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Title: Brave Men and Women - Their Struggles, Failures, And Triumphs
Author: Fuller, O. E. (Osgood Eaton), 1835-1900
Language: English
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BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN

THEIR STRUGGLES, FAILURES, AND TRIUMPHS.

BY

O.E. FULLER, A.M.

"_Find out what you are fitted for; work hard at that one thing, and
keep a brave, honest heart_."

       *       *       *       *       *

COPYRIGHT
By O.E. FULLER
1884
All rights reserved.

       *       *       *       *       *



PREFACE


Struggle, failure, triumph: while triumph is the thing sought, struggle
has its joy, and failure is not without its uses.

"It is not the _goal_," says Jean Paul, "but the _course_ which makes us
happy." The law of life is what a great orator affirmed of
oratory--"Action, action, action!" As soon as one point is gained,
another, and another presents itself.

"It is a mistake," says Samuel Smiles, "to suppose that men succeed
through success; they much oftener succeed through failure." He cites,
among others, the example of Cowper, who, through his diffidence and
shyness, broke down when pleading his first cause, and lived to revive
the poetic art in England; and that of Goldsmith, who failed in passing
as a surgeon, and yet wrote the "Deserted Village" and the "Vicar of
Wakefield." Even when one turns to no new course, how many failures, as
a rule, mark the way to triumph, and brand into life, as with a hot
iron, the lessons of defeat!

The brave man or the brave woman is one who looks life in the eye, and
says: "God helping me, I am going to  realize the best possibilities of
my nature, by calling into action the beneficent laws which govern and
determine the development of each individual member of the race." And
the failures of such a person are the jewels of triumph; that triumph
which is certain in the sight of heaven, if not in the eyes of men.

"Brave Men and Women," the title of this volume, is used in a double
sense, as referring not only to those whose words and deeds are here
recorded, or cited as examples, but also to all who read the book, and
are striving after the riches of character.

Some of the sketches and short papers are anonymous, and have been
adapted for use in these pages. Where the authorship is known, and the
productions have been given _verbatim_, the source, if not the pen of
the editor, has been indicated. Thanks are due to the press, and to
those who have permitted the use of copyrighted matter.

In conclusion, the editor lays little claim to originality--save in the
metrical pieces, and in the use he has made of material. His aim has
simply been to form a sort of _mosaic_ or variegated picture of the
Brave Life--the life which recognizes the Divine Goodness in all things,
striving through good report and evil report, and in manifold ways,
which one is often unqualified to judge, to attain to the life of Him
who is "the light of the world."

THE AUTHOR.

       *       *       *       *       *



CONTENTS


CHAPTER I.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.--HIS FAME STILL CLIMBING TO HEAVEN--WHAT HE HAD DONE
AT FIFTY-TWO--POOR RICHARD'S ADDRESS


CHAPTER II.

DEFENCE OF A GREAT MAN.--WAS DR. FRANKLIN MEAN?--JAMES PARTON'S ANSWER


CHAPTER III.

SIR WALTER SCOTT AND HIS MOTHER.--THE MOTHER'S EDUCATION--THE SON'S
TRAINING--DOMESTIC LOVE AND SOCIAL DUTIES


CHAPTER IV.

ABIGAIL ADAMS.--THE WIFE OF OUR SECOND PRESIDENT--THE MOTHER OF OUR
SIXTH


CHAPTER V.

TWO NEIGHBORS.--WHAT THEY GOT OUT OF LIFE


CHAPTER VI.

HORACE GREELEY.--THE MOLDER OF PUBLIC OPINION--THE BRAVE JOURNALIST


CHAPTER VII.

WENDELL PHILLIPS.--THE TIMES WHEN HE APPEARED--"WHO IS THIS FELLOW?"--A
FLAMING ADVOCATE OF LIBERTY--LIBERTY OF SPEECH AND THOUGHT--POWER TO
DISCERN THE RIGHT--THE MOB-BEATEN HERO TRIUMPHANT


CHAPTER VIII.

MARY WORDSWORTH.--THE KINDLY WIFE OF THE GREAT POET


CHAPTER IX.

MADAME MALIBRAN.--HER CAREER AS A SINGER--KINDNESS OF HEART


CHAPTER X.

GARFIELD MAXIMS.--GATHERED FROM HIS SPEECHES, ADDRESSES, LETTERS, ETC.


CHAPTER XI.

WHAT I CARRIED TO COLLEGE.--A REMINISCENCE AT FORTY--PICTURES OF RURAL
LIFE


CHAPTER XII.

SIR JOHN FRANKLIN.--HEROISM ON THE GREAT DEEP--A MARTYR OF THE POLAR SEA


CHAPTER XIII.

ELIZABETH ESTAUGH.--A QUAKER COURTSHIP IN WHICH SHE WAS THE PRINCIPAL
ACTOR


CHAPTER XIV.

"CHINESE" GORDON.--IN THE TRENCHES OF THE CRIMEA--PUTS DOWN THE GREAT
TAIPING REBELLION IN CHINA, IN 1863-4--HERO OF THE SOUDAN--BEARDS THE
MEN-STEALERS IN THEIR STRONGHOLDS AND MAKES THE PEOPLE LOVE HIM


CHAPTER XV.

MEN'S WIVES.--BITS OF COMMON SENSE AND WISDOM ON A GREAT SUBJECT


CHAPTER XVI.

WOMEN'S HUSBANDS.--WHAT THE "BREAD-WINNERS" LIKE IN THEIR WIVES--A
LITTLE CONSTITUTIONAL OPPOSITION


CHAPTER XVII.

JOHN PLOUGHMAN.--WHAT HE SAYS ABOUT RELIGIOUS GRUMBLERS--GOOD NATURE AND
FIRMNESS, ETC.


CHAPTER XVIII.

CAROLINE LUCRETIA HERSCHEL.--A NOBLE, SELF-SACRIFICING WOMAN


CHAPTER XIX.

PESTIFEROUS LITERATURE.--THE PRINTING PRESS--THE FLOOD OF IMPURE AND
LOATHSOME LITERATURE, ETC.


CHAPTER XX.

SATISFIED.--AND OTHER POEMS


CHAPTER XXI.

HEROES OF SCIENCE.--MICHAEL FARADAY--SIR WILLIAM SIEMENS--M. PASTEUR


CHAPTER XXII.

MY UNCLE TOBY.--ONE OF THE BEAUTIFUL CREATIONS OF A GREAT GENIUS


CHAPTER XXIII.

STEPHEN GIRARD.--THE NAPOLEON OF MERCHANTS--HIS LIFE SUCCESSFUL, AND YET
A FAILURE


CHAPTER XXIV.

DISAPPOINTMENTS.--PLEASURE AFTER PAIN--PAIN AFTER PLEASURE


CHAPTER XXV.

THE THREE KINGS.--AN OLD STORY IN A NEW LIGHT


CHAPTER XXVI.

FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE.--THE HEROINE OF THE CRIMEA


CHAPTER XXVII.

SHY PEOPLE.--HAWTHORNE--WASHINGTON, IRVING, AND OTHERS--MADAME RECAMIER


CHAPTER XXVIII.

JOHN MARSHALL.--IN THE REVOLUTIONARY ARMY--His MARRIAGE--LAW
LECTURES--AT THE BAR--His INTELLECTUAL POWERS--ON THE BENCH


CHAPTER XXIX.

A NOBLE MOTHER.--How SHE TRAINED HERSELF, AND EDUCATED HER BOYS


CHAPTER XXX.

THE CARE OF THE BODY.--WHAT DR. SARGENT, OF THE HARVARD GYMNASIUM, SAYS
ABOUT IT--POINTS FOR PARENTS, TEACHERS, AND PUPILS


CHAPTER XXXI.

SAINT CECILIA.--THE PATRONESS OF MUSIC--MYTHS CONCERNING THE ORIGIN OF
MUSIC--ITS RELATION TO WORK AND BLESSEDNESS


CHAPTER XXXII.

THOMAS DE QUINCEY.--A LIFE OF WONDER AND WARNING


CHAPTER XXXIII.

A VISION OF TIME.--NEW YEAR'S EVE


CHAPTER XXXIV.

JOHN BUNYAN.--FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT


CHAPTER XXXV.

MADAME ROLAND.--THE MOST REMARKABLE WOMAN OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION--THE
IPHIGENIA OF FRANCE


CHAPTER XXXVI.

CHEERFUL AND BRAVE.--THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON--SIR WALTER
RALEIGH--XENOPHON--CÆSAR--NELSON, ETC.


CHAPTER XXXVII.

HAROLD.--THE LAST SAXON KING OF ENGLAND


CHAPTER XXXVIII.

PETER COOPER.--THE LESSONS OF A LONG AND USEFUL LIFE


CHAPTER XXXIX.

ILLUSIONS.--"THEREFORE TRUST TO THY HEART AND WHAT THE WORLD CALLS
ILLUSIONS"


CHAPTER XL.

PHILLIPS BROOKS.--At Home


CHAPTER XLI.

ST. JOHN AND THE ROBBER.--A LEGEND OF THE FIRST CENTURY


CHAPTER XLII.

JOHN PLOUGHMAN AGAIN.--THE PITH AND MARROW OF CERTAIN OLD PROVERBS


CHAPTER XLIII.

HENRY WILSON.--FROM THE SHOEMAKER'S BENCH TO THE CHAIR OF VICE-PRESIDENT


CHAPTER XLIV.

JOAN OF ARC.--THE PEASANT MAIDEN WHO DELIVERED HER COUNTRY AND BECAME A
MARTYR IN ITS CAUSE


CHAPTER XLV.

THE SONG OF WORK.--MANY PHASES AND MANY EXAMPLES


CHAPTER XLVI.

ALVAN S. SOUTHWORTH.--CROSSING THE NUBIAN DESERT


CHAPTER XLVII.

A FORBIDDEN TOPIC.--WHICH SOME PEOPLE PERSIST IN INTRODUCING


CHAPTER XLVIII.

IDA LEWIS WILSON.--THE GRACE DARLING OF AMERICA


CHAPTER XLIX.

RACHEL JACKSON.--THE WIFE OF OUR SEVENTH PRESIDENT


CHAPTER L.

DISCONTENTED GIRLS.--ONE PANACEA FOR THEM--AND ONE REFUGE


CHAPTER LI.

THE VOICE IN RAMAH.--"RACHEL WEEPING FOR HER CHILDREN, AND WOULD NOT BE
COMFORTED BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT"


CHAPTER LII.

LA FAYETTE.--THE FRIEND AND DEFENDER OF LIBERTY ON TWO CONTINENTS


CHAPTER LIII.

LYDIA SIGOURNEY.--THE LESSON OF A USEFUL AND BEAUTIFUL LIFE


CHAPTER LIV.

OLD AGE AND USEFULNESS.--THE GLORY OF BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN


CHAPTER LV.

RHYMES AND CHIMES.--SUITABLE FOR AUTOGRAPH ALBUMS

       *       *       *       *       *



I.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.

(BORN 1706--DIED 1790.)


HIS FAME STILL CLIMBING TO HEAVEN--WHAT HE HAD DONE AT FIFTY-TWO--POOR
RICHARD'S ADDRESS.


The late Judge Black was remarkable not only for his wit and humor,
which often enlivened the dry logic of law and fact, but also for
flashes of unique eloquence. In presenting a certain brief before the
United States Supreme Court he had occasion to animadvert upon some of
our great men. Among other things he said, as related to the writer by
one who heard him: "The colossal name of Washington is growing year by
year, _and the fame of Franklin is still climbing to heaven_,"
accompanying the latter words by such a movement of his right hand that
not one of his hearers failed to see the immortal kite quietly bearing
the philosopher's question to the clouds. It was a point which delivered
the answer. In the life of every great man there is likewise a point
which delivers the special message which he was born to publish to the
world. Biography is greatly simplified when it confines itself chiefly
to that one point. What does the reader, who has his own work to do,
care for a great multitude of details which are not needed for the
setting of the picture? _To the point_ is the cry of our busy life.

Benjamin Franklin is here introduced to the reader


AT FIFTY-TWO.


What had he done at that age to command more than ordinary respect and
admiration?

I. Born in poverty and obscurity, in which he passed his early years;
with no advantages of education in the schools of his day, after he
entered his teens; under the condition of daily toil for his bread; he
had carried on, in spite of all obstacles, the process of self-education
through books and observation, and become in literature and science, as
well as in the practical affairs of every-day life, the best informed
man in America.

II. Apprenticed to a printer in his native Boston, at thirteen; a
journeyman in Philadelphia at seventeen; working at the case in London
at nineteen; back to the Quaker City, and set up for himself at
twenty-six; he had long since mastered all the details of a great
business, prepared to put his hand to any thing, from the trundling of
paper through the streets on a wheel-barrow to the writing of editorials
and pamphlets, and had earned for himself a position as the most
prosperous printer and publisher in the colonies.

III. Retired from active business at forty-six, considering that he had
already earned and saved enough to supply his reasonable wants for the
rest of his life; fired with ambition to do something for the
advancement of science; he had now for six years given himself to
philosophical investigation and experiment, among other things
demonstrated the identity of electricity as produced by artificial means
and atmospheric lightning, and made himself a name throughout the
civilized world.

IV. Besides, it must not be forgotten that he had all along been
foremost in many a work for the public good. The Franklin Library, of
Philadelphia, owes to him its origin. The University of Pennsylvania
grew out of an educational project in which he was a prime mover. And
his ideas as to the relative importance of ancient and modern _classics_
were more than a hundred years in advance of his times.

Such is a glimpse of Franklin at fifty-two, as preliminary to a single
episode which will occupy the rest of this chapter. But the episode
itself requires a special word.

V. For a quarter of a century Franklin had published an almanac under
the _pseudonym_ of Richard Saunders, into the pages of which he crowded
year by year choice scraps of wit and wisdom, which made the little
hand-book a welcome visitor in almost every home of the New World. Now
in the midst of those philosophical studies which so much delighted him,
when about to cross the Atlantic as a commissioner to the Home
Government, he found time to gather up the maxims and quaint sayings of
twenty-five years and set them in a wonderful mosaic, as the preface of
Poor Richard's world-famous almanac--as unique a piece of writing as any
language affords. Here it is:


POOR RICHARD'S ADDRESS.


Courteous Reader: I have heard that nothing gives an author so great
pleasure as to find his works respectfully quoted by others. Judge,
then, how much I must have been gratified by an incident I am going to
relate to you. I stopped my horse lately where a great company of people
were collected at an auction of merchants' goods. The hour of the sale
not being come, they were conversing on the badness of the times; and
one of the company called to a plain, clean old man, with white locks,
"Pray, Father Abraham, what think you of the times? Will not those heavy
taxes quite ruin the country? How shall we ever be able to pay them?
What would you advise us to do?" Father Abraham stood up and replied,
"If you would have my advice, I will give it you in short; 'for a word
to the wise is enough,' as Poor Richard says." They joined in desiring
him to speak his mind, and gathering around him, he proceeded as
follows:--

"Friends," says he, "the taxes are indeed very heavy; and if those laid
on by the government were the only ones we had to pay, we might more
easily discharge them; but we have many others, and much more grievous
to some of us. We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times
as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly; and from
these taxes the commissioners can not ease or deliver us by allowing an
abatement. However, let us hearken to good advice, and something may be
done for us; 'God helps them that help themselves,' as Poor Richard
says.

"I. It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people
one-tenth of their time to be employed in its service, but idleness
taxes many of us much more: sloth, by bringing on disease, absolutely
shortens life. 'Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labor wears,
while the used key is always bright,' as Poor Richard says. 'But dost
thou love life, then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is
made of,' as Poor Richard says. How much more than is necessary do we
spend in sleep! forgetting that the sleeping fox catches no poultry, and
that there will be sleeping enough in the grave,' as Poor Richard says.
'If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must be,' as
Poor Richard says, 'the greatest prodigality;' since as he elsewhere
tell us, 'Lost time is never found again; and what we call time enough
always proves little enough.' Let us then up and be doing, and doing to
the purpose, so by diligence shall we do more with less perplexity.
'Sloth makes all things difficult, but industry all easy, and he that
riseth late must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at
night; while laziness travels so slowly, that poverty soon overtakes
him. Drive thy business, let not that drive thee; and early to bed, and
early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise,' as Poor Richard
says.

"So what signifies wishing and hoping for better times? We may make
these times better if we bestir ourselves. 'Industry need not wish, and
he that lives upon hope will die fasting. There are no gains without
pains; then help hands, for I have no lands,' or if I have they are
smartly taxed. 'He that hath a trade, hath an estate; and he that hath a
calling, hath an office of profit and honor,' as Poor Richard says; but
then the trade must be worked at, and the calling well followed, or
neither the estate nor the office will enable us to pay our taxes. If we
are industrious we shall never starve; for 'at the workingman's house
hunger looks in, but dares not enter.' Nor will the bailiff or the
constable enter, for 'industry pays debts, while despair increaseth
them.' What though you have found no treasure, nor has any rich relation
left a legacy; 'Diligence is the mother of good luck, and God gives all
things to industry. Then plow deep, while sluggards sleep, and you shall
have corn to sell and to keep.' Work while it is called to-day, for you
know not how much you may be hindered to-morrow. 'One to-day is worth
two to-morrows,' as Poor Richard says; and farther, 'Never leave that
till to-morrow which you can do to-day.' If you were a servant, would
you not be ashamed that a good master should catch you idle? Are you
then your own master? Be ashamed to catch yourself idle, when there is
so much to be done for yourself, your family, your country, and your
king. Handle your tools without mittens; remember, that 'the cat in
gloves catches no mice,' as Poor Richard says. It is true there is much
to be done, and, perhaps, you are weak-handed; but stick to it steadily,
and you will see great effects; for, 'Constant dropping wears away
stones; and by diligence, and patience the mouse ate in two the cable;
and little strokes fell great oaks.'

"Methinks I hear some of you say, 'Must a man afford himself no
leisure?' I will tell thee, my friend, what Poor Richard says: 'Employ
thy time well, if thou meanest to gain leisure; and, since thou art not
sure of a minute, throw not away an hour.' Leisure is time for doing
something useful; this leisure the diligent man will obtain, but the
lazy man never; for 'A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two
things. Many, without labor, would live by their wits only, but they
break for want of stock;' whereas industry gives comfort, and plenty,
and respect. 'Fly pleasures, and they will follow you. The diligent
spinner has a large shift; and now I have a sheep and a cow, every body
bids me good morrow.'

"II. But with our industry we must likewise be steady, settled, and
careful, and oversee our own affairs with our own eyes, and not trust
too much to others, for, as Poor Richard says,

    "'I never saw an oft removed tree,
    Nor yet an oft removed family,
    That throve so well as those that settled be.'

"And again, 'three removes is as bad as a fire;' and again, 'Keep thy
shop, and thy shop will keep thee;' and again, 'If you would have your
business done, go; if not, send;' and again,

    "'He that by the plow would thrive,
    Himself must either hold or drive.'

And again, 'the eye of the master will do more work than both his
hands;' and again, 'Want of care does us more damage than want of
knowledge;' and again, 'Not to oversee workmen is to leave them your
purse open.' Trusting too much to others' care is the ruin of many; for,
'In the affairs of this world, men are saved, not by faith, but by the
want of it; but a man's own care is profitable, for, 'If you would have
a faithful servant, and one that you like, serve yourself. A little
neglect may breed great mischief; for want of a nail the shoe was lost;
for want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a horse the rider
was lost,' being overtaken and slain by the enemy; all for want of a
little care about a horseshoe nail.

"III. So much for industry, my friends, and attention to one's own
business; but to these we must add frugality, if we would make our
industry more certainly successful. A man may, if he knows not how to
save as he gets, 'keep his nose all his life to the grindstone, and die
not worth a groat at last. A fat kitchen makes a lean will;' and

    "'Many estates are spent in the getting,
    Since women for tea forsook spinning and knitting,
    And men for punch forsook hewing and splitting.'

'If you would be wealthy, think of saving, as well as of getting. The
Indies have not made Spain rich, because her outgoes are greater than
her incomes.'

"Away then with your expensive follies, and you will not then have so
much cause to complain of hard times, heavy taxes, and chargeable
families; for

    "'Women and wine, game and deceit,
    Make the wealth small, and the want great.'

And farther, 'What maintains one vice would bring up two children.' You
may think, perhaps, that a little tea, or a little punch now and then,
diet a little more costly, clothes a little finer, and a little
entertainment now and then, can be no great matter; but remember, 'Many
a little makes a mickle.' Beware of little expenses. 'A small leak will
sink a great ship,' as Poor Richard says; and again, 'Who dainties love,
shall beggars prove;' and moreover, 'Fools make feasts, and wise men eat
them.' Here you are all got together to this sale of fineries and
knick-knacks. You call them goods, but, if you do not take care, they
will prove evils to some of you. You expect they will be sold cheap, and
perhaps they may, for less than they cost; but if you have no occasion
for them, they must be dear to you. Remember what Poor Richard says,
'Buy what thou hast no need of, and erelong thou shalt sell thy
necessaries.' And again, 'At a great pennyworth pause awhile;' he means,
that perhaps the cheapness is apparent only, and not real; or the
bargain, by straitening thee in thy business, may do thee more harm than
good. For in another place he says, 'Many have been ruined by buying
good pennyworths.' Again, 'It is foolish to lay out money in a purchase
of repentance;' and yet this folly is practiced every day at auctions,
for want of minding the almanac. Many a one, for the sake of finery on
the back, have gone with a hungry belly, and half starved their
families; 'Silks and satins, scarlet and velvets, put out the kitchen
fire,' as Poor Richard says. These are not the necessaries of life; they
can scarcely be called the conveniences; and yet, only because they look
pretty, how many want to have them? By these and other extravagances,
the greatest are reduced to poverty, and forced to borrow of those whom
they formerly despised, but who, through industry and frugality, have
maintained their standing; in which case it appears plainly, that 'A
plowman on his legs is higher than a gentleman on his knees,' as Poor
Richard says. Perhaps they have had a small estate left them, which they
knew not the getting of; they think 'It is day, and will never be
night;' that a little to be spent out of so much is not worth minding;
but 'Always taking out of the meal-tub, and never putting in, soon comes
to the bottom,' as Poor Richard says; and then, 'When the well is dry,
they know the worth of water.' But this they might have known before, if
they had taken his advice. 'If you would know the value of money, go and
try to borrow some; for he that goes a borrowing, goes a sorrowing,' as
Poor Richard says; and, indeed, so does he that lends to such people,
when he goes to get it in again. Poor Dick farther advises, and says,

    "'Fond pride of dress is sure a very curse;
    Ere fancy you consult, consult your purse.'

And again, 'Pride is as loud a beggar as Want, and a great deal more
saucy.' When you have bought one fine thing, you must buy ten more, that
your appearance may be all of a piece; but Poor Dick says, 'It is easier
to suppress the first desire, than to satisfy all that follow it.' And
it is as truly folly for the poor to ape the rich, as for the frog to
swell in order to equal the ox.

    "'Vessels large may venture more,
    But little boats should keep near shore.'

It is, however, a folly soon punished; for, as Poor Richard says, 'Pride
that dines on vanity, sups on contempt; Pride breakfasted with Plenty,
dined with Poverty, and supped with Infamy.' And after all, of what use
is this pride of appearance, for which so much is risked, so much is
suffered? It can not promote health, nor ease pain; it makes no increase
of merit in the person; it creates envy, it hastens misfortune.

"But what madness it must be to run in debt for these superfluities! We
are offered by the terms of this sale six months' credit; and that,
perhaps, has induced some of us to attend it, because we can not spare
the ready money, and hope, now to be fine without it. But, ah! think
what you do when you run in debt; you give to another power over your
liberty. If you can not pay at the time, you will be ashamed to see your
creditor; you will be in fear when you speak to him; you will make poor,
pitiful, sneaking excuses, and, by degrees, come to lose your veracity,
and sink into base downright lying; for 'The second vice is lying, the
first is running in debt,' as Poor Richard says; and again, to the same
purpose, 'Lying rides upon debt's back;' whereas a freeborn Englishman
ought not to be ashamed nor afraid to see or speak to any man living.
But poverty often deprives a man of all spirit and virtue. 'It is hard
for an empty bag to stand upright.' What would you think of that prince,
or of that government, who should issue an edict forbidding you to dress
like a gentleman or gentlewoman, on pain of imprisonment or servitude?
Would you not say that you were free, have a right to dress as you
please, and that such an edict would be a breach of your privileges, and
such a government tyrannical? and yet you are about to put yourself
under that tyranny when you run in debt for such dress! Your creditor
has authority, at his pleasure, to deprive you of your liberty, by
confining you in jail for life, or by selling you for a servant, if you
should not be able to pay him. When you have got your bargain, you may,
perhaps, think little of payment; but, as Poor Richard says, 'Creditors
have better memories than debtors; creditors are a superstitious sect,
great observers of days and times.' The day comes round before you are
aware, and the demand is made before you are prepared to satisfy it; or,
if you bear your debt in mind, the term, which at first seemed so long,
will, as it lessens, appear extremely short: Time will seem to have
added wings to his heels as well as his shoulders. 'Those have a short
Lent, who owe money to be paid at Easter.' At present, perhaps, you may
think yourselves in thriving circumstances, and that you can bear a
little extravagance without injury; but

    "'For age and want save while you may,
    No morning sun lasts a whole day.'

"Gain may be temporary and uncertain; but ever, while you live, expense
is constant and certain; and 'It is easier to build two chimneys than to
keep one in fuel,' as Poor Richard says: so, 'Rather go to bed
supperless than rise in debt.'

    "'Get what you can, and what you get hold,
    'Tis the stone that will turn all your lead into gold.'

And, when you have got the philosopher's stone, sure you will no longer
complain of bad times, or the difficulty of paying taxes.

"IV. This doctrine, my friends, is reason and wisdom; but, after all, do
riot depend too much upon your own industry and frugality and prudence,
though excellent things; for they may all be blasted without the
blessing of Heaven; and, therefore, ask that blessing humbly, and be not
uncharitable to those that at present seem to want it, but comfort and
help them. Remember Job suffered, and was afterwards prosperous.

"And now to conclude, 'Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will
learn in no other,' as Poor Richard says, and scarce in that; for it is
true, 'We may give advice, but we can not give conduct.' However,
remember this, 'They that will not be counseled, can not be helped;' and
farther, that, 'If you will not hear reason, she will surely rap your
knuckles,' as Poor Richard says."

Thus the old gentleman ended his harangue. The people heard it, and
approved the doctrine, and immediately practiced the contrary, just as
if it had been a common sermon; for the auction opened, and they began
to buy extravagantly. I found the good man had thoroughly studied my
Almanac, and digested all I had dropped on these topics during the
course of twenty-five years. The frequent mention he made of me must
have tired any one else; but my vanity was wonderfully delighted with
it, though I was conscious that not a tenth part of the wisdom was my
own which he ascribed to me; but rather the gleanings that I had made of
the sense of all ages and nations. However, I resolved to be the better
for the echo of it; and, though I had at first determined to buy stuff
for a new coat, I went away, resolved to wear my old one a little
longer. Reader, if thou wilt do the same, thy profit will be as great as
mine. I am, as ever, thine to serve thee,

    RICHARD SAUNDERS.


This quaint address made a brilliant hit. It was at once printed on
large sheets, framed, and hung up in cottages in England, as well as in
this country. It was also translated into French, Spanish, and modern
Greek. At the present day, however, it is not often met with, except in
the author's collected works, or in fragments; and the young reader,
especially, will be thankful to find it here in full.

       *       *       *       *       *



II.

DEFENSE OF A GREAT MAN.


WAS DR. FRANKLIN MEAN?--JAMES PARTON'S ANSWER.


A man of no enviable notoriety is reported to have spoken of Dr.
Franklin as "hard, calculating, angular, unable to comprehend any higher
object than the accumulation of money." Not a few people who profess
much admiration for Franklin in other respects seem to think that in
money matters there was something about him akin to meanness. To correct
this false impression and show "how Franklin got his money, how much he
got, and what he did with it," one of his recent biographers is called
up in his defense, and to the question, "Was Dr. Franklin mean?" here is


JAMES PARTON'S ANSWER.


I will begin with the first pecuniary transaction in which he is known
to have been concerned, and this shall be given in his own words:

"When I was a child of seven years old my friends, on a holiday, filled
my pockets 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_."

That was certainly not the act of a stingy, calculating boy.

His next purchase, of which we have any knowledge was made when he was
about eleven years old; and this time, I confess, he made a much better
bargain. The first book he could ever call his own was a copy of
Pilgrim's Progress, which he read and re-read until he got from it all
so young a person could understand. But being exceedingly fond of
reading, he exchanged his Pilgrim's Progress for a set of little books,
then much sold by peddlers, called "Burton's Historical Collections," in
forty paper-covered volumes, containing history, travels, tales,
wonders, and curiosities, just the thing for a boy. As we do not know
the market value of his Pilgrim's Progress, we can not tell whether the
poor peddler did well by him or the contrary. But it strikes me that
that is not the kind of barter in which a mean, grasping boy usually
engages.

His father being a poor soap-and-candle maker, with a dozen children or
more to support or assist, and Benjamin being a printer's apprentice, he
was more and more puzzled to gratify his love of knowledge. But one day
he hit upon an expedient that brought in a little cash. By reading a
vegetarian book this hard, calculating Yankee lad had been led to think
that people could live better without meat than with it, and that
killing innocent animals for food was cruel and wicked. So he abstained
from meat altogether for about two years. As this led to some
inconvenience at his boarding-house, he made this cunning proposition to
his master:

"Give me one-half the money you pay for my board and I will board
myself."

The master consenting, the apprentice lived entirely on such things as
hominy, bread, rice, and potatoes, and found that he could actually live
upon half of the half. What did the calculating wretch do with the
money? Put it into his money-box? No; he laid it out in the improvement
of his mind.

When at the age of seventeen, he landed in Philadelphia, a runaway
apprentice, he had one silver dollar and one shilling in copper coin. It
was a fine Sunday morning, as probably the reader remembers, and he knew
not a soul in the place. He asked the boatmen upon whose boat he had
come down the Delaware how much he had to pay. They answered, Nothing,
because he had helped them row. Franklin, however, insisted upon their
taking his shilling's worth of coppers, and forced the money upon them.
An hour after, having bought three rolls for his breakfast, he ate one
and gave the other two to a poor woman and her child who had been his
fellow-passengers. These were small things, you may say; but remember he
was a poor, ragged, dirty runaway in a strange town, four hundred miles
from a friend, with three pence gone out of the only dollar he had in
the world.

Next year when he went home to see his parents, with his pocket full of
money, a new suit of clothes and a watch, one of his oldest Boston
friends was so much pleased with Franklin's account of Philadelphia that
he determined to go back with him. On the journey Franklin discovered
that his friend had become a slave to drink. He was sorely plagued and
disgraced by him, and at last the young drunkard had spent all his money
and had no way of getting on except by Franklin's aid. This hard,
calculating, mercenary youth, did he seize the chance of shaking off a
most troublesome and injurious traveling companion? Strange to relate,
he stuck to his old friend, shared his purse with him till it was empty,
and then began on some money which he had been intrusted with for
another, and so got him to Philadelphia, where he still assisted him. It
was seven years before Franklin was able to pay all the debt incurred by
him to aid this old friend, for abandoning whom few would have blamed
him.

A year after he was in still worse difficulty from a similar cause. He
went to London to buy types and a press with which to establish himself
in business at Philadelphia, the governor of Pennsylvania having
promised to furnish the money. One of the passengers on the ship was a
young friend of Franklin's named James Ralph, with whom he had often
studied, and of whom he was exceedingly fond. Ralph gave out that he,
too, was going to London to make arrangements for going into business
for himself at Philadelphia. The young friends arrived. Franklin
nineteen and Ralph a married man with two children. On reaching London
Franklin learned, to his amazement and dismay, that the governor had
deceived him, that no money was to be expected from him, and that he
must go to work and earn his living at his trade. No sooner had he
learned this than James Ralph gave him another piece of stunning
intelligence; namely, that he had run away from his family and meant to
settle in London as a poet and author.

Franklin had ten pounds in his pocket, and knew a trade. Ralph had no
money, and knew no trade. They were both strangers in a strange city.
Now, in such circumstances, what would a mean, calculating young man
have done? Reader, you know very well, without my telling you. What
Franklin did was this: he shared his purse with his friend till his ten
pounds were all gone; and having at once got to work at his trade, he
kept on dividing his wages with Ralph until he had advanced him
thirty-six pounds--half a year's income--not a penny of which was ever
repaid. And this he did--the cold-blooded wretch!--because he could not
help loving his brilliant, unprincipled comrade, though disapproving his
conduct and sadly needing his money.

Having returned to Philadelphia, he set up in business as a printer and
editor, and, after a very severe effort, he got his business well
established, and at last had the most profitable establishment of the
kind in all America. During the most active part of his business life he
always found some time for the promotion of public objects. He founded a
most useful and public-spirited club; a public library, which still
exists, and assisted in every worthy scheme. He was most generous to his
poor relations, hospitable to his fellow-citizens, and particularly
interested in his journeymen, many of whom he set up in business.

The most decisive proof, however, which he ever gave that he did not
overvalue money, was the retirement from a most profitable business for
the purpose of having leisure to pursue his philosophical studies. He
had been in business twenty years, and he was still in the prime of
life--forty-six years of age. He was making money faster than any other
printer on this continent. But being exceedingly desirous of spending
the rest of his days in study and experiment, and having saved a
moderate competency, he sold his establishment to his foreman on very
easy terms, and withdrew. His estate, when he retired, was worth about a
hundred thousand dollars. If he had been a lover of money, I am
confident that he could and would have accumulated one of the largest
fortunes in America. He had nothing to do but continue in business, and
take care of his investments, to roll up a prodigious estate. But not
having the slightest taste for needless accumulation, he joyfully laid
aside the cares of business, and spent the whole remainder of his life
in the services of his country; for he gave up his heart's desire of
devoting his leisure to philosophy when his country needed him.

Being in London when Captain Cook returned from his first voyage to the
Pacific, he entered warmly into a beautiful scheme for sending a ship
for the purpose of stocking the islands there with pigs, vegetables, and
other useful animals and products. A hard, selfish man would have
laughed such a project to scorn.

In 1776, when he was appointed embassador of the revolted colonies to
the French king, the ocean swarmed with British cruisers, General
Washington had lost New York, and the prospects of the Revolution were
gloomy in the extreme. Dr. Franklin was an old man of seventy, and might
justly have asked to be excused from a service so perilous and
fatiguing. But he did not. He went. And just before he sailed he got
together all the money he could raise--about three thousand pounds--and
invested it in the loan recently announced by Congress. This he did at a
moment when few men had a hearty faith in the success of the Revolution.
This he did when he was going to a foreign country that might not
receive him, from which he might be expelled, and he have no country to
return to. There never was a more gallant and generous act done by an
old man.

In France he was as much the main stay of the cause of his country as
General Washington was at home.

Returning home after the war, he was elected president of Pennsylvania
for three successive years, at a salary of two thousand pounds a year.
But by this time he had become convinced that offices of honor, such as
the governorship of a State, ought not to have any salary attached to
them. He thought they should be filled by persons of independent income,
willing to serve their fellow-citizens from benevolence, or for the
honor of it. So thinking, he at first determined not to receive any
salary; but this being objected to, he devoted the whole of the salary
for three years--six thousand pounds--to the furtherance of public
objects. Part of it he gave to a college, and part was set aside for the
improvement of the Schuylkill River.

Never was an eminent man more thoughtful of people who were the
companions of his poverty. Dr. Franklin, from amidst the splendors of
the French court, and when he was the most famous and admired person in
Europe, forgot not his poor old sister, Jane, who was in fact dependent
on his bounty. He gave her a house in Boston, and sent her every
September the money to lay in her Winter's fuel and provisions. He wrote
her the kindest, wittiest, pleasantest letters. "Believe me, dear
brother," she writes, "your writing to me gives me so much pleasure that
the great, the very great, presents you have sent me give me but a
secondary joy."

How exceedingly absurd to call such a man "hard" and miserly, because he
recommended people not to waste their money! Let me tell you, reader,
that if a man means to be liberal and generous, he _must_ be economical.
No people are so mean as the extravagant, because, spending all they
have upon themselves, they have nothing left for others. Benjamin
Franklin was the most consistently generous man of whom I have any
knowledge.

       *       *       *       *       *



III.

SIR WALTER SCOTT AND HIS MOTHER.


THE MOTHER'S EDUCATION--THE SON'S TRAINING--DOMESTIC LOVE AND SOCIAL
DUTIES.


It was in the Spring of 1758 that the daughter of a distinguished
professor of medicine in the University of Edinburgh changed her maiden
name of Rutherford for her married name of Scott, having the happiness
to unite her lot with one who was not only a scrupulously honorable man,
but who, from his youth up, had led a singularly blameless life. Well
does Coventry Patmore sing:

    "Who is the happy husband? He,
      Who, scanning his unwedded life,
    Thanks Heaven, with a conscience free,
      'Twas faithful to his future wife."

Such a husband as this was the father of Sir Walter Scott, a writer to
the signet (or lawyer) in large practice in Edinburgh. He had never been
led from the right way; and when the less virtuously inclined among the
companions of his early life in Edinburgh found that they could not
corrupt him, they ceased after a little while to laugh at him, and
learned to honor him and to confide in him, "which is certainly," says
he who makes the record on the authority of Mrs. Scott herself, "a great
inducement to young men in the outset of life to act a similar part." It
does not appear that old Walter Scott sought for beauty of person in his
bride, though no doubt the face he loved was more beautiful to him than
that of the bonniest belle in Scotland; but beauty of mind and
disposition she certainly had. Of her father it is told that, when in
practice as "a physician, he never gave a prescription without silently
invoking on it the blessing of Heaven, and the piety which dictated the
custom had been inherited by his daughter.


THE MOTHER'S' EDUCATION.


Mrs. Scott's education, also, had been an excellent one--giving, besides
a good general grounding, an acquaintance with literature, and not
neglecting "the more homely duties of the needle and the account-book."
Her manners, moreover (an important and too often neglected factor in a
mother's influence over her children), were finished and elegant, though
intolerably stiff in some respects, when compared with the manners and
habits of to-day. The maidens of today can scarcely realize, for
instance, the asperity of the training of their embryo
great-grandmothers, who were always made to sit in so Spartanly upright
a posture that Mrs. Scott, in her seventy-ninth year, boasted that she
had never allowed her shoulders to touch the back of her chair!


THE SON'S TRAINING.


As young Walter was one of many children he could not, of course,
monopolize his mother's attention; but probably she recognized the
promise of his future greatness (unlike the mother of the duke of
Wellington, who thought Arthur the family dunce), and gave him a special
care; for, speaking of his early boyhood, he tells us: "I found much
consolation in the partiality of my mother." And he goes on to say that
she joined to a light and happy temper of mind a strong turn to study
poetry and works of imagination. Like the mothers of the Ettrick
Shepherd and of Burns, she repeated to her son the traditionary ballads
she knew by heart; and, so soon as he was sufficiently advanced, his
leisure hours were usually spent in reading Pope's translation of Homer
aloud to her, which, with the exception of a few ballads and some of
Allan Ramsay's songs, was the first poetry he made acquaintance with. It
must often have been with anxiety, and sometimes not without a struggle,
that his mother--solicitous about every trifle which affected the
training of her child--decided on the books which she was to place in
his hands. She wished him to develop his intellectual faculties, but not
at the expense of his spiritual; and romantic frivolity and mental
dissipation on the one hand, and a too severe repression--dangerous in
its after reaction--on the other, were the Scylla and Charybdis between
which she had to steer. The ascetic Puritanism of her training and
surroundings would naturally have led her to the narrower and more
restrictive view, in which her husband, austerer yet, would have
heartily concurred; but her broad sense, quickened by the marvelous
insight that comes from maternal love, led her to adopt the broader,
and, we may safely add, with Sir Walter's career and character before
us, the better course. Her courage was, however, tempered with a wise
discretion; and when he read to her she was wont, he says, to make him
"pause upon those passages which expressed generous and worthy
sentiments"--a most happy method of education, and a most effective one
in the case of an impressionable boy. A little later, when he passed
from the educational care of his mother to that of a tutor, his
relations to literature changed, as the following passage from his
autobiography will show: "My tutor thought it almost a sin to open a
profane play or poem; and my mother had no longer the opportunity to
hear me read poetry as formerly. I found, however, in her dressing-room,
where I slept at one time, some odd volumes of Shakespeare; nor can I
easily forget the rapture with which I sat up in my shirt reading them
by the light of a fire in her apartment, until the bustle of the family
rising from supper warned me that it was time to creep back to my bed,
where I was supposed to have been safely deposited since 9 o'clock."
This is a suggestive, as well as frank, story. Supposing for a moment
that instead of Shakespeare the room had contained some of the volumes
of verse and romance which, though denying alike the natural and the
supernatural virtues, are to be found in many a Christian home, how
easily might he have suffered a contamination of mind.


DOMESTIC LOVE AND SOCIAL DUTY.


It has been proudly said of Sir Walter as an author that he never forgot
the sanctities of domestic love and social duty in all that he wrote;
and considering how much he did write, and how vast has been the
influence of his work on mankind, we can scarcely overestimate the
importance of the fact. Yet it might have been all wrecked by one little
parental imprudence in this matter of books. And what excuse is there,
after all, for running the terrible risk? Authors who are not fit to be
read by the sons and daughters are rarely read without injury by the
fathers and mothers; and it would be better by far, Savonarola-like, to
make a bonfire of all the literature of folly, wickedness, and
infidelity, than run the risk of injuring a child simply for the sake of
having a few volumes more on one's shelves. In the balance of heaven
there is no parity between a complete library and a lost soul. But this
story has another lesson. It indicates once more the injury which may be
done to character by undue limitations. Under the ill-considered
restrictions of his tutor, which ran counter to the good sense of his
mother, whose wisdom was justified by the event, Walter Scott might
easily have fallen into tricks of concealment and forfeited his
candor--that candor which developed into the noble probity which marked
his conduct to the last. Without candor there can not be truth, and, as
he himself has said, there can be no other virtue without truth.
Fortunately for him, by the wise sanction his mother had given to his
perusal of imaginative writings, she had robbed them of a mystery
unhealthy in itself; and he came through these stolen readings
substantially unharmed, because he knew that his fault was only the
lighter one of sitting up when he was supposed to be lying down.

Luckily this tutor's stern rule did not last long; and when a severe
illness attacked the youth (then advanced to be a student at Edinburgh
College) and brought him under his mother's charge once more, the bed on
which he lay was piled with a constant succession of works of
imagination, and he was allowed to find consolation in poetry and
romance, those fountains which flow forever for the ardent and the
young. It was in relation to Mrs. Scott's control of her son's reading
that he wrote with gratitude, late in life, "My mother had good natural
taste and great feeling." And after her death, in a letter to a friend,
he paid her this tribute: "She had a mind peculiarly well stored. If I
have been able to do any thing in the way of painting the past times, it
is very much from the studies with which she presented me. She was a
strict economist, which, she said, enabled her to be liberal. Out of her
little income of about fifteen hundred dollars a year, she bestowed at
least a third in charities; yet I could never prevail on her to accept
of any assistance." Her charity, as well as her love for genealogy, and
her aptitude for story-telling, was transmitted to her son. It found
expression in him, not only in material gifts to the poor, but in a
conscientious care and consideration for the feelings of others. This
trait is beautifully exhibited by many of the facts recorded by Lockhart
in his famous memoir, and also by a little incident, not included there,
which I have heard Sir Henry Taylor tell, and which, besides
illustrating the subject, deserves for its own sake a place in print.
The great and now venerable author of "Philip Van Artevelde" dined at
Abbotsford only a year or two before the close of its owner's life. Sir
Walter had then lost his old vivacity, though not his simple dignity;
but for one moment during the course of the evening he rose into
animation, and it happened thus: There was a talk among the party of an
excursion which was to be made on the following day, and during the
discussion of the plans Miss Scott mentioned that two elderly maiden
ladies, living in the neighborhood, were to be of the number, and hinted
that their company would be a bore. The chivalrous kindliness of her
father's heart was instantly aroused. "I can not call that
good-breeding," he said, in an earnest and dignified tone--a rebuke
which echoed the old-fashioned teaching on the duties of true politeness
he had heard from his mother half a century before.

We would gladly know more than we do of Mrs. Scott's attitude toward her
son when first his _penchant_ for authorship was shown. That she smiled
on his early evidences of talent, and fostered them, we may well
imagine; and the tenderness with which she regarded his early
compositions is indicated by the fact that a copy of verses, written in
a boyish scrawl, was carefully preserved by her, and found, after her
death, folded in a paper on which was inscribed, "My Walter's first
lines, 1782." That she gloried in his successes when they came, we
gather; for when speaking late in life to Dr. Davy about his brother Sir
Humphrey's distinction, Sir Walter, doubtless drawing on his own home
memories, remarked, "I hope, Dr. Davy, that your mother lived to see it;
there must have been great pleasure in that to her." But with whatever
zeal Mrs. Scott may have unfolded Sir Walter's mind by her training, by
her praise, by her motherly enthusiasm, it is certain that, from first
to last, she loved his soul, and sought its interest, in and above all.
Her final present to him before she died was not a Shakespeare or a
Milton, but an old Bible--the book she loved best; and for her sake Sir
Walter loved it too.

Happy was Mrs. Scott in having a son who in all things reciprocated the
affection of his mother. With the first five-guinea fee he earned at the
bar he bought a present for her--a silver taper-stand, which stood on
her mantle-piece many a year; when he became enamored of Miss Carpenter
he filially wrote to consult his mother about the attachment, and to beg
her blessing upon it; when, in 1819, she died at an advanced age, he was
in attendance at her side, and, full of occupations though he was, we
find him busying himself to obtain for her body a beautifully situated
grave. Thirteen years later he also rested from his labors. During the
last hours of his lingering life he desired to be read to from the New
Testament; and when his memory for secular poetry had entirely failed
him, the words and the import of the sacred volume were still in his
recollection, as were also some of the hymns of his childhood, which his
grandson, aged six years, repeated to him. "Lockhart," he said to his
son-in-law, "I have but a minute to speak to you. My dear, be a good
man; be virtuous, be religious, be a good man. Nothing else will give
you any comfort when you come to lie here."

So passed the great author of "Waverley" away. And when, in due course,
his executors came to search for his testament, and lifted up his desk,
"we found," says one of them, "arranged in careful order a series of
little objects, which had obviously been so placed there that his eye
might rest on them every morning before he began his tasks." There were
the old-fashioned boxes that had garnished his mother's toilet-table
when he, a sickly child, slept in her dressing-room; the silver
taper-stand which the young advocate bought for her with his first fee;
a row of small packets inscribed by her hand, and containing the hair of
such of her children as had died before her; and more odds and ends of a
like sort--pathetic tokens of a love which bound together for a little
while here on earth, and binds together for evermore in heaven,
Christian mother and son.

      Sir Walter of the land
      Of song and old romance,
    Tradition in his cunning hand
      Obedient as the lance

      His valiant Black Knight bore,
      Wove into literature
    The legend, myth, and homely lore
      Which now for us endure,

      To charm our weary hours,
      To rouse our stagnant hearts,
    And leave the sense of new-born powers,
      Which never more departs.

      We thank him in the name
      Of One who sits on high,
    And aye abides in every fame
      Which makes a brighter sky.

       *       *       *       *       *



IV.

ABIGAIL ADAMS

(BORN 1744--DIED 1818.)


THE WIFE OF OUR SECOND PRESIDENT--THE MOTHER OF OUR SIXTH.


Abigail Smith, the daughter of a Congregational minister, of Weymouth,
Massachusetts, was one of the most noted women of our early history. She
left a record of her heart and character, and to some extent a picture
of the stirring times in which she lived, in the shape of letters which
are of perennial value, especially to the young. "It was fashionable to
ridicule female learning" in her day; and she says of herself in one of
her letters, "I was never sent to any school." She adds in explanation,
"I was always sick." When girls, however, were sent to school, their
education seldom went beyond writing and arithmetic. But in spite of
disadvantages, she read and studied in private, and by means of
correspondence with relatives and others, cultivated her mind, and
formed an easy and graceful style of writing.

On the 25th of October, 1764, Miss Smith became the wife of John Adams,
a lawyer of Braintree, the part of the town in which he lived being
afterwards called Quincy, in honor of Mrs. Adams's maternal grandfather.
Charles Francis Adams, her grandson, from whose memoir of her the
material for this brief sketch is drawn, says that the ten years
immediately following her marriage present little that is worth
recording.

But when the days of the Revolution came on, those times that tried
men's souls, women were by no means exempt from tribulation, and they,
too, began to make history. The strength of Mrs. Adams's affection for
her husband may be learned from an extract from one of her letters: "I
very well remember when Eastern circuits of the courts, which lasted a
month, were thought an age, and an absence of three months intolerable;
but we are carried from step to step, and from one degree to another, to
endure that which we at first think impossible."

In 1778 her husband went as one of the commissioners to France. During
his absence Mrs. Adams managed, as she had often done before, both the
household and the farm--a true wife and mother of the Revolution. "She
was a farmer cultivating the land, and discussing the weather and the
crops; a merchant reporting prices current and the rates of exchange,
and directing the making up of invoices; a politician speculating upon
the probabilities of peace and war; and a mother writing the most
exalted sentiments to her son."

John Quincy Adams, the son, in his twelfth year, was with his father in
Europe. The following extracts are from letters to him, dated 1778-80:

"'Tis almost four months since you left your native land, and embarked
upon the mighty waters, in quest of a foreign country. Although I have
not particularly written to you since, yet you may be assured you have
constantly been upon my heart and mind.

"It is a very difficult task, my dear son, for a tender parent to bring
her mind to part with a child of your years going to a distant land; nor
could I have acquiesced in such a separation under any other care than
that of the most excellent parent and guardian who accompanied you. You
have arrived at years capable of improving under the advantages you will
be likely to have, if you do but properly attend to them. They are
talents put into your hands, of which an account will be required of you
hereafter; and being possessed of one, two, or four, see to it that you
double your numbers.

"The most amiable and most useful disposition in a young mind is
diffidence of itself; and this should lead you to seek advice and
instruction from him who is your natural guardian, and will always
counsel and direct you in the best manner, both for your present and
future happiness. You are in possession of a natural good understanding,
and of spirits unbroken by adversity and untamed with care. Improve your
understanding by acquiring useful knowledge and virtue, such as will
render you an ornament to society, an honor to your country, and a
blessing to your parents. Great learning and superior abilities, should
you ever possess them, will be of little value and small estimation
unless virtue, honor, truth, and integrity are added to them. Adhere to
those religious sentiments and principles which were early instilled
into your mind, and remember that you are accountable to your Maker for
all your words and actions.

"Let me enjoin it upon you to attend constantly and steadfastly to the
precepts and instructions of your father, as you value the happiness of
your mother and your own welfare. His care and attention to you render
many things unnecessary for me to write, which I might otherwise do; but
the inadvertency and heedlessness of youth require line upon line and
precept upon precept, and, when enforced by the joint efforts of both
parents, will, I hope, have a due influence upon your conduct; for, dear
as you are to me, I would much rather you should have found your grave
in the ocean you have crossed, or that any untimely death crop you in
your infant years, than see you an immoral, profligate, or graceless
child.

"You have entered early in life upon the great theater of the world,
which is full of temptations and vice of every kind. You are not wholly
unacquainted with history, in which you have read of crimes which your
inexperienced mind could scarcely believe credible. You have been taught
to think of them with horror, and to view vice as

            'A monster of so frightful mien,
    That, to be hated, needs but to be seen.'

"Yet you must keep a strict guard upon yourself, or the odious monster
will soon lose its terror by becoming familiar to you. The modern
history of our own times furnishes as black a list of crimes as can be
paralleled in ancient times, even if we go back to Nero, Caligula, or
Cæsar Borgia. Young as you are, the cruel war into which we have been
compelled by the haughty tyrant of Britain and the bloody emissaries of
his vengeance, may stamp upon your mind this certain truth, that the
welfare and prosperity of all countries, communities, and, I may add,
individuals, depend upon their morals. That nation to which we were once
united, as it has departed from justice" eluded and subverted the wise
laws which formerly governed it, and suffered the worst of crimes to go
unpunished, has lost its valor, wisdom, and humanity, and, from being
the dread and terror of Europe, has sunk into derision and infamy....

"Some author, that I have met with, compares a judicious traveler to a
river, that increases its stream the further it flows from its source;
or to certain springs, which, running through rich veins of minerals,
improve their qualities as they pass along. It will be expected of you,
my son, that, as you are favored with superior advantages under the
instructive eye of a tender parent, your improvement should bear some
proportion to your advantages. Nothing is wanting with you but
attention, diligence, and steady application. Nature has not been
deficient.

"These are times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not in the
still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great
characters are formed. Would Cicero have shone so distinguished an
orator if he had not been roused, kindled, and inflamed by the tyranny
of Catiline, Verres, and Mark Antony? The habits of a vigorous mind are
formed in contending with difficulties. All history will convince you of
this, and that wisdom and penetration are the fruit of experience, not
the lessons of retirement and leisure. Great necessities call out great
virtues. When a mind is raised and animated by scenes that engage the
heart, then those qualities, which would otherwise lie dormant, wake
into life and form the character of the hero and statesman. War,
tyranny, and desolation are the scourges of the Almighty, and ought no
doubt to be deprecated. Yet it is your lot, my son, to be an eye-witness
of these calamities in your own native land, and, at the same time, to
owe your existence among a people who have made a glorious defense of
their invaded liberties, and who, aided by a generous and powerful ally,
with the blessing of Heaven, will transmit this inheritance to ages yet
unborn.

"Nor ought it to be one of the least of your incitements towards
exerting every power and faculty of your mind, that you have a parent
who has taken so large and active a share in this contest, and
discharged the trust reposed in him with so much satisfaction as to be
honored with the important embassy which at present calls him abroad.

"The strict and inviolable regard you have ever paid to truth gives me
pleasing hopes that you will not swerve from her dictates, but add
justice, fortitude, and every manly virtue which can adorn a good
citizen, do honor to your country, and render your parents supremely
happy, particularly your ever affectionate mother.

... "The only sure and permanent foundation of virtue is religion. Let
this important truth be engraven upon your heart. And also, that the
foundation of religion is the belief of the one only God, and a just
sense of his attributes, as a being infinitely wise, just, and good, to
whom you owe the highest reverence, gratitude, and adoration; who
superintends and governs all nature, even to clothing the lilies of the
field, and hearing the young ravens when they cry; but more particularly
regards man, whom he created after his own image, and breathed into him
an immortal spirit, capable of a happiness beyond the grave; for the
attainment of which he is bound to the performance of certain duties,
which all tend to the happiness and welfare of society, and are
comprised in one short sentence, expressive of universal benevolence,
'Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.'

"Justice, humanity, and benevolence, are the duties you owe to society
in general. To your country the same duties are incumbent upon you, with
the additional obligation of sacrificing ease, pleasure, wealth, and
life itself for its defense and security. To your parents you owe love,
reverence, and obedience to all just and equitable commands. To
yourself,--here, indeed, is a wide field to expatiate upon. To become
what you ought to be, and what a fond mother wishes to see you, attend
to some precepts and instructions from the pen of one who can have no
motive but your welfare and happiness, and who wishes in this way to
supply to you the personal watchfulness and care which a separation from
you deprived you of at a period of life when habits are easiest acquired
and fixed; and though the advice may not be new, yet suffer it to obtain
a place in your memory, for occasions may offer, and perhaps some
concurring circumstances unite, to give it weight and force.

"Suffer me to recommend to you one of the most useful lessons of
life--the knowledge and study of yourself. There you run the greatest
hazard of being deceived. Self-love and partiality cast a mist before
the eyes, and there is no knowledge so hard to be acquired, nor of more
benefit when once thoroughly understood. Ungoverned passions have aptly
been compared to the boisterous ocean, which is known to produce the
most terrible effects. 'Passions are the elements of life,' but elements
which are subject to the control of reason. Whoever will candidly
examine themselves, will find some degree of passion, peevishness, or
obstinacy in their natural tempers. You will seldom find these
disagreeable ingredients all united in one; but the uncontrolled
indulgence of either is sufficient to render the possessor unhappy in
himself, and disagreeable to all who are so unhappy as to be witnesses
of it, or suffer from its effects.

"You, my dear son, are formed with a constitution feelingly alive; your
passions are strong and impetuous; and, though I have sometimes seen
them hurry you into excesses, yet with pleasure I have observed a
frankness and generosity accompany your efforts to govern and subdue
them. Few persons are so subject to passion but that they can command
themselves when they have a motive sufficiently strong; and those who
are most apt to transgress will restrain themselves through respect and
reverence to superiors, and even, where they wish to recommend
themselves, to their equals. The due government of the passions has been
considered in all ages as a most valuable acquisition. Hence an inspired
writer observes, 'He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty;
and he that ruleth his spirit, than he than taketh a city.' This
passion, co-operating with power, and unrestrained by reason, has
produced the subversion of cities, the desolation of countries, the
massacre of nations, and filled the world with injustice and oppression.
Behold your own country, your native land, suffering from the effects of
lawless power and malignant passions, and learn betimes, from your own
observation and experience, to govern and control yourself. Having once
obtained this self-government, you will find a foundation laid for
happiness to yourself and usefulness to mankind. 'Virtue alone is
happiness below;' and consists in cultivating and improving every good
inclination, and in checking and subduing every propensity to evil. I
have been particular upon the passion of anger, as it is generally the
most predominant passion at your age, the soonest excited, and the least
pains are taken to subdue it;

    'What composes man, can man destroy.'"

With such a mother to counsel him, one is led to ask, how could John
Quincy Adams _help_ becoming a noble-minded and great man? Who wonders
that, with good natural endowments and his excellent privileges, coupled
with maternal training, he fitted himself to fill the highest office in
the gift of a free people?

In June, 1784, Mrs. Adams sailed for London, to join her husband, who
was then our Minister at the Court of St. James. While absent, she
visited France and Netherlands; resided for a time in the former
country; and returned with her knowledge of human nature, of men,
manners, etc., enlarged; disgusted with the splendor and sophistications
of royalty, and well prepared to appreciate the republican simplicity
and frankness of which, she was herself a model. While Mr. Adams was
Vice-president and President, she never laid aside her singleness of
heart and that sincerity and unaffected dignity which had won for her
many friends before her elevation, and which, in spite of national
animosity, conquered the prejudices and gained the heart of the
aristocracy of Great Britain. But her crowning virtue was her Christian
humility, which is beautifully exemplified in a letter which she wrote
to Mr. Adams, on the 8th of February, 1797, "the day on which the votes
for President were counted, and Mr. Adams, as Vice-president, was
required by law to announce himself the President elect for the ensuing
term:"

    "'The sun is dressed in brightest beams,
    To give thy honors to the day.'

"And may it prove an auspicious prelude to each ensuing season. You have
this day to declare yourself head of a nation. 'And now, O Lord, my God,
thou hast made thy servant ruler over the people. Give unto him an
understanding heart, that he may know how to go out and come in before
this great people; that he may discern between good and bad. For who is
able to judge this thy so great a people?' were the words of a royal
sovereign; and not less applicable to him who is invested with the chief
magistracy of a nation, though he wear not a crown nor the robes of
royalty.

"My thoughts and my meditations are with you, though personally absent;
and my petitions to Heaven are, that 'the things which make for peace
may not be hidden from your eyes.' My feelings are not those of pride or
ostentation, upon the occasion. They are solemnized by a sense of the
obligations, the important trusts, and numerous duties connected with
it. That you may be enabled to discharge them with honor to yourself,
with justice and impartiality to your country, and with satisfaction to
this great people, shall be the daily prayer of your A.A."

From her husband's retirement from the Presidency in 1801, to the close
of her life in 1818, Mrs. Adams remained constantly at Quincy. Cheerful,
contented, and happy, she devoted her last years, in that rural
seclusion, to the reciprocities of friendship and love, to offices of
kindness and charity, and, in short, to all those duties which tend to
ripen the Christian for an exchange of worlds.

But it would be doing injustice to her character and leaving one of her
noblest deeds unrecorded, to close without mentioning the influence for
good which she exerted over Mr. Adams, and her part in the work of
making him what he was. That he was sensible of the benignant influence
of wives, may be gathered from the following letter, which was addressed
to Mrs. Adams from Philadelphia, on the 11th of August, 1777:

"I think I have sometimes observed to you in conversation, that upon
examining the biography of illustrious men you will generally find some
female about them, in the relation of mother or wife or sister, to whose
instigation a great part of their merit is to be ascribed. You will find
a curious example of this in the case of Aspasia, the wife of Pericles.
She was a woman of the greatest beauty and the first genius. She taught
him, it is said, his refined maxims of policy, his lofty imperial
eloquence, nay, even composed the speeches on which so great a share of
his reputation was founded.

"I wish some of our great men had such wives. By the account in your
last letter, it seems the women in Boston begin to think themselves able
to serve their country. What a pity it is that our generals in the
northern districts had not Aspasias to their wives!

"I believe the two Howes have not very great women to their wives. If
they had, we should suffer more from their exertions than we do. This is
our good fortune. A smart wife would have put Howe in possession of
Philadelphia a long time ago."

While Mr. Adams was wishing that some of our great men had such wives as
Aspasia, he had such a wife, was himself such a man, and owed half his
greatness to _his_ Aspasia. The exalted patriotism and cheerful piety
infused into the letters she addressed to him during the long night of
political uncertainty that hung over the country, strengthened his
courage, fired his nobler feelings, nerved his higher purposes, and,
doubtless, greatly contributed to make him one of the chief pillars of
the young republic. All honor to a brave wife, and not less heroic
mother. If her husband and son kept the ship of state from the rocks,
the light which guided them was largely from her.

      Heroic wife and mother,
      Whose days were toil and grace,
    Thy glory gleams for many another,
      And shines in many a face.

      The heart, as of a nation,
      Throbs with thy tender love;
    And all our drama of salvation
      Thou watchest from above.

      Our days, which yet are evil,
      And only free in part,
    Have need of things with Heaven co-eval,
      Of Faith's unbounded heart.

      God grant the times approaching
      Be full of glad events,
    No unheroic aims reproaching
      Our line of Presidents.

       *       *       *       *       *



V.

TWO NEIGHBOURS.


WHAT THEY GOT OUT OF LIFE.


It was just two o'clock of one of the warmest of the July afternoons.
Mrs. Hill had her dinner all over, had put on her clean cap and apron,
and was sitting on the north porch, making an unbleached cotton shirt
for Mr. Peter Hill, who always wore unbleached shirts at harvest-time.
Mrs. Hill was a thrifty housewife. She had pursued this economical
avocation for some little time, interrupting herself only at times to
"_shu_!" away the flocks of half-grown chickens that came noisily about
the door for the crumbs from the table-cloth, when the sudden shutting
down of a great blue cotton umbrella caused her to drop her work, and
exclaim:

"Well, now, Mrs. Troost! who would have thought you ever _would_ come to
see me!"

"Why, I have thought a great many times I would come," said the visitor,
stamping her little feet--for she was a little woman--briskly on the
blue flag-stones, and then dusting them nicely with her white cambric
handkerchief, before venturing on the snowy floor of Mrs. Hill. And,
shaking hands, she added, "It _has_ been a good while, for I remember
when I was here last I had my Jane with me--quite a baby then, if you
mind--and she is three years old now."

"Is it possible?" said Mrs. Hill, untying the bonnet-strings of her
neighbor, who sighed as she continued, "Yes, she was three along in
February;" and she sighed again, more heavily than before, though there
was no earthly reason that I know of why she should sigh, unless,
perhaps, the flight of time, thus brought to mind, suggested the
transitory nature of human things.

Mrs. Hill laid the bonnet of Mrs. Troost on her "spare bed," and covered
it with a little pale-blue crape shawl, kept especially for such
occasions; and, taking from the drawer of the bureau a large fan of
turkey feathers, she presented it to her guest, saying, "A very warm
day, isn't it?"

"O, dreadful, dreadful! It seems as hot as a bake oven; and I suffer
with the heat all Summer, more or less. But it's a world of suffering;"
and Mrs. Troost half closed her eyes, as if to shut out the terrible
reality.

"Hay-making requires sunshiny weather, you know; so we must put up with
it," said Mrs. Hill; "besides, I can mostly find some cool place about
the house; I keep my sewing here on the porch, and, as I bake my bread
or cook my dinner, manage to catch it up sometimes, and so keep from
getting overheated; and then, too, I get a good many stitches taken in
the course of the day."

"This _is_ a nice cool place--completely curtained with vines," said
Mrs. Troost; and she sighed again. "They must have cost you a great deal
of pains."

"O, no! no trouble at all; morning-glories grow themselves; they only
require to be planted. I will save seed for you this Fall, and next
Summer you can have your porch as shady as mine."

"And if I do, it would not signify," said Mrs. Troost; "I never get time
to sit down from one week's end to another; besides, I never had any
luck with vines. Some folks don't, you know."

Mrs. Hill was a woman of a short, plethoric habit; one that might be
supposed to move about with little agility, and to find excessive warmth
rather inconvenient; but she was of a happy, cheerful temperament; and
when it rained she tucked up her skirts, put on thick shoes, and waddled
about the same as ever, saying to herself, "This will make the grass
grow," or, "It will bring on the radishes," or something else equally
consolatory.

Mrs. Troost, on the contrary, was a little thin woman, who looked as
though she could move about nimbly at any .season; but, as she herself
often said, she was a poor, unfortunate creature, and pitied herself a
great deal, as she was in justice bound to do, for nobody else cared,
she said, how much she had to bear.

They were near neighbors, these good women, but their social
interchanges of tea-drinking were not of very frequent occurrence, for
sometimes Mrs. Troost had nothing to wear like other folks; sometimes it
was too hot and sometimes it was too cold; and then, again, nobody
wanted to see her, and she was sure she didn't want to go where she
wasn't wanted. Moreover, she had such a great barn of a house as no
other woman ever had to take care of. But in all the neighborhood it was
called the big house, so Mrs. Troost was in some measure compensated for
the pains it cost her. It was, however, as she said, a barn of a place,
with half the rooms unfurnished, partly because they had no use for
them, and partly because they were unable to get furniture. So it stood
right in the sun, with no shutters, and no trees about it, and Mrs.
Troost said she didn't suppose it ever would have. She was always
opposed to building it; but she never had her way about any thing.
Nevertheless, some people said Mr. Troost had taken the dimensions of
his house with his wife's apron-strings--but that may have been slander.

While Mrs. Troost sat sighing over things in general, Mrs. Hill sewed on
the last button, and, shaking the loose threads from the completed
garment, held it up a moment to take a satisfactory view, as it were,
and folded it away.

"Well, did you ever!" said Mrs. Troost. "You have made half a shirt, and
I have got nothing at all done. My hands sweat so I can not use the
needle, and it's no use to try."

"Lay down your work for a little while, and we will walk in the garden."

So Mrs. Hill threw a towel over her head, and, taking a little tin basin
in her hand, the two went to the garden--Mrs. Troost under the shelter
of the blue umbrella, which she said was so heavy that it was worse than
nothing. Beans, radishes, raspberries, and currants, besides many other
things, were there in profusion, and Mrs. Troost said every thing
flourished for Mrs. Hill, while her garden was all choked up with weeds.
"And you have bees, too--don't they sting the children, and give you a
great deal of trouble? Along in May, I guess it was, Troost [Mrs. Troost
always called her husband so] bought a hive, or, rather, he traded a
calf for one--a nice, likely calf, too, it was--and they never did us a
bit of good;" and the unhappy woman sighed.

"They _do_ say," said Mrs. Hill, sympathizingly, "that bees won't work
for some folks; in case their king dies they are very likely to quarrel
and not do well; but we have never had any ill luck with ours; and we
last year sold forty dollars' worth of honey, besides having all we
wanted for our own use. Did yours die off, or what, Mrs. Troost?"

"Why," said the ill-natured visitor, "my oldest boy got stung one day,
and being angry, upset the hive, and I never found it out for two or
three days; and, sending Troost to put it up in its place, there was not
a bee to be found high or low."

"You don't tell! the obstinate little creatures! But they must be
treated kindly, and I have heard of their going off for less things."

The basin was by this time filled with currants, and they returned to
the house. Mrs. Hill, seating herself on the sill of the kitchen door,
began to prepare her fruit for tea, while Mrs. Troost drew her chair
near, saying, "Did you ever hear about William McMicken's bees?"

Mrs. Hill had never heard, and, expressing an anxiety to do so, was told
the following story:

"His wife, you know, was she that was Sally May, and it's an old
saying--

    'To change the name and not the letter,
    You marry for worse and not for better.'

"Sally was a dressy, extravagant girl; she had her bonnet 'done up'
twice a year always, and there was no end to her frocks and ribbons and
fine things. Her mother indulged her in every thing; she used to say
Sally deserved all she got; that she was worth her weight in gold. She
used to go everywhere, Sally did. There was no big meeting that she was
not at, and no quilting that she didn't help to get up. All the girls
went to her for the fashions, for she was a good deal in town at her
Aunt Hanner's, and always brought out the new patterns. She used to have
her sleeves a little bigger than anybody else, you remember, and then
she wore great stiffeners in them--la, me! there was no end to her
extravagance.

"She had a changeable silk, yellow and blue, made with a surplus front;
and when she wore that, the ground wasn't good enough for her to walk
on, so some folks used to say; but I never thought Sally was a bit proud
or lifted up; and if any body was sick there was no better-hearted
creature than she; and then, she was always good-natured as the day was
long, and would sing all the time at her work. I remember, along before
she was married, she used to sing one song a great deal, beginning

    'I've got a sweetheart with bright black eyes;'

and they said she meant William McMicken by that, and that she might not
get him after all--for a good many thought they would never make a
match, their dispositions were so contrary. William was of a dreadful
quiet turn, and a great home body; and as for being rich, he had nothing
to brag of, though he was high larnt and followed the river as dark
sometimes."

Mrs. Hill had by this time prepared her currants, and Mrs. Troost paused
from her story while she filled the kettle and attached the towel to the
end of the well-sweep, where it waved as a signal for Peter to come to
supper.

"Now, just move your chair a leetle nearer the kitchen door, if you
please," said Mrs. Hill, "and I can make up my biscuit and hear you,
too."

Meantime, coming to the door with some bread-crumbs in her hands, she
began scattering them on the ground and calling, "Biddy, biddy,
biddy--chicky, chicky, chicky"--hearing which, a whole flock of poultry
was around her in a minute; and, stooping down, she secured one of the
fattest, which, an hour afterward, was broiled for supper.

"Dear me, how easily you get along!" said Mrs. Troost.

And it was some time before she could compose herself sufficiently to
take up the thread of her story. At length, however, she began with--

"Well, as I was saying, nobody thought William McMicken would marry
Sally May. Poor man! they say he is not like himself any more. He may
get a dozen wives, but he'll never get another Sally. A good wife she
made him, for all she was such a wild girl.

"The old man May was opposed to the marriage, and threatened to turn
Sally, his own daughter, out of house and home; but she was headstrong,
and would marry whom she pleased; and so she did, though she never got a
stitch of new clothes, nor one thing to keep house with. No; not one
single thing did her father give her when she went away but a hive of
bees. He was right down ugly, and called her Mrs. McMicken whenever he
spoke to her after she was married; but Sally didn't seem to mind it,
and took just as good care of the bees as though they were worth a
thousand dollars. Every day in Winter she used to feed
them--maple-sugar, if she had it; and if she had not, a little Muscovade
in a saucer or some old broken dish.

"But it happened one day that a bee stung her on the hand--the right
one, I think it was--and Sally said right away that it was a bad sign;
and that very night she dreamed that she went out to feed her bees, and
a piece of black crape was tied on the hive. She felt that it was a
token of death, and told her husband so, and she told me and Mrs. Hanks.
No, I won't be sure she told Mrs. Hanks, but Mrs. Hanks got to hear it
some way."

"Well," said Mrs. Hill, wiping the tears away with her apron, "I really
didn't know, till now, that poor Mrs. McMicken was dead."

"O, she is not dead," answered Mrs. Troost, "but as well as she ever
was, only she feels that she is not long for this world." The painful
interest of her story, however, had kept her from work, so the afternoon
passed without her having accomplished much--she never could work when
she went visiting.

Meantime Mrs. Hill had prepared a delightful supper, without seeming to
give herself the least trouble. Peter came precisely at the right
moment, and, as he drew a pail of water, removed the towel from the
well-sweep, easily and naturally, thus saving his wife the trouble.

"Troost would never have thought of it," said his wife; and she finished
with an "Ah, well!" as though all her tribulations would be over before
long.

As she partook of the delicious honey she was reminded of her own upset
hive; and the crispred radishes brought thoughts of the weedy garden at
home; so that, on the whole, her visit, she said, made her perfectly
wretched, and she should have no heart for a week; nor did the little
basket of extra nice fruit which Mrs. Hill presented her as she was
about to take leave heighten her spirits in the least. Her great heavy
umbrella, she said, was burden enough for her.

"But Peter will take you in the carriage," insisted Mrs. Hill.

"No," said Mrs. Troost, as though charity was offered her; "it will be
more trouble to get in and out than to walk"--and so she trudged home,
saying, "Some folks are born to be lucky."

       *       *       *       *       *



VI.

HORACE GREELEY.

(BORN 1811--DIED 1872.)


THE MOLDER OF PUBLIC OPINION--THE BRAVE JOURNALIST.


Mr. Greeley lived through the most eventful era in our public history
since the adoption of the Federal Constitution. For the eighteen years
between the, formation of the Republican party, in 1854, and his sudden
death in 1872, the stupendous civil convulsions through which we have
passed have merely translated into acts, and recorded in our annals, the
fruits of his thinking and the strenuous vehemence of his moral
convictions. Whether he was right or wrong, is a question on which
opinions will differ; but no person conversant with our history will
dispute the influence which this remarkable and singularly endowed man
has exerted in shaping the great events of our time. Whatever may be the
ultimate judgment of other classes of his countrymen respecting the real
value of his services, the colored race, when it becomes sufficiently
educated to appreciate his career, must always recognize him as the
chief author of their emancipation from slavery and their equal
citizenship. Mr. Lincoln, to whom their ignorance as yet gives the chief
credit, was a chip tossed on the surface of a resistless wave.


THE MOLDER OF PUBLIC OPINION.


It was Mr. Greeley, more than any other man, who let loose the winds
that lifted the waters and drove forward their foaming, tumbling
billows. Mr. Greeley had lent his hand to stir public feeling to its
profoundest depths before Mr. Lincoln's election became possible. He
contributed more than any other man to defeat the compromise and
settlement for which Mr. Lincoln and his chief adviser, Mr. Seward, were
anxious in the exciting, expectant Winter of 1860-61, and to precipitate
an avoidable bloody war. It was he, carrying a majority of the
Republican party with him, who kept insisting, in the early stages of
the conflict, that the emancipation of the slaves was an indispensable
element of success. Mr. Lincoln stood out and resisted, ridiculing an
emancipation proclamation as 'a bull against the comet.' Mr. Greeley
roused the Republican party by that remarkable leader signed by his name
and addressed to Mr. Lincoln, headed 'The Prayer of Twenty Millions,'
the effect of which the President tried to parry by a public letter to
the editor of the _Tribune_, written with all the dexterous ingenuity
and telling aptness of phrase of which Mr. Lincoln was so great a
master. But Mr. Greeley victoriously carried the Republican party, which
he had done more than all other men to form, with him; and within two
months after Mr. Lincoln's reply to 'The Prayer of Twenty Millions,' his
reluctance was overborne, and he was constrained to issue his celebrated
Proclamation, which committed the Government to emancipation, and staked
the success of the war on that issue. This culminating achievement, the
greatest of Mr. Greeley's life, is the most signal demonstration of his
talents. It was no sudden, random stroke. It was the effect of an
accumulated, ever-rising, widening, deepening stream of influence, which
had been gathering volume and momentum for years, and whose piling
waters at last burst through and bore down every barrier. Mr. Greeley
had long been doing all in his power to swell the tide of popular
feeling against slavery, and it was chiefly in consequence of the
tremendous force he had given to the movement that that barbarous
institution was at last swept away. It is the most extraordinary
revolution ever accomplished by a single mind with no other instrument
than a public journal.

It may be said, indeed, that Mr. Greeley had many zealous coadjutors.
But so had Luther able coadjutors in the Protestant Reformation; so had
Cromwell in the Commonwealth; so had Washington in our Revolution; so
had Cobden in the repeal of the corn laws. They are nevertheless
regarded as the leading minds in the respective innovations which they
championed; and by as just a title Mr. Greeley will hold the first place
with posterity on the roll of emancipation. This is the light in which
he will be remembered so long as the history of our times shall be read.

It may be said, again, that Mr. Greeley's efforts in this direction were
aided by the tendencies of his time. But so were Luther's, and
Cromwell's, and Washington's, and everybody's who has left a great mark
on his age, and accomplished things full of consequences to future
generations. The first qualification for exerting this kind of fruitful
influence is for the leader to be in complete sympathy with the
developing tendencies of his own epoch. This is necessary to make him
the embodiment of its spirit, the representative of its ideas, the
quickener of its passions, the reviver of its courage in adverse turns
of fortune, the central mind whom other advocates of the cause consult,
whose action they watch in every new emergency, and whose guidance they
follow because he has resolute, unflagging confidence to lead. In the
controversies in which Mr. Greeley has been behind his age, or stood
against the march of progress, even he has accomplished little. Since
Henry Clay's death, he has been the most noted and active champion of
Protection; but that cause steadily declined until the war forced the
government to strain every source of revenue, and since the close of the
war free-trade ideas have made surprising advances in Mr. Greeley's own
political party. On this subject he was the disciple of dead masters,
and hung to the skirts of a receding cause; but in this school he
acquired that dexterity in handling the weapons of controversy which
proved so effective when he advanced from the position of a disciple to
that of a master, and led a movement in the direction towards which the
rising popular feeling was tending. Mr. Greeley's name will always be
identified with the extirpation of negro slavery as its most
distinguished, powerful, and effective advocate.


THE BRAVE JOURNALIST.


This is his valid title to distinction and lasting fame. Instrumental to
this, and the chief means of its attainment, he founded a public journal
which grew, under his direction, to be a great moving force in the
politics and public thought of our time. This alone would have attested
his energy and abilities; but this is secondary praise. It is the use he
made of his journal when he had created it, the moral ends to which
(besides making it a vehicle of news and the discussion of ephemeral
topics) he devoted it, that will give him his peculiar place in history.
If he had had no higher aim than to supply the market for current
intelligence, as a great merchant supplies the market for dry-goods, he
would have deserved to rank with the builders-up of other prosperous
establishments by which passing contemporary wants were supplied, but
would have had no claim on the remembrance of coming generations. But he
regarded his journal not primarily as a property, but as the instrument
of high moral and political ends; an instrument whose great potency for
good or ill he fully comprehended, and for whose salutary direction he
felt a corresponding responsibility. His simple tastes, inexpensive
habits, his contempt for the social show and parade which are the chief
use made of wealth, and the absorption of his mind in other aims, made
it impossible for him to think of the _Tribune_ merely as a source of
income, and he always managed it mainly with a view to make it an
efficient organ for diffusing opinions which he thought conducive to the
public welfare. It was this which distinguished Mr. Greeley from the
founders of other important journals, who have, in recent years, been
taken from us. With him the moral aim was always paramount, the
pecuniary aim subordinate. Journalism, as he looked upon it, was not an
end, but a means to higher ends. He may have had many mistaken and some
erratic opinions on particular subjects; but the moral earnestness with
which he pursued his vocation, and his constant subordination of private
interest to public objects, nobly atone for his occasional errors.

Among the means by which Mr. Greeley gained, and so long held, the first
place among American journalists, was his manner of writing. His
negative merits as a writer were great; and it would be surprising to
find these negative merits so rare as to be a title to distinction, if
observation did not force the faults he avoided so perpetually upon our
notice. He had no verbiage. We do not merely mean by this that he never
used a superfluous word (which, in fact, he rarely did), but that he
kept quite clear of the hazy, half-relevant ideas which encumber meaning
and are the chief source of prolixity. He threw away every idea that did
not decidedly help on his argument, and expressed the others in the
fewest words that would make them clear. He began at once where the pith
of his argument began; and had the secret, possessed by few writers, of
stopping the moment he was done; leaving his readers no chaff to sift
out from the simple wheat. This perfect absence of cloudy irrelevance
and encumbering superfluity was one source of his popularity as a
writer. His readers had to devour no husks to get at the kernel of what
he meant.

Besides these negative recommendations, Mr. Greeley's style had positive
merits of a very high order. The source of these was in the native
structure of his mind; no training could have conferred them; and it was
his original mental qualities, and not any special culture, that pruned
his writing of verbiage and redundancies. Whatever he saw, he saw with
wonderful distinctness. Whether it happened to be a sound idea or a
crotchet, it stood before his mind with the clearness of an object in
sunlight. He never groped at and around it, like one feeling in the
dark. He saw on which side he could lay hands on it at once with the
firmest grasp. It was his vividness of conception which made Mr. Greeley
so clear and succinct a writer. He knew precisely what he would be at,
and he hastened to say it in the fewest words. His choice of language,
though often homely, and sometimes quaint or coarse, was always adapted
to his purpose. He had a great command of racy phrases in common use,
and frequently gave them an unexpected turn which enlivened his style as
by a sudden stroke of wit or grotesque humor. But these touches were
rapid, never detained him; he kept grappling with his argument, and
hurried on.

This peculiar style was aided by the ardor of his feelings and his
vehement moral earnestness. Bent on convincing, he tried to flash his
meaning on the minds of his readers in the readiest and manliest way;
and he was so impatient to make them see the full force of his main
points that he stripped them as naked as he could. This combined
clearness of perception, strength of conviction, and hurrying ardor of
feeling, were the sources of a style which enabled him to write more
than any other journalist of his time, and yet always command attention.
But he is a model which none can successfully imitate without his
strongly marked individuality and peculiarities of mental structure. We
have mentioned his occasional coarseness; but it was merely his
preference of strong direct expression to dainty feebleness; he was
never vulgar.

Mr. Greeley has contributed to the surprising growth and development of
journalism in our time, chiefly by his successful efforts to make it a
guide of public opinion, as well as a chronicle of important news. In
his hands, it was not merely a mirror which indifferently reflects back
the images of all objects on which it is turned, but a creative force; a
means of calling into existence a public opinion powerful enough to
introduce great reforms and sweep down abuses. He had no faith in
purposeless journalism, in journalism which has so little insight into
the tendencies of the time that it shifts its view from day to day in
accommodation to transient popular caprices. No great object is
accomplished without constancy of purpose, and a guide of public opinion
can not be constant unless he has a deep and abiding conviction of the
importance of what he advocates. Mr. Greeley's remarkable power, when
traced back to its main source, will be found to have consisted chiefly
in that vigorous earnestness of belief which held him to the strenuous
advocacy of measures which he thought conducive to the public welfare,
whether they were temporarily popular or not. Journalism may perhaps
gain more success as a mercantile speculation by other methods; but it
can be respected as a great moral and political force only in the hands
of men who have the talents, foresight, and moral earnestness which fit
them to guide public opinion. It is in this sense that Mr. Greeley was
our first journalist, and nobody can successfully dispute his rank, any
more than Mr. Bennett's could be contested in the kind that seeks to
float on the current instead of directing its course. The one did most
to render our American journals great vehicles of news, the other to
make them controlling organs of opinion. Their survivors in the
profession have much to learn from both.--_New York World_.

      Knight of the ready pen,
      Soldier without a sword,
    Such eyes hadst thou for other men,
      So true and grand a word!

      As Cæsar led his legions
      Triumphant over Gaul,
    And through still wilder, darker regions,
      So thou didst lead us all!

      Until we saw the chains
      Which bound our brothers' lives,
    And heard the groans and felt the pains,
      Which come from wearing gyves.

      To brave heroic men
      The false no more was true;
    And what the Nation needed then
      Could any soldier do.

       *       *       *       *       *



VII.

WENDELL PHILLIPS

(BORN 1811--DIED 1884.)


THE TIMES WHEN HE APPEARED--"WHO IS THIS FELLOW?"--A FLAMING ADVOCATE OF
LIBERTY--LIBERTY OF SPEECH AND THOUGHT--POWER TO DISCERN THE RIGHT--THE
MOB-BEATEN HERO TRIUMPHANT.


Long chapters of history are illumined as by as electric light in the
following characteristic address from his pulpit by Henry Ward Beecher,
at the time the name of the great philanthropist was added to the roll
of American heroes.


THE TIMES WHEN HE APPEARED.


The condition of the public mind throughout the North at the time I came
to the consciousness of public affairs and was studying my profession
may be described, in one word, as the condition of imprisoned moral
sense. All men, almost, agreed with all men that slavery was wrong; but
what can we do? The compromises of our fathers include us and bind us to
fidelity to the agreements that had been made in the formation of our
Constitution. Our confederation first, and our Constitution after. These
were regarded everywhere as moral obligations by men that hated slavery.
"The compromises of the Constitution must be respected," said the priest
in the pulpit, said the politician in the field, said the statesmen in
public halls; and men abroad, in England especially, could not
understand what was the reason of the hesitancy of President Lincoln and
of the people, when they had risen to arms, in declaring at once the end
for which arms were taken and armies gathered to be the emancipation of
the slaves. There never has been an instance in which, I think, the
feelings and the moral sense of so large a number of people have been
held in check for reasons of fidelity to obligations assumed in their
behalf. There never has been in history another instance more notable,
and I am bound to say, with all its faults and weaknesses, more noble.
The commercial question--that being the underlying moral element--the
commercial question of the North very soon became, on the subject of
slavery, what the industrial and political question of the South had
made it. It corrupted the manufacturer and the merchant. Throughout the
whole North every man that could make any thing regarded the South as
his legal, lawful market; for the South did not manufacture; it had the
cheap and vulgar husbandry of slavery. They could make more money with
cotton than with corn, or beef, or pork, or leather, or hats, or
wooden-ware; and Northern ships went South to take their forest timbers,
and brought them to Connecticut to be made into wooden-ware and
ax-helves and rake-handles, and carried them right back to sell to the
men whose axes had cut down the trees. The South manufactured nothing
except slaves. It was a great manufacture, that; and the whole market of
the North was bribed. The harness-makers, the wagon-makers, the
clock-makers, makers of all manner of implements, of all manner of
goods, every manufactory, every loom as it clanked in the North said,
"Maintain," not slavery, but the "compromises of the Constitution." The
Constitution--that was the veil under which all these cries were
continually uttered.

The distinction between the Anti-slavery men and Abolitionists was
simply this: The Abolitionists disclaimed the obligation to maintain
this government and the compromises of the Constitution, and the
Anti-slavery men recognized the binding obligation and sought the
emancipation of slaves by the more circuitous and gradual influence; but
Abolitionism covered both terms. It was regarded, however, throughout
the North as a greater sin than slavery itself, and none of you that are
under thirty years of age can form any adequate conception of the public
sentiment and feeling during the days of my young manhood. A man that
was known to be an Abolitionist had better be known to have the plague.
Every door was shut to him. If he was born under circumstances that
admitted him to the best society, he was the black sheep of the family.
If he aspired by fidelity, industry, and genius, to good society, he was
debarred. "An Abolitionist" was enough to put the mark of Cain upon any
young man that arose in my early day, and until I was forty years of
age. It was punishable to preach on the subject of liberty. It was
enough to expel a man from Church communion, if he insisted on praying
in the prayer-meeting for the liberation of the slaves. The Church was
dumb in the North, not in the West. The great publishing societies that
were sustained by the contributions of the Churches were absolutely
dumb.


"WHO IS THIS FELLOW?"


It was at the beginning of this Egyptian era in America that the young
aristocrat of Boston appeared. His blood came through the best colonial
families. He was an aristocrat by descent and by nature; a noble one,
but a thorough aristocrat. All his life and power assumed that guise. He
was noble; he was full of kindness to inferiors; he was willing to be,
and do, and suffer for them; but he was never of them, nor equaled
himself to them. He was always above them, and his gifts of love were
always the gifts of a prince to his subjects. All his life long he
resented every attack on his person and on his honor, as a noble
aristocrat would. When they poured the filth of their imaginations upon
him, he cared no more for it than the eagle cares what the fly is
thinking about him away down under the cloud. All the miserable
traffickers, and all the scribblers, and all the aristocratic boobies of
Boston were no more to him than mosquitoes are to the behemoth or to the
lion. He was aristocratic in his pride, and lived higher than most men
lived. He was called of God as much as ever Moses and the prophets were;
not exactly for the same great end, but in consonance with those great
ends. You remember, my brother, when Lovejoy was infamously slaughtered
by a mob in Alton?--blood that has been the seed of liberty all over
this land! I remember it. At this time it was that Channing lifted up
his voice and declared that the moral sentiment of Boston ought to be
uttered in rebuke of that infamy and cruelty, and asking for Faneuil
Hall in which to call a public meeting. This was indignantly refused by
the Common Council of Boston. Being a man of wide influence, he gathered
around about himself enough venerable and influential old citizens of
Boston to make a denial of their united request a perilous thing; and
Faneuil Hall was granted to call a public meeting to express itself on
this subject of the murder of Lovejoy. The meeting was made up largely
of rowdies. They meant to overawe and put down all other expressions of
opinion except those that then rioted with the riotous. United States
District-attorney Austin (when Wendell Phillips's name is written in
letters of light on one side of the monument, down low on the other
side, and spattered with dirt, let the name of Austin also be written)
made a truculent speech, and justified the mob, and ran the whole career
of the sewer of those days and justified non-interference with slavery.
Wendell Phillips, just come to town as a young lawyer, without at
present any practice, practically unknown, except to his own family,
fired with the infamy, and, feeling called of God in his soul, went upon
the platform. His first utterances brought down the hisses of the mob.
He was not a man very easily subdued by any mob. They listened as he
kindled and poured on that man Austin the fire and lava of a volcano,
and he finally turned the course of the feeling of the meeting.
Practically unknown when the sun went down one day, when it rose next
morning all Boston was saying, "Who is this fellow? Who is this
Phillips?" A question that has never been asked since.


A FLAMING ADVOCATE OF LIBERTY.


Thenceforth he has been a flaming advocate of liberty, with singular
advantages over all other pleaders. Mr. Garrison was not noted as a
speaker, yet his tongue was his pen. Mr. Phillips, not much given to the
pen, his pen was his tongue; and no other like speaker has ever graced
our history. I do not undertake to say that he surpassed all others. He
had an intense individuality, and that intense individuality ranked him
among the noblest orators that have ever been born to this continent, or
I may say to our mother-land. He adopted in full the tenets of Garrison,
which were excessively disagreeable to the whole public mind. The ground
which he took was that which Garrison took. Seeing that the conscience
of the North was smothered and mute by reason of the supposed
obligations to the compromises of the Constitution, Garrison declared
that the compromises of the Constitution were covenants with hell, and
that no man was bound to observe them. This extreme ground Mr. Phillips
also took,--immediate, unconditional, universal emancipation, at any
cost whatsoever. That is Garrisonism; that is Wendell Phillipsism; and
it would seem as though the Lord rather leaned that way, too.

I shall not discuss the merits of Mr. Garrison or Mr. Phillips in every
direction. I shall say that while the duty of immediate emancipation
without conditions was unquestionably the right ground, yet in the
providence of God even that could not be brought to pass except through
the mediation of very many events. It is a remarkable thing that Mr.
Phillips and Mr. Garrison both renounced the Union and denounced the
Union in the hope of destroying slavery; whereas the providence of God
brought about the love of the Union when it was assailed by the South,
and made the love of the Union the enthusiasm that carried the great war
of emancipation through. It was the very antithesis of the ground which
they took. Like John Brown, Mr. Garrison; like John Brown, Mr. Phillips;
of a heroic spirit, seeking the great and noble, but by measures not
well adapted to secure the end.

Little by little the controversy spread. I shall not trace it. I am
giving you simply the atmosphere in which he sprang into being and into
power. His career was a career of thirty or forty years of undiminished
eagerness. He never quailed nor flinched, nor did he ever at any time go
back one step or turn in the slightest degree to the right or left. He
gloried in his cause, and in that particular aspect of it which had
selected him; for he was one that was called rather than one that chose.
He stood on this platform. It is a part of the sweet and pleasant
memories of my comparative youth here, that when the mob refused to let
him speak in the Broadway Tabernacle before it moved up-town--the old
Tabernacle--William A. Hall, now dead, a fervent friend and
Abolitionist, had secured the Graham Institute wherein to hold a meeting
where Mr. Phillips should be heard. I had agreed to pray at the opening
of the meeting. On the morning of the day on which it was to have taken
place, I was visited by the committee of that Institute--excellent
gentlemen, whose feelings will not be hurt now, because they are all now
ashamed of it; they are in heaven. They visited me to say that in
consequence of the great peril that attended a meeting at the Institute,
they had withdrawn the liberty to use it, and paid back the money, and
that they called simply to say that it was out of no disrespect to me,
but from fidelity to their supposed trust. Well, it was a bitter thing.


LIBERTY OF SPEECH AND THOUGHT.


If there is any thing on earth that I am sensitive to, it is the
withdrawing of the liberty of speech and thought. Henry C. Bowen, who
certainly has done some good things in his life-time, said to me: "You
can have Plymouth Church if you want it." "How?" "It is the rule of the
church trustees that the church may be let by a majority vote when we
are convened; but if we are not convened, then every trustee must give
his assent in writing. If you choose to make it a personal matter, and
go to every trustee, you can have it." He meanwhile undertook, with Mr.
Hall, to put new placards over the old ones, notifying men quietly that
the meeting was to be held here, and distributed thousands and tens of
thousands of hand-bills at the ferries. No task was ever more welcome. I
went to the trustees man by man. The majority of the trustees very
cheerfully accorded the permission. One or two of them were disposed to
decline and withhold it. I made it a matter of personal friendship. "You
and I will break, if you don't give me this permission." And they
signed. So the meeting glided from the Graham Institute to this house. A
great audience assembled. We had detectives in disguise, and every
arrangement made to handle the subject in a practical form if the crowd
should undertake to molest us. The Rev. Dr. R.S. Storrs consented to
come and pray, for Mr. Wendell Phillips was by marriage a near and
intimate friend and relation of his. The reporters were here; when were
they ever not?

Mr. Phillips began his lecture, and, you may depend upon it, by this
time the lion was in him, and he went careering on. Hie views were
extreme; he made them extravagant. I remember at one point--for he was a
man without bluster, serene, self-poised, never disturbed in the
least--he made an affirmation that was very bitter, and the cry arose
over the whole congregation. He stood still, with a cold, bitter smile
in his eye, and waited till they subsided, when he repeated it with more
emphasis. Again the roar went through. He waited and repeated it, if
possible, more intensely, and he beat them down with that one sentence
until they were still, and let him go on.


POWER TO DISCERN THE RIGHT.


The power to discern right amid all the wrappings of interest and all
the seductions of ambition was singularly his. To choose the lowly for
their sake, to abandon all favor, all power, all comfort, all ambition,
all greatness--that was his genius and glory. He confronted the spirit
of the nation and of the age. I had almost said he set himself against
nature, as if he had been a decree of God over-riding all these other
insuperable obstacles. That was his function. Mr. Phillips was not
called to be a universal orator any more than he was a universal
thinker. In literature and in history widely read, in person
magnificent, in manners most accomplished, gentle as a babe, sweet as a
new-blown rose, in voice clear and silvery, yet he was not a man of
tempests, he was not an orchestra of a hundred instruments, he was not
an organ, mighty and complex. The nation slept, and God wanted a
trumpet, sharp, wide-sounding, narrow and intense; and that was Mr.
Phillips. The long-roll is not particularly agreeable in music, or in
times of war, but it is better than flutes or harps when men are in a
great battle, or are on the point of it. His eloquence was penetrating
and alarming. He did not flow as a mighty Gulf Stream; he did not dash
upon this continent as the ocean does; he was not a mighty rushing
river. His eloquence was a flight of arrows, sentence after sentence
polished, and most of them burning. He slung them one after the other,
and where they struck they slew. Always elegant, always awful. I think
his scorn is and was as fine as I ever knew it in any human being. He
had that sublime sanctuary in his pride that made him almost insensitive
to what would by other men be considered obloquy. It was as if he said
every day in himself: "I am not what they are firing at. I am not there,
and I am not that. It is not against me. I am infinitely superior to
what they think me to be. They do not know me." It was quiet and
unpretentious, but it was there. Conscience and pride were the two
concurrent elements of his nature.


THE MOB-BEATEN HERO TRIUMPHANT.


He lived to see the slave emancipated, but not by moral means. He lived
to see the sword cut the fetter. After this had taken place, he was too
young to retire, though too old to gather laurels of literature or to
seek professional honors. The impulse of humanity was not at all abated.
His soul still flowed on for the great under-masses of mankind, though,
like the Nile, it split up into scores of mouths, and not all of them
were navigable. After a long and stormy life his sun went down in glory.
All the English-speaking people on the globe have written among the
names that shall never die the name of that scoffed, detested,
mob-beaten, persecuted wretch--Wendell Phillips. Boston, that persecuted
and would have slain him, is now exceedingly busy in building his tomb
and rearing his statue. The men that would not defile their lips with
his name are thanking God to-day that he lived.

He has taught some lessons--lessons that the young will do well to take
heed to--that the most splendid gifts and opportunities and ambitions
may be best used for the dumb and lowly. His whole life is a rebuke to
the idea that we are to climb to greatness by climbing up on the backs
of great men, that we are to gain strength by running with the currents
of life, that we can from without add any thing to the great within that
constitutes man. He poured out the precious ointment of his soul upon
the feet of that diffusive Jesus who suffers here in his poor and
despised ones. He has taught young ambitions, too, that the way to glory
is the way often-times of adhesion simply to principle, and that
popularity and unpopularity are not things to be known or considered. Do
right and rejoice. If to do right will bring you under trouble, rejoice
in it that you are counted worthy to suffer with God and the providences
of God in this world.

He belongs to the race of giants, not simply because he was, in and of
himself a great soul, but because he had bathed in the providence of God
and came forth scarcely less than a god; because he gave himself to the
work of God upon earth, and inherited thereby, or had reflected upon
him, some of the majesty of his Master. When pigmies are all dead, the
noble countenance of Wendell Phillips will still look forth, radiant as
a rising sun, a sun that will never set. He has become to us a lesson,
his death an example, his whole history an encouragement to manhood--and
to heroic manhood.

       *       *       *       *       *



VIII

MARY WORDSWORTH

(BORN 1770--DIED 1859.)


THE KINDLY WIFE OF THE GREAT POET.

    "A creature not too bright or good
    For human nature's daily food."


The last thing that would have occurred to Mrs. Wordsworth would have
been that her departure, or any thing about her, would be publicly
noticed amidst the events of a stirring time. Those who knew her well
regarded her with as true a homage as they ever rendered to any member
of the household, or to any personage of the remarkable group which will
be forever traditionally associated with the Lake District; but this
reverence, genuine and hearty as it was, would not, in all eyes, be a
sufficient reason for recording more than the fact of her death. It is
her survivorship of such a group which constitutes an undisputed public
interest in her decease. With her closes a remarkable scene in the
history of the literature of our century. The well-known cottage, mount,
and garden at Rydal will be regarded with other eyes when shut up or
transferred to new occupants. With Mrs. Wordsworth, an old world has
passed away before the eyes of the inhabitants of the district, and a
new one succeeds, which may have its own delights, solemnities, honors,
and graces, but which can never replace the familiar one that is gone.
There was something mournful in the lingering of this aged lady--blind,
deaf, and bereaved in her latter years; but _she_ was not mournful, any
more than she was insensible. Age did not blunt her feelings, nor deaden
her interest in the events of the day. It seems not so very long ago
that she said that the worst of living in such a place (as the Lake
District), was its making one unwilling to go. It is too beautiful to
let one be ready to leave it. Within a few years the beloved daughter
was gone, and then the aged husband, and then the son-in-law, and then
the devoted friend, Mr. Wordsworth's publisher, Mr. Moxon, who paid his
duty occasionally by the side of her chair; then she became blind and
deaf. Still her cheerfulness was indomitable. No doubt, she would in
reality have been "willing to go," whenever called upon, throughout her
long life; but she liked life to the end. By her disinterestedness of
nature, by her fortitude of spirit, and her constitutional elasticity
and activity, she was qualified for the honor of surviving her
household--nursing and burying them, and bearing the bereavement which
they were vicariously spared. She did it wisely, tenderly, bravely, and
cheerfully; and then she will be remembered accordingly by all who
witnessed the spectacle.

It was by the accident, so to speak, of her early friendship with
Wordsworth's sister, that her life became involved with the poetic
element which her mind would hardly have sought for itself in another
position. She was the incarnation of good sense, as applied to the
concerns of the every-day world. In as far as her marriage and course of
life tended to infuse a new elevation into her views of things, it was a
blessing; and, on the other hand, in as far as it infected her with the
spirit of exclusiveness, which was the grand defect of the group in its
own place, it was hurtful; but that very exclusiveness was less an evil
than an amusement, after all. It was rather a serious matter to hear the
poet's denunciation of the railway, and to read his well-known sonnets
on the desecration of the Lake region by the unhallowed presence of
commonplace strangers; and it was truly painful to observe how the
scornful and grudging mood spread among the young, who thought they were
agreeing with Wordsworth in claiming the vales and lakes as a natural
property for their enlightened selves. But it was so unlike Mrs.
Wordsworth, with her kindly, cheery, generous turn, to say that a green
field, with buttercups, would answer all the purposes of Lancashire
operatives, and that they did not know what to do with themselves when
they came among the mountains, that the innocent insolence could do no
harm. It became a fixed sentiment when she alone survived to uphold it,
and one demonstration of it amused the whole neighborhood in a
good-natured way. "People from Birthwaite" were the bugbear--Birthwaite
being the end of the railway. In the Summer of 1857, Mrs. Wordsworth's
companion told her (she being then blind) that there were some strangers
in the garden--two or three boys on the mount, looking at the view.
"Boys from Birthwaite," said the old lady, in the well-known tone, which
conveyed that nothing good could come from Birthwaite. When the
strangers were gone, it appeared that they were the Prince of Wales and
his companions. Making allowance for prejudices, neither few nor small,
but easily dissolved when reason and kindliness had opportunity to work,
she was a truly wise woman, equal to all occasions of action, and
supplying other persons' needs and deficiencies.

In the "Memoirs of Wordsworth" it is stated that she was the original of

    "She was a phantom of delight;"

and some things in the next few pages look like it; but for the greater
part of the poet's life it was certainly believed by some, who ought to
know, that that wonderful description related to another who flitted
before his imagination in earlier days than those in which he discovered
the aptitude of Mary Hutchinson to his own needs. The last stanza is
very like her; and her husband's sonnet to the painter of her portrait,
in old age, discloses to us how the first stanza might be also, in days
beyond the ken of the existing generation.

Of her early sorrows, in the loss of two children and a beloved sister,
who was domesticated with the family, there are probably no living
witnesses. It will never be forgotten, by those who saw it, how the late
dreary train of afflictions was met. For many years Wordsworth's sister
Dorothy was a melancholy charge. Mrs. Wordsworth was wont to warn any
rash enthusiasts for mountain-walking by the spectacle before them. The
adoring sister would never fail her brother; and she destroyed her
health, and then her reason, by exhausting walks and wrong remedies for
the consequences. Forty miles in a day was not a singular feat of
Dorothy's. During the long years of this devoted creature's helplessness
she was tended with admirable cheerfulness and good sense. Thousands of
lake tourists must remember the locked garden-gate when Miss Wordsworth
was taking the air, and the garden-chair going round and round the
terrace, with the emaciated little woman in it, who occasionally called
out to strangers and amused them with her clever sayings. She outlived
the beloved Dora, Wordsworth's only surviving daughter.

After the lingering illness of that daughter (Mrs. Quillinan), the
mother encountered the dreariest portion, probably, of her life. Her
aged husband used to spend the long Winter evenings in grief and
tears--week after week, month after month. Neither of them had eyes for
reading. He could not be comforted. She, who carried as tender a
maternal heart as ever beat, had to bear her own grief and his too. She
grew whiter and smaller, so as to be greatly changed in a few months;
but this was the only expression of what she endured, and he did not
discover it. When he, too, left her, it was seen how disinterested had
been her trouble. When his trouble had ceased, she, too, was relieved.
She followed his coffin to the sacred corner of Grasmere churchyard,
where lay now all those who had once made her home. She joined the
household guests on their return from the funeral, and made tea as
usual. And this was the disinterested spirit which carried her through
the last few years, till she had just reached the ninetieth. Even then
she had strength to combat disease for many days. Several times she
rallied and relapsed; and she was full of alacrity of mind and body as
long as exertion of any kind was possible. There were many eager to
render all duty and love--her two sons, nieces, and friends, and a whole
sympathizing neighborhood.

The question commonly asked by visitors to that corner of Grasmere
churchyard was: Where would _she_ be laid when the time came? The space
was so completely filled. The cluster of stones told of the little
children who died a long life-time ago; of the sisters--Sarah Hutchinson
and Dorothy Wordsworth; and of Mr. Quillinan, and his two wives, Dora
lying between her husband and father, and seeming to occupy her mother's
rightful place. And Hartley Coleridge lies next the family group; and
others press closely round. There is room, however. The large gray
stone, which bears the name of William Wordsworth, has ample space left
for another inscription; and the grave beneath has ample space also for
his faithful life-companion.

Not one is left now of the eminent persons who rendered that cluster of
valleys so eminent as it has been. Dr. Arnold went first, in the vigor
of his years. Southey died at Keswick, and Hartley Coleridge on the
margin of Rydal Lake; and the Quillinans under the shadow of Loughrigg;
and Professor Wilson disappeared from Elleray; and the aged Mrs.
Fletcher from Lancrigg; and the three venerable Wordsworths from Rydal
Mount.

The survivor of all the rest had a heart and a memory for the solemn
_last_ of every thing. She was the one to inquire of about the last
eagle in the district, the last pair of ravens in any crest of rocks,
the last old dalesman in any improved spot, the last round of the last
peddler among hills where the broad white road has succeeded the green
bridal-path. She knew the district during the period between its first
recognition, through Gray's "Letters," to its complete publicity in the
age of railways. She saw, perhaps, the best of it. But she contributed
to modernize and improve it, though the idea of doing so probably never
occurred to her. There were great people before to give away Christmas
bounties, and spoil their neighbors, as the established alms-giving of
the rich does spoil the laboring class, which ought to be above that
kind of aid. Mrs. Wordsworth did infinitely more good in her own way,
and without being aware of it. An example of comfortable thrift was a
greater boon to the people round than money, clothes, meat, or fuel. The
oldest residents have long borne witness that the homes of the neighbors
have assumed a new character of order and comfort, and wholesome
economy, since the poet's family lived at Rydal Mount. It used to be a
pleasant sight when Wordsworth was seen in the middle of a hedge,
cutting switches for half a dozen children, who were pulling at his
cloak, or gathering about his heels; and it will long be pleasant to
family friends to hear how the young wives of half a century learned to
make home comfortable by the example of the good housewife at the Mount,
who never was above letting her thrift be known.

Finally, she who had noted so many last survivors was herself the last
of a company more venerable than eagles, or ravens, or old-world yeomen,
or antique customs. She would not, in any case, be the first forgotten.
As it is, her honored name will live for generations in the traditions
of the valleys round. If she was studied as the poet's wife, she came
out so well from that investigation that she was contemplated for
herself; and the image so received is her true monument. It will be
better preserved in her old-fashioned neighborhood than many monuments
which make a greater show.

    "She was a phantom of delight
    When first she gleamed upon my sight;
    A lovely apparition, sent
    To he a moment's ornament;
    Her eyes, as stars of twilight fair;
    Like twilight's, too, her dusky hair;
    But all things else about her drawn
    From May-time and the cheerful dawn;
    A dancing shape, an image gay,
    To haunt, to startle, and waylay.
           *       *       *       *       *
    And now I see, with eye serene,
    The very pulse of the machine;
    A being breathing thoughtful breath,
    A traveler between life and death;
    The reason firm, the temperate will,
    Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;
    A perfect woman, nobly planned,
    To warn, to comfort, and command;
    And yet a spirit still and bright,
    With something of an angel light."

          HARRIET MARTINEAU IN 1859.

       *       *       *       *       *



IX.

MADAME MALIBRAN.

(BORN 1808--DIED 1836.)


HER CAREER AS A SINGER--KINDNESS OF HEART.


Marie Felicita Garcia, who died at the early age of twenty-eight, was
one of the greatest singers the world has ever known. Born at Paris in
1808, according to some biographers at Turin, she was the daughter of
Manuel Garcia, the famous Spanish tenor singer, by whom she was so
thoroughly trained that she made her first public appearance in London
March 25, 1826, and achieved a remarkable and instant success.

She sang with wonderful acceptance in different parts of England, and in
the Autumn of the same year came to America as prima donna of an opera
company under the management of her father. In New York her success was
without precedent. In the memory of many aged people there she still
holds her place as the Queen of Song.

In the following year she married Eugene Malibran, an elderly French
merchant, under whose name she was ever afterwards known.

Returning to Europe, she made her first appearance in Paris January 14,
1828, where she added other jewels to the singer's crown.

We can not follow her throughout her brilliant career, but must hasten
on to the closing scenes of her life.

In May, 1836, she fell from her horse and was seriously injured. Not
considering the matter in its true aspect, she kept her engagements
during the Summer, and in September appeared in England, at the
Manchester Musical Festival, though warned by her physician to desist.
As the result of the imprudence a nervous fever set in, and she died
September 23d, 1836.

In one of the many notices of this great singer, these words are found:

"Madame Malibran's voice was a mezzo-soprano of great volume and purity,
and had been brought to absolute perfection by the severe training of
her father. Her private character was irreproachable. Few women have
been more beloved for their amiability, generosity, and professional
enthusiasm. Her intellect was of a high order, and the charms of her
conversation fascinated all who were admitted into the circle of her
intimate friends. Her benefactions amounted to such considerable sums
that her friends were frequently obliged to interfere for the purpose of
regulating her finances."

Many stories are told, which show her kindness of heart. The following
is one of pathetic interest:

In a humble room in one of the poorest streets of London, Pierre, a
faithful French boy, sat humming by the bedside of his sick mother.
There was no bread in the closet, and for the whole day he had not
tasted food. Yet he sat humming to keep up his spirits. Still at times
he thought of his loneliness and hunger, and he could scarcely keep the
tears from his eyes; for he knew that nothing would be so grateful to
his poor invalid mother as a good, sweet orange, and yet he had not a
penny in the world.

The little song he was singing was his own--one he had composed, both
air and words--for the child was a genius.

He went to the window, and, looking out, saw a man putting up a great
bill with yellow letters, announcing that Madame Malibran would sing
that night in public.

"O, if I could only go!" thought little Pierre; and then pausing a
moment, he clasped his hands, his eyes lighted with a new hope.

Running to the little stand, he smoothed his yellow curls, and taking
from a little box some old, stained paper, gave one eager glance at his
mother, who slept, and ran speedily from the house.

"Who did you say was waiting for me?" said the madame to her servant; "I
am already worn out with company."

"It's only a very pretty little boy, with yellow curls, who said if he
can just see you he is sure you will not be sorry, and he will not keep
you a moment."

"O, well, let him come in!" said the beautiful singer, with a smile; "I
can never refuse children."

Little Pierre came in, his hat under his arm, and in his hand a little
roll of paper. With manliness unusual for a child, he walked straight to
the lady, and, bowing, said:

"I came to see you because my mother is very sick, and we are too poor
to get food and medicine. I thought, perhaps, that if you would sing my
little song at some of your grand concerts, may be some publisher would
buy it for a small sum, and so I could get food and medicine for my
mother."

The beautiful woman arose from her seat. Very tall and stately she was.
She took the little roll from his hand and lightly hummed the air.

"Did you compose it?" she asked; "you, a child! And the words? Would you
like to come to my concert?" she asked.

"O yes!" and the boy's eyes grew bright with happiness; "but I couldn't
leave my mother."

"I will send somebody to take care of your mother for the evening, and
here is a crown with which you may go and get food and medicine. Here is
also one of my tickets. Come to-night; that will admit you to a seat
near me."

Almost beside himself with joy, Pierre bought some oranges, and many a
little luxury besides, and carried them home to the poor invalid,
telling her, not without tears, of his good fortune.

When evening came, and Pierre was admitted to the concert hall, he felt
that never in his life had he been in so great a place. The music, the
myriad lights, the beauty, the flashing of diamonds and rustling of
silks bewildered his eyes and brain.

At last she came, and the child sat with his glance riveted on her
glorious face. Could he believe that the grand lady, all blazing with
jewels, and whom every body seemed to worship, would really sing his
little song?

Breathless he waited; the band--the whole band--struck up a plaintive
little melody. He knew it, and clasped his hands for joy. And O, how she
sang it! It was so simple, so mournful. Many a bright eye dimmed with
tears, and naught could be heard but the touching words of that little
song--O, so touching!

Pierre walked home as if he were moving on the air.

What cared he for money now? The greatest singer in all Europe had sung
his little song, and thousands had wept at his grief.

The next day he was frightened at a visit from Madame Malibran. She laid
her hand on his yellow curls, and, turning to the sick woman, said,
"Your little boy, madame, has brought you a fortune. I was offered this
morning, by the best publisher in London, $1,500 for his little song;
and, after he has realized a certain amount from the sale, little Pierre
here is to share the profits. Madame, thank God that your son has a gift
from heaven."

The noble-hearted singer and the poor woman wept together. As to Pierre,
always mindful of Him who watches over the tried and tempted, he knelt
down by his mother's bedside and uttered a simple prayer, asking God's
blessing on the kind lady who had deigned to notice their affliction.

The memory of that prayer made the singer more tender-hearted, and she,
who was the idol of England's nobility, went about doing good. And in
her early, happy death, he who stood beside her bed and smoothed her
pillow, and lightened her last moments by his undying affection, was
little Pierre of former days, now rich, accomplished, and the most
talented composer of the day.

      O singer of the heart,
      The heart that never dies!
    The Lord's interpreter thou art,
      His angel from the skies.

      Thy work on earth is great
      As his who saves a soul,
    Or his who guides the ship of state,
      When mountain-billows roll.

      The life of Heaven comes down
      In gleams of grace and truth;
    Sad mortals see the shining crown
      Of sweet, perennial youth.

      The life of God, in song
      Becomes the life of man;
    Ashamed is he of sin and wrong
      Who hears a Malibran!

       *       *       *       *       *



X.

GARFIELD.--MAXIMS.


GATHERED FROM HIS SPEECHES, ADDRESSES, LETTERS, ETC.


I would rather be beaten in right than succeed in wrong.

I feel a profounder reverence for a boy than for a man. I never meet a
ragged boy in the street without feeling that I may owe him a salute,
for I know not what possibilities may be buttoned under his coat.

Poverty is uncomfortable, as I can testify; but, nine times out of ten,
the best thing that can happen to a young man is to be tossed overboard
and compelled to sink or swim for himself. In all my acquaintance, I
never knew a man to be drowned who was worth the saving.

If the power to do hard work is not talent, it is the best possible
substitute for it.

We can not study nature profoundly without bringing ourselves into
communion with the spirit of art which pervades and fills the universe.

If there be one thing upon this earth that mankind love and admire
better than another, it is a brave man; it is a man who dares to look
the devil in the face and tell him he is a devil.

It is one of the precious mysteries of sorrow that it finds solace in
unselfish thought.

Every character is the joint product of nature and nurture.

It has been fortunate that most of our greatest men have left no
descendants to shine in the borrowed luster of a great name.

An uncertain currency, that goes up and down, hits the laborer, and hits
him hard. It helps him last and hurts him first.

We no longer attribute the untimely death of infants to the sin of Adam,
but to bad nursing and ignorance.

The granite hills are not so changeless and abiding as the restless sea.

In their struggle with the forces of nature, the ability to labor was
the richest patrimony of the colonists.

Coercion is the basis of every law in the universe--human or divine. A
law is no law without coercion behind it.

For the noblest man who lives there still remains a conflict.

We hold reunions, not for the dead; for there is nothing in all the
earth that you and I can do for the dead. They are past our help and
past our praise. We can add to them no glory, we can give them no
immortality. They do not need us, but for ever and for evermore we need
them.

Throughout the whole web of national existence we trace the golden
thread of human progress toward a higher and better estate.

Heroes did not make our liberties, but they reflected and illustrated
them.

After all, territory is but the body of a nation. The people who inhabit
its hills and valleys are its soul, its spirit, its life. In them dwells
its hope of immortality. Among them, if anywhere, are to be found its
chief elements of destruction.

It matters little what may be the forms of national institution if the
life, freedom, and growth of society are secured.

Finally, our great hope for the future--our great safeguard against
danger--is to be found in the general and thorough education of our
people, and in the virtue which accompanies such education.

The germ of our political institutions, the primary cell from which they
were evolved, was in the New England town, and the vital force, the
informing soul, of the town was the town meeting, which, for all local
concerns, was kings, lords, and commons in all.

It is as much the duty of all good men to protect and defend the
reputation of worthy public servants as to detect public rascals.

Be fit for more than the thing you are now doing.

If you are not too large for the place, you are too small for it.

Young men talk of trusting to the spur of the occasion. That trust is
vain. Occasions can not make spurs. If you expect to wear spurs, you
must win them. If you wish to use them, you must buckle them to your own
heels before you go into the fight.

Greek is perhaps the most perfect instrument of thought ever invented by
man, and its literature has never been equaled in purity of style and
boldness of expression.

Great ideas travel slowly, and for a time noiselessly, as the gods whose
feet were shod with wool.

What the arts are to the world of matter, literature is to the world of
mind.

History is but the unrolled scroll of prophecy.

The world's history is a divine poem, of which the history of every
nation is a canto and every man a word. Its strains have been pealing
along down the centuries, and though there have been mingled the
discords of warring cannon and dying men, yet to the Christian,
philosopher, and historian--the humble listener--there has been a divine
melody running through the song which speaks of hope and halcyon days to
come.

Light itself is a great corrective. A thousand wrongs and abuses that
are grown in darkness disappear like owls and bats before the light of
day.

Liberty can be safe only when suffrage is illuminated by education.

Parties have an organic life and spirit of their own, an individuality
and character which outlive the men who compose them; and the spirit and
traditions of a party should be considered in determining their fitness
for managing the affairs of the nation.

      Of Garfield's finished days,
      So fair, and all too few,
    Destruction which at noonday strays
      Could not the work undo.

      O martyr, prostrate, calm!
      I learn anew that pain
    Achieves, as God's subduing psalm,
      What else were all in vain.

      Like Samson in his death
      With mightiest labor rife,
    The moments of thy halting breath
      Were grandest of thy life.

      And now amid the gloom
      Which pierces mortal years,
    There shines a star above thy tomb
      To smile away our tears.

       *       *       *       *       *



XI.

WHAT I CARRIED TO COLLEGE.


A REMINISCENCE AT FORTY--PICTURES OF RURAL LIFE.


    Nobody has brought me a kiss to-day,
    As forty comes marching along life's way;

    At least, only such as came in a letter,--
    And two hundred leagues from home, the debtor!

    So out of my life I will dig a treasure,
    And feast on a reminiscent pleasure.

    Our old New England folks, you know,
    Little favor to kissing were wont to show.

    It smacked, they thought, too much of Satan,
    Whose hook often has a pleasant bate on.

    And even as token of purity's passion,
    Sometimes, I think, it was out of fashion.

    So at least in the home my boyhood knew,
    And of other homes, no doubt, it was true.

    My grandsire and grandma, of the olden school,
    Were strict observers of the proper rule.

    And from New-Year on to the end of December,
    A kiss is something I do not remember.

    It seemed, I suppose, an abomination,
    Somewhat like a Christmas celebration,

    Or a twelfth-day pudding in English style,
    Whose plums are sweet as a maiden's smile.

    Hush! fountains New England fathers quaffed at
    Were surely something not to be laughed at.

    They drank, the heavens above and under,
    Eternity's abiding wonder.

    And here, I confess, in the joy of the present,
    The thought of those days is sacredly pleasant.

    Grandma, with the cares of the household on her,
    In the morning smoked in the chimney corner.

    She hung the tea-kettle filled with water
    While still asleep was her youngest daughter.

    Ah! there were reasons, good and plenty,
    Why she should indulge that baby of twenty.

    The rest were all courted and married and flown,
    And that little birdie was left alone.

    Grandmother, when she had finished her smoking,
    Bustled about--she never went poking--

    And fried the pork, and made the tea,
    And pricked the potatoes, if done to see;

    While grandsire finished his chapter of snores,
    And uncle and I were doing the chores.

    When breakfast was over, the Bible was read,
    And a prayer I still remember said.

    The old folks in reverence bowed them down,
    As those who are mindful of cross and crown.

    My uncle and aunt, who were unconverted,
    Their right to sit or stand asserted.

    And I, I fear, to example true,
    The part of a heathen acted too.

    But there was always for me a glory,
    Morning and night, in that Bible story.

    The heroes and saints of the olden time
    In beautiful vision moved sublime.

    I wondered much at the valor they had,
    And in wondering my soul was glad.

    My wonderment, I can hardly tell,
    At the boldness Jacob showed at the well

    In kissing Rachel, when meeting her first;
    I wondered not into tears he burst.

    Had I been constrained to choose between
    That deed at the well and that after-scene

    When David and Goliath met,
    My heart on the fight would have certainly set.

    And yet there was much for a bashful boy
    To gather up and remember with joy.

    God bless my grandsire's simple heart,
    Which made up in faith what it lacked in art,

    And led me on to the best of the knowledge
    Which years thereafter I carried to college.

    Tending the cattle stalled in the "linter,"
    Going to school eight weeks in the Winter;

    Planting and hoeing potatoes and corn,
    Milking the cows at night and morn;

    Spreading and raking the new-mown hay,
    Stowing it in the mow away;

    Gathering apples, and thinking of all
    The joys of Thanksgiving late in the Fall--

    So passed I the years in such like scenes
    Until I had grown well into my teens.

    And then, with many a dream in my heart,
    I struck for myself and a nobler part;

    I hardly knew what, yet some higher good,
    Earning and spending as fast as I could;

    Earning and spending in teaching and going
    To school, what time I to manhood was growing.

    My maiden aunt--and Providence
    Is approved in its blessed consequence--

    That baby of twenty, to thirty had grown,
    And from the nest had not yet flown.

    And a childless aunt, my uncle's wife,
    Had come to gladden that quiet life.

    God bless them both, for they were ever
    The foremost to second my life's endeavor.

    Our aunts sometimes are almost mothers,
    Toiling and planning and spending for others.

    Aunt Hannah, the maiden; Aunt Emily, wife,--
    How they labored to gird me for the strife,

    Cheering me on with words befitting,
    Doing my sewing and doing my knitting,

    And pressing upon me many a token
    Whose meaning was more than ever was spoken!

    At length the time for parting came--
    They both in heaven will have true fame!

    They did not bid me good-bye at the stile;
    They with me went through the woods a mile.

    It was the still September time,
    When the Autumn fruits were in their prime.

    Here and there a patch of crimson was seen
    Where the breath of the early frost had been.

    The songs of the birds were tender and sad,
    Yet I could not say they were not glad.

    Nature's soft and mellow undertone
    To a note-like trust in the Father had grown.

    And that trust, I ween, in our hearts had sway,
    As on through the woods we wended our way.

    Meeting and parting fringe life below;
    We parted--twenty years ago.

    My aunts turned back, and on went I,
    Striving my burning tears to dry.

    Almost a thousand miles away
    Was the _Alma Mater_ I sought that day.

    To a voice I turned me on my track,
    And saw them both come running back.

    "Is something forgotten?" soon stammered I;
    And they, without a word in reply,

    Caught me in their arms, a great baby of twenty,
    And smothered me with kisses not too plenty.

    Some joys I had known before that day,
    And many since have thronged my way;

    But in all my seeking through forty years,
    In which rainbow hopes have dried all tears,

    I have nothing found in the paths of knowledge,
    Surpassing those kisses I carried to college.

       *       *       *       *       *



XII.

SIR JOHN FRANKLIN.

(BORN 1786--DIED 1847.)


HEROISM ON THE GREAT DEEP--A MARTYR OF THE POLAR SEA.


The life of this great navigator is an epic of the ocean, which will
stir the brave heart for many ages to come.

One day, toward the close of the last century, a young English lad,
named John Franklin, spent a holiday with a companion in a walk of
twelve miles from their school at Louth, to look at the sea from the
level shores of his native country. It was the first time that the boy
had ever gazed on the wonderful expanse, and his heart was strangely
stirred. The youngest of four sons, he had been intended for the
ministry of the Church of England, but that day's walk fixed His
purposes in another direction; and though he knew it not, he was to
serve God and man even more nobly by heroic deeds than he could have
done by the wisest and most persuasive words.

Mr. Franklin was a wise man, and when he found his son bent on a
sailor's life, determined to give him a taste-of it, in the hope that
this would be enough. John was therefore taken from school at the age of
thirteen, and sent in a merchantman to Lisbon. The Bay of Biscay,
however, did not cure his enthusiasm; and so we next find John Franklin
as a midshipman on board the _Polyphemus_, seventy-four guns. These were
stirring times. In 1801 young Franklin's ship led the line in the battle
of Copenhagen, and in 1805, having been transferred to the
_Bellerophon_, he held charge of the signals at the battle of Trafalgar,
bravely standing at his post and coolly attending to his work while the
dead and dying fell around him.

Between these two dates Franklin had accompanied an exploring voyage to
Australia on board the _Investigator_, gaining in that expedition not
only a great store of facts to be treasured up for use in his eager and
retentive mind, but those habits of observation which were to be of the
greatest service to him in after-years. On his return home in another
vessel--the _Porpoise_--Franklin and his companions were wrecked upon a
coral reef, where ninety-four persons remained for seven weeks on a
narrow sand-bank less than a quarter of a mile in length, and only four
feet above the surface of the water!

It was in 1818 that the young lieutenant first set sail for the Polar
Sea, as second commander of the _Trent_, under Captain Buchan. The aim
was to cross between Spitzbergen and Greenland; but the companion
vessel, the _Dorothea_, being greatly injured by the ice, the two had to
return to England, after reaching the eightieth degree of latitude.

A year later lieutenants Franklin and Parry were placed at the head of
expeditions, the latter to carry on the exploration through Baffin's
Bay, and to find an outlet, if possible, by Lancaster Sound. This was
splendidly done, and the North-west Passage practically discovered. The
task of Franklin was more arduous. He had to traverse the vast solitary
wastes of North-eastern America, with their rivers and lakes, to descend
to the mouth of the Coppermine River, and to survey the coast eastward.
The toil and hardship of this wonderful expedition, and the brave
endurance of Franklin and his friend Richardson, and their trusty
helpers, have often been related. They had to contend with famine and
illness, with the ignorance and treachery of the Indians, who murdered
three of the party. The land journey altogether extended over 5,500
miles, occupying a year and six months.

In less than two years after their return to England, Franklin,
Richardson, and Back volunteered for another expedition to the same
region.

In 1825 this second expedition started, Franklin mournfully leaving the
death-bed of his wife, to whom he had been married after his last return
to England. This brave lady not only let him go, though she knew she was
dying, but begged him not to delay one day for her! At New York Franklin
heard of her death, but manfully concealed his grief, and pressed on to
the northern wastes. As before, his object was to survey the northern
shore, only this time by the Mackenzie River, instead of the Coppermine.

This expedition, too, was full of, stirring adventure among the
Esquimaux, though without the terrible hardships and calamities of the
former journey. It was also crowned with great success, leaving in the
end only 150 miles of the coast from Baffin's Bay to Behring Straits
unsurveyed. These, too, were explored in later years by Franklin's
successors, and the great discovery of the North-west Passage completed.

Franklin was now made commander; in 1829 was knighted, and covered with
honors by the University of Oxford and the great learned societies in
England and France. He had married his second wife in 1828--the Lady
Franklin of the later story. In 1832 Sir John Franklin was given the
command of the _Rainbow_, on the Mediterranean station; and so wise and
gracious was his rule, that the sailors nicknamed the sloop "The
Celestial _Rainbow_" and "Franklin's Paradise." But we have no space to
speak of this now, nor of Franklin's wise and gracious government of Van
Diemen's Land, now better known as Tasmania, that succeeded. Lady
Franklin was here his wise and devoted helper in every scheme of
usefulness and benevolence.

Returning to England, he was appointed, in 1845, to the command of an
expedition for the further discovery of the North-west Passage. The
ships _Erebus_ and _Terror_ sailed from England on the 26th of May, and
were seen by the crew of the _Prince of Wales_, a whaler, on the 26th of
July, in Melville Bay, _for the last time_.

Toward the close of 1847 serious anxiety was aroused respecting the fate
of these brave explorers. The brave-hearted, devoted wife of the
commander expended her whole fortune on these endeavors to ascertain
what had become of her husband. It is interesting to note that the
people of Tasmania, Franklin's colony, subscribed the sum of £1,700
toward the expenses of the search.

In the year 1850 it was discovered that the first Winter of the
explorers to the following April, or later (1846), had been spent at
Beechey Island, beyond Lancaster Sound, and that it had been an active
holiday time.

In 1854 an exploring party under Dr. Rae were told by the Esquimaux that
several white men, in number about forty, had been seen dragging a boat
over the ice near the north shore of King William's Land, and that
bodies and skeletons were afterward found on the mainland opposite, by
the banks of the Great Fish River. Many relics of this party were
procured by Dr. Rae from the natives, and being brought to England were
identified as belonging to the Franklin explorers. On this Dr. Rae
received the government reward of £10,000.

In 1859 Lady Franklin bought and fitted the yacht _Fox_, which she
placed under the command of Captain Leopold McClintock. The expedition
set sail from Aberdeen, and, on reaching King William's Land, divided
into three sledging parties, under Lieutenant Hobson, Captain Young, and
McClintock himself. In Boothia several relics were discovered, such as
would be dropped or left behind by men too weak to carry the usual
belongings of a boat or sledge. At Point Victory a cairn, or heap of
stones, was discovered by Lieutenant Hobson, with a paper, inclosed in a
tin case, which too clearly told its sad story. After a memorandum of
progress up to May 28, 1847, "All well," it was added on the same paper:
"April 25, 1848. H.M. ships _Terror_ and _Erebus_ were deserted 22d
April, five leagues N.W. of this, having been beset since 12th
September, 1846. The officers and crews, consisting of 105 souls, under
the command of Captain F.R.M. Crozier, landed here in latitude 69
degrees, 37 minutes, 42 seconds N., longitude 98 degrees 41 minutes W.
Sir John Franklin died on the 11th June, 1847; and the total loss by
deaths in the expedition has been, to this date, nine officers and
fifteen men. Signed, F.E.M. Crozier, Captain and Senior Officer; James
Fitzjames, Captain H.M.S. _Erebus_. And start on to-morrow, 26th April,
1848, for Back's Fish River." From this point two boats, with heavily
laden sledges, seem to have been dragged forward while strength lasted.
One boat was left on the shore of King William's Land, and was found by
Captain McClintock, with two skeletons; also boats and stores of various
kinds, five watches, two double-barreled guns, loaded, a few religious
books, a copy of the "Vicar of Wakefield," twenty-six silver spoons and
forks, and many other articles. The Esquimaux related that the men
dragging the boat "dropped as they walked." The other boat was crushed
in the ice. No trace, but a floating spar or two, and driftwood embedded
in ice, was ever found of the _Erebus_ or _Terror_.

Truly the "Franklin relics," brought from amid the regions of snow and
ice, are a possession of which those know the value who know how great a
thing it is to walk on in the path of duty, with brave defiance of
peril, and, above all, a steadfast dependence upon God.

Mr. William L. Bird, a young man of great promise, deaf from his seventh
year, who died in Hartford, Conn., in 1879, left among his papers a
little poem which well expresses the mood of Lady Franklin in her lonely
years:

    THE OCEAN.

        I stand alone
        On wave-washed stone
    To fathom thine immensity,
        With merry glance
        Thy wide expanse
    Smiles, O! so brightly upon me.
    Art thou my friend, blue, sparkling sea?

        With your cool breeze
        My brow you ease,
    And brush the pain and care away.
        Your waves, the while,
        With sunny smile,
    Around my feet in snowy spray
    Of fleecy lightness dance and play.

        So light of heart,
        So void of art,
    Your waves' low laugh is mocking me.
        I hear their voice--
        "Come, play, rejoice;
    Come, be as happy as are we;
    Why should you not thus happy be?"

        Alas! I know
        That, deep below,
    And tangled up in sea-weeds, lies,
        Where light dares not
        Disturb the spot,
    He who alone can cheer my eyes.
    O sea! why wear this sparkling guise!

       *       *       *       *       *



XIII.

ELIZABETH ESTAUGH.

(BORN 1682--DIED 1762.)


A QUAKER COURTSHIP, IN WHICH SHE WAS THE PRINCIPAL ACTOR.


The story of Elizabeth Haddon is as charming as any pastoral poem that
was ever written. She was the oldest daughter of John Haddon, a
well-educated and wealthy Quaker of London. She had two sisters, both of
whom, with herself, received the best education of that day. Elizabeth
possessed uncommon strength of mind, earnestness, energy, and
originality of character, and a heart overflowing with the kindest and
warmest feelings. The following points in her life, as far as necessary
for the setting, of the main picture, are drawn chiefly from the
beautiful narrative by Lydia Maria Child, and almost in her own words.

At one time, during her early childhood, she asked to have a large cake
baked, because she wanted to invite some little girls. All her small
funds were expended for oranges and candy on this occasion. When the
time arrived, her father and mother were much surprised to see her lead
in six little ragged beggars. They were, however, too sincerely
religious and sensible to _express_ any surprise. They treated the
forlorn little ones very tenderly, and freely granted their daughter's
request to give them some of her books and playthings at parting. When
they had gone, the good mother quietly said, "Elizabeth, why did'st thou
invite strangers, instead of thy schoolmates?" There was a heavenly
expression in her eye, as she looked up earnestly, and answered,
"Mother, I wanted to invite _them_, they looked _so_ poor."

When eleven years of age, she accompanied her parents to the yearly
meeting of the Friends, where she heard, among other preachers, a very
young man named John Estaugh, with whose manner of presenting divine
truth she was particularly pleased. Many of his words were treasured in
her memory. At the age of seventeen she made a profession of religion,
uniting herself with the Quakers.

During her early youth, William Penn visited the house of her father,
and greatly amused her by describing his adventures with the Indians.
From that time she became interested in the emigrant Quakers, and began
to talk of coming to America. Her father at length purchased a tract of
land in New Jersey, with the view of emigrating, but his affairs took a
new turn, and he made up his mind to remain in his native land: This
decision disappointed. She had cherished the conviction that it was her
duty to come to this country; and when, at length, her father, who was
unwilling that any of his property should lie unimproved, offered the
tract of land in New Jersey to any relative who would settle upon it,
she promptly agreed to accept of the proffered estate. Willing that
their child should follow in the path of duty, at the end of three
months, after much prayer, the parents consented to let Elizabeth join
"the Lord's people" in the New World.

Accordingly, early in the Spring of 1700, arrangements were made for her
departure, and all things were provided that abundance of wealth or the
ingenuity of affection could devise.

A poor widow, of good sense and discretion, accompanied her as friend
and housekeeper, and two trusty men-servants, members of the Society of
Friends. Among the many singular manifestations of strong faith and
religious zeal, connected with the settlement of this country, few are
more remarkable than the voluntary separation of this girl of eighteen
from a wealthy home and all the pleasant associations of childhood, to
go to a distant and thinly inhabited country to fulfill what she deemed
a religious duty. And the humble, self-sacrificing faith of the parents,
in giving up their child, with such reverent tenderness for the
promptings of her own conscience, has in it something sublimely
beautiful, if we look at it in its own pure light. The parting took
place with more love than words can express, and yet without a tear on
either side. Even during the long and tedious voyage, Elizabeth never
wept. She preserved a martyr-like cheerfulness to the end.

The house prepared for her reception stood in a clearing of the forest,
three miles from any other dwelling. She arrived in June, when the
landscape was smiling in youthful beauty; and it seemed to her as if the
arch of heaven was never before so clear and bright, the carpet of the
earth never so verdant. As she sat at her window and saw evening close
in upon her in that broad forest home, and heard for the first time the
mournful notes of the whippowil and the harsh scream of the jay in the
distant woods, she was oppressed with a sense of vastness, of infinity,
which she never before experienced, not even on the ocean. She remained
long in prayer, and when she lay down to sleep beside her matron friend,
no words were spoken between them. The elder, overcome with fatigue,
soon sank into a peaceful slumber; but the young enthusiast lay long
awake, listening to the lone voice of the whippowil complaining to the
night. Yet, notwithstanding this prolonged wakefulness, she arose early
and looked out upon the lovely landscape. The rising sun pointed to the
tallest trees with his golden finger, and was welcomed by a gush of song
from a thousand warblers. The poetry in Elizabeth's soul, repressed by
the severe plainness of her education, gushed up like a fountain. She
dropped on her knees, and, with an outburst of prayer, exclaimed
fervently; "O Father, very beautiful hast thou made this earth! How
beautiful are thy gifts, O Lord!"

To a spirit less meek and brave, the darker shades of the picture would
have obscured these cheerful gleams; for the situation was lonely, and
the inconveniences innumerable. But Elizabeth easily triumphed over all
obstacles, by practical good sense and the quick promptings of her
ingenuity. She was one of those clear, strong natures, who always have a
definite aim in view, and who see at once the means best suited to the
end. Her first inquiry was what grain was best suited to the soil of her
farm, and being informed that rye would yield best, "Then I shall eat
rye bread," was her answer. But when Winter came, and the gleaming snow
spread its unbroken silence over hill and plain, was it not dreary then?
It would have been dreary to one who entered upon this mode of life from
mere love of novelty, or a vain desire to do something extraordinary.
But the idea of extended usefulness, which had first lured this
remarkable girl into a path so unusual, sustained her through all
trials. She was too busy to be sad, and leaned too trustingly on her
Father's hand to be doubtful of her way. The neighboring Indians soon
loved her as a friend, for they found her always truthful, just, and
kind. From their teachings she added much to her knowledge of simple
medicines. So efficient was her skill, and so prompt her sympathy, that
for many miles around, if man, woman, or child were alarmingly ill, they
were sure to send for Elizabeth Haddon; and, wherever she went, her
observing mind gathered some hint for farm or dairy. Her house and heart
were both large, and as her residence was on the way to the Quaker
meeting-house in Newtown, it became a place of universal resort to
Friends from all parts of the country traveling that road, as well as an
asylum for benighted wanderers.

The Winter was drawing to a close, when, late one evening, the sound of
sleigh-bells was heard, and the crunching of snow beneath the hoofs of
horses as they passed into the barn-yard gate. The arrival of travelers
was too common an occurrence to excite or disturb the well-ordered
family.

Great logs were piled in the capacious chimney, and the flames blazed up
with a crackling warmth, when two strangers entered. In the younger
Elizabeth instantly recognized John Estaugh, whose preaching had so
deeply impressed her at eleven years of age. This was almost like a
glimpse of home--her dear old English home. She stepped forward with
more than usual cordiality, saying:

"Thou art welcome, Friend Estaugh, the more so for being entirely
unexpected."

"I am glad to see thee, Elizabeth," he replied, with a friendly shake of
the hand. "It was not until after I landed in America that I heard the
Lord had called thee here before me; but I remember thy father told me
how often thou hadst played the settler in the woods when thou wast
quite a little girl."

"I am but a child still," she replied, smiling.

"I trust thou art," he rejoined; "and as for these strong impressions in
childhood, I have heard of many cases where they seemed to be prophecies
sent of the Lord. When I saw thy father in London, I had even then an
indistinct idea that I might sometime be sent to America on a religious
visit."

"And, hast thou forgotten, friend John, the ear of Indian corn which my
father begged of thee for me? I can show it to thee now. Since then I
have seen this grain in perfect growth, and a goodly plant it is, I
assure thee. See," she continued, pointing to many bunches of ripe corn
which hung in their braided husks against the walls of the ample
kitchen, "all that, and more, came from a single ear no bigger than the
one thou didst give my father. May the seed sown by thy ministry be as
fruitful!"

"Amen," replied both the guests.

The next morning it was discovered that the snow had fallen during the
night in heavy drifts, and the roads were impassable. Elizabeth,
according to her usual custom, sent out men, oxen, and sledges to open
pathways for several poor families, and for households whose inmates
were visited by illness. In this duty John Estaugh and his friend joined
heartily, and none of the laborers worked harder than they. When he
returned, glowing from this exercise, she could not but observe that the
excellent youth had a goodly countenance. It was not physical beauty;
for of that he had but little. It was that cheerful, child-like,
out-beaming honesty of expression, which we not unfrequently see in
Germans, who, above all nations, look as if they carried a crystal heart
within their manly bosoms.

Two days after, when Elizabeth went to visit her patients, with a
sled-load of medicines and provisions, John asked permission to
accompany her. There, by the bedside of the aged and the suffering, she
saw the clear sincerity of his countenance warmed with rays of love,
while he spoke to them words of kindness and consolation; and then she
heard his pleasant voice modulate itself into deeper tenderness of
expression, when he took little children in his arms.

The next First Day, which we call the Sabbath, the whole family attended
Newtown meeting; and there John Estaugh was gifted with an outpouring of
the Spirit in his ministry, which sank deep into the hearts of those who
listened to him. Elizabeth found it so remarkably applicable to the
trials and temptations of her own soul, that she almost deemed it was
spoken on purpose for her. She said nothing of this, but she pondered
upon it deeply. Thus did a few days of united duties make them more
thoroughly acquainted with each other than they could have been by years
of fashionable intercourse.

The young preacher soon after bade farewell, to visit other meetings in
Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Elizabeth saw him no more until the May
following, when he stopped at her house to lodge, with numerous other
Friends, on their way to the quarterly meeting at Salem. In the morning
quite a cavalcade dashed from her hospitable door on horseback; for
wagons were then unknown in Jersey. John Estaugh, always kindly in his
impulses, busied himself with helping a lame and very ugly old woman,
and left his hostess to mount her horse as she could. Most young women
would have felt slighted; but in Elizabeth's noble soul the quiet, deep
tide of feeling rippled with an inward joy. "He is always kindest to the
poor and the neglected," thought she; "verily, he _is_ a good youth."
She was leaning over the side of her horse, to adjust the buckle of the
girth, when he came up on horseback and inquired if any thing was out of
order. She thanked, with a slight confusion of manner, and a voice less
calm than her usual utterance. He assisted her to mount, and they
trotted along leisurely behind the procession of guests, speaking of the
soil and climate of this new country, and how wonderfully the Lord had
here provided a home for his chosen people. Presently the girth began to
slip, and the saddle turned so much on one side that Elizabeth was
obliged to dismount. It took some time to readjust it, and when they
again started, the company were out of sight. There was brighter color
than usual in the maiden's cheeks, and unwonted radiance in her mild
deep eyes. After a short silence she said, in a voice slightly
tremulous: "Friend John, I have a subject of importance on my mind, and
one which nearly interests thee. I am strongly impressed that the Lord
has sent thee to me as a partner for life. I tell thee my impression
frankly, but not without calm and deep reflection; for matrimony is a
holy relation, and should be entered into with all sobriety. If thou
hast no light on the subject, wilt thou gather into the stillness and
reverently listen to thy own inward revealings? Thou art to leave this
part of the country to-morrow, and not knowing when I should see thee
again, I felt moved to tell thee what lay upon my mind."

The young man was taken by surprise. Though accustomed to that
suppression of emotion which characterizes his religious sect, the color
went and came rapidly in his face for a moment; but he soon became
calmer and said: "This thought is new to me, Elizabeth, and I have no
light thereon. Thy company has been right pleasant to me, and thy
countenance ever reminds me of William Penn's title-page, 'Innocency
with her open face.' I have seen thy kindness to the poor, and the wise
management of thy household. I have observed, too, that thy
warm-heartedness is tempered by a most excellent discretion, and that
thy speech is ever sincere. Assuredly, such is the maiden I would ask of
the Lord as a most precious gift; but I never thought of this connection
with thee. I came to this country solely on a religious visit, and it
might distract my mind to entertain this subject at present. When I have
discharged the duties of my mission, we will speak further."

"It is best so," rejoined the maiden; "but there is one thing which
disturbs my conscience. Thou hast spoken of my true speech; and yet,
friend John, I have deceived thee a little, even now, while we conferred
together on a subject so serious. I know not from what weakness the
temptation came; but I will not hide it from thee. I allowed thee to
suppose, just now, that I was fastening the girth of my horse securely;
but, in plain truth, I was loosening the girth, John, that the saddle
might slip, and give me an excuse to fall behind our friends; for I
thought thou wouldst be kind enough to come and ask if I needed thy
services."

They spoke no further concerning their union; but when he returned to
England in July, he pressed her hand affectionately, as he said:
"Farewell, Elizabeth. If it be the Lord's will I shall return to thee
soon."

In October he returned to America, and they were soon married, at
Newtown meeting, according to the simple form of the Society of Friends.
Neither of them made any change of dress for the occasion, and there was
no wedding-feast. Without the aid of priest or magistrate, they took
each other by the hand, and, in the presence of witnesses, calmly and
solemnly promised to be kind and faithful to each other. The wedded pair
quietly returned to their happy home, with none to intrude on those
sacred hours of human life, when the heart most needs to be left alone
with its own deep emotions.

During the long period of their union, she three times crossed the
Atlantic to visit her aged parents, and he occasionally left her for a
season, when called abroad to preach. These temporary separations were
felt as a cross; but the strong-hearted woman always cheerfully gave him
up to follow his own convictions of duty. In 1742 he parted from her to
go on a religious visit to Tortola, in the West Indies. He died there in
the sixty-seventh year of his age. She published a religious tract of
his, to which she prefixed a preface entitled, "Elizabeth Estaugh's
Testimony concerning her Beloved Husband, John Estaugh." In this preface
she says: "Since it pleased divine Providence so highly to favor me with
being the near companion of this dear worthy, I must give some small
account of him. Few, if any, in a married state ever lived in sweeter
harmony than we did. He was a pattern of moderation in all things; not
lifted up with any enjoyments, nor cast down at any disappointments; a
man endowed with many good gifts, which rendered him very agreeable to
his friends and much more to me, his wife, to whom his memory is most
dear and precious."

Elizabeth survived her excellent husband twenty years, useful and
honored to the last. The monthly meeting of Haddonfield, in a published
testimonial, speaks of her thus: "She was endowed with great natural
abilities, which, being sanctified by the spirit of Christ, were much
improved; whereby she became qualified to act in the affairs of the
Church, and was a serviceable member, having been clerk to the women's
meeting nearly fifty years, greatly to their satisfaction. She was a
sincere sympathizer with the afflicted, of a benevolent disposition, and
in distributing to the poor, was desirous to do it in a way most
profitable and durable to them, and, if possible, not to let the right
hand know what the left did. Though in a state of affluence as to this
world's wealth, she was an example of plainness and moderation. Her
heart and house were open to her friends, whom to entertain seemed one
of her greatest pleasures. Prudently cheerful, and well knowing the
value of friendship, she was careful not to wound it herself, nor to
encourage others by whispering supposed failings or weaknesses. Her last
illness brought great bodily pain, which she bore with much calmness of
mind and sweetness of spirit. She departed this life as one falling
asleep, full of days, like unto a shock of corn, fully ripe."

The town of Haddonfield, in New Jersey, took its name from her; and the
tradition concerning her courtship is often repeated by some patriarch
among the Quakers.

Her medical skill is so well remembered, that the old nurses of New
Jersey still recommend Elizabeth Estaugh's salve as the "sovereignest
thing on earth."

The following beautiful lines from Whittier, though inspired by another,
well apply to this Quakeress of the olden time:

    As pure and sweet, her fair brow seemed
      Eternal as the sky;
    And like the brook's low song, her voice,--
      A sound that could not die.

    And half we deemed she needed not
      The changing of her sphere,
    To give to heaven a shining one,
      Who walked an angel here.

    The blessing of her quiet life
      Fell on us like the dew;
    And good thoughts, where her footsteps pressed,
      Like fairy blossoms grew.

    Sweet promptings unto kindest deeds
      Were in her very look;
    We read her face as one who reads
      A true and holy book.

          *      *      *      *

    We miss her in the place of prayer,
      And by the hearth-fire's light;
    We pause beside her door to hear
      Once more her sweet "Good-night."

          *      *      *      *

    Still let her mild rebuking stand
      Between us and the wrong,
    And her dear memory serve to make
      Our faith in goodness strong.

       *       *       *       *       *



XIV.

"CHINESE" GORDON.


IN THE TRENCHES OF THE CRIMEA--PUTS DOWN THE GREAT TAIPING REBELLION IN
CHINA IN 1863-4--HERO OF THE SOUDAN--BEARDS THE MEN-STEALERS IN THEIR
STRONGHOLDS, AND MAKES THE PEOPLE LOVE HIM.


At the present writing (Summer of 1884), General Gordon, who has won the
heart of the world by his brave deeds, is exciting a great deal of
interest on account of his perilous position in Khartoum. A sketch of
his career will be acceptable to not a few readers.

The likeness which accompanies this chapter is from a photograph taken
not long ago at Southampton, England; but no portrait gives the
expression of the man. His smile and his light-blue eyes can not be
painted by the sun. The rather small physique, and mild and gentle look,
would not lead the ordinary observer to recognize in General Gordon a
ruler and leader of men; but a slight acquaintance shows him to be a man
of unusual power and great force of character.

His religious fervor and boundless faith are proverbial--so much so that
some men call him a fatalist; whilst others say, like Festus, "Thou art
beside thyself." Neither of these judgments is true, though it is
certainly true that, from a desire to oblige others, Gordon has
sometimes made errors in judgment that have led him into sad dilemmas.
To say nothing of his second visit to the Soudan, to oblige Ismail
Pasha, and his rash and most dangerous embassy to King John of
Abyssinia, to oblige Tewfik Pasha, we need but allude to his unwise
acceptance of the post of private secretary to Lord Ripon in India. He
was overpersuaded, and to please others he sacrificed himself. To those
who knew him, it was not surprising that almost the first thing he did
on landing at Bombay was to throw up his appointment and rush off to
China, where he was instrumental in preventing war between that country
and Russia.

The active life of General Gordon, who is about fifty years old, may be
divided into the following sections: the Crimea and Bessarabia; China
(the suppression of the Taiping rebellion); Gravesend (the making of the
defenses at Tilbury); and the Soudan. A later and shorter episode occurs
in his visit to Mauritius and the Cape, the latter colony being the only
place in which his great capabilities and high character were
unappreciated.

In the Crimea General Gordon worked steadily in the trenches, and won
the praise of his superior officers for his skill in detecting the
movements of the Russians. Indeed, he was specially told off for this
dangerous duty. Lord Wolseley, then a captain, was a fellow-worker with
Gordon before Sebastopol.

In 1856 Gordon was occupied in laying down the boundaries of Russia, in
Turkey and Roumania, for which work he was in a peculiar manner well
fitted, and he resided in the East, principally in Armenia, until the
end of 1858. During this time he ascended both Little and Great Ararat.

In 1860 he was ordered to China, and assisted at the taking of Pekin and
the sacking and burning of the Summer Palace. This work did not seem to
be much to his taste.

China was the country destined to give to the young engineer the
sobriquet by which he is now best known--"Chinese" Gordon. Here he first
developed that marvelous power, which he still holds above all other
men, of engaging the confidence, respect, and love of wild and irregular
soldiery.

The great Taiping rebellion, which was commenced soon after 1842 by a
sort of Chinese Mahdi--a fanatical village schoolmaster--had attained
such dimensions that it had overrun and desolated a great portion of
Southern China, and threatened to drive the foreigners into the sea.
Nanking, with its porcelain tower, had been taken, and was made the
capital of the Heavenly King, as the rebel chieftain, Hung, now called
himself. His army numbered some hundreds of thousands, divided under
five Wangs, or kings, and the Imperialists were driven closer and closer
to the cities of the seacoast.

In 1863 the British Government was applied to for assistance, and
Captain Gordon was selected to take command of the Imperial forces in
the place of an American adventurer named Burgevine, who had been
cashiered for corrupt practices. The _Ever-victorious Army_, as it was
called, numbered 4,000 men, when the young engineer took the command.
Carefully and gradually he organized and increased it, and as he always
led his men himself, and ever sought the post of danger, he soon
obtained their fullest confidence, and never failed to rally them to his
support.

He wore no arms, but always carried a small cane, with which he waved on
his men, and as stockade after stockade fell before him, and city after
city was taken, that little cane was looked upon as Gordon's magic wand
of victory. He seemed to have a charmed life, and was never disconcerted
by a hailstorm of bullets. Occasionally, when the Chinese officers
flinched and fell back before the terrible fusillade, he would quietly
take one by the arm and lead him into the thickest of the enemy's fire,
as calmly as though he were taking him in to dinner. Once, when his men
wavered under a hail of bullets, Gordon coolly lighted his cigar, and
waved his magic wand; his soldiers accepted the omen, came on with a
rush, and stormed the defense. He was wounded once only, by a shot in
the leg, but even then he stood giving his orders till he nearly
fainted, and had to be carried away.

Out of 100 officers he lost almost one-half in his terrible campaign,
besides nearly one-third of his men. But he crushed the rebellion, and
rescued China from the grasp of the most cruel and ruthless of spoilers.
His own estimate was that his victories had saved the lives of 100,000
human beings.

Then he left China without taking one penny of reward. Honors and wealth
were poured at his feet, but he accepted only such as were merely
honorary. He was made a _Ti-Tu_--the highest title to which a subject
can attain--and he received the Orders of the Star, the Yellow Jacket,
and the Peacock's Feather. When, however, the Imperial messengers
brought into his room great boxes containing £10,000 in coin, he drove
them out in anger. The money he divided amongst his troops. And yet he
might well have taken even a larger sum. One who knew how deeply the
empire was indebted to him, wrote, "Can China tell how much she is
indebted to Colonel Gordon? Would 20,000,000 taels repay the actual
service he has rendered to the empire?"

Gordon returned home to England, and, avoiding all the flattering notice
that was continually thrust upon him, he retired to his work at
Gravesend, where, from 1865 to 1871, he labored at the construction of
the Thames Defenses.

Here he passed six of the happiest years of his life--in active work, in
deep seclusion from the world of wealth and fashion, but in a state of
happiness and peace. His house was school, hospital, and almshouse, and
he lived entirely for others. "The poor, the sick, the unfortunate were
welcome, and never did supplicant knock vainly at his door."

Gutter children were his especial care. These he cleansed and clothed,
and the boys he trained for a life at sea. His evening classes were his
delight, and he read and taught his children with the same ardor with
which he had led the Chinese troops into battle. For the boys he found
suitable places on board vessels respectably owned, and he never lost
sight of his _proteges_. A large map of the world, stuck over with pins,
showed him at a glance where he had last heard from one of these rescued
waifs. "God bless the Kernel," was chalked upon many a wall in
Gravesend; and well might the poor bless the man who personified to them
the life and daily walk of one who "had been with Jesus." To them he was
the "Good Samaritan," pouring in oil and wine; and they blessed and
reverenced him, and gave him a love which he valued more than royal
gifts.

We must, however, hasten on, and see him transferred from Gravesend to
the Danube, and thence to the Soudan. He succeeded Sir Samuel Baker in
the government of these distant territories in Egypt in 1873. The
Khedive Ismail offered him £10,000 a year, but he would only accept
£2,000, as he knew the money would have to be extorted from the wretched
fellaheen. His principal work was to conquer the insurgent slave-dealers
who had taken possession of the country and enslaved the inhabitants.
The lands south of Khartoum had long been occupied by European traders,
who dealt in ivory, and had thus "opened up the country." This opening
up was a terrible scourge to the natives, because these European
traffickers soon began to find out that "black ivory" was more valuable
than white. So they formed fortified posts, called sceribas, and
garrisoned them with Arab ruffians, who harried the country and
organized manhunts on a gigantic scale. The profits were enormous, but
the "bitter cry" of Africa began to make itself heard in distant Europe,
and the so-called Christian slave-dealers found it more prudent to
withdraw. This they did without loss, for they sold their stations to
Arabs, and the trade in human beings went on as merrily as ever. Dr.
Schweinfurth, the African explorer and botanist, visited one of these
slave-dealing princes in 1871, and found him surrounded by an almost
regal court, and possessed of more than vice-regal power. He was lord of
thirty stations, all strongly fortified, and stretching like a chain
into the very heart of Africa. Thus his armies of fierce soldiery, Arab
and black, were able to make raids over whole provinces, and gather in
the great human harvest to supply the demands of Egypt, Turkey, and
Arabia. This famous man was named Sebehr Rahma; and although he was
defeated by Colonel Gordon and sent down to Cairo, he never quite lost
favor at the Egyptian Court, and was not long since appointed commander
in chief of the Soudan, to uphold the power of Egypt against the Mahdi!
The scandals of the slave-trade, combined with the lust of conquest,
were the causes out of which grew the famous expedition of Sir Samuel
Baker to the Soudan. The love of conquest made it pleasing in the eyes
of the Khedive Ismail, and the desire to uproot the infamous slave-trade
obtained for the enterprise the warm approval of the Prince of Wales,
and the hearty co-operation of Sir Samuel Baker, who displayed the
greatest courage and energy in the conduct of the enterprise.

From this first expedition the two succeeding ones of Colonel Gordon may
be said to have arisen. The struggle against the slave-hunters had
developed into a war, and the Khedive began to fear that their power
would grow until his own position at Cairo might become endangered. The
slave-king Sebehr must be destroyed, together with his numerous
followers and satellites.

Gordon was not long in perceiving why he was selected for the office of
governor; for we find him writing home, "I think I can see the true
motive of the expedition, and believe it to be a sham to catch the
attention of the English people." With him, however, it was no sham. He
was determined to do what he was professedly sent to do, viz.: put down
the slave-trade. "I will do it," he said, "for I value my life as
naught, and should only leave much weariness for perfect peace."

How hard he found his task to ameliorate the condition of the wretched
inhabitants, we perceive from such an outburst as this, amongst many
similar: "What a mystery, is it not? Why are they created? A life of
fear and misery, night and day! One does not wonder at their not fearing
death. No one can conceive the utter misery of these lands--heat and
mosquitoes day and night all the year round. But I like the work, for I
believe I can do a great deal to ameliorate the lot of the people."

This spirit of unselfishness and of a sublime charity runs through all
his work. Every man, black or white, was "neighbor" to him, and he ever
fulfilled the command of his Lord, to "love his neighbor as himself."
Against oppression he could, however, be stern and severe. Not a few
ruffians whom he caught red-handed in flagrant acts of cruelty were
executed without mercy. So that the same man who, by the down-trodden
people, was called the "Good Pasha," was to the robber and murderer a
terror and avenger.

When at Khartoum he was on one occasion installed with a royal salute,
and an address was presented, and in return he was expected to make a
speech. His speech was as follows: "With the help of God, I will hold
the balance level." The people were delighted, for a level balance was
to them an unknown boon. And he held it level all through his long and
glorious reign, which lasted, with small break, from February, 1874,
until August, 1879.

During those five years and a half he had traveled over every portion of
the huge territory which was placed under him--provinces extending all
the way to the Equatorial Lakes. Besides riding through the deserts on
camels and mules 8,490 miles in three years, he made long journeys by
river. He conveyed a large steamer up the Nile as far as Lake Albert
Nyanza, and succeeded in floating her safely on the waters of that
inland sea. He had established posts all the way from Khartoum to
Gondokora, and reduced that enormous journey from fifteen months to only
a few weeks. He writes respecting these posts in January, 1879: "I am
putting in all the frontier posts European Vakeels, to see that no slave
caravans come through the frontier. I do not think that any now try to
pass; but the least neglect of vigilance would bring it on again in no
time."

This is only one out of hundreds of instances of the hawk-eyed vigilance
of the governor-general. The vast provinces under his sway had never
been ruled in this fashion before.

One strain runs through all his numerous letters written during the five
years he remained in the Soudan, and that is the heart-rending condition
of the thousands of slaves who were driven through the country, and the
cruelty of the slave-hunters. Were we to begin quoting from those
letters, we should outrun the limits of this sketch. He had broken the
neck of the piratical army of man-stealers, and their forces were
scattered and comparatively powerless. So many slaves were set free that
they became a serious inconvenience, as they had to be fed and provided
for.

And yet there was no shout of joy at the capital, whence he had set out
years before, armed with the firman of the khedive to put an end to the
slave trade. On the contrary, We find him saying: "What I complain of in
Cairo is the complete callousness with which they treat all these
questions, while they worry me for money, knowing by my budgets that I
can not make my revenue meet my expenses by £90,000 a year. The
destruction of Sebehr's gang is the turning-point of the slave-trade
question, and yet, never do I get one word from Cairo to support me."

One more extract:

"Why should I, at every mile, be stared at by the grinning skulls of
those who are at rest?

"I said to Yussef Bey, who is a noted slave-dealer, 'The inmate of that
ball has told Allah what you and your people have done to him and his.'

"Yussef Bey says, 'I did not do it!' and I say, 'Your nation did, and
the curse of God will be on your land till this traffic ceases.'"

This man, Yussef Bey, was one of the most cruel of the slave-hunters,
and renowned for the manner in which he tortured his victims, more
especially the young boys. He also cruelly murdered the interesting and
peaceful king of the Monbuttos, so graphically described in
Schweinfurth's "Heart of Africa."

In June, 1882, Yussef Bey met his deserts, for going out with an army of
Egyptian troops to meet the Mahdi, he and all his men were cut to
pieces, scarcely one surviving.

Much of Gordon's time, during his first expedition, had been occupied in
strengthening the Egyptian posts south of Gondokoro, stretching away
toward the country of King M'tesa. So badly were they organized that it
took him twenty-one months to travel from Gondokoro to Foweira and
Mrooli, his southernmost points. There he found that it would be
impossible to interfere with the rival kings of that region without
becoming involved in a war, and he returned from the lake districts
"with the sad conviction that no good could be done in those parts, and
that it would have been better had no expedition ever been sent."

We conclude our imperfect sketch with the following quotation,
describing General Gordon's resignation:

"I am neither a Napoleon nor a Colbert," was his reply to some one who
spoke to him in praise of his beneficent rule in the Soudan; "I do not
profess either to have been a great ruler or a great financier; but I
can say this: I have bearded the slave-dealers in their strongholds, and
I made the people love me."

What Gordon had done was to justify Ismail's description of him eight
months before. "They say I do not trust Englishmen; do I mistrust Gordon
Pasha? That is an honest man; an administrator, not a diplomatist!"

Apart from the difficulties of serving the new khedive, Gordon longed
for rest. The first year of his rule, during which he had done his own
and other men's work, the long marches, the terrible climate, the
perpetual anxieties, had all told upon him. Since then he had had three
years of desperate labor, and had ridden some 8,500 miles. Who can
wonder that he resented the impertinences of the pashas, whose
interference was not for the good of his government or of his people,
but solely for their own?

But it was not for him to stay on and complain. To one of the worst of
these pashas he sent a telegram which ran, "_Mene, Mene, Tekel,
Upharsin_." Then he sailed for England, bearing with him the memory of
the enthusiastic crowd of friends who bade him farewell at Cairo. It is
said that his name sends a thrill of love and admiration through the
Soudan even yet. A hand so strong and so beneficent had never before
been laid on the people of that unhappy land.

       *       *       *       *       *



XV

MEN'S WIVES.


BITS OF COMMON SENSE AND WISDOM ON A GREAT SUBJECT.


Homely phrases sometimes carry in them a truth which is passed over on
account of its frequent repetition, and thus they fail to effect the
good they are intended to do. For instance, there is one with reference
to woman, which asserts that she is man's "better half;" and this is
said so often, half in satire and half in jest, that few stop to inquire
whether woman really be so. Yet she is in good truth his better half;
and the phrase, met with in French or Latin, looks not only true but
poetical, and in its foreign dress is cherished and quoted. She is not
the wiser--in a worldly sense--certainly not the stronger, nor the
cleverer, notwithstanding what the promoters of the Woman's Rights
movements may say; but she is the better. All must feel, indeed, that,
if the whole sins of the present world could be, and were, parceled into
two huge heaps, those committed by the men would far exceed those of the
women. We doubt whether any reflective man will deny this. On the other
hand, the active virtues of man, his benevolence and good deeds, might
equal those of woman; but his passive virtues, his patience and his
endurance, would be much smaller. On the whole, therefore, woman is the
much better half; and there is no good man but owes an immense deal to
the virtues of the good women about him. He owes, too, a considerable
deal of evil to their influence, not only of the absolutely bad, for
those a pure man shuns, but the half-good and respectably selfish women
of society--these are they who undermine his honesty, his benevolence,
and his purity of mind.

The influence man receives from woman is of a very mixed character. But
of all the influence which woman has over man, that which is naturally
most permanent, for good or evil, arises from the marriage tie. How we
of the cold North have been able to emancipate woman from the deplorable
depth into which polygamy would place her, it is not easy to say. That
it is a state absolutely countenanced--nay, enjoined--in the Old
Testament, it would be useless to deny. But custom and fair usance are
stronger than the Old Testament; and the Jews, who readily adopt the
laws of the country under which they live, forbid polygamy to their
brethren in Christian lands, whilst they permit and practice it where it
exists, as with the Mahometan and Hindoo. Under its influence the
character of woman is terribly dwarfed. She sinks to nothing where she
would be, as she should be, of half the importance of life at least.

To preserve her position, it will be necessary for all good women to try
and elevate the condition of their sisters. With all of us, "the world
is too much with us, day by day;" and worldly success plays so large a
part in the domestic drama, that woman is everywhere perceptibly
influenced by it. Hence, to return to the closer consideration of the
subject from our own point of view, the majority of men's wives in the
upper and middle classes fall far short of that which is required of a
good wife. They are the wives not made by love, but by the chance of a
good match. They are the products of worldly prudence, not of a noble
passion; and, although they may be very comfortable and very well clad,
though they may think themselves happy, and wear the very look of health
and beauty, they can never be to their husbands what a wife of true and
real tender love would be.

The consequence is that, after the first novelty has passed away, the
chain begins to rub and the collar to gall. "The girl who has married
for money," writes a clergyman, "has not by that rash and immoral act
blinded her eyes to other and nobler attractions. She may still love
wisdom, though the man of her choice may be a fool; she will none the
less desire gentle, chivalrous affection because he is purse-proud and
haughty; she may sigh for manly beauty all the more because he is coarse
and ugly; she will not be able to get rid of her own youth, and all it
longs for, by watching his silver hair." No; and, while there comes a
curse upon her union--whilst in the long, long evenings, in the cold
Spring mornings, and in the still Summer days, she feels that all worth
living for is gone, while she is surrounded by all her body wants--her
example is corrupting others. The scorned lover, who was rejected
because he was poor, goes away to curse woman's fickleness and to marry
some one whom he can not love; and the thoughtless girls, by whom the
glitter of fortune is taken for the real gold of happiness, follow the
venal example, and flirt and jilt till they fancy that they have secured
a good match.

Many women, after they have permanently attached a husband of this sort,
sit down, with all the heroism of martyrs, to try to love the man they
have accepted, but not chosen. They find it a hard, almost an impossible
task. Then comes the moment so bitterly predicted by Milton, who no
doubt drew from his own feeling and experience, when he put into the
mouths of our first parents the prophecy that either man should never
find the true partner of his choice, or that, having found her, she
should be in possession of another. This is far too often true, and can
not fail to be the source of a misery almost too bitter to be long
endured.

It says much for our Anglo-Saxon wives that their constancy has passed
into many proverbs. When a woman really loves the man who marries her,
the match is generally a happy one; but, even where it is not, the
constancy of the wife's affection is something to be wondered at and
admired. No after ill-usage, no neglect, or want of love, will remove
the affection once given. No doubt all women, when they fall in love, do
so with that which they conceive to be great and noble in the character
of the object. But they still love on when all the glitter of novelty
has fallen off, and when they have been behind the scenes and found how
bare and gloomy was the framework of the scene they admired. All
illusions may be gone; the hero may have sunk into the cowardly
braggart; the saint into the hypocritical sinner; the noble aspirant
into a man whose mouth alone utters but empty words which his heart can
never feel; but still true love remains, "nor alters where it alteration
finds." The duration of this passion, the constancy of this affection,
surprises many; but, adds a writer, such persons--

             "Know not woman, the blest being
    Who, like a pitying angel, gifts the mean
    And sordid nature even with more love
    Than falls to the lot of him who towers above
    His fellow-men; like parasitic flowers
    That grow not on high temples, where the showers
    And light of heaven might nourish, but alone
    Cloth the rent altar and the fallen stone."

There must be some great reason, some combination of feeling, for this.
M. Ernest Feydeau, in a popular story of very bad principles, seems to
hit the right nail on the head. "What woman," he asks, "would not love
her husband, and be ever true to him, without thinking of a lover, if
her husband would give her that which a lover gives her, not alone
attention, politeness, and a cold friendship, but a little of that balm
which is the very essense of our existence--a little love?" Probably
these very bad men, for whom women will so generously ruin themselves,
are, by their nature, soft and flattering; and, after cruelties and
excesses, will, by soft words and Belial tongues, bind to them yet more
closely the hearts of their victims.

The ideal wife has been often painted, but the real far exceeds her.
When Ulric von Hutten wrote to Frederick, he painted such a portrait as
must have made that staunch advocate for the marriage of the clergy glow
with admiration. "_Da mihi uxorem_," he commences. "Get me a wife,
Frederick, after my own heart, such as you know I should like--neat,
young, fairly educated, modest, patient; one with whom I may joke and
play, and yet be serious; to whom I may babble and talk, mixing hearty
fun and kisses together; one whose presence will lighten my anxiety and
soften the tumult of my cares."

It is not too much to say that the great majority of wives equal this
ideal. United to such a woman, a man becomes better. He can never be the
perfect man unless married. With marriage he undertakes those duties of
existence which he is born to fulfill. The excitements of life and of
business, the selfishness of daily existence, diminish; the generosities
of the heart expand; the health of the mind becomes daily more robust;
small repressions of selfishness, daily concessions, and daily trials,
render him better; the woman of his choice becomes his equal, and in
lifting her he lifts himself. He may not be a genius, nor she very
clever; but, once truly married, the real education of life begins. That
is not education which varnishes a man or a woman over with the pleasant
and shining accomplishments which fit us for society, but that which
tends to improve the heart, to bring forward the reflective qualities,
and to form a firm and regular character; that which cultivates the
reason, subdues the passions, restrains them in their proper place,
trains us to self-denial, makes us able to bear trials, and to refer
them, and all our sentiments and feelings to their proper source; which
makes us look beyond this world into the next. A man's wife, if properly
chosen, will aid in all this. The most brilliant and original thinker,
and the deepest philosopher we have--he who has written books which
educate the statesmen and the leaders of the world--has told us in his
last preface that he, having lost his wife, has lost his chief
inspiration. Looking back at his works, he traces all that is noble, all
that is advanced in thought and grand in idea, and all that is true in
expression, not to a poet or a teacher, but to his own wife; in losing
her he says he has lost much, but the world has lost more. So, also, two
men, very opposite in feelings, in genius, and in character, and as
opposite in their pursuits, declared at a late period in their
lives--lives spent in industry and hard work, and in expression of what
the world deemed their own particular genius--"that they owed all to
their wives." These men were Sir Walter Scott and Daniel O'Connell. "The
very gods rejoice," says Menu the sage, "when the wife is honored. When
the wife is injured, the whole family decays; when the contrary is the
case, it flourishes." This may be taken as an eternal truth--as one of
those truths not to be put by, not to be argued down by casual
exceptions. It is just as true of nations as it is of men; of the whole
people as it is of individual families. So true it is, that it may be
regarded as a piece of very sound advice when we counsel all men,
married or single, to choose only such men for their friends as are
happy in their wedded lives. No man can afford to know a broken family.
Quarreling, discord, and connubial disagreements are catching. With
unhappiness at home, no man is safely to be trusted, no woman to be
sought in friendship. The fault may not be his or hers, but it must be
between them. A man and woman must prove that they can be a good husband
and wife before they can be admitted to have proved that they are good
citizens. Such a verdict may seem harsh, but it is necessary and just.
Young people just married can not possibly afford to know unhappy
couples; and they, in their turn, may, with mutual hypocrisy, rub on in
the world; but in the end they feel that the hypocrisy can not be played
out. They gradually withdraw from their friends and acquaintance, and
nurse their own miseries at home.

All good men feel, of course, that any distinctive separation of the
sexes, all those separate gatherings and marks which would divide woman
from man, and set her upon a separate pedestal, are as foolish as they
are really impracticable. You will find no one who believes less in what
certain philanthropists call the emancipation of women than a happy
mother and wife. She does not want to be emancipated; and she is quite
unwilling that, instead of being the friend and ally of man, she should
be his opponent. She feels truly that the woman's cause is man's.

    "For woman is not undeveloped man,
    But diverse. Could we make her as the man,
    Sweet love were slain, whose dearest bond is this--
    Not like to like, but like in difference."

The very virtues of woman, not less than her faults, fit her for her
attachment to man. There is no man so bad as not to find some pitying
woman who will admire and love him; and no man so wise but that he shall
find some woman equal to the full comprehension of him, ready to
understand him and to strengthen him. With such a woman he will grow
more tender, ductile, and appreciative; the man will be more of woman,
she of man. Whether society, as it is at present constituted, fits our
young women to be the good wives they should be is another question. In
lower middle life, and with the working classes, it is asserted that the
women are not sufficiently taught to fulfill their mission properly;
but, if in large towns the exigencies of trade use up a large portion of
the female population, it is no wonder that they can not be at the same
time good mill-hands, bookbinders, shopwomen, and mothers, cooks, and
housewives. We may well have recourse to public cookery, and talk about
working men's dinners--thus drifting from an opposite point into the
coming socialism--when we absorb all the home energies of the woman in
gaining money sufficient for her daily bread. Yet these revelations, nor
those yet more dreadful ones which come out daily in some of our law
courts, are not sufficient to make us overlook the fact that with us by
far the larger portion of marriages are happy ones, and that of men's
wives we still can write as the most eloquent divine who ever lived,
Jeremy Taylor, wrote, "A good wife is Heaven's last, best gift to
man--his angel and minister of graces innumerable--his gem of many
virtues--his casket of jewels. Her voice is sweet music--her smiles his
brightest day--her kiss the guardian of his innocence--her arms the pale
of his safety, the balm of his health, the balsam of his life--her
industry his surest wealth--her economy his safest steward--her lips his
faithful counselors--her bosom the softest pillow of his cares--and her
prayers the ablest advocate of Heaven's blessings on his head."

       *       *       *       *       *



XVI.

WOMEN'S HUSBANDS.


WHAT THE "BREAD WINNERS" LIKE IN THEIR WIVES--A LITTLE CONSTITUTIONAL
OPPOSITION.


It would not be holding the balance of the sexes fairly, if after saying
all that can be said in favor of men's wives, we did not say something
on the side of women's husbands. In these clever days the husband is a
rather neglected animal. Women are anxious enough to secure a specimen
of the creature, but he is very soon "shelved" afterwards; and women
writers are now so much occupied in contemplating the beauties of their
own more impulsive sex that they neglect to paint ideals of good
husbands. There has been also too much writing tending to separate the
sexes. It is plain that in actual life all the virtues can not be on one
side, and all the faults on the other; yet some women are not ashamed to
write and speak as if such were really the case. The wife is taught to
regard herself as a woman with many wrongs, because her natural rights
are denied her. She is cockered up into a domestic martyr, and is bred
into an impatience of reproof which is very harmful and very ungraceful.
If we look about us, we find that in our cities, especially, this is
producing some very sad results. Some of the men are getting very
impatient at the increasing demands of women for attention, for place,
and for consideration; and, on merely selfish grounds, it is hardly
doubtful whether our women in the upper and middle classes do not demand
too much. It is evident that, as society is constituted, man is the
working and woman, generally, the ornamental portion, of it, at least in
those classes to which Providence or society has given what we call
comfortable circumstances. Woman may do, and does do, a great deal of
unpleasant, tiresome work; she fritters away her time upon occupations
which require "frittering;" but beyond that she does not do the "paying"
work. The husband, or houseband, still produces the money. He is the
poor, plain, working bee; and the queen bee too often sits in regal
state in her comfortable hive while he is toiling and moiling abroad.

It results from the different occupations of the two sexes, that the
husband comes home too often worried, cross, and anxious; that he finds
in his wife a woman to whom he can not tell his doubts and fears, his
humiliations and experience. She, poor woman, with little sense of what
the world is, without any tact, may bore him to take her to fresh
amusements and excitements; for, while he has been expending both brain
and body, she has been quietly at home. A certain want of tact, not
unfrequently met with in wives, often sets the household in a flame of
anger and quarreling, which might be avoided by a little patience and
care on the part of the wife.

It is not in human nature for a man who has been hard at work all day to
return to his home toiled and weary, or with his mind agitated after
being filled with many things, and to regard with complacency little
matters which go awry, but which at another time would not trouble him.
The hard-working man is too apt to regard as lazy those who work less
than himself, and he therefore looks upon the slightest unreadiness or
want of preparation in his wife as neglect. Hence a woman, if she be
wise, will be constantly prepared for the return of her husband. He,
after all, is the bread-winner; and all that he requires is an attention
less by far than we should ordinarily pay to a guest. In the good old
Scotch song, which thrills our heart every time it is sung, and makes us
remember, however skeptical we may have grown, the true worth and
divinity of love, the wife's greatest pleasure is that of looking
forward to the return of her husband. She puts on-her best clothes and
her sweetest smile; she clothes her face with that fondness which only a
wife's look can express; she makes her children look neat and
pretty--"gi'es little Kate her cotton gown, and Jock his Sunday coat"
because the husband is returning. There is not a prettier picture
throughout the whole range of literature. How her love breathes forth--

    "Sae sweet his voice, sae smooth his tongue;
      His breath like caller air;
    His very foot has music in 't
      As he comes up the stair."

And the love which thus colors with its radiant tints the common things
of this life, which makes poverty beautiful, and the cottage richer than
the palace, will be sure to teach the heart which possesses it how to
manage the husband.

In "managing a man"--an important lesson, which some women are very
anxious to impress upon others--immense tact and delicacy are wanted,
but are very seldom found. Wives should remember that they had better,
very much better, never try to manage, than try and not succeed. And yet
all men like to be managed, and require management. No one can pretend
to be the be-all and end-all in a house. It is from his wife that the
husband should learn the true value of things--his own dignity, his
position, and even his secondary position by her side as manageress.
But, if she be wise, she will not make this too apparent. Directly the
voice gets too loud, the tone too commanding, and the manner too fussy,
the unhappy man begins to suspect that he is being "managed," and in
nine cases out of ten sinks into utter imbecility, or breaks away like
an obstinate pig. Both these symptoms are bad, and perhaps the first is
the worst. No true woman can love and reverence a man who is morally and
intellectually lower than herself, and who has driveled down into a mere
assenting puppet. On the other hand, the pig-headed husband is very
troublesome. He requires the greatest care; for whatever his wife says
he will refuse to do; nay, although it may be the very essence of
wisdom, he will refuse it because he knows the behest proceeds from his
wife. He is like a jibbing horse, which you have to turn one way because
you want him to start forward on the other; or he more closely resembles
the celebrated Irish pig, which was so obstinate that his master was
obliged to persuade him that he was being driven to Dublin, when his
back was towards that city, and he was going to Athlone!

One part of management in husbands lies in a judicious mixture of good
humor, attention, flattery, and compliments. All men, as well as women,
are more or less vain; the rare exceptions of men who do not care to be
tickled by an occasional well-turned compliment only prove the rule.
But, in the case of a husband, we must remember that this love of being
occasionally flattered by his wife is absolutely a necessary and natural
virtue. No one needs to be ashamed of it. We are glad enough to own, to
remember, to treasure up every little word of approval that fell from
the lips of the woman we courted. Why should we forget the dear sounds
now she is our wife? If we love her, she may be sure that any little
compliment--an offered flower, a birthday gift, a song when we are
weary, a smile when we are sad, a look which no eye but our own will
see--will be treasured up, and will cheer us when she is not there.
Judiciously used, this conduct is of the greatest effect in managing the
husband. A little vanity does not, moreover, in such cases as these,
prove a man to be either a bad man or a fool. "All clever men," says a
great observer, "are more or less affected with vanity. It may be
blatant and offensive, it may be excessive, but not unamusing, or it may
show itself just as a large _soupçon,_ but it is never entirely absent."
The same writer goes on to say that this vanity should by no means be
injudiciously flattered into too large a size. A wife will probably
admire the husband for what he is really worth; and the vanity of a
really clever man probably only amounts to putting a little too large a
price on his merits, not to a mistake as to what those merits are. The
wife and husband will therefore think alike; but, if she be wise, she
will only go to a certain point in administering the domestic lumps of
sugar. "A clever husband," says the writer we have quoted, "is like a
good despot; all the better for a little constitutional opposition." Or
the same advice may be thus put, as it often is, by a wise and cautious
mother-in-law: "My dear," she would say, "you must never let your
husband have matters all his own way."

A woman who abdicates all her authority, who is not queen over her
kitchen, her chamber, and her drawing-room or best parlor, does a very
dangerous and foolish thing, and will soon dwarf down into a mere
assenting dummy. Now old Burleigh, the wise counselor of Queen
Elizabeth, has, in his advice to his son, left it upon record that "thou
shalt find there is nothing so irksome in life as a female fool." A wife
who is the mere echo of her husband's opinions; who waits for his advice
upon all matters; who is lazy, indolent, and silly in her household;
fussy, troublesome, and always out of the way or in the way when she is
traveling; who has no opinions of her own, no temper of her own; who
boasts that "she bears every thing like a lamb;" and who bears the
breakage of her best china and the desecration of her white curtains
with tobbaco-smoke with equal serenity; such a woman may be very
affectionate and very good, but she is somewhat of a "she-fool." Her
husband will too often first begin to despise and then to neglect her.
She will follow so closely on the heels of her husband's ideas and her
husband's opinions that she will annoy him like an echo. Her genuine
love will be construed into something like cunning flattery; her very
devotion will be mistaken; her sweet nature become tiresome and irksome,
from want of variety; and, from being the mistress of the house, she
will sink into the mere slave of the husband. A wife should therefore
learn to think, to walk alone, to bear her full share of the troubles
and dignities of married life, never to become a cipher in her own
house, but to rise to the level of her husband, and to take her full
share of the matrimonial throne. The husband, if a wise man, will never
act without consulting his wife; nor will she do any thing of importance
without the aid and advice of her husband.

There is, however--and in these days of rapid fortune-making we see it
constantly--a certain class of men who rise in the world without the
slightest improvement in their manners, taste, or sense. Such men are
shrewd men of business, or perhaps have been borne to the haven of
fortune by a lucky tide; and yet these very men possess wives who,
although they are of a lower sphere, rise at once with their position,
and in manner, grace, and address are perfect ladies, whilst their
husbands are still the same rude, uncultivated boors. These wives must
be wise enough to console themselves for their trials; for indeed such
things are a very serious trial both to human endurance and to human
vanity. They must remember that they married when equals with their
husbands in their lowliness, and that their husbands have made the
fortune which they pour at their feet. They will recollect also that
their husbands must have industry, and a great many other sterling good
qualities, if they lack a little polish; and, lastly, that they are in
reality no worse off than many other women in high life who are married
to boors, to eccentric persons, or, alas! too often to those who, with
many admirable virtues, may blot them all by the indulgence in a bosom
sin or an hereditary vice.

The last paragraph will lead us naturally enough to the faults of
husbands. Now, although we are inclined to think that these are greatly
exaggerated, and that married men are, on the whole, very
good--excellent men and citizens, brave men, battling with the world and
its difficulties, and carrying forward the cumbrous machine in its path
of progress and civilization--although we think that, as a class, their
merits are actually not fully appreciated, and that the bachelors (sly
fellows!) get very much the best of it--still, we must admit that there
is a very large class of thoroughly bad husbands, and that this class
may be divided into the foolish, the careless, and the vicious
sub-classes, each of which would require at least a volume to be devoted
to their treatment and castigation. Nay, more than a volume. Archdeacon
Paley notes that St. John, apologizing for the brevity and
incompleteness of Gospel directions, states that, if all the necessary
books were written, the world would not contain them. So we may say of
the faults of foolish husbands; we will, therefore, say no more about
them, but return to the part which the wives of such men ought to play.

In the first place, as a true woman, a wife will be as tender of those
faults as she can be. She will not talk to her neighbors about them, nor
magnify them, nor dwell upon them. She, alas! will never be without her
share of blame; for the world, rightly or wrongly, often dowers the wife
with the faults of the husband, and, seeing no possibility of
interfering and assigning to each his or her share, suspects both.
Moreover, in many cases she will have to blame herself chiefly. We take
it that the great majority of women marry the men that they choose. If
they do not do so, they should do so. They may have been unwise and vain
enough to have been pleased and tickled by the flattery of a fool. When
they have married him, they find him, as Dr. Gregory wrote to his
daughters, "the most intractable of husbands; led by his passions and
caprices, and incapable of hearing the voice of reason." A woman's
vanity may be hurt when she finds that she has a husband for whom she
has to blush and tremble every time he opens his lips. She may be
annoyed at his clownish jealousy, his mulish obstinacy, his incapability
of being managed, led, or driven; but she must reflect that there was a
time when a little wisdom and reflection on her own part would have
prevented her from delivering her heart and her person to so unworthy a
creature.

Women who have wicked husbands are much more to be pitied: In early life
the wives themselves are innocent; and, from the nature of things, their
innocence is based upon ignorance. Here the value of the almost
intuitive wisdom and perception of the gentler sex comes into full play.
During courtship, when this perception is in its full power and vigor,
it should be freely exercised. Scandal and common report, in themselves
to be avoided, are useful in this.

Women should choose men of character and of unspotted name. It is a very
old and true remark--but one may as well repeat what is old and trite
when that which is new would be but feeble repetition at the best--that
a good son generally makes a good husband; a wise companion in a walk
may turn out a judicious companion through life. The wild attempt to
reform a rake, or to marry a man of a "gay" life, in the hope that he
will sow "his wild oats," is always dangerous, and should never be
attempted. A woman who has a sense of religion herself should never
attach herself to a man who has none. The choice of a husband is really
of the greatest consequence to human happiness, and should never be made
without the greatest care and circumspection. No sudden caprice, no
effect of coquetry, no sally of passion, should be dignified by the name
of love. "Marriage," says the apostle, "is honorable in all;"' but the
kind of marriage which is so is that which is based upon genuine love,
not upon fancy or caprice; which is founded on the inclination of
nature, on honorable views, cemented by a similarity of tastes, and
strengthened by the true sympathy of souls.

      Love is the tyranny
      So blessed to endure!
    Who mourns the loss of liberty,
      With all things else secure?

      Live on, sweet tyranny!
      (Cries heart within a heart)
    God's blossom of Eternity,
      How beautiful thou art!

       *       *       *       *       *



XVII.

JOHN PLOUGHMAN.


WHAT HE SAYS OF RELIGIOUS GRUMBLERS--GOOD-NATURE AND
FIRMNESS--PATIENCE--OPPORTUNITIES--FAULTS--HOME--MEN WHO ARE
DOWN--HOPE--HINTS AS TO THRIVING, ETC.


John Ploughman's Talk, says the author, Rev. C.H. Spurgeon, the famous
London preacher, "has not only obtained an immense circulation, but it
has exercised an influence for good." As to the "influence for good,"
the reader will judge when he has read the following choice bits from
the pages of that unique book. And we feel sure that he will thank us
for including John among our "Brave Men and Women."


RELIGIOUS GRUMBLERS.


When a man has a particularly empty head, he generally sets up for a
great judge, especially in religion. None so wise as the man who knows
nothing. His ignorance is the mother of his impudence and the nurse of
his obstinacy; and, though he does not know B from a bull's foot, he
settles matters as if all wisdom were in his fingers' ends--the pope
himself is not more infallible. Hear him talk after he has been at
meeting and heard a sermon, and you will know how to pull a good man to
pieces, if you never knew it before. He sees faults where there are
none, and, if there be a few things amiss, he makes every mouse into an
elephant. Although you might put all his wit into an egg-shell, he
weighs the sermon in the balances of his conceit, with all the airs of a
bred-and-born Solomon, and if it be up to his standard, he lays on his
praise with a trowel; but, if it be not to his taste, he growls and
barks and snaps at it like a dog at a hedgehog. Wise men in this world
are like trees in a hedge, there is only here and there one; and when
these rare men talk together upon a discourse, it is good for the ears
to hear them; but the bragging wiseacres I am speaking of are vainly
puffed up by their fleshly minds, and their quibbling is as senseless as
the cackle of geese on a common. Nothing comes out of a sack but what
was in it, and, as their bag is empty, they shake nothing but wind out
of it. It is very likely that neither ministers nor their sermons are
perfect--the best garden may have a few weeds in it, the cleanest corn
may have some chaff--but cavilers cavil at any thing or nothing, and
find fault for the sake of showing off their deep knowledge; sooner than
let their tongues have a holiday, they would complain that the grass is
not a nice shade of blue, and say that the sky would have looked neater
if it had been whitewashed.


GOOD-NATURE AND FIRMNESS.


Do not be all sugar, or the world will suck you down; but do not be all
vinegar, or the world will spit you out. There is a medium in all
things; only blockheads go to extremes. We need not be all rock or all
sand, all iron or all wax. We should neither fawn upon every body like
silly lap-dogs, nor fly at all persons like surly mastiffs. Blacks and
whites go together to make up a world, and hence, on the point of
temper, we have all sorts of people to deal with. Some are as easy as an
old shoe, but they are hardly ever worth more than the other one of the
pair; and others take fire as fast as tinder at the smallest offense,
and are as dangerous as gunpowder. To have a fellow going about the farm
as cross with every body as a bear with a sore head, with a temper as
sour as verjuice and as sharp as a razor, looking as surly as a
butcher's dog, is a great nuisance; and yet there may be some good
points about the man, so that he may be a man for all that; but poor,
soft Tommy, as green as grass and as ready to bend as a willow, is
nobody's money and every body's scorn. A man must have a backbone, or
how is he to hold his head up? But that backbone must bend, or he will
knock his brow against the beam.

There is a time to do as others wish, and a time to refuse. We may make
ourselves asses, and then every body will ride us; but, if we would be
respected, we must be our own masters, and not let others saddle us as
they think fit. If we try to please every body, we shall be like a toad
under a harrow, and never have peace; and, if we play lackey to all our
neighbors, whether good or bad, we shall be thanked by no one, for we
shall soon do as much harm as good. He that makes himself a sheep will
find that the wolves are not all dead. He who lies on the ground must
expect to be trodden on. He who makes himself a mouse, the cats will eat
him. If you let your neighbors put the calf on your shoulders, they will
soon clap on the cow. We are to please our neighbor for his good to
edification, but this is quite another matter.


PATIENCE.


Patience is better than wisdom; an ounce of patience is worth a pound of
brains. All men praise patience, but few enough can practice it; it is a
medicine which Is good for all diseases, and therefore every old woman
recommends it; but it is not every garden that grows the herbs to make
it with. When one's flesh and bones are full of aches and pains, it is
as natural for us to murmur as for a horse to shake his head when the
flies tease him, or a wheel to rattle when a spoke is loose; but nature
should not be the rule with Christians, or what is their religion worth?
If a soldier fights no better than a plowboy, off with his red coat. We
expect more fruit from an apple-tree than from a thorn, and we have a
right to do so. The disciples of a patient Savior should be patient
themselves. Grin and bear it is the old-fashioned advice, but sing and
bear it is a great deal better. After all, we get very few cuts of the
whip, considering what bad cattle we are; and when we do smart a little,
it is soon over. Pain past is pleasure, and experience comes by it. We
ought not to be afraid of going down into Egypt, when we know we shall
come out of it with jewels of silver and gold.


ON SEIZING OPPORTUNITIES.


Some men never are awake when the train starts, but crawl into the
station just in time to see that every body is off, and then sleepily
say, "Dear me, is the train gone? My watch must have stopped in the
night!" They always come into town a day after the fair, and open their
wares an hour after the market is over. They make their hay when the sun
has left off shining, and cut their corn as soon as the fine weather is
ended. They cry "Hold hard!" after the shot has left the gun, and lock
the stable-door when the steed is stolen. They are like a cow's tail,
always behind; they take time by the heels and not by the forelock, if
indeed they ever take him at all. They are no more worth than an old
almanac; their time has gone for being of use; but, unfortunately, you
can not throw them away as you would the almanac, for they are like the
cross old lady who had an annuity left to her, and meant to take out the
full value of it--they won't die, though they are of no use alive.
Take-it-easy and Live-long are first cousins, they say, and the more's
the pity. If they are immortal till their work is done, they will not
die in a hurry, for they have not even begun to work yet. Shiftless
people generally excuse their laziness by saying, "they are only a
little behind;" but a little too late is much too late, and a miss is as
good as a mile. My neighbor Sykes covered up his well after his child
was drowned in it, and was very busy down at the Old Farm bringing up
buckets of water after every stick of the house had been burned; one of
these days, he'll be for making his will when he can't hold a pen, and
he'll be trying to repent of his sins when his senses are going.


FAULTS.


He who boasts of being perfect is perfect in folly. I have been a good
deal up and down in the world, and I never did see either a perfect
horse or a perfect man, and I never shall till two Sundays come
together. You can not get white flour out of a coal sack, nor perfection
out of human nature; he who looks for it had better look for sugar in
the sea. The old saying is, "Lifeless, faultless;" of dead men we should
say nothing but good; but as for the living, they are all tarred more or
less with the black brush, and half an eye can see it. Every head has a
soft place in it, and every heart has its black drop. Every rose has its
prickles, and every day its night. Even the sun shows spots, and the
skies are darkened with clouds. Nobody is so wise but he has folly
enough to stock a stall at Vanity Fair. Where I could not see the fool's
cap, I have nevertheless heard the bells jingle. As there is no sunshine
without some shadows, so is all human good mixed up with more or less of
evil; even poor-law guardians have their little failings, and parish
beadles are not wholly of heavenly nature. The best wine has its lees.
All men's faults are not written on their foreheads, and it's quite as
well they are not, or hats would need very wide brims; yet as sure as
eggs are eggs, faults of some sort nestle in every bosom. There's no
telling when a man's sins may show themselves, for hares pop out of the
ditch just when you are not looking for them. A horse that is weak in
the legs may not stumble for a mile or two, but it is in him, and the
driver had better hold him up well. The tabby cat is not lapping milk
just now, but leave the dairy door open, and see if she is not as bad a
thief as the kitten. There's fire in the flint, cool as it looks: wait
till the steel gets a knock at it, and you will see. Every body can read
that riddle, but it is not every body that will remember to keep his
gunpowder out of the way of the candle.

If we would always recollect that we live among men who are imperfect,
we should not be in such a fever when we find out our friend's failings;
what's rotten will rend, and cracked pots will leak. Blessed is he who
expects nothing of poor flesh and blood, for he shall never be
disappointed. The best of men are men at the best, and the best wax will
melt.

    "It is a good horse that never stumbles,
    And a good wife that never grumbles."


HOME.


That word _home_ always sounds like poetry to me. It rings like a peal
of bells at a wedding, only more soft and sweet, and it chimes deeper
into the ears of my heart. It does not matter whether it means thatched
cottage or manor-house, home is home; be it ever so homely, there is no
place on earth like it. Green grows the house-leek on the roof forever,
and let the moss flourish on the thatch. Sweetly the sparrows chirrup
and the swallows twitter around the chosen spot which is my joy and
rest. Every bird loves its own nest; the owls think the old ruins the
fairest spot under the moon, and the fox is of opinion that his hole in
the hill is remarkably cozy. When my master's nag knows that his head is
toward home he wants no whip, but thinks it best to put on all steam;
and I am always of the same mind, for the way home, to me, is the best
bit of road in the country. I like to see the smoke out of my own
chimney better than the fire on another man's hearth; there's something
so beautiful in the way in which it curls up among the trees. Cold
potatoes on my own table taste better than roast meat at my neighbor's,
and the honeysuckle at my own door is the sweetest I ever smell. When
you are out, friends do their best, but still it is not home. "Make
yourself at home," they say, because every body knows that to feel at
home is to feel at ease.

    "East and west,
    Home is best."

Why, at home you are at home, and what more do you want? Nobody grudges
you, whatever your appetite may be; and you don't get put into a damp
bed.


MEN WHO ARE DOWN.


No man's lot is fully known till he is dead; change of fortune is the
lot of life. He who rides in the carriage may yet have to clean it.
Sawyers change-places, and he who is up aloft may have to take his turn
in the pit. In less than a thousand years we shall all be bald and poor
too, and who knows what he may come to before that? The thought that we
may ourselves be one day under the window, should make us careful when
we are throwing out our dirty water. With what measure we mete, it shall
be measured to us again, and therefore let us look well to our dealings
with the unfortunate.

Nothing makes me more sick of human nature than to see the way in which
men treat others when they fall down the ladder of fortune: "Down with
him," they cry, "he always was good for nothing."

    "Down among the dead men, down, down, down,
    Down among the dead men, there let him lie."

Dog won't eat dog, but men will eat each other up like cannibals, and
boast of it too. There are thousands in this world who fly like vultures
to feed on a tradesman or a merchant as soon as ever he gets into
trouble. Where the carcass is thither will the eagles be gathered
together. Instead of a little help, they give the sinking man a great
deal of cruelty, and cry, "Serves him right." All the world will beat
the man whom fortune buffets. If providence smites him, all men's whips
begin to crack. The dog is drowning, and therefore all his friends empty
their buckets over him. The tree has fallen, and every body runs for his
hatchet. The house is on fire, and all the neighbors warm themselves.
The man has ill luck, therefore his friends give him ill usage; he has
tumbled into the road, and they drive their carts over him; he is down,
and selfishness cries, "Let him be kept down, then there will be the
more room for those who are up."

How aggravating it is when those who knocked you down kick you for not
standing up! It is not very pleasant to hear that you have been a great
fool, that there were fifty ways at least of keeping out of your
difficulty, only you had not the sense to see them. You ought not to
have lost the game; even Tom Fool can see where you made a bad move.
"_He ought to have looked the stable-door;_" every body can see that,
but nobody offers to buy the loser a new nag. "_What a pity he went so
far on the ice!_" That's very true, but that won't save the poor fellow
from drowning. When a man's coat is threadbare, it is an easy thing to
pick a hole in it. Good advice is poor food for a hungry family.

    "A man of words and not of deeds
    Is like a garden full of weeds."

Lend me a bit of string to tie up the traces, and find fault with my old
harness when I get home. Help my old horse to a few oats, then tell him
to mend his pace. Feel for me and I shall be much obliged to you, but
mind you, feel in your pocket, or else a fig for your feelings.


HOPE.


Eggs are eggs, but some are rotten; and so hopes are hopes, but many of
them are delusions. Hopes are like women, there is a touch of angel
about them all, but there are two sorts. My boy Tom has been blowing a
lot of birds'-eggs, and threading them on a string; I have been doing
the same thing with hopes, and here's a few of them, good, bad, and
indifferent.

The sanguine man's hope pops up in a moment like Jack-in-the-box; it
works with a spring, and does not go by reason. Whenever this man looks
out of the window he sees better times coming, and although it is nearly
all in his own eye and nowhere else, yet to see plum-puddings in the
moon is a far more cheerful habit than croaking at every thing like a
two-legged frog. This is the kind of brother to be on the road with on a
pitch-dark night, when it pours with rain, for he carries candles in his
eyes and a fireside in his heart. Beware of being misled by him, and
then you may safely keep his company. His fault is that he counts his
chickens before they are hatched, and sells his herrings before they are
in the net. All his sparrows'-eggs are bound to turn into thrushes, at
the least, if not partridges and pheasants. Summer has fully come, for
he has seen one swallow. He is sure to make his, fortune at his new
shop, for he had not opened the door five minutes before two of the
neighbors crowded in; one of them wanted a loaf of bread on trust, and
the other asked change for a shilling. He is certain that the squire
means to give him his custom, for he saw him reading the name over the
shop door as he rode past. He does not believe in slips between cups and
lips, but makes certainties out of perhapses. Well, good soul, though he
is a little soft at times, there is much in him to praise, and I like to
think of ope of his odd sayings, "Never say die till you are dead, and
then it's no use, so let it alone." There are other odd people in the
world, you see, besides John Ploughman.


MY FIRST WIFE.


My experience of my first wife, who will, I hope, live to be my last, is
much as follows: matrimony came from Paradise and leads to it. I never
was half so happy before I was a married man as I am now. When you are
married, your bliss begins. I have no doubt that where there is much
love there will be much to love, and where love is scant faults will be
plentiful. If there is only one good wife in England, I am the man who
put the ring on her finger, and long may she wear it. God bless the dear
soul, if she can put up _with_ me, she shall never be put down _by_ me.


HINTS AS TO THRIVING.


Hard work is the grand secret of success. Nothing but rags and poverty
can come of idleness. Elbow-grease is the only stuff to make gold with.
No sweat, no sweet. He who would have the crow's eggs must climb the
tree. Every man must build up his own fortune nowadays. Shirt-sleeves
rolled up lead on to best broad cloth; and he who is not ashamed of the
apron will soon be able to do without it. "Diligence is the mother of
good luck," as Poor Richard says; but "idleness is the devil's bolster,"
John Ploughman says.

Make as few changes as you can; trees often transplanted bear little
fruit. If you have difficulties in one place, you will have them in
another; if you move because it is damp in the valley, you may find it
cold on the hill. Where will the ass go that he will not have to work?
Where can a cow live and not get milked? Where will you find land
without stones, or meat without bones? Everywhere on earth men must eat
bread in the sweat of their faces. To fly from trouble men must have
eagle's wings. Alteration is not always improvement, as the pigeon said
when she got out of the net and into the pie. There is a proper time for
changing, and then mind you bestir yourself, for a sitting hen gets no
barley; but do not be forever on the shift, for a rolling stone gathers
no moss. Stick-to-it is the conqueror. He who can wait long enough will
win. This, that, and the other, any thing and every thing, all put
together, make nothing in the end; but on one horse a man rides home in
due season. In one place the seed grows, in one nest the bird hatches
its eggs, in one oven the bread bakes, in one river the fish lives.

Do not be above your business. He who turns up his nose at his work
quarrels with his bread and butter. He is a poor smith who is afraid of
his own sparks: there's some discomfort in all trades, except
chimney-sweeping. If sailors gave up going to sea because of the wet, if
bakers left off baking because it is hot work, if ploughmen would not
plough because of the cold, and tailors would not make our clothes for
fear of pricking their fingers, what a pass we should come to! Nonsense,
my fine fellow, there's no shame about any honest calling; don't be
afraid of soiling your hands, there's plenty of soap to be had. All
trades are good to good traders. A clever man can make money out of
dirt. Lucifer matches pay well, if you sell enough of them.

You can not get honey if you are frightened at bees, nor sow corn if you
are afraid of getting mud on your boots. Lackadaisical gentlemen had
better emigrate to fool's-land, where men get their living by wearing
shiny boots and lavender gloves. When bars of iron melt under the south
wind, when you can dig the fields with toothpicks, blow ships along with
fans, manure the crops with lavender-water, and grow plum-cakes in
flower-pots, then will be a fine time for dandies; but until the
millennium comes we shall all have a deal to put up with, and had better
bear our present burdens than run helter-skelter where we shall find
matters a deal worse.

Keep your weather eye open. Sleeping poultry are carried off by the fox.
Who watches not, catches not. Fools ask what's o'clock, but wise men
know their time. Grind while the wind blows, or if not do not blame
Providence. God sends every bird its food, but he does not throw it into
the nest: he gives us our daily bread, but it is through our own labor.
Take time by the forelock. Be up early and catch the worm. The morning
hour carries gold in its mouth. He who drives last in the row gets all
the dust in his eyes: rise early, and you will have a clear start for
the day.


TRY.


_Can't do it_ sticks in the mud, but Try soon drags the wagon out of the
rut. The fox said Try, and he got away from the hounds when they almost
snapped at him. The bees said Try, and turned flowers into honey. The
squirrel said Try, and up he went to the top of the beech-tree. The
snow-drop said Try, and bloomed in the cold snows of Winter. The sun
said Try, and the Spring soon threw Jack Frost out of the saddle. The
young lark said Try, and he found his new wings took him over hedges and
ditches, and up where his father was singing. The ox said Try, and
ploughed the field from end to end. No hill too steep for Try to climb,
no clay too stiff for Try to plough, no field too wet for Try to drain,
no hole too big for Try to mend. As to a little trouble, who expects to
find cherries without stones, or roses without thorns! Who would win
must learn to bear. Idleness lies in bed sick of the mulligrubs where
industry finds health and wealth. The dog in the kennel barks at the
fleas; the hunting dog does not even know they are there. Laziness waits
till the river is dry, and never gets to market; "Try" swims it, and
makes all the trade. Can't do it couldn't eat the bread and butter which
was cut for him, but Try made meat out of mushrooms.

If you want to do good in the world, the little word "Try" comes in
again. There are plenty of ways of serving God, and some that will fit
you exactly as a key fits a lock. Don't hold back because you can not
preach in St. Paul's; be content to talk to one or two in a cottage;
very good wheat grows in little fields. You may cook in small pots as
well as big ones. Little pigeons can carry great messages. Even a little
dog can bark at a thief, and wake up the master and save the house. A
spark is fire. A sentence of truth has heaven in it. Do what you do
right thoroughly; pray over it heartily, and leave the result to God.

Alas! advice is thrown away on many, like good seed on a bare rock.
Teach a cow for seven years, but she will never learn to sing the Old
Hundreth. Of some it seems true that when they were born Solomon went by
the door, but would not look in. Their coat-of-arms is a fool's cap on a
donkey's head. They sleep when it is time to plough, and weep when
harvest comes. They eat all the parsnips for supper, and wonder they
have none left for breakfast.

    Once let every man say _Try_,
    Very few on straw would lie,
    Fewer still of want would die;
    Pans would all have fish to fry;
    Pigs would fill the poor man's sty;
    Want would cease and need would fly;
    Wives,and children cease to cry;
    Poor rates would not swell so high;
    Things wouldn't go so much awry--
    You'd be glad, and so would I.

       *       *       *       *       *



XVIII.

CAROLINE LUCRETIA HERSCHEL.

(BORN 1750--DIED 1848)


A NOBLE, SELF-SACRIFICING WOMAN.


March 16, 1750, and January 9, 1848. These are the dates that span the
ninety-eight years of the life of a woman whose deeds were great in the
service of the world, but of whom the world itself knows all too little.
Of the interest attaching to the life of such a woman, whose
recollections went back to the great earthquake at Lisbon; who lived
through the American War, the old French Revolution, the rise and fall
of Napoleon; who saw the development of the great factors of modern
civilization, "from the lumbering post wagon in which she made her first
journey from Hanover to the railroads and electric telegraphs which have
intersected all Europe;" of the interest which such a life possesses,
apart from that which attaches to it as that of a noble,
self-sacrificing woman, who was content to serve when she might have led
in a great cause, but few will be insensible.

Caroline Herschel was born on the 16th of March 1750, and was the eighth
child of ten children. Her father, Isaac Herschel, traced his ancestry
back to the early part of the seventeenth century, when three brothers
Herschel left Moravia through religious differences, they being
Protestant. The father, Isaac, was passionately fond of music, to the
study of which, as a youth, he devoted himself, and, at the time of his
marriage in Hanover, was engaged as hautboy player in the band of the
Guards. When, in the course of time, his family grew up around him, each
child received an education at the garrison school, to which they were
sent between the ages of two and fourteen; and at home the father strove
to cultivate the musical talents of his sons, one of whom, William, soon
taught his teacher, while another, Jacob, was organist of the garrison
church.

Of her very early childhood one gets the impression that Caroline was a
quiet, modest little maiden, "deeply interested in all the family
concerns," content to be eclipsed by her more brilliant and less patient
elder sister, and overlooked by her thoughtless brothers, toward one of
whom, William, she already began to cherish that deep affection which
she maintained throughout their lives. The lives of this brother and
sister, indeed, in this respect, recall to mind those of Charles and
Mary Lamb. When she was five years old the family life was disturbed by
war, which took away temporarily father and sons, and left the little
girl at home, her mother's sole companion. Her recollections of this
time are very dismal, and may be read at length in the memoir by Mrs.
John Herschel, to which we are indebted for much aid. When she was
seventeen her father died, and the polished education which he had hoped
to give her was supplanted by the rough but useful knowledge which her
mother chose to inculcate in her--an education which was to help to fit
her to earn her bread, and to be of great assistance to her beloved
brother William. He had now for some years been living at Bath, England,
from which he wrote in 1772, proposing that his sister should join him
there to assist him in his musical projects, for he had now become a
composer and director. In August of this year she accomplished a most
adventurous and wearisome journey to London, encountering storms by land
and sea, and on the 28th of the month found herself installed in her
brother's lodgings at Bath.

It will be necessary here to speak a little more at length of her
brother's life as she found it when she joined him, as thereafter her
own existence was practically merged in his, and, as she has said
modestly of herself and her service: "I did nothing for my brother but
what a well-trained puppy-dog would have done; that is to say, I did
what he commanded me. I was a mere tool, which he had the trouble of
sharpening." Posterity discredits this self-depreciation, while it
admires it, and Miss Herschel's services are now esteemed at their true
worth. Her brother then, when she came to Bath, had established himself
there as a teacher of music, as organist of the Octagon Chapel, and, as
we have said before, was a composer and director of more than ordinary
merit. This was all a side issue, however. It was but a means to an end.
His music was the goose that laid the golden egg, which, once in his
possession, he turned over to the mistress of his soul--Astronomy.

Every spare moment of the day, we are told, and many hours stolen from
the night, had long been devoted to the studies which were compelling
him to become himself an observer of the heavens. He had worked wonders
of mechanical invention, forced thereto by necessity; had become a
member of a philosophical society, and his name was beginning to be
circulated among the great, rumors of his work reaching and arresting
even royal attention.

At this point his sister arrived, the quiet domestic life she had been
living in Hanover being suddenly changed for one of "ceaseless and
inexhaustible activity" in her brother's service, being at once his
astronomical and musical assistant, and his housekeeper and guardian. Of
the latter, his erratic habits made him in great need. "For ten years
she persevered at Bath," says her biographer, "singing when she was told
to sing, copying when she was told to copy, 'lending a hand' in the
workshop, and taking her full share in all the stirring and exciting
changes by which the musician became the king's astronomer and a
celebrity; but she never, by a single word, betrays how these wonderful
events affected her, nor indulges in the slightest approach to an
original sentiment, comment, or reflection not strictly connected with
the present fact." In an ordinary case this would not be remarkable, but
in the present instance it acquires considerable significance from the
fact that, to our best knowledge, Miss Herschel's was a temperament
which would be strongly affected by the life she was leading, and her
silence as to personal sentiment shows to what an extent she had become
a tool in her brother's hands--rejoicing in his successes, and
sympathizing in his sorrows, but never revealing to what depth of
self-sacrifice she may have been plunged by her voluntary surrender and
devotion to her brother.

As we understand her, Miss Herschel would have been eminently fitted to
fill a position of high domestic responsibility; and no woman of this
sort, who has once dreamed of a home of her own, with its ennobling and
divine responsibilities, can, without a pang, give up so sweet a vision
for a life of sacrifice, although it be brilliant with the cold
splendors of science. Her life with her brother, as has been said, was
one of ceaseless activity in all the capacities in which she served him.
As housekeeper, she occupied a small room in the attic, while her
brother occupied the ground-floor, furnished in new and handsome style.
She received a sum for weekly expenses, of which she must keep a careful
account, and all the marketing fell to her. She had to struggle with
hot-tempered servants, and with the greatest irregularity and disorder
in the household; while her imperfect knowledge of English (this was
soon after her arrival at Bath) added a new pang to her homesickness and
low spirits. Later on, in her capacity as musical assistant, we are told
that she once copied the scores of the "Messiah" and "Judas Maccabaeus"
into parts for an orchestra of nearly one hundred performers, and the
vocal parts of "Samson," besides instructing the treble singers, of whom
she was now herself the first. As astronomical assistant, she has
herself given a glimpse of her experience in the following words: "In my
brother's absence from home, I was, of course, left solely to amuse
myself with my own thoughts, which were any thing but cheerful. I found
I was to be trained for an assistant astronomer, and, by way of
encouragement, a telescope adapted for 'sweeping,' consisting of a tube
with two glasses, such as are commonly used in a 'finder,' was given me.
I was 'to sweep for comets,' and I see by my journal that I began August
22, 1782, to write down and describe all remarkable appearances I saw in
my 'sweeps,' which were horizontal. But it was not till the last two
months of the same year that I felt the least encouragement to spend the
star-light nights on a grass-plot covered with dew or hoar-frost,
without a human being near enough to be within call. I knew too little
of the real heavens to be able to point out every object so as to find
it again without losing too much time by consulting the atlas." And, in
another place, she says: "I had, however, the comfort to see that my
brother was satisfied with my endeavors to assist him, when he wanted
another person either to run to the clocks, write down a memorandum,
fetch and carry instruments, or measure the ground with poles, etc., of
which something of the kind every moment would occur." How successful
she was in her sky-sweeping may be judged from the fact that she herself
discovered no less than eight different comets at various times during
her apprenticeship. Her work was not unattended by danger and accidents,
and on one occasion, on a cold and cloudy December night, when a strip
of clear sky revealed some stars and there was great haste made to
observe them, in assisting her brother with his huge telescope she ran
in the dark on ground covered with melting snow a foot deep, tripped,
and fell on a large iron hook such as butchers use, and which was
attached for some purpose to the machine. It entered her right leg,
above the knee, and when her brother called, "Make haste," she could
only answer by a pitiful cry, "I am hooked." He and the workmen were
instantly with her; but they did not free her from the torturing
position without leaving nearly two ounces of her flesh behind, and it
was long before she was able to take her place again at the instrument.

It would be interesting, if it were but practicable, to give a brief
journal of her life during the fifty years she lived in England, from
the time of her arrival in Bath, August 28, 1772, till the time of her
brother's death, August 25, 1822, after which she returned to Hanover.

We have given enough, perhaps, to suggest the mode and the activity of
her life; but of her brother's marriage, and the trial it brought upon
her in giving up the supreme place she had held in his love and
companionship for sixteen years; of the details of her discoveries, and
the interesting correspondence which accompanied them; of her various
great and noble friends, and her relations with them; of the death of
her brother, then Sir William Herschel, and the terrible blow it proved
to her; of her return to Holland, to the home of another brother; of her
sorrow and disappointment at the changes which had taken place in the
home of her youth during the long years which had brought her to old
age--she was then seventy-two--and to face "the blank of life after
having lived within the radiance of genius;" of the comfort she derived
from the members of her brother's family whom she had left behind in
"happy England;" of the honors which the chief scientific men in the
kingdom bestowed upon her--of all these matters we can do no more than
to simply touch upon them as above, although, if we might refer to them
at greater length, it would be but to increase our admiration and esteem
for one of the strongest, most serviceable, and most faithful women that
ever lived.

She died at eleven o'clock on the night of the 9th of January, 1848, at
the age of ninety-eight; and the holy words were spoken in the same
little chapel in the garrison in which, "nearly a century before, she
had been christened and afterward confirmed." In the coffin with her was
placed, at her request, "a lock of her beloved brother's hair, and an
old, almost obliterated almanac that had been used by her father;" and
with these tokens of the unswerving love and fidelity she had always
borne to parent and brother, she was laid away to rest, leaving the
memory of a noble woman, great in wisdom, and greater in womanliness,
without which, in woman, wisdom is unhallowed.--S.A. CHAPIN, JR., _in
the Christian Union_.

       *       *       *       *       *



XIX.

PESTIFEROUS LITERATURE.


THE PRINTING-PRESS THE MIGHTIEST AGENCY ON EARTH FOR GOOD AND FOR
EVIL--THE FLOOD OF IMPURE AND LOATHSOME LITERATURE--WHAT CAN WE DO TO
ABATE THIS PESTILENCE?--WHAT BOOKS AND NEWSPAPERS SHALL WE READ?--HOW
PROTECT OUR CHILDREN.


He is a brave man, who, at the right time and in the right place and
manner, lifts his voice against a great evil of the day. Dr. Talmage has
recently done this, with an earnestness like that of the old Hebrew
prophets. His timely words of warning >an not be unfruitful:

"Of making books there is no end." True in the times so long B.C., how
much more true in the times so long A.D.! We see so many books we do not
understand what a book is. Stand it on end. Measure it, the height of
it, the depth of it, the length of it, the breadth of it. You can not do
it. Examine the paper, and estimate the progress made from the time of
the impressions on clay, and then on the bark of trees, and from the
bark of trees to papyrus, and from papyrus to the hide of wild beasts,
and from the hide of wild beasts on down until the miracles of our
modern paper manufactories, and then see the paper, white and pure as an
infant's soul, waiting for God's inscription. A book! Examine the type
of it; examine the printing, and see the progress from the time when
Solon's laws were written on oak planks, and Hesiod's poems were written
on tables of lead, and the Sinaitic commands were written on tables of
stone, on down to Hoe's perfecting printing-press. A book! It took all
the universities of the past, all the martyr-fires, all the
civilizations, all the battles, all the victories, all the defeats, all
the glooms, all the brightnesses, all the centuries, to make it
possible. A book! It is the chorus of the ages--it is the drawing-room
in which kings and queens, and orators, and poets, and historians, and
philosophers come out to greet you. If I worshiped any thing on earth, I
would worship that. If I burned incense to any idol, I would build an
altar to that. Thank God for good books, helpful books, inspiring books,
Christian books, books of men, books of women, books of God. The
printing-press is the mightiest agency on earth for good and for evil.
The minister of the Gospel standing in a pulpit has a responsible
position, but I do not think it is as responsible as the position of an
editor or a publisher. Take the simple statistics that our New York
dailies now have a circulation of 450,000 per day, and add to it the
fact that three of our weekly periodicals have an aggregate circulation
of about one million, and then cipher, if you can, how far up and how
far down and how far out reach the influences of the American
printing-press. I believe the Lord intends the printing-press to be the
chief means for the world's rescue and evangelization, and I think that
the great last battle of the world will not be fought with swords or
guns, but with types and press--a purified Gospel literature triumphing
over, trampling down, and crushing out forever that which is depraved.
The only way to right a bad book is by printing a good one. The only way
to overcome unclean newspaper literature is by scattering abroad that
which is healthful. May God speed the cylinders of an honest,
intelligent, aggressive, Christian printing-press.

I have to tell you this morning that I believe that the greatest scourge
that has ever come upon this nation has been that of unclean journalism.
It has its victims in all occupations and departments. It has helped to
fill insane asylums and penitentiaries, and alms-houses and dens of
shame. The bodies of this infection lie in the hospitals and in the
graves, while their souls are being tossed over into a lost eternity, an
avalanche of horror and despair. The London plague was nothing to it.
That counted its victims by thousands; but this modern pest has already
shoveled its millions into the charnel-house of the morally dead. The
longest rail train that ever ran over the Erie or the Hudson tracks was
not long enough or large enough to carry the beastliness and the
putrefaction which have gathered up in the bad books and newspapers of
this land in the last twenty years. Now, it is amid such circumstances
that I put the questions of overmastering importance to you and your
families: What can we do to abate this pestilence? What books and
newspapers shall we read? You see I group them together. A newspaper is
only a book in a swifter and more portable shape, and the same rules
which apply to book-reading will apply to newspaper-reading. What shall
we read? Shall our minds be the receptacle of every thing that an author
has a mind to write? Shall there be no distinction between the tree of
life and the tree of death? Shall we stoop down and drink out of the
trough which the wickedness of men has filled with pollution and shame?
Shall we mire in impurity, and chase fantastic will-o'-the-wisps across
the swamps, when we might walk in the blooming gardens of God? O, no.
For the sake of our present and everlasting welfare, we must make an
intelligent and Christian choice.

Standing, as we do, chin-deep in fictitious literature, the first
question that many of the young people are asking me is, "Shall we read
novels?" I reply, there are novels that are pure, good, Christian,
elevating to the heart, and ennobling to the life. But I have still
further to say, that I believe three-fourths of the novels in this day
are baneful and destructive to the last degree. A pure work of fiction
is history and poetry combined. It is a history of things around us,
with the licenses and the assumed names of poetry. The world can never
repay the debt which it owes to such fictitious writers as Hawthorne,
Mackenzie, and Landor and Hunt, and others whose names are familiar to
all. The follies of high life were never better exposed than by Miss
Edgeworth. The memories of the past were never more faithfully embalmed
than in the writings of Walter Scott. Cooper's novels are healthfully
redolent with the breath of the seaweed and the air of the American
forest. Charles Kingsley has smitten the morbidness of the world, and
led a great many to appreciate the poetry of sound health, strong
muscles, and fresh air. Thackeray did a grand work in caricaturing the
pretenders to gentility and high blood. Dickens has built his own
monument in his books, which are an everlasting plea for the poor and
the anathema of injustice. Now, I say books like these, read at right
times and read in right proportion with other books, can not help but be
ennobling and purifying. But, alas! for the loathsome and impure
literature that has come upon this country in the shape of novels like a
freshet overflowing all the banks of decency and common sense. They are
coming from some of the most celebrated publishing houses in the
country. They are coming with the recommendation of some of our
religious newspapers. They lie on your center-table, to curse your
children and blast with their infernal fires generations unborn. You
find these books in the desk of the school-miss, in the trunk of the
young man, in the steamboat cabin, and on the table of the hotel
reception-room. You see a light in your child's room late at night. You
suddenly go in and say: "What are you doing?". "I am reading." "What are
you reading?" "A book." You look at the book. It is a bad book. "Where
did you get it?" "I borrowed it." Alas! there are always those abroad
who would like to loan your son or daughter a bad book. Everywhere,
everywhere an unclean literature. I charge upon it the destruction of
ten thousand immortal souls; and I bid you this morning to wake up to
the magnitude of the theme. I shall take all the world's
literature--good novels and bad; travels, true or false; histories,
faithful and incorrect; legends, beautiful and monstrous; all tracts,
all chronicles, all epilogues, all family, city, state, national
libraries--and pile them up in a pyramid of literature; and then I shall
bring to bear upon it some grand, glorious, infallible, unmistakable
Christian principles. God help me to speak with reference to the account
I must at last render! God help you to listen.

I charge you, in the first place, to stand aloof from all books that
give false pictures of human life. Life is neither a tragedy nor a
farce. Men are not all either knaves or heroes. Women are neither angels
nor furies. And yet if you depended upon much of the literature of the
day, you would get the idea that life, instead of being something
earnest, something practical, is a fitful and fantastic and extravagant
thing. How poorly prepared are that young man and woman for the duties
of to-day who spent last night wading through brilliant passages
descriptive of magnificent knavery and wickedness! The man will be
looking all day long for his heroine in the tin-shop, by the forge or in
the factory, in the counting-room, and he will not find her, and he will
be dissatisfied. A man who gives himself up to the indiscriminate
reading of novels will be nerveless, inane, and a nuisance. He will be
fit neither for the store, nor the shop, nor the field. A woman who
gives herself up to the indiscriminate reading of novels will be
unfitted for the duties of wife, mother, sister, daughter. There she is,
hair disheveled, countenance vacant, cheeks pale, hands trembling,
bursting into tears at midnight over the woes of some unfortunate. In
the day-time, when she ought to be busy, staring by the half-hour at
nothing; biting her finger-nails to the quick. The carpet that was plain
before will be plainer after having through a romance all night long
wandered in tessellated halls of castles, and your industrious companion
will be more unattractive than ever now that you have walked in the
romance through parks with plumed princesses or lounged in the arbor
with the polished desperado. O, these confirmed novel-readers! They are
unfit for this life, which is a tremendous discipline. They know not how
to go through the furnaces of trial where they must pass, and they are
unfitted for a world where every thing we gain we achieve by hard, long
continuing, and exhaustive work.

Again, abstain from all those books which, while they have some good
things about them, have also an admixture of evil. You have read books
that had the two elements in them--the good and the bad. Which stuck to
you? The bad! The heart of most people is like a sieve, which lets the
small particles of gold fall through, but keeps the great cinders.

Again, abstain from those books which are apologetic of crime. It is a
sad thing that some of the best and most beautiful bookbindery, and some
of the finest rhetoric, have been brought to make sin attractive. Vice
is a horrible thing, anyhow. It is born in shame, and it dies howling in
the darkness. In this world it is scourged with a whip of scorpions, but
afterward the thunders of God's wrath pursue it across a boundless
desert, beating it with ruin and woe. When you come to paint carnality,
do not paint it as looking from behind embroidered curtains, or through
lattice of royal seraglio, but as writhing in the agonies of a city
hospital. Cursed be the books that try to make impurity decent, and
crime attractive, and hypocrisy noble! Cursed be the books that swarm
with libertines and desperadoes, who make the brain of the young people
whirl with villainy. Ye authors who write them, ye publishers who print
them, ye book-sellers who distribute them, shall be cut to pieces; if
not by an aroused community, then at last by a divine vengeance, which
shall sweep to the lowest pit of perdition all ye murderers of souls. I
tell you, though you may escape in this world, you will be ground at
last under the hoof of eternal calamities, and you will be chained to
the rock, and you will have the vultures of despair clawing at your
soul, and those whom you have destroyed will come around to torment you
and to pour hotter coals of fury upon your head and rejoice eternally in
the outcry of your pain and the howl of your damnation! "God shall wound
the hairy scalp of him that goeth on in his trespasses." The clock
strikes midnight, a fair form bends over a romance. The eyes flash fire.
The breath is quick and irregular. Occasionally the color dashes to the
cheek, and then dies out. The hands tremble as though a guardian spirit
were trying to shake the deadly book out of the grasp. Hot tears fall.
She laughs with a shrill voice that drops dead at its own sound. The
sweat on her brow is the spray dashed up from the river of Death. The
clock strikes four, and the rosy dawn soon after begins to look through
the lattice upon the pale form, that looks like a detained specter of
the night. Soon in a mad-house, she will mistake her ringlets for
curling serpents, and thrust her white hand through the bars of the
prison and smite her head, rubbing it back as though to push the scalp
from the skull, shrieking, "My brain! my brain!" O, stand off from that.
Why will you go sounding your way amidst the reefs and warning buoys,
when there is such a vast ocean in which you may voyage, all sail set?

There is one other thing I shall say this morning before I leave you,
whether you want to hear it or not; that is, that I consider the bad
pictorial literature of the day as most tremendous for ruin. There is no
one who can like good pictures better than I do. But what shall I say to
the prostitution of this art to purposes of iniquity? These
death-warrants of the soul are at every street corner. They smite the
vision of the young with pollution. Many a young man buying a copy has
bought his eternal discomfiture. There may be enough poison in one bad
picture to poison one soul, and that soul may poison ten, and the ten
fifty, and the hundreds thousands, until nothing but the measuring line
of eternity can tell the height and depth and ghastliness and horror of
the great undoing. The work of death that the wicked author does in a
whole book the bad engraver may do on half a side of pictorial. Under
the disguise of pure mirth the young man buys one of these sheets. He
unrolls it before his comrades amid roars of laughter; but long after
the paper is gone the results may perhaps be seen in the blasted
imaginations of those who saw it. The Queen of Death every night holds a
banquet, and these periodicals are the printed invitations to her
guests. Alas! that the fair brow of American art should be blotched with
this plague spot, and that philanthropists, bothering themselves about
smaller evils, should lift up no united and vehement voice against this
great calamity! Young man, buy not this moral strychnine for your soul!
Pick not up this nest of coiled adders for your pocket! Patronize no
news-stand that keeps them! Have your room bright with good engravings,
but for these iniquitous pictorials have not one wall, not one bureau,
not one pocket. A man is no better than the picture he loves to look at.
If your eyes are not pure, you heart can not be. One can guess the
character of a man by the kind of pictorial he purchases. When the devil
fails to get a man to read a bad book, he sometimes succeeds in getting
him to look at a bad picture. When Satan goes a-fishing he does not care
whether it is a long line or a short line, if he only draws his victim
in.

If I have this morning successfully laid down any principles by which
you may judge in regard to books and newspapers, then I have done
something of which I shall not be ashamed on the day which shall try
every man's work, of what sort it is. Cherish good books and newspapers.
Beware of the bad ones. One column may save your soul; one paragraph may
ruin it. Go home to-day and look through your library, and then look on
the stand where you keep your pictorials and newspapers, and apply the
Christian principles I have laid down this morning. If there is any
thing in your home that can not stand the test do not give it away, for
it might spoil an immortal soul; do not sell it, for the money you get
would be the price of blood; but rather kindle a fire on your kitchen
hearth, or in your back yard, and then drop the poison in it, and keep
stirring the blaze until, from preface to appendix, there shall not be a
single paragraph left.

Once in a while there is a mind like a loadstone, which, plunged amidst
steel and brass filings, gathers up the steel and repels the brass. But
it is generally just the opposite. If you attempt to plunge through a
hedge of burs to get one blackberry, you get more burs than
blackberries. You can not afford to read a bad book, however good you
are. You say: "The influence is insignificant." I tell you that the
scratch of a pin has sometimes produced the lock-jaw. Alas, if through
curiosity, as many do, you pry into an evil book, your curiosity is as
dangerous as that of the man who would stick a torch into a gunpowder
mill, merely to see whether it would blow up or not. In a menagerie in
New York a man put his hand through the bars of a black leopard's cage.
The animal's hide looked so slick and bright and beautiful. He just
stroked it once. The monster seized him, and he drew forth a hand, torn,
and mangled, and bleeding. O, touch not evil, even with the faintest
stroke; though it may be glossy and beautiful, touch it not, lest you
pull forth your soul torn and bleeding under the clutch of the black
leopard. "But," you say, "how can I find out whether a book is good or
bad, without reading it?" There is always something suspicious about a
bad book. I never knew an exception. Something suspicious in the index
or the style of illustration. This venomous reptile almost always
carries a warning rattle.

Again, I charge you to stand off from all those books which corrupt the
imagination and inflame the passions. I do not refer now to that kind of
a book which the villain has under his coat, waiting for the school to
be out, and then looking both ways to see that there is no policeman
around the block, offers the book to your son on his way home. I do not
speak of that kind of literature, but that which evades the law and
comes out in polished style, and with acute plot sounds the tocsin that
rouses up all the baser passions of the soul. Years ago a French lady
came forth as an authoress, under the assumed name of George Sand, She
smoked cigars. She wore gentlemen's apparel. She stepped off the bounds
of decency. She wrote with a style ardent, eloquent, mighty in its
gloom, horrible in its unchastity, glowing in its verbiage, vivid in its
portraiture, damning in its effects, transfusing into the libraries and
homes of the world an evil that has not even begun to relent, and she
has her copyists in all lands. To-day, under the nostrils of your city,
there is a fetid, reeking, unwashed literature enough to poison all the
fountains of public virtue and smite your sons and daughters as with the
wing of a destroying angel, and it is time that the ministers of the
Gospel blew the trumpet and rallied the forces of righteousness, all
armed to the teeth, in this great battle against a depraved literature.
Why are fifty per cent of the criminals in the jails and penitentiaries
of the United States to-day under twenty-one years of age? Many of them
under seventeen, under sixteen, under fifteen, under fourteen, under
thirteen. Walk along one of the corridors of the Tombs Prison in New
York and look for yourselves. Bad books, bad newspapers bewitched them
as soon as they got out of the cradle. "O," says some one, "I am a
business man, and I have no time to examine what my children read. I
have no time to inspect the books that come into my household." If your
children were threatened with typhoid fever would you have time to go
for the doctor? Would you have time to watch the progress of the
disease? Would you have time for the funeral? In the presence of my God,
I warn you of the fact that your children are threatened with moral and
spiritual typhoid, and that unless this thing be stopped, it will be to
them funeral of body, funeral of mind, funeral of soul, three funerals
in one day.

Against every bad pamphlet send a good pamphlet; against every unclean
picture send an innocent picture; against every scurrilous song send a
Christian song; against every bad book send a good book. The good
literature, the Christian literature, in its championship for God and
the truth, will bring down the evil literature in its championship for
the devil. I feel tingling to the tips of my fingers, and through all
the nerves of my body, and all the depths of my soul, the certainty of
our triumph. Cheer up! O men and women who are toiling for the
purification of society. Toil with your faces in the sunlight. If God be
for us, who can be against us?

      Ye workers in the light,
      There is a grand to-morrow,
    After the long and gloomy night,
     After the pain and sorrow

      The purposes of God
      Do not forever linger;
    With peace and consolation shod,
      Do ye not see the finger

      Which points the way of life
      To all down in the valley?
    Then gird ye, gird ye for the strife;
      Against the darkness rally.

      The victory is yours,
      And ye are God's forever;
    For all things He for you secures
      Through brave and right endeavor.

       *       *       *       *       *



XX.

SATISFIED


AND OTHER POEMS.


    Sleeping, waking, on we glide,
     Dreamful, and unsatisfied,

     In the heart a vague surprise,
     Master of the thoughtful eyes.

     What though Spring is in the air,
     And the world is bright and fair?

     Something hidden from the sight
     Dashes fullness of delight.

     Soothed are we in duty done,
     And in something new begun,

     Like a kissed and flattered child
     To denial reconciled;

     Yet the something unattained
     Keeps us like Prometheus chained,

     And our hearts intenser grow
     As the vultures come and go.

     Sleeping, waking, on we glide,
     Dreamful and unsatisfied,

     Pilgrims on a foreign shore,
     Wanting something evermore,

     All the shadow in our eyes,
     All the substance in the skies.

      By and by another sleep,
      Angels watch and ward to keep.

      By and by, from wakeful eyes,
      Nothing of the old surprise,

      All pure dreams of earth fulfilled,
      Every sense with gladness thrilled.

      Then are we, no more denied,
      _With Thy likeness satisfied_.

       *       *       *       *       *


SACRIFICE


      Sacrifice! therein
    I find no superstition of the past,
    But one of Truth's great words, all life within,
      As into chaos cast.

      God, God put it there,
    A trumpet-note to every living soul,
    A prophecy of all that is most fair
      Through darkness to the goal.

      I can not efface
    The record of this wonder-working Word,
    Nor in my memory but faintly trace
      Stern voices I have heard.

      Voices come by day
    Between life's lightning-flash and thunder-peal,
    And sooner heaven and earth shall pass away
      Than what they there reveal.

      Voices come at night
    Amid the silence of deluding cares,
    And pain flows through the darkness and grows bright,
      And knowledge unawares.

      Voices fill the strife
    To which I give the beauty of my days,
    And testify that sacrifice is life,
      Availing prayer and praise.

      Life retained is lost,
    The tocsin of interminable war;
    And life relinquished is of life the cost,
      Which shineth as a star.

      Tongue can never tell
    God's revelations in this mighty Word,
    Nor how the mystery of life they spell,
      With which all hearts are stirred.

      I continue mute,
    In joyful awe before the Infinite,
    Until at length eternity transmute
      My darkness into light.

      I can only speak
    An earth-born language, that does not reveal
    The infinitude of duty which I seek
      To utter and but feel.

      Duty! heart of joy!
    Which giveth strength to suffer and endure,
    Till self-forgetfulness in God's employ
      Enthrones a life secure.

      Shepherd of the sheep,
    To whom God gives the universal charge,
    I think of Thy devotion and I weep,
      Thy love appears so large!

      And I think of all
    The grief which strengthened Thy exalting hand,
    Until great tears of Easter gladness fall,
      To think in Thee I stand,


         Out of whose great heart
    So glorious is death's sacrificial knife--
    To think I know Thee now somewhat, who art
         The way, the truth, the life;

         Who art with Thine own,
    Where Thou hast been through immemorial years,
    In every touch of consolation known,
         In every flood of tears.

       *       *       *       *       *


The Way of the Lord.


    I cast my lot with the surging world,
      To find out the way of the Lord;
    A pebble hither and thither hurled,
      To find out the way of the Lord.

    I sought where the foot of man was unknown,
      To find out the way of the Lord;
    In the desert alone, alone, alone,
      To find out the way of the Lord.

    I bowed my heart to the voice of the sea,
      To find out the way of the Lord;
    To the sob of unuttered mystery,
      To find out the way of the Lord.

    I went down into the depths of my soul,
      To find out the way of the Lord;
    Down where the years of eternity roll,
      To find out the way of the Lord.

    Ah, me! I had no interpreter
      To tell me the way of the Lord;
    For Nature, it was not in her
      To tell me the way of the Lord.

    I heard of One who came out from God
     To show me the way of the Lord;
    I entered the path which here He trod
    To show me the way of the Lord.

    I walked the way of humility
     To find out the way Of the Lord;
    It turned to the way of sublimity,
     To show me the way of the Lord.

    From grief and loss came joy and gain,
     To show me the way of the Lord;
    And the dead came back to life again,
     To show me the way of the Lord.

    Yea, into the heaven of heavens He went,
     To show me the way of the Lord;
    And the Comforter from the Father He sent,
     To show me the way of the Lord.

    I learned how for me He lived and died,
     To show me the way of the Lord;
    And bearing the cross, which He glorified,
     _I found out the way of the Lord_:

       *       *       *       *       *


Via Crucis.


    Cross uplifted, clouds are rifted,
    Vision clearer, God grown dearer!
    _Via crucis via lucis_.[1]

    Cross, thy way is where the day is;
    Thy surprises sweet sunrises!
    _Via crucis via lucis_.

    Life eternal, fair and vernal,
    Is the glory of the story,
    _Via crucis via lucis_;

    Dawns in beauty, born of duty,
    Joins thereafter Heaven's sweet laughter--
    _Via crucis via lucis_;

    Finds probation tribulation,
    Onward presses and confesses,
    _Via crucis via lucis_;

    Bursts the fetter of the letter,
    Reckons sorrow joy to-morrow--
    _Via crucis via lucis_;

    To the Master in disaster
    Bravely clinging, journeys singing,
    _Via crucis via lucis_;

    Ranges crownward, never downward,
    Always loving, always proving,
    _Via crucis via lucis_;

    Drinks forever from the river
    Everlasting, still forecasting,
    _Via crucis via lucis_;

    And presages all the ages,
    Light-enfolden, growing golden,
    _Via crucis via lueis_.

    O the shinings and refinings!
    O the sweetness of completeness!
    _Via crucis via lucis_!

       *       *       *       *       *



XXI.

HEROES OF SCIENCE.


MICHAEL FARADAY--SIR WILLIAM SIEMENS--M. PASTEUR.


The loftiest class of scientists pursue science because they love truth.
They derive no animation from the thought of any practical application
which they can make from their scientific discoveries. They have no
dreams of patents and subsequent royalties, although these sometimes
come. They enter upon their work, smit with a passion for truth. If to
any one of them it should happen to be pointed out--as Sir Humphrey Davy
showed the ardent young Michael Faraday--at the beginning of his career,
that science is a hard mistress who pays badly, they are so in love with
science that, really and truly, they prefer from their very hearts to
live with her on bread and water in a garret to living without her in
palaces in which they might fare sumptuously every day.

There are others by whom science is regarded only in the measure of its
fruitfulness in producing material wealth. Their great men are not the
discoverers of principles, but the inventors, the men who can apply the
discoveries of others to supplying such wants as men are willing to pay
largely to have satisfied. As has been said--

    "To some she is the goddess great;
      To some the milch-cow of the field;
    Their business is to calculate
      The butter she will yield."

Our highest admiration must be for the discoverers; but we may do well
to remind ourselves, from time to time, that to such men we are indebted
not only for thrilling insight into the beautiful mysteries of nature,
and for the withdrawal of the veil which shuts out from ordinary sight
the august magnificences of nature, but also for the discovery of those
principles which can be turned to the best practical account,
ministering to us in our kitchens and bed-chambers and drawing-rooms and
factories and shops and fields, filling our nights with brilliancy and
our days with potencies, giving to each man the capability of
accomplishing in one year what his ancestors, who lived in unscientific
ages, could not have achieved in twenty; not only exhibiting the forces
of nature as steeds, but also showing how they may be harnessed to the
chariots of civilization.

To keep us in healthful gratitude to the men who, having turned away
from the marts of the money-makers, have unselfishly set themselves to
discover what will enrich the money-makers, and, content to live in
simple sorts of ways, have sent down beauty and comfort into the homes
of rich and poor, it is well to make an occasional _résumé_ of the
results of the work of useful scientists, and ponder the lessons of
their single-mindedness.


FARADAY.


Few names on the roll of the worthies of science are better known
through all the world than that of Michael Faraday, who was born in
England in 1791 and died in 1867. Rising from poverty, he became
assistant to Sir Humphrey Davy, in the Royal Institution, London, where
he soon exhibited great ability as an experimenter, and a rare genius
for discovering the secret relation of distant phenomena to one another,
which gave him his skill as a discoverer, so that he came to be
regarded, according to Professor Tyndall, "the prince of the physical
investigators of the present age," "the greatest experimental
philosopher the world has ever seen."

His greatest discoveries may be stated to have been magneto-electric
induction, electro-chemical decomposition, the magnetization of light,
and diamagnetism, the last announced in his memoir as the "magnetic
condition of all matter." There were many minor discoveries. The results
of his labors are apparent in every field of science which has been
cultivated since his day. Indeed, they made a great enlargement of that
field. His life of simple independence was a great contribution to the
highest wealth of the world. He might have been rich. He lived in
simplicity and died poor. It is calculated that, if he had made
commercial uses of his earlier discoveries, he might easily have
gathered a fortune of a million of dollars. He preferred to use his
extraordinary endowments for the promotion of science, from which he
would not be turned away by honors or money, declining the presidency of
the Royal Institution, which was urged upon him, preferring to "remain
plain Michael Faraday to the last," that he might make mankind his
legatees.

While Faraday does not claim the parentage of the electric telegraph, he
was among the earliest laborers in the practical application of his own
discoveries, without which the telegraph would probably never have had
existence. It was on his advice that Mr. Cyrus W. Field determined to
push the enterprise of the submarine cable. His labors were essential to
the success of the efforts of his friend Wheatstone in telegraphy. It
was his genius which discovered the method of preventing the
incrustation by ice of the windows of light-houses, and also a method
for the prevention of the fouling of air in brilliantly lighted rooms,
by which health was impaired and furniture injured. He discovered a
light, volatile oil, which he called "bicarburet of hydrogen." It is now
known to us as benzine, which is so largely employed in the industrial
arts. Treated by nitric acid, that has produced a substance largely used
by the perfumer and the confectioner. From that came the wonderful base
aniline, which was not only useful in the study of chemistry, as
throwing light on the internal structure of organic compounds, but has
come also into commerce, creating a great branch of industry, by giving
strong and high colors which can be fixed on cotton, woolen, and silken
fabrics. It may be worth while to notice what gratifying beauty was
provided for the eye, while profitable work was afforded to the
industrious.

It is not to be forgotten that, whatever we have of magneto-electric
light, in all its various applications, is due to Faraday's discoveries.

Faraday's distinguished successor, Professor Tyndall, in his admirable
and generous tribute to his famous predecessor, says: "As far as
electricity has been applied _for medical purposes_, it is almost
exclusively Faraday's." How much of addition to human comfort that one
sentence includes, who can estimate? And who can calculate the
money-value to commerce in the production of instruments used in the
application of electricity to medicine? Professor Tyndall continues:
"You have noticed those lines of wire which cross the streets of London.
It is Faraday's currents that speed from place to place through these
wires. Approaching the point of Dungeness, the mariner sees an unusually
brilliant light, and from the noble Pharos of La Hève the same light
flashes across the sea. These are Faraday's sparks, exalted by suitable
machinery to sunlight splendor. At the present moment (1868), the Board
of Trade and the Brethren of the Trinity House, as well as the
Commissioners of Northern Lights, are contemplating the introduction of
the magneto-electric light at numerous points upon our coast; and future
generations will be able to point to those guiding stars in answer to
the question, what has been the practical use of the labors of Faraday?"


SIEMENS


One of the most useful of modern men was Sir William Siemens, who was
born in 1823 and died in 1883. The year before his death he was
president of the British Association, and was introduced by his
predecessor, Sir J. Lubbock, with the statement that "the leading idea
of Dr. Siemens's life had been to economize and utilize the force of
Nature for the benefit of man." It is not our purpose to give a sketch
of his life, or a catalogue of his many inventions, all of which were
useful. It was his comprehensive and accurate study of the universe
which led him to discover, as he thought, that it is a vast regenerative
gas furnace. The theory has been that the sun is cooling down; but Dr.
Siemens saw that the water, vapor, and carbon compounds of the
interstellar spaces are returned to the sun, and that the action of the
sun on these literally converted the universe into a regenerative
furnace. On a small scale, in a way adapted to ordinary human uses, and
by ingenious contrivances, he produced a regenerative gas furnace which
so utilized what had hitherto been wasted that, in the last lecture
delivered by Michael Faraday (1862) before the Royal Society, he praised
the qualities of the furnace for its economy and ease of management; and
it soon came into general use. It is probably impossible to calculate
the amount of saving to the world due to his practical application of
the theory of the conservation of force to the pursuits of industry. It
has changed the processes for the production of steel so as to make it
much cheaper, and so revolutionized ship-building. The carrying power of
steel ships is so much greater than that of iron ships that the former
earn twenty-five per centum more than the latter. So great a gain is
this, that one-fourth the total tonnage of British ship-building in 1883
consisted of steel vessels.

Sir William Siemens's name is popularly associated with electric light.
Perhaps it can not be claimed that he was the sole inventor of it, since
Faraday had discovered the principle, and at the meeting of the Royal
Society, in 1867, at which Siemens's paper was read, the same
application of the principle was announced in a paper which had been
prepared by Sir Charles Wheatstone, and a patent had been sought by Mr.
Cromwell Varley, whose application involved the same idea. But it is
believed that Sir William did more than any other man to make the
discovery of wide and great practical benefit. His dynamo machine is
capable of transforming into electrical energy ninety per cent of the
mechanical energy employed. His inventions for the application of
electricity to industry are too numerous to mention. He has made it a
hewer of wood and a drawer of water and a general farm-hand, and has
shown how it can be applied to the raising and ripening of fruits. He
has shown us how gas can be made so that its "by-products" shall pay for
its production, and demonstrated that a pound of gas yields, in burning,
22,000 units, being double that produced by the combustion of a pound of
common coal. He has put the world in the way of making gas cheap and
brilliant. His sudden death prevented the completion of plans by which
London will save three-fourths of its coal bill by getting rid of its
hideous fog. His suggestions will, undoubtedly, be carried out. He was
also the inventor of the "chronometric governor," an apparatus which
regulates the movements of the great transit instruments at Greenwich.

These are some of the practical benefits bestowed upon mankind by Sir
William Siemens. He did much, by stimulating men, to make science
practically useful, and has left suggestions which, if followed out with
energy and wisdom, will add greatly to the comfort of the world. He
calculated that "all the coal raised throughout the world would barely
suffice to produce the amount of power that runs to waste at Niagara
alone," and said that it would not be difficult to realize a large
proportion of this wasted power by-turbines, and to use it at greater
distances by means of dynamo-electrical machines. Myriads of future
inhabitants of America are probably to reap untold wealth and comfort
from what was said and done by Sir William Siemens.


PASTEUR.


M. Pasteur, now a member of the French Academy, after years of
scientific training and study and teaching, began a career of public
usefulness which has been a source of incalculable pecuniary profit to
his country and to the world.

He began to study the nature of fermentation; and the result of this
study made quite a revolution in the manufacture of wine and beer. He
discovered a process which took its name from him; and now
"pasteurization" is practiced on a large scale in the German breweries,
to the great improvement of fermented beverages.

This attracted the attention of the French Government. At that time an
unknown disease was destroying the silk-worm of France and Italy. It was
so wide-spread as to threaten to destroy the silk manufacture in those
countries. M. Pasteur was asked to investigate the cause. At that time
he had scarcely ever seen a silk-worm; but he turned his acute, and
practical intellect to the study of this little worker, and soon
detected the trouble. He showed that it was due to a microscopic
parasite, which was developed from a germ born with the worm; and he
pointed out how to secure healthy eggs, and so rear healthy worms. He
thus gave his countrymen the knowledge necessary to the saving of the
French silk industry, and to a very large increase of the value of the
annual productiveness of the country.

Of course, a man who had gone thus far could not stop. If he «could save
the silk-worm, he might save larger animals. France was losing sheep and
oxen at the rate of from fifteen to twenty millions annually. The
services of M. Pasteur were again in demand. Again he discovered that
the devastator was a microscopic destroyer. It was anthrax. The result
of his experimenting was the discovery of an antidote, a method of
prevention by inoculation with attenuated microbes. Similar studies and
experiments and discoveries enabled him to furnish relief to the hog, at
a time when the hog-cholera was making devastations. As he had
discovered a preventive remedy for anthrax, he also found a remedy for
chicken-cholera, to the saving of poultry to an incalculable extent.

Having thus contributed more to the material wealth of his country than
any other living Frenchman, M. Pasteur naturally turned his discovery of
the parasitic origin of disease toward human sufferers. A man of
convictions and of faith, he has had the courage to ask the French
minister of commerce to organize a scientific commission to go to Egypt
to study the cholera there under his guidance.

M. Paul Best, who was M. Pasteur's early rival in scientific discussion,
paid a generous tribute to his great ability and services, and declared
that the discovery of the prevention of anthrax was the grandest and
most fruitful of all French discoveries. M. Pasteur's native town, Dole,
on the day of the national _fete_ last year (1883), placed a
commemorative tablet on the house in which he was born. The government's
grant of a pension of $5,000 a year, to be continued to his widow and
children, was made on the knowledge that if M. Pasteur had retained
proprietary right in his discovery, he might have amassed a vast
fortune; but he had freely given all to the public. According to an
estimate made by Professor Huxley, the labors of M. Pasteur are equal in
money value alone to the _one thousand millions of dollars_ of indemnity
paid by France to Germany in the late war. It is also to be remembered
that M. Pasteur's labors imparted stimulus to discovery in many
directions, setting many discoverers at work, who are now experimenting
on the working hypothesis of the parasitic origin of all other
infectious diseases.

Now here are three men, to whom the world is probably more indebted than
to any other twenty men who have lived this century; indebted for
health, wealth, comfort, and enjoyment; indebted in kitchen, chamber,
drawing-room, counting-house; at home and abroad, by day and by night,
for gratification of the bodily and aesthetic taste. They were the
almoners of science. Practical men would have no tools to work with if
they did not receive them from those who, in abstraction, wrought in the
secluded heights of scientific investigation. It is base to be
ungrateful to the studious recluses who are the devotees of science.

These three men were Christians--simple, honest, devout Christians.
Faraday was a most "just and faithful knight of God," as Professor
Tyndall says. Sir William Siemens, it is said, was a useful elder in the
Presbyterian Church, and M. Pasteur, still living, is a reverent Roman
Catholic. Surely, when we find these men walking a lofty height of
science, higher than that occupied by any of their contemporaries, and
when we find these men sending down more enriching gifts to the lowly
sons of toil, and all the traders in the market places, and all seekers
of pleasure in the world, than any other scientific men, we must be safe
in the conclusion that to be an earnest Christian is not incompatible
with the highest attainments in science; and we can not find fault with
those who look with contempt upon the men who disdain Christianity, as
if it were beneath them, when it is remembered that among the rejecters
of our holy faith are no men to whom we have a right to be grateful for
any discovery that has added a dollar to the world's exchequer, or a
"ray to the brightness of the world's civilization."--DR. DEEMS, _in the
New York Independent_.

       *       *       *       *       *



XXII.

MY UNCLE TOBY


ONE OF THE BEAUTIFUL CREATIONS OF A GREAT GENIUS.


"If I were requested," says Leigh Hunt in his "Essay on Wit and Humor,"
"to name the book of all others which combines wit and humor under their
highest appearance of levity with the profoundest wisdom, it would be
'Tristram Shandy,'" the chief work of Laurence Sterne, who was born in
1713, and died in 1768. The following story of LeFevre, drawn from that
unique book, full of simple pathos and gentle kindness, presents,
perhaps, the best picture of the character that names this chapter:

It was some time in the Summer of that year in which Dendermond was
taken by the allies--which was about seven years before my father came
into the country, and about as many after the time that my uncle Toby
and Trim had privately decamped from my father's house in town, in order
to lay some of the finest sieges to some of the finest fortified cities
in Europe--when my uncle Toby was one evening getting his supper, with
Trim sitting behind him at a small sideboard, the landlord of a little
inn in the village came into the parlor, with an empty phial in his
hand, to beg a glass or two of sack. "'Tis for a poor gentleman, I
think, of the army," said the landlord, "who has been taken ill at my
house four days ago, and has never held up his head since, or had a
desire to taste any thing till just now, that he has a fancy for a glass
of sack and a thin toast. 'I think,' says he, taking his hand from his
forehead, 'it would comfort me.'"

"If I could neither beg, borrow, nor buy such a thing," added the
landlord, "I would almost steal it for the poor gentleman, he is so ill.
I hope in God he will still mend," continued he; "we are all of us
concerned for him."

"Thou art a good-natured soul, I will answer for thee," cried my uncle
Toby; "and thou shalt drink the poor gentleman's health in a glass of
sack thyself--and take a couple of bottles, with my service, and tell
him he is heartily welcome to them, and to a dozen more if they will do
him good."

"Though I am persuaded," said my uncle Toby, as the landlord shut the
door, "he is a very compassionate fellow, Trim, yet I can not help
entertaining a very high opinion of his guest, too; there must be
something more than common in him, that in so short a time should win so
much upon the affections of his host." "And of his whole family," added
the corporal, "for they are all concerned for him." "Step after him,"
said my uncle Toby; "do, Trim; and ask if he knows his name."

"I have quite forgot it, truly," said the landlord, coming back into the
parlor with the corporal, "but I can ask his son again." "Has a son with
him then?" said my uncle Toby. "A boy," replied the landlord, "of about
eleven or twelve years of age; but the poor creature has tasted almost
as little as his father; he does nothing but mourn and lament for him
night and day; he has not stirred from the bedside these two days."

My uncle Toby laid down his knife and fork, and thrust his plate from
before him, as the landlord gave him the account; and Trim, without
being ordered, took them away without saying one word, and in a few
minutes after brought him his pipe and tobacco.

"Stay in the room a little," says my uncle Toby. "Trim," said my uncle
Toby, after he had lighted his pipe and smoked about a dozen whiffs.
Trim came in front of his master and made his bow; my uncle Toby smoked
on and said no more. "Corporal," said my uncle Toby. The corporal made
his bow. My uncle Toby proceeded no farther, but finished his pipe.
"Trim," said my uncle Toby, "I have a project in my head, as it is a bad
night, of wrapping myself up warm in my roquelaure, and paying a visit
to this poor gentleman." "Your honor's roquelaure," replied the
corporal, "has not been had on since the night before your honor
received your wound, when we mounted guard in the trenches before the
gate of St. Nicholas; and, besides, it is so cold and rainy a night,
that what with the roquelaure and what with the weather, 't will be
enough to give your honor your death, and bring on your honor's torment
in your groin." "I fear so," replied my uncle Toby; "but I am not at
rest in my mind, Trim, since the account the landlord has given me. I
wish I had not known so much of this affair," added my uncle Toby, "or
that I had known more of it. How shall we manage it!" "Leave it, an 't
please your honor, to me," quoth the corporal; "I'll take my hat and
stick, and go to the house, reconnoitre, and act accordingly; and I will
bring your honor a full account in an hour." "Thou shalt go, Trim," said
my uncle Toby, "and here's a shilling for thee to drink with his
servant." "I shall get it all out of him," said the corporal, shutting
the door. My uncle Toby filled his second pipe; and, had it not been
that he now and then wandered from the point, with considering whether
it was not full as well to have the curtain of the tennaile a straight
line as a crooked one, he might be said to have thought of nothing else
but poor LeFevre and his boy the whole time he smoked it.

My uncle Toby had knocked the ashes out of his third pipe, when Trim
returned and gave the following account:

"I despaired at first," said the corporal, "of being able to bring back
your honor any kind of intelligence concerning the poor sick
lieutenant." "Is he in the army, then?" said my uncle Toby. "He is,"
said the corporal. "And in what regiment?" said my uncle Toby. "I'll
tell your honor," replied the corporal, "every thing straight forward,
as I learnt it." "Then, Trim, I'll fill another pipe," said my uncle
Toby, "and not interrupt thee till thou hast done; so sit down at thy
ease, Trim, in the window-seat, and begin thy story again." The corporal
made his old bow, which generally spoke as plain as a bow could speak
it. "Your honor is good," and, having done that, he sat down as he was
ordered, and began the story to my uncle Toby over again, in pretty
nearly the same words.

"I despaired at first," said the corporal, "of being able to bring back
any intelligence to your honor about the lieutenant and his son; for
when I asked where his servant was, from whom I made myself sure of
knowing every thing which was proper to be asked"--"That's a right
distinction, Trim," said my uncle Toby. "I was answered, an please your
honor, that he had no servant with him; that he had come to the inn with
hired horses, which, upon finding himself unable to proceed (to join, I
suppose, the regiment), he had dismissed the morning after he came. 'If
I get better, my dear,' said he, as he gave his purse to his son to pay
the man, 'we can hire horses from hence.' 'But, alas! the poor gentleman
will never get from hence,' said the landlady to me, 'for I heard the
death-watch all night long; and when he dies, the youth, his son, will
certainly die with him, for he is broken-hearted already.'

"I was hearing this account," continued the corporal, "when the youth
came into the kitchen to order the thin toast the landlord spoke of;
'but I will do it for my father myself,' said the youth. 'Pray let me
save you the trouble, young gentleman,' said I, taking up a fork for the
purpose, and offering him my chair to sit down upon by the fire, whilst
I did it. 'I believe, sir,' said he, very modestly, 'I can please him
best myself.' 'I am sure,' said I, 'his honor will not like the toast
the worse for being toasted by an old soldier.' The youth took hold of
my hand and instantly burst into tears."

"Poor youth," said my uncle Toby, "he has been bred up from an infant in
the army, and the name of a soldier, Trim, sounded in his ears like the
name of a friend; I wish I had him here."

"I never, in the longest march," said the corporal, "had so great a mind
to my dinner as I had to cry with him for company. What could be the
matter with me, an' please your honor?" "Nothing in the world, Trim,"
said my uncle Toby, blowing his nose; "but that thou art a good-natured
fellow."

"When I gave him the toast," continued the corporal, "I thought it was
proper to tell him I was Captain Shandy's servant, and that your honor
(though a stranger) was extremely concerned for his father; and that if
there was any thing in your house or cellar, ('and thou mightst have
added my purse, too,' said my uncle Toby,) he was heartily welcome to
it. He made a very low bow (which was meant to your honor), but no
answer--for his heart was full--so he went upstairs with the toast. 'I
warrant you, my dear,' said I, as I opened the kitchen door, 'your
father will be well again.' Mr. Yorick's curate was smoking a pipe by
the kitchen fire, but said not a word, good or bad, to comfort the
youth. I thought it was wrong," added the corporal. "I think so, too,"
said my uncle Toby.

"When the lieutenant had taken his glass of sack and toast, he felt
himself a little revived, and sent down into the kitchen to let me know
that in about ten minutes he should be glad if I would come upstairs. 'I
believe,' said the landlord, 'he was going to say his prayers, for there
was a book laid upon the chair by his bedside; and as I shut the door I
saw his son take up a cushion.'

"'I thought,' said the curate, 'that you gentlemen of the army, Mr.
Trim, never said your prayers at all.' 'I heard the poor gentleman say
his prayers last night,' said the landlady, 'very devoutly, and with my
own ears, or I could not have believed it.' 'Are you sure of it,'
replied the curate. 'A soldier, an' please your reverence,' said I,
'prays as often (of his own accord) as a parson; and when he is fighting
for his king and for his own life, and for his honor too, he has the
most reason to pray to God of any one in the whole world.'" "'Twas well
said of thee, Trim," said my uncle Toby. "'But when a soldier,' said I,
'an' please your reverence, has been standing for twelve hours together
in the trenches up to his knees in cold water, or engaged,' said I, 'for
months together in long and dangerous marches; harassed, perhaps, in his
rear to-day; harassing others to-morrow; detached here; countermanded
there; resting this night upon his arms; beat up in his shirt the next;
benumbed in his joints; perhaps without straw in his tent to kneel on,
he must say his prayers how and when he can, I believe,' said I, for I
was piqued," quoth the corporal, "for the reputation of the army. 'I
believe, an't please your reverence,' said I, 'that when a soldier gets
time to pray, he prays as heartily as a parson, though not with all his
fuss and hypocrisy.'" "Thou shouldst not have said that, Trim," said my
uncle Toby, "for God only knows who is a hypocrite and who is not. At
the great and general review of us all, corporal, at the day of judgment
(and not till then), it will be seen who has done their duties in this
world and who has not; and we shall be advanced, Trim, accordingly." "I
hope we shall," said Trim. "It is in the Scripture," said my uncle Toby,
"and I will show it thee to-morrow. In the meantime, we may depend upon
it, Trim, for our comfort," said my uncle Toby, "that God Almighty is so
good and just a governor of the world, that if we have but done our
duties in it, it will never be inquired into whether we have done them
in a red coat or a black one." "I hope not," said the corporal. "But go
on, Trim," said my uncle Toby, "with thy story."

"When, I went up," continued the corporal, "into the lieutenant's room,
which I did not do till the expiration of the ten minutes, he was lying
in his bed with his head raised up on his hand, with his elbow upon the
pillow, and a clean white cambric handkerchief beside it. The youth was
just stooping down to take up the cushion upon which I supposed he had
been kneeling; the book was laid upon the bed, and as he rose, in taking
up the cushion with one hand, he reached out his other to take it away
at the same time. 'Let it remain there, my dear,' said the lieutenant.

"He did not offer to speak to me till I had walked up close to his
bedside. 'If you are Captain Shandy's servant,' said he, 'you must
present my thanks to your master, with my little boy's thanks along with
them, for his courtesy to me, if he was of the Leven's,' said the
lieutenant. I told him your honor was. 'Then,' said he, 'I served three
campaigns with him in Flanders, and remember him; but 't is most likely,
as I had not the honor of any acquaintance with him, that he knows
nothing of me. You will tell him, however, that the person his good
nature has laid under obligations to him, is one LeFevre, a lieutenant
in Angus's; but he knows me not,' said he a second time, musing.
'Possibly, he may my story,' added he; 'pray tell the captain I was the
ensign at Breda whose wife was most unfortunately killed with a
musket-shot, as she lay in my arms in my tent.' 'I remember the story,
an't please your honor,' said I, very well.' 'Do you so?' said he,
wiping his eyes with his handkerchief; 'then well may I.' In saying
this, he drew a little ring out of his bosom, which seemed tied with a
black ribbon about his neck, and kissed it twice. 'Here, Billy,' said
he. The boy flew across the room to the bedside, and, falling down upon
his knee, took the ring in his hand, and kissed it, too; then kissed his
father, and sat down upon the bed and wept."

"I wish," said my uncle Toby, with a deep sigh, "I wish, Trim, I was
asleep."

"Your honor," replied the corporal, "is too much concerned. Shall I pour
your honor out a glass of sack to your pipe?" "Do, Trim," said my uncle
Toby.

"I remember," said my uncle Toby, sighing again, "the story of the
ensign and his wife, with a circumstance his modesty omitted; and
particularly well that he, as well as she, upon some account or other (I
forget what), was universally pitied by the whole regiment; but finish
the story thou art upon." "Tis finished already," said the corporal,
"for I could stay no longer, so wished his honor good-night." Young
LeFevre rose from off the bed and saw me to the bottom of the stairs;
and, as we went down together, told me they had come from Ireland, and
were on their route to join their regiment in Flanders. "But, alas,"
said the corporal, "the lieutenant's last day's march is over." "Then
what is to become of his poor boy?" cried my uncle Toby.

It was to my uncle Toby's eternal honor, though I tell it only for the
sake of those who, when cooped in betwixt a natural and a positive law,
know not, for their souls, which way in the world to turn themselves,
that, notwithstanding my uncle Toby was warmly engaged at that time in
carrying on the siege of Dendermond, parallel with the allies, who
pressed theirs on so vigorously that they scarce allowed him to get his
dinner, that, nevertheless, he gave up Dendermond, although he had
already made a lodgment upon the counterscarp, and bent his whole
thoughts-toward the private distresses at the inn, and that, except that
he ordered the garden gate to be bolted up, by which he might be said to
have turned the siege of Dendermond into a blockade, he left Dendermond
to itself, to be relieved or not by the French king as the French king
thought good, and only considered how he himself should relieve the poor
lieutenant and his son.

That kind Being, who is a friend to the friendless, shall recompense
thee for this.

"Thou hast left this matter short," said my uncle Toby to the corporal,
as he was putting him to bed, "and I will tell thee in what, Trim. In
the first place, when thou madest an offer of my services to LeFevre, as
sickness and traveling are both expensive, and thou knewest he was but a
poor lieutenant, with a son to subsist as well as himself out of his
pay, that thou didst not make an offer to him of my purse, because, had
he stood in need, thou knowest, Trim, he had been as welcome to it as
myself."

"Your honor knows," said the corporal, "I had no orders." "True," quoth
my uncle Toby, "thou did'st very right, Trim, as a soldier, but
certainly very wrong as a man."

"In the second place, for which, indeed, thou hast the same excuse,"
continued my uncle Toby, "when thou offeredst him whatever was in my
house, thou shouldst have offered him my house, too. A sick brother
officer should have the best quarters, Trim, and if we had him with us,
we could tend and look to him. Thou art an excellent nurse thyself,
Trim, and what with thy care of him, and the old woman's, and his boy's
and mine together, we might recruit him again at once and set him upon
his legs."

"In a fortnight, or three weeks," added my uncle Toby, smiling, "he
might march." "He will never march, an', please your honor, in this
world," said the corporal. "He will march," said my uncle Toby, rising
from the side of the bed with one shoe off. "An', please your honor,"
said the corporal, "he will never march, but to his grave." "He shall
march," cried my uncle Toby, marching the foot which had a shoe on,
though without advancing an inch, "he shall march to his regiment." "He
can not stand it," said the corporal. "He shall be supported," said my
uncle Toby. "He'll drop at last," said the corporal, "and what will
become of his boy?" "He shall not drop," said my uncle Toby, firmly.
"Ah, welladay, do what we can for him," said Trim, maintaining his
point, "the poor soul will die." "He shall not die, by G--d," cried my
uncle Toby.

The _accusing spirit_ which flew up to heaven's chancery with the oath,
blushed as he gave it in, and the _recording angel_, as he wrote it
down, dropped a tear upon the word and blotted it out forever.

My uncle Toby went to his bureau, put his purse into his breeches
pocket, and, having ordered the corporal to go early in the morning for
a physician, he went to bed and fell asleep.

The sun looked bright the morning after to every eye in the village but
LeFevre's and his afflicted son's; the hand of death pressed heavy upon
his eyelids, and hardly could the wheel at the cistern turn round its
circle when my uncle Toby, who had rose up an hour before his wonted
time, entered the lieutenant's room, and, without preface or apology,
set himself down upon the chair by the bedside, and independently of all
modes and customs, opened the curtain in the manner an old friend and
brother officer would have done it, and asked him how he did; how he had
rested in the night; what was his complaint; where was his pain, and
what could he do to help him? and without giving him time to answer any
one of the inquiries, went on and told him of the little plan which he
had been concerting with the corporal, the night before, for him.

"You shall go home directly, LeFevre," said my uncle Toby, "to my house,
and we'll send for a doctor to see what's the matter, and we'll have an
apothecary, and the corporal shall be your nurse and I'll be your
servant, LeFevre."

There was a frankness in my Uncle Toby, not the effect of familiarity,
but the cause of it, which let you at once into his soul and showed you
the goodness of his nature; to this, there was something in his looks,
and voice, and manner superadded, which eternally beckoned to the
unfortunate to come and take shelter under him; so that before my uncle
Toby had half finished the kind offers he was making to the father, had
the son insensibly pressed up close to his knees, and had taken hold of
the breast of his coat and was pulling it toward him. The blood and
spirits of LeFevre, which were waxing cold and slow within him, and were
retreating to their last citadel, the heart, rallied back, the film
forsook his eyes for a moment, and he looked up wishfully in my uncle
Toby's face, then cast a look upon his boy, and that ligament, fine as
it was, was never broken.

Nature instantly ebbed again; the film returned to its place; the pulse
fluttered--stopped--went on--throbbed--stopped
again--moved--stopped--shall I go on? No.

       *       *       *       *       *



XXIII.

STEPHEN GIRARD

(BORN 1750--DIED 1831.)


THE NAPOLEON OF MERCHANTS--HIS LIFE SUCCESSFUL, AND YET A FAILURE.


Imagine the figure of an old man, low in stature, squarely built,
clumsily dressed, and standing on large feet. To this uncouth form, add
a repulsive face, wrinkled, cold, colorless, and stony, with one eye
dull and the other blind--a "wall-eye." His expression is that of a man
wrapped in the mystery of his own hidden thoughts. He looks--

    "Like monumental bronze, unchanged his look--
    A soul which pity never touched or shook--
    Trained, from his lowly cradle to his bier,
    The fierce extremes of good and ill to brook
    Unchanging, fearing but the charge of fear--
    A stoic of the mart, a man without a tear."

Such a man was Stephen Girard, one of the most distinguished merchants
in the annals of commerce, and the founder of the celebrated Girard
College in Philadelphia. Let us briefly trace his history and observe
his character.

Girard was a Frenchman by birth, born in the environs of Bordeaux, in
May, 1750, of obscure parents. His early instruction was very limited;
and, being deformed by a wall-eye, he was an object of ridicule to the
companions of his boyhood. This treatment, as is supposed by his
biographer, soured his temper, made him shrink from society, and led him
to live among his own thoughts rather than in mental communion with his
fellows.

The precise cause of his leaving his native hearth-stone is unknown. The
fact is certain that he did leave it, when only ten or twelve years old,
and sailed, a poor cabin-boy, to the West Indies. This was his
starting-point in life. Never had any boy a smaller capital on which to
build his fortune. He went out from his unhappy home, ignorant, poor,
unfriended, and unknown. That from such a cheerless beginning he should
rise to the rank of a merchant prince must be accounted one of the
marvels of human history.

His first step was to gain the confidence of his superiors, not so much
by affability and courtesy--for of these social virtues he was never
possessed--as by steady good conduct, fidelity to his employers,
temperance, and studied effort to do his humble duties well. Whatsoever
his hands found to do he did with his might. As a consequence, we find
him, in a few years, in high favor with a Captain Randall, of New York,
who always spoke of him as "my Stephen," and who promoted him from one
position to another, until he secured him the command of a small vessel,
and sent him on trading voyages between the ports of New York and New
Orleans. That the poor cabin-boy should rise, by his own merits, in some
six or seven years, to be the commander of a vessel was success such as
few lads have ever won with such slender means and few helps as were
within reach of young Girard.

When only nineteen, we find him in Philadelphia, driving a thrifty but
quiet trade in a little shop in Water Street. Shortly after opening this
store, his fancy was taken captive by a maiden of sixteen Summers, named
Mary, but familiarly called Polly, Lum. She was a shipwright's daughter,
a pretty brunette, who was in the habit of going to the neighboring
pump, barefooted, "with her rich, glossy, black hair hanging in
disheveled curls about her neck." Her modesty pleased him, her beauty
charmed him, and, after a few months of rude courtship, he was married
to her, in 1770.

His marriage, instead of carrying happiness into the home over which he
installed his beautiful bride, only embittered two lives. It was a union
of mere fancy on his side, and of self-interest on hers, not of genuine
affection. Their dispositions were not congenial. She was ignorant,
vulgar, slovenly. He was arbitrary, harsh, rude, imperious, unyielding.
How could their lives flow on evenly together? It was impossible. The
result was misery to both, and, as we shall see hereafter, the once
beautiful Polly Lum ended her days in a mad-house--a sad illustration of
the folly of premature, ill-assorted marriages.

Finding little at his fireside to move his heart, Girard gave his whole
soul to business, now trading to San Domingo and New Orleans, and then
in his store in Water Street. When the Revolutionary War began, it swept
his commercial ventures from the ocean, but he, still bent on gain and
indifferent as to the means of winning it, then opened a grocery, and
engaged in bottling cider and claret. When the British army occupied
Philadelphia, he moved this bottling business to Mount Holly, in New
Jersey, where he continued until the American flag again floated over
Independence Hall.

But times were hard and money scarce, and for awhile Girard added very
little to his means. Yet his keen eye was sharply watching for golden
opportunities, and his active mind busily thinking how to create or
improve them. In 1780, circumstances made trade with New Orleans and San
Domingo very profitable. He promptly engaged in it, and in two years
doubled his resources.

Peace being restored, Girard, full of faith in the future of his adopted
country, leased a block of stores for ten years at a very low rent. The
following year, while business still lay stunned by the blows it had
received during the war, he obtained a stipulation from his landlord,
giving him the right to renew his lease for a second ten years, if he
chose to demand it, when the first one should expire. This was an act of
judicious foresight. When, at the expiration of the first lease, he
visited his landlord, that gentleman, on seeing him enter his
counting-room, said:

"Well, Mr. Girard, you have made out so well by your bargain that I
suppose you will hardly hold me to the renewal of the lease for ten
years more."

"I have come," replied Gerard, with a look of grim satisfaction, "to
secure the ten years more. I shall not let you off."

Nor did he. And the great profits he derived from that fortunate lease
greatly broadened the foundation of his subsequently colossal fortune.

As yet, however, his wealth was very moderate, for in 1790, at the
dissolution of a partnership he had formed with his brother who had come
to America, his own share of the business amounted to only thirty
thousand dollars. And yet, forty years later, he died leaving a fortune
of ten millions.

It is sad; but may be profitable to know, that his happiness did not
increase with his possessions. While his balance-sheets recorded
increasing assets, his hearth-stone echoed louder and wilder echoes of
discordant voices. He was jealous, arbitrary, and passionate; his
unfortunate wife was resentful, fiery, and finally so furious that, in
1790, she was admitted as a maniac to an insane hospital, which she
never left until she was carried to her grave, unwept and unregretted,
twenty-five years after. Their only child had gone to an early grave.
Girard's nature must have been strangely perverted if he counted, as he
seems to have done, the pleasure of making money a compensation for the
absence of true womanly love from his cheerless fireside. His heart, no
doubt, was as unsentimental as the gold he loved to hoard.

The terrible retribution which about this time overtook the
slave-holders of St. Domingo, when their slaves threw off their
oppressive yoke, added considerably to his rising fortunes. He happened
to have two vessels in that port when the tocsin of insurrection rang
out its fearful notes. Frantic with apprehension, many planters rushed
with their costliest treasure to these ships, left them in care of their
officers, and went back for more. But the blood-stained hand of massacre
prevented their return. They and their heirs perished by knife or
bullet, and the unclaimed treasure was taken to Philadelphia, to swell
the stream of Girard's wealth. He deemed this a lucky accident, no
doubt; and smothered his sympathies for the sufferers in the
satisfaction he felt over the addition of fifty thousand dollars to his
growing estate. It stimulated, if it did not beget, the dream of his
life, the passion which possessed his soul, which was to acquire wealth
by which his _name_ might be kept before the world forever. "My _deeds_
must be my life. When I am dead my _actions_ must speak for me," he said
to an acquaintance one day, and thus gave expression to his plan of
life. There was nothing intrinsically noble in it. If the means he
finally adopted bore a philanthropic stamp on their face, his motive was
purely personal, and therefore low and selfish. What he toiled for was a
name that would never die. He was shrewd enough to perceive that this
end could be most surely gained by linking it with the philanthropic
spirit of the Christianity which he detested. And hence arose his idea
of founding Girard College.

Shortly after plucking the golden fruit which fell into his hands from
the St. Domingo insurrection Girard enlarged his business by building
several splendid ships and entering into the China and India trade. His
operations in this line were managed with a spirit that indicated a true
mercantile genius, and contributed greatly to the enlargement of his
fortune.

He made these ships the visible expressions of his thoughts on religion
and philosophy by naming them, after his favorite authors, the
_Montesquieu_, the _Helvetius_, the _Voltaire_, and the _Rousseau_. He
thus defiantly assured the world that he was not only a skeptic, but
that he also gloried in that by no means creditable fact.

Girard's life was filled with enigmas. He really loved no living soul.
He had no sympathies. He would not part with his money to save agent,
servant, neighbor, or relation from death. Nevertheless, when the yellow
fever spread dismay, desolation, and death throughout Philadelphia, in
1793, sweeping one-sixth of its population into the grave in about sixty
days, he devoted himself to nursing the sick in the hospital with a
self-sacrificing zeal which knew no bounds, and which excited universal
admiration and praise. His biographer accounts for this conduct,
repeated on two subsequent visitations of that terrible fever, by
supposing that he was naturally benevolent, but that his early trials
had sealed up the fountains of his human feeling. A great public
catastrophe broke the seal, the suppressed fountain flowed until the day
of terror passed, and then with resolute will he resealed the fountain,
and became a cold-hearted, selfish man again.

His selfish disregard for the claims of his dependents was shown, one
day, when one of his most successful captains, who had risen from the
humble position of apprentice to the command of a fine ship, asked to be
transferred to another ship. Girard made him no reply, but, turning to
his desk, said to his chief clerk:

"Roberjot, make out Captain Galigar's account immediately."

When this order was obeyed and the account settled, he coolly said to
the faithful officer:

"You are discharged, sir. I do not make the voyage for my captains, but
for myself."

There was no appeal to be made from this unjust, arbitrary decision, and
the man who had served him faithfully seventeen years left his
counting-room to seek another employer.

Discourtesy was also a characteristic of this unlovely and unloving man.
He never considered men's _feelings_, nor sought to give pleasure to
others by means of the small courtesies of life. He had a farm in the
suburbs of the city, and a garden at the back of his town residence. In
both he cultivated beautiful flowers and rare fruits; but never, either
to visitors or neighbors, did he offer gifts of either. Rich though he
was, he sent the surplus to market. He once told a visitor he might
glean strawberries from a bed which had been pretty thoroughly picked
over. Returning from the lower part of the garden, he found the
gentleman picking berries from a full bed. With a look of astonishment,
and a voice of half-suppressed anger, he pointed to the exhausted, bed
and said:

"I gave you permission only to eat from that bed."

Singular meanness! Yet, notwithstanding this narrow disposition, which
ran like veins abnormally distended over nearly all his habits of life,
he could, and did at times, do liberal things. But even in such things
he was capricious and eccentric; as when a highly esteemed Quaker, named
Coates, asked him one day to make a donation to the Pennsylvania
Hospital. He replied:

"Call on me to-morrow morning, Mr. Coates, and if you find me on a right
footing, I will do something."

Mr. Coates called as requested, and found Girard at breakfast.

"Draw up and eat," said Girard.

Coates did so quite readily. The repast ended, he said, "Now we will
proceed to business, Stephen."

"Well, what have you come for, Samuel?"

"Any thing thee pleases, Stephen," rejoined the Quaker.

Girard filled out and signed a check for two hundred dollars. Coates
took it, and, without noting how much was the amount, put it in his
pocket-book.

"What, you no look at the check I gave you!" exclaimed the merchant.

"No, beggars must not be choosers."

"Hand me back the check I gave you," demanded Girard.

"No, no, Stephen; a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,"
responded Coates.

"By George," exclaimed Girard, "you have caught me on the _right
footing_."

He then drew a check for five hundred dollars, which he laid before the
Quaker, saying: "Will you now look at it, Samuel!"

"Well, to please thee, Stephen, I will."

He did so, and then, at Girard's request, returned the first and went
away triumphantly with the second check.

Skeptic though he was, Girard sometimes gave money to build churches,
not because they were _churches_, but because, as buildings, they
contributed to the improvement of the city. To a brother merchant, who
solicited aid toward building a Methodist church, he once presented a
check for five hundred dollars, saying:

"I approve of your motives, and, as the erection of such a building will
tend to improve that quarter of the city, I am willing to assist in the
furtherance of your object."

It happened that the church to which he thus contributed was
subsequently sold to the Episcopalians, who proceeded to convert it into
a Gothic structure at a very considerable outlay. They also waited on
Girard soliciting a contribution. He handed them a check for five
hundred dollars. The gentlemen solicitors looked blank, and intimated
that he had made the mistake of omitting a cipher. He had given the
"poor Methodists" that sum they pleaded; he surely must have intended to
make his present gift five thousand. With this remark they handed back
the check, requesting him to add the desired cipher.

"Ah, gentlemen, what you say? I have made one mistake? Let me see; I
believe not; but if you say so I must correct it."

Thus saying, he took up the check, tore it to pieces, and added: "I will
not contribute one cent. Your society is wealthy. The Methodists are
poor, but I make no distinction. Yet I can not please you.... I have
nothing to give for your magnificent church."

But, with all his offensive peculiarities, Girard continued to increase
his wealth. His ships spread their sails on every sea and earned money
for him in every great commercial port. In 1812 he founded the old
Girard Bank, and added the rich profits of banking to the immense gains
of his vast mercantile transactions. This new enterprise greatly
enlarged the sphere of his influence, especially as in matters
pertaining to the financial interests of the country and of the city of
Philadelphia he manifested a degree of public spirit which contrasted
marvelously with his narrowness, meanness, and even inhumanity, in
dealing with individual and private interests. He was certainly a
patriotic man. Nevertheless, as his biographer demonstrates, he always
contrived to make his patriotism tributary to the increase of his
immense wealth. His magnificent purchases of United States securities in
times of pecuniary disaster, though they contributed immensely to the
credit of the government, were not wholly patriotic. They were, to his
far-seeing mind, investments which were sure to pay. And he knew also
that the very magnitude of his purchases would, by strengthening public
confidence, insure the profitable returns he sought. Still, there is no
room for doubting the sincerity of his attachment to the country of his
adoption.

This fortunate accumulator of millions took very little from his hoards
for the promotion of his personal ease and physical enjoyments. He lived
in a plain mansion, simply furnished, and standing in the midst of
warehouses, where the din of business, the rolling of heavy wheels, and
the city's noisiest roar, constantly filled his ears. His table was
plentifully but not luxuriously supplied. As he grew old it was
extremely simple. He gave no parties, invited none to share his
hospitality, except now and then an individual from whom he had reason
for believing he could extract information which would be useful to him.
He worked incessantly at his business, rising at three or four o'clock
and toiling until after midnight. His keen eye inspected every
department of his complicated business, from the discounting of a note
to the building of a ship or the erection of a building. His only
recreation was his garden, his farm at Passyunk, or the training of his
birds. His life was coined into work. Its only real pleasure was derived
from the accumulation of the money which was to make his name immortal.

In 1830 the sight of his eye grew so dim that it was both difficult and
dangerous for him to grope his way along the familiar streets where he
transacted business. But so obstinately self-reliant was he that he
refused the aid of an attendant. He paid dearly for this obstinacy; for,
one day as he was going home from his bank, he was knocked down by a
wagon on a street-crossing. A gentleman, seeing him fall, rushed to his
assistance. But before he could reach him the plucky old merchant was on
his feet shouting, "Stop that fellow! stop that fellow!"

He was badly hurt. Nevertheless, he persisted in walking home. When his
physician came his face was found to be seriously wounded. His right ear
was almost entirely cut off. His eye was entirely closed. His entire
system had received a violent shock, from which it never recovered. His
wound healed, but from that time his body began to waste, his face grew
thin, and his natural force began to abate. His strength was sadly
impaired, and when, in December, 1831, he was attacked by a prevailing
influenza, his worn-out system succumbed. The disease touched his
powerful brain. He became first insane and then insensible, until, on
the 26th of December, 1831, this old man of eighty-two rose from his
bed, walked across his chamber, returned almost immediately to his bed,
and then, placing his hand upon his burning head, exclaimed:

"How violent is this disorder! How very extraordinary it is!"

After this he lapsed into an unconscious condition, and while in this
state, his naked soul passed into the presence-chamber of that Infinite
One whose worship it had neglected, and whose existence it had boldly
denied.

Thus ended that busy life, which began in poverty, and which had yielded
its possessor a fortune of _ten millions of dollars_. Surely, if wealth
and the power it wields be the real crown of life, Stephen Girard must
be accorded high rank among the mighty men who win magnificent victories
over the adverse circumstances of an obscure birth. He sought riches,
not as a miser who gloats with low delight over his glittering gold, but
as a man ambitious to make his name imperishable. His ambition was
satisfied. His ten millions, invested as directed in his will, which is
itself a marvel of worldly wisdom, is accomplishing his life-long
desire. So far as human foresight can perceive, Girard College will keep
the name of this wonderful man before the eyes of men through the coming
ages.

Nevertheless, we count this victor over the mighty obstacles which stand
between a penniless cabin-boy and the ownership of millions a vanquished
man. Bringing his life into the "light of the glory of God which shines
from the face of Jesus Christ," we are compelled to pronounce it a
miserable failure. We do not find either Christian faith or Christian
morality in it. As to faith, he had none; for he was an atheist, and
gloried in his disbelief of all revealed truth. As to morality, his
biographer informs us that he was an unchaste, profane, passionate,
arbitrary, ungenerous, unloving man. His apparent philanthropy was so
veined with selfishness that it was rarely ever exhibited except under
conditions which secured publicity. And even the college which
perpetuates his name proclaims, by its prohibition of _religious_
instruction, his hatred of "the only name given under heaven among men
whereby we can be saved." It is true that his will enjoins instruction
in morals; but it is heathen, not Christian, morality that he intended;
and, if the letter and spirit of his remarkable will were strictly
carried out, the graduates of Girard College would leave its walls as
ill instructed in the principles of genuine morality as were the
disciples of Socrates or the followers of Confucius. The only roots on
which pure morals can grow are faith in our heavenly Father and his
divine Son, and love which is born of that precious faith. That faith is
forbidden to be taught, and its divinely ordained teachers are
prohibited entrance within the walls his unsanctified ambition built.
Happily for the orphan boys who congregate there, the _spirit_ of that
antichristian will can not be executed in this Christian country. Its
_letter_ is no doubt respected; but the ethics of the institution are
not those of Voltaire, Rousseau, or Confucius, but of Jesus, whose life
is the only "light of men." Hence, while his college may perpetuate his
name, it will never cause mankind to love his character, nor to hope
that he is one of that exalted host which ascended to heaven through
much tribulation, and after washing their robes in the blood of the
Lamb.--DR. WISE, _in "Victors Vanquished_," Cranston & Stowe,
Cincinnati.

       *       *       *       *       *



XXIV.

DISAPPOINTMENTS.


PLEASURE AFTER PAIN--PAIN AFTER PLEASURE.


Our illusions commence in the cradle, and end only in the grave. We have
all great expectations. Our ducks are ever to be geese, our geese swans;
and we can not bear the truth when it comes upon us. Hence our
disappointments; hence Solomon cried out that all was vanity, that he
had tried every thing, each pleasure, each beauty, and found it very
empty. People, he writes, should be taught by my example; they can not
go beyond me--"What can he do that comes after the king?"

It is very doubtful whether, to an untried or a young man, the warnings
of Solomon, or the outpourings of that griefful prophet whose name now
passes for a lamentation, have done much good. Hope balances caution,
and "springs eternal in the human breast." The old man fails, but the
young constantly fancies he shall succeed. "Solomon," he cries, "did not
know every thing;" but in a few years his own disappointments tell him
how true the king's words are, and he cherishes the experience he has
bought. But experience does not serve him in every case; it has been
said that it is simply like the stern-lights of a ship, which lighten
the path she has passed over, but not that which she is about to
traverse. To know one's self is the hardest lesson we can learn. Few of
us ever realize our true position; few see that they are like Bunyan's
hero in the midst of Vanity Fair, and that all about them are snares,
illusions, painted shows, real troubles, and true miseries, many trials
and few enjoyments.

Perhaps the bitterest feelings in our life are those which we
experience, when boys and girls, at the failures of our friendships and
our loves. We have heard of false friends; we have read of deceit in
books; but we know nothing about it, and we hardly believe what we hear.
Our friend is to be true as steel. He is always to like us, and we him.
He is a second Damon, we a Pythias. We remember the fond old stories of
celebrated friendships; how one shared his fortune, another gave his
life. Our friend is just of that sort; he is noble, true, grand, heroic.
Of course, he is wonderfully generous. We talk of him; he will praise
us. The whole people around, who laugh at the sudden warmth, we regard
as old fogies, who do not understand life half as well as we do. But by
and by our friend vanishes; the image which we thought was gold we find
made of mere clay. We grow melancholy; we are fond of reading Byron's
poetry; the sun is not nearly so bright nor the sky so blue as it used
to be. We sing, with the noble poet--

    "My days are in the yellow leaf,
    The flowers and fruits of love are gone;
    The worm, the canker, and the grief
    Are mine alone.!"

We cease to believe in friendship; we quote old saws, and fancy
ourselves cruelly used. We think ourselves philosophic martyrs, when the
simple truth is, that we are disappointed.

The major part of the misery in marriage arises from the false estimate
which we make of married happiness. A young man, who is a pure and good
one, when he starts in life is very apt to fancy all women angels. He
loves and venerates his mother; he believes her better, purer far, than
his father, because his school-days have taught him practically what men
are; but he does not yet know what women are. His sisters are angels
too, and the wife he is about to marry, the best, the purest woman in
the world, also an angel, of course. Marriage soon opens his eyes. It
would be out of the course of nature for every body to secure an angel;
and the young husband finds that he has married a woman of the ordinary
pattern--not a whit better on the whole than man; perhaps worse, because
weaker. The high-flown sentiment is all gone, the romantic ideas fade
down to the light of common day. "The bloom of young desire, the purple
light of love," as Milton writes in one of the most beautiful lines ever
penned, too often pass away as well, and a future of misery is opened up
on the basis of disappointment. After all, the difficulty to be got over
is this--how is mankind to be taught to take a just estimate of things?
Is it possible to put old heads upon young shoulders? Is not youth a
perpetual state of intoxication? Is not every thing better and brighter
far then than in middle life? These are the questions to be solved, and
once solved we shall be happy; we shall have learnt the great lesson,
that whatever is, is ordained by a great and wise power, and that we are
therewith to be content.

A kindly consideration for others is the best method in the world to
adopt, to ease off our own troubles; and this consideration is to be
cultivated very easily. There is not one of those who will take up this
book who is perfectly happy, and not one who does not fancy that he or
she might be very much better off. Perhaps ten out of every dozen have
been disappointed in life. They are not precisely what they should be.
The wise poor man, in spite of his wisdom, envies the rich fool; and the
fool--if he has any appreciation--envies the wisdom of the other. One is
too tall, the other is too short; ill-health plagues a third, and a bad
wife a fourth; and so on. Yet there is not one of the sorrows or
troubles that we have but might be reasoned away. The short man can not
add a cubit to his stature; but he may think, after all, that many great
heroes have been short, and that it is the mind, not the form, that
makes the man. Napoleon the Great, who had high-heeled boots, and was,
to be sure, hardly a giant in stature, once looked at a picture of
Alexander, by David. "Ah!" said he, taking snuff, with a pleased air,
"Alexander was shorter than I." The hero last mentioned is he who cried
because he had no more worlds to conquer, and who never thought of
conquering himself. But if Alexander were disappointed about another
world, his courtiers were much more so because they were not Alexanders.
But the world would not have cared for a surplus of them; one was
enough. Conquerers are very pleasant fellows, no doubt, and are
disappointed and sulky because they can not gain more battles; but we
poor frogs in the world are quite satisfied with one King Stork.

If we look at a disappointment as a lesson, we soon take the sting out
of it. A spider will teach us that. He is watching for a fly, and away
the nimble fellow flies. The spider upon this runs round his net to see
whether there be any holes, and to mend them. When doing so, he comes
upon an old body of one of his victims, and he commences again on it,
with a pious ejaculation of "Better luck next time." So one of the
greatest and wisest missionaries whom we have ever had, tried, when a
boy, to climb a tree. He fell down, and broke his leg. Seriously lamed,
he went on crutches for six months, and at the end of that time quietly
set about climbing the tree again, and succeeded. He had, in truth, a
reserve fund of good-humor and sound sense, saw where he failed, and
conquered it. His disappointment was worth twenty dozen successes to
him, and to the world too. It is a good rule, also, never to make too
sure of any thing, and never to put too high a price on it. Every thing
is worth doing well; every thing, presuming you like it, is worth
having. The girl you fall in love with may be silly and ill-favored; but
what of that? she is your love. "'Tis a poor fancy of mine own to like
that which none other man will have," says the fool Touchstone; but he
speaks like a wise man. He is wiser than the melancholy Jacques in the
same play, who calls all people fools, and mopes about preaching wise
saws. If our young men were as wise, there would not be half the
ill-assorted marriages in the world, and there would be fewer single
women. If they only chose by sense or fancy, or because they saw some
good quality in a girl--if they were not all captivated by the face
alone, every Jill would have her Jack, and pair off happily, like the
lovers in a comedy. But it is not so. We can not live without illusions;
we can not, therefore, subsist without disappointments. They, too,
follow each other as the night the day, the shade the sunshine; they are
as inseparable as life and death.

The difference of our conditions alone places a variety in these
illusions; perhaps the lowest of us have the brightest, just as
Cinderella, sitting amongst the coals, dreamed of the ball and beautiful
prince as well as her sisters. "Bare and grim to tears," says Emerson,
"is the lot of the children I saw yesterday; yet not the less they hung
it round with frippery romance, like the children of the happiest
fortune, and would talk of 'the dear cottage where so many joyful hours
had flown.' Well, this thatching of hovels is the custom of the country.
Women, more than all, are the element and kingdom of illusion." Happy is
it that they are so. These fancies and illusions bring forth the
inevitable disappointments, but they carry life on with a swing. If
every hovel-born child had sat down at his doorstep, and taken true
stock of himself, and had said, "I am a poor miserable child, weak in
health, without knowledge, with little help, and can not do much," we
should have wanted many a hero. We should have had no Stephenson, no
Faraday, no Arkwright, and no Watt. Our railways would have been
unbuilt, and the Atlantic Ocean would have been unbridged by steam. But
hope, as phrenologists tells us, lies above caution, and has dangerous
and active neighbors--wit, imagination, language, ideality--so the poor
cottage is hung round with fancies, and the man exists to help his
fellows. He may fail; but others take up his tangled thread, and unravel
it, and carry on the great business of life.

The constantly cheerful man, who survives his blighted hopes and
disappointments, who takes them just for what they are--lessons, and
perhaps blessings in disguise--is the true hero. He is like a strong
swimmer; the waves dash over him, but he is never submerged. We can not
help applauding and admiring such a man; and the world, good-natured and
wise in its verdict, cheers him when he gains the goal. There may be
brutality in the sport, but there can be no question as to the merit,
when the smaller prizefighter, who receives again and again his
adversary's knockdown blow, again gets up and is ready for the fray. Old
General Blucher was not a lucky general. He was beaten almost every time
he ventured to battle; but in an incredible space of time he had
gathered together his routed army, and was as formidable as before. The
Germans liked the bold old fellow, and called, and still call him,
Marshal Forwards. He had his disappointments, no doubt, but turned them,
like the oyster does the speck of sand which annoys it, to a pearl. To
our minds, the best of all these heroes is Robert Hall, the preacher,
who, after falling on the ground in paroxysms of pain, would rise with a
smile, and say, "I suffered much, but I did not cry out, did I? did I
cry out?" Beautiful is this heroism. Nature, base enough under some
aspects, rises into grandeur in such an example, and shoots upwards to
an Alpine height of pure air and cloudless sunshine; the bold, noble,
and kindly nature of the man, struggling against pain, and asking, in an
apologetic tone, "Did I cry out?" whilst his lips were white with
anguish, and his tongue, bitten through in the paroxysm, was red with
blood!

There is a companion picture of ineffaceable grandeur to this in Plato's
"Phoedo," where Socrates, who has been unchained simply that he may
prepare for death, sits upon his bed, and, rubbing his leg gently where
the iron had galled it, begins, not a complaint against fate, or his
judges, or the misery of present death, but a grateful little
reflection. "What an unaccountable thing, my friends, that seems to be
which men call pleasure; and how wonderful it is related to that which
appears to be its contrary--pain, in that they will not both be present
to a man at the same time; yet if any one pursues and attains the one,
he is almost always compelled to receive the other, as if they were both
united together from one head." Surely true philosophy, if we may call
so serene a state of mind by that hackneyed word, never reached,
unaided, a purer height!

There is one thing certain, which contains a poor comfort, but a strong
one--a poor one, because it reduces us all to the same level--it is
this: we may be sure that not one of us is without disappointment. The
footman is as badly off as his master, and the master as the footman.
The courtier is disappointed of his place, and the minister of his
ambition. Cardinal Wolsey lectures his secretary Cromwell, and tells him
of his disappointed ambition; but Cromwell had his troubles as well.
Henry the Eighth, the king who broke them both, might have put up the
same prayer; and the pope, who was a thorn in Harry's side, no doubt had
a peck of disappointments of his own. Nature not only abhors a vacuum,
but she utterly repudiates an entirely successful man. There probably
never lived one yet to whom the morning did not bring some disaster, the
evening some repulse. John Hunter, the greatest, most successful
surgeon, the genius, the wonder, the admired of all, upon whose words
they whose lives had been spent in science hung, said, as he went to his
last lecture, "If I quarrel with any one to-night, it will kill me." An
obstinate surgeon of the old school denied one of his assertions, and
called him a liar. It was enough. Hunter was carried into the next room,
and died. He had for years suffered from a diseased heart, and was quite
conscious of his fate. That was his disappointment. Happy are they who,
in this world of trial, meet their disappointments in their youth, not
in their old age; then let them come and welcome, not too thick to
render us morose, but like Spring mornings, frosty but kindly, the cold
of which will kill the vermin, but will let the plant live; and let us
rely upon it, that the best men (and women, too) are those who have been
early disappointed.

       *       *       *       *       *



XXV.

THE THREE KINGS.


AN OLD STORY IN A NEW LIGHT.


    Gaspar, a king and shepherd,
     Alone at the door of his tent,
    Thus mused, his eyes uplifted
     And fixed on the firmament:

    "Is it a dream, this vision
     That haunts me day and night,
    This beautiful manifestation
     Of some eternal delight?

    God set me to watching and waiting
     Long years and years ago,
    Waiting and watching for something
     My heart could not forego.

    I caught the hope of the nations,
     The desire of the common heart,
    Which grew to an expectation
     That would not from me depart.

    My soul was filled with hunger
     Deeper than I can tell,
    The while I watched for the shining
     Of the Star in Israel.

    O Star, to arise in Jacob!
     I cried as my heart grew bold;
    O Star, to arise in Jacob,
     By prophecy seen of old!

    For the sight of Thee I am dying,
     For the joy of Thy Beautiful Face!
    Of Thy coming give me a token,
     Grant me this favor and grace!

    At length there came an answer
     Flaming the desolate year,
    A revelation of beauty,
     A more than mortal cheer;

    For afar in the kindly heavens
     The blessed token I saw!
    And now my life is transfigured,
     And lost in a nameless awe.

    In a nameless awe I wander,
     As one with a joy untold,
    Too great for his own defining,
     Too great for him to withhold.

    But deep in my heart is the secret,
     And in yonder beckoning Star,
    And I must wait for the telling
     Until I can hasten afar,--

    Until I can find in travel
     A heart akin to mine,
    That day and night is adoring
     And imploring beauty divine.

    And so I will share the gladness
     Which God intends for the world;
    And so will I lift the banner,
     To remain forever unfurled."

    Hardly had Gaspar ended
     The musing he loved so well,
    When he heard the dreamy tinkle
     Of a distant camel-bell.

    He set his tent in order;
     He brought forth of his best,
    After the Arab custom,
     To welcome the coming guest.

    Who is this eager stranger
     Dismounted so soon at the door?
    A king from another kingdom,
     Who has traveled the desert o'er,

    In search of the same communion
     That Gaspar was longing for.
    And before of food he tasted,
     Thus spake King Melchior:

    "O Gaspar, God hath sent me
     In the light of a peaceful Star,
    To tell thee, my royal brother,
     What my sweet communings are.

    My life has been hid with Nature
     For many a quiet year,
    And in the hearts of my people,
     Whose love hath cast out fear.

    And I have been a dweller
     With God, who is everywhere,
    On earth, in the stars, the Spirit
     Sublimest, calmest, most fair.

    Among his mediators
     And messengers of rest,
    Which fill the earth and the heavens,
     The stars I reckoned the best.

    To the stars I gave my study,
     I watched them rise and set,
    And heard the music of silence
     My soul can not forget;--

    The music that seemed prophetic
     Of the reign of peace to come,
    When men shall live as lovers
     In the quiet of one dear home.

    But contemplation only
     My heart could not satisfy:
    I longed for the very presence
     The stars did prophesy,

    And eagerly looked for a token
     Of heaven descended to earth,
    A manifestation to tell me
     The Prince had come to his birth--

    The Prince to rule the nations,
     The blessed Prince of Peace,
    Through the scepter of whose kingdom
     Confusion and war shall cease.

    And God to me has been gracious,
     Though one of his children the least,
    For I have seen his token
     All glorious in the east.

    Yea, God to me has been gracious,
     And shown me the way of love,
    A revelation of goodness
     As fair as heaven above."

    The kings sat down together,
     Communed in the breaking of bread,
    And each the heart of the other
     As an open volume read.

    They felt the new force within them
     Through fellowship increase:
    The one he called it beauty,
     The other named it peace.

    All through the silent night-tide
     Their thoughts one burden bore:
    There was a joy eternal
     Their longing souls before.

    But still they waited, waited,
     They hardly knew what for.
    "What lack we yet, O Gaspar!"
     At length asked Melchior.

    "Three lights in yonder heaven
     Wait on the polar star.
    Hast eyes to read the poem?
     Dost see how calm they are?

    _Three_ lights in yonder heaven
     Wait on the polar star;
    But we are _two_," said Gaspar.
    "Not _two_, but _three_ we are,"

    Belthazzar said, dismounting,
     Another king from far;
    "And we whom God hath chosen
     Follow a greater Star.

    O, what are peace and beauty,
     Except they stir the soul
    And make the man a hero,
     To gain some happier goal?

    O, what are peace and beauty
     That stop this side of God,
    Though infinite the distance
     Remaining to be trod?"

    In haste, in haste they mounted,
     The kings in God's employ,
    And quickly peace and beauty
     Began to change to joy.

    They left behind their kingdoms
     Whose lure was far too small,
    To keep them apart from the kingdom
     Of Him who is all in all.

    They left behind their people,
     Of loving and loved a host,
    The first of the thronging Gentiles,
     To love the Redeemer most.

    They left behind possessions,
     Their flocks in all their prime,
    In haste to greet the Shepherd
     Whose charge is the most sublime.

    They passed through hostile regions;
     For fear they halted not;
    And weariness and hunger
     Were less than things forgot.

    So on and on they hastened
     Where they never before had trod,
    And the flaming Guide that led them,
     Was ever the Glory of God.

    By night in yonder heavens,
     Within their hearts by day,
    As of old the blessed Shekinah
     Along the Red Sea way.

    And they have troubled Herod
     And left Jerusalem,
    The joy-giving Star before them,
     The Star of Bethlehem.

    And they have seen and worshiped
     The Everlasting Child,
    In whom sweet Truth and Mercy
     Were never unreconciled.

    They have kissed the Beauty of Heaven,
     Incarnate on the earth,
    The Babe in the lap of Mary,
     Of whom He came to his birth.

    Their gifts of love they have rendered
     Unto the new-born King,
    Their gold and myrrh and frankincense,
     The best that they could bring.

    And vanished the Star forever,
     When they turned from the Child away?
    Shone it not then in their bosoms,
     The light of Eternal Day?

    They could not return to Herod--
     Too precious for any swine,
    The pearls which they had gathered
     Out of the Sea Divine!

    O Vision of the Redeemer,
     In which faith has struggled to sight!
    They carried it back to their country,
     And published it day and night.

    They carried it back to their country,
     The vision since Eden's fall,
    Which seen afar off has sweetened
     The wormwood and the gall.

    And it has become the story
     Of every triumphant soul,
    That in seeking the Eternal
     Reaches a blessed goal.

       *       *       *       *       *



XXVI.

FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE.


THE HEROINE OF THE CRIMEA.


"The care of the poor," said Hannah More, herself one of the most
illustrious women of her time, "is essentially the profession of women."
In her own person, Florence Nightingale has proved this; and not in one
or two cases, but by a whole life passed in devotion to the needs of the
poor and humble, the sick and the distressed. Comparatively little was
known of Miss Nightingale before the year 1854, when the needs of the
English army in the Crimea called forth the heroism of thousands. Then
it was that Florence Nightingale and other heroic women went out to the
East, and personally succored the wounded, comforted the weak-hearted,
and smoothed the pillows of the dying.

Miss Nightingale is every way a remarkable woman. The daughter of an
Englishman, W. Shore Nightingale, of Embly Park, Hampshire, she was born
in Florence, in the year 1823, and from this fair city she received her
patronymic. From her earliest youth she was accustomed to visit the
poor, and, as she advanced in years, she studied in the schools,
hospitals, and reformatory institutions of London, Edinburgh, and other
principal cities of England, besides making herself familiar with
similar places on the Continent. In 1851, "when all Europe," says a
recent writer, "seemed to be keeping holiday in honor of the Great
Exhibition, she took up her abode in an institution at Kaiserwerth, on
the Rhine, where Protestant sisters of mercy are trained for the
business of nursing the sick, and other offices of charity. For three
months she remained in daily and nightly attendance, accumulating the
most valuable practical experience, and then returned home to patiently
wait until an occasion should arise for its exercise. This occasion soon
arose; for, after attending various hospitals in London, the cry of
distress which, in 1854, arose from the distressed soldiery in Russia,
enlisted her warmest sympathies. Lady Mary Forester, Mrs. Sidney
Herbert, and other ladies, proposed to send nurses to the seat of war.
The government acceded to their request, and Miss Florence Nightingale,
Mrs. Bracebridge, and thirty-seven others, all experienced nurses, went
out to their assistance, and arrived at Constantinople on the 5th of
November. The whole party were soon established in the hospital at
Scutari, and there pursued their labor of love and benevolence. The good
they did, and the wonders they accomplished, are too well known to need
particular detail. "Every day," says one, writing from the military
hospital, "brought some new combination of misery to be somehow
unraveled by the power ruling in the sisters' town. Each day had its
peculiar trial to one who has taken such a load of responsibility in an
untried field, and with a staff of her own sex, all new to it. She has
frequently been known to stand twenty hours, on the arrival of fresh
detachments of sick, apportioning quarters, distributing stores,
directing the labors of her corps, assisting at the most painful
operations, where her presence might soothe or support, and spending
hours over men dying of cholera or fever. Indeed, the more awful to
every sense any particular case might be, the more certainly might her
slight form be seen bending over him, administering to his case by every
means in her power, and seldom quitting his side until death had
released him. And yet, probably, Miss Nightingale's personal devotion in
the cause was, in her own estimation, the least onerous of her duties.
The difficulties thrown in her way by the formalities of _system_ and
_routine_, and the prejudices of individuals, will scarcely be
forgotten, or the daily contests by which she was compelled to wring
from the authorities a scant allowance of the appliances needed in the
daily offices of her hand, until the co-operation of Mr. Macdonald, the
distributor of the _Times_ fund, enabled her to lay in stores, to
institute separate culinary and washing establishments, and, in short,
to introduce comfort and order into the department over which she
presided." And so, during the greater part of the momentous campaign,
she did the work that she had set out to do, bravely and faithfully, and
earnestly and well; and we may be sure that on her return to England she
was welcomed gladly. The queen presented her with a costly diamond
ornament, to be worn as a decoration, and accompanied it with an
autograph letter, in which her great merits were fully, gracefully, and
gratefully acknowledged. It was proposed to give Miss Nightingale a
public reception; but, with true modesty, she shrunk from appearing in
any other than her own character of nurse and soother, and at once
passed into retirement. But that retirement was not allowed to be
unproductive. So soon as her health, which was at all times delicate,
and had suffered considerably in the Crimea, had been somewhat restored,
she set to work to render the fruits of her experience useful to the
world. In 1859 she produced her "Hints on Nursing," one of the most
useful and practical little books ever published. In it she showed how
much might be done, even with small means, and in the midst of manifold
difficulties and discouragements; and it is no small triumph to the
advocates of female labor, in proper spheres, that Florence Nightingale
and her friends have shown that, as a nurse and comforter on the field
of battle, woman may work out her mission quietly and unostentatiously,
without, at the same time, interfering with the occupations of the other
sex. In Florence Nightingale we have an example of a lady bred in the
lap of luxury, and educated in the school of wealth and exclusiveness,
breaking down the barriers of custom, and proving to the world that true
usefulness belongs to no particular rank, age, or station, but is the
privilege of all Eve's daughters, and that any employment sanctified by
devotion and fervor and earnest desire to do good is essentially womanly
and graceful, and fitting alike to the inheritors of wealth or poverty.

That the absence of feminine influence must tend to materialize, to
sensualize, and to harden, must, we think, be admitted by all the
thoughtful. Woman is instituted by God the guardian of the heart as man
is of the mind. How many husbands, sons, and brothers, driven and
driving, through life in the absorbing excitement of a professional or
mercantile career, can testify to the arresting, reposeful, humanizing
atmosphere of a home where the wife, mother, or sister exerts her kindly
sway; and it is as necessary to the immaterial interests of a nation, to
the prevention of the legislative mind and executive hands being
completely swallowed up in the actual, the present, the mechanical, the
sensible, that some counteracting influence should be allowed and
encouraged similar to that of woman in her home.

To show the influence for good of associations of women for charitable
ends, Mrs. Jameson, in "Sisters of Charity at Home and Abroad," has
collected accounts from history and biography of many Romanist orders of
sisters, besides vindicating and putting forward Miss Nightingale and
her companions as examples. She would not for the world that the woman
should aspire to be the man, and aim at a masculine independence for
which she was never meant; and we thank the noble champion of Protestant
sisterhoods for disclaiming connection with any who want her to take
part in the public and prominent life of society, so to speak. It is
co-operation that is insisted upon--the ministering influence of the
woman with the business tact of the man. In prisons, hospitals,
work-houses, and lunatic asylums the influence of well-trained women, to
soften rigor, charm routine, beguile poverty, and tranquilize
distraction is often wanted; not so much to talk as to think, feel, and
do.

It may be said that there can not be the same need in a Protestant
country as in Roman Catholic countries of communities of single women,
where they are doubtless called for, if only in opposition to the
immense bodies of the higher and lower clergy; but, besides the fact of
there always being a greater number of women in a country in proportion
to the number of men, our commerce requires many sailors, not to mention
our army and navy, which in years past have swallowed up so many.
Surely, ministering women would be a blessing to the widows and orphans
of our gallant soldiers and sailors. There are numbers of daughters in
large families kept in conventual bondage by a father or brother or
their own timidity. Daughters, sisters, widows, we appeal to you! Are
there not some few among you with courage to lead where multitudes would
follow--some to whom a kind Providence has given liberty of action? It
is far from our intention to excite rebellion in families, or tempt away
from the manifest calls of duty; but can not some one begin what others
will continue? And we must not be indefinite: begin what? continue what?
A system which, in this Protestant land, would give to the poor outcast,
the little criminal, the child of the State, a mother as well as a
father; that would give to the wretched of all ages a sister as well as
a brother.

Alluding to Florence Nightingale, Mrs. Jameson says: "No doubt but it
will be through the patience, faith, and wisdom of men and women working
together. In an undertaking so wholly new to our English customs, so
much at variance with the usual education given to women in this
country, we shall meet with perplexities, difficulties--even failures.
All the ladies who have gone to Scutari may not turn out heroines. There
may be vain babblings and scribblings and indiscretions, such as may put
weapons into adverse hands. The inferior and paid nurses may, some of
them, have carried to Scutari bad habits, arising from imperfect
training. Still, let us trust that a principle will be recognized in the
country which will not be again lost sight of. It will be the true, the
lasting glory of Florence Nightingale and her band of devoted assistants
that they have broken through what Goethe calls a Chinese wall of
prejudices--prejudices religious, social, professional--and established
a precedent which will, indeed, multiply the good to all time. No doubt
there are hundreds of women who would now gladly seize the privileges
held out to them by such an example, and crowd to offer their services;
but would they pay the price of such dear and high privileges? Would
they fit themselves duly for the performance of such services, and earn
by distasteful, and even painful studies, the necessary certificates for
skill and capacity? Would they, like Miss Nightingale, go through a
seven years' probation, to try at once the steadiness of their motives
and the steadiness of their nerves? Such a trial is absolutely
necessary; for hundreds of women will fall into the common error of
mistaking an impulse for a vocation. But I do believe that there are
also hundreds who are fitted, or would gladly, at any self-sacrifice,
fit themselves for the work, if the means of doing so were allowed to
them. At present, an English lady has no facilities whatever for
obtaining the information or experience required; no such institutions
are open to her, and yet she is ridiculed for presenting herself without
the competent knowledge! This seems hardly just."

Anticipating objection, Mrs. Jameson says:

"To make or require vows of obedience is objectionable; yet we know that
the voluntary nurses who went to the East were called upon to do what
comes to the same thing--to sign an engagement to obey implicitly a
controlling and administrative power--or the whole undertaking must have
fallen to the ground. Then again, questions about costume have been
mooted, which appear to me wonderfully absurd. It has been suggested
that there should be something of uniformity and fitness in the dress
when on duty, and this seems but reasonable. I recollect once seeing a
lady in a gay, light, muslin dress, with three or four flounces, and
roses under bonnet, going forth to visit her sick poor. The incongruity
struck the mind painfully--not merely as an incongruity, but as an
impropriety--like a soldier going to the trenches in an opera hat and
laced ruffles. Such follies, arising from individual obtuseness, must be
met by regulation dictated by good sense, and submitted to as a matter
of necessity and obligation."

Again, says our authoress, who passed from her sphere of usefulness in
1860:

"It is a subject of reproach, that in this Christendom of ours, the
theory of good we preach should be so far in advance of our practice;
but that which provokes the sneer of the skeptic, and almost kills faith
in the sufferer, lifts up the contemplative mind with hope. Man's
_theory_ of good is God's _reality_; man's experience is the degree to
which he has already worked out, in his human capacity, that divine
reality. Therefore, whatever our practice may be, let us hold fast to
our theories of possible good; let us, at least, however they may outrun
our present powers, keep them in sight, and then our formal, lagging
practice, may in time overtake them. In social morals, as well as in
physical truth, 'the goal of yesterday will be the starting-point of
to-morrow,' and the things before which all England now stands in
admiring wonder will become the simple produce of the common day. This
we hope and believe."

The example of Florence Nightingale, so full of hope and prophecy to
Mrs. Jameson five-and-twenty years ago, has proved indeed an earnest of
better things, which all these years have been passing into realities.
Who shall say how much inspiration the noble band of ministering women
in our civil war derived from the heroine of the Crimea? When the great
occasion arrives, the heavenly impulse is seldom wanting. But God works
through means; and that one example of Christian devotion, so fresh in
the hearts of mothers, wives, and sisters, was an immense help in
developing the self-sacrifice which is latent in every true life. To say
nothing of the new impulse given to the organization of woman's work in
England, it is a matter for thankfulness to be able to note that the
signs of new life in this country are full of promise. In several of our
large cities, notably New York and Philadelphia, institutions have
recently been founded for the training of nurses, and sisterhoods
organized for the better accomplishment of Christian work in hospitals,
asylums, and among the poor and unfortunate--a work, indeed, which has
been done, in one way or another, in all the Christian ages, by every
true follower of the Master.

And here, in conclusion, the thought suggests itself that differences of
organization, whether ecclesiastical or otherwise, should not conceal
from our eyes the true notes of "the communion of the saints," or shut
from our hearts the conditions of inheriting the kingdom prepared from
the foundation of the world: "I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat; I
was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in;
naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in
prison, and ye came unto me."

    O English Nightingale,
    Who hadst the grace to hear
    The dying soldier's far-off wail,
    And pause not for a tear--

    Who, as on angel wings,
    Didst seek the wintry sea,
    To put thy hand to menial things,
    Which were not such to thee;

    And didst, with heaven-born art,
    Where pain implored release,
    To mangled form and broken heart
    Bring healing and sweet peace--

    Thy work was music, song,
    As brave as ever stirred
    A nation's heart; as calm and strong
    As angels ever heard!

Gazing on the modest, unassuming countenance shown in the illustration
which accompanies this sketch, one can imagine the surprised question to
which the King answers in the last day: "Inasmuch as ye have done it
unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

       *       *       *       *       *



XXVII.

SHY PEOPLE


HAWTHORNE-WASHINGTON, IRVING, AND OTHERS--MADAME RECAMIER.


Sympathy is the most delicate tendril of the mind, and the most
fascinating gift which nature can give us. The most precious
associations of the human heart cluster around the word, and we love to
remember those who have sorrowed with us in sorrow, and rejoiced with us
when we were glad. But for the awkward and the shy the sympathetic are
the very worst company. They do not wish to be sympathized with--they
wish to be with people who are cold and indifferent; they like shy
people like themselves. Put two shy people in a room together, and they
begin to talk with unaccustomed glibness. A shy woman always attracts a
shy man. But women who are gifted with that rapid, gay impressionability
which puts them _en rapport_ with their surroundings, who have fancy and
an excitable disposition, a quick susceptibility to the influences
around them, are very charming in general society, but they are terrible
to the awkward and the shy. They sympathize too much, they are too aware
of that burning shame which the sufferer desires to conceal.

The moment a shy person sees before him a perfectly unsympathetic
person, one who is neither thinking nor caring for him, his shyness
begins to flee; the moment that he recognizes a fellow-sufferer he
begins to feel a re-enforcement of energy. If he be a lover, especially,
the almost certain embarrassment of the lady inspires him with hope and
renewed courage. A woman who has a bashful lover, even if she is
afflicted with shyness, has been known to find a way to help the poor
fellow out of his dilemma more than once.


HAWTHORNE.


Who has left us the most complete and most tragic history of shyness
which belongs to "that long rosary on which the blushes of a life are
strung," found a woman (the most perfect character, apparently, who ever
married and made happy a great genius) who, fortunately for him, was shy
naturally, although without that morbid shyness which accompanied him
through life. Those who knew Mrs. Hawthorne found her possessed of great
fascination of manner, even in general society, where Hawthorne was
quite impenetrable. The story of his running down to the Concord River
and taking boat to escape his visitors has been long familiar to us all.
Mrs. Hawthorne, no doubt, with a woman's tact and a woman's generosity,
overcame her own shyness in order to receive those guests whom Hawthorne
ran away from, and through his life remained his better angel. It was
through this absence of expressed sympathy that English people became
very agreeable to Hawthorne. He describes, in his "Note-Book," a speech
made by him at a dinner in England: "When I was called upon," he says,
"I rapped my head, and it returned a hollow sound." He had, however,
been sitting next to a shy English lawyer, a man who won upon him by his
quiet, unobtrusive simplicity, and who, in some well-chosen words,
rather made light of dinner-speaking and its terrors. When Hawthorne
finally got up and made his speech, his "voice, meantime, having a
far-off and remote echo," and when, as we learn from others, a burst of
applause greeted a few well-chosen words drawn from that full well of
thought, that pellucid rill of "English undefiled," the unobtrusive
gentleman by his side applauded and said to him, "It was handsomely
done." The compliment pleased the shy man. It is the only compliment to
himself which Hawthorne ever recorded.

Now, had Hawthorne been congratulated by a sympathetic, effusive
American, who had clapped him on the back, and who had said, "O, never
fear--you will speak well!" he would have said nothing. The shy sprite
in his own eyes would have read in his neighbor's eyes the dreadful
truth that his sympathetic neighbor would have indubitably betrayed--a
fear that he would _not_ do well. The phlegmatic and stony Englishman
neither felt nor cared whether Hawthorne spoke well or ill; and,
although pleased that he did speak well, invested no particular sympathy
in the matter, either for or against, and so spared Hawthorne's shyness
the last bitter drop in the cup, which would have been a recognition of
his own moral dread. Hawthorne bitterly records his own sufferings. He
says, in one of his books, "At this time I acquired this accursed habit
of solitude." It has been said that the Hawthorne family were, in the
earlier generation, afflicted with shyness almost as a
disease--certainly a curious freak of nature in a family descended from
robust sea-captains. It only goes to prove how far away are the
influences which control our natures and our actions.

Whether, if Hawthorne had not been a shy man, afflicted with a sort of
horror of his species at times, always averse to letting himself go,
miserable and morbid, we should have been the inheritors of the great
fortune which he has left us, is not for us to decide. Whether we should
have owned "The Gentle Boy," the immortal "Scarlet Letter," "The House
with Seven Gables," "The Marble Faun," and all the other wonderful
things which grew out of that secluded and gifted nature, had he been
born a cheerful, popular, and sympathetic boy, with a dancing-school
manner, instead of an awkward and shy youth (although an exceedingly
handsome one), we can not tell. That is the great secret behind the
veil. The answer is not yet made, the oracle has not spoken, and we must
not invade the penumbra of genius.


WASHINGTON AND IRVING.


It has always been a comfort to the awkward and the shy that Washington
could not make an after-dinner speech; and the well-known anecdote--"Sit
down, Mr. Washington, your modesty is even greater than your
valor"--must have consoled many a voiceless hero. Washington Irving
tried to welcome Dickens, but failed in the attempt, while Dickens was
as voluble as he was gifted. Probably the very surroundings of
sympathetic admirers unnerved both Washington and Irving, although there
are some men who can never "speak on their legs," as the saying goes, in
any society.

Other shy men--men who fear general society, and show embarrassment in
the every-day surroundings--are eloquent when they get on their feet.
Many a shy boy at college has astonished his friends by his ability in
an after-dinner speech. Many a voluble, glib boy, who has been appointed
the orator of the occasion, fails utterly, disappoints public
expectation, and sits down with an uncomfortable mantle of failure upon
his shoulders. Therefore, the ways of shyness are inscrutable. Many a
woman who has never known what it is to be bashful or shy has, when
called upon to read a copy of verses, even to a circle of intimate
friends, lost her voice, and has utterly broken down, to her own and her
friends' great astonishment.

The voice is a treacherous servant; it deserts us, trembles, makes a
failure of it, is "not present or accounted for" often when we need its
help. It is not alone in the shriek of the hysterical that we learn of
its lawlessness; it is in its complete retirement. A bride often, even
when she felt no other embarrassment, has found that she had no voice
with which to make her responses. It simply was not there.

A lady who was presented at court, and who felt--as she described
herself wonderfully at her ease, began talking, and, without wishing to
speak loud, discovered that she was shouting like a trumpeter. The
somewhat unusual strain which she had put upon herself during the ordeal
of being presented at the English court revenged itself by an outpouring
of voice which she could not control.

Many shy people have recognized in themselves this curious and
unconscious elevation of voice. It is not so common as a loss of voice,
but it is quite as uncontrollable.

The bronchial tubes play us another trick when we are frightened; the
voice is the voice of somebody else; it has no resemblance to our own.
Ventriloquism might well study the phenomena of shyness, for the voice
becomes base that was treble, and soprano that which was contralto.

"I dislike to have Wilthorpe come to see me," said a very shy woman, "I
know my voice will squeak so." With her Wilthorpe, who for some reason
drove her into an agony of shyness, had the effect of making her talk in
a high, unnatural strain, excessively fatiguing.

The presence of one's own family, who are naturally painfully
sympathetic, has always had upon the bashful and the shy a most evil
effect.

"I can never plead a case before my father," "Nor I before my son," said
two distinguished lawyers. "If mamma is in the room, I shall never be
able to get through my part," said a young amateur actor.

But here we must pause to note another exception in the laws of shyness.

In the false perspective of the stage, shyness often disappears. The shy
man, speaking the words and assuming the character of another, often
loses his shyness. It is himself of whom he is afraid, not of Tony
Lumpkin or of Charles Surface, of Hamlet or of Claude Melnotte. Behind
their masks he can speak well; but if he at his own dinner-table essays
to speak, and mamma watches him with sympathetic eyes, and his brothers
and sisters are all listening, he fails.

    "Lord Percy sees me fall."

Yet it is with our own people that we must stand or fall, live or die;
it is in our own circle that we must conquer our shyness.

Now, these reflections are not intended as an argument against sympathy
properly expressed. A reasonable and judiciously expressed sympathy with
our fellow-beings is the very highest attribute of our nature. "It
unravels secrets more surely than the highest critical faculty. Analysis
of motives that sway men and women is like the knife of the anatomist;
it works on the dead. Unite sympathy to observation, and the dead spring
to life." It is thus to the shy, in their moments of tremor, that we
should endeavor to be calmly sympathetic; not cruel, but indifferent,
unobservant.

Now, women of genius, who obtain a reflected comprehension of certain
aspects of life through sympathy, often arrive at the admirable result
of apprehending the sufferings of the shy without seeming to observe
them. Such a woman, in talking to a shy man, will not seem to see him;
she will prattle on about herself, or tell some funny anecdote of how
she was tumbled out into the snow, or how she spilled her glass of
claret at dinner, or how she got just too late to the lecture; and while
she is thus absorbed in her little improvised autobiography, the shy man
gets hold of himself, and ceases to be afraid of her. This is the secret
of tact.


MADAME RECAMIER.


Madame Recamier, the famous beauty, was always somewhat shy. She was not
a wit, but she possessed the gift of drawing out what was best in
others. Her biographers have blamed her that she had not a more
impressionable temper, that she was not more sympathetic. Perhaps (in
spite of her courage when she took up contributions in the churches
dressed as a Neo-Greek) she was always hampered by shyness. She
certainly attracted all the best and most gifted of her time, and had a
noble fearlessness in friendship, and a constancy which she showed by
following Madame de Stael into exile, and in her devotion to Ballenche
and Chateaubriand. She had the genius of friendship, a native sincerity,
a certain reality of nature--those fine qualities which so often
accompany the shy that we almost, as we read biography and history,
begin to think that shyness is but a veil for all the virtues.

Perhaps to this shyness, or to this hidden sympathy, did Madame Recamier
owe that power over all men which survived her wonderful beauty. The
blind and poor old woman of the Abbaye had not lost her charm; the most
eminent men and women of her day followed her there, and enjoyed her
quiet (not very eloquent) conversation. She had a wholesome heart; it
kept her from folly when she was young, from a too over-facile
sensitiveness to which an impressionable, sympathetic temperament would
have betrayed her. Her firm, sweet nature was not flurried by
excitement; she had a steadfastness in her social relations which has
left behind an everlasting renown to her name.

And what are, after all, these social relations which call for so much
courage, and which can create so much suffering to most of us as we
conquer for them our awkwardness and our shyness? Let us pause for a
moment, and try to be just. Let us contemplate these social ethics,
which call for so much that is, perhaps, artificial and troublesome and
contradictory. Society, so long as it is the congregation of the good,
the witty, the bright, the intelligent, and the gifted, is the thing
most necessary to us all. We are apt to like it and its excitements
almost too well, or to hate it, with its excesses and its mistakes, too
bitterly. We are rarely just to society.

The rounded, and harmonious, and temperate understanding and use of
society is, however, the very aim and end of education. We are born to
live with each other and not for ourselves. If we are cheerful, our
cheerfulness was given to us to make bright the lives of those about us;
if we have genius, that is a sacred trust; if we have beauty, wit,
joyousness, it was given us for the delectation of others, not for
ourselves; if we are awkward and shy, we are bound to break the crust,
and to show that within us is beauty, cheerfulness, and wit. "It is but
the fool who loves excess." The best human being should moderately like
society.--MRS. JOHN SHERWOOD.

       *       *       *       *       *



XXVIII.

JOHN MARSHALL

(BORN 1755--DIED 1835.)


IN THE REVOLUTIONARY ARMY--HIS MARRIAGE--LAW LECTURES--AT THE BAR--HIS
INTELLECTUAL POWERS--ON THE BENCH.


The family stock of Marshall, like that of Jefferson, was Welsh, as is
generally the case in names with a double letter, as a double f or a
double l. This Welsh type was made steady by English infusions. The
first Marshall came from Wales in 1730, and settled in the same county
where Washington, Monroe, and the Lees were born. He was a poor man, and
lived in a tract called "The Forest." His eldest son, Thomas, went out
to Fauquier County, at the foot of the Blue Ridge, and settled on Goose
Creek, under Manassas Gap. This Thomas Marshall had been a playmate of
George Washington, and, like him, was a mountain surveyor, and they
loved each other, and when the Revolutionary War broke out both went
into the service, Thomas Marshall being colonel of one of the Virginia
regiments. His son, John Marshall, who was not twenty years old when the
conflict began, became a lieutenant under his father. The mother of John
Marshall was named Mary Kieth, and his grandmother Elizabeth Markham,
and the latter was born in England.

Marshall's father had a good mind, not much education; but he was a
great reader, and especially loved poetry, and he taught his son to
commit poetry to memory, and to model his mind on the clear diction and
heroic strain of poets like Milton, Shakespeare, Dryden, and Pope. In
these books of poetry the great chief-justice found the springs to
freshen his own good character. To the last day of his life he loved
literature, and was especially fond of novels, and of books written by
females. He held the view that the United States must be a literary
nation in the sense of having great and noble authors to leaven its
people and teach them high thoughts. His schools were chiefly down in
the Chesapeake Bay, in the county of his birth, and his teachers were
poor Presbyterian clergymen from Scotland, who at that period were the
teachers of nearly all the Middle States, from New York southward. He
knew some Latin, but not very much. One of his teachers was his own
father, who, with a large family, took delight in training this boy.


OUR JUDGE ON DRILL.


In 1775 the country hunters and boors on the Blue Ridge Mountain went to
their mustering place, and, the senior officer being absent, this young
Marshall, with a gun on his shoulder, began to show them how to use it.
Like them, he wore a blue hunting shirt and trousers of some stuff
fringed with white, and in his round hat was a buck-tail for a cockade.
He was about six feet high, lean and straight, with a dark skin, black
hair, a pretty low forehead, and rich, dark small eyes, the whole making
a face dutiful, pleasing, and modest. After the drill was over he stood
up and told those strange, wild mountaineers, who had no newspapers and
knew little of the world, what the war was about. He described to them
the battle of Lexington. They listened to him for an hour, as if he had
been some young preacher.

Thus was our great chief-justice introduced to public life. He had come
to serve, and found that he must instruct. When he marched with the
regiment of these mountaineers, who carried tomahawks and
scalping-knives, the people of Williamsburg trembled for their lives. At
that time, the country near Harper's Ferry was the Far West. In a very
little while, these mountaineers, by mingled stratagem and system,
defeated Lord Dunmore, very much as Andrew Jackson defeated the British
at New Orleans thirty-five years later. Marshall then went with the army
to the vicinity of Philadelphia; was in the battles of Brandywine and
Germantown, and in the long Winter of Valley Forge. Almost naked at that
place, he showed an abounding good-nature, that kept the whole camp
content. If he had to eat meat without bread, he did it with a jest.
Among his men he had the influence of a father, though a boy. He was so
much better read than others that he frequently became a judge advocate,
and in this way he got to know Alexander Hamilton, who was on
Washington's staff. Marshall was always willing to see the greatness of
another person, and Judge Story says that he said of Hamilton that he
was not only of consummate ability as both soldier and statesman, but
that, in great, comprehensive mind, sound principle, and purity of
patriotism, no nation ever had his superior.

It became Marshall's duty, in the course of twenty-five years, to try
for high treason the man who killed his friend Hamilton, but he
conducted that trial with such an absence of personal feeling that it
was among the greatest marvels of our legal history. He could neither be
influenced by his private grief for Hamilton, nor by Jefferson's
attempts as President to injure Burr, nor by Burr himself, whom he
charged the jury to acquit, but whom he held under bond on another
charge, to Burr's rage. Marshall was in the battle of Monmouth, and at
the storming of Stony Point, and at the surprise of Jersey City. In the
army camps, he became acquainted with the Northern men, and so far from
comparing invidiously with them, he recognized them all as
fellow-countrymen and brave men, and never in his life was there a
single trace of sectionalism.


HIS MARRIAGE.


Near the close of the Revolution, Marshall went to Yorktown, somewhat
before Cornwallis occupied it, to pay a visit, and there he saw Mary
Ambler at the age of fourteen. She became his wife in 1783. Her father
was Jacqueline Ambler, the treasurer of the State of Virginia. She lived
with him forty-eight years, and died in December, 1831. He often
remarked in subsequent life that the race of lovers had changed. Said
he: "When I married my wife, all I had left after paying the minister
his fee was a guinea, and I thought I was rich." General Burgoyne, whom
Marshall's fellow-soldiers so humiliated, wrote some verses, and among
these were the following, which Marshall said over to himself often when
thinking of his wife:

    "Encompassed in an angel's frame,
      An angel's virtues lay;
    Too soon did heaven assert its claim
      And take its own away.
    My Mary's worth, my Mary's charms,
      Can never more return.
    What now shall fill these widowed arms?
      Ah, me! my Mary's urn."


LAW LECTURES.


The only law lectures Marshall ever attended were those of Chancellor
Wythe, at William and Mary College, Williamsburg, while the Revolution
was still going on. Before the close of the war he was admitted to the
bar, but the courts were all suspended until after Cornwallis's
surrender. Before the war closed Marshall walked from near Manassas Gap,
or rather from Oak Hill, his father's residence, to Philadelphia on foot
to be vaccinated. The distance was nearly two hundred miles; but he
walked about thirty-five miles a day, and when he got to Philadelphia
looked so shabby that they repelled him at the hotel; but this only made
him laugh and find another hotel. He never paid much attention to his
dress, and observed through life the simple habits he found agreeable as
a boy. For two years he practiced in one rough, native county; but it
soon being evident that he was a man of extraordinary grasp of a law
case, he removed to Richmond, which had not long been the capital, and
there he lived until his death, which happened in 1835 in the city of
Philadelphia, whither he had repaired to submit to a second operation.
The first of these operations was cutting to the bladder for the stone,
and he survived it. Subsequently, his liver became enlarged and had
abcesses on it, and his stomach would not retain much nutriment.
Marshall was a social man, and at times convivial; and I should think it
probable that, though he lived to a good old age, these complaints were,
to some extent, engendered by the fried food they insist upon in
Virginia, and addiction to Madeira wine instead of lighter French or
German wines. He was one of the last of the old Madeira drinkers of this
country, like Washington, and his only point of pride was that he had
perhaps the best Madeira at Richmond. Above all other men who ever lived
at Richmond, Virginia, Marshall gives sanctity and character to the
place. His house still stands there, and ought to become the property of
the bar of this country. It is now a pretty old house, made of brick and
moderately roomy.


AT THE BAR.


The basis of Marshall's ability at the bar was his understanding. Not
highly read, he had one of those clear understandings which was equal to
a mill-pond of book-learning. His first practice was among his old
companions in arms, who felt that he was a soldier by nature, and one of
those who loved the fellowship of the camp better than military or
political ambition. Ragged and dissipated, they used to come to him for
protection, and at a time when imprisonment for debt and cruel
executions were in vogue. He not only defended them, but loaned them
money. He lost some good clients by not paying more attention to his
clothing, but these outward circumstances could not long keep back
recognition of the fact that he was the finest arguer of a case at the
Richmond bar, which then contained such men as Edmund Randolph, Patrick
Henry, and later, William Wirt. He was not an orator, did not cultivate
his voice, did not labor hard; but he had the power to penetrate to the
very center of the subject, discover the chief point, and rally all his
forces there. If he was defending a case, he would turn his attention to
some other than the main point, in order to let the prosecution assemble
its powers at the wrong place. With a military eye he saw the strong and
weak positions, and, like Rembrandt painting, he threw all his light on
the right spot. The character of his argument was a perspicuous, easy,
onward, accumulative, reasoning statement. He had but one gesture--to
lift up his hand and bring it down on the place before him constantly.
He discarded fancy or poetry in his arguments. William Wirt said of him,
in a sentence worth committing to memory as a specimen of good style in
the early quarter of this century: "All his eloquence consists in the
apparent deep self-conviction and emphatic earnestness of his manner;
the corresponding simplicity and energy of his style; the close and
logical connection of his thoughts, and the easy graduations by which he
opens his lights on the attentive minds of his hearers. The audience are
never permitted to pause for a moment. There is no stopping to weave
garlands of flowers to hang in festoons around a favorite argument. On
the contrary, every sentence is progressive; every idea sheds new light
on the subject; the listener is kept perpetually in that sweetly
pleasurable vibration with which the mind of man always receives new
truths; the dawn advances with easy but unremitting pace; the subject
opens gradually on the view, until, rising in high relief in all its
native colors and proportions, the argument is consummated by the
conviction of the delighted hearer."

Immediately after the Revolutionary War the State courts were crowded
with business, because of the numerous bankruptcies, arising from war
habits, the changes in the condition of families, repudiation of debts,
false currency, etc. Marshall was one of the first lawyers who rose to
the magnanimity to admit the propriety of a federal judiciary, different
from that of the States. The other lawyers thought it would not do to
take the business away from these courts. They preferred to see the
people hanging around Richmond, with their cases undecided and unheard
on account of the pressure of business, rather than to concede a
national judiciary. All sorts of novel questions were arising at that
time, cases which had no precedents, which the English law-books did not
reach, and where the man of native powers, pushing out like Columbus on
the unknown, soon developed a sturdy strength and self-reliance the mere
popinjay and student of the law could never get. Among the cases he
argued was the British debt case, tried in 1793. The United States now
had its Circuit Court, and Chief-justice Jay presided at Richmond. The
treaty of peace of England provided that the creditors on either side
should meet with no lawful impediment to the recovery of the full value
of all _bona fide_ debts theretofore contracted. The question was
whether debts sequestrated by the Virginia Legislature during the war
came under this treaty. It is said that the Countess of Huntingdon heard
the speeches on this case, and said that every one of the lawyers, if in
England, would have been given a peerage. Patrick Henry broke his voice
down in this case, and never again could speak with his old force.
Marshall surpassed them all in the cogency of his reasoning. At that
time he was thought to be rather lazy. He went into the State
Legislature in 1782, just before he married. His personal influence was
such in Richmond that, although he was constantly in the minority, he
was always elected. His principal amusement was pitching the quoit,
which he did to the end of his days, and could ring the meg, it is said,
at a distance of sixty feet frequently. He arose early in the morning
and went to market without a servant, and brought back his chickens in
one hand and his market basket on the other arm. He never took offense,
and once when a dude stopped him on the street and asked him where there
was a fellow to take home his marketing, Marshall inquired where he
lived, and said, "I will take it for you." After he got home with the
other man's marketing, the dude was much distressed to find that Mr.
Marshall had been his supposed servant.


INTELLECTUAL POWER.


Nevertheless, the intellectual existence of the man was decided. From
the beginning of his life he took the view that while Virginia was the
State of his birth, his country was America; that all he and his
neighbors could accomplish on this planet would be under the great
government which comprehends all, and, true to this one idea, he never
wavered in his life. Mr. Jefferson, who was much his senior, he
distrusted profoundly, regarding him as a man of cunning, lacking in
large faith, and constitutionally biased in mind. In the sketch Marshall
made of General Washington, he said, and it is believed that he referred
to Jefferson: "He made no pretension to that vivacity which fascinates
or to that wit which dazzles, and frequently imposes on the
understanding. More solid than brilliant; judgment, rather than genius,
constituted the most prominent feature of his character. No man has ever
appeared upon the theater of public action whose integrity was more
incorruptible, or whose principles were more perfectly free from the
contamination of those selfish and unworthy passions which find their
nourishment in the conflicts of party. Having no views which required
concealment, his real and avowed motives were the same, and his whole
correspondence does not furnish a single case from which even an enemy
would infer that he was capable, under any circumstances, of stooping to
the employment of duplicity. No truth can be uttered with more
confidence than that his ends were always upright and his means always
pure. He exhibited the rare example of a politician to whom wiles were
totally unknown, and whose professions to foreign governments, and to
his own countrymen, were always sincere. In him was fully exemplified
the real distinction which found existence between wisdom and cunning,
and the importance, as well as the truth of the maxim, that honesty is
the best policy." It is to be noticed that Marshall's "Life of
Washington," though written by the chief-justice of the United States,
was not a success, and passed through only one edition. It gave him more
annoyance than any thing in his life. He wrote it with labor and
sincerity, but he was incapable of writing mere smart, vivacious things,
and, in the attempt to give Washington his due proportions, he
insensibly failed of making a popular book.

Jefferson, who had been urging Tobias Lear, Washington's secretary, to
get out of Washington's papers remarks injurious to himself, was greatly
exercised at the publication of Marshall's book about as much as the
better element dudes are at Blaine's book.

Mr. Marshall, in 1788, assisted to make the new constitution of
Virginia. By the desire of Washington he ran for Congress as a
Federalist. President Washington offered him the place of
attorney-general, which he declined. He also declined the minister to
France, but subsequently accepted the position from President Adams, and
in France was insulted with his fellow-members by Talleyrand. John
Adams, on his return, wished to make him a member of the Supreme Court,
but this he declined, preferring the practice of the law.

It was at Mount Vernon that Washington prevailed upon him to run for
Congress. The story being raised that Patrick Henry was opposed to him,
old Henry came forward and said: "I should rather give my vote to John
Marshall than to any citizen of this State at this juncture, one only
excepted," meaning Washington.

The father of Robert E. Lee was one of the old Federal minority rallying
under Marshall. Marshall had scarcely taken his seat in Congress, in
1799, when Washington died, and he officially announced the death at
Philadelphia, and followed his remarks by introducing the resolutions
drafted by General Lee, which contained the words, "First in war, first
in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen."


ON THE BENCH.


John Marshall was next Secretary of State of John Adams, succeeding
Timothy Pickering. Adams was defeated for re-election, but before he
went out of office he appointed Marshall chief-justice, at the age of
forty-five.

At the head of that great bench sat Marshall more than one-third of a
century. Before him pleaded all the great lawyers of the country, like
William Pinckney, Hugh Legaré, Daniel Webster, Horace Binney, Luther
Martin, and Walter Jones.

John Marshall left as his great legacy to the United States his
interpretation of the Constitution. While chief-justice he became a
member of the Constitutional Convention of Virginia in company with
Madison and Monroe, both of whom had been President. He gave the Federal
Constitution its liberal interpretation, that it was not merely a bone
thrown to the general government, which must be watched with suspicion
while it ate, but that it was a document with something of the
elasticity of our population and climate, and that it was designed to
convey to the general state powers noble enough to give us respect.

Without a spot on his reputation, without an upright enemy, the old man
attended to his duty absolutely, loved argument, encouraged all young
lawyers at the bar, and he lived down to the time of nullification, and
when General Jackson issued his proclamation against the nullifiers John
Marshall and Judge Story went up to the White House and took a glass of
wine with him.

And thus those two old men silently appreciated each other near the end
of their days when the suspicions of Jefferson had resulted in incipient
rebellion that was to break out in less than thirty years, and which
Marshall predicted unless there was a more general assent to the fact
that we were one country, and not a parcel of political
chicken-coops.--GEORGE ALFRED TOWNSEND.

       *       *       *       *       *



XXIX.

A NOBLE MOTHER.


HOW SHE TRAINED HERSELF, AND EDUCATED HER BOYS


Harrietta Rea, in _The Christian Union_, some time ago, drew a picture
of home life in the West, which ought to be framed and hung up in every
household of the land.

In one of the prairie towns of Northern Iowa, where the Illinois Central
Railroad now passes from Dubuque to Sioux City, lived a woman whose
experience repeats the truth that inherent forces, ready to be
developed, are waiting for the emergencies that life may bring.

She was born and "brought up" in New England. With the advantages of a
country school, and a few terms in a neighboring city, she became a fair
scholar--not at all remarkable; she was married at twenty-one to a young
farmer, poor, but intelligent and ambitious. In ten years, after the
death of their parents they emigrated to Iowa, and invested their money
in land that bade fair to increase in value, but far away from
neighbors. Here they lived, a happy family, for five years, when he
died, leaving her, at the age of thirty-five, with four boys, the eldest
nearly fourteen, the youngest nine. The blow came suddenly, and at first
was overwhelming. Alone, in what seemed almost a wilderness, she had no
thought of giving up the farm. It was home. There they must stay and do
the best they could. The prospect of a railroad passing near them, in
time, was good; then some of the land might be sold. A little money bad
been laid by--nothing that she ought to touch for the present. Daniel,
the hired man, who had come out with them, and who was a devoted friend
and servant, she determined to keep--his judgment was excellent in farm
matters. Hitherto the boys had gone regularly to school, a mile or two
away; for a settlement in Iowa was never without its school-house. They
were bright and quick to learn. Their father had been eager to help and
encourage them. Newspapers, magazines, and now and then a good book, had
found their way into this household. Though very fond of reading
herself, with the care of her house she had drifted along, as so many
women do, until the discipline of study, or any special application, had
been almost forgotten. It was the ambition of both parents that their
sons should be well educated. Now Jerry and Thede, the two oldest, must
be kept at home during the summer to work. Nate and Johnnie could help
at night and in the morning. The boys had all been trained to habits of
obedience. They were affectionate, and she knew that she could depend
upon their love.

One evening, alone in her bedroom, she overheard some part of a
conversation as the children were sitting together around the open
fire-place:

"I don't mind the work," said Theodore, "if I could only be learning,
too. Father used to say he wanted me to be a civil engineer."

"If father was here," said eleven-year-old Nate, "you could study
evenings and recite to him. I wish mother could help; but, then I guess
mother's--"

"Help how?" she heard Jerry ask sharply, before Nate could finish his
sentence; and she knew the boy was jealous at once for her. "Isn't she
the best mother in the world?"

"Yes, she is; and she likes stories, too; but I was just thinking, now
that you can't go to school, if she only knew a lot about every thing,
why, she could tell you."

"Well," replied Jerry, with all the gravity of a man, "we must just take
hold and help all we can; it's going to be hard enough for mother. I
just hate to give up school and pitch into work. Thede, you shall go
next Winter, any way."

"Shan't we be lonesome next winter?" said little Johnnie, who had taken
no part in the talk; until now; "won't mother be afraid? I want my
father back," and, without a word of warning, he burst into tears.

Dead silence for a few minutes. The outburst was so sudden, she knew
they were all weeping. It was Jerry again who spoke first: "Don't let
mother see us crying. Come, Johnnie, let's take Bone, and all go down to
the trap;" then she heard them pass out of the house.

Desolation fell upon that poor mother for the next hour. Like a knife,
Nate's remark had passed through her heart, "Father could have helped!"
Couldn't she help her boys, for whom she was ready to die? Was she only
"mother," who prepared their meals and took care of their clothes? She
wanted a part in the very best of their lives. She thought it all over,
sitting up far into the night. If she could only create an interest in
some study that should bind them all together, and in which she could
lead! Was she too old to begin? Never had the desire to become the very
center of interest to them taken such a hold upon her.

A few weeks after, she said one morning, at the breakfast table, "Boys,
I've been thinking that we might begin geology this summer, and study
it, all of us together. Your father and I meant to do it sometime. I've
found a text-book; by and by, perhaps, Thede can draw us a chart. Jerry
will take hold, I know, and Nate and Johnnie can hunt for specimens.
We'll have an hour or two every night."

The children's interest awoke in a flash, and that very evening the
question discussed was one brought in by Nate: "What is the difference
between limestone and granite?" A simple one, but it opened the way for
her, and their first meeting proved a success. She had to study each day
to be ready and wide awake for her class. They lived in a limestone
region. Different forms of coral abounded, and other fossils were
plenty. An old cupboard in the shed was turned into a cabinet. One day
Nate, who had wandered off two or three miles, brought home a piece of
rock, where curious, long, finger-shaped creatures were imbedded. Great
was the delight of all to find them described as _orthoceratites,_ and
an expedition to the spot was planned for some half-holiday. Question
after question led back to the origin of the earth. She found the
nebular hypothesis, and hardly slept one night trying to comprehend it
clearly enough to put it before others in a simple fashion. Her book was
always at hand. By and by they classified each specimen, and the best of
their kind were taken to shelves in the sitting-room. Her own enthusiasm
in study was aroused, and, far from a hardship, it now became a delight.
Her spirit was contagious. The boys, always fond of "mother," wondered
what new life possessed her; but they accepted the change all the same.
She found that she could teach, and also could inspire her pupils. They
heard of a gully, five or six miles away, where crystals had been found.
Making a holiday, for which the boys worked like Trojans, they took
their lunch in the farm wagon, and rode to the spot; and if their search
was not altogether successful, it left them the memory of a happy time.

In the meantime the farm prospered. She did all the work in the house
and all the sewing, going out, too, in the garden, where she raised a
few flowers, and helping to gather vegetables. Daniel and the boys were
bitterly opposed to her helping them. "Mother," said Jerry, "if you
won't ever think you must go out, I'll do any thing to make up. I don't
want you to look like those women we see sometimes in the fields."
Generally she yielded; her work was enough for one pair of hands.
Through it all now ran the thought that her children were growing up;
they would become educated men; she would not let them get ahead, not so
as to pass her entirely.

Winter came. Now Daniel could see to the work; but these habits of study
were not to be broken. "Boys, let us form a history club," was the
proposition; "it shan't interfere with your lessons at school." They
took the history of the United States, which the two younger children
were studying. Beginning with the New England settlements, and being six
in number, they called each other, for the time, after the six States,
persuading old Daniel to take his native Rhode Island. "That woman beats
all creation," he was heard to exclaim, "the way she works all day and
goes on at night over her books." The mother used to say she hardy knew
if she were any older than her boys when they were trying to trip each
other with questions. The teacher of the district school came over one
Saturday afternoon. "I never had such pupils," said he, "as your sons,
in history; and indeed they want to look into every thing." Afterward he
heard with delight the story of their evening's work. The deep snows
often shut them in, but the red light shone clearly and bright from that
sitting-room window, and a merry group were gathered around the table.
Every two weeks an evening was given to some journey. It was laid out in
advance, and faithfully studied. Once, Theodore remembers, a shout of
laughter was raised when nine o'clock came by Jerry's exclamation, "O,
mother, don't go home now; we are all having such a good time!" Five
years they lived in this way, and almost entirely by themselves. They
studied botany. She knew the name of every tree and shrub for miles
around. The little boys made a collection of birds' eggs, and then began
to watch closely the habits of the birds. It was a pure, simple life. It
would have been too wild and lonely but for the charm of this devoted
mother. Her hours of loneliness were hidden from them; but she learned
in an unusual degree to throw every energy into the day's work of study,
and create, as it were, a fresh enthusiasm for the present hour. Her
loving sacrifice was rewarded. Each child made her his peculiar
confidante. She became the inspiration of his life.

English history opened a wide field to this family. One afternoon she
brought in Shakespeare to prove some historical question. It was a rainy
day, and the boys were all at home. Jerry began to read "Hamlet" aloud;
it proved a treasure that brought them into a new world of delight.
Sometimes they took different characters for representation, and the
evening ended in a frolic; for good-natured mirth was never repressed.

First of all, a preparation had been made for the Sabbath. There was a
church in this town, but at a distance of several miles, and during many
days the roads were impassable. She had leaned upon infinite Strength,
gathering wisdom through all these experiences. The secret of many a
promise had been revealed to her understanding; and, above every thing,
she desired that the Scriptures should become precious to her children.
She took up Bible characters, bringing to bear the same vivid interest,
the same power of making them realities.

These lessons were varied by little sketches or reports of one Sunday to
be read aloud the next. Of this, Nate took hold with a special zest.
None of this family could sing. She thought of a substitute. They
learned the Psalms, much of Isaiah, and many hymns, repeating them in
concert, learning to count upon this hour around the fire as others do
upon their music. How many of these times came to her in after life--the
vision of the bright faces of her boys as they clustered affectionately
around her!

Time rolled by. The railroad passed through. A village sprang up, and
the land was ready to sell. She could keep enough for her own use, and
the boys could prepare for college. Thede and Nate went away to school.
The old home was kept bright and pleasant; friends, new settlers, came
in, and now there was visiting and social life.

Jerry stayed on the farm; Theodore became a civil engineer; Nate a
minister; Johnnie went into business. Theodore used to say: "Mother, as
I travel about, all the stones and the flowers make me think of you. I
catch sight of some rock, and stop to laugh over those blessed times."
Nate said: "Mother, when I am reading a psalm in the pulpit, there
always comes to me a picture of those old evenings, with you in the
rocking-chair by the firelight, and I hear all your voices again."
Johnnie wrote: "Mother, I think that every thing I have has come to me
through you." When Jerry, who remained faithful always, had listened to
his brothers, he put his arm about her, saying tenderly: "There will
never be any body like mother to me."

She died at sixty-five, very suddenly. Only a few hours before, she had
exclaimed, as her children all came home together: "There never were
such good boys as mine. You have repaid me a thousand-fold. God grant
you all happy homes." They bore her coffin to the grave themselves. They
would not let any other person touch it. In the evening they gathered
around the old hearth-stone in the sitting-room, and drew their chairs
together. No one spoke until Nate said, "Boys, let us pray;" and then,
all kneeling around her vacant chair, he prayed that the mantle of their
mother might fall upon them. They could ask nothing beyond that.


    No Longer My Own.

    In serving the Master I love,
      In doing his bidding each day,
    The sweetness of bondage I prove,
      And sing, as I go on my way--
    I never such freedom have known
    As now I'm no longer my own.

    His burden is easy to bear,
      My own was a mountain of lead;
    His yoke it is gladness to wear,
      My own with my life-blood was red--
    I never such gladness have known
    As now I'm no longer my own.

    Discharging the duties I owe
      To household and neighbor of mine,
    The beauty of bondage I know,
      And count it as beauty divine--
    I never such beauty have known
    As now I'm no longer my own.

    And everywhere, Master so dear,
      A dutiful bondman of thine,
    All things my possession appear,
      Their glory so verily mine--
    I never such glory have known
    As now I'm no longer my own.

    My heart overflows with brave cheer;
      For where is the bondage to dread,
    As long as the Master is dear,
      And love that is selfish is dead!--
    I never such safety have known
    As now I'm no longer my own.

       *       *       *       *       *



XXX.

THE CARE OF THE BODY.


WHAT DR. SARGENT, OF THE HARVARD GYMNASIUM, SAYS ABOUT IT--POINTS FOR
PARENTS, TEACHERS, AND PUPILS.


The time is coming--indeed has come--when every writer will divide the
subject of education into physical, moral, and intellectual. We
recognize theoretically that physical education is the basis of all
education. From the time of Plato down to the time of Horace Mann and
Herbert Spencer that has been the theory. It has also been the theory of
German educators. The idea that the mind is a distinct entity, apart
from the body, was a theological idea that grew out of the reaction
against pagan animalism. The development of the body among the Greeks
and Romans was followed by those brutal exhibitions of physical prowess
in the gladiatorial contests where the physical only was cultivated and
honored. With the dawn of Christianity a reaction set in against this
whole idea of developing the body. They thought no good could come from
its supreme development, because they had seen so much evil. The priests
represented the great danger which accompanied this physical training
without moral culture, and there is no doubt that they were right to a
certain degree. Give a man only supreme physical education, without any
attention to the moral and intellectual, and he will go to pieces like
our prize-fighters and athletes. But the Christians went to the other
extreme. They practiced the most absurd system of asceticism, depriving
themselves of natural food and rest, and, of course, the results which
followed on a grand scale were just what would follow in the individual.
Let a person follow the course they did, denying himself necessary
raiment and food, taking no exercise, and living in retirement, and
nervous prostration will follow, and hysterical disturbances and
troubles. This result in the individual was found on a large scale
throughout Christendom. The idea that the Christians brought down from
the very earliest dawn of Christianity, that the body and soul are
distinct, and that whatever is done to mortify the flesh increases the
spiritual, life, has a grain of truth in it. There were men in our army
who, half-starved, marched through the Southern swamps in a state of
exaltation. They imagined they were walking through floral gardens, with
birds flitting about and singing overhead. But it was an unnatural,
morbid state. So priests deprived themselves of food, and reduced
themselves to the lowest extent physically, and then saw visions; and
were in an exalted mental state. But it was morbid. If a man sit up till
twelve o'clock to write on a certain theme, he may not have a single
idea until that hour; but then his mind begins to work, and perhaps he
can work better than under any other circumstances. But his condition is
abnormal. It does not represent the man's true state of health. He is
gaining that momentary advancement of power at terrible cost.

This disregard of physical conditions is giving rise to national
disturbance. It has thoroughly worked itself into our educational
system. Though our schools profess to be purely secular, they still
adhere to this old theological idea. You can not get teachers to enter
with zest into exercises for physical development, because they think
that a man who trains the body must be inferior to the man who trains
the mind. They do not see that the two are closely allied. They will
tell you that the time is all apportioned, so many hours for each study,
and that if you take half an hour out for exercise the boy must lose so
much Latin or Greek, or something else. The idea of the high-school is
to get the boy into college. They care nothing about the condition of
the individual. The individual must be sacrificed to the reputation of
the school, or of the master; the standard must be kept up. If the
master can not get just such a percentage of scholars into college, his
own reputation and the reputation of the school are injured. If he can
get this percentage into college, he does not care what becomes of the
individual. Our schools treat a boy as professional trainers treat a man
on the field; the only idea is to make the boy win a certain prize. They
do not care any thing about his health; that is nothing to them. Their
reputation is made upon the success of the boy in his entrance to
college. Here I have to step in and say to the father: "This boy must
not go any farther. His future prospects ought not to be sacrificed in
this way. Your son's success in life does not depend upon his going
through the Latin school. Let him step out and take another year. Do not
attempt to crowd him." The result of this lack of attention to physical
training, even looking at it from the intellectual stand-point, is
fatal. The boy gets a disgust for study, as one does for any special
kind of food when kept exclusively upon it. Many a fellow who stood high
in school breaks away from books as soon as he enters college, and goes
to the other extreme. That is nature's method of seeking relief. He has
mental dyspepsia, and every opportunity that offers for physical play he
accepts. He can not help it, and he ought not to be blamed for it,
because it is the natural law.

The laws of assimilation govern the brain as well as the body. You can
only store up just about so much matter--call it educational material if
you will--in a given time. If you undertake to force the physical
activity of the brain, you must supply it with more nourishment. If a
boy takes no exercise to increase his appetite, if he does not
invigorate and nourish his blood, which supplies brain substance, of
course there is deterioration. If he has a good stock of reserve
physical power he will get on very well for a while, but all at once he
will come to a stop. How many hundreds of those who stood well when they
entered college get to a certain point and can get no farther, because
they have not the physical basis. They are like athletes who can run a
certain speed, but can never get beyond that. On the other hand, men who
have had a more liberal physical training will go right by them, though
not such good scholars, because they have more of a basis back in the
physical.

When these things are fully appreciated, the whole system of education
will be revolutionized. To build the brain we must build the body. We
must not sacrifice nerve tissue and nerve power in physical training, as
there is danger of doing if gymnastics are not guided by professional
men. But the proper training of the body should produce the highest
intellectual results.

Certain parts of the body bear certain relations to one another. The
office of the stomach is to supply the body with nourishment. The office
of the heart is to pump this nourishment over the body. The office of
the lungs is to feed the heart and stomach with pure blood. All support
one another, and all are dependent on each other. If a boy sits in a
cramped position in school, that interferes with the circulation of the
blood, and that with the nourishment of the brain. You could in this way
trace the cause of many a schoolboy's headache. Speaking roughly, we
might say that one-half of the school children have a hollow at the
bottom of the breast-bone from sitting in such positions, and this
depression interferes with digestion. And the moment the stomach gives
out, that affects the whole physical and mental condition. When
nutrition is imperfect, the action of the heart and the distribution of
the blood are interfered with.

The only way to remedy these evils is by popular education. It is of no
use to attempt to bring about at once; any regular or prescribed system
of exercise, requiring such exercises to be carried out in school,
because our schools, like our theaters, are what the public make them.
There is many a master who knows he is pursuing the wrong course, but he
is kept to it by the anxious solicitations of parents who wish their
children kept up to a certain rank. They are forced to follow the
present system by the inordinate demands of parents. The parents must be
educated. The father and mother must be converted to the necessity, the
absolute necessity for success in life, of physical culture. There are
plenty of men who stand as political and financial leaders who are not
highly educated men. A man who has the rudiments of education--reading,
writing, arithmetic--with a good physique, good health, a well-balanced
and organized frame, brought into contact with the world, stands a
better chance of success than the one who goes through school and takes
a high rank at the expense of his physique.

Let a gifted but weakly lawyer go into a court-room and meet some
bull-headed opponent with not half the keen insight or knowledge of the
law, but one who has tenacity, ability to hold on, and nine times out
ten the abler man of the two--mentally--goes home wearied and defeated,
and the other man wins the case. Who are the men prominent in the
pulpit? Are they weak, puny men, or men of physique? Who are the leaders
in the Churches? They are not leaders on account of their intellectual
brilliancy, but by their wholeness as men. They find sympathy with the
people because they are good specimens of manhood. There might be many
more such had they been better trained.

The best training-school for the body is the gymnasium. That is the
purpose of all its appliances and apparatus. But it may be dispensed
with if one has an adequate desire for physical training. Give a boy to
understand that his body is not impure and vile, but that it is as much
worth consideration as his mind, and that if he does not take carte of
his body he can not do any thing with his mind, and ways of physical
training will not be wanting.

All children should be examined at intervals by a physician, and a
record kept of their development. I measure my little boy every year. I
know how he is growing. If he has been subject to too much excitement,
there will be larger relative growth of the head, and we adjust his
manner of life accordingly. The object of education is to _develop the
boy_, not to put him through so much of arithmetic or so much language.
The object is to get out of the boy all there is in him. The first
thing, then, is to have the boy examined. If, instead of calling a
physician when the children are sick, he is called while they are well,
it would be much better. Is he getting round-shouldered? Has he a crook
in the back? Is he beginning to stoop? There are many things which can
be stopped in a child which can never be changed after the habits are
hardened. Too late the parent may find that his child is incapacitated
for the highest education, because there is no room for the heart and
lungs to play their parts. The boy is limited in his possibilities as a
tree planted in unfavorable soil is limited. He is stunted. He will
reach a certain limit, and no efforts on his part will carry him
further. But if he has been taken in hand in time, and these suggestions
acted upon, different results might have been produced. These efforts to
develop the boy's body will awaken the interest of the boy himself. It
does not awaken animalism. Let a man have pride in his body, and his
morals will look out for themselves. If a a boy is thus examined, and a
record kept, he will take a pride in keeping up his record. It is not
necessary, then, to have appliances. He can make trees and
clothes-horses and gates and fences take their place. Teach him the
value of such opportunities. Teach him to increase the capacity of his
lungs and heart, and what relation they bear to the brain, and thus
awaken his interest. He will soon learn to exercise in the best way.
When the parent has to watch a boy to see that he exercises, exercise is
of little or no avail. But let the father and mother realize the full
value and importance of the body, and the results will follow naturally.
Every thing depends primarily upon the parent. If he simply commands
exercise without sharing in it, he is like a father who lectures his
sons about smoking and drinking while he smokes and drinks himself.

This is a great field. It is opening up broader every day. I do not know
any field where a man can go more enthusiastically to work. It affects
not only the physical, but the moral condition. We have brought about a
higher moral tone at Harvard through physical training. There is less
smoking and drinking by far than before the gymnasium was so universally
used. Every thing that develops the whole man affects morals. Our Maker
did not put us here merely to be trained for somewhere else. No one can
walk through the streets of Boston without feeling that there is need
enough of work to do right here, in bringing about a better condition of
affairs; something which shall be nearer an ideal heaven on earth.--_The
Christian Union_.

       *       *       *       *       *



XXXI.

SAINT CECILIA


THE PATRONESS OF MUSIC-MYTHS CONCERNING THE ORIGIN OF MUSIC-ITS RELATION
TO WORK AND BLESSEDNESS


Her legend relates that about the year 230, which would be in the time
of the Emperor Alexander. Severus, Cecilia, a Roman lady, born of a
noble and rich family, who in early youth had been converted to
Christianity, and had made a vow of perpetual virginity, was constrained
by her parents to marry a certain Valerian, a pagan, whom she succeeded
in converting to Christianity without infringing the vow she had made.
She also converted her brother-in-law, Tiburtius, and a friend called
Maximius, all of whom were martyred in consequence of their faith.

It is further related, among other circumstances purely legendary, that
Cecilia often united instrumental music to that of her voice, in singing
the praises of the Lord. On this all her fame has been founded, and she
has become the special patroness of music and musicians all the world
over. Half the musical societies of Europe have been named after her,
and her supposed musical acquirements have led the votaries of a sister
art to find subjects for their work in episodes of her life. The grand
painting by Domenichino, at Bologna, in which the saint is represented
as rapt in an ecstasy of devotion, with a small "organ," as it is
called--an instrument resembling a large kind of Pandean pipes--in her
hand, is well known, as is also Dryden's beautiful ode. The illustration
which accompanies this chapter, after a painting by one of the brothers
Caracci, of the seventeenth century, represents Cecilia at the organ.
Borne heavenward on the tide of music, she sees a vision of the holy
family, the child Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, with an angel near at hand in
quiet gladness.

    God's harmony is written
    All through, in shining bars,
    The soul His love has smitten
    As heaven is writ with stars.


MYTHS CONCERNING THE ORIGIN OF MUSIC.


Music is so delightfully innocent and charming an art, that we can not
wonder at finding it almost universally regarded as of divine origin.
Pagan nations generally ascribe the invention of their musical
instruments to their gods, or to certain superhuman beings of a godlike
nature. The Hebrews attributed it to man, but as Jubal is mentioned as
"the father of all such as handle the harp and organ" only, and as
instruments of percussion were almost invariably in use long before
people were led to construct stringed and wind instruments, we may
suppose that, in the Biblical records, Jubal is not intended to be
represented as the original inventor of all the Hebrew instruments, but
rather as a great promoter of the art of music.

"However, be this as it may, this much is certain: there are among
Christians at the present day not a few sincere upholders of the literal
meaning of these records, who maintain that instrumental music was
already practiced in heaven before the creation of the world. Elaborate
treatises have been written on the nature and effect of that heavenly
music, and passages from the Bible have been cited by the learned
authors which are supposed to confirm indisputably the opinions advanced
in their treatises.

"It may, at a first glance, appear singular that nations have not,
generally, such traditional records respecting the originator of their
vocal music as they have respecting the invention of their musical
instruments. The cause is, however, explicable; to sing is-as natural to
man as to speak, and uncivilized nations are not likely to speculate
whether singing has ever been invented.

"There is no need to recount here the well-known mythological traditions
of the ancient Greeks and Romans referring to the origin of their
favorite musical instruments. Suffice it to remind the reader that
Mercury and Apollo were believed to be the inventors of the lyre and
cithara (guitar); that the invention of the flute was attributed to
Minerva, and that Pan is said to have invented the syrinx. More worthy
of our attention are some similar records of the Hindoos, because they
have hitherto scarcely been noticed in any work on music.

"In the mythology of the Hindoos, the god Nareda is the inventor of the
_vina_, the principal musical instrument of Hindoostan. Saraswati, the
consort of Brahma, may be said to be considered as the Minerva of the
Hindoos. She is the goddess of music as well as of speech. To her is
attributed the invention of the systematic arrangement of the sounds
into a musical scale. She is represented seated on a peacock and playing
a stringed instrument of the guitar kind. Brahma, himself, we find
depicted as a vigorous man with four handsome heads, beating with his
hands upon a small drum. Arid Vishnu, in his incarnation as Krishna, is
represented as a beautiful youth playing upon a flute. The Hindoos still
possess a peculiar kind of flute which they consider as the favorite
instrument of Krishna. Furthermore, they have the divinity of Genesa,
the god of wisdom, who is represented as a man with the head of an
elephant holding in his hands a _tamboura_, a kind of lute with a long
neck.

"Among the Chinese, we meet with a tradition according to which they
obtained their musical scale from a miraculous bird called Foung-hoang,
which appears to have been a sort of phoenix. As regards the invention
of musical instruments, the Chinese have various traditions. In one of
these we are told that the origin of some of their most popular
instruments dates from the period when China was under the 'dominion of
the heavenly spirits called Ki. Another assigns the invention of several
of their stringed instruments to the great Fohi, called the "Son of
Heaven," who was, it is said, the founder of the Chinese Empire, and who
is stated to have lived about B.C. 3000, which was long after the
dominion of the Ki, or spirits. Again, another tradition holds that the
most important Chinese musical instruments, and the systematic
arrangement of the tones, are an invention of Niuva, a supernatural
female, who lived at the time of Fohi, and who was a virgin-mother. When
Confucius, the great Chinese philosopher, happened to hear, on a certain
occasion, some divine music, he became so greatly enraptured that he
could not take any food for three months. The music which produced the
miraculous effect was that of Kouei, the Orpheus of the Chinese, whose
performance on the _king_, a kind of harmonicon constructed of slabs of
sonorous stone, would draw wild animals around him and make them
subservient to his will.

"The Japanese have a beautiful tradition, according to which the
Sun-goddess, in resentment of the violence of an evil-disposed brother,
retired into a cave, leaving the universe in darkness and anarchy; when
the beneficent gods, in their concern for the welfare of mankind,
devised music to lure her forth from her retreat, and their efforts soon
proved successful.

"The Kalmucks, in the vicinity of the Caspian Sea, adore a beneficient
divinity called Maidari, who is represented as a rather jovial-looking
man, with a mustache and imperial, playing upon an instrument with three
strings, somewhat resembling the Russian _balalaika_.

"Almost all these ancient conceptions we meet with, also, among European
nations, though more or less modified.

"Odin, the principal deity of the ancient Scandinavians, was the
inventor of magic songs and Runic writings.

"In the Finnish mythology the divine Vainamoinen is said to have
constructed the five-stringed harp, called _kantele_, the old national
instrument of the Finns. The frame he made out of the bones of a pike,
and the teeth of the pike he used for the tuning-pegs. The strings he
made of hair from the tail of a spirited horse. When the harp fell into
the sea and was lost, he made another, the frame of which was birchwood,
with pegs made out of the branch of an oak-tree. As strings for this
harp he used the silky hair of a young girl. Vainamoinen took his harp,
and sat down on a hill, near a silvery brook. There he played with so
irresistible an effect that he entranced whatever came within hearing of
his music. Men and animals listened, enraptured; the wildest beasts of
the forests lost their ferocity; the birds of the air were drawn toward
him; the fishes rose to the surface of the water and remained immovable;
the trees ceased to wave their branches; the brook retarded its course
and the wind its haste; even the mocking echo approached stealthily, and
listened with the utmost attention to the heavenly sounds. Soon the
women began to cry; then the old men and the children also began to cry,
and the girls and the young men--all cried for delight. At last
Vainamoinen himself wept, and his big tears ran over his beard and
rolled into the water and became beautiful pearls at the bottom of the
sea.

"Several other musical gods, or godlike musicians, could be cited; and,
moreover, innumerable minor spirits, all bearing evidence that music is
of divine origin.

"True, people who think themselves more enlightened than their
forefathers, smile at these old traditions, and say that the original
home of music is the human heart. Be it so. But do not the purest and
most beautiful conceptions of man partake of a divine character? Is not
the art of music generally acknowledged to be one of these? And is it
not, therefore, even independently of myths and mysteries, entitled to
be called the divine art?"


THE RELATION OF MUSIC TO WORK AND BLESSEDNESS.


"Give us," says Carlyle, "O, give us the man who sings at his work! Be
his occupation what it may, he is equal to any of those who follow the
same pursuit in silent sullenness. He will do more in the same time--he
will do it better--he will persevere longer. One is scarcely sensible of
fatigue whilst he marches to music. The very stars are said to make
harmony as they revolve in their spheres. Wondrous is the strength of
cheerfulness, altogether past calculation its powers of endurance.
Efforts, to be permanently useful, must be uniformly joyous--a spirit
all sunshine--graceful from very gladness--beautiful because bright."

Again, this author says, who had so much music in his heart, though not
of the softest kind--rather of the epic sort:

"The meaning of song goes deep. Who is there that, in logical words, can
express the effect music has on us? A kind of inarticulate, unfathomable
speech, which leads to the edge of the infinite, and lets us for moments
gaze into that!"

The late Canon Kingsley certainly conceived much of the height and
depth, and length and breath of song, when he wrote:

"There is music in heaven, because in music there is no self-will. Music
goes on certain rules and laws. Man did not make these laws of music; he
has only found them out; and, if he be self-willed and break them, there
is an end of his music instantly: all he brings out is discord and ugly
sounds: The greatest musician in the world is as much bound by those
laws as the learner in the school; and the greatest musician is one who,
instead of fancying that because he is clever he may throw aside the
laws of music, knows the laws of music best, and observes them most
reverently. And therefore it was that the old Greeks, the wisest of the
heathens, made a point of teaching their children _music_; because, they
said, it taught them not to be self-willed and fanciful, but to see the
beauty, the usefulness of rule, the divineness of laws. And, therefore,
music is fit for heaven; therefore music is a pattern and type of
heaven, and of the everlasting life of God which perfect spirits live in
heaven; a life of melody and order in themselves; a life of harmony with
each other and with God.

"If thou fulfillest the law which God has given thee, the law of love
and liberty, then thou makest music before God, and thy life is a hymn
of praise to God.

"If thou act in love and charity with thy neighbors, thou art making
sweeter harmony in the ears of our Lord Jesus Christ than psaltery,
dulcimer, and all other kinds of music.

"If thou art living a righteous and a useful life, doing thy duty
orderly and cheerfully where God has put thee, then thou art making
sweeter melody in the ears of the Lord Jesus Christ than if thou hast
the throat of the nightingale; for then thou, in thy humble place, art
humbly copying the everlasting harmony and melody by which God made the
worlds and all that therein is, and, behold, it was very good, in the
day when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God
shouted for joy over the new-created earth, which God made to be a
pattern of his own perfection."

    The minstrel's heart in sadness
      Was wrestling with his fate;
    "Am I the sport of madness,"
      He sighed, "and born too late?"

    "No gifts are ever given,"
      A friendly voice replied,
    "On which the smile of Heaven
      Does not indeed abide.

    God's harmony is written
      All through, in shining bars,
    The soul his love has smitten,
      As heaven is writ with stars.

    The major notes and minor
      Are waiting for their wings;
    Pray thou the great Diviner
      To touch the secret springs.

    He may not give expression
      In any ocean-tide,
    But music, like confession,
      Will waft thee to his side;

    Where thou, as on a river,
      The current deep and strong,
    Shalt sail with him forever
      Into the land of song."

       *       *       *       *       *



XXXII.

THOMAS DE QUINCEY.

(BORN 1786--DIED 1859.)


A LIFE OF WONDER AND WARNING.


The "English Opium-eater" himself told publicly, throughout a period of
between thirty and forty years, whatever is known about him to any body;
and in sketching the events of his life, the recorder has little more to
do than to indicate facts which may be found fully expanded in Mr. De
Quincey's "Confessions of an Opium-eater" and "Autobiographic Sketches."
The business which he, in fact, left for others to do is that which, in
spite of obvious impossibility, he was incessantly endeavoring to do
himself--that of analyzing and forming a representation and judgment of
his mind, and of his life as molded by his mind. The most intense
metaphysician of a time remarkable for the predominance of metaphysical
modes of thought, he was as completely unaware, as smaller men of his
mental habits, that in his perpetual self-study and analysis he was
never approaching the truth, for the simple reason that he was not even
within ken of the necessary point of view. "I," he says, "whose disease
it was to meditate too much and to observe too little." And the
description was a true one, as far as it went. And the completion of the
description was one which he could never have himself arrived at. It
must, we think, be concluded of De Quincey that he was the most
remarkable instance in his time of a more than abnormal, of an
artificial, condition of body and mind--a characterization which he must
necessarily be the last man to conceive of. To understand this, it is
necessary to glance at the events of his life. The briefest notice will
suffice, as they are within the reach of all, as related in his own
books.

Thomas De Quincey was the son of a merchant engaged in foreign commerce,
and was born at Manchester in 1786. He was one of eight children, of
whom no more than six were ever living at once, and several of whom died
in infancy. The survivors were reared in a country home, the incidents
of which, when of a kind to excite emotion, impressed themselves on this
singular child's memory from a very early age. We have known only two
instances, in a rather wide experience of life, of persons distinctly
remembering so far back as a year and a half old. This was De Quincey's
age when three deaths happened in the family, which he remembered, not
by tradition, but by his own contemporary emotions. A sister of three
and a half died, and he was perplexed by her disappearance, and
terrified by the household whisper that she had been ill-used just
before her death by a servant. A grandmother died about the same time,
leaving little impression, because she had been little seen. The other
death was of a beloved kingfisher, by a doleful accident. When the boy
was five, he lost his playfellow and, as he says, intellectual guide,
his sister Elizabeth, eight years old, dying of hydrocephalus, after
manifesting an intellectual power which the forlorn brother recalled
with admiration and wonder for life. The impression was undoubtedly
genuine; but it is impossible to read the "Autobiographical Sketch" in
which the death and funeral of the child are described without
perceiving that the writer referred back to the period he was describing
with emotions and reflex sensations which arose in him and fell from the
pen at the moment. His father, meantime, was residing abroad, year after
year, as a condition of his living at all; and he died of pulmonary
consumption before Thomas was seven years old. The elder brother, then
twelve, was obviously too eccentric for home management, if not for all
control; and, looking no further than these constitutional cases, we are
warranted in concluding that the Opium-eater entered life under peculiar
and unfavorable conditions.

He passed through a succession of schools, and was distinguished by his
eminent knowledge of Greek. At fifteen he was pointed out by his master
(himself a ripe scholar) to a stranger in the remarkable words, "That
boy could harangue an Athenian mob better than you or I could address an
English one." And it was not only the Greek, we imagine, but the
eloquence, too, was included in this praise. In this, as in the subtlety
of the analytical power (so strangely mistaken for entire intellectual
supremacy in our day), De Quincey must have strongly resembled
Coleridge. Both were fine Grecians, charming discoursers, eminent
opium-takers, magnificent dreamers and seers; large in their promises,
and helpless in their failure of performance. De Quincey set his heart
upon going to college earlier than his guardians thought proper; and, on
his being disappointed in this matter, he ran away from his tutor's
house, and was lost for several months, first in Wales and afterward in
London. He was then sixteen. His whole life presents no more remarkable
evidence of his constant absorption in introspection than the fact that,
while tortured with hunger in the streets of London, for many weeks, and
sleeping (or rather lying awake with cold and hunger) on the floor of an
empty house, it never once occurred to him to earn money. As a classical
corrector of the press, and in other ways, he might no doubt have
obtained employment; but it was not till afterward asked why he did not,
that the idea ever entered his mind. How he starved, how he would have
died but for a glass of spiced wine in the middle of the night on some
steps in Soho Square, the Opium-eater told all the world above thirty
years since; and also of his entering college; of the love of wine
generated by the comfort it had yielded in his days of starvation; and
again, of the disorder of the functions of the stomach which naturally
followed, and the resort to opium as a refuge from the pain. It is to be
feared that the description given in those extraordinary "Confessions"
has acted more strongly in tempting young people to seek the eight
years' pleasures he derived from laudanum than, that of his subsequent
torments in deterring them. There was no one to present to them the
consideration that the peculiar organization of De Quincey, and his
bitter sufferings, might well make a recourse to opium a different thing
to him than to any body else. The quality of his mind and the exhausted
state of his body enhanced to him the enjoyments which he called
"divine," whereas there is no doubt of the miserable pain by which men
of all constitutions have to expiate an habitual indulgence in opium.
Others than De Quincey may or may not procure the pleasures he
experienced; but it is certain that every one must expiate his offense
against the laws of the human frame. And let it be remembered that De
Quincey's excuse is as singular as his excess. Of the many who have
emulated his enjoyment, there can hardly have been one whose stomach had
been well-nigh destroyed by months of incessant, cruel hunger.

This event of his life, his resort to opium, absorbed all the rest.
There is little more to tell in the way of incident. His existence was
thenceforth a series of dreams, undergone in different places, now at
college, and now in a Westmoreland cottage, with a gentle, suffering
wife, by his side, striving to minister to a need which was beyond the
reach of nursing. He could amuse his predominant faculties by reading
metaphysical philosophy and analytical reasoning on any subject, and by
elaborating endless analyses and reasonings of his own, which he had not
energy to embody. Occasionally the torpor encroached even on his
predominant faculties, and then he roused himself to overcome the habit;
underwent fearful suffering in the weaning; began to enjoy the vital
happiness of temperance and health, and then fell back again. The
influence upon the moral energies of his nature was, as might be
supposed, fatal. Such energy he once had, as his earlier efforts at
endurance amply testify. But as years passed on, he had not only become
a more helpless victim to his prominent vice, but manifested an
increasing insensibility to the most ordinary requisitions of honor and
courtesy, to say nothing of gratitude and sincerity. In his hungry days,
in London, he would not beg nor borrow. Five years later he wrote to
Wordsworth, in admiration and sympathy; received an invitation to his
Westmoreland Valley; went, more than once, within a few miles, and
withdrew and returned to Oxford, unable to conquer his painful shyness;
returned at last to live there, in the very cottage which had been
Wordsworth's; received for himself, his wife, and a growing family of
children, an unintermitting series of friendly and neighborly offices;
was necessarily admitted to much household confidence, and favored with
substantial aid, which was certainly not given through any strong liking
for his manners, conversation, or character. How did he recompense all
this exertion and endurance oh his behalf? In after years, when living
(we believe) at Edinburgh, and pressed by debt, he did for once exert
himself to write, and what he wrote was an exposure of every thing about
the Wordsworths which he knew merely by their kindness. He wrote papers,
which were eagerly read, and, of course, duly paid for, in which
Wordsworth's personal foibles were malignantly exhibited with ingenious
aggravations. The infirmities of one member of the family, the personal
blemish of another, and the human weaknesses of all, were displayed, and
all for the purpose of deepening the dislike against Wordsworth himself,
which the receiver of his money, the eater of his dinners, and the
dreary provoker of his patience strove to excite. Moreover, he
perpetrated an act of treachery scarcely paralleled, we hope, in the
history of literature. In the confidence of their most familiar days,
Wordsworth had communicated portions of his posthumous poem to his
guest, who was perfectly well aware that the work was to rest in
darkness and silence till after the poet's death. In these magazine
articles DeQuincey, using for this atrocious purpose his fine gift of
memory, published a passage, which he informed us was of far higher
merit than any thing else we had to expect. And what was Wordsworth's
conduct under this unequaled experience of bad faith and bad feeling?
While so many anecdotes were going of the poet's fireside, the following
ought to be added: An old friend was talking with him by that fireside,
and mentioned DeQuincey's magazine articles. Wordsworth begged to be
spared any account of them, saying that the man had long passed away
from the family life and mind, and that he did not wish to ruffle
himself in a useless way about a misbehavior which could not be
remedied. The friend acquiesced, saying: "Well, I will tell you only one
thing that he says, and then we will talk of other things. He says your
wife is too good for you." The old poet's dim eyes lighted up instantly,
and he started from his seat and flung himself against the mantel-piece,
with his back to the fire, as he cried with loud enthusiasm: "And that's
_true! There_ he is right!" And his disgust and contempt for the traitor
were visibly moderated.

During a long course of years DeQuincey went on dreaming always,
sometimes scheming works of high value and great efficacy, which were
never to exist; promising largely to booksellers and others, and failing
through a weakness so deep-seated that it should have prevented his
making any promises. When his three daughters were grown up, and his
wife was dead, he lived in a pleasant cottage at Lasswade, near
Edinburgh, well-known by name to those who have never seen its beauties
as the scene of Scott's early married life and first great achievements
in literature. There, while the family fortunes were expressly made
contingent on his abstinence from his drug, DeQuincey did abstain, or
observe moderation. His flow of conversation was then the delight of old
acquaintance and admiring strangers, who came to hear the charmer and to
receive the impression, which could never be lost, of the singular
figure and countenance and the finely modulated voice, which were like
nothing else in the world. It was a strange thing to look upon the
fragile form and features, which might be those of a dying man, and to
hear such utterances as his--now the strangest comments and
insignificant incidents; now pregnant remarks on great subjects, and
then malignant gossip, virulent and base, but delivered with an air and
a voice of philosophical calmness and intellectual commentary such as
caused the disgust of the listener to be largely qualified with
amusement and surprise. One good thing was, that nobody's name and fame
could be really injured by any thing DeQuincey could say. There was such
a grotesque air about the mode of his evil speaking, and it was so
gratuitous and excessive, that the hearer could not help regarding it as
a singular sort of intellectual exercise, or an effort in the speaker to
observe, for once, something outside of himself, rather than as any
token of actual feeling towards the ostensible object.

Let this strange commentator on individual character meet with more
mercy and a wiser interpretation than he was himself capable of. He was
not made like other men; and he did not live, think, or feel like them.
A singular organization was singularly and fatally deranged in its
action before it could show its best quality. Marvelous analytical
faculty he had; but it all oozed out in barren words. Charming eloquence
he had; but it degenerated into egotistical garrulity, rendered tempting
by the gilding of his genius. It is questionable whether, if he had
never touched opium or wine, his real achievements would have been
substantial, for he had no conception of a veritable stand-point of
philosophical investigation; but the actual effect of his intemperance
was to aggravate to excess his introspective tendencies, and to remove
him incessantly further from the needful discipline of true science. His
conditions of body and mind were abnormal, and his study of the one
thing he knew any thing about--the human mind--was radically imperfect.
His powers, noble and charming as they might have been, were at once
wasted and weakened through their own partial excess. His moral nature
relaxed and sank, as must always be the case where sensibility is
stimulated and action paralyzed; and the man of genius who, forty years
before his death, administered a moral warning to all England, and
commanded the sympathy and admiration of a nation, lived on, to achieve
nothing but the delivery of some confidences of questionable value and
beauty, and to command from us nothing more than a compassionate sorrow
that an intellect so subtle and an eloquence so charming in its pathos,
its humor, its insight, and its music, should have left the world in no
way the better for such gifts, unless by the warning afforded in
"Confessions" first, and then, by example, against the curse which
neutralized their influence and corrupted its source.--HARRIET
MARTINEAU.

       *       *       *       *       *



XXXIII.

A VISION OF TIME.


NEW-YEAR'S EVE.


    O did you not see him that over the snow
    Came on with a pace so cautious and slow?--

    That measured his step to a pendulum-tick,
    Arriving in town when the darkness was thick?

    In the midst of a vision of mind and heart,
    A drama above all human art,

    I saw him last night, with locks so gray,
    A long way off, as the light died away.

    And I knew him at once, so often before
    Had he silently, mournfully passed at my door.

    He must be cold and weary, I said,
    Coming so far, with that measured tread.

    I will urge him to linger awhile with me
    Till his withering chill and weariness flee.

    A story--who knows?--he may deign to rehearse,
    And when he is gone I will put it in verse.

    I turned to prepare for the coming guest,
    With curious, troublous thoughts oppressed.

    The window I cheered with the taper's glow
    Which glimmered afar o'er the spectral snow.

    My anxious care the hearth-stone knew,
    And the red flames leaped and beckoned anew.

    But chiefly myself, with singular care,
    Did I for the hoary presence prepare.

    Yet with little success, as I paced the room,
    Did I labor to banish a sense of gloom.

    My thoughts were going and coming like bees,
    With store from the year's wide-stretching leas;

    Some laden with honey, some laden with gall,
    And into my heart they dropped it all!

    O miserable heart! at once overrun
    With the honey and gall thou can'st not shun.

    O wretched heart! in sadness I cried,
    Where is thy trust in the Crucified?

    And in wrestling prayer did I labor long
    That the Mighty One would make me strong.

    That prayer was more than a useless breath:
    It brought to my soul God's saving health.

    The hours went by on their drowsy flight,
    And came the middle watch of the night;

    In part unmanned in spite of my care,
    I beheld my guest in the taper's glare,

    A wall of darkness around him thick,
    As onward he came to a pendulum-tick.

    Then quickly I opened wide the door,
    And bade him pass my threshold o'er,

    And linger awhile away from the cold,
    And repeat some story or ballad old,--

    His weary limbs to strengthen with rest,
    For his course to the ever-receding West.

    Through the vacant door in wonder I glanced,
    And stood--was it long?--as one entranced.

    Silence so awful did fill the room,
    That the tick of the clock was a cannon's boom.

    And my heart it sank to its lowest retreat,
    And in whelming awe did muffle its beat.

    For now I beheld, as never before;
    And heard to forget--ah, nevermore!

    For with outstretched hand, with scythe and glass,
    With naught of a pause did the traveler pass.

    And with upturned face he the silence broke,
    And thus, as he went, he measuredly spoke:

    My journey is long, but my limbs are strong;
    And I stay not for rest, for story, or song.

    It is only a dirge, that ever I sing;
    It is only of death, the tale that I bring;

    Of death that is life, as it cometh to pass;
    Of death that is death, alas! alas!

    And these I chant, as I go on my way,
    As I go on my way forever and aye.

    Call not thyself wretched, though bitter and sweet
    In thy cup at this hour intermingle and meet.

    Some cloud with the sunshine must ever appear,
    And darkness prevails till morning is near.

    But who doth remember the gloom and the night,
    When the sky is aglow with the beautiful light?

    O alas! if thou drinkest the bitter alone,
    Nor heaven nor earth may stifle thy moan!

    Thy moan!--and the echo died away--
    Thy moan! thy moan forever and aye!

    His measured voice I heard no more;
    But not till I stand on eternity's shore,

    And the things of time be forgotten all,
    Shall I cease that traveler's words to recall.

    As onward he moved to a pendulum-tick,
    The gloom and the darkness around him thick,

    I fell on my knees and breathed a prayer;
    And it rose, I ween, through the midnight air,

    To a God who knoweth the wants and all
    The evil and good of this earthly thrall;

    To One who suffered as on this day,
    And began our sins to purge away:

    To Him who hath promised to heed our cry,
    And a troubled heart to purify.

    And I feel that the gall will ever grow less,
    Till I see His face in righteousness.

    And now my soul is filled with cheer
    For the march of a bright and happy New Year.

    As years roll on, whether sun doth shine
    Or clouds overcast, I will never repine;

    For I know, when the race of time is run,
    I shall enter a realm of Eternal Sun.

       *       *       *       *       *



XXXIV.

JOHN BUNYAN

(BORN 1628--DIED 1688.)


FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT.


John Bunyan, the most popular religious writer in the English language,
was born at Elstow, about a mile from Bedford, in the year 1628. He may
be said to have been born a tinker. The tinkers then formed a hereditary
caste, which was held in no high estimation. They were generally
vagrants and pilferers, and were often confounded with the gypsies,
whom, in truth, they nearly resembled. Bunyan's father was more
respectable than most of the tribe. He had a fixed residence, and was
able to send his son to a village school, where reading and writing were
taught.

The years of John's boyhood were those during which the Puritan spirit
was in the highest vigor all over England; and nowhere had that spirit
more influence than in Bedfordshire. It is not wonderful, therefore,
that a lad to whom nature had given a powerful imagination, and
sensibility which amounted to a disease, should have been early haunted
by religious terrors. Before he was ten, his sports were interrupted by
fits of remorse and despair; and his sleep was disturbed by dreams of
fiends trying to fly away with him. As he grew older, his mental
conflicts became still more violent. The strong language in which he
described them has strangely misled all his biographers except Mr.
Southey. It has long been an ordinary practice with pious writers to
cite Bunyan as an instance of the supernatural power of divine grace to
rescue the human soul from the lowest depths of wickedness. He is called
in one book the most notorious of profligates; in another, the brand
plucked from the burning. He is designated in Mr. Ivimey's "History of
the Baptists" as the depraved Bunyan, the wicked tinker of Elstow. Mr.
Ryland, a man once of great note among the Dissenters, breaks out into
the following rhapsody: "No man of common sense and common integrity can
deny that Bunyan was a practical atheist, a worthless, contemptible
infidel, a vile rebel to God and goodness, a common profligate, a
soul-despising, a soul-murdering, a soul-damning, thoughtless wretch as
could exist on the face of the earth. Now, be astonished, O heavens, to
eternity! and wonder, O earth and hell, while time endures! Behold this
very man become a miracle of mercy, a mirror of wisdom, goodness,
holiness, truth, and love." But whoever takes the trouble to examine the
evidence, will find that the good men who wrote this had been deceived
by a phraseology which, as they had been hearing it and using it all
their lives, they ought to have understood better. There can not be a
greater mistake than to infer, from the strong expressions in which a
devout man bemoans his exceeding sinfulness, that he has led a worse
life than his neighbors. Many excellent persons, whose moral character
from boyhood to old age has been free from any stain discernible to
their fellow-creatures, have, in their autobiographies and diaries,
applied to themselves, and doubtless with sincerity, epithets as severe
as could be applied to Titus Oates or Mrs. Brownrigg. It is quite
certain that Bunyan was, at eighteen, what, in any but the most
austerely Puritan circles, would have been considered as a young man of
singular gravity and innocence. Indeed, it may be remarked that he, like
many other penitents who, in general terms, acknowledged themselves to
have been the worst of mankind, fired up and stood vigorously on his
defense whenever any particular charge was brought against him by
others. He declares, it is true, that he had let loose the reins on the
neck of his lusts, that he had delighted in all transgressions against
the divine law, and that he had been the ringleader of the youth of
Elstow in all manner of vice. But, when those who wished him ill accused
him of licentious amours, he called on God and the angels to attest his
purity. No woman, he said, in heaven, earth, or hell could charge him
with having ever made any improper advances to her. Not only had he been
strictly faithful to his wife, but he had, even before marriage, been
perfectly spotless. It does not appear from his own confessions, or from
the railings of his enemies, that he ever was drunk in his life. One bad
habit he contracted, that of using profane language; but he tells us
that a single reproof cured him so effectually that he never offended
again. The worst that can be laid to the charge of this poor youth, whom
it has been the fashion to represent as the most desperate of
reprobates, as a village Rochester, is that he had a great liking for
some diversions, quite harmless in themselves, but condemned by the
rigid precisians among whom he lived, and for whose opinion he had a
great respect. The four chief sins of which he was guilty were dancing,
ringing the bells of the parish church, playing at tip-cat, and reading
the "History of Sir Bevis of Southampton." A rector of the school of
Laud would have held such a young man up to the whole parish as a model.
But Bunyan's notions of good and evil had been learned in a very
different school; and he was made miserable by the conflict between his
tastes and his scruples.

When he was about seventeen, the ordinary course of his life was
interrupted by an event which gave a lasting color to his thoughts. He
enlisted in the Parliamentary army, and served during the decisive
campaign of 1645. All that we know of his military career is that, at
the siege of Leicester, one of his comrades, who had taken his post, was
killed by a shot from the town. Bunyan ever after considered himself as
having been saved from death by the special interference of Providence.
It may be observed that his imagination was strongly impressed by the
glimpse which he had caught of the pomp of war. To the last he loved to
draw his illustrations of sacred things from camps and fortresses, from
guns, drums, trumpets, flags of truce, and regiments arrayed, each under
its own banner. His Greatheart, his Captain Boanerges, and his Captain
Credence are evidently portraits, of which the originals were among
those martial saints who fought and expounded in Fairfax's army.

In a few months Bunyan returned home and married. His wife had some
pious relations, and brought him as her only portion some pious books.
And now his mind, excitable by nature, very imperfectly disciplined by
education, and exposed, without any protection, to the infectious
virulence of the enthusiasm which was then epidemic in England, began to
be fearfully disordered. In outward things he soon became a strict
Pharisee. He was constant in attendance at prayers and sermons. His
favorite amusements were, one after another, relinquished, though not
without many painful struggles. In the middle of a game at tip-cat he
paused, and stood staring wildly upward with his stick in his hand. He
had heard a voice asking him whether he would leave his sins and go to
heaven, or keep his sins and go to hell; and he had seen an awful
countenance frowning on him from the sky. The odious vice of
bell-ringing he renounced; but he still for a time ventured to go to the
church-tower and look on while others pulled the ropes. But soon the
thought struck him that, if he persisted in such wickedness, the steeple
would fall on his head; and he fled in terror from the accursed place.
To give up dancing on the village green was still harder; and some
months elapsed before he had the fortitude to part with this darling
sin. When this last sacrifice had been made, he was, even when tried by
the maxims of that austere time, faultless. All Elstow talked of him as
an eminently pious youth. But his own mind was more unquiet than ever.
Having nothing more to do in the way of visible reformation, yet finding
in religion no pleasures to supply the place of the juvenile amusements
which he had relinquished, he began to apprehend that he lay under some
special malediction; and he was tormented by a succession of fantasies
which seemed likely to drive him to suicide or to Bedlam.

At one time he took it into his head that all persons of Israelite blood
would be saved, and tried to make out that he partook of that blood; but
his hopes were speedily destroyed by his father, who seems to have had
no ambition to be regarded as a Jew.

At another time, Bunyan was disturbed by a strange dilemma: "If I have
not faith, I am lost; if I have faith, I can work miracles." He was
tempted to cry to the puddles between Elstow and Bedford, "Be ye dry,"
and to stake his eternal hopes on the event.

Then he took up a notion that the day of grace for Bedford and the
neighboring villages was passed; that all who were to be saved in that
part of England were already converted; and that he had begun to pray
and strive some months too late.

Then he was harassed by doubts whether the Turks were not in the right,
and the Christians in the wrong. Then he was troubled by a maniacal
impulse which prompted him to pray to the trees, to a broomstick, to the
parish bull. As yet, however, he was only entering the Valley of the
Shadow of Death. Soon the darkness grew thicker. Hideous forms floated
before him. Sounds of cursing and wailing were in his ears. His way ran
through stench and fire, close to the mouth of the bottomless pit. He
began to be haunted by a strange curiosity about the unpardonable sin,
and by a morbid longing to commit it. But the most frightful of all the
forms which his disease took was a propensity to utter blasphemy, and
especially to renounce his share in the benefits of the redemption.
Night and day, in bed, at table, at work, evil spirits, as he imagined,
were repeating close to his ear the words, "Sell him! sell him!" He
struck at the hobgoblins; he pushed them from him; but still they were
ever at his side. He cried out in answer to them, hour after hour,
"Never, never! not for thousands of worlds--not for thousands!" At
length, worn out by this long agony, he suffered the fatal words to
escape him, "Let him go, if he will." Then his misery became more
fearful than ever. He had done what could not be forgiven. He had
forfeited his part of the great sacrifice. Like Esau, he had sold his
birthright, and there was no longer any place for repentance. "None," he
afterward wrote, "knows the terrors of those days but myself." He has
described his sufferings with singular energy, simplicity, and pathos.
He envied the brutes; he envied the very stones in the street, and the
tiles on the houses. The sun seemed to withhold its light and warmth
from him. His body, though cast in a sturdy mould, and though still in
the highest vigor of youth, trembled whole days together with the fear
of death and judgment. He fancied that this trembling was the sign set
on the worst reprobates, the sign which God had put on Cain. The unhappy
man's emotion destroyed his power of digestion. He had such pains that
he expected to burst asunder like Judas, whom he regarded as his
prototype.

Neither the books which Bunyan read nor the advisers whom he consulted
were likely to do much good in a case like his. His small library had
received a most unseasonable addition--the account of the lamentable end
of Francis Spira. One ancient man of high repute for piety, whom the
sufferer consulted gave an opinion which might well have produced fatal
consequences. "I am afraid," said Bunyan, "that I have committed the sin
against the Holy Ghost." "Indeed," said the old fanatic, "I am afraid
that you have."

At length the clouds broke; the light became clearer and clearer, and
the enthusiast, who had imagined that he was branded with the mark of
the first murderer, and destined to the end of the arch-traitor, enjoyed
peace and a cheerful confidence in the mercy of God. Years elapsed,
however, before his nerves, which had been so perilously overstrained,
recovered their tone. When he had joined a Baptist society at Bedford,
and was for the first time admitted to partake of the Eucharist, it was
with difficulty that he could refrain from imprecating destruction on
his brethren while the cup was passing from hand to hand. After he had
been some time a member of the congregation he began to preach; and his
sermons produced a powerful effect. He was, indeed, illiterate; but he
spoke to illiterate men. The severe training through which he had passed
had given him such an experimental knowledge of all the modes of
religious melancholy as he could never have gathered from books; and his
vigorous genius, animated by a fervent spirit of devotion, enabled him
not only to exercise a great influence over the vulgar, but even to
extort the half-contemptuous admiration of scholars. Yet it was long
before he ceased to be tormented by an impulse which urged him to utter
words of horrible impiety in the pulpit.

Counter-irritants are of as great use in moral as in physical diseases.
It should seem that Bunyan was finally relieved from the internal
sufferings which had embittered his life by sharp persecution from
without. He had been five years a preacher when the Restoration put it
in the power of the Cavalier gentlemen and clergymen all over the
country to oppress the Dissenters; and, of all the Dissenters whose
history is known to us, he was, perhaps, the most hardly treated. In
November, 1660, he was flung into Bedford jail; and there he remained,
with some intervals of partial and precarious liberty, during twelve
years. His persecutors tried to extort from him a promise that he would
abstain from preaching; but he was convinced that he was divinely set
apart and commissioned to be a teacher of righteousness, and he was
fully determined to obey God rather than man. He was brought before
several tribunals, laughed at, caressed, reviled, menaced, but in vain.
He was facetiously told that he was quite right in thinking that he
ought not to hide his gift; but that his real gift was skill in
repairing old kettles. He was compared to Alexander the coppersmith. He
was told that, if he would give up preaching, he should be instantly
liberated. He was warned that, if he persisted in disobeying the law, he
would be liable to banishment; and that if he were found in England
after a certain time, his neck would be stretched. His answer was, "If
you let me out to-day, I will preach again to-morrow." Year after year
he lay patiently in a dungeon, compared with which the worst prison now
to be found in the island is a palace. His fortitude is the more
extraordinary because his domestic feelings were unusually strong.
Indeed, he was considered by his stern brethren as somewhat too fond and
indulgent a parent. He had several small children, and among them a
daughter who was blind, and whom he loved with peculiar tenderness. He
could not, he said, bear even to let the wind blow on her; and now she
must suffer cold and hunger, she must beg, she must be beaten. "Yet," he
added, "I must, I must do it." While he lay in prison, he could do
nothing in the way of his old trade for the support of his family. He
determined, therefore, to take up a new trade. He learned to make long
tagged thread-laces; and many thousands of these articles were furnished
by him to the hawkers. While his hands were thus busied, he had other
employment for his mind and his lips. He gave religious instruction to
his fellow-captives, and formed from among them a little flock, of which
he was himself the pastor. He studied indefatigably the few books which
he possessed. His two chief companions were the Bible and Fox's "Book of
Martyrs." His knowledge of the Bible was such that he might have been
called a living concordance; and on the margin of his copy of the "Book
of Martyrs" are still legible the ill-spelled lines of doggerel in which
he expressed his reverence for the brave sufferers, and his implacable
enmity to the mystical Babylon.

At length he began to write, and though it was some time before he
discovered where his strength lay, his writings were not unsuccessful.
They were coarse, indeed, but they showed a keen mother-wit, a great
command of the homely mother-tongue, an intimate knowledge of the
English Bible, and a vast and dearly bought spiritual experience. They,
therefore, when the corrector of the press had improved the syntax and
the spelling, were well received by the humbler class of Dissenters.

Much of Bunyan's time was spent in controversy. He wrote sharply against
the Quakers, whom he seems always to have held in utter abhorrence. It
is, however, a remarkable fact that he adopted one of their peculiar
fashions; his practice was to write, not November or December, but
eleventh month and twelfth month.

He wrote against the liturgy of the Church of England. No two things,
according to him, had less affinity than the form of prayer and the
spirit of prayer. Those, he said with much point, who have most of the
spirit of prayer are all to be found in jail; and those who have most
zeal for the form of prayer are all to be found at the ale-house. The
doctrinal articles, on the other hand, he warmly praised, and defended
against some Arminian clergymen who had signed them. The most
acrimonious of all his works is his answer to Edward Fowler, afterward
bishop of Gloucester, an excellent man, but not free from the taint of
Pelagianism.

Bunyan had also a dispute with some of the chiefs of the sect to which
he belonged. He doubtless held with perfect sincerity the distinguishing
tenet of that sect, but he did not consider that tenet as one of high
importance, and willingly joined in communion with pious Presbyterians
and Independents. The sterner Baptists, therefore, loudly pronounced him
a false brother. A controversy arose which long survived the original
combatants. In our own time the cause which Bunyan had defended with
rude logic and rhetoric against Kiffin and Danvers was pleaded by Robert
Hall with an ingenuity and eloquence such as no polemical writer has
ever surpassed.

During the years which immediately followed the Restoration Bunyan's
confinement seems to have been strict; but as the passions of 1660
cooled, as the hatred with which the Puritans had been regarded while
their reign was recent gave place to pity, he was less and less harshly
treated. The distress of his family, and his own patience, courage, and
piety, softened the hearts of his persecutors. Like his own Christian in
the cage, he found protectors even among the crowd of Vanity Fair. The
bishop of the diocese, Dr. Barlow, is said to have interceded for him.
At length the prisoner was suffered to pass most of his time beyond the
walls of the jail, on condition, as it should seem, that he remained
within the town of Bedford.

He owed his complete liberation to one of the worst acts of one of the
worst governments that England has ever seen. In 1671 the Cabal was in
power. Charles II had concluded the treaty by which he bound himself to
set up the Roman Catholic religion in England. The first step which he
took toward that end was to annul, by an unconstitutional exercise of
his prerogative, all the penal statutes against the Roman Catholics; and
in order to disguise his real design, he annulled at the same time the
penal statutes against Protestant Non-conformists. Bunyan was
consequently set at large. In the first warmth of his gratitude, he
published a tract in which he compared Charles to that humane and
generous Persian king who, though not himself blessed with the light of
the true religion, favored the chosen people, and permitted them, after
years of captivity, to rebuild their beloved temple. To candid men, who
consider how much Bunyan had suffered, and how little he could guess the
secret designs of the court, the unsuspicious thankfulness with which he
accepted the precious boon of freedom will not appear to require any
apology.

Before he left his prison he had begun the book which has made his name
immortal. The history of that book is remarkable. The author was, as he
tells us, writing a treatise, in which he had occasion to speak of the
stages of the Christian progress. He compared that progress, as many
others had compared it, to a pilgrimage. Soon his quick wit discovered
innumerable points of similarity which had escaped his predecessors.
Images came crowding on his mind faster than he could put them into
words: quagmires and pits, steep hills, dark and horrible glens, soft
vales, sunny pastures; a gloomy castle, of which the courtyard was
strewn with the skulls and bones of murdered prisoners; a town all
bustle and splendor, like London on the Lord Mayor's Day; and the narrow
path, straight as a rule could make it, running on uphill and down hill,
through city and through wilderness, to the Black River and the Shining
Gate. He had found out--as most people would have said, by accident; as
he would doubtless have said, by the guidance of Providence--where his
powers lay. He had no suspicion, indeed, that he was producing a
masterpiece. He could not guess what place his allegory would occupy in
English literature, for of English literature he knew nothing. Those who
suppose him to have studied the "Fairy Queen," might easily be confuted,
if this were the proper place for a detailed examination of the passages
in which the two allegories have been thought to resemble each other.
The only work of fiction, in all probability, with which he could
compare his pilgrim, was his old favorite, the legend of Sir Bevis of
Southampton. He would have thought it a sin to borrow any time from the
serious business of his life, from his expositions, his controversies,
and his lace tags, for the purpose of amusing himself with what he
considered merely as a trifle. It was only, he assures us, at spare
moments that he returned to the House Beautiful, the Delectable
Mountains, and the Enchanted Ground. He had no assistance. Nobody but
himself saw a line till the whole was complete. He then consulted his
pious friends. Some were pleased. Others were much scandalized. It was a
vain story, a mere romance about giants, and lions, and goblins, and
warriors, sometimes fighting with monsters, and sometimes regaled by
fair ladies in stately palaces. The loose, atheistical wits at Will's
might write such stuff to divert the painted Jezebels of the court; but
did it become a minister of the Gospel to copy the evil fashions of the
world? There had been a time when the cant of such fools would have made
Bunyan miserable. But that time was passed, and his mind was now in a
firm and healthy state. He saw that in employing fiction to make truth
clear and goodness attractive, he was only following the example which
every Christian ought to propose to himself; and he determined to print.

The "Pilgrim's Progress" stole silently into the world. Not a single
copy of the first edition is known to be in existence. The year of
publication has not been ascertained. It is probable that during some
months, the little volume circulated only among poor and obscure
sectaries. But soon the irresistible charm of a book which gratified the
imagination of the reader with all the action and scenery of a fairy
tale, which exercised his ingenuity by setting him to discover a
multitude of curious analogies, which interested his feelings for human
beings, frail like himself, and struggling with temptations from within
and from without, which every moment drew a smile from him by some
stroke of quaint yet simple pleasantry, and nevertheless left on his
mind a sentiment of reverence for God and of sympathy for man, began to
produce its effect. In Puritanical circles, from which plays and novels
were strictly excluded, that effect was such as no work of genius,
though it were superior to the "Iliad," to "Don Quixote," or to
"Othello," can ever produce on a mind accustomed to indulge in literary
luxury. In 1668 came forth a second edition, with additions; and then
the demand became immense. In the four following years the book was
reprinted six times. The eighth edition, which contains the last
improvements made by the author, was published in 1682, the ninth in
1684, the tenth in 1685. The help of the engraver had early been called
in, and tens of thousands of children looked with terror and delight on
execrable copperplates, which represented Christian thrusting his sword
into Apollyon or writhing in the grasp of Giant Despair. In Scotland and
in some of the colonies, the Pilgrim was even more popular than in his
native country. Bunyan has told us, with very pardonable vanity, that in
New England his Dream was the daily subject of the conversation of
thousands, and was thought worthy to appear in the most superb binding.
He had numerous admirers in Holland and among the Huguenots of France.
With the pleasure, however, he experienced some of the pains of
eminence. Knavish booksellers put forth volumes of trash under his name,
and envious scribblers maintained it to be impossible that the poor
ignorant tinker should really be the author of the book which was called
his.

He took the best way to confound both those who counterfeited him and
those slandered him. He continued to work the gold-field which he had
discovered, and to draw from it new treasures; not, indeed, with quite
such ease and in quite such abundance as when the precious soil was
still virgin, but yet with success which left all competition far
behind. In 1684 appeared the second part of the "Pilgrim's Progress." It
was soon followed by the "Holy War," which, if the "Pilgrim's Progress"
did not exist, would be the best allegory that ever was written.

Bunyan's place in society was now very different from what it had been.
There had been a time when many Dissenting ministers, who could talk
Latin and read Greek, had affected to treat him with scorn. But his fame
and influence now far exceeded theirs. He had so great an authority
among the Baptists that he was popularly called Bishop Bunyan. His
episcopal visitations were annual. From Bedford he rode every year to
London, and preached there to large and attentive congregations. From
London he went his circuit through the country, animating the zeal of
his brethren, collecting and distributing alms, and making up quarrels.
The magistrates seem in general to have given him little trouble. But
there is reason to believe that, in the year 1685, he was in some danger
of again occupying his old quarters in Bedford jail. In that year, the
rash and wicked enterprise of Monmouth gave the government a pretext for
prosecuting the Non-conformists; and scarcely one eminent divine of the
Presbyterian, Independent, or Baptist persuasion remained unmolested.
Baxter was in prison; Howe was driven into exile; Henry was arrested.
Two eminent Baptists, with whom Bunyan had been engaged in controversy,
were in great peril and distress. Danvers was in danger of being hanged,
and Kiffin's grandsons were actually hanged. The tradition is, that
during those evil days, Bunyan was forced to disguise himself as a
wagoner, and that he preached to his congregation at Bedford in a
smock-frock, with a cart-whip in his hand. But soon a great change took
place. James the Second was at open war with the Church, and found it
necessary to court the Dissenters. Some of the creatures of the
government tried to secure the aid of Bunyan. They probably knew that he
had written in praise of the indulgence of 1672, and therefore hoped
that he might be equally pleased with the indulgence of 1687. But
fifteen years of thought, observation, and commerce with the world had
made him wiser. Nor were the cases exactly parallel. Charles was a
professed Protestant; James was a professed papist. The object of
Charles's indulgence was disguised; the object of James's indulgence was
patent. Bunyan was not deceived. He exhorted his hearers to prepare
themselves by fasting and prayer for the danger which menaced their
civil and religious liberties, and refused even to speak to the courtier
who came down to remodel the corporation of Bedford, and who, as was
supposed, had it in charge to offer some municipal dignity to the bishop
of the Baptists.

Bunyan did not live to see the Revolution. In the Summer of 1688 he
undertook to plead the cause of a son with an angry father, and at
length prevailed on the old man not to disinherit the young one. This
good work cost the benevolent intercessor his life. He had to ride
through heavy rain. He came drenched to his lodgings on Snow Hill, was
seized with a violent fever, and died in a few days. He was buried in
Bunhill Fields; and the spot where he lies is still regarded by the
Non-conformists with a feeling which seems scarcely in harmony with the
stern spirit of their theology. Many Puritans, to whom the respect paid
by Roman Catholics to the relics and tombs of saints seemed childish or
sinful, are said to have begged with their dying breath that their
coffins might be placed as near as possible to the coffin of the author
of the "Pilgrim's Progress."

The fame of Bunyan during his life, and during the century which
followed his death, was indeed great, but was almost entirely confined
to religious families of the middle and lower classes. Very seldom was
he, during that time, mentioned with respect by any writer of great
literary eminence. Young coupled his prose with the poetry of the
wretched D'Urfey. In the "Spiritual Quixote," the adventures of
Christian are ranked with those of Jack the Giant-killer and John
Hickathrift. Cowper ventured to praise the great allegorist, but did not
venture to name him. It is a significant circumstance that, till a
recent period, all the numerous editions of the "Pilgrim's Progress"
were evidently meant for the cottage and the servants' hall. The paper,
the printing, the plates were all of the meanest description. In
general, when the educated minority and the common people differ about
the merit of a book, the opinion of the educated minority finally
prevails. The "Pilgrim's Progress" is perhaps the only book about which,
after the lapse of a hundred years, the educated minority has come over
to the opinion of the common people.--MACAULAY.

    O king without a crown,
    O priest above the line
    Whose course is through the ages down,
    What wondrous eyes were thine!

    As in the sea of glass,
    So pictured in those eyes
    Were all the things that come to pass
    Beneath, above the skies;

    Between two worlds the way,
    The sun, the cloud, the snares,
    The pilgrim's progress day by day,
    The gladness God prepares.

    Enough, enough this vision,
    By thee built into story,
    To crown thy life by Heaven's decision,
    With monumental glory.

       *       *       *       *       *



XXXV.

MADAME ROLAND

(BORN 1754--DIED 1793.)


THE MOST REMARKABLE WOMAN OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION--THE IPHIGENIA OF
FRANCE.


Marie-Jeanne Phlipon, for this was her maiden name, was born in Paris in
the year 1754. Her father was an engraver. The daughter does not
delineate him in her memoirs with such completeness as she has sketched
her mother, but we can infer from the fleeting glimpses which she gives
of him that he was a man of very considerable intellectual and physical
force, but also of most irregular tendencies, which in his later years
debased him to serious immoralities. He was a superior workman,
discontented with his lot. He sought to better it by speculative
operations outside his vocation. As his daughter expresses it, "he went
in pursuit of riches, and met with ruin on his way." She also remarks of
him, "that he could not be said to be a good man, but he had a great
deal of what is called honor."

Her mother was evidently an angelic woman. Many passages in the memoirs
indicate that she possessed uncommon intellectual endowments; but so
exceeding were her virtues that, when her face rose to the daughter's
view in the night of after years, and gazed compassionately on her
through prison bars, the daughter, writing in the shadow of death,
presents her in the light only of purest, noblest womanhood.

Marie was so precocious that she could not remember when she was unable
to read. The first book she remembered reading was the Old and New
Testament. Her early religious teaching was most sufficient, and was
submitted to by a mind which, although practical and realistic, was
always devout and somewhat affected by mystical, vague, and enthusiastic
tendencies. She was a prodigy in the catechism, and was an agent of
terror to the excellent priest who taught her and the other children,
for she frequently confounded him in open class by questions which have
vexed persons of maturest years. She was taught the harp, the piano, the
guitar, and the violin. She was proficient in dancing. Such was her
astonishing aptitude in all studies that she says, "I had not a single
master who did not appear as much flattered by teaching me as I was
grateful for being taught; nor one who, after attending me for a year or
two, was not the first to say that his instructions were no longer
necessary." It was her habit in childhood, after she had read any book,
to lay it aside and reconstruct its contents by the processes of a most
powerful memory, and while doing so, to meditate upon, analyze, and
debate with it in the severest spirit of criticism and controversy.

When nine years of age she was reading Appian, the romances of Scarron,
which disgusted and did not taint her; the memoirs of De Paites and of
Madame de Montpensier. She mastered a treatise on heraldry so thoroughly
that she corrected her father one day when she saw him engraving a seal
inconformably to some minor rule of that art. She essayed a book on
contracts, but it did not entice her to a complete perusal.

She took great delight in Plutarch, which she often carried to church
instead of her missal. She read the "Candide" of Voltaire, Fénelon on
the education of girls, and Locke on that of children. During all this
time her mind was troubled by those unanswerable and saddening
reflections upon those recondite theological subjects which often
torture such children, and which grown up people are too often so
forgetful of their own childhood that they fail to sympathize with them.
She regarded with disapproval the transformation of the Devil into a
serpent, and thought it cruel in God to permit it. Referring to the time
when her first communion drew near, she writes: "I felt a sacred terror
take possession of my soul."

She became profoundly humble and inexpressibly timid. As she grew older
she learned that she was to live in a world of errors, sorrows, and
sins, and the mere knowledge of their existence, by some peculiar
process of her wonderful mind, seemed to be the signal for their
combined attack upon her soul. She watched her thoughts until forbidden
topics were generated in her mind by the very act of watchfulness. She
then regarded herself as an accomplice with every profane image which
invaded her innocent imagination. She subjected herself to physical
mortifications and austerities of a whimsical yet severe character. She
aspired to the fate of holy women of old, who had suffered martyrdom,
and she finally resolved to enter a convent. She was then eleven years
old. She was placed in such an institution ostensibly for further
education, but with the intention on her part there to always remain. It
was like entering the vestibule of heaven. She records of her first
night there: "I lifted up my eyes to the heavens; they were unclouded
and serene; I imagined that I felt the presence of the Deity smiling on
my sacrifice, and already offering me a reward in the consolatory peace
of a celestial abode."

She was always an acute observer and a caustic commentator, and she soon
discovered that the cloister is not necessarily a celestial abode, and
that its inmates do not inevitably enjoy consolatory peace. She found
feminine spite there of the same texture with that wreaked by worldly
women upon each other, and she notes the cruel taunts which good, old,
ugly, and learned sister Sophia received from some stupid nuns, who, she
says, "were fond of exposing her defects because they did not possess
her talents." But her devotional fervor did not abate. She fainted under
the feeling of awe in the act of her first communion, for she literally
believed that her lips touched the very substance of her God, and
thereafter she was long brooded over by that perfect peace which passeth
understanding.

She remained there a year, when her destiny was changed by some domestic
events which made her services necessary to her parents, and she
returned home. Her resolution was unchanged, and she read and meditated
deeply upon the Philotee of Saint Francis de Sales, upon the manual of
Saint Augustine, and upon the polemical writings of Bossuet. But by this
time the leaven of dissent began to work in that powerful intellect, for
she remarks upon these works, that "favorable as they are to the cause
which they defended, they sometimes let me into the secret of objections
which might be made to it, and set me to scrutinizing the articles of my
faith;" and she states that "this was the first step toward a skepticism
at which I was destined to arrive after having been successively
Jansenist, Cartesian, Stoic, and Deist." By this skepticism she
doubtless meant merely skepticism as to creeds, for in her memoirs,
written in daily expectation of death, and in most intense
self-communion, she writes upon the great subjects of immortality,
Deity, and providence in language of astonishing eloquence. "Can," she
writes, "can the sublime idea of a Divine Creator, whose providence
watches over the world, the immateriality of the soul and its
immortality, that consolatory hope of persecuted virtue, be nothing more
than amiable and splendid chimeras? But in how much obscurity are these
difficult problems involved? What accumulated objections arise when we
wish to examine them with mathematical rigor? No! it is not given to the
human mind to behold these truths in the full day of perfect evidence;
but why should the man of sensibility repine at not being able to
demonstrate what he feels to be true? In the silence of the closet and
the dryness of discussion, I can agree with the atheist or the
materialist as to the insolubility of certain questions; but in the
contemplation of nature my soul soars aloft to the, vivifying principle
which animates it, to the intellect which pervades it, and to the
goodness which makes it so glorious. Now, when immense walls separate me
from all I love, when all the evils of society have fallen upon us
together, as if to punish us for having desired its greatest blessings,
I see beyond the limits of life the reward of our sacrifices. How, in
what manner, I can not say. I only feel that so it ought to be." She
read incongruously. Condillac, Voltaire, the Lives of the Fathers,
Descartes, Saint Jerome, Don Quixote, Pascal, Montesquieu, Burlamaqui,
and the French dramatists, were read, annotated, and commented on. She
gives an appalling list of obsolete devotional books, which she borrowed
of a pious abbé, and returned with marginal notes which shocked him. She
read the Dictionnaire Philosophique, Diderot, D'Alembert, Raynal,
Holbach, and took delight in the Epistles of Saint Paul. She was, while
studying Malebranche and Descartes, so convinced, that she considered
her kitten, when it mewed, merely a piece of mechanism in the exercise
of its functions. The chilling negations and arid skepticism of
Helvetius shocked her, and she writes: "I felt myself possessed of a
generosity of soul of which he denied the existence." She concluded at
this time that a republic is the true form of government, and that every
other form is in derogation of man's natural rights.

She mastered Clairaut's geometry by copying the book, plates, and all,
from beginning to end. She read Pufendorf's folio on the law of nature.
She learned English, and read the life of Cromwell. She read the great
French preachers, Bossuet, Flechier, Bourdaloue, and Massillon. She was
vexed by the terrorism of their arguments. She thought that they
overrated the importance of the devil. She did not believe him to be as
powerful as they feared. She thought that they might teach oftener what
seemed to her the potent element of Christian faith--love--and leave the
devil out sometimes, and so she herself wrote a sermon on brotherly
love, with which that personage had nothing to do, and in which his name
was not even mentioned. She also read the Protestant preachers--Blair
especially. She entangled herself in the acute skepticism of Bayle.

She seemed possessed of one of those assimilative intellects which
extract by glances the substance from a book as the flash of lightning
demagnetizes the lodestone. Her acquisitions were consequently immense.
Though very yielding in the grasp of the mighty thinkers whom she
encountered, yet she read them in the spirit of criticism, controversy,
and dissent.

She was, nevertheless, the farthest in the world from becoming a
literary dragon. All this did not impair the freshness of girlhood. She
was meek and pure. Passages in her autobiography, which I can not
repeat, yet which ought to be read, establish this. She was throughout
entirely domestic. She did the marketing, cooked the food; nursed her
mother; kept a sharp eye on the apprentices; nearly fell in love, for
when the young painter, Taborel, who was twenty, and blushed like a
girl, visited her father's workshop, she always had a crayon or
something else to seek there, but at the sight of him ran away
trembling, without saying a word.

It was not difficult for her to be both scholar and housewife. Writing
in after years, of domestic cares, she says: "I never could comprehend
how the attention of a woman who possesses method and activity can be
engrossed by them.... Nothing is wanting but a proper distribution of
employments, and a small share of vigilance.... People who know how to
employ themselves always find leisure moments, while those who do
nothing are in want of time for any thing.... I think that a wife should
keep the linen and clothes in order, or cause them to be so kept; nurse
her children; give directions concerning the cookery, or superintend it
herself, but without saying a word about it, and with such command of
her temper, and such management of her time, as may leave her the means
of talking of other matters, and of pleasing no less by her good humor
than by the graces natural to her sex.... It is nearly the same in the
government of states as of families. Those famous housewives who are
always expatiating on their labors are sure either to leave much in
arrears, or to render themselves tiresome to every one around them; and,
in like manner, those men in power so talkative and so full of business,
only make a mighty bustle about the difficulties they are in because too
awkward or ignorant to remove them."

An acquaintance which one of her uncles, who was an ecclesiastic, had
with an upper servant of the royal household, enabled her to spend some
days at the palace of Versailles. She was lodged with the servants, and
enjoyed the servant's privilege of seeing every thing and sparing
nothing. Royalty was never put in the focus of eyes so critical. Her
comments upon this visit are very brief. She expresses her detestation
of what she saw, saying, "It gives me the feeling of injustice, and
obliges me every moment to contemplate absurdity."

The studies and experiences which have been described bring us to her
fifteenth year. She was then a beautiful woman. In her memoirs she
declines to state how she looked when a child, saying that she knows a
better time for such a sketch. In describing herself at fifteen, she
says: "I was five feet four inches tall; my leg was shapely; my hips
high and prominent; my chest broad and nobly decorated; my shoulders
flat; ... my face had nothing striking in it except a great deal of
color, and much softness and expression; my mouth is a little too
wide--you may see prettier every day--but you will see none with a smile
more tender and engaging; my eyes are not very large; the color of the
iris is hazel; my hair is dark brown; my nose gave me some uneasiness; I
thought it a little too flat at the end.... It is only since my beauty
has faded that I have known what it has been in its bloom. I was then
unconscious of its value, which was probably augmented by my ignorance."

That she understated her personal charms, the concurrent admiration of
contemporary men and women fully attests. Her physical beauty was
marvelous, and when great men were subjected to its influence, to the
imperial functions of her intellect, and to the persuasions of an
organization exceedingly spiritual and magnetic, it is no wonder that
her influence, domestic woman, housewife, as she always was, became so
effectual over them.

Let me here warn my hearers not to forestall this woman in their
judgments. She was not a manlike female. No better wife ever guided her
husband anonymously by her intuitions, or assisted him by her learning.
In the farm house and in the palace she was as wifely and retiring as
any of the excellent women who have been the wives of American
statesmen. Every one knew her abilities and her stupendous acquirements,
and she felt them herself, but, notwithstanding, she never would consent
to write a line for publication and avow it as her own, and never did,
until that time when her husband was an outlaw, when her child was torn
from her, when she herself stood in the shadow of the guillotine, and
writhed under the foulest written and spoken calumnies that can torture
outraged womanhood into eloquence. She then wrote, in twenty-six days,
her immortal Appeal to Posterity, and those stirring letters and papers
incident to her defense, from which some extracts have been here
presented. She was mistress of a faultless style. Her command over the
resources of her language was despotic. She could give to French prose
an Italian rhythmus. She had wit and imagination--a reasoning
imagination. She was erudite. Probably no woman ever lived better
entitled to a high position in literature. But she never claimed it. She
holds it now only as a collateral result of her defense in the struggle
in which her life was the stake, and in which she lost. She says:
"Never, however, did I feel the smallest temptation to become an author.
I perceived at a very early period that a woman who acquires this title
loses far more than she gains. She forfeits the affections of the male
sex, and provokes the criticisms of her own. If her works be bad, she is
ridiculed, and not without reason; if good, her right to them is
disputed; or if envy be forced to acknowledge the best part to be her
own, her character, her morals, her conduct, and her talents are
scrutinized in such a manner that the reputation of her genius is fully
counterbalanced by the publicity given to her defects. Besides, my
happiness was my chief concern, and I never saw the public intermeddle
with that of any one without marring it.... During twelve years of my
life I shared in my husband's labors as I participated in his repasts,
because one was as natural to me as the other. If any part of his works
happened to be quoted in which particular graces of style were
discovered, or if a flattering reception was given to any of the
academic trifles, which he took a pleasure in transmitting to the
learned societies, of which he was a member, I partook of his
satisfaction without reminding him that it was my own composition.... If
during his administration an occasion occurred for the expression of
great and striking truths, I poured forth my whole soul upon the paper,
and it was but natural that its effusions should be preferable to the
laborious teemings of a secretary's brain. I loved my country. I was an
enthusiast in the cause of liberty. I was unacquainted with any interest
or any passions that could enter into competition with that enthusiasm;
my language, consequently, could not but be pure and pathetic, as it was
that of the heart and of truth.... Why should not a woman act as
secretary to her husband without depriving him of any portion of his
merit? It is well known that ministers can not do every thing
themselves; and, surely, if the wives of those of the old governments,
or even of the new, had been capable of making draughts of letters, of
official dispatches, or of proclamations, their time would have been
better employed than in intriguing first for one paramour and then for
another." "An old coxcomb, enamored of himself, and vain of displaying
the slender stock of science he has been so long in acquiring, might be
in the habit of seeing me ten years together without suspecting that I
could do more than cast up a bill or cut out a shirt."

Suitors, she writes, came numerously from her fifteenth year. She
marches them off _en masse_ in her memoirs. As is the custom in France,
the first overture was made to her father, and usually by letter. Her
music teacher was her first devotee. He was followed by her dancing
master, who, as a propitiatory preparation had a wen cut out of his
cheek; then came a wealthy butcher; then a man of rank; then a dissolute
physician, from marrying whom she narrowly escaped; then a jeweler, and
many others. The merits of these gentlemen--particularly those of the
energetic butcher---were warmly commended by their female friends, who,
in France, are brokers in this business on a very extensive scale. It is
a unique proof of her ascendancy over every person near her that the
letters which her father received, requesting his permission to address
her, were submitted by him to her to draft the answer he was to send. So
she placed herself _loco parentis_, and wrote the most paternal letters
of refusal; all of which her father dutifully copied and sent, with many
a pang when she let riches and rank pass by her. The suitors were
dismissed, one and all, and she resumed her books and studies.

Her mother died in 1775. She became the mistress of the house. Her
father formed disreputable connections. Late in that year her future
husband, Roland de la Platiere, presented himself, with a letter from a
friend of her girlhood. He was forty years old; he was a student; his
form was awkward and his manners were stiff; his morals were
irreproachable, his disposition was exacting, but his ability was great.
He was capable of instructing even her on many subjects, and they became
well acquainted by the elective sympathy of scholarship. She became the
critic and depositary of his manuscripts. Finally, one day, after asking
leave, in her father's presence the worthy man actually kissed her, on
his departure for Italy. Her father, sinking lower and lower, squandered
her little fortune of about three thousand dollars, wasted his own
business, and then treated her with brutality. Her only amusement at
this time was playing the violin, accompanied by an old priest who
tortured a bass viol, while her uncle made a flute complain.

Finally, after an acquaintance of five years, Roland, by letter to her
father, proposed marriage. The purity of Roland's life was esteemed by
Phlipon such a reproach to his own dissoluteness that he revenged
himself by an insulting refusal. He then made his daughter's life at
home so insupportable that she took lodgings in a convent. She was
visited there by Roland, and they were finally married, without again
consulting her father. During the year next succeeding their marriage
they remained at Paris. From Paris they went to Amiens, and lived there
four years, where her daughter was born. She assisted her husband in the
preparation of several statistical and scientific articles for the
Encyclopedic. She made a _hortus siccus_ of the plants of Picardy.

In 1784 they removed to the family estate of Roland at Villefranche,
near Lyons. She had, in the course of her studies, acquired considerable
knowledge of medicine. There was no physician in that little community,
and she became the village doctor. Some of her experiences were quite
whimsical. A country-woman came several leagues, and offered her a horse
if she would save the life of her husband, whom a physician had given up
to die. She visited the sick man, and he recovered, but she had great
difficulty in resisting the importunities of his wife that she should
take the horse.

In 1784 they went to England, and in 1787 they made the tour of
Switzerland. Roland was elected member of the constitutional assembly
from Lyons, and they went to Paris.

I am compelled now to pass from the uneventful first ten years of her
married life with the single remark that, through them all, she was the
devoted wife and mother, the kind neighbor, and the most assiduous
student. But her mind bore, as on a mirror, prophetic, shadowy, and
pictured glimpses of those awful events which were marching out of
futurity toward France. Her letters written during this period show that
she gazed upon them with a prescient eye, and heard with keenest ear the
alarum of the legions which were gathering for attack. The young men of
Lyons, where she and her husband spent the Winters, gathered in her
parlors, and heard from the lips of this impassioned seeress of liberty
words which, in such formative periods of a nation's life, hasten events
with a power that seems like absolute physical force.

Her husband was chosen a member of the national assembly, and she went
with him again to Paris in 1791.

Here ends the peaceful period of her life. Here close upon her forever
the doors of home; and here open to her the doors of history, which too
often admits its guests only to immolate them in splendid chambers, as
it immolated her. From this time we miss the pure womanliness of her
character, in which she is so lovely, and see her imperial beauty and
her regal intellect in all their autocratic power, until that time when
her husband, home, child, power, and hope were all forever gone, and her
womanhood again shone out, like a mellow and beauteous sunset, when
life's day drew near its close.

Nothing had become more certain than that the monarchy would undergo
radical constitutional changes. Of this every one was conscious except
the king and the nobility. They were struck with that blindness which
foreruns ruin. They constituted one party, and this party was the common
object of attack by two political and revolutionary divisions, the
Girondists and the Jacobins. The Gironde wished reform, a constitution,
a monarchy, but one limited and constitutional, equality in taxes. They
did not wish to destroy utterly, but they were willing to dislocate and
then readjust, the machinery of state. The Jacobins at first said much,
but proposed little. They aspired to the abolition of the throne and the
establishment of a republic; they wished to overthrow the altar; they
promised, vaguely, to wreak upon the rich and titled full revenge for
the wrongs of the poor and lowly. Every political and social dream which
had found expression for twenty years, every skeptical attack upon
things ancient and holy, found in this body of men a party and an
exponent. Up to a certain point both of these parties necessarily made
common war upon the old order of things. But, beyond that point, it was
equally certain that they would attack each other. The Girondists would
wish to stop, and the Jacobins would wish to go on.

During the session of this assembly the influence of Madame Roland on
men of all modes of thought became most marked. Her parlors were the
rendezvous of eminent men, and men destined to become eminent. It is
impossible to discover, from the carping records of that time, that she
asserted her powers by an unwomanly effort. Men felt in her presence
that they were before a great intellectual being--a creative and
inspiring mind--and it shone upon them without effort, like the sun.
Among these visitors was Maximilien Robespierre, who afterwards took her
life. He was then obscure, despised, and had been coughed down when he
rose to speak. She discerned his talents, and encouraged him. He said
little, but was always near her, listening to all she said; and in his
after days of power, he reproduced, in many a speech, what he had heard
this wondrous woman say. In this time of his unpopularity she
unquestionably saved him from the guillotine by her own personal and
persistent intercession with men in power.

By the time that the session of this assembly drew near its close the
ground-swell began to be felt of that tempest of popular wrath which
eventually swept over France, and which the Jacobins rode and directed
until it dashed even them upon the rocks. Squalor came forth and
consorted with cleanliness; vice crept from its dens and sat down by the
side of purity in high places; atheism took its stand at the altar, and
ministered with the priest.

This assembly adjourned, and the Rolands returned, for a short time, to
Platiere. By this time it was evident that the monarchy could not stand
against the attacks of both its enemies; the king was compelled to
yield; he threw himself into the arms of the Girondists, as his least
obnoxious foes. He formed a new cabinet, and to Roland was given the
ministry of the interior. It was a very great office. Its incumbent had
administrative charge of all the internal affairs of France. The
engraver's daughter was now the mistress of a palace. From the lowly
room where she had read Plutarch until her mind was made grand with
ideas of patriotic glory, until she loved her country as once she loved
her God, she had gone by no base degrees to an eminence where her
beloved France, with all its hopes and woes and needs and resources, lay
like a map beneath her--a map for her and hers to change.

By this time the titled refugees had brought the Prussian armies to the
frontier; a majority of the clergy had identified themselves with the
reaction, were breaking down the revolution among the people, and were
producing a reversionary tendency to absolutism. The king was
vacillating and timid, but the queen had all the spirit and courage of
her mother, Maria Theresa. It is very evident from Madame Roland's
memoirs and letters, that these two women felt that they were in actual
collision. It is a strange contrast; the sceptered wife, looking from
her high places with longing and regret over centuries of hereditary
succession, divine right and unquestioned prerogative, calling on her
house of Hapsburg for aid, appealing to the kings of the earth for
assistance in moving back the irreversible march of destiny:--from
another palace the daughter of the people looking not back, but forward,
speaking of kings and monarchies as gone, or soon to go, into tables of
chronology, listening to what the ancient centuries speak from Grecian
and Roman tombs, summoning old philosophies to attest the inalienable
rights of man, looking beyond the mobs of kings and lords to the great
nation-forming people, upon which these float and pass away like the
shadows of purple Summer clouds; and stranger still, the ending of the
contrast in the identification of these typical women in their death,
both going to the same scaffold, discrowned of all their hopes. Of all
the lessons which life has taught to ambition, none are more touching
than when it points to the figures of these women as they are hurried by
the procession in which they moved to a common fate.

The ministry insisted that the king should proclaim war against those
who were threatening invasion, and that he should proceed stringently
against the unpatriotic clergy. He refused to take either course against
his ancient friends. It was at this time that Madame Roland wrote to the
king in advocacy of those measures that celebrated letter which her
husband signed, and to which all of the ministers assented. It is a most
statesmanlike appeal for the nation. It is predictive of all the woes
which followed. No Hebrew prophet ever spoke bolder to his king. She
writes: "I know that the words of truth are seldom welcome at the foot
of thrones; I know that it is the withholding truth from the councils of
kings that renders revolution necessary."

The king, instead of adopting the policy recommended, dismissed his
ministers. The letter was then made public through the newspapers. Few
state papers have ever produced such an effect. It became a popular
argument, and the people demanded the restoration of the ministry for
the reasons which it contained, and for expressing which the ministry
had been dismissed.

While the Girondists were supporting the ministry of their choice, they,
with the king, were the object of furious attacks by the Jacobins. When
the ministry was dismissed the Gironde renewed its attacks upon the
monarchy, emulated the Jacobins in the severity of its assaults, and
began to conspire for a federative republic, similar to the United
States, which to Madame Roland was the ideal of a free government.

Madame Roland went from the palace to hired lodgings, and in the
temporary fusion which followed of the revolutionists of all parties,
the most eminent leaders gathered around her again. Robespierre came,
but said little, for he was waiting his hour. Danton laid his lion mane
in her lap, all his savagery for the moment tamed. Vergniaud, Buzot, and
all the chiefs of the Gironde, gathered around this oracle of liberty.
Anarchy supervened. Paris and all France were filled with riotings and
murder. The king finally declared war, but battles went against France.
Riot and murder increased. A mob of twenty thousand invaded the
Tuileries then occupied by the royal family. It was divided into three
divisions. The first was composed of armed and disciplined men, led by
Santerre. The male ruffians of Paris, blood-thirsty and atrocious beyond
any thing that civilization has ever produced, formed the second
division. The third, most terrible of all, was composed of the lost
women of Paris, led by Theroigne de Mericourt, clad in a blood-red
riding dress, and armed with sword and pistol. This notorious woman had
acted a prominent part in former scenes. She led the attack upon the
Bastille. She led the mob which brought the king from Versailles to
Paris. In the subsequent riots life and death hung upon her nod, and in
one of them she met her betrayer. He begged piteously for her pardon and
his life, and this was her answer, if we believe Lamartine: "My pardon!"
said she, "at what price can you buy it? My innocence gone, my family
lost to me, my brothers and sisters pursued in their own country by the
jeers of their kindred; the maledictions of my father; my exile from my
native land; my enrollment among courtesans; the blood by which my days
have been and will be stained; that imperishable curse of vice linked to
my name instead of that immortality of virtue which you once taught me
to doubt--it is for this that you would buy my forgiveness--do you know
of any price on earth sufficient to purchase it?" And he was massacred.
She died forty years afterwards in a mad-house, for in the fate of the
revolution, she was stripped and whipped in the streets to madness by
the very women she had led.

These loathsome cohorts forced their way into the palace. They invaded
the rooms of the king and queen. They struck at him with pikes, and
forced upon his head the red bonnet of the Jacobins, while the most
wretched of her sex encircled the queen with a living wall of vice, and
loaded her with obscene execrations, charges, and epithets.

Although this outbreak has been charged to both the great political
parties, it is probably nearer to truth to say that it originated
spontaneously with that demoniac mob soon to rule France, and which from
this time carried all political organizations with it. The Girondists,
however, still retained enough of their constitutional conservatism to
be the only hope which royalty could have for its preservation. The king
again threw himself into their arms. Roland was reinstated in his
ministry, and the palace again received his wife.

Then every revolutionary element began at once to combine against the
king and the party which was thus supporting him. It was soon apparent
that the king and the Girondists could neither govern the country nor
save themselves if they acted together. The Gironde, from about this
time, pusillanimously conceded point by point to the anarchic demands
made by their enemies and the king's. Madame Roland did not join them in
this, but when she saw that her husband was but a minister in name, that
he and his associates were powerless to punish murder and prevent
anarchy, doubtless the vision which she had seen of a people regenerated
and free began to fade away. The Gironde consented to the imprisonment
of the royal family in the Temple. This was not concession enough. The
Jacobins, with the mob at their back, accused them not only of lack of
works, but of lack of faith, and when such an accusation against a party
becomes the expression of a popular conviction, that party has nothing
to do except to die. To prove this charge untrue, the Gironde united
with their enemies in abolishing the monarchy and establishing a
republic. Madame Roland drew up a plan for a republic, but it was too
late for such a one as she desired. Her scheme was federative, like our
own, in which the provinces of France should have the status of states.
This plan was a blow at the mob of Paris, which, through the Jacobin
clubs, with which France was thickly sown, controlled the nation. The
republic which followed was such only in name. The mob of Paris now
stepped from behind the transparent screen, whence it had moved all
parties like wire-hung puppets, and stood disclosed before the world in
all its colossal horror, stained with blood, breathing flames, and
grasped directly the springs of power. The national assembly was like a
keeper of lunatics captured by his patients. Its members were crowded in
their seats by blood-thirsty men, depraved women, and by merciless
visionaries, who clamored for extirpation and destruction, absolute and
universal.

The power of Roland as a minister became as feeble as a shadow's hand.
The blade of the guillotine rose and fell automatically. Thousands fled
from the city, upon which heaven itself seemed to rain fire and plagues.
The armies of foreign kings were upon the soil of France, and were fast
advancing, and the wild rumors of their coming roused the people to
panic, and frenzied resolutions of resistance and retribution.
Thousands, whose only crime was a suspected want of sympathy, were
crowded into the prisons of Paris. Hoary age, the bounding boy, the
tender virgin, the loving wife, the holy priest, the sainted nun, the
titled lady, filed along with the depraved of both sexes in endless
procession through those massive gates, never more to see the sky and
the green earth again. For the mob had resolved to extirpate its enemies
in the city before marching against foreign invaders. It went from
prison to prison, bursting in the doors, and slaughtering without
distinction of age, sex, or condition. Madame Roland was nearly frantic
over these scenes. Her divinity had turned to Moloch in her very
presence. Her husband called for troops to stop the horrible massacre,
but none were furnished, and it went on until men were too tired to
slay. These acts were doubtless incited by the Jacobin leaders, though
they cloaked with secrecy their complicity in these great crimes. The
Jacobins became all-powerful. The Girondists became the party of the
past, and from this time their history is a record of a party in name,
but in such act of dissolution as to make its efforts spasmodic,
clique-like, and personal; sometimes grand, sometimes cruel, and often
cowardly. They were under the coercion of public opinion, but were
dragged instead of driven by it. They frequently held back, but this was
merely a halt, which accelerated the rapidity of the march which left
them at the scaffold, where they regained their heroism in the presence
of death, while the bloody mob went on to a similar ending a little
distance beyond.

When the lull came, after the massacre, the two parties stood looking at
each other across the river of blood. The Jacobins accused the
Girondists of being enemies of the country. It is characteristic of
revolutionary times to accuse vaguely and to punish severely. Socrates
died as an alleged corrupter of youth. Pilate, after acquitting Jesus of
the crime of high treason, suffered him to be executed for "teaching
throughout all Jewry." "Roundhead" and "Cavalier" were once expressive
terms of condemnation. In our own times the words "slave-holder,"
"abolitionist," "loyal," "disloyal," and "rebel" have formed the
compendious summing up of years of history. An indictment is compressed
into an epithet in such times. In the time of Madame Roland, to be "a
suspect" was to be punishable with death. So the Jacobins suspected the
Girondists, and accused them of being enemies of France. They introduced
measures which pandered to the bloodthirst of the mob, and for which the
Girondists were compelled either to vote or to draw upon themselves its
vengeance. Madame Roland urged and entreated the Girondists to make one
last struggle for law, liberty, and order, by moving to bring to justice
the ringleaders in the massacre, including the Jacobin chiefs, who
instigated it. This issue was made in the assembly, but it was voted
down before the tiger-roar of the mob which raged in the hall. The
Jacobins resolved to destroy Madame Roland, whose courage had prompted
this attack upon them, and for which she had become the object of their
intensest hate. They suborned an adventurer named Viard to accuse her of
being privy to a correspondence with the English Government for the
purpose of saving the life of the king. She was summoned before the
assembly to confront her accuser. She appeared in the midst of her
enemies, armed with innocence, resplendent with beauty, defended by her
own genius. Her very presence extorted applause from reluctant lips. She
looked upon her accuser, and he faltered. By a few womanly words she
tore his calumny into shreds, and left amid plaudits. Justice thus
returned once more to illumine that place by a fleeting gleam, and then
with this woman left it forever.

The Jacobins pressed the trial of the king. The mob demanded him as a
victim. The Girondists voted with the Jacobins that he was guilty; but
they voted to leave the sentence to the determination of the French
people, and when they were defeated in this they voted for his death. I
am unable to find any thing in the memorials of Madame Roland which
shows that she had any sympathy with this. What is written tends rather
to show that she was in the very apathy and lassitude of horror. From
the time when her courageous effort to work justice upon the abettors
and perpetrators of the massacre failed, her history ceases to be
political and becomes personal.

The revolutionary tribunal was reorganized, consisting of twenty judges,
a jury, and a public accuser. Merlin of Douai, a consummate jurist,
proposed a statute, in every line of which suspicion, treachery, and
hate found an arsenal of revenge. It provided that: "Immediately after
the publication of this present decree, all suspected persons who are
found in the territory of the republic, and who are still at liberty,
shall be arrested.

"Are deemed suspected all persona who, by their conduct, writings, or
language, have proved themselves partisans of tyranny, federalism, and
enemies of liberty;

"Those who can not prove they possess the means of existence, and that
they have fully performed all of their duties as citizens;

"Those to whom certificates of citizenship have been refused;

"Those of noble families--fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, sisters,
husbands, wives, and agents--who have not constantly manifested their
attachment to the Revolution."

The traveler, standing upon the stone seats of the Flavian amphitheater,
looks down into the arena, and peoples the Coliseum with the criminals
and the innocent martyrs, shut out from hope by its merciless walls and
by a populace more merciless, and slain by thousands by wild beasts and
swordsmen and spearsmen, to make a Roman holiday. How complacently he
felicitates himself upon the assumption that modern times present
nothing like this. But less than one hundred years ago, the pen of a
lawyer erected in France a statute which inclosed a kingdom with its
architectural horror, made one arena of an empire, and in one year drank
up more blood than sank into the sands of the Coliseum in centuries.

The revolutionary tribunal was in permanent session. Its trials were
summary. It heard with predetermination, and decided without evidence.
It was the mere routine formality of death. Proof often consisted solely
in the identification of the person whose death had been predetermined.
Prostitutes sold acquittals, and revenged themselves by convictions.
Paris now ruled France, the Jacobins ruled Paris, and the mob ruled the
Jacobins. They had pressed the Girondists, those men of lofty genius and
superb eloquence, from their high position into complicity with crimes
with which they had no sympathy, and this want of sympathy now became
their crime. It was resolved to destroy them. The mob of Paris again
came forth. Devilish men and women again crowded the assembly, and even
took part in its deliberations. The act of accusation was passed, and
twenty-six of the leaders of the Gironde went from their places to the
scaffold, where they suffered death sublimely.

Madame Roland was also arrested. Her husband had fled from Paris. She
was consigned to the prison of St. Pelagie, and afterwards, after
suffering the cruel mockery of a release, she was imprisoned in the
Conciergerie. This prison was the abiding place of assassins, thieves,
and all impurity. It was the anteroom to the scaffold, for incarceration
there was an infallible symptom of death. The inmates were crowded into
rooms with merciless disregard of their relative characters or
antecedents. Madame Roland was first associated with the duchess of
Grammont, with a female pick-pocket, with a nun, with an insane woman,
and with a street-walker. She finally procured a cell to herself, which
she made bloom with flowers. The prison was populous with the most
degraded of her sex. Yet she asserted here the same marvelous ascendancy
which she had always possessed over her associates. The obscene outcries
of lost women died away when she approached. Her cell was an ark of
safety for any dove seeking refuge from that deluge of human sin. When
she went into the courtyard the lost of her own sex gathered around her
with reverence, as around a tutelary and interceding angel, the same
women who inflicted upon Madame Du Barry, that princess of their caste,
every torment which the malice of their sex could inspire. Inmates and
visitors crowded to the door of her cell, and she spoke to them through
its iron bars with eloquence, which increased as inspiring death drew
near, of liberty, country, equality, and of better days for France, but
when they went away she would look through her window to the sky, and,
thinking of her hunted husband and sequestered little daughter, cry and
moan like the simplest wife and mother. Then she would send by
surreptitious conveyance, letters to refugee statesmen, which discussed
the political situation as calmly as if written upon the work-table of a
secure and peaceful home. Calumny now busied itself to defile her.
Hebert, vilest of editors, flung the ordure of Pere Duchesne, vilest of
newspapers, upon this spotless woman, soon to be a saint, and sent the
newsmen to cry the disgusting charges under her prison windows, so that
she heard them rendered in all the villainies of a language whose
under-drains have sources of vileness filthier than any other speech of
man. She did not fear death, but she did fear calumny. She had never
delighted in any public display of her enormous intellectual powers, and
she had never made any such display. She had fixed the sentiment of
Lyons by an anonymous newspaper article, of which sixty thousand copies
had been bought in one day. She had written to the king a letter which
drove her husband from power, and which, when read by the people,
compelled the king to restore him. She had written a dispatch to the
pope, claiming rights for certain French in Rome, in which the sanctity
of his office and the dignity of her country was respected, appealed to,
and asserted. It is said that the state papers were hers which persuaded
William Pitt to abstain so long from intervention in the affairs of
France, in that time of English terror and hope, which furnished
arguments to Fox, and which drew from Burke those efforts of massive
reason and gorgeous imagination which will endure as long as the
language itself. The counsel by which she had disentangled the
perplexity of wisest men had been repeated by them to applauding senates
in tones less eloquent than those by which they had been received, and
triumph had followed. In none of these efforts did she avow herself. She
shrank from the honors which solicited her, though the world knew that
they came from her just as the world knows that moon and planets shine
with the reflected light of a hidden sun. But now, when thus assailed,
she resolved to speak personally and for herself. And so, sitting in her
cell, she wrote in concealment and sent out by trusty hands, in cantos,
that autobiography in which she appealed to posterity, and by which
posterity has been convinced. She traced her career from earliest
childhood down to the very brink of the grave into which she was
looking. Her intellectual, affectional and mental history are all there
written with a hand as steady and a mind as serene as though she were at
home, with her baby sleeping in its cradle by her side. Here are found
history, philosophy, political science, poetry, and ethics as they were
received and given out again by one of the most receptive and imparting
minds ever possessed by woman. She knew that husband, home, child, and
friends were not for her any more, and that very soon she was to see the
last of earth from beside the headsman and from the block, and yet she
turned from all regret and fear, and summoned the great assize of
posterity, "of foreign nations and the next ages," to do her justice.
There was no sign of fear. She looked as calmly on what she knew she
must soon undergo as the spirit released into never-ending bliss looks
back upon the corporeal trammels from which it has just earned its
escape.

There are those who believe that a woman can not be great as she was and
still be pure. These ghouls of history will to the end of time dig into
the graves where such queens lie entombed. This woman has slept serenely
for nearly a century. Sweet oblivion has dimmed with denial and
forgetfulness the obloquy which hunted her in her last days. Tears such
as are shed for vestal martyrs have been shed for her, and for all her
faults she has the condonation of universal sorrow. Nothing but the evil
magic of sympathetic malice can restore these calumnies, and even then
they quickly fade away in the sunlight of her life. Nothing can touch
her further. Dismiss them with the exorcism of Carlyle, grown strangely
tender and elegiac here. "Breathe not thy poison breath! Evil speech!
That soul is taintless; clear as the mirror sea." She was brought to
trial. The charge against her was, "That there has existed a horrible
conspiracy against the unity and indivisibility of the French people;
that Marie Jeanne Phlipon, wife of Jean Marie Roland has been one of the
abettors or accomplices of that conspiracy." This was the formula by
which this woman was killed, and it simply meant that the Gironde had
existed and that she had sympathized with it.

She was racked with interrogations, and returned to the prison, weeping
at the infernal imputations which they cast upon her womanhood. On the
day of her final trial she dressed herself in spotless white, and let
fall the voluminous masses of her brown, abundant hair. She was asked to
betray her husband by disclosing his hiding place. Her answer is full of
wifely loyalty and dignity--"Whether I know it or not I neither ought
nor will say."

There was absolutely no evidence against her except of her affiliations
with the Girondists. The mockery ended by her condemnation to death
within twenty-four hours, and this Iphigenia of France went doomed back
to her cell. Her return was awaited with dreadful anxiety by her
associates in confinement, who hoped against hope for her safe
deliverance. As she passed through the massive doors, she smiled, and
drew her hand knife-like across her neck, and then there went up a wail
from all assembled there, the wail of titled women, of sacred nuns, of
magdalens and thieves, a dirge of inconsolable sorrow, of humanity
weeping for its best beloved child.

Late in the afternoon of November 8, 1693, the rude cart which was to
bear her to the guillotine received her. She was dressed in white; her
hair fell like a mantle to her knees. The chilly air and her own courage
brought back to her prison-blanched cheek the rosy hues of youth. She
spoke words of divine patience to the crowd which surged around her on
her way and reviled her. With a few low words she raised the courage of
a terror-stricken old man who took with her the same last journey, and
made him smile. As the hours wore into twilight, she passed the home of
her youth, and perhaps longed to become a little child again and enter
there and be at rest. At the foot of the scaffold she asked for pen and
paper to bequeath to posterity the thoughts which crowded upon her; they
were refused, and thus was one of the books of the sibyls lost. She
bowed to the great statue of Liberty near by, exclaiming, "_O Liberté!
comme on t' a jouée!_"[2] and gave her majestic form to the headsman to
be bound upon the plank.

The knife fell, and the world darkened upon the death of the queenliest
woman who ever lived and loved.--EX-GOVERNOR C.K. DAVIS, _of Minnesota_.

    What though the triumph of thy fond forecasting
      Lingers till earth is fading from thy sight?
    Thy part with Him whose arms are everlasting,
      Is not forsaken in a hopeless night.

    Paul was begotten in the death of Stephen;
      Fruitful through time shall be that precious blood:
    No morning yet has ever worn to even
      And missed the glory of its crimson flood.

    There is a need of all the blood of martyrs,
      Forevermore the eloquence of God;
    And there is need of him who never barters
      His patience in that desert way the Master trod.

    What mean the strange, hard words, "through tribulation?"
      O Man of sorrows, only Thou canst tell,
    And such as in Thy life's humiliation,
      Have oft been with Thee, ay, have known Thee well.

    The failures of the world are God's successes,
      Although their coming be akin to pain;
    And frowns of Providence are but caresses,
      Prophetic of the rest sought long in vain.

       *       *       *       *       *



XXXVI.

CHEERFUL AND BRAVE.


THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON--SIR WALTER RALEIGH--XENOPHON--
CÆSAR--NELSON--HENRY OF NAVARRE--QUEEN ELIZABETH-- SYDNEY SMITH--ROBERT
HALL--LATIMER--TOM HOOD.


Baron Muffling relates of the Duke of Wellington, that that great
general remained at the Duchess of Richmond's ball till about three
o'clock on the morning of the 16th of June, 1815, "showing himself very
cheerful." The baron, who is a very good authority on the subject,
having previously proved that every plan was laid in the duke's mind,
and Quatre Bras and Waterloo fully detailed, we may comprehend the value
of the sentence. It was the bold, trusting heart of the hero that made
him cheerful. He showed himself cheerful, too, at Waterloo. He was never
very jocose; but on that memorable 18th of June he showed a symptom of
it. He rode along the line and cheered men by his look and his face, and
they too cheered him. But, when the danger was over--when the 21,000
brave men of his own and the Prussian army lay stiffening in death--the
duke, who was so cheerful in the midst of his danger, covered his face
with his hands and wept. He asked for that friend, and he was slain; for
this, and a bullet had pierced his heart. The men who had devoted
themselves to death for their leader and their country had been blown to
pieces, or pierced with lances, or hacked with sabers, and lay, like
Ponsonby covered with thirteen wounds, upon the ground. Well might the
duke weep, iron though he was. "There is nothing," he writes, "nothing
in the world so dreadful as a battle lost, unless it be such a battle
won. Nothing can compensate for the dreadful cruelty, carnage, and
misery of the scene, save the reflection on the public good which may
arise from it."

Forty years' peace succeeded the great battle. Forty years of
prosperity, during which he himself went honored to his tomb, rewarded
the constant brave look and tongue which answered his men, when he saw
the whole side of a square blown in, with "Hard work, gentlemen! They
are pounding away! We must see who can pound the longest." It is not too
much to say that the constant cheerfulness of the Duke of Wellington was
one great element of success in the greatest battle ever fought, one of
the fifteen decisive battles in the world, great in the number engaged,
greater in the slaughter, greatest in the results. But all commanders
ought to be cheerful. Gloomy looks do not do in the army. A set of
filibusters or pirates may wear looks and brows as black as the
sticking-plasters boots that their representatives are dressed in at the
minor theaters; but a soldier or a sailor should be, and as a rule is,
the most cheerful of fellows, doing his duty in the trench or the storm,
dying when the bullet comes, but living like a hero the while. Look, for
instance, at the whole-hearted cheerfulness of Raleigh, when with his
small English ships he cast himself against the navies of Spain; or at
Xenophon, conducting back from an inhospitable and hostile country, and
through unknown paths, his ten thousand Greeks; or Cæsar, riding up and
down the banks of the Rubicon, sad enough belike when alone, but at the
head of his men cheerful, joyous, well dressed, rather foppish, in fact,
his face shining with good humor as with oil. Again, Nelson, in the
worst of dangers, was as cheerful as the day. He had even a rough but
quiet humor in him just as he carried his coxswain behind him to bundle
the swords of the Spanish and French captains under his arm. He could
clap his telescope to his blind eye, and say, "Gentlemen, I can not make
out the signal," when the signal was adverse to his wishes, and then go
in and win, in spite of recall. Fancy the dry laughs which many an old
sea-dog has had over that cheerful incident. How the story lights up the
dark page of history! Then there was Henry of Navarre, lion in war,
winner of hearts, bravest of the brave, who rode down the ranks at Ivry
when Papist and Protestant were face to face, when more than his own
life and kingdom were at stake, and all the horrors of religious war
were loosened and unbound, ready to ravage poor, unhappy France. That
beaming, hopeful countenance won the battle, and is a parallel to the
brave looks of Queen Elizabeth when she cheered her Englishmen at
Tilbury.

But we are not all soldiers or sailors, although, too, our Christian
profession hath adopted the title of soldiers in the battle of life. It
is all very well to cite great commanders who, in the presence of
danger, excited by hope, with the eyes of twenty thousand men upon them,
are cheerful and happy; but what is that to the solitary author, the
poor artist, the governess, the milliner, the shoemaker, the
factory-girl, they of the thousand persons in profession or trade who
are given to murmur, and who think life so hard and gloomy and wretched
that they can not go through it with a smile on their faces and despair
in their hearts? What are examples and citations to them? "Hecuba!"
cries out poor, melancholy, morbid Hamlet, striking on a vein of
thought, "what's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba?" Much.

We all have trials; but it is certain that good temper and cheerfulness
will make us bear them more easily than any thing else. "Temper," said
one of our bishops, "is nine-tenths of Christianity." We do not live now
in the Middle Ages. We can not think that the sect of Flagellants, who
whipped themselves till the blood ran into their shoes, and pulled
uncommonly long faces, were the best masters of philosophy. "True
godliness is cheerful as the day," wrote Cowper, himself melancholy-mad
enough; and we are to remember that the precept of the Founder of our
faith, that when we fast we are to anoint our countenances and not to
seem to fast, enjoins a certain liveliness of face. Sydney Smith, when a
poor curate at Foster-le-Clay, a dreary, desolate place, wrote: "I am
resolved to like it, and to reconcile myself to it, which is more manly
than to fancy myself above it, and to send up complaints by the post of
being thrown away, or being desolated, and such like trash." And he
acted up to this; said his prayers, made his jokes, did his duty, and,
Upon fine mornings, used to draw up the blinds of his parlor, open the
window, and "glorify the room," as he called the operation, with
sunshine. But all the sunshine without was nothing to the sunshine
within the heart. It was that which made him go through life so bravely
and so well; it is that, too, which renders his life a lesson to us all.

We must also remember that the career of a poor curate is not the most
brilliant in the world. That of an apprentice boy has more fun in it;
that of a milliner's girl has more merriment and fewer depressing
circumstances. To hear always the same mistrust of Providence, to see
poverty, to observe all kinds of trial, to witness death-bed
scenes--this is not the most enlivening course of existence, even if a
clergyman be a man of mark and of station. But there was one whose
station was not honored, nay, even by some despised, and who had sorer
trials than Sydney Smith. His name is well known in literature; and his
writings and his example still teach us in religion. This was Robert
Hall, professor of a somber creed in a somber flat country, as flat and
"deadly-lively," as they say, as need be. To add to difficulties and
troubles, the minister was plagued with about as painful an illness as
falls to the lot of humanity to bear. He had fought with infidelity and
doubt; he had refused promotion, because he would do his duty where it
had pleased God to place him; next he had to show how well he could bear
pain. In all his trials he had been cheerful, forcible, natural, and
straightforward. In this deep one he preserved the same character.
Forced to throw himself down and writhe upon the floor in his paroxysms
of pain, he rose up, livid with exhaustion, and with the sweat of
anguish on his brow, without a murmur.

In the whole library of brave anecdote there is no tale of heroism
which, to us, beats this. It very nearly equals that of poor, feeble
Latimer, cheering up his fellow-martyr as he walked to the stake, "Be of
good cheer, brother Ridley; we shall this day light such a fire in
England as by God's grace shall not be readily put out." The very play
upon the torture is brave, yet pathetic. Wonderful, too, was the
boldness and cheerfulness of another martyr, Rowland Taylor, who,
stripped to his shirt, was forced to walk toward the stake, who answered
the jeers of his persecutors and the tears of his friends with the same
noble constant smile, and, meeting two of his very old parishioners who
wept, stopped and cheered _them_ as he went, adding, that he went on his
way rejoicing.

Heroes and martyrs are perhaps too high examples, for they may have, or
rather poor, common, every-day humanity will think they have, a kind of
high-pressure sustainment. Let us look to our own prosaic days; let us
mark the constant cheerfulness and manliness of Dr. Maginn, or that much
higher heroic bearing of Tom Hood. We suppose that every body knows that
Hood's life was not of that brilliant, sparkling, fizzing, banging,
astonishing kind which writers such as Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, and
some others, depict as the general life of literary men. He did not,
like Byron, "jump up one morning, and find himself famous." All the
libraries were not asking for his novel, though a better was not
written; countesses and dairy-women did not beg his autograph. His was a
life of constant hard work, constant trial or disappointment, and
constant illness, enlivened only by a home affection and a cheerfulness
as constant as his pain. When slowly, slowly dying, he made cheerful fun
as often almost as he said his prayers. He was heard, after, perhaps,
being almost dead, to laugh gently to himself in the still night, when
his wife or children, who were the watchers, thought him asleep. Many of
the hard lessons of fate he seasoned, as old Latimer did his sermons,
with a pun, and he excused himself from sending more "copy" for his
magazine by a sketch, the "Editor's Apologies," a rough pen-and-ink
drawing of physic-bottles and leeches. Yet Hood had not only his own
woes to bear, but felt for others. No one had a more tender heart--few
men a more catholic and Christian sympathy for the poor--than the writer
of the "Song of the Shirt."

What such men as these have done, every one else surely can do.
Cheerfulness is a Christian duty; moroseness, dulness, gloominess, as
false, and wrong, and cruel as they are unchristian. We are too far
advanced now in the light of truth to go back into the Gothic and
conventual gloom of the Middle Ages, any more than we could go back to
the exercises of the Flagellants and the nonsense of the pre-Adamites.
All whole-hearted peoples have been lively and bustling, noisy almost,
in their progress, pushing, energetic, broad in shoulder, strong in
lung, loud in voice, of free brave color, bold look, and bright eyes.
They are the cheerful people in the world--

    "Active doers, noble livers--strong to labors sure to conquer;"

and soon pass in the way of progress the more quiet and gloomy of their
fellows. That some of this cheerfulness may be simply animal is true,
and that a man may be a dullard and yet sit and "grin like a Cheshire
cat;" but we are not speaking of grinning. Laughter is all very well; is
a healthy, joyous, natural impulse; the true mark of superiority between
man and beast, for no inferior animal laughs; but we are not writing of
laughter, but of that continued even tone of spirits, which lies in the
middle zone between frantic merriment and excessive despondency.
Cheerfulness arises from various causes: from health; but it is not
dependent upon health;--from good fortune; but it does not arise solely
from that;--from honor, and position, and a tickled pride and vanity;
but, as we have seen, it is quite independent of these. The truth is, it
is a brave habit of the mind; a prime proof of wisdom; capable of being
acquired, and of the very greatest value.

A cheerful man is pre-eminently a useful man. He does not "cramp his
mind, nor take half views of men and things." He knows that there is
much misery, but that misery is not the rule of life. He sees that in
every state people may be cheerful; the lambs skip, birds sing and fly
joyously, puppies play, kittens are full of joyance, the whole air full
of careering and rejoicing insects, that everywhere the good outbalances
the bad, and that every evil that there is has its compensating balm.
Then the brave man, as our German cousins say, possesses the world,
whereas the melancholy man does not even possess his own share of it.
Exercise, or continued employment of some kind, will make a man
cheerful; but sitting at home, brooding and thinking, or doing little,
will bring gloom. The reaction of this feeling is wonderful. It arises
from a sense of duty done, and it also enables us to do our duty.
Cheerful people live long in our memory. We remember joy more readily
than sorrow, and always look back with tenderness on the brave and
cheerful. Autolycus repeats the burden of an old song with the truth
that "a merry heart goes all the day, but your sad ones tires a mile a!"
and what he says any one may notice, not only in ourselves, but in the
inferior animals also. A sulky dog, and a bad-tempered horse, wear
themselves out with half the labor that kindly creatures do. An unkindly
cow will not give down her milk, and a sour sheep will not fatten; nay,
even certain fowls and geese, to those who observe, will evidence
temper--good or bad.

We can all cultivate our tempers, and one of the employments of some
poor mortals is to cultivate, cherish, and bring to perfection, a
thoroughly bad one; but we may be certain that to do so is a very gross
error and sin, which, like all others, brings its own punishment,
though, unfortunately, it does not punish itself only. If he "to whom
God is pleasant is pleasant to God," the reverse also holds good; and
certainly the major proposition is true with regard to man. Addison says
of cheerfulness, that it lightens sickness, poverty, affliction;
converts ignorance into an amiable simplicity, and renders deformity
itself agreeable; and he says no more than the truth. "Give us,
therefore, O! give us"--let us cry with Carlyle--"the man who sings at
his work! Be his occupation what it may, he is equal to any of those who
follow the same pursuit in silent sullenness. He will do more in the
same time; he will do it better; he will persevere longer. One is
scarcely sensible of fatigue whilst he marches to music. The very stars
are said to make harmony as they revolve in their appointed skies."
"Wondrous is the strength of cheerfulness! altogether past calculation
the powers of its endurance. Efforts, to be permanently useful must be
uniformly joyous--a spirit all sunshine--graceful from very
gladness--beautiful because bright." Such a spirit is within every
body's reach. Let us get out into the light of things. The morbid man
cries out that there is always enough wrong in the world to make a man
miserable. Conceded; but wrong is ever being righted; there is always
enough that is good and right to make us joyful. There is ever sunshine
somewhere; and the brave man will go on his way rejoicing, content to
look forward if under a cloud, not bating one jot of heart or hope if
for a moment cast down; honoring his occupation, whatever it may be;
rendering even rags respectable by the way he wears them; and not only
being happy himself, but causing the happiness of others.

       *       *       *       *       *



XXXVII.

HAROLD.


THE LAST SAXON KING OF ENGLAND.


The father of Harold, the last Saxon king of England, was named Godwin,
and was the first great English statesman. It was from him that Harold
in a great measure inherited his vigor and power, though, indeed, he
came altogether of a noble race, both by lineage and character, for his
mother was a daughter of Canute the Great.

All the English loved Harold; he was strong and generous, and a better
counselor than Godwin, his father, in many ways. At first he never
sought any thing for himself; but as time went on, and he found how he
was obeyed, and how he was beloved, how the whole country turned her
eyes to him as the fittest king when Edward the Confessor should be
gone, he also took the same idea into his mind, and gave himself to
rule, to teach, and to act as one who should by and by be king.

Edward's queen, Edith, was Harold's sister; but there was another Edith,
who influenced Harold more than any one else in many ways. From his
boyhood he and she had played together, and they grew up, never so much
as thinking that a time would come when they would separate.

The more Harold saw her the more he felt he should like to ask her to be
his wife, and have her always with him; but there were many things which
made that impossible. And then England required Harold. If he thought
only of his own happiness his country must suffer. The great nobles
wished him to establish the kingdom by marrying the daughter of one of
the most powerful lords; this would connect the people and the land more
closely, and prevent quarrels and divisions; and the government required
the whole of Harold's services, and the people required his
watchfulness, his thought, his care, his presence.

All his life through he had consulted Edith, and now at this terrible
moment he consulted her again. He stood before her, and in great trouble
and agony of spirit told her just how things were, scarcely daring to
look at the woman he loved; for if he looked at her, England, her
greatness and her needs, all melted away, and he saw nothing but a
beaming vision of a quiet, beloved home, free from the storms of the
great world outside.

But Edith too was unselfish, pure and good; so she put all thought of
personal happiness away, and putting her hand on his shoulder, said,
"Never, O Harold, did I feel so proud of thee, for Edith could not love
thee as she doth, and will till the grave clasp her, if thou didst not
love England more than Edith." So these two separated.

His whole energy was given to his king and his country. He had no great
love for the monks; but he sought out the good and noble ones, put power
into their hands, and gave them his support in ruling wisely and well.
The Abbey of Waltham had fallen into almost complete decay; he chose two
humbly born men, renowned for the purity and benevolence of their lives,
and gave to them the charge of selecting a new brotherhood there, which
he largely endowed.

At last Edward passed quietly away, and with one accord Harold, the
beloved, was chosen king and crowned.

Over the sea dwelt William, duke of the Normans, With no careless ear
did he hear that Edward was dead Edward dead! Edward! Why, Edward, in a
moment of friendship, had promised the English throne to him--had even,
William asserted, left it him in will; therefore his rage was great when
he heard that Harold was not only proclaimed and crowned king, but was
ready to defend his claim by battle sooner than yield. William was a man
of power and iron will; he forced his reluctant Normans to listen to his
complaint, equipped an army, and sailed for Britain. On came the queer
little ships of war, nearer and nearer to England's white, free cliffs,
and cast anchor in Pevensey Bay.

William, eager and impatient, sprang from his ship; but his foot
slipping, he fell, to rise again with both his hands full of earth,
which he showed to his scared soldiers in triumph, crying:

"So do I grasp the earth of a new country."

Meanwhile Harold had gathered his forces, and they were assembled on
Senlac Hill, an advantageous position. He himself was in the center, his
brave brother Gurth at his right hand.

A general charge of the Norman foot opened the battle, which raged the
whole day, victory now leaning to the English and now to the Normans.
There was a cry that the duke was killed. "I live!" he shouted, "and by
God's help will conquer yet!" And tearing off his helmet he rushed into
the thickest of the battle, and aimed right at the standard. Round that
standard the last sharp, long struggle took place. Harold, Gurth, all
the greatest who still survived, met there. With his tremendous
battle-ax the king did mighty slaughter, till, looking upward as he
swung his ax with both hands, a Norman arrow pierced his eye, and he
fell.

"Fight on!" he gasped. "Conceal my death--England to the rescue!" One
instant he sprang to his feet, and then fell back--lifeless. One by one
the other noble guardians fell around him, till only Gurth was left,
brave chief and last man, with no thought of surrender, though all was
gone and lost.

"Spare him! spare the brave!" shouted one; but the brave heart was
already pierced, and he sank beside his king and brother. So fell the
last of the Saxon kings, and so arose the Norman race.

Long did they search the battlefield for Harold's body, disfigured by
wounds and loss of blood, but long did they seek it in vain, till a
woman whose toil had never ceased burst into a sharp cry over a lifeless
form. It was Edith, who with many another woman had watched the battle.
The body was too changed to be recognized even by its nearest friends;
but beneath his heart was punctured in old Saxon letters "Edith," and
just below, in characters more fresh, "England," the new love he had
taken when duty bade him turn from Edith; which recalls the lines of
Lovelace to Lucasta:

    "Tell me not, sweet, I am unkind,
      That from the nunnery
    Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
      To war and arms I fly.

    True, a new mistress now I chase,
      The first foe of the field;
    And with a stronger faith embrace
      A sword, a horse, a shield.

    Yet this inconstancy is such
      As you too shall adore;
    I could not love thee, dear, so much
      Loved I not not honor more."

       *       *       *       *       *



XXXVIII.

PETER COOPER,

(BORN 1791--DIED 1883.)


THE LESSON OF A LONG AND USEFUL LIFE.


Barzillai, of sacred history, was a very old man, a very kind man, a
very affectionate man, a very rich man of the tenth century before
Christ, a type of our American philanthropist, Peter Cooper, in the
nineteenth century after Christ. When I see Barzillai, from his wealthy
country seat at Rogelim, coming out to meet David's retreating army, and
providing them with flour and corn and mattresses, it makes me think of
the hearty response of our modern philanthropist in time of trouble and
disaster, whether individual, municipal, or national. The snow of his
white locks has melted from our sight, and the benediction of his genial
face has come to its long amen. But his influence halted not a
half-second for his obsequies to finish, but goes right on without
change, save that of augmentation, for in the great sum of a useful life
death is a multiplication instead of subtraction, and the tombstone,
instead of being the goal of the race, is only the starting point. What
means this rising up of all good men, with hats off, in reverence to one
who never wielded a sword or delivered masterly oration or stood in
senatorial place? Neither general, nor lord, nor governor, nor
President. The LL. D., which a university bestowed, did not stick to
him. The word mister, as a prefix, or the word esquire, as a suffix,
seemed a superfluity. He was, in all Christendom, plain Peter Cooper.
Why, then, all the flags at half-mast, and the resolutions of common
council, and the eulogium of legislatures, and the deep sighs from
multitudes who have no adequate way to express their bereavement?

First, he was in some respects the father of American philanthropies.
There have been far larger sums donated to the public since this man
founded Cooper Institute, but I think that hundreds of the charities
were born of his example. Sometimes a father will have a large family of
children who grow up to be larger than himself. When that six-storied
temple of instruction was built on Fourth Avenue and Seventh Street by
Mr. Cooper, at an expense of $630,000, and endowed by him with $150,000,
you must remember $100,000 was worth as much as $500,000 now, and that
millionaires, who are so common now that you hardly stop to look at
them, were a rare spectacle. Stephen Girard and John Jacob Astor, of the
olden time, would in our day almost excite the sympathy of some of our
railroad magnates. The nearly $800,000, which built and endowed Cooper
Institute, was as much as $3,000,000 or $5,000,000 now. But there are
institutions in our day that have cost many times more dollars in
building and endowment which have not accomplished more than a fraction
of the good done by this munificence of 1857. This gift brooded
charities all over the land. This mothered educational institutions.
This gave glorious suggestion to many whose large fortune was hitherto
under the iron grasp of selfishness. If the ancestral line of many an
asylum or infirmary or college or university were traced back far
enough, you would learn that Peter Cooper was the illustrious
progenitor. Who can estimate the effect of such an institution, standing
for twenty-six years, saying to all the millions of people passing up
and down the great thoroughfares: "I am here to bless and educate,
without money and without price, all the struggling ones who come under
my wings?" That institution has for twenty-six years been crying shame
on miserliness and cupidity. That free reading-room has been the
inspiration of five hundred free reading-rooms. Great reservoir of
American beneficence!

Again, Peter Cooper showed what a wise thing it is for a man to be his
own executor. How much better is ante-mortem charity than post-mortem
beneficence. Many people keep all their property for themselves till
death, and then make good institutions their legatees. They give up the
money only because they have to. They would take it all with them if
they only had three or four stout pockets in their shroud. Better late
than never, but the reward shall not be as great as the reward of those
who make charitable contribution while yet they have power to keep their
money. Charity, in last will and testament, seems sometimes to be only
an attempt to bribe Charon, the ferryman, to land the boat in celestial
rather than infernal regions. Mean as sin when they disembark from the
banks of this world, they hope to be greeted as benefactors when they
come up the beach on the other side. Skinflints when they die, they hope
to have the reception of a George Peabody. Besides that, how often
donations by will and testament fail of their final destination. The
surrogate's courts are filled with legal quarrels. If a philanthropist
has any pride of intellect, and desires to help Christian institutions,
he had better bestow the gift before death, for the trouble is, if he
leaves any large amount to Christian institutions, the courts will be
appealed to to prove he was crazy. They will bring witnesses to prove
that for a long time he has been becoming imbecile, and as almost every
one of positive nature has idiosyncrasies, these idiosyncrasies will be
brought out on the trial, and ventilated and enlarged and caricatured,
and the man who had mind enough to make $1,000,000, and heart enough to
remember needy institutions, will be proved a fool. If he have a second
wife, the children of the first wife will charge him with being unduly
influenced. Many a man who, when he made his will, had more brain than
all his household put together, has been pronounced a fit subject for a
lunatic asylum. Be your own executor. Do not let the benevolent
institutions of the country get their chief advantage from your last
sickness and death. How much better, like Peter Cooper, to walk through
the halls you have built for others and see the young men being educated
by your beneficence, and to get the sublime satisfaction of your own
charities! I do not wonder that Barzillai, the wealthy Gileadite, lived
to be eighty, for he stood in the perpetual sunshine of his beneficence.
I do not wonder that Peter Cooper, the modern Barzillai, lived to be
ninety-two years of age, for he felt the healthful reaction of helping
others. Doing good was one of the strongest reasons of his longevity.
There is many a man with large estate behind him who calls up his past
dollars as a pack of hounds to go out and hunt up one more dollar before
he dies. Away away the hunter and his hounds for that last dollar!
Hotter and hotter the chase. Closer on the track and closer. Whip up and
spur on the steed! The old man just ahead, and all the pack of hounds
close after him. Now they are coming in at the death, that last dollar
only a short distance ahead. The old hunter, with panting breath and
pale cheek and outstretched arm, clutches for it as it turns on its
track, but, missing it, keeps on till the exhausted dollar plunges into
a hole and burrows and burrows deep; and the old hunter, with both
hands, claws at the earth, and claws deeper down, till the burrowed
embankment gives way, and he rolls over into his own grave. We often
talk of old misers. There are but few old misers. The most of them are
comparatively young. Avarice massacres more than a war. In contrast,
behold the philanthropist in the nineties, and dying of a cold caught in
going to look after the affairs of the institution he himself founded,
and which has now about two thousand five hundred persons a day in its
reading-rooms and libraries, and two thousand students in its evening
schools.

Again, Peter Cooper has shown the world a good way of settling the old
quarrel between capital and labor, the altercation between rich and
poor. There are two ways in which this conflict can never be settled.
One is the violent suppression of the laboring classes, and the other
the violent assault of the rich. This is getting to be the age of
dynamite--dynamite under the Kremlin, dynamite in proximity to
Parliament House and railroad track, dynamite near lordly mansions,
dynamite in Ireland, dynamite in England, dynamite in America. The rich
are becoming more exclusive, and the poor more irate. I prescribe for
the cure of this mighty evil of the world a large allopathic dose of
Peter Cooperism. You never heard of dynamite in Cooper Institute. You
never heard of any one searching the cellar of that man's house for a
keg of dynamite. At times of public excitement, when prominent men had
their houses guarded, there were no sentinels needed at his door. The
poorest man with a hod on his shoulder carrying brick up a wall
begrudged not the philanthropist his carriage as he rode by. No one put
the torch to Peter Cooper's glue factory. When on some great popular
occasion the masses assembled in the hall of Cooper Institute and its
founder came on the platform, there were many hard hands that clapped in
vigorous applause. Let the rich stretch forth toward the great masses of
England, Ireland, and America as generous and kind a hand as that of
Peter Cooper, and the age of dynamite will end. What police can not do,
and shot and shell can not do, and strongest laws severely executed can
not do, and armies can not do, will yet be accomplished by something
that I see fit to baptize as Peter Cooperism. I hail the early twilight
of that day when a man of millions shall come forth and say: "There are
seventy thousand destitute children in New York, and here I put up and
endow out of my fortune a whole line of institutions to take care of
them; here are vast multitudes in filthy and unventilated
tenement-houses, for whom I will build a whole block of residences at
cheap rents; here are nations without Christ, and I turn my fortune
inside out to send them flaming evangels; there shall be no more hunger,
and no more sickness, and no more ignorance, and no more crime, if I can
help it." That spirit among the opulent of this country and other
countries would stop contention, and the last incendiary's torch would
be extinguished, and the last dagger of assassination would go to
slicing bread for poor children, and the last pound of dynamite that
threatens death would go to work in quarries to blast foundation-stones
for asylums and universities and churches. May the spirit of Peter
Cooper and Wm. E. Dodge come down on all the bank stock and government
securities and railroad companies and great business houses of America!

Again, this Barzillai of the nineteenth century shows us a more sensible
way of monumental and epitaphal commemoration. It is natural to want to
be remembered. It would not be a pleasant thought to us or to any one to
feel that the moment you are out of the world you would be forgotten. If
the executors of Peter Cooper should build on his grave a monument that
would cost $20,000,000, it would not so well commemorate him as that
monument at the junction of Third and Fourth Avenues, New York. How few
people would pass along the silent sepulcher as compared with those
great numbers that will ebb and flow around Cooper Institute in the ages
to come! Of the tens of thousands to be educated there, will there be
one so stupid as not to know who built it, and what a great heart he
had, and how he struggled to achieve a fortune, but always mastered that
fortune, and never allowed the fortune to master him? What is a monument
of Aberdeen granite beside a monument of intellect and souls? What is an
epitaph of a few words cut by a sculptor's chisel beside the epitaph of
coming generations and hundreds writing his praise? Beautiful and
adorned beyond all the crypts and catacombs and shrines of the dead! But
the superfluous and inexcusable expense of catafalque and sarcophagus
and tumulus and necropolis the world over, put into practical help,
would have sent intelligence into every dark mind and provided a home
for every wanderer. The pyramids of Egypt, elevated at vast expense,
were the tombs of kings--their names now obliterated. But the monuments
of good last forever. After "Old Mortality" has worn out his chisel in
reviving the epitaphs on old tombstones, the names of those who have
helped others will be held in everlasting remembrance. The fires of the
Judgment Day will not crumble off one of the letters. The Sabbath-school
teacher builds her monument in the heavenly thrones of her converted
scholars. Geo. Müller's monument is the orphan-houses of England.
Handel's monument was his "Hallelujah Chorus." Peabody's monument, the
library of his native village and the schools for educating the blacks
in the South. They who give or pray for a church have their monument in
all that sacred edifice ever accomplishes. John Jay had his monument in
free America. Wilberforce his monument in the piled up chains of a
demolished slave trade. Livingstone shall have his monument in
regenerated Africa. Peter Cooper has his monument in all the
philanthropies which for the last quarter of a century he encouraged by
his one great practical effort for the education of the common people.
That is a fame worth having. That is a style of immortality for which
any one without degradation may be ambitious. Fill all our cities with
such monuments till the last cripple has his limb straightened, and the
last inebriate learns the luxury of cold water, and the last outcast
comes home to his God, and the last abomination is extirpated, and
"Paradise Lost" has become "Paradise Regained."

But notice, also, that the longest life-path has a terminus. What a
gauntlet to run--the accidents, the epidemics, the ailments of
ninety-two years! It seemed as if this man would live on forever. His
life reached from the administration of George Washington to that of
President Arthur. But the liberal hand is closed, and the beaming eye is
shut, and the world-encompassing heart is still. When he was at my
house, I felt I was entertaining a king. But the king is dead, and we
learn that the largest volume of life has its last chapter, its last
paragraph, and its last word. What are ninety-two years compared with
the years that open the first page of the future? For that let us be
ready. Christ came to reconstruct us for usefulness, happiness, and
heaven.

I know not the minutiae of Peter Cooper's religious opinions. Some men
are worse than their creed, and some are better. The grandest profession
of Jesus Christ is a life devoted to the world's elevation and
betterment. A man may have a membership in all the orthodox Churches in
Christendom, and yet, if he be mean and selfish and careless about the
world's condition, he is no Christian; while, on the other hand, though
he may have many peculiarities of belief, if he live for others more
than for himself, he is Christ-like, and, I think, he must be a
Christian. But let us remember that the greatest philanthropist of the
ages was Jesus Christ, and the greatest charity ever known was that
which gave not its dollars, but its blood, for the purchase of the
world's deliverance. Standing in the shadow of Peter Cooper's death, I
pray God that all the resources of America may be consecrated. We are
coming on to times of prosperity that this country never imagined.
Perhaps here and there a few years of recoil or set-back, but God only
can estimate the wealth that is about to roll into the lap of this
nation. Between five years ago, when I visited the South, and my recent
visit, there has been a change for the better that amounts to a
resurrection. The Chattahoochee is about to rival the Merrimac in
manufactures, and the whole South is being filled with the dash of
water-wheels and the rattle of spindles. Atlanta has already $6,000,000
invested in manufactures. The South has gone out of politics into
business. The West, from its inexhaustible mines, is going to, disgorge
silver and gold, and pour the treasure all over the nation. May God
sanctify the coming prosperity of the people. The needs are as awful as
the opulence is to be tremendous. In 1880 there were 5,000,000 people
over ten years of age in the United States that could not read, and over
6,000,000 who could not write, and nearly 2,000,000 of the voters. We
want 5,000 Cooper Institutes and churches innumerable, and just one
spiritual awakening, but that reaching from the St. Lawrence to Key
West, and from Barnegat Light-house to the Golden Gate. We can all
somewhere be felt in the undertaking. I like the sentiment and the
rhythm of some anonymous poet, who wrote:

    "When I am dead and gone,
    And the mold upon my breast,
    Say not that he did well or ill,
    Only 'He did his best.'"
        --DR. TALMAGE.

       *       *       *       *       *


GOODNESS.


    Goodness needs no lure:
    All compensations are in her enshrined,
    Whatever things are right and fair and pure,
    Wealth of the heart and mind.

    Failure and Success,
    The Day and Night of every life below,
    Are but the servants of her blessedness,
    That come and spend and go.

    Life is her reward,
    A life brim-full, in every day's employ,
    Of sunshine, inspiration, every word
    And syllable of joy.

    Heaven to thee is known,
    If Goodness in the robes of common earth
    Becomes a presence thou canst call thine own,
    To warm thy heart and hearth.

    Clothed in flesh and blood,
    She flits about me every blessed day,
    The incarnation of sweet womanhood;
    And age brings no decay.

       *       *       *       *       *



XXXIX.

ILLUSIONS


"THEREFORE TRUST TO THY HEART, AND WHAT THE WORLD CALLS
ILLUSIONS."--LONGFELLOW.


This curious sentence of Longfellow's deserves reading again. He is an
earnest man, and does not mean to cheat us; he has done good work in the
world by his poems and writings; he has backed up many, and lifted the
hearts of many, by pure thought; he means what he says. Yet, what is
altogether lighter than vanity? The human heart, answers the
religionist. What is altogether deceitful upon the scales? The human
heart. What is a Vanity Fair, a mob, a hubbub and babel of noises, to be
avoided, shunned, hated? The world. And, lastly, what are our thoughts
and struggles, vain ideas, and wishes? Vain, empty illusions, shadows,
and lies. And yet this man, with the inspiration which God gives every
true poet, tells us to trust to our _hearts_, and what the world calls
_illusions_. And he is right.

Now there are, of course, various sorts of illusions. The world is
itself illusive. None of us are exactly what we seem; and many of those
things that we have the firmest faith in really do not exist. When the
first philosopher declared that the world was round, and not a plane as
flat and circular as a dinner-plate or a halfpenny, people laughed at
him, and would have shut him up in a lunatic asylum. They said he had an
"illusion;" but it was they who had it. He was so bold as to start the
idea that we had people under us, and that the sun went to light them,
and that they walked with their feet to our feet. So they do, we know
well now; but the pope and cardinals would not have it, and so they met
in solemn conclave, and ordered the philosopher's book to be burnt, and
they would have burnt him, too, in their hardly logical way of saving
souls, only he recanted, and, sorely against his will, said that it was
all an "illusion." But the pope and his advisers had an illusion, too,
which was, that dressing up men who did not believe in their faith, in
garments on which flames and devils were represented--such a garment
they called a _san benito_--and then burning them, was really something
done for the glory of God. They called it with admirable satire an _auto
da fé_ (an "act of faith"), and they really did believe--for many of the
inquisitors were mistaken but tender men--that they did good by this;
but surely now they have outgrown this illusion. How many of these have
we yet to outgrow; how far are we off the true and liberal Christianity
which is the ideal of the saint and sage; how ready are we still to
persecute those who happen, by mere circumstances attending their birth
and education, to differ from us!

The inner world of man, no less than the external world, is full of
illusions. They arise from distorted vision, from a disorder of the
senses, or from an error of judgment upon data correctly derived from
their evidence. Under the influence of a predominant train of thought,
an absorbing emotion, a person ready charged with an uncontrolled
imagination will see, as Shakspeare has it--

    "More devils than vast hell can hold."

Half, if not all, of the ghost stories, which are equally dangerous and
absorbing to youth, arise from illusion--there they have their
foundation; but believers in them obstinately refuse to believe anything
but that which their overcharged and predisposed imagination leads them
to. Some of us walk about this world of ours--as if it were not of
itself full enough of mystery--as ready to swallow any thing wonderful
or horrible, as the country clown whom a conjurer will get upon his
stage to play tricks with. Fooled by a redundant imagination, delighted
to be tricked by her potency, we dream away, flattered by the idea that
a supernatural messenger is sent to us, and to us alone. We all have our
family ghosts, in whom we more than half believe. Each one of us has a
mother or a wise aunt, or some female relation, who, at one period of
her life, had a dream, difficult to be interpreted, and foreboding good
or evil to a child of the house.

We are so grand, we men, "noble animals, great in our deaths and
splendid even in our ashes," that we can not yield to a common fate
without some overstrained and bombast conceit that the elements
themselves give warning. Casca, in "Julius Caesar," rehearses some few
of the prodigies which predicted Caesar's death:

    "A common slave (you know him well by sight)
    Held up his left hand, which did flame, and burn
    Like twenty torches join'd; and yet his hand,
    Not sensible of fire, remained unscorched....
    And, yesterday, the bird of night did sit,
    Even at noon-day, upon the market-place,
    Hooting and shrieking. When these prodigies
    Do so conjointly meet, let not men say,
    '_These are their reasons--they are natural_;
    For, I believe, they are portentous things."

A great many others besides our good Casca believe in these portents and
signs, and their dignity would be much hurt if they were persuaded that
the world would go on just the same if they and their family were
utterly extinct, and that no eclipse would happen to portend that
calamity. In Ireland, in certain great families, a Banshee, or a
_Benshee_, for they differ who spell it, sits and wails all night when
the head of the family is about to stretch his feet towards the dim
portals of the dead; and in England are many families who, by some
unknown means, retain a ghost which walks up and down a terrace, as it
did in that fanciful habitation of Sir Leicester Dedlock. In Scotland,
they have amongst them prophetic shepherds, who, on the cold, misty
mountain top, at eventide, shade their shaggy eyebrows with their hands,
and, peering into the twilight, see funerals pass by, and the decease of
some neighbor portended by all the paraphernalia of death.

With us all these portents "live no longer in the faith of Reason;" we
assert, in Casca's words, that "they are natural;" but we offend the
credulous when we do so. "Illusions of the senses," says an acute
writer, "are common in our appreciation of form, distance, color, and
motion; and also from a lack of comprehension of the physical powers of
Nature, in the production of images of distinct objects. A stick in the
water appears bent or broken; the square tower at the distance looks
round; distant objects appear to move when we are in motion; the
heavenly bodies appear to revolve round the earth." And yet we know that
all these appearances are mere illusions. At the top of a mountain in
Ireland, with our back to the sun, we, two travelers, were looking at
the smiling landscape gilded by the sunshine; suddenly a white cloud
descended between us and the valley, and there upon it were our two
shadows, distorted, gigantic, threatening or supplicatory, as we chose
to move and make them. Here was an exactly similar apparition to the
Specter of the Brocken. The untaught German taxed his wits to make the
thing a ghost; but the philosopher took off his hat and bowed to it, and
the shadow returned the salute; and so with the Fata Morgana, and the
mirage. We now know that these things had no supernatural origin, but
are simply due to the ordinary laws of atmospheric influence and light;
so all our modern illusions are easily rectified by the judgment, and
are fleeting and transitory in the minds of the sane.

But, beyond these, there are the illusions of which we first spoke, from
which we would not willingly be awakened. The sick man in Horace, who
fancied that he was always sitting at a play, and laughed and joked, or
was amazed and wept as they do in a theater, rightly complained to his
friends that they had killed him, not cured him, when they roused him
from his state of hallucination. There are some illusions so beautiful,
so healthful, and so pleasant, that we would that no harshness of this
world's ways, no bitter experience, no sad reality, could awaken us from
them. It is these, we fancy, that the poet tells us to trust to; such
are the illusions--so-called by the world--to which we are always to
give our faith. It will be well if we do so. Faith in man or woman is a
comfortable creed; but you will scarcely find a man of thirty, or a
woman either, who retains it. They will tell you bitterly "they have
been so deceived!" One old gentleman we know, deceived, and ever again
to be deceived, who is a prey to false friends, who lends his money
without surety and gets robbed, who fell in love and was jilted, who has
done much good and has been repaid with much evil. This man is much to
be envied. He can, indeed, "trust in his heart and what the world calls
illusions." To him the earth is yet green and fresh, the world smiling
and good-humored, friends are fast and loving, woman a very well-spring
of innocent and unbought love. The world thinks him an old simpleton;
but he is wiser than the world. He is not to be scared by sad proverbs,
nor frightened by dark sayings. An enviable man, he sits, in the evening
of life, loving and trusting his fellow-men, and, from the mere
freshness of his character, having many gathered round him whom he can
still love and trust.

With another sort of philosophers all around is mere illusion, and the
mind of man shall in no way be separated from it; from the beginning to
the end it is all the same. Our organization, they would have us
believe, creates most of our pleasure and our pain. Life is in itself an
ecstasy. "Life is as sweet as nitrous oxide; and the fisherman, dripping
all day over a cold pond, the switchman at the railway intersection, the
farmer in the field, the negro in the rice-swamp, the fop in the street,
the hunter in the woods, the barrister with the jury, the belle at the
ball--all ascribe a certain pleasure to their employment which they
themselves give to it. Health and appetite impart the sweetness to
sugar, bread, and meat." So fancy plays with us; but, while she tricks
us, she blesses us. The mere prosaic man, who strips the tinsel from
every thing, who sneers at a bridal and gladdens at a funeral; who tests
every coin and every pleasure, and tells you that it has not the true
ring; who checks capering Fancy and stops her caracoling by the whip of
reality, is not to be envied. "In the life of the dreariest alderman,
Fancy enters into all details, and colors them with a rosy hue," says
Emerson. "He imitates the air and action of people whom he admires, and
is raised in his own eyes.... In London, in Paris, in Boston, in San
Francisco, the masquerade is at its height. Nobody drops his domino. The
chapter of fascinations is very long. Great is paint; nay, God is the
painter; and we rightly accuse the critic who destroys too many
illusions."

Happy are they with whom this domino is never completely dropped! Happy,
thrice happy, they who believe, and still maintain that belief, like
champion knights, against all comers, in honor, chastity, friendship,
goodness, virtue, gratitude. It is a long odds that the men who do not
believe in these virtues have none themselves; for we speak from our
hearts, and we tell of others that which we think of ourselves. The
French, a mournful, sad, and unhappy nation--even at the bottom of all
their external gaiety--have a sad word, a participle, _désillusionné_,
disillusioned; and by it they mean one who has worn out all his youthful
ideas, who has been behind the scenes, and has seen the bare walls of
the theater, without the light and paint, and has watched the ugly
actors and gaunt actresses by daylight. The taste of life is very bitter
in the mouth of such a man; his joys are Dead Sea apples--dust and ashes
in the mouths of those who bite them. No flowers spring up about his
path; he is very melancholy and suspicious, very hard and incredulous;
he has faith neither in the honesty of man nor in the purity of woman.
He is _désillusionné_--by far too wise to be taken in with painted toys.
Every one acts with self-interest! His doctor, his friend, or his valet
will be sorry for his death merely from the amount of money interest
that they have in his life. Bare and grim unto tears, even if he had
any, is the life of such a man. With him, sadder than Lethe or the Styx,
the river of time runs between stony banks, and, often a calm suicide,
it bears him to the Morgue. Happier by far is he who, with whitened hair
and wrinkled brow, sits crowned with the flowers of illusion; and who,
with the ear of age, still remains a charmed listener to the songs which
pleased his youth, trusting "his heart and what the world calls
illusions."

       *       *       *       *       *



XL.

PHILLIPS BROOKS


AT HOME.


Phillips Brooks at home, of course, means Phillips Brooks in Trinity
Church, Boston. Other than his church, home proper he has none, for he
abides a bachelor.

And somehow it seems almost fit that a man like Mr. Brooks, a man so
ample, so overflowing; a man, as it were, more than sufficient to
himself, sufficient also to a multitude of others, should have his home
large and public; such a home, in fact, as Trinity Church. Here Phillips
Brooks shines like a sun--diffusing warmth and light and life. What a
blessing to what a number! To what a number of souls, it would have been
natural to say; but, almost as natural, to what a number of bodies! For
the physical man is a source of comfort, in its kind, hardly less so
than the intellectual and the spiritual. How that massive, majestic
manhood makes temperature where it is, and what temperature! Broad,
equable, temperate, calm; yet tonic, withal, and inspiring. You rejoice
in it. You have an irrational feeling that it would be a wrong to shut
up so much opulence of personal vitality in any home less wide and open
than a great basilica like Trinity Church. At least, you are not pained
with sympathy for homelessness in the case of a man so richly endowed.
To be so pained would be like shivering on behalf of the sun, because,
forsooth, the sun had nothing to make him warm and bright. Phillips
Brooks in Trinity Church is like the sun in its sphere. Still, and were
it not impertinent, I could even wish for Phillips Brooks an every-day
home, such as would be worthy of him. What a home it should be! And with
thus much of loyal, if of doubtfully appropriate tribute, irresistibly
prompted, and therefore not to be repressed, let me go on to speak of
Phillips Brooks as he is to be seen and heard Sunday after Sunday at
home in Trinity Church.

Every body knows how magnificent an edifice, with its arrested tower yet
waiting and probably long to wait completion, Trinity Church is. The
interior is decorated almost to the point of gorgeousness. The effect,
however, is imposing for "the height, the glow, the glory." Good taste
reigning over lavish expenditure has prevented chromatic richness from
seeming to approach tawdriness. It is much to say for any man preaching
here that the building does not make him look disproportionate,
inadequate. This may strongly be said for Phillips Brooks. But even for
him it can not be said that the form and construction of the interior do
not oppose a serious embarrassment to the proper effect of oratory. I
could not help feeling it to be a great wrong to the truth, or, to put
it personally, a great wrong to the preacher and to his hearers, that an
audience-room should be so broken up with pillars, angles, recesses, so
sown with contrasts of light and shade, as necessarily, inevitably, to
disperse and waste an immense fraction of the power exerted by the
preacher, whatever the measure, great or small, of that power might be.
The reaction of this audience-room upon the oratorical instinct and
habit of the man who should customarily speak in it could not but be
mischievous in a very high degree. The sense, which ought to live in
every public speaker, of his being fast bound in a grapple of mind to
mind, and heart to heart, and soul to soul, with his audience, must be
oppressed, if not extinguished, amid such architectural conditions as
those which surround Phillips Brooks when he stands to preach. That in
him this needful sense is not extinguished is a thing to be thankful
for. That it is, in fact, oppressed, I can not doubt. There is evidence
of it, I think, in his manner of preaching. For Mr. Brooks is not an
orator such as Mr. Beecher is. He does not speak _to_ people _with_
people, as Mr. Beecher does; rather he speaks _before_ them, in their
presence. He soliloquizes. There is almost a minimum of mutual relation
between speaker and hearer. Undoubtedly the swift, urgent monologue is
quickened, reinforced, by the consciousness of an audience present. That
consciousness, of course, penetrates to the mind of the speaker. But it
does not dominate the speaker's mind; it does not turn monologue into
dialogue; the speech is monologue still.

This is not invariably the case; for, occasionally, the preacher turns
his noble face toward you, and for that instant you feel the aim of his
discourse leveled full at your personality. Now there is a glimpse of
true oratorical power. But the glimpse passes quickly. The countenance
is again directed forward toward a horizon, or even lifted toward a
quarter of the sky above the horizon, and the but momentarily
interrupted rapt soliloquy proceeds.

Such I understand to have been the style of Robert Hall's pulpit speech.
It is a rare gift to be a speaker of this sort. The speaker must be a
thinker as well as a speaker. The speech is, in truth, a process of
thinking aloud--thinking accelerated, exhilarated, by the vocal exercise
accompanying, and then, too, by the blindfold sense of a listening
audience near. This is the preaching of Mr. Brooks.

It is, perhaps, not generally known that Mr. Brooks practices two
distinct methods of preaching: one, that with the manuscript; the other,
that without. The last time that I had the chance of a Sunday in Trinity
Church was Luther's day. The morning discourse was a luminous and
generous appreciation of the great reformer's character and work. This
was read in that rapid, vehement, incessant manner which description has
made sufficiently familiar to the public. The precipitation of utterance
is like the flowing forth of the liquid contents of a bottle suddenly
inverted; every word seems hurrying to be foremost. The unaccustomed
hearer is at first left hopelessly in the rear; but presently the
contagion of the speaker's rushing thought reaches him, and he is drawn
into the wake of that urgent ongoing; he is towed along in the great
multitudinous convoy that follows the mighty motor-vessel, steaming,
unconscious of the weight it bears, across the sea of thought. The
energy is sufficient for all; it overflows so amply that you scarcely
feel it not to be your own energy. The writing is like in character to
the speaking--continuous, no break, no shock, no rest, not much change
of swifter and slower till the end. The apparent mass of the speaker,
physical and mental, might at first seem equal to making up a full,
adequate momentum without multiplication by such a component of
velocity; but by-and-by you come to feel that the motion is a necessary
part of the power. I am told, indeed, that a constitutional tendency to
hesitation in utterance is the speaker's real reason for this indulged
precipitancy of speech. Not unlikely; but the final result of habit is
as if of nature.

Of the discourse itself on Luther, I have left myself room to say no
more than that Mr. Brooks's master formula for power in the preacher,
truth plus personality, came very fitly in to explain the problem of
Luther's prodigious career. It was the man himself, not less than the
truth he found, that gave Luther such possession of the present and such
a heritage in the future.

In the afternoon, Mr. Brooks took Luther's "The just shall live by
faith," and preached extemporarily. The character of the composition and
of the delivery was strikingly the same as that belonging to morning's
discourse. It was hurried, impetuous soliloquy; in this particular case
hurried first, and then impetuous. That is, I judged from various little
indications that Mr. Brooks used his will to urge himself on against
some obstructiveness felt in the current mood and movement of his mind.
But it was a noteworthy discourse, full and fresh with thought. The
interpretation put upon Luther's doctrine of justification by faith was
free rather than historic. If one should apply the formula, truth plus
personality, the personality--Mr. Brooks's personality--would perhaps be
found to prevail in the interpretation over the strict historic
truth.--W.C. WILKINSON _in The Christian Union_.

       *       *       *       *       *



XLI.

SAINT JOHN AND THE ROBBER.


A LEGEND OF THE FIRST CENTURY.


    There is a beautiful legend
     Come down from ancient time,
    Of John, the beloved disciple,
     With the marks of his life sublime.

    Eusebius has the story
     On his quaint, suggestive page;
    And God in the hearts of his people
     Has preserved it from age to age.

    It was after the vision in Patmos,
     After the sanctified love
    Which flowed to the Seven Churches,
     Glowing with light from above:

    When his years had outrun the measure
     Allotted to men at the best,
    And Peter and James and the others
     Had followed the Master to rest,

    In the hope of the resurrection,
     And the blessed life to come
    In the house of many mansions,
     The Father's eternal home;

    It was in this golden season,
     At the going down of his sun,
    When his work in the mighty harvest
     Of the Lord was almost done;

    At Ephesus came a message,
     Where he was still at his post,
    Which unto the aged Apostle
     Was the voice of the Holy Ghost.

    Into the country he hastened
     With all the ardor of youth,
    Shod with the preparation
     Of the Gospel of peace and truth.

    His mission was one of mercy
     To the sheep that were scattered abroad,
    And abundant consolation,
     Which flowed through him from the Lord.

    O, would my heart could paint him,
     The venerable man of God,
    So lovingly showing and treading
     The way the Master had trod!

    O, would my art could paint him,
     Whose life was a fact to prove
    The joy of the Master's story,
     And fill their hearts with his love!

    At length, when the service was ended,
     His eye on a young man fell,
    Of beautiful form and feature,
     And grace we love so well.

    At once he turned to the bishop,
     And said with a love unpriced,
    "To thee, to thee I commit him
     Before the Church and Christ."

    He then returned to the city,
     The beloved disciple, John,
    Where the strong unceasing current
     Of his deathless love flowed on.

    The bishop discharged his duty
     To the youth so graceful and fair;
    With restraining hand he held him,
     And trained him with loving care.

    At last, when his preparation
     Was made for the holy rite,
    He was cleansed in the sanctified water,
     And pronounced a child of light.

    For a time he adorned the doctrine
     Which Christ in the Church has set.
    But, alas! for a passionate nature
     When Satan has spread his net!

    Through comrades base and abandoned
     He was lured from day to day,
    Until, like a steed unbridled,
     He struck from the rightful way;

    And a wild consuming passion
     Raised him unto the head
    Of a mighty band of robbers,
     Of all the country the dread.

    Time passed. Again a message
     Unto the Apostle was sent,
    To set their affairs in order,
     And tell them the Lord's intent.

    And when he had come and attended
     To all that needed his care,
    He turned him and said, "Come, Bishop,
     Give back my deposit so rare."

    "What deposit?" was the answer,
     Which could not confusion hide.
    "I demand the soul of a brother,"
     Plainly the Apostle replied,

    "Which Christ and I committed
     Before the Church to thee."
    Trembling and even weeping,
     "The young man is dead," groaned he.

    "How dead? What death?" John demanded.
     "He the way of the tempter trod,
    Forgetting the Master's weapon,
     And now he is dead unto God.

    Yonder he roves a robber."
     "A fine keeper," said John, "indeed,
    Of a brother's soul. Get ready
     A guide and a saddled steed."

    And all as he was the Apostle
     Into the region rode
    Where the robber youth and captain
     Had fixed his strong abode.

    When hardly over the border,
     He a prisoner was made,
    And into their leader's presence
     Demanded to be conveyed.

    And he who could brave a thousand
     When each was an enemy,
    Beholding John approaching,
     Turned him in shame to flee.

    But John, of his age forgetful,
     Pursued him with all his might.
    "Why from thy defenseless father,"
     He cried, "dost thou turn in flight?

    Fear not; there is hope and a refuge,
     And life shall yet be thine.
    I will intercede with the Master
     And task His love divine."

    Subdued by love that is stronger
     Than was ever an arméd band,
    He became once more to the Father
     A child to feel for His hand.

    Subdued by a love that is stronger
     Than a world full of terrors and fears,
    He returned to the House of the Father
     Athrough the baptism of tears.

    Such is the beautiful legend
     Come down from ancient days,
    Of love that is young forever;
     And is he not blind who says

    That charity ever faileth,
     Or doth for a moment despair,
    Or that there is any danger
     Too great for her to dare;

    When John, the beloved disciple,
     With the faith of the Gospel shod,
    Went forth in pursuit of the robber,
     And brought him back to God?

    O Church, whose strength is the doctrine
     Of the blessed Evangelist,
    This doctrine of love undying
     Which the world can not resist!

    Put on thy beautiful garments
     In this sordid and selfish day,
    And be as of old a glory
     To turn us from Mammon away;

    Until to the prayer of thy children,
     The sweetly simple prayer,
    That bathed in the light of Heaven
     Thy courts may grow more fair,

    There comes the eternal answer
     Of works that are loving and grand,
    To remain for the generations
     The praises of God in the land.

    O Church, whose strength is the doctrine
     Of the blessed Evangelist,
    The doctrine of love undying
     Which the world can not resist!

    Go forth to the highways and hedges
     To gather the sheep that are lost,
    Conveying the joyful tidings,
     Their redemption at infinite cost.

    Proclaim there is hope and a refuge
     For every wanderer there;
    For every sin there is mercy--
     Yea, even the sin of despair!

    O, then will thy beautiful garments,
     As once in the prime of thy youth,
    Appear in celestial splendor,
     Thou pillar and ground of the Truth!

       *       *       *       *       *



XLII.

JOHN PLOUGHMAN AGAIN


THE PITH AND MARROW OF CERTAIN OLD PROVERBS.


The Rev. C.H. Spurgeon, of London, who has furnished our readers with
several specimens of "John Ploughman's Talk," has also published "John
Ploughman's Pictures," some of which we present in pen and ink, without
any help from the engraver. John thus introduces himself:


IF THE CAP FITS, WEAR IT.


Friendly Readers: Last time I made a book I trod on some people's corns
and bunions, and they wrote me angry letters, asking, "Did you mean me?"
This time, to save them the expense of a halfpenny card, I will begin my
book by saying--

    Whether I please or whether I tease,
     I'll give you my honest mind;
    If the cap should fit, pray wear it a bit;
     If not, you can leave it behind.

No offense is meant; but if any thing in these pages should come home to
a man, let him not send it next door, but get a coop for his own
chickens. What is the use of reading or hearing for other people? We do
not eat and drink for them: why should we lend them our ears and not our
mouths? Please then, good friend, if you find a hoe on these premises,
weed your own garden with it.

I was speaking with Will Shepherd the other day about our master's old
donkey, and I said, "He is so old and stubborn, he really is not worth
his keep." "No," said Will, "and worse still, he is so vicious that I
feel sure he'll do somebody a mischief one of these days." You know they
say that walls have ears; we were talking rather loud, but we did not
know that there were ears to haystacks. We stared, I tell you, when we
saw Joe Scroggs come from behind the stack, looking as red as a
turkey-cock, and raving like mad. He burst out swearing at Will and me,
like a cat spitting at a dog. His monkey was up and no mistake. He'd let
us know that he was as good a man as either of us, or the two put
together, for the matter of that. Talk about _him_ in that way; he'd
do--I don't know what. I told old Joe we had never thought of him nor
said a word about him, and he might just as well save his breath to cool
his porridge, for nobody meant him any harm. This only made him call me
a liar and roar the louder. My friend Will was walking away, holding his
sides; but when he saw that Scroggs was still in a fume, he laughed
outright, and turned round on him and said, "Why, Joe, we were talking
about master's old donkey, and not about you; but, upon my word, I shall
never see that donkey again without thinking of Joe Scroggs." Joe puffed
and blowed, but perhaps he thought it an awkward job, for he backed out
of it, and Will and I went off to our work in rather a merry cue, for
old Joe had blundered on the truth about himself for once in his life.

The aforesaid Will Shepherd has sometimes come down rather heavy upon me
in his remarks, but it has done me good. It is partly through his
home-thrusts that I have come to write this new book, for he thought I
was idle; perhaps I am, and perhaps I am not. Will forgets that I have
other fish to fry and tails to butter; and he does not recollect that a
ploughman's mind wants to lie fallow a little, and can't give a crop
every year. It is hard to make rope when your hemp is all used up, or
pancakes without batter, or rook pie without the birds; and so I found
it hard to write more when I had said just about all I knew. Giving much
to the poor doth increase a man's store, but it is not the same with
writing; at least, I am such a poor scribe that I don't find it come
because I pull. If your thoughts only flow by drops, you can't pour them
out in bucketfuls.

However, Will has ferreted me out, and I am obliged to him so far. I
told him the other day what the winkle said to the pin: "Thank you for
drawing me out, but you are rather sharp about it." Still, Master Will
is not far from the mark: after three hundred thousand people had bought
my book it certainly was time to write another. So, though I am not a
hatter, I will again turn capmaker, and those who have heads may try on
my wares; those who have none won't touch them. So, friends, I am,

    Yours, rough and ready, JOHN PLOUGHMAN.


BURN A CANDLE AT BOTH ENDS, AND IT WILL SOON BE GONE.


Well may he scratch his head who burns his candle at both ends; but do
what he may, his light will soon be gone and he will be all in the dark.
Young Jack Careless squandered his property, and now he is without a
shoe to his foot. His was a case of "easy come, easy go; soon gotten,
soon spent." He that earns an estate will keep it better than he that
inherits it. As the Scotchman says, "He that gets gear before he gets
wit is but a short time master of it," and so it was with Jack. His
money burned holes in his pocket. He could not get rid of it fast enough
himself, and so he got a pretty set to help him, which they did by
helping themselves. His fortune went like a pound of meat in a kennel of
hounds. He was every body's friend, and now he is every body's fool.


HUNCHBACK SEES NOT HIS OWN HUMP, BUT HE SEES HIS NEIGHBOR'S.


He points at the man in front of him, but he is a good deal more of a
guy himself. He should not laugh at the crooked until he is straight
himself, and not then. I hate to hear a raven croak at a crow for being
black. A blind man should not blame his brother for squinting, and he
who has lost his legs should not sneer at the lame. Yet so it is, the
rottenest bough cracks first, and he who should be the last to speak is
the first to rail. Bespattered hogs bespatter others, and he who is full
of fault finds fault. They are most apt to speak ill of others who do
most ill themselves.

We may chide a friend, and so prove our friendship, but it must be done
very daintily, or we may lose our friend for our pains. Before we rebuke
another we must consider, and take heed that we are not guilty of the
same thing, for he who cleanses a blot with inky fingers makes it worse.
To despise others is a worse fault than any we are likely to see in
them, and to make merry over their weaknesses shows our own weakness and
our own malice too. Wit should be a shield for defense, and not a sword
for offense. A mocking word cuts worse than a scythe, and the wound is
harder to heal. A blow is much sooner forgotten than a jeer. Mocking is
shocking.


A LOOKING-GLASS IS OF NO USE TO A BLIND MAN.


Some men are blinded by their worldly business, and could not see heaven
itself if the windows were open over their heads. Look at farmer Grab,
he is like Nebuchadnezzar, for his conversation is all among beasts, and
if he does not eat grass it is because he never could stomach salads.
His dinner is his best devotion; he is a terrible fastener on a piece of
beef, and sweats at it more than at his labor. As old Master Earle says:
"His religion is a part of his copyhold, which he takes from his
landlord, and refers wholly to his lordship's discretion. If he gives
him leave, he goes to church in his best clothes, and sits there with
his neighbors, but never prays more than two prayers--for rain and for
fair weather, as the case may be. He is a niggard all the week, except
on market-days, where, if his corn sell well, he thinks he may be drunk
with a good conscience. He is sensible of no calamity but the burning of
a stack of corn, or the overflowing of a meadow, and he thinks Noah's
flood the greatest plague that ever was, not because it drowned the
world, but spoiled the grass. For death he is never troubled, and if he
gets in his harvest before it happens, it may come when it will, he
cares not." He is as stubborn as he is stupid, and to get a new thought
into his head you would need to bore a hole in his skull with a
center-bit. The game would not be worth the candle. We must leave him
alone, for he is too old in the tooth, and too blind to be made to see.


DON'T CUT OFF YOUR NOSE TO SPITE YOUR FACE.


Anger is a short madness. The less we do when we go mad the better for
every body, and the less we go mad the better for ourselves. He is far
gone who hurts himself to wreak his vengeance on others. The old saying
is: "Don't cut off your head because it aches," and another says: "Set
not your house on fire to spite the moon." If things go awry, it is a
poor way of mending to make them worse, as the man did who took to
drinking because he could not marry the girl he liked. He must be a fool
who cuts off his nose to spite his face, and yet this is what Dick did
when he had vexed his old master, and because he was chid must needs
give up his place, throw himself out of work, and starve his wife and
family. Jane had been idle, and she knew it, but sooner than let her
mistress speak to her, she gave warning, and lost as good a service as a
maid could wish for. Old Griggs was wrong, and could not deny it, and
yet because the parson's sermon fitted him rather close he took the
sulks, and vowed he would never hear the good man again. It was his own
loss, but he wouldn't listen to reason, but was as willful as a pig.


IT IS HARD FOR AN EMPTY SACK TO STAND UPRIGHT.


Sam may try a fine while before he will make one of his empty sacks
stand upright. If he were not half daft he would have left off that job
before he began it, and not have been an Irishman either. He will come
to his wit's end before he sets the sack on its end. The old proverb,
printed at the top, was made by a man who had burned his fingers with
debtors, and it just means that when folks have no money and are over
head and ears in debt, as often as not they leave off being upright, and
tumble over one way or another. He that has but four and spends five
will soon need no purse, but he will most likely begin to use his wits
to keep himself afloat, and take to all sorts of dodges to manage it.

Nine times out of ten they begin by making promises to pay on a certain
day when it is certain they have nothing to pay with. They are as bold
at fixing the time as if they had my lord's income; the day comes round
as sure as Christmas, and then they haven't a penny-piece in the world,
and so they make all sorts of excuses and begin to promise again. Those
who are quick to promise are generally slow to perform. They promise
mountains and perform mole-hills. He who gives you fair words and
nothing more feeds you with an empty spoon, and hungry creditors soon
grow tired of that game. Promises don't fill the belly. Promising men
are not great favorites if they are not performing men. When such a
fellow is called a liar he thinks he is hardly done by; and yet he is
so, as sure as eggs are eggs, and there's no denying it, as the boy said
when the gardener caught him up the cherry-tree.


A HAND-SAW IS A GOOD THING, BUT NOT TO SHAVE WITH.


Our friend will cut more than he will eat, and shave oft something more
than hair, and then he will blame the saw. His brains don't lie in his
beard, nor yet in the skull above it, or he would see that his saw will
only make sores. There's sense in choosing your tools, for a pig's tail
will never make a good arrow, nor will his ear make a silk purse. You
can't catch rabbits with drums, nor pigeons with plums. A good thing is
not good out of its place. It is much the same with lads and girls; you
can't put all boys to one trade, nor send all girls to the same service.
One chap will make a London clerk, and another will do better to plough,
and sow, and reap, and mow, and be a farmer's boy. It's no use forcing
them; a snail will never run a race, nor a mouse drive a wagon.

    "Send a boy to the well against his will,
    The pitcher will break, and the water spill."

With unwilling hounds it is hard to hunt hares. To go against nature and
inclination is to row against wind and tide. They say you may praise a
fool till you make him useful. I don't know so much about that, but I do
know that if I get a bad knife I generally cut my finger, and a blunt
axe is more trouble than profit. No, let me shave with a razor if I
shave at all, and do my work with the best tools I can get.

Never set a man to work he is not fit for, for he will never do it well.
They say that if pigs fly they always go with their tails forward, and
awkward workmen are much the same. Nobody expects cows to catch crows,
or hens to wear hats. There's reason in roasting eggs, and there should
be reason in choosing servants. Don't put a round peg into a square
hole, nor wind up your watch with a corkscrew, nor set a tender-hearted
man to whip wife-beaters, nor a bear to be a relieving-officer, nor a
publican to judge of the licensing laws. Get the right man in the right
place, and then all goes as smooth as skates on ice; but the wrong man
puts all awry, as the sow did when she folded the linen.


TWO DOGS FIGHT FOR A BONE, AND A THIRD RUNS AWAY WITH IT.


We have all heard of the two men who quarreled over an oyster, and
called in a judge to settle the question; he ate the oyster himself, and
gave them a shell each. This reminds me of the story of the cow which
two farmers could not agree about, and so the lawyers stepped in and
milked the cow for them, and charged them for their trouble in drinking
the milk. Little is got by law, but much is lost by it. A suit in law
may last longer than any suit a tailor can make you, and you may
yourself be worn out before it comes to an end. It is better far to make
matters up and keep out of court, for if you are caught there you are
caught in the brambles, and won't get out without damage. John Ploughman
feels a cold sweat at the thought of getting into the hands of lawyers.
He does not mind going to Jericho, but he dreads the gentlemen on the
road, for they seldom leave a feather upon any goose which they pick up.


HE HAS A HOLE UNDER HIS NOSE. AND HIS MONEY RUNS INTO IT.


This is the man who is always dry, because he takes so much heavy wet.
He is a loose fellow who is fond of getting tight. He is no sooner up
than his nose is in the cup, and his money begins to run down the hole
which is just under his nose. He is not a blacksmith, but he has a spark
in his throat, and all the publican's barrels can't put it out. If a pot
of beer is a yard of land, he must have swallowed more acres than a
ploughman could get over for many a day, and still he goes on swallowing
until he takes to wallowing. All goes down Gutter Lane. Like the snipe,
he lives by suction. If you ask him how he is, he says he would be quite
right if he could moisten his mouth. His purse is a bottle, his bank is
the publican's till, and his casket is a cask; pewter is his precious
metal, and his pearl is a mixture of gin and beer. The dew of his youth
comes from Ben Nevis, and the comfort of his soul is cordial gin. He is
a walking barrel, a living drain-pipe, a moving swill-tub. They say
"loath to drink and loath to leave off," but he never needs persuading
to begin, and as to ending that is out of the question while he can
borrow twopence.


STICK TO IT AND DO IT.


Set a stout heart to a stiff hill, and the wagon will get to the top of
it. There's nothing so hard but a harder thing will get through it; a
strong job can be managed by a strong resolution. Have at it and have
it. Stick to it and succeed. Till a thing is done men wonder that you
think it can be done, and when you have done it they wonder it was never
done before.

In my picture the wagon is drawn by two horses; but I would have every
man who wants to make his way in life pull as if all depended on
himself. Very little is done right when it is left to other people. The
more hands to do work the less there is done. One man will carry two
pails of water for himself; two men will only carry one pail between
them, and three will come home with never a drop at all. A child with
several mothers will die before it runs alone. Know your business and
give your mind to it, and you will find a buttered loaf where a sluggard
loses his last crust.


LIKE CAT LIKE KIT.


Most men are what their mothers made them. The father is away from home
all day, and has not half the influence over the children that the
mother has. The cow has most to do with the calf. If a ragged colt grows
into a good horse, we know who it is that combed him. A mother is
therefore a very responsible woman, even though she may be the poorest
in the land, for the bad or the good of her boys and girls very much
depends upon her. As is the gardener such is the garden, as is the wife
such is the family. Samuel's mother made him a little coat every year,
but she had done a deal for him before that; Samuel would not have been
Samuel if Hannah had not been Hannah. We shall never see a better set of
men till the mothers are better. We must have Sarahs and Rebekahs before
we shall see Isaacs and Jacobs. Grace does not run in the blood, but we
generally find that the Timothies have mothers of a goodly sort.

Little children give their mother the headache, but if she lets them
have their own way, when they grow up to be great children they will
give her the heartache. Foolish fondness spoils many, and letting faults
alone spoils more. Gardens that are never weeded will grow very little
worth, gathering; all watering and no hoeing will make a bad crop. A
child may have too much of its mother's love, and in the long run it may
turn out that it had too little. Soft-hearted mothers rear soft-hearted
children; they hurt them for life because they are afraid of hurting
them when they are young. Coddle your children, and they will turn out
noodles. You may sugar a child till every body is sick of it. Boys'
jackets need a little dusting every now and then, and girls' dresses are
all the better for occasional trimming. Children without chastisement
are fields without ploughing. The very best colts want breaking in. Not
that we like severity; cruel mothers are not mothers, and those who are
always flogging and fault-finding ought to be flogged themselves. There
is reason in all things, as the madman said when he cut off his nose.

Good mothers are very dear to their children. There's no mother in the
world like our own mother. My friend Sanders, from Glasgow, says, "The
mither's breath is aye sweet." Every woman is a handsome woman to her
own son. That man is not worth hanging who does not love his mother.
When good women lead their little ones to the Saviour, the Lord Jesus
blesses not only the children, but their mothers as well. Happy are they
among women who see their sons and daughters walking in the truth.


A BLACK HEN LAYS A WHITE EGG.


The egg is white enough, though the hen is black as a coal. This is a
very simple thing, but it has pleased the simple mind of John Ploughman,
and made him cheer up when things have gone hard with him. Out of evil
comes good, through the great goodness of God. From threatening clouds
we get refreshing showers; in dark mines men find bright jewels; and so
from our worst troubles come our best blessings. The bitter cold
sweetens the ground, and the rough winds fasten the roots of the old
oaks, God sends us letters of love in envelopes with black borders. Many
a time have I plucked sweet fruit from bramble bushes, and taken lovely
roses from among prickly thorns. Trouble is to believing men and women
like the sweetbrier in our hedges, and where it grows there is a
delicious smell all around, if the dew do but fall upon it from above.

Cheer up, mates, all will come right in the end. The darkest night will
turn to a fair morning in due time. Only let us trust in God, and keep
our heads above the waves of fear. When our hearts are right with God
every thing is right. Let us look for the silver which lines every
cloud, and when we do not see it let us believe that it is there. We are
all at school, and our great Teacher writes many a bright lesson on the
blackboard of affliction. Scant fare teaches us to live on heavenly
bread, sickness bids us send off for the good Physician, loss of friends
makes Jesus more precious, and even the sinking of our spirits brings us
to live more entirely upon God. All things are working together for the
good of those who love God, and even death itself will bring them their
highest gain. Thus the black hen lays a white egg.


EVERY BIRD LIKES ITS OWN NEST.


It pleases me to see how fond the birds are of their little homes. No
doubt each one thinks his own nest is the very best; and so it is for
him, just as my home is the best palace for me, even for me, King John,
the king of the Cottage of Content. I will ask no more if Providence
only continues to give me

    "A little field well tilled,
    A little house well filled,
    And a little wife well willed."

An Englishman's house is his castle, and the true Briton is always fond
of the old roof-tree. Green grows the house-leek on the thatch, and
sweet is the honeysuckle at the porch, and dear are the gilly-flowers in
the front garden; but best of all is the good wife within, who keeps all
as neat as a new pin. Frenchmen may live in their coffee-houses, but an
Englishman's best life is seen at home.

    "My own house, though small,
    Is the best house of all."

When boys get tired of eating tarts, and maids have done with winning
hearts, and lawyers cease to take their fees, and leaves leave off to
grow on trees, then will John Ploughman cease to love his own dear home.
John likes to hear some sweet voice sing,

    "'Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
    Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home;
    A charm from the sky seems to hallow us there,
    Which, wherever we rove, is not met with elsewhere.
        Home! Home! sweet, sweet home!
        There's no place like home!"

       *       *       *       *       *



XLIII.

HENRY WILSON

(BORN 1812--DIED 1875.)


FROM THE SHOEMAKER'S BENCH TO THE CHAIR OF VICE-PRESIDENT.


Henry Wilson, the Vice-president of the United States, was at my
tea-table with the strangest appetite I ever knew. The fact was, his
last sickness was on him, and his inward fever demanded everything cold.
It was tea without any tea. He was full of reminiscence, and talked over
his life from boyhood till then. He impressed me with the fact that he
was nearly through his earthly journey. Going to my Church that evening
to speak at our young peoples' anniversary, he delivered the last
address of his public life. While seated at the beginning of the
exercises, his modesty seemed to overcome him, and he said: "I am not
prepared to address such a magnificent audience as that. Can not you get
somebody else to speak? I wish you would." "O no," I said, "these people
came to hear Henry Wilson." He placed a chair in the center of the
platform to lean on. Not knowing he had put it in that position, I
removed it twice. Then he whispered to me, saying: "Why do you remove
that chair? I want it to lean on." The fact was, his physical strength
was gone. When he arose his bands and knees trembled with excitement,
and the more so as the entire audience arose and cheered him. One hand
on the top of the chair, he stood for half an hour, saying useful
things, and, among others, these words: "I hear men sometimes say, when
a man writes his name on the records of a visible Church, that he had
better let other things alone, especially public affairs. I am not a
believer in that Christianity which hides itself away. I believe in that
robust Christianity that goes right out in God's world and works. If
there ever was a time in our country, that time is now, when the young
men of this country should reflect and act according to the teachings of
God's holy Word, and attempt to purify, lift up, and carry our country
onward and forward, so that it shall be in practice what it is in
theory--the great leading Christian nation of the globe. You will be
disappointed in many of your hopes and aspirations. The friends near and
dear to you will turn sometimes coldly from you; the wives of your bosom
and the children of your love will be taken from you; your high hopes
may be blasted; but, gentlemen, when friends turn their backs upon you,
when you lay your dear ones away, when disappointments come to you on
the right hand and on the left, there is one source for a true and brave
heart, and that is an abiding faith in God, and a trust in the Lord
Jesus Christ."

Having concluded his address he sat down, physically exhausted. When we
helped him into his carriage we never expected to see him again. The
telegram from Washington announcing his prostration and certain death
was no surprise. But there and then ended as remarkable a life as was
ever lived in America.

It is no great thing if a man who has been carefully nurtured by
intelligent parents, and then passed through school, college, and those
additional years of professional study, go directly to the front. But
start a man amid every possible disadvantage, and pile in his way all
possible obstacles, and then if he take his position among those whose
path was smooth, he must have the elements of power. Henry Wilson was
great in the mastering and overcoming all disadvantageous circumstances.
He began at the bottom, and without any help fought his own way to the
top. If there ever was a man who had a right at the start to give up his
earthly existence as a failure, that man was Henry Wilson. Born of a
dissolute father, so that the son took another name in order to escape
the disgrace; never having a dollar of his own before he was twenty-one
years of age; toiling industriously in a shoemaker's shop, that he might
get the means of schooling and culture; then loaning his money to a man
who swamped it all and returned none of it; but still toiling on and up
until he came to the State Legislature, and on and up until he reached
the American Senate, and on and up till he became Vice-president. In all
this there ought to be great encouragement to those who wake up late in
life to find themselves unequipped. Henry Wilson did not begin his
education until most of our young men think they have finished theirs.
If you are twenty-five or thirty, or forty or fifty, it is not too late
to begin. Isaac Walton at ninety years of age wrote his valuable book;
Benjamin Franklin, almost an octogenarian, went into philosophic
discoveries; Fontenelle's mind blossomed even in the Winter of old age;
Arnauld made valuable translations at eighty years of age; Christopher
Wren added to the astronomical and religious knowledge of the world at
eighty-six years of age.

Do not let any one, in the light of Henry Wilson's career, be
discouraged. Rittenhouse conquered his poverty; John Milton overcame his
blindness; Robert Hall overleaped his sickness; and plane and hammer,
and adze and pickax, and crowbar and yardstick, and shoe-last have
routed many an army of opposition and oppression. Let every disheartened
man look at two pictures--Henry Wilson teaching fifteen hours a day at
five dollars a week to get his education, and Henry Wilson under the
admiring gaze of Christendom at the national capital. He was one of the
few men who maintained his integrity against violent temptations. The
tides of political life all set toward dissipation. The congressional
burying-ground at Washington holds the bones of many congressional
drunkards. Henry Wilson seated at a banquet with senators and presidents
and foreign ministers, the nearest he ever came to taking their
expensive brandies and wines was to say, "No, sir, I thank you; I never
indulge." He never drank the health of other people in any thing that
hurt his own. He never was more vehement than in flinging his
thunderbolts of scorn against the decanter and the dram-shop. What a
rebuke it is for men in high and exposed positions in this country who
say, "We can not be in our positions without drinking." If Henry Wilson,
under the gaze of senators and presidents, could say No, certainly you
under the jeers of your commercial associates ought to be able to say
No. Henry Wilson also conquered all temptations to political corruption.
He died comparatively a poor man, when he might have filled his own
pockets and the pockets of his friends if he had only consented to go
into some of the infamous opportunities which tempted our public men.
_Credit Mobilier_, which took down so many senators and representatives,
touched him, but glanced off, leaving him uncontaminated in the opinion
of all fair-minded men. He steered clear of the "Lobby," that maelstrom
which has swallowed up so many strong political crafts. The bribing
railroad schemes that ran over half of our public men always left him on
the right side of the track. With opportunities to have made millions of
dollars by the surrender of good principles, he never made a cent. Along
by the coasts strewn with the hulks of political adventurers he voyaged
without loss of rudder or spar. We were not surprised at his funeral
honors. If there ever was a man after death fit to lie on Abraham
Lincoln's catafalque, and near the marble representation of Alexander
Hamilton, and under Crawford's splendid statue of Freedom, with a
sheathed sword in her hand and a wreath of stars on her brow, and to be
carried out amid the acclamation and conclamation of a grateful people,
that man was Henry Wilson.

The ministers did not at his obsequies have a hard time to make out a
good case as to his future destiny, as in one case where a clergyman in
offering consolation as to the departure of a man who had been very
eminent, but went down through intemperance till he died in a snow-bank,
his rum-jug beside him. At the obsequies of that unfortunate, the
officiating pastor declared that the departed was a good Greek and Latin
scholar. We have had United States senators who used the name of God
rhetorically, and talked grandly about virtue and religion, when at that
moment they were so drunk they could scarcely stand up. But Henry Wilson
was an old-fashioned Christian, who had repented of his sins and put his
trust in Christ. By profession he was a Congregationalist; but years ago
he stood up in a Methodist meeting-house and told how he had found the
Lord, and recommending all the people to choose Christ as their
portion--the same Christ about whom he was reading the very night before
he died, in that little book called "The Changed Cross," the more tender
passages marked with his own lead-pencil; and amid these poems of Christ
Henry Wilson had placed the pictures of his departed wife and departed
son, for I suppose he thought as these were with Christ in heaven their
dear faces might as well be next to His name in the book.

It was appropriate that our Vice-president expire in the Capitol
buildings, the scene of so many years of his patriotic work. At the door
of that marbled and pictured Vice-president's room many a man has been
obliged to wait because of the necessities of business, and to wait a
great while before he could get in; but that morning, while the
Vice-president was talking about taking a ride, a sable messenger
arrived at the door, not halting a moment, not even knocking to see if
he might get in, but passed up and smote the lips into silence forever.
The sable messenger moving that morning through the splendid Capitol
stopped not to look at the mosaics, or the fresco, or the panels of
Tennessee and Italian marble, but darted in and darted out in an
instant, and his work was done. It is said that Charles Sumner was more
scholarly, and that Stephen A. Douglas was a better organizer, and that
John J. Crittenden was more eloquent; but calling up my memory of Henry
Wilson, I have come to the conclusion that that life is grandly eloquent
whose peroration is heaven.--DR. TALMADGE, _in The Sunday Magazine_.

       *       *       *       *       *



XLIV.

JOAN OF ARC

(BORN 1412--DIED 1431.)


THE PEASANT MAIDEN WHO DELIVERED HER COUNTRY AND BECAME A MARTYR IN ITS
CAUSE.


No story of heroism has greater attractions for youthful readers than
that of Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orleans. It would be long to tell how
for hundreds of years the greatest jealousy and mistrust existed between
England and France, and how constant disputes between their several
sovereigns led to wars and tumults; how, in the time of Henry the Fifth,
of England, a state of wild confusion existed on the continent, and how
that king also claimed to be king of France; how this fifth Henry was
married to Catherine, daughter of King Charles, and how they were
crowned king and queen of France; how, in the midst of his triumphs,
Henry died, and his son, an infant less than a year old, was declared
king in his stead; how wars broke out, and how, at last, a simple maiden
saved her country from the grasp of ambitious men. Hardly anything in
history is more wonderful than, the way in which she was raised up to
serve her country's need, and, having served it, died a martyr in its
cause.

Joan of Arc, Maid of Orleans, was born in the forest of Greux, upon the
Meuse, in the village of Domremy, in Lorraine, in the year 1412. At this
time France was divided into two factions--the Burgundians and the
Armagnacs--the former of whom favored the English cause, and the latter
pledged to the cause of their country.

Joan was the daughter of simple villagers. She was brought up
religiously, and from her earliest youth is said to have seen visions
and dreamed dreams; the one great dream of her life was, however, the
deliverance of her country from foreign invasions and domestic broils.
When only about thirteen years of age, she announced to the astonished
townspeople that she had a mission, and that she meant to fulfill it.

The disasters of the war reached Joan's home; a party of Burgundians
dashed into Domremy, and the Armagnacs fled before them. Joan's family
took refuge in the town of Neufchateau, and she paid for their lodging
at an inn by helping the mistress of the house.

Here, in a more public place, it was soon seen and wondered at that such
a young girl was so much interested in the war. Her parents were already
angry that she would not marry. They began to be frightened now. Jacques
D'Arc told one of his sons that sooner than let Joan go to the camp he
would drown her with his own hands. She could not, however, be kept
back. Very cautiously, and as though afraid to speak of such high
things, she began to let fall hints of what she saw. Half-frightened
herself at what she said, she exclaimed to a neighbor, "There is now,
between Colombey and Vaucouleurs, a maid who will cause the king of
France to be crowned!"

Now came the turn in the war, when all the strength of both sides was to
be gathered up into one great struggle, and it was to be shown whether
the king was to have his right, or the usurper triumph. The real leaders
of the war were the Duke of Bedford, regent of England, and the captains
of the French army. Bedford gathered a vast force, chiefly from
Burgundy, and gave its command to the Earl of Salisbury. The army went
on; they gained, without a struggle, the towns of Rambouillet, Pithwier,
Jargean, and others. Then they encamped before the city of Orleans. To
this point they drew their whole strength. Orleans taken, the whole
country beyond was theirs, as it commanded the entrance to the River
Loire and the southern provinces; and the only stronghold left to King
Charles was the mountain country of Auvergne and Dauphine.

The men of Orleans well knew how much depended upon their city. All that
could be done they did to prepare for a resolute defense. The siege of
Orleans was one of the first in which cannon were used. Salisbury
visiting the works, a cannon broke a splinter from a casement, which
struck him and gave him his death wound. The Earl of Suffolk, who was
appointed to succeed him, never had his full power.

Suffolk could not tame the spirit of the men of Orleans by regular
attack, so he tried other means. He resolved to block it up by
surrounding it with forts, and starve the people out. But for some time,
before the works were finished, food was brought into the city; while
the French troops, scouring the plains, as often stopped the supplies
coming to the English. Faster, however, than they were brought in, the
provisions in Orleans wasted away. And through the dreary Winter the
citizens watched one fort after another rise around them. The enemy was
growing stronger, they were growing weaker; they had no prospect before
them but defeat; when the Spring came would come the famine; their city
would be lost, and then their country.

The eyes of all France were upon Orleans. News of the siege and of the
distress came to Domremy, and Joan of Arc rose to action. Her mind was
fixed to go and raise the siege of Orleans and crown Charles king. Not
for one moment did she think it impossible or even unlikely. What God
had called her to do, that she would carry out. She made no secret of
her call, but went to Vaucouleurs and told De Briancourt that she meant
to save France. At first the governor treated her lightly, and told her
to go home and dream about a sweetheart; but such was her earnestness
that at last not only he, but thousands of other people, believed in the
mission of Joan of Arc. And so, before many days, she set out, with many
noble attendants, to visit Charles at the castle of Chinon.

On all who saw her, Joan's earnestness, singleness of heart, and deep
piety made but one impression. Only the king remained undecided; he
could hardly be roused to see her, but at last he named a day, and Joan
of Arc had her desire and stood before him in the great hall of Chinon.
Fifty torches lighted the hall, which was crowded with knights and
nobles. Joan, too self-forgetful to feel abashed, walked forward firmly.
Charles had placed himself among his courtiers, so that she should not
know him. Not by inspiration, as they thought, but because with her
enthusiasm she must have heard him described often and often, she at
once singled him out and clasped his knees. Charles denied that he was
the king. "In the name of God," Joan answered, "it no other but
yourself. Most noble Lord Dauphin, I am Joan, the maid sent on the part
of God to aid you and your kingdom; and by his command I announce to you
that you shall be crowned in the city of Rheims, and shall become his
lieutenant in the realm of France." Charles led her aside, and told his
courtiers afterward that in their private conversation she had revealed
to him secrets. But all that she said appears to have been, "I tell thee
from my Lord that thou art the true heir of France." A few days before
the king had offered a prayer for help only on condition that he was the
rightful sovereign, and it has been well said that "such a coincidence
of idea on so obvious a topic seems very far from supernatural or even
surprising." It is but one out of many proofs how ready every one in
those days was to believe in signs and wonders.

Her fame spread wide; there went abroad all kinds of reports about her
miraculous powers. Already the French began to hope and the English to
wonder.

The king still doubted, and so did his council. People in our own day,
who admire the wisdom of the Dark Ages, would do well to study the story
of Joan of Arc. She was taken before the University of Poictiers. Six
weeks did the learned doctors employ in determining whether Joan was
sent by God or in league with the devil. She never made any claim to
supernatural help beyond what she needed to fulfill her mission. She
refused to give them a sign, saying that her sign would be at
Orleans--the leading of brave men to battle. She boasted no attainments,
declaring that she knew neither A nor B; only, she must raise the siege
of Orleans and crown the Dauphin. The friars sent to her old home to
inquire about her, and brought back a spotless report of her life. So,
after the tedious examination, the judgment of the learned and wise men
of Poictiers was that Charles might accept her services without peril to
his soul.

The vexatious delays over, Joan of Arc set out for Orleans. In the
church of Fierbois she had seen, among other old weapons, a sword marked
with five crosses. For this she sent. When she left Vaucouleurs she had
put on a man's dress; now she was clad in white armor. A banner was
prepared under her directions; this also was white, strewn with the
lilies of France.

So much time had been lost that Joan was not at Blois till the middle of
April. She entered the town on horseback; her head was uncovered. All
men admired her skillful riding and the poise of her lance. Joan carried
all before her now; she brought spirit to the troops; the armor laid
down was buckled on afresh when she appeared; the hearts of the people
were lifted up--they would have died for her. Charles, who had been with
the army, slipped back to Chinon; but he left behind him better and
braver men--his five bravest leaders. Joan began her work gloriously by
clearing the camp of all bad characters. Father Pasquerel bore her
banner through the streets, while Joan, with the priests who followed,
sang the Litany and exhorted men to prepare for battle by repentance and
prayer. In this, as in all else, she succeeded.

When the English heard that Joan was really coming, they pretended to
scorn her. Common report made Joan a prophet and a worker of miracles.
Hearts beat higher in Orleans than they had done for months. More terror
was in the English camp than it had ever known before.

The English took no heed of Joan's order to submit. They little thought
that in a fortnight they would flee before a woman.

She entered the city at midnight. LaHire and two hundred men, with
lances, were her escort. Though she had embarked close under an English
fort, she was not molested. Untouched by the enemy, coming in the midst
of the storm, bringing plenty, and the lights of her procession shining
in the black night, we can not wonder that the men of Orleans looked on
her as in very truth the messenger of God. They flocked round her, and
he who could touch but her horse was counted happy.

Joan went straight to the cathedral, where she had the Te Deum chanted.
The people thought that already they were singing their thanksgivings
for victory. Despair was changed to hope; fear to courage. She was known
as "the Maid of Orleans." From the cathedral she went to the house of
one of the most esteemed ladies of the town, with whom she had chosen to
live. A great supper had been prepared for her, but she took only a bit
of bread sopped in wine before she went to sleep. By her orders, the
next day an archer fastened to his arrow a letter of warning, and shot
it into the English lines. She went herself along the bridge and
exhorted the enemy to depart. Sir William Gladsdale tried to conceal his
fright by answering her with such rude words as made her weep. Four days
afterwards the real terror of the English was shown. The Maid of Orleans
and LaHire went to meet the second load of provisions. As it passed
close under the English lines not an arrow was shot against it; not a
man appeared.

Joan of Arc was now to win as much glory by her courage as before her
very name had brought. While she was lying down to rest, that same
afternoon, the townspeople went out to attack the Bastile of St. Loup.
They had sent her no word of the fight. But Joan started suddenly from
her bed, declaring that her voices told her to go against the English.
She put on her armor, mounted her horse, and, with her banner in her
hand, galloped through the streets. The French were retreating, but they
gathered again round her white banner, and Joan led them on once more.
Her spirit rose with the thickness of the fight. She dashed right into
the midst. The battle raged for three hours round the Bastile of St.
Loup, then Joan led on the French to storm it. Joan of Arc, the Maid of
Orleans, had gained her first victory.

The day after there was no fighting, for it was the Feast of the
Ascension. Joan had been first in the fight yesterday; she was first in
prayer to-day. She brought many of the soldiers to their knees for the
first time in their lives.

All along the captains had doubted the military skill of "the simplest
girl they had ever seen," and they did not call her to the council they
held that day. They resolved to attack the English forts on the southern
and weakest side. After a little difficulty Joan consented, when she was
told of it. The next day, before daybreak, she took her place with
LaHire on a small island in the Loire, from whence they crossed in boats
to the southern bank. Their hard day's work was set about early. Joan
would not wait for more troops, but began the fight at once. The English
joined two garrisons together, and thus for a time overpowered the
French as they attacked the Bastile of the Augustins.

Carried on for a little while with the flying, Joan soon turned round
again upon the enemy. The sight of the witch, as they thought her, was
enough. The English screened themselves from her and her charms behind
their walls. Help was coming up for the French. They made a fresh
attack; the bastile was taken and set on fire. Joan returned to the city
slightly wounded in the foot.

The only fort left to the English was their first-made and strongest,
the Bastile de Tournelles. It was held by the picked men of their army,
Gladsdale and his company. The French leaders wished to delay its attack
until they had fresh soldiers. This suited Joan little. "You have been
to your council," she said, "and I have been to mine. Be assured that
the council of my Lord will hold good, and that the council of men will
perish." The hearts of the people were with her; the leaders thought it
best to give in. Victory followed wherever she led, and, after several
actions, at which she took active part, the siege was raised. It began
on the 12th of October, 1428, and was raised on the 14th of May, 1429.

Even now, in Orleans, the 14th of May is held sacred, that day on which,
in 1429, the citizens watched the English lines growing less and less in
the distance.

Joan of Arc had even yet done but half her work. Neither Charles nor
Henry had been crowned. That the crown should be placed on Charles's
head was what she still had to accomplish. Though we have always spoken
of him as "King," he was not so in reality until this had been done. He
was strictly but the Dauphin. Bedford wished much that young Henry
should be crowned; for let Charles once have the holy crown on _his_
brow, and the oil of anointing on his head, and let him stand where for
hundreds of years his fathers had stood to be consecrated kings of
France, in the Cathedral of Rheims, before his people as their king, any
crowning afterwards would be a mockery. Charles was now with the Court
of Tours. Rheims was a long way off in the north, and to get there would
be a work of some difficulty; yet get there he must, for the coronation
could not take place anywhere else. Joan went to Tours, and, falling
before him, she begged him to go and receive his crown, saying, that
when her voices gave her this message she was marvelously rejoiced.
Charles did not seem much rejoiced to receive it. He said a great deal
about the dangers of the way, and preferred that the other English posts
on the Loire should be taken first. It must have been very trying to one
so quick and eager as Joan to deal with such a person, but, good or bad,
he was her king. She was not idle because she could not do exactly as
she wished; she set out with the army at once.

The news flew onwards. The inhabitants of Chalons and of Rheims rose and
turned out the Burgundian garrisons. The king's way to Rheims was one
triumph, and, amidst the shouts of the people, he entered Rheims on the
16th of July. The next day Charles VII was crowned. The visions of the
Maid had been fulfilled. By her arm Orleans had been saved, through her
means the king stood there. She was beside the king at the high altar,
with her banner displayed; and when the service was over, she knelt
before him with streaming eyes, saying, "Gentle king, now is done the
pleasure of God, who willed that you should come to Rheims and be
anointed, showing that you are the true king, and he to whom the kingdom
should belong."

All eyes were upon her as the savior of her country. She might have
secured every thing for herself; but she asked no reward, she was
content to have done her duty. And of all that was offered her, the only
thing she would accept was that Domremy should be free forever from any
kind of tax. So, until the time of the first French Revolution, the
collectors wrote against the name of the village, as it stood in their
books, "_Nothing, for the Maid's sake_."

Joan of Arc said that her work was done. She had seen her father and her
uncle in the crowd, and, with many tears, she begged the king to let her
go back with them, and keep her flocks and herds, and do all as she had
been used to do. Never had man or woman done so much with so simple a
heart. But the king and his advisers knew her power over the people, and
their entreaties that she would stay with them prevailed. So she let her
father and her uncle depart without her. They must have had enough to
tell when they reached home.

We have little heart to tell the rest of the story. At length the king
reached Paris, and the Duke of Bedford was away in Normandy. Joan wished
to attack the city, and it was done. Many of the soldiers were jealous
of her, and they fought only feebly. They crossed the first ditch round
the city, but found the second full of water. Joan was trying its depth
with her lance, when she was seriously wounded. She lay on the ground
cheering the troops, calling for fagots and bundles of wood to fill the
trench, nor would she withdraw until the evening, when the Duke of
Alencon persuaded her to give up the attempt, as it had prospered so
ill.

Were it not so wicked and so shameful, it might be laughable to think of
the king's idleness. It is really true that he longed for his lovely
Chinon, and a quiet life, as a tired child longs to go to sleep. He made
his misfortune at Paris, which would have stirred up almost any one else
to greater exertions, an excuse for getting away. The troops were sent
to winter quarters; he went back across the Loire now, when the English
leader was away, and the chief towns in the north ready to submit. Had
he but shown himself a man, he might have gained his capital, and the
whole of the north of France. The spirit lately roused for him was down
again. It seemed really not worth while to fight for a king who would
not attend to business for more than two months together.

We know little more of the Maid of Orleans in the Winter, than that she
continued with the army. After her defeat at Paris, she hung her armor
up in the church at St. Denis, and made up her mind to go home. The
entreaties of the French leaders prevailed again; for, though they were
jealous of her, and slighted her on every occasion, they knew her power,
and were glad to get all out of her that they could. In December, Joan
and all her family were made nobles by the king. They changed their name
from Arc to Du Lys, "Lys" being French for lily, the flower of France,
as the rose is of England; and they were given the lily of France for
their coat of arms.

With the return of Spring the king's troops marched into the northern
provinces. Charles would not leave Chinon. The army was utterly
disorderly, and had no idea what to set about. Joan showed herself as
brave as ever in such fighting as there was. But, doubting whether she
was in her right place or her wrong one, in the midst of fierce and
lawless men, nothing pointed out for her to do, her situation was most
miserable. The Duke of Gloucester sent out a proclamation to strengthen
the hearts of the English troops against her. The title was "against the
feeble-minded captains and soldiers who are terrified by the
incantations of the Maid."

A long and troublesome passage had Joan of Arc from this bad world to
her home in heaven, where dwelt those whom she called "her brothers of
Paradise." Her faith was to be tried in the fire--purified seven times.
All the French army were jealous of her. The governor of the fortress of
Compiègne was cruel and tyrannical beyond all others, even in that age.
Compiègne was besieged by the English; Joan threw herself bravely into
the place. She arrived there on the 24th of May, and that same evening
she headed a party who went out of the gates to attack the enemy. Twice
they were driven back by her; but, seeing more coming up, she made the
sign to go back. She kept herself the last; the city gate was partly
closed, so that but few could pass in at once. In the confusion she was
separated from her friends; but she still fought bravely, until an
archer from Picardy seized her and dragged her from her horse. She
struggled, but was obliged to give up; and so the Maid of Orleans was
taken prisoner.

Joan was first taken to the quarters of John of Luxembourg. Her prison
was changed many times, but the English were eager to have her in their
own power. In November John of Luxemburg sold her to them for a large
sum of money. When she was in his prison she had tried twice to escape.
She could not try now; she was put in the great tower of the castle of
Rouen, confined between iron gratings, with irons upon her feet. Her
guards offered her all kinds of rudeness, and even John of Luxembourg
was so mean as to go and rejoice over her in her prison.

It would have been a cruel thing to put her to death as a prisoner of
war; but those were dark days, and such things were often done. The
desire of the English was to hold Joan up to public scorn as a witch,
and to prove that she had dealings with the devil. With this wicked
object, they put her on her trial. They found Frenchmen ready enough to
help them. One Canchon, bishop of Beauvais, even petitioned that the
trial might be under his guidance. He had his desire; he was appointed
the first judge, and a hundred and two other learned Frenchmen were
found ready to join him.

Before these false judges Joan of Arc was called--as simple a girl as
she was when, just two years before, she left Domremy. All that malice
and rage could do was done against her. She was alone before her
enemies. Day after day they tried hard to find new and puzzling
questions for her; to make her false on her own showing; to make her
deny her visions or deny her God. They could not. Clearheaded,
simple-hearted, she had been always, and she was so still. She showed
the faith of a Christian, the patience of a saint, in all her answers.
Piety and wisdom were with her, wickedness and folly with her enemies.
They tried to make evil out of two things in particular: her banner,
with which it was declared she worked charms, and the tree she used to
dance around when she was a child, where they said she went to consult
the fairies. Concerning her banner, Joan said that she carried it on
purpose to spare the sword, so she might not kill any one with her own
hand; of the tree, she denied that she knew any thing about fairies, or
was acquainted with any one who had seen them there. She was tormented
with questions as to whether the saints spoke English when she saw them,
what they wore, how they smelt, whether she helped the banner or the
banner her, whether she was in mortal sin when she rode the horse
belonging to the bishop of Senlis, whether she could commit mortal sin,
whether the saints hated the English. Every trap they could lay for her
they laid. She answered all clearly; when she had forgotten any thing
she said so; her patience never gave way; she was never confused. When
asked whether she was in a state of grace, she said: "If I am not, I
pray to God to bring me to it; and, if I am, may he keep me in it."

After all, they did not dare condemn her. Try as they could, they could
draw nothing from her that was wrong. They teased her to give the matter
into the hands of the Church. She put the Church in heaven, and its
head, above the Church on earth and the pope. The English were afraid
that after all she might escape, and pressed on the judgment. The
lawyers at Rouen would say nothing, neither would the chapter. The only
way to take was to send the report of the trial to the University of
Paris, and wait the answer.

On the 19th of May arrived the answer from Paris. It was this: that the
Maid of Orleans was either a liar or in alliance with Satan and with
Behemoth; that she was given to superstition, most likely an idolater;
that she lowered the angels, and vainly boasted and exalted herself;
that she was a blasphemer and a traitor thirsting for blood, a heretic
and an apostate. Yet they would not burn her at once; they would first
disgrace her in the eyes of people. This was done on the 23d of May. A
scaffold was put up behind the Cathedral of St. Onen; here in solemn
state sat the cardinal of Winchester, two judges, and thirty-three
helpers. On another scaffold was Joan of Arc, in the midst of guards,
notaries to take reports, and the most famous preacher of France to
admonish her. Below was seen the rack upon a cart.

The preacher began his discourse. Joan let him speak against herself,
but she stopped him when he spoke against the king, that king for whom
she had risked every thing, but who was dreaming at Chinon, and had not
stretched out a finger to save her. Their labor was nearly lost; her
enemies became furious. Persuading was of no use; she refused to go back
from any thing she had said or done. Her instant death was threatened if
she continued obstinate, but if she would recant she was promised
deliverance from the English. "I will sign," she said at last. The
cardinal drew a paper from his sleeve with a short denial. She put her
mark to it. They kept their promise of mercy by passing this sentence
upon her: "Joan, we condemn you, through our grace and moderation, to
pass the rest of your days in prison, to eat the bread of grief and
drink the water of anguish, and to bewail your sins."

When she went back to prison there was published through Rouen, not the
short denial she had signed, but one six pages long.

Joan was taken back to the prison from whence she came. The next few
days were the darkest and saddest of all her life, yet they were the
darkest before the dawn. She had, in the paper which she had signed,
promised to wear a woman's dress again, and she did so. Her enemies had
now a sure hold on her. They could make her break her own oath. In the
night her woman's dress was taken away, and man's clothes put in their
place. She had no choice in the morning what to do.

As soon as it was day Canchon and the rest made haste to the prison to
see the success of their plot. Canchon laughed, and said, "She is
taken." No more hope for her on earth; no friend with her, save that in
the fiery furnace was "One like unto the Son of God."

Brought before her judges, Joan only said why she had put on her old
dress. They could not hide their delight, and joked and laughed among
themselves. God sent her hope and comfort; she knew that the time of her
deliverance was near. She was to be set free by fire. They appointed the
day after the morrow for her burning. But a few hours' notice was given
her. She wept when she heard that she was to be burnt alive, but after
awhile she exclaimed: "I shall be to-night in Paradise!"

Eight hundred Englishmen conducted her to the market-place! On her way,
the wretched priest L'Oiseleur threw himself on the ground before her,
and begged her to forgive him. Three scaffolds had been set up. On one
sat the cardinal with all his train. Joan and her enemies were on
another. The third, a great, towering pile, built up so high that what
happened on it should be in the sight of all the town, had upon it the
stake to which she was to be tied. Canchon began to preach to her. Her
faith never wavered; her Saviour, her best friend, was with her. To him
she prayed aloud before the gathered multitude. She declared that she
forgave her enemies, and begged her friends to pray for her. Even
Canchon and the cardinal shed tears. But they hastened to dry their
eyes, and read the condemnation. All the false charges were named, and
she was given over to death.

They put her on the scaffold and bound her fast to the stake. Looking
round on the crowd of her countrymen, who stood looking over, she
exclaimed: "O Rouen! I fear thou wilt suffer for my death!" A miter was
placed on her head, with the words: "Relapsed Heretic, Apostate,
Idolater." Canchon drew near, to listen whether even now she would not
say something to condemn herself. Her only words were, "Bishop, I die
through your means." Of the worthless king she said: "That which I have
well or ill done I did it of myself; the king did not advise me." These
were her last words about earthly matters. The flames burnt from the
foot of the pile, but the monk who held the cross before her did not
move. He heard her from the midst of the fire call upon her Saviour.
Soon she bowed her head and cried aloud "Jesus!" And she went to be with
him forever.

We have little to add of the character of the Maid of Orleans. She was
simple amid triumph and splendor; unselfish, when she might have had
whatever she had asked; humane and gentle, even on the battlefield;
patient in the midst of the greatest provocation; brave in the midst of
suffering; firm in faith and hope when all beside were cast down;
blameless and holy in her life, when all beside were wicked and corrupt.

The English never recovered from the blow struck by the Maid. Their
power in France gradually weakened. In 1435 peace was made between
Charles VII and the Duke of Burgundy. One by one the ill-gotten gains
were given up, and the English king lost even the French provinces he
inherited. In the year 1451 the only English possession in France was
the town of Calais. This, too, was lost about a hundred years after, in
the reign of Queen Mary. Yet the kings of England kept the empty title
of kings of France, and put the lilies of France in their coat of arms
until the middle of the reign of George III.

The last incident in the strange story of Joan of Arc remains to be
told. Ten years after her execution, to the amazement of all who knew
him, Charles VII suddenly shook off his idleness and blazed forth a wise
king, an energetic ruler. Probably in this, his better state of mind, he
thought with shame and sorrow of Joan of Arc. In the year 1456 he
ordered a fresh inquiry to be made. At this every one was examined who
had known or seen her at any period of her short life. The judgment
passed on her before was contradicted, and she was declared a good and
innocent woman. They would have given the whole world then to have had
her back and to have made amends to her for their foul injustice. But
the opinions of men no longer mattered to her. The twenty-five years
since she had been burnt at Rouen had been the first twenty-five of her
uncounted eternity of joy.

"The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart; and merciful
men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away
from the evil to come."

       *       *       *       *       *



XLV.

THE SONG OF WORK


MANY PHASES AND MANY EXAMPLES.


Music.


    In every leaf and flower
     The pulse of music beats,
    And works the changes hour by hour,
     In those divine retreats.

    Alike in star and clod
     One melody resides,
    Which is the working will of God,
     Beyond all power besides.

    It is by angels heard,
     By all of lower birth,
    The silent music of the Word
     Who works in heaven and earth.

    For music order is
     To which all work belongs,
    And in this wondrous world of His
     Work is the song of songs.

       *       *       *       *       *


Divine Workers.


    The Father hitherto,
     And his Eternal Son
    Work, work, and still have work to do
     With each successive sun.

    O bow the heart in awe,
     And work as with the Lord,
    Who, with his everlasting law,
     Works on in sweet accord.

    Work is the law of love
     Which rules the world below,
    Which rules the brighter world above,
     Through which, like God, we grow.

    And this and every day
     The work of love is rest
    In which our sorrows steal away,
     Which cares may not infest.

       *       *       *       *       *


The Will of God.


    With heart as strong as fate,
     Brave worker, girt and shod,
    Adore! and know that naught is great
     Except the will of God.

    O sweet, sweet light of day,
     Through which such wonders run,
    Thou ownest, in thy glorious sway,
     Allegiance to the sun.

    And thou, O human will,
     As wondrous as the light,
    Cans't thou thy little trust fulfill
     Save through Another's might?

    With heart to conquer fate,
     Brave worker, girt and shod,
    Work on! and know that he is great
     Who does the will of God.

       *       *       *       *       *


"Laborare est Orare."


    To labor is to pray,
     As some dear saint has said,
    And with this truth for many a day
     Have I been comforted.

    The Lord has made me bold
     When I have labored most,
    And with his gifts so manifold,
     Has given the Holy Ghost

    When I have idle been
     Until the sun went down,
    Mine eyes, so dim, have never seen
     His bright, prophetic crown.

    O, praise the Lord for work
     Which maketh time so fleet,
    In which accusers never lurk,
     Whose end is very sweet.

       *       *       *       *       *


Birds of Grace.


    O little birds of grace,
     To-day ye sweetly sing,
    Yea, make my heart your nesting-place,
     And all your gladness bring.

    When ye are in my heart,
     How swiftly pass the days!
    The fears and doubts of life depart,
     And leave their room to praise.

    My work I find as play,
     And all day long rejoice;
    But, if I linger on my way,
     I hear this warning voice:

    _With fervor work and pray,
     And let not coldness come,
    Or birds of grace will fly away
     To seek a warmer home_.

       *       *       *       *       *


Duty.


    O work that Duty shows
     Through her revealing light!
    It is in thee my bosom glows
     With infinite delight!

    The shadows flee away
     Like mist before the sun;
    And thy achievement seems to say,
     The will of God is done!

    Ah, what if Duty seem
     A mistress cold and stern!
    Can he who owns her rule supreme
     From her caresses turn?

    O work that Duty shows
     In light so fair and clear,
    Whoever thy completion knows
     Is 'minded heaven is near!

       *       *       *       *       *


Moses.


    In Pharaoh's dazzling court
     No work did Moses find
    That could heroic life support
     And fill his heart and mind.

    Beneath their grievous task
     Did not his kindred groan?
    And a great voice above him ask,
     "Dost thou thy brethren own?"

    The work which Duty meant
     At length he found and did,
    And built a grander monument
     Than any pyramid.

    Sometimes his eyes were dim,
     All signs he could not spell;
    Yet he endured as seeing Him
     Who is invisible.

       *       *       *       *       *


Discoverers.


    In search of greener shores
     The Northmen braved the seas
    And reached, those faith-illumined rowers,
     Our dear Hesperides.

    And when Oblivion
     Swept all their work away,
    And left for faith to feed upon
     But shadows lean and gray,

    Columbus dreamed the dream
     Which fired a southern clime
    And hailed a world--O toil supreme!--
     As from the womb of Time.

    God's dauntless witnesses
     For toil invincible,
    They gazed across uncharted seas
     On the invisible.

       *       *       *       *       *

God's Order.


    In gazing into heaven
     In idle ecstacy,
    What progress make ye to the haven
     Where ye at length would be?

    In heaven-appointed work
     The sure ascension lies.
    O, never yet did drone or shirk
     Make headway to the skies.

    Who in his heart rebels
     Has never ears to hear
    The morning and the evening bells
     On yonder shores so clear.

    For work communion is
     With God's one order here,
    And all the secret melodies
     Which fill our lives with cheer.

       *       *       *       *       *


David.


    In action day by day
     King David's manhood grew,
    A character to live for aye,
     It was so strong and true.

    Hordes of misrule became
     As stubble to the fire,
    Till songs of praise like leaping flame
     Burst from his sacred lyre.

    He grappled with all rude
     And unpropitious things:
    A garden from the solitude
     Smiled to the King of kings.

    And fiercer yet the strife
     With mighty foes within,
    Who stormed the fortress of his life
     And triumphed in his sin.

       *       *       *       *       *


Good out of Evil.


    True David halted not
     When sin had cast him down,
    Upon his royal life a blot,
     Death reaching for his crown.

    His work was but half done;
    A man of action still,
     He struggled in the gloaming sun
    To do his Maker's will;

    Till in the golden light
     Great words began to shine:
    _In sorrow is exalting might,
     Repentance is divine_.

    And now the shepherd king
     We count the human sire
    Of One who turns our hungering
     Into achieved desire.

       *       *       *       *       *


Elijah.


    Elijah, through the night
     Which shrouded Israel
    In toiling, groping for the light,
     Foretold Immanuel.

    And in heroic trust
     That night would yield to day--
    His imperfections thick as dust
     Along the desert way;

    His bold, rebuking cry
     Heard in the wilderness.
    Till from the chariot of the sky
     His mantle fell to bless--

    The stern, half-savage seer
     Became a prophecy
    Of gladness and the Golden Year,
     In all high minstrelsy.

       *       *       *       *       *


Aelemaehus the Monk.


    How well he wrought who stood
     Against an ancient wrong,
    And left the spangles of his blood
     To light the sky of song!

    A gladiatorial show,
     And eighty thousand men
    For savage pastime all aglow--
     O marvel there and then!

    An unknown monk, his life
     Defenseless, interposed,
    Forbade the old barbaric strife--
     The red arena closed!

    That unrecovered rout!
     Those fire-shafts from the Sun!
    O Telemaque! who, who shall doubt
     Thy Master's will was done?

       *       *       *       *       *


Washington.


    The deeds of Washington
     Were lit with patriot flame;
    A crown for Liberty he won,
     And won undying fame.

    He heard his country's cry,
     He heard her bugle-call,
    'Twas sweet to live for her, or die;
    Her cause was all in all.

    He heard the psalm of peace,
     He sought again the plow;
    O civic toil, canst thou increase
     The laurels for his brow?

    As with a father's hand
     He led the infant state;
    Colossus of his native land,
     He still is growing great.

       *       *       *       *       *


Lincoln.


    God placed on Lincoln's brow
     A sad, majestic crown;
    All enmity is friendship now,
     And martyrdom renown.

    A mighty-hearted man,
     He toiled at Freedom's side,
    And lived, as only heroes can,
     The truth in which he died.

    Like Moses, eyes so dim,
     All signs he could not spell;
    Yet he endured, as seeing Him
     Who is invisible.

    His life was under One
     "Who made and loveth all;"
    And when his mighty work was done,
     How grand his coronal!

       *       *       *       *       *


Garfield.


    Of Garfield's finished days,
     So fair and all too few,
    Destruction, which at noon-day strays,
     Could not the work undo.

    O martyr prostrate, calm,
     I learn anew that pain
    Achieves, as God's subduing psalm,
     What else were all in vain!

    Like Samson in his death,
     With mightiest labor rife,
    The moments of thy halting breath
     Were grandest of thy life.

    And now, amid the gloom
     Which pierces mortal years,
    There shines a star above thy tomb
     To smile away our tears.

       *       *       *       *       *


Not Too Near.


    O workers brave and true,
     Whose lives are full of song,
    I dare not take too near a view,
     Lest I should do you wrong.

    I only look to see
     The marks of sacrifice,
    The heraldry of sympathy,
     Which can alone suffice.

    For nothing else is great,
     However proudly won,
    Or has the light to indicate
     The will of God is done.

    Ah, who would judge what fire
     Will surely burn away!
    And ask not, What doth God require
     At the Eternal Day?

       *       *       *       *       *


"Stonewall" Jackson.


    God somehow owns the creeds
     That seem so much amiss,
    What time they bear heroic deeds
     Above analysis.

    How, in his burning zeal,
     Did Stonewall breast his fate,
    Converted to his country's weal
     With fame beyond debate!

    Sincere and strong of heart,
     In very truth he thought
    His ensign signaled duty's part;
     And as he thought he fought.

    And truth baptized in blood,
     As many a time before,
    Gave honor to his soldierhood,
    Though trailed the flag he bore.


Work Its Own Reward


      O worker with the Lord,
      To crown thee with success,
    Believe thy work its own reward,
      Let self be less and less.

      In all things be sincere,
      Afraid not of the light,
    A prophet of the Golden Year
      In simply doing right.

      And be content to serve,
      A little one of God,
    In loyalty without reserve,
      A hero armored, shod.

      Or this dear life of thine,
      Of every charm bereft,
    Will crumble in the fire divine,
      Naught, naught but ashes left.

       *       *       *       *       *


Now and Here


      O not to-morrow or afar,
      Thy work is now and here;
    Thy bosom holds the fairest star--
      Dost see it shining clear?

      The nearest things are great,
      Remotest very small,
    To him with eyes to penetrate
      The silent coronal.

      So deep the basis lies
      Of life's great pyramid,
    That out of reach of common eyes
      Prophetic work is hid.

    His reign for which we pray,
      His kingdom undefiled,
    Whose scepter shall not pass away,
      Is in a little child.

       *       *       *       *       *


A Little Child


      Come hither, little child,
      And bring thy heart to me;
    Thou art the true and unbeguiled,
      So full of melody.

      The presence of a child
      Has taught me more of heaven,
    And more my heart has reconciled
      Than Greece's immortal Seven.

      For when I sometimes think
      That life is void of song,
    Before a little child I sink
      And own that I am wrong.

      And lo my heart grows bright
      That was so dark and drear,
    Till in the tender morning light
      I find the Lord is near.

       *       *       *       *       *


The Divine Presence


      O, when the Lord is near,
      The rainbow banners wave;
    The star I follow shineth clear,
      I am no more a slave.


      As if to honor Him,
      My work is true and free;
    And flowing to the shining brim,
      The cup of heaven I see.

      I marvel not that song
      Should be employment there
    In which the innumerable throng
      Their palms of triumph bear;

      Or that the choral strife
      And golden harps express
    The stirring labors of the life
      Of peace and righteousness.

       *       *       *       *       *


Death in Life


      The song of work, I know,
      Has here its minor tone;
    And in its ever-changing flow,
      Death, death in life is known.

      Discordant notes, alas!
      So often cleave the air
    And smite the music as they pass,
      And leave their poison there.

      And oft, ah me! from some
      Wild region of the heart
    Will startling intimations come,
      And peace at once depart.

      With open foes without,
      And secret foes within,
    His heart must needs be brave and stout
      That would life's battle win.


Evil


      In the great wilderness
      Through which I hold my way,
    Is there no refuge from distress,
      Where foes are kept at bay?

      Saint Anthony of old
      Could not from evil flee;
    The desert cave was found to hold
      His mortal enemy.

      And knew untiring Paul
      The world's relentless scorn;
    While in his flesh, amid it all,
      He bore another thorn.

      Our common lot is cast
      In a great camp of pain!
    Until the night be over-past,
      Some foe will yet remain.

       *       *       *       *       *


With His Foes


      The king of beasts was dead--
      By an old hero slain;
    Did dreams of honey for his bread
      Dance through the hero's brain?

      Or did he chafe at this:
      That pain is everywhere?
    Down, down, thou fabled right to bliss,
      Life is to do and bear!

      Beguiled, enslaved, made blind,
      Yet unsubdued in will,
    He kept the old heroic mind
      To serve his country still.


      And in recovered might
      Pulled the tall pillars down,
    Died _with_ his foes--_that was his right_--
      And built his great renown.

       *       *       *       *       *


For His Foes


      Devotion all supreme
      Throbs in the mighty psalm
    Of One who filled our highest dream
      And poured His healing balm;

      Who worlds inherited
      And yet renounced them all;
    Who had not where to lay His head
      And drank the cup of gall;

      Who emptied of His power
      Became the foremost man--
    Calm at the great prophetic hour
      Through which God's purpose ran;

      Who in the darkest fight
      Imagination knows,
    Saluted Thee, Eternal Light,
      And died as _for_ His foes.

       *       *       *       *       *


The Master


      The Master many a day
      In pain and darkness wrought:
    Through death to life He held His way,
      All lands the glory caught.


      And He unlocked the gain
      Shut up in grievous loss,
    And made the stairs to heaven as plain
      As His uplifted cross--

      The stairs of pain and woe
      In all the work on earth,
    Up which the patient toilers go
      To their eternal birth.

      O Master, Master mine,
      I read the legend now,
    _To work and suffer is divine_,
      All radiant on Thy brow.

       *       *       *       *       *


Life in Death


      Strong children of decay,
      Ye live by perishing:
    To-morrow thrives on dead to-day,
      And joy on suffering.

      The labor of your hearts,
      Like that of brain and hands,
    Shall be for gain in other marts,
      For bread in other lands.

      And will ye now despond
      Amid consuming toil,
    When there is hope and joy beyond
      Which death can not despoil?

      Herein all comfort is:
      _In usefulness and zeal,
    The Lord announces who are His
      And gives eternal weal_.


Sacrifice


    Through stern and ruthless years
    Beyond the ken of man,
    All filled with ruin, pain, and tears,
    Has God worked out His plan.

    Change on the heels of change,
    Like blood-hounds in the chase,
    Has swept the earth in tireless range,
    Spangled with heavenly grace.

    At last the mystery
    Of the great Cross of Christ,
    Red with a world-wide agony,
    The God-Man sacrificed;

    And from the Sacrifice
    The seven great notes of Peace,
    Which pierce the clouds beneath all skies
    Till pain and sorrow cease.

       *       *       *       *       *


The Mind of Christ


    Into the surging world,
    Upon thy lips His word,
    And in thy hand His flag unfurled,
    Go, soldier of the Lord;

    Like Him who came from far
    To toil for our release,
    And framed the startling notes of war
    Out of the psalm of peace.

    And all the recompense
    Which thou wilt ever need,
    Shall kindle in the throbbing sense
    Of this life-laden creed:


      _Grace has for him sufficed
      Who has St. Michael's heart,
    The fullness of the mind of Christ,
      To do a hero's part_.

       *       *       *       *       *


Sympathy.


      The Master we revere,
      Who bled on Calvary,
    To fill us with heroic cheer,
      Abides eternally.

      From His ascended heights
      Above the pain and ruth,
    To all His servants He delights
      To come in grace and truth.

      His presence is so dear,
      His face so brave and fair,
    That all our heavy burdens here
      He somehow seems to share.

      Copartner in our work,
      He every pain beguiles;
    How can the fear of failure lurk
      In that on which He smiles!
       *       *       *       *       *


Love for Love.


      Master, far Thy dear sake
      I bear my anguish now,
    And in Thy blessed cross partake
      Whose sign is on my brow.

      For Thy dear sake I toil
      Who didst so toil for me;
    O more than balm, or wine, or oil,
      The cheer that comes from Thee.


     For Thy dear sake I live
     A servant unto all,
    And know that Thou wilt surely give
     Thyself as coronal.

     For Thy dear sake I watch
     And keep my flag unfurled,
    Until her golden gleam I catch,
     Sweet evening of the world.

       *       *       *       *       *


Conclusion,


      True worker with the Lord,
      He labors not for hire;
    Co-partner in the sure reward,
      What can he more desire?

      Sometimes his eyes are dim,
      All signs he can not spell;
    Yet he endures as seeing Him
      Who is invisible.

      The work he ought is bliss,
      The highest thing to crave;
    And all his life is found in this
      Memorial for his grave:

      _A worker with the Lord_,
      _He sought no other name_,
    _And found therein enough reward_,
      _Enough, enough of fame_.

       *       *       *       *       *



XLVI.

ALVIN S. SOUTHWORTH


CROSSING THE NUBIAN DESERT.


This gentleman, a member of the American Geographical Society, has
furnished, in the columns of _The Sunday Magazine_, the following
picture of his experience in crossing the most perilous of the African
deserts:

Those who have not actually undergone the hardships of African travel
almost always believe that the most dangerous desert routes are found in
the Great Sahara. Such is not the fact. The currency given to this
popular delusion is doubtless due to the immensity of the arid waste
extending from the Mediterranean to the Soudan, and which is deceptive
in its imagined dangers because of its large area. All travelers who
have made the transit of the Nubian Desert from Korosko, situated
between the First and Second Cataracts, southward across the burning
sands of the Nubian Desert, a distance of 425 miles, concur in the
statement that it is an undertaking unmatched in its severity and rigors
by any like journey over the treeless and shrub-less spaces of the
earth. "The Flight of a Tartar Tribe," as told by De Quincey, in his
matchless descriptive style, carrying his readers with him through
scenes of almost unparalleled warfare, privation, and cruelty, until the
remnant of the Asiatic band stands beneath the shadow of the Chinese
Wall to receive the welcome of their deliverer, but imperfectly portrays
the physical suffering that must be endured in the solitude of the most
dangerous of African deserts. Let me, therefore, briefly record my life
in the Nubian Desert, at a time when I was filled with the hopes and
ambitions which led Bruce, in the last century, to the fountains of the
Blue Nile, and but a few years since guided Speke and Grant, Sir Samuel
Baker, and Stanley to the great basin of the major river, and determined
the general geography of the equatorial regions.

It was in the middle of January, after a pleasant journey up the Nile
from Lower Egypt, on board a luxuriously fitted up "dahabeah," that I
arrived at Korosko, a Nubian village about a thousand miles from the
Mediterranean. The ascent of the Nile was simply a prolonged feast in
this comfortable sailing-craft, with the panorama of imposing temples
and gigantic ruins relieving the dreary monotony of the river-banks. The
valley of this ancient stream, from the First Cataract, where it ceases
to be navigable, to Cairo, is remarkable alone to the traveler for its
vast structures and mausoleums. The _sikeahs_ and _shadofs_, which are
employed to raise water from the river, in order that it may be used for
irrigation, suggest that no improvement has been made in Egyptian
farming for four thousand years. But the smoke curling away from tall
chimneys, and the noise of busy machinery in the midst of extensive
fields of sugarcane, remind us that Egypt has become one of the greatest
sugar-producing powers of the East. From the site of ancient Memphis to
Korosko, comprising about six degrees of latitude, the soil under
cultivation rarely extends beyond the distance of a mile into the
interior, while to eastward and westward is one vast, uninhabited waste,
the camping-ground of the Bedouins, who roam from river to sea in
predatory bands, leading otherwise aimless lives. Thinly populated, and
now without the means of subsisting large communities, Upper Egypt can
never become what it was when, as we are taught, the walls of Thebes
inclosed 4,000,000 of people, and the Nile was bridged from shore to
shore. Turning from this strange land, I encamped on the border of the
Nubian Desert, and prepared to set out on camel-back toward the sources
of the Nile.

In conjunction with the local officials I began the necessary
preparations, which involved the selection of forty-two camels, three
donkeys, and nineteen servants. My ample provision and preparation
consisted of the camels' feed--durah and barley, stowed in plaited
saddle-bags; filling the goatskins with water, each containing an
average of five gallons. Eighty were required for the journey. Three
sheep, a coup-full of chickens, a desert range, a wall-tent, with the
other supplies, made up over 10,000 pounds of baggage as our caravan,
entering the northern door of the barren and dreary steppe, felt its way
through a deep ravine paved with boulders, shifting sands, and dead
camels. We soon left the bluffs and crags which form the barrier between
the Nile and the desolate land beyond, and then indeed the real journey
began.

Our camp apparatus was quite simple, consisting of a few plates, knives
and forks, blankets and rugs, a kitchen-tent, and a pine table; and this
outfit formed the nucleus of our nomadic village, not omitting the rough
cooking-utensils. I recall now one of these strange scenes in that
distant region, under the cloudless sky, beneath the Southern Cross. A
few feet distant from my canvas chateau was my aged Arab cook,
manipulating his coals, his tongs, and preparing the hissing mutton, the
savory pigeons and potatoes. The cook is the most popular man on such an
expedition, and is neither to be coaxed nor driven. The baggage-camels
were disposed upon the ground, a few yards distant, eating their grain
and uttering those loud, yelping, beseeching sounds--a compound of an
elephant's trumpet and a lion's roar--which were taken up, repeated by
the chorus, and re-echoed by the hills. These patient animals, denuded
of their loads and water, the latter having been corded in mats, became
quiet only with sleep. Add to these scenes and uproar the deafening
volubility of twenty Arabs and Nubians, each shouting within the true
barbaric key, the seven-eighths nudity of the blacks, the elaborate and
flashing wear of the upper servants, and the small asperities of this my
menial world--all of these with a refreshing breeze, a clear atmosphere,
the air laden with ozone and electric life, the sky inviting the
serenest contemplation, with the great moon thrice magnified as it rose,
and I recall an evening when I was supremely content.

Piloted by the carcasses of decayed camels, we took up our route in the
morning, led by our guide, and soon emerged on the sublimest scenery of
the desert. Our line of travel lay through the center of grand
elliptical amphitheaters, which called to mind the Coliseum at Rome and
the exhumed arena at Pompeii. These eroded structures, wrought by the
hand of nature at some remote period, were floored over by hard,
gravelly sand, inclosed by lofty, semi-circular sides, and vaulted only
by the blue sky, and are among the grandest primitive formations I have
ever seen. From the maroon shade of the sand to the dark, craggy
appearance of the terraced rocks, there is as much variety as can be
found in landscape without verdure and in solitude without civilization.
These amphitheaters are linked together by narrow passages; and so
perfect were the formations, that four doorways, breaking the view into
quadrants, were often seen. The view broadened and lengthened day by
day, until our journey lay through a plain of billowing sand. Then the
sun grew fierce and intolerable. The lips began to crack, the eyebrows
and mustache were burned to a light blonde, the skin peeled, and the
tongue became parched, while the fine sand, ever present in the hot
wind, left its deposits in the delicate membranes of the eye. It is thus
that a period of ten hours in the saddle, day after day, under the
scorching sun, takes the edge off the romance of travel, and calls to
one's mind the green lawn, the sparkling fountain, and the beauties of a
more tolerable zone.

We were making about thirty miles a day, sleeping soundly at night, when
the ever-watchful hyena, and occasionally a troop of wild asses, would
pay us their nocturnal visits, and upon the fourth morning we began to
approach the shores of the Mirage Seas. These atmospheric phenomenas on
the Nubian Desert are not only very perfect imitations of real lakes,
but have on many occasions inveigled expeditions away, to perish of heat
and thirst. A little time before my expedition to Central Africa a body
of Egyptian troops crossing this desert found their water almost at a
boiling point in the skins, and nearly exhausted. They beheld, a few
miles distant, an apparent lake overshadowed by a forest, and bordered
with verdure and shrubbery. Although told by the guide that it was an
illusion, they broke ranks, started off in pursuit of the sheet of
water, chasing the aerial phantom, although it receded with the pace of
their approach. At last they sunk down from thirst and fatigue, and
died! Twelve hours on the Nubian Desert without water means a certain
and terrible death; and even to this day, having been near such an end,
with all of its indescribable anguish, I seldom raise a glass of water
to my lips that I do not recall a day when I lay upon the burning sand,
awaiting with impatience the moment that should snap asunder the vital
cord and give peace to my burning body.

A mirage certainly presents an incomparable scenic effect. Once in its
midst, you are encompassed by an imponderable mirror. It reflects the
rocks, the mountains, the stray mimosa trees, and reproduces by inverted
mirage every prominent object of the extended landscape. It has the blue
of polished platinum, and lies like a motionless sea, stretching away
from the craggy bluffs. Sometimes during the noonday heat it dances
within a few yards of the caravan, and gives motion to every object
within its area, changing the waste to the semblance of rolling seas
peopled with the semblance of men.

Attacked by semi-blindness, with a blistering nose, and lips almost
sealed to speech because of the agony of attempted articulation, I found
the fifth day brought me to the extreme of suffering, when a terrific
simoon burst over the desert, gathering up and dispersing the sands with
indescribable fury. My mouth and nostrils were filled with earthy atoms,
and my eyes were filled with irritating particles. The storm grew so
dense and awful that it became a tornado, and we were soon enveloped in
total darkness. All routes of travel were obliterated, and destruction
threatened my command. These sand spouts are frequent, making a clean
swathe, burying alike man and beast, and often they blow for weeks.
During the approach of one of those death-dealing simoon's I noted a
sublime phenomenon. To southward were fine equi-distant sand spouts,
rising perpendicularly to a great height, and losing their swelling
capitals in the clouds. They seemed to stand as majestic columns
supporting the vault of the sky, and the supernatural architecture was
further heightened by mirage-lakes, whose waters seemed to dash against
the pillars as the green of doom-palms waved through the colonnade. The
spectacle appeared like the ruin of a supernal pantheon once reared by
the banks of the Nile, whose welcome and real waters greeted my eye
after a fourteen days' journey, which I trust I may never be called upon
to repeat.

       *       *       *       *       *



XLVII.

A FORBIDDEN TOPIC.


WHICH SOME PEOPLE PERSIST IN INTRODUCING.


Why don't they stop it? Why do some people persist, spite of my hopes
and prayers, my silent tears and protestations, in asking if "I'm well,"
when I'm before their eyes apparently the personification of health?

Why am I of that unfortunate class of beings who are afflicted with
friends ("Heaven defend me from such friends") who appear to take a
fiendish delight in recounting to me my real or (by them) imagined
ill-looks; who come into my presence, and scrutinizing me closely,
inquire, with what looks to me like a shade of anxiety, "Are you sick?"
and if I, in astonishment, echo, "Sick? why, no; I never felt better in
my life," observe, with insulting mock humility, "O, excuse me; I
thought you looked badly," and turn again to other subjects.

But I do not flatter myself they are done with me. I know their
evil-working dispositions are far from satisfied; and, presently they
renew the attack by asking, still more obnoxiously, "My dear, are you
sure you are quite well today? you certainly are pale;" and if I, thus
severely cross-questioned, am induced to admit, half sarcastically, and,
perhaps, just to note the effect, that I have--as who has not--a little
private ache somewhere about me (that, by the way, I considered was only
mine to bear, and therefore nobody's business but my own, and which may
have been happily forgotten for a few moments), I have removed the
barrier, given the opportunity desired, and the flood rushes in. "I knew
you were not well," they cry, triumphantly. "Your complexion is very
sallow; your lips are pale; your eyes look dull, and have dark rings
under them; and surely you are thinner than when I saw you
last"--concerning all which I may have doubts, though I have none that a
frantic desire is taking possession of me to get away, and investigate
these charges; and when, finally, I am released from torture, I fly to
my good friend, the mirror; and, having obtained from it the blissful
reassurance that these charges are without foundation in my features, I
feel like girding on my armor and confronting my disagreeable ex-callers
and all their kind with a few pertinent (or impertinent) questions.

I want to ask them if it does them any particular good to go and sit in
people's houses by the hour, watch their every look and action, and
harrow up their feelings by such gratuitous information? I want to ask
them if they suppose our eyesight is not so sharp as theirs? And I take
great pleasure in informing them, and in politely and frigidly
requesting them to remember, that, so far as my observation goes, when
people are ill, or looking ill, they are not so blind, either to
feelings or appearances, as not to have discovered the fact; that,
indeed, they must be exceptions to the general rule of half-invalids if
they do not frequently and critically examine every lineament of their
face, and secretly grieve over their increasing imperfections;
consequently, ye provokingly observant ones, when you meet them and find
them not looking well, even find yourselves in doubt as to whether they
are looking quite as well as when you last saw them, and are sure you
shall perish unless you introduce what Emerson declares "a forbidden
topic" in some form--at least give your friends the benefit of the
doubt; tell them they are looking _better_ than usual, and, my word for
it, they _will_ be by the time they hear that; for if there is anything
that will make a person, especially a woman look well, and feel better,
it is the knowledge that some one thinks she does.

But if she is thin, remember there is nothing fat-producing in your
telling her of the fact; or if her eyes are dull, they will not brighten
at the certainty that you know it, unless with anger that your knowledge
should be conveyed in such a fashion; and if she is pale, telling her of
it will not bring the color to her face, unless it be a blush of shame
for your heartless ill-breeding.

So much for the class who appear purposely to wound one's feelings. Then
there is another class who accomplish the same result with no such
intention, who do it seemingly from pure thoughtlessness, but who should
none the less be held accountable for their acts.

One of these unlucky mortals, who would not willingly cause any one a
single heartache, lately met a gentleman friend of ours, who is, 't is
true--and "pity 'tis 'tis true"--in very delicate health, and thus
accosted him:

"I tell you, my man, unless you do something for yourself, right off,
you won't be alive three months from now!"

"Do something!" As if he had not just returned from a thousand mile
journey taken to consult one of the most eminent physicians in the
country, to whom he paid a small fortune for services that saved his
life; and as if he were not constantly trying every thing he possibly
can to help and save himself! Nevertheless, after this blunt prophecy,
he did something more, something he is not in the habit of doing. He
went home utterly miserable, related the circumstances to his wife
(whose murderous inclinations toward his officious fellow-man were
forgivable), assured her that were his appearance so horrifying to
casual acquaintances he must indeed be a doomed man; and, spite of her
efforts, always directed to the contrary, got the blues, and conscious
of having done every thing else, began contemplating death as the only
remedy still untried.

Now, to me, such carelessness seems criminal. The gentleman addressed
was attending to his extensive business, was more cheerful than half the
men who are considered in perfect health, and was, for him, really
looking, as well as feeling, finely; and to give him such startling
intelligence, when he was so totally unprepared for it, was inflicting
misery upon him that one human being has no right to inflict upon
another; he has no right to advise a friend to do an indefinite
"something," unless he knows what will help or cure him; he has no right
to verbally notice his condition, and particularly when he meets him
doing his duty in active business life.

People should "think before they speak," that if their friends or
acquaintances are ill, for that very reason they are generally
discouraged enough, and need all the gladsome aid and comfort those
about them can possibly give; and it is their simple duty to give it.

Said a mother to me once, when urging me to call upon her invalid
daughter, "And when you come, do not tell her she looks badly; tell her
she looks better, and you hope soon to see her well. Every one who comes
in exclaims about her terrible aspect, and it drives me almost
distracted to note its ill effect on her."

"Why, how can people be so heedless?" cried I. "Do they not know that
even truth is not to be spoken at all times? When I come I'll give her
joy, you may be sure;" and I did, though my heart ached the while, for I
feared, all too truly, her days on earth were numbered; but I had my
reward in her changed, happy countenance and the gratitude of her
sorrowing mother.

Therefore, if you are not the enviable possessor of one of those "merry
hearts that doeth good like a medicine," both to yourself and to those
with whom you come in contact, at least avoid wounding these by dwelling
upon their infirmities. Even should you see your friends in the last
stages of a long illness; though their cheeks are terrifying in their
hollowness, and their eyes resemble dark caverns with faint lights at
the far ends, and all their other features prove them soon to be
embraced by the king of terrors, not only in sweet mercy's name do not
speak of it, but, unless compelled to do so, except by your softened
tones, make no sign that you notice it; remember you can not smooth
their way to the tomb by descanting upon their poor emaciated bodies,
and there is just a chance that they may recollect you a trifle more
kindly when they have cast them off, like worn-out garments, if you now
talk on pleasanter themes--themes with which they are not already so
grievously familiar.--GALE FOREST, _in The Christian Union_.


    COURTESY.

    The savor of our household talk,
      Which earneth silent thanks;
    The glory of our daily walk
      Among the busy ranks.

    Life's cleanly, lubricating oil,
      In which a help is found
    To make the wheels of common toil
      Go lightly, swiftly round.

    Benevolence and grace of heart
      That gives no needless pain,
    And pours a balm on every smart
      Till smiles appear again.

       *       *       *       *       *



XLVIII.

IDA LEWIS WILSON.


THE GRACE DARLING OF AMERICA.


About forty-six years ago a story of English heroism stirred the heart
of the world. Grace Darling was born at Bamborough, on the coast of
Northumberland, in 1815, and died in 1842. Her father was the keeper of
the Long-stone Light-house, on one of the most exposed of the Farne
islands. On the night of September 6, 1838, the Forfarshire steamer,
proceeding from Hull to Dundee, was wrecked on one of the crags of the
Farne group. Of fifty-three persons on board, thirty-eight perished,
including the captain and his wife. On the morning of the 7th the
survivors were discovered by Grace clinging to the rocks and remnants of
the vessel, in imminent danger of being washed off by the returning
tide. Grace, with the assistance of her parents, but against their
remonstrance, immediately launched a boat and, with her father,
succeeded in rescuing nine of them, and six escaped by other means.
Presents and admiration were showered upon her from all parts of the
United Kingdom, and a public subscription to the amount of £700 was
raised for her. Among the many poets who sang her praises was
Wordsworth, in a poem of considerable length, of which the following is
a passage:

    "Among the dwellers in the silent fields
    The natural heart is touched, and public way
    And crowded street resound with ballad strains,
    Inspired by one whose very _name_ bespeaks
    Favor divine, exalting, human love;
    Whom, since her birth on bleak Northumbrian coast,
    Known unto few, but prized as far as known,
    A single act endears to high and low
    Through the whole land--to manhood, moved in spite
    Of the world's freezing cares; to generous youth;
    To infancy, that lisps her praise; to age,
    Whose eye reflects it, glistening through tears
    Of generous admiration. Such true fame
    Awaits her _now_; but, verily, good deeds
    Do no imperishable record find
    Save in the roll of heaven, where hers may live
    A theme for angels, when they celebrate
    The high-souled virtues which forgetful earth
    Has witnessed."

These lines describe equally well Ida Lewis, the heroine of our own
country, whose brave deeds have passed into the habit of a life.

Ida Lewis Wilson, for she is now married, is the daughter of Hosea
Lewis, who was formerly of the revenue service, became keeper of Lime
Rock Lighthouse, in the inner harbor of Newport, R.I. The lighthouse is
situated on one of the small rocks of limestone in that harbor, and is
entirely surrounded by water.

From her thirteenth year Ida has resided on the rock. As the only means
of connection with the city of Newport is by water, she early learned
the use of oars. When she was about fifteen years of age she rescued
from drowning four boys who had been thrown into the water by the
upsetting of their boat near the lighthouse. During the Winter of
1865-66, on one of the coldest days of that season, she rescued a
soldier belonging to Fort Adams, who was clinging to a skiff, which had
upset with him and become full of water. She lifted him out of the water
into her own boat and carried him to the lighthouse.

About this time the duty of looking after the light depended on Ida and
her mother, her father having become a hopeless cripple from paralysis.
This charge they fulfilled in the most perfect manner, no light on the
coast being more regularly or more perfectly attended to. It is a
singular life to imagine, these two women living thus isolated from the
rest of the world. The freedom of the life, however, and the constant
abundance of stimulating sea air, together with the exercise of rowing
to and from the city, gave Ida a physical strength and a health which
makes her richer in all the valuable part of life than many of her sex
whose lives are passed in constant repining for something to live for,
while surrounded with all the appliances of luxury. That Miss Lewis has
also developed an independence of courage is shown by her deeds, which
prove also that the isolation of her life has not in any way prevented
the development of the tenderness of sympathy with suffering which is
supposed to be peculiar to only the helplessness of women.

It was owing to the efforts of the late Senator Burnside that Ida became
the recognized keeper of the lighthouse, a promotion as graceful as it
was deserved. The matter was arranged in January, 1879, by Senator
Burnside and Collector Pratt.

The keeper of Lime Rock Light then was Mrs. Zoradia Lewis, Ida's mother,
who had been in charge for a number of years. Mrs. Lewis's second
daughter, who was very sick, required all the mother's attention, and
accordingly it was suggested to her that by her resignation the heroine
could receive the appointment. She gladly accepted the suggestion, and
on January 24th Ida received her appointment, with a salary of $750 a
year, an increase of $250 over her mother's pay. In communicating the
appointment Secretary Sherman said: "This appointment is conferred upon
you as a mark of my appreciation for your noble and heroic efforts in
saving human lives." Ida Lewis had given up all hope that her claims
would ever be recognized, and the news was joyfully received.

In July, 1881, the Secretary of the Treasury awarded the gold
life-saving medal to her in recognition of her services in rescuing a
number of persons from drowning since the passage of the act authorizing
such awards. Most of the rescues made were under circumstances which
called for heroic daring, and involved the risk of her life. The
following summary of her achievements in life-saving is taken from the
records of the Treasury Department:

"The total number of lives Mrs. Ida Lewis Wilson has saved since 1854,
so far as known, is thirteen. In all these cases except two she has
relied wholly on herself. Her latest achievement was the rescue in
February, 1881, of two bandsmen from Fort Adams, near Newport, R.I. The
men were passing over the ice near Lime Rock Light-house, where Mrs.
Lewis Wilson resides, when the ice gave way and they fell in. Hearing
their cries, Mrs. Wilson ran out with a clothes-line which she threw to
them, successively hauling them out at a great risk to herself from the
double peril of the ice giving way beneath her and of being pulled in.
Her heroism on various occasions has won her the tribute of her State's
Legislature expressed in an official resolution; the public presentation
to her of a boat by the citizens of Newport; a testimonial in money from
the officers and soldiers of Fort Adams for saving their comrades; and
medals from the Massachusetts Humane Society and the New York
Life-saving Benevolent Association. To these offerings is now fitly
added the gold medal of the United States Life-saving Service."

The presentation took place at the Custom House at Newport, on October
11, 1881, in the presence of many of the leading residents of the State,
who met there upon invitation of Collector Cozzors. Mrs. Wilson was
introduced to the company by Ex-Collector Macy. The collector introduced
Lieutenant-commander F.E. Chadwick, U.S.N., who, in a happy speech, made
the presentation of the highest token of merit of the kind which can be
given in this country, the life-saving medal of the first class,
conferred by the United States Government "for extreme heroic daring
involving eminent personal danger." After a simple and eloquent recital
of the circumstances in which Mrs. Wilson had, at the risk of her own
life and in circumstances requiring the utmost skill and daring, saved
from a watery grave on six occasions thirteen persons, Commander
Chadwick paid a glowing tribute to the heroism of Mrs. Wilson, and
concluded by reading the letter of Secretary of the Treasury Windom,
conferring the medal awarded to her under the law of June 20th, 1874.
Lieutenant-governor Fay responded on behalf of Mrs. Wilson, and an
appropriate address was made by Ex-Governor Van Zant on behalf of
Newport and Rhode Island.

After the addresses the public were invited to inspect the gold medal,
and were greatly impressed with its beauty. It bears upon its obverse
side a tablet with the following inscription:

    TO

    Ida Lewis Wilson,

    For Signal Heroism in Saving Two Men from Drowning,

    FEBRUARY 4, 1881.

Surrounding the tablet is the inscription:

    In Testimony of Heroic Deeds in Saving Life
      from the Peril of the Seas.

       *       *       *       *       *



XLIX.

RACHEL JACKSON

(BORN 1767--DIED 1828.)


THE WIFE OF OUR SEVENTH PRESIDENT.


Rachel Donelson was the maiden name of General Jackson's wife. She was
born in Virginia, in the year 1767, and lived there until she was eleven
years of age. Her father, Colonel John Donelson, was a planter and land
surveyor, who possessed considerable wealth in land, cattle, and slaves.
He was one of those hardy pioneers who were never content unless they
were living away out in the woods, beyond the verge of civilization.
Accordingly, in 1779, we find him near the head-waters of the Tennessee
River, with all his family, bound for the western part of Tennessee,
with a river voyage of two thousand miles before them.

Seldom has a little girl of eleven years shared in so perilous an
adventure. The party started in the depth of a severe Winter, and
battled for two months with the ice before it had fairly begun the
descent of the Tennessee. But, in the Spring, accompanied by a
considerable fleet of boats, the craft occupied by John Donelson and his
family floated down the winding stream more rapidly. Many misfortunes
befell them. Sometimes a boat would get aground and remain immovable
till its whole cargo was landed. Sometimes a boat was dashed against a
projecting point and sunk. One man died of his frozen feet; two children
were born. On board one boat, containing twenty-eight persons, the
small-pox raged. As this boat always sailed at a certain distance behind
the rest, it was attacked by Indians, who captured it, killed all the
men, and carried off the women and children. The Indians caught the
small-pox, of which some hundreds died in the course of the season.

But during this voyage, which lasted several months, no misfortune
befell the boat of Colonel Donelson; and he and his family, including
his daughter Rachel, arrived safely at the site of the present city of
Nashville, near which he selected his land, built his log house, and
established himself. Never has a settlement been so infested by hostile
Indians as this. When Rachel Donelson, with her sisters and young
friends, went blackberrying, a guard of young men, with their rifles
loaded and cocked, stood guard over the surrounding thickets while the
girls picked the fruit. It was not safe for a man to stoop over a spring
to drink unless some one else was on the watch with his rifle in his
arms; and when half a dozen men stood together, in conversation, they
turned their backs to each other, all facing different ways, to watch
for a lurking savage.

So the Donelsons lived for eight years, and gathered about them more
negroes, more cattle, and more horses than any other household in the
settlement. During one of the long Winters, when a great tide of
emigration had reduced the stock of corn, and threatened the
neighborhood with famine, Colonel Donelson moved to Kentucky with all
his family and dependents, and there lived until the corn crop at
Nashville was gathered. Rachel, by this time, had grown to be a
beautiful and vigorous young lady, well skilled in all the arts of the
backwoods, and a remarkably bold and graceful rider. She was a plump
little damsel, with the blackest hair and eyes, and of a very cheerful
and friendly disposition. During the temporary residence of her father
in Kentucky, she gave her hand and heart to one Lewis Robards, and her
father returned to Nashville without her.

Colonel Donelson soon after, while in the woods surveying far from his
home, fell by the hand of an assassin. He was found pierced by bullets;
but whether they were fired by red savages or by white was never known.
To comfort her mother in her loneliness, Rachel and her husband came to
Nashville and lived with her, intending, as soon as the Indians were
subdued, to occupy a farm of their own.

In the year 1788 Andrew Jackson, a young lawyer from North Carolina,
arrived at Nashville to enter upon the practice of his profession, and
went to board with Mrs. Donelson. He soon discovered that Mrs. Rachel
Robards lived most unhappily with her husband, who was a man of violent
temper and most jealous disposition. Young Jackson had not long resided
in the family before Mr. Robards began to be jealous of him, and many
violent scenes took place between them. The jealous Robards at length
abandoned his wife and went off to his old home in Kentucky, leaving
Jackson master of the field.

A rumor soon after reached the place that Robards Had procured a divorce
from his wife in the Legislature of Virginia; soon after which Andrew
Jackson and Rachel Donelson were married. The rumor proved to be false,
and they lived together for two years before a divorce was really
granted, at the end of which time they were married again. This
marriage, though so inauspiciously begun, was an eminently happy one,
although, out of doors, it caused the irrascible Jackson a great deal of
trouble. The peculiar circumstances attending the marriage caused many
calumnies to be uttered and printed respecting Mrs. Jackson, and some of
the bitterest quarrels which the general ever had had their origin in
them.

At home, however, he was one of the happiest of men. His wife was an
excellent manager of a household and a kind mistress of slaves. She had
a remarkable memory, and delighted to relate anecdotes and tales of the
early settlement of the country. Daniel Boone had been one of her
father's friends, and she used to recount his adventures and escapes.
Her abode was a seat of hospitality, and she well knew how to make her
guests feel at home. It used to be said in Tennessee that she could not
write; but, "as I have had the pleasure of reading nine letters in her
own handwriting," says Parton, "one of which was eight pages long, I
presume I have a right to deny the imputation. It must be confessed,
however, that the spelling was exceedingly bad, and that the writing was
so much worse as to be nearly illegible. If she was ignorant of books,
she was most learned in the lore of the forest, the dairy, the kitchen,
and the farm. I remember walking about a remarkably fine spring that
gushed from the earth near where her dairy stood, and hearing one of her
colored servants say that there was nothing upon the estate which she
valued so much as that spring." She grew to be a stout woman, Which made
her appear shorter than she really was. Her husband, on the contrary,
was remarkably tall and slender; so that when they danced a reel
together, which they often did, with all the vigor of the olden time,
the spectacle was extremely curious.

It was a great grief to both husband and wife that they had no children,
and it was to supply this want in the household that they adopted one of
Mrs. Donelson's nephews, and named him Andrew Jackson. This boy was the
delight of them both as long as they lived.

Colonel Benton, so long in the United States Senate, himself a pioneer
of the still remoter West, who knew Mrs. Jackson well and long, recorded
his opinion of her in the following forcible language:

"A more exemplary woman in all the relations of life--wife, friend,
neighbor, mistress of slaves--never lived, and never presented a more
quiet, cheerful, and admirable management of her household. She had the
general's own warm heart, frank manners, and admirable temper; and no
two persons could have been better suited to each other, lived more
happily together, or made a house more attractive to visitors. No
bashful youth or plain old man, whose modesty sat them down at the lower
end of the table, could escape her cordial attention, any more than the
titled gentlemen at her right and left. Young persons were her delight,
and she always had her house filled with them, all calling her
affectionately 'Aunt Rachel.'"

In the homely fashion of the time, she used to join her husband and
guests in smoking a pipe after dinner and in the evening. There are now
living many persons who well remember seeing her smoking by her fireside
a long reed pipe.

When General Jackson went forth to fight in the war of 1812, he was
still living in a log house of four rooms. "And this house," says
Parton, in a sketch written years ago, from which this is chiefly drawn,
"is still standing on his beautiful farm ten miles from Nashville. I
used to wonder, when walking about it, how it was possible for Mrs.
Jackson to accommodate so many guests as we know she did. But a
hospitable house, like a Third Avenue car, in never full; and in that
mild climate the young men could sleep on the piazza or in the
corn-crib, content if their mothers and sisters had the shelter of the
house. It was not until long after the general's return from the wars
that he built, or could afford to build, the large brick mansion which
he named the 'Hermitage,' The visitor may still see in that commodious
house the bed on which this happy pair slept and died, the furniture
they used, and the pictures on which they were accustomed to look. In
the hall of the second story there is still preserved the huge chest in
which Mrs. Jackson used to stow away the woolen clothes of the family in
the Summer, to keep them from the moths. Around the house are the
remains of the fine garden of which she used to be proud, and a little
beyond are the cabins of the hundred and fifty slaves, to whom she was
more a mother than a mistress."

A few weeks after the battle of New Orleans, when Jackson was in the
first flush of his triumph, this plain planter's wife floated down the
Mississippi to New Orleans to visit her husband and accompany him home.
She had never seen a city before; for Nashville, at that day, was little
more than a village. The elegant ladies of New Orleans were exceedingly
pleased to observe that General Jackson, though he was himself one of
the most graceful and polite of gentlemen, seemed totally unconscious of
the homely bearing, the country manners, and awkward dress of his wife.
In all companies and on all occasions he showed her every possible mark
of respect. The ladies gathered about her and presented her with all
sorts of showy knick-knacks and jewelry, and one of them undertook the
task of selecting suitable clothes for her. She frankly confessed that
she knew nothing at all about such things, and was willing to wear any
thing the ladies thought proper. Much as she enjoyed her visit, she was
glad enough to return to her old home on the banks of the Cumberland,
and resume her oversight of the dairy and the plantation.

Soon after the peace, a remarkable change came over the spirit of this
excellent woman. Parson Blackburn, as the general always called him, was
a favorite preacher in that part of Tennessee, and his sermons made so
powerful an impression on Mrs. Jackson that she joined the Presbyterian
Church, and was ever after devotedly religious. The general himself was
almost persuaded to follow her example. He did not, however; but he
testified his sympathy with his wife's feelings by building a church for
her--a curious little brick edifice--on his own farm; the smallest
church, perhaps, in the United States. It looks like a very small
school-house; it has no steeple, no portico, and but one door; and the
interior, which contains forty little pews, is unpainted, and the floor
is of brick. On Sundays, the congregation consisted chiefly of the
general, his family, and half a dozen neighbors, with as many negroes as
the house would hold, and could see through the windows. It was just
after the completion of this church that General Jackson made his famous
reply to a young man who objected to the doctrine of future punishment.

"I thank God," said this youth, "I have too much good sense to believe
there is such a place as hell."

"Well, sir," said General Jackson, "_I_ thank God there _is_ such a
place."

"Why, general," asked the young man, "what do you want with such a place
of torment as hell?"

To which the general replied, as quick as lightning: "To put such
rascals as you are in, that oppose and vilify the Christian religion."'

The young man said no more, and soon after found it convenient to take
his leave.

Mrs. Jackson did not live to see her husband President of the United
States, though she lived long enough to know that he was elected to that
office. When the news was brought to her of her husband's election, in
December, 1828, she quietly said: "Well, for Mr. Jackson's sake" (she
always called him Mr. Jackson) "I am glad; for my own part, I never
wished it."

The people of Nashville, proud of the success of their favorite,
resolved to celebrate the event by a great banquet on the 22d of
December, the anniversary of the day on which the general had first
defeated the British below New Orleans; and some of the ladies of
Nashville were secretly preparing a magnificent wardrobe for the future
mistress of the White House. Six days before the day appointed for the
celebration, Mrs. Jackson, while busied about her household affairs in
the kitchen of the hermitage, suddenly shrieked, placed her hands upon
her heart, sank upon a chair, and fell forward into the arms of one of
her servants. She was carried to her bed, where, for the space of sixty
hours, she suffered extreme agony, during the whole of which her husband
never left her side for ten minutes. Then she appeared much better, and
recovered the use of her tongue. This was only two days before the day
of the festival, and the first use she made of her recovered speech was
to implore her husband to go to another room and sleep, so as to recruit
his strength for the banquet. He would not leave her, however, but lay
down upon a sofa and slept a little. The evening of the 22d she appeared
to be so much better that the general consented, after much persuasion,
to sleep in the next room, and leave his wife in the care of the doctor
and two of his most trusted servants.

At nine o'clock he bade her good-night, went to the next room, and took
off his coat, preparatory to lying down. When he had been gone five
minutes from her room, Mrs. Jackson, who was sitting up, suddenly gave a
long, loud, inarticulate cry, which was immediately followed by the
death rattle in her throat. By the time her husband had reached her
side, she had breathed her last.

"Bleed her," cried the general.

But no blood flowed from her arm.

"Try the temple," doctor.

A drop or two of blood stained her cap, but no more followed. Still, it
was long before he would believe her dead, and when there could no
longer be any doubt, and they were preparing a table upon which to lay
her out, he cried, with a choking voice:

"Spread four blankets upon it; for if she does come to she will lie so
hard upon the table."

All night long he sat in the room, occasionally looking into her face,
and feeling if there was any pulsation in her heart. The next morning
when one of his friends arrived, just before daylight, he was nearly
speechless and utterly unconsolable, looking twenty years older.

There was no banquet that day in Nashville. On the morning of the
funeral, the grounds were crowded with people, who saw, with emotion,
the poor old general supported to the grave between two of his old
friends, scarcely able to stand. The remains were interred in the garden
of the Hermitage, in a tomb which the general had recently completed.
The tablet which covers her dust contains the following inscription:

"Here lie the remains of Mrs. Rachel Jackson, wife of President Jackson,
who died the 22nd of December, 1828, aged 61. Her face was fair, her
person pleasing, her temper amiable, her heart kind; she delighted in
relieving the wants of her fellow-creatures, and cultivated that divine
pleasure by the most liberal and unpretending methods; to the poor she
was a benefactor; to the rich an example; to the wretched a comforter;
to the prosperous an ornament; her piety went hand in hand with her
benevolence, and she thanked her Creator for being permitted to do good.
A being so gentle and so virtuous, slander might wound but not dishonor.
Even death, when he tore her from the arms of husband, could but
transport to the bosom of her God."

Andrew Jackson was never the same man again. During his presidency he
never used the phrase, "By the Eternal," nor any other language which
could be considered profane. He mourned his wife until he himself
rejoined her in the tomb he had prepared for them both.


    Of all the blessed things below
      To hint the joys above,
    There is not one our hearts may know
      So dear as mated love.

    It walks the garden of the Lord,
      It gives itself away;
    To give, and think not of reward,
      Is glory day by day.

    And though sometimes the shadows fall,
      And day is dark as night,
    It bows and drinks the cup of gall,
      But gives not up the fight.

    For One is in the union where
      The _mine_ is ever _thine_,
    Whose presence keeps it brave and fair,
      A melody divine.

       *       *       *       *       *



L.

DISCONTENTED GIRLS.


ONE PANACEA FOR THEM--AND ONE REFUGE.


Not every girl is discontented, nor are any wretched all the time. If
they were, our homes would lose much sunshine. Certainly no class in the
community is so constantly written about, talked at, and preached to as
our girls. And still there always seems to be room left for one word
more. I am persuaded that the leaven of discontent pervades girls of the
several social ranks, from the fair daughter of a cultured home to her
who has grown up in a crowded tenement, her highest ambition to dress
like the young ladies she sees on the fashionable avenue. City girls and
country girls alike know the meaning of this discontent, which sometimes
amounts to morbidness, and again only to nervous irritability.

I once knew and marveled at a young person who spent her languid
existence idly lounging in a rocking-chair, eating candy, and reading
novels, whilst her mother bustled about, provoking by her activity an
occasional remonstrance from her indolent daughter. "Do, ma, keep
still," she would say, with amiable wonder at ma's notable ways. This
incarnation of sweet selfishness was hateful in my eyes, and I have
often queried, in the twenty years which have passed since I saw her,
what sort of woman she made. As a girl she was vexatious, though no
ripple of annoyance crossed the white brow, no frown obscured it, and no
flurry of impatience ever tossed the yellow curls. She had no
aspirations which candy and a rocking-chair could not gratify. It is not
so with girls of a larger mind and greater vitality--the girls, for
instance, in our own neighborhood, whom we have known since they were
babies. Many of them feel very much dissatisfied with life, and do not
hesitate to say so; and, strangely enough, the accident of a collegiate
or common-school education makes little difference in their conclusions.

"To what end," says the former, "have I studied hard, and widened my
resources? I might have been a society girl, and had a good time, and
been married and settled sometime, without going just far enough to find
out what pleasure there is in study, and then stopping short."

I am quoting from what girls have said to me--girls who have been
graduated with distinction, and whose parents preferred that they should
neither teach, nor paint, nor enter upon a profession, nor engage in any
paid work. Polished after the similitude of a palace, what should the
daughters do except stay at home to cheer father and mother, play and
sing in the twilight, read, shop, sew, visit, receive their friends, and
be young women of elegant leisure? If love, and love's climax, the
wedding march, follow soon upon a girl's leaving school, she is taken
out of the ranks of girlhood, and in accepting woman's highest vocation,
queenship in the kingdom of home, foregoes the ease of her girlish life
and its peril of _ennui_ and unhappiness together. This, however, is the
fate of the minority, and while young people continue, as thousands do,
to dread beginning home life upon small means, it must so remain.

Education is not a fetich, though some who ought to know better regard
it in that superstitious light. No amount of school training, dissevered
from religious culture and from that development of the heart and of the
conscience without which intellectual wealth is poverty, will lift
anybody, make anybody happier or better, or fit anybody for blithe
living in this shadowy world. I have no doubt that there are numbers of
girls whose education, having made them objects of deep respect to their
simple fathers and mothers, has also gone far to make the old home
intolerable, the home ways distasteful, and the old people, alas!
subjects of secret, deprecating scorn. A girl has, indeed, eaten of the
tree of the knowledge of good and evil when her eyes are opened in such
wise that she is ashamed of her plain, honorable, old-fashioned parents,
or, if not ashamed, is still willing to let them retire to the
background while she shines in the front.

I did not write this article for the purpose of saying what I hold to be
the bounden duty of every father and mother in the land; viz., to
educate the daughter as they educate the son, to some practical,
bread-winning pursuit. That should be the rule, and not the exception. A
girl should be trained so that with either head or hands, as artist or
artisan, in some way or other, she will be able to go into the world's
market with something for which the world, being shrewd and knowing what
it wants, will pay in cash. Rich or poor, the American father who fails
to give his daughter this special training is a short-sighted and cruel
man.

My thought was rather of the girls themselves. Some of them will read
this. So will some of their mothers-Mothers and daughters often, not
invariably, are so truly _en rapport_ that their mutual comprehension is
without a flaw. There are homes in which, with the profoundest regard
and the truest tenderness on both sides, they do not understand each
other. The mother either sees the daughter's discontent, recognizes and
resents it, or fails to see it, would laugh at its possibility, and pity
the sentimentalist who imagined it. And there are dear, blooming,
merry-hearted, clear-eyed young women who are as gay and as elastic as
bird on bough or flower in field.

To discontented girls I would say, there is for you one panacea--Work;
and there is one refuge--Christ. Have you been told this before? Do you
say that you can find no work worth the doing? Believe me, if not in
your own home, you need go no further than your own set, your own
street, your own town, to discover it waiting for you. No one else can
do it so well. Perhaps no one else can do it at all. The girl can not be
unhappy who, without reserve and with full surrender, consecrates
herself to Christ, for then will she have work enough.--MARGARET E.
SANGSTER.

    God giveth his beloved rest through action
      Which reacheth for the dream of joy on earth;
    Inertness brings the heart no satisfaction,
      But condemnation and the sense of dearth.

    And shall the dream of life, the quenchless yearning
      For something which is yet beyond control,
    The flame within the breast forever burning,
      Not leap to action and exalt the soul?--

    Surmount all barriers to brave endeavor,
      Make for itself a way where it would go,
    And flash the crown of ecstacy forever,
      Which only laborers with God may know?

    In action there is joy which is no fiction,
      The hope of something as in faith begun,
    God's sweet and everlasting benediction,
      The flush of victory and labor done!

    Labor puts on the livery of greatness,
      While genius idle withers from the sight,
    And in its triumph takes no note of lateness,
      For time exists not in Eternal Light.

       *       *       *       *       *



LI.


THE VOICE IN RAMAH.


"RACHEL WEEPING FOR HER CHILDREN, AND WOULD NOT HE COMFORTED, BECAUSE
THEY WERE NOT."


    We have heard the voice in Ramah,
     The grief in the days of yore,
    When the beautiful "flowers of the martyrs"
     Went to bloom on another shore.

    The light of our life is darkness,
     And with sorrow we are not done;
    For thine is the bitterest mourning,
     Mourning for an only son!

    And what shall I utter to comfort
     The heart that is dearest of all?
    Too young for the losses and crosses,
     Too young for the rise and the fall?

    O, yes; we own it, we own it;
     But not too young for the grace
    That was so nameless and blameless,
     For the yearning and tender embrace!

    He hung, he hung on thy bosom
     In that happiest, weariest hour,
    A dear little bird to its blossom,
     The beautiful, dutiful flower.

    And thus he grew by its sweetness,
     He grew by its sweetness so
    That smile unto smile responded--
    But a little while ago!

    And you and I were happy
     In many a vision fair
    Of a ripe and glorious manhood
     Which the world and we should share.

    In a little while the patter
     Of two little feet was heard;
    And many a look it cheered us,
     A look that was more than a word.

    In a little while he uttered
     The words we longed to hear;
    And mamma and papa blessed him
     With a blessing of hope and fear.

    In a little while he budded,
     A bud of the promising Spring,
    And O for the beautiful blossom,
     And O for the fruit it will bring!

    The joy, they never may know it
     Who never have parents been,
    The joy of a swelling bosom,
     With a growing light within:

    A light that is soft and tender,
     And growing in strength and grace,
    Which wreathes a form that is slender
     And glows in a dear little face!

    But life it knoweth the shadow,
     The shadow as well as the shine;
    For the one it follows the other,
     And both together are thine.

    For the bud it never unfolded,
     The light it flickered away,
    And whose is the power to utter
     The grief of that bitterest day?

    His form is yet before me,
      With the fair and lofty brow,
    And the day since last we kissed it--
      Is it long since then and now?

    Dearest, it seems but a minute,
      Though Winter has spread the snow,
    Meek purity's mantle to cover
      The one that is resting below.

    In the acre of God, that is yonder,
      And unto the west his head,
    He sleepeth the sleep untroubled,
      With one to watch at his bed.

    For the bright and guardian angel
      Who beholdeth the Father's face,
    Doth stand as a sentinel watching
      O'er the dear one's resting-place;

    Doth stand as a sentinel guarding
      The dust of the precious dead,
    Till at length the trumpet soundeth,
      When the years of the world are sped;

    And the throng which can not be numbered
      Put on their garments of white,
    And gird themselves for the glory
      Of a realm that hath no night.

    And so he is gone, the darling,
      And the dream so fair and vain,
    Whose light has faded to darkness,
      We shall never dream again!

    Never? Is the earth the limit
      To bright and beautiful hope?
    If the world brings not fruition,
      Must we in darkness grope?

    O no! There is expectation
      Which the grave can not control;
    There is boundless infinite promise
      For the living and deathless soul.

    And the darling who left us early
      May yonder grow a man;
    In deeds of the great hereafter
      He may take his place in the van.

    O, if thine is the bitterest mourning,
      Mourning for an only son,
    Believe that in God, the Giver,
      Our darling his course begun;

    Believe that in God, the Taker,
      His course forever will be;
    For this is the blessed comfort,
      The comfort for thee and me.

    Yea, this is the blessed comfort
      In sorrow like that of yore,
    When the beautiful "flowers of the martyrs"
      Went to bloom on another shore.

       *       *       *       *       *



LII.

LA FAYETTE.

(BORN 1757--DIED 1834.)


THE FRIEND AND DEFENDER OF LIBERTY ON TWO CONTINENTS.


In the year 1730 there appeared in Paris a little volume entitled
"Philosophic Letters," which proved to be one of the most influential
books produced in modern times.

It was written by Voltaire, who was then thirty-six years of age, and
contained the results of his observations upon the English nation, in
which he had resided for two years. Paris was then as far from London,
for all practical purposes, as New York now is from Calcutta, so that
when Voltaire told his countrymen of the freedom that prevailed in
England, of the tolerance given to religious sects, of the honors paid
to untitled merit, of Newton, buried in Westminster Abbey with almost
regal pomp, of Addison, secretary of state, and Swift, familiar with
prime ministers, and of the general liberty, happiness, and abundance of
the kingdom, France listened in wonder, as to a new revelation The work
was, of course, immediately placed under the ban by the French
Government, and the author exiled, which only gave it increased currency
and deeper influence.

This was the beginning of the movement which produced at length, the
French Revolution of 1787, and which has continued until France is now
blessed with a free and constitutional government. It began among the
higher classes of the people, for, at that day, not more than one-third
of the French could read at all, and a much smaller fraction could read
such a book as the "Philosophic Letters" and the books which it called
forth. Republicanism was fashionable in the drawing-rooms of Paris for
many years before the mass of the people knew what the word meant.

Among the young noblemen who were early smitten in the midst of
despotism with the love of liberty, was the Marquis de La Fayette, born
in 1757. Few families in Europe could boast a greater antiquity than
his. A century before the discovery of America we find the La Fayettes
spoken of as an "ancient house," and in every generation at least one
member of the family had distinguished himself by his services to his
king. This young man, coming upon the stage of life when republican
ideas were teeming in every cultivated mind, embraced them with all the
ardor of youth and intelligence. At sixteen he refused a high post in
the household of one of the princes of the blood and accepted a
commission in the army. At the age of seventeen he was married to the
daughter of a duke, whose dowry added a considerable fortune to his own
ample possessions. She was an exceedingly lovely woman, and tenderly
attached to her husband, and he was as fond of her as such a boy could
be.

The American Revolution broke out. In common with all the high-born
republicans of his time, his heart warmly espoused the cause of the
revolted colonies, and he immediately conceived the project of going to
America and fighting under her banner. He was scarcely nineteen years of
age when he sought an interview with Silas Deane, the American envoy,
and offered his services to the Congress. Mr, Deane, it appears,
objected to his youth.

"When," says he, "I presented to the envoy my boyish face, I spoke more
of my ardor in the cause than of my experience; but I dwelt much upon
the effect my departure would have in France, and he signed our mutual
agreement."

His intention was concealed from all his family and from all his
friends, except two or three confidants. While he was making preparation
for his departure, most distressing and alarming news came from
America--the retreat from Long Island, the loss of New York, the battle
of White Plains, and the retreat through New Jersey. The American
forces, it was said, reduced to a disheartened band of three thousand
militia, were pursued by a triumphant army of thirty-three thousand
English and Hessians. The credit of the colonies at Paris sank to the
lowest ebb, and some of the Americans themselves confessed to La Fayette
that they were discouraged, and tried to persuade him to abandon his
project. He said to Mr. Deane:

"Until now, sir, you have only seen my ardor in your cause, and that may
not at present prove wholly useless. I shall purchase a ship to carry
out your officers. We must feel confidence in the future, and it is
especially in the hour of danger that I wish to share your fortune."

He proceeded at once with all possible secrecy to raise the money and to
purchase and arm a ship. While the ship was getting ready, in order the
better to conceal his intention, he made a journey to England, which had
previously been arranged by his family. He was presented to the British
king, against whom he was going to fight; he dined at the house of the
minister who had the department of the colonies; he visited Lord Rawdon,
afterwards distinguished in the Revolutionary struggle; he saw at the
opera Sir Henry Clinton, whom he next saw on the battlefield of
Monmouth, and he breakfasted with Lord Shelburne, a friend of the
colonies.

"While I concealed my intentions," he tells us, "I openly avowed my
sentiments. I often defended the Americans. I rejoiced at their success
at Trenton, and it was my spirit of opposition that obtained for me an
invitation to breakfast with Lord Shelburne."

On his return to France his project was discovered, and his departure
forbidden by the king. He sailed, however, in May, 1777, cheered by his
countrymen, and secretly approved by the government itself. On arriving
at Philadelphia, he sent to Congress a remarkably brief epistle to the
following effect: "After my sacrifices, I have the right to ask two
favors. One is, to serve at my own expense; the other, to begin to serve
as a volunteer."

Congress immediately named him a major-general of the American army, and
he at once reported himself to General Washington. His services at the
Brandywine, where he was badly wounded; in Virginia, where he held an
important command; at Monmouth, where he led the attack--are
sufficiently well known. When he had been in America about fifteen
months, the news came of the impending declaration of war between France
and England. He then wrote to Congress that, as long as he had believed
himself free, he had gladly fought under the American flag; but that his
own country being at war, he owed it the homage of his service, and he
desired their permission to return home. He hoped, however, to come back
to America; and asserted then that, wherever he went, he should be a
zealous friend of the United States. Congress gave him leave of absence,
voted him a sword, and wrote a letter on his behalf to the king of
France. "We recommend this noble young man," said the letter of
Congress, "to the favor of your majesty, because we have seen him wise
in council, brave in battle, and patient under the fatigues of war." He
was received in France with great distinction, which he amusingly
describes:

"When I went to court, which had hitherto only written for me orders for
my arrest, I was presented to the ministers. I was interrogated,
complimented, and exiled--to the hotel where my wife was residing: Some
days after, I wrote to the king to acknowledge _my fault_. I received in
reply a light reprimand and the colonelcy of the Royal Dragoons.
Consulted by all the ministers, and, what was much better, embraced by
all the women, I had at Versailles the favor of the king and celebrity
of Paris."

In the midst of his popularity he thought always of America, and often
wished that the cost of the banquets bestowed upon him could be poured
into the treasury of Congress. His favorite project at that time was the
invasion of England--Paul Jones to command the fleet, and he himself the
army. When this scheme was given up, he joined all his influence with
that of Franklin to induce the French Government to send to America a
powerful fleet and a considerable army. When he had secured the promise
of this valuable aid, he returned to America and served again in the
armies of the young republic.

The success of the United States so confirmed him in his attachment to
republican institutions, that he remained their devoted adherent and
advocate as long as he lived.

"May this revolution," said he once to Congress, "serve as a lesson to
oppressors, and as an example to the oppressed."

And, in one of his letters from the United States occurs this sentence:
"I have always thought that a king was at least a useless being; viewed
from this side of the ocean, a king cuts a poor figure indeed."

By the time he had left America, at the close of the war, he had
expended in the service of Congress seven hundred thousand francs--a
free gift to the cause of liberty.

One of the most pleasing circumstances of La Fayette's residence in
America was the affectionate friendship which existed between himself
and General Washington. He looked up to Washington as to a father as
well as a chief; and Washington regarded him with a tenderness truly
paternal. La Fayette named his eldest son George Washington, and never
omitted any opportunity to testify his love and admiration for the
illustrious American. Franklin, too, was much attached to the youthful
enthusiast, and privately wrote to General Washington, asking him, for
the sake of the young and anxious wife of the marquis, not to expose his
life except in an important and decisive engagement.

In the diary of the celebrated William Wilberforce, who visited Paris
soon after the peace, there is an interesting passage descriptive of La
Fayette's demeanor at the French court:

"He seemed to be the representative of the democracy in the very
presence of the monarch--the tribune intruding with his veto within the
chamber of the patrician order. His own establishment was formed upon
the English model, and amidst the gayety and ease of Fontainebleau he
assumed an air of republican austerity. When the fine ladies of the
court would attempt to drag him to the card-table, he shrugged his
shoulders with an air of affected contempt for the customs and
amusements of the old _regime_. Meanwhile, the deference which this
champion of the new state of things received, above all from the ladies
of the court, intimated clearly the disturbance of the social
atmosphere, and presaged the coming tempest."

From the close of the American war for independence to the beginning of
the French Revolution a period of six years elapsed, during which France
suffered much from the exhaustion of her resources in aiding the
Americans. La Fayette lived at Paris, openly professing republicanism,
which was then the surest passport to the favor both of the people and
the court. The queen of France herself favored the republican party,
though without understanding its object or tendencies. La Fayette
naturally became the organ and spokesman of those who desired a reform
in the government. He recommended, even in the palace of the king, a
restoration of civil rights to the Protestants; the suppression of the
heavy and odious tax on salt; the reform of the criminal courts; and he
denounced the waste of public money on princes and court favorites.

The Assembly of the Notables convened in 1787 to consider the state of
the kingdom. La Fayette was its most distinguished and trusted member,
and it was he who demanded a convocation of the representatives of all
the departments of France, for the purpose of devising a permanent
remedy for the evils under which France was suffering.

"What, sir," said one of the royal princes to La Fayette, "do you really
demand the assembling of a general congress of France?"

"Yes, my Lord," replied La Fayette, "and _more than that_."

Despite the opposition of the court, this memorable congress met in
Paris in 1789, and La Fayette represented in it the nobility of his
province. It was he who presented the "Declaration of Rights," drawn
upon the model of those with which he had been familiar in America, and
it was finally adopted. It was he, also, who made the ministers of the
crown responsible for their acts, and for the consequences of their
acts.

When this National Assembly was declared permanent, La Fayette was
elected its vice-president, and it was in that character that, after the
taking of the Bastile, he went to the scene, at the head of a deputation
of sixty members, to congratulate the people upon their triumph. The
next day, a city guard was organized to preserve the peace of Paris, and
the question arose in the assembly who should command it. The president
arose and pointed to the bust of La Fayette, presented by the State of
Virginia to the city of Paris. The hint was sufficient, and La Fayette
was elected to the post by acclamation. He called his citizen soldiers
by the name of National Guards, and he distinguished them by a
tri-colored cockade, and all Paris immediately fluttered with
tri-colored ribbons and badges.

"This cockade," said La Fayette, as he presented one to the National
Assembly, "will make the tour of the world." From the time of his
acceptance of the command of the National Guard, the course of La
Fayette changed its character, and the change became more and more
marked as the revolution proceded. Hitherto he had been chiefly employed
in rousing the sentiment of liberty in the minds of his countrymen; but
now that the flame threatened to become a dangerous conflagration, it
devolved upon him to stay its ravages. It was a task beyond human
strength, but he most gallantly attempted it. On some occasions he
rescued with his own hands the victims of the popular fury, and arrested
the cockaded assassins who would have destroyed them. But even his great
popularity was ineffectual to prevent the massacre of innocent citizens,
and more than once, overwhelmed with grief and disgust, he threatened to
throw up his command.

On that celebrated day when sixty thousand of the people of Paris poured
in a tumultuous flood into the park of Versailles, and surrounded the
palace of the king, La Fayette was compelled to join the throng, in
order, if possible, to control its movements. He arrived in the evening,
and spent the whole night in posting the National Guard about the
palace, and taking measures to secure the safety of the royal family. At
the dawn of day he threw himself upon the bed for a few minutes' repose.
Suddenly, the alarm was sounded. Some infuriated men had broken into the
palace, killed two of the king's body-guard, and rushed into the
bed-chamber of the queen, a minute or two after she had escaped from it.
La Fayette ran to the scene, followed by some of the National Guard, and
found all the royal family assembled in the king's chamber, trembling
for their lives. Beneath the window of the apartment was a roaring sea
of upturned faces, scarcely kept back by a thin line of National Guards.
La Fayette stepped out upon the balcony, and tried to address the crowd,
but could not make himself heard. He then led out upon the balcony the
beautiful queen, Marie Antoinette, and kissed her hand; then seizing one
of the body-guard embraced him, and placed his own cockade on the
soldier's hat. At once the temper of the multitude was changed, and the
cry burst forth:

"Long live the general! Long live the queen! Long live the body-guard!"

It was immediately announced that the king would go with the people to
Paris; which had the effect of completely allaying their passions.
During the long march of ten miles, La Fayette rode close to the door of
the king's carriage, and thus conducted him, in the midst of the
tramping crowd, in safety to the Tuilleries. When the royal family was
once more secure within its walls, one of the ladies, the daughter of
the late king, threw herself in the arms of La Fayette, exclaiming:

"General, you have saved us."

From this moment dates the decline of La Fayette's popularity; and his
actions, moderate and wise, continually lessened it. He demanded, as a
member of the National Assembly, that persons accused of treason should
be fairly tried by a jury, and he exerted all his power, while giving a
constitution to his country, to preserve the monarchy.

To appease the suspicions of the people that the king meditated a flight
from Paris, he declared that he would answer with his head for the
king's remaining. When, therefore, in June, 1791, the king and queen
made their blundering attempt to escape, La Fayette was immediately
suspected of having secretly aided it. Danton cried out at the Jacobin
club:

"We must have the person of the king, or the head of the commanding
general!"

It was in vain that, after the king's return, he ceased to pay him royal
honors; nothing could remove the suspicions of the people. Indeed, he
still openly advised the preservation of the monarchy, and, when a mob
demanded the suppression of the royal power, and threatened violence to
the National Guard, the general, after warning them to disperse, ordered
the troops to fire--an action which totally destroyed his popularity and
influence. Soon after, he resigned his commission and his seat in the
Assembly, and withdrew to one of his country seats.

He was not long allowed to remain in seclusion. The allied dynasties of
Europe, justly alarmed at the course of events in Paris, threatened the
new republic with war. La Fayette was appointed to command one of the
three armies gathered to defend the frontiers. While he was disciplining
his troops, and preparing to defend the country, he kept an anxious eye
upon Paris, and saw with ever-increasing alarm the prevalence of the
savage element in the national politics. In 1792 he had the boldness to
write a letter to the National Assembly, demanding the suppression of
the clubs, and the restoration of the king to the place and power
assigned him by the constitution.

Learning, soon after, the new outrages put upon the king, he suddenly
left his army and appeared before the bar of the Assembly, accompanied
by a single aide-de-camp; there he renewed his demands, amid the
applause of the moderate members; but a member of the opposite party
adroitly asked:

"Is the enemy conquered? Is the country delivered, since General La
Fayette is in Paris?"

"No," replied he, "the country is not delivered; the situation is
unchanged; and, nevertheless, the general of one of our armies is in
Paris."

After a stormy debate, the Assembly declared that he had violated the
constitution in making himself the organ of an army legally incapable of
deliberating, and had rendered himself amenable to the minister of war
for leaving his post without permission. Repulsed thus by the Assembly,
coldly received at court, and rejected by the National Guard, he
returned to his army despairing of the country. There he made one more
attempt to save the king by inducing him to come to his camp and fight
for his throne. This project being rejected, and the author of it
denounced by Robespierre, his bust publicly burned in Paris, and the
medal formerly voted him broken by the hand of the executioner, he
deemed it necessary to seek an asylum in a neutral country. Having
provided for the safety of his army, he crossed the frontiers in August,
1792, accompanied by twenty-one persons, all of whom, on passing an
Austrian post, were taken prisoners, and La Fayette was thrown into a
dungeon. The friend of liberty and order was looked upon as a common
enemy. His noble wife, who had been for fifteen months a prisoner in
Paris, hastened, after her release, to share her husband's captivity.

For five years, in spite of the remonstrances of England, America, and
the friends of liberty everywhere, La Fayette remained a prisoner. To
every demand for his liberation the Austrian Government replied, with
its usual stupidity, that the liberty of La Fayette was incompatible
with the safety of the governments of Europe. He owed his liberation, at
length, to General Bonaparte, and it required all _his_ great authority
to procure it. When La Fayette was presented to Napoleon to thank him
for his interference, the first consul said to him:

"I don't know what the devil you have done to the Austrians; but it cost
them a mighty struggle to let you go."

La Fayette voted publicly against making Napoleon consul for life,
against the establishment of the empire. Notwithstanding this, Napoleon
and he remained very good friends. The emperor said of him one day:

"Everybody in France is corrected of his extreme ideas of liberty except
one man, and that man is La Fayette. You see him now tranquil: very
well; if he had an opportunity to serve his chimeras, he would reappear
on the scene more ardent than ever."

Upon his return to France, he was granted the pension belonging to the
military rank he had held under the republic, and he recovered a
competent estate from the property of his wife. Napoleon also gave a
military commission to his son, George Washington; and, when the
Bourbons were restored, La Fayette received an indemnity of four hundred
and fifty thousand francs.

Napoleon's remark proved correct. La Fayette, though he spent most of
the evening of his life in directing the cultivation of his estate, was
always present at every crisis in the affairs of France to plead the
cause of constitutional liberty. He made a fine remark once in its
defense, when taunted with the horrors of the French Revolution: "The
tyranny of 1793," he said, "was no more a republic than the massacre of
St. Bartholomew was a religion."

His visit to America in 1824 is well remembered. He was the guest of the
nation; and Congress, in recompense of his expenditures during the
Revolutionary War, made him a grant of two hundred thousand dollars and
an extensive tract of land. It was La Fayette who, in 1830, was chiefly
instrumental in placing a constitutional monarch on the throne of
France. The last words, he ever spoke in public were uttered in behalf
of the French refugees who had fled from France for offenses merely
political; and the last words he ever wrote recommended the abolition of
slavery. He died May 19, 1834, aged seventy-seven. His son, George
Washington, always the friend of liberty, like his father, died in 1849,
leaving two sons--inheritors of a name so full of inspiration to the
world.

       *       *       *       *       *



LIII.

LYDIA SIGOURNEY

(BORN 1791--DIED 1865.)


THE LESSON OF A USEFUL AND BEAUTIFUL LIFE.


"A beautiful life I have had. Not more trial than was for my good.
Countless blessings beyond expectation or desert.... Behind me stretch
the green pastures and still waters by which I have been led all my
days. Around is the lingering of hardy flowers and fruits that bide the
Winter. Before stretches the shining shore."

These are the words of Mrs. Sigourney, written near the close of a life
of seventy-four years. All who have much observed human life will agree
that the rarest achievement of man or woman on this earth is a solid and
continuous happiness. There are very few persons past seventy who can
look back upon their lives, and sincerely say that they would willingly
live their lives over again. Mrs. Sigourney, however, was one of the
happy few.

Lydia Huntley, for that was her maiden name, was born at Norwich,
Connecticut, on the first of September, 1791. Her father was Ezekiel
Huntley, an exceedingly gentle, affectionate man, of Scotch parentage,
who had as little of a Yankee in him as any man in Connecticut. Unlike a
Yankee, he never attempted to set up in business for himself, but spent
the whole of the active part of his life in the service of the man to
whom he was apprenticed in his youth. His employer was a druggist of
great note in his day, who made a large fortune in his business, and
built one of the most elegant houses in the State. On his retirement
from business his old clerk continued to reside under his roof, and to
assist in the management of his estate; and, even when he died, Mr.
Huntley did not change his abode, but remained to conduct the affairs of
the widow. In the service of this family he saved a competence for his
old age, and he lived to eighty-seven, a most happy, serene old man,
delighting chiefly in his garden and his only child. He survived as late
as 1839.

Owing to the peculiar relations sustained by her father to a wealthy
family--living, too, in a wing of their stately mansion, and having the
free range of its extensive gardens--Lydia Huntley enjoyed in her youth
all the substantial advantages of wealth, without encountering its
perils. She was surrounded by objects pleasing or beautiful, but no
menial pampered her pride or robbed her of her rightful share of
household labor. As soon as she was old enough to toddle about the
grounds, her father delighted to have her hold the trees which he was
planting, and drop the seed into the little furrows prepared for it, and
never was she better pleased than when giving him the aid of her tiny
fingers. Her parents never kept a servant, and she was brought up to do
her part in the house. Living on plain, substantial fare, inured to
labor, and dressed so as to allow free play to every limb and muscle,
she laid in a stock of health, strength, and good temper that lasted her
down to the last year of her life. She never knew what dyspepsia was.
She never possessed a costly toy, nor a doll that was not made at home,
but she passed a childhood that was scarcely anything but joy. She was
an only child, and she was the pet of two families, yet she was not
spoiled.

She was one of those children who take naturally to all kinds of
culture. Without ever having had a child's book, she sought out, in the
old-fashioned library of the house, everything which a child could
understand. Chance threw a novel in her way ("Mysteries of Udolpho"),
which she devoured with rapture, and soon after, when she was but eight
years of age, she began to write a novel. Poetry, too, she read with
singular pleasure, never weary of repeating her favorite pieces. But the
passion of her childhood was painting pictures. Almost in her infancy
she began to draw with a pin and lilac-leaf, and advanced from that to
slate and pencil, and, by and by, to a lead-pencil and backs of letters.
When she had learned to draw pretty well, she was on fire to paint her
pictures, but was long puzzled to procure the colors. Having obtained in
some way a cake of gamboge, she begged of a washerwoman a piece of
indigo, and by combining these two ingredients she could make different
shades of yellow, blue, and green. The trunks of her trees she painted
with coffee-grounds, and a mixture of India ink and indigo answered
tolerably well for sky and water. She afterwards discovered that the
pink juice of chokeberry did very well for lips, cheeks, and gay
dresses. Mixed with a little indigo it made a very bad purple, which the
young artist, for the want of a better, was obliged to use for her royal
robes. In sore distress for a better purple she squeezed the purple
flowers of the garden and the field for the desired tint, but nothing
answered the purpose, until, at dinner, one day, she found the very hue
for which she longed in the juice of a currant and whortleberry tart.
She hastened to try it, and it made a truly gorgeous purple, but the
sugar in it caused it to come off in flakes from her kings and emperors,
leaving them in a sorry plight. At length, to her boundless,
inexpressible, and lasting joy, all her difficulties were removed by her
father giving her a complete box of colors.

At school she was fortunate in her teachers. One of them was the late
Pelatiah Perit, who afterward won high distinction as a New York
merchant and universal philanthropist. Her first serious attempts at
practical composition were translations from Virgil, when she was
fourteen years of age. After leaving school she studied Latin with much
zeal under an aged tutor, and, later in life, she advanced far enough in
Hebrew to read the Old Testament, with the aid of grammar and
dictionary. To these grave studies her parents added a thorough drill in
dancing. Often, when her excellent mother observed that she had sat too
long over her books, she would get her out upon the floor of their large
kitchen, and then, striking up a lively song, set her dancing until her
cheeks were all aglow.

This studious and happy girl, like other young people, had her day-dream
of the future. _It was to keep a school_. This strange ambition, she
tells us in her autobiography, she feared to impart to her companions,
lest they should laugh at her; and she thought even her parents would
think her _arrogant_ if she mentioned it to them. The long-cherished
secret was revealed to her parents at length. Her mother had guessed it
before, but her father was exceedingly surprised. Neither of them,
however, made any objection, and one of the pleasantest apartments of
their house was fitted up for the reception of pupils. She was then a
delicate-looking girl of about eighteen, and rather undersized. As soon
as her desks were brought home by the carpenter, the ambitious little
lady went around to the families of the place, informed them of her
intention, and solicited their patronage at the established rate of
three dollars a quarter for each pupil. She was puzzled and disappointed
at the coolness with which her project was received. Day after day she
tramped the streets of Norwich, only to return at night without a name
upon her catalogue. She surmised, after a time, that parents hesitated
to intrust their children to her because of her extreme youth, which was
the fact. At length, however, she began her school with two children,
nine and eleven years of age, and not only did she go through all the
formalities of school with them, working six hours a day for five days,
and three hours on Saturday, but at the end of the term she held an
examination in the presence of a large circle of her pupils' admiring
relations.

Afterwards, associating herself with another young lady, to whom she was
tenderly attached, she succeeded better. A large and populous school
gathered about these zealous and admirable girls, several of their
pupils being older than themselves. Compelled to hold the school in a
larger room, Lydia Huntley walked two miles every morning, and two more
every night, besides working hard all day; and she was as happy as the
weeks were long. Her experience confirms that of every genuine
teacher--from Dr. Arnold downward--that, of all employments of man or
woman on this earth, the one that is capable of giving the most constant
and intense happiness is teaching in a rationally conducted school. So
fond was she of teaching, that when the severity of the Winter obliged
her to suspend the school for many weeks, she opened a free school for
poor children, one of her favorite classes in which was composed of
colored girls. In the course of time, the well-known Daniel Wadsworth,
the great man of Hartford sixty or seventy years ago, lured her away to
that city, where he personally organized a school of thirty young
ladies, the daughters of his friends, and gave her a home in his own
house. There she spent five happy years, cherished as a daughter by her
venerable patron and his wife, and held in high honor by her pupils and
their parents.

It was in 1815, while residing in Hartford, that her fame was born. Good
old Mrs. Wadsworth, having obtained sight of her journals and
manuscripts in prose and verse, the secret accumulation of many years,
inflamed her husband's curiosity so that he, too, asked to see them. The
blushing poetess consented. Mr. Wadsworth pronounced some of them worthy
of publication, and, under his auspices, a volume was printed in
Hartford, entitled "Moral Pieces in Prose and Verse." The public gave it
a generous welcome, and its success led to a career of authorship which
lasted forty-nine years, and gave to the world fifty-six volumes of
poetry, tales, travels, biography, and letters.

So passed her life till she was past twenty-eight. She had received many
offers of marriage from clergymen and others, but none of her suitors
tempted her to forsake her pupils, and she supposed herself destined to
spend her days as an old maid. But another destiny was in store for her.
On her way to and from her school, "a pair of deep-set and most
expressive black eyes" sometimes encountered hers and spoke "unutterable
things." Those eyes belonged to a widower, with three children, named
Charles Sigourney, a thriving hardware merchant, of French descent, and
those "unutterable things" were uttered at length through the unromantic
medium of a letter. The marriage occurred a few months after, in the
year 1819.

For the next fifteen years she resided in the most elegant mansion in
Hartford, surrounded by delightful grounds, after Mr. Sigourney's own
design; and even now, though the Sigourney place is eclipsed in splendor
and costliness by many of more recent date, there is no abode in the
beautiful city of Hartford more attractive than this. Mr. Sigourney was
a man of considerable learning, and exceedingly interested in the study
of languages. When he was past fifty he began the study of modern Greek.
Mrs. Sigourney became the mother of several children, all of whom, but
two, died in infancy. One son lived to enter college, but died at the
age of nineteen, of consumption. A daughter grew to womanhood, and
became the wife of a clergyman.

After many years of very great prosperity in business, Mr. Sigourney
experienced heavy losses, which compelled them to leave their pleasant
residence, and gave a new activity to her pen. He died at the age of
seventy-six. During the last seven years of Mrs. Sigourney's life, her
chief literary employment was contributing to the columns of the _New
York Ledger_. Mr. Bonner, having while an apprentice in the _Hartford
Current_ office "set up" some of her poems, had particular pleasure in
being the medium of her last communications with the public, and she
must have rejoiced in the vast audience to which he gave her access--the
largest she ever addressed.

Mrs. Sigourney enjoyed excellent health to within a few weeks of her
death. After a short illness, which she bore with much patience, she
died in June, 1865, with her daughter at her side, and affectionate
friends around her. Nothing could exceed her tranquility and resignation
at the approach of death. Her long life had been spent in honorable
labor for the good of her species, and she died in the fullest certainty
that death would but introduce her to a larger and better sphere.

       *       *       *       *       *



LIV.

OLD AGE AND USEFULNESS


THE GLORY OF BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN.


    Dear Lord! I thank thee for a life of use;
    Dear Lord! I do not pine for any truce.
    Peace, peace has always come from duty done;
    Peace, peace will so until the end be won.
    Thanks, thanks! a thankful heart is my reward;
    Thanks, thanks befit the children of the Lord.
    Wind, wind! the peaceful reel must still go round;
    Wind, wind! the thread of life will soon be wound.
    The worker has no dread of growing old;
    First, years of toil, and then the age of gold!
    For lo! he hopes to bear his flag unfurled
    Beyond the threshold of another world.


John Foster, he who sprang into celebrity from one essay, _Popular
Ignorance_, had a diseased feeling against growing old, which seems to
us to be very prevalent. He was sorry to lose every parting hour. "I
have seen a fearful sight to-day," he would say--"I have seen a
buttercup." To others the sight would only give visions of the coming
Spring and future Summer; to him it told of the past year, the last
Christmas, the days which would never come again--the so many days
nearer the grave. Thackeray continually expressed the same feeling. He
reverts to the merry old time when George the Third was king. He looks
back with a regretful mind to his own youth. The black Care constantly
rides, behind his chariot. "Ah, my friends," he says, "how beautiful was
youth! We are growing old. Spring-time and Summer are past. We near the
Winter of our days. We shall never feel as we have felt. We approach the
inevitable grave." Few men, indeed, know how to grow old gracefully, as
Madame de Stael very truly observed. There is an unmanly sadness at
leaving off the old follies and the old games. We all hate fogyism. Dr.
Johnson, great and good as he was, had a touch of this regret, and we
may pardon him for the feeling. A youth spent in poverty and neglect, a
manhood consumed in unceasing struggle, are not preparatives to growing
old in peace. We fancy that, after a stormy morning and a lowering day,
the evening should have a sunset glow, and, when the night sets in, look
back with regret at the "gusty, babbling, and remorseless day;" but, if
we do so, we miss the supporting faith of the Christian and the manly
cheerfulness of the heathen. To grow old is quite natural; being
natural, it is beautiful; and if we grumble at it, we miss the lesson,
and lose all the beauty.

Half of our life is spent in vain regrets. When we are boys we ardently
wish to be men; when men we wish as ardently to be boys. We sing sad
songs of the lapse of time. We talk of "auld lang syne," of the days
when we were young, of gathering shells on the sea-shore and throwing
them carelessly away. We never cease to be sentimental upon past youth
and lost manhood and beauty. Yet there are no regrets so false, and few
half so silly. Perhaps the saddest sight in the world is to see an old
lady, wrinkled and withered, dressing, talking, and acting like a very
young one, and forgetting all the time, as she clings to the feeble
remnant of the past, that there is no sham so transparent as her own,
and that people, instead of feeling with her, are laughing at her. Old
boys disguise their foibles a little better; but they are equally
ridiculous. The feeble protests which they make against the flying
chariot of Time are equally futile. The great Mower enters the field,
and all must come down. To stay him would be impossible; We might as
well try with a finger to stop Ixion's wheel, or to dam up the current
of the Thames with a child's foot.

Since the matter is inevitable, we may as well sit down and reason it
out. Is it so dreadful to grow old? Does old age need its apologies and
its defenders? Is it a benefit or a calamity? Why should it be odious
and ridiculous? An old tree is picturesque, an old castle venerable, an
old cathedral inspires awe--why should man be worse than his works?

Let us, in the first place, see what youth is. Is it so blessed and
happy and flourishing as it seems to us? Schoolboys do not think so.
They always wish to be older. You cannot insult one of them more than by
telling him that he is a year or two younger than he is. He fires up at
once: "Twelve, did you say, sir? No, I'm fourteen." But men and women
who have reached twenty-eight do not thus add to their years. Amongst
schoolboys, notwithstanding the general tenor of those romancists who
see that every thing young bears a rose-colored blush, misery is
prevalent enough. Emerson, Coleridge, Wordsworth, were each and all
unhappy boys. They all had their rebuffs, and bitter, bitter troubles;
all the more bitter because their sensitiveness was so acute. Suicide is
not unknown amongst the young; fears prey upon them and terrify them;
ignorances and follies surround them. Arriving at manhood, we are little
better off. If we are poor, we mark the difference between the rich and
us; we see position gains all the day. If we are as clever as Hamlet, we
grow just as philosophically disappointed. If we love, we can only be
sure of a brief pleasure--an April day. Love has its bitterness. "It
is," says Ovid, an adept in the matter, "full of anxious fear." We fret
and fume at the authority of the wise heads; we have an intense idea of
our own talent. We believe calves of our own age to be as big and as
valuable as full-grown bulls; we envy whilst we jest at the old. We cry,
with the puffed-up hero of the _Patrician's Daughter_:

           "It may be by the calendar of years
    You are the elder man; but 'tis the sun
    Of knowledge on the mind's dial shining bright,
    And chronicling deeds and thoughts, that makes true time."

And yet withal life is very unhappy, whether we live amongst the
grumbling captains of the clubs, who are ever seeking and not finding
promotion; amongst the struggling authors and rising artists who never
rise; or among the young men who are full of riches, titles, places, and
honor, who have every wish fulfilled, and are miserable because they
have nothing to wish for. Thus the young Romans killed themselves after
the death of their emperor, not for grief, not for affection, not even
for the fashion of suicide, which grew afterwards prevalent enough, but
from the simple weariness of doing every thing over and over again. Old
age has passed such stages as these, landed on a safer shore, and
matriculated in a higher college, in a purer air. We sigh not for
impossibilities; we cry not:

    "Bring these anew, and set me once again
       In the delusion of life's infancy;
    I was not happy, but I knew not then
       That happy I was never doom'd to be."

We know that we are not happy. We know that life, perhaps, was not given
us to be continuously comfortable and happy. We have been behind the
scenes, and know all the illusions; but when we are old we are far too
wise to throw life away for mere _ennui_. With Dandolo, refusing a crown
at ninety-six, winning battles at ninety-four; with Wellington, planning
and superintending fortifications at eighty; with Bacon and Humboldt,
students to the last gasp; with wise old Montaigne, shrewd in his
grey-beard wisdom and loving life, even in the midst of his fits of gout
and colic--Age knows far too much to act like a sulky child. It knows
too well the results and the value of things to care about them; that
the ache will subside, the pain be lulled, the estate we coveted be
worth little; the titles, ribbons, gewgaws, honors, be all more or less
worthless. "Who has honor? He that died o' Wednesday!" Such a one passed
us in the race, and gained it but to fall. We are still up and doing; we
may be frosty and shrewd, but kindly. We can wish all men well; like
them, too, so far as they may be liked, and smile at the fuss, bother,
hurry, and turmoil, which they make about matters which to us are
worthless dross. The greatest prize in the whole market--in any and in
every market--success, is to the old man nothing. He little cares who is
up and who is down; the present he lives in and delights in. Thus, in
one of those admirable comedies in which Robson acted, we find the son a
wanderer, the mother's heart nearly broken, the father torn and broken
by a suspicion of his son's dishonesty, but the grandfather all the
while concerned only about his gruel and his handkerchief. Even the
pains and troubles incident to his state visit the old man lightly.
Because Southey sat for months in his library, unable to read or touch
the books he loved, we are not to infer that he was unhappy. If the
stage darkens as the curtain falls, certain it also is that the senses
grow duller and more blunted. "Don't cry for me, my dear," said an old
lady undergoing an operation; "I do not feel it."

It seems to us, therefore, that a great deal of unnecessary pity has
been thrown away upon old age. We begin at school reading Cicero's
treatise, hearing Cato talk with Scipio and Lælius; we hear much about
poor old men; we are taught to admire the vigor, quickness, and capacity
of youth and manhood. We lose sight of the wisdom which age brings even
to the most foolish. We think that a circumscribed sphere must
necessarily be an unhappy one. It is not always so. What one abandons in
growing old is, perhaps, after all not worth having. The chief part of
youth is but excitement; often both unwise and unhealthy. The same pen
which has written, with a morbid feeling, that "there is a class of
beings who do not grow old in their youth and die ere middle age," tells
us also that "the best of life is but intoxication." That passes away.
The man who has grown old does not care about it. The author at that
period has no feverish excitement about seeing himself in print; he does
not hunt newspapers for reviews and notices. He is content to wait; he
knows what fame is worth. The obscure man of science, who has been
wishing to make the world better and wiser; the struggling curate, the
poor and hard-tried man of God; the enthusiastic reformer, who has
watched the sadly slow dawning of progress and liberty; the artist,
whose dream of beauty slowly fades before his dim eyes--all lay down
their feverish wishes as they advance in life, forget the bright ideal
which they can not reach, and embrace the more imperfect real. We speak
not here of the assured Christian. He, from the noblest pinnacle of
faith, beholds a promised land, and is eager to reach it; he prays "to
be delivered from the body of this death;" but we write of those
humbler, perhaps more human souls, with whom increasing age each day
treads down an illusion. All feverish wishes, raw and inconclusive
desires, have died down, and a calm beauty and peace survive; passions
are dead, temptations weakened or conquered; experience has been won;
selfish interests are widened into universal ones; vain, idle hopes,
have merged into a firmer faith or a complete knowledge; and more light
has broken in upon the soul's dark cottage, battered and decayed,
"through chinks which Time has made."

Again, old men are valuable, not only as relics of the past, but as
guides and prophets for the future. They know the pattern of every turn
of life's kaleidoscope. The colors merely fall into new shapes; the
ground-work is just the same. The good which a calm, kind, and cheerful
old man can do is incalculable. And whilst he does good to others, he
enjoys himself. He looks not unnaturally to that which should accompany
old age--honor, love, obedience, troops of friends; and he plays his
part in the comedy or tragedy of life with as much gusto as any one
else. Old Montague, or Capulet, and old Polonius, that wise maxim-man,
enjoy themselves quite as well as the moody Hamlet, the perturbed
Laertes, or even gallant Mercutio or love-sick Romeo. Friar Lawrence,
who is a good old man, is perhaps the happiest of all in the _dramatis
personae_--unless we take the gossiping, garrulous old nurse, with her
sunny recollections of maturity and youth. The great thing is to have
the mind well employed, to work whilst it is yet day. The precise Duke
of Wellington, answering every letter with "F.M. presents his
compliments;" the wondrous worker Humboldt with his orders of
knighthood, stars, and ribbons, lying dusty in his drawer, still
contemplating _Cosmos_, and answering his thirty letters a day--were
both men in exceedingly enviable, happy positions; they had reached the
top of the hill, and could look back quietly over the rough road which
they had traveled. We are not all Humboldts or Wellingtons; but we can
all be busy and good. Experience must teach us all a great deal; and if
it only teaches us not to fear the future, not to cast a maundering
regret over the past, we can be as happy in old age--ay, and far more
so--than we were in youth. We are no longer the fools of time and error.
We are leaving by slow degrees the old world; we stand upon the
threshold of the new; not without hope, but without fear, in an
exceedingly natural position, with nothing strange or dreadful about it;
with our domain drawn within a narrow circle, but equal to our power.
Muscular strength, organic instincts, are all gone; but what then? We do
not want them; we are getting ready for the great change, one which is
just as necessary as it was to be born; and to a little child perhaps
one is not a whit more painful--perhaps not so painful as the other. The
wheels of Time have brought us to the goal; we are about to rest while
others labor, to stay at home while others wander. We touch at last the
mysterious door--are we to be pitied or to be envied?

    The desert of the life behind,
    Has almost faded from my mind,
    It has so many fair oases
    Which unto me are holy places.

    It seems like consecrated ground,
    Where silence counts for more than sound,
    That way of all my past endeavor
    Which I shall tread no more forever.

    And God I was too blind to see,
    I now, somewhat from blindness free,
    Discern as ever-present glory,
    Who holds all past and future story.

    Eternity is all in all;
    Time, birth and death, ephemeral--
    Point where a little bird alighted,
    Then fled lest it should be benighted.

       *       *       *       *       *



LV.

RHYMES AND CHIMES

(ALL BRAND NEW)

SUITABLE FOR AUTOGRAPH ALBUMS.


    As free as fancy and reason,
    And writ for many a season;
    In neither spirit nor letter
    To aught but beauty a debtor.


INTRODUCTORY.


      The reader knows
      His woes.
    How oft "someone has blundered!"
      How oft a thought
      Is caught,
    And rhyme and reason sundered!
      With line and hook,
      Just look!
    And see a swimming hundred--
      A school of rhymes
      And chimes
    As free as summer air.
      So, if you wish
      To fish,
    Please angle anywhere.


I.


      Thou pet of modern art,
    Since I the spell have broken,
      Now on thy journey start,
    And gather many a token
      From many an honest heart,
    The best or thought or spoken.


II.


      Go forth, thou little book,
    And seek that wondrous treasure,
      Affection's word and look,
    Which only heaven can measure.


III.


    This Album comes a-tapping
      At many a friendly door;
    Yea, gently, gently rapping--
      "Hast aught for me in store?
    Dear Love and Truth I show,
      To point a life's endeavor--
    Thanks for thy heart! I go
      And bear it on forever."


IV.


    "Whose name was writ in water!"
      It was not so of Keats.
    How many a son and daughter
      His gentle name repeats!
    And Friendship and Affection
      Will keep thy name as bright,
    If Beauty give protection
      And wed thee to the Right.


V.


    So you desire my heart!
    Well, take it--and depart.
    It is not cold and heavy,
        It is not light,
        Seeks to be right,
    And answers Beauty's levy.


VI.


    Be it a fable or rumor,
      Or an old device,
    'Tis true; gentle wit and humor
      Are as good as cold advice.


VII.


    This dainty little Album thine
    Is of a quality so fine
    That happy Laughter here may write,
    And all the pages still be white.


VIII.


      There is no open mart
      In which to sell a heart,
        For none the price can pay;
        So mine I give away,
      Since I with it must part--
        'Tis thine, my friend, for aye.
      "Do I not feel the lack.
        And want to get it back?"
      No, no! for kindly Heaven
      A better one has given.


IX.


        There is a cup, I know,
        Which, full to overflow,
        Has yet the space to hold
        Its measure many fold;
        And when from it I drink,
        It is so sweet to think--
        _What it retains is more
        Than all it held before_.
        If you my riddle guess,
        You surely will confess
        The greater in the less,
        Which is our blessedness.


X.


      Dost give away thy heart,
        With all its sweet perfume?
      Angels dwell where thou art,
        The more, the greater room.


XI.


        A life lost in a life--
        True husband or true wife--
        A life come back again
        As with a shining train.


XII.


        A cheery maiden's love
      As large as heaven and earth--
        That were a gift to prove
      How much this life is worth.


XIII.


        Fast by Eternal Truth,
      And on a sunny mountain,
      Springs that perennial fountain
        Which gives immortal youth;
      And all who bathe therein
      Are washed from every sin.


XIV.


      It is to _do_ the best,
        Unmindful of reward,
      Which brings the sweetest rest
        And nearness to the Lord;
      And this has been thy aim,
        And will be to the end,
      Knows she who writes her name
        As thy unchanging friend.


XV.


    Words--words--and pen and ink,
    But not a thought to think!
    And yet, perhaps, perchance,
    Who knows his ignorance
    Is not the greatest fool,
    Although long out of school.


XVI.


    Our greatest glory, friend,
      Is chiefly found herein--
    That when we fall, offend,
      We quickly rise from sin,
    And make the very shame,
    Which gathered round our name
    Like many scorpion rings,
    The stairs to better things
    In that high citadel
    Which has a warning bell.


XVII.


    Whence honor, wealth, or fame,
      Which God delights to see?
    Out of a blameless name,
      Born of Eternity.
      And these are prizes
      At God's assizes,
      Reported day by day,
      Which no man takes away.


XVIII.


    Life is movement, action,
    Joy, and benefaction.
    Rest is bravely doing,
    While the past reviewing,
    Still the years forecasting
    With the Everlasting.
    Such be days of thine,
    Such thy rest divine.


XIX.


    The brook's joy
    Does not cloy.
    Too much sun,
    Too much rain;
    Work is done
    Not in vain.
    Sun receives
    And cloud leaves
    Just enough.
    Skies are black
    And winds rough,
    Yet no lack
    Of good will;
    For 'tis still
    Understood
    God is good.


XX.


      The brook's rest
        Is rest indeed;
      The brook's quest
        Is daily need.
    Thoughts of to-morrow
    They bring no sorrow;
    And so it babbles away,
    And does the work of to-day.


XXI.


    The brook knows the joy
    Down in the heart of a boy,
    And the swallow kens the whirl
    Up in the head of a girl.


XXII.


    How many a psalm is heard
    From yon rejoicing bird,
    That finds its daily food
    And feels that God is good!
    That little life's employ
    Is toil and song and joy.
    Hast music in thy heart,
     O toiler day by day,
     Along life's rugged way?
    Then what thou hast thou art.


XXIII.


    True, Good, and Beautiful!
     A perfect line
    Of love and sainthood full--
     And it is thine.


XXIV.


    Thou doest well, dear friend,
     Thy labor is not lost.
    As notes in music blend,
     So here Affection's host.
    Their names thy book within,
     Their thoughts of love and truth,
    Are worth the cost to win--
     First trophies of thy youth.
    This little Album thine
     Suggests to Book Divine--
    The Book of Life, God's own.
     What names are written there!
    What names are there unknown!
     Hast thou no thought or care?
    I do thee wrong to ask--
    God speed the nobler task
    Until thy labor prove
    Indeed a work of love!


XXV.


     True friends
     Are through friends
     To the next world--
     That unvexed world.
    What will friends be good for
    When the witness is needless they stood for?


XXVI.


    Wouldst have another gem
    In Friendship's diadem?
    Then take this name of mine;
    Thy light will make it shine.


XXVII.


    Thou comest beauty-laden,
    Thou sprightly little maiden,
    And dancing everywhere
    Like sunbeams in the air;
    And for thy cheery laugh
    Here is my autograph.


XXVIII.


    Something for nothing? No!
     A false device.
    For all things here below
     We pay the price.
    For even grace we pay,
     Which is so free;
    And I have earned to-day
     A smile from thee.


XXIX.


    Friend, make good use of time!
    Eternity sublime
    Is cradled in its use,
    And Time allows no truce.
    The past, with shadowy pall,
    Is gone beyond recall;
    To-morrow is not thine;
     'To-day is all thou hast,
     Which will not always last:
    Make thou to-day divine!


XXX.


     Every hour a duty
    Brings thee from the courts on high.
     Every hour a beauty
    Waits her transit to the sky;
    Waits till thou adorn her
      With the glory of thy heart,
    Or until thou scorn her--
      Shall she with thy sin depart?


XXXI.


    If you seek in life success,
      Own yourself the instrument
    Which the Lord alone can bless,
      And the world as helper meant;
    Perseverance as your friend
      And experience your eyes,
    Onward press to reach your end,
      Resting not with any prize;
    Counting it a joy to lend
      Unto Him who sanctifies.


XXXII.


    That day is lost forever,
      Whose golden sun
    Beholds through thine endeavor
      No goodness done.


XXXIII.


    Count not thy life by heart-throbs;
      He thinks and lives the most
    Who with the noblest actions
      Adorns his chosen post.


XXXIV.


    The secret of the world,
    Although in light impearled,
    No one can e'er discover,
    No one--except a lover.
    To him are given new eyes
    In self's true sacrifice.


XXXV.


    If Love is blind
      And overlooks small things,
    He has a mind
      To apprehend all things.


XXXVI.


    As Love sails down life's river
    He from his gleaming quiver
      Shoots into every heart
      A strange and nameless smart.
    How is thy heart protected?
    The wound is unsuspected!


XXXVII.


    Dost thou truly love?
    Nothing hard can prove,
    All the stress and rigor
    Doth thy heart transfigure.


XXXVIII.


    Love is the key of joy
    Which keeps the man a boy
    When outward things decay
    And all his locks are gray.


XXXIX.


    Of Heaven below
      Which is so sweet to know,
    And Heaven above,
      The title-deed is love.


XL.


    Who is bravest
      Of my four friends?
    Thou that slavest,
      And self all spends;
    Thou that savest,
      And usest never;
    Thou that cravest,
      With no endeav-or,
    Thou that gavest,
      And hast forever?


XLI.


      _Numen
      Lumen,_
    I can do without praise,
      I can do without money:
    I have found other honey
     To sweeten my days;
    And the Kaiser may wear his gold crown
    While I on his splendor look down.


XLII.


     God thy Light!
     Then is Right
    Life's own polar star;
    All thy fortunes are
     Gifts that come from Him,
     Filling to the brim
    Life's great golden cup,
    And thy heart looks up!

XLIII.


    A debtor to hate,
     A debtor to money,
    Forever may wait
     And never have honey.
    A debtor to love
     And sweet benefaction,
    Hath treasures above,
     A heart's satisfaction.


XLIV.


    God is a liberal lender
     To those who use,
     But not abuse,
    And daily statements render;
    And here's the beauty of it--
    He lends again the profit!


XLV.


    Days of heroic will
    Which God and duty fill,
    Are evermore sublime
    Memorials of Time.
    That such thy days may be
    Is my best wish for thee.


XLVI.


    Self-sacrifice
    Finds Paradise;
    Hearts that rebel
    Are gates of Hell.
    Goals of all races
    Are these two places.


XLVII.


    The blushes of roses
    And all that reposes
    Sublime in a hero
    Affixed by his zero--
    Ah, _you_ will complete him,
    As soon as you meet him.


XLVIII.


    Maidens passing into naught,
    What a work by them is wrought!
     Not prefixes,
     But affixes
    On the better side of men--
    See! they multiply by ten.


XLIX.


    The golden key of life,
    True maiden crowned a wife.
    What then are toil and trouble,
    With strength to meet them, double?


L.


    True Heaven begins on earth
    Around a common hearth,
    Or in a humble heart--
    Thy faith means what thou art,
    And that which thou wouldst be;
    Thou makest it, it thee.


LI.


    No Heaven in Truth and Love?
    Then do not look above.

     Yet Truth and Love have wings,
     Although the highest things;
    Therewith to mount, dear friend,
     Is life that has no end.


LII.


    Art thou a mourner here?
    But One can give thee cheer:
    Affliction turns to grace
    Before the Master's face.


LIII.


    My friend, my troubled friend,
     If true, Love has not found you,
    Then I can comprehend
     That Duty has not bound you.


LIV.


    Love is the source of duty,
     The parent of all life,
    Which Heaven pronounces beauty,
     The crown of man and wife,
    Beginning and the end
    To hero, saint, and friend;
    An inspiration which
    Is so abundant, rich,
    That from the finger-tips
    And from the blooming lips,
    Yea, from the voiceful eyes,
    In questions and replies--
    From every simple action
    And hourly benefaction
    It pours itself away,
    A gladness day by day,
    Exhaustless as the sun,
    Work done and never done.
    And I have painted _you_,
    O maiden fair and true!


LV.


    The voice of God is love,
    As all who listen prove.
    Be thou assured of this,
    Or life's chief comfort miss.


LVI.


    "O is not love a marvel
    Which one can not unravel?
    Behold its _bitter_ fruit!
    Ah, _that_ kind does not suit."
    My friend, I'm not uncivil--
    _Self_ makes of love a _devil_,
    And it is love no more;
    _His_ guise love never wore,
    But Satan steals the guise
    Of love for foolish eyes--
    Therein the danger lies,
    But do not be too wise.
    Dost wait for perfect good
    In man or womanhood?
    Then thou must onward press
    In single blessedness,
    And find, perhaps too late,
    _Love dies without a mate_--
    Perhaps this better fate
    When love a banquet makes
    Which all the world partakes,
    Proved never out of date.


LVII.


    Prove all things--even love
    Thou must needs prove.
    But let the touch be fine
    That tests a thing divine.
    Yea, let the touch be tender;
    True love will answer render.


LVIII.


    'Tis Give-and-take,
     Not Take-and-give,
    That seeks to make
     Folk blessed live.
    Where is he now?
     Invisible.
    Yet on thy brow
     His name I spell.


LIX.


    Bear-and-forbear,
      To make folk blest,
    Seeks everywhere
      To be a guest.
    Angelic one,
      Who art so near,
    Thy will be done,
      Both now and here.


LX.


    Comes knowledge
    At college;
    Wisdom comes later,
    And is the greater.
    Art thou of both possessed?
    Then art thou richly blest.


LXI.


    What can I wish thee better
    Than that through all thy days,
    _The spirit, not the letter_,
    Invite thy blame or praise?
    Seek ever to unroll
    The substance or the soul;
    If that be fair and pure,
    It will, and must endure;
    And lo! the homely dress
    Grows into loveliness.


LXII.


    Into the heart of man
    The things that bless or ban;
    Out of the life he lives,
    The boon or curse he gives.
    Guard well thy open heart,
    What enters must depart.


LXIII.


    Is this--is _this_ thine album?
    'Tis nothing but a sign
    Of something more divine.
    _Thou_ art the real album,
    And on its wondrous pages
    Is writ thy daily wages.
    Thou canst not blot a word,
    Much less tear out a leaf.
    But all thy prayers are heard,
    And every pain and grief
    May be to thee as stairs
    To better things, until
    Thou reachest, unawares,
    The Master's mind and will.


LXIV.


    Seek thou for true friends,
    Aim thou at true ends,
    With God above them all;
    Then, as the shadows lengthen,
    Will thy endurance strengthen,
    With heaven thy coronal.


LXV.


    Ten thousand eyes of night,
    One Sovereign Eye above;
    Ten thousand rays of light,
    One central fire of Love.
    No eyes of night appear,
    God's Eye is never closed;
    No rays of light to cheer,
    For _self_ hath interposed.
    Yet Love's great fire is bright
    By day as well as night.


LXVI.


    O we remember
      In leafy June,
    And white December
      Love's gentle tune;
    For nevermore,
    On any shore,
    Is life the same
    As ere love came.


LXVII.


     And this is the day
    My child came down from heaven,
     And this is the way
    The sweetest kiss is given.


LXVIII.


    Thy natal day, my dear!
    Good heart, good words for cheer,
    And kisses now and here,
    With love through many a year!


LXIX.


    Earthly duty,
    Heavenly beauty.


LXX.


    Truth! her story
    Is God's glory;
    Her triumph on the earth,
    Man's heavenly birth.


LXXI.


    What's in a name?
     A symbol of reality,
    All human fame,
     And God's originality.


LXXII.


    Thou art so neat and trim,
     So modest and so wise,
     Such gladness in thine eyes,
    Thou art a prize--for him,
    And for the world, I think;
    So here thy health I drink,
    O mother Eve's fair daughter,
    In this good cup of water.


LXXIII.


     All, all thou art
     Is in thy heart;
    Thy mind is but a feeder,
    Thy heart alone the leader,


LXXIV.


    If you want a fellow.
    Not too ripe and mellow,
    Just a little green,
    Courteous, never mean,
    One who has a will
    For the steepest hill,
    And can rule a wife,
    Love her as his life,
    And from fortune's frown
    Weave a blessed crown,
    Then you want the best;
    Win him, and be blest.


LXXV.


    If you wish a dandy,
    Moustache curled and sandy,
    Just the thing for parties,
    Who, so trim and handy,
    Knows not where his heart is,
    Whether with your banker,
    Or for you it hanker,
    Why, then take the dude;
    Naught is void of good.


LXXVI.


    His faults are many--
    Hast thou not any?
    But how will the bundles mix?
    Is a question for Doctor Dix,
    For both were picked up at Ann Arbor.


LXXVII.


    I can not wish thee better
    In a world of many a sorrow,
    Than that thou be a debtor
    To only love and to-morrow.
    Then pain has little anguish,
    And life no time to languish,
    When debts are paid to Heaven,
    And grace sufficient for thee
    Thy daily strength has given;
    For all is bright before thee.


LXXVIII.



    Seek not for happiness,
      But just to do thy duty;
    And then will blessedness
      Impart her heavenly beauty.


LXXIX.


    Indulge no selfish ease,
      Each golden hour employ,
    Seek only God to please,
      And thou shalt life enjoy;
    Yea, thou shalt then please all,
    And blessings on thee fall.


LXXX.


    To use thy time discreetly,
    To show forbearance sweetly,
    To do thy duty neatly,
    To trust in God completely,
    Is good advice to give,
    And best of all to live.


LXXXI.


    If words are light as cloud foam,
      So too is mountain air;
    If in the air is beauty,
      So too may words be fair.
    If in the air contagion,
      Distemper words may bear.
    Our words are real things,
      And full of good or ill;
    The tongue that heals or stings,
      So needs the Master's will!


LXXXII.


    The world has many a fool,
    The schemer many a tool;
      A mirror shows them,
      The wise man knows them.
      Ten thousand disguises,
      Ten thousand surprises.
    In wisdom is detection,
    In righteousness protection.


LXXXIII.


    To do good to another
      Is thy self to well serve;
    And to succor thy brother
      For thyself is fresh nerve
    And new strength for the battle,
    In the dash and the rattle,
    When thy foes press thee hard,
    And thy all thou must guard.


LXXXIV.


    Canst show a finer touch,
      A grain of purer lore--
    "I could not love thee, dear, so much,
      Loved I not honor more?"


LXXXV.


    Frittered away,
      Grace to begin
    Duty to-day--
      Wages of sin!
    Truth out of sight,
      Falsehood crept in,
    Wrong put for right--
      Wages of sin.
    Self become god,
      Eager to win
    All at its nod--
      Wages of sin.
    Scorn of the seer,
      Vanity's grin,
    Darkness grown dear--
      Wages of sin.
    Trouble without,
      Canker within,
    Fear, hate, and doubt--
      Wages of sin.
    What is to be,
      All that has been,
    Shadows that flee--
      Wages of sin.
    Loss of the soul,
      Wrangle and din,
    Tragedy's dole--
      Wages of sin.
    Warning enough!
      (Mortals are kin)
    Ragged and rough
      Wages of sin!


LXXXVI.


    Words great to express Him,
      Revealer
      And Healer,
    By these ye confess Him.
    Enough, this beginning?
      Before ye
      The glory
    Known only in winning.
    In deed-bearing Duty
      Behold Him,
      Enfold Him,
    The King in his Beauty;
    Until ye discover
      How meetly,
      How sweetly
    He rules as a Lover!
    And then will confession,
      O new men,
      Now true men,
    Be one with possession.


LXXXVII.


    O wouldst thou know
      The rarity
      Of Charity?
    Thyself forego!
    Then will the field,
      To God inviting,
      To man requiting,
    Sweet harvest yield.


LXXXVIII.


    In consecration
      To single-hearted toil
    Is animation,
      Yea, life's true wine and oil;
    And that vocation
      Which heart and mind secures
    Hath consolation
      That verily endures.


LXXXIX.


    To fast and pray
    The live-long day
      Is preparation--
    O doubt it not!
    For some high lot,
    But in thy deed,
    Not in thy creed,
      Is consummation.


XC.


    It is the cheerful heart
      That finds the key of gold,
    The bravely-acted part
      Which gets the grip and hold.
    And opens wide the door
      Where treasures are unrolled
    Thine eager eyes before.
    Then life is evermore
    A strife for wealth untold.
    God keep thee true and bold!


XCI.


    Sometimes our failures here
      Are God's successes;
    And things that seemed so drear
      His sweet caresses.
    It is our Father's hand
      That gives our wages,
    Before us many a land
      And all the ages.
    And shall we forfeit hope
     Because the fountains
    Are up the mighty slope
     Of yonder mountains?


XCII.


    The storm is raging.
     The sun is shining,
    And both presaging
     Some true refining;
    Through them are passing
     The hosts forever,
    All wealth amassing
     Through brave endeavor.


XCIII.


    O trees, rejoicing trees,
     Along my path to-day
    I hear your quiet melodies,
     And care all charmed away,
      I catch your mood,
      Dear forest brotherhood.

    O trees, rejoicing trees,
     Arrayed in springtide dress,
    How full ye are of prophecies
     Of everlastingness!
      I find a balm
      In your rejoicing psalm.

    O trees, rejoicing trees,
     In living green so grand,
    Like saints with grateful memories,
     Ye bless the Father's hand;
      Which stripped you bare
      To make you now so fair.

    O trees, rejoicing trees,
     Who have another birth,
    Through you my bounding spirit sees
     The day beyond the earth,
      Eternity
      So calm, so fair, so free.

    O trees, rejoicing trees,
     Dear children of the Lord,
    I thank you for the ministries
     Which ye to me accord;
      New life and light
      Burst from my wintry night!

    O friend, rejoicing friend,
     A better poem thou
    To hint the joys that have no end
     Through gladness here and now.
      Be thou to me
      Perpetual prophecy!


XCIV.


    The battle is set,
     The field to be won;
    What foes have you met,
     What work have you done?
    To courage alone
     Does victory come;
    To coward and drone
     Nor country nor home!


XCV.


    For thee, of blessed name,
    I ask not wealth or fame,
    Nor that thy path may be
    From toil and trouble free;
    For toil is everywhere,
    Some trouble all must bear,
    And wealth and fame are naught,
    With better stuff unwrought--
    I crave for thy dear heart
    Eternal Duty's part.
    For then indeed I know
    Thy pathway here below
    Will bloom with roses fair,
    And beauty everywhere;
    And this will be enough
    When winds are wild and rough,
    To keep thy heart in peace.


XCVI


    All things to-day have voices,
    To tell the joy of heaven,
    Which unto earth is given;
    This Winter flower rejoices,
    This snowy hellebore
    Which blooms for evermore
    On merry Christmas Day,
    Reminding us of One
    Here born a Virgin's Son,
    To take our sins away.
    The death its leaves within
    Is but the death of sin;
    Which death to die was born
    The pure and guiltless Child
    Who Justice reconciled
    And oped the gates of morn,
    What time a crimson flame
    Throughout a word of shame
    Did purge away the dross,
    And leave the blood-red gold,
    Whose worth can not be told,
    He purchased on the cross!
    And thus a prophecy
    Of Him on Calvary,
    Who takes our sins away,
    Is this fair snow-white flower
    Which has of death the power,
    And blooms on Christmas Day.


XCVII.


    True friendship writes thee here
      A birthday souvenir:
    All blessings on thee, dear,
      For this and many a year!


XCVIII.


    A myth that grew within the brain
      Relates that Eden's bowers
    Did not, 'mid all their wealth, contain
      The glory of the flowers;

    Because there were no opened eyes
      To take that glory in,
    The sweet and innocent surprise
      Which looks rebuke to sin;

    For Love, and Innocence, and Truth
      There made their dwelling-place,
    Than which fair three immortal Youth
      Required no other grace.

    But when through sin the happy seat
      Was lost to wretched man,
    Our Lord, redeeming love to meet,
      Redeeming work began:

    The flowers, which have a language now,
      Shall deck the weary earth,
    And, while men 'neath their burdens bow,
      Remind them of their birth;

    And, with their vernal beauty rife,
      To all the Gospel preach,
    The Resurrection and the Life,
      In sweet, persuasive speech.


XCIX.


    Reader! if thou hast found
    Thy life to reach and sound,
    Some thought among these rhymes,
    My school of rhymes and chimes,
    _Then this, I pray thee, con:_
    Somewhat to feed upon
    It has--a kind of lunch,
    Served with Olympian punch,
    To brace thee every night,
    And make thy mornings bright--
    Complines at even-song
    To make thee brave and strong:


SUNDAY NIGHT.


    Thou, Father, givest sleep
    So calm, so sweet, so deep;
    And all Thy children share
    Thy goodness everywhere,
    And to Thy likeness grow
    Who love to others show.
    Grant me more love, I pray,
    Than I have shown to-day.
    O Father, Son, and Dove,
    Dear Trinity of Love,
    Hear Thou my even-song
    And keep me brave and strong.


MONDAY NIGHT.


    Before I go to sleep,
    That I in joy may reap,
    Lord, take the tares away
    Which I have sown to-day,
    Productive make the wheat,
    For Thine own garner meet,
    And give me grace to-morrow
    To sow no seeds of sorrow.
    O Father, Son, and Dove,
    Dear Trinity of Love,
    Hear Thou my even-song
    And keep me brave and strong.


TUESDAY NIGHT.


    While I am wrapped in sleep,
    And others watch and weep,
    Dear Lord, remember them,
    Their flood of sorrow stem,
    Take all their grief away,
    Turn Thou their night to day,
    Until in Thee they rest
    Who art of friends the best.
    O Father, Son, and Dove,
    Dear Trinity of Love,
    Hear Thou my even-song
    And keep me brave and strong.


WEDNESDAY NIGHT.


    Night is for prayer and sleep!
    Behind the western steep
    Now has the sun gone down
    With his great golden crown.
    O Sun of Righteousness,
    Arise! Thy children bless;
    With healing in thy wings
    Cure all our evil things.
    O Father, Son, and Dove,
    Dear Trinity of Love,
    Hear Thou my even-song
    And keep me brave and strong.


THURSDAY NIGHT.


    While I am safe asleep,
    Good Shepherd of the sheep,
    If some poor lamb of Thine
    Stray from the Fold Divine
    Into the desert night,
    In the sweet morning light,
    Choose me to bring it thence
    Through Thy dear providence.
    O Father, Son, and Dove,
    Dear Trinity of Love,
    Hear Thou my even-song
    And keep me brave and strong.


FRIDAY NIGHT.


    That I may sweetly sleep,
    Thy child, O Father, keep
    To wake and love thee more
    Than I have done before.
    And do Thou prosper all
    Who on Thy goodness call,
    And take their sins away
    Who have not learned to pray.
    O Father, Son, and Dove,
    Dear Trinity of Love,
    Hear Thou my even-song
    And keep me brave and strong.


SATURDAY NIGHT.


    If death upon me creep
    While I in darkness sleep,
    Dear Lord! whose time is best,
    Be Thou my bed and rest!
    Then at Thy smile of light
    Will my dark cell grow bright,
    And angel-sentinels
    Ring the sweet morning bells.
    O Father, Son, and Dove,
    Dear Trinity of Love,
    Hear Thou my even-song
    And keep me brave and strong.


C.


    There is no bitterness
     Without some lump of sweet;
    Without some blessedness
     There is no sad defeat.

    And there is no confusion
     Without some order fair,
    No infinite diffusion
     But unity is there.

    The goodness of the Lord
     Is round about us here;
    Beholding it reward
     To fill the heart with cheer.

    All things are ever tending
     To some divine event,
    The sweet and bitter blending
     With some divine intent.

    All things are ever tending
     To some divine event,
    The sweet to have no ending--
     Avaunt! O Discontent.

    Brave men and women all,
     How are we comforted
    With honey out of gall,
     Served with our daily bread!

FINIS.

       *       *       *       *       *



Footnote 1: The way of the cross the way of light.

Footnote 2: O Liberty! how they have counterfeited thee!

It is generally understood, however, that her last words were: _O
Liberté! que de crimes on commet en ton nom!_ (O Liberty! what crimes
are committed in thy name!)





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