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Title: The Creed of the Old South 1865-1915
Author: Gildersleeve, Basil L. (Basil Lanneau), 1831-1924
Language: English
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[Transcriber's note: Greek text has been transliterated.]


THE CREED OF THE OLD SOUTH
1865-1915

BY BASIL L. GILDERSLEEVE


BALTIMORE
THE JOHNS HOPKINS PRESS
1915


COPYRIGHT, 1915,
BY
THE JOHNS HOPKINS PRESS


[Illustration: The Author 1865]

[Illustration: The Author 1915]



PREFACE


In the last score of years I have often been urged by friends and
sympathizers to bring out as a separate issue my article, The Creed of
the Old South, which appeared in the Atlantic Monthly of January, 1892,
and which attracted wider attention than anything I have ever written.
As this is the jubilee of the great year 1865, the memories of that
distant time come thronging back to the actors in the momentous
struggle, and I am prompted to publish in more accessible form my record
of views and impressions that may seem strange even to the survivors of
the conflict, now rapidly passing away. To this paper I have added an
essay on a cognate theme--A Southerner in the Peloponnesian War--which
was published in the Atlantic Monthly of September, 1897, and which has
been accepted by the eminent historian, Mr. Rhodes, as an historical
document. These specimens of what I call my Sargasso work ("Weeds from
Mifflin Company. A few slips of pen and type have been corrected, and a
few notes out of the mass of literature evoked by the first essay, or
akin to it, have been added for the benefit of the third generation.

[Illustration: signature of Basil L. Gildersleeve]

THE JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY,
         JUNE, 1915.



THE CREED OF THE OLD SOUTH


[Note: This article was prepared (in 1891) at the instance of Mr. HORACE
SCUDDER, the editor of the Atlantic Monthly, who had projected a series
of papers to be written by men who by virtue of education, intellectual
endowment and social position were supposed to be high and lifted up
above vulgar passion and prejudice. The business of these elect
gentlemen was to set forth the motives that urged them to an active
participation in so rude an affair as war. After publication in the
Atlantic, the essays were to be gathered into a book and Mr. SCUDDER
fancied that thus collected they would prove a valuable addition to the
history of the times. The series stopped at the third number and the
book was never published. Whilst I did not concur in Mr. SCUDDER'S view,
I accepted the compliment and began to write with a lighter heart than I
bore as I went on. At the end I was dipping my pen into something red,
into something briny, that was not ink. The feeling seems to have been
contagious, for some years afterwards (1899) Mr. WILLIAM ARCHER, in his
America To-day (p. 142), wrote as follows:

"I met a scholar-soldier in the South who had given expression to the
sentiment of his race and generation in an essay--one might almost say
an elegy--so chivalrous in spirit and so fine in literary form that it
moved me well-nigh to tears. Reading it at a public library, I found
myself so visibly affected by it that my neighbor at the desk glanced at
me in surprise, and I had to pull myself sharply together."]

A few months ago, as I was leaving Baltimore for a summer sojourn on the
coast of Maine, two old soldiers of the war between the States took
their seats immediately behind me in the car, and began a lively
conversation about the various battles in which they had faced each
other more than a quarter of a century ago, when a trip to New England
would have been no holiday jaunt for one of their fellow-travellers. The
veterans went into the minute detail that always puts me to shame, when
I think how poor an account I should give, if pressed to describe the
military movements that I have happened to witness; and I may as well
acknowledge at the outset that I have as little aptitude for the
soldier's trade as I have for the romancer's. Single incidents I
remember as if they were of yesterday. Single pictures have burned
themselves into my brain. But I have no vocation to tell how fields
were lost and won; and my experience of military life was too brief and
desultory to be of any value to the historian of the war. For my own
life that experience has been of the utmost significance, and despite
the heavy price I have had to pay for my outings, despite the daily
reminder of five long months of intense suffering, I have no regrets. An
able-bodied young man, with a long vacation at his disposal, could not
have done otherwise, and the right to teach Southern youth for nine
months was earned by sharing the fortunes of their fathers and brothers
at the front for three. Self-respect is everything; and it is something
to have belonged in deed and in truth to an heroic generation, to have
shared in a measure its perils and privations. But that heroic
generation is apt to be a bore to a generation whose heroism is of a
different type, and I doubt whether the young people in our car took
much interest in the very audible conversation of the two veterans.
Twenty-five years hence, when the survivors will be curiosities, as
were Revolutionary pensioners in my childhood, there may be a renewal of
interest. As it is, few of the present generation pore over The Battles
and Leaders of the Civil War, and a grizzled old Confederate has been
heard to declare that he intended to bequeath his copy of that valuable
work to some one outside of the family, so provoked was he at the
supineness of his children. And yet, for the truth's sake, all these
battles must be fought over and over again, until the account is
cleared, and until justice is done to the valor and skill of both sides.

[Note: I had a similar experience some years after I wrote this paper,
when I was spending the summer at Westport on Lake Champlain. Wandering
far enough off into the country to lose myself--for me no unfamiliar
feat--I joined a man who was driving his cows to town and in my talk
with him it turned out that he had been through the Valley campaign on
the other side, and together we recalled encounters and scenes that were
not recorded in the histories, insignificant skirmishes--significant
enough to those who were killed and maimed. Who remembers the little
brush at Weyer's Cave, where the Confederates came near bagging General
Merritt? I have not been allowed to forget it these fifty years.]

The two old soldiers were talking amicably enough, as all old soldiers
do, but they "yarned," as all old soldiers do, and though they talked
from Baltimore to Philadelphia, and from Philadelphia to New York, their
conversation was lost on me, for my thoughts went back into my own past,
and two pictures came up to me from the time of the war.

[Note: Apropos of this passage my friend and classmate of the Princeton
days, Gen. BRADLEY T. JOHNSON, told me that one hot day riding to meet a
fight that would make the day still hotter, he stopped at a roadside
cabin and asked for a drink of water. The woman who brought it, brought
it in a broken and cracked mug, and he assured me that every
ramification of those cracks was indelibly impressed on his brain. He
could have drawn a map of the mug. Experiences like these help us to
understand the details of the Homeric narrative, and to me there is
nothing unnatural in Homer's mention of the washing troughs that Hector
saw as he fled before the face of Achilles (Il. 22, 154 foll.).]

[Note: The fight under EARLY, to which I refer, was fought July 24,
1864. It was a brilliant feat of arms and has left other memories than
those recorded. As A. D. C. to General GORDON I gave General TERRY, one
of the brigade commanders, the order to advance, and I still hear the
cry of one of the men who had been in a disastrous affair a few weeks
before--the fight in which Gen. W. E. JONES fell. "This hain't no New
Hope, Gineral." I still see the light of battle on the faces of the men
as they went forward. My blood tingles as I write.]

In the midsummer of 1863 I was serving as a private in the First
Virginia Cavalry. Gettysburg was in the past, and there was not much
fighting to be done, but the cavalry was not wholly idle. Raids had to
be intercepted, and the enemy was not to be allowed to vaunt himself too
much; so that I gained some experience of the hardships of that arm of
the service, and found out by practical participation what is meant by a
cavalry charge. To a looker-on nothing can be finer. To the one who
charges, or is supposed to charge,--for the horse seemed to me mainly
responsible,--the details are somewhat cumbrous. Now in one of these
charges some of us captured a number of the opposing force, among them a
young lieutenant. Why this particular capture should have impressed me
so I cannot tell, but memory is a tricky thing. A large red fox scared
up from his lair by the fight at Castleman's Ferry stood for a moment
looking at me; and I shall never forget the stare of that red fox. At
one of our fights near Kernstown a spent bullet struck a horse on the
side of his nose, which happened to be white, and left a perfect imprint
of itself; and the jerk of the horse's head and the outline of the
bullet are present to me still. The explosion of a particular caisson,
the shriek of a special shell, will ring in one's ears for life. A
captured lieutenant was no novelty, and yet this captured lieutenant
caught my eye and held it. A handsomer young fellow, a more
noble-looking, I never beheld among Federals or Confederates, as he
stood there, bare-headed, among his captors, erect and silent. His eyes
were full of fire, his lips showed a slight quiver of scorn, and his
hair seemed to tighten its curls in defiance. Doubtless I had seen as
fine specimens of young manhood before, but if so, I had seen without
looking, and this man was evidently what we called a gentleman.

[Note: "Deboshed" is a reminiscence of an essay of LOWELL'S on
Reconstruction, in which he makes light of Southern claims to
aristocracy.]

Southern men were proud of being gentlemen, although they have been told
in every conceivable tone that it was a foolish pride,--foolish in
itself, foolish in that it did not have the heraldic backing that was
claimed for it; the utmost concession being that a number of "deboshed"
younger sons of decayed gentry had been shipped to Virginia in the early
settlement of that colony. But the very pride played its part in making
us what we were proud of being, and whether descendants of the aforesaid
"deboshed," of simple English yeomen, of plain Scotch-Irish
Presbyterians, a sturdy stock, of Huguenots of various ranks of life, we
all held to the same standard, and showed, as was thought, undue
exclusiveness on this subject. But this prisoner was the embodiment of
the best type of Northern youth, with a spirit as high, as resolute, as
could be found in the ranks of Southern gentlemen; and though in theory
all enlightened Southerners recognized the high qualities of some of our
opponents, this one noble figure in "flesh and blood" was better
calculated to inspire respect for "those people," as we had learned to
call our adversaries, than many pages of "gray theory."

[Note: General LEE always referred to the enemy as "those people." JOHN
S. WISE, Atlantic Monthly, April, 1894. WISE is one ear-witness among
many, and I thought of General LEE, as well as of Dante, when I wrote in
my Introductory Essay to Pindar, xxxviii:


     A word, an epithet, and the picture is there, drawn with a stroke.
     In the second Olympian P. is telling of the blessedness of the
     souls that have overcome. When he comes to the damned, he calls
     them simply "those."--_Non ragioniam di lor._]


[Note: Lieut. Gen. JOHN B. GORDON, Reminiscences, p. 422. Perhaps I may
be pardoned for adding that when I read the passage in which mention is
made of my service on his staff, I wrote to my chief, whose own bearing
on the battlefield was an inspiration, that no tribute to my Greek
scholarship I had received or could receive would ever be more
cherished, if so much; and I cited the famous epitaph inscribed on the
tomb of Aeschylus at Gela. No mention is made of his great tragedies. It
is simply recorded that Aeschylus had quitted himself like a man in the
Persian war.

[Greek: alkên d' eudokimon Marathônion alsos an eipoi kai bathychaitêeis
Mêdos epistamenos.]

In these Notes I am furnishing a key to the persons referred to in the
article. There is a Confederate graveyard near my old home, the
University of Virginia, in which hundreds of those who fell on the field
or perished in the hospital, were laid to rest. At first a rude
headboard marked each grave with the name, the company, the regiment, to
be replaced, it was thought, by some more substantial monument at the
end of the war; but the end of the war brought the consciousness of dire
poverty that could hardly furnish food for the living, and so it was
sadly resolved rather than leave these ghastly and decaying reminders of
individual suffering and sacrifice to level the whole field and sow it
in grass, but not until a pious soul, an English artist who bore the
un-English name of SCHARF, had recorded each name and the place of
burial on an elaborate plat. Still I cannot forbear to contribute my
rude shingle here and there to the memory of my comrades. The
staff-officer mentioned here was GEORGE H. WILLIAMSON, of Maryland. Two
years before I made his acquaintance Mr. _William M. Blackford_, of
Lynchburg, wrote in his diary, since privately printed, under the date
July 25, 1862: Williamson, an interesting man, educated at Harvard and
abroad, was a rising lawyer in Baltimore when the war broke out and he
enlisted as a private in a Maryland regiment.]

[Note: A revival of religion to counterbalance, as it were, the revival
of brutality, is a recurring phenomenon of great wars. The tide of
skepticism in Greece was checked by the Persian War, and even to-day the
French army shews a return to the Man of Sorrows, whose effigy had been
removed from all public buildings.]

A little more than a year afterwards, in Early's Valley campaign,--a
rude school of warfare,--I was serving as a volunteer aide on General
Gordon's staff. The day before the disaster of Fisher's Hill I was
ordered, together with another staff officer, to accompany the general
on a ride to the front. The general had a well-known weakness for
inspecting the outposts,--a weakness that made a position in his suite
somewhat precarious. The officer with whom I was riding had not been
with us long, and when he joined the staff had just recovered from
wounds and imprisonment. A man of winning appearance, sweet temper, and
attractive manners, he soon made friends of the military family, and I
never learned to love a man so much in so brief an acquaintance, though
hearts knit quickly in the stress of war. He was highly educated, and
foreign residence and travel had widened his vision without affecting
the simple faith and thorough consecration of the Christian. Here let me
say that the bearing of the Confederates is not to be understood without
taking into account the deep religious feeling of the army and its great
leaders. It is an historical element, like any other, and is not to be
passed over in summing up the forces of the conflict. "A soldier without
religion," says a Prussian officer, who knew our army as well as the
German, "is an instrument without value"; and it is not unlikely that
the knowledge of the part that faith played in sustaining the Southern
people may have lent emphasis to the expression of his conviction.

We rode together towards the front, and as we rode our talk fell on
Goethe and on Faust, and of all passages the soldiers' song came up to
my lips,--the song of soldiers of fortune, not the chant of men whose
business it was to defend their country. Two lines, however, were
significant:--


     Kühn ist das Mühen,
     Herrlich der Lohn.


We reached the front. An occasional "zip" gave warning that the
sharpshooters were not asleep, and the quick eye of the general saw that
our line needed rectification and how. Brief orders were given to the
officer in command. My comrade was left to aid in carrying them out. The
rest of us withdrew. Scarcely had we ridden a hundred yards towards camp
when a shout was heard, and, turning round, we saw one of the men
running after us. "The captain had been killed." The peace of heaven was
on his face, as I gazed on the noble features that afternoon. The bullet
had passed through his official papers and found his heart. He had
received his discharge, and the glorious reward had been won.

This is the other picture that the talk of the two old soldiers called
up,--dead Confederate against living Federal; and these two pictures
stand out before me again, as I am trying to make others understand and
to understand myself what it was to be a Southern man twenty-five years
ago; what it was to accept with the whole heart the creed of the Old
South. The image of the living Federal bids me refrain from harsh words
in the presence of those who were my captors. The dead Confederate bids
me uncover the sacred memories that the dust of life's Appian Way hides
from the tenderest and truest of those whose business it is to live and
work. For my dead comrade of the Valley campaign is one of many; some
of them my friends, some of them my pupils as well. The 18th of July,
1861, laid low one of my Princeton College room-mates; on the 21st, the
day of the great battle, the other fell,--both bearers of historic
names, both upholding the cause of their State with as unclouded a
conscience as any saint in the martyrology ever wore; and from that day
to the end, great battle and outpost skirmish brought me, week by week,
a personal loss in men of the same type.

[Note: The Princeton College room-mate who fell on the 18th of July was
JAMES KENDALL LEE, a distant relative of the great soldier; the other
was PEYTON RANDOLPH HARRISON, of Martinsburg (W.) Va., representative of
the oldest families in the old state. His brother, DABNEY CARR HARRISON
(Princeton, '48), another close friend, took service in the Confederate
army, first as chaplain, then as captain of a company, and was killed at
Fort Donelson which, as I painfully remember, was at first reported as a
Confederate victory.]

The surrender of the Spartans on the island of Sphacteria was a surprise
to friend and foe alike; and the severe historian of the Peloponnesian
war pauses to record the answer of a Spartan to the jeering question of
one of the allies of the Athenians,--a question which implied that the
only brave Spartans were those who had been slain. The answer was tipped
with Spartan wit; the only thing Spartan, as some one has said, in the
whole un-Spartan affair. "The arrow," said he, "would be of great price
if it distinguished the brave men from the cowards." But it did seem to
us, in our passionate grief, that the remorseless bullet, the
remorseless shell, had picked out the bravest and the purest. It is an
old cry,--


     Ja, der Krieg verschlingt die Besten.


Still, when Schiller says in the poem just quoted,


     Ohne Wahl vertheilt die Gaben,
     Ohne Billigkeit das Glück,
     Denn Patroklus liegt begraben
     Und Thersites kommt zurück,


his illustration is only half right. The Greek Thersites did not return
to claim a pension.

[Note: Thersites--strange that Schiller in his Siegeslied should have
forgotten it--never lived to return. According to the Scholia Vetera on
Lycophron, 999, this monkey-shaped ([Greek: pithêkomorphos]) creature
was slain by Achilles for gouging out the eyes of Penthesilea's maid,
with whom Achilles had fallen in love. A better point was made by Ovid,
that master of points (Am. 2, 6, 41): _Tristia Phylacidae Thersites
funera vidit._]

[Note: The French artist was GUILLAUME, who came to this country shortly
before the war. In the picture to which I refer, General LEE was the
main figure. GUILLAUME'S picture of the Surrender at Appomattox bore
evidence of minute study of every detail of that historic event.]

Of course, what was to all true Confederates beyond a question "a holy
cause," "the holiest of causes," this fight in defence of "the sacred
soil" of our native land, was to the other side "a wicked rebellion" and
"damnable treason," and both parties to the quarrel were not sparing of
epithets which, at this distance of time, may seem to our children
unnecessarily undignified; and no doubt some of these _epitheta
ornantia_ continue to flourish in remote regions, just as pictorial
representations of Yankees and rebels in all their respective
fiendishness are still cherished here and there. At the Centennial
Exposition of 1876, by way of conciliating the sections, the place of
honour in the "Art Annex," was given to Rothermel's painting of the
battle of Gettysburg, in which the face of every dying Union soldier is
lighted up with a celestial smile, while guilt and despair are stamped
on the wan countenances of the moribund rebels. At least such is my
recollection of the painting; and I hope that I may be pardoned for the
malicious pleasure I felt when I was informed of the high price that the
State of Pennsylvania had paid for that work of art. The dominant
feeling was amusement, not indignation. But as I looked at it I recalled
another picture of a battle-scene, painted by a friend of mine, a French
artist, who had watched our life with an artist's eye. One of the
figures in the foreground was a dead Confederate boy, lying in the angle
of a worm fence. His uniform was worn and ragged, mud-stained as well as
blood-stained; the cap which had fallen from his head was a tatter, and
the torn shoes were ready to drop from his stiffening feet; but in a
buttonhole of his tunic was stuck the inevitable toothbrush, which
continued even to the end of the war to be the distinguishing mark of
gentle nurture,--the souvenir that the Confederate so often received
from fair sympathizers in border towns. I am not a realist, but I would
not exchange that homely toothbrush in the Confederate's buttonhole for
the most angelic smile that Rothermel's brush could have conjured up.

[Note: The toothbrush was a badge of culture on both sides, as the
following passage shows:

"'Light marching order' implies that a soldier may carry upon his person
only a few of the more obvious necessities of life and no luxuries save
tobacco. But a soldier must be clad even to sixty rounds of ball
cartridge. Small wonder is it then, if only the lightest toothbrush
drawn through the buttonhole of his blouse must suffice as an epitome of
the refinements of life. Many of the victories of our adversaries were
fairly attributed to the scantier attire and lighter marching order of
the men."--Atlantic Monthly, May, 1893, p. 214.]

[Note: DAVID RAMSAY, grandson of the historian and biographer of
Washington of the same name, my fellow-student at Göttingen in 1852,
fell after heroic services at Battery Wagner in 1863. What the state,
what the country lost in the promise of that rare man, this is not the
place to rehearse. Scholar, wit, embodiment of all the inherited social
graces of what we once called "the better days," delightful companion,
devoted and generous friend, he is still in memory part of my life.]

Now I make no doubt that most of the readers of The Atlantic have got
beyond the Rothermel stage, and yet I am not certain that all of them
appreciate the entire clearness of conscience with which we of the South
went into the war. A new patriotism is one of the results of the great
conflict, and the power of local patriotism is no longer felt to the
same degree. In one of his recent deliverances Mr. Carnegie, a canny
Scot who has constituted himself the representative of American
patriotism, says, "The citizen of the republic to-day is prouder of
being an American than he is of being a native of any State in the
country." What it is to be a native of any State in the country,
especially an old State with an ancient and honorable history, is
something that Mr. Carnegie cannot possibly understand. But the "to-day"
is superfluous. The Union was a word of power in 1861 as it is in 1891.
Before the secession of Virginia a Virginian Breckinridge asked: "If
exiled in a foreign land, would the heart turn back to Virginia, or
South Carolina, or New York, or to any one State as the cherished home
of its pride? No. We would remember only that we were Americans." Surely
this seems quite as patriotic as Mr. Carnegie's utterance; and yet, to
the native Virginian just quoted, so much stronger was the State than
the central government that, a few weeks after this bold speech, he went
into the war, and finally perished in the war. "A Union man," says his
biographer, "fighting for the rights of his old mother, Virginia." And
there were many men of his mind, noted generals, valiant soldiers. The
University Memorial, which records the names and lives of the alumni of
the University of Virginia who fell in the Confederate war, two hundred
in number,--this volume, full "of memories and of sighs" to every
Southern man of my age, lies open before me as I write, and some of the
noblest men who figure in its pages were Union men; and the Memorial of
the Virginia Military Institute tells the same story with the same
eloquence. The State was imperilled, and parties disappeared; and of the
combatants in the field, some of the bravest and the most conspicuous
belonged to those whose love of the old Union was warm and strong, to
whom the severance of the tie that bound the States together was a
personal grief. But even those who prophesied the worst, who predicted a
long and bloody struggle and a doubtful result, had no question about
the duty of the citizen; shared the common burden and submitted to the
individual sacrifice as readily as the veriest fire-eater,--nay, as they
claimed, more readily. The most intimate friend I ever had, who fell
after heroic services, was known by all our circle to be utterly at
variance with the prevalent Southern view of the quarrel, and died
upholding a right which was not a right to him except so far as the
mandate of his State made it a right; and while he would have preferred
to see "the old flag" floating over a united people, he restored the new
banner to its place time after time when it had been cut down by shot
and shell.

[Note: For Pericles' budget, see Thuc. 2, 13.

Thuc. 1, 141: [Greek: tên autên dynatai doulôsin hê te megistê kai
elachistê dikaiôsis apo tôn homoiôn pro dikês tois pelas epitassomenê.]]

Those who were bred in the opposite political faith, who read their
right of withdrawal in the Constitution, had less heart-searching to
begin with than the Union men of the South; but when the State called
there were no parties, and the only trace of the old difference was a
certain rivalry which should do the better fighting. This ready response
to the call of the State showed very clearly that, despite varying
theories of government, the people of the Southern States were
practically of one mind as to the seat of the paramount obligation.
Adherence to the Union was a matter of sentiment, a matter of interest.
The arguments urged on the South against secession were addressed to
the memories of the glorious struggle for independence, to the
anticipation of the glorious future that awaited the united country, to
the difficulties and the burdens of a separate life. Especial stress was
laid on the last argument; and the expense of a separate government, of
a standing army, was set forth in appalling figures. A Northern student
of the war once said to me, "If the Southern people had been of a
statistical turn, there would have been no secession, there would have
been no war." But there were men enough of a statistical turn in the
South to warn the people against the enormous expense of independence,
just as there are men enough of a statistical turn in Italy to remind
the Italians of the enormous cost of national unity. "Counting the cost"
is in things temporal the only wise course, as in the building of a
tower; but there are times in the life of an individual, of a people,
when the things that are eternal force themselves into the calculation,
and the abacus is nowhere. "Neither count I my life dear unto myself"
is a sentiment that does not enter into the domain of statistics. The
great Athenian statesman who saw the necessity of the Peloponnesian war
was not above statistics, as he showed when he passed in review the
resources of the Athenian empire, the tribute from the allies, the
treasure laid up in the House of the Virgin. But when he addressed the
people in justification of the war, he based his argument, not on a
calculation of material resources, but on a simple principle of right.
Submission to any encroachment, the least as well as the greatest, on
the rights of a State means slavery. To us submission meant slavery, as
it did to Pericles and the Athenians; as it did to the great historian
of Greece, who had learned this lesson from the Peloponnesian war, and
who took sides with the Southern States, to the great dismay of his
fellow-radicals, who could not see, as George Grote saw, the real point
at issue in the controversy. Submission is slavery, and the bitterest
taunt in the vocabulary of those who advocated secession was
"submissionist." But where does submission begin? Who is to mark the
point of encroachment? That is a matter which must be decided by the
sovereign; and on the theory that the States are sovereign, each State
must be the judge. The extreme Southern States considered their rights
menaced by the issue of the presidential election. Virginia and the
Border States were more deliberate; and Virginia's "pausing" was the
theme of much mockery in the State and out of it, from friend and from
foe alike. Her love of peace, her love of the Union, were set down now
to cowardice, now to cunning. The Mother of States and Queller of
Tyrants was caricatured as Mrs. Facing-both-ways; and the great
commonwealth that even Mr. Lodge's statistics cannot displace from her
leadership in the history of the country was charged with trading on her
neutrality. Her solemn protest was unheeded. The "serried phalanx of her
gallant sons" that should "prevent the passage of the United States
forces" was an expression that amused Northern critics of style as a bit
of antiquated Southern rodomontade. But the call for troops showed that
the rodomontade meant something. Virginia had made her decision; and if
the United States forces did not find a serried phalanx barring their
way,--a serried phalanx is somewhat out of date,--they found something
that answered the purpose as well.

[Note: The friend was the late A. MARSHALL ELLIOTT, Professor of Romance
Languages in the Johns Hopkins, whose life of study was matched by a
life of adventure.]

The war began, the war went on. Passion was roused to fever heat. Both
sides "saw red," that physiological condition which to a Frenchman
excuses everything. The proverbial good humor of the American people did
not, it is true, desert the country, and the Southern men who were in
the field, as they were much happier than those who stayed at home, if I
may judge by my own experience, were often merry enough by the camp
fire, and exchanged rough jests with the enemy's pickets. But the
invaded people were very much in earnest, however lightly some of their
adversaries treated the matter, and as the pressure of the war grew
tighter the more sombre did life become. A friend of mine, describing
the crowd that besieged the Gare de Lyon in Paris, when the circle of
fire was drawing round the city, and foreigners were hastening to
escape, told me that the press was so great that he could touch in every
direction those who had been crushed to death as they stood, and had not
had room to fall. Not wholly unlike this was the pressure brought to
bear on the Confederacy. It was only necessary to put out your hand and
you touched a corpse; and that not an alien corpse, but the corpse of a
brother or a friend. Every Southern man becomes grave when he thinks of
that terrible stretch of time, partly, it is true, because life was
nobler, but chiefly because of the memories of sorrow and suffering. A
professional Southern humorist once undertook to write in dialect a
Comic History of the War, but his heart failed him, as his public would
have failed him, and the serial lived only for a number or two.

[Note: Those who suffered in Sherman's March to the Sea--I was riveted
to my bed at the time--were not, are not so philosophic. See the
narrative in BRADLEY JOHNSON'S Life of Joseph E. Johnston. Nor was I so
philosophical when I followed the raiders of 1863, nor when I saw the
fires that lighted up the Valley of Virginia in 1864, and that was
before the systematic devastation recorded by MERRITT, who carried it
out. "When our army," says MERRITT (Battles and Leaders, 4, 512),
"commenced its return march, the cavalry was deployed across the Valley,
burning, destroying or taking nearly everything of value, or likely to
be of value to the enemy. It was a severe measure, and appears severer
now in the lapse of time, but it was necessary as a measure of war." The
plea of 1864 was the same as the plea of 1914. In a vivid sketch of
Sherman's March, Prof. HENRY E. SHEPHERD, whose North Carolina home,
Fayetteville, lay in the track of the invaders (Battles and Leaders, 4,
678) winds up by saying that the portrayal of it "baffles all the
resources of literary art and the affluence even of our English speech,"
and those who know Professor SHEPHERD'S resources and affluence will
recognize the desperate nature of the task. As for the Valley, I have
before me a protest against the erection of a monument to Sheridan, in
which the writer gives an itemized account of the havoc inflicted on the
property of non-combatants in the County of Rockingham alone. The
protest reminds me of my youthful surprise when I first saw the statue
of Tilly in the Feldherrnhalle at Munich. Somehow I had not thought well
of Tilly before. But all estimates of military exigencies must be
revised by the light of the new standards of the time in which we live.
However, as this note goes to the printer, I am made aware of an article
by Maj. JOHN BIGELOW, U. S. A., published in the N. Y. Times of June 13,
1915, in which the author musters the evidence of the behaviour of
Sherman's men. 1864 seems not to have been so very far behind 1914 after
all.]

[Note: "The hate of Celt to Saxon, and the contempt of Saxon for Celt,
simply paled and grew expressionless when compared with the contempt and
hate felt by the Southron towards the Yankee anterior to our Civil War
and while it was in progress. No Houyhnhnms ever looked on Yahoo with
greater aversion; better, far better death than further contamination
through political association."--C. F. ADAMS, Trans-Atlantic Historical
Solidarity, p. 176.

One recalls Halleck's Connecticut:


              Virginians look
     Upon them with as favorable eyes
     As Gabriel on the devil in paradise.]


The war began, the war went on. War is a rough game. It is an omelet
that cannot be made without breaking eggs, not only eggs in _esse_, but
also eggs in _posse_. So far as I have read about war, ours was no
worse than some other wars. While it lasted, the conduct of the
combatants on either side was represented in the blackest colors by the
other. Even the ordinary and legitimate doing to death was considered
criminal if the deed was done by a ruthless rebel or a ruffianly
invader. Non-combatants were especially eloquent. In describing the end
of a brother who had been killed while trying to get a shot at a Yankee,
a Southern girl raved about the "murdered patriot" and the "dastardly
wretch" who had anticipated him. But I do not criticize, for I remember
an English account of the battle of New Orleans, in which General
Pakenham was represented as having been picked off by a "sneaking Yankee
rifle." Those who were engaged in the actual conflict took more
reasonable views, and the annals of the war are full of stories of
battlefield and hospital in which a common humanity asserted itself. But
brotherhood there was none. No alienation could have been more complete.
Into the cleft made by the disruption poured all the bad blood that had
been breeding from colonial times, from Revolutionary times, from
constitutional struggles, from congressional debates, from "bleeding
Kansas" and the engine-house at Harper's Ferry; and a great gulf was
fixed, as it seemed forever, between North and South. The hostility was
a very satisfactory one--for military purposes.

[Note: Needless to say, the conspiracy theory has long been discarded.
Mr. PAXSON, Professor of American History in the University of
Wisconsin, has devoted a volume to shew that while the South was
defending an impossible cause, it could not hold different views--that
these were the unavoidable result of environment and natural resources.
How different is all this from what the N. Y. Times lately reprinted
from its issue of April 17, 1865.

"Every possible atrocity appertains to this rebellion. There is nothing
whatever that its leaders have scrupled at. Wholesale massacres and
torturings, wholesale starvation of prisoners, firing of great cities,
piracies of the cruelest kind, persecution of the most hideous character
and of vast extent, and finally assassination in high places--whatever
is inhuman, whatever is brutal, whatever is fiendish, these men have
resorted to. They will leave behind names so black, and the memory of
deeds so infamous, that the execration of the slaveholders' rebellion
will be eternal."

True, "slaveholders' rebellion" still survives here and there. So
WILLIAM HARRISON CLARKE, in The Civil Service Law, Preface, says:

"Parties, when they strive solely for principle, are the life of a
nation; but when they strive solely for pelf, patronage, and power they
are its death. Even corrupt party leaders may destroy a republic;
sometimes even ambitious leaders may do so. Did a nation ever make a
narrower escape than did our own during the slaveholders' rebellion? Who
but ambitious party leaders caused that rebellion?"]

[Note: "Vous êtes de France, mais je suis de Bretagne." "Eh bien! Ce
n'est pas le même pays." "Mais c'est la même patrie." La femme se borna
à répondre, "Je suis de Siscoingnard."--V. HUGO, Quatre-Vingt-Treize.]

The war began, the war went on,--this politicians' conspiracy, this
slaveholders' rebellion, as it was variously called by those who sought
its source, now in the disappointed ambition of the Southern leaders,
now in the desperate determination of a slaveholding oligarchy to
perpetuate their power, and to secure forever their proprietorship in
their "human chattels." On this theory the mass of Southern people were
but puppets in the hands of political wirepullers, or blind followers of
hectoring "patricians." To those who know the Southern people nothing
can be more absurd; to those who know their personal independence, to
those who know the deep interest which they have always taken in
politics, the keen intelligence with which they have always followed
the questions of the day. The court-house green was the political
university of the Southern masses, and the hustings the professorial
chair, from which the great political and economical questions of the
day were presented, to say the least, as fully and intelligently as in
the newspapers to which so much enlightenment is attributed. There was
no such system of rotten boroughs, no such domination of a landed
aristocracy, throughout the South as has been imagined, and venality,
which is the disgrace of current politics, was practically unknown. The
men who represented the Southern people in Washington came from the
people, and not from a ring. Northern writers who have ascribed the firm
control in Congress of the national government which the South held so
long to the superior character, ability, and experience of its
representatives, do not seem to be aware that the choice of such
representatives and their prolonged tenure show that in politics, at
least, the education of the Southerner had not been neglected. The rank
and file then were not swayed simply by blind passion or duped by the
representations of political gamesters. Nor did the lump need the
leavening of the large percentage of men of the upper classes who served
as privates, some of them from the beginning to the end of the war. The
rank and file were, to begin with, in full accord with the great
principles of the war, and were sustained by the abiding conviction of
the justice of the cause. Of course, there were in the Southern army, as
in every army, many who went with the multitude in the first
enthusiastic rush, or who were brought into the ranks by the needful
process of conscription; but it is not a little remarkable that few of
the poorest and the most ignorant could be induced to forswear the cause
and to purchase release from the sufferings of imprisonment by the
simple process of taking the oath. Those who have seen the light of
battle on the faces of these humble sons of the South, or witnessed
their steadfastness in camp, on the march, in the hospital, have not
been ashamed of the brotherhood.

There is such a thing as fighting for a principle, an idea; but
principle and idea must be incarnate, and the principle of States'
rights was incarnate in the historical life of the Southern people. Of
the thirteen original States, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina,
and Georgia were openly and officially upon the side of the South.
Maryland as a State was bound hand and foot. We counted her as ours, for
the Potomac and Chesapeake Bay united as well as divided. Each of these
States had a history, had an individuality. Every one was something more
than a certain aggregate of square miles wherein dwelt an uncertain
number of uncertain inhabitants, something more than a Territory
transformed into a State by the magic of political legerdemain; a
creature of the central government, and duly loyal to its creator.

[Note: "The brandished sword of her coat of arms would have shown what
manner of _placida quies_ she would have ensued." The proof-reader of
the Atlantic not being over-familiar with the Massachusetts coat of arms
(_Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem_) or Scriptural language,
substituted for the foregoing what one reads in the article as printed
in the Atlantic (p. 82): "The brandished sword would have shown what
manner of _placida quies_ would have ensued...."]

[Note: The wish that South Carolina had been scuttled is the wish of
Chilon for Cythera. Herod. 7, 235.]

[Note: This impression, erroneous as it seems, was contravened in a
letter from Mr. WM. A. COURTENAY, Mayor and historian of Charleston, who
wrote to me: "The W. L. I. was named for George Washington. The 22d of
February was celebrated as the anniversary from 1807-92 (thirty years
ago in Fort Sumter under fire), and the connection of the corps with
Col. Wm. Washington was not until April, 1827, on the presentation of
the Eutaw flag to the corps by his widow." However, the memory of the
lesser Washington is still kept alive, and the William Washington house
is still one of the show places of my native city. As a further
illustration of local patriotism I may add that the Charleston boys were
more excited over the 28th of June, the battle of Fort Moultrie, than
over the national Fourth of July.]

In claiming this individuality, nothing more is claimed for Virginia and
for South Carolina than would be conceded to Massachusetts and
Connecticut; and we believed then that Massachusetts and Connecticut
would not have behaved otherwise than we did, if the parts had been
reversed. The brandished sword would have shown what manner of _placida
quies_ Massachusetts would have ensued, if demands had been made on her
at all commensurate with the Federal demands on Virginia. These older
Southern States were proud of their history, and they showed their pride
by girding at their neighbors. South Carolina had her fling at Georgia,
her fling at North Carolina; and the wish that the little State had been
scuttled at an early day was a plagiarism from classical literature that
might have emanated from the South as well as from the North. Virginia
assumed a superiority that was resented by her Southern sisters as well
as by her Northern partners. The Old North State derided the pretensions
of the commonwealths that flanked her on either side, and Georgia was
not slow to give South Carolina as good as she sent. All this seemed to
be harmless banter, but the rivalry was old enough and strong enough to
encourage the hopes of the Union leaders that the Confederacy would
split along state lines. The cohesive power of the Revolutionary war was
not sufficiently strong to make the States sink their contributions to
the common cause in the common glory. Washington was the one national
hero, and yet the Washington Light Infantry of Charleston was named, not
after the illustrious George, but after his kinsman, William. The story
of Lexington and Concord and Bunker Hill did not thrill the South
Carolinian of an earlier day, and those great achievements were actually
criticized. Who were Putnam and Stark that South Carolinians should
worship them, when they had a Marion and a Sumter of their own? Vermont
went wild, the other day, over Bennington as she did not over the
centenary of the surrender at Yorktown. Take away this local patriotism
and you take out all the color that is left in American life. That the
local patriotism may not only consist with a wider patriotism, but may
serve as a most important element in wider patriotism, is true. Witness
the strong local life in the old provinces of France. No student of
history, no painter of manners, can neglect it. In Gerfaut, a novel
written before the Franco-Prussian war, Charles de Bernard represents an
Alsatian shepherd as saying, "I am not French; I am Alsatian,"--"_trait
de patriotisme de clocher assez commun dans la belle province du Rhin_,"
adds the author, little dreaming of the national significance of that
"patriotisme de clocher." The Breton's love of his home is familiar to
every one who has read his Renan, and Blanche Willis Howard, in Guenn,
makes her priest exclaim, "Monsieur, I would fight with France against
any other nation, but I would fight with Brittany against France. I love
France. I am a Frenchman. But first of all I am a Breton." The Provençal
speaks of France as if she were a foreign country, and fights for her as
if she were his alone. What is true of France is true in a measure of
England. Devonshire men are notoriously Devonshire men first and last.
If this is true of what have become integral parts of kingdom or
republic by centuries of incorporation, what is to be said of the
States that had never renounced their sovereignty, that had only
suspended it in part?

The example of state pride set by the older States was not lost on the
younger Southern States, and the Alabamian and the Mississippian lived
in the same faith as did the stock from which they sprang; and the
community of views, of interest, of social order, soon made a larger
unit and prepared the way for a true nationality, and with the
nationality a great conflict. The heterogeneousness of the elements that
made up the Confederacy did not prove the great source of weakness that
was expected. The Border States looked on the world with different eyes
from the Gulf States. The Virginia farmer and the Creole planter of
Louisiana were of different strains; and yet there was a solidarity that
has never failed to surprise the few Northerners who penetrated the
South for study and pleasure. There was an extraordinary ramification of
family and social ties throughout the Southern States, and a few
minutes' conversation sufficed to place any member of the social
organism from Virginia to Texas. Great schools, like the University of
Virginia, within the Southern border did much to foster the community of
feeling, and while there were not a few Southerners at Harvard and Yale,
and while Princeton was almost a Southern college, an education in the
North did not seem to nationalize the Southerner. On the contrary, as in
the universities of the Middle Ages, groups were formed in accordance
with nativity; and sectional lines, though effaced at certain points,
were strengthened at others. There may have been a certain broadening of
view; there was no weakening of the home ties. West Point made fewer
converts to this side and to that than did the Northern wives of
Southern husbands, the Southern wives of Northern husbands.

All this is doubtless controvertible, and what has been written may
serve only to amuse or to disgust those who are better versed in the
facts of our history and keener analysts of its laws. All that I vouch
for is the feeling; the only point that I have tried to make is the
simple fact that, right or wrong, we were fully persuaded in our own
minds, and that there was no lurking suspicion of any moral weakness in
our cause. Nothing could be holier than the cause, nothing more
imperative than the duty of upholding it. There were those in the South
who, when they saw the issue of the war, gave up their faith in God, but
not their faith in the cause.

It is perfectly possible to be fully persuaded in one's own mind without
the passionate desire to make converts that animates the born preacher,
and any one may be excused from preaching when he recognizes the
existence of a mental or moral color-blindness with which it is not
worth while to argue. There is no umpire to decide which of the
disputants is color-blind, and the discussion is apt to degenerate into
a wearisome reiteration of points which neither party will concede. Now
this matter of allegiance is just such a question. Open the October
number of The Atlantic and read the sketch of General Thomas, whom many
military men on the Southern side consider to have been the ablest of
all the Federal generals. He was, as every one knows, a Virginian, and
it seemed to us that his being a Virginian was remembered against him in
the Federal councils. "His severance," says the writer in The Atlantic,
"from family and State was a keen trial, but 'his duty was clear from
the beginning.' To his vision there was but one country,--the United
States of America. He had few or no friends at the North. Its political
policy had not seemed to him to be wise. But he could serve under no
flag except that which he had pledged his honor to uphold." Passing over
the quiet assumption that the North was the United States of America,
which sufficiently characterizes the view of the writer, let us turn to
the contrast which would at once have suggested itself even if it had
not been brought forward by the eulogist of Thomas. A greater than
Thomas decided the question at the same time, and decided it the other
way. To Lee's vision there was but one course open to a Virginian, and
the pledge that he had given when Virginia was one of the United States
of America had ceased to bind him when Virginia withdrew from the
compact. His duty was clear from the hour when to remain in the army
would have been to draw his sword against a people to whom he was
"indissolubly bound."

[Note: "I think it is not unsafe to assert that nowhere did the original
spirit of State Sovereignty and allegiance to the State then survive in
greater intensity and more unquestioning form than in Virginia--the 'Old
Dominion'--the mother of States and of Presidents.

"State pride, a sense of individuality, has immemorially entered more
largely and more intensely into Virginia and Virginians than into any
other section or community of the United States. Only in South Carolina
and among Carolinians, on the trans-Atlantic continent, was a somewhat
similar sense of locality and obligation of descent to be found. There
was in it a flavour of the Hidalgo, or of the pride which the MacGregors
and Campbells took in their clan and country. In other words, the
Virginian and Carolinian had in the middle of the last century, not to
any appreciable extent, undergone nationalization."--CHAS. FRANCIS
ADAMS, Trans-Atlantic Historical Solidarity p. 137.

I have referred to Mr. ADAMS repeatedly because as a man of my time and
nearly of my age he understood the difficulty of moving the point of
view fifty years backward.]

These contrasted cases are indeed convenient tests for color-blindness.
There may "arise a generation in Virginia," or even a generation of
Virginians, "who will learn and confess" that "Thomas loved Virginia as
well as the sons she has preferred to honor, and served her better." But
no representative Virginian shares that prophetic vision; the
color-blindness, on whichever side it is, has not yielded to treatment
during the twenty-five years that have elapsed since the close of the
war, and may as well be accepted for an indefinite period. When social
relations were resumed between the North and the South,--they followed
slowly the resumption of business relations,--what we should call the
color-blindness of the other side often manifested itself in a delicate
reticence on the part of our Northern friends; and as the war had by no
means constituted their lives as it had constituted ours for four long
years, the success in avoiding the disagreeable topic would have been
considerable, if it had not been for awkward allusions on the part of
the Southerners, who, having been shut out for all that time from the
study of literature and art and other elegant and uncompromising
subjects, could hardly keep from speaking of this and that incident of
the war. Whereupon a discreet, or rather an embarrassed silence, as if a
pardoned convict had playfully referred to the arson or burglary, not to
say worse, that had been the cause of his seclusion.

[Note: In these days of mutual understanding and mutual forgiveness, I
shall hardly be believed when I say that as late as 1885, twenty years
after the close of the war, some of my Northern friends who had been
taught the duty of "making treason odious" advised me to suppress or
modify the following passage in my Introduction to Pindar (p. xii) as
savoring of disloyalty:


     The man whose love for his country knows no local root, is a man
     whose love for his country is a poor abstraction; and it is no
     discredit to Pindar that he went honestly with his state in the
     struggle. It was no treason to Medize before there was a Greece,
     and the Greece that came out of the Persian war was a very
     different thing from the cantons that ranged themselves on this
     side and on that of a quarrel which, we may be sure, bore another
     aspect to those who stood aloof from it than it wears in the eyes
     of moderns, who have all learned to be Hellenic patriots. A little
     experience of a losing side might aid historical vision. That
     Pindar should have had an intense admiration of the New Greece,
     should have felt the impulse of the grand period that followed
     Salamis and Plataia, should have appreciated the woe that would
     have come on Greece had the Persians been successful, and should
     have seen the finger of God in the new evolution of Hellas--all
     this is not incompatible with an attitude during the Persian war
     that those who see the end and do not understand the beginning may
     not consider respectable.]


Some fifteen years ago Mr. Lowell was lecturing in Baltimore, and during
the month of his stay I learned to know the charm of his manner and the
delight of his conversation. If I had been even more prejudiced than I
was, I could not have withstood that easy grace, that winning
cordiality. Every one knew where he had stood during the war, and how he
had wielded the flail of his "lashing hail" against the South and the
Southern cause and "Southern sympathizers." But that warfare was over
for him, and out of kindly regard for my feelings he made no allusion to
the great quarrel, with two exceptions. Once, just before he left
Baltimore, he was talking as no other man could talk about the Yankee
dialect, and turning to me he said with a half smile and a deep twinkle
in his eye, "I should like to have you read what I have written about
the Yankee dialect, but I am afraid you might not like the context." A
few days afterwards I received from him the well-known preface to the
Second Series of The Biglow Papers, cut out from the volume. It was a
graceful concession to Southern weakness, and after all I may have been
mistaken in thinking that I could read the Second Series as literature,
just as I should read the Anti-Jacobin or the Two-penny Post Bag. In
fact, on looking into the Second Series again, I must confess that I
cannot even now discover the same merits that I could not help
acknowledging in the First Series, which I read for the first time in
1850, when I was a student in Berlin. By that time I had recovered from
my boyish enthusiasm over the Mexican war, and as my party had been
successful, I could afford to enjoy the wit and humor of the book, from
the inimitable Notices of an Independent Press to the last utterance of
Birdofredum Sawin; and I have always remembered enough of the contents
to make a psychological study of the Second Series a matter of interest,
if it were not for other things.

On the second occasion we were passing together under the shadow of the
Washington Monument, and the name of Lee came by some chance into the
current of talk. Here Mr. Lowell could not refrain from expressing his
view of Lee's course in turning against the government to which he had
sworn allegiance. Doubtless he felt it to be his duty to emphasize his
conviction as to a vital clause of his creed, but it instantly became
evident that this was a theme that could not be profitably pursued, and
we walked in silence the rest of the way,--the author of the line


     Virginia gave us this imperial man,


and the follower of that other imperial man Virginia gave the world;
both honest, each believing the other hopelessly wrong, but absolutely
sincere.

[Note: Of many consentient utterances I select this one by a prominent
Southerner:

"The Confederate soldiers did not go to war to perpetuate slavery. Most
of them never owned a slave, and our hero, Gen. ROBERT E. LEE, said that
if he owned every one of the slaves in the South he would give them for
the preservation of the Union. It was not for the slaves they fought,
but for principle, for their homes and native land."--T. F. GOODE,
Confederate Banquet, January 19, 1893.]

Scant allusion has been made in this paper to the subject of slavery,
which bulks so large in almost every study of the war. A similar
scantiness of allusion to slavery is noticeable in the Memorial volume,
to which I have already referred; a volume which was prepared, not to
produce an impression on the Northern mind, but to indulge a natural
desire to honor the fallen soldiers of the Confederacy; a book written
by friends for friends. The rights of the State and the defence of the
country are mentioned at every turn; "the peculiar institution" is
merely touched on here and there, except in one passage in which a
Virginian speaker maintains that as a matter of dollars and cents it
would be better for Virginia to give up her slaves than to set up a
separate government, with all the cost of a standing army which the
conservation of slavery would make necessary. This silence, which might
be misunderstood, is plain enough to a Southern man. Slavery was simply
a test case, and except as a test case it is too complicated a question
to be dealt with at the close of a paper which is already too long.
Except as a test case it is impossible to speak of the Southern view of
the institution, for we were not all of the same mind.

[Note: "When, within our memory, some flippant Senator [Hammond] wished
to taunt the people of this country by calling them 'the mudsills of
society,' he paid them ignorantly a true praise; for good men are as the
green plain of the earth is, as the rocks and the beds of the rivers
are, the foundation and flooring and sills of the State."--R. W.
EMERSON, Atlantic Monthly, January, 1892, p. 33.

In an oration delivered before the United Confederate Veterans, June 14,
1904, RANDOLPH HARRISON McKIM, a former pupil of mine and a cousin of my
college mates mentioned on page 16, says: "The political head of the
Confederacy entered upon the war, foreseeing (February, 1861) the
eventual loss of his slaves, and the military head of the Confederacy
actually set his slaves free before the war was half over."--The Motives
and Aims of the Soldiers of the South in the Civil War, p. 28. The whole
oration confirms the positions taken in this article.]

There were theorists who maintained that a society based on the rock of
slavery was the best possible in a world where there must be a lowest
order; and the doctrine of the "mud-sill" as propounded by a leading
thinker of this school evoked mud volcanoes all over the North.
Scriptural arguments in defence of slavery formed a large part of the
literature of the subject, and the hands of Southern clergymen were
upheld by their conservative brothers beyond the border.

Some who had read the signs of the times otherwise knew that slavery was
doomed by the voice of the world, and that no theory of society could
withstand the advance of the new spirit; and if the secrets of all
hearts could have been revealed, our enemies would have been astounded
to see how many thousands and tens of thousands in the Southern States
felt the crushing burden and the awful responsibility of the institution
which we were supposed to be defending with the melodramatic fury of
pirate kings. We were born to this social order, we had to do our duty
in it according to our lights, and this duty was made indefinitely more
difficult by the interference of those who, as we thought, could not
understand the conditions of the problem, and who did not have to bear
the expense of the experiments they proposed.

There were the practical men who saw in the negro slave an efficient
laborer in a certain line of work, and there were the practical men who
doubted the economic value of our system as compared with that of the
free States, and whom the other practical men laughed to scorn.

There was the small and eminently respectable body of benevolent men who
promoted the scheme of African colonization, of which great things were
expected in my boyhood. The manifest destiny of slavery in America was
the regeneration of Africa.

The people at large had no theory, and the practice varied as much in
the relation of master and servant as it varied in other family
relations. Too much tragedy and too much idyl have been imported into
the home life of the Southern people; but this is not the place to
reduce poetry to prose.

On one point, however, all parties in the South were agreed, and the
vast majority of the people of the North--before the war. The
abolitionist proper was considered not so much the friend of the negro
as the enemy of society. As the war went on, and the abolitionist saw
the "glory of the Lord" revealed in a way he had never hoped for, he saw
at the same time, or rather ought to have seen, that the order he had
lived to destroy could not have been a system of hellish wrong and
fiendish cruelty; else the prophetic vision of the liberators would have
been fulfilled, and the horrors of San Domingo would have polluted this
fair land. For the negro race does not deserve undivided praise for its
conduct during the war. Let some small part of the credit be given to
the masters, not all to the finer qualities of their "brothers in
black." The school in which the training was given is closed, and who
wishes to open it? Its methods were old-fashioned and were sadly behind
the times, but the old schoolmasters turned out scholars who, in certain
branches of moral philosophy, were not inferior to the graduates of the
new university.

[Note: A recent historian of the war, PAXSON (The Civil War, p. 248),
says: "Northern revenge in the guise of the preservation of the dearly
won Union was worse for the South than the war."

CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS, _l. c._, p. 165: "Outrages, and humiliations
worse than outrage, of the period of so-called reconstruction but actual
servile domination."

_L. c._, p. 173: "It may not unfairly be doubted whether a people
prostrate after civil conflict has ever received severer measure than
was dealt out to the so-called reconstructed Confederate States during
the years immediately succeeding the close of strife. That the policy
inspired at the time a feeling of bitter resentment in the South was no
cause for wonder." To me the cause for wonder was and is that a
Virginian of Virginians should have wholly forgotten the bitterness, as
is evinced by the following passage in an oration delivered shortly
after the publication of this article:

"No such peace as our peace ever followed immediately upon such a war as
our war. The exhausted South was completely at the mercy of the vigorous
North, and yet the sound of the last gun had scarcely died away when not
only peace, but peace and goodwill were re-established, and the victors
and the vanquished took up the work of repairing the damages of war and
advancing the common welfare of the whole country, as if the old
relations, social, commercial and political between the people of the
two sections had never been disturbed."--CHARLES MARSHALL, of Lee's
Staff, on Grant, May 30, 1892.]

[Note: It was out of the bitterness of this reconstruction period that I
penned the following sonnet to the memory of JOHN M. DANIEL, editor of
the Richmond Examiner, to which paper I contributed more than threescore
editorial articles during the year 1863-4:


                     DIS MANIBUS
                       I. M. D.

     We miss your pen of fire, whose cloven tongue
       Illum'd the good and blasted what was base.
       We miss you, fearless fighter for our race,
     Your arrows words, your bow a will highstrung.
     We miss you, for you tower'd from among
       The herd of writers with that careless grace
       That springs from undisputed strength. Your place
     Is vacant still. Your bow is still uphung.
     'Tis well. This were no time for you. The strings
       Of your proud heart forefelt the blow and broke;
         And when you died, 'twas better thus to die
     Than live to see this swarm of crawling things,
       And burn with words that must remain unspoke
         Where "art is tongue-tied by authority."]


[Note: The school was the Episcopal High School near Alexandria,
Virginia; the principal, the late L. M. BLACKFORD.]

[Note: Ov. Her. 3, 106:

According to Ovid, Briseis was a non-Greek. _Littera_, she writes (v.
2), _vix bene barbarica Graeca notata manu_. According to recent
authorities, she was a Lesbian girl. We know from Homer that Achilles
was musical as Odysseus was not.

[Greek: ton d' heuron phrena terpomenon phormingi ligeiê, kali,
daidaleê, epi d' argyreon zygon êen.]--Il. 9, 185-6.]

[Note: Lesbos was an island consecrated to music from the days of
Orpheus, and we can imagine the lovers singing together and Achilles
solacing his loneliness by chanting to Patroclus the praises of his lost
love.]

[Note: The valued friend was and is ARCHER ANDERSON, of Richmond,
Virginia.]

[Note: "Why is it that wherever one goes in all parts of England one
always finds--thoroughly as I believe the institution of slavery is
detested in this country--every man sympathizing strongly with the
Southerners, and wishing them all success? We do so for this reason ...
Englishmen love liberty, and the Southerner is fighting, not only for
his life, but for that which is dearer than life, for liberty; he is
fighting against one of the most grinding, one of the most galling, one
of the most irritating attempts to establish tyrannical government that
ever disgraced the history of the World."--G. W. BENTINCK, quoted by
CHAS. FRANCIS ADAMS, _l. c._, p. 111.]

I have tried in this paper to reproduce the past and its perspective, to
show how the men of my time and of my environment looked at the problems
that confronted us. It has been a painful and, I fear, a futile task. So
far as I have reproduced the perspective for myself it has been a
revival of sorrows such as this generation cannot understand; it has
recalled the hours when it gave one a passion for death, a shame of
life, to read our bulletins. And how could I hope to reproduce that
perspective for others, for men who belong to another generation and
another region, when so many men who lived the same life and fought on
the same side have themselves lost the point of view not only of the
beginning of the war, but also of the end of the war, not only of the
inexpressible exaltation, but of the unutterable degradation? They have
forgotten what a strange world the survivors of the conflict had to
face. If the State had been ours still, the foundations of the earth
would not have been out of course; but the State was a military
district, and the Confederacy had ceased to exist. The generous policy
which would have restored the State and made a new union possible, which
would have disentwined much of the passionate clinging to the past, was
crossed by the death of the only man who could have carried it through,
if even he could have carried it through; and years of trouble had to
pass before the current of national life ran freely through the Southern
States. It was before this circuit was complete that the principal of
one of the chief schools of Virginia set up a tablet to the memory of
the "old boys" who had perished in the war,--it was a list the length
of which few Northern colleges could equal,--and I was asked to furnish
a motto. Those who know classic literature at all know that for
patriotism and friendship mottoes are not far to seek, but during the
war I felt as I had never felt before the meaning of many a classic
sentence. The motto came from Ovid, whom many call a frivolous poet; but
the frivolous Roman was after all a Roman, and he was young when he
wrote the line,--too young not to feel the generous swell of true
feeling. It was written of the dead brothers of Briseis:--


     Qui bene pro patria cum patriaque iacent.


The sentiment found an echo at the time, deserved an echo at the time.
Now it is a sentiment without an echo, and last year a valued personal
friend of mine, in an eloquent oration, a noble tribute to the memory of
our great captain, a discourse full of the glory of the past, the wisdom
of the present, the hope of the future, rebuked the sentiment as idle
in its despair. As well rebuke a cry of anguish, a cry of desolation out
of the past. For those whose names are recorded on that tablet the line
is but too true. For those of us who survive it has ceased to have the
import that it once had, for we have learned to work resolutely for the
furtherance of all that is good in the wider life that has been opened
to us by the issue of the war, without complaining, without repining.
That the cause we fought for and our brothers died for was the cause of
civil liberty, and not the cause of human slavery, is a thesis which we
feel ourselves bound to maintain whenever our motives are challenged or
misunderstood, if only for our children's sake. But even that will not
long be necessary, for the vindication of our principles will be made
manifest in the working out of the problems with which the republic has
to grapple. If, however, the effacement of state lines and the complete
centralization of the government shall prove to be the wisdom of the
future, the poetry of life will still find its home in the old order,
and those who loved their State best will live longest in song and
legend,--song yet unsung, legend not yet crystallized.



A SOUTHERNER IN THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR


I

[Note: The ambitious title, "Two Wars," has been restored to the
headline by typographical pressure.]

[Note: History is philosophy teaching by examples. Ps. Dionys. xi, 2
(399R): [Greek: historia philosophia estin ek paradeigmatôn].]

I had intended to call this study Two Wars, but I was afraid lest I
should be under the domination of the title, and an elaborate comparison
of the Peloponnesian War and the War between the States would
undoubtedly have led to no little sophistication of the facts.
Historical parallel bars are usually set up for exhibiting feats of
mental agility. The mental agility is often moral suppleness, and nobody
expects a critical examination of the parallelism itself. He was not an
historian of the first rank, but a phrase-making rhetorician, who is
responsible for the current saying, History is philosophy teaching by
examples. This definition is about as valuable as some of those other
definitions that express one art in terms of another: poetry in terms of
painting, and painting in terms of poetry. "Architecture is frozen
music" does not enable us to understand either perpendicular Gothic or a
fugue of Bach; and when an historian defines history in terms of
philosophy, or a philosopher philosophy in terms of history, you may be
on the lookout for sophistication. Your philosophical historian points
his moral by adorning his tale. Your historical philosopher allows no
zigzags in the march of his evolution.

In like manner, the attempt to express one war in terms of another is
apt to lead to a wresting of facts. No two wars are as like as two peas.
Yet as any two marriages in society will yield a certain number of
resemblances, so will any two wars in history, whether war itself be
regarded as abstract or concrete,--a question that seems to have
exercised some grammatical minds, and ought therefore to be settled
before any further step is taken in this disquisition, which is the
disquisition of a grammarian. Now most persons would pronounce war an
abstract, but one excellent manual with which I am acquainted sets it
down as a concrete, and I have often thought that the author must have
known something practically about war. At all events, to those who have
seen the midday sun darkened by burning homesteads, and wheatfields
illuminated by stark forms in blue and gray, war is sufficiently
concrete. The very first dead soldier one sees, enemy or friend, takes
war forever out of the category of abstracts.

[Note: JOHN AUGUSTINE WASHINGTON, 'as always in the Washington family'
W. GORDON McCABE.]

When I was a student abroad, American novices used to be asked in jest,
"Is this your first ruin?" "Is this your first nightingale?" I am not
certain that I can place my first ruin or my first nightingale, but I
can recall my first dead man on the battlefield. We were making an
advance on the enemy's position near Huttonsville. Nothing, by the way,
could have been more beautiful than the plan, which I was privileged to
see; and as we neared the objective point, it was a pleasure to watch
how column after column, marching by this road and that, converged to
the rendezvous. It was as if some huge spider were gathering its legs
about the victim. The special order issued breathed a spirit of calm
resolution worthy of the general commanding and his troops. Nobody that
I remember criticised the tautological expression, "The progress of this
army must be forward." We were prepared for a hard fight, for we knew
that the enemy was strongly posted. Most of us were to be under fire for
the first time, and there was some talk about the chances of the morrow
as we lay down to sleep. Moralizing of that sort gets less and less
common with experience in the business, and this time the moralizing may
have seemed to some premature. But wherever the minié ball sang its
diabolical mosquito song there was death in the air, and I was soon to
see brought into camp, under a flag of truce, the lifeless body of the
heir of Mount Vernon, whose graceful riding I had envied a few days
before. However, there was no serious fighting. The advance on the
enemy's position had developed more strength in front than we had
counted on, or some of the spider's legs had failed to close in. A
misleading report had been brought to headquarters. A weak point in the
enemy's line had been reinforced. Who knows? The best laid plans are
often thwarted by the merest trifles,--an insignificant puddle, a
jingling canteen. This game of war is a hit or miss game, after all. A
certain fatalism is bred thereby, and it is well to set out with a stock
of that article. So our resolute advance became a forced reconnaissance,
greatly to the chagrin of the younger and more ardent spirits. We found
out exactly where the enemy was, and declined to have anything further
to do with him for the time being. But in finding him we had to clear
the ground and drive in the pickets. One picket had been posted at the
end of a loop in a chain of valleys. The road we followed skirted the
base of one range of hills. The house which served as the headquarters
of the picket was on the other side. A meadow as level as a board
stretched between. I remember seeing a boy come out and catch a horse,
while we were advancing. Somehow it seemed to be a trivial thing to do
just then. I knew better afterwards. Our skirmishers had done their
work, had swept the woods on either side clean, and the pickets had
fallen back on the main body; but not all of them. One man, if not more,
had only had time to fall dead. The one I saw, the first, was a young
man, not thirty, I should judge, lying on his back, his head too low for
comfort. He had been killed outright, and there was no distortion of
feature. No more peaceful faces than one sees at times on the
battlefield, and sudden death, despite the Litany, is not the least
enviable exit. In this case there was something like a mild surprise on
the countenance. The rather stolid face could never have been very
expressive. An unposted letter was found on the dead man's body. It was
written in German, and I was asked to interpret it, in case it should
contain any important information. There was no important information;
just messages to friends and kindred, just the trivialities of camp
life.

The man was an invader, and in my eyes deserved an invader's doom. If
sides had been changed, he would have been a rebel, and would have
deserved a rebel's doom. I was not stirred to the depths by the sight,
but it gave me a lesson in grammar, and war has ever been concrete to me
from that time on. The horror I did not feel at first grew steadily. "A
sweet thing," says Pindar, "is war to those that have not tried it."


II

[Note: SPANGENBERG was a literary "bummer." The real author was one
ANDREAS GUARNA of Salerno. See FRÄNKEL, Zeitschrift für
Litteraturgeschichte, xiii, 242.]

[Note: Pindar's words are: [Greek: glyky d' apeiroisi polemos].]

Concrete or abstract, there are general resemblances between any two
wars, and so war lends itself readily to allegories. Every one has read
Bunyan's Holy War. Not every one has read Spangenberg's Grammatical War.
It is an ingenious performance, which fell into my hands many years
after I had gone forth to see and to feel what war was like. In
Spangenberg's Grammatical War the nouns and the verbs are the contending
parties. Poeta is king of the nouns, and Amo king of the verbs. There is
a regular debate between the two sovereigns. The king of the verbs
summons the adverbs to his help, the king of the nouns the pronouns.
The camps are pitched, the forces marshalled. The neutral power,
participle, is invoked by both parties, but declines to send open
assistance to either, hoping that in this contest between noun and verb
the third party will acquire the rule over the whole territory of
language. After a final summons on the part of the king of the verbs,
and a fierce response from the rival monarch, active hostilities begin.
We read of raids and forays. Prisoners are treated with contumely, and
their skirts are docked as in the Biblical narrative. Treachery adds
excitement to the situation. Skirmishes precede the great engagement, in
which the nouns are worsted, though they have come off with some of the
spoils of war; and peace is made on terms dictated by Priscian, Servius,
and Donatus. Spangenberg's Grammatical War is a not uninteresting, not
uninstructive squib, and the salt of it, or saltpetre of it, has not all
evaporated after the lapse of some three centuries. There are bits that
remind one of the Greco-Turkish war of a few weeks ago.

[Note: Terror and Affright, Il. 15, 19: [Greek: hôs phato kai rh'
hippous keleto Deimon te Phobon te | zeugnymen]. These horses of Ares
furnished the names Deimos and Phobos for the two satellites of the
planet Mars. Such traces of familiarity with the classics are refreshing
to one who lives in an age when allusion is under the ban. How many
appreciate the appropriateness of the Baltimore County Timonium, named
after Mark Antony's growlery in Plutarch? Not many of the sports who
some years ago laid their bets on Irex recalled the line of the Odyssey
13, 86:

[Greek:

                        oude ken irêx
     kirkos homartêseien elaphrotatos peteênôn.]]


But there is no military science in Bunyan's Holy War nor in
Spangenberg's Grammatical War: why should there be? Practical warfare is
rough work. To frighten, to wound, to kill,--these three abide under all
forms of military doctrine, and the greatest of these is frightening.
Ares, the god of war, has two satellites, Terror and Affright. Fear is
the Gorgon's head. The serpents are very real, very effective, in their
way, but logically they are unessential tresses. The Gorgon stares you
out of countenance, and that suffices. The object is the removal of an
obstacle. Killing and wounding are but means to an end. Hand-to-hand
fighting is rare, and it would be easy to count the instances in which
cavalry meets the shock of cavalry. Crossing sabres is not a common
pastime in the red game of war. It makes a fine picture, to be sure, the
finer for the rarity of the thing itself.

To frighten, to wound, to kill, being the essential processes, war
amounts to the same thing the world over, world of time and world of
space. Whether death or disability comes by Belgian ball or Spencer
bullet, by the stone of a Balearic slinger, by a bolt from a crossbow,
is a matter of detail which need not trouble the philosophic mind, and
the ancients showed their sense in ascribing fear to divine inspiration.

[Note: The Scandinavian scholar, JESPERSEN.]

If the processes of war are primitive, the causes of war are no less so.
It has been strikingly said of late by a Scandinavian scholar that
"language was born in the courting-days of mankind: the first utterance
of speech  something between the nightly love-lyrics of puss upon the
tiles and the melodious love-songs of the nightingale." "War, the father
of all things," goes back to the same origin as language. The serenade
is matched by the battle-cry. The fight between two cock-pheasants for
the love of a hen-pheasant is war in its last analysis, in its primal
manifestation. Selfish hatred is at the bottom of it. It is the
hell-fire to which we owe the heat that is necessary to some of the
noblest as to some of the vilest manifestations of human nature.
Righteous indignation, sense of injustice, sympathy with the oppressed,
consecration to country, fine words all, fine things, but so many of the
men who represent these fine things perish. It wrings the heart at a
distance of more than thirty years to think of those who have fallen,
and love still maintains passionately that they were the best. At any
rate, they were among the best, and both sides are feeling the loss to
this day, not only in the men themselves, but in the sons that should
have been born to them.

Any two wars, then, will yield a sufficient number of resemblances, in
killed, wounded, and missing, in the elemental matter of hatred, or, if
you choose to give it a milder name, rivalry. These things are of the
essence of war, and the manifestations run parallel even in the finer
lines. One cock-pheasant finds the drumming of another cock-pheasant a
very irritating sound, Chanticleer objects to the note of Chanticleer,
and the more articulate human being is rasped by the voice of his
neighbor. The Attic did not like the broad Boeotian speech. Parson
Evans's "seese and putter" were the bitterest ingredients in Falstaff's
dose of humiliation. "Yankee twang" and "Southern drawl" incited as well
as echoed hostility.

[Note: Ach. 527.]

Borderers are seldom friends. "An Attic neighbor" is a Greek proverb.
Kentucky and Ohio frown at each other across the river. Cincinnati looks
down on Covington, and Covington glares at Cincinnati. Aristophanes, in
his mocking way, attributes the Peloponnesian war to a kidnapping affair
between Athens and Megara. The underground railroad preceded the
aboveground railroad in the history of the great American conflict.

There were jealousies enough between Athens and Sparta in the olden
times, which correspond to our colonial days, and in the Persian war,
which was in a sense the Greek war of independence. In like manner the
chronicles of our Revolutionary period show that there was abundance of
bad blood between Northern colonies and Southern colonies. The Virginian
planter whom all have agreed to make the one national hero was after all
a Virginian, and Virginians have not forgotten the impatient utterances
of the "imperial man" on the soil of Massachusetts and in the streets of
New York. Nobody takes Knickerbocker's History of New York seriously, as
owlish historians are wont to take Aristophanes. Why not? We accept the
hostility of Attica and Boeotia, of Attica and Megara; and there are
no more graphic chapters than those which set forth the enmity between
New York and Maryland, between New Amsterdam and Connecticut.

[Note: The Peloponnesians called it the Attic War (Thuc. 5, 28, 3); the
Ionians the Doric War. In a recent number of the Jahrbücher, xxxv, No. 2
(1915), there is a discussion of the name of the Peloponnesian War
apropos of the present "World-war," or, if you choose, "Wirrwarr." For
our war the misnomer "The Civil War" has been adopted as the official
designation.]

Business is often more potent than blood. Nullification, the forerunner
of disunion, rose from a question of tariff. The echoes had not died out
when I woke to conscious life. I knew that I was the son of a nullifier,
and the nephew of a Union man. It was whispered that our beloved family
physician found it prudent to withdraw from the public gaze for a while,
and that my uncle's windows were broken by the palmettoes of a
nullification procession; and I can remember from my boyhood days how
unreconciled citizens of Charleston shook their fists at the revenue
cutter and its "foreign flag." Such an early experience enables one to
understand our war better. It enables one to understand the
Peloponnesian war better, the struggle between the union of which Athens
was the mistress and the confederacy of which Sparta was the head.
Non-intercourse between Athens and Megara was the first stage. The
famous Megarian decree of Pericles, which closed the market of Athens to
Megarians, gave rise to angry controversy, and the refusal to rescind
that decree led to open war. But Megara was little more than a pretext.
The subtle influence of Corinth was potent. The great merchant city of
Greece dreaded the rise of Athens to dominant commercial importance, and
in the conflict between the Corinthian brass and the Attic clay, the
clay was shattered. Corinth does not show her hand much in the
Peloponnesian war. She figures at the beginning, and then disappears.
But the old mole is at work the whole time, and what the Peloponnesians
called the Attic war, and the Attics the Peloponnesian war, might have
been called the Corinthian war. The exchange, the banking-house, were
important factors then as now. "Sinews of war" is a classical
expression. The popular cry of "Persian gold" was heard in the
Peloponnesian war as the popular cry of "British gold" is heard now.

True, there was no slavery question in the Peloponnesian war, for
antique civilization without slavery is hardly thinkable; but after all,
the slavery question belongs ultimately to the sphere of economics. The
humanitarian spirit, set free by the French Revolution, was at work in
the Southern States as in the Northern States, but it was hampered by
economic considerations. Virginia, as every one knows, was on the verge
of becoming a free State. Colonization flourished in my boyhood. A
friend of my father's left him trustee for his "servants," as we called
them. They were quartered opposite our house in Charleston, and the
pickaninnies were objects of profound interest to the children of the
neighborhood. One or two letters came from the emigrants after they
reached Liberia. Then silence fell on the African farm.

Some of the most effective anti-slavery reformers were Charlestonians by
birth and breeding. I cannot say that Grimké was a popular name, but
homage was paid to the talent of Frederick, as I remember only too well,
for I had to learn a speech of his by heart, as a schoolboy exercise.
But the economic conditions of the South were not favorable to the
spread of the ideas represented by the Grimkés. The slavery question
kept alive the spirit that manifested itself in the tariff question.
State rights were not suffered to slumber. The Southerner resented
Northern dictation as Pericles resented Lacedæmonian dictation, and our
Peloponnesian war began.


III

The processes of the two wars, then, were the same,--killing, wounding,
frightening. The causes of the two wars resolved themselves into the
elements of hatred. The details of the two wars meet at many points;
only one must be on one's guard against merely fanciful, merely external
resemblances.

In 1860 I spent a few days in Holland, and among my various excursions
in that fascinating country I took a solitary trip on a _treckschuit_
from Amsterdam to Delft. Holland was so true to Dutch pictures that
there was a retrospective delight in the houses and in the people. There
was a charm in the very signs, in the names of the villas; for my
knowledge of Dutch had not passed beyond the stage at which the
Netherlandish tongue seems to be an English-German Dictionary, disguised
in strong waters. But the thing that struck me most was the general
aspect of the country. Everywhere gates. Nowhere fences. The gates
guarded the bridges and the canals were the fences, but the canals and
the low bridges were not to be seen at a distance, and the visual effect
was that of isolated gates. It was an absurd landscape even after the
brain had made the necessary corrections.

In the third year of the war I was not far from Fredericksburg. The
country had been stripped, and the forlorn region was a sad contrast to
the smug prosperity of Holland. And yet of a sudden the Dutch landscape
flashed upon my inward eye, for Spottsylvania, like Holland, was dotted
with fenceless gates. The rails of the inclosures had long before gone
to feed bivouac fires, but the great gates were too solidly constructed
to tempt marauders. It was an absurd landscape, an absurd parallel.

Historical parallels are often no better. When one compares two
languages of the same family, the first impression is that of
similarity. It is hard for the novice to keep his Italian and his
Spanish apart. The later and more abiding impression is that of
dissimilarity. A total stranger confounds twins in whom the members of
the household find but vague likeness. There is no real resemblance
between the two wars we are contemplating outside the inevitable
features of all armed conflicts, and we must be on our guard against the
sophistication deprecated in the beginning of this study. And yet one
coming fresh to a comparison of the Peloponnesian war and the war
between the States might see a striking similarity, such as I saw
between the Dutch landscape and the landscape in Spottsylvania.

The Peloponnesian war, like our war, was a war between two leagues, a
Northern Union and a Southern Confederacy. The Northern Union,
represented by Athens, was a naval power. The Southern Confederacy,
under the leadership of Sparta, was a land power. The Athenians
represented the progressive element, the Spartans the conservative. The
Athenians believed in a strong centralized government. The Lacedæmonians
professed greater regard for autonomy. A little ingenuity, a good deal
of hardihood, might multiply such futilities indefinitely. In fact, it
would be possible to write the story of our Peloponnesian war in phrases
of Thucydides, and I should not be surprised if such a task were a
regular school exercise at Eton or at Rugby. Why, it was but the other
day that Professor Tyrrell, of Dublin, translated a passage from
Lowell's Biglow Papers into choice Aristophanese.

[Note: According to _fama clamosa_, Winfield was originally Wingfield, a
very common Virginian name. The classical parallel of Tromes and
Atrometos will suggest itself to every one who has read Demosthenes.
Dem. 18, 129.]

Unfortunately, such feats, as I have already said, imperil one's
intellectual honesty, and one would not like to imitate the Byzantine
historians who were given to similar tricks. One of these gentlemen,
Choricius by name, had a seaport to describe. How the actual seaport lay
mattered little to Choricius, so long as the Epidamnus of Thucydides was
at hand; and if the task of narrating our Peloponnesian war were
assigned to the ghost of Choricius, I have no doubt that he would open
it with a description of Charleston in terms of Epidamnus. Little
matters of topography would not trouble such an one. To the sophist an
island is an island, a river a river, a height a height, everywhere.
Sphacteria would furnish the model for Morris Island; the Achelous would
serve indifferently for Potomac or Mississippi, the Epipolæ for
Missionary Ridge, Platæa for Vicksburg, the harbor of Syracuse for
Hampton Roads; and Thucydides' description of the naval engagement and
the watching crowds would be made available for the fight between
Merrimac and Monitor.

The debates in Thucydides would be a quarry for the debates in either
Congress, as they had been a quarry for centuries of rhetorical
historians. And as for the "winged words," why should they have wings,
if not to flit from character to character? A well-known scholar, at a
loss for authentic details as to the life of Pindar, fell back on a lot
of apophthegms attributed to his hero, and in so doing maintained the
strange doctrine that apophthegms were more to be trusted than any other
form of tradition. There could not have been a more hopeless thesis. The
general who said that he would burn his coat if it knew his plans has
figured in all the wars with which I have been contemporary, was a
conspicuous character in the Mexican war, and passed from camp to camp
in the war between the States. The _mot_, familiar to the classical
scholar, was doubtless attributed in his day to that dashing sheik
Chedorlaomer, and will be ascribed to both leaders in the final battle
of Armageddon. The hank of yarns told about Socrates is pieced out with
tabs and tags borrowed from different periods. I have heard, say, in the
afternoon, a good story at the expense of a famous American revival
preacher which I had read that morning in the Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles,
and there is a large stock of anecdotes made to screw on and screw off
for the special behoof of college presidents and university professors.
Why hold up Choricius to ridicule? He was no worse than others of his
guild. It was not Choricius, it was another Byzantine historian who
conveyed from Herodotus an unsavory retort, over which the unsuspecting
Gibbon chuckles in the dark cellar of his notes, where he keeps so much
of his high game. The Greek historian of the Roman Empire, the Roman
historian of every date, are no better, and Dionysius of Halicarnassus,
who has devoted many pages to the arraignment of Thucydides' style,
cribs with the utmost composure from the author he has vilipended.
Still, we must not set down every coincidence as borrowing. Thucydides
himself insists on the recurrence of the same or similar events in a
history of which human nature is a constant factor. "Undo this button"
is not necessarily a quotation from King Lear. "There is no way but
this" was original with Macaulay, and not stolen from Shakespeare.
"Never mind, general, all this has been my fault," are words attributed
to General Lee after the battle of Gettysburg. This is very much the
language of Gylippus after the failure of his attack on the Athenian
lines before Syracuse. How many heroic as well as unheroic natures have
had to say "Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa."

[Note: Thuc. 7, 5, 2: [Greek: ouk ephê to hamartêma ekeinôn all' heautou
genesthai.]]

Situations may recur, sayings may recur, but no characters come back.
Nature always breaks her mould. "I could not help muttering to myself,"
says Coleridge in his Biographia Literaria, "when the good pastor this
morning told me that Klopstock was the German Milton, 'a very _German_
Milton, indeed!!!'" and Coleridge's italics and three exclamation points
may answer for all parallelisms. When historical characters get far
enough off it may be possible to imitate Plutarch, but only then. Victor
Hugo wrote a passionate protest against the execution of John Brown, in
which he compared Virginia hanging John Brown with Washington putting
Spartacus to death. What Washington would have done with Spartacus can
readily be divined. Those who have stood nearest to Grant and Sherman,
to Lee and Jackson, the men, fail to see any strong resemblance to
leaders in other wars. Nicias, in the Peloponnesian war, whose name
means Winfield, has nothing in common with General Scott, whose plan of
putting down the rebellion, the "Anaconda Plan," as it was called, bears
some resemblance to the scheme of Demosthenes, the Athenian general, for
quelling the Peloponnese. Brasidas was in some respects like Stonewall
Jackson, but Brasidas was not a Presbyterian elder, nor Stonewall
Jackson a cajoling diplomatist.


IV

This paper is rapidly becoming what life is,--a series of
renunciations,--and the reader is by this time sufficiently enlightened
as to the reasons why I gave up the ambitious title Two Wars, and
substituted A Southerner in the Peloponnesian War. If I were a military
man, I might have been tempted to draw some further illustrations from
the history of the two struggles, but my short and desultory service in
the field does not entitle me to set up as a strategist. I went from my
books to the front, and went back from the front to my books, from the
Confederate war to the Peloponnesian war, from Lee and Early to
Thucydides and Aristophanes. I fancy that I understood my Greek history
and my Greek authors better for my experience in the field, but some
degree of understanding would have come to me even if I had not stirred
from home. For while my home was spared until the month preceding the
surrender, every vibration of the great struggle was felt at the foot of
the Blue Ridge. We were not too far off to sympathize with the scares
at Richmond. There was the Pawnee affair, for instance. Early in the war
all Richmond was stirred by the absurd report that the Pawnee was on its
way up James River to lay the Confederate capital in ashes, just as all
Athens was stirred, in the early part of the Peloponnesian war, by a
naval demonstration against the Piræus. The Pawnee war, as it was
jocularly called, did not last long. Shot-guns and revolvers, to which
the civilian soul naturally resorts in every time of trouble, were soon
laid aside, and the only artillery to which the extemporized warriors
were exposed was the artillery of jests. Even now survivors of those
days recur to the tumultuous excitement of that Pawnee Sunday as among
the memorable things of the war, and never without merriment. Perhaps
nobody expected serious resistance to be made by the clergymen and the
department clerks and the business men who armed themselves for the
fray. Home guards were familiar butts on both sides of the line, but
home guards have been known to die in battle, and death in battle is
supposed to be rather tragic than otherwise. Nor is the tragedy made
less tragic by the age of the combatant. The ancients thought a young
warrior dead something fair to behold. To Greek poet and Roman poet
alike an aged warrior is a pitiable spectacle. No one is likely to
forget Virgil's Priam, Tyrtæus' description of an old soldier on the
field of battle came up to me more than once, and there is stamped
forever on my mind the image of one dying Confederate, "with white hair
and hoary beard, breathing out his brave soul in the dust" on the
western bank of the fair Shenandoah. Yet a few weeks before, that same
old Confederate, as a member of the awkward squad, would have been a
legitimate object of ridicule; and so the heroes of the Pawnee war, the
belted knights, or knights who would have been belted could belts have
been found for their civic girth, were twitted with their heroism.

[Note: Tyrtæus Fr. 8, 23:

[Greek: êdê leukon echonta karê polion te geneion thymon apopneiont'
alkimon en koniê].

The first line is taken from Il. 22, 74. I do not continue the citation
because the Homeric passage has not been subjected to the refining
process of Mr. MURRAY'S redactors of the Iliad.]

[Note: The Bloody Angle, May 12, 1864, an unforgettable date.]

[Note: Girl in the Carpathians and Scholar in Politics are titles of
current publications taken at random to illustrate the personal element
and its unfitness.]

But our scares were not confined to scares that came from Richmond. One
cavalry raid came up to our very doors, and Custer and his men were
repelled by a handful of reserve artillerymen. Our home guard was
summoned more than once to defend Rockfish Gap, and I remember one long
summer night spent as a mounted picket on the road to Palmyra. Every
battle in that "dancing ground of war" brought to the great
Charlottesville hospital sad reinforcements of wounded men. Crutch-races
between one-legged soldiers were organized, and there were timber-toe
quadrilles and one-armed cotillions. Out of the shelter of the Blue
Ridge it was easy enough to get into the range of bullets. A semblance
of college life was kept up at the University of Virginia. The students
were chiefly maimed soldiers and boys under military age; but when
things grew hot in front, maimed soldiers would edge nearer to the hell
of battle and the boys would rush off to the game of powder and ball.
One little band of these college boys chose an odd time for their
baptism of fire, and were put into action during the famous fight of
"the bloody angle." From the night when word was brought that the
Federals had occupied Alexandria to the time when I hobbled into the
provost marshal's office at Charlottesville and took the oath of
allegiance, the war was part of my life, and it is not altogether
surprising that the memories of the Confederacy come back to me whenever
I contemplate the history of the Peloponnesian war, which bulks so
largely in all Greek studies. And that is all this paper really means.
It belongs to the class of inartistic performances of which Aristotle
speaks so slightingly. It has no unity except the accidental unity of
person. A Southerner in the Peloponnesian War has no more artistic right
to be than A Girl in the Carpathians or A Scholar in Politics, and yet
it may serve as a document. But what will not serve as a document to the
modern historian? The historian is no longer the poor creature described
by Aristotle. He is no annalist, no chronicler. He is not dragged along
by the mechanical sequence of events. "The master of them that know" did
not know everything. He did not know that history was to become as
plastic as poetry, as dramatic as a play.


V

[Note: [Greek: akoueis Aischinê]; Dem. 18, 112. My Millwood friend was a
scholar of the old times and would not have paused to consider whether
the omission of [Greek: ô] was due to scorn of Æschines or dread of the
hiatus.]

The war was a good time for the study of the conflict between Athens and
Sparta. It was a great time for reading and re-reading classical
literature generally, for the South was blockaded against new books as
effectively, almost, as Megara was blockaded against garlic and salt.
The current literature of those three or four years was a blank to most
Confederates. Few books got across the line. A vigorous effort was made
to supply our soldiers with Bibles and parts of the Bible, and large
consignments ran the blockade. Else little came from abroad, and few
books were reprinted in the Confederacy. Of these I recall especially
Bulwer's Strange Story; Victor Hugo's Les Misérables, popularly
pronounced "Lee's Miserables"; and the historical novels of Louise
Mühlbach, known to the Confederate soldier as "Lou Mealbag." All were
eagerly read, but Cosette and Fantine and Joseph the Second would not
last forever, and we fell back on the old stand-bys. Some of us exhumed
neglected treasures, and I remember that I was fooled by Bulwer's
commendation of Charron into reading that feebler Montaigne. The
Southerner, always conservative in his tastes and no great admirer of
American literature, which had become largely alien to him, went back to
his English classics, his ancient classics. Old gentlemen past the
military age furbished up their Latin and Greek. Some of them had never
let their Latin and Greek grow rusty. When I was serving on General
Gordon's staff, I met at Millwood, in Clarke County, a Virginian of the
old school who declaimed with fiery emphasis, in the original, choice
passages of Demosthenes' tirade against Æschines. Not Demosthenes
himself could have given more effective utterance to "Hearest thou,
Æschines?" I thought of my old friend again not so very long ago, when I
read the account that the most brilliant of modern German classicists
gives of his encounter with a French schoolmaster at Beauvais in 1870,
during the Franco-Prussian war, and of the heated discussion that ensued
about the comparative merits of Euripides and Racine. The bookman is not
always killed in a man by service in the field. True, Lachmann dropped
his Propertius to take up arms for his country, but Reisig annotated his
Aristophanes in camp, and everybody knows the story of Courier, the
soldier Hellenist. But the tendency of life in the open air is to make
the soul imbody and imbrute, and after a while one begins to think
scholarship a disease, or, at any rate, a bad habit; and the Scythian
nomad, or, if you choose, the Texan cowboy, seems to be the normal,
healthy type. You put your Pickering Homer in your kit. It drops out by
reason of some sudden change of base, and you do not mourn as you ought
to do. The fact is you have not read a line for a month. But when the
Confederate volunteer returned, let us say, from Jack's Shop or some
such homely locality, and opened his Thucydides, the old charm came
back with the studious surroundings, and the familiar first words
renewed the spell.

"Thucydides of Athens wrote up the war of the Peloponnesians and
Athenians." "The war of the Peloponnesians and Athenians" is a somewhat
lumbering way of saying "the Peloponnesian war." But Thucydides never
says "the Peloponnesian war." Why not? Perhaps his course in this matter
was determined by a spirit of judicial fairness. However that may be,
either he employs some phrase like the one cited, or he says "this war"
as we say "the war," as if there were no other war on record.
"Revolutionary war," "war of 1812," "Seminole war," "Mexican war,"--all
these run glibly from our tongues, but we also lumber when we wish to be
accurate. The names of wars, like the names of diseases, are generally
put off on the party of the other part. We say "French and Indian war"
without troubling ourselves to ask what the French and Indians called
it, but "Northern war" and "Southern war" were never popular
designations. "The war between the States," which a good many
Southerners prefer, is both bookish and inexact. "Civil war" is an utter
misnomer. It was used and is still used by courteous people, the same
people who are careful to say "Federal" and "Confederate." "War of the
rebellion," which begs the very question at issue, has become the
official designation of the struggle, but has found no acceptance with
the vanquished. To this day no Southerner uses it except by way of
quotation, as in Rebellion Record, and even in the North it was only by
degrees that "reb" replaced "secesh." "Secession" was not a word with
which to charm the "old-line Whigs" of the South. They would fight the
battles of the secessionists, but they would not bear their name. "The
war of secession" is still used a good deal in foreign books, but it has
no popular hold. "The war," without any further qualification, served
the turn of Thucydides and Aristophanes for the Peloponnesian war. It
will serve ours, let it be hoped, for some time to come.


VI

A Confederate commentary on Thucydides, on the scale of the remarks just
made on the name of the war, would outrun the lines of this study. Let
us pass from Thucydides to the other contemporary chronicler who turns
out some sides of the "Doric war" about which Thucydides is silent. The
antique Clio gathers up her robe and steps tiptoe over rubbishy details
that are the delight of the comic poet and the modern Muse of History.
Thucydides, it is true, gives us a minute account of the plague. That
was a subject which commended itself to his saturnine spirit, and in his
description he deigns to speak of the "stuffy cabooses" into which the
country people were crowded when the Lacedæmonians invaded Attica. But
when Aristophanes touches the same chapter, he goes into picturesque
details about the rookeries and the wine-jars inhabited by the
newcomers. Diogenes' jar, commonly misnamed a tub, was no invention, and
I have known less comfortable quarters than the hogshead which I
occupied for a day or two in one of my outings during the war.

The plague was too serious a matter for even Aristophanes to make fun
of, and the annalist of the war between the States will not find any
parallel in the chronicles of the South. There was no such epidemic as
still shows its livid face in the pages of Thucydides and the verses of
Lucretius. True, some diseases of which civic life makes light proved to
be veritable scourges in camp. Measles was especially fatal to the
country-bred, and for abject misery I have never seen anything like
those cases of measles in which nostalgia had supervened. Nostalgia,
which we are apt to sneer at as a doctor's name for homesickness, and to
class with cachexy and borborygmus, was a power for evil in those days,
and some of our finest troops were thinned out by it, notoriously the
North Carolinians, whose attachment to the soil of their State was as
passionate as that of any Greeks, ancient or modern, Attic or
Peloponnesian.

[Note: Gresham's law was anticipated by Aristophanes, Ran. 718, foll.]

But the frightful mortality of the camp does not strike the imagination
so forcibly as does the carnage of the battlefield, and no layman cares
to analyze hospital reports and compare the medical with the surgical
history of the war. Famine, the twin evil of pestilence, is not so
easily forgotten, and the dominant note of Aristophanes, hunger, was the
dominant note of life in the Confederacy, civil as well as military. The
Confederate soldier was often on short rations, but the civilian was not
much better off. I do not mean those whose larders were swept by the
besom of the invaders. "Not a dust of flour, not an ounce of meat, left
in the house," was not an uncommon cry along the line of march; but it
was heard elsewhere, and I remember how I raked up examples of European
and Asiatic frugality with which to reinforce my editorials and hearten
my readers,--the scanty fare of the French peasant, the raw oatmeal of
the Scotch stonecutter, the flinty bread of the Swiss mountaineer, the
Spaniard's cloves of garlic, the Greek's handful of olives, and the
Hindoo's handful of rice. The situation was often gayly accepted. The
not infrequent proclamation of fastdays always served as a text for
mutual banter, and starvation-parties were the rule, social gatherings
at which apples were the chief refreshment. Strange streaks of luxury
varied this dead level of scant and plain fare. The stock of fine wines,
notably madeiras, for which the South was famous, did not all go to the
hospitals. Here and there provident souls had laid in boxes of tea and
bags of coffee that carried them through the war, and the chief outlay
was for sugar, which rose in price as the war went on, until it almost
regained the poetical character it bore in Shakespeare's time. Sugar,
tea, and coffee once compassed, the daintiness of old times occasionally
came back, and I have been assured by those who brought gold with them
that Richmond was a paradise of cheap and good living during the war,
just as the United States will be for foreigners when our currency
becomes as abundant as it was in the last years of the Confederacy.
Gresham's law ought to be called Aristophanes' law. In all matters
pertaining to the sphere of civic life, merry Aristophanes is of more
value than sombre Thucydides, and if the gospel of peace which he
preaches is chiefly a variation on the theme of something to eat, small
blame to him. Critics have found fault with the appetite of Odysseus as
set forth by Homer. No Confederate soldier will subscribe to the
censure, and there are no scenes in Aristophanes that appeal more
strongly to the memory of the Southerner, civilian or soldier, than
those in which the pinch of war makes itself felt.

Farmers and planters made their moan during the Confederacy, and
doubtless they had much to suffer. "Impressment" is not a pleasant word
at any time, and the tribute that the countryman had to yield to the
defense of the South was ruinous,--the indirect tribute as well as the
direct. The farmers of Virginia were much to be pitied. Their homes were
filled with refugee kinsfolk; wounded Confederates preferred the private
house to the hospital. Hungry soldiers and soldiers who forestalled the
hunger of weeks to come, laid siege to larder, smoke-house,
spring-house. Pay, often tendered, was hardly ever accepted. The
cavalryman was perhaps a trifle less welcome than the infantryman,
because of the capacious horse and the depleted corn-bin, but few were
turned away. Yet there was the liberal earth, and the farmer did not
starve, as did the wretched civilian whose dependence was a salary,
which did not advance with the rising tide of the currency. The woes of
the war clerks in Richmond and of others are on record, and important
contributions have been made to the economical history of the
Confederate States. I will not draw on these stores. I will only tell of
what I have lived, as demanded by the title of this paper. The income of
the professors of the University of Virginia was nominally the same
during the war that it was before, but the purchasing power of the
currency steadily diminished. If it had not been for a grant of
woodland, we should have frozen as well as starved during the last year
of the war, when the quest of food had become a serious matter. In our
direst straits we had not learned to dispense with household service,
and the household servants were never stinted of their rations, though
the masters had to content themselves with the most meagre fare. The
farmers, generous enough to the soldiers, were not overconsiderate of
the non-combatants. Often the only way of procuring our coarse food was
by making contracts to be paid after the war in legal currency, and
sometimes payment in gold was exacted. The contracts were not always
kept, and the unfortunate civilian had to make new contracts at an
enhanced price. Before my first campaign in 1861, I had bought a little
gold and silver, for use in case of capture, and if it had not been for
that precious hoard I might not be writing this sketch. But despite the
experience of the airy gentlemen who alighted in Richmond during the
war, even gold and silver would not always work wonders. Bacon and
corned beef in scant measure were the chief of our diet, and not always
easy to procure. I have ridden miles and miles, with silver in my palm,
seeking daintier food for the women of my household, but in vain. There
was nothing to do except to tighten one's belt, and to write editorials
showing up the selfishness of the farming class and prophesying the
improvement of the currency.

No wonder, then, that with such an experience a bookish Confederate
should turn to the Aristophanic account of the Peloponnesian war with
sympathetic interest. The Athenians, it is true, were not blockaded as
we were, and the Athenian beaux and belles were not reduced to the
straits that every Confederate man, assuredly every Confederate woman,
can remember. Our blockade-runners could not supply the demands of our
population. We went back to first principles. Thorns were for pins, and
dogwood sticks for toothbrushes. Rag-bags were ransacked. Impossible
garments were made possible. Miracles of turning were performed, not
only in coats, but even in envelopes. Whoso had a dress coat gave it to
his womankind in order to make the body of a riding-habit. Dainty feet
were shod in home-made foot-gear which one durst not call shoes. Fairy
fingers which had been stripped of jewelled rings wore bone circlets
carved by idle soldiers. There were no more genuine tears than those
which flowed from the eyes of the Southern women resident within the
Federal lines when they saw the rig of their kinswomen, at the cessation
of hostilities. And all this grotesqueness, all this dilapidation, was
shot through by specimens of individual finery, by officers who had
brought back resplendent uniforms from beyond seas, by heroines who had
engineered themselves and their belongings across the Potomac.

[Note: As is well known, the Greek had a mania for shoes. For women's
shoes see Av. Lys. 417. For other cordwainer's wares, _l. c._, 110.]

Of all this the scholar found nothing in the records of the
Peloponnesian war. The women of Megara may have suffered, but hardly the
Corinthian women; and the Athenian dames and damsels were as particular
about their shoes and their other cordwainer's wares as ever. The story
that Socrates and his wife had but one upper garment between them is a
stock joke, as I have shown elsewhere. "Who first started the notable
jest it is impossible, at this distance of time, to discover, just as
it is impossible to tell whose refined wit originated the conception of
the man who lies abed while his solitary shirt is in the wash." The
story was intended to illustrate, not the scarcity of raiment in the
Peloponnesian war, but the abundance of philosophy in the Socratic soul.
All through that war the women of Athens seem to have had as much finery
as was good for them. The pinch was felt at other points, and there the
Confederate sympathy was keen.

In The Acharnians of Aristophanes, the hero, Dicæopolis, makes a
separate peace on his individual account with the Peloponnesians and
drives a brisk trade with the different cantons, the enthusiasm reaching
its height when the Boeotian appears with his ducks and his eels. This
ecstasy can best be understood by those who have seen the capture of a
sutler's wagon by hungry Confederates; and the fantastic vision of a
separate peace became a sober reality at many points on the lines of the
contending parties. The Federal outposts twitted ours with their lack
of coffee and sugar; ours taunted the Federals with their lack of
tobacco. Such gibes often led, despite the officers, to friendly
interchange. So, for instance, a toy-boat which bore the significant
name of a parasite familiar to both sides made regular trips across the
Rappahannock after the dire struggle at Fredericksburg, and promoted
international exchange between "Yank" and "Johnny Reb." The daydream of
Aristophanes became a sober certainty.

The war was not an era of sweetness and light. Perhaps sugar was the
article most missed. Maple sugar was of too limited production to meet
the popular need. Sorghum was a horror then, is a horror to remember
now. It set our teeth on edge and clawed off the coats of our stomachs.
In the army sugar was doled out by pinches, and from the tables of most
citizens it was banished altogether. There were those who solaced
themselves with rye coffee and sorghum molasses regardless of ergot and
acid, but nobler souls would not be untrue to their gastronomic ideal.
Necessity is one thing, mock luxury another. If there had been honey
enough, we should have been on the antique basis; for honey was the
sugar of antiquity, and all our cry for sugar was but an echo of the cry
for honey in the Peloponnesian war. Honey was then, as it is now, one of
the chief products of Attica. It is not likely that the Peloponnesians
took the trouble to burn over the beds of thyme that gave Attic honey
its peculiar flavor, but the Peloponnesians would not have been soldiers
if they had not robbed every beehive on the march; and, sad to relate,
the Athenians must have been forced to import honey. When Dicæopolis
makes the separate peace mentioned above, he gets up a feast of good
things, and there is a certain unction in the tone with which he orders
the basting of sausage-meat with honey, as one should say mutton and
currant jelly. In The Peace, when War appears and proceeds to make a
salad, he says,--


     I'll pour some Attic honey in.


Whereupon Trygæus cries out,--


     Ho, there, I warn you use some other honey.
     Be sparing of the Attic. That costs sixpence.


Attic honey has the ring of New Orleans molasses; "those molasses," as
the article was often called, with an admiring plural of majesty.

[Note: Almost as touching as the _pluralis maiestaticus_ of "those
molasses" is the Scythian archer's personification of honey as [Greek:
Attikos melis], Ar. Thesm. 1192.]

But a Confederate student, like the rest of his tribe, could more
readily renounce sweetness than light, and light soon became a serious
matter. The American demands a flood of light, and wonders at the
English don who pursues his investigations by the glimmer of two
candles. It was hard to go back to primitive tallow dips. Lard might
have served, but it was too precious to be used in lamps. The new
devices were dismal, such as the vile stuff called terebene, which
smoked and smelt more than it illuminated, such as the wax tapers which
were coiled round bottles that had seen better days. Many preferred the
old way, and read by flickering pine-knots, which cost many an old
reader his eyes.

Now, tallow dips, lard, wax tapers, terebene, pine-knots, were all
represented in the Peloponnesian war by oil. Oil, one of the great
staples of Attica, became scarcer as the war went on. "A bibulous wick"
was a sinner against domestic economy; to trim a lamp and hasten
combustion was little short of a crime. Management in the use of
oil--otherwise considered the height of niggardliness--was the rule, and
could be all the more readily understood by the Confederate student when
he reflected that oil was the great lubricant as well; that it was the
Attic butter, and to a considerable extent the Attic soap. Under the
Confederacy butter mounted to the financial milky way, not to be scaled
of ordinary men, and soap was also a problem. Modern chemists have
denied the existence of true soap in antiquity. The soap-suds that got
into the eyes of the Athenian boy on the occasion of his Saturday-night
scrubbing were not real soap-suds, but a kind of lye used for desperate
cases. The oil-flask was the Athenian's soapbox. No wonder, then, that
oil was exceeding precious in the Peloponnesian war, and no wonder that
all these little details of daily hardship come back even now to the old
student when he reopens his Aristophanes. No wonder that the ever
present Peloponnesian war will not suffer him to forget those four years
in which the sea of trouble rose higher and higher.



NOTES

[Transcriber's note: the 'Notes' have been moved to their respective
pages and appear as 'Notes']



     POSTSCRIPT.--The bulk of the Notes would have been greatly
     augmented, if I had undertaken to explain 1892 as well as 1865 to
     the children of 1915. In 1892 Mr. CARNEGIE (p. 19) was not yet the
     benefactor of the outworn members of my own profession, and Mr.
     CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS was declaiming against the College Fetich to
     which I have borne a life long allegiance. To some of my own
     allusions I have lost the clue and find myself in the category with
     which BROWNING has made the world familiar.



CONTEMPORANEOUS OPINIONS OF THE NORTHERN PRESS


"A poetical view of the Southern cause in the Civil War."--The Nation,
January, 1892.

"An attempt on the part of Professor Gildersleeve to make the Creed of
the Old South seem a little less absurd than it has for twenty years
past."--Springfield Republican.

"Professor B. L. Gildersleeve states the Creed of the Old South in a way
to make every Northern man respect those who took up arms like General
Lee under the conviction that the State had the first claim upon their
allegiance. The writer would have strengthened this sympathy, however,
did he show that he had been docile to the stern teacher, experience,
and had come to reject the parochial creed of state rights."--Literary
World, January 2, 1892.

"I hope it is not improper to add that wherever, in all Christendom,
there is hearty appreciation of profound learning allied to conscience
and to a refined life, the recent paper of the Johns Hopkins professor
of philology will be taken as conclusive proof that good and true and
able men could uphold the cause of the Confederacy even in arms, and
never doubt in their hearts that they were right."--JACOB DOLSON COX,
"Why the Men of '61 Fought for the Union," Atlantic Monthly, March,
1892.



CORRECTIONS.

[Transcriber's note: The following corrections have been made to the
text.]

p. 108, l. 18, for 'Weir' read 'Weyer'.

111, l. 27, LEE'S middle name was KENDALL, not KNOX.

115, l. 23, read 'As Gabriel _on_ the devil'.

121, l. 15, read 'was and is'.

123, l. 6, for [Greek: zyg/on] read [Greek: zyg\on].

124, l. 6, read AUGUSTIN_E_, 'as always in the Washington family' W.
GORDON McCABE.

126, l. 6, for 427 read 417.





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