhaps, in many cases, the caves and grottos of the ancient recluses, for their dens. Many tales are told by the monks of these savage beasts, and of the dangers which pilgrims and travelers have incurred from them. There is an account of a child which was found in a certain situation dead, with a monstrous serpent coiled upon its breast. On examination of the body no mark of any bite or wound could be perceived, and it was accordingly supposed that the life of the little sufferer had been extinguished by the chill of the body of the reptile, or by some other mysterious and[Pg 303] deadly agency, which it had power to exert. Even the roadway leading up and down the mountain is not always safe, it would seem, from these dangerous intruders. It is rocky and solitary, and is bordered every where with gloomy ravines and chasms, all filled with dense and entangled thickets, in which, and in the cavernous rocks of which the strata of the mountain are composed, wild beasts and noxious animals of every kind find a secure retreat. The monks relate that not many years ago a servant of the convent, who had been sent down the mountain to Haïfa, to accompany a traveler, was attacked and seized by a panther on his return. The panther, however, instead of putting his victim immediately to death, began to play with him as a cat plays with a mouse which she has succeeded in making her prey—holding him gently with her claws, for a time, and then, after drawing back a little, darting upon him again, as if to repeat and renew the pleasure of capturing such a prize. This was continued so long, that the cries of the terrified captive brought to the spot some persons that chanced to be near, when the panther was terrified in her turn, and fled into the forests; and then the man was rescued from his horrible situation unharmed.


For these and similar reasons, travelers who ascend to the convent of Mt. Carmel enjoy but little liberty there, but must confine their explorations in most cases to the buildings of the monks, and to some of the nearest caves of the ancient recluses. Still the spot is rendered so attractive by the salubrity of the air, the intrinsic beauty of the situation, the magnificence of the prospect, and the kind and attentive demeanor of the monks, that some visitors have recommended it as a place of permanent resort for those who leave their homes in the West in pursuit of health, or in search of retirement and repose. The rule that requires those who have been guests of the convent more than two weeks to give place to others more recently arrived, proves in fact to be no serious difficulty. Some kind of an arrangement can in such cases always be made, though it is seldom that any occasion arises that requires it. The quarters, too, though plain and simple, are comfortable and neat, and although the visitor is somewhat restricted, from causes that have already been named, in respect to explorations of the mountain itself, there are many excursions that can be made in the country below, of a very attractive character. He can visit Haïfa, he can ride or walk along the beach to Acre; he can go to Nazareth, or journey down the coast, passing round the western declivity of the mountain. In these and similar rambles he will find scenes of continual novelty to attract him, and be surrounded every where with the forms and usages of Oriental life.


The traveler who comes to Mt. Carmel by the way of Nazareth and the plain of Esdraelon, in going away from it generally passes round the western declivity of the mountain, and thence proceeds to the south, by the way of the sea. On reaching the foot of the descent, where the mountain mule-path comes out into the main road, as shown upon the map near the commencement of this article, he turns short to the left, and goes on round the base of the promontory, with the lofty declivities of the mountain on one hand, and a mass of dense forests on the other, lying between the road and the shore. As he passes on, the road, picturesque and romantic from the beginning, becomes gradually wild, solitary, and desolate. It leads him sometimes through tangled thickets, sometimes under shelving rocks, and sometimes it brings him out unexpectedly to the shore of the sea, where he sees the surf rolling in upon the beach at his feet, and far over the water the setting sun going down to his rest beneath the western horizon. At length the twilight gradually disappears, and as the shades of the evening come on, lights glimmer in the solitary villages that he passes on his way; but there is no welcome for him in their beaming. At length when he deems it time to bring his day's journey to an end, he pitches his tent by the wayside in some unfrequented spot, and before he retires to rest for the night, comes out to take one more view of the dark and sombre mountain which he is about to leave forever. He stands at the door of his tent, and gazes at it long and earnestly, before he bids it farewell, equally impressed with the sublime magnificence of its situation and form, and with the solemn grandeur of its history.

[Pg 304]



France was now at peace with all the world. It was universally admitted that Napoleon was the great pacificator. He was the idol of France. The masses of the people in Europe, every where regarded him as their advocate and friend, the enemy of aristocratic usurpation, and the great champion of equality. The people of France no longer demanded liberty. Weary years of woe had taught them gladly to relinquish the boon. They only desired a ruler who would take care of them, govern them, protect them from the power of allied despotism, and give them equal rights. Though Napoleon had now but the title of First Consul, and France was nominally a republic, he was in reality the most powerful monarch in Europe. His throne was established in the hearts of nearly forty millions of people. His word was law.

It will be remembered that Josephine contemplated the extraordinary grandeur to which her husband had attained, with intense solicitude. She saw that more than ordinary regal power had passed into his hands, and she was not a stranger to the intense desire which animated his heart to have an heir to whom to transmit his name and his glory. She knew that many were intimating to him that an heir was essential to the repose of France. She was fully informed that divorce had been urged upon him as one of the stern necessities of state. One day, when Napoleon was busy in his cabinet, Josephine entered softly, by a side door, and seating herself affectionately upon his knee, and passing her hand gently through his hair, said to him, with a burst of tenderness, "I entreat you, my friend, do not make yourself king. It is Lucien who urges you to it. Do not listen to him." Napoleon smiled upon her kindly, and said, "Why, my poor Josephine, you are mad. You must not listen to these fables which the old dowagers tell you. But you interrupt me now; I am very busy; leave me alone."

It is recorded that Lucien ventured to suggest to Josephine that a law higher than the law of ordinary morality required that she must become a mother, even were it necessary, for the attainment of that end, that she should violate her nuptial vows. Brutalizing and vulgar infidelity had obliterated in France, nearly all the sacredness of domestic ties. Josephine, instinctively virtuous, and revering the religion of her childhood, which her husband had reinstated, bursting into tears, indignantly exclaimed, "This is dreadful. Wretched should I be were any one to suppose me capable of listening, without horror, to your infamous proposal. Your ideas are poisonous; your language horrible." "Well, then, madame," responded Lucien, "all that I can say is, that from my heart I pity you."

Josephine was at times almost delirious in apprehension of the awful calamity which threatened her. She knew the intensity of her husband's love. She also knew the boundlessness of his ambition. She could not be blind to the apparent importance, as a matter of state policy, that Napoleon should possess an heir. She also was fully aware that throughout France marriage had long been regarded but as a partnership of convenience, to be formed and sundered almost at pleasure. "Marriage," said Madame de Stael, "has become but the sacrament of adultery." The nation, under the influence of these views, would condemn her for selfishly refusing assent to an arrangement apparently essential to the repose of France and of Europe. Never was a woman placed in a situation of more terrible trial. Never was an ambitious man exposed to a more fiery temptation. Laying aside the authority of Christianity, and contemplating the subject in the light of mere expediency, it seemed a plain duty for Napoleon and Josephine to separate. But gloriously does it illustrate the immutable truth of God's word, that even in such an exigence as this, the path which the Bible pointed out was the only path of safety and of peace. "In separating myself from Josephine," said Napoleon afterward, "and in marrying Maria Louisa, I placed my foot upon an abyss which was covered with flowers."

Josephine's daughter, Hortense, beautiful, brilliant, and amiable, then but eighteen years of age, was strongly attached to Duroc, one of Napoleon's aids, a very fashionable and handsome man. Josephine, however, had conceived the idea of marrying Hortense to Louis Bonaparte, Napoleon's younger brother. She said, one day, to Bourrienne, "My two brothers-in-law are my determined enemies. You see all their intrigues. You know how much uneasiness they have caused me. This projected marriage with Duroc, leaves me without any support. Duroc, independent of Bonaparte's friendship, is nothing. He has neither fortune, rank, nor even reputation. He can afford me no protection against the enmity of the brothers. I must have some more certain reliance for the future. My husband loves Louis very much. If I can succeed in uniting my daughter to him, he will prove a strong counterpoise to the calumnies and persecutions of my brothers-in-law." These remarks were reported to Napoleon. He replied, "Josephine labors in vain. Duroc and Hortense love each other, and they shall be married. I am attached to Duroc. He is well born. I have given Caroline to Murat, and Pauline to Le Clerc. I can as well give Hortense to Duroc. He is brave. He is as good as the others. He is general of division. Besides, I have other views for Louis."

In the palace the heart may throb with the same joys and griefs as in the cottage. In anticipation of the projected marriage Duroc was sent on a special mission to compliment the Emperor Alexander on his accession to the throne. Duroc wrote often to Hortense while absent. When the private secretary whispered in her ear, in the midst of the brilliant throng of the Tuileries, "I have a letter," she would[Pg 305] immediately retire to her apartment. Upon her return her friends could see that her eyes were moistened with the tears of affection and joy. Josephine cherished the hope that could she succeed in uniting Hortense with Louis Bonaparte, should Hortense give birth to a son, Napoleon would regard him as his heir. The child would bear the name of Bonaparte; the blood of the Bonapartes would circulate in his veins; and he would be the offspring of Hortense, whom Napoleon regarded as his own daughter, and whom he loved with the strongest parental affection. Thus the terrible divorce might be averted. Urged by motives so powerful, Josephine left no means untried to accomplish her purpose.

Louis Bonaparte was a studious, pensive, imaginative man, of great moral worth, though possessing but little force of character. He had been bitterly disappointed in his affections, and was weary of the world. When but nineteen years of age he had formed a very strong attachment for a young lady whom he had met in Paris. She was the daughter of an emigrant noble, and his whole being became absorbed in the passion of love. Napoleon, then in the midst of those victories which paved his way to the throne of France, was apprehensive that the alliance of his brother with one of the old royalist families, might endanger his own ambitious projects. He therefore sent him away on a military commission, and secured, by his powerful instrumentality, the marriage of the young lady to another person. The disappointment preyed deeply upon the heart of the sensitive young man. All ambition died within him. He loved solitude, and studiously avoided the cares and pomp of state. Napoleon, not having been aware of the extreme strength of his brother's attachment, when he saw the wound which he had inflicted upon him, endeavored to make all the amends in his power. Hortense was beautiful, full of grace and vivacity. At last Napoleon fell in with the views of Josephine, and resolved, having united the two, to recompense his brother, as far as possible, by lavishing great favors upon them.

It was long before Louis would listen to the proposition of his marriage with Hortense. His affections still clung to the lost object of his idolatry, and he could not, without pain, think of union with another. Indeed a more uncongenial alliance could hardly have been imagined. In no one thing were their tastes similar. But who could resist the combined tact of Josephine and power of Napoleon. All obstacles were swept away, and the maiden, loving the hilarity of life, and its gayest scenes of festivity and splendor, was reluctantly led to the silent, pensive scholar, who as reluctantly received her as his bride. Hortense had become in some degree reconciled to the match, as her powerful father promised to place them in high positions of wealth and rank. Louis resigned himself to his lot, feeling that earth had no further joy in store for him. A magnificent fête was given in honor of this marriage, at which all the splendors of the ancient royalty were revived. Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, who, as President of the French Republic, succeeded Louis Philippe, the King of the French, was the only child of this marriage who survived his parents.

Napoleon had organized in the heart of Italy a republic containing about five millions of inhabitants. This republic could by no means maintain itself against the monarchies of Europe, unaided by France. Napoleon, surrounded by hostile kings, deemed it essential to the safety of France, to secure in Italy a nation of congenial sympathies and interests, with whom he could form the alliance of cordial friendship. The Italians, all inexperienced in self-government, regarding Napoleon as their benefactor and their sole supporter, looked to him for a constitution. Three of the most influential men of the Cisalpine Republic, were sent as delegates to Paris, to consult with the First Consul upon the organization of their government. Under the direction of Napoleon a constitution was drafted, which, considering the character of the Italian people, and the hostile monarchical influences which surrounded them, was most highly liberal. A President and Vice-president were to be chosen for ten years. There was to be a Senate of eight members and a House of Representatives of seventy-five members. These were all to be selected from a body composed of 300 landed proprietors, 200 merchants, and 200 of the clergy and prominent literary men. Thus all the important interests of the state were represented.

In Italy, as in all the other countries of Europe at that time, there were three prominent parties. The Loyalists sought the restoration of monarchy and the exclusive privileges of kings and nobles. The Moderate Republicans wished to establish a firm government, which would enforce order and confer upon all equal rights. The Jacobins wished to break down all distinctions, divide property, and to govern by the blind energies of the mob. Italy had long been held in subjection by the spiritual terrors of the priests and by the bayonets of the Austrians. Ages of bondage had enervated the people and there were no Italian statesmen capable of taking the helm of government in such a turbulent sea of troubles. Napoleon resolved to have himself proposed as President, and then reserving to himself the supreme direction, to delegate the details of affairs to distinguished Italians, until they should, in some degree, be trained to duties so new to them. Says Thiers, "This plan was not, on his part, the inspiration of ambition, but rather of great good sense. His views on this occasion were unquestionably both pure and exalted." But nothing can more strikingly show the almost miraculous energies of Napoleon's mind, and his perfect self-reliance, than the readiness with which, in addition to the cares of the Empire of France, he assumed the responsibility of organizing and developing another nation of five millions of inhabitants. This was in 1802. Napoleon was then but thirty-three years of age.

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To have surrendered those Italians, who had rallied around the armies of France in their hour of need, again to Austrian domination, would have been an act of treachery. To have abandoned them, in their inexperience, to the Jacobin mob on the one hand, and to royalist intrigues on the other, would have insured the ruin of the Republic. But by leaving the details of government to be administered by Italians, and at the same time sustaining the constitution by his own powerful hand, there was a probability that the republic might attain prosperity and independence. As the press of business rendered it extremely difficult for Napoleon to leave France, a plan was formed for a vast congress of the Italians, to be assembled in Lyons, about half way between Paris and Milan, for the imposing adoption of the republican constitution. Four hundred and fifty-two deputies were elected to cross the frozen Alps, in the month of December. The extraordinary watchfulness and foresight of the First Consul, had prepared every comfort for them on the way. In Lyons sumptuous preparations were made for their entertainment. Magnificent halls were decorated in the highest style of earthly splendor for the solemnities of the occasion. The army of Egypt, which had recently landed, bronzed by an African sun, was gorgeously attired to add to the magnificence of the spectacle. The Lyonese youth, exultant with pride, were formed into an imposing body of cavalry. On the 11th of January, 1802, Napoleon, accompanied by Josephine, arrived in Lyons. The whole population of the adjoining country had assembled along the road, anxiously watching for his passage. At night immense fires illumined his path, blazing upon every hill side and in every valley. One continuous shout of "Live Bonaparte," rolled along with the carriage from Paris to Lyons. It was late in the evening when Napoleon arrived in Lyons. The brilliant city flamed with the splendor of noon-day. The carriage of the First Consul passed under a triumphal arch, surmounted by a sleeping lion, the emblem of France, and Napoleon took up his residence in the Hotel de Ville, which, in most princely sumptuousness had been decorated for his reception. The Italians adored Napoleon. They felt personally ennobled by his renown, for they considered him their countryman. The Italian language was his native tongue, and he spoke it with the most perfect fluency and elegance. The moment that the name of Napoleon was suggested to the deputies as President of the Republic, it was received with shouts of enthusiastic acclamation. A deputation was immediately sent to the First Consul to express the unanimous and cordial wish of the convention that he would accept the office. While these things were transpiring, Napoleon, ever intensely occupied, was inspecting his veteran soldiers of Italy and of Egypt, in a public review. The elements seemed to conspire to invest the occasion with splendor. The day was cloudless, the sun brilliant, the sky serene, the air invigorating. All the inhabitants of Lyons and the populace of the adjacent country thronged the streets. No pen can describe the transports with which the hero was received, as he rode along the lines of these veterans, whom he had so often led to victory. The soldiers shouted in a frenzy of enthusiasm. Old men, and young men, and boys caught the shout and it reverberated along the streets in one continuous roar. Matrons and maidens, waving banners and handkerchiefs, wept in excess of emotion. Bouquets of flowers were showered from the windows, to carpet his path, and every conceivable demonstration was made of the most enthusiastic love. Napoleon himself was deeply moved by the scene. Some of the old grenadiers, whom he recognized, he called out of the ranks, kindly talked with them, inquiring respecting their wounds and their wants. He addressed several of the officers, whom he had seen in many encounters, shook hands with them, and a delirium of excitement pervaded all minds. Upon his return to the Hotel de Ville, he met the deputation of the convention. They presented him the address, urging upon him the acceptance of the Presidency of the Cisalpine Republic. Napoleon received the address, intimated his acceptance, and promised, on the following day, to meet the convention.


The next morning dawned brightly upon the city. A large church, embellished with richest drapery, was prepared for the solemnities of the occasion. Napoleon entered the church, took his seat upon an elevated platform, surrounded by his family, the French ministers, and a large number of distinguished generals and statesmen. He addressed the assembly in the Italian language, with as much ease of manner, elegance of expression, and fluency of utterance as if his whole life had been devoted to the cultivation of the powers of oratory. He announced his acceptance of the dignity with which they would invest him, and uttered his views respecting the measures which should be adopted to secure the prosperity of the Italian Republic, as the new state was henceforth to be called. Repeated bursts of applause interrupted his address, and at its close one continuous shout of acclamation testified the assent and the delight of the assembled multitude. Napoleon remained at Lyons twenty days, occupied, apparently every moment, with the vast affairs which then engrossed his attention. And yet he found time to write daily to Paris, urging forward the majestic enterprises of the new government in France. The following brief extracts, from this free and confidential correspondence, afford an interesting glimpse of the motives which actuated Napoleon at this time, and of the great objects of his ambition.

"I am proceeding slowly in my operations. I pass the whole of my mornings in giving audience to the deputations of the neighboring departments. The improvement in the happiness of France is obvious. During the past two years the population of Lyons has increased more than 20,000 souls. All the manufacturers tell me that their works are in a state of high activity. All[Pg 307] minds seem to be full of energy, not that energy which overturns empires, but that which re-establishes them, and conducts them to prosperity and riches."

"I beg of you particularly to see that the unruly members, whom we have in the constituted authorities, are every one of them removed. The wish of the nation is, that the government shall not be obstructed in its endeavors to act for the public good, and that the head of Medusa shall no longer show itself, either in our tribunes or in our assemblies. The conduct of Sieyes, on this occasion, completely proves that, having contributed to the destruction of all the constitutions since '91, he wishes now to try his hand against the present. He ought to burn a wax candle to Our Lady, for having got out of the scrape so fortunately and in so unexpected a manner. But the older I grow, the more I perceive that each man must fulfill his destiny. I recommend you to ascertain whether the provisions for St. Domingo have actually been sent off. I take it for granted that you have taken proper measures for demolishing the Châtelet. If the Minister of Marine should stand in need of the frigates of the King of Naples, he may make use of them. General Jourdan gives me a satisfactory account of the state of Piedmont."

"I wish that citizen Royer be sent to the 16th military division, to examine into the accounts of the paymaster. I also wish some individual, like citizen Royer, to perform the same duty for the 13th and 14th divisions. It is complained that the receivers keep the money as long as they can, and that the paymasters postpone payment as long as possible. The paymasters and the receivers are the greatest nuisance in the state."

"Yesterday I visited several factories. I was pleased with the industry and the severe economy which pervaded these establishments. Should the wintry weather continue severe, I do not think that the $25,000 a month, which the Minister of the Interior grants for the purposes of charity, will be sufficient. It will be necessary to add five thousand dollars for the distribution of wood, and also to light fires in the churches and other large buildings to give warmth to a great number of people."

Napoleon arrived in Paris on the 31st of January. In the mean time, there had been a new election of members of the Tribunate and of the Legislative body. All those who had manifested any opposition to the measures of Napoleon, in the re-establishment of Christianity, and in the adoption of the new civil code, were left out, and their places supplied by those who approved of the measures of the First Consul. Napoleon could now act unembarrassed. In every quarter there was submission. All the officers of the state, immediately upon his return, sought an audience, and, in that pomp of language which his majestic deeds and character inspired, presented to him their congratulations. He was already a sovereign, in possession of regal power, such as no other monarch in Europe enjoyed. Upon one object all the energies of his mighty mind were concentrated. France was his estate, his diadem, his all. The glory of France was his glory, the happiness of France his happiness, the riches of France his wealth. Never did a father with more untiring self-denial and toil labor for his family, than did Napoleon through days of Herculean exertion and nights of sleeplessness devote every energy of body and soul to the greatness of France. He loved not ease, he loved not personal indulgence, he loved not sensual gratification. The elevation of France to prosperity, wealth, and power, was a limitless ambition. The almost supernatural success which had thus far attended his exertions, did but magnify his desires and stimulate his hopes. He had no wish to elevate France upon the ruins of other nations. But he wished to make France the pattern of all excellence, the illustrious leader, at the head of all nations, guiding them to intelligence, to opulence, and to happiness. Such, at this time, was the towering ambition of Napoleon, the most noble and comprehensive which was ever embraced by the conception of man. Of course, such ambition was not consistent with the equality of other nations, for he determined that France should be the first. But he manifested no disposition to destroy the prosperity of others; he only wished to give such an impulse to humanity in France, by the culture of mind, by purity of morals, by domestic industry, by foreign commerce, by great national works, as to place France in the advance upon the race course of greatness. In this race France had but one antagonist—England. France had nearly forty millions of inhabitants. The island of Great Britain contained but about fifteen millions. But England, with her colonies, girdled the globe, and, with her fleets, commanded all seas. "France," said Napoleon, "must also have her colonies and her fleets." "If we permit that," the statesmen of England rejoined, "we may become a secondary power, and may thus be at the mercy of France." It was undeniably so. Shall history be blind to such fatality as this? Is man, in the hour of triumphant ambition, so moderate, that we can be willing that he should attain power which places us at his mercy? England was omnipotent upon the seas. She became arrogant, and abused that power, and made herself offensive to all nations. Napoleon developed no special meekness of character to indicate that he would be, in the pride of strength which no nation could resist, more moderate and conciliating. Candor can not censure England for being unwilling to yield her high position—to surrender her supremacy on the seas—to become a secondary power—to allow France to become her master. And who can censure France for seeking the establishment of colonies, the extension of commerce, friendly alliance with other nations, and the creation of fleets to protect her from aggression upon the ocean, as well as upon the land? Napoleon himself, with that wonderful magnanimity which ever characterized him, though at times exasperated by the hostility[Pg 308] which he now encountered, yet often spoke in terms of respect of the influences which animated his foes. It is to be regretted that his antagonists so seldom reciprocated this magnanimity. There was here, most certainly, a right and a wrong. But it is not easy for man accurately to adjust the balance. God alone can award the issue. The mind is saddened as it wanders amid the labyrinths of conscientiousness and of passion, of pure motives and of impure ambition. This is, indeed, a fallen world. The drama of nations is a tragedy. Melancholy is the lot of man.

England daily witnessed, with increasing alarm, the rapid and enormous strides which France was making. The energy of the First Consul seemed superhuman. His acts indicated the most profound sagacity, the most far-reaching foresight. To-day the news reaches London that Napoleon has been elected President of the Italian Republic. Thus in an hour five millions of people are added to his empire! To-morrow it is announced that he is establishing a colony at Elba, that a vast expedition is sailing for St. Domingo, to re-organize the colony there. England is bewildered. Again it is proclaimed that Napoleon has purchased Louisiana of Spain, and is preparing to fill the fertile valley of the Mississippi with colonists. In the mean time, all France is in a state of activity. Factories, roads, bridges, canals, fortifications are every where springing into existence. The sound of the ship hammer reverberates in all the harbors of France, and every month witnesses the increase of the French fleet. The mass of the English people contemplate with admiration this development of energy. The statesmen of England contemplate it with dread.

For some months, Napoleon, in the midst of all his other cares, had been maturing a vast system of public instruction for the youth of France. He drew up, with his own hand, the plan for their schools, and proposed the course of study. It is a little singular that, with his strong scientific predilections, he should have assigned the first rank to classical studies. Perhaps this is to be accounted for from his profound admiration of the heroes of antiquity. His own mind was most thoroughly stored with all the treasures of Greek and Roman story. All these schools were formed upon a military model, for, situated as France was, in the midst of monarchies, at heart hostile, he deemed it necessary that the nation should be universally trained to bear arms. Religious instruction was to be communicated in all these schools by chaplains, military instruction by old officers who had left the army, and classical and scientific instruction by the most learned men Europe could furnish. The First Consul also devoted special attention to female schools. "France needs nothing so much to promote her regeneration," said he, "as good mothers." To attract the youth of France to these schools, one million of dollars was appropriated for over six thousand gratuitous exhibitions for the pupils. Ten schools of law were established, nine schools of medicine, and an institution for the mechanical arts, called the "School of Bridges and Roads," the first model of those schools of art which continue in France until the present day, and which are deemed invaluable. There were no exclusive privileges in these institutions. A system of perfect equality pervaded them. The pupils of all classes were placed upon a level, with an unobstructed arena before them. "This is only a commencement," said Napoleon, "by-and-by we shall do more and better."

Another project which Napoleon now introduced was vehemently opposed—the establishment of the Legion of Honor. One of the leading principles of the revolution was the entire overthrow of all titles of distinction. Every man, high or low, was to be addressed simply as Citizen. Napoleon wished to introduce a system of rewards which should stimulate to heroic deeds, and which should ennoble those who had deserved well of humanity. Innumerable foreigners of distinction had thronged France since the peace. He had observed with what eagerness the populace had followed these foreigners, gazing with delight upon their gay decorations. The court-yard of the Tuileries was ever crowded when these illustrious strangers arrived and departed. Napoleon, in his council, where he was always eloquent and powerful, thus urged his views:

"Look at these vanities, which genius pretends so much to disdain. The populace is not of that opinion. It loves these many-colored ribbons, as it loves religious pomp. The democrat philosopher calls it vanity. Vanity let it be. But that vanity is a weakness common to the whole human race, and great virtues may be made to spring from it. With these so much despised baubles heroes are made. There must be worship for the religious sentiment. There must be visible distinctions for the noble sentiment of glory. Nations should not strive to be singular any more than individuals. The affectation of acting differently from the rest of the world, is an affectation which is reproved by all persons of sense and modesty. Ribbons are in use in all countries. Let them be in use in France. It will be one more friendly relation established with Europe. Our neighbors give them only to the man of noble birth. I will give them to the man of merit—to the one who shall have served best in the army or in the state, or who shall have produced the finest works."

It was objected that the institution of the Legion of Honor was a return to the aristocracy which the revolution had abolished. "What is there aristocratic," Napoleon exclaimed, "in a distinction purely personal, and merely for life, bestowed on the man who has displayed merit, whether civil or military—bestowed on him alone, bestowed for his life only, and not passing to his children. Such a distinction is the reverse of aristocratic. It is the essence of aristocracy that its titles are transmitted from the man who[Pg 309] has earned them, to the son who possesses no merit. The ancient regimé, so battered by the ram of the revolution, is more entire than is believed. All the emigrants hold each other by the hand. The Vendeeans are secretly enrolled. The priests, at heart, are not very friendly to us. With the words 'legitimate king,' thousands might be roused to arms. It is needful that the men who have taken part in the revolution should have a bond of union, and cease to depend on the first accident which might strike one single head. For ten years we have only been making ruins. We must now found an edifice. Depend upon it, the struggle is not over with Europe. Be assured that struggle will begin again."

It was then urged by some, that the Legion of Honor should be confined entirely to military merit. "By no means," said Napoleon, "Rewards are not to be conferred upon soldiers alone. All sorts of merit are brothers. The courage of the President of the Convention, resisting the populace, should be compared with the courage of Kleber, mounting to the assault of Acre. It is right that civil virtues should have their reward, as well as military virtues. Those who oppose this course, reason like barbarians. It is the religion of brute force they commend to us. Intelligence has its rights before those of force. Force, without intelligence, is nothing. In barbarous ages, the man of stoutest sinews was the chieftain. Now the general is the most intelligent of the brave. At Cairo, the Egyptians could not comprehend how it was that Kleber, with his majestic form, was not commander-in-chief. When Mourad Bey had carefully observed our tactics, he could comprehend how it was that I, and no other, ought to be the general of an army so conducted. You reason like the Egyptians, when you attempt to confine rewards to military valor. The soldiers reason better than you. Go to their bivouacs; listen to them. Do you imagine that it is the tallest of their officers, and the most imposing by his stature, for whom they feel the highest regard? Do you imagine even that the bravest stands first in their esteem? No doubt they would despise the man whose courage they suspected; but they rank above the merely brave man him whom they consider the most intelligent. As for myself, do you suppose that it is solely because I am reputed a great general that I rule France? No! It is because the qualities of a statesman and a magistrate are attributed to me. France will never tolerate the government of the sword. Those who think so are strangely mistaken. It would require an abject servitude of fifty years before that could be the case. France is too noble, too intelligent a country to submit to material power. Let us honor intelligence, virtue, the civil qualities; in short, let us bestow upon them, in all professions, the like reward."

The true spirit of republicanism is certainly equality of rights, not of attainments and honors; the abolition of hereditary distinctions and privileges, not of those which are founded upon merit. The badge of the Legion of Honor was to be conferred upon all who, by genius, self-denial, and toil, had won renown. The prizes were open to the humblest peasant in the land. Still the popular hostility to any institution which bore a resemblance to the aristocracy of the ancient nobility was so strong, that though a majority voted in favor of the measure, there was a strong opposition. Napoleon was surprised. He said to Bourrienne: "You are right. Prejudices are still against me. I ought to have waited. There was no occasion for haste in bringing it forward. But the thing is done; and you will soon find that the taste for these distinctions is not yet gone by. It is a taste which belongs to the nature of man. You will see that extraordinary results will arise from it."

The order was to consist of six thousand members. It was constituted in four ranks: grand officers, commanders, officers, and private legionaries. The badge was simply a red ribbon, in the button-hole. To the first rank, there was allotted an annual salary of $1000; to the second, $400; to the third, $200; to the fourth, $50. The private soldier, the retired scholar, and the skillful artist were thus decorated with the same badge of distinction which figured upon the breasts of generals, nobles, and monarchs. That this institution was peculiarly adapted to the state of France, is evident from the fact, that it has survived all the revolutions of subsequent years. "Though of such recent origin," says Thiers, "it is already consecrated as if it had passed through centuries; to such a degree has it become the recompense of heroism, of knowledge, of merit of every kind—so much have its honors been coveted by the grandees and the princes of Europe the most proud of their origin."

The popularity of Napoleon was now unbounded. A very general and earnest disposition was expressed to confer upon the First Consul a magnificent testimonial of the national gratitude—a testimonial worthy of the illustrious man who was to receive it, and of the powerful nation by which it was to be bestowed. The President of the Tribunal thus addressed that body: "Among all nations public honors have been decreed to men who, by splendid actions, have honored their country, and saved it from great dangers. What man ever had stronger claims to the national gratitude than General Bonaparte? His valor and genius have saved the French people from the excesses of anarchy, and from the miseries of war; and France is too great, too magnanimous to leave such benefits without reward."

A deputation was immediately chosen to confer with Napoleon upon the subject of the tribute of gratitude and affection which he should receive. Surrounded by his colleagues and the principal officers of the state, he received them the next day in the Tuileries. With seriousness and modesty he listened to the high eulogium upon his achievements which was pronounced,[Pg 310] and then replied: "I receive with sincere gratitude the wish expressed by the Tribunate. I desire no other glory than that of having completely performed the task imposed upon me. I aspire to no other reward than the affection of my fellow-citizens. I shall be happy if they are thoroughly convinced, that the evils which they may experience, will always be to me the severest of misfortunes; that life is dear to me solely for the services which I am able to render to my country; that death itself will have no bitterness for me, if my last looks can see the happiness of the republic as firmly secured as is its glory."


But how was Napoleon to be rewarded? That was the great and difficult question. Was wealth to be conferred upon him? For wealth he cared nothing. Millions had been at his disposal, and he had emptied them all into the treasury of France. Ease, luxury, self-indulgence had no charms for him. Were monuments to be reared to his honor, titles to be lavished upon his name? Napoleon regarded these but as means for the accomplishment of ends. In themselves they were nothing. The one only thing which he desired was power, power to work out vast results for others, and thus to secure for himself renown, which should be pure and imperishable. But how could the power of Napoleon be increased? He was already almost absolute. Whatever he willed, he accomplished. Senators, legislators, and tribunes all co-operated in giving energy to his plans. It will be remembered, that Napoleon was elected First Consul for a period of ten years. It seemed that there was absolutely nothing which could be done, gratifying to the First Consul, but to prolong the term of his Consulship, by either adding to it another period of ten years, or by continuing it during his life. "What does he wish?" was the universal inquiry. Every possible means were tried, but in vain, to obtain a single word from his lips, significant of his desires. One of the senators went to Cambaceres, and said, "What would be gratifying to General Bonaparte? Does he wish to be king? Only let him say so, and we are all ready to vote for the re-establishment of royalty. Most willingly will we do it for him, for he is worthy of that station." But the First Consul shut himself up in impenetrable reserve. Even his most intimate friends could catch no glimpse of his secret wishes. At last the question was plainly and earnestly put to him. With great apparent humility, he replied: "I have not fixed my mind upon any thing. Any testimony of the public confidence will be sufficient for me, and will fill me with satisfaction." The question was then discussed whether to add ten years to his Consulship, or to make him First Consul for life. Cambaceres knew well the boundless ambition of Napoleon, and was fully conscious, that any limited period of power would not be in accordance with his plans. He ventured to say to him; "You are wrong not to explain yourself. Your enemies, for notwithstanding your services, you have some left even in the Senate, will abuse your reserve." Napoleon calmly replied: "Let them alone. The majority of the Senate is always ready to do more than it is asked. They will go further than you imagine."

On the evening of the 8th of May, 1802, the resolution was adopted, of prolonging the powers of the First Consul for ten years. Napoleon was probably surprised and disappointed. He, however, decided to return a grateful answer, and to say that not from the Senate, but from the suffrages of the people alone could he accept a prolongation of that power to which their[Pg 311] voices had elevated him. The following answer was transmitted to the Senate, the next morning:

"The honorable proof of your esteem, given in your deliberation of the 8th, will remain forever engraven on my heart. In the three years which have just elapsed fortune has smiled upon the republic. But fortune is fickle. How many men whom she has loaded with favors, have lived a few years too long. The interest of my glory and that of my happiness, would seem to have marked the term of my public life, at the moment when the peace of the world is proclaimed. But the glory and the happiness of the citizen ought to be silent, when the interest of the state, and the public partiality, call him. You judge that I owe a new sacrifice to the people. I will make it, if the wishes of the people command what your suffrage authorizes."


Napoleon immediately left Paris for his country-seat at Malmaison. This beautiful chateau was about ten miles from the metropolis. Josephine had purchased the peaceful, rural retreat at Napoleon's request, during his first Italian campaign. Subsequently, large sums had been expended in enlarging and improving the grounds; and it was ever the favorite residence of both Napoleon and Josephine. Cambaceres called an extraordinary meeting of the Council of State. After much deliberation, it was resolved, by an immense majority, that the following proposition should be submitted to the people: "Shall Napoleon Bonaparte be First Consul for life?" It was then resolved to submit a second question: "Shall the First Consul have the power of appointing his successor?" This was indeed re-establishing monarchy, under a republican name.

Cambaceres immediately repaired to Malmaison, to submit these resolutions to Napoleon. To the amazement of all, he immediately and firmly rejected the second question. Energetically,[Pg 312] he said: "Whom would you have me appoint my successor? My brothers? But will France, which has consented to be governed by me, consent to be governed by Joseph or Lucien? Shall I nominate you consul, Cambaceres? You? Dare you undertake such a task? And then the will of Louis XIV. was not respected; is it likely that mine would be? A dead man, let him be who he will, is nobody." In opposition to all urgency, he ordered the second question to be erased, and the first only to be submitted to the people. It is impossible to divine the motive which influenced Napoleon in this most unexpected decision. Some have supposed that even then he had in view the Empire and the hereditary monarchy, and that he wished to leave a chasm in the organization of the government, as a reason for future change. Others have supposed that he dreaded the rivalries which would arise among his brothers and his nephews, from his having at his disposal so resplendent a gift as the Empire of France. But the historian treads upon dangerous ground, when he begins to judge of motives. That which Napoleon actually did was moderate and noble in the highest degree. He declined the power of appointing his successor, and submitted his election to the suffrages of the people. A majority of 3,568,885 voted for the Consulate for life, and only eight thousands and a few hundreds, against it. Never before, or since, was an earthly government established by such unanimity. Never had a monarch a more indisputable title to his throne. Upon this occasion Lafayette added to his vote these qualifying words: "I can not vote for such a magistracy, until public freedom is sufficiently guaranteed. When that is done, I give my voice to Napoleon Bonaparte." In a private conversation with the First Consul, he added: "A free government, and you at its head—that comprehends all my desires." Napoleon remarked: "In theory Lafayette is perhaps right. But what is theory? A mere dream, when applied to the masses of mankind. He thinks he is still[Pg 313] in the United States—as if the French were Americans. He has no conception of what is required for this country."

A day was fixed for a grand diplomatic festival, when Napoleon should receive the congratulations of the constituted authorities, and of the foreign embassadors. The soldiers, in brilliant uniform, formed a double line, from the Tuileries to the Luxembourg. The First Consul was seated in a magnificent chariot, drawn by eight horses. A cortège of gorgeous splendor accompanied him. All Paris thronged the streets through which he passed, and the most enthusiastic applause rent the heavens. To the congratulatory address of the Senate, Napoleon replied: "The life of a citizen belongs to his country. The French nation wishes that mine should be wholly consecrated to France. I obey its will. Through my efforts, by your assistance, citizen-senators, by the aid of the authorities, and by the confidence and support of this mighty people, the liberty, equality, and prosperity of France will be rendered secure against the caprices of fate, and the uncertainty of futurity. The most virtuous of nations will be the most happy, as it deserves to be; and its felicity will contribute to the general happiness of all Europe. Proud then of being thus called, by the command of that Power from which every thing emanates, to bring back order, justice, and equality to the earth, when my last hour approaches, I shall yield myself up with resignation, and, without any solicitude respecting the opinions of future generations."


On the following day the new articles, modifying the constitution in accordance with the change in the consulship, were submitted to the Council of State. The First Consul presided, and with his accustomed vigor and perspicuity, explained the reasons of each article, as he recounted them one by one. The articles contained the provision that Napoleon should nominate his successor to the Senate. To this, after a slight resistance, he yielded. The most profound satisfaction now pervaded France. Even Josephine began to be tranquil and happy. She imagined that all thoughts of royalty and of hereditary succession had now passed away. She contemplated with no uneasiness the power which Napoleon possessed of choosing his successor. Napoleon sympathized cordially with her in her high gratification that Hortense was soon to become a mother. This child was already, in their hearts, the selected heir to the power of Napoleon. On the 15th of August, Paris magnificently celebrated the anniversary of the birth-day of the First Consul. This was another introduction of monarchical usages. All the high authorities of the Church and the State, and the foreign diplomatic bodies, called upon him with congratulations. At noon, in all the churches of the metropolis, a Te Deum was sung, in gratitude to God for the gift of Napoleon. At night the city blazed with illuminations. The splendors and the etiquette of royalty were now rapidly introduced; and the same fickle populace who had so recently trampled princes and thrones into blood and ruin, were now captivated with the reintroduction of these discarded splendors. Napoleon soon established himself in the beautiful chateau of St. Cloud, which he had caused to be repaired with great magnificence. On the Sabbath the First Consul, with Josephine, invariably attended divine service. Their example was soon followed by most of the members of the court, and the nation as a body returned to Christianity, which, even in its most corrupt form, saves humanity from those abysses of degradation into which infidelity plunges it. Immediately after divine service he conversed in the gallery of the chateau with the visitors who were then waiting for him. The brilliance of his intellect, and his high renown, caused him to be approached with emotions of awe. His words were listened to with intensest eagerness. He was the exclusive object of observation and attention. No earthly potentate had ever attained such a degree of homage, pure and sincere, as now circled around the First Consul.

Napoleon was very desirous of having his court a model of decorum and of morals. Lucien owned a beautiful rural mansion near Neuilly. Upon one occasion he invited Napoleon, and all the inmates of Malmaison, to attend some private theatricals at his dwelling. Lucien and Eliza were the performers in a piece called Alzire. The ardor of their declamation, the freedom of their gestures, and above all the indelicacy of the costume which they assumed, displeased Napoleon exceedingly. As soon as the play was over he exclaimed, "It is a scandal. I ought not to suffer such indecencies. I will give Lucien to understand that I will have no more of it." As soon as Lucien entered the saloon, having resumed his usual dress, Napoleon addressed him before the whole company, and requested him in future to desist from all such representations. "What!" said he, "when I am endeavoring to restore purity of manners, my brother and sister must needs exhibit themselves upon a platform, almost in a state of nudity! It is an insult!"

One day at this time Bourrienne, going from Malmaison to Ruel, lost a beautiful watch. He proclaimed his loss by means of the bellman at Ruel. An hour after, as he was sitting down to dinner, a peasant boy brought him the watch, which he had found on the road. Napoleon heard of the occurrence. Immediately he instituted inquiries respecting the young man and the family. Hearing a good report of them, he gave the three brothers employment, and amply rewarded the honest lad. "Kindness," says Bourrienne, "was a very prominent trait in the character of Napoleon."

If we now take a brief review of what Napoleon had accomplished since his return from Egypt, it must be admitted that the records of the world are to be searched in vain for a similar recital. No mortal man before ever accomplished so much, or accomplished it so well, in so short a time.

Let us for a moment return to his landing at[Pg 314] Frejus on the 8th of October, 1799, until he was chosen First Consul for life, in August, 1802, a period of not quite three years. Proceeding to Paris, almost alone, he overthrew the Directory, and seized the supreme power; restored order into the administration of government, established a new and very efficient system for the collection of taxes, raised public credit, and supplied the wants of the suffering army. By great energy and humanity he immediately terminated the horrors of that unnatural war which had for years been desolating La Vendee. Condescending to the attitude of suppliant, he implored of Europe peace. Europe chose war. By a majestic conception of military combinations, he sent Moreau with a vast army to the Rhine; stimulated Massena to the most desperate strife at Genoa, and then, creating as by magic, an army, from materials which excited but the ridicule of his foes, he climbed, with artillery and horse, and all the munitions of war, the icy pinnacles of the Alps, and fell like an avalanche upon his foes upon the plain of Marengo. With far inferior numbers, he snatched the victory from the victors; and in the exultant hour of the most signal conquest, wrote again from the field of blood imploring peace. His foes, humbled, and at his mercy, gladly availed themselves of his clemency, and promised to treat. Perfidiously, they only sought time to regain their strength. He then sent Moreau to Hohenlinden, and beneath the walls of Vienna extorted peace with continental Europe. England still prosecuted the war. The First Consul, by his genius, won the heart of Paul of Russia, secured the affection of Prussia, Denmark, and Sweden, and formed a league of all Europe against the Mistress of the Seas. While engaged in this work, he paid the creditors of the State, established the Bank of France, overwhelmed the highway robbers with utter destruction, and restored security in all the provinces; cut magnificent communications over the Alps, founded hospitals on their summits, surrounded exposed cities with fortifications, opened canals, constructed bridges, created magnificent roads, and commenced the compilation of that civil code which will remain an ever-during monument of his labors and his genius. In opposition to the remonstrances of his best friends, he re-established Christianity, and with it proclaimed perfect liberty of conscience. Public works were every where established, to encourage industry. Schools and colleges were founded. Merit of every kind was stimulated by abundant rewards. Vast improvements were made in Paris, and the streets cleaned and irrigated. In the midst of all these cares, he was defending France against the assaults of the most powerful nation on the globe; and he was preparing, as his last resort, a vast army, to carry the war into the heart of England. Notwithstanding the most atrocious libels with which England was filled against him, his fame shone resplendent through them all, and he was popular with the English people. Many of the most illustrious of the English statesmen advocated his cause. His gigantic adversary, William Pitt, vanquished by the genius of Napoleon, was compelled to retire from the ministry—and the world was at peace.

The difficulties, perplexities, embarrassments which were encountered in these enterprises were infinite. Says Napoleon, with that magnanimity which history should recognize and applaud, "We are told that all the First Consul had to look to, was to do justice. But to whom was he to do justice? To the proprietors whom the revolution had violently despoiled of their properties, for this only, that they had been faithful to their legitimate sovereign and to the principle of honor which they had inherited from their ancestors; or to those new proprietors, who had purchased these domains, adventuring their money on the faith of laws flowing from an illegitimate authority? Was he to do justice to those royalist soldiers, mutilated in the fields of Germany, La Vendee, and Quiberon, arrayed under the white standard of the Bourbons, in the firm belief that they were serving the cause of their king against a usurping tyranny; or to the million of citizens, who, forming around the frontiers a wall of brass, had so often saved their country from the inveterate hostility of its enemies, and had borne to so transcendent a height the glory of the French eagle? Was he to do justice to that clergy, the model and the example of every Christian virtue, stripped of its birthright, the reward of fifteen hundred years of benevolence; or to the recent acquirers, who had converted the convents into workshops, the churches into warehouses, and had turned to profane uses all that had been deemed most holy for ages?"

"At this period," says Thiers, "Napoleon appeared so moderate, after having been so victorious, he showed himself so profound a legislator, after having proved himself so great a commander, he evinced so much love for the arts of peace, after having excelled in the arts of war, that well might he excite illusions in France and in the world. Only some few among the personages who were admitted to his councils, who were capable of judging futurity by the present, were filled with as much anxiety as admiration, on witnessing the indefatigable activity of his mind and body, and the energy of his will, and the impetuosity of his desires. They trembled even at seeing him do good, in the way he did—so impatient was he to accomplish it quickly, and upon an immense scale. The wise and sagacious Tronchet, who both admired and loved him, and looked upon him as the saviour of France, said, nevertheless, one day in a tone of deep feeling to Cambaceres, 'This young man begins like Cæsar; I fear that he will end like him.'"

The elevation of Napoleon to the supreme power for life was regarded by most of the states of continental Europe with satisfaction, as tending to diminish the dreaded influences of republicanism, and to assimilate France with the surrounding monarchies. Even in England, the prime minister, Mr. Addington, assured the[Pg 315] French embassador of the cordial approbation of the British government of an event, destined to consolidate order and power in France. The King of Prussia, the Emperor Alexander, and the Archduke Charles of Austria, sent him their friendly congratulations. Even Catharine, the haughty Queen of Naples, mother of the Empress of Austria, being then at Vienna, in ardent expression of her gratification to the French embassador said, "General Bonaparte is a great man. He has done me much injury, but that shall not prevent me from acknowledging his genius. By checking disorder in France, he has rendered a service to all of Europe. He has attained the government of his country because he is most worthy of it. I hold him out every day as a pattern to the young princes of the imperial family. I exhort them to study that extraordinary personage, to learn from him how to direct nations, how to make the yoke of authority endurable, by means of genius and glory."

But difficulties were rapidly rising between England and France. The English were much disappointed in not finding that sale of their manufactures which they had anticipated. The cotton and iron manufactures were the richest branches of industry in England. Napoleon, supremely devoted to the development of the manufacturing resources of France, encouraged those manufactures by the almost absolute prohibition of the rival articles. William Pitt and his partisans, still retaining immense influence, regarded with extreme jealousy the rapid strides which Napoleon was making to power, and incessantly declaimed, in the journals, against the ambition of France. Most of the royalist emigrants, who had refused to acknowledge the new government, and were still devoted to the cause of the Bourbons, had taken refuge in London. They had been the allies with England in the long war against France. The English government could not refrain from sympathizing with them in their sufferings. It would have been ungenerous not to have done so. The emigrants were many of them supported by pensions paid them by England. At the same time they were constantly plotting conspiracies against the life of Napoleon, and sending assassins to shoot him. "I will yet teach those Bourbons," said Napoleon, in a moment of indignation, "that I am not a man to be shot at like a dog." Napoleon complained bitterly that his enemies, then attempting his assassination, were in the pay of the British government. Almost daily the plots of these emigrants were brought to light by the vigilance of the French police.

A Bourbon pamphleteer, named Peltier, circulated widely through England the most atrocious libels against the First Consul, his wife, her children, his brothers and sisters. They were charged with the most low, degrading, and revolting vices. These accusations were circulated widely through England and America. They produced a profound impression. They were believed. Many were interested in the circulation of these reports, wishing to destroy the popularity of Napoleon, and to prepare the populace of England for the renewal of the war. Napoleon remonstrated against such infamous representations of his character being allowed in England. But he was informed that the British press was free; that there was no resource but to prosecute for libel in the British courts; and that it was the part of true greatness to treat such slanders with contempt. But Napoleon felt that such false charges were exasperating nations, were paving the way to deluge Europe again in war, and that causes tending to such woes were too potent to be despised.

The Algerines were now sweeping with their piratic crafts the Mediterranean, exacting tribute from all Christian powers. A French ship had been wrecked upon the coast, and the crew were made prisoners. Two French vessels and a Neapolitan ship had also been captured and taken to Algiers. The indignation of Napoleon was aroused. He sent an officer to the Dey with a letter, informing him that if the prisoners were not released and the captured vessels instantly restored, and a promise given to respect in future the flags of France and Italy, he would send a fleet and an army and overwhelm him with ruin. The Dey had heard of Napoleon's career in Egypt. He was thoroughly frightened, restored the ships and the prisoners, implored clemency, and with barbarian injustice doomed to death those who had captured the ships in obedience to his commands. Their lives were saved only through the intercession of the French minister. Napoleon then performed one of the most gracious acts of courtesy toward the Pope. The feeble monarch had no means of protecting his coasts from the pirates who still swarmed in those seas. Napoleon selected two fine brigs in the naval arsenal at Toulon, equipped them with great elegance, armed them most effectively, filled them with naval stores, and conferring upon them the apostolical names of St. Peter and St. Paul, sent them as a present to the Pontiff. With characteristic grandeur of action, he carried his attentions so far as to send a cutter to bring back the crews, that the papal treasury might be exposed to no expense. The venerable Pope, in the exuberance of his gratitude, insisted upon taking the French seamen to Rome. He treated them with every attention in his power; exhibited to them St. Peter's, and dazzled them with the pomp and splendor of cathedral worship. They returned to France loaded with humble presents, and exceedingly gratified with the kindness with which they had been received.

It was stipulated in the treaty of Amiens, that both England and France should evacuate Egypt, and that England should surrender Malta to its ancient rulers. Malta, impregnable in its fortifications, commanded the Mediterranean, and was the key of Egypt. Napoleon had therefore, while he professed a willingness to relinquish all claim to the island himself, insisted upon it, as an essential point, that England should do the same. The question upon which the treaty hinged, was the surrender of Malta to a neutral[Pg 316] power. The treaty was signed. Napoleon promptly and scrupulously fulfilled his agreements. Several embarrassments, for which England was not responsible, delayed for a few months the evacuation of Malta. But now nearly a year had passed since the signing of the treaty. All obstacles were removed from the way of its entire fulfillment, and yet the troops of England remained both in Egypt and in Malta. The question was seriously discussed in Parliament and in the English journals, whether England were bound to fulfill her engagements, since France was growing so alarmingly powerful. Generously and eloquently Fox exclaimed, "I am astonished at all I hear, particularly when I consider who they are that speak such words. Indeed I am more grieved than any of the honorable friends and colleagues of Mr. Pitt, at the growing greatness of France, which is daily extending her power in Europe and in America. That France, now accused of interfering with the concerns of others, we invaded, for the purpose of forcing upon her a government to which she would not submit, and of obliging her to accept the family of the Bourbons, whose yoke she spurned. By one of those sublime movements, which history should recommend to imitation, and preserve in eternal memorial, she repelled her invaders. Though warmly attached to the cause of England, we have felt an involuntary movement of sympathy with that generous outburst of liberty, and we have no desire to conceal it. No doubt France is great, much greater than a good Englishman ought to wish, but that ought not to be a motive for violating solemn treaties. But because France now appears too great to us—greater than we thought her at first—to break a solemn engagement, to retain Malta, for instance, would be an unworthy breach of faith, which would compromise the honor of Britain. I am sure that if there were in Paris an assembly similar to that which is debating here, the British navy and its dominion over the seas would be talked of, in the same terms as we talk in this house of the French armies, and their dominion over the land."

Napoleon sincerely wished for peace. He was constructing vast works to embellish and improve the empire. Thousands of workmen were employed in cutting magnificent roads across the Alps. He was watching with intensest interest the growth of fortifications and the excavation of canals. He was in the possession of absolute power, was surrounded by universal admiration, and, in the enjoyment of profound peace, was congratulating himself upon being the pacificator of Europe. He had disbanded his armies, and was consecrating all the resources of the nation to the stimulation of industry. He therefore left no means of forbearance and conciliation untried to avert the calamities of war. He received Lord Whitworth, the English embassador in Paris, with great distinction. The most delicate attentions were paid to his lady, the Duchess of Dorset. Splendid entertainments were given at the Tuileries and at St. Cloud in their honor. Talleyrand consecrated to them all the resources of his courtly and elegant manners. The two Associate Consuls, Cambaceres and Lebrun, were also unwearied in attentions. Still all these efforts on the part of Napoleon to secure friendly relations with England were unavailing. The British government still, in open violation of the treaty, retained Malta. The honor of France was at stake in enforcing the sacredness of treaties. Malta was too important a post to be left in the hands of England. Napoleon at last resolved to have a personal interview himself with Lord Whitworth, and to explain to him, with all frankness, his sentiments and his resolves.


[Pg 317]

It was on the evening of the 18th of February, 1803, that Napoleon received Lord Whitworth in his cabinet in the Tuileries. A large writing-table occupied the middle of the room. Napoleon invited the embassador to take a seat at one end of the table, and seated himself at the other. "I have wished," said he, "to converse with you in person, that I may fully convince you of my real opinions and intentions." Then with that force of language and that perspicuity which no man ever excelled, he recapitulated his transactions with England from the beginning; that he had offered peace immediately upon his accession to the consulship; that peace had been refused; that eagerly he had renewed negotiations as soon as he could with any propriety do so; and that he had made great concessions to secure the peace of Amiens. "But my efforts," said he, "to live on good terms with England, have met with no friendly response. The English newspapers breathe but animosity against me. The journals of the emigrants are allowed a license of abuse which is not justified by the British constitution. Pensions are granted to Georges and his accomplices, who are plotting my assassination. The emigrants, protected in England, are continually making excursions to France to stir up civil war. The Bourbon princes are received with the insignia of the ancient royalty. Agents are sent to Switzerland and Italy to raise up difficulties against France. Every wind which blows from England brings me but hatred and insult. Now we have come to a situation from which we must relieve ourselves. Will you or will you not execute the treaty of Amiens? I have executed it on my part with scrupulous fidelity. That treaty obliged me to evacuate Naples, Tarento, and the Roman States, within three[Pg 318] months. In less than two months, all the French troops were out of those countries. Ten months have elapsed since the exchange of the ratifications, and the English troops are still in Malta, and at Alexandria. It is useless to try to deceive us on this point. Will you have peace, or will you have war? If you are for war, only say so; we will wage it unrelentingly. If you wish for peace, you must evacuate Alexandria and Malta. The rock of Malta, on which so many fortifications have been erected, is, in a maritime point of view, an object of great importance; but, in my estimation, it has an importance infinitely greater, inasmuch as it implicates the honor of France. What would the world say, if we were to allow a solemn treaty, signed with us, to be violated? It would doubt our energy. For my part, my resolution is fixed. I had rather see you in possession of the Heights of Montmartre, than in possession of Malta."

"If you doubt my desire to preserve peace, listen, and judge how far I am sincere. Though yet very young, I have attained a power, a renown to which it would be difficult to add. Do you imagine that I am solicitous to risk this power, this renown, in a desperate struggle? If I have a war with Austria, I shall contrive to find the way to Vienna. If I have a war with you, I will take from you every ally upon the Continent. You will blockade us; but I will blockade you in my turn. You will make the Continent a prison for us; but I will make the seas a prison for you. However, to conclude the war, there must be more direct efficiency. There must be assembled 150,000 men, and an immense flotilla. We must try to cross the Strait, and perhaps I shall bury in the depths of the sea my fortune, my glory, my life. It is an awful temerity, my lord, the invasion of England." Here, to the amazement of Lord Whitworth, Napoleon enumerated frankly and powerfully all the perils of the enterprise: the enormous preparations it would be necessary to make of ships, men, and munitions of war—the difficulty of eluding the English fleet. "The chance that we shall perish," said he, "is vastly greater than the chance that we shall succeed. Yet this temerity, my lord, awful as it is, I am determined to hazard, if you force me to it. I will risk my army and my life. With me that great enterprise will have chances which it can not have with any other. See now if I ought, prosperous, powerful, and peaceful as I now am, to risk power, prosperity, and peace in such an enterprise. Judge, if when I say I am desirous of peace, if I am not sincere. It is better for you; it is better for me to keep within the limits of treaties. You must evacuate Malta. You must not harbor my assassins in England. Let me be abused, if you please, by the English journals, but not by those miserable emigrants, who dishonor the protection you grant them, and whom the Alien Act permits you to expel from the country. Act cordially with me, and I promise you, on my part, an entire cordiality. See what power we should exercise over the world, if we could bring our two nations together. You have a navy, which, with the incessant efforts of ten years, in the employment of all my resources, I should not be able to equal. But I have 500,000 men ready to march, under my command, whithersoever I choose to lead them. If you are masters of the seas, I am master of the land. Let us then think of uniting, rather than of going to war, and we shall rule at pleasure the destinies of the world. France and England united, can do every thing for the interests of humanity."

England, however, still refused, upon one pretense and another, to yield Malta; and both parties were growing more and more exasperated, and were gradually preparing for the renewal of hostilities. Napoleon, at times, gave very free utterance to his indignation. "Malta," said he, "gives the dominion of the Mediterranean. Nobody will believe that I consent to surrender the Mediterranean to the English, unless I fear their power. I thus loose the most important sea in[Pg 319] the world, and the respect of Europe. I will fight to the last, for the possession of the Mediterranean; and if I once get to Dover, it is all over with those tyrants of the seas. Besides, as we must fight, sooner or later, with a people to whom the greatness of France is intolerable, the sooner the better. I am young. The English are in the wrong; more so than they will ever be again. I had rather settle the matter at once. They shall not have Malta."

Still Napoleon assented to the proposal for negotiating with the English for the cession of some other island in the Mediterranean. "Let them obtain a port to put into," said he. "To that I have no objection. But I am determined that they shall not have two Gibraltars in that sea: one at the entrance, and one in the middle." To this proposition, however, England refused assent.

Napoleon then proposed that the Island of Malta should be placed in the hands of the Emperor of Russia; leaving it with him in trust, till the discussions between France and England were decided. It had so happened that the emperor had just offered his mediation, if that could be available, to prevent a war. This the English government also declined, upon the plea that it did not think that Russia would be willing to accept the office thus imposed upon her. The English embassador now received instructions to demand that France should cede to England, Malta for ten years; and that England, by way of compensation, would recognize the Italian republic. The embassador was ordered to apply for his passports, if these conditions were not accepted within seven days. To this proposition France would not accede. The English minister demanded his passports, and left France. Immediately the English fleet commenced its attack upon French merchant-ships, wherever they could be found. And the world was again deluged in war.



France has recorded her past history and her present condition, in the regal palaces she has reared. Upon these monumental walls are inscribed, in letters more legible than the hieroglyphics of Egypt, and as ineffaceable, the long and dreary story of kingly vice, voluptuousness and pride, and of popular servility and oppression. The unthinking tourist saunters through these magnificent saloons, upon which have been lavished the wealth of princes and the toil of ages, and admires their gorgeous grandeur. In marbled floors and gilded ceilings and damask tapestry, and all the appliances of boundless luxury and opulence, he sees but the triumphs of art, and bewildered by the dazzling spectacle, forgets the burning outrage upon human rights which it proclaims. Half-entranced, he wanders through uncounted acres of groves and lawns, and parterres of flowers, embellished with lakes, fountains, cascades, and the most voluptuous statuary, where kings and queens have reveled, and he reflects not upon the millions who have toiled, from dewy morn till the shades of night, through long and joyless years, eating black bread, clothed in coarse raiment—the man, the woman, the ox, companions in toil, companions in thought—to minister to this indulgence. But the palaces of France proclaim, in trumpet tones, the shame of France. They say to her kings, Behold the undeniable monuments of your pride, your insatiate extortion, your measureless extravagance and luxury. They say to the people, Behold the proofs of the outrages which your fathers, for countless ages, have endured. They lived in mud hovels that their licentious kings might riot haughtily in the apartments, canopied with gold, of Versailles, the Tuileries, and St. Cloud—the Palaces of France. The mind of the political economist lingers painfully upon them. They are gorgeous as specimens of art. They are sacred as memorials of the past. Vandalism alone would raze them to their foundations. Still, the judgment says, It would be better for the political regeneration of France, if, like the Bastile, their very foundations were plowed up, and sown with salt. For they are a perpetual provocative to every thinking man. They excite unceasingly democratic rage against aristocratic arrogance. Thousands of noble women, as they traverse those gorgeous halls, feel those fires of indignation glowing in their souls, which glowed in the bosom of Madame Roland. Thousands of young men, with compressed lip and moistened eye, lean against those marble pillars, lost in thought, and almost excuse even the demoniac and blood-thirsty mercilessness of Danton, Marat, and Robespierre. These palaces are a perpetual stimulus and provocative to governmental aggression. There they stand, in all their gorgeousness, empty, swept, and garnished. They are resplendently beautiful. They are supplied with every convenience, every luxury. King and Emperor dwelt there. Why should not the President? Hence the palace becomes the home of the Republican President. The expenses of the palace, the retinue of the palace, the court etiquette of the palace become the requisitions of good taste. In America, the head of the government, in his convenient and appropriate mansion, receives a salary of twenty-five thousand dollars a year. In France, the President of the Republic receives four hundred thousand dollars a year, and yet, even with that vast sum, can not keep up an establishment at all in accordance with the dwellings of grandeur which invite his occupancy, and which unceasingly and irresistibly stimulate to regal pomp and to regal extravagance. The palaces of France have a vast influence upon the present politics of France. There is an unceasing conflict between those marble walls of monarchical splendor, and the principles of republican simplicity. This contest will not soon terminate, and its result no one can foresee. Never have I felt my indignation more thoroughly aroused than when wandering[Pg 320] hour after hour through the voluptuous sumptuousness of Versailles. The triumphs of taste and art are admirable, beyond the power of the pen to describe. But the moral of execrable oppression is deeply inscribed upon all. In a brief description of the Palaces of France, I shall present them in the order in which I chanced to visit them.

1. Palais des Thermes.—In long-gone centuries, which have faded away into oblivion, a wandering tribe of barbarians alighted from their canoes, upon a small island in the Seine, and there reared their huts. They were called the Parisii. The slow lapse of centuries rolled over them, and there were wars and woes, bridals and burials, and still they increased in numbers and in strength, and fortified their little isle against the invasions of their enemies; for man, whether civilized or savage, has ever been the most ferocious wild beast man has had to encounter. But soon the tramp of the Roman legions was heard upon the banks of the Seine, and all Gaul, with its sixty tribes, came under the power of the Cæsars. Extensive marshes and gloomy forests surrounded the barbarian village; but, gradually, Roman laws and institutions were introduced; and Roman energy changed the aspect of the country. Immediately the proud conquerors commenced rearing a palace for the provincial governor. The Palace of Warm Baths rose, with its massive walls, and in imposing grandeur. Roman spears drove the people to the work; and Roman ingenuity knew well how to extort from the populace the revenue which was required. Large remains of that palace continue to the present day. It is the most interesting memorial of the past which can now be found in France. The magnificence of its proportions still strike the beholder with awe. "Behold," says a writer, who trod its marble floors nearly a thousand years ago: "Behold the Palace of the Kings, whose turrets pierce the skies, and whose foundations penetrate even to the empire of the dead." Julius Cæsar gazed proudly upon those turrets; and here the shouts of Roman legions, fifteen hundred years ago, proclaimed Julian emperor; and Roman maidens, with throbbing hearts, trod these floors in the mazy dance. No one can enter the grand hall of the baths, without being deeply impressed with the majestic aspect of the edifice, and with the grandeur of its gigantic proportions. The decay of nearly two thousand years has left its venerable impress upon those walls. Here Roman generals proudly strode, encased in brass and steel, and the clatter of their arms resounded through these arches. In these mouldering, crumbling tubs of stone, they laved their sinewy limbs. But where are those fierce warriors now? In what employments have their turbulent spirits been engaged, while generation after generation has passed on earth, in the enactment of the comedies and the tragedies of life? Did their rough tutelage in the camp, and their proud bearing in the court, prepare them for the love, the kindness, the gentleness, the devotion of Heaven? In fields of outrage, clamor, and blood, madly rushing to the assault, shouting in frenzy, dealing, with iron hand, every where around, destruction and death, did they acquire a taste for the "green pastures and the still waters?" Alas! for the mystery of our being! They are gone, and gone forever! Their name has perished—their language is forgotten.

"The storm which wrecks the wintry sky,
No more disturbs their deep repose,
Than summer evening's gentlest sigh,
Which shuts the rose."

Upon a part of the ruins of this old palace of the Cæsars, there has been reared, by more modern ancients, still another palace, where mirth and revelry have resounded, where pride has elevated her haughty head, and vanity displayed her costly robes—but over all those scenes of splendor, death has rolled its oblivious waves. About four hundred years ago, upon a portion of the crumbling walls of this old Roman mansion, the Palace of Cluny was reared. For three centuries, this palace was one of the abodes of the kings of France. The tide of regal life ebbed and flowed through those saloons, and along those corridors. There is the chamber where Mary of England, sister of Henry VIII., and widow of Louis XII., passed the weary years of her widowhood. It is still called the chamber of the "white queen," from the custom of the queens of France to wear white mourning. Three hundred years ago, these Gothic turrets, and gorgeously ornamented lucarne windows, gleamed with illuminations, as the young King of Scotland, James V., led Madeleine, the blooming daughter of Francis I., to the bridal altar. Here the haughty family of the Guises ostentatiously displayed their regal retinue—vying with the kings of France in splendor, and outvying them in power. These two palaces, now blended by the nuptials of decay into one, are converted into a museum of antiquities—silent depositories of memorials of the dead. Sadly one loiters through their deserted halls. They present one of the most interesting sights of Paris. In the reflective mind they awaken emotions which the pen can not describe.

2. The Louvre.—When Paris consisted only of the little island in the Seine, and kings and feudal lords, with wine and wassail were reveling in the saloons of Cluny, a hunting-seat was reared in the dense forest which spread itself along the banks of the river. As the city extended, and the forest disappeared, the hunting-seat was enlarged, strengthened, and became a fortress and a state-prison. Thus it continued for three hundred years. In its gloomy dungeons prisoners of state, and the victims of crime, groaned and died; and countless tragedies of despotic power there transpired, which the Day of Judgment alone can reveal. Three hundred years ago, Francis I. tore down the dilapidated walls of this old castle, and commenced the magnificent Palace of the Louvre upon their foundations. But its construction has required[Pg 321] the labor of ages, and upon it has been expended millions, which despotic power has extorted from the hard hands of penury. This gorgeous palace contains a wilderness of saloons and corridors, and flights of stairs; and seems rather adapted to accommodate the population of a city, than to be merely one of the residences of a royal family. The visitor wanders bewildered through its boundless magnificence. The spirits of the dead rise again, and people these halls. Here the pure and the noble Jeanne d'Albret was received in courtly grandeur, by the impure and the ignoble Catherine de Medici. Here Henry IV. led his profligate and shameless bride to the altar. From this window Charles IX. shot down the Protestants as they fled, amidst the horrors of the perfidious massacre of St. Bartholomew. In this gilded chamber, with its lofty ceiling and its tapestried walls, Catherine de Medici died in the glooms of remorse and despair. Her bed of down, her despotic power could present no refuge against the King of Terrors; and the mind is appalled with the thought, that from this very room, now so silent and deserted, her guilty spirit took its flight to the tribunal of the King of kings, and the Lord of lords. Successive generations of haughty sovereigns have here risen and died. And if there be any truth in history, they have been, almost without exception, proud, merciless, licentious oppressors. The orgies of sin have filled this palace. Defiance to God and man has here held its high carnival.


The mind is indeed bewildered with a flood of emotions rushing through it, as one is pointed to the alcove where Henry IV. was accustomed to sleep three hundred years ago, and to the very spot where, in anguish, he gasped and died, after having been stabbed by Ravaillac. Here one sees the very helmet worn by Henry II. on that unfortunate day, when the tilting spear of the Count of Montgommeri, entering his eye, pierced his brain. It requires the labor of a day even to saunter through the innumerable rooms of this magnificent abode. But it will never again resound with the revelries of kings and queens. Royalty has forsaken it forever. Democracy has now taken strange and anomalous possession of its walls. It is converted into the most splendid museum in the world—filled with the richest productions of ancient and modern art. The people now enter freely that sanctuary, where once none but kings and courtiers ventured to appear. The Louvre now is useful to the world; but upon its massive walls are registered deeds of violence, oppression, and crime which make the ear to tingle.


3. Malmaison.—When Napoleon was in the midst of his Egyptian campaign, he wrote to Josephine, to purchase somewhere in the vicinity of Paris, a pleasant rural retreat, to which they could retire from the bustle of the metropolis, and enjoy the luxury of green fields and shady groves. Josephine soon found a delightful chateau, about nine miles from Paris, and five from Versailles, which she purchased, with many acres of land around it, for about one hundred thousand dollars. The great value of the place was in the spacious and beautiful grounds, not in the buildings. The chateau itself was plain, substantial, simple, far less ostentatious in its appearance than many a country-seat erected upon the banks of the Hudson, or in the environs of Boston. Here Josephine resided most of the time during the eighteen months of Napoleon's absence in Egypt. Upon Napoleon's return, this became the favorite residence of them both. Amid all the splendors of the Empire, it was ever their great joy to escape to the rural quietude of Malmaison. There they often passed the Sabbath, in the comparative happiness of private life. Often Napoleon said, as he left those loved haunts, to attend to the cares and toils of the Tuileries, "Now I must again put on the yoke of misery." Napoleon ever spoke of the hours passed at Malmaison, as the happiest of his life. He erected for himself there, in a retired grove,[Pg 322] a little pavilion, very simple, yet beautiful, in its structure, which still retains the name of the Pavilion of the Emperor. Here he passed many hours of uninterrupted solitude, in profound study of his majestic plans and enterprises. Directly behind the chateau there was a smooth and beautiful lawn, upon a level with the ground floor of the main saloon. The windows, extending to the floor, opened upon this lawn. When all the kings of Europe were doing homage to the mighty emperor, crowds of visitors were often assembled at Malmaison; and upon this lawn, with the characteristic gayety of the French, many mirthful games were enacted. The favorite amusement here was the game of prisoners. Frequently, after dinner, the most distinguished gentlemen and ladies, not of France only, but of all Europe, were actively and mirthfully engaged in this sport. Kings and queens, and princes of the blood royal were seen upon the green esplanade, pursuing and pursued. Napoleon occasionally joined in the sport. He was a poor runner, and not unfrequently fell and rolled over upon the grass, while he and his companions were convulsed with laughter. Josephine, fond of deeds of benevolence, loved to visit the cottages in the vicinity of Malmaison; and her sympathy and kindness gave her enthronement in the hearts of all their inmates. After the divorce of Josephine, the Palace of Malmaison, which Napoleon had embellished with all those attractions which he thought could soothe the anguish of his wounded, weeping, discarded wife, was assigned to Josephine. A jointure of six hundred thousand dollars a year was settled upon her, and she retained the title and the rank of Empress Queen. Here Napoleon frequently called to see her; though from motives of delicacy, he never saw her alone. Taking her arm, he would walk for hours through those embowered avenues, confiding to her all his plans.

Just before Napoleon set out for his fatal campaign to Russia, he called to see Josephine. Taking her hand, he led her out to a circular seat in the garden, in front of the mansion, and for two hours continued engaged with her in the most earnest conversation. At last he rose and affectionately kissed her hand. She followed him to his carriage and bade him adieu. This was their last interview but one. He soon returned a fugitive from Moscow. All Europe was in arms against him. He earnestly sought a hurried interview with the faithful wife of his youth in her retreat at Malmaison. As he gazed upon her beloved features, tenderly and sadly he exclaimed, "Josephine! I have been as fortunate as was ever man upon the face of this earth. But in this hour, when a storm is gathering over my head, I have not any one in this wide world but you upon whom I can repose." With a moistened eye he bade her farewell. They met not again.

When the allied armies entered Paris a guard was sent, out of respect to Josephine, to protect Malmaison. The Emperor Alexander, with a number of illustrious guests, dined with the Empress Queen, and in the evening walked out upon the beautiful lawn. Josephine, whose health was shattered by sympathy and sorrow, took cold, and after the illness of a few days died. It was the 29th of May, 1814. It was the serene and cloudless evening of a tranquil summer's day. The windows of the apartment were open where the Empress was dying. The sun was silently sinking behind the trees of Malmaison, and its rays, struggling through the foliage, shone cheerfully upon the bed of death. The air was filled with the songs of birds, warbling, as it were, the vespers of Josephine's most eventful life. Thus sweetly her gentle spirit sank into its last sleep. In the antique village church of Ruel, about two miles from Malmaison, the mortal remains of this most lovely of women now slumber. A beautiful monument of white marble,[Pg 323] with a statue representing the Empress kneeling in her coronation robes, is erected over her burial place, with this simple but affecting inscription:


It was a bright and beautiful morning when I took a carriage, with a friend, and set out from Paris to visit Malmaison. We had been informed that the property had passed into the hands of Christina, the Queen-Mother of Spain, and that she had given strict injunctions that no visitors should be admitted to the grounds. My great desire, however, to visit Malmaison induced me to make special efforts to accomplish the object. A recent rain had laid the dust, the trees were in full leaf, the grass was green and rich, the grain was waving in the wind, and the highly cultivated landscape surrounding Paris presented an aspect of extraordinary beauty. We rode quietly along, enjoying the luxury of the emotions which the scene inspired, till we came to the village of Ruel. A French village has no aspect of beauty. It is merely the narrow street of a city set down by itself in the country. The street is paved, the cheerless, tasteless houses are huddled as closely as possible together. There is no yard for shrubbery and flowers, apparently no garden, no barn-yards with lowing herds. The flowers of the empire have been garnered in the palaces of the kings. The taste of the empire has been concentrated upon the Tuileries, Versailles, St. Cloud, Fontainebleau, and none has been left to embellish the home of the peasant. The man who tills the field must toil day and night, with his wife, his daughter, and his donkey, to obtain food and clothing for his family, as animals. This centralization of taste and opulence in particular localities, is one of the greatest of national mistakes and wrongs. America has no Versailles. May God grant that she never may have. But thousands of American farmers have homes where poets would love to dwell. Their daughters trim the shrubbery in the yard, and cultivate the rose, and partake themselves of the purity and the refinement of the rural scenes in the midst of which they are reared. In the village of Ruel, so unattractive to one accustomed to the rich beauty of New England towns, we found the church, an old, cracked, mouldering and crumbling stone edifice, built five hundred years ago. It was picturesque in its aspect, venerable from its historical associations, and as poorly adapted as can well be imagined for any purposes to which we in America appropriate our churches. The floor was of crumbling stone, worn by the footfalls of five centuries. There were enormous pillars supporting the roof, alcoves running in here and there, a pulpit stuck like the mud nest of a swallow upon a rock. The village priest was there catechising the children. A large number of straight-backed, rush-bottomed chairs were scattered about in confusion, instead of pews. These old Gothic churches, built in a semi-barbarian age, and adapted to a style of worship in which the pomp of paganism and a corrupted Christianity were blended, are to my mind gloomy memorials of days of darkness. Visions of hooded monks, of deluded penitents, of ignorant, joyless generations toiling painfully through them to the grave, impress and oppress the spirit. In one corner of the church, occupying a space some twenty feet square, we saw the beautiful monument reared by Eugene and Hortense to their mother. It was indeed a privilege to stand by the grave of Josephine; there to meditate upon life's vicissitudes, there to breathe the prayer for preparation for that world of spirits to which Josephine has gone. How faithful her earthly love; how affecting her dying prayer! clasping the miniature of the Emperor fervently to her bosom, she exclaimed, "O God! watch over Napoleon while he remains in the desert of this world. Alas! though he hath committed great faults, hath he not expiated them by great sufferings? Just God, thou hast looked into his heart, and hast seen by how ardent a desire for useful and durable improvements he was animated! Deign to approve my last petition. And may this image of my husband bear me witness that my latest wish and my latest prayer were for him and for my children."

As the Emperor Alexander gazed upon her lifeless remains, he exclaimed, "She is no more; that woman whom France named the Beneficent; that angel of goodness is no more. Those who have known Josephine can never forget her. She dies regretted by her offspring, her friends, and her contemporaries."

In the same church, opposite to the tomb of Josephine, stands the monument of her daughter Hortense. Her life was another of those tragedies of which this world has been so full. Her son, the present President of France, has reared to her memory a tasteful monument of various colored marble, emblematic, as it were, of the vicissitudes of her eventful life. The monument bears the inscription—"To Queen Hortense, by Prince Louis Bonaparte." She is represented kneeling in sorrowful meditation. As I stood by their silent monuments, and thought of the bodies mouldering to dust beneath them, the beautiful lines of Kirke White rose most forcibly to my mind:

"Life's labor done, securely laid
In this their last retreat,
Unheeded o'er their silent dust
The storms of life shall beat."

From Ruel we rode slowly along, through vineyards and fields of grain, with neither hedges nor fences to obstruct the view, for about two miles, when we arrived at the stone wall and iron entrance-gate of the chateau of Malmaison. The concierge, a pleasant-looking woman, came from the porter's lodge, and looking through the bars of the gate very politely and kindly told us that we could not be admitted. I gave her my passport, my card, and a copy of the Life of Josephine, which I had written in America, and requested her to take them to the head man of the[Pg 324] establishment, and to say to him that I had written the life of Josephine, and that I had come to France to visit localities which had been made memorable by Napoleon and Josephine, and that I was exceedingly desirous to see Malmaison. The good woman most obligingly took my parcel, and tripping away as lightly as a girl, disappeared in the windings of the well-graveled avenue, skirted with trees and shrubbery. In about ten minutes she returned, and smiling and shaking her head, said that the orders were positive, and that we could not be admitted. I then wrote a note to the keeper, in French, which I fear was not very classical, informing him "that I was writing the life of Napoleon; that it was a matter of great importance that I should see Malmaison, his favorite residence; that I had recently been favored with a private audience with the Prince President, and that he had assured me that he would do every thing in his power to facilitate my investigations, and that he would give me free access to all sources of information. But that as I knew the chateau belonged to the Queen of Spain, I had made no efforts to obtain from the French authorities a ticket of admission." Then for the first time I reflected that the proper course for me to have pursued was to have called upon the Spanish embassador, a very gentlemanly and obliging man, who would unquestionably have removed every obstacle from my way. Giving the good woman a franc to quicken her steps, again she disappeared, and after a considerable lapse of time came back, accompanied by the keeper. He was a plain, pleasant-looking man, and instead of addressing me with that angry rebuff, which, in all probability in America one, under similar circumstances, would have encountered, he politely touched his hat, and begged that I would not consider his refusal as caprice in him, but that the Queen of Spain did not allow any visitors to enter the grounds of Malmaison. The French are so polite, that an American is often mortified by the consciousness of his own want of corresponding courtesy. Assuming, however, all the little suavity at my command, I very politely touched my hat, and said: "My dear sir, is it not rather a hard case? I have crossed three thousand miles of stormy ocean to see Malmaison. Here I am at the very gate of the park, and these iron bars won't let me in." The kind-hearted man hesitated for a moment, looked down upon the ground as if deeply thinking, and then said, "Let me see your passports again, if you please." My companion eagerly drew out his passport, and pointed to the cabalistic words—"Bearer of dispatches." Whether this were the talisman which at last touched the heart of our friend I know not, but suddenly relenting he exclaimed, with a good-natured smile, "Eh bien! Messieurs, entrez, entrez," and rolling the iron gate back upon its hinges, we found ourselves in the enchanting park of Malmaison.

Passing along a beautiful serpentine avenue, embowered in trees and shrubbery, and presenting a scene of very attractive rural beauty, we came in sight of the plain, comfortable home-like chateau. A pleasant garden, smiling with flowers, bloomed in solitude before the windows of the saloon, and a statue of Napoleon, in his familiar form, was standing silently there. An indescribable air of loneliness and yet of loveliness was spread over the scene. It was one of the most lovely of May days. Nearly all the voices of nature are pensive; the sighing of the zephyr and the wailing of the tempest, the trickling of the rill and the roar of the ocean, the vesper of the robin and the midnight cry of the wild beast in his lair. Nature this morning and in this scene displayed her mood of most plaintive pathos. There was Napoleon, standing in solitude in the garden. All was silence around him. The chateau was empty and deserted. Josephine and Hortense were mouldering to dust in the damp tombs of Ruel. The passing breeze rustled the leaves of the forest, and the birds with gushes of melody sung their touching requiems. Shall I be ashamed to say that emotions uncontrollable overcame me, and I freely wept? No! For there are thousands who will read this page who will sympathize with me in these feelings, and who will mingle their tears with mine.

We entered the house, and walked from room to room through all its apartments. Here was the library of Napoleon, for he loved books. Christina has converted it into a billiard-room, for she loves play. Here was the little boudoir where Napoleon and Josephine met in their hours of sacred confidence, and the tapestry and the window curtains, in their simplicity, remain as arranged by Josephine's own hands. Here is the chamber in which Josephine died, and the very bed upon which she breathed her last. The afternoon sun was shining brilliantly in through the windows, which we had thrown open, as it shone forty years ago upon the wasted form and pallid cheek of the dying Josephine. The forest, so secluded and beautiful, waved brightly in the sun and in the breeze then as now; the birds then filled the air with the same plaintive melody. The scene of nature and of art—house, lawn, shrubbery, grove, cascade, grotto—remains unchanged; but the billows of revolution and death have rolled over the world-renowned inmates of Malmaison, and they are all swept away.

An old-serving man, eighty years of age, conducted us through the silent and deserted apartments. The affection with which he spoke of Napoleon and of Josephine amounted almost to adoration. He was in their service when the Emperor and Empress, arm-in-arm, sauntered through these apartments and these shady walks. There must have been some most extraordinary fascination in Napoleon, by which he bound to him so tenaciously all those who were brought near his person. His history in that respect is without a parallel. No mortal man, before or since, has been so enthusiastically loved. The column in the Place Vendome is still hung with garlands of flowers by the hand of affection. It is hardly too much to say, that the spirit of[Pg 325] Napoleon, emerging from his monumental tomb under the dome of the Invalids, still reigns in France. Louis Napoleon is nothing in himself. His power is but the reflected power of the Emperor.

We passed from the large saloon, upon the smooth green lawn, which has so often resounded with those merry voices, which are now all hushed in death. We looked upon trees which Napoleon and Josephine had planted, wandered through the walks along which their footsteps had strayed, reclined upon the seats where they had found repose, and culling many wild flowers, as memorials of this most beautiful spot, with lingering footsteps retired. Nothing which I have seen in France has interested me so much as Malmaison. Galignani's Guide-Book says: "The park and extensive gardens in which Josephine took so much delight are nearly destroyed. The chateau still exists, but the Queen Dowager of Spain, to whom Malmaison now belongs, has strictly forbidden all visits." This appears to be, in part, a mistake. The park and the grounds immediately around the mansion, as well as the chateau itself, remain essentially as they were in the time of Josephine. France contains no spot more rich in touching associations.

4. The Tuileries.—"Will Prince Louis Napoleon," inquired a gentleman, of a French lady, "take up his residence in the Tuileries?" "He had better not," was the laconic reply. "It is an unlucky place." It requires not a little effort of imagination to invest this enormous pile of blackened buildings with an aspect of beauty. Three hundred years ago the palace was commenced by Catherine de Medici. But it has never been a favorite residence of the kings of France, and no effort of the imagination, and no concomitants of regal splendor can make it an agreeable home. It has probably witnessed more scenes of woe, and more intensity of unutterable anguish, than any other palace upon the surface of the globe. Its rooms are of spacious, lofty, cheerless grandeur. Though millions have been expended upon this structure, it has had but occasional occupants. A few evenings ago I was honored with an invitation to a party given by Prince Louis Napoleon in the palace of the Tuileries. Four thousand guests were invited. The vast palace, had all its rooms been thrown open, might perhaps have accommodated twice as many more. When I arrived at half-past nine o'clock at the massive gateway which opens an entrance to the court of the Tuileries, I found a band of soldiers stationed there to preserve order. Along the street, also, for some distance, armed sentinels were stationed on horseback, promptly to summon, in case of necessity, the 80,000 troops who, with spear and bayonet, keep the restless Parisians tranquil. The carriage, following a long train, and followed by a long train, entered, between files of soldiers with glittering bayonets, the immense court-yard of the palace, so immense that the whole military force of the capital can there be assembled. The court-yard was illuminated with almost the brilliance of noon-day, by various pyramids of torches; and dazzling light gleamed from the brilliant windows of the palace, proclaiming a scene of great splendor within. A band of musicians, stationed in the court-yard, pealed forth upon the night air the most animating strains of martial music. At the door, an armed sentry looked at my ticket of invitation, and I was ushered into a large hall. It was brilliantly lighted, and a swarm of servants, large, imposing-looking men in gorgeous livery, thronged it. One of these servants very respectfully conducted the guest through the hall to a spacious ante-room. This room also was dazzling with light, and numerous servants were there to take the outer garments of the guests, and to give them tickets in return. My number was 2004. We then ascended a magnificent flight of marble stairs, so wide that twenty men could, with ease, march up them abreast. Sentinels in rich uniform stood upon the stairs with[Pg 326] glittering bayonets. We were ushered into the suit of grand saloons extending in long perspective, with regal splendor. Innumerable chandeliers suspended from the lofty gilded ceilings, threw floods of light upon the brilliant throng which crowded this abode of royalty. In two different saloons bands of musicians were stationed, and their liquid notes floated through the hum of general conversation. Men of lofty lineage were there, rejoicing in their illustrious birth, and bearing upon their breasts the jeweled insignia of their rank. Generals of armies were there, decorated with garments inwoven with gold. Ladies, almost aerial in their gossamer robes, floated like visions through the animated assembly. Occasionally the dense throng was pressed aside, and a little space made for the dancers. The rooms were warm, the crowd immense, the champagne abundant, and the dancers seemed elated and happy. As the hours of the night wore away, and the throng was a little diminished, and the bottles emptied, I thought that I could perceive that the polka and the waltz were prosecuted with a decided increase of fervor. I must confess that, with my Puritan notions, I should not like to see a friend of mine, whose maiden delicacy I desired to cherish, exposed to such hugs and such twirls.

About half-past ten o'clock, a wide door was thrown open at one end of the long suit of rooms, and the Prince President, accompanied by a long retinue of lords, ladies, embassadors, &c., entered the apartments. They passed along through the crowd, which opened respectfully before them, and entering one of the main saloons, took their seats upon an elevated platform, which had been arranged and reserved for them. All eyes were fastened upon the President. Every one seemed to feel an intense curiosity to see him. Wherever he moved, a circle, about ten feet in diameter, was left around him. It was curious to see the promptness with which the crowd would disperse before him, and close up behind him, whenever he changed his position. There were two immense refreshment rooms, supplied with every luxury, at the two ends of the suit of apartments, filled with guests. These rooms of vast capacity—for four thousand hungry people were to be provided for—were fitted up with counters running along three of their sides like those of a shop. Behind these counters stood an army of waiters; before them, all the evening long, an eager crowd. As soon as one had obtained his supply, there were two or three others ready to take his place. In one of the rooms there were provided wines, meats of all kinds, and a most luxurious variety of substantial viands. In the other refreshment-room, at the other end of the thronged apartments, there were ices, confectionery, fruits, and all the delicacies of the dessert.

This was seeing the Palace of the Tuileries in all its glory. Embassadors of all nations were there—the turbaned Turk, the proud Persian, the white-robed Arab. Many of the ladies were glittering with diamonds and every variety of precious stones.

"Music was there with her voluptuous swell,
And all went merry as a marriage bell."

But as I sauntered through the brilliant scene, visions of other days, and of spectacles more impressive, filled my mind. Through these very halls, again and again, has rolled an inundation of all that Paris can furnish of vulgarity, degradation, and violence. Into the embrasure of this very window the drunken mob of men and women drove, with oaths and clubs, Louis XVI., and compelled him to drink the cup of humiliation to its very dregs. It was from this window that the hapless Maria Antoinette looked, when the sentinel beneath brutally exclaimed to her, "I wish, Austrian woman, that I had your head upon my bayonet here, that I might pitch it over the wall to the dogs in the street!" It was upon this balcony that the sainted Madame Elizabeth and Maria Antoinette stepped, that dark and dreadful night when frenzied Paris, from all its garrets, and all its kennels, was surging like the billows of the ocean against the Tuileries. Their hearts throbbed with terror as they heard the tolling of the alarm bells, the rumbling of artillery wheels, and the rattle of musketry, as the infuriate populace thronged the palace, thirsting for their blood. From this balcony that awful night, Maria entered the chamber where her beautiful son was sleeping, gazed earnestly upon him, and left a mother's loving kiss upon his cheek. She then went to the apartment of her daughter. The beautiful child, fifteen years of age, comprehending the peril of the hour, could not sleep. Maria pressed her to her throbbing heart, and a mother's tenderness triumphed over the stoicism of the Queen. Her pent-up feelings burst through all restraints, and she wept with anguish unendurable.


The Tuileries! It is, indeed, an "unlucky palace." This saloon, now resounding with music and mirth, is the very spot where Josephine, with swollen eyes and heart of agony, signed that cruel deed of divorcement which sundered the dearest hopes and the fondest ties which a human heart can cherish. History contains not a more affecting incident than her final adieu to her husband, which occurred in this chamber the night after the divorce. The Emperor, restless and wretched, had just placed himself in the bed from which he had ejected his faithful wife, when the door of his chamber was slowly opened, and Josephine tremblingly entered. She tottered into the middle of the room, and approached the bed. Here, irresolutely stopping, she burst into a flood of tears. She seemed for a moment to reflect that it was no longer proper for her to approach the bed of Napoleon. But suddenly the pent-up fountains of love and grief in her heart burst forth; and, forgetting every thing, in the fullness of her anguish, she threw herself upon the bed, clasped Napoleon's neck in her arms, and exclaiming, "My husband! my husband!" wept in agony which could not be[Pg 327] controlled. The firm spirit of Napoleon was vanquished: he folded her to his bosom, pressed her cheek to his, and their tears were mingled together. He assured her of his love, of his ardent and undying love, and endeavored in every way to sooth her anguish.

It was down this marble staircase, now thronged with brilliant guests, that the next morning Josephine descended, vailed from head to foot. Her grief was too deep for utterance. Waving an adieu to the affectionate and weeping friends who surrounded her, she entered her carriage, sank back upon the cushion, buried her face in her handkerchief, and, sobbing bitterly, left the Tuileries forever. It is not probable that the Tuileries will ever again be inhabited by royalty. There are too many mournful associations connected with the place ever to render it agreeable as a residence. When Louis Philippe was driven from the Tuileries, the mob again sacked it, and its vast saloons are unfurnished and empty. Four years ago, the Provisional Government passed a decree that this palace should be converted into a hospital for invalid workmen. The Provisional Government, however, has passed away, and the decree has not been carried into effect. After the insurrection in June of 1848 it was used as a hospital for the wounded. More recently it has been used as a museum for the exhibition of paintings. Its days of regal pride and splendor have now passed away for ever.


5. The Palace Elysée.—This is a beautiful rural home in the very heart of Paris. It is now occupied by Prince Louis Napoleon. For a regal residence it is quite unostentatious, and few abodes could any where be found, combining more attractions, for one of refined and simple tastes. Through the kindness of our minister, Mr. Rives, I obtained an audience with Count Roguet, who is at the head of the Presidential household, and through him secured an "audience particulière" with Prince Louis Napoleon in the Elysée. As I alighted from a hackney-coach at the massive gateway of the palace, armed sentinels were walking to and fro upon the pavements, surrounding the whole inclosure of the palace with a vigilant guard. At the open iron gate two more were stationed. I passed between their bayonets and was directed into a small office where a dignified-looking official examined my credentials, and then pointed my steps along the spacious court-yard to the door of the mansion. Armed soldiers were walking their patrols along the yard, and upon the flight of steps two stood guarding the door, with their glittering steel. They glanced at my note of invitation, and I entered the door. Several servants were there, evidently picked men, large and imposing in figure, dressed in small-clothes, and silk stockings, and laced with rich livery. One glanced at my letter, and conducting me across the hall introduced me into another room. There I found another set of servants and three clerks writing at a long table. One took my note of invitation and sat down, as if to copy it, and I was ushered into the third room. This was a large room in the interior of the palace, richly ornamented with gilded pilasters and ceiling. The walls were painted with landscapes, representing many scenes of historic interest. There were ten gentlemen, who had come before me, waiting for an audience. Some were nobles, with the full display upon their breasts of the decorations of their rank. Others were generals, in brilliant military costume. Several I observed with the modest red ribbon in the button hole, indicating that they were members of the Legion of Honor. All spoke in low and subdued tones of voice, and with soft footsteps moved about the room. Occasionally, an officer of the household would enter the room with a paper in his hands, apparently containing a list[Pg 328] of the names of those who had arrived, and softly would call out the name of one, who immediately followed him into another room. As I at once saw that I had at least an hour to wait in the ante-room, I turned my thoughts to the scenes which, in years gone by, have transpired in this palace of Elysium. Nearly 150 years ago, the Count of Evreux built it for his aristocratic city residence. It was afterward purchased, enlarged, and beautified for the residence of Madame de Pompadour, the frail, voluptuous, intriguing paramour of Louis XV.; and often have they, arm-in-arm, paced this floor. They have passed out at these open French windows into the beautiful lawn which spreads before the mansion, and sauntered until lost in the wilderness of fountains, flowers, shrubbery, grove, and serpentine walks which spread over these enchanting grounds. But inexorable death struck down both king and mistress, and they passed away to the Judgment. The Revolution came, the awful retribution for centuries of kingly pride and oppression, and the regal palace became a printing-office for the irreligion of Voltaire, and the Jacobinism of Marat. These saloons and boudoirs were turned into eating rooms, and smoking rooms. The girls of the street crowded this spacious parlor, and where kings and queens had danced before them, they proudly danced with liberté, fraternité, égalité, in red cap and blouse. Then came the young soldier from Corsica, and with a whip of small cords drove printer, blouse, and grisette into the street. By his side stands the tall, athletic, mustached inn-keeper's boy, who had learned to ride when grooming the horses of his father's guests. With his whirlwind cloud of cavalry he had swept Italy and Egypt, and now enriched and powerful, Murat claims the hand of Caroline Bonaparte, the sister of the great conqueror. With his bride he takes the palace of the Elysée, and lives here in extravagance which even Louis XV. could not surpass. These paintings on the wall, Murat placed here. These pyramids of Egypt ever remind his guests that Murat, with his crushing squadrons, trampled down the defiant Mamelukes upon the Nile. This lady, walking beneath the trees of the forest, is Caroline, his wife. The children filling this carriage so joyously, are his sons and daughters. But he who had crowns at his disposal, places his brother-in-law upon the throne of Naples, and Napoleon himself chooses this charming spot for his favorite city residence. Weary with the cares of empire, he has often sought repose in these shady bowers. But allied Europe drove him from his Elysium, and the combined forces of Russia, Prussia, and Austria, take possession of the capital of his empire, and reinstate the Bourbons upon the throne from which they had been driven. Napoleon returns from Elba, and again hastens to his beloved Elysée. A hundred days glide swiftly by, and he is a prisoner, bound to St. Helena, to die a captive in a dilapidated stable. As I was reflecting upon the changes, and upon the painful contrast which must have presented itself to Napoleon, between the tasteful and exquisite seclusion of the Elysée, and the cheerless, barren, mist-enveloped rock of St. Helena, I was awakened from my reverie by a low tone of voice calling my name. I followed the messenger through a door, expecting to enter the presence of Louis Napoleon. Instead of that I was ushered into a large, elegantly furnished saloon—the council chamber of the Emperor Napoleon, but it was empty. There was a large folio volume, resembling one of the account books of a merchant, lying open upon a table. The messenger who summoned me, with my note of invitation in his hand, went to the book, passed his finger down the page, and soon I saw it resting upon my name. He read, apparently, a brief description of my character, and then, leaving me alone, went into another room, I suppose to inform the President who was to be introduced to him. In a few moments he returned, and I was ushered into the presence of the Prince President of Republican France. He was seated in an arm-chair, at the side of a table covered with papers. Louis Napoleon is a small man, with a mild, liquid, rather languid eye, and a countenance expressive of much passive resolution rather than of active energy. In his address, he is courteous, gentle, and retiring, and those who know him best, assign him a far higher position in the grade of intellect than is usually in our country allotted to him. His government is an utter despotism, sustained by the bayonets of the army. I have made great efforts, during the two months in which I have been in Paris, to ascertain the state of public opinion respecting the government of Louis Napoleon. Circumstances have thrown me much into French society, both into the society of those who are warm friends, and bitter enemies of the present government. So far as I can ascertain facts, they seem to be these. There are four parties who divide France—the Bourbonists, the Orleanists, the Socialists, and the Bonapartists. Like the military chieftains in Mexico, they are all struggling for dominion. There is not sufficient intelligence and virtue in France, for it to be governed by opinion, by a vote. The bayonet is the all-availing argument. If Louis Napoleon is overthrown, it must be to give place to some one, who, like him, must call the army and despotic power to his support. Consequently, multitudes say, What shall we gain by the change? We shall have new barricades in the street, new rivulets of blood trickling down our gutters, and simply another name in the Elysée.—I can see no indication that Louis Napoleon has any personal popularity. The glory of his uncle over-shadows him and renders him available. The army and the church, but without any enthusiasm, are in his favor. Most of the men in active business who seek protection and good order, support his claims. The American merchants, settled in Paris, generally feel that the overthrow of Louis Napoleon would be to them a serious calamity, and that they should hardly dare in[Pg 329] that case, to remain in Paris. His government is submitted to, not merely as a choice of evils, but there is a kind of approval of his despotism as necessary to sustain him in power, and for the repose of France. I do not say that these views are correct. I only say, that so far as I can learn, this appears to me to be the state of the public mind.

It is very evident that no portion of the people regard Louis Napoleon with enthusiasm. At the great fête in the Champs Elysée, which called all Europe to Paris, to witness the restoration of the ancient eagles of France to the standards of the army, it was almost universally supposed out of Paris, that the hundred thousand troops then passing in proud array before the President would hail him Emperor. A countless throng encircled the area of that vast field. It was estimated that nearly a million of people were there assembled. Yet when Louis Napoleon made his appearance with his brilliant staff, I did not hear one single citizen's voice raised in applause. As he rode along the ranks of the army, a murmur of recognition followed his progress, but no shouts of enthusiasm.

Immediately after the fête, a magnificent ball and entertainment were given by the army, to Prince Louis Napoleon. It is said, that one hundred and sixty thousand dollars were expended in canopying the vast court yard of the Ecole Militaire, and in decorating it for this occasion. Fifteen thousand guests were invited. The scene of brilliance and splendor, no pen can describe. About half-past twelve o'clock the President entered upon an elevated platform, accompanied by the foreign ministers and the members of his court. But not one single voice even shouted a welcome. He remained a couple of hours conversing with those around him, and then bowing to the enormous throng of those whose invited guest he was, retired. One man, by my side, shouted in a clear, shrill voice which filled the vast saloons, "Vive l'Empereur," two others promptly responded, "Vive Napoleon." No other acclaim was heard.

The prospect of France is gloomy. Such a government as the present can not be popular. No other seems possible. No one seems to expect that the government can last for many years. And yet a change is dreaded. Rich men are transferring their property to England and America. Never did I love my own country as now. Never did I appreciate as now, the rich legacy we have inherited from our fathers. The hope of the world is centred in America. We must let Europe alone. To mortal vision her case is hopeless. We must cultivate our country, spread over our land, virtue and intelligence, and freedom; and welcome to peaceful homes in the new world, all who can escape from the taxation and despotism of the old. In half a century from now, the United States will be the most powerful nation upon which our sun has ever shone. Then we can speak with a voice that shall be heard. Our advice will have the efficiency of commands. Europe now has apparently but to choose between the evils of despotism, and the evils of anarchy. And still it is undeniable that the progress, though slow and painful is steadily onward toward popular liberty.

In this paper I have but commenced the description of the Palaces of France. In a subsequent number I may continue the subject.


"Another flask of Orvieto, Gaetano, and tell the vetturino that we start to-morrow morning, punctually at six," exclaimed one of three foreigners, seated around a table, in the smokiest corner of the "Lepre"—the artist-haunt of the Via Condotti.

The speaker was a plain looking French gentleman, who, under the simplest exterior, concealed the most admirable mind and the highest personal qualities. A Provincial by birth, a Parisian by education, and a cosmopolite by travel, he united all the peculiar sagacity of his nation with that more dignified tone of character so rarely met with in his countrymen. Descended from a family of Lorraine, who had inherited the magistracy for centuries, and who, ruined at the emigration, had only partially recovered their fortunes at the restoration, our friend (ours, at least, reader) found himself, on attaining his majority, possessed of a sufficient competency to enable him to travel in a moderate way, so long as the taste should continue. And here he had been residing in Rome a twelvemonth (not rushing through it with cis-Atlantic steam-power), studying art with devotion, and living the intense life of Italian existence. His companions at the moment our recital commences, were an old Hollander, who had emerged from commerce into philosophy (no very usual exit!) and myself, whom chance had made a lounger in European capitals—a pilgrim from both Mecca and Jerusalem—and a connoisseur in every vintage from Burgundy to Xeres.

Carnival, with its fantastic follies, when the most constitutionally sedate by a species of frenzied reaction become the most reckless in absurdity, was past. Holy Week, with its gorgeous ecclesiastical mummery—its magnificent fire-works, and its still more magnificent illumination was likewise gone. Nearly all the travelers who had been spending the winter in Rome, including the two thousand English faces which, from their constant repetition at every public place, seemed at least two hundred thousand, had disappeared. Our own party had lingered after the rest, loath to leave, perhaps forever, the most fascinating city in the world to an intelligent mind. But at last we too, had determined to go, and our destination was Naples.

That very afternoon we had taken one of the tumble-down carriages, which station on the Piazza di Spagna, to make a farewell giro through the Forum. Leaving Rome is not like[Pg 330] leaving any other town. Associations dating from early childhood, and linking the present with the past, make familiar, before they are known, objects in themselves so intrinsically interesting and beautiful, that the strongest attachment is sure to follow a first actual acquaintance with them. And when that acquaintance has been by daily intercourse matured, it is hard to give it up.

The weather was delicious. And as our crazy vehicle rattled over the disjointed pavement of the Appian way, among sandaled monks, lounging Jesuits, and herdsmen from the Campagna, a heart-sickness came over us which, in the instance of one, at least, of the party, has since settled down into a chronic mal du pays.

We had been taking our last meal at the "Trattoria Lepre," where we had so often, after a hard day's work, feasted upon cignale (wild boar), or something purporting so to be, surrounded by the bearded pensionnaires of all the academies.

Our Figaro-like attendant, who had served us daily for so many months, was more than commonly officious in the consciousness that the next morning we proposed to start for Naples. And, in fact, on the succeeding day at an early hour, an antediluvian vehicle, with chains and baskets slung beneath, drawn by three wild uncouth-looking animals, under the guidance of a good-for-nothing, half-bandit Trasteverino, in a conical hat and unwashed lineaments, might be seen emerging from the Porta San Giovanni, with their three Excellenzas in the inside.

The hearts of all three were too full for utterance—several miles we jogged on in silence, straining our eyes with last glimpses of St. Peter's, the Pantheon, and St. John Lateran.

At Albano we proposed to breakfast; and, while the meal was being prepared and the horses being refreshed, we started for a walk to the Lake, familiar to all the party from previous visits.

As we were seated on the bank, cigars in mouth, and as moody as might be, the Frenchman first endeavored to turn the current of our thoughts by speaking of Naples, which he alone of us knew. The effort was not particularly successful. But the Frenchman promised that when we resumed our journey, he would tell us a Neapolitan story, the effect of which, he hoped, would be to raise our spirits.

After returning to the inn, and breakfasting upon those mysterious Italian cutlets, the thick breading upon which defies all satisfactory investigation into their original material, we resumed our journey.

Legs dovetailed, and cigars relighted, the Frenchman thus commenced the story of


The summer before last, after a shocking soaking in crossing the Apennines, I contracted one of those miserable fevers that nature seems to exact as a toll from unfortunate Trans-Alpines for a summer's residence in Italy. I had no faith in Italian doctors, and as there was no medical man from my own country in Florence, I was persuaded to call in Doctor Playfair a Scotch physician, long domiciled in Italy, and as I afterwards discovered, both a skillful practitioner and a charming companion. I was kept kicking my heels against the footboard in all some six weeks, and when I had become sufficiently convalescent to sit up, the doctor used to make me long and friendly visits. In these visits he kept me posted up with all the chit-chat of the town; and upon one occasion related to me, better than I can tell it, the following story, of the truth of which (in all seriousness), he was perfectly satisfied, having heard it from the mouth of one of the parties concerned.

"Do throw some bajocchi to those clamorous natives, my dear Republican, that I may proceed with my story in peace."

Well, then, to give you a little preliminary history—don't be alarmed—a very little. The liberal government established in Naples in the winter of 1820-21, on the basis of the Spanish Cortes of 1812, was destined to a speedy dissolution. The despotic powers of the Continent, at the instigation of Austria, refused to enter into diplomatic relations with a kingdom which had adopted the representative system, after an explicit and formal engagement to maintain the institutions of absolutism. An armed intervention was decided upon at the Congress of Laybach, with the full consent and approbation of Ferdinand I., who treacherously abandoned the cause of his subjects. It was agreed to send an Austrian army, backed by a Russian one, into the Neapolitan dominions, for the purpose of putting down the Carbornari and other insurgents who, to the number of one hundred and fifty thousand men, badly armed, badly clothed, and badly disciplined, had assembled under the command of that notorious adventurer, Guiliemo Pepe, for the protection of those feebly secured liberties which had resulted to their country from the Sicilian revolution of the previous summer. This foreign force was to be maintained entirely at the expense of Ferdinand, and to remain in his kingdom, if necessary, for three years. The feeble resistance offered by the patriots to the invading forces—their defeat at the very outset—and their subsequent flight and disbandment—constitute one of those disgraceful denouements so common to Italian attempts at political regeneration.

"By all the storks in Holland," exclaimed the Dutchman, "cut short your story—I see nothing in it particularly enlivening."

"Badinage à part," resumed the Frenchman, "I have done in a word."

After the disastrous engagement of March 7, at Rieti, and the restoration of the old government, the patriot forces were scattered over the country; and as has too often been the case in southern Europe upon the discomfiture of a revolutionary party, many bands of banditti were formed from the disorganized remnants of the defeated army. For a long time the whole of the kingdom, particularly the Calabrias, was infested by robber gangs, whose boldness only equaled[Pg 331] their necessities. Most of these banditti were hunted down and transferred to the galleys. The Neapolitan police has at all times been active in the suppression of disorders known or suspected to have a political origin. Fear of a revolution has ever been a more powerful incentive to the government than respect for justice or love of order; and "Napoli la Fidelissima" has so far reserved the name, and inspired such confidence in the not particularly intellectual sovereign who now sits on the throne, that the last time that I was there, his Majesty was in the habit of parading his bewhiskered legions through the streets of his capital, completely equipped at all points—except that they were unarmed!

And now for the story.

Among the most notorious of the banditti chieftains was one Carlo Carrera. This person, who had been a subaltern officer, succeeded for a long time, with some thirty followers, in defying the attempts of the police to capture him. Driven from hold to hold, and from fastness to fastness, he had finally been pursued to the neighborhood of Naples. Here the gendarmes of the government were satisfied that he was so surrounded as soon to be compelled to surrender at discretion. This was late in the following winter.

About this time his Britannic Majesty's frigate "Tagus," commanded by Captain, now Vice-Admiral, Sir George Dundas, was cruising in the Mediterranean. In the month of February Sir George anchored in the bay of Naples, with the intention of remaining there some weeks. It happened that another officer in his Majesty's navy, Captain, now Vice-Admiral, Sir Edward Owen, was wintering at Naples for the benefit of his health, accompanied by his wife and her sister, Miss V——, a young lady of extraordinary beauty and accomplishments. Sir George and Sir Edward were old friends. They had been together in the same ship as captain and first-lieutenant on the African station, and their accidental meeting when equals in rank was as cordial as it was unexpected.

A few days after the arrival of the frigate, a pic-nic excursion to the shores of Lake Agnano was proposed. The party was to consist of the persons of whom I have just been speaking, together with a few other English friends, chiefly gentlemen from the embassy. Accordingly they set off on one of those delightful mornings which are of themselves almost sufficient to make strangers exclaim with the enthusiastic Neapolitans, "Vedi Napoli e poi mori!" The surpassing loveliness of the scene, its perfect repose with so many elements of action, brought to the soul such a luxurious sense of passive enjoyment, that it seemed like the echo of all experienced happiness. I can not say if the Strada Nuova, in all its present paved perfection, then existed; but there must have been some sort of a road following the indentations of that lovely shore.

I have traced from Genoa to Nice the far-famed windings of the Maritime Alps—I have sailed along the glittering shores of the Bosphorus—I have admired the boasted site of the Lusitanian capital—and yet I feel, as all travelers must feel, that the combined charms of all these would fail to make another Naples.

Far out before them lay the fair island of Capri, like a sea goddess, with arms outstretched to receive the playful waters of the Mediterranean. Behind, Vesuvius rose majestically, the blue smoke lazily curling from its summit, as peaceful as if it had only been placed there as an accessory to the beauty of the scene; and further on, as they turned the promontory, lay the bright islets of Nisita and Procida, so fantastic in their shapes and so romantic in their outlines.

On reaching the shore of Lake Agnano, our travelers left their carriage near the villa of Lucullus. Of course they suffocated themselves, according to the approved habit of tourists, in the vapor baths of San Germano—and according to the same approved habit, devoted an unfortunate dog to temporary strangulation in the mephitic air of the Grotta del cane. After doing up the lions of the neighborhood, our friends seated themselves near the shore, to partake of the cold fowls and champagne, of which ample provision had been made for the excursion.

"I should have preferred the native Lachrymæ Christi to champagne," interrupted the Dutchman, "if the usual quality compares with that of some I once drank at Rotterdam."

The repast finished, resumed the Frenchman, most of the party strolled off to the other extremity of the lake—until after a short time no one was left but Miss V——, who was amusing herself by making a sketch of the landscape. What a pity that the women of other nations are so rarely accomplished in drawing, while the English ladies are almost universally so!

Well then, our fair heroine for the moment, had got on most industriously with her work, when suddenly, on raising her eyes from her paper to a stack of decayed vines, she was disagreeably surprised at finding a pair of questionable optics leveled upon her. Retaining her composure of manner, she continued tranquilly her occupation, until she had time to remark that the intruder was accompanied by at least a dozen companions. At this moment the personage whom she had first seen, quietly left his place of partial concealment, walked up to the astonished lady, folded his arms, and stationed himself behind her back. He was a large, heavy, good-looking person—but the circumstances under which he presented himself, rather than any peculiarity in his appearance, caused Miss V—— to suspect the honesty of his profession.

"Indeed you are making an uncommonly pretty picture there, if you will permit me to say so," remarked the stranger.

"I am glad you like it," replied the young lady. "I think, however, that it would be vastly improved, if you would permit me to sketch your figure in the foreground."

"Nothing would flatter me more. But, cara signorina, my present object is a much less romantic one than sitting for my portrait to so fair an artist. Will you allow me to gather up for myself[Pg 332] and my half famished friends, the fragments of your recent meal?"

"You are quite welcome to them, I assure you."

The dialogue had proceeded thus far when it was interrupted by the return, to the no small satisfaction of one of the party at least, of the two English officers and some others of the stragglers.

The stranger, in no way disconcerted, turned to Sir Edward Owen, and said,

"I believe that I have the honor of addressing his Excellency, the commander of the British frigate in the harbor."

"Excuse me," said Sir George Dundas, "I am that person."

"Sono il servitore di Vostra Excellenza. The young lady whom I found here has given me permission to make use of the food that has been left by your party. But if your Excellency, and you, sir," addressing the other officer, "will grant me the favor of a moment's private conversation, you will increase the obligation already conferred."

The three, thereupon, retired to a short distance from the rest of the company, when the stranger resumed:

"If your Excellencies have been in this poor country long enough, you must have heard speak of one Carlo Carrera. You may or you may not be surprised to hear that I am he—and that my followers are not far off. I have no desire to inconvenience your Excellencies, your friends, or, least of all, the ladies who accompany you, and shall, therefore, be but too happy to release you at once—I say release, for you are in my power—upon the single condition, however, that you two gentlemen give me your word of honor that you will both, or either of you, come to me whenever or wherever I shall send for you during the next two weeks—and that you will not speak of this conversation to any one."

Disposed at all hazards to extricate the ladies from any thing like an adventure, our travelers willingly entered into the required engagement, and, with a mutual "a rivederla," the two parties separated.

Our English friends returned to Naples, amused at the singular episode to their excursion, and rather disposed to admire the gallant behavior of the intruder than to regard him with any unfavorable sentiments.

Some three days after this, as Sir George Dundas was strolling about nightfall in the Villa Reale, a person in the dress of a priest approached him, and beckoned him to follow. Leading the officer into an obscure corner behind one of the numerous statues, the stranger informed him that he came from the bandit of Lake Agnano, and that he was directed to request him to be at seven o'clock that evening in front of the Filomarini Chapel, in the Church of the Santissimi Apostoli.

The gallant captain did not hesitate to obey. At the appointed hour, on entering the church and advancing to the indicated chapel, he found before it what appeared to be an old woman on her knees, engaged in the deepest devotion. At a sign from the pretended worshiper, the captain fell upon his knees at her side. The old crone briefly whispered to him, that it was known to Carrera that his Excellency was invited to a ball at the British Embassy the next evening—that he must by no means fail to go—but that at midnight precisely he must leave the ball-room, return home, remove his uniform, put on a plain citizen's dress, and be at the door of the same church at one o'clock in the morning.

After these directions the old woman resumed her devotions, and the captain left the church, his curiosity considerably excited by the adventurous turn that things were taking. His brother officer, to whom he related the particulars of the meeting at the Villa Reale, and of the interview in the church, strongly urged him to fulfill the promise which he had made at Lake Agnano, and to follow to the letter the mysterious instructions which he had received.

Of course, the ball at the British Embassy on the following evening was graced by the presence of nearly all the distinguished foreigners in town. The English wintered at Naples at that time in almost as large numbers as they do at present; and in all matters of gayety and festivity, display and luxury, they as far exceeded the Italians as they now do. It is a curious circumstance, which both of you must have had occasion to remark, that the English, so rigid and austere at home, when transplanted south of the Alps, surpass the natives themselves in license and frivolity.

Our captain was of course there, and at an early hour. After mingling freely in the gayeties of the evening, at midnight precisely he withdrew from the ball-room, sans congé, and hastened to his apartments. Changing his dress, and arming himself with a brace of pistols, he hurried to the Church of the Apostoli. In his excess of punctuality, he arrived too early at the rendezvous; and it was only after the expiration of some twenty minutes, that he was joined by the withered messenger before employed to summon him. Bidding him follow her, the old woman led the way with an activity little to have been expected in one apparently so feeble. Turning down the Chiaja, they followed the course of the bay a weary way beyond the grotto of Posilipo. The captain was already tolerably exhausted when the guide turned off abruptly to the right, and commenced the ascent of one of those vine-clad hills which border the road. The hill was thickly planted with the vine, so that their progress was both difficult and fatiguing.

They had been toiling upward more than an half hour since leaving the highway, and the patience of Sir George was all but exhausted, when on a sudden they came to one of those huts constructed of interlaced boughs, which are temporarily used by the vine-dressers in the south of Italy. The entrance was closed by a plaited mat of leaves and stalks. Raising this[Pg 333] mat, the old woman entered, followed by her companion.

The hut was dimly lighted by a small lantern. Closing the entrance as securely as the nature of the fastening would permit, the pretended old woman threw off her disguise and disclosed the well-remembered features of the courteous bandit of Lake Agnano.

Thanking his guest for the punctuality with which he had kept his appointment, Carrera motioned him to follow him to the further extremity of the hut. Taking the lantern in his hand, and stooping, the Italian raised a square slab of stone, which either from the skill with which it was adjusted or from the partial obscurity which surrounded him, had escaped Sir George's eye. As he did this a flood of light poured into the hut. Descending by a flight of a dozen or more steps, followed by the robber chieftain, who drew back the stone after them, the captain found himself in one of those spacious catacombs so common in the neighborhood of Naples. Seated around a table were a score or more of as fierce looking vagabonds as the imagination could paint, who all rose to their feet as their leader entered with his guest, saluting both with that propriety of address so peculiar to the lower classes of Italians and Spaniards.

When all were seated, Carrera turned to the Englishman, and said,

"Your Excellency will readily suppose that I had a peculiar motive for desiring an interview. God knows that I was not brought up to wrong and violence—but evil times have sadly changed the current of my life. A poor soldier, I have become a poorer brigand—at least in these latter days, when hunted like a wild beast I am at last enveloped in the toils of my pursuers, egress from which is now impossible by my own unaided efforts. I have no particular claim upon your excellency's sympathy, but I have thought that mere pity might induce you to receive me and my followers on board your frigate, and transport us to some place of safety beyond the limits of unhappy Italy."

Here the astonished Englishman sprang to his feet, protesting that his position as a British officer prevented him from entertaining for a moment so extraordinary a proposition.

"Your Excellency will permit me, with all respect, to observe," Carrera resumed, "that I have treated you and yours generously. Do not compel me to regret that I have done so; and do not force me to add another to the acts of violence which already stain my hands. Your Excellency knows too many of our secrets; we could not, consistently with our own safety, permit you to exist otherwise than as a friend."

The discussion was long. The robbers pleaded hard, pledging themselves not to disgrace the captain's generosity, if he would consent to save them. Sir George could not prevent himself from somewhat sympathizing with these unfortunate men, who had been driven to the irregular life they led as much by the viciousness of the government under which they lived as by any evil propensities of their own. It is not at all probable that the threat had any thing to do with his decision, but certain it is, that the dialogue terminated by a conditional promise on his part to yield to their request.

"If your Excellency will send a boat to a spot on the shore, directly opposite where we now are, to-morrow, at midnight, it will be easy for us to dispatch the sentinel and jump aboard," continued Carrera.

"I will send the boat," answered the Englishman, "but will under no circumstances consent to any bloodshed. You forget your own recently-expressed scruples on the same subject."

It was finally decided that the boat should be sent—that the captain should arrange some plan to divert the attention of the sentinel—and that to their rescuer alone should be left the choice of their destination.

Matters being thus arranged, Carrera resumed his disguise, and conducted his guest homeward as far as the outskirts of the town.

The following night at the appointed hour, a boat with muffled oars silently approached the designated spot. An officer, wrapped in a boat cloak was seated in the stern. As the boat drew near the shore, the sentinel presented his musket, and challenged the party. The officer, with an under-toned "Amici," sprang to the beach.

A few hundred yards from the spot where the landing had been effected, stood an isolated house with a low verandah. The officer, slipping a scudo into the sentinel's hand, told him that he was come for the purpose of carrying off a young girl residing in that house, and begged him to assist him by making a clatter on the door at the opposite side, so as to divert the attention of the parents while he received his inamorata from the verandah. The credulous Neapolitan was delighted to have an opportunity to earn a scudo by so easy a service.

The moment that he disappeared, Carrera and his band rushed to the boat. A few powerful strokes of the oars and they were out of the reach of musket-shot before the bewildered sentry could understand that in some way or other his credulity had been imposed upon.

That night the "Tagus" weighed anchor for Malta. The port of destination was reached after a short and prosperous voyage. Sir George remained there only sufficiently long to discharge his precious cargo, who left him, as may be imagined, with protestations of eternal gratitude.

The fact that the frigate was on a cruise prevented any particular surprise at her sudden disappearance from the waters of Naples. And when she returned to her anchorage after a short absence, even the party to the pic-nic were far from conjecturing that there was any connection between her last excursion and the adventure of Lake Agnano.

Carrera and his band enlisted in a body into one of the Maltese regiments. A year or two later, becoming dissatisfied, they passed over into Albania, and took service with Ali Pasha.

[Pg 334]

Some seven years after these events, Sir George Dundas was again at Naples. As he was lounging one day in the Villa Reale, a tall and noble-looking man, whose countenance seemed familiar, approached him. Shaking him warmly by the hand, the stranger whispered in his ear,

"Il suo servitore Carrera!"

And thus ends the Frenchman's story.


"Water, water, every where,
And not a drop to drink!"

I could never understand why we call our summer resorts Watering-Places. I am but an individual, quite anonymous, as you see, and only graduated this summer, yet I have "known life," and there was no fool of an elephant in our college town, and other towns and cities where I have passed vacations. Now, if there have been any little anti-Maine-Law episodes in my life, they have been my occasional weeks at the Watering-Places.

It was only this summer, as I was going down the Biddle staircase at Niagara, that Keanne, who was just behind me, asked quietly, and in a wondering tone, "Why do cobblers drive the briskest trade of all, from Nahant to Niagara?" I was dizzy with winding down the spiral stairs, and gave some philosophical explanation, showing up my political economy. But when in the evening, at the hotel, he invited me to accompany him in an inquiry into the statistics of cobblers, I understood him better.

So far from being Watering-Places, it is clear that there is not only a spiritual but a sentimental intoxication at all these pleasant retreats. There is universal exhilaration. Youth, beauty, summer, money, and moonlight conspire to make water, or any thing of which water is a type, utterly incredible. There is no practical joke like that of asking a man if he came to Saratoga to drink the waters. Every man justly feels insulted by such a suspicion. "Am I an invalid, sir? Have I the air of disease, I should like to know?" responds Brummell, fiercely, as he turns suddenly round from tying his cravat, upon which he has lavished all his genius, and with which he hoped to achieve successes. "Do I look weak, sir? Why the deuce should you think I came to Saratoga to drink the waters?"

At Niagara it is different. There you naturally speak of water—over your champagne or chambertin at dinner; and at evening you take a little tipple to protect yourself against the night air as you step out to survey the moonlight effects of the cataract. You came professedly to see the water. There is nothing else to see or do there, but to look at the falls, eat dinner, drink cobblers, and smoke. If you have any doubt upon this point, run up in the train and see. I think you will find people doing those things and nothing else. I am not sure, indeed, but you will find some young ladies upon the piazza overhanging the rapids, rapt and fascinated by the delirious dance of the water beneath, who add a more alluring terror to the weird awe that the cataract inspires, by wild tales of ghosts and midnight marvels, which, haply, some recent graduate more frightfully emphasizes by the ready coinage of his brain.

No, it is a melancholy misnomer. To call these gay summer courts of Bacchus and Venus Watering-Places, is like the delightful mummery of the pastoral revels of the king in the old Italian romance, who attired himself as an abbot, and all his rollicking court as monks and nuns, and shaping his pavilion into the semblance of a monastery, stole, from contrast, a sharper edge for pleasure.

I must laugh when you call Saratoga, for instance, a Watering-Place; because there, this very summer, I was intoxicated with that elixir of life, which young men do not name, and which old men call love. Let me tell you the story; for, if your eye chances to fall upon this page while you are loitering at one of those pleasant places, you can see in mine your own experience, and understand why Homer is so intelligible to you. Are you not all the time in the midst of an Iliad? That stately woman who is now passing along the piazza is beautiful Helen, although she is called Mrs. Bigge in these degenerate days, and Bigge himself is really the Menelaus of the old Trojan story, although he deals now in cotton. Paris, of course, is an habitué of Saratoga in the season, goes to Newport in the middle of August, and always wears a mustache. But Paris is not so dangerous to the connubial felicity of Menelaus Bigge, as he was in the gay Grecian days.

Now what I say is this, that you who are swimming down the current of the summer at a Watering-Place, are really surrounded by the identical material out of which Homer spun his Iliad—yes, and Shakspeare his glowing and odorous Romeo and Juliet—only it goes by different names at Saratoga, Newport, and Niagara. And to point the truth of what I say, I shall tell you my little story, illustrative of summer life, and shall leave your wit to define the difference between my experience and yours. It is of the simplest kind, mark you, and "as easy as lying."

I left college, in the early summer, flushed with the honors of the valedictory. It was in one of those quiet college towns which are the pleasantest spots in New England, that I had won and worn my laurels. After four years—so long in passing, such a swift line of light when passed—the eagerly-expected commencement day arrived. It was the greatest day in the year in that village, and I was the greatest man of the day.

Ah! I shall always see the gathering groups of students and alumni upon the college lawn, in the "ambrosial darkness" of broad-branching elms. I can yet feel the warm sunshine of that quiet day—and see our important rustling about in the black silk graduating gowns—I, chiefest[Pg 335] of all, and pointed out, to the classes just entered, as the valedictorian, saluted as I passed by the homage of their admiring glances. Then winding down the broad street, over which the trees arched, and which they walled with green, again my heart dilates upon the swelling music, that pealed in front of the procession, while all the town made holiday, and clustered under the trees to see us pass. I hear still chiming, and a little muffled even now, through memory, the sweet church bell that rang gayly and festally, not solemnly, that day—and how shall I forget the choking and exquisite delight and excitement with which, in the mingled confusion of ringing bell and clanging martial instruments, we passed from the warm, bright sunshine without, into the cool interior of the church. As we entered, the great organ aroused from its majestic silence, and drowned bell and band in its triumphant torrent of sound, while, to my excited fancy, the church seemed swaying in the music, it was so crowded with women, in light summer muslins, bending forward, and whispering, and waving fans. The rattling of pew-doors—the busy importance of the "Professor of Elocution and Belles-Lettres"—the dying strains of the organ—the brief silence—the rustling rising to hear the President's prayer—it is all as distinct in my mind as in yours, my young friend fresh from college, and "watering" for your first season.

Then, when the long list was called, and the degrees had been conferred, came my turn—"the valedictory addresses." In that moment, as I gathered my gown around me and ascended the platform, I did not envy Demosthenes nor Cicero, nor believe that a sweeter triumph was ever won. That soft, country summer-day, and I the focus of a thousand enthusiastic eyes to which the low words of farewell I spoke to my companions, brought a sympathetic moisture—that is a picture which must burn forever, illuminating life. The first palpable and visible evidence of your power over others is that penetrating aroma of success—sweeter than success itself—which comes only once, and only for a moment, but for that single moment is a dream made real. The memory of that day makes June in my mind forever.

You see I am growing garrulous, and do not come to Saratoga by steam. But I did come, fresh from that triumph, and full of it. I had been the greatest man of the greatest day in a town not five hundred miles away, and could not but feel that my fame must have excited Saratoga. With what modest trembling I wrote my name in the office-book. The man scarcely looked at it, but wrote a number against it, shouted to the porter to take Mr. ——'s (excuse my name) luggage to No. 310, and I mechanically followed that functionary, and observed that not a single loiterer in the office raised his head at my name.

But worse than that, the name seemed to be of no consequence. I was no longer Mr. —— with "the valedictory addresses," &c., &c. (including the thousand eyes). I was merely No. 310—and you too have already observed, I am sure, wherever you are passing the summer, that you are not an individual at a Watering-Place. You lose your personal identity in a great summer hotel, as you would in a penitentiary; you are No. this or No. that. It is No. 310 who wishes his Champagne frappé. It is No. 310 who wishes his card taken to No. 320. It is No. 310 who goes in the morning, pays his bill, and hears, as the porter slings on his luggage and takes his shilling, "put No. 310 in order."

This is one of the humiliating aspects of Watering-Place life. You are one of a mass, and distinguished by your number. Yet you can never know the mortifying ignominy of such treatment until it comes directly upon the glory of a commencement, at which you have absorbed all other individuality into yourself.

I reached Saratoga and came down to dinner. I could not help laughing at the important procession of negro-waiters stamping in with the different courses, and concentrating attention upon their movements. I felt then, instinctively, how it is the last degree of vulgarity—that the serving at table instead of being noiseless as the wind that blows the ship along, is the chief spectacle and amusement at dinner. Dinner at Saratoga, or Newport, or Niagara is a grand military movement of black waiters, who advance, halt, load, present, and fire their dishes, and in which the elegant ladies and the elegant gentlemen are merely lay-figures, upon which the African army exercise their skill by not hitting or spilling. For the first days of my residence it was a quiet enjoyment to me to see with what elaborate care the fine ladies and gentlemen arrayed themselves to play their inferior parts at dinner. The chief actors in the ceremony—the negro waiters—ran, a moment before the last bell, to put on clean white jackets and when the bell rang, and the puppets were seated—fancying, with charming naïveté, that they were the principle objects of the feast—then thundered in the sable host and deployed right and left, tramping like the ghost in Don Giovanni, thumping, clashing, rattling, and all thought of elegance or propriety was lost in the universal tumult.

People who submit to this, consider themselves elegant. But what if in their own houses and dining-rooms there should be this "alarum, enter an army," as the old play-books say, whenever they entertained their friends at dinner.

I was lonely at first. Nothing is so solitary as a gay and crowded Watering-Place, where you have few friends. The excessive hilarity of others emphasizes your own quiet and solitude. And especially at Saratoga, where there is no resource but the company. You must bowl, or promenade the piazza, or flirt, with the women. You must drink, smoke, chat, and game a little with the men. But if you know neither women nor men, and have no prospect of knowing them, then take the next train to Lake George.

[Pg 336]

It is very different elsewhere. At Newport, for instance, if you are only No. 310 at your hotel and nothing more; if you know no one, and have to drink your wine, and smoke, and listen to the music alone, you have only to leap into your saddle, gallop to the beach, and as you pace along the margin of the sea, that will laugh with you at the frivolities you have left behind—will sometimes howl harsh scorn upon the butterflies, who are not worth it, and who do not deserve it—and the Atlantic will be to you lover, counselor, and sweet society.

Toward the end of my first Saratoga week, I met an old college friend. It was my old chum, Herbert, from the South. Herbert, who, over many a midnight glass and wasting weed, had leaned out of my window in the moonlight, and recited those burning lines of Byron which all students do recite to that degree, that I have often wondered what students did, in romantic moonlights, before Byron was born. In those midnight recitals Herbert used often to stop, and say to me:

"I wonder if you would like my sister?"

Her name was not mentioned, but Herbert was so handsome in the southern style; he was so picturesque, and manly, and graceful—a kind of Sidney and Bayard—that I was sure his sister was not less than Amy Robsart, or Lucy of Lammermoor, or perhaps Zuleika.

Toward the close of our course, we were one day sauntering beyond the little college-town, and dreaming dreams of that Future which, to every ambitious young man, seems a stately palace waiting to be royally possessed by him, when Herbert, who really loved me, said:

"I wish you knew Lulu."

"I wish I did know Lulu."

And that was all we ever said about it.

When we met at Saratoga it was a pleasant surprise to both, and doubly so to me, for I was sadly bored by my want of acquaintances. We fell into an earnest conversation, in the midst of which Herbert suddenly said:

"Ah! there, I must run and join Lulu!" and left me.

Who has not had just this experience, or a similar one, at any Watering-Place? One day you suddenly discover that some certain person has arrived; and when you go to your room to dress for dinner, your boots look splayed—your waistcoats are not the thing—your coat isn't half as handsome as other coats—and you spoil all your cravats in your nervous efforts to tie them exquisitely. You get dressed, however, and descend to dinner, giving yourself a Vivian Grey-ish air—a combination of the coxcomb, the poet, and the politician—and yet wonder why your hands seem so large, and why you do not feel at your ease, although every thing is the same as yesterday, except that Lulu has arrived.

And there she sits!

So sat Lulu, Herbert's sister, cool in light muslin, as if that sultry summer day she were Undine draped in mist. She had the self-possession, which many children have, and which greatly differs from the elaborate sang froid of elegant manners. There was no haughty reserve, no cold unconsciousness, as if the world were not worth her treading. But when Herbert nodded to me—and I, knowing that she was about to look at me, involuntarily put forward the poet-aspect of Vivian—she turned and looked toward me earnestly and unaffectedly for a few moments, while I played with a sweet-bread, and looked abstracted. It is a pity that we men make such fools of ourselves when we are in the callow state! Lulu turned back and said something to Herbert; of course, it was telling him her first impression of me! Do you think I wished to hear it?

She was not tall nor superb: her face was very changeful and singularly interesting. I watched her during dinner, and such were my impressions. If they were wrong, it was the fault of my perceptions.

We met upon the piazza after dinner while the beautifully-dressed throng was promenading, and the band was playing. It was an Arcadian moment and scene.

"Lulu, this is my friend, Mr. ——, of whom I have spoken to you so often."

Herbert remained but a moment. I offered my arm to his sister, and we moved with the throng. The whole world seemed a festival. The day was golden—the music swelled in those long, delicious chords, which imparadise the moment, and make life poetry. In that strain, and with that feeling, our acquaintance commenced. It was Lulu's first summer at a Watering-Place (at least she said so); it was my first, too, at a Watering-Place—but not my first at a flirtation, thought I, loftily. She had all the cordial freshness of a Southern girl, with that geniality of manner which, without being in the least degree familiar, is confiding and friendly, and which to us, reserved and suspicious Northerners, appears the evidence of the complete triumph we have achieved, until we see that it is a general and not a particular manner.

The band played on: the music seemed only to make more melodious and expressive all that we said. At intervals, we stopped and leaned upon the railing by a column wreathed with a flowering vine, and Lulu's eye seeking the fairest blossom, found it, and her hand placed it in mine. I forgot commencement-day, and the glory of the valedictory. Lulu's eyes were more inspiring than the enthusiastic thousand in the church; and the remembered bursts of the band that day were lost in the low whispers of the girl upon my arm. I do not remember what we said. I did not mean to flirt, in the usual sense of that word (men at a Watering-Place never do). It was an intoxication most fatal of all, and which no Maine law can avert.

Herbert joined us later in the afternoon, and proposed a drive; he was anxious to show me his horses. We parted to meet at the door. Lulu gently detached her arm from mine; said gayly, "Au revoir, bientôt!" as she turned[Pg 337] away; and I bounded into the hall, sprang up-stairs into my room, and sat down, stone-still, upon a chair.

I looked fixedly upon the floor, and remained perfectly motionless for five minutes. I was lost in a luxury of happiness! Without a profession, without a fortune, I felt myself irresistibly drawn toward this girl;—and the very fascination lay here, that I knew, however wild and wonderful a feeling I might indulge, it was all hopeless. We should enjoy a week of supreme happiness—suffer in parting—and presently be solaced, and enjoy other weeks of supreme felicity with other Lulus!

My young friends of the Watering-Places, deny having had just such an emotion and "course of thought," if you dare!

We drove to the lake, and the whole world of Saratoga with us. Herbert's new bays sped neatly along—he driving in front, Lulu and I chatting behind. Arrived at the lake, we sauntered down the steep slope to the beach. We stepped into a boat and drifted out upon the water. It was still and gleaming in the late afternoon; and the pensive tranquillity of evening was gathering before we returned. We sang those passionate, desperate love-songs which young people always sing when they are happiest and most sentimental. So rapidly had we advanced—for a Watering-Place is the very hot-bed of romance—that I dropped my hand idly upon Lulu's; and finding that hers was not withdrawn, gradually and gently clasped it in mine. So, hand-in-hand, we sang, floating homeward in the golden twilight.

There was a dance in the evening at the hotel. Lulu was to dance with me, of course, the first set, and as many waltzes as I chose. She was so sparkling, so evidently happy, that I observed the New York belles, to whom happiness is an inexplicable word, scanned her with an air of lofty wonder and elegant disdain. But Lulu was so genuinely graceful and charming; she remained so quietly superior in her simplicity to the assuming hauteur of the metropolitan misses, that I kept myself in perfect good-humor, and did not feel myself at all humbled in the eyes of the Young America of that city, because I was the cavalier of the unique Southerner. So far did this go, that in my desire to revenge myself upon the New Yorkers, I resolved to increase their chagrin by praising Lulu to the chief belle of the set.

To her I was introduced. A New York belle at a Watering-Place! "There's a divinity doth hedge her," and a mystery too. She looked at me with supreme indifference as I advanced to the ordeal of presentation, evidently measuring my claims upon her consideration by the general aspect of my outer man. I moved with a certain pride, because although I felt awkward before the glance of Lulu, I was entirely self-possessed in the consciousness of unexceptionable attire before the unmeaning stare of the fashionable parvenue. You see I do get a little warm in speaking of her, and yet I was as cool as an autumn morning, when I made my bow, and requested her hand for the next set.

We danced vis-a-vis to Lulu. My partner swung her head around upon her neck, as none but Juno or Minerva should venture to do, and looked at the other personal of the quadrille, to see if she were in a perfectly safe set. I ventured a brief remark upon nothing—the weather, probably. The Queen of the Cannibal Islands bent majestically in a monosyllabic response.

"It is very warm to-night," continued I.

"Yes, very warm," she responded.

"You have been long here?"

"Two weeks."

"Probably you came from Niagara?"

"No, from Sharon."

"Shall you go to Lake George?"

"No, we go to Newport."

There I paused, and fondled my handkerchief, while the impassible lady relapsed into her magnificent silence, and offered no hope of any conversation in any direction. But I would not be balked of my object, and determined that if the living stream did run "quick below," the glaring polish of ice which these "fine manners" presented, my remark should be an Artesian bore to it.

"How handsome our vis-a-vis is?" said I.

My stately lady said nothing, but tossed her head slightly, without changing her expression, except to make it more pointedly frigid, in a reply which was a most vociferous negative, petrified by politeness into ungracious assent.

"She is what Lucia of Lammermoor might have been before she was unhappy," continued I, plunging directly off into the sea of trouble.

"Ah! I don't know Miss Lammermoor," responded my partner, with sang-froid.

I am conscious that I winced at this. A New York belle, hedged with divinity and awfulness, &c., not know Miss Lammermoor. Such stately naïveté of ignorance drew a smile into my eyes, and I concluded to follow the scent.

"You misunderstand me," said I. "I was speaking of Scott's Lucia—the Waverley novel, you know."

"Waverley, Waverley," replied my Cannibal Queen, who moved her head like Juno, but this time lisping and somewhat confused, as if she knew that, by the mention of books, we were possibly nearing the verge of sentiment. "Waverley—I don't know what you mean: you're too deep for me."

I was silent for that moment, and sat a mirthful Marius, among the ruins of my proud idea of a metropolitan belle. Had she not exquisitely perfected my revenge? Could the contrast of my next dance with Lulu have been pointed with more diamond distinctness than by the unweeting lady, whom I watched afterward, with my eyes swimming in laughter, as she glided, passionlessly, without smiling, without grace, without life—like a statue clad in muslin, over grass-cloth, around the hall. Once again, during the evening, I went to her and said:

"How graceful that Baltimore lady is."

[Pg 338]

"The Baltimore ladies may have what you call grace and ease," said she, with the same delicious hauteur, "and the Boston ladies are very 'strong-minded,'" she continued, in a tone intended for consuming satire, the more unhappy that it was clear she could make no claim to either of the qualities—"but the New York women have air," she concluded, and sailed away with what "might be air," said Herbert, who heard her remark, "but certainly very bad air."

Learn from this passage of my experience, beloved reader, you who are for the first time encountering that Sphinx, a New York belle, that she is not terrible. You shall find her irreproachable in tournure, but it is no more exclusively beautiful or admirable, than New York is exclusively the fine city of the country. I am a young man, of course, and inexperienced; but I prefer that lovely languor of the Southern manners, which is expressed in the negligence, and sometimes even grotesqueness of dress, to the vapid superciliousness, which is equally expressed in the coarse grass cloth that imparts the adorable Je ne sais quoi of style. "It is truly amusing," Herbert says, who has been a far traveler, "to see these nice New Yorkers assuming that the whole country outside their city is provincial." A Parisian lady who should affect to treat a Florentine as a provincial, would be exiled by derision from social consideration. Fair dames of New York, I am but an anonymous valedictorian; yet why not make your beauty more beautiful, by that courtesy which is loftier than disdain, and superior to superciliousness?

Ah, well! it was an aromatic evening. Disraeli says that Ferdinand Armine had a Sicilian conversation with Henrietta Temple, in the conservatory. You know how it ended, and they knew how it would end,—they were married. But if Ferdinand had plunged into that abyss of excitement, knowing that however Sicilian his conversation might be, it would all end in a bachelor's quarters, with Henrietta as a lay figure of memory, which he might amuse himself in draping with a myriad rainbow fancies—if he had known this, ought he to have advanced farther in the divine darkness of that prospect? Ought he not to have said, "Dear Miss Temple, my emotions are waxing serious, and I am afraid of them, and will retire."

You will say, "certainly," of course. We all say, "certainly," when we read or talk about it quietly. Young men at Saratoga and Newport say, "certainly," over their cigars. But when the weed is whiffed away, they dress for conquest, and draw upon the Future for the consequences. Unhappily, the Future is perfectly "good," and always settles to the utmost copper.

At least, so Herbert says, and he is older than I am. I only know—in fact, I only cared, that the evening fled away like a sky-lark singing up to the sun at daybreak—(that was a much applauded sentence in my valedictory). I deliberately cut every cable of remorse that might have held me to the "ingenuous course," as it is called, and drove out into the shoreless sea of enjoyment. I revelled in Lulu's beauty, in her grace, in her thousand nameless charms. I was naturally sorry for her. I knew her young affections would "run to waste, and water but the desert." But if a girl will do so! Summer and the midsummer sun shone in a cloudless sky. There was nothing to do but live and love, and Lulu and I did nothing else. Through the motley aspects of Watering-Place existence, our life shot like a golden thread, embroidering it with beauty. We strolled on the piazza at morning and evening. During the forenoon we sat in the parlor, and Lulu worked a bag or a purse, and I sat by her, gossiping that gossip which is evanescent as foam upon champagne—yes, and as odorous and piercing, for the moment it lasts. We only parted to dress for dinner. I relinquished the Vivian Grey style, and returned to my own. Every day Lulu was more exquisitely dressed, and when the band played, after dinner, and the sunlight lay, golden-green, upon the smooth, thick turf, our conversation was inspired by the music, as on the first day, which seemed to me centuries ago, so natural and essential to my life had Lulu become. Toward sunset we drove to the lake. Sometimes in a narrow little wagon, not quite wide enough for two, and in which I sat overdrifted by the azure mist of the dress she wore—nor ever dreaming of the Autumn or the morrow; and sometimes with Herbert and his new horses.

Young America sipping cobblers, and roving about in very loose and immoral coats, voted it "a case." The elderly ladies thought it a "shocking flirtation." The old gentlemen who smoke cigars in the easy chairs under the cool colonnade, watched the course of events through the slow curling clouds of tobacco, and looked at me, when I passed them, as if I were juvenile for a Lothario; while the great dancing, bowling, driving, flirting, and fooling mass of the Saratoga population thought it all natural and highly improper.

It is astonishing to recur to an acquaintance which has become a large and luminous part of your life, and discover that it lasted a week. It is saddening to sit among the withered rose-leaves of a summer, and remember that each rose in its prime seemed the sweetest of roses. The old ladies called it "shocking," and the young ladies sigh that it is "heartless," and the many condemn, while the few wrap themselves in scornful pride at the criminal fickleness of men.

One such I met on a quiet Sunday morning when Lulu had just left me to go and read to her mother.

"You are a vain coxcomb," was the promising prelude of my friend's conversation. But she was a friend, so I did not frown nor play that I was offended.

"Why a coxcomb?"

"Because you are flirting with that girl merely[Pg 339] for your own amusement. You know perfectly well that she loves you, and you know equally well that you mean nothing. You are a flippant, shallow Arthur Pendennis—"

"Pas trop vite. If I meet a pleasant person in a pleasant place, and we like each other, I, for my part, will follow the whim of the hour. I will live while I live—provided, always, that I injure no other person in following that plan—and in every fairly supposable case of this kind the game is equal. Good morning."

Now you will say that I was afraid to continue the argument, and that I felt self-convicted of folly. Not at all; but I chanced to see Lulu returning, and I strolled down the piazza to meet her.

She was flushed, and tears were ill-concealed in her eyes. Her mother had apprised her that she was to leave in the morning. It was all over.

I did not dare to trust my tongue, but seized her hand a moment, and then ran for my life—literally for my life. Reaching my room I sat down in my chair again, and stared upon the floor. I loved Lulu more than any woman in the world. Yet I remembered precisely similar occasions before, when I felt as if the sun and life were departing when certain persons left my side, and I therefore could not trust my emotion, and run back again and swear absolute and eternal fidelity. You think I was a great fool, and destitute of feeling, and better not venture any more into general female society. Perhaps so. But it was written upon my consciousness suddenly and dazzlingly, as the mystic words upon Nebuchadnezzar's hall, that this, though sweet and absorbing, was but a summer fancy—offspring of sunshine, flowers, and music—not the permanent reality which all men seek in love. It was one of the characteristic charms of the summer life. It made the weeks a pleasant Masque of Truth—a paraphrase of the poetry of Love. I would not avoid it. I would not fail to sail among the isles of Greece, though but for a summer day—though Memory might forever yearningly revert to that delight—conscious of no dishonor, of no more selfishness than in enjoying a day or a flower—exposed to all the risks to which my partner in the delirious and delicious game was exposed.

We met at dinner. We strolled after dinner, and I felt the trembling of the arm within mine, as we spoke of travel, of Niagara, of Newport, and of parting. "Lulu," said I, "the pleasure of a Watering-Place is the meeting with a thousand friends whom we never saw before, and shall never see again."

That was the way I began.

"We meet here, Lulu, like travelers upon a mountain-top, one coming from the clear, green north, another from the sun-loved south; and we sit together for an hour talking, each of his own, and each story by its strangeness fascinating the other hearer. Then we rise, say farewell, and each pursues his journey alone, yet never forgetting that meeting on the mountain, and the sweet discourse that charmed the hours."

I found myself again delivering valedictory addresses, and to an audience more moved than the first.

Yet who would not have had the day upon the mountain! Who would not once have seen Helen, though he might never see her more? Who would not wish to prove by a thousand-fold experience Shelley's lines—

"True love in this differs from gold to clay,
That to divide is not to take away."

Lulu said nothing, and we walked silently on.

"I hate the very name Watering-Place," said she, at length.

I did not ask her why.

When the full moonlight came, we went to the ball-room. It is the way they treat moonlights at a Watering-Place.

"Yes," said Lulu, "let us die royally, wreathed with flowers."

And she smiled as she said it. Why did she smile? It was just as we parted, and mark the result. The moment I suspected that the flirtation was not all on one side, I discovered—beloved budding Flirt, male or female, of this summer, you will also discover the same thing in similar cases—that I was seriously in love. Now that I fancied there was no reason to blind my eyes to the fact, I stared directly upon it.

We went into the hall. It was a wild and melancholy dance that we danced. There was a frenzy in my movements, for I knew that I was clasping for the last time the woman for whom my admiring and tender compassion was by her revelation of superiority to loving me, suddenly kindled into devotion! She was very beautiful—at least, she was so to me, and I could not but mark a kind of triumph in her air, which did not much perplex, but overwhelmed me. At length she proposed stepping out upon the piazza, and then we walked in the cool moonlight while I poured out to her the overflowing enthusiasm of my passion. Lulu listened patiently, and then she said:

"My good friend (fancy such a beginning in answer to a declaration), you have much to learn. I thought from what you said this afternoon that you were profoundly acquainted with the mystery of Watering-Place life. You remember you delivered a very polished disquisition on the subject to me—to a woman who, you had every reason to suppose, was deeply in love with you. My good sir, a Watering-Place passion, you ought to know, is an affair of sunshine, music, and flowers. We meet upon a mountain-top, and enjoy ourselves, then part with longing and regret."

Here she paused a moment, and my knees smote together.

"You are a very young man, with very much to learn, and if you mean to make the tour of the Watering-Places during this or any summer, you must understand this; and, as Herbert tells me you were a very moving valedictorian this year, this shall be my moving valedictory to you, for I leave to-morrow—in all summer encounters of the heart or head, at any of the[Pg 340] leisure resorts where there is nothing to do but to do nothing, never forget that all baggage is at the risk of the owner."

And so saying, Lulu slipped her arm from mine, glided up the stairs into the hall, and the next moment was floating down the room to a fragrant strain of Strauss.

I, young reader, remained a few moments bewildered in the moonlight, and the next morning naturally left Saratoga. I am meditating whether to go to Newport; but I am sure Lulu is there. Let me advise you, meanwhile, to beware, let me urge you to adapt the old proverb to the meridian of a Watering-Place by reversing it—that "whoever goes out to find a kingdom may return an ass."


About eight o'clock on the night of the 22d of January, 1793, while the Reign of Terror was still at its height in Paris, an old woman descended the rapid eminence in that city, which terminates before the Church of St. Laurent. The snow had fallen so heavily during the whole day, that the sound of footsteps was scarcely audible. The streets were deserted; and the fear that silence naturally inspires, was increased by the general terror which then assailed France. The old woman passed on her way, without perceiving a living soul in the streets; her feeble sight preventing her from observing in the distance, by the lamp-light, several foot passengers, who flitted like shadows over the vast space of the Faubourg, through which she was proceeding. She walked on courageously through the solitude, as if her age were a talisman which could shield her from every calamity. No sooner, however, had she passed the Rue des Morts, than she thought she heard the firm and heavy footsteps of a man walking behind her. It struck her that she had not heard this sound for the first time. Trembling at the idea of being followed, she quickened her pace, in order to confirm her suspicions by the rays of light which proceeded from an adjacent shop. As soon as she had reached it, she abruptly turned her head, and perceived, through the fog, the outline of a human form. This indistinct vision was enough: she shuddered violently the moment she saw it—doubting not that the stranger had followed her from the moment she had quitted home. But the desire to escape from a spy soon renewed her courage, and she quickened her pace, vainly thinking that, by such means, she could escape from a man necessarily much more active than herself.

After running for some minutes, she arrived at a pastry-cook's shop—entered—and sank, rather than sat down, on a chair which stood before the counter. The moment she raised the latch of the door, a woman in the shop looked quickly through the windows toward the street; and, observing the old lady, immediately opened a drawer in the counter, as if to take out something which she had to deliver to her. Not only did the gestures and expression of the young woman show her desire to be quickly relieved of the new-comer, as of a person whom it was not safe to welcome; but she also let slip a few words of impatience at finding the drawer empty. Regardless of the old lady's presence, she unceremoniously quitted the counter, retired to an inner apartment, and called her husband, who at once obeyed the summons.

"Where have you placed the—?" inquired she, with a mysterious air, glancing toward the visitor, instead of finishing the sentence.

Although the pastry-cook could only perceive the large hood of black silk, ornamented with bows of violet-colored ribbon, which formed the old lady's head-dress, he at once cast a significant look at his wife, as much as to say, "Could you think me careless enough to leave what you ask for, in such a place as the shop!" and then hurriedly disappeared.

Surprised at the silence and immobility of the stranger lady, the young woman approached her; and, on beholding her face, experienced a feeling of compassion—perhaps, we may add, a feeling of curiosity as well.

Although the complexion of the old lady was naturally colorless, like that of one long accustomed to secret austerities, it was easy to see that a recent emotion had cast over it an additional paleness. Her head-dress was so disposed as completely to hide her hair; and thereby to give her face an appearance of religious severity. At the time of which we write, the manners and habits of people of quality were so different from those of the lower classes, that it was easy to identify a person of distinction from outward appearance alone. Accordingly, the pastry-cook's wife at once discovered that the strange visitor was an ex-aristocrat—or, as we should now express it, "a born lady."

"Madame!" she exclaimed, respectfully, forgetting, at the moment, that this, like all other titles, was now proscribed under the Republic.

The old lady made no answer, but fixed her eyes steadfastly on the shop windows, as if they disclosed some object that terrified her.

"What is the matter with you, citizen?" asked the pastry-cook, who made his appearance at this moment, and disturbed her reverie by handing her a small pasteboard box, wrapped up in blue paper.

"Nothing, nothing, my good friends," she replied, softly. While speaking, she looked gratefully at the pastry-cook; then, observing on his head the revolutionary red cap, she abruptly exclaimed: "You are a Republican! you have betrayed me!"

The pastry-cook and his wife indignantly disclaimed the imputation by a gesture. The old lady blushed as she noticed it—perhaps with shame, at having suspected them—perhaps with pleasure, at finding them trustworthy.

"Pardon me," said she, with child-like gentleness, drawing from her pocket a louis d'or.[Pg 341] "There," she continued, "there is the stipulated price."

There is a poverty which the poor alone can discover. The pastry-cook and his wife felt the same conviction as they looked at each other—it was perhaps the last louis d'or which the old lady possessed. When she offered the coin her hand trembled: she had gazed upon it with some sorrow, but with no avarice; and yet, in giving it, she seemed to be fully aware that she was making a sacrifice. The shop-keepers, equally moved by pity and interest, began by comforting their consciences with civil words.

"You seem rather poorly, citizen," said the pastry-cook.

"Would you like to take any refreshment, madame?" interrupted his wife.

"We have some excellent soup," continued the husband.

"The cold has perhaps affected you, madame," resumed the young woman; "pray, step in, and sit and warm yourself by our fire."

"We may be Republicans," observed the pastry-cook; "but the devil is not always so black as he is painted."

Encouraged by the kind words addressed to her by the shop-keepers, the old lady confessed that she had been followed by a strange man, and that she was afraid to return home by herself.

"Is that all?" replied the valiant pastry-cook. "I'll be ready to go home with you in a minute, citizen."

He gave the louis d'or to his wife, and then—animated by that sort of gratitude which all tradesmen feel at receiving a large price for an article of little value—hastened to put on his National Guard's uniform, and soon appeared in complete military array. In the mean while, however, his wife had found time to reflect; and in her case, as in many others, reflection closed the open hand of charity. Apprehensive that her husband might be mixed up in some misadventure, she tried hard to detain him; but, strong in his benevolent impulse, the honest fellow persisted in offering himself as the old lady's escort.

"Do you imagine, madame, that the man you are so much afraid of, is still waiting outside the shop?" asked the young woman.

"I feel certain of it," replied the lady.

"Suppose he should be a spy! Suppose the whole affair should be a conspiracy! Don't go! Get back the box we gave her." These words whispered to the pastry-cook by his wife, had the effect of cooling his courage with extraordinary rapidity.

"I'll just say two words to that mysterious personage outside, and relieve you of all annoyance immediately," said he, hastily quitting the shop.

The old lady, passive as a child, and half-bewildered, reseated herself.

The pastry-cook was not long before he returned. His face, which was naturally ruddy, had turned quite pale; he was so panic-stricken, that his legs trembled under him, and his eyes rolled like the eyes of a drunken man.

"Are you trying to get our throats cut for us, you rascally aristocrat?" cried he, furiously. "Do you think you can make me the tool of a conspiracy? Quick! show us your heels! and never let us see your face again!"

So saying, he endeavored to snatch away the box, which the old lady had placed in her pocket. No sooner, however, had his hands touched her dress, than, preferring any perils in the street to losing the treasure for which she had just paid so large a price, she darted with the activity of youth toward the door, opened it violently, and disappeared in a moment from the eyes of the bewildered shopkeepers.

Upon gaining the street again, she walked at her utmost speed; but her strength soon failed, when she heard the spy who had so remorselessly followed her, crunching the snow under his heavy tread. She involuntarily stopped short: the man stopped short too! At first, her terror prevented her from speaking, or looking round at him; but it is in the nature of us all—even of the most infirm—to relapse into comparative calm immediately after violent agitation; for, though our feelings may be unbounded, the organs which express them have their limits. Accordingly, the old lady, finding that she experienced no particular annoyance from her imaginary persecutor, willingly tried to convince herself that he might be a secret friend, resolved at all hazards to protect her. She reconsidered the circumstances which had attended the stranger's appearance, and soon contrived to persuade herself that his object in following her, was much more likely to be a good than an evil one.

Forgetful, therefore, of the fear with which he had inspired the pastry-cook, she now went on her way with greater confidence. After a walk of half an hour, she arrived at a house situated at the corner of a street leading to the Barrière Pantin—even at the present day, the most deserted locality in all Paris. A cold northeasterly wind whistled sharply across the few houses, or rather tenements, scattered about this almost uninhabited region. The place seemed, from its utter desolation, the natural asylum of penury and despair.

The stranger, who still resolutely dogged the poor old lady's steps, seemed struck with the scene on which his eyes now rested. He stopped—erect, thoughtful, and hesitating—his figure feebly lighted by a lamp, the uncertain rays of which scarcely penetrated the fog. Fear had quickened the old lady's eyes. She now thought she perceived something sinister in the features of the stranger. All her former terrors returned and she took advantage of the man's temporary indecision, to steal away in the darkness toward the door of a solitary house. She pressed a spring under the latch, and disappeared with the rapidity of a phantom.

The stranger, still standing motionless, contemplated the house, which bore the same appearance of misery as the rest of the Faubourg.[Pg 342] Built of irregular stones, and stuccoed with yellowish plaster, it seemed, from the wide cracks in the walls, as if a strong gust of wind would bring the crazy building to the ground. The roof, formed of brown tiles, long since covered with moss, was so sunk in several places that it threatened to give way under the weight of snow which now lay upon it. Each story had three windows, the frames of which, rotted with damp and disjointed by the heat of the sun, showed how bitterly the cold must penetrate into the apartments. The comfortless, isolated dwelling resembled some old tower which Time had forgotten to destroy. One faint light glimmered from the windows of the gable in which the top of the building terminated; the remainder of the house was plunged in the deepest obscurity.

Meanwhile, the old woman ascended with some difficulty a rude and dilapidated flight of stairs, assisting herself by a rope, which supplied the place of bannisters. She knocked mysteriously at the door of one of the rooms situated on the garret-floor, was quickly let in by an old man, and then sank down feebly into a chair which he presented to her.

"Hide yourself! Hide yourself!" she exclaimed. "Seldom as we venture out, our steps have been traced; our proceedings are known!"

"What is the matter?" asked another old woman, seated near the fire.

"The man whom we have seen loitering about the house since yesterday, has followed me this evening," she replied.

At these words, the three inmates of the miserable abode looked on each other in silent terror. The old man was the least agitated—perhaps for the very reason that his danger was really the greatest. When tried by heavy affliction, or threatened by bitter persecution, the first principle of a courageous man is, at all times, to contemplate calmly the sacrifice of himself for the safety of others. The expression in the faces of his two companions showed plainly, as they looked on the old man, that he was the sole object of their most vigilant solicitude.

"Let us not distrust the goodness of God, my sisters," said he, in grave, reassuring tones. "We sang His praises even in the midst of the slaughter that raged through our Convent. If it was His good-will that I should be saved from the fearful butchery committed in that holy place by the Republicans, it was no doubt to reserve me for another destiny, which I must accept without a murmur. God watches over His chosen, and disposes of them as seems best to His good-will. Think of yourselves, my sisters—think not of me!"

"Impossible!" said one of the women. "What are our lives—the lives of two poor nuns—in comparison with yours; in comparison with the life of a priest?"

"Here, father," said the old nun, who had just returned; "here are the consecrated wafers of which you sent me in search." She handed him the box which she had received from the pastry-cook.

"Hark!" cried the other nun; "I hear footsteps coming up-stairs."

They all listened intently. The noise of footsteps ceased.

"Do not alarm yourselves," said the priest. "Whatever happens, I have already engaged a person, on whose fidelity we can depend, to escort you in safety over the frontier; to rescue you from the martyrdom which the ferocious will of Robespierre and his coadjutors of the Reign of Terror would decree against every servant of the church."

"Do you not mean to accompany us?" asked the two nuns, affrightedly.

"My place, sisters, is with the martyrs—not with the saved," said the old priest, calmly.

"Hark! the steps on the staircase!—the heavy steps we heard before!" cried the women.

This time it was easy to distinguish, in the midst of the silence of night, the echoing sound of footsteps on the stone stairs. The nuns, as they heard it approach nearer and nearer, forced the priest into a recess at one end of the room, closed the door, and hurriedly heaped some old clothes against it. The moment after, they were startled by three distinct knocks at the outer door.

The person who demanded admittance appeared to interpret the terrified silence which had seized the nuns on hearing his knock, into a signal to enter. He opened the door himself, and the affrighted women immediately recognized him as the man whom they had detected watching the house—the spy who had watched one of them through the streets that night.

The stranger was tall and robust, but there was nothing in his features or general appearance to denote that he was a dangerous man. Without attempting to break the silence, he slowly looked round the room. Two bundles of straw, strewn upon boards, served as a bed for the two nuns. In the centre of the room was a table, on which were placed a copper-candlestick, some plates, three knives, and a loaf of bread. There was but a small fire in the grate, and the scanty supply of wood piled near it, plainly showed the poverty of the inmates. The old walls, which at some distant period had been painted, indicated the miserable state of the roof, by the patches of brown streaked across them by the rain, which had filtered, drop by drop, through the ceiling. A sacred relic, saved probably from the pillage of the convent to which the two nuns and the priest had been attached, was placed on the chimney-piece. Three chairs, two boxes, and an old chest-of-drawers completed the furniture of the apartment.

At one corner near the mantle-shelf, a door had been constructed which indicated that there was a second room in that direction.

An expression of pity appeared on the countenance of the stranger, as his eyes fell on the[Pg 343] two nuns, after having surveyed their wretched apartment. He was the first to break the strange silence that had hitherto prevailed, by addressing the two poor creatures before him in such tones of kindness as were best adapted to the nervous terror under which they were evidently suffering.

"Citizens!" he began, "I do not come to you as an enemy." He stopped for a moment, and then continued: "If any misfortune has befallen you, rest assured that I am not the cause of it. My only object here is to ask a great favor of you."

The nuns still kept silence.

"If my presence causes you any anxiety," he went on, "tell me so at once, and I will depart; but, believe me, I am really devoted to your interests; and if there is any thing in which I can befriend you, you may confide in me without fear. I am, perhaps, the only man in Paris whom the law can not assail, now that the kings of France are no more."

There was such a tone of sincerity in these words, as he spoke them, that Sister Agatha (the nun to whom the reader was introduced at the outset of this narrative, and whose manners exhibited all the court refinement of the old school) instinctively pointed to one of the chairs, as if to request the stranger to be seated. His expression showed a mixture of satisfaction and melancholy, as he acknowledged this little attention, of which he did not take advantage until the nuns had first seated themselves.

"You have given an asylum here," continued he, "to a venerable priest, who has miraculously escaped from massacre at a Carmelite convent."

"Are you the person," asked Sister Agatha, eagerly, "appointed to protect our flight from—?"

"I am not the person whom you expected to see," he replied, calmly.

"I assure you, sir," interrupted the other nun, anxiously, "that we have no priest here; we have not, indeed."

"You had better be a little more careful about appearances on a future occasion," he replied, gently, taking from the table a Latin breviary. "May I ask if you are both in the habit of reading the Latin language?" he inquired, with a slight inflexion of sarcasm in his voice.

No answer was returned. Observing the anguish depicted on the countenance of the nuns, the trembling of their limbs, the tears that filled their eyes, the stranger began to fear that he had gone too far.

"Compose yourselves," he continued, frankly. "For three days I have been acquainted with the state of distress in which you are living. I know your names, and the name of the venerable priest whom you are concealing. It is—"

"Hush! do not speak it," cried Sister Agatha, placing her finger on her lips.

"I have now said enough," he went on, "to show that if I had conceived the base design of betraying you, I could have accomplished my object before now."

On the utterance of these words, the priest, who had heard all that had passed, left his hiding-place, and appeared in the room.

"I can not believe, sir," said he, "that you are leagued with my persecutors; and I therefore willingly confide in you. What do you require of me?"

The noble confidence of the priest—the saint-like purity expressed in his features—must have struck even an assassin with respect. The mysterious personage who had intruded on the scene of misery and resignation which the garret presented, looked silently for a moment on the three beings before him, and then, in tones of secrecy, thus addressed the priest:

"Father, I come to entreat you to celebrate a mortuary mass for the repose of the soul of—of a—of a person whose life the laws once held sacred, but whose corpse will never rest in holy ground."

An involuntary shudder seized the priest, as he guessed the hidden meaning in these words. The nuns unable to imagine what person was indicated by the stranger, looked on him with equal curiosity and alarm.

"Your wish shall be granted," said the priest, in low, awe-struck tones. "Return to this place at midnight, and you will find me ready to celebrate the only funeral service which the church can offer in expiation of the crime to which I understand you to allude."

The stranger trembled violently for a moment, then composed himself, respectfully saluted the priest and the two nuns, and departed without uttering a word.

About two hours afterward, a soft knock at the outer door announced the mysterious visitor's return. He was admitted by Sister Agatha, who conducted him into the second apartment of their modest retreat, where every thing had been prepared for the midnight mass. Near the fire-place the nuns had placed their old chest of drawers, the clumsy workmanship of which was concealed under a rich altar-cloth of green velvet. A large crucifix, formed of ivory and ebony was hung against the bare plaster wall. Four small tapers, fixed by sealing-wax on the temporary altar, threw a faint and mysterious gleam over the crucifix, but hardly penetrated to any other part of the walls of the room. Thus almost exclusively confined to the sacred objects immediately above and around it, the glow from the tapers looked like a light falling from heaven itself on that unadorned and unpretending altar. The floor of the room was damp. The miserable roof, sloping on either side, was pierced with rents, through which the cold night air penetrated into the rooms. Nothing could be less magnificent, and yet nothing could be more truly solemn than the manner in which the preliminaries of the funeral ceremony had been arranged. A deep, dread silence, through which the slightest noise in the street could be heard,[Pg 344] added to the dreary grandeur of the midnight scene—a grandeur majestically expressed by the contrast between the homeliness of the temporary church, and the solemnity of the service to which it was now devoted. On each side of the altar, the two aged women kneeling on the tiled floor, unmindful of its deadly dampness, were praying in concert with the priest, who, clothed in his sacerdotal robes, raised on high a golden chalice, adorned with precious stones, the most sacred of the few relics saved from the pillage of the Carmelite Convent.

The stranger, approaching after an interval, knelt reverently between the two nuns. As he looked up toward the crucifix, he saw, for the first time, that a piece of black crape was attached to it. On beholding this simple sign of mourning, terrible recollections appeared to be awakened within him; the big drops of agony started thick and fast on his massive brow.

Gradually, as the four actors in this solemn scene still fervently prayed together, their souls began to sympathize the one with the other, blending in one common feeling of religious awe. Awful, in truth, was the service in which they were now secretly engaged! Beneath that mouldering roof, those four Christians were then interceding with Heaven for the soul of a martyred King of France; performing, at the peril of their lives, in those days of anarchy and terror, a funeral service for that hapless Louis the Sixteenth, who died on the scaffold, who was buried without a coffin or a shroud! It was, in them, the purest of all acts of devotion—the purest, from its disinterestedness, from its courageous fidelity. The last relics of the loyalty of France were collected in that poor room, enshrined in the prayers of a priest and two aged women. Perhaps, too, the dark spirit of the Revolution was present there as well, impersonated by the stranger, whose face, while he knelt before the altar, betrayed an expression of the most poignant remorse.

The most gorgeous mass ever celebrated in the gorgeous Cathedral of St. Peter, at Rome, could not have expressed the sincere feeling of prayer so nobly as it was now expressed, by those four persons, under that lowly roof!

There was one moment, during the progress of the service, at which the nuns detected that tears were trickling fast over the stranger's cheeks. It was when the Pater Noster was said.

On the termination of the midnight mass, the priest made a sign to the two nuns, who immediately left the room. As soon as they were alone, he thus addressed the stranger:

"My son, if you have imbrued your hands in the blood of the martyred king, confide in me, and in my sacred office. Repentance so deep and sincere as yours appears to be, may efface even the crime of regicide in the eyes of God."

"Holy father," replied the other, in trembling accents, "no man is less guilty than I am of shedding the king's blood."

"I would fain believe you," answered the priest. He paused for a moment as he said this, looked steadfastly on the penitent man before him, and then continued:

"But remember, my son, you can not be absolved of the crime of regicide, because you have not co-operated in it. Those who had the power of defending their king, and who, having that power, still left the sword in the scabbard, will be called to render a heavy account at the day of judgment, before the King of kings; yes, a heavy and an awful account indeed! for, in remaining passive, they became the involuntary accomplices of the worst of murders."

"Do you think then, father," murmured the stranger, deeply abashed, "that all indirect participations are visited with punishment? Is the soldier guilty of the death of Louis who obeyed the order to guard the scaffold?"

The priest hesitated.

"I should be ashamed," continued the other, betraying by his expression some satisfaction at the dilemma in which he had placed the old man—"I should be ashamed of offering you any pecuniary recompense for such a funeral service as you have celebrated. It is only possible to repay an act so noble by an offering which is priceless. Honor me by accepting this sacred relic. The day perhaps will come when you will understand its value."

So saying, he presented to the priest a small box, extremely light in weight, which the aged ecclesiastic took, as it were, involuntarily; for he felt awed by the solemn tones in which the man spoke as he offered it. Briefly expressing his thanks for the mysterious present, the priest conducted his guest into the outer room, where the two nuns remained in attendance.

"The house you now inhabit," said the stranger, addressing the nuns as well as the priest, "belongs to a landlord who outwardly affects extreme republicanism, but who is at heart devoted to the royal cause. He was formerly a huntsman in the service of one of the Bourbons, the Prince de Condé, to whom he is indebted for all that he possesses. So long as you remain in this house you are safer than in any other place in France. Remain here, therefore. Persons worthy of trust will supply all your necessities, and you will be able to await in safety the prospect of better times. In a year from this day, on the 21st of January, should you still remain the occupants of this miserable abode, I will return to repeat with you the celebration of to-night's expiatory mass." He paused abruptly, and bowed without adding another word; then delayed a moment more, to cast a parting look on the objects of poverty which surrounded him, and left the room.

To the two simple-minded nuns, the whole affair had all the interest of a romance. Their faces displayed the most intense anxiety, the moment the priest informed them of the mysterious gift which the stranger had so solemnly presented to him. Sister Agatha immediately opened the box, and discovered in it a handkerchief, made of the finest cambric, and soiled with marks of perspiration. They unfolded it[Pg 345] eagerly, and then found that it was defaced in certain places with dark stains.

"Those stains are blood stains!" exclaimed the priest.

"The handkerchief is marked with the royal crown!" cried Sister Agatha.

Both the nuns dropped the precious relic, marked by the King's blood, with horror. To their simple minds, the mystery which was attached to the stranger, now deepened fearfully. As for the priest, from that moment he ceased, even in thought, to attempt identifying his visitor, or discovering the means by which he had become possessed of the royal handkerchief.

Throughout the atrocities practiced during a year of the Reign of Terror, the three refugees were safely guarded by the same protecting interference, ever at work for their advantage. At first, they received large supplies of fuel and provisions; then the two nuns found reason to imagine that one of their own sex had become associated with their invisible protector, for they were furnished with the necessary linen and clothing which enabled them to go out without attracting attention by any peculiarities of attire. Besides this, warnings of danger constantly came to the priest in the most unexpected manner, and always opportunely. And then, again, in spite of the famine which at that period afflicted Paris, the inhabitants of the garret were sure to find placed every morning at their door, a supply of the best wheaten bread, regularly left for them by some invisible hand.

They could only guess that the agent of the charitable attentions thus lavished on them, was the landlord of the house, and that the person by whom he was employed was no other than the stranger who had celebrated with them the funeral mass for the repose of the King's soul. Thus, this mysterious man was regarded with especial reverence by the priest and the nuns, whose lives for the present, and whose hopes for the future, depended on their strange visitor. They added to their usual prayers at night and morning, prayers for him.

At length the long-expected night of the 21st of January arrived, and, exactly as the clock struck twelve, the sound of heavy footsteps on the stairs announced the approach of the stranger. The room had been carefully prepared for his reception, the altar had been arranged, and, on this occasion, the nuns eagerly opened the door, even before they heard the knock.

"Welcome back again! most welcome!" cried they; "we have been most anxiously awaiting you."

The stranger raised his head, looked gloomily on the nuns, and made no answer. Chilled by his cold reception of their kind greeting, they did not venture to utter another word. He seemed to have frozen at their hearts, in an instant, all the gratitude, all the friendly aspirations of the long year that had passed. They now perceived but too plainly that their visitor desired to remain a complete stranger to them, and that they must resign all hope of ever making a friend of him. The old priest fancied he had detected a smile on the lips of their guest when he entered, but that smile—if it had really appeared—vanished again the moment he observed the preparations which had been made for his reception. He knelt to hear the funeral mass, prayed fervently as before, and then abruptly took his departure; briefly declining, by a few civil words, to partake of the simple refreshment offered to him, on the expiration of the service, by the two nuns.

Day after day wore on, and nothing more was heard of the stranger by the inhabitants of the garret. After the fall of Robespierre, the church was delivered from all actual persecution, and the priest and the nuns were free to appear publicly in Paris, without the slightest risk of danger. One of the first expeditions undertaken by the aged ecclesiastic led him to a perfumer's shop, kept by a man who had formerly been one of the Court tradesmen, and who had always remained faithful to the Royal Family. The priest, clothed once more in his clerical dress, was standing at the shop door talking to the perfumer, when he observed a great crowd rapidly advancing along the street.

"What is the matter yonder?" he inquired of the shopkeeper.

"Nothing," replied the man carelessly, "but the cart with the condemned criminals going to the place of execution. Nobody pities them—and nobody ought!"

"You are not speaking like a Christian," exclaimed the priest. "Why not pity them?"

"Because," answered the perfumer, "those men who are going to the execution are the last accomplices of Robespierre. They only travel the same fatal road which their innocent victims took before them."

The cart with the prisoners condemned to the guillotine had by this time arrived opposite the perfumer's shop. As the old priest looked curiously toward the state criminals, he saw, standing erect and undaunted among his drooping fellow prisoners, the very man at whose desire he had twice celebrated the funeral service for the martyred King of France!

"Who is that standing upright in the cart?" cried the priest, breathlessly.

The perfumer looked in the direction indicated, and answered—

"The Executioner of Louis the Sixteenth!"


Visionaries are usually slovens. They despise fashions, and imagine that dirtiness is an attribute of genius. To do the honorable member for Artois justice, he was above this affectation. Small and neat in person, he always appeared in public tastefully dressed, according to the fashion of the period—hair well combed back, frizzled, and powdered; copious frills at the breast and wrists; a stainless white waistcoat;[Pg 346] light-blue coat, with metal buttons; the sash of a representative tied round his waist; light-colored breeches, white stockings, and shoes with silver buckles. Such was his ordinary costume; and if we stick a rose in his button-hole, or place a nosegay in his hand, we shall have a tolerable idea of his whole equipment. It is said he sometimes appeared in top-boots, which is not improbable; for this kind of boot had become fashionable among the republicans, from a notion that as top-boots were worn by gentlemen in England, they were allied to constitutional government. Robespierre's features were sharp, and enlivened by bright and deeply-sunk blue eyes. There was usually a gravity and intense thoughtfulness in his countenance, which conveyed an idea of his being thoroughly in earnest. Yet, his address was not unpleasing. Unlike modern French politicians, his face was always smooth, with no vestige of beard or whiskers. Altogether, therefore, he may be said to have been a well-dressed, gentlemanly man, animated with proper self-respect, and having no wish to court vulgar applause by neglecting the decencies of polite society.

Before entering on his public career in Paris, Robespierre had probably formed his plans, in which, at least to outward appearance, there was an entire negation of self. A stern incorruptibility seemed the basis of his character; and it is quite true that no offers from the court, no overtures from associates, had power to tempt him. There was only one way by which he could sustain a high-souled independence, and that was the course adopted in like circumstances by Andrew Marvel—simple wants, rigorous economy, a disregard of fine company, an avoidance of expensive habits. Now, this is the curious thing in Robespierre's history. Perhaps there was a tinge of pride in his living a life of indigence; but in fairness it is entitled to be called an honest pride, when we consider that the means of profusion were within his reach. On his arrival in Paris, he procured a humble lodging in the Marais, a populous district in the northeastern faubourgs; but it being represented to him sometime afterward, that, as a public man, it was unsafe to expose himself in a long walk daily to and fro from this obscure residence, he removed to a house in the Rue St. Honoré, now marked No. 396, opposite the Church of the Assumption. Here he found a lodging with M. Duplay, a respectable but humble cabinet-maker, who had become attached to the principles of the Revolution; and here he was joined by his brother, who played an inferior part in public affairs, and is known in history as "the Younger Robespierre." The selection of this dwelling seems to have fallen in with Robespierre's notions of economy; and it suited his limited patrimony, which consisted of some rents irregularly paid by a few small farmers of his property in Artois. These ill-paid rents, with his salary as a representative, are said to have supported three persons—himself, his brother, and his sister; and so straitened was he in circumstances, that he had to borrow occasionally from his landlord. Even with all his pinching, he did not make both ends meet. We have it on authority, that at his death he was owing £160; a small debt to be incurred during a residence of five years in Paris, by a person who figured as a leader of parties; and the insignificance of this sum attests his remarkable self-denial.

Lamartine's account of the private life of Robespierre in the house of the Duplays is exceedingly fascinating, and we should suppose is founded on well-authorized facts. "The house of Duplay," he says, "was low, and in a court surrounded by sheds filled with timber and plants, and had almost a rustic appearance. It consisted of a parlor opening to the court, and communicating with a sitting-room that looked into a small garden. From the sitting-room a door led into a small study, in which was a piano. There was a winding staircase to the first floor, where the master of the house lived, and thence to the apartment of Robespierre."

Here, long acquaintance, a common table, and association for several years, "converted the hospitality of Duplay into an attachment that became reciprocal. The family of his landlord became a second family to Robespierre, and while they adopted his opinions, they neither lost the simplicity of their manners nor neglected their religious observances. They consisted of a father, mother, a son yet a youth, and four daughters, the eldest of whom was twenty-five, and the youngest eighteen. Familiar with the father, filial with the mother, paternal with the son, tender and almost brotherly with the young girls, he inspired and felt in this small domestic circle all those sentiments that only an ardent soul inspires and feels by spreading abroad its sympathies. Love also attached his heart, where toil, poverty, and retirement had fixed his life. Eléonore Duplay, the eldest daughter of his host, inspired Robespierre with a more serious attachment than her sisters. The feeling, rather predilection than passion, was more reasonable on the part of Robespierre, more ardent and simple on the part of the young girl. This affection afforded him tenderness without torment, happiness without excitement: it was the love adapted for a man plunged all day in the agitation of public life—a repose of the heart after mental fatigue. He and Eléonore lived in the same house as a betrothed couple, not as lovers. Robespierre had demanded the young girl's hand from her parents, and they had promised it to him.

"'The total want of fortune,' he said, 'and the uncertainty of the morrow, prevented him from marrying her until the destiny of France was determined; but he only awaited the moment when the Revolution should be concluded, in order to retire from the turmoil and strife, marry her whom he loved, go to reside with her in Artois, on one of the farms he had saved among the possessions of his family, and there to mingle his obscure happiness in the common lot of his family.'

[Pg 347]

"The vicissitudes of the fortune, influence, and popularity of Robespierre effected no change in his simple mode of living. The multitude came to implore favor or life at the door of his house, yet nothing found its way within. The private lodging of Robespierre consisted of a low chamber, constructed in the form of a garret, above some cart-sheds, with the window opening upon the roof. It afforded no other prospect than the interior of a small court, resembling a wood-store, where the sounds of the workmen's hammers and saws constantly resounded, and which was continually traversed by Madame Duplay and her daughters, who there performed all their household duties. This chamber was also separated from that of the landlord by a small room common to the family and himself. On the other side were two rooms, likewise attics, which were inhabited, one by the son of the master of the house, the other by Simon Duplay, Robespierre's secretary, and the nephew of his host.

"The chamber of the deputy contained only a wooden bedstead, covered with blue damask ornamented with white flowers, a table, and four straw-bottomed chairs. This apartment served him at once for a study and dormitory. His papers, his reports, the manuscripts of his discourses, written by himself in a regular but labored hand, and with many marks of erasure, were placed carefully on deal-shelves against the wall. A few chosen books were also ranged thereon. A volume of Jean Jacques Rousseau or of Racine was generally open upon his table, and attested his philosophical and literary predilections."

With a mind continually on the stretch, and concerned less or more in all the great movements of the day, the features of this remarkable personage "relaxed into absolute gayety when in-doors at table, or in the evening around the wood-fire in the humble chamber of the cabinet-maker. His evenings were all passed with the family, in talking over the feelings of the day, the plans of the morrow, the conspiracies of the aristocrats, the dangers of the patriots, and the prospects of public felicity after the triumph of the Revolution. Sometimes Robespierre, who was anxious to cultivate the mind of his betrothed, read to the family aloud, and generally from the tragedies of Racine. He seldom went out in the evening; but two or three times a year he escorted Madame Duplay and her daughter to the theatre. On other days, Robespierre retired early to his chamber, lay down, and rose again at night to work. The innumerable discourses he had delivered in the two national assemblies, and to the Jacobins; the articles written for his journal while he had one; the still more numerous manuscripts of speeches which he had prepared, but never delivered; the studied style, so remarkable; the indefatigable corrections marked with his pen upon the manuscripts—attest his watchings and his determination.

"His only relaxations were solitary walks in imitation of his model, Jean Jacques Rousseau. His sole companion in these perambulations was his great dog, which slept at his chamber-door, and always followed him when he went out. This colossal animal, well known in the district, was called Brount. Robespierre was much attached to him, and constantly played with him. Occasionally, on a Sunday, all the family left Paris with Robespierre; and the politician, once more the man, amused himself with the mother, the sisters, and the brother of Eléonore in the wood of Versailles or of Issy." Strange contradiction! The man who is thus described as so amiable, so gentle, so satisfied with the humble pleasures of an obscure family circle, went forth daily on a self-imposed mission of turbulence and terror.


You sometimes find in the same family, children of the same parents, who in all respects present the most striking contrast. They not only seem to be of different parentage, but of different races; unlike in physical conformation, in complexion, in features, in temperament, and in moral and intellectual qualities. They are sometimes to be found diametrically opposed to each other in tastes, pursuits, habits, and sympathies, though brought up under the same parental eye, subject to the same circumstances and conditions, and educated by the same teachers. Indeed, education does comparatively little toward the formation of character—that is to say, in the determination of the individuality of character. It merely brings out, or e-duces that character, the germs of which are born in us, and only want proper sunning, and warmth, and geniality, to bring them to maturity.

You could scarcely have imagined that Elizabeth and Jane Byfield were in any way related to each other. They had not a feature in common. The one was a brilliant beauty, the other was plain in the extreme. Elizabeth had a dazzling complexion, bright, speaking eyes, an oval face, finely turned nose and chin, a mouth as pouting as if "a bee had stung it newly;" she was tall and lithe; taper, yet rounded—in short, she was a regular beauty, the belle of her neighborhood, pursued by admirers, besonneted by poetasters, serenaded by musical amateurs, toasted by spirit-loving old fogy bachelors, and last, but not least, she was the subject of many a tit-bit piece of scandal among her young lady rivals in the country-town of Barkstone.

As for her sister Jane, with her demure, old-maidish air, her little dumpy, thick-set figure, her retroussé nose, and dingy features, nobody bestowed a thought upon her. She had no rival, she was no one's competitor, she offended nobody's sense of individual prowess in grace or charms, by her assumptions. Not at all. "That horrid little fright, Jane Byfield," as some of her stylish acquaintances would speak of her, behind her back, stood in no young lady's way. She was very much of a house-bird, was Jane. In the evenings, while her sister was dashing off some brilliant bravura in the drawing-room, Jane would be seated in a corner, talking to some person older than herself—or, perhaps you might[Pg 348] find her in the little back parlor, knitting or mending stockings. Not that she was without a spice of fun in her; for, among children, she romped like one of themselves; indeed, she was a general favorite with those who were much younger as well as much older than herself. Yet, among those of her own age, she never excited any admiration, except for her dutifulness—though that, you know, is a very dull sort of thing. Certainly, she never excited any young lady's envy, or attracted any young gentleman's homage, like her more highly favored sister. Indeed, by a kind of general consent, she was set down for "a regular old maid."

I wish I could have told my readers that Jane got married after all, and disappointed the prophetic utterances of her friends. I am sure that, notwithstanding her plainness, she would have made a thrifty manager and a thorough good housewife. But, as I am relating a true history, I can not thus indulge my readers. Jane remained single; but her temper continued unruffled. As she did not expect, so she was not disappointed. She preserved her cheerfulness, continued to be useful, kept her heart warm and her head well stored—for she was a great reader—another of her "old-maidish" habits, though, fortunately, the practice of reading good books by young women is now ceasing to be "singular:" readers are now of the plural number, and every day adds to the list.

But what of Elizabeth—the beauty? Oh, she got married—of course she did. The beautiful are always sought after, often when they have nothing but their beauty to recommend them. And, after all, we can not wonder at this. Nature has so ordered it, that beauty of person must command admirers; and, where beauty of heart and beauty of intellect are joined together in the person of a beautiful woman, really nothing in nature can be more charming. And so Elizabeth got married; and a "good match" she made, as the saying is, with a gentleman in extensive business, rather stylish, but prosperous—likely to get on in the world, and to accumulate a fortune. But the fortune was to make, and the business was speculative. Those in business well know that it is not all gold that glitters.

The married life of the "happy pair" commenced. First one, and then another "toddling wee thing" presented itself in the young mother's household, and the mother's cares and responsibilities multiplied. But, to tell the truth, Elizabeth, though a beauty, was not a very good manager. She could sit at the head of her husband's table, and do the honors of the house to perfection. But look into her wardrobe, into her drawers, into her kitchen, and you would say at once, there was the want of the managing head, and the ready hand. A good housewife, like a good poet, is "born, not made"—nascitur non fit. It's true. There are some women whom no measure of drilling can convert into good housewives. They may lay down systems, cultivate domesticity, study tidying, spending, house-drilling, as an art, and yet they can not acquire it. To others it comes without effort, without consciousness, as a kind of second nature. They are "to the manner born." They don't know how it is themselves. Yet their hand seems to shed abroad order, regularity, and peace, in the household. Under their eye, and without any seeming effort on their part, every thing falls into its proper place, and every thing is done at its proper time. Elizabeth did not know how it was; yet, somehow, she could not get servants like any body else (how often imperfect management is set down to account of "bad servants!"); she could not get things to go smoothly; there was always something "getting across;" the house got out of order; dinners were not ready at the right time, and then the husband grew querulous; somehow, the rooms could not be kept very tidy, for the mistress of the household having her hands full of children, of course she "could not attend to every thing;" and, in short, poor Elizabeth's household was fast getting into a state of muddle.

Now, husbands don't like this state of things, and so, the result of it was, that Elizabeth's husband, though not a bad-natured man, sometimes grew cross and complaining, and the beautiful wife found that her husband had "a temper"—as who has not? And about the same time, the husband found that his wife was "no manager," notwithstanding her good looks. Though his wife studied economy, yet he discovered that, somehow, she got through a deal of money, and yet there was little comfort got in exchange for it. Things were evidently in a bad way, and going wrong entirely. What might have been the end, who knows? But, happily, at this juncture, aunt Jane, the children's pet, the "little droll old maid," appeared on the stage; and though sisters are not supposed to be of good omen in other sisters' houses, certainly it must be admitted that, in this case, the "old maid" at once worked a wonderful charm.

The quiet creature, in a few weeks, put quite a new feature on the face of affairs. Under her eye, things seemed at once to fall into their proper places—without the slightest "ordering," or bustling, or noise, or palaver. Elizabeth could not make out how it was, but sure enough Jane "had such a way with her," and always had. The positions of the sisters seemed now to be reversed. Jane was looked up to by her sister, who no longer assumed those airs of superiority, which, in the pride of her beauty and attractiveness, had come so natural to her. Elizabeth had ceased to be competed for by rival admirers; and she now discovered that the fleeting charms of her once beautiful person could not atone for the want of those more solid qualities which are indispensable in the house and the home. What made Jane's presence more valuable at this juncture was, that illness had come into the household, and, worst of all, it had seized upon the head of the family. This is always a serious calamity in any case; but in this case the consequences threatened to be more[Pg 349] serious than usual. An extensive business was interrupted; large transactions, which only the head of the concern himself, could adequately attend to, produced embarrassments, the anxiety connected with which impeded a cure. All the resources of medicine were applied; all the comfort, warmth, silence, and attention that careful nursing could administer, were tried; and tried in vain. The husband of Elizabeth died, and her children were fatherless; but the fatherless are not forsaken—they are the care of God.

Now it was that the noble nature of aunt Jane came grandly into view. Her sister was stricken down—swallowed up in grief. Life, for her, had lost its charm. The world was as if left without its sun. She was utterly overwhelmed. Even the faces of her children served only to awaken her to a quicker sense of misery. But aunt Jane's energies were only awakened to renewed life and vigor. To these orphans she was now both father and mother in one. What woman can interfere in business matters without risk of censure? But Jane interfered: she exerted herself to wind up the affairs of the deceased; and she did so; she succeeded! There was but little left; only enough to live upon, and that meanly. Every thing was sold off—the grand house was broken up—and the family subsided into the ranks of the genteel poor. Elizabeth could not bear up under such a succession of shocks. She was not querulous, but her sorrows were too much for her, and she fed upon them—she petted them, and they became her masters. A few years passed, and the broken-down woman was laid in the same grave with her husband.

But Jane's courage never flagged. The gentle, dear, good creature, now advancing into years, looked all manner of difficulties courageously in the face; and she overcame them. They fled before her resolution. Alone she bore the burden of that family of sons and daughters not her own, but as dear to her now as if they were. What scheming and thought she daily exercised to make the ends meet—to give to each of them alike such an amount of school education as would enable them "to make their way in the world," as she used to say—can not be described. It would take a long chapter to detail the patient industry, the frugal care, the motherly help, and the watchful up-bringing with which she tended the helpless orphans. But her arduous labors were all more than repaid in the end.

It was my privilege to know this noble woman. I used occasionally to join the little family circle in an evening, round their crackling fire, and contribute my quota of wonderful stories to the listening group. Aunt Jane herself, was a capital story-teller; and it was her wont thus, of an evening, to entertain the youngsters after the chief part of the day's work was done. She would tell the boys—John and Edward—of those self-helping and perseverant great men who had climbed the difficult steeps of the world, and elevated themselves to the loftiest stations by their own energy, industry, and self-denial. The great and the good were her heroes, and she labored to form those young minds about her after the best and noblest models which biographic annals could furnish. "Without goodness," she would say—and her bright, speaking looks (plain though her features were), with her animated and glowing expression, on such occasions, made the lessons root themselves firmly in their young minds and hearts—"Without goodness, my dear children, greatness is naught—mere gilding and lacker; goodness is the real jewel in the casket; so never forget to make that your end and aim."

I, too, used to contribute my share toward those delightful evenings' entertainments, and aunt Jane would draw me on to tell the group of the adventures and life of our royal Alfred—of his struggles, his valor, his goodness, and his greatness; of the old contests of the Danes and the Saxons; of Harold, the last of the Saxon kings; of William the Norman, and the troublous times which followed the Conquest; and of the valorous life of our forefathers, out of which the living English character, habits, and institutions had at length been formed. And oftentimes the shadow would flit across those young faces, by the fire's light, when they were told of perilous adventures on the lone sea; of shipwrecked and cast-away sailors; of the escape of Drake, and the adventures of Cook, and of that never-ending source of wonderment and interest—the life and wanderings of Robinson Crusoe. And there was merriment and fun, too, mixed with the marvelous and the imaginative—stories of giants, and fairies, and Sleeping Beauties—at which their eyes would glance brightly in the beams of the glowing fire. Then, first one little face, and then another, would grow heavy and listless, and their little heads begin to nod; at which the aunt would hear, one by one, their little petitions to their "Father which art in Heaven," and with a soft kiss and murmured blessing, would then lay them in their little cribs, draw the curtains, and leave them to sleep.

But, as for the good aunt, bless you, nearly half of her work was yet to do! There she would sit, far on into the night, till her eyes were red and her cheeks feverish, with her weary white seam in her hand; or, at another time, she would be mending, patching, and eking out the clothes of the children just put to bed—for their wardrobe was scanty, and often very far gone. Yes! poor thing! she was ready to work her fingers to the bone for these dear fatherless young ones, breathing so softly in the next room, and whose muttered dreams would now and then disturb the deep stillness of the night; when she would listen, utter a heartfelt "bless them," and then go on with her work again. The presence of those children seemed only to remind her of the need of more toil for their sakes. For them did aunt Jane work by day, and work by night; for them did she ply the brilliant needle, which, save in those gloaming[Pg 350] hours by the fireside, was scarcely ever out of her hand.

Sorrowful needle! What eyes have followed thee, strained themselves at thee, wept over thee! And what sorrow yet hangs about the glittering, polished, silver-eyed needle! What lives hang upon it! What toil and night-watching, what laughter and tears, what gossip and misery, what racking pains and weary moanings has it not witnessed! And, would you know the poetry it has inspired—then read poor Hood's terrible wail of "The Song of the Shirt!" The friend of the needy, the tool of the industrious, the helper of the starving, the companion of the desolate; such is that weakest of human instruments—the needle! It was all these to our aunt Jane!

I can not tell you the life-long endurance and courage of that woman; how she devoted herself to the cherishment and domestic training of the girls, and the intellectual and industrial education of the boys, and the correct moral culture of all the members of her "little family," as she styled them.

Efforts such as hers are never without their reward, even in this world; and of her better and higher reward, surely aunt Jane might well feel assured. Her children did credit to her. Years passed, and one by one they grew up toward maturity. The character of the aunt proved the best recommendation for the youths. The boys got placed out at business—one in a lawyer's office, the second in a warehouse. I do not specify further particulars; for the boys are now men, well-known in the world; respected, admired, and prosperous. One of them is a barrister of the highest distinction in his profession, and it has been said of him, that he has the heart of a woman, and the courage of a lion. The other is a well-known merchant, and he is cited as a model of integrity among his class. The girls have grown into women, and are all married. With one of these aunt Jane now enjoys, in quiet and ease, the well-earned comforts and independence of a green old age. About her knees now clamber a new generation—the children of her "boys and girls."

Need I tell you how that dear old woman is revered! how her patient toils are remembered and honored! how her nephews attribute all their successes in life to her, to her noble example, to her tender care, to her patient and long-suffering exertions on their behalf. Never was aunt so honored—so beloved! She declares they will "spoil her"—a thing she is not used to; and she often beseeches them to have done with their acknowledgments of gratitude. But she is never wearied of hearing them recall to memory those happy hours, by the evening's fire-light, in the humble cottage in which I was so often a sharer; and then her eye glistens, and a large tear of thankfulness droops upon the lower lid, which she wipes off as of old, and the same heartfelt benison of "Bless them," mutters on her quivering lips.

I should like, some day, to indulge myself in telling a long story about that dear aunt Jane's experiences; but I am growing old and a little maudlin myself, and after all, her life and its results are best told in the character and the history of the children she has so faithfully nurtured and educated.


The art and practice of ventriloquism, has of late years exhibited so much improvement that it deserves and will reward a little judicious attention directed toward its all but miraculous phenomena, and the causes and conditions of their astonishing display. The art is of ancient date, the peculiarity of the vocal organs in which it originates, like other types of genius or aptitude, having been at intervals repeated. References in Scripture to "the familiar spirits that peep and mutter" are numerous. In the early Christian Church the practice also was known, and a treatise was written on it by Eustathius, Archbishop of Antioch, in Greek. The main argument of the book is the evocation of the ghost of Samuel.

By the Mosaic law the Hebrews were prohibited from consulting those who had familiar spirits. By one of such it is stated that the Witch of Endor divined, or perhaps that she was possessed by it; for the Hebrew ob designates both those persons in whom there is a familiar spirit, as well as those who divined by them. The plural oboth corresponds with the word ventriloquism. In the Septuagint, it is associated with gastromancy—a mode of ancient divination, wherein the diviner replied without moving his lips, so that the consulter believed he actually heard the voice of a spirit; from which circumstance, many theologians have doubted whether Samuel's ghost really appeared, or rather whether the whole were not a ventriloquial imposition on the superstitious credulity of Saul. We may see in this unfortunate monarch and his successor the distinction between true religion and false superstition; and, indeed, in the poets and prophets generally of the Israelites, who continually testify against the latter in all its forms. To them, to the Greeks, the Egyptians, and the Assyrians, ventriloquism was evidently well known. By reference to Leviticus, we shall find, as we have said, the law forbids the Hebrews to consult those having familiar spirits. The prophet Isaiah also draws an illustration from the kind of voice heard in a case of divination. "Thou shalt be brought down, shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust; thy voice shall be as one that hath a familiar spirit out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust." It is curious that the Mormons quote this text as prophetic of the discovery of their Sacred Book. In the Acts, Paul is described as depriving a young woman of a familiar spirit, in the city of Philippi in Macedonia;—she is announced as "a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination, which brought her master much gain by sooth-saying." There is also that well-known tale in[Pg 351] Plutarch, which is so impressive even to this day on the Christian imagination—the story we mean, of Epitherses, who, having embarked for Italy in the reign of Tiberius Cæsar, suddenly heard a voice from the shore, while becalmed one evening before the Paxe—two small islands in the Ionian sea, which lie between Corcyra and Leucadia; such voice addressing Thamus, a pilot, and an Egyptian by birth, who refused to answer till he received the third summons, whereupon it said, "When thou art come to the Palodes, proclaim aloud that the great Pan is dead!" It is added, that "the passengers were all amazed; but their amazement gave place to the most alarming emotions, when, on arriving at the specified place, Thamus stood in the stern of the vessel, and proclaimed what he had been commanded to announce." St. Chrysostom and the early fathers mention divination by a familiar spirit as practiced in their day; and the practice is still common in the East; as it is also among the Esquimaux. As to the treatise of Eustathius, the good bishop's notion was that the Witch of Endor was really possessed of a demon; whose deception the vision was, being produced by supernatural agency, not, as cited in the Septuagint, by Engastrimism, or Ventriloquy.

In the nineteenth century, we are told by Sir David Brewster, that ventriloquists made great additions to their art. The performances, he says, of Fitzjames and Alexandré were far superior to those of their predecessors. "Besides the art of speaking by the muscles of the throat and the abdomen, without moving those of the face, these artists had not only studied, with great diligence and success, the modifications which sounds of all kinds undergo from distance, obstructions, and other causes, but had acquired the art of imitating them in the highest perfection. The ventriloquist was therefore able to carry on a dialogue in which the dramatis voces, as they may be called, were numerous; and, when on the outside of an apartment, could personate a mob with its infinite variety of noise and vociferation. Their influence over the minds of an audience was still further extended by a singular power which they had obtained over the muscles of the body. Fitzjames actually succeeded in making the opposite or corresponding muscles act differently from each other; and while one side of his face was merry and laughing, the other side was full of sorrow and tears. At one time, he was tall, and thin, and melancholy, and after passing behind a screen, he came out bloated with obesity and staggering with fullness. M. Alexandré possessed the same power over his face and figure, and so striking was the contrast between two of these forms, that an excellent sculptor (M. Joseph) has perpetuated them in marble. This new acquirement of the ventriloquist of the nineteenth century, enabled him in his own single person, and with his own single voice, to represent a dramatic composition which would formerly have required the assistance of several actors. Although only one character in the piece could be seen at the same time, yet they all appeared during its performance; and the change of face and figure on the part of the ventriloquist was so perfect that his personal identity could not be recognized in the dramatis personæ. This deception was rendered still more complete by a particular construction of the costumes, which enabled the performer to appear in a new character, after an interval so short that the audience necessarily believed that it was another person."

Some amusing anecdotes may be gathered, illustrative of ventriloquism.

One M. St. Gille, a ventriloquist of France, had once occasion to shelter himself from a sudden storm in a monastery in the neighborhood of Avranche. The monks were at the time in deep sorrow for the loss of an esteemed member of their fraternity, whom they had recently buried. While lamenting over the tomb of their departed brother the slight honors which had been paid to his memory, a mysterious voice was heard to issue from the vaults of the church, bewailing the condition of the deceased in purgatory, and reproving the monks in melancholy tones for their want of zeal and reverence for departed worth. Tidings of the event flew abroad; and quickly brought the inhabitants to the spot. The miraculous speaker still renewed his lamentations and reproaches; whereupon the monks fell on their faces, and vowed to repair their neglect. They then chanted a De profundis, and at intervals the ghostly voice of the deceased friar expressed his satisfaction.

One Louis Brabant turned his ventriloquial talent to profitable account. Rejected by the parents of an heiress as an unsuitable match for their daughter, Louis, on the death of the father, paid a visit to the widow, during which the voice of her deceased husband was all at once heard thus to address her: "Give my daughter in marriage to Louis Brabant:—he is a man of fortune and character, and I endure the pains of purgatory for having refused her to him. Obey this admonition, and give repose to the soul of your departed husband." Of course, the widow complied; but Brabant's difficulties were not yet all overcome. He wanted money to defray the wedding expenses, and resolved to work on the fears of an old usurer, a M. Cornu, of Lyons. Having obtained an evening interview, he contrived to turn the conversation on departed spirits and ghosts. During an interval of silence, the voice of the miser's deceased father was heard, complaining of his situation in purgatory, and calling loudly upon his son to rescue him from his sufferings, by enabling Brabant to redeem the Christians at that time enslaved by the Turks. Not succeeding on the first occasion, Brabant was compelled to make a second visit to the miser, when he took care to enlist not only his father but all his deceased relations in the appeal; and in this way he obtained a thousand crowns.

There have been few female ventriloquists. Effects produced by the female organs of speech[Pg 352] have always manifested a deficiency of power. The artificial voices have been few in number, and those imperfectly defined. A woman at Amsterdam possessed considerable powers in this way. Conrad Amman, a Dutch doctor in medicine, who published a Latin treatise at Amsterdam in 1700, observes of her, that the effects she exhibited were produced by a sort of swallowing of the words, or forcing them to retrograde, as it were, by the trachea, by speaking during the inspiration of the breath, and not, as in ordinary speech, during expiration. The same writer notices also the performances of the famous Casimir Schreckenstein.

Different professors of ventriloquism have given different accounts of the manner in which they succeeded in producing their illusions. Baron Mengen, one of the household of Prince Lichtenstein, at Vienna, said that it consisted in a passion for counterfeiting the cries of animals and the voices of different persons. M. St. Gille referred his art to mimicry; and the French Academy, combining these views, defines the art as consisting in an accurate imitation of any given sound as it reaches the ear. Scientific solutions are various. Mr. Nicholson thought that artists in this line, by continual practice from childhood, acquire the power of speaking during inspiration with the same articulation as the ordinary voice, which is formed by expiration. M. Richerand declares that every time a professor exhibits his vocal peculiarities, he suffers distension in the epigastric region; and supposes that the mechanism of the art consists in a slow, gradual expiration, drawn in such a way, that the artist either makes use of the influence exerted by volition over the parietes of the thorax, or that he keeps the epiglottis down by the base of the tongue, the apex of which is not carried beyond the dental arches. He observes, that ventriloquists possess the power of making an exceedingly strong inspiration just before the long expiration, and thus convey into the lungs an immense quantity of air, by the artistical management of the egress of which they produce such astonishing effects upon the hearing and imagination of their auditors.

The theory propounded by Mr. Gough in the "Manchester Memoir," on the principle of reverberated sound, is untenable, because ventriloquism on that theory would be impossible in a crowded theatre, which admits not of the predicated echoes. Mr. Love, in his account of himself, asserts a natural aptitude, a physical predisposition of the vocal organs; which, in his case, discovered itself as early as the age of ten, and gradually improved with practice, without any artistic study whatever. He states that not only his pure ventriloquisms, but nearly all his lighter vocal imitations of miscellaneous sounds, were executed in the first instance on the spur of the moment, and without any pre-meditation. The artist must evidently possess great flexibility of larynx and tongue. Polyphony, according to our modern professor, is produced by compression of the muscles of the chest, and is an act entirely different from any species of vocal deception or modulation. There is no method, he tells us, of manufacturing true ventriloquists. Nature must have commenced the operation, by placing at the artist's disposal a certain quality of voice adapted for the purpose, as the raw material to work upon. It is like a fine ear or voice for singing—the gift of Nature. It follows, therefore, that an expert polyphonist must be as rare a personage as any other man of genius in any particular art.


I knew James Dutton, as I shall call him, at an early period of life, when my present scanty locks of iron-gray were thick and dark, my now pale and furrowed cheeks were fresh and ruddy, like his own. Time, circumstance, and natural bent of mind, have done their work on both of us; and if his course of life has been less equable than mine, it has been chiefly so because the original impulse, the first start on the great journey, upon which so much depends, was directed by wiser heads in my case than in his. We were school-fellows for a considerable time; and if I acquired—as I certainly did—a larger stock of knowledge than he, it was by no means from any superior capacity on my part, but that his mind was bent on other pursuits. He was a born Nimrod, and his father encouraged this propensity from the earliest moment that his darling and only son could sit a pony or handle a light fowling-piece. Dutton, senior, was one of a then large class of persons, whom Cobbett used to call bull-frog farmers; men who, finding themselves daily increasing in wealth by the operation of circumstances, they neither created nor could insure or control—namely, a rapidly increasing manufacturing population, and tremendous war-prices for their produce—acted as if the chance-blown prosperity they enjoyed was the result of their own forethought, skill, and energy, and therefore, humanly speaking, indestructible. James Dutton was, consequently, denied nothing—not even the luxury of neglecting his own education; and he availed himself of the lamentable privilege to a great extent. It was, however, a remarkable feature in the lad's character, that whatever he himself deemed essential should be done, no amount of indulgence, no love of sport or dissipation, could divert him from thoroughly accomplishing. Thus he saw clearly, that even in the life—that of a sportsman-farmer he had chalked out for himself, it was indispensably necessary that a certain quantum of educational power should be attained; and so he really acquired a knowledge of reading, writing, and spelling, and then withdrew from school to more congenial avocations.

I frequently met James Dutton in after-years; but some nine or ten months had passed since I had last seen him, when I was directed by the chief partner in the firm to which Flint and I[Pg 353] subsequently succeeded, to take coach for Romford, Essex, in order to ascertain from a witness there what kind of evidence we might expect him to give in a trial to come off in the then Hilary term at Westminster Hall. It was the first week in January: the weather was bitterly cold; and I experienced an intense satisfaction when, after dispatching the business I had come upon, I found myself in the long dining-room of the chief market-inn, where two blazing fires shed a ruddy, cheerful light over the snow-white damask table-cloth, bright glasses, decanters, and other preparatives for the farmers' market-dinner. Prices had ruled high that day; wheat had reached £30 a load; and the numerous groups of hearty, stalwart yeomen present were in high glee, crowing and exulting alike over their full pockets and the news—of which the papers were just then full—of the burning of Moscow, and the flight and ruin of Bonaparte's army. James Dutton was in the room, but not, I observed, in his usual flow of animal spirits. The crape round his hat might, I thought, account for that, and as he did not see me, I accosted him with an inquiry after his health, and the reason of his being in mourning. He received me very cordially, and in an instant cast off the abstracted manner I had noticed. His father, he informed me, was gone—had died about seven months previously, and he was alone now at Ash Farm—why didn't I run down there to see him sometimes, &c.? Our conversation was interrupted by a summons to dinner, very cheerfully complied with; and we both—at least I can answer for myself—did ample justice to a more than usually capital dinner, even in those capital old market-dinner times. We were very jolly afterward, and amazingly triumphant over the frost-bitten, snow-buried soldier-banditti that had so long lorded it over continental Europe. Dutton did not partake of the general hilarity. There was a sneer upon his lip during the whole time, which, however, found no expression in words.

"How quiet you are, James Dutton!" cried a loud voice from out the dense smoke-cloud that by this time completely enveloped us. On looking toward the spot from whence the ringing tones came, a jolly, round face—like the sun as seen through a London fog—gleamed redly dull from out the thick and choking atmosphere.

"Every body," rejoined Dutton, "hasn't had the luck to sell two hundred quarters of wheat at to-day's price, as you have, Tom Southall."

"That's true, my boy," returned Master Southall, sending, in the plentitude of his satisfaction, a jet of smoke toward us with astonishing force. "And, I say, Jem, I'll tell 'ee what I'll do; I'll clap on ten guineas more upon what I offered for the brown mare."

"Done! She's yours, Tom, then, for ninety guineas!"

"Gie's your hand upon it!" cried Tom Southall, jumping up from his chair, and stretching a fist as big as a leg of mutton—well, say lamb—over the table. "And here—here," he added, with an exultant chuckle, as he extricated a swollen canvas-bag from his pocket—"here's the dibs at once."

This transaction excited a great deal of surprise at our part of the table; and Dutton was rigorously cross-questioned as to his reason for parting with his favorite hunting mare.

"The truth is, friends," said Dutton at last, "I mean to give up farming, and—"

"Gie up farmin'!" broke in half-a-dozen voices. "Lord!"

"Yes; I don't like it. I shall buy a commission in the army. There'll be a chance against Boney, now; and it's a life I'm fit for."

The farmers looked completely agape at this announcement; but making nothing of it, after silently staring at Dutton and each other, with their pipes in their hands and not in their mouths, till they had gone out, stretched their heads simultaneously across the table toward the candles, relit their pipes, and smoked on as before.

"Then, perhaps, Mr. Dutton," said a young man in a smartly-cut velveteen coat with mother-of-pearl buttons, who had hastily left his seat farther down the table—"perhaps you will sell the double Manton, and Fanny and Slut?"

"Yes; at a price."

Prices were named; I forget now the exact sums, but enormous prices, I thought, for the gun and the dogs, Fanny and Slut. The bargain was eagerly concluded, and the money paid at once. Possibly the buyer had a vague notion, that a portion of the vender's skill might come to him with his purchases.

"You be in 'arnest, then, in this fool's business, James Dutton," observed a farmer, gravely. "I be sorry for thee; but as I s'pose the lease of Ash Farm will be parted with; why—John, waiter, tell Master Hurst at the top of the table yonder, to come this way."

Master Hurst, a well-to-do, highly respectable-looking, and rather elderly man, came in obedience to the summons, and after a few words in an under-tone with the friend that had sent for him, said, "Is this true, James Dutton?"

"It is true that the lease and stock of Ash Farm are to be sold—at a price. You, I believe, are in want of such a concern for the young couple just married."

"Well, I don't say I might not be a customer, if the price were reasonable."

"Let us step into a private room, then," said Dutton, rising. "This is not a place for business of that kind. Sharp," he added, sotto voce, "come with us; I may want you."

I had listened to all this with a kind of stupid wonderment, and I now, mechanically, as it were, got up and accompanied the party to another room.

The matter was soon settled. Five hundred pounds for the lease—ten years unexpired—of Ash Farm, about eleven hundred acres, and the stock and implements; the plowing, sowing, &c., already performed, to be paid for at a valuation based on present prices. I drew out the agreement in form, it was signed in duplicate, a large[Pg 354] sum was paid down as deposit, and Mr. Hurst with his friend withdrew.

"Well," I said, taking a glass of port from a bottle Dutton had just ordered in—"here's fortune in your new career; but, as I am a living man, I can't understand what you can be thinking about."

"You haven't read the newspapers?"

"O yes, I have! Victory! Glory! March to Paris! and all that sort of thing. Very fine, I dare say; but rubbish, moonshine, I call it, if purchased by the abandonment of the useful, comfortable, joyous life of a prosperous yeoman."

"Is that all you have seen in the papers?"

"Not much else. What, besides, have you found in them?"

"Wheat, at ten or eleven pounds a load—less perhaps—other produce in proportion."


"I see farther, Sharp, than you bookmen do, in some matters. Boney's done for; that to me is quite plain, and earlier than I thought likely; although I, of course, as well as every other man with a head instead of a turnip on his shoulders, knew such a raw-head-and-bloody-bones as that must sooner or later come to the dogs. And as I also know what agricultural prices were before the war, I can calculate without the aid of vulgar fractions, which, by-the-by, I never reached, what they'll be when it's over, and the thundering expenditure now going on is stopped. In two or three weeks, people generally will get a dim notion of all this; and I sell, therefore, while I can, at top prices."

The shrewdness of the calculation struck me at once.

"You will take another farm when one can be had on easier terms than now, I suppose?"

"Yes; if I can manage it. And I will manage it. Between ourselves, after all the old man's debts are paid, I shall only have about nine or ten hundred pounds to the good, even by selling at the present tremendous rates; so it was time, you see, I pulled up, and rubbed the fog out of my eyes a bit. And hark ye, Master Sharp!" he added, as we rose and shook hands with each other—"I have now done playing with the world—it's a place of work and business; and I'll do my share of it so effectually, that my children, if I have any, shall, if I do not, reach the class of landed gentry; and this you'll find, for all your sneering, will come about all the more easily that neither they nor their father will be encumbered with much educational lumber. Good-by."

I did not again see my old school-fellow till the change he had predicted had thoroughly come to pass. Farms were every where to let, and a general cry to parliament for aid rang through the land. Dutton called at the office upon business, accompanied by a young woman of remarkable personal comeliness, but, as a very few sentences betrayed, little or no education in the conventional sense of the word. She was the daughter of a farmer, whom—it was no fault of hers—a change of times had not found in a better condition for weathering them.—Anne Mosley, in fact, was a thoroughly industrious, clever farm economist. The instant Dutton had secured an eligible farm, at his own price and conditions, he married her; and now, on the third day after the wedding, he had brought me the draft of his lease for examination.

"You are not afraid, then," I remarked, "of taking a farm in these bad times?"

"Not I—at a price. We mean to rough it, Mr. Sharp," he added gayly. "And, let me tell you, that those who will stoop to do that—I mean, take their coats off, tuck up their sleeves, and fling appearances to the winds—may, and will, if they understand their business, and have got their heads screwed on right, do better here than in any of the uncleared countries they talk so much about. You know what I told you down at Romford. Well, we'll manage that before our hair is gray, depend upon it, bad as the times may be—won't we, Nance?"

"We'll try, Jem," was the smiling response.

They left the draft for examination. It was found to be correctly drawn. Two or three days afterward, the deeds were executed, and James Dutton was placed in possession. The farm, a capital one, was in Essex.

His hopes were fully realized as to money-making, at all events. He and his wife rose early, sat up late, ate the bread of carefulness, and altogether displayed such persevering energy, that only about six or seven years had passed before the Duttons were accounted a rich and prosperous family. They had one child only—a daughter. The mother, Mrs. Dutton, died when this child was about twelve years of age; and Anne Dutton became more than ever the apple of her father's eye. The business of the farm went steadily on in its accustomed track; each succeeding year found James Dutton growing in wealth and importance; and his daughter in sparkling, catching comeliness—although certainly not in the refinement of manner which gives a quickening life and grace to personal symmetry and beauty. James Dutton remained firm in his theory of the worthlessness of education beyond what, in a narrow acceptation of the term, was absolutely "necessary;" and Anne Dutton, although now heiress to very considerable wealth, knew only how to read, write, spell, cast accounts, and superintend the home-business of the farm. I saw a great deal of the Duttons about this time, my brother-in-law, Elsworthy and his wife having taken up their abode within about half a mile of James Dutton's dwelling-house; and I ventured once or twice to remonstrate with the prosperous farmer upon the positive danger, with reference to his ambitious views, of not at least so far cultivating the intellect and taste of so attractive a maiden as his daughter, that sympathy on her part with the rude, unlettered clowns, with whom she necessarily came so much in contact, should be impossible. He laughed my hints to scorn. "It is idleness—idleness alone," he said, "that puts love-fancies into girls' heads.[Pg 355] Novel-reading, jingling at a piano-forte—merely other names for idleness—these are the parents of such follies. Anne Dutton, as mistress of this establishment, has her time fully and usefully occupied; and when the time comes, not far distant now, to establish her in marriage, she will wed into a family I wot of; and the Romford prophecy of which you remind me will be realized, in great part at least."

He found, too late, his error. He hastily entered the office one morning, and although it was only five or six weeks since I had last seen him, the change in his then florid, prideful features was so striking and painful, as to cause me to fairly leap upon my feet with surprise.

"Good Heavens, Dutton!" I exclaimed, "What is the matter? What has happened?"

"Nothing has happened, Mr. Sharp," he replied, "but what you predicted, and which, had I not been the most conceited dolt in existence, I too, must have foreseen. You know that good-looking, idle, and, I fear, irreclaimable young fellow, George Hamblin?"

"I have seen him once or twice. Has he not brought his father to the verge of a work-house by low dissipation and extravagance?"

"Yes. Well, he is an accepted suitor for Anne Dutton's hand. No wonder that you start. She fancies herself hopelessly in love with him—Nay, Sharp, hear me out. I have tried expostulation, threats, entreaties, locking her up; but it's useless. I shall kill the silly fool if I persist, and I have at length consented to the marriage; for I can not see her die." I began remonstrating upon the folly of yielding consent to so ruinous a marriage, on account of a few tears and hysterics, but Dutton stopped me peremptorily.

"It is useless talking," he said. "The die is cast; I have given my word. You would hardly recognize her, she is so altered. I did not know before," added the strong, stern man, with trembling voice and glistening eyes, "that she was so inextricably twined about my heart—my life!" It is difficult to estimate the bitterness of such a disappointment to a proud, aspiring man like Dutton. I pitied him sincerely, mistaken, if not blameworthy, as he had been.

"I have only myself to blame," he presently resumed. "A girl of cultivated taste and mind could not have bestowed a second thought on George Hamblin. But let's to business. I wish the marriage-settlement, and my will, to be so drawn, that every farthing received from me during my life, and after my death, shall be hers, and hers only; and so strictly and entirely secured, that she shall be without power to yield control over the slightest portion of it, should she be so minded." I took down his instructions, and the necessary deeds were drawn in accordance with them. When the day for signing arrived, the bridegroom-elect demurred at first to the stringency of the provisions of the marriage-contract; but as upon this point, Mr. Dutton was found to be inflexible, the handsome, illiterate clown—he was little better—gave up his scruples, the more readily as a life of assured idleness lay before him, from the virtual control he was sure to have over his wife's income. These were the thoughts which passed across his mind, I was quite sure, as taking the pen awkwardly in his hand, he affixed his mark to the marriage-deed. I reddened with shame, and the smothered groan which at the moment smote faintly on my ear, again brokenly confessed the miserable folly of the father in not having placed his beautiful child beyond all possibility of mental contact or communion with such a person. The marriage was shortly afterward solemnized, but I did not wait to witness the ceremony.

The husband's promised good-behavior did not long endure; ere two months of wedded life were past, he had fallen again into his old habits; and the wife, bitterly repentant of her folly, was fain to confess, that nothing but dread of her father's vengeance saved her from positive ill usage. It was altogether a wretched, unfortunate affair; and the intelligence—sad in itself—which reached me about a twelvemonth after the marriage, that the young mother had died in childbirth of her first-born, a girl, appeared to me rather a matter of rejoicing than of sorrow or regret. The shock to poor Dutton was, I understood, overwhelming for a time, and fears were entertained for his intellects. He recovered, however, and took charge of his grandchild, the father very willingly resigning the onerous burden.

My brother-in-law left James Dutton's neighborhood for a distant part of the country about this period, and I saw nothing of the bereaved father for about five years, save only at two business interviews. The business upon which I had seen him, was the alteration of his will, by which all he might die possessed of was bequeathed to his darling Annie. His health, I was glad to find, was quite restored; and although now fifty years of age, the bright light of his young days sparkled once more in his keen glance. His youth was, he said, renewed in little Annie. He could even bear to speak, though still with remorseful emotion, of his own lost child. "No fear, Sharp," he said, "that I make that terrible mistake again. Annie will fall in love, please God, with no unlettered, soulless booby! Her mind shall be elevated, beautiful, and pure as her person—she is the image of her mother—promises to be charming and attractive. You must come and see her." I promised to do so; and he went his way. At one of these interviews—the first it must have been—I made a chance inquiry for his son-in-law, Hamblin. As the name passed my lips, a look of hate and rage flashed out of his burning eyes. I did not utter another word, nor did he; and we separated in silence.

It was evening, and I was returning in a gig from a rather long journey into the country, when I called, in redemption of my promise, upon James Dutton. Annie was really, I found, an engaging pretty, blue-eyed, golden-haired child; and I[Pg 356] was not so much surprised at her grandfather's doting fondness—a fondness entirely reciprocated, it seemed, by the little girl. It struck me, albeit, that it was a perilous thing for a man of Dutton's vehement, fiery nature to stake again, as he evidently had done, his all of life and happiness upon one frail existence. An illustration of my thought or fear occurred just after we had finished tea. A knock was heard at the outer door, and presently a man's voice, in quarreling, drunken remonstrance with the servant who opened it. The same deadly scowl I had seen sweep over Dutton's countenance upon the mention of Hamblin's name, again gleamed darkly there; and finding, after a moment or two, that the intruder would not be denied, the master of the house gently removed Annie from his knee, and strode out of the room.

"Follow grandpapa," whispered Mrs. Rivers, a highly respectable widow of about forty years of age, whom Mr. Dutton had engaged at a high salary to superintend Annie's education. The child went out, and Mrs. Rivers, addressing me, said in a low voice: "Her presence will prevent violence; but it is a sad affair." She then informed me that Hamblin, to whom Mr. Dutton allowed a hundred a year, having become aware of the grandfather's extreme fondness for Annie, systematically worked that knowledge for his own sordid ends, and preluded every fresh attack upon Mr. Dutton's purse by a threat to reclaim the child. "It is not the money," remarked Mrs. Rivers in conclusion, "that Mr. Dutton cares so much for, but the thought that he holds Annie by the sufferance of that wretched man, goads him at times almost to insanity."

"Would not the fellow waive his claim for a settled increase of his annuity?"

"No; that has been offered to the extent of three hundred a year; but Hamblin refuses, partly from the pleasure of keeping such a man as Mr. Dutton in his power, partly because he knows that the last shilling would be parted with rather than the child. It is a very unfortunate business, and I often fear will terminate badly." The loud but indistinct wrangling without ceased after a while, and I heard a key turn stiffly in a lock. "The usual conclusion of these scenes," said Mrs. Rivers. "Another draft upon his strong-box will purchase Mr. Dutton a respite as long as the money lasts." I could hardly look at James Dutton when he re-entered the room. There was that in his countenance which I do not like to read in the faces of my friends. He was silent for several minutes; at last he said quickly, sternly: "Is there no instrument, Mr. Sharp, in all the enginery of law, that can defeat a worthless villain's legal claim to his child?"

"None; except, perhaps, a commission of lunacy, or—"

"Tush! tush!" interrupted Dutton; "the fellow has no wits to lose. That being so—But let us talk of something else." We did so, but on his part very incoherently, and I soon bade him good-night.

This was December, and it was in February the following year that Dutton again called at our place of business. There was a strange, stern, iron meaning in his face. "I am in a great hurry," he said, "and I have only called to say, that I shall be glad if you will run over to the farm to-morrow on a matter of business. You have seen, perhaps, in the paper, that my dwelling-house took fire the night before last. You have not? Well, it is upon that I would consult you. Will you come?" I agreed to do so, and he withdrew.

The fire had not, I found, done much injury. It had commenced in a kind of miscellaneous store-room; but the origin of the fire appeared to me, as it did to the police-officers that had been summoned, perfectly unaccountable. "Had it not been discovered in time, and extinguished," I observed to Mrs. Rivers, "you would all have been burned in your beds."

"Why, no," replied that lady, with some strangeness of manner. "On the night of the fire, Annie and I slept at Mr. Elsworthy's" (I have omitted to notice, that my brother-in-law and family had returned to their old residence), "and Mr. Dutton remained in London, whither he had gone to see the play."

"But the servants might have perished?"

"No. A whim, apparently, has lately seized Mr. Dutton, that no servant or laborer shall sleep under the same roof with himself; and those new outhouses, where their bedrooms are placed, are, you see, completely detached, and are indeed, as regards this dwelling, made fire-proof."

At this moment Mr. Dutton appeared, and interrupted our conversation. He took me aside. "Well," he said, "to what conclusion have you come? The work of an incendiary, is it not? Somebody too, that knows I am not insured—"

"Not insured!"

"No; not for this dwelling-house. I did not renew the policy some months ago."

"Then," I jestingly remarked, "you, at all events, are safe from any accusation of having set fire to your premises with the intent to defraud the insurers."

"To be sure—to be sure, I am," he rejoined with quick earnestness, as if taking my remark seriously. "That is quite certain. Some one, I am pretty sure, it must be," he presently added, "that owes me a grudge—with whom I have quarreled, eh?"

"It may be so, certainly."

"It must be so. And what, Mr. Sharp, is the highest penalty for the crime of incendiarism?"

"By the recent change in the law, transportation only; unless, indeed, loss of human life occur in consequence of the felonious act; in which case, the English law construes the offense to be willful murder, although the incendiary may not have intended the death or injury of any person."

[Pg 357]

"I see. But here there could have been no loss of life."

"There might have been, had not you, Mrs. Rivers, and Annie, chanced to sleep out of the house."

"True—true—a diabolical villain, no doubt. But we'll ferret him out yet. You are a keen hand, Mr. Sharp, and will assist, I know. Yes, yes—it's some fellow that hates me—that I perhaps hate and loathe—" he added with sudden gnashing fierceness, and striking his hand with furious violence on the table—"as I do a spotted toad!"

I hardly recognized James Dutton in this fitful, disjointed talk, and as there was really nothing to be done or to be inquired into, I soon went away.

"Only one week's interval," I hastily remarked to Mr. Flint, one morning after glancing at the newspaper, "and another fire at Dutton's farm-house!"

"The deuce! He is in the luck of it, apparently," replied Flint, without looking up from his employment. My partner knew Dutton only by sight.

The following morning, I received a note from Mrs. Rivers. She wished to see me immediately on a matter of great importance. I hastened to Mr. Dutton's, and found, on arriving there, that George Hamblin was in custody, and undergoing an examination, at no great distance off, before two county magistrates, on the charge of having fired Mr. Dutton's premises. The chief evidence was, that Hamblin had been seen lurking about the place just before the flames broke out, and that near the window where an incendiary might have entered there were found portions of several lucifer matches, of a particular make, and corresponding to a number found in Hamblin's bedroom. To this Hamblin replied, that he had come to the house by Mr. Dutton's invitation, but found nobody there. This however, was vehemently denied by Mr. Dutton. He had made no appointment with Hamblin to meet at his (Dutton's) house. How should he, purposing as he did to be in London at the time? With respect to the lucifer matches, Hamblin said he had purchased them of a mendicant, and that Mr. Dutton saw him do so. This also was denied. It was further proved, that Hamblin, when in drink, had often said he would ruin Dutton before he died. Finally, the magistrates, though with some hesitation, decided that there was hardly sufficient evidence to warrant them in committing the prisoner for trial, and he was discharged, much to the rage and indignation of the prosecutor.

Subsequently, Mrs. Rivers and I had a long private conference. She and the child had again slept at Elsworthy's on the night of the fire, and Dutton in London. "His excuse is," said Mrs. Rivers, "that he can not permit us to sleep here unprotected by his presence." We both arrived at the same conclusion, and at last agreed upon what should be done—attempted rather—and that without delay.

Just before taking leave of Mr. Dutton, who was in an exceedingly excited state, I said: "By-the-by, Dutton, you have promised to dine with me on some early day. Let it be next Tuesday. I shall have one or two bachelor friends, and we can give you a shake-down for the night."

"Next Tuesday?" said he quickly. "At what hour do you dine?"

"At six. Not a half-moment later."

"Good! I will be with you." We then shook hands, and parted.

The dinner would have been without interest to me, had not a note previously arrived from Mrs. Rivers, stating that she and Annie were again to sleep that night at Elsworthy's. This promised results.

James Dutton, who rode into town, was punctual, and, as always of late, flurried, excited, nervous—not, in fact, it appeared to me, precisely in his right mind. The dinner passed off as dinners usually do, and the after-proceedings went on very comfortably till about half-past nine o'clock, when Dutton's perturbation, increased perhaps by the considerable quantity of wine he had swallowed, not drunk, became, it was apparent to every body, almost uncontrollable. He rose—purposeless it seemed—sat down again—drew out his watch almost every minute, and answered remarks addressed to him in the wildest manner. The decisive moment was, I saw, arrived, and at a gesture of mine, Elsworthy, who was in my confidence, addressed Dutton. "By the way, Dutton, about Mrs. Rivers and Annie. I forgot to tell you of it before."

The restless man was on his feet in an instant, and glaring with fiery eagerness at the speaker.

"What! what!" he cried with explosive quickness—"what about Annie? Death and fury!—speak! will you?"

"Don't alarm yourself, my good fellow. It's nothing of consequence. You brought Annie and her governess, about an hour before I started, to sleep at our house—"

"Yes—yes," gasped Dutton, white as death, and every fibre of his body shaking with terrible dread. "Yes—well, well, go on. Thunder and lightning! out with it, will you?"

"Unfortunately, two female cousins arrived soon after you went away, and I was obliged to escort Annie and Mrs. Rivers home again." A wild shriek—yell is perhaps the more appropriate expression—burst from the conscience and fear-stricken man. Another instant, and he had torn his watch from the fob, glanced at it with dilated eyes, dashed it on the table, and was rushing madly toward the door, vainly withstood by Elsworthy, who feared we had gone too far.

"Out of the way!" screamed the madman. "Let go, or I'll dash you to atoms!" Suiting the action to the threat, he hurled my brother-in-law against the wall with stunning force, and rushed on, shouting incoherently: "My[Pg 358] horse! There is time yet! Tom Edwards, my horse!"

Tom Edwards was luckily at hand, and although mightily surprised at the sudden uproar, which he attributed to Mr. Dutton being in drink, mechanically assisted to saddle, bridle, and bring out the roan mare; and before I could reach the stables, Dutton's foot was in the stirrup. I shouted "Stop," as loudly as I could, but the excited horseman did not heed, perhaps not hear me: and away he went, at a tremendous speed, hatless, and his long gray-tinted hair streaming in the wind. It was absolutely necessary to follow. I therefore directed Elsworthy's horse, a much swifter and more peaceful animal than Dutton's, to be brought out; and as soon as I got into the high country road, I too dashed along at a rate much too headlong to be altogether pleasant. The evening was clear and bright, and I now and then caught a distant sight of Dutton, who was going at a frantic pace across the country, and putting his horse at leaps that no man in his senses would have attempted. I kept the high-road, and we had thus ridden about half an hour perhaps, when a bright flame about a mile distant, as the crow flies, shot suddenly forth, strongly relieved against a mass of dark wood just beyond it. I knew it to be Dutton's house, even without the confirmation given by the frenzied shout which at the same moment arose on my left hand. It was from Dutton. His horse had been staked, in an effort to clear a high fence, and he was hurrying desperately along on foot. I tried to make him hear me, or to reach him, but found I could do neither: his own wild cries and imprecations drowned my voice, and there were impassable fences between the high-road and the fields across which he madly hasted.

The flames were swift this time, and defied the efforts of the servants and husbandmen who had come to the rescue, to stay, much less to quell them. Eagerly as I rode, Dutton arrived before the blazing pile at nearly the same moment as myself, and even as he fiercely struggled with two or three men, who strove by main force to prevent him from rushing into the flames, only to meet with certain death, the roof and floors of the building fell in with a sudden crash. He believed that all was over with the child, and again hurling forth the wild despairing cry I had twice before heard that evening, he fell down, as if smitten by lightning, upon the hard, frosty road.

It was many days ere the unhappy, sinful man recovered his senses, many weeks before he was restored to his accustomed health. Very cautiously had the intelligence been communicated to him, that Annie had not met the terrible fate, the image of which had incessantly pursued him through his fevered dreams. He was a deeply grateful, and, I believe, a penitent and altogether changed man. He purchased, through my agency, a valuable farm in a distant county, in order to be out of the way, not only of Hamblin, on whom he settled two hundred a year, but of others, myself included, who knew or suspected him of the foul intention he had conceived against his son-in-law, and which, but for Mrs. Rivers, would, on the last occasion, have been in all probability successful, so cunningly had the evidence of circumstances been devised. "I have been," said James Dutton to me at the last interview I had with him, "all my life an overweening, self-confident fool. At Romford, I boasted to you that my children should ally themselves with the landed gentry of the country, and see the result! The future, please God, shall find me in my duty—mindful only of that, and content, while so acting, with whatever shall befall me or mine."

Dutton continues to prosper in the world; Hamblin died several years ago of delirium tremens; and Annie, I hear, will in all probability marry into the squirearchy of the country. All this is not perhaps what is called poetical justice, but my experience has been with the actual, not the ideal world.


CHAPTER XIV.—Deportment

Richard left us on the very next evening, to begin his new career, and committed Ada to my charge with great love for her, and great trust in me. It touched me then to reflect, and it touches me now, more nearly, to remember (having what I have to tell) how they both thought of me, even at that engrossing time. I was a part of all their plans, for the present and the future. I was to write to Richard once a week, making my faithful report of Ada, who was to write to him every alternate day. I was to be informed, under his own hand, of all his labors and successes; I was to observe how resolute and persevering he would be; I was to be Ada's bridesmaid when they were married; I was to live with them afterward; I was to keep all the keys of their house; I was to be made happy forever and a day.

"And if the suit should make us rich, Esther—which it may, you know!" said Richard, to crown all.

A shade crossed Ada's face.

"My dearest Ada," asked Richard, pausing, "why not?"

"It had better declare us poor at once," said Ada.

"O! I don't know about that," returned Richard; "but at all events, it won't declare any thing at once. It hasn't declared any thing in Heaven knows how many years."

"Too true," said Ada.

"Yes, but," urged Richard, answering what her look suggested rather than her words, "the longer it goes on, dear cousin, the nearer it must be to a settlement one way or other. Now, is not that reasonable?"

"You know best, Richard. But I am afraid if we trust to it, it will make us unhappy."

[Pg 359]

"But, my Ada, we are not going to trust to it!" cried Richard, gayly. "We know it better than to trust to it. We only say that if it should make us rich, we have no constitutional objection to being rich. The Court is, by solemn settlement of law, our grim old guardian, and we are to suppose that what it gives us (when it gives us any thing) is our right. It is not necessary to quarrel with our right."

"No," said Ada, "but it may be better to forget all about it."

"Well, well!" cried Richard, "then we will forget all about it! We consign the whole thing to oblivion. Dame Durden puts on her approving face, and it's done!"

"Dame Durden's approving face," said I, looking out of the box in which I was packing his books, "was not very visible when you called it by that name; but it does approve, and she thinks you can't do better."

So, Richard said there was an end of it—and immediately began, on no other foundation, to build as many castles in the air as would man the great wall of China. He went away in high spirits. Ada and I, prepared to miss him very much, commenced our quieter career.

On our arrival in London, we had called with Mr. Jarndyce at Mrs. Jellyby's, but had not been so fortunate as to find her at home. It appeared that she had gone somewhere, to a tea-drinking, and had taken Miss Jellyby with her. Besides the tea-drinking, there was to be some considerable speech-making and letter-writing on the general merits of the cultivation of coffee, conjointly with natives, at the Settlement of Borrioboola Gha. All this involved, no doubt, sufficient active exercise of pen and ink, to make her daughter's part in the proceedings, any thing but a holiday.

It being, now, beyond the time appointed for Mrs. Jellyby's return, we called again. She was in town, but not at home, having gone to Mile End, directly after breakfast, on some Borrioboolan business, arising out of a Society called the East London Branch Aid Ramification. As I had not seen Peepy on the occasion of our last call (when he was not to be found any where, and when the cook rather thought he must have strolled away with the dustman's cart) I now inquired for him again. The oyster shells he had been building a house with, were still in the passage, but he was nowhere discoverable, and the cook supposed that he had "gone after the sheep." When we repeated, with some surprise, "The sheep?" she said, O yes, on market days he sometimes followed them quite out of town, and came back in such a state as never was!

I was sitting at the window with my Guardian, on the following morning, and Ada was busy writing—of course to Richard—when Miss Jellyby was announced, and entered, leading the identical Peepy, whom she had made some endeavors to render presentable, by wiping the dirt into corners of his face and hands, and making his hair very wet, and then violently frizzling it with her fingers. Every thing the dear child wore, was either too large for him or too small. Among his other contradictory decorations he had the hat of a Bishop, and the little gloves of a baby. His boots were, on a small scale, the boots of a plowman: while his legs, so crossed and recrossed with scratches that they looked like maps, were bare, below a very short pair of plaid drawers, finished off with two frills of perfectly different patterns. The deficient buttons on his plaid frock had evidently been supplied from one of Mr. Jellyby's coats, they were so extremely brazen and so much too large. Most extraordinary specimens of needlework appeared on several parts of his dress, where it had been hastily mended; and I recognized the same hand on Miss Jellyby's. She was, however, unaccountably improved in her appearance, and looked very pretty. She was conscious of poor little Peepy being but a failure, after all her trouble, and she showed it as she came in, by the way in which she glanced, first at him, and then at us.

"O dear me!" said my Guardian, "Due East!"

Ada and I gave her a cordial welcome, and presented her to Mr. Jarndyce; to whom she said, as she sat down:

"Ma's compliments, and she hopes you'll excuse her, because she's correcting proofs of the plan. She's going to put out five thousand new circulars, and she knows you'll be interested to hear that. I have brought one of them with me. Ma's compliments." With which she presented it sulkily enough.

"Thank you," said my Guardian. "I am much obliged to Mrs. Jellyby. O dear me! This is a very trying wind!"

We were busy with Peepy; taking off his clerical hat; asking him if he remembered us; and so on. Peepy retired behind his elbow at first, but relented at the sight of sponge-cake, and allowed me to take him on my lap, where he sat munching quietly. Mr. Jarndyce then withdrawing into the temporary Growlery, Miss Jellyby opened a conversation with her usual abruptness.

"We are going on just as bad as ever in Thavies Inn," said she. "I have no peace of my life. Talk of Africa! I couldn't be worse off if I was a what's-his-name-man and a brother!"

I tried to say something soothing.

"O, it's of no use, Miss Summerson," exclaimed Miss Jellyby, "though I thank you for the kind intention all the same. I know how I am used, and I am not to be talked over. You wouldn't be talked over, if you were used so. Peepy, go and play at Wild Beasts under the piano!"

"I shan't!" said Peepy.

"Very well, you ungrateful, naughty, hard-hearted boy!" returned Miss Jellyby, with tears in her eyes. "I'll never take pains to dress you any more."

"Yes, I will go, Caddy!" cried Peepy, who[Pg 360] was really a good child, and who was so moved by his sister's vexation that he went at once.

"It seems a little thing to cry about," said poor Miss Jellyby, apologetically, "but I am quite worn out. I was directing the new circulars till two this morning. I detest the whole thing so, that that alone makes my head ache till I can't see out of my eyes. And look at that poor unfortunate child. Was there ever such a fright as he is!"

Peepy, happily unconscious of the defects in his appearance, sat on the carpet behind one of the legs of the piano, looking calmly out of his den at us, while he ate his cake.

"I have sent him to the other end of the room," observed Miss Jellyby, drawing her chair nearer ours, "because I don't want him to hear the conversation. Those little things are so sharp! I was going to say, we really are going on worse than ever. Pa will be a bankrupt before long, and then I hope Ma will be satisfied. There'll be nobody but Ma to thank for it."

We said we hoped Mr. Jellyby's affairs were not in so bad a state as that.

"It's of no use hoping, though it's very kind of you!" returned Miss Jellyby, shaking her head. "Pa told me, only yesterday morning (and dreadfully unhappy he is), that he couldn't weather the storm. I should be surprised if he could. When all our tradesmen send into our house any stuff they like, and the servants do what they like with it, and I have no time to improve things if I knew how, and Ma don't care about any thing, I should like to make out how Pa is to weather the storm. I declare if I was Pa, I'd run away!"

"My dear!" said I, smiling. "Your papa, no doubt, considers his family."

"O yes, his family is all very fine, Miss Summerson," replied Miss Jellyby; "but what comfort is his family to him? His family is nothing but bills, dirt, waste, noise, tumbles down stairs, confusion, and wretchedness. His scrambling home, from week's-end to week's-end, is like one great washing-day—only nothing's washed!"

Miss Jellyby tapped her foot upon the floor, and wiped her eyes.

"I am sure I pity Pa to that degree," she said, "and am so angry with Ma, that I can't find words to express myself! However, I am not going to bear it, I am determined. I won't be a slave all my life, and I won't submit to be proposed to by Mr. Quale. A pretty thing, indeed, to marry a Philanthropist! As if I hadn't had enough of that!" said poor Miss Jellyby.

I must confess that I could not help feeling rather angry with Mrs. Jellyby, myself; seeing and hearing this neglected girl, and knowing how much of bitterly satirical truth there was in what she said.

"If it wasn't that we had been intimate when you stopped at our house," pursued Miss Jellyby, "I should have been ashamed to come here to-day, for I know what a figure I must seem to you two. But, as it is, I made up my mind to call: especially as I am not likely to see you again, the next time you come to town."

She said this with such great significance that Ada and I glanced at one another, foreseeing something more.

"No!" said Miss Jellyby, shaking her head. "Not at all likely! I know I may trust you two. I am sure you won't betray me. I am engaged."

"Without their knowledge at home?" said I.

"Why, good gracious me, Miss Summerson," she returned, justifying herself in a fretful but not angry manner, "how can it be otherwise? You know what Ma is—and I needn't make poor Pa more miserable by telling him."

"But would it not be adding to his unhappiness, to marry without his knowledge or consent, my dear?" said I.

"No," said Miss Jellyby, softening. "I hope not. I should try to make him happy and comfortable when he came to see me; and Peepy and the others should take it in turns to come and stay with me; and they should have some care taken of them, then."

There was a good deal of affection in poor Caddy. She softened more and more while saying this, and cried so much over the unwonted little home-picture she had raised in her mind, that Peepy, in his cave under the piano, was touched, and turned himself over on his back with loud lamentations. It was not until I had brought him to kiss his sister, and had restored him to his place in my lap, and had shown him that Caddy was laughing (she laughed expressly for the purpose), that we could recall his peace of mind; even then, it was for some time conditional on his taking us in turns by the chin, and smoothing our faces all over with his hand. At last, as his spirits were not yet equal to the piano, we put him on a chair to look out of window; and Miss Jellyby, holding him by one leg, resumed her confidence.

"It began in your coming to our house," she said.

We naturally asked how?

"I felt I was so awkward," she replied, "that I made up my mind to be improved in that respect, at all events, and to learn to dance. I told Ma I was ashamed of myself, and I must be taught to dance. Ma looked at me in that provoking way of hers, as if I wasn't in sight; but, I was quite determined to be taught to dance, and so I went to Mr. Turveydrop's Academy in Newman Street."

"And was it there, my dear——" I began.

"Yes, it was there," said Caddy, "and I am engaged to Mr. Turveydrop. There are two Mr. Turveydrops, father and son. My Mr. Turveydrop is the son, of course. I only wish I had been better brought up, and was likely to make him a better wife; for I am very fond of him."

"I am sorry to hear this," said I, "I must confess."

"I don't know why you should be sorry," she retorted, a little anxiously, "but I am engaged to Mr. Turveydrop, whether or no, and he is very[Pg 361] fond of me. It's a secret as yet, even on his side, because old Mr. Turveydrop has a share in the connection, and it might break his heart, or give him some other shock, if he was told of it abruptly. Old Mr. Turveydrop is a very gentlemanly man, indeed—very gentlemanly."

"Does his wife know of it?" asked Ada.

"Old Mr. Turveydrop's wife, Miss Clare?" returned Miss Jellyby, opening her eyes. "There's no such person. He is a widower."

We were here interrupted by Peepy, whose leg had undergone so much on account of his sister's unconsciously jerking it, like a bell-rope, whenever she was emphatic, that the afflicted child now bemoaned his sufferings with a very low-spirited noise. As he appealed to me for compassion, and as I was only a listener, I undertook to hold him. Miss Jellyby proceeded, after begging Peepy's pardon with a kiss, and assuring him that she hadn't meant to do it.

"That's the state of the case," said Caddy. "If I ever blame myself, I still think it's Ma's fault. We are to be married whenever we can, and then I shall go to Pa at the office, and write to Ma. It won't much agitate Ma: I am only pen and ink to her. One great comfort is," said Caddy, with a sob, "that I shall never hear of Africa after I am married. Young Mr. Turveydrop hates it for my sake; and if old Mr. Turveydrop knows there is such a place, it's as much as he does."

"It was he who was very gentlemanly, I think?" said I.

"Very gentlemanly, indeed," said Caddy. "He is celebrated, almost every where, for his Deportment."

"Does he teach?" asked Ada.

"No, he don't teach any thing in particular," replied Caddy. "But his Deportment is beautiful."

Caddy went on to say, with considerable hesitation and reluctance, that there was one thing more she wished us to know, and felt we ought to know, and which, she hoped, would not offend us. It was, that she had improved her acquaintance with Miss Flite, the little crazy old lady; and that she frequently went there early in the morning, and met her lover for a few minutes before breakfast—only for a few minutes. "I go there, at other times," said Caddy, "but Prince does not come then. Young Mr. Turveydrop's name is Prince; I wish it wasn't, because it sounds like a dog, but of course he didn't christen himself. Old Mr. Turveydrop had him christened Prince, in remembrance of the Prince Regent. Old Mr. Turveydrop adored the Prince Regent on account of his Deportment. I hope you won't think the worse of me for having made these little appointments at Miss Flite's, where I first went with you; because I like the poor thing for her own sake, and I believe she likes me. If you could see young Mr. Turveydrop, I am sure you would think well of him—at least, I am sure you couldn't possibly think any ill of him. I am going there now, for my lesson. I couldn't ask you to go with me, Miss Summerson; but if you would," said Caddy, who had said all this, earnestly and tremblingly, "I should be very glad—very glad."

It happened that we had arranged with my Guardian to go to Miss Flite's that day. We had told him of our former visit, and our account had interested him; but something had always happened to prevent our going there again. As I trusted that I might have sufficient influence with Miss Jellyby to prevent her taking any very rash step, if I fully accepted the confidence she was so willing to place in me, poor girl, I proposed that she, and I, and Peepy, should go to the Academy, and afterward meet my guardian and Ada at Miss Flite's—whose name I now learnt for the first time. This was on condition that Miss Jellyby and Peepy should come back with us to dinner. The last article of the agreement being joyfully acceded to by both, we smartened Peepy up a little, with the assistance of a few pins, some soap and water, and a hair-brush; and went out: bending our steps toward Newman Street, which was very near.

I found the academy established in a sufficiently dingy house at the corner of an arch-way, with busts in all the staircase windows. In the same house there were also established, as I gathered from the plates on the door, a drawing-master, a coal-merchant (there was, certainly, no room for his coals), and a lithographic artist. On the plate which, in size and situation, took precedence of all the rest, I read, Mr. Turveydrop. The door was open, and the hall was blocked up by a grand piano, a harp, and several other musical instruments in cases, all in progress of removal, and all looking rakish in the daylight. Miss Jellyby informed me that the academy had been lent, last night, for a concert.

We went up-stairs—it had been quite a fine house once, when it was any body's business to keep it clean and fresh, and nobody's business to smoke in it all day—and into Mr. Turveydrop's great room, which was built out into a mews at the back, and was lighted by a skylight. It was a bare, resounding room, smelling of stables; with cane forms along the walls; and the walls ornamented at regular intervals with painted lyres, and little cut-glass branches for candles, which seemed to be shedding their old-fashioned drops as other branches might shed autumn leaves. Several young lady pupils, ranging from thirteen or fourteen years of age to two or three and twenty, were assembled; and I was looking among them for their instructor, when Caddy, pinching my arm, repeated the ceremony of introduction. "Miss Summerson, Mr. Prince Turveydrop!"


I courtesied to a little blue-eyed fair man of youthful appearance, with flaxen hair parted in the middle, and curling at the ends all round his head. He had a little fiddle, which we used to call at school a kit, under his left arm, and its little bow in the same hand. His little dancing-shoes were particularly diminutive, and he had a little innocent, feminine manner, which not only appealed to me in an amiable way, but[Pg 362]
[Pg 363]
made this singular effect upon me: that I received the impression that he was like his mother, and that his mother had not been much considered or well used.

"I am very happy to see Miss Jellyby's friend," he said, bowing low to me. "I began to fear," with timid tenderness, "as it was past the usual time, that Miss Jellyby was not coming."

"I beg you will have the goodness to attribute that to me, who have detained her, and to receive my excuses, sir," said I.

"O dear!" said he.

"And pray," I entreated, "do not allow me to be the cause of any more delay."

With that apology I withdrew to a seat between Peepy (who, being well used to it, had already climbed into a corner-place), and an old lady of a censorious countenance, whose two nieces were in the class, and who was very indignant with Peepy's boots. Prince Turveydrop then tinkled the strings of his kit with his fingers, and the young ladies stood up to dance. Just then, there appeared from a side-door, old Mr. Turveydrop, in the full lustre of his Deportment.

He was a fat old gentleman with a false complexion, false teeth, false whiskers, and a wig. He had a fur collar, and he had a padded breast to his coat, which only wanted a star or a broad blue ribbon to be complete. He was pinched in and swelled out, and got up, and strapped down, as much as he could possibly bear. He had such a neck-cloth on (puffing his very eyes out of their natural shape), and his chin and even his ears so sunk into it, that it seemed as though he must inevitably double up, if it were cast loose. He had, under his arm, a hat of great size and weight, shelving downward from the crown to the brim; and in his hand a pair of white gloves, with which he flapped it, as he stood poised on one leg, in a high-shouldered, round-elbowed state of elegance not to be surpassed. He had a cane, he had an eye-glass, he had a snuff-box, he had rings, he had wristbands, he had every thing but any touch of nature; he was not like youth, he was not like age, he was like nothing in the world but a model of Deportment.

"Father! A visitor. Miss Jellyby's friend, Miss Summerson."

"Distinguished," said Mr. Turveydrop, "by Miss Summerson's presence." As he bowed to me in that tight state, I almost believed I saw creases come into the whites of his eyes.

"My father," said the son, aside to me, with quite an affecting belief in him, "is a celebrated character. My father is greatly admired."

"Go on, Prince! Go on!" said Mr. Turveydrop, standing with his back to the fire, and waving his gloves condescendingly. "Go on, my son!"

At this command, or by this gracious permission, the lesson went on. Prince Turveydrop, sometimes, played the kit, dancing; sometimes played the piano, standing; sometimes hummed the tune with what little breath he could spare, while he set a pupil right; always conscientiously moved with the least proficient through every step and every part of the figure; and never rested for an instant. His distinguished father did nothing whatever, but stand before the fire, a model of Deportment.

"And he never does any thing else," said the old lady of the censorious countenance. "Yet, would you believe that it's his name on the door-plate?"

"His son's name is the same, you know," said I.

"He wouldn't let his son have any name, if he could take it from him," returned the old lady. "Look at the son's dress!" It certainly was plain—threadbare—almost shabby. "Yet the father must be garnished and tricked out," said the old lady, "because of his Deportment. I'd deport him! Transport him would be better!"

I felt curious to know more, concerning this person. I asked, "Does he give lessons in Deportment, now?"

"Now!" returned the old lady, shortly. "Never did."

After a moment's consideration, I suggested that perhaps fencing had been his accomplishment.

"I don't believe he can fence at all, ma'am," said the old lady.

I looked surprised and inquisitive. The old lady, becoming more and more incensed against the Master of Deportment as she dwelt upon the subject, gave me some particulars of his career, with strong assurances that they were mildly stated.

He had married a meek little dancing-mistress, with a tolerable connection (having never in his life before done any thing but deport himself), and had worked her to death, or had, at the best, suffered her to work herself to death, to maintain him in those expenses which were indispensable to his position. At once to exhibit his Deportment to the best models, and to keep the best models constantly before himself, he had found it necessary to frequent all public places of fashionable and lounging resort; to be seen at Brighton and elsewhere at fashionable times, and to lead an idle life in the very best clothes. To enable him to do this, the affectionate little dancing-mistress had toiled and labored, and would have toiled and labored to that hour, if her strength had lasted so long. For, the mainspring of the story was, that, in spite of the man's absorbing selfishness, his wife (overpowered by his Deportment) had, to the last, believed in him, and had, on her death-bed in the most moving terms, confided him to their son as one who had an inextinguishable claim upon him, and whom he could never regard with too much pride and deference. The son, inheriting his mother's belief, and having the Deportment always before him, had lived and grown in the same faith, and now, at thirty years of age, worked for his father twelve hours a day, and looked up to him with veneration on the old imaginary pinnacle.

[Pg 364]

"The airs the fellow gives himself!" said my informant, shaking her head at old Mr. Turveydrop with speechless indignation, as he drew on his tight gloves; of course unconscious of the homage she was rendering. "He fully believes he is one of the aristocracy! And he is so condescending to the son he so egregiously deludes, that you might suppose him the most virtuous of parents. O!" said the old lady, apostrophizing him with infinite vehemence, "I could bite you!"

I could not help being amused, though I heard the old lady out with feelings of real concern. It was difficult to doubt her, with the father and son before me. What I might have thought of them without the old lady's account, or what I might have thought of the old lady's account without them, I can not say. There was a fitness of things in the whole that carried conviction with it.

My eyes were yet wandering, from young Mr. Turveydrop working so hard to old Mr. Turveydrop deporting himself so beautifully, when the latter came ambling up to me, and entered into conversation.

He asked me, first of all, whether I conferred a charm and a distinction on London by residing in it? I did not think it necessary to reply that I was perfectly aware I should not do that, in any case, but merely told him where I did reside.

"A lady so graceful and accomplished," he said, kissing his right glove, and afterward extending it toward the pupils, "will look leniently on the deficiencies here. We do our best to polish—polish—polish!"

He sat down beside me; taking some pains to sit on the form, I thought, in imitation of the print of his illustrious model on the sofa. And really he did look very like it.

"To polish—polish—polish!" he repeated, taking a pinch of snuff, and gently fluttering his fingers. "But we are not—if I may say so, to one formed to be graceful both by Nature and Art;" with the high-shouldered bow, which it seemed impossible for him to make without lifting up his eyebrows and shutting his eyes—"we are not what we used to be in point of Deportment."

"Are we not, sir?" said I.

"We have degenerated," he returned, shaking his head, which he could do, to a very limited extent, in his cravat. "A leveling age is not favorable to Deportment. It develops vulgarity. Perhaps I speak with some little partiality. It may not be for me to say that I have been called, for some years now, Gentleman Turveydrop; or that His Royal Highness the Prince Regent did me the honor to inquire, on my removing my hat as he drove out of the Pavilion at Brighton (that fine building), 'Who is he? Who the Devil is he? Why don't I know him? Why hasn't he thirty thousand a year?' But these are little matters of anecdote—the general property, ma'am—still repeated, occasionally among the upper classes."

"Indeed?" said I.

He replied with the high-shouldered bow. "Where what is left among us of Deportment," he added, "still lingers. England—alas, my country!—has degenerated very much, and is degenerating every day. She has not many gentlemen left. We are few. I see nothing to succeed us, but a race of weavers."

"One might hope that the race of gentlemen would be perpetuated here," said I.

"You are very good," he smiled, with the high-shouldered bow again. "You flatter me. But, no—no! I have never been able to imbue my poor boy with that part of his art. Heaven forbid that I should disparage my dear child, but he has—no Deportment."

"He appears to be an excellent master," I observed.

"Understand me, my dear madam, he is an excellent master. All that can be acquired, he has acquired. All that can be imparted, he can impart. But there are things"—he took another pinch of snuff and made the bow again, as if to add, "this kind of thing, for instance."

I glanced toward the centre of the room, where Miss Jellyby's lover, now engaged with single pupils, was undergoing greater drudgery than ever.

"My amiable child," murmured Mr. Turveydrop, adjusting his cravat.

"Your son is indefatigable," said I.

"It is my reward," said Mr. Turveydrop, "to hear you say so. In some respects, he treads in the footsteps of his sainted mother. She was a devoted creature. But Wooman, lovely Wooman," said Mr. Turveydrop, with very disagreeable gallantry, "what a sex you are!"

I rose and joined Miss Jellyby, who was, by this time, putting on her bonnet. The time allotted to a lesson having fully elapsed, there was a general putting on of bonnets. When Miss Jellyby and the unfortunate Prince found an opportunity to become betrothed I don't know, but they certainly found none, on this occasion, to exchange a dozen words.

"My dear," said Mr. Turveydrop benignly to his son, "do you know the hour?"

"No, father." The son had no watch. The father had a handsome gold one, which he pulled out, with an air that was an example to mankind.

"My son," said he, "it's two o'clock. Recollect your school at Kensington at three."

"That's time enough for me, father," said Prince. "I can take a morsel of dinner, standing, and be off."

"My dear boy," returned his father, "you must be very quick. You will find the cold mutton on the table."

"Thank you, father. Are you off now, father?"

"Yes, my dear. I suppose," said Mr. Turveydrop, shutting his eyes and lifting up his shoulders, with modest consciousness, "that I must show myself, as usual, about town."

"You had better dine out comfortably, somewhere," said his son.

[Pg 365]

"My dear child, I intend to. I shall take my little meal, I think, at the French house, in the Opera Colonnade."

"That's right. Good-by, father!" said Prince, shaking hands.

"Good-by, my son. Bless you!"

Mr. Turveydrop said this in quite a pious manner, and it seemed to do his son good; who, in parting from him, was so pleased with him, so dutiful to him, and so proud of him, that I almost felt as if it were an unkindness to the younger man not to be able to believe implicitly in the elder. The few moments that were occupied by Prince in taking leave of us (and particularly of one of us, as I saw, being in the secret), enhanced my favorable impression of his almost childish character. I felt a liking for him, and a compassion for him, as he put his little kit in his pocket—and with it his desire to stay a little while with Caddy—and went away good-humoredly to his cold mutton and his school at Kensington, that made me scarcely less irate with his father than the censorious old lady.

The father opened the room door for us, and bowed us out, in a manner, I must acknowledge, worthy of his shining original. In the same style he presently passed us on the other side of the street, on his way to the aristocratic part of the town, where he was going to show himself among the few other gentlemen left. For some moments, I was so lost in reconsidering what I had heard and seen in Newman Street, that I was quite unable to talk to Caddy, or even to fix my attention on what she said to me; especially, when I began to inquire in my mind whether there were, or ever had been, any other gentlemen, not in the dancing profession, who lived and founded a reputation entirely on their Deportment. This became so bewildering, and suggested the possibility of so many Mr. Turveydrops, that I said, "Esther, you must make up your mind to abandon this subject altogether, and attend to Caddy." I accordingly did so, and we chatted all the rest of the way to Lincoln's Inn.

Caddy told me that her lover's education had been so neglected, that it was not always easy to read his notes. She said, if he were not so anxious about his spelling, and took less pains to make it clear, he would do better; but he put so many unnecessary letters into short words, that they sometimes quite lost their English appearance. "He does it with the best intentions," observed Caddy, "but it hasn't the effect he means, poor fellow!" Caddy then went on to reason, how could he be expected to be a scholar, when he had passed his whole life in the dancing-school, and had done nothing but teach and fag, fag and teach, morning, noon, and night! And what did it matter? She could write letters enough for both, as she knew to her cost, and it was far better for him to be amiable than learned. "Besides, it's not as if I was an accomplished girl who had any right to give herself airs," said Caddy. "I know little enough, I am sure, thanks to Ma!"

"There's another thing I want to tell you, now we are alone," continued Caddy, "which I should not have liked to mention unless you had seen Prince, Miss Summerson. You know what a house ours is. It's of no use my trying to learn any thing that it would be useful for Prince's wife to know, in our house. We live in such a state of muddle that it's impossible, and I have only been more disheartened whenever I have tried. So, I get a little practice with—who do you think? Poor Miss Flite! Early in the morning, I help her to tidy her room, and clean her birds; and I make her cup of coffee for her (of course she taught me), and I have learnt to make it so well that Prince says it's the very best coffee he ever tasted, and would quite delight old Mr. Turveydrop, who is very particular indeed about his coffee. I can make little puddings too; and I know how to buy neck of mutton, and tea, and sugar, and butter, and a good many housekeeping things. I am not clever at my needle, yet," said Caddy, glancing at the repairs on Peepy's frock, "but perhaps I shall improve. And since I have been engaged to Prince, and have been doing all this, I have felt better-tempered, I hope, and more forgiving to Ma. It rather put me out, at first this morning, to see you and Miss Clare looking so neat and pretty, and to feel ashamed of Peepy and myself too; but on the whole, I hope I am better-tempered than I was, and more forgiving to Ma."

The poor girl, trying so hard, said it from her heart, and touched mine. "Caddy, my love," I replied, "I begin to have a great affection for you, and I hope we shall become friends." "Oh, do you?" cried Caddy; "how happy that would make me!" "My dear Caddy," said I, "let us be friends from this time, and let us often have a chat about these matters, and try to find the right way through them." Caddy was overjoyed. I said every thing I could, in my old-fashioned way, to comfort and encourage her; and I would not have objected to old Mr. Turveydrop, that day, for any smaller consideration than a settlement on his daughter-in-law.

By this time, we were come to Mr. Krook's, whose private door stood open. There was a bill, pasted on the door-post, announcing a room to let on the second floor. It reminded Caddy to tell me as we proceeded up-stairs, that there had been a sudden death there, and an inquest; and that our little friend had been ill of the fright. The door and window of the vacant room being open, we looked in. It was the room with the dark door, to which Miss Flite had secretly directed my attention when I was last in the house. A sad and desolate place it was; a gloomy, sorrowful place, that gave me a strange sensation of mournfulness and even dread. "You look pale," said Caddy, when we came out, "and cold!" I felt as if the room had chilled me.

We had walked slowly, while we were talking; and my Guardian and Ada were here before us. We found them in Miss Flite's garret. They were looking at the birds, while a medical[Pg 366] gentleman who was so good as to attend Miss Flite with much solicitude and compassion, spoke with her cheerfully by the fire.

"I have finished my professional visit," he said, coming forward. "Miss Flite is much better, and may appear in court (as her mind is set upon it) to-morrow. She has been greatly missed there, I understand."

Miss Flite received the compliment with complacency, and dropped a general courtesy to us.

"Honored, indeed," said she, "by another visit from the Wards in Jarndyce! Ve-ry happy to receive Jarndyce of Bleak House beneath my humble roof!" with a special courtesy. "Fitz-Jarndyce, my dear;" she had bestowed that name on Caddy, it appeared, and always called her by it; "a double welcome!"

"Has she been very ill?" asked Mr. Jarndyce of the gentleman whom we had found in attendance on her. She answered for herself directly, though he had put the question in a whisper.

"O, decidedly unwell! O, very unwell indeed," she said, confidentially. "Not pain, you know—trouble. Not bodily so much as nervous, nervous! The truth is," in a subdued voice and trembling, "we have had death here. There was poison in the house. I am very susceptible to such horrid things. It frightened me. Only Mr. Woodcourt knows how much. My physician, Mr. Woodcourt!" with great stateliness. "The Wards in Jarndyce—Jarndyce of Bleak House—Fitz-Jarndyce!"

"Miss Flite," said Mr. Woodcourt, in a grave, kind voice as if he were appealing to her while speaking to us; and laying his hand gently on her arm; "Miss Flite describes her illness with her usual accuracy. She was alarmed by an occurrence in the house which might have alarmed a stronger person, and was made ill by the distress and agitation. She brought me here in the first hurry of the discovery, though too late for me to be of any use to the unfortunate man. I have compensated myself for that disappointment by coming here since, and being of small use to her."

"The kindest physician in the college," whispered Miss Flite to me. "I expect a Judgment. On the day of Judgment. And shall then confer estates."

"She will be as well, in a day or two," said Mr. Woodcourt, looking at her with an observant smile, "as she ever will be. In other words, quite well, of course. Have you heard of her good fortune?"

"Most extraordinary!" said Miss Flite, smiling brightly. "You never heard of such a thing, my dear! Every Saturday, Conversation Kenge, or Guppy (clerk to Conversation K.), places in my hand a paper of shillings. Shillings. I assure you! Always the same number in the paper. Always one for every day in the week. Now you know, really! So well-timed, is it not? Ye-es! From whence do these papers come, you say? That is the great question. Naturally. Shall I tell you what I think? I think," said Miss Flite, drawing herself back with a very shrewd look, and shaking her right forefinger in a most significant manner, "that the Lord Chancellor, aware of the length of time during which the Great Seal has been open (for it has been open a long time!) forwards them. Until the Judgment I expect, is given. Now that's very creditable, you know. To confess in that way that he is a little slow for human life. So delicate! Attending Court the other day—I attend it regularly—with my documents—I taxed him with it, and he almost confessed. That is, I smiled at him from my bench, and he smiled at me from his bench. But it's great good fortune, is it not? And Fitz-Jarndyce lays the money out for me to great advantage. O, I assure you to the greatest advantage!"

I congratulated her (as she addressed herself to me) upon this fortunate addition to her income, and wished her a long continuance of it. I did not speculate upon the source from which it came, or wonder whose humanity was so considerate. My Guardian stood before me, contemplating the birds, and I had no need to look beyond him.

"And what do you call these little fellows, ma'am?" said he in his pleasant voice. "Have they any names?"

"I can answer for Miss Flite that they have," said I, "for she promised to tell us what they were. Ada remembers?"

Ada remembered very well.

"Did I?" said Miss Flite.—"Who's that at my door? What are you listening at my door for, Krook?"

The old man of the house, pushing it open before him, appeared there with his fur-cap in his hand, and his cat at his heels.

"I warn't listening, Miss Flite," he said. "I was going to give a rap with my knuckles, only you're so quick!"

"Make your cat go down. Drive her away!" the old lady angrily exclaimed.

"Bah, bah!—There ain't no danger, gentle-folks," said Mr. Krook, looking slowly and sharply from one to another, until he had looked at all of us; "she'd never offer at the birds when I was here, unless I told her to do it."

"You will excuse my landlord," said the old lady with a dignified air. "M, quite M! What do you want, Krook, when I have company?"

"Hi!" said the old man. "You know I am the Chancellor."

"Well?" returned Miss Flite. "What of that?"

"For the Chancellor," said the old man, with a chuckle, "not to be acquainted with a Jarndyce is queer, ain't it, Miss Flite? Mightn't I take the liberty?—Your servant, sir. I know Jarndyce and Jarndyce a'most as well as you do, sir. I knowed old Squire Tom, sir. I never to my knowledge see you afore though, not even in court. Yet, I go there a mortal sight of times in the course of the year, taking one day with another."

"I never go there," said Mr. Jarndyce (which[Pg 367] he never did on any consideration). "I would sooner go—somewhere else."

"Would you though?" returned Krook, grinning. "You're bearing hard upon my noble and learned brother in your meaning, sir; though, perhaps, it is but nat'ral in a Jarndyce. The burnt child, sir! What, you're looking at my lodger's birds, Mr. Jarndyce?" The old man had come by little and little into the room, until he now touched my Guardian with his elbow, and looked close up into his face with his spectacled eyes. "It's one of her strange ways, that she'll never tell the names of these birds if she can help it, though she named 'em all." This was in a whisper. "Shall I run 'em over, Flite?" he asked aloud, winking at us and pointing at her as she turned away, affecting to sweep the grate.

"If you like," she answered hurriedly.

The old man, looking up at the cages, after another look at us, went through the list.

"Hope, Joy, Youth, Peace, Rest, Life, Dust, Ashes, Waste, Want, Ruin, Despair, Madness, Death, Cunning, Folly, Words, Wigs, Rags, Sheepskin, Plunder, Precedent, Jargon, Gammon, and Spinach. That's the whole collection," said the old man, "all cooped up together, by my noble and learned brother.

"This is a bitter wind!" muttered my Guardian.

"When my noble and learned brother gives his Judgment, they're to be let go free," said Krook, winking at us again. "And then," he added, whispering and grinning, "if that ever was to happen—which it won't—the birds that have never been caged would kill 'em."

"If ever the wind was in the east," said my Guardian, pretending to look out of the window for a weathercock, "I think it's there to-day!"

We found it very difficult to get away from the house. It was not Miss Flite who detained us; she was as reasonable a little creature in consulting the convenience of others, as there possibly could be. It was Mr. Krook. He seemed unable to detach himself from Mr. Jarndyce. If he had been linked to him, he could hardly have attended him more closely. He proposed to show us his Court of Chancery, and all the strange medley it contained; during the whole of our inspection (prolonged by himself) he kept close to Mr. Jarndyce, and sometimes detained him, under one pretense or other, until we had passed on, as if he were tormented by an inclination to enter upon some secret subject, which he could not make up his mind to approach. I can not imagine a countenance and manner more singularly expressive of caution and indecision, and a perpetual impulse to do something he could not resolve to venture on, than Mr. Krook's was, that day. His watchfulness of my Guardian was incessant. He rarely removed his eyes from his face. If he went on beside him, he observed him with the slyness of an old white fox. If he went before, he looked back. When we stood still, he got opposite to him, and drawing his hand across and across his open mouth with a curious expression of a sense of power, and turning up his eyes, and lowering his gray eyebrows until they appeared to be shut, seemed to scan every lineament of his face.

At last, having been (always attended by the cat) all over the house, and having seen the whole stock of miscellaneous lumber, which was certainly curious, we came into the back part of the shop. Here, on the head of an empty barrel stood on end, were an ink-bottle, some old stumps of pens, and some dirty playbills; and against the wall were pasted several large printed alphabets in several plain hands.

"What are you doing here?" asked my Guardian.

"Trying to learn myself to read and write," said Krook.

"And how do you get on?"

"Slow. Bad," returned the old man, impatiently. "It's hard at my time of life."

"It would be easier to be taught by some one," said my Guardian.

"Ay, but they might teach me wrong!" returned the old man, with a wonderfully suspicious flash of his eye. "I don't know what I may have lost, by not being learned afore. I wouldn't like to lose any thing by being learned wrong now."

"Wrong?" said my Guardian, with his good-humored smile. "Who do you suppose would teach you wrong?"

"I don't know, Mr. Jarndyce of Bleak House!" replied the old man, turning up his spectacles on his forehead, and rubbing his hands. "I don't suppose as any body would—but I'd rather trust my own self than another!"

These answers, and his manner, were strange enough to cause my Guardian to inquire of Mr. Woodcourt, as we all walked across Lincoln's Inn together, whether Mr. Krook were really, as his lodger represented him, deranged? The young surgeon replied, no, he had seen no reason to think so. He was exceedingly distrustful, as ignorance usually was, and he was always more or less under the influence of raw gin: of which he drank great quantities, and of which he and his back shop, as we might have observed, smelt strongly; but he did not think him mad, as yet.

On our way home, I so conciliated Peepy's affections by buying him a windmill and two flour-sacks, that he would suffer nobody else to take off his hat and gloves, and would sit nowhere at dinner but at my side. Caddy sat upon the other side of me, next to Ada, to whom we imparted the whole history of the engagement as soon as we got back. We made much of Caddy, and Peepy too; and Caddy brightened exceedingly; and my Guardian was as merry as we were; and we were all very happy indeed; until Caddy went home at night in a hackney-coach, with Peepy fast asleep, but holding tight to the windmill.

I have forgotten to mention—at least I have[Pg 368] not mentioned—that Mr. Woodcourt was the same dark young surgeon whom we had met at Mr. Badger's. Or, that Mr. Jarndyce invited him to dinner that day. Or, that he came. Or, that when they were all gone, and I said to Ada, "Now, my darling, let us have a little talk about Richard!" Ada laughed, and said—

But, I don't think it matters what my darling said. She was always merry.

CHAPTER XV.—Bell Yard.

While we were in London, Mr. Jarndyce was constantly beset by the crowd of excitable ladies and gentlemen whose proceedings had so much astonished us. Mr. Quale, who presented himself soon after our arrival, was in all such excitements. He seemed to project those two shining knobs of temples of his into every thing that went on, and to brush his hair farther and farther back, until the very roots were almost ready to fly out of his head in inappeasable philanthropy. All objects were alike to him, but he was always particularly ready for any thing in the way of a testimonial to any one. His great power seemed to be his power of indiscriminate admiration. He would sit, for any length of time, with the utmost enjoyment, bathing his temples in the light of any order of luminary. Having first seen him perfectly swallowed up in admiration of Mrs. Jellyby, I had supposed her to be the absorbing object of his devotion. I soon discovered my mistake, and found him to be train-bearer and organ-blower to a whole procession of people.

Mrs. Pardiggle came one day for a subscription to something—and with her, Mr. Quale. Whatever Mrs. Pardiggle said, Mr. Quale repeated to us; and just as he had drawn Mrs. Jellyby out, he drew Mrs. Pardiggle out. Mrs. Pardiggle wrote a letter of introduction to my Guardian, in behalf of her eloquent friend, Mr. Gusher. With Mr. Gusher, appeared Mr. Quale again. Mr. Gusher, being a flabby gentleman with a moist surface, and eyes so much too small for his moon of a face that they seemed to have been originally made for somebody else, was not at first sight prepossessing; yet, he was scarcely seated, before Mr. Quale asked Ada and me, not inaudibly, whether he was not a great creature—which he certainly was, flabbily speaking; though Mr. Quale meant in intellectual beauty—and whether we were not struck by his massive configuration of brow? In short, we heard of a great many missions of various sorts, among this set of people; but, nothing respecting them was half so clear to us, as that it was Mr. Quale's mission to be in ecstasies with everybody else's mission, and that it was the most popular mission of all.

Mr. Jarndyce had fallen into this company, in the tenderness of his heart and his earnest desire to do all the good in his power; but, that he felt it to be too often an unsatisfactory company, where benevolence took spasmodic forms; where charity was assumed, as a regular uniform, by loud professors and speculators in cheap notoriety, vehement in profession, restless and vain in action, servile in the last degree of meanness to the great, adulatory of one another, and intolerable to those who were anxious quietly to help the weak from falling, rather than with a great deal of bluster and self-laudation to raise them up a little way when they were down; he plainly told us. When a testimonial was originated to Mr. Quale, by Mr. Gusher (who had already got one, originated by Mr. Quale), and when Mr. Gusher spoke for an hour and a half on the subject to a meeting, including two charity schools of small boys and girls, who were specially reminded of the widow's mite, and requested to come forward with half-pence and be acceptable sacrifices; I think the wind was in the east for three whole weeks.

I mention this, because I am coming to Mr. Skimpole again. It seemed to me that his off-hand professions of childishness and carelessness were a great relief to my Guardian, by contrast with such things, and were the more readily believed in; since, to find one perfectly undesigning and candid man, among many opposites, could not fail to give him pleasure. I should be sorry to imply that Mr. Skimpole divined this, and was politic: I really never understood him well enough to know. What he was to my Guardian, he certainly was to the rest of the world.

He had not been very well; and thus, though he lived in London, we had seen nothing of him until now. He appeared one morning, in his usual agreeable way, and as full of pleasant spirits as ever.

Well, he said, here he was! He had been bilious, but rich men were often bilious, and therefore he had been persuading himself that he was a man of property. So he was, in a certain point of view—in his expansive intentions. He had been enriching his medical attendant in the most lavish manner. He had always doubled, and sometimes quadrupled, his fees. He had said to the doctor, "Now my dear doctor, it is quite a delusion on your part to suppose that you attend me for nothing. I am overwhelming you with money—in my expansive intentions—if you only knew it!" And really (he said) he meant it to that degree, that he thought it much the same as doing it. If he had had those bits of metal or thin paper to which mankind attached so much importance, to put in the doctor's hand, he would have put them in the doctor's hand. Not having them, he substituted the will for the deed. Very well! If he really meant it—if his will were genuine and real: which it was—it appeared to him that it was the same as coin, and canceled the obligation.

"It may be, partly, because I know nothing of the value of money," said Mr. Skimpole, "but I often feel this. It seems so reasonable! My butcher says to me, he wants that little bill. It's a part of the pleasant unconscious poetry of the man's nature, that he always calls it a 'little' bill—to make the payment appear easy to both of us. I reply to the butcher, My good friend, if you knew it, you are paid. You haven't had the[Pg 369] trouble of coming to ask for the little bill. You are paid. I mean it."

"But suppose," said my Guardian, laughing, "he had meant the meat in the bill, instead of providing it?"

"My dear Jarndyce," he returned, "you surprise me. You take the butcher's position. A butcher I once dealt with, occupied that very ground. Says he, 'Sir, why did you eat spring lamb at eighteen pence a pound?' 'Why did I eat spring lamb at eighteen pence a pound, my honest friend?' said I, naturally amazed by the question. 'I like spring lamb!' This was so far convincing. 'Well, sir,' says he, 'I wish I had meant the lamb, as you mean the money?' 'My good fellow,' said I, 'pray let us reason like intellectual beings. How could that be? It was impossible. You had got the lamb, and I have not got the money. You couldn't really mean the lamb without sending it in, whereas I can, and do, really mean the money without paying it?' He had not a word. There was an end of the subject."

"Did he take no legal proceedings?" inquired my Guardian.

"Yes, he took legal proceedings," said Mr. Skimpole. "But in that, he was influenced by passion; not by reason. Passion reminds me of Boythorn. He writes me that you and the ladies have promised him a short visit at his bachelor-house in Lincolnshire."

"He is a great favorite with my girls," said Mr. Jarndyce, "and I have promised for them."

"Nature forgot to shade him off, I think?" observed Mr. Skimpole to Ada and me. "A little too boisterous—like the sea? A little too vehement—like a bull who has made up his mind to consider every color scarlet? But I grant a sledge-hammering sort of merit in him!"

I should have been surprised if those two could have thought very highly of one another; Mr. Boythorn attaching so much importance to many things, and Mr. Skimpole caring so little for any thing. Besides which, I had noticed Mr. Boythorn more than once on the point of breaking out into some strong opinion, when Mr. Skimpole was referred to. Of course I merely joined Ada in saying that we had been greatly pleased with him.

"He has invited me," said Mr. Skimpole; "and if a child may trust himself in such hands: which the present child is encouraged to do, with the united tenderness of two angels to guard him: I shall go. He proposes to frank me down and back again. I suppose it will cost money? Shillings perhaps? Or pounds? Or something of that sort? By-the-by. Coavinses. You remember our friend Coavinses, Miss Summerson?"

He asked me as the subject arose in his mind, in his graceful, light-hearted manner, and without the least embarrassment.

"O yes?" said I.

"Coavinses has been arrested by the great Bailiff," said Mr. Skimpole. "He will never do violence to the sunshine any more."

It quite shocked me to hear it; for, I had already recalled, with any thing but a serious association, the image of the man sitting on the sofa that night, wiping his head.

"His successor informed me of it yesterday," said Mr. Skimpole, "His successor is in my house now—in possession, I think he calls it. He came yesterday, on my blue-eyed daughter's birth-day. I put it to him. 'This is unreasonable and inconvenient. If you had a blue-eyed daughter, you wouldn't like me to come, uninvited, on her birthday?' But he staid."

Mr. Skimpole laughed at the pleasant absurdity, and lightly touched the piano by which he was seated.

"And he told me," he said, playing little chords where I shall put full stops. "That Coavinses had left. Three children. No mother. And that Coavinses' profession. Being unpopular. The rising Coavinses. Were at a considerable disadvantage."

Mr. Jarndyce got up, rubbing his head, and began to walk about. Mr. Skimpole played the melody of one of Ada's favorite songs. Ada and I both looked at Mr. Jarndyce, thinking that we knew what was passing in his mind.

After walking, and stopping, and several times leaving off rubbing his head, and beginning again, my Guardian put his hand upon the keys and stopped Mr. Skimpole's playing. "I don't like this, Skimpole," he said, thoughtfully.

Mr. Skimpole, who had quite forgotten the subject, looked up surprised.

"The man was necessary," pursued my Guardian, walking backward and forward in the very short space between the piano and the end of the room, and rubbing his hair up from the back of his head as if a high east wind had blown it into that form. "If we make such men necessary by our faults and follies, or by our want of worldly knowledge, or by our misfortunes, we must not revenge ourselves upon them. There was no harm in his trade. He maintained his children. One would like to know more about this."

"O! Coavinses?" cried Mr. Skimpole, at length perceiving what he meant. "Nothing easier. A walk to Coavinses head-quarters, and you can know what you will."

Mr. Jarndyce nodded to us, who were only waiting for the signal. "Come! We will walk that way, my dears. Why not that way, as soon as another!" We were quickly ready, and went out. Mr. Skimpole went with us, and quite enjoyed the expedition. It was so new and so refreshing, he said, for him to want Coavinses, instead of Coavinses wanting him!

He took us, first, to Cursitor Street, Chancery Lane, where there was a house with barred windows, which he called Coavinses Castle. On our going into the entry and ringing a bell, a very hideous boy came out of a sort of office, and looked at us over a spiked wicket.

[Pg 370]

"Who did you want?" said the boy, fitting two of the spikes into his chin.

"There was a follower, or an officer, or something, here," said Mr. Jarndyce, "who is dead."

"Yes," said the boy. "Well?"

"I want to know his name, if you please."

"Name of Neckett," said the boy.

"And his address?"

"Bell Yard," said the boy. "Chandler's shop, left hand side, name of Blinder."

"Was he—I don't know how to shape the question," murmured my Guardian—"industrious?"

"Was Neckett?" said the boy. "Yes, wery much so. He was never tired of watching. He'd sit upon a post at a street corner, eight or ten hours at a stretch, if he undertook to do it."

"He might have done worse," I heard my Guardian soliloquize. "He might have undertaken to do it, and not done it. Thank you. That's all I want."

We left the boy, with his head on one side, and his arms on the gate, fondling and sucking the spikes, and went back to Lincoln's Inn, where Mr. Skimpole, who had not cared to remain nearer Coavinses, awaited us. Then, we all went to Bell Yard: a narrow alley, at a very short distance. We soon found the chandler's shop. In it was a good-natured-looking old woman, with a dropsy or an asthma, or perhaps both.

"Neckett's children?" said she, in reply to my inquiry. "Yes, surely, miss. Three pair, if you please. Door right opposite the top of the stairs." And she handed me a key across the counter.

I glanced at the key, and glanced at her; but, she took it for granted that I knew what to do with it. As it could only be intended for the children's door, I came out, without asking any more questions, and led the way up the dark stairs. We went as quietly as we could; but four of us, made some noise on the aged boards; and, when we came to the second story, we found we had disturbed a man who was standing there, looking out of his room.

"Is it Gridley that's wanted?" he said, fixing his eyes on me with an angry stare.

"No, sir," said I, "I am going higher up."

He looked at Ada, and at Mr. Jarndyce, and at Mr. Skimpole: fixing the same angry stare on each in succession, as they passed and followed me. Mr. Jarndyce gave him good-day! "Good-day!" he said, abruptly and fiercely. He was a tall sallow man, with a care-worn head, on which but little hair remained, a deeply-lined face, and prominent eyes. He had a combative look; and a chafing, irritable manner, which, associated with his figure—still large and powerful, though evidently in its decline—rather alarmed me. He had a pen in his hand, and, in the glimpse I caught of his room in passing, I saw that it was covered with a litter of papers.

Leaving him standing there, we went up to the top room. I tapped at the door, and a little shrill voice inside said, "We are locked in. Mrs. Blinder's got the key."

I applied the key on hearing this, and opened the door. In a poor room with a sloping ceiling, and containing very little furniture, was a mite of a boy, some five or six years old, nursing and hushing a heavy child of eighteen months. There was no fire, though the weather was cold; both children were wrapped in some poor shawls and tippets, as a substitute. Their clothing was not so warm, however, but that their noses looked red and pinched, and their small figures shrunken, as the boy walked up and down, nursing and hushing the child, with its head on his shoulder.

"Who has locked you up here alone?" we naturally asked.

"Charley," said the boy, standing still to gaze at us.

"Is Charley your brother?"

"No. She's my sister, Charlotte. Father called her Charley."

"Are there any more of you besides Charley?"

"Me," said the boy "and Emma," patting the limp bonnet of the child he was nursing. "And Charley."

"Where is Charley now?"

"Out a-washing," said the boy, beginning to walk up and down again, and taking the nankeen bonnet much too near the bedstead, by trying to gaze at us at the same time.

We were looking at one another, and at these two children, when there came into the room a very little girl, childish in figure but shrewd and older-looking in the face—pretty faced too—wearing a womanly sort of bonnet much too large for her, and drying her bare arms on a womanly sort of apron. Her fingers were white and wrinkled with washing, and the soap-suds were yet smoking which she wiped off her arms. But for this, she might have been a child, playing at washing, and imitating a poor working woman with a quick observation of the truth.

She had come running from some place in the neighborhood, and had made all the haste she could. Consequently, though she was very light, she was out of breath, and could not speak at first, as she stood panting, and wiping her arms, and looking quietly at us.

"O, here's Charley!" said the boy.

The child he was nursing, stretched forth its arms, and cried out to be taken by Charley. The little girl took it, in a womanly sort of manner belonging to the apron and the bonnet, and stood looking at us over the burden that clung to her most affectionately.

"Is it possible," whispered my Guardian, as we put a chair for the little creature, and got her to sit down with her load: the boy keeping close to her, holding to her apron, "that this child works for the rest? Look at this! For God's sake look at this!"

It was a thing to look at. The three children close together, and two of them relying solely on the third, and the third so young and yet with an air of age and steadiness that sat so strangely on the childish figure.

[Pg 371]

"Charley, Charley!" said my Guardian. "How old are you?"

"Over thirteen, sir," replied the child.

"O! What a great age," said my Guardian. "What a great age, Charley!"

I can not describe the tenderness with which he spoke to her; half playfully, yet all the more compassionately and mournfully.

"And do you live alone here with these babies, Charley?" said my Guardian.

"Yes, sir," returned the child, looking up into his face with perfect confidence, "since father died."

"And how do you live, Charley? O! Charley," said my Guardian, turning his face away for a moment, "how do you live?"

"Since father died, sir, I've gone out to work. I'm out washing to-day."

"God help you, Charley!" said my Guardian. "You're not tall enough to reach the tub!"

"In pattens I am, sir," she said quickly. "I've got a high pair as belonged to mother."

"And when did mother die? Poor mother!"

"Mother died, just after Emma was born," said the child, glancing at the face upon her bosom. "Then, father said I was to be as good a mother to her as I could. And so I tried. And so I worked at home, and did cleaning and nursing and washing, for a long time before I began to go out. And that's how I know how; don't you see, sir?"

"And do you often go out?"

"As often as I can," said Charley, opening her eyes, and smiling, "because of earning sixpences and shillings!"

"And do you always lock the babies up when you go out?"

"To keep 'em safe, sir, don't you see?" said Charley. "Mrs. Blinder comes up now and then, and Mr. Gridley comes up sometimes, and perhaps I can run in sometimes, and they can play, you know, and Tom ain't afraid of being locked up, are you, Tom?"

"No-o!" said Tom, stoutly.

"When it comes on dark, the lamps are lighted down in the court, and they show up here quite bright—almost quite bright. Don't they, Tom?"

"Yes, Charley," said Tom, "almost quite bright."

"Then he's as good as gold," said the little creature—O! in such a motherly, womanly way! "And when Emma's tired, he puts her to bed. And when he's tired, he goes to bed himself. And when I come home and light the candle, and has a bit of supper, he sits up again and has it with me. Don't you, Tom?"

"O yes, Charley!" said Tom. "That I do!" And either in this glimpse of the great pleasure of his life, or in gratitude and love for Charley, who was all in all to him, he laid his face among the scanty folds of her frock, and passed from laughing into crying.

It was the first time since our entry, that a tear had been shed among these children. The little orphan girl had spoken of their father, and their mother, as if all that sorrow were subdued by the necessity of taking courage, and by her childish importance in being able to work, and by her bustling busy way. But, now, when Tom cried, although she sat quite tranquil, looking quietly at us, and did not by any movement disturb a hair of the head of either of her little charges, I saw two silent tears fall down her face.

I stood at the window with Ada, pretending to look at the housetops, and the blackened stacks of chimneys, and the poor plants, and the birds in little cages belonging to the neighbors, when I found that Mrs. Blinder, from the shop below, had come in (perhaps it had taken her all this time to get up-stairs) and was talking to my Guardian.

"It's not much to forgive 'em the rent, sir," she said: "who could take it from them!"

"Well, well!" said my Guardian to us two. "It is enough that the time will come when this good woman will find that it was much, and that forasmuch as she did it unto the least of these—! This child," he added, after a few moments, "could she possibly continue this?"

"Really, sir, I think she might," said Mrs. Blinder, getting her heavy breath by painful degrees. "She's as handy as it's possible to be. Bless you, sir, the way she tended them two children, after the mother died, was the talk of the yard! And it was a wonder to see her with him after he was took ill, it really was! 'Mrs. Blinder,' he said to me the very last he spoke—he was lying there—'Mrs. Blinder, whatever my calling may have been, I see a Angel sitting in this room last night along with my child, and I trust her to Our Father!'"

"He had no other calling?" said my Guardian.

"No, sir," returned Mrs. Blinder, "he was nothing but a follerer. When he first came to lodge here, I didn't know what he was, and I confess that when I found out I gave him notice. It wasn't liked in the yard. It wasn't approved by the other lodgers. It is not a genteel calling," said Mrs. Blinder, "and most people do object to it. Mr. Gridley objected to it, very strong; and he is a good lodger, though his temper has been hard tried."

"So you gave him notice?" said my Guardian.

"So I gave him notice," said Mrs. Blinder. "But really when the time came, and I knew no other ill of him, I was in doubts. He was punctual and diligent; he did what he had to do, sir," said Mrs. Blinder, unconsciously fixing Mr. Skimpole with her eye; "and it's something, in this world, even to do that."

"So you kept him, after all?"

"Why, I said that if he could arrange with Mr. Gridley, I could arrange it with the other lodgers, and should not so much mind its being liked or disliked in the yard. Mr. Gridley gave his consent gruff—but gave it. He was always gruff with him, but he has been kind to the children since. A person is never known till a person is proved."

[Pg 372]

"Have many people been kind to the children?" asked Mr. Jarndyce.

"Upon the whole, not so bad, sir," said Mrs. Blinder, "but, certainly not so many as would have been, if their father's calling had been different. Mr. Coavins gave a guinea, and the follerers made up a little purse. Some neighbors in the yard, that had always joked and tapped their shoulders when he went by, came forward with a little subscription, and—in general—not so bad. Similarly with Charlotte. Some people won't employ her because she was a follerer's child; some people that do employ her, cast it at her; some make a merit of having her to work for them, with that and all her drawbacks upon her: and perhaps pay her less and put upon her more. But she's patienter than others would be, and is clever too, and always willing, up to the full mark of her strength and over. So I should say, in general, not so bad sir, but might be better."

Mrs. Blinder sat down to give herself a more favorable opportunity of recovering her breath, exhausted anew by so much talking before it was fully restored. Mr. Jarndyce was turning to speak to us, when his attention was attracted by the abrupt entrance into the room of the Mr. Gridley who had been mentioned, and whom we had seen on our way up.

"I don't know what you may be doing here, ladies and gentlemen," he said, as if he resented our presence, "but you'll excuse my coming in. I don't come in, to stare about me. Well, Charley! Well, Tom! Well, little one! How is it with us all to-day?"

He bent over the group, in a caressing way, and clearly was regarded as a friend by the children, though his face retained its stern character, and his manner to us was as rude as it could be. My Guardian noticed it, and respected it.

"No one, surely, would come here to stare about him," he said mildly.

"May be so, sir, may be so," returned the other, taking Tom upon his knee, and waving him off impatiently. "I don't want to argue with ladies and gentlemen. I have had enough of arguing, to last one man his life."

"You have sufficient reason, I dare say," said Mr. Jarndyce, "for being chafed and irritated—"

"There again!" exclaimed the man, becoming violently angry. "I am of a quarrelsome temper. I am irascible. I am not polite!"

"Not very, I think."

"Sir," said Gridley, putting down the child, and going up to him as if he mean to strike him, "Do you know any thing of Courts of Equity?"

"Perhaps I do, to my sorrow."

"To your sorrow?" said the man, pausing in his wrath. "If so, I beg your pardon. I am not polite, I know. I beg your pardon! Sir," with renewed violence, "I have been dragged for five-and-twenty years over burning iron, and I have lost the habit of treading upon velvet. Go into the Court of Chancery yonder, and ask what is one of the standing jokes that brighten up their business sometimes, and they will tell you that the best joke they have, is the man from Shropshire. I," he said, beating one hand on the other passionately, "am the man from Shropshire."

"I believe, I and my family have also had the honor of furnishing some entertainment in the same grave place," said my Guardian, composedly. "You may have heard my name—Jarndyce."

"Mr. Jarndyce," said Gridley, with a rough sort of salutation, "you bear your wrongs more quietly than I can bear mine. More than that, I tell you—and I tell this gentleman, and these young ladies, if they are friends of yours—that if I took my wrongs in any other way, I should be driven mad! It is only by resenting them, and by revenging them in my mind, and by angrily demanding the justice I never get, that I am able to keep my wits together. It is only that!" he said, speaking in a homely, rustic way, and with great vehemence. "You may tell me that I over-excite myself. I answer that it's in my nature to do it, under wrong, and I must do it. There's nothing between doing it, and sinking into the smiling state of the poor little mad woman that haunts the Court. If I was once to sit down under it, I should become imbecile."

The passion and heat in which he was, and the manner in which his face worked, and the violent gestures with which he accompanied what he said, were most painful to see.

"Mr. Jarndyce," he said, "consider my case. As true as there is a Heaven above us, this is my case. I am one of two brothers. My father (a farmer) made a will, and left his farm and stock, and so forth, to my mother, for her life. After my mother's death, all was to come to me, except a legacy of three hundred pounds that I was then to pay my brother. My mother died. My brother, some time afterward, claimed his legacy. I, and some of my relations, said that he had had a part of it already, in board and lodging, and some other things. Now, mind! That was the question, and nothing else. No one disputed the will! no one disputed any thing but whether part of that three hundred pounds had been already paid or not. To settle that question, my brother filing a bill, I was obliged to go into this accursed Chancery; I was forced there, because the law forced me, and would let me go nowhere else. Seventeen people were made defendants to that simple suit! It first came on, after two years. It was then stopped for another two years, while the Master (may his head rot off!) inquired whether I was my father's son—about which, there was no dispute at all with any mortal creature. He then found out, that there were not defendants enough—remember, there were only seventeen as yet!—but, that we must have another who had been left out; and must begin all over again. The costs at that time—before the thing was begun!—were three times the legacy. My brother would have given up the legacy, and joyful, to escape more costs. My whole estate, left to me in that will of my[Pg 373] father's, has gone in costs. The suit still undecided, has fallen into rack, and ruin, and despair, with every thing else—and here I stand this day! Now, Mr. Jarndyce, in your suit there are thousands and thousands involved where in mine there are hundreds. Is mine less hard to bear, or is it harder to bear, when my whole living was in it, and has been thus shamefully sucked away?"

Mr. Jarndyce said that he condoled with him with all his heart, and that he set up no monopoly, himself, in being unjustly treated by this monstrous system.

"There again!" said Mr. Gridley, with no diminution of his rage. "The system! I am told, on all hands, it's the system. I mustn't look to individuals. It's the system. I mustn't go into Court, and say, 'My Lord, I beg to know this from you—is this right or wrong? Have you the face to tell me I have received justice, and therefore am dismissed?' My Lord knows nothing of it. He sits there to administer the system. I mustn't go to Mr. Tulkinghorn, the solicitor in Lincoln's Inn Fields, and say to him when he makes me furious, by being so cool and satisfied—as they all do; for I know they gain by it while I lose, don't I?—I mustn't say to him, I will have something out of some one for my ruin, by fair means or foul! He is not responsible. It's the system. But if I do no violence to any of them, here—I may! I don't know what may happen if I am carried beyond myself at last!—I will accuse the individual workers of that system against me, face to face, before the great eternal bar!"

His passion was fearful. I could not have believed in such rage without seeing it.

"I have done!" he said, sitting down and wiping his face. "Mr. Jarndyce, I have done! I am violent, I know. I ought to know it. I have been in prison for contempt of Court. I have been in prison for threatening the solicitor. I have been in this trouble, and that trouble, and shall be again. I am the man from Shropshire, and I sometimes go beyond amusing them—though they have found it amusing, too, to see me committed into custody, and brought up in custody, and all that. It would be better for me, they tell me, if I restrained myself. I tell them, that if I did restrain myself, I should become imbecile. I was a good-enough-tempered man once, I believe. People in my part of the country, say, they remember me so; but, now, I must have this vent under my sense of injury, or nothing could hold my wits together. 'It would be far better for you, Mr. Gridley,' the Lord Chancellor told me last week, 'not to waste your time here, and to stay, usefully employed, down in Shropshire.' 'My Lord, my Lord, I know it would,' said I to him, 'and it would have been far better for me never to have heard the name of your high office; but, unhappily for me, I can't undo the past, and the past drives me here!'—Besides," he added, breaking fiercely out, "I'll shame them. To the last, I'll show myself in that court to its shame. If I knew when I was going to die, and could be carried there, and had a voice to speak with, I would die there, saying, 'You have brought me here, and sent me from here, many and many a time. Now send me out, feet foremost!'"

His countenance had, perhaps for years, become so set in its contentious expression that it did not soften, even now when he was quiet.

"I came to take these babies down to my room for an hour," he said, going to them again, "and let them play about. I didn't mean to say all this, but it don't much signify. You're not afraid of me, Tom; are you?"

"No!" said Tom. "You ain't angry with me."

"You are right, my child. You're going back, Charley? Ay? Come then, little one!" He took the youngest child on his arm, where she was willing enough to be carried. "I shouldn't wonder if we found a gingerbread soldier down-stairs. Let's go and look for him!"

He made his former rough salutation, which was not deficient in a certain respect, to Mr. Jarndyce; and bowing slightly to us, went down-stairs to his room.

Upon that, Mr. Skimpole began to talk, for the first time since our arrival, in his usual gay strain. He said, Well, it was really very pleasant to see how things lazily adapted themselves to purposes. Here was this Mr. Gridley, a man of a robust will, and surprising energy—intellectually speaking, a sort of inharmonious black-smith—and he could easily imagine that there Gridley was, years ago, wandering about in life for something to expend his superfluous combativeness upon—a sort of Young Love among the thorns—when the Court of Chancery came in his way, and accommodated him with the exact thing he wanted. There they were, matched ever afterward! Otherwise he might have been a great general, blowing up all sorts of towns, or he might have been a great politician, dealing in all sorts of parliamentary rhetoric; but, as it was, he and the Court of Chancery had fallen upon each other in the pleasantest way, and nobody was much the worse, and Gridley was, so to speak, from that hour provided for. Then look at Coavinses! How delightfully poor Coavinses (father of these charming children) illustrated the same principle! He, Mr. Skimpole, himself, had sometimes repined at the existence of Coavinses. He had found Coavinses in his way. He could have dispensed with Coavinses. There had been times, when, if he had been a Sultan, and his Grand Vizier had said one morning, "What does the Commander of the Faithful require at the hands of his slave?" he might have even gone so far as to reply, "The head of Coavinses!" But what turned out to be the case? That, all that time, he had been giving employment to a most deserving man; that he had been a benefactor to Coavinses; that he had actually been enabling Coavinses to bring up these charming children in this agreeable way, developing these social virtues! Insomuch that his heart had just now swelled, and[Pg 374] the tears had come into his eyes, when he had looked round the room, and thought, "I was the great patron of Coavinses, and his little comforts were my work!"

There was something so captivating in his light way of touching these fantastic strings, and he was such a mirthful child by the side of the graver childhood we had seen, that he made my Guardian smile even as he turned toward us from a little private talk with Mrs. Blinder. We kissed Charley, and took her down stairs with us, and stopped outside the house to see her run away to her work. I don't know where she was going, but we saw her run, such a little, little creature, in her womanly bonnet and apron, through a covered way at the bottom of the court; and melt into the city's strife and sound, like a dew-drop in an ocean.

CHAPTER XVI.—Tom-all-alone's.

My Lady Dedlock is restless, very restless. The astonished fashionable intelligence hardly knows where to have her. To-day, she is at Chesney Wold; yesterday, she was at her house in town; to-morrow, she may be abroad, for any thing the fashionable intelligence can with confidence predict. Even Sir Leicester's gallantry has some trouble to keep pace with her. It would have more, but that his other faithful ally, for better and for worse—the gout—darts into the old oak bed-chamber at Chesney Wold, and grips him by both legs.

Sir Leicester receives the gout as a troublesome demon, but still a demon of the patrician order. All the Dedlocks, in the direct male line, through a course of time during and beyond which the memory of man goeth not to the contrary, have had the gout. It can be proved, sir. Other men's fathers may have died of the rheumatism, or may have taken base contagion from the tainted blood of the sick vulgar; but, the Dedlock family have communicated something exclusive, even to the leveling process of dying, by dying of their own family gout. It has come down, through the illustrious line, like the plate, or the pictures, or the place in Lincolnshire. It is among their dignities. Sir Leicester is, perhaps, not wholly without an impression, though he has never resolved it into words, that the angel of death in the discharge of his necessary duties may observe to the shades of the aristocracy, "My lords and gentlemen, I have the honor to present to you another Dedlock, certified to have arrived per the family gout."

Hence, Sir Leicester yields up his family legs to the family disorder, as if he held his name and fortune on that feudal tenure. He feels, that for a Dedlock to be laid upon his back and spasmodically twitched and stabbed in his extremities, is a liberty taken somewhere; but, he thinks, "We have all yielded to this; it belongs to us; it has, for some hundreds of years, been understood that we are not to make the vaults in the park interesting on more ignoble terms; and I submit myself to the compromise."

And a goodly show he makes, lying in a flush of crimson and gold, in the midst of the great drawing-room, before his favorite picture of my Lady, with broad strips of sunlight shining in, down the long perspective, through the long line of windows, and alternating with soft reliefs of shadow. Outside, the stately oaks, rooted for ages in the green ground which has never known plowshare, but was still a Chase when kings rode to battle with sword and shield, and rode a-hunting with bow and arrow; bear witness to his greatness. Inside, his forefathers, looking on him from the walls, say, "Each of us was a passing reality here, and left this colored shadow of himself, and melted into remembrance as dreamy as the distant voices of the rooks now lulling you to rest;" and bear their testimony to his greatness too. And he is very great, this day. And woe to Boythorn, or other daring wight, who shall presumptuously contest an inch with him!

My Lady is at present represented, near Sir Leicester, by her portrait. She has flitted away to town, with no intention of remaining there, and will soon flit hither again, to the confusion of the fashionable intelligence. The house in town is not prepared for her reception. It is muffled and dreary. Only one Mercury in powder, gapes disconsolate at the hall-window; and he mentioned last night to another Mercury of his acquaintance, also accustomed to good society, that if that sort of thing was to last—which it couldn't, for a man of his spirits couldn't bear it, and a man of his figure couldn't be expected to bear it—there would be no resource for him, upon his honor, but to cut his throat!

What connection can there be between the place in Lincolnshire, the house in town, the Mercury in powder, and the whereabout of Jo the outlaw with the broom, who had that distant ray of light upon him when he swept the churchyard-step? What connection can there have been between many people in the innumerable histories of this world, who, from opposite sides of great gulfs, have, nevertheless, been very curiously brought together!

Jo sweeps his crossing all day long, unconscious of the link, if any link there be. He sums up his mental condition, when asked a question, by replying that he "don't know nothink." He knows that it's hard to keep the mud off the crossing in dirty weather, and harder still to live by doing it. Nobody taught him, even that much; he found it out.

Jo lives—that is to say, Jo has not yet died—in a ruinous place, known to the like of him by the name of Tom-all-alone's. It is a black, dilapidated street, avoided by all decent people; where the crazy houses were seized upon, when their decay was far advanced, by some bold vagrants, who, after establishing their own possession, took to letting them out in lodgings. Now these tumbling tenements contain, by night, a swarm of misery. As, on the ruined human wretch, vermin parasites appear, so, these ruined shelters have bred a crowd of foul existence, that[Pg 375] crawls in and out of gaps in walls and boards; and coils itself to sleep, in maggot numbers, where the rain drips in; and comes and goes, fetching and carrying fever, and sowing more evil in its every footprint than Lord Coodle, and Sir Thomas Doodle, and the Duke of Foodle, and all the fine gentlemen in office, down to Zoodle, shall set right in five hundred years—though born expressly to do it.

Twice, lately, there has been a crash and a cloud of dust, like the springing of a mine, in Tom-all-alone's; and, each time, a house has fallen. These accidents have made a paragraph in the newspapers, and have filled a bed or two in the nearest hospital. The gaps remain, and there are not unpopular lodgings among the rubbish. As several more houses are nearly ready to go, the next crash in Tom-all-alone's may be expected to be a good one.

This desirable property is in Chancery, of course. It would be an insult to the discernment of any man with half an eye, to tell him so. Whether "Tom" is the popular representative of the original plaintiff or defendant in Jarndyce and Jarndyce; or, whether Tom lived here when the suit had laid the street waste, all alone, until other settlers came to join him, or, whether the traditional title is a comprehensive name for a retreat cut off from honest company and put out of the pale of hope; perhaps nobody knows. Certainly, Jo don't know.

"For I don't," says Jo, "I don't know nothink."

It must be a strange state to be like Jo! To shuffle through the streets, unfamiliar with the shapes, and in utter darkness as to the meaning, of those mysterious symbols, so abundant over the shops, and at the corners of streets, and on the doors, and in the windows! To see people read, and to see people write, and to see the postmen deliver letters, and not to have the least idea of all that language—to be, to every scrap of it, stone blind and dumb! It must be very puzzling to see the good company going to the churches on Sundays, with their books in their hands, and to think (for perhaps Jo does think, at odd times) what does it all mean, and if it means any thing to any body, how comes it that it means nothing to me? To be hustled, and jostled and moved on; and really to feel that it would appear to be perfectly true that I have no business, here, or there, or any where; and yet to be perplexed by the consideration that I am here somehow too, and every body overlooked me until I became the creature that I am! It must be a strange state, not merely to be told that I am scarcely human (as in the case of my offering myself for a witness), but to feel it of my own knowledge all my life! To see the horses, dogs, and cattle, go by me, and to know that in ignorance I belong to them, and not to the superior beings in my shape, whose delicacy I offend! Jo's ideas of a Criminal Trial, or a Judge, or a Bishop, or a Government, or that inestimable jewel to him (if he only knew it) the Constitution, should be strange! His whole material and immaterial life is wonderfully strange; his death, the strangest thing of all.

Jo comes out of Tom-all-alone's, meeting the tardy morning which is always late in getting down there, and munches his dirty bit of bread as he comes along. His way lying through many streets, and the houses not yet being open, he sits down to breakfast on the door-step of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, and gives it a brush when he has finished, as an acknowledgment of the accommodation. He admires the size of the edifice, and wonders what it's all about. He has no idea, poor wretch, of the spiritual destitution of a coral reef in the Pacific, or what it costs to look up the precious souls among the cocoa-nuts and bread-fruit.

He goes to his crossing, and begins to lay it out for the day. The town awakes; the great tee-totum is set up for its daily spin and whirl; all that unaccountable reading and writing, which has been suspended for a few hours, recommences. Jo, and the other lower animals, get on in the unintelligible mess as they can. It is market-day. The blinded oxen, over-goaded, over-driven, never guided, run into wrong places and are beaten out; and plunge, red-eyed and foaming, at stone walls; and often sorely hurt the innocent, and often sorely hurt themselves. Very like Jo and his order; very, very like!

A band of music comes and plays. Jo listens to it. So does a dog—a drover's dog, waiting for his master outside a butcher's shop, and evidently thinking about those sheep he has had upon his mind for some hours, and is happily rid of. He seems perplexed respecting three or four; can't remember where he left them; looks up and down the street, as half expecting to see them astray; suddenly pricks up his ears and remembers all about it. A thoroughly vagabond dog, accustomed to low company and public-houses; a terrific dog to sheep; ready at a whistle to scamper over their backs, and tear out mouthfuls of their wool; but an educated, improved, developed dog, who has been taught his duties and knows how to discharge them. He and Jo listen to the music, probably with much the same amount of animal satisfaction; likewise, as to awakened association, aspiration or regret, melancholy or joyful reference to things beyond the senses, they are probably upon a par. But, otherwise, how far above the human listener is the brute!

Turn that dog's descendants wild, like Jo, and in a very few years they will so degenerate that they will lose even their bark—but not their bite.

The day changes as it wears itself away, and becomes dark and drizzly. Jo fights it out, at his crossing, among the mud and wheels, the horses, whips, and umbrellas, and gets but a scanty sum to pay for the unsavory shelter of Tom-all-alone's. Twilight comes on; gas begins to start up in the shops; the lamp-lighter, with his ladder, runs along the margin of the[Pg 376] pavement. A wretched evening is beginning to close in.

In his chambers, Mr. Tulkinghorn sits meditating an application to the nearest magistrate to-morrow morning for a warrant. Gridley, a disappointed suitor, has been here to-day, and has been alarming. We are not to be put in bodily fear, and that ill-conditioned fellow shall be held to bail again. From the ceiling, foreshortened allegory, in the person of one impossible Roman upside down, points with the arm of Samson (out of joint, and an odd one) obtrusively toward the window. Why should Mr. Tulkinghorn, for such no reason, look out of window? Is the hand not always pointing there? So he does not look out of window.

And if he did, what would it be to see a woman going by? There are women enough in the world, Mr. Tulkinghorn thinks—too many; they are at the bottom of all that goes wrong in it though, for the matter of that, they create business for lawyers. What would it be to see a woman going by, even though she were going secretly? They are all secret. Mr. Tulkinghorn knows that, very well.

But they are not all like the woman who now leaves him and his house behind; between whose plain dress, and her refined manner, there is something exceedingly inconsistent. She should be an upper servant by her attire, yet, in her air and step, though both are hurried and assumed—as far as she can assume in the muddy streets, which she treads with an unaccustomed foot—she is a lady. Her face is vailed, and still she sufficiently betrays herself to make more than one of those who pass her look round sharply.

She never turns her head. Lady or servant, she has a purpose in her, and can follow it. She never turns her head, until she comes to the crossing where Jo plies with his broom. He[Pg 377] crosses with her, and begs. Still, she does not turn her head until she has landed on the other side. Then, she slightly beckons to him, and says, "Come here!"

Jo follows her, a pace or two, into a quiet court.

"Are you the boy I have read of in the papers?" she asks, behind her vail.

"I don't know," says Jo, staring moodily at the vail, "nothink about no papers. I don't know nothink about nothink at all."

"Were you examined at an Inquest?"

"I don't know nothink about no—where I was took by the beadle, do you mean?" says Jo. "Was the boy's name at the Inkwhich, Jo?"


"That's me!" says Jo.

"Come farther up."

"You mean about the man?" says Jo, following. "Him as was dead?"

"Hush! Speak in a whisper! Yes. Did he look, when he was living, so very ill and poor!"

"O jist!" says Jo.

"Did he look like—not like you?" says the woman with abhorrence.

"O not so bad as me," says Jo. "I'm a reg'lar one, I am! You didn't know him, did you?"

"How dare you ask me if I knew him?"

"No offense, my lady," says Jo, with much humility; for even he has got at the suspicion of her being a lady.

"I am not a lady. I am a servant."

"You are a jolly servant!" says Jo; without the least idea of saying any thing offensive; merely as a tribute of admiration.

"Listen and be silent. Don't talk to me, and stand farther from me! Can you show me all those places that were spoken of in the account I read? The place he wrote for, the place he died at, the place where you were taken to, and the place where he was buried? Do you know the place where he was buried?"

Jo answers with a nod; having also nodded as each other place was mentioned.

"Go before me, and show me all those dreadful places. Stop opposite to each, and don't speak to me unless I speak to you. Don't look back. Do what I want, and I will pay you well."

Jo attends closely while the words are being spoken; tells them off on his broom-handle, finding them rather hard; pauses to consider their meaning; considers it satisfactory, and nods his ragged head.

"I am fly," says Jo. "But fen larks, you know! Stow hooking it!"

"What does the horrible creature mean?" exclaims the servant, recoiling from him.

"Stow cutting away, you know!" says Jo.

"I don't understand you. Go on before! I will give you more money than you ever had in your life."

Jo screws up his mouth into a whistle, gives his ragged head a rub, takes his broom under his arm, and leads the way; passing deftly, with his bare feet, over the hard stones, and through the mud and mire.

Cook's Court. Jo stops. A pause.

"Who lives here?"

"Him wot give him his writing, and give me half a bull," says Jo in a whisper, without looking over his shoulder.

"Go on to the next."

Krook's house. Jo stops again. A longer pause.

"Who lives here!"

"He lived here," Jo answers as before.

After a silence, he is asked "In which room?"

"In the back room up there. You can see the winder from this corner. Up there! That's where I see him stritched out. This is the public ouse where I was took to."

"Go on to the next!"

It is a longer walk to the next; but, Jo relieved of his first suspicions, sticks to the terms imposed upon him, and does not look round. By many devious ways, reeking with offense of many kinds, they come to the little tunnel of a court, and to the gas-lamp (lighted now), and to the iron gate.

"He was put there," says Jo, holding to the bars and looking in.

"Where? O, what a scene of horror!"

"There!" says Jo, pointing. "Over yinder. Among them piles of bones, and close to that there kitchin winder! They put him very nigh the top. They was obliged to stamp upon it to git it in. I could unkiver it for you, with my broom, if the gate was open. That's why they locks it, I s'pose," giving it a shake. "It's always locked. Look at the rat!" cries Jo, excited. "Hi! Look! There he goes! Ho! Into the ground!"

The servant shrinks into a corner—into a corner of that hideous archway, with its deadly stains contaminating her dress; and putting out her two hands, and passionately telling him to keep away from her, for he is loathsome to her, so remains for some moments. Jo stands staring, and is still staring when she recovers herself.


"Is this place of abomination, consecrated ground?"

"I don't know nothink of consequential ground," says Jo, still staring.

"Is it blessed?"

"Which?" says Jo, in the last degree amazed.

"Is it blessed?"

"I'm blest if I know," says Jo, staring more than ever; "but I shouldn't think it warn't. Blest?" repeats Jo, something troubled in his mind. "It an't done it much good if it is. Blest? I should think it was t'othered myself. But I don't know nothink!"

The servant takes as little heed of what he says, as she seems to take of what she has said herself. She draws off her glove, to get some money from her purse. Jo silently notices how white and small her hand is, and what a jolly[Pg 378] servant she must be to wear such sparkling rings.

She drops a piece of money in his hand, without touching it, and shuddering as their hands approach. "Now," she adds, "show me the spot again!"

Joe thrusts the handle of his broom between the bars of the gate, and, with his utmost power of elaboration, points it out. At length, looking aside to see if he has made himself intelligible, he finds that he is alone.

His first proceeding is, to hold the piece of money to the gas-light, and to be overpowered at finding that it is yellow—gold. His next, is, to give it a one-sided bite at the edge, as a test of its quality. His next, to put it in his mouth for safety, and to sweep the step and passage with great care. His job done, he sets off for Tom-all-alone's; stopping in the light of innumerable gas-lamps to produce the piece of gold, and give it another one-sided bite, as a re-assurance of its being genuine.

The Mercury in powder is in no want of society to-night, for my Lady goes to a grand dinner and three or four balls. Sir Leicester is fidgety, down at Chesney Wold, with no better company than the gout; he complains to Mrs. Rouncewell that the rain makes such a monotonous pattering on the terrace, that he can't read the paper, even by the fireside in his own snug dressing-room.

"Sir Leicester would have done better to try the other side of the house, my dear," says Mrs. Rouncewell to Rosa. "His dressing-room is on my Lady's side. And in all these years I never heard the step upon the Ghost's Walk, more distinct than it is to-night!"




We have seen Squire Hazeldean (proud of the contents of his pocket-book, and his knowledge of the mercenary nature of foreign women), set off on his visit to Beatrice di Negra. Randal, thus left musing lone in the crowded streets, revolved with astute complacency the probable results of Mr. Hazeldean's bluff negotiation; and, convincing himself that one of his vistas toward Fortune was becoming more clear and clear, he turned, with the restless activity of some founder of destined cities in a new settlement, to lop the boughs that cumbered and obscured the others. For truly, like a man in a vast Columbian forest, opening entangled space, now with the ready ax, now with the patient train, that kindles the slower fire, this child of civilized life went toiling on against surrounding obstacles, resolute to destroy, but ever scheming to construct. And now Randal has reached Levy's dainty business-room, and is buried deep in discussion how to secure to himself, at the expense of his patron, the representation of Lansmere, and how to complete the contract which shall reannex to his forlorn inheritance some fragments of its ancient wealth.

Meanwhile, Chance fought on his side in the boudoir of May Fair. The Squire had found the Marchesa at home—briefly introduced himself and his business—told her she was mistaken if she had fancied she had taken in a rich heir in his son—that, thank Heaven, he could leave his estates to his plowman, if he so pleased, but that he was willing to do things liberally; and whatever she thought Frank was worth, he was very ready to pay for.

At another time Beatrice would perhaps have laughed at this strange address; or she might, in some prouder moment, have fired up with all a patrician's resentment and a woman's pride; but now her spirit was crushed, her nerves shattered; the sense of her degraded position, of her dependence on her brother, combined with her supreme unhappiness at the loss of those dreams with which Leonard had for a while charmed her wearied waking life—all came upon her. She listened, pale and speechless; and the poor Squire thought he was quietly advancing toward a favorable result, when she suddenly burst into a passion of hysterical tears; and just at that moment Frank himself entered the room. At the sight of his father, of Beatrice's grief, his sense of filial duty gave way. He was maddened by irritation—by the insult offered to the woman he loved, which a few trembling words from her explained to him; maddened yet more by the fear that the insult had lost her to him—warm words ensued between son and father, to close with the peremptory command and vehement threat of the last.

"Come away this instant, sir! Come with me, or before the day is over I strike you out of my will!"

The son's answer was not to his father; he threw himself at Beatrice's feet.

"Forgive him—forgive us both—"

"What! you prefer that stranger to me—to the inheritance of Hazeldean!" cried the Squire, stamping his foot.

"Leave your estates to whom you will; all that I care for in life is here!"

The Squire stood still a moment or so, gazing on his son, with a strange bewildered marvel at the strength of that mystic passion, which none not laboring under its fearful charm can comprehend, which creates the sudden idol that no reason justifies, and sacrifices to its fatal shrine alike the Past and the Future. Not trusting himself to speak, the father drew his hand across his eyes, and dashed away the bitter tear that sprang from a swelling indignant heart; then he uttered an inarticulate sound, and, finding his voice gone, moved away to the door, and left the house.

He walked through the streets, bearing his head very erect, as a proud man does when deeply wounded, and striving to shake off some affection that he deems a weakness; and his trembling, nervous fingers fumbled at the button on his coat, trying to tighten the garment across his chest, as if to confirm a resolution that still sought to struggle out of the revolting heart.

[Pg 379]

Thus he went on, and the reader, perhaps, will wonder whither; and the wonder may not lessen when he finds the Squire come to a dead pause in Grosvenor Square, and at the portico of his "distant brother's" stately house.

At the Squire's brief inquiry whether Mr. Egerton was at home, the porter summoned the groom of the chambers; and the groom of the chambers, seeing a stranger, doubted whether his master was not engaged, but would take in the stranger's card and see.

"Ay, ay," muttered the Squire, "this is true relationship—my child prefers a stranger to me. Why should I complain that I am a stranger in a brother's house. Sir," added the Squire aloud, and very meekly—"Sir, please to say to your master that I am William Hazeldean."

The servant bowed low, and without another word conducted the visitor into the statesman's library, and announcing Mr. Hazeldean, closed the door.

Audley was seated at his desk, the grim iron boxes still at his feet, but they were now closed and locked. And the ex-minister was no longer looking over official documents; letters spread open before him, of far different nature; in his hand there lay a long lock of fair silken hair, on which his eyes were fixed sadly and intently. He started at the sound of his visitor's name, and the tread of the Squire's stalwart footstep; and mechanically thrust into his bosom the relic of younger and warmer years, keeping his hand to his heart, which beat loud with disease, under the light pressure of that golden hair.

The two brothers stood on the great man's lonely hearth, facing each other in silence, and noting unconsciously the change made in each during the long years in which they had never met.

The Squire, with his portly size, his hardy, sun-burnt cheeks, the partial baldness of his unfurrowed open forehead, looked his full age—deep into middle life. Unmistakably he seemed the paterfamilias—the husband and the father—the man of social domestic ties. But about Audley (really some few years junior to the Squire), despite the lines of care on his handsome face, there still lingered the grace of youth. Men of cities retain youth longer than those of the country—a remark which Buffon has not failed to make and to account for. Neither did Egerton betray the air of the married man; for ineffable solitariness seemed stamped upon the man, whose private life had long been so stern a solitude. No ray from the focus of Home played round that reserved, unjoyous, melancholy brow. In a word, Audley looked still the man for whom some young female heart might fondly sigh; and not the less because of the cold eye and compressed lip, which challenged interest even while seeming to repel it.

Audley was the first to speak, and to put forth the right hand, which he stole slowly from its place at his breast, on which the lock of hair still stirred to and fro at the heave of the laboring heart. "William," said he, with his rich, deep voice, "this is kind. You are come to see me, now that men say I am fallen. The minister you censured is no more; and you see again the brother."

The Squire was softened at once by this address. He shook heartily the hand tendered to him; and then, turning away his head, with an honest conviction that Audley ascribed to him a credit which he did not deserve, he said, "No, no, Audley; I am more selfish than you think me. I have come—I have come to ask your advice—no, not exactly that—your opinion. But you are busy—?"

"Sit down, William. Old days were coming over me when you entered; days earlier still return now—days, too, that leave no shadow when their suns are set."

The proud man seemed to think he had said too much. His practical nature rebuked the poetic sentiment and phrase. He re-collected himself, and added, more coldly, "You would ask my opinion? What on? Some public matter—some Parliamentary bill that may affect your property?"

"Am I such a mean miser as that? Property—property? What does property matter, when a man is struck down at his own hearth? Property, indeed! But you have no child—happy brother!"

"Ay, ay; as you say, I am a happy man; childless! Has your son displeased you? I have heard him spoken of well, too."

"Don't talk of him. Whether his conduct be good or ill is my affair," resumed the poor father with a testy voice—jealous alike of Audley's praise or blame of his rebellious son. Then he rose a moment, and made a strong gulp as if for air; and laying his broad brown hand on his brother's shoulder, said, "Randal Leslie tells me you are wise—a consummate man of the world. No doubt you are so. And Parson Dale tells me that he is sure you have warm feelings—which I take to be a strange thing for one who has lived so long in London, and has no wife and no child—a widower, and a Member of Parliament—for a commercial city, too. Never smile; it is no smiling matter with me. You know a foreign woman, called Negra or Negro—not a blackymoor, though, by any means—at least on the outside of her. Is she such a woman as a plain country gentleman would like his only son to marry—ay or no?"

"No, indeed," answered Audley, gravely, "and I trust your son will commit no action so rash. Shall I see him or her? Speak, my dear William. What would you have me do?"

"Nothing; you have said enough," replied the Squire, gloomily; and his head sank on his breast.

Audley took his hand, and pressed it fraternally. "William," said the statesman, "we have been long estranged; but I do not forget that when we last met, at—at Lord Lansmere's house, and when I took you aside, and said, 'William, if I lose this election, I must resign[Pg 380] all chance of public life: my affairs are embarrassed; I may need—I would not accept money from you—I would seek a profession, and you can help me there,' you divined my meaning, and said—'Take orders; the Hazeldean living is just vacant. I will get some one to hold it till you are ordained.' I do not forget that. Would that I had thought earlier of so serene an escape from all that then tormented me. My lot might have been far happier."

The Squire eyed Audley with a surprise that broke forth from his more absorbing emotions. "Happier! Why, all things have prospered with you; and you are rich enough now; and—you shake your head. Brother, is it possible! do you want money? Pooh, not accept money from your mother's son!—stuff." Out came the Squire's pocket-book. Audley put it gently aside.

"Nay," said he, "I have enough for myself; but since you seek and speak with me thus affectionately, I will ask you one favor. Should I die before I can provide for my wife's kinsman, Randal Leslie, as I could wish, will you see to his fortunes, so far as you can, without injury to others—to your own son?"

"My son! He is provided for. He has the Casino estate—much good may it do him. You have touched on the very matter that brought me here. This boy, Randal Leslie, seems a praiseworthy lad, and has Hazeldean blood in his veins. You have taken him up because he is connected with your late wife. Why should not I take him up, too, when his grandmother was a Hazeldean? I wanted to ask you what you meant to do for him; for if you did not mean to provide for him, why I will, as in duty bound. So your request comes at the right time; I think of altering my will. I can put him into the entail, besides a handsome legacy. You are sure he is a good lad—and it will please you too, Audley?"

"But not at the expense of your son. And stay, William—as to this foolish marriage with Madame di Negra, who told you Frank meant to take such a step?"

"He told me himself; but it is no matter. Randal and I both did all we could to dissuade him; and Randal advised me to come to you."

"He has acted generously, then, our kinsman Randal—I am glad to hear it"—said Audley, his brow somewhat clearing. "I have no influence with this lady; but at least, I can counsel her. Do not consider the marriage fixed because a young man desires it. Youth is ever hot and rash."

"Your youth never was," retorted the Squire, bluntly. "You married well enough, I'm sure. I will say one thing for you: you have been, to my taste, a bad politician—beg pardon—but you were always a gentleman. You would never have disgraced your family and married a—"

"Hush!" interrupted Egerton, gently. "Do not make matters worse than they are. Madame di Negra is of high birth in her own country; and if scandal—"

"Scandal!" cried the Squire, shrinking and turning pale. "Are you speaking of the wife of a Hazeldean? At least, she shall never sit by the hearth at which now sits his mother; and whatever I may do for Frank, her children shall not succeed. No mongrel cross-breed shall kennel in English Hazeldean. Much obliged to you, Audley, for your good feeling—glad to have seen you; and harkye, you startled me by that shake of your head, when I spoke of your wealth; and, from what you say about Randal's prospects, I guess that you London gentlemen are not so thrifty as we are. You shall let me speak. I say again, that I have some thousands quite at your service. And though you are not a Hazeldean, still you are my mother's son; and now that I am about to alter my will, I can as well scratch in the name of Egerton as that of Leslie. Cheer up, cheer up; you are younger than I am, and you have no child; so you will live longer than I shall."

"My dear brother," answered Audley, "believe me, I shall never live to want your aid. And as to Leslie, add to the £5000 I mean to give him, an equal sum in your will, and I shall feel that he has received justice."

Observing that the Squire, though he listened attentively, made no ready answer, Audley turned the subject again to Frank; and with the adroitness of a man of the world, backed by cordial sympathy in his brother's distress, he pleaded so well Frank's lame cause, urged so gently the wisdom of patience and delay, and the appeal to filial feeling rather than recourse to paternal threats, that the Squire grew molified in spite of himself, and left his brother's house a much less angry, and less doleful man.

Mr. Hazeldean was still in the square when he came upon Randal himself, who was walking with a dark-whiskered, showy gentleman, toward Egerton's house. Randal and the gentleman exchanged a hasty whisper, and the former exclaimed,

"What, Mr. Hazeldean, have you just left your brother's house? Is it possible?"

"Why, you advised me to go there, and I did. I scarcely knew what I was about. I am very glad I did go. Hang politics! hang the landed interest! what do I care for either now?"

"Foiled with Madame di Negra?" asked Randal, drawing the Squire aside.

"Never speak of her again!" cried the Squire, fiercely. "And as to that ungrateful boy—but I don't mean to behave harshly to him—he shall have money enough to keep her if he likes—keep her from coming to me—keep him, too, from counting on my death, and borrowing post-obits on the Casino—for he'll be doing that next—no, I hope I wrong him there; I have been too good a father for him to count on my death already. After all," continued the Squire, beginning to relax, "as Audley says, the marriage is not yet made; and if the woman has taken him in, he is young, and his heart is warm. Make yourself easy, my boy. I don't forget how kindly you[Pg 381] took his part; and before I do any thing rash, I'll at least take advice with his poor mother."

Randal gnawed his pale lip, and a momentary cloud of disappointment passed over his face.

"True, sir," said he, gently; "true, you must not be rash. Indeed, I was thinking of you and poor dear Frank at the very moment I met you. It occurred to me whether we might not make Frank's very embarrassments a reason to induce Madame di Negra to refuse him; and I was on my way to Mr. Egerton, in order to ask his opinion, in company with the gentleman yonder."

"Gentleman yonder? Why should he thrust his long nose into my family affairs? Who the devil is he?"

"Don't ask, sir. Pray let me act."

But the Squire continued to eye askant the dark-whiskered personage thus thrust between himself and his son, and who waited patiently a few yards in the rear, carelessly readjusting the camellia in his button-hole.

"He looks very outlandish. Is he a foreigner, too?" asked the Squire, at last.

"No, not exactly. However, he knows all about Frank's embarrassments; and—"

"Embarrassments! what, the debt he paid for that woman? How did he raise the money?"

"I don't know," answered Randal; "and that is the reason I asked Baron Levy to accompany me to Egerton's, that he might explain in private what I have no reason—"

"Baron Levy!" interrupted the Squire. "Levy, Levy—I have heard of a Levy who has nearly ruined my neighbor, Thornhill—a money-lender. Zounds! is that the man who knows my son's affairs? I'll soon learn, sir."

Randal caught hold of the Squire's arm: "Stop, stop; if you really insist upon learning more about Frank's debts, you must not appeal to Baron Levy directly, and as Frank's father; he will not answer you. But if I present you to him as a mere acquaintance of mine, and turn the conversation, as if carelessly, upon Frank—why, since, in the London world, such matters are never kept secret except from the parents of young men—I have no doubt he will talk out openly."

"Manage it as you will," said the Squire.

Randal took Mr. Hazeldean's arm, and joined Levy—"A friend of mine from the country, Baron." Levy bowed profoundly, and the three walked slowly on.

"By-the-by," said Randal, pressing significantly upon Levy's arm, "my friend has come to town upon the somewhat unpleasant business of settling the debts of another—a young man of fashion—a relation of his own. No one, sir (turning to the Squire), could so ably assist you in such arrangements as could Baron Levy."

Baron (modestly, and with a moralizing air).—"I have some experience in such matters, and I hold it a duty to assist the parents and relations of young men who, from want of reflection, often ruin themselves for life. I hope the young gentleman in question is not in the hands of the Jews?"

Randal.—"Christians are as fond of good interest for their money as ever the Jews can be."

Baron.—"Granted, but they have not always so much money to lend. The first thing, sir (addressing the Squire)—the first thing for you to do is to buy up such of your relation's bills and notes of hand as may be in the market. No doubt we can get them a bargain, unless the young man is heir to some property that may soon be his in the course of nature."

Randal.—"Not soon—heaven forbid! His father is still a young man—a fine healthy man," leaning heavily on Levy's arm; "and as to post-obits—"

Baron.—"Post-obits on sound security cost more to buy up, however healthy the obstructing relative may be."

Randal.—"I should hope that there are not many sons who can calculate, in cold blood, on the death of their fathers."

Baron.—"Ha, ha—he is young, our friend, Randal; eh, sir?"

Randal.—"Well, I am not more scrupulous than others, I dare say: and I have often been pinched hard for money, but I would go barefoot rather than give security upon a father's grave! I can imagine nothing more likely to destroy natural feeling, nor to instill ingratitude and treachery into the whole character, than to press the hand of a parent, and calculate when that hand may be dust—than to sit down with strangers and reduce his life to the measure of an insurance table—than to feel difficulties gathering round one, and mutter in fashionable slang, 'But it will be all well if the governor would but die.' And he who has accustomed himself to the relief of post-obits must gradually harden his mind to all this."

The Squire groaned heavily; and had Randal proceeded another sentence in the same strain, the Squire would have wept outright. "But," continued Randal, altering the tone of his voice, "I think that our young friend of whom we were talking just now, Levy, before this gentleman joined us, has the same opinion as myself on this head. He may accept bills, but he would never sign post-obits."

Baron (who with the apt docility of a managed charger to the touch of a rider's hand, had comprehended and complied with each quick sign of Randal's).—"Pooh! the young fellow we are talking of? Nonsense. He would not be so foolish as to give five times the percentage he otherwise might. Not sign post-obits! Of course he has signed one."

Randal.—"Hist—you mistake, you mistake."

Squire (leaving Randal's arm and seizing Levy's).—"Were you speaking of Frank Hazeldean?"

Baron.—"My dear sir, excuse me; I never mention names before strangers."

Squire.—"Strangers again! Man, I am the boy's father! Speak out, sir," and his hand[Pg 382] closed on Levy's arm with the strength of an iron vice.

Baron.—"Gently; you hurt me, sir; but I excuse your feelings. Randal, you are to blame for leading me into this indiscretion; but I beg to assure Mr. Hazeldean, that though his son has been a little extravagant—"

Randal.—"Owing chiefly to the arts of an abandoned woman."

Baron.—"Of an abandoned woman; still he has shown more prudence than you would suppose; and this very post-obit is a proof of it. A simple act of that kind has enabled him to pay off bills that were running on till they would have ruined even the Hazeldean estate; whereas a charge on the reversion of the Casino—"

Squire.—"He has done it then? He has signed a post-obit?"

Randal.—"No, no; Levy must be wrong."

Baron.—"My dear Leslie, a man of Mr. Hazeldean's time of life can not have your romantic boyish notions. He must allow that Frank has acted in this like a lad of sense—very good head for business has my young friend Frank! And the best thing Mr. Hazeldean can do is quietly to buy up the post-obit, and thus he will place his son henceforth in his own power."

Squire.—"Can I see the deed with my own eyes?"

Baron.—"Certainly, or how could you be induced to buy it up? But on one condition; you must not betray me to your son. And, indeed, take my advice, and don't say a word to him on the matter."

Squire.—"Let me see it, let me see it with my own eyes. His mother else will never believe it—nor will I."

Baron.—"I can call on you this evening."


Baron.—"You can spare me, Randal; and you yourself can open to Mr. Egerton the other affair, respecting Lansmere. No time should be lost, lest L'Estrange suggest a candidate."

Randal (whispering).—"Never mind me.—This is more important. (Aloud)—Go with Mr. Hazeldean. My dear kind friend (to the Squire), do not let this vex you so much. After all, it is what nine young men out of ten would do in the same circumstances. And it is best you should know it; you may save Frank from farther ruin, and prevent, perhaps, this very marriage."

"We will see," exclaimed the Squire, hastily. "Now, Mr. Levy, come."

Levy and the Squire walked on not arm-in-arm, but side by side. Randal proceeded to Egerton's house.

"I am glad to see you, Leslie," said the ex-minister. "What is it I have heard? My nephew, Frank Hazeldean, proposes to marry Madame di Negra against his father's consent? How could you suffer him to entertain an idea so wild? And how never confide it to me?"

Randal.—"My dear Mr. Egerton, it is only to-day that I was informed of Frank's engagement. I have already seen him, and expostulated in vain; till then, though I knew your nephew admired Madame di Negra, I could never suppose he harbored a serious intention."

Egerton.—"I must believe you, Randal. I will myself see Madame di Negra, though I have no power, and no right, to dictate to her. I have but little time for all such private business. The dissolution of Parliament is so close at hand."

Randal (looking down.)—"It is on that subject that I wished to speak to you, sir. You think of standing for Lansmere. Well, Baron Levy has suggested to me an idea that I could not, of course, even countenance, till I had spoken to you. It seems that he has some acquaintance with the state of parties in that borough! He is informed that it is not only as easy to bring in two of our side, as to carry one; but that it would make your election still more safe, not to fight single-handed against two opponents; that if canvassing for yourself alone, you could not carry a sufficient number of plumper votes; that split votes would go from you to one or other of the two adversaries; that, in a word, it is necessary to pair you with a colleague. If it really be so, you of course will learn best from your own Committee; but should they concur in the opinion Baron Levy has formed—do I presume too much on your kindness—to deem it possible that you might allow me to be the second candidate on your side? I should not say this, but that Levy told me you had some wish to see me in Parliament, among the supporters of your policy. And what other opportunity can occur? Here the cost of carrying two would be scarcely more than that of carrying one. And Levy says, the party would subscribe for my election; you, of course, would refuse all such aid for your own; and indeed, with your great name, and Lord Lansmere's interest, there can be little beyond the strict legal expenses."

As Randal spoke thus at length, he watched anxiously his patron's reserved, unrevealing countenance.

Egerton (drily.)—"I will consider. You may safely leave in my hands any matter connected with your ambition and advancement. I have before told you I hold it a duty to do all in my power for the kinsman of my late wife—for one whose career I undertook to forward—for one whom honor has compelled to share in my own political reverses."

Here Egerton rang the bell for his hat, and gloves, and walking into the hall, paused at the street door. There beckoning to Randal, he said slowly, "You seem intimate with Baron Levy; I caution you against him—a dangerous acquaintance, first to the purse, next to the honor."

Randal.—"I know it, sir; and am surprised myself at the acquaintance that has grown up between us. Perhaps its cause is in his respect for yourself."


Randal.—"Whatever it be, he contrives to obtain a singular hold over one's mind, even[Pg 383] where, as in my case, he has no evident interest to serve. How is this? It puzzles me!"

Egerton.—"For his interest, it is most secured where he suffers it to be least evident; for his hold over the mind, it is easily accounted for. He ever appeals to two temptations, strong with all men—Avarice and Ambition.—Good-day."

Randal.—"Are you going to Madame di Negra's? Shall I not accompany you? Perhaps I may be able to back your own remonstrances."

Egerton.—"No, I shall not require you."

Randal.—"I trust I shall hear the result of your interview? I feel so much interested in it. Poor Frank!"

Audley nodded. "Of course, of course."


On entering the drawing-room of Madame di Negra, the peculiar charm which the severe Audley Egerton had been ever reputed to possess with women, would have sensibly struck one who had hitherto seen him chiefly in his relations with men in the business-like affairs of life. It was a charm in strong contrast to the ordinary manners of those who are emphatically called "Ladies' men." No artificial smile, no conventional hollow blandness, no frivolous gossip, no varnish either of ungenial gayety or affected grace. The charm was in a simplicity that unbent more into kindness than it did with men. Audley's nature, whatever its faults and defects, was essentially masculine; and it was the sense of masculine power that gave to his voice a music when addressing the gentler sex—a sort of indulgent tenderness that appeared equally void of insincerity and presumption.

Frank had been gone about half-an-hour, and Madame di Negra was scarcely recovered from the agitation into which she had been thrown by the affront from the father and the pleading of the son.

Egerton took her passive hand cordially, and seated himself by her side.

"My dear Marchesa," said he, "are we then likely to be near connections? And can you seriously contemplate marriage with my young nephew, Frank Hazeldean? You turn away. Ah, my fair friend, there are but two inducements to a free woman to sign away her liberty at the altar. I say a free woman, for widows are free, and girls are not. These inducements are, first, worldly position; secondly, love. Which of these motives can urge Madame di Negra to marry Mr. Frank Hazeldean?"

"There are other motives than those you speak of—the need of protection—the sense of solitude—the curse of dependence—gratitude for honorable affection. But you men never know women!"

"I grant that you are right there—we never do; neither do women ever know men. And yet each sex contrives to dupe and to fool the other! Listen to me. I have little acquaintance with my nephew, but I allow he is a handsome young gentleman, with whom a handsome young lady in her teens might fall in love in a ball-room. But you who have known the higher order of our species—you who have received the homage of men, whose thoughts and mind leave the small talk of drawing-room triflers—so poor and bald—you can not look me in the face and say that it is any passion resembling love which you feel for my nephew. And as to position, it is right that I should inform you that if he marry you he will have none. He may risk his inheritance. You will receive no countenance from his parents. You will be poor, but not free. You will not gain the independence you seek for. The sight of a vacant, discontented face in that opposite chair will be worse than solitude. And as to grateful affection," added the man of the world, "it is a polite synonym for tranquil indifference."

"Mr. Egerton," said Beatrice, "people say you are made of bronze. Did you ever feel the want of a home?"

"I answer you frankly," replied the statesman, "if I had not felt it, do you think I should have been, and that I should be to the last, the joyless drudge of public life? Bronze though you call my nature, it would have melted away long since like wax in the fire, if I had sat idly down and dreamed of a Home!"

"But we women," answered Beatrice, with pathos, "have no public life, and we do idly sit down and dream. Oh," she continued, after a short pause, and clasping her hands firmly together, "you think me worldly, grasping, ambitious; how different my fate had been had I known a home!—known one whom I could love and venerate—known one whose smiles would have developed the good that was once within me, and the fear of whose rebuking or sorrowful eye would have corrected what is evil."

"Yet," answered Audley, "nearly all women in the great world have had that choice once in their lives, and nearly all have thrown it away. How few of your rank really think of home when they marry—how few ask to venerate as well as to love—and how many of every rank, when the home has been really gained, have willfully lost its shelter; some in neglectful weariness—some from a momentary doubt, distrust, caprice—a wild fancy—a passionate fit—a trifle—a straw—a dream! True, you women are ever dreamers. Common sense, common earth, is above or below your comprehension."

Both now were silent, Audley first roused himself with a quick, writhing movement. "We two," said he, smiling half sadly, half cynically—"we two must not longer waste time in talking sentiment. We know both too well what life, as it has been made for us by our faults or our misfortunes, truly is. And once again, I entreat you to pause before you yield to the foolish suit of my foolish nephew. Rely on it, you will either command a higher offer for your prudence to accept; or, if you needs must sacrifice rank and fortune, you, with your beauty and your romantic heart, will see one who, at least for a fair holiday season (if human love allows no more), can repay you for the sacrifice. Frank Hazeldean never can."

[Pg 384]

Beatrice turned away to conceal the tears that rushed to her eyes.

"Think over this well," said Audley, in the softest tone of his mellow voice. "Do you remember that when you first came to England, I told you that neither wedlock nor love had any lures for me. We grew friends upon that rude avowal, and therefore I now speak to you like some sage of old, wise because standing apart and aloof from all the affections and ties that mislead our wisdom. Nothing but real love—(how rare it is; has one human heart in a million ever known it!) nothing but real love can repay us for the loss of freedom—the cares and fears of poverty—the cold pity of the world that we both despise and respect. And all these, and much more, follow the step you would inconsiderately take—an imprudent marriage."

"Audley Egerton," said Beatrice, lifting her dark, moistened eyes, "you grant that real love does compensate for an imprudent marriage. You speak as if you had known such love—you! Can it be possible?"

"Real love—I thought that I knew it once. Looking back with remorse, I should doubt it now but for one curse that only real love, when lost, has the power to leave evermore behind it."

"What is that?"

"A void here," answered Egerton, striking his heart. "Desolation!—Adieu!"

He rose and left the room.

"Is it," murmured Egerton, as he pursued his way through the streets—"is it that, as we approach death, all the first fair feelings of young life come back to us mysteriously? Thus I have heard, or read, that in some country of old, children scattering flowers, preceded a funeral bier."


And so Leonard stood beside his friend's mortal clay, and watched, in the ineffable smile of death, the last gleam which the soul had left there; and so, after a time, he crept back to the adjoining room with a step as noiseless as if he had feared to disturb the dead. Wearied as he was with watching, he had no thought of sleep. He sate himself down by the little table, and leaned his face on his hand, musing sorrowfully. Thus time passed. He heard the clock from below strike the hours. In the house of death the sound of a clock becomes so solemn. The soul that we miss has gone so far beyond the reach of time! A cold, superstitious awe gradually stole over the young man. He shivered, and lifted his eyes with a start, half scornful, half defying. The moon was gone—the gray, comfortless dawn gleamed through the casement, and carried its raw, chilling light through the open doorway, into the death-room. And there, near the extinguished fire, Leonard saw the solitary woman, weeping low, and watching still. He returned to say a word of comfort—she pressed his hand, but waved him away. He understood. She did not wish for other comfort than her quiet relief of tears. Again, he returned to his own chamber, and his eyes this time fell upon the papers which he had hitherto disregarded. What made his heart stand still, and the blood then rush so quickly through his veins? Why did he seize upon those papers with so tremulous a hand—then lay them down—pause, as if to nerve himself—and look so eagerly again? He recognized the handwriting—those fair, clear characters—so peculiar in their woman-like delicacy and grace—the same as in the wild, pathetic poems, the sight of which had made an era in his boyhood. From these pages the image of the mysterious Nora rose once more before him. He felt that he was with a mother. He went back, and closed the door gently, as if with a jealous piety, to exclude each ruder shadow from the world of spirits, and be alone with that mournful ghost. For a thought written in warm, sunny life, and then suddenly rising up to us, when the hand that traced, and the heart that cherished it, are dust, is verily as a ghost. It is a likeness struck off of the fond human being, and surviving it. Far more truthful than bust or portrait, it bids us see the tear flow, and the pulse beat. What ghost can the church-yard yield to us like the writing of the dead?

The bulk of the papers had been once lightly sewn to each other—they had come undone, perhaps in Burley's rude hands; but their order was easily apparent. Leonard soon saw that they formed a kind of journal—not, indeed, a regular diary, nor always relating to the things of the day. There were gaps in time—no attempt at successive narrative. Sometimes, instead of prose, a hasty burst of verse, gushing evidently from the heart—sometimes all narrative was left untold, and yet, as it were, epitomized, by a single burning line—a single exclamation—of woe, or joy! Everywhere you saw records of a nature exquisitely susceptible; and where genius appeared, it was so artless, that you did not call it genius, but emotion. At the outset the writer did not speak of herself in the first person. The MS. opened with descriptions and short dialogues, carried on by persons to whose names only initial letters were assigned, all written in a style of simple, innocent freshness, and breathing of purity and happiness, like a dawn of spring. Two young persons, humbly born—a youth and a girl—the last still in childhood, each chiefly self-taught, are wandering on Sabbath evenings among green dewy fields, near the busy town, in which labor awhile is still. Few words pass between them. You see at once, though the writer does not mean to convey it, how far beyond the scope of her male companion flies the heavenward imagination of the girl. It is he who questions—it is she who answers; and soon there steals upon you, as you read, the conviction that the youth loves the girl, and loves in vain. All in this writing, though terse, is so truthful! Leonard, in the youth, already recognizes the rude, imperfect scholar—the village bard—Mark Fairfield. Then, there is a gap in description—but there are short weighty sentences, which show[Pg 385] deepening thought, increasing years, in the writer. And though the innocence remains, the happiness begins to be less vivid on the page.

Now, insensibly, Leonard finds that there is a new phase in the writer's existence. Scenes, no longer of humble work-day rural life, surround her. And a fairer and more dazzling image succeeds to the companion of the Sabbath eves. This image Nora evidently loves to paint—it is akin to her own genius—it captivates her fancy—it is an image that she (inborn artist, and conscious of her art) feels to belong to a brighter and higher school of the Beautiful. And yet the virgin's heart is not awakened—no trace of the heart yet there. The new image thus introduced is one of her own years, perhaps; nay, it may be younger still—for it is a boy that is described, with his profuse fair curls, and eyes new to grief, and confronting the sun as a young eagle's; with veins so full of the wine of life, that they overflow into every joyous whim; with nerves quiveringly alive to the desire of glory; with the frank generous nature rash in its laughing scorn of the world, which it has not tried. Who was this boy, it perplexed Leonard. He feared to guess. Soon, less told than implied, you saw that this companionship, however it chanced, brings fear and pain on the writer. Again (as before), with Mark Fairfield, there is love on the one side and not on the other; with her there is affectionate, almost sisterly, interest, admiration, gratitude—but a something of pride or of terror that keeps back love.

Here Leonard's interest grew intense. Were there touches by which conjecture grew certainty; and he recognized, through the lapse of years, the boy lover in his own generous benefactor?

Fragments of dialogue now began to reveal the suit of an ardent impassioned nature, and the simple wonder and strange alarm of a listener who pitied but could not sympathize. Some great worldly distinction of rank between the two became visible—that distinction seemed to arm the virtue and steel the affections of the lowlier born. Then a few sentences, half blotted out with tears, told of wounded and humbled feelings—some one invested with authority, as if the suitor's parent, had interfered, questioned, reproached, counseled. And it was now evident that the suit was not one that dishonored;—it wooed to flight, but still to marriage.

And now these sentences grew briefer still, as with the decision of a strong resolve. And to these there followed a passage so exquisite, that Leonard wept unconsciously as he read. It was the description of a visit spent at home previous to some sorrowful departure. There rose up the glimpse of a proud and vain, but a tender wistful mother—of a father's fonder but less thoughtful love. And then came a quiet soothing scene between the girl and her first village lover, ending thus—"So she put M's hand into her sister's, and said: 'You loved me through the fancy, love her with the heart,' and left them comprehending each other, and betrothed."

Leonard sighed. He understood now how Mark Fairfield saw in the homely features of his unlettered wife the reflection of the sister's soul and face.

A few words told the final parting—words that were a picture. The long friendless highway, stretching on—on—toward the remorseless city. And the doors of home opening on the desolate thoroughfare—and the old pollard tree beside the threshold, with the ravens wheeling round it and calling to their young. He too had watched that threshold from the same desolate thoroughfare. He too had heard the cry of the ravens. Then came some pages covered with snatches of melancholy verse, or some reflections of dreamy gloom.

The writer was in London, in the house of some highborn patroness—that friendless shadow of a friend which the jargon of society calls "companion." And she was looking on the bright storm of the world as through prison bars. Poor bird, afar from the greenwood, she had need of song—it was her last link with freedom and nature. The patroness seems to share in her apprehensions of the boy suitor, whose wild rash prayers the fugitive had resisted: but to fear lest the suitor should be degraded, not the one whom he pursues—fears an alliance ill-suited to a highborn heir. And this kind of fear stings the writer's pride, and she grows harsh in her judgment of him who thus causes but pain where he proffers love. Then there is a reference to some applicant for her hand, who is pressed upon her choice. And she is told that it is her duty so to choose, and thus deliver a noble family from a dread that endures so long as her hand is free. And of this fear, and of this applicant, there breaks out a petulant yet pathetic scorn. After this, the narrative, to judge by the dates, pauses for days and weeks, as if the writer had grown weary and listless—suddenly to reopen in a new strain, eloquent with hopes, and with fears never known before. The first person was abruptly assumed—it was the living "I" that now breathed and moved along the lines. How was this? The woman was no more a shadow and a secret unknown to herself. She had assumed the intense and vivid sense of individual being. And love spoke loud in the awakened human heart.

A personage not seen till then appeared on the page. And ever afterward this personage was only named as "He," as if the one and sole representative of all the myriads that walk the earth. The first notice of this prominent character on the scene showed the restless, agitated effect produced on the writer's imagination. He was invested with a romance probably not his own. He was described in contrast to the brilliant boy whose suit she had feared, pitied, and now sought to shun—described with a grave and serious, but gentle mein—a voice that imposed respect—an eye and lip that showed collected dignity of will. Alas! the writer betrayed herself, and the charm was in the contrast, not to the character of the[Pg 386] earlier lover, but her own. And now, leaving Leonard to explore and guess his way through the gaps and chasms of the narrative, it is time to place before the reader what the narrative alone will not reveal to Leonard.


Nora Avenel had fled from the boyish love of Harley L'Estrange—recommended by Lady Lansmere to a valetudinarian relative of her own, Lady Jane Horton, as companion. But Lady Lansmere could not believe it possible that the low-born girl could long sustain her generous pride, and reject the ardent suit of one who could offer to her the prospective coronet of a countess. She continually urged upon Lady Jane the necessity of marrying Nora to some one of rank less disproportioned to her own, and empowered the lady to assure any such wooer of a dowry far beyond Nora's station. Lady Jane looked around, and saw in the outskirts of her limited social ring, a young solicitor, a peer's natural son, who was on terms of more than business-like intimacy with the fashionable clients whose distresses made the origin of his wealth. The young man was handsome, well-dressed, and bland. Lady Jane invited him to her house; and, seeing him struck dumb with the rare loveliness of Nora, whispered the hint of the dower. The fashionable solicitor, who afterward ripened into Baron Levy, did not need that hint; for, though then poor, he relied on himself for fortune, and, unlike Randal, he had warm blood in his veins. But Lady Jane's suggestions made him sanguine of success; and when he formally proposed, and was as formally refused, his self-love was bitterly wounded. Vanity in Levy was a powerful passion; and with the vain, hatred is strong, revenge is rankling. Levy retired, concealing his rage; nor did he himself know how vindictive that rage, when it cooled into malignancy, could become, until the arch-fiend Opportunity prompted its indulgence and suggested its design.

Lady Jane was at first very angry with Nora for the rejection of a suitor whom she had presented as eligible. But the pathetic grace of this wonderful girl had crept into her heart, and softened it even against family prejudice; and she gradually owned to herself that Nora was worthy of some one better than Mr. Levy.

Now, Harley had ever believed that Nora returned his love, and that nothing but her own sense of gratitude to his parents—her own instincts of delicacy, made her deaf to his prayers. To do him justice, wild and headstrong as he then was, his suit would have ceased at once had he really deemed it persecution. Nor was his error unnatural; for his conversation, till it had revealed his own heart, could not fail to have dazzled and delighted the child of genius; and her frank eyes would have shown the delight. How, at his age, could he see the distinction between the Poetess and the Woman? The poetess was charmed with rare promise in a soul of which the very errors were the extravagances of richness and beauty. But the woman—no! the woman required some nature not yet undeveloped, and all at turbulent if brilliant strife with its own noble elements—but a nature formed and full grown. Harley was a boy, and Nora was one of those women who must find or fancy an Ideal that commands and almost awes them into love.

Harley discovered, not without difficulty, Nora's new residence. He presented himself at Lady Jane's, and she, with grave rebuke, forbade him the house. He found it impossible to obtain an interview with Nora. He wrote, but he felt sure that his letters never reached her, since they were unanswered. His young heart swelled with rage. He dropped threats, which alarmed all the fears of Lady Lansmere, and even the prudent apprehensions of his friend, Audley Egerton. At the request of the mother, and equally at the wish of the son, Audley consented to visit at Lady Jane's, and make acquaintance with Nora.

"I have such confidence in you," said Lady Lansmere, "that if you once know the girl, your advice will be sure to have weight with her. You will show her how wicked it would be to let Harley break our hearts and degrade his station."

"I have such confidence in you," said young Harley, "that if you once know my Nora, you will no longer side with my mother. You will recognize the nobility which Nature only can create—you will own that Nora is worthy a rank more lofty than mine; and my mother so believes in your wisdom, that if you plead in my cause, you will convince even her."

Audley listened to both with his intelligent, half-incredulous smile; and wholly of the same advice as Lady Lansmere, and sincerely anxious to save Harley from an indiscretion that his own notions led him to regard as fatal, he resolved to examine this boasted pearl, and to find out its flaws. Audley Egerton was then in the prime of his earnest, resolute, ambitious youth. The stateliness of his natural manners had then a suavity and polish which, even in later and busier life, it never wholly lost; since, in spite of the briefer words and the colder looks by which care and powers mark the official man, the Minister had ever enjoyed that personal popularity which the indefinable, external something, that wins and pleases, can alone confer. But he had even then, as ever, that felicitous reserve which Rochefoucault has called the "mystery of the body"—that thin yet guardian vail which reveals but the strong outlines of character, and excites so much of interest by provoking so much of conjecture. To the man who is born with this reserve, which is wholly distinct from shyness, the world gives credit for qualities and talents beyond those that it perceives; and such characters are attractive to others in proportion as these last are gifted with the imagination which loves to divine the unknown.

At the first interview, the impression which this man produced upon Nora Avenel was profound and strange. She had heard of him before as the one whom Harley most loved and looked[Pg 387] up to; and she recognized at once in his mien, his aspect, his words, the very tone of his deep tranquil voice, the power to which woman, whatever her intellect, never attains; and to which, therefore, she imputes a nobility not always genuine—viz., the power of deliberate purpose, and self-collected, serene ambition. The effect that Nora produced on Egerton was not less sudden. He was startled by a beauty of face and form that belonged to that rarest order, which we never behold but once or twice in our lives. He was yet more amazed to discover that the aristocracy of mind could bestow a grace that no aristocracy of birth could surpass. He was prepared for a simple, blushing village girl, and involuntarily he bowed low his proud front at the first sight of that delicate bloom, and that exquisite gentleness which is woman's surest passport to the respect of man. Neither in the first, nor the second, nor the third interview, nor, indeed, till after many interviews, could he summon up courage to commence his mission, and allude to Harley. And when he did so at last, his words faltered. But Nora's words were clear to him. He saw that Harley was not loved; and a joy that he felt as guilty, darted through his whole frame. From that interview Audley returned home greatly agitated, and at war with himself. Often, in the course of this story, has it been hinted that under all Egerton's external coldness, and measured self-control, lay a nature capable of strong and stubborn passions. Those passions broke forth then. He felt that love had already entered into the heart, which the trust of his friend should have sufficed to guard.

"I will go there no more," said he, abruptly, to Harley.

"But why?"

"The girl does not love you. Cease then to think of her."

Harley disbelieved him, and grew indignant. But Audley had every worldly motive to assist his sense of honor. He was poor, though with the reputation of wealth—deeply involved in debt—resolved to rise in life—tenacious of his position in the world's esteem. Against a host of counteracting influences, love fought single-handed. Audley's was a strong nature; but, alas! in strong natures, if resistance to temptation is of granite, so the passions that they admit are of fire.

Trite is the remark, that the destinies of our lives often date from the impulses of unguarded moments. It was so with this man, to an ordinary eye so cautious and so deliberate. Harley one day came to him in great grief; he had heard that Nora was ill; he implored Audley to go once more and ascertain. Audley went. Lady Jane Horton, who was suffering under a disease which not long afterward proved fatal, was too ill to receive him. He was shown into the room set apart as Nora's. While waiting for her entrance, he turned mechanically over the leaves of an album which Nora, suddenly summoned away to attend Lady Jane, had left behind her on the table. He saw the sketch of his own features; he read words inscribed below it—words of such artless tenderness, and such unhoping sorrow—words written by one who had been accustomed to regard her genius as her sole confidant, under Heaven, to pour out to it, as the solitary poet-heart is impelled to do, thoughts, feelings, and confession of mystic sighs, which it would never breathe to a living ear, and, save at such moments, scarcely acknowledge to itself. Audley saw that he was beloved, and the revelation, with a sudden light, consumed all the barriers between himself and his own love. And at that moment Nora entered. She saw him bending over the book. She uttered a cry—sprang forward—and then sank down, covering her face with her hands. But Audley was at her feet. He forgot his friend, his trust; he forgot ambition—he forgot the world. It was his own cause that he pleaded—his own love that burst forth from his lips. And when the two that day parted, they were betrothed each to each. Alas for them, and alas for Harley!

And now this man, who had hitherto valued himself as the very type of gentleman—whom all his young contemporaries had so regarded and so revered—had to press the head of a confiding friend and bid adieu to truth. He had to amuse, to delay, to mislead his boy-rival—to say that he was already subduing Nora's hesitating doubts—and that within a little time, she could be induced to consent to forget Harley's rank, and his parent's pride, and become his wife. And Harley believed in Egerton, without one suspicion on the mirror of his loyal soul.

Meanwhile Audley impatient of his own position—impatient, as strong minds ever are, to hasten what they have once resolved—to terminate a suspense that every interview with Harley tortured alike by jealousy and shame—to put himself out of the reach of scruples, and to say to himself, "Right or wrong, there is no looking back; the deed is done;"—Audley, thus hurried on by the impetus of his own power of will, pressed for speedy and secret nuptials—secret till his fortunes, then wavering, were more assured—his career fairly commenced. This was not his strongest motive, though it was one. He shrank from the discovery of his wrong to his friend—desired to delay the self-humiliation of such announcement, until, as he persuaded himself, Harley's boyish passion was over—had yielded to the new allurements that would naturally beset his way. Stifling his conscience, Audley sought to convince himself that the day would soon come when Harley could hear with indifference that Nora Avenel was another's "The dream of an hour, at his age," murmured the elder friend; "but at mine, the passion of a life!" He did not speak of these latter motives for concealment to Nora. He felt that, to own the extent of his treason to a friend, would lower him in her eyes. He spoke therefore but slightingly of Harley—treated the boy's suit as a thing past and gone. He dwelt only on reasons that compelled[Pg 388] self-sacrifice on his side or hers. She did not hesitate which to choose. And so, where Nora loved, so submissively did she believe in the superiority of the lover, that she would not pause to hear a murmur from her own loftier nature, or question the propriety of what he deemed wise and good.

Abandoning prudence in this arch affair of life, Audley still preserved his customary caution in minor details. And this indeed was characteristic of him throughout all his career—heedless in large things—wary in small. He would not trust Lady Jane Horton with his secret, still less Lady Lansmere. He simply represented to the former, that Nora was no longer safe from Harley's determined pursuit under Lady Jane's roof, and that she had better elude the boy's knowledge of her movements, and go quietly away for a while, to lodge with some connection of her own.

And so, with Lady Jane's acquiescence, Nora went first to the house of a very distant kinswoman of her mother's, and afterward to one that Egerton took as their bridal home, under the name of Bertram. He arranged all that might render their marriage most free from the chance of premature discovery. But it so happened, on the very morning of their bridal, that one of the witnesses he selected (a confidential servant of his own) was seized with apoplexy. Considering, in haste, where to find a substitute, Egerton thought of Levy, his own private solicitor, his own fashionable money-lender, a man with whom he was then as intimate as a fine gentleman is with the lawyer of his own age, who knows all his affairs, and has helped from pure friendship, to make them as bad as they are! Levy was thus suddenly summoned. Egerton, who was in great haste, did not at first communicate to him the name of the intended bride; but he said enough of the imprudence of the marriage, and his reasons for secrecy, to bring on himself the strongest remonstrances; for Levy had always reckoned on Egerton's making a wealthy marriage, leaving to Egerton the wife, and hoping to appropriate to himself the wealth, all in the natural course of business. Egerton did not listen to him, but hurried him on toward the place at which the ceremony was to be performed; and Levy actually saw the bride, before he had learned her name. The usurer masked his raging emotions, and fulfilled his part in the rites. His smile, when he congratulated the bride, might have shot cold into her heart; but her eyes were cast on the earth, seeing there but a shadow from heaven, and her heart was blindly sheltering itself in the bosom to which it was given evermore. She did not perceive the smile of hate that barbed the words of joy. Nora never thought it necessary later to tell Egerton that Levy had been a refused suitor. Indeed, with the exquisite taste of love, she saw that such a confidence, the idea of such a rival, would have wounded the pride of her high-bred, well-born husband.

And now, while Harley L'Estrange, frantic with the news that Nora had left Lady Jane's roof, and purposely misled into wrong directions, was seeking to trace her refuge in vain—now Egerton, in an assumed name, in a remote quarter, far from the clubs in which his word was oracular—far from the pursuits, whether of pastime or toil, that had hitherto engrossed his active mind, gave himself up, with wonder at himself, to the only vision of fairyland that ever weighs down the watchful eyelids of hard Ambition. The world for a while shut out, he missed it not. He knew not of it. He looked into two loving eyes that haunted him ever after, through a stern and arid existence, and said murmuringly, "Why, this, then, is real happiness!" Often, often, in the solitude of other years, to repeat to himself the same words, save that for is, he then murmured was! And Nora, with her grand, full heart, all her luxuriant wealth of fancy and of thought, child of light and of song, did she then never discover that there was something comparatively narrow and sterile in the nature to which she had linked her fate? Not there, could ever be sympathy in feelings, brilliant and shifting as the tints of the rainbow. When Audley pressed her heart to his own, could he comprehend one finer throb of its beating? Was all the iron of his mind worth one grain of the gold she had cast away in Harley's love?

Did Nora already discover this? Surely no. Genius feels no want, no repining, while the heart is contented. Genius in her paused and slumbered: it had been as the ministrant of solitude: it was needed no more. If a woman loves deeply some one below her own grade in the mental and spiritual orders, how often we see that she unconsciously quits her own rank, comes meekly down to the level of the beloved, is afraid lest he should deem her the superior—she who would not even be the equal. Nora knew no more that she had genius; she only knew that she had love.

And so here, the journal which Leonard was reading changed its tone, sinking into that quiet happiness which is but quiet because it is so deep. This interlude in the life of a man like Audley Egerton could never have been long; many circumstances conspired to abridge it. His affairs were in great disorder; they were all under Levy's management. Demands that had before slumbered, or been mildly urged, grew menacing and clamorous. Harley, too, returned to London from his futile researches, and looked out for Audley. Audley was forced to leave his secret Eden, and re-appear in the common world; and thenceforward it was only by stealth that he came to his bridal home—a visitor, no more the inmate. But more loud and fierce grew the demands of his creditors, now when Egerton had most need of all which respectability, and position, and belief of pecuniary independence can do to raise the man who has encumbered his arms, and crippled his steps toward fortune. He was threatened with writs, with prisons. Levy said[Pg 389] "that to borrow more would be but larger ruin"—shrugged his shoulders, and even recommended a voluntary retreat to the King's Bench. "No place so good for frightening one's creditors into compounding their claims; but why," added Levy, with covert sneer, "why not go to young L'Estrange—a boy made to be borrowed from?"

Levy, who had known from Lady Jane of Harley's pursuit of Nora, had learned already how to avenge himself on Egerton. Audley could not apply to the friend he had betrayed. And as to other friends, no man in town had a greater number. And no man in town knew better that he should lose them all if he were once known to be in want of their money. Mortified, harassed, tortured—shunning Harley—yet ever sought by him—fearful of each knock at his door, Audley Egerton escaped to the mortgaged remnant of his paternal estate, on which there was a gloomy manor-house long uninhabited, and there applied a mind, afterward renowned for its quick comprehension of business, to the investigation of his affairs, with a view to save some wreck from the flood that swelled momently around him.

And now—to condense as much as possible a record that runs darkly on into pain and sorrow—now Levy began to practice his vindictive arts; and the arts gradually prevailed. On pretense of assisting Egerton in the arrangement of his affairs—which he secretly contrived, however, still more to complicate—he came down frequently to Egerton Hall for a few hours, arriving by the mail, and watching the effect which Nora's almost daily letters produced on the bridegroom, irritated by the practical cares of life. He was thus constantly at hand to instill into the mind of the ambitious man a regret for the imprudence of hasty passion, or to embitter the remorse which Audley felt for his treachery to L'Estrange. Thus ever bringing before the mind of the harassed debtor images at war with love, and with the poetry of life, he disattuned it (so to speak) for the reception of Nora's letters, all musical as they were with such thoughts as the most delicate fancy inspires to the most earnest love. Egerton was one of those men who never confide their affairs frankly to women. Nora, when she thus wrote, was wholly in the dark as to the extent of his stern prosaic distress. And so—and so—Levy always near—(type of the prose of life in its most cynic form)—so, by degrees, all that redundant affluence of affection, with its gushes of grief for his absence, prayers for his return, sweet reproach if a post failed to bring back an answer to the woman's yearning sighs—all this grew, to the sensible, positive man of real life, like sickly romantic exaggeration. The bright arrows shot too high into heaven to hit the mark set so near to the earth. Ah! common fate of all superior natures! What treasure, and how wildly wasted!

"By-the-by," said Levy, one morning, as he was about to take leave of Audley and return to town—"by-the-by, I shall be this evening in the neighborhood of Mrs. Egerton."

Egerton.—"Say Mrs. Bertram!"

Levy.—"Ay; will she not be in want of some pecuniary supplies?"

Egerton.—"My wife!—not yet. I must first be wholly ruined before she can want; and if I were so, do you think I should not be by her side?"

Levy.—"I beg pardon, my dear fellow; your pride of gentleman is so susceptible that it is hard for a lawyer not to wound it unawares. Your wife, then, does not know the exact state of your affairs?"

Egerton.—"Of course not. Who would confide to a woman things in which she could do nothing, except to tease one the more?"

Levy.—"True, and a poetess, too! I have prevented your finishing your answer to Mrs. Bertram's last letter. Can I take it—it may save a day's delay—that is, if you do not object to my calling on her this evening."

Egerton (sitting down to his unfinished letter).—"Object! no!"

Levy (looking at his watch).—"Be quick, or I shall lose the coach."

Egerton (sealing the letter).—"There. And I should be obliged to you if you would call; and without alarming her as to my circumstances, you can just say that you know I am much harassed about important affairs at present, and so soothe the effects of my very short answers—"

Levy.—"To those doubly-crossed, very long, letters—I will."

"Poor Nora," said Egerton, sighing, "she will think this answer brief and churlish enough. Explain my excuses kindly, so that they will serve for the future. I really have no time, and no heart for sentiment. The little I ever had is well-nigh worried out of me. Still I love her fondly and deeply."

Levy.—"You must have done so. I never thought it in you to sacrifice the world to a woman."

Egerton.—"Nor I either; but," added the strong man, conscious of that power which rules the world infinitely more than knowledge—conscious of tranquil courage—"but I have not sacrificed the world yet. This right arm shall bear up her and myself too."

Levy.—"Well said! But in the mean while, for heaven's sake, don't attempt to go to London, nor to leave this place; for, in that case, I know you will be arrested, and then adieu to all hopes of Parliament—of a career."

Audley's haughty countenance darkened; as the dog, in his bravest mood, turns dismayed from the stone plucked from the mire, so, when Ambition rears itself to defy mankind, whisper "disgrace and a jail," and, lo, crest-fallen, it slinks away! That evening Levy called on Nora, and ingratiating himself into her favor by praise of Egerton, with indirect humble apologetic allusions to his own former presumption, he prepared the way to renewed visits; she was so lonely, and she so loved to see one who was fresh from seeing Audley—one who would talk to her of him! By degrees the friendly respectful visitor[Pg 390] thus stole into her confidence; and then, with all his panegyrics on Audley's superior powers and gifts, he began to dwell upon the young husband's worldly aspirations, and care for his career; dwelt on them so as vaguely to alarm Nora—to imply that, dear as she was, she was still but second to Ambition. His way thus prepared, he next began to insinuate his respectful pity at her equivocal position, dropped hints of gossip and slander, feared that the marriage might be owned too late to preserve reputation. And then what would be the feelings of the proud Egerton if his wife were excluded from that world, whose opinion he so prized? Insensibly thus he led her on to express (though timidly) her own fear—her own natural desire, in her letters to Audley. When could the marriage be proclaimed? Proclaimed! Audley felt that to proclaim such a marriage, at such a moment, would be to fling away his last cast for fame and fortune. And Harley, too—Harley still so uncured of his frantic love. Levy was sure to be at hand when letters like these arrived.

And now Levy went further still in his determination to alienate these two hearts. He contrived, by means of his various agents, to circulate through Nora's neighborhood the very slanders at which he had hinted. He contrived that she should be insulted when she went abroad, outraged at home by the sneers of her own servant, and tremble with shame at her own shadow upon her abandoned bridal hearth.

Just in the midst of this intolerable anguish, Levy reappeared. His crowning hour was ripe. He intimated his knowledge of the humiliations Nora had undergone, expressed his deep compassion, offered to intercede with Egerton "to do her justice." He used ambiguous phrases that shocked her ear and tortured her heart, and thus provoked her on to demand him to explain; and then, throwing her into a wild state of indefinite alarm, in which he obtained her solemn promise not to divulge to Audley what he was about to communicate, he said, with villainous hypocrisy of reluctant shame, "that her marriage was not strictly legal; that the forms required by the law had not been complied with; that Audley, unintentionally or purposely, had left himself free to disown the rite and desert the bride." While Nora stood stunned and speechless at a falsehood which, with lawyer-like show, he contrived to make truth-like to her inexperience, he hurried rapidly on, to reawake on her mind the impression of Audley's pride, ambition, and respect for worldly position. "These are your obstacles," said he; "but I think I may induce him to repair the wrong, and right you at last." Righted at last—oh infamy!

Then Nora's anger burst forth. She believe such a stain on Audley's honor!

"But where was the honor when he betrayed his friend? Did you not know that he was intrusted by Lord L'Estrange to plead for him. How did he fulfill the trust?"

Plead for L'Estrange! Nora had not been exactly aware of this. In the sudden love preceding those sudden nuptials, so little touching Harley (beyond Audley's first timid allusions to his suit, and her calm and cold reply) had been spoken by either.

Levy resumed. He dwelt fully on the trust and the breach of it, and then said—"In Egerton's world, man holds it far more dishonor to betray a man than to dupe a woman; and if Egerton could do the one, why doubt that he would do the other? But do not look at me with those indignant eyes. Put himself to the test; write to him to say that the suspicions amid which you live have become intolerable—that they infect even yourself, despite your reason—that the secrecy of your nuptials, his prolonged absence, his brief refusal, on unsatisfactory grounds, to proclaim your tie, all distract you with a terrible doubt. Ask him, at least (if he will not yet declare your marriage), to satisfy you that the rites were legal."

"I will go to him," cried Nora impetuously.

"Go to him!—in his own house! What a scene, what a scandal! Could he ever forgive you?"

"At least, then, I will implore him to come here. I can not write such horrible words; I can not—I can not—Go, go."

Levy left her, and hastened to two or three of Audley's most pressing creditors—men, in fact, who went entirely by Levy's own advice. He bade them instantly surround Audley's country residence with bailiffs. Before Egerton could reach Nora, he would thus be lodged in a jail. These preparations made, Levy himself went down to Audley, and arrived, as usual, an hour or two before the delivery of the post.

And Nora's letter came; and never was Audley's grave brow more dark than when he read it. Still, with his usual decision, he resolved to obey her wish—rang the bell, and ordered his servant to put up a change of dress, and send for post-horses.

Levy then took him aside, and led him to the window.

"Look under yon trees. Do you see those men? They are bailiffs. This is the true reason why I come to you to-day. You can not leave this house."

Egerton recoiled. "And this frantic, foolish letter at such a time," he muttered, striking the open page, full of love in the midst of terror, with his clenched hand.

O Woman, Woman! if thy heart be deep, and its chords tender, beware how thou lovest the man with whom all that plucks him from the hard cares of the work-day world is a frenzy or a folly! He will break thy heart, he will shatter its chords, he will trample out from its delicate frame-work every sound that now makes musical the common air, and swells into unison with the harps of angels.

"She has before written to me," continued Audley, pacing the room with angry, disordered strides, "asking me when our marriage can be proclaimed,[Pg 391] and I thought my replies would have satisfied any reasonable woman. But now, now this is worse, immeasurably worse—she actually doubts my honor! I, who have made such sacrifices—actually doubts whether I, Audley Egerton, an English gentleman, could have been base enough to—"

"What?" interrupted Levy, "to deceive your friend L'Estrange? Did not she know that?"

"Sir," exclaimed Egerton, turning white.

"Don't be angry—all's fair in love as in war; and L'Estrange will live yet to thank you for saving him from such a mésalliance. But you are seriously angry; pray, forgive me."

With some difficulty, and much fawning, the usurer appeased the storm he had raised in Audley's conscience. And he then heard, as if with surprise, the true purport of Nora's letter.

"It is beneath me to answer, much less to satisfy such a doubt," said Audley. "I could have seen her, and a look of reproach would have sufficed; but to put my hand to paper, and condescend to write, 'I am not a villain, and I will give you the proofs that I am not'—never."

"You are quite right; but let us see if we can not reconcile matters between your pride and her feelings. Write simply this: 'All that you ask me to say or to explain, I have instructed Levy, as my solicitor, to say and explain for me; and you may believe him as you would myself.'"

"Well, the poor fool, she deserves to be punished; and I suppose that answer will punish her more than a lengthier rebuke. My mind is so distracted I can not judge of these trumpery woman-fears and whims; there, I have written as you suggest. Give her all the proof she needs, and tell her that in six months at farthest, come what will, she shall bear the name of Egerton, as henceforth she must share his fate."

"Why say six months?"

"Parliament must be dissolved before then. I shall either obtain a seat, be secure from a jail, have won field for my energies, or—"

"Or what?"

"I shall renounce ambition altogether—ask my brother to assist me toward whatever debts remain when all my property is fairly sold—they can not be much. He has a living in his gift—the incumbent is old, and, I hear, very ill. I can take orders."

"Sink into a country parson!"

"And learn content. I have tasted it already. She was then by my side. Explain all to her. This letter, I fear, is too unkind—But to doubt me thus!"

Levy hastily placed the letter in his pocket-book; and, for fear it should be withdrawn, took his leave.

And of that letter he made such use, that the day after he had given it to Nora, she had left the house—the neighborhood; fled, and not a trace! Of all the agonies in life, that which is most poignant and harrowing—that which for the time most annihilates reason, and leaves our whole organization one lacerated, mangled heart—is the conviction that we have been deceived where we placed all the trust of love. The moment the anchor snaps, the storm comes on—the stars vanish behind the cloud.

When Levy returned, filled with the infamous hope which had stimulated his revenge—the hope that if he could succeed in changing into scorn and indignation Nora's love for Audley, he might succeed also in replacing that broken and degraded idol—his amaze and dismay were great on hearing of her departure. For several days he sought her traces in vain. He went to Lady Jane Horton's—Nora had not been there. He trembled to go back to Egerton. Surely Nora would have written to her husband, and, in spite of her promise, revealed his own falsehood; but as days passed and not a clew was found, he had no option but to repair to Egerton Hall, taking care that the bailiffs still surrounded it. Audley had received no line from Nora. The young husband was surprised and perplexed, uneasy—but had no suspicion of the truth.

At length Levy was forced to break to Audley the intelligence of Nora's flight. He gave his own color to it. Doubtless she had gone to seek her own relations, and take, by their advice, steps to make her marriage publicly known. This idea changed Audley's first shock into deep and stern resentment. His mind so little comprehended Nora's, and was ever so disposed to what is called the common-sense view of things, that he saw no other mode to account for her flight and her silence. Odious to Egerton as such a proceeding would be, he was far too proud to take any steps to guard against it. "Let her do her worst," said he, coldly, masking emotion with his usual self-command; "it will be but a nine-days' wonder to the world—a fiercer rush of my creditors on their hunted prey—"

"And a challenge from Lord L'Estrange."

"So be it," answered Egerton, suddenly placing his hand at his heart.

"What is the matter? Are you ill?"

"A strange sensation here. My father died of a complaint of the heart, and I myself was once told to guard, through life, against excess of emotion. I smiled at such a warning then. Let us sit down to business."

But when Levy had gone, and solitude reclosed round that Man of the Iron Mask, there grew upon him more and more the sense of a mighty loss, Nora's sweet loving face started from the shadows of the forlorn walls. Her docile, yielding temper—her generous, self-immolating spirit—came back to his memory, to refute the idea that wronged her. His love, that had been suspended for awhile by busy cares, but which, if without much refining sentiment, was still the master-passion of his soul, flowed back into all his thoughts—circumfused the very atmosphere with a fearful softening charm. He escaped under cover of the night from the watch of the bailiffs. He arrived in London. He himself sought every where he could think of for his missing bride. Lady Jane Horton was confined[Pg 392] to her bed, dying fast—incapable even to receive and reply to his letter. He secretly sent down to Lansmere to ascertain if Nora had gone to her parents. She was not there. The Avenels believed her still with Lady Jane Horton.

He now grew most seriously alarmed; and, in the midst of that alarm, Levy contrived that he should be arrested for debt; but he was not detained in confinement many days. Before the disgrace got wind, the writs were discharged—Levy baffled. He was free. Lord L'Estrange had learned from Audley's servant what Audley would have concealed from him out of all the world. And the generous boy—who, besides the munificent allowance he received from the Earl, was heir to an independent and considerable fortune of his own, when he should obtain his majority—hastened to borrow the money and discharge all the obligations of his friend. The benefit was conferred before Audley knew of it, or could prevent. Then a new emotion, and perhaps scarce less stinging than the loss of Nora, tortured the man who had smiled at the warning of science; and the strange sensation at the heart was felt again and again.

And Harley, too, was still in search of Nora—would talk of nothing but her—and looked so haggard and grief-worn. The bloom of the boy's youth was gone. Could Audley then have said, "She you seek is another's; your love is razed out of your life. And, for consolation, learn that your friend has betrayed you?" Could Audley say this? He did not dare. Which of the two suffered the most?

And these two friends, of characters so different, were so singularly attached to each other. Inseparable at school—thrown together in the world, with a wealth of frank confidences between them, accumulated since childhood. And now, in the midst of all his own anxious sorrow, Harley still thought and planned for Egerton. And self-accusing remorse, and all the sense of painful gratitude, deepened Audley's affection for Harley into a devotion as to a superior, while softening it into a reverential pity that yearned to relieve, to atone;—but how—oh; how?

A general election was now at hand, still no news of Nora. Levy kept aloof from Audley, pursuing his own silent search. A seat for the borough of Lansmere was pressed upon Audley not only by Harley, but his parents, especially by the Countess, who tacitly ascribed to Audley's wise counsels Nora's mysterious disappearance.

Egerton at first resisted the thought of a new obligation to his injured friend; but he burned to have it some day in his power to repay at least his pecuniary debt: the sense of that debt humbled him more than all else. Parliamentary success might at last obtain for him some lucrative situation abroad, and thus enable him gradually to remove this load from his heart and his honor. No other chance of repayment appeared open to him. He accepted the offer, and went down to Lansmere. His brother, lately married, was asked to meet him; and there, also, was Miss Leslie the heiress, whom Lady Lansmere secretly hoped her son Harley would admire, but who had long since, no less secretly, given her heart to the unconscious Egerton.

Meanwhile, the miserable Nora, deceived by the arts and representations of Levy—acting on the natural impulse of a heart so susceptible to shame—flying from a home which she deemed dishonored—flying from a lover whose power over her she knew to be so great, that she dreaded lest he might reconcile her to dishonor itself—had no thought save to hide herself forever from Audley's eye. She would not go to her relations—to Lady Jane; that were to give the clew, and invite the pursuit. An Italian lady of high rank had visited at Lady Jane's—taken a great fancy to Nora—and the lady's husband, having been obliged to precede her return to Italy, had suggested the notion of engaging some companion—the lady had spoken of this to Nora and to Lady Jane Horton, who had urged Nora to accept the offer, elude Harley's pursuit, and go abroad for a time. Nora then had refused;—for she then had seen Audley Egerton.

To this Italian lady she now went, and the offer was renewed with the most winning kindness, and grasped at in the passion of despair. But the Italian had accepted invitations to English country houses before she finally departed for the Continent. Meanwhile Nora took refuge in a quiet lodging in a sequestered suburb, which an English servant in the employment of the fair foreigner recommended. Thus had she first came to the cottage in which Burley died. Shortly afterward she left England with her new companion, unknown to all—to Lady Jane as to her parents.

All this time the poor girl was under a moral delirium—a confused fever—haunted by dreams from which she sought to fly. Sound physiologists agree that madness is rarest among persons of the finest imagination. But those persons are, of all others, liable to a temporary state of mind in which judgment sleeps—imagination alone prevails with a dire and awful tyranny. A single idea gains ascendency—expels all others—presents itself every where with an intolerable blinding glare. Nora was at that time under the dread one idea—to fly from shame!



We have just returned from the Park and City-Hall, and from witnessing the long procession, "melancholy, slow," that accompanied the remains of the "Great Commoner" and great statesman, Henry Clay, to their temporary resting-place in the Governor's Room. It was not the weeping flags at half-mast throughout the city; not the tolling of the bells, the solemn booming of the minute-guns, nor the plaintive strains of funereal music, which brought the tears to the eyes of thousands, as the mournful cavalcade passed on. For here were the lifeless limbs, the dimmed eye, the hushed voice, that[Pg 393] never should move, nor sparkle, nor resound in eloquent tones again!

The last time we had seen Henry Clay was, standing in an open barouche, on the very spot where his hearse now paused, in front of the City-Hall. He was addressing then a vast concourse of his fellow-citizens, who had assembled to do him honor; and never shall we forget the exquisite grace of his gestures, the melodious tones of his matchless voice, and the interior look of his eyes—as if he were rather spoken from, than speaking. It was an occasion not to be forgotten.

It is proposed, in the present article, to afford the reader some opportunity of judging of the character and manner of Mr. Clay, both as an orator and a man, and of his general habits, from a few characteristic anecdotes and incidents, which have been well authenticated heretofore, or are now for the first time communicated to the writer. Biography, in Mr. Clay's case, has already occupied much of the space of all our public journals; we shall, therefore, omit particulars which are now more or less familiar to the general reader.

It was the remark of a distinguished Senator, that Mr. Clay's eloquence was absolutely intangible to delineation; that the most labored and thrilling description could not embrace it; and that, to be understood, it must be seen and felt. During his long public life he enchanted millions, and no one could tell how he did it. He was an orator by nature. His eagle eye burned with true patriotic ardor, or dashed indignation and defiance upon his foes, or was suffused with tears of commiseration or of pity; and it was because he felt, that he made others feel. "The clear conception, the high purpose, the firm resolve, the dauntless spirit, speaking on the tongue, beaming from the eye, informing every feature, and urging the whole man onward, right onward to his object"—this was the eloquence of Henry Clay; or, rather, to pursue the definition, "it was something greater and higher than eloquence; it was action—noble, sublime, God-like."

While the coffin containing all that remained of the great Orator of Nature was being carried up the steps of the City-Hall, a by-stander remarked, in hearing of the writer:

Well, we never shall look upon his like again. What an orator he was! I heard him speak but once, yet that once I shall always remember. It was a good many years ago, now. It was in the immense car-house, or dépôt, at Syracuse. The crowd was immense; and every eye was turned toward the platform from which he was to speak, as if the whole crowd were but one expectant face.

Presently he arose—tall, erect as a statue; looked familiarly around upon the audience, as if he were in an assembly of personal friends (as in truth he was), and began. He commenced amidst the most breathless silence; and as he warmed up with his subject, there was not a look of his eye, not a movement of his long, graceful right arm, not a swaying of his body, that was not full of grace and effect. Such a voice I never heard. It was wonderful![9]

Once he took out his snuff-box, and, after taking a pinch of snuff, and returning the box to his pocket, he illustrated a point which he was making by an anecdote:

"While I was abroad," said he, "laboring to arrange the terms of the Treaty of Ghent, there appeared a report of the negotiations, or letters relative thereto; and several quotations from my remarks or letters, touching certain stipulations in the treaty, reached Kentucky, and were read by my constituents.

"Among them, was an odd old fellow, who went by the nickname of 'Old Sandusky,' and he was reading one of these letters, one evening, at a near resort, to a small collection of the neighbors. As he read on, he came across the sentence, 'This must be deemed a sine qua non."

"'What's a sine qua non?' said a half-dozen by-standers.

"'Old Sandusky' was a little bothered at first, but his good sense and natural shrewdness was fully equal to a 'mastery of the Latin.'

"'Sine—qua—non?' said 'Old Sandusky,' repeating the question very slowly; 'why, Sine Qua Non is three islands in Passamaquoddy Bay, and Harry Clay is the last man to give them up! 'No Sine Qua Non, no treaty,' he says; and he'll stick to it!'"

You should have seen the laughing eye, the change in the speaker's voice and manner, said the narrator, to understand the electric effect the story had upon the audience.

Previous to Mr. Clay's entrance upon public life in the service of his country, and while he was yet young in the practice of the law, in Kentucky, the following striking incident is related of him:

Two Germans, father and son, were indicted for murder, and were tried for the crime. Mr. Clay was employed to defend them. The act of killing was proved by evidence so clear and strong, that it was considered not only a case of murder, but an exceedingly aggravated one. The trial lasted five days, at the close of which he addressed the jury in the most impassioned and eloquent manner; and they were so moved by his pathetic appeals, that they rendered a verdict of manslaughter only. After another hard day's struggle, he succeeded in obtaining an arrest of judgment, by which his clients, in whose case he thought there was an absence of all "malice prepense," were set at liberty.

[Pg 394]

They expressed their gratitude in the warmest terms to their deliverer, in which they were joined by an old and ill-favored female, the wife of one and the mother of the other, who adopted a different mode, however, of tendering her thanks, which was by throwing her arms round Mr. Clay's neck, and repeatedly kissing him, in the presence of a crowded court-room!

Mr. Clay respected her feelings too much to repulse her; but he was often afterward heard to say, that it was "the longest and strongest embrace he ever encountered in his professional practice!"

In civil suits, at this period, Mr. Clay gained almost equal celebrity, and especially in the settlement of land claims, at that time an important element in Western litigation. It is related of him, at this stage of his career, that being engaged in a case which involved immense interests, he associated with him a prominent lawyer to whom he intrusted its management, as urgent business demanded his absence from court. Two days were occupied in discussing the legal points that were to govern the instructions of the court to the jury, on every one of which his colleague was frustrated. Mr. Clay returned, however, before a decision was rendered, and without acquainting himself with the nature of the testimony, or ascertaining the manner in which the discussion had been conducted, after conferring a few moments with his associate, he prepared and presented in a few words the form in which he wished the instructions to be given, accompanying it with his reasons, which were so convincing that the suit was terminated in his favor in less than one hour after he re-entered the court-room.

Thus early, and in a career merely professional, did Henry Clay commence his sway over the minds of deliberative men.

The subjoined incident, connected with Mr. Clay's style of "stump-speaking" is related in "Mallory's Life" of our illustrious subject. It illustrates his tact and ingenuity in seizing and turning to good account trivial circumstances:

Mr. Clay had been speaking for some time, when a company of riflemen, who had been performing military exercise, attracted by his attitude, concluded to "go and hear what the fellow had to say," as they termed it, and accordingly drew near. They listened with respectful attention, and evidently with deep interest, until he closed, when one of their number, a man of about fifty years of age, who had seen much back-wood's service, stood leaning on his rifle, regarding the young speaker with a fixed and sagacious look.

He was apparently the Nimrod of the company, for he exhibited every characteristic of a "mighty hunter." He had buckskin breeches, and hunting-shirt, coon-skin cap, black bushy beard, and a visage of the color and texture of his bullet-pouch. At his belt hung the knife and hatchet, and the huge, indispensable powder-horn across a breast bare and brown as the hills he traversed in his forays, yet it covered a brave and noble heart.

He beckoned with his hand to Mr. Clay to approach him.

Mr. Clay immediately complied.

"Young man," said he, "you want to go to the Legislature, I see."

"Why, yes," replied Mr. Clay; "yes, I should like to go, since my friends have put me up as a candidate before the people. I don't wish to be defeated, of course; few people do."

"Are you a good shot, young man?" asked the hunter.

"I consider myself as good as any in the county."

"Then you shall go: but you must give us a specimen of your skill; we must see you shoot."

"I never shoot any rifle but my own, and that is at home," said the young orator.

"No matter," quickly responded the hunter, "here's Old Bess; she never failed yet in the hands of a marksman. She has put a bullet through many a squirrel's head at a hundred yards, and day-light through many a red-skin twice that distance. If you can shoot any gun, young man, you can shoot 'Old Bess!'"

"Very well, then," replied Mr. Clay, "put up your mark! put up your mark!"

The target was placed at about the distance of eighty yards, when, with all the coolness and steadiness of an old experienced marksman, he drew "Old Bess" to his shoulder, and fired. The bullet pierced the target near the centre.

"Oh, that's a chance-shot! a chance-shot!" exclaimed several of his political opponents; "he might shoot all day, and not hit the mark again. Let him try it over!—let him try it over!"

"No, no," retorted Mr. Clay, "beat that, and then I will!"

As no one seemed disposed to make the attempt, it was considered that he had given satisfactory proof of being, as he said, "the best shot in the county;" and this unimportant incident gained him the vote of every hunter and marksman in the assembly, which was composed principally of that class of persons, as well as the support of the same throughout the county. Mr. Clay was frequently heard to say: "I had never before fired a rifle, and have not since!"

It was in turning little things like these to account, that Mr. Clay, in the earlier period of his career, was so remarkable. Two other instances in this kind, although not new, may be appropriately mentioned in this connection.

In 1805 an attempt was made to obtain the removal of the capital from Frankfort, Kentucky. Mr. Clay, in a speech delivered at the time, reverted to the physical appearance of the place, as furnishing an argument in favor of the proposed removal. Frankfort is walled in on all sides by towering, rocky precipices, and in its general conformation, is not unlike a great pit. "It presents," said Mr. Clay, in his remarks upon the subject, "the model of an inverted hat. Frankfort is the body of the hat, and the lands adjacent are the brim. To change the figure, it is Nature's great penitentiary; and if the members would know the bodily condition of the[Pg 395] prisoners, let them look at those poor creatures in the gallery."

As he said this, he directed the attention of the members of the Legislature to some half-dozen emaciated, spectre-like specimens of humanity, who happened to be moping about there, looking as if they had just stolen a march from the grave-yard. On observing the eyes of the House thus turned toward them, and aware of their ill-favored aspect, they screened themselves with such ridiculous precipitancy behind the pillars and railing, as to cause the most violent laughter. This well-directed hit was successful; and the House gave their votes in favor of the measure.

The second instance is doubtless more familiar to the reader; but having "spoken of guns," it may not be amiss to quote it here:

During an excited political canvass, Mr. Clay met an old hunter, who had previously been his devoted friend, but who now opposed him, on the ground of "the Compensation bill."

"Have you a good rifle, my friend?" asked Mr. Clay.

"Yes," said the hunter.

"Does it ever flash in the pan?" continued Mr. Clay.

"It never did but once in the world," said the hunter, exultingly.

"Well, what did you do with it? You didn't throw it away, did you?"

"No; I picked the flint, tried it again, and brought down the game."

"Have I ever 'flashed,'" continued Mr. Clay, "except on the 'Compensation bill?'"

"No, I can't say that you ever did."

"Well, will you throw me away?" said Mr. Clay.

"No, no!" responded the huntsman, touched on the right point; "no; I'll pick the flint, and try you again!"

And ever afterward he was the unwavering friend of Mr. Clay.

From the same authority we derive another election anecdote, which Mr. Clay was wont to mention to his friends. In a political canvass in Kentucky, Mr. Clay, and Mr. Pope a one-armed man, were candidates for the same office. An Irish barber, residing at Lexington, had always given Mr. Clay his vote, and on all occasions, when he was a candidate for office, electioneered warmly for him. He was "Irish all over," and was frequently in "scrapes," from which Mr. Clay generally succeeded in rescuing him. Somebody, just before the election took place, "came the evil eye" over him; for when asked who he was going to vote for, he replied, "I mane to vote for the man who can't put more nor one hand into the threasury!"

A few days after the election, the barber met Mr. Clay in Lexington, and approaching him, began to cry, saying that he had wronged him, and repented his ingratitude. "My wife," said he, "got round me, blubbering, and tould me that I was too bad, to desert, like a base spalpeen, me ould frind. 'Niver's the time,' says she 'when you got in jail or in any bad fix niver's the time he didn't come and help you out. Och! bad luck to ye for not giving him your vote!'" Mr. Clay never failed to gain his vote afterward.

An anecdote is related of Mr. Clay, aptly illustrating his ability to encounter opposition, in whatever manner presented. A Senator from Connecticut had endeavored to inspire the younger members of the Senate with a respect for him, nearly allied to awe; and to this end was accustomed to use toward them harsh and haughty language, but especially to make an ostentatious display of his attainments, and his supposed superior knowledge of the subject under discussion. Mr. Clay could ill brook his insolent looks and language, and haughty, overbearing manner, and took occasion in his speech to hit them off, which he did by quoting Peter Pindar's Magpie,

"Thus have I seen a magpie in the street,
A chattering bird we often meet,
A bird for curiosity well known,
With head awry,
And cunning eye,
Peep knowingly into a marrow-bone!"

"It would be difficult," says the biographer who relates this circumstance, "to say which was the greater, the merriment which this sally caused, or the chagrin of the satirized Senator."

A striking instance of the simplicity as well as humanity of Mr. Clay's character is given in the following authentic anecdote of him, while a member of the House of Representatives:

"Almost every body in Washington City will remember an old he-goat, which formerly inhabited a livery-stable on Pennsylvania Avenue. This animal was the most independent citizen of the metropolis. He belonged to no party, although he frequently gave pedestrians 'striking' proofs of his adhesion to the 'leveling' principle; for, whenever a person stopped any where in the vicinity, 'Billy' was sure to 'make at him,' horns and all. The boys took delight in irritating him, and frequently so annoyed him that he would 'butt' against lamp-posts and trees, to their great amusement.

"One day, Henry Clay was passing along the avenue, and seeing the boys intent on worrying Billy into a fever, stopped, and with characteristic humanity expostulated with them upon their cruelty. The boys listened in silent awe to the eloquent appeal of the 'Luminary of the West,' but it was all Cherokee to Billy, who—the ungrateful scamp!—arose majestically on his hind legs, and made a desperate plunge at his friend and advocate. Mr. Clay, however, proved too much for his horned adversary. He seized both horns of the dilemma, and then came the 'tug of war.' The struggle was long and doubtful.

"'Ha!' exclaimed the statesman, 'I've got you fast, you old rascal! I'll teach you better manners than to attack your friends! But, boys, he continued, 'what shall I do now?'

"'Why, trip up his feet, Mr. Clay.' Mr. Clay did as he was told, and after many severe efforts[Pg 396] brought Billy down on his side. Here he looked at the boys imploringly, seeming to say, 'I never was in such a fix as this before!'

"The combatants were now nearly exhausted; but the goat had the advantage, for he was gaining breath all the while the statesman was losing it.

"'Boys!' exclaimed Mr. Clay, puffing and blowing, 'this is rather an awkward business. What am I to do next?"

"'Why, don't you know?' said a little fellow, making his own preparations to run, as he spoke: 'all you've got to do is to let go, and run like blazes!' The hint was taken at once, much to the amusement of the boys who had been 'lectured.'"

The collisions between Mr. Clay and Randolph in Congress and out of it, are well known to the public. The following circumstance, however, has seldom been quoted. When the Missouri Compromise question was before Congress, and the fury of the contending parties had broken down almost every barrier of order and decency, Mr. Randolph, much excited, approaching Mr. Clay, said:

"Mr. Speaker, I wish you would leave the House. I will follow you to Kentucky, or any where else in the world."

Mr. Clay regarded him with one of his most searching looks for an instant; and then replied, in an under-tone:

"Mr. Randolph, your proposition is an exceedingly serious one, and demands most serious consideration. Be kind enough to call at my room to-morrow morning, and we will deliberate over it together."

Mr. Randolph called punctually at the moment; they talked long upon the much-agitated subject, without coming to any agreement, and Mr. Randolph arose to leave.

"Mr. Randolph," said Mr. Clay, as the former was about stepping from the house, "with your permission, I will embrace the present occasion to observe, that your language and deportment on the floor of the House, it has occurred to me, were rather indecorous and ungentlemanly, on several occasions, and very annoying, indeed, to me; for, being in the chair, I had no opportunity of replying."

While admitting that this might, perhaps, be so, Mr. Randolph excused it, on the ground of Mr. Clay's inattention to his remarks, and asking for a pinch of snuff while he was addressing him, &c., &c. Mr. Clay, in reply, said:

"Oh, you are certainly mistaken, Mr. Randolph, if you think I do not listen to you. I frequently turn away my head, it is true, and ask for a pinch of snuff; still, I hear every thing you say, although I may seem to hear nothing; and, retentive as I know your memory to be, I will wager that I can repeat as many of your speeches as you yourself can!"

"Well," answered Randolph, "I don't know but I am mistaken; and suppose we drop the matter, shake hands, and become good friends again?"

"Agreed!" said Mr. Clay, extending his hand, which was cordially grasped by Mr. Randolph.

During the same session, and some time before this interview, Mr. Randolph accosted Mr. Clay with a look and manner much agitated, and exhibited to him a letter, couched in very abusive terms, threatening to cowhide him, &c., and asked Mr. Clay's advice as to the course he should pursue in relation to it.

"What caused the writer to send you such an insulting epistle, Mr. Randolph?" asked Mr. Clay.

"Why, I suppose," said Randolph, "it was in consequence of what I said to him the other day."

"What did you say?"

"Why, sir, I was standing in the vestibule of the house, when the writer came up and introduced to me a gentleman who accompanied him; and I asked him what right he had to introduce that man to me, and told him that the man had just as good a right to introduce him to me; whereat he was very indignant, said I had treated him scandalously, and turning on his heel, went away. I think that must have made him write the letter."

"Don't you think he was a little out of his head to talk in that way?" asked Mr. Clay.

"Why, I've been thinking about that," said Randolph: "I have some doubts respecting his sanity."

"Well, that being the case, would it not be the wisest course not to bring the matter before the House? I will direct the sergeant-at-arms to keep a sharp look-out for the man, and to cause him to be arrested should he attempt any thing improper."

Mr. Randolph acquiesced in this opinion, and nothing more was ever heard of the subject.

Another incident, touching Mr. Clay and Mr. Randolph, will be read with interest:

At one time Mr. Randolph, in a strain of most scorching irony, had indulged in some personal taunts toward Mr. Clay, commiserating his ignorance and limited education, to whom Mr. Clay thus replied:

"Sir, the gentleman from Virginia was pleased to say, that in one point at least he coincided with me—in an humble estimate of my philological acquirements. Sir, I know my deficiencies. I was born to no proud patrimonial estate from my father. I inherited only infancy, ignorance, and indigence. I feel my defects: but, so far as my situation in early life is concerned, I may without presumption say, they are more my misfortune than my fault. But, however I may deplore my inability to furnish to the gentleman a better specimen of powers of verbal criticism, I will venture to say my regret is not greater than the disappointment of this committee, as to the strength of his argument."

The particulars of the duel between Mr. Randolph and Mr. Clay may be unknown to some of our readers. The eccentric descendant of Pocahontas appeared on the ground in a huge morning gown. This garment constituted such[Pg 397] a vast circumference that the "locality of the swarthy Senator," was at least a matter of very vague conjecture. The parties exchanged shots, and the ball of Mr. Clay hit the centre of the visible object, but Mr. Randolph was not there! The latter had fired in the air, and immediately after the exchange of shots he walked up to Mr. Clay, parted the folds of his gown, pointed to the hole where the bullet of the former had pierced his coat, and, in the shrillest tones of his piercing voice, exclaimed, "Mr. Clay, you owe me a coat—you owe me a coat!" to which Mr. Clay replied, in a voice of slow and solemn emphasis, at the same time pointing directly at Mr. Randolph's heart, "Mr. Randolph, I thank God that I am no deeper in your debt!"

The annexed rejoinder aptly illustrates Mr. Clay's readiness at repartee:

At the time of the passage of the tariff-bill, as the house was about adjourning, a friend of the bill observed to Mr. Clay, "We have done pretty well to-day." "Very well, indeed," rejoined Mr. Clay—"very well: we made a good stand, considering we lost both our Feet;" alluding to Mr. Foote of New York, and Mr. Foot of Connecticut, both having opposed the bill, although it was confidently expected, a short time previous, that both would support it.

After the nomination of General Taylor as a candidate for the Presidency, made by the Whig Convention at Philadelphia, in June, 1848, many of the friends of Mr. Clay were greatly dissatisfied, not to say exasperated, by what they deemed an abandonment of principle, and unfairness in the proceedings of that body: meetings were held in this city, at which delegates from the northern and western parts of this State and from the State of New Jersey attended, and various arrangements, preliminary to placing Mr. Clay again in nomination for that office, were made, and perfected. These steps were not concealed, and many of the friends of General Taylor were so uncharitable as to avow their belief that this dissatisfaction was fostered and encouraged by Mr. Clay himself. The following extract from a letter written to a friend in this city,[10] one who had from the beginning opposed the movement, will exhibit Mr. Clay's true sentiments on that subject:

"Ashland, 16th October, 1848.

"My dear Sir—I duly received your obliging letter of the 5th instant, and I have perused it with the greatest satisfaction.

"The vivid picture which you have drawn of the enthusiastic attachment, the unbounded confidence, and the entire devotion of my warm-hearted friends in the city of New York, has filled me with the liveliest emotions of gratitude.

"There was but one more proof wanting of their goodness, to complete and perpetuate my great obligations to them, and that they have kindly given, in deference to my anxious wishes; it was, not to insist upon the use of my name as a candidate for the Presidency, after the promulgation of my desire to the contrary."

In another letter, to the same party, written a few weeks earlier, occurs the following touching passage, indicating his sense of the oppressive loneliness with which he was then surrounded. Referring to the recent departure of his son James on his mission to Portugal, accompanied by his family, he says:

"If they had, as I hope, a prosperous voyage, they will have arrived at Liverpool about the same day that I reached home. My separation from them, probably for a length of time, the uncertainty of life rendering it not unlikely that I may never see them again, and the deep and affectionate interest I take in their welfare and happiness, has been extremely painful.

"I find myself now, toward the close of my life, in one respect, in a condition similar to that with which I began it. Mrs. Clay and I commenced it alone: and after having had eleven children, of whom four only remain, our youngest son is the sole white person residing with us."

We are indebted to the same obliging gentleman from whom we derive the foregoing, for the following graphic description of a visit paid to Mr. Clay in his sick chamber at Washington:

"On Monday, the first of March last, at about one o'clock, at the National Hotel, Washington, having sent in my name, Mr. Clay kindly admitted me to his room. I found it darkened by heavy closed curtains, and the sufferer seated in an easy chair at the remote end, near a moderate coal-fire. I approached him rapidly, and, taking his extended soft hand and attenuated fingers, said, 'My dear sir, I am most honored and gratified by this privilege of being again permitted to renew to you, personally, the expression of my unabated attachment and reverence.'

"'But, my dear sir,' he playfully answered, 'you have a very cold hand to convey these sentiments to an invalid such as I am. Come, draw up a chair, and sit near me; I am compelled to use my voice but little, and very carefully.'

"Doing as he desired, I expressed my deep regret that he was still confined to a sick room, and added, that I hoped the return of spring, and the early recurrence of warmer weather would mitigate his more urgent symptoms, and enable him again to visit the Senate Chamber.

"'Sir,' said he, 'these are the kind wishes of a friend, but that hope does not commend itself to my judgment. You may remember that last year I visited the Havanna, in the expectation that its remarkably genial and mild climate would benefit me—but I found no relief; thence to New Orleans, a favorite resort of mine, with no better result. I even became impatient for the return of autumn, thinking that possibly its clear bracing atmosphere at Ashland might lessen my distressing cough; but sir, the Havanna, New Orleans, and Ashland have all failed to bring me any perceptible benefit.'

"'May I ask, my dear sir, what part of the twenty-four hours are you most comfortable?'

"'Fortunately, sir, very fortunately—I should add, mercifully—during the night. Then, I am singularly placid and composed: I am very wakeful, and during the earlier part of it my thoughts take a wide range, but I lie most tranquilly, without[Pg 398] any sensation of weariness, or nervous excitement, and toward day fall into a quiet and undisturbed sleep; this continues to a late hour in the morning, when I rise and breakfast about ten o'clock. Subsequently my cough for an hour or two, is very exhausting. After one o'clock, and during the evening, I am tolerably free of it, and during this period, I see a few of my close personal friends. And thus passes the twenty-four hours.'

"'I was grieved to learn, through the public prints, that Mrs. Clay has been ill; may I hope that she is better?'

"'She has been sick; indeed, at one time, I was much alarmed at her situation; but I thank God,' (with deep emotion,) 'she is quite recovered.'

"'I almost expected the gratification of meeting your son James and his wife here.'

"'No, sir; you may remember that I once told you that he had made a very fortunate investment in the suburbs of St. Louis. This property has become valuable, and requires his attention and management: he has removed thither with his family. It's a long way off, and I would not have them make a winter journey here; beside, I have every comfort and attention that a sick man can require. My apartments, as you perceive, are far removed from the noise and bustle of the house; and I am surrounded by warm and anxious friends, ever seeking to anticipate my wishes.'

"During this brief conversation—in which we were quite alone—Mr. Clay had several paroxysms of coughing. Once he rose and walked across the room to a spittoon. The most careful use of his voice seemed greatly and constantly to irritate his lungs. I could not prolong the interview, though thoroughly impressed with the belief—since mournfully verified—that it would be the last.

"I rose, took my leave, invoking God's blessing on him; and, as in the presence of Royalty, bowed myself out of the room backward.

"On rising from his seat, as above remarked, he stood as erect and commanding as ever; and while sitting in close proximity to him, his burning eye fixed intently upon me, it seemed as if rays of light were emitted from each. This phenomenon is not unusual in consumptive patients, the extraordinary brilliancy of the eye being often remarked; but in Mr. Clay's case it was so intense as to make me almost nervous, partaking as it did of the supernatural.

"I have thus given you the arrangement, and very nearly the precise words,[11] of this my last interview with one of the greatest men of the age. It was altogether a scene to be remembered—a sick room, with the thoughts of a nation daily directed to it! It is full of pathos, and approaches the sublime."

The day previous to the call and conversation above described, the Editor of the Knickerbocker Magazine saw Mr. Clay in the street at Washington, and thus mentions the fact in the "Gossip" of his April Number: "Passing the National Hotel at two o'clock, on this bright and cloudless warm Sunday, we saw a tall figure, clad in a blue cloak, attended only by a lady and child, enter a carriage before the door. Once seen, it was a face never to be forgotten. It was Henry Clay. That eagle-eye was not dimmed, although the great statesman's force was abated. We raised our hat, and bowed our reverence and admiration. Our salutation was gracefully returned, and the carriage was driven away.

"As we walked on, to keep an engagement to dine, we thought of the late words of that eminent patriot: 'If the days of my usefulness, as I have too much reason to fear, be indeed passed, I desire not to linger an impotent spectator of the oft-scanned field of life. I have never looked upon old age, deprived of the faculty of enjoyment, of intellectual perceptions and energies, with any sympathy; and for such I think the day of fate can not arrive too soon.' One can hardly choose but drop a tear over such a remark from such a man."

Thus "broken with the storms of state," and scathed with many a fiery conflict, Henry Clay gradually descended toward the tomb. "During this period," says one of his Kentucky colleagues, "he conversed much and cheerfully with his friends, and took great interest in public affairs. While he did not expect a restoration to health, he cherished the hope that the mild season of spring would bring him strength enough to return to Ashland, that he might die in the bosom of his family. But, alas! spring, that brings life to all Nature, brought no life nor hope to him. After the month of March, his vital powers rapidly wasted, and for weeks he lay patiently awaiting the stroke of death. The approach of the destroyer had no terror for him. No clouds overhung his future. He met his end with composure, and his pathway to the grave was lightened by the immortal hopes which spring from the Christian faith. Not long before his death, having just returned from Kentucky, I bore to him a token of affection from his excellent wife. Never can I forget his appearance, his manner, or his words. After speaking of his family and his country, he changed the conversation to his own fortune, and, looking on me with his fine eyes undimmed, and his voice full of its original compass and melody, he said: 'I am not afraid to die, sir; I have hope, faith, and some confidence: I do not think any man can be entirely certain in regard to his future state, but I have an abiding trust in the merits and mediation of our Saviour.'"

"On the evening previous to his departure," writes his excellent pastor and faithful attendant, Rev. Dr. Butler, "sitting an hour in silence by his side, I could not but realize—when I heard him in the slight wanderings of his mind, to other days and other scenes, murmuring the words, 'My mother, mother, mother!' and saying, 'My dear wife!' as if she were present. I could not but realize then, and rejoiced to think, how near was the blessed re-union of his weary heart with[Pg 399] the loved dead, and the living who must soon follow him to his rest, whose spirits even then seemed to visit and to cheer his memory and his hope."

Mr. Clay's countenance immediately after death looked like an antique cast. His features seemed to be perfectly classical; and the repose of all the muscles gave the lifeless body a quiet majesty, seldom reached by living human being. His last request was that his body might be buried, not in Washington, but in his own family vault in his beloved Kentucky, by the side of his relations and friends. May he rest in peace in his honored grave!

A DUEL IN 1830.

I had just arrived at Marseilles with the diligence, in which three young men, apparently merchants or commercial travelers, were the companions of my journey. They came from Paris, and were enthusiastic about the events which had lately happened there, and in which they boasted of having taken part. I was, for my part, quiet and reserved; for I thought it much better, at a time of such political excitement in the south of France, where party passions always rise so high, to do nothing that would attract attention; and my three fellow-travelers no doubt looked on me as a plain, common-place seaman, who had been to the luxurious metropolis for his pleasure or on business. My presence, it seemed, did not incommode them, for they talked on as if I had not been there. Two of them were gay, merry, but rather coarse boon-companions; the third, an elegant youth, blooming and tall, with luxuriant black curling hair, and dark soft eyes. In the hotel where we dined, and where I sat a little distance off, smoking my cigar, the conversation turned on various love-adventures, and the young man, whom they called Alfred, showed his comrades a packet of delicately perfumed letters, and a superb lock of beautiful fair hair.

He told them that in the days of July he had been slightly wounded, and that his only fear, while he lay on the ground, was, that if he died, some mischance might prevent Clotilde from weeping over his grave. "But now all is well," he continued. "I am going to fetch a nice little sum from my uncle at Marseilles, who is just at this moment in good-humor, on account of the discomfiture of the Jesuits and the Bourbons. In my character of one of the heroes of July, he will forgive me all my present and past follies: I shall pass an examination at Paris, and then settle down in quiet, and live happily with my Clotilde." Thus they talked together; and by-and-by we parted in the court-yard of the coach-office.

Close by was a brilliantly-illumined coffee-house. I entered, and seated myself at a little table, in a distant corner of the room. Two persons only were still in the saloon, in an opposite corner, and before them stood two glasses of brandy. One was an elderly, stately, and portly gentleman, with dark-red face, and dressed in a quiet colored suit; it was easy to perceive that he was a clergyman. But the appearance of the other was very striking. He could not be far from sixty years of age, was tall and thin, and his gray, indeed almost white hair, which, however, rose from his head in luxurious fullness, gave to his pale countenance a peculiar expression that made one feel uncomfortable. The brawny neck was almost bare; a simple, carelessly-knotted black kerchief alone encircled it; thick, silver-gray whiskers met together at his chin; a blue frock-coat, pantaloons of the same color, silk stockings, shoes with thick soles, and a dazzlingly-white waistcoat and linen, completed his equipment. A thick stick leant in one corner, and his broad-brimmed hat hung against the wall. There was a certain convulsive twitching of the thin lips of this person, which was very remarkable; and there seemed, when he looked fixedly, to be a smouldering fire in his large, glassy, grayish-blue eyes. He was, it was evident, a seaman like myself—a strong oak that fate had shaped into a mast, over which many a storm had blustered, but which had been too tough to be shivered, and still defied the tempest and the lightning. There lay a gloomy resignation as well as a wild fanaticism in those features. The large bony hand, with its immense fingers, was spread out or clenched, according to the turn which the conversation with the clergyman took. Suddenly he stepped up to me. I was reading a royalist newspaper. He lighted his cigar.

"You are right, sir; you are quite right not to read those infamous Jacobin journals." I looked up, and gave no answer. He continued: "A sailor?"

"Yes, sir."

"And have seen service?"


"You are still in active service?"

"No." And then, to my great satisfaction, for my patience was well-nigh exhausted, the examination was brought to a conclusion.

Just then, an evil destiny led my three young fellow-travelers into the room. They soon seated themselves at a table, and drank some glasses of champagne to Clotilde's health. All went on well; but when they began to sing the Marseillaise and the Parisienne, the face of the gray man began to twitch, and it was evident a storm was brewing. Calling to the waiter, he said with a loud voice, "Tell those blackguards yonder not to annoy me with their low songs!"

The young men sprang up in a fury, and asked if it was to them he alluded.

"Whom else should I mean," said the gray man, with a contemptuous sneer.

"But we may drink and sing if we like, and to whom we like," said the young man. "Vive la République et vive Clotilde!"

"One as blackguardly as the other!" cried the gray-beard tauntingly; and a wine-glass, that flew at his head from the hand of the dark-haired youth, was the immediate rejoinder. Slowly wiping his forehead, which bled and dripped[Pg 400] with the spilled wine, the old man said quite quietly "To-morrow, at the Cap Verd!" and seated himself again with the most perfect composure.

The young man expressed his determination to take the matter on himself; that he alone would settle the quarrel, and promised to appear on the morrow at the appointed time. They then all departed noisily. The old man rose quietly, and turning to me, said: "Sir, you have been witness to the insult; be witness also to the satisfaction. Here is my address: I shall expect you at five o'clock. Good-night, Monsieur l'Abbé! To-morrow, there will be one Jacobin less, and one lost soul the more. Good-night!" and taking his hat and stick, he departed. His companion the abbé followed soon after.

I now learned the history of this singular man. He was descended from a good family of Marseilles. Destined for the navy while still young, he was sent on board ship before the Revolution, and while yet of tender years. Later, he was taken prisoner; and after many strange adventures, returned in 1793 to France: was about to marry, but having been mixed up with the disturbances at Toulon, managed to escape by a miracle to England; and learned before long that his father, mother, one brother, a sister of sixteen years of age, and his betrothed, had all been led to the guillotine to the tune of the Marseillaise. Thirst for revenge, revenge on the detested Jacobins, was now his sole aim. For a long time he roved about in the Indian seas, sometimes as a privateer, at others as a slave-dealer; and was said to have caused the tri-colored flag much damage, while he acquired a considerable fortune for himself. With the return of the Bourbons, he came back to France, and settled at Marseilles. He lived, however, very retired, and employed his large fortune solely for the poor, for distressed seamen, and for the clergy. Alms and masses were his only objects of expense. It may easily be believed, that he acquired no small degree of popularity among the lower classes and the clergy. But, strangely enough, when not at church, he spent his time with the most celebrated fencing-masters, and had acquired in the use of the pistol and the sword a dexterity that was hardly to be paralleled. In the year 1815, when the royalist reaction broke out in La Vendee, he roved about for a long time at the head of a band of followers. When at last this opportunity of cooling his rage was taken from him by the return of order, he looked out for some victim who was known to him by his revolutionary principles, and sought to provoke him to combat. The younger, the richer, the happier the chosen victim was, the more desirable did he seem. The landlord told me he himself knew of seven young persons who had fallen before his redoubted sword.

The next morning at five o'clock, I was at the house of this singular character. He lived on the ground-floor, in a small simple room, where, excepting a large crucifix, and a picture covered with black crape, with the date, 1794, under it, the only ornaments were some nautical instruments, a trombone, and a human skull. The picture was the portrait of his guillotined bride; it remained always vailed, excepting only when he had slaked his revenge with blood; then he uncovered it for eight days, and indulged himself in the sight. The skull was that of his mother. His bed consisted of the usual hammock slung from the ceiling. When I entered, he was at his devotions, and a little negro brought me meanwhile a cup of chocolate and a cigar. When he had risen from his knees, he saluted me in a friendly manner, as if we were merely going for a morning walk together; afterward he opened a closet, took out of it a case with a pair of English pistols, and a couple of excellent swords, which I put under my arm; and thus provided, we proceeded along the quay toward the port. The boatmen seemed all to know him: "Peter, your boat!" He seated himself in the stern.

"You will have the goodness to row," he said; "I will take the tiller, so that my hand may not become unsteady."

I took off my coat, rowed away briskly, and as the wind was favorable, we hoisted a sail, and soon reached Cap Verd. We could remark from afar our three young men, who were sitting at breakfast in a garden, not far from the shore. This was the garden of a restaurateur, and was the favorite resort of the inhabitants of Marseilles. Here you find excellent fish; and also, in high perfection, the famous bollenbresse, a national dish in Provence, as celebrated as the olla podrida of Spain. How many a love-meeting has occurred in this place! But this time it was not Love that brought the parties together, but Hate, his step-brother; and in Provence the one is as ardent, quick, and impatient as the other.

My business was soon accomplished. It consisted in asking the young men what weapons they chose, and with which of them the duel was to be fought. The dark-haired youth—his name was M—— L——,—insisted that he alone should settle the business, and his friends were obliged to give their word not to interfere.

"You are too stout," he said to the one, pointing to his portly figure; "and you"—to the other—"are going to be married; besides, I am a first-rate hand with the sword. However, I will not take advantage of my youth and strength, but will choose the pistol, unless the gentleman yonder prefers the sword."

A movement of convulsive joy animated the face of my old captain: "The sword is the weapon of the French gentleman," he said; "I shall be happy to die with it in my hand."

"Be it so. But your age?"

"Never mind; make haste, and en garde."

It was a strange sight: the handsome young man on one side, overbearing confidence in his look, with his youthful form, full of grace and suppleness; and opposite him that long figure,[Pg 401] half naked—for his blue shirt was furled up from his sinewy arm, and his broad, scarred breast was entirely bare. In the old man, every sinew was like iron wire: his whole weight resting on his left hip, the long arm—on which, in sailor fashion, a red cross, three lilies, and other marks, were tattooed—held out before him, and the cunning, murderous gaze riveted on his adversary.

"'Twill be but a mere scratch," said one of the three friends to me. I made no reply, but was convinced beforehand that my captain, who was an old practitioner, would treat the matter more seriously. Young L——, whose perfumed coat was lying near, appeared to me to be already given over to corruption. He began the attack, advancing quickly. This confirmed me in my opinion; for although he might be a practiced fencer in the schools, this was proof that he could not frequently have been engaged in serious combat, or he would not have rushed forward so incautiously against an adversary whom he did not as yet know. His opponent profited by his ardor, and retired step by step, and at first only with an occasional ward and half thrust. Young L——, getting hotter and hotter, grew flurried; while every ward of his adversary proclaimed, by its force and exactness, the master of the art of fence. At length the young man made a lunge; the captain parried it with a powerful movement, and, before L—— could recover his position, made a thrust in return, his whole body falling forward as he did so, exactly like a picture at the Académie des Armes—"the hand elevated, the leg stretched out"—and his sword went through his antagonist, for nearly half its length, just under the shoulder. The captain made an almost imperceptible turn with his hand, and in an instant was again en garde. L—— felt himself wounded; he let his sword fall, while with his other hand he pressed his side; his eyes grew dim, and he sank into the arms of his friends. The captain wiped his sword carefully, gave it to me, and dressed himself with the most perfect composure. "I have the honor to wish you good-morning, gentlemen: had you not sung yesterday, you would not have had to weep to-day;" and thus saying, he went toward his boat. "'Tis the seventeenth!" he murmured; "but this was easy work—a mere greenhorn from the fencing-schools of Paris. 'Twas a very different thing when I had to do with the old Bonapartist officers, those brigands of the Loire." But it is quite impossible to translate into another language the fierce energy of this speech. Arrived at the port, he threw the boatman a few pieces of silver, saying: "Here, Peter; here's something for you."

"Another requiem and a mass for a departed soul, at the church of St. Géneviève—is it not so, captain? But that is a matter of course." And soon after we reached the dwelling of the captain.

The little negro brought us a cold pasty, oysters, and two bottles of vin d'Artois. "Such a walk betimes gives an appetite," said the captain, gayly. "How strangely things fall out!" he continued, in a serious tone. "I have long wished to draw the crape-vail from before that picture, for you must know I only deem myself worthy to do so when I have sent some Jacobin or Bonapartist into the other world, to crave pardon from that murdered angel; and so I went yesterday to the coffee-house with my old friend the abbé, whom I knew ever since he was field-preacher to the Chouans, in the hope of finding a victim for the sacrifice among the readers of the liberal journals. The confounded waiters, however, betray my intention; and when I am there, nobody will ask for a radical paper. When you appeared, my worthy friend, I at first thought I had found the right man, and I was impatient—for I had been waiting for more than three hours for a reader of the 'National' or of 'Figaro.' How glad I am that I at once discovered you to be no friend of such infamous papers! How grieved should I be, if I had had to do with you instead of with that young fellow!" For my part, I was in no mood even for self-felicitations. At that time, I was a reckless young fellow, going through the conventionalisms of society without a thought; but the event of the morning had made even me reflect.

"Do you think he will die, captain?" I asked. "Is the wound mortal?"

"For certain!" he replied, with a slight smile. "I have a knack—of course for Jacobins and Bonapartists only—when I thrust en quarte, to draw out the sword by an imperceptible movement of the hand, en tierce, or vice versâ, according to circumstances; and thus the blade turns in the wound—and that kills; for the lung is injured, and mortification is sure to follow."

On returning to my hotel, where L—— also was staying, I met the physician, who had just visited him. He gave up all hope. The captain spoke truly, for the slight movement of the hand and the turn of the blade had accomplished their aim, and the lung was injured beyond the power of cure. The next morning early, L—— died. I went to the captain, who was returning home with the abbé. "The abbé has just been to read a mass for him," he said; "it is a benefit which, on such occasions, I am willing he should enjoy—more, however, from friendship for him, than out of pity for the accursed soul of a Jacobin, which in my eyes is worth less than a dog's! But walk in, sir."

The picture, a wonderfully lovely maidenly face, with rich curls falling around it, and in the costume of the last ten years of the preceding century, was now unvailed. A good breakfast, like that of yesterday, stood on the table. With a moistened eye, and, turning to the portrait, he said: "Thérèse, to thy memory!" and emptied his glass at a draught. Surprised and moved, I quitted the strange man. On the stairs of the hotel I met the coffin, which was just being carried up for L——; and I thought to myself: "Poor Clotilde! you will not be able to weep over his grave."

[Pg 402]

Monthly Record of Current Events.


Our last Monthly Record reported the proceedings of the Democratic National Convention held at Baltimore on the 1st of June. On the 16th of the same month, the Whig National Convention met at the same place, and was permanently organized by the election of Hon. John G. Chapman, of Maryland, President, with thirty-one Vice-Presidents and thirteen Secretaries. Two days were occupied in preliminary business, part of which was the investigation of the right to several contested seats from the States of Vermont and New York. On the third day, a committee, consisting of one from each State, selected by the delegation thereof, was appointed to report a series of resolutions for the action of the Convention. The resolutions were reported at the ensuing session, on the same day, by Hon. George Ashmun, of Massachusetts. They set forth that the Government of the United States is one of limited powers, all powers not expressly granted, or necessarily implied by the Constitution, being reserved to the States or the people;—that while struggling freedom every where has the warmest sympathy of the Whig party, our true mission as a Republic is not to propagate our opinions, or to impose on other countries our form of government by artifice or force, but to teach by our example, and to show by our success, moderation, and justice, the blessings of self-government and the advantage of free institutions;—that revenue ought to be raised by duties on imports laid with a just discrimination, whereby suitable encouragement may be afforded to American Industry;—that Congress has power to open and repair harbors, and remove obstructions from navigable rivers, whenever such improvements are necessary for the common defense and for the protection and facility of commerce with foreign nations or among the States;—that the Compromise acts, including the fugitive slave law, are received and acquiesced in as a final settlement, in principle and substance, of the dangerous and exciting questions which they embrace; that the Whig party will maintain them, and insist upon their strict enforcement until time and experience shall demonstrate the necessity of further legislation, to guard against their evasion or abuse, not impairing their present efficiency; and that all further agitation of the questions thus settled is deprecated as dangerous to our peace; and all efforts to continue or renew that agitation, whenever, wherever, or however the attempt may be made, will be discountenanced.—These resolutions, after some discussion, were adopted by a vote of 227 yeas, and 66 nays. Ballotings for a Presidential candidate were then commenced, and continued until Monday, the fifth day of the session. There were 396 electoral votes represented in Convention, which made 149 (a majority) essential to a choice. Upon the first ballot, President Fillmore received 133, General Scott 131, and Daniel Webster 29 votes; and for fifty ballotings this was nearly the relative number of votes received by each. On the fifty-third ballot, General Scott receiving 159 votes, Mr. Fillmore 112, and Mr. Webster 21, the former was declared to have been duly nominated, and that nomination was made unanimous. Hon. William A. Graham, of North Carolina, was then nominated on the second ballot for Vice-President; and resolutions were adopted complimentary to Mr. Fillmore and Mr. Webster; after which the Convention adjourned.

In reply to a communication from the President of the Convention, apprising him of his nomination, General Scott has written a letter, dated June 24th, declaring that he "accepts it with the resolutions annexed." He adds, that if elected, he shall recommend or approve of "such measures as shall secure an early settlement of the public domain favorable to actual settlers, but consistent, nevertheless, with a due regard to the equal rights of the whole American people in that vast national inheritance;"—and also of an amendment to our Naturalization laws, "giving to all foreigners the right of citizenship who shall faithfully serve, in time of war, one year on board of our public ships, or in our land-forces, regular or volunteer, on their receiving an honorable discharge from the service." He adds, that he should not tolerate any sedition, disorder, faction, or resistance to the law or the Union on any pretext, in any part of the land; and that his leading aim would be "to advance the greatness and happiness of this Republic, and thus to cherish and encourage the cause of constitutional liberty throughout the world." Mr. Graham also accepted his nomination, with a cordial approval of the declarations made in the resolutions adopted by the Convention.——Since the adjournment of the Convention, a letter from President Fillmore, addressed to that body, has been published. It was intrusted to the care of Mr. Babcock, the delegate in Convention from the Erie, N. Y., district, in which Mr. Fillmore resides; and he was authorized to present it, and withdraw Mr. Fillmore's name as a candidate whenever he should think it proper to do so. In this letter, Mr. Fillmore refers to the circumstances of embarrassment under which he entered upon the duties of the Presidency, and says that he at once determined within himself to decline a re-election, and to make that decision public. From doing so, however, he was at that time, as well as subsequently, dissuaded by the earnest remonstrances of friends. He expresses the hope that the Convention may be able to unite in nominating some one who, if elected, may be more successful in retaining the confidence of the party than he has been;—he had endeavored faithfully to discharge his duty to the country, and in the consciousness of having acted from upright motives and according to his best judgment, for the public good, he was quite willing to have sacrificed himself for the sake of his country.

The death of Henry Clay has been the most marked event of the month. He expired at Washington, on Tuesday, June 29, after a protracted illness, and at the advanced age of 75 years. His decease was announced in eloquent and appropriate terms in both branches of Congress, and general demonstrations of regard for his memory and regret at his loss took place throughout the country. His history is already so familiar to the American public, that we add nothing here to the notice given of him in another part of this Magazine. His remains were taken to Lexington, Ky., for interment.

The proceedings of Congress since our last Record have not been of special importance. In the Senate on the 28th of June a communication was received from the President communicating part of the correspondence had with the Austrian government concerning[Pg 403] the imprisonment of Mr. C. L. Brace. The principal document was a letter from Prince Schwarzenberg, stating that Mr. Brace was found to have been the bearer of important papers from Hungarian fugitives in America to persons in Hungary very much suspected, and also to have had in his possession inflammatory and treasonable pamphlets; and that his imprisonment was therefore fully justified. A letter from Mr. Webster to the American Chargé at Vienna, in regard to Chevalier Hulsemann's complaints of the U. S. government, has been also submitted to the Senate. Mr. W. says that notwithstanding his long residence in this country Mr. Hulsemann seems to have yet to learn that no foreign government, or its representative, can take just offense at any thing which an officer of this government may say in his private capacity; and that a Chargé d'Affairs can only hold intercourse with this government through the Department of State. Mr. W. declines to take any notice of the specific subjects of complaint presented by Mr. H.——In the House of Representatives the only important action taken has been the passage of a bill providing for the donation to the several States, for purposes of education and internal improvement, of large tracts of the public domain. Each of the old States receives one hundred and fifty thousand acres for each Senator and Representative in the present Congress: to the new States the portions awarded are still larger. The bill was passed in the House on the 26th of June by a vote of ayes 96, nays 86. The bill was presented by Mr. Bennett of New York, and is regarded as important, inasmuch as it secures to the old States a much larger participation in the public lands than they have hitherto seemed likely to obtain.

A National Agricultural Convention was held at Washington on the 24th of June, of which Marshall Wilder of Massachusetts was elected President. It was decided to form a National Agricultural Society, to hold yearly meetings at Washington.——The Supreme Court in New York on the 11th of June pronounced a judgment, by a majority, declaring the American Art-Union to be a lottery within the prohibition of the Constitution of the State, and that it was therefore illegal. An appeal has been taken by the Managers to the Court of Appeals, where it has been argued, but no decision has yet been given.——Madame Alboni, the celebrated contralto singer, arrived in New York early in June and has given two successful concerts.——Governor Kossuth delivered an address in New York on the 21st of June upon the future of nations, insisting that it was the duty of the United States to establish, what the world has not yet seen, a national policy resting upon Christian principles as its basis. He urged the cause of his country upon public attention, and declared his mission to the United States to be closed. On the 23d he delivered a farewell address to the German citizens of New York, in which he spoke at length of the relations of Germany to the cause of European freedom and of the duty of the German citizens of the United States to exert an influence upon the American government favorable to the protection of liberty throughout the world. It is stated that his aggregate receipts of money in this country have been somewhat less than one hundred thousand dollars.

In Texas, a company of dragoons, under Lieutenant Haven, has had a skirmish with the Camanche Indians, from whom four captive children and thirty-eight stolen horses were recovered. About the 1st of June a family, consisting of a father, mother, and six children, while encamped at La Mina, were attacked by a party of Camanches, and all killed except the father and one daughter, who were severely wounded, and two young children who were rescued. A few days previous a party of five Californians were all killed by Mexicans near San Fernando. On the evening of the 10th of May seven Americans were attacked by a gang of about forty Mexicans and Indians, at a lake called Campacuas, and five of them were killed. A good deal of excitement prevailed in consequence of these repeated outrages, and of the failure of the General Government to provide properly for the protection of the parties.——Early in June, as the U. S. steamer Camanche was ascending the Rio Bravo, five persons landed from her and killed a cow, when the owner came forward and demanded payment. This was refused with insults, and the marauders returned on board. The steamer continued her voyage, and the pilot soon saw a party of men approaching the bank, and fired upon them. They soon after returned the fire, wounding two of the passengers, one being the deputy-collector of the Custom-house of Rio Grande, and the other his son.

From California we have intelligence to the 1st of June. There is no political news of interest. A party of seventy-four Frenchmen left California last fall for Sonora in Mexico, accompanied by one American, named Moore. Mr. M. had returned to San Francisco with intelligence that the party had been favorably received by the Mexican authorities, who had bestowed upon them a grant of three leagues of land near Carcospa, at the head of the Santa Cruz valley, on condition that they should cultivate it for ten years without selling it, and should not permit any Americans to settle among them. They had also received from the Mexican government horses, farming utensils, provisions, and other necessaries, with permission to have five hundred of their countrymen join them. They were intending soon to begin working the rich mines in that neighborhood. Mr. Moore had been compelled by threats and force to leave them. On his way back he met at Guyamas a party of twelve who had been driven back, while going to California, by Indians. While on their way to Sonora, they had fallen in with a settlement of seventy-five Frenchmen, who treated them with great harshness, and would have killed them but for the protection of the Mexican authorities. This hostility between the French and American settlers in California is ascribed to difficulties which occurred in the mines between them. The Mexicans, whose hatred of the Americans in that part of the country seems to be steadily increasing, have taken advantage of these dissensions, and encourage the French in their hostility to the Americans.——Previous to its adjournment, which took place on the 5th of May, the Legislature passed an act to take the census of the State before the 1st of November.——The feeling of hostility to the Chinese settlers in California seems to be increasing. Public meetings had been held in various quarters, urging their removal, and Committees of Correspondence had been formed to concert measures for effecting this object. It appears from official reports that the whole number of Chinamen who had arrived at San Francisco, from February, 1848, to May, 1852, was 11,953, and that of these only 167 had returned or died. Of the whole number arrived only seven were women.—Nine missionaries of the Methodist Episcopal Church had recently arrived, intending to labor in California and Oregon.—The intelligence from the mines continued to be highly encouraging. The weather was favorable; the deposits continued to yield abundantly, and labor was generally well rewarded.

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From the Sandwich Islands our intelligence is to the 18th of May. The session of the Hawaiian Parliament was opened on the 13th of April. The opening speech of the King sets forth that the foreign relations of the island are of a friendly character, except so far as regards France, from the government of which no response has been received as yet to propositions on the part of Hawaii. He states that the peace of his dominions has been threatened by an invasion of private adventurers from California; but that an appeal to the United States Commissioner, promptly acted upon by Captain Gardner, of the U. S. ship Vandalia, tranquilized the public mind. He had taken steps to organize a military force for the future defense of the island. In the Upper House the draft of a new Constitution had been reported, and was under discussion. In the other House steps had been taken to contradict the report that the islands desired annexation to the United States.

From New Mexico we learn that Colonel Sumner had removed his head-quarters to Santa Fé, in order to give more effective military support to the government. Governor Calhoun had left the country for a visit to Washington, and died on the way: the government was thus virtually in the hands of Colonel Sumner. The Indians and Mexicans continued to be troublesome.

From Utah our advices are to May 1st. Brigham Young had been again elected President. The receipts at the tithing office from November, 1848, to March, 1852, were $244,747, mostly in property; in loans, &c., $145,513; the expenditures were $353,765—leaving a balance of $36,495. Missionaries were appointed at the General Conference to Italy, Calcutta, and England. Edward Hunter was ordained presiding bishop of the whole church: sixty-seven priests were ordained. The Report speaks of the church and settlements as being in a highly flourishing condition.


We have intelligence from Mexico to the 5th of June. Political affairs seem to be in a confused and unpromising condition. Previous to the adjournment of the present Congress the Cabinet addressed a note to the Chamber of Deputies, asking them to take some decided step whereby to rescue the government from the difficult position in which it will be placed, without power or resources, and to save the nation from the necessary consequences of such a crisis. It was suggested that the government might be authorized to take, in connection with committees to be appointed by the Chamber, the resolutions necessary—such resolutions to be executed under the responsibility of the Ministry. This note was referred to a committee, which almost immediately reported that there was no reason why this demand for extraordinary powers should be granted. This report was adopted by a vote of 74 to 13. Congress adjourned on the 21st of May. The President's Address referred to the critical circumstances in which the country was placed when the Congress first met, which made it to be feared that its mission would be only the saddest duty reserved to man on earth, that of assisting at the burial of his country. The flame of war still blazed upon their frontier: negotiations designed to facilitate means of communication which would make Mexico the centre of the commercial world, had terminated in a manner to render possible a renewal of that war; and the commercial crisis had reached a development which threatened the domestic peace and the foreign alliances of the country. There was a daily increase in the deficit; distrust prevailed between the different departments; the country was fatigued by its convulsions and disorders, and weakened by its dissensions; and it seemed impossible to prolong the existence of the government. How the country had been rescued from such perils it was not easy to say, unless it were by the special aid and protection of Providence. Guided by its convictions and sustained by its hope, the government had employed all the means at its disposal, and would still endeavor to draw all possible benefit from its resources, stopping only when those resources should arrest its action. Fearing that this event might speedily happen, a simplification of the powers of the Legislature, during its vacation, had been proposed, instead of leaving all to the exercise of a discretionary power by the Executive. To this, however, the Legislature had not assented: and, consequently, the government considering its responsibility protected for the future, would spare no means or sacrifices to fulfill its difficult and delicate mission. To this address the Vice President of the Chamber replied, sketching the labors of the session, and saying that the legislative donation of the extraordinary powers demanded, could not have been granted without a violation of the Constitution—a fact with which the Executive should be deeply impressed. The means made use of up to the present time would be sufficient, if applied with care. The Legislature hoped, as much as it desired, that such would be the case. Great anxiety was felt as to the nature of the measures which the government would adopt: the general expectation seemed to be that the President Arista would take the whole government into his own hands, and the suggestion was received with a good deal of favor. It was rumored that the aid of the United States had been sought for such an attempt—to be given in the shape of six millions of dollars, in return for abrogating that clause of the treaty which requires them to protect the Mexican frontier from the Indians. This, however, is mere conjecture as yet.——Serious difficulties have arisen between the Mexican authorities and the American Consul, Mr. F. W. Rice, at Acapulco. Mr. Rice sold the propeller Stockton, for wages due to her hands: she was bid off by Mr. Snyder, the chief engineer, at $3000 cash down, and $8500 within twenty-four hours after the sale. He asked and obtained two delays in making the first payment; and finally said he could not pay it until the next day. Upon this Mr. Rice again advertised the vessel for sale, on his account: she was sold to Capt. Triton, of Panama, for $4250. Mr. Snyder then applied to the Mexican court, and the judge went on board, broke the Consular seals, took possession of the vessel, and advertised her again for sale. Mr. Rice proclaimed the sale illegal, and protested against it, and, further, prevented Mr. Snyder forcibly from tearing down his posted protest. At the day of sale no bidders appeared. The Mexican authorities then arrested Mr. Rice, and committed him to prison, where he remained at the latest dates. Proper representations have of course been made to the U. S. government, and the matter will doubtless receive proper attention.——An encounter had taken place in Sonora, between a party of 300 Indians and a detachment of regular Mexican troops and National Guards. The latter were forced to retreat.——Gen. Mejia; who acquired some distinction during the late war, died recently in the city of Mexico, and Gen. Michelena, at Morelia.——The refusal of Congress to admit foreign flour, free of duty, had created a good deal of feeling in those districts where the want of it is most severely felt. In Vera Cruz, a large public meeting was held, at which[Pg 405] it was determined to request the local authorities to send for a supply of flour, without regard to the law.——The State of Durango is in a melancholy condition: hunger, pestilence, and continued incursions of the Indians, have rendered it nearly desolate.——Four of the revolutionists under Caravajal, captured by the Mexicans, were executed by Gen. Avalos, at Matamoras, in June: two of them were Americans.


There is no intelligence of special interest from any of the South American States. From Buenos Ayres, our dates are to the 15th of May, when every thing was quiet, and political affairs were in a promising condition. The new Legislature met on the 1st, and resolutions had been introduced tendering public thanks to General Urquiza for having delivered the country from tyranny. He had been invested with complete control of the foreign relations, and the affairs of peace and war. Don Lopez was elected Governor of the province of Buenos Ayres on the 13th, receiving 33 of the 38 votes in the Legislative Chamber. The choice gives universal satisfaction to the friends of the new order of things. The Governors of all the provinces were to meet at Santa Fé on the 29th, to determine upon the form of a Central Government. General Urquiza was to meet them in Convention there, and it is stated that he was to be accompanied by Mr. Pendleton, the United States Chargé, whose aid had been asked, especially in explaining in Convention the nature and working of American institutions.——At Rio Janeiro a dissolution of the Cabinet was anticipated. Great dissatisfaction was felt at certain treaties recently concluded with Montevideo, and at the correspondence of Mr. Hudson, the late English Minister, upon the Slave Trade, which had been lately published in London.——From Ecuador there is nothing new. Flores still remained at Puna, below Guayaquil, with his forces.——In Chili there was a slight attempt at insurrection in the garrison at Trospunta, but it was soon put down. Six persons implicated in previous revolts were executed at Copiapo on the 22d of May.


Public attention in England has been to a very considerable extent engrossed by the approaching elections. The Ministry maintain rigid silence as to the policy they intend to pursue though it is of course impossible to avoid incidental indications of their sentiments and purposes. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Disraeli, has issued an address to his constituents, which shows even more distinctly than his financial exposé, of which we gave a summary last month, that the cause of Protection is, in his judgment, well-nigh obsolete. In that address he states that the time has gone by when the injuries which the great producing interests have sustained from the Free Trade policy of 1846, can be alleviated or removed by a recurrence to laws which existed before that time:—"The spirit of the age," he says, "tends to free intercourse, and no statesman can disregard with impunity the genius of the epoch in which he lives." It is, however, the intention of the Ministry to recommend such measures as shall tend to relieve the producer from the unequal competition he is now compelled to wage, and the possibility of doing this by a revision and reduction of taxation, seems to loom in the future. Still, the Chancellor urges, nothing useful can be done in this direction, unless the Ministry is sustained by a powerful majority in Parliament; and he accordingly presses the importance of electing members of the Ministerial party.——A declaration of at least equal importance was drawn from the Premier, the Earl of Derby, in the House of Lords, on the 24th of May, by Earl Granville, who incidentally quoted a remark ascribed to Lord Derby that a recurrence to the duty on corn would be found necessary for purposes of revenue and protection. Lord Derby rose to correct him. He had not represented it as necessary, but only as desirable,—and whether it should be done or not, depended entirely on the elections. But he added, that in his opinion, from what he had since heard and learned, there certainly would not be in favor of the imposition of a duty on foreign corn, that extensive majority in the country without which it would not be desirable to impose it.——Lord John Russell has issued an address to his constituents, for a re-election, rehearsing the policy of the government while it was under his direction, sketching the proceedings of the new Ministry, and declaring his purpose to contend that no duty should be imposed on the import of corn, either for revenue or protection; and that the commercial policy of the last ten years is not an evil to be mitigated, but a good to be extended—not an unwise or disastrous policy which ought to be reversed, altered, or modified, but a just and beneficial system which should be supported, strengthened, and upheld.——The course of the Earl of Malmesbury, the Foreign Secretary, in regard to the case of Mr. Mather, an English subject, who had been treated with gross indignities and serious personal injuries by officers of the Tuscan government, has excited a good deal of attention. He had first demanded compensation from the government as a matter of right, and, after consulting Mr. Mather's father, had named £5000 as the sum to be paid. It seems, however, from the official documents since published, that he accompanied this demand with an opinion that it was exorbitant, and named £500 as a minimum. The negotiation ended by Mr. Scarlett, the British agent at Florence, accepting £222 as a compensation and that as a donation from the Tuscan government—waiving the principle of its responsibility. The matter had been brought up in Parliament, and the Earl had felt constrained to disavow wholly Mr. Scarlett's action.——The current debates in Parliament have been devoid of special interest. On the 8th of June, in reply to a strong speech from Sir James Graham, Mr. Disraeli vindicated himself from the charge of having brought the public business into an unsatisfactory and disgraceful condition, and made a general statement of the bills which the government thought it necessary to press upon the attention of Parliament. On the 7th the Militia Bill was read a third time and passed, by 220 votes to 184.——A bill was pressed upon the House of Lords by the Earl of Malmesbury, proposing a Convention with France for the mutual surrender of criminals, which was found upon examination to give to the French government very extraordinary powers over any of its subjects in England. The list of crimes embraced was very greatly extended—and alleged offenders were to be surrendered upon the mere proof of their identity. All the leading Peers spoke very strongly of the objectionable features of the measure, and it was sent to the committee for the purpose of receiving the material alterations required.——Fergus O'Connor has been consigned to a lunatic asylum—his insane eccentricities having reached a point at which it was no longer considered safe to leave him at liberty.——Professor McDougall has been elected to fill the chair of Moral Philosophy in the University of Edinburgh, vacated by the resignation of Professor Wilson.——The Irish Exhibition[Pg 406] of Industry was opened at Cork, with public ceremonies, in which the Lord Lieutenant participated, on the 10th of June.——The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and that of the Free Church both commenced their sittings on the 20th of May.——The electric telegraph has been carried across the Irish Channel, from Holyhead to the Hill of Howth, a distance of sixty-five miles;—the mode of accomplishing this result was by sinking a cable, as had previously been done across the Straits of Dover.——The Queen has issued a proclamation forbidding all Roman Catholic ceremonies, and all appearance in Catholic vestments, except in Catholic churches or in private houses.


The month has not been marked by any event of special importance in France. The government has continued in its usual course, though indications are apparent of impending difficulties in the near future. The number of prominent men who refuse to take the oath of allegiance is daily increasing, and many who have hitherto filled places in the councils of the Departments and of the Municipalities, have resigned them to avoid the oath. General Bedeau has sent a tart letter to the Minister of War, conveying his refusal; and a public subscription has been set on foot, with success, in Paris, for the relief of General Changarnier, who has been reduced to poverty by his firm refusal to yield to the usurpation.——The President continues relentlessly his restriction of the press, and has involved himself in considerable embarrassment by the extent to which he carries it. The organs of the Legitimist party in all the great towns have received the warnings which empower the President, as the next step, to suppress them entirely. The Paris Débats has lately received a warning for its silence upon political subjects. But a very singular quarrel has arisen between the President and the Constitutionnel, which has been from the beginning the least scrupulous of all his defenders. That paper contained an article intended to influence the Belgian elections then pending, and distinctly menacing that country with a retaliatory tariff, if its hostility to Louis Napoleon were not abandoned, or at least modified. The effect of the publication of this article was such, that the Belgian Minister demanded an explanation, and was assured that the article did not meet the approbation of the Government. This quasi disavowal was published by the Belgian press, and in reply M. Granier de Cassagnac, the writer of the article, declared that he had not spoken in his own name, but at the direct instance and with the full approval of the President. The Paris Moniteur then contained an official announcement, disavowing M. de Cassagnac's articles, and stating that "no organ can engage the responsibility of the Government but the Moniteur." The Constitutionnel replied by a declaration signed by its owner, Dr. Veron, that he still believed the original article to have been sanctioned by the President. This brought down upon it an official warning. Dr. Veron rejoined by expressing his regret, but adding that the Cabinet had ordered several hundred copies of the paper containing the articles disavowed; and this he considered prima facie evidence that they met with the approbation of the Government. This brought upon the paper a second warning: the next step, of course, is suppression.——The Paris Correspondents of three of the London papers have been summoned to the department of Police, and assured by the Director that they are hereafter to be held personally responsible, not only for the contents of their own letters, but for whatever the journals with which they are connected may say, in leading articles or otherwise, concerning French affairs. A strong effort was made by them to change this determination, but without effect.——Girardin, in the Presse, states that General Changarnier, in 1848, proposed to the Provisional Government the military invasion of England. The General himself has authorized the Times to give the statement an explicit contradiction.——M. Heckeren, who was sent by the French Government to Vienna and Berlin, to ascertain more definitely the disposition of the Northern Powers toward Louis Napoleon, had returned from his mission, but its results had not been authoritatively made known. The London Times has, however, given what purports to be a synopsis of the documents relating to it. From this it appears that the allied sovereigns will connive at Louis Napoleon's usurpation of sovereignty in France for life; but so long as one Bourbon exists they can recognize no other person as hereditary sovereign of that country; and they hold themselves bound and justified by the treaties of 1815 to oppose the establishment of a Bonapartist dynasty. The three Great Northern Powers, it would seem, are combining to resuscitate the principles of the Holy Alliance, and to impose them upon the European system of States as the international law, notwithstanding the events of the last two-and-twenty years have rendered them practically obsolete.

From the other European countries there is little intelligence worthy of record.——In Belgium the elections have resulted in the increase of the liberal members of the Chamber. An editor, prosecuted for having libeled Louis Napoleon, has been acquitted by a jury.——In Austria a new law has been enacted imposing rigorous restrictions upon the press.

Editor's Table.

The Moral Influences of the Stage is a subject which, although earnestly discussed for centuries, still maintains all its theoretical and practical importance. The weight of argument, we think, has ever been with the assailants, and yet candor requires the concession, that there have been, at times, thinking men, serious men, may we not also say, Christian men, to be found among the defenders of theatrical representations? On a fair statement of the case, however, it will plainly appear, that these have ever been the defenders of an imaginary, or hypothetical, instead of a really existing stage.

Never—we think we may safely say it—never has any true friend of religion and morality been found upholding the theatre as it actually is, or was, at any particular period. Indeed, this may also be said of its most partial advocates. Their warmest defense is ever coupled with the admission, that, as at present managed, it needs some thorough and decided reform to make it, in all respects, what it ought to be. We do not think that we ever read any thing in advocacy of the stage without some proviso of this kind. It never is—it never was—what it ought to be, and might be. But then the idea is ever held[Pg 407] forth of some future reform. We are told, for example, what the theatre might become, if, instead of being condemned by the more moral and religious part of the community, it received the support of their presence, and could have the benefit of their regulation.

So plausible have these arguments appeared, that the experiment has again and again been tried. Reforms have been attempted in the characters of the plays, of the actors, and of the audiences. Good men and good women have written expressly for the stage. Johnson and Hannah Moore, and Young—to say nothing of Buchanan and Addison—have contributed their services in these efforts at expurgation, but all alike in vain. Some of these have afterward confessed the hopelessness of the undertaking, and lamented that by taking part in it they had given a seeming encouragement to what they really meant to condemn. The expected reform has never appeared. If, through great exertion, some improvement may have manifested itself for a time, yet, sooner or later, the relapse comes on. Nature—our human nature—will have its way. The evil elements predominate; and the stage sinks again, until its visible degradation once more arouses attention, and calls for some other spasmodic effort, only to meet the same failure, and to furnish another proof of some radical inherent vitiosity.

Good plays may, indeed, be acted; but they will not long continue to call forth what are styled good audiences—the term having reference to numbers and pecuniary avails, rather than to moral worth. In fact, the theatre presents its most mischievous aspect when it claims to be a school of morals. Its advocates may talk as they will about "holding the mirror up to Nature, showing Virtue its own feature, Vice its own image;" but it can only remind us that there is a cant of the play-house as well as of the conventicle, and that Shaftsbury and his sentimental followers can "whine" as well as Whitfield and Beecher. The common sense of mankind pronounces it at once the worst of all hypocrisies—the hypocrisy of false sentiment ashamed of its real name and real character. As a proof of this, we may say that the stage has never been known in any language by any epithet denoting instruction, either moral or otherwise. It is the play-house, or house of amusement—the theatrum, the place for shows, for spectacles, for pleasurable emotions through the senses and the excitements of the sensitive nature. There may have been periods when moral or religious instruction of some kind could, perhaps, have been claimed as one end of dramatic representations, but that was before there was a higher stage, a higher pulpitum divinely instituted for the moral tuition of mankind. Since that time, the very profanity of the claim to be a "school of morals" has only set in a stronger light the fact that, instead of elevating an immoral community, the stage is itself ever drawn down by it into a lower, and still lower degradation.

We will venture the position, that no open vice is so pernicious to the soul as what may be called a false virtue; and this furnishes the kind of morality to which the stage is driven when it would make the fairest show of its moral pretensions. The virtues of the stage are not Christian virtues. If they are not Christian, they are anti-Christian; for on this ground there can be no via media, no neutrality. Who would ever think of making the moral excellences commended in the Sermon on the Mount, or in Paul's Epistles, the subjects of theatrical instruction? How would humility, forgiveness, poverty of spirit, meekness, temperance, long-suffering, charity, appear in a stage hero? In what way may they be made to minister to the exciting, the sentimental, the melodramatic? These virtues have, indeed, an elevation to which no stage-heroism or theatrical affectation ever attained; but such a rising ever implies a previous descent into the vale of personal humility, a previous lowliness of spirit altogether out of keeping with any dramatic or merely æsthetic representation. The Christian moralities can come upon the stage only in the shape of caricatures, or as the hypocritical disguise through which some Joseph Surface is placed in most disparaging contrast with the false virtues or splendid vices the theatre-going public most admires.

It is equally true that the most tender emotions find no fitting-place upon the stage. The deepest pathetic—the purest, the most soul-healing—in other words, the pathetic of common life, can not be acted without revolting us. Hence, to fit it for the stage, pity must be mingled with other ingredients of a more exciting or spicy kind. It must be associated with the extravagance of love, or stinging jealousy, or complaining madness, or some other less usual semi-malevolent passion, which, while it adds to the theatrical effect, actually deadens the more genial and deeper sympathies that are demanded for the undramatic or ordinary sufferings of humanity. We can not illustrate this thought better than by referring the reader to that most touching story which is given in the July number of our Magazine, and entitled, "The Mourner and the Comforter." How rich the effect of such a tale when simply read, without any external accompaniments!—how much richer, we might say, for the very want of them! How its "rain of tears" mellows and fertilizes the hard soil of the human heart! And yet how few and simple the incidents! How undramatic the outward fictitious dress, through which are represented emotions the most vitally real in human nature! Like a strain of the richest, yet simplest music, in which the accompaniment is just sufficient to call out the harmonious relations of the melody, without marring by its artistic or dramatic prominence the deep spiritual reality that dwells in the tones. We appeal to every one who has read that touching narrative—how utterly would it be spoiled by being acted! There might be some theatrical effect given to the agitated scene upon the balcony, but a vail would have to be drawn around the chamber of the mourner, and the more than heroic friend who sits by her in the long watches of the night. Such scenes, it may be said, are too common for the stage—ay, and too holy for it, too. They are too pure for the Kembles and Sinclairs ever to meddle with, and they know it, and their audiences feel it. We decide instinctively that all acting here would be more than out of place. The very thought of theatrical representation would seem like a profanation of the purest and holiest affections of our nature.

And so too of others, which, although not virtues have more of a prudential or worldly aspect. The stage may sometimes tolerate a temperance or an anti-gambling hero, but it is only to feed a temporary public excitement, and the moment that excitement manifests the first symptom of a relapse, this school of morals must immediately follow, instead of directing the new public sentiment. The wonder is, that any thinking man could ever expect it to be otherwise. Every one knows that the tastes of the audience make the law to the writer, the actor, and the manager. In this view of the matter, we need only the application of a very few plain principles and[Pg 408] facts, to show how utterly hopeless must be the idea of the moral improvement of any representation which can only be sustained on the tenure of pleasing the largest audiences, without any regard to the materials of which they are composed. The first of these is, that the mass of mankind are not virtuous, they are not intelligent—the second, that even the more virtuous portions are worse in the midst of an applauding and condemning crowd than they would be in other circumstances; and the third, that the evil aspects of our humanity furnish the most exciting themes, or those best adapted to theatrical representations.

But the world will become better—the world is becoming better, it may be said—and why should not the stage share in the improvement? If the world is becoming better, it is altogether through different and higher means. If it is becoming better, it is by the influence of truth and grace—through the Church—upon individual souls brought to a right view, first of all, of the individual depravity, and thus by individual accretion, contributing to the growth of a better public sentiment. The spirit of theatrical representations is directly the reverse of this. It operates upon men in crowds, not as assembled in the same space merely, but through those feelings and influences which belong to them solely or chiefly in masses. Deriving its aliment from the most outward public sentiment, its tendency is ever, instead of "holding the mirror up to Nature," in any self-revealing light, to hide men from themselves. By absorbing the soul in exciting representations, in which the most depraved can take a sort of abstract or sentimental interest, it causes men to mistake this feeling for true virtue and true philanthropy, when they may be in the lowest hell of selfishness. It may become, in this way, more demoralizing than a display of the most revolting vices, because it buries the individual character beneath a mass of sentiments and emotions in which a man or a woman may luxuriate without one feeling of penitence for their own transgressions, or one thought of dissatisfaction with their own wretchedly diseased moral state.

The theatre might with far more truth and honesty be defended on the ground of mere amusement. This is, doubtless, its most real object; but there is an instinctive feeling in the human soul that it would not do to trust its defense solely to such a plea. In the first place, it may be charged with inordinate excess. Who dare justify the spending night after night in such ceaseless pleasure-seeking? And if there were not vast numbers who did this, our theatres could never be supported. To say nothing here of religion, or a life to come, the mere consideration of this world, and the poor suffering humanity by which it is tenanted, would urgently forbid that much of this life, or even a small portion of it, should be devoted to mere amusement. Within a very few rods of every theatre in our city, almost every species of misery to which man is subject is daily and nightly experienced. How, in view of this, can any truly feeling soul (and we mean by this a very different species of feeling from that which is commonly generated in theatres) talk of amusing himself? In the year 1832, during the severest prevalence of the cholera, the theatres in New York were closed. We well remember the impatience manifested at the event by those who claimed to represent the theatre-going public, and with what exulting spirits they called upon their patrons to improve the jubilee of their opening. We well remember how freely the terms "bigot" and "sour religionist" were applied to all who thought a further suppression of heartless amusements was due, if only as a sorrowing tribute of respect to suffering humanity. It was all the sheerest Pharisaism, they said, thus to stand in the way of the innocent and rational amusements of mankind; as though, forsooth, amusement was the great end of human existence, and they who so impatiently claimed it actually needed some relaxation from the arduous and unremitted exertions they had been making for the relief of the sorrowing and toiling millions of their race.

But if not for amusement, it might be said, then for recreation, which is a very different thing. The former term is used when the end aimed at is pleasure merely, without any reference to the good, as a something higher and better than pleasurable sensations, sought simply because they are pleasurable, and without regard to the spiritual health. In its contemptible French etymology we see the very soul of the word, so far as such a word may be said to have any soul. It is muser, s'amuser, having truly nothing to do with music or the Muses, but signifying to loiter, to idle, to kill time. We may well doubt whether this ever can be innocent, even in the smallest degree. Certainly, to devote to it any considerable portion of our existence, especially in view of what has been and is now the condition of our race, must be not only the most heartless, but in its consequences the most damning of sins. It is in this sense that every true philanthropist, to say nothing of the Christian, must utter his loud amen to the denunciation of the heathen Seneca—Nihil est tam damnosum bonis moribus quam in spectaculis desidere, tunc enim per voluptatem facilius vitia surrepunt.—"Nothing is so destructive to good morals as mere amusement, or the indolent waste of time in public spectacles; it is through such pleasure that all vices most readily come creeping into the soul."

We would have our Editor's Table ever serious, ever earnest, and yet in true harmony with all that innocent and cheerful and even mirthful recreation, which is as necessary sometimes for the spiritual as for the bodily health. We would avoid every appearance of sermonizing, and yet we can not help quoting here an authority higher than Seneca—Vanis mundi pompis renuntio.—"The vain pomp of the world I renounce," is the language of the primitive form of Christian baptism, still literally in use in one of our largest Christian denominations, and expressed in substance by them all. Now it can be clearly shown that this word, pompæ, was not used, as it now often is, in a vague and general manner, but was employed with special reference to public theatrical shows and representations. To every baptized Christian, it seems to us, the argument must be conclusive. If theatrical shows (pompæ) are not "the world," in the New Testament sense, what possible earthly thing can be included under this once most significant name? If they are not embraced in "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life," then not only has language no fixed meaning, but even ideas themselves have wholly changed.

Recreation, as we have said, is something very different from amusement. It is the re-creating or renewing the overtasked mental or bodily powers, by some relaxing and restoring exercise. It is pleasurable, as all right things ever are; but here is the all-important distinction—pleasure is not its end. The accompanying enjoyment is only a laxative and recreative means to something higher and more ultimate, and more real in human existence; and it is only on this ground that it becomes either rational or innocent. Amusement never can be either.

But those who need recreation in this sense will never seek it in the theatre. The reason presents[Pg 409] itself at once. Experience concurs with the a priori view, derived from the very nature of the thing, in declaring that it can never be found there. The emotions called out in the play-house are exciting—they are exhausting—they are dissipating. In each of these aspects they are at war with the legitimate idea of the recreative. They stimulate but do not invigorate. All mere pleasure-seeking has in it an element of death. It has its ground in a morbid feeling of want which is ever rendered still more morbid by gratification. It is the same with that which lies at the foundation of the appetite for stimulating drinks, except that here it affects the whole spiritual system. In a word, the truly recreative exercises of the soul, in which pleasure is a means and not an end, are ever attended by a sense of freedom, and this is the best characteristic by which they are to be distinguished from others that assume the appearance and the name. Whatever is healthful, either to body or soul, is never enslaving. The counterfeit passion for enjoyment, on the other hand, is ever binding the spirit to a deeper and still deeper bondage. From the one, the mind returns with a healthier and heartier relish to the more arduous and serious duties of life; the other at every repetition renders such duties more and more the objects of an ever growing distaste and aversion. The slightest observation of the habitual frequenters of the theatre will determine to which class of mental exercises the influence of its representations are to be assigned.

But there is another thought connected with this. We find in such an idea of the nature and end of theatrical representations the true reason why actors and actresses never have been, and never can be regarded as a reputable class in society. They may contribute ever so much to our amusement, but no principle of gratitude, even if there were any ground for so sacred a feeling, will ever bring the very persons who use them as a means of enjoyment to recognize their social equality. A favorite actor may now and then be toasted at a public dinner. Grave men may sometimes manifest a public interest in some actress who has furnished an exciting theme of newspaper discussion, or judicial investigation. But let the higher tests be demanded, and the instinctive feeling of our humanity manifests itself at once. They never have been, they never will be admitted freely to the more intimate social relations. The fashionable frequenter of the theatre would not cordially give his daughter in marriage to the most popular of actors; he would turn with aversion from the thought that his son should choose for his bride the most accomplished actress that ever called forth the rapturous plaudits of a pleasure-maddened audience. We need not go far for the reason. It may be partly found in the fact, or suspicion, of their generally vicious lives. But of that, and the cause of it, in another place. It is a different though related thought to which we would here give prominence. With all that is pretended about the theatre being a place of instruction, or recreation, there is an under-consciousness that its great end is pleasurable emotion merely—in a word, amusement. Along with this there is another suppressed consciousness that such an end is not honorable to our humanity, and that those, therefore, whose chief employment is to minister to it, can not be regarded as having a high or even a reputable calling. This decision may be called unjust, but we can not alter it, even though we fail to discover the true ground in which it has its origin. The distinctions exist in the very nature of things and ideas. No theoretical fraternization can ever essentially change them.

There are three grades of employment whose respective rank must ever be independent of all conventionalities. Two are reputable, though differing in degree. The third is essentially dishonorable through all its great variety of departments. The highest place is given, and must ever be given, to those who live for the spirit's good, or the health of the body as conducive to it—the second to those most useful and reputable employments that have for their end the material well-being, in itself considered. The region of dishonor embraces all of every class whose aim is the ἡδὑ instead of the ἁγαθὁν, the pleasurable instead of the good or the truly useful, whether in respect to soul or body—all who live to please, to gratify simply—to amuse mankind—in other words, to aid them in annihilating their precious earthly time, and in turning away their thoughts from the great ends of their immortal existence. The poorest mechanic, or day-laborer, who is toiling in the lowest department of the utile (or useful as we have defined it) is of a higher rank, belongs to a more honorable class, than the proudest play-actor that ever trod the boards of a theatre. Among these "men and women of pleasure," there may be also numerous varieties and degrees, from the female balancer on the tight rope to the most fashionable danseuse; from the clown of the circus to the Forrest or Macready of the aristocratic theatre; but the instinct of the human consciousness recognizes in them all but one genus. They all live to amuse, and such a life can not be honorable.

It may be said, perhaps, that this dishonor should attach to those who are amused as well as to the amusers. It might be so on the score of abstract justice; but, in fact, from the very thought there comes an additional load of obloquy upon the condemned caste. Mere pleasure-seeking, mere amusement, is felt to be, in itself, a degradation of the rational nature, and a semi-conscious sense of this finds relief by casting it upon the instruments who are supposed to receive pecuniary emolument in place of the unavoidable dishonor. It may be thus seen that the disrepute of actors and actresses is no accidental disadvantage, but has an unchangeable reason in the laws of the human consciousness. From no other cause could have come that universal reprobation of the scenic character, to be found in the writings of the most enlightened heathen as well as in those of the most zealous Christian Fathers. The opinions of Plato and Socrates on this point are most express, and Augustine only utters the sentiment of the Classical as well as the Christian world when he says (De Civ. Dei, 2. 14), Adores removent a societate civitatis—ab honoribus omnibus repellunt ho mines scenicos—"They remove actors from civic society—from all honors do they repel the men of the stage." The exceptions to this only prove the rule. The fact that in a very few cases, like those of Garrick and Mrs. Siddons, they have barely emerged from this load of dishonor, only shows how universal and how deep is the opprobrium.

The stage can not be reformed. Our proof of this has, thus far, been drawn mainly from historical experience. But such experience, like every other legitimate induction, forces upon us the thought of some underlying principle of evil, some inherent vitiosity which no change of outward circumstances could be ever expected to eradicate. In searching for this essential vice we need not indulge in any affectation of profundity. It will be found, we think, lying nearer the surface than is commonly imagined. Why is play-acting radically vicious? Because, we answer, it is just what its name imports. It is actingacting[Pg 410] in the theatrical sense—acting a part—an unreal part, in distinction from the stern verities which ever ought to occupy this serious and earnest life of ours. We have alluded to the heartlessness of the stage in view of the abounding sufferings and sorrows of the world. It is a varied aspect of the same truth we would here present. We have no right to waste upon mere amusement the precious time that might be employed in the alleviation of so much misery. We have no right to be acting, or to take delight in seeing others acting, in a world where abounding insincerity, falsehood, and disguise, are ever demanding truthfulness, and earnestness, and reality, as the noblest and most valuable elements in human character. Certainly there is a call upon us to avoid every thing of even a seemingly contrary tendency, in whatever fair disguise it may present itself, or under whatever fair name of art, or æsthetics, or literature, it may claim our admiration. The objection is not so much that the representation is fictitious in itself, as its tendency to generate fictitious characters in the actors and spectators. No sober thinking man can look round upon our world without perceiving that its prevailing depravity is just that which the theatre is most adapted to encourage. There is acting, stage-acting, every where—in politics, in literature, and even in religion. Men are playing State and playing Church. Artificialness of character is pervading our "world of letters" to a most demoralizing extent. We are every where living too much out of ourselves—alternately the victims and creators of false public sentiments under which the theatrical spirit of the times is burying every thing real and truthful in human nature. Our morals are theatrical; our public and social life is theatrical; our revolutions and our sympathy with revolutions are theatrical; our political conventions are theatrical; our philanthropy and our reforms are theatrical.

But we can not at present dwell upon this view in its more general aspects. In the more immediate effect upon actors and actresses themselves we find the radical cause of the vicious lives which have ever characterized them as a class. Men and women who act every character will have no character of their own. The dangerous faculty of assuming any passion, and any supposed moral state, must, in the end, be inconsistent with that earnestness of feeling without which there can be neither moral nor intellectual depth. We have neither time nor space to dwell upon those evil effects of theatrical representations which are best known and most generally admitted. Whoever demands proof of them may be referred to the records of our Criminal Courts. We would rather search for the root of the evil. It is here in the most interior idea of the drama that we find the virus fountain from which all its poison flows, and of which what are called the incidental evils, are but the necessary ultimate manifestations. It is not found simply in the personation of vicious characters, whether in the shape of heroic crime or vulgar comedy. The radical mischief is in the fact that the theatre is the great storehouse and seminary of false feeling; and all false feeling, without the exception even of the religious (in fact, the higher the pretension the greater the evil), is so much spiritual poison. By this we mean an emotion and a sentimentality having no ground in any previous healthy moral state with which they may be organically connected. No fact is more certain than that such a seeming virtue may be called out in the worst of men, and that instead of truly softening and meliorating, it invariably exerts a hardening influence, rendering the affections less capable of being aroused to the genuine duties and genuine benevolence of real life. It is indeed a blessed and a blissful thing to have a feeling heart; but, then, the feeling must be real; that is, as we have defined it, flowing from within as the legitimate product of a true, moral organism. Better be without all feeling than have that which is the unnatural result of artificial stimulus. Better that the soul be an arid desert than that it should be watered by such Stygian streams, or luxuriate in the rank Upas of such a deadly verdure. There is evidence in abundance that a man may melt under the influence of a theatrical sentimentality, and yet go forth to the commission of the worst of crimes; with a freedom, too, all the greater for the fictitious virtue under which his true character has been so completely concealed from his own eyes.

It might, at first, seem strange that this should be so. The emotions of benevolence, of compassion, of patriotism, it might be said, must be the same whatever calls them forth. But a true analysis will show that there is not only a great but an essential difference. In the one case feeling is the natural result of a sound soul in direct communion with the realities of life. In the other it is entirely artificial.—One has its ground in the reason and the conscience; the other in the sensitive and imaginative nature. One comes to us in the due course of things; the other we create for ourselves. The one is ever recuperative, elevating while it humbles, softening while it invigorates. It grows stronger and purer by exercise. It never satiates, never exhausts, never reacts. The other ever produces an exhaustion corresponding to the unnatural excitement, and like every other artificial stimulus reduces the spiritual nature to a lower state at every repetition. In short, to use the expressive Scriptural comparisons, the one is a continual pouring into broken cisterns; the other is like a well of living water, springing up to everlasting life. Nothing is more alluringly deceptive, and therefore more dangerous, than the cultivation of the æsthetic nature, either to the exclusion of the moral, or by cherishing a public sentiment that confounds them together. We should be warned by the fact, of which history furnishes more than one example, that a nation may be distinguished for artistic and dramatic refinement, and yet present the most horrid contrast of crime and cruelty. A similar view may be taken of an age noted for a theoretical, or sentimental, or theatrical philanthropy. There is great reason to fear that it will be followed, if not accompanied, by one distinguished for great ferocity and recklessness of actual human suffering.

But to return to our analogy. It might with equal justice be maintained, in respect to the body, that physical strength is the same, whatever the cause by which it is produced. And yet we all know that there is a most essential difference between that vigor of nerve and muscle which is the result of the real and natural exercise of the healthy organism, in the performance of its legitimate functions, and that which comes from maddening artificial stimulants. They may appear the same for the moment; and yet we know that the one has an element of invigorating and re-creating life; the other has the seeds of death, and brings death into the human microcosm with all its train of physical as well as spiritual woes.

And this suggests that idea in which we find the most interior difference between true and false feeling. In the one the emotion is sought for its own sake as an end. In the other it is the means to a higher good. One seeks to save its life and loses it. The other loses its life and finds it. The true benevolence[Pg 411] is unconscious of itself as an end, and through such unconsciousness attains to substantial satisfaction. The spurious looks to nothing but the luxury of its own emotion, and thus continually transmutes into poison the very aliment on which it feeds. Like Milton's incestuous monsters, so do the matricidal pleasures of artificial sentiment.

Into the womb
That bred them ever more return—

engendering, in the end, a fiercer want, and giving birth to a more intolerable pain—

Hourly conceived
And hourly born with sorrow infinite.

There, too, we find the right notion of that word which would seem so incapable of all strict definition—we mean the much-used and much-abused term, sentimentalism. It differs from true feeling in this, that it is a feeling to feel—or, for the sake of feeling—a feeling of one's own feelings (if we may use the strange expression), instead of the woes and sufferings of others, which are not strictly the objects, but only the means of luxurious excitement, to this introverted state of the affections. Hence, while true benevolence ever goes forth in the freedom of its unconsciousness, sentimentalism is ever most egotistical, ever turning inward to gaze upon itself, and feel itself, and thus ever more in the most rigorous and ignominious bondage.

The same position, had we time, might be taken in respect to what may be styled false, or theatrical mirth. Even mirth, which, under other circumstances, and when produced by other causes, might be an innocent and healthful recreation, is here utterly spoiled, because we know it to be all acting. It is all false; there is no reality in it; there is no true merry heart there. To the right feeling, there is even a thought of sadness in the spectacle, when we reflect how often amid the wearisome repetition of what must be to him the same stale buffoonery, the soul of the wretched actor may be actually aching, and bitterly aching, beneath his comic mask.

Our argument might, perhaps, be charged with proving too much—with invading the sacred domain of poetry—with condemning all works of fiction and all reading, as well as acting, of plays. We would like to dispose of these objections if we had time. In some respects, and to a certain extent, their validity might be candidly admitted. In others, we might make modifications and distinctions, drawing the line, as we think we could, in accordance with the demands of right reason, right faith, right taste, and right morals. But the limits of our Editorial Table do not permit; and we, therefore, leave our readers to draw this line for themselves, believing that, in so doing, a sound moral sense, proceeding on the tests here laid down, will easily distinguish all healthful and recreative reading from those inherent evils that must ever belong to dramatic representations.

Editor's Easy Chair.

"Ouf! ouf!"—The French have a funny way of writing a letter, as well as of telling a story. For instance, our friend of the Courrier, whose gossip we have time and again transmuted, with some latitude of construction into our own noon-tide sentences, commences one of his later epistles with the exclamation, "Ouf! ouf!" "And this," says he, "is the best resumé that I can give you of the situation of Paris." It is a cry of distress, and of lassitude, breaking out from the Parisian heart, over-burdened with plenitude of pleasure; it is the re-action of the fêtes of May. How many things in ten days! How much dust—cannon-smoke—fire—fury—Roman candles—thunder—melodramas—and provincials! How much theatre-going—dining out—spent francs—demitasses—and ennui!

It is no wonder that your true Parisian is troubled with the crowd and uproar that the fêtes bring to Paris, and, above all, with the uncouth hordes of banditti provincials. The New-Yorker or the Philadelphian can look complacently upon the throngs that our Eastern and Northern steamers disgorge upon the city, and upon the thousand wagons of "Market-street;" for these, all of them, not only bring their quota of money to his till, but they lend a voice and a tread to the hurry and the noise in which, and by which, your true-blooded American feels his fullest life.

But the Parisian—living by daily, methodic, quiet, uninterrupted indulgence of his tastes and humors—looks harshly upon the stout wool-growers and plethoric vineyard men, who elbow him out of the choicest seats at the Theatre of the Palais Royal, and who break down his appreciative chuckle at a stroke of wit, with their immoderate guffaw. Then, the dresses of these provincials are a perpetual eye-sore to his taste. Such coats! such hats! such canes! The very sight of them makes misery for your habitual frequenter of the Maison d'or, or of the Café Anglais.

Moreover, there is something in the very insouciance of these country-comers to Paris which provokes the citizen the more. What do they care for their white bell-crowns of ten years ago? or what, for marching and counter-marching the Boulevard, with a fat wife on one arm, and a fat daughter on the other? What do they care for the fashion of a dinner, as they call for a bouillon, followed with a steak and onions, flanked by a melon, and wet with a deep bottle of Julienne premier?

What do they care for any mode, or any proprieties of the Faubourg St. Honoré, as they leer at the dancers of the Bal Mabil, or roar once and again at the clown who figures at the Estaminet-Café of the Champs Elyssées?

In short, says our aggrieved friend, the letter-writer, they press us, and torture us every where; they eat our bread, and drink our wine, and tread on our toes, and crowd us from our seats, as if the gay capital were made for them alone! Nor is the story unreal: whoever has happened upon that mad French metropolis, in the days of its fête madness, can recall the long procession of burly and gross provincials who swarm the streets and gardens, like the lice in the Egypt of Pharaoh.

In the old kingly times, when fêtes were regal, and every Frenchman gloated at the velvet panoply, worked over with golden fleurs-de-lis, as they now gloat at the columns of their Republican journals, their love for festal-days was well hit off in an old comedy. The shopkeeper (in the play) says to his wife, "Take care of the shop; I am going to see the king." And the wife presently says to the chief clerk, "Take care of the shop; I am going to see the king." And the clerk, so soon as the good woman is fairly out of sight, says to the garçon, "Take care of the shop; I am going to see the king." And the garçon enjoins upon the dog to "take care of the shop, as he is going to see the king." And the dog, stealing his nose out at the door, leaves all in charge of the parroquet, and goes to see the king!

[Pg 412]

The joke made a good laugh in those laughing days: nor is the material for as good a joke wanting now. The prefect leaves business with the sub-prefect, that he may go up to the Paris fête. The sub-prefect leaves his care with some commissioner, that he may go up to the Paris fête. And the commissioner, watching his chance, steals away in his turn, and chalks upon the door of the prefecture, "Gone to the fêtes of May."

All this, to be sure, is two months old, and belonged to that festive season of the Paris year, which goes before the summer. Now, if report speaks true, with provincials gone home, and the booths along the Champs Elyssées struck, and the theatric stars escaped to Belgium, or the Springs, the Parisian is himself again. He takes his evening drive in the Bois de Boulogne; he fishes for invitations to Meudon, or St. Cloud; he plots a descent upon Boulogne, or Aix la Chapelle; he studies the summer fashions from his apartments on the Boulevard de la Madeleine; he takes his river-bath by the bridge of the Institute; he smokes his evening cigar under the trees by the National Circus; and he speculates vaguely upon the imperial prospects of his President, the Prince Louis.

Meantime, fresh English and Americans come thronging in by the Northern road, and the Havre road, and the road from Strasbourg. They cover every floor of every hotel and maison garnie in the Rue Rivoli. They buy up all the couriers and valets-de-place; they swarm in the jewelry and the bronze shops of the Rue de la Paix; and they call, in bad French, for every dish that graces the carte du jour in the restaurants of the Palais Royal. They branch off toward the Apennines and the Alps, in flocks; and, if report speak true, the Americans will this year outnumber upon the mountains of Switzerland both French and German travelers. Indeed, Geneva, and Zurich, and Lucerne, are now discussed and brought into the map of tourists, as thoughtlessly as, ten years since, they compared the charms of the Blue Lick and the Sharon waters.

Look at it a moment: Ten days, under the Collins guidance, will land a man in Liverpool. Three days more will give him a look at the Tower, the Parks, Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, and Paternoster Row; and on the fourth he may find himself swimming in a first-class French car, on damask cushions, at forty miles the hour from Boulogne to Paris. Five days in the capital will show him (specially if he is free of service-money) the palaces of Versailles, the Louvre, the park at St. Cloud, the church of Notre Dame, the Madeleine, the Bourse, the Dead House, a score of balls, half as many theatres, the pick of the shops, and the great Louis himself.

Three other summer days, allowing a ten hours' tramp over the galleries and sombre grounds of Fontainebleau, will set him down, at the door of "mine host" of the Hotel de l'Ecu, in the city of Geneva, and he will brush the dews from his eyes in the morning, within sight of the "blue, arrowy Rhone," and "placid Leman, and the bald white peak of Mont Blanc." A Sunday in the Genevese church, will rest his aching limbs, and give him hearing of such high doctrine as comes from the lips of Merle d'Aubigné, and Monday will drift him on char-a-banc straight down through wooded Sardinia—reading Coleridge's Hymn—into the marvelous valley of Chamouny.

There, he may take breath before he goes up upon the Sea of Ice; and afterward he may idle, on donkeys or his own stout feet, over such mountain passes as will make Franconia memories tame, and boat it upon the Lake of Lucerne; and dine at the White Swan of Frankfort, and linger at Bingen, and drink Hock at Heidelberg; and chaffer with Jean Maria Farina at Cologne, and measure the stairs of the belfry at Antwerp, and toss in a cockle shell of a steamer across the straits, and lay him down in his Collins berth one month from his landing, a fresher and fuller man—with only six weeks cloven from his summer, and a short "five hundred" lifted from his purse.

The very fancy of it all—so easy, and so quick-coming—makes our blood beat in the office-chair, and tempts us strangely to fling down the pen, and to book ourselves by the Arctic.

We happened the other day upon an old French picture of Washington, which it may be worth while to render into passable English. It comes from the writings of M. de Broglie.

"I urged," he says, "M. de Rochambeau to present me, and the next day was conducted by him to dine with the great general. He received, most graciously, a letter from my father, and gave me a pleasant welcome. The general is about forty-nine—tall, well-made, and of elegant proportions. His face is much more agreeable than generally represented: notwithstanding the fatigues of the last few years, he seems still to possess all the agility and freshness of youth.

"His expression is sweet and frank; his address rather cold, though polished; his eye, somewhat pensive, is more observant than flashing; and his look is full of dignified assurance. He guards always a dignity of manner which forbids great familiarity, while it seems to offend none. He seems modest, even to humility; yet he accepts, kindly and graciously, the homage which is so freely rendered him. His tone of voice is exceedingly low; and his attention to what is addressed to him, so marked, as to make one sure he has fully understood, though he should venture no reply. Indeed this sort of circumspection is a noted trait of his character.

"His courage is rather calm than brilliant, and shows itself rather in the coolness of his decision, than in the vigor with which he battles against odds.

"He usually dines in company with twenty or thirty of his officers; his attention to them is most marked and courteous; and his dignity, at table only, sometimes relapses into gayety. He lingers at dessert for an hour or two, eating freely of nuts, and drinking wine with his guests. I had the honor of interchanging several toasts with the general; among others, I proposed the health of the Marquis de Lafayette. He accepted the sentiment with a very benevolent smile, and was kind enough to offer, in turn, the health of my own family.

"I was particularly struck with the air of respect and of admiration with which his officers uniformly treated General Washington."

M. de Broglie makes mention of the meeting of Washington and Gates, after their unfortunate difference, and speaks in high praise of the conduct of both. He furthermore suggests that the assignment of the chief command of the army to General Greene was owing to a certain feeling of jealousy which Washington entertained for the reputation of Gates: a suggestion, which neither contemporaneous history, or the relative merits of Greene and of Gates would confirm.

It is not a little singular how greedy we become to learn the most trivial details of the private life of[Pg 413] the men we admire. Who would not welcome nowadays any bona fide contemporaneous account of the meals or dress of William Shakspeare, or of Francis Bacon? And what a jewel of a spirit that would be, who would make some pleasant letter-writer for the Tribune, the medium of communicating to us what colored coat Shakspeare wore when he wooed Ann Hathaway, and how much wine he drank for the modeling of Jack Falstaff! Were there no Boswells in those days, whose spirits might be coaxed into communicative rappings about the king of the poets? We recommend the matter, in all sincerity, to the Misses Media.

A French court-room is not unfrequently as "good as a play:" besides which, the Paris reporters have a dainty way of working up the infirmities of a weak wicked man into a most captivating story. They dramatize, even to painting the grave nod of the judge; and will work out a farce from a mere broken bargain about an ass!—as one may see from this trial of Léonard Vidaillon.

Léonard Vidaillon, as brave a cooper as ever hammered a hoop, having retired from business, bethought him of buying an equipage for his family; but hesitated between the purchase of a pony or a donkey.

"A pony," said he, to himself, "is a graceful little beast, genteel, coquet, and gives a man a 'certain air;' but on the other hand, your pony is rather hard to keep, and costly to equip. The donkey takes care of himself—eats every thing—wants no comb or brush; but, unfortunately, is neither vivacious or elegant."

In the midst of this embarrassment, an old friend recommended to him—a mule. With this idea flaming in his thought, Léonard ran over all of Paris in search of a mule, and ended with finding, at the stable of a worthy donkey-drover, a little mule of a year old—of "fine complexion"—smaller than a horse—larger than a donkey—with a lively eye—in short, such a charming little creature as bewitched the cooper, and secured the sale.

The price was a hundred francs, it being agreed that the young mule should have gratuitous nursing of its donkey-mother for three months; at the expiration of which time our cooper should claim his own.

The next scene opens in full court.

Léonard, the defendant, is explaining.

"Yes, your honor, I bought the mule, to be delivered at the end of three months. At the end of three months I fell sick; I lay a-bed twelve weeks; I drugged myself to death; I picked up on water-gruel; I got on my legs; and the second day out I went after my little mule."

Donkey-man (being plaintiff).—The court will observe that three months and twelve weeks make six months.

The Judge nods acquiescence.

Leonard.—Agreed. They make six months. I went then after my little mule, a delicate creature, not larger than a large ass, that I had picked out expressly for my little wagon. I went, as I said, to see my little mule. And what does the man show me? A great, yellow jackass, high in the hips, with a big belly, that would be sure to split the shafts of my carriage! I said to him, "M. Galoupeau, this is not my little mule, and I sha'n't pay you."

Galoupeau (plaintiff).—And what did I say?

Leonard.—You swore it was my mule.

Galoupeau.—I said better than that: I said I couldn't constrain the nature of the beast, and hinder a little mule from growing large.

Leonard.—But mine was a blond, and yours is yellow.

Galoupeau.—Simply another effect of nature! And I have seen a little black ass foal turn white at three months old!

Leonard.—Do you think I have filled casks so long, not to know that red wine is red, and white wine, white.

Galoupeau.—I don't know. I don't understand the nature of wines; but donkeys—yes.

Judge (to the defendant).—So you refuse to take the mule?

Leonard.—I rather think so—a mule like a camel, and such a ferocious character, that he came within an ace of taking my life!

Judge.—You will please to make good this point of the injuries sustained.

Leonard.—The thing is easy. This M. Galoupeau insisted that I should take a look at his beast, and brought him out of the stable. The animal made off like a mad thing, and came near killing all the poultry. Then M. Galoupeau, who professes to know his habits, followed him up to the bottom of the yard, spoke gently to him, and after getting a hand upon his shoulder, called me up. As for myself, I went up confidently. I came near the beast, and just as I was about to reach out my hand for a gentle caress, the brute kicked me in the stomach—such a kick!—Mon Dieu! but here, your Honor, is the certificate—"twelve days a-bed; one hundred and fifty leeches." All that for caressing the brute!

Galoupeau.—If you were instructed, M. Léonard, in the nature of these beasts, you would understand that they never submit to any flattery from behind; and you know very well that you approached him by the tail.

Here two stable-boys were called to the stand, who testified that Signor Léonard Vidaillon, late cooper, did approach their master's jackass by the tail; and furthermore, that the mule (or jackass) was ordinarily of a quiet and peaceable disposition. This being shown to the satisfaction of the Court, and since it appeared that an inexperience, arising out of ignorance of the nature of the beast, had occasioned the injury to Signor Vidaillon, the case was decided for the plaintiff. Poor Léonard was mulcted in the cost of the mule, the costs of the suit, the cost of a hundred and fifty leeches, and the cost of broader shafts to his family wagon.

We have entertained our reader with this report—first, to show how parties to a French suit plead their own cause; and next, to show how the French reporters render the cause into writing. The story is headed in the French journal, like a farce—"A little mule will grow."

As for the town, in these hot days of summer, it looks slumberous. The hundreds who peopled the up-town walks with silks and plumes, are gone to the beach of Newport, or the shady verandas of the "United States." Even now, we will venture the guess, there are scores of readers running over this page under the shadow of the Saratoga colonnades, or in view of the broad valley of the Mohawk, who parted from us last month in some cushioned fauteuil of the New York Avenues.

The down-town men wear an air of ennui, and slip uneasily through the brick and mortar labyrinths of Maiden-lane and of John-street. Brokers, even, long for their Sunday's recess—when they can steal one breath of health and wideness at New Rochelle, or Rockaway. Southerners, with nurses and children, begin to show themselves in the neighborhood of the[Pg 414] Union and Clarendon, and saunter through our sunshine as if our sunshine were a bath of spring.

Fruits meantime are ripening in all our stalls; and it takes the edge from the sultriness of the season to wander at sunrise, through the golden and purple show of our Washington market. Most of all, to such as are tied, by lawyer's tape or editorial pen, to the desks of the city, does it bring a burst of country glow to taste the firstlings of the country's growth, and to doat upon the garden glories of the year—as upon so many testimonial clusters, brought back from a land of Canaan.

And in this vein, we can not avoid noting and commending the increasing love for flowers. Bouquets are marketable; they are getting upon the stalls; they flank the lamb and the butter. Our civilization is ripening into a sense of their uses and beauties. They talk to us even now—(for a tenpenny bunch of roses is smiling at us from our desk) of fields, fragrance, health, and wanton youth. They take us back to the days when with urchin fingers we grappled the butter-cup and the mountain daisy—days when we loitered by violet banks, and loved to loiter—days when we loved the violets, and loved to love; and they take us forward too—far forward to the days that always seem coming, when flowers shall bless us again, and be plucked again, and be loved again, and bloom around us, year after year; and bloom over us, year after year!

The two great hinges of public chat are—just now—the rival candidates, Generals Pierce and Scott; serving not only for the hot hours of lunch under the arches of the Merchants' Exchange, but toning the talk upon every up-bound steamer of the Hudson, and giving their creak to the breezes of Cape May.

Poor Generals!—that a long and a worthy life should come to such poor end as this. To be vilified in the journals, to be calumniated with dinner-table abuse, or with worse flattery—to have their religion, their morals, their courage, their temper, all brought to the question;—to have their faces fly-specked in every hot shop of a barber—to have their grandparents, and parents all served up in their old clothes; to have their school-boy pranks ferreted out, and every forgotten penny pitched into their eyes; to have their wine measured by the glass, and their tears by the tumbler; to have their names a bye-word, and their politics a reproach—this is the honor we show to these most worthy candidates!

As a relief to the wearisome political chat, our city has just now been blessed with Alboni; and it is not a little curious to observe how those critics who were coy of running riot about Jenny Lind, are lavishing their pent-up superlatives upon the new-comer. The odium of praising nothing, it appears, they do not desire; and seize the first opportunity to win a reputation for generosity. The truth is, we suspect, that Alboni is a highly cultivated singer, with a voice of southern sweetness, and with an air of most tempered pleasantness; but she hardly brings the prestige of that wide benevolence, noble action, and naïve courtesy, which made the world welcome Jenny as a woman, before she had risked a note.

In comparing the two as artists, we shall not venture an opinion; but we must confess to a strong liking for such specimen of humanity, as makes its humanity shine through whatever art it embraces. Such humanity sliding into song, slides through the song, and makes the song an echo; such humanity reveling in painting, makes the painting only a shadow on the wall. Every true artist should be greater than his art; or else it is the art that makes him great.

And while we are upon this matter of song, we take the liberty of suggesting, in behalf of plain-spoken, and simple-minded people, that musical criticism is nowadays arraying itself in a great brocade of words, of which the fustian only is clear to common readers. We can readily understand that the art of music, like other arts, should have its technicalities of expression; but we can not understand with what propriety those technicalities should be warped into such notices, as are written professedly for popular entertainment and instruction.

If, Messrs. Journalists, your musical critiques are intended solely for the eye of connoisseurs, stick to your shady Italian; but if they be intended for the enlightenment of such hungry outside readers, as want to know, in plain English, how such or such a concert went off, and in what peculiar way each artist excels, for Heaven's sake, give us a taste again of old fashioned Saxon expletive! He seems to us by far the greatest critic, who can carry to the public mind the clearest and the most accurate idea of what was sung, and of the way in which it was sung. It would seem, however, that we are greatly mistaken; and that the palm of excellence should lie with those, whose periods smack most of the green-room, and cover up opinions with a profusion of technicalities. We shall not linger here, however, lest we be attacked in language we can not understand.

Among the novelties which have provoked their share of the boudoir chit-chat, and which go to make our monthly digest of trifles complete, may be reckoned the appearance of a company of trained animals at the Astor Place Opera House. Their débût was modest and maidenly; and could hardly have made an eddy in the talk, had not the purveyors of that classic temple, entered an early protest against the performance, as derogatory to the dignity of the place.

This difficulty, and the ensuing discussions, naturally led to a comparison of the habits of the various animals, who are accustomed to appear in that place, whether as spectators, or as actors. What the judicial decision may have been respecting the matter, we are not informed. Public opinion, however, seems to favor the conclusion that the individuals composing the monkey troup would compare well, even on the score of dignity, with very many habitués of the house; and that the whole monkey tribe, being quite harmless and inoffensive, should remain, as heretofore, the subjects of Christian toleration, whether appearing on the bench (no offense to the Judges) or the boards.

With this theatric note, to serve as a snapper to our long column of gossip, we beg to yield place to that very coy lady—the Bride of Landeck.


Dear Sir—The small village of Landeck is situated in a very beautiful spot near the river Inn, with a fine old castle to the southeast, against the winds from which quarter it shelters the greater part of the village—a not unnecessary screen; for easterly winds in the Tyrol are very detestable. Indeed I know no country in which they are any thing else, or where the old almanac lines are not applicable—

"When the wind is in the east,
'Tis neither good for man or beast."

Some people, however, are peculiarly affected by the influence of that wind; and they tell a story of Dr.[Pg 415] Parr—for the truth of which I will not vouch, but which probably has some foundation in fact. When a young man, he is said to have had an attack of ague, which made him dread the east wind as a pestilence. He had two pupils at the time, gay lads, over whose conduct, as well as whose studies, he exercised a very rigid superintendence. When they went out to walk, Parr was almost sure to be with them, much to their annoyance on many occasions. There were some exceptions, however; and they remarked that these exceptions occurred when the wind was easterly. Boys are very shrewd, and it did not escape the lads' attention, that every day their tutor walked to the window, and looked up at the weather-cock on the steeple of the little parish church. Conferences were held between the young men; and a carpenter consulted. A few days after, the wind was in the east, and the Doctor suffered them to go out alone. The following day it was in the east still. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, all easterly wind—if the weather-cock might be believed. Sunday, Parr went to church, and shivered all day. The next week it was just the same thing. Never was such a spell of easterly wind. Parr was miserable. But at the end of some five weeks, a friend, and man of the world, came to visit him, with the common salutation of—"A fine day, Doctor!"

"No day is a fine day, sir, with an easterly wind," said Parr, with his usual acerbity.

"Easterly wind?" said his visitor, walking toward the window; "I don't think the wind is east—yes it is, indeed."

"Ay, sir, and has been for these six weeks," answered Parr, sharply. "I could tell it by my own sensations, without looking at the weather-cock."

"Why, Doctor," answered the other, "the wind was west yesterday: that I know; and I thought it was west to-day."

"Then you thought like a fool, sir," answered Parr. "A man who can not tell when the wind is in the east, has no right to think at all. Let him look at the weather-cock."

"But the weather-cock may be rusty," answered the other; "and your weather-cock must be rusty if it pointed to the east yesterday; for it blew pretty smartly from the west all day."

"Do you think I am a fool, sir: do you think I am a liar?" asked Parr, angrily.

"No; but you may be mistaken, Doctor," replied the other. "Even Solomon, as you know, made a mistake sometimes; and you are mistaken now; and the weather-cock too. Look at the clouds: they are coming rapidly from the west. If you would take my advice, you would look to our friend there on the top of the steeple."

"I will, sir—I will this moment," replied Parr; and ringing the bell violently, he ordered his servant to take the village carpenter and a bottle of oil, and have the weather-cock examined and greased. He and his visitor watched the whole proceeding from the window—the bringing forth of the ladders, the making them fast with ropes, the perilous ascent, and then the long operations which seemed much more complicated than the mere process of greasing the rusty weather-cock. "What can the fools be about?" said Parr. In the end, however, the deed, whatever it was, was done; and the servant and the carpenter descended, and came toward the house. By this time the weather-cock had whirled round, pointing directly to the west, and the Doctor asked eagerly, as soon as the men appeared. "Well, sir—well: what prevented the vane from turning?"

"A large nail, sir," answered the man.

"I will never trust a weather-cock again," cried Parr.

"Nor your own sensations either, Doctor," said his friend, "unless you are very sure they are right ones; for if you pin them to a weather-cock, there may be people who will find it for their interest to pin the weather-cock to the post."

The two poor pupils from that day forward lost their advantage; but they had six weeks of fun out of it, and, like the fishes in the Arabian tale, "were content."

There is an old proverb, that "Fancy is as good for a fool as physic," and I believe the saying might be carried further still; for there is such a thing as corporeal disease, depending entirely upon the mind; and that with very wise men too. The effect of mental remedies we all know, even in very severe and merely muscular diseases. Whether Doctor Parr was cured of his aguish sensations or not, I can not tell; but I have known several instances of mental remedies applied with success; to say nothing of having actually seen the incident displayed by old Bunbury's caricature of a rheumatic man enabled to jump over a high fence by the presence of a mad bull. I will give you one instance of a complete, though temporary cure, performed upon a young lady by what I can only consider mental agency. One of the daughters of a Roman Catholic family, named V——, a very beautiful and interesting girl, had entirely lost the use of her limbs for nearly three years, and was obliged to be fed and tended like a child. Her mind was acute and clear, however, and as at that time the celebrated Prince Hohenloe was performing, by his prayers, some cures which seemed miraculous, her father entered into correspondence with him, to see if any thing could be done for the daughter. The distance of some thousand miles lay between the Prince and the patient; but he undertook to pray and say mass for her on a certain day, and at a certain hour, and directed that mass should also be celebrated in the city where she resided, exactly at the same moment. As the longitude of the two places was very different, a great deal of fuss was made to ascertain the precise time. All this excited her imagination a good deal, and at the hour appointed the whole family went to mass, leaving her alone, and in bed. On their return they found Miss V——, who for years had not been able to stir hand or foot, up, dressed, and in the drawing-room. For the time, she was perfectly cured; but I have been told that she gradually fell back into the same state as before.

Mental medicine does not always succeed, however; and once, in my own case, failed entirely. When traveling in Europe, in the year 1825, I was attacked with very severe quartan fever. I was drugged immensely between the paroxysms, and the physician conspired with my friends to persuade me I was quite cured. They went so far as, without my knowing it, to put forward a striking-clock that was on the mantle-piece, and when the hour struck, at which the fit usually seized me, without any appearance of its return, they congratulated me on my recovery, and actually left me. Nevertheless, at the real hour, the fever seized me again, and shook me nearly to pieces. Neither is it that mental medicine sometimes fails; but it sometimes operates in a most unexpected and disastrous manner; especially when applied to mental disease; and I am rather inclined to believe, that corporeal malady may often be best treated by mental means; mental malady by corporeal means.

A friend of my youth, poor Mr. S—— lost his only[Pg 416] son, in a very lamentable manner. He had but two children: this son and a daughter. Both were exceedingly handsome, full of talent and kindly affection; and the two young people were most strongly attached to each other. Suddenly, the health of young S—— was perceived to decline. He became grave—pale—sad—emaciated. His parents took the alarm. Physicians were sent for. No corporeal disease of any kind could be discovered. The doctors declared privately that there must be something on his mind, as it is called, and his father with the utmost kindness and tenderness, besought him to confide in him, assuring him that if any thing within the reach of fortune or influence could give him relief, his wishes should be accomplished, whatever they might be.

"You can do nothing for me, my dear father," replied the young man, sadly; "but you deserve all my confidence, and I will not withhold it. That which is destroying me, is want of rest. Every night, about an hour after I lie down, a figure dressed in white, very like the figure of my dear sister, glides into the room, and seats itself on the right side of my bed, where it remains all night. If I am asleep at the time of its coming, I am sure to wake, and I remain awake all night with my eyes fixed upon it. I believe it to be a delusion; but I can not banish it; and the moment it appears, I am completely under its influence. This is what is killing me."

The father reasoned with him, and took every means that could be devised either by friends or physicians, to dispel this sad phantasy. They gave parties; they sat up late; they changed the scene; but it was all in vain. The figure still returned; and the young man became more and more feeble. He was evidently dying; and as a last resource, it was determined to have recourse to a trick to produce a strong effect upon his mind. The plan arranged was as follows. His sister was to dress herself in white, as he had represented the figure to be dressed, and about the hour he mentioned, to steal into his room, and seat herself on the other side of the bed, opposite to the position which the phantom of his imagination usually occupied, while the parents remained near the door to hear the result. She undertook the task timidly; but executed it well. Stealing in, with noiseless tread, she approached her brother's bed-side, and by the faint moonlight, saw his eyes fixed with an unnatural stare upon vacancy, but directed to the other side. She seated herself without making the least noise, and waited to see if he would turn his eyes toward her. He did not stir in the least, however; but lay, as if petrified by the sight his fancy presented. At length she made a slight movement to call his attention, and her garments rustled. Instantly the young man turned his eyes to the left, gazed at her—looked back to the right—gazed at her again; and then exclaimed, almost with a shriek, "Good God: there are two of them!"

He said no more. His sister darted up to him. The father and mother ran in with lights; but the effect had been fatal. He was gone.

Nor is this the only case in which I have known the most detrimental results occur from persons attempting indiscreetly to act upon the minds of the sick while in a very feeble state. Once, indeed, the whole medical men—and they were among the most famous of their time in the world—belonging to one of the chief hospitals of Edinburgh, were at fault in a similar manner. The case was this: A poor woman of the port of Leith had married a sailor, to whom she was very fondly attached. They had one or two children, and were in by no means good circumstances. The man went to sea in pursuit of his usual avocations, and at the end of two or three months intelligence was received in Leith of the loss of the vessel with all on board. Left in penury, with no means of supporting her children but her own hard labor, the poor woman, who was very attractive in appearance, was persuaded to marry a man considerably older than herself, but in very tolerable circumstances. By him she had one child; and in the summer of the year 1786, she was sitting on the broad, open way, called Leith-walk, with a baby on her lap. Suddenly, she beheld her first husband walk up the street directly toward her. The man recognized her instantly, approached, and spoke to her. But she neither answered nor moved. She was struck with catalepsy. In this state she was removed to the Royal Infirmary, and her case, from the singular circumstances attending it, excited great interest in the medical profession in Edinburgh, which at that time numbered among its professors the celebrated Cullen, and no less celebrated Gregory. The tale was related to me by one of their pupils, who was present, and who assured me that every thing was done that science could suggest, till all the ordinary remedial means were exhausted. The poor woman remained without speech or motion. In whatever position the body was placed, there it remained; and the rigidity of the muscles was such, that when the arm was extended, twenty minutes elapsed before it fell to her side by its own weight. Death was inevitable, unless some means could be devised of rousing the mind to some active operation on the body. From various indications, it was judged that the poor woman was perfectly sensible, and at a consultation of all the first physicians of the city, the first husband was sent for, and asked if he was willing to co-operate, in order to give his poor wife a chance of life. He replied, with deep feeling, that he was willing to lay down his own life, if it would restore her: that he was perfectly satisfied with her conduct; knew that she had acted in ignorance of his existence; and explained, that having floated to the coast of Africa upon a piece of the wreck, he had been unable for some years to return to his native land, or communicate with any one therein. In these circumstances, it was determined to act immediately. The Professors grouped themselves round the poor woman, and the first husband was brought suddenly to the foot of the bed, toward which her eyes were turned, carrying the child by the second husband in his arms. A moment of silence and suspense succeeded; but then, she who had lain for so many days like a living corpse, rose slowly up, and stretched out her hands toward the poor sailor. Her lips moved, and with a great effort she exclaimed, "Oh, John, John—you know that it was nae my fault." The effort was too much for her exhausted frame: she fell back again immediately, and in five minutes was a corpse indeed.

This story may have been told by others before me, for the thing was not done in a corner. But I always repeat it, when occasion serves, in order to warn people against an incautious use of means to which we are accustomed to attribute less power than they really possess.

And now, I will really go on with "The Bride of Landeck" in my next letter.—Yours faithfully,


Editor's Drawer.

Here is a very amusing picture of that species of odd fish known as a Matter-of-Fact Man:

[Pg 417]

"I am what the old women call 'An Odd Fish.' I do nothing, under heaven, without a motive—never. I attempt nothing unless I think there is a probability of my succeeding. I ask no favors when I think they won't be granted. I grant no favors when I think they are not deserved; and finally, I don't wait upon the girls when I think my attentions would be disagreeable. I am a matter-of-fact man—I am. I do things seriously. I once offered to attend a young lady home—I did, seriously: that is, I meant to wait on her home if she wanted me. She accepted my offer. I went home with her; and it has ever since been an enigma to me whether she wanted me or not. She took my arm, and said not a word. I bade her 'Good Night,' and she said not a word. I met her the next day, and I said not a word. I met her again, and she gave a two-hours' talk. It struck me as curious. She feared I was offended, she said, and couldn't for the life of her conceive why. She begged me to explain, but didn't give me the ghost of a chance to do it. She said she hoped I wouldn't be offended: asked me to call: and it has ever since been a mystery to me whether she really wanted me to call or not.

"I once saw a lady at her window. I thought I would call. I did. I inquired for the lady, and was told that she was not at home. I expect she was. I went away thinking so. I rather think so still. I met her again. She was offended—said I had not been 'neighborly.' She reproached me for my negligence; said she thought I had been unkind. And I've ever since wondered whether she was sorry or not.

"A lady once said to me that she should like to be married, if she could get a good congenial husband, who would make her happy, or at least try to. She was not difficult to please, she said. I said, 'I should like to get married too, if I could get a wife that would try to make me happy.' She said, 'Umph!' and looked as if she meant what she said. She did. For when I asked her if she thought she could be persuaded to marry me, she said, she'd rather be excused. I excused her. I've often wondered why I excused her.

"A good many things of this kind have happened to me that are doubtful, wonderful, mysterious. What, then, is it that causes doubt and mystery to attend the ways of men? It is the want of fact. This is a matter-of-fact world, and in order to act well in it, we must deal in matter-of-fact."

Some modern author says of gambling, that it is "a magical stream, into which, if a man once steps, and wets the sole of his foot, he must needs keep on until he is overwhelmed." Perhaps some readers of the "Drawer" may have heard of the officer, who, having lost all his money at play, received assistance from a friend, on condition that he would never after touch a pack of cards. A few weeks after, however, he was found in an out-house drawing short and long straws with a brother-gamester for hundreds of pounds!

"The most singular species of gambling, however, is one which is said to be practiced among the blacks in Cuba. Many of these stout, hearty, good-humored fellows daily collect about the docks in Havanna, waiting for employment, and gambling in cigars, for they are inveterate smokers. This forms one of their most favorite amusements. Two parties challenge each other, and each lays down, in separate places, three or more cigars, forming a figure resembling a triangle: they then withdraw a few paces, and eagerly watch their respective 'piles.' The owner of the 'pile' on which a fly first alights, is entitled to the whole!

"It should be added, that a pile smeared any where with molasses, to attract the more ready visit of the flies, was considered in the light of 'loaded dice' among 'professional men' of a kindred stamp."

Let any man, "in populous city pent," who has left the cares, turmoils, and annoyances of the town for a brief time behind him, with the heated bricks and stifling airs, that make a metropolis almost a burthen in the fierce heats of a summer solstice, say whether or no this passage be not true, both in "letter" and in "spirit:"

"In the country a man's spirit is free and easy; his mind is discharged, and at its own disposal: but in the city, the persons of friends and acquaintances, one's own and other people's business, foolish quarrels, ceremonious visits, impertinent discourses, and a thousand other fopperies and diversions, steal away the greater part of our time, and leave us no leisure for better and more necessary employment. Great towns are but a larger sort of prison to the soul, like cages to birds, or 'pounds' to beasts."

There is a good story told, and we believe a new one—(at least, so far as we know, it is such, as the manuscript which records it is from a traveled friend, in whose "hand-of-write" it has remained long in the "Drawer")—a story of Samuel Rogers, the rich banker, and accomplished poet of "The Pleasures of Memory:"

Rogers arrived at Paris at noon one day in the year 18—. He found all his countrymen prepared to attend a splendid party at Versailles. They were all loud in expressing their regrets that he could not accompany them. They were "very sorry"—but "the thing was impossible:" "full court-dresses alone were admissible;" and to obtain one then—why "of course it was in vain to think of it."

Rogers listened very patiently; told them to "leave him entirely to himself;" and added, that "he was sure he could find some amusement somewhere."

No sooner were they gone, than he began to dress; and within the space of a single hour he was on the road to Versailles, fully equipped, in a blue coat, white waistcoat, and drab pantaloons. At the door of the splendid mansion in which the company were assembled, his further progress was opposed by a servant whose livery was far more showy and imposing than his own costume.

Rogers affected the utmost astonishment at the interruption, and made as if he would have passed on. The servant pointed to his dress:

"It is not comme il faut: you can not pass in: Monsieur must retire."

"Dress! dress!" exclaimed Rogers, with well-feigned surprise: "Not pass! not enter! Why, mine is the same dress that is worn by the General Court at Boston!"

No sooner were the words uttered, than the doors flew open, and the obsequious valet, "booing and booing," like Sir Pertinax Macsycophant in the play, preceded the poet, and in a loud voice announced:

"Monsieur le General Court, de Boston!"

The amusement of the Americans in the group scarcely exceeded that of the new-made "General" himself.

On another occasion, Rogers relates, he was announced at a Parisian party as "Monsieur le Mort," by a lackey, who had mistaken him for "Tom Moore."

Not unlike an old New-Yorker, who was announced from his card as

"Monsieur le Koque en Bow!"

His simple name was Quackenbos!

[Pg 418]

Now that we are hearing of the manner in which foolish and ostentatious Americans are lately representing themselves in Paris by military titles, as if connected with the army of the United States, perhaps "Monsieur le General Court, de Boston" may "pass muster" with our readers.

The implied satire, however, of the whole affair, strikes us as not altogether without a valuable lesson for those miscalled "Americans" who forget alike their country and themselves while abroad.

When the oxy-hydrogen microscope was first exhibited in Edinburgh, a poor woman, whose riches could never retard her ascent to the kingdom above, took her seat in the lecture-room where the wonders of the instrument were shown, and which were, for the first time, to meet her sight. A piece of lace was magnified into a salmon-net; a flea was metamorphosed into an elephant; and other the like marvels were performed before the eyes of the venerable dame, who sat in silent astonishment staring open-mouthed at the disk. But when, at length, a milliner's needle was transformed into a poplar-tree, and confronted her with its huge eye, she could "hold in" no longer.

"My goodness!" she exclaimed, "a camel could get through that! There's some hopes for the rich folk yet!"

Legal tautology and unnecessary formulas have often been made the theme of ridicule and satire; but we suspect that it is somewhat unusual to find a simple "levy" made with such elaborate formalities, or, more properly, "solemnities," as in the following instance:

The Dogberryan official laid his execution very formally upon a saddle; and said:

"Saddle, I level upon you, in the name of the State!"

"Bridle, I level upon you, in the name of the State!"

Then, turning to a pair of martingales, the real name of which he did not know, he said:

"Little forked piece of leather, I level on you, in the name of the State!"

"Oh, yes! oh, yes! oh, yes! Saddle, and Bridle, and little forked piece of leather, I now inds you upon this execution, and summon you to be and appear at my sale-ground, on Saturday, the tenth of this present month, to be executed according to law. Herein fail not, or you will be proceeded against for contempt of the constable!"

We find recorded in the "Drawer" two instances where ingenuity was put in successful requisition, to obviate the necessity of "making change," a matter of no little trouble oftentimes to tradesmen and others. A rude fellow, while before the police-magistrate for some misdemeanor, was fined nine dollars for eighteen oaths uttered in defiance of official warning that each one would cost him fifty cents. He handed a ten-dollar bill to the Justice, who was about returning the remaining one to the delinquent, when he broke forth:

"No, no! keep the whole, keep the whole! I'll swear it out!"

And he proceeded to expend the "balance" in as round and condensed a volley of personal denunciation as had ever saluted the ears of the legal functionary. He then retired content.

Something similar was the "change" given to one of our hack-drivers by a jolly tar, who was enjoying "a sail" in a carriage up Broadway. A mad bull, "with his spanker-boom rigged straight out abaft," or some other animal going "at the rate of fourteen knots an hour" in the street, attracted Jack's attention, as he rode along; and, unable to let the large plate-glass window down, he broke it to atoms, that he might thrust forth his head.

"A dollar and a half for that!" says Jehu.

"Vot of it?—here's the blunt," said the sailor, handing the driver a three-dollar note.

"I can't change it," said the latter.

"Well, never mind!" rejoined the tar; "this will make it right!"

The sudden crash of the other window told the driver in what manner the "change" had been made!

Some bachelor-reader, pining in single-blessedness, may be induced, by the perusal of the ensuing parody upon Romeo's description of an apothecary, to "turn from the error of his way" of life, and both confer and receive "reward:"

"I do remember an old Bachelor,
And hereabout he dwells; whom late I noted
In suit of sables, with a care-worn brow,
Conning his books; and meagre were his looks;
Celibacy had worn him to the bone;
And in his silent chamber hung a coat,
The which the moths had used not less than he.
Four chairs, one table, and an old hair trunk,
Made up 'the furniture;' and on his shelves
A greasy candle-stick; a broken mug,
Two tables, and a box of old cigars;
Remnants of volumes, once in some repute,
Were thinly scattered round, to tell the eye
Of prying strangers, "This man had no wife!"
His tattered elbow gaped most piteously;
And ever as he turned him round; his skin
Did through his stockings peep upon the day.
Noting his gloom, unto myself I said:
'And if a man did covet single life,
Reckless of joys that matrimony gives,
Here lives a gloomy wretch would show it him
In such most dismal colors, that the shrew,
Or slut, or idiot, or the gossip spouse,
Were each an heaven, compared to such a life!'"

"There are always two sides to a question," the bachelor-"defendant" may affirm, in answer to this; and possibly himself try a hand at a contrast-parody.

There are a good many proverbs that will not stand a very close analysis; and some one who is of this way of thinking has selected a few examples, by way of illustration. The following are specimens:

"The more the merrier."—Not so, "by a jug-full," one hand, for example, is quite enough in a purse.

"He that runs fastest gets most ground."—Not exactly; for then footmen would get more than their masters.

"He runs far who never turns."—"Not quite: he may break his neck in a short course.

"No man can call again yesterday."—Yes, he may call till his heart ache, though it may never come.

"He that goes softly goes safely."—Not among thieves.

"Nothing hurts the stomach more than surfeiting."—Yes; lack of meat.

"Nothing is hard to a willing mind."—Surely; for every body is willing to get money, but to many it is hard.

"None so blind as those that will not see."—Yes; those who can not see.

"Nothing but what is good for something."—"Nothing" isn't good for any thing.

"Nothing but what has an end."—A ring hath no end; for it is round.

[Pg 419]

"Money is a great comfort."—But not when it brings a thief to the State Prison.

"The world is a long journey."—Not always; for the sun goes over it every day.

"It is a great way to the bottom of the sea."—Not at all; it is merely "a stone's throw."

"A friend is best found in adversity."—"No, sir;" for then there are none to be found.

"The pride of the rich makes the labor of the poor."—By no manner of means. The labor of the poor makes the pride of the rich.

The following lines, accompanying a trifling present, are not an unworthy model for those who wish to say a kind word in the most felicitous way:

"Not want of heart, but want of art
Hath made my gift so small;
Then, loving heart, take hearty love,
To make amends for all.
Take gift with heart, and heart with gift,
Let will supply my want;
For willing heart, nor hearty will,
Nor is, nor shall be scant."

Please to observe how adroitly an unforced play upon words is embodied in these eight lines.

There is "more truth than poetry" in the subjoined Extract from a Modern Dictionary.

The Grave.—An ugly hole in the ground, which lovers and poets very often wish they were in, but at the same time take precious good care to keep out of.

Constable.—A species of snapping-turtle.

Modesty.—A beautiful flower, that flourishes only in secret places.

Lawyer.—A learned gentleman who rescues your estate from the hands of your opponent, and keeps it himself.

"My Dear."—An expression used by man and wife at the commencement of a quarrel.

"Joining Hands" in Matrimony.—A custom arising from the practice of pugilists shaking hands before they begin to fight.

"Watchman."—A man employed by the corporation to sleep in the open air.

Laughter.—A singular contortion of the human countenance, when a friend, on a rainy day, suddenly claims his umbrella.

Dentist.—A person who finds work for his own teeth by taking out those of other people.

A singular anecdote of Thomas Chittenden the first Governor of the State of Vermont, has found its way into our capacious receptacle. "Mum," said he, one night (his usual way of addressing his wife), "Mum, who is that stepping so softly in the kitchen?"

It was midnight, and every soul in the house was asleep, save the Governor and his companion. He left his bed as stealthily as he possibly could, followed the intruder into the cellar, and, without himself being perceived, heard him taking large pieces of pork out of his meat-barrel, and stowing them away in a bag.

"Who's there?" exclaimed the Governor, in a stern, stentorian voice, as the intruder began to make preparations to "be off."

The thief shrank back into the corner, as mute as a dead man.

"Bring a candle, Mum!"

The Governor's wife went for the light.

"What are you waiting for, Mr. Robber, Thief, or whatever your Christian-name may be?" said the Governor.

The guilty culprit shook as if his very joints would be sundered.

"Come, sir," continued Governor Chittenden, "fill up your sack and be off, and don't be going round disturbing honest people so often, when they want to be taking their repose."

The thief, dumb-founded, now looked more frightened than ever.

"Be quick, man," said the Governor, "fill up, sir! I shall make but few words with you!"

He was compelled to comply.

"Have you got enough, now? Begone, then, in one minute! When you have devoured this, come again in the day-time, and I'll give you more, rather than to have my house pillaged at such an hour as this. One thing more, let me tell you, and that is, that, as sure as fate, if I ever have the smallest reason to suspect you of another such an act, the law shall be put in force, and the dungeon receive another occupant. Otherwise, you may still run at large for any thing that I shall do."

The man went away, and was never afterward known to commit an immoral act.

This story is related, as a veritable fact, of a Dutch justice, residing in the pleasant valley of the Mohawk not a thousand miles from the city of Schenectady:

He kept a small tavern, and was not remarkable for the acuteness of his mental perceptions, nor would it appear was at least one of his customers much better off in the matter of "gumption." One morning a man stepped in and bought a bottle of small-beer. He stood talking a few minutes, and by-and-by said:

"I am sorry I purchased this beer. I wish you would exchange it for some crackers and cheese to the same amount."

The simple-minded Boniface readily assented, and the man took the plate of crackers and cheese, and ate them. As he was going out, the old landlord hesitatingly reminded him that he hadn't paid for them.

"Yes, I did," said the customer; "I gave you the beer for 'em."

"Vell den, I knowsh dat; but den you haven't give me de monish for de beersh."

"But I didn't take the beer: there stands the same bottle now!"

The old tavern-keeper was astounded. He looked sedate and confused; but all to no purpose was his laborious thinking. The case was still a mystery.

"Vell den," said he, at length, "I don't zee how it ish: I got de beersh—yaäs, I got de beersh; but den, same times, I got no monish! Vell, you keeps de grackers—und—gheese; but I don't want any more o' your gustoms. You can keeps away from my davern!"

Some years ago, at the Hartford (Conn.) Retreat for the Insane, under the excellent management of Doctor B——, a party used occasionally to be given, to which those who are called "sane" were also invited; and as they mingled together in conversation, promenading, dancing, &c., it was almost impossible for a stranger to tell "which was which."

On one of these pleasant occasions a gentleman-visitor was "doing the agreeable" to one of the ladies, and inquired how long she had been in the Retreat. She told him; and he then went on to make inquiries concerning the institution, to which she rendered very intelligent answers; and when he asked her, "How do you like the Doctor?" she gave him such assurances of her high regard for the physician,[Pg 420] that the stranger was entirely satisfied of the Doctor's high popularity among his patients, and he went away without being made aware that his partner was no other than the Doctor's wife!

She tells the story herself, with great zest; and is very frequently asked by her friends, who know the circumstances, "how she likes the Doctor!"

A fine and quaint thought is this, of the venerable Archbishop Leighton:

"Riches oftentimes, if nobody take them away, make to themselves wings, and fly away; and truly, many a time the undue sparing of them is but letting their wings grow, which makes them ready to fly away; and the contributing a part of them to do good only clips their wings a little, and makes them stay the longer with their owner."

This last consideration may perhaps be made "operative" with certain classes of the opulent.

Is not the following anecdote of the late King of the French not only somewhat characteristic, but indicative of a superior mind?

Lord Brougham was dining with the King in the unceremonious manner in which he was wont to delight to withdraw himself from the trammels of state, and the conversation was carried on entirely as if between two equals. His Majesty (inter alia) remarked:

"I am the only sovereign now in Europe fit to fill a throne."

Lord Brougham, somewhat staggered by this piece of egotism, muttered out some trite compliments upon the great talent for government which his royal entertainer had always displayed, &c., when the King burst into a fit of laughter, and exclaimed:

"No, no; that isn't what I mean; but kings are at such a discount in our days, that there is no knowing what may happen; and I am the only monarch who has cleaned his own boots—and I can do it again!"

His own reverses followed so soon after, that the "exiled Majesty of France" must have remembered this conversation.

Mrs. P. was a dumpy little Englishwoman, with whom and her husband we once performed the voyage of the Danube from Vienna to Constantinople. She was essentially what the English call "a nice person," and as adventurous a little body as ever undertook the journey "from Cheapside to Cairo." She had left home a bride, to winter at Naples, intending to return in the spring. But both she and her husband had become so fascinated with travel, that they had pushed on from Italy to Greece, and from Greece to Asia Minor. In the latter country, they made the tour of the Seven Churches—a pilgrimage in which it was our fortune afterward to follow them. Upon one occasion, somewhere near Ephesus, they were fallen upon by a lot of vagabonds, and Mr. P. got most unmercifully beaten. His wife did not stop to calculate the damage, but whipping up her horse, rode on some two miles further, where she awaited in safety her discomfited lord. Upon the return of the warm season, our friends had gone up to Ischl in the Tyrol, to spend the summer, and when we had the pleasure of meeting them, they were "en route" for Syria, the Desert, and Egypt.

Mrs. P., although a most amiable woman, had a perverse prejudice against America and the Americans. Among other things, she could not be convinced that any thing like refinement among females could possibly exist on this side of the Atlantic. We did our utmost to dispel this very singular illusion, but we do not think that we ever entirely succeeded. Upon one occasion, when we insisted upon her giving us something more definite than mere general reasons for her belief, she answered us in substance as follows: She had met, the summer before, she said, at Ischl, a gentleman and his wife from New York, who were posting in their own carriage, and traveling with all the appendages of wealth. They were well-meaning people, she declared, but shockingly coarse. That they were representatives of the best class at home, she could not help assuming. Had she met them in London or Paris, however, she said, she might have thought them mere adventurers, come over for a ten days' trip. The lady, she continued, used to say the most extraordinary things imaginable. Upon one occasion, when they were walking together, they saw, coming toward them, a gentleman of remarkably attenuated form. The American, turning to her companion, declared that the man was so thin, that if he were to turn a quid of tobacco, from one cheek to the other, he would lose his balance and fall over. This was too much for even our chivalry, and for the moment we surrendered at discretion.

Our traveling companion for the time was a young Oxonian, a Lancashire man of family and fortune. T. C. was (good-naturedly, of course,) almost as severe upon us Americans as was Mrs. P. One rather chilly afternoon, he and ourselves were sitting over the fire in the little cabin of the steamer smoking most delectable "Latakea," when he requested us to pass him the tongues (meaning the tongs).

"The what!" we exclaimed.

"The tongues," he repeated.

"Do you mean the tongs?" we asked.

"The tongs! and do you call them tongs? Come, now, that is too good," was his reply.

"We do call them the tongs, and we speak properly when we call them so," we rejoined, a little nettled at his contemptuous tone; "and, if you please, we will refer the matter for decision to Mrs. P., but upon this condition only, that she shall be simply asked the proper pronunciation of the word, without its being intimated to her which of us is for tongues, and which for tongs." We accordingly proceeded at once to submit the controversy to our fair arbitrator. Our adversary was the spokesman, and he had hardly concluded when Mrs. P. threw up her little fat hands, and exclaimed, as soon as the laughter, which almost suffocated her, permitted her to do so, "Now, you don't mean to say that you are barbarous enough to say tongues in America?" It was our turn, then, to laugh, and we took advantage of it.

A pilgrim from the back woods, who has just been awakened from a Rip-Van-Winkleish existence of a quarter of a century by the steam-whistle of the Erie Railroad, recently came to town to see the sights—Barnum's anacondas and the monkeys at the Astor Place Opera House included. Our friend, who is of a decidedly benevolent and economical turn of mind, while walking up Broadway, hanging on our arm, the day after his arrival, had his attention attracted to a watering-cart which was ascending the street and spasmodically sprinkling the pavement. Suddenly darting off from the wing of our protection, our companion rushed after the man of Croton, at the same time calling out to him at the top of his voice, "My friend! my friend! your spout behind is leaking; and if you are not careful you will lose all the water in your barrel!"

[Pg 421]

He of the cart made no reply, but merely drawing down the lid of his eye with his fore-finger, "went on his way rejoicing."

The following epigram was written upon a certain individual who has rendered himself notorious, if not famous, in these parts. His name we suppress, leaving it to the ingenuity of the reader to place the cap upon whatever head he thinks that it will best fit:

"'Tis said that Balaam had a beast,
The wonder of his time;
A stranger one, as strange at least,
The subject of my rhyme;
One twice as full of talk and gas,
And at the same time twice—the ass!"

Among the many good stories told of that ecclesiastical wag, Sydney Smith, the following is one which we believe has never appeared in print, and which we give upon the authority of a gentleman representing himself to have been present at the occurrence.

Mr. Smith had a son who, as is frequently the case with the offshoots of clergymen (we suppose from a certain unexplained antagonism in human nature)—

"——ne in virtue's ways did take delight,
But spent his days in riot most uncouth,
And vex'd with mirth the drowsy ear of night,
Ah, me! in sooth he was a shameless wight,
Sore given to revel and ungodly glee!"

So fast indeed was this young gentleman, that for several years he was excluded from the parental domicile. At length, however, the prodigal repented, and his father took him home upon his entering into a solemn engagement to mend his ways and his manners. Shortly after the reconciliation had taken place, Mr. Smith gave a dinner-party, and one of his guests was Sumner, the present Bishop of Winchester. Before dinner, the facetious clergyman took his son aside, and endeavored to impress upon him the necessity of his conducting himself with the utmost propriety in the distinguished company to which he was about to be introduced. "Charles, my boy," he said, "I intend placing you at table next to the bishop; and I hope that you will make an effort to get up some conversation which may prove interesting to his lordship." Charles promised faithfully to do as his father requested.

At the dinner the soup was swallowed with the usual gravity. In the interval before the fish, hardly a word was spoken, and the silence was becoming positively embarrassing, when all of a sudden, Charles attracted the attention of all at table to himself, by asking the dignitary upon his right if he would do him the favor to answer a Scriptural question which had long puzzled him. Upon Doctor Sumner's promising to give the best explanation in his power, the questioner, with a quizzical expression of countenance, begged to be informed, "how long it took Nebuchadnezzar to get into condition after he returned from grass?"

It is needless to say that a hearty laugh echoed this professional inquiry on every side, and how unanimously young Smith was voted a genuine chip off the old block.

Miss C——, of the Fifth Avenue, was complaining the other day to Mrs. F——, of Bond-street, that she could never go shopping without taking cold, because the shops are kept open, and not closed like the rooms of a house. Mrs. F—— thereupon dryly advised her friend to confine her visits to Stewart's and Beck's to Sundays.

Some one says that the reason why so few borrowed books are ever returned, is because it is so much easier to keep them than what is in them.

The following matrimonial dialogue was accidentally overheard one day last week on the piazza of the United States Hotel at Saratoga.

Wife.—"My dear, I can not, for the life of me, recollect where I have put my pink bonnet."

Husband.—"Very likely. You have so many bonnets and so little head!"

Mr. Andrew Jackson Allen, who was one of the prominent witnesses in the recent Forrest Divorce case, is evidently an original. While passing up the Bowery the other day, our editorial eye was attracted by a curious sign on the east side of the street, and we crossed over for the purpose of more conveniently reading it. It was as follows:



And under this was a smaller sign upon which was inscribed the following piece of Macawber-like advice:


We take the liberty of expressing our desire that Mr. Allen may be as fortunate (if he has not already been so) in having something "turn up" in the end, as was the illustrious Wilkins of "hopeful" and "trustful" memory.

Two of our lady friends were reading, the other day, Byron's "Prisoner of Chillon." We intended to say that the one lady was pretending to read it aloud to the other lady. No woman ever has been, now is, or ever will be, capable of listening without interrupting. So that at the very commencement when the reader read the passage,

"Nor grew it white
In a single night
As man's have grown from sudden fears—"

the readee interposed as follows: "White? How odd, to be sure. Well, I know nothing about men's hair; but there is our friend, Mrs. G——, of Twelfth-street, the lady who has been just twenty-nine years old for the last fifteen years; her husband died, you know, last winter, at which misfortune her grief was so intense that her hair turned completely black within twenty-four hours after the occurrence of that sad event."

This bit of verbal annotation satisfied us, and we withdrew.

Epitaphs are notoriously hyperbolical. It is refreshing occasionally to meet with one which is terse, business-like, and to the point. Such an one any antiquarian may find, who has the patience to hunt it out, upon the tombstone of a juvenile pilgrim father (in embryo) somewhere in the New Haven graveyard. For fear that it may not be found in the first search, we give it from memory.

"Since I so very soon was done for,
I wonder what I was begun for."

[Pg 422]

Literary Notices.

A new work, by George W. Curtis (the Howadji of Oriental travel), entitled Lotus-Eating, published by Harper and Brothers, is a delightful reminiscence of Summer Rambles, describing some of the most attractive points of American scenery, with impressions of life at famous watering-places, and suggestive comparisons with celebrated objects of interest in Europe. Dreamy, imaginative, romantic, but reposing on a basis of the healthiest reality—tinged with the richest colors of poetry, but full of shrewd observation and mischievous humor—clothed in delicate and dainty felicities of language—this volume is what its title indicates—the reverie of a summer's pastime, and should be read in summer haunts, accompanied with the music of the sea-shore or breezy hill-sides. Although claiming no higher character than a pleasant book of light reading, it will enhance the reputation of the author both at home and abroad, as one of the most picturesque and original of American writers.

A New Harmony and Exposition of the Gospels, by James Strong. This elaborate volume, intended for the popular illustration of the New Testament, consists of a parallel and combined arrangement of the Four Gospel Narratives, a continuous commentary with brief additional notes, and a supplement containing several chronological and topographical dissertations. The Harmony is constructed on a novel plan, combining the methods of Newcome and Townsend, and securing the conveniences of both, without the defects of either. A continuous narrative is formed by the selection of a leading text, while at the same time, the different narratives are preserved in parallel columns, so that they may be examined and compared with perfect facility. The Exposition of the text is given in the form of a free translation of the original, in which the sense of the sacred writers is expressed in modern phraseology, and slightly paraphrased. This was the most delicate portion of the author's task. The venerable simplicity of the inspired volume can seldom be departed from, without a violation of good taste. As a general rule, a strict adherence to the original language best preserves its significance and beauty. This was the plan adopted by the translators of the received version, and their admirable judgment in this respect, is evinced by the fact that almost every modern attempt to improve upon their labors has been a failure. No new translations have even approached the place of the received one, in the estimation either of the people or of scholars, while many, with the best intentions, no doubt, on the part of their authors, present only a painful caricature of the original. Mr. Strong has done well in avoiding some of the most prominent faults of his predecessors. He has generally succeeded in preserving the logical connection of thought, which often appears in a clearer light in his paraphrase. His explanation of passages alluding to ancient manners and customs is highly satisfactory and valuable. But to our taste, he frequently errs by the ambitious rhetorical language in which he has clothed the discourses of the Great Teacher. The reverent simplicity of the original is but poorly reproduced by the florid phrases of modern oratory. In this way, the sacred impression produced by the Evangelists is injured, a lower tone of feeling is substituted, and the refined religious associations connected with their purity of language is sacrificed to the intellectual clearness which is aimed at by a more liberal use of rhetorical expressions than a severe and just taste would warrant. With this exception, we regard the present work as an important and valuable contribution to biblical literature. It displays extensive research, various and sound learning, and indefatigable patience. The numerous engravings with which the volume is illustrated, are selected from the most authentic sources, and are well adapted to throw light on the principal localities alluded to in the text, as well as attractive by their fine pictorial effect. We have no doubt that the labors of the studious author will be welcomed by his fellow students of the sacred writings, by preachers of the Gospel, and by Sunday School teachers, no less than by the great mass of private Christians of every persuasion, who can not consult his volume without satisfaction and advantage. (Published by Lane and Scott.)

A valuable manual of ecclesiastical statistics is furnished by Fox and Hoyt's Quadrennial Register of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which the first Number has been recently published by Case, Tiffany, and Co., Hartford. It is intended to exhibit the condition, economy, institutions, and resources of the Methodist Episcopal Church in this country, in a form adapted to popular use and general reference. Among the contents of this Number, we find a complete Report of the General Conference for 1852, a copious Church Directory, an Abstract of the Discipline of the Church, a list of the Seminaries of Learning and their officers, and a general view of the various religious denominations in this country. The work evinces a great deal of research, and the compilers have evidently spared no pains to give it the utmost fullness of detail as well as accuracy of statement. It does credit both to their judgment and diligence. To the clergy of the Methodist Church it will prove an indispensable companion in their journeys and labors. Nor is it confined in its interest to that persuasion of Christians. Whoever has occasion to consult an ecclesiastical directory, will find this volume replete with useful information, arranged in a very convenient method, and worthy of implicit reliance for its general correctness.

A new edition of The Mother at Home, by John S. C. Abbott, with copious additions and numerous engravings, is published by Harper and Brothers. The favor with which this work has been universally received by the religious public renders any exposition of its merits a superfluous task.

We have received the second volume of Lippincott, Grambo & Co.'s elegant and convenient edition of The Waverley Novels, containing The Antiquary, The Black Dwarf, and Old Mortality. With the Introduction and Notes by Sir Walter Scott, and the beautiful style of typography in which it is issued, this edition leaves nothing to be desired by the most fastidious book-fancier.

Another work in the department of historical romance, by Henry William Herbert, has been issued by Redfield. It is entitled The Knights of England, France, and Scotland, and consists of "Legends of the Norman Conquerors," "Legends of the Crusaders," "Legends of Feudal Days," and "Legends of Scotland." Mr. Herbert has a quick and[Pg 423] accurate eye for the picturesque features of the romantic Past; he pursues the study of history with the soul of the poet; and skillfully availing himself of the most striking traditions and incidents, has produced a series of fascinating portraitures. Whoever would obtain a vivid idea of the social and domestic traits of France and Great Britain in the olden time, should not fail to read the life-like descriptions of this volume.

Marco Paul's Voyages and Travels, by Jacob Abbott (published by Harper and Brothers), is another series for juvenile reading from the prolific pen of the writer, who, in his peculiar department of composition, stands without a rival. It is Mr. Abbott's forte to describe familiar scenes in a manner which attracts and charms every variety of taste. He produces this effect by his remarkable keenness of observation, the facility with which he detects the relations and analogies of common things, his unpretending naturalness of illustration, and his command of the racy, home-bred, idiomatic language of daily life, never descending, however, to slang or vulgarity. The series now issued describes the adventures of Marco Paul in New York, on the Erie Canal, in Maine, in Vermont, in Boston, and at the Springfield Armory. It is emphatically an American work. No American child can read it without delight and instruction. But it will not be confined to the juvenile library. Presenting a vivid commentary on American society, manners, scenery, and institutions, it has a powerful charm for readers of all ages. It will do much to increase the great popularity of Mr. Abbott as an instructor of the people.

Among the valuable educational works of the past month, we notice Woodbury's Shorter Course with the German Language, presenting the main features of the author's larger work on a reduced scale. (Published by Leavitt and Allen.)—Kiddle's Manual of Astronomy, an excellent practical treatise on the elementary principles of the science, with copious Exercises on the Use of the Globes (published by Newman and Ivison),—and Russell's University Speaker, containing an admirable selection of pieces for declamation and recitation. (published by J. Munroe and Co.)

Summer Gleanings, is the title of a book for the season by Rev. John Todd, consisting of sketches and incidents of a pastor's vacation, adventures of forest life, legends of American history, and tales of domestic experience. A right pleasant book it is, and "good for the use of edifying" withal. Lively description, touching pathos, playful humor, and useful reflection, are combined in its pages in a manner to stimulate and reward attention. Every where it displays a keen and vigorous mind, a genuine love of rural scenes, a habit of acute observation, and an irrepressible taste for gayety and good-humor, which the author wisely deems compatible with the prevailing religious tone of his work. Among the best pieces, to our thinking, are "The Poor Student," "The Doctor's Third Patient," and "The Young Lamb," though all will well repay perusal. (Northampton: Hopkins, Bridgman and Co.)

The concluding volume of The History of the United States, by Richard Hildreth, is issued by Harper and Brothers, comprising the period from the commencement of the Tenth Congress, in 1807, to the close of the Sixteenth, in 1821. This period, including the whole of Madison's administration, with a portion of that of Jefferson and of Monroe, is one of the most eventful in American history, and sustains a close relation to the existing politics of the country. No one can expect an absolute impartiality in the historian of such a recent epoch. Mr. Hildreth's narrative is undoubtedly colored, to a certain degree, by his political convictions and preferences, which, as we have seen, in the last volume, are in favor of the old Federal party; but, he may justly challenge the merit of diligent research in the collection of facts, and acute judgment in the comparison and sifting of testimony, and a prevailing fairness in the description of events. He never suffers the feelings of a partisan to prejudice the thoroughness of his investigations; but always remains clear, calm, philosophical, vigilant, and imperturbable. His condensation of the debates in Congress, on several leading points of dispute, exhibits the peculiarities of the respective debaters in a lucid manner, and will prove of great value for political reference. His notices of Josiah Quincy, John Quincy Adams, Madison, Monroe, and Henry Clay, are among the topics on which there will be wide differences of opinion; but they can not fail to attract attention. The style of Mr. Hildreth, in the present volume, preserves the characteristics, which we have remarked in noticing the previous volumes. Occasionally careless, it is always vigorous, concise, and transparent. He never indulges in any license of the imagination, never makes a display of his skill in fine writing, and never suffers you to mistake his meaning. Too uniform and severe for the romance of history, it is an admirable vehicle for the exhibition of facts, and for this reason, we believe that Mr. Hildreth's work will prove an excellent introduction to the study of American history.

We congratulate the admirers of Fitz-Greene Halleck—and what reader of American poetry is not his admirer—on a new edition of his Poetical Works, recently issued by Redfield, containing the old familiar and cherished pieces, with some extracts from a hitherto unpublished poem. The fame of Halleck is identified with the literature of his country. The least voluminous of her great poets, few have won a more beautiful, or a more permanent reputation—a more authentic claim to the sacred title of poet. Combining a profuse wealth of fancy with a strong and keen intellect, he tempers the passages in which he most freely indulges in a sweet and tender pathos, with an elastic vigor of thought, and dries the tears which he tempts forth, by sudden flashes of gayety, making him one of the most uniformly piquant of modern poets. His expressions of sentiment never fall languidly; he opens the fountains of the heart with the master-touch of genius; his humor is as gracious and refined as it is racy; and, abounding in local allusions, he gives such a point and edge to their satire, that they outlive the occasions of their application, and may be read with as much delight at the present time as when the parties and persons whom they commemorate were in full bloom. The terseness of Mr. Halleck's language is in admirable harmony with his vivacity of thought and richness of fancy, and in this respect presents a most valuable object of study for young poets.

Mysteries; or, Glimpses of the Supernatural, by C. W. Elliott. (Published by Harper and Brothers.) This is an original work, treating of certain manifestations on the "Night-Side of Nature," in a critico-historical tone, rather than in either a dogmatic or a skeptical spirit. "The Salem Witchcraft," "The Cock-Lane Ghost," "The Rochester Knockings," "The Stratford Mysteries," are some of the weird topics on which it discourses, if not lucidly, yet genially and quaintly. The author has evidently felt a "vocation" to gather all the facts that have yet come to light on these odd hallucinations, and he sets[Pg 424] them forth with a certain grave naïveté and mock Carlylese eloquence, which give a readable character to his volume, in spite of the repulsiveness of its themes. Of his discreet non-committalism we have a good specimen in the close of the chapter on the "The Stratford Mysteries," of which the Rev. Dr. Phelps is the chief hierophant. "Here the case must rest; we would not willingly charge upon any one deliberate exaggeration or falsehood, nor would any fair-minded person decide that what seems novel and surprising is therefore false. Every sane person will appeal to the great laws of God ever present in history and in his own consciousness, and by these he will try the spirits, whether they be of God or of man. The great jury of the public opinion will decide this thing also; we have much of the evidence before us. The burden of proof, however, rests with Dr. Phelps himself. Fortunately he is a man of character, property, and position, and he chooses to stand where he does; no man will hinder him if none heed him. Many believe, but may be thankful for any help to their unbelief. Many more will be strongly disposed to exclaim when they shall have read through this mass of evidence—'It began with nothing, it has ended with nothing.' Ex nihil, nihil fit!"

A perfect and liberal scheme has been matured, for the publication of a complete edition of the Church Historians of England, from Bede to Foxe. The plan is worthy of support, and a large number of subscribers have already enrolled their names. The terms of publication are moderate, and the projectors give the best guarantees of good faith.

Among recent English reprints worthy of notice are Papers on Literary and Philosophical Subjects, by Patrick C. Macdougall, Professor of Moral Philosophy in New College, Edinburgh. They are collected from various periodicals, and appear to be published at present with a view to the author's candidateship for the Ethical chair in the University of Edinburgh. The Essays on Sir James Mackintosh, Jonathan Edwards, and Dr. Chalmers display high literary taste as well as philosophical talent.

Mr. Kingsley, the author of Alton Locke, Yeast, and other works, has published Sermons on National Subjects, which are marked by the originality of thought and force of utterance which characterize all this author's writings. Some of the sermons are very much above the reach of village audiences to which they were addressed, and in type will find a more fitting circle of intelligent admirers. There is much, however, throughout the volume suited to instruct the minds and improve the hearts of the humblest hearers, while the principles brought out in regard to national duties and responsibilities, rewards and punishments, are worthy of the attention of all thoughtful men.

A new English translation of the Republic of Plato, with an introduction, analysis, and notes, by John Llewellyn Davies, M.A., and David James Vaughan, M.A., Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge, is a valuable contribution to the study of classic literature. The translation is done in a scholar-like way, and in the analysis and introduction the editors show that they enter into the spirit of their author as well as understand the letter of his work, which is more than can be said of the greater number of University translations. The text of the Zurich edition of 1847 has been generally followed, and the German translation of Schneider has evidently afforded guidance in the rendering of various passages.

The Life of David Macbeth Moir, by Thomas Aird, says the London Critic, is every way worthy of Mr. Aird's powers. It is written in a calm, dignified, yet rich and poetical style. It is an offering to the memory of dear, delightful "Delta," equally valuable from the tenderness which dictated it, and from the intrinsic worth of the gift. Aird and "Delta" were intimate friends. They had many qualities in common. Both were distinguished by genuine simplicity and sincerity of character, by a deep love for nature, for poetry, and for "puir auld Scotland;" and by unobtrusive, heart-felt piety. "Delta" had not equal power and originality of genius with his friend; but his vein was more varied, clearer, smoother, and more popular. There was, in another respect, a special fitness in Aird becoming "Delta's" biographer. He was with him when he was attacked by his last illness. He watched his dying bed, received his last blessing, and last sigh. And religiously has he discharged the office thus sadly devolved on him.

The fourth and last volume of The Life of Chalmers, by Dr. Hanna, is principally devoted to the connection of Chalmers with the Free Church movement. The Athenæum says: "Altogether, Dr. Hanna is to be congratulated on the manner in which he has fulfilled the important task on which he has now for several years been engaged. Dr. Chalmers is a man whose life and character may well engage many writers; but no one possessed such materials as Dr. Hanna for writing a biography so full and detailed as was in this case demanded. The four volumes which he has laid before the public are not only an ample discharge of his special obligations as regards his splendid subject, but also a much needed example of the manner in which biographies of this kind, combining original narrative with extracts from writings and correspondence, ought to be written."

A meeting of literary men has been held at Lansdowne House, for the purpose of raising a fund for erecting a monument to the late Sir James Mackintosh. The proposal for a monument was moved by Mr. T. B. Macaulay, seconded by Lord Mahon. Mr. Hallam moved the appointment of a committee, which was seconded by Lord Broughton, Lord Lansdowne agreeing to act as chairman, and Sir R. H. Inglis as secretary. We are glad to see literary men of all political parties uniting in this tribute of honor to one of the greatest and best men of whom his country could boast.

At the sixty-third anniversary of the Royal Literary Fund, Lord Campbell presided effectively; and, after stating that he owed his success in law to the fostering aid of his labors in literature, he held out hopes that he may yet live to produce a work which shall give him a better title to a name in literature than he has yet earned. Pleasant speeches were made by Justice Talfourd, Mr. Monckton Milnes, Chevalier Bunsen, Mr. Abbott Lawrence, and especially by Mr. Thackeray, who improved the event of the coming year of the society's existence—that Mr. Disraeli, M.P., is to be chairman of the anniversary of 1853. The funds of the past year had been £600 more than in any former year.

William Maccall in The People, gives the following graphic account of his first interview with[Pg 425] John Stirling. "Sometime in March, 1841, I was traveling by coach from Bristol to Devonport. I had for companion part of the way a tall, thin gentleman, evidently in bad health, but with a cheerful, gallant look which repelled pity. We soon got into conversation. I was much impressed by his brilliant and dashing speech, so much like a rapid succession of impetuous cavalry charges; but I was still more impressed by his frankness, his friendliness, his manliness. A sort of heroic geniality seemed to hang on his very garments. We talked about German literature; then about Carlyle. I said that the only attempt at an honest and generous appreciation of Carlyle's genius was a recent article in The Westminster Review. My companion replied, 'I wrote that article. My name is John Sterling.' We seemed to feel a warmer interest in each other from that moment; and, by quick instinct, we saw that we were brothers in God's Universe, though we might never be brought very near each other in brotherhood on earth. Sterling left me at Exeter, and a few days after my arrival at Devonport I received a letter, which leavens my being with new life, every time I read it, by its singular tenderness and elevation."

The English literary journals are always suggestive, often amusing, and sometimes not a little "verdant," as the Yankees say, in their notices of American books. We subjoin a few of their criticisms on recent popular works. Of Queechy, by Elizabeth Wetherell, the Literary Gazette discourses as follows: "The authoress of 'Queechy' has every quality of a good writer save one. Good feeling, good taste, fancy, liveliness, shrewd observation of character, love of nature, and considerable skill in the management of a story—all these she possesses. But she has yet to learn how much brevity is the soul of wit. Surely she must live in some most quiet nook of 'the wide, wide world,' and the greater part of her American readers must have much of the old Dutch patience and the primitive leisure of the days of Rip Van Winkle. Doubtless the book will have admirers as ardent in the parlors of Boston as in the farm-houses of the far West, who will make no complaints of prolixity, and will wish the book longer even than it is. There is a large circle in this country also to whom it will be faultless. The good people who take for gold whatever glitters on the shelves of their favorite booksellers, will be delighted with a work far superior to the dreary volumes of commonplace which are prepared for the use of what is called 'the religious public.' But we fear that those to whom such a book would be the most profitable will deem 'Queechy' somewhat tiresome. The story is too much drawn out, and many of the dialogues and descriptions would be wonderfully improved by condensation."

The Athenæum has a decent notice of Curtis's Howadji in Syria, which by the by, has got metamorphosed into The Wanderer in Syria, in the London edition.

"It is about a year since we noticed a book of Eastern travel called 'Nile Notes'—evidently by a new writer, and evincing his possession of various gifts and graces—warmth of imagination, power of poetic coloring, and a quick perception of the ludicrous in character and in incident. We assumed that an author of so much promise would be heard of again in the literary arena; and accordingly he is now before us as 'The Wanderer in Syria,' and has further announced a third work under the suggestive title of 'Lotus-Eating.' 'The Wanderer' is a continuation of the author's travels—and is divided between the Desert, Jerusalem, and Damascus. It is in the same style of poetic reverie and sentimental scene-painting as 'Nile Notes,'—but it shows that Mr. Curtis has more than one string to his harp. The characteristic of his former volume was a low, sad monotone—the music of the Memnon, in harmony with the changeless sunshine and stagnant life of Egypt—with the silence of its sacred river and the sepulchral grandeur of its pyramids and buried cities. 'The Wanderer,' on the contrary, is never melancholy. There is in him a prevailing sense of repose, but the spirit breathes easily, and the languid hour is followed by bracing winds from Lebanon. There is the same warm sunshine,—but the gorgeous colors and infinite varieties of Eastern life are presented with greater vivacity and grace.

"Mr. Curtis's fault is that of Ovid—an over-lusciousness of style—too great a fondness for color. He cloys the appetite with sweetness. His aim as a writer should be to obtain a greater depth and variety of manner—more of contrast in his figures. He is rich in natural gifts, and time and study will probably develop in him what is yet wanting of artistic skill and taste.

"Of Mr. Curtis's latest work, entitled 'Lotus-Eating; a Summer Book,' the Literary Gazette says:

"A very cheerful and amusing, but always sensible and intelligent companion is Mr. Curtis. Whether on the Nile or the Hudson, on the Broadway of New York or the Grand Canal of Venice, we have one whose remarks are worth listening to. Not very original in his thoughts, nor very deep in his feelings, we yet read with pleasant assent the record of almost every thing that he thinks and feels. This new summer book is a rough journal of a ramble in the States, but every chapter is full of reminiscences of the old European world, and an agreeable medley he makes of his remarks on scenery, and history, and literature, and mankind. Mr. Curtis is one of the most cosmopolitan writers that America has yet produced. This light volume is fittingly called a summer book, just such as will be read with pleasure on the deck of a steamer, or under the cliffs of some of our modern Baiæ. It may also teach thoughtless tourists how to reflect on scenes through which they travel."

The question whether the honor of the authorship of the "Imitation of Jesus Christ," a work held in the highest esteem in the Roman Catholic church, and which has been translated into almost every living language, belongs to John Gersen or Gesson, supposed to have been an abbot of the order of Saint Benedict, at the beginning of the fourteenth century, or to Thomas à Kempis, monk of the order of Regular Canons of the monastery of Mount Saint Agnes, has given rise to an immense deal of controversy among Catholic ecclesiastical writers, and has set the two venerable orders of Benedictines and Regular Canons terribly by the ears. It has just, however, been set at rest, by the discovery of manuscripts by the Bishop of Bruges, in the Library at Brussels, proving beyond all doubt, to his mind, that Thomas à Kempis really was the author, and not, as the partisans of Gersen assert, merely the copyist. The Bishop of Munster has also, singular to relate, recently discovered old manuscripts which lead him to the same conclusion. The manuscript of Gersen, on which his advocates principally relied to prove that he was the author, must therefore henceforth be considered only as a copy; it is in the public library at Valenciennes.

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The last two numbers of the "Leipzig Grenzboten" contain, among some half-dozen articles of special German interest, papers on Görgey's Vindication, on Longfellow, and Margaret Fuller Ossoli, and on the department of northern antiquities in the new museum at Berlin. The German critic considers Professor Longfellow's poetry as a cross between the "Lakers" and Shelley. Longfellow's novels remind him of Goethe and Jean Paul Richter, and in some instances of Hoffmann. The "Golden Legend" is of course a frantic imitation of Goethe's "Faust." Margaret Fuller, too, is represented as an emanation from the German mind.

We learn from the "Vienna Gazette" that Dr. Moritz Wagner, the renowned naturalist and member of the Vienna Academy of Sciences, has set out on a journey across the continent of America to New Orleans, Panama, Columbia, and Peru. Dr. Wagner, accompanied by Dr. Charles Scherzer, who has undertaken to edit the literary portion of the description of his travels, is expected to devote the next three years to this expedition, and great are the hopes of the Vienna papers as to its results.

The "Presse" of Vienna states that Prince Metternich possesses an amulet which Lord Byron formerly wore round his neck. This amulet, the inscriptions of which have been recently translated by the celebrated Orientalist, von Hammer-Purgstall, contains a treaty entered into "between Solomon and a she-devil," in virtue of which no harm could happen to the person who should wear the talisman. This treaty is written half in Turkish and half in Arabic. It contains besides, prayers of Adam, Noah, Job, Jonah, and Abraham. The first person who wore the amulet was Ibrahim, the son of Mustapha, in 1763. Solomon is spoken of in the Koran as the ruler of men and of devils.

The University of Berlin has celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the nomination to the degree of Doctor of M. Lichtenstein, the celebrated naturalist, who, since the foundation of the university, in 1810, has occupied the chair of zoology. Three busts of M. Lichtenstein were inaugurated—one in the grand gallery of the University, one in the Zoological Museum, and the third in the Zoological Garden of Berlin. Baron Von Humboldt delivered a speech to the professors and students, in which he detailed at great length the scientific labors of M. Lichtenstein. Some days before the ceremony, M. Lichtenstein, who is remarkable for his modesty, left Berlin for Trieste, from whence he was to proceed to Alexandria.

Görgey's Memoirs of the Hungarian Campaign have been confiscated, and forbidden throughout Austria. Exceptions, however, are made in favor of individuals.

This year, 1852, the Royal Academy of Sweden has caused its annual medal to be struck to the memory of the celebrated Swedenborg, one of its first members. The medal, which has already been distributed to the associates, has, on the obverse, the head of Swedenborg, with, at the top, the name, Emanuel Swedenborg; and underneath, Nat. 1688. Den. 1772. And on the reverse, a man in a garment reaching to the feet, with eyes unbandaged, standing before the temple of Isis, at the base of which the goddess is seen. Above is the inscription: Tantoque exsultat alumno; and below: Miro naturæ investigatori socio quond. æstimatiss. Acad. reg. Scient. Soec. MDCCCLII.

In Sweden during the year 1851 there were 1060 books published, and 113 journals. Of the books, 182 were theological, 56 political, 123 legal, 80 historical, 55 politico-economical and technical, 45 educational, 40 philological, 38 medical, 31 mathematical, 22 physical, 18 geographical, 3 æsthetical, and 3 philosophical. Fiction and Belles-Lettres have 259; but they are mostly translations from English, French, and German. Of these details we are tempted to say, remarks the Leader, what Jean Paul's hero says of the lists of Errata he has been so many years collecting—"Quintus Fixlein declared there were profound conclusions to be drawn from these Errata; and he advised the reader to draw them!"

Another eminent and honorable name is added to the list of victims to the present barbarian Government of France. M. Barthélemy St. Hilaire has refused to take the oath of allegiance—and he will accordingly be deprived of the chair which he has long filled with so much ability at the Collège de France. The sacrifice which M. St. Hilaire has made to principle is the more to be honored, since he has no private fortune, and has reached a time of life when it is hard to begin the world anew. But the loss of his well-earned means of subsistence is, we know, a light evil in his eyes compared to the loss of a sphere of activity which he regarded as eminently useful and honorable, and which he had acquired by twenty-seven years of laborious devotion to learning and philosophy.

Among the few French books worthy of notice, says the Leader, let us not forget the fourth volume of Saint Beuve's charming Causeries du Lundi, just issued. The volume opens with an account of Mirabeau's unpublished dialogues with Sophie, and some delicate remarks by Sainte Beuve, in the way of commentary. There are also admirable papers on Buffon, Madame de Scudery, M. de Bonald, Pierre Dupont, Saint Evremont et Ninon, Duc de Lauzun, &c. Although he becomes rather tiresome if you read much at a time, Sainte Beuve is the best article writer (in our Macaulay sense) France possesses. With varied and extensive knowledge, a light, glancing, sensitive mind, and a style of great finesse, though somewhat spoiled by affectation, he contrives to throw a new interest round the oldest topics; he is, moreover, an excellent critic. Les Causeries du Lundi is by far the best of his works.

Dramatic literature is lucrative in France. The statement of finances laid before the Dramatic Society shows, that during the years 1851-52, sums paid for pieces amount to 917,531 francs (upward of £36,000). It would be difficult to show that English dramatists have received as many hundreds. The sources of these payments are thus indicated. Theatres of Paris, 705,363 francs; the provincial theatres, 195,450 francs (or nearly eight thousand pounds; whereas the English provinces return about eight hundred pounds a year!)—and suburban theatres, 16,717 francs. To these details we may add the general receipts of all the theatres in Paris during the year—viz., six millions seven hundred and seventy-one thousand francs, or £270,840.

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Comicalities, Original and Selected.


Young Ladies (both at once).—"Why, Mr. Bull! how terribly you have been bitten by the Musquitoes!"

Mr. Bull (a fresh importation).—"I can't hunderstand 'ow it 'appened. I did hevery thing I could think of to keep them hoff. I 'ad my window hopen and a light burning hall night in my hapartment!"


That exquisite young officer, Captain Gandaw, was reading a newspaper, when his brilliant eye lighted on the following passage in a letter which had been written to the journal by Mr. Mechi, on the subject of "Irrigation."

"I may be thought rather speculative when I anticipate that within a century from this period, the sewage from our cities and towns will follow the lines of our lines of railway, in gigantic arterial tubes, from which diverging veins will convey to the eager and distant farmer the very essence of the meat and bread which he once produced at so much cost."

"Fancy," remarked the gallant Captain, "the sewage of towns and cities being the essence of owa bwead and meat—and of beeaw too, of cawse, as beeaw is made from gwain! How vewy disgasting! Mr. Mechi expects that his ideas will be thought wathaw speculative.—He flatters himself. They will only be consida'd vewy dawty. The wetch! I shall be obliged to abjaw bwead, and confine myself to Iwish potatoes—which are the simple productions of the awth—and avoid all animal food but game and fish. And when fish and game are not in season, I shall be unda the necessity of westwicting my appetite to

"A scwip with hawbs and fwuits supplied,
And wataw fwom the spwing."
[Pg 428]


Tender Mother.—"A hundred Dollars! why, what can you want a hundred dollars so soon for?"

Young New York.—"Why, Mother, I'm deucedly hard up. I'm almost out of Cologne and Cigars. Besides, the fellows are going to run me for President of the St. Nicholas Club, and I must pony up my dues, and stand the Champagne."


Young Lady.—"Now then, what is it that you wish to say to me that so nearly concerns your happiness?"

Enamored Juvenile.—"Why, I love you to the verge of distraction, and can't be happy without you! Say, dearest, only say that you will be mine!"

[Pg 429]


Roguy.—"See that girl looking at me, Poguy?"

Poguy.—"Don't I? Why, she can't keep her eyes off you."

Roguy (poking Poguy in the waistcoat).—"What women care for, my boy, isn't Features, but Expression!"


Young Lady "couldn't take any thing—only a Pine-apple Ice"—but the ice once broken, she makes such havoc upon pies, tongue, Roman punches, tarts, Champagne, and sundry other potables and comestibles, as to produce a very perceptible feeling in the Funds.

[Pg 430]


Young Sister.—"Oh, Mamma! I wish I could go to a party."

Mamma.—"Don't be foolish. I've told you a hundred times that you can not go out until Flora is married. So do not allude to the subject again, I beg. It's utterly out of the question."


Edward.—"There, Dearest, do you feel refreshed?"

Angelina.—"Yes, my Love. A little more upon the left cheek, if you please. That's much nicer than fanning one's self. Now a little higher, on my forehead."

[Pg 431]

Fashions for Summer.

Figures 1 and 2.Bride's Toilet and Walking Dress.

Fig. 1.Bride's Toilet.—Hair in bands very much puffed. Back hair tied rather low; the wreath of white iris flowers, with foliage. Behind this, and rather on one side, is the crown of orange flowers that holds the vail, which is placed very backward, and is of plain tulle, with a single hem. Dress of taffeta, with bayadères, or, rather, velvet, with rows of velvet flowers, appearing like terry velvet. The body, almost high behind, opens very low in front, and is trimmed with a double plain berthe, that follows its cut. The waist is lengthened in front, but not pointed. The bouquet decorates the bottom of the body, and spreads in the form of a fan. The sleeve pagoda-shaped, half-wide, and plain at top, terminated by two trimmings worked like the edge of the berthes; a wide lace under-sleeve covers the arm. The habit shirt is square at the top, composed of lace, the upper row raised at the edge and four or five other rows below.

Fig. 2.Walking Dress.—Bonnet of taffeta and blond. The brim, high, narrow, and sitting close to the chin, is of taffeta, gathered from the bottom of the crown to the edge; on the sides of the crown an ornament is placed, cut rather round at the ends, and consisting of three rows of taffeta bouillonnes, fastened together by a cross-piece of taffeta. The crown is not deep, falls back, and has a soft top. The curtain, of taffeta, cut cross-wise, is not gathered in the seam. The blond that covers the lower part is gathered, and ends in vandykes that hang below the curtain. A like blond is sewed full on the cross-piece that borders the ornament, and the points also reaching beyond the edge are fastened to those of the other blond, so that the edge of the brim is seen through them. Toward the bottom the blond above separates from that below, and sits full near the edge of the ornament. A blond forming a fanchon on the calotte is laid also under the other edge of the ornament. Lastly the curtain itself is covered with blond. Inside are white roses, mixed with bows of ribbon. Dress of taffeta. Body high, buttoning straight up in front. Two trimmings are put up the side of the body. These trimmings, made of bands resembling the narrow flounces, get narrower toward the bottom. They are pinked at the edges, and shaded. The sleeve is plain, and terminated by two trimmings, pinked and shaded. The skirt has five flounces five inches wide, then a sixth of eight, pinked and shaded.

[Pg 432]

Figure 3.Bonnet.
Figure 5.Bonnet.
Figure 4.Bonnet.

Fig. 3.Drawn Bonnet, of taffeta and blond; the brim, which is four inches wide, is of taffeta doubled, that is, the inside and outside are of one piece. It has several gathers. The side of crown, three inches and a quarter wide, is of the same material, puffed at the sides for about an inch, and there are also fourteen ribs in the whole circuit. The top of crown is soft; a roll along the edge of the crown. The ornaments consist of small rolls of taffeta, to which are sewed two rows of blond three-quarters of an inch wide. These same rolls ornament the brim, being placed on the edge, and inside as well as outside. There are seventeen of these ornaments on the brim, with an inch and a half of interval between them. The curtain is trimmed in the same manner, and has ten of them. The top of crown has five rolls, trimmed with blond. The inside is ornamented with roses, brown foliage, and bouclettes of narrow blue ribbons mixing with the flowers.

Fig. 4.Drawn Bonnet of white tulle and straw-colored taffeta, edged with a fringed guipure and bouquets of Parma violets. The taffeta trimming is disposed inside and outside the brim, in vandykes, the points of which are nearly three inches apart. In each space between them is a bouquet of Parma violets. The points of the fanchon lie upon the crown.

Fig. 5.Drawn Bonnet, of tulle, blond, taffeta, and straw trimmings, with flowers of straw and crape. The edge of the brim is cut in fourteen scollops. The inside is puffed tulle, mixed with blond. The scollops of the edge are continued all over the bonnet, and are alternately tulle and white taffeta, with a straw edging.

For morning and home costume, organdie muslins will be in great favor, the bodies made in the loose jacket style, and worn either with lace or silk waist coats. Silks, with designs woven in them for each part of the dress, are still worn; those woven with plaided stripe, à-la robe, are very stylish.

White bodies will be worn with colored skirts they will be beautifully embroidered, and will have a very distinguée appearance.

Dress bodies are worn open; they have lappets or small basquines: for all light materials, such as organdie, tarlatane, barège, &c., the skirts will have flounces. In striped and figured silks, the skirts are generally preferred without trimming, as it destroys the effect and beauty of the pattern. Black lace mantillas and shawls will receive distinguished favor; those of Chantilly lace are very elegant. Scarf mantelets are worn low on the shoulders.

A novelty in the form of summer mantelets has just been introduced in Paris, where it has met with pre-eminent favor. It is called the mantelet echarpe, or scarf mantelet; and it combines, as its name implies, the effect of the scarf and mantelet. It may be made in black or colored silk, and is frequently trimmed simply with braid or embroidery. Sometimes the trimming consists of velvet or passementerie, and sometimes of fringe and lace.


[1] Spelled variously, by different authors, Caïpha, Kaïfa, Caiffa, and in other ways.

[2] The charts, as executed by the engineers, were on a still larger scale than is here represented. It was necessary to reduce the scale by one-fourth, in order to bring the portion to be copied within the limits of a page.

[3] A striking example of this occurs at Long Branch in New Jersey, where a stream crosses the beach in entering the sea, at a point about half a mile to the southward of the hotels resorted to on that coast in summer by bathers. The visitor who walks along the shore in that direction, sometimes at a certain point finds himself upon an elevated sandy ridge, with the surf of the sea rolling in upon one side of it, and what appears to be a large inland pond lying quietly on the other. A few days afterward, on visiting the spot, he observes, perhaps, that the pond has disappeared; and a wide chasm has been made across the ridge of sand that he walked over before in safety, through the centre of which a small stream is flowing quietly into the sea. Neither of these views are of a nature to awaken any very special interest, except when they are considered in connection with each other: but if the observer should chance to come upon the ground when the pond is nearly full, he may witness a very extraordinary spectacle in the rushing out of the torrent by which the barrier is carried away. The boys of the vicinity often find amusement in hastening the catastrophe, by digging a little channel in the sand with their hands, when the water has risen nearly to the proper level. The stream that flows through this opening is at first extremely small, but it grows wider, deeper, and more rapid every moment, as the opening enlarges, and soon becomes a roaring torrent, spreading to a great width, and tossing itself into surges and crests as it rushes down the slope into the sea, in the most wild and tumultuous manner.

The spectacle is almost equally imposing when, after the pond has emptied itself, and the tide begins to rise, the surf of the sea engages in its work of reconstructing the dam.

[4] It is somewhat doubtful whether the very first discovery of the art of making glass, took place here or not, as learned men have noticed a considerable number of allusions in various writings of a very high antiquity, which they have thought might possibly refer to this substance. An example of this kind is found in the book of Job, where a word, translated crystal, is used. The writer, speaking of wisdom, says, "It can not be equaled with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire. The gold and the crystal can not equal it." It has been considered doubtful whether the word crystal, in this connection, is meant to denote a glass or some transparent mineral.

[5] See 1 Kings xviii. 17-46. For other passages of Scripture referring to Mt. Carmel see 2 Kings ii. 25; iv. 25; xix. 23. 2 Chron. xxvi. 10. Isa. xxxv. 2. Jer. xlvi. 18. Amos i. 2; ix. 3. Micah vii. 14.

[6] 1 Kings xviii. 4

[7] Continued from the July Number.

[8] Continued from the July Number.

[9] A gentleman, after hearing one of Mr. Clay's magnificent performances in the Senate, thus describes him: "Every muscle of the orator's face was at work. His whole body seemed agitated, as if each part was instinct with a separate life; and his small white hand, with its blue veins apparently distended almost to bursting, moved gracefully, but with all the energy of rapid and vehement gesture. The appearance of the speaker seemed that of a pure intellect, wrought up to its mightiest energies, and brightly shining through the thin and transparent vail of flesh that invested it." It is much to be lamented that no painting exists of the departed statesman that really does him justice. What a treasure to the country, and to the friends of the "Great Commoner," would be a portrait, at this time, from the faithful and glowing pencil of our pre-eminent artist, Elliott! But it is now "too late".

[10] Nicholas Dean, Esq., President of the Croton Aqueduct Board, a life-long friend of Mr. Clay.

[11] They were reduced to writing immediately afterward.

Transcriber's Notes:

Obvious printer's errors have been repaired, other inconsistent spellings have been kept, including variation in:
- use of accent (e.g. "Léonard" and "Leonard" in p. 413-414);
- use of hyphen (e.g. "archway" and "arch-way");
- capitalisation (e.g. "Vice-president" and "Vice-President").

Pg 356, word "upon" removed from sentence "...attack upon [upon] Mr. Dutton's purse..."

Pg 378, sentence "(TO BE CONTINUED.)" added to the end of article.

Pg 386, word "of" added to sentence "...the wish of the son..."

Pg 416, word "is" removed from sentence "Here [is] is a very amusing picture..."

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Harper's New Monthly Magazine, No.
XXVII, August 1852, Vol. V, by Various


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