By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Initial Studies in American Letters
Author: Beers, Henry A. (Henry Augustin), 1847-1926
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Initial Studies in American Letters" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.





New York
Chautauqua Press
C. L. S. C. Department, 150 Fifth Avenue


The required books of the C. L. S. C. are recommended by a Council of
Six.  It must, however, be understood that recommendation does not
involve an approval by the Council, or by any member of it, of every
principle or doctrine contained in the book recommended.


This volume is intended as a companion to the historical sketch of
English literature, entitled _From Chaucer to Tennyson_, published last
year for the Chautauqua Circle.  In writing it I have followed the same
plan, aiming to present the subject in a sort of continuous essay
rather than in the form of a "primer" or elementary manual.  I have not
undertaken to describe, or even to mention, every American author or
book of importance, but only those which seemed to me of most
significance.  Nevertheless I believe that the sketch contains enough
detail to make it of some use as a guide-book to our literature.
Though meant to be mainly a history of American _belles-lettres_, it
makes some mention of historical and political writings, but hardly any
of philosophical, scientific, and technical works.

A chronological rather than a topical order has been followed, although
the fact that our best literature is of recent growth has made it
impossible to adhere as closely to a chronological plan as in the
English sketch.  In the reading courses appended to the different
chapters I have named a few of the most important authorities in
American literary history, such as Duyckinck, Tyler, Stedman, and
Richardson.  My thanks are due to the authors and publishers who have
kindly allowed me the use of copyrighted matter for the appendix,
especially to Mr. Park Godwin and Messrs. D. Appleton & Co. for the
passages from Bryant; to Messrs. A. O.  Armstrong & Son for the
selections from Poe; to the Rev. E. E. Hale and Messrs. Roberts
Brothers for the extract from _The Man Without a Country_; to Walt
Whitman for his two poems; and to Mr. Clemens and the American
Publishing Co. for the passage from _The Jumping Frog_.















The writings of our colonial era have a much greater importance as
history than as literature.  It would be unfair to judge of the
intellectual vigor of the English colonists in America by the books
that they wrote; those "stern men with empires in their brains" had
more pressing work to do than the making of books.  The first settlers,
indeed, were brought face to face with strange and exciting
conditions--the sea, the wilderness, the Indians, the flora and fauna
of a new world--things which seem stimulating to the imagination, and
incidents and experiences which might have lent themselves easily to
poetry or romance.  Of all these they wrote back to England reports
which were faithful and sometimes vivid, but which, upon the whole,
hardly rise into the region of literature.  "New England," said
Hawthorne, "was then in a state incomparably more picturesque than at
present."  But to a contemporary that old New England of the
seventeenth century doubtless seemed any thing but picturesque, filled
with grim, hard, work-day realities.  The planters both of Virginia and
Massachusetts were decimated by sickness and starvation, constantly
threatened by Indian Wars, and troubled by quarrels among themselves
and fears of disturbance from England.  The wrangles between the royal
governors and the House of Burgesses in the Old Dominion, and the
theological squabbles in New England, which fill our colonial records,
are petty and wearisome to read of.  At least, they would be so did we
not bear in mind to what imperial destinies those conflicts were slowly
educating the little communities which had hardly yet secured a
foothold on the edge of the raw continent.

Even a century and a half after the Jamestown and Plymouth settlements,
when the American plantations had grown strong and flourishing, and
commerce was building up large towns, and there were wealth and
generous living and fine society, the "good old colony days when we
lived under the king," had yielded little in the way of literature that
is of any permanent interest.  There would seem to be something in the
relation of a colony to the mother-country which dooms the thought and
art of the former to a helpless provincialism.   Canada and Australia
are great provinces, wealthier and more populous than the thirteen
colonies at the time of their separation from England.  They have
cities whose inhabitants number hundreds of thousands, well-equipped
universities, libraries, cathedrals, costly public buildings, all the
outward appliances of an advanced civilization; and yet what have
Canada and Australia contributed to British literature?

American literature had no infancy.  That engaging _naïveté_ and that
heroic rudeness which give a charm to the early popular tales and songs
of Europe find, of course, no counterpart on our soil.  Instead of
emerging from the twilight of the past the first American writings were
produced under the garish noon of a modern and learned age.
Decrepitude rather than youthfulness is the mark of a colonial
literature.  The poets, in particular, instead of finding a challenge
to their imagination in the new life about them, are apt to go on
imitating the cast-off literary fashions of the mother-country.
America was settled by Englishmen who were contemporary with the
greatest names in English literature.  Jamestown was planted in 1607,
nine years before Shakespeare's death, and the hero of that enterprise,
Captain John Smith, may not improbably have been a personal
acquaintance of the great dramatist.  "They have acted my fatal
tragedies on the stage," wrote Smith.  Many circumstances in _The
Tempest_ were doubtless suggested by the wreck of the _Sea Venture_ on
"the still vext Bermoothes," as described by William Strachey in his
_True Repertory of the Wrack and Redemption of Sir Thomas Gates_,
written at Jamestown, and published at London in 1610.  Shakespeare's
contemporary, Michael Drayton, the poet of the _Polyolbion_, addressed
a spirited valedictory ode to the three shiploads of "brave, heroic
minds" who sailed from London in 1606 to colonize Virginia, an ode
which ended with the prophecy of a future American literature:

 "And as there plenty grows
  Of laurel every-where--
  Apollo's sacred tree--
  You it may see
  A poet's brows
  To crown, that may sing there."

Another English poet, Samuel Daniel, the author of the _Civil Wars_,
had also prophesied in a similar strain:

  "And who in time knows whither we may vent
    The treasure of our tongue, to what strange shores . . .
  What worlds in the yet unformed Occident
    May come refined with accents that are ours?"

It needed but a slight movement in the balances of fate, and Walter
Raleigh might have been reckoned among the poets of America.  He was
one of the original promoters of the Virginia colony, and he made
voyages in person to Newfoundland and Guiana.  And more unlikely things
have happened than that when John Milton left Cambridge in 1632 he
should have been tempted to follow Winthrop and the colonists of
Massachusetts Bay, who had sailed two years before.  Sir Henry Vane,
the younger, who was afterward Milton's friend--

  "Vane, young in years, but in sage counsel old"--

came over in 1635, and was for a short time governor of Massachusetts.
These are idle speculations, and yet, when we reflect that Oliver
Cromwell was on the point of embarking for America when he was
prevented by the king's officers, we may, for the nonce, "let our frail
thoughts dally with false surmise," and fancy by how narrow a chance
_Paradise Lost_ missed being written in Boston.  But, as a rule, the
members of the literary guild are not quick to emigrate.  They like the
feeling of an old and rich civilization about them, a state of society
which America has only begun to reach during the present century.

Virginia and New England, says Lowell, were the "two great distributing
centers of the English race."  The men who colonized the country
between the Capes of Virginia were not drawn, to any large extent, from
the literary or bookish classes in the old country.  Many of the first
settlers were gentlemen--too many, Captain Smith thought, for the good
of the plantation.  Some among these were men of worth and spirit, "of
good means and great parentage."  Such was, for example, George Percy,
a younger brother of the Earl of Northumberland, who was one of the
original adventurers, and the author of _A Discourse of the Plantation
of the Southern Colony of Virginia_, which contains a graphic narrative
of the fever and famine summer of 1607 at Jamestown.  But many of these
gentlemen were idlers, "unruly gallants, packed thither by their
friends to escape ill destinies," dissipated younger sons, soldiers of
fortune, who came over after the gold which was supposed to abound in
the new country, and who spent their time in playing bowls and drinking
at the tavern as soon as there was any tavern.  With these was a
sprinkling of mechanics and farmers, indented servants, and the
on-scourings of the London streets, fruit of press-gangs and jail
deliveries, sent over to "work in the plantations."

Nor were the conditions of life afterward in Virginia very favorable to
literary growth.  The planters lived isolated on great estates which
had water-fronts on the rivers that flow into the Chesapeake.  There
the tobacco, the chief staple of the country, was loaded directly upon
the trading vessels that tied up to the long, narrow wharves of the
plantations.  Surrounded by his slaves, and visited occasionally by a
distant neighbor, the Virginia country gentleman lived a free and
careless life.  He was fond of fox-hunting, horse-racing, and
cock-fighting.  There were no large towns, and the planters met each
other mainly on occasion of a county court or the assembling of the
Burgesses.  The court-house was the nucleus of social and political
life in Virginia as the town-meeting was in New England.  In such a
state of society schools were necessarily few, and popular education
did not exist.  Sir William Berkeley, who was the royal governor of the
colony from 1641 to 1677, said, in 1670, "I thank God there are no free
schools nor printing, and I hope we shall not have these hundred
years."  In the matter of printing this pious wish was well-nigh
realized.  The first press set up in the colony, about 1681, was soon
suppressed, and found no successor until the year 1729.  From that date
until some ten years before the Revolution one printing-press answered
the needs of Virginia, and this was under official control.  The
earliest newspaper in the colony was the _Virginia Gazette_,
established in 1736.

In the absence of schools the higher education naturally languished.
Some of the planters were taught at home by tutors, and others went to
England and entered the universities.  But these were few in number,
and there was no college in the colony until more than half a century
after the foundation of Harvard in the younger province of
Massachusetts.  The college of William and Mary was established at
Williamsburg chiefly by the exertions of the Rev. James Blair, a Scotch
divine, who was sent by the Bishop of London as "commissary" to the
Church in Virginia.  The college received its charter in 1693, and held
its first commencement in 1700.  It is perhaps significant of the
difference between the Puritans of New England and the so-called
"Cavaliers" of Virginia, that while the former founded and supported
Harvard College in 1636, and Yale in 1701, of their own motion and at
their own expense, William and Mary received its endowment from the
crown, being provided for in part by a deed of lands and in part by a
tax of a penny a pound on all tobacco exported from the colony.  In
return for this royal grant the college was to present yearly to the
king two copies of Latin verse.  It is reported of the young Virginian
gentlemen who resorted to the new college that they brought their
plantation manners with them, and were accustomed to "keep race-horses
at the college, and bet at the billiard or other gaming-tables."
William and Mary College did a good work for the colony, and educated
some of the great Virginians of the Revolutionary era, but it has never
been a large or flourishing institution, and has held no such relation
to the intellectual development of its section as Harvard and Yale have
held in the colonies of Massachusetts and Connecticut.  Even after the
foundation of the University of Virginia, in which Jefferson took a
conspicuous part, Southern youths were commonly sent to the North for
their education, and at the time of the outbreak of the civil war there
was a large contingent of Southern students in several Northern
colleges, notably in Princeton and Yale.

Naturally, the first books written in America were descriptions of the
country and narratives of the vicissitudes of the infant settlements,
which were sent home to be printed for the information of the English
public and the encouragement of further immigration.  Among books of
this kind produced in Virginia the earliest and most noteworthy were
the writings of that famous soldier of fortune, Captain John Smith.
The first of these was his _True Relation_, namely, "of such
occurrences and accidents of note as hath happened in Virginia since
the first planting of that colony," printed at London in 1608.  Among
Smith's other books the most important is perhaps his _General History
of Virginia_ (London, 1624), a compilation of various narratives by
different hands, but passing under his name.  Smith was a man of a
restless and daring spirit, full of resource, impatient of
contradiction, and of a somewhat vainglorious nature, with an appetite
for the marvelous and a disposition to draw the longbow.  He had seen
service in many parts of the world, and his wonderful adventures lost
nothing in the telling.  It was alleged against him that the evidence
of his prowess rested almost entirely on his own testimony.  His
truthfulness in essentials has not, perhaps, been successfully
impugned, but his narratives have suffered by the embellishments with
which he has colored them; and, in particular, the charming story of
Pocahontas saving his life at the risk of her own--the one romance of
early Virginian history--has passed into the realm of legend.

Captain Smith's writings have small literary value apart from the
interest of the events which they describe and the diverting but
forcible personality which they unconsciously display.  They are the
rough-hewn records of a busy man of action, whose sword was mightier
than his pen.  As Smith returned to England after two years in
Virginia, and did not permanently cast in his lot with the settlement
of which he had been for a time the leading spirit, he can hardly be
claimed as an American author.  No more can Mr. George Sandys, who came
to Virginia in the train of Governor Wyat, in 1621, and completed his
excellent metrical translation of Ovid on the banks of the James, in
the midst of the Indian massacre of 1622, "limned" as he writes "by
that imperfect light which was snatched from the hours of night and
repose, having wars and tumults to bring it to light instead of the
muses."  Sandys went back to England for good probably as early as
1625, and can, therefore, no more be reckoned as the first American
poet, on the strength of his paraphrase of the _Metamorphoses_, than he
can be reckoned the earliest Yankee inventor because he "introduced the
first water-mill into America."

The literature of colonial Virginia, and of the southern colonies which
took their point of departure from Virginia, is almost wholly of this
historical and descriptive kind.  A great part of it is concerned with
the internal affairs of the province, such as "Bacon's Rebellion," in
1676, one of the most striking episodes in our ante-revolutionary
annals, and of which there exist a number of narratives, some of them
anonymous, and only rescued from a manuscript condition a hundred years
after the event.  Another part is concerned with the explorations of
new territory.  Such were the "Westover Manuscripts," left by Colonel
William Byrd, who was appointed in 1729 one of the commissioners to fix
the boundary between Virginia and North Carolina, and gave an account
of the survey in his _History of the Dividing Line_, which was printed
only in 1841.  Colonel Byrd is one of the most brilliant figures of
colonial Virginia, and a type of the Old Virginia gentleman.  He had
been sent to England for his education, where he was admitted to the
bar of the Middle Temple, elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, and
formed an intimate friendship with Charles Boyle, the Earl of Orrery.
He held many offices in the government of the colony, and founded the
cities of Richmond and Petersburg.  His estates were large, and at
Westover--where he had one of the finest private libraries in
America--he exercised a baronial hospitality, blending the usual
profusion of plantation life with the elegance of a traveled scholar
and "picked man of countries."  Colonel Byrd was rather an amateur in
literature.  His _History of the Dividing Line_ is written with a
jocularity which rises occasionally into real humor, and which gives to
the painful journey through the wilderness the air of a holiday
expedition.  Similar in tone were his diaries of _A Progress to the
Mines_ and _A Journey to the Land of Eden_ in North Carolina.

The first formal historian of Virginia was Robert Beverly, "a native
and inhabitant of the place," whose _History of Virginia_ was printed
at London in 1705.  Beverly was a rich planter and large slave-owner,
who, being in London in 1703, was shown by his bookseller the
manuscript of a forthcoming work, Oldmixon's _British Empire in
America_.  Beverly was set upon writing his history by the inaccuracies
in this, and likewise because the province "has been so misrepresented
to the common people of England as to make them believe that the
servants in Virginia are made to draw in cart and plow, and that the
country turns all people black"--an impression which lingers still in
parts of Europe.  The most original portions of the book are those in
which the author puts down his personal observations of the plants and
animals of the New World, and particularly the account of the Indians,
to which his third book is devoted, and which is accompanied by
valuable plates.  Beverly's knowledge of these matters was evidently at
first hand, and his descriptions here are very fresh and interesting.
The more strictly historical part of his work is not free from
prejudice and inaccuracy.  A more critical, detailed, and impartial,
but much less readable, work was William Stith's _History of the First
Discovery and Settlement of Virginia_, 1747, which brought the subject
down only to the year 1624.  Stith was a clergyman, and at one time a
professor in William and Mary College.

The Virginians were stanch royalists and churchmen.  The Church of
England was established by law, and non-conformity was persecuted in
various ways.  Three missionaries were sent to the colony in 1642 by
the Puritans of New England, two from Braintree, Massachusetts, and one
from New Haven.  They were not suffered to preach, but many resorted to
them in private houses, until, being finally driven out by fines and
imprisonments, they took refuge in Catholic Maryland.  The Virginia
clergy were not, as a body, very much of a force in education or
literature.  Many of them, by reason of the scattering and dispersed
condition of their parishes, lived as domestic chaplains with the
wealthier planters, and partook of their illiteracy and their passion
for gaming and hunting.  Few of them inherited the zeal of Alexander
Whitaker, the "Apostle of Virginia," who came over in 1611 to preach to
the colonists and convert the Indians, and who published in furtherance
of those ends _Good News from Virginia_, in 1613, three years before
his death by drowning in the James River.

The conditions were much more favorable for the production of a
literature in New England than in the southern colonies.  The free and
genial existence of the "Old Dominion" had no counterpart among the
settlers of Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay, and the Puritans must have
been rather unpleasant people to live with for persons of a different
way of thinking.  But their intensity of character, their respect for
learning, and the heroic mood which sustained them through the
hardships and dangers of their great enterprise are amply reflected in
their own writings.  If these are not so much literature as the raw
materials of literature, they have at least been fortunate in finding
interpreters among their descendants, and no modern Virginian has done
for the memory of the Jamestown planters what Hawthorne, Whittier,
Longfellow, and others have done in casting the glamour of poetry and
romance over the lives of the founders of New England.

Cotton Mather, in his _Magnalia_, quotes the following passage from one
of those election sermons, delivered before the General Court of
Massachusetts, which formed for many years the great annual
intellectual event of the colony:

"The question was often put unto our predecessors, _What went ye out
into the wilderness to see_?  And the answer to it is not only too
excellent but too notorious to be dissembled. . . .  We came hither
because we would have our posterity settled under the pure and full
dispensations of the Gospel, defended by rulers that should be of
ourselves."  The New England colonies were, in fact, theocracies.
Their leaders were clergymen, or laymen whose zeal for the faith was no
whit inferior to that of the ministers themselves.  Church and State
were one.  The freeman's oath was only administered to church members,
and there was no place in the social system for unbelievers or
dissenters.  The pilgrim fathers regarded their transplantation to the
New World as an exile, and nothing is more touching in their written
records than the repeated expressions of love and longing toward the
old home which they had left, and even toward that Church of England
from which they had sorrowfully separated themselves.  It was not in
any light or adventurous spirit that they faced the perils of the sea
and the wilderness.  "This howling wilderness," "these ends of the
earth," "these goings down of the sun," are some of the epithets which
they constantly applied to the land of their exile.  Nevertheless they
had come to stay, and, unlike Smith and Percy and Sandys, the early
historians and writers of New England cast in their lots permanently
with the new settlements.  A few, indeed, went back after 1640--Mather
says some ten or twelve of the ministers of the first "classis" or
immigration were among them--when the victory of the Puritanic party in
Parliament opened a career for them in England, and made their presence
there seem in some cases a duty.  The celebrated Hugh Peters, for
example, who was afterward Oliver Cromwell's chaplain, and was beheaded
after the Restoration, went back in 1641, and in 1647 Nathaniel Ward,
the minister of Ipswich, Massachusetts, and author of a quaint book
against toleration, entitled _The Simple Cobbler of Agawam_; written in
America and published shortly after its author's arrival in England.
The civil war, too, put a stop to further emigration from England until
after the Restoration in 1660.

The mass of the Puritan immigration consisted of men of the middle
class, artisans and husbandmen, the most useful members of a new
colony.  But their leaders were clergymen educated at the universities,
and especially at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, the great Puritan
college; their civil magistrates were also in great part gentlemen of
education and substance, like the elder Winthrop, who was learned in
law, and Theophilus Eaton, first governor of New Haven, who was a
London merchant of good estate.  It is computed that there were in New
England during the first generation as many university graduates as in
any community of equal population in the old country.  Almost the first
care of the settlers was to establish schools.  Every town of fifty
families was required by law to maintain a common school, and every
town of a hundred families a grammar or Latin school.  In 1636, only
sixteen years after the landing of the Pilgrims on Plymouth Rock,
Harvard College was founded at Newtown, whose name was thereupon
changed to Cambridge, the General Court held at Boston on September 8,
1630, having already advanced 400 pounds "by way of essay towards the
building of something to begin a college."  "An university," says
Mather, "which hath been to these plantations, for the good literature
there cultivated, _sal Gentium_, . . .  and a river without the streams
whereof these regions would have been mere unwatered places for the
devil."  By 1701 Harvard had put forth a vigorous offshoot, Yale
College at New Haven, the settlers of New Haven and Connecticut
plantations having increased sufficiently to need a college at their
own doors.  A printing-press was set up at Cambridge in 1639, which was
under the oversight of the university authorities, and afterward of
licensers appointed by the civil power.  The press was no more free in
Massachusetts than in Virginia, and that "liberty of unlicensed
printing" for which the Puritan Milton had pleaded in his
_Areopagitica_, in 1644, was unknown in Puritan New England until some
twenty years before the outbreak of the Revolutionary War.  "The
Freeman's Oath" and an almanac were issued from the Cambridge press in
1639, and in 1640 the first English book printed in America, a
collection of the psalms in meter, made by various ministers, and known
as the _Bay Psalm Book_.  The poetry of this version was worse, if
possible, than that of Sternhold and Hopkins's famous rendering; but it
is noteworthy that one of the principal translators was that devoted
"Apostle to the Indians," the Rev. John Eliot, who, in 1661-63,
translated the Bible into the Algonquin tongue.  Eliot hoped and toiled
a life-time for the conversion of those "salvages," "tawnies,"
"devil-worshipers," for whom our early writers have usually nothing but
bad words.  They have been destroyed instead of converted; but his (so
entitled) _Mamusse Wunneetupanatamwe Up-Biblum God naneeswe Nukkone
Testament kah wonk Wusku Testament_--the first Bible printed in
America--remains a monument of missionary zeal and a work of great
value to students of the Indian languages.

A modern writer has said that, to one looking back on the history of
old New England, it seems as though the sun shone but dimly there, and
the landscape was always dark and wintry.  Such is the impression which
one carries away from the perusal of books like Bradford's and
Winthrop's Journals, or Mather's _Wonders of the Invisible World_--an
impression of gloom, of flight and cold, of mysterious fears besieging
the infant settlements scattered in a narrow fringe "between the
groaning forest and the shore."  The Indian terror hung over New
England for more than half a century, or until the issue of King
Philip's War, in 1670, relieved the colonists of any danger of a
general massacre.  Added to this were the perplexities caused by the
earnest resolve of the settlers to keep their New-England Eden free
from the intrusion of the serpent in the shape of heretical sects in
religion.  The Puritanism of Massachusetts was an orthodox and
conservative Puritanism.  The later and more grotesque out-crops of the
movement in the old England found no toleration in the new.  But these
refugees for conscience' sake were compelled in turn to persecute
Antinomians, Separatists, Familists, Libertines, Anti-pedobaptists, and
later, Quakers, and still later, Enthusiasts, who swarmed into their
precincts and troubled the churches with "prophesyings" and novel
opinions.  Some of those were banished, others were flogged or
imprisoned, and a few were put to death.  Of the exiles the most
noteworthy was Roger Williams, an impetuous, warm-hearted man, who was
so far in advance of his age as to deny the power of the civil
magistrate in cases of conscience, or who, in other words, maintained
the modern doctrine of the separation of Church and State.  Williams
was driven away from the Massachusetts colony--where he had been
minister of the church at Salem--and with a few followers fled into the
southern wilderness and settled at Providence.  There, and in the
neighboring plantation of Rhode Island, for which he obtained a
charter, he established his patriarchal rule and gave freedom of
worship to all comers.  Williams was a prolific writer on theological
subjects, the most important of his writings being, perhaps, his
_Bloody Tenent of Persecution_, 1644, and a supplement to the same
called out by a reply to the former work from the pen of Mr. John
Cotton, minister of the First Church at Boston, entitled _The Bloody
Tenent Washed and made White in the Blood of the Lamb_.  Williams was
also a friend to the Indians, whose lands, he thought, should not be
taken from them without payment, and he anticipated Eliot by writing,
in 1643, a _Key into the Language of America_.  Although at odds with
the theology of Massachusetts Bay, Williams remained in correspondence
with Winthrop and others in Boston, by whom he was highly esteemed.  He
visited England in 1643 and 1652, and made the acquaintance of John

Besides the threat of an Indian war and their anxious concern for the
purity of the Gospel in their churches, the colonists were haunted by
superstitious forebodings of the darkest kind.  It seemed to them that
Satan, angered by the setting up of the kingdom of the saints in
America, had "come down in great wrath," and was present among them,
sometimes even in visible shape, to terrify and tempt.  Special
providences and unusual phenomena, like earth quakes, mirages, and the
northern lights, are gravely recorded by Winthrop and Mather and others
as portents of supernatural persecutions.  Thus Mrs. Anne Hutchinson,
the celebrated leader of the Familists, having, according to rumor,
been delivered of a monstrous birth, the Rev. John Cotton, in open
assembly, at Boston, upon a lecture day, "thereupon gathered that it
might signify her error in denying inherent righteousness."  "There
will be an unusual range of the devil among us," wrote Mather, "a
little before the second coming of our Lord.  The evening wolves will
be much abroad when we are near the evening of the world."  This belief
culminated in the horrible witchcraft delusion at Salem in 1692, that
"spectral puppet play," which, beginning with the malicious pranks of a
few children who accused certain uncanny old women and other persons of
mean condition and suspected lives of having tormented them with magic,
gradually drew into its vortex victims of the highest character, and
resulted in the judicial murder of over nineteen people.  Many of the
possessed pretended to have been visited by the apparition of a little
black man, who urged them to inscribe their names in a red book which
he carried--a sort of muster-roll of those who had forsworn God's
service for the devil's.  Others testified to having been present at
meetings of witches in the forest.  It is difficult now to read without
contempt the "evidence" which grave justices and learned divines
considered sufficient to condemn to death men and women of unblemished
lives.  It is true that the belief in witchcraft was general at that
time all over the civilized world, and that sporadic cases of
witch-burnings had occurred in different parts of America and Europe.
Sir Thomas Browne, in his _Religio Medici_, 1635, affirmed his belief
in witches, and pronounced those who doubted of them "a sort of
atheist."  But the superstition came to a head in the Salem trials and
executions, and was the more shocking from the general high level of
intelligence in the community in which these were held.  It would be
well if those who lament the decay of "faith" would remember what
things were done in New England in the name of faith less than two
hundred years ago.  It is not wonderful that, to the Massachusetts
Puritans of the seventeenth century, the mysterious forest held no
beautiful suggestion; to them it was simply a grim and hideous
wilderness, whose dark aisles were the ambush of prowling savages and
the rendezvous of those other "devil-worshipers" who celebrated there a
kind of vulgar Walpurgis night.

The most important of original sources for the history of the
settlement of New England are the journals of William Bradford, first
governor of Plymouth, and John Winthrop, the second governor of
Massachusetts, which hold a place corresponding to the writings of
Captain John Smith in the Virginia colony, but are much more sober and
trustworthy.  Bradford's _History of Plymouth Plantation_ covers the
period from 1620 to 1646.  The manuscript was used by later annalists
but remained unpublished, as a whole, until 1855, having been lost
during the War of the Revolution and recovered long afterward in
England.  Winthrop's Journal, or _History of New England_, begun on
shipboard in 1630, and extending to 1649, was not published entire
until 1826.  It is of equal authority with Bradford's, and perhaps, on
the whole the more important of the two, as the colony of Massachusetts
Bay, whose history it narrates, greatly outwent Plymouth in wealth and
population, though not in priority of settlement.  The interest of
Winthrop's Journal lies in the events that it records rather than in
any charm in the historian's manner of recording them.  His style is
pragmatic, and some of the incidents which he gravely notes are trivial
to the modern mind, though instructive as to our forefathers' way of
thinking.  For instance, of the year 1632: "At Watertown there was (in
the view of divers witnesses) a great combat between a mouse and a
snake, and after a long fight the mouse prevailed and killed the snake.
The pastor of Boston, Mr. Wilson, a very sincere, holy man, hearing of
it, gave this interpretation: that the snake was the devil, the mouse
was a poor, contemptible people, which God had brought hither, which
should overcome Satan here and dispossess him of his kingdom."  The
reader of Winthrop's Journal comes every-where upon hints which the
imagination has since shaped into poetry and romance.  The germs of
many of Longfellow's _New England Tragedies_, of Hawthorne's _Maypole
of Merrymount_, and _Endicott's Red Cross_, and of Whittier's _John
Underhill_ and _The Familists' Hymn_ are all to be found in some dry,
brief entry of the old Puritan diarist.  "Robert Cole, having been oft
punished for drunkenness, was now ordered to wear a red D about his
neck for a year," to wit, the year 1633, and thereby gave occasion to
the greatest American romance, _The Scarlet Letter_.  The famous
apparition of the phantom ship in New Haven harbor, "upon the top of
the poop a man standing with one hand akimbo under his left side, and
in his right hand a sword stretched out toward the sea," was first
chronicled by Winthrop under the year 1648.  This meteorological
phenomenon took on the dimensions of a full-grown myth some forty years
later, as related, with many embellishments, by Rev. James Pierpont, of
New Haven, in a letter to Cotton Mather.  Winthrop put great faith in
special providences, and among other instances narrates, not without a
certain grim satisfaction, how "the _Mary Rose_, a ship of Bristol, of
about 200 tons," lying before Charleston, was blown in pieces with her
own powder, being twenty-one barrels, wherein the judgment of God
appeared, "for the master and company were many of them profane
scoffers at us and at the ordinances of religion here."  Without any
effort at dramatic portraiture or character-sketching, Winthrop managed
in all simplicity, and by the plain relation of facts, to leave a clear
impression of many prominent figures in the first Massachusetts
immigration.  In particular there gradually arises from the entries in
his diary a very distinct and diverting outline of Captain John
Underhill, celebrated in Whittier's poem.  He was one of the few
professional soldiers who came over with the Puritan fathers, such as
John Mason, the hero of the Pequot War, and Miles Standish, whose
_Courtship_ Longfellow sang.  He had seen service in the Low Countries,
and in pleading the privilege of his profession "he insisted much upon
the liberty which all States do allow to military officers for free
speech, etc., and that himself had spoken sometimes as freely to Count
Nassau."  Captain Underhill gave the colony no end of trouble, both by
his scandalous living and his heresies in religion.  Having been
seduced into Familistical opinions by Mrs. Anne Hutchinson, who was
banished for her beliefs, he was had up before the General Court and
questioned, among other points, as to his own report of the manner of
his conversion.  "He had lain under a spirit of bondage and a legal way
for years, and could get no assurance, till, at length, as he was
taking a pipe of tobacco, the Spirit set home an absolute promise of
free grace with such assurance and joy as he never since doubted of his
good estate, neither should he, though he should fall into sin. . . .
The Lord's day following he made a speech in the assembly, showing that
as the Lord was pleased to convert Paul as he was in persecuting, etc.,
so he might manifest himself to him as he was taking the moderate use
of the creature called tobacco."  The gallant captain, being banished
the colony, betook himself to the falls of the Piscataquack (Exeter,
N.H.), where the Rev. John Wheelwright, another adherent of Mrs.
Hutchinson, had gathered a congregation.  Being made governor of this
plantation, Underhill sent letters to the Massachusetts magistrates,
breathing reproaches and imprecations of vengeance.  But meanwhile it
was discovered that he had been living in adultery at Boston with a
young woman whom he had seduced, the wife of a cooper, and the captain
was forced to make public confession, which he did with great unction
and in a manner highly dramatic.  "He came in his worst clothes (being
accustomed to take great pride in his bravery and neatness), without a
band, in a foul linen cap, and pulled close to his eyes, and standing
upon a form, he did, with many deep sighs and abundance of tears, lay
open his wicked course."  There is a lurking humor in the grave
Winthrop's detailed account of Underhill's doings.  Winthrop's own
personality comes out well in his Journal.  He was a born leader of
men, a _conditor imperii_, just, moderate, patient, wise; and his
narrative gives, upon the whole, a favorable impression of the general
prudence and fair-mindedness of the Massachusetts settlers in their
dealings with one another, with the Indians, and with the neighboring

Considering our forefathers' errand and calling into this wilderness,
it is not strange that their chief literary staples were sermons and
tracts in controversial theology.  Multitudes of these were written and
published by the divines of the first generation, such as John Cotton,
Thomas Shepard, John Norton, Peter Bulkley, and Thomas Hooker, the
founder of Hartford, of whom it was finely said that "when he was doing
his Master's business he would put a king into his pocket."  Nor were
their successors in the second or the third generation any less
industrious and prolific.  They rest from their labors and their works
do follow them.  Their sermons and theological treatises are not
literature: they are for the most part dry, heavy, and dogmatic, but
they exhibit great learning, logical acuteness, and an earnestness
which sometimes rises into eloquence.  The pulpit ruled New England,
and the sermon was the great intellectual engine of the time.  The
serious thinking of the Puritans was given almost exclusively to
religion; the other world was all their art.  The daily secular events
of life, the aspects of nature, the vicissitude of the seasons, were
important enough to find record in print only in so far as they
manifested God's dealings with his people.  So much was the sermon
depended upon to furnish literary food that it was the general custom
of serious-minded laymen to take down the words of the discourse in
their note-books.  Franklin, in his _Autobiography_, describes this as
the constant habit of his grandfather, Peter Folger; and Mather, in his
life of the elder Winthrop, says that "tho' he wrote not after the
preacher, yet such was his _attention_ and such his _retention_ in
hearing, that he repeated unto his family the sermons which he had
heard in the congregation."  These discourses were commonly of great
length; twice, or sometimes thrice, the pulpit hour-glass was silently
inverted while the orator pursued his theme even unto "fourteenthly."

The book which best sums up the life and thought of this old New
England of the seventeenth century is Cotton Mather's _Magnalia Christi
Americana_.  Mather was by birth a member of that clerical aristocracy
which developed later into Dr. Holmes's "Brahmin Caste of New England."
His maternal grandfather was John Cotton.  His father was Increase
Mather, the most learned divine of his generation in New England,
minister of the North Church of Boston, President of Harvard College,
and author, _inter alia_, of that characteristically Puritan book, _An
Essay for the Recording of Illustrious Providences_.  Cotton Mather
himself was a monster of erudition and a prodigy of diligence.  He was
graduated from Harvard at fifteen.  He ordered his daily life and
conversation by a system of minute observances.  He was a book-worm,
whose life was spent between his library and his pulpit, and his
published works number upward of three hundred and eighty.  Of these
the most important is the _Magnalia_, 1702, an ecclesiastical history
of New England from 1620 to 1698, divided into seven parts: I.
Antiquities; II. Lives of the Governors; III. Lives of Sixty Famous
Divines; IV. A History of Harvard College, with biographies of its
eminent graduates; V. Acts and Monuments of the Faith; VI. Wonderful
Providences; VII. The Wars of the Lord--that is, an account of the
Afflictions and Disturbances of the Churches and the Conflicts with the
Indians.  The plan of the work thus united that of Fuller's _Worthies
of England_ and _Church History_ with that of Wood's _Athenae
Oxonienses_ and Fox's _Book of Martyrs_.

Mather's prose was of the kind which the English Commonwealth writers
used.  He was younger by a generation than Dryden; but, as literary
fashions are slower to change in a colony than in the mother-country,
that nimble English which Dryden and the Restoration essayists
introduced had not yet displaced in New England the older manner.
Mather wrote in the full and pregnant style of Taylor, Milton, Brown,
Fuller, and Burton, a style ponderous with learning and stiff with
allusions, digressions, conceits, anecdotes, and quotations from the
Greek and the Latin.  A page of the _Magnalia_ is almost as richly
mottled with italics as one from the _Anatomy of Melancholy_, and the
quaintness which Mather caught from his favorite Fuller disports itself
in textual pun and marginal anagram and the fantastic sub-titles of his
books and chapters.  He speaks of Thomas Hooker as having "_angled_
many scores of souls into the kingdom of heaven," anagrammatizes Mrs.
Hutchinson's surname into "the non-such;" and having occasion to speak
of Mr. Urian Oakes's election to the presidency of Harvard College,
enlarges upon the circumstance as follows:

"We all know that _Britain_ knew nothing more famous than their ancient
sect of DRUIDS; the philosophers, whose order, they say, was instituted
by one _Samothes_, which is in English as much as to say, an heavenly
man.  The _Celtic_ name, _Deru_, for an Oak was that from whence they
received their denomination; as at this very day the _Welch_ call this
tree _Drew_, and this order of men _Derwyddon_.  But there are no small
antiquaries who derive this oaken religion and philosophy from the
_Oaks of Mamre_, where the Patriarch _Abraham_ had as well a dwelling
as an _altar_.  That _Oaken-Plain_ and the eminent OAK under which
_Abraham_ lodged was extant in the days of _Constantine_, as _Isidore_,
_Jerom_, and _Sozomen_ have assured us.  Yea, there are shrewd
probabilities that _Noah_ himself had lived in this very _Oak-plain_
before him; for this very place was called _Ogge_ [see Transcriber's
Note #1 at end of chapter], which was the name of _Noah_, so styled
from the _Oggyan_ (_subcineritiis panibus_) sacrifices, which he did
use to offer in this renowned _Grove_.  And it was from this example
that the ancients, and particularly that the Druids of the nations,
chose _oaken_ retirements for their studies.  Reader, let us now, upon
another account, behold the students of _Harvard College_, as a
rendezvous of happy _Druids_, under the influences of so rare a
president.  But, alas! our joy must be short-lived, for on _July_ 25,
1681, the stroke of a sudden death felled the _tree_,

  "Qui tantum inter caput extulit omnes
  Quantum lenta solent inter viberna cypressi.

"Mr. _Oakes_ thus being transplanted into the better world the
presidentship was immediately tendered unto _Mr. Increase Mather_."

This will suffice as an example of the bad taste and laborious pedantry
which disfigured Mather's writing.  In its substance the book is a
perfect thesaurus; and inasmuch as nothing is unimportant in the
history of the beginnings of such a nation as this is and is destined
to be, the _Magnalia_ will always remain a valuable and interesting
work.  Cotton Mather, born in 1663, was of the second generation of
Americans, his grandfather being of the immigration, but his father a
native of Dorchester, Mass.  A comparison of his writings and of the
writings of his contemporaries with the works of Bradford, Winthrop,
Hooker, and others of the original colonists, shows that the simple and
heroic faith of the Pilgrims had hardened into formalism and doctrinal
rigidity.  The leaders of the Puritan exodus, notwithstanding their
intolerance of errors in belief, were comparatively broad-minded men.
They were sharers in a great national movement, and they came over when
their cause was warm with the glow of martyrdom and on the eve of its
coming triumph at home.  After the Restoration, in 1660, the currents
of national feeling no longer circulated so freely through this distant
member of the body politic, and thought in America became more
provincial.  The English dissenters, though socially at a disadvantage
as compared with the Church of England, had the great benefit of living
at the center of national life, and of feeling about them the pressure
of vast bodies of people who did not think as they did.  In New
England, for many generations, the dominant sect had things all its own
way--a condition of things which is not healthy for any sect or party.
Hence Mather and the divines of his time appear in their writings very
much like so many Puritan bishops, jealous of their prerogatives,
magnifying their apostolate, and careful to maintain their authority
over the laity.  Mather had an appetite for the marvelous, and took a
leading part in the witchcraft trials, of which he gave an account in
his _Wonders of the Invisible World_, 1693.  To the quaint pages of the
_Magnalia_ our modern authors have resorted as to a collection of
romances or fairy tales.  Whittier, for example, took from thence the
subject of his poem _The Garrison of Cape Anne_; and Hawthorne embodied
in _Grandfather's Chair_ the most elaborate of Mather's biographies.
This was the life of Sir William Phipps, who, from being a poor
shepherd boy in his native province of Maine, rose to be the royal
governor of Massachusetts, and the story of whose wonderful adventures
in raising the freight of a Spanish ship, sunk on a reef near Port de
la Plata, reads less like sober fact than like some ancient fable, with
talk of the Spanish main, bullion, and plate and jewels and "pieces of

Of Mather's generation was Samuel Sewall, Chief-Justice of
Massachusetts, a singularly gracious and venerable figure, who is
intimately known through his Diary, kept from 1673 to 1729.  This has
been compared with the more famous diary of Samuel Pepys, which it
resembles in its confidential character and the completeness of its
self-revelation, but to which it is as much inferior in historic
interest as "the petty province here" was inferior in political and
social importance to "Britain far away."  For the most part it is a
chronicle of small beer, the diarist jotting down the minutiae of his
domestic life and private affairs, even to the recording of such haps
as this: "March 23, I had my hair cut by G. Barret."  But it also
affords instructive glimpses of public events, such as King Philip's
War, the Quaker troubles, the English Revolution of 1688, etc.  It
bears about the same relation to New England history at the close of
the seventeenth century as Bradford's and Winthrop's Journals bear to
that of the first generation.  Sewall was one of the justices who
presided at the trial of the Salem witches; but for the part which he
took in that wretched affair he made such atonement as was possible, by
open confession of his mistake and his remorse in the presence of the
Church.  Sewall was one of the first writers against African slavery,
in his brief tract, _The Selling of Joseph_, printed at Boston in 1700.
His _Phenomena Quaedam Apocalyptica_, a mystical interpretation of
prophecies concerning the New Jerusalem, which he identifies with
America, is remembered only because Whittier, in his _Prophecy of
Samuel Sewall_, has paraphrased one poetic passage which shows a loving
observation of nature very rare in our colonial writers.

Of poetry, indeed, or, in fact, of pure literature, in the narrower
sense--that is, of the imaginative representation of life--there was
little or none in the colonial period.  There were no novels, no plays,
no satires, and--until the example of the _Spectator_ had begun to work
on this side the water--no experiments even at the lighter forms of
essay-writing, character-sketches, and literary criticism.  There was
verse of a certain kind, but the most generous stretch of the term
would hardly allow it to be called poetry.  Many of the early divines
of New England relieved their pens, in the intervals of sermon-writing,
of epigrams, elegies, eulogistic verses, and similar grave trifles
distinguished by the crabbed wit of the so-called "metaphysical poets,"
whose manner was in fashion when the Puritans left England; the manner
of Donne and Cowley, and those darlings of the New-English muse, the
_Emblems_ of Quarles and the _Divine Week_ of Du Bartas, as translated
by Sylvester.  The _Magnalia_ contains a number of these things in
Latin and English, and is itself well bolstered with complimentary
introductions in meter by the author's friends.  For example:



  _Tuos Tecum Ornasti_.

  "While thus the dead in thy rare pages rise
  _Thine, with thyself thou dost immortalize_.
  To view the odds thy learned lives invite
  'Twixt Eleutherian and Edomite.
  But all succeeding ages shall despair
  A fitting monument for thee to _rear_.
  Thy own rich pen (peace, silly Momus, peace!)
  Hath given them a lasting _writ of ease_."

The epitaphs and mortuary verses were especially ingenious in the
matter of puns, anagrams, and similar conceits.  The death of the Rev.
Samuel Stone, of Hartford, afforded an opportunity of this sort not to
be missed, and his threnodist accordingly celebrated him as a
"whetstone," a "loadstone," an "Ebenezer"--

  "A stone for kingly David's use so fit
  As would not fail Goliath's front to hit," etc.

The most characteristic, popular, and widely circulated poem of
colonial New England was Michael Wigglesworth's _Day of Doom_ (1663), a
kind of doggerel _Inferno_, which went through nine editions, and "was
the solace," says Lowell, "of every fireside, the flicker of the
pine-knots by which it was conned perhaps adding a livelier relish to
its premonitions of eternal combustion."  Wigglesworth had not the
technical equipment of a poet.  His verse is sing-song, his language
rude and monotonous, and the lurid horrors of his material hell are
more likely to move mirth than fear in a modern reader.  But there are
an unmistakable vigor of imagination and a sincerity of belief in his
gloomy poem which hold it far above contempt, and easily account for
its universal currency among a people like the Puritans.  One stanza
has been often quoted for its grim concession to unregenerate infants
of "the easiest room in hell"--a _limbus infantum_ which even Origen
need not have scrupled at.

The most authoritative expounder of New England Calvinism was Jonathan
Edwards (1703-58), a native of Connecticut and a graduate of Yale, who
was minister for more than twenty years over the church in Northampton,
Mass., afterward missionary to the Stockbridge Indians, and at the time
of his death had just been inaugurated president of Princeton College.
By virtue of his _Inquiry into the Freedom of the Will_, 1754, Edwards
holds rank as the subtlest metaphysician of his age.  This treatise was
composed to justify, on philosophical grounds, the Calvinistic
doctrines of fore-ordination and election by grace, though its
arguments are curiously coincident with those of the scientific
necessitarians, whose conclusions are as far asunder from Edwards's "as
from the center thrice to the utmost pole."  His writings belong to
theology rather than to literature, but there is an intensity and a
spiritual elevation about them, apart from the profundity and acuteness
of the thought, which lift them here and there into the finer ether of
purely emotional or imaginative art.  He dwelt rather upon the terrors
than the comfort of the word, and his chosen themes were the dogmas of
predestination, original sin, total depravity, and eternal punishment.
The titles of his sermons are significant: _Men Naturally God's
Enemies_, _Wrath upon the Wicked to the Uttermost_, _The Final
Judgment_, etc.  "A natural man," he wrote in the first of these
discourses, "has a heart like the heart of a devil. . . .  The heart of
a natural man is as destitute of love to God as a dead, stiff, cold
corpse is of vital heat."  Perhaps the most famous of Edwards's sermons
was _Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God_, preached at Enfield, Conn.,
July 8, 1741, "at a time of great awakenings," and upon the ominous
text, _Their foot shall slide in due time_.  "The God that holds you
over the pit of hell," runs an oft-quoted passage from this powerful
denunciation of the wrath to come, "much as one holds a spider or some
loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully
provoked. . . .  You are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes
than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours. . . .  You hang by a
slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about
it. . . .  If you cry to God to pity you he will be so far from pitying
you in your doleful case that he will only tread you under foot. . . .
He will crush out your blood and make it fly, and it shall be sprinkled
on his garments so as to stain all his raiment."  But Edwards was a
rapt soul, possessed with the love as well as the fear of the God, and
there are passages of sweet and exalted feeling in his _Treatise
Concerning Religious Affections_, 1746.  Such is his portrait of Sarah
Pierpont, "a young lady in New Haven," who afterward became his wife
and who "will sometimes go about from place to place singing sweetly,
and no one knows for what.  She loves to be alone, walking in the
fields and groves, and seems to have some one invisible always
conversing with her."  Edwards's printed works number thirty-six
titles.  A complete edition of them in ten volumes was published in
1829 by his great grandson, Sereno Dwight.  The memoranda from
Edwards's note-books, quoted by his editor and biographer, exhibit a
remarkable precocity.  Even as a school-boy and a college student he
had made deep guesses in physics as well as metaphysics, and, as might
have been predicted of a youth of his philosophical insight and ideal
cast of mind, he had early anticipated Berkeley in denying the
existence of matter.  In passing from Mather to Edwards we step from
the seventeenth to the eighteenth century.  There is the same
difference between them in style and turn of thought as between Milton
and Locke, or between Fuller and Bryden.  The learned digressions, the
witty conceits, the perpetual interlarding of the text with scraps of
Latin, have fallen off, even as the full-bottomed wig and the clerical
gown and bands have been laid aside for the undistinguishing dress of
the modern minister.  In Edwards's English all is simple, precise,
direct, and business-like.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-90), who was strictly contemporary with
Edwards, was a contrast to him in every respect.  As Edwards represents
the spirituality and other-worldliness of Puritanism, Franklin stands
for the worldly and secular side of American character, and he
illustrates the development of the New England Englishman into the
modern Yankee.  Clear rather than subtle, without ideality or romance
or fineness of emotion or poetic lift, intensely practical and
utilitarian, broad-minded, inventive, shrewd, versatile, Franklin's
sturdy figure became typical of his time and his people.  He was the
first and the only man of letters in colonial America who acquired a
cosmopolitan fame and impressed his characteristic Americanism upon the
mind of Europe.  He was the embodiment of common sense and of the
useful virtues, with the enterprise but without the nervousness of his
modern compatriots, uniting the philosopher's openness of mind to the
sagacity and quickness of resource of the self-made business man.  He
was representative also of his age, an age of _aufklärung_,
_eclaircissement_, or "clearing up."  By the middle of the eighteenth
century a change had taken place in American society.  Trade had
increased between the different colonies; Boston, New York, and
Philadelphia were considerable towns; democratic feeling was spreading;
over forty newspapers were published in America at the outbreak of the
Revolution; politics claimed more attention than formerly, and theology
less.  With all this intercourse and mutual reaction of the various
colonies upon one another, the isolated theocracy of New England
naturally relaxed somewhat of its grip on the minds of the laity.  When
Franklin was a printer's apprentice in Boston, setting type on his
brother's _New England Courant_, the fourth American newspaper, he got
hold of an odd volume of the _Spectator_, and formed his style upon
Addison, whose manner he afterward imitated in his _Busy-Body_ papers
in the Philadelphia _Weekly Mercury_.  He also read Locke and the
English deistical writers, Collins and Shaftesbury, and became himself
a deist and free-thinker; and subsequently when practicing his trade in
London, in 1724-26, he made the acquaintance of Dr. Mandeville, author
of the _Fable of the Bees_, at a pale-ale house in Cheapside, called
"The Horns," where the famous free-thinker presided over a club of wits
and boon companions.  Though a native of Boston, Franklin is identified
with Philadelphia, whither he arrived in 1723, a runaway 'prentice boy,
"whose stock of cash consisted of a Dutch dollar and about a shilling
in copper."  The description in his _Autobiography_ of his walking up
Market Street munching a loaf of bread, and passing his future wife,
standing on her father's doorstep, has become almost as familiar as the
anecdote about Whittington and his cat.

It was in the practical sphere that Franklin was greatest, as an
originator and executor of projects for the general welfare.  The list
of his public services is almost endless.  He organized the
Philadelphia fire department and street-cleaning service, and the
colonial postal system which grew into the United States Post Office
Department.  He started the Philadelphia public library, the American
Philosophical Society, the University of Pennsylvania, and the first
American magazine, _The General Magazine and Historical Chronicle_; so
that he was almost singly the father of whatever intellectual life the
Pennsylvania colony could boast.  In 1754, when commissioners from the
colonies met at Albany, Franklin proposed a plan, which was adopted,
for the union of all the colonies under one government.  But all these
things, as well as his mission to England in 1757, on behalf of the
Pennsylvania Assembly in its dispute with the proprietaries; his share
in the Declaration of Independence--of which he was one of the
signers--and his residence in France as embassador of the United
Colonies, belong to the political history of the country; to the
history of American science belong his celebrated experiments in
electricity; and his benefits to mankind in both of these departments
were aptly summed up in the famous epigram of the French statesman

  "_Eripuit coelo fulmen sceptrumque tyranniis_."

Franklin's success in Europe was such as no American had yet achieved,
as few Americans since him have achieved.  Hume and Voltaire were among
his acquaintances and his professed admirers.  In France he was fairly
idolized, and when he died Mirabeau announced, "The genius which has
freed America and poured a flood of light over Europe has returned to
the bosom of the Divinity."

Franklin was a great man, but hardly a great writer, though as a
writer, too, he had many admirable and some great qualities.  Among
these were the crystal clearness and simplicity of his style.  His more
strictly literary performances, such as his essays after the
_Spectator_, hardly rise above mediocrity, and are neither better nor
worse than other imitations of Addison.  But in some of his lighter
bagatelles there are a homely wisdom and a charming playfulness which
have won them enduring favor.  Such are his famous story of the
_Whistle_, his _Dialogue between Franklin and the Gout_, his letters to
Madame Helvetius, and his verses entitled _Paper_.  The greater portion
of his writings consists of papers on general politics, commerce, and
political economy, contributions to the public questions of his day.
These are of the nature of journalism rather than of literature, and
many of them were published in his newspaper, the _Pennsylvania
Gazette_, the medium through which for many years he most strongly
influenced American opinion.  The most popular of his writings were his
_Autobiography_ and _Poor Richard's Almanac_.  The former of these was
begun in 1771, resumed in 1788, but never completed.  It has remained
the most widely current book in our colonial literature.  _Poor
Richard's Almanac_, begun in 1732 and continued for about twenty-five
years, had an annual circulation of ten thousand copies.  It was filled
with proverbial sayings in prose and verse, inculcating the virtues of
industry, honesty, and frugality.[1]  Some of these were original with
Franklin, others were selected from the proverbial wisdom of the ages,
but a new force was given them by pungent turns of expression.  Poor
Richard's saws were such as these: "Little strokes fell great oaks;"
"Three removes are as bad as a fire;" "Early to bed and early to rise
makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise;" "Never leave that till
to-morrow which you can do to-day;" "What maintains one vice would
bring up two children;" "It is hard for an empty bag to stand upright."

Now and then there are truths of a higher kind than these in Franklin,
and Sainte-Beuve, the great French critic, quotes, as an example of his
occasional finer moods, the saying, "Truth and sincerity have a certain
distinguishing native luster about them which cannot be counterfeited;
they are like fire and flame that cannot be painted."  But the sage who
invented the Franklin stove had no disdain of small utilities; and in
general the last word of his philosophy is well expressed in a passage
of his _Autobiography_: "Human felicity is produced not so much by
great pieces of good fortune, that seldom happen, as by little
advantages that occur every day; thus, if you teach a poor young man to
shave himself and keep his razor in order, you may contribute more to
the happiness of his life than in giving him a thousand guineas."

1. Captain John Smith.  _A True Relation of Virginia_, Deane's edition.
Boston: 1866.

2. Cotton Mather.  _Magnalia Christi Americana_.  Hartford: 1820.

3. Samuel Sewall.  _Diary_.  Massachusetts Historical Collections.
Fifth Series.  Vols. v, vi, and vii.  Boston: 1878.

4. Jonathan Edwards.  _Eight Sermons on Various Occasions_.  Vol. vii
of Edwards's Works.  Edited by Sereno Dwight.  New York: 1829.

5. Benjamin Franklin.  _Autobiography_.  Edited by John Bigelow.
Philadelphia: 1869.  [J. B. Lippincott & Co.]

6. _Essays and Bagatelles_.  Vol. ii of Franklin's Works.  Edited by
Jared Sparks.  Boston: 1836.

7. Moses Coit Tyler.  _A History of American Literature_.  1607-1765.
New York: 1878.  [G. P. Putnam's Sons.]

[1]_The Way to Wealth, Plan for Saving One Hundred Thousand Pounds,
Rules of Health, Advice to a Young Tradesman, The Way to Make Money
Plenty in Every Man's Pocket_, etc.

[Transcriber's Note: The word "Ogge" was transliterated from the Greek
characters Omicron, gamma, gamma, eta.]




It will be convenient to treat the fifty years which elapsed between
the meeting at New York, in 1765, of a Congress of delegates from nine
colonies to protest against the Stamp Act, and the close of the second
war with England, in 1815, as, for literary purposes, a single period.
This half-century was the formative era of the American nation.
Historically, it is divisible into the years of revolution and the
years of construction.  But the men who led the movement for
independence were also, in great part, the same who guided in shaping
the Constitution of the new republic, and the intellectual impress of
the whole period is one and the same.  The character of the age was as
distinctly political as that of the colonial era--in New England at
least--was theological; and literature must still continue to borrow
its interest from history.  Pure literature, or what, for want of a
better term, we call _belles lettres_, was not born in America until
the nineteenth century was well under way.  It is true that the
Revolution had its humor, its poetry, and even its fiction; but these
were strictly for the home market.  They hardly penetrated the
consciousness of Europe at all, and are not to be compared with the
contemporary work of English authors like Cowper and Sheridan and
Burke.  Their importance for us to-day is rather antiquarian than
literary, though the most noteworthy of them will be mentioned in due
course in the present chapter.  It is also true that one or two of
Irving's early books fall within the last years of the period now under
consideration.  But literary epochs overlap one another at the edges,
and these writings may best be postponed to a subsequent chapter.

Among the most characteristic products of the intellectual stir that
preceded and accompanied the Revolutionary movement were the speeches
of political orators like Samuel Adams, James Otis, and Josiah Quincy,
in Massachusetts, and Patrick Henry in Virginia.  Oratory is the art of
a free people, and as in the forensic assemblies of Greece and Rome and
in the Parliament of Great Britain, so in the conventions and
congresses of Revolutionary America it sprang up and flourished
naturally.  The age, moreover, was an eloquent, not to say a
rhetorical, age; and the influence of Johnson's orotund prose, of the
declamatory _Letters of Junius_, and of the speeches of Burke, Fox,
Sheridan, and the elder Pitt is perceptible in the debates of our early
Congresses.  The fame of a great orator, like that of a great actor, is
largely traditionary.  The spoken word transferred to the printed page
loses the glow which resided in the man and the moment.  A speech is
good if it attains its aim, if it moves the hearers to the end which is
sought.  But the fact that this end is often temporary and occasional,
rather than universal and permanent, explains why so few speeches are
really literature.  If this is true, even where the words of an orator
are preserved exactly as they were spoken, it is doubly true when we
have only the testimony of contemporaries as to the effect which the
oration produced.  The fiery utterances of Adams, Otis, and Quincy were
either not reported at all or very imperfectly reported, so that
posterity can judge of them only at second-hand.  Patrick Henry has
fared better, many of his orations being preserved in substance, if not
in the letter, in Wirt's biography.  Of these the most famous was the
defiant speech in the Convention of Delegates, March 28, 1775, throwing
down the gauge of battle to the British ministry.  The ringing
sentences of this challenge are still declaimed by school-boys, and
many of them remain as familiar as household words.  "I have but one
lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. . . .
Gentlemen may cry peace, peace, but there is no peace. . . .  Is life
so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains
and slavery?  Forbid it, Almighty God!  I know not what course others
may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!"  The
eloquence of Patrick Henry was fervid rather than weighty or rich.  But
if such specimens of the oratory of the American patriots as have come
down to us fail to account for the wonderful impression that their
words are said to have produced upon their fellow-countrymen, we should
remember that they are at a disadvantage when read instead of heard.
The imagination should supply all those accessories which gave them
vitality when first pronounced--the living presence and voice of the
speaker; the listening Senate; the grave excitement of the hour and of
the impending conflict.  The wordiness and exaggeration; the highly
Latinized diction; the rhapsodies about freedom which hundreds of
Fourth-of-July addresses have since turned into platitudes--all these
coming hot from the lips of men whose actions in the field confirmed
the earnestness of their speech--were effective in the crisis and for
the purpose to which they were addressed.

The press was an agent in the cause of liberty no less potent than the
platform, and patriots such as Adams, Otis, Quincy, Warren, and Hancock
wrote constantly, for the newspapers, essays and letters on the public
questions of the time signed "Vindex," "Hyperion," "Independent,"
"Brutus," "Cassius," and the like, and couched in language which to the
taste of to-day seems rather over-rhetorical.  Among the most important
of these political essays were the _Circular Letter to each Colonial
Legislature_, published by Adams and Otis in 1768; Quincy's
_Observations on the Boston Port Bill_, 1774, and Otis's _Rights of the
British Colonies_, a pamphlet of one hundred and twenty pages, printed
in 1764.  No collection of Otis's writings has ever been made.  The
life of Quincy, published by his son, preserves for posterity his
journals and correspondence, his newspaper essays, and his speeches at
the bar, taken from the Massachusetts law reports.

Among the political literature which is of perennial interest to the
American people are such State documents as the Declaration of
Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and the messages,
inaugural addresses, and other writings of our early presidents.
Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, and the
father of the Democratic party, was the author of the Declaration of
Independence, whose opening sentences have become commonplaces in the
memory of all readers.  One sentence in particular has been as a
shibboleth, or war-cry, or declaration of faith among Democrats of all
shades of opinion: "We hold these truths to be self-evident--that all
men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with
certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the
pursuit of happiness."  Not so familiar to modern readers is the
following, which an English historian of our literature calls "the most
eloquent clause of that great document," and "the most interesting
suppressed passage in American literature."  Jefferson was a
Southerner, but even at that early day the South had grown sensitive on
the subject of slavery, and Jefferson's arraignment of King George for
promoting the "peculiar institution" was left out from the final draft
of the Declaration in deference to Southern members.

"He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most
sacred rights of life and liberty, in the persons of a distant people
who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in
another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation
thither.  This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is
the warfare of the Christian king of Great Britain.  Determined to keep
open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted
his negative by suppressing every legislative attempt to restrain this
execrable commerce.  And, that this assemblage of horrors might want no
fact of distinguished dye, he is now exciting those very people to rise
in arms against us and purchase that liberty of which he deprived them
by murdering the people upon whom he obtruded them, and thus paying off
former crimes committed against the liberties of one people by crimes
which he urges them to commit against the lives of another."

The tone of apology or defense which Calhoun and other Southern
statesman afterward adopted on the subject of slavery was not taken by
the men of Jefferson's generation.  Another famous Virginian, John
Randolph of Roanoke, himself a slave-holder, in his speech on the
militia bill in the House of Representatives, December 10, 1811, said:
"I speak from facts when I say that the night-bell never tolls for fire
in Richmond that the mother does not hug her infant more closely to her
bosom."  This was said _apropos_ of the danger of a servile
insurrection in the event of a war with England--a war which actually
broke out in the year following, but was not attended with the
slave-rising which Randolph predicted.  Randolph was a thorough-going
"State rights" man, and, though opposed to slavery on principle, he
cried "Hands off!" to any interference by the general government with
the domestic institutions of the States.  His speeches read better than
most of his contemporaries'.  They are interesting in their exhibit of
a bitter and eccentric individuality, witty, incisive, and expressed in
a pungent and familiar style which contrasts refreshingly with the
diplomatic language and glittering generalities of most congressional
oratory, whose verbiage seems to keep its subject always at

Another noteworthy writing of Jefferson's was his Inaugural Address of
March 4, 1801, with its programme of "equal and exact justice to all
men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace,
commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances
with none; the support of the State governments in all their
rights; . . . absolute acquiescence in the decisions of the
majority; . . . the supremacy of the civil over the military authority;
economy in the public expense; freedom of religion, freedom of the
press, and freedom of person under the protection of the _habeas
corpus_, and trial by juries impartially selected."

During his six years' residence in France, as American minister,
Jefferson had become indoctrinated with the principles of French
democracy.  His main service and that of his party--the Democratic, or,
as it was then called, the Republican party--to the young republic was
in its insistence upon toleration of all beliefs and upon the freedom
of the individual from all forms of governmental restraint.  Jefferson
has some claims to rank as an author in general literature.  Educated
at William and Mary College in the old Virginia capital, Williamsburg,
he became the founder of the University of Virginia, in which he made
special provision for the study of Anglo-Saxon, and in which the
liberal scheme of instruction and discipline was conformed, in theory,
at least, to the "university idea."  His _Notes on Virginia_ are not
without literary quality, and one description, in particular, has been
often quoted--the passage of the Potomac through the Blue Ridge--in
which is this poetically imaginative touch: "The mountain being cloven
asunder, she presents to your eye, through the cleft, a small catch of
smooth blue horizon, at an infinite distance in the plain country,
inviting you, as it were, from the riot and ytumult roaring around, to
pass through the breach and participate of the calm below."

After the conclusion of peace with England, in 1783, political
discussion centered about the Constitution, which in 1788 took the
place of the looser Articles of Confederation adopted in 1778.  The
Constitution as finally ratified was a compromise between two
parties--the Federalists, who wanted a strong central government, and
the Anti-Federals (afterward called Republicans, or Democrats), who
wished to preserve State sovereignty.  The debates on the adoption of
the Constitution, both in the General Convention of the States, which
met at Philadelphia in 1787, and in the separate State conventions
called to ratify its action, form a valuable body of comment and
illustration upon the instrument itself.  One of the most notable of
the speeches in opposition was Patrick Henry's address before the
Virginia Convention.  "That this is a consolidated government," he
said, "is demonstrably clear; and the danger of such a government is,
to my mind, very striking."  The leader of the Federal party was
Alexander Hamilton, the ablest constructive intellect among the
statesmen of our Revolutionary era, of whom Talleyrand said that he
"had never known his equal," whom Guizot classed with "the men who have
best known the vital principles and fundamental conditions of a
government worthy of its name and mission."  Hamilton's speech _On the
Expediency of Adopting the Federal Constitution_, delivered in the
Convention of New York, June 24, 1788, was a masterly statement of the
necessity and advantages of the Union.  But the most complete
exposition of the constitutional philosophy of the Federal party was
the series of eighty-five papers entitled the _Federalist_, printed
during the years 1787-88, and mostly in the _Independent Journal_ of
New York, over the signature "Publius."  These were the work of
Hamilton, of John Jay, afterward, chief-justice, and of James Madison,
afterward president of the United States.  The _Federalist_ papers,
though written in a somewhat ponderous diction, are among the great
landmarks of American history, and were in themselves a political
education to the generation that read them.  Hamilton was a brilliant
and versatile figure, a persuasive orator, a forcible writer, and as
secretary of the treasury under Washington the foremost of American
financiers.  He was killed in a duel by Aaron Burr, at Weehawken, in

The Federalists were victorious, and under the provisions of the new
Constitution George Washington was inaugurated first President of the
United States, on March 4, 1789.  Washington's writings have been
collected by Jared Sparks.  They consist of journals, letters,
messages, addresses, and public documents, for the most part plain and
business-like in manner, and without any literary pretensions.  The
most elaborate and the best known of them is his _Farewell Address_,
issued on his retirement from the presidency in 1796.  In the
composition of this he was assisted by Madison, Hamilton, and Jay.  It
is wise in substance and dignified, though somewhat stilted in
expression.  The correspondence of John Adams, second President of the
United States, and his _Diary_, kept from 1755-85, should also be
mentioned as important sources for a full knowledge of this period.

In the long life-and-death struggle of Great Britain against the French
Republic and its successor, Napoleon Bonaparte, the Federalist party in
this country naturally sympathized with England, and the Jeffersonian
Democracy with France.  The Federalists, who distrusted the sweeping
abstractions of the French Revolution and clung to the conservative
notions of a checked and balanced freedom, inherited from English
precedent, were accused of monarchical and aristocratic leanings.  On
their side they were not slow to accuse their adversaries of French
atheism and French Jacobinism.  By a singular reversal of the natural
order of things, the strength of the Federalist party was in New
England, which was socially democratic, while the strength of the
Jeffersonians was in the South, whose social structure--owing to the
system of slavery--was intensely aristocratic.  The War of 1812 with
England was so unpopular in New England, by reason of the injury which
it threatened to inflict on its commerce, that the Hartford Convention
of 1814 was more than suspected of a design to bring about the
secession of New England from the Union.  A good deal of oratory was
called out by the debates on the commercial treaty with Great Britain
negotiated by Jay in 1795, by the Alien and Sedition Law of 1798, and
by other pieces of Federalist legislation, previous to the downfall of
that party and the election of Jefferson to the presidency in 1800.
The best of the Federalist orators during those years was Fisher Ames,
of Massachusetts, and the best of his orations was, perhaps, his speech
on the British treaty in the House of Representatives, April 18, 1796.
The speech was, in great measure, a protest against American chauvinism
and the violation of international obligations.  "It has been said the
world ought to rejoice if Britain was sunk in the sea; if where there
are now men and wealth and laws and liberty there was no more than a
sand-bank for sea-monsters to fatten on; space for the storms of the
ocean to mingle in conflict. . . .  What is patriotism?  Is it a narrow
affection for the spot where a man was born?  Are the very clods where
we tread entitled to this ardent preference because they are
greener? . . .  I see no exception to the respect that is paid among
nations to the law of good faith. . . .  It is observed by
barbarians--a whiff of tobacco-smoke or a string of beads gives not
merely binding force but sanctity to treaties.  Even in Algiers a truce
may be bought for money, but, when ratified, even Algiers is too wise
or too just to disown and annul its obligation."  Ames was a scholar,
and his speeches are more finished and thoughtful, more _literary_, in
a way, than those of his contemporaries.  His eulogiums on Washington
and Hamilton are elaborate tributes, rather excessive, perhaps, in
laudation and in classical allusions.  In all the oratory of the
Revolutionary period there is nothing equal in deep and condensed
energy of feeling to the single clause in Lincoln's Gettysburg Address,
"that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in

A prominent figure during and after the War of the Revolution was
Thomas Paine, or, as he was somewhat disrespectfully called, "Tom
Paine."  He was a dissenting minister who, conceiving himself
ill-treated by the British government, came to Philadelphia in 1774 and
threw himself heart and soul into the colonial cause.  His pamphlet,
_Common Sense_, issued in 1776, began with the famous words, "These are
the times that try men's souls."  This was followed by the _Crisis_, a
series of political essays advocating independence and the
establishment of a republic, published in periodical form, though at
irregular intervals.  Paine's rough and vigorous advocacy was of great
service to the American patriots.  His writings were popular and his
arguments were of a kind easily understood by plain people, addressing
themselves to the common sense, the prejudices and passions of
unlettered readers.  He afterward went to France and took an active
part in the popular movement there, crossing swords with Burke in his
_Rights of Man_, 1791-92, written in defense of the French Revolution.
He was one of the two foreigners who sat in the Convention; but falling
under suspicion during the days of the Terror, he was committed to the
prison of the Luxembourg and only released upon the fall of Robespierre
July 27, 1794.  While in prison he wrote a portion of his best-known
work, the _Age of Reason_.  This appeared in two parts in 1794 and
1795, the manuscript of the first part having been intrusted to Joel
Barlow, the American poet, who happened to be in Paris when Paine was
sent to prison.

The _Age of Reason_ damaged Paine's reputation in America, where the
name of "Tom Paine" became a stench in the nostrils of the godly and a
synonym for atheism and blasphemy.  His book was denounced from a
hundred pulpits, and copies of it were carefully locked away from the
sight of "the young," whose religious beliefs it might undermine.  It
was, in effect, a crude and popular statement of the deistic argument
against Christianity.  What the cutting logic and persiflage--the
_sourire hideux_--of Voltaire had done in France, Paine, with coarser
materials, essayed to do for the English-speaking populations.  Deism
was in the air of the time; Franklin, Jefferson, Ethan Allen, Joel
Barlow, and other prominent Americans were openly or unavowedly
deistic.  Free thought, somehow, went along with democratic opinions,
and was a part of the liberal movement of the age.  Paine was a man
without reverence, imagination, or religious feeling.  He was no
scholar, and he was not troubled by any perception of the deeper and
subtler aspects of the questions which he touched.  In his examination
of the Old and New Testaments he insisted that the Bible was an
imposition and a forgery, full of lies, absurdities, and obscenities.
Supernatural Christianity, with all its mysteries and miracles, was a
fraud practiced by priests upon the people, and churches were
instruments of oppression in the hands of tyrants.  This way of
accounting for Christianity would not now be accepted by even the most
"advanced" thinkers.  The contest between skepticism and revelation has
long since shifted to other grounds.  Both the philosophy and the
temper of the _Age of Reason_ belong to the eighteenth century.  But
Paine's downright pugnacious method of attack was effective with
shrewd, half-educated doubters; and in America well-thumbed copies of
his book passed from hand to hand in many a rural tavern or store,
where the village atheist wrestled in debate with the deacon or the
schoolmaster.  Paine rested his argument against Christianity upon the
familiar grounds of the incredibility of miracles, the falsity of
prophecy, the cruelty or immorality of Moses and David and other Old
Testament worthies, the disagreement of the evangelists in their
gospels, etc.  The spirit of his book and his competence as a critic
are illustrated by his saying of the New Testament: "Any person who
could tell a story of an apparition, or of a man's walking, could have
made such books, for the story is most wretchedly told.  The sum total
of a parson's learning is _a-b_, _ab_, and _hic_, _hoec_, _hoc_, and
this is more than sufficient to have enabled them, had they lived at
the time, to have written all the books of the New Testament."

When we turn from the political and controversial writings of the
Revolution to such lighter literature as existed, we find little that
would deserve mention in a more crowded period.  The few things in this
kind that have kept afloat on the current of time--_rari nantes in
gurgite vasto_--attract attention rather by reason of their fewness
than of any special excellence that they have.  During the eighteenth
century American literature continued to accommodate itself to changes
of taste in the old country.  The so-called classical or Augustan
writers of the reign of Queen Anne replaced other models of style; the
_Spectator_ set the fashion of almost all of our lighter prose, from
Franklin's _Busybody_ down to the time of Irving, who perpetuated the
Addisonian tradition later than any English writer.  The influence of
Locke, of Dr. Johnson, and of the parliamentary orators has already
been mentioned.  In poetry the example of Pope was dominant, so that we
find, for example, William Livingston, who became governor of New
Jersey and a member of the Continental Congress, writing in 1747 a poem
on _Philosophic Solitude_ which reproduces the tricks of Pope's
antitheses and climaxes with the imagery of the _Rape of the Lock_, and
the didactic morality of the _Imitations from Horace_ and the _Moral

  "Let ardent heroes seek renown to arms,
  Pant after fame and rush to war's alarms;
  To shining palaces let fools resort,
  And dunces cringe to be esteemed at court.
  Mine be the pleasure of a rural life,
  From noise remote and ignorant of strife,
  Far from the painted belle and white-gloved beau,
  The lawless masquerade and midnight show;
  From ladies, lap-dogs, courtiers, garters, stars,
  Fops, fiddlers, tyrants, emperors, and czars."

The most popular poem of the Revolutionary period was John Trumbull's
_McFingal_, published in part at Philadelphia in 1775, and incomplete
shape at Hartford in 1782.  It went through more than thirty editions
in America, and was several times reprinted in England.  _McFingal_ was
a satire in four cantos, directed against the American loyalists, and
modeled quite closely upon Butler's mock heroic poem, _Hudibras_.  As
Butler's hero sallies forth to put down May games and bear-baitings, so
the tory McFingal goes out against the liberty-poles and bonfires of
the patriots, but is tarred and feathered, and otherwise ill-entreated,
and finally takes refuge in the camp of General Gage at Boston.  The
poem is written with smartness and vivacity, attains often to drollery
and sometimes to genuine humor.  It remains one of the best of American
political satires, and unquestionably the most successful of the many
imitations of _Hudibras_, whose manner it follows so closely that some
of its lines, which have passed into currency as proverbs, are
generally attributed to Butler.  For example:

  "No man e'er felt the halter draw
  With good opinion of the law."

Or this:

  "For any man with half an eye
  What stands before him may espy;
  But optics sharp it needs, I ween,
  To see what is not to be seen."

Trumbull's wit did not spare the vulnerable points of his own
countrymen, as in his sharp skit at slavery in the couplet about the
newly adopted flag of the Confederation:

  "Inscribed with inconsistent types
  Of Liberty and thirteen stripes."

Trumbull was one of a group of Connecticut literati, who made such
noise in their time as the "Hartford Wits."  The other members of the
group were Lemuel Hopkins, David Humphreys, Joel Barlow, Elihu Smith,
Theodore Dwight, and Richard Alsop.  Trumbull, Humphreys, and Barlow
had formed a friendship and a kind of literary partnership at Yale,
where they were contemporaries of each other and of Timothy Dwight.
During the war they served in the army in various capacities, and at
its close they found themselves again together for a few years at
Hartford, where they formed a club that met weekly for social and
literary purposes.  Their presence lent a sort of _éclat_ to the little
provincial capital, and their writings made it for a time an
intellectual center quite as important as Boston or Philadelphia or New
York.  The Hartford Wits were stanch Federalists, and used their pens
freely in support of the administrations of Washington and Adams, and
in ridicule of Jefferson and the Democrats.  In 1786-87 Trumbull,
Hopkins, Barlow, and Humphreys published in the _New Haven Gazette_ a
series of satirical papers entitled the _Anarchiad_, suggested by the
English _Rolliad_, and purporting to be extracts from an ancient epic
on "the Restoration of Chaos and Substantial Night."  The papers were
an effort to correct, by ridicule, the anarchic condition of things
which preceded the adoption of the Federal Constitution in 1789.  It
was a time of great confusion and discontent, when, in parts of the
country, Democratic mobs were protesting against the vote of five
years' pay by the Continental Congress to the officers of the American
army.  The _Anarchiad_ was followed by the _Echo_ and the _Political
Green House_, written mostly by Alsop and Theodore Dwight, and similar
in character and tendency to the earlier series.  Time has greatly
blunted the edge of these satires, but they were influential in their
day, and are an important part of the literature of the old Federalist

Humphreys became afterward distinguished in the diplomatic service, and
was, successively, embassador to Portugal and to Spain, whence he
introduced into America the breed of merino sheep.  He had been on
Washington's staff during the war, and was several times an inmate of
his house at Mount Vernon, where he produced, in 1785, the best-known
of his writings, _Mount Vernon_, an ode of a rather mild description,
which once had admirers.  Joel Barlow cuts a larger figure in
contemporary letters.  After leaving Hartford, in 1788, he went to
France, where he resided for seventeen years, made a fortune in
speculations, and became imbued with French principles, writing a song
in praise of the guillotine, which gave great scandal to his old
friends at home.  In 1805 he returned to America and built a fine
residence near Washington, which he called Kalorama.  Barlow's literary
fame, in his own generation, rested upon his prodigious epic, the
_Columbiad_.  The first form of this was the _Vision of Columbus_,
published at Hartford in 1787.  This he afterward recast and enlarged
into the _Columbiad_, issued in Philadelphia in 1807, and dedicated to
Robert Fulton, the inventor of the steam-boat.  This was by far the
most sumptuous piece of book-making that had then been published in
America, and was embellished with plates executed by the best London

The _Columbiad_ was a grandiose performance, and has been the theme of
much ridicule by later writers.  Hawthorne suggested its being
dramatized, and put on to the accompaniment of artillery and thunder
and lightning; and E. P. Whipple declared that "no critic in the last
fifty years had read more than a hundred lines of it."  In its
ambitiousness and its length it was symptomatic of the spirit of the
age which was patriotically determined to create, by _tour de force_, a
national literature of a size commensurate with the scale of American
nature and the destinies of the republic.  As America was bigger than
Argos and Troy we ought to have a bigger epic than the _Iliad_.
Accordingly, Barlow makes Hesper fetch Columbus from his prison to a
"hill of vision," where he unrolls before his eye a panorama of the
history of America, or, as our bards then preferred to call it,
Columbia.  He shows him the conquest of Mexico by Cortez; the rise and
fall of the kingdom of the Incas in Peru; the settlements of the
English colonies in North America; the old French and Indian wars; the
Revolution, ending with a prophecy of the future greatness of the
new-born nation.  The machinery of the _Vision_ was borrowed from the
11th and 12th books of _Paradise Lost_.  Barlow's verse was the
ten-syllabled rhyming couplet of Pope, and his poetic style was
distinguished by the vague, glittering imagery and the false sublimity
which marked the epic attempts of the Queen Anne poets.  Though Barlow
was but a masquerader in true heroic he showed himself a true poet in
mock heroic.  His _Hasty Pudding_, written in Savoy in 1793, and
dedicated to Mrs. Washington, was thoroughly American, in subject at
least, and its humor, though over-elaborate, is good.  One couplet in
particular has prevailed against oblivion:

  "E'en in thy native regions how I blush
  To hear the Pennsylvanians call thee _Mush_!"

Another Connecticut poet--one of the seven who were fondly named "The
Pleiads of Connecticut"--was Timothy Dwight, whose _Conquest of
Canaan_, written shortly after his graduation from college, but not
published till 1785, was, like the _Columbiad_, an experiment toward
the domestication of the epic muse in America.  It was written like
Barlow's poem, in rhymed couplets, and the patriotic impulse of the
time shows oddly in the introduction of our Revolutionary War, by way
of episode, among the wars of Israel.  _Greenfield Hill_, 1794, was an
idyllic and moralizing poem, descriptive of a rural parish in
Connecticut of which the author was for a time the pastor.  It is not
quite without merit; shows plainly the influence of Goldsmith, Thomson,
and Beattie, but as a whole is tedious and tame.  Byron was amused that
there should have been an American poet christened Timothy, and it is
to be feared that amusement would have been the chief emotion kindled
in the breast of the wicked Voltaire had he ever chanced to see the
stern dedication to himself of the same poet's _Triumph of Infidelity_,
1788.  Much more important than Dwight's poetry was his able _Theology
Explained and Defended_, 1794, a restatement, with modifications, of
the Calvinism of Jonathan Edwards, which was accepted by the
Congregational churches of New England as an authoritative exponent of
the orthodoxy of the time.  His _Travels in New England and New York_,
including descriptions of Niagara, the White Mountains, Lake George,
the Catskills, and other passages of natural scenery, not so familiar
then as now, was published posthumously in 1821, was praised by
Southey, and is still readable.  As President of Yale College from 1795
to 1817 Dwight, by his learning and ability, his sympathy with young
men, and the force and dignity of his character, exerted a great
influence in the community.

The strong political bias of the time drew into its vortex most of the
miscellaneous literature that was produced.  A number of ballads,
serious and comic, whig and tory, dealing with the battles and other
incidents of the long war, enjoyed a wide circulation in the newspapers
or were hawked about in printed broadsides.  Most of these have no
literary merit, and are now mere antiquarian curiosities.  A favorite
piece on the tory side was the _Cow Chase_, a cleverish parody on
_Chevy Chase_, written by the gallant and unfortunate Major Andre, at
the expense of "Mad" Anthony Wayne.  The national song _Yankee Doodle_
was evolved during the Revolution, and, as is the case with _John
Brown's Body_ and many other popular melodies, some obscurity hangs
about its origin.  The air was an old one, and the words of the chorus
seem to have been adapted or corrupted from a Dutch song, and applied
in derision to the provincials by the soldiers of the British army as
early as 1755.  Like many another nickname, the term Yankee Doodle was
taken up by the nicknamed and proudly made their own.  The stanza,

  "Yankee Doodle came to town," etc.,

antedates the war; but the first complete set of words to the tune was
the _Yankee's Return from Camp_, which is apparently of the year 1775.
The most popular humorous ballad on the whig side was the _Battle of
the Kegs_, founded on a laughable incident of the campaign at
Philadelphia.  This was written by Francis Hopkinson, a Philadelphian,
and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.  Hopkinson
has some title to rank as one of the earliest American humorists.
Without the keen wit of _McFingal_, some of his _Miscellaneous Essays
and Occasional Writings_, published in 1792, have more geniality and
heartiness than Trumbull's satire.  His _Letter on Whitewashing_ is a
bit of domestic humor that foretokens the _Danbury News_ man; and his
_Modern Learning_, 1784, a burlesque on college examinations, in which
a salt-box is described from the point of view of metaphysics, logic,
natural philosophy, mathematics, anatomy, surgery, and chemistry, long
kept its place in school-readers and other collections.  His son,
Joseph Hopkinson, wrote the song of _Hail Columbia_, which is saved
from insignificance only by the music to which it was married, the then
popular air of "The President's March."  The words were written in
1798, on the eve of a threatened war with France, and at a time when
party spirit ran high.  It was sung nightly by crowds in the streets,
and for a whole season by a favorite singer at the theater; for by this
time there were theaters in Philadelphia, in New York, and even in
puritanic Boston.  Much better than _Hail Columbia_ was the
_Star-Spangled Banner_, the words of which were composed by Francis
Scott Key, a Marylander, during the bombardment by the British of Fort
McHenry, near Baltimore, in 1812.  More pretentious than these was the
once celebrated ode of Robert Treat Paine, Jr., _Adams and Liberty_,
recited at an anniversary of the Massachusetts Charitable Fire Society.
The sale of this is said to have netted its author over $750, but it
is, notwithstanding, a very wooden performance.  Paine was a young
Harvard graduate, who had married an actress playing at the Old Federal
Street Theater, the first play-house opened in Boston, in 1794.  His
name was originally Thomas, but this was changed for him by the
Massachusetts Legislature, because he did not wish to be confounded
with the author of the _Age of Reason_.  "Dim are those names erstwhile
in battle loud," and many an old Revolutionary worthy who fought for
liberty with sword and pen is now utterly forgotten, or remembered only
by some phrase which has become a current quotation.  Here and there a
line has, by accident, survived to do duty as a motto or inscription,
while all its context is buried in oblivion.  Few have read any thing
more of Jonathan M. Sewall's, for example, than the couplet,

  "No pent-up Utica contracts your powers,
  But the whole boundless continent is yours,"

taken from his _Epilogue to Cato_, written in 1778.

Another Revolutionary poet was Philip Freneau--"that rascal Freneau,"
as Washington called him, when annoyed by the attacks upon his
administration in Freneau's _National Gazette_.  He was of Huguenot
descent, was a class-mate of Madison at Princeton College, was taken
prisoner by the British during the war, and when the war was over
engaged in journalism, as an ardent supporter of Jefferson and the
Democrats.  Freneau's patriotic verses and political lampoons are now
unreadable; but he deserves to rank as the first real American poet, by
virtue of his _Wild Honeysuckle_, _Indian Burying Ground_, _Indian
Student_, and a few other little pieces, which exhibit a grace and
delicacy inherited, perhaps, with his French blood,

Indeed, to speak strictly, all of the "poets" hitherto mentioned were
nothing but rhymers; but in Freneau we meet with something of beauty
and artistic feeling; something which still keeps his verses fresh.  In
his treatment of Indian themes, in particular, appear for the first
time a sense of the picturesque and poetic elements in the character
and wild life of the red man, and that pensive sentiment which the
fading away of the tribes toward the sunset has left in the wake of
their retreating footsteps.  In this Freneau anticipates Cooper and
Longfellow, though his work is slight compared with the
_Leatherstocking Tales_ or _Hiawatha_.  At the time when the
Revolutionary War broke out the population of the colonies was over
three millions; Philadelphia had thirty thousand inhabitants, and the
frontier had retired to a comfortable distance from the sea-board.  The
Indian had already grown legendary to town dwellers, and Freneau
fetches his _Indian Student_ not from the outskirts of the settlement
but from the remote backwoods of the State:

  "From Susquehanna's farthest springs,
    Where savage tribes pursue their game
  (His blanket tied with yellow strings),
    A shepherd of the forest came."

Campbell "lifted"--in his poem _O'Conor's Child_--the last line of the
following stanza from Freneau's _Indian Burying Ground_:

  "By midnight moons, o'er moistening dews,
    In vestments for the chase arrayed,
  The hunter still the deer pursues--
    The hunter and the deer, a shade."

And Walter Scott did Freneau the honor to borrow, in _Marmion_, the
final line of one of the stanzas of his poem on the battle of Eutaw

  "They saw their injured country's woe,
    The flaming town, the wasted field;
  Then rushed to meet the insulting foe,
    They took the spear, but left the shield."

Scott inquired of an American gentleman who visited him the authorship
of this poem, which he had by heart, and pronounced it as fine a thing
of the kind as there was in the language.

The American drama and American prose fiction had their beginning
during the period now under review.  A company of English players came
to this country in 1762 and made the tour of many of the principal
towns.  The first play acted here by professionals on a public stage
was the _Merchant of Venice_, which was given by the English company at
Williamsburg, Va., in 1752.  The first regular theater building was at
Annapolis, Md., where in the same year this troupe performed, among
other pieces, Farquhar's _Beaux' Stratagem_.  In 1753 a theater was
built in New York, and one in 1759 in Philadelphia.  The Quakers of
Philadelphia and the Puritans of Boston were strenuously opposed to the
acting of plays, and in the latter city the players were several times
arrested during the performances, under a Massachusetts law forbidding
dramatic performances.  At Newport, R.I., on the other hand, which was
a health resort for planters from the Southern States and the West
Indies, and the largest slave-market in the North, the actors were
hospitably received.  The first play known to have been written by an
American was the _Prince of Parthia_, 1765, a closet drama, by Thomas
Godfrey, of Philadelphia.  The first play by an American writer, acted
by professionals in a public theater, was Royall Tyler's _Contrast_,
performed in New York, in 1786.  The former of these was very high
tragedy, and the latter very low comedy; and neither of them is
otherwise remarkable than as being the first of a long line of
indifferent dramas.  There is, in fact, no American dramatic literature
worth speaking of; not a single American play of even the second rank,
unless we except a few graceful parlor comedies, like Mr. Howell's
_Elevator_ and _Sleeping-Car_.  Royall Tyler, the author of _The
Contrast_, cut quite a figure in his day as a wit and journalist, and
eventually became chief-justice of Vermont.  His comedy, _The Georgia
Spec_, 1797, had a great run in Boston, and his _Algerine Captive_,
published in the same year, was one of the earliest American novels.
It was a rambling tale of adventure, constructed somewhat upon the plan
of Smollett's novels and dealing with the piracies which led to the war
between the United States and Algiers in 1815.

Charles Brockden Brown, the first American novelist of any note, was
also the first professional man of letters in this country who
supported himself entirely by his pen.  He was born in Philadelphia in
1771, lived a part of his life in New York and part in his native city,
where he started, in 1803, the _Literary Magazine and American
Register_.  During the years 1798-1801 he published in rapid succession
six romances, _Wieland_, _Ormond_, _Arthur Mervyn_, _Edgar Huntley_,
_Clara Howard_, and _Jane Talbot_.  Brown was an invalid and something
of a recluse, with a relish for the ghastly in incident and the morbid
in character.  He was in some points a prophecy of Poe and Hawthorne,
though his art was greatly inferior to Poe's, and almost infinitely so
to Hawthorne's.  His books belong more properly to the contemporary
school of fiction in England which preceded the "Waverley Novels"--to
the class that includes Beckford's _Vathek_, Godwin's _Caleb Williams_
and _St. Leon_, Mrs. Shelley's _Frankenstein_, and such "Gothic"
romances as Lewis's _Monk_, Walpole's _Castle of Otranto_, and Mrs.
Radcliffe's _Mysteries of Udolpho_.  A distinguishing characteristic of
this whole school is what we may call the clumsy-horrible.  Brown's
romances are not wanting in inventive power, in occasional situations
that are intensely thrilling, and in subtle analysis of character; but
they are fatally defective in art.  The narrative is by turns abrupt
and tiresomely prolix, proceeding not so much by dialogue as by
elaborate dissection and discussion of motives and states of mind,
interspersed with the author's reflections.  The wild improbabilities
of plot and the unnatural and even monstrous developments of character
are in startling contrast with the old-fashioned preciseness of the
language; the conversations, when there are any, being conducted in
that insipid dialect in which a fine woman was called an "elegant
female." The following is a sample description of one of Brown's
heroines, and is taken from his novel of _Ormond_, the leading
character in which--a combination of unearthly intellect with fiendish
wickedness--is thought to have been suggested by Aaron Burr: "Helena
Cleves was endowed with every feminine and fascinating quality.  Her
features were modified by the most transient sentiments and were the
seat of a softness at all times blushful and bewitching.  All those
graces of symmetry, smoothness, and luster, which assemble in the
imagination of the painter when he calls from the bosom of her natal
deep the Paphian divinity, blended their perfections in the shade,
complexion, and hair of this lady."  But, alas!  "Helena's intellectual
deficiencies could not be concealed.  She was proficient in the
elements of no science.  The doctrine of lines and surfaces was as
disproportionate with her intellects as with those of the mock-bird.
She had not reasoned on the principles of human action, nor examined
the structure of society. . . .  She could not commune in their native
dialect with the sages of Rome and Athens. . . .  The constitution of
nature, the attributes of its Author, the arrangement of the parts of
the external universe, and the substance, modes of operation, and
ultimate destiny of human intelligence were enigmas unsolved and
insoluble by her."

Brown frequently raises a superstructure of mystery on a basis
ludicrously weak.  Thus the hero of his first novel, _Wieland_ (whose
father anticipates "Old Krook," in Dickens's _Bleak House_, by dying of
spontaneous combustion), is led on by what he mistakes for spiritual
voices to kill his wife and children; and the voices turn out to be
produced by the ventriloquism of one Carwin, the villain of the story.
Similarly in Edgar Huntley, the plot turns upon the phenomena of
sleep-walking.  Brown had the good sense to place the scene of his
romances in his own country, and the only passages in them which have
now a living interest are his descriptions of wilderness scenery in
_Edgar Huntley_, and his graphic account in _Arthur Mervyn_ of the
yellow-fever epidemic in Philadelphia in 1793.  Shelley was an admirer
of Brown, and his experiments in prose fiction, such as _Zastrozzi_ and
_St. Irvyne the Rosicrucian_, are of the same abnormal and speculative

Another book which falls within this period was the _Journal_, 1774, of
John Woolman, a New Jersey Quaker, which has received the highest
praise from Channing, Charles Lamb, and many others.  "Get the writings
of John Woolman by heart," wrote Lamb, "and love the early Quakers."
The charm of this journal resides in its singular sweetness and
innocence of feeling, the "deep inward stillness" peculiar to the
people called Quakers.  Apart from his constant use of certain phrases
peculiar to the Friends Woolman's English is also remarkably graceful
and pure, the transparent medium of a soul absolutely sincere, and
tender and humble in its sincerity.  When not working at his trade as a
tailor Woolman spent his time in visiting and ministering to the
monthly, quarterly, and yearly meetings of Friends, traveling on
horseback to their scattered communities in the backwoods of Virginia
and North Carolina, and northward along the coast as far as Boston and
Nantucket.  He was under a "concern" and a "heavy exercise" touching
the keeping of slaves, and by his writing and speaking did much to
influence the Quakers against slavery.  His love went out, indeed, to
all the wretched and oppressed; to sailors, and to the Indians in
particular.  One of his most perilous journeys was made to the
settlements of Moravian Indians in the wilderness of western
Pennsylvania, at Bethlehem, and at Wehaloosing, on the Susquehanna.
Some of the scruples which Woolman felt, and the quaint _naïveté_ with
which he expresses them, may make the modern reader smile, but it is a
smile which is very close to a tear.  Thus, when in England--where he
died in 1772--he would not ride nor send a letter by mail-coach,
because the poor post-boys were compelled to ride long stages in winter
nights, and were sometimes frozen to death.  "So great is the hurry in
the spirit of this world that, in aiming to do business quickly and to
gain wealth, the creation at this day doth loudly groan."  Again,
having reflected that war was caused by luxury in dress, etc., the use
of dyed garments grew uneasy to him, and he got and wore a hat of the
natural color of the fur.  "In attending meetings this singularity was
a trial to me, . . . and some Friends, who knew not from what motives I
wore it, grew shy of me. . . .  Those who spoke with me I generally
informed, in a few words, that I believed my wearing it was not in my
own will."

1. _Representative American Orations_.  Edited by Alexander Johnston.
New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons.  1884.

2. _The Federalist_.  New York: Charles Scribner.  1863.

3. _Notes on Virginia_.  By Thomas Jefferson.  Boston.  1829.

4. _Travels in New England and New York_.  By Timothy Dwight.  New
Haven.  1821.

5. _McFingal_: in Trumbull's Poetical Works.  Hartford.  1820.

6. Joel Barlow's _Hasty Pudding_.  Francis Hopkinson's _Modern
Learning_.  Philip Freneau's _Indian Student_, _Indian Burying-Ground_,
and _White Honeysuckle_: in Vol. I of Duyckinck's _Cyclopedia of
American Literature_.  New York: Charles Scribner.  1866.

7. _Arthur Mervyn_.  By Charles Brockden Brown.  Boston: S. G.
Goodrich.  1827.

8. _The Journal of John Woolman_.  With an Introduction by John G.
Whittier.  Boston: James R. Osgood & Co.  1871.

9. _American Literature_.   By Charles F. Richardson.  New York: G. P.
Putnam's Sons.  1887.

10. _American Literature_.  By John Nichol.  Edinburgh: Adam & Charles
Black.  1882.




The attempt to preserve a strictly chronological order must here be
abandoned.  About all the American literature in existence that is of
any value as _literature_ is the product of the past three quarters of
a century, and the men who produced it, though older or younger, were
still contemporaries.  Irving's _Knickerbocker's History of New York_,
1809, was published within the recollection of some yet living, and the
venerable poet Richard H. Dana--Irving's junior by only four
years--survived to 1879, when the youngest of the generation of writers
that now occupy public attention had already won their spurs.  Bryant,
whose _Thanatopsis_ was printed in 1816, lived down to 1878.  He saw
the beginnings of our national literature, and he saw almost as much of
the latest phase of it as we see to-day in this year 1891.  Still, even
within the limits of a single life-time, there have been progress and
change.  And so, while it will happen that the consideration of
writers, a part of whose work falls between the dates at the head of
this chapter, may be postponed to subsequent chapters, we may in a
general way follow the sequence of time.

The period between the close of the second war with England, in 1815,
and the great financial crash of 1837, has been called, in language
attributed to President Monroe, "the era of good feeling."  It was a
time of peace and prosperity, of rapid growth in population and rapid
extension of territory.  The new nation was entering upon its vast
estates and beginning to realize its manifest destiny.  The peace with
Great Britain, by calling off the Canadian Indians and the other tribes
in alliance with England, had opened up the North-west to settlement.
Ohio had been admitted as a State in 1802; but at the time of President
Monroe's tour, in 1817, Cincinnati had only seven thousand inhabitants,
and half of the State was unsettled.  The Ohio River flowed for most of
its course through an unbroken wilderness.  Chicago was merely a fort.
Hitherto the emigration to the West had been sporadic; now it took on
the dimensions of a general and almost a concerted exodus.  This
movement was stimulated in New England by the cold summer of 1816 and
the late spring of 1817, which produced a scarcity of food that
amounted in parts of the interior to a veritable famine.  All through
this period sounded the ax of the pioneer clearing the forest about his
log-cabin, and the rumble of the canvas-covered emigrant-wagon over the
primitive highways which crossed the Alleghanies or followed the valley
of the Mohawk.  S. G. Goodrich, known in letters as "Peter Parley," in
his _Recollections of a Life-time_, 1856, describes the part of the
movement which he had witnessed as a boy in Fairfield County,
Connecticut: "I remember very well the tide of emigration through
Connecticut, on its way to the West, during the summer of 1817.  Some
persons went in covered wagons--frequently a family consisting of
father, mother, and nine small children, with one at the breast--some
on foot, and some crowded together under the cover, with kettles,
gridirons, feather-beds, crockery, and the family Bible, Watts's Psalms
and Hymns, and Webster's Spelling-book--the lares and penates of the
household.  Others started in ox-carts, and trudged on at the rate of
ten miles a day. . . .  Many of these persons were in a state of
poverty, and begged their way as they went.  Some died before they
reached the expected Canaan; many perished after their arrival from
fatigue and privation; and others from the fever and ague, which was
then certain to attack the new settlers.  It was, I think, in 1818 that
I published a small tract entitled, _'Tother Side of Ohio_--that is,
the other view, in contrast to the popular notion that it was the
paradise of the world.  It was written by Dr. Hand--a talented young
physician of Berlin--who had made a visit to the West about these days.
It consisted mainly of vivid but painful pictures of the accidents and
incidents attending this wholesale migration.  The roads over the
Alleghanies, between Philadelphia and Pittsburg, were then rude, steep,
and dangerous, and some of the more precipitous slopes were
consequently strewn with the carcasses of wagons, carts, horses, oxen,
which had made shipwreck in their perilous descents."

But in spite of the hardships of the settler's life the spirit of that
time, as reflected in its writings, was a hopeful and a light-hearted

  "Westward the course of empire takes its way,"

runs the famous line from Berkeley's poem on America.  The New
Englanders who removed to the Western Reserve went there to better
themselves; and their children found themselves the owners of broad
acres of virgin soil in place of the stony hill pastures of Berkshire
and Litchfield.  There was an attraction, too, about the wild, free
life of the frontiersman, with all its perils and discomforts.  The
life of Daniel Boone, the pioneer of Kentucky--that "dark and bloody
ground"--is a genuine romance.  Hardly less picturesque was the old
river life of the Ohio boatmen, before the coming of steam banished
their queer craft from the water.  Between 1810 and 1840 the center of
population in the United States had moved from the Potomac to the
neighborhood of Clarksburg, in West Virginia, and the population itself
had increased from seven to seventeen millions.  The gain was made
partly in the East and South, but the general drift was westward.
During the years now under review the following new States were
admitted, in the order named: Indiana, Mississippi, Illinois, Alabama,
Maine, Missouri, Arkansas, Michigan.  Kentucky and Tennessee had been
made States in the last years of the eighteenth century, and
Louisiana--acquired by purchase from France--in 1812.

The settlers, in their westward march, left large tracts of wilderness
behind them.  They took up first the rich bottomlands along the river
courses, the Ohio and Miami and Licking, and later the valleys of the
Mississippi and Missouri and the shores of the great lakes.  But there
still remained backwoods in New York and Pennsylvania, though the
cities of New York and Philadelphia had each a population of more than
one hundred thousand in 1815.  When the Erie Canal was opened, in 1825,
it ran through a primitive forest.  N. P. Willis, who went by canal to
Buffalo and Niagara in 1827, describes the houses and stores at
Rochester as standing among the burnt stumps left by the first
settlers.  In the same year that saw the opening of this great
water-way, the Indian tribes, numbering now about one hundred and
thirty thousand souls, were moved across the Mississippi.  Their power
had been broken by General Hamson's victory over Tecumseh at the battle
of Tippecanoe, in 1811, and they were in fact mere remnants and
fragments of the race which had hung upon the skirts of civilization
and disputed the advance of the white man for two centuries.  It was
not until some years later than this that railroads began to take an
important share in opening up new country.

The restless energy, the love of adventure, the sanguine anticipation
which characterized American thought at this time, the picturesque
contrasts to be seen in each mushroom town where civilization was
encroaching on the raw edge of the wilderness--all these found
expression, not only in such well-known books as Cooper's _Pioneers_,
1823, and Irving's _Tour on the Prairies_, 1835, but in the minor
literature which is read to-day, if at all, not for its own sake, but
for the light that it throws on the history of national development: in
such books as Paulding's story of _Westward-Ho!_ and his poem, _The
Backwoodsman_, 1818; or as Timothy Flint's _Recollections_, 1826, and
his _Geography and History of the Mississippi Valley_, 1827.  It was
not an age of great books, but it was an age of large ideas and
expanding prospects.  The new consciousness of empire uttered itself
hastily, crudely, ran into buncombe, "spread-eagleism," and other noisy
forms of patriotic exultation; but it was thoroughly democratic and
American.  Though literature--or at least the best literature of the
time--was not yet emancipated from English models, thought and life, at
any rate, were no longer in bondage--no longer provincial.  And it is
significant that the party in office during these years was the
Democratic, the party which had broken most completely with
conservative traditions.  The famous "Monroe doctrine" was a
pronunciamento of this aggressive democracy, and though the Federalists
returned to power for a single term, under John Quincy Adams (1825-29),
Andrew Jackson received the largest number of electoral votes, and
Adams was only chosen by the House of Representatives in the absence of
a majority vote for any one candidate.  At the close of his term "Old
Hickory," the hero of the people, the most characteristically
democratic of our presidents, and the first backwoodsman who entered
the White House, was borne into office on a wave of popular enthusiasm.
We have now arrived at the time when American literature, in the higher
and stricter sense of the term, really began to have an existence.  S.
G. Goodrich, who settled at Hartford as a bookseller and publisher in
1818, says, in his _Recollections_: "About this time I began to think
of trying to bring out original American works. . . .  The general
impression was that we had not, and could not have, a literature.  It
was the precise point at which Sidney Smith had uttered that bitter
taunt in the _Edinburgh Review_, 'Who reads an American book?' . . .
It was positively injurious to the commercial credit of a bookseller to
undertake American works."  Washington Irving (1783-1859) was the first
American author whose books, as _books_, obtained recognition abroad;
whose name was thought worthy of mention beside the names of English
contemporary authors, like Byron, Scott, and Coleridge.  He was also
the first American writer whose writings are still read for their own
sake.  We read Mather's _Magnalia_, and Franklin's _Autobiography_, and
Trumbull's _McFingal_--if we read them at all--as history, and to learn
about the times or the men.  But we read the _Sketch Book_, and
_Knickerbocker's History of New York_, and the _Conquest of Granada_
for themselves and for the pleasure that they give as pieces of
literary art.

We have arrived, too, at a time when we may apply a more cosmopolitan
standard to the works of American writers, and may disregard many a
minor author whose productions would have cut some figure had they come
to light amid the poverty of our colonial age.  Hundreds of these
forgotten names, with specimens of their unread writings, are consigned
to a limbo of immortality in the pages of Duyckinck's _Cyclopedia_ and
of Griswold's _Poets of America_ and _Prose Writers of America_.  We
may select here for special mention, and as most representative of the
thought of their time, the names of Irving, Cooper, Webster, and

A generation was now coming upon the stage who could recall no other
government in this country than the government of the United States,
and to whom the Revolutionary War was but a tradition.  Born in the
very year of the peace, it was a part of Irving's mission, by the
sympathetic charm of his writings and by the cordial recognition which
he won in both countries, to allay the soreness which the second war,
of 1812-15, had left between England and America.  He was well fitted
for the task of mediator.  Conservative by nature, early drawn to the
venerable worship of the Episcopal Church, retrospective in his tastes,
with a preference for the past and its historic associations, which,
even in young America, led him to invest the Hudson and the region
about New York with a legendary interest, he wrote of American themes
in an English fashion, and interpreted to an American public the mellow
attractiveness that he found in the life and scenery of Old England.
He lived in both countries, and loved them both; and it is hard to say
whether Irving is more of an English or of an American writer.  His
first visit to Europe, in 1804-6, occupied nearly two years.  From 1815
to 1832 he was abroad continuously, and his "domicile," as the lawyers
say, during these seventeen years was really in England, though a
portion of his time was spent upon the Continent, and several
successive years in Spain, where he engaged upon the _Life of
Columbus_, the _Conquest of Granada_, the _Companions of Columbus_, and
the _Alhambra_, all published between 1828 and 1832.  From 1842 to 1846
he was again in Spain as American minister at Madrid.

Irving was the last and greatest of the Addisonians.  His boyish
letters, signed "Jonathan Oldstyle," contributed in 1802 to his
brother's newspaper, the _Morning Chronicle_, were, like Franklin's
_Busybody_, close imitations of the _Spectator_.  To the same family
belonged his _Salmagundi_ papers, 1807, a series of town-satires on New
York society, written in conjunction with his brother William and with
James K. Paulding.  The little tales, essays, and sketches which
compose the _Sketch Book_ were written in England, and published in
America, in periodical numbers, in 1819-20.  In this, which is in some
respects his best book, he still maintained that attitude of
observation and spectatorship taught him by Addison.  The volume had a
motto taken from Burton: "I have no wife nor children, good or bad, to
provide for--a mere spectator of other men's fortunes," etc.; and "The
Author's Account of Himself," began in true Addisonian fashion: "I was
always fond of visiting new scenes and observing strange characters and

But though never violently "American," like some later writers who have
consciously sought to throw off the trammels of English tradition,
Irving was in a real way original.  His most distinct addition to our
national literature was in his creation of what has been called "the
Knickerbocker legend."  He was the first to make use, for literary
purposes, of the old Dutch traditions which clustered about the
romantic scenery of the Hudson.  Colonel T. W. Higginson, in his
_History of the United States_, tells how "Mrs. Josiah Quincy, sailing
up that river in 1786, when Irving was a child three years old, records
that the captain of the sloop had a legend, either supernatural or
traditional, for every scene, 'and not a mountain reared its head
unconnected with some marvelous story.'"  The material thus at hand
Irving shaped into his _Knickerbocker's History of New York_, into the
immortal story of _Rip Van Winkle_ and the _Legend of Sleepy Hollow_
(both published in the _Sketch Book_), and into later additions to the
same realm of fiction, such as _Dolph Heyliger_ in _Bracebridge Hall_,
the _Money Diggers_, _Wolfert Webber_, and _Kidd the Pirate_, in the
_Tales of a Traveler_, and some of the miscellanies from the
_Knickerbocker Magazine_, collected into a volume, in 1855, under the
title of _Wolfert's Roost_.

The book which made Irving's reputation was his _Knickerbocker's
History of New York_, 1809, a burlesque chronicle, making fun of the
old Dutch settlers of New Amsterdam, and attributed, by a familiar and
now somewhat threadbare device,[1] to a little old gentleman named
Diedrich Knickerbocker, whose manuscript had come into the editor's
hands.  The book was gravely dedicated to the New York Historical
Society, and it is said to have been quoted, as authentic history, by a
certain German scholar named Goeller, in a note on a passage in
Thucydides.  This story, though well vouched, is hard of belief; for
_Knickerbocker_, though excellent fooling, has nothing of the grave
irony of Swift in his _Modest Proposal_ or of Defoe in his _Short Way
with Dissenters_.  Its mock-heroic intention is as transparent as in
Fielding's parodies of Homer, which it somewhat resembles, particularly
in the delightfully absurd description of the mustering of the clans
under Peter Stuyvesant and the attack on the Swedish Fort Christina.
_Knickerbocker's History of New York_ was a real addition to the comic
literature of the world, a work of genuine humor, original and vital.
Walter Scott said that it reminded him closely of Swift, and had
touches resembling Sterne.  It is not necessary to claim for Irving's
little masterpiece a place beside _Gulliver's Travels_ and _Tristram
Shandy_.  But it was, at least, the first American book in the lighter
departments of literature which needed no apology and stood squarely on
its own legs.  It was written, too, at just the right time.  Although
New Amsterdam had become New York as early as 1664, the impress of its
first settlers, with their quaint conservative ways, was still upon it
when Irving was a boy.  The descendants of the Dutch families formed a
definite element not only in Manhattan, but all up along the kills of
the Hudson, at Albany, at Schenectady, in Westchester County, at
Hoboken, and Communipaw, localities made familiar to him in many a
ramble and excursion.  He lived to see the little provincial town of
his birth grow into a great metropolis, in which all national
characteristics were blended together, and a tide of immigration from
Europe and New England flowed over the old landmarks and obliterated
them utterly.

Although Irving was the first to reveal to his countrymen the literary
possibilities of their early history it must be acknowledged that with
modern American life he had little sympathy.  He hated politics, and in
the restless democratic movement of the time, as we have described it,
he found no inspiration.  This moderate and placid gentleman, with his
distrust of all kinds of fanaticism, had no liking for the Puritans or
for their descendants, the New England Yankees, if we may judge from
his sketch of Ichabod Crane in the _Legend of Sleepy Hollow_.  His
genius was reminiscent, and his imagination, like Scott's, was the
historic imagination.  In crude America his fancy took refuge in the
picturesque aspects of the past, in "survivals" like the Knickerbocker
Dutch and the Acadian peasants, whose isolated communities on the lower
Mississippi he visited and described.  He turned naturally to the ripe
civilization of the Old World, He was our first picturesque tourist,
the first "American in Europe."  He rediscovered England, whose ancient
churches, quiet landscapes, memory-haunted cities, Christmas
celebrations, and rural festivals had for him an unfailing attraction.
With pictures of these, for the most part, he filled the pages of the
_Sketch Book_ and _Bracebridge Hall_, 1822.  Delightful as are these
English sketches, in which the author conducts his reader to Windsor
Castle, or Stratford-on-Avon, or the Boar's Head Tavern, or sits beside
him on the box of the old English stage-coach, or shares with him the
Yule-tide cheer at the ancient English country-house, their interest
has somewhat faded.  The pathos of the _Broken Heart_ and the _Pride of
the Village_, the mild satire of the _Art of Book-Making_, the rather
obvious reflections in _Westminster Abbey_ are not exactly to the taste
of this generation.  They are the literature of leisure and
retrospection; and already Irving's gentle elaboration, the refined and
slightly artificial beauty of his style, and his persistently genial
and sympathetic attitude have begun to pall upon readers who demand a
more nervous and accentuated kind of writing.  It is felt that a little
roughness, a little harshness, even, would give relief to his pictures
of life.  There is, for instance, something a little irritating in the
old-fashioned courtliness of his manner toward women; and one reads
with a certain impatience smoothly punctuated passages like the
following: "As the vine, which has long twined its graceful foliage
about the oak, and been lifted by it into sunshine, will, when the
hardy plant is rifted by the thunder-bolt, cling round it with its
caressing tendrils, and bind up its shattered boughs, so is it
beautifully ordered by Providence that woman, who is the mere dependent
and ornament of man in his happier hours, should be his stay and solace
when smitten with sudden calamity, winding herself into the rugged
recesses of his nature, tenderly supporting the drooping head and
binding up the broken heart."

Irving's gifts were sentiment and humor, with an imagination
sufficiently fertile and an observation sufficiently acute to support
those two main qualities, but inadequate to the service of strong
passion or subtle thinking, though his pathos, indeed, sometimes
reached intensity.  His humor was always delicate and kindly; his
sentiment never degenerated into sentimentality.  His diction was
graceful and elegant--too elegant, perhaps; and, in his modesty, he
attributed the success of his books in England to the astonishment of
Englishmen that an American could write good English.

In Spanish history and legend Irving found a still newer and richer
field for his fancy to work upon.  He had not the analytic and
philosophical mind of a great historian, and the merits of his
_Conquest of Granada_ and _Life of Columbus_ are rather
_belletristisch_ than scientific.  But he brought to these undertakings
the same eager love of the romantic past which had determined the
character of his writings in America and England, and the
result--whether we call it history or romance--is at all events
charming as literature.  His _Life of Washington_--completed in
1859--was his _magnum opus_, and is accepted as standard authority.
_Mahomet and His Successors_, 1850, was comparatively a failure.  But
of all Irving's biographies his _Life of Oliver Goldsmith_, 1849, was
the most spontaneous and perhaps the best.  He did not impose it upon
himself as a task, but wrote it from a native and loving sympathy with
his subject, and it is, therefore, one of the choicest literary memoirs
in the language.

When Irving returned to America, in 1832, he was the recipient of
almost national honors.  He had received the medal of the Royal Society
of Literature and the degree of D.C.L. from Oxford University, and had
made American literature known and respected abroad.  In his modest
home at Sunnyside, on the banks of the river over which he had been the
first to throw the witchery of poetry and romance, he was attended to
the last by the admiring affection of his countrymen.  He had the love
and praises of the foremost English writers of his own generation and
the generation which followed--of Scott, Byron, Coleridge, Thackeray,
and Dickens, some of whom had been among his personal friends.  He is
not the greatest of American authors, but the influence of his writings
is sweet and wholesome, and it is in many ways fortunate that the first
American man of letters who made himself heard in Europe should have
been in all particulars a gentleman.

Connected with Irving, at least by name and locality, were a number of
authors who resided in the city of New York, and who are known as the
Knickerbocker writers, perhaps because they were contributors to the
_Knickerbocker Magazine_.  One of these was James K. Paulding, a
connection of Irving by marriage, and his partner in the _Salmagundi_
papers.  Paulding became Secretary of the Navy under Van Buren, and
lived down to the year 1860.  He was a voluminous author, but his
writings had no power of continuance, and are already obsolete, with
the possible exception of his novel, the _Dutchman's Fireside_, 1831.

A finer spirit than Paulding was Joseph Rodman Drake, a young poet of
great promise, who died in 1820, at the age of twenty-five.  Drake's
patriotic lyric, the _American Flag_, is certainly the most spirited
thing of the kind in our poetic literature, and greatly superior to
such national anthems as _Hail Columbia_ and the _Star-Spangled
Banner_.  His _Culprit Fay_, published in 1819, was the best poem that
had yet appeared in America, if we except Bryant's _Thanatopsis_, which
was three years the elder.  The _Culprit Fay_ was a fairy story, in
which, following Irving's lead, Drake undertook to throw the glamour of
poetry about the Highlands of the Hudson.  Edgar Poe said that the poem
was fanciful rather than imaginative; but it is prettily and even
brilliantly fanciful, and has maintained its popularity to the present
time.  Such verse as the following--which seems to show that Drake had
been reading Coleridge's _Christabel_, published three years
before--was something new in American poetry:

  "The winds are whist and the owl is still,
    The bat in the shelvy rock is hid,
  And naught is heard on the lonely hill
    But the cricket's chirp and the answer shrill
  Of the gauze-winged katydid,
    And the plaint of the wailing whip-poor-will,
  Who moans unseen, and ceaseless sings
    Ever a note of wail and woe,
  Till morning spreads her rosy wings,
    And earth and sky in her glances glow."

Here we have, at last, the whip-poor-will, an American bird, and not
the conventional lark or nightingale, although the elves of the Old
World seem scarcely at home on the banks of the Hudson.  Drake's memory
has been kept fresh not only by his own poetry, but by the beautiful
elegy written by his friend Fitz-Greene Halleck, the first stanza of
which is universally known;

  "Green be the turf above thee,
    Friend of my better days;
  None knew thee but to love thee,
    Nor named thee but to praise."

Halleck was born in Guilford, Connecticut, whither he retired in 1849,
and resided there till his death in 1867.  But his literary career is
identified with New York.  He was associated with Drake in writing the
_Croaker Papers_, a series of humorous and satirical verses contributed
in 1814 to the _Evening Post_.  These were of a merely local and
temporary interest; but Halleck's fine ode, _Marco Bozzaris_--though
declaimed until it has become hackneyed--gives him a sure title to
remembrance; and his _Alnwick Castle_, a monody, half serious and half
playful on the contrast between feudal associations and modern life,
has much of that pensive lightness which characterizes Praed's best
_vers de societé_.

A friend of Drake and Halleck was James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851),
the first American novelist of distinction, and, if a popularity which
has endured for nearly three quarters of a century is any test, still
the most successful of all American novelists.  Cooper was far more
intensely American than Irving, and his books reached an even wider
public.  "They are published as soon as he produces them," said Morse,
the electrician, in 1833, "in thirty-four different places in Europe.
They have been seen by American travelers in the languages of Turkey
and Persia, in Constantinople, in Egypt, at Jerusalem, at Ispahan."
Cooper wrote altogether too much; he published, besides his fictions, a
_Naval History of the United States_, a series of naval biographies,
works of travel, and a great deal of controversial matter.  He wrote
over thirty novels, the greater part of which are little better than
trash, and tedious trash at that.  This is especially true of his
_tendenz_ novels and his novels of society.  He was a man of strongly
marked individuality, fiery, pugnacious, sensitive to criticism, and
abounding in prejudices.  He was embittered by the scurrilous attacks
made upon him by a portion of the American press, and spent a great
deal of time and energy in conducting libel suits against the
newspapers.  In the same spirit he used fiction as a vehicle for attack
upon the abuses and follies of American life.  Nearly all of his
novels, written with this design, are worthless.  Nor was Cooper well
equipped by nature and temperament for depicting character and passion
in social life.  Even in his best romances his heroines and his
"leading juveniles"--to borrow a term from the amateur stage--are
insipid and conventional.  He was no satirist, and his humor was not of
a high order.  He was a rapid and uneven writer, and, unlike Irving, he
had no style.

Where Cooper was great was in the story, in the invention of incidents
and plots, in a power of narrative and description in tales of wild
adventure which keeps the reader in breathless excitement to the end of
the book.  He originated the novel of the sea and the novel of the
wilderness.  He created the Indian of literature; and in this, his
peculiar field, although he has had countless imitators, he has had no
equals.  Cooper's experiences had prepared him well for the kingship of
this new realm in the world of fiction.  His childhood was passed on
the borders of Otsego Lake, when central New York was still a
wilderness, with boundless forests stretching westward, broken only
here and there by the clearings of the pioneers.  He was taken from
college (Yale) when still a lad, and sent to sea in a merchant vessel,
before the mast.  Afterward he entered the navy and did duty on the
high seas and upon Lake Ontario, then surrounded by virgin forests.  He
married and resigned his commission in 1811, just before the outbreak
of the war with England, so that he missed the opportunity of seeing
active service in any of those engagements on the ocean and our great
lakes which were so glorious to American arms.  But he always retained
an active interest in naval affairs.

His first successful novel was _The Spy_, 1821, a tale of the
Revolutionary War, the scene of which was laid in Westchester County,
N. Y., where the author was then residing.  The hero of this story,
Harvey Birch, was one of the most skillfully drawn figures on his
canvas.  In 1833 he published the _Pioneers_, a work somewhat overladen
with description, in which he drew for material upon his boyish
recollections of frontier life at Cooperstown.  This was the first of
the series of five romances known as the _Leatherstocking Tales_.  The
others were the _Last of the Mohicans_, 1826; the _Prairie_, 1827; the
_Pathfinder_, 1840; and the _Deerslayer_, 1841.  The hero of this
series, Natty Bumpo, or "Leatherstocking," was Cooper's one great
creation in the sphere of character, his most original addition to the
literature of the world in the way of a new human type.  This backwoods
philosopher--to the conception of whom the historic exploits of Daniel
Boone perhaps supplied some hints; unschooled, but moved by noble
impulses and a natural sense of piety and justice; passionately
attached to the wilderness, and following its westering edge even unto
the prairies--this man of the woods was the first real American in
fiction.  Hardly less individual and vital were the various types of
Indian character, in Chingachgook, Uncas, Hist, and the Huron warriors.
Inferior to these, but still vigorously though somewhat roughly drawn,
were the waifs and strays of civilization, whom duty, or the hope of
gain, or the love of adventure, or the outlawry of crime had driven to
the wilderness--the solitary trapper, the reckless young frontiersman,
the officers and men of out-post garrisons.  Whether Cooper's Indian
was the real being, or an idealized and rather melodramatic version of
the truth, has been a subject of dispute.  However this be, he has
taken his place in the domain of art, and it is safe to say that his
standing there is secure.  No boy will ever give him up.

Equally good with the _Leatherstocking_ novels, and equally national,
were Cooper's tales of the sea, or at least the best two of them--the
_Pilot_, 1833, founded upon the daring exploits of John Paul Jones, and
the _Red Rover_, 1828.  But here, though Cooper still holds the sea, he
has had to admit competitors; and Britannia, who rules the waves in
song, has put in some claim to a share in the domain of nautical
fiction in the persons of Mr. W. Clark Russell and others.  Though
Cooper's novels do not meet the deeper needs of the heart and the
imagination, their appeal to the universal love of a story is
perennial.  We devour them when we are boys, and if we do not often
return to them when we are men, that is perhaps only because we have
read them before, and "know the ending."  They are good yarns for the
forecastle and the camp-fire; and the scholar in his study, though he
may put the _Deerslayer_ or the _Last of the Mohicans_ away on the top
shelf, will take it down now and again, and sit up half the night over

Before dismissing the _belles-lettres_ writings of this period, mention
should be made of a few poems of the fugitive kind which seem to have
taken a permanent place in popular regard.  John Howard Payne, a native
of Long Island, a wandering actor and playwright, who died American
consul at Tunis in 1852, wrote about 1820 for Covent Garden Theater an
opera, entitled _Clari_, the libretto of which included the now famous
song of _Home, Sweet Home_.  Its literary pretensions were of the
humblest kind, but it spoke a true word which touched the Anglo-Saxon
heart in its tenderest spot, and, being happily married to a plaintive
air, was sold by the hundred thousand, and is evidently destined to be
sung forever.  A like success has attended the _Old Oaken Bucket_,
composed by Samuel Woodworth, a printer and journalist from
Massachusetts, whose other poems, of which two collections were issued
in 1818 and 1826, were soon forgotten.  Richard Henry Wilde, an
Irishman by birth, a gentleman of scholarly tastes and accomplishments,
who wrote a great deal on Italian literature, and sat for several terms
in Congress as Representative of the State of Georgia, was the author
of the favorite song, _My Life is Like the Summer Rose_.  Another
Southerner, and a member of a distinguished Southern family, was Edward
Coate Pinkney, who served nine years in the navy, and died in 1828, at
the age of twenty-six, having published in 1825 a small volume of
lyrical poems which had a fire and a grace uncommon at that time in
American verse.  One of these, _A Health_, beginning,

  "I fill this cup to one made up of loveliness alone."

though perhaps somewhat overpraised by Edgar Poe, has rare beauty of
thought and expression.

John Quincy Adams, sixth President of the United States (1825-29), was
a man of culture and literary tastes.  He published his lectures on
rhetoric, delivered during his tenure of the Boylston Professorship at
Harvard in 1806-9; he left a voluminous diary, which has been edited
since his death in 1848; and among his experiments in poetry is one of
considerable merit, entitled _The Wants of Man_, an ironical sermon on
Goldsmith's text:

  "Man wants but little here below,
    Nor wants that little long."

As this poem is a curiously close anticipation of Dr. Holmes's
_Contentment_, so the very popular ballad, _Old Grimes_, written about
1818, by Albert Gorton Greene, an undergraduate of Brown University in
Rhode Island, is in some respects an anticipation of Holmes's quaintly
pathetic _Last Leaf_.

The political literature and public oratory of the United States during
this period, although not absolutely of less importance than that which
preceded and followed the Declaration of Independence and the adoption
of the Constitution, demands less relative attention in a history of
literature by reason of the growth of other departments of thought.
The age was a political one, but no longer exclusively political.  The
debates of the time centered about the question of "State Rights," and
the main forum of discussion was the old Senate chamber, then made
illustrious by the presence of Clay, Webster, and Calhoun.  The slavery
question, which had threatened trouble, was put off for a while by the
Missouri Compromise of 1820, only to break out more fiercely in the
debates on the Wilmot Proviso and the Kansas and Nebraska Bill.
Meanwhile the Abolition movement had been transferred to the press and
the platform.  Garrison started his _Liberator_ in 1830, and the
Antislavery Society was founded in 1833.  The Whig party, which had
inherited the constitutional principles of the old Federal party,
advocated internal improvements at national expense and a high
protective tariff.  The State Rights party, which was strongest at the
South, opposed these views, and in 1832 South Carolina claimed the
right to "nullify" the tariff imposed by the general government.  The
leader of this party was John Caldwell Calhoun, a South Carolinian, who
in his speech in the United States Senate, on February 13, 1832, on
Nullification and the Force Bill, set forth most authoritatively the
"Carolina doctrine."  Calhoun was a great debater, but hardly a great
orator.  His speeches are the arguments of a lawyer and a strict
constitutionalist, severely logical, and with a sincere conviction in
the soundness of his case.  Their language is free from bad rhetoric;
the reasoning is cogent, but there is an absence of emotion and
imagination; they contain few quotable things, and no passages of
commanding eloquence, such as strew the orations of Webster and Burke.
They are not, in short, literature.  Again, the speeches of Henry Clay,
of Kentucky, the leader of the Whigs, whose persuasive oratory is a
matter of tradition, disappoint in the reading.  The fire has gone out
of them.

Not so with Daniel Webster, the greatest of American forensic orators,
if, indeed, he be not the greatest of all orators who have used the
English tongue.  Webster's speeches are of the kind that have power to
move after the voice of the speaker is still.  The thought and the
passion in them lay hold on feelings of patriotism more lasting than
the issues of the moment.  It is, indeed, true of Webster's speeches,
as of all speeches, that they are known to posterity more by single
brilliant passages than as wholes.  In oratory the occasion is of the
essence of the thing, and only those parts of an address which are
permanent and universal in their appeal take their place in literature.
But of such detachable passages there are happily many in Webster's
orations.  One great thought underlay all his public life, the thought
of the Union--of American nationality.  What in Hamilton had been a
principle of political philosophy had become in Webster a passionate
conviction.  The Union was his idol, and he was intolerant of any
faction which threatened it from any quarter, whether the Nullifiers of
South Carolina or the Abolitionists of the North.  It is this thought
which gives grandeur and elevation to all his utterances, and
especially to the wonderful peroration of his _Reply to Hayne_, on Mr.
Foot's resolution touching the sale of the public lands, delivered in
the Senate on January 26, 1830, whose closing words, "Liberty and
union, now and forever, one and inseparable," became the rallying cry
of a great cause.  Similar in sentiment was his famous speech of March
7, 1850, _On the Constitution and the Union_, which gave so much
offense to the extreme Antislavery party, who held with Garrison that a
Constitution which protected slavery "was a league with death and a
covenant with hell."  It is not claiming too much for Webster to assert
that the sentences of these and other speeches, memorized and declaimed
by thousands of school-boys throughout the North, did as much as any
single influence to train up a generation in hatred of secession, and
to send into the fields of the civil war armies of men animated with
the stern resolution to fight till the last drop of blood was shed,
rather than allow the Union to be dissolved.

The figure of this great senator is one of the most imposing in
American annals.  The masculine force of his personality impressed
itself upon men of a very different stamp--upon the unworldly Emerson,
and upon the captious Carlyle, whose respect was not willingly accorded
to any contemporary, much less to a representative of American
democracy.  Webster's looks and manner were characteristic.  His form
was massive; his skull and jaw solid, the under-lip projecting, and the
mouth firmly and grimly shut; his complexion was swarthy, and his
black, deep-set eyes, under shaggy brows, glowed with a smoldering
fire.  He was rather silent in society; his delivery in debate was
grave and weighty, rather than fervid.  His oratory was massive, and
sometimes even ponderous.  It may be questioned whether an American
orator of to-day, with intellectual abilities equal to Webster's--if
such a one there were--would permit himself the use of sonorous and
elaborate pictures like the famous period which follows: "On this
question of principle, while actual suffering was yet afar off, they
raised their flag against a power to which, for purposes of foreign
conquest and subjugation, Rome, in the height of her glory, is not to
be compared--a power which has dotted over the surface of the whole
globe with her possessions and military posts, whose morning drum-beat,
following the sun and keeping company with the hours, circles the earth
with one continuous and unbroken strain of the martial airs of
England."  The secret of this kind of oratory has been lost.  The
present generation distrusts rhetorical ornament and likes something
swifter, simpler, and more familiar in its speakers.  But every thing,
in declamation of this sort, depends on the way in which it is done.
Webster did it supremely well; a smaller man would merely have made
buncombe of it.

Among the legal orators of the time the foremost was Rufus Choate, an
eloquent pleader, and, like Webster, a United States senator from
Massachusetts.  Some of his speeches, though excessively rhetorical,
have literary quality, and are nearly as effective in print as
Webster's own.  Another Massachusetts orator, Edward Everett, who in
his time was successively professor in Harvard College, Unitarian
minister in Boston, editor of the _North American Review_, member of
both houses of Congress, minister to England, governor of his State,
and President of Harvard, was a speaker of great finish and elegance.
His addresses were mainly of the memorial and anniversary kind, and
were rather lectures and Phi. B. K. prolusions than speeches.  Everett
was an instance of careful culture bestowed on a soil of no very great
natural richness.  It is doubtful whether his classical orations on
Washington, the Republic, Bunker Hill Monument, and kindred themes,
have enough of the breath of life in them to preserve them much longer
in recollection.

New England, during these years, did not take that leading part in the
purely literary development of the country which it afterward assumed.
It had no names to match against those of Irving and Cooper.  Drake and
Halleck--slender as was their performance in point of quantity--were
better poets than the Boston bards, Charles Sprague, whose _Shakespeare
Ode_, delivered at the Boston theater in 1833, was locally famous; and
Richard Henry Dana, whose longish narrative poem, the _Buccaneer_,
1827, once had admirers.  But Boston has at no time been without a
serious intellectual life of its own, nor without a circle of highly
educated men of literary pursuits, even in default of great geniuses.
The _North American Review_, established in 1815, though it has been
wittily described as "ponderously revolving through space" for a few
years after its foundation, did not exist in an absolute vacuum, but
was scholarly, if somewhat heavy.  Webster, to be sure, was a
Massachusetts man--as were Everett and Choate--but his triumphs were
won in the wider field of national politics.  There was, however, a
movement at this time, in the intellectual life of Boston and eastern
Massachusetts, which, though not immediately contributory to the finer
kinds of literature, prepared the way, by its clarifying and
stimulating influences, for the eminent writers of the next generation.
This was the Unitarian revolt against Puritan orthodoxy, in which
William Ellery Channing was the principal leader.  In a community so
intensely theological as New England, it was natural that any new
movement in thought should find its point of departure in the churches.
Accordingly, the progressive and democratic spirit of the age, which in
other parts of the country took other shapes, assumed in Massachusetts
the form of "liberal Christianity."  Arminianism, Socinianism, and
other phases of anti-Trinitarian doctrine, had been latent in some of
the Congregational churches of Massachusetts for a number of years.
But about 1812 the heresy broke out openly, and within a few years from
that date most of the oldest and wealthiest church societies of Boston
and its vicinity had gone over to Unitarianism, and Harvard College had
been captured too.  In the controversy that ensued, and which was
carried on in numerous books, pamphlets, sermons, and periodicals,
there were eminent disputants on both sides.  So far as this
controversy was concerned with the theological doctrine of the Trinity
it has no place in a history of literature.  But the issue went far
beyond that.  Channing asserted the dignity of human nature against the
Calvinistic doctrine of innate depravity, and affirmed the rights of
human reason and man's capacity to judge of God.  "We must start in
religion from our own souls," he said.  And in his _Moral Argument
against Calvinism_, 1820, he wrote: "Nothing is gained to piety by
degrading human nature, for in the competency of this nature to know
and judge of God all piety has its foundation."  In opposition to
Edwards's doctrine of necessity he emphasized the freedom of the will.
He maintained that the Calvinistic dogmas of original sin,
fore-ordination, election by grace, and eternal punishment were
inconsistent with the divine perfection, and made God a monster.  In
Channing's view the great sanction of religious truth is the moral
sanction, is its agreement with the laws of conscience.  He was a
passionate vindicator of the liberty of the individual, not only as
against political oppression, but against the tyranny of public opinion
over thought and conscience: "We were made for free action.  This alone
is life, and enters into all that is good and great."  This jealous
love of freedom inspired all that he did and wrote.  It led him to join
the Antislavery party.  It expressed itself in his elaborate
arraignment of Napoleon in the Unitarian organ, the _Christian
Examiner_, for 1827-28; in his _Remarks on Associations_, and his paper
_On the Character and Writings of John Milton_, 1826.  This was his
most considerable contribution to literary criticism.  It took for a
text Milton's recently discovered _Treatise on Christian Doctrine_--the
tendency of which was anti-Trinitarian--but it began with a general
defense of poetry against "those who are accustomed to speak of poetry
as light reading."  This would now seem a somewhat superfluous
introduction to an article in any American review.  But it shows the
nature of the _milieu_ through which the liberal movement in Boston had
to make its way.  To re-assert the dignity and usefulness of the
beautiful arts was, perhaps, the chief service which the Massachusetts
Unitarians rendered to humanism.  The traditional prejudice of the
Puritans against the ornamental side of life had to be softened before
polite literature could find a congenial atmosphere in New England.  In
Channing's _Remarks on National Literature_, reviewing a work published
in 1823, he asks the question, "Do we possess what may be called a
national literature?" and answers it, by implication at least, in the
negative.  That we do now possess a national literature is in great
part due to the influence of Channing and his associates, although his
own writings, being in the main controversial, and, therefore, of
temporary interest, may not themselves take rank among the permanent
treasures of that literature.

1. Washington Irving.  _Knickerbocker's History of New York_.  _The
Sketch Book_.  _Bracebridge Hall_.  _Tales of a Traveler_.  _The
Alhambra_.  _Life of Oliver Goldsmith_.

2. James Fenimore Cooper.  _The Spy_.  _The Pilot_.  _The Red Rover_.
_The Leather-stocking Tales_.

3. Daniel Webster.  _Great Speeches and Orations_.  Boston: Little,
Brown & Co.  1879.

4. William Ellery Channing.  _The Character and Writings of John
Milton_.  _The Life and Character of Napoleon Bonaparte_.  _Slavery_.
[Vols. I and II of the _Works of William E. Channing_.  Boston: James
Munroe & Co.  1841.]

5. Joseph Rodman Drake.  _The Culprit Fay_.  _The American Flag_.
[_Selected Poems_.  New York.  1835.]

6. Fitz-Greene Halleck.  _Marco Bozzaris_.  _Alnwick Castle_.  _On the
Death of Drake_.  [Poems.  New York.  1827.]

[1]Compare Carlyle's Herr Diogenes Teufelsdröckh, in _Sartor Resartus_,
the author of the famous "Clothes Philosophy."

[Transcriber's Note: Earlier in this chapter is the abbreviation "Phi.
B. K.".  The "Phi" replaces the actual Greek character that was in the
original text.]




There has been but one movement in the history of the American mind
which has given to literature a group of writers having coherence
enough to merit the name of a school.  This was the great humanitarian
movement, or series of movements, in New England, which, beginning in
the Unitarianism of Channing, ran through its later phase in
transcendentalism, and spent its last strength in the antislavery
agitation and the enthusiasms of the civil war.  The second stage of
this intellectual and social revolt was transcendentalism, of which
Emerson wrote, in 1842: "The history of genius and of religion in these
times will be the history of this tendency."  It culminated about
1840-41 in the establishment of the _Dial_ and the Brook Farm
Community, although Emerson had given the signal a few years before in
his little volume entitled _Nature_, 1836, his Phi Beta Kappa address
at Harvard on the _American Scholar_, 1837, and his address in 1838
before the Divinity School at Cambridge.  Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82)
was the prophet of the sect, and Concord was its Mecca; but the
influence of the new ideas was not confined to the little group of
professed transcendentalists; it extended to all the young writers
within reach, who struck their roots deeper into the soil that it had
loosened and freshened.  We owe to it, in great measure, not merely
Emerson, Alcott, Margaret Fuller, and Thoreau, but Hawthorne, Lowell,
Whittier, and Holmes.

In its strictest sense transcendentalism was a restatement of the
idealistic philosophy, and an application of its beliefs to religion,
nature, and life.  But in a looser sense, and as including the more
outward manifestations which drew popular attention most strongly, it
was the name given to that spirit of dissent and protest, of universal
inquiry and experiment, which marked the third and fourth decades of
this century in America, and especially in New England.  The movement
was contemporary with political revolutions in Europe and with the
preaching of many novel gospels in religion, in sociology, in science,
education, medicine, and hygiene.  New sects were formed, like the
Swedenborgians, Universalists, Spiritualists, Millerites, Second
Adventists, Shakers, Mormons, and Come-outers, some of whom believed in
trances, miracles, and direct revelations from the divine Spirit;
others in the quick coming of Christ, as deduced from the opening of
the seals and the number of the beast in the Apocalypse; and still
others in the reorganization of society and of the family on a
different basis.  New systems of education were tried, suggested by the
writings of the Swiss reformer, Pestalozzi, and others.  The
pseudo-sciences of mesmerism and of phrenology, as taught by Gall and
Spurzheim, had numerous followers.  In medicine, homeopathy,
hydropathy, and what Dr. Holmes calls "kindred delusions," made many
disciples.  Numbers of persons, influenced by the doctrines of Graham
and other vegetarians, abjured the use of animal food, as injurious not
only to health but to a finer spirituality.  Not a few refused to vote
or pay taxes.  The writings of Fourier and Saint-Simon were translated,
and societies were established where co-operation and a community of
goods should take the place of selfish competition.

About the year 1840 there were some thirty of these "phalansteries" in
America, many of which had their organs in the shape of weekly or
monthly journals, which advocated the principle of Association.  The
best known of these was probably the _Harbinger_, the mouth-piece of
the famous Brook Farm Community, which was founded at West Roxbury,
Mass., in 1841, and lasted till 1847.  The head man of Brook Farm was
George Ripley, a Unitarian clergyman, who had resigned his pulpit in
Boston to go into the movement, and who after its failure became and
remained for many years literary editor of the _New York Tribune_.
Among his associates were Charles A. Dana--now the editor of the
_Sun_--Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and others not unknown to
fame.  The _Harbinger_, which ran from 1845 to 1849--two years after
the break-up of the community--had among its contributors many who were
not Brook Farmers, but who sympathized more or less with the
experiment.  Of the number were Horace Greeley, Dr. F. H. Hedge--who
did so much to introduce American readers to German literature--J. S.
Dwight, the musical critic, C. P. Cranch, the poet, and younger men,
like G. W. Curtis and T. W. Higginson.  A reader of to-day, looking
into an odd volume of the _Harbinger_, will find in it some stimulating
writing, together with a great deal of unintelligible talk about
"Harmonic Unity," "Love Germination," and other matters now fallen
silent.  The most important literary result of this experiment at
"plain living and high thinking," with its queer mixture of culture and
agriculture, was Hawthorne's _Blithedale Romance_, which has for its
background an idealized picture of the community life; whose heroine,
Zenobia, has touches of Margaret Fuller; and whose hero, with his hobby
of prison reform, was a type of the one-idea'd philanthropists that
abounded in such an environment.  Hawthorne's attitude was always in
part one of reserve and criticism, an attitude which is apparent in the
reminiscences of Brook Farm in his _American Note Books_, wherein he
speaks with a certain resentment of "Miss Fuller's transcendental
heifer," which hooked the other cows, and was evidently to Hawthorne's
mind not unsymbolic in this respect of Miss Fuller herself.

It was the day of seers and "Orphic" utterances; the air was fall of
the enthusiasm of humanity and thick with philanthropic projects and
plans for the regeneration of the universe.  The figure of the
wild-eyed, long-haired reformer--the man with a panacea--the "crank" of
our later terminology--became a familiar one.  He abounded at
non-resistance conventions and meetings of universal peace societies
and of woman's rights associations.  The movement had its grotesque
aspects, which Lowell has described in his essay on Thoreau.  "Bran had
its apostles and the pre-sartorial simplicity of Adam its martyrs,
tailored impromptu from the tar-pot. . . .  Not a few impecunious
zealots abjured the use of money (unless earned by other people),
professing to live on the internal revenues of the spirit. . . .
Communities were established where every thing was to be common but
common sense."

This ferment has long since subsided, and much of what was then
seething has gone off in vapor or other volatile products.  But some
very solid matters have also been precipitated, some crystals of poetry
translucent, symmetrical, enduring.  The immediate practical outcome
was disappointing, and the external history of the agitation is a
record of failed experiments, spurious sciences, Utopian philosophies,
and sects founded only to dwindle away or to be re-absorbed into some
form of orthodoxy.  In the eyes of the conservative, or the
worldly-minded, or of the plain people who could not understand the
enigmatic utterances of the reformers, the dangerous or ludicrous sides
of transcendentalism were naturally uppermost.  Nevertheless the
movement was but a new avatar of the old Puritan spirit; its moral
earnestness, its spirituality, its tenderness for the individual
conscience.  Puritanism, too, in its day had run into grotesque
extremes.  Emerson bore about the same relation to the absurder
out-croppings of transcendentalism that Milton bore to the New Lights,
Ranters, Fifth Monarchy Men, etc., of his time.  There is in him that
mingling of idealism with an abiding sanity, and even a Yankee
shrewdness, which characterizes the race.  The practical, inventive,
calculating, money-getting side of the Yankee has been made
sufficiently obvious.  But the deep heart of New England is full of
dreams, mysticism, romance:

  "And in the day of sacrifice,
    When heroes piled the pyre,
  The dismal Massachusetts ice
    Burned more than others' fire."

The one element which the odd and eccentric developments of this
movement shared in common with the real philosophy of transcendentalism
was the rejection of authority and the appeal to the private
consciousness as the sole standard of truth and right.  This principle
certainly lay in the ethical systems of Kant and Fichte, the great
transcendentalists of Germany.  It had been strongly asserted by
Channing.  Nay, it was the starting-point of Puritanism itself, which
had drawn away from the ceremonial religion of the English Church, and
by its Congregational system had made each church society independent
in doctrine and worship.  And although Puritan orthodoxy in New England
had grown rigid and dogmatic it had never used the weapons of
obscurantism.  By encouraging education to the utmost, it had shown its
willingness to submit its beliefs to the fullest discussion and had put
into the hands of dissent the means with which to attack them.

In its theological aspect transcendentalism was a departure from
conservative Unitarianism, as that had been from Calvinism.  From
Edwards to Channing, from Channing to Emerson and Theodore Parker,
there was a natural and logical unfolding; not logical in the sense
that Channing accepted Edwards's premises and pushed them out to their
conclusions, or that Parker accepted all of Channing's premises, but in
the sense that the rigid pushing out of Edwards's premises into their
conclusions by himself and his followers had brought about a moral
_reductio ad absurdum_ and a state of opinion against which Channing
rebelled; and that Channing, as it seemed to Parker, stopped short in
the carrying out of his own principles.  Thus the "Channing
Unitarians," while denying that Christ was God, had held that he was of
divine nature, was the Son of God, and had existed before he came into
the world.  While rejecting the doctrine of the "vicarious sacrifice"
they maintained that Christ was a mediator and intercessor, and that
his supernatural nature was testified by miracles.  For Parker and
Emerson it was easy to take the step to the assertion that Christ was a
good and great man, divine only in the sense that God possessed him
more fully than any other man known in history; that it was his
preaching and example that brought salvation to men, and not any
special mediation or intercession, and that his own words and acts, and
not miracles, are the only and the sufficient witness to his mission.
In the view of the transcendentalists Christ was as human as Buddha,
Socrates, or Confucius, and the Bible was but one among the "Ethnical
Scriptures" or sacred writings of the peoples, passages from which were
published in the transcendental organ, the _Dial_.  As against these
new views Channing Unitarianism occupied already a conservative
position.  The Unitarians as a body had never been very numerous
outside of eastern Massachusetts.  They had a few churches in New York
and in the larger cities and towns elsewhere, but the sect, as such,
was a local one.  Orthodoxy made a sturdy fight against the heresy,
under leaders like Leonard Woods and Moses Stuart, of Andover, and
Lyman Beecher, of Connecticut.  In the neighboring State of
Connecticut, for example, there was until lately, for a period of
several years, no distinctly Unitarian congregation worshiping in a
church edifice of its own.  On the other hand, the Unitarians claimed,
with justice, that their opinions had, to a great extent, modified the
theology of the orthodox churches.  The writings of Horace Bushnell, of
Hartford, one of the most eminent Congregational divines, approach
Unitarianism in their interpretation of the doctrine of the Atonement;
and the "progressive orthodoxy" of Andover is certainly not the
Calvinism of Thomas Hooker or of Jonathan Edwards.  But it seemed to
the transcendentalists that conservative Unitarianism was too negative
and "cultured," and Margaret Fuller complained of the coldness of the
Boston pulpits; while, contrariwise, the central thought of
transcendentalism, that the soul has an immediate connection with God,
was pronounced by Dr. Channing a "crude speculation."  This was the
thought of Emerson's address in 1838 before the Cambridge Divinity
School, and it was at once made the object of attack by conservative
Unitarians like Henry Ware and Andrews Norton.  The latter, in an
address before the same audience, on the _Latest Form of Infidelity_,
said: "Nothing is left that can be called Christianity if its
miraculous character be denied. . . .  There can be no intuition, no
direct perception, of the truth of Christianity."  And in a pamphlet
supporting the same side of the question he added: "It is not an
intelligible error, but a mere absurdity, to maintain that we are
conscious, or have an intuitive knowledge, of the being of God, of our
own immortality, . . . or of any other fact of religion."  Ripley and
Parker replied in Emerson's defense; but Emerson himself would never be
drawn into controversy.  He said that he could not argue.  He
_announced_ truths; his method was that of the seer, not of the
disputant.  In 1832 Emerson, who was a Unitarian clergyman, and
descended from eight generations of clergymen, had resigned the
pastorate of the Second Church of Boston because he could not
conscientiously administer the sacrament of the communion--which he
regarded as a mere act of commemoration--in the sense in which it was
understood by his parishioners.  Thenceforth, though he sometimes
occupied Unitarian pulpits, and was, indeed, all his life a kind of
"lay preacher," he never assumed the pastorate of a church.  The
representative of transcendentalism in the pulpit was Theodore Parker,
an eloquent preacher, an eager debater, and a prolific writer on many
subjects, whose collected works fill fourteen volumes.  Parker was a
man of strongly human traits, passionate, independent, intensely
religious, but intensely radical, who made for himself a large personal
following.  The more advanced wing of the Unitarians were called, after
him, "Parkerites."  Many of the Unitarian churches refused to
"fellowship" with him; and the large congregation, or audience, which
assembled in Music Hall to hear his sermons was stigmatized as a
"boisterous assembly" which came to hear Parker preach irreligion.

It has been said that, on its philosophical side, New England
transcendentalism was a restatement of idealism.  The impulse came from
Germany, from the philosophical writings of Kant, Fichte, Jacobi, and
Schelling, and from the works of Coleridge and Carlyle, who had
domesticated German thought in England.  In Channing's _Remarks on a
National Literature_, quoted in our last chapter, the essayist urged
that our scholars should study the authors of France and Germany as one
means of emancipating American letters from a slavish dependence on
British literature.  And in fact German literature began, not long
after, to be eagerly studied in New England.  Emerson published an
American edition of Carlyle's _Miscellanies_, including his essays on
German writers that had appeared in England between 1822 and 1830.  In
1838 Ripley began to publish _Specimens of Foreign Standard
Literature_, which extended to fourteen volumes.  In his work of
translating and supplying introductions to the matter selected, he was
helped by Ripley, Margaret Fuller, John S. Dwight, and others who had
more or less connection with the transcendental movement.

The definition of the new faith given by Emerson in his lecture on the
_Transcendentalist_, 1842, is as follows; "What is popularly called
transcendentalism among us is idealism. . . .  The idealism of the
present day acquired the name of transcendental from the use of that
term by Immanuel Kant, who replied to the skeptical philosophy of
Locke, which insisted that there was nothing in the intellect which was
not previously in the experience of the senses, by showing that there
was a very important class of ideas, or imperative forms, which did not
come by experience, but through which experience was acquired; that
these were intuitions of the mind itself, and he denominated them
_transcendental_ forms."  Idealism denies the independent existence of
matter.  Transcendentalism claims for the innate ideas of God and the
soul a higher assurance of reality than for the knowledge of the
outside world derived through the senses.  Emerson shares the "noble
doubt" of idealism.  He calls the universe a shade, a dream, "this
great apparition."  "It is a sufficient account of that appearance we
call the world," he wrote in _Nature_, "that God will teach a human
mind, and so makes it the receiver of a certain number of congruent
sensations which we call sun and moon, man and woman, house and trade.
In my utter impotence to test the authenticity of the report of my
senses, to know whether the impressions on me correspond with outlying
objects, what difference does it make whether Orion is up there in
heaven or some god paints the image in the firmament of the soul?"  On
the other hand, our evidence of the existence, of God and of our own
souls, and our knowledge of right and wrong, are immediate, and are
independent of the senses.  We are in direct communication with the
"Over-soul," the infinite Spirit.  "The soul in man is the background
of our being--an immensity not possessed, that cannot be possessed."
"From within or from behind, a light shines through us upon things, and
makes us aware that we are nothing, but the light is all."  Revelation
is "an influx of the Divine mind into our mind.  It is an ebb of the
individual rivulet before the flowing surges of the sea of life."  In
moods of exaltation, and especially in the presence of nature, this
contact of the individual soul with the absolute is felt.  "All mean
egotism vanishes.  I become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing; I see
all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am
part and particle of God."  The existence and attributes of God are not
deducible from history or from natural theology, but are thus directly
given us in consciousness.  In his essay on the _Transcendentalist_
Emerson says: "His experience inclines him to behold the procession of
facts you call the world as flowing perpetually outward from an
invisible, unsounded center in himself; center alike of him and of
them, and necessitating him to regard all things as having a subjective
or relative existence--relative to that aforesaid Unknown Center of
him.  There is no bar or wall in the soul where man, the effect,
ceases, and God, the cause, begins.  We lie open on one side to the
deeps of spiritual nature, to the attributes of God."

Emerson's point of view, though familiar to students of philosophy, is
strange to the popular understanding, and hence has arisen the
complaint of his obscurity.  Moreover, he apprehended and expressed
these ideas as a poet, in figurative and emotional language, and not as
a metaphysician, in a formulated statement.  His own position in
relation to systematic philosophers is described in what he says of
Plato, in his series of sketches entitled _Representative Men_, 1850:
"He has not a system.  The dearest disciples and defenders are at
fault.  He attempted a theory of the universe, and his theory is not
complete or self-evident.  One man thinks he means this, and another
that; he has said one thing in one place, and the reverse of it in
another place."  It happens, therefore, that, to many students of more
formal philosophies, Emerson's meaning seems elusive, and he appears to
write from temporary moods and to contradict himself.  Had he attempted
a reasoned exposition of the transcendental philosophy, instead of
writing essays and poems, he might have added one more to the number of
system-mongers; but he would not have taken that significant place
which he occupies in the general literature of the time, nor exerted
that wide influence upon younger writers which has been one of the
stimulating forces in American thought.  It was because Emerson was a
poet that he is our Emerson.  And yet it would be impossible to
disentangle his peculiar philosophical ideas from the body of his
writings and to leave the latter to stand upon their merits as
literature merely.  He is the poet of certain high abstractions, and
his religion is central to all his work--excepting, perhaps, his
_English Traits_, 1856, an acute study of national characteristics; and
a few of his essays and verses, which are independent of any particular
philosophical stand-point.

When Emerson resigned his parish in 1832, he made a short trip to
Europe, where he visited Carlyle at Craigenputtock, and Landor at
Florence.  On his return he retired to his birthplace, the village of
Concord, Massachusetts, and settled down among his books and his
fields, becoming a sort of "glorified farmer," but issuing frequently
from his retirement to instruct and delight audiences of thoughtful
people at Boston and at other points all through the country.  Emerson
was the perfection of a lyceum lecturer.  His manner was quiet but
forcible, his voice of charming quality, and his enunciation clean-cut
and refined.  The sentence was his unit in composition.  His lectures
seemed to begin anywhere and to end anywhere and to resemble strings of
exquisitely polished sayings rather than continuous discourses.  His
printed essays, with unimportant exceptions, were first written and
delivered as lectures.  In 1836 he published his first book, _Nature_,
which remains the most systematic statement of his philosophy.  It
opened a fresh spring-head in American thought, and the words of its
introduction announced that its author had broken with the past.  "Why
should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe?  Why
should not we have a poetry and philosophy of insight and not of
tradition, and a religion by revelation to us and not the history of

It took eleven years to sell five hundred copies of this little book.
But the year following its publication the remarkable Phi Beta Kappa
address at Cambridge, on the _American Scholar_, electrified the little
public of the university.  This is described by Lowell as "an event
without any former parallel in our literary annals, a scene to be
always treasured in the memory for its picturesqueness and its
inspiration.  What crowded and breathless aisles, what windows
clustering with eager heads, what grim silence of foregone dissent!" To
Concord come many kindred spirits, drawn by Emerson's magnetic
attraction.  Thither came, from Connecticut, Amos Bronson Alcott, born
a few years before Emerson, whom he outlived; a quaint and benignant
figure, a visionary and a mystic even among the transcendentalists
themselves, and one who lived in unworldly simplicity the life of the
soul.  Alcott had taught school at Cheshire, Conn., and afterward at
Boston on an original plan--compelling his scholars, for example, to
flog _him_, when they did wrong, instead of taking a flogging
themselves.  The experiment was successful until his _Conversations on
the Gospels_, in Boston, and his insistence upon admitting colored
children to his benches, offended conservative opinion and broke up his
school.  Alcott renounced the eating of animal food in 1835.  He
believed in the union of thought and manual labor, and supported
himself for some years by the work of his hands, gardening, cutting
wood, etc.  He traveled into the West and elsewhere, holding
conversations on philosophy, education, and religion.  He set up a
little community at the village of Harvard, Massachusetts, which was
rather less successful than Brook Farm, and he contributed _Orphic
Sayings_ to the _Dial_, which were harder for the exoteric to
understand than even Emerson's _Brahma_ or the _Over-soul_.

Thither came, also, Sarah Margaret Fuller, the most intellectual woman
of her time in America, an eager student of Greek and German literature
and an ardent seeker after the True, the Good, and the Beautiful.  She
threw herself into many causes--such as temperance and the higher
education of women.  Her brilliant conversation classes in Boston
attracted many "minds" of her own sex.  Subsequently, as literary
editor of the _New York Tribune_, she furnished a wider public with
reviews and book notices of great ability.  She took part in the Brook
Farm experiment, and she edited the _Dial_ for a time, contributing to
it the papers afterward expanded into her most considerable book,
_Woman in the Nineteenth Century_.  In 1846 she went abroad, and at
Rome took part in the revolutionary movement of Mazzini, having charge
of one of the hospitals during the siege of the city by the French.  In
1847 she married an impecunious Italian nobleman, the Marquis Ossoli.
In 1850 the ship on which she was returning to America, with her
husband and child, was wrecked on Fire Island beach and all three were
lost.  Margaret Fuller's collected writings are somewhat disappointing,
being mainly of temporary interest.  She lives less through her books
than through the memoirs of her friends, Emerson, James Freeman Clarke,
T. W. Higginson, and others who knew her as a personal influence.  Her
strenuous and rather overbearing individuality made an impression not
altogether agreeable upon many of her contemporaries.  Lowell
introduced a caricature of her as "Miranda" into his _Fable for
Critics_, and Hawthorne's caustic sketch of her, preserved in the
biography written by his son, has given great offence to her admirers.
"Such a determination to _eat_ this huge universe!" was Carlyle's
characteristic comment on her appetite for knowledge and aspirations
after perfection.

To Concord also came Nathaniel Hawthorne, who took up his residence
there first at the "Old Manse," and afterward at "The Wayside."  Though
naturally an idealist, he said that he came too late to Concord to fall
decidedly under Emerson's influence.  Of that he would have stood in
little danger even had he come earlier.  He appreciated the deep and
subtle quality of Emerson's imagination, but his own shy genius always
jealously guarded its independence and resented the too close
approaches of an alien mind.  Among the native disciples of Emerson at
Concord the most noteworthy were Henry Thoreau, and his friend and
biographer, William Ellery Channing, Jr., a nephew of the great
Channing.  Channing was a contributor to the _Dial_, and he published a
volume of poems which elicited a fiercely contemptous review from Edgar
Poe.  Though disfigured by affectation and obscurity, many of
Channing's verses were distinguished by true poetic feeling, and the
last line of his little piece, _A Poet's Hope_,

  "If my bark sink 'tis to another sea,"

has taken a permanent place in the literature of transcendentalism.

The private organ of the transcendentalists was the _Dial_, a quarterly
magazine, published from 1840 to 1844, and edited by Emerson and
Margaret Fuller.  Among its contributors, besides those already
mentioned, were Ripley, Thoreau, Parker, James Freeman Clarke, Charles
A. Dana, John S. Dwight, C. P. Cranch, Charles Emerson, and William H.
Channing, another nephew of Dr. Channing.  It contained, along with a
good deal of rubbish, some of the best poetry and prose that has been
published in America.  The most lasting part of its contents were the
contributions of Emerson and Thoreau.  But even as a whole it was a
unique way-mark in the history of our literature.

From time to time Emerson collected and published his lectures under
various titles.  A first series of _Essays_ came out in 1841, and a
second in 1844; the _Conduct of Life_ in 1860, _Society and Solitude_
in 1870, _Letters and Social Aims_ in 1876, and the _Fortune of the
Republic_ in 1878.  In 1847 he issued a volume of _Poems_, and 1865
_Mayday and Other Poems_.  These writings, as a whole, were variations
on a single theme, expansions and illustrations of the philosophy set
forth in _Nature_, and his early addresses.  They were strikingly
original, rich in thought, filled with wisdom, with lofty morality and
spiritual religion.  Emerson, said Lowell, first "cut the cable that
bound us to English thought and gave us a chance at the dangers and
glories of blue water."  Nevertheless, as it used to be the fashion to
find an English analogue for every American writer, so that Cooper was
called the American Scott, and Mrs. Sigourney was described as the
Hemans of America, a well-worn critical tradition has coupled Emerson
with Carlyle.  That his mind received a nudge from Carlyle's early
essays and from _Sartor Resartus_ is beyond a doubt.  They were
life-long friends and correspondents, and Emerson's _Representative
Men_ is, in some sort, a counterpart of Carlyle's _Hero Worship_.  But
in temper and style the two writers were widely different.  Carlyle's
pessimism and dissatisfaction with the general drift of things gained
upon him more and more, while Emerson was a consistent optimist to the
end.  The last of his writings published during his life-time, the
_Fortune of the Republic_, contrasts strangely in its hopefulness with
the desperation of Carlyle's later utterances.  Even in presence of the
doubt as to man's personal immortality he takes refuge in a high and
stoical faith.  "I think all sound minds rest on a certain preliminary
conviction, namely, that if it be best that conscious personal life
shall continue it will continue, and if not best, then it will not; and
we, if we saw the whole, should of course see that it was better so."
It is this conviction that gives to Emerson's writings their serenity
and their tonic quality at the same time that it narrows the range of
his dealings with life.  As the idealist declines to cross-examine
those facts which he regards as merely phenomenal, and looks upon this
outward face of things as upon a mask not worthy to dismay the fixed
soul, so the optimist turns away his eyes from the evil which he
disposes of as merely negative, as the shadow of the good.  Hawthorne's
interest in the problem of sin finds little place in Emerson's
philosophy.  Passion comes not nigh him, and _Faust_ disturbs him with
its disagreeableness.  Pessimism is to him "the only skepticism."

The greatest literature is that which is most broadly human, or, in
other words, that which will square best with all philosophies.  But
Emerson's genius was interpretative rather than constructive.  The poet
dwells in the cheerful world of phenomena.  He is most the poet who
realizes most intensely the good and the bad of human life.  But
Idealism makes experience shadowy and subordinates action to
contemplation.  To it the cities of men, with their "frivolous

    "are but sailing foam-bells
  Along thought's causing stream."

Shakespeare does not forget that the world will one day vanish "like
the baseless fabric of a vision," and that we ourselves are "such stuff
as dreams are made on;" but this is not the mood in which he dwells.
Again: while it is for the philosopher to reduce variety to unity, it
is the poet's task to detect the manifold under uniformity.  In the
great creative poets, in Shakespeare and Dante and Goethe, how infinite
the swarm of persons, the multitude of forms!  But with Emerson the
type is important, the common element.  "In youth we are mad for
persons.  But the larger experience of man discovers the identical
nature appearing through them all."  "The same--the same!" he exclaims
in his essay on _Plato_.  "Friend and foe are of one stuff; the
plowman, the plow, and the furrow are of one stuff."  And this is the
thought in _Brahma_:

  "They reckon ill who leave me out;
    When me they fly I am the wings:
  I am the doubter find the doubt,
    And I the hymn the Brahmin sings."

It is not easy to fancy a writer who holds this altitude toward
"persons" descending to the composition of a novel or a play.  Emerson
showed, indeed, a fine power of character-analysis in his _English
Traits_ and _Representative Men_ and in his memoirs of Thoreau and
Margaret Fuller.  There is even a sort of dramatic humor in his
portrait of Socrates.  But upon the whole he stands midway between
constructive artists, whose instinct it is to tell a story or sing a
song, and philosophers, like Schelling, who give poetic expression to a
system of thought.  He belongs to the class of minds of which Sir
Thomas Browne is the best English example.  He set a high value upon
Browne, to whose style his own, though far more sententious, bears a
resemblance.  Browne's saying, for example, "All things are artificial,
for nature is the art of God," sounds like Emerson, whose workmanship,
for the rest, in his prose essays was exceedingly fine and close.  He
was not afraid to be homely and racy in expressing thought of the
highest spirituality.  "Hitch your wagon to a star" is a good instance
of his favorite manner.

Emerson's verse often seems careless in technique.  Most of his pieces
are scrappy and have the air of runic rimes, or little oracular
"voicings"--as they say at Concord--in rhythmic shape, of single
thoughts on "Worship," "Character," "Heroism," "Art," "Politics,"
"Culture," etc.  The content is the important thing, and the form is
too frequently awkward or bald.  Sometimes, indeed, in the
clear-obscure of Emerson's poetry the deep wisdom of the thought finds
its most natural expression in the imaginative simplicity of the
language.  But though this artlessness in him became too frequently in
his imitators, like Thoreau and Ellery Channing, an obtruded
simplicity, among his own poems are many that leave nothing to be
desired in point of wording and of verse.  His _Hymn Sung at the
Completion of the Concord Monument_, in 1836, is the perfect model of
an occasional poem.  Its lines were on every one's lips at the time of
the centennial celebrations in 1876, and "the shot heard round the
world" has hardly echoed farther than the song which chronicled it.
Equally current is the stanza from _Voluntaries_:

  "So nigh is grandeur to our dust,
    So near is God to man,
  When Duty whispers low, 'Thou must,'
    The youth replies, 'I can.'"

So, too, the famous lines from the _Problem_:

  "The hand that rounded Peter's dome,
  And groined the aisles of Christian Rome,
  Wrought in a sad sincerity.
  Himself from God he could not free;
  He builded better than he knew;
  The conscious stone to beauty grew."

The most noteworthy of Emerson's pupils was Henry David Thoreau, "the
poet-naturalist."  After his graduation from Harvard College, in 1837,
Thoreau engaged in school-teaching and in the manufacture of
lead-pencils, but soon gave up all regular business and devoted himself
to walking, reading, and the study of nature.  He was at one time
private tutor in a family on Staten Island, and he supported himself
for a season by doing odd jobs in land-surveying for the farmers about
Concord.  In 1845 he built, with his own hands, a small cabin on the
banks of Walden Pond, near Concord, and lived there in seclusion for
two years.  His expenses during these years were nine cents a day, and
he gave an account of his experiment in his most characteristic book,
_Walden_, published in 1854.  His _Week on the Concord and Merrimac
Rivers_ appeared in 1849.  From time to time he went farther afield,
and his journeys were reported in _Cape Cod_, the _Maine Woods_,
_Excursions_, and _A Yankee in Canada_, all of which, as well as a
volume of _Letters_ and _Early Spring in Massachusetts_, have been
given to the public since his death, which happened in 1862.  No one
has lived so close to nature, and written of it so intimately, as
Thoreau.  His life was a lesson in economy and a sermon on Emerson's
text, "Lessen your denominator."  He wished to reduce existence to the
simplest terms--to

      "live all alone
  Close to the bone,
  And where life is sweet
  Constantly eat."

He had a passion for the wild, and seems like an Anglo-Saxon reversion
to the type of the Red Indian.  The most distinctive note in Thoreau is
his inhumanity.  Emerson spoke of him as a "perfect piece of stoicism."
"Man," said Thoreau, "is only the point on which I stand."  He strove
to realize the objective life of nature--nature in its aloofness from
man; to identify himself, with the moose and the mountain.  He
listened, with his ear close to the ground, for the voice of the earth.
"What are the trees saying?" he exclaimed.  Following upon the trail of
the lumberman, he asked the primeval wilderness for its secret, and

      "saw beneath dim aisles, in odorous beds,
  The slight linnaea hang its twin-born heads."

He tried to interpret the thought of Ktaadn and to fathom the meaning
of the billows on the back of Cape Cod, in their indifference to the
shipwrecked bodies that they rolled ashore.  "After sitting in my
chamber many days, reading the poets, I have been out early on a foggy
morning and heard the cry of an owl in a neighboring wood as from a
nature behind the common, unexplored by science or by literature.  None
of the feathered race has yet realized my youthful conceptions of the
woodland depths.  I had seen the red election-birds brought from their
recesses on my comrade's string, and fancied that their plumage would
assume stranger and more dazzling colors, like the tints of evening, in
proportion as I advanced farther into the darkness and solitude of the
forest.  Still less have I seen such strong and wild tints on any
poet's string."

It was on the mystical side that Thoreau apprehended transcendentalism.
Mysticism has been defined as the soul's recognition of its identity
with nature.  This thought lies plainly in Schelling's philosophy, and
he illustrated it by his famous figure of the magnet.  Mind and nature
are one; they are the positive and negative poles of the magnet.  In
man, the Absolute--that is, God--becomes conscious of himself; makes of
himself, as nature, an object to himself as mind.  "The souls of men,"
said Schelling, "are but the innumerable individual eyes with which our
infinite World-Spirit beholds himself."  This thought is also clearly
present in Emerson's view of nature, and has caused him to be accused
of pantheism.  But if by pantheism is meant the doctrine that the
underlying principle of the universe is matter or force, none of the
transcendentalists was a pantheist.  In their view nature was divine.
Their poetry is always haunted by the sense of a spiritual reality
which abides beyond the phenomena.  Thus in Emerson's _Two Rivers_:

  "Thy summer voice, Musketaquit,[1]
    Repeats the music of the rain,
  But sweeter rivers pulsing flit
    Through thee as thou through Concord plain.

  "Thou in thy narrow banks art pent;
    The stream I love unbounded goes;
  Through flood and sea and firmament,
    Through light, through life, it forward flows.

  "I see the inundation sweet,
    I hear the spending of the stream,
  Through years, through men, through nature fleet,
    Through passion, thought, through power and dream."

This mood occurs frequently in Thoreau.  The hard world of matter
becomes suddenly all fluent and spiritual, and he sees himself in
it--sees God.  "This earth," he cries, "which is spread out like a map
around me, is but the lining of my inmost soul exposed."  "In _me_ is
the sucker that I see;" and, of Walden Pond,

  "I am its stony shore,
    And the breeze that passes o'er."

"Suddenly old Time winked at me--ah, you know me, you rogue--and news
had come that IT was well.  That ancient universe is in such capital
health, I think, undoubtedly, it will never die. . . .  I see, smell,
taste, hear, feel that ever-lasting something to which we are allied,
at once our maker, our abode, our destiny, our very selves."  It was
something ulterior that Thoreau sought in nature.  "The other world,"
he wrote, "is all my art: my pencils will draw no other; my jack-knife
will cut nothing else."  Thoreau did not scorn, however, like Emerson,
to "examine too microscopically the universal tablet."  He was a close
observer and accurate reporter of the ways of birds and plants and the
minuter aspects of nature.  He has had many followers, who have
produced much pleasant literature on out-door life.  But in none of
them is there that unique combination of the poet, the naturalist, and
the mystic which gives his page its wild original flavor.  He had the
woodcraft of a hunter and the eye of a botanist, but his imagination
did not stop short with the fact.  The sound of a tree falling in the
Maine woods was to him "as though a door had shut somewhere in the damp
and shaggy wilderness."  He saw small things in cosmic relations.  His
trip down the tame Concord has for the reader the excitement of a
voyage of exploration into far and unknown regions.  The river just
above Sherman's Bridge, in time of flood "when the wind blows freshly
on a raw March day, heaving up the surface into dark and sober
billows," was like Lake Huron, "and you may run aground on Cranberry
Island," and "get as good a freezing there as anywhere on the
North-west coast."  He said that most of the phenomena described in
Kane's voyages could be observed in Concord.

The literature of transcendentalism was like the light of the stars in
a winter night, keen and cold and high.  It had the pale cast of
thought, and was almost too spiritual and remote to "hit the sense of
mortal sight."  But it was at least indigenous.  If not an American
literature--not national and not inclusive of all sides of American
life--it was, at all events, a genuine New England literature and true
to the spirit of its section.  The tough Puritan stock had at last put
forth a blossom which compared with the warm, robust growths of English
soil even as the delicate wind flower of the northern spring compares
with the cowslips and daisies of old England.

In 1842 Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-64), the greatest American romancer,
came to Concord.  He had recently left Brook Farm, had just been
married, and with his bride he settled down in the "Old Manse" for
three paradisaical years.  A picture of this protracted honeymoon and
this sequestered life, as tranquil as the slow stream on whose banks it
was passed, is given in the introductory chapter to his _Mosses from an
Old Manse_, 1846, and in the more personal and confidential records of
his _American Note Books_, posthumously published.  Hawthorne was
thirty-eight when he took his place among the Concord literati.  His
childhood and youth had been spent partly at his birthplace, the old
and already somewhat decayed sea-port town of Salem, and partly at his
grandfather's farm on Sebago Lake, in Maine, then on the edge of the
primitive forest.  Maine did not become a State, indeed, until 1820,
the year before Hawthorne entered Bowdoin College, whence he was
graduated in 1825, in the same class with Henry W. Longfellow and one
year behind Franklin Pierce, afterward President of the United States.
After leaving college Hawthorne buried himself for years in the
seclusion of his home at Salem.  His mother, who was early widowed, had
withdrawn entirely from the world.  For months at a time Hawthorne kept
his room, seeing no other society than that of his mother and sisters,
reading all sorts of books and writing wild tales, most of which he
destroyed as soon as he had written them.  At twilight he would emerge
from the house for a solitary ramble through the streets of the town or
along the sea-side.  Old Salem had much that was picturesque in its
associations.  It had been the scene of the witch trials in the
seventeenth century, and it abounded in ancient mansions, the homes of
retired whalers and India merchants.  Hawthorne's father had been a
ship captain, and many of his ancestors had followed the sea.  One of
his forefathers, moreover, had been a certain Judge Hawthorne, who in
1691 had sentenced several of the witches to death.  The thought of
this affected Hawthorne's imagination with a pleasing horror, and he
utilized it afterward in his _House of the Seven Gables_.  Many of the
old Salem houses, too, had their family histories, with now and then
the hint of some obscure crime or dark misfortune which haunted
posterity with its curse till all the stock died out or fell into
poverty and evil ways, as in the Pyncheon family of Hawthorne's
romance.  In the preface to the _Marble Faun_ Hawthorne wrote: "No
author without a trial can conceive of the difficulty of writing a
romance about a country where there is no shadow, no antiquity, no
mystery, no picturesque and gloomy wrong, nor any thing but a
commonplace prosperity in broad and simple daylight."  And yet it may
be doubted whether any environment could have been found more fitted to
his peculiar genius than this of his native town, or any preparation
better calculated to ripen the faculty that was in him than these long,
lonely years of waiting and brooding thought.  From time to time he
contributed a story or a sketch to some periodical, such as S. G.
Goodrich's annual, the _Token_, or the _Knickerbocker Magazine_.  Some
of these attracted the attention of the judicious; but they were
anonymous and signed by various _noms de plume_, and their author was
at this time--to use his own words--"the obscurest man of letters in
America."  In 1828 he had issued anonymously and at his own expense a
short romance, entitled _Fanshawe_.  It had little success, and copies
of the first edition are now exceedingly rare.  In 1837 he published a
collection of his magazine pieces under the title, _Twice-Told Tales_.
The book was generously praised in the _North American Review_ by his
former classmate, Longfellow; and Edgar Poe showed his keen critical
perception by predicting that the writer would easily put himself at
the head of imaginative literature in America if he would discard
allegory, drop short stories, and compose a genuine romance.  Poe
compared Hawthorne's work with that of the German romancer, Tieck, and
it is interesting to find confirmation of this dictum in passages of
the _American Note Books_, in which Hawthorne speaks of laboring over
Tieck with a German dictionary.  The _Twice-Told Tales_ are the work of
a recluse, who makes guesses at life from a knowledge of his own heart,
acquired by a habit of introspection, but who has had little contact
with men.  Many of them were shadowy, and others were morbid and
unwholesome.  But their gloom was of an interior kind, never the
physically horrible of Poe.  It arose from weird psychological
situations like that of _Ethan Brand_ in his search for the
unpardonable sin.  Hawthorne was true to the inherited instinct of
Puritanism; he took the conscience for his theme, and in these early
tales he was already absorbed in the problem of evil, the subtle ways
in which sin works out its retribution, and the species of fate or
necessity that the wrong-doer makes for himself in the inevitable
sequences of his crime.  Hawthorne was strongly drawn toward symbols
and types, and never quite followed Poe's advice to abandon allegory.
The _Scarlet Letter_ and his other romances are not, indeed, strictly
allegories, since the characters are men and women and not mere
personifications of abstract qualities.  Still, they all have a certain
allegorical tinge.  In the _Marble Faun_, for example, Hilda, Kenyon,
Miriam, and Donatello have been ingeniously explained as
personifications respectively of the conscience, the reason, the
imagination, and the senses.  Without going so far as this, it is
possible to see in these and in Hawthorne's other creations something
typical and representative.  He uses his characters like algebraic
symbols to work out certain problems with; they are rather more and yet
rather less than flesh and blood individuals.  The stories in
_Twice-Told Tales_ and in the second collection, _Mosses from an Old
Manse_, 1846, are more openly allegorical than his later work.  Thus
the _Minister's Black Veil_ is a sort of anticipation of Arthur
Dimmesdale in the _Scarlet Letter_.  From 1846 to 1849 Hawthorne held
the position of surveyor of the Custom House of Salem.  In the preface
to the _Scarlet Letter_ he sketched some of the government officials
with whom this office had brought him into contact in a way that gave
some offense to the friends of the victims and a great deal of
amusement to the public.  Hawthorne's humor was quiet and fine, like
Irving's, but less genial and with a more satiric edge to it.  The book
last named was written at Salem and published in 1850, just before its
author's removal to Lenox, now a sort of inland Newport, but then an
unfashionable resort among the Berkshire hills.  Whatever obscurity may
have hung over Hawthorne hitherto was effectually dissolved by this
powerful tale, which was as vivid in coloring as the implication of its
title.  Hawthorne chose for his background the somber life of the early
settlers of New England.  Ho had always been drawn toward this part of
American history, and in _Twice-Told Tales_ had given some
illustrations of it in _Endicott's Red Cross_ and _Legends of the
Province House_.  Against this dark foil moved in strong relief the
figures of Hester Prynne, the woman taken in adultery; her paramour,
the Rev. Arthur Dimmesdale; her husband, old Roger Chillingworth; and
her illegitimate child.  In tragic power, in its grasp of the
elementary passions of human nature and its deep and subtle insight
into the inmost secrets of the heart, this is Hawthorne's greatest
book.  He never crowded his canvas with figures.  In the _Blithedale
Romance_ and the _Marble Faun_ there is the same _parti carré_ or group
of four characters.  In the _House of the Seven Gables_ there are five.
The last mentioned of these, published in 1852, was of a more subdued
intensity than the _Scarlet Letter_, but equally original, and, upon
the whole, perhaps equally good.  The _Blithedale Romance_, published
in the same year, though not strikingly inferior to the others, adhered
more to conventional patterns in its plot and in the sensational nature
of its ending.  The suicide of the heroine by drowning, and the
terrible scene of the recovery of her body, were suggested to the
author by an experience of his own on Concord River, the account of
which, in his own words, may be read in Julian Hawthorne's _Nathaniel
Hawthorne and His Wife_.  In 1852 Hawthorne returned to Concord and
bought the "Wayside" property, which he retained until his death.  But
in the following year his old college friend Pierce, now become
President, appointed him consul to Liverpool, and he went abroad for
seven years.  The most valuable fruit of his foreign residence was the
romance of the _Marble Faun_, 1860, the longest of his fictions and the
richest in descriptive beauty.  The theme of this was the development
of the soul through the experience of sin.  There is a haunting mystery
thrown about the story, like a soft veil of mist, veiling the beginning
and the end.  There is even a delicate teasing suggestion of the
preternatural in Donatello, the Faun, a creation as original as
Shakespeare's Caliban or Fouque's Undine, and yet quite on this side
the border-line of the human.  _Our Old Home_, a book of charming
papers on England, was published in 1863.  Manifold experience of life
and contact with men, affording scope for his always keen observation,
had added range, fullness, warmth to the imaginative subtlety which had
manifested itself even in his earliest tales.  Two admirable books for
children, the _Wonder Book_ and _Tanglewood Tales_, in which the
classical mythologies were retold, should also be mentioned in the list
of Hawthorne's writings, as well as the _American_, _English_, and
_Italian Note Books_, the first of which contains the seed-thoughts of
some of his finished works, together with hundreds of hints for plots,
episodes, descriptions, etc., which he never found time to work out.
Hawthorne's style, in his first sketches and stories a little stilted
and "bookish," gradually acquired an exquisite perfection, and is as
well worth study as that of any prose classic in the English tongue.

Hawthorne was no transcendentalist.  He dwelt much in a world of ideas,
and he sometimes doubted whether the tree on the bank or its image in
the stream were the more real.  But this had little in common with the
philosophical idealism of his neighbors.  He reverenced Emerson, and he
held kindly intercourse--albeit a silent man and easily bored--with
Thoreau and Ellery Channing, and even with Margaret Fuller.  But his
sharp eyes saw whatever was whimsical or weak in the apostles of the
new faith.  He had little enthusiasm for causes or reforms, and among
so many Abolitionists he remained a Democrat, and even wrote a campaign
life of his friend Pierce.

The village of Concord has perhaps done more for American literature
than the city of New York.  Certainly there are few places where
associations, both patriotic and poetic, cluster so thickly.  At one
side of the grounds of the Old Manse--which has the river at its
back--runs down a shaded lane to the Concord monument and the figure of
the Minute Man and the successor of "the rude bridge that arched the
flood."  Scarce two miles away, among the woods, is little
Walden--"God's drop."  The men who made Concord famous are asleep in
Sleepy Hollow, yet still their memory prevails to draw seekers after
truth to the Concord Summer School of Philosophy, which met annually, a
few years since, to reason high of "God, Freedom, and Immortality,"
next door to the "Wayside," and under the hill on whose ridge Hawthorne
wore a path as he paced up and down beneath the hemlocks.

1. Ralph Waldo Emerson.  _Nature_.  _The American Scholar_.  _Literary
Ethics_.  _The Transcendentalism_.  _The Over-soul_.  _Address before
the Cambridge Divinity School_.  _English Traits_.  _Representative
Men_.  _Poems_.

2. Henry David Thoreau.  _Excursions_.  _Walden_.  _A Week on the
Concord and Merrimac Rivers_.  _Cape Cod_.  _The Maine Woods_.

3. Nathaniel Hawthorne.  _Mosses from an Old Manse_.  _The Scarlet
Letter_.  _The House of the Seven Gables_.  _The Blithedale Romance_.
_The Marble Faun_.  _Our Old Home_.

4. _Transcendentalism in New England_.  By O. B. Frothingham.  New
York: G. P. Putnam's Sons.  1875.

[1]The Indian name of Concord River.




With few exceptions, the men who have made American literature what it
is have been college graduates.  And yet our colleges have not commonly
been, in themselves, literary centers.  Most of them have been small
and poor, and situated in little towns or provincial cities.  Their
alumni scatter far and wide immediately after graduation, and even
those of them who may feel drawn to a life of scholarship or letters
find little to attract them at the home of their _alma mater_, and seek
by preference the larger cities, where periodicals and publishing
houses offer some hope of support in a literary career.  Even in the
older and better equipped universities the faculty is usually a corps
of working scholars, each man intent upon his specialty and rather
inclined to undervalue merely "literary" performance.  In many cases
the fastidious and hypercritical turn of mind which besets the scholar,
the timid conservatism which naturally characterizes an ancient seat of
learning, and the spirit of theological conformity which suppresses
free discussion, have exerted their benumbing influence upon the
originality and creative impulse of their inmates.  Hence it happens
that, while the contributions of American college teachers to the exact
sciences, to theology and philology, metaphysics, political philosophy,
and the severer branches of learning have been honorable and important,
they have as a class made little mark upon the general literature of
the country.  The professors of literature in our colleges are usually
persons who have made no additions to literature, and the professors of
rhetoric seem ordinarily to have been selected to teach students how to
write for the reason that they themselves have never written any thing
that any one has ever read.

To these remarks the Harvard College of some fifty years ago offers
some striking exceptions.  It was not the large and fashionable
university that it has lately grown to be, with its multiplied elective
courses, its numerous faculty, and its somewhat motley collection of
undergraduates; but a small school of the classics and mathematics,
with something of ethics, natural science, and the modern languages
added to its old-fashioned, scholastic curriculum, and with a very
homogeneous _clientèle_, drawn mainly from the Unitarian families of
eastern Massachusetts.  Nevertheless a finer intellectual life, in many
respects, was lived at old Cambridge within the years covered by this
chapter than nowadays at the same place, or at any date in any other
American university town.  The neighborhood of Boston, where the
commercial life has never so entirely overlain the intellectual as in
New York and Philadelphia, has been a standing advantage to Harvard
College.  The recent upheaval in religious thought had secured
toleration and made possible that free and even audacious interchange
of ideas without which a literary atmosphere is impossible.  From
these, or from whatever causes, it happened that the old Harvard
scholarship had an elegant and tasteful side to it, so that the dry
erudition of the schools blossomed into a generous culture, and there
were men in the professors' chairs who were no less efficient as
teachers because they were also poets, orators, wits, and men of the
world.  In the seventeen years from 1821 to 1839 there were graduated
from Harvard College Emerson, Holmes, Sumner, Phillips, Motley,
Thoreau, Lowell, and Edward Everett Hale; some of whom took up their
residence at Cambridge, others at Boston, and others at Concord, which
was quite as much a spiritual suburb of Boston as Cambridge was.  In
1836, when Longfellow became professor of modern languages at Harvard,
Sumner was lecturing in the Law School.  The following year--in which
Thoreau took his bachelor's degree--witnessed the delivery of Emerson's
Phi Beta Kappa lecture on the _American Scholar_ in the college chapel,
and Wendell Phillips's speech on the _Murder of Lovejoy_ in Faneuil
Hall.  Lowell, whose description of the impression produced by the
former of these famous addresses has been quoted in a previous chapter,
was an under-graduate at the time.  He took his degree in 1838, and in
1855 succeeded Longfellow in the chair of modern languages.  Holmes had
been chosen in 1847 professor of anatomy and physiology in the Medical
School--a position which he held until 1882.  The historians, Prescott
and Bancroft, had been graduated in 1814 and 1817 respectively.  The
former's first important publication, _Ferdinand and Isabella_,
appeared in 1837.  Bancroft had been a tutor in the college in 1822-23,
and the initial volume of his _History of the United States_ was issued
in 1835.  Another of the Massachusetts school of historical writers,
Francis Parkman, took his first degree at Harvard in 1844.  Cambridge
was still hardly more than a village, a rural outskirt of Boston, such
as Lowell described it in his article, _Cambridge Thirty Years Ago_,
originally contributed to _Putnam's Monthly_ in 1853, and afterward
reprinted in his _Fireside Travels_, 1864.  The situation of a
university scholar in old Cambridge was thus an almost ideal one.
Within easy reach of a great city, with its literary and social clubs,
its theaters, lecture courses, public meetings, dinner-parties, etc.,
he yet lived withdrawn in an academic retirement among elm-shaded
avenues and leafy gardens, the dome of the Boston Statehouse looming
distantly across the meadows where the Charles laid its "steel blue
sickle" upon the variegated, plush-like ground of the wide marsh.
There was thus, at all times during the quarter of a century embraced
between 1837 and 1861, a group of brilliant men resident in or about
Cambridge and Boston, meeting frequently and intimately, and exerting
upon one another a most stimulating influence.  Some of the closer
circles--all concentric to the university--of which this group was
loosely composed were laughed at by outsiders as "Mutual Admiration
Societies."  Such was, for instance, the "Five of Clubs," whose members
were Longfellow, Sumner, C. C. Felton, professor of Greek at Harvard,
and afterward president of the college; G. S. Hillard, a graceful
lecturer, essayist, and poet, of a somewhat amateurish kind; and Henry
R. Cleveland, of Jamaica Plain, a lover of books and a writer of them.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-82), the most widely read and loved of
American poets--or, indeed, of all contemporary poets in England and
America--though identified with Cambridge for nearly fifty years, was a
native of Portland, Maine, and a graduate of Bowdoin College, in the
same class with Hawthorne.  Since leaving college, in 1825, he had
studied and traveled for some years in Europe, and had held the
professorship of modern languages at Bowdoin.  He had published several
text-books, a number of articles on the Romance languages and
literatures in the _North American Review_, a thin volume of metrical
translations from the Spanish, a few original poems in various
periodicals, and the pleasant sketches of European travel entitled
_Outre-Mer_.  But Longfellow's fame began with the appearance in 1839
of his _Voices of the Night_.  Excepting an earlier collection by
Bryant this was the first volume of real poetry published in New
England, and it had more warmth and sweetness, a greater richness and
variety, than Bryant's work ever possessed.  Longfellow's genius was
almost feminine in its flexibility and its sympathetic quality.  It
readily took the color of its surroundings and opened itself eagerly to
impressions of the beautiful from every quarter, but especially from
books.  This first volume contained a few things written during his
student days at Bowdoin, one of which, a blank-verse piece on _Autumn_,
clearly shows the influence of Bryant's _Thanatopsis_.  Most of these
juvenilia had nature for their theme, but they were not so sternly true
to the New England landscape as Thoreau or Bryant.  The skylark and the
ivy appear among their scenic properties, and in the best of them,
_Woods in Winter_, it is the English "hawthorn" and not any American
tree, through which the gale is made to blow, just as later Longfellow
uses "rooks" instead of crows.  The young poet's fancy was
instinctively putting out feelers toward the storied lands of the Old
World, and in his _Hymn of the Moravian Nuns of Bethlehem_ he
transformed the rude church of the Moravian sisters to a cathedral with
"glimmering tapers," swinging censers, chancel, altar, cowls, and "dim
mysterious aisle."  After his visit to Europe Longfellow returned
deeply imbued with the spirit of romance.  It was his mission to refine
our national taste by opening to American readers, in their own
vernacular, new springs of beauty in the literatures of foreign
tongues.  The fact that this mission was interpretive, rather than
creative, hardly detracts from Longfellow's true originality.  It
merely indicates that his inspiration came to him in the first instance
from other sources than the common life about him.  He naturally began
as a translator, and this first volume contained, among other things,
exquisite renderings from the German of Uhland, Salis, and Müller, from
the Danish, French, Spanish, and Anglo-Saxon, and a few passages from
Dante.  Longfellow remained all his life a translator, and in subtler
ways than by direct translation he infused the fine essence of European
poetry into his own.  He loved

  "Tales that have the rime of age
  And chronicles of eld."

The golden light of romance is shed upon his page, and it is his habit
to borrow mediaeval and Catholic imagery from his favorite Middle Ages,
even when writing of American subjects.  To him the clouds are hooded
friars, that "tell their beads in drops of rain;" the midnight winds
blowing through woods and mountain passes are chanting solemn masses
for the repose of the dying year, and the strain ends with the prayer--

  "Kyrie, eleyson,
  Christe, eleyson."

In his journal he wrote characteristically: "The black shadows lie upon
the grass like engravings in a book.  Autumn has written his rubric on
the illuminated leaves, the wind turns them over and chants like a
friar."  This in Cambridge, of a moonshiny night, on the first day of
the American October!  But several of the pieces in _Voices of the
Night_ sprang more immediately from the poet's own inner experience.
The _Hymn to the Night_, the _Psalm of Life_, _The Reaper and the
Flowers_, _Footsteps of Angels_, _The Light of Stars_, and _The
Beleaguered City_ spoke of love, bereavement, comfort, patience, and
faith.  In these lovely songs, and in many others of the same kind
which he afterward wrote, Longfellow touched the hearts of all his
countrymen.  America is a country of homes, and Longfellow, as the poet
of sentiment and of the domestic affections, became and remains far
more general in his appeal than such a "cosmic" singer as Whitman, who
is still practically unknown to the "fierce democracy" to which he has
addressed himself.  It would be hard to overestimate the influence for
good exerted by the tender feeling and the pure and sweet morality
which the hundreds of thousands of copies of Longfellow's writings,
that have been circulated among readers of all classes in America and
England, have brought with them.

Three later collections, _Ballads and Other Poems_, 1842, _The Belfry
of Bruges_, 1846; and _The Seaside and the Fireside_, 1850, comprise
most of what is noteworthy in Longfellow's minor poetry.  The first of
these embraced, together with some renderings from the German and the
Scandinavian languages, specimens of stronger original work than the
author had yet put forth; namely, the two powerful ballads of _The
Skeleton in Armor_ and _The Wreck of the Hesperus_.  The former of
these, written in the swift leaping meter of Drayton's _Ode to the
Cambro Britons on their Harp_, was suggested by the digging up of a
mail-clad skeleton at Fall River--a circumstance which the poet linked
with the traditions about the Round Tower at Newport, thus giving to
the whole the spirit of a Norse viking song of war and of the sea.
_The Wreck of the Hesperus_ was occasioned by the news of shipwrecks on
the coast near Gloucester and by the name of a reef--"Norman's
Woe"--where many of them took place.  It was written one night between
twelve and three, and cost the poet, he said, "hardly an effort."
Indeed, it is the spontaneous ease and grace, the unfailing taste of
Longfellow's lines, which are their best technical quality.  There is
nothing obscure or esoteric about his poetry.  If there is little
passion or intellectual depth, there is always genuine poetic feeling,
often a very high order of imagination, and almost invariably the
choice of the right word.  In this volume were also included _The
Village Blacksmith_ and _Excelsior_.  The latter, and the _Psalm of
Life_, have had a "damnable iteration" which causes them to figure as
Longfellow's most popular pieces.  They are by no means, however, among
his best.  They are vigorously expressed common-places of that
hortatory kind which passes for poetry, but is, in reality, a vague
species of preaching.

In _The Belfry of Bruges_ and _The Seaside and the Fireside_ the
translations were still kept up, and among the original pieces were
_The Occupation of Orion_--the most imaginative of all Longfellow's
poems; _Seaweed_, which has very noble stanzas, the favorite _Old Clock
on the Stairs_, _The Building of the Ship_, with its magnificent
closing apostrophe to the Union, and _The Fire of Driftwood_, the
subtlest in feeling of any thing that the poet ever wrote.  With these
were verses of a more familiar quality, such as _The Bridge_,
_Resignation_, and _The Day Is Done_, and many others, all reflecting
moods of gentle and pensive sentiment, and drawing from analogies in
nature or in legend lessons which, if somewhat obvious, were expressed
with perfect art.  Like Keats, he apprehended every thing on its
beautiful side.  Longfellow was all poet.  Like Ophelia in Hamlet,

  "Thought and affection, passion, hell itself,
  _He_ turns to favor and to prettiness."

He cared very little about the intellectual movement of the age.  The
transcendental ideas of Emerson passed over his head and left him
undisturbed.  For politics he had that gentlemanly distaste which the
cultivated class in America had already begun to entertain.  In 1842 he
printed a small volume of _Poems on Slavery_, which drew commendation
from his friend Sumner, but had nothing of the fervor of Whittier's or
Lowell's utterances on the same subject.  It is interesting to compare
his journals with Hawthorne's _American Note Books_, and to observe in
what very different ways the two writers made prey of their daily
experiences for literary material.  A favorite haunt of Longfellow's
was the bridge between Boston and Cambridgeport, the same which he put
into verse in his poem, _The Bridge_.  "I always stop on the bridge,"
he writes in his journal; "tide waters are beautiful.  From the ocean
up into the land they go, like messengers, to ask why the tribute has
not been paid.  The brooks and rivers answer that there has been little
harvest of snow and rain this year.  Floating sea-wood and kelp is
carried up into the meadows, as returning sailors bring oranges in
bandanna handkerchiefs to friends in the country."  And again: "We
leaned for a while on the wooden rail and enjoyed the silvery
reflection on the sea, making sundry comparisons.  Among other thoughts
we had this cheering one, that the whole sea was flashing with this
heavenly light, though we saw it only in a single track; the dark waves
are the dark providences of God; luminous, though not to us; and even
to ourselves in another position."  "Walk on the bridge, both ends of
which are lost in the fog, like human life midway between two
eternities; beginning and ending in mist."  In Hawthorne an allegoric
moaning is usually something deeper and subtler than this, and seldom
so openly expressed.  Many of Longfellow's poems--the _Beleaguered
City_, for example--may be definitely divided into two parts; in the
first, a story is told or a natural phenomenon described; in the
second, the spiritual application of the parable is formally set forth.
This method became with him almost a trick of style, and his readers
learn to look for the _hoec fabula docet_ at the end as a matter of
course.  As for the prevailing optimism in Longfellow's view of
life--of which the above passage is an instance--it seems to be in him
an affair of temperament, and not, as in Emerson, the result of
philosophic insight.  Perhaps, however, in the last analysis optimism
and pessimism are subjective--the expression of temperament or
individual experience, since the facts of life are the same, whether
seen through Schopenhauer's eyes or through Emerson's.  If there is any
particular in which Longfellow's inspiration came to him at first hand
and not through books, it is in respect to the aspects of the sea.  On
this theme no American poet has written more beautifully and with a
keener sympathy than the author of _The Wreck of the Hesperus_ and of

In 1847 was published the long poem of _Evangeline_.  The story of the
Acadian peasant girl, who was separated from her lover in the
dispersion of her people by the English troops, and after weary
wanderings and a life-long search, found him at last, an old man dying
in a Philadelphia hospital, was told to Longfellow by the Rev. H. L.
Conolly, who had previously suggested it to Hawthorne as a subject for
a story.  Longfellow, characteristically enough, "got up" the local
color for his poem from Haliburton's account of the dispersion of the
Grand-Pré Acadians, from Darby's _Geographical Description of
Louisiana_ and Watson's _Annals of Philadelphia_.  He never needed to
go much outside of his library for literary impulse and material.
Whatever may be held as to Longfellow's inventive powers as a creator
of characters or an interpreter of American life, his originality as an
artist is manifested by his successful domestication in _Evangeline_ of
the dactylic hexameter, which no English poet had yet used with effect.
The English poet, Arthur Hugh Clough, who lived for a time in
Cambridge, followed Longfellow's example in the use of hexameter in his
_Bothie of Tober-na-Vuolich_, so that we have now arrived at the
time--a proud moment for American letters--when the works of our
writers began to react upon the literature of Europe.  But the beauty
of the descriptions in _Evangeline_ and the pathos--somewhat too drawn
out--of the story made it dear to a multitude of readers who cared
nothing about the technical disputes of Poe and other critics as to
whether or not Longfellow's lines were sufficiently "spondaic" to
represent truthfully the quantitative hexameters of Homer and Vergil.

In 1855 appeared _Hiawatha_, Longfellow's most aboriginal and
"American" book.  The tripping trochaic measure he borrowed from the
Finnish epic _Kalevala_.  The vague, child-like mythology of the Indian
tribes, with its anthropomorphic sense of the brotherhood between men,
animals, and the forms of inanimate nature, he took from Schoolcraft's
_Algic Researches_, 1839.  He fixed forever, in a skillfully chosen
poetic form, the more inward and imaginative part of Indian character,
as Cooper had given permanence to its external and active side.  Of
Longfellow's dramatic experiments, the _Golden Legend_, 1851, alone
deserves mention here.  This was in his chosen realm, a tale taken from
the ecclesiastical annals of the Middle Ages, precious with martyrs'
blood and bathed in the rich twilight of the cloister.  It contains
some of his best work, but its merit is rather poetic than dramatic,
although Ruskin praised it for the closeness with which it entered into
the temper of the monk.

Longfellow has pleased the people more than the critics.  He gave
freely what he had, and the gift was beautiful.  Those who have looked
in his poetry for something else than poetry, or for poetry of some
other kind, have not been slow to assert that he was a lady's poet--one
who satisfied callow youths and school-girls by uttering commonplaces
in graceful and musical shape, but who offered no strong meat for men.
Miss Fuller called his poetry thin, and the poet himself--or, rather, a
portrait of the poet which frontispieced an illustrated edition of his
works--a "dandy Pindar."  This is not true of his poetry, or of the
best of it.  But he had a singing and not a talking voice, and in his
prose one becomes sensible of a certain weakness.  _Hyperion_, for
example, published in 1839, a loitering fiction, interspersed with
descriptions of European travel, is, upon the whole, a weak book,
overflowery in diction and sentimental in tone.

The crown of Longfellow's achievements as a translator was his great
version of Dante's _Divina Commedia_, published between 1867 and 1870.
It is a severely literal, almost a line for line, rendering.  The meter
is preserved, but the rhyme sacrificed.  If not the best English poem
constructed from Dante, it is at all events the most faithful and
scholarly paraphrase.  The sonnets which accompanied it are among
Longfellow's best work.  He seems to have been raised by daily
communion with the great Tuscan into a habit of deeper and more subtle
thought than is elsewhere common in his poetry.

Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-  ) is a native of Cambridge and a graduate
of Harvard in the class of '29; a class whose anniversary reunions he
has celebrated in something like forty distinct poems and songs.  For
sheer cleverness and versatility Dr. Holmes is, perhaps, unrivaled
among American men of letters.  He has been poet, wit, humorist,
novelist, essayist, and a college lecturer and writer on medical
topics.  In all of these departments he has produced work which ranks
high, if not with the highest.  His father, Dr. Abiel Holmes, was a
graduate of Yale and an orthodox minister of liberal temper, but the
son early threw in his lot with the Unitarians; and, as was natural to
a man of satiric turn and with a very human enjoyment of a fight, whose
youth was cast in an age of theological controversy, he has always had
his fling at Calvinism, and has prolonged the slogans of old battles
into a later generation; sometimes, perhaps, insisting upon them rather
wearisomely and beyond the limits of good taste.  He had, even as an
undergraduate, a reputation for cleverness at writing comic verses, and
many of his good things in this kind, such as the _Dorchester Giant_
and the _Height of the Ridiculous_, were contributed to the
_Collegian_, a students' paper.  But he first drew the attention of a
wider public by his spirited ballad of _Old Ironsides_--

  "Ay!  Tear her tattered ensign down!"--

composed about 1830, when it was proposed by the government to take to
pieces the unseaworthy hulk of the famous old man-of-war,
_Constitution_.  Holmes's indignant protest--which has been a favorite
subject for school-boy declamation--had the effect of postponing the
vessel's fate for a great many years.  From 1830-35 the young poet was
pursuing his medical studies in Boston and Paris, contributing now and
then some verses to the magazines.  Of his life as a medical student in
Paris there are many pleasant reminiscences in his _Autocrat_ and other
writings, as where he tells, for instance, of a dinner-party of
Americans in the French capital, where one of the company brought tears
of homesickness into the eyes of his _sodales_ by saying that the
tinkle of the ice in the champagne-glasses reminded him of the
cow-bells in the rocky old pastures of New England.  In 1836 he printed
his first collection of poems.  The volume contained, among a number of
pieces broadly comic, like the _September Gale_, the _Music Grinders_,
and the _Ballad of the Oyster-man_--which at once became widely
popular--a few poems of a finer and quieter temper, in which there was
a quaint blending of the humorous and the pathetic.  Such were _My
Aunt_ and the _Last Leaf_--which Abraham Lincoln found "inexpressibly
touching," and which it is difficult to read without the double tribute
of a smile and a tear.  The volume contained also _Poetry: A Metrical
Essay_, read before the Harvard Chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society,
which was the first of that long line of capital occasional poems which
Holmes has been spinning for half a century with no sign of fatigue and
with scarcely any falling off in freshness; poems read or spoken or
sung at all manner of gatherings, public and private, at Harvard
commencements, class days, and other academic anniversaries; at
inaugurations, centennials, dedications of cemeteries, meetings of
medical associations, mercantile libraries, Burns clubs, and New
England societies; at rural festivals and city fairs; openings of
theaters, layings of corner-stones, birthday celebrations, jubilees,
funerals, commemoration services, dinners of welcome or farewell to
Dickens, Bryant, Everett, Whittier, Longfellow, Grant, Farragut, the
Grand Duke Alexis, the Chinese embassy, and what not.  Probably no poet
of any age or clime has written so much and so well to order.  He has
been particularly happy in verses of a convivial kind, toasts for big
civic feasts, or post-prandial rhymes for the _petit comité_--the snug
little dinners of the chosen few; his

  "The quaint trick to cram the pithy line
  That cracks so crisply over bubbling wine."

And although he could write on occasion a _Song for a Temperance
Dinner_, he has preferred to chant the praise of the punch bowl and to

    "feel the old convivial glow (unaided) o'er me stealing,
  The warm, champagny, old-particular-brandy-punchy feeling."

It would be impossible to enumerate the many good things of this sort
which Holmes has written, full of wit and wisdom, and of humor lightly
dashed with sentiment and sparkling with droll analogies, sudden puns,
and unexpected turns of rhyme and phrase.  Among the best of them are
_Nux Postcoenatica_, _A Modest Request_, _Ode for a Social Meeting_,
_The Boys_, and _Rip Van Winkle, M.D_.  Holmes's favorite measure, in
his longer poems, is the heroic couplet which Pope's example seems to
have consecrated forever to satiric and didactic verse.  He writes as
easily in this meter as if it were prose, and with much of Pope's
epigrammatic neatness.  He also manages with facility the anapaestics
of Moore and the ballad stanza which Hood had made the vehicle for his
drolleries.  It cannot be expected that verses manufactured to pop with
the corks and fizz with the champagne at academic banquets should much
outlive the occasion; or that the habit of producing such verses on
demand should foster in the producer that "high seriousness" which
Matthew Arnold asserts to be one mark of all great poetry.  Holmes's
poetry is mostly on the colloquial level, excellent society-verse, but
even in its serious moments too smart and too pretty to be taken very
gravely; with a certain glitter, knowingness, and flippancy about it,
and an absence of that self-forgetfulness and intense absorption in its
theme which characterize the work of the higher imagination.  This is
rather the product of fancy and wit.  Wit, indeed, in the old sense of
quickness in the perception of analogies, is the staple of his mind.
His resources in the way of figure, illustration, allusion, and
anecdote are wonderful.  Age cannot wither him nor custom stale his
infinite variety, and there is as much powder in his latest
pyrotechnics as in the rockets which he sent up half a century ago.
Yet, though the humorist in him rather outweighs the poet, he has
written a few things, like the _Chambered Nautilus_ and _Homesick in
Heaven_, which are as purely and deeply poetic as the _One-Hoss Shay_
and the _Prologue_ are funny.  Dr. Holmes is not of the stuff of which
idealists and enthusiasts are made.  As a physician and a student of
science, the facts of the material universe have counted for much with
him.  His clear, positive, alert intellect was always impatient of
mysticism.  He had the sharp eye of the satirist and the man of the
world for oddities of dress, dialect, and manners.  Naturally the
transcendental movement struck him on its ludicrous side, and in his
_After-Dinner Poem_, read at the Phi Beta Kappa dinner at Cambridge in
1843, he had his laugh at the "Orphic odes" and "runes" of the
bedlamite seer and bard of mystery

  "Who rides a beetle which he calls a 'sphinx.'
  And O what questions asked in club-foot rhyme
  Of Earth the tongueless, and the deaf-mute Time!
  Here babbling 'Insight' shouts in Nature's ears
  His last conundrum on the orbs and spheres;
  There Self-inspection sucks its little thumb,
  With 'Whence am I?' and 'Wherefore did I come?'"

Curiously enough, the author of these lines lived to write an
appreciative life of the poet who wrote the _Sphinx_.  There was a good
deal of toryism or social conservatism in Holmes.  He acknowledged a
preference for the man with a pedigree, the man who owned family
portraits, had been brought up in familiarity with books, and could
pronounce "view" correctly.  Readers unhappily not of the "Brahmin
caste of New England" have sometimes resented as snobbishness Holmes's
harping on "family," and his perpetual application of certain favorite
shibboleths to other people's ways of speech.  "The woman who
calc'lates is lost."

  "Learning condemns beyond the reach of hope
  The careless lips that speak of soap for soap. . . .
  Do put your accents in the proper spot:
  Don't, let me beg you, don't say 'How?' for 'What?'
  The things named 'pants' in certain documents,
  A word not made for gentlemen, but 'gents.'"

With the rest of "society" he was disposed to ridicule the abolition
movement as a crotchet of the eccentric and the long-haired.  But when
the civil war broke out he lent his pen, his tongue, and his own flesh
and blood to the cause of the Union.  The individuality of Holmes's
writings comes in part from their local and provincial bias.  He has
been the laureate of Harvard College and the bard of Boston city, an
urban poet, with a cockneyish fondness for old Boston ways and
things--the Common and the Frog Pond, Faneuil Hall and King's Chapel
and the Old South, Bunker Hill, Long Wharf, the Tea Party, and the town
crier.  It was Holmes who invented the playful saying that "Boston
Statehouse is the hub of the solar system."

In 1857 was started the _Atlantic Monthly_, a magazine which has
published a good share of the best work done by American writers within
the past generation.  Its immediate success was assured by Dr. Holmes's
brilliant series of papers, the _Autocrat of the Breakfast Table_,
1858, followed at once by the _Professor at the Breakfast Table_, 1859,
and later by the _Poet at the Breakfast Table_, 1873.  The _Autocrat_
is its author's masterpiece, and holds the fine quintessence of his
humor, his scholarship, his satire, genial observation, and ripe
experience of men and cities.  The form is as unique and original as
the contents, being something between an essay and a drama; a
succession of monologues or table-talks at a typical American
boarding-house, with a thread of story running through the whole.  The
variety of mood and thought is so great that these conversations never
tire, and the prose is interspersed with some of the author's choicest
verse.  The _Professor at the Breakfast Table_ followed too closely on
the heels of the _Autocrat_, and had less freshness.  The third number
of the series was better, and was pleasantly reminiscent and slightly
garrulous, Dr. Holmes being now (1873) sixty-four years old, and
entitled to the gossiping privilege of age.  The personnel of the
_Breakfast Table_ series, such as the landlady and the landlady's
daughter and her son, Benjamin Franklin; the schoolmistress, the young
man named John, the Divinity Student, the Kohinoor, the Sculpin, the
Scarabaeus, and the Old Gentleman who sits opposite, are not fully
drawn characters, but outlined figures, lightly sketched--as is the
Autocrat's wont--by means of some trick of speech, or dress, or
feature, but they are quite life-like enough for their purpose, which
is mainly to furnish listeners and foils to the eloquence and wit of
the chief talker.

In 1860 and 1867 Holmes entered the field of fiction with two
"medicated novels," _Elsie Venner_ and the _Guardian Angel_.  The first
of these was a singular tale, whose heroine united with her very
fascinating human attributes something of the nature of a serpent; her
mother having been bitten by a rattlesnake a few months before the
birth of the girl, and kept alive meanwhile by the use of powerful
antidotes.  The heroine of the _Guardian Angel_ inherited lawless
instincts from a vein of Indian blood in her ancestry.  These two books
were studies of certain medico-psychological problems.  They preached
Dr. Holmes's favorite doctrines of heredity and of the modified nature
of moral responsibility by reason of transmitted tendencies which limit
the freedom of the will.  In _Elsie Venner_, in particular, the weirdly
imaginative and speculative character of the leading motive suggests
Hawthorne's method in fiction, but the background and the subsidiary
figures have a realism that is in abrupt contrast with this, and gives
a kind of doubleness and want of keeping to the whole.  The Yankee
characters, in particular, and the satirical pictures of New England
country life are open to the charge of caricature.  In the _Guardian
Angel_ the figure of Byles Gridley, the old scholar, is drawn with
thorough sympathy, and though some of his acts are improbable, he is,
on the whole, Holmes's most vital conception in the region of dramatic

James Russell Lowell (1819-  ), the foremost of American critics and of
living American poets, is, like Holmes, a native of Cambridge, and,
like Emerson and Holmes, a clergyman's son.  In 1855 he succeeded
Longfellow as professor of modern languages in Harvard College.  Of
late years he has held important diplomatic posts, like Everett,
Irving, Bancroft, Motley, and other Americans distinguished in letters,
having been United States minister to Spain, and, under two
administrations, to the court of St. James.  Lowell is not so
spontaneously and exclusively a poet as Longfellow, and his popularity
with the average reader has never been so great.  His appeal has been
to the few rather than the many, to an audience of scholars and of the
judicious rather than to the "groundlings" of the general public.
Nevertheless his verse, though without the evenness, instinctive grace,
and unerring good taste of Longfellow's, has more energy and a stronger
intellectual fiber, while in prose he is very greatly the superior.
His first volume, _A Year's Life_, 1841, gave some promise.  In 1843 he
started a magazine, the _Pioneer_, which only reached its third number,
though it counted among its contributors Hawthorne, Poe, Whittier, and
Miss Barrett (afterward Mrs. Browning).  A second volume of poems,
printed in 1844, showed a distinct advance, in such pieces as the
_Shepherd of King Admetus_, _Rhoecus_, a classical myth, told in
excellent blank verse, and the same in subject with one of Landor's
polished intaglios; and the _Legend of Brittany_, a narrative poem,
which had fine passages, but no firmness in the management of the
story.  As yet, it was evident, the young poet had not found his theme.
This came with the outbreak of the Mexican War, which was unpopular in
New England, and which the Free Soil party regarded as a slave-holders'
war waged without provocation against a sister republic, and simply for
the purpose of extending the area of slavery.

In 1846, accordingly, the _Biglow Papers_ began to appear in the
_Boston Courier_, and were collected and published in book form in
1848.  These were a series of rhymed satires upon the government and
the war party, written in the Yankee dialect, and supposed to be the
work of Hosea Biglow, a home-spun genius in a down-east country town,
whose letters to the editor were indorsed and accompanied by the
comments of the Rev. Homer Wilbur, A.M., pastor of the First Church in
Jaalam, and (prospective) member of many learned societies.  The first
paper was a derisive address to a recruiting sergeant, with a
denunciation of the "nigger-drivin' States" and the "Northern
dough-faces;" a plain hint that the North would do better to secede
than to continue doing dirty work for the South; and an expression of
those universal peace doctrines which were then in the air, and to
which Longfellow gave serious utterance in his _Occultation of Orion_.

  "Ez for war, I call it murder--
    There you hev it plain an' flat;
  I don't want to go no furder
    Than my Testyment for that;
  God hez said so plump an' fairly,
    It's as long as it is broad,
  An' you've gut to git up airly
    Ef you want to take in God."

The second number was a versified paraphrase of a letter received from
Mr. Birdofredom Sawin, "a yung feller of our town that was cussed fool
enuff to goe atrottin inter Miss Chiff arter a dram and fife," and who
finds when he gets to Mexico that

  "This kind o' sogerin' aint a mite like our October trainin'."

Of the subsequent papers the best was, perhaps, _What Mr. Robinson
Thinks_, an election ballad, which caused universal laughter, and was
on every body's tongue.

The _Biglow Papers_ remain Lowell's most original contribution to
American literature.  They are, all in all, the best political satires
in the language, and unequaled as portraitures of the Yankee character,
with its cuteness, its homely wit, and its latent poetry.  Under the
racy humor of the dialect--which became in Lowell's hands a medium of
literary expression almost as effective as Burns's Ayrshire
Scotch--burned that moral enthusiasm and that hatred of wrong and
deification of duty--"Stern daughter of the voice of God"--which, in
the tough New England stock, stands instead of the passion in the blood
of southern races.  Lowell's serious poems on political questions, such
as the _Present Crisis_, _Ode to Freedom_, and the _Capture of Fugitive
Slaves_, have the old Puritan fervor, and such lines as

  "They are slaves who dare not be
  In the right with two or three,"

and the passage beginning

  "Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne,"

became watchwords in the struggle against slavery and disunion.  Some
of these were published in his volume of 1848 and the collected edition
of his poems, in two volumes, issued in 1850.  These also included his
most ambitious narrative poem, the _Vision of Sir Launfal_, an
allegorical and spiritual treatment of one of the legends of the Holy
Grail.  Lowell's genius was not epical, but lyric and didactic.  The
merit of _Sir Launfal_ is not in the telling of the story, but in the
beautiful descriptive episodes, one of which, commencing,

  "And what is so rare as a day in June?
  Then if ever come perfect days,"

is as current as any thing that he has written.  It is significant of
the lack of a natural impulse toward narrative invention in Lowell
that, unlike Longfellow and Holmes, he never tried his hand at a novel.
One of the most important parts of a novelist's equipment he certainly
possesses, namely, an insight into character and an ability to
delineate it.  This gift is seen especially in his sketch of Parson
Wilbur, who edited the _Biglow Papers_ with a delightfully pedantic
introduction, glossary, and notes; in the prose essay _On a Certain
Condescension in Foreigners_, and in the uncompleted poem, _Fitz Adam's
Story_.  See also the sketch of Captain Underhill in the essay on _New
England Two Centuries Ago_.

The _Biglow Papers_ when brought out in a volume were prefaced by
imaginary notices of the press, including a capital parody of Carlyle,
and a reprint from the "Jaalam Independent Blunderbuss," of the first
sketch--afterward amplified and enriched--of that perfect Yankee idyl,
_The Courtin'_.  Between 1862 and 1865 a second series of _Biglow
Papers_ appeared, called out by the events of the civil war.  Some of
these, as, for instance, _Jonathan to John_, a remonstrance with
England for her unfriendly attitude toward the North, were not inferior
to any thing in the earlier series; and others were even superior as
poems, equal, indeed, in pathos and intensity to any thing that Lowell
has written in his professedly serious verse.  In such passages the
dialect wears rather thin, and there is a certain incongruity between
the rustic spelling and the vivid beauty and power and the figurative
cast of the phrase in stanzas like the following:

  "Wut's words to them whose faith an' truth
    On war's red techstone rang true metal,
  Who ventered life an' love an' youth
    For the gret prize o' death in battle?
  To him who, deadly hurt, agen
    Flashed on afore the charge's thunder,
  Tippin' with fire the bolt of men
    That rived the rebel line asunder?"

Charles Sumner, a somewhat heavy person, with little sense of humor,
wished that the author of the _Biglow Papers_ "could have used good
English."  In the lines just quoted, indeed, the bad English adds
nothing to the effect.  In 1848 Lowell wrote _A Fable for Critics_,
something after the style of Sir John Suckling's _Session of the
Poets_; a piece of rollicking doggerel in which he surveyed the
American Parnassus, scattering about headlong fun, sharp satire, and
sound criticism in equal proportion.  Never an industrious workman,
like Longfellow, at the poetic craft, but preferring to wait for the
mood to seize him, he allowed eighteen years to go by, from 1850 to
1868, before publishing another volume of verse.  In the latter year
appeared _Under the Willows_, which contains some of his ripest and
most perfect work, notably _A Winter Evening Hymn to my Fire_, with its
noble and touching close--suggested by, perhaps, at any rate recalling,
the dedication of Goethe's _Faust_,

  "Ihr naht euch wieder, schwankende Gestalten;"

the subtle _Footpath_ and _In the Twilight_, the lovely little poems
_Auf Wiedersehen_ and _After the Funeral_, and a number of spirited
political pieces, such as _Villa Franca_ and the _Washers of the
Shroud_.  This volume contained also his _Ode Recited at the Harvard
Commemoration_ in 1865.  This, although uneven, is one of the finest
occasional poems in the language, and the most important contribution
which our civil war has made to song.  It was charged with the grave
emotion of one who not only shared the patriotic grief and exultation
of his _alma mater_ in the sacrifice of her sons, but who felt a more
personal sorrow in the loss of kindred of his own, fallen in the front
of battle.  Particularly note-worthy in this memorial ode are the
tribute to Abraham Lincoln, the third strophe beginning, "Many loved
Truth;" the exordium, "O Beautiful! my Country! ours once more!" and
the close of the eighth strophe, where the poet chants of the youthful
heroes who

        "Come transfigured back,
  Secure from change in their high-hearted ways,
  Beautiful evermore and with the rays
  Of morn on their white Shields of Expectation."

From 1857 to 1862 Lowell edited the _Atlantic Monthly_, and from 1863
to 1872 the _North American Review_.  His prose, beginning with an
early volume of _Conversations on Some of the Old Poets_, 1844, has
consisted mainly of critical essays on individual writers, such as
Dante, Chaucer, Spenser, Emerson, Shakespeare, Thoreau, Pope, Carlyle,
etc., together with papers of a more miscellaneous kind, like
_Witchcraft_, _New England Two Centuries Ago_, _My Garden
Acquaintance_, _A Good Word for Winter_, _Abraham Lincoln_, etc., etc.
Two volumes of these were published in 1870 and 1876, under the title
_Among My Books_, and another, _My Study Windows_, in 1871.  As a
literary critic Lowell ranks easily among the first of living writers.
His scholarship is thorough, his judgment keen, and he pours out upon
his page an unwithholding wealth of knowledge, humor, wit, and
imagination from the fullness of an overflowing mind.  His prose has
not the chastened correctness and "low tone" of Matthew Arnold's.  It
is rich, exuberant, and, sometimes overfanciful, running away into
excesses of allusion or following the lead of a chance pun so as
sometimes to lay itself open to the charge of pedantry and bad taste.
Lowell's resources in the way of illustration and comparison are
endless, and the readiness of his wit and his delight in using it put
many temptations in his way.  Purists in style accordingly take offense
at his saying that "Milton is the only man who ever got much poetry out
of a cataract, and that was a cataract in his eye," or of his speaking
of "a gentleman for whom the bottle before him reversed the wonder of
the stereoscope and substituted the Gascon _v_ for the _b_ in
binocular," which is certainly a puzzling and roundabout fashion of
telling us that he had drunk so much that he saw double.  The critics
also find fault with his coining such words as "undisprivacied," and
with his writing such lines as the famous one--from _The Cathedral_,

  "Spume-sliding down the baffled decuman."

It must be acknowledged that his style lacks the crowning grace of
simplicity, but it is precisely by reason of its allusive quality that
scholarly readers take pleasure in it.  They like a diction that has
stuff in it and is woven thick, and where a thing is said in such a way
as to recall many other things.

Mention should be made, in connection with this Cambridge circle, of
one writer who touched its circumference briefly.  This was Sylvester
Judd, a graduate of Yale, who entered the Harvard Divinity School in
1837, and in 1840 became minister of a Unitarian church in Augusta,
Maine.  Judd published several books, but the only one of them at all
rememberable was _Margaret_, 1845, a novel of which, Lowell said, in _A
Fable for Critics_, that it was "the first Yankee book with the soul of
Down East in it."  It was very imperfect in point of art, and its
second part--a rhapsodical description of a sort of Unitarian
Utopia--is quite unreadable.  But in the delineation of the few chief
characters and of the rude, wild life of an outlying New England
township just after the close of the Revolutionary War, as well as in
the tragic power of the catastrophe, there was genius of a high order.

As the country has grown older and more populous, and works in all
departments of thought have multiplied, it becomes necessary to draw
more strictly the line between the literature of knowledge and the
literature of power.  Political history, in and of itself, scarcely
falls within the limits of this sketch, and yet it cannot be altogether
dismissed, for the historian's art, at its highest, demands
imagination, narrative skill, and a sense of unity and proportion in
the selection and arrangement of his facts, all of which are literary
qualities.  It is significant that many of our best historians have
begun authorship in the domain of imaginative literature: Bancroft with
an early volume of poems; Motley with his historical romances, _Merry
Mount_ and _Morton's Hope_; and Parkman with a novel, _Vassall Morton_.
The oldest of that modern group of writers that have given America an
honorable position in the historical literature of the world was
William Hickling Prescott (1796-1859).  Prescott chose for his theme
the history of the Spanish conquests in the New World, a subject full
of romantic incident and susceptible of that glowing and perhaps
slightly overgorgeous coloring which he laid on with a liberal hand.
His completed histories, in their order, are the _Reign of Ferdinand
and Isabella_, 1837; the _Conquest of Mexico_, 1843--a topic which
Irving had relinquished to him; and the _Conquest of Peru_, 1847.
Prescott was fortunate in being born to leisure and fortune, but he had
difficulties of another kind to overcome.  He was nearly blind, and had
to teach himself Spanish and look up authorities through the help of
others, and to write with a noctograph or by amanuenses.

George Bancroft (1800-91) issued the first volume of his great _History
of the United States_ in 1834, and exactly half a century later the
final volume of the work, bringing the subject down to 1789.  Bancroft
had studied at Göttingen, and imbibed from the German historian Heeren
the scientific method of historical study.   He had access to original
sources, in the nature of collections and state papers in the
governmental archives of Europe, of which no American had hitherto been
able to avail himself.  His history, in thoroughness of treatment,
leaves nothing to be desired, and has become the standard authority on
the subject.  As a literary performance merely, it is somewhat wanting
in flavor, Bancroft's manner being heavy and stiff when compared with
Motley's or Parkman's.  The historian's services to his country have
been publicly recognized by his successive appointments as secretary of
the navy, minister to England, and minister to Germany.

The greatest, on the whole, of American historians was John Lothrop
Motley (1814-77), who, like Bancroft, was a student at Göttingen and
United States minister to England.  His _Rise of the Dutch Republic_,
1856, and _History of the United Netherlands_, published in
installments from 1861 to 1868, equaled Bancroft's work in scientific
thoroughness and philosophic grasp, and Prescott's in the picturesque
brilliancy of the narrative, while it excelled them both in its
masterly analysis of great historic characters, reminding the reader,
in this particular, of Macaulay's figure-painting.  The episodes of the
siege of Antwerp and the sack of the cathedral, and of the defeat and
wreck of the Spanish Armada, are as graphic as Prescott's famous
description of Cortez's capture of the city of Mexico; while the elder
historian has nothing to compare with Motley's vivid personal sketches
of Queen Elizabeth, Philip the Second, Henry of Navarre, and William
the Silent.  The _Life of John of Barneveld_, 1874, completed this
series of studies upon the history of the Netherlands, a theme to which
Motley was attracted because the heroic struggle of the Dutch for
liberty offered, in some respects, a parallel to the growth of
political independence in Anglo-Saxon communities, and especially in
his own America.

The last of these Massachusetts historical writers whom we shall
mention is Francis Parkman (1823-  ), whose subject has the advantage
of being thoroughly American.  His _Oregon Trail_, 1847, a series of
sketches of prairie and Rocky Mountain life, originally contributed to
the _Knickerbocker Magazine_, displays his early interest in the
American Indians.  In 1851 appeared his first historical work, the
_Conspiracy of Pontiac_.  This has been followed by the series entitled
_France and England in North America_, the six successive parts of
which are as follows: the _Pioneers of France in the New World_, the
_Jesuits in North America_; _La Salle and the Discovery of the Great
West_; the _Old Régime in Canada_; _Count Frontenac and New France_;
and _Montcalm and Wolfe_.  These narratives have a wonderful vividness,
and a romantic interest not inferior to Cooper's novels.  Parkman made
himself personally familiar with the scenes which he described, and
some of the best descriptions of American woods and waters are to be
found in his histories.  If any fault is to be found with his books,
indeed, it is that their picturesqueness and "fine writing" are a
little in excess.

The political literature of the years from 1837 to 1861 hinged upon the
antislavery struggle.  In this "irrepressible conflict" Massachusetts
led the van.  Garrison had written in his _Liberator_, in 1830, "I will
be as harsh as truth and as uncompromising as justice.  I am in
earnest; I will not equivocate; I will not excuse; I will not retreat a
single inch; and I will be heard."  But the Garrisonian abolitionists
remained for a long time, even in the North, a small and despised
faction.  It was a great point gained when men of education and social
standing, like Wendell Phillips (1811-84) and Charles Sumner (1811-74),
joined themselves to the cause.  Both of these were graduates of
Harvard and men of scholarly pursuits.  They became the representative
orators of the antislavery party, Phillips on the platform and Sumner
in the Senate.  The former first came before the public in his fiery
speech, delivered in Faneuil Hall December 8, 1837, before a meeting
called to denounce the murder of Lovejoy, who had been killed at Alton,
Ill., while defending his press against a pro-slavery mob.  Thenceforth
Phillips's voice was never idle in behalf of the slave.  His eloquence
was impassioned and direct, and his English singularly pure, simple,
and nervous.  He is perhaps nearer to Demosthenes than any other
American orator.  He was a most fascinating platform speaker on themes
outside of politics, and his lecture on the _Lost Arts_ was a favorite
with audiences of all sorts.

Sumner was a man of intellectual tastes, who entered politics
reluctantly and only in obedience to the resistless leading of his
conscience.  He was a student of literature and art; a connoisseur of
engravings, for example, of which he made a valuable collection.  He
was fond of books, conversation, and foreign travel, and in Europe,
while still a young man, had made a remarkable impression in society.
But he left all this for public life, and in 1851 was elected as
Webster's successor to the Senate of the United States.  Thereafter he
remained the leader of the abolitionists in Congress until slavery was
abolished.  His influence throughout the North was greatly increased by
the brutal attack upon him in the Senate chamber in 1856 by "Bully
Brooks" of South Carolina.  Sumner's oratory was stately and somewhat
labored.  While speaking he always seemed, as has been wittily said, to
be surveying a "broad landscape of his own convictions."  His most
impressive qualities as a speaker were his intense moral earnestness
and his thorough knowledge of his subject.  The most telling of his
parliamentary speeches are perhaps his speech _On the Kansas-Nebraska
Bill_, of February 3, 1854, and _On the Crime against Kansas_, May 19
and 20, 1856; of his platform addresses, the oration on the _True
Grandeur of Nations_.

1. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  _Voices of the Night_.  _The Skeleton
in Armor_.  _The Wreck of the Hesperus_.  _The Village Blacksmith_.
_The Belfry of Bruges, and Other Poems_ (1846).  _By the Seaside_.
_Hiawatha_.  _Tales of a Wayside Inn_.

2. Oliver Wendell Holmes.  _Autocrat of the Breakfast Table_.  _Elsie
Venner_.  _Old Ironsides_.  _The Last Leaf_.  _My Aunt_.  _The Music
Grinders_.  _On Lending a Punch-Bowl_.  _Nux Postcoenatica_.  _A Modest
Request_.  _The Living Temple_.  _Meeting of the Alumni of Harvard
College_.  _Homesick in Heaven_.  _Epilogue to the Breakfast Table
Series_.  _The Boys_.  _Dorothy Q_.  _The Iron Gate_.

3. James Russell Lowell.  _The Biglow Papers_ (two series).  _Under the
Willows, and Other Poems_ (1868).  _Rhoecus_.  _The Shepherd of King
Admetus_.  _The Vision of Sir Launfal_.  _The Present Crisis_.  _The
Dandelion_.  _The Birch Tree_.  _Beaver Brook_.  _Essays on Chaucer_.
_Shakespeare Once More_.  _Dryden_.  _Emerson, the Lecturer_.
_Thoreau_.  _My Garden Acquaintance_.  _A Good Word for Winter_.  _A
Certain Condescension in Foreigners_.

4. William Hickling Prescott.  _The Conquest of Mexico_.

5. John Lothrop Motley.  _The United Netherlands_.

6. Francis Parkman.  _The Oregon Trail_.  _The Jesuits in North

7. _Representative American Orations_, volume v.  Edited by Alexander
Johnston.  New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons.  1884.

[Transcriber's note: In the poem fragment "soap for soap" the o's in
each "soap" must be rendered with Unicode to appear correctly--in the
first "soap", o-breve (Ux014F); in the second, o-macron (Ux014D).]




Literature as a profession has hardly existed in the United States
until very recently.  Even now the number of those who support
themselves by purely literary work is small, although the growth of the
reading public and the establishment of great magazines, such as
_Harper's_, the _Century_, and the _Atlantic_, have made a market for
intellectual wares which forty years ago would have seemed a godsend to
poorly paid Bohemians like Poe or obscure men of genius like Hawthorne.
About 1840, two Philadelphia magazines--_Godey's Lady's Book_ and
_Graham's Monthly_--began to pay their contributors twelve dollars a
page, a price then thought wildly munificent.  But the first magazine
of the modern type was _Harper's Monthly_, founded in 1850.  American
books have always suffered, and still continue to suffer, from the want
of an international copyright, which has flooded the country with cheap
reprints and translations of foreign works, with which the domestic
product has been unable to contend on such uneven terms.  With the
first ocean steamers there started up a class of large-paged weeklies
in New York and elsewhere, such as _Brother Jonathan_, the _New World_,
and the _Corsair_, which furnished their readers with the freshest
writings of Dickens and Bulwer and other British celebrities within a
fortnight after their appearance in London.  This still further
restricted the profits of native authors and nearly drove them from the
field of periodical literature.  By special arrangement the novels of
Thackeray and other English writers were printed in _Harper's_ in
installments simultaneously with their issue in English periodicals.
The _Atlantic_ was the first of our magazines which was founded
expressly for the encouragement of home talent, and which had a purely
Yankee flavor.  Journalism was the profession which naturally attracted
men of letters, as having most in common with their chosen work and as
giving them a medium, under their own control, through which they could
address the public.  A few favored scholars, like Prescott, were made
independent by the possession of private fortunes.  Others, like
Holmes, Longfellow, and Lowell, gave to literature such leisure as they
could get in the intervals of an active profession or of college work.
Still others, like Emerson and Thoreau, by living in the country and
making their modest competence--eked out in Emerson's case by lecturing
here and there--suffice for their simple needs, secured themselves
freedom from the restraints of any regular calling.  But, in default of
some such _pou sto_, our men of letters have usually sought the cities
and allied themselves with the press.  It will be remembered that
Lowell started a short-lived magazine on his own account, and that he
afterward edited the _Atlantic_ and the _North American_.  Also that
Ripley and Charles A. Dana betook themselves to journalism after the
break-up of the Brook Farm Community.

In the same way William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878), the earliest
American poet of importance, whose impulses drew him to the solitudes
of nature, was compelled to gain a livelihood, by conducting a daily
newspaper; or, as he himself puts it, was

      "Forced to drudge for the dregs of men,
  And scrawl strange words with the barbarous pen."

Bryant was born at Cummington, in Berkshire, the western-most county of
Massachusetts.  After two years in Williams College he studied law, and
practiced for nine years as a country lawyer in Plainfield and Great
Barrington.  Following the line of the Housatonic Valley, the social
and theological affiliations of Berkshire have always been closer with
Connecticut and New York than with Boston and eastern Massachusetts.
Accordingly, when in 1825 Bryant yielded to the attractions of a
literary career, he betook himself to New York city, where, after a
brief experiment in conducting a monthly magazine, the _New York Review
and Athenaeum_, he assumed the editorship of the _Evening Post_, a
Democratic and free-trade journal, with which he remained connected
till his death.  He already had a reputation as a poet when he entered
the ranks of metropolitan journalism.  In 1816 his _Thanatopsis_ had
been published in the _North American Review_, and had attracted
immediate and general admiration.  It had been finished, indeed, two
years before, when the poet was only in his nineteenth year, and was a
wonderful instance of precocity.  The thought in this stately hymn was
not that of a young man, but of a sage who has reflected long upon the
universality, the necessity, and the majesty of death.  Bryant's blank
verse when at its best, as in _Thanatopsis_ and the _Forest Hymn_, is
extremely noble.  In gravity and dignity it is surpassed by no English
blank verse of this century, though in rich and various modulation it
falls below Tennyson's _Ulysses_ and _Morte d'Arthur_.  It was
characteristic of Bryant's limitations that he came thus early into
possession of his faculty.  His range was always a narrow one, and
about his poetry, as a whole, there is a certain coldness, rigidity,
and solemnity.  His fixed position among American poets is described in
his own _Hymn to the North Star_:

  "And thou dost see them rise,
    Star of the pole! and thou dost see them set.
  Alone, in thy cold skies,
    Thou keep'st thy old, unmoving station yet,
  Nor join'st the dances of that glittering train,
  Nor dipp'st thy virgin orb in the blue western main."

In 1821 he read _The Ages_, a didactic poem, in thirty-five stanzas,
before the Phi Beta Kappa Society at Cambridge, and in the same year
brought out his first volume of poems.  A second collection appeared in
1832, which was printed in London under the auspices of Washington
Irving.  Bryant was the first American poet who had much of an audience
in England, and Wordsworth is said to have learned _Thanatopsis_ by
heart.  Bryant was, indeed, in a measure, a scholar of Wordsworth's
school, and his place among American poets corresponds roughly, though
not precisely, to Wordsworth's among English poets.  With no humor,
with somewhat restricted sympathies, with little flexibility or
openness to new impressions, but gifted with a high, austere
imagination, Bryant became the meditative poet of nature.  His best
poems are those in which he draws lessons from nature, or sings of its
calming, purifying, and bracing influences upon the human soul.  His
office, in other words, is the same which Matthew Arnold asserts to be
the peculiar office of modern poetry, "the moral interpretation of
nature."  Poems of this class are _Green River_, _To a Water-fowl_,
_June_, the _Death of the Flowers_, and the _Evening Wind_.  The song,
"O fairest of the rural maids," which has more fancy than is common in
Bryant, and which Poe pronounced his best poem, has an obvious
resemblance to Wordsworth's "Three years she grew in sun and shade,"
and both of these nameless pieces might fitly be entitled--as
Wordsworth's is in Mr. Palgrave's _Golden Treasury_--"The Education of

Although Bryant's career is identified with New York his poetry is all
of New England.  His heart was always turning back fondly to the woods
and streams of the Berkshire hills.  There was nothing of that urban
strain in him which appears in Holmes and Willis.  He was, in especial,
the poet of autumn, of the American October and the New England Indian
Summer, that season of "dropping nuts" and "smoky light," to whose
subtle analogy with the decay of the young by the New England disease,
consumption, he gave such tender expression in the _Death of the
Flowers_, and amid whose "bright, late quiet" he wished himself to pass
away.  Bryant is our poet of "the melancholy days," as Lowell is of
June.  If, by chance, he touches upon June, it is not with the exultant
gladness of Lowell in meadows full of bobolinks, and in the summer day
that is

    "simply perfect from its own resource,
  As to the bee the new campanula's
  Illuminate seclusion swung in air."

Rather, the stir of new life in the clod suggests to Bryant by contrast
the thought of death; and there is nowhere in his poetry a passage of
deeper feeling than the closing stanzas of _June_, in which he speaks
of himself, by anticipation, as of one

  "Whose part in all the pomp that fills
  The circuit of the summer hills
  Is--that his grave is green."

Bryant is, _par excellence_, the poet of New England wild flowers, the
yellow violet, the fringed gentian--to each of which he dedicated an
entire poem--the orchis and the golden-rod, "the aster in the wood and
the yellow sunflower by the brook."  With these his name will be
associated as Wordsworth's with the daffodil and the lesser celandine,
and Emerson's with the rhodora.

Except when writing of nature he was apt to be commonplace, and there
are not many such energetic lines in his purely reflective verse as
these famous ones from _The Battle-Field_:

  "Truth crushed to earth shall rise again;
    The eternal years of God are hers;
  But Error, wounded, writhes in pain,
    And dies among his worshipers."

He added but slowly to the number of his poems, publishing a new
collection in 1840, another in 1844, and _Thirty Poems_ in 1864.  His
work at all ages was remarkably even.  _Thanatopsis_ was as mature as
any thing that he wrote afterward, and among his later pieces the
_Planting of the Apple Tree_ and the _Flood of Years_ were as fresh as
any thing that he had written in the first flush of youth.  Bryant's
poetic style was always pure and correct, without any tincture of
affectation or extravagance.  His prose writings are not important,
consisting mainly of papers of the _Salmagundi_ variety contributed to
the _Talisman_, an annual published in 1827-30; some rather sketchy
stories, _Tales of the Glauber Spa_, 1832; and impressions of Europe,
entitled _Letters of a Traveler_, issued in two series, in 1849 and
1858.  In 1869 and 1871 appeared his blank-verse translations of the
_Iliad_ and _Odyssey_, a remarkable achievement for a man of his age,
and not excelled, upon the whole, by any recent metrical version of
Homer in the English tongue.  Bryant's half-century of service as the
editor of a daily paper should not be overlooked.  The _Evening Post_,
under his management, was always honest, gentlemanly, and courageous,
and did much to raise the tone of journalism in New York.

Another Massachusetts poet, who was outside the Boston coterie, like
Bryant, and, like him, tried his hand at journalism, was John Greenleaf
Whittier (1807-  ).  He was born in a solitary farm-house near
Haverhill, in the valley of the Merrimack, and his life has been passed
mostly at his native place and at the neighboring town of Amesbury.
The local color, which is very pronounced in his poetry, is that of the
Merrimack from the vicinity of Haverhill to its mouth at Newburyport, a
region of hill-side farms, opening out below into wide marshes--"the
low, green prairies of the sea," and the beaches of Hampton and
Salisbury.  The scenery of the Merrimack is familiar to all readers of
Whittier: the cotton-spinning towns along its banks, with their
factories and dams, the sloping pastures and orchards of the back
country, the sands of Plum Island and the level reaches of water meadow
between which glide the broad-sailed "gundalows"--a local corruption of
gondola--laden with hay.  Whittier was a farmer lad, and had only such
education as the district school could supply, supplemented by two
years at the Haverhill Academy.  In his _School Days_ he gives a
picture of the little old country school-house as it used to be, the
only _alma mater_ of so many distinguished Americans, and to which many
others who have afterward trodden the pavements of great universities
look back so fondly as to their first wicket gate into the land of

  "Still sits the school-house by the road,
    A ragged beggar sunning;
  Around it still the sumachs grow
    And blackberry vines are running.

  "Within the master's desk is seen,
    Deep-scarred by raps official,
  The warping floor, the battered seats,
    The jack-knife's carved initial."

A copy of Burns awoke the slumbering instinct in the young poet, and he
began to contribute verses to Garrison's _Free Press_, published in
Newburyport, and to the _Haverhill Gazette_.  Then he went to Boston,
and became editor for a short time of the _Manufacturer_.  Next he
edited the _Essex Gazette_, at Haverhill, and in 1830 he took charge of
George D. Prentice's paper, the _New England Weekly Review_, at
Hartford, Conn.  Here he fell in with a young Connecticut poet of much
promise, J. G. C. Brainard, editor of the _Connecticut Mirror_, whose
"Remains" Whittier edited in 1832.  At Hartford, too, he published his
first book, a volume of prose and verse, entitled _Legends of New
England_, 1831, which is not otherwise remarkable than as showing his
early interest in Indian colonial traditions--especially those which
had a touch of the supernatural--a mine which he afterward worked to
good purpose in the _Bridal of Pennacook_, the _Witch's Daughter_, and
similar poems.  Some of the _Legends_ testify to Brainard's influence
and to the influence of Whittier's temporary residence at Hartford.
One of the prose pieces, for example, deals with the famous "Moodus
Noises" at Haddam, on the Connecticut River, and one of the poems is
the same in subject with Brainard's _Black Fox of Salmon River_.  After
a year and a half at Hartford Whittier returned to Haverhill and to

The antislavery agitation was now beginning, and into this he threw
himself with all the ardor of his nature.  He became the poet of the
reform as Garrison was its apostle, and Sumner and Phillips its
speakers.  In 1833 he published _Justice and Expediency_, a prose tract
against slavery, and in the same year he took part in the formation of
the American Antislavery Society at Philadelphia, sitting in the
convention as a delegate of the Boston abolitionists.  Whittier was a
Quaker, and that denomination, influenced by the preaching of John
Woolman and others, had long since quietly abolished slavery within its
own communion.  The Quakers of Philadelphia and elsewhere took an
earnest though peaceful part in the Garrisonian movement.  But it was a
strange irony of fate that had made the fiery-hearted Whittier a
friend.  His poems against slavery and disunion have the martial ring
of a Tyrtaeus or a Körner, added to the stern religious zeal of
Cromwell's Ironsides.  They are like the sound of the trumpet blown
before the walls of Jericho, or the psalms of David denouncing woe upon
the enemies of God's chosen people.  If there is any purely Puritan
strain in American poetry it is in the war-hymns of the Quaker "Hermit
of Amesbury."  Of these patriotic poems there were three principal
collections: _Voices of Freedom_, 1849; _The Panorama, and Other
Poems_, 1856; and _In War Time_, 1863.  Whittier's work as the poet of
freedom was done when, on hearing the bells ring for the passage of the
constitutional amendment abolishing slavery, he wrote his splendid
_Laus Deo_, thrilling with the ancient Hebrew spirit:

          "Loud and long
  Lift the old exulting song,
  Sing with Miriam by the sea--
  He has cast the mighty down,
    Horse and rider sink and drown,
  He hath triumphed gloriously."

Of his poems distinctly relating to the events of the civil war, the
best, or at all events the most popular, is _Barbara Frietchie_.
_Ichabod_, expressing the indignation of the Free Soilers at Daniel
Webster's seventh of March speech in defense of the Fugitive Slave Law,
is one of Whittier's best political poems, and not altogether unworthy
of comparison with Browning's _Lost Leader_.  The language of
Whittier's warlike lyrics is biblical, and many of his purely
devotional pieces are religious poetry of a high order and have been
included in numerous collections of hymns.  Of his songs of faith and
doubt, the best are perhaps _Our Master_, _Chapel of the Hermits_, and
_Eternal Goodness_; one stanza from the last of which is familiar;

  "I know not where his islands lift
    Their fronded palms in air,
  I only know I cannot drift,
    Beyond his love and care."

But from politics and war Whittier turned gladly to sing the homely
life of the New England country-side.  His rural ballads and idyls are
as genuinely American as any thing that our poets have written, and
have been recommended, as such, to English working-men by Whittier's
co-religionist, John Bright.  The most popular of these is probably
_Maud Muller_, whose closing couplet has passed into proverb.  _Skipper
Ireson's Ride_ is also very current.  Better than either of them, as
poetry, is _Telling the Bees_.  But Whittier's masterpiece in work of a
descriptive and reminiscent kind is _Snow-Bound_, 1866, a New England
fireside idyl which in its truthfulness recalls the _Winter Evening_ of
Cowper's _Task_ and Burns's _Cotter's Saturday Night_, but in sweetness
and animation is superior to either of them.  Although in some things a
Puritan of the Puritans, Whittier has never forgotten that he is also a
Friend, and several of his ballads and songs have been upon the subject
of the early Quaker persecutions in Massachusetts.  The most impressive
of these is _Cassandra Southwick_.  The latest of them, the _King's
Missive_, originally contributed to the _Memorial History of Boston_ in
1880, and reprinted the next year in a volume with other poems, has
been the occasion of a rather lively controversy.  The _Bridal of
Pennacook_, 1848, and the _Tent on the Beach_, 1867, which contain some
of his best work, were series of ballads told by different narrators,
after the fashion of Longfellow's _Tales of a Wayside Inn_.  As an
artist in verse, Whittier is strong and fervid, rather than delicate or
rich.  He uses only a few metrical forms--by preference the
eight-syllabled rhyming couplet--

  "Maud Muller on a summer's day
  Raked the meadow sweet with hay," etc.

and the emphatic tramp of this measure becomes very monotonous, as do
some of Whittier's mannerisms, which proceed, however, never from
affectation, but from a lack of study and variety, and so, no doubt, in
part from the want of that academic culture and thorough technical
equipment which Lowell and Longfellow enjoyed.  Though his poems are
not in dialect, like Lowell's _Biglow Papers_, he knows how to make an
artistic use of homely provincial words, such as "chore," which give
his idyls of the hearth and the barnyard a genuine Doric cast.
Whittier's prose is inferior to his verse.  The fluency which was a
besetting sin of his poetry, when released from the fetters of rhyme
and meter, ran into wordiness.  His prose writings were partly
contributions to the slavery controversy, partly biographical sketches
of English and American reformers, and partly studies of the scenery
and folk-lore of the Merrimack Valley.  Those of most literary interest
were the _Supernaturalism of New England_, 1847, and some of the papers
in _Literary Recreations and Miscellanies_, 1854.

While Massachusetts was creating an American literature other sections
of the Union were by no means idle.  The West, indeed, was as yet too
raw to add any thing of importance to the artistic product of the
country.  The South was hampered by circumstances which will presently
be described.  But in and about the sea-board cities of New York,
Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Richmond many pens were busy filling the
columns of literary weeklies and monthlies; and there was a
considerable output, such as it was, of books of poetry, fiction,
travel, and miscellaneous light literature.  Time has already relegated
most of these to the dusty top shelves.  To rehearse the names of the
numerous contributors to the old _Knickerbocker Magazine_, to
_Godey's_, and _Graham's_, and the _New Mirror_, and the _Southern
Literary Messenger_, or to run over the list of authorlings and
poetasters in Poe's papers on the _Literati of New York_, would be very
much like reading the inscriptions on the head-stones of an old
grave-yard.  In the columns of these prehistoric magazines and in the
book notices and reviews away back in the thirties and forties, one
encounters the handiwork and the names of Emerson, Holmes, Longfellow,
Hawthorne, and Lowell embodied in this mass of forgotten literature.
It would have required a good deal of critical acumen, at the time, to
predict that these and a few others would soon be thrown out into bold
relief, as the significant and permanent names in the literature of
their generation, while Paulding, Hirst, Fay, Dawes, Mrs. Osgood, and
scores of others who figured beside them in the fashionable
periodicals, and filled quite as large a space in the public eye, would
sink into oblivion in less than thirty years.  Some of these latter
were clever enough people; they entertained their contemporary public
sufficiently, but their work had no vitality or "power of continuance."
The great majority of the writings of any period are necessarily
ephemeral, and time by a slow process of natural selection is
constantly sifting out the few representative books which shall carry
on the memory of the period to posterity.  Now and then it may be
predicted of some undoubted work of genius, even at the moment that it
sees the light, that it is destined to endure.  But tastes and fashions
change, and few things are better calculated to inspire the literary
critic with humility than to read the prophecies in old reviews and see
how the future, now become the present, has quietly given them the lie.

From among the professional _littérateurs_ of his day emerges, with
ever sharper distinctness as time goes on, the name of Edgar Allan Poe
(1809-49).  By the irony of fate Poe was born at Boston, and his first
volume, _Tamerlane, and Other Poems_, 1827, was printed in that city
and bore upon its title-page the words, "By a Bostonian."  But his
parentage, so far as it was any thing, was Southern.  His father was a
Marylander who had gone upon the stage and married an actress, herself
the daughter of an actress and a native of England.  Left an orphan by
the early death of both parents, Poe was adopted by a Mr. Allan, a
wealthy merchant of Richmond, Va.  He was educated partly at an English
school, was student for a time in the University of Virginia, and
afterward a cadet in the Military Academy at West Point.  His youth was
wild and irregular; he gambled and drank, was proud, bitter, and
perverse, finally quarreled with his guardian and adopted father--by
whom he was disowned--and then betook himself to the life of a literary
hack.  His brilliant but underpaid work for various periodicals soon
brought him into notice, and he was given the editorship of the
_Southern Literary Messenger_, published at Richmond, and subsequently
of the _Gentlemen's_--afterward _Graham's_--_Magazine_ in Philadelphia.
These and all other positions Poe forfeited through his dissipated
habits and wayward temper, and finally, in 1844, he drifted to New
York, where he found employment on the _Evening Mirror_ and then on the
_Broadway Journal_.  He died of delirium tremens at the Marine Hospital
in Baltimore.  His life was one of the most wretched in literary
history.  He was an extreme instance of what used to be called the
"eccentricity of genius."  He had the irritable vanity which is
popularly supposed to accompany the poetic temperament, and was so
insanely egotistic as to imagine that Longfellow and others were
constantly plagiarizing from him.  The best side of Poe's character
came out in his domestic relations, in which he displayed great
tenderness, patience, and fidelity.  His instincts were gentlemanly,
and his manner and conversation were often winning.  In the place of
moral feeling he had the artistic conscience.  In his critical papers,
except where warped by passion or prejudice, he showed neither fear nor
favor, denouncing bad work by the most illustrious hands and commending
obscure merit.  The "impudent literary cliques" who puffed each other's
books; the feeble chirrupings of the bardlings who manufactured verses
for the "Annuals;" and the twaddle of the "genial" incapables who
praised them in flabby reviews--all these Poe exposed with ferocious
honesty.  Nor, though his writings are unmoral, can they be called in
any sense immoral.  His poetry is as pure in its unearthliness as
Bryant's in its austerity.

By 1831 Poe had published three thin books of verse, none of which had
attracted notice, although the latest contained the drafts of a few of
his most perfect poems, such as _Israfel_, the _Valley of Unrest_, the
_City in the Sea_, and one of the two pieces inscribed _To Helen_.  It
was his habit to touch and retouch his work until it grew under his
more practiced hand into a shape that satisfied his fastidious taste.
Hence the same poem frequently re-appears in different stages of
development in successive editions.  Poe was a subtle artist in the
realm of the weird and the fantastic.  In his intellectual nature there
was a strange conjunction; an imagination as spiritual as Shelley's,
though, unlike Shelley's, haunted perpetually with shapes of fear and
the imagery of ruin; with this, an analytic power, a scientific
exactness, and a mechanical ingenuity more usual in a chemist or a
mathematician than in a poet.  He studied carefully the mechanism of
his verse and experimented endlessly with verbal and musical effects,
such as repetition and monotone and the selection of words in which the
consonants alliterated and the vowels varied.  In his _Philosophy of
Composition_ he described how his best-known poem, the _Raven_, was
systematically built up on a preconceived plan in which the number of
lines was first determined and the word "nevermore" selected as a
starting-point.  No one who knows the mood in which poetry is composed
will believe that this ingenious piece of dissection really describes
the way in which the _Raven_ was conceived and written, or that any
such deliberate and self-conscious process could _originate_ the
associations from which a true poem springs.  But it flattered Poe's
pride of intellect to assert that his cooler reason had control not
only over the execution of his poetry, but over the very well-head of
thought and emotion.  Some of his most successful stories, like the
_Gold Bug_, the _Mystery of Marie Roget_, the _Purloined Letter_, and
the _Murders in the Rue Morgue_, were applications of this analytic
faculty to the solution of puzzles, such as the finding of buried
treasure or of a lost document, or the ferreting out of a mysterious
crime.  After the publication of the _Gold Bug_ he received from all
parts of the country specimens of cipher-writing, which he delighted to
work out.  Others of his tales were clever pieces of mystification,
like _Hans Pfaall_, the story of a journey to the moon, or experiments
at giving verisimilitude to wild improbabilities by the skillful
introduction of scientific details, as in the _Facts in the Case of M.
Valdemar_ and _Von Kempelen's Discovery_.  In his narratives of this
kind Poe anticipated the detective novels of Gaboriau and Wilkie
Collins, the scientific hoaxes of Jules Verne, and, though in a less
degree, the artfully worked up likeness to fact in Edward Everett
Hale's _Man Without a Country_, and similar fictions.  While Dickens's
_Barnaby Rudge_ was publishing in parts Poe showed his skill as a
plot-hunter by publishing a paper in _Graham's Magazine_ in which the
very tangled intrigue of the novel was correctly raveled and the finale
predicted in advance.

In his union of imagination and analytic power Poe resembled Coleridge,
who, if any one, was his teacher in poetry and criticism.  Poe's verse
often reminds one of _Christabel_ and the _Ancient Mariner_, still
oftener of _Kubla Khan_.  Like Coleridge, too, he indulged at times in
the opium habit.  But in Poe the artist predominated over every thing
else.  He began not with sentiment or thought, but with technique, with
melody and color, tricks of language, and effects of verse.  It is
curious to study the growth of his style in his successive volumes of
poetry.  At first these are metrical experiments and vague images,
original, and with a fascinating suggestiveness, but with so little
meaning that some of his earlier pieces are hardly removed from
nonsense.  Gradually, like distant music drawing nearer and nearer, his
poetry becomes fuller of imagination and of an inward significance,
without ever losing, however, its mysterious aloofness from the real
world of the senses.  It was a part of Poe's literary creed--formed
upon his own practice and his own limitations, but set forth with a
great display of _a priori_ reasoning in his essay on the _Poetic
Principle_ and elsewhere--that pleasure and not instruction or moral
exhortation was the end of poetry; that beauty and not truth or
goodness was its means; and, furthermore, that the pleasure which it
gave should be indefinite.  About his own poetry there was always this
indefiniteness.  His imagination dwelt in a strange country of dream--a
"ghoul-haunted region of Weir," "out of space, out of time"--filled
with unsubstantial landscapes and peopled by spectral shapes.  And yet
there is a wonderful, hidden significance in this uncanny scenery.  The
reader feels that the wild, fantasmal imagery is in itself a kind of
language, and that it in some way expresses a brooding thought or
passion, the terror and despair of a lost soul.  Sometimes there is an
obvious allegory, as in the _Haunted Palace_, which is the parable of a
ruined mind, or in the _Raven_, the most popular of all Poe's poems,
originally published in the _American Whig Review_ for February, 1845.
Sometimes the meaning is more obscure, as in _Ulalume_, which, to most
people, is quite incomprehensible, and yet to all readers of poetic
feeling is among the most characteristic, and, therefore, the most
fascinating, of its author's creations.

Now and then, as in the beautiful ballad _Annabel Lee_, and _To One in
Paradise_, the poet emerges into the light of common human feeling and
speaks a more intelligible language.  But in general his poetry is not
the poetry of the heart, and its passion is not the passion of flesh
and blood.  In Poe the thought of death is always near, and of the
shadowy borderland between death and life.

  "The play is the tragedy 'Man,'
    And its hero the Conqueror Worm."

The prose tale, _Ligeia_, in which these verses are inserted, is one of
the most powerful of all Poe's writings, and its theme is the power of
the will to overcome death.  In that singularly impressive poem, _The
Sleeper_, the morbid horror which invests the tomb springs from the
same source, the materiality of Poe's imagination, which refuses to let
the soul go free from the body.

This quality explains why Poe's _Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque_,
1840, are on a lower plane than Hawthorne's romances, to which a few of
them, like _William Wilson_, and _The Man of the Crowd_, have some
resemblance.  The former of these, in particular, is in Hawthorne's
peculiar province, the allegory of the conscience.  But in general the
tragedy in Hawthorne is a spiritual one, while Poe calls in the aid of
material forces.  The passion of physical fear or of superstitious
horror is that which his writings most frequently excite.  These tales
represent various grades of the frightful and the ghastly, from the
mere bugaboo story like the _Black Cat_, which makes children afraid to
go in the dark, up to the breathless terror of the _Cask of
Amontillado_, or the _Red Death_.  Poe's masterpiece in this kind is
the fateful tale of the _Fall of the House of Usher_, with its solemn
and magnificent close.  His prose, at its best, often recalls, in its
richly imaginative cast, the manner of De Quincey in such passages as
his _Dream Fugue_, or _Our Ladies of Sorrow_.  In descriptive pieces
like the _Domain of Arnheim_, and stories of adventure like the
_Descent into the Maelstrom_, and his long sea-tale, _The Narrative of
Arthur Gordon Pym_, 1838, he displayed, a realistic inventiveness
almost equal to Swift's or De Foe's.  He was not without a mocking
irony, but he had no constructive humor, and his attempts at the
facetious were mostly failures.

Poe's magical creations were rootless flowers.  He took no hold upon
the life about him, and cared nothing for the public concerns of his
country.  His poems and tales might have been written _in vacuo_ for
any thing American in them.  Perhaps for this reason, in part, his fame
has been so cosmopolitan.  In France especially his writings have been
favorites.  Charles Baudelaire, the author of the _Fleurs du Mal_,
translated them into French, and his own impressive but unhealthy
poetry shows evidence of Poe's influence.  The defect in Poe was in
character--a defect which will make itself felt in art as in life.  If
he had had the sweet home feeling of Longfellow or the moral fervor of
Whittier he might have been a greater poet than either.

  "If I could dwell
    Where Israfel
  Hath dwelt, and he where I,
    He might not sing so wildly well
  A mortal melody,
    While a bolder note than this might swell
  From my lyre within the sky!"

Though Poe was a Southerner, if not by birth, at least by race and
breeding, there was nothing distinctly Southern about his peculiar
genius, and in his wandering life he was associated as much with
Philadelphia and New York as with Baltimore and Richmond.  The
conditions which had made the Southern colonies unfruitful in literary
and educational works before the Revolution continued to act down to
the time of the civil war.  Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton-gin
in the closing years of the last century gave extension to slavery,
making it profitable to cultivate the now staple by enormous gangs of
field-hands working under the whip of the overseer in large
plantations.  Slavery became henceforth a business speculation in the
States furthest south, and not, as in Old Virginia and Kentucky, a
comparatively mild domestic system.  The necessity of defending its
peculiar institution against the attacks of a growing faction in the
North compelled the South to throw all its intellectual strength into
politics, which, for that matter, is the natural occupation and
excitement of a social aristocracy.  Meanwhile immigration sought the
free States, and there was no middle class at the South.  The "poor
whites" were ignorant and degraded.  There were people of education in
the cities and on some of the plantations, but there was no great
educated class from which a literature could proceed.  And the culture
of the South, such as it was, was becoming old-fashioned and local, as
the section was isolated more and more from the rest of the Union and
from the enlightened public opinion of Europe by its reactionary
prejudices and its sensitiveness on the subject of slavery.  Nothing
can be imagined more ridiculously provincial than the sophomorical
editorials in the Southern press just before the outbreak of the war,
or than the backward and ill-informed articles which passed for reviews
in the poorly supported periodicals of the South.

In the general dearth of work of high and permanent value, one or two
Southern authors may be mentioned whose writings have at least done
something to illustrate the life and scenery of their section.  When in
1833 the Baltimore _Saturday Visitor_ offered a prize of a hundred
dollars for the best prose tale, one of the committee who awarded the
prize to Poe's first story, the _MS. Found in a Bottle_, was John P.
Kennedy, a Whig gentleman of Baltimore, who afterward became secretary
of the navy in Fillmore's administration.  The year before he had
published _Swallow Barn_, a series of agreeable sketches of country
life in Virginia.  In 1835 and 1838 he published his two novels,
_Horse-Shoe Robinson_ and _Rob of the Bowl_, the former a story of the
Revolutionary War in South Carolina, the latter an historical tale of
colonial Maryland.  These had sufficient success to warrant reprinting
as late as 1852.  But the most popular and voluminous of all Southern
writers of fiction was William Gilmore Simms, a South Carolinian, who
died in 1870.  He wrote over thirty novels, mostly romances of
Revolutionary history, Southern life, and wild adventure, among the
best of which were the _Partisan_, 1835, and the _Yemassee_.  Simms was
an inferior Cooper, with a difference.  His novels are good boys'
books, but are crude and hasty in composition.  He was strongly
Southern in his sympathies, though his newspaper, the _Charleston City
Gazette_, took part against the Nullifiers.  His miscellaneous writings
include several histories and biographies, political tracts, addresses,
and critical papers contributed to Southern magazines.  He also wrote
numerous poems, the most ambitious of which was _Atlantis, a Story of
the Sea_, 1832.  His poems have little value except as here and there
illustrating local scenery and manners, as in _Southern Passages and
Pictures_, 1839.  Mr. John Esten Cooke's pleasant but not very strong
_Virginia Comedians_ was, perhaps, in literary quality the best
Southern novel produced before the civil war.

When Poe came to New York the most conspicuous literary figure of the
metropolis, with the possible exception of Bryant and Halleck, was N.
P. Willis, one of the editors of the _Evening Mirror_, upon which
journal Poe was for a time engaged.  Willis had made a literary
reputation, when a student at Yale, by his _Scripture Poems_, written
in smooth blank verse.  Afterward he had edited the _American Monthly_
in his native city of Boston, and more recently he had published
_Pencillings by the Way_, 1835, a pleasant record of European
saunterings; _Inklings of Adventure_, 1836, a collection of dashing
stories and sketches of American and foreign life; and _Letters from
Under a Bridge_, 1839, a series of charming rural letters from his
country place at Owego, on the Susquehanna.   Willis's work, always
graceful and sparkling, sometimes even brilliant, though light in
substance and jaunty in style, had quickly raised him to the summit of
popularity.  During the years from 1835 to 1850 he was the most
successful American magazinist, and even down to the day of his death,
in 1867, he retained his hold upon the attention of the fashionable
public by his easy paragraphing and correspondence in the _Mirror_ and
its successor, the _Home Journal_, which catered to the literary wants
of the _beau monde_.  Much of Willis's work was ephemeral, though
clever of its kind, but a few of his best tales and sketches, such as
_F. Smith_, _The Ghost Ball at Congress Hall_, _Edith Linsey_, and the
_Lunatic's Skate_, together with some of the _Letters from Under a
Bridge_, are worthy of preservation, not only as readable stories, but
as society studies of life at American watering-places like Nahant and
Saratoga and Ballston Spa half a century ago.  A number of his simpler
poems, like _Unseen Spirits_, _Spring_, _To M---- from Abroad_, and
_Lines on Leaving Europe_, still retain a deserved place in collections
and anthologies.

The senior editor of the _Mirror_, George P. Morris, was once a very
popular song-writer, and his _Woodman, Spare that Tree_, still
survives.  Other residents of New York city who have written single
famous pieces were Clement C. Moore, a professor in the General
Theological Seminary, whose _Visit from St. Nicholas_--"'Twas the Night
Before Christmas," etc.--is a favorite ballad in every nursery in the
land; Charles Fenno Hoffman, a novelist of reputation in his time, but
now remembered only as the author of the song _Sparkling and Bright_,
and the patriotic ballad of _Monterey_; Robert H. Messinger, a native
of Boston, but long resident in New York, where he was a familiar
figure in fashionable society, who wrote _Give Me the Old_, a fine ode
with a choice Horatian flavor; and William Allen Butler, a lawyer and
occasional writer, whose capital satire of _Nothing to Wear_ was
published anonymously and had a great run.  Of younger poets, like
Stoddard and Aldrich, who formerly wrote for the _Mirror_ and who are
still living and working in the maturity of their powers, it is not
within the limits and design of this sketch to speak.  But one of their
contemporaries, Bayard Taylor, who died American minister at Berlin, in
1878, though a Pennsylvanian by birth and rearing, may be reckoned
among the "literati of New York."  A farmer lad from Chester County,
who had learned the printer's trade and printed a little volume of his
juvenile verses in 1844, he came to New York shortly after with
credentials from Dr. Griswold, the editor of _Graham's_, and obtaining
encouragement and aid from Willis, Horace Greeley, and others, he set
out to make the tour of Europe, walking from town to town in Germany
and getting employment now and then at his trade to help pay the
expenses of the trip.  The story of these _Wanderjahre_ he told in his
_Views Afoot_, 1846.  This was the first of eleven books of travel
written during the course of his life.  He was an inveterate nomad, and
his journeyings carried him to the remotest regions--to California,
India, China, Japan, and the isles of the sea, to Central Africa and
the Soudan, Palestine, Egypt, Iceland, and the "by-ways of Europe." His
head-quarters at home were in New York, where he did literary work for
the _Tribune_.  He was a rapid and incessant worker, throwing off many
volumes of verse and prose, fiction, essays, sketches, translations,
and criticisms, mainly contributed in the first instance to the
magazines.  His versatility was very marked, and his poetry ranged from
_Rhymes of Travel_, 1848, and _Poems of the Orient_, 1854, to idyls and
home ballads of Pennsylvania life, like the _Quaker Widow_ and the _Old
Pennsylvania Farmer_; and on the other side, to ambitious and somewhat
mystical poems, like the _Masque of the Gods_, 1872--written in four
days--and dramatic experiments like the _Prophet_, 1874, and _Prince
Deukalion_, 1878.  He was a man of buoyant and eager nature, with a
great appetite for new experience, a remarkable memory, a talent for
learning languages, and a too great readiness to take the hue of his
favorite books.  From his facility, his openness to external
impressions of scenery and costume and his habit of turning these at
once into the service of his pen, it results that there is something
"newspapery" and superficial about most of his prose.  It is reporter's
work, though reporting of a high order.  His poetry too, though full of
glow and picturesqueness, is largely imitative, suggesting Tennyson not
unfrequently, but more often Shelley.  His spirited _Bedouin Song_, for
example, has an echo of Shelley's _Lines to an Indian Air_:

  "From the desert I come to thee
    On a stallion shod with fire;
  And the winds are left behind
    In the speed of my desire.
  Under thy window I stand,
    And the midnight hears my cry;
  I love thee, I love but thee,
    With a love that shall not die."

The dangerous quickness with which he caught the manner of other poets
made him an admirable parodist and translator.  His _Echo Club_, 1876,
contains some of the best travesties in the tongue, and his great
translation of Goethe's _Faust_, 1870-71--with its wonderfully close
reproduction of the original meters--is one of the glories of American
literature.  All in all, Taylor may unhesitatingly be put first among
our poets of the second generation--the generation succeeding that of
Longfellow and Lowell--although the lack in him of original genius
self-determined to a peculiar sphere, or the want of an inward fixity
and concentration to resist the rich tumult of outward impressions, has
made him less significant in the history of our literary thought than
some other writers less generously endowed.

Taylor's novels had the qualities of his verse.  They were profuse,
eloquent, and faulty.  _John Godfrey's Fortune_, 1864, gave a picture
of bohemian life in New York.  _Hannah Thurston_, 1863, and the _Story
of Kennett_; 1866, introduced many incidents and persons from the old
Quaker life of rural Pennsylvania, as Taylor remembered it in his
boyhood.  The former was like Hawthorne's _Blithedale Romance_, a
satire on fanatics and reformers, and its heroine is a nobly conceived
character, though drawn with some exaggeration.  The _Story of
Kennett_, which is largely autobiographic, has a greater freshness and
reality than the others, and is full of personal recollections.  In
these novels, as in his short stories, Taylor's pictorial skill is
greater on the whole than his power of creating characters or inventing

Literature in the West now began to have an existence.  Another young
poet from Chester County, Pa., namely, Thomas Buchanan Read, went to
Cincinnati, and not to New York, to study sculpture and painting, about
1837, and one of his best-known poems, _Pons Maximus_, was written on
the occasion of the opening of the suspension bridge across the Ohio.
Read came East, to be sure, in 1841, and spent many years in our
sea-board cities and in Italy.  He was distinctly a minor poet, but
some of his Pennsylvania pastorals, like the _Deserted Road_, have a
natural sweetness; and his luxurious _Drifting_, which combines the
methods of painting and poetry, is justly popular.  _Sheridan's
Ride_--perhaps his most current piece--is a rather forced production,
and has been overpraised.  The two Ohio sister poets, Alice and Phoebe
Cary, were attracted to New York in 1850, as soon as their literary
success seemed assured.  They made that city their home for the
remainder of their lives.  Poe praised Alice Cary's _Pictures of
Memory_, and Phoebe's _Nearer Home_ has become a favorite hymn.  There
is nothing peculiarly Western about the verse of the Cary sisters.  It
is the poetry of sentiment, memory, and domestic affection, entirely
feminine, rather tame and diffuse as a whole, but tender and sweet,
cherished by many good women and dear to simple hearts.

A stronger smack of the soil is in the Negro melodies like _Uncle Ned_,
_O Susanna_, _Old Folks at Home_, _'Way Down South_, _Nelly was a
Lady_, _My Old Kentucky Home_, etc., which were the work, not of any
Southern poet, but of Stephen C. Foster, a native of Allegheny, Pa.,
and a resident of Cincinnati and Pittsburg.  He composed the words and
music of these, and many others of a similar kind, during the years
1847 to 1861.  Taken together they form the most original and vital
addition which this country has made to the psalmody of the world, and
entitle Foster to the first rank among American song-writers.

As Foster's plaintive melodies carried the pathos and humor of the
plantation all over the land, so Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe's _Uncle
Tom's Cabin_, 1852, brought home to millions of readers the sufferings
of the Negroes in the "black belt" of the cotton-growing States.  This
is the most popular novel ever written in America.  Hundreds of
thousands of copies were sold in this country and in England, and some
forty translations were made into foreign tongues.  In its dramatized
form it still keeps the stage, and the statistics of circulating
libraries show that even now it is in greater demand than any other
single book.  It did more than any other literary agency to rouse the
public conscience to a sense of the shame and horror of slavery; more
even than Garrison's _Liberator_, more than the indignant poems of
Whittier and Lowell or the orations of Sumner and Phillips.  It
presented the thing concretely and dramatically, and in particular it
made the odious Fugitive Slave Law forever impossible to enforce.  It
was useless for the defenders of slavery to protest that the picture
was exaggerated, and that planters like Legree were the exception.  The
system under which such brutalities could happen, and did sometimes
happen, was doomed.  It is easy now to point out defects of taste and
art in this masterpiece, to show that the tone is occasionally
melodramatic, that some of the characters are conventional, and that
the literary execution is in parts feeble and in others coarse.  In
spite of all, it remains true that _Uncle Tom's Cabin_ is a great book,
the work of genius seizing instinctively upon its opportunity and
uttering the thought of the time with a power that thrilled the heart
of the nation and of the world.  Mrs. Stowe never repeated her first
success.  Some of her novels of New England life, such as the
_Minister's Wooing_, 1859, and the _Pearl of Orr's Island_, 1862, have
a mild kind of interest, and contain truthful portraiture of provincial
ways and traits; while later fictions of a domestic type, like _Pink
and White Tyranny_ and _My Wife and I_, are really beneath criticism.

There were other Connecticut writers contemporary with Mrs. Stowe: Mrs.
L. H. Sigourney, for example, a Hartford poetess, formerly known as
"the Hemans of America," but now quite obsolete; and J. G. Percival, of
New Haven, a shy and eccentric scholar, whose geological work was of
value, and whose memory is preserved by one or two of his simpler
poems, still in circulation, such as _To Seneca Lake_ and the _Coral
Grove_.  Another Hartford poet, Brainard--already spoken of as an early
friend of Whittier--died young, leaving a few pieces which show that
his lyrical gift was spontaneous and genuine, but had received little
cultivation.  A much younger writer than either of these, Donald G.
Mitchell, of New Haven, has a more lasting place in our literature, by
virtue of his charmingly written _Reveries of a Bachelor_, 1850, and
_Dream Life_, 1852, stories which sketch themselves out in a series of
reminiscences and lightly connected scenes, and which always appeal
freshly to young men because they have that dreamy outlook upon life
which is characteristic of youth.  But, upon the whole, the most
important contribution made by Connecticut in that generation to the
literary stock of America was the Beecher family.  Lyman Beecher had
been an influential preacher and theologian, and a sturdy defender of
orthodoxy against Boston Unitarianism.  Of his numerous sons and
daughters, all more or less noted for intellectual vigor and
independence, the most eminent were Mrs. Stowe and Henry Ward Beecher,
the great pulpit orator of Brooklyn.  Mr. Beecher was too busy a man to
give more than his spare moments to general literature.  His sermons,
lectures, and addresses were reported for the daily papers and printed
in part in book form; but these lose greatly when divorced from the
large, warm, and benignant personality of the man.  His volumes made up
of articles in the _Independent_ and the _Ledger_, such as _Star
Papers_, 1855, and _Eyes and Ears_, 1862, contain many delightful
_morceaux_ upon country life and similar topics, though they are hardly
wrought with sufficient closeness and care to take a permanent place in
letters.  Like Willis's _Ephemera_ they are excellent literary
journalism, but hardly literature.

We may close our retrospect of American literature before 1861 with a
brief notice of one of the most striking literary phenomena of the
time--the _Leaves of Grass_ of Walt Whitman, published at Brooklyn in
1855.  The author, born at West Hills, Long Island, in 1819, had been
printer, school-teacher, editor, and builder.  He had scribbled a good
deal of poetry of the ordinary kind, which attracted little attention,
but finding conventional rhymes and meters too cramping a vehicle for
his need of expression, he discarded them for a kind of rhythmic chant,
of which the following is a fair specimen:

  "Press close, bare-bosom'd night!  Press close, magnetic,
      nourishing night!
  Night of south winds! night of the few large stars!
  Still, nodding night! mad, naked, summer night!"

The invention was not altogether a new one.  The English translation of
the psalms of David and of some of the prophets, the _Poems of Ossian_,
and some of Matthew Arnold's unrhymed pieces, especially the _Strayed
Reveller_, have an irregular rhythm of this kind, to say nothing of the
old Anglo-Saxon poems, like _Beowulf_, and the Scripture paraphrases
attributed to Caedmon.  But this species of _oratio soluta_, carried to
the lengths to which Whitman carried it, had an air of novelty which
was displeasing to some, while to others, weary of familiar measures
and jingling rhymes, it was refreshing in its boldness and freedom.
There is no consenting estimate of this poet.  Many think that his
so-called poems are not poems at all, but simply a bad variety of
prose; that there is nothing to him beyond a combination of affectation
and indecency; and that the Whitman _culte_ is a passing "fad" of a few
literary men, and especially of a number of English critics like
Rossetti, Swinburne, Buchanan, etc., who, being determined to have
something unmistakably American--that is, different from any thing
else--in writings from this side of the water, before they will
acknowledge any originality in them, have been misled into discovering
in Whitman "the poet of democracy."  Others maintain that he is the
greatest of American poets, or, indeed, of all modern poets; that he is
"cosmic," or universal, and that he has put an end forever to puling
rhymes and lines chopped up into metrical feet.  Whether Whitman's
poetry is formally poetry at all or merely the raw material of poetry,
the chaotic and amorphous impression which it makes on readers of
conservative tastes results from his effort to take up into his verse
elements which poetry has usually left out--the ugly, the earthy, and
even the disgusting; the "under side of things," which he holds not to
be prosaic when apprehended with a strong, masculine joy in life and
nature seen in all their aspects.  The lack of these elements in the
conventional poets seems to him and his disciples like leaving out the
salt from the ocean, making poetry merely pretty and blinking whole
classes of facts.  Hence the naturalism and animalism of some of the
divisions in _Leaves of Grass_, particularly that entitled _Children of
Adam_, which gave great offense by its immodesty, or its outspokenness,
Whitman holds that nakedness is chaste; that all the functions of the
body in healthy exercise are equally clean; that all, in fact, are
divine, and that matter is as divine as spirit.  The effort to get
every thing into his poetry, to speak out his thought just as it comes
to him, accounts, too, for his way of cataloguing objects without
selection.  His single expressions arc often unsurpassed for
descriptive beauty and truth.  He speaks of "the vitreous pour of the
full moon, just tinged with blue," of the "lisp" of the plane, of the
prairies, "where herds of buffalo make a crawling spread of the square
miles."  But if there is any eternal distinction between poetry and
prose, the most liberal canons of the poetic art will never agree to
accept lines like these:

  "And [I] remember putting plasters on the galls of his neck and ankles;
  He stayed with me a week before he was recuperated, and passed north."

Whitman is the spokesman of democracy and of the future; full of
brotherliness and hope, loving the warm, gregarious pressure of the
crowd and the touch of his comrade's elbow in the ranks.  He liked the
people--multitudes of people; the swarm of life beheld from a Broadway
omnibus or a Brooklyn ferry-boat.  The rowdy and the Negro truck-driver
were closer to his sympathy than the gentleman and the scholar.  "I
loaf and invite my soul," he writes; "I sound my barbaric yawp over the
roofs of the world."  His poem _Walt Whitman_, frankly egotistic,
simply describes himself as a typical, average man--the same as any
other man, and therefore not individual but universal.  He has great
tenderness and heartiness--"the good gray poet;" and during the civil
war he devoted himself unreservedly to the wounded soldiers in the
Washington hospitals--an experience which he has related in the
_Dresser_ and elsewhere.  It is characteristic of his rough and ready
comradery to use slang and newspaper English in his poetry, to call
himself Walt instead of Walter, and to have his picture taken in a
slouch hat and with a flannel shirt open at the throat.  His decriers
allege that he poses for effect; that he is simply a backward eddy in
the tide, and significant only as a temporary reaction against ultra
civilization--like Thoreau, though in a different way.  But with all
his shortcomings in art there is a healthy, virile, tumultuous pulse of
life in his lyric utterance and a great sweep of imagination in his
panoramic view of times and countries.  One likes to read him because
he feels so good, enjoys so fully the play of his senses, and has such
a lusty confidence in his own immortality and in the prospects of the
human race.  Stripped of verbiage and repetition, his ideas are not
many.  His indebtedness to Emerson--who wrote an introduction to the
_Leaves of Grass_--is manifest.  He sings of man and not men, and the
individual differences of character, sentiment, and passion, the
_dramatic_ elements of life, find small place in his system.  It is too
early to say what will be his final position in literary history.  But
it is noteworthy that the democratic masses have not accepted him yet
as their poet.  Whittier and Longfellow, the poets of conscience and
feeling, are the darlings of the American people.  The admiration, and
even the knowledge of Whitman, are mostly esoteric, confined to the
literary class.  It is also not without significance as to the ultimate
reception of his innovations in verse that he has numerous parodists,
but no imitators.  The tendency among our younger poets is not toward
the abandonment of rhyme and meter, but toward the introduction of new
stanza forms and an increasing carefulness and finish in the
_technique_ of their art.  It is observable, too, that in his most
inspired passages Whitman reverts to the old forms of verse; to blank
verse, for example, in the _Man-of-War-Bird_:

  "Thou who hast slept all night upon the storm,
  Waking renewed on thy prodigious pinions," etc.;

and elsewhere not infrequently to dactylic hexameters and pentameters:

  "Earth of shine and dark, mottling the tide of the river! . . .
  Far-swooping, elbowed earth! rich, apple-blossomed earth."

Indeed, Whitman's most popular poem, _My Captain_, written after the
assassination of Abraham Lincoln, differs little in form from ordinary
verse, as a stanza of it will show:

  "My captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
  My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
  The ship is anchored safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
  From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won.
          Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
            But I, with mournful tread,
          Walk the deck, my captain lies
            Fallen, cold and dead."

This is from _Drum Taps_, a volume of poems of the civil war.  Whitman
has also written prose having much the same quality as his poetry:
_Democratic Vistas_, _Memoranda of the Civil War_, and, more recently,
_Specimen Days_.  His residence of late years has been at Camden, New
Jersey, where a centennial edition of his writings was published in

1. William Cullen Bryant.  _Thanatopsis_.  _To a Water-fowl_.  _Green
River_.  _Hymn to the North Star_.  _A Forest Hymn_.  "_O Fairest of
the Rural Maids_."  _June_.  _The Death of the Flowers_.  _The Evening
Wind_.  _The Battle-Field_.  _The Planting of the Apple-tree_.  _The
Flood of Years_.

2. John Greenleaf Whittier.  _Cassandra Southwick_.  _The New Wife and
the Old_.  _The Virginia Slave Mother_.  _Randolph of Roanoke_.
_Barclay of Ury_.  _The Witch of Wenham_.  _Skipper Ireson's Ride_.
_Marguerite_.  _Maud Muller_.  _Telling the Bees_.  _My Playmate_.
_Barbara Frietchie_.  _Ichabod_.  _Laus Deo_.  _Snow-Bound_.

3. Edgar Allan Poe.  _The Raven_.  _The Bells_.  _Israfel_.  _Ulalume_.
_To Helen_.  _The City in the Sea_.  _Annabel Lee_.  _To One in
Paradise_.  _The Sleeper_.  _The Valley of Unrest_.  _The Fall of the
House of Usher_.  _Ligeia_.  _William Wilson_.  _The Cask of
Amontillado_.  _The Assignation_.  _The Masque of the Red Death_.
_Narrative of A. Gordon Pym_.

4. N. P. Willis.  _Select Prose Writings_.  New York: Charles
Scribner's Sons.  1886.

5. Mrs. H. B. Stowe.  _Uncle Tom's Cabin_.  _Oldtown Folks_.

6. W. G. Simms, _The Partisan_.  _The Yemassee_.

7. Bayard Taylor.  _A Bacchic Ode_.  _Hylas_.  _Kubleh_.  _The Soldier
and the Pard_.  _Sicilian Wine_.  _Taurus_.  _Serapion_.  _The
Metempsychosis of the Pine_.  _The Temptation of Hassan Ben Khaled_.
_Bedouin Song_.  _Euphorion_.  _The Quaker Widow_.  _John Reid_.
_Lars_.  _Views Afoot_.  _By-ways of Europe_.  _The Story of Kennett_.
_The Echo Club_.

8. Walt Whitman.  _My Captain_.  "_When Lilacs Last in the Door-yard
Bloomed_."  _Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking_.  _Pioneers, O
Pioneers_.  _The Mystic Trumpeter_.  _A Woman at Auction_.  _Sea-shore
Memoirs_.  _Passage to India_.  _Mannahatta_.  _The Wound Dresser_.
_Longings for Some_.

9. _Poets of America_.  By E. C. Stedman.  Boston: Houghton, Mifflin &
Co.  1885.



A generation has nearly passed since the outbreak of the civil war, and
although public affairs are still mainly in the hands of men who had
reached manhood before the conflict opened, or who were old enough at
that time to remember clearly its stirring events, the younger men who
are daily coming forward to take their places know it only by
tradition.  It makes a definite break in the history of our literature,
and a number of new literary schools and tendencies have appeared since
its close.  As to the literature of the war itself, it was largely the
work of writers who had already reached or passed middle age.  All of
the more important authors described in the last three chapters
survived the Rebellion except Poe, who died in 1849, Prescott, who died
in 1859, and Thoreau and Hawthorne, who died in the second and fourth
years of the war, respectively.  The final and authoritative history of
the struggle has not yet been written, and cannot be written for many
years to come.  Many partial and tentative accounts have, however,
appeared, among which may be mentioned, on the Northern side, Horace
Greeley's _American Conflict_, 1864-66; Vice-President Wilson's _Rise
and Fall of the Slave Power in America_, and J. W. Draper's _American
Civil War_, 1868-70; on the Southern side Alexander H. Stephens's
_Confederate States of America_, Jefferson Davis's _Rise and Fall of
the Confederate States of America_, and E. A. Pollard's _Lost Cause_.
These, with the exception of Dr. Draper's philosophical narrative, have
the advantage of being the work of actors in the political or military
events which they describe, and the disadvantage of being, therefore,
partisan--in some instances passionately partisan.  A store-house of
materials for the coming historian is also at hand in Frank Moore's
great collection, the _Rebellion Record_; in numerous regimental
histories of special armies, departments, and battles, like W.
Swinton's _Army of the Potomac_; in the autobiographies and
recollections of Grant and Sherman and other military leaders; in the
"war papers," lately published in the _Century_ magazine, and in
innumerable sketches and reminiscences by officers and privates on both

The war had its poetry, its humors, and its general literature, some of
which have been mentioned in connection with Whittier, Lowell, Holmes,
Whitman, and others, and some of which remain to be mentioned, as the
work of new writers, or of writers who had previously made little mark.
There were war-songs on both sides, few of which had much literary
value excepting, perhaps, James R. Randall's Southern ballad,
_Maryland, My Maryland_, sung to the old college air of _Lauriger
Horatius_, and the grand martial chorus of _John Brown's Body_, an old
Methodist hymn, to which the Northern armies beat time as they went
"marching on."  Randall's song, though spirited, was marred by its
fire-eating absurdities about "vandals" and "minions" and "Northern
scum," the cheap insults of the Southern newspaper press.  To furnish
the _John Brown_ chorus with words worthy of the music, Mrs. Julia Ward
Howe wrote her _Battle-Hymn of the Republic_, a noble poem, but rather
too fine and literary for a song, and so never fully accepted by the
soldiers.  Among the many verses which voiced the anguish and the
patriotism of that stern time, which told of partings and home-comings,
of women waiting by desolate hearths, in country homes, for tidings of
husbands and sons who had gone to the war; or which celebrated
individual deeds of heroism or sang the thousand private tragedies and
heartbreaks of the great conflict, by far the greater number were of
too humble a grade to survive the feeling of the hour.  Among the best
or the most popular of them were Kate Putnam Osgood's _Driving Home the
Cows_, Mrs. Ethel Lynn Beers's _All Quiet Along the Potomac_; Forceythe
Willson's _Old Sergeant_, and John James Piatt's _Riding to Vote_.  Of
the poets whom the war brought out, or developed, the most noteworthy
were Henry Timrod, of South Carolina, and Henry Howard Brownell, of
Connecticut.  During the war Timrod was with the Confederate Army of
the West, as correspondent for the _Charleston Mercury_, and in 1864 he
became assistant editor of the _South Carolinian_, at Columbia.
Sherman's "march to the sea" broke up his business, and he returned to
Charleston.  A complete edition of his poems was published in 1873, six
years after his death.  The prettiest of all Timrod's poems is _Katie_,
but more to our present purpose are _Charleston_--written in the time
of blockade--and the _Unknown Dead_, which tells

  "Of nameless graves on battle plains,
  Wash'd by a single winter's rains,
  Where, some beneath Virginian hills,
  And some by green Atlantic rills,
  Some by the waters of the West,
  A myriad unknown heroes rest."

When the war was over a poet of New York State, F. M. Finch, sang of
these and of other graves in his beautiful Decoration Day lyric, _The
Blue and the Gray_, which spoke the word of reconciliation and
consecration for North and South alike.

Brownell, whose _Lyrics of a Day_ and _War Lyrics_ were published
respectively in 1864 and 1866, was private secretary to Farragut, on
whose flag-ship, the _Hartford_, he was present at several great naval
engagements, such as the "Passage of the Forts" below New Orleans, and
the action off Mobile, described in his poem, the _Bay Fight_.  With
some roughness and unevenness of execution Brownell's poetry had a fire
which places him next to Whittier as the Körner of the civil war.  In
him, especially, as in Whittier, is that Puritan sense of the
righteousness of his cause which made the battle for the Union a holy
war to the crusaders against slavery:

  "Full red the furnace fires must glow
    That melt the ore of mortal kind;
  The mills of God are grinding slow,
    But ah, how close they grind!

  "To-day the Dahlgren and the drum
    Are dread apostles of his name;
  His kingdom here can only come
    By chrism of blood and flame."

One of the earliest martyrs of the war was Theodore Winthrop, hardly
known as a writer until the publication in the _Atlantic Monthly_ of
his vivid sketches of _Washington as a Camp_, describing the march of
his regiment, the famous New York Seventh, and its first quarters in
the Capitol at Washington.  A tragic interest was given to these papers
by Winthrop's gallant death in the action of Big Bethel, June 10, 1861.
While this was still fresh in public recollection his manuscript novels
were published, together with a collection of his stories and sketches
reprinted from the magazines.  His novels, though in parts crude and
immature, have a dash and buoyancy--an out-door air about them--which
give the reader a winning impression of Winthrop's personality.  The
best of them is, perhaps, _Cecil Dreeme_, a romance that reminds one a
little of Hawthorne, and the scene of which is the New York University
building on Washington Square, a locality that has been further
celebrated in Henry James's novel of _Washington Square_.

Another member of this same Seventh Regiment, Fitz James O'Brien, an
Irishman by birth, who died at Baltimore in 1862 from the effects of a
wound received in a cavalry skirmish, had contributed to the magazines
a number of poems and of brilliant though fantastic tales, among which
the _Diamond Lens_ and _What Was It?_ had something of Edgar A. Poe's
quality.  Another Irish-American, Charles G. Halpine, under the
pen-name of "Miles O'Reilly," wrote a good many clever ballads of the
war, partly serious and partly in comic brogue.  Prose writers of note
furnished the magazines with narratives of their experience at the seat
of war, among papers of which kind may be mentioned Dr. Holmes's _My
Search for the Captain_, in the _Atlantic Monthly_, and Colonel T. W.
Higginson's _Army Life in a Black Regiment_, collected into a volume in

Of the public oratory of the war, the foremost example is the
ever-memorable address of Abraham Lincoln at the dedication of the
National Cemetery at Gettysburg.  The war had brought the nation to its
intellectual majority.  In the stress of that terrible fight there was
no room for buncombe and verbiage, such as the newspapers and
stump-speakers used to dole out in _ante bellum_ days.  Lincoln's
speech is short--a few grave words which he turned aside for a moment
to speak in the midst of his task of saving the country.  The speech is
simple, naked of figures, every sentence impressed with a sense of
responsibility for the work yet to be done and with a stern
determination to do it.  "In a larger sense," it says, "we cannot
dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground.  The
brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it far
above our poor power to add or detract.  The world will little note nor
long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did
here.  It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the
unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly
advanced.  It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task
remaining before us; that from these honored dead we take increased
devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of
devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have
died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of
freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the
people, shall not perish from the earth."  Here was eloquence of a
different sort from the sonorous perorations of Webster or the polished
climaxes of Everett.  As we read the plain, strong language of this
brief classic, with its solemnity, its restraint, its "brave old wisdom
of sincerity," we seem to see the president's homely features
irradiated with the light of coming martyrdom--

  "The kindly-earnest, brave, foreseeing man,
    Sagacious, patient, dreading praise, not blame,
  New birth of our new soil, the first American."

Within the past quarter of a century the popular school of American
humor has reached its culmination.  Every man of genius who is a
humorist at all is so in a way peculiar to himself.  There is no lack
of individuality in the humor of Irving and Hawthorne and the wit of
Holmes and Lowell, but although they are new in subject and application
they are not new in kind.  Irving, as we have seen, was the literary
descendant of Addison.  The character-sketches in _Bracebridge Hall_
are of the same family with Sir Roger de Coverley and the other figures
of the Spectator Club.  _Knickerbocker's History of New York_, though
purely American in its matter, is not distinctly American in its
method, which is akin to the mock heroic of Fielding and the irony of
Swift in the _Voyage to Lilliput_.  Irving's humor, like that of all
the great English humorists, had its root in the perception of
character--of the characteristic traits of men and classes of men, as
ground of amusement.  It depended for its effect, therefore, upon its
truthfulness, its dramatic insight and sympathy, as did the humor of
Shakespeare, of Sterne, Lamb, and Thackeray.  This perception of the
characteristic, when pushed to excess, issues in grotesque and
caricature, as in some of Dickens's inferior creations, which are
little more than personified single tricks of manner, speech, feature,
or dress.  Hawthorne's rare humor differed from Irving's in temper but
not in substance, and belonged, like Irving's, to the English variety.
Dr. Holmes's more pronouncedly comic verse does not differ specifically
from the _facetiae_ of Thomas Hood, but his prominent trait is wit,
which is the laughter of the head as humor is of the heart.  The same
is true, with qualifications, of Lowell, whose _Biglow Papers_, though
humor of an original sort in their revelation of Yankee character, are
essentially satirical.  It is the cleverness, the shrewdness of the
hits in the _Biglow Papers_, their logical, that is, _witty_ character,
as distinguished from their drollery, that arrests the attention.  They
are funny, but they are not so funny as they are smart.  In all these
writers humor was blent with more serious qualities, which gave
fineness and literary value to their humorous writings.  Their view of
life was not exclusively comic.  But there has been a class of jesters,
of professional humorists, in America, whose product is so indigenous,
so different, if not in essence, yet at least in form and expression,
from any European humor, that it may be regarded as a unique addition
to the comic literature of the world.  It has been accepted as such in
England, where Artemus Ward and Mark Twain are familiar to multitudes
who have never read the _One Hoss-Shay_ or _The Courtin'_.  And though
it would be ridiculous to maintain that either of these writers takes
rank with Lowell and Holmes, or to deny that there is an amount of
flatness and coarseness in many of their labored fooleries which puts
large portions of their writings below the line where real literature
begins, still it will not do to ignore them as mere buffoons, or even
to predict that their humors will soon be forgotten.  It is true that
no literary fashion is more subject to change than the fashion of a
jest, and that jokes that make one generation laugh seem insipid to the
next.  But there is something perennial in the fun of Rabelais, whom
Bacon called "the great jester of France," and though the puns of
Shakespeare's clowns are detestable the clowns themselves have not lost
their power to amuse.

The Americans are not a gay people, but they are fond of a joke.
Lincoln's "little stories" were characteristically Western, and it is
doubtful whether he was more endeared to the masses by his solid
virtues than by the humorous perception which made him one of them.
The humor of which we are speaking now is a strictly popular and
national possession.  Though America has never, or not until lately,
had a comic paper ranking with _Punch_ or _Charivari_ or the _Fliegende
Blätter_, every newspaper has had its funny column.  Our humorists have
been graduated from the journalist's desk and sometimes from the
printing-press, and now and then a local or country newspaper has risen
into sudden prosperity from the possession of a new humorist, as in the
case of G. D. Prentice's _Courier Journal_, or more recently of the
_Cleveland Plaindealer_, the _Danbury News_, the _Burlington Hawkeye_,
the _Arkansaw Traveller_, the _Texas Siftings_, and numerous others.
Nowadays there are even syndicates of humorists, who co-operate to
supply fun for certain groups of periodicals.  Of course, the great
majority of these manufacturers of jests for newspapers and comic
almanacs are doomed to swift oblivion.  But it is not so certain that
the best of the class, like Clemens and Browne, will not long continue
to be read as illustrative of one side of the American mind, or that
their best things will not survive as long as the _mots_ of Sydney
Smith, which are still as current as ever.  One of the earliest of them
was Seba Smith, who, under the name of "Major Jack Downing," did his
best to make Jackson's administration ridiculous.  B. P. Shillaber's
"Mrs. Partington"--a sort of American Mrs. Malaprop--enjoyed great
vogue before the war.  Of a somewhat higher kind were the
_Phoenixiana_, 1855, and _Squibob Papers_, 1856, of Lieutenant George
H. Derby, "John Phoenix," one of the pioneers of literature on the
Pacific coast at the time of the California gold fever of '49.  Derby's
proposal for _A New System of English Grammar_, his satirical account
of the topographical survey of the two miles of road between San
Francisco and the Mission Dolores, and his picture gallery made out of
the conventional houses, steam-boats, rail-cars, runaway Negroes, and
other designs which used to figure in the advertising columns of the
newspapers, were all very ingenious and clever.  But all these pale
before Artemus Ward--"Artemus the delicious," as Charles Reade called
him--who first secured for this peculiarly American type of humor a
hearing and reception abroad.  Ever since the invention of Hosea
Biglow, an imaginary personage of some sort, under cover of whom the
author might conceal his own identity, has seemed a necessity to our
humorists.  Artemus Ward was a traveling showman who went about the
country exhibiting a collection of wax "figgers" and whose experiences
and reflections were reported in grammar and spelling of a most
ingeniously eccentric kind.  His inventor was Charles F. Browne,
originally of Maine, a printer by trade and afterward a newspaper
writer and editor at Boston, Toledo, and Cleveland, where his
comicalities in the _Plaindealer_ first began to attract notice.  In
1860 he came to New York and joined the staff of _Vanity Fair_, a comic
weekly of much brightness, which ran a short career and perished for
want of capital.  When Browne began to appear as a public lecturer,
people who had formed an idea of him from his impersonation of the
shrewd and vulgar old showman were surprised to find him a
gentlemanly-looking young man, who came upon the platform in correct
evening dress, and "spoke his piece" in a quiet and somewhat mournful
manner, stopping in apparent surprise when any one in the audience
laughed at any uncommonly outrageous absurdity.  In London, where he
delivered his _Lecture on the Mormons_, in 1806, the gravity of his
bearing at first imposed upon his hearers, who had come to the hall in
search of instructive information and were disappointed at the
inadequate nature of the panorama which Browne had had made to
illustrate his lecture.  Occasionally some hitch would occur in the
machinery of this and the lecturer would leave the rostrum for a few
moments to "work the moon" that shone upon the Great Salt Lake,
apologizing on his return on the ground, that he was "a man short" and
offering "to pay a good salary to any respectable boy of good parentage
and education who is a good moonist."  When it gradually dawned upon
the British intellect that these and similar devices of the
lecturer--such as the soft music which he had the pianist play at
pathetic passages--nay, that the panorama and even the lecture itself
were of a humorous intention, the joke began to take, and Artemus's
success in England became assured.  He was employed as one of the
editors of _Punch_, but died at Southampton in the year following.

Some of Artemus Ward's effects were produced, by cacography or bad
spelling, but there was genius in the wildly erratic way in which he
handled even this rather low order of humor.  It is a curious
commentary on the wretchedness of our English orthography that the
phonetic spelling of a word, as for example, _wuz_ for _was_, should be
in itself an occasion of mirth.  Other verbal effects of a different
kind were among his devices, as in the passage where the seventeen
widows of a deceased Mormon offered themselves to Artemus.

"And I said, 'Why is this thus?  What is the reason of this thusness?'
They hove a sigh--seventeen sighs of different size.  They said:

"'O, soon thou will be gonested away.'

"I told them that when I got ready to leave a place I wentested.

"They said, 'Doth not like us?'

"I said, 'I doth--I doth.'

"I also said, 'I hope your intentions are honorable, as I am a lone
child--my parents being far--far away.'

"They then said, 'Wilt not marry us?'

"I said, 'O no, it cannot was.'

"When they cried, 'O cruel man! this is too much!--O! too much,' I told
them that it was on account of the muchness that I declined."

It is hard to define the difference between the humor of one writer and
another, or of one nation and another.  It can be felt and can be
illustrated by quoting examples, but scarcely described in general
terms.  It has been said of that class of American humorists of which
Artemus Ward is a representative that their peculiarity consists in
extravagance, surprise, audacity, and irreverence.  But all these
qualities have characterized other schools of humor.  There is the same
element of surprise in De Quincey's anti-climax, "Many a man has dated
his ruin from some murder or other which, perhaps, at the time he
thought little of," as in Artemus's truism that "a comic paper ought to
publish a joke now and then."  The violation of logic which makes us
laugh at an Irish bull is likewise the source of the humor in Artemus's
saying of Jeff Davis, that "it would have been better than ten dollars
in his pocket if he had never been born;" or in his advice, "Always
live within your income, even if you have to borrow money to do so;"
or, again, in his announcement that "Mr. Ward will pay no debts of his
own contracting."  A kind of ludicrous confusion, caused by an unusual
collocation of words, is also one of his favorite tricks, as when he
says of Brigham Young, "He's the most married man I ever saw in my
life;" or when, having been drafted at several hundred different places
where he had been exhibiting his wax figures, he says that if he went
on he should soon become a regiment, and adds, "I never knew that there
was so many of me."  With this a whimsical understatement and an
affectation of simplicity, as where he expresses his willingness to
sacrifice "even his wife's relations" on the altar of patriotism; or
where, in delightful unconsciousness of his own sins against
orthography, he pronounces that "Chaucer was a great poet but he
couldn't spell," or where he says of the feast of raw dog, tendered him
by the Indian chief, Wocky-bocky, "It don't agree with me.  I prefer
simple food."  On the whole, it may be said of original humor of this
kind, as of other forms of originality in literature, that the elements
of it are old, but their combinations are novel.  Other humorists, like
Henry W. Shaw ("Josh Billings") and David R. Locke ("Petroleum V.
Nasby"), have used bad spelling as a part of their machinery; while
Robert H. Newell ("Orpheus C. Kerr"), Samuel L. Clemens ("Mark Twain"),
and more recently "Bill Nye," though belonging to the same school of
low or broad comedy, have discarded cacography.  Of these the most
eminent, by all odds, is Mark Twain, who has probably made more people
laugh than any other living writer.  A Missourian by birth (1835), he
served the usual apprenticeship at type-setting and editing country
newspapers; spent seven years as a pilot on a Mississippi steam-boat,
and seven years more mining and journalizing in Nevada, where he
conducted the Virginia City _Enterprise_; finally drifted to San
Francisco, and was associated with Bret Harte on the _Californian_, and
in 1867 published his first book, _The Jumping Frog_.  This was
succeeded by the _Innocents Abroad_, 1869; _Roughing It_, 1872; _A
Tramp Abroad_, 1880, and by others not so good.

Mark Twain's drolleries have frequently the same air of innocence and
surprise as Artemus Ward's, and there is a like suddenness in his turns
of expression, as where he speaks of "the calm confidence of a
Christian with four aces."  If he did not originate, he at any rate
employed very effectively that now familiar device of the newspaper
"funny man," of putting a painful situation euphemistically, as when he
says of a man who was hanged, that he "received injuries which
terminated in his death."  He uses to the full extent the American
humorist's favorite resources of exaggeration and irreverence.  An
instance of the former quality may be seen in his famous description of
a dog chasing a coyote, in _Roughing It_, or in his interview with the
lightning-rod agent in Mark Twain's _Sketches_, 1875.  He is a shrewd
observer, and his humor has a more satirical side than Artemus Ward's,
sometimes passing into downright denunciation.  He delights
particularly in ridiculing sentimental humbug and moralizing cant.  He
runs atilt, as has been said, at "copy-book texts," at the temperance
reformer, the tract distributer, the Good Boy of Sunday-school
literature, and the women who send bouquets and sympathetic letters to
interesting criminals.  He gives a ludicrous turn to famous historical
anecdotes, such as the story of George Washington and his little
hatchet; burlesques the time-honored adventure, in nautical romances,
of the starving crew casting lots in the long-boat, and spoils the
dignity of antiquity by modern trivialities, saying of a discontented
sailor on Columbus's ship, "He wanted fresh shad."  The fun of
_Innocents Abroad_ consists in this irreverent application of modern,
common sense, utilitarian, democratic standards to the memorable places
and historic associations of Europe.  Tried by this test the Old
Masters in the picture galleries become laughable, Abelard was a
precious scoundrel, and the raptures of the guide-books are parodied
without mercy.  The tourist weeps at the grave of Adam.  At Genoa he
drives the _cicerone_ to despair by pretending never to have heard of
Christopher Columbus, and inquiring innocently, "Is he dead?"  It is
Europe vulgarized and stripped of its illusions--Europe seen by a
Western newspaper reporter without any "historic imagination."

The method of this whole class of humorists is the opposite of
Addison's or Irving's or Thackeray's.  It does not amuse by the
perception of the characteristic.  It is not founded upon truth, but
upon incongruity, distortion, unexpectedness.  Every thing in life is
reversed, as in opera bouffe, and turned topsy-turvy, so that paradox
takes the place of the natural order of things.  Nevertheless they have
supplied a wholesome criticism upon sentimental excesses, and the world
is in their debt for many a hearty laugh.

In the _Atlantic Monthly_ for December, 1863, appeared a tale entitled
_The Man Without a Country_, which made a great sensation, and did much
to strengthen patriotic feeling in one of the darkest hours of the
nation's history.  It was the story of one Philip Nolan, an army
officer, whose head had been turned by Aaron Burr, and who, having been
censured by a court-martial for some minor offense; exclaimed
petulantly, upon mention being made of the United States government,
"Damn the United States!  I wish that I might never hear the United
States mentioned again."  Thereupon he was sentenced to have his wish,
and was kept all his life aboard the vessels of the navy, being sent
off on long voyages and transferred from ship to ship, with orders to
those in charge that his country and its concerns should never be
spoken of in his presence.  Such an air of reality was given to the
narrative by incidental references to actual persons and occurrences
that many believed it true, and some were found who remembered Philip
Nolan, but had heard different versions of his career.  The author of
this clever hoax--if hoax it may be called--was Edward Everett Hale, a
Unitarian clergyman of Boston, who published a collection of stories in
1868, under the fantastic title, _If, Yes, and Perhaps_, indicating
thereby that some of the tales were possible, some of them probable,
and others might even be regarded as essentially true.  A similar
collection, _His Level Best, and Other Stories_, was published in 1873,
and in the interval three volumes of a somewhat different kind, the
_Ingham Papers_ and _Sybaris and Other Homes_, both in 1869, and _Ten
Times One Is Ten_, in 187l.  The author shelters himself behind the
imaginary figure of Captain Frederic Ingham, pastor of the Sandemanian
Church at Naguadavick, and the same characters have a way of
re-appearing in his successive volumes as old friends of the reader,
which is pleasant at first, but in the end a little tiresome.  Mr. Hale
is one of the most original and ingenious of American story-writers.
The old device of making wildly improbable inventions appear like fact
by a realistic treatment of details--a device employed by Swift and
Edgar Poe, and more lately by Jules Verne--became quite fresh and novel
in his hands, and was managed with a humor all his own.  Some of his
best stories are _My Double and How He Undid Me_, describing how a busy
clergyman found an Irishman who looked so much like himself that he
trained him to pass as his duplicate, and sent him to do duty in his
stead at public meetings, dinners, etc., thereby escaping bores and
getting time for real work; the _Brick Moon_, a story of a projectile
built and launched into space, to revolve in a fixed meridian about the
earth and serve mariners as a mark of longitude; the _Rag Man and Rag
Woman_, a tale of an impoverished couple who made a competence by
saving the pamphlets, advertisements, wedding-cards, etc., that came to
them through the mail, and developing a paper business on that basis;
and the _Skeleton in the Closet_, which shows how the fate of the
Southern Confederacy was involved in the adventures of a certain
hoop-skirt, "built in the eclipse and rigged with curses dark."  Mr.
Hale's historical scholarship and his habit of detail have aided him in
the art of giving _vraisemblance_ to absurdities.  He is known in
philanthropy as well as in letters, and his tales have a cheerful,
busy, practical way with them in consonance with his motto, "Look up
and not down, look forward and not back, look out and not in, and lend
a hand."

It is too soon to sum up the literary history of the last quarter of a
century.  The writers who have given it shape are still writing, and
their work is therefore incomplete.  But on the slightest review of it
two facts become manifest; first, that New England has lost its long
monopoly; and, secondly, that a marked feature of the period is the
growth of realistic fiction.  The electric tension of the atmosphere
for thirty years preceding the civil war, the storm and stress
of great public contests, and the intellectual stir produced by
transcendentalism seem to have been more favorable to poetry and
literary idealism than present conditions are.  At all events there are
no new poets who rank with Whittier, Longfellow, Lowell, and others of
the elder generation, although George H. Boker, in Philadelphia, R. H.
Stoddard and E. C. Stedman, in New York, and T. B. Aldrich, first in
New York and afterward in Boston, have written creditable verse; not to
speak of younger writers, whose work, however, for the most part, has
been more distinguished by delicacy of execution than by native
impulse.  Mention has been made of the establishment of _Harper's
Monthly Magazine_, which, under the conduct of its accomplished editor,
George W. Curtis, has provided the public with an abundance of good
reading.  The old _Putnam's Monthly_, which ran from 1853 to 1858, and
had a strong corps of contributors, was revived in 1868, and continued
by that name till 1870, when it was succeeded by _Scribner's Monthly_,
under the editorship of Dr. J. G. Holland, and this in 1881 by the
_Century_, an efficient rival of _Harper's_ in circulation, in literary
excellence, and in the beauty of its wood-engravings, the American
school of which art these two great periodicals have done much to
develop and encourage.  Another New York monthly, the _Galaxy_, ran
from 1866 to 1878, and was edited by Richard Grant White.  Within the
last few years a new _Scribner's Magazine_ has also taken the field.
The _Atlantic_, in Boston, and _Lippincott's_, in Philadelphia, are no
unworthy competitors with these for public favor.

During the forties began a new era of national expansion, somewhat
resembling that described in a former chapter, and, like that, bearing
fruit eventually in literature.  The cession of Florida to the United
States in 1845, and the annexation of Texas in the same year, were
followed by the purchase of California in 1847, and its admission as a
State in 1850.  In 1849 came the great rush to the California gold
fields.  San Francisco, at first a mere collection of tents and board
shanties, with a few adobe huts, grew with incredible rapidity into a
great city--the wicked and wonderful city apostrophized by Bret Harte
in his poem, _San Francisco_:

  "Serene, indifferent of fate,
  Thou sittest at the Western Gate;
  Upon thy heights so lately won
  Still slant the banners of the sun. . . .
  I know thy cunning and thy greed,
  Thy hard, high lust and willful deed."

The adventurers of all lands and races who flocked to the Pacific
coast, found there a motley state of society between civilization and
savagery.  There were the relics of the old Mexican occupation, the
Spanish missions, with their Christianized Indians; the wild tribes of
the plains--Apaches, Utes, and Navajoes; the Chinese coolies and
washermen, all elements strange to the Atlantic sea-board and the
States of the interior.  The gold-hunters crossed, in stages or
caravans, enormous prairies, alkaline deserts dotted with sage-brush
and seamed by deep canons, and passes through gigantic mountain ranges.
On the coast itself nature was unfamiliar: the climate was subtropical;
fruits and vegetables grew to a mammoth size, corresponding to the
enormous redwoods in the Mariposa groves and the prodigious scale of
the scenery in the valley of the Yosemite and the snow-capped peaks of
the sierras.  At first there were few women, and the men led a wild,
lawless existence in the mining camps.  Hard upon the heels of the
prospector followed the dram-shop, the gambling-hell, and the
dance-hall.  Every man carried his "Colt," and looked out for his own
life and his "claim."  Crime went unpunished or was taken in hand, when
it got too rampant, by vigilance committees.  In the diggings shaggy
frontiersmen and "pikes" from Missouri mingled with the scum of eastern
cities and with broken-down business men and young college graduates
seeking their fortune.  Surveyors and geologists came of necessity,
speculators in mining stock and city lots set up their offices in the
town; later came a sprinkling of school-teachers and ministers.
Fortunes were made in one day and lost the next at poker or loo.
To-day the lucky miner who had struck a good "lead" was drinking
champagne out of pails and treating the town; to-morrow he was
"busted," and shouldered the pick for a new onslaught upon his luck.
This strange, reckless life was not without fascination, and highly
picturesque and dramatic elements were present in it.  It was, as Bret
Harte says, "an era replete with a certain heroic Greek poetry," and
sooner or later it was sure to find its poet.  During the war
California remained loyal to the Union, but was too far from the seat
of conflict to experience any serious disturbance, and went on
independently developing its own resources and becoming daily more
civilized.  By 1868 San Francisco had a literary magazine, the
_Overland Monthly_, which ran until 1875, and was revived in 1883.  It
had a decided local flavor, and the vignette on its title-page was a
happily chosen emblem, representing a grizzly bear crossing a railway
track.  In an early number of the _Overland_ was a story entitled the
_Luck of Roaring Camp_, by Francis Bret Harte, a native of Albany, N.
Y. (1835), who had come to California at the age of seventeen, in time
to catch the unique aspects of the life of the Forty-niners, before
their vagabond communities had settled down into the law-abiding
society of the present day.  His first contribution was followed by
other stories and sketches of a similar kind, such as the _Outcasts of
Poker Flat_, _Miggles_, and _Tennessee's Partner_; and by verses,
serious and humorous, of which last, _Plain Language from Truthful
James_, better known as the _Heathen Chinee_, made an immediate hit,
and carried its author's name into every corner of the English-speaking
world.  In 1871 he published a collection of his tales, another of his
poems, and a volume of very clever parodies, _Condensed Novels_, which
rank with Thackeray's _Novels by Eminent Hands_.  Bret Harte's
California stories were vivid, highly colored pictures of life in the
mining camps and raw towns of the Pacific coast.  The pathetic and the
grotesque went hand in hand in them, and the author aimed to show how
even in the desperate characters gathered together there--the
fortune-hunters, gamblers, thieves, murderers, drunkards, and
prostitutes--the latent nobility of human nature asserted itself in
acts of heroism, magnanimity, self-sacrifice, and touching fidelity.
The same men who cheated at cards and shot each another down with tipsy
curses were capable on occasion of the most romantic generosity and the
most delicate chivalry.  Critics were not wanting who held that, in the
matter of dialect and manners and other details, the narrator was not
true to the facts.  This was a comparatively unimportant charge; but a
more serious question was the doubt whether his characters were
essentially true to human nature; whether the wild soil of revenge and
greed and dissolute living ever yields such flowers of devotion as
blossom in _Tennessee's Partner_ and the _Outcasts of Poker Flat_.
However this may be, there is no question as to Harte's power as a
narrator.  His short stories are skillfully constructed and effectively
told.  They never drag, and are never overladen with description,
reflection, or other lumber.

In his poems in dialect we find the same variety of types and
nationalities characteristic of the Pacific coast: the little Mexican
maiden, Pachita, in the old mission garden; the wicked Bill Nye, who
tries to cheat the Heathen Chinee at eucher and to rob Injin Dick of
his winning lottery ticket; the geological society on the Stanislaw who
settle their scientific debates with chunks of old red sandstone and
the skulls of mammoths; the unlucky Mr. Dow, who finally strikes gold
while digging a well, and builds a house with a "coopilow;" and Flynn,
of Virginia, who saves his "pard's" life, at the sacrifice of his own,
by holding up the timbers in the caving tunnel.  These poems are mostly
in monologue, like Browning's dramatic lyrics, exclamatory and abrupt
in style, and with a good deal of indicated action, as in _Jim_, where
a miner comes into a bar-room, looking for his old chum, learns that he
is dead, and is just turning away to hide his emotion when he
recognizes Jim in his informant:

  "Well, thar--Good-bye--
  No more, sir--I--
  What's that you say?--
  Why, dern it!--sho!--
  No? Yea! By Jo!
  Sold!  Why, you limb!
  You ornery,
        Derned old
  Long-legged Jim!"

Bret Harte had many imitators, and not only did our newspaper poetry
for a number of years abound in the properties of Californian life,
such as gulches, placers, divides, etc., but writers further east
applied his method to other conditions.  Of these by far the most
successful was John Hay, a native of Indiana and private secretary to
President Lincoln, whose _Little Breeches_, _Jim Bludso_, and _Mystery
of Gilgal_ have rivaled Bret Harte's own verses in popularity.  In the
last-named piece the reader is given to feel that there is something
rather cheerful and humorous in a bar-room fight which results in "the
gals that winter, as a rule," going "alone to singing school."  In the
two former we have heroes of the Bret Harte type, the same combination
of superficial wickedness with inherent loyalty and tenderness.  The
profane farmer of the South-west, who "doesn't pan out on the
prophets," and who had taught his little son "to chaw terbacker, just
to keep his milk-teeth white," but who believes in God and the angels
ever since the miraculous recovery of the same little son when lost on
the prairie in a blizzard; and the unsaintly and bigamistic captain of
the _Prairie Belle_, who died like a hero, holding the nozzle of his
burning boat against the bank

  "Till the last galoot's ashore."

The manners and dialect of other classes and sections of the country
have received abundant illustration of late years.  Edward Eggleston's
_Hoosier Schoolmaster_, 1871, and his other novels are pictures of
rural life in the early days of Indiana.  _Western Windows_, a volume
of poems by John James Piatt, another native of Indiana, had an
unmistakable local coloring.  Charles G. Leland, of Philadelphia, in
his Hans Breitmann ballads, in dialect, gave a humorous presentation of
the German-American element in the cities.  By the death, in 1881, of
Sidney Lanier, a Georgian by birth, the South lost a poet of rare
promise, whose original genius was somewhat hampered by his hesitation
between two arts of expression, music and verse, and by his effort to
co-ordinate them.  His _Science of English Verse_, 1880, was a most
suggestive, though hardly convincing, statement of that theory of their
relation which he was working out in his practice.  Some of his pieces,
like the _Mocking Bird_ and the _Song of the Chattahoochie_, are the
most characteristically Southern poetry that has been written in
America.  Joel Chandler Harris's _Uncle Remus_ stories, in Negro
dialect, are transcripts from the folk-lore of the plantations, while
his collection of stories, _At Teague Poteet's_, together with Miss
Murfree's _In the Tennessee Mountains_ and her other books, have made
the Northern public familiar with the wild life of the "moonshiners,"
who distill illicit whiskey in the mountains of Georgia, North
Carolina, and Tennessee.  These tales are not only exciting in
incident, but strong and fresh in their delineations of character.
Their descriptions of mountain scenery are also impressive, though, in
the case of the last-named writer, frequently too prolonged.  George W.
Cable's sketches of French Creole life in New Orleans attracted
attention by their freshness and quaintness when published, in the
magazines and re-issued in book form as _Old Creole Days_, in 1879.
His first regular novel, the _Grandissimes_, 1880, was likewise a story
of Creole life.  It had the same winning qualities as his short stories
and sketches, but was an advance upon them in dramatic force,
especially in the intensely tragic and powerfully told episode of "Bras
Coupé."  Mr. Cable has continued his studies of Louisiana types and
ways in his later books, but the _Grandissimes_ still remains his
masterpiece.  All in all, he is, thus far, the most important literary
figure of the New South, and the justness and delicacy of his
representations of life speak volumes for the sobering and refining
agency of the civil war in the States whose "cause" was "lost," but
whose true interests gained even more by the loss than did the
interests of the victorious North.

The four writers last mentioned, have all come to the front within the
past eight or ten years, and, in accordance with the plan of this
sketch, receive here a mere passing notice.  It remains to close our
review of the literary history of the period since the war with a
somewhat more extended account of the two favorite novelists whose work
has done more than any thing else to shape the movement of recent
fiction.  These are Henry James, Jr., and William Dean Howells.  Their
writings, though dissimilar in some respects, are alike in this, that
they are analytic in method and realistic in spirit.  Cooper was a
romancer pure and simple; he wrote the romance of adventure and of
external incident.  Hawthorne went much deeper, and with a finer
spiritual insight dealt with the real passions of the heart; and with
men's inner experiences.  This he did with truth and power; but,
although himself a keen observer of whatever passed before his eyes, he
was not careful to secure a photographic fidelity to the surface facts
of speech, dress, manners, etc.  Thus the talk of his characters is
book-talk, and not the actual language of the parlor or the street,
with its slang, its colloquial ease and the intonations and shadings of
phrase and pronunciation which mark different sections of the country
and different grades of society.  His attempts at dialect, for example,
were of the slenderest kind.  His art is ideal, and his romances
certainly do not rank as novels of real life.  But with the growth of a
richer and more complicated society in America fiction has grown more
social and more minute in its observation.  It would not be fair to
classify the novels of James and Howells as the fiction of manners
merely; they are also the fiction of character, but they aim to
describe people not only as they are, in their inmost natures, but also
as they look and talk and dress.  They try to express character through
manners, which is the way in which it is most often expressed in the
daily existence of a conventional society.  It is a principle of
realism not to select exceptional persons or occurrences, but to take
average men and women and their average experiences.  The realists
protest that the moving incident is not their trade, and that the
stories have all been told.  They want no plot and no hero.  They will
tell no rounded tale with a _denouement_, in which all the parts are
distributed, as in the fifth act of an old-fashioned comedy; but they
will take a transcript from life and end when they get through, without
informing the reader what becomes of the characters.  And they will try
to interest this reader in "poor real life" with its "foolish face."
Their acknowledged masters are Balzac, George Eliot, Turgénieff, and
Anthony Trollope, and they regard novels as studies in sociology,
honest reports of the writers' impressions, which may not be without a
certain scientific value even.

Mr. James's peculiar province is the international novel, a field which
he created for himself, but which he has occupied in company with
Howells, Mrs. Burnett, and many others.  The novelist received most of
his schooling in Europe, and has lived much abroad, with the result
that he has become half denationalized and has engrafted a cosmopolitan
indifference upon his Yankee inheritance.  This, indeed, has
constituted his opportunity.  A close observer and a conscientious
student of the literary art, he has added to his intellectual equipment
the advantage of a curious doubleness in his point of view.  He looks
at America with the eyes of a foreigner and at Europe with the eyes of
an American.  He has so far thrown himself out of relation with
American life that he describes a Boston horse-car or a New York hotel
table with a sort of amused wonder.  His starting-point was in
criticism, and he has always maintained the critical attitude.  He took
up story-writing in order to help himself, by practical experiment, in
his chosen art of literary criticism, and his volume on _French Poets
and Novelists_, 1878, is by no means the least valuable of his books.
His short stories in the magazines were collected into a volume in
1875, with the title, _A Passionate Pilgrim, and Other Stories_.  One
or two of these, as the _Last of the Valerii_ and the _Madonna of the
Future_, suggest Hawthorne, a very unsympathetic study of whom James
afterward contributed to the "English Men of Letters" series.  But in
the name-story of the collection he was already in the line of his
future development.  This is the story of a middle-aged invalid
American who comes to England in search of health, and finds, too late,
in the mellow atmosphere of the mother-country, the repose and the
congenial surroundings which he has all his life been longing for in
his raw America.  The pathos of his self-analysis and his confession of
failure is subtly imagined.  The impressions which he and his far-away
English kinsfolk make on one another, their mutual attraction and
repulsion, are described with that delicate perception of national
differences which makes the humor and sometimes the tragedy of James's
later books, like _The American_, _Daisy Miller_, _The Europeans_, and
_An International Episode_.  His first novel was _Roderick Hudson_,
1876, not the most characteristic of his fictions, but perhaps the most
powerful in its grasp of elementary passion.  The analytic method and
the critical attitude have their dangers in imaginative literature.  In
proportion as this writer's faculty of minute observation and his
realistic objectivity have increased upon him, the uncomfortable
coldness which is felt in his youthful work has become actually
disagreeable, and his art--growing constantly finer and surer in
matters of detail--has seemed to dwell more and more in the region of
mere manners and less in the higher realm of character and passion.  In
most of his writings the heart, somehow, is left out.  We have seen
that Irving, from his knowledge of England and America, and his long
residence in both countries, became the mediator between the two great
branches of the Anglo-Saxon race.  This he did by the power of his
sympathy with each.  Henry James has likewise interpreted the two
nations to one another in a subtler but less genial fashion than
Irving, and not through sympathy, but through contrast, by bringing
into relief the opposing ideals of life and society which have
developed under different institutions.  In his novel, _The American_,
1877, he has shown the actual misery which may result from the clashing
of opposed social systems.  In such clever sketches as _Daisy Miller_,
1879, the _Pension Beaurepas_, and _A Bundle of Letters_, he has
exhibited types of the American girl, the American business man, the
aesthetic feebling from Boston, and the Europeanized or would-be
denationalized American campaigners in the Old World, and has set forth
the ludicrous incongruities, perplexities, and misunderstandings which
result from contradictory standards of conventional morality and
behavior.  In _The Europeans_, 1879, and _An International Episode_,
1878, he has reversed the process, bringing Old World standards to the
test of American ideas by transferring his _dramatis personae_ to
republican soil.  The last-named of these illustrates how slender a
plot realism requires for its purposes.  It is nothing more than the
history of an English girl of good family who marries an American
gentleman and undertakes to live in America, but finds herself so
uncomfortable in strange social conditions that she returns to England
for life, while, contrariwise, the heroine's sister is so taken with
the freedom of these very conditions that she elopes with another
American and "goes West."  James is a keen observer of the physiognomy
of cities as well as of men, and his _Portraits of Places_, 1884, is
among the most delightful contributions to the literature of foreign

Mr. Howells's writings are not without "international" touches.  In _A
Foregone Conclusion_ and the _Lady of the Aroostook_, and others of his
novels, the contrasted points of view in American and European life are
introduced, and especially those variations in feeling, custom,
dialect, etc., which make the modern Englishman and the modern American
such objects of curiosity to each other, and which have been dwelt upon
of late even unto satiety.  But in general he finds his subjects at
home, and if he does not know his own countrymen and countrywomen more
intimately than Mr. James, at least he loves them better.  There is a
warmer sentiment in his fictions, too; his men are better fellows and
his women are more lovable.  Howells was born in Ohio.  His early life
was that of a western country editor.  In 1860 he published, jointly
with his friend Piatt, a book of verse--_Poems of Two Friends_.  In
1861 he was sent as consul to Venice, and the literary results of his
sojourn there appeared in his sketches, _Venetian Life_, 1865, and
_Italian Journeys_, 1867.  In 1871 he became editor of the _Atlantic
Monthly_, and in the same year published his _Suburban Sketches_.  All
of these early volumes showed a quick eye for the picturesque, an
unusual power of description, and humor of the most delicate quality;
but as yet there was little approach to narrative.  _Their Wedding
Journey_ was a revelation to the public of the interest that may lie in
an ordinary bridal trip across the State of New York, when a close and
sympathetic observation is brought to bear upon the characteristics of
American life as it appears at railway stations and hotels, on
steam-boats and in the streets of very commonplace towns.  _A Chance
Acquaintance_, 1873, was Howells's first novel, though even yet the
story was set against a background of travel-pictures.  A holiday trip
on the St. Lawrence and the Saguenay, with descriptions of Quebec and
the Falls of Montmorenci, etc., rather predominated over the narrative.
Thus, gradually and by a natural process, complete characters and
realistic novels, such as _A Modern Instance_, 1882, and _Indian
Summer_, evolved themselves from truthful sketches of places and
persons seen by the way.

The incompatibility existing between European and American views of
life, which makes the comedy or the tragedy of Henry James's
international fictions, is replaced in Howells's novels by the
repulsion between differing social grades in the same country.  The
adjustment of these subtle distinctions forms a part of the problem of
life in all complicated societies.  Thus in _A Chance Acquaintance_ the
heroine is a bright and pretty Western girl, who becomes engaged during
a pleasure tour to an irreproachable but offensively priggish young
gentleman from Boston, and the engagement is broken by her in
consequence of an unintended slight--the betrayal on the hero's part of
a shade of mortification when he and his betrothed are suddenly brought
into the presence of some fashionable ladies belonging to his own
_monde_.  The little comedy, _Out of the Question_, deals with this
same adjustment of social scales; and in many of Howells's other
novels, such as _Silas Lapham_ and the _Lady of the Aroustook_, one of
the main motives may be described to be the contact of the man who eats
with his fork with the man who eats with his knife, and the shock
thereby ensuing.  In _Indian Summer_ the complications arise from the
difference in age between the hero and heroine, and not from a
difference in station or social antecedents.  In all of these fictions
the misunderstandings come from an incompatibility of manners rather
than of character, and, if any thing were to be objected to the
probability of the story, it is that the climax hinges on delicacies
and subtleties which, in real life, when there is opportunity for
explanations, are readily brushed aside.  But in _A Modern Instance_
Howells touched the deeper springs of action.  In this, his strongest
work, the catastrophe is brought about, as in George Eliot's great
novels, by the reaction of characters upon one another, and the story
is realistic in a higher sense than any mere study of manners can be.
His nearest approach to romance is in _The Undiscovered Country_, 1880,
which deals with the Spiritualists and the Shakers, and in its study of
problems that hover on the borders of the supernatural, in its
out-of-the-way personages and adventures, and in a certain ideal poetic
flavor about the whole book, has a strong resemblance to Hawthorne,
especially to Hawthorne in the _Blithedale Romance_, where he comes
closer to common ground with other romancers.  It is interesting to
compare the _Undiscovered Country_ with Henry James's _Bostonians_, the
latest and one of the cleverest of his fictions, which is likewise a
study of the clairvoyants, mediums, woman's rights advocates, and all
varieties of cranks, reformers, and patrons of "causes," for whom
Boston has long been notorious.  A most unlovely race of people they
become under the cold scrutiny of Mr. James's cosmopolitan eyes, which
see more clearly the charlatanism, narrow-mindedness, mistaken
fanaticism, morbid self-consciousness, disagreeable nervous intensity,
and vulgar or ridiculous outside peculiarities of the humanitarians,
than the nobility and moral enthusiasm which underlie the surface.

Howells is almost the only successful American dramatist, and this in
the field of parlor comedy.  His little farces, the _Elevator_, the
_Register_, the _Parlor-Car_, etc., have a lightness and grace, with an
exquisitely absurd situation, which remind us more of the _Comedies et
Proverbes_ of Alfred de Musset, or the many agreeable dialogues and
monologues of the French domestic stage, than of any work of English or
American hands.  His softly ironical yet affectionate treatment of
feminine ways is especially admirable.  In his numerous types of
sweetly illogical, inconsistent, and inconsequent womanhood he has
perpetuated with a nicer art than Dickens what Thackeray calls "that
great discovery," Mrs. Nickleby.

1. Theodore Winthrop.  _Life in the Open Air_.  _Cecil Dreeme_.

2. Thomas Wentworth Higginson.  _Life in a Black Regiment_.

3. _Poetry of the Civil War_.  Edited by Richard Grant White.  New
York.  1866.

4. Charles Farrar Browne.  _Artemus Ward--His Book_.  _Lecture on the
Mormons_.  _Artemus Ward in London_.

5. Samuel Langhorne Clemens.  _The Jumping Frog_.  _Roughing It_.  _The
Mississippi Pilot_.

6. Charles Godfrey Leland.  _Hans Breitmann's Ballads_.

7. Edward Everett Hale.  _If, Yes, and Perhaps_.  _His Level Best, and
Other Stories_.

8. Francis Bret Harte.  _Outcasts of Poker Flat, and Other Stories_.
_Condensed Novels_.  _Poems in Dialect_.

9. Sidney Lanier.  _Nirvana_.  _Resurrection_.   _The Harlequin of
Dreams_.  _Song of the Chattahoochie_.  _The Mocking Bird_.  _The
Stirrup-Cup_.  _Tampa Robins_.  _The Bee_.  _The Revenge of Hamish_.
_The Ship of Earth_.  _The Marshes of Glynn_.  _Sunrise_.

10. Henry James, Jr.  _A Passionate Pilgrim_.  _Roderick Hudson_.
_Daisy Miller_.  _Pension Beaurepas_.  _A Bundle of Letters_.  _An
International Episode_.  _The Bostonians_.  _Portraits of Places_.

11. William Dean Howells.  _Their Wedding Journey_.  _Suburban
Sketches_.  _A Chance Acquaintance_.  _A Foregone Conclusion_.  _The
Undiscovered Country_.  _A Modern Instance_.

12. George W. Cable.  _Old Creole Days_.  _Madame Delphine_.  _The

13. Joel Chandler Harris.  _Uncle Remus_.  _Mingo, and Other Sketches_.

14. Charles Egbert Craddook (Miss Murfree).  _In the Tennessee




[From _Magnalia Christi Americana_.]

Captain Phips, arriving with a ship and a tender at Port de la Plata,
made a stout canoe of a stately cotton-tree, so large as to carry eight
or ten oars, for the making of which periaga (as they call it) he did,
with the same industry that he did every thing else, employ his own
hand and adze, and endure no little hardship, lying abroad in the woods
many nights together.  This periaga with the tender, being anchored at
a place convenient, the periaga kept busking to and again,[1] but could
only discover a reef of rising shoals thereabouts, called "The
Boilers," which, rising to be within two or three feet of the surface
of the sea, were yet so steep that a ship striking on them would
immediately sink down, who could say how many fathom, into the ocean.
Here they could get no other pay for their long peeping among the
Boilers, but only such as caused them to think upon returning to their
captain with the bad news of their total disappointment.  Nevertheless,
as they were upon their return, one of the men, looking over the side
of the periaga into the calm water, he spied a sea-feather growing, as
he judged, out of a rock; whereupon he bade one of their Indians to
dive and fetch this feather, that they might, however, carry home
something with them, and make at least as fair a triumph as
Caligula's.[2]  The diver, bringing up the feather, brought therewithal
a surprising story, that he perceived a number of great guns in the
watery world where he had found his feather; the report[3] of which
great guns exceedingly astonished the whole company, and at once turned
their despondencies for their ill success into assurances that they had
now lit upon the true spot of ground which they had been looking for;
and they were further confirmed in these assurances when, upon further
diving, the Indian fetched up a sow, as they styled it, or a lump of
silver worth perhaps two or three hundred pounds.  Upon this they
prudently buoyed the place that they might readily find it again; and
they went back unto their captain, whom for some while they distressed
with nothing but such bad news as they formerly thought they must have
carried him.  Nevertheless, they so slipped in the sow of silver on one
side under the table, where they wore now sitting with the captain, and
hearing him express his resolutions to wait still patiently upon the
providence of God under these disappointments, that when he should look
on one side he might see that odd thing before him.  At last he saw it.
Seeing it he cried out with some agony, "Why! what is this?  Whence
comes this?"  And then, with changed countenances, they told him how
and where they got it.  "Then," said he, "thanks be to God!  We are
made," and so away they went all hands to work; wherein they had this
one further piece of remarkable prosperity, that whereas if they had
first fallen upon that part of the Spanish wreck where the pieces of
eight[4] had been stowed in bags among the ballast they had seen a more
laborious and less enriching time of it; now, most happily, they first
fell upon that room in the wreck where the bullion had been stored up;
and they so prospered in this new fishery that in a little while they
had, without the loss of any man's life, brought up thirty-two tuns of
silver; for it was now come to measuring of silver by tuns.  Besides
which, one Adderly, of Providence, who had formerly been very helpful
to Captain Phips in the search of this wreck, did, upon former
agreement, meet him now with a little vessel here; and he with his few
hands, took up about six tuns of silver; whereof, nevertheless, he made
so little use that in a year or two he died at Bermudas, and, as I have
heard, he ran distracted some while before he died.

Thus did there once again come into the light of the sun a treasure
which had been half an hundred years groaning under the waters; and in
this time there was grown upon the plate a crust-like limestone, to the
thickness of several inches; which crust being broken open by iron
contrived for that purpose, they knocked out whole bushels of rusty
pieces of eight; which were grown thereinto.  Besides that incredible
treasure of plate in various forms thus fetched up from seven or eight
fathom under water, there were vast riches of gold, and pearls, and
jewels, which they also lit upon; and, indeed, for a more comprehensive
invoice, I must but summarily say, "All that a Spanish frigate uses to
be enriched withal."

[1] Passing to and fro.

[2] The Roman emperor who invaded Britain unsuccessfully and made his
legionaries gather sea-shells to bring back with them as evidences of

[3] One of Mather's puns.

[4] Spanish piasters, formerly divided into eight reals.  The
piaster=an American dollar.



[From the author's Personal Narrative.]

Holiness, as I then wrote down some of my contemplations on it,
appeared to me to be of a sweet, pleasant, charming, serene, calm
nature; which brought an inexpressible purity, brightness,
peacefulness, and ravishment to the soul.  In other words, that it made
the soul like a field or garden of God, with all manner of pleasant
flowers; enjoying a sweet calm and the gently vivifying beams of the
sun.  The soul of a true Christian, as I then wrote my meditations,
appeared like such a little white flower as we see in the spring of the
year; low and humble on the ground, opening its bosom to receive the
pleasant beams of the sun's glory; rejoicing, as it were, in a calm
rapture; diffusing around a sweet fragrancy; standing peacefully and
lovingly in the midst of other flowers round about; all in like manner
opening their bosoms to drink in the light of the sun.  There was no
part of creature-holiness that I had so great a sense of its loveliness
as humility, brokenness of heart, and poverty of spirit; and there was
nothing that I so earnestly longed for.  My heart panted after this--to
lie low before God, as in the dust; that I might be nothing, and that
God might be all; that I might become as a little child.


[From _Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God_.]

Unconverted men walk over the pit of hell on a rotten covering, and
there are innumerable places in this covering so weak that they will
not bear their weight, and these places are not seen.  The arrows of
death fly unseen at noonday; the sharpest sight cannot discern them.
God has so many different, unsearchable ways of taking wicked men out
of the world and sending them to hell that there is nothing to make it
appear that God had need to be at the expense of a miracle, or go out
of the ordinary course of his providence, to destroy any wicked man at
any moment. . . .  Your wickedness makes you as it were heavy as lead
and to tend downward with great weight and pressure toward hell; and,
if God should let you go, you would immediately sink and swiftly
descend and plunge into the bottomless gulf, and your healthy
constitution, and your own care and prudence, and best contrivance, and
all your righteousness, would have no more influence to uphold you and
keep you out of hell than a spider's web would have to stop a falling
rock. . . .  There are the black clouds of God's wrath now hanging
directly over your heads, full of the dreadful storm and big with
thunder; and were it not for the restraining hand of God it would
immediately burst forth upon you.  The sovereign pleasure of God, for
the present, stays his rough wind; otherwise it would come with fury,
and your destruction would come like a whirlwind, and you would be like
the chaff of the summer threshing-floor.  The wrath of God is like
great waters that are dammed for the present; they increase more and
more, and rise higher and higher, till an outlet is given; and the
longer the stream is stopped, the more rapid and mighty is its course
when once it is let loose. . . .

Thus it will be with you that are in an unconverted state, if you
continue in it; the infinite might and majesty and terribleness of the
omnipotent God shall be magnified upon you in the ineffable strength of
your torments; you shall be tormented in the presence of the holy
angels and in the presence of the Lamb; and, when you shall be in this
state of suffering, the glorious inhabitants of heaven shall go forth
and look on the awful spectacle, that they may see what the wrath and
fierceness of the Almighty is; and when they have seen it they will
fall down and adore that great power and majesty.  "And it shall come
to pass, that from one moon to another, and from one Sabbath to
another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.
And they shall go forth and look upon the carcasses of the men that
have transgressed against me; for their worm shall not die, neither
shall their fire be quenched, and they shall be an abhorring unto all

It is everlasting wrath.  It would be dreadful to suffer this
fierceness and wrath of Almighty God one moment: but you must suffer it
to all eternity; there will be no end to this exquisite, horrible
misery; when you look forward you shall see along forever, a boundless
duration before you, which will swallow up your thoughts and amaze your
soul; and you will absolutely despair of ever having any deliverance,
any end, any mitigation, any rest at all; you will know certainly that
you must wear out long ages, millions of millions of ages, in wrestling
and conflicting with this Almighty merciless vengeance; and then, when
you have so done, when so many ages have actually been spent by you in
this manner, you will know that all is but a point to what remains.  So
that your punishment will indeed be infinite. . . .  If we knew that
there was one person, and but one, in the whole congregation, that was
to be the subject of this misery, what an awful thing it would be to
think of!  If we knew who it was, what an awful sight would it be to
see such a person!  How might all the rest of the congregation lift up
a lamentable and bitter cry over him!  But alas!  Instead of one, how
many is it likely will remember this discourse in hell!  And it would
be a wonder if some that are now present should not be in hell in a
very short time, before this year is out.  And it would be no wonder if
some persons, that now sit here in some seats of this meeting-house in
health, and quiet, and secure, should be there before to-morrow morning.



[From _The Life of Benjamin Franklin, Written by Himself_.]

I was in my working dress, my best clothes being to come round by sea.
I was dirty from my journey; my pockets were stuffed out with shirts
and stockings, and I knew no soul nor where to look for lodging.  I was
fatigued with traveling, rowing, and want of rest; I was very hungry;
and my whole stock of cash consisted of a Dutch dollar and about a
shilling in copper.  The latter I gave the people of the boat for my
passage, who at first refused it, on account of my rowing; but I
insisted on their taking it, a man being sometimes more generous when
he has but a little money than when he has plenty, perhaps through fear
of being thought to have but little.

Then I walked up the street, gazing about, till near the market-house I
met a boy with bread.  I had made many a meal on bread, and, inquiring
where he got it, I went immediately to the baker's he directed me to,
in Second Street, and asked for biscuit, intending such as we had in
Boston; but they, it seems, were not made in Philadelphia.  Then I
asked for a three-penny loaf, and was told they had none such.  So, not
considering or knowing the difference of money, and the greater
cheapness, nor the names of his bread, I had him give me three-penny
worth of any sort.  He gave me, accordingly, three great puffy rolls.
I was surprised at the quantity, but took it, and, having no room in my
pockets, walked off with a roll under each arm, and eating the other.
Thus I went up Market Street as far as Fourth Street, passing by the
door of Mr. Read, my future wife's father, when she, standing at the
door, saw me, and thought I made, as I certainly did, a most awkward,
ridiculous appearance.  Then I turned and went down Chestnut Street and
part of Walnut Street, eating my roll all the way and, coming round,
found myself again at Market Street wharf, near the boat I came in, to
which I went for a draught of the river water; and, being filled with
one of my rolls, gave the other two to a woman and her child that came
down the river in the boat with us, and were waiting to go farther.

Thus refreshed, I walked again up the street, which by this time had
many clean-dressed people in it, who were all walking the same way.  I
joined them, and thereby was led into the great meeting-house of the
Quakers near the market.  I sat down among them, and, after looking
'round a while and hearing nothing said, being very drowsy through
labor and want of rest the preceding night, I fell fast asleep, and
continued so till the meeting broke up, when one was kind enough to
rouse me.  This was, therefore, the first house I was in, or slept in,
in Philadelphia.

Walking down again toward the river, and looking in the faces of the
people, I met a young Quaker man whose countenance I liked, and,
accosting him, requested he would tell me where a stranger could get
lodging.  We were near the sign of the Three Mariners.  "Here," says
he, "is one place that entertains strangers, but it is not a reputable
house; if thee wilt walk with me, I'll show thee a better."  He brought
me to the Crooked Billet in Water Street.  Here I got a dinner.


[From Correspondence with Madame Britton.]

I am charmed with your description of Paradise, and with your plan of
living there; and I approve much of your conclusion, that, in the
meantime, we should draw all the good we can from this world.  In my
opinion we might all draw more good from it than we do, and suffer less
evil, if we would take care not to give too much for _whistles_, for to
me it seems that most of the unhappy people we meet with are become so
by neglect of that caution.

You ask what I mean?  You love stories, and will excuse my telling one
of myself.

When I was a child of seven years old my friends, on a holiday, filled
my pocket with coppers.  I went directly to a shop where they sold toys
for children, and, being charmed with the sound of a _whistle_, that I
met by the way in the hands of another boy, I voluntarily offered and
gave all my money for one.  I then came home, and went whistling all
over the house, much pleased with my _whistle_, but disturbing all the
family.  My brothers and sisters and cousins, understanding the bargain
I had made, told me I had given four times as much for it as it was
worth; put me in mind what good things I might have bought with the
rest of the money, and laughed at me so much for my folly that I cried
with vexation; and the reflection gave me more chagrin than the
_whistle_ gave me pleasure.

This, however, was afterward of use to me, the impression continuing on
my mind, so that often when I was tempted to buy some unnecessary
thing, I said to myself, _Don't give too much for the whistle_; and I
saved my money.

As I grew up, came into the world, and observed the actions of men, I
thought I met with many, very many, who _gave too much for the whistle_.

When I saw one too ambitious of court favor, sacrificing his time in
attendance on levees, his repose, his liberty, his virtue, and perhaps
his friends to attain it, I have said to myself, _This man gives too
much for his whistle_.

When I saw another fond of popularity, constantly employing himself in
political bustles, neglecting his own affairs, and ruining them by that
neglect, _He pays, indeed_, said I, _too much for his whistle_. . . .

If I see one fond of appearance or fine clothes, fine houses, fine
furniture, fine equipages, all above his fortune, for which he
contracts debts and ends his career in a prison, _Alas_! say I, _he has
paid dear, very dear for his whistle_. . . .

In short, I conceive that a great part of the miseries of mankind are
brought upon them by the false estimates they have made of the value of
things and by their _giving too much for their whistles_.

Yet I ought to have charity for these unhappy people, when I consider
that with all this wisdom of which I am boasting, there are certain
things in the world so tempting, for example, the apples of King John,
which happily are not to be bought; for if they were put to sale by
auction I might very easily be led to ruin myself in the purchase, and
find that I had once more given too much for the _whistle_.



  In spite of all the learned have said,
    I still my old opinion keep:
  The posture that we give the dead
    Points out the soul's eternal sleep.

  Not so the ancients of these lands:
    The Indian, when from life released,
  Again is seated with his friends,
    And shares again the joyous feast.

  His imaged birds and painted bowl
    And venison, for a journey dressed,
  Bespeak the nature of the soul,
    Activity that knows no rest.

  His bow for action ready bent,
    And arrows with a head of stone,
  Can only mean that life is spent,
    And not the finer essence gone.

  Thou, stranger that shalt come this way.
    No fraud upon the dead commit--
  Observe the swelling turf and say,
    They do not _lie_, but here they _sit_.

  Here still a lofty rock remains,
    On which the curious eye may trace
  (Now wasted half by wearing rains)
    The fancies of a ruder race.

  Here still an aged elm aspires,
    Beneath whose far-projecting shade
  (And which the shepherd still admires)
    The children of the forest played.

  There oft a restless Indian queen
    (Pale Sheba with her braided hair),
  And many a barbarous form is seen
    To chide the man that lingers there.

  By midnight moons, o'er moistening dews,
    In vestments for the chase arrayed,
  The hunter still the deer pursues,
    The hunter and the deer--a shade!

  And long shall timorous Fancy see
    The painted chief and pointed spear,
  And Reason's self shall bow the knee
    To shadows and delusions here.



[From the _Reply to Hayne_, January 25, 1830.]

I profess, sir, in my career hitherto, to have kept steadily in view
the prosperity and honor of the whole country, and the preservation of
our Federal Union.  It is to that Union we owe our safety at home and
our consideration and dignity abroad.  It is to that Union that we are
chiefly indebted for whatever makes us most proud of our country.  That
Union we readied only by the discipline of our virtues in the severe
school of adversity.  It had its origin in the necessities of
disordered finance, prostrate commerce, and ruined credit.  Under its
benign influences these great interests immediately awoke as from the
dead and sprang forth with newness of life.  Every year of its duration
has teemed with fresh proofs of its utility and its blessings; and
although our territory has stretched out wider and wider and our
population spread farther and farther, they have not outrun its
protection or its benefits.  It has been to us all a copious fountain
of national, social, and personal happiness.

I have not allowed myself, sir, to look beyond the Union to see what
might lie hidden in the dark recess behind.  I have not coolly weighed
the chances of preserving liberty when the bonds that unite us together
shall be broken asunder.  I have not accustomed myself to hang over the
precipice of disunion to see whether with my short sight I can fathom
the depth of the abyss below, nor could I regard him as a safe
counselor in the affairs of this government whose thoughts should be
mainly bent on considering not how the Union may be best preserved, but
how tolerable might be the condition of the people when it should be
broken up and destroyed.  While the Union lasts we have high, exciting,
gratifying prospects spread out before us, for us and our children.
Beyond that I seek not to penetrate the veil.  God grant that in my day
at least that curtain may not rise!  God grant that on my vision never
may be opened what lies beyond!  When my eyes shall be turned to behold
for the last time the sun in heaven, may I not see him shining on the
broken and dishonored fragments of a once glorious Union; on States
dissevered, discordant, belligerent; on a land rent with civil feuds,
or drenched, it may be, in fraternal blood!  Let their last feeble and
lingering glance rather behold the gorgeous ensign of the Republic, now
known and honored throughout the earth, still full high advanced, its
arms and trophies streaming in their original luster, not a stripe
erased or polluted, not a single star obscured, bearing for its motto
no such miserable interrogatory as "What is all this worth?" nor those
other words of delusion and folly, "Liberty first; and Union
afterward;" but every-where, spread all over in characters of living
light, blazing on all its ample folds as they float over the sea and
over the land, and in every wind under the whole heavens, that other
sentiment dear to every true American heart--Liberty and Union, now and
forever, one and inseparable!


[From the same.]

When I shall be found, sir, in my place here in the Senate, or
elsewhere, to sneer at public merit because it happens to spring up
beyond the little limits of my own State or neighborhood; when I
refuse, for any such cause, or for any cause, the homage due to
American talent, to elevated patriotism, to sincere devotion to liberty
and the country; or, if I see an uncommon endowment of Heaven, if I see
extraordinary capacity and virtue, in any son of the South; and if,
moved by local prejudices or gangrened by State jealousy, I get up here
to abate the tithe of a hair from his just character and just fame, may
my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth!

Sir, let me recur to pleasing recollections; let me indulge in
refreshing remembrances of the past; let me remind you that, in early
times, no States cherished greater harmony, both of principle and
feeling, than Massachusetts and South Carolina.  Would to God that
harmony might again return!  Shoulder to shoulder they went through the
Revolution, hand in hand they stood round the administration of
Washington, and felt his own great arm lean on them for support.
Unkind feeling, if it exist, alienation and distrust are the growth,
unnatural to such soils, of false principle; since sown.  They are
weeds, the seeds of which that same great arm never scattered.

Mr. President, I shall enter upon no encomium of Massachusetts; she
needs none.  There she is.  Behold her and judge for yourselves.  There
is her history; the world knows it by heart.  The past, at least, is
secure.  There is Boston, and Concord, and Lexington, and Bunker Hill;
and there they will remain forever.  The bones of her sons, falling in
the great struggle for independence, now lie mingled with the soil of
every State from New England to Georgia, and there they will lie
forever.  And, sir, where American liberty raised its first voice, and
where its youth was nurtured and sustained, there it still lives, in
the strength of its manhood, and full of its original spirit.  If
discord and disunion shall wound it, if party strife and blind ambition
shall hawk at and tear it, if folly and madness, if uneasiness under
salutary and necessary restraint shall succeed in separating it from
that Union by which alone its existence is made sure, it will stand, in
the end, by the side of that cradle in which its infancy was rocked; it
will stretch forth its arm with whatever of vigor it may still retain,
over the friends who gather round it; and it will fall at last, if fall
it must, amidst the profoundest monuments of its own glory, and on the
very spot of its origin.



[From _Bracebridge Hall_.]

In the golden age of the province of the New Netherlands, when under
the sway of Wouter Van Twiller, otherwise called the Doubter, the
people of the Manhattoes were alarmed one sultry afternoon, just about
the time of the summer solstice, by a tremendous storm of thunder and
lightning.  The rain fell in such torrents as absolutely to spatter up
and smoke along the ground.  It seemed as if the thunder rattled and
rolled over the very roofs of the houses; the lightning was seen to
play about the Church of St. Nicholas, and to strive three times in
vain to strike its weather-cock.  Garrett Van Horne's new chimney was
split almost from top to bottom; and Boffne Mildeberger was struck
speechless from his bald-faced mare just as he was riding into
town. . . .  At length the storm abated; the thunder sank into a growl,
and the setting sun, breaking from under the fringed borders of the
clouds, made the broad bosom of the bay to gleam like a sea of molten

The word was given from the fort that a ship was standing up the
bay. . . .  She was a stout, round, Dutch-built vessel, with high bow
and poop, and bearing Dutch colors.  The evening sun gilded her
bellying canvas as she came riding over the long waving billows.  The
sentinel who had given notice of her approach declared that he first
got sight of her when she was in the center of the bay; and that she
broke suddenly on his sight, just as if she had come out of the bosom
of the black thunder-clouds. . . .  The ship was now repeatedly hailed,
but made no reply, and, passing by the fort, stood on up the Hudson.  A
gun was brought to bear on her, and, with some difficulty, loaded and
fired by Hans Van Pelt, the garrison not being expert in artillery.
The shot seemed absolutely to pass through the ship, and to skip along
the water on the other side; but no notice was taken of it!  What was
strange, she had all her sails set, and sailed right against wind and
tide, which were both down the river. . . .  Thus she kept on, away up
the river, lessening and lessening in the evening sunshine, until she
faded from sight like a little white cloud melting away in the summer
sky. . . .

Messengers were dispatched to various places on the river, but they
returned without any tidings--the ship had made no port.  Day after
day, week after week elapsed, but she never returned down the Hudson.
As, however, the council seemed solicitous for intelligence they had it
in abundance.  The captains of the sloops seldom arrived without
bringing some report of having seen the strange ship at different parts
of the river--sometimes near the Palisades, sometimes off Croton Point,
and sometimes in the Highlands; but she never was reported as having
been seen above the Highlands.  The crews of the sloops, it is true,
generally differed among themselves in their accounts of these
apparitions; but that may have arisen from the uncertain situations in
which they saw her.  Sometimes it was by the flashes of the
thunder-storm lighting up a pitchy night, and giving glimpses of her
careering across Tappan Zee or the wide waste of Haverstraw Bay.  At
one moment she would appear close upon them, as if likely to run them
down, and would throw them into great bustle and alarm, but the next
flash would show her far off, always sailing against the wind.
Sometimes, in quiet moonlight nights, she would be seen under some high
bluff of the Highlands; all in deep shadow, excepting her top-sails
glittering in the moonbeams; by the time, however, that the voyagers
reached the place no ship was to be seen; and when they had passed on
for some distance and looked back, behold! there she was again with her
top-sails in the moonshine!  Her appearance was always just after or
just in the midst of unruly weather; and she was known among the
skippers and voyagers of the Hudson by the name of "The Storm Ship."

These reports perplexed the governor and his council more than ever;
and it would be useless to repeat the conjectures and opinions uttered
on the subject.  Some quoted cases in point of ships seen off the coast
of New England navigated by witches and goblins.  Old Hans Van Pelt,
who had been more than once to the Dutch Colony at the Cape of Good
Hope, insisted that this must be the _Flying Dutchman_ which had so
long haunted Table Bay, but being unable to make port had now sought
another harbor.  Others suggested that if it really was a supernatural
apparition, as there was every natural reason to believe, it might be
Hendrik Hudson and his crew of the _Half-Moon_, who, it was well known,
had once run aground in the upper part of the river in seeking a
north-west passage to China.  This opinion had very little weight with
the governor, but it passed current out of doors; for indeed it had
always been reported that Hendrik Hudson and his crew haunted the
Kaatskill Mountains; and it appeared very reasonable to suppose that
his ship might infest the river where the enterprise was baffled, or
that it might bear the shadowy crew to their periodical revels in the
mountain. . . .

People who live along the river insist that they sometimes see her in
summer moonlight, and that in a deep still midnight they have heard the
chant of her crew, as if heaving the lead; but sights and sounds are so
deceptive along the mountainous shores, and about the wide bays and
long reaches of this great river, that I confess I have very strong
doubts upon the subject.  It is certain, nevertheless, that strange
things have been seen in these Highlands in storms, which are
considered as connected with the old story of the ship.  The captains
of the river craft talk of a little bulbous-bottomed Dutch goblin, in
trunk hose and sugar-loafed hat, with a speaking-trumpet in his hand,
which, they say, keeps about the Dunderberg.  They declare that they
have heard him, in stormy weather, in the midst of the turmoil, giving
orders in Low Dutch for the piping up of a fresh gust of wind or the
rattling off of another thunder-clap; that sometimes he has been seen
surrounded by a crew of little imps in broad breeches and short
doublets, tumbling head-over-heels in the rack and mist, and playing a
thousand gambols in the air, or buzzing like a swarm of flies about
Anthony's Nose; and that, at such times, the hurry-scurry of the storm
was always greatest.  One time a sloop, in passing by the Dunderberg,
was overtaken by a thunder-gust that came scouring round the mountain,
and seemed to burst just over the vessel.  Though light and well
ballasted she labored dreadfully, and the water came over the gunwale.
All the crew were amazed when it was discovered that there was a little
white sugar-loaf hat on the masthead, known at once to be the hat of
the Herr of the Dunderberg.  Nobody, however, dared to climb to the
mast-head and get rid of this terrible hat.  The sloop continued
laboring and rocking, as if she would have rolled her mast overboard,
and seemed in continual danger either of upsetting or of running on
shore.  In this way she drove quite through the Highlands, until she
had passed Pollopol's Island, where, it is said, the jurisdiction of
the Dunderberg potentate ceases.  No sooner had she passed this bourn
than the little hat spun up into the air like a top, whirled up all the
clouds into a vortex, and hurried them back to the summit of the
Dunderberg, while the sloop righted herself and sailed on as quietly as
if in a mill-pond.  Nothing saved her from utter wreck but the
fortunate circumstance of having a horse-shoe nailed against the
mast--a wise precaution against evil spirits, since adopted by all the
Dutch captains that navigate this haunted river.



[From _The Deerslayer_.]

In the position in which the ark had now got, the castle was concealed
from view by the projection of a point, as, indeed, was the northern
extremity of the lake itself.  A respectable mountain, forest-clad, and
rounded like all the rest, limited the view in that direction,
stretching immediately across the whole of the fair scene,[1] with the
exception of a deep bay that passed its western end, lengthening the
basin for more than a mile.  The manner in which the water flowed out
of the lake, beneath the leafy arches of the trees that lined the sides
of the stream, has already been mentioned, and it has also been said
that the rock, which was a favorite place of rendezvous throughout all
that region, and where Deerslayer now expected to meet his friend,
stood near this outlet and no great distance from the shore.  It was a
large isolated stone that rested on the bottom of the lake, apparently
left there when the waters tore away the earth from around it, in
forcing for themselves a passage down the river, and which had obtained
its shape from the action of the elements during the slow progress of
centuries.  The height of this rock could scarcely equal six feet, and,
as has been said, its shape was not unlike that which is usually given
to bee-hives or to a hay-cock.  The latter, indeed, gives the best
idea, not only of its form, but of its dimensions.  It stood, and still
stands, for we are writing of real scenes, within fifty feet of the
bank, and in water that was only two feet in depth, though there were
seasons in which its rounded apex, if such a term can properly be used,
was covered by the lake.  Many of the trees stretched so far forward as
almost to blend the rock with the shore, when seen from a little
distance; and one tall pine in particular overhung it in a way to form
a noble and appropriate canopy to a seat that had held many a forest
chieftain, during the long succession of ages in which America and all
it contained existed apart in mysterious solitude, a world by itself,
equally without a familiar history and without an origin that the
annals of man can catch.

When distant some two or three hundred feet from the shore Deerslayer
took in his sail, and he dropped his grapnel as soon as he found the
ark had drifted in a line that was directly to windward of the rock.
The motion of the scow was then checked, when it was brought head to
wind by the action of the breeze.  As soon as this was done Deerslayer
"paid out line," and suffered the vessel to "set down" upon the rock as
fast as the light air would force it to leeward.  Floating entirely on
the surface, this was soon affected, and the young man checked the
drift when he was told that the stern of the scow was within fifteen or
eighteen feet of the desired spot.

In executing this maneuver, Deerslayer had proceeded promptly; for
while he did not in the least doubt that he was both watched and
followed by the foe, he believed he had distracted their movements by
the apparent uncertainly of his own, and he knew they could have no
means of ascertaining that the rock was his aim, unless, indeed, one of
the prisoners had betrayed him--a chance so improbable in itself as to
give him no concern.  Notwithstanding the celerity and decision of his
movements, he did not, however, venture so near the shore without
taking due precautions to effect a retreat, in the event of its
becoming necessary.  He held the line in his hand, and Judith was
stationed at a loop on the side of the cabin next the shore, where she
could watch the beach and the rocks and give timely notice of the
approach of either friend or foe.  Hetty was also placed on watch, but
it was to keep the trees overhead in view, lest some enemy might ascend
one, and, by completely commanding the interior of the scow, render the
defenses of the hut or cabin useless.

The sun had disappeared from the lake and valley when Deerslayer
checked the ark in the manner mentioned.  Still it wanted a few minutes
to the true sunset, and he knew Indian punctuality too well to
anticipate any unmanly haste in his friend.  The great question was,
whether, surrounded by enemies as he was known to be, he had escaped
their toils.  The occurrences of the last twenty-four hours must be a
secret to him, and, like himself, Chingachgook was yet young on a
war-path.  It was true he came prepared to encounter the party that
withheld his promised bride, but he had no means of ascertaining the
extent of the danger he ran or the precise positions occupied by either
friends or foes.  In a word, the trained sagacity and untiring caution
of an Indian were all he had to rely on amid the critical risks he
unavoidably ran.

"Is the rock empty, Judith?" inquired Deerslayer, as soon as he had
checked the drift of the ark, deeming it imprudent to venture
unnecessarily near.  "Is any thing to be seen of the Delaware chief?"

"Nothing, Deerslayer.  Neither rock, shore, tree, nor lake seems to
have ever held a human form."

"Keep close, Judith--keep close, Hetty--a rifle has a prying eye, a
nimble foot, and a desperate fatal tongue.  Keep close, then, but keep
up act_y_ve looks, and be on the alart.  'Twould grieve me to the heart
did any harm befall either of you."

"And _you_, Deerslayer!" exclaimed Judith, turning her handsome face
from the loop, to bestow a gracious and grateful look on the young man;
"do _you_ 'keep close' and have a proper care that the savages do not
catch a glimpse of you!  A bullet might be as fatal to you as to one of
us, and the blow that you felt would be felt by all."

"No fear of me, Judith--no fear of me, my good gal.  Do not look
this-a-way, although you look so pleasant and comely, but keep your
eyes on the rock and the shore and the--"

Deerslayer was interrupted by a slight exclamation from the girl, who,
in obedience to his hurried gestures, as much as in obedience to his
words, had immediately bent her looks again in the opposite direction.

"What is't?--what is't, Judith?" he hastily demanded.  "Is any thing to
be seen?"

"There is a man on the rock!--an Indian warrior in his paint, and

"Where does he wear his hawk's feather?" eagerly added Deerslayer,
relaxing his hold of the line, in readiness to drift nearer to the
place of rendezvous.  "Is it fast to the warlock, or does he carry it
above the left ear?"

"'Tis as you say, above the left ear; he smiles, too, and mutters the
word 'Mohican.'"

"God be praised, 'tis the Sarpent at last!" exclaimed the young man,
suffering the line to slip through his hands until, hearing a light
bound in the other end of the craft, he instantly checked the rope and
began to haul it in again under the assurance that his object was

At that moment the door of the cabin was opened hastily, and a warrior
darting through the little room stood at Deerslayer's side, simply
uttering the exclamation "Hugh!"  At the next instant Judith and Hetty
shrieked, and the air was filled with the yell of twenty savages, who
came leaping through the branches down the bank, some actually falling
headlong into the water in their haste.

"Pull, Deerslayer," cried Judith, hastily barring the door, in order to
prevent an inroad by the passage through which the Delaware had just
entered; "pull for life and death--the lake is full of savages wading
after us!"

The young men--for Chingachgook immediately came to his friend's
assistance--needed no second bidding, but they applied themselves to
their task in a way that showed how urgent they deemed the occasion.
The great difficulty was in suddenly overcoming the _vis inertiae_ of
so large a mass; for, once in motion, it was easy to cause the scow to
skim the water with all the necessary speed.

"Pull, Deerslayer, for heaven's sake!" cried Judith, again at the loop.
"These wretches rush into the water like hounds following their prey!
Ah!  The scow moves! and now the water deepens to the armpits of the
foremost; still they rush forward and will seize the ark!"

A slight scream and then a joyous laugh followed from the girl; the
first produced by a desperate effort of their pursuers, and the last by
its failure, the scow, which had now got fairly in motion, gliding
ahead into deep water with a velocity that set the designs of their
enemies at naught.  As the two men were prevented by the position of
the cabin from seeing what passed astern, they were compelled to
inquire of the girls into the state of the chase.

"What now, Judith?--what next?  Do the Mingoes still follow, or are we
quit of 'em for the present?" demanded Deerslayer when he felt the rope
yielding, as if the scow was going fast ahead, and heard the scream and
the laugh of the girl almost in the same breath.

"They have vanished!--one, the last, is just burying himself in the
bushes of the bank--there! he has disappeared in the shadows of the
trees!  You have got your friend and we are all safe!"

[1] Otsego Lake.



  Whither, 'midst falling dew,
    While glow the heavens with the last steps of day,
  Far through their rosy depths dost thou pursue
  Thy solitary way?

  Vainly the fowler's eye
    Might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong,
  As, darkly seen against the crimson sky,
    Thy figure floats along.

  Seek'st thou the plashy brink
    Of weedy lake or marge of river wide,
  Or where the rocking billows rise and sink
    On the chafed ocean side?

  There is a power whose care
    Teaches thy way along that pathless coast--
  The desert and illimitable air--
    Lone wandering but not lost.

  All day thy wings have fanned,
    At that far height, the cold, thin atmosphere
  Yet stoop not, weary, to the welcome land,
    Though the dark night is near.

  And soon, that toil shall end;
    Soon, shalt thou find a summer home and rest,
  And scream among thy fellows; reeds shall bend
    Soon o'er thy sheltered nest.

  Thou'rt gone, the abyss of heaven
    Hath swallowed up thy form; yet on my heart
  Deeply hath sunk the lesson thou hast given,
    And shall not soon depart.

  He who, from zone to zone,
    Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight,
  In the long way that I must tread alone,
    Will lead my steps aright.


  The melancholy days are come,
    The saddest of the year,
  Of wailing winds and naked woods,
    And meadows brown and sere.
  Heaped in the hollows of the grove,
    The autumn leaves lie dead;
  They rustle to the eddying gust,
    And to the rabbit's tread.
  The robin and the wren are flown,
    And from the shrubs the jay,
  And from the wood-top calls the crow
    Through all the gloomy day.

  Where are the flowers, the fair young flowers,
    That lately sprang and stood
  In brighter light and softer airs,
    A beauteous sisterhood?
  Alas! they all are in their graves;
    The gentle race of flowers
  Are lying in their lowly beds
    With the fair and good of ours.
  The rain is falling where they lie,
    But the cold November rain
  Calls not, from out the gloomy earth,
    The lovely ones again.

  The wind-flower and the violet,
    They perished long ago,
  And the brier-rose and the orchis died
    Amid the summer glow;
  But on the hill the golden-rod,
    And the aster in the wood,
  And the yellow sun-flower by the brook
    In autumn beauty stood,
  Till fell the frost from the clear cold heaven,
    As falls the plague on men,
  And the brightness of their smile was gone
    From upland, glade, and glen.

  And now when comes the calm, mild day,
    As still such days will come,
  To call the squirrel and the bee
    From out their winter home;
  When the sound of dropping nuts is heard,
    Though all the trees are still,
  And twinkle in the smoky light
    The waters of the rill,
  The south wind searches for the flowers
    Whose fragrance late he bore,
  And sighs to find them in the wood
    And by the stream no more.

  And then I think of one who in
    Her youthful beauty died,
  The fair meek blossom that grew up
    And faded by my side;
  In the cold, moist earth we laid her,
    When the forest cast the leaf,
  And we wept that one so lovely
    Should have a life so brief.
  Yet not unmeet it was that one,
    Like that young friend of ours,
  So gentle and so beautiful,
    Should perish with the flowers.


  [From _Thanatopsis_.]

  Yet not to thine eternal resting-place
  Shalt thou retire alone, nor could'st thou wish
  Couch more magnificent.  Thou shalt lie down
  With patriarchs of the infant world--with kings,
  The powerful of the earth--the wise, the good,
  Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past,
  All in one mighty sepulcher.  The hills,
  Rock-ribb'd and ancient as the sun,--the vales
  Stretching in pensive quietness between;
  The venerable woods--rivers that move
  In majesty, and the complaining brooks
  That make the meadows green; and, poured round all,
  Old Ocean's gray and melancholy waste,--
  Are but the solemn decorations all
  Of the great tomb of man.  The golden sun,
  The planets, all the infinite host of heaven,
  Are shining on the sad abodes of death,
  Through the still lapse of ages.  All that tread
  The globe are but a handful to the tribes
  That slumber in its bosom.  Take the wings
  Of morning, traverse Barca's desert sands,
  Or lose thyself in the continuous woods
  Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound
  Save his own dashings--yet the dead are there:
  And millions in those solitudes, since first
  The flight of years began, have laid them down
  In their last sleep--the dead reign there alone.

     *     *     *     *     *     *

  So live, that when thy summons comes to join
  The innumerable caravan, which moves
  To that mysterious realm, where each shall take
  His chamber in the silent halls of death,
  Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
  Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed
  By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave,
  Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
  About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.



[From _Nature_.]

To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature.  Most persons do not
see the sun.  At least they have a very superficial seeing.  The sun
illuminates only the eye of the man, but shines into the eye and the
heart of the child.  The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward
senses are still truly adjusted to each other; who has retained the
spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood.  His intercourse with
heaven and earth becomes part of his daily food.  In the presence of
nature a wild delight runs through the man, in spite of real sorrows.
Nature says, He is my creature, and mauger all his impertinent griefs,
he shall be glad with me.  Not the sun or the summer alone, but every
hour and season yields its tribute of delight; for every hour and
change corresponds to and authorizes a different state of the mind,
from breathless noon to grimmest midnight.  Nature is a setting that
fits equally well a comic or a mourning piece.  In good health, the air
is a cordial of incredible virtue.  Crossing a bare common, in snow
puddles, at twilight, under a clouded sky, without having in my
thoughts any occurrence of special good fortune, I have enjoyed a
perfect exhilaration.  I am glad to the brink of fear.  In the woods,
too, a man casts off his years, as the snake his slough, and at what
period soever of life is always a child.  In the woods is perpetual
youth.  Within these plantations of God a decorum and sanctity reigns,
a perennial festival is dressed, and the guest sees not how he should
tire of them in a thousand years.  In the woods we return to reason and
faith.  There I feel that nothing can befall me in life--no disgrace,
no calamity (leaving me my eyes), which nature cannot repair.  Standing
on the bare ground--my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into
infinite space--all mean egotism vanishes, I become a transparent
eyeball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being
circulate through me; I am part or particle of God.  The name of the
nearest friend sounds there foreign and accidental; to be brothers, to
be acquaintances--master or servant, is then a trifle and a
disturbance.  I am the lover of uncontained and immortal beauty.  In
the wilderness I find something more dear and connate than in streets
or villages.  In the tranquil landscape, and especially in the distant
line of the horizon, man beholds somewhat as beautiful as his own

The greatest delight which the fields and woods minister is the
suggestion of an occult relation between man and the vegetable.  I am
not alone and unacknowledged.  They nod to me, and I to them.  The
waving of the boughs in the storm is new to me and old.  It takes me by
surprise, and yet is not unknown. . . .

I see the spectacle of morning from the hill-top over against my house,
from daybreak to sunrise, with emotions which an angel might share.
The long slender bars of cloud float like fishes in the sea of crimson
light.  From the earth, as a shore, I look out into that silent sea.  I
seem to partake its rapid transformations; the active enchantment
reaches my dust, and I dilate and conspire with the morning wind.  How
does Nature deify us with a few and cheap elements!  Give me health and
a day, and I will make the pomp of emperors ridiculous.  The dawn is my
Assyria; the sunset and moonrise my Paphos, and unimaginable realms of
faerie; broad noon shall be my England of the senses and the
understanding; the night shall be my Germany of mystic philosophy and

Not less excellent, except for our less susceptibility in the
afternoon, was the charm, last evening, of a January sunset.  The
western clouds divided and subdivided themselves into pink flakes
modulated with tints of unspeakable softness; and the air had so much
life and sweetness that it was a pain to come within doors.  What was
it that Nature would say?  Was there no meaning in the live repose of
the valley behind the mill, and which Homer or Shakespeare could not
re-form for me in words?  The leafless trees become spires of flame in
the sunset, with the blue east for their background, and the stars of
the dead calices of flowers, and every withered stem and stubble ruined
with frost, contribute something to the mute music.


[From the same.]

To the senses and the unrenewed understanding belongs a sort of
instinctive belief in the absolute existence of nature.  In their view
man and nature are indissolubly joined.  Things are ultimates, and they
never look beyond their sphere.  The presence of Reason mars this
faith. . . .  Nature is made to conspire with spirit to emancipate us.
Certain mechanical changes, a small alteration in our local position,
apprises us of a dualism.  We are strangely affected by seeing the
shore from a moving ship, from a balloon, or through the tints of an
unusual sky.  The least change in our point of view gives the whole
world a pictorial air.  A man who seldom rides needs only to get into a
coach and traverse his own town, to turn the street into a puppet-show.
The men, the women--talking, running, bartering, fighting--the earnest
mechanic, the lounger, the beggar, the boys, the dogs are unrealized at
once, or at least wholly detached from all relation to the observer,
and seen as apparent, not substantial, beings.  What new thoughts are
suggested by seeing a face of country quite familiar, in the rapid
movement of the railway car!  Nay, the most wonted objects (make a very
slight change in the point of vision) please us most.  In a camera
obscura the butcher's cart and the figure of one of our own family
amuse us.  So a portrait of a well-known face gratifies us.  Turn the
eyes upside down, by looking at the landscape through your legs, and
how agreeable is the picture, though you have seen it any time these
twenty years!

In these cases, by mechanical means, is suggested the difference
between the observer and the spectacle, between the man and nature.
Hence arises a pleasure mixed with awe; I may say, a low degree of the
sublime is felt from the fact, probably, that man is hereby apprised,
that whilst the world is a spectacle, something in himself is stable.


  In May, when sea-winds pierced our solitudes,
  I found the fresh Rhodora in the woods,
  Spreading its leafless blooms in a damp nook,
  To please the desert and the sluggish brook.
  The purple petals, fallen in the pool,
  Made the black water with their beauty gay;
  Here might the red bird come his plumes to cool,
  And court the flower that cheapens his array.
  Rhodora! if the sages ask thee why
  This charm is wasted on the earth and sky,
  Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing,
  Then Beauty is its own excuse for being:
  Why thou wert there, O rival of the rose,
  I never thought to ask, I never knew:
  But, in my simple ignorance, suppose
  The self-same power that brought me there brought you.

  [1] On being asked, Whence is the flower?


  [Sung at the completion of the Concord Monument, April 19, 1836.]

  By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
    Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
  Here once the embattled farmers stood,
    And fired the shot heard round the world.

  The foe long since in silence slept;
    Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
  And time the ruined bridge has swept
    Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

  On this green bank, by this soft stream,
    We set to-day a votive stone;
  That memory may their deed redeem,
    When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

  Spirit, that made those heroes dare
    To die, and leave their children free,
  Bid time and nature gently spare
    The shaft we raise to them and thee.



What a singular moment is the first one, when you have hardly begun to
recollect yourself, after starting from midnight slumber!  By unclosing
your eyes so suddenly you seem to have surprised the personages of your
dream in full convocation round your bed and catch one broad glance at
them before they can flit into obscurity.  Or, to vary the metaphor,
you find yourself, for a single instant, wide awake in that realm of
illusions whither sleep has been the passport, and behold its ghostly
inhabitants and wondrous scenery with a perception of their strangeness
such as you never attain while the dream is undisturbed.  The distant
sound of a church clock is borne faintly on the wind.  You question
with yourself, half seriously, whether it has stolen to your waking ear
from some gray tower that stood within the precincts of your dream.
While yet in suspense, another clock flings its heavy clang over
the slumbering town with so full and distinct a sound, and such a
long murmur in the neighboring air, that you are certain it must
proceed from the steeple at the nearest corner.  You count the
strokes--one--two, and there they cease, with a booming sound, like the
gathering of a third stroke within the bell.

If you could choose an hour of wakefulness out of the whole night it
would be this.  Since your sober bed-time, at eleven, you have had rest
enough to take off the pressure of yesterday's fatigue; while before
you till the sun comes from "far Cathay" to brighten your window there
is almost the space of a summer night; one hour to be spent in thought,
with the mind's eye half shut, and two in pleasant dreams, and two in
that strangest of enjoyments, the forgetfulness alike of joy and woe.
The moment of rising belongs to another period of time, and appears so
distant that the plunge out of a warm bed into the frosty air cannot
yet be anticipated with dismay.  Yesterday has already vanished among
the shadows of the past; to-morrow has not yet emerged from the future.
You have found an intermediate space, where the business of life does
not intrude, where the passing moment lingers and becomes truly the
present; a spot where Father Time, when he thinks nobody is watching
him, sits down by the way-side to take breath, O that he would fall
asleep and let mortals live on without growing older!

Hitherto you have lain perfectly still, because the slightest motion
would dissipate the fragments of your slumber.  Now, being irrevocably
awake, you peep through the half-drawn window-curtain and observe that
the glass is ornamented with fanciful devices in frost-work, and that
each pane presents something like a frozen dream.  There will be time
enough to trace out the analogy while waiting the summons to breakfast.
Seen through the clear portion of the glass, where the silvery mountain
peaks of the frost scenery do not ascend, the most conspicuous object
is the steeple, the white spire of which directs you to the wintry
luster of the firmament.  You may almost distinguish the figures on the
clock that has just tolled the hour.  Such a frosty sky, and the
snow-covered roofs, and the long vista of the frozen street, all white,
and the distant water hardened into rock, might make you shiver, even
under four blankets and a woolen comforter.  Yet look at that one
glorious star!  Its beams are distinguishable from all the rest, and
actually cast the shadow of the casement on the bed with a radiance of
deeper hue than moonlight, though not so accurate an outline.

You sink down and muffle your head in the clothes, shivering all the
while, but less from bodily chill than the bare idea of a polar
atmosphere.  It is too cold even for the thoughts to venture abroad.
You speculate on the luxury of wearing out a whole existence in bed,
like an oyster in its shell, content with the sluggish ecstasy of
inaction, and drowsily conscious of nothing but delicious warmth, such
as you now feel again.  Ah! that idea has brought a hideous one in its
train.  You think how the dead are lying in their cold shrouds and
narrow coffins through the drear winter of the grave, and cannot
persuade your fancy that they neither shrink nor shiver when the snow
is drifting over their little hillocks and the bitter blast howls
against the door of the tomb.  That gloomy thought will collect a
gloomy multitude and throw its complexion over your wakeful hour.

In the depths of every heart there is a tomb and a dungeon, though the
lights, the music, and revelry above may cause us to forget their
existence, and the buried ones or prisoners whom they hide.  But
sometimes, and oftenest at midnight, these dark receptacles are flung
wide open.  In an hour like this, when the mind has a passive
sensibility, but no active strength; when the imagination is a mirror,
imparting vividness to all ideas without the power of selecting or
controlling them, then pray that your griefs may slumber and the
brotherhood of remorse not break their chain.  It is too late!  A
funeral train comes gliding by your bed, in which Passion and Feeling
assume bodily shape and things of the mind become dim specters to the
eye.  There is your earliest Sorrow, a pale young mourner, wearing a
sister's likeness to first love, sadly beautiful, with a hallowed
sweetness in her melancholy features and grace in the flow of her sable
robe.  Next appears a shade of ruined loveliness, with dust among her
golden hair and her bright garments all faded and defaced, stealing
from your glance with drooping head, as fearful of reproach; she was
your fondest Hope, but a delusive one; so call her Disappointment now.
A sterner form succeeds, with a brow of wrinkles, a look and gesture of
iron authority; there is no name for him unless it be Fatality, an
emblem of the evil influence that rules your fortunes; a demon to whom
you subjected yourself by some error at the outset of life, and were
bound his slave forever, by once obeying him.  See! those fiendish
lineaments graven on the darkness, the writhed lip of scorn, the
mockery of that living eye, the pointed finger, touching the sore place
in your heart!  Do you remember any act of enormous folly, at which you
would blush, even in the remotest cavern of the earth?  Then recognize
your Shame.

Pass, wretched band!  Well for the wakeful one if, riotously miserable,
a fiercer tribe do not surround him, the devils of a guilty heart, that
holds its hell within itself.  What if Remorse should assume the
features of an injured friend?  What if the fiend should come in
woman's garments, with a pale beauty amid sin and desolation, and lie
down by your side?  What if he should stand at your bed's foot, in the
likeness of a corpse, with a bloody stain upon the shroud?  Sufficient
without such guilt is this nightmare of the soul; this heavy, heavy
sinking of the spirits; this wintry gloom about the heart; this
indistinct horror of the mind, blending itself with the darkness of the
chamber. . . .  Now comes the peal of the distant clock, with fainter
and fainter strokes as you plunge farther into the wilderness of sleep.
It is the knell of a temporary death.  Your spirit has departed, and
strays like a free citizen, among the people of a shadowy world,
beholding strange sights, yet without wonder or dismay.  So calm,
perhaps, will be the final change, so undisturbed, as if among familiar
things.  The entrance of the soul to its eternal home!



  I have read, in some old marvelous tale,
    Some legend strange and vague,
  That a midnight host of specters pale
    Beleaguered the walls of Prague.

  Beside the Moldau's rushing stream,
    With the wan moon overhead,
  There stood, as in an awful dream,
    The army of the dead.

  White as a sea-fog, landward-bound,
    The spectral camp was seen,
  And, with a sorrowful deep sound,
    The river flowed between.

  No other voice nor sound was there,
    No drum, nor sentry's pace;
  The mist-like banners clasped the air,
    As clouds with clouds embrace.

  But when the old cathedral bell
    Proclaimed the morning prayer,
  The white pavilions rose and fell
    On the alarmèd air.

  Down the broad valley fast and far
    The troubled army fled;
  Up rose the glorious morning star,
    The ghastly host was dead.

  I have read in the marvelous heart of man,
    That strange and mystic scroll,
  That an army of phantoms vast and wan
    Beleaguer the human soul.

  Encamped beside Life's rushing stream,
    In Fancy's misty light,
  Gigantic shapes and shadows gleam
    Portentous through the night.

  Upon its midnight battle-ground
    The spectral camp is seen,
  And, with a sorrowful deep sound,
    Flows the River of Life between.

  No other voice nor sound is there,
    In the army of the grave;
  No other challenge breaks the air,
    But the rushing of life's wave.

  And when the solemn and deep church-bell
    Entreats the soul to pray,
  The midnight phantoms feel the spell,
    The shadows sweep away.

  Down the broad Vale of Tears afar
    The spectral camp is fled;
  Faith shineth as a morning star,
    Our ghastly fears are dead.


  I saw, as in a dream sublime,
  The balance in the hand of Time.
  O'er East and West its beam impended;
  And day, with all its hours of light,
  Was slowly sinking out of sight,
  While, opposite, the scale of night
  Silently with the stars ascended.

  Like the astrologers of eld,
  In that bright vision I beheld
  Greater and deeper mysteries.
  I saw, with its celestial keys,
  Its chords of air, its frets of fire,
  The Samian's great Aeolian lyre,
  Rising through all its sevenfold bars,
  From earth unto the fixèd stars.
  And through the dewy atmosphere,
  Not only could I see, but hear,
  Its wondrous and harmonious strings,
  In sweet vibration, sphere by sphere,
  From Dian's circle light and near,
  Onward to vaster and wider rings,
  Where, chanting through his beard of snows,
  Majestic, mournful Saturn goes,
  And down the sunless realms of space
  Reverberates the thunder of his bass.

  Beneath the sky's triumphal arch
  This music sounded like a march,
  And with its chorus seemed to be
  Preluding some great tragedy.
  Sirius was rising in the east;
  And, slow ascending one by one,
  The kindling constellations shone.
  Begirt with many a blazing star,
  Stood the great giant, Algebar,
  Orion, hunter of the beast!
  His sword hung gleaming by his side,
  And, on his arm, the lion's hide
  Scattered across the midnight air
  The golden radiance of its hair.

  The moon was pallid, but not faint;
  And beautiful as some fair saint,
  Serenely moving on her way
  In hours of trial and dismay.
  As if she heard the voice of God,
  Unharmed with naked feet she trod
  Upon the hot and burning stars,
  As on the glowing coals and bars
  That were to prove her strength, and try
  Her holiness and her purity.

  Thus moving on, with silent pace,
  And triumph in her sweet, pale face,
  She reached the station of Orion.
  Aghast he stood in strange alarm!
  And suddenly from his outstretched arm
  Down fell the red skin of the lion
  Into the river at his feet.
  His mighty club no longer beat
  The forehead of the bull; but he
  Reeled as of yore beside the sea,
  When, blinded by Oenopion,
  He sought the blacksmith at his forge,
  And, climbing up the mountain gorge,
  Fixed his blank eyes upon the sun,
  Then through the silence overhead,
  An angel with a trumpet said,
  "Forever more, forever more,
  The reign of violence is o'er."
  And, like an instrument that flings
  Its music on another's strings,
  The trumpet of the angel cast
  Upon the heavenly lyre its blast,
  And on from sphere to sphere the words
  Re-echoed down the burning chords,--
  "For evermore, for evermore,
  The reign of violence is o'er!"


  Tuscan, that wanderest through the realms of gloom,
    With thoughtful pace, and sad, majestic eyes,
    Stern thoughts and awful from thy thoughts arise,
  Like Farinata from his fiery tomb.
  Thy sacred song is like the trump of doom;
    Yet in thy heart what human sympathies.
    What soft compassion glows, as in the skies
  The tender stars their clouded lamps relume!
    Methinks I see thee stand, with pallid cheeks,
      By Fra Hilario in his diocese,
    As up the convent wall, in golden streaks,
      The ascending sunbeams mark the day's decrease.
    And, as he asks what there the stranger seeks,
      Thy voice along the cloister whispers, "Peace!"



  O Mother Earth! upon thy lap
    Thy weary ones receiving,
  And o'er there, silent as a dream,
    Thy grassy mantle weaving,
  Fold softly in thy long embrace
    That heart so worn and broken,
  And cool its pulse of fire beneath
    Thy shadows old and oaken.

  Shut out from him the bitter word
    And serpent hiss of scorning;
  Nor let the storms of yesterday
    Disturb his quiet morning.
  Breathe over him forgetfulness
    Of all save deeds of kindness,
  And, save to smiles of grateful eyes,
    Press down his lids in blindness.

  There, where with living ear and eye,
    He heard Potomac's flowing,
  And, through his tall ancestral trees
    Saw autumn's sunset glowing,
  He sleeps--still looking to the West,
    Beneath the dark wood shadow,
  As if he still would see the sun
    Sink down on wave and meadow.

  Bard, Sage, and Tribune--in himself
    All moods of mind contrasting--
  The tenderest wail of human woe,
    The scorn like lightning blasting;
  The pathos which from rival eyes
    Unwilling tears could summon,
  The stinging taunt, the fiery burst
    Of hatred scarcely human!

  Mirth, sparkling like a diamond shower,
    From lips of life-long sadness;
  Clear picturings of majestic thought
    Upon a ground of madness;
  And over all Romance and Song
    A classic beauty throwing,
  And laureled Clio at his side
    Her storied pages showing.

  All parties feared him: each in turn
    Beheld its schemes disjointed,
  As right or left his fatal glance
    And spectral finger pointed.
  Sworn foe of cant, he smote it down
    With trenchant wit unsparing,
  And, mocking, rent with ruthless hand
    The robe Pretense was wearing.

  Too honest or too proud to feign
    A love he never cherished,
  Beyond Virginia's border line
    His patriotism perished.
  While others hailed in distant skies
    Our eagle's dusky pinion,
  He only saw the mountain bird
    Stoop o'er his Old Dominion.

  Still through each change of fortune strange,
    Racked nerve, and brain all burning,
  His loving faith in mother-land
    Knew never shade of turning;
  By Britain's lakes, by Neva's wave,
    Whatever sky was o'er him,
  He heard her rivers' rushing sound,
    Her blue peaks rose before him.

  He held his slaves, yet made withal
    No false and vain pretenses,
  Nor paid a lying priest to seek
    For scriptural defenses.
  His harshest words of proud rebuke,
    His bitterest taunt and scorning,
  Fell fire-like on the Northern brow
    That bent to him in fawning.

  He held his slaves, yet kept the while
    His reverence for the Human,
  In the dark vassals of his will
    He saw but man and woman.
  No hunter of God's outraged poor
    His Roanoke valley entered;
  No trader in the souls of men
    Across his threshold ventured.

  And when the old and wearied man
    Lay down for his last sleeping,
  And at his side, a slave no more,
    His brother-man stood weeping,
  His latest thought, his latest breath,
    To freedom's duty giving,
  With failing tongue and trembling hand
    The dying blest the living.

  O! never bore his ancient State
    A truer son or braver;
  None trampling with a calmer scorn
    On foreign hate or favor.
  He knew her faults, yet never stooped
    His proud and manly feeling
  To poor excuses of the wrong
    Or meanness of concealing.

  But none beheld with clearer eye,
    The plague-spot o'er her spreading,
  None heard more sure the steps of Doom
    Along her future treading.
  For her as for himself he spake,
    When, his gaunt frame up-bracing,
  He traced with dying hand "REMORSE!"
    And perished in the tracing.

  As from the grave where Henry sleeps,
    From Vernon's weeping willow,
  And from the grassy pall which hides
    The Sage of Monticello,
  So from the leaf-strewn burial-stone
    Of Randolph's lowly dwelling,
  Virginia! o'er thy land of slaves
    A warning voice is swelling.

  And hark! from thy deserted fields
    Are sadder warnings spoken,
  From quenched hearths, where thy exiled sons
    Their household gods have broken.
  The curse is on thee--wolves for men,
    And briers for corn-sheaves giving!
  O! more than all thy dead renown
    Were now one hero living.



  Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!
    Long has it waved on high,
  And many an eye has danced to see
    That banner in the sky;
  Beneath it rung the battle shout,
    And burst the cannon's roar;
  The meteor of the ocean air
    Shall sweep the clouds no more.

  Her deck, once red with heroes' blood,
    Where knelt the vanquished foe,
  When winds were hurrying o'er the flood,
    And waves were white below,
  No more shall feel the victor's tread,
    Or know the conquered knee,--
  The harpies of the shore shall pluck
    The eagle of the sea.

  O, better that her shattered hulk
    Should sink beneath the wave;
  Her thunders shook the mighty deep,
    And there should be her grave;
  Nail to the mast her holy flag,
    Set every threadbare sail,
  And give her to the god of storms,
    The lightning and the gale!


  I saw him once before,
  As he passed by the door,
      And again
  The pavement stones resound,
  As he totters o'er the ground
        With his cane.

  They say that in his prime,
  Ere the pruning-knife of time
        Cut him down,
  Not a better man was found
  By the Crier on his round
        Through the town.

  But now he walks the streets,
  And he looks at all he meets
        Sad and wan,
  And he shakes his feeble head,
  That it seems as if he said,
        "They are gone."

  The mossy marbles rest
  On the lips that he has pressed
        In their bloom,
  And the names he loved to hear
  Have been carved for many a year
        On the tomb.

  My grandmamma has said--
  Poor old lady, she is dead
        Long ago--
  That he had a Roman nose,
  And his cheek was like a rose
        In the snow.

  But now his nose is thin,
  And it rests upon his chin
        Like a staff,
  And a crook is in his back,
  And a melancholy crack
        In his laugh.

  I know it is a sin
  For me to sit and grin
        At him here;
  But the old three-cornered hat,
  And the breeches, and all that,
        Are so queer!

  And if I should live to be
  The last leaf upon the tree
        In the spring,
  Let them smile, as I do now,
  At the old forsaken bough
        Where I cling.


  My aunt! my dear, unmarried aunt!
    Long years have o'er her flown;
  Yet still she strains the aching clasp
    That binds her virgin zone;
  I know it hurts her, though she looks
    As cheerful as she can;
  Her waist is ampler than her life,
    For life is but a span.

  My aunt! my poor deluded aunt!
    Her hair is almost gray;
  Why will she train that winter curl
    In such a spring-like way?
  How can she lay her glasses down,
    And say she reads as well,
  When, through a double convex lens,
    She just makes out to spell?

  Her father--grandpapa! forgive
    This erring lip its smiles--
  Vowed she should make the finest girl
    Within a hundred miles;
  He sent her to a stylish school;
    'Twas in her thirteenth June;
  And with her, as the rules required,
    "Two towels and a spoon."

  They braced my aunt against a board,
    To make her straight and tall;
  They laced her up, they starved her down,
    To make her light and small;
  They pinched her feet, they singed her hair,
    They screwed it up with pins;
  O, never mortal suffered more
    In penance for her sins.

  So when my precious aunt was done,
    My grandsire brought her back
  (By daylight, lest some rabid youth
    Might follow on the track);
  "Ah!" said my grandsire, as he shook
    Some powder in his pan,
  "What could this lovely creature do
    Against a desperate man?"

  Alas! nor chariot, nor barouche,
    Nor bandit cavalcade,
  Tore from the trembling father's arms
    His all-accomplished maid.
  For her how happy had it been!
    And Heaven had spared to me
  To see one sad ungathered rose
    On my ancestral tree.



  Helen, thy beauty is to me
    Like those Nicean barks of yore,
  That gently, o'er a perfumed sea,
    The weary, wayworn wanderer bore
    To his own native shore.

  On desperate seas long wont to roam,
    Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face,
  Thy Naiad airs have brought me home
    To the glory that was Greece
    And the grandeur that was Rome.

  Lo! in yon brilliant window-niche
    How statue-like I see thee stand,
  The agate lamp within thy hand!
    Ah! Psyche, from the regions which
    Are Holy Land!


  Thou wast that all to me, love,
    For which my soul did pine:
  A green isle in the sea, love,
    A fountain and a shrine
  All wreathed with fairy fruits and flowers,
    And all the flowers were mine.

  Ah, dream too bright to last!
    Ah, starry hope! that did'st arise
  But to be overcast!
    A voice from out the future cries
  On! on!  But o'er the past
    (Dim gulf!) my spirit hovering lies,
  Mute, motionless, aghast!

  For, alas! alas! with me
    The light of life is o'er.
  "No more--no more--no more--"
    (Such language holds the solemn sea
  To the sands upon the shore)
    Shall bloom the thunder-blasted tree,
  Or the stricken eagle soar!

  And all my days are trances,
    And all my nightly dreams
  Are where thy dark eye glances,
    And where thy footstep gleams,--
  In what ethereal dances,
    By what eternal streams!


At the termination of this sentence I started, and for a moment paused;
for it appeared to me (although I at once concluded that my excited
fancy had deceived me)--it appeared to me that, from some very remote
portion of the mansion there came, indistinctly, to my ears what might
have been, in its exact similarity of character, the echo (but a
stifled and dull one certainly) of the very cracking and ripping sound
which Sir Launcelot had so particularly described.  It was, beyond
doubt, the coincidence alone which had arrested my attention; for amid
the rattling of the sashes of the casements, and, the ordinary
commingled noises of the still-increasing storm, the sound, in itself,
had nothing, surely, which should have interested or disturbed me.  I
continued the story.

     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Here again I paused abruptly, and now with a feeling of wild
amazement--for there could be no doubt whatever that, in this instance,
I did actually hear (although from what direction it proceeded I found
it impossible to say) a low and apparently distant, but harsh,
protracted, and most unusual screaming or grating sound, the exact
counterpart of what my fancy had already conjured up for the dragon's
unnatural shriek, as described by the romancer.  Oppressed, as I
certainly was, upon the occurrence of this second and most
extraordinary coincidence, by a thousand conflicting sensations, in
which wonder and extreme terror were predominant, I still retained
sufficient presence of mind to avoid exciting, by any observation, the
sensitive nervousness of my companion.  I was by no means certain that
he had noticed the sounds in question; although, assuredly, a strange
alteration had, during the last few minutes, taken place in his
demeanor.  From a position fronting my own he had gradually brought
round his chair so as to sit with his face to the door of the chamber,
and thus I could but partially perceive his features, although I saw
that his lips trembled as if he were murmuring inaudibly.  His head had
dropped upon his breast; yet I knew that he was not asleep, from the
wide and rigid opening of the eye as I caught a glance of it in
profile.  The motion of his body, too, was at variance with this idea;
for he rocked from side to side with a gentle yet constant and uniform
sway.  Having rapidly taken notice of all this I resumed the narrative
of Sir Launcelot.

     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

No sooner had these syllables passed my lips than--as if a shield of
brass had indeed, at the moment, fallen heavily upon a floor of
silver--I became aware of a distinct, hollow, metallic, and clangorous,
yet apparently muffled, reverberation.  Completely unnerved, I leaped
to my feet; but the measured, rocking movement of Usher was
undisturbed.  I rushed to the chair in which he sat.  His eyes were
bent fixedly before him, and throughout his whole countenance there
reigned a stony rigidity.  But as I placed my hand upon his shoulder
there came a strong shudder over his whole person; a sickly smile
quivered about his lips; and I saw that he spoke in a low, hurried, and
gibbering manner, as if unconscious of my presence.  Bending closely
over him, I at length drank in the hideous import of his words.

"Not hear it?  Yes, I hear it, and _have_ heard it.
Long--long--long--many minutes, many hours, many days have I heard
it--yet I _dared_ not--O, pity me, miserable wretch that I am!--I
_dared_ not--I dared not speak!  _We have put her living in the tomb_!
Said I not that my senses were acute?  I _now_ tell you that I heard
her first feeble movements in the hollow coffin.  I heard them many,
many days ago--yet I dared not--I _dared not speak_!  And
now--to-night--Ethelred--ha! ha!--the breaking of the hermit's door,
and the death-cry of the dragon, and the clangor of the shield!--say,
rather, the rending of her coffin, and the grating of the iron hinges
of her prison, and her struggles within the coppered archway of the
vault!  O, whither shall I fly?  Will she not be here anon?  Is she not
hurrying to upbraid me for my haste?  Have I not heard her footstep on
the stair?  Do I not distinguish that heavy and horrible beating of her
heart?  Madman!"--here he sprang furiously to his feet and shrieked out
his syllables, as if in the effort he were giving up his
soul--"_Madman!  I tell you that she now stands without the door_!"

As if in the superhuman energy of his utterance there had been found
the potency of a spell, the huge antique panels to which the speaker
pointed threw slowly back, upon the instant, their ponderous and ebony
jaws.  It was the work of the rushing gust; but then without those
doors there _did_ stand the lofty and enshrouded figure of the Lady
Madeline of Usher.  There was blood upon her white robes, and the
evidence of some bitter struggle upon every portion of her emaciated
frame.  For a moment she remained trembling and reeling to and fro upon
the threshold--then, with a low, moaning cry, fell heavily inward upon
the person of her brother, and, in her violent and now final
death-agonies, bore him to the floor a corpse and a victim to the
terrors he had anticipated.

From that chamber and from that mansion I fled aghast.  The storm was
still abroad in all its wrath as I found myself crossing the old
causeway.  Suddenly there shot along the path a wild light, and I
turned to see whence a gleam so unusual could have issued, for the vast
house and its shadows were alone behind me.  The radiance was that; of
the full, setting, and blood-red moon, which now shone vividly through
that once barely discernible fissure of which I have before spoken as
extending from the roof of the building, in a zigzag direction, to the
base.  While I gazed this fissure rapidly widened; there came a fierce
breath of the whirlwind--the entire orb of the satellite burst at once
upon my sight--my brain reeled as I saw the mighty walls rushing
asunder--there was a long, tumultuous, shouting sound like the voice of
a thousand waters--and the deep and dark tarn at my feet closed
sullenly and silently over the fragments of the House of Usher.



  The shadows lay along Broadway,
    'Twas near the twilight tide--
  And slowly there a lady fair
    Was walking in her pride.
  Alone walked she; but, viewlessly,
    Walked spirits at her side.

  Peace charmed the street beneath her feet,
    And Honor charmed the air;
  And all astir looked kind on her,
    And called her good as fair--
  For all God ever gave to her
    She kept with chary care.

  She kept with care her beauties rare
    From lovers warm and true;
  For her heart was cold to all but gold,
    And the rich came not to woo,
  But honored well are charms to sell,
    If priests the selling do.

  Now walking there was one more fair--
    A slight girl, lily-pale;
  And she had unseen company
    To make the spirit quail--
  'Twixt Want and Scorn she walked forlorn,
    And nothing could avail.

  No mercy now can clear her brow
    For this world's peace to pray;
  For, as love's wild prayer dissolved in air,
    Her woman's heart gave way!
  But the sin forgiven by Christ in heaven
    By man is cursed alway.


Here we are, then, in the "Swallow's Cave."  The floor descends by a
gentle declivity to the sea, and from the long dark cleft stretching
outward you look forth upon the Atlantic--the shore of Ireland the
first _terra firma_ in the path of your eye.  Here is a dark pool, left
by the retreating tide for a refrigerator; and with the champagne in
the midst we will recline about it like the soft Asiatics of whom we
learned pleasure in the East, and drink to the small-featured and
purple-lipped "Mignons" of Syria--those fine-limbed and fiery slaves
adorable as peris, and by turns languishing and stormy, whom you buy
for a pinch of piastres (say 5L 5s.) in sunny Damascus.  Your drowsy
Circassian, faint and dreamy, or your crockery Georgian--fit dolls for
the sensual Turk--is, to him who would buy _soul_, dear at a penny the

We recline, as it were, in an ebon pyramid with a hundred feet of floor
and sixty of wall, and the fourth side open to the sky.  The light
comes in mellow and dim, and the sharp edges of the rocky portal seem
let into the pearly heaven.  The tide is at half-ebb, and the advancing
and retreating waves, which at first just lifted the fringe of crimson
dulse at the lip of the cavern, now dash their spray-pearls on the rock
below, the "tenth" surge alone rallying as if in scorn of its
retreating fellow, and, like the chieftain of Culloden Moor, rushing
back singly to the contest.  And now that the waters reach the entrance
no more, come forward and look on the sea!  The swell lifts!  Would you
not think the bases of the earth rising beneath it?  It falls!  Would
you not think the foundation of the deep had given way?  A plain, broad
enough for the navies of the world to ride at large, heaves up evenly
and steadily as if it would lie against the sky, rests a moment
spell-bound in its place, and falls again as far--the respiration of a
sleeping child not more regular and full of slumber.  It is only on the
shore that it chafes.  Blessed emblem! it is at peace with itself!  The
rocks war with a nature so unlike their own, and the hoarse din of
their border onsets resounds through the caverns they have rent open;
but beyond, in the calm bosom of the ocean, what heavenly dignity! what
godlike unconsciousness of alarm!  I did not think we should stumble on
such a moral in the cave!

By the deeper bass of its hoarse organ the sea is now playing upon its
lowest stops, and the tide is down.  Hear how it rushes in beneath the
rocks, broken and stilled in its tortuous way, till it ends with a
washing and dull hiss among the sea-weed, and, like a myriad of small
tinkling bells, the dripping from the crags is audible.  There is fine
music in the sea!

And now the beach is bare.  The cave begins to cool and darken, and the
first gold tint of sunset is stealing into the sky, and the sea looks
of a changing opal, green, purple, and white, as if its floor were
paved with pearl, and the changing light struck up through the waters.
And there heaves a ship into the horizon like a white-winged bird,
lying with dark breast on the waves, abandoned of the sea-breeze within
sight of port, and repelled even by the spicy breath that comes with a
welcome off the shore.  She comes from "Merry England."  She is
freighted with more than merchandise.  The home-sick exile will gaze on
her snowy sail as she sets in with the morning breeze, and bless it,
for the wind that first filled it on its way swept through the green
valley of his home!  What links of human affection brings she over the
sea?  How much comes in her that is not in her "bill of lading," yet
worth to the heart that is waiting for it a thousand times the purchase
of her whole venture!

_Mais montons nous_!  I hear the small hoofs of Thalaba; my stanhope
waits; we will leave this half bottle of champagne, that "remainder
biscuit," and the echoes of our philosophy to the Naiads who have lent
us their drawing-room.  Undine, or Egeria!  Lurly, or Arethusa!
whatever thou art called, nymph of this shadowy cave! adieu!

Slowly, Thalaba!  Tread gingerly down this rocky descent!  So!  Here we
are on the floor of the vasty deep!  What a glorious race-course!  The
polished and printless sand spreads away before you as far as the eye
can see, the surf comes in below breast-high ere it breaks and the
white fringe of the sliding wave shoots up the beach, but leaves room
for the marching of a Persian phalanx on the sands it has deserted.  O,
how noiselessly runs the wheel, and how dreamily we glide along,
feeling our motion but in the resistance of the wind and in the
trout-like pull of the ribands by the excited animal before us.  Mark
the color of the sand!  White at high-water mark, and thence deepening
to a silvery gray as the water has evaporated less, a slab of Egyptian
granite in the obelisk of St. Peter's not more polished and
unimpressible.  Shell or rock, weed or quicksand, there is none; and,
mar or deface its bright surface as you will, it is ever beaten down
anew, and washed even of the dust of the foot of man by the returning
sea.  You may write upon its fine-grained face with a crow-quill--you
may course over its dazzling expanse with a troop of chariots.

Most wondrous and beautiful of all, within twenty yards of the surf, or
for an hour after the tide has left the sand, it holds the water
without losing its firmness, and is like a gay mirror, bright as the
bosom of the sea.  (By your leave, Thalaba!)  And now lean over the
dasher and see those small fetlocks striking up from beneath--the
flying mane, the thoroughbred action, the small and expressive head, as
perfect in the reflection as in the reality; like Wordsworth's swan, he

  "_Trots_ double, _horse_ and shadow."

You would swear you were skimming the surface of the sea; and the
delusion is more complete as the white foam of the "tenth wave" skims
in beneath wheel and hoof, and you urge on with the treacherous element
gliding away visibly beneath you.



[From _Excursions_.]

There is a slumbering subterranean fire in nature which never goes out,
and which no cold can chill.  It finally melts the great snow, and in
January or July is only buried under a thicker or thinner covering.  In
the coldest day it flows somewhere, and the snow melts around every
tree.  This field of winter rye which sprouted late in the fall and now
speedily dissolves the snow is where the fire is very thinly covered.
We feel warmed by it.  In the winter warmth stands for all virtue, and
we resort in thought to a trickling rill, with its bare stones shining
in the sun, and to warm springs in the woods, with as much eagerness as
rabbits and robins.  The steam which rises from swamps and pools is as
dear and domestic as that of our own kettle.  What fire could ever
equal the sunshine of a winter's day, when the meadow-mice come out by
the wall-sides, and the chickadee lisps in the defiles of the wood?
The warmth comes directly from the sun, and is not radiated from the
earth as in summer; and when we feel his beams on our backs as we are
treading some snowy dell we are grateful as for a special kindness, and
bless the sun which has followed us into that by-place.

This subterranean fire has its altar in each man's breast, for in the
coldest day, and on the bleakest hill, the traveler cherishes a warmer
fire within the folds of his cloak than is kindled on any hearth.  A
healthy man, indeed, is the complement of the seasons, and in winter
summer is in his heart.  There is the South.  Thither have all birds
and insects migrated, and around the warm springs in his breast are
gathered the robin and the lark.

At length, having reached the edge of the woods and shut out the
gadding town, we enter within their covert as we go under the roof of a
cottage, and cross its threshold, all ceiled and banked up with snow.
They are glad and warm still, and as genial and cheery in winter as in
summer.  As we stand in the midst of the pines, in the flickering and
checkered light which straggles but little way into their maze, we
wonder if the towns have ever heard their simple story.  It seems to us
that no traveler has ever explored them, and notwithstanding the
wonders which science is elsewhere revealing every day, who would not
like to hear their annals?  Our humble villages in the plain are their
contribution.  We borrow from the forest the boards which shelter and
the sticks which warm us.  How important is their evergreen to the
winter, that portion of the summer which does not fade, the permanent
year, the unwithered grass.  Thus simply and with little expense of
altitude is the surface of the earth diversified.  What would human
life be without forests, those natural cities?  From the tops of
mountains they appear like smooth-shaven lawns; yet whither shall we
walk but in this taller grass?

In this glade covered with bushes of a year's growth see how the
silvery dust lies on every seared leaf and twig, deposited in such
infinite and luxurious forms as by their very variety atone for the
absence of color.  Observe the tiny tracks of mice around every stem,
and the triangular tracks of the rabbit.  A pure elastic heaven hangs
over all, as if the impurities of the summer sky, refined and shrunk by
the chaste winter's cold, had been winnowed by the heavens upon the

Mature confounds her summer distinctions at this season.  The heavens
seem to be nearer the earth.  The elements are less reserved and
distinct.  Water turns to ice; rain to snow.  The day is but a
Scandinavian night.  The winter is an arctic summer.

How much more living is the life that is in nature, the furred life
which still survives the stinging nights, and, from amidst fields and
woods covered with frost and snow, sees the sun rise!

        "The foodless wilds
  Pour forth their brown inhabitants."

The gray squirrel and rabbit are brisk and playful in the remote glens,
even on the morning of the cold Friday.  Here is our Lapland and
Labrador; and for our Esquimaux and Knistenaux, Dog-ribbed Indians,
Novazemblaites, and Spitzbergeners, are there not the ice-cutter and
wood-chopper, the fox, musk-rat, and mink?

Still, in the midst of the arctic day we may trace the summer to its
retreats and sympathize with some contemporary life.  Stretched over
the brooks, in the midst of the frost-bound meadows, we may observe the
submarine cottages of the caddice-worms, the larvae of the Plicipennes.
Their small cylindrical cases built around themselves, composed of
flags, sticks, grass, and withered leaves, shells and pebbles, inform
and color like the wrecks which strew the bottom, now drifting along
over the pebbly bottom, now whirling in tiny eddies and dashing down
steep falls, or sweeping rapidly along with the current, or else
swaying to and fro at the end of some grass-blade or root.  Anon they
will leave their sunken habitations, and, crawling up the stems of
plants or to the surface like gnats, as perfect insects henceforth,
flutter over the surface of the water or sacrifice their short lives in
the flame of our candle at evening.  Down yonder little glen the shrubs
are drooping under their burden, and the red alder-berries contrast
with the white ground.  Here are the marks of a myriad feet which have
already been abroad.  The sun rises as proudly over such a glen as over
the valley of the Seine or Tiber, and it seems the residence of a pure
and self-subsistent valor such as they never witnessed, which never
knew defeat or fear.  Here reign the simplicity and purity of a
primitive age and a health and hope far remote from towns and cities.
Standing quite alone, far in the forest, while the wind is shaking down
snow from the trees, and leaving the only human tracks behind us, we
find our reflections of a richer variety than the life of cities.  The
chickadee and nut-hatch are more inspiring society than statesmen and
philosophers, and we shall return to these last as to more vulgar
companions.  In this lonely glen, with the brook draining the slopes,
its creased ice and crystals of all hues, where the spruces and
hemlocks stand up on either side, and the rush and sere wild oats in
the rivulet itself, our lives are more serene and worthy to contemplate.

As the day advances, the heat of the sun is reflected by the
hill-sides, and we hear a faint but sweet music where flows the rill
released from its fetters, and the icicles are melting on the trees,
and the nut-hatch and partridge are heard and seen.  The south wind
melts the snow at noon, and the bare ground appears with its withered
grass and leaves, and we are invigorated by the perfume which exhales
from it as by the scent of strong meats.

Let us go into this deserted woodman's hut, and see how he has passed
the long winter nights and the short and stormy days.  For here man has
lived under this south hill-side, and it seems a civilized and public
spot.  We have such associations as when the traveler stands by the
ruins of Palmyra or Hecatompolis.  Singing birds and flowers perchance
have begun to appear here, for flowers as well as weeds follow in the
footsteps of man.  These hemlocks whispered over his head, these
hickory logs were his fuel, and these pitch-pine roots kindled his
fire; yonder fuming rill in the hollow, whose thin and airy vapor still
ascends as busily as ever, though he is far off now, was his well.
These hemlock boughs, and the straw upon this raised platform, were his
bed, and this broken dish held his drink.  But he has not been here
this season, for the phoebes built their nest upon this shelf last
summer.  I find some embers left, as if he had but just gone out, where
he baked his pot of beans; and while at evening he smoked his pipe,
whose stemless bowl lies in the ashes, chatted with his only companion,
if perchance he had any, about the depth of the snow on the morrow,
already falling fast and thick without, or disputed whether the last
sound was the screech of an owl or the creak of a bough, or imagination
only; and through this broad chimney-throat, in the late winter
evening, ere he stretched himself upon the straw, he looked up to learn
the progress of the storm, and, seeing the bright stars of Cassiopeia's
chair shining brightly down upon him, fell contentedly asleep.

See how many traces from which we may learn the chopper's history.
From this stump we may guess the sharpness of his ax, and from the
slope of the stroke, on which side he stood, and whether he cut down
the tree without going round it or changing hands; and from the flexure
of the splinters, we may know which way it fell.  This one chip
contains inscribed on it the whole history of the wood-chopper and of
the world.  On this scrap of paper, which held his sugar or salt
perchance, or was the wadding of his gun, sitting on a log in the
forest, with what interest we read the tattle of cities, of those
larger huts, empty and to let, like this, in High Streets and Broadways.



  [From _Leaves of Grass_.]

  To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
  Every inch of space is a miracle,
  Every square yard of the surface of the earth
        is spread with the same,
  Every cubic foot of the interior swarms with the same.

     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

  To me the sea is a continual miracle,
  The fishes that swim--the rocks--the motion
        of the waves--the ships with men in them,
  What stranger miracles are there?

     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

  I was thinking the day most splendid,
        till I saw what the not-day exhibited;
  I was thinking this globe enough,
        till there tumbled upon me myriads of other globes;
  O, how plainly I see now that this life cannot exhibit
        all to me--as the day cannot;
  O, I see that I am to wait for what will be exhibited by death.

     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

  O Death!
  O, the beautiful touch of Death, soothing and benumbing
        a few moments, for reasons.

     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

  The earth never tires,
  The earth is rude, silent, incomprehensible at first--
  Nature is rude and incomprehensible at first;
  Be not discouraged--keep on--there are divine things,
        well enveloped;
  I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful
        than words can tell.


  O captain! my captain! our fearful trip is done;
  The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won;
  The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
  While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
      But O heart! heart! heart!
        Leave you not the little spot
          Where on the deck my captain lies,
            Fallen cold and dead.

  O captain! my captain! rise up and hear the bells;
  Rise up--for you the flag is flung--for you the bugle trills;
  For you bouquets and ribboned wreaths--for you the shores a-crowding;
  For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
      O captain! dear father!
        This arm I push beneath you;
          It is some dream that on the deck
            You've fallen cold and dead.

  My captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
  My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
  But the ship, the ship is anchored safe, its voyage closed and done;
  From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
      Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
        But I, with silent tread,
          Walk the spot my captain lies,
            Fallen cold and dead.



  Zekle crep' up, quite unbeknown,
    An' peeked in thru the winder,
  An' there sot Huldy all alone,
    'ith no one nigh to hender.

  Agin the chimbly crooknecks hung,
    An' in amongst 'em rusted
  The ole queen's arm thet Gran'ther Young
    Fetched back from Concord busted.

  The wannut logs shot sparkles out
    Toward the pootiest, bless her!
  An' leetle fires danced all about
    The chiny on the dresser.

  The very room, coz she wuz in,
    Looked warm from floor to ceilin',
  An' she looked full ez rosy agin
    Ez th' apples she wuz peelin'.

  She heerd a foot an' knowed it, tu,
    A-raspin' on the scraper;
  All ways to once her feelin's new
    Like sparks in burnt-up paper.

  He kin' o' l'itered on the mat,
    Some doubtfle o' the seekle;
  His heart kep' goin' pitypat,
    But hern went pity Zekle.


  [From _Biglow Papers_.]

  I du believe in Freedom's cause,
    Ez fur away as Paris is;
  I love to see her stick her claws
    In them infarnal Pharisees;
  It's wal enough agin a king
    To dror resolves an' triggers--
  But libbaty's a kind o' thing
    Thet don't agree with niggers.

  I du believe the people want
    A tax on teas an' coffees,
  Thet nothin' aint extravygunt,
    Pervidin' I'm in office;
  Fer I hev loved my country sence
    My eye-teeth filled their sockets,
  An' Uncle Sam I reverence--
    Partic'larly his pockets.

  I du believe in any plan
    O' levyin' the taxes,
  Ez long ez, like a lumberman,
    I git jest wut I axes;
  I go free-trade thru thick an' thin,
    Because it kind o' rouses
  The folks to vote--an' keeps us in
    Our quiet custom-houses.

     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

  I du believe with all my soul
    In the gret Press's freedom,
  To pint the people to the goal
    An' in the traces lead 'em;
  Palsied the arm thet forges jokes
    At my fat contracts squintin',
  An' withered be the nose that pokes
    Inter the gov'ment printin'!

  I du believe thet I should give
    Wut's his'n unto Caesar,
  Fer it's by him I move an' live,
    Frum him my bread and cheese air;
  I du believe thet all o' me
    Doth bear his souperscription,--
  Will, conscience, honor, honesty,
    An' things o' thet description.

  I du believe in prayer an' praise
    To him thet hez the grantin'
  O' jobs,--in every thin' that pays,
    But most of all in CANTIN';
  This doth my cup with marcies fill,
    This lays all thought o' sin to rest,--
  I _don't_ believe in princerple,
    But, O, I _du_ in interest.

  I du believe in bein' this
    Or thet, ez it may happen
  One way or t'other hendiest is
    To ketch the people nappin';
  It aint by princerples nor men
    My preudent course is steadied,--
  I scent wich pays the best; an' then
    Go into it baldheaded.

  I du believe thet holdin' slaves
    Comes nat'ral tu a Presidunt,
  Let 'lone the rowdedow it saves
    To hev a wal-broke precedunt;
  Fer any office, small or gret,
    I couldn't ax with no face,
  Without I'd ben, thru dry an' wet,
    Th' unrizzost kind o' doughface.

  I du believe wutever trash
    'll keep the people in blindness,--
  Thet we the Mexicuns can thrash
    Right inter brotherly kindness;
  Thet bombshells, grape, an' powder 'n' ball
    Air good-will's strongest magnets;
  Thet peace, to make it stick at all,
    Must be druv in with bagnets.

  In short, I firmly du believe
    In Humbug generally,
  Fer it's a thing that I perceive
    To hev a solid vally;
  This heth my faithful shepherd ben,
    In pasturs sweet heth led me,
  An' this 'll keep the people green
    To feed ez they hev fed me.


[From _The Man Without a Country_.[1]]

The rule adopted on board the ships on which I have met "the man
without a country" was, I think, transmitted from the beginning.  No
mess liked to have him permanently, because his presence cut off all
talk of home or of the prospect of return, of politics or letters, of
peace or of war--cut off more than half the talk men liked to have at
sea.  But it was always thought too hard that he should never meet the
rest of us except to touch hats, and we finally sank into one system.
He was not permitted to talk with the men unless an officer was by.
With officers he had unrestrained intercourse, as far as he and they
chose.  But he grew shy, though he had favorites; I was one.  Then the
captain always asked him to dinner on Monday.  Every mess in succession
took up the invitation in its turn.  According to the size of the ship,
you had him at your mess more or less often at dinner.  His breakfast
he ate in his own state-room--he always had a state-room--which was
where a sentinel or somebody on the watch could see the door.  And
whatever else he ate or drank, he ate or drank alone.  Sometimes, when
the marines or sailors had any special jollification, they were
permitted to invite "Plain-Buttons," as they called him.  Then Nolan
was sent with some officer, and the men were forbidden to speak of home
while he was there.  I believe the theory was that the sight of his
punishment did them good.  They called him "Plain-Buttons" because,
while he always chose to wear a regulation army uniform, he was not
permitted to wear the army button, for the reason that it bore either
the initials or the insignia of the country he had disowned.

I remember soon after I joined the navy I was on shore with some of the
older officers from our ship and from the _Brandywine_, which we had
met at Alexandria.  We had leave to make a party and go up to Cairo and
the Pyramids.  As we jogged along (you went on donkeys then), some of
the gentlemen (we boys called them "Dons," but the phrase was long
since changed) fell to talking about Nolan, and some one told the
system which was adopted from the first about his books and other
reading.  As he was almost never permitted to go on shore, even though
the vessel lay in port for months, his time at the best hung heavy; and
every body was permitted to lend him books, if they were not published
in America, and made no allusion to it.  These were common enough in
the old days, when people in the other hemisphere talked of the United
States as little as we do of Paraguay.  He had almost all the foreign
papers that came into the ship, sooner or later; only somebody must go
over them first, and cut out any advertisement or stray paragraph that
alluded to America.  This was a little cruel sometimes, when the back
of what was cut might be as innocent as Hesiod.  Right in the midst of
one of Napoleon's battles, or one of Canning's speeches, poor Nolan
would find a great hole, because on the back of the page of that paper
there had been an advertisement of a packet for New York, or a scrap
from the President's message.  I say this was the first time I ever
heard of this plan, which afterward I had enough and more than enough
to do with.  I remember it, because poor Phillips, who was of the
party, as soon as the allusion to reading was made, told a story of
something which happened at the Cape of Good Hope on Nolan's first
voyage; and it is the only thing I ever knew of that voyage.  They had
touched at the Cape, and had done the civil thing with the English
admiral and the fleet, and then, leaving for a long cruise up the
Indian Ocean, Phillips had borrowed a lot of English books from an
officer, which, in those days, as indeed in these, was quite a
windfall.  Among them, as the devil would order, was the _Lay of the
Last Minstrel_, which they had all of them heard of, but which most of
them had never seen.  I think it could not have been published long.
Well, nobody thought there could be any risk of any thing national in
that, though Phillips swore old Shaw had cut out the "Tempest" from
Shakespeare before he let Nolan have it, because he said "the Bermudas
ought to be ours, and, by Jove, should be one day."  So Nolan was
permitted to join the circle one afternoon when a lot of them sat on
deck smoking and reading aloud.  People do not do such things so often
now; but when I was young we got rid of a great deal of time so.  Well,
so it happened that in his turn Nolan took the book and read to the
others; and he read very well, as I know.  Nobody in the circle knew a
line of the poem, only it was all magic and border chivalry, and was
ten thousand years ago.  Poor Nolan read steadily through the fifth
canto, stopped a minute and drank something, and then began without a
thought of what was coming:

  "Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
  Who never to himself hath said"--

It seemed impossible to us that any body ever heard this for the first
time; but all these fellows did then, and poor Nolan himself went on,
still unconsciously or mechanically:

  "This is my own, my native land!"

Then they all saw something was to pay; but he expected to get through,
I suppose, turned a little pale, but plunged on:

    "Whose heart hath ne'er within him burned,
  As home his footsteps he hath turned
    From wandering on a foreign strand?--
  If such there breathe, go, mark him well."

By this time the men were all beside themselves, wishing there was any
way to make him turn over two pages; but he had not quite presence of
mind for that; he gagged a little, colored crimson, and staggered on:

  "For him no minstrel raptures swell;
  High though his titles, proud his name,
  Boundless his wealth as wish can claim,
  Despite these titles, power, and pelf,
  The wretch, concentered all in self;"--

and here the poor fellow choked, could not go on, but started up, swung
the book into the sea, vanished into his state-room.  "And by Jove,"
said Phillips, "we did not see him for two months again.  And I had to
make up some beggarly story to that English surgeon why I did not
return his Walter Scott to him."

[1]See page 195.


  [From _Marco Bozzaris_.]

  Come to the bridal-chamber, Death!
    Come to the mother's when she feels
  For the first time her first-born's breath;
    Come when the blessed seals
  That close the pestilence are broke,
  And crowded cities wail its stroke;
  Come in consumption's ghastly form,
  The earthquake shock, the ocean-storm;
  Come when the heart beats high and warm,
    With banquet-song, and dance, and wine:
  And thou art terrible--the tear,
  The groan, the knell, the pall, the bier;
  And all we know, or dream, or fear
    Of agony, are thine.

  But to the hero, when his sword
    Has won the battle for the free,
  Thy voice sounds like a prophet's word;
  And in its hollow tones are heard
    The thanks of millions yet to be.
  Come, when his task of fame is wrought--
  Come, with her laurel-leaf, blood-bought--
    Come in her crowning hour--and then
  Thy sunken eye's unearthly light
  To him is welcome as the sight
    Of sky and stars to prisoned men;
  Thy grasp is welcome as the hand
  Of brother in a foreign land;
  Thy summons welcome as the cry
  That told the Indian isles were nigh
    To the world-seeking Genoese,
  When the land-wind, from woods of palm,
  And orange-groves, and fields of balm,
    Blew o'er the Haytian seas.

  Bozzaris! with the storied brave
    Greece nurtured in her glory's time,
  Rest thee--there is no prouder grave,
    Even in her own proud clime.
  She wore no funeral weeds for thee,
    Nor bade the dark hearse wave its plume,
  Like torn branch from death's leafless tree
  In sorrow's pomp and pageantry,
  The heartless luxury of the tomb;
  But she remembers thee as one
  Long loved, and for a season gone;
  For thee her poet's lyre is wreathed,
  Her marble wrought, her music breathed;
  For thee she rings the birthday bells;
  Of thee her babes' first lisping tells;
  For thine her evening prayer is said,
  At palace couch and cottage bed;
  Her soldier, closing with the foe,
  Gives for thy sake a deadlier blow;
  His plighted maiden, when she fears
  For him, the joy of her young years,
  Thinks of thy fate and checks her tears.
    And she, the mother of thy boys,
  Though in her eye and faded cheek
  Is read the grief she will not speak,
    The memory of her buried joys,
  And even she who gave thee birth,
  Will by their pilgrim-circled hearth
    Talk of thy doom without a sigh:
  For thou art Freedom's now and Fame's,
  One of the few, the immortal names,
    That were not born to die.


  Green be the turf above thee,
    Friend of my better days!
  None knew thee but to love thee,
    Nor named thee but to praise.

  Tears fell, when thou wert dying,
    From eyes unused to weep,
  And long where thou art lying
    Will tears the cold turf steep.

  When hearts, whose truth was proven
    Like thine, are laid in earth,
  There should a wreath be woven
    To tell the world their worth;

  And I, who woke each morrow
    To clasp thy hand in mine,
  Who shared thy joy and sorrow,
    Whose weal and woe were thine--

  It should be mine to braid it
    Around thy faded brow;
  But I've in vain essayed it,
    And feel I cannot now.

  While memory bids me weep thee,
    Nor thoughts nor words are free,
  The grief is fixed too deeply
    That mourns a man like thee.


[From _Lecture on the Mormons_.]

Brother Kimball is a gay and festive cuss, of some seventy summers, or
some'er's there about.  He has one thousand head of cattle and a
hundred head of wives.  He says they are awful eaters.

Mr. Kimball had a son, a lovely young man, who was married to ten
interesting wives.  But one day while he was absent from home these ten
wives went out walking with a handsome young man, which so enraged Mr.
Kimball's son--which made Mr. Kimball'a son so jealous--that he shot
himself with a horse-pistol.

The doctor who attended him--a very scientific man--informed me that
the bullet entered the parallelogram of his diaphragmatic thorax,
superinducing hemorrhage in the outer cuticle of his basilicon
thaumaturgist.  It killed him.  I should have thought it would.

(_Soft Music_.)

I hope this sad end will be a warning to all young wives who go out
walking with handsome young men.  Mr. Kimball's son is now no more.  He
sleeps beneath the cypress, the myrtle, and the willow.  The music is a
dirge by the eminent pianist for Mr. Kimball's son.  He died by request.

I regret to say that efforts were made to make a Mormon of me while I
was in Utah.

It was leap-year when I was there, and seventeen young widows, the
wives of a deceased Mormon, offered me their hearts and hands.  I
called on them one day, and, taking their soft white hands in mine,
which made eighteen hands altogether, I found them in tears, and I
said, "Why is this thus?  What is the reason of this thusness?"

They hove a sigh--seventeen sighs of different size.  They said:

"O, soon thou wilt be gonested away!"

I told them that when I got ready to leave a place I wentested.

They said, "Doth not like us?"

I said, "I doth--I doth."

I also said, "I hope your intentions are honorable, as I am a lone
child, my parents being far--far away."

Then they said, "Wilt not marry us?"

I said, "O, no, it cannot was!"

Again they asked me to marry them, and again I declined, when they

"O, cruel man! this is too much!  O, too much!"

I told them that it was on account of the muchness that I
declined. . . .

(_Pointing to Panorama_)

A more cheerful view of the desert.

The wild snow-storms have left us and we have thrown our wolf-skin
overcoats aside.  Certain tribes of far-western Indians bury their
distinguished dead by placing them high in air and covering them with
valuable furs.  That is a very fair representation of those mid-air
tombs.  Those animals are horses.  I know they are, because my artist
says so.  I had the picture two years before I discovered the fact.
The artist came to me about six months ago and said, "It is useless to
disguise it from you any longer, they are horses."

It was while crossing this desert that I was surrounded by a band of
Ute Indians.  They were splendidly mounted.  They were dressed in
beaver-skins, and they were armed with rifles, knives, and pistols.

What could I do?  What could a poor old orphan do?  I'm a brave man.
The day before the battle of Bull's Run I stood in the highway while
the bullets--those dreadful messengers of death--were passing all
around me thickly--in wagons--on their way to the battle-field.  But
there were too many of these Injuns.  There were forty of them, and
only one of me, and so I said:

"Great chief, I surrender."

His name was Wocky-bocky.  He dismounted and approached me.  I saw his
tomahawk glisten in the morning sunlight.  Fire was in his eye.
Wocky-bocky came very close

(_Pointing to Panorama_)

to me and seized me by the hair of my head.  He mingled his swarthy
fingers with my golden tresses, and he rubbed his dreadful tomahawk
across my lily-white face.  He said:

"Torsha arrah darrah mishky bookshean!"

I told him he was right.

Wocky-bocky again rubbed his tomahawk across my face, and said:


Says I, "Mr. Wocky-bocky," says I, "Wocky, I have thought so for years,
and so's all our family."

He told me I must go to the tent of the Strong Heart and eat raw dog.
It don't agree with mo.  I prefer simple food.  I prefer pork-pie,
because then I know what I'm eating.  But as raw dog was all they
proposed to give to me I had to eat it or starve.  So at the expiration
of two days I seized a tin plate and went to the chief's daughter, and
I said to her in a silvery voice--in a kind of German-silvery voice--I

"Sweet child of the forest, the pale-face wants his dog."

There was nothing but his paws.  I had paused too long--which reminds
me that time passes--a way which time has.  I was told in my youth to
seize opportunity.  I once tried to seize one.  He was rich; he had
diamonds on.  As I seized him he knocked me down.  Since then I have
learned that he who seizes opportunity sees the penitentiary.



"Well, there was a feller here once by the name of Jim Smiley in the
winter of '49, or may be it was the spring of '50--I don't recollect
exactly, somehow, though what makes me think it was one or the other is
because I remember the big flume warn't finished when he first come to
the camp.  But any way, he was the curiousest man about, always betting
on anything that turned up you ever see, if he could get any body to
bet on the other side; and if he couldn't he'd change sides.  Any way
that suited the other side would suit _him_--any way just so's he got a
bet _he_ was satisfied.  But still he was lucky, uncommon lucky; he
most always came out winner.  He was always ready and laying for a
chance.  There couldn't be no solit'ry thing mentioned but that
feller'd offer to bet on it and take any side you please, as I was just
telling you.  If there was a horse-race you'd find him flush or you'd
find him busted at the end of it.  If there was a dog-fight, he'd bet
on it; if there was a cat-fight, he'd bet on it; if there was a
chicken-fight, he'd bet on it.  Why, if there was two birds setting on
a fence, he would bet you which one would fly first.  Or if there was a
camp-meeting, he would be there reg'lar to bet on Parson Walker, which
he judged to be the best exhorter about here, and so he was, too, and a
good man.  If he even see a straddle-bug start to go anywheres he would
bet you how long it would take him to get to--to wherever he was going
to; and if you took him up he would follow that straddle-bug to Mexico
but what he would find out where he was bound for and how long he was
on the road.  Lots of the boys here has seen that Smiley, and can tell
you about him.  Why, it never made no difference to _him_, he'd bet
_any_ thing--the dangdest feller.  Parson Walker's wife laid very sick
once for a good while, and it seemed as if they warn't going to save
her; but one morning he come in and Smiley up and asked him how she
was, and he said she was consid'able better--thank the Lord for his
inf'nit mercy!--and coming on so smart that, with the blessing of
Providence, she'd get well yet; and Smiley, before he thought, says,
'Well, I'll resk two-and-a-half she don't, any way.'"

     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

"Well, this yer Smiley had rat-terriers, and chicken-cocks, and
tom-cats, and all them kind of things till you couldn't rest, and you
couldn't fetch nothing for him to bet on but he'd match you.  He
ketched a frog one day and look him home, and said he cal'lated to
educate him, and so he never done nothing for three months but set in
his back-yard and learn that frog to jump.  And you bet you he _did_
learn him, too.  He'd give him a little punch behind, and the next
minute you'd see that frog whirling in the air like a doughnut--see him
turn one summerset, or may be a couple, if he got a good start, and
come down flat-footed and all right, like a cat.  He got him up so in
the matter of ketching flies, and kep' him in practice so constant,
that he'd nail a fly every time as fur as he could see him.  Smiley
said all a frog wanted was education and he could do 'most any thing,
and I believe him.  Why, I've seen him set Dan'l Webster down here on
this floor--Dan'l Webster was the name of the frog--and sing out,
'Flies, Dan'l, flies!' and quicker'n you could wink he'd spring
straight up and snake a fly off'n the counter there and flop down on
the floor ag'in as solid as a gob of mud, and fall to scratching the
side of his head with his hind foot as indifferent as if he hadn't no
idea he'd been doin' any more'n any frog might do.  You never see a
frog so modest and straightfor'ard as he was, for all he was so gifted.
And when it come to fair and square jumping on a dead level he could
get over more ground at one straddle than any animal of his breed you
ever see.  Jumping on a dead level was his strong suit, you understand,
and when it come to that, Smiley would ante up money on him, as long as
he had a red.  Smiley was monstrous proud of his frog, and well he
might be, for fellers that had traveled and been every-wheres all said
he laid over any frog that ever _they_ see.

"Well, Smiley kep' the beast in a little lattice-box, and he used to
fetch him down-town sometimes and lay for a bet.  One day a feller--a
stranger in the camp he was--come acrost him with his box and says:

"'What might it be that you've got in the box?'

"And Smiley says, sorter indifferent like, 'It might be a parrot, or it
might be a canary, may be, but it ain't--it's only just a frog.'

"And the feller took it, and looked at it careful, and turned it round
this way and that, and says, 'H'm--so 'tis.  Well, what's _he_ good

"'Well,' Smiley says, easy and careless, 'he's good enough for _one_
thing, I should judge--he can outjump any frog in Calaveras County.'

"The feller took the box again and took another long, particular look
and give it back to Smiley, and says, very deliberate; 'Well,' he says,
'I don't see no p'ints about that frog that's any better'n any other

"'May be you don't,' Smiley says.  'May be you understand frogs, and
may be you don't understand 'em; may be you've had experience, and may
be you aint only a amature, as it were.  Anyways, I've got my opinion,
and I'll resk forty dollars that he can outjump any frog in Calaveras

"And the feller studied a minute, and then says, kinder sad like,

"'Well, I'm only a stranger-here, and I aint got no frog; but if I had
a frog I'd bet you!'

"And then Smiley says, 'That's all right--that's all right; if you'll
hold my box a minute I'll go and get you a frog.'  And so the feller
took the box, and put up his forty dollars along with Smiley's, and set
down to wait.

"So he set there a good while, thinking and thinking to hisself; and
then he got the frog out and pried his mouth open, and took a teaspoon
and filled him full of quail-shot--filled him pretty near up to his
chin--and set him on the floor.  Smiley, he went to the swamp and
slopped around in the mud for a long time, and finally he ketched a
frog, and fetched him in, and give him to this feller, and says, 'Now,
if you're ready, set him along-side of Dan'l, with his forepaws just
even with Dan'l, and I'll give the word.'  Then he says,
'One--two--three--_git_!' and him and the feller touched up the frogs
from behind, and the new frog hopped off lively, but Dan'l give a
heave, and hysted up his shoulders--so--like a Frenchman, but it warn't
no use--he couldn't budge; he was planted as solid as a church, and
wouldn't no more stir than if he was anchored out.  Smiley was a good
deal surprised, and he was disgusted too, but he didn't have no idea
what the matter was, of course.

"The feller took the money and started away; but when he was going out
at the door he sorter jerked his thumb over his shoulder--so--at Dan'l,
and says again, very deliberate, 'Well,' he says, 'I don't see no
p'ints about that frog that's any better'n any other frog.'

"Smiley, he stood scratching his head and looking down at Dan'l a long
time; and at last he says, 'I do wonder what in the nation that frog
throwed off for.  I wonder if there aint something the matter with
him--he 'pears to look mighty baggy, somehow.'  And he ketched Dan'l by
the nap of the neck, and hefted him, and says, 'Why, blame my cats if
he don't weigh five pound!' and turned him upside down, and he belched
out a double handful of shot.  And then he see how it was, and he was
the maddest man.  He set the frog down and took out after the feller,
but he never ketched him."


  _An Index to the American Authors and Writings
  and the Principal American Periodicals mentioned
  in this Volume_.

  Abraham Lincoln, 143.
  Adams and Liberty, 60.
  Adams, John, 49.
  Adams, J. Q., 72, 85.
  Adams, Samuel, 43, 44.
  After-Dinner Poem, 135.
  After the Funeral, 142.
  Age of Reason, The, 51-53, 60.
  Ages, The, 153.
  Alcott, A. B., 93, 104.
  Aldrich, T. B., 170, 197.
  Algerine Captive, The, 63.
  Algic Researches, 130.
  Alhambra, The, 74.
  All Quiet Along the Potomac, 184.
  Alnwick Castle, 81.
  Alsop, Richard, 55, 56.
  American, The, 206.
  American Civil War, The, 182.
  American Conflict, The, 182.
  American Flag, The, 80.
  American Note-Books, 95, 114, 116, 119, 128.
  American Scholar, The, 93, 104, 123.
  Ames, Fisher, 50, 51.
  Among My Books, 143.
  Anabel Lee, 165.
  Anarchiad, The, 55.
  Army Life in a Black Regiment, 186.
  Army of the Potomac, The, 183.
  Art of Book-Making, The, 77.
  "Artemus Ward," 188, 189-193, 194.
  Arthur Mervyn, 63, 65.
  At Teague Poteet's, 203.
  Atlantic Monthly, The, 136, 143, 150, 151, 185, 186, 195, 197, 208.
  Atlantis, 169.
  Auf Wiedersehen, 142.
  Autobiography, Franklin's, 28, 38, 39, 40, 73.
  Autocrat of the Breakfast Table, The, 132, 136, 137.
  Autumn, 125.

  Backwoodsman, The, 72.
  Ballad of the Oysterman, 133.
  Ballads and Other Poems, 126.
  Bancroft, George, 123, 138, 145, 146.
  Barbara Frietchie, 158.
  Barlow, Joel, 51, 52, 55-58.
  Battle Hymn of the Republic, 183.
  Battle of the Kegs, 59.
  Battlefield, The, 154.
  Bay Fight, The, 184.
  Bay Psalm Book, The, 21.
  Bedouin Song, 172.
  Beecher, H. W., 175, 176.
  Beecher, Lyman, 98, 175.
  Beers, Mrs. E. L., 184.
  Beleaguered City, The, 126, 129.
  Belfry of Bruges, The, 126, 127.
  Beverly, Robert, 17.
  Biglow Papers, The, 139-142, 159, 188.
  "Bill Nye," 193.
  Black Cat, The, 166.
  Black Fox of Salmon River, The, 157.
  Blair, James, 14.
  Blithedale Romance, The, 95, 118, 172, 209.
  Bloody Tenent of Persecution, The, 22, 23.
  Blue and the Gray, The, 184.
  Boker, G. H., 197.
  Bostonians, The, 209.
  Boys, The, 134.
  Bracebridge Hall, 75, 76, 187.
  Bradford's Journal, 21, 24, 25, 31, 33.
  Brahma, 105, 109.
  Brainard, J. G. C., 156, 157, 175.
  Brick Moon, The, 196.
  Bridal of Pennacook, The, 157, 159.
  Bridge, The, 129.
  Broken Heart, The, 77.
  Brown, C. B., 63-65.
  Browne, C. F. (See "Artemus Ward.")
  Brownell, H. H., 184, 185.
  Bryant, W. C., 68, 80, 124, 125, 133, 151-155, 162, 169.
  Buccaneer, The, 89.
  Building of the Ship, The, 127.
  Bundle of Letters, A, 206.
  Burnett, Mrs. F. H., 205.
  Bushnell, Horace, 99.
  Busy-Body, The, 38, 53, 74.
  Butler, W. A., 170.
  Byrd, Wm., 16, 17.

  Cable, G. W., 203.
  Calhoun, J. C., 46, 86.
  Cambridge Thirty Years Ago, 123.
  Cape Cod, 111.
  Capture of Fugitive Slaves, 140.
  Cary, Alice, 173.
  Cary, Phoebe, 173.
  Cask of Amontillado, The, 166.
  Cassandra Southwick, 159.
  Cathedral, The, 144.
  Cecil Dreeme, 185.
  Century Magazine, The, 150, 183, 197.
  Chambered Nautilus, The, 135.
  Chance Acquaintance, A, 208.
  Channing, W. E., 73, 90-92, 93, 97-100, 106.
  Channing, W. E., Jr., 106, 110, 119.
  Channing, W. H., 106.
  Chapel of the Hermits, The, 158.
  Character of Milton, The, 91.
  Charleston, 184.
  Children of Adam, 177.
  Choate, Rufus, 89, 90.
  Christian Examiner, The, 91.
  Circular Letters, by Otis and Quincy, 44.
  City in the Sea, The, 162.
  Clara Howard, 63.
  Clari, 84.
  Clarke, J. F., 105, 106.
  Clay, Henry, 86.
  Clemens, S. L. (See "Mark Twain.")
  Columbiad, The, 56, 57.
  Common Sense, 51.
  Companions of Columbus, 74.
  Condensed Novels, 200.
  Conduct of Life, The, 107.
  Confederate States of America, The, 182.
  Conquest of Canaan, 57.
  Conquest of Granada, 73, 74, 78.
  Conquest of Mexico, 145.
  Conquest of Peru, 145.
  Conspiracy of Pontiac, The, 147.
  Constitution and the Union, The, 87.
  Constitution of the United States, The, 45, 85.
  Contentment, 85.
  Contrast, The, 63.
  Conversations on the Gospels, 104.
  Conversations on Some of the Old Poets, 143.
  Cooke, J. E., 169.
  Cooper, J. F., 61, 71, 73, 81-84, 89, 107, 130, 147, 168, 204.
  Coral Grove, The, 175.
  Cotton, John, 22, 23, 28, 29.
  Count Frontenac and New France, 147.
  Courtin', The, 141, 188.
  Courtship of Miles Standish, The, 26.
  Cow Chase, The, 59.
  Cranch, C.P., 95, 106.
  Crime against Kansas, The, 149
  Crisis, The, 51.
  Croaker Papers, The, 81.
  Culprit Fay, The, 80.
  Curtis, G. W., 95, 197.

  Daisy Miller, 206.
  Dana, C. A., 95, 106, 151.
  Dana, R. H., 68, 89.
  Danbury News Man, 59, 189.
  Dante, Longfellow's, 131.
  Davis, Jefferson, 182.
  Day is Done, The, 128.
  Day of Doom, The, 34.
  Death of the Flowers, The, 153, 154.
  Declaration of Independence, The, 45, 59, 85.
  Deerslayer, The, 83, 84.
  Democratic Vistas, 180.
  Derby, G. H., 190.
  Descent into the Maelstrom, 166.
  Deserted Road, The, 173.
  Dial, The, 93, 98, 105, 106.
  Dialogue Between Franklin and the Gout, 39.
  Diamond Lens, The, 186.
  Discourse of the Plantation of Virginia, A, 12.
  Dolph Heyliger, 75.
  Domain of Arnheim, The, 166.
  Dorchester Giant, The, 132.
  Drake, J. R., 80, 81, 89.
  Draper, J. W., 182.
  Dream Life, 175.
  Drifting, 173.
  Driving Home the Cows, 184.
  Drum Taps, 180.
  Dutchman's Fireside, The, 79.
  Dwight, J. S., 95, 100, 106.
  Dwight, Theodore, 55, 56.
  Dwight, Timothy, 55, 57, 58.

  Early Spring in Massachusetts, 111.
  Echo, The, 56.
  Echo Club, The, 172.
  Edgar Huntley, 63, 65.
  Edith Linsey, 170.
  Edwards, Jonathan, 35-37, 58, 91, 97, 99.
  Eggleston, Edward, 202.
  Elevator, The, 63, 210.
  Eliot, John, 21, 23.
  Elsie Venner, 137.
  Emerson, Charles, 106.
  Emerson, R. W., 88, 93, 96-113, 119, 122, 123,
      128, 129, 138, 151, 154, 160, 179.
  Endicott's Red Cross, 25, 118.
  English Note-Books, 119.
  English Traits, 103, 109.
  Ephemerae, 176.
  Epilogue to Cato, 60.
  Eternal Goodness, 158.
  Ethan Brand, 117.
  Europeans, The, 206, 207.
  Evangeline, 129, 130.
  Evening Wind, The, 153.
  Everett, Edward, 89, 90, 133, 138, 189.
  Excelsior, 127.
  Excursions, 111.
  Expediency of the Federal Constitution, 48.
  Eyes and Ears, 176.

  F. Smith, 170.
  Fable for Critics, A, 105, 142, 144.
  Facts in the case of M. Valdemar, The, 164.
  Fall of the House of Usher, The, 166.
  Familists' Hymn, The, 25.
  Fanshawe, 116.
  Farewell Address, Washington's, 49.
  Faust, Taylor's, 172.
  Federalist, The, 48, 49.
  Ferdinand and Isabella, 123, 145.
  Final Judgment, The, 35.
  Finch, F. M., 184.
  Fire of Driftwood, The, 128.
  Fireside Travels, 123.
  Fitz Adam's Story, 141.
  Flint, Timothy, 72.
  Flood of Years, The, 155.
  Footpath, The, 142.
  Footsteps of Angels, 126.
  Foregone Conclusion, A, 207.
  Forest Hymn, 152.
  Fortune of the Republic, 107.
  Foster, S. C., 173, 174.
  France and England in North America, 147.
  Franklin, Ben., 28, 37, 40, 52, 53, 73, 74.
  Freedom of the Will, 35.
  French Poets and Novelists, 205.
  Freneau, Philip, 60-62.
  Fuller, Margaret, 93, 95, 99, 100, 105, 106, 109, 119, 131.

  Galaxy Magazine, The, 197.
  Garrison, W. L., 26, 87, 147, 156, 157, 174.
  Garrison of Cape Ann, The, 32.
  Geography of the Mississippi Valley, 72.
  Georgia Spec, The, 63.
  Ghost Ball at Congress Hall, The, 170.
  Give Me the Old, 170.
  Godey's Lady's Book, 150, 160.
  Godfrey, Thomas, 63.
  Gold Bug, The, 163.
  Golden Legend, The, 130.
  Good News from Virginia, 18.
  Good Word for Winter, A, 143.
  Goodrich, S. G., 69, 72, 116.
  Graham's Magazine, 150, 160, 162, 164, 171.
  Grandfather's Chair, 32.
  Grandissimes, The, 203.
  Greeley, Horace, 95, 171, 182.
  Green River, 153.
  Greene, A. G., 85.
  Greenfleld Hill, 58.
  Guardian Angel, The, 137, 138.

  Hail, Columbia! 59, 60, 80.
  Hale, E. E., 122, 164, 195, 196.
  Halleck, F. G., 80, 81, 89, 109.
  Halpine, C. G., 186.
  Hamilton, Alexander, 48, 49, 51, 87.
  Hannah Thurston, 172.
  Hans Breitmann Ballads, 202.
  Hans Pfaall, 163.
  Harbinger, The, 94, 95.
  Harper's Monthly Magazine, 150, 151, 197.
  Harris, J. C., 202.
  Harte, F. B., 193, 198-202.
  Hasty Pudding, 57.
  Haunted Palace, The, 165.
  Hawthorne, Julian, 118.
  Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 9, 18, 25, 32, 56, 63,
     93, 95, 105, 106, 108, 114-120, 124, 128,
     129, 137, 138, 150, 160, 166, 172, 182, 185,
     187, 188, 204, 205, 209.
  Hay, John, 201, 202.
  Health, A, 85.
  Heathen Chinee, The, 200.
  Hedge, F. H., 95.
  Height of the Ridiculous, The, 132.
  Henry, Patrick, 43, 44, 48.
  Hiawatha, 61, 130.
  Higginson, T. W., 75, 95, 105, 186.
  His Level Best, 195.
  History of New England, Winthrop's, 24-27.
  History of Plymouth Plantation, Bradford's, 24, 25.
  History of the Dividing Line, 16, 17.
  History of the United Netherlands, 146.
  History of the United States, Bancroft's, 123, 146;
      Higginson's, 75.
  History of Virginia, Beverly's, 17; Smith's, 15; Stith's, 17.
  Hoffman, C. F., 170.
  Holland, J. G., 197.
  Holmes, O. W., 29, 85, 93, 94, 122, 123, 131-138,
      141, 151, 153, 160, 183, 186, 187, 188.
  Home, Sweet Home, 84.
  Homesick in Heaven, 135.
  Hooker, Thomas, 28, 30, 31, 99.
  Hoosier Schoolmaster, The, 202.
  Hopkins, Lemuel, 55.
  Hopkinson, Francis, 59.
  Hopkinson, Joseph, 59.
  Horse-Shoe Robinson, 168.
  House of the Seven Gables, The, 115, 118.
  Howe, Mrs. J. W., 183.
  Howells, W. D., 63, 203-205, 207-210.
  Humphreys, David, 55, 56.
  Hymn at the Completion of Concord Monument, 110.
  Hymn of the Moravian Nuns, 125.
  Hymn to the Night, 126.
  Hymn to the North Star, 152.
  Hyperion, 131.

  Ichabod, 158.
  If, Yes, and Perhaps, 195.
  Iliad, Bryant's, 155.
  Illustrious Providences, 29.
  In the Tennessee Mountains, 203.
  In the Twilight, 142.
  In War Time, 157.
  Independent, The, 176.
  Indian Bible, Eliot's, 21.
  Indian Burying-Ground, The, 61.
  Indian Student, The, 61.
  Indian Summer, 208, 209.
  Ingham Papers, 195.
  Inklings of Adventure, 169.
  Innocents Abroad, 193, 194.
  International Episode, An, 206, 207.
  Irving, Washington, 42, 53, 68, 71, 73-82,
      89, 117, 138, 187, 188, 194, 206.
  Israfel, 162.
  Italian Journeys, 208.
  Italian Note-Books, 119.

  James, Henry, 185, 203-210.
  Jane Talbot, 63.
  Jay, John, 48, 49.
  Jefferson, Thomas, 14, 45-48, 50, 52, 61.
  Jesuits in North America, The, 147.
  Jim, 201.
  Jim Bludso, 201.
  John Brown's Body, 59, 183.
  John Godfrey's Fortune, 172.
  "John Phoenix," 190.
  John Underhill, 25.
  Jonathan to John, 141.
  "Josh Billings," 193.
  Journey to the Land of Eden, A, 17.
  Judd, Sylvester, 144.
  Jumping Frog, The, 193.
  June, 153, 154.
  Justice and Expediency, 157.

  Kansas and Nebraska Bill, The, 149.
  Katie, 184.
  Kennedy, J. P., 168.
  Key into the Language of America, A, 23.
  Key, F. S., 60.
  Kidd, the Pirate, 75.
  King's Missive, The, 159.
  Knickerbocker Magazine, The, 75, 79, 116, 147, 160.
  Knickerbocker's History of New York, 68, 73, 75, 76, 187.

  Lady of the Aroostook, The, 207, 209.
  Lanier, Sidney, 202.
  La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West, 147.
  Last Leaf, The, 85, 133.
  Last of the Mohicans, The, 83, 84.
  Last of the Valerii, The, 205.
  Latest Form of Infidelity, The, 99.
  Laus Deo, 158.
  Leatherstocking Tales, 61, 83, 84.
  Leaves of Grass, 176, 177, 179.
  Lecture on the Mormons, 190-192.
  Legend of Brittany, 138.
  Legend of Sleepy Hollow, 75, 77.
  Legends of New England, 156, 157.
  Legends of the Province House, 118.
  Leland, C. G., 202.
  Letter on Whitewashing, 59.
  Letters and Social Aims, 107.
  Letters from Under a Bridge, 169, 170.
  Letters of a Traveler, 155.
  Liberator, The, 86, 147, 174.
  Life of Columbus, Irving's, 74, 78.
  Life of Goldsmith, 79.
  Life of John of Barneveld, 146.
  Life of Washington, Irving's, 78.
  Ligeia, 165.
  Light of Stars, The, 126.
  Lincoln, Abraham, 51, 133, 180, 186, 189.
  Lines on Leaving Europe, 170.
  Lippincott's Magazine, 197.
  Literary Recreations, 160.
  Literati of New York, 160.
  Little Breeches, 201.
  Livingston, William, 53.
  Locke, David R., 193.
  Longfellow, H. W., 18, 25, 26, 61, 115, 116,
      123-131, 133, 138, 139, 141, 142, 151, 159,
      160, 162, 167, 172, 179, 197.
  Lost Arts, 148.
  Lost Cause, The, 182.
  Lowell, J. R., 12, 93, 96, 104, 105, 107, 122,
      123, 138-144, 151, 154, 159, 160, 172, 174,
      183, 187, 188, 197.
  Luck of Roaring Camp, The, 199.
  Lunatic's Skate, The, 170.
  Lyrics of a Day, 184.

  MacFingal, 54, 55, 59, 73.
  Madison, James, 48, 49, 61.
  Madonna of the Future, The, 205.
  Magnalia Christi Americana, 19, 28-34,73.
  Mahomet and his Successors, 78.
  Maine Woods, The, 111.
  "Major Jack Downing," 189.
  Man of the Crowd, The, 166.
  Man-of-War Bird, The, 179.
  Man Without a Country, The, 164, 195.
  Marble Faun, The, 115, 117, 118, 119.
  Marco Bozzaris, 81.
  Margaret, 144.
  "Mark Twain," 188, 189, 193, 194.
  Maryland, My Maryland, 183.
  Masque of the Gods, The, 171.
  Masque of the Red Death, 166.
  Mather, Cotton, 19, 20, 21, 23, 26, 28-34, 36, 73.
  Mather, Increase, 29, 31.
  Maud Muller, 158.
  May-Day, 107.
  Maypole of Merrymount, The, 25.
  Memoranda of the Civil War, 180.
  Memorial History of Boston, 159.
  Men Naturally God's Enemies, 35.
  Merry Mount, 145.
  Messenger, R. H., 170.
  Miggles, 200.
  "Miles O'Reilly," 186.
  Minister's Black Veil, The, 117.
  Minister's Wooing, The, 175.
  Mitchell, D. G., 175.
  Mocking Bird, The, 202.
  Modern Instance, A, 208, 209.
  Modern Learning, 59.
  Modest Request, A, 134.
  Money Diggers, The, 75.
  Montcalm and Wolfe, 147.
  Monterey, 170.
  Moore, C. C., 170.
  Moore, Frank, 183.
  Moral Argument Against Calvinism, The, 90.
  Morris, G. P., 170.
  Morton's Hope, 145.
  Mosses from an Old Manse, 114, 117.
  Motley, J. L., 123, 138, 145, 146.
  Mount Vernon, 56.
  "Mrs. Partington," 189.
  MS. Found In a Bottle, 168.
  Murder of Lovejoy, The, 123.
  Murders in the Rue Morgue, The, 163.
  Murfree, Mary N., 203.
  Music-Grinders, The, 133.
  My Aunt, 133.
  My Captain, 180.
  My Double and How He Undid Me, 196.
  My Garden Acquaintance, 143.
  My Lite is Like the Summer Rose, 85.
  My Old Kentucky Home, 173.
  My Search for the Captain, 186.
  My Study Windows, 143.
  My Wife and I, 175.
  Mystery of Gilgal, The, 201.
  Mystery of Marie Roget, The, 163.

  Narrative of A. Gordon Pym, The, 166.
  Nathaniel Hawthorne and His Wife, 118.
  Nature, 93, 101, 103, 107.
  Naval History of the United States, 81.
  Nearer Home, 173.
  Negro Melodies, 173.
  Nelly was a Lady, 173.
  New England Tragedies, 25.
  New England Two Centuries Ago, 141, 143.
  New System of English Grammar, A, 190.
  New York Evening Post, The, 152, 155.
  New York Tribune, The, 95, 171.
  Newell, R. H., 193.
  North American Review, The, 89, 116, 124, 143, 151, 152.
  Norton, Andrews, 99.
  Notes on Virginia, 47.
  Nothing to Wear, 170.
  Nux Postcoenatica, 134.

  O, Susanna, 173.
  O'Brien, F. J., 185.
  Observations on the Boston Port Bill, 44.
  Occultation of Orion, The, 127, 139.
  Ode at the Harvard Commemoration, 142.
  Ode for a Social Meeting, 134.
  Ode to Freedom, 140.
  Odyssey, Bryant's, 155.
  Old Clock on the Stairs, The, 127.
  Old Creole Days, 203.
  Old Folks at Home, 173.
  Old Grimes, 85.
  Old Ironsides, 132.
  Old Oaken Bucket, The, 84.
  Old Pennsylvania Farmer, The, 171.
  Old Régime in Canada, The, 147.
  Old Sergeant, The, 184.
  On a Certain Condescension in Foreigners, 141.
  One Hoss Shay, The, 135, 188.
  Oregon Trail, The, 147.
  Ormond, 63, 64.
  "Orpheus C. Kerr," 193.
  Orphic Sayings, 105.
  Osgood, Mrs. K. P., 184.
  Otis, James, 43-45.
  Our Master, 158.
  Our Old Home, 119.
  Out of the Question, 209.
  Outcasts of Poker Flat, The, 199, 200.
  Outre-Mer, 124.
  Overland Monthly, The, 199.
  Over-Soul, The, 105.

  Paine, R. T., 60.
  Paine, Tom, 51-53.
  Panorama, The, 157.
  Paper, 39.
  Parker, Theodore, 97-100, 106.
  Parkman, Francis, 123, 145, 146, 147.
  Parlor Car, The, 210.
  Partisan, The, 168.
  Passionate Pilgrim, A, 305.
  Pathfinder, The, 83.
  Paulding, J. K., 72, 74, 79,80.
  Payne, J. H., 84.
  Pearl of Orr's Island, The, 175.
  Pencilings by the Way, 169.
  Pension Beaurepas, The, 206.
  Percival, J. G., 175.
  Percy, George, 12, 19.
  "Peter Parley," 69.
  "Petroleum V. Nasby," 193.
  Phenomena Quaedam Apocalyptica, 33.
  Phillips, Wendell, 122, 123, 147, 148, 157,
  Philosophic Solitude, 53.
  Philosophy of Composition, 163.
  Phoenixiana, 189.
  Piatt, J. J., 184, 202, 208.
  Pictures of Memory, 173.
  Pilot, The, 84.
  Pink and White Tyranny, 175.
  Pinkney, E. C., 85.
  Pioneer, The, 138.
  Pioneers, The, 71, 83.
  Pioneers of France in the New World, 147.
  Plain Language from Truthful James, 200
  Planting of the Apple-Tree, The, 155.
  Plato, Emerson on, 108.
  Poe, E. A., 63, 80, 85, 106, 116, 117, 130, 138,
      150, 153, 160-169, 182, 186, 196.
  Poems of the Orient, 171.
  Poems of Two Friends, 208.
  Poems on Slavery, 128.
  Poet at the Breakfast Table, The, 136.
  Poetic Principle, The, 164.
  Poetry: A Metrical Essay, 133.
  Poet's Hope, A, 105.
  Political Green House, The, 56.
  Pollard, E. A., 182.
  Pons, Maximus, 173.
  Poor Richard's Almanac, 39, 40.
  Portraits of Places, 207.
  Prairie, The, 83.
  Prentice, G. D., 156, 189.
  Prescott, W. H., 123, 145, 146, 151, 182.
  Present Crisis, The, 140.
  Pride of the Village, The, 77.
  Prince Deukalion, 171.
  Prince of Parthia, The, 63.
  Problem, The, 110.
  Professor at the Breakfast Table, The, 136, 137.
  Progress to the Mines, A, 17.
  Prologue, The, 135.
  Prophecy of Samuel Sewell, The, 33.
  Prophet, The, 171.
  Psalm of Life, The, 126, 127.
  Purloined Letter, The, 163.
  Putnam's Monthly, 123, 197.

  Quaker Widow, The, 171.
  Quincy, Josiah, 43-45.

  Rag Man and Rag Woman, The, 196.
  Randall, J. R., 183.
  Randolph, John, 46.
  Raven, The, 163, 165.
  Read, T. B., 173.
  Reaper and the Flowers, The, 126.
  Rebellion Record, The, 183.
  Recollections of a Life-time, 69, 72.
  Red Rover, The, 84.
  Register, The, 210.
  Remarks on Associations, 91.
  Remarks on National Literature, 91, 100.
  Reply to Hayne, Webster's, 87.
  Representative Men, 102, 107, 109.
  Resignation, 128.
  Reveries of a Bachelor, 175.
  Rhoecus, 138.
  Rhymes of Travel, 171.
  Riding to Vote, 184.
  Rights of the British Colonies, 45.
  Ripley, George, 95, 99, 100, 106, 151.
  Rip Van Winkle, 75.
  Rip Van Winkle, M.D., 134.
  Rise and Fall of the Confederate States, 182.
  Rise and Fall of the Slave Power, 182.
  Rise of the Dutch Republic, 146.
  Rob of the Bowl, 168.
  Roderick Hudson, 206.
  Roughing It, 193, 194.

  Salmagundi, 74, 79, 155.
  Sandys, George, 16, 19.
  San Francisco, 198.
  Scarlet Letter, The, 35, 117, 118.
  School Days, 156.
  Schoolcraft, H. R., 130.
  Science of English Verse, 202.
  Scribner's Monthly, 197.
  Scripture Poems, 169.
  Seaside and Fireside, 126, 127.
  Seaweed, 127, 129.
  Selling of Joseph, The, 33.
  September Gale, The, 133.
  Sewall, J, M., 60.
  Sewall, Samuel, 32, 33.
  Shakespeare, Ode, 89.
  Shaw, H. W., 193.
  Shepherd of King Admetus, The, 138.
  Sheridan's Ride, 173.
  Shillaber, B. P., 189.
  Sigourney, Mrs. L. H., 107, 175.
  Silas, Lapham, 209.
  Simms, W. G., 168.
  Simple Cobbler of Agawam, The, 20.
  Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, 35.
  Skeleton in Armor, The, 127.
  Skeleton in the Closet, The, 196.
  Sketch Book, The, 73-75, 77.
  Skipper Ireson's Ride, 158.
  Sleeper, The, 165.
  Sleeping Car, The, 63.
  Smith, Elihu, 55.
  Smith, John, 11, 12, 15, 19, 24.
  Smith, Seba, 189.
  Snow-Bound, 159.
  Society and Solitude, 107.
  Song for a Temperance Dinner, 134.
  Song of the Chattahoochie, 202.
  Southern Literary Messenger, The, 160, 162.
  Southern Passages and Pictures, 169.
  Sparkling and Bright, 170.
  Specimen Days, 180.
  Specimens of Foreign Standard Literature, 100.
  Sphinx, The, 135.
  Sprague, Charles, 89.
  Spring, 170.
  Spy, The, 83.
  Squibob Papers, 180.
  Star Papers, 176.
  Star-Spangled Banner, The, 60, 80.
  Stedman, E. C., 197.
  Stephens, A. H., 182.
  Stith, William, 17.
  Stoddard, R. H., 170, 197.
  Story of Kennett, The, 172.
  Stowe, Mrs. H. B., 174, 175.
  Strachey, William, 11.
  Stuart, Moses, 98.
  Suburban Sketches, 208.
  Sumner, Charles, 122, 132, 124, 142, 148, 157, 174.
  Supernaturalism in New England, 160.
  Swallow Barn, 168.
  Swinton, W., 183.
  Sybaris and Other Homes, 195.

  Tales of a Traveler, 75.
  Tales of a Wayside Inn, 159.
  Tales of the Glauber Spa, 155.
  Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque, 166.
  Tamerlane, 161.
  Tanglewood Tales, 119.
  Taylor, Bayard, 170-173.
  Telling the Bees, 159.
  Ten Times One is Ten, 195.
  Tennessee's Partner, 200.
  Tent on the Beach, The, 159.
  Thanatopsis, 68, 80, 125, 152, 153, 155.
  Their Wedding Journey, 208.
  Theology, Dwight's, 58.
  Thirty Poems, 154.
  Thoreau, H. D., 93, 96, 106, 109, 110, 114,
      119, 122, 123, 125, 151, 179, 182.
  Timrod, Henry, 184.
  To a Waterfowl, 153.
  To Helen, 162.
  To M---- from Abroad, 170.
  To One in Paradise, 165.
  To Seneca Lake, 175.
  Tour on the Prairies, A, 71.
  Tramp Abroad, A, 193.
  Transcendentalist, The, 101, 102.
  Travels, Dwight's, 53.
  Treatise Concerning Religious Affections, 36.
  Triumph of Infidelity, 58.
  True Grandeur of Nations, The, 149.
  True Relation, Smith's, 15.
  True Repertory of the Wrack of Sir Thomas Gates, 11.
  Trumbull, John, 54, 55, 73.
  Twice-Told Tales, 115, 117, 118.
  Two Rivers, 112.
  Tyler, Royall, 63.

  Ulalume, 165.
  Uncle Ned, 173.
  Uncle Remus, 202.
  Uncle Tom's Cabin, 174.
  Under the Willows, 142.
  Undiscovered Country, The, 209.
  Unknown Dead, The, 184.
  Unseen Spirits, 170.

  Valley of Unrest, The, 162.
  Vanity Fair, 190.
  Vassall Morton, 145.
  Venetian Life, 208.
  Views Afoot, 171.
  Villa Franca, 142.
  Village Blacksmith, The, 127.
  Virginia Comedians, The, 196.
  Vision of Columbus, The, 56, 57.
  Vision of Sir Launfal, The, 140, 141.
  Visit from St. Nicholas, A, 170.
  Voices of Freedom, 157.
  Voices of the Night, 124, 126.
  Voluntaries, 110.
  Von Kempelen's Discovery, 154.

  Walden, 111.
  Wants of Man, The, 85.
  War Lyrics, 184.
  Ward, Nathaniel, 20.
  Ware, Henry, 99.
  Washers of the Shroud, The, 142.
  Washington, George, 49, 51.
  Washington as a Camp, 185.
  Washington Square, 185.
  'Way Down South, 173.
  Webster, Daniel, 73, 86-89, 90, 158, 187.
  Webster's Spelling-Book, 69.
  Week on the Concord and Merrimac Rivers, A, 111.
  Western Windows, 202.
  Westminster Abbey, 77.
  Westover MSS., The, 16.
  Westward Ho! 72.
  What Mr. Robinson thinks, 140.
  What was It?, 186.
  Whistle, The, 39.
  Whitaker, Alexander, 18.
  White, R. G., 197.
  Whitman, Walt, 126, 176-180, 183.
  Whittier, J. G., 18, 25, 26, 32, 33, 93, 133,
      138, 155-160, 167, 174, 175, 179, 183, 185, 197.
  Wieland, 63, 65.
  Wigglesworth, Michael, 34.
  Wild Honeysuckle, The, 61.
  Wilde, R. H., 84.
  William Wilson, 166.
  Williams, Roger, 22, 23.
  Willis, N. P., 71, 153, 169, 171, 176.
  Willson Forceythe, 184.
  Wilson, Henry, 182.
  Winter Evening Hymn to My Fire, 142,
  Winthrop, John, 12, 21, 23-28, 31, 33.
  Winthrop, Theodore, 184.
  Witchcraft, 143.
  Witch's Daughter, The, 157.
  Wolfert's Roost, 75.
  Wolfert Webber, 75.
  Woman in the Nineteenth Century, 105.
  Wonder Book, 119.
  Wonders of the Invisible World, 21, 32.
  Woods, Leonard, 98.
  Woods in Winter, 125.
  Woodman, Spare that Tree, 170.
  Woodworth, Samuel, 84.
  Woolman's Journal, 65, 66, 157.
  Wound-Dresser, The, 178.
  Wrath Upon the Wicked, 35.
  Wreck of the Hesperus, The, 127, 129.

  Yankee Doodle, 59.
  Yankee in Canada, 111.
  Year's Life, A, 138.
  Yemassee, The, 168.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Initial Studies in American Letters" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.